Student aims to inspire businesses, communities through sustainability
When it comes to sustainability, Nikhil Bharadwaj has a different take on the "glass half empty, glass half full" metaphor. "I've talked to people who are optimistic about sustainability and others who are pessimistic. The question isn’t whether the glass is half full or half empty because, in the end, the glass will always be half empty when you’re thirsty," said Bharadwaj, an energy engineering student in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.
University-wide grant program to support Lion’s Pantry, improve food insecurity among students
The 2017 Class Gift Campaign was recently announced as one of 18 recipients of grant money made available through a new program launched by the Penn State Bookstore, which is managed by Barn
Student Farm Club hosts hydroponic lettuce tasting event on March 13
The Student Farm Club at Penn State is partnering with Housing and Food Services (HFS) as part of National Nutrition Month to host a hydroponic lettuce tasting event, “Expand Your Salad Palate,” in Redifer Dining Commons, South Halls, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on March 13. The Student Farm Club invites all students, faculty, staff and community members to join them to taste a delicious variety of hydroponic lettuce grown by club members and learn about the nutritional benefits of eating a diversity of fresh, locally grown greens.
Penn State experiences lead to renewable energy job with GE for EMS student
It’s as if everything Amanda Berta touches turns to gold. In 2015, the senior majoring in energy engineering in Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) won an NCAA title as part of the Penn State women’s soccer team. Then, seeking more time on the field, she switched to rugby. The result? Another national title.
From strangers to business partners: Internship plants seeds of collaboration
Although Alyssa Gurklis and Hayly Hoch are both students in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, they didn’t know each other when they embarked on a 10-week food-system internship last summer with Penn State Extension-Allegheny County. Now they’re close friends, roommates, and collaborators on a food-system project of their own.
'This is Penn State' celebrates Bridges to Prosperity's sharp minds, big hearts
Penn State is full of bridge builders — from instructors connecting students with new insights to researchers linking data to practical solutions. But the students in Bridges to Prosperity areliterally building bridges. The latest episode of “This is Penn State” spotlights the sharp minds and skilled hands of Bridges to Prosperity (B2P), Penn State’s student chapter of a national organization that has built more than 200 footbridges to connect remote communities with essential health care, education and economic opportunities.
EMS student spearheads global student charity organization SPE Cares
Penn State had many reasons to be happy at the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: the SPE student chapter was awarded Outstanding Student Chapter, Professor Russell Johns was lauded for his research and the Petrobow
Class of 2017 pledges support to Lion's Pantry, the student food bank
Endowment will provide an additional source of funding to help end student hunger at University Park
Schreyer Scholar Pranav Ranganathan explores ways to make everyday things better
Pranav Ranganathan likes to look at everyday things and wonder why they can’t be more efficient. More effective. Better.
Take a standard water fountain, for instance.
Penn State Student Farm to host fall harvest festival Sept. 7
The Student Farm at Penn State will hold a free fall harvest festival from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 7. All members of the local community are invited to attend.
Enterprise CarShare now available at Penn State
Enterprise CarShare, a car-sharing service from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, is now available for Penn State students, faculty and staff at University Park.
Penn State Transportation Services debuts student-designed vehicle wraps
Three new vehicles from Penn State Transportation Services are sporting a look that illustrates a commitment to sustainability, thanks to the creativity of Penn State graphic design students.
Undergraduates honored with Rock Ethics Institute 2016 Stand Up Award
Penn State students Alanna Kaiser, Nathan Larkin, and Jaden Rankin-Wahlers are being honored respectively for their work in social & environmental justice; organizing efforts to address climate change; and combatting stigmas associated with poverty and homelessness.
Civil engineering’s Searles wins national Chi Epsilon scholarship
When Laura Searles, a junior in civil engineering at Penn State, opened her email inbox and learned that she was recently awarded the 2016 Dexter C. Jameson Jr. National Chi Epsilon Scholarship, she was thrilled.
Student Farm Club holding Local Foods Night, movie screening April 18
The Student Farm Club invites students, faculty and community members to dinner and a movie — Local Foods Night and a free screening of the documentary film “Just Eat It” — on April 18 as part of Penn State’s Earth Week activities.
Community invited to collaborate on Student Farm Initiative April 14
An upcoming “Student Farm Community Check-In” will inform students, administrators, faculty, staff and community members about recent developments in the Student Farm Initiative and seek collaborative input about the future of the student farm. The event will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, in 110 Henderson Building.
