Category Archives: Alumni Profile

A Toast to Dear Old Penn: The Toast Throwing Tradition at Football Games

By Jorge Penado, C’19
Penn Alumni Relations Work Study Student


Source: Penn Archives 1999

With traditions at universities around the nation being a staple of that institution’s student culture, it is undeniable that students at Penn have developed their own, cherished traditions throughout the year. Whether it’s something like Hey Day during Junior Year or the Econ Scream during Freshman year, Penn students have engaged in these traditions with the fervor that school spirit usually evokes. Though most traditions are relatively normal in the pantheon of university traditions, one of them might cause a non-Penn individual to double take: toast throwing at football games. As a tradition that roughly started in the 1970s, it has since become one of the staple events that every Penn student should participate in at least once throughout their time at the university.

First and foremost, it is important to ask a very basic question: What exactly is toast throwing? While every Penn student has at least heard of the tradition whether they’ve participated or not, it helps to establish exactly what toast throwing entails. As mentioned earlier, the tradition is known to have started in the 1970s during a time when alcohol was prohibited from Franklin Field where all football games are held. This ban on alcohol would actually interfere with another common tradition at football games where audience members would drink alcohol at the end of the third quarter when the Penn Band would play, “Drink a highball.” In this song created by G.B. Brigham, the song would close with the following lyrics, “Drink a highball and be jolly. Here’s a toast to dear old Penn!” After the final line, everyone in the audience would drink the alcohol as a “toast” for Penn. Nonetheless, the ban would prevent people from toasting with alcohol and would leave room for the new tradition to be launched by Greer Cheeseman and his friends.

Cheeseman, as the current director of the Penn Band, an employee for the University, and local Penn aficionado, retells the story of how a “toast to dear old Penn,” became a literal piece of toast “to dear old Penn.” Though the details of the tradition remain slightly vague, Cheeseman does remember where the idea originally came from Rocky Horror Picture. After some of Cheeseman and some of his fraternity brothers attended a showing of Rocky Horror, they were intrigued by the interactive nature of the show, particularly the part where the audience throws toast at the screen after the character, Frank, proposes a toast. Interestingly enough, the two held so many parallels that Cheeseman and his friends eventually got the brilliant idea to translate that at an actual football game. After some time, toast throwing would eventually catch on and spread quickly as most every Penn student now knows exactly what toast throwing at football games means.

When considering the position of toast throwing in the grander scheme of Penn school spirit, it’s clear that it definitely holds a special place in the school’s history. Cheeseman recounts how football games at the time were huge events that everybody attended to create that sense of pride in the school. It also didn’t hurt that Penn’s football team was particularly good and attracted their fair share of people. When asked how it feels to be a part of such a noteworthy tradition at Penn, Cheeseman explains that, while he’s not exactly sure how he feels, he does acknowledge that it’s rather “neat” to be a part of Penn’s history. Though football games don’t receive the same audiences now as they did back in the day, it’s indisputable that toast throwing will remain a part of the experience at football games. With students dividing their time between academics, social lives, and many other things, it’s difficult to attend every football game and participate all the time. Nonetheless, we can rest assured that the tradition won’t be dying out anytime soon as long as groups like the Penn Band, that go to most sports games, keep the tradition alive and others continue to distribute toast at every game at Franklin Field.

After almost fifty years of the tradition was introduced, toast throwing continues to excite people who are first experiencing the wave of toast fly above them for about 15 to 30 seconds at the end of the third quarter. With fans customizing their toast with a letter “P” and stockpiling stacks of toast, it definitely still evokes a sense of school spirit through such a unique tradition. Lucky enough, the toast-eating Zamboni-machine helps with the immense cleanup.


Image: Homecoming 2018
Back row left to right –  Jason Feldman, ENG02; Kushol Gupta, C’93, BGS’03, Lisa Shapiro (Bardfeld), C’93; Greer Cheeseman, EE’77
Second Row left to right – Kelly (Naeun) Ha, C’16; Marianne Brogdale (Alves*), C’93; Richard DiNapoli, C’19; Robin Coyne, NU’12, GNU’15
Third Row left to right – Lauren Mendoza, C’15; Zabryna Atkinson-Diaz, C’19, GR’20; Jenna Harowitz, C’18
All former and current Penn Band Drum Majors
*Marianne Brogdale (Alves) was the first female Drum Major in Penn Band history.
Source: Source: Kushol Gupta, C’97, GR’03


Image: Toast Toss at 2018 Penn vs Bucknell Game
Source: Kushol Gupta, C’97, GR’03

Special thanks to Kushol Gupta, C’97, GR’03, for his consultation and partnership on this article. 


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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Profile, Campus Life, Jorge Penado, C’19, Penn football, Student Perspective, Traditions

Be Well Penn ’95: A Conversation with Penn’s New Chief Wellness Officer

by Nicole C. Maloy, M.S, W’95, SPP’18

Recall the calming voices and speech patterns of PBS icons Bob Ross and Mr. Rogers, add a medical degree, and top with a former Directorship of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry at Penn Medicine. You can now begin to imagine what it is like to be in the presence of Dr. Benoit Dubé.


Nicole Maloy:     Greetings. Would you please introduce yourself?

Dr. Benoit Dubé:       Good afternoon. My name is Benoit Dubé. I am the University’s Chief Wellness Officer and Associate Vice Provost.

Nicole Maloy:     What does it mean to be a Chief Wellness Officer?

Dr. Benoit Dubé:      That is a simple question on the surface, but is actually something that we are figuring out beyond the general campaign for wellness that really spearheaded the creation of this position and the reorganization of our health & wellness services. This position didn’t exist before, so I have both the privilege and the daunting task of defining what it is exactly that it means. And while it’s a simple question, the answer has multiple layers because, as the university’s Chief Wellness Officer, I am responsible for the entire Penn community. So that means students, that means staff, that means faculty. And even that is an oversimplification because if we just limit ourselves to students, there’s over 25,000 [Ed. total undergraduate + graduate & professional, full time + part time], and of the 25,000 there are 12 different schools, and we have to be very humble and acknowledge that there is not a wellness solution for students. Maybe 25,000 wellness solutions, but we have to identify the common thread.

