Smeal Update: April 16, 2021

Congratulations for another semester of diligence, excellence

We know it hasn’t been easy, nor has it been what we are all accustomed to, but another successful semester is nearly complete. Congratulations to all students, staff, and faculty for your ability to adapt to change while maintaining Smeal’s standards of excellence. Thank you to everyone for stepping up and making the most of a challenging situation.

BOV member John Arnold to deliver Smeal commencement address

John M. Arnold will deliver Smeal’s 2021 undergraduate commencement address at 9 a.m. May 8 in Beaver Stadium. Arnold is the chairman and chief executive officer of PPC Lubricants. He has been a Smeal Board of Visitors member since 2001. He was honored in 2019 with the Penn State Distinguished Alumni Award, in 2008 with the Smeal Distinguished Achievement Award, and in 2004 with the Penn State Alumni Fellow Award.

Remind students to Raise Your Hand in Starfish

Anyone who works with students is asked to help publicize an important initiative from the University.

Visa, travel, or health-related restrictions may prevent some students from being on campus in fall 2021. Undergraduate and graduate students attending any campus but Penn State World Campus with these unavoidable circumstances are being asked to Raise Your Hand in Starfish.  

New first-year and transfer undergraduate students will have opportunities to talk to their advisers during New Student Orientation and do not have to take action at this time. New and transfer graduate students can Raise Your Hand now.

Smeal MBA programs join Forté Foundation to continue supporting women in business

Online, residential, and executive MBA students from the Penn State Smeal College of Business can now leverage the Forté Foundation, a non-profit consortium of multinational corporations and top universities and business schools, through a new MBA partnership. Read the story.

Smeal names Alumni Award recipients

The Penn State Smeal College of Business has announced the recipients of its 2021 and 2020 Alumni Awards. Read the story.

Staff reminded to update goals on performance review

Full-time staff are reminded to review and update performance goals prior to the end-of-year review. See this week’s Penn State Today article for more details. Goals must be submitted and approved by May 16. If you haven’t already, be sure to add the Smeal Honor & Integrity goal to your review by clicking “use existing goal” as you are entering your goals. It was cascaded to you in the fall, so it should appear in the drop-down box when you click this option.

Faculty encouraged to create a Google Scholar page

All tenure-line faculty are encouraged to create a Google Scholar Profile to showcase their academic publications and promote the high-caliber scholarly research from Smeal.

To create a profile, you first need to establish a Google account. Then, log into your account and click here.

After you’ve established your profile, you may activate a Google Scholar button to appear on your faculty bio page on the Smeal website. Simply follow these basic instructions:

  • Go to your Google Scholar site and copy the URL
  • Go to your Smeal Directory page and click “Update Profile,” located in the upper right corner of the page
  • You may need to complete 2-factor authentication
  • Click the link to Penn State Digital Dossier near the top of your page
  • Under “General Information” click on “Personal and Contact Information”
  • Scroll down the page to “Google Scholar URL” and paste in the URL copied earlier
  • Click “Save” at the top of the page

While you’re at it, take a moment to make sure your information in Smeal Digital Measures is updated as well. Faculty information for the Smeal directory flows from Digital Measures. Click here for more information.

Smeal in the News

Research by Lisa Bolton cited in four publications

Research conducted by Lisa Bolton, professor of marketing and the Frank and Mary Jean Smeal Research Fellow, was cited by four publications. Click on the following publication links to read the stories: Tech Xplore, Interesting Engineering, Workplace Insight, Futurism.

Ask the Dean open for your questions

Send your questions to We’ll do our best to provide answers in a video to be included in an upcoming Smeal Update.

Do you know someone who rocks? Nominate them!

Each month the Smeal Staff Advisory Committee names a You Rock! Award recipient. You can nominate a co-worker for the You Rock! Award online.

The Smeal Community Weekly Poll

This week's survey asks about your reading preference. Click this link to participate. Results will be shared during next week's Smeal Community Zoom.

Next week at Smeal

Susman Sustainability Leadership Speaker Series (Noon Wednesday)

Jean Oelwang, founding CEO and president of Virgin Unite, the inaugural recipient of the Gerald I. Susman Sustainability Leadership Award, and Smeal Board of Visitors member, will moderate a discussion ”Collective Courage: How can business leaders change their businesses, industries, and capitalism for good?” She’ll be joined by Jochen Zeitz, president and CEO of Harley-Davidson, Inc., and Erin Meezan, chief sustainability officer at Interface. Register for this webinar online.

Questions from faculty

How well do the COVID-19 vaccines work against the B.1.1.7 variant?
The B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2 was recently discovered in our local community. B.1.1.7 spreads more quickly and easily than other variants, and to help mitigate the impact of transmission in our campus communities, Penn State is strongly encouraging all students, faculty, and staff to sign up and get a vaccine as soon as they are eligible to receive one.

I have a student who says they are self-quarantining due to suspected close contacts, but they have not made an official report to the University. How should I advise them?
To limit community spread and transmission of COVID-19, any student who suspects or has confirmed that they are a close contact of an infected individual must self-quarantine, and is strongly encouraged to self-report by filling out Penn State’s contact tracing referral form, or by calling Penn State Contact Tracing at 814-863-8800. Penn State Contact Tracing will review the information and contact the student.

Though they cannot require it, instructors should strongly encourage students to self-report to allow the contact tracing process to begin. In addition, any faculty or staff member may refer directly to contact tracing using the link above. To encourage students to engage in responsible behavior, instructors are encouraged to treat such absences as unavoidable under Senate Policy 42-27.

If a student is determined to have met the standard for a close contact, the student will be provided quarantine support and guidance, and their in-person instructors will be notified in accordance with standard processes. Not every reported situation meets the standard for a close contact. In those cases, students will be advised to continue with normal activities following all safety protocols, and instructors will not be notified.