News Briefs

Brisk walks

walk-story

Arnold Winkler

Get your heart pumping in the cold weather with Winter Wellness Walks at the Morris Arboretum.

Led by an experienced volunteer guide, these brisk walks stick to the paved paths, allowing participants to get some exercise while appreciating the beauty of the Arboretum in the winter.

Walkers meet in front of the Widener Visitor Center for hour-long walks every saturday at 10:30 a.m. through March. The Arboretum is located at 100 E. Northwestern Ave. in Chestnut Hill. 

Celebrating MLK’s legacy

Each year, during the month of January, Penn and the surrounding communities come together to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, programming and events run through Friday, Jan. 29, and include talks, music performances, and a film screening.

On Thursday, Jan. 21, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., attend the 2016 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture in Social Justice, featuring Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, two of the three founders of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, in conversation with Camille Z. Charles, professor of sociology, Africana studies, and education, and director of the Center for Africana Studies. The talk takes place in Zellerbach Auditorium, Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St.

The Faculty Senate is sponsoring a town hall meeting with a panel of students and faculty discussing “Race and Respect in the Classroom” on Monday, Jan. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event takes place in Fitts Auditorium, Penn Law School, 3501 Sansom St.

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Health Equity Symposium will be held at the Smilow Center for Translational Research, Arthur H. Rubenstein Auditorium, 3400 Civic Center Blvd. The keynote speaker will be Richard Carmona, the 17th Surgeon General of the United States.

On Friday, Jan. 29, from noon to 5 p.m., the School of Arts & Sciences, Department of Africana Studies, Center for Africana Studies, Middle East Center, and Music Department present a symposium on War and Peace in Africa. Presenters from Penn will explore the reasons behind the conflicts in Africa and the peace initiatives and their ramifications both regionally and globally. The colloquium will also shed light on the non-violent means in ending conflicts. The event takes place in the Terrace Room, Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 S. 26th St.

For a complete list of events, go to the MLK Symposium website.

Artists wanted

The Burrison Gallery, an entity of the University Club, is calling for submittals of artwork to be considered for exhibition during the Spring 2016 academic term. Any Penn faculty, staff, alumna, alumnus, or a member of their family may submit work for consideration. Selected artists will be given a four- to five-week, one-person show at the Gallery with the option of an opening reception. The deadline for submittals is Saturday, Jan. 30; selected artists will be notified by Monday, Feb. 15. See the Gallery’s website for an application form.

Amazon comes to Penn

Penn’s Division of Business Services has announced that beginning this spring, a new service called Amazon@Penn will open on campus, providing a staffed package pickup point for members of the Penn community to receive and return Amazon orders. The 3,558-square-foot space will be located in 1920 Commons, the University’s largest dining facility. In addition to mobile-enabled, self-service package pickup, it will be the first Amazon pickup location to feature communal workspaces with interactive media pods where students can connect their laptops and mobile devices to TV monitors.

When the doors open at Amazon@Penn, students, faculty, and staff can ship to the pickup location, and Amazon Student and Prime members will receive additional shipping benefits including free same-day delivery for orders placed by noon and free one-day pickup for orders placed by 10 p.m.

Dogs save lives, too

news brief story

John Donges

Humans aren’t the only ones who can donate blood to save lives. The Penn Animal Blood Bank is looking for dogs to participate in their Canine Volunteer Blood Donor Program. Many dogs need a blood transfusion to survive during surgery, following trauma, or when they are suffering from anemia or bleeding disorders such as hemophilia.

Dogs are eligible to donate if they have a good temperament; weigh between 55 and 150 pounds; are between 1 and 6 years old; are in excellent health; and have blood that is type Dea 1.1 negative. Dogs that donate blood get a yearly blood health screening, and owners will be sent home with either a bag of dry food or a case of wet food.

