Smeal Update: October 8, 2021

Two Smeal alumni to receive Distinguished Alumni Award

Two Smeal alumni will be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Established by the Board of Trustees in 1951, it is the highest honor bestowed by Penn State upon an outstanding alumna or alumnus. It salutes the achievements of alumni whose “personal lives, professional achievements, and community service exemplify the objectives of their alma mater.” Jerome Griffith, who earned a degree in marketing in 1979, will be honored with the 2020 recipients. A member of the Smeal Board of Visitors, Griffith is the CEO of Lands’ End. Carl Berquist will be recognized with the 2021 recipients. Berquist, who graduated with a degree in accounting in 1974, is the retired executive vice president and chief financial officer of Marriott International Inc.

Save the Date: Executive Insights with Becky Savikas

Becky Savikas, senior vice president of talent strategy, human resources partner and enterprise change at Highmark Health, will be our first Executive Insights guest of the fall semester. She will join us from 11:15 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. Oct. 22. Watch your inbox for an email with a registration link.

Diversity Task Force plans four events

The Diversity Task Force continues to provide learning opportunities for the Smeal community. Four upcoming events address a range of topics:

  • Discussion on ‘Invisible’ Disabilities at Work, noon Tuesday
  • Continuing the Conversation: Supporting Latinx Communities, noon Oct. 28
  • Continuing the Conversation: Stop Anti-Asian/American Harassment, Noon Nov. 4
  • For faculty: “Building Inclusion in Academia One Hallway Conversation at a Time,” 2 p.m. Nov. 11

Check your inbox for emails that contain calendar invitations to each event.

Next Week at Smeal

Discussion on ‘Invisible” Disabilities at Work (Noon Tuesday)

The Diversity Task Force has planned its next discussion, titled “‘Invisible’ Disabilities at Work,” for noon Tuesday. Christine Mihelcic, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Management and Organization, will lead the session. Learn about disability etiquette, trends in disability studies, and how to promote a more inclusive work environment. Check your inbox for an email dated Oct. 4 to accept a calendar invitation to the Zoom session.

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

Click this link to participate in this week’s survey. Results will be shared during the next Smeal Community Zoom, at 1 p.m. Oct. 18.

Questions from faculty

How can I enforce mask compliance in my classroom?

This document, published by the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, describes strategies that instructors can use to enforce mask-wearing in instructional spaces. It also describes the steps an instructor can take when a student does not comply with requests to wear a mask properly.

There was no flu last year. Do I really need a flu shot this year?

Matt Ferrari, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, explains that it is “more important than ever” to get a flu shot this year. If influenza rates rise, then it could increase demand for COVID testing, which is already limited. It could also increase the burden on health systems, which are already stressed. Read the full FAQ here.