Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication:  John L. Jackson, Jr.

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caption: John L. Jackson, Jr.

John L. Jackson, Jr. has been named dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, effective January 1, 2019.

The announcement was made by Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett. The selection follows an international search.

Dr. Jackson is currently dean of Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, a position he has held since 2014 (Almanac March 25, 2014). Michael Delli Carpini has agreed to extend his term as Annenberg dean (Almanac May 27, 2014) until December 31 to help ensure a seamless transition.

“John’s achievements as a scholar, teacher and academic leader are numerous and inspiring,” President Gutmann said. “He is already well known and universally respected at Penn. As a dean and in his own scholarly work, John has consistently harnessed the power of diverse, interdisciplinary teams—and driven mutually beneficial collaborations between the liberal arts and the professions—to better understand and address society’s most timely and challenging questions.

“He has the experience, vision and collaborative spirit to help ensure Annenberg’s continued place among the world’s preeminent research and teaching programs in communication.”

Dr. Jackson is the Richard Perry University Professor, with appointments in the Annenberg School for Communication, School of Arts and Sciences and School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2).

“During his tenure as dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice,” President Gutmann said, “John has exemplified our Penn Compact 2020 commitment to inclusion, innovation and impact.”

“John’s deep experience, superb judgement, high standards and broad support across our campus,” Provost Pritchett said, “clearly position him as the best person to lead the Annenberg School, which in the years ahead will strengthen its leadership position in communication by blazing new trails in scholarship and education that advance theoretical and empirical understanding of communication in the broadest sense.”

Under Dean Jackson’s leadership, SP2 is enrolling more diverse and more academically accomplished students, and the faculty’s research programs have never been stronger. He forged partnerships with the Graduate School of Education and the School of Nursing to spearhead The Penn Futures Project (Almanac September 26, 2017), which is improving the lives of young people and their families across Philadelphia. 

He has been a champion of innovative teaching and learning with a massive open online course that has allowed Penn faculty to reach students around the world. His “Future of Social Change” tour was a resounding success in reconnecting School of Social Policy & Practice alumni from across the nation with the School.

Dr. Jackson earlier served as the Annenberg School’s associate dean for undergraduate studies and associate dean for administration, as a senior advisor to the provost on diversity and as chair of the University Council Committee on Diversity and Equity. Beyond Penn, he has served as program chair for the American Anthropological Association’s annual conference and on the editorial boards of highly respected journals.

Dr. Jackson joined Penn in 2006 as the first Penn Integrates Knowledge, or PIK, University Professor, a program begun by President Gutmann to recruit preeminent faculty to have appointments in at least two Penn schools.

A renowned cultural anthropologist, he has written and taught about racial- and class-based differences in contemporary urban life, how contemporary urban religions can be used to improve health literacy and health outcomes, the impact of mass media on urban life and the remaking of ethnic and racial diasporas. He has also critically explored how film and other non-traditional or multi-modal formats can be used in scholarly research projects and, with Annenberg School and other Penn colleagues, helped found CAMRA and PIVPE, two Penn-based initiatives organized around creating visual and performative research projects. 

As a filmmaker, Dr. Jackson has produced a feature-length fiction film, documentaries and shorts that have been screened at film festivals internationally.

Dr. Jackson earned a BA in communication summa cum laude from Howard University and received an MA, MPhil and PhD, with distinction in anthropology, from Columbia University. Prior to coming to Penn, he was a Junior Fellow in Harvard University’s Society of Fellows and a faculty member in Duke University’s Cultural Anthropology Department. In 2009, he served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.

Dr. Delli Carpini has served as Annenberg School dean since 2003 (Almanac April 29, 2003). 

“Michael’s outstanding leadership and unrivaled Penn citizenship have advanced the Annenberg School across every measure,” President Gutmann said.

During his tenure, the faculty has grown in size, diversity and intellectual scope; scholarly and research programs have never been stronger; and Annenberg’s campus partnerships are fostering the integration of knowledge across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Ingrid M. Nembhard: Inaugural Fishman Family President’s Distinguished Associate Professor at Wharton

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caption: Ingrid NembhardPenn President Amy Gutmann and Wharton Dean Geoff Garrett are pleased to announce the appointment of Ingrid Nembhard as the inaugural Fishman Family President’s Distinguished Associate Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, effective January 1, 2018.

The Fishman Family President’s Distinguished Professorship was endowed with a generous gift by Mrs. Randy Chapman Fishman and her late husband, Mr. Jay S. Fishman, W’74, WG’74. 

Dr. Nembhard joined the Wharton School from Yale University, where she served as the Ira V. Hiscock Associate Professor of Public Health and Associate Professor of Management, as well as Associate Director of the Health Care Management Program and Director of the Yale Training Program in Health Services Research. She specializes in quality improvement in the health care delivery process, organizational learning and behavior, and innovation implementation and management. Dr.  Nembhard is the recipient of funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the primary federal agency with responsibility to improve the U.S. health care system. 