Dogs cannot donate under the following conditions: if they have a serious health problem; have recently been sick; have a heart murmur; have had a seizure; have been vaccinated within four weeks; have received medications other than flea, tick, or heartworm prevention in the last two weeks; have had or will have surgery within the past four weeks; have received a blood transfusion; have donated blood in the past six weeks; or is in season, pregnant, or will be bred soon.

The next blood drive will be held on Saturday, Dec. 19, in Feasterville, Pa. For details, call 215-573-7222 or email marryott@vet.upenn.edu.

Penn helps Philly secure World Heritage City designation

Last month, the Organization of World Heritage Cities voted to name Philadelphia a World Heritage City—making it the first American metropolis to join an elite group that includes Paris, Cairo, and Jerusalem.

The idea to have Philadelphia named a World Heritage City was first sparked by a casual conversation in 2012 between Richard Hodges, former director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and John F. Smith III, chair of the Global Philadelphia Association. The Association developed a bid and led a successful two-year effort with the input of city government, business, and community leaders, including representatives of Penn.

Penn President Amy Gutmann serves on the board of the Philadelphia World Heritage Committee, which led the effort to petition the Organization of World Heritage Cities for the honor. David Brownlee, professor in the School of Arts & SciencesHistory of Art Department, served on the Executive Committee and Project World Heritage Working Group. The Penn National Resource Centers and the Penn Museum were among the very first members of the Global Philadelphia Association.

For more information, go to www.ovpm.org.

Science, Lightbulb Cafes in 2016

The Penn Science Café and Penn Lightbulb Café lecture series spotlight research in the sciences and social science, arts, and the humanities, respectively. Free and open to the public, the talks are produced by University Communications in conjunction with the School of Arts & Sciences (SAS) and feature some of the most illuminating and interesting researchers at the University.

The 2016 schedule includes: Michael Platt, the James S. Riepe University Professor of Neuroscience in the Perelman School of Medicine, professor of psychology in SAS, and professor of marketing in the Wharton School, discussing “Friendship and Your Brain” at the Jan. 26 Science Café; Peter Decherney, professor of English and cinema studies in SAS at the Feb. 9 Lightbulb Café on “Hollywood’s Past and Future”; Michael Weisberg, chair and professor of philosophy in SAS on “Public (Mis)understanding of Evolution” at the March 1 Science Café; and Brenda Casper, chair and professor of biology in SAS on “Studying Climate Change in a Land of Nomads: How Species Will Respond to New Conditions in the Mongolian Steppe” at the March 15 Science Café.

All talks take place at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., at 6 p.m. and are followed by an audience Q&A session. Café goers can enjoy 5 to 6 p.m. happy hour specials. RSVP not required. Seating is limited. For a complete lineup, go to www.upenn.edu/pennnews/sciencecafe.

Microbiome grant program

The PennCHOP Microbiome Program, an initiative between the Perelman School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, has launched a pilot/feasibility grant program designed to bring together microbiome investigators and stimulate other researchers to enter the field and investigate the influence of the microbiome in their subject areas. Projects can focus on the microbiota at any body site of the human or animal hosts or on composition and/or function of bacterial, fungal, archaeal, and viral communities, as well as the physiological and pathological effects on their hosts.

All Penn faculty members, including instructors and research associates who meet the following criteria, are invited to submit proposals: new investigators who have never held extramural support, established investigators in other areas of biomedical research who wish to apply their expertise to a problem involving microbes, or established investigators in the microbiome field who wish to study an area that represents a significant departure from currently funded work. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or have permanent resident visas.

Complete proposals are due on Monday, Jan. 25. For details, go to www.med.upenn.edu/penn-chop-microbiome or contact April Weakley at 215-573-4970 or aweakley@mail.med.upenn.edu.

Penn announces launch of President's Innovation Prize

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Scott Spitzer

Penn President Amy Gutmann recently announced the launch of the President’s Innovation Prize. The competitively awarded annual prize is aimed at building on the University’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship while underscoring the high priority that Penn places on educating students to put their knowledge to work for the betterment of humankind.

