Women in Computer Science Day 2014

By: Terri W.

Each year, the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science holds its Women in Computer Science High School Day for Girls. At this year’s event, 140 Philadelphia area high school girls visited Penn Engineering to learn about the various academic and career opportunities possible in this vital field.

Women are underrepresented in computer science and engineering majors. Research shows that if girls do not have a computer scientist or engineer in the family, they often have little access to information about careers in these fields. The goal of this annual event is to show girls interested in science or math what computer scientists and engineers do, and to encourage them to study these disciplines in college.

The students heard about faculty’s current research projects and women undergraduates’ personal stories about why they selected their engineering majors and their future career plans. The packed agenda included tours of world-class engineering labs, including the Sig Center for Computer Graphics, the GRASP Robotics lab, the Penn Complex Fluids lab, the Nanotribology lab and the Haptics lab.

The Trustees’ Council of Penn Women helps to sponsor Women in Computer Science initiatives.

Photos (c) Lamont Abrams


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The Class Cup

By: Jake L.

In my last post I discussed the importance of virtual committees. Virtual committees enable Alumni to break geographical restraints and serve as ambassadors to Penn through the Penn Alumni Interview Program. This gives more students the opportunity to learn about Penn as well as advocate for themselves.

Since then, much of the Interview Program’s focus has been on increasing the number of virtual interviewers. The first step towards this goal was the creation of a page describing virtual committees. Next was the creation of an infographic, giving a visual representation to the importance of virtual interviews.

To expand our recruitment efforts even further, the Penn Alumni Interview Program has decided to run a competition among the five most recently graduated classes (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014) in an effort to recruit new members. We are currently four days into the competition and already more than 200 new members have signed up to join the Alumni Interview Program! The Class of 2014 is currently in the lead with almost 120 new members. It is extraordinary to see so many alumni stand behind this important cause, helping share Penn with the world!

Although this is a great boost in numbers, we need help of alumni in order to reach our goal of 100% applicants interviewed. If you are already a member of the Penn Alumni Interview Program, you can help by recruiting friends to join. If you currently aren’t a member of the Interview Program, join a committee today!


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One Penn Sculpture, Revisited

By Nicole C. Maloy, W’95

On a recent day trip with friends to visit a few art museums in Washington, D.C., I saw a familiar sight. This sculpture, on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, is the roughly two-foot-tall “King Solomon” by Alexander Archipenko. I noticed it and stopped. “I’ve seen this before,” I said. “But bigger. Way bigger. I think it’s somewhere on the Penn campus.”

But where? I could not remember, so I snapped this photo for reference and made a mental note to keep my eyes open for it.


“I shall call him ‘Mini-Me.'”

Solomon-DClabel Back at Penn the following week, I was on my way to a meeting when I saw it. Eureka! There it was on 36th Street between Locust Walk and Walnut Street, and I was right. It is way, way bigger.



For more on the King Solomon sculpture in particular, check out this Frankly Penn blog post by Bart Miltenberger. But do yourself a favor and take a moment to learn about some of Philadelphia’s other outdoor sculptures – where they are, what they represent, and who brought them from concept to reality – from the Clothespin to the China Gate, from various memorials and tributes to our own beloved “Covenant” in Superblock, known more commonly among students and alumni by (ahem) a slightly different name. Enjoy.

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Filed under Bart M., Nicole M., Philadelphia, The Arts

Join the Penn Club of DC for the Citi Tennis Event

By: Jerry Donahoe, GCP’85

While many in Washington, DC may prefer to head out of town at midsummer, I find myself staying put and enjoying the professional tennis that comes to town at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center and Fitzgerald Stadium. The Citi Open, formerly the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, is integral part of the DC sports scene. And thanks to the Penn Club of DC, Penn alum have enjoyed a “Penn Night” at the tournament each and every summer for 20 years. Why do I like to take part in this event? Simply put, the Citi Open experience is a tennisWonderland. When not in your seat watching great tennis with Penn friends, you can stroll among the festival grounds to visit the sponsor tents, spot the tennis stars (and perhaps get their autographs), check out tennis merchandise, enter free raffles, and take advantage of numerous food and drink options (including access to the air-conditioned Courtside Club – only with the Penn Club ticket). Holding true to the Tennis Center founders’ wishes, a portion of the proceeds from the Citi Open benefits the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF). The WTEF seeks to improve the life prospects for underprivileged children of Washington, DC. Through its education and athletic programs, tens of thousands of DC’s at-risk children have been nurtured through the support of WTEF’s caring patrons, staff and volunteers. I look forward to this year’s gathering of Penn alum and friends at the Citi Open on Friday evening, August 1st. For more information, see http://pennclubofdc.com/events/upcoming/


Penn Club of DC City Tennis Event

Penn Club of DC – Citi Tennis Event


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What do you consider Penn Today?

By: Noelle McManus, C’17

What do you consider Penn Today? For me, it’s everything I see and do on campus. I’m up to date on most of the things that happen on campus. I check the Penn social media and I always read the e-mails they send. I am working diligently on learning more and more about everything at Penn. This is the exact reason why I was so intent on perfecting the meaning behind ‘Penn Today’.

