News

Launching Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Penn to Accelerate New Discoveries and Treatments to Fight Cancer

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caption: Sean Parkercaption: Carl Junecaption: Robert Vonderheidecaption: John WherryThe University of Pennsylvania has joined an unprecedented cancer research effort, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which unites six of the nation’s top medical schools and cancer centers around a shared aim of accelerating breakthrough immunotherapy research that will turn more cancers into a curable disease.

The venture is backed by a $250 million gift from the Parker Foundation, making it the largest single contribution ever made to the field of immunotherapy. The Parker Foundation was founded by Sean Parker in June 2015 with a $600 million gift to spur innovations in the life sciences, global public health and civic engagement.

“We are tremendously excited to join this collaboration, which will allow us to investigate promising new immunotherapy avenues for the treatment of cancer outside of our institutional silos in very unique ways,” said the Parker Institute’s Penn director, Carl June, the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of pathology & laboratory medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine and director of translational research in the Abramson Cancer Center. “Working together will enable us to make quicker progress as we work to translate our laboratory findings into clinical trials.”

Initial funding of $10 to $15 million has been awarded to set up the Parker Institute at Penn. This investment will continue to grow on an annual basis via additional project grants, shared resources and central funding. The funding will support laboratory studies and clinical trials, recruitment of talented new faculty and support for early-career investigators who will train at Penn. The effort will augment Penn’s longstanding commitment to cancer research. In 2015, more than 10,000 patients participated in Abramson Cancer Center clinical trials. Nearly 1,100 trials are currently underway, 80 of which are immunotherapy studies.

Robert Vonderheide, the Hanna Wise Professor in Cancer Research and associate director of translational research in the Abramson Cancer Center, and John Wherry, a professor of microbiology and director of Penn’s Institute for Immunology, will serve as co-directors of the Parker Institute at Penn.

The Parker Institute includes more than 40 laboratories and 300 researchers from Penn and five other leading centers: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford Medicine, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. In a unique agreement between the centers, the administration of intellectual property will be shared, enabling all researchers to have immediate access to a broad swath of core discoveries.

“We are at an inflection point in cancer research and now is the time to maximize immunotherapy’s unique potential to transform all cancers into manageable diseases, saving millions of lives,” said Mr. Parker, president of the Parker Foundation. “We believe that the creation of a new funding and research model can overcome many of the obstacles that currently prevent research breakthroughs. Working closely with our scientists and more than 30 industry partners, the Parker Institute is positioned to broadly disseminate discoveries and, most importantly, more rapidly deliver treatments to patients.”

The Parker Institute’s scientific advisors and site leaders have laid out a scientific roadmap that allows the Parker Institute scientists to make big bets on major cross-cutting collaborative research projects, as well as fund individual research projects at its sites.

The Parker Institute has identified three key areas of focus to start its work, and will augment its research agenda as the field evolves. Investigators will work to develop more effective, “next generation” cell-based, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapies—which Dr. June’s team has shown to have unprecedented promise in the treatment of blood cancers in both children and adults—to treat a broader range of cancers. They will also focus on checkpoint blocking agents, aiming to improve the rates of durable responses and broaden the use of these drugs. The team will also conduct research to advance DNA sequencing, antigenic peptide discovery efforts and immune monitoring technologies to identify novel individual and shared tumor antigen targets in hopes of better targeting tumors and developing new vaccines and T cell therapies to treat them.

At Penn, initial projects will cover a wide range of both basic science and clinical areas, including studies to test the ability of oncolytic adenoviruses to enhance T cell therapy efficacy, development of CAR therapies for dogs, cancer prevention vaccines and studies on the combination of radiation and checkpoint inhibitors.

School of Arts & Sciences 2016 Teaching Awards

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Steven J. Fluharty, dean of Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences, and Dennis DeTurck, dean of the College, announce the following recipients of the School’s 2016 teaching awards, to be presented on Thursday, April 28 at an awards reception that is open to the University community. The reception will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. in room 200 of College Hall.

Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching

caption: James EnglishThis year’s recipients of SAS’s highest teaching honor are James English, the John Welsh Centennial Professor of English, and Jeffrey Winkler, the Merriam Professor of Chemistry. Created in 1983, the Ira H. Abrams Award recognizes teaching that is intellectually challenging and exceptionally coherent and honors faculty who embody high standards of integrity and fairness, have a strong commitment to learning and are open to new ideas.

Over the past quarter-century, Dr. English has consistently drawn from a wide range of methods and media in designing challenging and innovative courses on modern literature, cinema and television, digital literature and theories of cultural globalization. “Jim is truly a lifelong educator,” comments one faculty member, “not just of his students, but of his colleagues, his readers and himself.” He brings what another faculty colleague calls an “understated pedagogy, personal warmth and wry sense of humor” to his teaching, mentoring and leadership of the Penn Humanities Forum and Penn’s Digital Humanities initiative.

caption: Jeffrey WinklerA hallmark of Dr. Winkler’s teaching is his exceptional ability to engage students in some of the most challenging problems in organic chemistry. Whether he is teaching a large introductory course or the small freshman seminar he designed in order to share his passion for chemistry with non-scientists, “Jeff’s love of problem-solving has led him to emphasize conceptual understanding, creativity and risk-taking with undergraduate and graduate students…[and his] sense of humor and very big heart…keep students laughing even as they strain to plumb the depths of his lectures,” a faculty colleague notes.

Dean’s Award for Innovation in Teaching

caption: Masao SakoThis dean’s award, which recognizes exceptional creativity and innovation in instruction, is presented to Masao Sako, associate professor of physics & astronomy.

