Taking breaks is important. Step away from your daily routine, spend your lunch break with Penn State Great Valley's free lunchtime learning events, and learn something new from experts. The NoonTimeU webinar series covers an array of topics to help with your personal and professional development.
Searching for Jimmy Hoffa: The Disappearance of America’s Most Notorious Labor Leader and Why It Still Matters Today
Thursday, February 25 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
David Witwer, Penn State Laureate for the 2020-21 academic year, explores the history of Jimmy Hoffa, a powerful labor leader with ties to organized crime whose disappearance in 1975 made him the most prominent victim of a mob hit in American history. Witwer discusses Hoffa’s disappearance, including why it mattered at the time and why it continues to matter, the case's connection to the federal government’s war on organized crime, and the shifting fortunes of the American workers who had once been among Hoffa’s most avid supporters.
Witwer is a professor of American studies at Penn State Harrisburg. He previously worked for the New York County District Attorney’s Office and was an investigative analyst on assignment with the New York State Organized Crime Task Force looking into the mob’s role in the construction industry. He has written three books on labor racketeering: Corruption and Reform in the Teamsters Union (2003); Shadow of the Racketeer: Scandal in Organized Labor (2009); and Murder in the Garment District: The Grip of Organized Crime and the Decline of Labor in the United States (2020).
Science, Sympathy, and the World of Civil War Medicine
Wednesday, March 10 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Sharon Ann Holt, associate teaching professor of history at Penn State Abington, discusses how the carnage of the Civil War set off extraordinary innovation in battlefield medicine, pioneering the modern medical idea that illness should be addressed with science rather than moral reform. In the aftermath, as medical innovations continued, social norms about masculinity had to adapt to the existence of 400,000 wounded veterans. This tension helped to alter the 19th century gender system in ways that set the stage for the 20th century.
A native of the Great Lakes region, Holt earned a Ph.D. in American history in 1991 from the University of Pennsylvania. She has divided her career between academic teaching and public history, serving museums and historical organizations in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. She is the author of Making Freedom Pay: North Carolina freedpeople working for themselves, 1865-1900 and recently received an Emmy award for her work as a historical commentator on Philadelphia: The Great Experiment.
Becoming an Authentic Leader: The Cold Hard Truth
Thursday, March 18 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Over the ages, the topic of authenticity has intrigued philosophers, writers, theologians, psychologists, ethicists and even business executives. While it has been referred to as “the gold standard for leadership,” work on the topic of leader authenticity has come under fire for lacking a realistic conceptual and evidence-based foundation. Denise Potosky, professor of management and organization, and John J. Sosik, distinguished professor of management and organization, examine leaders’ relationships with the truth and present a new evidence-based model of leader authenticity and its implications for organizational training. The webinar focuses on five key areas: What “authentic” means, the elements of authentic leadership, pitfalls of the authentic leadership literature and consulting practices, the pinwheel model of leader authenticity, and actionable tactics to develop your leader authenticity.
Potosky is an international scholar and expert on selection and assessment, intercultural management, and leading change, having published numerous book chapters, proceedings and academic journal articles. She has presented papers, led seminars, and facilitated workshops at over 100 academic conferences, professional associations, and a variety of public and private organizations in the U.S. and Europe. She has provided editorial board service to two well-respected human resource management academic journals, and served as a trainer, analyst, and consultant for corporate and not-for-profit organizations.
Sosik, the professor-in-charge of the Master of Leadership Development program, is an award-winning internationally known expert on leadership and character development, having published over 100 books, book chapters, proceedings, and academic articles; made almost 100 academic conference presentations; provided editorial board member service to five well-respected leadership and organizational behavior academic journals; and served as a trainer and consultant for a wide range of corporate, not-for-profit and military organizations.