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February 11, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Students majoring in Turfgrass Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences will receive first consideration for a new Trustee Scholarship established by a pair of Penn State alumni.

With a gift of $50,000, William F. and Diane Randolph, of Powell, Ohio, created an endowment to fund the M. Forest Randolph and William F. Randolph Trustee Scholarship, which will be awarded to a student in the college with demonstrated financial need.

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program maximizes the impact of private giving while directing funds to students as quickly as possible, meeting the urgent need for scholarship support. For Trustee Scholarships created through the end of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students on June 30, 2014, Penn State will provide an annual 10 percent match of the total pledge or gift.

This level is an increase from the program's original match of 5 percent, and it is available only for new endowments of $50,000 or more. The University match, which is approximately double the endowment's annual spendable income, continues in perpetuity, multiplying the support available for students with financial need.

William Randolph graduated from College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State in 1970 with a degree in general arts and sciences and went on to earn a master's of business administration from the University of New Orleans. As an undergraduate, he was a student manager for the indoor and outdoor track teams.

Recently retired from Huntington Bancshares Inc., he is a member of the College of Agricultural Sciences Volunteer Development Council and co-chair of the donor engagement committee.

Diane Randolph is a 1970 alumna of the Eberly College of Science at Penn State, graduating with a degree in medical technology.

In addition to this new scholarship, the Randolphs in 1999 created the M. Forest Randolph Memorial Scholarship in Plant Science in memory of William's father.

"We have been very pleased with the support that our original scholarship fund provided and continues to provide to students," William Randolph said. "In the current campaign, the opportunity arose to provide significant additional scholarship dollars through the matching format of the trustee scholarships. We are very proud to be a part of the Penn State family and to contribute to the education of the current and future generation of Penn State students.

"When we originally started our scholarship, our development officer said that 'as long as there is a Penn State, these scholarships will be there.' It is a powerful idea that our contributions will help students in perpetuity."

The Randolphs' gift will help the College of Agricultural Sciences to achieve the goals of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. This University-wide effort is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America.


The Northeastern Pennsylvania Turf Conference and Trade Show has been theThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for DSC01431.JPG premier turfgrass industry event in the Pocono region for decades.  Penn State's Turfgrass Program, The Cooperative Extension and the Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council are continuing this tradition and the 2014 show will be held on Thursday, January 30st at The Woodlands Inn & Resort, Wilkes-Barre, PA.  This event is administered by Penn State University and typically draws about 300 participants for the full day show.  We believe we have a great educational program and you'll get a chance to visit with the many vendors exhibiting there.

Walk-Ins are welcome but you can preregister and save $5. You can pre-register  at


If you have any questions you can contact either Heather Treaster at 814-863-0129 or Andy McNitt at or 814-863-1368

We hope to see you at the show.

Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 2:01 AM The cleated football shoe hit the ground with 237 pounds of force and pivoted abruptly in a counter-clockwise direction, as one might do while running a tight pass route. But there was no human foot in the shoe, just Pennfoot. It's a device invented by Pennsylvania State University researchers to measure traction between shoe and surface, to help groundskeepers and sports teams minimize injury. Athletes like a lot of linear traction so they can start and stop quickly. But Pennfoot measures its unwanted cousin: rotational traction - the amount of torque exerted on the shoe when it tries to pivot. Read more here

Story published in SportsField Management Magazine

Every so often, Sports Illustrated comes out with its "Where Will They Be?" issue, which profiles rising young stars who the magazine predicts are destined for big things. We'd like to expand on that premise to profile someone who, while not a competitive athlete, seems just as likely to make his mark in the world of sports. Meet Thomas Goyne. Goyne has just begun his freshman year of college, but he's already pushed himself to gain a wealth of experience that he hopes will pay off in a career in sports field management.

Goyne, from Mountain Top, Pa., was just a child when he first developed his love of sports field maintenance. "All through Little League, my dad helped prep the field before the games for us. It got to the point where I would go out at night and help work on the field with him," Goyne recalls. "He was really good at it and it just always seemed like we did a nice job." Whenever he saw or played on a baseball field, Goyne's thoughts turned to how he might be able to perfect it.

Getting his feet wet

When he was 13 and in eighth grade, Goyne's parents placed a bid in a Philadelphia Phillies charity auction for a chance to be groundskeeper for a day. "My entire family chipped in on it, and I got an opportunity to be a groundskeeper for a day with the Phillies grounds crew and their head groundskeeper, Mike Boekholder," he explains. continued...

photos by Jeff Fowler

Another World Wide Sporting event is hosted by a Penn State Turfgrass Alum as Mr. Seth Whitehill (B.S. turfgrass science 2008) completes his third season as head grounds keeper at the Little League World Series. The fields look better than ever.


