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Honors and Other Things

July 12, 2011, Volume 58, No. 01

American Academy of Nursing Fellows

Three faculty members in the School of Nursing will be inducted as Fellows in the American Academy of Nursing at the annual meeting in October. The role of the academy is to advance health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. The new Fellows are:

Dr. Chris Bradway, assistant professor of gerontological nursing—clinician educator

Dr. Jianghong Liu, assistant professor of nursing

Dr. Anne M. Teitelman, assistant professor of nursing

Women in Science Fellowship: Dr. Bark


Dr. Karlin Bark, postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Katherine Kuchenbecker, Skirkanich Assistant Professor of Innovation in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, is the recipient of a 2011 L’Oréal USA Postdoctoral Fellowship for Women in Science. The fellowship comes with a $60,000 research grant. 

Dr. Bark’s research focuses on developing haptic, or touch feedback devices for clinical applications. As a member of the Haptics Group, she is developing a motion guidance system for stroke rehabilitation with the goal of helping patients to re-learn motor skills. She is also investigating the use of vibrotactile and audio feedback of tool contacts during robotic minimally invasive surgery to assist surgeons.






Science Center Chair: Mr. Carnaroli

Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli has been elected chairman of the University City Science Center’s board of directors. The Science Center supports technology commercialization and technology-based economic development on its campus and in the Greater Philadelphia region.








Faculty Award: Dr. Charles

Dr. Camille Charles, director of the Center for Africana Studies and Kahn Professor in the Social Sciences, received the Distinguished Faculty Award from the James Brister Society, an alumni group that supports diversity at Penn.

AcademyHealth Honor: Dr. Halpern

Dr. Scott D. Halpern, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, has been selected for AcademyHealth’s 2011 Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award. The honor recognizes scholars who are early in their health services research career and exhibit extraordinary potential for new discoveries. Dr. Halpern is being acknowledged for his contributions to many high-profile journals and his work as a consultant with several federal agencies and various committees to the US Secretary for Health and Human Services.

Museum Board: Ms. Marsden-Atlass

Ms. Lynn Marsden-Atlass, director of the Arthur Ross Gallery, was elected as secretary to the Board of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries. The AAMG establishes and supports best practices, educational activities and professional development that enable its member organizations to fulfill their educational missions.

40 Under 40: Dr. Mehta

Dr. Samir Mehta, chief of orthopaedic trauma and fracture service in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, is a recipient of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Awards. The program recognizes 40 individuals, under the age of 40, who are proven performers in their respective industries and communities. Dr. Mehta was honored at the banquet in May.

Co-Chaired TMJ Meeting: Dr. Quinn

Dr. Peter Quinn, Schoenleber Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the School of Dental Medicine and vice dean for professional services in the Perelman School of Medicine, recently co-chaired a joint meeting of the American Society of Temporomandibular Joint Surgeons and the European Society of Temporomandibular Joint Surgeons in Rome, Italy. Dr. Quinn dedicated the meeting to evidence-based approaches for surgical rehabilitation of the degenerated mandibular joint.

Virtual World Challenge: Dr. Silverman

Dr. Barry Silverman, professor in the department of electrical and systems engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, along with ACASA Lab and IMC Team received first place in the “Patterns of Life” category at the 2011 Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge. The program, called NonKin Village, provides training developers with a small autonomous society (like The Sims or SimCity) that is reconfigurable for a number of cross-cultural training goals.







Radcliffe Fellow: Dr. Stern

Dr. David Stern, Moritz and Josephine Berg Professor in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, was selected to be a Radcliffe Institute fellow at Harvard University for the 2011-12 academic year. Dr. Stern will work on his project, A History of the Jewish Book from Antiquity to the Present Day: The Biographies of 120 Books.

NSF CAREER Award: Dr. Taskar

Dr. Ben Taskar, Magerman Term Assistant Professor in the department of computer and information science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, has received an NSF CAREER award for his proposal, “Computation and Approximation in Structured Learning.” The CAREER award is the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. The CAREER project promises to drastically advance state-of-the-art accuracy in computer vision and natural language applications and greatly enhance search and organization of documents, images, and video.

Award for Supreme Court Litigation

For their work on the 2010 US Supreme Court Case Padilla v. Kentucky, Penn Law Professor Stephanos Bibas and Clinical Supervisor and Lecturer Yolanda Vázquez have received the 2011 Jack Wasserman Memorial Award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Professors Bibas and Vázquez were among a twelve-member team of pro bono attorneys selected for excellence in litigation in the field of immigration law for their work on Padilla. Students in Penn Law’s Supreme Court Clinic, which Professor Bibas directs, also worked on the case. 

Penn Law Faculty: Top Ten Articles

Penn Law’s business and corporate law faculty have dominated the 17th annual poll of the “Top Ten Corporate and Securities Articles of 2010,” recently conducted by Corporate Practice Commentator. Articles by the professors named below were among the top ten selected by corporate and securities law academics, which were chosen from more than 440 published and indexed in legal journals in 2010.

