Smeal Update: February 26, 2021

An update on teaching modes for the summer and fall semesters

In a Penn State News Story on Wednesday, the University announced its plans to expand the number of in-person courses for the Summer semester in transition to a “full on-campus experience” for fall 2021.

We acknowledge that the members of the Smeal community have many questions about the impact of this plan on the process for scheduling courses. Rest assured that we are seeking clarity on many points and look forward to providing additional guidance as early as possible next week.

Thanks, as always, for your continued patience, focus and dedication to the needs of our students during this dynamic, challenging time.

Smeal Minority-Owned Business Network launches

In order to promote underrepresented and underserved Black, Indigenous, People of Color owned businesses to the Smeal and Penn State networks and provide supplier diversity in the University’s procurement program, the Smeal Minority-Owned Business Network launched this week. Smeal Development, Alumni Career Services, Alumni Relations and the RIIT Group collaborated on the initiative. More information can be found on the Smeal Minority-Owned Business Network website.

Registration deadline approaching for START Conference

The annual student-run START Conference, supported by the Office of Diversity Enhancement Programs, will be held virtually on March 25. Attendees are asked to pre-register online by March 8.

February welcomes and farewells

Welcome to Lu Sun, a business analyst in the Finance Office, who started on Feb. 15. And welcome to Mary Beth Aber, an administrative support coordinator in the Farrell Center, who started on Feb. 18

Farewell to Doris Confer, an administrative support coordinator in the Farrell Center. Doris is retiring Feb. 28. She has 33 years, 4 months, and 11 days of service. We want to wish Doris a very happy retirement!

Staff years of service milestones with the college

Jonathan Beightol, a multimedia specialist with the RIIT Group, celebrated 15 years on Feb. 13.

Smeal academic integrity module now available on Canvas

To help with integrating academic integrity in remote and online courses, Director of Honor and Integrity Michelle Darnell has created a new student-oriented module that can be easily imported into Canvas sites via Canvas Commons. This module, tailored specifically for Smeal, enables students to sign our Honor Code and access resources that explain what academic integrity is and why it is important. Assessments to confirm students' basic understanding of academic integrity, and a question you may add to the beginning of any quiz as an integrity pledge, are also included. To access the module, sign into Canvas, click on the Commons link in the left menu and then go to the module titled “Academic Integrity Resources Penn State Smeal.” Click the “import/download” button to integrate it into a course of your choice. Once the module is imported into a Canvas course, the instructor or designer can unpublish any element within the module, or otherwise edit the module to better suit instructor needs.

Smeal in the News

Smeal, Steve Tracey cited in Research Penn State

Smeal's contributions to the Manufacturing and Sterilization for COVID-19 (MASC) initiative are noted in a story included in the Spring 2021 issue of Research Penn State magazine. The story details the interdisciplinary team that mobilized to address critical shortages of masks, ventilators, and other personal protective equipment.

In another Research Penn State magazine story, Steve Tracey, executive director of the Center for Supply Chain Research®, is quoted extensively in a story about what has been learned about supply chain concerns during the COVID-19 crisis. Smeal’s Sue Purdum, Brent Moritz, Kusumal Ruamsook, Terry Harrison, Jason Acimovic and Kevin Linderman are mentioned, as well. A digital version of Research Penn State can be found online.

Penn State Smeal Marketing Department, faculty recognized for research productivity

The Penn State Smeal College of Business Marketing Department and four of its faculty members have been recognized on two recently published lists of author productivity. Read the story.

Ask the Dean open for your questions

We share information about the college in our weekly Smeal Community Zoom sessions, but sometimes there isn’t time to discuss an issue fully. To address those topics, we’re introducing Ask the Dean. 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

The Staff Advisory Committee, in an effort to engage the Smeal community, is conducting a weekly poll. This week's survey asks what you call a certain beverage. Click this link to participate. Results will be shared during next week's Smeal Community Zoom.

Next Week at Smeal

Tarriff Center webinar (5 p.m. Monday)

Join the Tarriff Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility at 5 p.m. Monday for a live webinar, “Living Our Values: Perspectives from the Executive Level.” Senior executive panelists John Tierney, Carole McCabe, and Brian Dreibelbis will discuss how ethical responsibilities change throughout one’s career and share insights based on their experiences. The webinar will be moderated by Harry Barfoot III, Tarriff Center Advisory Board member, and Tarriff Center Director Michelle Darnell. Register at

Questions from faculty and staff

I heard that the CDC recommends two masks; is this required?

Neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nor Penn State is requiring the use of double masks. CDC guidance suggests double masking as a means to improve how individuals can wear their masks. The full FAQ is available here.