Collaborating on Program to Offer Tours of Lower Schuylkill River

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caption:Inspired by urban river projects that have revitalized the cities of Los Angeles and New York, the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities (PPEH) is collaborating on a project with Bartram’s Garden and River Corps to increase access to the Lower Schuylkill River, helping more people connect to the storied waterway.

The PPEH is exploring the development of “multi-modal public river-based tours” of Southwest Philadelphia, with Bartram’s Garden serving as the central hub of activities.

The PPEH will host a public planning meeting on Thursday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to noon at Bartram’s Garden. Discussion will center on existing local organizations, programs and events that intersect with the river guides project, examples of successful urban waterway tours and content for Lower Schuylkill River Guide tours.

Reservations are encouraged and can be made by emailing Bethany Wiggin, an associate professor of German in the School of Arts & Sciences and PPEH director, at

“We’ve been working and collaborating on the river all year long,” Dr. Wiggin says. “The experience of getting on the water—whether in Bartram’s public kayaks or in our public Lab at WetLand—has been absolutely central.”

The project seeks to supplement a number of ongoing riverfront programs and projects underway at Bartram’s Garden. They include the PPEH Lab at WetLand, a public art project for “experiments in sustainability” based in a houseboat on the river. Participants at the planning meeting will have an opportunity to explore WetLand,

Additional meetings are planned leading up to a one-day certification session for river guides during the week of August 22.

As envisioned, the first phase of the project will culminate in river and watershed tours led by the corps of certified river guides in kayaks, bicycles and/or on foot. In phase two, a website will be created with information about the Schuylkill River, its past and future. The third phase will involve development of a mobile app to enable visitors to explore the river on their own through self-guided tours.

Public access to the riverbanks has risen dramatically in recent years as efforts by the Schuylkill River Trail Council to connect the trail’s sections have flourished. Dr. Wiggin envisions the new tours evolving to build audiences that will grow over time, as well.

She says that floating on the river that provides Philadelphia’s single largest source of drinking water, between the nation’s oldest botanic garden on the west bank and one of its oldest refineries on the east, is amazing.

“It’s quite a contrast,” she says, “and an important vantage point to facilitate dialogue about our community’s experiences of environmental degradation and, vitally, of resilience.”

Fels Policy Research Initiative: Interdisciplinary Grants

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The Fels Policy Research Initiative in the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania has announced five inaugural collaborative grants for as much as $15,000 each, designed to further interdisciplinary partnerships. 

Three of the research projects involve one or more Penn Integrates Knowledge, or PIK, professors, a group of Penn academics committed to working across different disciplinary boundaries. 

“Public problems rarely organize themselves along the established lines of academic disciplines,” Mark Alan Hughes, the faculty director for the Penn Fels Policy Research Initiative, said. “The opportunity for faculty to collaborate across their fields of research can create new insights into many public problems.”

Engaging faculty from eight of Penn’s 12 schools, the projects are: 

The Global Impacts of Race in Biomedicine: PIK professors Dorothy Roberts and Sarah Tishkoff will examine policy recommendations on racial and ethnic health inequities, as well as host guest lectures. 

Built Environment Policies and Interventions for Better Health and Safety: PIK Professor Karen Glanz will develop approaches and interventions for urban areas in collaboration with Charles Branas of the Perelman School of Medicine. 

Fairness for Digital Infrastructures: PIK Professor Rakesh Vohra will host workshops that bring together researchers, computer scientists, economists, legal experts on discrimination and policy makers. This project also involves Mallesh Pai of the School of Arts & Sciences and Sampath Kannan, Aaron Roth and Jamie Morgenstern of the School of Engineering & Applied Science. 

Interdisciplinary Collaboration to Support Data-Based Decision Making in Philadelphia: John Fantuzzo of the Graduate School of Education, Dennis Culhane of the School of Social Policy & Practice and Janet Deatrick of the School of Nursing will create a policy research agenda for the city’s integrated data systems, examining interventions for families living in poverty. 

Optimizing Government: Policy Challenges in the Machine Learning Age: Cary Coglianese of the Law School and Richard Berk of the School of Arts & Sciences will focus on machine learning innovations in government.

Perelman School of Medicine 2016 Teaching Awards

  • April 12, 2016
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The Leonard Berwick Memorial Teaching Award

caption:This award was established in 1980-1981 as a memorial to Leonard Berwick by his family and the department of pathology to recognize “a member of the medical faculty who in his or her teaching effectively fuses basic science and clinical medicine.” This award is intended  to recognize outstanding teachers, particularly among younger faculty.

Christopher D. Watt is an assistant professor of clinical pathology and laboratory medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), and has been on the faculty since 2010. Dr. Watt is the associate director for the Molecular Pathology Laboratory in the Division of Precision & Computational Diagnostics. As a molecular pathologist, his clinical expertise is in the field of molecular diagnostics as it pertains to a wide spectrum of diseases including inherited disorders, viral infections and cancers. Inspired by a multitude of amazing teachers at the University of Kentucky and the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Watt teaches medical students, residents, clinical fellows and graduate students (with an undeniable sense of enthusiasm and joy) about the practice of laboratory medicine with molecular techniques. He endeavors to continue the pathology department’s long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching. Dr. Watt received the Leonard Berwick Resident Teaching Award in 2008 and the Kevin E. Salhany Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching in 2013. In 2014, he began serving as one of the co-directors for the pathology residency program. One of his former residents stated: “Through his role-modeling and his coupling of freedom with guidance, he has certainly shaped my leadership style for the better and provided me invaluable lessons that I will take with me going forward.”

