$21 Million New Gift Puts Basser Center for BRCA at theForefront of Advancements for Patients At Risk of Inherited Cancers

  • May 23, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 35
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Jon and Mindy Gray

Jon and Mindy Gray

A $21 million new gift to the Basser Center for BRCA at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania from alumni Mindy and Jon Gray will cement and propel Penn’s preeminence as a leader in research to improve treatment and prevention strategies for hereditary cancers. The gift brings the Grays’ total commitment to $55 million, following their initial $25 million gift that established the Basser Center in 2012, and subsequent gifts to support the Center, which advances BRCA gene mutation-related science around the world.

“Mindy and Jon have directed their visionary philanthropy to a most critical area in medicine,” said University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann. “They have enabled Penn to create a unique model of cancer care that thrives on collaboration and personal engagement. Their support is already saving the lives of patients with—and at risk for —BRCA mutations. The possibility of eliminating genetic diseases increases exponentially because of their generosity and personal commitment. They are an exceptional example of Penn alumni who are making a positive difference in the world.”

Since its establishment as the world’s first center devoted to the study of BRCA-related cancers, the Basser Center has propelled improvements in prevention, screening and treatment for men and women with BRCA gene mutations.

“The advancements we’ve made in understanding, treating and preventing BRCA-related cancers in the past five years are astounding and would not have been possible without the generosity of Mindy and Jon Gray,” said Susan M. Domchek, executive director of the Basser Center. “Their support has fostered unparalleled collaborations that extend far beyond Penn, empowering the brightest minds around the world to take new, multi-disciplinary approaches toward achieving our shared goals of preventing and curing BRCA-related cancers.”

Since 2012, the Basser Center has awarded transformative grants to 26 investigators and researchers at Penn and 12 researchers at institutions around the world, including projects working to prevent the molecular changes in cells that lead to cancer, extend educational resources to at-risk populations, and understand racial disparities in BRCA mutations and associated cancers.

“With their generous gifts and exceptional innovation, Mindy and Jon have created a pioneering approach to accelerating medical research and care,” said J. Larry Jameson, dean of the Perelman School of Medicine of Pennsylvania and executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System. “In today’s climate, where the competition for limited federal funding is on the rise, philanthropy is a critical part of advancing our knowledge in the fight against cancer.”

“We have been awed by the advancements made possible through the research and collaborations at the Basser Center over the last five years, and are more hopeful than ever that our support will lead to the cures for, and ultimately, the prevention of, BRCA-related cancers,” said Mindy and Jon Gray in a statement.

Through the Grays’ continued support, the Basser Center’s vision will:

  • Uncover biomarkers for early detection of ovarian cancer. Recent research from Penn investigators has demonstrated that many ovarian cancers actually start in the fallopian tubes, not necessarily the ovaries. This finding has refocused efforts on novel detection and study of precursor lesions in the fallopian tubes, and may bring a new option for removal of the fallopian tubes as a first-step prevention strategy for pre-menopausal women with BRCA mutations.
  • Test strategies that use personalized cellular therapies such as chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) T cell therapy or tumor vaccines to re-program the immune system to recognize and attack or, in the case of vaccines, prevent BRCA1/2 associated cancers of all types.
  • Study PARP inhibitors in combination with other drugs, including immune checkpoint inhibitors or targeted therapies, for the treatment of BRCA1&2-associated cancer while carefully analyzing predictors of response and resistance.
  • Extend the reach of preventive care and educational programs through new avenues for testing and telegenetics. This year, experts from leading institutions and organizations across the country will join forces to launch a pilot study of patients with an increased risk for BRCA mutations, aimed at making the testing process more accessible to the public, and expanding the number of individuals who can be tested.

Mindy and Jon Gray graduated from Penn in 1992. The couple has supported the University throughout the 25 years since their graduation. The Basser Center was established in honor of Mindy’s sister, Faith Basser, who passed away at the age 44 from BRCA-related ovarian cancer. The Grays are also the founders of the Gray Foundation, a private foundation committed to maximizing access to education, healthcare and opportunity for low-income children in New York. The Gray Foundation is focused on funding initiatives to advance the care of individuals living with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.

Jon Gray is the global head of real estate at Blackstone, and the chairman of the board of Hilton Hotels. Mindy Gray is the board chair of the Basser Leadership Council and sits on the Leadership Council of Peer Health Exchange, an organization dedicated to giving teens a comprehensive health education.

Konrad Kording: Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor

  • May 23, 2017
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Konrad Kording

Konrad Kording

President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price are pleased to announce the appointment of Konrad Kording as the Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor, effective July 1, 2017.  Dr. Kording, a pioneer of computational neuroscience, will hold joint appointments in the department of neuroscience in the Perelman School of Medicine and the department of bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. 

“Konrad Kording’s work perfectly exemplifies our Penn Compact vision of harnessing the tools of multiple disciplines to drive innovation and understanding with the goal of improving human life around the world,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann.  “Brain science, big data, robotic technologies: Konrad’s research crosses the professions and involves the most dynamic scholarly fields and tools.  It also has tremendous potential to improve the diagnosis and treatment for patients with movement disorders.  The Penn community-and our society overall-will benefit tremendously from his path-setting teaching and scholarship.”

Dr. Kording’s groundbreaking interdisciplinary research uses data science to advance a broad range of topics that include understanding brain function, improving personalized medicine, collaborating with clinicians to diagnose diseases based on mobile phone data, and even understanding the careers of professors.  Across many areas of biomedical research, his group analyzes large datasets to test new models and thus get closer to an understanding of complex problems in bioengineering, neuroscience and beyond.

This innovative and influential work has been published in such leading journals as Nature, Nature Neuroscience, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and supported by major grants from the National Science Foundation and others.  Currently professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Dr. Kording earned a PhD in physics (2001) from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, followed by postdoctoral appointments at the Collegium Helveticum in Zurich and at University College London and as a Heisenberg Fellow at MIT.

