Three Endowed Chairs in Penn’s History Department

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
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SAS Dean Steven J. Fluharty has named three faculty members to endowed chairs in Penn Arts and Sciences.

Kathleen Brown has been appointed David Boies Professor of History. Dr. Brown’s scholarship, which is characterized by novel approaches to the examination of issues of racial and gender hierarchies—particularly in colonial settings—and 19th-century attitudes, has offered important new insights to scholars and students of gender, race and history. In her first book, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs, for which she received the American Historical Association’s John H. Dunning Prize, Dr. Brown innovatively examined gender and racial hierarchies through the prism of ordinary life rather than through reigning ideologies and official pronouncements. Similarly impactful, her second book, Foul Bodies: Cleanliness in Early America, which is a cultural history that traces the moral, religious and sexual implications of attitudes toward dirt and cleanliness during the period between Europe’s Atlantic encounters and the American Civil War, received both the Lawrence W. Levine Award from the Organization of American Historians and the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Book Award.

Dr. Brown has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has taught for Penn’s Center for Africana Studies Summer Institute, and she has served on several committees, in the department of history; at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies; and in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies.

David and Mary Boies established this chair in 2003 when their daughter Mary was a junior in the College. It is named in memory of Mr. Boies’s father, who was a high school history teacher, and recognizes a faculty member working in the field of American history.

Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet has been named Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History. Dr. Kashani-Sabet is a prominent scholar of Iranian and Middle Eastern history. Her research addresses issues of national and cultural formation and gender concerns in Iran, as well as historical relations between the US, Iran, and the Islamic world. She is the author of highly influential works including Frontier Fictions: Shaping the Iranian Nation, 1804-1946, which analyzed land and border disputes between Iran and its neighboring countries. These debates were pivotal to national development and cultural production and have significantly informed the territorial disputes in the region today. Conceiving Citizens: Women and the Politics of Motherhood in Iran, a wide-ranging study of the politics of health, reproduction and maternalism in Iran from the mid-19th-century to the modern-day Islamic Republic, received the Book Prize from the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies for outstanding scholarship in Middle East gender relations.

Dr. Kashani-Sabet is the recipient of an Institute for Advanced Study fellowship. For over a decade she has directed Penn’s Middle East Center as a Title VI National Resource Center and launched the modern Middle East studies major and minor undergraduate degree program. She has also served on the Faculty Senate and the SAS Dean’s Council on Diversity.

The late Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg received Penn’s Alumni Award of Merit in 1991. He and the late Honorable Leonore Annenberg were both emeritus trustees of the University. The Annenbergs endowed many chairs in Penn Arts and Sciences and made countless generous contributions to the University. They also founded the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 1958.

Beth S. Wenger, professor of history and chair of the department of history, has been appointed Moritz and Josephine Berg Professor. Dr. Wenger is a preeminent scholar of American Jewish history. She has applied her mastery of the methods of social and cultural history to produce monographs and edited and co-edited collections that explore the creation and evolution of American Jewish identity, politics, gender and religious life. Her book, New York Jews and the Great Depression: Uncertain Promise, received high and sustained praise, and was awarded the Salo Baron Prize in Jewish History. A more recent monograph, History Lessons: The Creation of American Jewish Heritage, explores American Jewish collective memory.

Dr. Wenger has also been a prolific public historian. She is one of four founding historians who helped to create the core exhibition at the National Museum of American Jewish History. She advised the PBS series The Jewish Americans, and wrote the companion volume to the series, which was named a National Jewish Book Award finalist. Dr. Wenger’s co-edited works also include Gender in Judaism and Islam, Remembering the Lower East Side and Encounters with the “Holy Land.”

Dr. Wenger is a Fellow of the American Academy of Jewish Research and Chair of the Academic Advisory Council of New York’s Center for Jewish History. She is a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians and the Association for Jewish Studies, and she serves on the academic advisory boards of the American Jewish Historical Society, the Jewish Women’s Archive and Penn’s Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies.

The Moritz and Josephine Berg chair was established by the Estate of Alfred A. Berg in 1951 to support a faculty member whose interests include Judaica. Alfred Berg’s gift fosters intellectual inquiry and introduces ethical and religious values in higher education.

From the President and Provost: Forming a New Task Force

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
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Penn has made widespread, concerted efforts to prevent sexual assault and sexual violence on our campus and to create a healthier and safer environment for all members of our community.  There is always more work to be done.

A much-publicized incident earlier this semester, involving wholly inappropriate actions by an unrecognized, unsupervised underground student group known as OZ, has again highlighted these unaffiliated off-campus groups.  Groups such as OZ operate outside the University and engage in high-risk behaviors that may be injurious to their members or others, and undermine our collective efforts to create a respectful and healthy environment for all of our students.

To address the negative influence of these unaffiliated and unsupervised groups, we have asked Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, Vice Provost for Education Beth Winkelstein and Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush to lead a joint administrative, faculty and student Task Force that is charged with:

  • recommending ways to further strengthen the University’s efforts to foster a campus climate and culture that is free of sexual harassment and sexual violence, alcohol and other substance abuse, and other forms of behavior that may violate Penn’s Code of Student Conduct;
  • reviewing Penn policies and protocols to ensure that we are doing all we can to make students aware of their responsibilities under Penn’s Code of Student Conduct; and
  • ensuring that we are holding students in unaffiliated and unsupervised groups accountable for violations of University policy to the maximum degree permitted.

Our goal in launching this Task Force is to focus proactively our collective attention and understanding on how best to promote a respectful and healthy campus environment, and to ensure that students and their parents and guardians are aware of the high-risk behaviors—many of which violate University policy and would result in sanctions for a recognized student organization —engaged in by these groups.  Students need to know that those who violate our clearly stated behavior standards will be held accountable for their participation, whether direct or indirect, in actions that harm other members of our community.

—Amy Gutmann, President
—Vincent Price, Provost

Statement to the Penn Community

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
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Wednesday afternoon at the University Council meeting, Penn President Amy Gutmann issued the following statement:

This Presidential campaign was one of the most bitter, divisive and hurtful in American history. Whoever won, millions of people were going to be terribly troubled by the results. The American people have now voted, and it is our duty to respect the outcome. Regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation or citizenship, everyone needs to be heard and respected. I fervently believe that the diversity of America and its welcoming heart make this country great.