Working for the Alumni Interview Program has been such a wonderful experience. They also see the importance of what ‘Penn Today’ is. Our interviewers are alumni from all over the world, young and old, alike. This idea of ‘Penn Today’ would benefit anyone from prospective student to our oldest alumnus. It could be a place that houses everything that exists at Penn, today!

Currently, a place like this exists only in a small scale. It has been my job for the summer to create my own version of ‘Penn Today’. The ins and outs of the academics, activities, resources, and most important news, all gathered together in one place. This is the place to be for anyone looking to enlighten themselves on what life is like at Penn in 2014. I have been working hard to gather the information for this hub and to present the information in an intriguing way. With feedback from those around me, I hope to provide a meaning to what ‘Penn Today’ really is!

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Penn Alumni: Where are you watching the World Cup?

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

Earlier this week, we encouraged Penn Alumni in Argentina, Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands to tweet using the hashtag #PennWC14 during the World Cup semifinals games. We were excited to see alumni respond – from Buenos Aires, Brazil, the Netherlands and Romania! You can read the twitter stream from our interactions in a Storify story here.

The World Cup isn’t finished yet though- Brazil faces the Netherlands on Saturday to see who will finish in third place, while on Sunday, Germany and Argentina play for the ultimate prize.

We know many of you will be watching. Tweet us again using our special World Cup hashtag #PennWC14 – share photos of you and your friends in your team’s jersey and of your local viewing party. Tell us where you’re watching the game, and tell us who you think will win!

Will the winner be

Argentina: Look up: Albiceleste is all you see  OR  Germany: Efficiency is synonymous with Die Mannschaft.

For third place, will it be

Brazil: To be the best, you must beat the best  OR  Netherlands: The Oranje Army is coming for you.

Brazilian artist Cristiano Siqueira was commissioned by ESPN to create unique posters representing each of the thirty-two teams in the tournament. The posters of the four remaining teams are above, but you can see all the team posters here.

Read the original post asking alumni to tweet here.


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Filed under Kiera R., Social Networking

Penn Alumni Travel: Celtic Lands

Author: Emilie C. K. LaRosa

In May, I had the pleasure of joining a Penn Alumni Travel trip to the “Celtic Lands” with faculty host Professor Rebecca Bushnell (who wrote a lovely post about the tour here). The tour was a seven-day cruise to Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Normandy, and England- the Celtic Lands. In addition to Professor Bushnell, we were fortunate to have four other wonderful lecturers aboard from Brown University, Dartmouth College, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Smithsonian Journeys.

One of the unique qualities of a Penn Alumni Travel trip is access to these world-renowned scholars. Nearly every tour we run includes a Penn faculty host who not only gives formal lectures during the course of the trip, but also participates fully in the program and is available for conversation and informal discussion throughout the journey.

On this particular cruise, there were more scholars and more lectures than even the best alumni student could keep up with! As I noted, the theme of the tour was “Celtic Lands,” and so we had a wonderful lecture “Who Were the Celts” by Dwight Young of the National Trust. Professor Bushnell continued this theme with her theater-themed lecture “Shakespeare and the Celtic Lands.”


Rebecca speaks to lingering alumni after her talk.

Rebecca speaks to lingering alumni after her talk.

But that wasn’t the only theme explored on board our ship Le Boréal. We had several interesting lectures about transatlantic journeys from Professor Christopher Griffin of Smithsonian Journeys and, of course, there were many lectures about World War II and Operation Overlord. In addition to the scholars who joined us for the entire tour, we had two special guests at the end of the trip: D. David Eisenhower II, grandson of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Celia Sandys, granddaughter of Winston Churchill.

Both David and Celia joined the cruise just before we reached the D-Day beaches of Normandy on June 5, one day before the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. We heard fantastic lectures from both. David presented “Operation Overlord” and Celia discussed “Memories of my Grandfather.” Both talks were full of interesting details and personal reminiscences that brought that period to life for those on board.

When we arrived in Caen, France David joined our Penn bus and spent the day pointing out significant landmarks and discussing his own lengthy research about the battle and his grandfather.

David at the Pointe du Hoc with Penn alumni and friends.

David at the Pointe du Hoc with Penn alumni and friends.

David speaks to an American soldier at Omaha Beach. Many troops were in Normandy for the 70th Anniversary commemorative ceremonies. Photo courtesy of Penn alumnus Frederick Allen, C’60.

David speaks to an American soldier at Omaha Beach. Many troops were in Normandy for the 70th Anniversary commemorative ceremonies. Photo courtesy of Penn alumnus Frederick Allen, C’60.

It was a truly special moment for everyone on board. Our hope at Penn Alumni Travel is that every tour experiences moments such as these—unique insights into a culture, a people, or a moment—that will transform the trip into more than just an itinerary.

Next year we’ll be joining David again on a Celtic Lands cruise. For more information, click here.

For information on all our 2015 tours, click here.

We hope to see you on a future Penn Alumni Travel trip!

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Filed under Emilie, Penn Alumni Travel, Travel