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In the Media: Institution

Onward State
Emma Dieter
If you’re a student at Penn State, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the multitude of waste bins on your daily commute — some for compost, some for metals, some for trash. Perhaps in your first few weeks at school, you actually found the whole ordeal to be a bit obnoxious — after all, why should students have to stop in their tracks just separate two types of plastics? What’s the real difference?
Onward State
Elissa Hill
The TED conference series will return to State College for its seventh annual TEDxPSU conference, this year dubbed “Breach” to be held February 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Schwab Auditorium. This year’s conference will feature 11 speakers, including some Penn State students and faculty. To reserve your spot at TEDxPSU, register for free online here. Here’s a summary of the lineup, with biographical information courtesy of TEDxPSU.
Leon Valsechi
During winter break Penn State drops the temperature settings in most campus buildings — the initiative has been conserving energy and resources for decades. During an 11-day period starting Dec. 22 and ending Jan. 3, the building temperatures will be turned down to 50 degrees as a part of Penn State’s commitment to the Department of Energy better building challenge program.
Centre Daily Times
Leon Valsechi
The documentary “After Coal: What Happens When Fossil Fuels Run Out?” was screened Tuesday night at The State Theatre, followed by a panel discussion on how coal communities can deal with loosing their main economic driver. The hourlong film, directed by Tom Hansell, offers a look into how towns in South Wales and Appalachia are dealing with the cultural and economic effects of transitioning away from the dwindling coal industry.
The Daily Collegian
Frank Esposito
Like crime scene chalk outlines, parts of the walkways at the Nittany Apartments complex were marked with white arrows and notes for the Office of Physical Plant to follow them, a sign of the testing and troubleshooting OPP continues to perform to catch the source of the lead found in the water last week, according to Curtis Chan, manager of internal communications at Penn State.
Onward State
James Turchick
Named after the Northern Cheyenne reservation MorningStar people, the Penn State MorningStar Solar Home spent negative 33 cents on electricity last Thursday. The completely self-sufficient house was initially conceptualized for the 2007 Washington D.C. Solar Decathlon but continues on as a hallmark of environmental education at Penn State. The competition is an international event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Teams design and build an entirely green, 800 square foot home. Emily Fucinato, an intern at the home, gives 3-5 tours of the house in a typical week and explains the energy-saving features of the once upon a time pipedream that’s now a cornerstone of Penn State’s environmental efforts.
The Daily Collegian
Katie Johnston
Students swipe into Pollock, gather their food, throw away what they don’t eat and leave. But, has anyone ever wondered where all that food ends up when nobody takes it? One server who works with Campus Dining, Diana Perez, asked that very question. “I’m not completely sure where the excess food goes after every meal. During one of my shifts, I noticed that we throw away a large amount of food at the end of the night,” Perez (freshman-chemistry) said. “I’m not sure what exactly is done with it. A lot of that food can be put to much better use than just going into a garbage can.”
Centre Daily Times
Sarah Rafacz
At its annual dinner on Tuesday, Centre Foundation awarded its Centre Inspires $100,000 grant to ClearWater Conservancy’s Centred Outdoors project. “This year, the Centre Inspires granting cycle was focused on community engagement through the environment around us,” Molly Kunkel, Centre Foundation’s executive director, said in a press release from the foundation. “This program encourages collaboration among different sectors in Centre County in an effort to transform an element of our area.” The effort is in collaboration with the Mount Nittany Health System, Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, Penns Valley Conservation Association, Mount Nittany Conservancy and Millbrook Marsh Nature Center.
The Daily Collegian
Antonia Jaramillo
With the switch from coal to natural gas in both Penn State steam plants, Penn State’s goal to decrease its campus greenhouse emissions 35 percent by 2020 seems to be underway — although new research may suggest otherwise. A recent paper titled, “Upward revision of global fossil fuel methane emissions based on isotope database,” published in Nature International Weekly Journal of Science shows scientists are unclear how dangerous methane gas really is.
