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Sherwin Early Career Professorship

by rjp218 Mar 22, 2016
by SKeira Aug 21, 2018

The professorship is a gift of Douglas and Joyce Sherwin. Doug Sherwin was a 1940 Penn State chemical engineering graduate and a varsity baseball player.  Because his father lost all his money during the depression, Doug had to work his way through Penn State. He met Joyce, a graduate of the University of Maryland, when he began working at ConocoPhillips. After studying at Oxford and serving in the military in Berlin, he returned to ConocoPhillips until his retirement in 1983.  Even though he was in his early 90s when we connected with him, he loved coming back to campus, with Joyce, and taking part in the Rock Ethics board meetings and other events.   He cherished the framed photo from La Vie of him in his baseball uniform.  You might be interested in reading an article on ethics he wrote for the Harvard Business Review in 1983.  In addition to the two Sherwin Early Career Professorships that he endowed, he also endowed a professorship in Liberal Arts in honor of one of his favorite professors, Frank Whitmore, who served as a professor of chemistry at Penn State from 1929 to 1947.

Bryan McDonald

by SKeira Aug 21, 2018
Bryan McDonald

Associate Professor of History

Department of History

College of the Liberal Arts

Former Sherwin Early Career Professor

402 Weaver Building
University Park, PA 16803

Office Phone: (814) 863-8949


  1. PhD, University of California, Irvine, 2008
  2. MA, Virginia Tech, 1999
  3. BA, Virginia Tech, 1997


Bryan McDonald’s research focuses on the intersection of environment and security around food in American history since the end of World War II. His current book project examines the use of food as a form of American power from 1945 to 1975. He is also working on an interdisciplinary manuscript that uses history and ethics to examine the ideas used by Americans during the second half of the twentieth century to conceptualize good food. Dr. McDonald’s first book, Food Security (Polity Press, 2010), explored how understandings of world food problems shifted during the late twentieth century. He is also the co-editor of two books that examine challenges to human security: Global Environmental Change and Human Security (MIT Press, 2009) and Landmines and Human Security: International Politics and War’s Hidden Legacy (SUNY Press, 2004). His articles and reviews have appeared in Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs, Global Environmental PoliticsJournal of Agricultural and Environmental EthicsStudies in Conflict and TerrorismEnvironment, The Environmental Change and Security Project Report, Global Environmental Politics, and The Natural Resources Journal, among others.

Recent Publications:

“Food as a Key Resource for Security and Stability: Implications of Changes in the Global Food System 1950-2000.” Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs 3, no. 2 (2015): 42-55.

Co-author with Donald B. Thompson. “What Food is ‘Good’ for You? Toward a Pragmatic Consideration of Multiple Values Domains.” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26.1 (2013): 137-163.

Food Security. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010.

Co-editor with Richard A. Matthew, Jon Barnett, and Karen L. O'Brien. Global Environmental Change and Human Security. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2009.