$24 Million from National Science Foundation for Penn Scientists to Establish Mechanobiology Center

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Yale Goldman

Vivek Shenoy

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the University of Pennsylvania a $24 million, five-year grant to establish a Science and Technology Center (STC) focused on engineering mechanobiology, or the way cells exert and are influenced by the physical forces in their environment. This award is part of an overall $94 million from NSF to support four new STCs. In addition to these latest awards, NSF supports eight other STCs.

The Center for Engineering Mechanobiology will foster collaborations between Penn researchers and colleagues at the University of Washington at St. Louis, the University of Maryland, the New Jersey Institute of Technology,  Alabama State University, Bryn Mawr College and Boston University.

The Penn contingent draws from the Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. It will be led by co-directors Yale E. Goldman, a professor of physiology and biochemistry and molecular biophysics in Penn Medicine and mechanical engineering and applied mechanics in Penn Engineering; and Vivek Shenoy, a professor with appointments in Penn Engineering’s departments of materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering and applied mechanics, and bioengineering.

Other members of the Center’s leadership include Rebecca Wells, an associate professor of medicine; Robert L. Mauck, the Mary Black Ralston Professor for Education and Research in Orthopaedic Surgery; and E. Michael Ostap, a professor of physiology and director of the Pennsylvania Muscle Institute, all from Penn Medicine.

Other participants from the other institutions include William Hunter, a professor of bioengineering at NJIT; Guy Genin, a professor of bioengineering and Ram Dixit, an associate professor of biology, both of WUSTL; and Christopher Chen, a professor of biomedical engineering at BU.

Mechanical forces play a role in a wide range of biological phenomena in plants and animals, so insights generated by the Center could provide deeper understanding of embryonic development and stem-cell differentiation, cancer metastasis, the dynamic factors that influence gene expression and many other clinically and agriculturally relevant topics.  

These insights will also inform innovations like organs-on-chips that provide ideal testing platforms for human disease and “cyborg” leaf devices that can monitor plants’ natural mechanisms for responding to moisture and other environmental factors and report those conditions to farmers.     

“We are at a crucial juncture in the biological sciences,” Dr. Goldman said. “We’re now just starting to understand how the force-sensing and mechanical outputs of cells pervade development, maintenance of health and pathology of plants and animals, but we’re still doing this kind of research in isolated groups with limited interactions and separate goals.”

“By bringing together primary experts in plant and animal mechanobiology into an integrated framework of research and training, the Center will catalyze a new vision for biological, biomedical and agricultural science,” Dr. Shenoy said.

The Center will also have faculty members dedicated to translating findings from basic research into applications. This knowledge transfer arm will be led by Dr. Mauck and Dan Huh, the Wilf Family Term Assistant Professor of Bioengineering in Penn Engineering.

To strengthen the pipeline of diverse young scientists entering the field, the Center will actively recruit from the minority-serving institutions in the partnership, providing summer programs, bootcamps and Research Experiences for Undergraduates; more information is available at Dr. Hunter will direct the Center’s diversity outreach, and Dr. Wells  will direct the Center’s educational program. 

Research will be conducted in three groups, each dedicated to a different scale at which mechanobiological forces are at play: individual cells’ molecular components and microenvironment, how cells use mechanical cues to signal to one another, and how these interactions come together to form larger assemblies and structures, which could be the inspiration for new biomaterials. Communication and coordination between the partner institutions will be led by Dr. Ostap.

$3.7 Million Grant for Penn to Improve Access to Mental Health Services in Primary Care Clinics

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Chyke Doubeni

Penn Medicine received a five-year, $3.7 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support an academic unit to improve access to treatment for mental health disorders. The grant will establish a new Center for Integrated Behavioral Health in Primary Care in the department of family medicine and community health at the Perelman School of Medicine, in partnership with the department of psychiatry and the School of Nursing. The Center will serve as a national hub to develop, test and share best practices and enhance training in integrated behavioral health.

“This funding is timely for addressing unmet mental health needs in the new era of population health,” says project director Chyke A. Doubeni, chair and the Presidential Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health. “We have an epidemic of mental illness in this country and unacceptably large disparities in access to care persist in our communities. Mental health disorder is one of the biggest drivers of low-value care and high healthcare cost in the United States.”

Mental illness is one of the most common chronic conditions and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 8% of US adults have depression and Americans make 8 million ambulatory care visits primarily for depression each year.

The World Health Organization states that an estimated 350 million people worldwide of all ages suffer from depression and that suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15- to 29-year-olds. An estimated 31% of adults in Philadelphia have a mental health diagnosis. Lack of access to trained healthcare professionals is a major barrier to receiving optimal treatment for mental health disorders. Integrating behavioral health into primary care is effective at improving access to care by providing services where people normally receive their primary care and allowing for warm handoffs to a mental health care team during the time of a visit with the primary care provider.

As many as one in four patients in primary care has depression, but less than one-third of these patients are accurately identified by primary care providers, and many are inadequately treated. Among patients seen in the department of family medicine and community health’s ambulatory care practice, about 77% of frequent users of the emergency departments have a mental health and/or substance use diagnosis.

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Maria Oquendo

Ensuring that patients have access to mental health care improves outcomes not only in terms of mental illness, but also in terms of other medical outcomes. This cutting-edge project can serve as a model for the nation as we work toward integrated care for our patients and psychiatry is poised to be a robust partner in this endeavor,” said Maria A. Oquendo, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center who will become chair of the department of psychiatry at Penn on January 1.

The HRSA grant is one of six Primary Care Training and Enhancement program grants nationwide targeting access, quality and costs of medical care. The Penn site is the only one dedicated to integrative behavioral health. The program will help link academic programs/institutions, practice organizations and other stakeholders through advisory boards to promote the uptake of best practice behavioral health training and care. This project will be implemented under the auspices of the new Center for Community and Population Health (CCPH) in the department of family medicine and community health, which focuses on research to reduce health disparities through improved access to care.