Dr. Sako’s commitment to innovative pedagogy is exemplified in his work to transform the calculus-based lecture-and-lab courses in introductory physics into an integrated, active-learning classroom where students learn fundamental concepts in physics and apply them immediately in on-the-spot table-top experiments. “His boldness to innovate in the classroom,” says one of Dr. Sako’s faculty colleagues, “and his contagious passion for physics make him a truly unique educator.”

Dean’s Award for Mentorship of Undergraduate Research

caption: Patrick WalshThis dean’s award recognizes faculty members who have excelled in nurturing undergraduate students’ desires and abilities to conduct meaningful research. This year SAS honors Patrick Walsh, the Alan MacDiarmid Term Professor of Chemistry, who is known for promoting research autonomy while providing close and careful supervision to the undergraduates in his lab. The result, as one faculty colleague notes, is that under his “tutelage, students with raw talent become young scientists…[who] have the experience and confidence to explore many exciting paths that working with Pat has revealed to them.”

Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by an Assistant Professor

caption: Coren ApicellaThis dean’s award recognizes a member of the junior faculty who demonstrates unusual promise as an educator. The 2016 recipient is Coren Apicella, assistant professor of psychology. Dr. Apicella is roundly praised for applying what one faculty colleague calls “her tremendous passion for the material and her equal enthusiasm for teaching,” which she shares in both large lectures and small seminars.

Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by Affiliated Faculty

caption: Katherine Moorecaption: Nakia RimmarKatherine Moore, the Mainwaring Teaching Specialist at the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials, and Nakia Rimmer, senior lecturer in mathematics, are the recipients of this dean’s award, which recognizes the contributions to undergraduate education made by the School’s non-standing faculty.

One faculty member notes that, in developing innovative methods of introducing students to archaeological science, Dr. Moore, “is breaking the mold when it comes to undergraduate education in archaeology by relying heavily on experimentation and object-based learning.”

One of Mr. Rimmer’s students speaks for many when she notes that he “mixes difficult material with extensive resources and creative teaching methods to ensure the success of his students” in challenging introductory and advanced calculus classes.

Professional & Liberal Education (PLE) Award for Distinguished Teaching in Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Programs

caption: Rosemary MalagueRosemary Malague, senior lecturer in English and theatre arts, is the recipient of this award, which recognizes outstanding teaching in PLE’s undergraduate and post-baccalaureate programs. A theatre arts colleague notes that Dr. Malague is an “inspiring, passionate and persuasive teacher” who engages traditional and non-traditional students in rehearsals and performances as well as in the classroom.

Professional & Liberal Education Award for Distinguished Teaching in Professional Graduate Programs

caption: Janet GrecoThe recipient of this award, which recognizes teaching excellence in PLE graduate programs, is Janet Greco, senior lecturer in organizational dynamics. Highlighting the transformative nature of Dr. Greco’s courses, one student notes that her teaching “significantly shifted my thinking and helped me to grow as a person and a professional.”

Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students

This award recognizes graduate students for teaching that is intellectually rigorous and has a considerable impact on undergraduate students. This year’s awardees are:

  • Morgan Condell, ancient history
  • Louise Daoust, philosophy
  • Lee Dietterich, biology
  • Ashley Gorham, political science
  • Erika Kontulainen, German
  • Samuel Martin, Romance languages
  • Dianne Mitchell, English
  • Salar Mohandesi, history
  • Michael Noss, chemistry
  • Elodie Resseguie, physics & astronomy

Penn’s Al Filreis: Coursera’s Outstanding Educator Award

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caption: Al FilreisAl Filreis, the Kelly Family Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, is the recipient of an inaugural Coursera Outstanding Educator Award. Dr. Filreis, who is also the director of Penn’s Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and faculty director at Kelly Writers House, received the Transformation Award, given to an instructor who has contributed the most to the platform’s vision of enabling anyone, anywhere to transform their life through its massive open online courses, or MOOCs.

Dr. Filreis’ Modern and Contemporary American Poetry (ModPo) was among the first humanities courses on the Coursera platform.  The introduction to poetry class emphasizes experimental verse, from Dickinson and Whitman to the present.

“Al Filreis is one of the pioneers of online learning,” said Provost Vincent Price. “His ModPo course has changed our understanding of what is possible online while shaping the knowledge of poetry around the world. Above all, he embodies our mission of embracing online the most powerful values of teaching and learning at Penn.”

Stanton Wortham, a Penn Graduate School of Education professor and faculty director of the Penn Online Learning Initiative, accepted the award for Dr. Filreis on March 22 in the Netherlands at the annual Coursera Partners Conference. In a video played at the conference, Dr. Filreis said MOOCs will transform the old style of lectures in the classroom.

“Global collaboration yields better knowledge and understanding than the old lecture.  MOOCs, rather than reinforcing the mode of the lecture, will see the end of the lecture as we know it,” Dr. Filreis said.

Penn was a founding university partner in Coursera in 2012 and has continued to be at the forefront of online learning, offering 87 courses, representing all 12 Penn Schools, with almost five million enrollments. The next live, interactive 10-week session of ModPo will begin on September 10 and will conclude on November 21.

See https://www.coursera.org/learn/modpo

The 2016 iDesign Prize Championship: April 25

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The University of Pennsylvania’s graduate program in integrated product design presents the 2016 iDesign Prize Championship. Five teams led by Penn students, narrowed from a field of 31, will compete for $50,000 to bring an innovative product to market. The event will take place Monday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m. in the Upper Gallery of Meyerson Hall. The pitch session will culminate in an awards ceremony and public reception; admission is free.

