Gift from Noelle and Dick Wolf: Endowing the Wolf Humanities Center

  • September 26, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 6
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Dick Wolf

Dick Wolf

A gift from Noelle and Dick Wolf has provided a permanent endowment for Penn’s Wolf Humanities Center, which will establish itself in a newly renovated wing of Williams Hall by early November. Dick Wolf, C’69, PAR’15, is a Penn alumnus best known as the multiple Emmy-winning creator of the Law & Order and Chicago branded series. 

Jim English, director of the Wolf Humanities Center, said, “We are thrilled to receive this gift from Noelle and Dick Wolf. It is a strong endorsement of our interdisciplinary and public-oriented approach to the humanities, and will enable us to do a number of things that we’ve simply not had the means to pursue before now. Over the next couple of years, I expect us to be expanding our Humanities At Large program, sponsoring more events off campus and more events in the performing arts, undertaking ambitious collaborations with the programs in Digital Humanities and Environmental Humanities, and providing new fellowship opportunities to support faculty projects in key areas of humanities research.

“For the past 18 years, the Penn Humanities Forum (PHF) has been supporting innovative scholarship and promoting conversation between scholars, students and an ever larger and more diverse array of non-academic constituencies. Hundreds of scholars have received fellowships, and our public events draw thousands of people every year from throughout the Philadelphia area. The Wolf gift stands as a recognition of the Forum’s achievements and an endorsement of the Center’s ambition to make Penn a major hub for regional, national and global humanities research,” he added.

The humanities are more than ever in need of resources such as the Wolf gift. The humanities are expanding, becoming ever more vital participants in many fields, from sustainability and climate studies to disability and health sciences. The Wolf Humanities Center will continue the proud tradition of the PHF, supporting humanists in their wider ambitions and ensuring that their voices are heard.

Led by topic director Emily Wilson, professor of classical studies, the Wolf Humanities Center’s 2017-2018 Forum on Afterlives opens September 27 with Ghosts, Zombies and the Afterlives of Slavery, a public conversation between Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead and Salamishah Tillet, associate professor of English and Africana studies. The Dr. S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities will be in the Harrison Auditorium, at the Penn Museum, from 5-6:30 p.m.

The new home of the Wolf Humanities Center will also be the home of the Price Lab for the Digital Humanities (Almanac February 10, 2015) on the 6th floor of Williams Hall where there will be a conference room, collaborative work space, a lounge, space for postdocs and shared administrative space.

$5.4 Million Gift to Create Program for Asperger Syndrome Research

  • September 26, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 6
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D. Rader

Daniel Rader

The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is establishing the Asperger Syndrome Program of Excellence (ASPE) with a $5.4 million gift from an anonymous donor. ASPE aims to significantly improve understanding of the genetic causes of Asperger syndrome in order to energize the international research and clinical community. 

Asperger syndrome (AS) is defined as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) without intellectual disability. ASPE will be a central resource for individuals and families affected by AS and for clinicians and researchers seeking to partner with the program. It will also provide funds for research by new faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. ASPE will take a two-pronged approach by conducting a pioneering family-based genetic study and simultaneously developing model systems to investigate specific mutations in genes found in earlier genome-wide association studies associated with AS and ASD. 

“Penn is poised to make genetic discoveries that will significantly improve how the medical community approaches Asperger syndrome,” said Daniel J. Rader, chair of genetics and ASPE director. “ASPE will draw on our strength in genetics and psychiatry to push the field ahead to create new options for individuals and families. We are fortunate to be partnering with a truly forward-thinking philanthropist.”

Penn will host an international symposium for ASPE in the spring of 2018 to review early findings and stimulate new research avenues. World-renowned developmental psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University, will chair ASPE’s external advisory board. “ASPE’s work will be highly collaborative in nature, pulling together expertise from across the globe,” Dr. Rader said. “We are delighted to be partnering with Dr. Baron-Cohen and his colleagues from the outset.”

A major focus of ASPE will be on the NRXN1 gene, which codes for the protein neurexin 1 and has been associated with ASD and other psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. The ASPE team will compare the genomes of individuals with and without mutations in the NRXN1 gene and individuals with AS and their family members who may or may not have been diagnosed with AS. 

“Leveraging advanced technologies in genomic medicine and improved methods of behavioral assessment, we aim to identify genes that contribute to Asperger syndrome, to unveil how these genes function biologically, and to use this information to improve how we diagnose and treat Asperger syndrome,” said Maja Bucan, professor of genetics, and the program’s co-director with Edward Brodkin, an associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Adult Autism Spectrum Program at Penn.  

“While most genetic studies of ASD have focused on more severely affected individuals with intellectual disability, the efforts of our program will be one of the first large-scale genetic studies to recruit individuals with Asperger syndrome and their family members, including family members with AS, ASD, or without either diagnosis,” Dr. Brodkin said. “This approach holds promise for revealing as-yet-undiscovered genetic mechanisms that may be involved in both AS and ASD, as a whole.”

The ASPE team will use model systems to study exactly how mutations in the NRXN1 gene and newly discovered genes affect the biology and function of the brain in individuals with Asperger syndrome. Model systems include fruit flies, mice and human induced pluripotent stem cells that have been genetically engineered to closely resemble specific human characteristics of ASD. The team will also develop new mouse and fruit fly models to recreate other mutations identified in families in the study.  

“Building on our expertise in ASD, with such conditions as Rett syndrome, Fragile X syndrome and CDKL5 disorder, we plan to significantly improve our understanding of how NRXN1 and other genes affect patients with Asperger syndrome,” said Zhaolan (Joe) Zhou, an associate professor of genetics, who along with Tom Jongens, also an associate professor of genetics, will lead ASPE’s model system work.

“One of the exciting features of ASPE is that we will be going beyond diagnoses to look at the whole individual, measuring variation in many different aspects of functioning,” said Laura Almasy, a professor of genetics who will direct statistical genetic analyses for the project. “This should help us both to identify genes and to understand their role in vulnerability and also in resilience.”

“The overall goal of ASPE is to uncover the full picture of how NRXN1 mutations interact with other gene variants to contribute to Asperger syndrome and other neurodevelopmental conditions,” Dr. Rader said. “Guided by these discoveries, the team will explore precise new treatments to improve the lives of individuals affected by Asperger syndrome.”

Casey Brown and Golnaz Vahedi, both from Penn, are also on the program’s faculty. 

Marc Flandreau: Howard Marks Professor of Economic History

  • September 26, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 6
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Marc Flandreau

Marc Flandreau

Dean Steven J. Fluharty is pleased to announce that Marc Flandreau has joined Penn Arts and Sciences as the Howard Marks Professor of Economic History. Previously Dr. Flandreau was professor of international history at the Graduate Institute of International Studies and Development in Geneva.  

A leading historian and economist who studies the international monetary system and the financial entanglements of international institutions from the mid-19th century to World War I, Dr. Flandreau has published three books, Anthropologists in the Stock Exchange: A Financial History of Victorian Science; The Glitter of Gold: France, Bimetallism, and the Emergence of the International Gold Standard; and Money Doctors: The Experience of International Financial Advising, 1850-2000

He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, and his research has received support from Bank Mirabaud, the Fondation Bank de France and France’s Agence Nationale de la Recherche. He is co-founder and former president of the European Historical Economics Society and serves on the editorial boards of leading journals in economic history.  

The Howard Marks Professorship in Economic History was established in 2012 by Howard S. Marks, W’67, and his wife, Nancy. Mr. Marks is the founder and co-chair of Oaktree Capital Management, LLC. As chair of the University Trustee’s Investment Board from 2000-2010—a decade bookended by major financial crises—he avoided the market’s excesses and grew the endowment from $3.2 billion to $5.9 billion, receiving national recognition for his management. 

He is also a writer whose memos are eagerly anticipated across the financial world for their wisdom, charm and clarity. Many of these, along with commentary, are gathered in The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor.

In addition to establishing this professorship, Mr. and Mrs. Marks generously established the Marks Family Writing Center and are long-time scholarship supporters for students in all four undergraduate schools. They also recently endowed the Howard Marks University Professorship and the Howard Marks Investor Speaker Series at Wharton. Mr. Marks is an emeritus trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.

The Inaugural Penn Biden Global Leaders Dialogue

  • September 26, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 6
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The Inaugural Penn Biden Global Leaders Dialogue on September 26, in Irvine will feature former Vice President Joe Biden, the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, in conversation with former President of México Felipe Calderón, who was president from 2006-2012.

The Dialogue is the culmination of the Perry World House Fall Colloquium on The Future of the Global Order in an Era of Nationalism, Populism and Retrenchment. This event is sponsored by the Perry World House in collaboration with Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity: November 3

  • September 26, 2017
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The Vice Provost for Research, in partnership with the deans, established the Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity to encourage a broad spectrum of candidates to pursue research careers in academia.