It is my hope that ideals that we hold dear at Penn­—inclusion, civic engagement and constructive dialogue—will guide our nation's new administration, and that they will work hard to ensure opportunity, peace and prosperity for every person and every group that together form the diverse mosaic of the United States.

As a diverse university community committed to values of inclusiveness and open expression, we have the opportunity to draw strength from each other, listen to and support each other, and work constructively to address the complex and divisive issues facing our country and our world.

We realize that this is an already stressful time of the semester. We have met with our undergraduate deans, and are reaching out to our graduate deans as well, to ensure our academic leadership in the schools is in communication with our faculties, so that they are conscious of the challenges some of our students are facing, and so that we can help provide all our students with the resources they need. Please know that colleagues in resource centers and offices continue to offer support, including the Vice Provost for University Life, the Chaplain and the Vice Provost for Education.

—Vincent Price, Provost
—Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, Vice Provost for University Life
—Beth Winkelstein, Vice Provost for Education

Update on Racist Messages Directed to Penn Students

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
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The following message was sent on Sunday.

Update on Racist Messages Directed to Penn Students 

As promised, since we have important new information, we write to provide you with an update regarding the investigation into racist messages directed to Black Penn students on Friday. 

First, the criminal investigation has concluded that there are no Penn students associated with the issuance of these racist posts on GroupMe. The three individuals who have been linked to the GroupMe message that was sent to first-year Black students here at Penn reside in the state of Oklahoma. As we reported to you early Saturday morning, one of those students attends the University of Oklahoma and has been suspended from the University as they complete their internal investigation. 

Second, our primary concern remains with the students who were the recipients of this dreadful hatred. Many Penn staff members are working with them to be sure that they are receiving all the support that they need. We communicated with all deans earlier today (Sunday) advising them to ensure that faculty are sensitive and responsive to the academic needs of any and all students who are impacted by this absolutely awful incident. 

Finally, we call on everyone to recognize that the events of the past few days are a tragic reminder of the overt and reprehensible racism that continues to exist within some segments of our society, and that we all need to unite together as a community and a society to oppose. We are deeply saddened that Penn students were the victims of this hate, to which absolutely nobody should be subjected. Penn Police continue to work with the FBI and law enforcement in Oklahoma, and our hope is that the full investigation into this terrible incident will be concluded shortly. We will continue the work of healing with members of our community.

—Amy Gutmann, President 
—Vincent Price, Provost 
—Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President 

Providing ISBNs for Books

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
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The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires universities to make available to students, for each course, the International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) and price information for required/recommended books and supplemental materials.

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

As in the past, textbook information can be provided to other vendors, and students are in no way required to purchase their books at the Penn Bookstore. 
Faculty support will be a critical factor in the University’s efforts to act in accordance with this regulation. To that end, we encourage all Penn faculty members to work with the Bookstore as it communicates with you in the near future about this important resource for our students. 

—Vincent Price, Provost

CCTV Locations

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
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The Division of Public Safety is committed to enhancing the quality of life for the campus community by integrating the best practices of public and private policing with state-of-the-art technology. A critical component of a comprehensive security plan using state-of-the-art technology is Closed Circuit Television (CCTV).

As prescribed by the University Policy “Closed Circuit Television Monitoring and Recording of Public Areas for Safety and Security Purposes” (Almanac April 29, 2008), the locations of all outside CCTV cameras monitored by Public Safety are to be published semi-annually in Almanac. The locations and descriptions of these cameras can also be found on the Division of Public Safety website:

The following existing cameras meet those criteria:




University of Pennsylvania Cameras

39th St. & Baltimore Ave. 
(Vet School—Hill Pavilion) 
40th St. & Baltimore Ave.
41st St. & Baltimore Ave.
42nd St. & Baltimore Ave. 
43rd St. & Baltimore Ave.
31st & Chestnut Sts. (Left Bank) 
33rd & Chestnut Sts. 
34th & Chestnut Sts. 
36th & Chestnut Sts.
38th & Chestnut Sts. 
40th & Chestnut Sts.
4040 Chestnut St. (front) 
41st & Chestnut Sts. 
46th & Chestnut Sts.
Steve Murray Way & Chestnut St. 
38th St. & Hamilton Walk 
36th St. & Locust Walk 
37th St. & Locust Walk (1&2)
38th St. & Locust Walk 
39th St. & Locust Walk
40th St. & Locust Walk 
41st & Locust Sts.
42nd & Locust Sts. 
43rd & Locust Sts. 
39th & Ludlow Sts. 
40th & Ludlow Sts.
34th & Market Sts. 
36th & Market Sts.
38th & Market Sts. 
40th & Market Sts. 
40th & Pine Sts. 
41st & Pine Sts. 
42nd & Pine Sts.
36th & Sansom Sts. (Franklin Bldg.) 
38th & Sansom Sts. 
4040 Sansom St. (rear) 
Steve Murray Way & Sansom Sts. 
33rd St. & Smith Walk 
34th & Spruce Sts.
36th & Spruce Sts. 
37th & Spruce Sts. 
38th & Spruce Sts. 
39th & Spruce Sts. 
40th & Spruce Sts. 
41st & Spruce Sts. 
31st & Walnut Sts. (Left Bank) 
33rd & Walnut Sts. 
34th & Walnut Sts. 
36th & Walnut Sts. 
37th & Walnut Sts. 
38th & Walnut Sts. 
39th & Walnut Sts. 
40th & Walnut Sts. 
4119 Walnut St. 
100 Block of S. 37th St.
Blockley Hall (bike racks 1-8)
Blockley Hall (roof) 
BRB II (loading dock–exterior) 
BRB II (roof – rear and front) 
Caster Building (rear entrance) 
Caster Building (bike racks 1& 2)
Chemistry Building (bike racks 1-4)
CRB (roof) 
College Green (1&2)
College Green (lower)
College Hall (exterior basement) 
CRB-Stemmler Hall (main entrance) 
CRB-Stemmler Bridge (interior) 
CRB-Stemmler Bridge (main entrance hall) 
English House (Law School bike rack)
Fels Institute of Government 
Fisher-Bennett Hall (overseeing Levine Bldg.) 
Franklin Field 
Garage 40 (rooftop) 
Generational Bridge (1&2)

