News Briefs

Tech trade

Trade-In Tech

Curious about what to do with your old laptop, smartphone, display, tablet, or MP3 player? You may be able to trade it in through a new technology trade-in program, launched by Computer Connection. Participants can check out the trade-in value of old technology at and then fill out an online form before bringing devices into Computer Connection, located on the second floor of the Penn Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St. Faculty, staff, and students will receive a gift card loaded with the trade-in value of the technology, which can be used toward the purchase of anything in the store.

Gift and coat drive

When you’re shopping for gifts this holiday season, consider picking up something extra and donating it to the annual gift and toy drive, run by Penn Volunteers In Public Service (Penn VIPS). The drive runs from Dec. 1 through 17 and all toys and gifts will support the annual holiday party sponsored by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, as well as People’s Emergency Shelter, local schools, Potter’s Mission, Bridges to the Community, Intercultural Family Services, and many more.

All items for the holiday drive must be new, unused, and unwrapped. Donations may be dropped off at the following locations: President’s Office, Provost Office, Museum Reception Desk, African-American Resource Center, Human Resources, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, Netter Center, Information Systems & Computing, the Wharton School, School of Nursing, LIFE, Research Services, Student Health, Translational Research Laboratories, School of Social Policy and Practice, Comptroller’s Office, Gift Planning, and Facilities and Real Estate Services.

Penn VIPS is also holding a coat drive from Dec. 1 through the 17, in which people may donate gently used winter coats in good condition, for both children and adults. Donations may be dropped off to Isabel Sampson-Mapp on the 2nd floor of the Netter Center, 111 S. 38th St.

For more information, contact Sampson-Mapp at 215-898-2020 or

Support a family

Penn VIPS is sponsoring the “Adopt-a-Family” program, in which departments, offices, and centers around the University “adopt” a deserving family for the holidays. The program is usually done in lieu of departmental gift exchanges. The department treats the assigned family to presents, and sometimes a holiday dinner.

Departments are provided with information about the family, including names, ages, and sizes of each family member; they may request a “wish list” from the family or may choose their own gifts.

Families are selected from the Baring House Family Service Agency and local shelters. A small number of referrals are also accepted. The selection of families begins in November and assignments are made during and prior to mid-December.

To participate in the program, contact Isabel Sampson-Mapp at 215-898-2020 or

Food for fines

This month, the Penn Libraries are running Food for Fines, an annual food drive and fine amnesty program that is now in its fourth year. Patrons can donate non-perishable goods and help knock some money off of any overdue book fines. For each food item donated, $1 will be credited toward a patron’s account, up to a maximum of $20. Credit cannot be applied to lost book replacement fees.

Last year, patrons generously donated enough food to provide 430 meals to individuals across Philadelphia. All food donations benefit Philabundance.

Food donations will be collected at the Van Pelt Circulation Desk. Items should be non-perishable and packaged in boxes, cans or plastic bottles. The library cannot accept items in glass containers or past their expiration date. Please consider donating the following high-priority items: canned/shelf-stable tuna, macaroni and cheese, canned pasta, canned beef stew, canned chili, plastic containers of creamy peanut butter, plastic containers of jelly, canned green beans, canned corn, canned fruit, and breakfast  cereal or hot cereal. Participants do not have to have library fines to donate.

For more information, email or call 215-898-7566.

President's Engagement Prizes

President Gutmann

Penn President Amy Gutmann recently announced the launch of the President’s Engagement Prizes, competitively awarded annual prizes for Penn seniors to design and undertake fully funded local, national, or global engagement projects during the first year after they graduate.

As many as three prize recipients—preferably one each for local, national, and global engagement—will receive $50,000 for living expenses and up to $100,000 for project-implementation expenses.

“The President’s Engagement Prizes are unique in higher education,” Gutmann says. “These prizes invite students to think creatively, on a large scale, about the meaning of engagement. In doing so, our graduates will have the opportunity to do well by doing good and make a profound difference in people’s lives locally, nationally, and around the globe.”

The President’s Engagement Prizes are the newest addition to the Penn Compact 2020 Presidential Initiatives, which include a comprehensive effort to raise an additional $240 million for the endowment to support undergraduate financial aid.

New website highlights PIK professors

A recently launched website,, provides a way to stay updated with the ongoing, world-changing work of the University’s 15 Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) professors—a figure Penn President Amy Gutmann plans to grow as part of the Penn Compact 2020 initiative.

