Penn State University  | College of Medicine |  Research Departments |  George T. Harrell Library |  Medical Center |  Clinical & Translational Science Institute

First Fridays

Join us from September through May, as the Department of Humanities in conjunction with the Drs. Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine present a noon hour brown bag discussion of a humanities-related topic. The sessions are free, open to all, and no pre-registration is required. For more information about these programs contact the Humanities Department at (717) 531-8778 or email Claire de Boer at

2015 First Friday Calendar of Events

April 2015 First Friday Email Graphic April 3, 2015  •  noon  •  Room C2860

How to Grow Dinner: Vegetable Gardening You Can Actually Do

A vegetable garden doesn’t have to be a weedy rectangle that requires back-numbing labor. Certain techniques can yield tasty results in small spaces with less work. George will discuss reasons why people should consider growing their own fresh food.
Presented by: George Weigel
George Weigel is a garden writer, designer, speaker, Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist, and as his balding, plant-killing brother likes to put it, a Certified Gardening Wacko.
Best known for his “Over the Garden Fence” columns that have appeared weekly in The Patriot-News, since 1993.

Seamus Heaney March Web GraphicMarch 13, 2015  •  12:00 noon  •  Room C2860

Seamus Heaney: A Life in Word and Song

Seamus Carmichael, Kimberly Myers and friends present the life and work of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney. The program illustrates Heaney’s life in word and song and shows how he became one of the most popular poets of the late 20th century.

Presented by:
Seamus Carmichael
Employee at the George T. Harrel Health Sciences Library
Artist and Singer who, like Seamus Heaney, grew up in rural South Derry Northern Ireland and knew the poet and his family. Heaney owned one of Carmichael’s pictures.
Kimberly Myers, M.A., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Humanities
Her 2007 book, Illness in the Academy, includes a previously unpublished poem by Seamus Heaney.

Cancer Stories LIONSEYEFeb 13th, 2015  •  12:00 noon  •  C2860
CANCER STORIES: Perspectives of Patients and Healthcare Professionals
A Panel Discussion with patients, healthcare professionals and Barak Goodman…







CANCER Movie WEBFeb 12th, 2015  •  6:00 p.m.  •  JUNKER AUDITORIUM
CANCER: Based on the Pulitzer-prize winning book: The Emperor of all Maladies
Join us for a 60 minute EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW followed by a panel conversation with Barak Goodman and the parents of Emily Whitehead

This film tells the complete story of cancer, from its first description in an ancient Egyptian scroll to the gleaming laboratories of modern research institutions. At six hours, the film interweaves a sweeping historical narrative; with intimate stories about contemporary patients; and an investigation into the latest scientific breakthroughs that may have brought us, at long last, to the brink of lasting cures.

Meet the producer and director: Barak Goodman, Co-founder of Ark Media and a principal producer, director, and writer with the company. His films for Ark Media have been nominated for an Academy Award and won multiple Emmys and Writers Guild Awards, the DuPont-Columbia, and Peabody Awards, the RFK Journalism Prize, and twice been official selections at the Sundance Film Festival.


Fortitude LionsEye 2015EMAILFebruary 6, 2015 • 12:00 pm • Room C2860

The Kienle Center Players present a staged reading of: FORTITUDE

A satire of medicine that privileges technological brilliance over human value.








January 2015 First Friday EMAILJanuary 9, 2015  •  12:00 pm  •  Room C2860
Cancer Survivors in the Wild: Creating Transformative Adventures to Reflect, Refocus and Rebuild Lives

This presentation will use the internationally recognized webseries, Valleys, to illustrate how combining adventure activities with a life storytelling process can lead to profound change in young adult cancer survivors. Attendees will not only gain a strong understanding of adventure therapy and storytelling as modalities to re-claim the vitality lost to illness, but be able to watch the process on-screen as two young adults go on a transformative journey at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Presented by: Michael Lang
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor, M.Sc. Student, Health Services Research
Tom Baker Cancer Centre, University of Calgary

Mike Lang is a young adult cancer survivor, adventure guide, documentary film producer, Heath Services Researcher (MSc. candidate) and Cancer Survivorship Education Specialist with CancerControl Alberta. He is also the director of a not-for-profit organization called Survive & Thrive Cancer Programs is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, including the Psychosocial Oncology Research Training Fellowship through McGill University (2013-2015), and in 2013 was voted one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 for his academic achievements, advocacy and work with cancer survivors. He has produced 4 films about the young adult cancer patient experience and organized, facilitated or spoke at over 90 retreats, conferences, adventure trips and support groups for thousands young adult survivors in the past six years. Mike is also the coordinator the Arts & Humanities in Health Care Seminar Series at the University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine and specializes in reconnecting medical professionals with the lived experience of their patients.