“Konrad Kording will be an invaluable mentor and colleague in advancing our eminence in neuroscience,” said Provost Price. More broadly, he is a pioneer in developing innovative interdisciplinary approaches to complex problems.  He will be an effective campus leader in bringing together some of our most exciting initiatives in medicine, data science, and bioengineering.”  
The Penn Integrates Knowledge program was launched by President Gutmann in 2005 as a University-wide initiative to recruit exceptional faculty members whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge across disciplines and who are appointed in at least two Schools at Penn.

Vet Medicine Teaching Awards

  • May 23, 2017
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Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award

Rose Nolen-Walston

Rose Nolen-Walston

This year’s Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award was presented to Rose Nolen-Walston. This is the most prestigious teaching award in veterinary medicine. It is presented annually to a faculty member at each college of veterinary medicine in the United States. Its purpose is “to improve veterinary medicine education by recognizing outstanding instructors who, through their ability, dedication, character and leadership, contribute significantly to the advancement of the profession.” The entire Penn Vet student body votes on the recipient.

Dr. Nolen-Walston was a professional dressage rider and riding teacher before she graduated with her DVM from the University of Georgia in 2001. She did an internship and residency in large animal internal medicine at Tufts University. She spent a subsequent year there doing research in adult stem cell biology in mice, then joined the faculty at Penn Vet, where she has been teaching and practicing internal medicine for the last 11 years.

A student said, “Dr. Nolen-Walston keeps the class consistently engaged by creating relevant scenarios and case studies about the information, calling on students in the class to participate and, for the less intriguing lectures, including videos every few slides. Her humor as well as her clear organization helps elucidate and drive home main concepts. She has also helped judge student club bake-offs, emceed our auction fundraiser and helped the SCAVMA (student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association) board as an advisor.”

V’20 Lecture Teaching Award

Dr. Nolen-Walston is also the recipient of this award. A student said, “Thrilling, riveting, mind-blowing, action-packed and on-the-edge-of-your-seat comedy, Dr. Nolen-Walston’s lectures are like the most exciting movie release of the year, and you just happen to have a ticket. She fills the room and brings to life the mechanics of pulmonary disease. With crackle and wheezing impersonations to the in-class activities there is never a dull moment.”

The William B. Boucher Award

Michael Pesato

Michael Pesato

The Boucher Award honors a house officer for excellent teaching at New Bolton Center. The award is made in honor of Dr. William Boucher, a distinguished educator at Penn Vet for over four decades.

This year’s winner is Michael Pesato. Dr. Pesato graduated from Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. He is currently a food animal resident in field service.

A student said, “Dr. Pesato loves teaching students in field service. He goes out of his way to make sure every student riding in his truck learns something that will make them a better veterinarian, regardless of whether they are a small- or large-animal student.” 

V’17 Philadelphia Teaching Award

Michael Mison

Michael Mison

Michael Mison is a clinical associate professor of surgery, as well as director and chief medical officer of Ryan Hospital. Prior to joining Penn Vet in 2015, Dr. Mison founded Seattle Veterinary Specialists as a managing partner in 2007. Earlier in his career, he served on the faculty of Washington State University, where he received the Carl Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award as a second-year assistant professor in 2004. Dr. Mison received his veterinary degree from the University of Florida in 1998 and completed a rotating internship and surgical residency at Michigan State University. He is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS).

A student said, “Dr. Mison challenges students in and out of the operating room to actively participate in the care, procedures and treatments of our patients. He guides us through hands-on surgical experience from placing a screw to closing incisions. He values our input just as he would any doctor’s. Despite his busy schedule, he always makes it a point to know all of his students on his rotation. It is an honor to call Dr. Mison a mentor and friend.”

V’17 New Bolton Center Teaching Award

Kyla Ortved

Kyla Ortved

Kyla Ortved is an assistant professor of large animal surgery. Prior to starting at New Bolton Center,  Dr. Ortved was a clinical assistant professor at Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists. She completed her PhD at Cornell University in comparative biomedical science in 2014. She was board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) in 2011, after completing her residency in large animal surgery at Cornell, from 2007 to 2010. Dr. Ortved was also recently board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (ACVSMR). Her internship in large animal medicine and surgery was at the University of Georgia. She received her veterinary degree from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada in 2006 and her undergraduate degree in animal biology from the University of British Columbia in 2001.

A student said, “It is incredibly impressive for Dr. Ortved to win this award as she is a new faculty member and a clinician on the service most students consider the most challenging rotation of vet school. She takes the time to thoroughly discuss cases with students and makes barn-side rounds a highlight of the day. When a student does not understand a concept or procedure, Dr. Ortved never asks them why they don’t know it, but rather what can she do to help teach you better.”

V’18 Lecture Teaching Award

Mark Oyama

Mark Oyama

Mark Oyama graduated in 1994 from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. After an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York and a residency at UC Davis, he entered private specialty practice for two years. He then served for five years on the faculty of the University of Illinois before coming to Penn Vet in 2005. He is currently a professor in cardiology. He earned his master of science in clinical epidemiology from Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine in 2015.

A student said, “Dr. Oyama has been a constant favorite of V’18. He seamlessly translates complex processes and material into lecture so that each student is able to comprehend exactly what is happening. He understands how students learn and his enthusiasm for teaching is evident each time he lectures. Congratulations to Dr. Oyama and we are so excited to work closer with you in clinics!”

V’18 Lab Teaching Award and V’19 Lecture Teaching Award

Jeffrey Runge

Jeffrey Runge

Jeffrey J. Runge graduated from Dickinson College and then received his DVM from Ross University. Following his internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York, Dr. Runge went on to do his surgical training at Penn Vet, which included a one-year fellowship and a three-year small animal surgical residency. Dr. Runge is currently assistant professor of minimally invasive surgery at Penn Vet. He focuses primarily on laparoscopic and thoracoscopic minimally invasive surgery, and has lectured on single port and multiport laparoscopic surgery alike. Through ongoing collaboration with leading human laparoscopic surgeons, Dr. Runge and Penn Vet have become leaders in veterinary reduced port surgery.

A student said, “Dr. Runge is an absolutely amazing clinician to work with. My classmates rave about how he makes them feel less like students and more like colleagues whenever he works with them one-on-one, further enhancing his already thorough and educational surgery course. Congratulations to Dr. Runge for winning the lab teaching award and on behalf of V’18 we would like to thank him for his time and efforts he puts into organizing such a wonderful surgical course.”

