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$22.6 Million NSF Grant for LRSM

  • October 17, 2017
  • vol 64 issue 9
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Arjun Yodh

Arjun Yodh

Penn’s Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM) has been awarded a six-year, $22.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support the center’s work in cutting-edge materials science.

The LRSM has been an academic center for interdisciplinary materials research since it was founded in 1960, and it has hosted an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) since 1996. The new MRSEC, one of eight selected nationwide, provides crucial support for the LRSM’s education and outreach missions, its shared experimental facilities, as well as its research aims in three new areas.   

“Our research projects identify and tackle big problems at the frontier of materials science,” says Arjun Yodh, director of the LRSM and the James M. Skinner Professor of Science in the department of physics & astronomy in the School of Arts & Sciences. “These problems are multifaceted and are too difficult for individuals or small teams to solve. Our new activities engage 35 faculty and literally involve collaborations between chemists; physicists; chemical, electrical and mechanical engineers; materials scientists; bioengineers; biologists; and medical researchers.”

To tackle these complex problems, MRSEC members are organized into interdisciplinary research groups. The newly awarded Penn MRSEC has three such groups, the maximum permitted by NSF, which draw faculty from nine departments in the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Perelman School of Medicine.

The first group, Rearrangements & Softness in Disordered Solids, is led by Douglas Durian of the department of physics & astronomy and Paulo Arratia of the department of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics. Its members will develop strategies to enhance toughness in disordered solids like glass. Dropping a smart phone, for example, may dent the metal case but shatter the glass screen. The team aims to generate a fundamental understanding of how the internal rearrangements of constituents evolve when the solid is deformed. The systems to be studied span from glasses made from atoms to solids made from grains. They expertly combine experiment, theory and simulation.

The second research group, Structural Chemo-Mechanics of Fibrous Materials, led by Paul Janmey of the department of physiology and Vivek Shenoy of the department of materials science and engineering, aims to understand and harness the structural, chemical and mechanical complexity inherent in fibrous networks. Fibrous networks are ubiquitous in biology but underexplored in materials science. The team will draw on faculty expertise in network design, protein chemistry, rheology, theory, simulation and imaging to synthesize materials that activate chemical reactions via local strain and self-reinforce before breaking.

The third group, Pluperfect Nanocrystal Architectures, led by Cherie Kagan of the department of electrical systems engineering and Randall Kamien of the department of physics & astronomy, arose organically from highly successful nanocrystal and liquid crystal LRSM communities. The team will make assemblies of nanocrystals on hard templates and within soft materials that hold promise for applications in sensing, energy conversion and optical signal processing.

In addition to research excellence, the LRSM was also awarded the MRSEC because of its innovative education and outreach activity.

“A crucial feature of our center is its remarkable education and outreach program,” said Dr. Yodh.

 “Besides the work with graduate students and post-docs through research, we connect with area K-12 students and their teachers, undergraduates, faculty at local colleges, the general public and even universities far from Penn such as in our partnership with the University of Puerto Rico. MRSEC support is vital for generating student interest, for taking them to the next level and for promoting diversity in science and technology at all levels.”

LRSM Building

LRSM at 3231 Walnut Street—the center for materials research at Penn—was established as one of the first Materials Research Laboratories to be funded by the forerunner of DARPA. In 1972 funding was taken over by the NSF’s Division of Materials Research, NSF-DMR under the aegis of the MRL program. Photograph by Felice Macera.

Eugene Mele:  Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Physics

  • October 17, 2017
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Eugene Mele

Eugene Mele

Eugene Mele, professor of physics and astronomy, has been appointed the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Physics. Dr. Mele joined the faculty in 1981, and has spent most of his academic career at Penn. A condensed matter theorist whose pioneering research has resulted in predicting the existence of materials with non-trivial topological order, Dr. Mele’s research findings have influenced the course of quantum electronic phenomena research in solids. He is the recipient of the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics from the Franklin Institute and the 2010 Europhysics Prize of the European Physical Society, and his excellent teaching has been recognized by both the University’s Lindback Award and the highest Penn Arts and Sciences teaching honor, the Ira Abrams Award. Dr. Mele has served as a member of the Penn Arts and Sciences Personnel Committee, the Penn Arts and Sciences Committee on Undergraduate Academic Standing, and the Provost’s Council on Access and Academic Support. 

This chair is one of 10 Browne Distinguished Professorships created by the late Christopher H. Browne, C’69, former Chairman of the Board of Overseers in the Penn Arts and Sciences and Trustee of the University. The Browne chairs recognize faculty members who have achieved an extraordinary reputation for scholarly contributions, who have demonstrated great distinction in teaching and who have demonstrated intellectual integrity and unquestioned commitment to free and open discussion of ideas.

Daniel Q. Gillion: Julie Beren Platt and Marc E. Platt Presidential Associate Professor of Political Science

  • October 17, 2017
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Daniel Gillion

Daniel Gillion

Daniel Q. Gillion, associate professor of political science, has been appointed Julie Beren Platt and Marc E. Platt Presidential Associate Professor of Political Science. Dr. Gillion studies racial and ethnic politics, political behavior, public policy and the American presidency. He is the author of two highly lauded books, The Political Power of Protest, which won the best book award of the American Political Science Association’s Race, Ethnicity, and Politics section, and Governing with Words, which won the W. E. B. Du Bois Book Award of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. 

Before coming to Penn, Dr. Gillion was the Distinguished Provost Fellow at the University of Rochester. He later went on to be named a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar and a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. He is an Executive Council Member for the Southern Political Science Association, a Council Member for the Public Policy section of the American Political Science Association and serves on the Steering Committee for the American Political Science Association’s Section on Presidents and Executive Politics. At Penn, he is currently serving as a Penn Fellow and the Faculty Director for Rodin College House.

