News Briefs

Horticulture Center

The Morris Aboretum Horticulture Center

Dedicated to Nature

Penn President Amy Gutmann is scheduled to speak at a dedication ceremony for The Morris Arboretum’s new $13 million Horticulture Center at Bloomfield Farm, across the street from the Arboretum’s public garden, on Oct. 5. Philadelphia philanthropist Dorrance Hamilton, a key supporter of the Horticulture Center, is also expected to attend the invitation-only event. Also in attendance will be Peter and Bonnie McCausland, long-time Morris Arboretum supporters and now, the Arboretum’s new neighbors at Erdenheim Farm.

The Horticulture Center, designed by architects from Overland Partners of Texas, Muscoe Martin of Philadelphia’s m2 Architecture and Andropogon Associates of Philadelphia, is the first new building to be constructed on the Arboretum’s property since its founding in the early 1900s. The 20,840-squarefoot facility was built to meet LEED Platinum standards, the highest rating of the U.S. Green Building Council. The Center includes a ground-source heat pump, photovoltaic panels, solar water heaters, rain gardens and green roofs on the equipment storage areas. The new Center will provide office space for the Arboretum’s horticulture, education, maintenance, and facilities staff, as well as conference space for classes, meetings and events

Calling all researchers

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars Program at Penn has set aside a Competitive Research and Education Fund to promote interdisciplinary research and education in population health, and is calling for proposals from Penn faculty. The majority of the funds will be awarded to pilot projects designed to attract external support for larger-scale studies. A portion of the funds will also be used to finance small-scale projects or develop educational materials that will advance teaching and training in population health concepts or methods within the University.

The grants will range from $2,000 to $20,000. The call for proposals is open to faculty throughout the Penn community and is intended to stimulate research and training ideas among the Penn community and encourage the development of new collaborations between investigators of different backgrounds and disciplines, as well as encourage new investigators to enter the field of population health. The deadline for proposals is Nov. 8. For more information visit

Healthcare and the law

This year’s Penn Law Review Symposium, scheduled for Oct. 29-30, will center on the passage of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, the nation’s federal healthcare reform bill. More than 30 health law and policy scholars from across the United States and as far away as China will participate in the conference, held at the Law School, 3400 Chestnut St.

The symposium is titled “The New American Health Care System: Reform, Revolution, or Missed Opportunity?” It will include the presentation of academic papers on a broad range of topics including healthcare insurance regulation, healthcare reform politics, decision-making by physicians and patients, comparative health law and the impact and constitutionality of heath reform.

Stop the presses

Penn’s Creative Writing Program has added a new minor in Journalistic Writing that consists of six courses, including writing workshops and a course in long-form journalism. Penn has a strong history in creative writing, with many of the nation’s top authors serving as standing, adjunct and visiting faculty over the years. But until now, Penn has not offered a formal concentration in journalistic and creative nonfiction writing. Students who wish to minor in Journalistic Writing should meet with the Director of the Creative Writing Program, Gregory Djanikian, at the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at 3808 Walnut St., or contact him at

Football for free

The list of benefits offered to the faculty and staff of Penn is long, and sometimes a few of the best perks get lost in the shuffle. But this fall don’t miss out on the opportunity to watch the reigning Ivy League champs play at historic Franklin Field, for free. All staff and faculty get free admission to Penn football games, and can bring three guests for no charge.

To get free admission, staff and faculty need only show their PennCards at the entrance gate at Franklin Field. Guest tickets can be reserved online at, using the promotional code: FBALLSTAFF. The Quakers face Dartmouth on Oct. 2; Columbia on Oct. 16; Brown on Oct. 30, which is Homecoming, and Harvard on Nov. 13. Find starting times and other information at

Originally published on September 30, 2010