News

Mitchell and Margo Blutt: Endowing Professorships at Three Penn Schools

  • December 12, 2017
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caption:Margo and Mitchell Blutt

Mitchell J. Blutt, C'78, M'82, WG'87, and Margo Krody Blutt have made a gift of $4.5 million, including matching funds, to endow three Presidential Professorships across the University of Pennsylvania. The Mitchell J. Blutt and Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Professorships will be held by faculty members in the School of Arts and Sciences, the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School.

Presidential Professorships are awarded to exceptional scholars, at any rank, who contribute to faculty eminence through diversity. 

“Mitchell and Margo’s commitment to faculty is inspiring and will have a major impact across the University,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “Faculty excellence is at the heart of everything we do, and the Blutt Presidential Professorships will allow us to recruit innovative teachers and researchers. It is especially fitting that this gift will benefit the three Penn schools from which Mitchell graduated.  We are grateful for Mitchell and Margo’s engagement and generosity.” 

“Margo and I are delighted to make this gift in support of Penn’s outstanding faculty and commitment to diversity,” said Dr. Blutt. “Faculty at each of my three Penn schools provided me with guidance and unique insights on complex ideas that have shaped my career. It is our hope that holders of the Blutt Presidential Professorships will do the same for future generations of Penn students.”

Dr. Blutt is the chief executive officer of Consonance Capital, an investment firm focused on the healthcare industry. He was formerly the executive partner of J.P. Morgan Partners, the private equity investment fund of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and one of the largest private equity and venture capital activities in the world. He is also an adjunct professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

At Penn, Dr. Blutt is a member of the Board of Overseers of the School of Arts and Sciences and a former member of the Penn Medicine Board, where he served on its Executive and Finance Committees. He previously served as a University Trustee, Chairman of the University Trustees’ Committee for Strategic Initiatives, and Vice Chairman of both the Trustees’ Diversity Committee and the University Committee for Undergraduate Financial Aid.

The Blutt’s past Penn giving has benefitted undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, internships, and professorships in the School of Arts and Sciences, the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School. The Blutts also support music at Penn through a popular live music competition held each year at Homecoming, a music program and a songwriting symposium.

New Interdisciplinary Center to Promote the Study of Human Intelligence and Behavior

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caption:Sharon Thompson-Schill

A new center at Penn Arts and Sciences has been established to unite researchers, programs and initiatives involving human intelligence and behavior across the University. Known as MindCORE (Center for Outreach, Research, and Education), the center will promote multidisciplinary research aimed at fundamental questions of human cognition, intelligence and behavior. It will also seek to engage broad audiences with the latest research findings and provide a home for several undergraduate and graduate programs. 

Penn Arts and Sciences Dean Steven J. Fluharty, who directed the School’s undergraduate Biological Basis of Behavior major for more than 10 years, noted, “Penn has a long history of excellence in research and education on the brain and behavior, with extensive cross-School collaborations already in place. MindCORE will build on these strengths and ensure that Penn remains at the cutting edge in this new era, where researchers are making game-changing discoveries into phenomena including brain abnormalities, decision-making and the fundamental nature of human intelligence.” MindCORE is one of the School’s key endeavors under the “Mapping the Mind” initiative identified in the School’s strategic plan, Foundations and Frontiers

The Center’s inaugural faculty director, Sharon Thompson-Schill, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychology, notes that Penn has an array of mind-brain-related centers, institutes and programs that have grown organically over the years. “MindCORE will help to consolidate these activities within one umbrella organization and will support them strategically with resources such as seed funds, technology, staffing and programming to make them more efficient, visible and impactful,” she commented. 

A main focus of the center will be to catalyze new research on the mind and foster innovative collaborations between different departments and centers within Penn Arts and Sciences, as well as with other Penn schools including the Perelman School of Medicine, Wharton, Engineering, and the Annenberg School for Communication. 

A variety of MindCORE programs, including lectures, partnerships with local museums and schools, and community science initiatives, will engage the academic community and the public. MindCORE will also facilitate more interaction among a number of brain- and behavior-related undergraduate programs including psychology, biology, linguistics, and Biological Basis of Behavior, and will become the home of the Cognitive Science major. In addition, there will be new opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to conduct research and disseminate the results.

Serving as MindCORE’s executive director is Heather Calvert. Ms. Calvert was the managing director of the  Botswana-UPenn Partnership, the Perelman School of Medicine’s global health program in Botswana focused on education, clinical treatment, and research from 2008 to 2017, a time when the program grew from four to more than 250 employees. Previously she was the associate director for the S.S. Huebner Foundation for Insurance Education housed within the Wharton School. 

MindCORE is led by an Executive Committee comprising Ms. Calvert and Dr. Thompson-Schill, along with David Brainard, professor of psychology; Joseph Kable, associate professor of psychology; Nicole Rust, associate professor of psychology and Michael Weisberg, professor of philosophy, and advised by an 18-member multi-school Faculty Advisory Board. MindCORE will officially launch in January 2018 under the motto: Penn’s hub for the integrative study of the mind, connecting researchers across our campus and with our community.