“Dr. Runge has won the hearts of many V’19 students with his engaging teaching style, using not only demonstrations, but also asking for volunteers to help illustrate important concepts. He is passionate in lectures and his high energy is contagious, keeping us on the edge of our seats to the point we don’t realize when lecture goes overtime.”

V’19 Lab Teaching Award

Falon Gray

Falon Gray

A national of Trinidad and Tobago, Falon Gray earned her undergraduate degree from Howard University in 2008, followed by a DVM from Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. She entered residency training at Penn Vet in anatomic pathology, and is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. As a research fellow, Dr. Gray currently shares responsibilities on the anatomic pathology service, and comparative pathology core, and is involved in collaborative research at the Perelman School of Medicine, Center for Cellular Immunotherapies. Here, she and others are interested in methods that harness the immune system to fight canine and human cancers, specifically through the genetic modification of T-cells.

Following completion of her fellowship in June 2017, Dr. Gray will be relocating to Boston, where she will pursue a career in cancer research and drug development. 

A student said, “On the first day of class Dr. Gray humbly told us about how nervous she was right before her boards, and as second year vet students we knew exactly how it felt to be nervous for an exam so we immediately related to her. She is one of the most consistently enthusiastic instructors we had and she’s always incredibly excited to see us during labs and lecture. It’s clear she is passionate about what she does, passing on her knowledge to us and inspiring us to push ourselves. She challenges us with her questions and encourages us to not just memorize facts and pathways, but instead to truly understand the processes we are learning. Even after she finished her board exams, she immediately came back and responded to all of our questions about conjugated vs unconjugated bilirubin.”

V’20 Lab Teaching Award

Peter Hand

Peter Hand

Peter Hand received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, then graduated from Penn Vet in 1961. He earned his PhD from Penn in 1964. Dr. Hand is currently emeritus professor of anatomy after a 35-year career at Penn Vet and continues to help out during anatomy labs.

A student said, “Dr. Hand is a rare commodity, giving lectures in anatomy and neuroscience, helping in histology, anatomy and neuroscience laboratories and taking the time to make special appearances in students’ skits. He helped students realize the importance of the Linea alba. Whenever I encounter Arrector pili, he is the teacher that comes to mind. Dr. Hand is a quintessential part of the Penn Vet community.”

SP2 Teaching Awards

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Standing Faculty Award

Amy Castro Baker

Amy Castro Baker

Amy Castro Baker is the recipient of the 2017 Excellence in Teaching Award, Standing Faculty, School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2). Dr. Castro Baker is an assistant professor at SP2 and teaches in the MSSP and MSW programs. Dr. Castro Baker’s research explores how economic and social policies contribute to gender and race disparities, particularly within housing and lending markets. She was awarded the GADE Research Award, the Society for Social Work and Research Outstanding Dissertation Award and the Nina Fortin Memorial Dissertation Award for her work on women and risky lending in the foreclosure crisis. In 2016 she and Amy Hillier co-founded the SexGen policy lab at Penn, which aims to build and disseminate knowledge at the intersection of critical theory, gender, and sexuality with a distinct focus on policy, economic and housing research. The SexGen lab provides mentorship and methodological scaffolding for students to engage with faculty on gender, sexuality and applied policy research. Her current projects include community-based research focused on housing policy, asset accumulation, and LGBTQ youth experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness. Lab members are also collaborating with faculty and students across SP2, nursing and education to develop curriculum that prepares graduates to work with LGBTQ communities.

Non-Standing Faculty Award

This year there are two recipients of the Excellence in Teaching Award for non-Standing Faculty at SP2, Jacqueline Strait and Meredith Myers.

Jacqueline Strait

Jacqueline Strait

Meredith Myers

Meredith Myers

Dr. Strait graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and earned her MSW and DSW degrees from SP2 at Penn. Dr. Strait has a great passion for clinical social work practice and specializes in helping young adults heal from trauma. Her research and writing focuses on dissociative phenomena in clinical practice, particularly as it manifests in the therapist-client dyad. She teaches courses on Mental Health Diagnostics and Anxiety and Depression in the MSW program. She is inspired by her students, the brave hearts and brilliant minds she feels fortunate to think and learn with.

Dr. Myers has been a lecturer at Penn since 2009  and teaches Interpersonal Dynamics in Nonprofits that Thrive in SP2’s Nonprofit Leadership program. In addition, she teaches in the Wharton School, including in Executive Education programs and in the Master’s Program in Applied Psychology. She runs training programs within the Leadership Division for the Lipman Family Prize around strengths-based leadership, emotional intelligence and team building, and the Nonprofit Board Fellows around facilitation, optimal entry onto a board of directors, and entry onto teams in general. In recent years she has helped develop and execute training programs to build problem-solving methods and collaboration capacity within mission critical teams at both NYC Fire Department and Navy Special Warfare. Her training in negotiation, conflict resolution and mediation allows her to help people navigating complex and often contentious situations involving diverse groups, work that has taken her across the US, Latin America and India. In her research and consulting around cross-sector partnerships, she has coached international leaders, executives and board members in industry, non-profits and foundations on how to forge healthier relationships for more sustainable business results and community outcomes. Dr. Myers holds a PhD in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University. She graduated from Penn with a BA in international studies and a BS in economics.

John McInerney: Inaugural Executive Director, Sachs Program for Arts Innovation

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John McInerney

John McInerney

Provost Vincent Price and Vice Provost for Faculty Anita Allen announce the appointment of John McInerney, vice president of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, as inaugural executive director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Sachs Program for Arts Innovation.

In his 13 years at the Cultural Alliance —the research and advocacy organization representing more than 450 cultural nonprofit groups in Greater Philadelphia—Mr. McInerney has worked closely with arts organizations in every discipline, as well as with Penn, the City of Philadelphia, and arts alliances across the country. He launched and runs the highly successful Phillyfunguide events calendar and its Funsavers ticket discount program, which has become one of the largest nonprofit ticket discount programs in the US, generating annual revenues of up to $1 million for the 250 participating arts organizations.  He has led the Alliance’s strategic research, advocacy, and communications campaigns, including Engage 2020, a long-term initiative to increase cultural engagement in Greater Philadelphia supported by the Pew Charitable Trust and Wallace Foundation, and successful efforts to defeat a statewide “arts tax” and restore funding to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. 