Additional faculty on the grant include Frances Barg; Margaret Baylson; Renée Betancourt; Hillary Bogner; Kent Bream; Peter Cronholm, Melissa Dichter; Anna Doubeni; Heather Klusaritz; Katherine Margo; Richard Neill; David Oslin; Julie Sochalski; and Anne Teitelman.

Call for Honorary Degree Nominations: November 15

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Dear Colleagues,

We invite you to nominate candidates to receive honorary degrees from the University of Pennsylvania at the 2017 Commencement ceremony and beyond. Candidates should exemplify the highest ideals of the University, which seek to educate those who will change the world through innovative scholarship, scientific discovery, artistic creativity and/or societal leadership.

We encourage you to involve your faculty colleagues, within and across departments and schools, in the nomination process. Nominations should explain how nominees meet the criteria for selection and outline the nominees’ achievements and contributions. Please include as much biographical and other supporting information as possible, but do not contact the nominees, who should not know that they are being considered. We particularly encourage nominations from departments and schools whose fields have not been recognized by the awarding of honorary degrees in recent years. Please note that it is University policy not to consider Penn standing faculty, trustees, or school and center overseers for Penn honorary degrees. In addition, nominations for the University Commencement speaker are considered through this honorary degrees selection process.

Nominations are welcome any time, but for consideration by this year’s University Council Honorary Degrees Committee, it would be very helpful to have them in hand by November 15. Review is ongoing and candidates may ultimately be selected several years after their initial nominations. The University Council Committee’s recommendations are forwarded to the Trustee Committee on Honorary Degrees and Awards for final selection. A list of previous University of Pennsylvania honorary degree recipients can be found at:

Please send signed letters of nomination on your official stationery to: University Council Committee on Honorary Degrees, c/o Office of the University Secretary, 1 College Hall, Room 211/6303. Additional information on the honorary degrees process and an online nomination form can be found at: If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Sniffen at or (215) 898-7005.

Penn emeritus faculty are eligible to receive honorary degrees through a special nomination process. University deans propose candidates for consideration by the Council of Deans. The Council’s nominations are then reviewed by the President and Provost, and final selection is made by the Trustee Committee on Honorary Degrees.

Honorary degrees are important statements of Penn’s values and aspirations, and we strongly encourage your participation in this process.

 ––Amy Gutmann, President

––Daniel Raff, Chair, University Council Committee on Honorary Degrees

Nominations for Community Involvement Recognition Awards: November 30

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To Members of the University and Surrounding Community:

In honor of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s recognition that local engagement is essential to the struggle for equality, the 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Symposium on Social Change Executive Planning Committee of the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce the 22nd Annual Community Involvement Recognition Awards. The awards honor members of the Philadelphia community whose active service to others best exemplifies the ideals Dr. King espoused. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Involvement Recognition Awards will be presented to five individuals in the following areas:

1. Staff and students of the Penn community involved in community service and/or working for social justice efforts.

2. Residents (youth and adult) of the broader community involved in community service and/or working for social justice efforts.

3. Staff, students or residents who demonstrate significant contributions in community service and/or working for social justice efforts through the advancement of education and educational opportunities in Philadelphia.

The awards will be presented on January 19, 2017, as part of Penn’s commemoration of the King holiday. We seek your help in nominating individuals whose work most merits recognition. Please share this information with others in your families, communities, schools, departments and organizations so that we may identify those most deserving of this award. Nomination forms may be submitted through November 30. Electronic submissions are preferred but not required at: If you prefer sending by mail, please send to the African-American Resource Center, Attn: Colleen Winn, 3643 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Should you have any questions, contact the African-American Resource Center at (215) 898-0104 or

Thank you in advance for helping to pay special homage to those individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary service and commitment to enhance the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia community.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

—Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

—2017 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Involvement Recognition Awards Committee

University-wide Teaching Awards

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Nominations for Penn’s University-wide teaching awards are now being accepted by the Office of the Provost. Any member of the University community, past or present, may nominate a teacher for these awards. There are three awards:

  • The Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching honors eight members of the standing faculty—four in the non-health schools (Annenberg, Design, Engineering and Applied Science, GSE, Law, SAS, Social Policy & Practice, Wharton) and four in the health schools (Dental Medicine, Medicine, Nursing, Veterinary Medicine).
  • The Provost’s Award for Distinguished PhD Teaching and Mentoring honors two faculty members for their teaching and mentoring of PhD students. Standing and associated faculty in any school offering the PhD are eligible for the award.
  • The Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing Faculty honors two members of the associated faculty or academic support staff who teach at Penn, one in the non-health schools and one in the health schools.

The nomination forms are available at The deadline for nominations is Friday, December 2, 2016. Full nominations with complete dossiers prepared by the nominees’ department chairs are due Friday, February 3, 2017.

Note: For the Lindback and Non-Standing Faculty awards, the health schools—Dental Medicine, Nursing, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine—have a separate nomination and selection process. Contact the relevant Dean Office in order to nominate a faculty member from one of those schools.

There will be a reception honoring all the award winners in the spring. For more information, please e-mail or call (215) 898-7225.

Criteria and Guidelines

1. The Lindback and Provost’s Awards are given in recognition of distinguished teaching. “Distinguished teaching” is teaching that is intellectually demanding, unusually coherent and permanent in its effect. The distinguished teacher has the capability of changing the way in which students view the subject they are studying. The distinguished teacher provides the basis for students to look with critical and informed perception at the fundamentals of a discipline, and s/he relates that discipline to other disciplines and to the worldview of the student. The distinguished teacher is accessible to students and open to new ideas, but also expresses his/her own views with articulate and informed understanding of an academic field. The distinguished teacher is fair, free from prejudice and single-minded in the pursuit of truth.