Providing Students with ISBNs and Price Information for Books

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The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires universities to make available to students, for each course, the International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) and price information for required/recommended books and supplemental materials.

To comply with this requirement, the University of Pennsylvania has worked closely with Barnes & Noble, managers of the Penn Bookstore, to maintain a simple and cost-effective process to provide ISBNs to our students. Through the Bookstore’s online system, students will have access to a complete list of materials for all their courses, along with the ISBNs for each listed text.

As in the past, textbook information can be provided to other vendors, and students are in no way required to purchase their books at the Penn Bookstore. 

Faculty are key to the success of the University’s efforts to act in accordance with this regulation. To that end, the efforts by Penn faculty members to work with the Bookstore to provide this important information for our students is both encouraged and appreciated. 

—Wendell Pritchett, Provost

—Beth Winkelstein, Vice Provost for Education

Penn Bookstore: Major Construction Project

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The Penn Bookstore is planning a major construction project which will entail the complete disassembly, removal and replacement of its current two escalators. The work will be done in non-contiguous phases starting in December 2017 with an anticipated completion date of February 2019. (See timeline below) 

The planned work is essential to improve the reliability and serviceability of the escalators—the original equipment manufacturer that was used in the 1999 installation has ceased operation and, as such, replacement parts are difficult to obtain and maintenance workers are less familiar with the mechanics of the particular model. 

In addition to the escalator replacement, the project also includes refurbishments to the flooring, restrooms, and fixtures and the transformation of the café to a fully-licensed Starbucks offering the complete range of coffees, to-go meal options, the ability to use the Starbucks Mobile App, and increased seating capacity. 

Recognizing the important role that the Bookstore plays in campus life, the project has been strategically planned to minimize the impact on the Penn Community. The work has been divided into four separate periods so as not to impede major University events such as Commencement and Move-In. Given the magnitude of the required work, however, there will be impacts during other activities such as Homecoming and Family Weekend. 

The Bookstore will retain its regular operating schedule for the entirety of the project. Construction barriers will allow the project to move forward while easing any disruption to the shopping experience, merchandise will be relocated from impacted areas and Bookstore staff will be ready to assist customers in finding repositioned items. The events space at the Bookstore will continue to be available. The current elevator will also remain in operation throughout the project. 

The project will necessitate some street closures which will occur during low traffic periods and work will be scheduled to limit noise to certain hours. 

The timeline is as follows:

  • December 19, 2017 to early January 2018—Construction of a temporary staircase to supplement the existing passenger elevator and facilitate access to the second floor of the Bookstore while the escalators are being replaced.
  • February and March 2018—Café renovation
  • Mid-September 2018 to Mid-January 2019—Escalator removal and replacement
  • February 2019—Removal of temporary stairs

Questions regarding this project may be directed to  bsd-info-bsd@pobox.upenn.edu

Summary Annual Report for the University of Pennsylvania Health & Welfare Program

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This is a summary of the annual report of The University of Pennsylvania Health & Welfare Program, Plan No. 503, sponsored by The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, EIN 23-1352685, for the period that began on July 1, 2016 and ended on June 30, 2017. This annual report has been filed with the Employee Benefits Security Administration, as required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). Please note that not all employees are eligible to participate in all of the benefits available under the Plan. Please consult your Plan materials for specific eligibility information.

Medical, Prescription Drug, Dental, and Long Term Disability Benefits

The University of Pennsylvania has committed itself to pay certain medical and prescription drug claims, dental benefits and long-term disability benefits incurred under the terms of the Plan on a self-insured basis. In addition, the Plan has a contract with CIGNA Health and Life Insurance Company to pay certain medical claims incurred under the terms of the contract. The total premiums paid for the plan year ending June 30, 2017 to CIGNA were $115,805.  The Plan also has a contract with Standard Insurance Company to pay certain long-term disability benefits incurred under the terms of the contract. The total premiums paid to Standard Insurance Company for the plan year ending June 30, 2017 were $1,241,912.

Vision Benefits

The Plan has contracts with Davis Vision Plan and Vision Service Plan to pay vision claims incurred under the terms of the contract.  The total premiums paid under these contracts for the plan year ending June 30, 2017 to Davis Vision Plan were $680,771 and to Vision Service Plan were $447,935.  

Life Insurance Benefits

The Plan has a contract with Aetna Life Insurance Company to pay life insurance, dependent life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance claims incurred under the terms of the contract. The total premiums paid under this contract for the plan year ending June 30, 2017 were $6,747,023.  

Long Term Care Benefits

The Plan has contracts with John Hancock Life Insurance Company and Genworth Life Insurance Company to pay long term care claims incurred under the terms of the contracts. The total premiums paid under these contracts for the plan year ending June 30, 2017 to John Hancock Life Insurance Co. were $1,229,575 and to Genworth Life Insurance Co. were $775,838.

Your Rights to Additional Information

You have the right to receive a copy of the full annual report, or any part thereof, on request. Insurance information is included in this annual report. The items listed below are included in that report:

  1. financial information and information on payments to service providers; and
  2. insurance information including sales commissions paid by insurance carriers.