The Prize will be awarded to a graduating Penn senior, or group of Penn seniors, in the spring of 2016. at $100,000, plus a $50,000 living stipend per team member, the Prize is among the largest opportunities in higher education for undergraduate students to pursue innovation and entrepreneurship outside the classroom.

This year’s application deadline is Feb. 12, 2016. Details of the application process are available on the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships’ website at www.upenn.edu/curf/fellowships/presidents-innovation-prize.

The inaugural President’s Innovation Prize will be awarded in April 2016.

LaMay named NPR Board Chair

Roger LaMay, general manager of WXPN, was recently elected chair of the NPR Board of Directors. “It’s a great honor and responsibility to be elected to lead one of the world’s leading fact-based journalism organizations,” LaMay says. “NPR is peerless in its impact on our culture and democracy.”

A 30-plus year broadcast veteran, LaMay joined WXPN, Penn’s non-commercial, member-supported radio service, in January 2003. He is responsible for the overall operations of the station, including fundraising, programming, and marketing. During his tenure, WXPN forged a long-term partnership/distribution agreement with NPR and NPR Music, moved and expanded its annual summer music festival, and launched its popular “Free At Noon” live weekly concert series.

Additionally, under LaMay’s leadership, the station completed construction of its state-of-the-art studio and headquarters that opened in 2004 in a unique partnership with World Cafe Live, the performance venue named for WXPN’s flagship program that is located in the same building.

The NPR Board guides the direction of NPR by setting policies, providing financial oversight, and monitoring performance.

Groundbreaking imaging at New Bolton Center

The School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center, in collaboration with Four Dimensional Digital Imaging, will pioneer a first-ever, robotics-controlled imaging system for use in the standing and moving horse. Penn Vet is the first veterinary hospital in the world to own the revolutionary technology.

The four-robot system can perform multiple modalities, including computed tomography (CT), and will be used in conjunction with a high-speed treadmill.

The EQUIMAGINE imaging system will be capable of capturing the equine anatomy in a way never before possible, while the horse is awake and standing, or moving on a treadmill.

“This will revolutionize equine imaging,” says Barbara Dallap Schaer, medical director of the New Bolton Center.

Existing CT systems require the horse to be anesthetized, and are limited to the parts of the animal that fit into the cylindrical machines. The EQUIMAGINE system’s robotics-driven design provides an unlimited range of motion and unencumbered access to the horse’s entire anatomy. The quality and resolution of the real-time images created with the system far exceeds existing technology.

Citywide leaf collection

The Leaf Collection and Recycling Program is one of several services provided by the Philadelphia Streets Department to honor the city’s ongoing commitment to recycling. The recycling program helps to reduce the amount of materials that reach the waste stream and saves landfill space.

The 2015 Leaf Collection and Recycling Program runs through Saturday, Dec. 19.

Bagged leaf drop-off will be offered citywide, on Saturdays only starting Nov. 21, at 23 locations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with the exception of the Saturday following the Thanksgiving holiday).

Drop-off locations include: 66th & Haverford Ave., 54th & Woodbine Ave., 43rd & Powelton Ave., and 72nd & Buist Ave. in West Philadelphia, and Broad & Christian St., 20th & Hartranft St., and 15th & Bigler St. in South Philadelphia.

For a complete list of drop-off locations, visit www.philadelphiastreets.com/leaves/bagged-leaf-drop-off-location-schedule. Residents must place leaves in large brown biodegradable paper bags. Please do not mix trash or other recyclable materials with bagged leaves.

Penn Police Department info session on accreditation renewal

The University of Pennsylvania Police Department (UPPD) is scheduled for an on-site assessment as part of a program to retain its accredited status with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The assessment is to verify that the police department is in compliance with professional law enforcement standards.

Administered by CALEA, a nonprofit organization based in Fairfax, Va., the accreditation program requires agencies to comply with state-of-the-art standards in four basic areas: policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services.