Gutmann’s 2005 announcement of the PIK initiative has made Penn a particularly enticing home for professors whose world-renown work bridges multiple academic disciplines. At a university where commitment to interdisciplinary research and teaching is rooted as deeply as the ivy that clings to its brick, PIK professors represent a signature Penn strength.

By providing each PIK professor with appointments in two Penn schools, the initiative supports the full breadth and depth of their pioneering work. At the same time, it builds on the network of meaningful exchanges that take place across the University’s 12 schools, 141 research centers and institutes, 89 majors, and myriad departments: exchanges that create, debunk, and modify knowledge in ways that reverberate through Philadelphia, the United States, and the world.

Green Fund accepting applications for fall deadline

The Penn Green Fund is currently accepting ideas from the University community about ways to improve Penn’s environmental performance and reduce campus emissions.

Proposed Green Fund projects must support goals and objectives outlined in Penn’s Climate Action Plan, a long-range strategy, launched in 2009 and updated in 2014, to reduce the University’s carbon footprint and enhance its overall sustainability.

Since 2009, this initiative of Penn’s Green Campus Partnership, funded by the Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services, has seeded innovative ideas in environmental sustainability from Penn students, faculty, and staff.

The fall deadline for grants more than $7,500, up to $30,000, is on Oct. 31 at 5 p.m.

To apply and to learn more about the Green Fund, visit the Green Campus Partnership website.

Dollar Stroll returns

The University City District recently announced a second Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll due to popular demand. The second Stroll of the season will take place on Thursday, Sept. 18 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Baltimore Avenue between 43rd and 51st streets will showcase its charm, shops, and restaurants with $1 bargains from standout neighborhood businesses. For more info, visit

Science and Lightbulb cafés kick off fall lineup

The lineup for the fall semester Penn Science Café and Penn Lightbulb Café was recently announced and includes conversations about everything from ancient divination to predicting heart disease with Twitter.

The lectures, held on Tuesday evenings at World Cafe Live Upstairs, are free and open to the public. Each hour-long talk begins at 6 p.m. and is followed by an audience Q&A session. Seating is limited. For a full list of Café details, visit

Housing Fair open to Penn and UPHS faculty and staff

Penn and University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) faculty and staff are invited to the 2014 Housing Fair, a convenient one-stop resource to learn more about the current real estate market and the programs offered through Penn Home Ownership Services (PHOS).

The Fair will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Hall of Flags at Houston Hall.

Representatives from PHOS; its lending partners, including PHOS’s newest partner, Guaranteed Rate; and Philadelphia Home Buy Now will be on premises to answer questions about how to obtain a forgivable loan or access the Closing Cost Reduction Program, which are available to full-time employees of Penn and UPHS. Admission to the event is free. For more information, visit the 2014 Housing Fair website or call 215-898-7422.

'Home Tweet Home'

Home Tweet Home

Morris Arboretum

“Our Feathered Friends” is a three-season-long celebration of the many birds that make their home at the Morris Arboretum or migrate through the area. As part of the celebration, “Home Tweet Home: Designer Birdhouses on Display” runs at the Arboretum through Sept. 1. Crafted by artists, talented individuals, and bird lovers of all kinds, more than 30 designer birdhouses are presented throughout the 92-acre garden. The exhibition is free with admission. Birdhouses may be available for purchase.

“Our Feathered Friends” will showcase special bird-themed events, classes, trips, and tours through October. “Early Bird Saturdays” are held on the first Saturday of each month. For the “Morris, the Merrie Little Owl Scavenger Hunt,” pick up a clue guide at the Visitor Center and see if you can find Morris, the Arboretum’s seasonal mascot, in some of his favorite resting spots.

For a complete list of exhibitions and presentations, fun family events, and classes and trips, visit the Morris Arboretum website.

Annenberg dean to stay through 2018

Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price recently announced that Michael X. Delli Carpini, the Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, has agreed to an extension of his term as dean until June 30, 2018.

“Michael has been an energetic, wise and widely admired leader since his appointment as dean in 2003,” Gutmann says. “Our recent consultations across the Annenberg School and the University have reaffirmed for us the high esteem in which he is universally held. We are confident that he will continue to strengthen Annenberg’s reputation as the nation’s preeminent school for the study of communication during this three-year extension of his second term.”

