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Honors and Other Things
April 27, 2010, Volume 56, No. 31

ASA Fellow: Dr. Allison
Dr. Paul D. Allison, professor of sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences, has been elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA). This award is given annually to a limited number of association members “of established reputation who have made outstanding contributions in some aspect of statistical work.” Dr. Allison’s research focuses on statistical methods for missing data and longitudinal data.

Inaugural Christian Association Award: Dr. Barnes

Sandra Barnes

Dr. Sandra Barnes, professor of anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, is the recipient of the inaugural Open Mind for Africa Award in recognition of her work for Africa at the University of Pennsylvania. She will recieve the award on May 7 at MidAtlantic Restaurant at 6 p.m. RSVP: www.upennca.org.

“We are delighted to be honoring Dr. Barnes with this inaugural award,” stated Katherine Primus, executive director of the Christian Association. “Dr. Barnes provides inspiration to our work in Africa and is a treasure to the Penn community.”

Dr. Barnes founded Penn’s African Studies Center in 1993, which is a Title VI National Resource Center Consortium between Penn, Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges.  

The Open Mind for Africa program, created in 2008, honors Dr. Louise Shoemaker, dean emerita of the Penn School of Social Work, now the School of Social Policy & Practice. The program provides cultural awareness on Africa through its popular “Eat Your Way Through Africa” monthly dinners. The program also awards travel grants to students doing service work in Africa.

Claire M. Fagin Award: Dr. Fairman


Dr. Julie Fairman, professor of nursing, and director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, is the eighth annual recipient of the Claire M. Fagin Distinguished Researcher Award. She presented her research—“Making Room for Clio: Nursing History for a Practice Discipline”—at the awards ceremony held on April 21. Dr. Fairman’s scholarship has focused on historical research in the nurse practitioner movement, critical care, and technology.




Schweitzer Fellows
Gregory Charak and Chuka Didigu, second year students in the School of Medicine, have been selected as 2010-11 Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows. They will work on a service project aimed at reducing risk factors for gestational diabetes, by developing a risk reduction program for pregnant mothers in West Philadelphia. The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship’s mission is to develop “Leaders in Service” who are dedicated to addressing the health needs of underserved communities in the US and Africa. Approximately 200 graduate students are selected each year to be Schweitzer Fellows.

Google Grant: Ms. Griffin
Jean Griffin
Jean Griffin, senior lecturer in the department of computer and information science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been awarded $18,500 from Google to hold a CS4HS workshop this summer for high school computer science teachers. The CS4HS workshop was originally developed by Carnegie-Mellon University, and Penn Engineering was one of 50 schools that Google contacted and asked to apply for funding this year.

Victor K. LaMer Award: Dr. Lee


Dr. Daeyeon Lee, assistant professor in the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, is the 2010 recipient of the Victor K. LaMer Award, which commends outstanding graduate research in colloid and surface chemistry. Dr. Lee is being recognized for his PhD research on “Surface Engineering Using Layer-by-Layer Assembly of pH-Sensitive Polymers and Nanoparticles,” advised by Robert Cohen and Michael Rubner at MIT.

Dr. Lee will give the LaMer plenary lecture at the 84th American Chemical Society Colloid and Surface Science Symposium in June. Dr. Lee’s research goal is to extend the basic understanding of soft matter.




Mechanics Award: Dr. Purohit
Dr. Prashant Purohit, assistant professor in the department of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics in the School of the Engineering and Applied Science, is the 2010 recipient of the Ferdinand P. Beer and E. Russell Johnston, Jr. Outstanding New Mechanics Educator Award. Given by the American Society for Engineering Education, winners are selected on the basis of their exceptional contributions to mechanics education. Dr. Purohit conducts his research at the interface of mechanics, physics, and biology.

Young Investigator: Dr. Taskar
The Office of Naval Research named Dr. Ben Taskar, Magerman Term Assistant Professor in Computer and Information Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, as a winner of the 2010 Young Investigator Program. He was one of 17 recipients of the award, which invests in academic scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise for creative study. Winners receive a three-year research grant of up to $510,000. Applicants are chosen based on a comprehensive evaluation of their past performance, a creative research proposal and a long-term commitment from their university.

2010 Goldwater Scholars

Axelrod Sun

Penn students, Kevin Axelrod, C’11, and Alexander Sun, C’12, have been named 2010 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars.

Mr. Axelrod, a biochemistry/physics major, plans to pursue a PhD in physics and conduct research in condensed matter physics.

Mr. Sun, a biochemistry and molecular biology/chemistry major, plans to pursue a PhD in organic chemistry and conduct research in bioorganic chemistry and methodology.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served in the US Senate for 30 years. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.

Elected to Board: Dr. Lior
Dr. Noam Lior, professor of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been elected chairman of the International Scientific Committee and member of the Management Board of the Centre for Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems. The International Center was established and incorporated in Europe recently.

2010 Truman Scholars
Penn students Sarah Brown and Gerardo Melendez-Torres, have been selected as 2010 Truman Scholars. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards merit-based $30,000 scholarships to students who plan to pursue careers in government or public service, and who wish to attend graduate or professional school to help prepare for their careers.

Mr. Melendez-Torres is a junior in the Wharton School and the School of Nursing. His goal is to create policy and programs to address issues in geriatric mental health.

Ms. Brown is also a junior in the Wharton School. Concentrating in entrepreneurship, she is working to develop distribution channels for Native Alaskan artwork. Her goal is to help create additional education opportunities for rural Alaskan youth.

Since the inception of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships in 2001, Penn has received a total of six Truman Scholarships.

