Smeal Update: July 31, 2020

Smeal breaks record for fundraising in single year

Smeal’s development team smashed an 18-year fundraising record by raising $32.6 million for fiscal year 2020, which ended on June 30. Read the story.

Visits to Business Building must be reported in advance

To help ensure the health and safety of the Smeal and Penn State communities, individuals who need to visit the Business Building should contact their immediate supervisor in advance. Faculty and staff members whose work requires sustained or frequent visits should consult with their supervisor to complete and submit a Return to Work Authorization form. Those who need to make an occasional, short-term visit are asked to email their supervisor to notify them when they will be stopping by and copy Tamara Giluk, Teri Ault, Matt Mooney or Rebecca Cianci.

TIAA counseling sessions will be virtual for remainder of 2020

To reduce person-to-person contact, TIAA counseling sessions will continue to be held virtually for the remainder of 2020. These 1-hour sessions are available regardless of your participation in a TIAA retirement program. To register:

  1. Visit TIAA's Online Registration Page.
  2. Select Meet at Work. (even though session will be virtual)
  3. Choose Pennsylvania from the dropdown menu.
  4. Then select Penn State University from the dropdown menu.
  5. Click Select.
  6. Select the date and time that works best for you to meet virtually.

For those who are members of TIAA, some of the provisions of the CARES Act provide financial options during this challenging time.

Smeal alumna, BOV member selected to serve on presidential commission

Wanda Bryant Hope, a 1987 Smeal marketing graduate and a member of the Board of Visitors, has been selected to serve on a Select Penn State Presidential Commission on Racism, Bias and Community Safety. Read the story.

Some Frequently-asked Questions from PSU Faculty

Can employees make changes to their health care due to the pandemic?

The Internal Revenue Service recently allowed employers to offer workers flexibility with their health care plans and Flexible Spending Accounts, including health care and dependent care. Penn State is allowing employees to make some adjustments to their health care plans. For additional information, read the story in Penn State News.

How do I invite and encourage students who attend my class remotely to interact with the activities and materials that I have designed for them to engage with course content, peers, and me?

Engaging students with course content through reflective activities, peer discussions, and instructor feedback increases the likelihood of their achieving learning outcomes. Consult the following resources for engaging your remote students:

You can read other FAQs related to Fall 2020 instruction on the Keep Teaching website's FAQ page.

Additional updates from PSU

community-wide committee is preparing for Penn State students and visitors to return to the local area.

Teaching and Learning with Technology team members spent the summer identifying and filling needs within learning spaces in support of resident and remote students.

Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims shared a letter to the fraternity and sorority community, calling on students to help minimize the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Guidance for instructors regarding PPE in classrooms and laboratory spaces is now available.

Why should masks cover your nose? In this video, infectious disease expert Dr. Elizabeth McGraw explains why covering the entire face is so vital and offers an anecdote that illustrates the effectiveness of correct mask wearing.