Category Archives: Penn Clubs

Farewell from the Sweeten Alumni House

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

After fourteen years working for Penn Alumni in our West Coast Regional Office in Los Angeles, today is my last day as a Penn employee.

It has been my honor and pleasure to work with the amazing volunteers and Penn Clubs that are literally all over the world. This was not just a job for me but a real love and passion to support Penn on the west coast. I will miss working with all of you.

Penn physically resides in West Philadelphia, but after talking, emailing and visiting countless alumni outside of the 19104 zip code, I believe that Penn’s heart is with our dedicated alumni that live and work in every corner of the world.

Final Sweeten Photo

In front of the Love Statue with my fabulous colleagues Carol Romani, Kristina Clark, Marge Tinsley and Janell Wiseley.

I leave Penn today as an employee, but remain a dedicated and loyal alumna, from the great class of 1993 (see you in May 2018 for our 25th reunion)!

Forever Red and Blue,

Kiera

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Filed under Class of 1993, Clubs, GAN, Kiera R., Leaving Penn, Penn Clubs, West Coast Regional Office

Throwback Thursday – Printed Directories

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

Today, while looking through some cabinets in our spare office here in Los Angeles, I rediscovered these print directories from the Penn Club of Los Angeles and the Wharton Club of Colorado. I am guessing that with both clubs the last time they produced a printed directory was in 2000, which would make these the “final edition.”

Penn Club of Los Angeles and Wharton Club of Colorado directories found in the Western Regional Office

Penn Club of Los Angeles and Wharton Club of Colorado directories found in the Western Regional Office

 

Now most of our alumni clubs have a website and an online directory, or none at all, instead referring alumni to QuakerNet, the Penn Alumni online directory, to find local alumni in their community.

Does anyone else have copies of old Penn Alumni club directories?

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Filed under Clubs, Kiera R., Penn Clubs, Photos, West Coast Regional Office

Penn Club of San Diego Goes South of the Border for Street Eats

By B. Bea Rajsombath, C’99, club president

There are a lot of great things about living in sunny San Diego, including over 70 miles of beautiful coastline, the nice Mediterranean climate, pockets of diverse neighborhoods with their own vibe, mountains or beaches within miles of each other, great restaurants and bars, its proximity to Tijuana, and so much more.

The Penn Club of San Diego works on creating events and activities that feature the neighborhood gems and life in San Diego; events any of our alumni can appreciate, whether they recently moved here or are returning natives.

In November 2013, the Club joined Turista Libre for a wine tour in Valle de Guadalupe. Based on that successful and fun adventure, we had requests to organize another event south of the border. As Turista Libre (TL) focuses on organizing tours highlighting the local aspects of Tijuana and surrounding areas, we worked with them to deliver another event for our alumni. Passports in hand on March 22, Penn alumni and friends met up with TL at San Ysidro, the last US stop before reaching Mexico, about 15 miles south of San Diego. We were joined by a few other TL guests to walk across the border to board a small school bus operated by TL to start our adventure tour: TJ Street Eats.

Penn Alumni and friends

Penn Alumni and friends

We started our day with a birria taco from a busy food truck stationed on a non-descript street by a Staples. It was simple, yet bursting with flavor. A cheese quesadilla was offered to our vegetarian guests. The tacos were so delicious most of us wanted more, but we were advised by TL to limit ourselves to the one because we had a number of stops to make. A few of us couldn’t hold out though and had to try a second taco.

A birria taco

A birria taco

Our second stop was at Kokopelli’s food truck, for black Harder ceviche de lenguado tostada. Our vegetarian guests feasted on grilled Portobello mushroom tacos. At this point, more guests were losing their willpower to hold off on just one item and explored some other offerings from Kokopelli’s. A few also ventured to try a seemingly, innocent pink-colored salsa…and suffered through the burning from a habanero-beet mixture. TL also offered up some Tecate beer for refreshments before we headed to our third stop.

