Monthly Archives: June 2012

Time to eat the Doughnuts!

by Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

This week I traveled to Seattle and Portland to visit our Penn Alumni Clubs in each city. While there, I was able to visit and taste some of the best doughnuts in the country – as so deemed by Travel + Leisure. It turns out, T+L thinks many of the country’s best donuts (doughnuts) are on the West Coast. I’ll do my best to report back in the coming months as I’m able to sample them!

On Monday, while in town to meet with the Penn Club of Seattle board, I first took a morning walk to Top Pot Doughnuts and sampled the old fashioned. Top Pot has several locations around Seattle, but I wanted to visit the original storefront. While I enjoyed the doughnut, there was a little too much glaze for my taste. Click here to see what T+L liked.

Seattle’s Top Pot Doughnuts

The Old Fashioned and a cappuccino at Top Pot.

For lunch, after an obligatory stop at Starbucks, I met with Kristine Tan Wright ’94, Belinda Bentzen Buscher ’92 and David Blum. We discussed the club’s upcoming incoming student send-off , plans for bringing a faculty member to the club in the coming year, and of course, the dreary weather (it is Seattle!).

Meeting with the Penn Club of Seattle – David Blum, Kristine Wright and Belinda Buscher.

Before driving to Portland, I made a super quick stop at another Seattle “best of” doughnut location – Mighty-O Donuts. North of downtown, also in a residential neighborhood, Mighty-Os are organic and vegan, but oh they are good. Crisp and crunchy on the outside, and a delicious not too sweet cake on the inside, I have to say, these are some of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had. Here is why T+L liked Mighty-O.

Seattle’s Mighty-O Doughnuts

Some of the unique doughnuts at Mighty-Os.

In Portland on Tuesday morning, it was time again for stretching my legs…and stopping by Voodoo Doughnuts, where they say, “the magic is in the hole.” I had visited Voodoo before and loved their maple bacon doughnut (2 whole pieces of bacon on each one). This time I tried a Portland Cream and chocolate. Mmmmmmmm…. Click here to see what T+L had to say.

Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts – the Magic is in the Hole.

Inside Voodoo Doughnuts

The menu at Voodoo.

Display case showing the interesting toppings at Voodoo.

At lunch, the Penn Club of Portland welcomed Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor Jonathan Moreno for a presentation and interactive discussion with alumni, parents and local friends. Everyone enjoyed his talk and is looking forward to the club’s annual Summer Lawn Party where new students and their families are welcomed to the Penn family.

Penn Professor Jonathan Moreno speaks to the Penn Club of Portland.

I always enjoy visiting our alumni clubs in the Pacific Northwest, but when I’m able to have a few free minutes to sample some local goodies, it makes the trip extra special! I encourage alumni in Portland and Seattle to grab some doughnuts and then call or email the local alumni clubs and stay engaged with Penn! Do you have a favorite doughnut spot? I hope to visit more best donuts soon – and report back!



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

Staff Retreat

Author: Aimee LaBrie

Today, we’re all out of the office. We’re not playing hooky exactly; we’re at a staff retreat at the lovely Fleischer Art Museum. The day has not officially started yet, but I know that the agenda features a book-binding class that I can’t wait to take.We’re also going to be discussing our Myers-Briggs score (I’m an INFP) and perhaps doing trust falls and building pyramids to create greater bonding.

And here’s Jason, wearing the monogrammed aprons that we received the day before. He has the right attitude for the day.

I’ll update you on the details when we return. Have a great Thursday!


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Locust Walk Talk: Dartmouth College

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

I’m going to take a different angle for Locust Walk Talk this week and share with you what we Alumni Relations professionals do to hone our craft. Annually, the Alumni Relations groups of the 8 Ivy League Universities as well as MIT and Stanford gather for the Ivy Plus Alumni Relations Conference, or Ivy+ for short.  This year, the conference was hosted by Dartmouth College.

Baker Library, quintessential Dartmouth

Nestled in the town of Hanover, NH, Dartmouth College sits as an idyllic institution of higher education. So perfect is the image, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 said “this is what a college is supposed to look like.” It is quite charming and, if Penn didn’t exist, I would agree with Eisenhower (for the record, I think that Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Yale are all what college is supposed to look like.)

