Penn Current | Top Stories en-us Penn Current: News, Ideas, and Conversations from the University of Pennsylvania 140 46 Q&A with Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw The “Gwendolyn” in Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw is a salute from her parents to Gwendolyn Brooks, the celebrated poet who in 1950 became the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize. She was given the name DuBois in honor of W.E.B. Du Bois, the esteemed scholar, civil rights activist, and co-founder of the NAACP. Greg Johnson 2015-04-16T00:00:00 Farm and Resource Center connects community with land, food, and one another On a particularly rain-soaked spring afternoon at the Community Farm and Resource Center at Bartram’s Garden, located in Southwest Philadelphia, curly kale seedlings are going into the ground. Heather A. Davis 2015-04-16T00:00:00 Hyperbaric therapy treats patients with pure oxygen Oxygen makes up about 21 percent of the air we breathe, with each breath bringing luxuriant, life-sustaining nutrients to the lungs, blood, brain, and body. Greg Johnson 2015-04-16T00:00:00 Staff Q&A with Michelle Majeski Residents and guests entering Rodin College House are greeted with pleasant professionalism and enthusiastic support exuded by Residential Services Manager Michelle Majeski, who leads the Rodin Information Center. Greg Johnson 2015-04-16T00:00:00 Penn researchers help map universe’s dark matter Members of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) have released the first in a series of maps that show the concentration of dark matter in the cosmos. Analysis of the distribution of the dark matter in the maps will improve the understanding of how and where galaxies form, as well as help scientists to probe the nature of dark energy, the mysterious force believed to be causing the accelerating expansion of the universe. Evan Lerner 2015-04-16T00:00:00 Student Spotlight with Jason Fernandes SOCIAL LIFE: Jason Fernandes, the 2014-15 president of the executive board of the Social Planning & Events Committee (SPEC), knows a thing or two about hosting a good event. Heather A. Davis 2015-04-16T00:00:00 Netter Center expands pipeline program to serve each high school year [Editor’s note: This story is part of a series celebrating National Public Health Week by featuring stories that highlight public health efforts across the University. Follow along at‪ #‎PennOneHealth.] Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-04-09T00:00:00 Documentary film showcases women of ENIAC When Penn unveiled the world’s first general-purpose electronic computer—the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC)—in 1946, there was no mention of the women who worked on programming the computer. Jeanne Leong 2015-04-09T00:00:00 Penn scholars awarded humanities grants Grant Frame, an associate professor of Assyriology in the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations in the School of Arts & Sciences (SAS) has been awarded a two-year, $250,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant for his Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period (RINAP) Project. Jacquie Posey 2015-04-02T00:00:00 Spring classes are in full bloom at Morris Arboretum Spring is the season of renewal, and the Morris Arboretum’s slate of spring classes may help someone spark an interest in a new hobby or express his or her creativity. Jeanne Leong 2015-04-02T00:00:00 Study documents workplace bias against obese people For a host of health reasons, such as a decreased risk for heart disease, stroke, and cancer, it is vital for people who are obese to lose weight. A new study from the Wharton School finds that there are professional and career reasons for losing weight, as well. Greg Johnson 2015-04-16T00:00:00 The story of Penn—through the lens of the city The histories of Penn and West Philadelphia are closely intertwined. Just as it could be said that Penn has directly informed the development of West Philadelphia, it’s also true that West Philadelphia has largely shaped the evolution of Penn. Tim Hyland 2015-04-16T00:00:00 Penn Dental prof uses nanoparticles to fight tooth decay Nanotechnology may sound futuristic, but it has already found its way into household products, from cosmetics to cleaning solutions. And with a little help from a School of Dental Medicine scientist, consumers may one day even find nanoparticles in a tube of toothpaste. Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-04-16T00:00:00 An overthinking brain can complicate simple tasks Why do some people learn a new skill right away, while others only gradually improve? Whatever else may be different about their lives, something must be happening in their brains that captures this variation. Evan Lerner 2015-04-09T00:00:00 Penn's 'Campaign for Community' invites constructive conversations about difficult issues The Penn community is large and diverse, demographically, socially, and academically. This diversity is a great strength, creating the vibrant environment so essential to a great University. Yet recent national events that have divided communities call for our undivided attention and underscore the importance of Penn’s longstanding campus commitment to be a model of constructive conversations about difficult issues. Penn Current Staff 2015-04-09T00:00:00 Sixers to host Penn night for students, alumni, and employees Red and Blue will be in the house when the Philadelphia 76ers take on the visiting Miami Heat in the last home game of the season on Wednesday, April 15, at 8 p.m. Jacquie Posey 2015-04-09T00:00:00 Penn engineers invent two-dimensional liquid Where water and oil meet, a two-dimensional world exists. This interface presents a potentially useful set of properties for chemists and engineers, but getting anything more complex than a soap molecule to stay there and behave predictably remains a challenge.    