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Volume 69 Number 16 – University of Pennsylvania

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The Penn Artificial Intelligence and Technology Collaboratory for Healthy Aging (PennAITech)—made up of Penn’s School of Nursing, the Perelman School of Medicine, and other departments across the University—focuses on identifying, developing, evaluating, commercializing, and disseminating innovative technology and artificial intelligence methods/software to support aging. It is made possible through a grant from the National Institute on Aging, a part of the National Institutes of Health. In its first year, and through a competitive national grant review process, twelve applicants from academia, industry, and clinical practice across the United States have been selected for funding. 
The Collaboratory Pilot Core invites applications for pilot studies using technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize care management and health outcomes for older Americans, including those with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) living in their homes independently, and those receiving clinical care or skilled home and community-based services.
The goals of this pilot program are twofold:
This year’s awardees are:  
“These awardees represent the broad range of innovative solutions that have the potential to significantly improve the lives of older adults and their families, and our team of experts at Penn are looking forward to working with them and supporting them in this journey,” said George Demiris, a Penn Integrates Knowledge professor with joint faculty appointments in Penn Nursing’s department of biobehavioral health sciences and the department of biostatistics, epidemiology, and informatics in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine and one of the principal investigators of PennAITech. 
Jason Karlawish, a professor of medicine, medical ethics and health policy, and neurology, co-director of the Penn Memory Center, co-associate director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Perelman School of Medicine, and co-principal investigator of PennAITech, added, “we are excited to provide a supportive environment to deploy and test cutting-edge technologies and innovative approaches to improving the well-being of America’s older adults, especially persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related diseases.”
December 1, 2022
The world gathering in Egypt for COP27 reminds us of the urgency of our collective fight against climate change. Faculty, student, and staff attendees from Penn represent the energy and talent that so many Penn community members contribute to this crucial effort. This is an opportune moment to share our thoughts on the role of Penn’s endowment in combatting climate change. The complexity of the issue and the urgency of the climate challenge merit a thoughtful consideration and explanation of Penn’s policies.
Penn’s endowment exists to provide long-term support for Penn’s educational mission. This year, Penn will spend a record $960 million from its endowment to support student financial aid, faculty salaries, faculty teaching and research, Penn’s health system, and countless other programs that rely heavily on endowment spending. While the core purpose of Penn’s endowment is to provide this financial support, some have argued that large endowments should play a role in mitigating climate change and, in particular, that fossil fuels do not have a place in university endowments.
We all share the same goal of a decarbonized economy. The significant role that fossil fuels play in today’s world, however, makes policy decisions complex. We must move away from fossil fuels, but we can only do so completely once we can produce abundant, affordable, and secure energy from carbon-free sources. This energy transition still requires trillions of dollars in new investments, major new policy developments, and significant technology advances. Even as we are moving down the path towards our collective goal, society will still have to consume fossil fuels. Selling fossil fuel investments does not end fossil fuel production or create clean energy alternatives, and it risks transferring ownership to buyers who may care little for the environmental consequences of their actions. Europe’s energy crisis painfully highlights the world’s inability to immediately pivot to clean energy sources. It also demonstrates that high energy prices harm society’s most vulnerable and that control of energy supplies matters both to global security and to the environment.
Penn’s investment program does not hide from this complexity. Rather, we take a nuanced approach to determining appropriate policies, and we subject our thinking to ongoing review. Our primary goal will always be to generate strong risk-adjusted returns to ensure support for Penn’s educational mission. Our policies recognize that the use of fossil fuels accelerates climate change, that society must transition to a carbon-free economy without punishing the world’s most economically vulnerable, and that climate change creates investment risks that we must consider. Reflecting these factors, Penn established a significant and over-arching goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions across the endowment by 2050. To date we have taken several steps that advance this broad goal.
First, we have altered our approach to investments held in Penn’s name. Two years ago, the University announced that it did not directly hold investments in any companies focused on the carbon-intensive production of tar sands or thermal coal. Today, Penn does not directly hold investments in any companies focused on the production of fossil fuels. This includes Penn holding no investments in two hundred of the companies with the largest potential carbon emissions content in their reserves.1
Second, our net-zero goal has led to changes to our relationships with our external investment managers. As is typical for universities and foundations, most of Penn’s endowment is held and managed by external investment firms, rather than being directly invested by the University’s Office of Investments. Last year Penn announced the cessation of new commitments to private equity vehicles devoted to fossil fuels. In addition, we require our managers to factor the implications of a de-carbonizing economy into their investment decisions. We encourage our managers to support or push the companies they invest in to make the business changes needed to achieve emissions reductions. If the underlying companies are not responsive to constructive proposals for emissions reduction, or if they fail to show credible progress towards meaningful goals, then we expect Penn’s managers to make a rigorous evaluation of whether the positions remain appropriate investments.
Finally, we are proactively supporting the energy transition by identifying promising investments that are part of it. The Office of Investments has allocated capital to several external investment managers who exclusively focus on making investments in this area. These investments are consistent with our primary goal of maximizing long-term returns and should also actively contribute to decarbonization. At the same time, many of our other external investment managers have increasingly found compelling investments related to the energy transition. In aggregate, we estimate that approximately $250 million of the endowment is invested in transition-related investments. Such investments will grow over time given the focus of the Office of Investments.
