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News in Brief
|Penn State news bureau|
By Lisa M. Rosellini
The verdict is in.
More green space, less traffic and a shift in the academic core toward Beaver Stadium are concepts identified by the University Park community of how the campus should look in the coming decades.
In the latest in a series of meetings held to gather input on the Campus Master Plan -- the document that will guide development of the University Park campus over the next 25 to 30 years -- consultants said people clearly favored retaining current open areas, like the lawns of the HUB and Old Main, and creating new green spaces. In addition, limiting vehicles on campus and increasing pedestrian safety were also pinpointed as preferred concepts. The plan calls for, among many things, the realignment of some roadways, a possible pedestrian overpass, construction of new parking garages and buildings not less than four stories high.
With the capacity to expand its academic buildings by more than 94 acres over the next two decades, the University Park campus must establish a basic long-term, organized plan for growth that can accommodate the expected need for better facilities.
Dick Rigterink of Johnson, Johnson & Roy Inc., master plan consultants, explained that the planning team is looking at three levels of detail: the campuswide pattern from the golf course across Atherton Street on the west to the Mount Nittany Expressway (322) on the east; subcampus or district patterns in specific blocks across campus, such as the area around Old Main; and the preferred broad principles and concepts that will guide the entire master plan, such as a desire for more green space and the expansion of the vehicle-free zone across campus.
The planning team consists of JJR Inc., lead campus planners, KCF/SHG, architectural consultants, and Travers Associates, transportation and traffic consultants. Rigterink stressed that the master plan process merely identifies general directions the University can take and is not an implementation project.
During the planning team's last visit in June, three alternatives for the master plan were presented. Of the three, the one that Rigterink said was the unmistakable favorite was the alternative that doubled the amount of open areas on campus.
Under this scenario, not only would Old Main lawn, the HUB lawn and Hort Woods (along Park Avenue) remain intact, but new areas -- such as Pollock Field, a section of the current parking Lot 80 (near Park Avenue and Bigler Road) and pedestrian corridors linking major existing open spaces-- would be opened up. One such corridor identified by planners is a stretch from Pattee Library to The Bryce Jordan Center, which would create a major east/west pedestrian passageway. Another potential pedestrian corridor would be the extension of the East Mall to beyond Pattee Library over to Hort Woods, which would add two acres of open area and provide a major north/south corridor through campus. Currently, the Forum Building stands in the way of such a plan, but Rigterink said as the building wears out within the next 15 years, it should not be rebuilt in the same spot. A portion of Hammond Building, which faces College Avenue, should also be removed, the planners said, to open up the barrier it presents and allow a view of the old president's house and the new Alumni Center that will be constructed on the grounds behind it.
The planners said most new buildings would be constructed to the east of the central part of campus, shifting the academic core out toward Beaver Stadium. In this plan to move east, a Visitor's Center could sit on the corner of Porter Road and Park Avenue on land that is currently used for agricultural purposes. Planners also said one- and two-story buildings are an inefficient use of space and only four-story or five-story structures should be an option. Under the plan, a portion of Parking Lot 80 would be used for academic structures and a parking deck.
"A lot of our building sites are on existing parking lots," Rigterink said. "But we are keeping the supply and demand of parking spaces in balance by relocating them."
Rigterink was referring to the four areas identified in the master plan as potential locations for parking garages. They include an area on the most western edge of West Campus (across Atherton); where the Applied Science Building now stands; Lot 80, off of Bigler Road; and just off of University Drive, south of Shields Building.
"Although we are keeping the parking spaces in balance, we want people to bicycle, walk or carpool," Rigterink said. Which is why a plan for a bicycle path which links to other paths in the State College area will be drawn up as the process moves forward.
As academic buildings move eastward, they will occupy ground currently used by the Athletic Department. To accommodate such a shift, land currently used as grazing fields would be taken over by the Athletic Department and the grazing areas would eventually transfer to the other side of the expressway. The consultants said to handle this expansion Porter Road would need to be shifted out toward the expressway and become the link for the proposed Eastern Inner Loop for the region, instead of University Drive. The Inner Loop is a plan being discussed by local governments to create a road that would divert traffic around the University and State College.