“I am thrilled to welcome Ingrid Nembhard to Penn as the Fishman Family President’s Distinguished Associate Professor, where her esteemed interdisciplinary work will enhance Penn’s thriving culture of integrating knowledge across disciplines to advance knowledge for good,” said President Gutmann. “Jay Fishman was a visionary leader at Penn, and the professorship he and Randy created will have lasting impact on our campus and in the world.”

 “I am deeply grateful to the Fishman family for generously establishing this professorship,” said Dean Garrett. “Professor Nembhard is an exceptional scholar whose research connects health care and business to drive outcomes that make a real difference. I am thrilled to welcome her to Wharton.”

Dr. Nembhard received her PhD in health policy and management, with a concentration in organizational behavior, from Harvard University through a joint program between Harvard Business School and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She received her M. in health policy and management from Harvard University School of Public Health, and her BA in ethics, politics and economics and in psychology from Yale University.

caption: Randy & Jay FishmanRandy Fishman said, “Jay and I were delighted to make this gift to Penn and Wharton. I am happy that the caliber of Penn’s stellar faculty will rise to even greater heights through this gift. Professor Nembhard’s expertise in health care touches all of our society, and she will surely spark new collaboration between Penn schools to create life-enhancing knowledge.”

Prior to his passing (Almanac August 30, 2016), Jay S. Fishman was chairman and chief executive officer of the Travelers Companies. Mr. Fishman served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, the School of Veterinary Medicine Overseers and the Graduate School of Education Overseers. In 2016, Mr. and Mrs. Fishman established the Randy and Jay Fishman Program for Home Assisted Ventilation at Penn Medicine. Prior to this, they endowed funds to support undergraduate financial aid at the Wharton School, and have also supported doctoral fellowships at the School of Arts and Sciences, internship programs, the School of Veterinary Medicine and Penn Football. Mrs. Fishman is a proud Penn and Wharton parent. 

President’s Distinguished Professorships enable the University of Pennsylvania to recruit and retain eminent faculty members with research and teaching expertise in areas identified by the president as high priorities for the Penn Compact 2020.

Martha Curley: Ruth M. Colket Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nursing at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

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caption: Martha CurleyMartha A. Q. Curley has been appointed Ruth M. Colket Endowed Chair in Pediatric Nursing at CHOP. The goal of this appointment is to foster interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research in child health across Penn Nursing and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Dr. Curley is also a professor of anesthesia and critical care medicine at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Her research, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Nursing Research, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, has focused on nurse-implemented interventions in pediatric critical care.

 Over several decades, Dr. Curley’s studies have illuminated relationship-based care when partnering with parents of critically ill children, supported parent presence during invasive procedures and resuscitation and have informed the practice of caring for critically-ill pediatric patients with acute respiratory failure. She has also led the development and dissemination of core metrics in the field of pediatrics: for example, the State Behavioral Scale (SBS), the Withdrawal Assessment Tool-1 (WAT-1), individualized numeric rating scale (INRS) and the Braden QD scale.

 Dr. Curley is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.  She received her PhD from Boston College; her Masters in Nursing Science from Yale University; her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and her Diploma in Nursing from Springfield Hospital Medical Center (MA).

Silfen Forum to Address Global Refugee Crisis: February 15

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A distinguished panel of experts, including Joe Biden, Jeb Bush, Michael Doyle, Dau Jok and Anne Richard, will join Penn President Amy Gutmann for a discussion at Penn about asylum seekers, refugees and immigration policy.

Since its inception, the David and Lyn Silfen University Forum has aimed to take on important contemporary issues. It has fostered conversations—as well as debates—on varying topics, including the economic downturn, the future of higher education, and cancer, a disease that touches so many.

As the world witnesses its highest levels of displacement on record, this year’s Silfen Forum focus is People and Policy Adrift: A 21st Century Framework for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Immigration Policy.

Scheduled for Thursday, February 15, at 3 p.m. in Irvine Auditorium, the talk, moderated by President Gutmann, will feature a distinguished panel of speakers including Joe Biden, the 47th U.S. vice president, the University’s Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor, and the driving force behind the new Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement; Jeb Bush, the 43rd governor of Florida; Michael Doyle, a professor at Columbia University and director of the Columbia Global Policy Initiative; Dau Jok, a Penn alumnus and founder of the Dut Jok Youth Foundation, named after his father; and Anne Richard, former U.S. assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration.

There’s no better time than the present for the discussion, as political debate around the topic floods news cycles, and recent United Nations reports show an extraordinary 65.6 million people around the world currently displaced from their homes. Often fleeing conflict, religious persecution, and extreme poverty, among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees—half of whom are under the age of 18. Combining their diverse experiences and knowledge, the panelists will address ideas for new approaches to the global refugee crisis, and tackle questions that touch on challenging and dynamic policy decisions.

A live webcast will be available Thursday at

David and Lyn Silfen have been among Penn’s most generous supporters. In addition to the Silfen University Forum, they’ve funded two Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professorships, the Silfen Student Study Center, a term professorship and the David and Lyn Silfen Fund to support educational innovation in the School of Arts and Sciences.

