Patty Satalia

Senior Producer / Host

Patty Satalia was a senior producer/host for WPSU-TV and FM from 1987 to 2017. Prior to joining Penn State Public Broadcasting, she worked in commercial television in Pittsburgh, first as a film editor and fill-in capsule news anchor for WPGH-TV, and later, for WPTT-TV as public affairs director and co-host of the talk-show, People, Places and Things. In her 30 years at WPSU, Patty conducted around 6,000 interviews and hosted a variety of programs, including Take Note, Pennsylvania Inside Out, and the Lobby Talk series, which was recorded before a live audience in the lobby of the Outreach Building.  For eight seasons, Patty produced the Emmy award-winning game show, The Pennsylvania Game, as well as a number of award-winning documentaries, including: Children and Autism: Time is Brain; Creating Health: Childhood Obesity; and Farming from the Heart, to name a few. She was co-producer/host of the half-hour public affairs program, Conversations from Penn State, and a reporter for WPSU-FM.  

Patty graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1980.  She and her husband, Ed Satalia, a building contractor, have two grown sons. 

Ways to Connect

Getting through the physical and emotional hurdles of cancer is hard enough--but then there’s the financial burden.  The Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund was started in 2006 to help local cancer patients struggling to pay their bills during their treatment. The fund has distributed more than $1 million dollars and lightened the load for more than 1,000 local families battling cancer in Blair, Centre, Clearfield and Huntingdon Counties.  To find our more, we’ve asked Doreen Perks to join us.  She started the Fund in honor of her late husband. 

In the United States, about 33 percent of young adults earn a 4-year college degree by age 27. The push in recent few years has centered around encouraging every young person in America to go to college as the pathway to the middle class.  But some experts say we place too much emphasis on a college education and that career and technical schools provide another pathway to success.  Patty Satalia talks about that with Dr. David Passmore, a distinguished professor of Workforce Education and Development at Penn State, and Dr.

High on the list of collaborations that have to work if a film is to be successful is that of director and cinematographer.  It’s the lucky director who finds the perfect partner to realize his ideas visually - through color, composition, lighting and camera movement.  We talked with two young filmmakers who made it work.  Josef Wladyka is the director of “Manos Sucias”, a film that won him the Best New Narrative Director award at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival.  And Alan Blanco is the man who shot it.  Alan graduated from Penn State in 2005 with a degree in film and video.

Paula Kerger is president and CEO of PBS.  She's been included on the Hollywood Reporters Women in Entertainment Power 100 List for the past eight years.  We talked with her about the latest developments at PBS, about the importance of the PBS mission in our communities, and about PBS after Downton Abbey.

Cathy Willis Spraetz is President & CEO of Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Keithville, Louisiana. We talked with her about our long history of exploitation of chimpanzees, about major changes in the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research, and about why these great apes, who have given so much to humans, deserve to retire in comfort and freedom. 


The Canadian author Margaret Atwood is considered to be one of the most important and influential writers alive today. She has more than 50 books to her credit, including poetry, short stories, children’s fiction, and 14 novels. The best known works are The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin. We'll talk with her about her life as a writer, the difference between speculative fiction and science fiction, and about the manuscript she wrote for the Future Library Project; readers won't see the book for 100 years!  

This past March, Take Note went on the road, to Penn State's HUB Robeson Center's Freeman Auditorium, to talk with New York Times' bestselling author, Jess Walter.  His 2012 masterpiece Beautiful Ruins was this year's Centre County Reads selection.  NPR's Fresh Air called the book "A literary miracle." Salon called it "Damn near perfect."

You may not know the name Alan Blanco, but something tells me you soon will!  This young filmmaker and Penn State graduate is making a name for himself.  His debut feature film, Manos Sucias, with first-time director Josef Wladyka has made the film festival rounds to critical acclaim.  Blanco co-wrote and shot the film, which was executive produced by Spike Lee. The deeply affecting story is set, and shot, in a part of the world we rarely see on screen: the drug underworld of Buenaventura, Columbia. 


Ai-Jen Poo is interested in the work that makes all other work possible.   We’re talking about nannies, housekeepers and caregivers for the elderly who go into other people’s homes every day to make it possible for them to go out into the world and do what they do.  Her goal is to bring dignity and respect to that work.  Poo is director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-director of Caring Across Generations. Her new book is The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America

Megan Maas is a certified sexuality educator and doctoral student at Penn State. Her research ranges from sexual socialization to teen dating violence prevention to adolescent pornography use. She works with parents, teachers, and other education professionals to help them navigate the changing landscape of sexual health and culture among teens and young adults.

According to recent research, nearly half of American jobs today could be automated in a decade or two.  What jobs will the robots take?  And what does this mean for higher education?  We explore the future of jobs and education with Dr. Kyle Peck, Professor of Education at Penn State and Co-Director of the Center for Online Innovation in Learning (COIL), and Dr. David Passmore, a Distinguished Professor of Education in the Workforce Education and Development academic program at Penn State and director of  Penn State's Institute for Training & Development. 

In his life as a poet, critic, speaker, professor and world traveler, Robert Lima has met numerous notable people, from Salvador Dali to Robert Frost to Mother Teresa. The encounters are chronicled in his new book, ¡Some People!, which features anecdotes about more than 40 persons of interest.   Robert Lima is a Professor Emeritus of Spanish and Comparative Literatures, as well as Fellow Emeritus of Penn State's Institute for the Arts and Humanistic Studies.