Before the Cultural Alliance, Mr. McInerney was director of communications and marketing at Penn’s Institute of Contemporary Art and a production manager at the Grand Opera House Theater in Wilmington, Delaware. He is a longtime board member of the Vox Populi Gallery, the largest and oldest independent nonprofit visual arts collective in Greater Philadelphia, serving as vice chair for community engagement and most recently as interim executive director and chair of the Executive Director Search Committee. He currently serves on the boards of the Eastern State Penitentiary and Penn’s Arthur Ross Gallery and has also been a board member of Dance USA/Philadelphia (Dance/UP) and Weathervane Music.  He earned an MS in arts administration from Drexel and a BA in business administration from Loyola University in New Orleans and has recently participated in the Shannon Leadership Institute, Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange and Leadership Philadelphia Program.

“John McInerney is the ideal leader to launch our exciting new Sachs Program,” said Provost Price. “He is a highly respected innovator, collaborator, and mentor across every part of the arts, widely admired not only at Penn and in Philadelphia but also in the arts community across the country. I am enormously grateful to the consultative committee, chaired by Anita Allen, that helped us arrive at this great result—and above all to Keith and Kathy Sachs, whose vision and longstanding commitment to Penn will transform arts innovation for generations to come.” 

The Sachs Arts Innovation Program-founded with a $15 million gift from alumni Keith and Katherine Sachs, the largest gift ever made across the arts at Penn—aims to visibly energize the arts and arts innovation at Penn. It will integrate research, teaching and practice, working collaboratively with faculty, students, arts and culture leaders and the Provost’s Arts Advisory Council and establishing a dedicated Arts Innovation Hub in the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

“We could not be more excited about Penn’s selection of John McInerney to be the first executive director of the Sachs Arts Innovation Program,” said Keith and Katherine Sachs. “His extensive professional experience in the arts, combined with his knowledge of Penn, represent exactly what we envisioned in making this gift and will make a powerful impact on the University and the City of Philadelphia in the years ahead.”

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant to Expand Collaboration between Penn and the Philadelphia Museum of Art

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The University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) have been jointly awarded $500,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund an ongoing collaboration over the next three years that provides Penn graduate students in art history an opportunity to extend their study beyond the classroom through a direct, hands-on engagement with the Museum’s renowned collection. The project allows students to examine individual works of art in detail working alongside Penn professors, Museum curators, conservators and educators. It is a multi-faceted program that combines scholarship, critical theory and object-based learning.

“Our faculty and students are delighted by news of the renewed funding for this program,” said Karen Redrobe, the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Professor in Film Studies, and chair of the University’s history of art department in the School of Arts & Sciences. “This grant gives us the opportunity to deepen and expand our conversations with conservators, curators and museum educators about how to approach different kinds of art objects as material creations.”

Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO of the PMA, said, “We are especially grateful to the Mellon Foundation for its strong support of this type of learning at the graduate level. This rich collaboration takes Penn students behind the scenes with Penn’s faculty and our staff to study original works of art in detail and develop an understanding of how this is essential to the training of art historians today. I am pleased that the Museum and Penn can continue the important work that we’ve started together in educating the next generation of curators, conservators and scholars.”

Mellon has allocated $276,000 to Penn and $224,000 to the Museum over the next three years. This is the second of two grants from the Mellon Foundation to fund this joint initiative. Since the first grant was awarded in 2012, Penn graduate students have engaged in research, writing and the study of art via Museum workshops that focus on important works in the collection, including Titian’s painting Portrait of Archbishop Filippo Archinto (1558), a rare Renaissance sculpture by Bartolomeo of David with the Head of Goliath (1490s), and a suite of nineteenth-century furniture by Benjamin Henry Latrobe recently featured in the Museum exhibition, Classical Splendor: Painted Furniture for a Grand Philadelphia House.

Renewed funding will support the presentation of additional workshops for Penn graduate students at the PMA and regular seminars led by Penn faculty and PMA staff. The workshops include about 15 students. They examine sculpture, paintings and furniture using various analytical tools to help them better understand materials, techniques and the working processes of artists.
Jack Hinton, associate curator of European decorative arts and sculpture at the PMA, who led one of the workshops, said, “The importance of the workshop collaboration is about being able to share our treasures with a future generation of scholars. I feel it is a duty of the Museum and of art history professionals to educate students in that way, directly in front of an object.”

This bridge between Penn and the PMA provides students with “a rich and varied toolbox for their own explorations of art’s history and meaning,” Dr. Redrobe said. “This grant allows faculty and students to learn and teach in new ways.”

The Mellon grant also supports Penn’s ongoing effort to attract a diverse group of students, including underrepresented minorities and low-income and first-generation graduate students to the field of art history, and to careers as curators, conservators and scholars. 

Support for Penn will also fund stipends for graduate research fellowships and mentorships, as well as instructors for the seminars and workshops, a staff planning retreat and travel fellowships.

For the PMA, the renewed grant will cover positions such as a project coordinator, program director, and will underwrite the costs for the workshops.

Through the Mellon collaboration, the PMA will integrate student writing into its digital publication that coincides with the upcoming exhibition, Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection. The grant will also support digital initiatives closely aligned with Penn’s new Price Lab for Digital Humanities.  


Arthur Auerbach, Psychiatry

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Arthur H. Auerbach, a longtime faculty member of the University of Pennsylvania’s department of psychiatry, died on February 13 after a brief illness. He was 88.

Dr. Auerbach earned his undergraduate degree at Penn in 1947 and a medical degree at Jefferson Medical College in 1951 before serving as a lieutenant in the US Navy.

He joined the Penn faculty as an instructor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine in 1961 and became an associate professor in 1966 and an assistant professor in 1968 (Almanac September 1968).  He was also a research investigator in the 1960s. In 1968, he collaborated with Lester Lubrosky, professor of psychiatry, on a study of prediction of treatment outcomes in psychotherapy under the NIMH K Award (Almanac October 1968).