The Julie Beren Platt and Marc E. Platt Presidential Professorship was established in 2015 by Julie Beren Platt, C’79 and Marc E. Platt, C’79. Julie Beren Platt is a Penn Trustee and President of the Penn Alumni Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Board of Overseers of both the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies and Penn Hillel. Her husband, Mr. Platt, is an independent film producer and head of Marc Platt Productions. At Penn, he also serves on the Board of Overseers at the Katz Center, and both of them serve on the Parent Leadership Committee. Three of their five children are Penn graduates (Samantha, C’05, Jonah, C’08, and Hannah, C’12). Their son, Henry, is a member of the College Class of 2021. They generously support initiatives at Penn, including establishing the Platt Student Performing Arts House and the Julie Beren Platt and Marc Platt Rehearsal Room in Houston Hall, along with endowed undergraduate scholarships and the Katz Center.

Mandatory Use of Two-Step Verification by all Staff Begins this Fall

  • October 17, 2017
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Starting this fall, all University staff will be required to use Two-Step Verification for all PennKey web site logins. Local support teams will notify staff with a specific date. Even if you are not staff, however, it’s a very good idea to enroll. Find complete details about this critical security service and the link to enroll at Two-Step Verification website.

Why Two-Step Verification? 

Massive data breaches at popular web sites and increasingly sophisticated “phishing” attacks mean that millions of passwords are being compromised. (Enter your primary email address at ';--Have i been pwned? for a list of major websites on which your account password has been compromised.) Since most people have used a password at more than one site, and many sites use email addresses as usernames, any accounts associated with those credentials are now insecure. Passwords alone are no longer sufficient. 

How Two-Step Verification works to protect you and Penn

With Two-Step Verification (“Two-Step”), you enter your PennKey username and password (step one) and verify your identity using a pre-registered device (step two) during login. Even if an attacker knows your password, they can’t log in as you, because only you have the pre-registered device. This second step can take many forms, so no matter how you use Penn web sites or where in the world you are, the process is easy and efficient, and you’ll always be able to access your data.

Using the free Duo Mobile app on your iOS or Android smartphone or other device, you can receive a “push” notification that allows you to log in with a single tap to approve the push. Using Duo Mobile or Google Authenticator, you can also generate a single-use code to enter on the log-in screen (no internet or cellular service is required). You can choose to have single-use codes sent to your phone by voice call or text message. You can purchase a keychain fob to generate the codes as needed. And you can print out a set of single-use codes that only work for you. In addition, there are backup “lifeline” methods should all else fail. 

Most convenient of all, you don’t have to perform the second step every time you log in. You can choose to check the “Trust this browser” box on the log-in screen before approving a push message or submitting a code. This action stores a secure cookie on the browser that satisfies the second step on future logins, so long as you use that same browser to log in to a Penn resource within 30 days. 

Deaths

Eric Greenhow, Anesthesia

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Eric Greenhow, a longtime faculty member in the department of anesthesia and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, died on October 4. He was 85.

Dr. Greenhow was a Canadian citizen born in Windsor, Canada. He earned his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1956. After completing an internship at Toronto East General and Orthopaedic Hospital, he joined Penn in 1968 as a resident. He became an assistant instructor in 1968, an instructor in 1971, an assistant professor in 1973 and an associate professor in 1980. He joined the 25-Year Club in 1993 (Almanac October 12, 1993).

Dr. Greenhow retired in 1997 as associate professor emeritus.

He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Craven Greenhow; and children, Catherine Bannon (Brad), Ann, David, John and Andrew (Karen Rohrer).

Contributions in his memory may be made to the Clyde Barker Penn Transplant House.

Henry Rogers, Wharton student

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Henry Rogers

Henry Rogers

Henry Rogers, a senior at Penn’s Wharton School, died on October 9. Mr. Rogers’ studies concentrated in finance and marketing. He was 22.

Mr. Rogers was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from John Burroughs School, a preparatory school in St. Louis, in 2014.

At Penn, he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and a former captain of the heavyweight rowing team. He was part of Wharton’s Shekel Cohort.

He is survived by his parents, Kathleen and Sandy (Laing); his brothers, Clark and George; and his grandparents, Barbie and Bill Claggett, Weldon, Penny, and Thomas Vild.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to support scholarships at John Burroughs School, 755 South Price Road, St. Louise, MO 63124.

George Ruff, Psychiatry

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George Ruff

George Ruff

George E. Ruff, a professor emeritus in the department of psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania, died on September 29. He was 89.

Dr. Ruff was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and later moved with his family to Philadelphia. He graduated from Central High School in 1945 and from Haverford College in 1948, before earning a medical degree from Penn in 1952.

Dr. Ruff was on active Air Force duty from 1957-1959, working in the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory as chief investigator of the stress and fatigue section at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. There, he helped select NASA’s first group of astronauts to go to space by conducting the psychiatric evaluation for the Mercury Project along with colleague Edwin Z. Levy. Later, Dr. Ruff served on the advisory panel that developed psychological selection procedures for the astronauts who served on the international space station.

He joined Penn’s School of Medicine (now the Perelman School of Medicine) in 1956 as an instructor in the department of psychiatry. He became an assistant professor in 1958, an associate professor in 1964 and a professor in 1969. He served as associate dean of the medical school from 1974-1980. Additionally, he took on a secondary appointment in the College of General Studies (now LPS) in 1990.

Dr. Ruff collaborated with Gary Gottlieb to establish the section of geriatric psychiatry. Dr. Ruff also served as research director for the Research and Training Center in Aging. He retired and became professor emeritus in 1995. From 2004-2006, he was a clinical physician at Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania. He continued a private psychiatry practice until 2015. 

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jean Heron Ruff; daughters, Lynne, Susan, Carol Wilhelm and Nancy Bolgard; son, John; 10 grandchildren; and a sister.

