Penn Current | Top Stories en-us Penn Current: News, Ideas, and Conversations from the University of Pennsylvania 140 46 Construction projects keep campus buzzing over the summer Even in the relative quiet of June, July, and early August, some parts of Penn’s campus were humming with activity. Construction crews remained hard at work during the summer months, tackling both long- and short-term facilities projects. Heather A. Davis 2014-08-28T00:00:00 Penn employee transforms health due to ‘Be in the Know’ The Division of Human Resource’s (HR) “Be in the Know” campaign is a program designed to give Penn faculty and staff better insight into their health status—as well as a $100 incentive, less applicable payroll taxes. Maria Zankey 2014-08-07T00:00:00 Food truck vendors redefine fine dining at Penn From hot dogs to haute cuisine, the food trucks and carts on and around Penn’s campus offer menus to please even the most discerning palates. Food Network programs have showcased several of the University’s street food purveyors, including Magic Carpet food cart owner Dean Varvoutis. He’s been at the vanguard of the street food movement since 1984 when he wheeled his first cart to the corner of 36th and Spruce. Jacquie Posey 2014-08-07T00:00:00 People of Penn 2014-07-17T00:00:00 Eagles return to Franklin Field for open practice The Philadelphia Eagles called Penn’s Franklin Field home for 13 seasons from 1958-70, after moving from the former Connie Mack Stadium at 24th and Lehigh. Their first win at Franklin Field was a 27-24 defeat of the New York Giants on Oct. 5, 1958. In the second quarter, Hall of Fame quarterback Norm Van Brocklin connected with Hall of Fame wide receiver Tommy McDonald for a 91-yard score. Greg Johnson 2014-07-17T00:00:00 Penn research reveals drug-tainted milk finds its way to consumers For dairy farmers in Peru, who may own only three or four cows, each pint of milk their animals produce represents precious income. When one of those cows is given antibiotics to treat an infection and its milk must be discarded for several days until the drug clears its system, the farmers can find themselves in a financial bind. Katherine Unger Baillie 2014-06-26T00:00:00 Penn family welcomes Ffoster, a WDC foster dog With three children under 7, Utsav Schurmans and Andi Johnson already have a busy, full home. Katherine Unger Baillie 2014-06-26T00:00:00 Introducing the Penn Center for Innovation Scientific research is one of the main drivers of technological innovation. Whether it is a drug for treating cancer or a new material for building solar panels, every new invention owes its existence to fundamental discoveries about the workings of the world. The boundaries of this sphere of knowledge are principally pushed in the labs and workshops of research universities like Penn.    Evan Lerner 2014-06-05T00:00:00 Staff Q&A with Hikaru Kozuma Hikaru Kozuma says that many people who end up working in student affairs in higher education do so by accident. But Kozuma’s path down that road was purely intentional. Heather A. Davis 2014-06-05T00:00:00 Penn science and art at the edge of space The beauty of the universe is perhaps nowhere quite as readily apparent as in the rarefied air of Chile’s Atacama Desert. More than three miles above sea level, it’s closer to the edge of space than almost anywhere else on the planet. The thin, clear, bone-dry air, devoid of light pollution, makes it an ideal spot for observatories, and now, another way of reflecting on the beauty of the cosmos. Evan Lerner 2014-06-05T00:00:00 Green Campus Partnership recruiting staff/faculty Eco-Reps Penn faculty and staff who hold their reusable mugs and eco-totes high now have the opportunity to make their dedication to environmental sustainability official. The Green Campus Partnership is currently accepting applications for members of the 2014-2015 Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps Program. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12. Maria Zankey 2014-08-28T00:00:00 Penn's 'ModPo' MOOC partners with the New York Public Library Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman created an American tradition of radical poetry about 160 years ago, and this year, Penn’s Kelly Writers House (KWH) and the New York Public Library (NYPL) have created a radical way to teach it. Christina Cook 2014-08-28T00:00:00 'Year of Health' covers wide range of wellness issues Whether it’s maintaining an exercise regimen, finding ways to de-stress, or following a doctor’s suggestions, the issue of health is of utmost importance to everyone. For the 2014-15 academic year, Penn is focusing on the theme of the “Year of Health,” addressing wellness and welfare in people’s daily lives. Jeanne Leong 2014-08-28T00:00:00 Philly high school students get a taste of the Penn experience Penn’s Open Learning programs expanded this summer with the Blended Learning Initiative, a pilot program that gives some Philadelphia area high school students a chance to take a college-level course and experience life on campus. Through the “Greek and Roman Mythology” course offered by the Blended Learning Initiative, 24 students attended class in Williams Hall for three weeks in July to study Homer’s “The Odyssey.”  