David Silfen, who graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1966, was a Penn Trustee from 1998 until his passing in 2015 (Almanac December 8, 2015). The chairman of Mayfair Management/Silfen Investment Partners LP, and a senior director of The Goldman Sachs Group, he was vice chair of Penn’s Trustees, and served on its executive, budget and finance, nominating and development committees. He also was a member of the Penn Investment Board, and served as chair for the Board of Overseers of the School of Arts and Sciences. 


Jon M. Huntsman, Sr., Trustee

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caption: Jon M. Huntsman, Sr.Jon M. Huntsman, W’59, HON’96 and Emeritus Trustee, died February 2. He was 80.

Mr. Huntsman served on Penn’s Board of Trustees, 1987-1994. He was the Board’s Vice Chair, 2002-2007 and was a member of the Executive, Budget and Finance, Development, and Student Life committees. At the Wharton School, he was Chair of the Board of Overseers, 1999-2013, at which time he was named Chair Emeritus. He also served as Chair of Wharton’s Campaign for Sustained Leadership, which in early 2003 became the most successful campaign ever at a business school. He served as co-chair of the Campaign for Penn and as a founding member of the Penn Club of New York. 

For his many contributions as a volunteer, he received the Alumni Award of Merit and was named the Most Outstanding Alumnus of the Wharton School. As the single largest unrestricted donor in Wharton’s history, he made significant contributions that will continue to benefit students and faculty for decades to come. Penn is especially grateful for his endowment of the Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business, one of Penn’s flagship interdisciplinary programs. This unique joint offering between Wharton and the School of Arts and Sciences was the first to fully integrate international studies with a business curriculum at the undergraduate level. Penn also greatly appreciates his support of the Patrick T. Harker Professorship, named in honor of that former Wharton Dean. In recognition of his tremendous generosity (Almanac November 19/26, 1996), Wharton’s iconic Huntsman Hall was named in Mr. Huntsman’s honor when it opened in 2002 (Almanac November 5, 2002).  

Mr. Huntman’s accomplishments as an undergraduate garnered him the Spoon Award and the 1959 Alumni Award of Merit for Leadership in Undergraduate Activities. He was President of his class, the Sigma Chi fraternity and the Kite and Key Society. He also was a member of the Undergraduate Council, the Sphinx Senior Honor Society, the Varsity Club and the Athletic Managerial Board and served as head lacrosse manager.  After receiving a bachelor’s degree at Penn’s Wharton School, he entered the U.S. Navy and earned an MBA from the University of Southern California.

Despite a modest childhood, Mr. Huntsman went on to become one of the most successful —and generous—entrepreneurs in this nation’s history. He was a legend not just for the success of the Huntsman Corporation—which he grew from a small polystyrene container manufacturer into the world’s largest privately held chemical company—but even more so for the tremendous reach of his philanthropy. He gave more than $1.5 billion to education, health care, social services and the arts. He was chair of the International Services Committee for the American Red Cross and personally donated significant funds to rebuild Armenia after the 1988 earthquake, receiving the country’s Medal of Honor for his efforts. He also made a considerable pledge to aid survivors of a catastrophic tsunami in South and Southeast Asia in 2004. 

A cancer survivor, Mr. Huntsman established the Huntsman Cancer Institute and Hospital at the University of Utah, which has become one of the country’s major cancer research centers and care facilities. He continued his commitment to education in his home state in 2007 by making the largest gift in Utah State University’s history, which resulted in the renaming of its business college as the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. He reflected on his experiences as an entrepreneur and a philanthropist in his second book, Barefoot to Billionaire: Reflections on a Life’s Work and a Promise to Cure Cancer.

A leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he was the co-founder of the Alliance for Unity, a group working to foster an acceptance of diversity in the state of Utah. Also devoted to public service, Mr. Huntsman worked in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in the early 1970s, served as a Special Assistant to President Nixon, and was White House Staff Secretary. A member of the Republican National Committee, he served on the national advisory board for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign and served as National Finance Chair for Elizabeth Dole’s presidential campaign.

Mr. Huntsman’s numerous awards include the Kaveler Award as the chemical industry’s most outstanding chief executive officer, the Othmer Gold Medal of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, The Franklin Institute’s Bower Award for Business Leadership, the Philanthropy Roundtable’s William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the American Chemical Society Leadership Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Humanitarian of the Year Award.  In 2008, he received the American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor for Cancer Philanthropy and in 2015 he received the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the University of Utah’s College of Science and its David Eccles School of Business and received 13 honorary degrees, including one from Penn in 1996 (Almanac April 16, 1996).

He is survived by his wife, Karen; children Jon, C’87, HON’10 (Almanac May 25, 2010), David, C’92, Paul, WG’00, Peter, Christena, Jennifer, James, and Mark; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter, Kathleen.

A Penn memorial later this year will be announced as soon as details are made available.

Eugene H. Liu, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

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caption: Eugene H. LiuEugene H. Liu, emeritus professor of Chinese language and Chinese history in Penn’s Asian and Middle Eastern Studies department in the School of Arts and Sciences, died on January 27. He was 81.

