Penn State

Dr. Jill Biden speaks at podium.
Stuart Ramson / AP Images for UN Foundation

 

Many know Dr. Jill Biden as the former Second Lady of the United States. But during Biden’s talk last night at Penn State, she gave the audience a glimpse into her personal life.

Biden shared struggles like losing her son to brain cancer and a friend to breast cancer.

Nancy Chiswick says she was inspired by Biden’s stories.

Old Main, an administrative building and landmark of Penn State's University Park campus.
Lindsay Lazarski / Keystone Crossroads

The ongoing budget impasse in Harrisburg has been especially frustrating to Pennsylvania’s state-related universities, which have been counting on a roughly $650 million allocation from the state to subsidize lower tuition rates for students who live in the commonwealth.

The allocation is negotiated and approved yearly by lawmakers, and this year, in the midst of a long-overdue budget plan, there remains no consensus on how to pay for it.

Members of the Penn State Puerto Rican Student Association stand with the Puerto Rican flag.
PRSA

Arianna Del Valle, a Penn State sophomore from Puerto Rico, described the terror of not being able to reach her family for days.

“I called my mom, my dad, my grandma, and like, the more people I called and the more they didn’t pick up, the more I panicked,” Del Valle said.

Del Valle is part of the Penn State Puerto Rican Student Association, which is trying to raise awareness of the devastation following Hurricane Maria.

Del Valle finally heard from her mom while she was in French class.

Students sign the anti-hazing pledge Wednesday afternoon.
Michael Cavallaro / IFC

In the wake of Penn State fraternity member Timothy Piazza’s hazing death in February, the Interfraternity Council is hosting Anti-Hazing Week.

At the bustling HUB-Robeson Center Wednesday afternoon, students signed a pledge against hazing.

Devon McDuffy signed the pledge. She said after what happened to Piazza, the community must come together to understand hazing has always been a problem.

Image showing paper plates, chip bags, and other trash among recyclable glass and plastic bottles
Amy Schirf / CCRRA

Amy Schirf pointed out the trash among the recyclables on the sorting line at the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority.

“We get a lot of pom poms, a lot of purses…there’s part of a cooler, bags of buns,” she said.

It's the first work day after Penn State's home game against Georgia State on Saturday and workers are sorting through the contents of the blue recyclables bags from the tailgate fields.

Old Main building at Penn State
WPSU

Whether graduate assistants at Penn State can vote on unionizing has been the focus of hearings the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board is holding in State College. The hearings are scheduled to end Wednesday.

Liana Glew is a graduate assistant in the English Department at Penn State and record keeper for the Coalition of Graduate Employees. She wants to make the university a better place for all graduate employees.

Timothy Piazza's parents as they entered the courthouse this morning in Bellefonte.
Min Xian / WPSU

A judge has dropped all involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges for the 18 Penn State fraternity members charged in the death of pledge Timothy Piazza. Some defendants are going to trial for lesser charges. 

The most serious charges of the case have been dismissed by Judge Allen Sinclair, but 14 defendants are still going to trial for hazing and furnishing. Seven also face reckless endangerment charges. 

Defense attorney Michael Engle says his client, Gary DiBileo, knows there’s no winner in the case.

Penn State senior Cecilia McGough has created the world's first nonprofit specifically supporting college students with schizophrenia.
Christina Platt

College students are at the prime age for the onset of schizophrenia. At Penn State University Park, senior Cecilia McGough is starting the world’s first nonprofit specifically supporting college students suffering from schizophrenia.

Early on in her college career, Cecilia McGough was working a job in downtown State College. But her schizophrenia was causing her to miss shifts at work. Up until this point, she had been giving her boss excuses like food poisoning or a faulty alarm.

Thomas Kline at podium
Emily Reddy / WPSU

The preliminary hearing continues Tuesday for 18 Penn State fraternity members in the hazing-related death of pledge Timothy Piazza. 

Centre County DA Stacy Parks Miller spent the morning on Monday outlining the involvement of each Beta Theta Pi member charged in Piazza’s death. They face charges that include aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

Stacy Parks Miller talks to reporters at the end of the first day of the preliminary hearing in the trial of fraternity members in the hazing-related death of Timothy Piazza. The detective on the case, David Scicchitano from the State College police depar
Emily Reddy / WPSU

A judge, lawyers and the fraternity members facing charges surrounding the death of Penn State sophomore Timothy Piazza watched hours of video footage in a preliminary hearing Monday. The judge ordered a continuance as the trial was nearing its eleventh hour.

