Campus Buzz

An innovator moves on: WXPN General Manager Vinnie Curren, whose leadership turned Penn’s station into a public radio powerhouse that helped spawn an entire radio format—“adult album alternative”—is off to Washington. His new job title: Senior vice president for radio at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Your Buzz correspondent wishes him success in his new job and anticipates that Curren’s new bosses will be pleased with the way he applies his creative talent to the larger policy issues affecting public radio stations across the country.

All lit up: A tip of the Buzz hat to fellow scribbler and former Compass colleague John Shea, editor of Penn Medicine, whose work “The Anxious Poem” garnered top poetry honors in the 2002 City Paper Writing Contest. The poem appeared along with the winning work of fiction in the Jan. 2 issue. If you didn’t get your hands on a copy, or you missed his reading at Borders Books and Music Jan. 9, you can read it by browsing the online archives at

Check the walls: Penn has about 6,000 objects in its art collection, and Curator Jackie Jacovini is now busy confirming where they all are. With assistance from Association of Alumnae volunteers, the Office of the Curator is conducting an inventory of the collection, contacting administrators responsible for Penn artworks in various campus locations. The goal is to get accurate, up-to-date information on the whereabouts of all campus art, including numerous objects with significant historical, aesthetic and market value. If you think a work of art in your office may be part of the collection, and you haven’t been contacted by the inventory takers yet, call the Curator’s Office at 215-898-1073 to find out how you can help the inventory along.

Another country heard from: Make that three countries. Joining the lineup of international eateries clustered around 40th and Chestnut streets is Fatou and Fama, the latest establishment run by veteran local restaurateur Fatou Ndiaye Wilson. On the menu are West Indian and Senegalese dishes along with good old American soul food. Prices are modest—entrees run from $8.95 to $12.95—and the restaurant also offers catering and carry-out. The restaurant’s name honors Ndiaye Wilson’s mother, who she credits with teaching her how to be a great cook. Fatou and Fama is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Info: or 215-386-0700.

Penn in ink: The New York Daily News reported Dec. 22 that a five-year, privately-funded Penn study is providing comprehensive care to 131 dogs for about $3,100 per dog, while legislators are scrambling to find new money to cover the $1,133-per-person cost of health screenings for the 35,000 rescue workers. The irony is not lost on the study’s director, Professor of Critical Care Studies Cynthia Otto. “What I breathed in at ground zero has implications for my health. No one is studying me, yet I’m studying the dogs,” she said.

Originally published on January 16, 2003