Gregory College House (bike rack)
GSE on Plaza 1
GSE on Plaza 62 
Harrison (1&2)
Hayden Hall (east door & west door)
Hilton (Homewood Suites–1&2) 
Hollenback (lower level rear parking) 
Hollenback (rooftop) 
Houston Hall/Wynn Commons 
Irving & Preston Sts. 
Jerome Fisher (main entrance)
John Morgan Building (Hamilton Walk) 
Jon M. Huntsman Hall (NE corner)
Kane Park (Spruce Street Plaza)
Law School (Sansom St.)
Left Bank (loading dock) 
Levy Dental (loading dock) 
Meyerson Hall (bike racks 1&2)
Mod 7 (North) 
Mod 7 (Southeast) 
Mod 7 (West) 
Museum (33rd St.–exterior) 
Museum (Kress entrance–exterior)
Museum (Kress entrance–interior) 
Museum (loading dock –exterior) 
Museum (upper loading dock–exterior) 
Museum (Warden Garden–main entrance) 
Museum (Stoner Courtyard–lower courtyard) 
Osler Circle Courtyard 
Palestra (1&2)
Pennovation Works
Pennovation Works (gate)
Pottruck (bike racks 1&2)
Public Safety Annex Building (2-5) 
Richards Labs (rear door) 
Ringe Squash Court Parking 
Rodin (bike rack)
Schattner (coffee shop)
Schattner (bike rack)
SEAS (Courtyard)
Shoemaker Green (1-8)
Singh Center (courtyard)
Singh Center (east loading dock)
Singh Center (Nano roof terrace north)
Singh Center (nitrogen loading dock)
Singh Center (roof terrace south)
Singh Center (west loading dock)
SLC (roof, rear) 
Solomon Labs (1-4)
Steinberg Conference Center 
Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall 
        (Joe’s Café) 
Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall (trolley) 
Stellar-Chance Labs (loading dock) 
Stellar-Chance Labs (main entrance) 
Stellar-Chance Labs (roof – rear) 
Stellar-Chance Labs (roof – front) 
Tandem Accelerator Laboratory
Translational Research Labs, 31st St. 
Translational Research Labs, 31st St. (upper level) 
Translational Research Labs, 30th St. (lower level South) 
Translational Research Labs, 30th St. (lower level North) 
VHUP (bike rack)
VHUP (dog walk -1&2) 
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library (Button) 
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library (Ben Statue)
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library (Mark’s Café-1&2)
Van Pelt Manor (bike rack)
Weiss Info Commons (front door)
Weiss Info Commons (rear door)
Wharton EMBA (loading dock)
Williams Hall (bike racks 1-3) 
WXPN/World Café LIve  
WXPN/World Café LIve(SW side – lower level) 
1920 Commons (Spruce 38 rooftop)  

Penn Park

Field 1
Field 1 (bike rack)
Field 2
Field 2 (bike rack)
Field 2 (NE corner)
Field 2 (SW corner)
Field 2 (north bike rack)
Field 4 (South Street Bridge)
Lower 30th & Walnut Sts. (1&2)
Paley Bridge (1&2)
Paley Bridge (entrance walkway)
Paley Bridge (walkway to Penn Park)
Parking Lot (SW corner)
Parking Lot (NE corner)
Penn Park (NE corner)
Penn Park (North)
Penn Park (Plaza)

Penn Park Drive (entrance)
River Field
Ropes Course 
Ropes Course Maintenance Bldgs.
Softball Stadium (bike racks 1&2)
Softball Stadium (men’s restroom)
Softball Stadium (women’s restroom)
Tennis Center
Tennis Center (Field 4)
Tennis Center (Field 4 walkway)
Tennis Center (Transit Stop)
Utility shed
Walnut St. Bridge (Upper) 
Walnut St. Bridge (Pedestrian Walkway)
Weave Bridge (East)
Weave Bridge (Hollenback)
Weave Bridge (Bower Field)
Weave Bridge (Penn Park ramp)

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Cameras

HUP Public Cameras

34th St. Pedestrian Bridge 
Dulles Bldg. (bike racks–Spruce St.) 
Emergency Department (Driveway 1-4)
Gates Bldg. (fire exit door–Spruce St.)
Maloney Bldg. (entrance - 36th & Spruce Sts.)
Miller Plaza (adjacent to Stemmler)
Penn Tower/HUP Bridge/Civic Center 
Penn Tower Bridge (Hospital side)
Ravdin Bldg. (Driveway –Civic Center Blvd.)
Rhoads Bldg. (1st floor–Hamilton Walk) 
Rhoads Bldg. (1st floor–patio)
Rhoads Bldg. (basement –dock ramp) 
Rhoads Bldg. (loading docks 1&2)
Rhoads Bldg. (loading dock ramp) 
Rhoads/Stemmler bike rack
Spruce St. between 34th & 35th Sts. (facing east) 
Spruce St. between 34th & 35th Sts. (facing west) 
Spruce St. (Maloney entrance & morgue driveway)
Spruce St. (Morgue, Maloney Ground – 36th St.)
Spruce St. (west fire tower door)
White Bldg. courtyard
White Bldg. (entrance – Spruce St.)

Perelman and Smilow

Civic Center Blvd. at East Service Dr.
Convention Ave & Health Science Dr.
East Service Dr. and Health Sciences Dr.
Health Sciences Dr. (outside loading dock–1& 2) 
Perelman (front door)
Perelman (loading dock)
Perelman Parking garage entrance (Health Sciences Drive)
PCAM staff entrance (Convention Ave.)

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center

3910 Bldg. (entrance)
3910 Bldg. (loading dock)
3910 Bldg. (parking lot)
Advanced Care Canopy (Bench)
Advanced Care Canopy (ED 1&2)
Advanced Care Canopy (Trauma–1-4)
Cupp Lobby (entrance)
Garage (front &side)
Heart and Vascular Pavilion (front entrance)
Heart and Vascular Pavilion (rear entrance)
Mutch Bldg. (roof)
Powelton Ave.
Powelton Ave. (dock)
Powelton Lot
Scheie Eye Institute (north door)
Wright/Saunders Bldg. (roof)


James Davis, History

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
  • Deaths
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James Davis, History

James C. “Jim” Davis, professor emeritus of European history at the University of Pennsylvania, died on October 26 of heart disease at Cathedral Village in Roxborough, PA where he had lived for the past three years. He was 85 years old.

Dr. Davis earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s from Penn State University and a PhD in history from Johns Hopkins University. During college, he wrote for the Daily Princetonian and while serving in the US Army in Italy, he edited the Army newspaper. Later, he was known for writing letters to the editor to share his opinions, and some were published in Almanac.

