Nominations sought for 2021-22 Penn State Laureate

Nomination materials due by Jan. 18, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The University is seeking nominees for the role of 2021-22 Penn State Laureate, with nomination materials due by Monday, Jan. 18, 2021.

The endowed annual position of Penn State Laureate was established in 2008 to bring greater visibility to the arts and humanities (a thematic priority in Penn State’s strategic plan) and the honoree’s work, and to enrich the University.

The Penn State Laureate is a full-time faculty member who is assigned half-time to this role for one academic year. The laureate has opportunities throughout the year to bring their artistic perspectives to a variety of audiences, including visits to Commonwealth Campuses and communities statewide.

The 2020-21 Laureate, David Witwer, is engaging Pennsylvanians by drawing on his research on corruption, organized crime and labor racketeering. His presentations focus on his current book project, “Searching for Jimmy Hoffa,” which traces the history of what is known about International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James R. Hoffa’s disappearance, his involvement with organized crime, and what his career reveals about working-class attitudes towards corruption. The 2019-20 Laureate, William Doan, toured Pennsylvania engaging audiences by exploring the intersections of art, science and health through interactive experiences — including performances, workshops and discussions — that address issues related to living with anxiety and depression.

Nominations for the 2021-22 Penn State Laureate are encouraged from across the University, and self-nominations are welcome. A nomination packet should include a one-page letter addressed to Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Kathleen Bieschke articulating how the individual would be an exceptional laureate. It also should include the nominee’s curriculum vitae comprising no more than 20 pages.

Submit nomination materials via email to, with relevant documents attached, or hand-delivered by that date to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, 201 Old Main.

A list of past Penn State Laureates is available on the website for the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.

Last Updated January 08, 2021