What's Happening!

Feel free to scroll down through these postings or click on a keyword in the tag cloud (to the right) to explore the wide-range of activities in which Penn State Brandywine participates, and to learn about local-to-global civic engagement-themed issues, challenges, and innovative solutions. 

facebook.png twitter.jpg flickr.png goodreads.png 


Rosenberg Courses for 2012-2013

Please visit our Rosenberg Course webpage to view the profiles of our two Rosenberg Courses for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Spring 2013 - BA 322, Negotiation Skills for Business Professionals. Instructor Lori Elias.

Fall 2012 - HIST 497D, History of Immigration/Refugee Resettlement in the USA, WW II to Present. Assistant Professor Julie Gallagher.

*For HIST 497D, visit Exploring the Immigrant and Refugee Experience in Southeastern Pennsylvania: Resources for Newcomers and a Look at the Immigration Process
http://www.bw.psu.edu/Information/Community/immigrantrefugee_experience.htm

2013 Leadership Recognition Dinner

Each year, the Penn State Brandywine Office of Student Affairs hosts a Leadership Recognition Dinner to recognize the leadership contributions of students, clubs & organizations, and faculty/staff who serve as club advisers in addition to inaugurating the newly elected Student Government Association officers.

New Student Government Association OfficersPresident - Rosemarie Owoc; Vice President - Kathryn Beachboard

stephensonwalker.pngEric A. & Josephine S. Walker Award  --  Zanya Stephenson (pictured to the left)

This award is given annually to full-time undergraduate students from each of the campus locations.  The Walker award recognizes a student whose outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership, and citizenship have been directed into programs and services that have positively influenced fellow students.


Student Affairs Excellence Award
     For a program  --  The Vagina Monologues
     For a student  --  Linda Truong



CLUB & ORGANIZATION AWARDS

Student Club/Organization of the Year  --  The Marketing & Advertising Club, and the Gay/Straight Alliance
Recognizes a student club or organization that has shown exceptional involvement throughout the year.  This club/organization contributed to the quality of student life and promoted campus involvement.

Outstanding Program or Event of the Year  --  The Gay/Straight Alliance - No Hate Campaign
Recognizes a program or event, sponsored by a student club/organization that enhanced the quality of student life by promoting campus community and Penn State pride.  This program should demonstrate creativity, uniqueness, and inclusion.

Club/Organization Advisor of the Year  --  Mrs. Sally Ent
Recognizes a faculty or staff member that volunteers their time to serve as a club/organization advisor.  This advisor has shown that they are truly engaged in the activities and mission of the student organization and are committed to enhancing the student life experience.

Deborah J. Erie Student Leader Award  --  Pawel Zwierzchowski
Recognizes a student leader who displays commitment and dedication to multiple organizations while maintaining solid academic standards.  This student has shown how leadership involvement contributes to building pride in one's campus can enriches the overall college experience.

Outstanding Lion Service Award  --  Simeon Freeman
Recognizes a student who has clearly demonstrated commitment and dedication acting as Penn State Brandywine's mascot.


STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARDS

Outstanding Adult Student Award  --  Eileen Fresta
Recognizes an outstanding adult student (age 24+) at this campus who serves as a role model for other adult students by sensitizing the institution to the needs of adult students and by establishing him/herself as a leader in the peer group.

Outstanding Student Service to Campus and Community Award -- Labanya Mookerjee
Recognizes a student who has given outstanding service to the campus and community through volunteering their time by assisting others or impacting the lives of others, thereby gaining positive recognition for him/herself and for the campus.


Barbara-Jackson Williams Award for Cross-Cultural Understanding  --  Trez Malatesta
Recognizes a student who has clearly demonstrated that individual differences are valuable and that learning about others who are culturally different is necessary and rewarding or who has provided outstanding service in a variety of cultural student organizations at Penn State Brandywine.


Diane D. Shorter Outstanding Community Service Award -- Aimee Ralph
Recognizes a student or event which contributes to the spirit of civic engagement through raising awareness of and enlisting campus involvement towards supporting a cause.



Congratulations to senior Sarah Huppman, Civic Engagement Award Winner at Penn State Brandywine's EURECA (Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Enterprise) event on April 16, 2013.  Below is her award citation and poster presentation abstract.


Citation

Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference.  It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes. It includes a wide spectrum of public interactions that makes it possible for citizens of all ages to participate in decisions and actions to improve the life of their communities.

We have a student whose work for Collaborative for Children will allow this community advocacy organization to have new, up-to-date information to better address the need for increased educational funding with community leaders and legislators in Texas.  We are pleased to announce Sarah Huppman as the EURECA award winner for civic engagement, for her important community work titled, "The Impact of Recent Educational Budget Cuts on Public Pre-Kindergarten in Texas."





The Impact of Recent Educational Budget Cuts on Public Pre-Kindergarten in Texas

Sarah Huppman, Intern; Katherine Meehan, Faculty Advisor

Human Development and Family Studies

 

 

Abstract

 

At Collaborative for Children, a Houston-based organization dedicated to building a strong educational foundation for young children, my project identified the impact of Texas's recent educational budget cuts on the state's pre-kindergarten (pre-K) program, specifically on the child-staff ratio and the availability of full-day programs. Due to the pre-K budget cut of $200 million in 2011, school districts across the state have reported several negative impacts to their programs, including the reduction of full-day programs to half-day programs and larger class sizes.  The information I obtained in this project will be used in Collaborative for Children's advocacy efforts to restore state funding for the pre-K program.  I collected data from Harris, Bexar, and Dallas counties for a total of 47 school districts located in Texas. To calculate ratios, I collected the number of students enrolled in pre-K, the full time equivalent (FTE) of pre-K teachers and the FTE of pre-K teacher aides in each district.  This information allowed me to calculate the student-teacher ratio and the overall student-staff ratio.  I then compared the data from the 2011-2012 school year to data that was previously collected for the 2008-2009 school year and calculated the percentage of change for each school district.  I also documented the length of the program in each district, full- or half-day, and if there have been any changes since 2008.  During the 83RD Legislative Session in Texas, Collaborative for Children will benefit from having new, up-to-date information to better advocate the need for increased educational funding in Texas.  The data I collected allowed the organization and community advocates to directly address issues in pre-K programs across the state by presenting substantial, factual information to leaders of Texas about the community in which they reside.  My project taught me about the importance of early childhood education, while allowing me to improve my professional communication skills.

 


Congratulations to Dr. Stephen Cimbala, Dr. Laura Guertin, and Mrs. Diane Shorter, all selected for the university-wide recognition Faces of Penn State, showcasing "the personal accomplishments, public contributions and pioneering spirit resulting from the Penn State experience, education and community."

Dr. Stephen Cimbala - inspiring faculty member and military strategy expert

Dr. Laura Guertin - employing the knitting community to lend a hand locally and globally
Mrs. Diane Shorter - employing the knitting community to lend a hand locally and globally



Calling all Art Enthusiasts! The Penn State Brandywine Fair Trade TrailBlazers are now collecting artwork from any student for the 2013 "Spring into Art" Exhibition to be held by the Media Arts Council in early May! The exhibit will feature artwork created by students from The Walden School, Penncrest High School, and Penn State Brandywine.  Please consider submitting any original piece of artwork that reflects on what Fair Trade means to you. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the community and contribute to a meaningful cause. The deadline for submissions is on Friday, April 26th. If you are interested and would like more details, please contact Labanya Mookerjee at labanya@psu.edu. Thank you!


ArtEdit Flyer Media-page-001.jpg

On April 6, Penn State Brandywine hosted the Mid-Atlantic Fair Trade Student Leadership Training workshop for colleges/universities going for Fair Trade status.  Please visit the Penn State Brandywine Fair Trade TrailBlazers blog to read a summary about the day's events!

http://pennstatebrandywinefairtrade.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/mid-atlantic-fair-trade-student-leadership-training/


Where on Earth is your favorite outdoor destination? You let us know on Earth Day!


Monday, April 22nd was Earth Day and Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement invited YOU to celebrate with us! On this day, all students, alumni, faculty and staff members were encouraged to get involved by answering the question, "Where on Earth is your favorite outdoor destination?" via Twitter, with the hashtag #PSUEarthDay in the tweet when answering. All tweets were gathered at the end of the day and posted in the Storify below.

Congratulations to Laboratory Community Intern Rebecca Berkowitz for being named the 2013 Newman Civic Fellow for Penn State Brandywine, a national recognition awarded by Campus Compact!

Read about Rebecca and the award on the Campus Compact website.
Read the campus press release about Rebecca receiving the award.
Read Rebecca's Student Profile on the Laboratory website.


Walk around any college campus, and one may catch pieces of conversations where students are expressing frustration or disappointment in their university.  Zanya Stephenson, senior at Penn State Brandywine, has heard some of these concerns from her fellow students about her own campus.  Instead of adding to the negative conversations, Zanya decided to step up and do something about it.  Zanya organized a Campus Town Hall Meeting, where she invited the top campus administrators from Academic Affairs, Business Services, and Student Affairs to answer student questions and concerns about their campus.  Zanya created an online survey for students to submit comments online before the session, wrote a proposal for funding for a lunch for students, and facilitated the session.  Questions ranged from food services to tutoring, to construction to student leadership.  The Laboratory is extremely proud that Zanya demonstrated this leadership on her own to provide an opportunity for students to have their voice heard.

zanyapanel.JPGCampus Town Hall panel (left to right): Dr. deGategno, Director of Academic Affairs; Mrs. Lisa Yerges, Campus Business Manager; Dr. Shupp, Director of Student Affairs; Miss Zanya Stephenson, undergraduate student and former intern for the Laboratory for Civic Engagement.

