To the Theatre: Spring 20 Performances

Kronos Quartet tickets still available for $2 each on a first-come basis in 118 Sparks Building!
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The Paterno Fellows Program has reserved a block of seats to four upcoming shows on campus. You may enter the lottery for a chance to purchase one or two tickets to each of these shows for only $2 each (normally $15). These tickets are for Penn State students only, but if you purchase two, the second person does not have to be in PFP.

PFP has offered discounted tickets in the past which sold out before the end of the first day, so we had to turn students away. In anticipation of a similar demand for these tickets, we are holding a drawing to be fair to students whose schedules do not allow an immediate in-person visit to Sparks to be first to claim the seats. If you would like to be considered for tickets, please fill out this Google form prior to the drawing dates.

January 31, 7:30 p.m.

Step Afrika!
DrumfolkDrawing: January 13, 9:00 a.m.
February 18, 7:30 p.m.

Kronos Quartet and Mahsa Vahdat
Music for Change: The Banned CountriesDrawing: January 29, 9:00 a.m.
February 27, 7:30 p.m.

Apollo’s Fire: The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons RediscoveredDrawing: February 5, 9:00 a.m.
April 2, 7:30 p.m.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
Masters of Form: From Mingus to MonkDrawing: March 4, 9:00 a.m.

Please only enter if you plan to use the tickets. Although you are only paying a few dollars, PFP is paying the balance, and we want to be sure the seats are filled!

Names will be drawn approximately three weeks before each show. All students who entered will be notified of whether or not they have been selected to purchase the discounted tickets. If additional tickets remain after the drawing date, we will sell them on a first come basis.

LA 197 Juvenile Justice Law and Policy

Joshua Branch, J.D., Paterno Fellow Guest Lecturer

   – Zubrow Fellow in Children’s Law, Juvenile Law Center, Philadelphia, PA
   – ’13 Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, Political Science

Class #19465 – 1 cr – Ethics Course for Spring 2020

This seminar focuses on the criminal justice system as it pertains to juveniles, often referred to as the “juvenile justice system.” The course sits at the intersection of psychology, behavioral health, sociology, political science, and law.

Juveniles exist in a unique role in our society. Their bodies and minds are still developing; hormonal changes, peer pressure and influences, as well as mental development all impact their behavior and responses to stressful situations. This has resulted in courts viewing juveniles as unique and therefore aiming to treat juveniles different and apart from adults. Therefore, this seminar aims to be holistic in the short class time we have together. It will give you a small sampling of juvenile justice issues ranging from developmental, educational, intersectional, and racial issues that may impact youth who have system contact. A brief history of the juvenile justice system will be provided on the first class to provide context to our work. We will also discuss a few seminal cases in juvenile law that will provide experience for the skills needed for law school.

Class Meetings: Mondays, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., January 27 – March 2
Class attendance is mandatory. There are only six classes. If you do not believe you can come to every class, then you should not sign up for the course.

Paterno Fellow Brian Loane’s Remarks upon Graduation

Each year we ask an outstanding graduating senior to speak at the Paterno Fellows graduation ceremony. Our speaker from the class of 2019 is Brian Loane. Brian majored in English and Comparative Literature and minored in Philosophy. His thesis is entitled “Whales, Judges, and Mortals: Human Will and Divine Destiny in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.” While at Penn State, Brian studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland, and did an Internship with Penn State’s Committee for Early Modern Studies. He was Secretary of the Kappa Sigma Executive Committee. And most unusual, he was a two time winner in the Paterno Fellows Collegiate Laws of Life Essay Contest.

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Good afternoon everyone. My name is Brian Loane, and I studied English and Comparative Literature, with a minor in Philosophy. I want to begin by thanking Barb Edwards for all of her work with the Paterno Fellows Program, and I want to thank Dr. Wanner for inviting me to speak today. I was so honored when she reached out with the invitation.

My last assignment before graduating from High School was a “This I Believe” speech, and I spoke of some very high-flown and grand concepts about how we’re all connected…or something like that. Looking back, I think I was a bit too concerned with these higher-order concepts. My time at Penn State has taught me to alter the scale of my focus—to narrow it down.

I’m willing to bet that I speak for everyone when I say that these past few weeks have been tough—A strange mix of contradictory emotions that shouldn’t exist at once but do. And it’s in this mood that I’ve been reflecting on the last four years. The central thing that I have realized is that the moments that I am going to miss, the moments that left the most lasting impact, aren’t those bigger moments like giving a huge speech, going to a formal, or struggling through finals week. No, the moments that I am going to miss the most are way smaller… the ones that, as they are happening, you don’t realize will be the memories that endure.

I’m going to miss studying at IST with friends on either side of me.

I’m going to miss meeting with a professor who develops into a mentor.

And I’m going to miss walking home after a long day to find a house full of friends watching the Office and laughing because Michael just cooked his foot.

These moments are tiny, and even common, but they add up to a unique experience in our lives—the small moments turn out to be the big ones.

But graduation isn’t just a time to be sad. These past four years have prepared us for all of the years that are coming. And that is what the Paterno Fellows Program specifically has given to us: the tools to go out into the world and to be citizens. As Paterno Fellows, we have learned in our classes how to read and write well, which adds up to learning how to think well. We have learned how to articulate those ideas and messages in the most powerful and expressive manner. With our study of ethics, we have been invited to consider exactly what a good life is, and how we can best achieve it. And finally, the Paterno Fellows Program encourages us to recognize that service and leadership are important. The Program provided us with an opportunity to act on these ideas in the world.

I took a philosophy course in my freshman year that I would never have if I hadn’t been in the Paterno Fellows Program. In that class, Dr. Colapietro mentioned a contemporary novelist named Colum McCann. We talked about his writing, his ideas of radical empathy that can help strive against hatred and his notion that the world is the sum total of our individual life stories. In one of his essays, McCann implores his writing students to take a challenge—to do what is most difficult. That is exactly what Penn State and the Paterno Fellows Program has prepared us to do. Commencement is a beginning. All of those small meaningful moments, all of the experiences in our classes, prepared us to go out into the world to do what is most difficult, and to succeed. Thank you.

2019 Paterno Fellows Best Thesis Awards

Call for Nominations: Due April 9


UPDATE: Please note that the requirements have been revised. We will only require one faculty recommendation, from either the honors adviser or thesis adviser.

The Paterno Fellows Program will present two Best Thesis Awards: one for a thesis in the social sciences and the other for a thesis in any field of the humanities. Each prize carries a $500 award and the students will be recognized at the PFP Graduation Ceremony at noon on Saturday, May 4. A faculty panel will make the selections based on the originality of the project, the rigor of the research, and the clarity of presentation. Students must have met all PFP graduation requirements to be eligible. (If you are not sure of your student’s PFP status, please inquire at

To nominate a thesis, or to self-nominate, we must receive the following by Tuesday, April 9:

Students who self-nominate are responsible for requesting input from the faculty adviser.

Please direct questions to