Dr. Davis was a professor of European history at Penn for 34 years before retiring in 1994 as professor emeritus. He served as chair of the department of history from 1989-1990.

Dr. Davis served on the Senate Executive Committee and other Faculty Senate Committees throughout his time at Penn. 
He was also co-chair of the ad-hoc Adult Literacy Committee which was created to help Philadelphia’s 500,000 adults who could not read  (Almanac February 24, 1987).

He took up painting during his retirement and shared his love for abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock by hosting family “Pollock Painting Parties” in his backyard. The Burrison Gallery hosted an exhibition of these paintings in 2007 (Almanac October 30, 2007).

Dr. Davis wrote several books, including the 2008 So Far, So Good: An Historian’s Memoirs; The Human Story: Our History from the Stone Age to Today and A Venetian Family and Its Fortune: 1500-1900, published by the American Philosophical Society in 1975. 

He is survived by his wife, Elda; daughter, Miriam Lally; sons, David and Daniel; six grandchildren; and a brother.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania via or the Alzheimer’s Association via

Matthew Parker, Law

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
  • Deaths
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Matthew Parker, Law

Matthew Parker L’00, EdD’15, associate dean for graduate programs and executive director of legal education programs at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, died on November 6. He was 43 years old.

“Matt was a vital member of the Law School’s administration, a mentor to the students in our graduate programs and a friend to everyone in the Penn Law community,” said Ted Ruger, dean of Penn Law. “Through his vision and leadership he was instrumental in building programs that contribute to the educational vitality of this institution, programs which will benefit students and faculty alike for generations to come. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him; I consider myself fortunate to have known Matt.”

Dr. Parker oversaw the Law School’s LLM (Master of Laws), LLCM (Masters in Comparative Law) and SJD (Doctor of Juridical Science) programs. He also led the Law School’s newest degree program, the Master in Law, which provides legal education to professionals in fields that intersect with the law, such as healthcare, finance and technology. He also oversaw Penn Law’s growing legal education programs, including launching the Law School’s renowned high school program, on-site and off-site programs for lawyers around the world, and online courses and CLE.

Dr. Parker, a native of upstate New York, received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 1995. He graduated cum laude from Penn Law in 2000 and, following his graduation, clerked for the Hon. Thomas N. O’Neill of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

After working as an associate at law firms in Washington DC and Philadelphia, he returned to Penn Law in 2005 to serve as associate director of graduate and international programs. In 2008, he was named assistant dean for graduate programs. In addition to his work at the Law School, he also earned his EdD in higher education administration from Penn GSE in 2015.

“Matt began his career at Penn Law as a student and in the end taught us all so much about engagement and living a life of great meaning,” said Jo-Ann Verrier, vice dean for administrative services at the Law School. “Matt was a man of dedication: dedicated to his family, to the students he brought to Penn Law from around the world, to his colleagues here and throughout campus. Indeed, he was deeply dedicated to Penn Law, and we honor him and his family with our continued engagement in his meaningful work.”

Dr. Parker is survived by his wife, Michelle, and their children, Owen and Gwen.

Penn Law will establish the Matthew S. Parker LLM Student Fund in his honor, to provide emergency support for LLM students who experience difficulty while studying at Penn Law.

Those who wish to offer their remembrances of Dr. Parker may do so using Penn’s Remembering Matthew Parker form at


Council Coverage

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
  • Governance
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The November 9 University Council meeting began with Penn President Amy Gutmann making a statement (here), followed by numerous students representing various constituencies across campus who also made statements and shared heartfelt comments in response to the outcome of the Presidential election. The students expressed their fears, concerns, anxieties, outrage and other emotions including feeling unsafe and vulnerable. They asked the administration to join them in a solidarity walk on College Green that evening. President Gutmann said that a previous University obligation prevented her from joining them physically for the walk, but she would be with them in spirit.

The remainder of the meeting was then devoted to the original agenda with the annual State of the University presentations. (See here)

Campus Resources

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): (215) 898-7021
    Nights and weekends, ask for the CAPS counselor on call.
  • Division of Public Safety: 24/7 “HELP” line, (215) 898-HELP (215) 898-4357
  • Student Health Service: (215)746-3535
  • Student Intervention Services: (215) 898-6081
  • University Chaplain’s Office: (215)898-8456

Related: COUNCIL State of the University

Council: State of the University

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
  • Governance
  • print

At the November 9 University Council meeting, the Provost’s portion of the State of the University dealt with student mental health and wellness, providing an update to what had been presented last fall (Almanac November 10, 2015). Provost Vince Price said that the focus of the work has been to advance the psychological health of students. The following are edited versions of the presentations based on transcriptions of the meeting.

The President’s portion of the State of the University focused on undergraduate admissions; Dean of Admissions Eric Furda’s presentation will be published in next week’s issue, November 22, 2016.

Bill Alexander, CAPS Director

Thank you for inviting us back. I want to say how appreciative we are of the student leaders here because we are very aware of what’s going on today and how stressful it is. Not only are we appreciative of your experience and the stories you tell, but also how hard it is that you shift gears to data and events and reviews after such experiences. Thank you for inviting us and we will see you tonight both in support and in solidarity.

I would like to introduce Meeta Kumar as the director of outreach and Ben Bolnick, student wellness coordinator. We are going to give you a brief overview of the work that we have done just in the last couple years as the result of the initial Task Force.

Just a few highlights of things we have been able to accomplish and are still working on since the Task Force (Almanac February 17, 2015) originally convened amidst the recommendations. I am going to go over three areas of concern. The first was ease of accessibility. Some of our accreditations and new programs and services give you an idea of the direction we are heading. Accessibility is a big issue for us and so I am very happy to tell you that we recently have gotten funding from the University to expand our staffing so we can be open three evenings a week and on Saturdays. The positions are posted online and we are in the process of hiring staff; we are very excited to be offering those extended hours. We’ve initiated the ability to schedule an initial consultation online. We are still working on that. Right now students can go online through our website, or they can call and book any number of times, today or tomorrow. They sign in with their PennKey and they are asked a few times when you are free to talk and you can check any number of times within a two-day period and we will get back to you. So you don’t have to call us if you don’t want to. You can have an idea in the middle of the night and go online and book that appointment.