Memorial donations may be made to Germantown Friends School, 31 W. Coulter St., Philadelphia, PA 19133; or to the VNA Hospice of Philadelphia, 3300 Henry Ave., Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19129.

A celebration of his life will be held at the Germantown Monthly Meeting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2017.

Alan D. Schreiber, Penn Medicine

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Alan Schreiber

Alan Schreiber

Alan D. Schreiber, professor emeritus of medicine, researcher and former assistant dean for research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, died on October 2. He was 75.

Dr. Schreiber was born in Newark, New Jersey and graduated from Newark’s Weequahic High School before earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from Rutgers University in 1963 and a medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1967. He completed an internship and residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Dr. Schreiber then served as a commander at the National Institutes of Health during the Vietnam War, researching allergies and immunology. He worked as a research fellow at the Robert Breck Brigham Hospital of Harvard University.

Dr. Schreiber was recruited by the hematology-oncology division of Penn’s department of medicine and spent his 35-year career at Penn conducting research in that department. He joined as an assistant professor of medicine in 1973. In 1978, he became an associate professor of medicine and in 1984, he became a professor of medicine.

Dr. Schreiber’s research focused on the molecular and cellular biology of Fc receptors, or receptors for immunoglobulin G. The Schreiber laboratory was a major contributor to understanding the molecular and cell biology of these receptors in health and human diseases. The lab’s research had major implications for the scientific understanding of human immune-mediated thrombocytopenic disorders, in which activating antibodies directed against the platelet surface can lead to thrombosis. Dr. Schreiber also studied the role of receptors in end-stage kidney disease, in alcoholic cirrhosis and in the molecular signaling responsible for rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

He was honored for five years in a row, from 1975-1980, for his contributions to the science of leukemia by the Leukemia Society of America. In 1987, he received the MERIT Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH (Almanac February 2, 1988) and in 1994, he received the first international immunology award from the Kyoto University in Japan. Dr. Schreiber was the president of the Penn Chapter of Professors for Peace in the Middle East.

Dr. Schreiber served as chair of Penn’s graduate group of immunology from 1987-1993. He also authored more than 250 scientific petitions and filed dozens of patents. He served on the University Council Committee on Research, from 1998-99 and as its chair from 1999-2000. 

He joined the 25-Year Club in 1998 (Almanac November 24, 1998). In October 2008, Dr. Schreiber retired and became professor emeritus of hematology-oncology (Almanac May 26, 2009).

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Pamela; two daughters, Courtney and Rebecca; four grandchildren; and a sister, a niece and nephew.

Memorial donations may be made to Penn’s neurology department or to PEACE, Family Planning and Pregnancy Loss at Penn Medicine.


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 almanac@upenn.edu.

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 517, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136 or email record@ben.dev.upenn.edu.

Supplements

Policies

OF RECORD: Penn Center for Innovation Announces Changes in Income Distributions to Faculty Inventors

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The University periodically revises and updates its policies and procedures regarding patents and tangible research property, to help ensure that such policies and procedures keep pace with best practices and national trends in this highly significant area. In accordance with the Patent and Tangible Research Property Policies and Procedures of the University of Pennsylvania originally published on April 21, 2015 and revisions published July 12, 2016, the proposed changes were approved by the Penn Center for Innovation Steering Committee and President Amy Gutmann.

—Dawn Bonnell, Vice Provost for Research

The Penn Center for Innovation (PCI) announces two adjustments to Penn’s license income distribution practices, which will provide immediate and tangible benefits to faculty inventors and their research activities.

First, in recognition of the strong and consistent growth of Penn’s licensing income over the last decade, the University has authorized a reduction in the current Initial Deduction under the distribution formula of the Penn Patent Policy from the current rate of 14.5% to a new lower rate of 10.0%, effective as of July 1, 2017 for fiscal year 2018.  The result of this change is that all distributees will receive a greater portion of licensing proceeds from the commercialization of their inventions.  

Second, in parallel with this reduction, PCI will now make certain distributions on a quarterly rather than annual basis. During the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, the following changes will be implemented:

Quarterly DistributionsLicensing income received by PCI will be processed on an agreement by agreement basis, within 45 days after the end of each quarter in which distributable funds were received. Currently this is done only once at the end of the applicable fiscal year.  Here’s how it will work for the distribution recipients:

Inventor’s Personal Share1If an individual inventor’s share of distributable funds for an agreement is greater than or equal to $5,000 during any quarter of the fiscal year, the inventor will receive a distribution within 45 days after the end of that quarter. If an individual inventor’s share of distributable funds is calculated as being less than $5,000 during any quarter of the fiscal year, the inventor will receive a distribution at the end of the quarter in which the fiscal year-to-date cumulative amount due to the inventor (for that agreement) equals or exceeds $5,000 or at the end of that current fiscal year, whichever occurs sooner. 

Inventor’s Research Activity Share1All research activity shares will be distributed quarterly.

School, University, and Department SharesThese shares will continue to be distributed annually within 45 days after the end of the fiscal year in which the distributable funds were actually received.

We hope that these changes further spur the great work of our Penn inventors as they advance research innovation around the world. 

Please feel free to direct any questions or concerns to PCIinfo@pci.upenn.edu or (215) 898-9591. 


1 Executed Participation Agreements and Income Allocation Agreements (and Direct Generation Cost Forms, if applicable) must be in place prior to the receipt of all distributions to inventors and inventor labs.

