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Dropping the Ball
"The college football season is over," began the front-page story in last month's Philadelphia Inquirer, "but the Penn Quakers took a big hit yesterday: five losses in one day."
   By forfeiting five of the six games it had won during the season on account of a player's unwitting violation of NCAA eligibility rules, Penn's varsity football team watched its respectable 6-4 season slip to 1-9. While the scores and individual records will remain on the books, they will be accompanied by an indelible asterisk.
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Suspect Arrested
Philadelphia police have arrested a man suspected of shooting a College senior a few blocks from campus.
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Remembering the Women Who Went to War
A 250-foot-diameter arc of glass tablets forms the roof of the new Women in Military Service for America Memorial, designed by Marion Weiss, professor of architecture, and her husband, Michael Manfredi, a visiting professor. The $21.5 million structure stands at the ceremonial entrance to Arlington National Cemetery, behind an existing neoclassical retaining wall.
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Heard on Campus
While at Penn to deliver the annual Hon. A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Lecture, Charles J. Ogletree Jr., founder and director of Harvard's Criminal Justice Institute, recounted a pivotal exchange in his life.
Illustration by Amanda Duffy
It occurred while interviewing for a job at the Washington, D.C., public defender's office two decades ago:
   "I said, 'I don't think I can represent just anyone, because I'm concerned as a black man about what I can and cannot do ... I don't want to represent anyone who has been responsible for killing anyone or using a gun or knife to injure someone. I don't want to represent anyone who's actually broken into someone's home ... And I certainly couldn't represent anyone who has sold or used drugs ... '"
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A Big Gift to Cure Cancer
"There is no longer any question about whether we can and will cure cancer," said Dr. John H. Glick, director of the new Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. "The question now is, 'When?'"
   With the gift of $100 million by the Abramsons for cancer research at Penn, such breakthroughs could come sooner than scientists had previously hoped.
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Demographer Preston Takes the Helm at SAS
Some 15 months after Dr. Rosemary Stevens stepped down as dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, the school finally got a permanent leader: Dr. Samuel Preston, the Frederick J. Warren Professor of Demography and director of the Population Studies Center who has been at Penn since 1979. He replaces Dr. Walter Wales, the professor of physics who had served as interim dean since Stevens's resignation in September 1996.
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Saturation Bombing with Books
Illustration by Susan Farrington
When Jane Hileman, CW'72, GEd'73, describes the successful reading program she devised for Philadelphia students, she speaks in bold terms: "This is about saturation. This is about bombardment."
   It's about kids reading, independently, at least 100 books per marking period. The books can be short and simple -- that's partly the point. If children read plenty of books and have fun in the process, they will become better at it, figures Hileman, an instructor in Penn's Graduate School of Education and a teaching and learning network facilitator in the Philadelphia School District.
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The Dangers and Lessons of Vicarious Thrills
Simply watching a movie in which actors simulate drug use is enough to make cocaine addicts' hearts race and their ears ring. And, according to the research of Dr. Anna Rose Childress, clinical associate professor of psychology in psychiatry, a vicarious hit activates the same pleasure circuitry of the brain that use of the actual drug does.
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Copyright 1998 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 2/3/98