Campus Buzz

Why did Ira Winston cross the street Feb. 4? First, he wanted to get the lunch he was on his way to order when a car struck him at 34th and Walnut Jan. 22. Second, he wanted to call attention to the issue of pedestrian safety on area streets, and more than 200 people helped him do that by crossing Walnut with him at lunchtime. After making it safely to the north side of the street, the group heard Winston (EE’80, GEng’83), director of computing for the schools of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Fine Arts, call for measures aimed at slowing down traffic on busy Walnut Street, such as a new signal between 30th and 33rd streets, and other steps to make campus thoroughfares more pedestrian-friendly, like pedestrian-only signal cycles.

A salute to our all-star scholars: Two Penn students are among the 20 students named to USA Today’s All-USA Academic First Team, which recognizes college students who excel both in the classroom and in leadership roles beyond it. The two team members from Penn are Dana Hork (C’02), chair of the Undergraduate Assembly and founder of Change for Change (“Student Spotlight,” Current, Nov. 8, 2001), and Wharton graduate student Paul Bergman (WG’03). Both will receive a trophy and a $2,500 cash prize for the honor. The complete list of All-USA Academic Team winners, along with biographies of each, will appear in the Feb. 27 edition of USA Today.

Packed with protein up front: The address is the same—www.pennathletics.com—but everything else about the Athletic Department’s Web site is new as of Feb. 12. There’s more information about Penn sports on the home page now, including current team standings and listings of upcoming events. Outstanding Penn athletes are also honored in an “Athlete of the Week” section, and the site now has a search engine to boot.

Penn in ink: Keeping good teachers in tough inner-city schools is a serious problem. And it’s not always caused by burnout, but often by the need to pay the bills. “Everybody wants to get into well-paid, successful schools in the suburbs,” said Associate Professor of Education Richard Ingersoll, who was quoted in a Feb. 14 Atlanta Journal and Constitution editorial supporting a bill that would help address that problem in the Peach State by giving good veteran teachers who stayed put a 10 percent raise. …“The tragic news spread rapidly across the impassable mountains of World Trade Center rubble: Dozens of brave search and rescue dogs had died sniffing for buried victims.” This is how the Sydney, Australia, Daily Telegraph began an article Feb. 2 recounting stories of dogs who perished in the WTC rescue effort. This is how Vet School Associate Professor of Critical Care Clinical Studies Cynthia Otto (“For What It’s Worth,” Current, Oct. 25, 2001), in the same story, debunked those reports: “It was an urban legend. It was simply not true.” As it turned out, only one dog—a golden Labrador retriever belonging to a Port Authority security officer—died when the towers collapsed.

Originally published on February 21, 2002