Rigterink called University Drive the "Atherton of the future," and said a pedestrian overpass might be necessary there as the campus expands eastward. The planners envision College Avenue as the primary community road, while Park Avenue has been pinpointed as primarily a campus access road. To limit the number of vehicles traveling through campus, traffic on Pollock Road and a portion of Shortlidge Road from Curtin Road to Pollock would be prohibited. Buses only would be allowed on certain sections of roadway within the current campus core area.
One concern Rigterink said has been expressed through these open meetings is how the development plan for the 53-acre West Campus (across Atherton) fits into the current discussions of the Campus Master Plan and the shift eastward. The consultant said they are currently looking at the West Campus plans, which may be revised to keep the buildings closer to Atherton and the academic core.
"We are looking for the West Campus to be self-sufficient, meaning you can park there," Rigterink said. "We are entertaining variations to that plan, however."
The next open meeting on the Campus Master Plan is slated for Nov. 12.
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Elizabeth Lyon, one of four family members who make up the
Lyon Family Chamber Ensemble, played the cello before a press conference
of the Commission for the Advancement of the Arts. Lyon is 8 years old,
and has been playing cello for three years. The event was held to discuss
progress made by the group in promoting the arts. The group focuses on finding
new opportunities for town/gown collaboration to foster an appreciation
and understanding of the arts.
Photo: Greg Grieco
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By Karen Wagner
More than 400 representatives from higher education and industry learned that managing diversity means focusing on issues other than race, gender and sexual orientation. "Best Practices in Diversity" was the subject they gathered to discuss Sept. 1820 at University Park in this first-ever collaboration.
"Successful management of diversity requires that we acknowledge the fact that diversity already exists in the workplace, be they generational issues, family care issues or dress preference," said Roosevelt Thomas Jr., keynote speaker and president of the American Institute for Managing Diversity.
"Employing and supervising a workforce with any kind of differences generates tensions. Executives need to clearly outline goals, guiding principles and realistic outcomes that center on work requirements -- not personal preferences," he said.
Thomas gave the example of an executive upset by the sight of a male employee sporting a ponytail. Before he could issue an ultimatum he was stopped by another executive enthused about the employee's talent, performance and contributions.
"It can be a struggle to set aside your personal preferences and focus on the work of the company," said Thomas.
In introducing Thomas, President Graham B. Spanier emphasized Penn State's commitment to access -- making its teaching, research and service initiatives available to a broad and diverse public.
"Diversity is inherent in our collective commitment to access. It is essential to the quality of education for all students," Spanier said. "Yet, what seems so straightforward conceptually, can be difficult and complex."
Herbert Z. Wong, an industrial and organizational psychologist and a consultant on multicultural leadership strategies, discussed diversity training and programming initiatives.
Wong said the best diversity programs include careful assessment of the current workplace culture, reward and recognition for those who support diversity and guiding principles for management and employees.
"The organizations that use the best diversity practices also have a process for accountability. They monitor the progress of those initiatives," he said.
Other organizations and institutions selected to present included Michigan State, Ohio State, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, Indiana University, Purdue University, University of Kentucky, Penn State, Corning Asahi, PPG Industries, Sprint Business, Kodak, HR Donnelly and Sons, Shakti for Children and The Winters Group.
The conference was a continuing and distance education service of Penn State's Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity and the College of Education in collaboration with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. It was supported, in part, by Penn State's Alumni Association, the Office of International Programs, and Penn State's Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost; DuPont, Merck Pharmaceuticals, MetLife Insurance, Eastman Kodak, AT&T, FMC Corporation, Cigna, Corning Asahi and Lucent Technologies.
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On Oct. 8 the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, a joint project that helped produce one of the world's premier astronomical research tools, will be dedicated at The University of Texas McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas -- and Penn State played a major role in its formation. The Intercom will cover this important scientific event in the Oct. 15 issue.
Sitting atop Mount Fowlkes in the Davis Mountains of west Texas, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) is a joint project of The University of Texas at Austin, Penn State, Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, and Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen. The construction of the telescope was funded in part by Penn State philanthropist Robert E. Eberly. The instrument is named for both Eberly and William P. Hobby, who served as lieutenant governor of Texas from 1973-91.