Professor William Bratton, professor of law and co-director of the Law School’s Institute for Law and Economics (ILE) and Professor Michael Wachter, the William B. Johnson Professor of Law and Economics and ILE Co-Director—“The Case Against Shareholder Empowerment”

Professor Jill Fisch, professor of law and co-director of ILE—“The Power of Proxy Advisors: Myth or Reality?”

Professor Edward Rock, Saul A. Fox Distinguished Professor of Business Law—“Embattled CEOs”

Professor David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law—“Bankruptcy or Bailouts?”

Book Award: Annenberg Scholars
National Annenberg Election Survey scholars Kate Kenski—now at the University of Arizona, Bruce Hardy, senior research analyst in the Annenberg Public Policy Center and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, have won the 2011 International Communication Association (ICA) Outstanding Book Award for their book The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Message Shaped the 2008 Election. The award honors a book published in the previous two calendar years based on criteria including the importance of the problem it addresses to the fields represented in ICA and to communication studies as a whole, the quality of writing and argument, and the strength of evidence it presents.

History Scholar: Ms. DeMaio
Alicia DeMaio, C’13, has been named to the 2011 Gilder Lehrman History Scholars Program. One of 10 students in the nation selected for this scholarship, Ms. DeMaio will participate in a five-week intensive history research program in New York City this summer. Recipients will develop primary source research projects using rare, unpublished historical documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection on the founding era, slavery and abolition, or the Civil War.

Penn: On Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

The University of Pennsylvania is among 114 colleges and universities named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction by the Corporation for National and Community Service.  Penn was cited for its outreach to the West Philadelphia community.

Penn highlighted several of its community service programs for the Corporation’s consideration in making its awards, including:

•  The School of Dental Medicine’s collaboration with the School District of Philadelphia. Dental students and faculty reached 7,800 children at 17 schools and summer programs, through state mandated dental examinations with children in 14 schools and preventive and restorative dental care services to school children using the PennSmiles mobile dental bus at 11 schools.

•  University Life Arts Initiatives’ After School Arts at Penn.  Penn students help local children explore the performing arts, including dance, theatre, voice and musical instruments.

•  The School of Nursing’s Living Independently for Elders program. Comprehensive, community-based health care is provided to more than 360 frail elders in West and Southwest Philadelphia who would otherwise require institutionally based long-term care. Students from the Wharton School and School of Social Policy & Practice are also involved. Dental care is provided at the Center by Penn Dental Medicine faculty and students.

•  Community School Student Partnerships and West Philadelphia Tutoring Project. The undergraduate student-run CSSP, working with the Civic House provides academic and cultural enrichment to children and youth through college-age mentors. The tutoring project provides West Philadelphia school students with individual attention through one-to-one tutoring and mentoring relationships with Penn students, encouraging academic achievement and increased self-confidence.  

•  Moelis Access Science (MAS). Coordinated by the Netter Center and Penn’s math department, MAS works to improve science, technology, engineering and math education in K-12 classrooms in West Philadelphia.

•  Penn’s Netter Center, through its College Access and Career Readiness program offers comprehensive college and career preparation for West Philadelphia students at two high schools and arranges paid internships in peer education, community revitalization, leadership, advocacy and professional worksites.

Once a week for eight weeks in the fall and eight weeks in the spring, a group of Penn students help local children ages 10-15 explore the performing arts in the After School Arts at Penn program. Above: Volunteer Odette Ponce, C'14, gives voice lessons to the children.  

Participants in the in Penn Nursing’s LIFE program celebrate Mother’s with a brunch.



The PennSmiles van, a mobile clinic of Penn Dental Medicine, features two dental chairs and is fully equipped to provide on-site care at community sites and schools throughout Philadelphia.


Penn tutors and tutees take a minute to pose for a photo before going trick or treating around campus at this year’s annual WPTP Halloween Party.


Fourth Annual PennMOVES: $25,000
In support of Penn’s sustainability goals and the University’s climate commitment, the fourth annual PennMOVES sale was held on June 4 at 3401 Grays Ferry Avenue.  The event diverted tons of high quality items destined for landfills, such as microwaves, school and kitchen supplies, into bargains for the local community. This year, Goodwill Industries provided technical expertise and logistical support for the effort which raised over $25,000 to benefit its local job training programs! Thanks go out to all the members of the Penn community who helped make this project a great success.

Penn: Best Place to Work in IT
IDG’s Computerworld announced Penn’s Information Systems & Computing (ISC) as a 2011 Best Places to Work in IT honoree, one of 100 top organizations that challenge their IT staffs while providing great benefits and compensation. ISC ranked #6 nationally and #2 in the Mid-Atlantic Region in the Computerworld survey of best places to work in IT.  It has ranked consistently in the top 10 nationally for seven consecutive years. Penn is the only Ivy League university included in the list and ranks the highest out of the other five universities included in the list.

