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Honors & Other Things
January 30, 2007, Volume 53, No. 20

Ms. Thomason: Director’s Award

Tena Thomason

Tena Thomason, special events coordinator of Penn Museum, has received the Penn Museum Director’s Award for Exceptional Achievement. Ms. Thomason has worked at the Penn Museum since 1997, serving as assistant in the events and membership departments before assuming her current role in 2000. The Director’s Award is presented annually to honor exceptional staff and volunteer achievement. “It is a real pleasure to present this award to Tena Thomason, whose dedicated work—way above and beyond the call of duty—has enhanced the Museum’s public presence for a decade,” said Museum Director Jeremy Sabloff.

Dr. Walsh: Chemical Society Award

Patrick Walsh

Dr. Patrick Walsh, assistant professor of inorganic chemistry, has received the 2006 American Chemical Society Philadelphia Section Award which recognizes an individual “who, by conspicuous scientific achievement through research, has made important contributions to man’s knowledge and thereby aided the public appreciation of the profession.”

Penn: Top Charitable-Giving

Penn has received four out of four possible stars for its charitable efforts by Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest independent evaluator of charities. The organization evaluates such categories as program expenses, fund efficiency, and program growth. Penn received the top honor, and under the peer review section, led Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University in the top three. Charity Navigator’s full list of rankings is available at www.charitynavigator.org.

Penn: Top Community Engagement

Penn has been selected as one of 76 colleges and universities nationwide that have achieved the Community Engagement classification by the Carnegie Foundation. The Community Engagement classification is elective, meaning that institutions elect to participate by submitting information describing the extent of their community engagement, whether local or beyond. Specifically, Penn was classified under one of the three categories, Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships, for its “substantial commitments in both areas from engaging faculty, students, and community in a mutually beneficial collaboration of teaching, learning, and scholarship, to the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge, information, and resources between institution and community.”

Best School for Men in Nursing

Penn’s School of Nursing (SON) has been honored with the 2006 Best School Award by the American Assembly for Men in Nursing. Penn Nursing received the award for its efforts to recruit and retain men in nursing and particularly the efforts of the Male Association of Nurses—University of Pennsylvania (MANUP). The American Assembly will present the award at its annual conference in October.

High Rankings for Grad Programs

In recent rankings from the TheBizofKnowledge.com, Penn was ranked #3 for Education Graduate Programs and #7 for Graduate Engineering Programs, tied with Rice University, based on faculty scholar productivity.

Dr. Mansfield: Lepgold Book Prize

Edward Mansfield

Dr. Edward Mansfield, Hum Rosen Professor of Political Science, has received the Joseph Lepgold Prize for his book, Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go to War, which he coauthored with Jack Snyder. The Lepgold Prize by Georgetown University honors scholars with exceptional contributions to the studies of international relations and international security. 

$114K for Barbaro Fund

Breyer Animal Creations has donated $114,710 to the Barbaro Fund, which was created in honor of the racehorse that captivated the hearts of the nation when his winning career was cut short at the Preakness due to injury. Breyer has made and sold 11,471 model replicas of Barbaro and had donated $10 per model (priced between $40 and $50) to the Barbaro Fund, which will help horses that suffer injuries in the future.

ITMAT Award Recipients

The Chemical Biology in Translation Program of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT) announced its first round of applications for High Throughput Screening (HTS).

Dr. Gary D. Kao, Department of Radiation Oncology, SOM; Detection of caspase activation in zebrafish embryos, a sophisticated vertebrate for HTS of radiomodifying agents.

Dr. Emer M. Smyth, Department of Pharmacology, SOM; Identifying selective ligands for prostacyclin-thromboxane receptor heterodimers.

ITMAT announced the second round of applications for its Transdisciplinary Award Program (TAPITMAT), supported by SOM and CHOP.

The selected projects range across the breadth of biology, integrate diverse disciplines and investigators from many schools at Penn, CHOP, and the Wistar Institute reflecting their interaction in the context of the Clinical and Translational Science Award.

