News

Welcome Back From the President

  • January 10, 2017
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Penn: Perfectly Positioned in the New Year

Happy New Year and welcome back to campus! I want to begin the New Year by thanking you, Penn’s unsurpassed faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends. I especially want to share my profound appreciation for the Penn community’s response to the news in mid-November of my contract extension until 2022. Your strong support has enabled Penn to set new records—and to serve as a model in higher education—of inclusion, innovation and momentum-driving impact on our city, country and world. In 2017 and beyond, we will together achieve even more.

As we embark on a new semester, we turn the page on a fall semester of milestones and new beginnings. From the grand openings of Penn’s New College House, Perry World House and the Pennovation Center, to the kickoff of this year’s President’s Engagement Prizes and President’s Innovation Prize competitions, to multiple city stops on the popular Our Penn road tour, the fall buzzed with activity and achievement.

The semester ended with the bittersweet news that Provost Vince Price will head to Duke University to serve as its 10th president. We congratulate Duke, which couldn’t have made a finer choice. I know you all share my deep appreciation for Provost Price’s many ongoing contributions to Penn. As part of the search for Provost Price’s successor, we have announced the formation of a Consultative Committee led by Larry Jameson, executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and dean of the Perelman School of Medicine. I want to thank the faculty, students and staff who compose the Committee for lending their time and essential insight to this important effort.

Looking ahead to the spring, I want to remind the Penn community that the deadline for both the President’s Engagement Prizes and the President’s Innovation Prize is January 13. With generous living allowances and up to $100,000 in project expenses, these Prizes do more than empower Penn seniors to do well by doing good. They underscore our university’s most deeply held values of educating and supporting students for a lifetime of meaningful citizenship and service to others. My sincerest appreciation goes to the many faculty members who encourage and mentor our students for these career- and life-changing Prizes. Thanks to them, past Prize winners—and the 2017 winners yet to come—are making a difference locally, nationally and globally.

From Prize-winning projects to the beacon of Perry World House, Penn’s global reach continues to expand—and our work grows ever more important, especially given the international turbulence that marks our times. Coming off a fall of fantastic programming—including visits from former U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense, as well as heads of state—Perry World House continues its work at the vanguard of global affairs. Mark your calendars for the Perry World House conference from April 20-21 called Global Shifts: Urbanization, Migration & Demography and stay tuned for program details and guest speaker announcements. Also this spring, on March 7, I will visit Hong Kong with a trio of students for the culminating stop on the Our Penn tour. Wildly popular with Penn alumni from New York City to San Francisco and just about everywhere in between, Our Penn has been an invaluable opportunity to bring the experiences, hopes and talents of our current students directly to our wonderful alumni.

Out on the road and right here at home, Penn is perfectly positioned to make 2017 our best year yet. Welcome back!


 

 

RelatedFrom the President: Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Provost

E. John Wherry: Richard and Barbara Schiffrin President’s Distinguished Professor

  • January 10, 2017
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E. John Wherry with Richard and Barbara Schiffrin

E. John Wherry has been named the inaugural Richard and Barbara Schiffrin President’s Distinguished Professor. He has led Penn Medicine’s Institute for Immunology since 2012, and he also serves as co-director of the new Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Penn.

“John is a leading figure in the field of immunology,” said J. Larry Jameson, dean of the Perelman School of Medicine and executive vice president for the Health System. “His research tackles the most fundamental challenges in immunology, with the ultimate goal of reinvigorating the immune system in settings where it fails, including chronic infections and cancer.”

The chair was made possible through the generous support of Richard Schiffrin and his wife, Barbara Schiffrin, who are involved in numerous artistic, political and charitable causes, and act as powerful advocates for disease research at Penn Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC). They are also members of the ACC Director’s Leadership Council. 

“Dr. Wherry’s work has implications for treating cancer and autoimmune diseases—conditions that touch so many patients and their families across the globe,” said Mr. Schiffrin. “Barbara and I are proud to be supporting his research, which is so innovative and will lead to novel therapies, if not some cures, for many devastating diseases.”

Dr. Wherry received his PhD at Thomas Jefferson University in 2000, and completed his postdoctoral research at Emory University. He was appointed assistant professor in 2005 in the immunology program at The Wistar Institute, and then joined the department of microbiology in the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in 2010. 

Dr. Wherry was named one of “America’s Young Innovators” by Smithsonian magazine, and received the 2016 Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology from the Cancer Research Institute. He has more than 150 publications in top international journals including Nature, Science, Nature Immunology, Immunity and the Journal of Experimental Medicine

Dr. Wherry also has received numerous distinctions for his consistent and significant contributions to infectious disease research, and is among the world’s most highly-cited investigators in the field of cancer immunology. In 2014, he was named one of the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” by Thomson Reuters, and also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Thomas Jefferson University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

From the President: Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Provost

  • January 10, 2017
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I am pleased to announce the formation of an ad hoc Consultative Committee to advise me on the selection of the next Provost.  The members of the Consultative Committees are listed below.  The Committee welcomes—and will keep in the strictest confidence—nominations and input from all members of the University community. For fullest consideration, communications should be received, preferably in electronic form, no later than February 10, 2017, and may be sent to the Chair, to any Committee member, or to the Committee’s staff or consultants.

