The True Measure of Success

We're making clean water available in poverty-stricken areas of India....

Penn State graduate Advait Kumar holds a water bottle to the camera.

Penn State graduate Advait Kumar

"To solve such big issues, you need many perspectives. You need the wisdom of the crowd."— Advait Kumar, electrical engineering graduate and founder of Swajal

Image: Michelle Bixby

"I've already accomplished more than I ever imagined. The goal was never to 'make it big.' If I can save one child from dying, that's enough."—Advait Kumar

Electrical Engineering graduate Advait Kumar believed the world was ready to tackle the water issues of poor families in rural India. While still an undergraduate, he founded Swajal, a system that dispense hot or cold clean water from vending machines place in slums in India

Giving silent children a voice....

"Seeing this device come alive is a dream come true."—Mary Elizabeth McCulluch

Prior to college, Mary Elizabeth McCulluch travelled to Ecuador, where she volunteered with orphans with nonverbal cerebral palsy. Inspired by their desire to connect with their caregivers and visitors, she began her freshman year at Penn State's Altoona campus determined to create a device that would help them communicate. Her journey is far from over, but her concept is already reality. 

Performing in a theater of change...

Actors, informally dressed, stand on a darkened stage in spotlights. Some use cell phones. In the foreground are people in front of blue computer screens, running the performance

'Blood at the Root' student cast at rehearsal

"Together we developed a piece that looks beyond our differences in order to move forward."—Steve Broadnax, associate director of theatre and head of the graduate acting program

Image: Michelle Bixby

"It has been bigger and brighter and more enthusiastic than we ever dreamed. It's become bigger than us."—Allison Jaye

Blood at the Root, a play commissioned by Penn State's School of Theatre and written award-winning playwright by Dominique Morisseau, explores issues of race, class, sexuality and discrimination. The play, based on the Jena Six, has taken the student cast members farther than they every imagined. In fact, it's taken them all of over the world, where they aren't afraid to engage in tough conversations about the plays' charged emotional themes.