This semester, the students in Dr. Laura Guertin's ERM 210 course, Environmental Factors and Their Effect on Your Food Supply, have learned about a range of topics from The Farm Bill to the Food Corps, to climate change and conservation, to buy fresh and buy local.  Each class period, the students begin with an overview of a current event relating to food issues, challenges, and policies.  One local story really "hit home" for the students, and the class decided to take their education to the next level and be advocates for a local children's garden under the threat of closure.

The students listened to the WHYY Newsworks audio story titled Camden Children's Garden plugs along while fighting eviction.  The students were surprised to hear that such a valuable resource, both for education and awareness of healthy foods, was going to be shut down for "economic development" reasons.  Each student pitched in and wrote 33 letters that were sent to the Mayor of Camden, asking her to step in and allow the Camden Children's Garden to continue.  The students are hopeful that, although being from outside of the Camden area, the Mayor will see that even those at a distance realize the significant impact a garden can have on a child and the overall health of the city of Camden.

To show your support to have the garden remain open, please visit the Save the Camden Children's Garden website for information on how you can help.

letters.jpg


Making a Difference with Cards2Kids

cardpacks.jpgPenn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement teamed up with the organization Cards2Kids for a sports card collection drive and card packing event. Cards2Kids collects new and used sports cards and donates them to children in need through many different charities. It was founded by John Makoweic, a Chicago area sophomore in high school who began collecting sports cards when he was only five years old. 


Ben Schragger, also a high school student from New Jersey has become the East Coast Ambassador for the organization. Ben wanted to help all the children receiving treat at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He and his family became involved with Cards2Kids and have been donating custom-created packs of sports trading cards to charities in our local area.


After the campus event today, 10,020 cards were sorted into 668 card packs (pictured above). An additional 2,391 new cards were collected.  All cards and card packs received will be donated to The Philadelphia Boys and Girls Clubs. Ben and his family continue collecting cards to put smiles on the face of many children.


To learn more about Cards2Kids, please visit:  http://www.cards2kids.org



cardpacks1.jpg

Laboratory Communications Intern Ali Aquilino preparing for the start of the Cards2Kids event.  With a spring training/baseball theme, everyone that donated cards received peanuts or Cracker Jacks.


An announcement from Dr. Julie Gallagher

History 21 Guest lecturer on U.S. global leadership and foreign policy:

The Cold War and Today by Dr. James Holmes Armstead, Jr.

 

Date:  Monday, March 25, 2013

Where:  113 Main Building

Time:  10:30-11:20

 

Dr. James Holmes Armstead is a retired professor of Strategy and International Law from the US Naval War College. Professor Armstead has served on faculties at Stanford University, the US Naval Postgraduate School, the Virginia Military Institute, and he has lectured at senior staff colleges in Poland, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, and Malawi as well as the US Army War College, and the South African Military Academy.  Dr. Armstead has participated in negotiations enlarging NATO with the accession of Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Albania, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. And he has assisted in drafting constitutional reforms in Montenegro, South Africa, Poland, the Congo, and Lithuania. 

 

The recipient of three honorary doctorates, Dr. Armstead served in the United Nations Secretariat where he was the English language editor of the Treaty of Rome which created the International Criminal Court at the Hague, and he has served on missions with the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe as an international election observer in Belarus, the Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Armstead also served as an Armor, JAG and Civil Affairs Officer in the United States Army, the US Army Reserves and National Guard in staff and command assignments from battalion to corps level eventually serving as a special aide to the Secretary of the Army and he continues as a volunteer in the Virginia State Militia involved in operations, training, JAG, and Inspector General assignments.


This speaker is sponsored by the Laboratory for Civic Engagement

Join our campus collection of sports cards for child-focused charities, organizations, and hospitals in the Delaware Valley! (specifically, the Philadelphia Boys & Girls Clubs - see the tweet below!)

Please help us get the word out! Included here is a PDF of the flyer to distribute (download here). For those that cannot visit the campus to drop off their cards but wish to contribute, please ship your cards to: Dr. Laura Guertin, Laboratory for Civic Engagement, Penn State Brandywine, 25 Yearsley Mill Road, Media, PA, 19063

To learn more about this great organization Cards2Kids, please visit their website!

tradingcards.png

*** UPDATE *** @Cards2Kids has sent us the following messages via Twitter!

Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 5.56.51 PM.png



Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 5.57.17 PM.png

Spread the Love for Philabundance

***UPDATE***  Congratulations to the Adult Student Club for collecting 115 jars of peanut butter and jelly for Philabundance!  Way to go, Penn State Brandywine!
 

From the Adult Student Club at Penn State Brandywine:

This winter, why not help Spread the Love? The Adult Student Club is collecting Peanut Butter and Jelly for the Philabundance "Spread the Love" Campaign.

pbj.png

Drop off a jar of peanut butter or jelly - plastic jars preferred - in the collection boxes located in Tomeszko, Vairo, and Student Services (2nd floor Commons). Your contribution will help feed hungry children in the greater Philadelphia area! Now until February 14, every donation helps!

The Walden School of Media, PA, hosted an outstanding event at Penn State Brandywine, with the assistance of the Fair Trade TrailBlazers and Laboratory for Civic Engagement.  Each Walden School student (grades K-8) created a piece of art with a Fair Trade theme.  The students brought their pieces of art to Penn State Brandywine for an art show and fundraiser for Fresh Artists, a Philadelphia organization that works to get art supplies into the hands of children.  All of the artwork was sold, and The Walden School raised $375 for Fresh Artists!  Read the following posts on the Fair Trade TrailBlazers website to learn more.

Upcoming Event: Fair Trade Clothesline Art Sale for Fresh Artists (blog post)

The Walden School's Fair Trade Clothesline Art Sale (blog post)

clotheslinelogo.jpg

***UPDATE*** Read the post by our Fair Trade Intern Labanya Mookerjee, Facing the Monster Together during Human Trafficking Awareness Month, to learn about this event's success!


This is an event that the Laboratory for Civic Engagement and Fair Trade TrailBlazers will be representing Penn State Brandywine.  Original post appears on the Fair Trade TrailBlazers WordPress site and was created by Labanya Mookerjee.


In support of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Media-Upper Providence Public Library is sponsoring an action-packed event to spread further awareness on the issues surrounding human trafficking. The event, titled "Facing the Monster: Slavery Then and Now," is taking place right here, in our home town of Media, PA, on Wednesday, January 30, 2013. The program will involve a series of diverse segments including:

  • A short presentation on the stories of runaway slaves in the 1800s as well as in the present; Dr. Sam Lemon and Carol Metzker will also speak on the various actions taken to battle trafficking
  • A book signing with the author of Facing the Monster: How One Person Can Fight Child Slavery, Carol Metzker
  • Five information tables with representatives from the Delaware County Coalition Against Human Trafficking, the Media Fair Trade Committee & Brandywine Penn State Trailblazers, the Delco WAR and Domestic Abuse Project, CASA, and Dawn's Place
  • A vibrant discussion about slavery in modern society and methods that can be employed to eliminate trafficking
This event is free and open to the public! However, donations are always welcome to support Dawn's Place, a local shelter for survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

Doors open at 6:30PM and the event is scheduled to start at 7PM in the Parlor Room of the Media Municipal Building.

Of course, members of our very own campus fair trade organization will be at the event to show our support and to spread the growing fair trade movement. We hope to see you there!
Contributed by Labanya Mookerjee, Fair Trade Intern

What's so bad about bottled water? And why did the Univ. of Vermont and the town of Concord, MA, recently ban the sales of bottled water?

Come view the documentary "TAPPED" to learn more about the bottled water industry - Tuesday, January 15, 11:30AM in TMKZO 103.

Everyone that attends will receive a FREE Penn State Brandywine refillable sports bottle!

The event is being hosted by former Laboratory for Civic Engagement intern Zanya Stephenson.

Trip to MLK Memorial

The Office of Student Affairs is sponsoring a bus trip to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington DC on MLK Day (Monday, January 21, leaving campus at 9AM).  Please stop by Student Affairs (211 Commons Building) to register for this FREE trip!

Flyer for the trip


Presented by the Laboratory for Civic Engagement, Penn State Brandywine

Fresh, Local, Healthy, Accessible

What does the above phrase mean? What is a food desert? What does it mean to be food insecure? Is it possible for local food to be nutritious and affordable?  These seminars will allow you to learn more about our local food issues, how you can support local, sustainable food suppliers and programs.

All three seminars will be taking place at 12:30PM in the Tomezsko Classroom Building, Room 103.

Monday, January 28  -  Marc BrownGold, General Manager, Swarthmore Co-Op

Wednesday, February 6  -  Noah Langnas, Philabundance, speaking about the Fare & Square grocery store opening in Chester

Monday, February 25  -  Karen Shore, Associate Head of Consulting, The Food Trust


For a PDF file listing these seminars, click on this link to Access to Our Local Kitchen.


Since 2007, Penn State Brandywine has adopted a different military base each year to send manufacturer's coupons cut and sorted from the Sunday newspapers.  2012 marks the final year Laura Guertin and Diane Shorter are organizing the campus-wide effort to send the coupons overseas, as they are moving on to the managing the ever-expanding Knittany Lion Needleworks program.  We thank Renee Lutz, former campus bookstore manager, for beginning this program on the campus with our first donation of $5,835.70 to a U.S. Air Force base in Lakenheath, UK.