To obtain a copy of the full annual report, or any part thereof, write or call the office of the Plan Administrator, c/o Joanne M. Blythe, Retirement Manager, University of Pennsylvania, 3401 Walnut Street, Suite 527A, Philadelphia, PA  19104-6228, (215) 898-9947.  The charge to cover copying costs will be $5 for the full annual report or 25 cents per page for any part thereof.

You also have the legally protected right under ERISA to examine the annual report in the offices of the Employer at the address for the Plan Administrator, above, and at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., or to obtain a copy from the U.S. Department of Labor upon payment of copying costs.  Requests to the Department should be addressed to: Public Disclosure Room, Room N-1513, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210.

Deaths

Fred Leonard, Rowing

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caption:Fred Leonard

Fred William Leonard, a longtime rowing coach for the University of Pennsylvania and former national champion rower, died on August 29. He was 88 years old.

Mr. Leonard earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 1952. He spent two years serving in the U.S. Army, including a year in Korea in a M*A*S*H unit in the DMZ as a sergeant. He then began a career in the insurance business which lasted for more than 50 years. Leonard Insurance Group became the world’s largest provider of shell insurance for rowers in the United States.

Mr. Leonard coached rowing at the Haverford School before joining Penn, where he served as lightweight rowing coach from 1964-1991. During his time with the Quakers, he accumulated a 109-81 overall record in cup races, including undefeated finishes in four straight seasons from 1975-1978. Additionally, the Penn Lightweight Rowing Varsity Eight won the EARC Sprints Championship in 1976 and the Varsity Four won the IRA Regatta national championships in 1982.

In 2016, the Fred W. Leonard Men’s Lightweight Rowing Head Coach Endowment Fund was created, with more than 50 former oarsmen raising more than $1 million for the position in honor of Mr. Leonard.

Mr. Leonard was a member of the Undine Barge Club for more than 70 years and held many offices there.

He is survived by his wife, Vivian; sons, John F. (Anne) and Paul G.; a sister, Ruth Leslie; sister-in-law, Ramona Leonard and four grandchildren, Jessica Kramer, Daniel, Timothy and Thomas Leonard.

Governance

Statement from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee

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“On behalf of the Standing Faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee strongly opposes aspects of the proposed federal tax legislation that will, among other provisions, prove inimical towards higher education by taxing graduate tuition waivers as earned income. The proposed tax code overhaul will make graduate education unaffordable for many of our students. The Faculty Senate encourages Penn community members to contact their legislative officials to oppose this aspect of the proposed legislation which will impose a significant financial burden on many of our graduate students and erode the university’s research and training mission.”

December Council Coverage

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On December 6, at the University Council’s last meeting of the semester there was a presentation on athletics and extracurricular activities. Grace Calhoun, director of the Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA), began the presentation with brief video, Champion Your Life, and then she highlighted the division’s core values: character first, aiming big, humility, enjoyment and community matters. She listed three strategic priorities: competitive excellence, innovative student-athlete experience and engagement. Campus Recreation aims to engage students, faculty and staff and the broader campus community. Their goal is to have 70 percent of the undergraduates use one of Penn’s recreational centers (Pottruck Fitness Center or Fox Fitness Center). Last year those facilities were used by about 55 percent of undergraduates; last week usage was at 85 percent based on swipes. Graduate student usage has also increased since last year, up from 35 percent to 55 percent. Recreation has had joint initiatives with Human Resources, including Be in the Know for faculty and staff.

The DRIA facilities equal some 24 acres which include Franklin Field, Pottruck and Fox Fitness Centers, the racquet centers and tennis courts which are often in use nearly around the clock by over 30 varsity teams and others. They have programs, in conjunction with the Netter Center, that involve community service such as the Young Quakers.

Brian Sennett, the head team physician, spoke about the various aspects of Penn sports performance which include mental health and wellness, sports psychology, sports medicine, athletic training, strength & conditioning and nutrition. He also spoke about the concussion detection and prevention efforts that Penn has been involved in spearheading. Penn is one of 30 schools involved in a longitudinal study funded by a $30 million grant to decrease injury rates and prevent concussions. Penn is not only making strides through research but also by football rule changes designed to make players less prone to concussions.

President Amy Gutmann added that Penn’s leadership role in the national research on concussions and the proactive rule changes are two examples of what the University is doing to improve the injury rates.

The second portion of the Council meeting was devoted to the Open Forum which consisted of four speakers who raised concerns about providing health insurance coverage for in vitro fertilization for same-sex male couples; roster management and the issues of gender inequality in Penn Athletics; University policy on giving credits to college-level courses taken before enrollment at Penn and student representation in Penn’s Board of Trustees.

The topics raised during New Business included: a reevaluation of the procedures for reporting complaints of sexual harassment so that they would be reported to an impartial party rather than a dean or department chair; standardizing the procedures for dismissal of graduate students/master’s students; the stress caused by the December 4 Muslim travel ban approved by the Supreme Court; the difficult semester which was caused by various disasters on the national level; the desire for campus conversations to reflect all ends of the political spectrum; the topic of carbon neutrality and divestment.