Honors

Ben Black, Ekaterina Grishchuk and Eric Joyce: Kaufman Foundation Grants

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Three University of Pennsylvania faculty have received scientific research grants from the Charles E. Kaufman Foundation. Ben E. Black, associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics, and Ekaterina Grishchuk, associate professor of physiology, both at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM), were jointly awarded a New Initiatives grant totaling $300,000 for two years for research on “Reconstitution and Dissection of Chromosome Segregation.” Eric Joyce, assistant professor in the department of genetics at PSOM, was awarded a New Investigator grant of $150,000 for two years, for research on “Deconstructing the Molecular Basis of Condensin-mediated Chromatin Folding.”

New Investigators grants are typically awarded to scientists transitioning to independent appointments and those newly pursuing independent research. New Initiatives grants are awarded to teams reexamining questions beyond the capacity of any one individual researcher.

Mary Ersek: Norma M. Lang Award

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Mary Ersek

Mary Ersek

Mary Ersek, the Killebrew-Censits Chair in Undergraduate Education and professor of palliative care in Penn Nursing’s department of biobehavioral health sciences, was chosen for the 2017 Norma M. Lang Award for Scholarly Practice and Policy. 

The annual award recognizes a Penn Nursing faculty member or doctoral program graduate who has made a distinguished contribution to nursing through scholarly practice.

Dr. Ersek, who is also a professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, is a national and international expert on pain and palliative care for older adults, with an emphasis on the nursing home setting. She has served on the IOM Expert Panel on Advanced Dementia, as chair of the National Nursing Research Field Advisory Committee of the VHA and as an editorial board member of the Journal of Palliative Medicine. She is a Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing from the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.

Chantell Evans: Hanna Gray Fellow

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Chantell Evans

Chantell Evans

Chantell Evans, postdoctoral fellow in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, was named a Hanna Gray Fellow by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The inaugural fellowship was awarded to 15 early-career scientists.

As a Hanna Gray Fellow, Dr. Evans will receive up to $1.4 million in funding over eight years, as well as mentoring and active involvement within the HHMI medical community.

Dr. Evans works in the laboratory of Erika Holzbaur, the William Maul Measey Professor of Physiology, where she studies mitochondria in neurons. She will receive support from the program from her early postdoctoral training through several years of a tenure-track faculty position.

Linda Hatfield, Catherine McDonald and Mary K. Walton: Nursing Fellows

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Three Penn Nursing faculty, along with 14 Penn Nursing alumni, have been inducted as 2017 Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). The faculty fellows include Linda Hatfield, assistant professor of evidence-based practice; Catherine C. McDonald, assistant professor of nursing; and Mary K. Walton, director of patient & family centered care for HUP.

Selection criteria includes evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care, sponsorship by two current AAN fellows and the extent of influence of the nominee’s nursing career on health policies and the health and wellbeing of all. The review panel includes elected and appointed fellows.

Matthew Kayser: Clinical Scientist Development Award

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Matthew Kayser

Matthew Kayser

Matthew S. Kayser, assistant professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Penn Medicine, was recognized with the 2017 Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF). Dr. Kayser, whose research focuses on issues at the intersection of sleep and mental illness, will receive a grant of $495,000 over three years to support the research project, “Identifying biomarkers of treatment response in insomnia and depression with a metabolomics platform.”

“I am honored to have been selected by the Doris Duke Foundation,” said Dr. Kayser. “Our hope is to use these resources to address important questions at the intersection of sleep disorders and psychiatric illness.”

Dr. Kayser’s research will focus on deciphering a molecular basis for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) in humans in an effort to open new treatment avenues, with critical implications for insomnia and mood disorders. Dr. Kayser will use a metabolomics platform to identify biomarkers of response to CBT-I in euthymic and depressed individuals, opening a path towards novel therapeutic targets.

“I see in my clinic every week that insomnia is a major obstacle towards remission from depression, emphasizing the need to find new targets for treating insomnia, as well as biomarkers to help predict treatment response to available therapies,” Dr. Kayser added.

Marion Leary: Geek of the Year

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Marion Leary

Marion Leary

Marion Leary, director of innovation research at the Center for Resuscitation Science in the Perelman School of Medicine and the innovation specialist in Penn Nursing’s office of nursing research, recently was named Geek of the Year by Geekadelphia, Generocity and Technical.ly Philly.

Ms. Leary was chosen for her work as an educator, researcher, writer and advocate for science, technology, education, arts and math (STEAM) education. In April, Ms. Leary was the featured speaker at Philadelphia’s March for Science, which she helped lead.

Ms. Leary is a leader in the field of CPR quality and post-cardiac arrest, resuscitation care. She is an international Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) and serves on the American Heart Association’s Cardiovascular Nursing subcommittee and also its Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science subcommittee. 

Gina McCarthy: Carnot Prize

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Gina McCarthy

Gina McCarthy

The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design recently awarded the third annual Carnot Prize to the Honorable Gina McCarthy, former Administrator for the United States Environmental Protection Agency. 

The award was presented to Ms. McCarthy at the Kleinman Center Energy Forum.

“It is our privilege to honor Gina McCarthy with our third Carnot Prize,” said Mark Alan Hughes, Kleinman Center faculty director. “Her career exemplifies the courage, creativity and commitment required to make great changes in energy policy. She is an inspiration to the rising generation of leaders at Penn and around the world.”

Ms. McCarthy served as the 13th administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama. Ms. McCarthy is an Institute of Politics Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and the Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The Carnot Prize is named in memory of French scientist Sadi Carnot, who in 1824 published “Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire,” which is now recognized as the first statement of the second law of thermodynamics. Carnot recognized that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution” in human development. The Carnot Prize is intended to honor those leading revolutions in energy policy to further progress and prosperity.

Diana Mutz: Doris Graber Award

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Diana Mutz

Diana Mutz

Diana C. Mutz, the Samuel A. Stouffer Professor of Political Science and Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics, is the 2017 recipient of the Doris Graber Award from the American Political Science Association (APSA) for her book In Your Face Politics: The Consequences of Uncivil Media. This award recognizes the best book published on political communication in the last 10 years.