In 2012, the campus donated $203,087.64 worth of coupons to the U.S. Army base in Vilseck, Germany. (flyer of annual report)

From 2007 to 2012, the campus donated a total of $856,401.94 to our military troops and their families at military bases overseas.

For a record of annual donations, please visit our website (LINK).  To adopt a base to send your own coupons, please visit The Overseas Coupon Program website (LINK).

Dr. Laura Guertin, Coordinator for the Laboratory for Civic Engagement, is a certifying agent for The President's Volunteer Service Award.  The Award recognizes volunteers who achieve a required number of service hours over a 12-month period (see award criteria).

Tyler Arboretum, one of the oldest and largest arboreta in the northeastern United States, annually recognizes their volunteers with a reception.  This year, in collaboration with the Laboratory, 34 of Tyler's volunteers were issued Presidential Service Awards at a ceremony on December 1, 2012.  Dr. Guertin was present to distribute the awards (a lapel pin, award certificate, and letter signed by the President of the United States) to youth, young adult, adult, and lifetime volunteers.

2012 President Volunteer Service Awards at Tyler Arboretum

 Tyler Arboretum volunteers recognized for their hours of service.

2012 President Volunteer Service Awards at Tyler Arboretum

The recipients of the Lifetime Award, which recognizes individuals that have volunteered at least 4,000 hours of service.



Donations for CHOP

Pictured above: Laboratory Communications Intern Aimee Ralph assists in sorting the Knittany Lion Needleworks donations to CHOP's HHI.

This semester, Laboratory Community Intern Jomela Dutt has been working with CHOP's Homeless Health Initiative.  In a recent luncheon with the interns and David Rosenberg, Jomela shared how one of the shelters she visits is lacking food, warm clothing, and holiday gifts for the women and children.  Everyone in the meeting was so moved by Jomela's story, that Knittany Lion Needleworks decided to donate all the items they had recently collected on campus and from community knitters and crocheters.  Over 400 hats, scarves, blankets, and mini-pouches filled with crayons for the children were pulled together for Jomela to donate.

Donations for CHOP

The Laboratory hopes these handmade items will bring a smile to the faces of the women and children Jomela assists in Philadelphia.

Fall 2012 Lunch with David Rosenberg

IMG_2423.JPG

Pictured from left to right: Jomela Dutt, Aimee Ralph, David Rosenberg, Labanya Mookerjee, Victoria Bolden, Zanya Stephenson

Current and former student interns of the Laboratory for Civic Engagement had a special lunch on Tuesday, November 27th, with the man who continues to make the Laboratory possible.  That man is philanthropist David Rosenberg.  David, a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, has a true passion for civic engagement, which was the basis for forming the Laboratory on campus. 

The lunch was a great opportunity for students to meet and discuss their experiences with David, and for him to get a better understanding of what the students would like to accomplish in the future.  One of the goals important to all of the interns is to continue community outreach events.

Recently, former/current interns and students from the campus Fair Trade TrailBlazers traveled to the The Walden School in Media to present on Fair Trade.  This was the first event for the Fair Trade organization that involved a presentation to the community.  Fair Trade members and members of the Laboratory were on hand to educate the 70+ Pre-K through 8th-grade students and faculty about Fair Trade products.

Zanya Stephenson, a senior Communication Arts & Sciences major, discussed her ideas to hold a water-tasting event on campus to determine if students could distinguish between bottled and tap water.  The goal of her event is to prove there is no taste difference and to promote the use of reusable, rather than plastic, water bottles.  She is in contact with the Business office on campus to see about installing the sensor-activated refill stations in all buildings on campus. "The station in Commons is great, but it is only in that building.  Students will leave class and walk over there just to fill their water bottles. We need more accessible stations," says Stephenson. 

Every semester, two interns are appointed to handle tasks, such as community outreach and communications, for the Laboratory.  The community outreach position requires the student to work in the community by volunteering with a local non-profit organization.  The communications intern is required to post weekly on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and to create additional materials for the Laboratory website.  A third internship position is to organize campus and community events for Fair Trade to help the campus maintain its Fair Trade University status.

The current Community Intern, Jomela Dutt, will be graduating this December, but stresses that she would like to continue volunteering and promote the Laboratory in 2013 and beyond.  Junior Victoria Bolden, a Horticulture major, will be transferring to University Park in the spring semester, but she would like to take what she has learned and apply it to her studies there.  There is no doubt that the experiences from the internships have motivated the students to continue with their passion for civic engagement.

At the conclusion of lunch, the students and David felt like they came up with some great plans for the future of the Laboratory and the campus.  Labanya Mookerjee, a senior English and Bachelor of Philosophy major, says she is going to work on a project in the spring that she hopes will involve students from the Walden School.  "One of our goals is to continue to work with The Walden School, and teach the kids about civic engagement," says Mookerjee. 

Be sure to check out the Laboratory Facebook and Twitter pages for more information about volunteer opportunities and future events.


With the cold weather approaching and some residents of the Mid-Atlantic states still without power or a home to return to, Hurricane Sandy's scar remains on the landscape and in the lives of New Jersey and New York residents.  With a "call for donations" including blankets, hats, and scarves, Knittany Lion Needleworks knew they could do their part to help out.

Although the group does not keep many items on hand (most get donated as soon as the completed items come in), the group dropped off 78 handmade blankets, hats, and scarves in Media, PA.  The donations became part of a collection of items being transported and dropped off at Evolution Martial Arts in Toms River, New Jersey, where they will be distributed to locals in need.

Soap Drive for My Neighbor's Children

Bill Glaab, co-founder of Hand In Hand Soap, visited our campus on November 13 and engaged in conversation with our students about his Fair Trade soap company that operates under the slogan "buy a bar, give a bar."  A summary of his seminar can be viewed at the Fair Trade TrailBlazers website.

In conjunction with Mr. Glaab's visit and in the spirit of "giving a bar," the campus hosted a one-day soap drive.  All 134 bars of soap collected were sent to an organization Hand In Hand Soap partners with, My Neighbor's Children.  My Neighbor's Children and Hand In Hand Soap donate soap to orphaned children in Haiti to promote sanitation and increase global health.

Soap Donation to My Neighbor's Children

Read this inspiring article on The Brandywine Blog about campus and community efforts to get books into the hands of Philadelphia children.



The following students traveled from Wednesday, October 31, to Sunday, November 4 to attend the National Conference on Student Leadership in Lake Buena Vista, Florida with the Office of Student Affairs. 

Pawel Zwierzchowski, Douglas Layer, Theresa Malatesta, Linda Truong, Justin Deloatch, Lauren Lomas 

Since 1978, the National Conference on Student Leadership has equipped collegiate student leaders and their advisors with comprehensive tools to achieve their leadership potential and positively impact their campuses and communities through practical, focused training and opportunities to collaborate with other student leaders. 

Visit the Fair Trade TrailBlazer's website for a summary about Our second Alta Gracia t-shirt swap, benefitting Planet Aid.


Fair Trade T-shirt Swap

Penn State Votes 2012

Not everyone across the globe has the right to vote, but WE ARE.... citizens of the United States that have the ability to participate in the democratic practices afforded to us by the Constitution.  Use your voice and be heard through your vote!


Go Bananas for Fair Trade 2012

Instructor Christina Olear's BA100 (Introduction to Business) class went "bananas" for Fair Trade during the national "Go Bananas for Fair Trade" campaign.  Students volunteered their time to help the Fair Trade organization on campus, the Fair Trade TrailBlazers, hand out over 600 bananas to students, faculty, and staff on October 9 and 10.

A few willing students from the class even dressed up in banana costumes to help promote the free event thanks to a large donation by Equal Exchange through the town of Media.  Students also operated the tables to keep tally of the total bananas given out, while other students learned about Fair Trade products which were on display.  Some students did not realize the number of Fair Trade and organic certified products available locally.  Information sheets were provided with each banana to educate why eating the Fair Trade banana was positive for the farmers in Ecuador, which is where the bananas had come from.

"I'm thrilled to see Prof. Olear introduce Fair Trade to her class and encourage their involvement in such a unique event.  Some of the students have already asked if they can assist with future Fair Trade events," said Dr. Laura Guertin, campus mentor for the Fair Trade TrailBlazers.

One of the most popular products was the Ben and Jerry's ice cream.  Cartons were on display to show students and faculty the Fair Trade certified labels. Fair Trade Towns and Universities held a nationwide contest to see who could give out the most bananas.  If the campus wins, Penn State Brandywine can select to receive a free year's supply of the delicious ice cream.  The ice cream will complement the Fair Trade bananas and chocolate currently being sold in the Lion's Pit. 

October is Fair Trade month. Be sure to check out the Fair Trade Facebook page and website for upcoming events and more details about Fair Trade.

October 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.







Although Penn State Brandywine does not have a football team and only some members of the campus community gathered on September 22 at the Penn State vs. Temple University game at University Park, that does not mean the Brandywine campus students, staff, and faculty were not supportive of the efforts to assist young victims of sexual assault. 

On Friday, September 21, Penn State Brandywine held its own Blue Out, showing our support for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) with our own sea of blue.  The campus community was also encouraged post on our campus Facebook wall and tweet your support to demonstrate what "WE ARE" can mean.