Penn’s teaching and research will always be our most powerful tools for answering Ben Franklin’s call to do good in the world. Penn’s endowment, if stewarded responsibly, can provide perpetual support for those core and essential University missions. Our endowment’s net-zero goal, our desire to support real world decarbonization, and our hundreds of millions of dollars of investments in the energy transition are all elements of that stewardship. As we move forward, we will continually subject our approach to careful review, weigh any evolution of relevant facts, and communicate with the community as our policies evolve. With the endowment providing critical financial support for the efforts of Penn’s amazing faculty, students, and staff, Penn is a powerful, creative, and determined force in the global effort against climate change.
—Liz Magill, President
—Scott L. Bok, Board of Trustees Chair

1. Based upon The Carbon Underground 200TM, January 2021.
caption: William BeltranAndrew M. Hoffman, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Vet), has named William Beltran, an internationally recognized veterinary ophthalmologist, the Corinne R. and Henry Bower Professor of Ophthalmology.
Dr. Beltran holds a diverse record of scholarly accomplishments. His research program focuses on inherited retinal degeneration, a major cause of blindness in dogs and humans worldwide. Specifically, he has investigated the mechanisms of photoreceptor cell death in X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa, two of the most common forms of inherited retinal degeneration (IRD) in man. Working in canines, who suffer from forms of retinal degeneration that closely mimic human diseases, he has helped develop effective gene therapies with promising results for treating both early- and late-stage disease. He has received extensive extramural funding, including R01, U24, and R21 grants from the NIH’s National Eye Institute, along with foundation and industry support. Dr. Beltran’s research has generated six patents involving adeno-associated viral vectors for retinal gene therapies.
“As one of the most high-profile translational scientists in the world, Dr. Beltran’s work is focused on reversing the course of blindness from inherited retinal diseases that widely affect veterinary patients and humans,” said Dean Hoffman. “His longstanding collaboration with Penn Vet professor Gustavo Aguirre has led to numerous breakthroughs in gene and stem cell-based therapies for eye diseases that involve death of retinal photoreceptor and other cells in the eye.”
Dr. Beltran, who is a board-certified diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, earned his veterinary degree at the University of Paris and the Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort, France, his MSc in biological and medical sciences at the University of Paris, and his PhD in comparative biomedical sciences from Cornell University. He joined Penn Vet in 2006 as assistant professor of ophthalmology. Dr. Beltran was appointed an associate professor in ophthalmology in 2012, named director of the division of experimental retinal therapies in 2017, and became a professor of ophthalmology in 2018.
“Dr. Beltran has published over 80 scientific peer-reviewed manuscripts and he has delivered over 150 national and international lectures and seminars,” said Dean Hoffman. “He reflects the values and dedication that are vital to the mission of Penn Vet and to our community. His commitment and scholarly leadership are undeniably suited for this illustrious professorship, and I am delighted to have him on our faculty.”
caption: Herbert MoelisHerbert Moelis, W’53, a past member of both the Penn Vet Board of Advisors and Penn Libraries Board of Advisors, died October 6, 2022 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 91.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from the Wharton School at Penn in 1953 and went on to earn a law degree from New York University in 1956, along with his LLM degree specializing in tax law. He was also a certified public accountant.
Mr. Moelis started his business career on Wall Street and became an entrepreneur and CEO of several companies, one of which was Equity Leasing Corp., which he took public. He embarked upon a second career with his wife, Ellen, in 1986 when they purchased a farm in Delaware and started a thoroughbred horse breeding and racing operation, calling it Candyland Farm.
In 1990, Mr. Moelis founded the Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA), with his wife and with American sportswoman, Allaire du Pont. It was one of the first and most successful fundraising charities supporting non-profit thoroughbred horse rescue groups throughout the country, working towards ending the slaughter of thoroughbreds in the United States and supporting backstretch employees who work with horses. 
At Penn, Mr. Moelis served six years on the Penn Libraries Board of Advisors, as well as ten years on the Penn Vet Board of Advisors. He was awarded the Alumni Award of Merit in 2010. He sponsored Penn scholarships for four students in perpetuity.
In 2017, in honor of his 85th birthday, his family created the Moelis Family Grand Reading Room in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, named for both Ellen and Herbert Moelis (Almanac October 17, 2017).
Mr. Moelis was vice president of the board at Delaware Park Racing and president of the Board of Directors of TCA for over twenty years. He also founded and served as chair of the board of trustees of Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation (TERF), supporting medical research for horses and providing scholarships to veterinary students.
He is survived by his wife, Ellen; sons, Ron, C’78, W’78 (Kerry), Ken, W’80, WG’81, a Penn Trustee (Julie, W’81); daughter, Cindy, W’82 (Bob); grandchildren, Jordan, W’09, WG’10 (Jordan); Andrew, C’10 (Rosa), Cory, W’11, WG’18, Maddy, W’12 (Kevin), Stephanie (Joel), Adam, W’14, Kate, C’16, Claire, Paige, W’19, and Alexander; great-grandchildren, Milo and Henry; brother, Jay (Barbara); and sisters-in-law Marilyn Moelis, Ann Mac Dougall, and Ida Farriella (Nick); and many nieces and nephews.
Donations may be made in his memory to his favorite charities: Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) www.tca.org, or Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation (TERF) www.terfusa.org.
Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students and other members of the University community. Call (215) 898-5274 or email [email protected].
However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Suite 300, 2929 Walnut St., (215) 898-8136 or email [email protected].
At the University Council Meeting on Wednesday, November 30, there were two presentations before the open forum portion of the meeting. President Liz Magill was ill and did not attend.
Anne Papageorge, Senior Vice President for Facilities and Real Estate Services, presented the Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0 report. To increase awareness,  additional digital media, such as videos and podcasts, are being created to disseminate sustainability-related information.