We have to create a space where synergies can happen. We have to create an environment where innovation and collaboration are fostered, nurtured. If the School of Nursing, who has learners across the whole spectrum, has initiatives that have been successful for them, then we must provide them with the resources so that the College can share some of the applicable resources, and so on and so forth.

And you’ll notice that I’ve just been talking about students. We can talk just as much and wax and wane poetic about staff. If we don’t address the wellness needs of staff, we can’t expect staff to promote a wellness culture for students. And then there’s faculty. So, thank you for allowing me to explain why it is a complicated question. It’s both thrilling and exciting to create something new, but the emphasis is on creating something that wasn’t there, that was implied, but has now been given its place at the table.

Nicole Maloy:     And you mentioned the campaign for wellness. Can you tell us more about that? What should alumni – and anybody who’s interested in Penn – know about this campaign?

Dr. Benoit Dubé:       So, the campaign for wellness is a multifaceted initiative and effort that was spearheaded by the President and the Provost in 2017 to really start creating community. To engage members – its members – in dialogue. Dialogue that values and cherishes vulnerability, that reframes stress and struggles as opportunities for growth, that reminds all of us that we are in this together.

The world is a stressful place. It’s not stressful because of politics exclusively, which is the go-to, right? But if we even remove politics from the world, it’s really stressful to keep up. We’re connected always. Are we missing out on anything? Are we responding quickly enough? E-mail. E-mail was touted as making workers more efficient. Nobody likes e-mail. I mean, everybody hates e-mail, but we all e-mail all the time. Is it OK not to e-mail my boss, or my professor, or my students after 5? Over the weekend? We’re learning this. Technology has forced us to adapt faster than we have actually been able to adapt in recent history. That’s why the world is stressful.

We’re dealing with new, unseen political situations. Look at what’s going on, the divisive political agendas that people are grappling with. All of these things make us collectively all of us, red and blue – we’re talking about Penn here, not politics – they make us stressed out. How do we feel that we have agency in all of this? How can we give ourselves permission to slow down? These are the hot topics that we’re trying to figure out.

Penn is uniquely positioned to offer solutions. If we take a step back, what we want to do is offer our learners the skills and tools they need to be successful academically. That is not new. But the rules have changed because of expectations, because of how quickly information spreads, how reactive people have become. We want to give our learners, our graduates, the skills and tools so that they can go out and continue to make the world a better place. That’s what Benjamin Franklin said. By the way, happy birthday Ben! It’s your 313th birthday today. So, that’s collectively, big picture, what we want to do. We want to use the remarkable resources we have here to make the world a better place so that our graduates can go out and become change agents. So that we get to tame our inbox. So that we become better equipped at integrating self-care with ambition.

Nicole Maloy: Integrating self-care with ambition. Oh, that’s fantastic. So, speaking of graduates, we can now move into the world of Penn alumni, who are all around the world doing all manner of different things. What can we learn from what you’re doing and what Penn is doing around wellness in general, and how can we better balance our ambition with our self-care?

Dr. Benoit Dubé:       What I have learned, and what I have benefited from, is the importance of listening. And let me qualify that because it sounds like it’s a simple, rehearsed talking point, but it’s actually not. Your question led me to pull a few things together. I’m relatively new to this. I’m not new to the Penn community, but I’m new to this role, I’m new to this mandate and these tasks. And the first thing I decided to do was, well, you know, we’re not starting with a blank slate here. Penn has done wonderful wellness-related things. So, before I start asking for resources to create new things, I need to start from a position of humility and say, hey, what great things are we doing now? Can we make them greater? And then decide what new things we should be doing. And the only way we can figure this quandary out and resolve it is by listening.

Right now, I’ve mostly been listening to students. Remember, there are 25,000 of them. So, I’ve been on a listening tour, and I’ve heard successes, I’ve heard challenges. And by listening to the students, by being present in the moment without judgement or expectations, it’s reminded me that I need to listen to myself. I need to give myself permission to manage my own expectations, to realize that this is not a 6-month contract. This is a commitment. There is not going to be one solution. There will be many, and I need to remind myself of that. Because there may be a little bit of pressure associated with this new job, right? And as I listen to students, I’ve been reminded that I also need to listen to myself and give myself permission to be patient, to think through things, to really reverse this cycle of reactivity. Just because we’re connected quickly, instantly with each other doesn’t mean that I’m expected to have the answer by the next school year. I can be reflective, contemplative, and realize that it’s not just a one-person thing. We are part of a community. Which brings me back to your question.

The worldwide community of Quakers is still accessible, and technology, in this case, does facilitate the creation of community, the pool of resources, the creation of collaborations that may not have been otherwise possible absent e-mail, absent instant message, Facebook, and other social media tools. That’s how what I’ve learned in my first few months in this role can be applied to graduates and alumni. We are part of a community. The wellness quandary, the wellness challenges, solutions we need to identify, are not one person’s goal. We will figure this out together by valuing humility, by recognizing and allowing vulnerability to be part of our dialogue. Not to create a culture of “woe is me,” but rather for people to be comfortable enough to say, “This is challenging for me, and this is how I’ve overcome the challenge,” so that others on the receiving end of this conversation can pick and choose what works for them.

“We can change and forge a new lens that allows us to see stress as an opportunity for growth. If we approach a stressful situation this way, we’re much less likely to become overwhelmed. It’s not going to make it easy, but it will make it easier. And that is within our power.”

Dr. Benoit Dubé:       You know, when we talk about wellness, usually within the first five minutes we talk about mindfulness meditation and yoga. OK? So, a little bit of self-disclosure here, I hate yoga.

Nicole Maloy:     (Laughter)

Dr. Benoit Dubé:       I’m terrible at it. It stresses me out.

Nicole Maloy:     Yoga stresses you out.

Dr. Benoit Dubé:       It totally does. Like, I cannot touch my toes. I’m just not a flexible guy. But, I don’t know, maybe you like yoga, right? Maybe, for you, being in the moment, being at peace with your body, being connected inwardly is the perfect solution to give you respite from the stress of the outside world. Doesn’t work for me. At all. So, there is no wellness solution. There must be wellness permissions that we must give ourselves. And a lot of it is trial and error. Of course, everybody’s going to try yoga and mindfulness meditation first. And by the way, mindfulness meditation is easy to say – it takes practice. You get better at it over time. Guided breathing for me, like, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes every hour, does the trick. I breathe better than I stretch.

