This video is a tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Penny Bernstein- Lambert. She was a vital part of many lives, and she is forever sorely missed by the people she left behind, the students whose lives she altered forever, and the natural environment that she dedicated her life to understanding and helping.
Thank you Penny.
In loving memory of Dr. Penny Bernstein
March 30, 1947 – July 15, 2012
Campus Memorial Service
Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 at 3 p.m.
Campus Pond Gazebo
Her legacy will live on in the hearts of Kent State University at Stark students, faculty and staff, and her monumental contributions to the campus and community will not be forgotten. The vital work of the Herbert W. Hoover Initiative will continue, as a tribute to her life.
It’s with sadness that we report the loss of Dr. Penny Bernstein, the Kent State at Stark biology professor who led this project.
Kent State at Stark Dean Walter F. Wagor offered the following in a message to Dr. Bernstein’s colleagues on July 15:
“Words cannot express the shock we all are feeling. Our campus community has lost a vibrant spokesperson for students, for the environment, and for this campus. Her influence has been and will continue to be wide-spread. She will be deeply missed.”
The services are Monday, July 16, at Anthony and Bascan Funeral Home, 4178 Massillon Road, Uniontown, OH 44685. Calling hours will be from 1:30-3:30 at the Funeral Home, with services at 3:30. A burial will follow services. Here is a link to the Funeral Home: http://www.kakfh.com/anthony.aspx
Below is the text of an article about Penny’s work posted in June on the KSU-Stark site:
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Puzzles intrigue Penny Bernstein. Whether they are presented in a colorful box, in the natural world or as part of her work, her first inclination is to look carefully for patterns that lead to a solution. A field biologist and an associate professor of biological sciences at Kent State University at Stark, Bernstein was asked to play a key role in what has evolved into an innovative consortium dedicated to saving Stark County’s watersheds. But, before the Herbert W. Hoover Initiative in Environmental Media could move forward to achieve its purposes, someone needed to put the pieces in the right place.
“When I learned about the idea for the Hoover Initiative more than four years ago, I could see what it was – a framework with great potential to spur environmental change, but with lots of ideas, goals and expectations that had to be placed in the proper order,” she says.
Initially, she admits she wasn’t sure who would embrace the concept of environmental media. However, she quickly discovered that many students were already using media to document ecology issues. They just didn’t know what to do with their photos and videos. The “Hoover Initiative” – funded by a grant from the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation – would become an outlet for them, as well as an opportunity to voice their concerns.
She notes, “With the rise of environmental activism among students again, I knew this project would fill a need for area students and help them work in very tangible ways toward a common goal – which is to preserve and protect our watersheds.”
When Bernstein accepted the position as coordinator of the Hoover Initiative, one of her biggest expectations – and subsequent challenges – was to build a partnership between many groups that, on the surface, seemed disparate. Yet, the idea of an interdisciplinary effort excited her, and since 2008, she has been the driving catalyst behind this environmental consortium, forging bonds between individuals, businesses, corporations, nonprofits, government departments, county agencies, K-12 schools and groups of faculty members and students at Stark County’s five colleges and universities. Currently, 14 organizations are involved, with more joining every year.
Thanks to funding from the Western Reserve Conservation and Resource Development Council, the Hoover Initiative now has two environmental stewardship liaisons that connect faculty, students and community partners. Bernstein says they play an important part in keeping everyone connected and overseeing smaller projects that students and partners work on together.
Tina Biasella, director of external affairs at Kent State Stark, describes Bernstein as a person of petite stature who makes big waves. As a result of her efforts to bring people together, every college and university in Stark County is collaborating to address local issues related to the environment.
“Efforts to improve the environment in general and our watersheds in particular are more widespread than we ever dreamed possible,” Biasella says. “However, few recognize all that Dr. Bernstein has done. She is so humble. Her work speaks for itself and demonstrates our strong commitment to making the community a better place to live, work and play.”
A number of opportunities are underway for the Hoover Initiative, including a new grant for water sampling in select locations throughout Stark County. As part of this project, Dr. Bernstein’s vision is to create a database of statistics and content (images, videos, papers, etc.) that students across the consortium can update regularly. Water sampling began in spring 2012.