$15 Million Gift from Keith and Kathy Sachs for Sachs Program for Arts Innovation

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • News
  • print

caption:Keith and Kathy Sachs

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price have announced the creation of the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation. Founded with a commitment of $15 million from alumni Keith L. Sachs and Katherine Sachs, this transformative gift—the largest gift ever made across the arts at Penn—will establish the Sachs Arts Innovation Hub and closely link arts education to the Penn Compact 2020’s goal of advancing innovation across the University.

“Creativity is the very soul of innovation, and what is art but creativity made manifest?” President Gutmann said. “Keith and Kathy are among the undisputed patron saints of the arts at Penn, and their latest extraordinary generosity will transform how we understand, teach and break new ground in the arts. The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation promises to empower a new wave of artistic and ingenious creation at Penn.”

The new Sachs Arts Innovation Hub, to be located in the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, will aim to visibly energize the arts and arts innovation at Penn. It will integrate research, teaching and practice, working collaboratively with faculty, students, arts and culture leaders and the Provost’s Arts Advisory Council, while building on the highly successful initiatives of the three-year Art and Culture Initiative sponsored by the provost and the School of Arts & Sciences.  

“This tremendous gift comes at an especially exciting time for the arts at Penn,” Provost Price said. “It allows us to integrate and amplify the wide range of activity already under way in our world-leading arts institutions and academic departments—and in a city bursting with unrivaled arts opportunities—creating a whole decidedly greater than the sum of its parts. The longtime leadership of Keith and Kathy Sachs across the ICA, PennDesign and the School of Arts & Sciences has set the stage for this new era, and we are all indebted to their generosity and vision.” 

Led by an executive director to be appointed through a national search, the Sachs Program will expand sustainable curricular innovation in the arts across Penn, including grants to develop courses, workshops, master classes and other learning opportunities; encourage hands-on artistic production and public art spaces; foster cross-campus collaborations, especially between arts centers and academic programs; appoint artists-in-residence and other new faculty members; and build community and new audiences for the arts at Penn.

The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation culminates more than a decade of the couple’s support for the arts at Penn. These major gifts, which have transformed the landscape of arts education on campus, include the Sachs Guest Curator Program at the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Sachs Professorship in Contemporary Art in the department of history of art in SAS and the Fine Arts Program Fund and Visiting Professorship in the department of fine arts in the School of Design (Almanac November 8, 2005). Their vision has been to expand arts programs across Penn by integrating the ICA, the department of fine arts and the department of history of art and by bringing outstanding artists to teach on campus.

“We believe strongly that the arts are essential to the core mission of education,” Mr. Sachs, W’67, said. “The very best students seek out a university with a vital arts program. At the same time, the arts are central to advancing key Penn values, such as diversity, innovation and integrating knowledge.” 

“We are especially pleased,” that our gifts to the arts create synergies and new ideas across campus. These connections foster the creativity and imagination that our students need to become the leaders of an ever-changing world," Mrs. Sachs, CW’69, said.   

Mr. Sachs is former CEO of Saxco International, member and former chair of the School of Design Board of Overseers and a trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is a longtime leader of the Class of 1967 Gift Committee, which he is chairing during its 50th-reunion year. Mrs. Sachs, an adjunct curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for many years, is an emeritus member of the University Board of Trustees, a member of the University’s Design Review Committee and a member of the ICA Board of Overseers, which she formerly chaired.

Penn Mathematicians’ $10 Million Grant to Prove Homological Mirror Symmetry

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • News
  • print

caption:       caption:A team of researchers led by University of Pennsylvania mathematical physicists Tony Pantev and Ron Donagi recently received a $10 million Simons Collaboration Grant to prove the Homological Mirror Symmetry Conjecture, one of mathematics’ outstanding open problems. Solving this has potential applications in fields from particle physics to geometry.

“Homological mirror symmetry has generated a lot of deep research and interesting theorems,” said Dr. Pantev, a professor of mathematics in the School of Arts & Sciences. “The ideas have gestated enough that we can really push and converge on a method that would solve it.”

The conjecture concerns what are called Calabi-Yau spaces—tiny, six-dimensional curved spaces—whose properties were originally hypothesized in 1957 by Eugenio Calabi, a now-retired Penn mathematician, and proven 21 years later by Shing-Tung Yau. According to string theory, all matter is made up of vibrating strings wrapped around these Calabi-Yau spaces, strings that create musical notes we “hear” as electrons, protons, photons and gravitons.

It did not take long for physicists to realize the overwhelming importance of these spaces in string theory. One famous paper showed that the properties of these “musical” notes are similar to the properties of the particles physicists detect in particle accelerators. Physicists also noticed that very often Calabi-Yau spaces came in pairs, which they called “mirror spaces.” Though the geometry of a mirror space looks nothing like that of the original, these spaces have an identical effect on particle physics, as if a violin and tuba played the exact same music and a listener could not tell which instrument was being used.

Mathematicians, however, dismissed these “mirror spaces” because no known geometric operations related pairs of spaces in such a way. Then, in 1991, a group of physicists used mirror symmetry to propose a revolutionary approach to enumerative geometry, the branch of mathematics that counts solutions to algebraic equations, solving a century-old open problem. Mathematicians could no longer ignore physicists, leading to a period of collaboration between the two disciplines.

Homological mirror symmetry, proposed in 1994, goes a step further, mathematically formulating the existence of Calabi-Yau mirror pairs and looking at the relation between them. When this conjecture first emerged, Dr. Pantev was finishing his doctoral work at Penn in algebraic geometry and mathematical physics. Dr. Donagi, his adviser, was working on a related problem in the field. Before long, they combined forces to work on the problem together. Now, 20 years later, they have forged a partnership with the leading researchers in the field from Harvard, Brandeis and Columbia universities, the University of Miami and the University of California, Berkeley.