—Amy Gutmann, President


Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Provost

Chair
J. Larry Jameson, Executive Vice President of the University for the Health System, Dean, Perelman School of Medicine, and Robert G. Dunlop Professor, PSOM

Faculty
Sigal Ben-Porath, Professor, Literacy, Culture, and International Education Division, GSE
Ezekiel Dixon-Román, Associate Professor, SP2 
Julie Fairman, Nightingale Professor in Nursing; Chair, Biobehavioral Health Sciences Department; Director Emeritas, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing; Co-Director, RWJF Future of  Nursing Scholars Program, Nursing 
Kelly Jordan-Sciutto, Chair and Professor of Pathology, SDM 
Carolina Lopez, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Vet 
Michael McGarvey, Associate Professor of Neurology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, PSOM
Katherine Milkman, Associate Professor, Operations, Information and Decisions, Wharton
Eve Troutt Powell, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of History and Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, SAS 
Santosh Venkatesh, Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering, SEAS, and Chair-Elect, Faculty Senate
Melissa Wilde, Associate Professor, Sociology, SAS 
Christopher Yoo, John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer& Information Science, Law 

Students
Kat McKay, C’17 (President of the Undergraduate Assembly)
Gaurav Shukla, student in the Master of Medical Physics Program, SAS (President of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly)
Jane Xiao, C’17 (External Chair of the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education)
Alex Yang, doctoral candidate, SEAS (Vice President of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly)

Ex Officio
Joann Mitchell, Vice President for Institutional Affairs

Staff
Adam P. Michaels, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the President

Consultants
John Isaacson, Isaacson, Miller
John Muckle, Isaacson, Miller

Related: Welcome Back From the President: Penn: Perfectly Positioned in the New Year

Announcing the 2017-2018 Academic Theme Year: Innovation and the Penn Reading Project

  • January 10, 2017
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Penn Provost Vincent Price, Vice Provost for Education Beth Winkelstein, the Council of Undergraduate Deans, and the Office of New Student Orientation and Academic Initiatives are pleased to announce the Year of Innovation as the Provost’s Academic Theme Year for 2017-2018 and Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators as the Penn Reading Project for 2017.

Innovation is key to advancing knowledge; innovators build on historic foundations as they move forward with new discoveries. We often associate innovation with technology and scientific advancements, yet it exists in every aspect of our intellectual culture. Above all, innovation is a central aspect of Penn’s history and identity: founded by Benjamin Franklin, one of history’s great innovators, Penn was designed from the outset to be different from other schools of its day and now includes innovation as a core principle of the Penn Compact 2020

The Year of Innovation will launch in late August 2017 with the Penn Reading Project (PRP). Now in its 27th year, the Penn Reading Project was created as an introduction for incoming students to academic life at Penn. This year’s PRP will spotlight innovation in both form and content.  For the first time, the text will be available online, in a format that will allow both students and discussion leaders to annotate and comment, and discussion groups will form over the summer and be able to communicate together before arriving on campus.  The text itself, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, will offer a history of the computer and the internet, focused on how great innovators were able to transform visionary ideas into technologies that have changed our lives. 

Past Penn Reading Project books have included Langston Hughes’ The Big Sea, Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Adam Bradley’s Book of Rhymes, John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture, Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederic Douglass and Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia—as well as Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane and Thomas Eakins’ painting The Gross Clinic.

This year’s Penn Reading Project will take place in the week of August 21. The date will be announced in early March. Faculty members and senior academic administrators in all12 Schools are invited to take part as discussion leaders. For more information, and to sign up, please contact David Fox, at dfox@upenn.edu  Also in early March, PRP will have a new sign-up database for discussion leaders, which will allow for direct sign-ups.  

Recommendations for Future PRP Books and Theme Years

Penn Reading Projects and Academic Theme Years are selected by the Office of the Provost and the Council of Undergraduate Deans from nominations by members of the Penn community.  We invite all current Penn students, faculty and staff to participate in the process at: www.prpsuggestions.org

The PRP text should be an outstanding work that will form the basis for a lively discussion. PRP texts can be fiction or nonfiction, historical or contemporary. They can also be films, musical compositions, and other works of art. When you submit your suggested text, explain why you think it will make a good PRP—and also suggest a theme year topic that arises from it. These topics should be broad in scope (e.g. Year of Innovation, Year of Media, Year of Proof) and encourage interdisciplinary exploration across all Penn Schools and centers. 
Submissions can be made at any time, and will be reviewed by a nomination committee as they are submitted. 

For more information: Contact David Fox, director of New Student Orientation and Academic Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania at dfox@upenn.edu or (215) 573-5636.

Deaths

James Fell, Mathematics

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James Michael Gardner Fell, professor emeritus of mathematics, died on December 16. He was 93.

Dr. Fell grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, and lived there until he was 12, when he went to England to study at Eton College. When he was 17, he returned to Canada and attended University of British Columbia. He graduated at age 19 with a bachelor’s degree. He then earned a PhD in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, with a specialization in analysis. 

Dr. Fell taught mathematics at University of Washington, Seattle before coming to Penn.

He joined Penn in 1965 as a professor of mathematics and held that position until his retirement in 1991, when he became professor emeritus.

Dr. Fell had a passion for language and took courses on Sanskrit in Penn’s South Asian studies department. He also learned to speak Icelandic and published six books post-retirement on aspects of Icelandic Christianity. He and his wife visited Reykjavik, Iceland, every year for 20 years.

He is survived by his wife, Daphne; daughter, Rachel (Scott); son, Pete (Stefanie); and grandson, James.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to All Saints’ Church, 1325 Montgomery Ave, Wynnewood, PA 19096.

David Giovacchini, Penn Libraries

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David Giovacchini, Middle East studies librarian at Penn, died on November 5. He was 57.

Mr. Giovacchini joined Penn in 2011 and managed the Penn Libraries’ print and electronic collections related to the Middle East (Almanac November 15, 2011). He held the position until his death.

