Penn State Altoona receives endowed fund from long-time employee, supporter

Penn State alumnus C. David Kimmel of Altoona has established an endowed fund of $150,000 to Penn State Altoona.

The C. David Kimmel Intercollegiate Athletics Enhancement Endowment will be used in support of the college’s Division III athletics teams and benefit student athletes in perpetuity. Funds will be used for new initiatives, student-athlete honors and recognition programs, travel, equipment, and supplies.

“I am pleased to be able to establish this endowment,” states Kimmel. “When we decide to notice, when we decide to act, when we decide to make a difference even in a small way, perhaps we have taken the first step in creating something better.”

Kimmel retired as associate director of Alumni Relations and Stewardship in June 2016, his second tenure at Penn State Altoona. He began his career at the Altoona campus in 1963 when he was hired as the college’s first director of University Relations. Before returning to the college, Kimmel provided leadership to the American Cancer Society’s Pennsylvania Division as the regional vice president of the Central Region and served as the director of marketing and communications from 1978 to 2002 at Bon Secours-Holy Family Regional Health System in Altoona.

Kimmel helped implement various alumni and stewardship initiatives at Penn State Altoona, such as Pioneer Weekend and the Alumni Society’s annual fundraising event, the Winter Plunge, which raises funds for the Alumni Society Scholarship Program and Penn State Altoona’s student food pantry. Since its inception in 2013, the Winter Plunge has raised more than $210,000 and was recognized in 2013 by the Penn State Alumni Association with the New/Innovative Event or Program Award. Under his leadership, the Penn State Altoona Alumni Society made a $60,000 commitment to establish a Trustee Scholarship. In recognition of the gift, the Alumni Society was inducted into the Ivy Circle category of Ivyside Society, the highest level of giving at Penn State Altoona.

Kimmel was inducted into the Platinum category of Ivyside Society after creating the C. David Kimmel Trustee Scholarship in 2010 which provides support to Penn State Altoona students studying communications with high financial need.

Kimmel remains connected to Penn State Altoona as the founder and leader of the Athletics Concessionaires, a volunteer group that runs the concession stand in the Adler Athletic Complex. He is also the lead sponsor of the annual Student-Athlete Dinner and Awards Ceremony, and he organized the inaugural Student-Athlete Alumni Reunion. He sits on the college’s History and Archival Committee and the Community for Kids Golf Tournament Committee and recently finished serving as a member of the college’s Alumni Society Board of Directors.

“C. David Kimmel’s passion for supporting our students and college is unwavering and inspiring,” says Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry, Penn State Altoona chancellor and dean. “He is generous with his time, talents, and resources to support his beloved campus/college. I am grateful for his ongoing support.”

Throughout the years, Kimmel has been a tireless volunteer for numerous community non-profit organizations, including the American Cancer Society, Blair Senior Services, and Child Advocates of Blair County. He is also actively involved with the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese, serving as a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities and formerly serving as the Board’s president. He also served as the co-chair of the successful $1.2 million Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament Parish 2015 Capital Gifts Campaign.

In 2011, Kimmel received the Blair County American Cancer Society’s Shirley A. Pechter Pinnacle Award, which recognizes notable volunteer achievements and accomplishments in furthering the organization’s mission in Blair County and active involvement in the community.

Penn State Altoona to exhibit The Unmarkers by Michael Fadel

Penn State Altoona will showcase the work of Ivyside Juried Art Exhibition winner Michael Fadal in the McLanahan Gallery of the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts. The Unmarkers will run Jan. 16 – March 1, 2020. It is free and open to the public.

Fadel, born in Lebanon to a Lebanese father and American mother, resides and works in New Haven, Connecticut. He earned a B.F.A. in sculpture from Winthrop University and an M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of Arizona. He was previously employed as a fabricator for artist Sama Alshaibi for the 55th Venice Biennale and has exhibited across the United States and in Dubai.

Fadel’s work explores how identity and memory are communicated through fluidity. “Ultimately this process is an expression of how I interpret spirituality and the human condition.” In his sculptures, Fadel captures the flow between social and personal identity and the endeavor of defining self-importance.

The Galleries are open Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and before and during all performances. For further information, call the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts at 814-949-5452 or visit the Penn State Altoona website at altoona.psu.edu.

