Professor celebrates successful remote learning with video parody

Jesse McTernan appreciates student resilience and family support while bringing laughter to the University community


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jesse McTernan, assistant teaching professor in Penn State’s School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs (SEDTAPP), is giving us the opportunity to laugh with a video parody he created.

McTernan, who finds humor in exaggeration, describes what inspired him to create this video:

“A quick scan of social media proves I’m not alone in my pull toward comic relief right now. This incredible challenge our world is facing has forced us to adapt to a new normal in our lives and in our work. I’m grateful for the ability to connect virtually and go through this together.

With little time to adjust, my colleagues and I immediately began reframing how we teach our students. As we all began connecting remotely, we quickly realized that this way of learning is really working. Thanks to my students’ resilience, we are thriving in this environment.

My students love to see my curious children check in occasionally with a quick hello. Some of my students’ pets make appearances. These small windows into our lives bring us together in a new and personal way.

More than ever, I appreciate our Penn State community. And, I’m embracing the ways that social media can ease the stress of social distancing. Comedy won’t take away these extreme obstacles we’re facing, but I hope it can provide some welcome levity for those who need it.”

“We Are” stories

The “We Are” spirit is perhaps more important than ever before, and Penn Staters everywhere are coming together in new and amazing ways. During these challenging times, our community is continuing to realize Penn State’s commitment to excellence through acts of collaboration, thoughtfulness and kindness. As President Eric Barron has written on Digging Deeper, this truly is a “We Are” moment — and we want to hear your “We Are” stories.

Visit to share how you or other Penn Staters are supporting each other to overcome the collective challenges presented by novel coronavirus. We are!


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Megan Lakatos