The Robert Dunning Dripps Memorial Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education

caption:This award was established by the department of anesthesia in 1983-1984. As a pioneer in the specialty of anesthesia and chair of the department from 1943 to 1972, Dr. Dripps was instrumental in the training of more than 300 residents and fellows, many of whom went on to chair other departments. This award recognizes excellence as an educator of residents and fellows in clinical care, research, teaching or administration.

James Callahan is the interim chief of the division of emergency medicine in the department of pediatrics, an associate director of the Pediatric Residency Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and professor of clinical pediatrics. Dr. Callahan was the inaugural director of medical education for emergency medicine at CHOP (2006-2010). He continues to co-direct the division’s continuing medical education programs and has served as an associate director of the pediatric residency program since 2006. He has authored articles in several peer-reviewed journals and over 20 book chapters on topics related to pediatric emergency medicine. He is a member of the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Subspecialty Board representing the American Board of Pediatrics and a member of the Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine and the National Steering Committee Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals (PEPP) program for the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is the editor of the Basic Life Support version of the PEPP Textbook. He has been named to the Faculty Honor Roll by the pediatric residents at CHOP every year since 2007. One of his former trainees stated: “Dr. Callahan definitely stands out as someone who made a lasting impact on my education and the way I practice medicine and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

Blockley-Osler Award

Created in 1987 by the Blockley Section of the Philadelphia College of Physicians, this award is given annually to a member of the faculty at an affiliated hospital for excellence in teaching modern clinical medicine at the bedside in the tradition of William Osler and others who taught at Philadelphia General Hospital.

This year, there were two recipients.

caption:Aba Barden-Maja is a professor of clinical medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine. After completing a residency at Yale New Haven Hospital, she completed a general medicine fellowship at Cornell and joined the Penn faculty in 1997. Dr. Barden-Maja is a current Measey fellow and the recipient of the Maurice Attie Faculty Teaching Award, the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching at an Affiliated Hospital, the John Eisenberg Faculty Teaching Award and a Penn Pearls Teaching Award. Her teaching style is interactive, engaging, collegial and inclusive. She consistently endeavors to find new ways to explain difficult concepts, identifies how people learn and brings the best out of each learner. She is a strong believer in bedside teaching and models this effortlessly for students and residents. A former trainee stated: “Her thoughtful approach to prioritizing medical or psychosocial issues at the bedside was a learning experience that I carry with me into my current career as a Fellow.”

caption:Lisa B. Zaoutis is an associate professor of pediatrics and the director of the General Pediatrics Residency Program at CHOP. She is a general pediatric hospitalist and a pioneer in helping to establish the field of pediatric hospital medicine. One resident wrote, “Perhaps the most impressive teachers are those that do not just display their knowledge, but rather pull that knowledge out of his/her learners. Dr. Z is just that kind of teacher. Without a shred of ego, Dr. Z remains one of our most effective and dynamic teachers.” A medical student wrote, “Dr. Z is a phenomenal physician and teacher. Energetic, passionate and fun, she exudes a profound sense of curiosity and wonder about the human body and the disease processes that affect it. This inspires those working with her to view medicine with a similar sense of wonder and awe.”

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching

The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching was established in 1987 to recognize teaching excellence and commitment to medical student teaching in the basic sciences. One or more Dean’s Awards are given annually, the recipients being selected on the advice of a committee composed of faculty and students.

caption:Brian Keith is an adjunct professor in the department of cancer biology and associate director for education and training in the Abramson Cancer Center. He has taught in cell & tissue biology for many years, and in 2015 developed a new MS1 course that focuses on the development of effective, novel cancer therapeutics based on our increasingly mechanistic understanding of transformed cells and the tumor microenvironment. He is also an adjunct professor of biology (SAS), where he developed an undergraduate course on cancer cell biology. He received the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing Faculty in 2010 and the Excellence in Medical Education Award from PSOM classes of 2015 and 2018. One student writes: “Dr. Keith is a phenomenal lecturer—he navigates clearly and seamlessly from broad concept down into detail and then back up to broad concept.” Others commented: “Clear, concise and passionate about the topic he teaches” and “Dr. Keith makes me want to be an oncologist!”

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching (at an Affiliated Hospital)

The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching was established in 1987 to recognize clinical teaching excellence and commitment to medical education by outstanding faculty members from affiliated hospitals. One or more Dean’s Awards are given annually, the recipients being selected on the advice of a committee composed of faculty and students.

