First-time baccalaureate applications for summer/fall 2021 stand at 101,323, up 13.35% over this time last year. Applications are down 4.28% for PA, up 15.5% for out-of-state, and down 14.9% for international.
Offers of admission are ahead by 4,063, or 6.75% compared to last year. The number of students who have accepted their offer at a Commonwealth Campus is 2,070 students, up 0.58% while University Park has 2,619 students who have accepted, down by 30.84% over last year, although about even from this time 2019. This is expected given that students are applying to more schools and delaying making decisions as they wait for more clarity around vaccines, institutional responses to COVID-19, and financial aid.
The 2021 Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) will host THON Weekend virtually from 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, through 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21. The 46-hour livestream featuring many of the events that take place at THON each year, including line dances, special performances and the annual pep rally. Join the supporters and dancers individually celebrating from their homes by visiting https://thon.org/livestream/.
Trustees are encouraged to visit Penn State’s University Faculty Senate website. The site is an excellent source of information on all matters pertaining to the educational interests of the University, which may help inform the Board’s work. In addition, the Senate is recognized by the University as an advisory and consultative body to the President on all matters that may affect the attainment of the University’s educational objectives.
Sara Thorndike begins her tenure as senior vice president for finance and business and, subject to the Board’s approval, will also serve as the University’s treasurer. She will serve as a member of the Board of Directors for Penn State Health and the Corporation for Penn State, and chair the Penn State Investment Council and Health Care Advisory Council.
Yvonne Gaudelius was appointed interim vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education. She was previously associate vice president and senior associate dean for Undergraduate Education, and she has also served in other leadership positions at Penn State.
Margo DelliCarpini, began her tenure as chancellor at Penn State Abington on January 4th. She takes the reins from Abington’s Interim Chancellor and Dean Andrew G. August.
Research and Awards
The U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 Best Online Programs rankings placed Penn State World Campus, the University’s online campus, in the top 10 of five graduate degree disciplines and the overall bachelor’s degree programs category. The six top-10 rankings were the most of any institution. Penn State World Campus has had the most top-10 placements in U.S. News’ best online programs rankings since 2017.
The international IceCube Collaboration, which includes several researchers at Penn State, has been recognized with the 2021 Bruno Rossi Prize by the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society, the largest professional organization of astronomers in the United States. The collaboration was honored virtually at the 237th AAS Meeting “for the discovery of a high-energy neutrino flux of astrophysical origin.”
Jason Cornelius, doctoral student in aerospace engineering, has been selected as a Stanford United States-Russia Forum (SURF) fellow for the 2020-21 program. Cornelius joins the group of 51 SURF fellows selected from a pool of 700 applications from 215 universities across the world. As part of this program, he will collaborate on research projects exploring United States-Russia relations.
Penn State is tied for fourth among doctoral institutions as a top producer of Fulbright U.S. Scholars.
Penn State received an improved gold rating in its fourth Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. This latest rating places Penn State above all other participating Big Ten institutions in sustainability performance for the first time.
Penn State has been awarded $8 million from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to chart the course for hybrid electric aircraft.
Christina Grozinger, Publius Vergilius Maro Professor of Entomology will be honored with the National Academy of Sciences’ 2021 Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences for helping the world understand how to address the crisis of global declines in pollinator populations.
Volumetrics, the weight-loss plan developed by nutrition professor Barbara Rolls, tied for the ranking of No. 3 Best Weight-Loss Plan, while also appearing on the lists for Best Overall Diets, Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets, Easiest Diets to Follow, Best Diets for Healthy Eating and Best Diets for Diabetes.
Penn State student-athletes continued their strong performance in the classroom with all 31 teams recording at least a 3.3 GPA. The Nittany Lions had 82 students with a 4.0 semester GPA, 742 students (88%) with a 3.0 semester GPA and 327 Dean's List honorees (3.5 semester GPA; 39%) in the fall. Of the 82 student-athletes with a 4.0 semester GPA, 18 carry a 4.0 cumulative GPA.