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Honors & Other Things
January 20, 2009, Volume 55, No. 18

Green Power Leadership Award
The University of Pennsylvania received a Green Power Leadership Award in the category “Green Power Partner of the Year.” Doug Walter, C’69, an architect in Denver, accepted the award on Penn’s behalf at the 2008 Green Power Leadership Awards event in Denver. Penn is a member of the Green Power Partnership which works with a wide variety of leading organizations—from Fortune 500 companies to local, state and federal governments, and a growing number of colleges and universities. The combined green power purchases of these organizations amounts to more than 1 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, which is equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power more than 95,000 average US homes annually.

Professor Adkins: Baldwin Fellow


Mr. Terry Adkins, professor of fine arts in the School of Design, has been honored as a 2008 USA James Baldwin Fellow in Visual Arts by the United States Artists (USA). Mr. Adkins is an installation artist, musician, activist and cultural practitioner. Fellowships are awarded to artists who demonstrate artistic excellence, unique artistic vision, and significant contributions to their field. Fellows receive an unrestricted grant of $50,000. USA is the national artists’ advocacy organization.







Mr. Akiyama: Mayor’s Commission
Mr. Cliff Akiyama, lecturer in the Family and Community Health Division at the School of Nursing, was appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter to serve on the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs. Mr. Akiyama is also active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors of Women Organized Against Rape and the Japanese American Citizens League Philadelphia Chapter.

Dr. Allen: President of MESA
Dr. Roger Allen, professor of Arabic and chair of the department of Near Eastern languages and civilizations, was elected president of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), an international, nonprofit and nonpolitical learned society dedicated to promoting scholarship and encouraging public understanding of the Middle East region and its peoples. He becomes president in November.

Dr. Bale: Career Development Award


The Society for Neuroscience has honored Dr. Tracy Bale, assistant professor of neuroscience, department of animal biology in the School of Veterinary Medicine and assistant professor of neuroscience in the department of psychiatry at the School of Medicine, with a Career Development Award. Her research investigates the interface of sex differences in stress and disease, including affective disorders and obesity. The award recognizes achievement and promise in neuroscience for early career professionals. The Society for Neuroscience consists of basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system, and represents the world’s largest source of emerging news on brain science and health.






2008 AAAS Fellows
Three Penn faculty members have been named 2008 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science:

Dr. Daniel Koditschek, Alfred Fitler Moore Professor and chair of the department of electrical and systems engineering, SEAS; cited for information, computing and communication.

Dr. Yvonne Paterson, professor of microbiology, SOM; cited for her distinguished contributions to the field of cancer research, especially her pioneering work in immunotherapeutic and for her institutional leadership as director of Postdoctoral Programs.

Dr. Susan Weiss, professor of microbiology, SOM; cited for her distinguished contributions to viral pathogenesis, particularly for elucidating the determinants of mouse corona virus tropism and virulence in the central nervous system and liver.

Black Men at Penn Awards
The School of Social Policy & Practice’s Black Men at Penn celebrated their fifth anniversary last week. Mayor Michael Nutter delivered the keynote address. Seven recipients were awarded the Outstanding Community Service Award for their achievements and outstanding leadership and service in working to support the growth of the community. The awardees are:

Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought, Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

Jannie L. Blackwell, Councilwoman, District 3 Council, City of Philadelphia

John Chaney, Hall of Fame Basketball Coach/Educator

Shirley Franklin, Mayor, City of Atlanta

Kenny Gamble, Music Pioneer/Humanitarian

Vernon Odom, Broadcast Pioneer, WPVI-TV Channel 6, Philadelphia Newscaster

Maureen S. Rush, Vice President for Public Safety, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Bicchieri: Italian Knighthood
Dr. Cristina Bicchieri, Carol and Michael Lowenstein Professor of Philosophy and Legal Studies and director of the PPE program, has been knighted by the Italian government Cavaliere al Merito della Reppublica Italiana. This is one of the highest honors conferred by the Italian government for contributions in the field of arts and sciences.

Mr. Brestoff: US-Ireland Scholarship
Jonathan Brestoff, first year medical/PhD student, has been named a George J. Mitchell Scholar from the US-Ireland Alliance. Mr. Brestoff, whose focus is on preventing Type 2 diabetes and obesity and is patenting an anti-obesity compound he discovered, will study in an Irish university for one year. The Mitchell Scholarship program recognizes outstanding young Americans who exhibit the highest standards of academic excellence, leadership and community service. The program seeks to link future American leaders with Ireland.