We were very proud to receive our first accreditation a couple years ago from the International Association of Counseling Psychologists. This is the only accrediting body in the United States for college counseling centers. We would like to report that we passed with flying colors, and we got our re-up just last month. We are a little uptight right now; on December 1 we have a site visit from the American Psychological Association. They come to review us every seven years because we are an accredited site for psychology interns, and we have submitted the paperwork and we are bracing for the two-and-a-half-day site visit starting December 1. We have been an accredited training site for many years. We are one of the biggest and one of the best in the country. And so we hope to prove that again.

We are doing some exciting things in that area of programs and services. Our direct service and our therapy and our groups, med-management, are probably very well known. It’s probably what people think of when they think of CAPS. But probably more to the heart of who we are as psychologists and social workers and college counselors are two groups that we are starting this year. The first one is a Mandarin speaking support group, which we are so happy to be able to offer. This is simply a support group for Mandarin speakers, just as an introduction to our country and to our campus, to health and wellness in this country and what it means. There has been a lot of expression of gratitude from this group. We are offering it at CAPS but in conjunction with Rudie Altamirano and the folks over the at the International Program.

Our second new group is Tell Us Your Story. It is a first venture for us. It is a discussion group to which all students are invited. You don’t need to be a client at CAPS. You don’t need to sign in or register. You can be anonymous. You just need to show up. But it’s unique for CAPS because we think of it as a very important and clinical intervention. To describe it, I am going to read the three sentences that we posted online so that you can see what it’s all about. “Experiences of discrimination and marginalization that occur in the world impact and shape the lived experience of each of us and our Penn community. This group provides an opportunity to explore how these events and experiences affects one’s daily life health and wellness. This space affirms diversity and fosters inclusion, acknowledges oppression and offers support through storytelling.” We are offering it for six sessions and each session has its own theme. The themes have been: invisible, other, courage, displaced, hero and survivor. Students just come together to tell stories on those themes. It is unbelievably powerful, so I invite you to talk with your constituents about it. It is Thursdays at 5 p.m. and the next one happens to be tomorrow night on Displaced themes and it’s just a great place for support and very timely as Provost Price mentioned.

One of the other major recommendations of the Task Force was the Jed Foundation Health Matters Campus Program. As I reported, we filled out a long application, and submitted it to the Jed Foundation. We were accepted into the Health Matters Campus Program. We formed a campus advisory committee under the leadership of Beth Winkelstein and Val Cade. I am the chair of that committee and it has 28 members, about half of whom are students and the other half is faculty and staff. We reviewed the nine areas identified by the Jed Foundation, principally to monitor the health and mental wellness of our campus. It is a five-year commitment to this program. So it’s not something that is just quick and dirty and we look at it and say, yeah, we’re great, we do a good job. We look in depth at all of these things. We met last fall and we picked four of what we thought were the most important areas within the campus program. The very first one was policy systems and strategic planning; the others are academic performance; student wellness; and identification of students at risk. We divided our group into small sub-groups each studying one of those areas. In each one of these areas, we can see how we’re doing and monitor it over time. We finished our work on those four areas late in the spring and we are going to be meeting in the first week in December to review that work, evaluate the progress of the overall project and determine future directions and the next subgroups that we want to work on.

Meeta Kumar, CAPS Associate Director

Thanks for having us. I also want to take a minute to acknowledge all of the challenging times. I think it makes all the work that we do all the more important and urgent. That’s where I feel that I want to focus my energy and look forward to being with all of you at 6 p.m. today. ICARE, is for people who don’t know, a gate-keeper training program. And what that means is that it’s a training for lay-people that prepares them to detect and respond to issues of stress, distress and mental health crisis. And truly I want to say that this has been a remarkable journey since 2013. Just by the sheer number of people who have participated in this program. I really want to acknowledge our staff. I think it’s a testament to the quality, the commitment and the caring that they bring to the implementation of this program, and also just the eagerness with which our community has responded. We are overwhelmed by the demand for the program, and it’s been interesting to see the varied number of groups from RAs and GAs to Wharton undergraduate student groups to Athletics staff to staff at the New Bolton Veterinary Center to Nursing faculty and Engineering faculty. So our work is ongoing. I want to point out that we have rigorously assessed this program from the get-go and we have huge amounts of data that we are analyzing.  Since 2014, we have done pre- and post-assessments and again it is remarkable to me the kind of feedback that we have received from our community. It highlights the importance and the quality of the program. 98.5% say they would recommend this to others. High and significant retention of knowledge and comfort in being able to apply the skills and stigma reduction are three objectives that are critically important to the program. Last spring, we conducted a pretty comprehensive follow-up. Three months, six months, and nine months after taking the training we had 284 respondents, which is a very high percentage. It’s the retention of knowledge, the implementation of skills and the numbers of people that our community is supporting with distress and crisis, is very interesting to note here. So here are some upcoming things to look out for: we are developing an online module to make this more widely accessible. We hope to employ, with the skills of Ben and others, social media strategies to continue the conversation. We have a publication in the works because we really feel that we have an innovative program here and we would like to be able to share it with peers in the field.

The Penn Wellness Partners Program was launched with VPUL Central and Student Health Service, in collaboration with the UA and GAPSA to really expand the network. No matter how much outreach we do, we hear back from students that they would like more visible touch points in the community who are more easily available. So this was launched with Penn staff in mind and we have 125 volunteers who have been trained with the ICARE program of the AVA Program, which is the Anti Violence Advocates. They provide timely resources and visible stickers that people can display in offices, in hallways, on laptops, and we are looking to further think about expansion programs.

Beth Winkelstein, Vice Provost for Education

As we all know and building on what we said already, student health and wellness has many intersections across campus and one of those areas is in the classroom with your faculty. Last year at this time we announced the pilot program of Wellness Ambassadors for faculty and this was suggested by the Faculty Senate to train faculty to serve as liaisons to other faculty in the undergraduate schools, which is where we are piloting this. We have modeled this largely after the Wellness Partners program, but recognizing the diversity of different access points and faculty arrangements in the undergraduate schools.

I will briefly update you on the Wellness Ambassadors program and then I am going to turn it over to my colleagues, Russ Composto who is the associate dean of undergraduate education in SEAS and Paulo Arratia who is the undergraduate chair in mechanical engineering and was also a member of the Faculty Senate Committee on Students and Educational Policies, which is that group that first suggested this program. Both of them are Wellness Ambassadors.