She spoke of achievements in the seven key initiative areas: academics, utilities and opera- tions, physical environment, waste, procurement, transportation, and outreach and engagement. Campus carbon emissions have been reduced by 45% in FY22 compared to the FY09 baseline.
Ms. Papageorge said two solar facilities in central Pennsylvania are under construction and are expected to come online by 2024. They will produce 70% of Penn and its health system’s electric demand.
The next presentation was on the Penn Environmental Innovations Initiative, given by Kathleen Morrison, the Sally and Alvin V. Shoemaker Professor of Anthropology, anthropology department chair, and faculty co-leader of the initiative.
Dr. Morrison discussed the initiative mission of catalyzing solutions to significant real-world environmental challenges. She said research is at the core of that mission. Four research projects are being funded in the second year of the initiative. Faculty are working to expand courses with sustainability content to meet demand and to foster increased collaboration across disciplines.
During the open forum portion of the meeting, presenters discussed their views on the following topics:
The next meeting of the University Council is on February 1, 2023.
caption: Ritesh AgarwalRitesh Agarwal, a professor in the department of materials science and engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been named the Srinivasa Ramanujan Distinguished Scholar. 
Dr. Agarwal earned a PhD from University of California, Berkeley and held a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University before joining Penn in 2005. His research interests include investigating structural, optical, and electronic properties of low-dimensional systems and the development of new probes to study complex phases of matter. Recently, his group has focused on studying the role of quantum geometry and topology in electronic and optical systems and to engineer light-matter interactions to fabricate on-chip photonic devices.
Dr. Agarwal has received the NSF CAREER Award, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award and the SPIE Symposium Nanoengineering Pioneer Award.  He was elected a fellow of the Optical Society of America in 2021 and is the 2022 recipient of Penn Engineering’s George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research.
The Srinivasa Ramanujan Distinguished Scholar chair was established to honor mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and his contributions to the analytical theory of numbers.
caption: Vikram Balasubramanian
University of Pennsylvania senior Vikram Balasubramanian has been selected as one of 12 students in the nation to receive a George J. Mitchell Scholarship for graduate studies in Ireland.
Sponsored by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, the scholarship covers tuition and accommodations, as well as stipends for living expenses and travel, for one academic year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This year, more than 306 students applied for the scholarship.
Mr. Balasubramanian, from San Ramon, California, is double-majoring in statistics and philosophy in the Wharton School and the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and a Joseph Wharton Scholar, and has been a research assistant in the Computational Social Science Lab and Penn Medicine.
As a member of the student-run Penn Debate Society, he has achieved top-10 competitive debate finishes, including several tournament championships. He also coaches debate for underserved students through the Philadelphia After School Activities Partnership. He has been a project leader for the nonprofit Wharton MUSE (Marketing Undergraduate Student Establishment) Consulting.
He was a 2020 Cambridge Effective Altruism Fellow and a 2019 Salaam Fellow for Conflict Resolution. He received a 2018 National Security Language Initiative for Youth scholarship. His research, writing, and poetry have been included in various publications, including the Penn Undergraduate Law Journal. He is a cellist in the Penn Baroque Ensemble.
With the Mitchell Scholarship, Mr. Balasubramanian plans to pursue a master’s degree in philosophy at Trinity College Dublin.
The Mitchell Scholarship, named in honor of former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, is designed to introduce and connect future American leaders to Ireland while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service.
Mr. Balasubramanian applied for the scholarship with the support of Penn’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. He is the sixth Penn student to receive the scholarship since the inaugural class of Mitchell Scholars in 2001.
caption: Max CavitchMax Cavitch, an associate professor of English in the School of Arts & Sciences, has received the 2022 Excellence in Journalism Prize from the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) for his blog, Psyche on Campus. The blog, which focuses on “teaching psychoanalysis in the undergraduate classroom (and beyond),” was recognized for “connecting psychoanalysis to conversations and issues of our time and highlighting psychosocial insights in an accessible form that invites participation and readership, including from undergraduates studying a diverse array of subjects.”
Dr. Cavitch’s areas of expertise include American and African American literatures and cultures, cinema studies, poetry and poetics, and psychoanalytic studies. His first book, American Elegy: The Poetry of Mourning from the Puritans to Whitman (2006), was a study of mourning poetry in 18th- and 19th-century North America.
Founded in 1911, APsaA is the oldest national psychoanalytic organization in the nation. As a professional organization for psychoanalysts, it focuses on education, research, and membership development.
caption: Charlene CompherCharlene W. Compher, a professor of nutrition science in Penn Nursing’s department of biobehavioral health sciences and director of graduate nutrition programs, has been appointed to Pennsylvania’s State Board of Nursing. She will be the only dietitian/nutritionist representative on the board. Her six-year term began on October 26, 2022.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to apply what I have learned here at Penn Nursing about the characteristics of high-quality education of nurses to the advantage of our own programs and others in our state,” said Dr. Compher. “Licensure concerns, both for nurses and dietitian/nutritionists, are also the responsibility of the state Board of Nursing, which gives me an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the professionalism of the clinician educator role here at Penn Nursing and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.”
The State Board of Nursing protects the health and safety of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the licensure/certification and regulation of the practice of professional and practical nursing and dietetics-nutrition by registered nurses, practical nurses, certified registered nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, dietitian-nutritionists, and graduate nurses. The board issues licenses and certifications to qualified applicants, approves nursing education programs, establishes standards of practice, and disciplines licensees and unlicensed persons for violations of the Acts and the regulations.
caption: Barri Joyce GoldBarri Joyce Gold, a professor of practice in English in the School of Arts & Sciences and an inaugural senior fellow in the Environmental Innovations Initiative, has been awarded the 2021 British Society for Literature and Science Prize for best book in literature and science for her book Energy, Ecocriticism, and Nineteenth-Century Fiction. According to Dr. Gold, “The book not only explores the way the novel is implicated in creating our ecology-breaking culture, but also how we may draw on it to reimagine our historically vexed relationship to the natural world.”