Nicole Maloy and Dr. Benoit Dubé:       (Laughter)

Dr. Benoit Dubé:       I have learned through experience that yoga was just not the thing for me. Am I going to mandate guided breathing exercise for everyone? Of course not. Because other people may have my yoga reaction to this solution. But maybe if they hear this, it’s going to be another tool in their toolbox as they try to give themselves permission to find their solution.

Nicole Maloy:     So, what you would advise alumni to do is to be active members of the community so we can share our experiences with other alumni, with students, staff, and faculty, to be open to other people’s experiences so we might learn from them, and also to balance self-care and ambition, and give ourselves permission to be vulnerable, to try new things to see what works for us.

Dr. Benoit Dubé:       Oh, absolutely. And to always remember that stress is a part of life. We must expect it, we must embrace it rather than fear it. And we have the ability to change our perception. We can’t change the facts, but we can change and forge a new lens that allows us to see stress as an opportunity for growth. If we approach a stressful situation this way, we’re much less likely to become overwhelmed. It’s not going to make it easy, but it will make it easier. And that is within our power.

Nicole Maloy:      For our pre-reunion year in the Class of ’95, we’ve asked our classmates to identify something that is within their power to improve or change, or at least focus on more, in a few key areas of health, whether physical, mental/emotional, or social. How can we best identify the things that are within our control and things that aren’t to reduce the frustration of identifying an area to improve?

Dr. Benoit Dubé:       That’s really interesting because I don’t think there’s a master key here, I don’t think that there is one directive or one solution. Rather, each alum should give themselves permission to just try different solutions on for size and see what works for them. The subjective experience is what’s going to determine what is the best fit. It’s ultimately about giving folks the ability to, through lived experience, come to the realization that this is helpful and this is not.

Maybe yoga works for some people, but it’s not within your control whether or not you can escape to the gym during your lunch hour because of things that you have no say over, right? So, your boss may not let you take a lunch break that allows you to leave the office. Or maybe if that’s possible, maybe there’s not a shower facility that you have access to so that you can come back refreshed. So, while deciding that yoga works for you, whether you can do that during the weekday may not be under your control. And all of these things each alum will figure out and come to that realization. A simple solution would be, well, go after work, or go before work, or do something else.

You touched on community, and I think that this is where we have the biggest challenges despite having the easiest solutions at our disposal. The biggest challenge is because, in the digital era, in a world where social media essentially guides what we do, we’ve become very individualized. And we’ve lost some of our socialization skills. How do we stay in touch? Through Facebook. And that’s fantastic because we couldn’t do that before. But we forget to nurture our relationships that are closer. These are the relationships that we tend to neglect because we’re so drawn by the awesomeness of being able to connect with our college buddies all over the world. I’m not saying to stop doing that, but in the process not forget about your inner circle. You need to prioritize. We are dealing with a slew of demands, professionally, personally, and that maybe we can’t do it all, and that we have to decide, OK, there’s an order here. First, take care of yourself. It’s not about being selfish or entitled. It’s about making sure that you can take care of other people.

Nicole Maloy:     Put on your mask before you put a mask on the person next to you.

Dr. Benoit Dubé:       That’s exactly where I was going with that. So, if you put the oxygen mask on your traveling buddy, well, then you may not be around to take care of them after the fact. So that’s why self-care is important. It’s about prioritizing. And prioritizing relationships. Finding meaning in what we do. Seeing purpose beyond ourselves. Giving back to the community. Those are values that I hope that have been ingrained in all of our alum, but we need to remember, the world is going on like really fast and sometimes we forget. Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing we can do to re-center, refocus, recalibrate, and then go about your day after that. That’s what deep breathing does for me. It stops the noise, outside, inside, and then I can move forward.

Nicole Maloy:     You’ve touched on the fact that yoga is not your thing, but deep breathing is, so that fits into that mental and emotional health piece. What is something, if you’re comfortable sharing, that you do to promote your social health, and something you do to promote your physical health?

Dr. Benoit Dubé:       So, physical health, I like to run. And running on city sidewalks is no longer a thing for me because my knees are telling me that’s not a good thing, so I’ve learned to adapt to the treadmill and to books on tape. (Laughter) I have also, as I’ve grown older, needed to make adjustments to what I eat, and concentrated sweets don’t agree with me anymore. And that was not within my control. I had to adapt, I had no choice.

Social health – I think that my professional responsibilities have allowed me to thrive in that respect. In the responsibilities I have been given at Penn, I get to meet outstanding, brilliant, creative, and innovative students all the time. And that is something that is energizing for me. It’s a source of inspiration, creating a community that didn’t exist before. It’s very energizing for me to be asked to do that.

The other life hack I’d like to share with you is, I am an avid traveler. I love to travel. And so one of my life rules is before you end your current vacation or your current trip, you must know where your next one is. You must always have a reward for yourself. You must always be working towards something. Because, hey, there will be stress. There will be challenges. But if you know that you will be rewarded, there’s something you’re looking forward to. That’s a life rule that I figured out a while back.

Nicole Maloy:     Wonderful. Well, thank you so much, and have a wonderful spring semester.

Dr. Benoit Dubé:       Thank you. It was a pleasure chatting with you.


Nicole Maloy is a Penn Class of 1995 Reunion Co-Chair. Through the Be Well Penn ’95 Wellness & Self-Care Initiative, she, Casey Ryan, C’95, and Jordana Horn Gordon, C’95 urge their classmates – and the entire Penn alumni family – to be both thoughtful and proactive about making mental, emotional, physical, and/or social health a higher priority in 2019.


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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Profile, Campus Life, Casey R., Nicole M., Uncategorized

Family Traditions at Penn

By: Lindsey Klinger-O’Donnell

Virginia Webster Hilligoss Patton, CW’67, recently returned to campus for a very special Alumni Weekend. Virginia celebrated her 50th Reunion and spent the weekend reminiscing and catching up with fellow classmates, alumni, and her three siblings. She spoke with Penn Alumni Relations about her college experience, fondest memories, and family connections to Penn.

