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.
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.
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.
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.
As the East Coast tracked the approach of Hurricane Sandy, Research on the Road beat a path westward to bring acclaimed Beatles scholar Kenneth Womack to Santa Monica where he gave a talk on Sunday to our enthusiastic Los Angeles area alumni chapter.
The venue couldn’t have been more appropriate for Ken’s talk on “50 Years of The Beatles.” The Britannia is a popular restaurant/pub with Penn State alumni (and an eclectic mix of local hipsters and British ex-pats) in the L.A. area and has Beatles’ memorabilia adorning the walls.
I just blew in from the Windy City where we had a very successful Research on the Road event with the good folks from the Greater Chicago Chapter of our Alumni Association.
Research on the Road is the University’s new speaker series that brings Penn State faculty to alumni chapters around the country for lively conversations on a wide assortment of research topics. And lively it was! We were so fortunate to have Jerry Zolten, “roots music” historian and associate professor of communication arts and sciences, as our speaker, and to have more than fifty enthusiastic Penn State alumni and friends in attendance at one of Chicago’s most famous blues clubs, Buddy Guy’s Legends.