Currently we have 25 Wellness Ambassadors from the four undergraduate schools and two additional ambassadors from other schools, which have heavy involvement with undergraduates. In May we held a training session for the ambassadors which included our collaboration with CAPS, the ICARE training for all of those ambassadors. Then several sessions that had the intent of informing faculty about programs and services that will help support the success and the wellbeing of our undergraduates, also to foster discussions and connections between the faculty across the schools and to discuss potential ways to use such a program to put things into practice in the schools recognizing that there is variability as I mentioned. So the sessions were highly interactive and involved leadership and had directed partners with those centers in VPUL. We had leaders come from CAPS and Weingarten and Student Health, Access and Equity, and the College Houses, just to name a few. There were also panels with the Undergraduate Deans and their directors in the Schools so that the faculty would learn about those structures and understand the connectedness.

Based on the feedback from that training, over the summer and currently, we continue to work with the schools, we are finalizing informational material to share with the Wellness Ambassadors based on what they have found useful and we are also working with them to develop information that could be shared more broadly with the general faculty. We are developing a website where we will house the training materials that we did in May so that others can continue to access those resources, and that will be a dynamic place where we can provide ongoing updates on wellness initiatives across campus.

Thanks to Rob Ghrist who is a PIK Professor and also a Wellness Ambassador, we have developed a sticker for the Wellness Ambassador faculty, not unlike again, borrowing from the success of the Wellness Partners, students will be able to know and faculty will be able to know who those ambassadors are.

In December we are bringing the Wellness Ambassadors together to share their experiences that they have had over the semester and to talk about ways that we can integrate even more. VPUL and the Wellness Partners and the Wellness Ambassadors are working to come together so that these two groups can have a joint event and programming early next semester, so I know everybody is excited about that opportunity to strengthen the network.

Each of the undergraduate schools has adopted a different approach to using the Wellness Ambassadors in their schools. In some schools the Ambassadors sit on Curriculum Committees where faculty are thinking about the classroom and the curricula. In others they have been performing outreach and going to departmental faculty meeting and being involved in New Faculty Orientation. I will turn it over to Russ and Paulo who will talk about what SEAS is doing in this area.

Russ Composto, SEAS Associate Dean

What is important to note is that the SEAS Wellness Action Plan was put together about six months ago and it wasn’t a top-down approach. It was really a team of Faculty Wellness Ambassadors. One from each department and the research and academic service wellness team, which is basically my staff. So there are four staff members. They got together and created this action plan because they are the boots on the ground. These are the academic advising team who really know our students and work closely with our students and our faculty like Paulo who really deeply care about the well-being of our students. So I’m not going to go over this document, but basically it outlines the practices and the incident protocols and the responsibilities of the core wellness team. The chair of this team is Sonya Gwak, she was the point person until six months ago for all things wellness. And Meeta and others know this. Part of the goal here was to diversify the staff and the faculty who know how to treat wellness issues and just as importantly, know when to stop and to reach out to the professionals who know how to deal with our students.

So just to show you that 25% of our credit units are social sciences and humanities, I show the god Janus here. The purpose of showing you this is that the faculty Wellness Ambassadors and the RAS (Research and Academic Services) Wellness Team face different populations. The faculty wellness populations face the faculty and the RAS Wellness Team face the students and the staff. They are the core; they are the ones that everyone needs to go to. But now we know directly where their populations are connected to. The arrow underneath shows that students and faculty are connected as well. So we are not treating students in isolation, but we are trying to do this in a very congruent manner.

I am going to say briefly what the goals are of the RAS Wellness Team. These are academic advisors and engineering faculty who advise all students, but if there are difficult or challenging cases they go to our special academic advisors in my office. This RAS Wellness Team provides the resources or know where the resources are for the staff members. They follow up with our student cases in a timely manner and they manage ongoing cases. They play to the whistle. They don’t just stop, but they stay until they know that the students have been treated until the end of the game. So that is the role of our RAS Wellness Team. Paulo will tell you about the Faculty Wellness Ambassadors and something about our protocol.

Paulo Arratia, SEAS Undergraduate Chair

I want to take a step back and tell you where this has come from; it started with a conversation with Bill Alexander and the Faculty Senate. They told us that perhaps faculty is part of producing the stress on the population but also we have an eye and know the stress signals and we need to be more attuned with the stress signals so that flags can be raised and we can better serve our populations. From that point of view we decided that faculty perhaps should be more involved in the wellness of our students and I want to echo what my colleagues Russ and Beth have said. We are not training faculty to be counselors, we have professionals for that. But we are training faculty to be more aware and promote wellness in the school. That is the main idea. In the School of Engineering we have six main departments and we have designated one ambassador per one department. Mechanical Engineering has two because we are that special. These appointments will last for two years and over time more faculty will be trained in the issues of wellness and mental health.

There are a couple of things that are common sense but we all should adhere to them. The first one is to adhere to University Policy on Secular and Religious Holidays. We have to be aware not to produce anxiety around that matter. We need to adhere to University Policy on the Rules Governing Final Examinations, so we should not have projects during final examinations and we should not have homework during reading days. The Course Problem Notices are also very important. That is actually one of the first signals when a student is starting to signal stress. When the Course Problems Notices go out, they go out to the advisor, they go out to the RAS office, and if we start seeing way too many of those for a particular student, there is something there. That is when we jump into action. Of course, Course Absence Reports, there is also another tool there that we use. We use many of those. We see the reason why they happen and we jump into action as well. We have improved clarity on class policies and syllabi and also on examinations and on missed work requirements. Faculty should submit grades online. This seems like really common sense. But it needs to be stressed every semester so that we don’t add to the stress or the anxiety of the students. Beyond that, we are always keeping a close eye on our classrooms for behavioral signs, even during our office hours. As Wellness Ambassadors we should be very aware of the resources. There are a lot of resources out there. So we can guide our faculty colleagues, where to find the best resources.

Related: Council Coverage


Konhee Chang, Rebecca Heilweil and Izzy Korostoff: Digital Humanities Fellows

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
  • Honors
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Konhee Chang

University of Pennsylvania students Konhee Chang, Rebecca Heilweil and Izzy Korostoff were chosen as the inaugural fellows with the Price Lab for Digital Humanities. The fellowships took place over the summer.

Mr. Chang, a double major in visual studies and economics, is about halfway through a project to turn Kandinsky’s Circles in a Circle painting into a musical score.