Now in its seventh year, the program seeks to attract promising researchers and educators from different backgrounds, races, ethnic groups and other diverse populations whose life experience, research experience and employment background will contribute significantly to the University’s academic mission. Fellowships are available for postdoctoral training in all areas of study at Penn.

Fellows receive a stipend of $50,000 in year 1, with $2,000 increments in years 2 and 3, as well as annual allowances for travel ($2,000) and research ($5,000) and a one-time relocation allowance of $5,000. The University also provides a medical, vision, dental and life insurance benefits package. Successful candidates will receive highly mentored scholarly and research training, as well as courses and workshops to enhance their research success skills.

The application deadline is November 3, 2017. Complete details about the program can be found online.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant: Fellowships for the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Futures Project

  • September 26, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 6
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Bland Fellows

(Left to right) SP2 Calvin Bland Fellow Toorjo Ghose, Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel, Penn GSE Calvin Bland Fellow Ed Brockenbrough, Calvin Bland, Penn Nursing Calvin Bland Fellow Lisa Lewis, SP2 Dean John L. Jackson and Penn GSE Dean Pam Grossman.

The University of Pennsylvania established the Calvin Bland Faculty Fellowships for the Penn Futures Project. A $2 million endowment from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) created a separate fellowship for each of the Penn Schools in the Penn Futures Project (PFP): the School of Nursing, the Graduate School of Education (GSE) and the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2). The fellowships are named for Calvin Bland W’72,  former RWJF chief of staff, health care executive and research professor at Rutgers University, whose scholarship and career have explored how to foster health equity across communities, with a specific emphasis on men and boys of color.

“Calvin Bland and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have enabled us to create genuinely multidisciplinary endowed fellowships that will support work addressing the complex, evolving challenges of at-risk populations—both now and far into the future,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “This is extremely important work for our society, and we are very grateful for the generous support that will make it possible.”

Research on At-Risk Populations

PFP has named three Calvin Bland Faculty Fellows: Ed Brockenbrough, associate professor in Penn GSE’s Teaching, Learning & Leadership division; Toorjo Ghose, associate professor at SP2 and founder of the Center for Carceral Communities; and Lisa Lewis, associate professor and assistant dean for Diversity and Inclusivity at Penn Nursing. 

The Calvin Bland Faculty Fellowships are specifically designed to incentivize faculty to conduct research aimed at improving the lives of at-risk young men/boys of color and their families. Each fellowship will have a five-year term with specific research goals for the term. Grant funds will be used for research and research-related expenses, including convening conferences, lectures, seminars and other events to disseminate the research of the fellows, and helping fellows to publish work in scholarly and popular venues.

Mr. Bland initially approached Penn about opportunities to fund efforts to improve the lives of at-risk young men of color. His concerns paralleled the PFP’s efforts to more holistically deliver interventions to serve children and communities through established research, curriculum and other initiatives. Together, Mr. Bland and Penn developed the Bland Faculty Fellows to promote and reward multi-pronged, interdisciplinary approaches to issues facing at- risk young men of color.

“Placing fellows at each of the three Penn schools to work together to address the equity, health and well-being of at-risk young men of color will foster truly integrated approaches in education and research, which will then be more easily translated into the community,” Mr. Bland said.

“As this project started before I left the Foundation,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, former RWJF president, “let me say that I and all my RWJF colleagues are excited to be funding this pioneering project in honor of a great Philadelphia son, inspirational leader and tireless mentor to many, Calvin Bland. In his work at the Foundation, and now in retirement, he continues to collaborate with RWJF to promote outstanding initiatives that build healthy communities, and break down obstacles in the pursuit of better health and quality of life.” 

The Penn Futures Project: Investing in Children & Communities

The challenges facing marginalized youth and families are complex and extend beyond the boundaries of neighborhoods, school zones or health clinics. These include issues of violence and safety; poverty; mental health; access to quality health care and access to quality education. Yet the systems and organizations that serve this population operate largely in siloes that erect barriers to collaborative, comprehensive interventions. The professionals who serve children and families are educated largely in isolation from one another, despite decades of calls for high-quality, cross-disciplinary training. Children and families at greatest risk need not only the expertise of individual professionals, but also of professionals well-versed in collaboration. They also need collaborative and comprehensive solutions to address the complex and interwoven issues they face each day.

Launched in 2015, the PFP is an initiative driven by the Deans of Nursing (Antonia Villarruel); GSE (Pam Grossman); and SP2 (John L. Jackson) that seeks to bridge siloes to collaboratively generate knowledge, deliver solutions and develop future professionals ready to join forces to improve outcomes for marginalized youth and families.

Penn Futures logo

Twenty-Five Year Club: New Members for 2017

  • September 26, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 6
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Since 1956, Penn has celebrated a rite of passage each year for faculty and staff of all ranks who meet one common requisite: they have been members of the University community for 25 years. Another 133 new members crossed the 25-year mark in 2017 and will be welcomed at the University of Pennsylvania annual 25-Year Club celebration on Thursday, October 5 from 5-7 p.m. in Houston Hall.

Registration is required to attend and guests can register at 

These events are presented by Penn’s Division of Human Resources.

Preceding the 25-Year Club celebration on October 5, the 25-Year Club Annual Lecture will be held. The lecture will begin at 3:30 p.m. on the second floor of Houston Hall in the Class of ’49 Auditorium and is open to the Penn community. The speaker will be Jane Golden, the executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, who will discuss Public Art and Social Change. This lecture is sponsored by the Penn Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty (PASEF).

The New Bolton Center will have a separate celebration on October 18.  

New Members

Soraya Abbasi, Perelman School of Medicine

Betty S. Adler, President’s Center

Elizabeth Brown-Aigeldinger, Development & Alumni Relations

Debbie Morrall Anderson, Perelman School of Medicine

William M. Armstead, Perelman School of Medicine

Anou Ayene, Perelman School of Medicine

Cordelia Baffic, Perelman School of Medicine

Joyce A. Barnett, Perelman School of Medicine

Paul F. Bates, Perelman School of Medicine

Elana M. Benasutti, School of Veterinary Medicine

Jean Bennett, Perelman School of Medicine

Warren B. Bilker, Perelman School of Medicine

Joretha Bourjolly, Social Policy and Practice

Lawrence W. Brown, Perelman School of Medicine

Glenn D. Bryan, President’s Center

Eugene Buckley, SAS

Robert Bumbera, President’s Center

Douglas A. Canning, Perelman School of Medicine

Michael A. Carchidi, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bharat L. Chauhan, School of Dental Medicine

Janet Ann Chrzan, School of Nursing

Robin L. Clark, SAS

Kimberly A. Craig, Provost’s Center

Carla Crawford, Residential and Hospitality Services

Anne M. Cunningham, Student Services

Diane Deissroth, Wharton School

Robert W. Doms, Perelman School of Medicine

J. William Draper, Law School

Tia Dreher, Perelman School of Medicine

William T. Dreisbach, School of Veterinary Medicine

Nandor C. Dressnandt, SAS

Mark A. Elliott, Perelman School of Medicine

Tricia M. Evans, School of Veterinary Medicine

Martha J. Farah, SAS

Lynne Farrington, University Libraries

Anita D. Faust, Division of Finance

Geoffrey J. Filinuk, Information Systems and Computing

Marissa A. Fox, Perelman School of Medicine

Craig Martin Gary, FRES

Vincent J. Gifoli, FRES

Rae L. Goodman, Division of Executive Vice President

Joseph H. Gorman, III, Perelman School of Medicine

David E. Graff, SAS

Paul Grant, Perelman School of Medicine

William I. Graw, FRES

W.  Clark Hargrove, III, Perelman School of Medicine

Sean P. Hennessy, Perelman School of Medicine

Catherine Hinton, University Libraries

Steven C. Horii, Perelman School of Medicine

Howard H. Hu, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Harry Ischiropoulos, Perelman School of Medicine

