Total undergraduate applications for summer/fall 2018 admission as of mid-January are 59,677; up 0.2% compared to this date last year. First-year baccalaureate applications are up 5.3% for the Commonwealth Campuses, and down 1.0% for University Park. Transfer applications are up 2%. PA applications are down 6%; Out-of-state domestic applications are up 8%. Minority (African American and Hispanic/Latino) applications are up 2%; International applications are down 8% compared to last year, but up 4% compared to 2016.
16,457 offers of admission have been made thus far, including 8,114 for the Commonwealth Campuses and 8,343 for University Park. All students who applied by November 30 will receive a decision by the end of January.
President Eric Barron was named chairman of the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity for the Association of Public Land-grant Universities.
Longtime supporter and philanthropist Cynthia “Cindy” King was named the 2017 Fundraising Volunteer of the Year.
Oilfield services leader Schlumberger was named 2017 Corporate Partner of the Year.
Penn State’s research expenditures reached a record high of $863 million for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, an increase of $27 million.
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center received two awards for its sustainable practices from the United States Green Building Council Central Pennsylvania: the Climate Champion award for the Chilled Water Optimization project, and the University Technology Center, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified building, was honored with the Innovative Project, New Construction award.
Penn State Beaver, the Community College of Beaver County, Geneva College and Robert Morris University unveiled a historic partnerhsip, the Bridges and Pathways College Partnership, dedicated to improving the lives of Beaver Valley residents through access to education, cultural events and economic opportunities.
A $1 million investment by PNC Bank will support Happy Valley LaunchBox, one of 17 Penn State-affliated entrepreneurial spaces located across the Commonwealth. In recognition of the support, the center will be renamed Happy Valley LaunchBox, Powered by PNC Bank.
Military Times and U.S. Veterans Magazine have once again recognized World Campus as a top online school for military and veteran students. More than 3,400 active duty and veteran students are enrolled in World Campus programs.
Research and Awards
Olivier Noel, a sixth year student in the College of Medicine’s MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program was named to the Forbes “30 Under 30” list for his company, DNAsimple—a startup that matches people with medical researchers. Then on ABC’s hit reality show “Shark Tank” he sealed a deal with Mark Cuban, receiving a $200,000 investment for a 15% stake.
Led by Wayne Curtis, professor of chemical engineering, Penn State researchers received a four-year cooperative agreement worth up to $7 million through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as part of its Insect Allies program. The program is aimed at using gene therapy techniques to make mature plants more resilient to natural and man-made threats such as viruses, pests, fungi, herbicides, drought, pollution, salinity, flooding and frost.
The Volumetrics diet plan—developed by Barbara Rolls, professor of nutritional sciences and Helen A. Guthrie Chair in Nutrition at Penn State—ranks as a No. 2 weight loss plan in U.S. News & World Report's Best Diets of 2018.
Five Penn State faculty members have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They are Robert Levenson, distinguished professor of pharmacology and neural and behavioral sciences; Runze Li, Verne M. Willaman Professor of Statistics; Leslie J. Parent, professor of medicine and microbiology and immunology, vice dean for research and graduate studies, and associate vice president for health sciences research; K. Sandeep Prabhu; professor of immunology and molecular toxicology; and Raymond E. Schaak, DuPont Professor of Materials Chemistry.
Researchers in the College of Agricultural Sciences have received a three-year, $950,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, to develop organic management options for three of the most challenging mushroom pests.
Dinghao Wu, associate professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, has been awarded a $3.6 million grant from the Office of Naval Research to support reverse engineering software and cybersecurity retrofitting.
Jeff Cook has been appointed as the 12th head coach of the men’s soccer team. He brings 27 years of experience to the team, including four-plus years with the Philadelphia Union and Bethlehem Steel FC.
Penn State Athletics is off to another superlative start in the Learfield Directors' Cup, moving up to No. 2 in the latest standings. The Nittany Lions are on track to post their highest fall finish since placing No. 2 in 2005-06.
Penn State student-athletes toppled another school academic record with the release of the 2017 Fall Academic All-Big Ten recipients. Penn State tallied 117 fall honorees, shattering the previous fall mark of 100 set during the 2012-13 academic year.
Women’s volleyball middle blocker Haleigh Washington was selected as the 2017 Senior CLASS Award winner in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I volleyball coaches, national volleyball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I volleyball.