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Honors and Other Things

December 6, 2011, Volume 58, No. 14

Marshall Scholars

Metzman Poll

The Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania announced that Corey Metzman and Michael Poll have won United Kingdom Government Scholarships known as Marshall Scholarships, for graduate studies in the United Kingdom.  Mr. Metzman is a senior pursuing a dual degree in international studies and business in Penn’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School through the Huntsman Program. Mr. Poll is a 2009 Penn graduate.

Mr. Metzman received a Truman Scholarship in the spring of 2011 (Almanac April 12, 2011). He has demonstrated a deep personal and scholarly commitment to public service, both locally and internationally. He has traveled extensively for his studies and research while at Penn. On a recent trip to Nicaragua, he assisted a Penn Graduate School of Education research team led by Dr. Sharon Ravitch with its development research on a rural coffee farm, and he is now conducting the statistical analysis as a full-fledged researcher. He is co-founder of Penn’s Dorm Room Diplomacy, a cross-campus attempt to generate mutual understanding and communication between college students in the United States and the Middle East.

Mr. Metzman plans to attend the London School of Economics to pursue a master’s of science in development studies, followed by Oxford University for another MSc in evidence-based social intervention.

While at Penn, Mr. Poll, the University’s other recently announced Marshall recipient, was a music major, and a student member of the Penn Green Campus Partnership. Since graduating from Penn, he has studied solfège and conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music and German and history at the Freie Universität in Berlin. Mr. Poll studied, performed and lectured in Poland as a Fulbright Scholar. He has given solo musical performances locally and internationally and was a faculty member at the Bryn Mawr Conservatory of Music from 2007 through 2010.

Mr. Poll plans to attend the Royal Academy of Music to study classical guitar performance.

National Certification: PAS Teachers

Three Penn Alexander School teachers have achieved National Board Certification, the highest level of certification in the field of teaching. This accomplishment brings the total to 12 teachers with this credential at the school. The teachers are Michele Dixon (elementary science, GSE/C’07), Jayne Downing (librarian) and Jenny Shieh (5th grade, GSE’07)

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) created the certification, a voluntary advanced teaching credential, to recognize effective and accomplished teachers who meet high standards based on what teachers should know and be able to do.

Distinguished Educator: Dr. Beech


Dr. Jill Beech, the Georgia and Phillip Hofmann Professor in Medicine and Equine Reproduction in the School of Veterinary Medicine, has received the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ (AAEP) Distinguished Educator Award.

The Distinguished Educator Award recognizes a teacher or mentor who has played an integral role in the educational and professional development of veterinary students through exceptional skills, character, leadership, and knowledge.

Monell Center Board: Dr. Fluharty

Dr. Steven J. Fluharty, Senior Vice Provost for Research, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Monell Chemical Senses Center. The Monell Center, located in the University City Science Center, advances scientific understanding of the mechanisms and functions of the chemical senses, primarily taste and smell, to benefit human health and well-being.

Distinguished Research Lecturer: Dr. Curley

Dr. Martha A.Q. Curley, the Ellen and Robert Kapito Professor in Nursing Science, was selected as the 2012 Distinguished Research Lecturer by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The award recognizes nurses whose program of research significantly influences high acuity and critical care.

In addition to her faculty position at Penn Nursing, Dr. Curley is a nurse scientist in critical care and cardiovascular nursing at Children’s Hospital Boston.

Her work includes patient positioning, eye care, endotracheal extubation and sedation management. She is currently studying better ways to manage sedation for children on lifesaving ventilators as the principal investigator for RESTORE, a five-year multisite clinical trial funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Dr. Curley will present her groundbreaking research in May, during AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition.

Outstanding Educator: Dr. Quinn

Dr. Peter D. Quinn, the Louis Schoenleber Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Penn Dental Medicine’s department of oral and maxillofacial surgery and pharmacology, received the 2011 Donald B. Osbon Award for an Outstanding Educator, presented by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS).

The Osbon Award is reserved for those individuals who exhibit the highest ideals of an educator, earn the respect of their peers, foster an excellent relationship between their educational program and oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the community, are actively involved in efforts to improve residency and continuing education both locally and nationally, and are respected and admired by current and former students.
Dr. Quinn is also vice dean for professional services at the Perelman School of Medicine and is senior vice president for clinical practices for the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

ADA Council: Dr. Sollecito


Dr. Thomas Sollecito, chair and professor of oral medicine at Penn Dental Medicine, has been appointed to the Council on Scientific Affairs (CSA) of the American Dental Association (ADA). His appointment was effective October 2011 and he will serve a four-year term with the Council. The CSA provides recommendations to the ADA’s policymaking bodies on scientific issues. The Council also promotes, reviews, evaluates, and conducts studies on scientific matters.

