Erin Cassidy Hendrick

Associate Producer

Erin Cassidy Hendrick was an associate producer at WPSU. She produced the programs “BookMark” and “This I Believe” for the station.

She grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York, which is a small town located just north of New York City.

After graduating from Penn State with a degree in Media Studies, Erin completed an internship at WPSU-TV. She has a wide array of production experience, mostly with live video and print media. 

Democratic challenger Kerith Strano-Taylor (left) and Republican Congressman Glenn Thompson appear in a debate on October 15, 2016.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

With Election Day fast approaching, the candidates for Pennsylvania's fifth congressional district squared off in a debate.

Speaking from WPSU’s studio on Penn State’s University Park campus, Democratic challenger Kerith Strano-Taylor spoke about how she’d handle the current student debt crisis. She said, “I’m a huge proponent that students that come from families that earn under $125,000 a year get to go to college tuition-free.”

In the aftermath of a sexual assault, victims often don’t know what to expect. Even reporting an assault can be a traumatic process.

But for the past 15 years, State College has been trying to change that for victims who report at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

As soon as someone shows up at the hospital and reports a sexual assault, they are brought into a private exam room and shown a video. It says, “We are here to help you. You are not alone. You are safe now. Right now, a sexual assault response team, or SART, is gathering to provide individualized care for you.”

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.

I picked up Paula Hawkin’s “The Girl on the Train” after I saw a trailer for the upcoming movie. I’m a sucker for film adaptations – I love reading and seeing how the story translates to film. Though, like most people, I usually think the book is far superior. But that doesn’t stop me. I downloaded the book and found myself finishing it in a few days.

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.

Chelsea Clinton visits her mother's campaign headquarters in downtown State College on September 7, 2016.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

Chelsea Clinton spoke to a packed room of volunteers and thanked them for their support of her mother, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. 

She spoke about her grandfather, who graduated from Penn State in 1935, and her grandmother who wished she was able to finish college as he did. 

She also stressed the need to register young people in Pennsylvania to vote in the coming election. 

Graham Spanier and Jerry Sandusky
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.

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, arrives at the Centre County Courthouse for an appeals hearing about whether he was improperly convicted four years ago, in Bellefonte, Pa. Friday, Aug. 12, 2016.

Tuesday's hearing called witnesses from the prosecution of Sandusky’s case.  Much of the questioning focused on whether Sarah Ganim, the journalist who broke the story, got her information from an illegal grand jury leak.

Two of the prosecutors said Ganim’s source could have been a grand jury witness. They were legally able to talk about the case to anyone.

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Katie McGinty addresses the crowd at Penn State's Ag Progress Days on August 17, 2016.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

McGinty spoke at the Penn State agriculture event about many of her campaign platforms – including the need to increase funding for public universities like Penn State.

She said, “Let’s get real – we were this close to getting a public college being public in name only.  Ten percent of the cost of college coming from public support? That’s a burden on families and students, we need to invest in public colleges and universities and I will fight for those dollars.”

Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey speaks with supporters at Champs Sports Grill in State College, Pa. on August 16, 2016.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

During a campaign event, incumbent Republican Senator Pat Toomey spoke out against Pennsylvania’s sanctuary cities and President Obama’s Iran deal. The appearance was a part of his “Keeping PA Safe” bus tour.

Toomey’s also been criticized for not fully endorsing Donald Trump for president - but he doesn’t think it’s significant for his re-election.

The State College borough council meeting on August 1, 2016.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

The State College borough council voted to reduce simple marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to a summary offense. 

State College police chief Tom King says this will likely not have a big impact on the borough’s police force. He said, “It will be used very infrequently because we have very few cases that are only small amounts of marijuana.”

In a video released yesterday, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty said she supports the ordinance. 

The State College borough council at their meeting on May 2, 2016.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

At a State College borough council meeting in May, Mill Creek resident Christy Billett made an emotional appeal to the board, telling them how getting charged with marijuana possession derailed her life. 

A group of panelist discussed Centre County's growing heroin epidemic in Mount Nittany Medical Center on July 26, 2016.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

Over 200 people attended a town hall meeting to discuss the growing epidemic of heroin and opioid drug addiction in Centre County. A group of panelists ranging from law enforcement, medical professionals and public health officials focused on raising awareness and the need to treat drug addiction as a disease.

Event organizer Susan Prill holds a sign to Arts Fest patrons saying "#EndWhiteSilence."
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

At Penn State’s Allen Street gates, about a dozen demonstrators held signs directed to the crowds taking in Arts Fest events. The signs had phrases like “White Silence = Violence” and “Black lives matter to me.”

Susan Prill organized the event. She and all the other demonstrators were white. She said, We’re not here to disrupt, we’re just here to get some more eyes on the message and try to get white people to continue the conversation.”

Undeveloped land
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

A key hearing took place in Bellefonte in the fight over a planned student housing complex named “The Cottages at State College.”

Jordan Yeager, the lawyer representing a group of Ferguson township residents who live near the proposed development, argued the plans for the complex encroach on an adjacent area zoned as agricultural. He said, “What they want to do is put the storm water management facilities that are a part of this massive development in a zoning district where that development isn’t allowed.”

