Smeal Update: July 3, 2020

Smeal Diversity Task Force meets, forms committees

In an effort to support the college in its growth, development, and enhancement of diversity and inclusion, Smeal has created the Diversity Task Force. That group met for the first time on June 26 and formed three subcommittees:

  • Engagement (co-chairs Jennifer Crispell and Celeste Diaz-Ferraro): this group will focus on working on developing programs to engage and educate the body of Smeal on diversity and inclusion topics and will interact with the external Smeal family.
  • Training (co-chairs Rebecca Cianci and Olivia Lewis): this group will provide foundations in diversity and inclusion for the employees of the college.
  • Employment (co-chairs Tamara Giluk and Matt Mooney): this group is tasked with reviewing the processes for recruitment and retention of employees for the college.

Communing with captivating camelids

If you weren’t able to attend Monday’s Smeal Community Zoom session, you missed a special treat. Tamara Giluk, HR strategic partner, facilitated a virtual visit to the Cincinnati Zoo. For 15 minutes, we learned about Willy, a llama, and alpacas Zack and Quick. Thanks for a wonderful diversion, Tamara! 

Thanks for the memories, Ralph Oliva!

  • After spending more than two decades at Penn State and Smeal as a professor of marketing, Ralph Oliva has officially retired from the College. Ralph was instrumental in growing the Institute for the Study of Business Markets, wearing many hats, including director. He was popular in the classroom teaching undergraduate and graduate students about B2B marketing, strategic brand management and integrated strategic communications. Congratulations, Ralph! Don’t be a stranger.

Welcome to Kevin Linderman, chair of SC&IS

  • As the calendar turns to July, we welcome Kevin Linderman, who will succeed Nick Petruzzi as the chair of the Supply Chain and Information Systems Department. Kevin will also hold the John J. Coyle Professorship in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Kevin comes to Happy Valley from the Twin Cities. He was the Curtis L. Carlson Professor in Supply Chain and Operations at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and the academic co-director of the Joseph M. Juran Center for Research in Supply Chain, Operations, and Quality.

Proposal for another PGP master’s program

  • Smeal has proposed a new online Masters of Taxation degree, in collaboration with Penn State Law, that would roll out in the fall of 2021.

Next Smeal Community Zoom Session planned

  • As a reminder, the next Smeal Community Zoom Session has been planned for 11 – 11:50 a.m. Monday. If you are able to attend, connect via this link.

Updates from Penn State

  • To learn more about health and safety considerations and related monitoring plans that drive Penn State decision-making, view this informational video featuring Matt Ferrari, associate professor of biology, who is co-leading the University’s Public Health and Science Task Group. Ferrari describes two important areas of focus, including the monitoring of local community health care systems' capacities and the University's capacity to house and safely isolate students.
  • The health and safety of Penn State faculty, staff, and students remain the University’s highest priorities. To learn more about the task group that is researching and testing available masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) for use in classroom, lab, and other campus spaces, view this informational video featuring Keefe Manning, professor of biomedical engineering and associate dean of the Schreyer Honors College. The group has already begun testing and will soon release initial mask- and PPE-wearing guidelines that will continue to be updated as additional information is gathered.
  • To help create a safer learning, living, and working environment for all students, faculty and staff, new classroom policies will be in effect this fall across Penn State’s campuses in alignment with public health recommendations and Gov. Tom Wolf’s requirements for higher education institutions. Wearing face masks and social distancing will be required for all students and employees in classrooms, labs, offices, and campus buildings. Students and employees also should practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings, and wear face masks while on campus, as well as within their local communities in line with local and state requirements. Specific policy guidance will be posted soon on the Office of Student Conduct website.
  • Course delivery details for Fall 2020 will continue to evolve in the coming weeks. The University soon will take a comprehensive look at instructors’ and departments’ course plans across colleges and campuses. By mid-July, Penn State plans to allow students to review their schedules and potentially change their courses based on their preferences for in-class, mixed-mode, or remote instruction.
  • To enhance safety on all Penn State campuses, buildings are being analyzed for touch-free environments and new classroom configurations, and new facility cleaning and disinfecting protocols are being implemented.
  • The COVID-19 Health Resources Task Group will provide options soon for University leadership to consider for implementing a rigorous testing and contact tracing program this fall.