Penn’s New Home in Washington, D.C.

  • February 27, 2018
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caption: Journalist Andrea Mitchell with the 47th Vice President of the U.S. Joe Biden, Penn President Amy Gutmann, Penn Trustees Chairman David L. Cohen and Mr. Biden’s dog, Champ, in the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C.

When Penn President Amy Gutmann was speaking at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement’s official opening on February 8, she said, “The unmatched personal connections Joe Biden has with world leaders is equally important to our students, our faculty, policymakers and the work of this new Center. And it’s equally important because it is absolutely essential in furthering diplomacy and global engagement that is needed to advance the world order.”

“I want this Center to be a gathering place,” said former Vice President Biden, who is Penn’s Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor. “I want this to be a place where ideas are exchanged, where people come and disagree with us, as well as agree with us.”

Mr. Biden said that we should “lead not by the example of our power but by the power of our example.”  

The event, at Penn’s home in Washington, D.C., included a ribbon cutting and an hour-long, free-range discussion between Mr. Biden and NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell, a Penn alumna and Trustee emerita who is this year’s Commencement Speaker (Almanac February 6, 2018).  

The fresh, high-tech space at 101 Constitution Ave., N.W., is just steps from the nation’s Capitol, and is meant to be a site for debate and discussion, especially for those involved in foreign policy. Also, to Mr. Biden’s particular joy, it is only a few blocks from the Amtrak hub, Union Station.

$1.53 Million Grant Expanding Pediatric Dentistry Training

  • February 27, 2018
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Penn Dental Medicine DMD students are strengthening their skills and understanding in treating the youngest of patients—children from birth to five years of age—through support from a U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration grant, awarded to the School’s Divisions of Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health starting this academic year. Designed to enhance dental students’ course work and clinical/community outreach experiences with young children, the program recently received a supplemental award for the first year to address childhood obesity prevention as well, bringing the total program award to $1.53 million over five years.

“While dental students provide clinical care with children as part of their dental school clinical education, they often have limited experiences with very young children,” said Joan Gluch, division chief and professor of community oral health and project director on the grant. “Many areas of the country have few pediatric dentists, so many children are not getting care unless it is from a general dentist. Our view is that every general dentist should feel comfortable in examining a child at any age and referring children to specialists as needed.”

To reach that goal, the project has been designed to increase the knowledge, skills and experience in treating children from birth to age five for all second-, third-, and fourth-year DMD students. “We have chosen to build on course work, clinical experiences and community rotations throughout the second, third and fourth years to ensure dental students gain a sufficient level of knowledge and experiences and have the time to understand and complete best practices,” said Dr. Gluch.

Betty Hajishengallis, division chief of pediatric dentistry; Maria Velasco, clinical assistant professor of pediatric dentistry; and community oral health public health hygienist Deanne Wallaert are key staff members on the project. They will develop eight new educational modules in community health and pediatric dentistry regarding cultural competency, health literacy, social determinants of health, behavior management, oral health prevention and restorative dental care, along with the prevention of childhood obesity. As part of the supplemental award for the first year of the project, faculty will collaborate with Terri Lipman and Amani Abdullah from Penn’s School of Nursing on the development of the content for integrating childhood obesity prevention training into the course work and clinical and community experiences, with work just getting underway on these latest additions.

The project also includes a significant increase in clinical experiences in both the School’s pediatric clinic and community sites. Beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year, second-year students will now double their community rotations to 24 hours, providing oral health education and preventive care with children and their families as well as observing the dental care provided by third- and fourth-year students. For third- and fourth-year students, clinical experiences treating very young children will be expanded with an additional eight sessions (4 days) in the School’s pediatric clinic and eight sessions (4 days) in Penn-affiliate community sites. The community sites include Philadelphia FIGHT; Sayre Health Center, a school-based federally qualified health center; Homeless Health Initiative of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Puentes de Salud, a South Philadelphia clinic run by Penn Medicine.

“We will be tracking outcomes, including our graduates’ practice patterns after graduation,” said Dr. Gluch. “We believe this added training, which we anticipate can be sustainable beyond the life of the grant, will help ensure our graduates are well prepared to provide care to this vulnerable population so children have a healthy start from their first tooth and first dental visit.”

As part of the program, Penn Dental Medicine has formed a collaboration with the Health Federation Early Head Start Program, where DMD students participated in an outreach event.

Excellence through Diversity Fund: Call for Proposals—March 30

  • February 27, 2018
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The University is pleased to Call for Proposals for the Excellence through Diversity Fund. The Fund provides resources for innovative interdisciplinary projects of Penn faculty on topics relating to diversity and inclusion. Funds will be awarded to the Schools competitively, on a matching basis. Proposals should include a description of efforts to obtain funding from other sources.

The Fund may support:

  • Implementation of Schools’ strategic plans to diversify and enhance the climate for faculty and student populations;
  • Research on topics related to diversity and inclusion;
  • Projects that foster and support diversity on campus;
  • Projects that involve collaborations across disciplines, the arts and traditional boundaries of academic work.

