Dennis Jackman

Dennis Jackman

Professional Bio

After graduating from Penn State, Dennis earned an MBA degree from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. He was a senior legislative aide to U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, after which he went on to senior government and public affairs positions in the biopharmaceutical industry. He retired in 2019 as senior vice president for global policy and public affairs from CSL Behring. Today, Dennis is a faculty member for Rare Diseases International and vice chair of the board for the National Association for Rare Disorders, where he also chairs the Strategic Planning Committee and serves on the Advocacy Committee. In addition to serving on the Liberal Arts Development Council, Dennis is a liberal arts mentor and a member of the boards of visitors for the Rock Ethics Institute, the McCourtney Institute for Democracy, and the School of Public Policy. He and his wife, Gail ’77, established an endowed professorship, a dean’s fund, a graduate endowment, and a trustee scholarship in the college as well as an undergraduate research grant fund in the Rock Ethics Institute. In 2020, the Jackmans were named Penn State’s Fundraising Volunteers of the Year. Dennis notes his ultimate Penn State experience was meeting Gail, his future wife, which “changed my life in the most positive way forever.”


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Rock Ethics Institute research associate Yael Warshel is poised to receive a book award at the International Communication Association’s annual meeting for her pioneering work in the book “Experiencing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Children, Peace Communication, and Socialization.” Her book, a critical examination of peace communication interventions and their effects on children in conflict zones, has received international acclaim, with this being the book’s second major accolade.

Penn State University Libraries’ Open Publishing program recently launched a new Open Access monograph. “The Future of Foster Care: New Science on Old Problems,” edited by Yo Jackson and Sarah Font, is a collection of expanded conference proceedings from the 2019 conference of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, a national leader in research designed to influence public policy that better protects vulnerable children from abuse.

P. Gabrielle Foreman, Paterno Family Professor of American Literature and professor of African American studies and history at Penn State and a 2023 MacArthur Fellow, embarked on a decade-long creative endeavor that culminated in her recently released edited volume, “Praise Songs for Dave the Potter: Art and Poetry for David Drake.”

WPSU uncovers the stories that unveil the triumph, grit, caution and legend that make up the history of the commonwealth in a new digital series titled “Past PA.”

Janet van Hell, a longtime Penn State faculty member in the College of the Liberal Arts’ Department of Psychology and director of the Center for Language Science, was recently promoted to distinguished professor of psychology and linguistics.

Liberal Arts Professor of English and Asian Studies Xiaoye You’s new book on rhetoric in early imperial China offers insights into how ancient rulers built and maintained an empire, and what that may reveal about contemporary issues.

Nearly 100 Centre County high school students visited Penn State’s University Park campus on April 12 to participate in the fourth annual Language and Linguistics Day hosted by Penn State’s Center for Language Science.

The Penn State Consortium on Substance Use and Addiction recently hosted its fourth annual conference in the HUB-Robeson Center at the University Park campus. 

An interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers have received a $442,750 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, to support a multi-faceted, three-part study that observes how gay and bisexual men search and find HIV prevention information — specifically information about pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, a medicine that when taken as prescribed, is very effective at preventing HIV.

Two Penn State professors — one in history and the other in art history and anthropology — have collaborated on a three-pronged project that will spark conversation and awe about the art, culture, science and history of Andean peoples.