Marvin V. Jackson, Perelman School of Medicine

Yi-Tai Jou, School of Dental Medicine

Gary Kao, Perelman School of Medicine

Rosemarie A. Kappes, Perelman School of Medicine

Alireza Kassaee, Perelman School of Medicine

Jill Ann Klischies, School of Dental Medicine

Daniel M. Kolansky, Perelman School of Medicine

Owen J. Korman, Division of Business Services

Joseph T. Krecko, FRES

Ann L. Kuttner, SAS

Glen K. Lafferty, Perelman School of Medicine

Andrew T. Lamas, SAS

Lorraine Levitt Katz, Perelman School of Medicine

John Lewis, Perelman School of Medicine

Anna M. Loh, Wharton School

Rosemary Lombardi, School of Veterinary Medicine

Philip M. Lydon, Sr., Division of Public Safety

Patricia Lynn, University Libraries

Arkady L. Lyubarsky, Perelman School of Medicine

Albert M. Maguire, Perelman School of Medicine

Amit Maity, Perelman School of Medicine

Sandra C. Mancini, Human Resources

Linda Mangino, Perelman School of Medicine

Maria R. Mascarenhas, Perelman School of Medicine

Leland C. Mayne, Perelman School of Medicine

Megan Anne McHugh, School of Dental Medicine

John McCloskey, Division of Business Services

Jeremy James McInerney, SAS

Regina A. Medlock, Perelman School of Medicine

Thomas A. Mickler, Perelman School of Medicine

Wallace T. Miller, Jr., Perelman School of Medicine

Georgina Minda, Wharton School

Sherry Elizabeth Morgan, University Libraries

Jon B. Morris, Perelman School of Medicine

George M. Musonge, Student Services

Melissa R. Muth, Information Systems and Computing

Hyun-Duck Nah-Cederquist, Perelman School of Medicine

Philip M. Nichols, Wharton School

Robert G. Oder, Division of Business Services

Anthony P. Overend, FRES

Maurizio Pacifici, Perelman School of Medicine

Chantal Philippon-Daniel, SAS

Lou Ann Pizzo, Perelman School of Medicine

John Pollack, University Libraries

Rosette Pyne, Student Services

Jean-Michel Rabate, SAS

Jagmohan Singh Raju, Wharton School

Roger A. Reina, Division of Recreation & Intercollegiate Athletics

Francine Sarin, University Museum

Mary H. Scanlon, Perelman School of Medicine

Kim A. Sharp, Perelman School of Medicine

Robin M. Sherwood, SAS

Douglas H. Smith, Perelman School of Medicine

Kim Smith-Whitley, Perelman School of Medicine

Diane L. Spatz, School of Nursing

Jeffrey Stafford, FRES

Celeste R. Stewart, Information Systems and Computing

Stephanie M. Strassel, SAS

Valerie A. Swartz, Division of Finance

Daniela Szymanska, FRES

Erica Thaler, Perelman School of Medicine

Louis A. Thomas, Wharton School

Janet L. Tomcavage, School of Nursing

Jacinta Tovar, Residential and Hospitality Services

John D. Truempy, FRES

Liwei Tu, Perelman School of Medicine

Susan Ann Underdue, Residential and Hospitality Services

Kristofor A. Varhus, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Charles H. Vite, School of Veterinary Medicine

Kenneth M. Waidelich, FRES

Mary Webster, Perelman School of Medicine

Michelle Werner, School of Veterinary Medicine

James Spencer White, Perelman School of Medicine

Daniel R. Widyono, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Christopher A. Williams, President’s Center

Karen I. Winey, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Gary D. Wu, Perelman School of Medicine

Robert F. Wynne, Perelman School of Medicine

Lidia Zapart, FRES

Laurie J. Zimmerman, Perelman School of Medicine

Andrew Zimnoch, Provost’s Center

Joseph Zucca, University Libraries


Brett Cooper, Vet Medicine Student

  • September 26, 2017
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Brett Cooper, a 30-year-old fourth-year student at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, died on September 13.

Mr. Cooper, of Jackson, New Jersey, was a 2009 graduate of University of Delaware, where he majored in animal science. He was slated to graduate from Penn Vet in 2018 and was a member of Alpha Psi, the veterinary fraternity.

He is survived by his parents, Barry and Andrea and his brother, Adam (Sharon).

Frank Irwin Marlowe, Medicine

  • September 26, 2017
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Frank Marlowe

Frank Marlowe

Frank Irwin Marlowe, a longtime faculty member at University of Pennsylvania who taught otorhinolaryngology, died on September 15 at the age of 82.

Dr. Marlowe graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in pharmacy before earning a medical degree from University of Pittsburgh in 1963.

He completed an internship and specialty training at the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia and was appointed as chief of the ear, nose and throat department and head of the residency training program. He was commissioned in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps as a lieutenant commander and served for eight years on active duty and spent 30 years in the Reserves. He retired after 30 years of service with the rank of Naval Captain and was consultant to the Surgeon General of the Navy. 

Dr. Marlowe joined Penn in 1972 as a lecturer in the department of otolaryngology and became an assistant clinical professor in 1993.

He later worked for Drexel University College of Medicine.

In 1980, he received the Honors Award from the American Academy of Otolaryngology— Head and Neck Surgery. He served as president of the Philadelphia Society of the Department of Facial Plastic Surgery and the Pennsylvania Academy of Otolaryngology— Head and Neck Surgery.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Myrna; his sons, Andrew (Jeanne) and Scott (Susan) and daughter Mychele; and his grandchildren, Jacob, Robert, Isaac, Alexander, Fiona, Lila and Alexis.

To Report a Death

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

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


Faculty Senate Executive Committee Agenda

  • September 26, 2017
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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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
3-5 p.m.
Houston Hall, Room 218 (Ben Franklin Room)

1. Approval of the Minutes of September 13, 2017 (1 minute)

2. Chair’s Report (5 minutes)

3. Past-Chair’s Report (5 minutes)

              C4C applications are being accepted now at 


4. 2017 Senate Nominating Committee (5 minutes)

5. Update from the Office of the Provost (60 minutes)

              Discussion with Provost Wendell Pritchett

6. New Business (15 minutes)

Penn Professional Staff Assembly (PPSA) Officers for 2017-2018

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Chair: Heather Kelley, Deputy Director, School of Nursing

Chair-Elect: Stephanie Yee, Laboratory Manager, Perelman School of Medicine

Past Chair: Kuan Evans, Staff Assistant, Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs

Members at Large 2016-2018 Term

Christopher Pastore, Associate Director, Programs in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, The College of Liberal and Professional Studies

Stephanie King, Faculty Affairs Assistant, Provost’s Office

Nykia Perez Kibler, Director of Information Services, School of Arts and Sciences

Nadir Sharif, House Dean, Stouffer College House, College Houses & Academic Services

Members at Large 2017-2019 Term

Danielle L. Crowl, Senior Case Manager, Office of Student Conduct

Kris Forrest, Manager, Administration and Finance, University Museum

Christine Lowery, Risk Management Analyst Health Systems, Office of General Counsel

Katherine A. Siegmann, Assistant Director, Communications and Stewardship, School of Nursing

Weekly Paid Professional Staff Assembly (WPPSA) Officers for 2017-2018

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Chair: Marcus T. Wright, Undergraduate Program and Communications Manager, Sociology

Co-Chair: Rhonda D. Kirlew, Administrative Assistant, DRIA Administrative Affairs

Secretary: Peter G. Rockett, Tech Instrumentation, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Treasurer: Maureen Goldsmith, Administrative Coordinator, ISC—VP and Administrative


Markus Blatz: American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry Membership

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Markus Blatz, professor and chair of Penn Dental Medicine’s department of preventive and restorative sciences, was inducted into the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry (AAED) as an associate member. The AAED is an invitation-only membership organization for the most accomplished professionals in the field of esthetic dentistry. Dr. Blatz and other new members were recognized at the AAED’s annual meeting in August. Dr. Blatz also was selected as program co-chair for the 2018 annual meeting.

“The AAED is one of the most exceptional professional groups in the world, boasting a membership of the greatest authorities in the field,” Dr. Blatz said. “To become a member and serve in a leadership role is an incredible honor.”

Penn-Made President Aminta Hawkins Breaux: Bowie State University

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Aminta Hawkins Breaux, GEd’86, has been named president of Bowie State University. She began her new position on July 1. 

She had been vice president for advancement at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, from 2014-2017, and previously served as Millersville’s vice president for student affairs, from 2008-2014.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Temple University in 1980, a master’s degree in psychological services in education from Penn’s Graduate School of Education in 1986 and a PhD in counseling psychology from Temple in 2004.

M. Grace Calhoun: Division I FCS Administrator of the Year

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Grace Calhoun

Grace Calhoun

M. Grace Calhoun, director of athletics and recreation at the University of Pennsylvania, was named the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Administrator of the Year by the Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA). The annual award is presented to members in each NCAA division to recognize administrative excellence.

Dr. Calhoun leads the University’s 33 varsity athletics programs, nearly 40 club sports and broad-based intramural and recreational offerings for students, faculty and staff. Her tenure as director of athletics and recreation since 2014 includes 13 Ivy League team championships, 106 first-team All-Ivy players, 120 individual NCAA qualifiers, 49 Ivy individual champions, 56 All-Americans, 15 Ivy Players of the Year, 11 Ivy Coaches of the Year and one Rhodes Scholar. 

“I am honored to be named the Division I FCS Administrator of the Year,” Dr. Calhoun said. “Being recognized by peers for making a difference in college sports is truly humbling. This is an award I will proudly share with my terrific staff at Penn, my Ivy League colleagues and all who have impacted my career throughout three decades.”

Kathleen Hall Jamieson: Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard

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Kathleen Jamieson

Kathleen Jamieson

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at Penn’s Annenberg School and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC), has been named a Fall 2017 Fellow by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, based at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Dr. Jamieson will explore the role of the press in reinforcing norms of democratic discourse during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Dr. Jamieson will be on a sabbatical from Penn this semester.