Each of the 50 or so circles and lines will be assigned a musical note according to Kandinsky’s theories on sound and image, and the ultimate tune will depend on which order the viewer chooses to “play” those notes, similarly to how a painter selects the sequence to paint.

“I’m interested in this relationship between seeing and hearing,” Mr. Chang said. “I wanted to look at paintings and imagine a sound that could be a musical representation.”

Rebecca Heilweil

Ms. Heilweil studied media coverage of free speech. Ms. Heilweil, a junior who studies history and political science, wanted to delve into how the notion of free speech has changed in the past five decades with a specific focus on media coverage dips and peaks.

“In the 1960s, the free speech movement is a far-left movement, at least a young leftist movement on college campuses,” she said. “Today when people talk about free speech, you normally expect that coming from conservatives or traditionalists or constitutionalists, which is the exact opposite image of the person you’d imagine in the 1960s.”

She has continued the research and analysis as an independent study to better understand why media companies make the decisions they do. It may become her senior thesis topic.

Izzy Korostoff

Mr. Korostoff, a junior in the urban studies department, studied the design of Philadelphia streets in the 20th century. He dedicated his summer to what he describes as a “digital investigation of hierarchies of streets in Philadelphia in the early 20th century,” he said. “As I worked through this project, it became evident that an architectural hierarchy of street types creates a distinct racial and socioeconomic hierarchy in turn.”

Mr. Korostoff set out to explain why well into the 20th century, Philly appeared to remain less segregated than similar cities. The answer seemed to come down to scales of measuring integration.

“Philadelphia has extraordinarily large blocks. They came to be cut up into smaller streets early in the city’s history, which produced interesting courts and alleyways. These irregular spaces have been looked down upon in the city’s history,” he said. “I made the case that they’re a valuable form of organic growth, and that this actually provided the city with the diversity of urban form that let a high level of racial integration persist.”


Human Resources: Upcoming December Programs

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
  • Events
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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. Register for programs by visiting or contacting Learning and Education at (215) 898-3400.

The Gift of Feedback; 12/2; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Feedback can be an amazing gift that helps improve performance, but many managers feel challenged by giving and receiving feedback. In this session managers will learn how to frame feedback as a gift that creates productive dialog and improved performance. Additionally, we will cover how managers can solicit feedback from staff in order to become more effective leaders.

Managing Change; 12/7; 12:30-1:30 p.m.  Change may have a troubling effect on staff and managers, both directly and indirectly.  This brown bag lunch talk will help to consider the impact of change, provide strategies to support staff during a season of change and give you strategies to appropriately address job security.

Engagement Starts With You; 12/20; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Engagement starts with the employee. Research shows that engaged employees are more productive and satisfied with their jobs. In this session we will look at engagement from the individual perspective and discuss ways to increase and maintain engagement.

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 details and to register, visit or contact Human Resources at (215) 573-2471 or

Effective Listening and Communication; 12/5; 12:30-1:30 p.m. This is designed to teach listening and communication skills and techniques that will enhance both professional and personal relationships, such as listening skills to extract information, the “when” and “how” of what makes sense to communicate.

90-Minute Work-Life Harmony: A Personal Retreat; 12/6; noon-1:30 p.m. This 90-minute experiential and engaging Work-Life Harmony retreat will provide an opportunity for you to calm your mind and take stock for clarity and balance. Jennifer Schelter, Retreat and Mindfulness leader, will guide you through practical strategies to nurture your wellbeing, including three essential practices to de-stress. She is a renowned inspirational and motivational speaker who focuses on wellbeing and mindfulness strategies for empowering individuals to “take your next step” and embrace new beginnings.

Mindfulness Monday: From Mind Full to Mindful; 12/12; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Mindfulness is “paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,” according to 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 Human Resources. For details and to register, visit Or contact Human Resources at (215) 573-2471 or

Yoga on the Green; 12/1; 6 p.m. Student Health Services is thrilled to be partnering with Campus Recreation on a monthly yoga series. The first Thursday of every month will be a free yoga class on Shoemaker Green and is open to all faculty and staff. You can also document this activity as a qualifying bonus action item for the Be in the Know Campaign. Come and join in and spread the word!

Gentle Yoga; 12/7 & 12/14; 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.

December Wellness Walk; 12/16; noon-1 p.m. For the last monthly wellness walk of 2016, we invite everyone to walk decked out for the season. Come adorned in your “ho-ho-ho” tie, reindeer antlers/hat, candy cane tights, jingle bells—and yes, we want to see that ugly holiday sweater. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Day or simply the spirit of the season, we hope you will join us for some healthy, holiday fun! Even if dressing up is not for you, join us as we take advantage of the great benefits walking produces.

Guided Meditation: Take a Breath and Relax; 12/16; 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 is necessary.

—Division of Human Resources

Bike Commuter Expense Reimbursement Program: Info Sessions

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
  • Events
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In anticipation of the official launch of the University’s new Bike Commuter Expense Reimbursement Program on January 1, 2017, a series of informative events will be conducted, beginning on December 1, again on January 24 and throughout the coming months. These sessions are designed to familiarize interested bike commuters with the processes necessary to ensure timely reimbursement.

Bike commuters wishing to participate in the program (Almanac October 25, 2016) are strongly encouraged to attend one of these sessions, especially if they are not familiar with Concur, the University’s expense management system. Concur is the online platform that will be leveraged to support the overall process and its use is required to submit reimbursement claims. During these events, attendees will learn details about the program along with how to access Concur to manage expense receipts and ultimately, submit an expense report once the report submittal period opens in January 2018. During these events, a representative from the Division of Public Safety will also be in attendance to help attendees register their bicycles. Please bring your PennCard along with the model and serial numbers of your bicycle to the session if you would like to take advantage of this service. Bike registration is a pre-requisite to participate in the expense reimbursement program. Eligibility for the program is limited to full-time benefits-eligible faculty and staff.
To attend one of the upcoming events, visit

Advance registration is recommended as space is expected to fill quickly. 

Watch for more information and announcements as this program is still in development.  

Update: November AT PENN

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
  • Events
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17 Hit Parade: The Orbita Group; Hit Parade is a bilingual Russian-English collection of poems by the four leading authors of the Orbita creative collective, based in Riga, Latvia: Semyon Khanin, Artur Punte, Vladimir Svetlov and Sergej Timofejev; though their work is primarily written in Russian, the Orbita poets draw on European, Latvian and Russian traditions and contemporary scenes; 6 p.m.; Penn Book Center (Penn Book Center).