With a background in physics, Dr. Gold is especially interested in the Victorian development of energy concepts, as well as in the nascent ecological discourse of which these were a part. Her first book, ThermoPoetics: Energy in Victorian Literature and Science, explores these themes. In her more recent work, she has become especially interested in how the stories we tell shape us as ecological beings, for better and worse.
The British Society for Literature and Science is a scholarly society that promotes interdisciplinary research into the relationships of science and literature in all periods. Membership is open to anyone interested in the field, regardless of geographical location. The book prize is awarded for the best book in the field of literature and science published that year.
caption: Deep Jariwalacaption: Troy Olssoncaption: Eric StachThe Bell Labs Prize awarded by Nokia Bell Labs is a yearly contest in which researchers from around the world submit proposals for “disruptive innovations that will define the next industrial revolution.” Participants are paired with Nokia Bell Labs researchers to refine their ideas, ultimately presenting them to a panel of experts and industry leaders.
This year, Deep Jariwala and Troy Olsson, associate professors in the department of electrical and systems engineering in Penn Engineering, and Eric Stach, the Robert D. Bent Professor in the department of materials science and engineering and director of the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter, won the top prize for their development of a computer memory that would more efficiently handle the computational demands of data-intensive applications.
“To do its work, a machine learning or AI application needs to move a bunch of data into the processor, it does a little processing on that data, and it stores that new set of data in memory—then it does it again,” Dr. Jariwala said. “The computation gets choked or slowed down by the need to keep moving these vast sets of data around.”
The team’s expertise intersects at the areas of nanofabrication and ferroelectric memory. The first prize-winning proposal presents a prototype ferroelectric-diode-based memory device with a new memory architecture that reduces latency by moving memory closer to the processing source and allows for many processing functions to be performed in the memory itself.
The result is an ultra-high-density, ultra-low-power memory device that allows for the processing of reams of data much faster than traditional compute architectures.
This chip technology could go a long way to optimizing artificial intelligence systems, while boosting the speed of big-data services like search engines.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), the pioneering New York-based design studio led by Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, Charles Renfro, and Benjamin Gilmartin, has been selected to receive the 2022 Kanter Tritsch Medal in Architecture, and Suisman Urban Design and the iQuilt Partnership have been selected to receive the 2022 Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal in City and Regional Planning for Hartford400, a comprehensive plan to make Hartford, Connecticut a sustainable, multi-modal region and capital city by its 400th anniversary in 2035. Two of three professional honors bestowed annually by the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, the awards will be presented at a February 21, 2023 ceremony that raises funds for student scholarships.
“American cities of all sizes are facing once-in-a-generation challenges, but they are still our best engines for innovation and equity,” said Frederick Steiner, dean and Paley Professor at the Weitzman School. “Both Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hartford400 illustrate the opportunity for designers and urban planners to harness the built environment’s dynamism and complexity to improve the quality of life for all.”
The Kanter Tritsch Medal in Architecture was established in 2017 through a gift from Penn alumna Lori Kanter Tritsch, MArch’85, a member of the Board of Advisors at Weitzman, and her partner and fellow Penn alumnus William P. Lauder, who holds a bachelor of science in economics from the Wharton School and is a Penn trustee. The medal honors an architect or firm that has changed the course of design history, with a particular focus on the areas of energy conservation, environmental quality, and/or diversity (Almanac December 19, 2017).
The Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal in City and Regional Planning was established by William Witte, C’73, MCP’75, an alumnus of the Weitzman School, and his wife, Keiko Sakamoto, to recognize a firm, team, or professional for an exemplary plan that advances plan making in at least four of the following areas: social equity, environmental quality, design, public health, mobility, housing affordability, and economic development (Almanac November 20, 2018).
In conjunction with the professional medals, the Weitzman School selected two outstanding students entering their final year of study to receive a $50,000 scholarship each for the 2022-2023 academic year. The recipient of the 2022 Kanter Tritsch Prize in Energy and Architectural Innovation is Kyle Troyer, MArch’23, and the recipient of the 2022 Witte-Sakamoto Family Prize in City and Regional Planning is Jasmine Siyu Wu, MCP’23. In addition, based on the outstanding submissions received, Harsana Siva, MArch’23, has received the Weitzman Architecture Honorable Mention and a $10,000 scholarship for the 2022-2023 academic year. Helen Lea, MCP’23, has received the Weitzman City and Regional Planning Honorable Mention and a $10,000 scholarship for the 2022-2023 academic year.
caption: President Liz Magill and members of Peers Helping Integrate New Students (PHINS) shown at Penn Global’s annual August reception to welcome new international and exchange students. Photo by Eddy Marenco.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Penn Global, the face of Penn’s engagement across the world. To celebrate, Penn Global is hosting a series of events both locally and around the world to highlight its transformative impact on the University and Penn’s long-standing commitment to global engagement. At the same time, its leaders are looking ahead to what the next decade of research, policy, and engagement with the world will look like.
“Penn’s renown in higher education as one of the world’s top research universities is inextricably linked to this commitment to global engagement and it’s what will propel Penn to new heights of greatness in the years ahead,” said President Liz Magill.
Penn has always been a global university, with a rich curriculum studying questions and issues facing the world, and with international students and distinguished faculty from around the globe, said Amy Gadsden, associate vice provost for global initiatives and executive director of Penn China Initiatives.