PCAR's local affiliate, Delaware County Women Against Rape (WAR), set up an information table next to our blue ribbon display to speak with people and hand out brochures.  Donations were accepted in exchange for a blue ribbon to wear, and the campus volunteer club We Are Penn State MADE (Making A Difference Everyday) raised $96 for WAR.




BlueOutLogo_Long.png


Paper Plate Advocacy Project



The entire Penn State Brandywine community came together to demonstrate our Constitutional right on Constitution Day to advocate for hunger relief in the Delaware Valley.

On Monday, September 17, from 11AM to 1:20PM in the Tomezsko Building Lounge and Commons Patio, we encouraged everyone to come and write their hunger message on a paper plate we provided.  We took photos of students, staff and faculty with their paper plates to post the photo on Philabundance's Facebook page.  Then, we collected all of the plates and sent them to Philabundance, who will send them to the governor of Pennsylvania.

Why write on plates, you ask?  Philabundance has a generous donor that will match each plate with a meal donation.  As 900,000 people in the Delaware Valley are at risk of hunger, every meal helps.

Our goal was to get 225 plates completed, in honor of the Constitution's 225th anniversary.  We surpassed our goal and posted messages on 291 plates!  That is 291 meals, and 291 voices going to Harrisburg.

You can read more about the Paper Plate Advocacy Project and Hunger Action Month at Philabundance's website.  This event was organized by the campus volunteer club We Are Penn State M.A.D.E. (Making A Difference Everyday).



Little things make a big difference in the life of a college student, and sometimes they make ALL the difference.  (from the Red Scarf Project website)


Our friends at Knittany Lion Needleworks recently completed their third annual summer service project. This summer, the group asked knitters and/or crocheters to make a red scarf for Foster Care to Success, the largest provider of college funding and support services for foster youth in the nation. The information provided to volunteers can be seen in this (flyer). 

At the end of the summer, right when the fall semester was beginning, Knittany Lion Needleworks collected and donated 119 red scarves for Foster Care to Success.  This means that 119 foster youth now in college will be receiving a care package with, among other supportive items, a handmade red scarf.

Red Scarf Project





The student club We Are Penn State M.A.D.E. (Making A Difference Everyday), Office of Student Affairs, and the Laboratory for Civic Engagement came together to organize the second annual volunteer activity for our incoming first-year students.  On Convocation Day, August 23, all new students (and returning students, faculty, and staff) were asked to bring to campus school art supplies to be donated to Fresh Artists, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving artmaking for all children and creating real opportunities for children to be philanthropic.

The Community Service Kick-off was developed to allow our newest students to participate in a service activity their first day on campus, before classes even begin.  We want students to know that Penn State Brandywine is committed to its land-grant mission of serving the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and around the globe.  Our goal is to show Fresh Artists that we have Penn State Pride in our volunteering activities now and throughout the year!

View the second page of this flyer to see the list of suggested art supplies to donate!  Items will be collected all summer and through most of the fall semester in the Tomezsko Building Lounge.


To learn more about Fresh Artists, please view this video where the President and Founder Barbara Chandler Allen discusses a novel solution to keep a vibrant artmaking program in severely needy public schools by partnering with hundreds of K-12 inner city kids to create a sustainable funding stream for art supplies and innovative art programs. Barbara's talk was presented at TEDxPhiladelphiaED June 25, 2011.



September 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.




In the same year that Penn State Brandywine is approved as a Fair Trade University, the campus Fair Trade TrailBlazers have successfully earned Affiliate Status with United Students for Fair Trade (USFT). Maria Louzon, National Coordinator of USFT, shared the good news with the Laboratory's summer Fair Trade intern Sarah DeMartino on August 22.

"We are available as a resource for ANYTHING involving fair trade, so never be afraid to ask questions about internships, ideas for events, jobs, or just fair trade in general," stated Maria, who has been communicating with the Fair Trade TrailBlazers since they began their pursuit of Fair Trade University status in January of this year.

You can read Sarah's report on gaining USFT Affiliate status at the Fair Trade TrailBlazers blog.


***************************************************************************

United Students for Fair Trade Affiliate Program
http://usft.org/affiliate

USFT exists for our affiliates. Student activists are at the forefront of the fair trade movement, composing a strong force which continually helps increase the demand for fair trade products. USFT coordinates and supports the campaigns of over 150 student organizations. Affiliates can be individuals seeking to begin an organization or al- ready-initiated organizations which intend to engage in Fair Trade action or education as part of their activities. Affiliates, as opposed to chapters, are autonomous organizations or individuals with the desire to advocate for Fair Trade principles, products, and policies.

***************************************************************************

About United Students for Fair Trade
http://usft.org/purpose

USFT is a collaboration of students and youth working in solidarity with cooperative communities to promote fair trade principles, products and policies. Consciousness raising, leadership development and capacity building stand at the core of our grassroots organizing.

Contributed by Matthew Shupp, Director of Student Affairs

From August 6-8, the Office of Student Affairs brought six student leaders to the annual Penn State University Student Summer Leadership Conference held at the Penn State Harrisburg campus. Of particular note is that Ahyana King and Karrie Bowen joined both Ronika Money and Matthew Shupp representing PSU Brandywine. Likewise, all four presented conference sessions to the Penn State students. Matthew Shupp, Brandywine's Director of Student Affairs, also served as a Pride Group Leader. Below are the session titles that the four presented:

Ronika Money: Untitled Leadership

Matthew Shupp: Life in the Fishbowl: The "How-To" Guide to Successfully Lead Student Groups

Ahyana King: Didentityvaluesersity - presentation on diversity

Karrie Bowen: Public Relations 101 for Student Leaders

Penn State Brandywine was one of the few campuses - if not THE only campus besides University Park - to have 4 professional staff presenting and representing our campus. This speaks to our campus commitment to student learning as well as the continued successful partnership we have with Academic Affairs, proving the interaction with faculty outside of the classroom is a tremendous retention tool and that SA and AA partnerships is vital to the success of our students.

Our campus Fair Trade TrailBlazers are going to begin sending out periodic updates for Fair Trade news and events at Penn State Brandywine.  If you are interested in keeping in the loop and maybe attending and/or volunteering at some of the events (such as the scheduled Fair Trade S'mores event, second Fair Trade t-shirt exchange, and volunteering at Media's Fair Trade Fair), we encourage you to sign up!

Subscribe to our Fair Trade newsletter


August 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.




The Arms Trade Treaty - where should we stand?

The United Nations - the Arms Trade Treaty - and the United States being the only country to vote against it. This is indeed a complicated issue and challenge.

Is international shaming enough to discourage illicit trade? Should the United States support the treaty?  

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

Each time Dr. Ivan Esparragoza teaches his introductory-level engineering design course, he has students collaborate with engineering students from other countries. The challenge is to come up with a design of an object to satisfy an identified need of a particular population, while at the same time learning how to engage with fellow engineers from across the globe. This video was filed and edited by Laboratory for Civic Engagement Communications Intern Zanya Stephenson in Spring 2012.




The town of Media's Fair Trade Committee has awarded Penn State Brandywine a Regional Fair Trade Award for their achievement of becoming designated a Fair Trade University.  The Fair Trade TrailBlazers were recognized during Media's Bastille Day celebration on July 14. 

In addition to the campus receiving an award, TrailBlazer Sarah DeMartino (pictured in the center below) took second place in the Fair Trade Bake-Off, run by Ten Thousand Villages.

To read more about the event and celebration, please visit the Fair Trade TrailBlazers website.


Dr. Laura Guertin, Sarah DeMartino, Louis Donaghue, at Bastille Day
Media's Bastille Day, July 14, 2012

July 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.




Is the past coming back to our school systems?

Segregation - it is not just from the 1960's, it is happening today in school districts that have access to varying resources.

Should the wealth of a community determine access to educational opportunities?  

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

Welcome to FTCAP 2012!

Laboratory Communications Intern Labanya Mookerjee staffed an information table for the Laboratory for Civic Engagement at each of the summer orientation sessions for the incoming freshmen. Labanya was able to share much information about volunteering opportunities on campus, as well as information about the civic and community engagement minor.

Labanya at FTCAP 2012!
The following is a list of the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) undergraduate seniors and the nonprofit locations where they completed their internships in the spring semester of 2012.

Nalia Carter:              Community Service Foundation
Caroline Dean:          Community Service Foundation
Bernadette Grimley:  Bucks County Adult Probation Department
Katie Koelewyn:        Springfield High School
Elizabeth Mager:       Downingtown Senior Center
Courtney McNamee: Chester County Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
Jessica Menges:       Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce
                                  Penn State Brandywine Enrollment Management
Maria Micelli:             Easter Seals of Southeastern PA
Steven Sliwinski:       Community Service Foundation
Brittany Tyler:            Penn State Brandywine Information Technology Services
Katie Vogel:               The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Jillian Wells:              The ARC of Chester County
Margie Whelan:         Delaware County Intermediate Unit Early Intervention Program
Cynthia Wilson:         Community Service Foundation

Penn State Brandywine undergraduate researcher Aimee Ralph worked with local community partner Tyler Arboretum in developing an innovative way to use technology to increase the education and outreach mission of the Arboretum during its annual plant sale. Aimee developed web pages for a selection of plants that attract butterflies, with the information available to visitors when the plant signs were scanned with their smartphones. To learn more about Tyler Arboretum, please visit: http://www.tylerarboretum.org/



June 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.




