March 5, 1998......Volume 27, Issue 23

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

Newspaper program update
Children, Youth, Family help
Research Park signs new tenant
PENNTAP provides benefits
Fleeting beauty
Faculty/Staff Alerts
McKeesport's 50th anniversary
Center joins Education
Private Giving
Having a (racquet) ball
"Take Our Daughters to Work"
Institute focuses on environment
Shuttle status on the Web
For the Record 
All in a day's work
Penn Staters
Here's looking at you
Elsewhere in Higher Education
Things are a little fuzzy
New Kensington seeks CEO
A day of learning
New at Penn State
Penn State news bureau


The newly instituted Residence Hall Newspaper Readership Program has given students like Greg Iocco,
an economics major shown above, easier access to national and local newspapers. In a recent survey,
program participants said the availability of newspapers has increased their knowledge
of current events and improved their education.
Photo: Greg Grieco

Newspaper program adding
to Penn State educational experience

By Karen I. Wagner
Public Information

Well into the second semester of Penn State's innovative Residence Hall Newspaper Readership Program, a majority of student survey respondents say they are making newspaper readership a habit.

Seventy-three percent of the students surveyed said they are reading a newspaper on a regular basis. Forty-five percent said that reading a newspaper has improved the overall quality of their education at Penn State -- almost double the number reported in a survey last year during a small pilot readership project at the University. The survey was administered by Penn State's Student Affairs Research and Assessment Office.

According to students, the availability of newspapers in the residence halls led them to more informed opinions about national issues and a greater awareness of issues in the University and surrounding communities. Fifty-five percent cited an improved ability to discuss current events and 45 percent said newspaper readership helped them to participate in class discussions.

One-fifth of the students had instructors who required them to read a newspaper for class, while 65 percent said their instructors referred to news articles during class discussions and presentations.

"The importance of faculty role modeling can't be underestimated," said Betty Moore, senior research analyst. "It's what sets the tone for students. Students need to learn how to use the newspaper."

As part of the survey, women said that entertainment was the section they read most often, while men favored sports. Both male and female students listed campus/local news as the second most-often read section. Students whose self-reported grade point averages were 3.3 or above, were more likely to read the editorial/opinion, campus/local or national/international sections of the paper.

Residence hall newspaper readership was launched at Penn State last fall when copies of The New York Times; USA Today and the Centre Daily Times, a Centre County paper, were made available, in addition to the student newspaper, to 17,000 students at the University Park campus. At Penn

State's eight other residential locations, students started reading nearly 2,000 copies of The New York Times, USA Today and seven other local papers from around Pennsylvania. The idea to begin the program came from a suggestion first made by University President Graham B. Spanier last winter.

"It is critical that college students have an understanding of the world where they will live, have jobs and raise families," said Spanier. "Reading a daily newspaper helps you gain that understanding."

Students seem to agree.

"Well, the newspapers do keep me from becoming isolated to the happenings of the outside world," said freshman George Caruso. "Especially while I am away from home... and away from my informed parents."

Other students said:

-- "The convenience of having newspapers in the dormitory propagates a feeling of global community."

-- "I probably wouldn't read the newspapers if they weren't readily available. But, since they are, I get caught up in all the news. When we discuss current issues in class, I am able to participate in discussion and contribute more. I'm more aware of current events and especially things going on at Penn State that I wouldn't have known about otherwise."

One other interesting result turned up through the survey: students with higher grades tend to recycle newspapers more often. As part of the Newspaper in the Residence Hall Program the University put in place a very successful newspaper recycling program that students are participating in at a much higher rate than expected.

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Group works for well-being
of children, youth and families

By Annemarie Mountz
Public Information

The University has found yet another way to make life better. With the formation of the Children, Youth and Family Consortium, Penn State is working to further enhance the quality of life of those groups through its teaching, research and outreach programs.

The consortium steering group, which is co-chaired by Mark Greenberg, professor of human development and family studies and Bennett Chair of prevention research, and Karen Bierman, professor of psychology, brings together faculty and administrators from several colleges and departments across the University.

