Jeremy Engels named Rick and Sue Barry Director of Paterno Fellows Program

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jeremy Engels, associate professor of communication arts and sciences (CAS), has been named the Rick and Sue Barry Director of the Paterno Fellows Program in Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts. He replaces Catherine Wanner, who stepped down after receiving a Fulbright Scholar Grant to pursue research in the Ukraine in fall 2019.

Jeremy Engels, associate professor of communication arts and sciences, has been named the new Rick and Sue Barry Director of the Paterno Fellows Program in the College of the Liberal Arts.  Credit: Jeremy EngelsAll Rights Reserved.

A CAS faculty member since 2006, Engels has held several positions during his tenure, including assistant director as well as Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute, and interim co-director and later assistant director of the Center for Democratic Deliberation, for which he now serves as an executive board member. In 2017, Engels won the College of the Liberal Arts Outstanding Tenure-Line Faculty Teaching Award, an award given to only one or two faculty members each year. 

Engels focuses his research on the historical foundations of American democratic rhetoric “in all its beauty, in all its ugliness, and ultimately in all its perplexity.” He is the author of three books: "Enemyship: Democracy and Counter-Revolution in the Early Republic," "The Politics of Resentment: A Genealogy," and "The Art of Gratitude." He has an advance contract from the University of Chicago Press to publish a fourth book, "The Ethics of Oneness: Yoga, the Bhagavad Gita, and Everyday Democracy."

As director of the Paterno Fellows Program, Engels said he hopes to build upon the efforts of Wanner, whom he describes as “fantastic on all accounts,” by partnering with centers and institutes in the college and multiplying the opportunities Fellows have to engage in research with faculty members.

“I’d also love to extend the scope of the Paterno Fellows internationally by creating partnerships with other universities to promote more study abroad and research abroad programs,” he said, adding that study abroad is “such an important part of both a liberal arts education and the Paterno Fellows Program.”

“Dr. Engels is a beloved teacher as well as a prolific scholar,” said Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies B. Richard Page. “His enthusiasm for the liberal arts, his creativity, and his commitment to education make him the ideal person for the role of director of the Paterno Fellows Program. I’m looking forward to seeing how the program will advance under his leadership.”

Engels said he sought the position because of the caliber of its students, many of whom he has taught in his classes.

“I love the idea of being part of helping this stellar group of students follow their passions and dreams and to live their imaginations,” he said. “Through the Paterno Fellows Program, we are training future leaders and instilling them with deep liberal arts values.”

Engels also is a yoga instructor who hopes he can infuse the concept of mindfulness into the program. He plans to meet with Fellows regularly to hear their ideas and learn from one another.

“I would love to institute a ‘mindfulness walk’ each day, where students simply move from class to class without using their cellphones or earbuds,” he said. “Our world needs that, and our democracy needs that. I am looking forward to supporting these outstanding students and helping them find opportunities to excel and grow.”

Last Updated July 09, 2019