2014 First Fridays Calendar of Events

December 2014 First Friday EMAILDecember 5, 2014   •  12:00 p.m.  •  Room C2860
Leonardo and the Reinvention of Anatomy

When Vesalius started his life journey five hundred years ago, Leonardo Da Vinci’s own journey into the human body was symbolically coming to an end. Denounced by a German collaborator for necromancy, he would eventually be barred by the Church from even entering the Ospedale di Santo Spirito under accusations of “heresy and cynical dissection of cadavers”. He will never dissect again. Still, Leonardo’s work might have actually been known to Vesalius himself, considering that Da Vinci’s heir, Francesco Melzi, kept all of his master’s notebooks not too far from Padua, and was eager to show them to anyone interested. They might have actually served as inspiration for Vesalius’ scenic styles of the Fabrica. This talk will review Leonardo’s amazing contributions to the field of anatomy, which are eons ahead of anything available at the time, but that unfortunately remained locked in Windsor’s castle for almost 300 years.

PRESENTED BY: Salvatore Mangione, M.D.
Dr. Mangione is a clinician-educator with a long interest in Physical Diagnosis, Medical History and community service. His innovative programs and engaging teaching style have been recognized by multiple awards for clinical teaching, and his work has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC, CNN, NPR and Forbes. Dr. Mangione has been an invited speaker at many national and international meetings, especially in regard to the role of visual arts as a way to teach bedside observation. He’s the author of the book Secrets in Physical Diagnosis.

Nov 2014 First Friday LIONsEyeNovember 7, 2014   •  12:00 p.m.  •  Room C2860
SHOW AND TELL: The Power of Comics in Illness

Katie Green will discuss how and why she created a graphic novel memoir to explore her experience with (and recovery from) an eating disorder and sexual abuse.

Presented By: Katie Green
Katie Green is an artist and illustrator living in England. She studied biology before specializing
in illustration. She is author of the memoir, “Lighter Than My Shadow,” and publishes a bi-monthly
zine, The Green Bean. Her projects can be found on her website,


October 2014 First friday EMAILOctober 3, 2014 • 12:00 noon • Room C2860
The Well-being Benefits of Getting Out on the Trail

Hiking isn’t always about pulling down the big miles. Of course, there’s the 7,700-mile long Sea-to-Sea Route for those of you interested in maximum adventure. And the highly-praised 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail offers outstanding scenery. But hiking is also about smaller things, such as a day hike in your neighborhood park. And one of the greatest pleasures of hiking is the feeling of giving back to the community. There are many ways to understand what it means to be a hiker. And the best advice is, “Hike your own hike.”

Presented by: Ron “Pathfinder” Strickland, Ph.D.
Dr. Strickland is one of only two living founders of national scenic trails. Beginning in 1970, he began to create a pathway from the Continental Divide at Glacier National Park, Montana to the Pacific Ocean at Cape Alava, Washington. In 1983 he and his fellow explorer Ted Hitzroth thru-hiked the proposed trail’s 1200 miles east to west to publish its innovative guidebook. In 2009, that route was established by Congress as the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. Ron Strickland has also developed new concepts such as the 7700-mile, transcontinental Sea-To-Sea Route. Oregon State University Press published his memoir, Pathfinder.


September 5, 2014 • 12:00 Noon • Room C2860September 2014
September Snitzing Party

Presented by: Michael Shaffer and Danielle Karppala, Michael is a musician and folklorist from Franklin County, PA with a special interest in the history and culture of Pennsylvania.
Danielle is a conservatory trained cellist from Adams County. She holds a Master of Music degree from Hartt School of Music, and a performance certificate from PSU.

Visit with the musical storytellers Michael Shaffer & Danielle Karppala as they celebrate harvest time with old time stories and songs of our dear home state.


Informance EmailJanuary 10, 2014 • 12:00 Noon • Room C2860

Presented by: Steve Rudolph, Jazz Pianist, Composer, Educator, and Yamaha Keyboard Artist

Steve  hosts an “informance” lecture/performance) on the art of improvisation; music composition and history; and an artist’s life in the music world.

Steve Rudolph’s detailed recording and touring information may be found at



Feb 2014 First Friday EMAILFebruary 7, 2014 • 12:00 Noon • Room C2860
Kienle Center Players presents:
Readings from the Play, Imelda
by: Richard Seltzer, M.D., Adapted for Readers’ Theater by Gregory A Watkins
Directed by: Valerie Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Theater, Messiah College

A medical student observes as a well-respected but arrogant surgeon deals with a tragedy during surgery.




March First Friday EMAILMarch 14, 2014 • 12:00 Noon • Room C2860
FRACKING: What Me Worry?

Presented by: Jerome A. Paulson, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences and Professor of Environmental & Occupational Health at the George Washington School of Public Health & Health Services.

Dr. Paulson will explore the process of unconventional natural gas extraction and consider its potential to adversely impact human health.