Virginia is the youngest of four siblings. Her two older brothers, Spencer Webster, W’57, and Richard Webster, W’58, and older sister, Linda Webster Huggler, CW’62, all attended Penn in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. From an early age, Virginia felt a strong impetus to not only attend college but specifically the University of Pennsylvania. With such strong family ties to the University, Penn was really the only choice in her mind. While at Penn, Virginia and her sister were student-athletes, playing on the Women’s Field Hockey team. They were also members of the Tri Delta Sorority. They still value the strong friendships and bonds they made there.

Although Virginia grew up in Suburban Philadelphia with her family, she later moved to California and does not have an opportunity to return to campus often. This made Virginia’s homecoming to Penn even more meaningful. She remarked on how much the campus has changed, with so many new buildings and spaces. However, some buildings remained seemingly untouched, like the iconic architecture of Houston Hall, with its comfortable interior spaces and fireplaces. Virginia commented that Houston Hall had always been a common meeting place for her and her classmates. In that regard, not much has changed.

Virginia went on to share one of her most memorable moments from her time at Penn. In her Senior year, Virginia became the first woman to sit on an athletic board when she took on the role of President of Women’s Athletics. Virginia remembers advocating to an all-male board about the need for better facilities and equipment for Women’s Athletics. However, it’s safe to assume that after Alumni Weekend, one of Virginia’s fondest memories of Penn is probably this photo of her and her three siblings enjoying the Alumni Picnic. What a special moment it must have been to come back and share in this Penn Tradition together.


(Photo credit: Lisa Godfrey Photography)

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Filed under Alumni Profile, Alumni Weekend, Uncategorized

Penn Club of Chicago – Volunteer Member Profile

Name: Liane Jackson

Hometown: East Coast

Year: Class of 1993

School: School of Arts and Sciences

Degree(s):     B.A. in International Relations, University of Pennsylvania

J.D. , Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, LA

M.S in Journalism, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Penn Club of Chicago Member since 2013


CHI Profile Pic 0914


Liane claims the entire east coast as her hometown, as her family moved around on that side of the country. In the 1980s, she ended up in a suburb outside of Chicago and attended Rich Central High School. When the time for college came around, she was looking for a school that had a strong international presence, as she always had an interest in being in the Foreign Service. After graduating from Penn, Liane worked as an attorney, as a television news reporter/anchor, and as a press secretary. She’s now an entrepreneur. Liane and her husband live in Roscoe Village with their two daughters, Sienna, 5, and Brayden, 2.


What other schools did you apply to and why did you pick Penn? My top choices included Brown University, which I never visited, as well as Georgetown – because of my interest in diplomacy – and Penn. I didn’t visit Penn either, but it came across as a hip and diverse university with great programs – including their International Relations major. I’m so glad I made the decision to attend.


Name three favorite songs from your time at Penn. Back to Life (Soul to Soul), Pump up the Jam (Technotronic), and Rock Dis Funky Joint (Poor Righteous Teachers). I was also a DJ while at Penn so I have a lot of now ‘classic’ tunes running through my mind.


Favorite memories of Penn? I had a good time at Penn! I pledged Delta Sigma Theta my junior year, had a work/study job, did some theater and writing for the Daily Pennsylvanian, and I was a DJ for a while. Some of my favorite memories were being integrated into the city of Philadelphia and interacting with Penn students and local residents at the same time.


What course did you struggle with the most? What course was the easiest? Although I didn’t anticipate it, the course that proved most challenging was a Linguistics class I took instead of math……….probably the easiest was a Folklore class.


If you had to start college all over again, you would have……….I would choose Penn all over again, but I would try to take more advantage of the deep variety of course offerings.


What are you doing now? I own a coworking, meeting, and event space in the Wicker Park-Bucktown area of Chicago. We opened about nine months ago. The business offers entrepreneurs, freelancers and other independent workers a productive workspace, meeting space as well as learning opportunities. My website is


Advice for Incoming Freshman. Apply yourself! Don’t get lost in the social scene. Immerse yourself and you’ll feel great about your decision to select Penn. Go Quakers!!!

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Penn colleague, alumni volunteer and ARTIST . . .

Author: Kristina Clark

Nicole Maloy, W’95, is one of my colleagues in Alumni Relations. She is the Director of the Multicultural Outreach program. I thought I’d share a post about her simply because she is interesting!

Nicole not only works in Alumni Relations, she is a very active volunteer on Penn’s Association of Alumnae Board, members with whom I work closely. This post is not about Nicole’s role as an employee or as an alumna however, this is about Nicole’s personal creativity. For example and most recently, Nicole taught a few of her Alumni Relations colleagues how to knit. She is a patient teacher (for which we are most grateful) and now my ten-year old daughter wears a beautiful purple knit hat that I finished last month. Nicole has many talents — she’s a dancer, a singer, an athlete, and most certainly an artist, as confirmed by being chosen last week to exhibit her portrait drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. This honor is what I wanted to share with you.

Here’s the story . . . Nicole once wrote a Penn Alumni Blog post about exploring art resources in Philadelphia (includes a photo of her at age 17 with several jean jackets that she painted for her high school classmates in the late ’80s and early ’90s). One resource that she had not yet taken advantage of is the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), the first school of fine arts in the United States. Its origin dates from 1791, when Penn was still located at 4th & Arch Streets.

In fall 2013, Nicole took a weekly evening class called “Intermediate Portrait Drawing” through PAFA’s Continuing Education program. Students who had been enrolled in CE classes or workshops from spring 2013 through spring 2014 were invited to submit artwork for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Continuing Education Programs Annual Juried Student Exhibition.

PAFA received nearly 180 submissions, and 80 were accepted. Among them is Nicole’s piece, a portrait in charcoal entitled “Waiting,” which was drawn from a live model in class. If you would like to see it, along with the other 79 drawings, paintings, and sculptures, the exhibition runs from February 28 – April 6 in Gallery 128, Hamilton Building, 128 North Broad Street, at PAFA.

Congratulations, Nicole!


Filed under A Day in the Life - DAR, Alumni Profile, Association of Alumnae, Kristina C., Multicultural Outreach, Nicole M., Philadelphia, Sweeten Alumni House, The Arts, Uncategorized

“We will find a way or we will make one!”

