Smeal Update: October 16, 2020

College introduces Smeal Assist for all employees

Smeal Assist is a pilot project intended to support Smeal faculty, staff and administrators who are experiencing personal or professional challenges, and to connect them with appropriate resources for assistance. We know that 2020 has brought substantial challenges for many of us. Advisors Tamara Giluk, human resources strategic partner, and Dan Cahoy, professor of business law and Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Business Law, are available to listen and help you find the information you need. Smeal Assist will go live soon. If you need support or assistance with a challenge, please submit a request at and a Smeal Assist advisor will reach out to you.

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:

Campbell named CEO Action for Racial Equity fellow

Jamie Campbell, assistant dean for Diversity Enhancement Programs, has been selected as aCEO Action for Racial Equity fellow. (Read the news release). CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion launched the fellowship to advance racial equity through public policy. Fellows will identify, develop and promote scalable and sustainable public policies and corporate engagement strategies that will address systemic racism and social injustice while improving societal well-being. Working together, the fellows will focus on policies pertaining to the four foundational elements of society (1) education, (2) healthcare, (3) economic empowerment, and (4) public safety. Campbell will devote approximately 50 percent of his time throughout the next 12 months to these fellowship efforts.

Save the Date: Executive Insights with Siemens USA CEO

Barbara Humpton, president and CEO of Siemens USA, will join Dean Whiteman for Executive Insights from 11:15 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30 in a moderated Zoom session.Please register and plan to attend.

Penn State benefits open enrollment period planned for November

The University’s 2021 Benefits Open Enrollment will be begin on Nov. 2 and run through Nov. 20. Several resources are available to help faculty and staff make informed decisions. Information about those resources are found in this Penn State News story.

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

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 focuses on fun fall traditions. Click this link to participate. Results will be shared during next week's Smeal Community Zoom.

Frequently-asked question from faculty

How can I help students get the support they need during the pandemic?

Instructors can refer students to the KeepLearning website,, which is a central source of information for students at all Penn State campuses. Faculty are encouraged to make students aware of this website, which provides students with easy access to physical and mental health resources, academic advising, technology support, and information about the Spring 2021 semester. The site includes an extensive list of questions and answers about a variety of topics.

Walk-up virus testing moving to Pegula Ice Arena

Penn State’s walk-up COVID-19 testing location at University Park is moving from the HUB Parking Deck to the main concourse of Pegula Ice Arena beginning Friday, Oct. 9. Penn State is offering asymptomatic on-demand testing for University Park employees who are listed in the University’s Return to Work database. The Pegula site is open for employees only from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Students or employees may walk up at any time during the center’s normal operating hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.