News Briefs

piggy bank


It was Benjamin Franklin who coined the phrase “a penny saved is a penny earned,” and these days we are all doing our part to help the University contain costs. In that spirit, the Current has started this new feature highlighting cost-cutting efforts being made across campus.

According to JoAnn Murphy, director of purchasing for the University, significant savings can be achieved by consolidating office product orders. In other words, when you need a new packet of sticky notes, find out if somebody else in your department needs paper, paper clips or pens before placing your order. Murphy says Penn gets a 3 percent discount from Office Depot on all orders over $200. Campus-wide, that can add up to a pretty penny.

“It helps us be a little green, and save a little green,” she says.

Goldstone Forum presents Malcolm Gladwell

Each year, the Goldstone Forum brings to campus a leading figure in business, politics or academics to present a lecture that is free and open to the public. At 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, The New Yorker magazine staff writer Malcolm Gladwell will speak at Irvine Auditorium, 3401 Spruce St.

Gladwell is the author of several books that have captured the essence of American business and culture, including “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference,” “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” and “Outliers: The Story of Success.”

The Goldstone Forum was established by a gift from alumnus Steven F. Goldstone and is sponsored by the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program and SAS.

Friends of the Court

Some lawyers dream of one day working on a case that will go before the Supreme Court, but a class of Penn Law students and their professor have done so twice already this school year. Professor Stephanos Bibas, along with lecturer Stephen Kinnaird and eight students in the Law School’s Supreme Court Clinic, traveled to the Supreme Court for a second time on Jan. 12 for Abbott v. Abbott, an international child abduction case involving a parent taking a child out of a country without the other parent’s consent.

In October, the same class worked on Padilla v. Kentucky, a case that tests the limits of the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of effective assistance of counsel for non-citizen criminal defendants. The Penn Law group worked on strategizing, editing and rewriting briefs in the cases, and Bibas second-chaired the lawyers who argued the case.

Penn Grad named Rhodes Scholar

Sarah-Jane Littleford, a 2009 Penn graduate, has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for study at Oxford University in England. Littleford, who is from Harare, Zimbabwe, was one of two Rhodes Scholars selected from that country.

At Penn, Littleford earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, with an individualized double major in sustainable development and environmental studies. She intends to use the scholarship to earn a master’s degree in the Nature, Society and Environmental Policy program at Oxford. After graduating from Penn, she joined the staff in Penn’s Office of Sustainability where she assisted in the development of the University’s Climate Action Plan and is now working on this year’s RecycleMania competition. Littleford is the fifth Penn graduate to win a Rhodes since the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships was created 10 years ago.

Get creative

There’s still time to submit a proposal to the Arts & the City Year Grants Program,designed to encourage the creation of spring arts projects focused on increasing student participation in art with art resources at Penn and/or in Philadelphia. To apply you must be a current member of Penn’s staff, faculty or student body, or part of a group comprised of at least 80% current University of Pennsylvania students. Faculty and staff projects must engage students as the primary participants. The grants committee will evaluate applications based on the quality and innovation of the project and its potential to engage and involve both the Penn and Philadelphia communities. The program will award up to $750 toward the arts projects. The deadline to apply is Feb. 1. For guidelines and more information go to

The Potok papers

The papers of the late acclaimed author, rabbi, professor and Penn alumnus Chaim Potok have been donated to the the University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The collection includes correspondence, writings, lectures, sermons and other material spanning the career of one of America’s foremost Jewish writers.

Born in New York in 1929, Potok earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Penn. Best known for his novels “The Chosen,” “The Promise,” and “My Name is Asher Lev,” Potok, who died in 2002, also authored numerous plays, short stories, essays and works of non-fiction.

Originally published on January 21, 2010