If you missed Dr. Paulson’s presentation you can watch it on mediasite: Click here to view the presentation


April 2014 First Friday EMAILApril 4, 2014 • 12:00 Noon • Room C2860
FOOD AS MEDICINE: Farmers Market at the Epicenter of Community Health
Presented by: Daniel R. George, Ph.D.
Faculty, Department of Humanities
Director, Farmers Market in Hershey
Planning Committee Member, Community Garden

According to the USDA, there are over 8,000 farmers markets in the U.S., and over 90 are located on medical center campuses. As the re-localization movement continues to grow across the country, these spaces are becoming emergent epicenters of individual, community, and regional health. Not only do markets provide access to healthy local foods, they also support the local economy, create social interaction, promote community solidarity, and serve as a venue for diverse educational and outreach projects. This talk will describe the efforts of a local initiative — The Farmers Market in Hershey — to use creative strategies to promote preventive health in the region.

Cooking demonstration with free samples!
Michelle Wohlfarth, manager of the Farmers Market in Hershey and a certified organic chef, will prepare samples using local vendor ingredients.

May 2014 First Friday EMAILMay 2, 2014 • 12:00 Noon • Room C2860
Dance for Parkinson’s : Demonstration Class
Presented by: David Leventhal
Founding Teacher, Program Director for Dance for PD®

David Leventhal will present a demonstration class that highlights the program’s methods and curriculum, which have provided a model for classes in more than 100 communities in nine countries around the world. A 13-year collaboration between Mark Morris Dance group and Brooklyn Parkinson Group, Dance for PD® empowers people with Parkinson’s Disease to explore movement in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating, and creative. Professional teaching artists integrate movement from modern, ballet, tap, folk and social dancing, as well as choreographic repertory, to engage participants’ minds and bodies and to create an enjoyable, social environment for artistic exploration. After leading an abbreviated class, David will discuss the program and take questions from the audience.





2013 First Fridays Calendar of Events

First Fridays Sept 2013 WEB

September 6, 2013 • 12:00 noon • Room C2860

Visual Aids: Art for Open Minds and Open Eyes
You don’t have to be an artist to understand or appreciate art! All you need are open eyes and an open mind.

“Open Minds,” will introduce some of the uses and functions of art through the ages such as self-expression, storytelling, interpreting the environment, political activism, and community engagement.

“Open Eyes,” will focus on how art may function to benefit the medical community, specifically through enhancing the powers of observation. This is intended as an engaging and thought-provoking presentation that “encourages” audience participation. To learn more visit

Presented by:  Erica Harney, M.F.A. Visiting Instructor of Art, Penn State University



First Fridays Oct 2013 Sexual Self EMAILOctober 4, 2013 • 12:00 noon • Room C2860

The Sexual Self of Cancer Survivors: Assessing and Addressing a Quality of Life Issue
 With Cancer Survivorship on the rise, and those with advanced disease living longer, health care professionals must be prepared to address all areas of quality of life. This includes the very real needs patients experience around changes in the sexual self after a cancer diagnosis. This talk will identify how cancer impacts on sexuality and what to do about it.

Presented by:
Sage Bolte, PhD, LCSW, OSW-C
Oncology Counselor
Life with Cancer, INOVA fair Oaks Hospital, Fairfax VA


Dancing with dementia Lions Eye Nov 2013 First fridayNovember 1, 2013 • 12:00 noon • Room C2860

Dancing with Dementia: Choreographing a New Narrative
The words and stories moving in the dementia/Alzheimer space are exposing our own cognitive limitations in addressing the huge individual and social challenges associated with these changing disease concepts. As the biomedical model collapses further, come and learn how we can develop ecopsychosocial models of health that drives a broader cultural responses that involves public health and the arts.

Presented by:
Peter J. Whitehouse, M.D., Ph.D.
Visiting Researcher and Strategic Advisor in Innovation, Baycrest, university of Toronto
Professor of Neurology and former Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Psychology, Cognitive Science,Bioethics, Nursing, History and Organizational Behavior,
Case Western Reserve University
Physician, University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Director, Adult Learning, The Intergenerational School.



December Re-Joyce First friday EMAIL

December 6, 2013 • 12:00 noon • Junker Auditorium

Re: Joyce   A Musical and Literary Irish Christmas

James Joyce’s short story “The Dead” is a description of a Christmas party in 1900s Dublin with evocative details of the food and entertainment, the political chitchat, the dancing and the flirtation. All of these impressions are available to the general reader except for the music and songs which are critical to a fuller  understanding of the melancholy at the heart of the main character, Gabriel another of Joyce’s alter egos.

Presented by:
Seamus Carmichael


Past presentations have included storytelling, short films, author discussions, plays by the Kienle Center Players, music therapy, photography, medical comics, and more.

Things We Leave Behind: Mental Health Care in the U.S.
Presented by: Matthew Murray

Excerpts from WiT
The Kienle Center Players Present a dramatic staged reading and discussion

How Blogging Can Be Good For Your Health
Presented by: Martha Peaselee Levine

The TimeSlips Project: Flipping the Script on Dementia
Presented by: Daniel George, Ph.D.

A Parallel Universe: A journey Through Autism, A Quest for Answers
Presented by: Jennifer Davis-Lewis, Filmmaker

View the December 2011 First Fridays Lecture presented by Seamus Carmichael.  Celtic Holiday Celebration

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