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Weigle Information Commons Seltzer Family Innovation Awards
May 6, 2008, Volume 54, No. 32

Penn Libraries and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) are proud to announce the recipients of the 2008 Seltzer Family Innovation Awards, made possible through the generosity of Jeff and Annie Seltzer. Kristin Hall C/W ‘11 and Shawn Wang C/W ‘11, both in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, along with George Karandinos, Jean Lee, Jody Pollock, and Nick Salvatore—all from the College, have each been awarded exclusive use of $1,000-worth of equipment and technology to support their research for the coming year. This year’s Seltzer Awards will fund the following projects:

 Under the guidance of faculty of the School of Medicine, Kristin Hall will use audio and video interviews to explore the life experiences of people in Botswana with HIV/AIDS. She will examine the interactions between health issues and economic policy decisions.

Under the guidance of Dr. Howard Perlmutter, emeritus professor of social architecture and management, Shawn Wang will explore uses of the virtual world Second Life to bridge distances and create collaborative environments. He proposes to create a Second Life meeting space where he will organize activities for Penn students to interact with students from Malawi.

Under the guidance of Dr. Philippe Bourgois, PIK Professor, professor of anthropology, George Karandinos (Health & Societies, C ’10) will use digital audio recording and database software to collate information from iterative conversational interviews of patients at Philadelphia’s largest HIV clinic. He expects to use this research for his Honors thesis in Health and Societies.

Under the guidance of Dr. Peter Decherney, assistant professor of English and cinema studies, Jean Lee (English/Cinema Studies, C ’09) will create a documentary film about sex-trafficking in Philadelphia. The project will encompass legal and sociological components, for which she will interview several Penn faculty and staff from Philadelphia city government.

Under the guidance of Andrew Lamas, lecturer of urban studies, Jody Pollock (Urban Studies/Hispanic Studies, C ‘10) will create a documentary film about an orphanage in Mixco, Guatemala. She will collaborate with Ties to the World, a new non-profit organization established with assistance from two Penn students.

Under the guidance of Kenneth Goldsmith, lecturer in the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, and in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Nick Salvatore (Fine Arts/English, C ‘08) will combine multiple videocameras and audio recording sources to create new media. He plans to enact and record Alfred Jarry’s film “Ubu Roi” in three dimensions, both as a live-action film and as a performance within the Second Life virtual world.

The Gift Award Committee for the Seltzer Family Innovation Awards consists of Inge Herman (executive director, Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business), John MacDermott (director for Instructional Technology, SAS Computing), Kristen Stromberg Childers (assistant professor of history) and Anu Vedantham (director, Weigle Information Commons, Penn Libraries).


Almanac - May 6, 2008, Volume 54, No. 32