This year, there were two recipients.

caption:Robin Canada is an assistant professor of general internal medicine whose practice and teaching focus on medically underserved populations. She completed her residency at Penn and worked with migrant farm workers and homeless populations, then moved to Arizona to work with the White Mountain Apache for the Indian Health Service. She recently established a link between Penn and the Fort Defiance Navajo reservation, creating an IHS elective rotation for residents. She mentors and precepts medical students and residents interested in Native American and Latino health care. She serves as the medical director for Puentes de Salud, a local Latino health clinic for undocumented immigrants. After working for one of the city’s safety net clinics, she created a community medicine immersion experience in West Philadelphia for primary care internal medicine residents. One trainee stated: Her “lessons have made our clinical experience as residents more fruitful and enjoyable, and in my case, they have inspired me to strive to be not only a clinician but also an advocate.”

caption:Nikhil Mull is an assistant professor of clinical medicine in the Section of Hospital Medicine. He joined Penn in 2012. Dr. Mull teaches evidence-based medicine principles that can be used at the point of care. He is assistant director for the Penn Medicine Center for Evidence-based Practice and has taught similar principles for faculty development, advanced practitioner grand rounds series and the introduction to medicine internship for sub-intern students. He received the Donald B. Martin Award in Teaching Excellence from the department of medicine in 2014. One of his former trainees stated: “Dr. Mull brings a unique combination of high expectations and insightful guidance to the attending-housestaff relationship which empowers those who work with him to grow as clinicians and be well-prepared to assume the next level of responsibility.”

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Medical Student Teaching by an Allied Health Professional

This award was established in 1996-1997 to recognize outstanding teaching by allied health professionals (e.g. nurses, physician’s assistants, emergency medical technicians). One award is made annually. The recipient is selected on the advice of a committee of faculty and students.

caption:Jason Hutchings is a psychologist and clinical associate faculty member in the department of psychiatry. He serves as the attending psychologist on 6 Spruce, the inpatient psychiatric unit at Pennsylvania Hospital. Dr. Hutchings has been a part of the department since starting his internship in 2011 and has continued on staff since 2013, teaching medical students, psychology interns and psychiatry residents. He teaches psychotherapeutic technique and conceptualization, psychological testing and mindfulness-based intervention, and lectures in several courses for psychiatry residents. He has co-created a mindfulness program for Penn employees. One of his former fellows stated: “The transition to the inpatient rotation was a steep learning curve for me and Dr. Hutchings provided a stable, empathic leadership style which allowed me to establish a confidence with my work by the end of my rotation. These qualities were also present in his supervision within the outpatient clinic.”

The Scott Mackler Award for Excellence in Substance Abuse Teaching

This award was established in 2000 by the Penn/VA Center for Studies of Addiction and the department of psychiatry. Dr. Mackler (Almanac November 19, 2013) was known for his excellence in teaching medical students, residents, post-doctoral fellows, nurses and others in different departments in the area of substance abuse.

caption:Frank Leone is a pulmonologist in the department of medicine. He directs Penn’s Comprehensive Smoking Treatment Program, a clinical program of the Harron Lung Center, located at both Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine. Dr. Leone’s scholarship focuses on investigating advanced treatment strategies for tobacco use disorder, and on testing educational strategies for improving the care of tobacco-dependent patients. His scholarly activity occupies the intersection of physical and behavioral medicine in a meaningful way. Many of his trainees find his teaching to be transformative, regardless of level of experience or professional discipline. He has taught a variety of professionals—including undergraduate and medical students, oncologic surgeons and psychiatrists, and community addiction counselors—all with the same effect. He has made several unique contributions to the University’s teaching mission and has received special attention from a number of professional and scientific societies. A former fellow stated: “He is a master educator with infectious enthusiasm and his lectures have aided numerous trainees and faculty in developing a more sophisticated armamentarium to effectively counsel patients.”

The Special Dean’s Award

The Special Dean’s Award was established in 1989-1990 to recognize outstanding achievements in medical education by faculty members, particularly in the development of new, innovative educational programs. The senior vice dean for education, in consultation with the Teaching Awards Selection Committee, identifies unique contributions by the faculty, resulting in their receipt of this special honor.

This year, there were four recipients.

caption:David Gasser, professor emeritus of genetics, is receiving the Special Dean’s Award in recognition of his serving as the course director for PSOM’s genetics course for first-year medical students since its beginning as a founding course in Curriculum 2000. He has been completely dedicated to medical student education and also served as the original leader of Module 1, the portion of the curriculum devoted to pre-clinical sciences. He performs his role with great dedication and equanimity. Dr. Gasser sits on multiple administrative committees for the Immunology Graduate Group, the department of genetics and PSOM. Students have commented that “genetics was perfectly designed to help me learn.” He has demonstrated great commitment to students irrespective of their scientific background and has been a leader of medical education at PSOM.


caption:Marilyn Hess, the late professor emerita of pharmacology, who died last fall (Almanac November 3, 2015), is receiving this posthumously. She was known for her tireless service and earnest commitment to the mission of the Perelman School of Medicine. Her research background and long-standing commitment to the educational mission of the School provided special insights into the essential components of a successful and productive research program. Dr. Hess was instrumental in the initial design, implementation and assessment of the School’s Curriculum 2000, which was implemented in 1998. Her efforts were essential to ensuring that medical students were exposed to basic pharmacology across all organ systems. The model that was developed with her help is in place to this day. She was a tireless educator with an enduring impact on the School.


caption:Katherine Margo has been the director of student programs for the department of family medicine & community health since 2000. She has been the clerkship director and co-director of the Doctor-Patient Communication course since 2001. She helped start the Sayre Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in West Philadelphia that has the dual mission of service to the community and education at all levels; she has been an active board member and now serves on its advisory board. Dr. Margo has been active nationally through the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, where she founded the Medical Student Educators Development Institute and served as director for its first eight years. She has been active in the American Balint Society and recently chaired its Credentials Committee. She won the Lindback Award in 2013.


caption:Rudolf R. Roth is an associate professor of clinical dermatology and the director of clinical dermatology at Penn Medicine at Radnor. He completed his dermatology residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 1988 and completed a 26-year career in the United States Air Force before joining the Penn faculty in 2001. He was nominated for this award because of his work in creating educational partnerships between Penn and programs in other countries, and a joint service trip to an underserved part of each country. A supporting letter states that he “envisioned a program that would allow Penn’s department of dermatology to partner with dermatology residency programs in developing countries. The program was initiated by Dr. Roth visiting an international residency program based in Guatemala. A core motivation of these trips is teaching others, including residents from Penn who often accompany Dr. Roth on these weeklong trips, as well as the residents and staff from [the host country].”

