Penn Current | Top Stories en-us Penn Current: News, Ideas, and Conversations from the University of Pennsylvania 140 46 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Renowned sculptor Patrick Dougherty returns to Morris Arboretum Artist Patrick Dougherty is returning to the Morris Arboretum this month to construct one of his unique stick sculptures. Based in Chapel Hill, N.C., Dougherty has built more than 250 sculptures in the past 30 years at gardens, universities, and museums around the world, including the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Wash., the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Ariz., and at Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia. Jeanne Leong 2015-03-05T00:00:00 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 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 Dental students organize walk for oral cancer awareness Each year in the United States, more than 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer, and more than 8,000 will die from the disease. Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-03-26T00:00:00 An enduring focus on Yiddish language and literature When Kathryn Hellerstein traveled to New York City earlier this month to accept a National Jewish Book Award from the Jewish Book Council, she was technically being honored for her most recent book, “A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish, 1586-1987.” But it was probably true, as well, that the honor was as much about Hellerstein’s entire career as it was about the book alone. Tim Hyland 2015-03-19T00:00:00 SP2 program teaches ex-offenders entrepreneurial skills Formerly incarcerated individuals must contend with a barrage of social barriers, including the stigma associated with being an ex-offender, and a lack of money, job skills, social skills, and communal ties. Greg Johnson 2015-03-19T00:00:00 Penn Vet researchers pinpoint new driver of colon cancer Genetic research has advanced our understanding of how and why cancer occurs by identifying mutations that are associated with an increased risk of getting the disease or with more aggressive forms of cancer. But mutations in the DNA code are not the only explanation for why cancer occurs. In a new study, researchers from the School of Veterinary Medicine point to an RNA-binding protein as a significant contributor to driving colorectal cancers, a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-03-19T00:00:00 Geophysicists study creep and flow of rivers What do glass, dirty ice, and riverbeds have in common? All are disordered solids, meaning they have malleable internal structures that can rearrange themselves over time. Madeleine Stone 2015-03-12T00:00:00 Penn research team develops ‘smart’ window Commonplace as they are, windows are an important piece of technology. Beyond architectural aesthetics, a building’s ecological footprint depends heavily on how its internal light and heat are managed. With this in mind, researchers from around the world are trying to make windows “smarter” by tailoring their properties to be more responsive and finely tuned to changing needs. Evan Lerner 2015-03-12T00:00:00 Penn conference focuses on Freud and fatherhood Sigmund Freud is known as the father of psychoanalysis, shaping theories that inform what we know about human development and sexual desire. Heather A. Davis 2015-03-12T00:00:00 Penn center studies science behind baby language When it comes to understanding speech, the world’s top tech companies are still playing catch-up with children.  Evan Lerner 2015-03-05T00:00:00 New Bolton program marches students into practice When students in the School of Veterinary Medicine graduate in May, some will go straight into jobs caring for livestock such as cows, sheep, goats, pigs, and alpacas. Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-03-05T00:00:00 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 Q&A with Ezekiel Dixon-Román Ezekiel Dixon-Román, an assistant professor in the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), had an adventurous high school career, attending four different schools in three different states. He started out at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., the city where he was born and raised. His mother, who worked for IBM, was transferred to Austin, Texas in 1993, where Dixon-Román attended Round Rock High School. Greg Johnson 2015-02-19T00:00:00 Latest Working Dog Center grads embark on new careers A new crop of graduates from the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Working Dog Center (WDC) is entering the workforce, benefiting society with their special skills and, especially, their highly tuned noses. Last week, Quest and Logan, both German shepherds, became part of the SEPTA Police’s K9 unit. They followed in the footsteps of WDC alumni Ronnie and Kaiserin, who joined SEPTA’s police force one year ago. Katherine Unger Baillie 2015-02-05T00:00:00 Wharton program helps close America’s vast racial wealth gap Keith Weigelt, the Marks-Darivoff Family Professor at the Wharton School, aims to help reduce the “racial wealth gap” by teaching financial literacy classes to people in Penn’s surrounding community. The “Building Bridges to Wealth” program, a Wharton initiative, is currently offered to high school students and adults in underserved communities. Jeanne Leong 2014-12-11T00:00:00 Student Spotlight with Rutendo Chigora [youtube][/youtube] SUNSHINE CITY: From Harare, Zimbabwe, Rutendo Chigora, 22, is a senior double majoring in international relations and political science, and minoring in English. In December, she was awarded a non-U.S. Rhodes Scholarship and will study at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. Greg Johnson 2015-02-19T00:00:00 Staff Q&A with Ana-Rita Mayol In her career, Ana-Rita Mayol has worked to get students from middle through graduate school excited about science. She’s developed science education programs and mentorships, as well as programs to train teachers so they’re better equipped to inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers. Heather A. Davis 2015-02-19T00:00:00 Penn Libraries exhibit highlights Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation Penn Libraries is showcasing some rare items concerning the Emancipation Proclamation in its new exhibit, “The Great Emancipator and the Great Central Fair,” which highlights the document and its role in the abolition of slavery. Jeanne Leong 2015-01-29T00:00:00 Coding at PAS A group of students at Penn Alexander are hacking parents’ classic warning that video games turn brains to mush. In a course developed by Yasmin Kafai, a professor of teaching, learning, and leadership at the Graduate School of Education (GSE), a group of 12 sixth to eighth graders are working not only to understand how video games work, but to actually create the games themselves. Maria Zankey 2015-01-22T00:00:00 Student Spotlight with Sydney Stipanovich SHOOTING STARS: Skimming sophomore women’s basketball center Sydney Stipanovich’s resume, it’s difficult to believe she’s only been at Penn for less than two years. Maria Zankey 2015-01-22T00:00:00 New Penn MOOC provides intro to American law It is next to impossible to open a newspaper, browse the web, or watch television without coming across an item of consequence related to the law. Be they criminal laws and civil laws, contracts and expiring contracts, property and deeds, marriages and divorces, or lawsuits and custody disputes, the law is pervasive in American life, even if not always overtly, and decides some of society’s most central issues. Greg Johnson 2015-01-22T00:00:00