Dr. Casarett: Nationwide VA Leader
Dr. David Casarett, associate professor of medicine in the division of geriatric medicine, will lead a major initiative by the Department of Veterans Affairs to help improve the quality of health care veterans receive at the end of life. Dr. Casarett is also staff physician and director of the Palliative Care Service at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. The Performance Reporting of Outcome Measures to Improve the Standard of care at End-of-life (PROMISE) Center will help the VA to identify best practices in palliative care and develop strategies for improving care at the end of life throughout its healthcare system.

Dr. Diamond: Heilmeier Award
The Faculty Awards Committee of the School of Engineering and Applied Science has selected Dr. Scott Diamond, Arthur E. Humphrey Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, as the 2009 recipient of the George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research. The Committee describes Dr. Diamond’s discoveries and innovations in high throughput screening and micro-array technology as having “revolutionized the field and are destined to have widespread impact.”

Dr. El-Deiry: ACS Research Professor


Dr. Wafik S. El-Deiry, professor of medicine, genetics, and pharmacology, has been appointed as an American Cancer Society Research Professor. His appointment, effective this month, is the first such appointment at Penn. The ACS Professorships are the most competitive and prestigious research grants the Society awards. Dr. El-Deiry is also the co-program leader of Radiation Biology & Imaging Program at the Abramson Cancer Center and associate director for physician-scientist training in hematology/oncology.







Dr. Ellenberg: NISS Board
Dr. Susan Ellenberg, associate dean for clinical research in the School of Medicine, has been elected to a three-year term on the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) Board of Trustees. The mission of NISS is to identify, catalyze and foster high-impact, cross-disciplinary and cross-sector research involving the statistical sciences.

Dr. Engheta: Fellow of APS
Dr. Nader Engheta, H. Nedwill Ramsey Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering and professor of bioengineering in SEAS, has been elected Fellow of the American Physical Society “for development of concepts of metamaterial-inspired optical lumped nanocircuits, and for groundbreaking contribution to the fields of metamaterials, plasmonic nano-optics, biologically-inspired imaging, and electrodynamics.” Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by professional peers and is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the APS membership.

Dr. Kazazian: Allan Award
Dr. Haig H. Kazazian, Jr., Seymour Gray Professor of Molecular Medicine in Genetics in the School of Medicine, received the American Society of Human Genetics’ (ASHG) Allan Award at the Society’s 58th Annual Meeting. Throughout his career as a genetic scientist, Dr. Kazazian has made numerous seminal contributions in understanding and deciphering mechanisms that cause mutations leading to human disease. He received a $10,000 prize and an engraved medal. The Allan Award recognizes substantial and far-reaching scientific contributions to human genetics, carried out over a lifetime of scientific inquiry and productivity.

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center: Top 100 Cardiovascular Hospitals
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center was named to Thomson Reuters Top 100 Cardiovascular Hospitals for the sixth year. It is the only hospital in Philadelphia to be selected as one of the nation’s top 100. “This distinction recognizes Penn Presbyterian’s consistent expertise in cardiac care, a tribute to the entire cardiovascular team’s collaborative medical efforts to care for our patients with complex heart conditions,” said Michele Volpe, Penn Presbyterian Executive Director and CEO. More than half of cardiac inpatients travel from New Jersey and Delaware for treatment in complex arrhythmia management, interventional cardiology, noninvasive cardiology and cardiac imaging, preventive cardiology, vascular medicine, endovascular therapy, and women’s heart health.

Dr. Keller: ASHE Award
The Association for the Study of Higher Education posthumously awarded the 2008 Leadership Award to the late Dr. George Keller for his outstanding leadership in advancing the study of higher education. He was the former chairman of the higher education division at the Graduate School of Education. He died in 2007 at the age of 78 (Almanac April 3, 2007). This award is intended to recognize individuals who bring visibility and support to the field of higher education by demonstrating the contributions of the study of higher education to policy formation, or in gaining substantial resources for research and training in higher education.

Dr. Liberman: Linguistics Award
Dr. Mark Y. Liberman, Trustee Professor of Phonetics,accepted the 2009 Linguistics, Language and the Public Award from the Linguistic Society of America, along with Dr. Geoffrey K. Pullum of the University of Edinburgh. The Language Log, founded in 2003 by Dr. Liberman, Dr. Pullum and Stanford professor Arnold M. Zwicky, is a collaborative science blog devoted to linguistics and written by a team of more than a dozen prominent linguists, almost all members of the Linguistic Society of America. The Award is given for a body of work that has had a demonstrable impact on the public awareness of language and/or linguistics.

Dr. Nichtberger: Entrepreneur Award
Dr. Steven Nichtberger, member of the board of overseers for the School of Arts and Sciences, has received the prestigious Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Emerging Company category. The award recognizes contributions of entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. To be eligible for the national award, entrepreneurs had to receive regional honors earlier last year. Dr. Nichtberger is co-founder, president and CEO of Tengion, Inc., a leader in the field of regenerative medicine.