Honors

Charles Bradley and Elizabeth Grice: 2017 One Health Award

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caption:Charles Bradley and Elizabeth Grice

Charles W. Bradley, of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Elizabeth A. Grice, of the Perelman School of Medicine, have been named the 2017 recipients of Penn’s One Health Award, recognizing their exemplary interdisciplinary collaboration in improving health care for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. The One Health Award was established in 2013 by the deans of the four health schools at Penn: Penn Medicine, Penn Nursing, Penn Dental Medicine and Penn Vet.

The award ceremony took place in November at Penn Vet as part of the 2017 Microbiome Symposium. 

Research conducted by Dr. Bradley and Dr. Grice has uncovered important insights about the skin microbiome of atopic dermatitis (AD) in dogs compared to humans. Canine AD shares important features of the human version, making dogs an excellent clinical model. The research revealed that there is a correlation between the skin’s barrier function, the immune system, and the composition and diversity of bacterial colonization during flares. The hope is that insights gained from this and future studies will enable clinicians to treat AD by altering the skin’s microbiome without antibiotic use.

“We are delighted to recognize the extraordinary research collaborations throughout the University that advance the One Health initiative,” said Joan C. Hendricks, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “Drs. Bradley and Grice exemplify the spirit of One Health by working to advance the knowledge base for the same skin disease across species. They are also superb in their focus on publicizing the One Health approach in their presentations at scientific and medical conferences.” 

Dr. Bradley is an assistant professor of pathology in the department of pathobiology at Penn Vet. His research interests are focused on dermatopathology and the role of the microbiome in skin disease, particularly canine atopic dermatitis. 

“This award is a true honor, and symbolizes the interdisciplinary support and friendships that have grown out of our work, across campus and health systems,” said Dr. Bradley. “Elizabeth and her lab continue to be tremendous colleagues and partners in advancing our research goals. I am thankful for Penn leading in the One Health paradigm where these far-reaching collaborations can take root and flourish.”

Dr. Grice is an assistant professor of dermatology and microbiology at Penn Medicine. Her research focuses on host-microbe interactions of the skin and elucidating their roles in skin health, disease, and wound healing. Dr. Grice is on the Board of Directors of the Wound Healing Society and chairs the Admissions Committee for the Genomics and Computational Biology PhD program at Penn.

“The collaboration between my lab and Charles and Penn Vet has been extremely productive, and has also brought to light the values with which we approach our research,” said Dr. Grice. “We strive to embrace ‘One Health’ in all lines of research in the lab, recognizing its impact on not only human medicine, but animals and the environment.”

Deep Jariwala: Forbes 30 Under 30

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caption:Deep Jariwala

Deep Jariwala is one of the 30 young researchers on the Forbes 30 Under 30: Science list this year.

Dr. Jariwala is joining Penn Engineering’s department of electrical and systems engineering in January as an assistant professor. He will be leading Penn’s Device Research and Engineering Laboratory.

According to Forbes, “Dr. Jariwala develops nanometer and atomic scale devices with applications in computing, sensors, and renewable energy. His materials research made it possible to build solar cells with thicknesses smaller than a thousandth of a human hair. His doctorate research is helping to shape next-generation integrated circuits, and he’s also invented three new types of electrical devices.”

He joined the Atwater group at California Institute of Technology​ as a Resnick Postdoctoral Fellow​ in 2015 after earning his PhD in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University in 2015 and his B.Tech in metallurgical engineering from IIT-BHU in 2010. In his undergraduate days, he was a summer research intern in Dr. Pulickel Ajayan’s research group at Rice University. There, he co-authored a research article in Nature Materials which has garnered over 1,100 citations.

He is a device and materials engineer with extensive experience in semiconductor fabrication, processing and characterization. His  primary interests lie in exploring novel materials for applications in electronic and photonic devices as well as in energy harvesting applications He is equally interested in studying fundamental physical and quantum phenomena in matter under confined environments and exploiting them for useful technology. 

He develops nanometer and atomic scale devices with applications in computing, sensors, and renewable energy. His doctorate research is helping to shape next-generation integrated circuits.

Insup Lee: ACM Fellow

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caption:Insup Lee

Insup Lee, Cecilia Fitler Moore Professor in Penn Engineering’s  departments of computer and information science and electrical systems and engineering, has been appointed fellow status by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for “theoretical and practical contributions to compositional real-time scheduling and runtime verification.”

The ACM brings together computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. As the world’s largest computing society, ACM promotes of the highest standards and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development and professional networking.

Dr. Lee’s research interests are in real-time, embedded, and cyber physical systems, which increasingly affect our daily lives. His research goals are to ensure and improve the correctness, safety, timeliness, trustworthiness, security and compositionality of these systems. Dr. Lee has been developing techniques and tools for compositional real-time scheduling, model-based development, quantitative trust management and run-time verification. He has also been transitioning his research results into practice by applying them to the Internet of Medical Things.