“It’s just a wonderful synthesis of so many different streams within modern mathematics,” said Dr. Donagi, a professor in Penn’s mathematics and physics & astronomy departments. 

Dr. Pantev said he believes the time is right for this new partnership, which includes experts in three different areas of mathematics, each of whom has previously contributed to solving a piece of the Homological Mirror Symmetry Conjecture. By combining these approaches, the team hopes to answer what has so far remained a mystery.

Nearly 100 research teams sought funding from The Simons Collaboration, the first such call for proposals from The Simons Foundation. From that pool, Dr. Pantev’s team was one of two to receive a grant after making in-person presentations. The other award went to a Stanford University–based group of physicists that also includes Vijay Balasubramanian, the Cathy and Marc Lasry Professor of Physics at Penn.

The Simons Collaboration grant provides $10 million over five years for research projects in mathematics, physics and computer science, with the possibility of a three-year renewal and an additional $7.5 million.


Donald Calcagni, VPUL Facilities

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Deaths
  • print

Donald A. Calcagni, senior associate director of VPUL Facilities at the University of Pennsylvania, died on October 8. He was 63 years old.

Mr. Calcagni was born in Norristown, PA, and spent most of his life in Levittown. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School.

He joined Penn in 1991 as an estimator/inspector with Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES), a position he held until 2005. He then became an associate director of facilities in the division of the Vice Provost for University Life (VPUL) and was promoted to senior associate director in February 2016.

In 2007, he was part of a team that earned an honorable mention in the Models of Excellence Awards for developing a well-coordinated approach to renovating Fraternity/Sorority houses (Almanac February 20, 2007).

He was among this year’s new members of Penn’s 25 Year Club (Almanac October 4, 2016). He had  also been a member of the University Club since 2005 and was a daily guest there.

He is survived by his wife, Linda; their seven children, Donald, Ryan, Colleen, Sherry, Fred, Kim and Brian; 12 grandchildren; two sisters, Darlene Smyth and Tina Benvenuto; his mother, Gertrude Calcagni; and many nieces and nephews.

Mr. Calcagni’s family requests that those who wish to honor his memory do so by “forgiving others, building relationships and making memories with family and friends.”

To express condolences, visit

Alexander Hersh, Social Work

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Deaths
  • print

Alexander Hersh, SW’53, GrS’67, a Penn associate professor emeritus in the School of Social Work (now known as the School of Social Policy and Practice), died on October 1. He was 91 years old.

Dr. Hersh was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and earned his BA from University of Minnesota in 1950. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in social work from Penn in 1953 and 1967, respectively.

Dr. Hersh was an avid advocate for people with disabilities throughout his career. Before coming to Penn, he held positions at Woods School in Langhorne, Pennsylvania; Abington Memorial Hospital Mental Health Clinic; and Elwyn Institute, from 1965-1968.

He joined Penn as an assistant professor in the School of Social Work in 1968 and became associate professor in 1974. He retired in 1990 and became associate professor emeritus in 1992.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Phyllis; his daughters, Elizabeth and Shari; and his grandchildren, Emma and Zack Goldman-Hersh and Bella Didd Robinson.

A memorial service will be held on October 22 at 3 p.m., at Cathedral Village, 600 E. Cathedral Road, Philadelphia, PA.

Donations in Dr. Hersh’s memory may be made to the Arc of Pennsylvania, an advocacy organization for people with disabilities, or the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society,


To Report A Death
Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students and other members of the University community. Call (215) 898-5274 or email

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 517, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136 or by email at


Faculty Senate Executive Committee Agenda

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Governance
  • print

The following agenda is published in accordance with the Faculty Senate Rules. Any member of the standing faculty may attend SEC meetings and observe. Questions may be directed to Patrick Walsh, executive assistant to the Senate Office, either by telephone at (215) 898-6943 or by email at

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Agenda

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

3-5 p.m.

Meyerson Conference Room, 2nd floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library

1.   Approval of the Minutes of September 21, 2016 (1 minute)

2.   Chair’s Report (5 minutes)

3.   Past-Chair’s Report on Academic Planning & Budget, Capital Council, and Campaign for Community (C4C) (5 minutes)

C4C applications are being accepted now at

4.   Update from the Office of the President (45 minutes)
            Discussion with Amy Gutmann, Penn president

5.   Update from the Office of the Senior Vice President and General Counsel (30 minutes)
            Discussion with Wendy White, senior vice president and general counsel for the University and Penn Medicine

6.   2017 Senate Nominating Committee (5 minutes)

7.    New Business (5 minutes)

Council: Annual Report of the Steering Committee for University Council

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Governance
  • print

This is the 38th annual report of the Steering Committee of the University Council, prepared by the Office of the University Secretary in accordance with Council Bylaws that the Steering Committee publish an annual report to the University community that reviews the previous year’s Council deliberations and highlights “both significant discussions and the formal votes taken on matters of substance.”

Annual Report of the Steering Committee for University Council


October 7, 2015 Meeting

With the advice of Steering and consent of Council, President Amy Gutmann appointed Therese Richmond as moderator and Lauren Steinfeld as parliamentarian for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Faculty Senate Chair Reed Pyeritz advised that Steering had drawn on discussions at the April 2015 Steering and Council meetings to finalize four focus issues for 2015-2016, as follows:

  • The history and current status of open expression at Penn  (October 28, 2015)
  • Penn Connects 2.0 (December 2, 2015)
  • Discussion of Penn’s protocol(s) for bringing and responding to complaints about sexual assault or misconduct and other Title IX issues (January 27, 2016)
  • Cross-disciplinary and cross-school programs involving staff, students and faculty  (February 17, 2016)
  • Council reviewed the 2015-2016 committee charges and Professor Pyeritz announced two Open Forum sessions, for the December 2 and February 17 meetings.

