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East-West on Campus

Penn has been an international crossroads for the last week or so, as the President of China and the Ambassadors of both Thailand and Uzbekistan made visits to the campus.

China's President Jiang Zemin made the University part of his U.S. itinerary primarily to see a revered mentor, Dr. Ku Yuhsiu, the retired Penn engineering professor with whom Jiang once studied in his homeland. Dr. Ku, now 94, became a celebrated playwright, historian, poet and composer as well as an engineer after earning his bachelor's, master's and doctorate at MIT in only four years. In China he was dean of two engineering schools and advisor to Nationalist President Chiang Kai-shek until after World War II, when he fled his homeland after the Communist takeover in 1949. He came first to MIT and then in 1952 to Penn. On the Chinese President's visit to campus last Thursday, Dr. Judith Rodin presented him with a copy of Ben on the Bench at a gathering in his honor at the University Museum.

On October 24, when Thailand's Ambassador, His Excellency Nitya Pibulsonggram, came to celebrate thirty years of archaeological cooperation with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the occasion was used for announcement of a surprise gift to the Museum and its Thai partners: Dr. Jeremy Sabloff announced that an anonymous donor has offered to match, $1 for every $2 raised, up to $100,000 if the Museum raises its $200,000 by October in the year 2000 for the ongoing work at Ban Chiang and other research in the country. Operating at 12 sites in Thailand over the past 30 years, Penn archaeologists have trained six Thai students and at least ten other Southeast Asian students, all of whom have gone on to important positions in the region's archeological establishments. Some 300 dignitaries attended the "Celebration of Thailand's Ancient Cultural Heritage."

And last Friday morning, in a quiet visit, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan, His Excellency Sodyq Safaev, met with faculty, students and staff who from various fields have shown an interest in the country. That meeting at the University Museum included Provost Stanley Chodorow, who visited Uzbekistan in the fall of 1992 with a group historians, and scholars from anthropology, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, history of art, political science, medicine, economics, and legal studies.

The Pavlov Connection

As part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the St. Petersburg Pavlov State Medical University, Penn's Dr. Patrick Storey was named an "honored doctor" of its faculty and member of its Academic Council. He returned from Russia bearing not only the degree but also an ornate medal (on his lapel in the photo below) and gifts of cap-and-gown and a presentation watch as well. Dr. Storey's citation for "outstanding services in educational activities and an important contribution to the development of Russian-American relations in science and education" recognizes his work on a Penn-Pavlov affiliation that is now starting its second five-year phase. Initiated by President Emeritus Martin Meyerson, and furthered by President Sheldon Hackney, Provost Michael Aiken and Dean William Kelley, the program was created to "make the Universities of St. Petersburg more transparent to Western universities, and, in the case of the Pavlov, to build a model academic medical center which would reflect some of the characteristics of Western academic medicine." To that end the two sets of scholars agreed to six efforts called the "Rector's Priorities" in library service, student exchange, computer/information management, medical pedagogy, faculty exchange, and the development of joint projects. For purposes of evaluation and training to cope with American-style examinations, a "Pavlov-Penn Learning Center" was established by the Rector in 1994. Dr. Storey is on its governing board along with Dr. Donald Silberberg, professor of neurology (both are associate deans in the Office of International Medical Programs at PennMed).

Transatlantic Shakespeareans

Penn's Dr. Phyllis Rackin, professor of English in General Honors, is on the list of the 25 "master teachers of Shakespeare in the U.S., Britain and Canada for the past 125 years," as found in a survey published by Dennis Brestensky in Shakespeare in the Classroom for Spring 1997. Dr. Rackin's latest book, Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare's English Histories (with Jean E. Howard) is one of a new Routledge series of five transatlantic offerings in Feminist Readings of Shakespeare.

Mentoring in Chemistry

The American Chemical Society has chosen Dr. Madeleine Joullié, professor of chemistry, as the 1998 recipient of its Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, sponsored by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc. The award will be presented in March at the 215th ACS national meeting, to be held in Dallas.

Presidential Mentoring Award

This fall in Washington, SEAS's Assistant Dean Cora M. Ingrum received the 1997 U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Ten individuals and nine organizations won the Presidential Award in this second year of honoring contributors to the joint goals of an August 1994 "science policy blueprint" for the 21st century which says that "Science can serve the values and interests of all Americans, but only if all Americans are given a chance to participate...". Of the ten individual awardees, Ms. Ingrum is the only one whose contribution was made from a staff position rather than a faculty mentoring role. As Assistant Dean for Minority Programs and Director of Academic Support Programs in SEAS, Ms. Ingrum-a 30-year-veteran of the University-began in the early 'seventies to work with faculty, advising resources and students to increase minority participation in Penn Engineering programs. She is co-founder of the Pre-Freshman Program at Penn and of the National Asociation of Miniority Engineering Program Administrators, and was an early member of the noted PRIME and PATHS/PRISM initiatives that take a comprehensive approach from K-12 onward to interest minorities in the field and facilitate their entry into higher education.

Dr. Neal Lane of the National Science Foundation with Ms. Ingram









Return to:Almanac, University of Pennsylvania, November 4, 1997, Volume 44, No. 11