Monthly Archives: September 2013

Two Weekends Full of Penn

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

My next two weekends will be full of Penn. First up is Penn Spectrum on September 20-22, 2013.


Penn Spectrum is the University’s weekend-long alumni conference devoted entirely to celebrating diversity. Though any interested alumni may attend, Penn Spectrum will focus on programs of interest to Asian, Black, Latino, Native American, and LGBT communities, the populations served by the existing volunteer coalition of the Penn Alumni Diversity Alliance. Penn Spectrum is only every 3 years (the first was in 2010), so you definitely don’t want to miss out. The next one won’t be until 2016!

I am most looking forward to the academic panels and breakout sessions. As Programming Chair of Penn Spectrum, I made sure to populate the panels with only the most impressive and amazing Penn faculty and alumni. My job wasn’t hard since there are SO MANY incredible Penn faculty and alumni to choose from. A few of my favorites…

My friend Terra L. Gearhart-Serna, JD, C’07, will be on the Legal Matters panel. Terra and I have been friends since my freshman year. I can’t wait to hear her speak about her pro bono work on immigration and women’s rights. I am also excited about hearing from Kristin Haskins-Simms, C’93, Principal Designer at Krysi (formerly Strangefruit), on the Career Paths panel. Kristin was a contestant on Season 8 of Project Runway – I remember watching her on tv! I heard Kristin speak at a Multicultural Outreach Career Spotlight in 2010, and she was fantastic. The keynote speaker for the Asian/Pacific Islander Alumni Reunion seated dinner is Dr. Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., G’03, GR’06, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology. Dr. Duckworth’s research on grit is fascinating, and I can’t wait to hear her speak live for the first time. There’s something for everyone at Penn Spectrum 2013. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Don’t miss out! Click here to see the full schedule.

The weekend after Penn Spectrum, I will be attending the Penn Reunion Leadership Conference (PRLC) on September 27-28, 2013. logo
PRLC is designed to help alumni volunteers prepare for their upcoming class reunion. The conference covers everything from how to get the word out about your reunion to event planning to how to raise funds for your class reunion gift. If your class reunion is coming up in May 2014, come to PRLC to start planning the big celebration! I attended PRLC last year to start planning my 5th reunion. It was a great place to reconnect with classmates and to start building our reunion committee. This year, I will be attending PRLC as a member of the Alumni Class Leadership Council (ACLC). The ACLC is the governing and advisory board for alumni classes and the host of PRLC. We are a council of volunteer alumni leaders from classes across eight decades – that’s right, EIGHT DECADES! PRLC is a must attend for anyone interested in reunion planning. You will learn a lot, and you will have a lot of fun. Don’t miss out!

So there it is. My next two weekends will be spent at Penn, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Penn Spectrum, Stephanie Y.

Hellooooooo Penn!

Author: Edna Gonzalez, M.S.Ed ’14

This Las Vegan is officially a Quaker! I have a Penn email address, my new Penn t-shirt and my Penn card. I’m ready for this academic year! …Now if only I could remember to have my Penn card handy every time I have to swipe into a building.



There are so many firsts on my Penn journey. New scenery, new people, new expectations! First time visiting Wawa, Kiwi, and walking down Locust walk! I was surprised by the friendliness of people. The campus was buzzing with students, parents, staff, and faculty walking around the campus. But there was a sense of laid back and openness.  I could see parents smiling proudly as they shopped with their sons and daughters. Others looked exhausted from pushing the move-in carts. But there was a pride and joy in the air. A new was about to commence.


4(Have you ever seen these??? It’s my first time. But I love them! They’re super handy)

During my adventure to a Target and Ikea I took a slight detour to check out the famous rivalry between Geno’s and Pat’s steak places with my mother. You can see who won…



But I’d like to think that I found a new winner.


I’m all moved in and in full of swing of things now. But I’m still slowly discovering where things are; such as the Houston hall market and the fruit cart lady. Need I mention anymore? Its super convenient and delicious!


I catch myself pondering how lucky I am to be in a program and course of study that I thoroughly enjoy. My cohort members are very different yet intelligent and capable peers who have a passion for higher education and will make an impact in the field. I can only imagine what the future holds for us. Wish me luck as I navigate my Master’s degree!


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Don’t Miss Penn Spectrum 2013!

by Nicole C. Maloy, W’95

I mentioned back in August that Penn Spectrum was on out there on the horizon. Well, now it is almost here! Penn Spectrum 2013, the university’s second weekend-long conference dedicated to celebrating alumni diversity, will take place next weekend, September 20-22.