Dr. Jean Bennett, Department of Ophthalmology, SOM; Dr. Joshua Lipschutz, Department of Medicine, SOM; Gene therapy for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease.

Dr. Douglas Cines, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, SOM; Dr. Andrew Tsourkas, Department of Bioengineering, SEAS; Platelet-mediated thrombolysis.

Dr. George Coukos, Center for Research in Reproduction and Women’s Health/Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, SOM; Dr. Bruce L. Levin, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, SOM; Development of ovarian cancer immunotherapy using rapidly activate peritoneal monocytes.

Dr. Michal A. Elovitz, Center for Research in Reproduction and Women’s Health/Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, SOM; Dr. Akiva S. Cohen, Department of Pediatric Neurology, CHOP; Perturbations in neural development and function contribute to adverse neurologic outcomes in preterm neonates.

Dr. Liselotte E. Jensen, Department of Pharmacology, SOM; Dr. Meenhard Herlyn, Program of Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis, The Wistar Institute; Novel immune response modifying therapy for psoriasis.

Dr. Barry L. Ziober, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, SOM; Dr. Haim H. Bau, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, SEAS; Dr. So-Jung Park, Department of Chemistry, SAS; Microfluidics for gene expression pattern recognition.

Ribbon-Cutting At the Veterinary School’s ribbon cutting in the Hill Pavilion earlier this month, (from left to right) Dean Emeritus Alan M. Kelly, Barbara Cavanaugh, head of Veterinary Libraries, donors Vernon and Shirley Hill, along with their dog Duffy, watch Dr. Steven W. Atwood, who cut the ribbon in the Library Commons bearing his name; as Dean Joan Hendricks; and Carton Rodgers, vice provost and director of libraries at Penn look on.

MLK Community Involvement Awards

On January 18, the twelfth annual Interfaith Commemoration of the Life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., took place in Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall, with a keynote address, musical performances, and the presentation of the Community Involvement Awards.

MLK Awardees 200 Awardees Dorothy Johnson-Speight, Sonia Sanchez, Jon Kole, Isabel Mapp-Robinson and Hal Haskins with President Amy Gutmann.

Sonia Sanchez is a renowned writer, poet, playwright and activist who has been an influential force in African American literary and political culture for over three decades. She was also in the forefront of the Black Studies Movement and taught the first course in the country on Black Women. Ms. Sanchez addresses issues related to the African American experience, women, literature and culture. Ms. Sanchez is the author of over a dozen books and has published numerous plays. She was the winner of the 1995 American Book Award in Poetry for “Homegirls and Handgrenades.” Most recently, she has been active with the Granny Peace Brigade—a group of women ages 59 to 91—many of whom are grandmothers, who are in protest of the war in Iraq. Ms. Sanchez has also been the recipient of numerous honors including a National Endowment for the Arts Award, the Community Service Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the Lucretia Mott Award, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities, and the Peace and Freedom Award from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. For her role in the Black Arts, Black Studies and the Civil Rights Movements, she is recognized with a Community Involvement Award.

When Dorothy Johnson-Speight’s 24-year old-son was murdered over a parking space in December of 2001, she didn’t succumb to her grief. She used it as a catalyst for action. She was able to turn a personal tragedy into a medium for change by forming Mothers In Charge, a grass roots organization which provides violence prevention, education and intervention for youth, young adults, families and community organizations. In addition, Mothers In Charge works with elected officials on legislation to support safe neighborhoods and communities for children and families and collaborates with community and faith based organizations. Visit Mothers In Charge online at www.mothersincharge.org to learn more about this organization and the many awards they have received. Because of Ms. Johnson-Speight’s community activism, recognition of the need for positive change and the gifts she brings to this organization and its mission, she is recognized with a Community Involvement Award.

