Print This Issue

Honors and Other Things
October 27, 2009, Volume 56, No. 09

Penn People to Obama Administration

Jon Huntsman, Jr., C’87, was nominated to serve as United States Ambassador to China in May. He began his appointment in August following his resignation as the governor of Utah. Ambassador Huntsman is a former Penn trustee and former chairman of the Advisory Board for the Huntsman Program for International Studies and Business at the Wharton School. He received the Alumni Award of Merit in 1999.

Laurie Robinson, former director of the Master of Science Program in the department of criminology, has been serving as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs in the US Department of Justice since being nominated in September. Ms. Robinson had been serving as acting assistant attorney general since January (Almanac February 3, 2009). A hearing to consider the nomination was held on October 7.

President Obama announced his intent to nominate Dr. Clifford Stanley, GrEd’05, Penn’s former executive vice president, as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness in the Department of Defense.

Dr. A. Thomas McLellan, former adjunct professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine, was confirmed as the Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in August. Dr. McLellan was nominated in April (Almanac April 21, 2009).

Dr. William Burke-White, a Penn Law School professor, was appointed to a position in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Office of Foreign Policy Planning. He has been serving in his new position since June. He will advise Clinton on issues involving Russia and international law. Dr. Burke-White will be on a two-year leave from Penn Law to serve in the office.

Glamour Magazine: Ms. Amarasekera

Ms. Sohani Amarasekera, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been recognized as one of Glamour magazine’s Top 10 College Women. She is featured in its October issue as “The Visionary.” Ms. Amarasekera is a pre-med student majoring in biology and sociology. She is also an active member of Unite for Sight, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve eye health throughout international communities. According to Glamour’s website, Ms. Amarasekera aspires to be an ophthalmologist and put an end to preventable blindness. At the New York reception, Ms. Amarasekera was honored with the Beauty of Giving Award—a $2,500 donation to the charity of her choice. A video on Ms. Amarasekera is on Glamour’s website, www.glamour.com/about/top-10-college-women.

Christy Award: Dr. Brooks Carthon

The American Association for the History of Nursing has recognized postdoctoral fellow Jacqueline Margo Brooks Carthon for her nursing history dissertation, “No place for the dying: A tale of urban health work in Philadelphia’s Black Belt,” which she completed at the University of Pennsylvania in 2008. The Teresa E. Christy Award encourages new nursing history investigators while recognizing excellence in historical research and writing done while the researcher was a doctoral student.

Dock Award: Dr. Fairman

Dr. Julie Fairman, professor of nursing and director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, has received the Lavinia L. Dock Award for Exemplary Historical Research and Writing from the American Association for the History of Nursing. The Lavinia L. Dock Award recognizes outstanding research and writing produced by an experienced scholar in nursing history who submits a book. Dr. Fairman is recognized for her book, Making Room in the Clinic: Nurse Practitioners and the Evolution of American Health Care.

Episteme Award: Dr. Naylor


Dr. Mary D. Naylor, has been selected by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), to receive The Baxter International Foundation’s 2009 Episteme Award, in recognition of the Transitional Care Model, an evidence-based approach to addressing the needs of high-risk chronically ill elders and their family caregivers. Dr. Naylor, the Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology and director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health at the School of Nursing, will be presented with the award on November 3.






Hilton Inn at Penn

The Hilton Inn at Penn earned its AAA Four Diamond rating for 2009, the ninth consecutive year. The fundamental hallmarks at this level include an extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service, and attention to detail.

The Lead Concierge at the Hilton Inn at Penn, Bessie Greene, was honored by the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association as Lodging Employee of the Year-Front of the House. Last year, Ms. Greene was honored by the Pennsylvania Tourism and Lodging Association as “Lodging Employee of the Year.”

Benjamin Franklin Medal: Dr. Nowell

The Franklin Institute announced that Dr. Peter C. Nowell, Gaylord P. and Mary Louise Harnwell Emeritus Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the School of Medicine, is the recipient of the 2010 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science. The citation reads, “For the discovery that alterations to chromosomes can cause cancer, and further research leading to the development of a therapy that now cures 95% of individuals with chronic myelogenous leukemia.” The Franklin Institute Awards identify individuals whose innovation has benefited humanity, advanced science, launched new fields of inquiry, and deepened our understanding of the universe. The awards ceremony and dinner will take place in April.

Honorary Doctorate: Dr. Smith

Dr. Amos B. Smith III, the William Warren Rhodes-Robert J. Thompson Professor of Chemistry, was awarded an honorary doctorate of science from Queen’s University, Belfast, in recognition of his distinguished contributions to the field of organic chemistry. In delivering the citation at the ceremony, Professor Robbie Burch described Dr. Smith as an outstanding synthetic organic chemist, “He is distinguished for his exemplary research contributions to the field of organic synthesis and new reaction development, and to the application of new methodologies for the synthesis of natural products that have the potential to be the basis of new anticancer drugs.” 

New Institute of Medicine Members

Four professors from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have been elected as members of the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
The new Penn IOM members are:

Dr. Thomas Curran, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine; investigator at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at Penn; deputy scientific director at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr. Garret A. FitzGerald, McNeil Professor in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics; chair of the department of pharmacology; director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics.

Dr. Frederick S. Kaplan, The Isaac & Rose Nassau Professor of Orthopaedic Molecular Medicine; chief of the division of molecular orthopaedic medicine.

Dr. Amita Sehgal, professor of neuroscience; investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Nutting Award: Dr. Wall

Dr. Barbra Mann Wall, associate professor of nursing, has received the Mary Adelaide Nutting Award for Exemplary Historical Research and Writing from the American Association for the History of Nursing. The award recognizes outstanding research and writing produced by an experienced scholar in nursing history who submits a post-doctoral research manuscript or article. Dr. Wall was awarded for her article, “Catholic Sister Nurses in Selma, Alabama, 1940-1972,” which was published in Nursing History Review in 2009.

SEAS Staff Recognition Award: Mr. West


Mark West, manager of administration and finance in the Moore Business Office, received the 2009 SEAS Staff Recognition Award, the highest award for staff members in Penn Engineering. The award was presented on October 1, by Dean Eduardo Glandt.

Mr. West has been a member of the Penn community for over 25 years and has served in the SEAS Business Offices for 18 years. He has been the manager of the Moore Business Office for the last 13 years. In nomination letters, Mr. West was described as efficient, reliable, selfless in his contributions, calm and focused under pressure, a pleasure to work with and an absolute asset to the School.

The annual award comes with a plaque and a $1,000 check.


2009 Nobel Prize: Dr. Williamson

Former Penn faculty member, Dr. Oliver E. Williamson, was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics along with Dr. Elinor Ostrom from Indiana University for their work in organizational economics. Dr. Williamson was on the faculty in the department of economics from 1965-1983 and chaired the department in 1971-72 and 1976-77. He also served as director of the Center for the Study of Organizational Innovation (1976-1983). Dr. Williamson is currently the Edgar F. Kaiser Professor Emeritus of Business, Economics and Law at the University of California, Berkeley.


Almanac - October 27, 2009, Volume 56, No. 09