All posts by Melissa Beattie Moss

CSI Penn State: An Evening of Crime & Merriment with the DC Alumni Chapter

Sure, crime doesn’t pay. But when you have the chance to explore the Crime Museum after hours and to learn about DNA investigation from one of the top names in the business, it pays to attend. The folks from the spirited Metro Washington, DC Penn State Alumni Chapter knew it would be a crime to miss out and turned out in large numbers for the third “Research on the Road” event we’ve organized for and with them.

Chapter board members greet attendees in Crime Museum lobby.

More than 60 alumni chapter members of all ages and backgrounds joined in the evening’s activities, which kicked off with an interactive event at the National Museum of Crime & Punishment, aka The Crime Museum. Participants took a serial killer profiling quiz, explored the science of fingerprinting, got (temporary!) old school prison tattoos and found out what the images symbolized, and even swung a hammer into red paint to learn about blood spatter analysis techniques.

The "America's Most Wanted" studio at the Crime Museum
The “America’s Most Wanted” studio at the Crime Museum

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A Spicy Afternoon at The Village

Residents of The Village at Penn State enjoy a variety of activities—after all, variety is the spice of life. Sometimes that spice is literally the tongue-tingling kind, as it was during last week’s Research Unplugged event on site at The Village, with a talk by John Hayes and Nadia Byrnes titled “Some Like it Hot!” (Yes, we are indeed keeping John, assistant professor of food science, and Nadia, who works in his lab at the Sensory Evaluation Center, hopping this semester with a variety of public engagement talks for Research Communications. Our thanks to them both!)

An attendee raises her hand to ask a question of the researchers.

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A Taste of Penn State in our Nation’s Capital

Penn State’s Research on the Road speaker series closed out its first season yesterday evening with a stellar event at the National Press Club in D.C.  This was our second program (but hopefully not our last–ideas abound for spring semester!) with the enthusiastic folks from the DC area alumni chapter. The talk was titled “The Science of Wine Tasting: Can Anyone Learn to Taste the Nuances in Wine?” with food science assistant professor and sensory evaluation researcher John Hayes. 


About fifty us gathered in the Holeman Lounge at 6:30 p.m., many alumni coming straight from work, for half an hour of socializing and networking—and eating!—before the talk kicked off at 7.

Some alums were longtime chapter members, but some were new Penn State graduates just starting their careers in D.C.

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Ending on a high note!

Research Unplugged ended its fall series on a literal and metaphorical high note on Thursday with a presentation and performance by Anthony Leach and the Essence of Joy chorus.

Tony Leach, professor of music and music education, is the group’s founding director. To watch him conduct the student singers is to watch a master in action. They are attuned to every nuance of his directions through his voice, his gestures, even the most subtle body language, and the respect and affection they feel for him as a mentor is palpable to all who observe them working together.

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What’s the rush? Research Unplugged tackles college traditions

This week’s Research Unplugged tackled American college traditions, always a popular topic in these parts! Our speaker? Acclaimed folklorist Simon Bronner, Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Folklore at Penn State Harrisburg, and Director of their Doctoral Program in American Studies.

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