Power Dialog to discuss implementation of the Clean Power Plan in PA
The national initiative pairs college students from across the state with key decision makers and legislators
Student elevates wind energy career through online degree program
When Abby Watson first enrolled in Penn State’s Energy and Sustainability Policy (ESP) program, she didn’t realize she would advance her career before completing her degree. Through one course assignment, Watson was able to show her company — Gamesa, a wind industry leader that manufactures wind turbines and maintains wind farms in more than 50 countries — that she was qualified for a newly created position directly related to her studies.
Free screening of 'A Place at the Table' to be held on Nov. 12
It's estimated that 22,000 thousand residents in Centre County do not know where their next meal is coming from. In the United States, fifty million people—one in four children—are also food insecure. Hunger is complex problem and one which could be solved once and for all. The Community Food Security Club and the Student Farm Club will host a free screening and panel discussion of the documentary A Place at the Table on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 from 6:30-9 p.m. in 102 Thomas Building.
General Motors seeks Penn State students for sustainability advisory council
General Motors is seeking Penn State students to serve a two-year term on their Student Sustainability Advisory Council, beginning Jan. 2016.
Penn State to participate in Kill the Cup 2015 University Challenge
Penn State will be one of 16 universities participating in the Kill the Cup 2015 University Challenge, a four-week nationwide campaign that encourages students, staff and faculty across the country to reduce waste from disposable coffee cups.
Local Food Night on Sept. 22 at Redifer to feature student-grown produce
Local Food Night, a once-per-semester dining event, will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, at the Redifer Dining Commons, in the South Food District of Penn State’s University Park campus, This semester's event will be unique -- it will be the first time that student-grown produce has been served in campus dining halls. The newly formed Student Farm Club (SFC) is providing romaine lettuce for the meal.
Penn State student creates H2O-Pal to track water intake
Sophia Anger can’t believe the number of reusable water bottles she’s gone through in her lifetime — at least 70, she estimates. Anger’s not wasteful or absent-minded, she simply has to drink double the daily recommended amount of water to stay healthy.
Taking the water out of a car wash
Taylor Mitcham knew her parents weren’t going to help take care of her new car. Everything was up to her — changing the oil and replacing the spark plugs — and she was especially concerned with keeping it clean.
Become an Eco-Rep for fall 2015
Looking to get involved at Penn State? Become an Eco-Rep! This opportunity is a paid position for first-year students who are passionate about creating a sustainable community. You should apply to be an Eco-Rep if you want to:
Graphic design sophomore wins international poster competition in Berlin
Alexis Arra, sophomore in the graphic design program at Penn State, has won the Betreff Gentner Prize at the 2015 “Water is Life” International Student Poster Competition in Berlin. Arra received a 1,500 Euro prize for her design.
Penn State’s Sustainability Institute to host #sustainPSU event on April 20
Penn State’s Sustainability Institute will host an event titled #sustainPSU in the HUB-Robeson Center on April 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., open to all university students.
The Collective Project highlights Penn State student’s 'Ripple Effect'
Penn State student and Schreyer Honors College scholar Neha Gupta has been selected as one of three students from across the country to be featured in The Collective Project. Sponsored by Microsoft OneNote, The Collective Project highlights the impact of collaboration for the benefit of others.
Penn State electrical engineering alumnus' kiosks bring clean water to India
In 2008, Advait Kumar, a Penn State electrical engineering alumnus, saw something that changed his life. "One day I went to the backyard and I saw all these house workers queuing up to get their turn to fill water from our home," Kumar said. "I didn't understand why they were there."
Class of 2015 opens Solar Panel Array design competition to University community
Penn State's class of 2015 invites members of the University community to participate in a competition to design the Solar Panel Array, the 2015 class gift chosen last fall in a vote by seniors.
Sustainability Institute offering internships for undergraduates
New, part-time internships are available through Penn State’s Sustainability Institute. The Sustainability Institute, founded in 2012, integrates sustainability into the University’s research, teaching, outreach and operations to prepare students, faculty and staff to be sustainability leaders.
Student entrepreneur starts sustainable business
Taylor Mitcham, a senior in mining engineering, was not looking to start a business last winter. Her car needed a wash but as a busy college student, Mitcham didn’t want to waste time sitting in a tunnel car wash. However, she didn’t have a hose at her apartment to clean it herself. She became determined to find a more cost and time efficient way to clean her car.
CHANCE helps in protecting endangered species
Through the Penn State Lehigh Valley CHANCE Program, undergraduate students from across the state help restore native sea turtle populations, dwindling globally as a result of coastal development, climate change, and more. Panama's San San Beach, with its clear water and blue skies, looks like a Caribbean paradise. But underneath its natural beauty is a delicate ecosystem strained by a changing environment. The sea turtles native to this area are currently in danger of extinction.