2. Skillful direction of dissertation students, effective supervision of student researchers, ability to organize a large course of many sections, skill in leading seminars, special talent with large classes, ability to handle discussions or structure lectures—these are all attributes of distinguished teaching, although it is unlikely that anyone will excel in all of them. At the same time, distinguished teaching means different things in different fields. While the distinguished teacher should be versatile, as much at home in large groups as in small, in beginning classes as in advanced, s/he may have skills of special importance in his/her area of specialization. The primary criteria for the Provost’s Award for Distinguished PhD Teaching and Mentoring are a record of successful doctoral student mentoring and placement, success in collaborating on doctoral committees and graduate groups, and distinguished research.

3. Since distinguished teaching is recognized and recorded in different ways, evaluation must also take several forms. It is not enough to look solely at letters of recommendation from students or to consider “objective” evaluations of particular classes in tabulated form. A faculty member’s influence extends beyond the classroom and individual classes. Nor is it enough to look only at a candidate’s most recent semester or opinions expressed immediately after a course is over; the influence of the best teachers lasts, while that of others may be great at first but lessen over time. It is not enough merely to gauge student adulation, for its basis is superficial; but neither should such feelings be discounted as unworthy of investigation. Rather, all of these factors and more should enter into the identification and assessment of distinguished teaching.

4. The Lindback and Provost’s Awards have a symbolic importance that transcends the recognition of individual merit. They should be used to advance effective teaching by serving as reminders to the University community of the expectations for the quality of its mission.

5. Distinguished teaching occurs in all parts of the University.  Therefore, faculty members from all schools are eligible for consideration. An excellent teacher who does not receive an award in a given year may be re-nominated in some future year and receive the award then.

6. The Lindback and Provost’s Awards may recognize faculty members with many years of distinguished service or many years of service remaining. The teaching activities for which the awards are granted must be components of the degree programs of the University of Pennsylvania.


Alexander Riasanovsky, History

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Alexander Riasanovsky

Dr. Riasanovsky was born in Harbin, Manchuria, to Russian parents. When he was 9 years old, Japan invaded China and his family fled to Eugene, Oregon.  After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Army as a paratrooper on September 28, 1946, serving in Japan as part of the occupation force. He earned both a World War II Victory Medal and an Army of Occupation Medal, Japan. He separated from the Army with an honorable discharge in 1948.

Dr. Riasanovsky earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Oregon and was accepted as a Rhodes Scholar into St. John’s College, Oxford University, where he received a BLitt degree. He then received a PhD from Stanford University in Russian medieval history.

He married Barbara Hearst and the couple had two daughters, Katya and Nina.

Dr. Riasanovsky was a faculty member at Penn for nearly 35 years. He joined as an associate professor in 1965 and earned a Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award that same year (Almanac October 13, 1987). He became a professor of history in 1972 and then a professor of Slavic languages in 1991. He retired as a professor emeritus in 1999.

He was featured in an article in Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine on “Ten Top Profs” in Philadelphia in 1986. In the article, he was described as “a living legend [at Penn]” (Almanac December 9, 1986). He served on Faculty Senate committees including the community relations committee, the committee on international exchanges and the student affairs committee.

Dr. Riasanovsky co-authored Readings in Russian History: Volumes I-IV and published a book of his own poetry, The Family Album. He was also a talented artist in the Modigliani style.

He is survived by his wife, Janis; daughters, Nina Rowland (Skip) and Katya Riasanovsky; grandchildren, Beauregard Rowland, Bruce Neal, Alexander Riasanovsky and Alexandra Rowland; stepson, Scott Silverman; and step-grandsons, Justin Silverman and William Silverman.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to Melech Hospice House, or the Alzheimer Society, are appreciated.


Council Coverage: October 5 Meeting

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Last Wednesday, at the first Council meeting of the academic year, Penn President Amy Gutmann asked for the consent of Council to name Terri Richmond as the moderator; Dr. Richmond was accepted to once again fill that role. Dr. Gutmann then announced the appointment of Lauren Steinfeld to once again be the parliamentarian.

Laura Perna, chair of the Council Steering Committee, presented the topics of the upcoming focus issues for the year. Increasing opportunities for student/faculty innovation/entrepreneurship: Pennovation Center and other campus resources, including PCI, Wharton, PennDesign, Weiss Tech House and Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation will be discussed on November 30; a discussion of academic and personal integrity at Penn will be the focus of the February 1 meeting; a discussion of online learning initiatives will take place on February 22; and a five-year update on Penn’s Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence will be discussed on March 22.

Dr. Perna also announced two upcoming meetings with an Open Forum component: November 30 and February 22.

There was a brief discussion about committee charges for the year and how they are established. One student on Council expressed concern that the charge of the Committee on Diversity and Equity does not include religious or spiritual students’ needs.

Provost Vincent Price mentioned that this is Penn’s 10th Theme Year (Year of Media) and the 26th year of the Penn Reading Project. David Fox, NSO director, said that this is the first year a movie was chosen in lieu of a book; Citizen Kane, which focuses on power, leadership and the importance of media in national politics, is relevant because of this year’s presidential election. Canvas was used to make the film available to incoming students and to provide resources as well as a way to get the students’ essays to the discussion leaders prior to the discussions. More activities are being planned on this theme. The grant program,  is available for those who would like to suggest an event. Next year will be the Year of Innovation, with Walter Isaacson’s book, The Innovators, for PRP.

As New Business, the Council representative from UMOJA read a statement on behalf of black students, while dozens of black students silently entered Bodek Lounge to emphasize their stance.