Past projects have included cross-School research, significant conferences and events, projects aimed at assessing the climate for diversity and inclusion at Penn and large-scale faculty development work. Projects addressing issues of contemporary significance, those encouraging collaborations that would not otherwise occur and service to new and emerging understandings of diversity and inclusion are given priority.  

Criteria for Review 

Review and evaluation will be based on the following criteria:

  • Relationship to the aims of the Fund as described above;
  • Potential for sustainability and/or impact over time with School, center or extramural funding, particularly as demonstrated by matching funds;
  • Presence of a realistic and sufficiently detailed budget;
  • Potential for sustainable partnerships among Schools, departments or University programs;
  • Innovation and novel understandings of diversity and inclusion at Penn and within our society today.

Proposals are due by March 30, 2018.

Review Process

The Fund will be administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty.  


Applications must include:

  • A completed Budget Form, available with PennKey at:
  • A completed Cover Sheet and Proposal Form, available with PennKey at:
  • Biographies of faculty members and collaborators involved in the project;
  • Evidence of additional funding from institutional or external sources;
  • Outlook for the future of the project (continued activity and external funding); 
  • For conference support: a description of the purpose of the meeting; a proposed program agenda and list of presenters; the names of Penn faculty organizing the meeting; the number of Penn students and faculty expected to attend; an explanation of the benefit to Penn students and faculty; an explanation of the benefit to scholarly or research programs at Penn; an explanation of the relationship of the meeting to department, institute, or center programs.


Email a complete PDF of the submission to no later than March 30, 2018. Questions may be directed to Lubna Mian at

Annual Performance Appraisals for 2018

  • February 27, 2018
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Open and effective communication is essential when it comes to enhancing performance and achieving goals. The Annual Performance Appraisal program provides staff and supervisors with a formal process to enhance communication, promote a productive work environment, recognize accomplishments and address areas of opportunity in a structured forum.

The performance appraisal process provides benefits for both the staff member and the supervisor, such as:

  • Providing documented feedback on job expectations, performance and accomplishments from the past year;
  • Offering positive reinforcement as well as developmental feedback;
  • Allowing staff members to participate in goal-setting;
  • Setting performance expectations and goals for the upcoming year;
  • Encouraging open communication between staff and supervisors;
  • Promoting discussion of professional development opportunities and the competencies required to be successful in their job; and
  • Ensuring that job performance and accomplishment information is recorded in each staff member’s official personnel file.

Beginning March 15, 2018, staff and supervisors should use the Online Performance Appraisal System to complete self-appraisals and annual performance appraisals. Performance appraisals for all eligible regular staff should be completed and entered into the Online Performance Appraisal System by June 1, 2018. The Online Performance Appraisal System can be accessed at

Valuable information on the performance appraisal process can be found on the Human Resources website at Here you’ll find a variety of materials to guide you in completing quality appraisals and providing effective performance and professional development feedback.

For more information on the Performance and Staff Development Program, contact your school or center Human Resources professional or the Division of Human Resources at (215) 898-6093.

—Division of Human Resources


Lionel F. Rubin, Vet Medicine

  • February 27, 2018
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caption: Lionel RubinLionel Freedman Rubin, professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, died Sunday, February 11. He was 84.

Dr. Rubin was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Central High School, then attended the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1954. He received his doctorate in veterinary medicine degree from Penn’s School of Medicine in 1958.

He had developed an interest in ophthalmology during a stint as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service while stationed at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, after his graduation from Penn Vet. He taught veterinary ophthalmology for 31 years, retiring from Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine in 1992 as an emeritus professor. He served as president of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists from 1976 to 1977, wrote four books and more than 100 scientific papers and abstracts, and was a consultant to pharmaceutical companies, as well as for the American Kennel Club.

He became a leader in the field, discovering a number of eye diseases. One time he operated on Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Barbara Perna; children David, Carol Rubin Fishman and Jonathan Samuel; five grandchildren; and a brother, Ellis Rubin.

To Report A Death

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

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at 2929 Walnut Street, Suite 300, (215) 898-8136 or email


Faculty Senate Executive Committee Agenda Wednesday, March 14, 2018

  • February 27, 2018
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The following agenda is published in accordance with the Faculty Senate Rules. Any member of the standing faculty may attend SEC meetings and observe. Questions may be directed to Patrick Walsh, executive assistant to the Senate Office, either by telephone at (215) 898-6943 or by email at


Faculty Senate Executive Committee Agenda

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

3-5 p.m.

Meyerson Conference Room (2nd floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library)

  1. Approval of the Minutes of February 7, 2018 SEC meeting (1 minute)
  2. Chair’s Report (5 minutes)
  3. Past-Chair’s Report (3 minutes)
  4. Update from the Office of the Executive Vice President (45 minutes). Discussion with EVP Craig Carnaroli
  5. Review of Proposed Faculty Handbook Policy Change (30 minutes)
  6. Final Update on the Teach-In to be held March 18-22 (15 minutes)
  7. Moderated Discussion (15 minutes)
  8. New Business (1 minute)

Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania Winter Meetings March 1-2, 2018

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All trustee committee meetings will be held at the Inn at Penn. Observers are asked to call (215) 898-7005 with your plans to attend.

Thursday, March 1 

8:30-10 a.m. 