The Jane M. Glick Graduate Student Teaching Award

The Jane M. Glick Graduate Student Teaching Award was established in 2010 by the Glick family in remembrance of Jane Glick (Almanac November 24, 2009) and her dedication to the Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) programs.

caption:Erika Holzbaur is a professor of physiology. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology before joining the biochemistry department at Penn in 1992. She is chair of the graduate program in cell biology, physiology & metabolism within the Cell & Molecular Biology Graduate Group (CAMB) and has provided long-standing, exemplary service to the BGS/PSOM/Penn core mission of educating, mentoring and training the next generation of biomedical scientists. She received considerable praise and appreciation from her colleagues and students for her teaching and mentoring acumen, as well as for her leadership roles in the Graduate Group across many years. Her dedication to these efforts exemplifies the type of scientist/educator represented by Jane Glick.

Medical Student Government Clinical Teaching Award

caption:Amy Pruitt is a professor of neurology and director of Medical Student Education for Neurology. She is described as “a treasure” and “a fantastic teacher and physician who is loved by all trainees at all levels.” She is known to include clinical anecdotes related to case studies, making the material more tangible. As one student said, “Dr. Pruitt is quite possibly the smartest person I have ever met. She is an incredible student educator and an expert at her craft.” Another said, “She has a unique ability to impart information in a way that makes it impossible to forget.” A third student said, “Fantastic, phenomenal, amazing, awesome—there are just a few adjectives that come to mind when describing Dr. Pruitt.”

Dr. Pruitt received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2007, as well as four Penn Pearls Awards presented by the medical students for outstanding teaching in 2000, 2007, 2011 and 2016. She was elected to the inaugural class of the Academy of Master Clinicians in 2013. She is the recipient of the C. William Hanson Distinguished Service Award, Medical Board of the University of Pennsylvania; and the Alfred Stengel Health System Champion Award. She also received the Medical Student Government Clinical Teaching Award in 2014.

Medical Student Government Basic Science Teaching Award

caption:James White is an adjunct associate professor of cell & developmental biology in the Perelman School of Medicine, where he teaches a number of introductory courses, including gross anatomy, neuroscience and histology. Dr. White is described as an “engaging instructor who helps students find answers for themselves.” One student said, “Professor White is animated and clearly demonstrates a passion for cell and tissue biology. Even though the material is pretty dry, he manages to make it entertaining and interesting.” Another said, “He is clear and thorough and very good at explaining complex concepts.” Students appreciate Dr. White’s willingness to stay late and review structures with them. As one student summed it up, “Beyond being a great teacher, I think this really shows his dedication.” This is the seventh year he has won the award.

Of Record: Salary Guidelines for 2016-2017

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The University of Pennsylvania’s merit increase program is designed to recognize and reward the valuable contributions of faculty and staff to the University’s commitment to the highest levels of excellence in teaching, research and administration by paying market competitive salaries in a fiscally responsible manner. The merit increase pool for fiscal year 2017 is based on market trends and economic conditions. With this in mind, the following guidelines are recommended.

Faculty Increase Guidelines

Below are the standards for faculty increases that the deans are asked to follow. The deans will give the department chairs their own guidelines at the school level regarding available resources.

•     The minimum academic salary for new assistant professors will be $67,000.

•     Merit increases for faculty should be based solely on performance as evidenced by scholarship, research, teaching and service to the University and the profession. As in previous years, there will be no cost-of-living increase for continuing faculty.

•     The aggregated merit increase pool for faculty will be 3.0 percent. Some Schools and Centers may have financial constraints that can only support budget growth of less than 3.0 percent. Salary increase recommendations that are below 1.0 percent for non-meritorious performance, as contrasted with general limits applied to an entire class of faculty, must be made in consultation with the Provost. Likewise, salary increases that exceed 5.0 percent due to market conditions must also be made in consultation with the Provost. Deans may wish to give careful consideration to salary adjustments for faculty who have a strong performance record but whose salaries may have lagged behind the market.

Staff Increase Guidelines

Presented below are the merit increase guidelines for July 1, 2016.

•     This year’s aggregate salary increase pool is 3.0 percent with a range of zero to 5.0 percent. Merit increases should not exceed 5.0 percent. Any variation less than a 3.0 percent pool must be approved by the Provost and/or the EVP and will be communicated separately by the School or Center administration.