Morality and machines

Who will be held responsible for a machine's missteps?

Drones, cars that drive and park themselves, ... each are examples of automated technology existing and operating in society.  But as we all know, technology does not always work in the ways we want it to.

Can machines be programmed to know right from wrong?  

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

ENGAGE the Lion, Issue #2

The second issue of our Laboratory newsletter has been published!  ENGAGE the Lion is a PDF file filled with highlights of information from our website, useful resources, and ways to become involved.

ENGAGE the Lion, Issue #2, May 2012 (PDF file)

May 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.



Congratulations to the Fair Trade TrailBlazers on achieving what so few universities have done in the nation - Fair Trade University status for Penn State Brandywine.  The official declaration date for the campus was May 12, 2012 - which was also World Fair Trade Day.

To read how the TrailBlazers spent their Declaration Day, view this entry (LINK) on the Fair Trade at Penn State Brandywine website (LINK).


We Are... a Fair Trade University!


#bwtakeson moves to Google+!

With #bwtakeson #29 and moving forward, our weekly social media challenges will not only continue on Twitter but are also moving to Google+, making it easier for anyone to comment on our postings.

The Laboratory for Civic Engagement "takes on" challenging topics for critical thinking, thoughtful evaluation, and engaging discussion. Each week in Twitter, and now in Google+, we post a question we hope you will respond to in Twitter with the hashtag #bwtakeson, in the comment field in Google+, in conversations with family and friends, or through personal reflection.

Find us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/psubw_engage
Find us on Google+: http://gplus.to/psubwengage

You can read a summary of our #bwtakeson postings in Storify from 2012 and 2011.


Be sure to read the campus article and Brandywine Blog entry detailing more about this event.

On May 5, from the office of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Mayor Nutter and students participated in a conference call with President Obama and national leaders to discuss the impact of raising federal student loan interest rates. The sixteen participating students were from Temple University, Lincoln University, Community College of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania and Penn State Brandywine.

Brandywine sophomores Tara Landis, Samantha Golay and Chris Kramer were among the local college students selected for this opportunity. Of the sixteen students, only two students actually spoke to the President, one of the two being Penn State Brandywine's Chris Kramer.

View the news story on the NBC 10 website: LINK


Are floating micro-nations an innovative or self-serving solution?

The founder of PayPal is investing $1.25 million in the creation of start-up countries, floating far offshore, outside the legal boundaries of any country.  He reports that these freestanding countries will secure the future of mankind on Earth and allow for the experimentation of new government structures.

What are your thoughts about the establishment of floating micro-countries?  

View the resources and join the discussion on our Civic Issues in a Minute website.
Each semester, Professor Karrie Bowen allows one of her classes to select a cause to research and drum up support for on campus through an awareness campaign.  On April 25, Professor Bowen's students gathered during common hour at the campus gazebo for an event titled "Birth Control - What Can You Afford?" to share information and protest the decision by insurance companies to deny coverage of birth control to patients.
 

April 2012 events and news on campus

The following are news updates and events that took place on campus that may be of interest to friends of the Laboratory for Civic Engagement.


Veteran Hygiene Product Drive, by the PSU Brandywine Veterans Club for Support Homeless Veterans

Making "Cards for Hope" for MS patients and participating in the Walk for MS at Ridley Creek State Park, by We Are Penn State M.A.D.E. and business students

Students compete and bring home awards at PBL Leadership Conference (LINK)

Penn State Brandywine alum establishes organization to help vets (LINK)

Six Words for Planet Earth

Re-blogged from the Environmental Inquiry Program website at Penn State Brandywine

Have you heard of six-word essays, also known as flash fiction? It is a unique way of writing that focuses on using only six words to share a meaningful story or idea. The idea of very short stories is thriving as people share their stories via social networks. A six-word essay on Planet Earth is a great way to celebrate the environment as we celebrate Earth Day!

In conjunction with the Laboratory for Civic Engagement, the Environmental Inquiry program at Penn State Brandywine, we asked all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends from all Penn State campuses and beyond Penn State to submit a thoughtful/creative/inspiring string of six words about the Earth!  All submissions were posted in the Penn State Brandywine Environmental Inquiry Twitter account http://twitter.com/psubw_envi with the hashtag #psubw6words and placed in Storify for an archive of our six words for 2012.

Click "Continue reading Six Words for Planet Earth" below to view the compiled tweets!




2012 Leadership Recognition Dinner

Each year, the Penn State Brandywine Office of Student Affairs hosts a Leadership Recognition Dinner to recognize the leadership contributions of students, clubs & organizations, and faculty/staff who serve as club advisers in addition to inaugurating the newly elected Student Government Association officers.

New Student Government Association OfficersPresident - Pawel Zwierzchowski; Vice President - Amelia Klaus; Secretary - Amanda Dzwill; Treasurer - Matthew McAndrew; Head of Senate - Lauren Coppola

Eric A. & Josephine S. Walker Award  --  Heather Heacock
This award is given annually to full-time undergraduate students from each of the campus locations.  The Walker award recognizes a student whose outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership, and citizenship have been directed into programs and services that have positively influenced fellow students.

Student Affairs Excellence Award
     For faculty  --  Dr. Laura Guertin
     For a student club  --  Random IMPROV


CLUB & ORGANIZATION AWARDS

Student Club/Organization of the Year  --  Lion's Eye Newspaper
Recognizes a student club or organization that has shown exceptional involvement throughout the year.  This club/organization contributed to the quality of student life and promoted campus involvement.

Outstanding Program or Event of the Year  --  Helping Hearts for Valentine's Day, by MADE/Knittany Lion Needleworks/Office of Student Affairs (LINK to event)
Recognizes a program or event, sponsored by a student club/organization that enhanced the quality of student life by promoting campus community and Penn State pride.  This program should demonstrate creativity, uniqueness, and inclusion.

Club/Organization Advisor of the Year  --  Rahel Teklegiorgis
Recognizes a faculty or staff member that volunteers their time to serve as a club/organization advisor.  This advisor has shown that they are truly engaged in the activities and mission of the student organization and are committed to enhancing the student life experience.

Deborah J. Erie Student Leader Award  --  Steve Iatesta, Bobbi Caprice
Recognizes a student leader who displays commitment and dedication to multiple organizations while maintaining solid academic standards.  This student has shown how leadership involvement contributes to building pride in one's campus can enriches the overall college experience.

Outstanding Lion Service Award  --  David Serpentine
Recognizes a student who has clearly demonstrated commitment and dedication acting as Penn State Brandywine's mascot.


STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARDS

Outstanding Adult Student Award  --  Stacey Cassidy, honorable mention to Marcia Briggs
Recognizes an outstanding adult student (age 24+) at this campus who serves as a role model for other adult students by sensitizing the institution to the needs of adult students and by establishing him/herself as a leader in the peer group.

Outstanding Student Service to Campus and Community Award -- Aimee Ralph
Recognizes a student who has given outstanding service to the campus and community through volunteering their time by assisting others or impacting the lives of others, thereby gaining positive recognition for him/herself and for the campus. 

Diane D. Shorter Outstanding Community Service Award -- Carol Cloud (LINK to sock drive)
Recognizes a student or event which contributes to the spirit of civic engagement through raising awareness of and enlisting campus involvement towards supporting a cause.


Swap a Tee, Get One for Free!

Contributed by Jason Mandell and Jeff Beecher

Fair Trade T-shirt Exchange - Day 1
Fair Trade TrailBlazer Joe Sweeny (left) swaps t-shirts with the first student in line, Aimee Ralph.

On April 18 and 19, the Fair Trade TrailBlazers at Penn State Brandywine hosted a t-shirt exchange at the Commons building on campus. The exchange was one of several events held at Brandywine to promote the Fair Trade movement. The t-shirt exchange was a chance for students to bring in a gently used t-shirt in exchange for a Fair Trade Penn State shirt.

Due to the rain on Wednesday the 18th, the group held the exchange inside the Lion's Den, while on Thursday, the group set up outside in the beautiful weather. Approximately 100 students exchanged t-shirts. There was also huge support from the faculty and staff on campus including Joseph Buskirk, our bookstore manager, who donated 37 t-shirts.

Along with the shirt, the TrailBlazers distributed pamphlets about Fair Trade and what the campus is doing to be granted Fair Trade University status. All of the 137 shirts that were collected were donated to Planet Aid, which supplies clothing to less fortunate people. This event generated awareness about Fair Trade at the Brandywine campus and fulfilled the group's mission of hosting two fair trade events for the semester.


Penn State Brandywine's undergraduate research symposium, titled the Exhibition of Undergraduate Research Enterprise and Creative Accomplishment (EURECA), was established in 2003 in an effort to facilitate the dissemination of undergraduate student research results. Undergraduate research at Penn State Brandywine is not limited to traditional laboratory science, but also includes scholarship and creative activities such as writing and performance. Students in all disciplines can, and are encouraged to, engage in undergraduate research from the freshman to senior year.

The campus is dedicated to promoting opportunities for students to work with faculty engaging in research and scholarly activities. Participating in undergraduate research projects enables students to develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and technology. Through undergraduate research, students are not only becoming expert in their field of study, but they have the opportunity to investigate new areas outside of their chosen major.

Dissemination of undergraduate research is critical to expanding knowledge and creating change, and the EURECA annual exposition allows students to present their research and creative work to an audience beyond the classroom setting and to people from outside of the campus community. EURECA gives students the opportunity to experience what it is like to present their work in a public format, as it is done at professional meetings.