    Local, National, & Global Engagement 


10:15-11:45 a.m. 

    Facilities & Campus Planning Committee 

2 -3:30 p.m. 

    Joint Meeting: Ad Hoc Committee on 

    Diversity and Student Life Committee 

3:45-5:15 p.m. 

    Academic Policy Committee 

    Budget & Finance Committee 

Friday, March 2 

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

    Stated Meeting of the Trustees

PPSA: Diversity Month Talk: February 28

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The Penn Professional Staff Assembly (PPSA) invites the Penn community to its Diversity Month Program on Wednesday, February 28 from noon- 1 p.m. in rm. 108, in The ARCH. The program on Immigration: Past, Present, Future will be a discussion with Domenic Vitiello. Dr. Vitiello is associate professor of city planning and urban studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is a former member of AFRICOM, served on the board of ACANA and as board chair of Juntos, and worked with many other immigrant and refugee community organizations in Philadelphia. He is currently writing a book, The Sanctuary City, that examines Central American, Southeast Asian, African, Arab and Mexican immigration to Philadelphia since the 1970s. Space is limited! Register now by visiting

Please bring your PennCard to gain entry into The ARCH. Lunch will be provided. 

February 21 University Council Meeting Coverage

  • February 27, 2018
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At the February 21 Council meeting, Vice President for Facilities and Real Estate Services Anne Papageorge gave a presentation on Penn Connects 3.0 which is a continuation of the original Penn Connects from 2006. Phase 1 was from 2006-2010, followed by Phase 2, known as Penn Connects 2.0, that covered 2011-2016. Now, Phase 3 extends from 2017 until 2022.  She mentioned that sustainability was added as a goal ever since Penn’s Climate Action Plan began in 2009. All new Penn buildings now have a minimum target of LEED silver and some actually achieve gold or platinum. 

Phase 3 has already seen several capital investments completed including Hill College House renovations and the Larry Robbins House, an adaptive reuse and partial new construction. A number of Century Bond HVAC Projects have been completed while others are currently in construction. The Cira Centre South—which includes the FMC Tower, the Cira Garage and Green as well as the EVO apartments—is a third- party ground lease to Brandywine Trust and third-party development. Several Penn offices, including General Counsel, Development and Alumni Relations, Investments and Risk Management occupy space in the FMC Tower.

Houston Hall Market will be getting enhanced food options as will the new Franklin’s Table Food Hall at 34th and Walnut, with both being renovated. Pennovation Works is an ongoing project; the New College House West and the new building for Wharton and an electrical substation at 37th and Spruce are both in the design phase. The Dental School’s addition to the Schattner Building is under construction, as is the Perelman Center for Political Science & Economics and the renovation to Richards A&B Towers, along with the Penn Museum renovations. The Penn Medicine projects in construction include the Center for Healthcare Technology and the Pavilion. A third-party developer is creating graduate and professional student housing at 400 South 40th Street, Luna on Pine.

Afterwards, the Open Forum portion of the meeting consisted of seven speakers who had submitted their topics in advance (Almanac February 20, 2018). They were informed that their concerns would be addressed by the Steering Committee.

Call for Volunteers for 2018-2019 Committee Service: Deadline March 21

  • February 27, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 25
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To:     Members of the University Faculty,         

          Penn Professional Staff Assembly,         

          Weekly-Paid Professional Staff Assembly

From: 2017-2018 University Council 

          Committee on Committees

RE:    Volunteers Needed for Committee Service

The University Council’s 2017-2018 Committee on Committees invites you to nominate yourself or others for service on one of the University Council’s standing committees. Council committees serve as advisory bodies in shaping academic/administrative policy. Please consider this unique opportunity to have input into the University’s decision-making processes.

Membership on these committees is open to all faculty and staff, including those who have not previously served. We invite individuals who have previously served to volunteer again in order to achieve a mix of new ideas and committee experience. Most committees are also  open to students; their participation is already being solicited through other channels.

Please submit your nominations by March 21, 2018, using the form below.

Council committees typically meet for 1-2 hours per month during the academic year.  To support staff participation, offices are strongly encouraged to provide flexibility and release time to the greatest extent possible so that staff members may fully participate. We encourage staff and supervisors to work together to arrange release time in recognition of the operational needs of their school/center, and we encourage staff members to provide as much notice as possible in scheduling time for attendance at these meetings.

Please review committees’ recent annual reports for more information on the specific nature of its work.  These reports, which provide summaries of the committees’ recent work, as well as topics under current deliberation, are published in Almanac and can be accessed via the University Council website:

The University Council seeks nominations of faculty and staff to serve on the following committees:

  • Committee on Academic and Related Affairs
  • Committee on Campus and Community Life
  • Committee on Facilities
  • Committee on Personnel Benefits
  • Committee on Diversity and Equity

Committees and Their Work: 

Academic and Related Affairs has cognizance over matters of undergraduate recruiting, admissions and financial aid that concern the University as a whole or those that are not the specific responsibility of individual faculties; of all programs in recreation, intramural and club sports, and intercollegiate athletics; and of all matters of policy relating to research and the general environment for research at the University, including the assignment and distribution of indirect costs and the assignment of those research funds distributed by the University. The Committee considers the purposes of a university bookstore. It advises the administration on policies, developments and operations of the bookstores and libraries; in such areas as international student services, foreign fellowships and studies abroad, exchange programs and cooperative undertakings with foreign universities; on athletic operations and recommends changes in policy when appropriate; and on those proposals for sponsored research referred to it because of potential conflict with University policy. 

