The deliberation that I attended was called “I Had the Right of Way,” and it focused on making traffic safety better in the Penn State and State College communities. The approaches that the team offered included promoting awareness, maintanencing our infrastructure systems, and implementing legislation for stricter road safety measures.

As for the atmosphere of the deliberation, it was very professional yet still comfortable and inviting. As my friends and I walked into the Municipal Building, the location of the event, we were greeted by one of the Team Summary members who handed us an issues guide and told us where we could find the room. His presence was a nice touch. The moderators of each approach handled the audience well and made sure that everyone had equal opportunities to share. They spoke with rather authoritative tones, which isn’t necessary a bad thing since it helped maintain structure; however, I think that in some cases it felt condescending in a way, which made the conversation less of a group effort.

As for attendance, there were probably about 20 people at this deliberation. The audience was composed of mostly fellow students, but there were also two representatives from local bicycle coalitions and a Penn State police officer. These particular audience members offered unique perspectives, and I think they helped keep the conversation from simply becoming a group of college kids complaining about getting hit by a bike/car/other human. In fact, some of the proposed solutions received response from these audience members along the lines of “well actually, we aren’t allowed to do that…here’s why.” This definitely made the discussion less straightforward and further enhanced the need for problem-solving mindsets amongst the audience.

Overall, I think this deliberation was successful. We discussed approaches listed in the issues guide, but we also jumped off of those and created new ideas. I can’t speak for all the attendees, but I left more educated than I was priorly.


The first article I chose to examine, The Stigma of Mental Illness Is Making Us Sicker, discusses the drastic ascent in mental illness rates across our country. As reported by the World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum, the economic burden associated with mental health is greater than any other health-related issue. However, this is not due to the costs of treatment, but rather the disability that it fosters and the rapid loss of employment that is experienced as a result. Yet still, 60% of people who suffer from mental illness do not seek treatment, and this is likely due to the outdated stigma that floats around mental health.

More times than not, people hold the belief that people who are affected by mental illnesses are “crazy” or “messed up in the head.” If the affected individual acts out in any way, his or her bystanders have been found to be far more likely to distance themselves from the mentally ill. Consequently, an environment of negativity is instilled, which explains why mentally ill individuals often feel alone and take part in harmful actions.

A second article, 9 Ways To Fight Mental Health Stigma, does a fine job at defining what a stigma literally is. It explains that a stigma is the inappropriate and illegal discrimination of people who live with mental illness. When individuals affected by mental illness sense the stigma saturating the environments in which they live, they feel embarrassed for their illness and tend to avoid seeking the help that they need. The articles goes on to outline nine actionable methods that can be taken to relief the mental health stigma.

Both of the articles recognize the tragically adverse effects that result from the stigma surrounding mental health. They aim to indicate ways in which we can rid our society from the stigma, which is an approach of my deliberation, State of Mind, as well. The primary and arguably most important way in which we can eradicate the stigma of mental illness is to reduce the widespread ignorance of the subject. By implementing ways to make the general public more aware of mental health issues and the needs of people who have mental illnesses or weak mental health, we can hope that compassion will increase as criticism decreases.

Other solutions proposed include talking about mental health more inclusively and openly, instead of treating it like something that needs to be a secret, treating mental health and physical health on the same scale, and refining the media to make it less stigmatizing.

The Stigma of Mental Health is Making Us Sicker– Friedman, Michael. “The Stigma of Mental Illness Is Making Us Sicker.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 13 May 2014,

9 Ways to Fight Mental Health Stigma– Greenstein, Laura. “NAMI.” National Alliance on Mental Illness, 11 Oct. 2017,


  • The title of my deliberation is State of Mind.
  • State of Mind focuses on the mental health on Penn State’s campus, which obviously also plays into the outside community. Our first approach is to raise awareness about what CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) does to help students and what it is not doing to help students. Our second approach focuses on how we can create an environment that is accepting of people who experience mental health problems on campus and reduce the stigma. This approach will also emphasize that a mental health problem does not equate to mental illness, mental disorder, or mental disease. Our final approach looks at how educated Penn State and State College are about the signs of mental health problems and when help should be advised or sought out. As a deliberative group, we will try to come up with solutions that remedy these conflicts.
  • I am a member of the Team Summary and Outreach minigroup.
  • Currently, my minigroup teammates and I are working on the promotional components of our responsibilities. I designed a flyer that outlines the basic information about our deliberation. This flyer will be attached to emails that are sent out inviting campus and community members to our deliberation. Our guest list includes: UPUA, CAPS representatives, local mental health care providers from State College, on campus organization “DMAX”, on campus organization “Active Minds”, President Barron, Dean Peggy Johnson and other Schreyer Honors College staff, on campus LGBTQA groups, a representative from the crisis hotline, a representative from Mount Nittany Medical Emergency Department, some professors out of the Psychology Department, and some professors out of the College of Health and Human Development. State of Mind-qvc4zo (LINK TO FLYER!)