Author: Lisa Ellen Niver, C’89

Do you ever wonder how you will make your dreams come true? I find inspiration from the gate at the University: We will find a way or we will make one. In December 2012 on the beach in India, I said I think we should have a contest on our website, We Said Go Travel. George said, “Great! Let’s start in January and end on February 14.” Immediately I had several objections. I could not possibly be ready so fast to run a writing contest.
We were in Konark, India at the Sand Art Festival near the UNESCO Sun Temple. I was musing that 30 years ago when the festival began, someone probably said: “Sand Art Festival! You must be nuts!” But here we were, thirty years later and it was a large festival with many international sand artists!

In January 2014, we began our fourth travel-writing contest. (Travel Writing Contest:

Over the course of 2013, over five hundred writers from over fifty countries entered our contest. It was truly fantastic! I love all the stories and getting to email with people from all over our planet. We hope you will choose to join us by sharing a story or reading one from someone else! We did our first live announcement of the winners for our contest on google hangout on air.

WSGT gratitude 2013 google hangout (2)

Watch the hangout:

See the winners:

We had some technical issues and had to link one judge in by skype but it worked. We found a way to make it work! I learned many life lessons at the University of Pennsylvania but the message from the gate always rings in my head: “We will find a way or we will make one!”

I remember the contest really took off when I wrote to our friend, Richard Bangs from the PBS Travel Show, “Adventure with Purpose,” who offered to be a judge.  Sometimes all you need to do is offer to participate: by joining in a contest, being the judge or simply showing up. I was honored in October 2013 to share our travel knowledge in a webinar for the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Travel. George and I talked about our journey for 27 days in Myanmar (Burma). We were invited to participate and we said YES!

I hope that you make your resolutions for 2014 come true by taking a first step! I would love to hear about your progress.




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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Profile, Guest blogger, Lisa Ellen Niver, Penn Alumni Travel, Travel

Celebrating Diversity at Alumni Weekend

Author: Lillian Galindo Gardiner, GEd ’11

It may not be your reunion year, but there are other fun reasons to come back for Alumni Weekend this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Online registration is now closed, but you can still register on-site this weekend.

The Multicultural Outreach Team in Alumni Relations has worked with alumni leaders to plan some exciting opportunities for reconnecting with friends and celebrating the diversity of our Penn alumni.

Read on for details on events hosted by the Penn Alumni Diversity Alliance!



3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
University of Pennsylvania Asian Alumni Network: Reception
Houston Hall, Ben Franklin Room, 3417 Spruce Street
Meet with UPAAN at our alumni weekend reception to meet fellow alumni, reunite old classmates and connect with past, current, and future members of the Asian & Asian-American community at Penn. Alumni, bring your memories, Students, bring your energy. Refreshments will be served. Following the reception, please join us in a joint panel discussion in collaboration with our fellow Diversity Alliance groups on the topic of faculty diversity and initiatives.

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Association of Native Alumni: “A Tribute to Bob Preucel”
Houston Hall, Bishop White Room, 3417 Spruce Street
“A Tribute to Bob” (Robert W. Preucel), Department Chair, Sally and Alvin V. Shoemaker Professor, Anthropology: Curator-In-Charge, American Section, University Museum; Director, Penn Center for Native American Studies. With best wishes for a continued stellar journey at Brown University, we are remembering our time with Bob at Penn by sharing an archive of videos, stories, pictures, individual and collective memories. We recognize his work to develop the Center for Native American Studies and his ongoing support. Although Bob will not be joining us at Alumni Weekend, please gather with your fellow ANA alumni and Native students to pay tribute to him.

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Association of Latino Alumni: Networking Reception
Houston Hall, Golkin Room, 3417 Spruce Street
Join ALA at our alumni networking reception, the first of two events that will focus on the evolution that is sweeping campus. While you reconnect with fellow alumni and reunite with old classmates, meet current students and Latino faculty. Refreshments will be served. Following the reception, please join us in a joint-panel discussion with our fellow Diversity Alliance groups on the very current and relevant topic of faculty diversity and initiatives.

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
PennGALA Networking Hour
Houston Hall, Brachfeld Room, 3417 Spruce Street
PennGALA and the LGBT Center welcome you to network with fellow alumni during Alumni Weekend. Learn what other alumni are up to and the paths they’ve taken since graduating. You’ll also hear about the LGBT Center and the ways students benefit from its presence on campus today.

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Black Alumni Society Reception
Houston Hall, Platt Rehearsal Room, 3417 Spruce Street
During the Alumni Weekend festivities, we welcome you to enjoy a reception hosted by the Black Alumni Society. This will be a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends and reminisce about your time at Penn. We will also acknowledge the 40th Anniversary of the W.E.B Du Bois College House with a few words from House Faculty Master, Rev. William Gipson, who also serves as Associate Vice Provost for Equity and Access at Penn.

4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Penn Faculty Panel: Co-Sponsored by the Penn Alumni Diversity Alliance
Houston Hall, Class of ’49 Auditorium, 3417 Spruce Street
Please join us for a panel discussion featuring Penn Professors Dr. Eric J. Schelter, Dr. Emilio Parrado, Dr. Grace Kao, and Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, who will discuss what achieving diversity means to them. Following the panel, there will be time for audience Q&A.

6 PM – 10 PM
Taste of Penn Spectrum: A Celebration of Diversity
Location: Tent on College Green
Spend an evening surrounded by friends, food, and music celebrating Penn’s cultural diversity. Enjoy the company of the Penn Alumni Diversity Alliance: The Association of Latino Alumni, The Association of Native Alumni, The Black Alumni Society, The James Brister Society, PennGALA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Alumni Association), and The University of Pennsylvania Asian Alumni Network. All alumni are welcome to attend.

Special note: on Sunday, May 12 at 10:30am, join the Greenfield Intercultural Center at 3708 Chestnut Street for an alumni celebration in honor of their new Native American community garden!

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Filed under Alumni Profile, Alumni Weekend, Lillian G., Multicultural Outreach

Student to Alumnae: An Student Interview with Dr. Heidi Cohen, C’83, PAR’13

Author: Deirdre Bullard, C’14

Despite the thousands of alumni carrying the name of our proud alma mater, it really is a small world.

I say this after meeting Dr. Heidi Cohen (C’83, PAR’13, B.A. Biology with a concentration in microbiology), who returned to Penn recently to visit her son, Harrison Lieberfarb (C’13). But Dr. Cohen, a pre-med graduate of the college in 1983 and now a successful Assistant Medical Director of pediatric emergency medicine at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, FL, came not only for a family visit. She attended her son’s class (led by Dr. Helen Davies, Professor of Microbiology), to give a lecture on malaria.