Education Business Plan Competition

Alexandre Scialom, of San Francisco, took the $25,000 first prize in the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition at Penn’s Graduate School of Education for TheCourseBook, his idea to connect lifelong learners to online and offline learning resources. He also took the $25,000 Startl Prize for Open Educational Resources. theCourseBook allows users to easily search for and find third-party learning resources and offers guidance to support their professional and personal development, based on interests, peers and location.

Second prize of $15,000 was awarded to Judd Rattner of San Francisco and Edward Levie of New York, for Intellidemia, a syllabus management system which develops information technology solutions for higher education to help institutions meet compliance standards, enhance collaborative interactions and electronically standardize workflow.

The Competition aims to stimulate entrepreneurship in education and connect social entrepreneurs to venture capitalists and other funders.

Telly Award: GSE Film
Freedom School, a Penn GSE Films video directed by Amitanshu Das, has received a 2011 Telly Bronze Award in Education Documentary. 

The 26-minute documentary follows a team of educators and college students working at Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School, a summer reading and writing program for children in West Philadelphia. The School aims to instill a love of learning and self-esteem in kids growing up in a neighborhood with one of the highest murder rates in the country.

Featured in the film are Penn GSE Professor Diana Slaughter-Defoe and GSE doctoral students Chonika Coleman and Valerie Adams. Produced by Penn GSE Films in collaboration with Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships and with the support of the Children’s Defense Fund, Freedom School aired on WHYY in February. 

Telly Awards are presented annually to local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, video and film productions, and work created for the web. 

Wireless Student Competition
Real-Time and Embedded Systems Laboratory members Miroslav Pajic, Srinivas Vemuri, Mansimar Aneja and Harsh Jain have received first prize in the 2011 Honeywell Users Group Wireless Student Competition for their project entitled “Distributed Wireless Controller Grids for Robust Sensor/Controller/Actuator Networks.” Mr. Pajic is a doctoral student in electrical and systems engineering, Mr. Vemuri and Mr. Jain are students in the electrical engineering master’s program, and Mr. Aneja is a student in the robotics master’s program.

KWH Student Scholarships
The Kelly Writers House announced that three students are recipients of special scholarships they will retain until they graduate. Kate Herzlin, C’14, has been awarded the Behrman Family Scholarship; Emily Harnett, C’13, has been awarded a Kane Family Scholarship; and Gwen Lewis, C’14, has been awarded the Douglas W. Caterfino Endowed Scholarship for a Young Writer. These endowed funds have been made available to students affiliated with the Kelly Writers House and Penn’s writing communities.

Seltzer Family Digital Media Awards
Penn Libraries Board Member Jeff Seltzer (W’78) and his wife Annie, have once again enabled the University of Pennsylvania Libraries to award five students the 2011 Seltzer Family Digital Media Awards. Megan Lewis-Velong, Pallavi Podapati, Eliana Ritts, Sacha Samotin and Jaehee Yoo will each have exclusive use of $1,000 of technology for one year. Proposed technology items include video cameras, audio recorders, still cameras and multimedia software. The awards are administrated and managed through the Penn Libraries in partnership with the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF). The five funded projects are:

Under the guidance of Dr. Gary Hatfield, Seybert Professor of Philosophy, and Brent Wahl, lecturer of photography in fine arts, Megan Lewis-Velong (C’12) will conduct a new media project for her senior thesis in visual studies. She will use video and sound recording equipment in her processes of investigating and depicting the ways we perceive sensory and importantly, visual stimuli. Ms. Lewis-Velong aims to examine embodiment, emotion, and phenomenology through visceral art and will create an art installation that interposes the viewers into the role of both participants and observers.

Under the guidance of Dr. David Barnes, associate professor of history and sociology of science and director of the Health and Societies Program, Pallavi Podapati (C’13) will use high-quality photographs to create a visual display of her research on residents of West Virginia in collaboration with the non-profit organization Appalachia Watch. She aims to increase awareness of environmental and health impacts of coal-mining.

Under the guidance of Dr. Timothy Corrigan, professor of English and cinema studies, Eliana Ritts (C’12, W’12) will use video recording equipment to make a short documentary film about the ethnically Chinese Jewish community in Kaifeng, China. She plans an ethnographic study with a focus on identity to explore conflicts and contradictions within Chinese Jewish identities.

Under the guidance of Dr. Matthew Levendusky, assistant professor of political science, Sacha Samotin (C’14, W’14) will use audio recording equipment to explore leadership qualities and personal histories of members and staff of the US House of Representatives by interviewing current and former members of Congress and their staff, building on prior work experience on Capitol Hill.

Under the guidance of Dr. John Keenan, professor of electrical and systems engineering,  Jaehee Yoo (C’13) will use video recording equipment to create a documentary comparing and contrasting the daily lives of inner-city teenage girls in Philadelphia, in collaboration with the Women’s Campaign International, with similar-age girls in Kumasi, Ghana, in collaboration with Penn Engineering’s International Development Summer Institute.

Jeff Seltzer also serves on the Advisory Board of the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business and the Alumni Advisory Committee for the Wharton Sports Business Initiative.

Almanac - July 12, 2011, Volume 58, No. 01