Smeal Update: September 10, 2021

Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States. It’s hard to believe it has been two decades. I, like many of you, remember precisely where I was when the first airplane hit the Twin Towers that morning. It is a date, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt said of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which will live in infamy. This seminal moment offers all of us a chance to not only pause and reflect on what was lost, but also consider how our lives were shaped moving forward. In honoring the fallen, it is my hope that we can all embrace hopes of a better tomorrow.

New chair, professorships, and fellowships named

Smeal has announced that seven faculty members have received new professorships, fellowships, and chair positions within the college. Read the story.

Alumnus William Donan to enhance diversity at Smeal with estate commitment

William Donan's recent estate commitment to Penn State will endow the William A. Donan Dean's Excellence Fund in the Smeal College of Business, as well as the William A. Donan Excellence in Diversity Fund. Read the story.

ICDS Symposium: The Future of Digital Fairness scheduled for Oct. 6-7

The Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences symposium “The Future of Digital Fairness” is scheduled for Oct. 6-7 virtually and at the Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center. Among the highlights of the symposium will be:

  • Two keynote discussions, one focused on equity and data science and another on replication of genomic studies
  • A poster competition for students, with cash prizes of $500 and $200
  • Panel discussions on:
  • Ethical challenges and considerations in the application of machine learning methods to clinical medicine
  • Law, policy, and data
  • Energy, justice, and big data
  • Industry perspectives on the future of digital fairness

For more information, or to register, visit:

Encourage undergraduate students to apply for an alumni mentor

The Development and Alumni Relations Office is seeking the help of faculty and staff to promote the Smeal Mentoring Program to second-, third-, fourth-, or fifth-year students. The program offers students the opportunity to explore topics such as majors, internships, career planning, college-to-career transition, and leadership development with an alumni mentor for the academic year. Students can apply by Sept. 24 by visiting Contact Wendy Jo Hartsock with questions at or (814) 863-5946.

Faculty, staff photos to be taken in late September

The RIIT Group will be taking faculty and staff portraits Sept. 28-30 in the RIIT Group Studio in 11 Business Building. These photos are used for the online directory and in bios. They are often used for brochures and other publications. Any faculty/staff member who does not have a photo on file, or who would like to have their existing photo updated, is welcome to sign up for an appointment.

Smeal in the News 

Kevin Linderman quoted in Bloomberg Businessweek

The Smeal MBA Program is cited and Kevin Linderman is quoted in a Bloomberg Businessweek story titled “Forget Finance. Supply-Chain Management Is The Must-Have MBA Degree.” Read the story (subscription required).

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 about a variety of subjects. Results will be shared during the next Smeal Community Zoom, at 1 p.m. Monday.

Next Week at Smeal

2021 Fall All-College Meeting (3:30 p.m. Tuesday)

The Smeal 2021 Fall All-College Meeting is scheduled for 3:30-5 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting will be held in Struthers Auditorium, 110 Business Building, and via Zoom.

Questions from faculty

What should I do if I am notified that a student in my class is in quarantine or isolation?

This document describes how you will be notified if a student in your class is in quarantine or isolation and the role faculty can play in contact tracing efforts.

What should I do if a student tells me they have COVID-19?

If the student was identified through university testing, there is no other action you need to take. If the student received a positive test result from a third-party vendor not affiliated with the University (for example, urgent care clinic or primary care physician) you should encourage the student to report their result to the University by sharing this link:

You may also submit information about students who have tested positive (or who have identified themselves as close contacts of students who have tested positive) via the Covid-19 Close Contact or Positive Case Referral Form. Further information on contact tracing is available at Do not report a class roster. Contact tracers will follow up with classmates identified as close contacts.

For guidance on working with students who test positive for coronavirus or who find themselves in special circumstances, see this FAQ.