Barnes and Noble College announces grants to programs across University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In a long-standing partnership with Penn State, Barnes and Noble College — a Barnes and Noble Education company that operates the Penn State Bookstore — awarded a 2023-24 round of grants to support a range of programs and initiatives across the University. Since the company launched the grant program in 2015, more than $1.2 million has been awarded to priorities that offer direct benefit to the University community, with a focus on programs related to books and reading. This year, the grant program distributed $139,000 across 12 University initiatives from eight Penn State campuses. 

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Barnes and Noble,” said Margo DelliCarpini, vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor at Penn State. “These grants will create such a positive effect across the Commonwealth when it comes to supporting the financial needs of our students, generating engagement opportunities and creating an inspiring impact at our colleges and campuses.” 

To target its investments for maximum impact across Penn State’s colleges and campuses, Barnes and Noble College works through the Corporate Engagement Center to announce the grant program and facilitate the funding requests and awards. This latest call for proposals resulted in 24 requests. 

“We are excited to support a range of initiatives that help to make the Penn State student experience even more rewarding and beneficial,” said Jennifer Guyer, general manager of the Penn State Bookstore.  

The following initiatives were selected to receive funding: 

Penn State Berks Common Reading Program 

  • The Common Reading Program at Penn State Berks is designed to introduce students to the academic environment of college and provides first-year students with a positive reading experience, reinforces the message that reading is an integral part of the college experience and fosters a sense of community among first-year students. 

Penn State Fayette Barnes and Noble STEM Camp 

  • The Office of Continuing Education at Penn State Fayette offers a STEM camp to high schoolers in grades 9–12. Last year, in addition to the traditional high school camp, it launched a 3-day STEM camp for middle school students in grades 6–8. Previous camps were attended by students who represented homeschooling, cyber, private and public schools.   

Penn State Great Valley Barnes and Noble Engagement Series 

  • The establishment of the Barnes and Noble Engagement Series at Penn State Great Valley aims to enhance the student experience by offering a series of events and educational opportunities to resident students and offers international students an opportunity to interact with fellow graduate students. 

Penn State Harrisburg Celebrating Diverse Voices Through Poetry 

  • This public lecture and day of workshops with students and public lecture aims to invite an award-winning poet to Penn State Harrisburg in Spring 2024. The program overall promotes a heightened awareness of literature and its relevancy in society, develops appreciation for diverse voices and stories and fosters cross-cultural connections across disciplines. 

Penn State Mont Alto Sustainability Committee Book Club 

  • The book club invites students to read a selected book with themes of sustainability pertaining to the Mont Alto area. The club also has opportunities for faculty and staff to participate in reading the same literature. 

Penn State Mont Alto Wellness Series 

  • Penn State Mont Alto students will be invited to participate in a four-session workshop series where they will learn important aspects of wellness including dealing with depression, anxiety, academic stress, test worries, healthy nutrition, exercise, healthy relationships, sleep hygiene, suicide prevention, finances, and substance abuse. 

Penn State Schuylkill Textbook and Scholarship Funds 

  • Selected students at the campus will have an opportunity to receive gifts cards and scholarships that enable them to purchase textbooks, supplies and more at the campus bookstore and increase their chances of academic success. 

Penn State University Park – Eberly College of Science’s Penn State In-Service Workshops in Astronomy 

  • The Penn State In-Service Workshops in Astronomy (PSIWA) aim to help high school and some middle-school teachers more confidently and effectively educate students about forefront topics in astronomy, physics and technology, thereby growing the number of college-ready, STEM-proficient students in Pennsylvania and beyond. 

Penn State University Park – College of Engineering’s Engineering Ahead (Abington/Berks) 

  • Engineering Ahead at Penn State Abington and Penn State Berks started in 2016 as a National Science Foundation-funded project designed to address the national need to diversify the STEM workforce. The goal of Engineering Ahead is to increase recruitment and retention among students from communities underrepresented in engineering. 

Penn State University Park – Outreach, Sokolov-Miller Financial Wellness Bookshelf 

  • The Sokolov-Miller Family Financial and Life Skills Center will invest in creating a Financial Wellness Bookshelf available at their location in University Park as well as satellite bookshelves at the 19 commonwealth campuses and an online bookshelf for World Campus students. This bookshelf would be a resource for students to explore different aspects of their financial life by selecting a free book on a topic that interests them. 

Penn State University Park – Outreach, Family Literacy with WPSU! 

  • Funding will cover book purchases — for children, young adults and adults — that focus on the importance of learning about Native American culture; the shared focus on this subject will enable families to read and learn together.   

Penn State York Nittany Scholars Program 

  • The Nittany Scholars Program at Penn State York is an access and success program designed to support capable students who, for various reasons, may not have the resources or social privileges they need to provide for their success throughout their college experience.  It reinforces the Penn State values of integrity, respect, responsibility, discovery, excellence and community. 

2024 grant applications 

The next round of grant applications will open on May 1, 2024, and close on May 31, 2024. Barnes and Noble College has a particular interest in hearing from programs that are related to books or reading, have ties to Penn State campuses, focus on Penn State students or local communities with financial or finance-related needs and have the possibility of engaging the local Barnes and Noble College campus bookstore. Contact Beth Colledge, director of corporate engagement, at [email protected] for more information about the grant program or awards. 

Donors like Barnes and Noble College advance the University’s historic land-grant mission to serve and lead. Through philanthropy, alumni and friends are helping students to join the Penn State family and prepare for lifelong success; driving research, outreach and economic development that grow our shared strength and readiness for the future; and increasing the University’s impact for families, patients, and communities across the commonwealth and around the world. Learn more by visiting

About the Corporate Engagement Center 

The Corporate Engagement Center connects industry partners to strategic opportunities at Penn State for research and development, philanthropy, and talent recruitment. Brought together in 2019, the center serves as a hub for industry/University relationships, supporting companies as they navigate the vast resources of Penn State. The team is here to help build lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. 

The Corporate Engagement Center is a joint initiative of the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research and the Office of University Development, working in partnership with Career Services.