Dr. Liu joined the Penn faculty in 1974 after spending two years on the faculty of Middlebury College. In his 25 years at Penn, he oversaw the four-fold expansion of the Chinese program as coordinator and was instrumental in leading it to become the best and largest Chinese studies program in the nation. He received numerous teaching awards and won recognition as the highest-rated instructor throughout the College of Arts and Sciences. He was proud that his students went on to become executives, U.S. ambassadors and distinguished scholars in Chinese studies.

In 1984, Dr. Liu joined the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies program as director and curriculum coordinator of the Chinese Language and Cultural Perspectives program, serving in this role for 15 years. During this time, he also directed the popular and prestigious summer immersion program for Lauder students in China and later Taiwan.

While at Penn, Dr. Liu created the calligraphy that accompanied a front page article (Almanac September 9, 1980) on the educational exchange between the University of Pennsylvania and Shanghai Jiao Tong. He held a number of visiting positions at Cornell University, University of Maryland and Rutgers University. 

Dr. Liu served as consultant for a number of major corporations and foundations, including the Aetna Insurance Company, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the National Council on Foreign Language and International Studies, the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages and the Center for Applied Linguistics.

Dr. Liu authored a number of books, including Chinese Cultural Reader, Chinese Newspaper Readings and A Culinary Excursion Through China. His book, Chinese Language for Business, became the long-serving textbook standard for many universities.

In 1980, Dr. Liu won a major grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities aimed at developing a program for Chinese business language instruction. He was a pioneer in integrating technology into language learning, and was one of the earliest to co-author and implement an IBM PC-based language learning and testing system at a university.

Dr. Liu was born in Beijing, China. He received his bachelor’s degree from Nankai University in Tianjin, and later earned his doctorate in modern Chinese history. Early in his career, he served as reporter, editor and columnist for Sing Tao Daily News, editor for the Scientific World Monthly and correspondent for Voice of America in Hong Kong.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Tina; children John and Robert, C’90; and grandchildren, Mia, Gabrielle, Ella and Emmy.

Contributions in his memory may be made to SAS at Penn:

Memorial for Blaze Bernstein

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caption: Blaze BernsteinA memorial service will be held for college sophomore Blaze Bernstein, who died in early January (Almanac January 16, 2018). The University community is invited to attend the memorial on Sunday, February 18 at 1-3 p.m. at Kelly Writers House.

Afterwards, Penn Hillel, along with the LGBT Center, will provide a space for those affected by his loss and its aftermath in the Berkowitz Living Room on the first floor of Penn Hillel from 3-4:30 p.m.


Senate Executive Committee Agenda

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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

Senate Executive Committee Agenda

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Chair’s Report.  Faculty Senate Chair Santosh Venkatesh provided SEC members with an update on the Teach-In, which will be held at sites across campus from March 18-22.  A full schedule and registration information are now available at  Events are free and open to public participation and address a wide range of topics, including vaccine denial, firearm violence, the data sciences, artificial intelligence, biomedical ethics and the role of higher education in the modern era, among others.  SEC members were encouraged to share the website and Teach-In information with their colleagues, students and friends and family in the region.

2018 Senate Committee on Committees.  SEC members adopted a membership slate for the 2018 Senate Committee on Committees.

Update from the Office of the President.  President Amy Gutmann delivered a progress report on continuing support for faculty and student initiatives.  She spoke of the importance of higher education at Penn as an engine for inclusion and innovation.  A new website,, has been launched as a central repository for wellness resources for students.  Faculty initiatives include the fostering of efforts surrounding multidisciplinary collaboration in teaching and research.

Update from the Office of the General Counsel. Senior Vice President and General Counsel Wendy White and Vice Provost for Education Beth Winkelstein informed SEC members of the status and activities of the graduate student unionization effort being undertaken on campus. An election is tentatively planned for later in the current spring semester, which will determine whether “Graduate Employees Together University of Pennsylvania” will become the exclusive bargaining representative for all graduate students who are eligible to vote in the election.  A page responding to “frequently asked questions” on this topic can be found at the website of the Vice Provost for Education,

University Council Meeting Agenda

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From the Office of the University Secretary: University Council Meeting Agenda 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4 p.m.

Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall

I. Approval of the minutes of the January 31, 2018 University Council meeting.  1 minute

II. Follow up comments or questions on Status Reports.  4 minutes

III. Penn Connects 3.0. 40 minutes

IV. Open Forum.  70 minutes   

V. New Business.  5 minutes    

VI. Adjournment.

WXPN Policy Board Meeting

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The WXPN Policy Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 27, at noon at WXPN, 3025 Walnut Street. It is open to the public. For more information call (215) 898-0628.


National Academy of Inventors: Two Penn Fellows

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caption: Mark G. Allencaption: Krishna SinghMark G. Allen and Krishna P. Singh, have been elected as Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors. The NAI Fellows Selection Committee choose Fellows that “have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.”

Dr. Allen currently serves as the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering (ESE) and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM) at Penn Engineering and is a pioneer in the field of micro-electromechanical systems, or MEMS, and nanofabrication technology. Dr. Allen has published approximately 120 journal articles and holds approximately 40 patents.