University Club at Penn Board of Governors

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The members of the University Club’s Board of Governors serving for this year (July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017) are:

Executive Committee

President: Michael McGarvey

Vice President: Michael Lord

Secretary: Marguerite Miller

Treasurer: Eugene C. Janda

Board Members

  • Thomas C. Barber
  • M. Fevzi Daldal
  • David Earley
  • John Eldred
  • Philip Gehrman
  • Mary Kononenko
  • Rashmi Kumar
  • James J. Riley
  • Martin J. Silverstein
  • Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
  • Paul Weidner

Past President: John N. Rudolph

All Penn faculty, staff, alumni and graduate students are invited to become members of the University Club.

For more information on the Club, including membership, please call (215) 898-4618, visit the website at or email


Harold Feldman: American College of Epidemiology President

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Harold I. Feldman, the George S. Pepper Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, chair of the department of biostatistics and epidemiology and director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, was recently named president of the American College of Epidemiology. Dr. Feldman’s term as their president will continue until fall 2017.

The College is the professional organization of the nation’s epidemiologists—health professionals who examine patterns of diseases such as cancer, obesity, food poisoning and influenza; and their causes, which range from lifestyle choices to environmental exposures to genetic factors. 

In setting out his vision for the field and the College, Dr. Feldman evoked epidemiology’s dual mission. “We must help prevent disease and we must aid the hundreds of millions whose chronic health conditions demand active management. We must help them to live better, more productive and longer lives,” he said.

In addition, on January 1, 2017, Dr. Feldman will become editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation.

Garret FitzGerald: Distinguished Service Award

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Garret FitzGerald

Garret A. FitzGerald, chair of systems pharmacology and translational therapeutics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has received a 2016 Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad. He is the first recipient in the new category of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Charles Flanagan, minister for foreign affairs and trade for Ireland, characterized Dr. FitzGerald as a “globally recognized research physician and scientist … an active member of our diaspora [who is] closely engaged in facilitating scientific endeavor in Ireland.”

The Presidential Distinguished Service Award was established in 2011 by the Republic of Ireland to recognize the contribution of Irish citizens and persons of Irish descent who have made a “valuable contribution to people’s lives.” Only people who live outside of Ireland can be nominated for the award. Nominations were made by Irish communities abroad through Ireland’s network of diplomatic missions.

Dr. FitzGerald received his undergraduate and medical degrees from University College Dublin.

The award recognizes the impact of his research on the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, and his efforts in supporting the training and mentorship of Irish researchers.

Dr. FitzGerald is also director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at Penn, which supports research at the intersection of basic and clinical research, focusing on developing new and safer medicines.

Jane Goodall: Penn Museum’s Wilton Krogman Award

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Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, a United Nations Messenger of Peace and a world-renowned conservationist, received the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s Wilton Krogman Award for Distinguished Achievement in Biological Anthropology during her visit to Penn on September 29. The award was presented at the 2016 Philomathean Society Annual Oration in the Penn Museum’s Harrison Auditorium.

“Over the course of more than 55 years, Jane Goodall has worked tirelessly to study and understand our closest evolutionary cousins, chimpanzees, and ultimately to redefine the relationship between humans and animals. Her strong scientific integrity, combined with her deep compassion for humans, animals and our shared environment, as well as her willingness to speak out on the things that matter, have made her an international leader and a model for young people around the world,” said Julian Siggers, Williams Director of the Penn Museum, who presented Dr. Goodall with the Krogman Award.

The Wilton Krogman Award for Distinguished Achievement in Biological Anthropology was developed in memory of Wilton M. Krogman, former professor of physical anthropology (1947-1971) and founder of the Philadelphia Center for Research in Child Growth, now the W.M. Krogman Center for Research in Child Growth and Development. 

Wendy Grube, Sharon Irving and Lea Ann Matura: Nursing Fellows

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Three University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) faculty members will be inducted as 2016 Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) during its annual policy conference, Transforming Health, Driving Policy, taking place October 20-22 in Washington, DC. This year’s fellows are Wendy D. Grube, practice associate professor and director of the Center for Global Women’s Health; Sharon Y. Irving, assistant professor of pediatric nursing; and Lea Ann Matura, assistant professor of nursing.

Fellow selection criteria include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care, and sponsorship by two current AAN fellows. Applicants are reviewed by a panel composed of elected and appointed fellows, and selection is based, in part, on the extent the nominee’s nursing career has influenced health policies and the health and well-being of all.

Penn: 13th in World Rankings

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The University of Pennsylvania earned 13th place in the World University Rankings 2016-2017 list of the 980 top universities in the world. The rankings are published by The Times Higher Education, a London-based magazine. Penn was the highest ranked Pennsylvania school.

In the performance breakdown of the rankings, Penn received the following scores: 85.9 for teaching; 50.1 for international outlook; 88.9 for research; 98.6 for citations; 49.9 for industry income; and 87.1 overall.

The rankings are based on 13 performance indicators and are subject to independent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers. For more information, visit

Penn Business Services’ Green Purchasing Awards

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(from left to right) Margo Pietras Barnes, senior project manager (FRES, PECO Act 129 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan team); John Mahony, senior project manager (FRES, PECO Act 129 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan team); Janel Baselice, executive assistant to the Dean of SAS (Bright Green Idea award recipient); Colleen Reardon, director, Strategic Sourcing and Sustainability (Penn Purchasing Services); Andrew Zarynow, energy planner (FRES, PECO Act 129 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan team); and John Zurn, Century Bond project director (FRES, PECO Act 129 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan team); Junie Showell, technician (The Penn Genetics and Penn Genome Frontiers Institute team); Mark Mills, executive director (Penn Purchasing Services).


The University of Pennsylvania’s Green Purchasing Awards presented by Penn’s Purchasing Services and Green Campus Partnership were announced at the annual Purchasing Services Supplier Show on September 28.

The awards honor leading actions of an individual or team that significantly advance the development of sustainable purchasing practices at Penn.

Three Green Purchasing Awards were presented this year.