  • Animotion: Peter Gebhard, Feini Qu, Brendan Stoeckl, Laura Taddie. Despite the rapidly increasing number of knee surgeries in the US, there is insufficient patient-clinician communication during joint rehabilitation. Animotion’s solution is a wearable device and mobile platform that allows patients and healthcare providers to track joint function.
  • HINT: Monica Butler, Alicia Siman, Yichen Huang. HINT is a “smart pouch” designed to help young girls be prepared for their first period and manage those following. HINT knows when a girl is on her period and reminds her before she gets it next so she can always be prepared with her supplies. HINT aims to replace embarrassment and shame with empowerment through a global community of girls supporting girls.
  • Lilu: Clementine Gilbert, Sujay Suresh, Adriana Vazquez, Allie Looney. Lilu is a dual-purpose nursing and pumping bra that automates breast compression and increases the efficiency, output and comfort of using a breast pump for working mothers and mothers with concerns about their breast milk supply. Lilu lets mothers focus on being productive, being with their baby or just relaxing.
  • RightAir: Jake Brenner, Chris Polster, Perry Dubin, Mike Sims. Millions of Americans feel like they are suffocating when they do the simplest activities as a result of COPD (emphysema), making it the second leading cause of disability in the US. RightAir’s AIR-AD is a portable respiratory assistance device intended to help COPD sufferers finally breathe easy again.
  • SelfCerve: Divyansh Agarwal, Lindsey Fernandez, Harvey M. Friedman, Sonya Davey, Alex Kubo, Mark Yim. If diagnosed and treated early, cervical cancer is highly curable; however, one billion low- and middle-income women between the ages of 21 and 65 globally do not have access to cervical cancer screening. SelfCerve stands to revolutionize women’s health in the developing world through an inexpensive, self-administered cervical cancer screening device.

Deaths

Robert E. Coughlin, City & Regional Planning

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caption: Robert CoughlinRobert E. Coughlin, G’64, a former senior fellow in the department of city & regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, died of heart failure at his home in Chestnut Hill on January 7. He was 88 years old.

Dr. Coughlin was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Roxbury Latin School, then earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, his master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his doctorate in city & regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

He served in the US Navy before and after college and attained the rank of lieutenant junior grade.

From 1955 to 1961, he worked for the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, playing a major role in preparing the city’s comprehensive plan. He was tasked with developing an analytic framework relating the city’s capital program and budget to the comprehensive plan.

From 1962 to 1980, he was vice president of the Philadelphia office of the Regional Science Research Institute. He directed research relating to regional and urban economic issues, and on the impact of urbanization on the environment, open-space preservation and farmland protection.

In 1981, Dr. Coughlin and John C. Keene, who is now professor emeritus of city & regional planning at Penn, founded Coughlin, Keene & Associates, a consulting firm in the field of planning and policy analysis. Dr. Coughlin led projects concerning analysis and evaluation of land-use regulations, farmland protection, urban sprawl and growth management. He also looked at tourism, population and economic projections, and served as an expert witness in zoning cases. He and Dr. Keene produced the seminal National Agricultural Lands Study: The Protection of Farmland—A Reference Guidebook for State and Local Governments.

From 1982 to 1993, Dr. Coughlin was a senior fellow in Penn’s department of city & regional planning, where he taught land-use analysis and land-use policy evaluation. Early in his time at Penn, he received an award from the University’s Research Foundation for a project with Ann L. Strong entitled Preparation of Graphic Illustrations for Publication of the Urban Vegetation Planning Study.

In 1986, he and Dr. Keene, along with two other colleagues formed a committee to help the victims of the earthquake that took place in El Salvador that October (Almanac November 11, 1986).

Dr. Coughlin is survived by his wife, Louisa Spottswood; two daughters, Nina Cook and Bess; one son, Ely; three grandchildren; a brother; and a sister.

Donations in his memory may be made to the North American Guild of Change Ringers, c/o Bruce Butler, 829 N. 25th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130.

John R. Rockwell, Penn Athletics and Penn Museum

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caption: John RockwellJohn Richard (Rick) Rockwell, W’64, WG’66, Overseer of Penn Athletics and the Penn Museum, died of a stroke on March 24 while on vacation in Charleston, South Carolina. Mr. Rockwell, a resident of Owings Mills, Maryland, was 73 years old.

Mr. Rockwell was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and raised in Pennsville, New Jersey. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration at the Wharton School, then served in the Army in Germany from 1967 to 1969. He worked in sales for the Container Corporation of America, then joined Wellington Management and the Vanguard Group. He moved to Baltimore, Maryland, in 1982 and became a senior vice president for retirement plan services at T. Rowe Price. He retired in 2007.

Mr. Rockwell was a longtime member of the board of the University of Pennsylvania Athletics Overseers. He chaired the Basketball Board for Penn Athletics and was a member of the Football Board. He endowed the men’s basketball head coach position and established the John R. Rockwell Gymnasium at Penn’s Hutchinson Gym.

Since 2008, he had also served on the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology. He was a member of the Finance and Marketing and Acquisitions Committees. He underwrote in full the conservation of the two famed stone reliefs in the Chinese Rotunda commissioned by the Emperor Taizong of his battle horses Saluzi and Curly, and the highly popular exhibition In the Artifact Lab. He was lead underwriter of the exhibition Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now. He was also lead annual supporter of excavation work at Abydos, Egypt, by Josef Wegner, associate curator, Egyptian section, and was a longtime member of the Platinum Circle of the Loren Eiseley Society. In 2014, he received the Marian Angell Godfrey Boyer Medal for distinguished service at the Museum (Almanac May 13, 2014).

