A Different Type of Exchange Program at Penn State Altoona

Penn State Altoona has recently partnered with Seoul Women’s University in South Korea to offer a different type of exchange program for five preselected students. As part of an eight-week learning experience these students from South Korea attend limited classes at Penn State Altoona while mainly participating in a class called IST 495. This class is a computerized challenge where students are hacking into a fake online system.

Jungwoo Ryoo, Division Head of Business, Engineering, and Information Sciences and avid security software researcher, explains the class as a “simulated internship. It’s more about exposing them to some of those challenging environments so that they really get this indirect experience of working in the U.S.” Sowon Jeon, one of the five students participating in the program, said that the program has allowed her to “learn about workability and to be effective people at work environment(s).”

The internship class works through a cybersecurity company called Grimm and the students have to try different problems in the system and find flags until the get points. Its sort of a “hacking game” as Ryoo puts it. The outcome of the internship class is to help the students adapt to a professional lifestyle in a culturally different country.

Jeon explained that she applied for the program last year when she was a junior in college. The application process included a submission of certain English tests, I.T. tests and each student had to have a certain GPA and had to make it past an interview round. The cost to attend the program is partially paid by the Korean government, as part of a Government Grant Program, but is mostly paid for by each individual student.

Even though this is the very first time this program has been offered Ryoo is “very happy” with how it has unfolded so far. Ryoo hopes that the program will continue in the future so that the campus will keep its diversity intact.

“The more diversity we have on campus is probably the better,”Ryoo said “we really value that kind of experience of our students at Penn State Altoona”.

The students will finish their program in the eighth week of the semester and will then return to South Korea.


The 2018 Flu Bug Hits Penn State Altoona

As the widespread flu season gets into full swing at Penn State Altoona, on campus doctors say students should be taking proper measures to prevent the flu from hitting them.

This year alone the Health and Wellness Center has diagnosed over a hundred students with the flu. Billie lewis, physician assistant and Health and Wellness supervisor, said that January and February are the busiest times of year and each of the three physician assistants on campus are currently averaging 15 to 25 appointments per day.

Lena H. Sun of The Washington Post wrote that, “this season, the predominant strain is also the nastiest, H3N2, which causes the worst outbreaks of the two influenza A viruses and two types of influenza B viruses … Seasons when H3N2 strain dominates are associated with more hospitalizations, more deaths and more illnesses.”

Students who may be concerned that they have the flu should look for the symptoms of fever, body aches, fatigue, and cough. To prevent confusion between a regular cold and a flu diagnosis students should particularly look for the fever and body aches.

The simplest ways to prevent getting the flu is to “wash your hands. Don’t go to class/work if you are sick. Wear a mask if you have a fever and have to go out,” Lewis said. “(but) the best way is still the flu shot.”

Typically, around 200 students get a flu shot from the on campus Health and Wellness Center and it’s not too late to get yours according to Lewis. Flu shots are still being offered at the Health and Wellness Center and can be arranged by scheduling an appointment online here.

As far as if the flu shots are effective Lewis said, “It varies from year to year depending on accuracy.  The important part to remember is that even if the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says it is not as accurate it still provides those that had the vaccine and that get the flu with a less significant infection.”

Once a correct diagnosis of the flu is made by a doctor the treatments are very straight forward. “Antipyretics (fever reducer medicine), fluids, rest, over-the -counter medication.  There is a prescription medication called Tamiflu that can help with flu symptoms but must be started within 72 hours of onset of symptoms,” Lewis said.

Lewis also mentioned that those with generally healthy immune systems recover within a short amount of time but those who are pregnant, young, or elderly have a longer recovery period and should be extra cautious at trying to prevent getting the flu.

Penn State Altoona Sports Highlights

Photo by Remington Daron. 1-27-18
Senior Alexis Franks competing in the womens 100 freestyle.

01/24/18 Photo by Gary M. BAranec; p for a shor over Hood College’s Catherine Wednsday; January 23 \at the Adler Athletic Conmplex

Photo by Remington Daron. 1-27-18
Andrew Chisholm getting ready to serve the ball as Brian Sheddy, Tommy Kisick, and Jonathan Ruhl prepare to recieve the serve.

Photo by Remington Daron. 1-27-18
Justin Bannister attempts to get the ball past Jason Hascher and Ben Holt.

Photo by Remington Daron. 1-27-18
Brandon Arentz spikes the ball past Garrett Rodi and Antonio Sargent.

Photo taken by Remington Daron.
January 31st 2018.
Brandon Arentz goes up for a block against Logan Hunsberger.

Photo by Remington Daron. 1-27-18
Brandon Arentz spikes the ball past Garrett Rodi and Antonio Sargent.

Photo taken by Remington Daron.
January 31st 2018.
Dan Downs goes to hit the ball onto Messiahs side of the court.

“It has to have meaning” – Gary Joshua Weyandt


Penn State Altoona student Gary Joshua Weyandt recently told the Collegiate Review what it is like to be involved in the campus Visual Arts Studies program.


The VAS program has options such as painting, drawing, and even “new media” or “computer media,” which is what Weyandt is focusing on.


The junior from Osceola Mills, Pa., said that he highly recommends the program on campus if students have a passion for art.


“Only get into it if you’re serious about art … It’s a very good program,” he said. “Something that you’re going to get here that you’re not going to with some of the bigger art programs with some other campuses is you get a lot of one on one time with the professors.”


Weyandt said he has learned throughout his years in the VAS program that art isn’t simply paint on paper, it has to have some kind of meaning behind it.


“You can’t just plop something on a page and say, ‘oh, this is art,’” Weyandt said. “There has to be a reason for it and I find that’s actually a lot of the problems with modern art or contemporary art. It can come from anywhere, it can be anything, but it has to have meaning.”


Some of Weyandt’s most recent projects are his video “Miner Depression,” which can be seen on his Facebook page, and a video about children being bullied. The video about childhood bullies is still in progress but those interested can check out Weyandt’s perspective on how children see their bullies as monsters on his Facebook page here.


Weyandt also finds that art can be beneficial to his other academics outside of his major.


“Drawing helps me focus,” Weyandt said. “I find myself doodling in class since I was very young. I remember one time I was in math class … I had a higher grade in the class … and my teacher came over and said, ‘okay you’re not allowed to doodle anymore because you have this high grade. If you stop doodling you’re going to do better’ and my grade dropped because I was falling asleep. [Drawing] kept me awake, it kept me paying attention.”


Weyandt said that his goal for the future is to work for Pixar Animation but would also be happy with doing character design for video games.