During Delli Carpini’s time as dean, Annenberg’s graduate students have emerged as leaders in academic, industry, and public sector positions around the world.

Gather ye rosebuds


Scott Spitzer

Penn’s 258th Commencement will be held on Monday, May 19, at Franklin Field, located at 33rd and South streets. The gates to the field will open at 8:30 a.m. for guest seating. Guests will be seated in the southeast, east, and northeast stands of the stadium; guests should enter through the south stand entrance, located on South Street.

Degree candidates will assemble in Hamilton Village by 8:45 a.m., process down Locust Walk, and enter the field at 9:30 a.m. The ceremony will begin at 10:15 a.m. upon the entrance of the academic procession (the President’s party and faculty) and will conclude at approximately noon.

The ceremony will feature the conferral of degrees, the awarding of honorary degrees, greetings by University officials, and remarks by Commencement speaker John Legend.

Commencement will be held rain or shine. Guests should come prepared for all weather conditions, including rain and hot sun. Tickets are not required for admission.

For more information, visit the Commencement website.

Coach Bagnoli to retire

Al Bagnoli, who has served as the George A. Munger Head Coach of Football at Penn since 1992, announced recently that he will retire following the 2014 season. Effective Dec. 1, the head coaching duties will transfer to the Quakers’ current defensive coordinator, Ray Priore, who is entering his 28th season on the Franklin Field sidelines.

A nine-time Ivy League champion, Bagnoli owns the second-highest winning percentage in Ivy League history and is the winningest coach in Penn’s 137-year history of football. He is also the active wins leader in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.

Bagnoli, Priore, and the Quakers will continue their quest for a record-tying 17th Ivy League title with preseason practice in August and the season opener at Jacksonville on Sept. 20.

West Philly job program seeking applicants

Want to work in security services? In June, the University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative will launch the ninth session of its Connect to Success program. In partnership with Allied Barton Security Services, this four-week training program is tailored to West Philadelphians pursuing a career in security, hospitality, and customer service.

In this role, individuals will secure campus buildings and ensure the safety of students, staff, and visitors. Four weeks of performance-based stipends are awarded for successful classroom performance. The application deadline is Friday, May 9.

To be eligible, individuals must be unemployed or under-employed (earning $9 an hour or less), a resident of West Philadelphia—as defined by zip codes 19104, 19131, 19139, 19143, and 19151—a high school graduate with either a diploma or GED, and be able to commit to at least six hours of training, five days per week, beginning June 2.

For more information, or to apply online, visit

Penn named a Tree Campus USA

For the fifth consecutive year, Penn has earned 2013 Tree Campus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation.

The University achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards: a Campus Tree Advisory Committee, a Campus Tree Care Plan, a Campus Tree Program with Dedicated Annual Expenditures, an Arbor Day Observance, and a Service Learning Project.

“Penn is committed to maintaining the urban park-like setting of our campus,” says University Landscape Architect Bob Lundgren. “In addition to the tree management and care provided by staff and consultants, we offer programs both here and at the Morris Arboretum to engage volunteers and students in the conservation of our green space located in the center of a busy city environment.”

LPS launches new chemical sciences degree

On April 1, the College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) at Penn officially opened applications for its newest master’s degree: the Master of Chemical Sciences. The program, the first of its kind in the Ivy League, offers current and aspiring professionals in the chemical sciences a path to build their expertise in a compact time frame.

Vice Dean for Professional and Liberal Education Nora Lewis says the program has been in demand for some time.

Most students will be able to complete the 10-course program in 18 months, and will have full access to Penn’s chemistry faculty and research facilities. The degree will culminate in a capstone project, a large-scale project that students design themselves to gain a deeper understanding in an area of particular interest.

“I’m excited about adding yet another highly motivated, intellectually outstanding group of students into the mix, who will be pursuing careers in a new field for LPS,” Lewis says.

Calhoun named new AD


Scott Spitzer

Penn Provost Vincent Price recently announced that M. Grace Calhoun has been named director of recreation and intercollegiate athletics at the University, effective July 1.

Calhoun will succeed Steve Bilsky, who has led Penn Athletics for 20 years. She is currently director of athletics and assistant vice president at Loyola University Chicago, where she has expanded campus partnerships and engagement, opened new facilities, recruited new coaches, and enhanced external revenue streams.

