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Disabled U.S. military veteran Max Rohn throws discus at Penn State's indoor track and field facility.
Disabled U.S. military veteran Max Rohn throws discus at Penn State's indoor track and field facility.

Balancing Strength and Grace

The support that student athlete Max Rohn receives through the Penn State Ability Athletics program helps him achieve his goals both on and off the field.

Rohn, a U.S. military veteran, was wounded while on deployment in Iraq. After a difficult recovery, he came to Penn State to train with Ability Athletics and pursue a degree. Currently training for elite national and international competitions, the College of Engineering sophomore is also dedicated to his studies. After graduation, he wants to impact the lives of other amputees through improving prosthetic technologies.

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Members of the Penn State Ability Track and Field team compare stats during an outdoor training session.

The Penn State Ability Athletics program is one of only two university programs in the country that offers coaching to disabled athletes in track and field throwing events, according to Coach Teri Jordan.

Max Rohn prepares to throw as he competes in the shot put competition at the 2014 Invictus Games.

At the 2014 Invictus Games in London, England, Max Rohn brought home gold medals for his performance in shotput and discus and a silver medal in sitting volleyball.

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Penn State CHANCE student holds baby sea turtle. Penn State CHANCE student holds baby sea turtle.

Protecting Endangered Species

Students roll up their sleeves to assist with conservation and research efforts dedicated to restoring native sea turtle populations in Panama.

Factors such as coastal development, pollution, and climate change have caused a decrease in sea turtle populations all over the world. Through a program at Penn State Lehigh Valley, a team of students and faculty helped ensure the survival of hundreds of hatchlings, along with assisting in data collection that will continue to improve the species' chances for survival.

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A sea turtle plunges below the surface of the ocean off the coast of Panama’s San San Beach

Only about one out of every thousand sea turtle hatchlings survives, so student efforts in the hatchery had a meaningful impact.

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Indian children stand in front of Penn State alumus’ water purification unit, Swajal. Indian children stand in front of Penn State alumus’ water purification unit, Swajal.

Bringing Clean Water Home

Alumnus Advait Kumar is working on a solution that provides clean, affordable drinking water to the people of rural India.

Kumar knows from experience that, in some places, clean water is scarce. In his home country of India, twenty-one percent of all communicable diseases are water borne. This was a big motivation for Kumar, who founded Swajal while he was still a student. Swajal, a sustainable water purification unit the size of a vending machine, is already making a difference in parts of India.

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Advait Kumar holds up a bottle of water purified with his sustainable water purification unit.

The quality of water dispensed by Advait Kumar’s Swajal machines exceeds standards set out by the World Health Organization.

A group of children run past a Swajal water purification unit in Kanpur, India.

In India, unsafe drinking water is the number one cause of death for children under five. Kumar is doing his part to reduce that number.

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A researcher in a red parka sits in a small plane, in transit to Antarctica. A researcher in a red parka sits in a small plane, in transit to Antarctica.

Under The Ice Sheets

Penn State geosciences professor Sridhar Anandakrishnan is part of a research team that travels to Antarctica and Greenland to study what the ice sheets can reveal about climate change.

Anandakrishnan led the development of a completely wireless device, dubbed the "geoPebble," that can measure the way seismic waves move through the ice. The data collected will help scientists track how quickly the glaciers are melting and forecast the speed at which they'll continue.

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Six research team members pose together on Thwaites Glacier.

More than 100 geoPebbles will be placed on ice surfaces around the Antarctic research site and transmit data for up to ten days.

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Close-up of a honeybee on a honeycomb. Close-up of a honeybee on a honeycomb.

Saving The Honey Bees

Honey bee colonies are collapsing in record numbers, and Penn State entomologists are leading the pack of researchers scrambling to figure out why.

Colony collapse disorder is decimating the honey bee population, and Penn State, one of the country's leading honey bee research facilities, has been investigating the problem both in the lab and in the field. The effort is being led by Christina Grozinger, associate professor of entomology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

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Penn State professor and student examine honeybees in a lab.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that honey bees and other pollinators play a crucial role in the production of about $30 billion worth of crops.

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Penn State finance student Emily Zheng points to a stock ticker in the Smeal business school building. Penn State finance student Emily Zheng points to a stock ticker in the Smeal business school building.

Managing Millions

Finance student and Schreyer Scholar Emily Zheng's hands-on experience at Penn State helped her realize her dream of working on Wall Street even before graduation.

Students involved in the Nittany Lion Fund—a multi-million dollar, student-managed portfolio with real investors—gain a unique opportunity to learn how to follow financial markets and analyze stocks. Emily Zheng's experience with the Fund helped her land two internships and a full-time job offer with a multinational investment banking firm on Wall Street.

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Three Penn State students gather around a workstation in the Rogers Family Trading Room, a classroom and laboratory where the Nittany Lion Fund meetings are held.

About 95 percent of all Nittany Lion Fund members land jobs on Wall Street.

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Penn State theatre students stand together on stage during a ‘Blood at the Root’ rehearsal. Penn State theatre students stand together on stage during a "Blood at the Root" rehearsal.

Theatre of change

"Together we developed a performance piece that celebrates looking beyond our differences in order to move forward."   —Play director Steve Broadnax, associate director of theatre and head of the graduate acting program.

The all-student cast of "Blood at the Root" —a newly commissioned play by award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau—isn’t afraid to talk about the play's emotionally charged themes, and they're taking conversation international.

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A scene from "Blood at the Root" includes a group of cast members holding a sign that reads "What you gonna do?"

"Blood at the Root" earned both the Kennedy Center's Hip Hop Theater Creator Award and the Holden Street Theatres' Edinburgh Fringe Award in 2014.

An image of the cast on stage for "Blood at the Root" includes a look at some of the technical lighting and sound controls in the foreground.

In addition to developing and performing the play, the cast and crew also facilitated "talkback" sessions with the audience after each performance.

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Two window washers dressed as superheroes rappel down the side of Penn State's Hershey Children's Hospital. Penn State theatre students stand together on stage during a ‘Blood at the Root’ rehearsal.

Superhero Window Washers

Patients at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital look out their windows to these caped crusaders making a superhero's descent down the side of the building.

A group of window washers exchanged their cleaning tools for masks and capes and transformed into superheroes to brighten the day for these patients. The Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, part of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, provides hope and healing to thousands of children and their families each year.

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Batman greets a fan as he rappels down the side of Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.

The Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital is ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

A group of window washers dressed as superheroes pose outside the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.

As the only Level I pediatric trauma center between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the Hershey Children's Hospital serves the most populous rural regions in the nation.

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