- Alumna, Nike engineer, speaks at Fasenmyer Conference
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor added
- In Memoriam
- New Senior Leaders
- Farewell to twenty-nine retirees
- Capstone projects show skills of Arts Administration majors
- Marketing students explore buyer behavior for Sprint
- Trippe Hall update
- Introducing girls to careers in computing
Tiffany Beers ’02, a Plastics Engineering Technology graduate and senior innovator at Nike, was the keynote speaker at this year’s Richard J. Fasenmyer Engineering Design Conference. Beers brought along a pair of Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 shoes, self-lacing sneakers she helped engineer in Nike’s Innovation Kitchen.
A billion-dollar idea isn’t worth the napkin it’s written on if the inventor doesn’t know what to do next. A new minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI) will teach students of all majors how to advance an original idea by solving problems, recognizing opportunities, and learning from failure when launching a start-up or innovating within an existing company.
The program’s core courses, delivered through both online and in-person instruction, are designed to help students develop an entrepreneurial mindset, along with the leadership and communication skills needed to support that style of thinking.
Penn State Behrend will offer a specialization in New Ventures — teaching students to develop markets, manage intellectual property, and balance limited resources. The program supports the college’s open-lab initiative, in which business leaders, faculty members, and students engage in research and product development as teams. The problem-based learning curriculum will prepare students to adapt to changing market conditions and take advantage of entrepreneurial resources, including the oncampus Innovation Commons lab and Invent Penn State, which offers business start-up training and incubation and support for University-community collaborations.
For more information, contact Linda Hajec, lecturer in accounting, at [email protected].
Penn State Behrend lost a longtime supporter when James O. “Jim” Benson, 84, died in April. He was the co-founder and co-chairman of the board of PHB Inc. and CEO of Parker White Metal Company in Fairview, Pennsylvania, and the chairman of the board of Hazard Control Technologies in Fayetteville, Georgia.
Benson attended Penn State Behrend and graduated from University Park in 1957 with a degree in Drafting and Design Technology. He was a lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association and also the founder and first president of the Penn State Behrend Alumni Society. He was named a Penn State Alumni Fellow in 1995.
Reflecting a firm belief in the importance of education, Benson’s philanthropy helped launch the college’s engineering programs. In recognition of his support, the Benson Building in the Science Complex bears his name. In 2005, he and his wife established the Jim and Gerda Benson Trustee Scholarship for engineering students of the college.
Dr. Ivor T. Knight has been appointed associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies. A former Great Lakes researcher who most recently built a fifty-member R&D team for Canon U.S. Life Sciences and Canon Biomedical, Knight brings to the position experience in teaching, research, and management across academia, industry, and government.
Dr. Pam Silver is serving a two-year appointment as interim associate dean for Academic Affairs. A
distinguished professor of biology, Silver has been with Behrend for more than twenty years, teaching
and advising students, conducting research, and serving in a range of leadership roles at the school,
college, and University levels.
Dr. Eric Corty is the new director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Corty has more than three decades of experience in teaching, research, outreach, and academic leadership. A member of the psychology faculty for nearly twenty-five years, he previously served as interim director of the school and, prior to that, as associate director.
Dr. Greg Filbeck is the new director of the Black School of Business. Filbeck has nearly twenty-five
years of experience in higher education from teaching to research to administration. Most recently, he was interim director of the school; prior to that, he served as the school’s associate director and as department chair for finance and economics.
Kevin Moore ’85 is the new director of Development and Alumni Relations. Moore first worked for Behrend in career development and development and alumni relations roles before leading fundraising efforts for the Erie Community Foundation, Saint Vincent Hospital, and Kent State Ashtabula. He returned to the college as a major gifts officer in 2015.
Kim Paris is the college’s new strategic partner for Human Resources, providing dedicated HR support to Penn State Behrend. Paris previously worked for GE Transportation in Erie, where she had served most recently as executive human resource manager for global leadership programs and led the company’s diversity efforts and ombudsman process.
Penn State Behrend recently said goodbye to more than two dozen faculty and staff members who retired in the 2016 –17 academic year:
Lupe Alvear-Madrid, Mark Bestoso, Patty Blackurst, Dave Causgrove, Ron DelPorto, Rich Englund, Becky Faulhaber, Lou Faulhaber, Dr. John Fizel, John Fontecchio, Dr. Rick Hart, Deborah Hayes, Dave Johnson, Linda Kaleta, Dr. Amir Khalilollahi, Larry Kosin, Roger Kuntz, Dr. Bill Lasher, Dr. Robert Light, Dr. Patricia McMahon, Dr. Miriam McMullen-Pastrick, Patti Mrozowski, Debra Quiggle, Ron Slomski, Sandra Taccone, Margie Taylor, Janice Totleben, Mary Tuzynski, and Sharron Zimmerman.
We thank them for their years of service and wish them all well as they start a new chapter of their lives.
This spring, students in Penn State Behrend’s Arts Administration major—an interdisciplinary program that launched in 2012—found some unique ways to showcase individual artists and the community that supports them.
Each senior in the program planned and staged an art event as part of a required capstone project. They orchestrated every aspect of the event, including logistics, marketing, sponsorships, and sales support for the artists. Events included pop-up exhibits, a cabaret-style concert, a meetand- greet networking event, and a crafting program that featured Erie folk artists.
“You can sit in a class and theorize all you want, or write a ten-step plan for how to pull off an event,” said Abagail Johnston ’17, who developed the folk-art program, which was held at the Erie Zoo. “But when you actually have to do it, and you have to solve all the little problems that come up, that’s when you really learn what you can do.”
This spring, students in Dr. Mary Beth Pinto’s MKTG 344 Buyer Behavior class had the opportunity to work on a collaborative research project for Sprint, a leading wireless communications company.
The semester-long endeavor was spearheaded by Pinto, professor of marketing, and one of her former students, Marc Nachman, who is now a regional president for Sprint.
Students used market analysis, focus groups, and personal interviews to learn perceptions, attitudes, and cell-phone provider preferences among Sprint’s target demographic in the Erie area. Students also assessed Sprint promotions and offered recommendations for guerrilla marketing plans to boost Sprint’s profile and users in the region.
The top three teams presented their work to Sprint executives in April.
“This was real market research for an actual client,” Pinto said. “It was an unbelievable opportunity for these students to put some of the things they’ve been learning into practice.”
Construction is well underway on Trippe Hall, the college’s new four-story, 251-bed residence hall. The $28.4 million building, located near Ohio and Almy Halls at the southwestern corner of campus, is expected to open in the fall of 2018. With the opening of Trippe Hall, the college will be able to house nearly 2,000 students in nineteen residence halls and apartment buildings.
Twenty high school girls attended the inaugural Women in Computing Day this spring at Penn State Behrend. The program is designed to teach girls about careers made possible by majoring in computing or information technology.
“What’s interesting about computing is that some of the first programming languages that were created were made by women, but then it tapered off,” said Melanie Ford, director of Youth Education Outreach at Behrend and lecturer in computer science and software engineering. “Jobs for computing and information technology majors are also expected to grow at an average of 30 percent over the next several years, so that’s another reason we really want to introduce young girls to these career fields.”
The daylong program was co-sponsored by Erie Insurance, which coordinated a session that introduced participants to coding. The final session explored Penn State Behrend’s Digital Media, Arts and Technology major, designed to create professionals capable of both critical analysis and creative production of digital media.