Dr. Mutz studies public opinion, political psychology and mass political behavior, with an emphasis on political communication. She recently received a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2017 Carnegie Fellowship to fund her continued research.

In Your Face Politics reviews research on both the benefits and the drawbacks of “in-your-face” media, such as TV shows in which politicians and pundits yell at one another.

Abraham Nitzan: Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry

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Abraham Nitzan

Abraham Nitzan

Abraham Nitzan, professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, was awarded the 2017-18 Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry from the Wisconsin-Madison Theoretical Chemistry Institute (TCI).

“[Dr. Nitzan] is an exceptional scientist,” said Edwin Sibert, professor at University of the Wisconsin-Madison and director of the TCI. “His theoretical work has laid the foundation for several important areas of physical chemistry.”

Dr. Nitzan is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Foreign Honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences and a member of the Israel Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry was established in 1991. The award commemorates the role of Joseph O. Hirschfelder (1911-90) as a pioneering member of the theoretical chemistry field.

Stephen Ross: Posthumous Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize

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The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research recently awarded the Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize for Quantitative Financial Innovation to the late Stephen A. Ross.

Dr. Ross, who taught at Penn in the 1970s, was best known for the development of the arbitrage pricing theory (mid-1970s). He died on March 3, 2017 at the age of 73.

The prize recognized Dr. Ross, a former Penn economics faculty member with a secondary appointment in Wharton’s finance department, for his work in the area of multi-factor asset pricing, which was introduced in his 1976 Journal of Economic Theory paper “The Arbitrage Theory of Capital Asset Pricing.”

“Steve Ross was a groundbreaking theorist,” Geoffrey Garrett, dean of the Wharton School, said. “It is an honor to celebrate his contributions to the field of investment management, specifically his pivotal work on APT (arbitrage pricing theory), with this year’s Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize.”

Rogers Smith: American Political Science Association President

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Rogers Smith

Rogers Smith

Rogers Smith, the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science and associate dean for social sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, was named president-elect of the American Political Science Association (APSA) for the 2017-2018 term. He is the first political scientist from Penn to serve in the position.

Dr. Smith will also serve on APSA’s council and executive committee for three years. 

Hao Wu: NIH New Innovator Award

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Hao Wu

Hao Wu

Hao Wu, assistant professor of genetics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has received a New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The award will provide Dr. Wu with $1.5 million over five years to study how the epigenome of heart muscle cells respond and adapt to changing environmental oxygen levels. The New Innovator Award supports unusually innovative research from early career investigators who are within 10 years of their final degree or clinical residency and have not yet received a research project grant or equivalent NIH grant. Dr. Wu is among 89 grantees chosen this year.

Dr. Wu, who joined Penn in 2016, works to create profiling and editing tools that investigate molecular interactions between environmental factors, such as oxygen levels in tissues, and the epigenome, a battery of chemical marks that control gene expression.

Dr. Wu will use the NIH grant to study the way the epigenome of heart muscle cells can respond and adapt to changing environmental oxygen levels. He plans to create single-cell profiling methods and “oxygen-sensing” epigenome editing enzymes to learn how to rewire the epigenome of mammalian heart muscle cells for the purpose of adult heart regeneration.

“Armed with these new tools, we will have the ability to observe and actively manipulate the interaction between environmental inputs and the epigenome ‘on demand’, providing fundamentally new opportunities to study the environment-epigenome interaction involved in a broad array of biological and pathological processes,” he said.

Penn Electric Racing: First Place in Two Competitions

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Penn Electric Racing’s team won first place in two racing competitions over the summer. The team won first-place in the Electric Vehicle division at the student racing competition, Formula North 2017 in Barrie, Ontario, and won electric gold at Formula SAE (International Society of Automotive Engineers) 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Formula SAE competition includes five events: acceleration, autocross, endurance, skid pad and fuel efficiency; and three static presentation events in business, cost and design. Penn won first-place in acceleration, autocross and endurance, as well as in the cost and business presentations. The team took second place in skid pad and efficiency, and third in design. Penn Electric Racing won first-place overall with a total of 923 out of a possible 1,000 points.

Penn Electric Racing utilizes the expertise of Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. The team provides students hands-on experience in skills such as vehicle dynamics, battery design, electric motors, motor controller design and coding, telemetry, sensors, transmissions, suspension and aerodynamics as well as management, operations and fundraising.

Penn: Fourth in Reuters Top 100

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The University of Pennsylvania ranked fourth place in the third annual Reuters Top 100 ranking of the world’s most innovative universities. The ranking’s goal is to identify and rank the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and power new markets and industries. Reuters partners with Clarivate Analytics to rank universities based on proprietary data and analysis of several indicators, including patent filings and research paper citations.

Among the top 10 universities, nine have remained in the top 10 every year, including Penn. Penn ranked ninth place in 2015 and eighth place in 2016.

Penn: 10th in World Rankings

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The University of Pennsylvania earned 10th place in the World University Rankings 2017-2018 list of the top 1,000 universities in the world. The rankings are published by The Times Higher Education, a London-based magazine. Penn was ranked fourth in the United States and first in Pennsylvania.

In the performance breakdown of rankings, Penn received the following scores: 83.7 for teaching; 61.3 for international outlook; 90.1 for research; 98.5 for citations; 56.9 for industry income; and 87.7 overall.

The rankings are based on 13 performance indicators and are subject to independent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers. 

Features

The Work of Philadelphia Architect Louis Kahn

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The work of Philadelphia architect Louis I. Kahn has received much academic attention at Penn recently. An exhibit at the Kroiz Gallery of the Penn Architectural Archives (located in the Fisher Fine Arts Building) showcases one of Mr. Kahn’s most unusual projects, a barge for the American Wind Symphony Orchestra. Completed in 1974, it was originally docked in Biloxi, Mississippi and is now located in London, England. This barge features a clamshell roof that opens when the vessel is docked to provide an acoustically sound concert shell, but closes while the barge is traveling.