Provost Vince Price, Vice Provost for Education Beth Winkelstein and David Fox, director of NSO and Academic Initiatives, led discussion of the 2015-2016 Academic Theme Year: The Year of Discovery, to include intellectual and cultural opportunities for students, faculty and staff. 

October 28, 2015 Meeting

The History and Current Status of Open Expression at Penn

The meeting opened with the discussion of the first focus issue of the year, “The History and Current Status of Open Expression at Penn.”

Provost Price spoke about opportunities at Penn, including Campaign for Community (C4C), to bolster open expression and talk constructively about issues that may seem intractable or controversial. He then introduced Senior Vice President and General Counsel Wendy White, Associate Vice Provost for Equity and Access Will Gipson, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Hikaru Kozuma and Vice Provost for Faculty Anita Allen.

Ms. White noted that issues of academic freedom and free speech have always existed on campuses, offering the example of 1960s anti-war protests, a period to which Penn’s open expression policies can be traced. Mr. Kozuma spoke about Penn’s Guidelines on Open Expression and the Committee on Open Expression, which support Penn’s commitment to freedoms of thought, inquiry, speech and assembly while protecting the normal activities of the community. Dr. Allen spoke about the positive and negative consequences of open expression, noting the importance of speaking out against words that one believes are objectionable. Vice Provost Will Gipson spoke about Campaign for Community, urging individuals or groups to submit proposals for funding, support and/or branding for their events.

In accordance with the Bylaws, President Gutmann and Provost Price presented State of the University reports.

President Gutmann introduced the new President’s Innovation Prize, a commercial analog to the President’s Engagement Prize—$100,000 with a living stipend of $50,000 each for up to five team members. Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations John Zeller spoke on Penn Impact 2020, Penn’s development and alumni relations efforts through the end of this decade.

Mr. Zeller reviewed the success of the Making History campaign, which surpassed its $3.5 billion goal with commitments of $4.3 billion. The campaign also met non-financial objectives of engagement. Penn Impact 2020, a five year-effort begun last year, continues the key priorities of Making History: support for student financial aid, faculty support, engagement activities, as well as strategic priorities for the schools and centers.

Noting that the Task Force on Student Psychological Health and Wellness had recommended regular reports to Council on progress on initiatives, the Provost introduced Bill Alexander, director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Director of the Graduate Student Center and Family Resource Center Anita Mastroieni, and Vice Provost for Education Beth Winkelstein.

Professor Winkelstein indicated that the Task Force’s February 2015 report resulted from combined efforts of a large cross-campus partnership, including the new Jed Advisory Team. Ms. Mastroieni noted the four broad categories of Task Force recommendations: communication and education; centralizing information about mental health resources; engaging faculty, staff, students and families; and finally, optimizing resources for CAPS.

Messaging supportive of self-care and looking out for one another was reflected at Freshman Convocation, in welcome back communications from deans and administrators, and in the Graduate Student Resource Guide, to name a few examples. The Faculty Council on Access and Academic Support distributed a checklist to faculty on helping students thrive as scholars and linking resources, and CAPS and the Faculty Senate disseminated information about warning signs of student distress.

All Task Force recommendations regarding CAPS have been implemented. Initial appointments for non-urgent care are offered within a week of assessment. Dr. Alexander detailed the program’s nine components, including a review of policy, systems and strategic planning; development of life skills; fostering connectedness between individuals and between structures and programs, and examining academic performance as it relates to mental health and wellness.

December 2, 2015 Meeting

The Moderator introduced Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli and Vice President for Real Estate and Facilities Services Anne Papageorge to discuss the focus issue, Penn Connects 2.0.

Mr. Carnaroli spoke about Penn Connects, its connection to the vision of the Penn Compact and the resources of the successful Making History campaign, and the 30-year long-range plan approved by the Trustees in 2006. He noted how development on campus resonates with Penn’s mission of education, research and student life with a focus on facilities, open space and connections within the University as well as beyond.

Mr. Carnaroli added that the University has been sensitive to being a good neighbor within the larger community—learning through its own experience over the past 50 years and in observation of the experiences of other universities. Ms. Papageorge also noted that the University works very closely with the community and the city. As an example, each month, Penn provides an update to over 60 community organizations.

Council held its first Open Forum and discussed the following issues:

  • Concerns regarding Penn’s policy to not bridge time when a staff member switches from full-time to part-time, when calculating retirement benefits
  • Request to speak about sexual assault and resources for victims of sexual assault at Penn
  • Request to speak about religion/spirituality as a form of diversity at Penn 
  • Request to speak against fossil-fuel divestment 
  • Request to speak in favor of the divestment of university endowment funds from the fossil fuel industry
  • Request to speak on the topic of sustainable investing and fossil fuel divestment 
  • Request to speak on the investment policy of the Penn endowment fund in regard to fossil fuels and climate change

January 27, 2016 Meeting

Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs Sam Starks began discussion of Penn’s protocol(s) for bringing and responding to complaints about sexual assault or misconduct and other Title IX issues, noting that he is also Penn’s Title IX coordinator.  He spoke about the federal laws known as Title IX prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in all educational programs and activities at any university receiving federal funding. 

Jessica Mertz, director of Sexual Violence Prevention and Education in the office of the Vice Provost for University Life, spoke about developing and overseeing Penn’s initiatives to educate students about interpersonal, sexual and relationship violence and stalking, and stressed the collaborative nature of her office’s efforts.

Director of Special Services Pat Brennan spoke about the work of her department, which is a division of Public Safety but not part of Penn Police. She added that her office provides options counseling and conducts investigations related to dating and domestic violence, harassment and stalking, but the Philadelphia Police Sexual Assault Resource Center (PSARC) conducts criminal investigations of sexual assault.