"We want to address factors that promote children, youth and family well-being," said Greenberg. "This intercollege collaboration with colleagues from all University locations will make that possible."

The consortium plans to examine successful programs already in place and use them as a springboard for related initiatives.

"We want to hear from faculty whose teaching, research, outreach or service is related to our goals," said Bierman. "Their input is crucial if we are to be successful."

Interested faculty should send e-mail to the consortium at E-mails should include the faculty member's name, campus, department and phone number, along with any suggestions, comments or other information for the consortium steering group.

"The future of our nation will be deeply influenced by the health and social well-being of our children, youth and families," said President Graham B. Spanier. "With the formation of this consortium, Penn State is carrying out its land-grant mission to enhance the quality of life for the people of our communities."

The consortium is charged with:

-- Identifying and reviewing current activities in the general area of children, youth and family.

-- Identifying faculty members in this field to be part of the consortium.

-- Reviewing new and potential initiatives for external funding.

-- Reviewing current undergraduate programs, graduate course offerings and graduate enrollments in this field.

-- Preparing and presenting a plan to the University Planning Council and the president for advancing children, youth and family initiatives.

A number of the University's initiatives are aimed at pre-college students. Penn State Abington has a partnership with the Abington School District, now in its third year, that has helped design a technology training curriculum for the school district faculty. Penn State Erie has a Link-to-Learn grant, providing assistance for K-12 students in the area.

Penn State Berks and Penn State Lehigh Valley administer after-school homework centers for the Pottstown School District and are assisting the district in submission of a grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Education for such centers. And the College of Education has committed itself, through the Penn State Educational Partnership Program, to a statewide collaborative effort that involves early intervention programming, parental academic empowerment and teacher preparation and renewal.

In addition, Ann Crouter and Susan McHale, faculty members in human development and family studies, are collaborating in the Penn State Family Relationship Research Project, a longitudinal study funded by the National Institutes of Health which looks at the way pressures that parents experience on the job and in their marriage affect their relationships with their children's social growth and well-being.

"The consortium hopes to build upon these and other successful programs and construct a framework for ongoing collaborative relationships with the communities we serve," said John A. Brighton, executive vice president and provost, who worked with Spanier to form the consortium. "It will work to promote interdisciplinary activities and the integration of education, research and service, including the outreach activities already in place."

Other members of the steering group are: Theodore R. Alter, associate vice president for outreach and director of Cooperative Extension; Eunice M. Askov, head, Department of Adult Education, Instructional Systems and Workforce Education and Development; David P. Baker, professor of education and sociology; Leann L. Birch, head, Department of Human Development and Family Studies; Alan Booth, professor of sociology and human development; Dr. Chris Carey, vice chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Penn State Geisinger Health System; Connie A. Flanagan, associate professor of agriculture and extension education; William A. Henk, director, School of Behavioral Science and Education, Penn State Harrisburg; Lynn S. Liben, head and professor, Department of Psychology; Daniel T. Lichter, professor of sociology and director, Population Research Institute; Dr. Ronald Poland, chair, Department of Pediatrics, Penn State Geisinger Health System; Robert E. Rains, professor of law, Dickinson School of Law; Lynne Vernon-Feagans, associate dean for research and professor of human development; Helen S. Wright, professor of nutrition; and Edgar P. Yoder, professor and interim head, Department of Agricultural and Extension Education.

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Going up

The multi-tenant building, under construction at Penn State's Research Park, is part of Phase 2
of the park and should be ready for occupancy soon. Six tenants, including Allegheny Hyperion
and TeleBeam Inc. -- two telecommunications firms -- will set up shop in the structure.
The other firms expected to occupy this building are The Drucker Co., Lomic Inc.,
Manpower Inc. of Altoona, MoluMetrix Inc. and Urish Popeck and Co.
Photo: Greg Grieco

Research Park signs new tenant

In a joint announcement Friday, Allegheny Hyperion Telecommunications and Penn State revealed that a $10 million fiber optic network is now under construction that will boost the University's national leadership in telecommunications and information technology, provide expanded services, lower rates for other area businesses and add a new tenant for the Penn State Research Park on the University Park campus by next fall.