Isabel Mapp-Robinson holds the position of Associate Director, Staff, Faculty, Alumni Volunteer Services/Director Penn Volunteers In Public Service. She takes her and the University’s responsibility to the community personally, working tirelessly to support the Penn Compact’s goal of local engagement. Some of the programs she organizes include distribution of University excess and the Move-Out Drive where food, clothing and electronic items are collected from departing students and donated to the community.  She coordinates several mentoring programs and manages volunteer activities for faculty, staff and alumni at the University. She has served on the board of the Penn Professional Staff Assembly, the Penn Professional Women’s Network, the Women of Color at Penn, the Special Events Professional group and recently she joined the board of the Showell Foundation, an organization aimed at improving the lives of young people. In addition, she has served as the co-chair of Penn’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium Day of Service Committee since its inception. Ms. Mapp-Robinson has been recognized several times by the University and by her peers and in addition, she is  recognized with a Community Involvement Award.

Jon Kole, a sophomore biology/psychology major with a GPA of 3.93, spent his 2006 winter break volunteering in New Orleans with Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Kole’s commitment to community service, social action and change are evidenced through this and his other volunteer work on campus, throughout local Philadelphia schools and neighborhoods across the country.  Mr. Kole tutors elementary students weekly as well as works with patients at CHOP. He has donated time to St. Agatha’s Soup Kitchen and to Operation Santa Claus. During the summer of 2006, Mr. Kole completed an internship at Senator Barack Obama’s Office where he worked with Chicago government administration to contact grass roots organizations and businesses to connect with poorer communities in order to improve businesses within Chicago’s neighborhoods. He was able to implement outreach programs that directly affect the relationship between policymakers and local constituents. Most of Mr. Kole’s service interactions are with racial groups other than his own. He believes the “best remedy for intolerance is personal connections.” He is the editor of the Penn Newsletter, captain of the Democratic campaign “Get Out The Vote” and a new member of the NAACP. He was recently elected to the Civic House Advocacy Coalition Executive Board and umbrella group for all of Penn’s community service organizations. Jon Kole is recognized for his social activism and his desire to bridge the gap between racial and socioeconomic groups in Philadelphia with a Community Involvement Award.

MLK Community Education Award In Honor of Dr. Judith Rodin

For outstanding contributions to the advancement of education and educational opportunities in West Philadelphia.

Harold Haskins has been a long-standing advocate of collaborative learning among Penn’s diverse undergraduate and graduate student populations. He has extensive experience and vision in generating projects that engage students during their undergraduate years thereby enabling student growth and leadership in early stages of their academic development at the college level. He has tailored programs to support underrepresented student populations which include services to physically challenged, minority, educationally and economically disadvantaged students. Mr. Haskins has expertise in fundraising, having obtained significant financial resources to support development activities initiated during his tenure at Penn. Some of his accomplishments include establishment or participation in: LEAD Wharton Summer Business Institute (1981-2002)—major fundraising development support ($1,500,000); establishment of the Robert Aresty Scholarship Fund, Wharton LEAD Program (1998) to provide scholarships for minority undergraduates who otherwise would not have been able to attend Penn ($375,000); established the W.E.B. DuBois House Scholarship Fund (1997); Whitney M. Young, Jr. Memorial Chair, Wharton School (1996) ($1,275,000); Constance E. Clayton Chair in Urban Education (1993), Graduate School of Education; Consultant to AAMBAA for the establishment of the Whitney M. Young Endowed Fellowship (1984) (Endowed currently $370,000; distribution of $15,000, annually). During his tenure as associate vice president for community development at Temple University Health Science Center in 1967, Mr. Haskins produced a film, The Jungle, featuring teenage gang life in North Philadelphia. In 1968, this film won a film award at the Festival de Popoli in Italy. The film was a catalyst for a number of gang members to return to high school to earn diplomas. Several of these gang members went on to earn degrees at regional universities. Because of his commitment to increasing access to college for underrepresented minorities and his commitment to education, Harold Haskins is awarded the Community Education Award.

Almanac - January 30, 2007, Volume 53, No. 20