Forum Speaker Series continues with talk by author, Penn State grad

March 04, 2010

The 2009-10 Penn State Forum Speaker Series continues on Monday, March 15 with a presentation by Justin Catanoso, author and Penn State alum. His talk, titled "My Cousin the Saint: A Search for Faith, Family and Miracles," will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the ballroom at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Catanoso is a newspaper journalist, a university lecturer and the author of the memoir "My Cousin the Saint." He is a native of North Wildwood, N.J., and considered attending only one college after high school -- Penn State. It’s a family tradition. When he graduated from Penn State in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in journalism, he became the fourth member of his family to earn a Penn State diploma. His father, Leonard, graduated in 1943, and his older brothers, Len Jr. and Alan, graduated in 1973 and 1977.

Catanoso wrote for The Daily Collegian for four years, covering sports, arts and politics. He was a weekly columnist his senior year – the year the Collegian was named by Sigma Delta Chi as the best college newspaper in America.

Catanoso began his newspaper career with the Centre Daily Times. He later worked for The Knoxville Journal in Tennessee and then the Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina. In 1993, his pioneering reporting into fraud in the tobacco industry for the News & Record earned him a Pulitzer Prize nomination for public service. In 1998, Catanoso left daily newspapers to become the founding executive editor of The Business Journal, where he still directs a staff in its weekly business coverage of the Triad region of North Carolina.

In 1993, he received a master of arts in liberal studies from Wake Forest University, and since then has been a visiting lecturer in journalism, teaching course in reporting, writing and editing.

"My Cousin the Saint," some of which is set at Penn State, was published by HarperCollins in May 2008 and was released in paperback last June. It is Catanoso's first book.

Co-sponsored by the Penn State Bookstore and the offices of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business, the Penn State Forum Speaker Series is open to the general public. Tickets for the Penn State Forum are $15. To purchase tickets for any or all of these events, contact the ID+ Office, located at 103 HUB-Robeson Building, University Park, call (814) 865-7590, or visit online for more information.

To suggest future Penn State Forum speakers, contact Gail Hurley, chair of the forum committee, at, or coordinator Carol Griffin at

The following speakers are scheduled to appear as a part of this year's Forum Speaker Series. For the complete list of speakers and their bios, visit online.

Lisa See
“The Secrets We Keep: Finding the Lost Voice of China, Women, and Our Families”
Monday, April 5, 2010
President’s Hall, Penn Stater, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo
Former president of Nigeria
"Corruption, The Greatest Single Bane of Our Society Today”
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Ballroom, Nittany Lion Inn, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated August 04, 2009