One of Mr. Giovacchini’s major accomplishments at Penn was acquiring a major collection of nineteenth-century Fez lithographs. Prior to joining Penn, he held similar positions at Stanford University and Harvard University.


Mr. Giovacchini also taught many classes on the Middle East for adult education programs and enjoyed sharing his knowledge of Islamic culture and civilization with others.

Born in a small town in western Pennsylvania, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University with a double major in history and Middle East studies. He received his master’s degree from Princeton University in near eastern studies. Before beginning his library career, he served for five years as a captain in the US Army.

He is survived by his wife, Lois Brandwene Giovacchini and his two children, Isabel and Lido.

A memorial service will be held in the Class of ’55 Conference Room on the second floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center at 10 a.m. Thursday, January 19, with a reception to follow. Please contact Richard Griscom, director of collections and liaisons services, at griscom@upenn.edu for more information.

Melvyn Hammarberg, Anthropology

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Melvyn Hammarberg, a retired associate professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and consulting curator at Penn Museum, died on December 10. He was 78.

Dr. Hammarberg was a cultural anthropologist who conducted research on American civilization with a particular focus on issues of individual identity and group cohesion.

He joined Penn in 1970 as an instructor of American civilization in the School of Arts & Sciences, and became assistant professor in the same year. He held positions in the departments of English language, political science and anthropology. He also held positions in the College of General Studies, now known as LPS.

He received the CGS Distinguished Teaching Award, which honors outstanding teaching and advising, in 2002 (Almanac April 16, 2002).

He retired in 2008 as an associate professor (Almanac May 27, 2008) and elected not to use the emeritus title modifier.

He was author of the book The Indiana Voter: Historical Dynamics of Party Allegiance during the 1870s. He developed the Penn Inventory for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, a widely used instrument for measuring the strength of PTSD symptoms.

He is survived by his wife, Hong; his children, Kerstin (Lisa Borneman), Marc (Craig Rosenfeld) and Erik (Leslie Levito); their mother, Carol; his grandchildren, Niko and Logan; and his siblings, Linda Willette (Brian), Jon Hammarberg (Ruth) and Paul Hammarberg (Porat).

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are requested to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; Gustavus Adolphus College; public radio; or the charity of donor’s choice.

Peter Nowell, Abramson Cancer Center

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Peter C. Nowell, M’52, RES’56, HON’10, a groundbreaking researcher at the University of Pennsylvania best known for co-discovering the Philadelphia chromosome, died on December 26 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 88. 

Dr. Nowell was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Rose Tree, Delaware County. He graduated from Swarthmore High School in 1945 and earned a fast-tracked bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Wesleyan University. He earned a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1952, completed a rotating internship at Philadelphia General Hospital and trained in pathology at Presbyterian Hospital.

He worked for two years at the US Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory in San Francisco before returning to Penn Medicine as an instructor and later becoming professor in the department of pathology. He was chairman of the department from 1967-1973.

In 1960, Dr. Nowell and late colleague David Hungerford discovered the Philadelphia chromosome, the first direct link between a chromosomal abnormality and cancer. He also contributed to research in the field of cytogenetics and the evolution of cancer.

He became the first director of the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, now known as the Abramson Cancer Center, in 1973.

Dr. Nowell received the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award in 1967, the Distinguished Graduate Award from the School of Medicine in 1992 and the Alumni Award of Merit in 2003. He was awarded the Albert Lasker Clinical Medial Research Award, known as the “American Nobel,” in 1998 (Almanac September 22, 1998).

Dr. Nowell retired and became professor emeritus of pathology and laboratory medicine in 2007 (Almanac July 17, 2007).

He received an honorary degree from Penn in 2010. In the same year, he received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science by the Franklin Institute (Almanac May 11, 2010).

In 2015, Penn established the Peter C. Nowell, MD, Professorship (Almanac October 13, 2015).

Dr. Nowell authored more than 400 articles throughout his career and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen Walker Worst Nowell, and their daughter, Sharon.

He is survived by his sons, Michael and Timothy; daughters, Karen King and Kristin; a brother; and seven grandchildren.

Contributions may be made to the School in Rose Valley, 20 School Lane, Rose Valley, PA, 19063; or to Elwyn, 111 Elwyn Road, Media, PA, 19063.

Ruben E. Reina, Anthropology

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Ruben E. Reina, professor emeritus of anthropology at University of Pennsylvania and consulting curator emeritus at Penn Museum, died on December 17. Dr. Reina was 92.

Dr. Reina studied modern and historical cultures in Central America, South America and Spain with a focus on Guatemala.

Dr. Reina was born in Huinca Renenco, Cordoba Province, Argentina. He graduated from a bachiller (high school) and studied geology at the Universidad de Cordoba before emigrating to the United States in 1947. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1950 and a master’s degree in sociology and anthropology, also from Michigan, in 1951. In 1957, he was awarded a PhD from the University of North Carolina and was the first person there to receive that degree in anthropology.

In 1957, Dr. Reina was appointed to an assistant professorship in the department of anthropology and to an assistant curatorship at Penn Museum. He served as chairman of the undergraduate program in anthropology from 1960-1966 and chairman of the department of anthropology from 1971-1976. He was also curator of the Loren Eiseley seminar and library from 1982-1984.

Throughout his career at Penn, he received grants from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the American Philosophical Society. At the Penn Museum, he directed several exhibitions.

He taught full-time until 1990, when he became professor emeritus and curator emeritus.