What makes the world so intimate is  that Dr. Cohen took this same class as an undergraduate student in the 80’s with the same professor. Furthermore, the course influenced a large amount of Dr. Cohen’s professional experiences both in medical school and afterwards. Below, you will see what I mean after reading our interview.


Pictured from left to right: Harrison Lieberfarb, C’13, Dr. Helen Davies, Professor of Microbiology at University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Heidi Cohen, C’83, PAR ’13.

How did you join Helen Davies’ class?

A friend recommended that I take this class, which is a Benjamin Franklin Seminar. I had to get permission from Dr. Davies to join it because it was reserved for juniors and seniors. Our main project was a presentation on an infectious disease. My infectious disease for study was HIV. We had no access to computers like students to today, so I had to go the library and just research everything about HIV; everything about its symptoms. As an undergrad, I learned quickly how to synthesize this information and organize it. This influenced my later work greatly.

The way I presented the material also had a huge affect on my work methods today. Because we had no Powerpoint, I just had to get up in front of a class and talk. Now I teach and lecture in universities and at conferences.

What was it like to move from the instruction of a classroom to real-life practice of medicine?

Working in the ER puts you first in line to witness some historical outbreaks, like HIV. Even when working in emergency rooms after graduating, I saw this—it was the disease—all the time. Back then in the 80’s, there were no antivirals, no medicines, and nobody really knew what kind of disease it was—HIV was a death sentence.  It was depressing. Today, I couldn’t even tell you where the HIV positive children in the ER are. It’s been fascinating to move from seeing it in tons of children all the time, to never seeing it again.  In my residency, our emphasis was not on reading. We were told we would learn about medicine by seeing it. I own it now because I did it.

I chose a program where I had to make decisions quickly. I’m good with observing, making diagnoses, and dealing with anxious parents. At work I have five minutes to observe a patient, establish trust with them, order whatever they need, and convince them that the treatment is appropriate or alleviating. When you know your style, you learn about how you learn, and that can be very beneficial when you have to think on your feet.

What kinds of activities at Penn helped you prepared for your career?

I started research at the medical school as a sophomore. I knocked from door to door of various professors to see if any were hiring, even though I had only taken Intro to Biology at this point. Dr. Akira Kaji eventually hired me. In his lab I learned how to pipette, sterile plates, and map E.Coli. The work was published in well-known magazines like Science and Nature. I spent three years and every summer doing this work, along with working at CHOP. I also volunteered with high risk OBGYN organization. While other students were out there partying, I was helping deliver babies. Other times, I would work with rehabilitation patients, and we would do great things with them. We would walk the patients, in their wheelchairs, to Hutchinson’s gym, change them into bathing suits, and swim for therapy. It was a great experience.

Outside of Penn, such as at a public health clinic in Long Island, I was a translator. They needed someone to translate between Spanish and English. I offered to do this work if they let me cycle through their clinic. Altogether, when I started medical school I was in great shape, because I had all of this experience and exposure.

What kinds of cases do you see in the emergency room today?

The most frequent cases I see are common conditions—things like asthma and trauma, mostly from tourists. Most people come into the ER because they overreact to things that can be addressed by a visit to a general practitioner. I’d say about 80 percent of the cases I see should go to a regular office. Still, you never know what will walk in the door. I’ve seen some of the most unusual cases, like Addison’s disease. I once had a mother bring her young daughter in. She was scrawny, pale, and obviously very sick. The mother was mostly worried about a rash, but I noticed right away her gigantic lymph nodes. It took 20 minutes for us to confirm some suspicions. She had lymphoma.

Has being a female practitioner affected your career or work place?

I find it harder for women because we have to balance our families and children with our work. I had three children to take care of w. Working in the ER is exhausting, and you really learn to cope with the stress both from that environment and that constant balancing. But I never tolerated that I was weaker or inferior because I was a woman. That attitude, along with raising my children, really gave me better training as a pediatrician.

How does this job affect your family life?

As I said earlier, some things never leave you. My children, for example, do not go to carnivals since I dealt with an outbreak of an STD at one in New York. But my children have a unique perspective on what’s important. I try to remember that what’s important for me can be very different from them. They might be preoccupied with getting an A on their papers, or making it to practice on time, while I am dealing with all kinds of emergencies during work. But overall, they’ve heard a lot of different stories from me, so they know how to prioritize things.

My daughter, though, was Pre-Med at Georgetown for about 15 minutes. When asked why, she replied, “I will never leave the library.” And it’s true; if I could relive my experience at Penn, I would still study medicine, but I would spend less time in the library, and more time having fun.

You certainly see a lot of fascinating but disturbing things in your work. How do you handle emotional distress?

If I don’t get upset, then I know I have a problem; you should feel that way in this job, or you shouldn’t be working. I have to do my job, but I have to remember the emotional side when telling someone about their injuries and sickness, or telling a mother that her child just died. Would you want a doctor who wasn’t empathetic?

Any special messages for the classmates from 1983?

I am very excited to return for reunion to see what my old friends have done in the last 30 years since we graduated! As medicine has evolved so have we as providers, wives, husbands and parents. As my son Harrison will be graduating it will be like reliving my own graduation experience. I think his participation in Mask and Wig has brought my family closer to Penn as we have gotten to know the company, hosted them in our home for two tours and have seen countless productions.  Coming back for reunion will bring me full circle and enhance my memories of Penn both from the class of 1983 and from Harrison’s class of 2013.

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Filed under Alumni Profile, Deirdre B., Student Perspective

Alumni Fitness Success Stories

Author: Nicole C. Maloy, W’95

In January, while hopeful new year’s resolutioners fill gyms across the land, others stay home with their own personal “Ghosts of Broken Resolutions Past:” the dusty, still-squeaky athletic shoes they haven’t touched since January 2012. Is there any real hope for people who want to make a lifestyle change that lasts beyond a week or two? The answer is yes.