Deborah Harley, the University’s Sexual Violence Investigative Officer, detailed how complaints of sexual or relationship violence or stalking are investigated with reference to University sanctions. Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs Karu Kozuma stressed the importance of ongoing education as a strong component in Penn’s response, including prevention, available resources, University policies and the role that everyone in the Penn community can play. 

Provost Price said that plans are proceeding so that there would be a single site for investigating all complaints, including those against faculty.

February 17, 2016 Meeting

Provost Vince Price began the discussion of the focus issue “Cross-disciplinary and cross-school programs involving staff, students and faculty” by noting that integrating knowledge across disciplines is a priority for Penn, as is establishing creative linkages to support that mission. He introduced Vice Provost for Research Dawn Bonnell and Vice Provost for Education Beth Winkelstein to continue the discussion. 

Professor Winkelstein highlighted the curricular integration of knowledge and education through research, educational and integrated studies programs. She noted two ways that integration of knowledge can be envisioned within an educational program, through an interdisciplinary overlap within a study, such as the Biological Basis of Behavior, or through a coordinated attachment around a particular focus of interest, such as Digital Media Design, which includes computer science, communication and the arts.

Professor Bonnell spoke about the many models through which centers are created, ranging from being based within a department, a school or more broadly by engaging a number of schools. Center membership includes faculty, staff and student collaborators on scholarship and education. 
Council held its second Open Forum and discussed one issue:

  • Request to speak regarding University fossil-fuel divestment

March 23, 2016 Meeting

The Moderator indicated that Council bylaws call for reports each spring by the President, Provost and other administrators detailing budgets and plans for the next academic year. 

She then introduced Ezekiel Emanuel, vice provost for Global Initiatives, and Bill Burke-White, director of the Perry World House. Dr. Emanuel began his remarks by summarizing Penn’s strategic plan for global engagement, which is based upon the pillars of preparing Penn students for an increasingly globalized world, positioning Penn as a global agenda setter on policy issues, promoting healthy and inspiring lives.

Dr. Emanuel introduced inaugural director of the Perry World House Dr. Burke-White to speak about the vision for programming as construction nears completion. Dr. Burke-White noted the vision for the Perry World House as a place to connect all of Penn, catalyze international research and activity on campus, convene important conversations, and as a public forum connect Penn to global policy debates. Space will be available for students and faculty of all 12 schools to host a conference or event. 

In speaking about the engagement of students in Perry World House activities, Dr. Burke-White noted that the World House Student Fellows Program will offer opportunities for undergraduate students to closely engage with the work there. 

Bonnie Gibson, vice president of the Office of Budget and Management Analysis, presented the academic budget and student charges for 2016-2017, noting that this will be the eighth consecutive year with an increase under 4% and that over the past 10 years, Penn’s increases have been at the average with its peers. She added that PhD and research master’s program tuition will increase 3.9% for the next year, while professional student tuition is set by each school.

April 20, 2016 Meeting

Chairs of the five standing Council committees provided overviews of their final reports:

  • Professor Reed Shuldiner, chair of the Committee on Personnel Benefits
  • Professor Ani Nenkova, chair of the Committee on Academic and Related Affairs 
  • Professor Rebecca Maynard, chair of the Committee on Campus and Community Life
  • Professor Ezekiel Dixon-Román, chair of the Committee on Diversity and Equity 
  • Professor Ann Moyer, chair of the Committee on Facilities

Provost Price and President Gutmann thanked the chairs and the committee members for their dedication in exploring the charges assigned to their committees and making recommendations. 

Faculty Senate Chair-Elect Professor Laura Perna reported on the work of the Council Committee on Committees in 2015-2016, indicating that the committees operated well overall and suggesting refinements to the process. Faculty Senate Chair Professor Reed Pyeritz introduced potential focus issues for Council for the 2016-2017 academic year as suggested by Steering, Council, and constituencies including:

  • Increasing academic success by reducing academic stress 
  • Looking beyond race: What counts as diversity at Penn and how are those groups supported? (religious, socioeconomic, etc.) 
  • Low income and first-generation students—from application to graduation. (How are these students selected for and supported at Penn?)
  • A discussion of Penn’s engagement in West Philadelphia, including the Netter Center 
  • A discussion of online learning initiatives 
  • A discussion of performing arts at Penn
  • An update on the Campaign for Community
  • Reaching across Penn: Strategic Collaborations
  • Diversity Pipeline Initiatives for Staff 
  • Increasing opportunities for student/faculty innovation/entrepreneurship: Pennovation Center and other campus resources, including PCI, Wharton, Weiss Tech, Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, etc.
  • Increasing opportunities for global engagement and for study of international issues: Perry World House, area studies programs, international internships, study abroad, global immersion opportunities, etc.
  • Five-year update on Penn’s Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence
  • Update on multi-year efforts to strengthen University Communications, including Penn’s use of new/social media technologies

Dr. Gutmann acknowledged the contributions of outgoing participants of Council, thanking them and all University Council members for their participation.

The University of Pennsylvania Trustees Fall Meetings October 27-28

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Governance
  • print

Penn Trustee committee meetings will be held at the Inn at Penn.

Thursday, October 27

8:30-10 a.m.:

  • Local, National & Global Engagement Committee, Woodlands AB

10:15-11:45 a.m.:

  • Facilities & Campus Planning Committee, Woodlands AB

2-3:30 p.m.:

  • Student Life Committee, Woodlands CD

3:45-5:15 p.m.:

  • Academic Policy Committee, Woodlands CD
  • Budget & Finance Committee, Woodlands AB

Friday, October 28 

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.:

  • Stated Meeting of the Trustees, Woodlands Ballroom


Penn Nursing: Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Honors
  • print

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) received the 2016 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The award recognizes US medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing and allied health schools that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Penn Nursing will be featured along with 30 other award recipients in the December 2016 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity.