“The creation of Penn Global allowed us to have an umbrella to bring all of that together so that the whole could be greater than the sum of the parts,” Dr. Gadsden said. “We’re able to bring the community together, celebrate all the ways in which the University is global, and build momentum around that.”
From helping fund Penn Vet’s Gambia Goat Dairy to supporting research that has helped curb preventable traffic fatalities in India to aiding students studying abroad and hosting global leaders on campus, Penn Global is committed to integrating knowledge across disciplines. The work looks to address global challenges across Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, India, China, and beyond.
“It wasn’t pre-ordained that Penn Global would succeed, and we have,” said Ezekiel Emanuel, vice provost for global initiatives and the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor. “It’s a testament to how much global work was already happening on campus. We simply created a global vision that people could rally around and that’s been quite gratifying.”
Celebrating a Global Success Story
Penn Global began its 10th anniversary celebrations with welcome events for international undergraduate and graduate students during New Student Orientation in August, followed by a reception on October 19. The event recognized the deep impact of campus partners and stakeholders across the world who’ve contributed in varied ways to Penn Global’s mission.
“Bringing Penn to the world, and the world to Penn, has been the mission and the guiding principle of Penn Global, and it’s a goal that has never been more important,” said Interim Provost Beth Winkelstein. “Penn is a world leader in education and research that cross disciplines and borders. As such, we’re uniquely positioned to understand the complex interactions between and among peoples and nations—and to foster the research and teaching so critical to this undertaking.”
Earlier this month, Penn Global held a series of 10th anniversary events in London, including a reception featuring Michael Weisberg speaking about his work in the Galapagos. Dr. Weisberg, the Bess W. Heyman President’s Distinguished Professor and Chair of Philosophy in the School of Arts and Sciences, has been involved in research and activism in the islands for much of his career.
“One of the things Penn Global has always pushed me on is to make my work ultimately global—my work can be centered in the Galapagos, but shouldn’t just be of the Galapagos,” Dr. Weisberg said.
Dr. Weisberg has partnered with the hub on projects ranging from Penn Global Seminars to leading the inaugural cohort of Penn Global Research Institutes to the archipelago. He is also a Perry World House faculty fellow. In November, he represented the Perry World House at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 27, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
In January, Penn Global will celebrate with another reception in Singapore, as well as at the Penn India Engagement Forum in Delhi. Co-hosted by the Penn Institute for the Advanced Study of India and Center for the Advanced Study of India, which are also celebrating their 25th and 30th anniversaries respectively, the event will bring together Penn faculty and experts to discuss India after COVID-19 and will be capped by a conversation with Wharton Dean Erika James and School of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Vijay Kumar. More events and conferences highlighting the work over the past 10 years are planned for the spring.
caption: Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Perry World House student fellows and graduate associates on September 24, 2019. Photo courtesy of Perry World House.
Range and Reach of Penn’s Global Engagement
Encompassing seven reporting offices, Penn Global uses its broad and deep expertise to advise the University on its global activities and to collaborate with Penn’s schools, centers, communities, and partners to deliver a comprehensive suite of global programming that generates positive impact around the world. Those offices include the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives (Global Initiatives); Penn Abroad; International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS); Global Support Services (GSS); Perry World House; the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement; and Penn Global Finance and Administration.
Among the offerings for students are study abroad opportunities and the Penn Global Seminars program, which combine intensive semester-long study with a short-term travel component that deepens students’ understanding of classroom concepts.
“In the same way we wouldn’t want to teach a chemistry or biology class without giving students a lab opportunity, we don’t want to teach students about the world without giving them the opportunity to see it,” Dr. Gadsden said.
Last spring, students traveled to Mongolia for a Mongolian civilization class, and to the battlefields and towns of Belgium and France to look at World War I through the lens of memory. Study abroad opportunities included semesters in Hong Kong and London, summers studying in Cannes, France, and internships in Australia.
Dr. Emanuel noted that Penn’s faculty in particular is what makes this programming come together.
“We could not do anything we do, in terms of educating our students overseas, without the faculty,” he said. “Having faculty who have these research interests and scholarly interests in other countries makes these opportunities happen. A university is as strong as its best faculty and the great thing is, Penn has a fantastic faculty.”
Before the COVID pandemic, more than 2,700 students were studying abroad for credit annually and hundreds more were participating in experiential programs. For the 2019-2020 academic year, the University was recognized as one of the top 10 institutions in the nation sending students abroad and the top sending institution in the Ivy League.
Abroad programs are getting back up to speed after adjusting to the pandemic shutdowns, and this winter they will be back to a full roster of Penn Global seminars, looking at traditional Chinese medicine in Thailand with the School of Nursing and travel to Costa Rica for a course on sustainable development and culture in Latin America.
Penn Global also helps international students coming to Penn make their transition to campus as smooth as possible, and to make them feel fully integrated as a part of the community, Dr. Emanuel said. “We are very excited about the active engagement of our international students at Penn. They are such important campus participants and campus leaders.”
Thousands of international students enroll at Penn every year, representing more than a fifth of Penn’s entire student body. Numerous programs are offered to facilitate the integration and success of international students at Penn, from Forerunner and Intercultural Leadership programs to the Penn World Scholars program, which has graduated 200 students since its launch in 2006.
Also playing an important role in bringing the world to Penn is Perry World House, which over the years has hosted global leaders like President Biden, former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, and former Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt, as well as current ambassadors and leaders in the fight against climate change, nuclear proliferation and global markets. Perry World House’s student programs include a Global Career Week, Undergraduate World House Student Fellows Program, Graduate Associates Program, essay contests, and more.