He was president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research from 1983-1984.

Dr. Auerbach was still a Penn faculty member at the time of his death.

James Graham, Purchasing

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James Graham, former associate director of purchasing at the University of Pennsylvania, died on April 17 at the age of 74.
Mr. Graham was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Drexel University.

He joined Penn in 1996 as a procurement specialist in purchasing. He became associate director of purchasing in 2005 and retired in 2006.

Mr. Graham also worked in purchasing at Cigna and at Drexel.

He is survived by his wife, Denise; children, Jennifer Savage (Eddie), Jay and Stephen; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Anna Kuba, Nursing

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Anna Kuba, a former assistant professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and School of Nursing, died on April 27 at age 93.

Ms. Kuba was born in Lansford, Pennsylvania and graduated from Lansford High School. She received a master’s degree from Jefferson Medical College of Nursing and became a registered nurse.

She joined Penn in 1954 as a lecturer of nursing and became an instructor that same year. After leaving Penn in 1957, she returned in 1959 and became an assistant professor in 1962, a position she held until 1965. She also held additional appointments in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from 1960-1962. While at Penn, she was a member of the Standing Committee on Undergraduate Affairs (Almanac April 1961).

Ms. Kuba also taught nursing students at Jefferson Medical College and worked on nursing education projects at the National League for Nursing and the American Nurses Association.

She is survived by three nephews, Kenneth, Thomas and Homer; and a niece, Paulette Warner.

Contributions in her memory may be made to Lehigh Valley Health Network Friends of Nursing Program c/o the Thomas J. Parambo Funeral Home, 54 West Fell St., Summit Hill, PA 18250.

To Report a Death

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

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


Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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

Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Laura Perna reported that the Wharton Undergraduate Division will convene a workshop on “Whites Confronting Racism: A Training for Change” from June 13-15. All Penn faculty and staff are welcomed to participate, by registering at  She provided an update on the Ad Hoc Committee on Government Engagement’s work to prepare for a University-wide “teach-in,” notionally planned for the week of January 22, 2018. This committee plans to continue its work over the summer and welcomes additional faculty to join by writing the Senate office.

Past-Chair’s Report.  Faculty Senate Past Chair Reed Pyeritz reported that the Academic Planning and Budget Committee and the Capital Council recently met. The Campaign for Community reviewed at least 36 applications this year, of which more than half received funding from the Campaign for their proposed events.

Information Security Initiatives. University Information Security Officer Josh Beeman informed SEC members of a one-time password reset initiative to meet current cryptographic standards. This initiative will be rolled out in stages.  SEC members inquired about other security initiatives. The system for two-factor authentication for PennKey access is in the process of being rebuilt to improve user friendliness. Two-factor authentication is currently optional but will be required once the renovation is complete.

Senate Committee Reports. SEC heard and briefly discussed annual reports given by the chairs of Senate Committees. Senate committee reports can be found in the May 9, 2017, issue of Almanac.

Issues Requiring a Vote. SEC members voted for the faculty representatives on the 2017-18 University Council Steering Committee. Amy Sepinwall, chair of the Senate Committee on Faculty and the Academic Mission (SCOF), reported that SCOF reviewed and unanimously approved a proposal from the School of Engineering and Applied Science to eliminate Principal Lecturers in the school (an unused track) and to extend the Professor of Practice track to include Assistant Professors of Practice. Under the proposal, the ratios of non-Standing Faculty in the School would be adjusted to a cap of 10% for Senior Lecturers and 10% for Professors of Practice in total across all three ranks. The total number of Senior Lecturers and the three ranks of Professors of Practice will not exceed 20% of the total Standing Faculty in the school, a ratio that remains unchanged from what is prescribed under the cap currently in place. Upon motion made and seconded, and following discussion, SEC members voted to approve the proposal by a vote of 27 in favor, one against and two abstentions.

Discussion and recommendations for SEC’s 2017-2018 agenda. SEC members recommended a number of topics be considered by SEC in the coming year, including sexual violence prevention, divestment from fossil fuel industries, availability of childcare, and implications of the growth in the Associated Faculty and Academic Support Staff.

Passing the Torch. Dr. Perna announced that Jennifer Pinto-Martin will serve as Chair-Elect of the Senate for the 2017-2018 year and recognized Dr. Pyeritz for his service. SEC members thanked Reed Pyeritz for his service as Past Chair, thanked Laura Perna for her service as Chair, and welcomed Santosh Venkatesh as the 2017-2018 Faculty Senate Chair. They also recognized the service of the chairs of the Senate’s Standing Committees: Regina Austin, Susan Margulies, Pamela Sankar,  Amy Sepinwall, Dominic Sisti and Robert Stine. SEC members also expressed appreciation to Provost Vincent Price for his outstanding service and leadership and for his steadfast commitment to shared governance at Penn.

Coverage of Trustees’ May Meetings

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  • Governance
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On Thursday, May 11, the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees held a Budget and Finance Committee Meeting as well as a Stated Meeting. Trustees’ Chair David L. Cohen commented that Duke’s gain is Penn’s loss as Vincent Price prepares to become president at Duke (Almanac December 6, 2016).

The Trustees elected Robert M. Levy to a one-year term as vice chair of the Board to succeed Andrea Mitchell who is now an emerita trustee.

They also passed a resolution concerning the faculty and student liaisons to standing committees; the two faculty members and two students (one undergraduate and one graduate) will serve for one-year non-voting appointments, July 1-June 30; faculty will be eligible for reelection up to three terms. They will be nominated by their constituencies.

President Amy Gutmann mentioned that Wendell Pritchett will be Penn’s 30th provost (Almanac May 2, 2017) calling him a “worthy successor to our beloved Vince.”

Provost Price noted that Rebecca Stein will become the executive director of the Online Learning Initiatives effective June 1 (Almanac March 28, 2017).

EVP Craig Carnaroli gave the financial report for the nine months ended March 31, 2017. For the Consolidated University there was an increase in total net assets of $1.1 billion over the prior year driven largely by strong investment performance and strong operating performance at the Health System. Total net assets were $416 million higher than budget.