Mary Naylor: Geriatric Society Award

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caption:Mary Naylor

Mary Naylor, Penn Nursing’s Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology, and Director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health, recently received The Nancy Tatum, RN Award for Distinguished Service. The award recognizes her research, service and dedication to the field of Geriatric Nursing. The Eastern Pennsylvania Geriatrics Society (EPGS) honored Dr. Naylor at its annual meeting and awards ceremony in early December. EPGS is the regional affiliate of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), which is dedicated to the goal of advancing high standards of clinical care and quality of life for elderly individuals. It is a multidisciplinary group of health professionals involved in the care and services for the elderly.

Eric Tse, Penn Senior: Third-Annual Schwarzman Scholarship

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caption:Eric Tse

A senior from the University of Pennsylvania, Eric Tse of Beijing, has been awarded a Schwarzman Scholarship, which will fund one year of graduate study leading to a master’s degree in global affairs at China’s Tsinghua University.

Mr.  Tse is one of 142 selected to receive the third annual Schwarzman Scholarships, including students from 39 countries and 97 universities. This year, more than 4,000 people applied to the highly selective program for students who have demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities, along with the potential to bridge and understand cultural and political differences.

Designed to prepare future leaders for success in a rapidly changing world in which China plays a key role, the Schwarzman Scholarship will allow Mr. Tse to return to Beijing and live at Schwarzman College on the Tsinghua campus, which was constructed specifically for the scholars program.

Born in Seattle, Mr. Tse attended primary school in Beijing and secondary school in Hong Kong and will graduate with a degree in finance from the Wharton School this month. His Schwarzman Scholarship will begin in September 2018.

During his freshman year, Mr. Tse founded the Penn Wharton China Summit, which has grown to be the largest student-organized summit in the United States. In April, 1,500 students from 35 states and more than 84 cities came to Philadelphia to attend it. He also founded the China Summit Foundation, a non-governmental organization with 501(c)(3) status that helps charities and supports forums and educational and cultural initiatives launched by international students.

Inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, Blackstone co-founder Stephen A. Schwarzman contributed over $100 million to the Schwarzman Scholars program and is leading a campaign to raise an additional $500 million from others to endow the program. The inaugural Schwarzman Scholars included two Penn students and two Penn alumni (Almanac January 19, 2016).

Mr. Tse applied for the Schwarzman Scholarships with assistance from Penn’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF).

Campus Recognized as Bike Phriendly

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The University of Pennsylvania was honored by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia as a recipient of 2017 Bike-Phriendly Business Award for modeling excellence in providing bike-supportive employee amenities, facilities, encouragement, and office culture. Chloe Cerwinka, chair of the University’s Bike Committee; Penn Police Officer David Dager; and Michael Randolph of Penn Transit accepted the award on Penn’s behalf.

Business Services: Edwin R. Golden Award for Inclusive Excellence

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caption:Mark Mills

The University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Business Services has been awarded the 2017 Edwin R. Golden Award for Inclusive Excellence from the National Association of College Auxiliary Services. Mark Mills, executive director of Purchasing Services, accepted the award on Penn’s behalf at an awards ceremony and national conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on November 6.

The NACAS award recognized the University for its Inaugural Penn Supplier Diversity Forum & Expo, which it hosted in May. The Edwin R. Golden Award for Inclusive Excellence honors exemplary and outstanding service to cultural awareness in the profession of college auxiliary management and the promotion of inclusion in an ongoing fashion, through leadership in the areas of cultural diversity and equality.

“I am enormously proud of the partnership that the Penn team forged to conceive and execute the inaugural Supplier Diversity Forum and Expo,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “The leadership and drive of those involved ensure that Penn will continue to lead in this important arena and I could not be prouder or more pleased.”

The Expo and Forum were organized to raise awareness of Penn’s goals and objectives around supplier diversity and share best practices on inclusion. The event attracted over 350 people, bringing together 40 participating LGBTQ-, women- and minority-owned businesses, all local and diverse suppliers, Penn buyers, local agencies and organizations, all in support of supplier diversity.

Clean Air Commute Employer of the Year Award 2017

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Penn has been recognized by Philadelphia’s Clean Air Council as the 2017 Clean Air Commute Employer of the Year. Faculty and staff have a broad range of options to help them go the extra mile for sustainable commuting.

Law Enforcement K9s: Penn Vet Working Dog Center Canine Graduates

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caption:Officer James Sweenery and K9 Diesel, Whitemarsh Township Police Department; Officer Mike Carraccio and K9 Tico and Officer Tanya Spurley and K9 Kilo of the SEPTA Transit Police Department

At a special ceremony for four canine graduates of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center’s (PVWDC) K9 Patrol School, SEPTA and area police departments were recognized for completing 400 hours of patrol training.

  • German Shepherd Jerry (a graduate of the PVWDC’s foundational training program), specializing in patrol and narcotics detection, will join Officer Bryan Nawoschik of the Norristown Police Department 
  • Belgian Malinois Kilo, specializing in patrol and narcotics detection, will join Officer Tanya Spurley of SEPTA Transit Police (Kilo was donated to SEPTA by the Throw Away Dogs Project and attended scent detector school at the PVWDC)
  • Belgian Malinois Tico, specializing in patrol and narcotics detection, will join Officer Michael Carraccio of SEPTA Transit Police (Tico was donated to SEPTA by the Throw Away Dogs Project)
  • German Shepherd Nero, specializing in patrol and narcotics detection, will join Officer F. Sean Hayden of the Bensalem Police Department

K9s from Plymouth and Whitemarsh Townships, and their police officer handlers, were also recognized for completing 160 extra hours of patrol training.

