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Oh, Hello: Ross Owen and Dena McElwain Commit to Black Shoe Diaries

The #BSDfamily grows even more!

After our last two announcements of the addition of new members to our staff, the ranks are expanding yet again. We’re pleased to announce that Ross Owen and Dena McElwain are joining the staff of BSD.

Ross, in his own words:

Hello, blog! Please allow me to introduce myself: my name is Ross Owen, a long-time reader and occasional commenter here at BSD. Growing up in the 717, I have always been a fan of Penn State football. If we weren’t at home watching the games on Saturday, we were listening to the broadcasts on the radio. One of my greatest memories of live sports period was when my family and I attended the 2002 smack-down versus Nebraska. I was young, so I mostly remember the incredible roar of the crowd, and the fact that despite getting home around 2am because of traffic, my parents were in a good mood the whole ride home. That game solidified my fandom, and my belief that Beaver Stadium is the best place to see a live sporting event.

I started following the Men’s basketball team during Talor Battle’s freshman year. At first, I only listened to the games to have something to fall asleep to at night, but I slowly gained an appreciation for the team, and was thrilled to attend the NIT Championship of 2010. In professional sports I cheer for most of the Minnesota teams, and the Jacksonville Jaguars – so you might understand why any championship (yes, even the NIT) is a big deal for me.

I’m also a Penn State hockey fan, though I’m a little bitter that they waited to form a D-I team until after I went away for college. After four years in Boston, and a couple years of roaming, I returned to the mid-state last summer. I try to make it to State College for a couple of games each year to see my favorite teams play. While I didn’t attend PSU, I never strayed in my fandom. It probably helps that my University didn’t have a football team, and that the basketball coach during my freshman year just so happened to be Pat Chambers.

Wherever I am, I have always enjoyed reading BSD (it’s tough to find fellow PSU fans in North Dakota). I hope that I can give something back to a community that has entertained me during long nights in hotel rooms far away from home. I like music and books, and sometimes TV, but most of all I like you, Black Shoe Diaries.

Dena, in her own words:

Hi, BSD family! I’m guessing I’m the oldest BSD member - probably old enough to be your mom- so watch your mouth and don’t hit your brother while I’m driving the car, you guys!

My main connection to PSU was through my dad. I grew up just south of Columbus, Ohio, and as the daughter of two Indiana alums, I had a long-standing appreciation for Big 10 football. In the middle of 10th grade, we moved to DuBois, PA, where my dad worked for the Penn State DuBois branch campus. I wasn’t thrilled at first, but the day we visited main campus, I was hooked. The leaves were changing to a perfect bright orange, the air was crisp and cold, and excited, happy football fans were flooding the streets showing their Penn State pride. I’d never seen anything like it before and fell in love at first sight.

I was a student during some frustrating football– the early 90s (1992 when we lost to Notre Dame). But I was also there during the best year ever, 1994, also when I graduated, when PSU went undefeated and *should* have had the chance to compete in the national title game. All in all, it cemented my love for Penn State football and all PSU sports for the rest of my life.

The Penn State love is a family affair. Several in-laws went to PSU. I met my husband at Penn State next to a keg at his fraternity house, and married him in the Eisenhower Chapel with a reception at the Nittany Lion Inn. I’m the mom of two boys, who are, of course, huge PSU fans, and are three sport athletes. Of course, their favorite sport is football.

Follow me on Twitter @dkdmac for exciting mom tweets on bacon, sci fi, sports and pictures of my cats.

Please join us in welcoming Ross and Dena to the staff!