Kristine Allen

Program Director

Kristine Allen is Program Director of WPSU-FM.  She also files feature stories for WPSU on the arts, culture, science, and more. When she's not at WPSU, Kris enjoys playing folk fiddle, acting, singing and portrait-sketching.  She is also a self-confessed "science geek."  Kris started working in public radio in college, at age 17, and says she "just couldn't stop."

Ways to Connect

courtesy of the McCourtney Institute at Penn State / McCourtney Institute

NPR Political Commentator E.J. Dionne is also a Washington Post Columnist, and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.  He is an author of 7 books, and most recently co-author of “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported.”  Dionne says President Trump has flouted the norms of democracy and the presidency.  And he offers ideas about renewing civic engagement, and how the U.S. can move forward after the Trump era.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear a suite from Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland, from the 2018 Penn’s Woods Music Festival; a song titled “The Snow,” by Sir. Edward Elgar, performed by the Oriana Singers; the Piano Concerto No.

Bruce Zinger / Tafelmusik

Thursday night at Penn State, University Park, the Baroque orchestra, Tafelmusik, teams up with Trio Arabica for a concert called "Tales of Two Cities: The Leipzig-Damascus Coffee House." WPSU's Kristine Allen reports on the show's blend of European and Arabic music, images, and narration.

Elaine Meder Wilgus served as emcee for Nerd Nite (wearing a dress she made from a book).
Bill Arden / Bill Arden

“Nerd Nite” has come to Central Pennsylvania! The first event in a monthly series took place last week State College.

Semih Eser, a professor of Energy and Geo-Environmental Engineering, started off the evening with Turkish music on guitar. He played to a capacity crowd, gathered for the inaugural Nerd Nite at Webster’s Bookstore Café.

“I’m at Nerd Nite because I want to be surrounded by my fellow nerds,” said Bill Arden of State College, a retired college astronomy teacher. He sat at a table in the back.

What does Arden think of when he hears the word “nerd?” 

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear a sonata in B-flat by Johann David Heinichen and the Piano Trio No. 2 in C by Johannes Brahms, both from the 2018 Penns Woods Music Festival; and the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Sens, played by the Penn State Philharmonic, Gerardo Edelstein, conducting, with Alma Bulibekova, a winner of Penn State’s concerto competition.

Sybarite 5 / courtesy of the artists

The eclectic string quintet Sybarite 5 plays at Penn State's Schwab Auditorium tonight at 7:30.  When the group played at Penn State in 2016, WPSU's Kristine Allen filed this report on the group.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

A vigil was held in downtown State College Monday afternoon for the victims of last week's mass shooting at P.J. Harrigan's and at a home near the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in State College.  More than 50 people attended, bundled against the cold, to honor those affected by the tragedy. 

Keith Srakocic / Associated Press

A weekend storm headed for Pennsylvania could pack a wallop of snow, followed by bitter cold, high winds and icy conditions, making travel hazardous and power outages possible.

The storm should sweep into western Pennsylvania on Saturday morning, tracking its way across the state by afternoon.  As of Friday afternoon, most of the state was under a winter storm warning from 1:00 p.m. Saturday through 1:00 p.m. Sunday.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear the Penn State Philharmonic playing the Overture to The Flying Dutchman; The Penn State Symphonic Band in “Hymn to a Blue Hour” by contemporary composer John Mackey; and musicians from the Penns Woods Music Festival playing the Septet in D Minor by Johann Nepomuk Hummel.

Lucinda Dickens Hawksley / Lucinda Dickens Hawksley

In this edition of Take Note, WPSU’s Kristine Allen speaks with Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, the great, great, great granddaughter of Charles Dickens.  Hawksley is also an author in her own right.  One of her many books, “Dickens’s Artistic Daughter Katey: Her Life, Loves and Impact,” has recently been updated with new information.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear the Bach motet, “Komm, Jesu, komm,” sung by the Penn State Concert Choir, directed by Christopher Kiver; and the Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” by Antonin Dvorak, performed by the Penns Woods Music Festival Orchestra, conducted by Gerardo Edelstein.

AP / Associated Press

Join us to celebrate New Year's Eve Monday night with special programs from 7:00pm to midnight on WPSU-FM.  You'll find the complete list of specials below the fold.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

The great, great, great granddaughter of Charles Dickens, Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, is an author, lecturer and award-winning travel writer. She also has a masters degree in art history. She is on Penn State’s University Park Campus Thursday, December 6th to give a talk on “Dickens and Christmas,” at 4:00 in Paterno Library. She spoke with WPSU’s Kristine Allen about the publication of “A Christmas Carol.”

The Penn State Concert Choir in rehearsal.
Kristine Allen / WPSU

On the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, France, Great Britain and Germany signed the Armistice.  It was an agreement that ended the fighting of WWI as a prelude to peace negotiations. 

On Sunday, the day of that centennial, the Penn State Concert Choir will perform “MEMORIA: A Cantata for the Centenary of the Armistice.”  It was written by composer Scott Eggert, who lives in Annville, Pennsylvania.

Eggert was commissioned to create this music especially for the Armistice anniversary.  He says he was free not just to write the music, but to choose his own texts.

image: Associated Press

Tuesday (November 6) is Election Day.  The polls in Pennsylvania will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. To find your polling place, and for other helpful information, visit

Here are some helpful information and links for Election Day from the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro:

Photo: Penn State Law

David Frum is a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine, and a former speechwriter for George W. Bush.  He's a conservative, a Republican, and a fierce critic of President Trump.  His latest book is "Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic," which is out in paperback on October 9th.  In the book, Frum talks about the factors that led to the rise of Donald Trump, and other leaders like him around the globe.