The Hobby-Eberly Telescope is uniquely designed to collect and analyze light from astronomical objects such as comets, planets, stars and galaxies using a technique called spectroscopy.
The telescope is already generating international interest in the scientific community for pioneering innovative, collaborative and cost-conscious science. There will be more to come on this significant scientific breakthrough in future issues of Intercom.
By Barbara K. Kennedy
Eberly College of Science
Two Penn State graduate students built and tested the first scientific instrument for one of the world's largest, most powerful and most economical optical telescopes, the new Hobby-Eberly Telescope, which is scheduled for its grand-opening ceremony on Oct. 8. Two Penn State undergraduate students built and tested calibration devices for the instrument.
Used for gathering information on stars, galaxies and planets and more, the spectrograph instrument (UFOE), which astronomy graduate students Jason Harlow and David Andersen built in the basement of Penn State's Osmond Laboratory on the University Park campus, recently produced the telescope's first scientifically interesting information, according to their supervisor Lawrence W. Ramsey, a Penn State professor of astronomy and astrophysics and the telescope's project scientist. Undergraduate students Lester Chou and Eric Mamajek did their work on the instrument's calibration devices in the Department of Astronomy at Penn State.
The Hobby-Eberly Telescope is uniquely designed for spectroscopy-- the collection and analysis of light from astronomical objects such as comets, planets, stars and galaxies. Spectroscopy provides astronomers with a wealth of information, such as what stars are made of, how far away they are and how fast they are moving. Astronomers will use the telescope to search for planets in orbit around other stars, learn more about the "dark matter" that surrounds galaxies and refine theories about how stars and galaxies are born and how they die.
"We are going to get exciting new science from this telescope," Ramsey said. "Plus, it already is giving us a wealth of fantastic training opportunities for the next generation of scientific leaders."
In addition to building the UFOE spectrograph, Harlow helped to install it at the telescope site in the Davis Mountains of West Texas at The University of Texas McDonald Observatory at Fort Davis. Another young Penn State scientist, distinguished postdoctoral Fellow Christopher Churchill, developed the software that will be used by virtually all scientists who analyze data from the UFOE instrument.
Ramsey says the UFOE spectrograph, which was designed specifically for testing and commissioning the telescope, was built for a tiny fraction of the cost of the higher-quality operating instruments currently planned for future installation on the telescope.
"On practically a zero budget, the students recycled and upgraded an older instrument that we had built here in the mid-1980s," he said. "It recently has produced test spectra of sufficient quality to serve as a guide for planning the telescope's science program."
The Hobby-Eberly Telescope is a joint project of Penn State, The University of Texas at Austin, Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, and Georg-August-Universitat Goettingen.
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Employees in Undergraduate Education kicked off their United
Way Campaign with a skit, "It Was a Wonderful Life," which depicted
a community without a United Way. From left are Donna Meyer, Sue Irwin,
Deloris Brobeck, Mark Hinsh, Linda Ellenberger and Shelby Hoy. Undergraduate
Education is sponsoring a new United Way event, "Walk N' Roll,"
at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at Recreation Building on the University Park
campus. Individuals who want to walk, skate or ride a bicycle in the event
by calling (814) 865-5379 or (814) 466-7530.
Photo: Greg Grieco
With enthusiasm and confidence, volunteers have officially launched the 1997 University Park Campus United Way Campaign.
J.D. Hammond, dean of The Smeal College of Business Administration and campus chair, announced a goal of $475,000 for this year's campaign.
The campus goal was announced at a kickoff breakfast for the Centre County United Way, which supports 35 social service agencies. The county-wide campaign hopes to raise $1.45 million.
Hammond said he and leaders of the county campaign have visited all of the college deans and administrative unit heads at University Park.
"We stressed the importance of the United Way and what we hope they would accomplish. I feel very positive about every single one of our visits," he said.
The United Way's Pacesetter campaign, which ran through August, raised $520,926, an increase of 16 percent over last year. The Penn State Campaign Steering Committee, which participated for the first time as a Pacesetter group, reported raising $10,621.
