2021 Symposium: “Realizing Transformation”

Learn about this strategic signature initiative that builds on our strength as one university to support access to and strengthen our world class education. Join us as our One Penn State 2025 teams share their ideas, the tasks that have been completed and those that are upcoming. The Symposium will also present opportunities to engage in this signature initiative.


Provost’s Welcome and Opening Session — One Penn State 2025 Vision

Guiding Principles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Provost Jones welcomes attendees by sharing the vision of the One Penn State 2025 signature initiative and connection to future of the university. Then speakers who are leading the One Penn State 2025 initiative effort share insights on how the transformation can be realized through each of five defined principles or goals. This session can help you gain a clearer understanding of One Penn State 2025 and where you can connect to the transformation.

  • Melissa Hardy – Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Demography
  • Nick Jones – Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Melissa Kunes – GP1 Co-Chair, Assistant Vice President, Executive Director, Office of Student Aid
  • David Callejo Pérez – Associate Vice President and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs, OVPCC
  • Elizabeth Wright – GP3 Co-Chair, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, OVPCC and Director of Academic Affairs– Penn State Hazleton
  • Scott Wing – GP3 Co-Chair, Associate Professor of Architecture, Department of Architecture
  • Tracy Hoover – GP4 Co-Chair, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Jim Nemes – GP4 Co-Chair, Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer and Professor of Mechanical Engineering– Penn State Great Valley
  • Jen Stedelin – GP5 Co-Chair, Associate Vice President, Enterprise Applications, Penn State Information Technology
  • Garrett Huck – Assistant Professor of RHS, Penn State Hazleton
  • David Christiansen – Chancellor, Penn State York
  • Kelly Austin – GP5 Co-Chair, Associate Vice President for Administration, Commonwealth Campuses

Improving Student Academic Mobility and Navigation

Guiding Principle: 1

One Penn State 2025 envisions a university that allows students to take full advantage of our multi-campus system. Providing course offerings to all students regardless of the course location and the student’s home campus will support timely persistence to graduation. Achieving this vision will require reduction or removal of administrative boundaries, examination of curricular pathways and course offerings, improvement in degree planning tools, and alignment of budget models to support sharing and reduce internal competition for students. In this presentation, panelists will suggest ways these changes will address current gaps in equitable outcomes for students at Penn State.

  • Ashley Adams – Director of Student Affairs – Penn State World Campus
  • Janet Schulenberg – Senior Director, Division of Undergraduate Studies

Creating Streamlined Student Business Processes

Guiding Principle: 1

The Transactions Associated with Being a Student subcommittee aims to provide students with a seamless and accessible student experience in all student interactions with the institution, whether this be the admissions or enrollment processes, the process of taking courses, co-curricular learning, or full access to the curricula and support services offered across the University. The group is exploring new platforms and opportunities for improvements to systems and processes and is recommending various initiatives to improve the administrative experience for both students and staff. 

  • Misty Patcyk – Director, LionPATH Development and Maintenance Office
  • Bill Fritz – Director, World Campus Admissions and Student Aid

Creating a Seamless Co-Curricular Experience

Guiding Principle: 1

One Penn State 2025 envisions a Penn State that is open and seamless, no longer bound by place and time.  Creating a seamless co-curricular experience for students involves opening access across units and campuses, providing students with an “All Access Pass” that allows them to use facilities and services regardless of their home campus location.  In this presentation, panelists discuss ways in which co-curricular experiences could be made available and accessible to all Penn State students, across the University. 

  • Dan Murphy – Director, Student Orientation and Transition Programs World Campus
  • Scott Simonds – Director of Student Affairs – Penn State York

Lightning Talks

Guiding Principle: 5

Academic Integration: Leo Lo highlights some of the areas being explored right now; the goals and objectives; and some examples of action items. 

Piloting Inclusive Access Programs through the Penn State Bookstore: John Papazoglou leads a discussion about a pilot program being planned with Barnes and Noble College, our bookstore operator, that would provide inclusive access to textbooks for some of Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses. 

Workstream Optimization: Jeff Smith leads a discussion about just a few of the many ongoing initiatives at the University that support workflow optimization and achievement of the highest level of efficiency of University resources (Guiding Principle 5). Highlights include initiatives within LionPATH, electronic signature, and use of artificial intelligence. 

  • John PapazoglouAssociate Vice President, Auxiliary and Business Services
  • Leo Lo – Associate Dean for Learning Undergraduate Services and Commonwealth Campus Libraries
  • Jeff Smith – Associate Vice President, Outreach & Online Education Operations

Curricular Neighborhoods

Guiding Principle: 2

Faculty have the central responsibility to develop and maintain a coherent curriculum, and this curriculum is implemented in coordination with staff. 

In this presentation, speakers discuss how a broadened sense of “curricular neighborhoods” can support us in this shared endeavor. 

  • Michele Duffey – Assistant Teaching Professor of Kinesiology
  • Jeff Adams – Associate Vice President, Undergraduate Education
  • David Callejo Pérez  – Associate Vice President and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs, OVPCC
  • Dennis Shea – Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Outreach


Data-driven Decision Making

Guiding Principle: 5

Penn State acquires, processes, and disseminates a vast amount of data every second, which in turn, is used daily to make critical decisions (academic, workforce, financial, etc.). In this session, our panel discusses a vision for developing processes and procedures to facilitate the interconnection of data to support a data-informed decision culture.