Penn State Altoona to exhibit In Control by Katrina Majkut

Penn State Altoona will showcase the work of Ivyside Juried Art Exhibition winner Katrina Majkut in the Sheetz Gallery of the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts. In Control will run Jan. 16 – March 1, 2020. It is free and open to the public.

Majkut, a visual artist and writer, works in Brooklyn. She has been featured in multiple galleries in New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Her writing has been featured on VICE Communication’s Broadly website and in The Huffington Post. Majkut holds a B.S. in business administration from Babson College and a post baccalaureate and M.F.A from the school of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. 

Majkut’s artwork challenges the functionality of cross-stich samplers while exploring objectivity versus subjectivity of female reproductive health products. “Through the cross-stitches of In Control, I want to highlight how social history and practices have eradicated the understanding of women’s medical needs in light of domestic practices, to focus on ideas of what it means to be a modern woman today and to maintain but modernize this historical craft practice.”

The Galleries are open Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and before and during all performances. For further information, call the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts at 814-949-5452 or visit the Penn State Altoona website at altoona.psu.edu.

Changing the Narrative: The Curse of the Post-Loss Letdown

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Penn State continued its yearly tradition of laying an egg in big games, as the Nittany Lions fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers by a score of 31-26. Before I unleash on the garbage performance Penn State put in on Saturday, I have to give a lot of credit to Minnesota. I said Tanner Morgan wouldn’t win this game for the Gophers, I was wrong. I doubted Minnesota’s ability to diversify their offense by throwing the ball, I was wrong. I wrote off an undefeated, top-ranked Minnesota team, and I was wrong. So all credit to PJ Fleck and Minnesota, congratulations and hopefully this Cinderella season continues.

Now to the Nittany Lions. I said Sean Clifford’s pre bye week performance vs. Michigan State was his best one yet and this weekend was the complete opposite. He looked antsy in the pocket, under-threw the ball on at least half of his passes, and made multiple poor decisions which resulted in three turnovers.  He did throw for over 300 yards, but it sure didn’t feel like that. Clifford has set the bar high with performances this season and it has made us easily forget that he’s still a first-year starter. Even though he deserves the benefit of the doubt, it’s disappointing to see a quarterback on an upward trend fall back down real quick. 

Alongside Clifford’s bad performance, the majority of the offense also followed suit. Penn State’s big-play guys like KJ Hamler and Pat Friermuth still performed. Journey Brown also had his best game of the season and made a good case on why he should get as many, if not more, touches as Noah Cain. But outside of them, the receiving core couldn’t catch a ball for their lives. I don’t blame Clifford for only targeting a selected few because the rest of them can’t catch. I wanted Clifford to find secondary receiving options in this game, but it doesn’t seem like anyone is capable of stepping into that role.  I was most disappointed in Justin Shorter, who has still not lived up to his five star potential. Also, Ricky Rahne had one of the worst play calling games I’ve ever seen from him. Penn State’s offense was unstoppable from 20 yard line to 20 yard line and abysmal inside the red zone. James Franklin loves loyalty, but Rahne’s seat better be burning up under him because this isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this.

The usually dominant Penn State defense was torched during this game, especially through the air. Tanner Morgan was nearly perfect on the day and Rashod Bateman had over 200 yards alone. If there was any weakness on this Penn State defense, it was expected to be the secondary, but no one could have predicted that they would be this bad. Tariq Castro-Fields was atrocious and other veterans like John Reid and Garett Taylor made uncharacteristic mistakes that cost Penn State in this game.

Penn State was lucky to have a chance to win this game. They got played off the field on both sides of the ball. I’ve alluded that this Penn State team has been playing with house money at times and they finally went bust this weekend. Penn State’s path to the playoff was always going to go through Columbus, but this loss took away any margin of error Penn State might have had. It sucks, but the show must go on. We need to remember all is not lost and we need to keep chugging along. It’s time to go 1-0 this week. Let’s take a look at the Nittany Lions’ opponent for this weekend, the Hoosiers from the University of Indiana.