Left: the cover of "Before the Fall." Right: Erin Cassidy Hendrick
Right: Emily Reddy/WPSU

If you’re looking for a book to read on the beach this summer, look no further than the newest release from Noah Hawley. He’s not just an author – he’s also a TV writer and producer. He’s even won Emmy awards for writing and it shows in his newest book, “Before the Fall.” It’s a mystery novel, weaving between past and present, innocence and guilt and life and death.

Misha Demchuk (right third), a senior at Penn State, leaned onto Aaron Kreider (right second) during the “Stand in Solidarity” vigil on Penn State’s University Park campus on June 13th, 2016.
Min Xian / WPSU

Over a hundred people gathered on Penn State University Park’s campus last night to memorialize the victims of the recent mass shooting. It was named “Stand in Solidarity With Orlando,” and it also served to show support for the LGBTQA community.

Kelli Hoover gives a presentation at the fundraising event on June 3.
Talia Cowen / WPSU

The Nittany Valley Water Coalition held an event Friday at a private residence to support their lawsuit against the Ferguson Township Council and the real estate company the Toll Brothers. About 60 people were in attendance to hear the group’s plans to stop the new student housing development in State College.

CBICC Connect hosted a luncheon on Friday, May 20 to release the findings from their survey of young professionals.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

Young professionals want to see some changes in Centre county – things like affordable housing and food trucks.

That’s according to a survey released Friday by CBICC Connect, an off-shoot of the chamber for young professionals. Their recent survey of 149 young professionals in the area aimed to get to know that group and what they want.

Penn State President Eric Barron says employees will see increases in what they pay toward healthcare, but they can also likely expect raises this year. Barron released this information in a series of videos to staff and faculty members to mark the end of the spring semester.

State College residents heard plans to improve and add bike paths in the region on May 17, 2016.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick

Centre County non-profit Centre Bike held a meeting last night to update residents on their plan to create a more bike-friendly State College.  

Representatives from several townships presented plans to improve existing bike paths and create new ones.

Centre Bike president Anna Nelson believes there are many positives to creating a bike-friendly community.

The State College Borough Council meeting on May 2nd, 2016.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

Last night, the State College Borough Council held a public hearing on a proposal to reduce penalties for marijuana possession within the borough from a misdemeanor to a fine.

The audience was overwhelmingly in favor, with only 2 community members speaking against the ordinance.

Penn State College Democrats President Veronica Weyhrauch spoke in favor. “These are young people trying to start their lives, trying to start their careers and they shouldn’t be burdened with a misdemeanor,” she said.

McGinty high-fiving supporter
Jacqueline Larma / AP Photo

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton claimed victories in Pennsylvania and continued on a path to earn their respective presidential nominations.

For the general election in November, few races are as important to the Democrats as the US Senate race in Pennsylvania.

Terry Madonna, the director of the center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College, says it’s one of the seats Democrats have a real chance to re-capture in their effort to take control of the Senate.

“So these are the seats that we’re all gonna be watching pretty closely. Pennsylvania is literally one of the top five,” Madonna said.

Zahi "Zee" Elhaj in Chrome, the hookah bar and lounge he owns.
Frank Christopher / WPSU

At sandwich shop ‘Are U Hungry’ in downtown State College, the restaurant’s specialty is known as “fat sandwiches.” There’s steak, cheese, a chicken finger, 2 mozzarella sticks, bacon and ranch dressing in the “Fat Lion.”

Zahi Elhaj said, “They have very unique names as well. Some of them are…probably can’t mention them on the radio. That’s what makes us a late night place, too.” He opened the restaurant in 2005.

Born in Lebanon, Elhaj first moved to the United States to attend Rider University in New Jersey. He dropped out of college as a senior to open “Are U Hungry.”

Democratic Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders speaks at Rec Hall on Penn State University Park's campus.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

Bernie Sanders addressed a crowd of over six and a half thousand people in Penn State’s Rec Hall. Sanders talked about the New York primary. He criticized the state’s voting laws barring registered independents from voting in primaries.

Sanders also looked ahead to next week’s primary in Pennsylvania.

“Let us have the highest voter turnout in Pennsylvania history. And let Pennsylvania go forward and tell the world, you are going to lead this country into a political revolution,” he said.

Visit the multi-media side of the Reasons to Stay project.

WPSU is taking a look at how central Pennsylvanians decide whether to make their home here or move on, in our new series “Reasons to Stay.” Big Spring Spirits is a micro-distillery and cocktail lounge in Bellefonte. Kevin Lloyd is a co-owner and operator of the business. After a career as an analytical chemist, Lloyd set out to open a small business – and he was able to do it all while calling Centre County home.

Deputy Secretary of the PA Department of Community & Economic Development Sheri Collins, Manager of the Borough of State College Tom Fountaine, Penn State President Eric Barron, Penn State Vice President for Research Neil Sharkey, the Nittany Lion mascot,
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

There was a spirit of celebration in downtown State College yesterday. It wasn’t a pep rally – it was the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new start-up accelerator named Happy Valley LaunchBox.

It’s a part of the “Invent Penn State” program the university started last year, but it’s not just for students. Here’s how it works – business start-ups pitch their ideas and if approved, they receive up to nine months of free office space, a 10-week business class and professional legal and marketing advice.