Winner of the 2009 Nell Jackson Administrator of the Year Award from the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators, Calhoun brings with her Ivy League experience as both a student-athlete at Brown University and an athletics administrator at Dartmouth College. She has also served in leadership roles at Indiana University, Saint Francis University, the University of Florida, and as associate executive director of the Patriot League.

“We set out to find a star, and we did,” says Penn President Amy Gutmann. “Dr. Calhoun brings to Penn an insurmountable treasure of experience that will help us build on the stellar legacy of Steve Bilsky.”

Calhoun will be the first woman to serve as athletic director at Penn, and the first female athletic director in Big 5 history.

New Wharton, GSE , SP2 deans

Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price recently announced three new deans at the University.

Geoffrey Garrett has been named dean of the Wharton School, effective July 1.

A former faculty member in Wharton’s management department, Garrett is currently dean and professor of business in the Australian School of Business at the University of New South Wales. He is a distinguished political economist who has held positions at some of the world’s most eminent institutions.

“Geoff has unique experience in international business and business education and is absolutely the right person to partner with Wharton faculty, students, staff, and alumni to take the School to even greater heights,” Gutmann says.

Pam Grossman has been named dean of the Graduate School of Education, effective Jan. 1, 2015. A former English teacher, Grossman is currently the Nomellini-Olivier Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University and faculty director of Stanford’s Center to Support Excellence in Teaching. An internationally regarded scholar in the field of teaching and teacher education and a member of the National Academy of Education, she is dedicated to demonstrating how schools of education at research-intensive universities can help improve teaching and learning at all levels.

“With her background, vision and proven leadership skills, Dr. Grossman is a great match for Penn and our Graduate School of Education as we advance our Penn Compact 2020 vision of becoming the model of an inclusive, integrated, and impactful university,” Gutmann says.

John L. Jackson, Jr., the Richard Perry University Professor at Penn and senior advisor for diversity in the Office of the Provost, has been named dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice, effective July 1.

Jackson, who has primary appointments in the Annenberg School for Communication and Penn Arts & Sciences, as well as a secondary appointment in the School of Social Policy & Practice is a noted cultural anthropologist who has written and taught about the impact of mass media on urban life, globalization and the remaking of ethnic and racial diasporas, and racialization and media technology.

“John is a distinguished teacher, a renowned scholar, and a visionary leader whose work crosses traditional academic boundaries and involves community partners in understanding and confronting societal challenges around the nation and the world,” Gutmann says. “He is the best person to advance the School of Social Policy & Practice toward its goal of becoming the leading center for interdisciplinary teaching and research on social innovation, impact, and justice.”

Gutmann announces plan to increase financial aid endowment

Penn President Amy Gutmann recently unveiled an ambitious new initiative designed to raise an additional $240 million for undergraduate financial aid, bringing to $600 million the total amount of philanthropic support for undergraduate education raised in the past decade.

During this period, Penn’s all-grant, no-loan policy—launched during its Making History Campaign—has decreased by 10 percent the average cost of a Penn education to all undergraduates with demonstrated financial need, who can graduate debt-free. Next year it is estimated that the average grant for students receiving aid will be $41,700.

“This new Penn Compact 2020 Presidential Initiative,” Gutmann says, “will allow us to expand the impact of our all-grant, no-loan program, which has proven to be hugely successful in opening Penn’s doors to thousands of talented, hardworking students who could otherwise not afford a Penn education.”

People of Penn

People of Penn

Scott Spitzer

People make Penn go ’round. Toddlers, teenagers, and young adults. Twenty-somethings, 30-somethings, and 40- and 50-plus. Sexagenarians, septuagenarians, octogenarians, and maybe even more. The “Greatest” Generation, the Silent Generation, and those that came before. Baby Boomers, Generation X-ers, and Millennials. Students, faculty, and staff.

People who think, study, create, build, support, give, advise, care, protect, serve, and people who make other people.

Like the Earth without the sun, Penn without people would be a lifeless, dark, and derelict place.

“People of Penn” is a Current multimedia project highlighting only a modicum of the diverse members of University faculty and staff in his or her work space. Each acts as one of the tens of thousands of beats to Penn’s everpumping heart and centuries-old soul. They are, in part, police officers, doctors, curators, biologists, clinicians, and fabricators. Check out the entire feature at the "People of Penn" webpage.

Each is unique in his or her own right, and together they make us whole. Me, we.