Dr. Singh is the founder, president and CEO of Holtec International and a Penn Trustee, as well as a member of the Board of Overseers of Penn Engineering and a Penn alumnus. Dr. Singh is also a widely published author in scientific journals (over 70 technical papers, one textbook, and numerous symposia volumes) and a prolific inventor (over 70 patents granted). 

The NAI was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

Jason Burdick: Heilmeier Award

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caption: Jason BurdickThe University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science has awarded Jason Burdick, professor in the department of bioengineering, the 2017-2018 George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research for “pioneering contributions to designing and developing polymers for applications in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.”

The Heilmeier Award honors a Penn Engineering faculty member whose work is scientifically meritorious and has high technological impact and visibility. It is named for George H. Heilmeier, a Penn Engineering alumnus and overseer whose technological contributions included the development of liquid crystal displays and whose honors include the National Medal of Science and Kyoto Prize.

Dr. Burdick was chosen for his research in developing degradable polymeric biomaterials that can be used for tissue engineering, drug delivery and fundamental polymer studies. The platform polymer technology involves the development of modified biopolymers that react or assemble into networks and are processed using techniques such as photopatterning, electrospinning and 3D printing. Specific targets of his research include: scaffolding for cell and growth factor delivery in the regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues; controlling stem cell differentiation through material cues; and injectable hydrogels for the repair of cardiac tissue.

Alexa Hoover: Field Hockey

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caption: Alexa HooverAlexa Hoover, a senior in Penn’s College of Arts and Sciences, has earned a spot on the 2018 U.S. Women’s National Development Squad following a three-day tryout at the USWNT headquarters in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Ms. Hoover is the most decorated player in the history of Penn Field Hockey: she was the 2014 Ivy League Rookie of the Year and an ECAC All-Star, a two-time All-American and four-time All-Region selection, and earned selection to the 2017 NFHCA Senior All-Star Game.

Out of the 34 athletes who attended the camp tryout, Ms. Hoover was one of 21 to earn a spot on the National Development Squad to remain in the player pool for potential call-up to the Senior Women’s National Team. 

“I am thrilled to see Alexa earn this opportunity,” said Colleen Fink, Penn’s head coach. “Being selected to the National Development Squad leaves the door open for Alexa to eventually become a member of the Full National Team, which would be the ultimate honor, and so I couldn’t be happier for her.”

Kathleen Hall Jamieson: Rogers Award

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caption: Kathleen Hall JamiesonKathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Everett M. Rogers Award by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Dr. Jamieson, the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication, is the author or co-author of 15 books, including Packaging the Presidency, Eloquence in the Electronic Age, Spiral of Cynicism, Dirty Politics and Presidents Creating the Presidency

In announcing the award, USC Annenberg School’s Norman Lear Center praised Dr. Jamieson as “a pioneer in the fact-check movement” and “a widely sought-after authority on the ways the public gets its political information as well as the impact of political ads on public attitudes.” It noted that she is a co-creator of “two nonpartisan websites that monitor and aim to reduce deception and confusion in U.S. politics, and, which became a central resource for the 2016 presidential campaign.” In recognition of her award, she will present a talk at the USC Annenberg School on March 5 on how Russian trolls and hackers exploited the U.S. news media and social media to sow discord, undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy and bolster Donald Trump’s electoral prospects. She also will consider how the United States can minimize its vulnerabilities to future electoral intrusions by foreign actors. 

The award honors the late Everett M. Rogers, a professor and associate dean at USC’s Annenberg School who developed the diffusion of innovation theory, which seeks to explain how ideas are spread among people. Dr. Rogers introduced the term “early adopters.” 

Kenneth Lum: Order of Canada

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Kenneth Lum, professor and chair of the fine arts department in  PennDesign, has been named an Officer in the Order of Canada, one of the highest civilian honors. Established in 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada is the cornerstone of the Honors System, and recognizes dedication to the community and nation and outstanding achievement.

Mr. Lum was born in Vancouver, Canada, but currently resides in Philadelphia. He joined the PennDesign faculty in 2012. He is the co-founder and founding editor of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art and is a Guggenheim Fellow and Urban Research Fellow.

Celia Reina: Mechanics Award

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caption: Celia ReinaCelia Reina, William K. Gemmill Term Assistant Professor in the department of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics in SEAS, has been selected to receive the Eshelby Mechanics Award for Young Faculty. This award is given annually to emerging junior faculty who exemplify the creative use and development of mechanics. It includes a $1,500 cash prize and a commemorative plaque, and will be presented at the Applied Mechanics Division Awards Banquet during the International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in November. 

The award recognizes Dr. Reina’s development of “novel mathematical and computational techniques to investigate fundamental problems in continuum thermodynamics and mechanics. Inspired by optimal design of new materials, her work centers on understanding microstructure-property relations that intrinsically result from the collective behavior of material features at multiple length and time scales.”

Dr. Reina and her group focus on the multiscale modeling and simulation of material behavior, with a strong emphasis on inelastic and non-equilibrium processes. Areas of interest include modeling of plasticity in the large deformation setting, wave propagation in metamaterials and rapid phase transformations. Her group explores these processes with a highly interdisciplinary perspective that combines continuum mechanics, applied mathematics and statistical physics.