Dr. Reina also worked with the Hispanic-Latin American Research Project, which began in 1967. Dr. Reina served as director of the project, which compiled source material from distant Spanish and Latin American archival and manuscript repositories to make them more accessible.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Betty; sons, Mark, Randy and Roger; and grandchildren, Jeanine, Kathleen, David and Lindsey.

A celebration of life service will be held at 4 p.m. February 19 at Dunwoody Village, 3500 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

Robert Lee Vanarsdall Jr., Orthodontics and Periodontics

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Robert Lee Vanarsdall Jr., chairman emeritus of the department of orthodontics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, died on January 1. He was 76.

Dr. Vanarsdall was born in Crewe, Virginia. He received his undergraduate degree at the College of William & Mary. He served in the US Navy as a line officer from 1962-1965. He received his dental degree from the Medical College of Virginia and completed his post-doctoral specialty training at Penn.

He started his career at Penn as a teaching fellow in the department of orthodontics in 1972. He became an assistant professor in 1973 and became an associate professor in 1980. In 1993, he became a professor. He served as chairman of the department of periodontics, department of pediatric dentistry and directed orthodontics at Penn from 1981-2011. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Sydney and University of Adelaide. While teaching, he continued to maintain a private practice.

He was chairman emeritus of the department of orthodontics at the time of this death.

At Penn, he researched periodontal risks and susceptibility in orthodontic patients to improve diagnosis and treatment outcomes. His clinical trials established the transverse skeletal discrepancy as a reliable predictor of increased risk of gingival recession. He also was first to report on the favorable skeletal effects of lip bumper therapy on the transverse dimension in early treatment to enhance periodontal health for young children.

Dr. Vanarsdall spent 17 years as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Adult Orthodontics and Orthognathic Surgery. He was coauthor of Orthodontics: Current Principles and Techniques, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th editions and coauthor of Applications of Orthodontic Mini Implants. He published chapters in 12 other textbooks and more than 100 scientific articles and abstracts. He established the first and only remaining orthodontic/periodontal graduate program accredited by the American Dental Association since it began in 1976. 

He served as program chairman for the American Association of Orthodontists in 1994 and 2002, and on the Council of Scientific Affairs. He was president of the Philadelphia Society of Orthodontists and the Eastern Component of the E.H. Angle Society of Orthodontists in 2005 and examiner for the American Board of Orthodontics, from 2009-2012. He received the Dale B. Wade Award for Excellence in Teaching from the American Board of Orthodontics in 2012.

He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 50 years, Sandra.

He is survived by his son, Lee (Rachel); daughters, Lesley and Ashley Burke (Brendan); five grandchildren; and his siblings, Joseph and Barbara Ragland.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Dr. Robert Vanarsdall Fellowship Fund at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Department of Orthodontics at https://giving.apps.upenn.edu/giving/jsp/fast.do

Features

Plenty of Penn Perks

  • January 10, 2017
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Did you know there are tons of benefits that come with a position at Penn? 
Listed below are a series of Penn perks that are available to Penn faculty and staff members.

 

Health and Fitness

Health Risk Assessments—Visit https://www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/worklife/healthy/hra to access a variety of online tools that help you learn about your body and how to manage your health.

Annual Flu Shot—Human Resources sponsors a flu shot for all employees every October and November. Consistent with the Affordable Care Act, employees do not need to pay up front and seek reimbursement afterward.

Health Advocate Service—Visit http://tinyurl.com/jtwh68o or call 1 (866) 799-2329 to take advantage of this free service, which helps employees find doctors, expedite appointments, navigate insurance and generally assist with health care.

Annual Wellness Fair—Every April, Human Resources sponsors a wellness fair that offers free screenings, merchandise and information about campus safety, nutrition, dining, women’s health and many other topics. Visit https://www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/worklife/healthy/fair to learn more.

Flexible Work Options—Penn offers a variety of arrangements such as flextime, flexplace and a compressed work plan that help employees manage their busy schedules. For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/zo6lptc

Counseling—Life is often challenging, and Penn employees receive up to eight free counseling sessions to help with stressful transitions. Visit https://www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/worklife/healthy/eap to learn more.

Penn Walking Program—Penn provides plenty of incentives to stay in shape by walking, including a free pedometer, a t-shirt and a tracking booklet. Learn more about this program at https://www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/worklife/healthy/walking

Quit Smoking Program—Penn is dedicated to its employees’ well-being, and the University’s Quit Smoking program is available to help employees fight this difficult addiction. For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/h3gonvl

Weight Watchers at Penn—This well-known national program has its own Penn branch! Meetings are held every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. for a weekly fee. For details see http://tinyurl.com/zufzfof

Recreation—Penn offers a variety of recreational venues, including Penn Park, Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, Fox Fitness Center and the Ringe Squash Courts. These are available to Penn faculty, staff and students. In addition, several fitness programs such as club sports, personal training and massage therapy can help any member of the Penn community get in shape!

StayWell Portal—Penn’s StayWell portal is available at https://penn.staywell.com/ and provides access to many useful health resources. In addition, there is a helpline at 1 (855) 428-6324.

 

Children and Family

Adoption Assistance—Penn can help ease the financial impact of bringing home a new child by reimbursing up to $5,000 for eligible adoption expenses. Visit https://www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/worklife/family to learn more.

Nursing Mothers Program—This program, which includes a free Breastfeeding Support Group, can help new mothers make a smoother transition back to work while nursing a newborn. Visit http://www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/worklife/family/nursingmothers

Penn Children’s Center—The Penn Children’s Center provides child care and education for children (ages 3 months to 5 years) of all faculty, staff and students of the University. Visit https://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/childcare/ to learn more about this award-winning institution.