The state-of-the-art fiber optic network will be used to offer a wide variety of high-quality, lower-cost telecommunications services to central Pennsylvania users. Allegheny Hyperion Telecommunications, LLC., a joint venture announced last December between Allegheny Energy Inc. and Hyperion Telecommunications Inc., is investing more than $10 million to bring central Pennsylvania these services, which will be available to area business consumers this fall.

At a press conference Feb. 27, University President Graham B. Spanier said Allegheny Hyperion Telecommunications' development of the new fiber optic network and the sophisticated new telecommunications services are good news for the University and the community.

"This offers Penn State new opportunities that our faculty and students will quickly take advantage of and it also offers us potential for significant cost savings," Spanier said.

Penn State has taken a leadership role in developing the next generation of advanced information technology, the Internet 2. Penn State is one of more than 100 U.S. universities working to develop the new, superfast, national computer network that is expected to be faster and provide better distance learning capabilities, video conferencing and online research.

"With more than 1.7 million e-mail messages a day transmitted here at Penn State, more than 38,000 computers directly attached to Penn State's network, and tens of thousands of computers in faculty, staff and student residences off campus that are connected indirectly via modem, it is critical that Penn State has access to the most advanced telecommunications services possible," Spanier said. "This new initiative by Allegheny Hyperion will give us that access and has the added benefit of enabling businesses and individuals throughout central Pennsylvania to take similar advantage of these exciting new telecommunications services."

The network Allegheny Hyperion Telecommunications is building will enable business consumers in the State College and Altoona areas to take advantage of new telecommunications services, including high-capacity dedicated telecommunications services between business and commercial locations; services connecting business locations with long-distance carriers; and local telephone service.

Allegheny Hyperion combines fiber optics with advanced Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) equipment to provide better performance, reliability and cost advantages over the conventional copper technologies. This advanced technology also provides greater capacity than copper technologies and the potential to offer new, innovative services at competitive prices.

Allegheny Hyperion Telecommunications selected the State College and Altoona markets for its network because of the many benefits an advanced telecommunications infrastructure could bring to the region.

"Telecommunications services are critical to the success of businesses today," said Richard J. Gagliardi, vice president, Allegheny Energy. "Having access to innovative telecommunications services will give businesses in the region the technological tools they need to remain competitive with businesses across the state and the country.

"For many years as Allegheny Power, we have provided reliable, low-cost energy to the State College area. Now we have an opportunity through our

partnership with Hyperion to extend our commitment ," Gagliardi said.

According to Dan Milliard, president of Hyperion, "Business consumers will be able to select from an array of sophisticated telecommunications services that will contribute to their success as well as to the overall economic viability of the region."

In addition, Allegheny Hyperion Telecommunications will lease 8,000 square feet of office space in Penn State's Research Park that is currently under construction. Plans call for the building to be ready for occupancy by September 1998.

Doing business as Allegheny Power, Allegheny Energy's regulated subsidiaries -- Monongahela Power Co., The Potomac Edison Co. and West Penn Power Co. -- provide electric service to 1.4 million customers throughout a 29,000-square-mile service territory in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Allegheny Energy is partnering through its non-regulated affiliate, Allegheny Communications Connect Inc., with Hyperion Telecommunications to provide competitive telecommunications services.

Hyperion Telecommunications is the telecommunications subsidiary of Adelphia Communications Corp., with headquarters in Coudersport, Pa. Adelphia is the nation's seventh largest cable TV company with more than 1.9 million subscribers in 13 eastern states. Hyperion presently operates 18 telecommunications networks throughout the country, including Syracuse Buffalo, N.Y.; the state of Vermont; Harrisburg, York and Philadelphia, Pa.; Richmond and Charlottesville, Va.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; Louisville and Lexington, Ky.; Central, N.J.; Wichita, Kas.; Little Rock, Ark.; Baton Rouge, La.; and Jackson, Miss.

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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.