Marcellus Shale Gallery Crawl will feature students' photography Oct. 2
Juried student work will be on view in a series of exhibitions across campus and downtown State College, collectively titled “Storied Images: Marcellus Shale,” during the Marcellus Shale Gallery Crawl from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2.
Net Impact undergraduate chapter earns accolades from national organization
The Penn State Smeal College of Business undergraduate student chapter of Net Impact, an organization dedicated to sustainability, recently earned the national Net Impact organization’s Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge. In addition, the chapter was granted gold standing by the national organization and named one of the top three undergraduate chapters in the nation. The Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge pitted 76 universities against each other in performing and recording positive social and environmental actions on the myActions social platform. The Penn State team won the national title with 34,731 actions.
Wildlife grad works to protect elephants in Thailand
An elephant roaming free would be a strange sight here in the United States, but in other parts of the world, these gray giants are safer outside of enclosures.
Former student honored posthumously with Sustainability Leadership Tree Award
Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, in conjunction with the Student Sustainability Advisory Council (SSAC), dedicated a dogwood in the Leadership Tree Award grove in memory of former Penn State student Jon Taiclet. Taiclet, a 21-year-old geography honors student and sustainability leader, passed away in 2006 during his tenure as a student at Penn State. Clean energy was a passion of his, having just attended the PA Clean Energy Expo weeks before his passing.
A MOOC for Planet Earth
"An institution like Penn State exists to discover what nobody knows yet, and to share that new knowledge with the public. A MOOC gives us another chance to do just that," said professor Richard Alley. Richard Alley considered “Energy, the Environment, and our Future,” a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) he taught for the first time during spring semester 2014, to be a great laboratory for new teaching ideas. Although it took a lot of effort from the course designers and the overall team, switching from one big stand-alone lecture, typical of some online courses, to dozens of short lectures with multimedia aspects made the course much more interesting to students, he said.
President Barron salutes No. 1 EcoCAR team as 'the Penn State I remember'
Early May 22, Penn State’s Advanced Vehicle Team co-leader Benjamin Sattler and controls leader Chris Monaco drove to Old Main in Penn State’s EcoCAR 2 competition vehicle to pick up Penn State President Eric Barron for a reception at the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute. For the drive from Old Main, it was Barron behind the wheel. Once on site, Barron inspected the vehicle from the outside, spoke with several members of the team and toured the Hybrid Vehicle Garage where the lion’s share of the work for Penn State’s advanced vehicle technologies competitions takes place.
President Barron to headline pre-competition reception for EcoCAR team
Penn State’s Advanced Vehicle Team, overall winners of Year Two of the North American engineering competition EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future will host President Eric Barron at a special send-off reception for the team from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday, May 22, at the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle garage, adjacent to the Larson Institute’ s administrative center at 201 Transportation Research Building.
Penn State comes out on top at inaugural DOE Collegiate Wind Competition
A team of Penn State students nabbed first place at the inaugural U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition May 5 to 7 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. For Penn State's team, Remote Wind Power Systems Unit (PSU), the competition was almost over before it began.Susan Stewart, a principal investigator of the project, explained, "We believe the collet became loose during testing, causing the rotor to spin off in the middle of our third and final practice test in the wind tunnel. We only had one backup blade with us, so for a brief moment we thought we were out of the competition."
Energy engineering students help local companies save on energy costs
A group of Penn State energy engineering students recently teamed with the University’s Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP) to conduct on-site energy audits for two Pennsylvania businesses as part of a senior research project. The audits are being used to help the companies save money by identifying ways to conserve energy and reduce waste in their industrial facilities.
Penn State’s Sustainability Institute hosted Sustainability Unites
Penn State’s Sustainability Institute is hosting an event for students involved in sustainable clubs and organizations on campus. The event, titled Sustainability Unites, was held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. April 15 at the Life Sciences Bridge on the University Park campus of Penn State.
Penn State test pilots reusable takeout container program
Pollock Dining Commons launched the Green2Go Reusable takeout container pilot program on March 19. Students will now have the opportunity to choose between an eco-friendly, reusable container or the traditional polystyrene product when getting a take-out meal.
Students choose to recycle on State Day of Service
Penn State’s Sustainability Institute has partnered with students from Helping Across the Community (HAC) to promote recycling in the downtown area of State College. The recycling event is part of the Penn State Council of LionHearts State Day of Service, which was created as an alternative to State Patty’s Day.
Reusable containers coming soon to dining commons
With busy schedules, students often find it hard to justify sitting down in the dining commons for an extended lunch or dinner. Many students now take advantage of the carryout containers offered in the dining commons. In fact, Pollock goes through 300-400 containers each day. In an effort to be more sustainable, Penn State Food Services has found a solution with reusable plastic containers.