This exhibit features a wide array of documents pertaining to Mr. Kahn including sketches and models of the barge, period photos and historic film footage. The exhibit will be on display through November 13. A series of events in conjunction with the exhibit include the following:

  • On Wednesday, October 25, Penn’s Architectural Archives curator William Whitaker will present a talk, Uncrating Kahn, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Meyerson Hall, discussing Mr. Kahn’s Philadelphia architecture and the creation of the exhibit. Register for this free talk at Eventbrite.
  • On Saturday, October 28, Penn’s graduate architecture program will host a daylong event called Louis I. Kahn: My Teacher, My Friend, My Father, My Architect. Located in the lower gallery and room B1 of Meyerson Hall, this event will include panels featuring Mr. Kahn’s children and colleagues. The day will conclude with a screening of My Architect: A Son’s Journey, a film spotlighting Mr. Kahn’s life and works, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker—Mr. Kahn’s son, Nathaniel Kahn. Tickets are $25 for the entire event, $10 for only the film screening and free for Penn students with ID. Register at Eventbrite.

Mr. Kahn was not only one of the 20th century’s most influential architects and the “spiritual father of the architectural tradition at Penn,” but he was an internationally known architect, educator and philosopher. He trained at Penn in the Beaux-Arts under Paul Philippe Cret from 1920-1924 and returned to Penn to teach from 1955 until his death at the age of 73 in 1974 (Almanac March 26, 1974).

Born in 1901 on the Baltic island of Osel, Estonia, Mr. Kahn came to America in 1905. He attended Central High School in Philadelphia before coming to Penn for his bachelor’s degree. He established an independent practice in 1947 and began teaching at Yale the same year. In 1955, he was appointed to a professorship at Penn, where he became the first to hold the Cret Professor of Architecture in 1966, created by a bequest from his own teacher. Mr. Kahn’s teaching and buildings helped spread new, modern ideas about the use of light and space in urban architecture. 

In 1957, Mr. Kahn embarked on a Penn building, the Richards Medical Research Laboratory, which was completed in 1960. The Alfred Newton Richards Medical Research Building was dedicated on May 19, 1960 (Almanac June 1960). Dr. Richards, emeritus professor of pharmacology and former vice president for medical affairs, for whom the building was named, took part with Penn President Gaylord Harnwell and other educators and medical leaders in dedicating the $3,100,000 structure on Hamilton Walk. The Richards Building was immediately acclaimed “for a bold design that brilliantly redefined modern architecture.” The towers themselves rise prominently above the common roof-level of the building, giving an effect of aspiration which, as President Harnwell pointed out, symbolize a “reaching for new understanding of the phenomena of human life and health, new powers to conserve them.” His other building, the Goddard Laboratory, was finished next door in 1964. Both Richards and Goddard Labs are now on the National Historic Landmark list (Almanac April 12, 2016). They remain an integral part of Penn’s campus and a key entry in Mr. Kahn’s innovative oeuvre. 

The Richards Labs are composed of a group of connected vertical volumes whose interior functions are expressed by differing exterior treatments. The laboratories are marked by corner windows, and supported and separated by cantilevered structural, pre‑cast concrete beams and horizontal bands of brick veneer. The mechanical and circulation functions of the building are contained in tall brick‑faced towers rising above laboratory sections.

As part of Penn Connects 2.0 (Almanac July 17, 2012), the Richards Building is undergoing renovation. Its windows are being replaced with more energy-efficient glass, wet lab space is being converted to offices, conference rooms, and lobby spaces, and HVAC and lighting improvements are being implemented. The first phase of this project, which saw one half of the building updated, was completed in fall 2015; the other half of the building is projected to be finished in spring 2019. 

Richards Building

Louis Kahn’s Richards Medical Research Laboratory, completed in 1960, is undergoing renovations that are scheduled to be completed in 2019. Photo by Jackson Betz.

Sketch of symphony barge

This drawing of Louis Kahn’s symphony barge is one of many artifacts on display at the Kroiz Gallery through November 13. Drawing courtesy of Penn’s Architectural Archives.

Louis Kahn

Louis Kahn is the focus of a PennDesign exhibit and several related events this semester. Photo courtesy of PennDesign.

Day of the Dead—Día de los Muertos—Celebration at the Penn Museum: Saturday October 28

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Ballet Folklorico Yaretzi

The Ballet Folklorico Yaretzi (above) performs traditional Mexican folk dances at the Penn Museum’s Day of the Dead celebration on Saturday afternoon, October 28.

The Penn Museum, joining with the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia and the Mexican Cultural Center, presents the sixth annual Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead Celebration Saturday, October 28, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., throughout the galleries of the international museum of art, archaeology and world cultures. Music and dance, pageantry and puppetry, papier maché artistry, sugar skull and paper flower making, face painting, a Mexico and Central America gallery tour, and special celebration foods are all part of the festive day.

Renowned Philadelphia artist and muralist Cesar Viveros creates the celebration’s centerpiece, an elaborate Day of the Dead altar. Guests have an opportunity to vote for their favorite of smaller altars created by community groups, at an altar competition with prizes for the winners. Everyone is encouraged to come in costume and costumed guests under age 12 receive half price general admission to the day. Guests dressed in a Day of the Dead-themed costume such as La Catrina, or as a traditional Mexican icon like Frida Kahlo, can join an afternoon parade and costume contest.

As always, ghoulish skeletons and macabre decorations abound, but make no mistake: Day of the Dead is anything but somber. It’s a vibrant cultural celebration, rich in traditions and connections—it is at heart a celebration of life.

