Penn Current | Top Stories en-us Penn Current: News, Ideas, and Conversations from the University of Pennsylvania 140 46 German president makes historic trip to Penn in ‘spirit of wisdom and cooperation’ Lauren Hertzler 2015-10-08T00:00:00 Student Spotlight with Jennifer Yu NEW ENGLAND: Jennifer Yu is a 19-year-old senior from Shrewsbury, Mass. An English major in the School of Arts and Sciences, Yu enrolled at Penn when she was 16 years old, having skipped two grades. “I never learned to write cursive,” she jokes. “It’s a bummer.” Greg Johnson 2015-09-17T00:00:00 Penn and CNN partner to keep presidential candidates honest When Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claimed that Mexico doesn’t have a birthright citizenship policy, the fallacy didn’t get past Lauren Hertzler 2015-10-01T00:00:00 Penn Vet's mobile unit will reach underserved pet populations Animal shelters must constantly balance the needs of the animals in their care with the limited resources at their disposal. A diagnostic tool such as a radiograph, for example, could be critical to an animal’s care, but financially out of reach for the facility. Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-10-01T00:00:00 Q&A with Hoopes Wampler His days start with a walk from his Center City home over the South Street Bridge, which directly leads to Penn’s University City campus. A short—mere minutes—stroll on Locust Walk leads to his office at E. Craig Sweeten Alumni House. Lauren Hertzler 2015-09-17T00:00:00 'Q litter' brings cuteness, pedigree to Penn Vet Working Dog Center The Penn Vet Working Dog Center (WDC) recently received an injection of cuteness—and talent. Five Labrador retriever puppies from the “Q litter” reported to the Center to start qualified training on Aug. 21, at exactly 8 weeks old. Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-09-17T00:00:00 Staff Q&A with Denise Dahlhoff Denise Dahlhoff is originally from a small village in Germany—but she says it’s not a big stretch that she’s a fan of Philadelphia. Heather A. Davis 2015-09-17T00:00:00 Penn program seeks French speakers to assist Francophone students at Lea When learning to speak a foreign language, the best way to master it is through practice, practice, and more practice. French language learners at Penn are learning to parlez vous Francais through a program that pairs them with West Philadelphia elementary school students from the Francophone diaspora, which includes African countries formerly colonized by France such as Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Benin, and Niger. Jacquie Posey 2015-09-03T00:00:00 Explore Year of Discovery with support from HR 2015-09-17T00:00:00 Tribal colleges thrive despite low resources, Penn report shows A report by Penn’s Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) shows that despite scant resources, tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) have grown to 37 institutions in the United States since opening in the late 1960s. Jeanne Leong 2015-10-08T00:00:00 Penn Dental prof fights back against gum disease Nearly half of all adults have periodontitis, a gum disease associated with inflammation, bleeding, and, in its most severe form, destruction of the bone that supports teeth. Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-10-08T00:00:00 Simple atomic switch makes for stronger collagen Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Named from the Latin for “glue,” its springy, tough coils are the main component of connective tissue, like ligaments and tendons, as well as of skin. Evan Lerner 2015-10-08T00:00:00 Penn study finds tweets reveal income level, social status of users Penn computer scientist Daniel Preotiuc-Pietro spends countless hours checking social media—not to share pictures or anecdotes about his life, but to uncover the concealed meaning behind the actual words people use. His latest research, a collaboration with colleagues at Johns Hopkins University and University College London, sets out to show just how deep the connection runs. Michele Berger 2015-10-01T00:00:00 Penn rolls out year-round ‘Be in the Know’ campaign Penn strives to make health and wellness the easy choice, both at work and home. That’s why, for the fourth year in a row, the University is rolling out its “Be in the Know” campaign. Be in the Know helps full- and part-time benefits-eligible staff and faculty at Penn learn key indicators about their health—while seeing a financial perk in their paychecks. Lauren Hertzler 2015-10-01T00:00:00 Online learning expands, thrives at Penn This past Monday, Penn Law Professor Kermit Roosevelt welcomed online learners with a friendly email about his course, “Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases.” Roosevelt is teaching a MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course, through the education platform Coursera. Lauren Hertzler 2015-09-24T00:00:00 Penn's Kleinman Center seeks innovative energy policy ideas When Penn alumnus Scott Kleinman gifted $10 million to the University in 2014, the idea was to support five years of innovative energy policy work. Michele Berger 2015-09-24T00:00:00 CHIP recommends charitable opportunities to combat substance abuse Anyone who has struggled with substance abuse, or has a relative, child, or friend who is struggling or has struggled with substance abuse, knows all too well how devastating addiction can be, including damaged relationships, diminished health, and even homelessness.  