Dartmouth Hall, the original college building

The Dartmouth Alumni Relations staff dazzled us with their school pride and shared with us their traditions like the Dartmouth Outing Club First-Year Trips, the Salty Dog Rag, the Winter Carnival, and Homecoming.  From D-Term to Animal House, from Sophomore Summer to Occom Pond, we were taken on a crash course of all that is Dartmouth.  By the end, several of us were seeing green – Dartmouth Green.

Christine Tempesta, Director, Strategic Initiatives, delivering her TEDx-style speech (note the ice sculpture of a beaver – MIT’s mascot)

Each of us found our specific conference track – focused on our area of expertise, including Affinity Groups and Shared Interest Groups; Alumni Education and Travel; Classes and Reunions; Clubs and Regional Associations; Marketing, Communications and Technology; Student and Young Alumni Programs; and Volunteer Management and Alumni Boards.  In these sessions, we discussed best practices and shared success stories that we can hopefully adapt at our home University. The intent is that when we return to our campus, we follow up and continue the conversations started at Ivy+.

Vijay addressing the Ivy+ crowd

Outside of our tracks of expertise, we had daily plenary sessions. Two of these featured Christopher Trimble, adjunct professor of Business Administration and Vijay Govindarajan, the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College – the authors of The Other Side of Innovation.  During Ivy+, their discussions were based on our pre-conference reading (a.k.a. homework), How Stella Saved The Farm: A Wild and Woolly Tale About Making Innovation Happen, a fable based on their business best-seller. The discussions revolved around how to change the way we think about the planning for the future (where will the firm be in 20 years and what products or services will being the firm there) and addressing the need of mutual respect for the business’s production engine and its innovation team (both of which will be in conflict with each other).

The Tower Room, in Baker Library – the statue is a tribute to the original mission of the College

The other plenary discussion was from fellow Pennsylvanian, Peter Post, C’72, Director, The Emily Post Institute who discussed the etiquette of tough situations.  Peter annually comes to Dartmouth during their sophomore summer for a lunch which pairs the current sophomore class (the Class of 2015) with the matching 50th reunion class (the Class of 1965). The lunch is a wonderful opportunity for the two classes to make connections and discover each others class, while learning (or refreshing) their table etiquette. For us, though, Peter focused on what the contemporary meaning of etiquette is while being true to his great-grandmother’s mission: etiquette is the relationship between two people that is respectful, considerate, and based in honest. In remembering these three tenets, Peter assured us that we would have proper etiquette in the business world. He finished his talk with some role play to manage some of the most challenging interactions in today’s social world.

The Steam Tunnel Tour ( (picture from the Ivy+ Facebook page)

We talked shop, but we had fun too. On Wednesday, we had the options of a tour of the Hood Museum of Art for the show – Nature Transformed: Edward Burynsky’s Vermont Quarry Photographs in Context, a walking tour of campus led by Dartmouth sophomores or underground steam tunnel tour.  On Thursday, we had a Dr. Seuss-themed Oh, the Places You’ll Go! excursion (Theodor Seuss Geisel is a Dartmouth Class of 1925 alumnus), which mirrored the Dartmouth Outing Club First-Year Trips, to the Connecticut River for either canoeing or kayaking, to King Arthur Flour Store and Bakery, to Simon Pearce – glassblowing and pottery studio, to a guided hike along the Connecticut, to the Hood Museum for the presentation “Ancient Art, New Media: Bringing the Past to Life,” or to the Harpoon Brewery. I opted for Harpoon.

I am enjoying my excursion

At the end of the three days, the conference ended with a handful of TEDx-styled talks from our peers, including our own Elise Betz. They were charming, informative, evocative and emotional.  The motivational chats moved the audience and summarized the amazing experience of getting to spend 3 days with our Ivy+ peers, sharing our skills, brainstorming ideas and meeting such impressive people who love their alma mater! Ending on a high note, we announced that Penn would be hosting Ivy+ in 2013. It’s a lot of work, but we’re looking forward to it.