AT PENN Deadlines:

The November AT PENN calendar is here. The deadline for the January AT PENN calendar is November 29.

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

Related: Human Resources: Upcoming December Programs

Related: At the Burrison Gallery: Meeting Places


Weekly Crime Reports

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
  • Crimes
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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 31-November 6, 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 31-November 6, 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.

11/01/1612:51 PM3744 Spruce StTheftCurrency and credit card taken
11/02/1612:02 PM3421 Chestnut StTheftWallet taken
11/02/162:58 PM4314 Locust StOther OffenseMale wanted on warrant/Arrest
11/02/166:07 PM3701 Locust StTheftVarious property removed from locker
11/03/165:50 PM4025 Chestnut StTheftCurrency taken from purse
11/04/169:42 AM4241 Locust StFraudPayment made for apartment to unknown person
11/04/1610:57 AM213 41st StTheftSecured bike taken
11/04/166:28 PM4100 Ludlow StTheftItems taken from vehicle
11/04/167:37 PM3701 Walnut StTheftUnsecured cell phone taken
11/04/166:50 PM4203 Pine StTheftSecured bike taken
11/05/161:33 PM3601 Locust StTheftUnsecured property taken from desk
11/05/164:58 PM4100 Locust StTheftOffender attempted to take cell phone
11/05/169:21 PM3935 Baltimore AveTheftSecured bike taken
11/06/1612:13 AM222 S 40th StVandalismOffender damaged glass door
11/06/1611:43 AM403 S 41st StHarassmentComplainant harassed by known male
11/06/161:03 PM4028 Sansom StTheftBackpack containing laptop and various items taken

18th District Report

Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District: 10 incidents with 3 arrests (3 assaults, 3 robberies, 2 aggravated assaults and 2 domestic assaults) were reported between October 31-November 6, 2016 by the 18th District covering the Schuylkill River to 49th Street & Market Street to Woodland Avenue.

10/31/169:05 PM4624 Walnut StAssault
10/31/169:33 PM4700 Chestnut StRobbery
11/01/168:30 AM4733 Chestnut StRobbery/Arrest
11/01/1611:29 AM46th & Spruce StRobbery
11/03/169:56 AM4710 Locust StDomestic Assault
11/04/161:14 PM43rd & Baltimore AveAssault
11/05/164:15 PM4238 Chestnut StAggravated Assault/Arrest
11/05/165:54 PM4238 Chestnut StAggravated Assault/Arrest
11/05/167:24 PM4600 Osage AveAssault
11/05/1610:04 PM4636 Walnut StDomestic Assault


Almanac Holiday Schedule

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
  • Bulletins
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Due to the Thanksgiving Break, there is no issue scheduled for Tuesday, November 29.

After the November 22 issue, there will be two more issues this semester: on Tuesday, December 6 as well as Tuesday, December 13, which will contain the January AT PENN calendar.

Almanac will resume publishing weekly starting with the Tuesday, January 10 issue. Submissions for that issue are due no later than Tuesday, January 3, space permitting.

Breaking news will be posted in the Almanac Between Issues section of the Almanac website and sent out to Express Almanac subscribers. To subscribe, see

One Step Ahead: ePayments and Online Shopping: Fraud Protection while Holiday Shopping

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
  • Bulletins
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Another tip in a series provided by the 
Offices of Information Systems & Computing 
and Audit, Compliance & Privacy.

Holiday shopping is starting soon with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and beyond.  What many people don’t know is that this also means it’s open season for credit card fraud. The good news is that there are more options than ever to protect your credit card information from getting into the wrong hands.

When shopping online, nothing is more important than knowing your vendor.  It’s best to shop from well-known websites that have a public reputation of being trustworthy. Making purchases from trusted vendors will always be a safer option than ordering from a site that you’ve never heard of.  Beyond knowing your online shopping sites, it’s also important to make sure that your connection is encrypted, especially because payment information, such as debit or credit card numbers, is required while shopping online. Check the URL bar at the top of your browser, and make sure that the website URL is prefaced by https:// as opposed to http://  You can remember this by remembering that the “s” is for “secure!”

For quite some time, ePayment via online wallet services has been an option for added security while shopping online. Services like PayPal act as the middle-man between you and the vendor. They allow you to not share your credit card information directly with the vendors.  More recently, mobile tap-to-pay options have become available, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay (among others).  These services allow an added layer of encryption when processing a transaction because they share a purchase key, and not your card information. What many people don’t know is that both Apple Pay and Android Pay are now available on the web, allowing that extra layer of protection when shopping online. When available, use these ePayment tools to provide you more peace of mind and extra protection from fraud.

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, take advantage of these ePayment tools and services whenever possible, and remember to keep an eye out for signs of disreputable vendors. Shop smarter and safer, and most importantly, don’t miss out on those sales!

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

Penn’s Way 2017 Raffle

  • November 15, 2016
  • vol 63 issue 14
  • Bulletins
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Week 6 Winners

Nixon Uniform Service & Medical Wear and Thermo Fisher Scientific: Regal Cinemas gift card & Olive Garden gift card, value: $75–Valerie Goines, Wissahickon Hospice

Lufthansa Airlines: 21-inch luggage, rolling bag, value: $100 –Marlana Robinson, Perelman School of Medicine

Thermo Fisher Scientific: Toys ”R” Us gift card, value: $50 –Michelle Tigano, Presbyterian Medical Center

Thermo Fisher Scientific:  Home Depot gift card, value: $50–Erica Higman, Pennsylvania Hospital

Thermo Fisher Scientific: iTunes gift card, value: $50–Desiree Wilson, Presbyterian Medical Center

Thermo Fisher Scientific:  Best Buy gift card, value: $50 –Christopher Marucci, HUP  Corporate

Morris Arboretum: Family membership, value: $100–Deborah Becker, School of Nursing

Penne Restaurant & Wine Bar: Gift certificate, value: $100–Timothy Reimer, Presbyterian Medical Center

Office Depot:  Travel bag of goodies, value: $100–Pamela Jackson, HUP Corporate

12th Street Catering Company: Certificate for 12-inch cake, value: $70–Christina Mariani, Pennsylvania Hospital

Fresh on 47th Street Catering: Certificate for dessert tray, value: $98–Silbert Richards, 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.