On the Academic side, the net operating income reflected a decrease of $64 million versus an increase of $68 million the prior year and a budgeted increase of $14 million. This was primarily due to decapitalization of the June 30, 2016 library book balances totaling $86 million which were previously capitalized and amortized over 10 years. New contributions totaled $261 million, an increase of $32 million, or 14% over the prior year. Capital expenditures include renovations to Hill College House and Stemmler Hall as well as the construction of the Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics.

The Health System reported adjusted admissions through the second quarter were higher than budget and the prior year; inpatient admissions were consistent with the budget, while outpatient activity in high intensity services was mixed.

EVP for the Health System and PSOM Dean J. Larry Jameson reported that the groundbreaking for Penn Medicine’s Pavilion took place earlier this month (Almanac May 9, 2017). At the groundbreaking, President Gutmann called it the “most ambitious project in Penn history.” Dr. Jameson noted that the 250th class of Penn medical school graduates had the lowest debt burdens in the country.

Two resolutions were approved: one to authorize the PSOM to purchase a cryo-electron microscope to be maintained by the biochemistry-biophysics department in the Krishna Singh Center for Nanotechnology, for $6.25 million. It is being purchased as part of the establishment of the Beckman Center for Cryo-Electron Microscopy which will support at least 10 labs at PSOM.

The other authorizes the Human Capital Management (HCM) Transformation Project, $57.4 million for total implementation, to improve Penn’s HCM processes and replace its supporting systems. It is expected to be transformational in faculty recruiting, personnel administration, benefits, compensation, payroll, time management, and the tenure process through to post-retirement.



Penn Commencement Photos 2017

  • May 23, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 35
  • Features
  • print

Members of the Class of 1967 returned to campus for their 50th reunion. The University Chaplain Charles (Chaz) Howard gave the invocation and dismissal at Penn’s 261st Commencement after the student procession, alumni procession and academic procession made their way to Franklin Field on Monday, May 15. There were some 5,000 degrees conferred to Penn undergraduates, graduate students and seven honorary degree recipients, including the Commencement Speaker, US Senator Cory A. Booker.

(See the supplement for the speeches and more photographs.)


Human Resources: Upcoming June Programs

  • May 23, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 35
  • Events
  • print

Professional & Personal Development Programs

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

TED Talk Tuesday: Tom Wujec’s Build a Tower, Build a Team; 6/20; 12:30 p.m. Business visualization consultant Tom Wujec uses the “marshmallow challenge” to teach valuable lessons about collaboration. Creative groups can learn a lot from how children collaborate: They don’t worry about who’s in charge; they just start experimenting and adapt their prototypes as they go.

*Learning with Lynda: Communicating Across Cultures; 6/21; 12:30 p.m. When you travel, some differences are easy to identify: the language, the food, the music. But in order to communicate effectively in a cross-cultural business setting, it’s important to understand your international colleagues’ underlying values, beliefs, and history. Tatiana Kolovou demonstrates simple techniques to communicate well across cultures as a manager, peer, and coworker.

*Learning with Lynda: Managing Time; 6/27; 12:30 p.m. Author Todd Dewett shares four time-management tips that help everyone from busy executives to new employees get more out of their work day. Learn how to think differently about time management, embrace the 80% rule, find your “Einstein” window, protect it and broadcast your availability to ensure others know when you’ll be available.

Brown Bag: Mentoring; 6/29; 12:30 p.m. A mentor serves as a trusted adviser who can provide valuable insight into organizational life. Serving as a mentor can be a valuable experience that enables others to benefit from your wisdom and experience.Successful mentoring relationships require the right chemistry. We will review the elements of these relationships and how to seek out these opportunities.

*Learning with Lynda utilizes Penn’s enterprise-wide license of to provide a blended learning solution for the campus. Prior to attending the in-class session it is recommended that you take the online module. During the session we apply the concepts.

Quality of Worklife Workshops

Dealing with the demands of work and your personal life can be challenging. These free workshops, sponsored by HR and led by experts from Penn’s EAP and Quality of Worklife department, offer information and support for your personal and professional life challenges. For details and to register, visit Event and Program Registration or contact HR at (215) 573-2471 or

Mindfulness Monday: From Mind Full to Mindful; 6/5; 12:30 p.m. 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 necessary.

Guided Meditation: Take a Breath and Relax; 6/6; 12:30 p.m. Practice mindful breathing that focuses your attention on the present moment with kindness, compassion, and awareness. Self-massage and gentle mindful movements that promote relaxation and reduce stress may also be included in the workshop. No experience necessary. Also 6/16.

Flexible Work Options; 6/14; 12:30 p.m. Your caregiving responsibilities don’t stop once you get to work, which is one of the reasons this role is so challenging. This webinar will discuss how to approach caregiving, while also managing your job responsibilities—and stay sane at the same time.

College Search Workshops for Penn Faculty and Staff Families; 6/19; 4:30-6:30 p.m. In collaboration with HR, Admissions will host workshops for Penn faculty and staff families with rising high school juniors and seniors to help answer questions about the college search process. What courses are important to take in high school? How significant are good grades, extracurricular activities, essays, test scores and interviews? What should a prospective student look for in a college? Discuss these questions and more with Penn faculty and staff and their families, whether students plan to apply to Penn or elsewhere. The program will feature Eric J. Furda, C’87, dean of admissions; Elaine P. Varas, senior director of student financial aid; and Janae Boone, senior tuition benefits specialist, and Admissions staff who will lead discussions and exercises. For questions, contact

Webinar: Special Needs and Disability Planning; 6/20; 3 p.m. Estate planning for a disabled or special needs family member is difficult and requires specialized tools to ensure lifelong care, including retention of any assets that a disabled family member may have or receive, and retention of any government entitlements. We will focus on life and long-term care planning for special needs families, life planning options for a disabled individual (powers of attorney, healthcare directives, conservatorships and guardianships), Medicaid and Social Security programs, ways to preserve the assets of a disabled person and options for families who would like to provide for their disabled loved one in their estate plans. Take an active role in planning your loved one’s future.
Stress Management; 6/22; 3 p.m. Learn to identify when you are relaxed, how to manage it, and how to use it to improve your quality of life. Participants will discover responses to relaxation, the physical and mental signs of relaxation, and specific relaxation exercises and techniques. Feel free to bring your lunch.