Images from the inaugural Penn Spectrum conference in 2010. Don’t miss out – the next one won’t be until 2016!

Take a look at the schedule. Go ahead. I’ll wait right here. Look at who will be speaking. Look at the topic of each panel discussion. Look at the traditional Native American Grand Entry. Look at Performing Arts Night. Look at the Friday night happy hours, and the big dance party on Saturday.  There is something for everyone, and I could not be more excited to once again see alumni from different generations connect with students here at the university they all share. What else do they have in common? They will find out next weekend. Join them. Don’t miss this chance to benefit from outstanding networking opportunities, stimulating discussions, and good, old fashioned FUN.

Registration for Penn Spectrum 2013 closes on Monday, September 16 at 9am, so REGISTER TODAY

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This Time Next Week: Guest Lecture

Author: Lisa Marie Patzer

The Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative is proud to be hosting a guest lecture by Professor Cecilia Rouse, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University, on Thursday, September 19th, at 4:30 PM in JMHH 350.

Professor Rouse will be speaking on “The Post-Secondary Education Challenge: Can We Preserve Access, Improve Outcomes, and Keep it Affordable?”  This event is open to the public, but registration is required:

In addition to serving as Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School, Professor Rouse is the Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education and Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University.  Her primary research interests are in labor economics, with a focus on the economics of education.  She has served as an editor of the Journal of Labor Economics and is currently a senior editor of The Future of Children.   She is the founding director of the Princeton University Education Research Section, a member of the National Academy of Education, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.   In 1998-99, Professor Rouse served a year in the White House at the National Economic Council and from 2009-2011 served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Please join us for what is sure to be an outstanding lecture on an issue of critical importance!


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Penn Presents Prezi

Author:  Liz Pinnie

A benefit of working at Penn (besides the close proximity to Insomnia Cookies) is the opportunity to take free classes at Weigle Information Commons in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library.

Short and sweet classes are offered there on everything from Excel to Photoshop to Prezi.

Don’t know what Prezi is?  Neither did I, so I decided to take a class in it!

Turns out that Prezi is new alternative to building presentations on PowerPoint that allows for greater flexibility and boundless creativity.  After learning the basics at Weigle from our awesome teacher and testing my prowess on a presentation about corgis, I decided to get a bit more professional and try my hand at a work related presentation.

If you have a minute, check out my “Why Interview” Prezi here. Here is a screen capture to get you interested.

prezi pic

…and if you like it, let me know by signing up to join the Penn Alumni Interview Program!

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The Faculty Award of Merit: A Call for Nominations!

Author: Emilie C. K. LaRosa

Penn faculty are are known for their dedication to students, but many of them are equally dedicated to the Penn Alumni population–lecturing at regional clubs, presenting online webinars, or giving tours during Homecoming Weekend. To support and encourage our faculty’s work with Penn Alumni, we are excited to announce a new faculty honor: The Faculty Award of Merit presented by Penn Alumni.

The award will recognize those faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to alumni education and engagement at Penn by sharing their unique scholarship work with the alumni community. Special emphasis will be placed on faculty members who go above and beyond the call of duty by engaging alumni with the University as their intellectual home. The new Faculty Award  of Merit will be presented, for the first time, at the 2014 Penn Alumni Volunteer Leadership Retreat in February. All Penn alumni, faculty, and staff are welcome to submit a nomination before October 15, 2013 HERE.


Other criteria for the award includes:

  1. Exceeds the expectations of their University appointment by engaging with Penn alumni through a variety of educational and enrichment programs and opportunities.
  2. Embodies the mission of Penn Alumni to inspire, develop, and maintain alumni interest in and engagement with the University by sharing his or her unique scholarship work with the alumni community.
  3. Sets a high standard for faculty outreach and engagement within the alumni community.
  4. Sustains their service to Penn Alumni for a minimum of three years. Serves as a University ambassador to the Penn alumni community.
  5. Acts as an enthusiastic partner to the Alumni Relations office in engaging the Penn alumni community through planning, marketing, and participation in alumni programs.

The awardee will receive $2,500 and a formal citation. This is a great opportunity to honor those faculty members who have made a difference in your life as a Penn alumnus and in your alumni community. So nominate a Penn professor today!

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Filed under Alumnni Education, Emilie

A Hometown Adventure

Author: Jonathan Cousins, C’14

I spent this summer at home, in San Jose, CA. I was working part-time at a robotics company in Menlo Park and also volunteering part-time at Stanford University working in sports marketing.  Needless to say, I’m not really sure what I want to do with my life yet. But I’ll save that discussion for another post. Today, I want to tell the story of one specific weekend over the summer.