For more information about the award, visit

Portonovo Ayyaswamy: UCLA Engineering Alumni Professional Achievement Award

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Honors
  • print

Portonovo Ayyaswamy, Penn’s Asa Whitney Professor of Dynamical Engineering, is the recipient of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Engineering Alumni Professional Achievement Award at the University of California, Los Angeles; it is one of UCLA’s highest honors.

Dr. Ayyaswamy’s research is in the area of mechanical engineering, specifically modeling, simulations and experimentation of multi-phase flow/heat and mass transfer. Dr. Ayyaswamy has contributed to many diverse areas of heat transfer, mass transfer and fluid mechanics, including investigations of finite-sized bubble motion and the effects of surfactants in the context of gas embolism, forced convective effects on condensation, evaporation and combustion of moving drops and particles, the effect of electric fields on flames under normal and microgravity conditions, capillary flows related to heat pipes, buoyancy-driven flows and nanoparticle motion in the context of targeted drug delivery. He has also contributed to the containment safety and large-scale safety of nuclear reactors.

David Frankel: Physician 40 Under 40 Award

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Honors
  • print

David Frankel, an assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, received the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED)’s Physician 40 Under 40 award, a new award given to honor early career physicians who are leaders in their field.

Dr. Frankel joined Penn Medicine’s cardiovascular medicine division in 2011. According to Francis E. Marchlinski, director of electrophysiology for the University of Pennsylvania Health System who nominated Dr. Frankel for the award, Dr. Frankel “quickly developed a reputation as a ‘physician’s physician’ and a leader in education.”

In July 2014, Dr. Frankel was appointed fellowship director for the cardiovascular electrophysiology section of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the state’s largest electrophysiology training program.

Dr. Frankel’s work has already impacted the way patients with cardiac arrhythmia disorders are treated around the world. He helped develop a new catheter ablation technique to cure ventricular arrhythmias and he was the first to describe the role of non-invasive programmed stimulation following ventricular tachycardia ablation to predict risk of recurrence. Dr. Frankel also has authored 58 original scientific publications.

“In only a few short years here at Penn Medicine, Dave has had a tremendous impact on the department, and in the field of cardiovascular medicine,” said Thomas Cappola, chief of the division of cardiovascular medicine. “There is no question that he is a leader in the field, and that he will continue to pioneer new techniques that will undoubtedly benefit the field of electrophysiology.”

Stephanie Weirich: Robin Milner Young Researcher Award

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Honors
  • print

Stephanie Weirich, professor of computer and information science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania, recently received the Robin Milner Young Researcher Award from the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Programming Languages. The award recognizes outstanding contributions by investigators in the first 20 years of their professional career.

Dr. Weirich has contributed to programming language research in the areas of functional programming dependent types and proof assistants. Along with collaborators at Microsoft Research, she has extended the GHC Haskell language with novel type system features. She also collaborated with colleagues at Penn and Cambridge to initiate and lead the POPLMark challenge, which promotes the use of proof assistants for formalizing and checking the theory of programming languages. In addition, Dr. Weirich has contributed to the understanding of dependent types in practical programming languages and is working to bring the benefits of dependent types to Haskell. She also has made substantial contributions to the programming languages community, particularly with her involvement in the Programming Languages Mentoring Workshop (PLMW).

Klaus Kaestner: Roy O. Greep Award for Outstanding Research

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Honors
  • print

Klaus H. Kaestner, the Thomas and Evelyn Suor Butterworth Professor of Genetics and associate director of the Diabetes Research Center and the Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, will receive the 2017 Roy O. Greep Award for Outstanding Research from the Washington-based Endocrine Society.

Dr. Kaestner is one of 14 researchers and clinicians being recognized for major achievements in the field of endocrinology, which focuses on hormones and their importance in the body.

In its announcement, the Endocrine Society said that Dr. Kaestner “discovered how liver development is initiated” and made major contributions to understanding liver metabolism and differences in liver cancer between men and women. He is also cited for pioneering studies of the pancreas, whose functions include secreting insulin. The society also recognized Dr. Kaestner’s “groundbreaking discoveries” related to the islet cells in the pancreas (which regulate blood sugar), achievements which have “opened the door to novel treatments for diabetes.”

Dr. Kaestner is a founding member of the National Institutes of Health-funded Human Islet Research Network and has served on many review panels for the National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He has co-authored more than 290 publications and serves on the editorial boards of several professional journals.

The Endocrine Society will present the awards at ENDO 2017, its 99th Annual Meeting & Expo in Orlando, Florida, in April 2017.

Penn-Made President LaVerne Harmon: Wilmington University

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Honors
  • print

LaVerne Harmon, Gr’Ed’99, from Penn’s Graduate School of Education, will be Wilmington University’s next president, effective June 30, 2017. Dr. Harmon will be the first African-American woman to head a university in Delaware. She has served as executive vice president for Wilmington University since 2014 and has held a number of roles there since 1989.

“Dr. Harmon has always shown great determination in all she has done and accomplished,” the Hon. Joseph J. Farnan, Jr., chairman of the Wilmington board of trustees, said. “Her service and capabilities have steadily prepared her to be the next president of this university.”

Felix Wehrli: Lodwick Award

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Honors
  • print

Massachusetts General Hospital recently presented the Lodwick Award to Felix W. Wehrli, a professor of radiologic science, biochemistry and biophysics and the director of the Laboratory for Structural, Physiologic and Functional NMR Imaging in the department of radiology at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Wehrli was chosen for his article, “A Surrogate Measure of Cortical Bone Matrix Density by Long T2-Suppressed MRI,” published in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research in 2015.