Steven Joffe, Jason Moore and Katherine Nathanson: NIH Grants

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Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine have received two postdoctoral Institutional Training Grants for genomic science from the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health. 

The awards, known as T32 grants, help to support training of pre- and postdoctoral fellows in basic, clinical and behavioral research. Penn is the first institution to have more than one training grant from the Institute.

One award will support the Penn Postdoctoral Training Program in the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Genetics and Genomics, led by Steven Joffe, the Emanuel & Robert Hart Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy.

The program’s two components are didactic training in conceptual bioethics, empirical methods and genetic science; and mentored original research that will lead to empirical and conceptual scholarly publications.

The second award will support a post-doc training program in genomic medicine focused on translational medicine and informatics. The program will be led by Jason Moore, the Edward Rose and Elizabeth Kirk Rose Professor of Informatics and director of the Penn Institute for Biomedical Informatics; and Katherine Nathanson, deputy director of the Abramson Cancer Center, and will serve MD and PhD fellows at Penn and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Penn was previously awarded a T32 grant for a program focused on computational genomics and led by Junhyong Kim, professor of biology and co-director of the Penn Genome Frontiers Institute; and Maja Bucan, professor of genetics.

Justin Khoury: W.M. Keck Foundation Award

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Justin Khoury

Justin Khoury

A dark energy project developed by Penn’s Justin Khoury and continued in collaboration with UC, Berkeley, was awarded a $1 million W. M. Keck Foundation Science and Engineering Grant to support both the experimental work at Berkeley and the theoretical work at Penn.

Dr. Khoury is a professor in the department of physics & astronomy in the School of Arts and Sciences. He initially developed the project in 2004, during his postdoctoral studies at Columbia University. It is based on a class of dark energy theories called chameleon theories, which views dark energy as dynamic and make predictions for experiments on Earth. 

“Chameleons are basically a form of dark energy whereby the agent that gives rise to dark energy can change its properties depending on the environment,” Dr. Khoury said. “In particular it uses the large density of the local environment to hide itself from experiments. If you have large objects such as Earth or the sun, the effects of the chameleon will be efficiently hidden. But if you take a small particle, such as an atom, it can have a relatively substantial effect.”

Berkeley researchers, led by Holger Müller, an associate professor of physics and the principle investigator of the project, are investigating these ideas using a technique called atom interferometry, which is based on the principle of superposition, which states that particles can be in two places at the same time.

The researchers release a cloud of atoms into a source sphere in a vacuum chamber. Using lasers, they split the atoms’ wave functions so that they go through two different paths at once. Then they recombine the atoms, measuring the force between the source mass and the atoms. The purpose of the project is to determine whether or not a chameleon force is influencing the motion of the atoms.

“The motion of these atoms is governed by gravity,” Dr. Khoury said. “But if there were a chameleon force, then that would also influence their motion. By using atom interferometry, they can actually tell whether or not there’s a chameleon force on top of gravity. It’s a really powerful, extremely precise experiment. It’s also cutting-edge. This field of atom interferometry is relatively new, and it’s a very hot field, and so this collaboration is bringing Berkeley’s expertise to try to constrain or potentially discover this theory of dark energy.”

Timothy Lucas: Alpha Omega Alpha Fellow in Leadership Award

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Timothy Lucas

Timothy Lucas

Timothy H. Lucas II, assistant professor of neurosurgery and director of the Translational Neuromodulation Lab in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, was awarded the 2017 Fellow in Leadership Award by Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society.

Dr. Lucas is one of three physicians to receive this year’s award, which offers one year of funding to winners as they explore creative, sustainable and ethical modes of leadership.

In addition, Penn Medicine will match funding for the award.

“Leadership in an academic medical center requires development of skills outside of research and clinical excellence,” said Sean Grady, the Charles Harrison Frazier Professor and chair of neurosurgery. “Through the structure of the AOA fellowship, Dr. Lucas will have the opportunity to hone those skills—similar to what occurs in the best businesses today as exceptional individuals are identified for future leadership opportunities.”

During the fellowship, Dr. Lucas will examine the leadership styles of Penn Medicine executives, pursue a master’s degree in the University of Pennsylvania’s inaugural Master of Health Care Innovation program and explore the business models of leading academic medical centers and health systems.

“I am honored to represent the University of Pennsylvania for this award,” Dr. Lucas said. “I look forward to working with our team of national thought leaders as we develop innovative business models for the future of healthcare.”

David Washington: Penn Law Civil Rights Fellow

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David Washington, L’15, is the inaugural Penn Law Civil Rights Fellow. The two-year postgraduate fellowship was created by Penn Law and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for graduating public interest students and recent alumni to work with the SPLC’s Special Litigation Practice Group.

As a member of the SPLC’s legal group, Mr. Washington will conduct legal research and analysis and develop theories to support new litigation projects and advocacy campaigns; draft legal memoranda, pleadings, affidavits, motions and briefs; interview witnesses and potential clients; participate in discovery and trial practice; and engage in public speaking and attend meetings and conferences.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the nation,” said Ted Ruger, dean of Penn Law and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law. “This new fellowship will be an important avenue for our students like David to begin long-lasting, fulfilling public interest careers.”

“We are very excited that David will join us this fall,” said Ebony Howard, SPLC’s associate legal director. “The work he will engage in will be hugely instrumental in vindicating the rights of incarcerated people who do not receive adequate medical and mental health care, and others who face injustice in these turbulent times.”

Barbie Zelizer: Rutman Fellowship

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Barbie Zelizer

Barbie Zelizer

Barbie Zelizer, the Raymond Williams Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, was named the 2017-18 Rutman Teaching Fellow by the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation.

Dr. Zelizer will use her fellowship to teach the PhD research seminar, “Mediating War and Genocide Through Visual Memory” in partnership with the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy at the Technical University of Berlin. The seminar will take place through the end of the spring 2018 semester and into the summer, with a two-week immersive experience in Berlin.

The fellowship, created in 2012, is awarded to one Penn professor each year and provides funding for a course that integrates the Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive (VHA) into its curriculum. The VHA has more than 55,000 video testimonies of survivors and witnesses of genocide, including the Holocaust, the Nanjing Massacre in China and the genocides in Rwanda, Armenia, Cambodia and Guatemala (Almanac April 24, 2012). 

Six Penn Students, Alumni and Faculty: American Council of Learned Societies Fellows

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Six Penn Arts and Sciences graduate students, alumni, and faculty have been awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). ACLS fellowships and grants recognize scholars for excellence in research in the humanities and related social sciences.

Christa D. Cesario, a lecturer of anthropology, was named a Mellon / ACLS Public Fellow. She was appointed as a community organizer at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. 

Devin Sanchez Curry, a doctoral candidate in philosophy, received a Mellon / ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the project “Believers,” a study of believing. 

Nabeel Hamid, a doctoral candidate in philosophy, received a Mellon / ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the project, “Being and the Good: Natural Teleology in Early Modern German Philosophy.”

Nancy Hirschmann, a professor of political science and director of both the program on gender, sexuality and women’s studies and the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women, was named an ACLS Fellow for her book project, Freedom, Power, and Disability.

Susanne Liuyin Kerekes, a doctoral candidate in religious studies, received the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowship in Buddhist Studies for her dissertation “Wat Arun and the Material Culture of Thai Buddhism.”

Leqi Yu, a doctoral student in East Asian languages and civilizations, received a Luce / ACLS Predissertation-Summer Travel Grant in China Studies for “Xia Yong and Architectural Painting Traditions in Yuan China.”

Penn Medicine Hospitals: Ranked Among Top 10

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Penn Medicine Hospitals are again ranked among the top 10 hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. This is Penn’s Medicine’s fourth year in a row to receive this recognition. 

In the magazine’s annual survey, the combined enterprise of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center was ranked as the 10th best hospital in the United States, and the No. 1 hospital in Pennsylvania. In addition, the hospitals are again ranked No. 1 in the Philadelphia metro area.

The Honor Roll is composed of just 20 institutions from nearly 5,000 hospitals analyzed nationwide. Honor Roll hospitals each perform near the top of the rankings in at least half a dozen specialty areas. Penn Presbyterian was nationally ranked for excellence in 11 specialties, including cancer; cardiology & heart surgery; diabetes & endocrinology; ear, nose & throat (ENT); gastroenterology & GI surgery; geriatrics; nephrology; neurology & neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology; and urology. In addition, Chester County Hospital was ranked No. 5 in the Philadelphia region and No. 9 in the state; Pennsylvania Hospital was ranked No. 7 in Philadelphia, No. 14 in the state and was nationally ranked in orthopedics; and Lancaster General Health (LGH) was ranked No. 6 in the state.

University of Pennsylvania: Air Quality Partnership Excellence Award

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The University of Pennsylvania is one of five organizations in the Greater Philadelphia region to receive this year’s Air Quality Partnership Excellence Award from the Air Quality Partnership (AQP), a program of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, which educates residents about the dangerous effects of ground-level ozone and provides air quality forecasts to the public.