Campus and Community Life has cognizance over the University’s electronic and physical communications and public relations activities; advises on the relationship of the University to the surrounding community; has cognizance of the conditions and rules of undergraduate and graduate student life on campus; and considers and recommends the means to improve safety and security on the campus. 

Facilities keeps under review the planning and operation of the University’s physical plans and all services associated therewith, including transportation and parking. 

Honorary Degrees is charged with soliciting recommendations for honorary degrees from faculty, staff and students and submits nominations to the Trustee Committee on Honorary Degrees. 

Personnel Benefits has cognizance over the benefits programs for all University personnel. Special expertise in personnel, insurance, taxes or law is often helpful. 

Diversity and Equity aids Penn in fostering and taking full advantage of its diversity, as well as in strengthening ties across all boundaries to enrich and enliven the campus community. The Committee shall advise the offices of the president, provost and the executive vice presidents on ways to develop and maintain a supportive atmosphere on campus for the inclusion and appreciation of diversity among all members of the University community. The Committee will review and provide advice regarding the University’s equal opportunity and affirmative action programs and policies. The areas in which the Committee shall report to the Council include diversity within the educational and work settings, integration of staff and faculty into the larger campus community and ways to foster a campus environment that is inclusive and supportive of difference. 

NOTE: Faculty who wish to serve on the Committee on Open Expression also may use the form below. Nominations will be forwarded to the appropriate Faculty Senate committee. Please forward names and contact information to Patrick Walsh, Faculty Senate Office, Box 12 College Hall/6303, tel. (215) 898-6943; fax 898-0974 or email at

Please respond by March 21, 2018

For Faculty volunteers, mail to: Patrick Walsh, Faculty Senate Office, Box 12 College Hall/6303, tel. (215) 898-6943; fax (898) 0974 or email at

For Penn Professional Staff Assembly volunteers, mail to Heather Kelley-Thompson, Future of Nursing Scholars Program, Suite 303, 418 Curie Blvd./4217, tel.
(215) 898-9836; or email at

For Weekly-Paid Professional Staff Assembly volunteers, mail to Loretta Hauber, Weingarten Learning Resources Center, Ste 300, 3702 Spruce St./6027, tel. (215) 573-9235; or email at

In your email, indicate:

  1. Committee(s) of interest                                                                                    
  2. Candidate
  3. Title or Position
  4. Department
  5. Campus Address (including mail code)
  6. Campus Phone Email
  7. Please specify if you think that you are especially qualified for or interested in serving on a particular committee

Or print out the form on page 4 of the February 27, 2018 issue PDF and send it to the correct address above.


Dennis Discher: On Finalist Team in Research Challenge

  • February 27, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 25
  • Honors
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Dennis Discher, the Robert D. Bent Professor in the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is a member of one of the ten international, multidisciplinary research teams named in the second round of Cancer Research UK’s Grand Challenge. Winning teams will receive up to £20 million, or roughly $28 million, over the course of five years to “take on the toughest challenges in cancer.”

Dr. Discher’s team is led by Rong Li, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Cell Biology and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins, and features researchers from the University of Cambridge, the Francis Crick Institute and the University of California, San Francisco.

Finalists receive £30,000 (about $42,000) in seed money to start working on their proposed projects for the grant. Dr. Discher, who is also the director of Physical Sciences Oncology Center at Penn, and his teammates will be studying how chronic inflammation contributes to cancer.

“Chronic inflammation is a well-known risk factor for liver fibrosis, for example, and fibrosis which is basically a rigid scar is a risk factor for liver cancer,” Dr. Discher said. “How that all happens remains unclear, but we have found evidence with simple cell culture models that when cells crawl through rigid polymers, a cell’s genome can change. Genomic changes cause cancer, but we are a long way from connecting most of these dots. However, if we can understand the genomic changes, then perhaps we can design better therapies.”

The winning teams will be announced in November 2018.

Mark Haskins: Roscoe Brady Award

  • February 27, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 25
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caption: Mark HaskinsMark Haskins, professor emeritus in pathobiology at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, received the 2018 Roscoe O. Brady Award for Innovation and Accomplishment from WORLDSymposium, an international lysosomal diseases conference at the opening session of their 14th annual event earlier this month in San Diego.

WORLDSymposium recognizes one person each year. To honor one of the early pioneers in lysosomal research, the late Dr. Roscoe O. Brady, a mentor to many working in the field, WORLDSymposium recently renamed its annual award to honor his achievements.

Dr. Haskins, a 1969 graduate of Penn Vet who earned his doctorate of pathology at Penn, has a career that spans over 40 years. His career in lysosomal disease research has been focused on the MPS diseases, a group of inherited diseases caused by accumulation of various glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the lysosomes. His research has been conducted at Penn Vet where he received the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Service in 2011 (Almanac May 10, 2011).