The Lodwick Award, founded in 2004, recognizes excellence in academic literature in the fields of musculoskeletal radiology, medicine or physiology. It is named for Gwilym Lodwick, a renowned musculoskeletal radiologist and former member of the department of radiology at Mass General.


Pennovation Center Dedication and Grand Opening: October 28

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Features
  • print

Members of the University community are invited to attend the October 28 Pennovation Center Grand Opening; registration required at:





The north facade (above), a crystalline web of glazed panels, was designed to symbolize the innovation and social energy of the Pennovation Center. Philadelphia’s new hub for innovation is a business incubator and laboratory that aligns and integrates researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs for the commercialization of research discoveries. The 58,000-square-foot facility is the anchor at the Pennovation Works (Almanac November 4, 2014)—23 acres that are a blend of offices, labs and production space developed by the University of Pennsylvania. It will join entrepreneurs with an expert workforce and scientifically advanced facilities. A key feature of the Center is its common creative spaces, including coworking areas, a café, and a venue for events and programs.

Photographs by Marguerite F. Miller

caption:Pennovation Center's View of Penn              caption:Pennovation Center Interior

12:30-1:30 p.m.: Pennovation Talks: featuring architect Matthias Hollwich; Penn alumnus and President’s Innovation Prize Winner William Duckworth, EAS’16; Jonas Cleveland, CEO of COSY, who holds a master’s in robotics from Penn; and Daniel Mellinger, mechanical engineer at Qualcomm, who has a 2012 PhD in mechanical engineering from Penn

1:30-2:30 p.m.: Keynote Address and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: featuring Trustee Board Chair David L. Cohen, Penn President Amy Gutmann and Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of Warby Parker, Penn alumni Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa, who each hold a 2010 MBA from Wharton.

2:30-4 p.m.: Networking Reception and Pennovation Open House: refreshments and self-guided tours to meet members of the Pennovation Center and see the renovated building. Featuring Henry Daniell, Penn Dental Medicine; Cynthia Otto, Penn Vet Working Dog Center; members of PERCH (Penn Engineering Research and Collaboration Hub); and Project Design Architect Matthias Hollwich and Landscape Architect David Rubin.

Note: Penn Shuttle buses will be running between campus and Pennovation Works at 3401 Grays Ferry Avenue from noon-4:30 p.m.

caption:Cindy Otto of Penn's Working Dog Center at Pennovation Center              caption:PERCH at Pennovation Center               caption:Henry Daniell of Penn Dental at Pennovation Center


Human Resources: Upcoming November Programs

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Events
  • print

Professional and Personal Development

Improve your skills and get ahead in your career by taking advantage of the many development opportunities provided by HR. Register for programs by visiting or contacting Learning and Education at (215) 898-3400.

Using Social Media to Build Your Career Brand; 11/2; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Social media outlets such as LinkedIn and Twitter can be helpful in creating your career brand, but often people are not quite sure how to do this effectively. You will learn key strategies you can use to develop your career brand on LinkedIn and Twitter. 

Flexible Work Options; 11/2; 11 a.m.-noon. This will provide an overview of Flexible Work Options and provide guidelines for proposing and implementing a flex request, including understanding the applicable HR guidelines and policies; assessing the fit between position and job responsibilities; reviewing a sample proposal; documenting the flexible work option request; and implementing the request.

Dealing with Difficult People; 11/8; 9 a.m.-noon; $75. This workshop will show participants how to get along and work productively with everyone and how to demonstrate the necessary qualities that bring results from others. You will learn how to recognize behavior styles that cause difficulty and be able to apply learned skills to improve relationships, communication and performance. This will be interactive and fun. You will understand the change process and how to become proactive, rather than reactive, in change situations.   

STEP UP: Introduction; 11/9; 9 a.m.-noon; $150 for  seven sessions. This course, First Steps to Excellence, is the entry point for the seven-course STEP UP Pre-Supervisory Curriculum and must be completed as the first course in the curriculum. For your scheduling convenience, all courses are offered multiple times on a rotating basis throughout the year. Please also enroll in the STEP UP Pre-Supervisory Curriculum, which tracks your program completion.

Discovering the Benefits of Penn; 11/17; 12:30-1:30 p.m. You love the benefits you gain by working for Penn, but there is a good chance there are more benefits than you knew existed. Be prepared to be surprised and delighted by more than 100 “hidden benefits” we will reveal. We’re sure there is something that will make your day.  Join us for this treasure hunt!

Career Survival Guide; 11/22; 12:30-1:30 p.m. This workshop will help you care for yourself as you take care of your loved ones; it covers the multiple stages of caregiving and aging, including present and future planning—with a focus on resources for caregivers.

Creating and Maintaining an Engaged Team: A Program for Managers; 11/29; 9 a.m.-noon; $75. Engagement matters more than we may think.  Research shows that an employee’s level of engagement in the workplace is directly tied to achieving goals, increased productivity and greater financial viability. We will give you the opportunity to understand the importance of engagement to your teams, what the drivers and influencers of engagement are, and then to think through how to create and maintain engagement. We will also get you thinking about the University-wide engagement survey.

Quality of Worklife Workshops

Dealing with the demands of work and your personal life can be challenging. These free workshops, sponsored by HR 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 details and to register, visit or contact HR at (215) 573-2471 or

Integrating Breastfeeding and Work; 11/3; noon -1 p.m. This interactive conversation, led by Diane Spatz, CHOP Lactation Program director, professor of perinatal nursing and the Helen M. Shearer Professor of Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, will provide an opportunity for expecting, new and experienced parents on campus, to get help with breastfeeding challenges, ensure a smooth transition back to work and academics and share helpful tips with one another. If you are breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, pregnant and thinking about breastfeeding, formula-feeding and curious about breastfeeding, this brown bag conversation is for you. This is co-sponsored by Penn’s Family Resource Center and HR and is open to Penn faculty, staff, students, post docs and their partners. Please feel free to bring your lunch.