Penn was selected for its work in reducing emissions from transportation sources through a comprehensive program that includes commuter transit benefits, parking management strategies, electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle facilities, alternative-fueled fleet vehicles and last-mile shuttles and van pools, among other sustainability measures.

“Businesses, nonprofits, local governments and individuals all play important roles in reducing air pollution by cutting waste, conserving energy and making wise transportation choices,” said Barry Seymour, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s executive director. “Cooperation between people and organizations that care about the air we breathe presents our greatest opportunity to ensure cleaner air for our region.” 

2017 Green Purchasing Awards

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The University of Pennsylvania’s Green Purchasing Awards presented by Penn’s Purchasing Services and Green Campus Partnership were announced at the annual Purchasing Services Supplier Show on September 19.  

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

Two Green Purchasing Awards were presented this year.

“With Penn’s dedication to environmental sustainability, it’s important for Purchasing Services to not only promote green purchasing but to recognize those individual champions in our Schools and Centers,” said Mark Mills, executive director of Penn Purchasing Services. “Each year when we review nominations, we find it gratifying to learn about the smart, responsible purchasing activities that are taking place among Penn’s purchasing community—many of which can be implemented across the University.” 

The first award was presented to Kelly Busch, special events manager in Wharton Operations.  She was recognized for her “Bright Green Idea” for Waste Minimization and Usage Reduction.  Ms. Busch developed an Event Zero Waste Policy for large Wharton events. Through her efforts and by working with many catering suppliers, all waste generated at the select events is now either recycled or composted. This “Bright Green Idea” reached fruition at the 2017 Wharton Commencement events. Wharton hosted 21 Commencement-related events that were held throughout the Wharton complex. Ms. Busch coordinated with the housekeeping staff to collect all waste generated by these events and send compost waste to the existing collection toters at Huntsman Hall and Steinberg Hall–Dietrich Hall. May 2017 metrics indicate a 1,000 pound, or 60%, increase in compost collected from Huntsman Hall and a 700 pound, or 40%, increase at Steinberg-Dietrich over monthly averages—waste that would typically end up in the landfill at events of this scale.  

The second 2017 Green Purchasing Award recipient was Jeanne Marks, associate director of bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Ms. Marks was recognized for her efforts associated with purchasing green office supplies in FY17. Based on information tabulated by Telrose/Office Depot, Ms. Marks’ green spend compared to overall spend for office supplies places her at the top of the University’s list for ‘darker’ green spend, the office supply company’s highest green purchasing category. Dark Green goods are 90-100% postconsumer recycled. 

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

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

Penn Dental Medicine: Delta Dental Grant to Expand Community Outreach

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This is the alt text

Joan Gluch, chief of the Division of Community Oral Health, with the new PennSmiles vehicle in Phoenix, on September 17 (above), where it debuted at a Mobile Health Clinics Association meeting. Developed with Mobile Specialty Vehicles of Jasper, Texas, the bus is scheduled to arrive at Penn Dental Medicine today.

 Penn Dental Medicine has been awarded a $650,000 grant from Delta Dental of Pennsylvania and its affiliates, to expand the dental school’s community outreach efforts. The grant will support PennSmiles, the school’s long-standing oral health education and clinical care program for school children and their families in West and Southwest Philadelphia, providing funds for a new mobile dental vehicle as well as the operational costs for educational programs. 

“PennSmiles is our flagship program in terms of bringing oral health education and dental care to school children and their families in the West and Southwest Philadelphia communities,” said Joan Gluch, professor and chief of the Division of Community Oral Health. “Funding from Delta Dental of Pennsylvania will allow us to replace the 14-year-old existing PennSmiles bus with a modern, new dental bus, thus ensuring continuity in care for the school children we serve.”   

The school- and community-based oral health education component of PennSmiles launched in 2000 in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, and since 2003, Penn Dental Medicine students and faculty have also been providing comprehensive dental care aboard the PennSmiles dental bus. 

Presently, the PennSmiles program works with 24 preschool, elementary and middle public and charter schools in the neighborhoods within approximately 24 square miles of the University of Pennsylvania. In the current academic year, all predoctoral dental students will participate in Penn’s service-learning courses in community health, which include the PennSmiles education, preventive and dental care programs. The Penn service-learning courses allow dental students to gain practical experiences in community settings while providing much-needed oral health education and dental care in the West and Southwest Philadelphia communities.  

“Delta Dental and PennSmiles have a shared goal of improving the oral health of Pennsylvania residents,” said Kenneth Yale, senior vice president and chief clinical officer for Delta Dental. “We’re pleased to help PennSmiles expand their community outreach with a new dental vehicle to help underrepresented communities become healthier.”

The new PennSmiles dental vehicle will replace the existing bus, which will continue on a part-time basis, enabling the school to provide oral health education and clinical care to 5,000 children in the 2017-2018 academic year.  Like the original, the new PennSmiles bus is designed as a 40-foot vehicle, featuring two dental operatories, fully outfitted for comprehensive dental care, with electronic dental record and digital radiology capabilities. 

The exterior design will mimic the original bus with its bright red cab and vibrant photography that has become a warm and welcome presence in West Philadelphia. “When residents see the PennSmiles bus, they see a tangible commitment from Penn Dental Medicine to improve the oral health of children in our community,” said Dr. Gluch. 

View video on PennSmiles program on YouTube.


‘Brain Games’ Do Not Improve Cognitive Function

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While commercial brain-training programs have risen in popularity in recent years, a recent study found that commercial brain training did not impact one’s decision-making skills or cognitive function.

University of Pennsylvania researchers published the study, which used the brain training program Lumosity, in the Journal of Neuroscience.

A team of Penn researchers co-led by Joseph Kable, the Baird Term Associate Professor in the department of psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences, and Caryn Lerman, vice dean for strategic initiatives and the John H. Glick, MD, Professor in Cancer Research in the Perelman School of Medicine, were in search of an intervention that could reduce the likelihood that people would engage in unhealthy behaviors such as smoking or overeating.

Dr. Lerman’s previous research showed that people with stronger cognitive abilities tend to make less impulsive decisions on tasks when given choices between immediate smaller rewards and delayed larger rewards. The set of brain structures that mediate these choices have also been associated with performance on executive function tasks like the ones in the Lumosity battery.

For the study, a group of 64 healthy young adults was asked to follow the Lumosity regimen, performing the executive function games for 30 minutes a day, five days a week for 10 weeks. A second group followed the same schedule, but instead of using Lumosity, played online video games.

Participants then completed two decision-making assessments before and after the training regimen. As an assessment of impulsive decision-making, participants chose between smaller rewards now and larger rewards later. To assess risky decision-making, they were then asked to choose between larger rewards at a lower probability versus smaller rewards at a higher probability.

The researchers found that the training didn’t induce any changes in brain activity or decision-making during these tasks. Both groups did show improvement on the cognitive tests; however, the researchers found that commercial brain training didn’t lead to any more improvement than online video games, and a no-contact group that did not complete either commercial brain training or video games showed the same level of improvement as the first two groups. These results indicated that neither brain training nor online video games led to cognitive improvements beyond likely practice effects.

While the cognitive training did not offer the desired benefits alone, the researchers found that combining cognitive exercises with non-invasive brain stimulation enhances self-control over smoking behavior. The next step is to conduct clinical trials to determine whether a combined approach can help alter other risky behaviors.

Dr. Lerman said, “As currently available behavioral and medical treatments for these habitual behaviors are ineffective for most people, there is a critical need to develop innovative approaches to behavior change. Changing the brain to change behavior is the approach that we are taking.”

Converting Hydrocarbons to Useful Chemicals

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Penn researchers recently reported in Nature Chemistry the development of a new method to convert hydrocarbons to alkenes, which are building blocks to polymers, natural products and chemical reagents ubiquitous in industry. They were able to achieve 100% selectivity, transforming the hydrocarbons towards a more desirable product with zero emissions of carbon dioxide.

Daniel Mindiola, a Presidential Professor in the Department of Chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences at Penn, said, “We have discovered a unique way to grab a hydrocarbon, a molecule that is usually only looked at as a source of energy by burning it, and convert it to a more value-added material that is a building block to polymers and numerous reagents of immense value to the chemical industry. Notably, we found we can do this using cheap, Earth-abundant elements, such as titanium.”

This system applies a new strategy to remove hydrogens selectively but, rather than using the expensive, rare metals commonly used for this type of work, it uses an extremely reactive titanium-based molecule that can pull apart the carbon-hydrogen bond of these alkanes.

The research would allow petrochemical companies to selectively and mildly transform these fuels into more value-added chemicals. 