Earlier this year, Mr. Rockwell was the recipient of Penn’s Alumni Award of Merit (Almanac January 12, 2016). He chaired the Class of 1964’s 50th Reunion, served as Class President and was a former member of the Penn Alumni Council and the Parents Executive Board.

Mr. Rockwell is survived by his wife, Frances, and two sons, Scott and Jordan.

Edmund B. Spaeth, Jr., Law School

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caption: Edmund SpaethEdmund B. Spaeth, Jr., the retired president judge of the Pennsylvania Superior Court and former senior fellow at Penn Law, died of congestive heart failure at Cathedral Village in Philadelphia on March 31. He was 95 years old.

Judge Spaeth was born in Washington, then moved to Mount Airy. He graduated from Germantown Friends School and Harvard College. He served in US Navy intelligence operations during World War II and later joined the Naval Reserve, retiring with the rank of commander.

In 1948, he graduated from Harvard Law School. He became an associate with the Philadelphia law firm MacCoy, Evans & Lewis.

In 1964, he was appointed a judge of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and was subsequently elected to a full term. In 1973, he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Pennsylvania Superior Court but was defeated in the primary election. Later that year, he was appointed to fill a second vacancy on the Superior Court and was elected to a full 10-year term.

Judge Spaeth joined the faculty of Penn’s Law School as a lecturer in 1973. His principal subject was evidence, but he also taught professional responsibility. In 1985, he became a senior fellow at the Law School. He cofounded and directed the Law School’s Center for Professionalism (Almanac October 20, 1987). In 1991, he received the Harvey Levin Award for Excellence in teaching at the Law School (Almanac May 14, 1991). He taught at Penn until 1997.

In 1983, he became president judge of the Superior Court and served until his term expired in 1986. From 1986-2002, he acted as counsel to the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton. In 1988, he became chair of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, a nonprofit corporation created to advance reforms of the judicial system.

In 1989, Governor Bob Casey appointed him chairman of the state Judicial Inquiry and Review Board. The following year, he resigned, telling Governor Casey that the judicial system was too dysfunctional for the board to do its job. The governor appointed him to a commission to recommend changes in that system. Among the commission’s recommendations was abolishing the review board and replacing it with a system of judicial discipline more open to the public, in which the prosecutorial and judicial functions would be separated, and the ability of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to undo the disciplinary order limited. The changes became law.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy Wiltbank; his son, Edmund B. III; two daughters, Eleanor Lee Simons and Suzanne Marinell; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; two step-great-grandchildren; two brothers; and several nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. on April 24 at Germantown Friends Meeting, 31 West Coulter Street in Philadelphia. Donations may be made to the Squirrel Island Library, Squirrel Island, ME 04570, or to Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, Three Parkway, Suite 1320, Philadelphia, PA 19102.

Governance

From the Senate Office: Actions

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The following is published in accordance with the Faculty Senate Rules. Among other purposes, the publication of SEC actions is intended to stimulate discussion among the constituencies and their representatives. Please communicate your comments to Patrick Walsh, executive assistant to the Senate Office, either by telephone at (215) 898-6943 or by email at senate@pobox.upenn.edu

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Reed Pyeritz reported that the May meeting of the Senate will include reports from each of the Senate committees, and the written versions will be made available in advance and also published in Almanac. He noted that plans for an all-faculty mailing of an informational brochure that details how faculty members can assist students in distress have been accelerated in response to the student suicide that occurred earlier in the week. He said that last week,  the Senate Symposium included three university presidents discussing the role of faculty in governance and evolution of the modern university. He reported that members of 21 SEC constituencies will receive a call for nominations for future SEC members and later will receive ballots for voting upon those nominees.

Past-Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Past-Chair Claire Finkelstein did not offer a report.

Ballot–2016 Senate Committee on Committees. The ballot was deferred until the May 2016 SEC meeting.

Update from the Office of the Executive Vice President. Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli described the status of the Penn Connects campus master plan. The third phase of the plan began in 2016 and will continue to 2030. Core space priorities include research and student life space.  A renovated building on 36th and Walnut will house the political science and economics departments, and in May the Hill College House (which was designed by Saarinen) will go offline for 15 months for renovation. In fall 2017, both Hill and New College Houses will be available for student use, adding a net total of more than 300 beds to campus residence areas. Penn’s Century Bond program floated a 100-year taxable bond valued at almost $300 million; a part of it was placed in the endowment so that future generations will be able to repay it. The bond is helping to finance new lighting and HVAC systems that will make buildings more energy friendly and reduce labor time for frequent repairs. Five million dollars in energy costs were saved last year compared to the year in which Penn Connects started; the goal is to save $14 million annually. In response to questions, Mr. Carnaroli referred SEC members to the FY15 Penn Economic Impact Report.

Update from the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty. Vice Provost for Faculty Anita Allen reported that initial findings from the 2015-2016 Faculty Climate Survey are available, and more analysis will be done on the data over the summer. The respondent pool of 69% of all Standing Faculty and 48% of all Associated Faculty is representative with respect to rank, gender and ethnicity. Respondents were surveyed on atmosphere, workload, mentoring, promotion/tenure, sabbatical, hiring/retention and culture/climate. Overall results will be posted to the Provost’s website later this year, and deans will receive hard copies of more detailed data. The Faculty Senate will undertake a review of the data during the next academic year.