I got a text from Chris, one of my friends from the Red and Blue Crew at Penn, who said that he was going to be in San Francisco for the day and wanted to know if we could meet up. It sounded like fun, so I drove up to San Francisco and met both Chris and his friend. Now, the relationship between Chris and his friend is something that could only come from a place like Penn. Chris’ friend is from Australia, and they had met when they were both studying abroad in France, and now they were both vacationing together in San Francisco.  It was a cool opportunity to see how far Penn connections can really stretch.

What I thought was going to be an evening in the city turned into more as another friend Chris had planned to meet up with that night got stuck in the Madrid airport. Communication was few and far between, and eventually, I offered to have them stay in my guest room. The next day came, and without a definitive word from their friend, we needed something to do. We ended up at the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, and had a blast walking around and going on rides. That evening, I took them back to San Francisco, where they planned to meet their friend who had finally made it to the U.S.

All in all, it was a really fun, unexpected weekend with friends who I never expected to see in San Francisco. Who knows how many of those experiences I can expect as I enter life as a Penn alumnus next year?


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Moving In

Author: Max Gaines

Campus was abuzz last week as Penn welcomed freshman members of the Class of 2017 – while welcoming back returning undergraduates. All the hallmark signs of a move-in were on display: Boxes, bags, suitcases, carts and excitement.

This year, in a move to curb the anxiety felt by parents and students, photo booths were dotted across campus. There, students and parents alike took a break from all the heavy lifting to commemorate and share their experiences.

The move-in process officially came to an end as members of the Class of 2017 were welcomed at Convocation 2013 held in the Palestra. University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann called on the newest members of the Penn community to embody “knowledge that helps humanity.”\

Here’s the video of the Class of 2017 as they assembled on Franklin Field

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Lunch-Time Learning

Author: Emilie C. K. LaRosa

This fall, use your lunch break (or your coffee break) to learn something new and interesting. Penn Alumni Office Hours is offering six great webinars on topics as varied as Burma, self control, and the benefits of pet ownership from renowned Penn faculty members. The best part? They’re all free! The second best part? They’re easy to access; it’s as simple as clicking on a web link. No special software, hardware, or downloads required.

Learn more about our Office Hours online webinar series here or check out our six sessions below. Registration for all webinars is required.

Penn Professor Carol Muller

Penn Professor Carol Muller

Teaching World Music Using New Technology (October 22, 2013 at 3 p.m. EST) With Penn Professor Carol Muller. This webinar will discuss the advantages and limitations of using new technologies–specifically online learning platform for teaching about music of the worlds peoples. This will include classes for conventional Penn students and those in MOOC (massively open online courses) style. You will hear a sampling of the music that students hear in Muller’s classes, from pygmy “hoots” to Australian aboriginal chanting, and think about how new technologies are reshaping the way we access knowledge from around the world.

Lisa and George travel through Burma.

Lisa and George travel through Burma.

Explore Exotic Burma (October 23, 2013 at 3 p.m. EST)  With Lisa Ellen Niver (C’89) and her husband George Rajna, founders of We Said Go Travel. Myanmar holds a special place in the hearts of Lisa and George. They met online because Lisa told George, “The Shwedagon Pagoda is my favorite place on the planet.”  Join them for a webinar on the highlights of this unique and unspoiled land. [Penn Alumni Travel will be visiting Myanmar in November 2014. Click here for more information.]

Amazing Machu Picchu in Peru.

Amazing Machu Picchu in Peru.

The Art and Culture of Peru (October 30, 2013 at 12 p.m. EST) With Larry Silver, the Farquhar Professor of Art History. Professor Silver will discuss the arts and culture of Peru and its extraordinary monument Machu Picchu. [Penn Alumni Travel will be visiting Peru and the Amazon in 2014. Click here for more information.]

Wharton Professor Katherine Milkman

Wharton Professor Katherine Milkman

The Science of Self Control (November 6, 2013 at 12 p.m. EST) With Wharton Professor Katherine Milkman. The obesity epidemic is just one example of a major societal problem that is driven in large part by self-control failures.  Other examples include under-saving for retirement, under-utilization of preventive medical care, and under-investing in education.  This talk will provide a short overview of past research on self-control as well as findings from a new branch of psychology and economics that are being used to help policy makers and individuals reduce the incidence of self-control failures.