The video produced for the Centre County United Way was shown at the kickoff breakfast. It was produced by Chuck Ungar, senior producer-director at WPSX-TV.
To be dedicated in ceremonies on Oct. 3, Almy Hall is Penn
State Erie, Behrend College's latest edition to its residence hall facilities.
Constructed at a cost of $5 million, Almy Hall houses 132 students, 80 percent
of whom are honors students or University Scholars. Penn State-Behrend is
scheduled to break ground in 1998 for another residence hall, which will
open in 1999. A third building will open in 2001. Almy Hall was named in
honor of sailing master Thomas C. Almy, a schooner commander during the
War of 1812.
Photo: Courtesy of Penn State Erie, Behrend College
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Robert L. Bloom, groundskeeper, landscape, Office of Physical Plant, from July 1, 1951, until his retirement June 28, 1986; died Aug. 31 at the age of 73.
E. Rita Burch, clerk at Penn State Abington, from April 10, 1961, until her retirement May 1, 1981; died Aug. 26. She was 80.
Lewis S. Jodon, mechanic, experimental and maintenance, College of Agricultural Sciences, from Feb. 11, 1957, until his retirement Aug. 1, 1987; died July 12 at the age of 75.
Mary K. Lockhoff, senior extension agent, College of Agricultural Sciences, from July 1, 1954, until her retirement Oct. 1, 1984; died Aug. 5. She was 72.
Dorothy F. Mihelic, staff assistant, executive programs, Continuing and Distance Education, from July 9, 1962, until her retirement June 30, 1982; died July 21 at the age of 77.
Robert Michael Owens, professor of computer science and engineering, died Saturday, Sept. 13, in Pavia, Italy. A memorial service will be held Oct. 13 at 11 a.m. in the Eisenhower Chapel on the University Park campus. Family will meet with friends and colleagues immediately afterward in the Chapel Memorial Lounge.
Before joining the Penn State faculty in 1980, Owens worked for IBM and the Naval Surface Weapons Center. He was spending the 1997-98 academic year on sabbatical leave with the University of Pavia in Pavia, Italy.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Robert Michael Owens Named Memorial Fund, Engineering Development Office, 101 Hammond Building, University Park, Pa. 16802; or Robert Michael Owens Memorial Fund, The Arc of Centre County, 1840 N. Atherton Street, State College, Pa. 16803; or Trinity Lutheran Church Organ Fund, Corner of Laurel and Third Street, Philipsburg, Pa. 16866.
George L. Thuering, director of management engineering and professor of industrial engineering, College of Engineering, from May 1, 1947, until his retirement Oct. 1, 1982; died Aug. 23 at the age of 77.
Geraldine B. Watson, nutrition advisor, College of Agricultural Sciences, from April 29, 1969, until her retirement July 1, 1988; died July 21. She was 69.
Adah A. Wolfe, research assistant, Applied Research Laboratory, from July 17, 1961, until her retirement Feb. 1, 1989; died Aug. 23. She was 72.
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A gift of $50,000 from alumnus Norbert Gaelen, a 1947 industrial engineering graduate, will endow a new scholarship for industrial engineering students with an entrepreneurial flair.
The Norbert P. Gaelen Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Scholarship is a need-based award to be given to engineering juniors who are interested in developing entrepreneurial skills such as those provided by courses in the Engineering Leadership Development minor.
Gaelen is the chairman and owner of the O. Berk Co. in Union, New Jersey, a distributorship for glass, plastic and aluminum containers.
After his graduation in 1947, he joined the company which had been in his family since 1925. O. Berk now employs 75 people and does approximately $50 million in sales annually.
He is a member of the Penn State President's Club and has generously supported the college for many years.
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Due to a change in his schedule, Paul Kossman, Alumni Fellow in the College of Arts and Architecture, will not be at the University Park campus on Sept. 26 as stated in an article on page 6 of the Sept. 18 Intercom. Kossman's visit has been rescheduled for Thursday, Nov. 20.
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Mike would like to join a carpool from Bellefonte/Milesburg to University Park with one or two drivers, Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Please call him at (814) 353-8505.
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