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Game Changing

The stories in our magazine, in part, reflect changes—in research, education, and how our alumni engage the world. But this issue reflects a change that underlies every story you read.

After the last issue of Penn State Ag Science went to press, our designer said he was stepping down from the magazine. It was time to let someone else take the ride. For the first time in 20 years, Pete Kauffman wasn’t going to be designing the magazine.

Since taking the reins in 1994 from Jim McClure (one of the magazine founders in the early ’80s), Pete’s worked under four editors—a feat reflecting remarkable adaptability and patience. When done well, the design of a magazine makes it a joy to turn the pages and influences the way people perceive a story.

When I think of the 32 issues he’s designed, it’s easy to understand why he knows so much about the college and in turn has made it possible for hundreds of thousands of readers to know so much about us as well. As editor, I can’t say enough about Pete’s expertise, ideas, and the support he’s given during his tenure as designer.

Beginning with this issue, Jonathan Ziegler has taken the reins and worked with our team to produce the kind of stories you’ve come to expect. Jonathan spent seven years designing the Penn Stater magazine, and with that experience he’ll be the one now to push us to tell better stories, produce stronger images, and keep the editor from mucking the whole thing up.

Jonathan Ziegler with the Green Tower team at Rock Springs making sure the photos meet his “towering” standards.

Jonathan Ziegler with the Green Tower team at Rock Springs making sure the photos meet his “towering” standards.

Another change worth investigating is a new online course free to anyone with an Internet connection. 
Epidemics: The Dynamics of Infectious Diseases is a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) delivered through Penn State’s participation with Coursera.org. MOOCs are online courses with large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web. Several of our faculty are involved with this course, which has more than 28,000 people registered with an anticipated enrollment exceeding 30,000 at launch in mid-October.

Some think MOOCs are a game changer in higher education. Time will tell. Take a minute and explore for yourself.

Being closely connected to so many stories provides historical perspective on the college—you see change reflected through them and recognize changes in the road.

Steve Williams, Editor