Honorary Member: Mr. Vitek
Dr. Vasek Vitek, professor in the department of materials science and engineering in SEAS,

has been elected an Honorary Member of the Japan Institute of Metals (JIM), an organization in Japan dedicated to the promotion and development of science and technology of metals and materials. The JIM is one of the most active members of the International Organization of Materials, Metals & Minerals Societies.

YMCA Board: Ms. Cella
Stefanie Cella, director of operations and external affairs of the Division of Public Safety, has been appointed to the board at the West Philadelphia YMCA. She will serve a three-year term, planning coordinating and evaluating the West Philadelphia YMCA’s programs, services and personnel. In addition, Ms. Cella serves on the YMCA’s Program Committee, which coordinates and manages family services, the aquatics department and wellness programs.

Restaurant School Board: Ms. Rush


Maureen Rush, vice president for public safety, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College.

“With a keen sense of management and community affairs, Maureen brings an extensive knowledge of urban law enforcement to improve the interaction between the college campus and the community,” said Danny Liberatoscioli, School president.

Under her leadership, Penn’s Division of Public Safety has become a national standard of excellence for its private/public venture model of success. Ms. Rush manages a budget of $21 million, oversees seven departments and is responsible for 175 employees.



CALEA Accreditation: UPPD
The University of Pennsylvania’s Police Department (UPPD) has been awarded international accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. and was selected as a “flagship agency” among its peers.

To earn accreditation, UPPD was required to comply with 463 standards, codes and state-of-the-art practices.

“Retaining CALEA accreditation is a voluntary process,” Maureen Rush, vice president for public safety at Penn, said. “Only 46 other campus police agencies and 592 other law-enforcement organizations across the US have attained this highly prized recognition. Earning this accreditation for the third time in a row and being chosen as a flagship agency demonstrates that UPPD continually exceeds a standard of excellence in law enforcement.”

After a rigorous three-day, on-site assessment of policies and procedures, administration, operations and support services, CALEA officials concluded that the UPPD surpassed the required standards and designated UPPD as a “flagship agency,” one that exemplifies outstanding professionalism and community relations.

UPPD is the only university police department in Pennsylvania to have received accreditation.

Hall of Fame: Nursing Professors

Five of the 22 nurse researchers to be inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International’s newly-created Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame are faculty members from Penn Nursing. The School of Nursing boasts the most inductees of any schools of nursing.

Drs. Linda Aiken, Lois Evans, Loretta Sweet Jemmott, Mary Naylor, and Neville Strumpf are being honored by the nursing honor society for their “long-term, broad national and/or international recognition” and for research that “has impacted the profession and the people it serves.”

Dr. Aiken is internationally recognized for her work on the nursing workforce and is an authority on causes, consequences, and solutions for nurse shortages in the US and internationally.

Dr. Jemmott is one of the nation’s foremost researchers in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention among African American adolescents.

Dr. Naylor is renowned for leading an interdisciplinary program of research designed to improve outcomes and reduce costs of care for vulnerable community-based elders.

Drs. Evans and Strumpf developed a program of collaborative, award-winning research that reduced the use of physical restraints on older adults in nursing homes and hospitals. 

The inaugural induction ceremony will take place at the International Nursing Research Congress in July in Orlando, FL.

To learn more about the Sigma Theta Tau International chapter at the University of Pennsylvania, visit www.nursing.upenn.edu/STTI/.

Public Policy Challenge: Land Philadelphia
The Fels Institute of Government named Land Philadelphia as the winning team of its inaugural Public Policy Challenge. Each team had its own issue area and developed a policy proposal and political strategy for change in the Philadelphia area. Land Philadelphia’s winning proposal, the best of five proposals from student teams, calls for a transformation of Philadelphia’s neglected, tax delinquent properties into opportunities for responsible, stable ownership in a way that aligns with the city’s homeownership and community planning policies. Members of the Land Philadelphia team are Daniel Gershwin, Penn Law; Katie Milgrim, Penn Design; Timothy Potens, School of Engineering and Applied Science; Matthew Rader, Wharton; and Evan Barret Smith, Fels Institute of Government/Temple Law. In addition to a $2,500 cash award to individual members, the winning team was given $2,500 to contribute to an organization or cause that reflects their chosen issue.

Penn Student Film Festival Winners
Sponsored by the College Houses & Academic Services, the 6th Annual Penn Student Film Festival showcased short films submitted by Penn students. This year’s winners are:

First prize ($500): The Sandboy and the Trees (Benjy Brooke, 2009); Mr. Brooke is a senior with a major in fine arts.

Second prize ($300): Yin/Yang (Jason Merrin, 2009); Mr. Merrin is a sophomore with a major in digital media design. This film also won the Audience Favorite award ($50).

Third prize ($150): Being You (Melissa Metelits, 2010); Ms. Metelits is a senior with a major in cinema studies.

#1 Top Green Power Purchaser
For the fourth year in a row, Penn has emerged as the top individual school in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) 2009-2010 College and University Green Power Challenge. The University beat out 53 other universities by purchasing more than 192 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of green power, or 46 percent of their power purchases.

Collectively, the Ivy League is the overall college conference champion in the challenge, with an annual green power usage of more than 225 million kWh—the equivalent environmental impact of avoiding the annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 31,000 vehicles.

EPA ranks collegiate athletic conferences by the total amount of green power used by their member schools. Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower.

Related: Penn Honored in Newly Published ‘Guide to 286 Green Colleges’


Almanac - April 27, 2010, Volume 56, No. 31