New and Expectant Parent Briefing; 6/28; 11:30 a.m. This is an introductory briefing designed for expectant parents and those who are new to parenting or child care. Participants will learn about local and University childcare and parenting resources including breastfeeding support and the nursing mothers program, childcare locators, back-up care, adjusting to new schedules, flexible work options, among other topics, and a Q&A with an FMLA specialist. Participants will also have the opportunity to network with other expectant and new parents.

Healthy Living Workshops

Get the tools you need to live well year-round. From expert nutrition and weight loss advice to exercise and disease prevention strategies, we can help you kick-start your body and embrace a healthy lifestyle. These free workshops are sponsored by HR. For details and to register, visit Event and Program Registration or contact HR at (215) 573-2471 or

Employee Health and Wellness Month Kick-off Walk; 6/1; noon. Kicking off Penn’s Employee Health and Wellness Month with a wellness walk. We have partnered with the Center for Public Health Initiatives, PPSA, and Penn Rec to make this an especially fun event. CPHI has designed a 2-mile route which starts at College Hall, goes down the Boardwalk, ending at Pottruck Gym, which will be hosting an open house where you can receive promotional items along with some information about programs, services, and memberships. Meet at noon in front of College Hall by the Ben Franklin statue for a quick stretching warm-up.

Be in the Know: Last Chance On-Campus Biometric Screenings; 6/5. The 2016 –2017 Be in the Know campaign year ends August 31, but there’s still time to complete a biometric screening and earn up to $200 (less applicable payroll taxes.) Get your free, quick, and convenient  screening and take the first step to understanding vital health information and earning incentives.

Joe’s BBQ Healthy Specials; 6/7; 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; various prices. Joe’s BBQ will feature a chef’s special focusing on lean proteins, a bounty of fresh, seasonal vegetables sourced from local farms, and a fruit-focused dessert. These specials fall squarely within Bon Appétit’s well-being commitments and have been reviewed by Dan Connolly, registered dietitian nutritionist, making the healthy choice the easy choice. Also 6/14, 6/21 and 6/28.

Exercise and Aging Workshop; 6/8; noon. All populations need physical fitness programs, especially as we age. Exercise not only decreases the number of visits to the doctor, but is also vital for emotional health, independent living, and more. Join AREUFIT’s Micah Josephson, exercise physiologist and wellness coach, to learn how exercise and program goals are different as we age and how you can stay on track.

8-week Healthy Weight Support Group starts; 6/9; noon. Are you frustrated that you can’t seem to reach your weight goals, regardless of how hard you try? Do you strive to be healthier, but find it difficult to stick with your goals? If you are ready to be the best you at a healthy weight, join this new 8-week Healthy Weight Support Group, led by Family Food, LLC. The program is based on science and research, with no gimmicks or fads, allowing participants to make effective changes with impact. Participants will receive 8 weeks of expert input from a Dietician, the nutrition experts and the support of other group members. Each session will include healthy weight education from the registered dietician, an opportunity to share with other participants, and weigh-ins.

Get to Know What’s Healthy at Houston Market; 6/13; 11:30 a.m.-noon. Join Dan Connolly, Bon Appétit’s registered dietitian nutritionist, on an interesting tour of the many delicious, healthy options in the Market. Meet at Houston Hall’s info desk, where he will give a brief history of Bon Appétit and explain the elements of a healthy meal. He’ll walk you through the various food stations and explain how you, too, can eat healthy.

Vitamins and Supplements: Which Ones Are Right for You? 6/26; noon-12:30 p.m. Micronutrient supplements can be quite expensive and knowing which ones to take can be confusing and overwhelming. Join a Family Food Registered Dietician to help make sense of it all and determine which supplements are right for you.

—Division of Human Resources


Weekly Crime Reports

  • May 23, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 35
  • Crimes
  • print

The University of Pennsylvania Police Department Community Crime Report

About the Crime Report: Below are all Crimes Against Persons, Property and Crimes Against Society from the campus report for May 8-14, 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 May 8-14, 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.

05/09/179:15AM3025 Walnut St.Currency taken from wallet.
05/09/173:14PM110 S. 36 St.Unknown male took merchandise.
05/11/178:44AM3600 Civic Center Blvd.Complainant touched inappropriately by unknown male.
05/11/173:29PM3601 Walnut St.Merchandise taken without payment/Arrest
05/12/172:13PM3741 Walnut St.Wireless headset taken.
05/12/1710:12PM3813 Chestnut St.Tires slashed to vehicle.
05/12/1711:37PM4013 Baltimore Ave.Property taken by unknown male.
05/12/1711:41PM4056 Irving St.Wallet taken from bag.
05/12/176:26PM3631 Walnut St.Headphones taken.
05/12/1711:37PM4013 Baltimore Ave.Property taken by unknown male.
05/14/174:07AM319 41 St.Male entered residence without authorization.
05/14/174:45PM4042-4044 Spruce StVarious jewelry taken.
05/14/174:46PM3400 Spruce St.Merchandise taken without payment.
05/14/175:30PM4042-4044 Spruce StPower drill taken.

18th District Report

Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District: 8 incidents with 2 arrests (4 robberies, 2 assaults, 1 domestic assault, 1 indecent assault) were reported between May 8-14, 2017 by the 18th District covering the Schuylkill River to 49th Street & Market Street to Woodland Avenue.

05/08/1712:55 AM4601 Walnut St.Robbery
05/08/179:53 PM4201 Walnut St.Robbery/Arrest
05/09/1711:32 PM4400 Baltimore AveRobbery/Arrest
05/11/178:21 AM4901 ChestnutAssault
05/11/179:21 AM3600 Civic Center Blvd.Indecent Assault
05/12/1711:38 PM4013 Baltimore AveRobbery
05/13/178:43 AM4931 Spruce St.Domestic Assault
05/14/176:15 AM1333 S 49h St.Assault


One Step Ahead: Back Up Data Before Leaving

  • May 23, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 35
  • Bulletins
  • print

Another tip in a series provided by the Offices of Information Systems & Computing and Audit, Compliance & Privacy

As the summer months rapidly approach, many people are busy preparing for well-deserved vacations, returning home, and other travels. Regardless of your destination, don’t forget to back up the documents, photos and other data on your electronic devices before leaving campus. Backing up your data is always important.  It becomes even more important prior to traveling due to the increased risk of loss resulting from theft and accidental damage. When you have a secure and complete backup, even if something terrible happens and you lose your device, knowing you still have your irreplaceable data will afford you some peace of mind­—and maybe help you enjoy the rest of your time away!

