With hundreds of nominees, it's a rare occasion when two people from the same campus department take home an award two years in a row. However, this year, Sandra Wagner took the Penn State Commission for Women, Achieving Women Award home to Hazleton just as Mary Anne Enama did a year ago.
When a woman is finally elected president of the United States, some of the groundwork will have been laid by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Hanford Dole, the breaker of stereotypes par excellence, according to two Penn State experts. In many of her public addresses, Elizabeth Dole focuses on the need to evaluate political candidates strictly on the basis of character and qualifications, says Nichola D. Gutgold, assistant professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State's Lehigh Valley Campus in Allentown, Pa. Like Hillary Clinton, she has succeeded admirably in balancing the roles of loyal spouse and prominent public figure in her own right. In the process, she has pointed the way for other talented and ambitious women to do the same. Gutgold and Molly Meijer Wertheimer, professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State's Hazleton Campus in northeastern Pennsylvania, are co-authors of the new book, "Elizabeth Hanford Dole: Speaking from the Heart," published by Praeger.
Witchcraft, magic and contact with the supernatural are common, perhaps even essential, companions of organized religions because they allow the average person to participate in an otherworldly experience, according to Penn State folklore researcher Bill Ellis, associate professor of English and American studies at Penn State's Hazleton campus and author of "Lucifer Ascending: The Occult in Folklore and Popular Culture" (The University of Kentucky Press, 2004). In the new book, Ellis looks at modern practices that are universally defined as occult, such as carrying a rabbit's foot for good luck or using a Ouija board to contact the dead as well as more esoteric traditions such as the use of "black bibles."
The appeal of Laura Bush lies in her white-glove style of activism, her lack of private ambition and, above all, her personal blend of conservative and liberal, traditional and nontraditional tendencies, a Penn State expert says. After eight years of Hillary Rodham Clinton, some political analysts predicted that Laura Bush would "retraditionalize" the role of first lady. But Molly Meijer Wertheimer, an associate professor at Penn State's Hazleton campus, says, "Like her predecessors who straddled the 19th and 20th centuries, Mrs. Bush balances the traditional demands of the role with the modern demands for a first lady to be a political partner, a savvy public relations expert, and an independent advocate for those issues in which she takes a special interest."