“It’s been very exciting to see Penn Global evolve and succeed over the years,” said LaShawn Jefferson, senior executive director of Perry World House. “It is our great fortune to be a core part of this vital, University-wide mission that is committed to ensuring that all of Penn—faculty, students, and alumni—critically understand, are deeply connected to, and have pathways to influence and shape global developments.”
caption: Students in the Penn Global seminar, Case Studies in Environmental Sustainability led by Alain Plante of the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, traveled to Iceland in May 2022. Photo courtesy of Penn Global.
Looking Toward the Next 10 Years of Penn Global
As for what the next decade holds for Penn Global, Dr. Emanuel said the organization has robust plans. They intend to boost the Penn Global Seminars to 30 offerings a year and would like to see students getting involved in them earlier in their academic careers.
“We hope to see more involvement from first- and second-years so the global experience can more effectively influence their majors and their career choices,” Dr. Emanuel said.
They also hope to expand their newly launched Penn Global Research Institutes with faculty—such as the pilot program launched in the Galapagos by Dr. Weisberg—as well as provide more opportunities for graduate students and professional students.
“To that end, we’re already in discussions with schools about things like gap years for graduate students, whether it would be before they start their graduate program or once [they are] in their graduate program but before they start research,” Dr. Emanuel said.
He also envisions adding to the roster of country global funds. Currently, there are funds for Africa, China, and India, and the plan is to develop funds for Latin America and the Near East, as well.
“Expanding to these other regions is going to be very, very important,” he said.
The team is also thinking about how to capitalize on the success of Perry World House and the Penn Biden Center going forward, whether it involves having Perry World House Visiting Scholars teach courses at Penn or adding Washington think tank elements to the Biden Center.
“There’s always way more to do, and if Penn wants to be a leading global university, this mix of education, research, and think tank operations is critical to making us preeminent in this area,” Dr. Emanuel said.
In the past decade, Penn Global greatly expanded its educational offerings into a full panoply of ways to have a global experience other than the traditional “semester abroad,” from summer courses to shorter courses to winter travel. These varied options enable students—including athletes, theater students, and engineering majors, for example—to experience global programs that fit their busy schedules.
Penn Global has an openness to innovation and new possibilities that it fosters as a culture, Dr. Emanuel said. “Penn Global’s initial reaction to new ideas is, ‘yes, let’s try to make it happen,’” he said. “The answer shouldn’t be ‘no,’ it should be ‘let’s go for it.’ There’s a lot of things that can be done and the last 10 years have shown that people will respond to that possibility.”
Despite talk of a move toward deglobalization around the world, Penn Global’s focus remains steadfast.
“Penn is not withdrawing from the world. It’s absolutely critical if we’re going to train the next leaders to be engaged with the world that we need to be able to send our students throughout the world,” Dr. Emanuel said. “We aren’t in every country in the world but we’re pretty darn close. That’s a testament to the fantastic breadth of interests of our faculty, the breadth of interest of our students, and that is a central identifying element that distinguishes Penn.”
Academia plays a role in the future of the world, and Penn Global functions as a bridge, Dr. Gadsden said.
“It is really important to double down on global engagement,” Dr. Gadsden said. “We have these forces that are causing us to question our engagement in the world. As Penn, we need to be a leader for global engagement. We need to be a leader in welcoming the world to Penn and the United States. We need to be a leader in demonstrating and advocating for the importance of global research to change our world, to improve our world.”
caption: In February 2018, then-Vice President Joe Biden, Penn President Amy Gutmann and Board of Trustees Chair David L. Cohen cut the ceremonial ribbon to mark the opening of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C. Photo by Eric Sucar.
Adapted from a Penn Today article by Kristen de Groot, November 16, 2022.
11        Scribe DHPY Screening: Visions of Philadelphia; celebrate new documentary films from Scribe’s 2022 Documentary History Project For Youth program; 2-5 p.m.; Institute of Contemporary Art; register: https://tinyurl.com/dhpy-screening-dec-11 (Institute of Contemporary Art).
7          Admissions Web Chat Series; an opportunity for Weitzman School applicants to get answers to many common questions and to interact with current students and admissions staff; noon; Zoom webinar; register: https://tinyurl.com/weitzman-admissions-dec-7 (Weitzman School). Also December 12, 6 p.m.
9          Department of Architecture: Prospective Student Q & A; a chance to ask questions about programs, coursework, student life, and any other aspect of what it is like to study at the Weitzman School of Design; 9 a.m.; Zoom webinar; info: [email protected] (Architecture).
            Udall Information Session and Scholar Panel; learning about scholarships from the Udall Foundation, which awards scholarships to university/college sophomores and juniors dedicated to leadership and public service; 3:30 p.m.; room 202, 3539 Locust Walk; register: https://tinyurl.com/udall-info-session-dec-9 (Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships).
13        Fall 2023 Penn English Program in London at King's College Information Session; 11:30 a.m.; room 135, Fisher-Bennett Hall, and Zoom webinar; info: [email protected] (English).
Graduate School of Education
Online events unless noted. Info: https://www.gse.upenn.edu/news/events-calendar.
8          Learning Analytics Virtual Information Session; 8 p.m.
9          Friday Virtual Chat; 9 a.m.
12        Reading/Writing/Literacy MSEd Information Session; noon.
            Urban Education MSEd Program Information Session; 7 p.m.
13        Financial Aid Information Session; 6 p.m.
            Penn GSE Mid-Career Doctoral Program Virtual Information Session; 9 p.m.