Frum spoke with WPSU while visiting Penn State for a talk at Penn State Law.

Shirley Pechter, who performed at age 8 with the ensemble that later became the Altoona Symphony, looks at the orchestra's 90th anniversary program.
Teresa Cheung / Altoona Symphony

This Saturday, the Altoona Symphony Orchestra will officially open its 90th anniversary season with a concert at the Mishler Theatre in Altoona.

And there is a woman who was there at the start back in 1928. Shirley Pechter, now 97 years old, was part of the Altoona Symphony at the very beginning, when it was just a small group of musicians. Pechter spoke with WPSU's Story Corps in Altoona in 2013. 

"Russell Gerhart was the violin maestro in Altoona," Pechter said.  "And he started what he called an ensemble, which was a group of six of his students."

Photo: Kristine Allen, WPSU

An American and a Russian vie for the World Chess Championship on stage as FUSE Productions presents the musical, "Chess," Thursday through Saturday, September 13-15,  at Penn State's Schwab Auditorium. WPSU's Kristine Allen reports the story blends intrigue, romance, a score that incorporates several musical genres, and of course, chess.

photo: courtesy of Steven Getz

Live jazz and a juried art show will take over Main Street in Lock Haven this weekend, at the 3rd annual Lock Haven Jazz and Art on Main Street Festival, or “JAMS” for short.

“It’s all in the same block, because we actually close it off,” says Carol Ann Simon Cillo, a mixed media artist and president of the Clinton County Arts Council.  She’s a co-founder of the festival.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program showcasing performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear a Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano by Andre Caplet, from the 2016 season of Music at Penns Woods; and the Symphony No. 3 by Franz Schubert, played by the Penn State Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Gerardo Edelstein, in October of 2016. 

Photo: Kristine Allen, WPSU

Hundreds of citizens braved near 90-degree heat in State College on Saturday to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies. The sidewalk in front of the Allen Street gates, bordering Penn State’s University Park Campus, couldn’t hold the crowd. Some stood on the grass behind the gates, others held their homemade signs across the street. 

Photo: Min Xian, WPSU

John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, visited State College on Tuesday.  He attended two private events: a meeting with the Latino community, and a fundraising dinner for the Centre County Democrats. He and his wife, Gisele Fetterman, stopped by our studios to speak with WPSU’s Kristine Allen.

John Fetterman is currently the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania.

He was born and raised in the state, and holds a masters degree in public policy from Harvard.  The first time he was elected mayor, back in 2005, he won by a slim margin.

Photo: Courtesy of Capital Concerts

WPSU-FM invites you to celebrate Independence Day with us.  Join us for the following special programs on Wednesday, July 4.

Reading of the Declaration of Independence during Morning Edition - 5-9 a.m.

NPR voices will read the Declaration in a long-standing Morning Edition tradition.  Listen for your favorite NPR hosts!

Science and the Fourth of July – 1 p.m.

Photo: WPSU

WPSU-FM recently took-home several national awards for news and documentary programming from Public Radio News Directors Inc.  PRNDI announced the winners at its 2018 awards c banquet on Saturday, June 23, 2018.  The awards are given for work produced in 2017.  A total of 193 awards were presented to local stations at the PRNDI Awards Banquet at the DoubleTree Center City in Philadelphia, PA.  WPSU’s work was recognized in Division C (Stations with 1 to 3 full-time news staff). 

Here is a list of the awards won by WPSU-FM:

photo: Kristine Allen, WPSU

A medical marijuana dispensary opened in State College Thursday. And it’s already doing a brisk business.

Angel Rodriguez is co-manager of Nature’s Medicines on North Atherton Street in State College. He says when the dispensary opened at 11:00am Thursday, there were scores of people already in line.

“We’ve had over a hundred and something people walk through our doors,” Rodriguez said, “asking questions, coming into to see what we are, what we represent, and picking up medication so it’s been a very good day for us.”

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania regulators have decided how they will disburse nearly $210 million that was raised last year from fees on Marcellus Shale gas wells.

The state's Public Utility Commission announced its plans Thursday.

photo: Kristine Allen, WPSU

State College has hosted a summer arts festival for decades.  And a brand new festival comes to town June 22-24, 2018. WPSU’s Kristine Allen reports the first annual "Central PA Theatre and Dance Fest," includes more than 100 events, held at various venues in and around downtown State College.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, we’ll hear a Bach viola da gamba sonata, played on viola and piano by two Penn State faculty members; “Capriccio Espangol” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov played by the Penn State Philharmonic; and from Music at Penn’s Woods 2017, we’ll hear a ballet suite from “Mother Goose” by Maurice Ravel, and a violin duo with an amazing cover of the hit song, “Hotel California” by the Eagles!

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, we’ll hear an instrumental suite from the opera “Orfeo ed Euridice” by Chrstoph Gluck; Penn state guitarist Jonathan Gangi playing a sonatina by Jorge Morel; The Penn State Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Gerardo Edelstein playing the “Sigfried Idyll” by Richard Wagner; and the Penn State Symphonic Band playing “Four French Songs and Dances of the Sixteenth Century” by Robert Hanson.

photo: Kristine Allen, WPSU

The Winner of WPSU's Annual Art for the Airwaves contest hails from the rolling hills, woods and farmland of Centre Hall. 

"I grew up on a dairy farm just about five miles from here," he says. "I have a financial planning practice that I've been doing for 24 years."

In Whiteman's house, you'll find his photographs on almost every wall and table.  And they make it clear he loves nature and wildlife.