“With Penn’s dedication to environmental sustainability, it’s important for Purchasing Services to not only promote green purchasing, but to recognize those individual champions throughout our Schools and Centers,” said Mark Mills, executive director of Penn Purchasing Services. “When we review nominations each year, it’s incredibly fun and rewarding to learn about the smart, responsible purchasing activities that are taking place among Penn’s purchasing community – many of which can be shared and repeated across the University.”

The first award was bestowed to Janel Baselice, executive assistant to the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS). Ms. Baselice’s “Bright Green Idea” was to purchase and install reusable, plastic sign holders for waste and recycling updates made by the School’s Green Team. Previously, SAS used laminated signs, which were then put in the landfill stream when signage was updated. The new sign holders, purchased at the relatively low cost of $164.25, serve multiple purposes and allow the new signs to be recycled as clean office paper. This “Bright Green Idea” has been implemented throughout 37 buildings at hundreds of recycling cans in public spaces.

Another Green Purchasing Award recipient was a team from Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES). Over the past two years, the honorees collaborated on 60 projects that provided reductions in electric consumption to qualify for rebates of over $3.4 million from the PECO Act 129 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan. One of the Act’s programs is called “Smart Ideas,” which is designed to help offset the increased costs typically associated with investing in more energy-efficient equipment. In Penn’s case, the rebates are for energy-efficiency improvements to the campus in the form of lighting replacements, new steam-driven chillers, upgraded equipment controls and modernized HVAC equipment. The award recipients include Rafael De Luna, project manager; William Dierkes, project manager; Chris Kern, director, design and construction; John Mahony, senior project manager; Margo Pietras Barnes, senior project manager; George Zafiropoulos, director, design and construction; Andrew Zarynow, energy planning engineer; and John Zurn, Century Bond project director.

The Disposable Petri Dish Reduction Project also was a Green Purchasing Award recipient. The Penn Genetics and Penn Genome Frontiers Institute (PGFI) team of Shaili Patel, research scientist; Elicia Preston, research scientist; and Junie Showell, technician, joined forces on a waste minimization and reduction project to replace disposable plastic petri dishes with reusable glass petri dishes. The project has significantly reduced lab waste at the PGFI facility. The team reports that this initiative has reduced autoclave trash generated by the lab by approximately one-third.

These initiatives align with Penn’s Climate Action Plan 2.0, the University’s comprehensive strategic roadmap for environmental sustainability that sets forth standards and goals for campus performance as part of the Penn’s collective commitment to reduce carbon emissions, engage the community and expand sustainability-related teaching and research.

For more information about the Green Purchasing Award recipients and their accomplishments, visit


Christian Association’s 125th Anniversary: October 29

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On Saturday, October 29, 2016, the Christian Association at the University of Pennsylvania (CA)—the nation’s oldest active ecumenical campus ministry—will celebrate its 125th anniversary with an evening filled with great food, fellowship, special guests, raffle prizes, a silent auction and more. The celebration, which will take place at the University City Sheraton Hotel and begin at 6:30 p.m., will feature a special conversation between the CA’s two honorees, the Rev. Charles L. Howard, University chaplain, and the Rev. William C. Gipson, associate vice provost for equity and access and former University chaplain. They will discuss important issues facing college students, the role of campus ministry, faith life at Penn and their favorite memories from the CA.

Tickets cost $60 each or $500 for a table of 10. Tickets can be purchased online at or via mail. Checks should be made payable to: Christian Association, and sent to 118 S. 37th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

The CA’s long and colorful history has been closely intertwined with the history of the University of Pennsylvania itself. The CA was founded in 1891 as an ecumenical Protestant campus ministry at the University of Pennsylvania (Almanac October 21, 1997). Housing Protestant ministries and encouraging faith development, the CA lived out its mission over the years by advocating for peace and social justice, welcoming immigrants, establishing hospitals in India and China, providing scholarships for students to do social justice and service projects during the summer, opposing war in Vietnam and Iraq, advocating equal rights for women and LGBT people, operating the Green Lane Camps for at-risk Philadelphia children, managing settlement houses for the poor, offering hospitality and dialogue on issues of the day and always providing a community to be safe and to ask questions.

In the early years the CA shared space with the student union in Houston Hall. From 1896 to 1922, the CA took over the student employment agency. In 1928, the CA erected a new building on Penn-owned land, at 3601 Locust Walk with $700,000 raised from students, faculty, alumni and churches in Philadelphia. The building was based on a design by Thomas, Martin and Kirkpatrick, Architects. At this time there were 14 full-time student pastors and directors, several assistants, and many part-time workers at the CA, with a combined annual budget of over $181,000.

In 1999, the CA sold its building to Penn and the building is now known as the ARCH building and houses cultural resource centers (Almanac May 16, 2000). The building is listed in the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. 

In 1997, Penn bought the Westminster House, an outbuilding of the Tabernacle United Church located at 37th and Sansom streets. At the same time, Penn signed a long-term lease on the church basement and the theater, which it renamed the Iron Gate Theater. In 2001, the CA moved into its current home, the Westminster House (Almanac February 20, 2001). The Tabernacle United Church was designed by Theophilus Parsons Chandler and constructed in 1884 at a cost of $206,000.

Today, the Christian Association continues to be a vibrant part of campus life and a “community of hospitality, service and advocacy and faith exploration,” said Rob Gurnee, who has been the executive director of the CA since 2010. More information can be found at


The Christian Association currently resides in Westminster House (above), an historic building from 1884 by T. P. Chandler; the building is attached to Tabernacle United Church at 118 South 37th Street.

Photograph by Jackson Betz



The Christian Association’s previous home, the late-Gothic Revival building (today known as the ARCH) is shown under construction (above left) in 1927. The building was designed by Thomas, Martin and Kirkpatrick, Architects. At the time, 36th and Locust were both streets. The completed building is now on the National Historic Register (above right).