While the majority of the presentations take the form of posters, there are also computer presentations, videos, lesson plans by education majors as well as other formats. This was evident at this year's EURECA, held on campus April 17 in the Tomezsko Building lounge. Students were required to prepare an abstract of their work, which was reviewed and included in the event's program book. The student work is typically classified in one of two categories, Enterprise or Creative Accomplishment. However, a new category was formed this year, highlighting posters with a civic engagement focus. Seven posters were placed in this category, addressing a wide range of civic topics.

In addition to the civic engagement category, an award category was created for excellence in civic engagement. Student researchers were judged in three areas: project information, poster display, and individual presentation. The project information dealt with the overall content of the project and how well the information was explained on the poster. The display of each poster was judged on how visually appealing each poster was, and also the level of professionalism used in preparing the text. So text is not expected to have spelling or grammatical errors, nor excessive use of jargon. Finally, students were judge on how well they were able to describe and discuss their projects. These areas of judging serve to motivate students to push for excellence and improve their communication skills.

The judging of the civic engagement posters was led by Laboratory for Civic Engagement Communications Intern Zanya Stephenson with members of the Penn State Brandywine Campus Advisory Board. The judges were left with the difficult task of deciding which civic engagement presentation stood out more than others. After much deliberation, Sarah DeMartino was awarded under the category of Civic Engagement for the research she did on dementia in India under the mentorship of Dr. Thomas Yannuzzi.

View the photo slideshow below of the civic engagement posters with their student authors.  The end of the slideshow include a photo of Sarah DeMartino with Dr. Yannuzzi and Zanya Stephenson.



Posters representing civic engagement work at 2012 EURECA

Dementia in India, student researcher: Sarah DeMartino

Ecology: Water Pollution Mini-Unit Video, student researcher: Stephanie Beckett

Developing a Senior Assist Program, student researcher: Elizabeth Mager

The Love Local Event: Supporting Local Agribusiness and Protecting the Region's Landscape, student researcher: Jessica Menges

Information Technology Services Department, student researcher: Brittany Tyler

Increasing Awareness of a Classroom Lending Library, student researcher: Margie Whelan

Commuting to the Grounds of Fair Trade University Status: Achieving Leadership in Penn State's Fair Trade Movement, student researchers: Bryan Marton, Sarah DeMartino, Louis Donaghue, Stephen Hurwitz, Sara Neville, John Ramaika, Joseph Sweeny


Click on the link below to read the full abstracts for each project.


Divine Chocolate speaks on campus

Contributed by Jason Mandell and Jeff Beecher

Divine Chocolate seminar


Amanda White, of Divine Chocolate, visited Penn State Brandywine on April 16, 2012, to talk about her company and it associations with Fair Trade. White began with a brief history of Divine Chocolate, which was founded in 1998 in the United Kingdom. At the time, Divine Chocolate's largest customer was Whole Foods, a grocer that is also committed to selling Fair Trade goods.

Divine Chocolate gets its cocoa from Ghana, where it buys cocoa for a fair price of $2,000 a ton and a $200 premium. The villagers all get together to decide what the $200 dollar premium will be spent on; usually, it is an investment in the community. The money is used to educate and train new workers and guarantee minimum health and safety conditions for workers. These villages are independently audited and get monitored annually. White also told the students about Christiana Ohene Agyare, the first female president of the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa farmers union, and its 60,000 members. At the end of the presentation, White answered student's questions and--much to everyone's delight--gave everyone a free sample of Divine Chocolate to demonstrate just how delicious Fair Trade chocolate can be.


April 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.




In March 2011, Japan experienced devastating earthquakes and aftershocks.  Everyone was impacted by the images and stories coming from Japan, but no one could know or predict how the earthquakes would impact the children of Japan.  Penn State Brandywine alumna Crystal Bowhall was living and teaching fifth and sixth graders in Nagano Prefecture.  Dr. Laura Guertin, Associate Professor of Earth Science and former instructor of Crystal was relieved to hear that she was OK, and she asked if there was anything she could do to help Crystal and her students.  After a Google Chat, they decided that the students Dr. Guertin's EARTH 150 - Dinosaur Extinctions and Other Controversies course could write some "dinosaur mail" to help not only educate the students about dinosaurs, but to help them with their English and to bring them a smile and distraction from the earthquake recovery.  Letters were written and sent to Crystal to distribute to her students.

Article from Penn State Brandywine website (April 29, 2011): Alumna Living in Japan Reconnects with Campus to Bring Hope (LINK)

Fast forward a year later, and the students have created a video and sent photos of themselves reading the letters!  Because the students are minors, we cannot post the video or their images online, but we are thrilled to see the smiles of the children with letters in hand from new friends at Penn State Brandywine.


Be sure to read the Penn State Live article detailing more about a new program on campus to recognize excellence in innovative civic engagement teaching (LINK).

To honor and recognize the significant contribution David and Marjorie Rosenberg have made to assist with coordinating and further expanding the civic engagement efforts at Penn State Brandywine, the campus will identify one course each semester (fall and spring) and designate that course the Rosenberg Civic Engagement Course.  The course will go above-and-beyond a standard campus civic engagement offering and challenge students to the highest levels, aligning with the Laboratory for Civic Engagement's mission of citizenship, scholarship, and leadership.  The course will be selected by the Laboratory Coordinator and Rosenberg Professor for Leadership and Innovation through an application process.

The first course named as a Rosenberg Civic Engagement Course for Spring 2012 is ENVST 400W - Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies, where students are going through a rigorous inquiry and application process to have Penn State Brandywine declared as a Fair Trade University.  You can read more on the Fair Trade at Penn State Brandywine website:  http://tinyurl.com/fairtradepsubw



Thanks to the Office of Student Affairs for the following update! Be sure to read the article on The Brandywine Blog (LINK) for additional information and thoughts from the students about the conference.

This group of students were in Boston the first weekend of April learning valuable leadership skills at the National Center for Student Leadership Conference! Doug Layer, Dave Serpentine, Sandy Flick, Aimee Ralph, and Rob Ribson are making us proud! (pictured with Student Affairs Director Matthew Shupp, Assistant Director Ronika Money, and Instructor Karrie Bowen).

sp12ncsl.jpg

Our first Admissions event!

The Laboratory for Civic Engagement made its first appearance at the March 2012 Admissions Program held on campus for high school students and families.  The table was staffed by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin and Laboratory Communications Intern Zanya Stephenson (pictured below, left).  The table provided visitors information about the Laboratory, the Civic and Community Engagement minor, campus volunteer clubs, the Fair Trade University initiative. 

People that stopped by the table were also invited to share their favorite volunteer activity via Post-It notes on our whiteboard (pictured below, right).  The volunteer activities posted included THON (the crowd favorite), making blankets, Lion Ambassadors, collecting clothing to donate, volunteering with Philabundance, coaching youth football, making cards for those in need of love, and "I don't have a favorite! I love to volunteer!"


Admissions Event, 03/24/12     Admissions Event, 03/24/12



2012 Newman Civic Fellows Award

Be sure to read the campus press release (LINK), Penn State Live article (LINK), and Campus Compact summary (LINK) posted about award winner Zanya Stephenson!

The Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellows Award honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Through service, research, and advocacy, Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change. These students are selected as national models for the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders.

Since her start at Penn State Brandywine, Zanya Stephenson has participated in many campus service projects, served as the Team Captain for our campus's first entry into Philadelphia's innovative design competition Canstruction, and is working to establish volunteer opportunities in after school programs for youth in the city of Philadelphia. She has also been working with our Laboratory for Civic Engagement since last semester, currently serving as the Laboratory Communications intern. Nominated by our Chancellor, Zanya joins only 160 students from 32 states in receiving this honor, and she is the first recipient ever from Penn State Brandywine.  Congratulations, Zanya!

Top: Zanya receiving her certificate for the Newman Civic Fellows Award at the campus Academic Award Ceremony, March 22, 2012.  Bottom:  Zanya featured on the Campus Compact website.

Zanya Stephenson


Zanya Stephenson, 2012 Newman Civic Fellow, on Campus Compact website



Eileen Fresta and Jennifer Santangelo were both recognized for their volunteer efforts with the President's Volunteer Service Award.  Eileen earned the Silver Level for 2011, while Jen earned the Bronze Level for 2011 and Silver Level for 2010. 

Jen (pictured below) joins Taj Magruder who was previously awarded the Gold Level for his volunteer work in 2010.

Visit our President's Volunteer Service Award website for additional information.


Jen Santangelo



Leadership Sessions in Philadelphia

Some college students spent Saturday, March 17, celebrating Saint Patrick's Day.  Others, such as Rebecca Berkowitz, Sara Neville, and Bryan Marton, spent the day at different student leadership training sessions in Philadelphia.

Rebecca Berkowitz attended the Service Leaders Summit, sponsored by Drexel's Center for Civic Engagement and PHENND. The Service Leaders Summit is a yearly meeting where students, nonprofit professionals, and community organizers gather to share ideas and expand their knowledge base on significant social issues. Students have the opportunity to network across campuses, share ideas, and come together in service both throughout their academic and professional careers. 

Rebecca is on the Executive Committee of We Are Penn State M.A.D.E. (Making A Difference Everyday), the campus volunteer club.  After the meeting, Rebecca shared her thoughts with us:  "The summit was great!  I wrote down tons of stuff very prevalent to MADE.  I really enjoyed it!  Thank you for such an awesome opportunity."

