Event Calendar

April 2018
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 1 2 3 4 5 6

April 2

“The Truth About Fake News”

Russell Frank

Time: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Location: Garden Room, Pasquerilla Spiritual Center

Professor Russell Frank examines the world of fake news and discusses how to be a smart media consumer. Free public session sponsored by Penn State Student Affairs and the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development.

April 6

Success in the City 2018

Time: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Location: Time Warner Center, New York City

Annual internship and job fair for students in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, conducted in New York City.

April 6

Films and Friends 2018

Time: 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Location: TBA, New York City

Annual alumni-student networking and screening event in New York City, conducted by the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.

April 8 to April 9

Alumni Society Board Meeting

Location: Various Locations

Spring meeting of Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications Alumni Society Board and Young Alumni Council. Session includes annual awards event and student mentoring session.

Pockrass Lecture

April 9

Pockrass Lecture

Robin Nabi

Lecture Series: Pockrass Memorial Lecture

Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Location: Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library

Free public lecture, the Robert M. Pockrass Memorial Lecture, presented by Robin Nabi, an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

“A Conversation with Gayle Sierens”

April 10

“A Conversation with Gayle Sierens”

Gayle Sierens

Time: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Location: 101 Chambers Building

Free public session, presented by the Association of Women in Sports Media and the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. "A Conversation with Gayle Sierens" features Gayle Sierens -- a longtime television veteran who worked at WFLA-TV in Tampa for 38 years. She started her career in sports, advancing rapidly and becoming a co-anchor of the station's 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. In 1987, as part of her work nationally with NBC Sports, she became the first woman to handle play-by-play duties of an NFL game (Dec. 27, Seattle Seahawks vs. Kansas City Chiefs). Sierens earned Emmy Awards for both her news and sports coverage. She remained a popular co-anchor of the nightly newscasts until her retirement in 2015.

April 12 to April 13

Analytics Conference

Location: Various Locations

Inaugural event, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Sports in Society at Penn State. Keynote session April 12 features John Urschel. To view the agenda, click here

April 12

Screening of “Cojot”

Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Location: 108 Forum Building

Rough-cut screening of "Cojot," a film by faculty member Boaz Dvir. The session is free and open to the public. The film tells the little-known story of a Holocaust survivor who set out to kill his father’s Nazi executioner and wound up playing a pivotal role in history’s most daring hostage-rescue operation. Actor Judd Nelson, who will serve as narrator of the film, will be in attendance for the event that will offer audience members the chance to provide feedback in person and through an anonymous online survey.

April 13

Faculty/Staff Awards and Recognition Ceremony

Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Location: Hyatt Place, State College

April 16

“Dueling Motivations”

Justin Keene

Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Location: 101 Carnegie Building

Justin Keene, an assistant professor at Texas Tech University, presents "Dueling Motivations: Coactivation as a Pre-Cursor for Meta-Emotions, Attitude Formation, and Behavior Change."

April 16

“Adapting Ad Sales Teams to Meet the Demands of the Digital Age”

Time: 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Location: Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library

Join a group of digital publishing and media marketing experts for a presentation and panel discussion about how leading publishers are responding to the pressures and challenges of the digital age. The session is free and open to the public.

SciComm Speaker Series: The Peril and Persistence of Misinformation

April 18

SciComm Speaker Series: The Peril and Persistence of Misinformation

Brian Southwell

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Location: Foster Auditorium

The lecture can be streamed via the Penn State Library website


Hoaxes, lies and other misinformation have been around for centuries. Their recent ability to spread at lightning speed has media researchers studying how inaccurate information circulates and how to combat its harmful effects.

Brian Southwell is an expert in science communication whose work combines research from a number of areas, including public health, psychology, political science and environmental science. He specifically targets the public’s understanding of science, and he will discuss that and other topics at noon April 18 in Foster Auditorium in Penn State’s Paterno Library. His talk is titled “The Peril and Persistence of Misinformation.”