Mindfulness Monday: From Mind Full to Mindful; 11/14; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Mindfulness is “paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,”  said Jon Kabat-Zinn. Mindfulness practice develops awareness of your present thoughts and feelings to help you manage different situations. In this once-a-month experiential workshop, you’ll see how mindfulness can help you become more engaged and effective both at home and in the workplace. No prior meditation experience is necessary.

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 HR. For complete details and to register, visit or contact HR at (215) 573-2471 or

Be in the Know Biometric Screenings; 11/1-11/22; various times and locations; free. For details, see

Yoga on the Green; 11/3; 6-7 p.m., a yoga class on Shoemaker Green (inclement weather location-Pottruck) open to faculty and staff. You can also document this activity as a qualifying bonus action for the Be in the Know Campaign.

Guided Meditation: Take a Breath and Relax; 11/8 & 11/18; 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Gentle Yoga; 11/9 & 11/30; 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.

Update: October AT PENN

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Events
  • print


18 Five Dollars and a Pork Chop Sandwich: Vote Buying and the Corruption of Democracy; Mary Frances Berry, history; 5:30 p.m., Penn Bookstore (Center for Africana Studies).


19 Alvin P. Gutman Public Scholar Lecture: Centering Communities in Search of Moral Brilliance; Nadinne Cruz, Stanford; 6 p.m.; Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall (Civic House; VPUL).

24 OAA Diversity Lecture Series: LGBT Health Disparities Among Youth; Jose Bauermeister, Penn Nursing; 3:30 p.m.; rm. 118, Claire M. Fagin Hall; register (OAA.EOP; Penn Nursing).


AT PENN Deadlines:

The October AT PENN calendar is here. The deadline for the December AT PENN calendar is November 8.

Info. is on the sponsoring department’s website; sponsors are in parentheses. For locations, call (215) 898-5000 or see the facilities website.


Related: Human Resources: November Programs

Related: Home Ownership Session: October 19

Related: Phantom of the Opera at Irvine Auditorium: October 25

Phantom of the Opera at Irvine Auditorium: October 25

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Events
  • print

The classic film The Phantom of the Opera will once again be front and center at the University of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, October 25 at 7 p.m. in Irvine Auditorium.

This annual show is an opportunity to experience the 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera with live organ accompaniment. The Phantom of the Opera is an adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s novel of the same name directed by Rupert Julian. The film features Lon Chaney in the title role as the masked and facially-deformed Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House, causing murder and mayhem in an attempt to force the management to make the woman he loves a star. It is most famous for Lon Chaney’s intentionally horrific, self-applied make-up, which was kept a studio secret until the film’s premiere.

Famed improvisational organist Peter Krasinski will play the 10,731-pipe Curtis Organ. This Halloween tradition is free and open to the public.

Mr. Krasinski is a world-renowned conductor, organist and teacher, and he specializes in the art of live silent film accompaniment. Come see The Phantom of the Opera the way it was meant to be enjoyed as Mr. Krasinski performs on one of the largest pipe organs in the world.


Weekly Crime Reports

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Crimes
  • print

The University of Pennsylvania Police Department Community Crime Report

About the Crime Report: Below are all Crimes Against Persons, Property and Crimes Against Society from the campus report for October 3-9, 2016View prior weeks' reports. —Ed.

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 October 3-9, 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.

10/04/1612:18 AM4000 Spruce StAssaultComplainant Assaulted by known female
10/04/1611:25 AM255 S 36th StTheftiPhone and various cards taken
10/04/164:13 PM3925 Walnut StTheftMerchandise taken without payment/Arrest
10/04/165:12 PM3900 Pine StAuto TheftVehicle taken from highway
10/04/169:29 PM3925 Walnut StTheftMerchandise taken without payment/Arrest
10/04/1610:57 PM100 S 38h StRobberyComplainant punched by make who attempted to take backpack/Arrest
10/05/161:02 PM3700 Market StTheftUnsecured bike taken
10/05/161:21 PM3735 Walnut StRobberyUnknown male robbed bank
10/05/162:22 PM3450 Woodland WalkOther OffenseComplainant verbally harassed
10/05/164:39 PM3737 Market StTheftiPhone taken
10/05/165:46 PM212 S 41st StTheftProperty taken from packages/Arrest
10/06/167:10 PM4200 Walnut StVandalismVehicle damaged by offender
10/06/1610:42 PM3900 Sansom StTheftBike seats (2) taken
10/06/1611:20 PM3400 Spruce StOther OffenseMale wanted on warrant/Arrest
10/07/162:00 PM4001 Walnut StAssaultComplainant struck in the face by unknown male
10/07/162:33 PM4200 Baltimore AveSex OffenseConfidential
10/07/162:35 PM4247 Locust StHarassmentComplainant harassed by known males (2) and female
10/07/165:21 PM3400 Spruce StSex OffenseConfidential
10/07/165:50 PM4039 Chestnut StTheftPen taken from delivery package
10/07/166:30 PM3400 Spruce StTheftUnsecured wallet taken
10/07/167:21 PM3900 Market StAssaultComplainant shot and stabbed
10/07/168:35 PM4205 Spruce StTheftUnsecured bike taken
10/08/162:39 PM4028 Sansom StTheftUnsecured laptop taken
10/08/165:44 PM4000 Market StNarcoticMale in possess of narcotics/Arrest
10/09/1611:49 AM210 S 34th StTheftSecured bike taken/Arrest
10/09/161:13 PM51 N 39th StAssaultComplainant assaulted by medics
10/09/167:43 PM3000 Walnut StTheftAdidas bag and wallet taken

18th District Report

Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District: 15 incidents with 2 arrests (5 assaults, 4 robberies, 3 aggravated assaults 2 domestic assaults and 1 indecent assault) were reported between October 3-9, 2016 by the 18th District covering the Schuylkill River to 49th Street & Market Street to Woodland Avenue.