He has participated in and helped lead work on pathogenesis and therapies and served as a mentor to all levels of students. He has served advocacy and research funding organizations, including the National MPS Society and the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Disease foundations.

Penn 1st in Transportation Ranking

  • February 27, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 25
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The University of Pennsylvania received a perfect score of 100 from the D.C.-based TransitScreen, a software company that compiled a ranking of the country’s most transportation-friendly university campuses. Schools were judged based on quick and easy accessibility to buses, trains, taxis, bike share programs and ridesharing services.

TransitScreen conducted the study by analyzing the country’s top 50 universities, according U.S. News & World Report’s list. With its MobilityScore platform, the service determined mobility grades (on a scale of 1 to 100) from each school’s student union building. They examined whether students could access bikes or trains from this central campus location for the sake of consistency, particularly for those campuses that are spread out in a city. The study did not include private university shuttles and only looked at accessibility to public transportation.

The top ten list includes:

University of Pennsylvania: 100
New York University: 100
Columbia University: 98
University of California – Berkeley: 96
Harvard University: 95
Boston University: 90
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor: 89
University of California – Los Angeles: 85
Carnegie Mellon University: 82
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 77

2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Involvement Recognition Awardees

  • February 27, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 25
  • Honors
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caption: The 2018 MLK Community Involvement Recognition Awardees: (left to right) Ishtar El, Della Clark, Hannah Roemer-Block, Wesley Proctor, Victoria Brown, Craig Carnaroli, David Bannister. (not shown for Jubilee school–Ella Adams & Nigel Carter)

In honor of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s recognition that local engagement is essential to the struggle for equality, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Symposium on Social Change Executive Planning Committee of the University of Pennsylvania announces the 2018 Community Involvement Recognition Awardees. The awards honor members of the Philadelphia community whose active service to others best exemplifies the ideals Dr. King espoused.

The 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Involvement Recognition Awardees were honored at the annual MLK Interfaith Program and Awards Commemoration last month. They are as follows:

  • Victoria Brown—W’19, founded the Diversity Committee of the UA to improve the cultural sensitivity of the NEC; she served as chairwoman for the 2017 Black Ivy League Business Conference (Student Award).
  • Craig Carnaroli, W’85—Penn’s EVP, who has taken the lead in the integration of civic and community engagement and formed a partnership the Office of the EVP and the Netter Center to drive social engagement (Staff Award).
  • Della Clark—president of the Enterprise Center since 1992, she raised money to renovate their West Philadelphia building where minority and women-owned businesses have started, advancing economic social justice in the community (Community Award).
  • In the spring of 2017, five middle school students at the Jubilee School in Southwest Philadelphia became social justice advocates concerned about the impact of violence: Ella Adams, Nigel Carter, Ishtar El, Hannah Roemer-Block and David Bannister. They initiated a campaign against police brutality called “Songs of the Children  Anti-Violence Club” using poetry as the language of resistance. They organized marches and visited the site of the 1985 police bombing of MOVE on Osage Avenue and raised funds for a state historical marker there (Community Award).
  • Wesley Proctor—CEO and founder of Wesley Proctor Ministries, has established annual book awards helping college-bound students in Philadelphia and created the “Man Up Conference” to help young men to be empowered, enriched and educated (Community Education Award in honor of Dr. Judith Rodin).



Update February AT PENN

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27    Book Launch with Mayor Michael Nutter; a discussion with the former Mayor of Philadelphia and Senior SP2 Executive Fellow to discuss his book, Mayor: The Best Job in Politics; 5 p.m.; Perry World House; register:

28    The Battle Over Kenya’s Democracy: A Flawed Election, A Rerun and the Supreme Court; Maina Kiai, Kenyan human rights lawyer; moderated by Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Penn Law; noon; rm. 245A, Silverman Hall; register:!event_id/56921/view/event (Penn Law).

        Road to Retirement; panel discussion; 3:30-5 p.m.; Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library; RSVP: (PASEF).


28    Rare Disease Day; event to recognize the rare disease community and kick off the 5th Annual Million Dollar Bike Ride; 5-6:30 p.m.; Jordan Medical Education Center, 5th floor atrium, South Pavilion Expansion Bldg.; info: (Penn Medicine Orphan Disease Center).

        PCI Celebration of Innovation 2018; celebration honoring Penn’s patent awardees; 5-7 p.m.; Hall of Flags, Houston Hall; register: (Penn Center for Innovation).

Almanac Spring Break Schedule: There is no issue of Almanac next week, on Tuesday, March 6, during Spring Break. Almanac will resume weekly publication on Tuesday, March 13. The deadline is Tuesday, March 6. The deadline for the April AT PENN calendar is Tuesday, March 13.

SEAS Blood Drive: February 28

  • February 27, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 25
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SEAS Blood Drive: February 28

An American Red Cross Blood Drive, sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and Theta Tau, will take place Wednesday, February 28 from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the donor bus on Walnut Street between 33rd and 34th Streets. Pre-register to donate blood by visiting and entering sponsor code upennthetatau. Day of registration will take place inside Levine Hall.