At First Glance…

The Hoosiers have had a great season by their standards so far, sitting at a 7-2 record, which is good for 3rd in the Big Ten East. Similar to Minnesota, Indiana has beaten all teams you expect them to beat. Outside of their victories against Maryland and Nebraska, every other victory they’ve had has been relatively comfortable. Their other victories have come against Ball State, East Illinois, UConn, Rutgers, and Northwestern.

Indiana’s two losses have come against generally superior opponents in Ohio State and Michigan State. There’s not much anyone can do about the Buckeyes, but the loss against Michigan State is disappointing considering the down year that the Spartans have had so far. Indiana is coming into this game vs. the Nittany Lions ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll and possibly will slip into the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday.

A Deeper Look…

The big story of the Indiana offense this season has been the emergence of freshman quarterback Micheal Penix Jr. The redshirt freshman from Tampa, Florida has accounted for 10 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on the season. But, sadly for Indiana, Penix Jr. suffered a season-ending injury against Northwestern, meaning Penn State will face a familiar foe in Peyton Ramsey. The junior play caller lost the quarterback battle to Penix Jr. before the season but has still seen a decent amount of action this season. Ramsey has accounted for 1,302 yards on the season, tallying up 9 touchdowns and only throwing 3 interceptions. Even though Penix Jr. is a better dual-threat quarterback, Ramsey is experienced and has also proved he can make plays with his legs. Ramsey’s experience will be crucial for Indiana as they come up against a very talented Penn State front seven. 

Indiana’s main feature back comes in the form of Stevie Scott III. The sophomore from Syracuse, New York leads the team in rushing by far. He has run the ball 148 times, for 737 yards, and nine touchdowns. He’s on a mission to match the great numbers he put up last year, where he ran for over 1,000 yards. Indiana has spread the wealth through the air so far this season. Indiana’s main receiver this season has been junior Whop Philyor. He leads the Hoosiers with 59 catches for 813 yards and three touchdowns. Indiana’s big-play receiving threat comes from tight end, Peyton Hendershot. Hendershot has 4 touchdowns on the season and leads the team with 13.5 yards per catch. Expect Ramsey to look for Hendershot a lot over the middle, especially when Penn State sends their linebacker blitz packages Ramsey’s way.

Indiana’s defensive unit is not one with a true standout player but again boasts a solid unit. Allen Stallings IV and Demarcus Elliot are two players on Indiana’s defensive line that will cause issues for Penn State and Sean Clifford in the backfield. The Indiana secondary is the weakest link of this defense. Tiawan Mullen, Bryant Fitzgerald, and Jaylin Williams highlight the sub-par Indiana secondary. The Indiana defense is a solid unit, but they provide a nice break for this Penn State offense who has faced top defenses during their last four games.

Connor’s Keys to the Game…

Indiana- Let it Fly

Penn State’s secondary is their weakest link. We’ve seen all quarterbacks from Kenny Pickett from Pitt to the quarterback from Buffalo have career days vs. the Nittany Lions. Indiana’s offensive play calling has to be for Ramsey to let it fly. Throw the ball a lot, especially a lot of screens and underneath routes. Penn State’s inability to stop the pass has been concerning and they showed all their flaws vs. Minnesota. Establish a good passing game vs. the Nittany Lions and Indiana will find success and put up points on the Nittany Lions.

Penn State- Execute

Trying to predict what this Penn State team needs to do is just tiring at this point. Establish a consistent running attack, find other receiving options, stop the pass. All these things I’ve said all season and Penn State has failed to impress me in any of those categories. I’m just tired. Let me tell you one thing, Penn State’s talent on paper blows Indiana out of the water. So, just execute as you should. Let your talent just run over the Hoosiers. Get the playmakers the ball, let the defense fly, and just suffocate Indiana with your talent and win this game. Please?

Predictions…

Give me this game in Bloomington, I would predict Penn State to lose. Luckily for us, it’s not, but that doesn’t mean I think this game will be a cakewalk. We’ve seen this Penn State team in years past get knocked down and then get knocked down again before they can get back up. The formula is there for another let down of epic proportions. It sounds crazy to say considering we thought Penn State could’ve made the playoffs this year, but prepare for a dogfight. Indiana is a solid football team, who bear in mind is currently ranked in the AP Top 25. But, with all this being said, I refuse to believe this formula of one letdown followed by another letdown will continue.  James Franklin will have the team fired up following last week, keep them focused on the opponent in front of them, and Penn State will be 1-0 this week. I’m expecting this game to remain close for large portions of this game, but Penn State will pull away in the end.