“They want to stop burning these abundant resources and instead convert them to more valuable raw materials,” Dr. Mindiola said. “A huge amount of energy is lost in a very important industrial process such as steam cracking. In this process, the petrochemical industry uses a lot of energy to break hydrocarbons apart and make more useful hydrocarbons, which ultimately results in energy being consumed but also in the formation of carbon dioxide.”

Videos Better Than Text for Correcting Misinformation

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In a study comparing video and text, researchers found video was more effective in correcting misinformation.

“Video formats are a really effective way to deliver fact-checking information because they can increase attention and reduce confusion, when compared with a regular text-based fact-check,” said lead author Dannagal G. Young, an associate professor of communication at the University of Delaware and a distinguished research fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

Dr. Young and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) and co-founder of, studied the use of a 2012 article and two short videos (one humorous, one non-humorous) produced for its political-literacy companion website,

The article corrected a claim in a flyer from Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia that the Keystone XL Pipeline was “expected to create tens of thousands of jobs.” cited a State Department estimate of 5,000 to 6,000 jobs expected to be created by the pipeline and reported that the flyer’s figure was inflated. The experiment compared the article to three videos: a 59-second humorous video about the jobs claim developed by comedian Marty Johnson for, a 48-second non-humorous video on the jobs claim and an unrelated 62-second funny video of a baby spouting gibberish in a bathtub. From an online panel of 525 U.S. adults, everyone was shown the flyer and four groups were shown the article or one of the videos, while a fifth group only saw the flyer. The groups were questioned before and after exposure to the information.

The study results showed that participants found the text to be more confusing than the videos. In addition, the videos did a better job at correcting not just the number of jobs that would be created but an inference drawn from that about the broader economic impact of the project.

“We were able to change people’s perceptions of the number of jobs that would be created,” Dr. Young said. “Getting people to change their broader belief system is, unsurprisingly, more challenging. But the videos were successful at doing that.” She added, “Correcting the facts is good, but it’s not enough. We want to help people correct the interpretations that are drawn from these facts.”



Sprinklers Save Lives: September 29

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Fire Sprinkler demo rooms

Photograph by Margueite F. Miller

The Division of Public Safety will host the annual “Sprinklers Save Lives” event on Friday, September 29, from 10-11:45 a.m. on Hamilton Field, east of 40th Street between Locust Walk and Walnut Street. A Safety Fair will be followed by a Side-by-Side Dorm Room Burn demonstration (see image) which will take place at 11:30 a.m. Attendees will see how an investment in sprinklers saves lives and protects property and processes. This portion of the program is a collaborative effort among the DPS, the Philadelphia Fire Department and the PenJerDel Chapter of the National Fire Sprinkler Association. Following a brief press conference, a raffle will be held for prizes. 

Cityscapes and Landscapes in a Different Light by Mark Ayzenberg October 1-27 at the Burrison

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This is one of the many works in the show featuring Philadelphia.

A reception will be held at the Burrison Gallery on Friday, October 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. for the upcoming show, Cityscapes and Landscapes in a Different Light by Mark Ayzenberg. The show will run October 1 through October 27.

The Burrison Gallery is located in the University Club at Penn on the 2nd floor of The Inn at Penn, 3611 Walnut Street, and is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dr. Ayzenberg creates vibrant images with an innovative style achieved through intricate depth and dramatic color produced on metal. He seeks to portray the beauty of Philadelphia, “in a different light” by merging multiple photos and through post-processing. His work emphasizes brilliant colors and vivid detail, creating a “painting-like” appearance to the work.  

His photography features iconic monuments, architectural and natural landscapes, as well as locations with underappreciated splendor. His images are displayed in numerous venues in Philadelphia including the MetroClub Condominiums, PNL Companies, UPHS Corporate Information Services Offices, Einstein Medical Center and Shriners Hospital for Children.

He was born in Russia and raised in Philadelphia. A 2009 Penn graduate, Dr. Ayzenberg is currently a resident orthopaedic surgeon at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. In addition to being a talented photographer he had a previous “career” as lead guitarist for the musical group Stevie J. and the Shine Men.

8th Annual Celebration of Women Faculty: October 10

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The Penn Forum for Women Faculty (PFWF) will be hosting the 8th Annual Celebration of Women Faculty on Tuesday, October 10, 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Jordan Medical Education Center’s Atrium.

Celebrate women faculty colleagues’ appointments, awards, honors and promotions. Introductions by Vice Provost Anita Allen, Welcome by Penn Provost Wendell Pritchett and Remarks by Susan S. Margulies, past PFWF leadership. Champagne reception to follow program.

RSVP online.

Thinking About Retirement

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Thinking About Retirement is a special program for staff who are approaching retirement soon. These information sessions feature expert guest speakers and Penn Benefits specialists.

On Thursday, September 28 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at the Inn at Penn there will be three concurrent sessions (9-11 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m.); each will focus on one of these topics: Income Options, Social Security and Penn Benefits & Medicare. Choose from up to three sessions. Register for each information session that covers your areas of interest on the HR website.

At Income Options, a retirement plan counselor from Vanguard will discuss retirement plan distributions.

At Social Security, a representative from the Social Security Administration will share valuable details about this program.

At Penn Benefits & Medicare, representatives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, along with Benefits specialists from Human Resources, will explain your retirement healthcare options.

Human Resources: Upcoming October Programs

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Professional & Personal Development Programs

Open to faculty and staff. Register at

Conflict in the Workplace; October 10; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Conflict is a natural part of working with others, and is typically the result of stress in a relationship. Conflict in the workplace should be addressed in order to maintain productivity, increase retention rates and improve morale. Failure to address conflict often leads to an escalation of the problem and may lead to unproductive behaviors such as resentment, displacement or defensiveness. In this program, we will explore how conflict can be helpful and strategies to better manage conflict at work.

How to Nominate a Staff Member or Team for a Models of Excellence Award; October 10; 2-3 p.m. Do you work with someone who shows special initiative or demonstrates outstanding leadership? Have you noticed that a colleague or team excels at fostering workplace collaboration or shows an especially deep commitment to service? If so, then recognize them as a Model of Excellence. The Selection Committee depends on the content of the nominations to make its decisions. Therefore, nominations submitted should be as detailed and descriptive as possible in order to convey a nominee’s exceptional performance and award worthiness. Be sure to attend this workshop and learn about how best to write your nomination and obtain some tips on doing so!

Effective Listening and Communication Skills for Managers; October 11; 12:30-1:30 p.m. This workshop is designed to teach staff serving in supervisor positions listening and communication skills and techniques. Participants will learn: listening skills to extract information, the ‘when’ and ‘how’ of what makes sense to communicate and professional vs. personal listening and communication skills.

Financial Freedom: Strategies for Reducing Debt and Saving More; October 13; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Also October 18; 11 a.m.-noon. Looking for ways to bring your financial life under control? This presentation by Vanguard will teach you how to pay down credit card debt, set up an emergency fund and save for a comfortable retirement.

Money at Work 1: Foundations of Investing; October 17; 11 a.m.-noon. Join TIAA Financial Services for a discussion on managing financial risk versus reward, understanding the role of investing and managing investment risks, augmenting programs to help accelerate savings and products and tools to help you maintain your portfolio.

Money at Work 2: Sharpening Investment Skills; October 17; 1:30-2:30 p.m. Building on Money at Work 1 (10/17), this intermediate guide to investing will help you understand how to evaluate your savings progress, as well as maximize potential growth and minimize potential risks. You’ll learn about your investing personality. If you’d like to also attend Money at Work 1, please register for that presentation separately.

TED Talk Tuesday: How to Speak Up for Yourself; October 26; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Speaking up is hard to do, even when you know you should. Learn how to assert yourself, navigate tricky social situations and expand your personal power with sage guidance from social psychologist Adam Galinsky.

Quality of Worklife Workshops

Open to faculty and staff. Register at

Campus Tree Tour with Robert Wells; October 3; noon-1 p.m. Join Robert Wells, associate director of arboriculture outreach, on a guided walking tour of some of the most notable trees on Penn’s campus, beginning in front of College Hall.

New and Expectant Parent Briefing; October 9; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Participants will learn about local and University childcare and parenting resources including breastfeeding support and the nursing mothers program, childcare locators, back-up care, adjusting to new schedules and flexible work options. The presentation will include Q&A with an FMLA specialist and participants will also have the opportunity to network.

Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning; October 12; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Join trust and estate lawyer Margaret Sager, to learn about the importance of estate planning, managing your estate during life and disposing of your estate at your death through the use of trusts, wills, beneficiary designation forms and other planning documents.

Mindfulness Monday: From Mind Full to Mindful; October 16; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Mindfulness is “paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,” said Jon Kabat-Zinn. Mindfulness practice develops awareness of your present thoughts and feelings to help you manage different situations. In this once-a-month experiential workshop, you’ll see how mindfulness can help you become more engaged and effective both at home and in the workplace. No prior meditation experience necessary.