A new guide by Penn’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP) outlines ways that private philanthropy can help people suffering from addiction gain access to the life-saving care they need. Jeanne Leong 2015-09-24T00:00:00 Preventing benign moles from turning cancerous Human moles are generally similar in size, color, and shape. Usually absent at birth, they start out as tiny little dots that grow slowly for one to two years to a few millimeters, about the size of a pencil eraser, and then stop. The cells don’t die; they just exist. A mole is medically known as a benign tumor or a benign proliferation of melanocytes, which are the cells that give human skin its pigmentation. Greg Johnson 2015-09-17T00:00:00 Penn Vet study shows how respiratory virus triggers its own demise Parents of newborns—especially those born during the winter months—are vigilant in protecting their babies from any source of infection. But despite their best efforts, some infants fall ill to respiratory syncytial virus, better known as RSV. In most cases, this manifests as a run-of-the-mill cold, but a percentage of infants, as well as some elderly people, can develop serious respiratory problems as a result of an RSV infection. Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-09-17T00:00:00 Creative students get their hack on at PennApps On Friday, Sept. 4, nearly 2,000 of the world’s top young computer scientists and engineers assembled in the bowl of the Wells Fargo Center. They were awaiting the start of PennApps, the world’s largest collegiate hackathon. In the opening ceremony, Vijay Kumar, the Nemirovsky Family Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, put a fine point on the purpose of the event. Evan Lerner 2015-09-17T00:00:00 Penn's Catholic community enthused and energized for papal visit In the name of the Father, a parade of people, close to 2 million, are expected to flock to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families, the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families held every three years, and the accompanying visit by Pope Francis. The pontiff will arrive in Philadelphia on Saturday, Sept. 26. He will deliver a public address at Independence Hall and attend the Festival of Families on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Greg Johnson 2015-09-24T00:00:00 Penn's campus revamped, restored, and revitalized over summer When fall semester commences later this month, returning students and new arrivals will see a revamped, restored, and revitalized campus. The Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) reports more than 240 active projects. Many buildings have been renovated over the summer, and active work zones are still teeming with hundreds of construction workers. [flickr]72157657138152492[/flickr] Jacquie Posey 2015-08-13T00:00:00 Penn helps campus, city prepare for papal visit Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has called Pope Francis’ forthcoming trip “the largest event in the city’s modern history” and possibly “the second or third largest event in the history of the United States.” An estimated 2 million people are expected to travel to Philadelphia for the visit, more than doubling the city’s population. Greg Johnson 2015-09-17T00:00:00 Native American Studies symposium brings wampum experts to Penn Prominent scholars, artists, musicians, and cultural leaders from 
Algonkian and Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois) Nations will gather at the Penn Museum on Oct. 1 and 2 to take part in the symposium, “Woven Words: New Insights into Wampum and Native Studies.” The symposium will run from 4 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 1 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 2. Christina Cook 2015-09-24T00:00:00 Improving the quality and relevance of presidential debates 2015-07-23T00:00:00 Researchers investigate why doctors come to work sick The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) cares for some of the world’s sickest children and does everything in its power to keep them from getting sicker. It is tasked with stopping viruses and bacteria from moving between patients, as well as with keeping them from entering the hospital in the first place. Evan Lerner 2015-07-23T00:00:00 Penn-powered internship teaches high schoolers healthy eating The day’s heat felt sweltering, but it didn’t stop the gardening crew—or G-Squad—from getting weeds picked, plants watered, and “good food bags” packed for their West Philadelphia neighborhood customers. Lauren Hertzler 2015-08-13T00:00:00 Penn takes checkered flag at international racecar competition Penn Electric Racing took home the gold at an international competition in mid-June. Automotive engineering society SAE International hosts an annual series of racing events designed to spur creativity, innovation, and problem-solving in the next generation of engineering students. The Formula SAE competition, which pits custom-built, high-performance racecars against one another, brought in more than 100 teams this year, hailing from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan. Evan Lerner 2015-07-02T00:00:00 Penn updates and expands paid sick leave policy On May 13, the City of Philadelphia’s Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Law, also known as the Philadelphia Sick Leave Law, went into effect. The legislation requires employers in the city to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours an employee works. Jacquie Posey 2015-06-04T00:00:00