School of Social Policy & Practice
Online events unless noted. Info: https://www.sp2.upenn.edu/sp2-events/.
8          Workshop Pro Environmental and Sustainable Practices: From Home to College Dorms; noon; room 526, McNeil Building.
9          Penn Singers Light Opera Company Present Carrie: The Musical; perennial Penn theater group presents an adaptation of the Stephen King novel in which Carrie White discovers that she’s got a special power, and if pushed too far, she’s not afraid to use it; 8:30 p.m.; Harold Prince Theater, Annenberg Center; tickets: https://pennlivearts.org/event/penn-singers-light-opera-company-1162 (Penn Live Arts). Also December 10, 1 and 7:30 p.m.
8          Groundbreaking Poets and Traditional Forms: A Class Reading; Taije Silverman, English, and the students of ENGL2840; 5:30 p.m.; Arts Café, Kelly Writers House, and YouTube livestream; join: https://youtu.be/GI7k0zOlCe8 (Kelly Writers House).
12        A Reading by the Students of Xfic; Jay Kirk, English, and the students of ENGL3353; 5:30 p.m.; Arts Café, Kelly Writers House, and YouTube livestream; join: https://youtu.be/YneYhngBK8I (Kelly Writers House).
9          Lambda Grads Winter Wonderland Happy Hour; celebrate the end of fall semester and all things Winter Wonderland with Lambda Grads; open to all LGBTQ+ Penn grad students and friends/allies; 5:30-7:30 p.m.; info: https://ulife.vpul.upenn.edu/calendar/host/LGBT-Center/24 (LGBT Center).
6          Two Interconnected Ecologies in Mexico City: Modernist Social Housing Projects and Villages in the Valley; Pablo Lazo, WRI Mexico; noon; online livestream; register: https://tinyurl.com/lazo-talk-dec-6 (Penn Institute for Urban Research).
            2022 A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Memorial Lecture; Linda Sheryl Greene, Michigan State University; 5:30 p.m.; Fitts Auditorium, Penn Law; register: https://tinyurl.com/greene-talk-dec-6 (Center for Africana Studies).
7          Model Organism Genetics Reveal an Unexpected Molecular Function of Tau; Brian Kraemer, University of Washington School of Medicine; 10 a.m.; room 11-146AB, Smilow Center, and Zoom webinar; info: [email protected] (Penn Neurodegeneration Genomics Center).
            Alveolar Epithelial Cell Metabolic Reprogramming in Lung Fibrosis; Luis Rodriguez, PSOM; noon; room 213, Stemmler Hall (Penn-CHOP Lung Biology Institute).
8          Compressibility of Nanoconfined Fluids: Relating Atomistic Modeling to Ultrasonic Experiments; Gennady Gor, New Jersey Institute of Technology; 10:30 a.m.; Wu & Chen Auditorium, Levine Hall (Materials Science & Engineering).
            Knockout of a Single Sox Gene Resurrects an Ancestral Cell Type in the Sea Anemone Nematostella Vectensis; Leslie Babonis, Cornell University; 4 p.m.; auditorium, Claire Fagin Hall, and Zoom webinar; join: https://www.bio.upenn.edu/events/seminars/zoom (Biology).
9          Understanding the Physical World from Images; David Fouhey, University of Michigan; 10:30 a.m.; Wu & Chen Auditorium, Levine Hall, and Zoom webinar; join: https://upenn.zoom.us/j/91357679944 (GRASP Lab).
            A Roundtable on Iran Uprising: Silenced Voices and Political Struggle of Minority Groups in Iran and Diaspora; panel of speakers; 3:30 p.m.; Zoom webinar; register: https://tinyurl.com/iran-roundtable-dec-9 (Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations).
12        Communicating Behavior: Bottom-Up Processes of Social Influence; Dolores Albarracin, Annenberg School and Penn Nursing; 3:30 p.m.; auditorium, Levin Building (Psychology).
13        Immunological Mechanisms of Epithelial Cancer Defense; Ming Li, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; noon; Grossman Auditorium, Wistar Institute, and Zoom webinar; join: https://tinyurl.com/li-talk-dec-13 (Wistar Institute).
            A New BART Prior for Flexible Modeling with Categorical Predictors; Sameer Deshpande, University of Wisconsin–Madison; 3:30 p.m.; room 701, Blockley Hall, and Zoom webinar; join: https://tinyurl.com/deshpande-talk-dec-13 (Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics).
In-person events. Info: https://economics.sas.upenn.edu/events.
7          Profit Sharing & Patient Steering: Joint Ventures in Dialysis; Ryan McDevitt, Duke University; 3:30 p.m.; room F50, Huntsman Hall.
12        Assessing Omitted Variable Bias When the Controls are Endogenous; Matt Masten, Duke University; 4:30 p.m.; room 100, PCPSE.
In-person events. Info: https://www.math.upenn.edu/events.
6          Arnold Conjecture Over Integers; Guangbo Xu, Texas A&M University; 3:30 p.m.; room 3C6, DRL.
7          A Geometric Characterization of Arithmeticity; Matthew Stover, Temple University; 3:45 p.m.; room A4, DRL.
9          The Gromov-Hausdorff Distance Between Spheres; Facundo Memoli, Ohio State University; 1:45 p.m.; room 200, PCPSE.
            Gauged Gromov-Witten Theory and Affine Grassmannians; Andres Fernandez Herrero, Columbia University; 3:30 p.m.; room 4C2, DRL.
This is an update to the December AT PENN calendar. To submit events for an upcoming AT PENN calendar or weekly update, send the salient details to [email protected].