Sixteen fraternity brothers and their lawyers overflowed into the gallery of the courtroom.

Penn State president Eric Barron
Ralph Wilson / AP Photo

Penn State president Eric Barron says the university will become a national leader in reforming the college fraternity and sorority system. That’s after the hazing-related death of Penn State sophomore Timothy Piazza at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller at podium next to a photo of Timothy Piazza and with his parents in person
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Penn State’s Beta Theta Pi and 18 members of the fraternity are being charged in the February death of a fellow fraternity member. The Centre County District Attorney announced the charges and held the first of the arraignments Friday after a months-long Grand Jury investigation.

Centre County DA Stacy Parks Miller described the night fraternity pledge Timothy Piazza fell down a flight of stairs as a gauntlet of drinking events.

Min Xian / WPSU

Asghar Gholizadeh is an Iranian scholar at Penn State. He came to the U.S. in 2013 to pursue a PhD in civil and environmental engineering on a full ride scholarship. Gholizadeh said coming to the United States was not easy.

“When you migrate from your country, you sell everything you have. You break all of your connections over time," Gholizadeh said. "When you come here, you build a new life. You want to get something out of it.” 

Graham Spanier photo on left. Jerry Sandusky photo on right.
Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

Lawyers for former Penn State President Graham Spanier have rested without calling any witnesses.

He's facing charges for failing to a report a 2001 incident involving the sexual abuse of a child.

Closing arguments focused on what Spanier knew about Jerry Sandusky. Spanier's lawyers say he was told Mike McQueary saw Jerry Sandusky in a university shower on a Friday night with a boy, and described it as horseplay.

They point out no witness testified that Spanier was told sexual contact occurred between Sandusky and the child.

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier surrounded by reporters
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

(Harrisburg) -- In the Dauphin County Courthouse, the child endangerment case against former Penn State President Graham Spanier is entering its second phase. The prosecution has rested, and now it’s the defense’s turn.

The case will resume Thursday, although it’s unclear who Spanier’s lawyers plan to call and whether the defendant himself will speak. 

The information presented over the last two days has spanned nearly two decades, beginning with Penn State’s first child abuse investigation of Sandusky in 1998.

Tim Curley
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

(Harrisburg) – The primary witnesses for the prosecution are testifying Wednesday in the child endangerment trial of former Penn State President Graham Spanier.

Spanier’s charged with failing to act aggressively enough to prevent football coach Jerry Sandusky from serially abusing young boys.

One of those witnesses—former Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley—handled the case alongside Spanier, and has already said he wishes he did more.

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier surrounded by reporters
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

(Harrisburg) -- There’s just one criminal trial left in court related to the child sex abuse case that has surrounded former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky since 2011.

It's the trial of former Penn State President Graham Spanier, who is charged with handling the abuse improperly. 

When allegations that Sandusky was abusing young boys surfaced in 2001, Spanier and others didn't report it to authorities, opting instead to handle it as an internal matter.

Tim Curley and Gary Schultz
Brad Bower, left; Matt Rourke, right / AP Photo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Two former Penn State University administrators have pleaded guilty in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case, more than five years after the scandal broke.

Ex-Athletic Director Tim Curley and former university Vice President Gary Schultz each pleaded guilty Monday in Harrisburg to a misdemeanor child endangerment charge.

Penn State ex-President Graham Spanier is also charged in the case, but he's not in court.

Fraternity Charter Revoked Following Student Death

Feb 17, 2017
Old Main building at Penn State
WPSU

Penn State has revoked the charter of fraternity Beta Theta Pi effective immediately. The ban will last at least five years and may become permanent based on the results of a criminal investigation into the February 3rd death of student Timothy Piazza.

Piazza fell down a flight of stairs at the chapter house, and was not taken to the hospital until 12 hours later. His death is the focus of a criminal investigation by the State College Police Department and an internal investigation by the Office of Student Conduct.

 

Jerry Zolten
Photo courtesy of Jerry Zolten

Jerry Zolten, Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences and American Studies at Penn State Altoona, will share his music and pop culture knowledge Saturday night on the nationally-syndicated  program "American Routes" from PRX!  You can hear the show Saturday night, February 11, from 8:00 to 10:00 on WPSU-FM.

