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Conference Services, in collaboration with Penn’s 12 schools, arts and culture groups and the Office of the Provost, announces the Penn Summer Portal, a website that has been developed as a clearinghouse for information pertaining to summer programming across the campus. Intended to be an internal site for faculty, students and staff involved with the development and implementation of summer programs and events, it is also designed to be used by visiting scholars and students participating in summer programs.

This announcement coincides with the establishment of the Provost’s Council on Summer at Penn, an advisory body comprised of representatives from all of Penn’s schools and its arts and culture groups. The Council’s primary mission is to stimulate and facilitate summer programming that is both broad in scope and of exceptional quality, drawing greater numbers of diverse participants to campus. It is working in particular to advance opportunities for the summer that help support the Penn Compact—to increase access and provide programs that integrate knowledge and that engage students locally and globally.

Laurel Grady, director of program development in Conference Services, will work with faculty and staff to help develop, create and implement summer academic programs, conferences and other events to be hosted. In collaboration with the Provost’s Office and in cooperation with the Council, Ms. Grady will focus on increasing academic, arts and culture, recreational and youth programs that will provide maximum exposure of the campus and improve utilization of campus resources. 

The assumptions that guide these summer efforts can be summarized briefly.

1. Summer program offerings make it possible to increase access to the University through a variety of means ranging from the provision of integrated curricula and academic non-credit programs not offered during the academic year to summer high school programs that would attract and enroll outstanding students from all parts of the globe.   

2. Summer presents teaching opportunities for junior faculty and graduate students. 

3. Summer also provides greater partnership opportunities for our schools, for example through such programs as the Summer Institute in Business and Technology and the Management and Technology Institute, both co-sponsored by Wharton and Engineering, which enable students to experience intense academic achievement, leadership in extracurricular activities, cultural and athletic activities, and cultural and social exploration. Collaboration extends to conference opportunities as well, for example with the forthcoming Summit on American Indian Health Care, “Bridging the Cultural Canyon:  Strategies to Reduce Health Inequities for American Indians,” co-sponsored by the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing. Penn’s arts and culture groups can also benefit from partnerships by combining their planned academic programming or conferences with other on-campus summer activities.

4. Summer also presents opportunities for visitors to experience Penn and steep themselves in all its offerings, including arts and culture, within a vibrant urban campus, surrounded by the lively atmosphere of University City.  Along these lines, Penn can potentially be the destination of choice for a variety of affinity groups.   

Faculty and staff are invited and encouraged to visit the Penn Summer Portal at: http://summeratpenn.upenn.edu/portal. A PennKey is required for access. Anyone interested in learning more about how to develop a summer program or conference—whether for precollege students, undergraduates, adults, or seniors, or for academics, athletics, enrichment or recreation—may contact Laurel Grady, at lgrady@pobox.upenn.edu or (215) 573-8629.



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 33, May 24, 2005


May 24, 2005
Volume 51 Number 33


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