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Honors & Other Things
September 16, 2008, Volume 55, No. 4

Ms. Clark: TCF Board
Taylor Community Foundation (TCF) in Delaware County has elected Christina Costanzo Clark, assistant dean of academic and student affairs in the School of Nursing, to its Board of Directors. TCF is a charitable organization that provides “support, education, and funding to nonprofit organizations, institutions, and individuals to enhance the quality of life for people.”

Dr. Gitler: Pew Scholar


Dr. Aaron D. Gitler, assistant professor of cell and developmental biology in the School of Medicine, has been recognized as a 2008 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences supports early to midcareer scientists, giving each of the 20 scholars a $240,000 award over four years to help support their work. Dr. Gitler plans to investigate how protein misfolding can lead to neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Gitler has also been recognized as one of seven 2008 Rita Allen Foundation Scholars. He plans to pursue a project aimed at identifying new treatment strategies for neurofibromatosis, a type of human cancer. He will receive $300,000 over three years to further his research.


ServiceNation Leadership Council
President Amy Gutmann and Dr. John J. DiIulio, Jr., the Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Political Science, have agreed to serve on the ServiceNation Summit Leadership Council. The goal of the ServiceNation campaign is to unite leaders from all sectors of American society with citizens to promote the passage of a new National Service Act during the first year of the next US presidential administration to take national service to a new scale. (click here)

Dr. Johnston: V.O. Key Award
Political science professor Dr. Richard Johnston’s book, The End of Southern Exceptionalism: Class, Race, and Partisan Change in the Postwar South, has won the V.O. Key Award from the Southern Political Science Association for the best book on Southern politics. Dr. Johnston co-authored the book with Byron Shafer of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The authors argue that economic development, more than issues of race, drove middle-class whites to the Republican Party and transformed the region’s political landscape. Dr. Johnston is also research director of the National Annenberg Election Study at Penn.

Dr. Lampson: Searle Scholar
Dr. Michael A. Lampson, assistant professor of biology, has been named a 2008 Searle Scholar. Dr. Lampson is among 15 scientists to receive the honor out of 176 applications. The Searle Scholars Program provides grants to selected university and research centers to support the independent research of exceptional young faculty in the biomedical sciences and chemistry. Dr. Lampson’s research focuses on cell division and intracellular signaling. He will receive $300,000 during the next three years.

Dr. Sabloff: HRAF Chairman
Dr. Paula Sabloff, acting curator-in-charge of the Asian section at the Penn Museum, has been elected chairman of the Board of Human Relations Area Files, Inc. (HRAF). Dr. Sabloff is also an adjunct associate professor of anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences. HRAF is a non-profit international membership organization with more than 300 member institutions from the USA and numerous other countries.

Grant for Penn Museum
The Penn Museum has received a four-year, $300,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to run a cross-borders, international collaborative research program in Laos and Thailand. The research program, Strengthening the Future of Southeast Asian Archaeology: Investigating the Prehistoric Settlement of the Mekong Middle Basin, will be directed by Dr. Joyce White, senior research scientist in the Asian section at the Museum.

Commission on Human Relations
Mayor Michael Nutter has appointed two Penn Law faculty members to the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. Regina Austin, William A. Schnader Professor of Law, is a leading authority on economic discrimination and minority legal feminism. Fernando Chang-Muy, Thomas A. O’Boyle Lecturer in Law, teaches Refugee Law and Policy at the Law School and lectures on organizational effectiveness at the School of Social Policy & Practice. The Commission is the city agency that enforces civil rights laws and deals with all matters of inter-group conflict within the city.

Ms. Papageorge: Sustainability Board
Anne Papageorge, vice president of the Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services, has been appointed to the position of co-chair of Mayor Michael Nutter’s newly-created Sustainability Advisory Board. The Mayor has appointed 21 leaders from government, non-profits and the private sector to this Board to serve as a leadership group that will assist the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability as it defines strategies and goals for developing a coordinated sustainability policy for Philadelphia. Members are appointed by the Mayor for a two-year term and will meet quarterly on a voluntary basis, with the first meeting scheduled for mid-October.

HUP: Ranked in Top 10 Honor Roll
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) has been selected for the “Honor Roll” of best hospitals in America by US News & World Report, as featured in its July 23 issue. The annual ranking of hospitals places HUP in the top 10 of the approximately 5,400 facilities surveyed. HUP was one of only 19 hospitals honored with the “Honor Roll” recognition for excellence in multiple specialties with five in the top ten list. HUP ranked in the top 20 in 11 specialty categories: including cancer; heart & heart surgery; endocrinology; digestive disorders; ear, nose & throat; and kidney disease.

HHMI Early Career Awards
Three students and one researcher from the School of Medicine have been chosen as recipients of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Early Career Awards. The three students, Kristopher Bosse, Amit Khera, and Emily Williams, received Research Training Fellowships; and Dr. John Chang, instructor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology at HUP, received a Physician-Scientist Award. HHMI awards will allow the students to take a year off from their medical training to gain research experience. All of them have chosen to work and do their research at Penn Medicine.

Albert Schweitzer Fellows
Two Penn students were named Albert Schweitzer Fellows in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Ashley Darcy is pursing both a master’s and PhD in nursing. Noel Ramirez is a graduate student in the School of Social Policy & Practice. Ms. Darcy and Mr. Ramirez are among ten other 2008-2009 Schweitzer Fellows who will each devote more than 200 hours of service to local communities needing to enhance access to adequate health services.

Community-Campus Health Award
The Community-Campus Partnership for Health (CCPH) has honored the partnership between the Penn School of Medicine and the Decatur, Ohio Community Association as the recipient of the 7th annual CCPH Award. The award recognizes exemplary partnerships between communities and higher educational institutions that build on each other’s strengths to improve higher education, civic engagement, and the overall health of communities. The two formed the Environmental Justice Partnership whose research uncovered above normal levels of a human carcinogen in the community caused by local industry.

Penn/Sayre Partnership: First Prize
Students from the School of Nursing’s Pediatric Acute/Chronic and Oncology Nurse Practitioner program earned first place for their research poster at the 24th Annual Pediatric Nursing Conference. Megan Sounders-Zobian and Rebecca Hogan presented the posters, with two students from Sayre High School, Princess Carter and LaQuan Williams. Their research assessed growth and diabetes risk factors in children.

Penn Alexander: Good Neighbor
Sesame Place presented the Good Neighbor Award to the Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School. The school was recognized for its participation in service programs that demonstrate consideration, kindness and concern for the community.  Last school year, students raised $1,200 for the Bangladesh Cyclone Relief effort and each fall, students collect canned goods for the University City Hospitality Coalition.

Penn: Best Place to Work in IT
In its annual “100 Best Places to Work in IT” survey, Computerworld magazine named Penn’s Division of Information Systems and Computing (ISC) the No. 1 employer for information-technology professionals in the Mid-Atlantic Region for the fourth consecutive year. ISC/Penn also ranked No. 6 nationally. The list of rankings from the magazine is available online at www.computerworld.com/spring/bp/2008/1.

FactCheck.org: Top 20 Political Site
PC Magazine, which offers independent reviews of technology, named FactCheck.org one of the 20 best political websites. The site was praised for its extensive research team. The website has recently garnered awards such as a Webby award at the 12th annual competition.


Almanac - September 16, 2008 , Volume 55, No. 4