Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 Annual Reports

Two of our active volunteering efforts on campus, Knittany Lion Needleworks and the Overseas Coupon Program, have compiled totals for their donations for 2011.  Please visit read the PDF files below and visit their websites to see how you can help these groups have even greater successes in 2012!

Knittany Lion Needleworks – website, 2011 report

Overseas Coupon Program – website, 2011 report

You Are My Star

Written by Joanna McGowan, Penn State Brandywine’s campus registrar.

About the book:  YOU ARE MY STAR was inspired by my son Christopher, who has autism. Though appropriate and inspirational for all children, children with special needs often work much harder and have greater challenges than their typical peers and this book is meant to acknowledge them and celebrate their accomplishments. The story is meant to convey love and acceptance for the child as well as a belief in hope for the future. All of the illustrators of the book are affected by autism and their amazing drawings showcase their true spirits and talents beyond the label of autism. All of the books proceeds are being donated to Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to educating, empowering and supporting families affected by autism. All of the families involved in the making of this book are active in TACA. I am grateful for the support that TACA has given to my family, and am happy to have an opportunity to give back. I hope that you enjoy the book and will help me support this organization that helps so many families affected by autism.

View this article and this article posted on Penn State Brandywine’s websites to learn more about Joanna, her family, and autism.

To preview and purchase a copy of the book, please visit:

Clearly, Joanna is a shining star for us all.

What #40dollars Means to Americans

It all started with a simple tweet on December 20 by the @WhiteHouse:

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“House Republicans are refusing to extend the payroll tax cut, which expires on December 31. If it does, taxes will go up for 160 million working Americans… Ending the payroll tax cut will cost the typical family making $50,000 a year about $1,000 a year, which is a lot of money for struggling families… That $1,000 a year works out to about $40 a paycheck that families won’t have to spend or save. ” (The White House blog

The White House is making an impressive use of social media to allow everyone to have their voice heard on this issue.  Citizens can post a comment on their blog, tweet with the hashtag #40dollars, post on Facebook, and upload a video on YouTube.  The White House has also created a Storify of the tweets (view in the expanded version of this post).

Do you have a story to add to the national voice?  What does $40/week mean to you?  Visit to learn how you can contribute to the conversation.

View the story “What #40dollars Means to Americans” on Storify]

Fall 2011 CIVCM Minor graduates

Congratulations to the following Fall 2011 graduates from Penn State Brandywine who completed the intercollege minor in Civic and Community Engagement.

Stephanie Tracy, Shirley Martin, Anna Lajoie, Vicki Francis, and Saraya Payne

All of these students majored in Human Development and Family Studies. 

David Cranston, Elementary Education in Multicultural Settings

We look forward to keeping in touch with these alumni and hearing about their continued passion for public scholarship and democracy!

One Student’s Drive for Socks

Carol Cloud, a student studying Human Development & Family Studies, spent her Fall 2011 semester interning at the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County.  As the semester was winding down, Carol realized that there is a constant need to give and receive.  Inspired by her internship and time at Penn State Brandywine, Carol decided to organize her own collection drive during the last two weeks of classes.

With the battle cry “Care, Share, Give a Pair… SOCKS!”, members of the campus community were asked to donate socks of any size for men and women.  Collection bins were set up around campus, and over 100 pairs of socks came in for DVCCC.

We are “Penn State Proud” of Carol initiating and carrying out this project – a testimonial to the leadership abilities of Penn State Brandywine students.

CNN Heroes 2011

2011 marks the fifth year that CNN celebrates ten individuals and their extraordinary accomplishments across the globe.  The Laboratory engaged in live tweeting during the CNN Heroes broadcast, and one of our tweets was even featured live across the bottom of the screen!

Please click below to read a Storify of our collected tweets.  Learn more about the CNN Heroes at their website ( and Twitter account (@CNNHeroes).

View the story “2011 CNN Heroes Awards – Everyday People Changing the World” on Storify]

Cyberbullying and the First Amendment

Can/should cyberbullying be protected by the First Amendment?

Cyberbullying is growing on social media websites among children, pre-teens, and teenagers.  In November 2010, Albany County in New York passed legislation that makes cyberbullying a misdemeanor with a $1,000 fine or up to a year in prison.

View the resources and join the discussion on our Civic Issues in a Minute website.