Call for PPSA Board and Committee Nominations: April 29

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The Penn Professional Staff Assembly (PPSA), a voluntary organization comprised of professional (monthly-exempt) staff members, is accepting nominations for the Executive Board and University Committees for the 2016-2017 term year. The mission of PPSA is to support and focus staff engagement and collaboration within the University of Pennsylvania community and to act as a productive resource for all of our members. Being a member of PPSA allows you to network with your colleagues through numerous workshops and events that enhance your professional development and work life at Penn.

For more information or to join PPSA go to: http://penn-ppsa.org/

If you are not a member of PPSA and are a monthly-paid employee, please consider joining. If you are a member, please consider nominating yourself or a colleague for a Board or Committee position. Board members attend monthly meetings and assist with program development and coordination. Committee members meet monthly and are expected to report to the Executive Board twice a year. Although there is a time commitment, the experience is rewarding and enjoyable. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet colleagues from across the University who will help to enrich your association with Penn.

Executive Committee Nominations

To nominate: http://tinyurl.com/j9kms2p

The following PPSA Executive Board positions will be available: Chair-Elect and Members at Large (four positions, for a two-year term).

Monthly-paid professional employees are welcome to self-nominate or submit names for consideration by no later than Friday, April 29. Individuals nominated will receive information on completing a candidate bio and personal statement. A list of candidates will be prepared and distributed to the PPSA membership prior to the election.

The election for officers will occur after the annual meeting—Wednesday, May 18, at noon in Hall of Flags, Houston Hall. The speaker is Marybeth Gasman, GSE professor and director, Penn Center for Minority-Serving Institutions.

University Committee Nominations

PPSA invites you to nominate yourself or others for service on the 2016-2017 University Council Committees. Council committees serve as advisory bodies in shaping academic/administrative policy. Consider taking advantage of this opportunity to learn about Penn’s administrative structure and have input into its decision-making.

Membership on the committees is open to all monthly-paid staff. For information on University Committees, go to https://secure.www.upenn.edu/secretary/council/committees.html

Committee members will be selected by the Tri-Chairs following the Executive Committee Election.

Questions on the nominating and election process can be directed to ppsa@exchange.upenn.edu

—PPSA Executive Board

Policies

Of Record: Policy on Non-affiliates Visiting Penn Research Facilities

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For the purpose of this policy, non-affiliates are people who are not University of Pennsylvania faculty, staff, graduate or professional students or post-doctoral/clinical trainees. Non-affiliates include all elementary, high school and undergraduate students. The principal investigator/supervisor of the entity is responsible for assuring that all non-affiliates in his/her facility are appropriately supervised and comply with the requirements of this policy. Please note that this policy addresses only people visiting labs. For students and other non-affiliates actively participating in labs, see below for the “Policy on Undergraduate Students, High School Students and Non-affiliates Participating in Research in Penn Research Facilities.”

Requirements for visitors to Penn laboratories:

  • Visitors must be approved by the principal investigator/supervisor.
  • Visitors must be accompanied by a laboratory staff member.
  • Visitors must sign in with security staff (in buildings with manned security stations).
  • Visitors must wear proper laboratory attire: long pants, closed-toed shoes, lab coats and eye protection.
  • Visitors must not be permitted to handle or be exposed to hazardous chemicals, biological agents, radioactive materials or animals.
  • Foreign national visitors/non-affiliates must not be given access to export controlled equipment or materials without appropriate eligibility screening.

Requirements for visitors to Penn vivaria are detailed in the IACUC facility “Visitation Policy” at www.upenn.edu/regulatoryaffairs/Documents/visitor%20policy.pdf

Of Record: Summer Research: Policy on Undergraduate Students, High School Students and Non-affiliates Participating in Penn Research

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During the summer, many students and people unaffiliated with Penn participate in research in University laboratories. To provide for their safety and to ensure compliance with applicable regulations, the University established the “Policy on Undergraduate Students, High School Students and Non-affiliates Participating in Research in Penn Research Facilities.” This policy was previously published in Almanac on April 22, 2014 and April 21, 2015.

In summary: Principal investigators are responsible for assuring that all students and non-affiliates working in their laboratories are appropriately trained, supervised and comply with the requirements of the policy. Programs for high school students must comply with requirements described in the Vice Provost for University Life current year’s “Special Summer Programs Protocols.” A consent signature sheet must be submitted to the principal investigator/sponsor with signatures from both the high school student and parents.

High school students and undergraduates must attend laboratory safety training offered by the Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety (EHRS). Students must register for a class at http://www.ehrs.upenn.edu/resources/training/hsugform.html Check the EHRS website http://www.ehrs.upenn.edu/training/dates/ for training schedules or contact EHRS at (215) 898-4453 to schedule a program for a particular group of students.

Proper attire (long pants, closed-toed shoes, lab coat and safety glasses) must be worn when working in the laboratory.

Please contact EHRS at (215) 898-4453 for additional information.

Features

University of Pennsylvania Three-Year Academic Calendar, 2016-2017 through 2018-2019

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Notes: 

Graduate and professional programs follow their own calendars with different registration/drop deadlines, which are typically available on the website of the school or program.

The College of Liberal and Professional Studies may have different registration/drop deadlines. Please visit the LPS website, www.sas.upenn.edu/lps/  for more information. 

Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the first two days of Passover and Good Friday are religious holidays that affect large numbers of University community members and that fall during the academic year. To view the University’s policy regarding these and other holidays, please visit http://provost.upenn.edu/policies/pennbook/2013/02/13/policy-on-secular-and-religious-holidays

The University’s Three-Year Academic Calendar is subject to change. In the event that changes are made, the latest, most up-to-date version will be posted to Almanac’s website, 

www.upenn.edu/almanac  To find out why these changes—“Thursday-Friday Class Schedule on Tuesday-Wednesday” and “First Day of Classes (Monday class schedule on Wednesday)”—

have happened, please visit http://provost.upenn.edu/education/calendar

Events

Update: April AT PENN

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Music

26        Ancient Echoes; evening of music inspired by Penn Museum’s collections—collaboration with Philadelphia Chapter of the American Composers Forum; 8 p.m.; Penn Museum; $15/in advance, $20/door, $10/members; tickets: http://www.penn.museum/ (Penn Museum). 

Talk

28        LRSM Science Café: Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes ARE Genetic: Successes from Genome Wide Scans; Struan Grant, pediatrics; 6 p.m. (venue opens at 5 p.m.); University Club, Inn at Penn (LRSM). 

Penn Relays: April 28-30

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Penn faculty, staff and students are invited to take advantage of a series of special discounts for 2016 Penn Relays tickets. 

On Thursday, April 28, admission is free with a PennCard and since it is Take Your Child to Work Day, employees may also bring one child for free. Additional tickets are available for purchase for $5 with PennCard. 

On Friday, April 29, faculty and staff can purchase a maximum of four general admissions tickets for $10 each with a valid PennCard. Admission is free for Penn students with PennCard.

On Saturday, April 30, faculty and staff can purchase a maximum of four bronze level tickets for $24 each with a valid PennCard. 

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit www.thepennrelays.com

The Penn Relays, which began in 1895, is the oldest and largest track & field competition in the United States.

Shakespeare at Penn’s Library

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The Bard of Avon was born and died in April so it is fitting that he makes an appearance now. (Above) The Stage and All the World: Shakespeare, Cervantes and Early Maps, an exhibit juxtaposing the way exploration and geography are represented in literature and in maps, is on display in the Snyder-Granader Alcove, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library with a reception on Thursday, April 21 from 5-7:30 p.m. The exhibition will be on display now through June 17.

A conference on Spain and England in the Age of Cervantes and Shakespeare: Connected Histories? will be held on April 21, 1-7:30 p.m.; Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. To register: http://tinyurl.com/zp8pvjf (Penn Libraries).

Volunteers for April 23 Baby Shower

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HUP Nursing is looking for volunteers to help with their 2016 Greater Philadelphia Community Baby Shower on Saturday, April 23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Penn Ice Rink.

This free event is open to the public and is an educational program for expectant mothers and new families with children up to 3 years old. There will be an ongoing educational session for participants, who will then tour the vendor area, where there will be opportunities for specialized and individual education. Since it is a baby shower, there will be gifts and presents. Participants will enter drawings for gifts for their families. Refreshments will be served.

Parking is free under the Walnut Street Bridge and also in the lot next to the Ice Rink. Entrance to the parking area is from 31st Street. Volunteer opportunities include set up: Friday, April 22, 4 p.m. & Saturday April 23, 8-10 a.m., as well as registration, fitness demonstration, refreshments, door prize distribution, evaluations and break down: Saturday, April 23, 3-5 p.m. & Monday, April 25, 10 a.m.-noon.

This is an opportunity to demonstrate concern for the families in our community. We need many volunteers to make this program a success! Please email me at sammapp@pobox.upenn.edu to volunteer.

Isabel Mapp, 

Director, Penn Volunteers in Public Service

Walk-Back Program: April 28-May 10

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The Division of Public Safety, in collaboration with the Undergraduate Assembly (UA) and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA), will be offering the Public Safety Walk-Back Program during reading days and final exams, April 28 to May 10 from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

An AlliedBarton Public Safety Officer will be posted at the “Split Button” on Blanche Levy Park in front of the library 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 Programs. Uniformed AlliedBarton Public Safety Officers provide free walking escort services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from 30th to 43rd Streets and Market Street to Baltimore Avenue.

Escorts are also available from 10 a.m. until 3 a.m. from 30th to 50th Streets and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue via the University’s partnership with the University City District Ambassador Program.

Officers are dispatched by radio and will accompany the requestor from one location to another, to a Penn Transit stop or to an on-campus SEPTA regional transit stop.

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

Learn more here: https://www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/about/security-services/walking-escort/

Penn Libraries’ Dog Days: April 28 and April 29

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Penn Libraries is working again with Therapy Dogs International for the second-ever Van Pelt Dog Days. Last December, it held its first Van Pelt Dog Days to help students take a break and relieve stress during reading days and finals. It will host the dogs in the Class of ’55 Conference Room (rm. 241) on Thursday, April 28 from 2-4 p.m. and in the Meyerson Conference Room (rm. 223) on Friday, April 29 from 2-4 p.m. All members of the Penn community are welcome.

More information can be found online at: bit.ly/vpdogdays

Penn Libraries’ Dog Days:  April 28 and April 29

  • April 19, 2016
  • vol 62 issue 31
  • Events
  • print

Penn Libraries is working again with Therapy Dogs International for the second-ever Van Pelt Dog Days. Last December, it held its first Van Pelt Dog Days to help students take a break and relieve stress during reading days and finals. It will host the dogs in the Class of ’55 Conference Room (rm. 241) on Thursday, April 28 from 2-4 p.m. and in the Meyerson Conference Room (rm. 223) on Friday, April 29 from 2-4 p.m. All members of the Penn community are welcome.

More information can be found online at: bit.ly/vpdogdays

Ceremonial Tree Planting 

  • April 19, 2016
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With Earth Day this Friday, followed soon thereafter by Arbor Day, it is time to focus on trees, on campus and at the Morris Arboretum, and everywhere from here to there.