Sara Neville and Bryan Marton traveled with Dr. Laura Guertin to Temple University for the Fair Trade Leadership Development session, joining other students from Pennsylvania and DC that are working towards getting their campuses established as Fair Trade Universities.  Sara and Bryan are both enrolled in ENVST 400W, the Rosenberg Civic Engagement Course for Spring 2012 that has students working towards bringing Fair Trade to Penn State Brandywine.

Bryan shared his thoughts about the meeting: "I am so thankful to have attended the session. We have some great collaborators and i am looking forward to working with them. Can't wait for the next chance to exchange ideas and to learn!"

We look forward to seeing how these students continue to grow as leaders at Penn State Brandywine and beyond!


Be sure to read this excellent article on The Brandywine Blog, written by student and Girl Scout troop leader Jennifer Santangelo (LINK)

Letters written about Girl Scouting are now enclosed in a time capsule!

thumb_100.gif On March 13, during Girl Scout Week and the day after the 100th birthday of Girl Scouting, Penn State Brandywine sealed its Girl Scout Time Capsule, an air-tight, water-tight box not to be opened for 25 years.  In this box are photos of Girl Scouts and letters written by former and current Scouts and troop leaders.  In addition to the faculty on campus that contributed letters about their Scouting experiences, the time capsule has letters written by the following Daisy, Brownie, Junior, and Cadette troops:

  • Junior Troop 57090 form Media Elementary School
  • Daisy Troop 4973 from Lionville Elementary & SS Philip & James Schools (Pickering Valley Service Unit)
  • Junior Troop 4002 from Lionville Elementary & Kimberton Waldorf Schools (Pickering Valley Service Unit)
  • Brownie Troop 4430 from Pocopson Elementary School
  • Junior Troop 4348 from Pocopson Elementary School
  • Troop 5341 from Springton Lake Middle School

Tune back in during March 2037 to see our snapshot of Girl Scouting!


March 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.



Posting online anonymously

Should people be allowed to post online anonymously?

Mountain Grove, Missouri, is no longer a town that gathers at the local diner for coffee and gossip in the mornings. Instead, the town gossip is now being aired online where residents can post their "news" anonymously.  

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

March 2012 events on campus

The following are events taking place on campus that may be of interest to friends of the Laboratory for Civic Engagement.


Green Party presidential candidate to speak at March 20 (LINK)

MTV True Life's Ben Carpenter to discuss living with mental illness (LINK)

Former U.S. Marine to recount recon missions in Iraq (LINK)

Student teacher tackles classroom bullying

Read the article on Penn State Brandywine's website about the amazing work of early elementary education major Elizabeth Panos.  Elizabeth has developed an anti-bullying, what she calls "treat with kindness," teaching strategy for the classroom.


Drug testing welfare applicants

Should welfare applicants undergo drug testing before receiving benefits?

In June 2011, Florida's Governor Rick Scott signed a bill requiring all welfare applicants in Florida to undergo drug testing before receiving government assistance. Arguments suggest that passing this bill only adds to the stereotype that all welfare applicants are a group of drug abusers. However, others argue that the drug testing acts as a safety net for tax-payers money. 

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


Helping Hearts for Valentine's Day

Based on the huge success of the MLK Day of Service on campus with several volunteer opportunities available in the Tomezsko Building lounge, students came together again to spend some time doing service.  This time, students, faculty and staff sewed tags on blankets for Project Linus, cut and sort $3,751.81 worth of coupons for the Overseas Coupon Program, and created 43 Valentine's Day cards for the residents of Granite Farms Estates (a local senior citizen community).  Stay tuned for additional "days of service" on campus!




Happening around campus in Spring 2012...

Let's Talk About Race - Acknowledge the Past - Heal the Present. A conversation with author Thomas Norman DeWolf.

Campus Hosts 'Pink Zone' Game to Raise Breast Cancer Awareness (LINK)

Real Talk Discussion: "Loving Them to Death. What is Happening to Black Youth?"

#nowshowing - What is Civic Engagement?

#nowshowing is a new initiative of the Laboratory where we will periodically recommend videos to watch that connect with our mission and vision of the Laboratory. We think it is appropriate for our first video to review the definition of civic engagement, brought to us by iCitizenForum. You can view this video and future ones we recommend on our Google+ page, where you can scroll through the entries and/or search our entries with the hashtag #nowshowing




February 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.


Renewable energy production tax credit

Should Congress extend the renewable energy production tax credit, and if so, how should it be funded?

Offshore wind farms are appearing off coastlines across the globe, especially off both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. From European nations to the east coast of the United States, the promise of a clean energy source fueled by wind power has a high financial cost.

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

2012 Special Olympic Scarf Project

Knittany Lion Needleworks, along with their friends from the community, completed 119 handmade scarves for the Pennsylvania athletes in the 2012 USA Special Olympics.

See article on campus website, entry on campus blog.


The beginning of the Spring 2012 semester marks the return of We Are Penn State M.A.D.E. (Making A Difference Everyday).  This campus volunteer club looks forward to allowing all members to become leaders in volunteering and community-based activities year-round.

At the club's first meeting on January 19, the students cut coupons to support the campus efforts for the Overseas Coupon Program.  This year, the campus will be sending all manufacturer coupons to the U.A. Army base in Vilseck, Germany.  In just one common hour session, the students cut $2,193.36 worth of coupons!  Stay tuned for more events and activities by M.A.D.E.

MADElogo.png


Remembering MLK in 2012

We should not forget the dream of one person, wonderfully portrayed in today's Google Doodle...


...and five inspirational quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., summarized on the Cool People Care website.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

"I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

"Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?"


MLK Day 2012

Penn State Brandywine is celebrating MLK Day as a week of lectures and service opportunities.  THON/American Red Cross, Knittany Lion Needleworks, We Are Penn State M.A.D.E., the Office of Student Affairs, and the Laboratory for Civic Engagement are all coming together to organize and lead activities for the campus.  The week of events serves to remind everyone that although MLK Day is a "day on, not a day off," it is important to serve all throughout the year.

MLKDay.jpg

ENGAGE the Lion, Issue #1

The first issue of our Laboratory newsletter has been published!  ENGAGE the Lion is a PDF file filled with highlights of information from our website, useful resources, and ways to become involved.

ENGAGE the Lion, Issue #1, December 2011 (PDF file)

Be sure to read the campus press release (LINK) about Cara and her amazing work!


We have to wonder if Cara Colantuono, while sitting in her classes as a Penn State Brandywine undergraduate student, knew what her future would hold.  We wonder how that land grant mission of Penn State University called out to her to serve the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

What we do know is that, armed with her undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Studies and her Masters of Social Work from Temple University, Cara is the founder, CEO, and president of Support Homeless Veterans.  Founded in 2011, Cara's organization provides support services and housing for chronic homeless, drug-addicted and recently relieved veterans.

To learn more about Cara and her organization, please visit the website for Support Homeless Veterans and see the article by South Philly Review.


January 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.



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: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2761408

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:

Screen shot 2011-12-21 at 8.25.18 AM.png
"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 http://www.whitehouse.gov/40dollars to learn how you can contribute to the conversation.


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 (http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/index.html) and Twitter account (@CNNHeroes).


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.
The following are various events organized outside of the Laboratory that engaged the campus community in civic conversation and service, in addition to events highlighted on our website.

  • Speaker on working with children with autism spectrum disorder (LINK)

  • Three speakers on welfare and poverty in the United States, in conjunction with HIST 154 (LINK)

  • Knittany Lion Needleworks donated 27 pink scarves to breast cancer patients and 53 huggy pillows for heart patients at Chester County Hospital, 77 hats/scarves/mittens to Cradles to Crayons


Ten Penn State Brandywine students attended the National Center for Student Leadership Fall 2011 Conference in Miami, Fla. earlier this month. The conference consisted of three days of presentations and workshops that were aimed at offering students the opportunity to build upon the leadership skills needed to improve themselves as well as their campus communities."

Click here to read the full article on the Penn State Brandywine website.

The NCSL Conference, held twice a year, helps students build a strong foundation as a leader and anchor their leadership skills for life. For four days, students learn specific strategies to take their unique skills to a whole new level, find their own leadership style, and become the leader they want to be in college and beyond. With dozens of workshops and presentations, students hear from top names in leadership that discuss the most effective leadership techniques.

Brandywine students provide feedback on their attendance at NCSL:

"One of the main things that I took away from the conference was that leadership is about action, but it is also about a mindset." - Kate Curley
"Being able to attend this conference has had such a huge impact on me and I truly believe that it will help me to become a better leader and person overall. I am very grateful for this experience and hope that PSU Brandywine continues to send more students to this conference in the future, so that more students can benefit from it."- Kayla Csizmazia

2011 TEDxPSU Watch Party

On November 13, 2011, Penn State Brandywine hosted an event like no other.  Thanks to the campus TED Committee, with financial support from the Penn State Brandywine Alumni Society, we hosted a Watch Party for TEDxPSU 2011.  Members of the campus and greater community gathered to watch and discuss "ideas worth spreading" shown from a live video stream from the University Park campus.

Visit the TED at Brandywine website to learn about the day's events and to view videos from the speakers.


Operation Military Haiku

The Laboratory for Civic Engagement asked students/faculty/staff/alumni/friends/etc. to write a haiku as a tribute to our active and retired military personnel. Operation Military Haiku was a  way for everyone to express their creativity in a small and simple project that would have a powerful impact (as there was a meeting of Veterans on the campus November 2).

