Smeal Update: August 6, 2021

Staying informed during a news-heavy week

A lot of news about masking, testing for the fall semester, alternate work arrangements, etc. came out this week, and we thought that it merited a separate email that went from me to the Smeal community earlier. The situation remains fluid, and I hope you will access multiple channels to stay up to date as we approach the beginning of the semester:this newsletter, direct emails from me, and the Community Zooms.

Guidance on holding an event with food

Here is the current guidance on food service from Kelly Wolgast, the director of the COVID Operations Control Center: “It is recommended that food is served outside, or inside in designated food service areas. Classrooms, hallways, and conference room spaces are not designated food service spaces. Prepackaged foods are best. Buffets or other serving styles that involve queuing or sharing common serving utensils are discouraged. Individuals will be wearing masks — please consider that fact when food is involved so someone does not feel that permission was given to remove their mask to eat in a non-designated food area. Judgment and common sense should be used when planning food service for events.”

Where may we eat in the Business Building?

Students, faculty, and staff may continue to eat in the atrium, as long as it is not part of an organized event. You may remove your mask once you are seated and while you are actively eating. Faculty and staff may also eat at their desks. If you do not have a private office, you may remove your mask while you are actively eating at your desk. 

Fong named an inaugural graduate student ombudsperson

Duncan Fong, professor of marketing and Frank and Mary Jean Smeal Research Fellow, has been named one of four inaugural ombudspersons for Penn State’s graduate students. The goal of the program is to provide graduate students with a neutral, informal, impartial, and confidential resource to discuss problems and issues, and to raise questions and concerns. The ultimate objective of the program is to enhance communication, identify resources and options, and clarify possible misunderstandings to help settle issues before situations escalate.

ISBM names latest Distinguished Research Fellow

Smeal’s Institute for the Study of Business Markets has named Sundar Bharadwaj, the Coca-Cola Company Chair of Marketing at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, as an ISBM Distinguished Research Fellow. Fellows are selected by their fellow researchers in recognition of the impact of their work and their dedication to the advancement of business-to-business marketing practice and theory. Bharadwaj has spent his career examining the financial impact of marketing strategies and capabilities of consumer and business-to-business firms in U.S. and international markets.

New CSCR® Research Portal available to the public

The Center for Supply Chain Research® has introduced the CSCR® Research Portal as a public venue to share the latest research from its affiliated faculty and to provide a repository of their research interests and expertise. Prolific research engagement with business and industry is fundamental to the center’s mission to be a leader in supply chain knowledge creation and dissemination. Anyone can subscribe to the portal by clicking on the subscribe tab at the lower right corner of the portal landing page to receive updates as new research is posted.

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 your opinion about tacos. Click this link to participate. Results will be shared during the next Smeal Community Zoom, at 1 p.m. Aug. 16.

Key reminders for faculty

Penn State is continuing to encourage students and employees to share their coronavirus vaccination status to help inform the University’s decision-making and its COVID-19 management plan. Employees can provide their vaccination status using SalesForce Health Cloud, a secure online platform.

Faculty can still submit questions related to Penn State’s COVID response. Questions may be submitted here.