Penn Current | Top Stories en-us Penn Current: News, Ideas, and Conversations from the University of Pennsylvania 140 46 Q&A with Americus Reed Wharton professor Americus Reed is a man of many identities. He is a father, academic, and musician. A consultant, entrepreneur, and researcher. A free spirit, anti-authority, and a fitness enthusiast. A Panther, a Gator, and a Quaker. Called Americus II after his father, who was named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, for whom the Americas are named, Reed was born in Hollis, Queens, N.Y., but raised down South in Atlanta. Greg Johnson 2015-11-19T00:00:00 Simulator exposes teens to high-risk driving conditions Teenagers are notoriously reckless. They engage in risky sexual behaviors, binge drink alcohol, and abuse tobacco and other drugs. Greg Johnson 2015-11-19T00:00:00 Preserving and revamping a landmark building Much of modern architecture in the 1950s consisted of glass and steel buildings that appeared lighter than air, prismatic structures ready to serve any function—as an apartment building, a school, or hospital —nearly any place on Earth. Heather A. Davis 2015-11-19T00:00:00 Staff Q&A with Wilson Chang Wilson Chang came to Penn in 1996 as an undergraduate mechanical engineering major. After about two years, he switched into psychology. Then he dropped out of school. Lauren Hertzler 2015-11-19T00:00:00 Student Spotlight with Will Slotznick   [youtube][/youtube] Heather A. Davis 2015-11-19T00:00:00 For the Record: Nathan Mossell Nathan Mossell, a pioneer in medicine and the first African American to earn a medical degree from Penn, is one of many accomplished family members who graduated from the University. Jeanne Leong 2015-11-19T00:00:00 Penn Vet researchers handicap Ebola and other dangerous viruses Though the latest outbreak of Ebola appears to be nearing an end, the virus may pose a threat again in the future. Thus a drug to help individuals survive this dangerous infection, which has mortality rates up to 90 percent, is in intense demand. Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-11-12T00:00:00 ARG exhibit shows Abrahamic religions in practice The Arthur Ross Gallery’s (ARG) upcoming exhibit, “Abbas: Children of Abraham,” provides a window into the culture and religious practices of the monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Jeanne Leong 2015-11-12T00:00:00 Penn's Outdoor Adventure program offers break from city life When they first moved to Philadelphia, Sofia Lisanti and her husband, Michele Tavecchio, admit that it was tough to get accustomed to living in the city. As natives of northern Italy, they were used to its rich mountains and all the accompanying outdoor activities. Lauren Hertzler 2015-11-05T00:00:00 Penn announces launch of President’s Innovation Prize Penn President Amy Gutmann announced on Wednesday, Oct. 28, the launch of the President’s Innovation Prize, a competitively awarded annual prize 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. Penn Current Staff 2015-10-29T00:00:00 On a ‘sociological safari’ with father and son David Grazian used to spend a lot of time in blues clubs in Chicago and in the entertainment districts of Philadelphia. For the early part of the Penn sociology professor’s career, his research was devoted to nightlife in cities. Lauren Hertzler 2015-11-19T00:00:00 An 'ecosystem' of music resources Professional musician Joseph Conyers and academic Martin Ihrig share a passion for music. Conyers is the assistant principal bass at the Philadelphia Orchestra and the newly named music director of the All-City Orchestra. Heather A. Davis 2015-11-19T00:00:00 'Tis the season for high impact year-end philanthropy It’s a time for family and friends, fun and laughs, and most of all—giving. Yes, believe it or not, the winter holidays are within reach. Lauren Hertzler 2015-11-19T00:00:00 Penn IUR/Perry World House confab discusses sustainable global urbanization What is sustainable global urbanization? Eugenie Birch, co-director of the Penn Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR) and the Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Education & Research at PennDesign, defines it as “creating or adapting cities so they use less energy, so they’re socially inclusive, and so they are prosperous.” Michele Berger 2015-11-12T00:00:00 Theatre Arts Program presents provocative play about war Dennis Foy falls asleep every night reciting his script for “Bury the Dead,” this year’s fall production for Penn’s Theatre Arts Program. The rookie actor is nervous, to say the least. Lauren Hertzler 2015-11-12T00:00:00 Engineers shine at Penn’s NanoDay Every year, Penn’s Nano/Bio Interface Center (NBIC) sponsors NanoDay@Penn, a day of education and outreach programs highlighting the University’s interdisciplinary nanotechnology research. Studying the unique properties of structures on the scale of atoms and molecules has led to advances in computer components, alternative energy technologies, and many other applications. [flickr]72157658527257004[/flickr] Niharika Gupta 2015-11-12T00:00:00 PBS doc featuring Penn historian illuminates human cost of war The cost of war is not limited to the price of tanks, training, and technology. In modern warfare, much of the expense accrues after the battles are completed, when injured troops come home and require ongoing, costly medical care. These post-war costs are not just financial, but moral. Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-11-05T00:00:00 Using brain imaging to predict success of public health campaigns Mass media campaigns have proven to influence people’s health-related decision making—for better or for worse. Effective messaging has helped millions quit smoking, exercise more, and eat better, while failed campaigns have backfired, sometimes even causing those with unhealthy habits to dig deeper into their vices. Lauren Hertzler 2015-11-05T00:00:00 Penn profs discover why E. coli move faster in syrup-like fluids than water Swimming in a pool of syrup would be difficult for most people, but for bacteria like E. coli, it’s easier than swimming in water. Scientists have known for decades that these cells move faster and farther in viscoelastic fluids—such as the saliva, mucus, and other bodily fluids they are likely to call home—but didn’t understand why. Evan Lerner 2015-11-05T00:00:00 Penn Engineering prof maps brain changes between childhood and adulthood The difference in mental maturity between an 8-year-old and a 22-year-old is typically easy to identify in terms of emotions and behavior. The changes in the brain at the root of this difference, however, are much more difficult to see. Researchers from the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Perelman School of Medicine are revealing this process via a series of brain scans of hundreds of children ages 8-22. Evan Lerner 2015-10-29T00:00:00 Student Spotlight with Tom Maier DUNDER MIFFLIN: A junior from Scranton, Pa., Tom Maier is a member of Simply Chaos, Penn’s only stand-up comedy group, which has around a dozen members. Greg Johnson 2015-10-22T00:00:00 Staff Q&A with Amelia Carter The Middle East is around 6,000 miles away, on the other side of the world, but the multinational subcontinent influences and impacts American politics and foreign policy as if it were as close as Canada or Mexico. The United States has been a predominant force—covertly and overtly—in the region since the end of World War II. Greg Johnson 2015-10-22T00:00:00 Study of birds takes flight at Penn Students in Mike McGraw’s course spend time learning cold, hard facts in the classroom. But they also spend time in less traditional settings. “In Cape May, we all hunkered down into a bird blind and watched as biologists used live lures to ‘fish’ for raptors in the sky,” says McGraw. “We saw a merlin come flying in at 100 miles an hour, thinking it’s about to grab a starling, and crash into a mist net to be captured and studied.” Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-10-29T00:00:00 Tutoring project gives West Philly students a leg up on learning A West African proverb, borrowed by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton for the title of her 1996 book on how a community impacts a child’s wellbeing, says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Children are not islands, and cannot thrive in isolation. A collective societal effort is required for them to reach their full potential. Greg Johnson 2015-10-22T00:00:00 Q&A with Lynn Hollen Lees The idea of an “ombudsman” or public advocate is an old one, originating in Sweden in the early 19th century. This idea has proven to have staying power, as today, ombuds are visible in companies big and small, private and public, as well as at publications and news outlets, government agencies, and colleges and universities. Heather A. Davis 2015-10-22T00:00:00 Wavelength helps Penn students take their love of science out of this world On the last Sunday in September, several rare events occurred all at once. A total lunar eclipse coincided with the moon’s closest point in its orbit of Earth. While this was happening overhead, Philadelphia’s streets were absent of cars and filled with people, due to a historic visit from Pope Francis. Evan Lerner 2015-10-15T00:00:00 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 s 2015-10-31T00:00:00 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 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 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