A New Twist On an Old Favorite: Family Game Night at the Penn Museum Saturday, March 10

  • February 27, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 25
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caption: Hungry, Hungry Hippos, played large, is one of six activity-filled Adventure Stations that make Family Game Night a fun experience, with games and challenges for all!

On Saturday, March 10, from 4-7 p.m, the Penn Museum opens its doors for a game night extraordinaire, geared to families with children ages 6 and above. Guests are invited to choose their own adventures, engage in mental and physical challenges and explore the Museum’s international galleries like never before! The competitions abound at a series of activity-filled Adventure Stations—with chances to win prizes. Guests can try their hand at a selection of ancient board games, match wits at a “What in the World?” artifact guessing game, stop by for light bites and non-alcoholic beverages on sale at a snack bar and create a family memento of the night at a selfie booth.

Adventure Stations

The program kicks off with a welcome gathering and orientation, before guests take off on adventures. Challenges await at six activity Adventure Stations scattered throughout the galleries and the garden entrance: there’s a Puzzle Race; Hungry, Hungry Hippos live action; and a Scavenger Hunt. Competition can get fierce at an ancient game of Knuckle Bones; a Skull Matching station; and a Hieroglyph Decoding station. Adventure Stations stay open until 7 p.m. Guests compete to earn tickets towards a pick-a-prize raffle held later in the night.

What in the World?, Board Games, and More

At 6 p.m., guests reassemble for an audience participation game of What in the World?, based on the pioneering Penn Museum television program of the same name which aired on WCAU Philadelphia for more than a decade and was syndicated nationally by CBS from 1951 to 1955. At the Game Night, the audience is shown mystery objects, drawn from the Museum’s own collection of nearly one million objects from around the world; through close observation and deduction, guests work to determine what each object is, who made it and when.

Throughout the evening, gamers can match wits and try their luck at several ancient board games, including Senet, the Royal Game of Ur, Mancala, Pente and Chess.

Hungry gamers can stop by at the family friendly Snack Station set up by the Museum’s Pepper Mill Café, where light fare, including $1 hot dogs and non-alcoholic beverages, is available for purchase.

Win or lose, everyone can take home a personalized memento of the night with a set of photos taken at a selfie booth.

A Family Night Take on a Popular “PM @ Penn Museum” Program Series

The idea for a Family Game Night came out of requests from families who heard about some of the Penn Museum’s popular weeknight evening programs geared to young adults and open to ages 18 and older: programs like 2Night and Legends of the Hidden Temple: Penn Museum Edition, filled with gallery challenges and playful competition.

“Parents would call, asking if the Museum couldn’t do a program night like that for families,” said Tena Thomason, assistant director of Public Programs. “We thought that was a good idea, too!”

Family Game Night admission is $15 per person or $50 for a family of four. Tickets are on sale online: and at the door, based on availability.

Explore a New Interest at Morris Arboretum’s Spring Classes

  • February 27, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 25
  • Events
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caption: A miniature indoor garden created in the Whimsical Fairy Garden class.

As the season of renewal, spring is the ideal time to expand your interests with a fresh and novel class at Morris Arboretum. With more than 100 courses offered, you’re sure to find something that piques your curiosity.  Here’s a few courses you might like to explore.

Whimsical Fairy Garden Workshop, Sunday, March 4, 1-3 p.m. Working with an assortment of succulents and cute accessories, an adult and child can create a personalized miniature indoor garden to enjoy all year-round.

Discover the Birds and Animals of the Morris Arboretum, Sunday, March 18, 1:30-2:30 p.m. An illustrated lecture by Ruth Pfeffer as she presents photos of the birds and other wildlife that can be seen in Morris Arboretum’s wetland throughout the year. Discussion will cover what birds need to live and how to  provide these essentials.

Spring Pizza Class, Saturday, March 24, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Do you love pizza? Discover how to make outstanding ‘za at home with veggie-toppings you may have never considered.

Design Your Own Jewelry, Saturday, March 24, 1:30-4 p.m. Participants will learn how to choose the proper beading wire, attach a clasp and become knowledgeable in jewelry terminology. Everyone will take home a pair of earrings, necklace and pendant of their own design, made from semi-precious stones and fresh water pearls.

Get Outside!  Hiking In and Around Philadelphia, Sunday, March 25, 1:30-2:30 p.m. This one-hour talk will focus on the best places to hike in and near the city.  Learn about new trails to explore and fun places where kids can start to build their appreciation for nature.

For a complete list of courses, class times and costs, or to register online, visit the Morris Arboretum website at, or call (215) 247-5777, ext. 125. For more information, visit


Weekly Crime Reports

  • February 27, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 25
  • Crimes
  • print

The University of Pennsylvania Police Department Community Crime Report

Below are the Crimes Against Persons, Crimes Against Society and Crimes Against Property from the campus report for February 12-18 2018View 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 February 12-18 2018. 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.