10/03/1611:18 AM49th & Baltimore AveAssault
10/04/165:42 PM4632 Walnut StRobbery/Arrest
10/04/1610:59 PM100 blk of S 38th StRobbery/Arrest
10/04/1612:48 AM4000 blk of Spruce StDomestic Assault
10/05/161:32 PM3735 Walnut StRobbery
10/05/162:38 PM3450 Woodland WalkAssault
10/05/169:11 PM248 S Bernard StRobbery
10/05/169:12 PM4322 Market StAssault
10/07/162:14 PM4001 Walnut StAggravated Assault
10/07/163:24 PM3650 Spruce StAssault
10/07/164:39 PM3400 blk of Spruce StIndecent Assault
10/07/168:09 PM3926 Market StAggravated Assault
10/09/169:47 AM3401 Civic Center BlvdDomestic Assault
10/09/163:03 PM42nd & Spruce StAssault
10/09/163:27 PM4417 Pine StAggravated Assault


Penn’s Way 2017 Raffle

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Bulletins
  • print

Week 2 Winners

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University & Thermo Fisher Scientific: Two admission passes to the Academy of Natural Sciences and a $50 gift certificate to Cheesecake Factory, value: $81—Christine Amendolair, UPHS

Philadelphia Theater Company: Two tickets, value: $100—Eric Farley, HUP Corp.

Thermo Fisher Scientific: iTunes gift card, value: $50—Ashley Moore, Presbyterian

Thermo Fisher Scientific: Shell Oil Company gas card, value: $50—Lauren Zervos, Clinical Care, NJ

QVC: Five guest studio tour, value: $60—Kristine Persico, Pennsylvania Hospital

High Street Hospitality: Dinner for two at Fork, value: $100—Lara Williamson, Wharton

Penn Alumni Visa Card Program/Picnic: Four tickets to Penn Football v. Brown, October 29 (Homecoming), $25 gift certificate to Picnic, value: $85—Jenna Kernus, HUP

Note: Prizes valued at over $100 are subject to state and federal income taxes. Winners of those prizes will be contacted individually about how those taxes are to be handled.

Week 4 (10/24 Drawing)

The Barnes Foundation/Starr Catering: Barnes Foundation gift package (two tickets & restaurant certificate, beautiful Barnes Foundation art book), value: $280

The Barnes Foundation/Starr Catering: Barnes Foundation gift package (two tickets & restaurant certificate, beautiful Barnes Foundation art book), value: $280

ProTravel: One round-trip economy ticket on American Airlines, value: $500

  • Drawing dates are estimated; actual drawings take place upon the notification from Payroll that all data has been entered from prior week. Entries must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday for inclusion in a given week’s drawing.

Q: Will my contribution via payroll deduction occur pre- or post-tax? 
A: All contributions made via payroll deduction will be deducted after taxes.

Q: How do I appropriately deduct my Penn’s Way 2017 contribution from my taxes? 
 Penn’s Way 2017 contributions made via payroll deduction will occur in 2017 and should, therefore, be considered deductions for your 2017 taxes. Please consult your accountant or tax advisor regarding contributions made via cash, check or credit card.

Q: What credit cards are accepted using the online pledge form and what are the associated processing fees?
 VISA, MasterCard and Discover are accepted using the online pledge form. Unfortunately, due to high processing fees and poor reporting capabilities, American Express is not accepted. Penn covers all processing fees associated with credit card contributions to maximize your contribution.

Q: What do I need to contribute and/or participate online? 
 You will need your PennKey and password to login to our online system. Once logged in, you will be prompted for the organization code(s) to direct your gift, or asked to provide a keyword to search for relevant organizations.

One Step Ahead: Protect Yourself Against Ransomware

  • October 18, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 10
  • Bulletins
  • print

Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that can be used by others to hold your data hostage when unknowingly installed by you. Ransomware encrypts your computer’s data, encoding it so that a digital key is required to gain access to it. Unless you pay a “ransom” (often via a digital currency and under a time limit) to try to obtain this decryption key, you are denied access to your own computer files and data. Without the decryption key, data on the encrypted volume is effectively lost.

Ransomware authors frequently use social engineering or “phishing” techniques to trick you into downloading and installing the ransomware. They may pose as governmental or law enforcement agencies, sending emails with catchy subject lines designed to entice you to click an embedded link or download and open an email attachment. Or they may provide links to malicious websites where clicking on an infected advertisement link will stealthily download the malware.

If you become the victim of a ransomware infection, should you pay the ransom? No, you shouldn’t, because there is no guarantee that the malicious software authors will restore access to your data if you pay them. Consider your data completely lost, just as if the sole copy of your data were on a stolen computer with zero chance of recovery.

Ransomware can effectively destroy your data forever if you’ve failed to take the right precautions. Protect yourself against losing your valuable data and files if ransomware strikes:

  • Back up your data! Make regular incremental backups of your data, preferably offline backups through a cloud backup service. For a Penn-owned computer, contact your Local Support Provider (LSP) to set up backups with a service like Secure Remote Backup: For a personally-owned computer, consider cloud backup services such as CrashPlan, Carbonite or Mozy.
  • Have antivirus/antimalware software installed on your computer.
  • Be naturally suspicious of emails from law enforcement agencies, banks, postal agencies or even businesses that may give you a sense of false urgency, threatening consequences unless you download an attachment or visit a website to download a piece of software.
  • If you question the contents of a specific email, visit the sender’s official website or call their officially published number to discuss your concerns.


For additional tips, see the One Step Ahead link on the Information Security website: