February 5, 1998......Volume 27, Issue 19

News . . . . Arts . . . . Calendars . . . . Letters . . . . Links . . . . Deadlines . . . . Archive

Search the contents of the Intercom archives and
news releases issued by the Department of Public Information.

Smeal College's electronic test
Co-chairs chosen for campaign
NCAA certification
Sports agent legislation signed
25-year Awards
The Ice Man
Penn Staters
Study abroad program
For the Record
Construction update
New at Penn State
Snow going
Faculty/Staff Alerts
Employee Benefits
Book Shelf
Penn State news bureau

Construction update

Work continues on the Pattee/Paterno Libraries construction and renovation project at University Park. The
project will add a 100,000-square-foot, multistory addition to Pattee Library and is due to be completed in
October 1999. For more information, check the Web at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/pubinfo/construction/
Photo: Greg Grieco

Back to top of page

New at Penn State

Course teaches doctors
how to run a business

An innovative team-taught course presented this semester by the School of Business at Penn State Erie, Behrend College, to medical students at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is helping medical students learn about the business of being doctors.

The course is designed to help medical students integrate good business management into their health care profession.

"According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, health care is the largest small business industry in Pennsylvania," said Jeff Trailer, assistant professor of management, "so it makes good sense to offer medical students this opportunity."

There are nine Penn State-Behrend professors team-teaching the course.

Early in the semester, the teaching team met with its class of 125 first-year medical students to find out what concerns they might have about setting up a medical practice. Overwhelmingly, the students want to know how managed care and HMOs would affect their future practice. But they also wanted to learn what business terms mean, how to hire accounting and legal professionals, how to evaluate office staff, how to determine growth areas in their job market, what tax issues are important to physicians, and, since many come from outside Pennsylvania, how to incorporate in other states.

New major created

A new major in the College of Agricultural Sciences, involving the departments of agronomy, entomology, horticulture and plant pathology, will prepare students to answer questions about how farms can remain a viable business as urbanization, along with new regulations, close in. In December, the agroecosystems science (AGESS) major was approved and is accepting students.

"Many times a student will take courses in various disciplines, such as plant production, soils, pathology or economics, but never really see how each discipline fits into the total picture," said Elwood Hatley, professor of agronomy and program coordinator. "Our effort in this major is to keep it holistic -- to continually enforce the idea that we're working in a system."

Graduates will be prepared for careers in environmental and agricultural consulting, agribusiness, sustainable agricultural production, environmental and agricultural education and advocacy, and governmental policy, regulatory and enforcement agencies.

AGESS is the first major in the College of Agricultural Sciences that requires two internships for graduation, one related to field activities and one with an agribusiness or ag-related department of government.

In fall 1998, the college will begin offering the new AGESS courses, which will be taught by multidisciplinary teams.

For more information about the AGESS major, write to the Department of Agronomy, 116 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building, University Park, Pa. 16802, or call (814) 865-6541.

Back to top of page



Corinna S. Anskis, staff assistant VI in Continuing and Distance Education.

Richard B. Baird, admissions counselor II at Penn State Altoona.

Kathy J. Barrickman, staff assistant V in Continuing and Distance Education.

Donna M. Basalla, staff assistant V in Intercollegiate Athletics.

Dennis W. Bender, graphics specialist in Continuing and Distance Education.

Eric D. Blessner, network coordinator in Division of Development and Alumni Relations.

Timothy E. Bruce, maintenance worker-utility at Penn State Altoona.

Tina L. Cigich, development assistant in Division of Development and Alumni Relations.

Donald R. Confer, assistant manager, food services in Housing and Food Services.

Galen R. Corl, information technology associate in Applied Research Laboratory.

Beverly A. Crabtree, development assistant in Division of Development and Alumni Relations.

Carol A. Fee, staff assistant VI in College of Earth and Mineral

Sandra S. Fenush, staff assistant VI in Applied Research Laboratory.

Todd K. Fetterolf, senior designer electromechanical in Applied Research Laboratory.

Timothy L. Fortney, group leader, exhibition cook in Housing and Food Services.

Wendy W. Franklin, coordinator, research funds in Applied Research Laboratory.

Sandra H. Gabel, coordinator, research funds in Applied Research Laboratory.

Tracy L. Gross, computer and telecommunication specialist in Continuing and Distance Education.

Jeffrey G. Minelli, manager, network and information systems in Eberly College of Science.

Patricia J. Mrozowski, staff assistant V at Penn State Erie, Behrend College.

Scott W. Neidigh, information systems support associate in Computer and Information Systems-Administrative Systems.

Donna M. Oyler, network coordinator in Office of Budget and Resource Analysis.

Pamela T. Peterson, coordinator, marketing in College of Health and Human Development.

Harry E. Poorman, network support specialist in Housing and Food Services.

Richard L. Ramsay, senior applications programmer/analyst in Corporate Controller's Office.

Jill R. Rhodes, development assistant in Division of Development and Alumni Relations.

Gloria L. Rhule, research support assistant in College of the Liberal Arts.

Joneen P. Richardella, staff assistant VI at Penn State Altoona.

Randolph Riesterer, network coordinator in Applied Research Laboratory.

Mark C. Saussure, information systems consultant in University Libraries.

Holly H. Signorello, research support technician III in College of the Liberal Arts.

Monica C. Spence, staff assistant VIII in College of Communications.

Carol L. Swartz, staff assistant VII at Penn State Shenango.

Shirley M. Trice, program aide at Penn State Shenango.

Michael A. Vargosko, director of receptions at The Nittany Lion Inn.

Charles W. Walker, staff assistant VI in Housing and Food Services.

Erin D. Weaver, staff assistant VI in Continuing and Distance Education.

Michelle L. Weaver, computer support specialist in College of the Liberal Arts.

Technical Service

Jean M. Doran, dining hall worker A in Housing and Food Services.

William W. Houser, maintenance worker/insulating in Office of Physical Plant.

Brian A. Johnson, maintenance worker-utility in Office of Physical Plant.

Gerald C. Kerner, mechanical and electrical technician at Penn State Erie, Behrend College.

Linda L. Neill, group leader-laundry worker in Housing and Food Services.

Judy A. Nowacinski, residence hall utility worker in Housing and Food Services.

Leon R. Reese, maintenance worker-plumbing and piping in Office of Physical Plant.

Shawnee R. Schrudders, dining hall worker A in Housing and Food Services.

James A. Smith, lead maintenance mechanic, utility piping in Office of Physical Plant.

Glenn A. Walstrom, electrician A in Office of Physical Plant.

Back to top of page

Snow going

A passerby makes her way along the campus mall near Old Main and Henderson Building on the
University Park campus. Workers were busy last week, clearing snow from campus sidewalks and streets.
Photo: Greg Grieco

Faculty/Staff Alerts

"Take Your Professor to Lunch"

With midsemester not too far away, it's time for the repeat of a popular program designed to break down the barriers of anonymity in large class sections. From Feb. 9-27, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and USG Academic Assembly are sponsoring the "Take Your Professor to Lunch" Challenge. This program gives students in sections with enrollments of more than 100 a chance to talk with their professor in an informal setting. Lunch will be provided at any University Park Housing and Food Services eatery that uses the point system, to any eligible student who takes up the challenge and invites the course instructor and four to nine classmates to participate. Students can participate only once during the three-week period.

Other details and registration information can be found on the Web at http://www.psu.edu/celt/largeclass/take-a-prof.html.

The 26th Dance Marathon

Students will once again put on their dancing shoes on Feb. 20-22 for the Penn State Dance Marathon, the nation's largest student-run philanthropy. Last year, the 'Thon raised $1.5 million for the Four Diamonds Fund at The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center to help pay the expenses of families of children being treated for cancer. The 48-hour annual event will include some 540 dancers this year. To make a pledge, call (800) 392-8466.

Call for nominations

The Commission on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Equity in the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity is actively seeking nominations for membership for the 1998-99 academic year.

