At the Penn State Board of Trustees meeting this Friday, President Eric Barron presented "Living Our Mission: Community Engagement Through Teaching, Research and Service" — the third installment of his report "What Does it Mean to Be a Land-Grant University?"
Through his presentation, Barron described several on-going developments from the university to better engage with the Penn State community, such as the Penn State Outreach program, industry partnerships and economic development, Penn State Student Engagement Network and the College of Agricultural Sciences Centers and Institutes.
Further, Barron highlighted "Spotted Lanternfly" — a web page created by the College of Agricultural Sciences, partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture, that is housed under the Penn State Extension program's website. The web page is designed to aid in a state-wide effort to manage the Spotted Lanternfly — a pest that reduces yields of important fruit-bearing trees and "present[s] a significant threat to Pennsylvania agriculture," according to the web page.
The web page shows users how to identify the Lanternfly and report sightings online or through a designated hotline. According to Barron, over 18,000 sightings have been submitted and 14,000 calls have been received.
At multiple points, Barron mentioned how digital platforms can provide the university with opportunities to reach larger audiences, noting that in 2018, the psu.edu extension websites saw 14 million page views, which averaged to roughly 39,000 views per day.
“I may be overloading you with the number of examples and the numbers I’m providing,” Barron said, “but I hope you’re getting the sense of how massive the impact Penn State makes in serving our communities.”
Six student-athletes were recognized for their athletic achievements, and were asked by Chairman Mark Dambly to share statements regarding their accomplishments.
Danae Rivers, Penn State’s first NCAA women’s indoor track and field individual champion, thanked the Board of Trustees for the support she said it provides to the athletic department. Ally McHugh — NCAA champion in 1,650 meter freestyle for Penn State's Women's Swimming and Diving Team — provided similar statements Rivers’ gratitude.
"My experience at Penn State has been amazing," McHugh said. "I just want to thank you [the board] for everything you do for Penn State. It means a lot."
Fencer Karol Metryka said that being born in Poland makes winning for Penn State a “great honor.”
Rounding out the student-athletes were Wrestling’s Bo Nickal, Anthony Cassar and Jason Nolf. Each took the time to thank the board, adding personal sentiments to their respective sentiments.
"Every time I put the Penn State singlet on, I just want to represent you [the board] and the Penn State family and make you guys proud," Cassar said.
Nolf compared his experiences at Penn State to what his wife receives in Utah where she plays soccer, emphasizing that the support is “nothing like it is [at Penn State].”
There were also multiple reappointments for the Board's elected positions.
Barron, Dambly, Clifford Benson, Jr., David Gray, Timothy Brown, Keith Masser, Peter Carlino, Peter Tombros and Kathleen Casey were all re-elected as directors for Penn State Health Board. Their one-year terms will begin on July 1.
Jeanne Arnold was elected to remain director for Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Board. She will hold this position until June 30, 2020.
Richard Dandrea and Ira Lubert were re-elected for three-year terms on the Board of Trustees representing business and inquiry. Casey was appointed for a three-year term as an At-Large Trustee.
Similarly, Valerie Detwiler and Abraham Harpster were re-elected as trustees to be delegates from agricultural societies for a three-year term.
Regarding trustees elected by alumni, Bill Oldsey, Barb Doran and Ted Brown were re-elected as the chosen representatives for three-year terms.