02/13/18         1:03 AM          125-129 S 40th St        Male cited for trespassing

02/13/18         1:57 AM          3604 Chestnut St         Male cited for trespassing

02/13/18         6:29 PM           4013 Baltimore Ave     Package taken from porch

02/13/18         7:03 PM           3400 Spruce St            Unsecured purse taken

02/14/18         5:18 PM           209 S 33rd St               Confidential sex offense

02/14/18         7:37 PM           4039 Baltimore Ave      Secured bike stolen

02/15/18         12:50 PM         3400 Spruce St            Wallet stolen from unsecured locker

02/15/18         6:12 PM           4011 Baltimore Ave      Package taken from porch/Arrest

02/16/18         5:40 AM          3744 Spruce St             Wallets taken from work van

02/16/18         7:25 AM          4125 Ludlow St             Xbox and controller taken from vehicle

02/16/18         8:21 AM          3737 Market St             Offender struck complainant/Arrest

02/16/18         12:12 PM         3400 Walnut St            Offender punched victim in head

02/16/18         3:25 PM           3925 Walnut St            Merchandise taken without payment/Arrest

02/17/18         1:50 AM          4054 Irving St               Laptop taken

02/17/18         11:44 AM        3400 Spruce St            Tablets taken from vehicle

02/17/18         1:01 PM           3100 Walnut St           Backpacks taken by unknown males

02/17/18         4:26 PM           3400 Spruce St           Unsecured wallet taken

02/17/18         6:55 PM           4109 Walnut St           Confidential sex offense

02/18/18         2:51 PM           3600 Chestnut St        Unauthorized charge made on credit card

18th District

Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District: 11 incidents (2 assault, 1 domestic assault, 2 indecent assaults, 1 rape and 5 robberies) with 2 arrests were reported between February 12-18, 2018 by the 18th District covering the Schuylkill River to 49th Street & Market Street to Woodland Avenue.

2/14/18      1:02 PM     4640 Larchwood Ave   Robbery

2/14/18      1:06 PM     4727 Hazel Ave            Robbery

2/14/18      4:58 PM     209 S 33rd St               Indecent Assault

2/14/18      5:27 PM     47th & Osage Ave        Robbery

2/15/18      7:28 AM     4715 Walnut St            Robbery

2/15/18      12:05 PM   40th & Ludlow St         Assault/Arrest

2/15/18      1:54 PM     3000 Market St            Indecent Assault

2/15/18      9:44 PM     4700 Larchwood Ave   Robbery/Arrest

2/16/18      12:15 PM   34th & Chestnut St       Assault

2/17/18      9:29 AM     4721 Walnut St             Domestic Assault

2/17/18      8:44 PM     4100 Walnut St             Rape


2018 Summer Camps and Programs at Penn: Update

  • February 27, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 25
  • Bulletins
  • print

In addition to the numerous programs and camps in the January 30 supplement, here is one more.

Camp Kesem: August 12-18. A free summer camp serving local Philadelphia children affected by their parents’ cancer. Campers are 6-16 years old and Counselors-in-Training (CITs) are 17-18 years old. Fundraising for the camp is done by University of Pennsylvania students. 

A Make the Magic Silent Auction to benefit Camp Kesem will take place Saturday, March 24, 6 p.m., at The Inn at Penn. All proceeds will go toward the week-long summer camp and year-round support for these children. To buy tickets, visit

Visit to register a child for the camp in Oxford, PA or to make a donation. More information about the camp, including details about the April 8 Spring Friends and Family Day, can be found at

Camp Kesem is a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders that supports children through and beyond their parents’ cancer. Serving children ages 6 to 18, their campers experience a warm and loving environment with other children who have similar life experiences. This community provides the foundation for confidence building, improved communication skills, enhanced life outlook and attitude.

One Step Ahead

  • February 27, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 25
  • Bulletins
  • print

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

Identity Finder

You are probably aware that you should not retain sensitive data such as Social Security numbers or credit card information on your computer, especially Penn-owned sensitive data. But how do you know if you have this type of data on your computer? If you are required to retain sensitive information, how do you make sure it is secured?

Spirion Identity Finder software can be used to search your data for sensitive information: Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers and more. Custom searches can also be created. If sensitive data is found, it can be securely removed, redacted or encrypted as required.   

Spirion Identity Finder can be used on various operating systems such as MacOS, Microsoft Windows and Linux.  The software is available for licensing by departments at the University through the Office of Software Licensing.

Spirion Identity Finder is part of a broader institutional effort to make sure that sensitive data is not retained, and if it must be retained that it is protected from compromise and misuse. The University has published guidance on dealing with sensitive information.

For more information about Spirion Identity Finder and if it is appropriate for your department, please work with your local IT support staff to determine the best approach for you and the data you are responsible for overseeing.

Spirion Identity Finder licensing:

University data retention schedule and guidelines information:

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

Talk About Teaching & Learning

A Social Justice Perspective on Teaching and Learning

  • February 27, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 25
  • Talk About Teaching & Learning
  • print

My students tell me I foster their ability to bring course content to social problems with views of social justice in their work. As a first generation student myself, I believe my own past instills this social justice perspective in teaching and learning: the hallmarks of social justice teaching are the experience of cumulative small discoveries; linking teaching processes to teaching goals; and discovering that learning confers agency.

I tell my students that in all the social justice work we do, we need to know the context so we can build effective partnerships. How and why are some groups marginalized in society through stigma? What is the history of doing research in a particular community or with a certain group?