Score Prediction- Penn State 31, Indiana 17

It still hurts, but the show must go on. We’ve seen the same pattern for the last three seasons and that pattern is the reason why Penn State is still not on that elite level we know they can be on. Forget the Minnesota game last week and forget about the game against Ohio State next week, Indiana is the task at hand. It’s time to change the narrative. This is the crossroads, prove the haters wrong. Adversity is something we’re used to as a program, so for the love of all that is holy, overcome it. Indiana, Indiana, Indiana! Kickoff is set for noon on Saturday, November 16, from the comfy confines of Beaver Stadium. It’s going to be a cold one, so bundle up.  As James Franklin always says, “It begins with I love you and ends with I love you.” Back the boys, let’s change the narrative. Let’s get it Nittany Nation, WE ARE!

 

Penn State Basketball: One Week Down and We Might Just be Good

By Alex Yuncker

It is time to overreact, right now. Penn State opened its season with two non-conference foes that presented little challenge. They dominated both Maryland Eastern-Shore and Wagner. Between both games the Nittany Lions shot 48 percent from the field while opponents have put up a meager 37 percent. Beyond that, Penn State put up 84 and 91 points in both contests, which is exciting to see even though the competition has been lackluster thus far.

On defense is where they’ve shined thus far, allowing opponents only 55 points per game. And it’s not only the point total where the D is thriving, PSU has 19 steals and 13 blocks so far this season. They are going to need that type of defensive production if they plan on making a run in the Big Ten. So far, so good for the Lions. Now let’s take a quick look at each game individually. 

Penn State vs. Maryland Eastern-Shore: 84-46 W

The season opener was everything it needed to be for the Lions. The stars shined and the defensive production was great. Lamar Stevens lead the squad in scoring with his 17 points on 50 percent shooting. 

Meanwhile, five other players also put up double-digits in the scoring column (Mike Watkins, Myreon Jones, Myles Dread, Curtis Jones Jr., Izaiah Brockington). To say that’s a good sign is an understatement. Last year the team relied heavily on their main guys to put up points. Last year the leading scorer of the bench averaged only 4 points per game. This year the leading scorer of the bench, Izaiah Brockington, is averaging 11 points. Meanwhile Curtis Jones Jr. has put up a respectable 9 points per game off the bench as well, both well above last year’s high. If this will be the case throughout the year, this team could be dangerous.

Yet that offensive production does not exist if not for how they’ve managed themselves on the defensive side of the floor. PSU totaled 10 steals and 11 blocks, Mike Watkins swatted away 7 alone. Any game when you can hold a team to just 33 percent shooting, and 21 percent from three, it’s going to be pretty hard not to win. 

Penn State vs. Wagner: 91-64 W

The first half of Thursday’s game didn’t come pain free. In fact, going into the locker room PSU only lead 37-30. Whatever Coach Chambers said at the half worked because the boys came out hot to start the second half. The Lions put up 54 second half points, while Wagner simply could not keep up.

Myreon Jones lead the team in scoring with a solid 14 point outing. Yet again, the Nittany Lions had five players put up double digit performances in this one. It’s a positive trend to start the season, considering Penn State’s struggles with depth scoring in years past. This is maybe what I am most surprised about with this year’s team. The challenge will be finding a way to  keep putting up consistent numbers across the board

Meanwhile the defense was still stellar. The boys racked up nine steals in this one putting their season total at 19 through only two games. To put that into perspective Big Ten foes Indiana and Ohio State have a total of 14 steals among both of them. Penn State has to keep generating turnovers as it has been extremely helpful to their scoring production. There was a little buzz about this team being really solid defensively heading into the season and thus far they have stuck to that narrative. 

Up Next: @Georgetown 11/14, Bucknell 11/19

Stat Leaders: 

  • Points – Lamar Stevens (15.0)
  • Assists – Myreon Jones (4.5)
  • Rebounds – Mike Watkins (9.5)
  • Steals – Jamari Wheeler (3.5)
  • Blocks – Mike Watkins (4.0)