News Briefs


Well heeled

What, you might ask, do Jessica Simpson, QVC, stylish shoes and Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center have in common?  The answer is a common goal.

Simpson is serving as the promotional face of a special fundraising event on QVC supporting breast cancer research at several leading research and education institutions, including Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center.

 From 7 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 13, QVC will feature more than 100 different brands of shoes, donated by the Fashion Footwear Association of New York, at discounted prices. The proceeds will benefit cancer centers.

Not surprisingly, Simpson’s own line of footwear, the Jessica Simpson Collection, will be available during the sale.

The cutting edge

During Penn’s annual Employee Resource Fair, scheduled to take place from noon to 2 p.m. on Oct. 19, in the Hall of Flags, Houston Hall, employees can get their personal papers shredded and dispose of computer hard drives and other electronic devices for free.

Nova Records Management will have a truck parked between on the walkway between College Hall and the Fisher Fine Arts Library during the fair. Bring as many documents as you want to be shredded at no cost.

 Employees can also discard computer hard drives, small electronics and old TV monitors at the Gigabiter truck, which will be located on Spruce Street outside Houston Hall.

Phones doing good

Throughout the month of October, Verizon Wireless is celebrating the opening of its on-campus store at 3631 Walnut St. with a used phone drive they are calling Hopeline, benefitting Penn’s Evelyn Jacobs Ortner Center on Family Violence and Penn’s Division of Public Safety, in an effort to help stop domestic violence.

To kick off the phone drive and show its commitment to the Penn community, Verizon Wireless has donated $2,500 to each organization, and will contribute $5 for every phone collected during the drive, up to $5,000.

Verizon Wireless will refurbish no-longer needed phones from any carrier and make them available to individuals and families living in emergency situations. Phones that aren’t reusable will be recycled in exchange for funds made available in the form of grants to domestic violence agencies, law enforcement and shelters.

Since 2001, Verizon Wireless has collected 5.6 million phones and distributed nearly $6.3 million in cash grants to domestic violence prevention and awareness programs across the country.  The company has also made available 76,000 phones with free airtime to survivors of domestic violence.

“This initiative gives victims of Domestic Violence a cost free tool, a cell phone with free minutes, in order to protect themselves, and in many instances their children,” says Maureen Rush, vice president for Public Safety, “We salute Verizon Wireless for creating this hope and life line.”

Scientists for 800, Alex

Penn’s Center for Neuroscience & Society, a cross-disciplinary center focused on understanding and communicating the impact of neuroscience on society, has named its initial board of advisors.

 The board includes a Nobel laureate, the editor-in-chief of an international science journal, CNN’s chief medical correspondent and the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“This distinguished group of advisors will help guide us toward the most effective use of our faculty and resources,” says Martha Farah, director of the Center and a cognitive neuroscientist who holds the Walter H. Annenberg Professorship in Natural Sciences.

The new advisors include Sanjay Gupta, the chief medical correspondent for the health and medical unit at CNN; Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief of Nature and a fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the Royal Astronomical Society; Howard Gardner, the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education; and James J. Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at The University of Chicago, and winner, with Daniel McFadden, of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

Also on the board is Steven E. Hyman, provost of Harvard University and professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School; Jonah Leher, a contributing editor at Wired and Scientific American Mind magazines and National Public Radio's “Radio Lab,” and Alan Leshner, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the journal Science.

Originally published on October 1, 2009