Snow Day Child Care—Pre-register now to have your child taken care of when Philadelphia schools close but Penn remains open. For more information, visit https://www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/worklife/family/snowday

Backup Care Program—When an emergency strikes, Penn will help you find the right care for your child. Visit http://www.hr.upenn.edu/backupcare for more information. 

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day—Penn understands the importance of providing children with positive, productive experiences in their formative years. This annual event encourages and inspires youngsters and introduces them to the workplace. Visit https://www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/worklife/family/kidstowork to learn more.

Tuition Benefits for You and Your Family—As a faculty or staff member, you receive 100% of tuition for any courses you might decide to take at Penn. Your spouse, domestic partner and/or children receive considerable discounts as well!

Funeral Planning Services—Penn’s life insurance carrier, Aetna, offers Penn employees enrolled in life insurance free funeral planning services through its partnership with Everest. Visit http://tinyurl.com/z33qzzh to learn more.

 

Work and Career

Career Coaching—Employees who have been at Penn for at least a year receive help polishing their résumés, developing their present careers and optimizing mobility. For more information, see https://www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/learning/career/coaching

Employee Resource Fair
—Held every October, this event, co-sponsored by Human Resources, the PPSA and the WPPSA, spotlights dozens of Penn’s offices and demonstrates the variety of resources available to all Penn employees.

Resolving Workplace Issues—Penn has various resources available to assist staff members in resolving workplace issues or concerns. Visit http://tinyurl.com/j9ke4ar to take advantage of Penn’s programs, procedures and professionals  who are available to intervene.

Penn Libraries—Penn Libraries offer a variety of useful services. Penn’s collections include over seven million books and 34,000 sound recordings. Online services like Franklin, Ancestry and Safari aid with finding information, and the Weigle Information Commons offer workshops to assist with technology and equipment rental. 

ISC Training—Penn Computing provides computer training courses that can be taken both on Penn’s campus at their training lab, or off campus at several locations in Philadelphia and the suburbs.

Online Courses—Penn employees can take advantage of over 50,000 free professional training videos offered by Lynda.com at http://www.upenn.edu/computing/lynda/ In addition, web-based online classes are available from Coursera at http://www.onlinelearning.upenn.edu/faqs

 

Safety and Transportation

Help Line—Call (215) 898-4357 (HELP) 24 hours a day, seven days a week to talk to Division of Public Safety professionals trained in mental health referrals by Counseling and Psychological Services.

UPennAlert Emergency Notification System—Register your cell phone number to receive critical information from University officials in the time of an emergency. Update your emergency contact information at http://www.upenn.edu/directories/

Walking Escort Services—Call (215) 898-9255 (WALK) or 511 from any campus phone to request a walking escort 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This service is available between 30th and 43rd Streets and between Market Street and Baltimore Avenue.

Emergency Ride Home—In case of an emergency or if an employee’s regular ride home is not available, Penn offers a free ride for commuters. Learn more at http://tinyurl.com/hvx4r8g

Lockout and Jump-Start Services—Security Services offers free services to anybody with car problems on campus. Call (215) 573-3333 or 511 from any campus phone.

RAD Courses—Penn offers Rape Aggression Defense courses for both men and women free of charge. More information can be found at http://www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/special-services/rad

Loop Through University City (LUCY)—Between 6:10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays, this shuttle is available between University City and 30th Street Station. It is free to all PennCard holders.

Parking on Campus—Penn Parking services manages 27 lots that are reserved for faculty and staff. Visit http://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/parking/ to learn more about how to save on parking. Penn employees who use ADP for commuters or those bike to work can purchase single use passes for occasional parking (see page 7).

Bike Sharing Stations—Philadelphia’s bike-share system, Indego, has three stations on Penn’s campus, at 40th and Spruce streets, at 32nd and South streets, and at 36th and Sansom streets. For more information about Indego, visit www.rideindego.com/

Bike Commuter Expense Reimbursement Program—Penn employees who commute to work by bicycle will receive reimbursement for eligible expenses. Visit http://tinyurl.com/hkprble

 

Discounts and Savings

Penn Home Ownership Services—Penn offers a variety of incentives for home buyers, including a Closing Cost Reduction Program and $7,500 enhanced forgivable loans. For more information, visit http://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/homeownership

Financial Services—The University of Pennsylvania Federal Credit Union offers a variety of discounts on vacations, cars, coupons and insurance. Visit http://www.uofpfcu.com/default.htm to learn more. In addition, Bank of America offers Penn faculty and staff Visa credit cards. See http://tinyurl.com/hn7ldsq

PNC WorkPlace Banking—PNC offers Penn faculty and staff a complete set of money management tools with exclusive features, benefits and rewards. Visit http://tinyurl.com/j7dc9cv to learn more.

YMCA Discount—Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA and Regional Y Alliances offer 10% monthly discounts to all members with valid PennCards. Existing members can sign up for a discount at their home YMCA branch.

GlobalFit—Penn faculty and staff and their families qualify for discounted rates at participating GlobalFit health clubs, including Sweat, Curves, LA Fitness, Nutrisystem and more! Visit https://www.hr.upenn.edu/myhr/worklife/healthy/globalfit to learn more.

Personal Purchase Program—Employees of Penn can get discounts for a variety of products, such as Ford and General Motors vehicles; AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless cellphone plans; Office Depot office supplies; shipping from Amazon, Apple and Dell; and, of course, purchases at the Computer Connection and at the Penn Bookstore, with a PennCard. 

Pet Care Benefits—All Penn employees receive a 20% discount on services at the Ryan Hospital. To make an appointment, call (215) 746-8387 or visit http://tinyurl.com/z8vpnyt

PennO365—All Penn faculty, staff and students receive a free suite of Microsoft Office 365 software (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and others), which can be installed on up to five laptops and devices per user. 