Opened on September 11, 2012, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center is the nation’s premier research and educational facility dedicated to harnessing the unique strengths of our canine partners and producing an elite group of scent-detection dogs for public safety and health.

Dogs in the program are named in honor of individuals who lost their lives on 9/11 and canine heroes who served following the attacks.

In addition to providing foundational training for working dogs, the Center runs a K9 Basic Handler Patrol School & Scent Detector School for law enforcement K9s.

Features

Front Page Flashback

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December 2007: 

$10 Million Gift for Fox Leadership Program 

Alumni Robert A. Fox, C’52, and Penny Grossman Fox, ED’53, made a gift of $10 million to endow and expand the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program in the SAS. The Robert A. Fox Leadership Program (“Fox”) is dedicated to enriching the Penn undergraduate experience in ways that equip and empower students and recent alumni for present and future leadership roles. This donation brought the Foxes’ total support of the program to $23 million.

caption:Robert A. Fox and Penny Grossman Fox

Read more.

No Loan Financial Aid Initiative

President Amy Gutmann announced that Penn had expanded the financial aid program to eliminate loans for financially eligible undergraduate students regardless of family income. This initiative made it possible for students from a broad range of economic backgrounds to graduate debt-free.

Read more.

First Place Ranking for Safety

Penn earned the first-place ranking for safety by Security Magazine in the education (university) category for the first time. It has earned the same ranking in every subsequent year through 2017.

Read more.

December 1997:

Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute

Penn announced the creation of the Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center. The Abramson family made this possible with a $100 million gift, the largest single contribution to that date for cancer research to an NCI designated comprehensive cancer center. The goal of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute (AFCRI) is to transform scientific breakthroughs into innovative cancer treatments, with a focus on four primary research areas: cellular transformation, tumorigenesis, translational research and cancer prevention.

caption:Madlyn and Leonard Abramson

Read more.

December 1987:

True Grit

One of Penn’s longest-standing staff members, Delma Young, who was a Penn employee for 67 years, announced her retirement. Ms. Young joined Penn in 1920 as a secretary for the department of pathology, a position she held through nine chairmen of the department. She transitioned to part-time status in 1968, at which time her portrait was hung on the second floor of the John Morgan Building.

Read more.

December 1977:

The Campus Campaign

The Campus Campaign, headed by Dr. Charles Price, reached $4.3 million thanks to a $1 million pledge from the radiology department to fund a professorship in honor of Dr. Eugene Pendergrass.

Read more.

December 1967:

Dietrich Graduate Library Center

Dedication ceremonies were held for the $5 million Dietrich Graduate Library Center. Pennsylvania Governor Raymond P. Shafer was the dedication speaker.

Read more.

December 1957:

First Library Unit

Construction began on the first unit of the library-classroom building, making use of a $4 million allocation from the Commonwealth for redevelopment.

This was Penn’s first addition to the Main Library and the building boasted space for a million books.

Dietrich Graduate Library Center

This 1957 photo shows students at work in the Wood History of Education Seminar on the second floor of the Dietrich Graduate Library Center.

Events

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

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On December 18-19, at the Zellerbach Theatre in the Annenberg Center: Celebrate Christmas with the experience taking North America by storm. Marking the 25th Anniversary Tour, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker features over-the-top production and world-class Russian artists. Larger-than-life puppets, nesting dolls and gloriously hand-crafted costumes bring the Christmas spirit to life. Get the best seats today and make memories to last a lifetime at Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! 

“Knock out!” The New York Times “Christmas cheer!” Los Angeles Times

Special Ticket Holder Information: 

Platinum ticket holders: You will receive a premium Nutcracker doll and a Moscow Ballet Book for each ticket purchased and a Meet and Greet opportunity before the performance. Platinum ticket holders must meet the Moscow Ballet representative 45 minutes prior to curtain time at the merchandise table to go obtain the Meet and Greet. If Platinum Ticket holders arrive after the start of the Meet and Greet, they forfeit the right to attend. Moscow Ballet reserves the right to reschedule the time of the Meet and Greet in cases of Force Majeure, including but not limited to medical emergencies or other events outside the control of Moscow Ballet or the theatre. In cases of a successfully rescheduled Meet and Greet due to Force Majeure events, there will be no refunds. 

Gold Circle ticket holders: You will receive a Nutcracker doll and the official Moscow Ballet Book with each ticket purchased. Gold Circle Ticket holders should go to the merchandise table in the lobby to retrieve their products.  

For tickets, visit https://tickets.annenbergcenter.org/

December Workshop from PHOS: December 19

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Penn Home Ownership Services (PHOS) ends its 2017 Workshop Series on Tuesday, December 19. Understanding the Home Purchasing Documents will be held from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at Learning and Development at 3624 Market Street, Suite 1A South. Featured lender Trident will be in attendance to address audience questions. Lunch will be served. Due to the popularity of the workshop, advance registration is required.

