Fels: Make a House a Home

Author: Dan Bernick, C’14

In December, I was invited to attend the 2012 Fels Institute of Government holiday party.  The turnout was unbelievable – close to 300 registered guests (not including those, like me, who forget to register…oops!).  I was amazed by how many people attended and how they all seemed to know each other.  It is a small school, but a big family.

The Fels Institute of Government is Penn’s graduate school for public policy and public management.  The school itself is inside a small mansion.  But the school is much more than a house.  It is a home.

As an undergraduate, I am privileged to have the opportunity to take courses at Fels.  The graduate students all have diverse experiences in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, and they bring their knowledge to bear in the classroom.  However, I do not feel out of place, because the students are so welcoming.

In fact, it’s normal for classmates to meet in the house on a Saturday morning – outside of class – to collaborate on a project.   It is expected they use the kitchen to cook and store snacks, and they all have coffee mugs on the counter for morning classes.  Last semester, while taking a few courses at Fels, I spent more time there than in my dorm.

The relationships one develops, the experiences and the memories are part and parcel of a Penn education.  The small Fels house kitty-corner from Philly Diner (RIP) is a huge part of that, and is my home away from home.

Photo Credit: Fels (Holiday Party)

Photo Credit: Fels (Holiday Party)


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Filed under Campus Life, Daniel B., Events, Student Perspective

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