Your backups should not travel with you since they would be at risk as well. Either store them in a secure location or use a network backup that stores your data securely in the cloud. Many of the services you may already use such as Google, Amazon and Penn+Box have the ability to store your data.  Just make sure you understand what is being stored, where it is being stored, and how data is synced to the service to make sure your data is safe and accessible. For information about best practices to protect your data or assistance backing up your devices, contact your Local Support Provider (LSP). If you are unsure who your LSP is, please visit Get It Help.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • May 23, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 35
  • Bulletins
  • print

Dear Penn Community,

Thank you so very much for all of your contributions and support of our surrounding community. Many benefit from your partnerships and willingness to give. Thank you also for your donation of $580 to the Annual Penn VIPS Change Drive. Your generous donation will be used to support one of the winners of the Annual Marie K. Bogle Scholarship sponsored by Penn VIPS/Business Services Division. For a description of the Scholarship program, see our homepage.

Below is a list of current volunteer activities. We welcome your participation. Please e-mail me at for more information.

—Isabel Mapp, Associate Director, Netter Center for Community Partnerships

“Adopt” a Philadelphia School Classroom: Provide needed classroom items like reams of paper, pens, pencils, tissues, hand sanitizer, notebooks, folders, glue sticks, disinfecting wipes, calculators, index cards, scissors, backpacks, pencil sharpeners, dividers, protractors, highlighters, markers, construction paper, book socks, combination locks, personal organizers, Post-It notes, tape, staplers and staples, etc. Work with classrooms involved in Community Schools operated by the Netter Center for Community Partnerships. Schools include Lea, Sayre, West and Comegys. You would have the opportunity to select the age group you prefer. A classroom would be assigned to you with a wish-list. You and your colleagues can spend the summer collecting the supplies. Arrangements will be made in September for you to make your donations to your adopted class.

University Assisted Community Schools Nights: Have a special talent? Want to teach it to members of the surrounding community? We are beginning an exciting program called University Assisted Community Schools Nights. Teach adult learners your expertise. Teach resume writing, interviewing skills, computers, employment prep, dance, hair braiding, cooking, and/or a subject you are passionate about.  Teach once a week for a one or two hour period for four to six weeks. We also welcome classes that can be taught in one session. Classes will be held at West Philadelphia High School from 6-8 p.m.

Teach at the Nonprofit Institute: The Nonprofit and Communities of Faith Nonprofit Institute provides high-impact training to help individuals. Nonprofits and communities of faith improve the quality of services to their constituency. Through the Nonprofit Institute, persons involved with local nonprofits and communities of faith learn how to build organizational and program capacity through the study of funding, technology and capacity building. Do you have expertise in an area that participants can benefit from? Please share your expertise by volunteering to teach a class in management, finances, technology, fundraising, etc. The next series of classes are scheduled for June 21-23 & June 28-30. Individual classes are between one and a half, two and three hours in length, depending on the subject matter. They would love to have you share your expertise with the community especially if you have an expertise in writing business plans.

Had a Conference?  Do you have left-over bags, T-shirts, tchotchkes?  Need to empty out your storage space? Please donate them to Penn VIPS to be put them to great use by donating them to members in the community, many of the students we work with, and to say thank you to many of the volunteers.

Volunteer to be a mentor! Program is on-site at the University, and takes place from October-May, once a month. Work with seventh graders to expose them to the world of work, and help them explore career choices, and the importance of attending college.

Recognized Holidays for Fiscal Year 2018

  • May 23, 2017
  • vol 63 issue 35
  • Bulletins
  • print

The following holidays will be observed by the University in the upcoming scal year (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018) on the dates listed below:

Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Labor Day, Monday, September 4, 2017

Thanksgiving, Thursday and Friday, November 23 & 24, 2017 

Christmas Day, Monday, December 25, 2017

New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1, 2018

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 15, 2018

Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, 2018 


To the University Community:

Each year, the President, Provost, and EVP assess the feasibility of observing Penn’s traditional Special Winter Vacation. Thus, the Special Winter Vacation granted to faculty and staff will be December 26, 27, 28, and 29, 2017. If an employee is required to work to continue departmental operations for part or all of this period, the Special Winter Vacation can be rescheduled for some other time.

Staff members who are absent from work either the work day before a holiday, the work day after a holiday, or both days, will receive holiday pay if that absence is charged to preapproved paid time off or to sick days substantiated by a written note from the staff member’s health care provider.

Vacations and holidays for hospital employees or those staff members in collective bargaining units are governed by the terms of hospital policies or their respective collective bargaining agreements. —Division of Human Resources

Fiscal Year 2018:

Independence Day -                Tues., 7/4/17

Labor Day -                              Mon., 9/4/17

Thanksgiving -                          Thurs., & Fri., 11/23, 11/24/17

Christmas Day -                        Mon., 12/25/17

New Year's Day -                      Mon., 1/1/18

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day- Mon., 1/15/18

Memorial Day -                         Mon., 5/28/18

Fiscal Year 2019

Independence Day -                Wed., 7/4/18

Labor Day -                              Mon., 9/3/18 

Thanksgiving -                          Thurs., & Fri., 11/22, 11/23/18

Christmas Day -                       Tues., 12/25/18

New Year's Day -                      Tues., 1/1/19

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day- Mon., 1/21/19

Memorial Day -                         Mon., 5/27/19

Fiscal Year 2020

Independence Day -                Thurs., 7/4/19

Labor Day -                              Mon., 9/2/19

Thanksgiving -                          Thurs., & Fri., 11/28, 11/29/19

Christmas Day -                        Wed., 12/25/19

New Year's Day -                      Wed., 1/1/20

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day- Mon., 1/20/20

Memorial Day -                         Mon., 5/25/20