Prompted by some sobering news at the doctor’s office in the summer of 2012, Penn alumni husband and wife, Steve Miller, W’96, and Lucy Ramos Miller, C’97, made a genuine commitment to improving their health. They are still going strong in 2013 despite the challenges of full time jobs (he leads business innovation for a cluster of countries in Goodyear’s Latin America operation, she is a General Magistrate at the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) and raising three children ages 12, 9, and 4. What are their results? Where do they get their inspiration? And, most importantly, HOW ON EARTH DO THEY DO IT? Read on to find out, because you can do it, too.

Lucy and Steve - ‘90s pic from the Penn days.

Lucy and Steve – ’90s pic from the Penn days.

To what degree were you athletic or physically active in your student days?

STEVE: Some of my earliest memories include playing basketball in our front yard, tackle football in the back yard, or “any bounce” baseball in the street. As a teen, I focused my efforts on my best sport, wrestling. I was recruited by Coach Roger Reina to wrestle at Penn, but I realized early in my first season that I probably didn’t have the passion to do it for 4 years. Furthermore, my body was spent, and I couldn’t imagine more years of cutting weight. I “retired” from wrestling in my freshman year. In 1994, I became very restless and, as a result, joined Penn’s sprint football team. I thoroughly enjoyed my two years with Coach Bill Wagner and the team.

LUCY: I was never really active growing up. I played basketball and volleyball from grade school through high school, but that was really it. In college and graduate school, I always had lofty “plans” of becoming more active, but those plans never really came to fruition. Once I started my post graduate career, I no longer even had plans.

What prompted you to take on a fitness program?

STEVE: I’ve always tried to be active. After graduating from Penn, I played summer league baseball in Cleveland. I’ve played flag football sporadically for years. In 2006, while living in Jamaica, Lucy and I joined a running club in Kingston. We met some wonderful people through the group and learned a lot about distance running. However, after leaving Jamaica in 2008, I didn’t keep a consistent, organized workout regimen. At the end of 2011, I ran my first mud race. I started mud running because it looked fun. They seemed to be the perfect mix of short distance running and challenging obstacles. This seemed well-suited for my attention span.

LUCY: Sometime after relocating to Kingston, Jamaica in 2006, Steve and I decided to become more active. We started doing some distance running with the goal of running a half marathon. However, at that time we still weren’t completely committed and I became pregnant with our third child. Shortly after relocating from Kingston to Miami in late 2008 and delivering our third child, Steve and I began to revisit the half marathon goal. For me personally, I needed to shed the additional pregnancy weight, and I wanted to accomplish something physically that I never thought that I could do. In January 2012, Steve and I ran our first half marathon together.

What sparked your renewed commitment to fitness in summer 2012?

STEVE: For years, my HDL cholesterol level was too low. My doctor wanted to prescribe niacin to help improve my levels. He gave me the option of making a lifestyle adjustment or taking medication, but he stressed to me that two-thirds of my HDL level was genetic, so there was limit to how much I could change that with lifestyle alterations. I knew I would likely have to go on niacin, but I wanted to give 100% toward lifestyle changes to see how close I could get to the target. I needed to know, empirically, how much control I really had to influence the outcome. I asked him to give me 90 days to improve my numbers.

LUCY: After completing the half marathon, I took a period of time off from training with the idea of allowing my body to rest. However, as time passed I seemed to have lost the motivation to train for distance running. In June 2012, Steve and I both had annual routine physicals done. We both had some cholesterol issues and were threatened to be placed on medication to manage them. My triglyceride level was very high. Additionally, I was labeled as “clinically obese.” Wanting to avoid medication and ensure that we’d be around to watch our children grow, Steve and I decided we *had* to start and stick with a fitness.

Steve, before (2011).

Steve, “before” (2011).

Lucy, before (2011).

Lucy, “before” (2011).

How did you choose the right program for you?

STEVE: It was accidental. I had watched the CrossFit games on ESPN and thought it was interesting, but I never seriously considered starting CrossFit. However, a few folks from my office joined and really talked it up. When my doctor told me I needed to exercise with greater intensity, I immediately thought of CrossFit. The icing on the cake was when I realized a location opened less than 5 minutes from home. I signed up in June 2012.

LUCY: Steve loved CrossFit and encouraged me to try it as well. So in July 2012, I did and, like Steve, I loved it! I made a promise to commit to it for two months to see if I still liked it. I am now in my sixth month. I love it because it is varied, intense, and incorporates both cardiovascular and weight training. I realized that I need a program that simply requires me to show up and do as I am instructed. I tend not to stick with programs that require me to plan and create workouts. I also don’t have a lot of time to commit, so I need an intense workout in a condensed amount of time, and one that will maintain my interest. I get bored with workouts that repeat the same routine.

How would you describe your results?

STEVE: Quantitative – within 90 days, my HDL (mg/dl) increased from 36 to 44. My triglyceride level decreased from 197 to 121. I’ve lost 20 pounds while also gaining muscle. Dropped 2 sizes in pants. I’ve worn XL casual shirts since my days at Penn. I’m now uncomfortable in XL and prefer a large.

LUCY: After just three short months, my triglyceride level improved from 256 to 106. I had also lost approximately 20 lbs. and three dress sizes. I have gained muscle mass and am stronger than I have ever been.

What can you do now that you couldn’t do before?

STEVE: Sprint 400 meters without passing out.

LUCY: When I began CrossFit I could not do a box jump. Box jumps are when you jump onto the top of a box. I could not do a single jump onto the smallest box, which is 12 inches in height. I can now do box jumps on a 20 inch box. There are other examples, but this is the classic example for me.

Describe your proudest accomplishment since starting on this path.

STEVE: Competing in my first CrossFit competition in December. It was an important milestone. I was also proud to compete (and hold my own) against competitors half my age.

LUCY: Aside from achieving weight loss, my proudest accomplishment has been doing things (physically) that I never imagined I’d ever be able to do.

Lucy, today.

Lucy, “after” (2012).

Steve, "after," 2012 Color Run.

Steve, “after,” 2012 Color Run.

What has been the most challenging part of this journey?

STEVE: In the past, Lucy and I wouldn’t be on the same page. We preferred different workouts and different diet strategies. Of course, having two different tactical approaches is a burden and it sharply diminishes the probability for success for each of us. Now we are both on the same page. We speak the same language. We talk about our workouts. We empathize more. This has helped us stick with it.

