$6 Million Stavros Niarchos Foundation Gift: Launching Paideia Program
The University of Pennsylvania recently announced a $6 million gift to launch the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Paideia Program (Paideia) for its undergraduate students. The Program will reimagine the ancient Greek ideal paideia, which translates into “education of the whole person” and “educating citizens”—for the 21st century and beyond, with courses focusing on wellness, service and citizenship. Paideia will place a particular emphasis on informed civil discourse and deliberation and will incorporate co-curricular experiences through which future civic leaders and members of local, national and global communities practice productively engaging across ideological divides. Penn will begin Paideia as a five-year pilot program, building on and collaborating with existing programs and organizations on Penn’s campus.
“Among the many aims of a great university, none is more essential than fostering the free exchange of ideas and the robust civil expression of divergent views,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Paideia Program at the University of Pennsylvania will be dedicated to doing just that, and more than that. Paideia will combine courses and co-curricular activities that focus on the role of dialogue across divides in enabling students both to serve others and to thrive themselves. This charge of fostering wellness, citizenship and service has never been more important than it is today, with social, cultural, economic and political divides—and the inability to talk across them in constructive ways—straining the very fabric of civil society and democracy.”
Beginning in the fall of 2019, the Paideia Program will serve as Penn’s central hub for developing courses, events and co-curricular activities around a robust civic education for undergraduates from their first year on campus through their senior year. Built around a core of 12 new, interdisciplinary courses taught by leading faculty from across Penn’s 12 schools, the program will also identify and curate existing courses and co-curricular activities that address topics of relevance to Paideia’s mission from across all of Penn’s four undergraduate and eight professional schools. The Paideia Program ultimately aims to provide as many Penn undergraduates as possible with the knowledge and skills, ethical frameworks and experiences necessary to be informed, engaged and effective citizens.
“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is committed to supporting civil discourse, civic engagement and informed leadership, and we believe that educational institutions have a crucial role to play in each,” said Andreas Dracopoulos, co-president of the SNF. “The concept of ‘paideia,’ of educating young people not only to become successful professionals, but also active and engaged citizens, who are part of something greater than themselves, has particular resonance today. We are excited to partner with the University of Pennsylvania in helping educate citizens who will contribute to—and have faith in—fair and thriving democracy.”
For smaller cohorts of student leaders selected as Paideia Fellows, the program will provide a more structured experience. The program will also sponsor and cosponsor events designed to model civil, informed and solutions-oriented deliberation on major public issues of the day; serve as a networking hub for other Penn programs and organizations that focus on issues of wellness, service and citizenship; and provide internships as part of its mission.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is one of the world’s leading private, international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. Since 1996, the Foundation has committed more than $2.75 billion, through more than 4,400 grants to non-profit organizations in 124 nations around the world.
The SNF funds organizations and projects, worldwide, that aim to achieve a broad, lasting and positive impact, for society-at-large, and exhibit strong leadership and sound management. The Foundation also supports projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare.
Wharton School: Establishing the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania announced the establishment of the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance with the support and partnership of 1991 undergraduate alumnus Ross Stevens, founder and CEO of Stone Ridge Holdings Group. The center will stimulate cutting-edge teaching and research as well as student and industry engagement focused on the revolutionary impact of information technology on financial services. The Stevens Center will hold its inaugural event with global FinTech leaders, including Wharton alumni Jackie Reses, Head of Square Capital, and David Klein, CEO of CommonBond, on campus on the afternoon of April 3.
“We are so grateful to Ross for his visionary leadership that will enable Penn and Wharton to continue to innovate at the vital intersection of finance and technology,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “From its founding to today, Penn’s unique mission has always been to take on the biggest real-world challenges and opportunities through knowledge-based and data-driven innovation. The mission of the Stevens Center is precisely this: to ensure that innovations in finance make the greatest positive contributions to businesses and communities across the globe. The Stevens Center will catalyze Penn’s world-leading research and industry engagement and enrich the opportunities available for our outstanding students.”
Led by faculty director David Musto, Ronald O. Perelman Professor in Finance, the Stevens Center will work with FinTech companies to provide faculty and students the opportunity to analyze how technology is transforming the business models of financial services through the collection and curation of innovative datasets, hosting business leaders on campus, providing students curricular opportunities for FinTech research, and working with the student-led Wharton FinTech clubs on new career pathways in financial services.