The commission serves as an advisory group to the vice provost on matters affecting the climate for gay, lesbian and bisexual members of the Penn State community. Its purpose is to enhance a positive working and living environment for all members of the University community, regardless of sexual orientation. The commission is especially concerned with policies and structures which negatively impact on lesbian, gay and bisexual people and its membership includes representation from all employee classifications, as well as graduate and undergraduate students. Members are appointed to three-year terms.

The commission values diversity in its membership and is actively seeking nominations from culturally, racially and ethnically diverse populations. Self-nominations are encouraged. Nomination forms may be obtained from the commission office, 313 Grange Building, University Park, or by calling (814) 863-8415. Nominations must be returned to the commission office no later than March 16. For more information, call (814) 863-8415.

Preschool relocates

The Imagination Station, an inclusive preschool operated through a partnership between the University and The Arc of Centre County, recently announced its relocation to a larger facility within the CATO Industrial Park area near University Park. The newer site has a larger capacity and will continue to provide developmentally appropriate care for children of all abilities, ages 2 to 6 years old.

The move to a larger facility is part of a continued effort by the University's Work/Life Programs Division to provide affordable and accessible child care to the University community. The center is now located at 2790 W. College Ave. in State College.

Games switched

Penn State's 1998 football game with Pittsburgh at Pitt Stadium has been moved from Sept. 12 to Sept. 19 to accommodate a national telecast by CBS-TV. Kickoff will be 3:30 p.m.

The Penn State-Bowling Green game, originally scheduled for Sept. 19, will be played at Beaver Stadium Sept. 12.

CBS requested the change, athletic officials said, because it wished to carry the Pitt game but couldn't on Sept. 12 due to a conflict with its telecast of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. CBS owns the rights to Big East Conference home games.

Back to top of page

Employee Benefits

Update on the
"Future of Benefits"

Sixteen faculty and staff members have agreed to serve on the Task Force on the Future of Benefits and comments are now being sought.

The task force, which is chaired by George W. Franz, associate professor of history and American studies at Penn State Delaware County, has been meeting monthly to explore and make general recommendations in the area of benefits programming.

After a study of comparable benefit programs at other institutions, the task force will recommend attainable, cost-effective benefits objectives as well as identify strategies for attaining those objectives. The specific benefit programs being studied are: medical, dental, vision, prescription drug, tax-deferred annuities and the Employee Assistance Program.

The initial phase of the study focuses on medical benefits. The issues being examined include plan design, prescription drug options and cost structure. The target date for issuance of the recommendations is June 1998. The findings of the task force are expected to assist in the future development of a health care strategy.

Faculty and staff who still wish to direct comments to the group have a final opportunity to do so.

Questions or comments should be directed to George Franz, chair of the Task Force on the Future Benefits, by phone at (610) 892-1411, by fax at (610) 892-1357 or by e-mail at GWF1@PSU.EDU. The task force plans to make initial recommendations in March.

Back to top of page

Book Shelf

Spending on toys has soared in recent years, increasing more than 300 percent since 1980. More has changed than just the numbers -- the toys and the way they are bought have been transformed in recent decades.

Parents once carefully selected toys to mark special occasions, often turning to their own childhood favorites or to toys that expressed specific values. Today toys are marketed directly to children, often by the media. Unable to relate to toys their children desire, many parents find themselves paying for massive numbers of toys they barely understand.

How did these changes happen and what do they tell us about contemporary American families and values? Gary Cross, professor of history, examines these and other questions in his new book, Kids' Stuff: Toys and the Changing World of American Childhood, published by Harvard University Press.

Cross shows that in the early 1900s, toys reflected parents' ideas about children and their futures. Each child owned just a few playthings. Cross chronicles a transformation that began in the 1930s with the introduction of comic books, children's radio and children's movies. Toymakers began to make toys that would entice children and adults and that allowed more fantasy play.

Since the late 1950s, toymakers have dramatically increased their efforts to market directly to children. As gender stereotypes and traditional values came under fire in the '60s and '70s, parents grew less certain that the toys of their childhoods were the best toys for their children.

In Kids Stuff, Cross does not argue for a return to the traditionally gendered playthings of the past. He is concerned that the massive profits of the fantasy toy industries come at the expense of children and families.

Back to top of page


Dickinson School of Law
names associate dean

Professor Peter C. Alexander has been appointed associate dean for research and faculty development at The Dickinson School of Law.

In addition to teaching, Alexander will serve as the law school's liaison to the University's office in charge of fellowships and will assist the law school faculty in determining availability and eligibility requirements for fellowships and research grants from foundations and other agencies.

Alexander joined the law school faculty in 1992. He has a B.A. degree from Southern Illinois University and a J.D. degree from Northeastern University School of Law. He is a member of the board of directors and faculty of the American Bankruptcy Board of Certification, the nation's largest bankruptcy certification program. He also is a member of the advisory board of the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review.

Career Services welcomes
new associate director

Catherine S. Dufour has been named associate director for placement and programming in Career Services (formerly Career Development and Placement Services), a division of Student Affairs. She replaces the recently retired Ralph L. DeShong. Dufour brings to the associate director position more than 12 years of experience in the field of career services.

As the associate director for placement and programming, Dufour will manage the operation of on-campus recruiting, one of the largest in the nation -- conducting more than 20,000 interviews annually. Dufour will also oversee the outreach programming component of Career Services. Annually, more than 21,000 students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members are served through these programs.

Dufour has served as the assistant director for education career services and programming at Penn State's Career Service since 1989. While in this position, Dufour was instrumental in significantly expanding the outreach programs for Penn State students. She has authored several book reviews for publication in professional journals, and has presented or co-presented at a number of national and regional professional associations.

Before joining Penn State, she served as director of career services at The College of Saint Rose in New York, from 1988 to 1989. From 1986 to 1988, Dufour was the assistant director for career resources at Siena College in New York. She received her undergraduate degree in 1984, with honors, from Penn State in speech communication. In 1986, she received her master's degree in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Specialist named to endowed chair
in Health and Human Development

Mark T. Greenberg, one of the nation's leading specialists in the prevention of family violence and child delinquency and the promotion of social competence in children, has been named the first holder of the Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research in the College of Health and Human Development.

The Bennett chair was endowed this year by Edna Peterson Bennett, a 1953 graduate, and the late C. Eugene Bennett, 1952 graduate, who contributed $1.5 million to endow the chair in prevention research. The position will support research and community outreach for promoting competence in children and families. The Bennetts met while they were students at Penn State.

Greenberg, who joined the Penn State faculty in health and human development this fall, comes from the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle. He previously served as director of the Seattle site of FAST Track, a comprehensive program that aims to prevent violence and delinquency in families.

At Penn State, Greenberg will continue his research and teaching and will direct the new Center for Prevention Research, serving as a catalyst for the development and implementation of collaborative projects among Penn State faculty and Pennsylvania communities. The center's purpose is to promote healthy social and emotional development and to prevent problems of social and academic failure in children and youth.

Since 1981, Greenberg has been examining the effectiveness of school-based curricula to improve the social, emotional and cognitive competence of elementary-aged children. This work began with deaf children and was expanded in 1988 for use in regular classrooms, as well as in special needs classrooms for children with behavior disorders and learning disabilities.

Greenberg is the author of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters on child development and understanding aggression, violence and externalizing disorders. Most recently he contributed to Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators.

He received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology with a minor in child-clinical psychology in 1978 from the University of Virginia and a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1973.

He is a member of the American Psychological Association's Presidential Task Force on Prevention Research and Training, and is a consultant to the Center for Mental Health Services in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the development of objectives for the nation's health through "Healthy People 2010."

College of Engineering names
director of industrial relations

Irene Johnston Petrick has been named the director of industrial relations for the College of Engineering. She will be working out of the college's Office of Graduate Studies and Research.

Petrick is responsible for coordinating the college's relationship with industry partners. Her responsibilities include promoting college research and related facilities, helping faculty members locate funding opportunities, writing proposals and negotiating contracts and agreements.

Before this appointment, Petrick served since 1991 as the industry liaison for the College of Engineering's Office of Graduate Studies and Research, helping to pave the way for university-industry partnerships. She continues to serve as an independent consultant engaged in business-to-business technology licensing. Petrick also worked as the assistant to the director of the University's Center for Locomotion Studies and as a grants and contracts coordinator for the College of the Liberal Arts.

Petrick holds a Ph.D. in engineering science and technology management from Penn State and also earned her master's and bachelor's degrees in economics from Penn State. She has taught a number of courses and seminars on the graduate and undergraduate level, including an annual graduate seminar in strategic technology management.

Radiation Science and Engineering
Center appoints new director

The new additions at Penn State's Radiation Science and Engineering Center facility, including those for the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, will be overseen by a new director, C. Frederick Sears.

Sears, most recently an independent nuclear consultant specializing in management, operations, engineering and safety of nuclear reactors, has extensive experience in industrial reactors and in environmental engineering. Sears is familiar with the Breazeale Reactor because he served as shift supervisor and reactor operator from 1964 to 1968, although the facility has changed since then.

Sears will oversee the entire range of research and teaching surrounding the center, as well as make certain that the center satisfies all operating and safety regulations. In the past year, numerous changes to enhance the abilities and utility of the reactor and the other facilities at the Radiation Science Center were implemented. The center receives many requests to irradiate electronic materials and devices to alter their structure or test their resistance to change by a variety of radiations. In addition, the equipment for neutron activation analysis, which researchers use in such diverse fields as anthropology and geology to determine the composition of a variety of materials, was reconfigured this summer. The reactor does not generate electricity, but is used for a variety of analytic methods and to create radioactive isotopes.

Sears began his career with Penn State and then joined Combustion Engineering in 1968, first as chief test engineer; then as a manager; assistant project manager and finally as manager of product development. He was a captain in the U.S. Army Engineer Reactor Group serving as assistant branch chief and qualifying as officer in charge for operation of the Army's reactor.

In 1980 he became director, nuclear engineering at Northeast Utilities. Sears became vice president, nuclear and environmental engineering, in 1983 and vice president, environmental in 1992. In 1994 he became a private consultant.

He received his B.S. in physics and M.S. in nuclear science and engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1962 and 1964 respectively. He received his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Penn State in 1969. Sears completed the executive management program at the Edison Electric Institute in 1987 and the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard School of Business in 1992.

Back to top of page


D. Lynne Kaltreider, research associate in the Institute for Policy Research
and Evaluation, left, and Tena St. Pierre, associate professor of agricultural
and extension education, identified six strategies to involve parents of
high-risk youth in the fight against drugs.
Photo: Greg Grieco

Involve parents in teens'
anti-drug programs

By Barbara Hale
Public Information

Involving parents of high-risk teens in drug prevention programs may be extremely challenging, but a study has shown that it is possible -- with the right strategies -- to achieve participation from many parents.

Tena St. Pierre, associate professor of agricultural and extension education in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and D. Lynne Kaltreider, research associate in Penn State's Institute for Policy Research and Evaluation (IPRE), said their three-year study of the Boys & Girls Clubs' Family Advocacy Network, popularly known as the FAN Club, has identified six successful strategies useful to recruit and retain parents of high-risk youth as allies in the fight against drugs.

The strategies are:

* Identify the right person to lead the program;

* Clearly convey the purpose of the program;

* Build relationships of mutual trust, respect and equality;

* Create parent ownership and group bonding;

* Provide easy access, incentives and reminders; and

* Be flexible but persistent.

St. Pierre, who is also a senior research associate at IPRE, said, "The recent upsurge of teen drug use clearly calls for innovative prevention strategies. The FAN Club was directed to and was successful with high-risk, low-income families from severely distressed, high-crime neighborhoods."

The FAN Club is offered to the parents of teens in the Boys & Girls Clubs' drug prevention program. It was designed to strengthen high-risk families by creating a bond between program youth and their parents, reducing maternal isolation, providing opportunities for families to participate in pleasurable activities together, assisting parents to influence their children to lead drug-free lives and providing social and instrumental support.