A tostada

A tostada

Before we reached Tio Pepe, a wonderful bottle of tequila was shared. Some of us are still searching for the bottle on this side of the border. Tio Pepe is a neighborhood gem with plastic tables and chairs, friendly staff and a bustling lunch crowd. I would love to go back…if I can find my way there! Here, we sat down to enjoy Guadalajara-style torta ahogadas, a few rounds of Corona and some ventured off to order additional tacos. I don’t know where they found room.

Torta Ahogada

Torta Ahogada

After indulging ourselves, we still had two more stops! The next was at Tepoznieves, an artisan ice cream parlor with more than 100 flavors. Unfortunately, I was too busy sampling the flavors and enjoying my selection of three small scoops to capture any photos to share. On the way to our last stop, another bottle of tequila was brought you to be shared. Finally, we made it to Baja Craft Beers for a sampling of house brews. We essentially had the place to ourselves so early in the afternoon. The brewery had great space and a long list of local and international beers available.

Baja Craft Brewery

Baja Craft Brewery

Alas, our great little adventure came to an end by 5pm and TL returned us to the border to make our way back across to the US. We definitely enjoyed our TJ Street Eats tour and working with Turista Libre again. We already have requests to repeat both the wine tour and the TJ Street eats.

The Penn Club of San Diego and Turista Libre

The Penn Club of San Diego and Turista Libre

These are just a few of the activities and events the Penn Club of San Diego organizes for local alumni in the greater San Diego area. If you are interested in learning about these and other events, please contact us via email, join our email listserv, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter.

Our next event is a yPenn Happy Hour on July 10th. We hope to see you there!

 

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Clubs, Food Fiends, GAN, Guest blogger, Penn Clubs, Photos

Seattle Alumni Put on Aprons for an Evening to Help Alleviate Poverty

By: Haley Shapley, C’06

Thanks to a little help from the Penn Club of Seattle, at least one person will be able to transition from the streets to a job in the hospitality industry.

It was all part of Guest Chef Night at FareStart, a culinary job training and placement program for homeless individuals in Seattle. Since 1992, FareStart has provided opportunities for nearly 7,000 people to transform their lives, while also serving more than 6 million meals to disadvantaged men, women, and children.

The tables are set for FareStart's Guest Chef Night, with Penn Alumni Club of Seattle members as guest servers.

The tables are set for FareStart’s Guest Chef Night, with Penn Alumni Club of Seattle members as guest servers.

Each Thursday evening, prominent guest chefs come to work with the students as part of their 16-week food-service program. The three-course meal is served by volunteers, which is where Penn alumni came in.

Chef Sam Hassan explains the evening's menu.

Chef Sam Hassan explains the evening’s menu.

Although none in the group had any restaurant experience to speak of, on April 24 we got a crash course in the art of serving, learning the importance of checking back within two bites, refilling waters regularly (and not touching the rim of the glass!), and how to properly carry a tray. Chef Sam Hassan of Maple Falls Cafe provided a tasting of the Mandioca Frita, NW by SE Pasta, and Mango Raspberry Cobbler beforehand so that we’d be able to answer questions about the ingredients when guests inquired (Just what is yuca? Ask us; we know!).

The featured servers tonight - the Penn Club of Seattle!

The featured servers tonight – the Penn Club of Seattle!

Penn Alumni getting trained

Penn Alumni getting trained

Six hours, countless pitchers of water, and a few cramped fingers later, we’d served 169 diners, raising a total of $7,116 for FareStart’s training programs, including donations of $181 and tips of $1,327. All in all, it’s more than enough to give one student safe housing, the full 16-week culinary program, and comprehensive wrap-around services.

It's a full house.

It’s a full house.

The program has a 90 percent job placement rate within three months for students after graduation, and each Guest Chef Night includes a graduation ceremony with those who’ve completed the 16-week program successfully. On our night, we watched two grads get ready to move on to the next stage of their lives, including Tina, who didn’t miss a single day. “It’s made me stay focused instead of every day wondering what’s going to happen,” she said.

Rupi Sureshkumar, Maria Seredina, and David Blum watch the graduation festivities.

