Rock Ethics Institute Faculty Newsletter

February 2018


Examining current issues and breaking news from an ethical perspective will be the focus of “Rock the News,” a new monthly podcast by the Rock Ethics Institute.

The first episode, "What is Ethics?" features Josh Inwood, Cynthia Young, Sarah Clark Miller, and Jennifer Eury. 

You can hear monthly episodes on iTunes the third Wednesday of every month. Episodes will also be available at and

The premiere episode is available NOW!

Rock Ethics Research Associates Robert Chiles and Caitlin Grady were among 16 groups of interdisciplinary researchers awarded seed grant funding from Penn State's  Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE). Chiles and Grady will work with three additional team members on their project, “What Would the Susquehanna River Basin (SRB) Look Like in a European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive?”
Francisco Javier (Javi) Lopez, assistant professor of kinesiology and a research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute, was cited in the Charlotte Business Journal about the legacy of former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson who stepped down following allegations of misconduct.
Caitlin Grady and Penn State students, William "Louden" Buchanan and Steven Weber, returned from the national 2018 Lockheed Martin Ethics in Engineering Case Competition, which was held in Fort Worth, Texas on Feb. 15-16. 

While the Penn State team did not bring home the top prize, Grady said, "I am very proud of what Steven and Louden accomplished. Throughout the competition, they showed a deep understanding of ethical, business, and engineering challenges in today’s global world and showcased their excellent communication skills in the process. I look forward to seeing what these two can achieve both at Penn State and beyond.” 
Hilary Malatino will present the keynote address at the Graduate in Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Annual Conference. The conference will be held on Feb. 23 from 3:30 - 5:00 PM in 108 Chambers and on Feb. 24 from 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM in Oak Building. 

Malatino, assistant professor of women's, gender, and sexuality studies and philosophy, and a research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute will present a talk entitled, "Conceptualizing trans studies." 

Caitlin Grady
will offer a new engineering class this spring to introduce civil and environmental engineers to decision making and public policy. 

Yael Warshel,
assistant professor of telecommunications and a research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute,
 gave a presentation for TEDxPSU on Sunday, Feb. 11. Her talk "Media-tion, Socialization, and the Iraeli-Palestinian Conflict," was streamed live and will be posted online in the coming weeks by TedxPSU.  

The Sawyer Seminar
welcomed award-winning freelance journalist Jessica Luther on Wednesday, Feb. 14.  Her lecture,“Unsportsmanlike Conduct: The Intersections of Sports and Sexual Violence,” drew such a large audience that the entire crowd moved from the original venue of 101 Chambers Building to the Forum Building. 

For more on Jessica Luther,  read the  Penn State News Story.

The Conversation's
 Ethics and Religion Desk is launching a new series to examine the right thing to do when we are faced with difficult ethical decisions. Several Rock faculty members have submitted pitches and are working with editors at The Conversation right now. 

If you're interested in submitting a pitch or would like to learn more, please contact Whitney Chirdon at

The Ethics and Health Initiative, Bioethics Program, and Department of Kinesiology welcome Thomas H. Murray, President Emeritus, The Hastings Center, to discuss his latest book and to present a public lecture. 

"Why Our Games Matter — And How Doping Undermines Them" is scheduled for Thursday, March 15 from 3:05-4:20 PM in 110 Henderson Building.

Five years after graduating from Penn State, Joshua Branch is continuing the advocacy that made him stand out — and StandUp — as a student.

Brian Anthony Davis,
2017 StandUp award recipient, was selected for a 2017-2018 Student Achievement Award. He will receive the Eric A. Walker Award at the President's Award Ceremony on SundayApril 15 at 1:30 PM in Eisenhower Auditorium. 

Brian was nominated for this award by faculty and staff from across campus due to his active citizenship and a true commitment to making a difference in our communities. 

Now Accepting Student Fellows Applications

The Rock has just posted its call for applications for its undergraduate Thesis and Research Awards. These awards are available to Paterno Fellows conducting thesis research or research in preparation for a thesis that has an ethics focus. If you know Paterno Fellows who might be strong candidates for this award, please encourage them to apply.

You can also find the calendar on our website

Share your events for the March calendar now. Send them to 

Don't forget about our Rock Happy Hour at the Federal Taphouse. The next one is THIS Thursday, Feb. 22.
If you have news to share with your fellow Rock Stars, please send it to I'll add it to the next newsletter. Also, don't forget to use our listserv to distribute information about events, news in your department, ideas, resources, etc.
Thank you!
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