Could these little pups increase your life expectancy?

Could these little pups increase your life expectancy?

The Effects of Pet Ownership (Is owning a pet healthy?) (December 3, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.) With Penn Vet Professor James Serpell. More than 30 years ago, the results of a single landmark study appeared to indicate that pet owners were more likely to survive for one year following a heart attack than non-owners. In the ensuing years, continued research has elaborated and expanded upon those original findings, as well as shedding light on some possible mechanisms that could account for the salutary effects of pet ownership on people. This presentation will provide an overview of this developing field and its implications.

Vintage cars in Cuba.

Vintage cars in Cuba.

The Art and Culture of Cuba (December 4, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.) With Penn Professor Ezekiel Dixon-Roman. Professor Dixon-Roman will discuss the history, culture, and economics of the Communist-run island nation of Cuba.

To register for any of these great webinars, simply click on the webinar’s title to be directed to the free registration page.

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Filed under Alumni Benefits, Alumnni Education, Emilie, Penn Alumni Travel, Penn Vet, Travel, Wharton

Locust Walk Talk: Healthy Cities, Healthy Women

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

Penn Nursing is in the middle of executing their biggest symposium tour, around a topic that Dean Afaf I Meleis, PhD, DrPS(hon), is extremely passionate – urban women’s health. Urban women’s health is the intersection of women’s health, the practice of public health and the related effects of living in an urban environment. While much is known about these topics individually, the junction of these topics needs more inspection.  The Healthy Cities: Healthy Women conference series aims to promote discussions about re-envisioning our communities to make them universally safer, healthier and more livable.

Penn Nursing in Botswana

Since its launch in 2009, Penn Nursing has taken their symposia to Miami (November 20, 2009), New York City, (May 5, 2011) and Los Angeles (November 18, 2012). Starting with a city-centric focus, the events featured local experts like Dr. Divina Grossman, Dean, Florida International University College of Nursing & Health Sciences, in Miami, Nicholas D. Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer Prize columnist for The New York Times in New York and Paula Daniels, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Mayor Villaraigosa in Los Angeles.  Yet their messages were global: discussing what the future of Health Care Reform holds for women, combating a “pervasive human rights violation, the oppression of women and girls in the developing world,” and the shedding light on the world-wide issues of domestic violence, poverty and human trafficking. For a taste of the discussion so far, Penn Nursing has created a Healthy Cities, Healthy Women youtube page.

Honorary Committee Member and Former U.S. Commissioner of the Social Security Administration Dr. Shirley Sears Chater with Dean Meleis and Dean Courtney Lyder of the UCLA School of Nursing

The next stop for Healthy Cities, Healthy Women is London on September 17.  Penn Nursing has partnered with The Lancet and King’s College London to bring this discussion to Europe.  Endorsed by the Mayor of London, Healthy Cities, Healthy Women will spotlight the issues of preventing violence against women, providing increased access to services, improving health through improving the built environment and identifying ways to build and sustain a healthy life cycle within a healthier urban community. The message that “women are the pillars of society, playing important and multiple roles as mothers, leaders, students, decision-makers, scholars, lawmakers, business executives, voters, and workers” will be a critical theme to the day’s discussion, as mentioned in Dean Meleis’ recent blog entry for The Lancet. Registration is open for this incredible event.

Invisible Walls: Women, Violence and Safety Panel featuring Dr. Sommers, Dr. Adey Nyamathi, Ms. Kay Buck, and Dr. Anne Teitelman

On the heels of London, the tour returns to the States in Washington, DC – the center of health policy. Focused on the unique challenges and key roles that women play in maintaining good health practices in an increasingly urban world, Healthy Cities, Healthy Women Washington will provide an opportunity to discuss the need to improve the urban environment to strength the health of women, their families and the communities in which they contribute as well as creating practical solutions to improve health through improving the built environment.  The conference aims to address the impact of cities on the health of women and their families. Registration is open for this event as well.

Nick Kristof sharing heartbreaking and inspiring stories at Healthy Cities: Healthy Women.

The last stop of the symposia tour will be in Philadelphia on May 15, 2014 with Health Cities, Health Women: The Global Future.  The details will be forthcoming; please bookmark and return to Penn Nursing’s Healthy Cities, Healthy Women site for information in the near future.

Please note, all of the photos in this entry are available on Penn Urban Women’s Health Facebook page.

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Filed under Alumni Programming, Alumnni Education, Casey R., Locust Walk Talk, Penn Nursing