LUCY: The most challenging part has and continues to be frustration with the rate of progress. Too often we are driven by instant gratification, and when we don’t get instant gratification we tend to quit the program. I have to constantly remind myself that slow/small progress is still progress!

How have others responded to this undertaking?

STEVE: Very positive feedback. I think people respect the process as well as the results. With this program, there aren’t any shortcuts. It requires hard work. As such, people seem to respond favorably to what we’ve been able to accomplish.

LUCY: Initially my family and friends thought that my goals were lofty and the fitness program insane. Many doubted that I would remain committed to the program. However, all of my friends and family are amazed with the outward physical results. When I inform them of the internal physical results, they are in disbelief. They now encourage me to stay committed to this lifestyle are some have even expressed motivation to start a program of their own.

You have three children, and you each have a full-time job. How, and why, do you maintain your commitment to exercise?

STEVE: Since health is my primary motivator, I’m not willing to accept the alternative. Although we have time constraints and competing priorities, it’s imperative that we make room for our fitness requirements. Plus, I’m a strong believer that kids do what they see every day. Creating a healthy lifestyle for our family is incredibly important. Family heirlooms aren’t always physical objects.

LUCY: Steve and I are both committed to maintaining the lifestyle changes that we’ve implemented. We include exercise into our daily routine just like any other activity that must be done on a daily basis such as going to work. We work together and coordinate schedules to ensure that we are each able to get our workouts in. We are also accountable to one another so that neither falls off of the wagon too much.

How has this endeavor effected the way you raise your children?

STEVE: We have transitioned from a “Dad thing” to a “Mom and Dad thing,” to a “Miller family thing.” Our kids are truly excited about participating in the same activities. In fact, Sidney, or younger daughter, listed “run more races with Mom and Dad” on her Christmas wish list. I think we’re on the right path.

LUCY: We have altered the way we eat and are teaching our children how to make good food choices. We also encourage them to live active lifestyles. To that end, we encourage the kids to play intramural sports, we encourage them to join us in 5k races, and we have even enrolled them in CrossFit for kids! The children really seem to have embraced these lifestyle changes and understand that the motivation behind them is healthy living.

Daughters Sidney (9) and Sam (12) starting a mud run. Son Nicholas (4) participates in CrossFit Kids with his big sisters.

Daughters Sidney (9) and Sam (12) starting a mud run. Son Nicholas (4) participates in CrossFit Kids with his big sisters.

Where are you in relation to your goals?

STEVE: My original goal was to improve my body chemistry. I’ve done that. Looking forward, I want to continue to do that and get stronger as an athlete while helping others accomplish big goals.

LUCY: My original goal was simply a fifty pound weight loss goal. By that measure, I have another twenty lbs. to go. However, as time passed I realized that the number on the scale is much less important than how I look and feel. I have lost three dress sizes. I would love to lose another dress size. If I lost another twenty pounds I’d be happy, but my size and shape are much more important to me than my actual weight.

How has your dedication to your fitness goals affected other areas of your life?

STEVE: For me, it has rekindled a passion for teaching and helping people reach their respective goals. Most of the hours I spend at the CrossFit box are dedicated to helping folks get better and stronger. I thoroughly enjoy being a cheerleader there, and that skill has helped me be a better cheerleader in the workplace as well.

LUCY: I have noticed an improved self-confidence socially and professionally.

What advice would you offer to those *without* a workout partner who want to take on a similar challenge?

STEVE: First of all, although having a partner helps, don’t use that as an excuse to sit on the couch. Even if you have to start as a solo act, get moving. Second, think about group classes or exercise clubs that usually bring together people at a variety of skill levels. They help create an ecosystem – a distinct subculture – that provides friendships, support, and best practices, and will improve your chances of success.

LUCY: I would encourage you to start off at a program where you have other members that can serve as sources of support. Other members of a box/gym can serve as your partner. You can likely find someone to workout with, but they can also be a source for support and motivation. Making these kinds of permanent lifestyle changes is difficult to do on your own. You will need a support system of some kind.

Steve (far left, shirtless) & Lucy (in “Don’t Bother Me” shirt) in the 2012 Mud Run with part of their CrossFit Siege family.

Steve (far left, shirtless) & Lucy (in “Don’t Bother Me” shirt) in the 2012 Mud Run with part of their CrossFit Siege family.

Many people start programs and don’t stick with them, but you are both still at it. Why? 
STEVE: I thoroughly enjoy what I’m doing. That wasn’t always the case. Although I enjoyed the camaraderie of my running group, I’m not very enthusiastic about running. It is a chore to train. Even though I accomplished a few significant milestones, I always loathed the training. Today, I love running through mud and jumping over fire. I enjoy the challenge and variability of my workouts. Making fitness fun is a key component to sustainable success.

LUCY: I have had to change the way I think about my fitness goals. I have had to retrain my brain to think of fitness as a permanent lifestyle change as opposed to a short term fitness goal. Doing this has forced me accept that this is a necessity in my life. And honestly, witnessing Steve maintaining his commitment and resolve gives me the strength and motivation to maintain mine.

What words of wisdom do you have for the person reading this who is seriously thinking about taking on his or her fitness goals?

STEVE: Think about sustainable lifestyle changes. Also, think about establishing your finish line some place beyond a dress size or some magical number on the scale.

LUCY: Stop thinking about it, and do it! There is no better time than the present. Don’t wait for January, or Monday, or after vacation, etc. The day is today, and the time is now. The other piece of advice that I would offer is to break down the ultimate goal into stages or smaller goals. Doing this not only makes the goal appear less far reaching and daunting, but accomplishing the smaller goals will also give you the confidence and motivation to work toward the next goal/stage.

Steve and Lucy one year ago, in January 2012, after completing their first half-marathon.

Steve and Lucy one year ago, in January 2012, after completing their first half-marathon.

Special thanks to Steve and Lucy for taking the time to answer these questions. I know they join me in cheering you on, reader, if you are considering new health and fitness goals in 2013 because, as mentioned, you can do it, too. So, without further ado, take your mark… get set… go.


Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Profile, Nicole M.

The New Penn Buses

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

I was walking home from work when I saw this Penn bus at 38th and Walnut. The new design looks Penn-tastic! Has anyone else seen the new buses cruising around campus?


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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Profile, Stephanie Y.