Guided Meditation: Take a Breath and Relax; October 17 and 20; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Practice mindful breathing that focuses your attention on the present moment with kindness, compassion and awareness. Self-massage and gentle mindful movements that promote relaxation and reduce stress may also be included in the workshop. No experience necessary.

Surviving and Enjoying the Six Stages of Parenthood Webinar; October 17; 3-4 p.m. In this online session we will examine, not child, but parental development from the prenatal phase through the empty nest, or departure phase, combining the human development theories of Freud and Erikson with concrete, contemporary insights from the book, The Six Stages of Parenting.

Strategies for Work-Life Integration; October 18; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Technology has driven a 24/7 business environment that can make it challenging to balance the demands of work and home life. The phrase “work-life integration” is an update to the traditional “work-life balance” that enables professionals to consider the synergies between their work and home lives. In this session, we will review strategies you can utilize to create better work-life integration.

Timeline to Retirement; October 18; 1:30-2:30 p.m. Did you know there are seven retirement milestones related to your age? If you’re within 10 years of retiring, attend this presentation by Vanguard and learn about what these milestones are and how they’ll affect your retirement.

Penn Family Day; October 21; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars are invited to bring family and friends to the 25th annual Penn Family Day. Eligible faculty, staff and postdocs can reserve up to four tickets for the Family Day tailgate lunch at Shoemaker Green and the Penn v. Yale football game. Visit for complete details and ticket reservations.

Flexible Work Options; October 23; 12:30-1:30 p.m. This will provide an overview and guidelines for proposing and implementing a flex request including: understanding the applicable HR guidelines and policies, assessing the fit between position and job responsibilities, reviewing a sample proposal, documenting the flexible work option request and implementing the request.

Plan Ahead: Strategies for Caregivers; October 26; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Planning proactively can assist families to prepare for the care of an aging family member, mitigate an unexpected crisis and ultimately result in better choices and outcomes. This seminar will address challenges faced by caregivers and resources available to provide adequate supports and effective and proactive management of caregiving responsibilities.

Healthy Living Workshops

Open to faculty and staff. Register at

Spinning; October 5; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pedal your way to a fantastic workout indoors! With the use of stationary cycles, each class is led on a “virtual” outdoor road, complete with a variety of exercises. This will give you an energizing, calorie-burning, fun workout and it is great for all fitness levels because you will always ride at a self-directed pace.

Be in the Know: Biometric Screenings; October 9-November 21; free for benefits-eligible faculty and staff. On-campus biometric screenings provide key indicators of your health status, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugar. Receive immediate feedback —plus points toward Be in the Know cash incentives. Visit for details about the 2017-2018 Be in the Know.

Gentle Yoga; October 10 and 24; noon-1 p.m. Let your body reward itself with movement! Explore the natural movements of the spine with slow and fluid moving bends and soft twists. Flow into modified sun salutations that loosen those tightened muscles and joints of the lower back, neck, shoulders and wrists. Get a workout in the process. Mats and props will be provided.

Campus Health Flu Shot Clinic; 11 a.m. -7:30 p.m.; October 11, 12, 13 (11 a.m.-3 p.m.)This no-cost vaccine clinic for Penn students, faculty and staff will be held in Bodek Lounge in Houston Hall. No reservations are required.

Zumba; October 18; noon-1 p.m. Perfect for everybody and every body! Each class is designed to bring people together to sweat it on. We take the “work” out of workout, by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Once the Latin and World rhythms take over, you’ll see why Zumba® fitness classes are often called exercise in disguise.

October Wellness Walk; October 27; noon-1 p.m. It has been proven that spending more time outside reduces stress, increases energy levels and boosts immunity. Start achieving these goals by meeting the Center for Public Health Initiatives staff in front of College Hall by Ben Franklin’s statue. The walk will be approximately two miles and with a one mile option for those who need to exit the walk early.

Healthy Eating 101: Tips for Kids and Adults; October 30; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Knowing what to eat can be overwhelming! We are bombarded with fads, diets and ever-changing nutrition messages for children and adults alike from numerous sources. Learn how to determine nutrition fact verse fad and learn what true healthy eating is all about.

—Division of Human Resources


Weekly Crime Reports

  • September 26, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 6
  • Crimes
  • print

The University of Pennsylvania Police Department Community Crime Report

About the Crime Report: Below are all Crimes Against Persons, Property and Crimes Against Society from the campus report September 11-17, 2017. View prior weeks' reports. —Ed.

This summary is prepared by the Division of Public Safety and includes all criminal incidents reported and made known to the University Police Department between the dates of September 11-17, 2017. The University Police actively patrol from Market Street to Baltimore Avenue and from the Schuylkill River to 43rd Street in conjunction with the Philadelphia Police. In this effort to provide you with a thorough and accurate report on public safety concerns, we hope that your increased awareness will lessen the opportunity for crime. For any concerns or suggestions regarding this report, please call the Division of Public Safety at (215) 898-4482.

09/12/1711:02 AM3901 Locust WalkFemale wanted on warrant/Arrest
09/12/1711:02 AM3901 Locust WalkFemale wanted on Scofflaw warrant/ Arrest
09/12/173:04 PM3701 Walnut StUnattended wallet taken
09/12/176:58 PM3400 Spruce StCredit card taken from purse
09/13/1710:37 AM3400 Spruce StreetFemale wanted on warrant/Arrest
09/13/176:28 PM210 S 40th StPhone taken from bag
09/14/177:22 AM100 N 38th StMale wanted on warrant/Arrest
09/14/178:17 AM3925 Walnut StWallet taken from backpack
09/14/179:39 AM3149 Convention AveMale wanted on warrant/Arrest
09/14/176:01 PM4001 Walnut StMerchandise taken without payment/Arrest
09/15/1711:20 AM4103 Baltimore StBike taken from residence
09/16/1711:31 AM3925 Walnut StMerchandise taken without payment/Arrest
09/16/178:04 PM233 S 33rd StPhone taken
09/17/171:06 AM210 S 40th StCell phones taken
09/17/176:06 AM3744 Spruce StMerchandise taken without payment/Arrest
09/17/1712:20 PM3411 Chestnut StUnknown female took two watches
09/17/1710:06 PM4000 Locust WalkMale cited for drinking and littering

18th District

Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District:  6 incidents were reported with one arrest (3 robberies, 1 domestic assault, 1 indecent assault and 1 assault) between September 11-17, 2017 by the 18th District covering the Schuylkill River to 49th Street & Market Street to Woodland Avenue.

09/11/171:33 AM3400 Market StRobbery
09/11/1710:07 AM4328 Market StRobbery
09/11/1710:20 PM4636 Walnut StDomestic Assault/ Arrest
09/13/176:13 PM4601 Walnut StAssault
09/16/172:28 AM4312 Spruce StIndecent Assault
09/17/171:00 AM4700 Reinhardt StRobbery


Penn’s Way: A Workplace Charitable Campaign

  • September 26, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 6
  • Bulletins
  • print
Penn's Way logo

“Do your little bit of good where you are; 
it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
—Desmond Tutu

Dear Colleagues: 

Penn’s Way, the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine’s workplace charitable giving campaign, continues to be recognized as one of the most successful and generous campaigns in the region.  Our campaign theme, Giving is Penn’s Way, honors the culture of generosity and thoughtfulness that embodies Penn. We are confident that this year’s campaign will reach our goal of $1.6 million to support the communities in which we live. 

The Penn’s Way Campaign runs from September 25 through November 10. Please join us in supporting our region by making your tax-deductible gift now. By making a gift to Penn’s Way using the Penn’s Way website to enter your pledge online, you will be supporting your chosen organizations in a secure, quick and convenient way. 

The website also offers valuable information on our three partner organizations, Penn Medicine, United Way and new partner Philadelphia Alliance for Change. All three organizations, under the Penn’s Way umbrella, utilize their expertise to confront the ever-increasing challenges facing our community. 

Through our Penn’s Way Campaign, we can help build stronger neighborhoods, improve the quality of life and provide options for healthier living for all people in our region.

We hope to have your continued support for the Penn’s Way campaign this year.

—Maureen S. Rush, Vice President for Public Safety, University of Pennsylvania, Penn’s Way Co-Chair
—Patricia G. Sullivan, Vice President, Quality and Patient Safety, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Penn’s Way Co-Chair
—Jennifer A. Pinto-Martin, Professor, School of Nursing Chair-elect Faculty Senate, University of Pennsylvania, Penn’s Way Faculty Advisor
—Peter D. Quinn, Vice Dean for Professional Services, Senior Vice President, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Penn’s Way Faculty Advisor

Related: Penn’s Way 2018 Raffle Prizes

Penn’s Way 2018 Raffle Prizes Week 1 (October 3 Drawing)

  • September 26, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 6
  • Bulletins
  • print

Visit Penn's Way for more information about the raffle and making a pledge. 

Entries must be received by 5 p.m. on the prior Friday for inclusion in a given’ week’s drawing. 