Despite its long history, misinformation has fostered additional issues in the digital age. Research shows that people tend to believe information — whether true or false — when they first encounter it. Unfortunately, it’s more difficult to change the minds of readers and viewers once they’ve taken in the information.

Most media don’t have a system to prevent misinformation from spreading and it takes a lot of time and resources to debunk misinformation once it has received wide exposure.

“The biggest example is climate change denial, but you have athletes and celebrities saying untrue things to a large audience and influencing health behavior, too. That’s pretty big,” said Jessica Myrick, associate professor in the Department of Film-Video and Media Studies. “We are beginning to develop strategies for combating this and that’s what Brian is going to talk about.”

Southwell, who is the director of science in the public sphere at RTI International, conducts research to better understand why and how misinformation spreads, which also can help researchers understand how to stop it from spreading. He says while programs that label “fake news” or “bad ads” are commendable, they can’t prevent false stories from appearing on the air or in a news feed — and once information is out, it’s difficult to reel it back in.

This is why Southwell is a proponent of building media literacy, which is a better understanding of the features that go into any media message. He says it’s up to science communicators to create messages for wide audiences that are understandable. It’s important for the accurate messages to receive the same level of exposure as the misinformation — a goal much easier said than done.

The lecture will feature research from the book “Misinformation and Mass Audiences.” The book builds on a special issue of the Journal of Communication that targets misinformation, and it was recently featured in American Scientist magazine. Southwell edited the book, which was published in January.

Southwell is an adjunct professor with Duke University’s Social Science Research Institute. He also is a research professor in media and journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His work has appeared in more than 100 journal articles and he hosts a weekly social science radio show/podcast called “The Measure of Everyday Life.”

Southwell’s talk is a part of the SciComm Lecture series, an initiative of Penn State’s Science Communication Program. The program is housed in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and builds productive research collaborations between scientists in a variety of disciplines with science communications researchers.

April 19 to April 20

Curley Center Council Meeting

Location: TBA

Alumni-student event with meeting and reception (April 19) and Curley Center Reunion (April 20) on back-to-back days celebrating the 15th anniversary of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism.

April 19

Screening of the film ‘Food Evolution’

Narrated by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location: State Theatre - State College, Pa.

This is a free event. but seating is limited.

For more information and to reserve seats. visit: http://thestatetheatre.org/food-evolution/

To learn more about the film and its creation, visit: http://news.psu.edu/story/510981/2018/03/19/public-events/documentary-takes-global-look-food-technology-issues

Following the screening, there will be a question and answer session with a group of experts. The Q&A panelists will be Sarah Evanega, director of the Alliance for Science at Cornell University; Siela Maximova, research professor of plant biotechnology; Lee Ahern, director of Penn State’s Science Communication Program; and Shelby Fleisher, professor of entomology.

Sponsored by:

Council on Agricultural Innovation: Scientific, Ethical, Legal, Social Issues
College of Agricultural Sciences
Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications' Science Communication Program


Website: https://www.foodevolutionmovie.com/

April 20

“Peering Backward into the Future”

Rob Potter

Time: 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Location: 101 Carnegie Building

Rob Potter, and professor at Indiana University and director of the Institute for Communicaiton Research, presents “Peering Backward and Peeking Forward: What I’ve Learned After a Quarter Century of Using Psychophysiology."

April 21

Blue & White Film Festival

Time: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Location: State Theatre, Downtown

Juried festival and screenwriting competition featurig best student-produced films during the 2017-18 academic year. Free student admission. Sponsored by Student Film Organization and the University Park Allocation Committee. 

April 23

APSE Regional Meeting

Location: Pegula Ice Arena

Annual regional meeting of Associated Press Sports Editors, hosted by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State.

April 24

Student Awards & Recognition Program

Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Location: Boardroom, Nittany Lion Inn

Annual undergraduate awards program recognizing accomplishments of students in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.

April 27

Spring Semester Classes End