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Honors & Other Things
October 14, 2008, Volume 55, No. 8

Penn 11th in World Rankings
The University of Pennsylvania is the 11th strongest University in the world, according to the World University Rankings published last week by Times Higher Education and QS Quacquarelli Symonds. This year’s ranking is three places higher than its 2007 slot.

“Rankings can only touch the surface in telling the story of a university, but it is nonetheless satisfying to see Penn listed among the world’s truly exceptional institutions of higher education.  We are in great global company, and we are well-positioned to be ever more global in our academic strengths and outreach,” said President Amy Gutmann.

This year’s rankings were produced from a peer review in which over 6,000 academics around the world took part, as did more than 2,000 employers of graduates. It also uses data on research, teaching, and the international orientation of universities to produce the biggest analysis ever carried out of the world’s top universities. The full rankings are available at www.timeshighereducation.co.uk.

Dr. Cai: Statistics Award
Dr. Tony Cai, Dorothy Silberberg Professor of Statistics in the Wharton School, is the recipient of the 2008 Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies Presidents’ Award. The COPSS award is one of the highest honors in the field of statistics. It is bestowed upon a person under the age of 40 for outstanding contributions to statistics.

Dr. Coleman, Academy of Nursing
Dr. Christopher Coleman, assistant professor of nursing and assistant professor of nursing in psychiatry, has been named a fellow to the American Academy of Nursing. His research centers on the study of HIV-related risk behaviors in African-American men, middle-aged and older.

Dr. Delli Carpini, APSA Award

Delli Carpini

Dr. Michael X. Delli Carpini, Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, has been honored with the 2008 Murray Edelman Distinguished Career Award, presented by the American Political Science Association’s Political Communication Section.

“As author (with Scott Keeter) of What Americans Know About Politics and Why it Matters, Michael has helped to advance and re-orient the study of public opinion and democracy,” said Dr. Robert Entman, chair of the award committee.


Wistar Institute: Cancer Gold Standard
The Wistar Institute earned the CEO Cancer Gold Standard accreditation from the CEO Roundtable on Cancer in recognition of its efforts to improve the health of employees and their families and reduce their risks of cancer. Wistar is an international leader in biomedical research in cancer research and vaccine development.

Dr. Fagin: Vice Chair of NSCLC Board


Dr. Claire M. Fagin, dean emerita and professor emerita of nursing, is vice chair of the Board of the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC). The organization advocates nationwide to promote the independence and well-being of low-income elderly and disabled Americans.

In addition, Dr. Fagin and her husband Samuel L. Fagin both have cameo roles in the movie Made of Honor, where they play an older couple in a row boat. The movie is now on DVD.


Dr. Holub: Penn-Made President
Dr. Robert C. Holub, C’71, became the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts—Amherst in August. Dr. Holub earned his bachelor’s degree in natural science from Penn. Previously, he served as the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs for two years at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. For more Penn-made presidents, visit www.upenn.edu/almanac/volumes/v53/n23/pennpres.html.

Dr. Lee: Franklin Founder Award


Dr. Virginia M.-Y. Lee is a recipient of the 2008 Franklin Founder Award. The award was presented by the Friends of Franklin, Inc. for her work as an “internationally recognized” woman of science. Dr. Lee is the John H. Ware 3rd Professor in Alzheimer’s Research, director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and co-director of the Marian S. Ware Center for Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Program.


New Members: Institute of Medicine
Six members of the faculty have been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service.

Dr. Jean Bennett, professor of ophthalmology and cell and developmental biology, School of Medicine.

Dr. Jonathan A. Epstein, professor and chair, department of cell and developmental biology, School of Medicine.

Dr. Gary A. Koretzky, director of signal transduction and investigator, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute; Leonard Jarett Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine; and chief, division of rheumatology.

Dr. Linda A. McCauley, Nightingale Professor in Nursing and associate dean for nursing research, School of Nursing.

Ralph Muller, Chief Executive Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Dr. Sanford Schwartz, Professor of Medicine, Health Care Management, and Economics, Wharton.

Dr. Noma: New Innovator Award
Dr. Ken-ichi Noma, assistant professor in Wistar’s Gene Expression and Regulation Program, has been honored with a National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award and a grant from the NIH. His research provided a novel approach to understanding genetic causes of human disease and may aid in the development of new diagnostic tests and treatment.

Dr. Sweeney: PA Racing Commission


Governor Edward G. Rendell has appointed Dr. Corinne Sweeney chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Racing Commission. Dr. Sweeney is a professor of medicine at New Bolton Center and serves as chief operating officer for the University of Pennsylvania’s George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals.


Dr. Taylor: FTD Grant
Dr. J. Paul Taylor, assistant professor of neurology, has been awarded a research grant in the amount of $60,000 from the Association for Frontotemporal Dementias. Dr. Taylor will apply the award to expand his research work with the fruit fly model for TDP-43-related Frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

Dr. Winey: NSF Creativity Award


Dr. Karen Winey, professor of materials science and engineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering in SEAS, has been honored with a Creativity Award from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Winey is recognized for her pioneering work in ion-containing polymers. She will use the funding to investigate the behavior of ion-containing polymers at elevated temperatures, in high humidity environments and under applied electric fields.


Apker Award for Physics and Alum
Penn graduate Sujit Datta is this year’s recipient of The Leroy Apker Award of the American Physical Society. Two Apker Awards are given annually to recognize outstanding achievements in physics by undergraduate students. The award consists of $5,000 to the recipient, and an allowance for travel to the APS meeting at which the award is presented. In addition, the Penn physics department will receive a $5,000 award to support undergraduate research.

As an undergraduate at Penn, Mr. Datta studied the physics of electrons at the nanoscale in Dr.  A. T. Charlie Johnson’s group. Mr. Datta graduated in May 2008 with BA and MS degrees in physics, and a BA in mathematics. He is now pursuing a PhD in physics at Harvard University.



Almanac - October 14, 2008 , Volume 55, No. 8