Skrrrrrttttttt. We pulled to the edge of the cul de sac and gravel flew out from beneath the tires. Tired and confused, I watched from the backseat as Natalie, my best friend sitting shotgun, straightened her spine with a face of perplexion. Dan, my friend since middle school, rolled down his driver side window and nonchalantly flashed a friendly smile. There was a car parked parallel to us with hazard lights flashing. The man in the driver’s seat was waving his arms frantically out the window.

I listened as the frazzled man desperately asked Dan for directions to the nearest grocery store. At the time, we mindlessly mistaken his slurred voice for one of simple destress. Dan amicably welcomed the man to follow us, as we were going to be passing the grocery store anyways.

As we turned onto the main road, I reflected on how mature Dan’s helpfulness was. The childish boy who once got detention for launching french fries across the cafeteria was now driving his own car and independently providing assistance to people in need- both signs of adulthood. We were celebrating the upcoming closing of our senior year, and I could not begin to fathom how quickly we were growing up.

My thoughts were disrupted, however, by the wild dancing of headlights behind us. “OH MY GOSH,” I shouted to my friends up front. The man following us was literally driving in the left lane. All of a sudden, the slurring of his language had a whole new meaning. The man was drunk and driving as if he were both blindfolded and unconscious, and to make matters even scarier, his front bumper was becoming ALARMINGLY close to Dan’s car. As Natalie and I became overwhelmed with panic, Dan reassured us that we were almost at the grocery store. “Okay,” I said…”you’re right.”

But as we approached the traffic light next to the grocery store, I realized the turn into my driveway was just a few feet down the road, and I did NOT want that man following me home. Dan rolled down his window and gestured to the man behind us to make a left to get to the grocery store. Then, even though the light was yellow, we accelerated and hardly made it through the intersection, leaving the intoxicated man waiting at the red light. But as I peeked out the back window I realized that….he was NOT turning left. Instead, he sat at the red light, waiting to pursue us once it turned green.

My friends and I quickly contrived a genius plan to hit 65 mph in a 35 zone, and whip into the Perkin’s parking lot in an attempt to lose the man. As we jerked into our parking space, we hoped desperately that the man would not find us. If he did, he would DEFINITELY be angry at our sort of betrayal. But… we were safe in this space, right? Wrong. The man’s car came into our line of sight, and of course, he pulled swiftly into the Perkin’s lot and directly into the space next to us.

Had we been a little older with a little more logic, we likely would have handled this situation in a more rational manner. Although we may have been able to adequately maneuver a car and we were looking just a few weeks forward to our high school graduation, we were by no means prepared to take part in such a risky endeavor. In fact, I vividly remember crawling up into a ball in the backseat feeling scared for my safety.

Dan rolled down his window, and the three of us rattled with apprehension as the man turned to look at us. Though his eyes appeared glossed over and sweat beads were forming on his forehead, he seemed relaxed. “I passed it, didn’t I?,” the man asked. Dan simply nodded as Natalie and I tried our hardest to vanish from sight. Then he thanked us for our time and drove away, leaving my friends and I in a unanimous exhale.

We may not have gotten in any real trouble that night, but the memories engraved in my mind still trouble me regularly. This adventurous evening made me realize that kids grow up way too fast, and in this I believe. Looking back, I realize that we made many mistakes. Firstly, maybe speeding away from the man and driving 65 mph on a local road wasn’t the safest of ideas. And secondly and far more importantly, we permitted a clearly intoxicated man to drive. We witnessed first hand how carelessly he was moving across lanes, and instead of doing anything to stop him from potentially hurting himself and anyone else on the road that night, we panicked and only thought of ourselves.

Far too often, kids feel older than they really are and get involved in dangerous endeavors that they are not prepared to handle, just like my friends and I did that night.

Epipens Unraveled: HofPC Contract

  • Intro/Hook
  • Background
  • Introduce controversy
  • Present both sides
    • Testimony
    • Business ethics
  • Conclusion

Group Member


Allie Mollo

History and background

Allison White

Trial of CEO and other businesses doing the same thing to consumers

Caitlin Williams

Safety in home remedies

Black market (?) -ebay

Pritika Singh

Consumers and alternative products

Pricing and insurance costs

Generic brand

Thesis: The dramatic increase in the price of EpiPen epinephrine injectors has decreased public safety, exasperated economic disparity among consumers, and allowed Mylan to abuse the deregulation of the free market.

Connotation Spins Unraveled: A Preliminary Outline of my TED Talk

  • Opening
    • There are some words that we just shouldn’t say.
    • Taught this from a young age.
    • Personal anecdote
    • So why, then, are we increasingly accepting the placement of a positive spin on some of history’s most malicious terms?
    • Introduce terms
  • Bitch
    • Why this is okay
    • Can apply to all people
      • Not discriminatory
    • Acceptance of this word is not a primary concern
  • N-word / other racial slurs
    • Why this is NOT okay
    • Calls out a direct audience
      • Causes more racial tension
      • Spurs cultural appropriation
      • Discriminatory
    • Acceptance of this word is a primary concern
  • Closing
  • Who owns these words?
    • Restate thesis (probably not a question)
    • Call to action
      • Actively work to fight against the application of positive connotations
      • Better for society