PersonalShip—PennKey access entitles any Penn employee to this personal shipping service, which features discounted rates, tracking and several express shipping options. For more information, visit www.upenn.edu/personalship

Public Transportation—Penn offers discounted options through Commuter Pass Program, TransitCheck, PATCO Freedom Pass, New Jersey Transit and SEPTA. Learn more at http://tinyurl.com/jqgnjbl

PennCards—A PennCard entitles its bearer to a number of perks, including free admission to the Morris Arboretum, the Penn Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art; use of Penn Transit Services; and access to Penn recreational facilities. However, any Penn employee can obtain a PennCard for any member of his/her family, who will then share in the benefits! For more information, see http://tinyurl.com/jn3sz2a

Travel Reservations—Penn has relationships with several preferred travel vendors, such as Enterprise, World Travel, and United, all of which offer discounts to Penn employees. Visit http://tinyurl.com/hu7dufn to take advantage of these discounted rates.

Research

What Happens When Depression and Anxiety Coincide With Minor Injury

  • January 10, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 18
  • Research
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When someone incurs a minor injury, such as a broken leg or fractured rib, providers may not look beyond that patient’s immediate injury. But new research from Therese Richmond and Sara Jacoby of the University of Pennsylvania shows that may not be the best approach. 

Dr. Richmond, the Andrea B. Laporte Professor of Nursing and associate dean for research and innovation at the Penn School of Nursing, and Dr. Jacoby, a postdoctoral fellow in the Penn Injury Science Center found that people who visited an emergency department for a minor injury and also expressed symptoms of anxiety and depression were more likely than other emergency department visitors to experience poor work performance and increased health-related time in bed after 12 months. The work is published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies.

“If an injury is not life-threatening, we tend to patch people up and send them home,” said Dr. Richmond.

Drs. Richmond and Jacoby wanted to determine the long-term outcomes for these patients. They used data collected from previous work about long-term recovery from minor injuries, which had included information about patients’ symptoms of depression and anxiety using symptom-severity scales.

In the previous study, published in 2009, the researchers used standard criteria to identify 1,110 patients who had sustained minor injuries, after excluding those with head trauma, those with a previous psychiatric diagnosis and those hospitalized during the past year for another minor injury. From this group, 275 men and women of varying races and ethnicities were randomly selected and interviewed at intake in the emergency room, as well as at three, six and 12 months post-injury.

Drs. Richmond and Jacoby learned that people with more symptoms of depression at the time of their injury still had trouble working a year later and more frequently required bed rest due to health problems.

“What our work over time shows, and this reinforces, is we can’t separate people into psych and physical because there’s an interplay that’s important to understand,” Dr. Richmond said. “My goal of care as a nurse is, ‘I want you to live your life to the best that you can, I want you to have optimal function, I want you to be able to go back to your normal activities.’ If we don’t incorporate the psychological wellness after injury, I’m not going to help people reach that goal.”

Untreated Late Effects of Breast Cancer Increase Depression, Anxiety Among Survivors

  • January 10, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 18
  • Research
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Treatment advances have increased the five-year survival rate for breast cancer to 90%, but many survivors experience severe physical and psychosocial symptoms – such as joint pain, fatigue, weight gain and insomnia – that may go untreated and persist for many years after treatment.

A new study from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania found that long-term survivors report an average of three symptoms for which they wish they had more help. The study also showed a significant relationship between untreated symptoms and anxiety and depression among breast cancer survivors.

“There’s almost an unwritten ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ mentality about residual and persistent side effects of breast cancer treatment,” said lead author Steven Palmer, a research scientist at the Abramson Cancer Center. “Clinicians seeing patients for routine follow-up care may be focusing on recurrence prevention and detection to the exclusion of long term symptoms and whether survivors need help managing them. This lack of attention to potential symptoms can lead to increased levels of anxiety and depression for these cancer survivors.”

The researchers conducted surveys of 103 breast cancer survivors who had been disease-free for at least three years. The surveys assessed the prevalence and severity of nineteen symptoms and whether they would like help managing those symptoms. The participants’ anxiety and depressive symptoms were also self-reported using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

According to survey results, 92% of survivors reported at least three long-term symptoms — most commonly fatigue, aching joints, weight gain, memory trouble or insomnia — while 65% had at least one unmet need for intervention, with the average survivor reporting three unmet needs. The results also showed that breast cancer survivors living with more needs for symptom management are also more likely to experience anxiety and depression. When extended to the larger breast cancer survivor population, results suggest that more than 1.3 million breast cancer survivors could be experiencing at least three specific symptoms for which they need assistance.

While survivorship care services are becoming more common, long-term symptoms go unaddressed for many patients in either cancer or primary care settings; thus, appropriate treatments and referrals are not being made.

“Survivorship care is about more than screenings and disease prevention. It’s about the whole person,” said senior author Linda A. Jacobs, director of Cancer Survivorship Programs at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. “Our results point to a need for a more holistic view of breast cancer care where providers are thinking about what happens next for these patients and guiding them to services that can help improve their quality of life on multiple levels.”

Power Poses Don’t Help, Could Backfire

  • January 10, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 18
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The use of power poses—standing in a “powerful” position with broad posture, hands on hips, shoulders high and pushed back—was unsuccessful in attempts to boost subjects’ confidence in a study by University of Pennsylvania researchers Coren Apicella, assistant professor in the psychology department in the School of Arts & Sciences and Kristopher Smith, a fourth-year psychology PhD student.