The Eshelby Mechanics Award, established in 2012, intends to promote the field of mechanics, especially among young researchers. The selection committee consists of five editors or editorial board members of mechanics journals.

Penn-Made President Harlan Sands: Cleveland State

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caption: Harlan SandsHarlan Sands, W’84, vice dean and CFO of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania since early 2017 (Almanac March 21, 2017), has been named president of Cleveland State University, succeeding Ronald Berkman, who will retire on June 30. Mr. Sands will take office on July 1. 

Steven Weitzman: Book Award

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Steven Weitzman’s latest book, The Origin of the Jews: The Quest for Roots in a Rootless Age, was recently named the winner of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award in the Education and Jewish Identity Category. 

Dr. Weitzman, the author of several books that focus on the Hebrew Bible and the origins of Jewish culture, is the Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences, and also the Ella Darivoff Director of the Herbet D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at Penn.

Book awards in 20 categories are selected by the New York City-based Jewish Book Council. 

“I wanted the book to tell the story of a scholarly quest in a way that was helpful to readers beyond academia while staying true to the complexity of the issues involved,” Dr. Weitzman said. “I would be delighted if the book helps readers, Jewish or non-Jewish, think about their origins and their identity in a deeper way.”

The Jewish Book Award winners will be honored on March 6 at a dinner and ceremony in New York City.

Penn Students: Gingerbread Architecture Challenge

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caption: A gingerbread replica of Fisher Fine Arts Library.

In just 40 hours and one week’s time, Jake Welde, E’19 and Izzy Korostoff, C’18, constructed a 14 x 20 inch confectionery masterpiece: a gingerbread replica  of Fisher Fine Arts Library. When they discovered that they could use the laser cutters in Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science to cut sheets of gingerbread into two–dimensional patterns, they immediately thought to make a gingerbread model of a building on Penn’s campus. They decided on the Fine Arts Library, since its intricate Venetian Gothic architecture particularly lent itself to decorative baking. They decided to “actually finish the project” when Izzy’s father told them about a gingerbread house-building competition sponsored by Philadelphia’s Center for Architecture and Design.

The Center for Architecture and Design named their project the winner of their 2017 Gingerbread Architecture Challenge, beating out a replica of the Fleisher Art Memorial for first place. 


Penn Museum’s 29th Annual Celebration of African Cultures: February 24

  • February 13, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 23
  • Features
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caption: Penn Museum's Celebration of African Cultures will include a variety of music and dance performances.

Traditional African music and dance, an African Jazz Connection workshop, dance and drumming workshops, puppetry, storytelling, an African marketplace, art-making, games, gallery tours, film, even African animal yoga for children—it all comes alive at the Penn Museum’s 29th annual Celebration of African Cultures on Saturday, February 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The celebration, presented in the Museum’s Africa galleries and around the Museum, is free with Museum admission.

Music and Dance of the African Diaspora

This year’s Celebration offers lots of opportunity to enjoy music and dance performances and to join in.

Culture Shock, a multicultural dance group affiliated with the University of the Sciences’ International Society, presents traditional dances from East and West Africa, with hints of Caribbean influence. The Women’s Sekere Ensemble percussionists, led by Omomola Iyabumni, bring the rhythms and tones of the sekere, a traditional Nigerian percussion instrument made from intricately beaded gourds, into the galleries.

Guests of all ages are encouraged to get involved at an African Dance Workshop, and a Drum Workshop, both offered by the Dunya Performing Arts Company. The Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble offers the African-Jazz Connection performance and workshop. The ensemble demonstrates how various rhythms and “types” of jazz compare to—and sometimes have originated with—multi-faceted beats and rhythmic syncopations from Africa.

African Rhythms, a student-led African drum and dance troupe at the University of Pennsylvania, closes out the day’s performances, offering dances from West Africa and the African diaspora, including the Caribbean and South America.

Stories, Puppets and Games, Oh My!

There is much for the young and the young at heart to enjoy. Everyone is invited to join Queen Nur, storyteller supreme, for a fun and interactive storytelling session in celebration of voices of courage. The Catskill Puppet Theater, Inc., offers “The Lion’s Whiskers,” a musical adaptation of a traditional Ethiopian folktale. Meet a lion, two giraffes, a camel, a cast of five human characters and some hyena shadow puppets, on hand to tell the tale! Children can try some new poses at a short African Animal Yoga session, too!

Art and crafting opportunities are available for all ages throughout the day. The Black Artists Collective offers a station where guests can make African inspired masks and jewelry. Ethiopian-born artist Bole Lig invites guests to create maps of Africa, as well as art inspired by iconic monuments from the continent.

Game lovers can stop by and play, or learn to play, the African board game Mancala at a game station.

Museum Archives selects and screens a short documentary film on African culture.

caption: Penn Museum's Annual Celebration of African Cultures African will feature an African mini-marketplace.

