Penn State University Relations will give people the chance to become plugged into research on Penn State’s campus through its Research Unplugged series.
This year marks Schlow Centre Region Library public engagement series’ ninth year. These informal lunchtime conversations, led by Penn State faculty members, will be held from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. every Thursday in the Downsbrough Community Room. The conversations are free and also include refreshments.
This series emphasizes a conversational format over a traditional format, coordinator of the Research Unplugged Melissa Beattie-Moss said.
“The talks are set up as a true community discussion on topics that matter to us all,” Beattie-Moss said.
The series begins with Susan McHale, human development and family studies professor, leading a discussion called “Sibling Wars: Why Brothers and Sisters Fight (and what to do about it).”
Ruth Wodajeneh said this week’s topic is of particular interest and she plans on attending the conversation.
“The topic is not only intriguing, but is also something a lot of Penn State students can relate to,” Wodajeneh (sophomore-biology) said.
The following week on March 21, Research Unplugged will have a special event. At the Palmer Museum, professional curators will discuss their job and the inner workings of an art museum.
Then, on March 28, the series will return to the Downsbrough Community Room and will remain there until the conclusion on April 18. The remaining topics will cover global warming, solar energy, theater and crime scene investigation.
Beattie-Moss said she and her University Relations colleagues hope to achieve several “important” goals by holding the series, which include making relevant and timely topics more accessible to a wide audience, and familiarizing the general public with Penn State researchers and their work.
“When looking for researchers to present in the series, I draw on faculty members from all academic disciplines and make an effort to ensure that females from the STEM ---------[science, technology, engineering, math] field are well represented,” Beattie- Moss said.
Vanessa Walker said the series can benefit students by serving as an opportunity to spark an interest in a certain subject and shedding light on future career paths.
“Who knows? You may go to a discussion and realize that is what you’re passionate about and interested in,” Walker (freshman-division of undergraduate studies) said.