The Day of the Dead Celebration is free with Penn Museum admission ($15, general admission; $13, seniors 65+; $10, children 6-17 and full-time students with ID; $2 ACCESS Card holders; free to children under 5, members, active U.S. Military, STAMP and PennCard holders).

Music and Dance

Headlining the day is the popular New York-based group Radio Jarocho & Zenen Zeferino, sharing the energetic, foot-tapping Son Jarocho style music, with its performance of “The skeletons come to the fandango!”—dance, music and poetry to commemorate the lives of those who are no longer with us. The Norristown-based Ballet Folklorico Yaretzi takes visitors  through a journey across Mexico with a mix of each state’s own traditional style, colorful repertoire and amazing tap steps. Ollin Papalotl Group showcases Aztec dances and traditional costumes.

Centerpiece and Remembrance: Hurricane and Earthquake Victims of 2017

The modern Mexican Day of the Dead holiday is a rich blending of traditions, its origins tracing back to beliefs and activities of indigenous peoples of Central and South Mexico, as well as Catholic celebrations of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Throughout Mexico and around the world, the Day of the Dead brings family and friends together in a jovial manner to pray for and remember deceased loved ones.

Creating ornate Day of the Dead altars is one of the most important traditions in Mexican, Mexican-American and Latino communities worldwide. The altars typically have three levels: one for food and flower offerings to those who have died; one that touches on religious traditions, including the pre-Hispanic tradition that to remember someone is to “bring them back” among the living; and a final level which dedicates the altar to someone.

This year’s central altar, designed by mural artist Cesar Viveros and built with help from the Mexican Consul in Philadelphia staff members, honors the recent victims of natural disasters—the hurricanes and earthquakes which have laid waste to the homes, and very lives, of so many people in Mexico and neighboring parts of the United States and the Caribbean islands.

Partners in the Celebration

The Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia, the Mexican Cultural Center and regional community groups join the Penn Museum to make the afternoon possible. The celebration, the event first in the Museum’s World Culture Day series, is made possible in part with generous support from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Telemundo and Visit Philly (Philly Te Ama), are sponsors for the day.

Schedule for the Day

Beginning at 11 a.m., guests of all ages can join in the celebration with face painting, tissue paper flower making and shopping amongst Mexican craft vendors. Beginning at 1 p.m., guests can decorate sugar skulls at an afternoon craft station. Food is very much a part of Day of the Dead celebrations, and guests may sample traditional sweet “pan de muerto” buns and spicy hot chocolate, Maya-style, while supplies last.

At 11:20 a.m., Ollin Papalotl Group performs traditional Aztec dances. Marionette puppets from the Mexican Cultural Center perform twice: a noon show, and again at 1:40 p.m.

The Penn Museum’s Mexico and Central America gallery features art and artifacts from the ancient Maya and other pre-Hispanic cultures of the region, and museum curator Simon Martin, at work on a reinstallation of the gallery to open in November 2018, offers a tour at 12:30 p.m.

The Ballet Folklorico Yaretzi performs traditional Mexican folk dances at 1 p.m., and join Radio Jarocho & Zenen Zeferino for “The skeletons come to the fandango!”—a rousing final set at 2:15 p.m.

Beginning at 3:30 p.m., judges announce the winners for best community altars, and guests in traditional Day of the Dead costumes are invited to join a procession to end the day.

Events

Update: October AT PENN

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Conference

20              The Primacy of the Image: A Career Celebration for Larry Silver; 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center; register: http://bit.ly/2kByoEW (History of Art).

Readings & Signings

All events held at Kelly Writers House.
RSVP: wh@writing.upenn.edu

18              Matt Nussbaum of Politico; noon.

                  Speakeasy: Open Mic Night; 7:30 p.m.

19              Life and Music of Lou Reed; Anthony DeCurtis, 5 p.m.

Talks

18              Genetically Dissecting Brain Circuits; Benjamin Arenkiel, Baylor; 4 p.m; rm. 140, John Morgan Bldg. (Mahoney Institute).

19              Lives and Landscapes of Roman Peasants; Kim Bowes, classical studies; 4:30 p.m.; rm. 402, Claudia Cohen Hall (Classical Studies).

                  Artist’s Talk; Mike Cloud; Brooklyn College/CUNY; 6:30 p.m.; ICA (PennDesign). 

23              Regulation of RhoG Signaling in Invadodia and Cell-Cell Junctions; Rafael Garcia-Matta, University of Toledo; noon; Smilow Center (SPATT).

AT PENN Deadlines 

The October AT PENN calendar is now online.  The deadline for the November AT PENN calendar is today, October 17. 

Balancing Research with Privacy & Security: October 20

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Penn’s Office of Information Security (OIS) is partnering with SAS and the School of Nursing for a panel discussion on the security and privacy-related tools, challenges and resources that come into play when conducting research at Penn.

This discussion will focus on the importance of maintaining an ongoing dialogue and close collaboration between Penn researchers and IT staff in meeting federal, state and University data security and privacy requirements. 

Panelists include: 

  • José Bauermeister, Presidential Associate Professor of Nursing; 
  • Elizabeth Peloso, Associate Vice President/Associate Vice Provost, Office of Research Services; 
  • Stewart Varner, Managing Director, Price Lab for Digital Humanities; 
  • Christine Brisson, Director of Information Security and Unix Systems at SAS Computing; 
  • Elizabeth Crutchley, Penn Infant Language Center Lab Manager.

RSVP via Eventbrite. Due to space constraints, attendance is limited to Penn faculty and staff. Please bring your PennCard to the event.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…ReThink Your Footprint: October 16-20

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Penn Green Campus Partnership invites the Penn Community to come together for its annual ReThink Your Footprint campaign, October 16-20 to promote waste minimization efforts. ReThink Your Footprint raises awareness of already-established waste minimization programs and initiatives in this area, inspires students, staff and faculty to create new activities related to source reduction and recycling, and encourages everyone to rethink their footprint.