Even if a particular health service or resource is available, does everyone have the same access? We need to learn to read the footprints of inequity. We come to see that ill-health travels along lines of social disadvantage. We need the best knowledge, skills and tools available and so we all must work hard together. It is for this reason that we have high expectations of ourselves and each other, rather than for a particular grade or for an award. Our rewards are knowing we are striving to make a difference and sometimes we actually succeed.

I am very lucky as I get to teach about the practice of research, about clinical practice and about research that is about improving practice and that helps me to better get to know my students. I like to hear their stories about who they are and how they got to where they are. I find each one so interesting, so full of life and potential. I learn a lot from my students and they often challenge my assumptions. From here, I can then begin to have conversations about how to work with others, in practice and research that begins with listening and embracing a stance of mutual respect, in all the settings in which I teach: the classroom, the clinic and in our community-focused research settings. In the classroom, I tend to teach graduate seminars with 10-20 students from nursing and other disciplines across campus. I also give lectures to much larger groups, but that is not my preferred mode of teaching, precisely because I cannot possibly get to know them all. I individually mentor students at all levels and I also precept students in a primary care clinical setting.

I try to foster openness to new perspectives through repeated exposure to different views in readings and in class discussions and encourage engagement incrementally. In one of my PhD courses, I address the foundations of the nursing discipline by focusing on how and why it emerged. Students encounter current and past dilemmas people face about their health, many of which relate to a variety of social injustices. For example, we read about Tuskegee, Alabama within its historical context and from the vantage point of Nurse Rivers. We read the story of Henrietta Lacks. For some students the material we are covering is new and very challenging, for other students the type of material is not so new, but we broaden and deepen the context. I try to move each student beyond where they were before and for some, I have been told, “The learning curve is very steep.” The process I use to foster discussion moves from their individual interaction with the material by preparing written notes prior to discussion. Then they get a chance to talk about some of their ideas with a few people and get feedback before they present in the larger seminar setting. In this way, I can usually get everyone in the seminar talking at some point during each class, including those who are less comfortable speaking up. More importantly, it helps all the students engage with the material. There are often differing views and I encourage students to challenge each other respectfully. I weigh in from time to time, but try hard not to impose my views on them as this course is about the students exploring and developing their views. As such, there are no right or wrong answers. The students’ areas of inquiry demand a deep understanding of the philosophical assumptions that undergird their work as they examine such important topics as: end-of-life issues in the pediatric intensive care unit; adolescent prescription substance abuse; and pain and post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans.

If the goal is to teach justice, then it is important that also be reflected in the process by which we teach, conduct research and practice. Although we cannot ignore the hierarchies of power that exist, we can work to mitigate the barriers they impose on our interactions. In my course focused on global women’s health, the students have say over what topical areas of inquiry are selected for several class sessions. In my graduate course focused on developing health promotion interventions to reduce health disparities, social justice issues are front and center. As the students develop new interventions, I emphasize the importance of process and the need to solicit input from the people we are working with and then to use their feedback in a meaningful way. It is also equally important to conduct self- evaluative research so we can collect the evidence to not only determine if our interventions are really making a difference to those we are trying to reach, but if the content is relevant and relatable. I encourage students to use a similar process when we see patients in clinic. There too, we work together to find out what barriers may exist for them to carry out their health recommendations so we can problem solve together.

Learning can foster agency in our students and in turn students feel more capable of speaking up for themselves and the people they work with. For example, in the free student-run clinic where I currently practice, students come to see firsthand the ravages of disease and inequality. Together, we ask questions and discuss the reasons why and what can be done now for the short term to solve an immediate problem (e.g., in clinic) and what solutions may be needed for more durable change. In one of my graduate seminars, each student builds a prototype intervention to address issues such as depression among African-American youth, diabetes prevention among Filipino-Americans, or medication adherence among HIV+ new mothers in Nigeria. We need to be brave and have passion for our work in order to sustain these efforts. In my graduate course on global women’s health research, students come to see that fostering equity is one of the basic analytical principles that will allow us interventions to reduce female genital cutting in western Africa, the impact of stigmatization on the health of female sex workers comparing Brazil and Canada or women’s health among Syrian refugees.

A social justice perspective can be fostered in students by understand- ing and working with others who have fewer resources while understanding the role of underlying inequalities; being open to new perspectives while also being able to express one’s own views; and knowing our history and context as providers or policymakers while insuring this work is done in partnership with those we work with in the context of mutual respect. In this way, we can be effective caregivers, advocates and research to advance health equity.

For me, teaching and being a health care provider has offered a way to advance social justice by fostering opportunities to experience incremental discoveries, linking teaching processes with goals and offering tools so others may develop mastery and gain more control over their work and their lives. I hope my students have benefited from these opportunities and will pass that along to others.

Anne M. Teitelman is associate professor in the department of family and community health in the School of Nursing. She won the Dean’s Award for Exemplary Teaching in the School of Nursing in 2017.

This essay continues the series that began in the fall of 1994 as the joint creation of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Lindback Society for Distinguished Teaching. See for previous essays.