Judge Sets March Trial For 3 Penn State Ex-Administrators

Feb 2, 2017
Gary Schultz, Graham Spanier and Tim Curley
AP Photos

Three former Penn State administrators are headed for trial next month on criminal charges related to how they handled the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

On Wednesday, Judge John Boccabella set jury selection for March 20 in the criminal trial of former university President Graham Spanier, former Vice President Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley.

They're charged with endangering the welfare of children.

Boccabella is throwing out a charge of failure to properly report suspected abuse, saying the statute of limitations has expired.

protest
Min Xian / WPSU

Members of the Penn State community gathered on Old Main lawn Tuesday to show opposition to president-elect Donald Trump. Many of the protestors said they were concerned by increasing divisiveness in the United States. 

A group of students started marching from the HUB Robeson Center on Penn State’s University Park campus on Tuesday. They circled around central campus for about ten minutes, holding signs and doing chants such as “Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay” and “say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here.”

Old Main building at Penn State
WPSU

The U.S. Department of Education is hitting Penn State with a record $2.4 million fine for violating a law that requires colleges and universities to report campus crimes and warn people if their safety is threatened.

The fine announced Thursday was the result of a five-year federal investigation into how Penn State officials handled complaints about former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky before he was charged in 2011 with child molestation.

This week in a three-part series, WPSU is looking at reporting sexual assault in Centre County. Colleges across the country have built up a variety of resources for students. Today we take a look at how dealing with sexual assault has changed in recent years at Penn State.

Last fall, over three days, three different students told Penn State professor Charlotte Eubanks they’d been sexually assaulted.

The comparative literature professor says what one of them in particular told her has stuck with her like lead.

A video presentation launching the "All In at Penn State" program plays on the Old Main facade on Penn State's University Park campus on October 6, 2016.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

Penn State held the official kick-off event for its new diversity and inclusion initiative, “All In at Penn State,” in front of Old Main. The presentation included colorful video projections splashed across the building’s facade and even a special Snapchat filter for attendees.

The university hopes the event will spark a renewed focus on welcoming underrepresented groups and voices. Penn State president Eric Barron spoke about what the “All In” program means.

Jill Stein in front of a "Green Party" banner.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein visited Penn State Wednesday to ask for votes and volunteers.

She talked to an audience of about 200 about her support for environmental movements, Black Lives Matter and free public education. Stein rejected the idea that voting for a third party was throwing away a vote.

“I won’t sleep well if Donald Trump gets elected. And I won’t sleep well if Hillary Clinton gets elected,” Stein said. “But we live in a democracy. We have more than two deadly choices. We can stand up for the democracy that we need.”

Peter Buckland recounts his memories of the HUB Lawn Shooting for an oral history recording on September 16, 2016.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

September 17, 1996 is a painful date for many who were attending Penn State, including Peter Buckland. He said, “The community was , I would say, totally floored. I mean, I was.”

It was the day State College resident Jillian Robbins opened fire on the lawn of the HUB student union on the University Park campus, killing one student and wounding another.

In this Jan. 22, 2012 file photo, a woman pays her respects at a statue of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium on the Penn State University campus after learning of his death in State College, Pa. Paterno was 85.
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Since the Sandusky scandal, Penn State hasn’t publicly commemorated former head football coach, Joe Paterno. That will change this Saturday at the matchup against Temple - and it’s reignited a debate about how and if Paterno should be recognized.

“We thought it was too soon, it was insensitive and just not the right time.”

Lauren Davis is the opinions editor at the Penn State student newspaper, The Daily Collegian. She recently wrote an editorial arguing against the tribute.

In this photo combo, at left, in an Oct. 8, 2011 file photo, Penn State president Graham Spanier walks on the field before an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. At right, former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky l
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Prosecutors say former Penn State administrators should still stand trial for their involvement in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. 

Based on documents made public Wednesday, the prosecution rejected arguments made by Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley that the charges against them should be dismissed.

One of defense’s arguments was the statute of limitations in the case had expired. In their response, the prosecution said that by not reporting the suspected child abuse in 2001, the two-year timeframe never started.

3D printer
Min Xian / WPSU

Researchers at Penn State's Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences are taking 3D printing from a novelty to an orthopedic tool. The team is developing a method of 3D printing with cartilage cells to create implants for joints such as the knee and elbow.

On a visit to his lab, Associate Professor of engineering Ibrahim Ozbolat showed several of his lab's bioprinters to physicians from Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

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