An African Marketplace and African Foods

Throughout the celebration, visitors have the chance to browse and shop at an African mini-marketplace featuring wooden, leather, and bronze accessories, as well as colorful prints, art, jewelry and apparel available for purchase, from special vendors, including Rashida Watson of The Silk Tent, Puyâ Yohannes of Bole Lig, Chakir Bouchaib of Little Marrakesh Bazaar, and Desiree Langford of Nayaz Boutique. Guests can also stop by the Museum Shop, which features a collection of African-inspired and fair trade, African-made items.

The Museum’s Pepper Mill Café also gets into the spirit, offering an African-inspired lunch menu for purchase.

World Culture Days: Passport to The World

The Celebration of African Cultures is part of the Penn Museum’s popular World Culture Series designed to introduce visitors of all ages to the rich cultural traditions found throughout the Museum’s galleries and throughout the world. Upcoming World Culture Days include Egyptomania (March 24) and Jamaica Day (June 2). Guests are invited to pick up a Passport to Cultures at any admission desk to begin collecting stamps during any of the World Culture Series celebrations. Collect 10 or more stamps to earn an invitation to a special Penn Museum Junior Anthropologist ceremony!

Signature Galleries

The Africa Gallery features objects from cultures throughout the continent. Highlights include Akan gold weights, and musical instruments made from wood, skins, gourds and plant fibers. The Museum was among the first American museums to begin collecting art and artifacts from Africa; most items in the collection were obtained between 1891 and 1930. The adjacent Imagine Africa exhibition invites visitors to explore their own understanding of Africa via broad themes and artifacts on display—and provide feedback about what interests them, as the Museum makes plans for an updated suite of Africa Galleries to open in late 2019.

The Museum’s renowned Egypt (Sphinx) and Egypt (Mummies) Galleries feature a massive red granite Sphinx (the largest Sphinx in the Western hemisphere); monumental architecture, art and artifacts from 5,000 years of Egyptian culture; and the story of mummification in the exhibition The Egyptian Mummy: Secrets and Science.

Schedule for the day:

11:15 a.m.       African Animal Yoga for Children

11:30 a.m.       Short Documentary Film

noon                Women’s Sekere Ensemble

12:30 p.m.       Culture Shock Dance Performance                  

1 p.m.              Queen Nur Storytelling

1:30 p.m.         Dunya Performing Arts Company Drum Workshop

2 p.m.              Catskill Puppet Theater, Inc: The Lion’s Whiskers

2:15 p.m.         Women’s Sekere Ensemble

2:30 p.m.         Dunya Performing Arts Company Dance Workshop

3 p.m.              Argeggio Jazz Ensemble Performance and Workshop

3:15 p.m.         Short Documentary Film                

3:45 p.m.         African Rhythms Dance Performance

Throughout the day:

  • African Marketplace
  • Mask-making and Jewelry-making Station with Black Artists Collective
  • African Map-making Station with artist Bole Lig
  • Mancala Game Station
  • African Menu in the Pepper Mill Café (fee)

Penn, Philly and Beyond: Celebrating the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl LII Victory

  • February 13, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 23
  • Features
  • print

University of Pennsylvania students, staff and faculty members took to the streets to celebrate the Philadelphia Eagles’ first Super Bowl victory after the team defeated the New England Patriots on Sunday, February 4. Some also joined in the parade celebration on Thursday, February 8. 

Penn made the decision to suspend normal University operations. All classes and University-sponsored events were cancelled as hundreds of thousands descended upon the city of Philadelphia for the Championship Parade. Only designated essential personnel were required to report to campus that day (Almanac Between Issues February 8, 2018).

In the pre-Super Bowl era, the Eagles used to play at Penn’s own Franklin Field. Before this year’s victory, the last time the team won an NFL Championship was at Franklin Field on December 26, 1960. The Eagles defeated the Green Bay Packers and famous coach Vince Lombardi, capturing the team’s third NFL title.

caption: Chuck Bednarik, Class of 1949, was considered Penn’s finest athlete. He played 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles after playing at Penn.

One of the standouts of the 1960 team, Penn Alum Chuck Bednarik, known as “Concrete Charlie,” played for the Quakers from 1945 to 1948 and was a two-time all-American player at Penn before being selected first overall by the Eagles in the 1949 NFL draft. He played both center and linebacker, as he did at Penn, and was all-pro selection at both positions during his 14-year professional career. Mr. Bednarik, who also was part of the Eagles’ 1949 championship team, received his greatest acclaim for his play during the 1960 NFL Championship game, where he was on the field for nearly every play. 

caption: Chuck Bednarik, Class of 1949, next to his statue inside Gate 2 on the north side of Franklin Field in 2011 when it was unveiled.

Mr. Bednarik, who passed away March 21, 2015 (Almanac March 31, 2015), was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1969. A statue honoring his legacy was erected on the north side of Penn’s Franklin Field in 2011 (Almanac November 8, 2011).

Additionally, Quaker Quarterback Bert Bell (1914-1919) went on to become co-founder, co-owner and coach of the Eagles. He served as the NFL Commissioner from 1946-1959 and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. John Heisman, namesake of the Heisman Trophy, played for the Quakers from 1890-1891. He returned to Penn as head coach from 1920-1922.

