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Honors & Other Things

March 20, 2012, Volume 58, No. 26

Art Society Chair: Dr. Birch
Dr. Eugenie L. Birch, the Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education in the department of city and regional planning in the School of Design, has been elected chair of the Municipal Art Society of New York’s board of directors. “She brings an exceptional thoughtfulness and a unusual breadth of knowledge and experience to thinking about urban life,” said Vin Cipolla, president of MAS. Dr. Birch also co-directs the Penn Institute for Urban Research.

USCAP Awards for Two Professors
Two professors in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine were presented awards at the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) meeting in Vancouver last weekend.

Dr. Prabodh Gupta, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, is the recipient of the 2012 Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology L.C. Tao Educator of the Year Award. The award is given to a pathologist in recognition of his or her meritorious service and contributions to the field of cytopathology education. Dr. Gupta’s clinical expertise is in cytopathology with a particular interest in the development of cervical and lung cancer. Dr. Gupta is also director of cytopathology, the Cytometry Laboratory, and the Cytopathology Fellowship Program at the Perelman School of Medicine, where he has demonstrated an exemplary dedication and commitment to education.

Dr. Virginia A. LiVolsi, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, is the recipient of the 2012 Harvey Goldman Master Teacher Award. Dr. LiVolsi’s clinical expertise is in thyroid, parathyroid pathology, gynecological pathology, and head and neck pathology/salivary glands, and her research interests include the pathogenesis of thyroid neoplasms. She has served as chair and is currently a member of the pathology panel of the Chernobyl Tumor Bank, an international group of endocrine pathologists who examine and categorize the thyroid tumors which have occurred in children and teenagers exposed to the nuclear disaster in the Ukraine in 1986. The award was founded in 2011 in memory of Dr. Harvey Goldman, professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and an international leader in gastrointestinal pathology, who died in 2009.

Laparoscopic Skills Challenge: Mr. Hashimoto
Perelman School of Medicine student Dan Hashimoto claimed the top spot in the Top Gun Laparoscopic Skills Challenge at the annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Mr. Hashimoto defeated a chief resident and a third year surgical resident from another institution to become the first medical student to place first in the competition since its inception at ACS in 1996. The Penn surgery team advanced to the finals, beating out 30 other medical students, residents, fellows, and attending surgeons. Started by Dr. James Rosser of Morehouse Medical College, participants perform rigorous tasks to show their proficiency in laparoscopic surgery, while Dr. Rosser attempts to intimidate participants as he depicts an attending surgeon evaluating each participant in an operating room environment.

Materials Research Society: Dr. Murray
Dr. Christopher B. Murray, Richard Perry University Professor and professor in the departments of materials science and engineering in SEAS and chemistry in SAS, has been named a 2012 Materials Research Society (MRS) Fellow for his “innovations in the synthesis of nanomaterials with precisely controlled dimensions by chemical approaches; outstanding contributions in nanoparticle self-assembly; and pioneering research in the design of nanoparticle-based devices.” Fellows are outstanding MRS members whose sustained and distinguished contributions to the advancement of materials research are internationally recognized. Fellows represent excellence in science and engineering and dedication to the advancement of materials research.

Ivy Classic Champions: Penn Gymnastics
For the 11th time as a program, the Penn Gymnastics team has won the Ivy Classic championship with a score of 192.650. This win marks the first time that the Quakers have captured the title in consecutive seasons since the  four straight Ivy Classics that they won in 1997-2000.

Urban Design Competition: PennDesign Team
The PennDesign team [IN]Filtrate won honorable mention at the 2012 ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition for superior focus on water treatment. The interdisciplinary team consisted of Eduardo Santamaria Ruvalcaba (MLA/MAR ’14), Michael Ruane (MCP’12), Anne Leslie (MCP’12), David Dobkin (MCP ’12), and Eric De Feo (MAR’12). Stormwater management, wetland ecologies, pedestrian mobility, and cooling micro-climates were among the major issues addressed.

Interdisciplinary teams participating in the widely-recognized competition were challenged with creating a practical and workable scheme for the best use of approximately 16.3 acres owned by the United States Postal Service.
The competition strives to encourage cooperation and teamwork among future land use professionals and allied professions, such as architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, engineering, real estate development, finance, psychology and law. It is open to graduate students who are pursuing real estate-related studies at universities in the United States and Canada.

Honor for Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service and the US Department of Education awarded the University of Pennsylvania with the Presidential Award in the 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for Penn's commitment to bettering the community through community service and service learning.

Five higher education institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania, received the Presidential Award, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to community service. The universities were honored last week at the annual American Council on Education meeting in Los Angeles.

Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the initiative celebrates the transformative power and volunteer spirit that exists within the higher education community.

"Benjamin Franklin described the purpose of the University of Pennsylvania, the college he founded, as educating students with 'An inclination join'd with an Ability to serve mankind, one's Country, Friends and Family...'," said Dr. Ira Harkavy, associate vice president and founding director of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at Penn. "Franklin's spirit and approach to education is more alive now at Penn than ever before with President Amy Gutmann's Penn Compact, her strategic vision for moving the University from excellence to eminence. Local engagement is not only a core tenet of the Penn Compact, but it is also an integral part of the University's mission now and into the future."

Penn received the Presidential Award for its support of Summer Learning, which provides a safe, healthy environment for academic enrichment during summer breaks to help students retain what they learned during the academic year.  Penn's summer learning programs include math and literacy-based tutoring, camps encouraging exploration of new fields of learning, and community service-based high school internships.

The School of Engineering & Applied Science administers a free science, technology, and engineering camp geared toward middle school students, targeting underrepresented minorities and girls. Penn engages local high school students in the camps to serve as mentors to their young counterparts.

Penn students serve West Philadelphia elementary students with literacy and math-based programming through Freedom School, a 6-week summer program. Local high school students, who are being mentored by Penn students, help lead the classrooms and engage kids in project-based learning involving art, dance, cooking, and field trips.

The Corporation for National and Community Service administers the Honor Roll in collaboration with the US Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education.


Almanac - March 20, 2012, Volume 58, No. 26