The Penn community is invited to celebrate Earth Day, April 22, at 11:30 a.m., on College Green between the north side of Claudia Cohen Hall and the LOVE statue. Through a partnership with FRES and the Morris Arboretum, Penn will host a ceremonial tree planting of a Prunus ‘Helen Taft’ flowering cherry tree in recognition of Penn’s 7th year being named a Tree Campus USA. 

The ‘Helen Taft’ tree is named for former First Lady Helen Taft to commemorate the 100th anniversary in 2012 of the Japanese gift of cherry trees that now are a celebrated landmark of the nation’s capital. Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Iwa Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two of the cherry trees at the Tidal Basin in DC in a ceremony on March 27, 1912.

Participants in Friday’s ceremony will include Penn’s Vice President of Facilities & Real Estate Services Anne Papageorge; University Landscape Architect Bob Lundgren and the Morris Arboretum’s Director of Horticulture and Curator Tony Aiello.

Campus Tree Tours

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Register now for the tree tours that will take place on April 22, following the 11:30 a.m. event.

Register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TreeCampusUSA2016 

Then, on Earth Day, meet on College Green between the north side of Claudia Cohen Hall and the LOVE statue following the Ceremonial Tree Planting and photo opportunity. Tree tours will be presented by FRES Landscape Architect staff and Morris Arboretum staff: 

Significant Trees–presented by Jason Lubar and Bob Wells

Specialty Gardens–presented by Bob Lundgren and Chloe Cerwinka

Group Bike Ride to Arboretum

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April 23, Pedal to the Petals! Penn students are invited to ride their bikes from campus to the Morris Arboretum with Arboretum staff and the Penn Outdoors Club. The group will meet in front of the Penn Museum at 10:30 a.m. The ride will be on bike trails for 13 out of the 14 miles to the Arboretum and go past some of the prettiest places in the city (Philadelphia Museum of Art, Boathouse Row & Wissahickon Valley Park). Spring petals will be in abundance when the group arrives at the Arboretum. Complimentary refreshments will be available for everyone to recharge and the Morris Café will be open for more extensive meal options. The group will head back to campus at 3 p.m. and be back on campus by 4:30 p.m. All participants need their own bike, helmet and water bottle. 

Register in advance at http://tinyurl.com/ht38jyg

Celebrating Arbor Day at Arboretum

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How does your garden grow? Find out how to make it flourish at Morris Arboretum’s Arbor Day Family Day on Saturday, April 23 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Expand your tree and gardening knowledge and discover how to help plants and flowers grow.  Explore three very different garden stations that will surprise you and sketch your own special garden. Learn how to choose garden plants, experiment with seeds and create your own indoor or outdoor garden. 

 After you’ve visited these garden stations, stop by the Upper Gallery from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. to learn more about trees at Arbor Day related demonstration tables. Discover which everyday items, such as cough syrup and cinnamon, are made from trees.  Talk with artisans who have crafted bowls and birdhouses from Arboretum reclaimed wood, which are available for purchase in the shop. This event, open to all visitors, is free with garden admission and also gives 4th and 5th grade Girl Scouts the opportunity to earn their “Gardener” badge.

Human Resources: Upcoming May Programs

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Professional & Personal Development Programs

Improve your skills and get ahead in your career by taking advantage of the many development opportunities provided by Human Resources. You can register for programs by visiting knowledgelink.upenn.edu or contacting Learning and Education at (215) 898-3400. 

Project Management; 5/19; 9 a.m.-noon; $75. Managing projects can feel daunting. It requires a focus on defining the initiative, planning for work, managing the initiative and monitoring results. Join us for a seminar to learn about tools and techniques that can help you managing your projects. Learn how to identify the key activities in the project life cycle and how to construct a project timeline. Understand the role of the “triple constraint” in project management and apply it in determining project scope. Learn how to keep projects on track by managing project risks and effectively using a communication plan. Capture valuable project lessons and use them to define and improve project management practices within your organization. 

Quality of Worklife Workshops

Dealing with the demands of work and your personal life can be challenging. These free workshops, sponsored by Human Resources and led by experts from Penn’s Employee Assistance Program and Quality of Worklife Department, offer information and support for your personal and professional life challenges. For complete details and to register, visit www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/registration or contact Human Resources at (215) 573-2471 or qowl@hr.upenn.edu

Guided Meditation–Take a Breath and Relax; 5/10 & 5/20; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Practice mindful breathing that focuses your attention on the present moment with kindness, compassion and awareness. Self-massage and gentle mindful movements that promote relaxation and reduce stress may also be included in the workshop. No experience necessary.

Mindfulness in the Workplace; 5/11; noon-1 p.m. From Psychology Today to the Harvard Business Review, mindfulness has been in the news a lot lately, but what exactly does it mean? Mindfulness practice develops awareness of your present thoughts and feelings to help you manage different situations. In this workshop, we’ll explore the science and philosophy behind mindfulness and learn its potential benefits. You’ll see how mindfulness can help you become more engaged and effective both at home and in the workplace. Please feel free to bring your lunch.

Current Market Sellers and Refinance Tools; 5/17; 12:30-1:30 p.m. One of Penn Home Ownership Services’ lending partners will be on hand to answer all of your mortgage questions for home purchases and refinance. This open forum will allow home sellers and buyers to ask questions regarding the home-buying process, credit, down-sizing and related topics. Lunch will be provided.