Jeanne Leong 2014-08-07T00:00:00 Penn hosts College Search Seminar for faculty & staff Penn’s Office of Admissions is hosting a free College Search Seminar on Wednesday, Aug. 20, for members of the University community with children entering 11th and 12th grade. The program, which runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Penn School of Nursing, is geared toward students who are actively preparing college applications. Christina Cook 2014-08-07T00:00:00 Take me out to the bark game A special guest will throw out the first pitch at the Camden Riversharks minor league baseball game on Sunday, Aug. 24. This local celebrity has a keen eye, an athletic build, a deep love for ball games—and a wagging tail. Katherine Unger Baillie 2014-08-07T00:00:00 Coming soon: Contactless PennCards As the upcoming fall semester approaches, the University will begin rolling out PennCards with an updated design—the first new look for the PennCard since 2003. The redesign, however, is more than just aesthetic. The new PennCards will feature “contactless” technology—an embedded chip and antenna that will allow users to tap or hold their card within inches of card readers to gain access to University buildings and amenities. Maria Zankey 2014-07-17T00:00:00 xLAB designs next-generation immersive experiences With processing power and internet connectivity increasing, people don’t just learn how to use the latest in technology—that technology actually learns right back. Your phone knows where you are, so it provides movie times and restaurant recommendations for places in walking distance. Your thermostat knows what time you get home and what temperature you’d like your house to be when you get there. Your TV has your favorite shows recorded because it knows what you like. And all of these devices can now talk to one another to learn even more about their users. Evan Lerner 2014-07-17T00:00:00 Plant-based Penn research improves hemophilia treatment Hemophilia is a rare but potentially dangerous disease. People with the condition produce very low levels of clotting factor, the proteins in blood that stop bleeding and help begin the healing process. Katherine Unger Baillie 2014-07-17T00:00:00 Students tackle Type 2 diabetes in Ghana Last week, four students from the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) and three from the Integrated Product Design Program (IPD) returned from Ghana prepared to design a point-of-care device that will address the growing problem of Type 2 diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa. Christina Cook 2014-06-26T00:00:00 Staff Q&A with Silvana Burgese In their November letter to the Models of Excellence Committee nominating their manager, Silvana Burgese, for the Model Supervisor Award, members of the Faculty Support S Greg Johnson 2014-05-08T00:00:00 Bringing Louis Kahn’s houses to light at the Kroiz Gallery The exhibit currently on view at Penn’s Kroiz Gallery of the Architectural Archives, “Brought to Light: The Houses of Louis Kahn,” is the first to showcase the houses designed by the world-renowned architect. Christina Cook 2014-04-10T00:00:00 Inside the Morris Arboretum’s ‘jewel’ In 1899, amateur botanist John Morris and his sister Lydia built a “jewel” on the property of their summer estate, Compton. This fernery, a glassed home for ferns, rimmed by a foundation of stone, perfectly tapped into the Victorian era fascination with the plants. Fascination, however, may be an understatement. Some say the Victorians were downright obsessed. The term pteridomania describes this fixation on ferns: Forms of the plant appeared on textiles, pottery, furniture, and even gravestones. Heather A. Davis 2014-03-13T00:00:00 Renovation slated to begin on historic Richards Labs Planted firmly between the Quad’s Gothic revival dormitories and the lush oasis of the BioPond is the Richards Medical Research Laboratory, or Richards Labs, a structure credited with changing the course of modern architecture. Christina Cook 2014-04-24T00:00:00 Owl monkey fathers are faithful and doting dads Eduardo Fernandez-Duque, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology in Penn Arts & Sciences, has been studying owl monkeys in Argentina for nearly 20 years. From observing their interactions day in and day out, he knew that males and females formed strong bonds. Katherine Unger Baillie 2014-03-20T00:00:00 Staff Q&A with Katie Huber Once upon a time, Katie Huber was skeptical of group exercise classes. Before signing up for a BODYPUMP class in her early 20s, she says she wasn’t quite convinced that the classes would give her the strenuous, endorphin-filled workout she favored. Greg Johnson 2014-04-10T00:00:00 Student Spotlight with Amy Wu MATH + SCIENCE = ART: Amy Wu, a senior dual-degree student in Wharton and the School of Engineering & Applied Science, knows that her course of study might make her sound like the polar opposite of someone who is passionate about art. Heather A. Davis 2014-04-10T00:00:00 Q&A with Mark Devlin The night sky is beset with innumerable stars, equally dazzling and dim, intermittent asteroids, comets, and meteors, planets gaseous and telluric, and our inconstant moon that changes monthly in her circled orb. An array of these distant objects can be viewed with the naked eye, their supernatural beauty often evoking sublimed awe. Greg Johnson 2014-03-13T00:00:00 Restoration breathes new life into ARCH building The nearly two-year restoration of the Arts, Research, and Culture House (ARCH) has concluded, breathing new life into the historic, late-Gothic Revival structure in the heart of Penn’s campus at 36th Street and Locust Walk. Greg Johnson 2014-02-13T00:00:00 120th running of Penn Relays open April 24 Each year, high school, college, and professional athletes from around the country and across the globe flock to Franklin Field to take part in the Penn Relay Carnival, the longest continuously held collegiate track meet in the United States. Maria Zankey 2014-04-17T00:00:00