For your information, Peter Post’s guidelines for good business etiquette

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Filed under Casey R., Ivy+, Locust Walk Talk

Golf in Red and Blue

Author: Stephanie Yee, C08

Summer is the perfect time for outdoor activities like golf. There’s no better way to show off your Quaker pride than to dress in red and blue next time you’re out on the golf course. This display at Golf Galaxy just screams “Go Quakers!”

Plenty of red and blue outfit options to show off your Quaker pride on the golf course.

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Campus Fashion, Campus Life, Stephanie Y.

The Other Side of the Coin

Author: Kayla Crawley, C’07

Stepping foot on campus for the first time as an administrator was at the very least, surreal.  My mind wasn’t quite sure what to make of the experience – it was like some sort of unfamiliar nostalgia. Exactly, it made no sense. Having graduated from Penn in 2007, I don’t feel too far removed from the student experience. Everything I see and smell on campus conjures a memory from my 18-21 year-old pre-adulthood.  Looking out of my other lens, these familiar spaces also summon feelings of new found excitement and energy for the unknown.

Having been in my position as Alumni Relations Coordinator for University Life for a little less than 6 months, I can say that not much and everything, has changed at Penn. The University’s infrastructure may be changing – new buildings, new administrators, new programs – but its essence, something you can’t necessarily put to words, is the same.  To go from being a blurry-eyed junior running down Locust Walk dodging salmon and ketchup from rambunctious seniors, to volunteering as a staff member passing out canes and hats to the 2012 junior class, was a salient moment. I realized that in 2006 as a junior, when I ran up to get my hat and cane from whoever was working the booth, I had no idea where I would be in 6 years’ time.

Hey Day, 2006

I’m still not sure I have the answer that question today, but it feels god to be back at Penn figuring it all out.

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A Brief History of ADHD Medications and Penn

Author: Lynn Carroll, C’93

Seventy-five years ago, Penn neurology professor Matthew Molitch started it all with research funded by Smith Kline & French.  His 1930s study, “The Effect of Benzedrine Sulfate on Children Taking the new Stanford Achievement Test,” tested teenage boys in a New Jersey home for delinquents, some of whom were given the stimulant Benzedrine, some who received a placebo.  He found that the boys who scored lowest on the test initially made the largest improvements after taking a higher dose of the drug.

Fast forward to today, and ADHD medications are routinely prescribed to children and youth, many of whom have demonstrated symptoms for years and find the medication immensely helpful. Alumnus Alan Schwarz, C’90, recently wrote a well-researched, thoughtful article for The New York Times about students who use (or abuse) ADHD medications to “focus during tests.”  As a math major who wrote for the DP, Schwarz is ideally suited to asking the right questions, sifting through the data, and expressing results in compelling language.

“Now I have to worry about this, too? Really? This shouldn’t be what they need to do to get where they want to, ” said Dodi Sklar, after listening to her ninth-grade son, Jonathan, describe how some classmates abuse stimulants. Photo by Lisa Wiltse for The New York Times.

Just behind the Quad in the Goddard Building, psychology professor Dr. Martha Farah is asking questions about some of the same issues as director of the Center for Neuroscience & Society.  Neurology professor Dr. Anjan Chatterjee M’85 is also a leader in neuroethics in the area of brain enhancement, or as he calls it, “cosmetic neurology.”  The Gazette featured their work in a 2009 article, “Are Better Brains Better?

Penn researchers continue to ask questions and seek answers.  Dr. Farah and her colleagues are asking questions like Are Prescription Stimulants “Smart Pills”? Dr. Chatterjee continues to grapple with where exactly the line is between neurological treatment and enhancement.  Drs. Anthony Rostain and J. Russell Ramsay head Penn Medicine’s Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program.  The first National ADHD Youth Leadership Summit will be held July 7 in Houston Hall.  Stay tuned, as the next 75 years should prove to be very enlightening.

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Lynn Carroll

Here comes Homecoming…

Author: Lisa Vaccarelli, C’02, GED ‘10

This time last year, I blogged about the eerie calm and quiet that descends on campus after Alumni Weekend and Commencement.  Somehow, it seems like that calm, quiet period gets shorter and shorter each year.  Here it is, just barely the month of June, and already we are well into our planning for Homecoming Weekend featuring Arts & Culture.  Though Homecoming is still over four months away, programs are already being created; spaces are being secured; and marketing materials are being designed.  As much work as this is, it is also one of my favorite parts of my job.  Homecoming Weekend is an opportunity to share Penn’s creative side with the world.  And since I’m no good at keeping secrets, here’s a sneak peak at what you just might get to experience if you come back to campus October 26-28, 2012.

