I’m recently back from Steel City where Research On The Road gathered on a rainy Wednesday evening, April 30, for a quintessentially Pittsburghian night out: a talk by Penn State professor of kinesiology and history Mark Dyreson on the history of baseball.
Research On The Road headed back to Washington, DC, recently for our fourth event with the good folks from the Penn State Alumni Chapter of Greater DC. The speaker? The multifaceted political science faculty member Pete Hatemi, whose research on politics and genetics has been showcased on NPR, the BBC, and other outlets.
When you agree to be a speaker at a mid-February conference in Chicago, you can’t be surprised (and I wasn’t) when the weather forecast turns menacing. With a quick change of my return flight to beat the snowstorm — and with thanks to University Park airport’s new direct flights to Chicago — I was able to arrive on Tuesday afternoon, speak on Wednesday morning, and get back to State College by Wednesday night, a few hours before the snow started to fall.
Earlier this month, Penn State University lost a true legend. Daniel Walden, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of American Studies, English, and Comparative Literature, died Friday, November 8, 2013 at Mount Nittany Medical Center at age 91, after a brief illness. Arriving on campus in 1966 — the same year Joe Paterno became Penn State’s head football coach—Walden was a faculty member at Penn State until 1988. Whether he ever really retired is a matter of some debate though. Writer Cynthia Ozick paid tribute to Walden at the time in an article fittingly titled “Remarks on Dan Walden’s Retirement (Even Though He Is Tireless and Didn’t Retire and Never Will!)”
Texas is a blue and white place, from its famous bluebonnet meadows and its vast azure skies dotted with white clouds, to the blue and white on the Lone Star state’s flag. But for three days in late October, Texas was extra blue and white, when Research On The Road rolled into town with Penn State laureate for the 2013-14 academic year, Kenneth Womack, associate dean for Academic Affairs and professor of English and integrative arts at Penn State Altoona.