Rupi Sureshkumar, Maria Seredina, and David Blum watch the graduation festivities.

Bob, who moved to Seattle in July with a big plan that fell apart, was equally grateful. “I thank this program; it really rescued me,” he said. “I learned a lot and I appreciate it. This program is ingenious to solve the problem of homelessness and poverty.”

Bellies full of delectable ingredients like shaved Parmigiano, smoked fish, and Chantilly cream, we scattered into the night back to our respective homes — energized by the experience and humbled by the fact that we made a contribution, however small, to the students being able to have homes to return to as well.

Penn alumni enjoy a hard-earned meal at the end of the evening.

Penn alumni enjoy a hard-earned meal at the end of the evening.

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Clubs, GAN, Guest blogger, Penn Clubs, Photos, Volunteering

Locust Walk Talk: Road Tripping with Craig Carnaroli, W’85

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

“How many miles did we actually drive?” asked Tara, Director of Penn Alumni Regional Clubs.

“The Enterprise receipt clocked us in at 601.”

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The Menger Bar in San Antonio

***

We landed in Houston on a Sunday morning and headed straight to our hotel to get our supplies and we embarked for the River Oaks neighborhood of Houston.  Our hosts, Kathleen Kopp, CW’74, PAR’16, and Alfredo Perez, PAR’16, were warm and friendly. They decorated their home in Penn Red and Blue and made sure that there were touches of Philadelphia throughout the house.

Craig Carnaroli in Houston event

The club and its members were so thrilled to meet Craig. After an hour of socializing, Craig started his program – highlighting the Penn Compact 2020: Building on a Decade of Progress. The Penn Compact 2020 takes the tenets of Dr. Gutmann’s original Penn Compact and transforms them into a sustainable plan for the next decade focusing on the ideas of inclusion, innovation and impact.

The Board of the Penn Club of Houston

The crowd of over 60 alumni and friends were enthralled with the stories that Craig told to highlight the pillars of Penn vision for the decade:

  • Four freshman engineering students who entered PennApps and designed a mobile application with great potential in the classroom.
  • The eight year old girl who under the care of Penn professor, Carl June, had a lentivirus injected into her to carry modified t-cells in to her system to fight her leukemia.
  • The undergraduate student from rural Pennsylvania who is the first in his family go to college and thought that Penn was only a dream until he realized that he qualified for financial aid and made his wish reality.
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Taco Cabana, a true taste of Texas

After his talk, Craig did us the honor of delivering the 2013 Alumni Club Achievement Award to the Club for their outstanding work in transitioning club leadership.

San Antonio Alumni Event March 10, 2014 (1)

Bob Weidman, President of the Penn Club of San Antonio and Craig Carnaroli

We drove Interstate 10 to San Antonio as the sunny day turned rainy, but ended as overcast.  We made it to our hotel, the Hotel Menger, across the street from the Alamo. We stopped by the Menger Bar for a soda, so we could read up on Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders who would recruit from the bar. Onward to Paesanos in Lincoln Heights for a delightful evening with club, including a current student and his parents.

San Antonio Alumni Event March 10, 2014 (9)

The Penn Club of San Antonio with their 2012 Alumni Club Award of Merit plaque

The traffic between Alamo City and Austin was horrendous due to SXSW, but I drove like a local on the frontage roads to bypass the congestion as we approached the Capitol and then University of Texas. Our hosts in Austin, Jay Srinivasan, WG’96, and Jakes Srinivasan, WG’94, promised Saltlick BBQ and a taste of what “Keep[s] Austin Weird.” Our Penn Austinites were inquisitive about the plan for the South Bank of as a dynamic, mixed-use incubator.

Austin Alumni Event March 11, 2014 (1)

The event in Austin

Finally, we entered Dallas, as the end of our epic travels to the home of Laurie Suttenberg Corson, C’82, W’82, PAR’17 and Charles Corson, PAR’17.  En route, we drove past Dealey Plaza and the former Texas School Book Depository building.  The crowd of nearly 70 alumni and friends showed Craig their hospitality and were inquisitive about the great vision for Penn.