Dr. Apicella and Mr. Smith attempted to replicate the original power pose study by Dana Carney, Amy Cuddy and Andy Yap, which appeared in 2010 in the journal Psychological Science. The initial study reported increases in feelings of power, risk taking and testosterone and a decrease in cortisol. The Penn researchers found no support for any of the original effects, what’s called embodied cognition, results they published recently in Hormones and Behavior.

The pair started working on this study in 2014, with the aim of putting the power pose concept into a relevant ecological context grounded in evolutionary theory. Because hormones change in a competitive context, the researchers wanted to study contest winners and losers for hormonal changes.

They studied nearly 250 college-age males from the Philadelphia region. Participants provided a saliva sample to offer a baseline measure for testosterone and cortisol levels, then took part in rounds of tug-o-war. One person was declared the strong man, the other the weak man. Then the participants would perform a high, low or neutral power pose based on random placement into one of three groups.

High power poses enable a body to take up more space (i.e., the Wonder Woman stance); low power poses constrict the area a body occupies (i.e., hunching over). While posing, study subjects viewed faces on a computer screen, the same images used in the original study, then 15 minutes later, the researchers took a second saliva sample to measure the same hormones again.

“We didn’t find any support for this idea of embodied cognition,” Dr. Apicella said. She added, “We did find that if anything — and we’re skeptical of these results, because we’d want to replicate them — that, if you’re a loser and you take a winner or high power pose, your testosterone decreases.”

In other words, Mr. Smith said, “people might not be able to ‘fake it until they make it,’ and in fact it might be detrimental.”

Dr. Apicella said the results should cause researchers to proceed with caution on this topic.

“Even if power poses were found to work in the short term,” she said, “we don’t know if they could backfire in the long term.”

Yogic Breathing Helps Fight Major Depression

  • January 10, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 18
  • Research
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A breathing-based meditation practice called Sudarshan Kriya yoga helped alleviate severe depression in people who did not fully respond to antidepressant treatments, according to a new study from researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, found benefits to the use of controlled yogic breathing to help battle depression.

Penn researchers led by Anup Sharma, a neuropsychiatry research fellow in the department of psychiatry, conducted a randomized, controlled pilot study of 25 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who were still depressed after more than eight weeks of antidepression medication treatment. They found that the patients who participated in Sudarshan Kriya yoga showed significant improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety compared to patients treated solely with medication.

After two months, the control group showed no improvements but the yoga group’s mean Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) score decreased by several points, as did their total scores of the self-reported Beck Depression and Beck Anxiety Inventories.

More than half of the 41 million Americans who take antidepressants do not fully respond, which puts these patients at higher risk of relapse.

“With such a large portion of patients who do not fully respond to antidepressants, it’s important we find new avenues that work best for each person to beat their depression,” Dr. Sharma said. “Here, we have a promising, lower-cost therapy that could potentially serve as an effective, non-drug approach for patients battling this disease.”

The meditation technique is practiced in both a group setting and at home, and includes a series of sequential, rhythm-specific breathing exercises that bring people into a deep, restful and meditative state:  slow and calm breaths alternated with fast and stimulating breaths.

The authors noted that well-designed studies evaluating the benefits of yoga to treat depression are lacking, despite increased interest in the practice.

The pilot study results suggest the feasibility and promise of Sudarshan Kriya as an add-on intervention for MDD patients who have not responded to antidepressants, the authors wrote.

Events

Morris Arboretum’s Conifer Tours

  • January 10, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 18
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Photograph by Liza Hawley

On Saturdays, January 14 & 28 at 2 p.m., Morris Arboretum Guides will give a special walking tour highlighting a selection of impressive conifers. Bundle up and enjoy the crisp air as you explore the 92-acre garden while learning about these notable specimens. Conifers, such as lacebark pine (Pinus bungeana), provide multi-seasonal interest with an array of varying forms, foliage, bark, and of course, cones!  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to satisfy your curiosity and enhance your knowledge about conifers. Free with admission. The Arboretum is open daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, visit morrisarboretum.org

Landscape / Soundscape Exhibition January 14–March 26 at the Arthur Ross Gallery

  • January 10, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 18
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caption:Mies van der Rohe Building, Chicago, by Elliott Erwitt, 1969, a silver gelatin print from the University's Art Collection is in the ARG exhibition.Some photographers capture landscapes so vividly that the images visually convey a sense of sound. In the same regard, sound artists have the capacity to create audio works that evoke a sense of place. The exhibition Landscape / Soundscape explores this desire to unite image and sound through compelling pairings of photography and soundscapes. Within the context of the exhibition, landscape is used in its broadest sense, from sweeping natural landscapes to cityscapes to abstractions. Likewise, the corresponding soundscapes are commissioned from a broad spectrum of sound artists and musicians, from those working with field recordings and electronics to noted instrumental performers. 

Photographs in the exhibition represent a range of landscapes, from expansive natural vistas to cityscapes. The following photographers are included: Lucien Clergue, Elliott Erwitt, Ralph Gibson, Clarence John Laughlin, Erica Lennard, Andrew Moore, Eliot Porter, Karen Riedener, Jerry Uelsmann, and Minor White. In tandem with Landscape / Soundscape, a juried selection of student projects will be presented on the Gallery’s digital interactive kiosk.  

A diverse selection of accomplished sound artists from throughout the United States and UK were invited to create soundscapes in response to photographs from Penn’s University Art Collection. These sound artists include: Sarah Angliss, Michael Roy Barker, Olivia Block, Nadia Botello, La Cosa Preziosa (Susanna Caprara), Marinna Guzy, Eugene Lew, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Christopher Sean Powell and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. 