The submitted haiku were written on notecards and placed on display from the end of October through Veterans Day (November 11).  You can read the haiku collection in this PDF file.


Display of military-themed haiku in Tomezsko Building

Population 7 Billion - October 31, 2011

A United Nations report projects that world population, instead of stabilizing at above 9 billion by 2050, will keep growing and may hit 10.1 billion by 2100. Can the Earth support seven billion now, and the three billion people who are expected to be added by the end of this century?

There are numerous online resources and articles available online discussing the different dimensions of a planet with 7 billion people.  Some issues that deserve serious thought and reflection include: poverty and inequality, women and girls empowerment, reproductive health and rights, young people, aging population, environment, and urbanization.

Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #7billion and review the recommended links and videos below.


The following are various events organized outside of the Laboratory that engaged the campus community in civic conversation and service.

  • "Dig Pink" Volleyball Matches Raise Money for Breast Cancer Research (LINK)

  • Campus comes together for National Coming Out Day (LINK)

  • Knittany Lion Needleworks donated 100 handmade scarves to the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County

  • Blood drive for the American Red Cross

  • Ad Pro Ed Tettemer spoke in connection with the campus common read "This I Believe" (LINK)

  • Knittany Lion Needleworks hosted a service project on Halloween, working with students, staff, faculty, and a community member to sew 53 huggy pillows for Chester County Hospital (see slideshow below).



Pretty in Pig

The Pretty In Pig program is part of the fundraising efforts of the Philadelphia Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Pretty in Pig consists of five larger-than-life piggy banks and hundreds of "piglet" that travel throughout Philadelphia Komen's 13-county service area to generate awareness and raise funds for the breast cancer movement. Offering anyone and everyone the chance to make a difference, Pretty In Pig, reinforces that "every penny counts" when it comes to saving lives. Sponsored by Dietz & Watson, Inc., and raising approximately $200,000 in its first three years.

The Laboratory for Civic Engagement brought one of the giant piggy banks to campus during October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  For three days, with its final day on campus being Penn State Day, the campus and greater community was able to drop its change into the bank to assist Komen's efforts in the Philadelphia region.

View our slideshow of the pig arriving on campus and looking pretty for Penn State Day!  The photo set can also be viewed on the Laboratory's flickr site.




We collected 378 pennies, 195 nickels, 334 dimes, 131 quarters, and $63 in paper dollars, for a grand total of $142.68!

TED Chat #2

On October 17th, students, staff and faculty came together for 45 minutes of with pre-recorded TED talks and small group discussions. 

Visit this page at our TED at Brandywine website to view the collection of videos and questions discussed at the session.  Tweets posted with the hashtag #psubwted were compiled into Storify to record thoughts and reactions.

The final full-day TEDxPSU Watch Party will take place in the same location on Sunday, November 13.  Those interested in attending the Watch Party are encouraged to register online.

Volunteer/Service Events for September 2011

The following are various events organized outside of the Laboratory that engaged the campus community in civic conversation and service.

  • This I Believe: A Campus Common Read (LINK)
  • Students Reenact History at Local Cemetery (LINK)
  • Miles of Pillowcase Smiles, for ConKerr Cancer and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (LINK)

Banned Websites Awareness Day

Should schools filter access to educational and social websites?

September 28, the American Association of School Librarians dedicated a day to promote awareness of educational and social websites that are banned from computers in K-12 classrooms.

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

TED Chat #1

September 20th marked the first of a new type of event for the campus.  Students, staff and faculty were introduced to an hour filled with pre-recorded TED talks and small group discussions.  Jennifer Santangelo wrote an announcement for the event.

Visit this page at our TED at Brandywine website to view the collection of videos and questions discussed at the session.  Tweets posted with the hashtag #psubwted were compiled into Storify to record thoughts and reactions.

The second "TED chat" will be held on Monday, October 17, in TMZKO 103.  The final full-day TEDxPSU Watch Party will take place in the same location on Sunday, November 13.  Those interested in attending the Watch Party are encouraged to register online.

2011 Constitution Day

constday2011.png
Image from the National Constitution Center: Constitution Day website


In honor of Constitution Day, all educational institutions receiving federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution. As September 17 fell on a Saturday in 2011, the Penn State Brandywine campus celebrated Constitution Day on Friday, September 16.

With an open mic set up in the Vairo Amphitheater, students were provided the following introduction and question to discuss:

Summer 2011 saw flash mobs organized by Philadelphia teenagers through social media. The London riots were said to be fueled by incitements to violence on Twitter. On August 11, San Francisco's BART shut down cell phone signals in its downtown subway stations to prevent an organized disruption to rush hour service. Is blocking access to social media a violation of free speech, or necessary for safety and security?

Participant Jennifer Santangelo wrote a summary of the event for the campus website. The conversation continues on the Civic Issues in a Minute website. Penn State students and faculty are encouraged to post their thoughts on the embedded VoiceThread.

Knittany Lion Needleworks recently completed its Second Annual Summer Service Project.  Everyone from campus students, staff, faculty, and alumni, to friends of Penn State were invited to break out their knitting needles and crochet hooks, gather their pink and red yarn, and get ready to help two different organizations.

The knitters and crocheters had the option of making pink hats to be sent to The Hat Box Foundation, an organization that would distribute the hats to participants in walks/runs across the country for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  The other option was from a special request KLN received from Chester County Hospital, asking for red scarves to give to patients recovering from heart procedures.

Knittany Lion Needleworks received 101 pink hats and 54 red scarves - an excellent end to a summer service project.

Pink hats for The Hat Box Foundation     Red Scarves for heart paitents at Chester County Hospital


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is launching its OnCampus ecoAmbassador program on September 1, 2011. Students are encouraged to participate in the program, a chance for higher education students to green their campuses and promote environmental awareness. Students can educate their peers through informational events or initiate environmental change on their campus through longer-term projects. Past ecoAmbassadors have improved recycling efforts, organized Earth Day celebrations, initiated composting programs and worked to certify campus buildings as Energy Star compliant. Students benefit by developing valuable leadership, research and teamwork skills in addition to working closely with an EPA program to build awareness. The highest achieving students will have the opportunity to visit EPA offices and meet with EPA staff and leadership.

Interested students should visit http://epa.gov/oncampus/ and contact Dr. Laura Guertin, Environmental Inquiry Minor coordinator, at guertin@psu.edu to discuss possible campus projects and before registering online.


Knittany Lion Needleworks (KLN) is a group of knitters, crocheters, sewers and quilters at Penn State Brandywine. The group began back in the spring semester of 2003 making blankets in Penn State's blue-and-white colors for Project Linus. KLN donated 11 blankets that semester. Since then, the group has expanded beyond campus students, staff, and faculty, to include alumni, family, friends, and other community members, such as the knitters and crocheters at Granite Farms Estates, a local retirement community. In August 2011, Knittany Lion Needleworks donated its 1,000th blanket to Project Linus! They are thrilled to reach this milestone and hope to have even more volunteers join them to make even more blankets.

You can find Knittany Lion Needleworks online at:
      Knittany Lion Needleworks website: http://tinyurl.com/knittanylionneedleworks
      Twitter account: http://twitter.com/knittanylion

IM001713.JPG
Mrs. Diane Shorter (Student Affairs), Co-chair of Knittany Lion Needleworks, assists the Nittany Lion in knitting a blanket.


Leadership course for students

In Fall 2011, Penn State Brandywine is offering a course for all students interested in learning about and developing their own leadership skills.  The course, CN ED 301, is titled "Student Organization Management/Leadership."  Below is an excerpt from the syllabus.

Believing that leaders are made and not born, this course is designed to introduce students to those key components (behaviors and characteristics) that have been found to be integral to successful leadership.

Knowledge of leadership theory as well as self-assessment and development is a necessary and continual process for leaders. Students will be asked to examine their own strengths and weaknesses and to begin to make adjustments in their behaviors and attitudes.

CN ED 301 is a two-credit course offered online by Dr. Matthew Shupp, Director of Student Affairs, and Ms. Ronika Money, Assistant Director of Student Affairs.


The Student Government Association (SGA) at Penn State Brandywine continues for the second year its Community Service Initiative.  SGA legislation states that a student club/organization on campus is eligible to receive a modest amount of SGA funding for every four hours of service performed outside of Penn State Brandywine.  Several clubs have taken advantage of this initiative to connect with community organizations creating local change.


Updated logo.jpgThe Honors Program, Office of Student Affairs, and the Laboratory for Civic Engagement came together to organize the first-ever volunteer activity for our incoming first-year students.  On Convocation Day, August 18, all new students (and faculty and staff) were asked to bring to campus a box of their favorite breakfast cereal to be donated to Philabundance.  Breakfast cereal is one of the most needed and most highly-demanded items from the 500 agencies across the Delaware Valley that Philabundance serves.

The Community Service Kick-off was developed to allow our newest students to participate in a service activity their first day on campus, before classes even begin.  We want students to know that Penn State Brandywine is committed to its land-grant mission of serving the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and around the globe.  Our goal was to show Philabundance that we have Penn State Pride in our volunteering activities now and throughout the year!




Click here to visit the slide set and meet some of the campus faculty and staff!


Our campus donated 117 boxes of breakfast cereal to Philabundance! The campus favorite seems to be starting off the morning with a bowl of Cheerios!


Search