The goal of ReThink Your Footprint is to raise the level of conversation about waste management beyond solely recycling and into a broader discussion of source reduction and reuse—resulting in greater diversion of campus waste from the landfill. As a university, Penn has already made great strides in managing its trash, recycling and other waste, and this year we continue to build upon this work

Many University-wide waste minimization programs have already begun, and other scheduled events and initiatives will roll out as the campaign progresses. Students, staff, faculty and the larger community are invited to get involved by creating additional programs, planning activities, or coming together for educational events where reduce, reuse, recycle will be the focus. 

For events and more information, see Penn Green Campus Partnership.

Annual Safety Fair: October 25

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Ramp Up logo

Public Safety and the Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety (EHRS) will host Penn’s annual Safety Fair on October 25. This year’s fair will be held in the lobby of the Biological Research Building, 421 Curie Blvd. To take LUCY to the Safety Fair, see universitycity.org/lucy for more information.  

This year’s theme is RAMP Up Safety. The acronym is from the American Chemical Society and stands for Recognize a hazard, Assess the risk of that hazard, Minimize the risk of the hazard and Prepare for emergencies. Come visit this year’s Safety Fair to learn more about how you can RAMP Up Safety in your workplace.

Representatives from a variety of Penn offices will be available to answer questions about office ergonomics, personal safety, gender inequity, recycling, laboratory protective equipment, laboratory waste, rDNA registrations, training compliance, animal protocols, dangerous goods shipments, export controls and more. 

Several vendors will also be at the Fair with a variety of safety products to preview. Light refreshments will be served to attendees. Exciting prizes will be raffled to Penn faculty, staff and students participating in the Fair. 

Crimes

Weekly Crime Reports

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The University of Pennsylvania Police Department Community Crime Report

About the Crime Report: Below are all Crimes Against Persons, Property and Crimes Against Society from the campus report for October 2, 2017-October 8, 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 October 2, 2017-October 8, 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.

10/03/1711:27 AM3737 Chestnut StEmployee took iPhone
10/03/1711:34 AM3400 Spruce StUnsecured wallet taken from office
10/03/1710:15 AM215 S 33rd StUnsecured backpack taken from suite
10/03/171:58 PM3627 Locust WalkUnauthorized charges made on credit card
10/03/176:11 PM250 S 38th StText message sent to complainant
10/04/1710:23 AM3400 Civic Center BlvdComplainant threatened by patient's mother
10/04/1711:23 AM202 S 36th StComplainant defrauded of money
10/04/1712:16 PM3935 Walnut StUnsecured items taken from location
10/04/171:05 PM3800 Chestnut StVehicle taken
10/04/172:47 PM421 Curie BlvdComplainant slapped by known male
10/05/179:41 AM4229 Baltimore AveCriminal trespass/ Arrest
10/05/1710:35 AM380 University AveComplainant received an email threat
10/05/1712:59 PM3730 Walnut StCell phone stolen
10/06/179:52 AM240 S 40th StBackpack, money and laptop taken
10/06/1711:09 AM3501 Sansom StCredit and debit cards stolen
10/06/1712:04 PM4001 Walnut StMerchandise taken without payment/ Arrest
10/06/171:51 PM3421 Chestnut StCredit card taken and unauthorized charges made
10/06/173:32 PM3730 Walnut StInfant care products taken
10/06/178:49 PM3925 Walnut StRetail theft/ Arrest
10/08/171:25 AM3604 Chestnut StMerchandise taken without payment/ Arrest
10/08/177:23 PM4101 Walnut StAttempted burglary

18th District Report 

Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District: 7 incidents with 1 arrest (3 assaults, 3 robberies, and 1 domestic assault) were reported between October 2, 2017-October 8, 2017 by the 18th District covering the Schuylkill River to 49th Street & Market Street to Woodland Avenue.

10/03/173:26 PM46th & MarketAssault
10/03/176:34 PM18 S 48th StRobbery
10/04/175:26 PM421 Curie BlvdAssault
10/05/173:42 PM4315 Chester AveRobbery/ Arrest
10/06/173:18 AM3401 Civic Center BlvdDomestic assault
10/06/173:55 PM4500 Market StRobbery
10/07/179:20 AM4600 Chestnut StAssault

Bulletins

Penn’s Way 2018 Raffle

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Penn's Way logo

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. 

Week 2 Winners (Awarded October 10)

ThermoFisher—Amazon gift card (value $50): John Bertos, Perelman School of Medicine

[solidcore]—Gift certificate for gym (value $100): Riley McKee, HUP Corporate

Penn Business Services—Penn fashion scarf (value $90): Jasmine Dong, Student Financial Services

La Colombe and Day by Day—Three-pack coffee gift box and $20 gift certificate for lunch (value $57): Charles Gervase Harvey, Information Systems & Computing

ThermoFisher­— Best Buy gift card (value $50): Natalie Bain, HUP Corporate

Longwood Gardens—Four Passes (value $98): Heather Cardamone, Purchasing Services

Week 4 (October 24 Drawing)

Penn Business Services—Penn fashion scarf (value $90)

Fresh on 47th —Three for Two Take-Away Dinners (for two people; three dinners) (value $75)

Philadelphia Union—Two Tickets (value $65)

ThermoFisher—Home Depot gift card (value $50)

ThermoFisher—iTunes Gift Card (value $50)

Bella Bridesmaids—Gift certificate (value $100)

Historic Philadelphia Inc.—Family four-pack Fun @ Franklin Square (value $48)

BioLegend—Goody Bag with puzzle, water bottle, t-shirt & Starbucks card (value $60)

W. B. Mason—Keurig K-130 Coffee Maker (value $80)