December 11, 2018

Collegiate Laws of Life Essay Contest

Sixth Annual Collegiate Laws of Life Essay Contest

Our purpose is to encourage Penn State undergraduate students to explore ethical values and intercultural issues, and their talent for expressing their views in writing. Essays should be no longer than 800 words and will be judged on originality, relevance, and creativity. The contest is open to all full-time baccalaureate students who are enrolled at any Penn State campus for the Fall 2018 or Spring 2019 semester. Entry deadline: January 11.


1.       A day before the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act celebrated its ninth anniversary, an anti-Semite attacked and killed eleven congregants at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Why is hate so potent, and what can we do about it?

2.       Does art matter?

3.       “Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.” David Foster Wallace
What makes us the same?

Winners will receive up to $500, and will be acknowledged at the annual Paterno Fellows Recognition Ceremony on February 6, 2019. Winning essays will be published on Liberal Arts Voices.

To download the flyer with prompts, and to submit your essay, go to:


Liberal Arts Career Week

January 21-25, Various Locations

Mark your calendars for our week of career-related events for Liberal Arts students! We will be hosting networking opportunities, employer/alumni panels, workshops focusing on graduate and law school, gap year, interviewing, and more! This is your chance to develop skills and network with professionals to support your future career path! See details…

Paterno Fellows Recognition Ceremony and Reception

2018 PFP Recognition Ceremony

February 6, 7:00 p.m., Hintz Family Alumni Center

This event celebrates the achievements of students who have been admitted to the Paterno Fellows Program and Schreyer Honors College over the past year. The program will include presentations by several Paterno Fellows, past and present, as well as winners of the Collegiate Laws of Life Essay Contest. A dessert reception will follow the ceremony.

New admits who are being recognized will receive a separate invitation in January. All aspiring and admitted Fellows are invited to attend, and others are welcome to join in! View photos from last year’s event.

Courses / Curriculum / PFP Requirements

LA 197-002 Mass Death and National Monuments: the 2018 Washington D.C. Memorial to World War One in Comparative Perspective (1 cr) Honors / Ethics Course for Spring 19

Instructor: John Horne, Paterno Fellow Visiting Scholar from Trinity College, Dublin

Extended war with large-scale death is not a modern phenomenon. However, when such wars are fought by the “people” (as opposed to rulers and elites), “the people” are deemed to have made the key sacrifice. Questions of how to commemorate the war dead, given the losses, become central (famously expressed in the case of the American Civil War by Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address). The answers take many forms – political rhetoric, socio-political reforms, public rituals, veterans’ movements – but monuments symbolising the sacrifice are key. How they are proposed and built, who supports or opposes them, what form do they take aesthetically, and how does what is said at their inaugurations (or later) reflect victory or defeat, the scale of the loss and the status of the dead (men, women, soldiers, civilians). We shall examine the US National Memorial to World War One in Washington, DC, scheduled to be inaugurated in November 2018. We shall ask why it took a hundred years for such a memorial to be created when monuments had already been erected in the nation’s capital to honour US involvement in the other major wars of the 20th century. We shall study the creation and meaning of the memorial in its American and international contexts, using multiple disciplines (history, cultural studies, art and architectural history, anthropology, etc.). We shall visit Washington in order to study the monument and compare it to other war memorials in the capital, notably those to World War Two, Korea and Vietnam.

Class Meetings: 5-6:30pm Thursday, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28 PLUS Tuesday, Feb 19, and an all-day trip to Washington, D.C, on Saturday, Feb 23. Class attendance is mandatory. If you must miss class or this trip, do not enroll in this course.

LA 197-003 Taking the Humanities Public: Work and Workers in Our World (1 cr) Honors / Ethics Course for Spring 19

This course will explore the role of work and workers in our contemporary world through the lens of public humanities. Students will learn how philosophy, history, law and politics, religion, anthropology, archaeology, literature, and visual and performing arts approach work as an object of study. The course will also survey the methods humanities scholars, activists, museum curators, historic site interpreters, artists, and writers use to bring examinations of work to public audiences. Finally, students will apply their own humanities skills to a modest collaborative project of their own that engages some aspect of work in Centre County.

Why work? Whether paid or unpaid, occurring inside or outside the home, performed for an employer or for one’s self, carried out alone or with others, the experience of having work to do links people from vastly different backgrounds and perspectives. Work roots us in space, shapes individual and group identities, and helps determine economic security and quality of life. Furthermore, in ways that are often hidden, questions about work lie at or near the heart of many of today’s most pressing issues: poverty and income inequality, climate change, immigration, globalization, mass incarceration, and sexual harassment and violence. The study of work and workers offers a way to build bridges between people and foster empathy within communities. Yet, the multi-faceted nature of work requires a variety of tools to capture its multitude of forms and meanings.

Class Meetings: MoWe 5:00-6:00 p.m., March 11-April 25

Spring 2019 Short-Term Study Abroad Programs

Want to go abroad during spring break or Maymester? Register for a Liberal Arts international embedded course for the spring. Embedded courses are Penn State courses taken at University Park that include a short-term international travel component. Note: Some embedded courses may require permission to enroll in the course. Please visit to learn more about participating in these programs.

Ethics Courses

Check our website for courses you can take to meet the PFP Ethics requirement. New courses are added as departments alert us of their offerings, or as students bring them to our attention. Students must complete 3 credits in ethics (one 3-credit course, or a series of 1- or 2-credit courses) before graduation.

Funding and Research

Call for Applications: Spring 2019 Undergraduate Fellowships with Rock Ethics Institute

Students in the Paterno Fellows Program are invited to apply for a fellowship with the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State for the spring 2019 semester. These fellowships involve working closely with and assisting Rock faculty on interdisciplinary ethics projects. Some projects focus on research, while others focus on developing programming and networks related to ethics at Penn State. Students selected as Rock Fellows will receive $1,000 to support their fellowship.