•     Monthly, weekly and hourly paid staff members are eligible for a merit increase if they are regular full-time, regular part-time or limited service status employees, and were employed by the University on or before February 29, 2016. The following groups are not covered under these guidelines: student workers, interns, residents, occasional and temporary workers, staff on unpaid leave of absence, staff on long-term disability and staff who are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

•     The merit increase program is designed to recognize and reward performance. The foundation of this program is the Performance and Staff Development Plan. Salary increases should be based on performance contributions within the parameters of the merit increase budget. The performance appraisal system documents each employee’s performance and contributions and establishes performance goals for the new fiscal year. All employees must receive a Performance and Staff Development Plan for the next review cycle whether or not they receive a merit increase. Schools and Centers are requested to submit performance appraisals by June 1, 2016. The Division of Human Resources’ Staff and Labor Relations team is available to discuss performance management issues.

•     Merit increases should average no more than 3.0 percent and may average less if a School or Center establishes a lower percentage merit pool based on financial considerations.  The aggregated salary pool within a School or Center may not exceed 3.0 percent regardless of performance rating distributions. Performance expectations should be raised each year as employees grow in experience and job mastery. Performance ratings and raises should reflect a normal distribution for all employees. Employees with unacceptable performance are not eligible for a merit increase.

•     The University’s salary ranges have been increased effective April 1, 2016. All staff salaries must be at or above the minimum of their respective grades as of April 1, 2016.

•     There will be no bonuses, in keeping with the elimination of discretionary bonuses announced in prior years.

The Division of Human Resources’ Compensation office is available to discuss specific merit increase parameters with Schools and Centers. Staff and Labor Relations team members are available to discuss performance management issues.

—Amy Gutmann, President

—Vincent Price, Provost

—Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President

A Statement to the Penn Community on the Importance of Free Expression

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One of the most treasured freedoms we enjoy as Americans is the right to free speech. It is fundamental to our national identity and serves as the underpinning of our democracy. 

Universities, by their very nature, cannot exist without the free exchange of ideas. Members of our community will at times be confronted with ideas that they fundamentally oppose. The solution is not to suppress the ideas we reject, but instead to counter those ideas with better ones.

At Penn, our commitment to open expression is unwavering. We have established open expression guidelines that are designed to protect freedom of thought, inquiry, speech and lawful assembly.  These guidelines are intended to provide individuals or groups with the freedom to speak without fear of censure, while at the same time allowing those who wish to hear them to do so. 

We urge everyone in the Penn community to become familiar with our Guidelines on Open Expression, which can be found online at:

At Penn, we are proud of the steps we have taken, and the commitment we have made, to protect free expression. It is our hope that everyone in our community knows that their right to open expression under our long-standing policies will be defended by the University, whether we agree with the content or not. As you exercise your right to free expression, it is critical that you also respect the rights of others to express their ideas and thoughts. The freedom goes both ways; if it doesn’t work for all, it won’t work for anyone.                                           

—Vincent Price, Provost

—Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, Vice Provost for University Life

Benefits Open Enrollment April 18-29

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Benefits Open Enrollment begins Monday, April 18 and ends Friday, April 29. Below is the information you need to make changes to your health care benefits for the new plan year, which begins July 1.

How to Enroll: From Monday, April 18 through Friday, April 29, make changes to your benefits coverage online at using your PennKey and password.

If you don’t have internet access, go to one of the following locations on campus to enroll online, or contact the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENN-BEN (1-888-736-6236), Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (EST), and complete your enrollment over the phone.

Goldstein Undergraduate Study Center

3420 Walnut Street

(ground level of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library)


24 hours daily
Friday: closes

12 midnight

10 a.m.-2 a.m.

opens 10 a.m.

Human Resources

3401 Walnut Street,

5th Floor


8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

UA Staffing (formerly Unique Advantage)

3624 Market Street, Suite 1SD


8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Making Changes During Open Enrollment: During Open Enrollment you need to determine if your current benefits still meet your needs or if you need to make a change, such as:

• Enrolling, switching or dropping a medical, dental or vision plan.

• Increasing or decreasing your life insurance coverage.

• Reviewing your life insurance beneficiary.

• Changing how much you contribute to a flexible spending account.

• Adding or dropping a dependent from your benefits coverage.*

*If you add a new dependent, you’ll receive a letter requesting that you provide verification of that dependent’s eligibility under Penn’s plan rules. You’ll also need to provide verification if you re-enroll a spouse/partner who had previously been covered.


If You Don’t Enroll: If you don’t make changes during Open Enrollment, you’ll receive the same coverage you had last year.

It is important to remember that under the Affordable Care Act, if you waive your University coverage, you are still responsible for obtaining coverage through some other source.

Making Changes After Enrollment: The choices you make during Benefits Open Enrollment will remain in effect through June 30, 2017, unless you experience a qualifying event. Qualifying events include the birth or adoption of a child, marriage or domestic partnership (prior to July 1, 2016), divorce or separation, death of a dependent and change in your dependent’s eligibility for benefits.

When Are Changes Effective? Changes made during Open Enrollment will be effective as of July 1, 2016. New rates for all plans will be reflected in your July 2016 paycheck. Your pay must support your contributions for the benefits elected. If that is not the case, your enrollment cannot be processed.

More Information: Learn more about the 2016-2017 Open Enrollment period from the following resources:

Open Enrollment Presentations: Presentations run for 45 minutes and are followed by a Q&A session.

Tuesday, April 12


Houston Hall, Golkin Room

Thursday, April 14


Perelman School of Medicine, BRB Auditorium

Monday, April 18

11 a.m.

