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Honors and Other Things
September 21, 2010, Volume 57, No. 04

Sloan-Kettering CEO: Dr. Thompson
Dr. Craig Thompson, director of the Abramson Cancer Center, has been named the new President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, effective November 2. Dr. Thompson, who received his M.D. degree from the School of Medicine in 1977, became a professor of medicine and the University’s first chair of the department of cancer biology in 1999. He currently oversees the work of several hundred cancer researchers and more than 300 full-time physicians and faculty across the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Seligman


The Philadelphia Behavior Therapy Association honored Dr. Martin Seligman, Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology and director of the Positive Psychology Network, with its Lifetime Achievement Award. As part of the award ceremony, Dr. Seligman gave a lecture on his groundbreaking work in the field of positive psychology, which is the study of the four modes of happiness, sharing insights into the role it will play in secondary education in the coming decade.






Honorary Conference: Dr. Feierman
In April, members of the Penn community gathered at Cohen Hall for a conference honoring Dr. Steven Feierman, professor in the department of history and sociology of science. Presented by the Center for Africana Studies, the conference, “Social Health in the New Millennium,” celebrated Dr. Feierman’s career and scholarship through a serious and lively intellectual exchange about the field of social health.

HUP Ranked Among Nation's Best
In its annual survey, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) among the top 10 hospitals in the nation for the third consecutive year. HUP is the only hospital in the Philadelphia region that made the publication's "Honor Roll" list, and it also ranked in the top 20 in 15 specialty categories: cancer, diabetes & endocrinology; ear, nose & throat; gastroenterology; geriatrics; gynecology; heart & heart surgery; kidney disorders; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; orthopaedics; psychiatry; pulmonology; rheumatology and urology.

Penn-Made President: Dr. Schubert
Dr. Philip Schubert became the 11th president of Abilene Christian University (ACU) in Abilene, TX. Dr. Schubert, who received an EdD in higher education management from the Graduate School of Education in 2009, most recently served as executive vice president at ACU.

Three ACS Fellows
Dr. Marsha Lester, the Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Professor, and a physical chemist; Dr. Gary Molander, the Hirschmann-Makineni Professor of Chemistry, an organic chemist, and Dr. Trevor Penning, director of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology in the School of Medicine, were among 192 distinguished scientists named to the 2010 class of American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellows in late August at the Society’s annual meeting. Started in 2009, the ACS Fellows program honors members for their outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession and the Society.

NIH Grant: Dr. Brian Litt
Dr. Brian Litt, associate professor of neurology and bioengineering in the School of Medicine and SEAS, received a $6 million translational research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Distributed over five years, this award will allow Dr. Litt and his collaborators, including Dr. Zachary Ives, associate professor of computer and information science in SEAS, and Dr. Gregory Worrell of the Mayo Clinic, to continue to collect essential data and share it with scientists around the world through the International Epilepsy Electrophysiology Database. Epilepsy, specifically seizure generation and epileptic networks, is a primary focus of the research conducted by Dr. Litt’s laboratory.

NSF CAREER Awards: Dr. Valeggia and Dr. Ribeiro
Dr. Claudia Valeggia, assistant professor of anthropology in SAS, and Dr. Alejandro Ribeiro, assistant professor of electrical and systems engineering in SEAS, are recipients of the prestigious CAREER Award given by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Valeggia was honored for her proposal, “Life History Transitions Among the Toba of Argentina." Dr. Ribeiro’s award-winning proposal is “Towards a Formal Theory of Wireless Networking.” The NSF CAREER Award supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

Master Genetic Counselor: Barbara Bernhardt
Barbara Bernhardt, clinical professor of medicine in the School of Medicine and co-director of the Penn Center for the Integration of Genetic Healthcare Technologies, has been recognized as a Master Genetic Counselor by the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC). Funding for this honor comes from the Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship through the NSGC, and nominees are selected from a national search. In her award letter, Ms. Bernhardt was praised for her exceptional abilities in counseling and interviewing.

Graduate Fellowship: Christopher Lester
Christopher Lester, a graduate student in the School of Arts and Sciences, is among 150 recipients of a new U.S. Energy Department Graduate Fellowship to encourage students to pursue careers in science, mathematics and engineering. Mr. Lester, who is from Marietta, GA and is studying fundamental particles and their interactions, will receive $50,500 per year for up to three years to support tuition, living expenses, research materials and related travel opportunities.

White House Conference: Dr. Gasman
Dr. Marybeth Gasman, associate professor in the Graduate School of Education, spoke at the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Conference in Washington, DC, during National HBCU Week in September. The topic of Dr. Gasman’s talk was Fundraising at HBCUs: An All-Campus Approach. Dr. Gasman was also recently awarded the 2010 Ozell Stutton Medallion of Justice by the president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, AK for her research on historically black colleges and universities.

National Appointment: Dr. Sochalski
Dr. Julie Sochalski, associate professor in the School of Nursing, has been appointed by the federal Health and Human Services Administration to be director for the Division of Nursing in the Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr). She will take a two-year leave from the University. Dr. Sochalski will serve as principal advisor to the Associate Administrator, BHPr, and to the Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration, on national policy for nursing research, practice and education with the overall objective of improving the quality of health care and nursing service in the nation.

LICS Test-of-Time Awards
Dr. Rajeev Alur, the Zisman Family Professor in the department of Computer and Information Science in SEAS, has been awarded the 2010 Logic in Computer Science (LICS) Test-of-Time Award for his paper from 1990, “Model-Checking for Real-Time Systems." Dr. Peter Freyd, a secondary faculty member in the department of mathematics, also won this year’s LICS award for his 1990 paper, “Recursive Types Reduced to Inductive Types.” The LICS Test-of-Time Award recognizes a small number of papers from the organization’s proceedings from 20 years prior that have best met “the test of time.”

America's "Greenest" Schools
In the September/October issue of Sierra Magazine, Penn made the Top 20 in the publication’s fourth-annual ranking of American colleges it believes are doing the most for the planet. Moving up to No. 18 from its ranking of No. 45 in 2009, the magazine cited Penn particularly for its Green Fund program, which awards grants to faculty, staff, or students for innovative sustainability proposals (Almanac April 27, 2010) and is part of the University’s Climate Action Plan.

Europhysics Prize: Dr. Kane and Dr. Mele
Dr. Charles Kane and Dr. Eugene Mele, professors of physics in the department of physics and astronomy in SAS, were among five scientists awarded the 2010 Europhysics Prize of the European Physical Society Condensed Matter Division for the theoretical prediction and experimental observation of the quantum spin Hall effect and topological insulators. Presented every two years, the award honors recent work by one or more individuals in the area of physics of condensed matter, specifically work leading to advances in the fields of electronic, electrical, and materials engineering which, in the opinion of the Society’s selection committee, represents scientific excellence.

Almanac - September 21, 2010, Volume 57, No. 04