The Philadelphia Eagles called Penn’s Franklin Field (above) home from 1958-1970.


Update: February AT PENN

  • February 13, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 23
  • Events
  • print


13    When Genetics Challenges a Racist’s Identity; Aaron Panofsky, UCLA; 6 p.m.; rm. 237, Cohen Hall (PRSS).

14    Knowledge by the Slice: The “State of the Union” Entering President Trump’s Second Year; political science faculty roundtable; noon; Terrace Room, Claudia Cohen Hall; info: (SAS).

On Stage

16    Cosmic; Yalla performance; 8 p.m.; Iron Gate Theatre; info: (VPUL).

AT PENN Deadlines

The February AT PENN is online. The deadline for the March AT PENN is Tuesday, February 13.

Spring Break: There is no issue of Almanac on Tuesday, March 6, during Spring Break. Tuesday, February 20 is the deadline for the Tuesday, February 27 issue. Almanac will resume weekly publication on Tuesday, March 13. The deadline is Tuesday, March 6.


Weekly Crime Reports

  • February 13, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 23
  • Crimes
  • print

This summary is prepared by the Division of Public Safety and includes Crimes Against Persons, Crimes Against Society and Crimes Against Property reported and made known to the University Police Department between the dates of January 29-February 4, 2018. View prior weeks' reports. —Ed.

The University Police actively patrol from Market St to Baltimore Avenue and from the Schuylkill River to 43rd St 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.

1/30/18             1:11 AM          3417 Spruce St          Paint sprayed on sign

1/30/18             4:26 PM          20 S 39th St              Unsecured package taken

1/30/18             4:32 PM          3200 Chestnut St      Complainant duped out of money

1/30/18             3:23 PM          2929 Walnut St         Unauthorized transaction made on business checks

1/31/18           12:17 AM          4047 Pine St              Secured bike taken/Arrest

1/31/18             5:05 PM          3701 Walnut St          Cash taken from locked room

1/31/18           11:18 PM         4230 Chestnut St        Complainant struck by husband

1/31/18           11:42 PM         4230 Chestnut St        Disorderly conduct/Arrest

2/1/18                5:38 PM        3702 Spruce St           Unsecured camera and equipment taken

2/1/18              11:00 PM        4000 Market St           Complainant assaulted by known offender/Arrest

2/2/18              10:04 AM       3100 Walnut St             Baseball basket taken

2/2/18                9:23 AM       4039 Chestnut St         Items removed from packages

2/2/18                1:25 PM        3330 Walnut St            Satchel and contents taken

2/2/18                9:34 PM        215 S 33rd St              Male wanted on warrant/Arrest

2/3/18                3:45 AM       3800 University Ave     Intoxicated driver arrested

2/3/18              12:07 PM        407 S 40TH St            Male wanted on warrants/Arrest

2/4/18                6:36 PM        3417 Spruce St          Unattended laptop taken

2/4/18                7:05 PM        3820 Locust Walk      Boots taken from room

2/4/18              11:22 PM        3600 Chestnut St       Graffiti/Arrest

18th District

Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District: 7 incidents (1 assault, 1 aggravated assault, 3 domestic assaults, and 2 robberies) with 2 arrests were reported  between January 29-February 4, 2018 by the 18th District covering the Schuylkill River to 49th Street & Market Street to Woodland Avenue.

1/29/18            9:30 AM         3925 Walnut St           Robbery/Arrest

1/29/18            9:36 PM         900 S. 48th St             Robbery

1/31/18           11:32 AM        45th & Sansom Sts     Domestic Assault

1/31/18             6:37 PM        23 S. 38th St               Assault

1/31/18           11:20 PM        4230 Chestnut St        Domestic Assault

2/1/18               1:47 AM        432 S. 48th St             Aggravated Assault/Arrest

2/3/18              10:35 AM        4207 Walnut St          Domestic Assault


One Step Ahead: February Tax Tip

  • February 13, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 23
  • Bulletins
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It is easy and convenient to file your taxes online. This year—and every year—make sure to take the proper steps to protect your confidential information!

Personal Tax information can be found under My Tax Info in the U@Penn Staff Portal.

My Tax Info provides University employees the opportunity to view, print, and download electronic versions of their income tax statements, such as the Form W-2, in an Adobe PDF format.

Protecting and handling your tax statements

Your tax statements possess sensitive information like your Social Security Number and financial compensation data. It is important to never access these statements from public computers or shared workspaces.

Follow these steps when using My Tax Info:

  • Before viewing sensitive information, make sure your computer is free of viruses, malware and other security risks. The University offers Symantec Endpoint Protection to protect against harmful software:
  • Keep your browsers up-to-date with the latest security patches before accessing tax information. Visit the browser vendor website for updates.
  • When you are finished, log out of the U@Penn Staff Portal and close your web browser.
  • Immediately delete any copies of your tax statement that you downloaded. 
  • Use care when printing your tax statement. When printing this information, be sure to keep your printed copy secure.
  • Shred any unwanted printed copies of your tax statements prior to discarding.

For more on how to protect your personal data visit and

To learn how to secure your browser, visit US-Cert at

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