Agency employees and the general public are invited to offer comments by calling 215-573-6675 on Wednesday, Nov. 4 between noon and 2 p.m. Employees and members of the community may offer comments at a public information session on Thursday, Nov. 5, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the UPPD Headquarters Building, 4040 Chestnut St. During both events, comments will be taken by the on-site assessment team.

All comments are limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards; a copy of the standards is available at the UPPD Headquarters Building. The local contact is Lieutenant Michael Belisairo, accreditation manager, who may be reached at 215-573-5681.

Anyone wishing to submit written comments about the UPPD’s ability to comply with the standards for accreditation may send them to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, Inc. (CALEA), 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, Va. 20155.

Green purchasing honors

Penn Green Purchasing

Late last month, several Penn employees were honored for their commitment to an environmentally friendly purchasing initiative. The University’s first Green Purchasing Awards were presented to the team of Sarah Fisher, sustainability strategic planning associate in the Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES ); Eric Weckel, executive director, space planning and operations for the Perelman School of Medicine; and Andrew Zarynow, energy planning engineer at FRES (pictured), for their “Bright Idea” that initiated the Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer Efficiency Program. This program works with labs to replace electrically inefficient freezers with high-efficiency models, using grants from the Green Fund to offset the cost of the replacements, particularly in those areas where the equipment in place has not reached the useful life expectancy.

David Roush, director of ITS operations at Penn Law, also received a Green Purchasing Award for recording the highest percentage of green office products purchased in the previous fiscal year.

Give generously

Penn’s Way, the University and Penn Medicine’s workplace charitable giving campaign, started earlier this month and is running through Friday, Nov. 20. Faculty and staff from Penn and Penn Medicine can donate to local charitable organizations to build stronger and safer neighborhoods, and improve the quality of life for people in the region.

Last year, unprecedented participation levels enabled the campaign to exceed the $1.5 million goal; this year’s campaign has a goal of $1.55 million.

Visit the Penn’s Way website to enter a pledge online. There, donors can also learn about the Penn’s Way partner organizations—the Center for Responsible Funding, Penn Medicine, and United Way.

Eyeglass donations

Members of the campus community who have old prescription glasses, readers, or sunglasses they no longer need can put them to good use by dropping them off at one of several campus locations. In this program—which is a staff Eco-Rep initiative—glasses will be collected and sent to VSP Global’s Eyes of Hope program, which brings disaster relief, education, eye care, and eyeware to people around the globe who need it the most.

Drop-off locations include: SAS Grad Division, 3401 Walnut St., Suite 322A; Annenberg Public Policy Center, 202 South 36th St., Lobby (access Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.); Wharton Finance & Administration, Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall, 3620 Locust Walk, Suite 1100; Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, West Pavilion, 3rd Floor, Ophthalmology Waiting Room; and Levy Center for Oral Health Research, Lobby, 4010 Locust St.

For questions regarding collections on Penn’s campus, contact Joy Cannon at bjc2@mail.med.upenn.edu.

An honor for Rush

Maureen Rush, vice president for public safety and superintendent of the Penn Police Department, was recently honored by Security Magazine as one of the “Most Influential People in Security.” Rush was only one of three people honored in the education sector.

Rush joined the Division of Public Safety (DPS) in 1994 as the director of Victim Support and Special Services and served as chief of the Penn Police from 1996 to 2000. Today, she manages a budget of more than $22 million, which encompasses eight departments, 176 Penn employees, and 500 contract security officers. Under her leadership, DPS has become a national model and the Penn Police Department was the first nationally accredited campus police agency in Pennsylvania.

Get a flu shot

During October and November, Penn faculty and staff can get a free flu vaccine on campus. The October Flu Vaccine clinics are sponsored by Student Health Services and will be held on Thursday, Oct. 22, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Houston Hall, Bodek Lounge, and on Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Houston Hall, Hall of Flags. No appointment or pre-registration is necessary, but participants must bring a PennCard.

The November clinic will be held on Monday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Houston Hall, Bodek Lounge. Pre-registration is required; go to the HR website for a link to sign up for the event (PennKey required) and reserve a time slot.