Houston Hall, Golkin Room

Monday, April 25


Houston Hall, Golkin Room


Attend a Fair

Tuesday, April 19

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Houston Hall, Hall of Flags

Wednesday, April 20

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

New Bolton Center,

Alumni Hall

Visit the Website: At you can access 2016-2017 rates, benefit comparison charts, contribution charts and online provider directories. Contact the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENN-BEN (1-888-736-6236), Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (EST).

—Division of Human Resources


Lillian Sholtis Brunner, Former Penn Nursing Overseer

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caption:Lillian Sholtis Brunner, HUP’40, ED’45, HON’85, a former Overseer of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, died on March 23. She was 97 years old.

Dr. Brunner is known as the editor of the traditional surgical nursing texts, Textbook of Medical and Surgical Nursing and The Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice. Her expertise and innovation in combining clinical practice and teaching gave young nurses access to critical practice knowledge in the rapidly growing nursing profession, access that is increased by her book’s publication in numerous languages.

She graduated from the School of Nursing at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (1940), the School of Education at Penn (1945) and Case Western Reserve University (1947). She was an operating room supervisor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and taught at the schools of nursing at Penn, Bryn Mawr Hospital and Yale University.

A devoted supporter of Penn’s School of Nursing, Dr. Brunner was a member of its Board of Overseers from 1982 to 1988; she became an emeritus member in 1999. In 1985, she received an honorary doctorate from Penn and helped establish the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, serving as the chair of the Center’s Advisory Board for the next ten years. In 1994, she received the Alumni Award of Merit from the University of Pennsylvania. Her legacy also includes the Mathias J. Brunner Instructional Technology Center, which she established in honor of her late husband in 2000, and the Lillian Sholtis Brunner Chair in Medical-Surgical Nursing, established in 2001 to support Penn Nursing faculty. The Lillian Sholtis Brunner Award for Innovation is presented to a Penn Nursing graduate each year. Dr. Brunner was also a member of the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women.

Dr. Brunner was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian Medical Center and its first vice chairman for education and research. She co-founded (with Theresa I. Lynch) the History of Nursing Project, which became the Nursing Museum at the Pennsylvania Hospital. She chaired the Advisory Nursing Committee and the History/Archives Committee at the Presbyterian Medical Center. She was named a member of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) in 1979 and a Living Legend in 2002.

She is survived by two daughters, a son and a granddaughter. The family requests that donations in her memory be sent to the Penn School of Nursing, the Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University or the American Nurses Association.


University Council Meeting Agenda

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

4 p.m., Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall

I. Approval of the minutes of March 23, 2016 meeting. (1 minute)

II. Follow up comments or questions on Status Reports. (5 minutes)

III. Summary reports by Council Committee Chairs. (50 minutes)

IV. Report of the University Council Committee on Committees. (10 minutes)

V. Discussion of possible Focus Issues for next year. (10 minutes)

VI. New Business. (5 minutes)

VII. Adjournment.


Of Record: Rules Governing Final Examinations

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1. No instructor may hold a final examination nor require the submission of a take-home final exam except during the period in which final examinations are scheduled; when necessary, exceptions to this policy may be granted for postponed examinations (see 3 and 4 below). No final examinations may be scheduled during the last week of classes or on reading days.

2. No student may be required to take more than two final examinations on any calendar day during the period in which final examinations are scheduled. If more than two are scheduled, the student may postpone the middle exam. If a take-home final exam is due on a day when two final examinations are scheduled, the take-home exam shall be postponed by one day.

3. Examinations that are postponed because of conflicts with other examinations, or because more than two examinations are scheduled on the same day, may be taken at another time during the final examinations period if the faculty member and student can agree on that time. Otherwise, they must be taken during the official period for postponed examinations.

4. Examinations that are postponed because of illness, a death in the family, for religious observance or some other unusual event may be taken only during the official periods: the first week of the spring and fall semesters. Students must obtain permission from their Dean’s office to take a postponed exam. Instructors in all courses must be willing to offer a make-up examination to all students who are excused from the final examination.

5. No instructor may change the time or date of a final exam without permission from the appropriate Dean.

6. No instructor may increase the time allowed for a final exam beyond the scheduled two hours without permission from the appropriate Dean.

7. No classes or required class activities may be held during the reading period.

8. The first examination of the day begins at 9 a.m. and the last examination concludes by 8 p.m. There will be one hour between exam time blocks.

9. All students must be allowed to see their final examination. Exams should be available as soon as possible after being graded with access ensured for a period of at least one regular semester after the exam has been given. To help protect student privacy, a student should have access only to his or her own exam and not the exams of other students. Therefore, for example, it is not permissible to leave student exams (or grades or papers) in publicly accessible areas.

10. Students may not be asked for their Social Security numbers. Instructors may not publicly display a student’s Penn ID or any portion of the Social Security number, nor use names, initials or any personally identifiable information to post grades. Even when an identifier is masked or absent, grades may not be posted in alphabetical order, to protect student privacy.

11. Final exams for College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) courses must be given on the regular class meeting night during the week of final examinations. No change in scheduling is permitted without unanimous consent of all students in the class and the director of LPS. LPS final exams may not be administered during the last week of class or on a reading day.

In all matters relating to final exams, students with questions should first consult with their Dean’s offices. Faculty wishing to seek exceptions to the rules also should consult with their Dean’s offices. Finally, the Council of Undergraduate Deans and SCUE urge instructors to see that all examinations are actively proctored.

