Smeal Update: April 24, 2020

Dear Smeal Community,

Welcome to another edition of the Smeal COVID-19 Update, which includes important information regarding the University’s response to the pandemic and the impact on Smeal.

Our Smeal Coronavirus FAQ page contains links to the University’s faculty/staff FAQs and other pertinent information.

In light of President Barron’s recent financial update, I would like to clarify Smeal’s position and how we will meet our fiduciary responsibilities. Please watch this video.

In case you missed it …

  • The 2020 Outstanding Staff Awards Recognition Ceremony was held Wednesday, virtually on Zoom for the first time. The honorees included:
    • Customer Service Award: Jessie Sorensen, IT support specialist, RIIT Group
    • Leadership Award: Julie Cutler, academic adviser, Undergraduate Education
    • Outstanding Staff Award: Krista White, internship manager, Business Career Center
    • RISE Above Award: Dawn Maguire, academic adviser, Undergraduate Education
    • Staff Sustainability Award: Melissa Forsha, budget analyst, Professional Graduate Programs

Keeping the Smeal Community virtually connected

  • To ensure that faculty and staff members may remain connected to one another and to promote a strong sense of community during this period of remote learning and telecommuting, Smeal has created a Microsoft Teams Space. To join the Smeal Community team click here or use code: g35pap8 in the “Join a team with code” section of your Teams client.

Smeal in the News

  • Penn State Online MBA student Joshua Carlson, a night shift nursing supervisor in Dallas, shared his personal reflections from the frontlines of the pandemic. Read the Smeal News story.
  • Smeal continues to play an integral role in the Penn State interdisciplinary COVID-19 response effort called MASC. Read the Penn State News story.

Deadline nears for Penn State compliance training

  • A reminder that the deadline to complete the University’s 2019-20 annual compliance training is April 30.

Next Smeal Community Zoom Session planned

Keep a watchful eye out for students in distress

  • The pandemic has created some acute challenges, especially for students. If you are aware of a student who is experiencing emotional distress, financial hardship, food insecurity, or a similar challenge, please consider the following:

If you have information regarding COVID-19 and its impact on Penn State Smeal and would like to share it through this update, please email it to Andy Elder, manager of public relations, at You can also share examples of “We Are” stories involving anyone in our Smeal Community.