Penn State Mont Alto announces Evening Talk and Star Party Fall Series

Anne Devney

Anne Devney, assistant teaching professor in nursing, will present the first of three Evening Talks during fall 2019 at Penn State Mont Alto. Weather permitting, a Star Party will follow.

Credit: Penn State

MONT ALTO, Pa. — During Penn State Mont Alto’s 2019 Fall Evening Talk and Star Party Series, two faculty members and a visiting speaker will share their experiences and expertise in mindfulness practices and NASA during the time of the Apollo moon landings. Held on Thursdays, Sept. 19, Oct. 3 and Nov. 7, in the General Studies Auditorium, the talks and star parties are free of charge and open to the public.

  • Sept. 19, “Rapid Anxiety Reduction Tools,” at 7 p.m. ― Anne Devney, assistant teaching professor in nursing, will share some of her expertise with mindfulness. This session will explore mindfulness strategies useful for anyone (including faculty and students) to overcome anxiety just before any expected stressful situation, such as in labs or exams. Participants will learn one-, two- and three-minute techniques to deal with stress. Using a “mindfulness” approach costs nothing, yet it can yield many positive results!
  • Oct. 3, “Values of NASA During the Moon Race of the 1960's,” at 7:30 p.m. ― Richard Lesher, first president of the National Center for Resource Recovery and president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 1975 to 1997, will share his personal experience working for NASA as assistant administrator for technology utilization from 1964 to 1969. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon missions, he will discuss the organization and personnel of NASA during the moon race, programs he oversaw to accelerate the transfer of NASA technology to other applications, and the total value of NASA's impact on America and the world.
  • Nov. 7, “LovingKindness Meditation,” at 7:30 p.m. ― Angela Hissong, associate teaching professor of occupational therapy, will lead a session on mindful meditation. Along with gentle seated yoga, participants will explore LovingKindness or Metta Meditation to engage kindness and compassion to oneself and others. This meditation will foster well-being, joy and peace in our community of learning.

Weather permitting, Kimberly Herrmann, associate professor in physics and astronomy, will lead a Star Party after each presentation in the field between Orchard Road and the General Studies Building parking lot from 8:45 to 10 p.m.

Telescope viewing and night sky tours with green laser pointers will be part of the star party activities. Multiple telescopes should be available, courtesy of the TriState Astronomers, a local amateur astronomy club. In the event of cold weather, patrons should wear layers of clothing and bring jackets, hats and gloves. Precipitation or cloud cover may cause the star party to be canceled.

Those interested in astronomy also can attend Penn State Mont Alto Planetarium Shows when Herrmann will present an overview and demonstrate the capabilities of the Penn State Mont Alto portable planetarium. With digital projection and an inflatable dome, it can simulate the day or night sky from anywhere on Earth and seats about 45 adults.

The shows will be held from 7-8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday evenings — Sept. 12 and 13, Oct. 10 and 11, and Nov. 14 and 15 — in the Multipurpose Activities Center on campus. They are recommended for ages 5 and up and are free of charge and open to the public.

Some aspects that may be explored are well known solar system objects, like our moon, the planets and constellations ― recognized patterns of stars that are frequently named for mythological figures in various cultures.

Visitors will have the option of watching a full-dome video on various astronomy topics. Questions about the astronomical wonders in the sky, our solar system, and beyond will be welcomed. Consecutive shows will be similar. Participants can bring a camping or beach chair or a pillow to sit on. Standard folding chairs and some foam floor mats should also be available.

For more information, contact Debra Collins, director of public relations and marketing, at 717-749-6112 or email [email protected].