Photographs Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania Archives


Grab Your Mobile Device and Awaken Your Senses with New Online Tours at Morris Arboretum

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What brings you to the garden? A love of plants? Learning about the historic landscape? Spending time with family and friends? Morris Arboretum now offers opportunities to enhance your visit through a series of new web-based tools. For more information, visit

Then and Now Tour for History Buffs

History buffs may enjoy looking back in time through Morris Arboretum’s Then and Now online experience. This tool invites visitors to see select garden locations as captured in history, contrasted with contemporary images of the same spot. Each featured location has an accompanying audio recording which places the location in historical context. See Lydia Morris (circa 1920) at the spot called Lydia’s seat today (below).  Watch the blue pool fill with azure water as you pull the contemporary image over the black and white past, all while learning about the importance of the siting of this special spot in the garden. 

Architecture, Sculpture, Garden Tours & More 
Familiarize yourself with the Arboretum’s architecture or sculptures through a tour that guides you around the garden pointing out these historic features. You can also explore the gardens or learn more about Morris Arboretum’s Great Trees or Native Trees. If you’re in the mood for creativity, take the Creative Expressions Tour, which takes you to different areas of the garden where you can experience original music, art and dance performances that were inspired by the garden.

These experiences will all be accessible from the Arboretum’s mobile site on your smartphone or tablet. Guests are invited to take advantage of the newly installed Wi-Fi hotspots to access these opportunities. You can also make use of these tools when planning your visit by checking them out on the Arboretum’s website beforehand from a desktop computer, or just visit and explore while you’re there.  

Awakening the Senses is supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Morris Arboretum prompts visitors to look anew, breathe deeply, listen closely and feel a sense of peace while exploring the grounds. Through this project Morris Arboretum aims to explore the potential for personal mobile devices to serve as an interpretive tool in the garden by calling attention to and enhancing our sensory experiences.

Open weekdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m.-5 p.m.


Then and Now Tour highlights Lydia Morris, one of the original owners of the property.

Photograph Courtesy of Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum’s Scarecrows

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For the ninth year and more popular than ever, Morris Arboretum’s Scarecrow Walk is back along the Oak Allée through Sunday October 23. Visitors can vote for their favorite “Sense of Adventure” scarecrow, this year’s theme, to determine the prize winners. 

These young visitors make friends with Neil ‘Spacecrow’ Armstrong, one of this year’s Scarecrow contestants.

Update: October AT PENN

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18 Leitmotif Siegfried; Laurence Rickels, The European Graduate School; 6 p.m.; rm. 402, Claudia Cohen Hall (Germanic Languages & Literature; Comparative Literature; Literary Theory). 


AT PENN Deadlines:

The October AT PENN calendar is here. The deadline for the November AT PENN Calendar is October 11.

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


Related: National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Related: No Cost Fall Flu Shots on Campus

Related: Festival of International Students at the Penn Museum: October 14

Related: So You Wanna Be an Archaeologist? Penn Museum Marks International Archaeology Day with Focus on Ancient Italy, Modern Archaeology Laboratories Day-Long Event: Part of Ciao Philadelphia, the Italian Cultural Month

So You Wanna Be an Archaeologist? Penn Museum Marks International Archaeology Day with Focus on Ancient Italy, Modern Archaeology Laboratories Day-Long Event: Part of Ciao Philadelphia, the Italian Cultural Month

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To all aspiring archaeologists, Viva l’Italia!


So You Wanna Be an Archaeologist?Penn Museum’s all-ages celebration of International Archaeology Day, shines a spotlight on ancient Italy, and modern scientific studies, Saturday, October 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Penn Museum galleries, with special behind-the-scenes tours of research rooms and activities in the Museum’s Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM).  Activities abound for children and adults, from an Indiana Jones-style obstacle course to “Ask an Archaeologist” conversations, storytelling, group and individual mosaic making, Rome gallery tours—even a chance to enlist in an ancient Roman militia!

So You Wanna Be an Archaeologist? is co-sponsored by Ciao Philadelphia, the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. The event is free with Museum admission ($15, general admission; $13, seniors [65+]; $10, children [6–17] and full-time students [with ID]; $2 ACCESS Card holders; free to children under 5, Penn Museum members, active US Military, STAMP and PennCard holders).

Inside CAAM: The Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials

Guests can meet some of the expert instructors mentoring archaeology students through the Museum’s Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials, a multimillion-dollar set of teaching labs and facilities that opened in 2014. Behind-the-scenes CAAM tours depart every 15 minutes beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing until 4 p.m. (limited availability, by signup). Guests have an opportunity to learn about the usually behind-the-scenes research that takes place in the Museum, as experts in archaeobotany, ceramics, archaeometallurgy, zooarchaeology, digital archaeology and physical anthropology participate in the open house tours.

Hot off the press, the October edition of the national award-winning DIG Into History magazine for children and youth is a focus on ancient Rome—with a special 12-page section on Penn Museum’s CAAM and conservation laboratories.Copies are on sale in the Museum Shop; guests can take their copy on the CAAM tour and ask the articles’ authors to sign them.

DIG Into History magazine (at right), published nine times a year by Cricket Media (, focuses on world history and archaeology. The ad-free magazine has won many national awards for excellence in educational publishing. For the October 2016 issue, readers “meet” a Roman emperor and explore the world he lived in. For the Let’s Go Digging section, readers go behind the scenes with CAAM at the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, “visiting” the labs as researchers analyze, preserve and conserve ancient objects in the Museum’s collection and objects being recovered in the field today.