“Wharton has always defined the state of the art in finance teaching and research,” said Wharton Dean Geoff Garrett. “With FinTech morphing from a buzzword into the rocket fuel of financial innovation, information technology is poised to revolutionize financial services—from mobile payments to microcredit, from lending to insurance, from cryptocurrencies to financial planning and more. The Stevens Center will bring together the best thinkers from academia and industry to ensure that Wharton continues to chart the future of finance. I am very grateful that Ross has graciously agreed to chair and help recruit an advisory board of FinTech leaders for the Center.”
The Stevens Center will expand student programming in financial innovation through applied FinTech research courses and mentorship. Companies will work with Wharton to develop research projects for small teams of students, who will integrate and apply what they have learned to current research challenges and business opportunities. Global leaders in FinTech will engage with students inside and outside the classroom as practitioners in residence.
“I am thrilled that the Stevens Center will make it possible for Wharton to greatly expand the ways we study and shape the FinTech revolution,” said Dr. David Musto. “I have known Ross since we were classmates in graduate school together and I am very much looking forward to working with him again to make the Stevens Center a game changer both for Wharton and for financial services.”
Penn’s Grad School Rankings 2020
Each year, US News & World Report ranks graduate and professional schools in business, medicine, education, law, engineering and nursing. Seven of Penn’s schools are in the top 10 list. In the latest rankings (2020) US News also ranked social work and veterinary medicine. Those in the top 25 are below; for more, see www.usnews.com
Graduate School of Education
Higher Education Administration
Curriculum & Instruction
School of Nursing
Pediatric, Primary Care
Adult/Gerontology, Primary Care
Adult/Gerontology, Acute Care
Perelman School of Medicine
School of Veterinary Medicine
Intellectual Property Law
School of Social Policy & Practice
Engineering & Applied Science
(—) Indicates not ranked in last or this year’s edition.
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Ishmail Abdus-Saboor: Mitchell J. Blutt and Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Professor
Ishmail Abdus-Saboor has joined Penn as the Mitchell J. Blutt and Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Assistant Professor of Biology. Dr. Abdus-Saboor’s research aims to increase the basic understanding of the mechanisms governing somatosensory encoding, with a particular focus on pain. He uses an integrative approach spanning molecular optogenetics, quantitative analysis of kinematic behavioral movement features, neural circuit tracing, in vivo calcium imaging and electrophysiology.
Dr. Abdus-Saboor is the recipient of several major grants and fellowships, including a Burroughs Wellcome Fund grant and a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health. He received his PhD in cell and molecular biology from Penn in 2012 with Dr. Meera Sundaram, and he also served as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Wenqin Luo in the Perelman School of Medicine.
The Mitchell J. Blutt and Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Professorship is one of three Presidential Professorships established in 2017 by Mitchell J. Blutt (C’78, M’82, WG’87) and Margo Krody Blutt. Mr. Blutt is the chief executive officer of Consonance Capital, an investment firm focused on the health-care industry. He was formerly the executive partner of J.P. Morgan Partners, the private equity investment fund of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and one of the largest private equity and venture capital activities in the world. He is also an adjunct professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.
At Penn, Mr. Blutt is a member of the Board of Overseers of Penn Arts & Sciences and a former member of the Penn Medicine Board, where he served on its Executive and Finance Committees. He previously served as a University Trustee, Chairman of the University Trustees’ Committee for Strategic Initiatives, and Vice Chairman of both the Trustees’ Diversity Committee and the University Committee for Undergraduate Financial Aid. He received Penn’s Alumni Award of Merit in 2018.
The Blutt’s past Penn giving has benefitted undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, internships and professorships in Penn Arts & Sciences, the Perelman School of Medicine, and the Wharton School. The Blutts also support music at Penn through the Blutt Band Slam, a popular live music competition held each year at Homecoming; a music program that provides instruction to undergraduate students and supports professional performances, master classes, and other musical events; and a singer-songwriter symposium held each year at Kelly Writers House.
Aurélie Ouss: Jerry Lee Assistant Professor of Criminology
Aurélie Ouss, assistant professor of criminology, has been named Jerry Lee Assistant Professor of Criminology. Dr. Ouss came to Penn in 2017 following a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago Crime Lab, having received her PhD in economics from Harvard University in 2013. Her research, which has received support from J-PAL North America, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation, examines how good design of criminal justice institutions and policies can make law enforcement fairer and more efficient.