Dr. O’Sullivan: Board Appointments


Dr. Ann O’Sullivan, professor of primary care nursing, has been appointed chair of the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing for 2009 and chair of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Committee of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing for 2008-2009. Dr. O’Sullivan has been a member of both of these organizations for several years and has played a major role in acting as an expert on state and national regulatory issues for the School of Nursing. 







Best Video Honors
Two freshmen in the College of Arts and Sciences, John O’Malley and Will Son have been selected as best-video winners in a national contest run by Facing Up, a non-partisan project exploring long-term challenges of the federal budget. They will share a cash prize of $500. Competition judges described the students’ video, Man on the Street 2: Facts and Figures as “an excellent slice of life on campus talking to students about the federal budget and national debt, serving up a few shockers and surprises along the way.” The video can be viewed online at http://facingup.org/man-street-2-facts-and-figures. They created the video as part of a freshman seminar course taught by Dr. Donald Kettl, professor of political science.

Dr. Pappas: IEEE Fellow
Dr. George Pappas, Joseph Moore Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering and deputy dean for the School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been elevated to the status of IEEE Fellow, the highest membership grade in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Dr. Pappas’ research focuses on developing methods for control of next-generation hierarchical and distributed systems. A non-profit organization, IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology.

Dr. Rommen: Alan Merriam Prize
Dr. Timothy Rommen, assistant professor of music, received the 2008 Alan Merriam Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology for his first book, Mek Some Noise: Gospel Music and the Ethics of Style in Trinidad. The book award recognizes the most distinguished English-language monograph in the field of ethnomusicology published in the previous two years. His book examines how the beliefs of Full Gospel Christians are translated into sacred music as it is created, performed, listened to and talked about.

Dr. Schapiro: Northwestern President
Dr. Morton Owen Schapiro, Gr’79, has already made the list of Penn-made presidents, and now he’s being added again. Dr. Schapiro, outgoing president of Williams College, has been named president of Northwestern University. He will be their 16th president, effective September 1, 2009. Dr. Schapiro has been president of Williams since 2000.

For more Penn-made presidents, see www.upenn.edu/almanac/volumes/v55/n13/pennpres.html.

Dr. Sipe: Fry Book Award
Dr. Lawrence R. Sipe, associate professor in the Reading/Writing/Literacy program at the Graduate School of Education, has been awarded the 2008 Edward B. Fry Book Award by the National Reading Conference, an association of literacy scholars, for “outstanding contributions to literacy research and practice.” His book is Storytime: Young Children’s Literary Understanding in the Classroom.

Dr. Volpe: Magnesium Grant
Dr. Stella Volpe, associate professor of nursing and Miriam Stirl Term Associate Professor in Nutrition, received funding for a new NIDDK study, “Magnesium and the Metabolic Syndrome Trial,” a randomized controlled trial assessing the effects of magnesium on metabolic syndrome. The National Institutes of Health is funding this.

Dr. Yim: Top Story of the Year


A robot, ckBot, built by Dr. Mark Yim that can fix itself after being scattered, has been named one of the Top 100 Stories of 2008 by Discover magazine. Dr. Yim, associate professor of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics, Gabel Family Term Junior Professor, and undergraduate curriculum chair in SEAS. ckBot can function independently and act cooperatively. One major application to such research is the military. According to the magazine, “The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, an agency of the US Department of Defense, is exploring how to endow robots and other military equipment with the self-sufficiency to function independently amid the explosions and changing landscapes of a war zone.” 






“Venture a Guess” Winners
The Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs announced the winners of the Fall 2008 Venture a Guess Competition. The program is designed to help students learn about entrepreneurship at Penn through a fun and informative trivia contest. The winners of the trivia challenge on entrepreneurship are:

Grand Prize: Nate Weiner, BSE’09—a pair of domestic airline tickets, courtesy of Southwest Airlines

Entrepreneurial Mastery Prize: Linfu Zhang, W’12—a pair of domestic airline tickets courtesy of Southwest Airlines

Second Prize: Abhishek Hendi, BSE’10—iPod Touch courtesy of Computer Connection

CPCW Writing Apprenticeships
Three students have won apprenticeships from Penn’s Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (CPCW).

Emily Schultheis, C’11, will work with political journalist Dick Polman; Heather Schwedel, C’09, will work with Elizabeth Van Doren, editor & writer of children’s books; and Aaron Walker, C’09, will work with political and science writer Peter Tarr. CPCW was created in 2003 to promote advanced research, mentorship and apprenticeship experiences especially during the student’s junior and senior years.


Almanac - January 20, 2009 Volume 55, No. 18