—Vincent Price, Provost


National Architecture Week: Penn’s Historic Buildings on the National Historic Register

  • April 12, 2016
  • vol 62 issue 30
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Built in 1871-1872, College Hall was the first building on Penn’s West Philadelphia campus. Designed by Penn architecture professor Thomas Webb Richards, College Hall boasts elements of both Second Empire and Gothic style architecture. In addition to being on the National Register of Historic Places, it is part of the University of Pennsylvania Historic District.

Anne and Jerome Fisher Fine Arts Library, built in 1890, was originally the entire University’s library, known as the Furness Library. It, too, is part of Penn’s Historic District (Almanac June 18, 1996) and a National Historic Landmark since 1985 (Almanac December 18, 2012). Designed by Frank Furness, Philadelphia’s most prominent Victorian architect, the architecture combines the imagery of a cathedral and a railroad station.

The Left Bank, constructed as the Pennsylvania Railroad Freight Building in 1929 by the United Engineers and Constructors of Philadelphia, was originally designed as a combination freight station, warehouse and showroom in the Art Deco style. In 2001, the massive structure was renovated and converted into condominiums and Penn offices. It is among the largest properties converted to residential use to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Almanac February 6, 2001).

3025 Walnut Street, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003, was originally built as a commercial building for the Hajoca Corporation in 1921. Designed by Clarence E. Wunder in the Art Deco style, it has been home to Penn’s public radio station, WXPN, and the live music venue, World Cafe Live (WCL), since 2004.

Alfred Newton Richards Medical Research Laboratories, now referred to as simply the Richards Labs, is a National Historic Landmark. Initially designed by Louis Isadore Kahn during the modern movement of architecture, and built in 1962, the labs began to undergo a 15-year planned renovation project in June 2014.

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David Goddard Laboratories was also designed by Louis Kahn as part of the modern movement, and was built in 1964. Along with the Richards Labs, Goddard Labs is a part of the Medical Research Laboratories and is also a National Historic Landmark (Almanac February 3, 2009).

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Sansom Row (at left), certified as the Sansom Row National Historic District, is a group of 1869-1871 buildings that provide specialty dining, retail shops and housing. The row consists of properties from 3402 to 3436 on the street’s south side.


Curses, Countercurses, Incantations and More Penn Museum’s New Exhibition: Exploring Magic in the Ancient World, Opening Saturday, April 16

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caption:Protective amulets, incantation bowls, curse tablets, powerful rings, magical stones and anatomical votives—these objects and more, once used by ancient peoples seeking to fulfill desires through supernatural means, are featured in Magic in the Ancient World. The new exhibition opens Saturday, April 16 at the Penn Museum, and runs through April 2017.

Deeply entwined with science and religion, magic was a real and everyday part of life for many ancient peoples around the world. Ancient magic addressed many of the dreams, hopes and passions humans grapple with today: desire for health and wellbeing, protection from evil—even revenge. Magic in the Ancient World takes a survey approach, featuring 81 artifacts from the Penn Museum’s collections. The exhibition explores some of the magical objects, words and rituals used in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome.

Are people who used magic in the ancient world so different from people today? The exhibition invites guests to reflect at two interactive stations: one that provides ancient magical solutions (via objects found in the gallery) to modern problems, and a second that asks guests to consider their own magical thinking via a survey, “do you believe in magic?”

Magic for Many Purposes

After a brief introduction to the unique perspectives on magic held by ancient Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Greeks and Romans, the exhibition considers diverse uses of magic: for protection; for health and healing; for curses and countercurses; for wielding secret power; and for special help in the afterlife.

A Near Eastern frog amulet (circa 1400-1000 BCE) could encourage good luck; the frightful Macedonian Gorgon face on a silver coin (circa 411-350 BCE) could keep enemies at bay; the popular wedjat eye amulet from Egypt (circa 1539-636 BCE) symbolized health and protection; Mesopotamian incantation bowls (circa 300-700 CE) decorated with Aramaic spells and bound demons, offered protection.

While some magic was intended for protection, other magic was less benign: magical curses could harm, impair or disable one’s enemies. Roman lead curse tablets from Beth Shean (circa 100 BCE-400 CE) and Babylonian anti-witchcraft clay tablets (circa 750-300 BCE) offer insight into ways that people have attempted to lay curses upon others—or combat perceived bewitching.

In ancient Egypt, magic was used extensively to help the dead achieve a happy afterlife. There were magical spells from the Book of the Dead (a sample on papyrus dates to circa 1279-1213 BCE), and elegantly carved canopic jars (circa 1539-1292 BCE) bearing likenesses of gods, designed to protect the deceased’s internal organs. Inside the tomb, enchanted shabti figurines (circa 1075-945 BCE) were ready to come to life and do the work that the deceased would be otherwise obligated to perform in the underworld.

There was secret magic, too. Through mystical arts, practitioners sought to transform metals into gold, read minds, see the future, control the gods—even become immortal. Throughout the Mediterranean, magical rings and gems, created as objects to grant their bearer godlike magical powers, were made. A selection of magical rings, gems and pendants, from 200-500 CE, bears testament to the beauty—and diverse uses—of these small treasures.