Evan Lerner 2015-04-02T00:00:00 Veterinary research lays groundwork to save children’s lives Scientific research can be a competitive enterprise, with researchers vying to win grants and keeping their findings secret, lest their articles get “scooped.” But this antagonistic approach is not the norm for a small cadre of scientists, including a key group at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, who are focused on a rare disease called Niemann-Pick type C (NPC). Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-03-19T00:00:00 Shifting society’s notions of a veterinarian’s role Study after study shows that eating fish has a plethora of beneficial health effects, but many fish populations are in danger of dwindling to nothing, and fresh fish can be difficult to find in certain areas, particularly in inner cities. Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-04-02T00:00:00 Student engineers make strong showing at Cornell Cup Each of the six departments in the School of Engineering and Applied Science features a senior design class, where students team up to put their skills to the test, picking a real-world problem and solving it with a new piece of technology. Evan Lerner 2015-03-26T00:00:00 Student Spotlight with Michael R. McDonald MASON–DIXON LINE: Waynesboro, Pa., native Michael R. McDonald is a third-year student at Penn Law School, and the editor-in-chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. Greg Johnson 2015-03-19T00:00:00 Staff Q&A with Rashmi Kumar Learning through memorizing is how some students succeed or excel in high school, but at Penn, rote learning doesn’t usually cut it. By and large, the transition from high school to Penn requires a deeper level of academic rigor for which students are not always prepared. Greg Johnson 2015-03-19T00:00:00 30 minutes outdoors for 30 straight days The Environmental Protection Agency reports that Americans, despite the country’s beautiful spacious skies, purple mountain majesties, and amber waves of grain, spend 90 percent of their time indoors.  Greg Johnson 2015-03-26T00:00:00 Shelter dogs get second chance at Penn Vet Animal shelters are often pressed for resources as they work to find homes for as many pets as possible. That means when a shelter animal has a medical problem that requires specialty care, the facility might not have the time, money, or staff to address that need—putting the animal’s life in danger. Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-03-26T00:00:00 Staff assemblies give Penn employees a voice in University affairs CITY OF PENN: Penn, as of December 2014, has a total regular work force of more than 34,000 employees—split almost equally between the University and the Health System—making Penn the largest private employer in Philadelphia and one of its largest taxpayers. Greg Johnson 2015-03-19T00:00:00 Q&A with Randall Mason PennPraxis has been instrumental in some of the biggest discussions about public space in Philadelphia in the last 14 years. Heather A. Davis 2015-03-19T00:00:00 President Gutmann announces winners of Penn’s 2015 President’s Engagement Prize Penn President Amy Gutmann announced on Wednesday, March 25, the selection of five undergraduates at the University as recipients of the inaugural President’s Engagement Prize. Penn Current Staff 2015-03-26T00:00:00 A center for innovation at Penn First there were working dogs and flying robots. Now, Penn hopes to draw a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to a 23-acre parcel of land along the southern bank of the Schuylkill River. Heather A. Davis 2015-03-19T00:00:00 HR online portal welcomes new employees to Penn Almost every other Monday, the Division of Human Resources (HR) formally welcomes the newest members of the University community at the HR New Staff Orientation Program, a three-hour, in-person introduction to Penn that is open to all benefits-eligible employees. Greg Johnson 2015-02-19T00:00:00 FRES leads Penn’s battle versus the snow Mother Nature has dropped mountains of snow on Penn’s campus over the last two winters, in all its frosty shapes and forms. Heavy, mushy, slush has fallen, along with light, fluffy flakes, freezing rain, flash snowstorms, thundersnow—the University has seen it all. The Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) is responsible for clearing snow from Penn sidewalks, bridges, and walkways, and ensuring that the campus is accessible and safe. Greg Johnson 2015-03-05T00:00:00