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Zoom Bingo Provides Entertainment For Isolated & Quarantined Students

Over the past few weeks, Penn State students in on-campus quarantine and isolation rooms were able to play Zoom bingo with appearances by various Penn Staters and “celebrity” guest callers.

Lee Kump, the John Leone dean in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and his wife, Michelle, pitched the idea to Housing and Food Services and Residential Life with the goal of supporting students in isolation. Upon receiving the go-ahead, the Kumps took action.

“We didn’t just want to host a game,” Lee Kump said, “We wanted to do something that was fun, enjoyable, and surprising.”

And surprising it was. A James Franklin-signed football was the biggest hit prize for the students, as Michelle Kump noted. Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour brought the coveted item during her round as guest caller.

Local food vendors such as Chipotle, Panda Express, Panera Bread, Fiddlehead, Honeybaked Ham, and Home D Pizzeria contributed gift cards that were available as prizes for the students.

Penn State “celebrity” guest callers joined in on the games too, as Barbour, President Eric Barron, and even quarterback Tik Tok star Trace McSorley made appearances over the last few weeks.

Vice President of Student Affairs Damon Sims offered a few words of praise for the event following his experience as a guest picker.

“Opportunities in which I am able to connect and engage with students — particularly within relaxed and informal environments — is always a highlight in my role,” Sims said. “Seeing students enjoy themselves amid the very challenging circumstances of this semester demonstrates their tenacity and the strength of the Penn State spirit. I was pleased to participate in the event and deeply grateful for the thoughtfulness and generosity of Lee and Michelle Kump, whose commitment to our students is exceptional.”

The Kumps plan to hold bingo games until November 20, when on-campus students leave to return home for Thanksgiving break and subsequent online classes.

Guest callers will continue to be invited to the games, too, as Lauri Badzek, dean of the College of Nursing, and Tracy Langkilde, dean of the Eberly College of Science, are slated to be guest callers this week.

“We appreciate that these students who are in [quarantine and isolation] did the right thing,” Lee Kump said. “They came in and got tested when they were symptomatic, or participated in asymptomatic testing, did the right thing and placed themselves in quarantine and isolation. It’s not fun. We appreciate that they’ve done the right thing and we want to make it as fun as we can, at least give them a fun break in the day.”

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About the Author

Matt Rudisill

Matt is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism from a little town called Parkesburg in Chester County, PA. More often than not, you can catch him yelling about the Phillies and the Steelers on his Twitter (@mrudy26). Matt is also an elite wiffleball pitcher and is not afraid to back up that claim. Direct all wiffleball challenge invitations, or other legitimate requests, to [email protected].

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