Seth Tamp.jpg


During his four years at Penn State, Mr. Whitehill, a native of Pleasant Gap, (Centre County) PA, interned with the Univ. of Maryland's Athletic Field Management Department and another Penn State 4-year alum PJ Ellis. PJ thought enough of Seth to offer him a job after graduation.  Seth spent about two years learning under the direction of Mr. Ellis at the Univ. of Maryland before accepting the position at LLWS.


Seth Mow.jpg


Seth continues the tradition of mentoring aspiring sports field managers and this summer hosted Logan Wetzel a Penn State Turfgrass B.S. student studying turf online through Penn State's World Campus Program as an intern. In fact, he allowed Logan to manage Volunteer stadium during the LLWS. Logan decided upon and executed the mowing pattern on Volunteer and was busy directing the volunteer grounds keeping crew on procedures and practices while Seth was busy as Lamade Stadium. These two stadia host 34 televised games over 10 days.


Volunteer Stadium.jpg


As you watch the finals this weekend, you may think that Mr. Whitehill must have an easy job just taking care of a couple little league fields for one tournament per year but that couldn't be further from the truth. The venue is a series of fields with two stadia and 4+ practice fields. There are camps and tournaments going on all season. Seth does have 9 days before the LLWS begins without play to get the field in shape.

Shrub llws.jpg

Jeff Fowler gives Seth all the credit and says it makes his job that much easier. For those unaware of what the Fowler family has done for LLWS, lets just say the quality of the fields, the friendships, and the spirit of volunteerism that this family has infused into sportsfield management wouldn't be the same without them.

Jeff , his father Don, and his uncle Dave (Dave and Don and twins) are all three Penn State County Extension agents, although Dave and Don and now retired and Jeff is a County Extension Director. Dave and Don's father, Jeff's grandfather, was also a Penn State County Extension Agent.

Three Fowler Generations.jpg

This family had a great idea in 1996 and decided they were going to organize along with the Keystone Athletic Field Manger's Organization (Pennsylvania's STMA chapter) a group of volunteers to help improve the playing conditions at this grand event. You can read about KAFMO's involvement here.


Fowler Twins Award LLWS.jpg

For their efforts the Fowler Twins were honored by Little League Baseball in 2011.

Evan Fowler Jeff Young.jpg

During the event all three Fowlers and until this year Jeff's son Evan (pictured but quite a few years ago), spend much of their time organizing the volunteer effort. This is everything from the tiniest detail on the field, to communicating with coaches and league officials, to getting the crew fed, housed, and clothed. They are completely hands on.  Evan couldn't make it for much of the event this year as he is interning with the Kansas City Royals.


LLWS 2013 Grounds Volunteers.jpg


Hats off to all these individuals in their selfless effort to improve the playing surfaces for athletes, and raise the professionalism of this industry. Besides that they are just great guys as everyone who knows them will attest. They certainly make the Penn State Turfgrass family proud! 

Dave Fowler Scrubbing Bases.jpeg

DSC02521.JPGMr. Bill Deacon, Graduate of Penn State's Two-Year Program (2000), is hosting this years' MLB All-Star Game and affiliated activities this week at CitiField home of the New York Mets. The field hosts the future's game, the homerun derby, and of course the game itself but many are not aware of the numerous other events the field hosts during the four day event.


"The biggest challenge is the schedule," explains Deacon. There are dress rehearsals for the main events and a seemingly endless stream of small events occurring on and off during most days. Bill is aided by the many volunteers from the sports turf industry that took off time from their venues to come to New York and help out. Bill said, "the volunteers are great. We couldn't do everything we wanted to without them."


Grant McKnight.JPGPictured is Grant McKnight, owner of DuraEdge Natural Sand Company from Slippery Rock, PA. Grant is spending a week at CitiField helping to maintain the DuraEdge Pro infield mix.



Evan Mascitti, M.S. student Turf Science at Penn State notes: "The field is in great condition. It never ceases to amaze me at the condition of the lips on these highly maintained fields. If you walk over the lip with your eyes closed, it's difficult to determine where the grass ends and the infield mix begins."



Besides the many volunteers, Bill has a number of student interns this year as well. Pictured is Penn State Turfgrass Science Junior Ryan Hillert. Ryan is a native New Yorker and has 5 years experience working for the Brooklyn Cyclones. This summer he's learning from one of the best in the business.


Bill Deacon wasn't always interested in sports turf. He started his turf career in his native Vancouver, British Columbia on the golf course. He was accepted into the Penn State Two Year program and while attending school became fascinated with sports turf. He informed Program Coordinator George Hamilton that he wanted to do an internship in sportsturf. With the help of Hamilton, Bill secured an internship with the LA Dodgers working under Mr. Eric Hansen. Bill learned a great deal from Eric as he didn't have much baseball experience prior.


After graduation (2000) Bill accepted the position of head groundskeeper for the Long Island Ducks for two years and then returned to the Dodgers as an assistant. After two years with the Dodgers, Bill moved to San Diego, in 2004 to become an assistant for Mr. Luke Yoder at the Padre's Petco Park.