Susan Russell is many things: actor, playwright, author, and educator. She spent 25 years performing on and off-Broadway. In Act Two of her career, she’s an Associate Professor in Penn State’s School of Theatre, using her considerable energies to make social change. Meet the 2014-15 Penn State Laureate, Susan Russell.

HEAR MORE OF THIS INTERVIEW (Click the link below):

Although he didn’t coin the term microaggressions—that’s the word used to describe hurtful, often subtle racial and ethnic slights—Derald Wing Sue has literally written the book on the subject.  Sue is a professor of psychology and education at Columbia University and the author of Microaggressions in Everyday Life.  Sue visited Penn State to give a talk on microaggressions in higher education. 

Her radical ideas on remaking women's work earned her a place in TIME magazines list of the 100 most influential people in the world.  Ai Jen Poo talks with us about bringing respect and dignity to the work of caregivers, nannies and housekeepers.  Their work makes all other work possible.


Credit Daily News Photo by Melanie Bell


From our Take Note archives, our June 2012 interview with Mia Bloom, then a fellow at the International Center for the Study of Terrorism at Penn State.  She is now a professor of Security Studies at the University of MA, Lowell. 

She's a leading expert on suicide terrorism and a frequent consultant to the military, policy makers, and the media.  She is the author of "Dying to Kill," one of the pioneering works in the field.  Her most recent book is "Bombshell: Women and Terror." 

From the Take Note Archives:  Listen to our 2011 conversation with best-selling author Lisa Genova.  Her debut novel, "Still Alice," about a Harvard professor's journey through early-onset Alzheimer's disease, was a New York Times bestseller.  It's now a film, by the same name, starring Julianne Moore, who's been nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.

On Sept. 15, 1963, a bomb exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.  Five girls were preparing for worship in the church basement; four were killed by the blast, but the fifth girl survived.  Her name is Sarah Collins Rudolph.  We talked with her about her physical and emotional scars, and about why her story is often overlooked in the larger discussions about the bombing and its role in energizing the Civil Rights Movement.  

George Packer, staff  writer for The New Yorker, talks with us about his book, "The Unwinding:  The Inner History of the New America."  The New York Times called it "something close to a nonfiction masterpiece." The award-winning, bestselling book paints an indelible picture of America in crisis.  

Before his retirement in January 2014, General Robert Kehler served as Commander of U.S. Strategic Command. He had direct responsibility to the President and Secretary of Defense.  He visited Penn State, his alma mater, in early December. We talked with him about national security in the 21st century, about today's nuclear arsenal, and about cyberspace and outer space as potential areas of conflict. 

Chris at standing desk
Kelly Tunney / WPSU

Modern living--with our TV's, computers and desk jobs--has induced most of us to spend far longer sitting down than standing up.  All that sitting can have serious consequences on our health.  Recent reports even compare sitting to smoking in terms of the toll it takes on our bodies.  WPSU’s Patty Satalia caught up with a few people on Penn State’s University Park campus to see how and why the movement to sit less and stand more is gaining momentum.

Jonathan Jansen is the first black president of the University of the Free State in South Africa. A gifted speaker and writer, he’s earned a formidable reputation for his commitment to reconciliation in a racially divided society. We’ll talk with him about the notorious Reitz video that sent shock waves throughout the world, about reconciliation and about the future of Mandela’s rainbow nation.   

More on Jonathan Jansen

University of the Free State: Jonathan Jansen

In a way, this is a homecoming for our next guest--Nina Jack, a 1994 graduate of Penn State, began her television career as a camera operator at this station. She has gone on to work as First Assistant Director on some of television's biggest hits, including “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.” 

Actor Jonathan Banks says, "In my 45 years in the business, Nina Jack is hands down the best A.D. I've ever seen."

Josh Lerner is co-founder and executive director of the Participatory Budgeting Project, a non-profit that works with communities across North America to decide how to spend public money.  We'll talk with him about why Americans love democracy in theory, but often hate it in practice, and about why participatory budgeting has fans--and critics. 

More info on Josh Lerner

Listen to more of this interview

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik knows the justice system inside and out—literally.  He uses his unique perspective to advocate for justice and prison reform.  We talk with him about his life before and after prison, the notion of second chances, and about why he says America's criminal justice system is broken.

Fifteen thousand children were imprisoned at the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Inge Auerbacher was part of the meager one percent who survived. For years, she suffered from tuberculosis as a result of the terrible conditions during her captivity.

Don Roy King has directed more live network television than anyone else in the business. The Penn State Alum has been directing Saturday Night Live since 2006.  We’ll talk with him about the serious art of TV comedy, the adrenaline rush of live television—and about his amateur boxing career!

Pennsylvania's mid-term election is November 4th.  Among the names on the ballot are three-term Republican incumbent Glenn Thompson and his Democratic challenger Kerith Strano Taylor.  The two will face off in the race for the 5th Congressional district. We want you to know who the candidates are, what they stand for, and what they’ve accomplished. Last week we heard from Glenn Thompson.  This week, we'll spend the half-hour with Kerith Strano Taylor.  She's a Brookville, PA, lawyer and president of her local school board.

The mid-term election is November 4th. Three-term Republican incumbent Glenn Thompson, and Democratic challenger Kerith Strano Taylor, face off in the race for the 5th Congressional district. We want you to know who the candidates are, what they stand for, and what they’ve accomplished. This week we hear from Rep. Glenn Thompson. Next week, we'll spend the half-hour with Strano Taylor.