Frequently invoked to heal the sick and protect women in childbirth, magic was often used in addition to, or in lieu of, medical treatments of the day. An ivory wand from Egypt (circa 1938-1739 BCE) was used to draw a protective circle around a woman giving birth or nursing. Anatomical offerings, like a terracotta foot votive (circa 300-100 BCE) from Etruscan Italy, were dedicated to a god for healing the body part represented.

Erotic plaques, examples of which come from Babylon (circa 2000-1800 BCE) and ancient Egypt (circa 1539-1075 BCE), may have been used in magic rituals to ensure potency. Sexual acts could also be interpreted as portents of the future.

A Collaborative Effort

Magic in the Ancient World, a collaborative exhibition, is co-curated by Robert Ousterhout, Penn professor, history of art, and Grant Frame, associate curator of the Babylonian section of the Museum and associate professor, Penn’s Near Eastern languages and civilizations (NELC). Ten Penn undergraduate and graduate students, participants in the spring 2015 curatorial seminar “Magic in the Museum,” were involved in the early exhibition development of the exhibition, including object selection, content organization and draft label copy: Ariana Bray, Andie Davidson, Edward Epstein, Michael Freeman, Ryan Hall, Kate Murphy, Peter Snell, Alex Stern, Cynthia Susalla and Katrina Tomas.

The Museum’s exhibition team, led by Kate Quinn, director of exhibitions and public programs, created the special exhibition, on view in the Merle-Smith Gallery West.

Magic in the Ancient World is made possible with support from the Charles K Williams, II, Art and Archaeology Publication Fund in the history of art department, SAS; Sheryl and Chip Kaye; Frederick J. Manning, W’69, and the Manning Family; the Susan Drossman Sokoloff and Adam D. Sokoloff Exhibitions Fund and the Smart Family Foundation.


Update: April at Penn

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13        Anne Whiston Spirn presents Buried River, Opened Lives: Reflections on the West Philadelphia Landscape Project; film screening & lecture; 6 p.m.; rm. B3, Meyerson Hall (Penn Praxis, Netter Center, Penn Urban Studies).

Special Events

12        A Conversation with Stephen Schwarzman,  Blackstone Group, moderated by Howard Marks, W’67, emeritus Penn Trustee, Oaktree Capital Management L.P.; 4:30 p.m., Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center (for Penn community); RSVP: (Howard Marks Investor Series at The Wharton School).

13        A Conversation with Ben Bernanke and Jeremy Siegel: Economic Crisis & Rebuilding the American Economy; Ben Bernanke, Brookings Institution, and Jeremy Siegel, Wharton; 5:30 p.m., Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center (for Penn community) (Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative).

LGBTQ Homeless Youth Awareness Week

12        Invisible: Diaries of New York’s Homeless Youth; 5 p.m.; rm 305, Graduate Student Center.

13        An Evening with Daniella Carter; 6 p.m.; Goodhand Room, LGBT Center.

15        Day of Silence; National Day of Action.

16        Day of Service; Morris Home & Divine Light LGBTQ Wellness Center.

(LGBT Center; GAPSA; Lambda Grads; BGAPSA.)

ASEF-PSOM Talk: A Vision of Hope

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The Spring Distinguished Speaker Program of the Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty-Perelman School of Medicine (ASEF-PSOM) presents Jean Bennett, F.M. Kirby Professor of Ophthalmology at the Perelman School of Medicine, who will speak about A Vision of Hope: Prospects for Gene Therapy for Blinding Disease at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27 in the Biomedical Research Building (BRB II/III) Auditorium. A reception  will follow in the lobby. RSVP to

This presentation will describe the path researchers established for translational studies, and some of the challenges presented by the nature of the targeted disease itself, hurdles that have been navigated in order to conduct gene therapy studies, and issues of importance for eventual approval of gene augmentation as a therapy for other forms of vision loss.

“Gene therapy has the potential to reverse disease or prevent further deterioration of sensory organs in patients with incurable degenerative diseases. The demonstration of safe and stable recovery of retinal/visual function in children and adults with congenital blindness due to Retinal Pigment Epithelial 65 mutations in gene therapy trials being carried out at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and in Iowa provide great hope for people with other more common blinding diseases,” said Dr. Bennett.


Creating Canopy: Branching Out Beyond Philly

  • April 12, 2016
  • vol 62 issue 30
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caption:Employees of the University of Pennsylvania and UPHS are invited to take home a free yard tree as part of Penn’s continuing efforts to increase the greenery in the greater Philadelphia area. This spring, Penn is partnering with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation for Creating Canopy 2016. A limited number of free trees will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis to interested Penn and UPHS staff and faculty who pre-register online registration before April 29.

Trees will be available to city and suburban residents alike through this program.

Penn has led the way in investing in the ecological benefits of expanded urban tree canopy. Since 2008, the staff of University Landscape Architect Bob Lundgren has planted more than 1,700 trees on campus. Urban trees provide a multitude of benefits to the region: soaking up excess stormwater, providing shade to reduce the impact of hotter summers, absorbing and sequestering carbon dioxide to combat global warming and providing habitat for beneficial birds and insects.

The Penn Sustainability Office wants to engage the staff and faculty in this ongoing greening effort, enabling them to plant trees in their own yards. Sponsorship of this program will make a great impact on the city and region to expand the environmental benefits of trees.

Visit for more information and to request a tree. Tree pick-up dates are May 3 and May 5.