What is contemporary?  Learn the answer from Ingrid Schaffner, Senior Curator at the Institute for Contemporary Art.

Explore new developments in contemporary jazz with music professor Dr. Guy Ramsey.

Join a discussion about California and French Impressionism and view pieces on loan from the Irvine Museum at the Arthur Ross Gallery.

Discover what the ancient Mayans REALLY thought would happen in the year 2012 at the Penn Museum exhibit Maya 2012: Lords of Time.

Stay tuned for more exciting programs like these by visiting!  Check back in August for full details on the Homecoming Weekend featuring Arts & Culture website.

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture, Lisa V.

Creating Canopy

Author: Kelly P. O’Connor

If you didn’t get a chance register for a tree this spring, make sure you do next year!

Penn’s Green Campus Partnership program is in its second year of a Creating Canopy, a tree giveaway for Penn faculty and staff.

The University partnered with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation on the free tree giveaway. They provide you with everything you need to know to plant and take care of your tree.

I chose an Eastern Redbud which can grow up to 30 feet high. I loaded the tree in my car and brought it to its new home in Delco.

And here it is, all safely planted in my yard and growing taller every day.

To learn more, visit the Green Campus Partnership website or go directly to the tree giveaway.


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Intentional Communities

Author: Lisa Marie Patzer

The difference between an intentional and non-intentional community has been on my mind a lot recently.  This is because I am directing and producing a short film, called a.k.a. Profile Glitch, about three women who meet at an intentional community.

Even though Marty, Maeve, and Johanna are from completely different backgrounds with wildly different personalities, they become good friends because of the unique social environment at the intentional community.

The characters eventually leave the commune and reconnect online.  Their friendships are pulled into question by the different dynamics the online environment creates.

At Penn, there are many strong intentional communities.  Which ones do you intentionally partake in?

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Artistic Monday

Author: Aimee LaBrie

It’s Monday. That means that we may all need a nudge of inspiration and serenity in our lives as we face the work week. I found mine by looking at some images available via the Penn Digital Archives on the Penn Libraries website. Here are my random  top 5  choices for today:

1. Mary Binner Wheeler Image Collection (from website): “The Mary Binney Wheeler collection of photographic slides is one of the largest individual collections of its kind in the United States. Amassed over the course of fourteen trips to India and Sri Lanka, the collection provides us with over 9,000 images of an astounding diversity of people, places, and events from nearly every corner of the Indian Subcontinent.”

Gal Vihara, 12th century A.D., Monumental recumbent Buddha achieving parinirvāna, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.

2. Fine Arts Library Image Collection:(from website): “The Fine Arts Library Image Collection, available to all Penn students, faculty and staff, offers an expanding database of over 180,000 digital images as well as records documenting 271,000 of the 500,000 slides housed in the Fisher Fine Arts Library.”

Photo of artist, Georgia O’Keefe by Halsman, Philippe 1906-1979 (American)

3. Furness Theatrical Image Collection (from website): “The Furness Image Collection comprises more than 2,000 prints and photographs. The majority date from the nineteenth century, but the Collection also holds earlier and later images. These images illustrate and interpret Shakespeare’s plays and also document theatrical performers and performances of works by Shakespeare and other dramatists.”

Westminster Kennel Club’s Seventeenth Annual Dog Show,
Publisher: Courier Lith. Co.

4. University Archives Digital Image Collection (from website): “The University Archives Digital Image Collection offers an expanding database of over 5,700 digital images of items found in the collections of the University Archives and Records Center.

Skimmer Program, Color Illustration
Year: 1955 April 23

5. Also from the Furness Theatrical Image Collection

Theatrical Poster, She Couldn’t Marry Three
Publisher: Siebert and Bro. Co.

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Filed under Aimee L., Library, The Arts, The Arts at Penn