The Daily Collegian
Hyun Soo Lee
Biking is an increasingly popular method of transportation in the Centre Region — over time, there have been marked efforts to make the community more bicycle-friendly. These efforts have not gone unnoticed. There are a variety of businesses and organizations in the area focused on improving bike-friendliness and safety, and their work has been duly rewarded. In 2012, the League of American Bicyclists deemed the Centre Region — which includes Penn State, the State College borough and its five surrounding municipalities — a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community.
BTN LiveBIG
Scott Smith
Green roofs are like your IT department: you know they’re important, but you’re not really sure what they do. Penn State may end up changing that – one mixed-plant community at a time. The university is home to the country’s first green roof technology class (started in 2005) and its Center for Green Roof Research works closely with the university’s Office of the Physical Plant to ensure each new building uses green technology and incorporates green roofs, where possible.
Centre Daily Times
Jeremy Hartley
Toll Brothers remains committed to building in Ferguson Township, and has reached out to the public for their input. In June, Toll Brothers Campus Living Managing Director Charles Elliot reached out to the CDT to share the company’s point of view regarding the proposed Cottages at State College — a 268-unit development within the township geared toward the region’s student population.
The Daily Collegian
Hyun Soo Lee
In the first event of its kind, three Penn State professors debated the properties of three different energy types — coal, renewables and nuclear — in an effort to enhance each other’s knowledge as well as the greater Penn State community. The three professors are Jonathan Mathews, Susan Stewart and Arthur T. Motta. Each is armed with a wealth of knowledge in his or her respective field. On Wednesday night, they came together and debated in front of an audience at 112 Chambers during the Campus Energy Debate.
StateCollege.com
Elissa Hill
The Penn State Board of Trustees on Friday approved final plans and a $144 million budget to demolish Fenske Laboratory at the University Park campus and build a new, state-of-the-art research and instructional laboratory at the same site. In campus master planning, a “greenway” was established that includes the site of Fenske. Building design will reflect this policy. Other site work will connect the building to the campus sidewalk network and preserve “significant existing trees.” The building will also feature a first-floor green roof, and its design will allow for future expansion to this campus location.
The Daily Collegian
James Eisenstein
The University of Wisconsin partners with some 40 local growers and food distributors to serve 7,000 undergraduates. Students there can purchase lunch in one of their dining halls using local ingredients every day. Penn State served one locally sourced dinner in Redifer Commons last fall and offered some local food at lunch on Earth Day. The University of Illinois buys 25% of its food from locally grown or processed suppliers (Penn State’s equivalent figure is 18%). Other major universities (UCLA, Virginia Tech, Maine, Cornell, U. Georgia) all have active programs to bring locally produced food into their dining halls. U.C. Berkeley offers its students organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, dressings, oils and vinegars.
Palm Coast Observer
Jacque Estes
Charles Nelson sits at his computer inventorying items from the Florida Farm Bureau. Charles isn’t a farmer, he’s a student in one of Andrew Medearis’ STEM classes at Buddy Taylor Middle School. “We received a grant from the American Farm Bureau for material,” Medearis said. Nelson says little, he is focused on his task. The first class of the day is meeting in the wet lab, a special area designed for cooperative work, and on days like today, a place to assemble things like hydroponic growing containers.
Onward State
Gabriella Stevenson
Now that production is in full swing at Penn State’s one-acre Student Farm, The Student Farm Club will host its first Harvest Festival for the community on Wednesday, September 7. The festival is free and open to students, faculty, and the public.
WPSU
Becca Degregorio
The nearly 5,000 recycling bins on Penn State’s University Park campus collect all kinds of materials: bottles, cans, paper, but no longer polystyrene, which is often referred to as Styrofoam. The school has recently decided not to recycle polystyrene for a slew of economic reasons, one being the fall of oil prices.
Campus Reform
William Nardi
Following the national trend of public colleges including social justice courses in their graduation requirements, Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg now offers an entire degree on the subject. Advertised on Amazon.com as a master’s program for “Social Justice activism,” Penn State now offers their hundreds of grad students a degree in “Master of Arts in Community Psychology and Social Change.”
Just Means
Penn State University announced that the Smeal College of Business Building has earned LEED® Gold certification. As part of the college’s commitment to sustainability leadership, Smeal endeavored to earn LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance certification, the first building to do so on any Penn State campus.

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