Tuesday, October 9, 2012
"We are" Penn State... apparently
Some readers might know that I teach at a branch campus of Penn State. In the context of a high ranking research institution, I am at a 4,000 person campus trying to transition from being a 2-year "feeder" school just over a decade ago, to a bachelor's granting institution in the liberal arts mold. In that context, Nicholas Rowland (a sociology prof.) and and I have been co-running an undergraduate research lab here for the past three years.
We have supervised a massive number of student presentations at conferences (N > 30) at venues ranging from regional meetings like the Pennsylvania Sociology Society to international meetings like Developmental Psychobiology. We also have quite an impressive number of publications with student authors. Most of the lab projects are student driven, so we have given student's CV lines on studies ranging from video games and violent behavior, to U.S. attitudes towards atheists, to the founding of African American Studies at Penn State, and more, plus a good number of book reviews in professional journals. This while I have maintained my own line of research regarding Ecological Psychology and New Realism, and Nicholas become a key player in Actor-Network Theory and started making waves in the State Theory literature.
At any rate... Recently, there have been efforts to re-emphasize the academic and educational sides of Penn State, and part of this is a "Faces of Penn State" campaign, highlighting prized faculty and staff. In the latest round of updates to come out today, they Nicholas and I. My pic is 4th in on the top line, with a direct link here. They solicited nominations over the summer, and... despite being on a branch campus... Nicholas and I received the most nominations of anyone. This is a major accomplishment for us, but also a crucial step forward for the promotion of research on our campus.
So... there it is... shameless self promotion... but after all the hard work we have put into creating the lab, it is really nice to get some recognition. The Penn State slogan is "We are" "Penn State" (shouted in a two-part alternation). This is one of the first times, for me at least, that has seemed true.