Heather Gibson Moqtaderi, associate curator and collections manager at Penn’s University Art Collection, has curated Landscape / Soundscape along with Eugene Lew, director of sound & music technology and lecturer in electronic music & recording at the University of Pennsylvania.

The exhibition at the Arthur Ross Gallery will be there until March 26. The Gallery is located at 220 South 34th Street, Philadelphia, and is free and open to the public. Hours: Weekdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; weekends noon-5 p.m. Closed Mondays.

To reserve a group tour please contact Arthur Ross Gallery at sabrady@upenn.edu or (215) 898-3617. Additional information is available at arthurrossgallery.org or (215) 898-2083.

The Landscape / Soundscape exhibition opens on Saturday, January 14. The opening reception will be on Friday, January 13, from 5-7 p.m., with a gallery talk by the curators at 5 p.m., followed by remarks by Anita Allen, vice provost for faculty at 6 p.m.

Related Programs:

• Wednesday, February 1, 6:30 p.m.: Dissolution, a multi-media performance by sound artist Olivia Block
• Wednesday, February 8, 5:30 p.m.: Andrew Moore photography lecture and performance by Michael Roy Barker
• Monday, March 13, 6:30 p.m.: Daedelus Quartet performs Fred Lerdalh’s Chaconne and Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata

Crimes

Weekly Crime Reports

  • January 10, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 18
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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 December 26, 2016-January 1, 2017View 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 December 26, 2016-January 1, 2017. 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.

12/27/167:31 PM3400 Spruce StOther OffenseUnauthorized male in hospital/Arrested
12/28/1612:44 AM4000 Walnut StDUIIntoxicated driver arrested
12/28/163:28 PM3943 Chestnut StSex OffenseMale exposed himself through window
12/29/1610:55 AM3900 Walnut StTheftSecured bike taken
12/30/164:22 PM3400 Spruce StTheftTwo unsecured phones taken
12/30/1610:12 PM300 S 40th StDUIIntoxicated driver arrested
12/31/162:19 PM4000 Pine StVandalismDamage to windshield of auto
01/01/172:30 AM3925 Walnut StSex OffenseConfidential
01/01/173:56 PM4000 Walnut StOther OffenseMale wanted on warrant/Arrest

18th District Report

Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District: 4 incidents with 1 arrest (2 indecent assaults, 1 domestic assault and 1 robbery) were reported between December 26, 2016-January 1, 2017 by the 18th District covering the Schuylkill River to 49th Street & Market Street to Woodland Avenue.

12/26/1611:30 PM4825 Walton AveRobbery
12/27/168:57 PM257 S 44th AveDomestic Assault/Arrest
12/28/163:31 PM3943 Chestnut StIndecent Assault
01/01/174:27 AM3925 Walnut StIndecent Assault

Bulletins

Purchasing Services Announces Promotional Items Preferred Suppliers

  • January 10, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 18
  • Bulletins
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Penn Purchasing Services has announced the selection of three preferred suppliers now available to the University community for the purchase of promotional items and apparel. These companies are Promoversity, Geiger and Proforma Spectrum Graphics.  

The suppliers were carefully chosen after a rigorous request for proposal process led by Purchasing Services that included:

  • engaging key stakeholders from across the University to ascertain the criteria they seek when selecting and working with a promotional products company;
  • benchmarking data pertaining to the top companies in this sector; 
  • analyzing vendor spend recorded by Penn departments; and 
  • soliciting proposals from more than 20 companies and selecting the suppliers that most closely matched Penn’s requirements.

In earning preferred supplier status, these three best-in-class suppliers offered pricing, service and support that will deliver excellent value to the Penn community.  Promoversity, Geiger and Proforma are also able to develop customized, creative solutions using their respective product portfolios which contain a wide range of unique items to tailor a proposal to meet the needs of their clients. Of particular importance, each of these companies adheres to recognized sustainable and socially responsible practices.

Should these three designated organizations not meet a particular need, additional licensed suppliers are available. Penn staff and faculty can find additional, licensed and approved promotional items suppliers by visiting http://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/penn-branded-merchandise-and-licensing-information-sub/information-for-university-departments-sub.html 

Members of the Penn community are reminded of the importance of working with licensed promotional items suppliers as these companies have agreed to adhere to the University’s Code of Workplace Conduct for Penn Licensed Product Manufacturers, which outlines a set of production standards and labor practices.

Questions may be directed to Purchasing Services by contacting Jason Evans.  He can be reached at (215) 573-7248 or jevans5@upenn.edu

The Occasional Parking Program

  • January 10, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 18
  • Bulletins
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Effective January 1, 2017 new Occasional Parking Program options and guidelines are available to faculty and staff who participate in Penn’s pre-tax transit commuter program. Occasional Parking is a convenient option for program participants who use public transit to commute to Penn but sometimes have a need to drive and park on campus.

On an annual basis, these individuals may purchase 10 single-use passes at a cost of $60, which reflects a discount of over 50% off the standard daily parking rate. Passes will be valid for a period of 12 months from the date of purchase. The passes will be valid at the following locations: Penn Park Lot, Law Lot, Ludlow 34 Lot and Walnut 40 Garage. 

Individuals wishing to park in the Walnut 40 Garage must specify that they wish to use this parking facility at the time of purchase as the garage requires a pass that is different from that of the lots. Alternatively, Occasional Parkers may exchange valid lot passes should they ever need to park in the garage.

Additional information on the program, including a map of the locations that are part of this program, is available at www.upenn.edu/occasionalpark or by contacting parking@upenn.edu