Engaging Locally Nationally and Globally

Sniffing rotten coffee beans for the sake of history

In 1793, people walking around what is now known as Old City in downtown Philadelphia may have been subject to an unpleasant odor permeating the air. A shipment of coffee beans had been dumped on Water Street between Arch and Race streets, along the Delaware River, and left to rot. The stench was apparently so great that Benjamin Rush—a Founding Father, well-known physician, and professor of medicine at Penn at the time—believed it was to blame for a devastating epidemic of yellow fever that struck the city that year.

Originally published on November 6, 2014

Penn urges University community to ‘ReThink Your Footprint’

Throughout the month of November, Penn is encouraging faculty, staff, and students not just to recycle their coffee cups, but switch to reusable mugs as part of a campus-wide waste minimization awareness campaign.

Originally published on November 6, 2014

Reinventing the language of coastal resilience

When Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha, professor and adjunct professor of landscape architecture, respectively, at Penn’s School of Design, were asked to devise strategies that would build resilience in the face of rising sea levels in Norfolk, Va., they

Originally published on October 16, 2014

Penn researcher studies how regional airport planners can help airports grow sustainably

Many planners seek to expand major airports in the United States, despite the significant socioeconomic and environmental impacts. In an expansion of the Philadelphia International Airport, for example, city officials must take into account the substantial environmental impact on nearby residents, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, and the Delaware River.

Originally published on November 6, 2014

Staff Q&A with Daniel Drake

As Daniel Drake makes his way through the halls of the Living Independently For Elders (LIFE) program headquarters, almost every person he passes shakes his hand, nods “hello,” greets him by name. And despite having a jam-packed itinerary as the CEO of the all-inclusive elder care center, Drake knows their names as well.

Originally published on February 13, 2014

Open Learning at Penn

GLOBAL LEARNING: Penn launched its Open Learning Initiative in July 2012, a vital part of the University’s mission to increase worldwide access to educational resources that can impact humanity.

Originally published on December 12, 2013

Penn students promote linguistic and cultural diversity

Ariel Koren, a junior in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, fell in love with the Spanish language and Latin American culture when she was in high school in Jacksonville, Fla. But for her sister, who has learning disabilities, lessons about another language and culture weren’t quite as accessible.

Originally published on December 12, 2013

One decade old, Puentes de Salud is ‘a labor of love’

As a Mexican, Steven Cabrera says he’s very aware that many individuals who share his culture have a difficult time accessing health care in Philadelphia because of issues like immigration, poverty, or both.

Originally published on October 17, 2013

Silfen Forum takes on open learning and higher ed

A revolution is afoot in higher education.

Originally published on April 5, 2013

Training tomorrow’s lawyers through the power of documentary filmmaking

For Penn Law’s Regina Austin, video is a powerful tool for legal advocacy.

It’s a way to tell clients’ stories, place complicated issues quickly in context, and put faces and names to issues that may not see the light of day in more traditional media outlets.

Originally published on December 13, 2012