  • Todd Clouser – Associate Registrar, Information Technology Manager, Office of the University Registrar
  • Doug Tice – Associate Bursar
  • Kevin Snider – Chancellor – Penn State New Kensington
  • Karen Vance – Associate Vice Provost for Institutional Research

Curriculum Subgroup: Creating Relevant and Responsive Learning Experiences

Guiding Principle: 3

These sessions present three proposals to create relevant and responsive courses and programs meeting the evolving needs of our current and future students. 

Session Topic 1: Alternative Credentials

The higher education landscape is changing in response to evolving and diverse learner needs. One example of this change is the emergence of “alternative credentials” — digital badges, micro-credentials, and industry-recognized certifications, designed to engage learners in new ways.  

Session Topic 2: Covid-19 and the Entering Freshman Classes of 2020 to 2032

We face long-term, spatiotemporally variable effects of coronavirus on preparation and well-being of future students. Effects will differ with grade, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity. They will interact with pre-existing demographic challenges. We must: 1) partner with schools, 2) adapt strategies as the pandemic cohort ages, and 3) address demographic challenges.

Session Topic 3: MAX Penn State

A system-wide initiative empowering all students to maximize their Penn State experience by developing the skills and competencies necessary to make meaningful contributions to their personal and professional communities. Students will develop and implement a customized, four-year engagement plan for acquiring the essential competencies in and out of the classroom. 

Presentation File

  • Bob Orndorff – Senior Director of Career Services & Affiliate Associate Professor in Counselor Education
  • Pam Silver – Associate Dean for Academic Affairs – Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
  • Gary Chinn – Assistant Dean of Digital Learning, College of Arts & Architecture
  • Peter Butler – Associate Dean for Education and Graduate Professional Programs College of Engineering
  • Alan Rieck – Associate Vice President and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
  • Emily Rimland – Information Literacy Librarian and Learning Technologies Coordinator
  • Mike Zeman – Director, Student Engagement Network – Student Engagement Programs



Engage Learners Throughout their Lifetime

Guiding Principle: 4

Penn State is uniquely positioned to engage our constituents with lifelong learning opportunities. In this session, our panel discusses our vision for convenient access to Penn State’s vast content and learning resources. Our goal is to provide learners with knowledge that is relevant for a lifetime and complements the credit programs that are the foundation of a Penn State education. 

  • Pam Driftmier – Executive Director, Professional and Community Engagement Penn State Outreach
  • Gwen Gummo – Finance Manager, Penn State Professional and Community Engagement
  • Bill Harvey – Executive Director, Marketing at Penn State Outreach and Online Education – Penn State World Campus
  • Chris Lucas – Associate Vice President, User Success – Penn State IT
  • Jim Nemes – GP4 Co-Chair, Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer and Professor of Mechanical Engineering– Penn State Great Valley
  • Tracy Hoover – GP4 Co-Chair, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, College of Agricultural Sciences

Access: Meeting Students Where They Are

Guiding Principle: 3

This presentation highlights three proposals to increase student access to courses through expanded access to technology, varied course term lengths, and the creation of a shared course repository, available to students regardless of their campus assignment. 

Session Topic 1: Leveling the Computer Playing Field

Inconsistencies in student access to technology, both hardware and software, have never been more apparent. A student laptop requirement, combined with anywhere, anytime access to software, would level the playing field. Fiscal and organizational challenges can be overcome to create a unified student experience.

Session Topic 2: Semesters are a Social Construct: Classes out of the Box

Our academic calendar is the framework around which our curricula and policies hinge. The traditional semester boundaries are applied downstream in ways that hinder the development and implementation of student-centered, flexible academic experiences that do not fit within these periods. This talk presents key challenges and opportunities for moving forward.

Session Topic 3: Increasing Student Access to Summer Courses through a Shared Marketing Approach

We seek to greatly increase the access to courses and programs for all students regardless of their campus assignment. To pilot an approach, summer provides flexibility for students to take courses at any Penn State campus without the need for administrative action. Collaborative marketing of all Penn State summer courses will increase awareness of summer offerings across the Commonwealth and retain students who might otherwise look to take summer courses outside of the University. 

  • Kelly Griffith – Director, Office for Summer Session
  • Anthony Robinson – Associate Professor of Geography and Director of Online Geospatial Education Programs
  • Jennifer Sparrow – Associate Vice President, Teaching and Learning with Technology
  • Annie Taylor – Assistant Dean for Distance Learning and Director of the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

Faculty Communities

Guiding Principle: 2

Faculty communities are empowered to design and implement a curriculum that allows them, through a shared commitment to learning outcomes, to advance the mission of teaching and learning and engage all students in their learning. 

  • David Callejo Pérez – Associate Vice President and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs, OVPCC
  • Harold Hayford – Assistant Teaching Professor of Math – Penn State Altoona
  • Beth Seymour – Faculty Senate Chair, Associate Teaching Professor of Anthropology, Communications, History and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies – Penn State Altoona

Questions, next steps, closing remarks

Guiding Principles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

The One Penn State 2025 Executive Committee co-chairs weave points from conversations throughout the day with focus on ways to capitalize on the energy and enthusiasm and how participants can get involved going forward. 

  • Yvonne Gaudelius –Executive Committee Co-Chair, Vice President & Dean for Undergraduate Education
  • Renata Engel – Executive Committee Co-Chair, Vice Provost for Online Education
  • Rich Bundy – Vice President, Development and Alumni Relations