Dallas Alumni Event March 12, 2014 (11)

Craig in Dallas

At all of our events, our Texas alumni were so excited to have Craig visit with them and take the time out of his schedule to make these events happen.  The exuberance was palpable and it infected all three of us.  Traffic didn’t stress us. The poor weather wasn’t a bother. The long journey went by so quickly.  We were energized because we couldn’t wait to meet the next Club of Penn Alumni because the last one invigorated so much.

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Some Texas souvenirs – pink cowboy hats!

It was a fantastic trip to the Lone Star State and we were so grateful to meet so many of our Texas Penn Alumni.

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More Texas souvenirs, in a rest stop in Italy, TX

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Filed under Casey R., Penn Clubs

Penn Club of Utah Fifth Annual Day of Service

By Kiera Reilly, C’93 @KieraReilly

Art Warsoff, W’83, and his wife Diane Warsoff, W’83, submitted this note about the Penn Club of Utah’s Fifth Annual Day of Service:

On April 5th, the Penn Alumni Club of Utah held our 5th annual day of service. This year we volunteered with Tree Utah and followed it up with lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Red Iguana.

We are glad that the weather cooperated and we were able to get all four large columnar oaks and an apple tree planted at Wheeler Historical Farm. We were also able to cheer runners participating in a 5k run which went right past us.

As in prior years, we invited alumni from Princeton, MIT, Franklin & Marshall and University of Virginia to join us. All twenty-five alumni, friends and family that participated are looking forward to next year’s activity.

Planting trees in Utah.

Planting trees in Utah.

You can see more photos from the day’s event here.

Many Penn Clubs around the world contribute to their communities through service activities. Some recent examples are from the Penn Club of Northern California, Penn Club of Philadelphia, and a group in Los Angeles, Penn Serves LA, that includes members of both PennClubLA and the Wharton Club of Southern California. You can also read about the Penn Club of Utah’s 4th Day of Service here.

We hope that many other clubs will plan events to serve their communities – and share your story with us. Please contact Kiera Reilly, C’93, from the regional clubs team, or your regional clubs liaison, if you would like to plan an event or you organized an event you would like to share on our blog.

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Filed under Alumni Programming, Clubs, GAN, Kiera R., Penn Club of Philadelphia, Penn Clubs, Photos, Volunteering, West Coast Regional Office

Locust Walk Talk: Road Tripping with Craig Carnaroli, W’85 (preview)

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

Twenty years ago, I went on an epic road trip to New Orleans, where I happened to turn 21.  It was a  26 hour drive from Philadelphia through the South, including Atlanta which was two years away from the Centennial Olympic Games. The week was full of discovery, highways and laughter.

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Oh yea, between Austin and San Antonio there’s a stretch of highway where the legal limit is 85 mi/hr

This year, to engage our alumni in Texas, we are visiting the Lone Star State to bring a Penn update to our outstanding alumni there.  Yes, Craig Carnaroli,W’85, the Executive Vice President; Tara Davies, Director of Regional Clubs and I are driving through the great state of Texas!

The Highway in Austin

This epic trek starts on Sunday, March 9 and runs until Thursday, March 13, hitting Houston, San Antonio, Penn Austin and Dallas.  During our trip, Craig Carnaroli will meet with our proud Penn family to discuss the University’s position in the current environment of higher education as well as new and exciting ventures happening on campus.

I’m taking requests for souvenirs

If you are in the area, please join us at one of our stops in Texas:

  • Houston – March 9, 5:30 – 7:30 pm hosted by Kathleen Kopp, CW’74, PAR’16, and Alfredo Perez, PAR’16
  • San Antonio – March 10, 7:00 pm at Paesanos Lincoln Heights
  • Austin – March 11, 7:00 pm  hosted by Jay Srinivasan, WG’96, and Jakes Srinivasan, WG’94
  • Dallas – March 12, 6:00 – 8:00 pm This event is at capacity.

I look forward to the stories from the road in later entries.

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Filed under Casey R., Locust Walk Talk, Penn Clubs, Travel