Conservation plays a big part of the collaborative science of archaeology, and visitors are welcome to watch Museum conservators work on mummies and more inside In the Artifact Lab. The conservator opens a window to answer guests’ questions at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Games, Stories and Fun Finds Throughout the Day

Throughout the celebration, guests can visit a Roman militia station, try on reproduction gear, learn what it takes to enlist and discover more about life in the ancient militia. The truly daring can test their skills at an Indiana Jones-style obstacle course set up in the Museum’s inner garden, dodging a rolling boulder (make that a giant beach ball) or forging ahead through a snake pit and a tangle of spider webs. For those who prefer a calmer experience, a Roman Cartifact station invites all to discover life in ancient Italy through touchable reproduction artifacts.
The Museum’s Rome Gallery features fine examples of mosaics, and guests inspired by the ancient originals can create their own paper mosaics at a craft table throughout the day. At 1 p.m., everyone is welcome to join in the construction of a giant mosaic made up of 4,000 tesserae.

At 11 a.m. and again at 3 p.m., guests can listen to ancient Roman tales about the origins of the seasons at a storytelling session.

Gallery Tours and Archaeologist Talks

Worlds Intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks & Romans is a suite of Mediterranean galleries. Featured are more than one thousand artifacts including marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, metalwork, mosaics, glass vessels, gold and silver coins and pottery, dating from 3000 BCE to the 5th century CE, that help to tell the story of these remarkable peoples. Tours of the Roman Gallery in this suite are offered at 11:45 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.

A marble cult statue head (above), probably of the goddess Diana, from the late 2nd century BCE, on display in the Museum’s Worlds Intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks & Romans gallery suite.

Photograph courtesy of Penn Museum


So You Wanna Be an Archaeologist? Guests are invited to ask real archaeologists more about what it is like, at Ask an Archaeologist sessions at noon and again at 2:30 p.m.

Festival of International Students at the Penn Museum: October 14

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Students and scholars will be welcomed to Philadelphia on Friday, October 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. with Philadelphia Mayor Kenney among the host of dignitaries to offer welcoming remarks.

As the nation’s first World Heritage City, Philadelphia has a rich history, international roots, and wide-reaching global connections. Nowhere is Philadelphia’s global reach and diversity more evident than through the international students and scholars who come to the city and region to further their higher education, and in the process, to enrich the communities where they reside.

The Penn Museum continues its 47-year tradition of hosting a free, museum-wide special reception for the region’s international students and scholars at the Festival of International Students.

Participating colleges range from nearby Temple and University of the Sciences to Arcadia, Philadelphia University and St. Joseph’s University.
The Penn Language Center and Penn Global at the University of Pennsylvania, Global Philadelphia Association and Campus Philly, are the major sponsors of the event, which annually draws hundreds of international students from all over the world.

A Warm Welcome from the City

Jim Kenney, Philadelphia’s new mayor, will join in the festivities, offering remarks about Philadelphia’s growing role as a global city. Dr. Julian Siggers, Penn Museum director, and Peter Longstreth, president, Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia, are among the other speakers offering welcoming remarks at 6 p.m.

Diverse Cultures in the Spotlight

The Festival of International Students features music and dance by a range of international student groups, as well as opportunities to meet and mingle throughout the international galleries of the Penn Museum. The Penn Lions lead a Chinese lion dance parade into the third floor galleries at 5:15 p.m. Guests can enjoy Middle Eastern dance and drumming (Penn Yalla), Latino dance routines (Temple Esencia Latina), a fusion of modern and African Music (University of the Sciences’ Culture Shock), (Tír na nÓg) Penn’s Irish dance troupe, and traditional Chinese dance (Penn Chinese Dance Club).

Guests can play Global Passport Interactive Bingo, take a mini salsa dance lesson, and express themselves with a temporary language or ancient symbol tattoo.

Students can find other guests from their native country at a large scale map of the world, where everyone has a chance to mark their home and look for others from the same country or region at the global meet up.

Penn Museum’s International Classroom, Penn and City Connections

During the reception, guests can learn more about how they might become involved in the Penn Museum’s International Classroom program. Since its creation in 1961,  International Classroom has helped students, teachers, and families learn first-hand about other cultures by providing World Culture workshops at the Museum or in schools. An outreach component includes sending speakers to libraries and retirement communities, while a virtual option features workshops through the Museum’s distance learning studio. Currently, International Classroom presenters hail from countries near and far, including China, Greece, India, Japan, Brazil, Morocco and Kenya.

“International Classroom is an open invitation for international students to help promote intercultural understanding, whether they’re here for a semester or 20 years,” said Hitomi Yoshida, diversity programs manager at the Penn Museum, and a principal coordinator of the event. “We meet many interested students at this annual program.”

Cultural organizations, performing arts groups and businesses around the city welcome the students and share information at tables in the Museum’s Chinese Rotunda.

For more information about the event, or to learn more about the International Classroom Program at the Penn Museum, call the Penn Museum’s Learning Programs department at (215) 898-4066.

No Cost Fall Flu Shots on Campus

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Penn faculty and staff can prepare for flu season with a free influenza vaccine on-campus at one of these convenient clinics.

Flu Vaccine Clinics

Sponsored by Student Health Service (SHS)

No appointment or pre-registration is necessary. Just bring your valid PennCard.
• Tuesday, October 25—Thursday, October 27, 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall

Flu Vaccine Clinics

Sponsored by Human Resources

Pre-registration is required for these Human Resources clinics; to register online visit

Please bring your valid PennCard with you.

• Wednesday, October 26,10 a.m.-2 p.m. 
Register online to reserve your time slot.
New Bolton Center, Alumni Hall

• Tuesday, November 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 
Register online to reserve your time slot.
Morris Arboretum, Widener Building, Upper Gallery & McLean Room

• Monday, November 10, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 
Register online to reserve your time slot.
Houston Hall, Bodek Lounge

Benefits-eligible faculty and staff will earn Bonus Action points for Be in the Know when they receive a flu vaccine.