University of Pennsylvania Police Department Crime Report
Below are the Crimes Against Persons, Crimes Against Society and Crimes Against Property from the campus report for November 21-27, 2022. View prior weeks’ reports. —Ed.
This summary is prepared by the Division of Public Safety and includes all criminal incidents reported and made known to the University Police Department for the dates of November 21-27, 2022. The University Police actively patrol from Market St to Baltimore and from the Schuylkill River to 43rd St in conjunction with the Philadelphia Police. In this effort to provide you with a thorough and accurate report on public safety concerns, we hope that your increased awareness will lessen the opportunity for crime. For any concerns or suggestions regarding this report, please call the Division of Public Safety at (215) 898-4482.
1:50 PM
3730 Walnut St
Cable secured scooter taken from bike rack
2:42 PM
200 S 42nd St
Unknown offender pushed complainant to the ground
8:27 PM
3330 Market St
Employee assaulted and threatened with a knife by unknown offender
8:18 AM
4049 Spruce St
Stroller stolen from porch
9:15 AM
210 S 34th St
U-lock secured bike stolen from rack
11:53 AM
3946 Pine St
Unsecured package stolen
6:04 PM
3915 Pine St
Unsecured bike stolen
10:56 AM
3925 Walnut St
Merchandise removed without payment/Arrest
11:12 AM
4001 Walnut St
Employee threatened by parking customer, damage to liftgate
1:16 PM
3411 Chestnut St
Instagram fraudulent money exchange
8:46 PM
215 S 33rd St
Secured scooter taken from bike rack
1:13 AM
3333 Walnut St
Package taken from mailroom
7:31 PM
3417 Spruce St
Complainant struck by male offenders
18th District
Below are the Crimes Against Persons from the 18th District: 4 incidents (2 assaults, 1 aggravated assault, and 1 robbery) with 1 arrest were reported for November 21-27, 2022 by the 18th District, covering the Schuylkill River to 49th St & Market St to Woodland Avenue.
3:03 PM
200 S 42nd St
9:00 PM
3330 Market St
Aggravated Assault
11:57 PM
S 44th & Walnut Sts
9:11 PM
3417 Spruce St
Thank you to the many generous organizations who have donated raffle prizes–their support for our charitable giving program is much appreciated.
Penn's Way logo
The Office of the Provost requests nominations for the Provost’s Distinguished Visiting Faculty Fellowship. The appointment is intended for a senior scholar of national or international prominence, with the aim of enriching the intellectual and cultural life of the Penn community. Fellows may be from any academic discipline, with preference for those whose scholarship promotes civic engagement, scholarly innovation, and inclusive communities; is interdisciplinary in nature; and advances novel research, methods, or scholarly themes. Fellows may be asked to mentor Penn undergraduate and graduate students, participate in panels and public discussions with senior Penn colleagues, collaborate on research projects, and provide at least one annual talk of significance to the Penn community. Previous fellows include professors George Yancy from Emory University (2019-2020), Lance Freeman from Columbia University (2020-2021), and Michele Goodwin from the University of California at Irvine (2021-2022). Kimberly TallBear from the University of Alberta is visiting in 2023 and will offer a public lecture on March 15, 2023 at 12:30 p.m. at Perry World House.
With the written approval of their home institutions, fellows may spend several intensive consecutive weeks on Penn’s campus or spread their visit over a full semester. Penn will offer the fellows a stipend of up to $39,000, plus reimbursement up to $5,000 to cover travel and accommodation costs associated with the visit.
Nominations for the 2023-2024 academic year should be submitted to [email protected] by Friday, March 3, 2023. Nominations may come from a center, department or school and should be endorsed by the appropriate chair or dean. Nominations should include a letter of support and current curriculum vitae of the candidate. Please direct questions about the program to Colleen McEntee, [email protected].
Dear Community Partner,
Learn how to prepare taxes and help the community at the same time.
Ever left a volunteer shift and wondered if you made a difference? Serve as a tax preparer with CHOP MFP and know that you are improving people’s financial well-being.
Not comfortable preparing someone’s taxes? Serve as a “greeter” to share information about the tax prep process, help families fill out paperwork, and support the tax preparers. Training for both roles will be provided.
Date/time self-guided training and certification is required, which takes approximately four hours.
Volunteer shifts are available from January 17-April 15, 2023 (Tuesday/Thursday 5-7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.) A 30-hour commitment over four months (approximately 10 three-hour shifts) is preferred. Sign up to reserve your spot by December 23, 2022.
Email Kate Morrow at [email protected] for more information on how to get started with the training and secure your spot for tax season!
—Isabel Sampson-Mapp, Associate Director, Netter Center for Community Partnerships
Each year, the University President, Provost, and Senior Executive Vice President assess the feasibility of observing Penn’s traditional Special Winter Vacation. Based on this assessment, the Special Winter Vacation granted to faculty and staff will be December 27, 28, 29, and 30, 2022. If an employee is required to work to continue departmental operations for part or all of this period, the Special Winter Vacation can be rescheduled for some other time.
Staff members who are absent from work either the work day before a holiday, the work day after a holiday or both days will receive holiday pay if that absence is charged to pre-approved paid time off or to sick days substantiated by a written note from the staff member’s health care provider.
Vacations and holidays for hospital employees or those staff members in collective bargaining units are governed by the terms of hospital policies or their respective collective bargaining agreements.
The complete list of recognized holidays for this fiscal year is available on the Holidays policy page.
—Division of Human Resources
Almanac is the official weekly journal of record, opinion and news for the University of Pennsylvania community.
© 1954- The University of Pennsylvania Almanac.
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