PPSA Holiday Open House and Clothing Drive

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On Thursday, December 14, from noon to 3 p.m. in the Class of 49 Room, Houston Hall, the PPSA board will host an open house for the Penn community to enjoy some treats and sort clothes for donation.

Please join them for a holiday service event and networking event. 

Please bring:

  • gently used clothes for donation (all types, especially coats)
  • new men’s socks and underwear
  • holiday spirit!

The drive will benefit the following organizations: Bethesda Project, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and St. Mark’s Church.

Update: December AT PENN

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Exhibits

18    Networks Within and Around Us; young artists and students from PENN Network Visualization Program describe how people connect to each other; Esther Klein Gallery. Through January 26

 

AT PENN Deadlines 

The December AT PENN calendar is now online.

 

Almanac continues weekly publication with one more issue on December 19. 

After the Winter Break, Almanac resumes weekly publication; the first issue of 2018 will be published on January 9. The deadline is January 2, 2018.

Crimes

Weekly Crime Report

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The University of Pennsylvania Police Department Community Crime Report

About the Crime Report: Below are the Crimes Against Persons or Crimes Against Society from the campus report for November 27-December 3, 2017

11/28/17.   11:04 PM.   51 N. 39th St.    Unsecured wallet taken

11/29/17.   11:47 AM.   3421 Chestnut St.   Unsecured credit cards taken

11/29/17.   6:35 PM.    100 S. 41st St.     Probation violations/Arrest

11/30/17.    10:08 AM.    220 S. 33rd St.     Unauthorized male in building/Arrest

11/30/17.    11:28 AM.    3400 Spruce St.     Threatening comments made by known person

11/30/17.    4:21 PM.    3800 Locust Walk.    Confidential sex offense

11/30/17.   5:29 PM.   3401 Walnut St.    Narcotics possession/Arrest

12/1/17    3:07 AM.   3700 Spruce St.    Male wanted on probation violation/Arrest

12/1/17    3:46 AM.   3600 Ludlow St.     Various items taken from auto

12/3/17     11:11 AM.   4001 Spruce St.     Vehicle windshield smashed by unknown offender

 

18th District

Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District: 4 incidents with 0 arrests (2 robberies, 1 domestic assault, 1 rape) were reported between November 27-December 3, 2017 by the 18th District covering the Schuylkill River to 49th Street & Market Street to Woodland Avenue.

 

11/28/17     6:26 PM.    124 S. 45th St.     Domestic Assault

11/29/17   11:16 AM.    46th and Market Sts.     Robbery

11/30/17    8:00 AM.    3800 Locust Walk.    Rape

12/3/17    7:04 PM.   4500 Springfield Ave.     Robbery

Bulletins

Walk Back Program Reading Days and Finals

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Fall Semester 2017: Walk-Back is held from Tuesday, December 12 to Thursday, December 21, 2017.

The Division of Public Safety, in collaboration with the Undergraduate Assembly and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, will be offering the Public Safety Walk-Back Program during reading days and final exams.

An AlliedBarton Public Safety Officer will be posted at the “Button” near Locust Walk, on Woodland Ave. from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m. Approximately every half hour, the officer will enter Van Pelt-Dietrich Library to offer walking escorts to anyone in the building. The officer will then perform the escort and return to repeat the process.

The Division of Public Safety is providing this service in addition to its normal Walking Escort Program. Uniformed AlliedBarton Public Safety Officers provide escorts to campus locations. Officers are dispatched by radio and will accompany you from one campus location to another, to your parked car, to a Penn Transit Stop, or to an on-campus SEPTA regional transit stop. Walking Escorts are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To request a Walking Escort any time, call 215-898-9255 (898-WALK).

Learn more about the program.

Special Property Checks During Winter Break

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Under the special checks program, DPS police officers check the exterior of registered properties for signs of criminal activity or security breaches at peak travel times during Thanksgiving, Spring and Winter Breaks.

Winter Break: Special Checks will begin on Thursday, December 21 at 5 p.m. through Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at 3 p.m.

The program is available at no charge to residents in the Penn patrol zone, bounded by 30th Street west to 43rd Street and from Baltimore Avenue north to Market Street.

Students, faculty and staff who live in the patrol zone are encouraged to register their residence. Be sure to list your contact information, other occupants, landlord if applicable, vacancy dates, scheduled repairs, and someone other than a landlord with access or a key to the property.

Penn Police will periodically check the exterior of registered properties, for signs of criminal activity or security breaches. Special checks cannot be provided for interior areas of apartment complexes.

Remember to close and lock all doors and windows before you leave, and arrange for packages to be delivered elsewhere while you are away. There is an Amazon@Penn delivery location on campus at 1920 Commons. Learn more.

Register for a special check.

Deals@Penn

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Faculty and staff at Penn can take advantage of special discounts on a range of products and services including cars, computers, cell phones, fitness clubs, home mortgages and tickets to Penn games.