The FAN Club offered four types of activities:

* Basic Support Activities -- helped families cope with daily life or with particular crises. For example, the FAN Club coordinator accompanied parents to social service agencies and offered support or assisted parents with their children's school.

* Parent Support Activities -- these mostly social activities were selected by the parents to combat social isolation. They included pot luck dinners, picnics, crafts, pool parties, coffees and other activities open to parents alone or parents and children.

* Educational Program Activities -- these parent-selected activities provided education, knowledge or enrichment experiences through speakers who discussed black history, Puerto Rican culture, AIDS, gang prevention and health.

* Leadership Activities -- parents voluntarily planned and implemented these activities which included monthly meetings, fund-raising, clubwide dinners and the Boys & Girls Clubs' summer lunch program. Families also visited nursing homes and prevention program graduations.

St. Pierre and Kaltreider, with Melvin Mark, professor of psychology, examined parent participation and program effects in a study involving 300 young people at 16 Boys & Girls Clubs across the U.S. over a three-year period. They found that 44 percent of youth at clubs offering a FAN Club program had a parent participate in at least one activity (on average) per month and 54 percent attended a FAN Club activity (on average) every other month.

Not surprisingly, results from a youth self-report questionnaire indicated that the most positive anti-drug program effects were found for teens in the study group that offered the FAN Club program. Over the 36 months, youth in the Boys & Girls Clubs that conducted the FAN Club program with the drug prevention program reported increasing ability to refuse alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes, and increasing negative attitudes toward using marijuana.

Deaf education roots stem
from early Benedictine beliefs

By Vicki Fong
Public Information

The origins of deaf education can be traced beyond dedicated teachers such as the well-known Gallaudet family, who founded schools in America, to the religious beliefs of a 16th-century Benedictine monk in Spain.

Marilyn Daniels, associate professor of speech communication at the Worthington Scranton campus, traces the connections between the first teachers in Europe to the founders of the American schools, and compares the similar philosophies of Benedictine teachings and of the deaf educators in a recently published book, Benedictine Roots in the Development of Deaf Education (1997: Bergin & Garvey, Westport, Conn.).

Pedro Ponce de Leon, a 16th-century monk who lived in a Benedictine monastery in Ona, Spain, is credited with running the first school for the deaf, teaching sign language and finger-spelling to children.

"The monks observed daily periods of silence and developed signs or gestures to communicate during those times," Daniels said. "So it was natural for them to move to teaching with sign language since education has been another integral part of their system."

Daniels said an important factor was their belief that people are all whole, equal and should be treated with respect, according to the "Rule of St. Benedict."

"This contrasted sharply with the general societal scorn of deaf people stemming from an erroneous belief of philosopher Aristotle, which became embedded in Judeo-Christian teachings," she said. "Ironically, the first known teachers of the deaf were either members of religious communities or the deaf themselves."

Ponce de Leon's work provided a balanced base for deaf education, passed on unattributed by Juan Pablo Bonet of Spain who tutored the children of a wealthy family and wrote a book on his techniques.

The book was used by a French priest, Charles Michael de L'Epee of France, who founded the French National Institute for the Deaf, the first school for the deaf in the world. An institute teacher, Laurent Clerc, assisted Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, a young Protestant minister who went on to start the American School for the Deaf, and whose son, Edward Miner Gallaudet of the United States, later opened Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the first institution of higher education for the deaf in the world.

"The connection between Ponce de Leon's ideas and how he treated the deaf is the same attitude that is present at Gallaudet University," Daniels said. "Teachers there think of the deaf as wholly formed
people, not as abnormal human beings."

The whole-person philosophy is central to the bilingual approach using both American Sign Language and English as separate and complete languages for deaf people, as well as hearing people.

Back to top of page

Back to Intercom home page

Digital Intercom is produced in the Office of University Relations at The Pennsylvania State University.
This page was created by Annemarie Mountz.
This page was updated by Chris Koleno.