The Jerry Lee Assistant Professorship in Criminology was established in 2003 by Jerry Lee through The Jerry Lee Foundation to support the recruitment of faculty in the field of criminology. Mr. Lee was the founder and president of 101.1 FM radio in Philadelphia.
Marion Leary: Penn Nursing’s First Director of Innovation
Marion Leary has been named Penn Nursing’s first director of innovation. In this role, Ms. Leary will design and execute innovation programs and projects through Penn Nursing’s Office of Nursing Research (ONR) and will work to keep the School at the forefront of innovation in nursing. The appointment was effective February 1.
Prior to this appointment, Ms. Leary was an Innovation Specialist on a part-time basis in ONR, where she had been central to moving forward Penn Nursing’s strategic priorities in innovation. She joined Penn Nursing full time from the Penn Center for Resuscitation Science where she has worked since 2007 as a resuscitation science researcher.
Penn Nursing’s innovation priorities are to create, cultivate and grow new strategic partnerships, test new methods to improve health and the outcomes of health care and to prepare students as the next generation of nurse innovators. Ms. Leary will support Penn Nursing faculty and staff with fundamental knowledge regarding innovation and design thinking. She will also engage the University of Pennsylvania community, representing Penn Nursing as leaders in health and health-care innovation and engaging students around innovation and entrepreneurship. Ms. Leary will design and execute programs to establish Penn Nursing as a leader in innovation.
Ms. Leary has established herself as a nursing leader in the field of CPR quality and post-cardiac arrest, resuscitation care. She is an international Fellow of the American Heart Association and served on the American Heart Association’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science subcommittee. In 2017, she was named Geek of the Year by Geekadelphia, Generocity and Technical.ly Philly for her outstanding achievements in Philadelphia’s vibrant geek community in the areas of innovation, technology and activism.
Penn Dental Medicine’s New Free-Standing Lactation Suite
As a service to moms and babies alike, Penn Dental Medicine recently unveiled a freestanding Mamava lactation suite, the first site within the University of Pennsylvania to acquire one of the specially designed units, according to the Vermont-based manufacturer.
Penn Dental Medicine has had a dedicated lactation space within the School for use by faculty, staff and students for some time; the Mamava suite is a supplemental resource for the nursing mothers within the Penn Dental Medicine community that is also open to patients.
The 26-square-foot, self-contained, mobile “pod” at Penn Dental Medicine features two benches, a fold-down table, a mirror, a power outlet for plugging in a breast pump, a USB port, occupancy-activated lighting and ventilation, and a lock indicating if vacant or occupied. While meant for individual use, it can fit a stroller and more than one person to accommodate mothers with other children in tow. The suite is located on the second floor of the School’s Robert Schattner Center, near a main patient waiting area and convenient to other clinical care areas, making it readily accessible to patients.
The suite can be accessed via the Mamava app (free for iOS and Android). The app unlocks the pod via Bluetooth technology and once a mother is inside and locks the dead bolt, the pod registers as “in use” on the app. The Mamava app also showcases the location of other Mamava suites nationwide (there are more than 600 across the US and Canada, including a handful in public venues around Philadelphia) and notifies users when they are in the immediate vicinity of a pod. Nursing mothers at Penn Dental Medicine can also gain access to the nursing pod via an access code available at the School’s security desk.
“We want to ensure Penn Dental Medicine is a welcoming, supportive environment for all,” said Morton Amsterdam Dean Mark S. Wolff. “This innovative space offers a comfortable, clean and stress-free environment for breastfeeding mothers while here at the School.”
Coinciding with the unveiling of the Mamava suite, the existing nursing/lactation space at Penn Dental was relocated to the lower level of the Evans Building and upgraded as well—it now features two private nursing areas and a refrigerator.
Other Nursing/Lactation Locations on Campus
There are facilities for nursing and lactation throughout the Penn campus, many of which have hospital grade Medela pumps. For a list of all locations, with details about the equipment in each room, visit the HR website (https://www.facilities.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/pdfs/3_15_2019_lactation.pdf). Individuals can also contact their school’s/center’s human resource office to determine if their building has a dedicated facility. A select number of Medela pump parts that fit the pumps available around campus are available through the Penn Women’s Center; call (215) 898-8611 for information.