For more information, visit

In accordance with the Affordable Care Act, Penn employees do not need to pay up front for flu shots and seek reimbursement from their insurance plan. For more information about the upcoming flu season, visit

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

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Penn’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs will host a discussion on Wednesday, October 19, from noon to 1 p.m. in the second floor conference room of the Penn Bookstore. This event, in celebration of  National Disability Employment Awareness Month, is free and open to the public, but registration is recommended:

The Intersection of Leave Issues, will discuss interactions between the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, short-term and long-term disability and workers’ compensation laws. Featured speakers will include Pat Miller from Penn’s Office of Affirmative Action; Helena Gibbons and Melissa Smith from Human Resources; and Ben Evans and Monica Lindsay from Risk Management.


Weekly Crime Reports

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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 September 26-October 2, 2016View prior weeks' reports. —Ed.

This summary is prepared by the Division of Public Safety and includes all criminal incidents reported and made known to the University Police Department between the dates of September 26-October 2, 2016. The University Police actively patrol from Market Street to Baltimore Avenue and from the Schuylkill River to 43rd Street in conjunction with the Philadelphia Police. In this effort to provide you with a thorough and accurate report on public safety concerns, we hope that your increased awareness will lessen the opportunity for crime. For any concerns or suggestions regarding this report, please call the Division of Public Safety at (215) 898-4482.

09/27/162:37 PM3735 Walnut StFraudMale attempted to cash fraudulent check/Arrest
09/27/1610:49 PM3100 Walnut StTheftUnsecured bike taken
09/28/162:07 AM250 S 36th StAssaultMale trespassing/Arrest
09/28/165:32 AM51 N 39th StTheftWallet taken from purse
09/28/168:51 AM3737 Market StTheftBackpack taken
09/28/166:17 PM3925 Walnut StTheftMerchandise taken without payment/Arrest
09/28/165:25 PM3400 Spruce StTheftUnsecured cell phone taken
09/28/163:30 PM3800 Woodland WalkRobberyUS currency forcibly taken from complainant
09/29/165:37 PM4039 Chestnut StTheftUPS package taken from lobby
09/30/162:53 PM4249 Walnut StAssaultComplainant struck by patron
09/30/167:38 PM3800 Walnut StDisorderly conductFemale cited for disorderly conduct
09/30/1611:43 PM318 S 40th StTheft2 cell phones taken
10/01/1611:43 AM3330 Walnut StTheftSecured bike taken
10/01/168:35 PM4000 Chancellor StTheftBackpack and contents taken from auto
10/01/1611:13 PM3900 Woodland AveDUIIntoxicated driver arrested
10/02/167:40 AM3000 Walnut StDUIIntoxicated male/Arrest
10/02/164:51 PM3400 Spruce StTheftSecured bike taken from bike rack
10/02/167:32 PM3744 Spruce StDisorderly conductMale causing disturbance/Arrest
10/02/169:16 PM4100 Locust StTheftiPhone taken

18th District Report

Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District: 11 incidents with 3 arrests (5 robberies, 4 assaults, 1 aggravated assault and 1 domestic assault) were reported between September 26-October 2, 2016 by the 18th District covering the Schuylkill River to 49th Street & Market Street to Woodland Avenue.

09/26/167:41 PM4740 Hazel AveRobbery
09/26/169:47 PM45th & Ludlow StsRobbery
09/27/162:30 PM4500 Market StRobbery/Arrest
09/27/1611:06 PM48th & Osage AveRobbery/Arrest
09/28/164:05 AM250 S 36th StAssault/Arrest
09/28/163:37 PM3800 Woodland WalkRobbery
09/30/162:53 PM4249 Walnut StAssault
10/01/1611:51 AM2970 Market StAssault
10/02/166:22 AM4624 Walnut StAggravated Assault
10/02/161:31 PM4710 Locust StDomestic Assault
10/02/165:25 PM43rd & Chester AveAssault


Penn’s Way 2017: Raffle Week 1 Winners & Week 3 (10/17 Drawing)

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Week 1 Winners

Wyck Historic House: Family membership, value: $75—Chantal Racicot, HUP Corporate

Nixon Uniform & Medical Wear & Thermo Fisher Scientific: Gift cards from Regal Cinemas ($25) and Olive Garden ($50), value: $75—
Bronwyn Gurley, Human Resources

Philadelphia Union Soccer: two tickets for October 23 match, value: $46—Kelsey Shimamoto, Perelman School of Medicine

Thermo Fisher Scientific: Lowes $50 gift card—Heather Ashbridge, Presbyterian Medical Center

Penne Restaurant & Wine Bar: Gift certificate for $100—Igor Bargatin, School of Engineering & Applied Science

Penn Alumni Visa Card Program: Four tickets to Penn Football v. Brown, October 29 (Homecoming), value: $60—Christine VanZandbergen, HUP Corporate.

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

Week 3 (10/17 Drawing)

National Constitution Center: Freedom Family Membership, value: $95

Landmark Theatres & Thermo Fisher Scientific: Two VIP guest passes & $50 gift card to Cheesecake Factory, value: $70

Helium Comedy Club: Admission for six, value: $96

White Dog Café: Gift card, value: $50

Nixon Uniform & Medical Wear & Thermo Fisher Scientific: Regal Cinemas gift card & Olive Garden gift card, value: $75

Thermo Fisher Scientific: Starbucks gift card, value: $50

Thermo Fisher Scientific: iTunes gift card, value: $50

Philadelphia Catering Company: gift certificate, dessert tray, value: $65

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

Q: Why should I give to Penn’s Way?

A: Now more than ever, your community needs you to turn your passion into action. It could be a passion for strengthening the stability of families, building a brighter future for children, alleviating hunger for struggling seniors or a host of other worthy causes. No matter what it is, your donation to Penn’s Way has a profound impact on the life of someone in need.

Q: How much should I give?

A: As much as you can afford to give. If you have contributed through Penn’s Way in years past, please consider matching your previous gift or increasing it by 2-3% to keep pace with inflation. If this will be your first time contributing through Penn’s Way, please consider donating as little as $1 per biweekly pay or $2 per monthly pay. Donations of all sizes are welcome.