Rock Ethics Institute Faculty Newsletter

January 2018

Help spread the word about the Rock Ethics Institute's annual StandUp Awards. Nominations are open until January 31.
Josh Inwood and Derek Alderman wrote an op-ed in honor of Martin Luther King Day, "What if the MLK Holiday were April 4," which will run in Diverse, a magazine dedicated to issues concerning diversity in American higher education.

Josh also published "MLK's version of love as moral imperative still matters," and was interviewed by the Atlantic about truth commissions.

Josh was interviewed by CBS for MLK Day. Watch the interview this evening on local CBS affiliate, WTAJ-TV, between 5-6PM.
Caitlin Grady coordinated Penn State's first Ethics in Engineering Case Competition. She'll be taking the winning Penn State team to Texas to compete in the national competition this February. We'll have a full story upon their return.

Caitlin is also introducing a new course, CE 597: Ethics, Engineering, and Environmental Management next semester. The course will examine the ethical dimensions of the embedded social, economic, and cultural constructs that shape the science, policy, and practice of environmental management.
In honor of the new year, Jeremy Engels wrote an article on gratitude, "This new year - rethinking gratitude," which was published in the Conversation. The article was republished in the Los Angeles Times,,, and 16 other news outlets.

Jeremy was also interviewed for The Daily Item, Susquehanna Valley's daily newspaper. The article, "Experts: Self Worth not based on achievements, resolutions," focused on the idea of connecting our self-worth to our ideals instead of achievements.

Jeremy's latest book The Art of Gratitude will be released by SUNY Press in May.
Alan Wagner, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, was named Hartz Family Career Development Professorship in Engineering.

Alan is also planning a robotics conference for March 15-17. The public lecture will feature Ron Arkin, Director of the Mobile Robot Laboratory at Georgia Tech, and visiting scholar at QUT and CSIRO in Brisbane, Australia. Arkin will also speak at the Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium as part of our partnership with Penn State's EdTech Network.
Jonathan Brockopp, associate professor of history and religious studies, developed a new course to introduce students to the science, policy and ethics of climate change.

During this interdomain course, students will have the chance to tour departments and facilites throughout campus, as well as the opportunity to interact with various experts as they learn how climate change is being studied in a multidiscilinary and collaborative fashion.

This Wednesday, Jon will lecture from Univ. of Michigan and stream the discussion to a classroom at University Park so that PSU students can join the conversation.

The Restorative Justice Initiative has a lot on the calendar for 2018-19, including an "Ethics of Policing Conference" with a public lecture as well as a series of programs, outreach efforts, educational publications, and community conversations as part of a grant proposal for the National Endowment for the Humanities. "Enduring Inequalities in Criminal Justice," plans to bring together the Rock Ethics Institute, WPSU, multiple PSU campuses, Equal Justice Initiative, Equal Justice USA, the Humanities Institute and other partners.
The Moral Agency & Moral Development Initiative held the Moral Psychology Research Group Conference in October. In addition to successful workshops and a packed public lecture, three round-table discussions with attendees were videotaped and can be viewed on YouTube.
New affiliate faculty member joins Rock Ethics Institute
We'd like to welcome Patrick Lee Plaisance, Don W. Davis Professor in Ethics from the Bellisario College of Communications.
New Faculty Fellows announced for 2018-19
Kathryn Sophia Belle, associate professor of philosophy, and Forrest Briscoe, professor of management and organization, have been named Faculty Fellows of the Rock Ethics Institute for the 2018-19 academic year.
NEW Rock Ethics Website coming soon —
With a sitemap complete, our assets cataloged, and the design process underway, our new website update is currently in the design phase with the Liberal Arts IT team. We look forward to the unveiling this spring!
Rock Happy Hours continue! Join us on the last of every Thursday of the month at 5 PM at the Federal Taphouse. We hope to see you there!
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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