Campus Buzz

A higher calling: Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing, Professor of Classical Studies, Hill College House Faculty Master Jim O’Donnell will be leaving Penn June 30 to become the provost of Georgetown University. Your Buzz correspondent predicts that his scholarly interest in St. Augustine will mesh nicely with Georgetown’s Jesuit heritage and wishes O’Donnell all the best in his new position.

Color them heroes: Here’s a tip of the Buzz hat to this year’s Women of Color Award winners—Sabrina Harvey (W’03), honored for her commitment to the Latino community on and off campus; Education doctoral student Angela Reyes, who has promoted Asian-American studies on campus and mentored Asian-American teens in her work with the Asian Arts Initiative; and Janice Currington, assistant dean for minority affairs and advising in the College of Arts and Sciences, who has gone the extra mile to encourage minority students at Penn to persevere and succeed. The three were honored at the annual awards program March 7 in Irvine Auditorium.

We’re gaining on ’em: The latest National Institutes of Health award rankings are in, and as was the case last year, Penn’s School of Medicine ranked second in the amount of NIH awards received, behind Johns Hopkins. But the gap between the two schools has narrowed 80 percent to $7.2 million in the last fiscal year. During that year, the School of Medicine received $327 million in research funds from NIH.

Calling all execs: If you’re a business executive with a Penn degree, the Wharton School and the Gartner Group would love to hear from you. The two have joined forces to begin large-scale studies of business issues, using feedback from executives to produce academic research and advice that business leaders can use in decision-making. Executive alums interested in helping their alma mater by joining one of the research panels can register by visiting on the Web.

Penn in ink: Despite some adverse side effects, the anthrax vaccine now in use is still safe to use. That’s the conclusion of a Congressionally-mandated Institute of Medicine report by a panel of medical experts chaired by Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Brian Strom. In a Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.) story on the report March 7, Strom said that if he had been asked by anxious postal workers about getting vaccinated, “Knowing what I know now, the answer would have been yes.”…It appears that the U.S. commitment to defending Taiwan, officially scrapped when Washington recognized Beijing in 1979, is coming back out in the open. That may be distressing to Beijing, but not to Lauder Professor of International Relations Arthur Waldron, who told The Straits Times of Singapore March 18, “If we’re committed to defending Taiwan, we need to be able to talk to their military directly”—which happened when the Taiwanese defense minister recently met with American officials.

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Originally published on March 28, 2002