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Huddle with the Faculty Kicks Off Sept. 3

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (Aug. 11, 2011)—Before beginning their renowned tailgating, Penn State football fans can feed their minds at Huddle with the Faculty, the Penn State Alumni Association’s free lecture series before all home football games. This season’s topics range from eliciting big voices from future Broadway stars to gaining insights on smart stock trading to unraveling the mysteries of the human brain.

All Huddle with the Faculty lectures are at The Nittany Lion Inn. But new this fall is an online opportunity for four of the Huddle with the Faculty programs on Sept. 3, Sept. 10, Oct. 29 and Nov. 12, which will be live streamed. Alumni, students, and friends from around the world can participate live by logging on to on the day of the event to view the presentation and participate in the live chat. Or follow the presentation on Twitter using the hashtag #psuhuddle2011.

Huddle with the Faculty will kick off Sept. 3 at The Nittany Lion Inn with a presentation by Mary Saunders-Barton, associate professor of voice and head of voice for musical theatre, who will unveil the current techniques used in musical theatre voice training in a presentation called “Broadway or Bust: Training Young Singers for Today’s Musical Theatre.” This unique presentation, which begins at 9 a.m., with a free continental breakfast available at 8:30 a.m., will include a teaching demo with Penn State musical theatre students.

The rest of this season’s Huddle with the Faculty lineup is:

  • Sept. 10 (Alabama): “How to Value a Stock: Is Microsoft Worth $261 Billion?” Gary J. Gray, visiting professor of finance; 10 a.m.
    Take the confusion out of stock pricing and buys by learning the discounted cash flow (DCF) method and getting some insider tips including a favorite investors’ website.
  • Sept. 24 (Eastern Michigan): “Amish Literary Stereotypes: Fact and Fiction,”
    Julia Spicher Kasdorf, associate professor of English and women’s studies; 9 a.m.
    Delve into the world of the Amish and find out how Joseph W. Yoder’s 1940s’ “Rosanna of the Amish” countered negative stereotypes with more accurate portrayals.
  • Oct. 8 (Iowa): “Climate Change: Is Pennsylvania Becoming Alabama?” Raymond G. Najjar Jr., professor of meteorology and oceanography; time TBA.
    Find out how the negative impacts of human-induced climate change can be substantially reduced through emissions reductions and adaptive measures.
  • Oct. 15 (Purdue): “The Brain: The Final Frontier. Neural Engineering at Penn State,” Steven Schiff, M.D., director of the Penn State Center for Neural Engineering, the Brush Chair Professor of Engineering, professor of neurosurgery, physics, and engineering science and mechanics; 10 a.m.
    Explore the new diagnostic techniques and treatments underway at Penn State’s new research center, like tools to look deep into the working brain and missile flight controls to better interpret brain scans.
  • Oct. 29 (Illinois): “Where Have all the Mammoths Gone? A Look at the Role of Humans in Extinction,” Beth Shapiro, Shaffer Associate Professor of Biology; time TBA.
    Peer into the world of researchers who examine genetic information from the remains of species—both extinct and living—in an effort to understand extinction and our human role in shaping the ecosystem.
  • Nov. 12 (Nebraska): “Are You Smarter than a Med Student?” David C. Han, M.D., associate professor of surgery and radiology and vice chair for educational affairs in the department of surgery; time TBA.
    Test knowledge of vascular surgery (most people know more than they think!) against Penn State’s doctors in training with actual exam questions and cases. Learn how blood vessels work and fail, and how surgeons can fix them.

The start time for the one-hour Huddle with the Faculty on each home football Saturday is 9 a.m., but is pushed back to 10 a.m. when the football game kicks off later than 3 p.m. Each “Huddle with the Faculty” also features a complimentary continental breakfast beginning one-half hour before the lecture start time and free parking at the Nittany Parking Deck, adjacent to The Nittany Lion Inn.  

Huddle with the Faculty is sponsored and organized by the Penn State Alumni Association and co-sponsored by The Nittany Lion Inn and Penn State Press. Online presentations are a partnership with the Penn State Alumni Association, World Campus and WPSU.

For more detailed descriptions of each Huddle with the Faculty and specific start times go to or call the Alumni Association at 800-548-LION (5466).

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