Thermo Fisher—Amazon gift card (value $50)

National Constitution Center—Four tickets (value $58)

Penn Business Services—Penn-branded Bag o’ Goodies (value $100)

Day by Day—Lunch for Two gift certificate (value $20)

Penn Business Services­—Branded travel accessories (value $50)

[solidcore]—Gift certificate for gym (value $100)


Related: Penn’s Way: A Workplace Charitable Campaign

One Step Ahead: Social Engineering–What’s the hype?

  • September 26, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 6
  • Bulletins
  • print

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


We often hear about “phishing” attacks in the news, or in University security alerts. These attacks frequently use email messages to fool recipients into installing malicious applications (malware) or visiting fake websites by getting people to click links within, or open attachments to, deceptive emails.

Phishing emails are just one of several social engineering techniques used by cyber attackers and criminals to exploit people’s inclination to trust. Other social engineering techniques to watch out for include:

Phone scam—A phone call requesting an individual to verify their bank account and/or PIN, or a username and password. The caller may provide partial information to gain the individual’s trust. When receiving such a call, refrain from providing sensitive information. Instead, call the entity’s officially published number to verify the legitimacy of the call. 

USB flash drive—An infected USB flash drive is left in a place easily found by others. The victim inserts this flash drive in their computer, which results in the installation of malware. If you find a USB drive on a counter or the floor, hand it over to your computing Local Support Provider (LSP). 

Scareware—This technique involves convincing the victim into thinking their computer is infected with malware or other issues. The victim is lured to “fix” the issue by clicking on a pop-up window button or on a webpage link. Malware is then installed once the victim clicks on the button or the link.

Impersonation—A criminal pretending to be a technician asking for a username and password to access an individual’s computer. Instead, your LSP will often have their own account to access computers they support. If you have any doubts about a person’s identity, ask for their PennCard or contact your local computing organization to ensure the person is your LSP. 

To learn more about how to protect yourself, see:

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

First Generation Low Income (FGLI) Fall Food Drive

  • September 26, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 6
  • Bulletins
  • print

As fall break is quickly approaching (October 5-8), the First Generation Low Income Program (FGLI) is looking for donations to restock the food pantry at Greenfield Intercultural Center. There will be several FGLI students who will remain on campus or in West Philly during Fall break, and FGLI wants to ensure that the pantry will be adequately stocked. Any support would be greatly appreciated. 

Here are some suggested food items that they gladly accept if you would like to make a donation to their food pantry:

  • Canned Soups
  • Uncooked Pasta, Pasta Sauce
  • Uncooked Rice
  • Cereals, Instant Oatmeal
  • Snacks, Nuts, Granola Bars
  • Boxed/Instant Macaroni and Cheese
  • Instant Noodles
  • Spices/Sauces 
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits

For a list of drop off locations around campus or if you have any questions, contact Sara Wong at

Talk About Teaching & Learning

Needs and Specifications: Building Effective Mentoring Relationships

  • September 26, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 6
  • Talk About Teaching & Learning
  • print

by Herman Beavers

It is perhaps too common to think that holding the hand of a toddler while crossing a busy street is an apt metaphor for the mentoring relationship, especially when it comes to fostering undergraduate research. Beyond the obvious miscue of infantilizing the student, approaching mentoring relationships with this mindset has the unintended consequence of communicating a lack of faith in the mentee’s abilities. In order to avoid falling into this pattern, I’ve identified three tenets for mentoring undergraduate research that I hope will lead to a satisfying experience for both mentors and mentees. At a time when Penn seeks ways to be more inclusive, mentoring is perhaps the most efficacious way both to ensure that we identify students possessing the capacity to do independent research and that in doing so, we help them realize their fullest potential. In a departure from the standard approach, I will begin with the third tenet and end with the first. 

And so the third tenet of mentoring undergraduate research is recognizing when the time has come to relinquish the role of navigator and guide so that the mentee can chart a course of her own. Most times, it comes before the mentee is ready to fly solo, but my sense is that one of the most exciting—and anxiety-producing—aspects of mentoring relationships is that they thrive on imprecision and uncertainty.  At least a portion of this is a product of the expectations that students may have at the start of a mentoring relationship. If they’ve received copious amounts of praise for work they’ve done in the past (even if the work was less-than-stellar), they may believe that a mentor’s primary role is to provide positive feedback. Or, students who’ve never had a substantive mentoring experience may think that research happens in a vacuum and that the mentor’s role is simply to sign the requisite forms and leave them alone. What makes the mentor/mentee dyad so intriguing, then, is that it seems to work best when expectations on both sides are quickly dashed and a new script has to be written and followed, which can only be done collaboratively. 

This is not without its challenges. For example, if a mentor has achieved success in her discipline, students may arrive thinking success is simply a matter of being in her midst. Without a doubt, the idea of “sitting at the feet” of a highly renowned scholar is perhaps the most easily accessed concept of a mentoring relationship. But recently, I’ve come to believe it’s a pattern that needs to be tempered, if not abandoned altogether. Too often it leads to a hit-or-miss approach that means the mentor/mentee relationship is built around communication flowing in one direction: from the mentor “downward” to the mentee. At the first sign of a setback, the most likely explanation is that the mentee wasn’t listening carefully enough. Ultimately, though, placing blame on the mentee is a sign of ineffective mentoring. If the mentor is never on the hook, it signals the presence of an accountability gap that neglects the fact that being a mentor requires assuming the lion’s share of the accountability for what does and doesn’t happen in the relationship. This does not mean the student has no responsibility, but it means that mentoring is, first and foremost, two people engaging around a mutually sustained form of attention. When things threaten to hit a lull (which is inevitable), it is incumbent on the mentor to employ tactics to keep the conversation going. My approach is heavily reliant on storytelling; at times it’s a matter of exchanging stories about the respective routes we’ve taken leading up to our present conversation in my office, at others, it’s empathizing with students struggling to recognize the obstacles obstructing progress by narrating my own foibles. These situations require one to listen both to what the student is saying and also what they are not saying. Not in a judgmental way, but in a way that, when conducted with the proper amount of compassion, can lead to the walls separating mentor and mentee coming down. 

Which gets to the second tenet of mentoring undergraduate research: effective mentoring involves inviting the mentee to assume ownership of their ideas by encouraging them to invent new critical vocabularies or to improvise on existing ones. Here, sharing stories about what it feels like to arrive at an original idea, that odd combination of epiphany, anxiety and thrill, becomes essential. Because mentoring works best as a dialogue, part of what a mentor can model for a mentee is the sense that research is less a matter of seeking facile conclusions and more a matter of being animated by a need to generate the kinds of questions that result in a line of inquiry. To be sure, the pursuit of knowledge is ultimately what research is about, but the endeavor is likely to be most satisfying when we empower mentees to engage in conjecture and speculation, to feel comfortable trying out an idea and seeing where it leads, even if it’s down the proverbial blind alley. Effective mentoring encourages students to do this right out of the chute. It’s important to communicate that research involves grasping established assumptions, identifying their null spots and exposing them to the light. Moments such as these can be fraught with tension (the mentee’s research may refute an orthodoxy established over a series of decades). But a colleague of mine once observed that all scholarly disciplines are the result of a disparate group of scholars who indulge the desire to be part of the same conservation. If this is true, then the death knell of a discipline is sounded when that conversation becomes dominated by the privileged few. Thus, mentoring relationships should always be about expanding that conversation to make room for new voices, even if those voices are raising a ruckus. 

Hence, the first tenet of mentoring relationships is that they are organic, both in substance and consequence. Thinking about my own experiences as a mentor over a substantial period of time, I realize that while my mentees may share some salient characteristics, ultimately my relationships with them were often a matter of working with a fair amount of imprecision and uncertainty at the intersection of ambition, personal history, humility and amplitude. Which is to say that effective mentoring relationships almost always involve mutual forms of growth for both mentors and mentees. Scholars who are afraid to acknowledge, or who eschew altogether, the need for personal reinvention often develop mentoring techniques that are moribund and pedantic. A mentor open to innovation and serendipity in her own research process will seek to affirm that aspect of the research process, even if she is herself unsure what constitutes a next step, because effective mentoring relationships often reflect shared—rather than imposed—values that encourage leaps of faith. 

The individual I think of as my most important mentor often spoke of the need for students to be “in tutelage,” which implied that he considered himself to be more “tutor” than master. Our relationship thrived over the years because he modeled an approach to mentoring that was based on his firm belief that I should know my own mind. Though his accomplishments (in this case, as a poet of international renown) far exceed my own, he said to me more than once, “You have to be ready for the day when you’ll renounce me.” Though such a moment was unthinkable, I later realized that our exchanges over the course of many years had imbued me with a quality of independence and self-reliance that I was able to recognize that the time had come for me to shed the ill-fitting garment of my past self and don one more suited to my needs and specifications in the present.  

Herman Beavers is professor of English and Africana studies and the 2017 recipient of the Dean’s Award for Mentorship of Undergraduate Research. 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 previous essays.