There are four different projects that students can apply to:
1. Environmental Humanities Research Network Fellowship
2. FIELDS (Food Innovation, Ethics, Leadership, Development, and Sustainability) Project Fellowship
3. Moral Agency and Moral Development Initiative Fellowship
4. Psychology and Disparities in Criminal Justice Fellowship

The deadline to apply is 5:00pm EST on Monday, December 17, 2018. Fellowship winners will be notified by January 7, 2019. If you have questions about the fellowship or application process, please contact Ben Jones at For details and to apply…

EESL Green Student Seed Grant Competition

The Energy and Environmental Sustainability Laboratories (EESL) is pleased to announce an EESL Green Student Seed Grant competition for Spring 2019. The goal of this competition is to support the research of Penn State students who are interested in conducting analyses in any of the EESL multi-user research facilities.

Each award will be a maximum of $2,500. Funding will cover the cost of EESL analyses only. Please note that all students are eligible to participate in this competition. Proposals must be submitted no later than midnight January 15, 2019. Advisor endorsement must be submitted no later than noon January 18, 2019. Funding must be used by June 15, 2019. More info…

Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program

Network with Penn State Alumni! Apply to the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program. Students are matched with alumni working in their field of interest; mentors help with networking, interview prep, and more. Applications are open year-round. More information can be found here.

Internship Opportunities

Nittany Lion Careers is Penn State’s new single-system recruiting platform. You will be able to use Nittany Lion Careers to: search and apply to internship and job opportunities; upload your resume for review, schedule an appointment with a Career Enrichment Network staff member to help with your career development; view upcoming events; and more!

Service / Leadership

Nominees Sought for Rock Ethics Institute’s 2019 Stand Up Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Rock Ethics Institute Stand Up Awards. Any faculty, staff, student or community member may nominate a student through January 25, 2019.

Stand Up Awards recognize Penn State undergraduate students who have demonstrated ethical leadership by “standing up” for a cause, idea or belief. By honoring and celebrating their courageous examples, the awards aim to inspire others at Penn State to become ethical leaders. Each awardee will receive a $1,000 cash prize and be honored during an awards ceremony at the Nittany Lion Inn in April 2019.

For more info, and to view videos of 2018 awardees, including Paterno Fellows Alice Greider and Brendan Bernicker, go to:

PFP Service / Leadership Requirement

Fellows are expected to take on a leadership role or offer volunteer services to a community of their choice totaling at least 50 hours during their college career. Participants in the Presidential Leadership Academy automatically meet this requirement. To document a leadership or service experience, download the Leadership or Service Documentation Form; complete and submit it using the contact information on the form. Hours may be reported as they are completed for short-term projects, or after the minimum time is met for long-term experiences.

Your Blurb Here

Are you involved with a local service group that is open for new members? Send your blurb to and we’ll publish it here. Please include a brief description of your mission, expectations, information sessions/meetings, how to join, etc.

In the News

Paterno Fellows Participate in International Language Research

Seven students in the College of the Liberal Arts, five of whom are Paterno Fellows (below), participated in the National Science Foundation PIRE program this year, which gave the students financial support to travel internationally to conduct language research. Full story…

– Maria Badanova, ’20 PF Psychology and Russian
– Christianna Otto, ’20 PF Letters, Arts, and Sciences; Spanish; Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language
– Jaclyn Yuro, ’19 PF Italian and Psychology
– Bridget Cuddy, ’20 PF Global and International Studies, and Russian
– Alison Kelly, ’19 PF Philosophy and Agricultural Science

Student entrepreneurs look to lock in support for new product

Ezra Gershanok, ’21 PF Economics, along with Aaron Glatter and Jacob Halbert have developed “The Keyper,” a phone wallet designed with a pocket specifically for a room key. Full story…


Updating your Information in the Paterno Fellows Database

Update the PFP database as you complete your Paterno Fellows requirements. You are responsible for marking them “Claimed Satisfied” or turning in the appropriate documentation forms. You should update the requirements you’ve met as you complete them. Please do not wait until your graduation semester. We need time to approve your submissions and mark them “Satisfied.” For further instructions, see the PFP website.

Paterno Fellows Coaches

Do you have questions about the Paterno Fellows Program, but don’t know where to turn for answers? PFP Coaches are now on duty! Coaches are current PFs who are here to share their experiences, insights, and recommendations with you. Learn more about how Coaches can assist you…

PFP Student Programming Grants

Paterno Fellows are encouraged to apply for Programming Grants for One-Time Events or Sustained Discussion / Reading Groups. Successful applications will enhance students’ education, ignite an interest, or make students consider a topic more deeply. For details, see: pfp-student-programming-grants/

How can I describe the Paterno Fellows Program on my resume?

Paterno Fellows Program, College of the Liberal Arts

Honors Program including advanced academic coursework, thesis, study abroad and/or internship, ethics study, and leadership/service commitment

Director’s Office Hours for Fall 2018

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9:00 a.m.-noon, 302 Weaver Building

Catherine Wanner, Professor of History, Anthropology, and Religious Studies, and Barry Director of the Paterno Fellows Program

Feel free to stop by if you have questions, or just to say hello!

Social Media

Check out items of interest for all LA students on Liberal Arts Voices and on Twitter @PSULiberalArts. Be sure to like the Paterno Fellows Facebook Page. Join the Career Enrichment Network on Twitter @PSULAjobs to keep up-to-date on internships, education abroad, deadlines, and other opportunities in 280 characters or less!