Penn State students join the No Impact sustainability experiment
“No Impact Week is not about telling people to sacrifice something,” said event organizer Andy Narotsky, ’16. “It’s more about being open to a new way of living that is better for both people and the planet.” The No Impact Experiment provides an avenue for students to play an active role in Penn State’s sustainability efforts. “No Impact Week is an easy way to make a difference for the environment and for Penn State. We think it will also lead to a sense of personal fulfillment, and be a lot of fun,” said Narotsky.
New Penn State MOOC explores impact of energy use on climate, economy
Professor Richard Alley travels the world talking about the science behind climate change. But the prize-winning scientist won’t have to leave his office to reach more than 28,000 people around the world who have signed up for Energy, the Environment and Our Future, Penn State’s latest massive open online course, or MOOC. The eight-week course began Jan. 6.
Water research makes waves in annual graduate student sustainability challenge
A diverse team of judges has recognized an interdisciplinary team of graduate students as the grand prize winner of $10,000 in the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA) at Penn State. Abhishek Kar (chemical engineering), Yuxi Meng (energy management and policy), Rajarshi Guha (chemical engineering) and Hasin Feroz (chemical engineering), developed a solution titled “Sustainable Desalination and Water Recycling Using Chemical Micropumps in Membrane Systems.” The faculty adviser for the team was Manish Kumar, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and Darrell Velegol, distinguished professor of chemical engineering.
Course provides immersive experience with Ojibwe tribe in Minnesota
Anyone with an interest in Native American history, culture or lifeways is encouraged to explore a pair of complementary course offerings at Penn State in spring and Maymester 2014. The two courses: CED 497B: Exploring Indigenous Ways of Knowing in the North American Context and CED 497C: Exploring Indigenous Ways of Knowing Among the Ojibwe; offer students a life-changing educational experience.
Environmental major studies marine issues in Bonaire
Alexandra Lukasiewicz got an up-close look at the oceans' mysteries while she studied abroad in Bonaire. A senior environmental resource management major in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, she spent four months -- from August to December 2012 -- in a program offered by the Council on International Educational Exchange designed to get students to work independently on the Caribbean island.
Runkle Hall on a quest for zero waste
The Office of Physical Plant and Housing have worked together on recycling efforts before. But in their quest for "zero waste," one group in particular needed to be included -- students. Starting this semester, Runkle Hall in North Halls is venturing to become zero waste, a goal of reducing trash output to zero -- or to as close to zero as possible.
Graduate students meld science and art together in Borland Gallery exhibition
The Sci-Art Graduate Student Exhibition, a result of a Studio|Lab project designed to bring together graduate students and faculty from a variety of fields to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, will be on display in the Borland Gallery on the Penn State University Park campus, Dec. 2-5. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. An opening night reception will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, in the gallery. The exhibit features scientific and artistic collaborations between graduate students from the colleges of Arts and Architecture, Engineering, Health and Human Development, and the Department of Psychology
GridSTAR Center offers Smart Grid Technical Workshop series at Phila. Navy Yard
Penn State's GridSTAR Center is excited to introduce the Smart Grid Technical Workshop Series that will consist of new and engaging courses for energy industry professionals. All courses will be offered in partnership with Scitor Energy Academy and taught by seasoned professionals.
At Lehigh Valley campus, mobile technology enables biological discovery
As the course title suggests, Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity is meant to introduce students to the study of life in its many and varied forms. For Karen Kackley-Dutt, instructor in biology at Penn State Lehigh Valley, the challenge is sometimes, ironically, bringing the concepts elaborated in text books to life for her students. This fall, Kackley-Dutt looked for an entirely new solution to the problem and found it in the palm of her hand.
HUB Green Roof Terrace chosen as 2014 senior class gift
Penn State’s 2014 Senior Class Gift Committee announced that the class has chosen to support the HUB Green Roof Terrace as its gift to the University. The announcement ceremony was held in the HUB-Robeson Center’s Heritage Hall on the University Park campus.
Concentration in sustainability announced for Penn State Smeal MBA Program
The Penn State Smeal Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Program now offers a formal concentration in Sustainability and Social Innovation. “Sustainability has been an increasing focus for us here in the Penn State Smeal MBA Program, as well as across the University,” said MBA Faculty Director Doug Thomas.
Students take a CHANCE in Panama
Undergraduates and professors conduct global climate change research in Panama as part of Penn State Lehigh Valley's award-winning CHANCE program.They rolled up their sleeves with Smithsonian scientists and visited the Panama Canal and an indigenous village. They explored the biodiversity of mangroves and bird life, observed manatees, and participated in sea turtle conservation.