Penn Bookstore: Faculty and staff receive a 10% discount at the Penn Bookstore when showing a valid PennCard. Some exclusions (such as textbooks and electronics) apply.

Ryan Hospital at Penn Vet: Offers all Penn faculty and staff a 20% discount off hospital services and substantial discounts through the Ryan Hospital’s Primary Care Service, a drop-off service for pets to minimize work-day interruptions. Learn more about the Ryan Hospital’s clinical services or make an appointment. 

Amazon@Penn: offers a convenient and secure location for faculty and staff to pick up and return Amazon orders. Visit penn.amazon.com to activate your Penn account.

PersonalShip: provides members of the Penn community the opportunity to benefit from the University’s discounted rates to send packages via express mail. To begin saving on your shipments, visit www.upenn.edu/personalship

Uber joined with Penn to promote safe, on-demand ridesharing options that supplement Penn’s integrated transportation system. If you are new to Uber, use the Penn promotion code QUAKERRIDES to get your first Uber ride free, up to $20.17 in value (offer expires 8/1/2018). 

The Penn Athletics ticket office offers special deals to faculty and staff who cheer for the Red & Blue.

Penn Museum, Morris Arboretum, and the Institute of Contemporary Art offer Penn faculty and staff free admission (with PennCard); Annenberg Center Live offers discounts.

Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA and Regional Y Alliances offer a 10% monthly membership discount to all Penn employees with valid PennCards. There is no joiner fee for new Penn employee memberships. To receive the discount on a new membership, visit YMCA location listed and present your PennCard. Existing members can sign up for a discount at their home branch.

YouDecide

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Penn offers the YouDecide program, which features a single-destination portal showcasing consumer products and services. Through this convenient online shopping destination, eligible faculty and staff will find savings at establishments such as restaurants, spas, sports and entertainment venues and popular apparel retailers. There are hundreds of valuable discounts available from local and national brands. 

Visit Deals@Penn, then click on YouDecide to browse through the latest offers. Your PennKey and password are required for access.

The discounts are listed in 20 categories (see below) including: Apparel & Accessories, Auto, Books & Movies, Cell Phones & Wireless; Computers & Electronics, Events & Theme Parks and Travel.

Just in time for holiday gift-giving, some of this month’s deals and discounts in the Flower and Gifts section offer lower the cost of giving. 

25% off: From You Flowers; Jewelry.com; 

20% off: 1-800- Baskets.com; 1-800-Flowers.com; Cheryl’s; FTD.com; Harry & David; Personalized Creations; Popcorn Factory

15% off: Cross Pens; Shari’s Berries; Spa & Wellness Gift Cards by Spa Week

10% off: Edible Arrangements; Sharper Image 

5% off: Lobster Gram

Promotions and other offers: Omaha Steaks; Photos.com; Shutterfly; Simple Canvas Prints; World Market

YouDecide is one of the many deals and discounts programs available at the Deals@Penn website.  

Paperless W-2s

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Individuals can elect not to have their W-2 printed and mailed to them. ADP, Penn’s W-2 provider, offers individuals the option to suppress the printing of their W-2 and allows the recipient  to securely view and print their W-2 from their personal computer. By going paperless, users avoid identify theft and mail delays! 

Follow these instructions to log-in to ADP W-2 services:

  • Click on ‘My Tax Info’ in the ‘My Pay’ section at U@Penn.
  • Login with your PennKey and Password. 
  • Enter your birthdate and last four digits of your SSN and click ‘Continue.’ 
  • Click ‘Continue’ on the next screen.
  • Click on the link that says ‘Click here for W-2 information for tax years 2013 and later.’ This will take you to the ADP site.
  • The first page will be the ADP Dashboard. 
  • Hover over your name in the upper right hand corner and select ‘Settings.’ 
  • Under ‘Contact Preferences’, make sure your email address is correct in the box. If not, click ‘Edit’ to add or update. 
  • Next under ‘Go Paperless,’ click the slider to agree to ‘Receive paperless statements’ and to be ‘Notified by Email.’ This will open a new window, where you must check the box to ‘Receive Paperless Annual Tax Statements’ and click on ‘I agree’. Remember to close ALL browser windows when you have finished making your updates to protect your personal information. 

You have until December 31, 2017 to select this option for your 2017 W-2. Once you opt out of having your W-2 mailed, you will continue to receive them electronically each year until you elect to receive a paper W-2 once more. 

As a reminder, W-2 forms for tax year 2012 and prior will remain on the U@Penn portal under “My Tax Info.” Tax forms for the current and prior two years are available on the ADP site.

 

W-2 Address

W-2 forms are mailed to the address on file within the PennWorks/Personnel/Payroll System. If you have moved or need to update your address, please visit the U@Penn website. Under ‘My Personal Data,’ click ‘My Profile’ to change your address or follow the instructions in the adjacent article to opt out of receiving a paper W-2 form and receive your W-2 electronically.

—Payroll Department

Call for 2018 Summer Camps

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Almanac will run the 2018 compilation of summer camps and programs at Penn in the January 30 issue. To list a camp or other summer program, send the dates, location and other details to almanac@upenn.edu 

Deadline for submission is Tuesday, January 16, 2018.