Penn State Intercom......October 18, 2001

Department has new associate head
for undergraduate studies

John R. Hellmann, associate professorof materials science and engineering, has been appointed associate head for undergraduate studies in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He will be responsible for the curriculum, accreditation, recruiting and retention, and outreach activities of the department.

After earning his bachelor and doctoral degrees in ceramic science at Penn State, Hellmann spent five years as a member of the technical staff in the Ceramics and High Temperature Chemistry Division at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. In 1986, he returned to Penn State as assistant professor of ceramic science and engineering.

From 1986 to 1995, Hellmann was associate director of the Center for Advanced Materials, an industrially and federally funded research center concerned with the development of thermostructural materials for industrial energy systems and aerospace applications. He has served as chairman of the Ceramic Science and Engineering Program since 1998.

A Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, Hellmann also has served as president of the Ceramic Educational Council, executive member of the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers, associate editor of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society and recently was named a distinguished mentor by the society for his role in advising and nurturing students and young professionals in the field of materials science and engineering.

Hellmann's research interests concern the mechanical reliability and thermochemical durability of ceramics, metals and intermetallic materials in severe thermal environments. He has published more than 80 papers and supervised the research of more than 100 graduate and undergraduate students.

Interim director named for
Center for Women Students

Margaret "Peggy" Lorah, assistant director of the Center for Women Students, has been named interim director of the center. Lorah, who came to Penn State in 1999 as assistant director of the center, will serve until June 30, 2002, or until a permanent director is named. She replaces Sabrina C. Chapman, who retired after 22 years of service. (See story at left.)

As assistant director, Lorah oversees the center's Sexual Assault Awareness/Prevention programming, including FTCAP, new fraternity member training and orientation. She also has worked with the center's peer educators, PHREE (Peers Helping Reaffirm, Educate and Empower) and served on a number of University committees focusing on the connection between alcohol abuse and sexual assault.

Lorah graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in religious studies and philosophy from Elizabethtown College in 1971, and received a master of science in community counseling from Shippensburg University in 1989. She is currently a doctoral candidate in counselor education at Penn State and expects to graduate in December.

A search and screen committee will be appointed to review potential candidates to serve as the next permanent director.