Century-old brick gets new life in kiln
In the rush to embrace the latest technologies, we can easily overlook the potential in discarded and surplus materials. Penn State students and faculty in the ceramics area of the School of Visual Arts have explored this potential by constructing a new ceramic kiln that is made up almost entirely of recycled components.
New students get a hands-on introduction to sustainability
Penn State orientation programs give first-year students a chance to connect with nature and participate in community service projects while making friendships that will ease the transition from home to college.
Penn State students' affordable greenhouse effort helping African farmers
An ongoing project by students in the College of Engineering's Humanitarian and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) program is helping Africans move beyond subsistence farming by developing affordable, inexpensive greenhouses. "The project aims to bring subsistence farmers to small-scale farming," explained Arianna De Reus, project team member and a junior in Community, Environment and Development in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Graduate student studying ecological impacts of increased noise on animals
Humans are not conditioned to think about sound as a tangible, measurable entity. For the majority of us, it simply becomes part of the background, secondary to our more informative visual environment. But for Jenny Tennessen, a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology, sound is the basis for her graduate research in the field of bioacoustics, and is something that has always intrigued her.
Earth and Mineral Sciences freshmen study sustainability in Jamaica
Sixteen freshmen started their Penn State experience this summer with an excursion to Jamaica for nine days as part of an international travel component of “Sustainability in Jamaica,” a course offered through the Learning Edge Academic Program (LEAP) and the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS).
Geography course shows there's more to national parks than meets the eye
Do your vacation plans include a visit to a national park? There are 18 national parks within Pennsylvania in a national park system comprised of more than 400 areas in every state.
Penn State Smeal MBA program's Net Impact chapter granted gold standing
The Penn State Smeal College of Business MBA Program's Net Impact student organization has been awarded Gold standing by the Net Impact network, an honor granted this year to only 24 percent of the 300 chapters worldwide.
Ancient filtering system brings clean water to poor and others
What do American citizens who live along the Texas/Mexico border, survivors of natural disasters, and residents of impoverished communities around the globe have in common? They all suffer from inadequate access to clean, safe, potable water. Artist, professor, and activist B. Stephen Carpenter II, professor-in-charge of Penn State’s Art Education program, advocates that one solution to providing drinkable water is both simplistic and affordable and based on an ancient technique.
Student has passion for water
The pollution of the Minnesota River is hardly something to celebrate. However, when it became the topic of Sarah Tzilkowski’s paper in an undergraduate writing course, the scientific community gained an incredibly passionate and inspiring student and researcher.
Forest science major immersed in emerald ash borer research
In 1978, Kim Steiner, professor of forest biology at Penn State, worked with colleagues to plant 2,000 ash trees on the University Park campus. Today, student Chelsea Kyler is conducting research in that plantation, which was established years before she was born.
Penn State undergrads win first place in national EcoCar 2 competition
The Penn State Advanced Vehicle Team took top honors among 15 North American universities in Year Two of the competition known as EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future, which took place during the week of May 20 in Yuma, AZ., and San Diego, CA.
Arresting student photographs develop environmental consciousness
"Developing Environmental Consciousness," an exhibition featuring photos by Penn State students in the Photography and the Environment course was on display earlier this year. Photography and the Environment is an advanced-level pilot course taught by Katarin Parizek, assistant professor of art.
Friday Night Lights Out!
Every Friday night, 20 to 30 student volunteers gather at the HUB-Robeson Center on the University Park campus. They are assigned to targeted buildings, where they turn out lights that were left on in public areas such as classrooms, study rooms and lounges.
Nittany Lion tests the future of electric vehicles
Electric vehicles are no longer science fiction. They have arrived, and Penn State is charged up about them. Penn State students already participate in the EcoCar2 Challenge, a multi-collegiate competition sponsored by General Motors (GM) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and they are always on the look out for new technologies.
Penn State joins national competition to reduce electricity use on campus
From March 25 through April 14, Penn State will join more than 200 universities and colleges nationwide in a competition to achieve the greatest electricity reductions in their residence halls over a three-week period. Fight the Power: The East Halls Energy Challenge is part of Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) 2013.
Students devote spring break to sustainability in Honduras
Last weekend, Penn State engineering students left for Honduras to spend spring break designing, building and installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of a day care center in Roatán.
Student Sustainability Reaches Summit
Penn State students recently hosted their first Sustainability Summit. This student-led event asked attendees "If Penn State were recognized as a world leader in sustainability, what would our campus look like?" and "What do you [students, student organizations] need to make that vision a reality?"