In 2006, Bill accepted the position of head groundskeeper for the NY Mets. As groundskeeper for the Mets, Bill was able to gain vital experience with the construction of CitiField which was completed for the 2009 season.


CitiField.JPGPictured: Evan Mascitti, MS Student in Turf Penn State; Mr. Bill Deacon; Ryan Hillert, intern; and Andy McNitt.

Congratulations Bill, and we all wish you best during this years All Star Events and for the remainder of the season!



Travis Society.jpgFollowing is a list of the four students receiving the 2013 Walter J. Travis Memorial Scholarship.

Christopher Marra, of Pennsylvania, entering his junior year in the Penn State University's College of Agricultural Sciences with a major in Turfgrass Science.  Chris' goal is to become a golf course superintendent.

Carlyn Babinec, an Ohioan, entering her senior year as a Physical Therapy major in the Sport and Exercise Science program at Gannon University in Erie, PA.  Carlyn's application fit beautifully in the "amateur" golf category, i.e. a student who is an excellent golfer who is pursuing a career outside the golf industry.

Payton Minear, an Iowan, who will be a freshman this fall in the Professional Golf Management program at Florida Golf Coast University.  Her goal is to be a golf professional with a strong emphasis on teaching and attracting juniors and women to the game of golf.

Andrew Travers, an incoming freshman in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture of the University of Massachusetts, with a major in turfgrass management.  Andrew's goal is to become a golf course superintendent.

These four outstanding scholars were near unanimous choices of the five members of the Scholarship Selection Committee.
Brief profiles of each of the winners will be posted on the Travis Society website within the next day or so.

The Travis Memorial Scholarships are awarded to students pursuing a career in one of the following professions: landscape design/golf course architecture; golf course turf grass management/golf course superintendent; professional golf management, club professional, or sports journalism with a special interest in golf.

The following criteria are used in the evaluation and judging of all applicants:

  • Academic record
  • Involvement in golf-related interests and activities
  • Career goals (Not applicable for students who are applying in the category of "amateur golfer")
  • Extracurricular activities, including volunteer work with student/community organizations; participation in sports and community affairs; jobs held; special interests, and hobbies
Congratulations to all the scholarship recipients!
Listed here with permission from USGA.
First appeared in USGA Green Section Record May 17, 2013.




The Green Section is pleased to announce Elliott Dowling has been named as an agronomist in the Mid-Atlantic Region.  Elliott will work out of the Glen Mills, PA office with Mid-Atlantic Region Director Darin Bevard, helping to develop and disseminate agronomic, environmental and economically viable management practices based on science and practical solutions. His expertise will help golf facilities maintain better playing conditions

through the USGA Turf Advisory Service on-site visits, education outreach, and research throughout the five-state region.

Elliott's golf course work experience will serve him well in providing turfgrass management consultation in the Mid-Atlantic Region.  Most recently he was golf course superintendent at Cress Creek Country Club in Naperville, IL. He also was the superintendent at the Ivanhoe Club (Ivanhoe, Illinois) and an assistant superintendent at Oakland Hills Country Club (Bloomfield Hills, MI), in addition to golf course internships in Illinois, Colorado, and California.

Elliott received his bachelor of science degree in horticulture with an emphasis in turfgrass management from Iowa State University, and his masters of professional studies degree in turfgrass management from Penn State University. He will begin his new position May 28. 

The Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council announced the PTC Undergraduate Scholarship winners at a luncheon on April 24, 2013 at the Nittany Lion Inn. Each scholarship recipient was awarded $1,500 from the Council. Dr. Peter Landschoot Coordinator for Penn States' Center for Turfgrass Science and PTC Technical Advisory Committee member presented the student with their checks.


Award winners this year include:



Mr. Mathew Harvey was awarded the PTC Dr. Paul Heller Scholarship named after Dr. Paul Heller a long time Professor of Turfgrass Entomology at Penn State. Matt will also have the honor of being our standard bearer during our graduation ceremony on Saturday.


Matt is a native of Dubious, PA. He interned at the Chevy Chase Club in Chevy Chase MD last summer and has accepted a position as Assistant Superintendent at Cattail Creek CC in Glenwood, MD.



Receiving the Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council's Outstanding Student in Turfgrass was Mr. William McNeal. Will is a native of York, PA. He did an internship at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA, and at the Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina. Will has accepted an assistants position at Shelter Harbor Golf Club in Rhode Island.



Also receiving the Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council's Outstanding Student in Turfgrass was Mr. Benjamin Gotwald. Mr. Gotwald is a native of Elizabethtown, PA. Last summer Ben interned at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore and after graduation will be returning to Merion Golf Club which will be hosting the US Open in June.


Join the Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council in congratulating these students! The Penn State Turf Project would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supports the PTC for their continued efforts!


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