LG Health now part of Penn Med

LG Health

On Aug. 1, Lancaster General Health (LG Health) became a member of the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine). The combination unites one of the nation’s top academic medical centers with a health system nationally ranked for its clinical quality.

Penn Medicine will provide for the health care needs of the LG Health community for as long as LG Health is affiliated with Penn Medicine. LG Health’s extensive community benefit efforts, including its charity-care policies, community health programs, and initiatives improving the health of the elderly, poor, and other at-risk populations, are continuing and are being governed by the LG Health Board of Trustees.

“Uniting with LG Health offers powerful opportunities to connect medical teams and experts to improve care for all patients we serve and find solutions to healthcare delivery challenges ahead,” says Ralph W. Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

For more information on other facilities within Penn Medicine, go to www.pennmedicine.org/health-system/about/.

2015-16 KWH Fellows

Kelly Writers House (KWH) has announced the 2015-16 Fellows: Samuel R. Delany, Eileen Myles, and Matthew Weiner.

Delany, an experimental science fiction writer, literary critic, commentator on sexuality and society, and advocate of collective urban life, will be at Penn on Feb. 15-16, 2016.

Myles, who will be on campus from March 21-22, has produced more than 20 volumes of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, plays, and performance pieces.

Weiner, the creator, writer, and producer of “Mad Men,” and writer of the final two seasons of “The Sopranos,” will be at Penn April 25-26.

Students enrolled in the Writers House Fellows Seminar will study the works of all three Fellows in the course taught by Al Filreis, English professor and KWH faculty director. During each visit, a reading will take place at Writers House on Monday evening, and a brunch will be held on Tuesday with a one-hour public interview and conversation. Attendance for each program is by reservation only.

RSVP to whfellow@writing.upenn.edu.

CAPS formally accredited

Penn Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) has been formally accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS), an Alexandria, Va.-based organization of U.S., Canadian, and Australian counseling agencies.

CAPS was evaluated by IACS against high standards of counseling practice and was found to offer competent and reliable professional services to its students. Approval by IACS is also dependent upon evidence of continuing professional development as well as demonstration of excellence of counseling performance.

CAPS is a center in the Vice Provost for University Life at Penn and offers a full range of free, confidential mental health services to all Penn students.

Penn Dental Family Practice opens at 3737 Market St.

Penn Medicine University City

Penn Medicine

Penn Dental Medicine is expanding its dental care services in the community with the opening of a new office location for its Penn Dental Family Practice.

The new space, which opened Monday, June 29, is on the 10th floor of Penn Medicine University City, an advanced treatment and outpatient facility at 3737 Market St. The 13-story tower, a facility of the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, includes 200,000 square feet of exam rooms, outpatient operating rooms, an outpatient radiology center, the Penn Musculoskeletal Center, and now, dental care as well.

“We are pleased to add to the patient care services within Penn Medicine University City,” says Peter Kauderwood, executive director of administration for Penn Dental Family Practice. “Oral health is such a vital part of overall health, and as part of this facility, we can provide seamless, integrated care for patients.”

The Penn Dental Family Practice office offers comprehensive dental care services. Along with general restorative care, there are specialists in endodontics, pediatrics, periodontics, orthodontics, and oral surgery. The office also includes an implant center. The state-of-the-art facility features 25 patient care rooms.

This location is one of three multidisciplinary dental offices within the Penn Dental Family Practice and is the new home for the Practice’s University City office, previously located at 3401 Market St.

“With the expanded space of this new office, we will be able serve a greater number of patients and provide an even greater level of specialty care at this one location,” says Kauderwood.

The other Penn Dental Family Practice office locations include Locust Walk, within Penn Dental Medicine at 240 S. 40th St., and Bryn Mawr at 711 Lancaster Ave. All three Practice offices accept a variety of insurance plans and are the providers for the Penn Dental Insurance Plans offered to University of Pennsylvania faculty, staff, and students and University of Pennsylvania Health System employees.