Outstanding Junior Faculty: Dr. Subotnik

The Computers in Chemistry (COMP) program division of the American Chemical Society has named Dr. Joseph Subotnik as an HP Outstanding Junior Faculty member for spring 2012.

The goal of the awards is to help new faculty members garner visibility within the COMP community.

Dr. Subotnik, assistant professor of chemistry in SAS, studies theoretical quantum chemistry, with a focus in electronic transport in molecules and man-made nanostructures.

Dental Medicine’s Award for Outstanding Service to Students

The Penn Dental Medicine Executive Student Council presented its Award for Outstanding Service to Students as part of Making the Penn Dental Connection, an annual alumni and student networking event, held November 1 at the Union League of Philadelphia. The recipients included Dr. Elliot Hersh, professor, department of oral surgery/pharmacology, and Dr. Prem Patel, a 2010 graduate of Penn Dental Medicine and current resident in the School’s Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery postdoctoral program.

The Penn Dental Medicine student body nominates and votes on two recipients of the Award once per term. The Award recognizes an individual or department that has gone above and beyond the expected standard of high performance to make noteworthy contributions to the development and education of students.  Jeff Li (’12), President of the Executive Student Council, reports that in his nomination, Dr. Hersh, who teaches pharmacology, was noted for his caring attitude. “He enjoys teaching and wants his students to do well.”

Dr. Patel, who was President of the Executive Student Council when he was a DMD student, has continued to support Penn Dental Medicine students as he began his oral surgery residency last year. “His hard work in coordinating the mock osteology for first-year students was invaluable; he wanted to see each and every one of us succeed and served as a great resource,” said his nomination. “He also took time out to be part of the first meeting of the Oral Surgery Society this year and answered many questions, which greatly benefited all of the students attending.

Penn Tops Ranking for Security

For the fifth year in a row, the University of Pennsylvania has been awarded the No. 1 spot in Security magazine’s “Security 500” list for the higher education sector.

Maureen S. Rush, vice president for public safety, says the top ranking reflects the commitment that Penn’s Division of Public Safety (DPS) has to keeping the campus safe. DPS includes University Police; Fire and Emergency Services; Technology and Emergency Communications; Security Services and Special Services—with 116 sworn Penn police officers.

“This status would not be possible without the strong support of President Amy Gutmann and Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli and their recognition of the importance of safety and security for our community’s vitality,” Ms. Rush said.

Entrepreneurial Innovation Award

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected a University of Pennsylvania team as a member of its inaugural class of NSF Innovation Corps awards. The I-Corps Awards recognize research that has the potential for commercial applications and connects scientists to entrepreneurial resources.

“The idea is to facilitate the transfer of good ideas and intellectual property from the lab into the commercial world,” said team member Dr. Charlie Johnson, professor of physics and astronomy in the School of Arts and Sciences. “To borrow a catchphrase from the chemist George Whitesides, ‘Innovation plus entrepreneurship equals jobs.’”

In addition to Dr. Johnson, the Penn team members include Dr. Zhengtang Luo, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Johnson’s lab, and Dr. Michael Patterson, a member of the Wharton Executive MBA program. The three were brought together through Penn’s Center for Technology Transfer and its UPstart program.

UPstart serves as a business incubator for technologies developed at the University. It helped the team members found their start-up company, Graphene Frontiers, and encouraged them to apply for the NSF award.

The science behind the Penn start-up is a cheaper and more consistent method of making graphene, the Nobel Prize-winning nanomaterial with unbeatable strength and conductivity. Graphene promises to revolutionize everything from scientific instruments to consumer electronics, but current manufacturing techniques can only produce small flakes of it at a time.

Graphene Frontier’s method aims to manufacture large sheets of graphene at room temperature and pressure, unlike the extreme conditions necessary in other techniques.  

“The fact that this is done at atmospheric pressure makes it possible to produce graphene at a lower cost and in a more flexible way,” Dr. Luo said. “The overall production system is simpler, less expensive and more flexible.”

The award comes with a $50,000 prize, which will be used to fund Dr. Luo’s position as Graphene Frontier’s chief scientific officer. Mr. Patterson will serve as the company’s CEO.

As I-Corps Award recipients, the team members will attend an NSF workshop at Stanford University, where they will receive a crash course in overcoming the hurdles technology start-ups often face.  

Almanac - December 6, 2011, Volume 58, No. 14