Thinking About Retirement; 5/18; 11 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. If you’re retiring soon or just considering it, Penn offers an informative program just for you. Thinking About Retirement covers the essentials of your retirement package, including your Penn Retirement Plan, Social Security and Medicare. Attend any one of these three concurrent sessions, or all of them, to learn how to enjoy the rewards of your Penn career long after you retire.

Healthy Living Workshops

Get the tools you need to live well year-round. From expert nutrition and weight loss advice to exercise and disease prevention strategies, we can help you kick-start your body and embrace a healthy lifestyle. These free workshops are sponsored by Human Resources. For complete details and to register, visit www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/registration or contact Human Resources at (215) 573-2471 or qowl@hr.upenn.edu

Osteoporosis Workshop; 5/3; noon-1 p.m. Osteoporosis is a major health problem that affects over 25 million Americans. Half of the women over age 50 and one-third of men over age 75 will develop osteoporosis. Osteoporosis will cause more than 1.3 million debilitating fractures a year; hip fractures alone account for an estimated 50,000 deaths annually. While there are treatments that can slow or stop bone loss, currently the only cure for osteoporosis is prevention. This presentation is designed to educate the audience on what osteoporosis is, the risk factors associated with osteoporosis, and osteoporosis prevention.

Gentle Yoga; 5/4 & 5/25; 11 a.m.-noon. Let your body reward itself with movement. Join us for this Gentle Yoga session and explore the natural movements of the spine with slow and fluid moving bends and soft twists. During this session, you will flow into modified sun salutations that loosen those tightened muscles and joints of the lower back, neck, shoulders and wrists. And as an added bonus, you’ll get a workout in the process. Mats and props will be provided.

Be in the Know Biometric Screenings; 5/10; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Start this year’s Be in the Know campaign and sign up for a free and confidential biometric screening, which measures your: 

• Blood pressure

• Blood sugar (glucose)

• Non-fasting cholesterol 

(total and high density lipoproteins)

Biometric screenings are conducted by AREUFIT Health Services, an experienced worksite health promotion company. These screenings should only take 20 minutes. On the spot, you’ll receive your results and learn what they mean from an AREUFIT health educator.

Visit our Be in the Know webpages at www.hr.upenn.edu/beintheknow to learn about the full campaign, including complete details regarding this year’s Core Activities (biometric screening and online health assessment) and Bonus Actions. Get started today and earn up to $180* and be entered into various drawings for exciting prizes!

*Note: All Be in the Know incentives are less applicable payroll taxes.

—Division of Human Resources

Crimes

The University of Pennsylvania Police Department Community Crime Report

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About the Crime Report: Below are all Crimes Against Persons or Crimes Against Society from the campus report for April 4-10, 2016. Also reported were 11 Crimes Against Property (8 thefts, 2 cases of fraud and 1 traffic violation). Full reports are available at: www.upenn.edu/almanac/volumes/v62/n31/creport.html Prior weeks’ reports are also online. —Eds.

This summary is prepared by the Division of Public Safety and includes all criminal incidents reported and made known to the University Police Department between the dates of April 4-10, 2016. The University Police actively patrol from Market Street to Baltimore Avenue and from the Schuylkill River to 43rd Street in conjunction with the Philadelphia Police. In this effort to provide you with a thorough and accurate report on public safety concerns, we hope that your increased awareness will lessen the opportunity for crime. For any concerns or suggestions regarding this report, please call the Division of Public Safety at (215) 898-4482.

 

04/05/16    2:54 PM    51 N 39th St    Complainant threatened by client’s family member 

04/08/16    5:27 PM    3935 Walnut St    Complainant struck by officer

 

Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District: 6 incidents with 0 arrests (3 robberies, 2 assaults and 1 rape) were reported between April 4-10, 2016 by the 18th District covering the Schuylkill River to 49th Street & Market Street to Woodland Avenue.

04/04/16    3:11 PM    3900 Woodland Ave    Rape

04/04/16    6:34 PM    299 S 40th St    Assault

04/05/16    11:33 PM    200 S 45th St    Robbery

04/07/16    9:28 PM    4512 Walnut St    Robbery

04/08/16    6:06 PM    3935 Walnut St    Assault

04/10/16    2:09 AM     225 S 44th St    Robbery

Bulletins

One Step Ahead: Personal vs. University Accounts

  • April 19, 2016
  • vol 62 issue 31
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Another tip in a series provided by the Offices of Information Systems & Computing and Audit, Compliance & Privacy.

Personal vs. University Accounts

More so than ever before, the lines between personal and professional digital life tend to overlap for many individuals. While incidental and occasional personal use of University systems, including e-mail, is permissible, it is important to remember that once a person no longer has an active affiliation with Penn, his or her University accounts are disabled. This means he or she can no longer access many University services and resources such as Penn email accounts, Penn+Box and LastPass.

It is therefore recommended that you:

  • Do not use your Penn email address for personal correspondence or for user names and recovery addresses of personal accounts.
  • For third-party services that you could potentially use after separating from Penn, use a non-Penn email address to create the account when possible (e.g., LastPass).
  • Avoid storing your private information or personal records on University electronic resources or systems.
  • Understand that your University accounts will not remain active and accessible if you leave Penn. You will want to ensure that you follow the Guidance on Disposition of Documents and Data of Faculty and Staff who are Leaving Penn, available at http://www.upenn.edu/oacp/privacy/assets/pdf/DispositionOfDocumentsGuidance.pdf
  • Talk to your Local Support Provider (LSP) well in advance of any departure from Penn. Your LSP can help you prepare.

For additional tips, see the One Step Ahead link on the Information Security website: https://www.isc.upenn.edu/security/news-alerts#One-Step-Ahead