Category Archives: Leaving Penn

Farewell from the Sweeten Alumni House

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

After fourteen years working for Penn Alumni in our West Coast Regional Office in Los Angeles, today is my last day as a Penn employee.

It has been my honor and pleasure to work with the amazing volunteers and Penn Clubs that are literally all over the world. This was not just a job for me but a real love and passion to support Penn on the west coast. I will miss working with all of you.

Penn physically resides in West Philadelphia, but after talking, emailing and visiting countless alumni outside of the 19104 zip code, I believe that Penn’s heart is with our dedicated alumni that live and work in every corner of the world.

Final Sweeten Photo

In front of the Love Statue with my fabulous colleagues Carol Romani, Kristina Clark, Marge Tinsley and Janell Wiseley.

I leave Penn today as an employee, but remain a dedicated and loyal alumna, from the great class of 1993 (see you in May 2018 for our 25th reunion)!

Forever Red and Blue,

Kiera

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Filed under Class of 1993, Clubs, GAN, Kiera R., Leaving Penn, Penn Clubs, West Coast Regional Office

Locust Walk Talk: Renewing the dreams of past glories

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

Many of you may remember my blog entry over a year ago where I shared with you the story of my rugby team, Philadelphia Gryphons, working on going to Australia, (Locust Walk Talk: What Penn’s Taught Me After Graduation). The anniversary party was only the beginning of this trek. We were able to reinvigorate our alumni and our current players to work together to create that important network of support to bolster the team and to implement new programs.

Good Game

Good Game

The club has implemented seasonal boot camps for new and interested players to learn some basic rugby skills in order to introduce them to a scrimmage with the veteran players at the end of the two hour camp. The board has institutionalized our first Saturday socials, which typically are social gatherings at our sponsor bars to increase the team’s visibility among the community and city; we supplement bar nights with outings to rugby tournaments, marching in Philadelphia’s Pride Parade, and hosting viewing parties for European matches to flesh out our calendar for the year. The fall season will be the Gryphons’ inaugural season for our new recruit/veteran mentorship program. We have initiated Alumni Days, for the first match of the season, to increase attendance at our games. Finally, the Gryphons are working to establish both a day to give back to urban youth and to regularize a Founder’s Day celebration to commemorate the team’s anniversary.

joe and tony

Gryphons at the Anniversary: Joe, GEd’14; Tony, Gr’13; and Marc.

Due to this diligent work, we were successful in getting ourselves off to Sydney – raising over $15,000 to help defray some of the costs of the trip.  Starting yesterday, twenty-one Gryphons, supporters, partners and spouses will start making their way down to Australia for the Bingham Cup. With Anthony Chieco, Gr’17; Joe Ciesielski, GEd’14; Phil Cochetti, C’06; Joe Cruz, C’97, CGS’04, GEX’12; Chris Hatfield, CGS’02; Ted Panczyszyn, Penn staff; Dan Stringer, NU’13, GNU’16; and myself, over a quarter of the team and support staff going to the tournament has a Penn connection. In short, very little of the Gryphons’ success would have been possible without the team’s collective Penn experience.

phil

More Gryphons at the Anniversary: Phil, C’06, and Ken signing the team ball for the raffle

Personally, the Gryphons have been a huge labor of love for me – helping me maintain the work/life balance that we strive for. The team has taught me leadership, patience and perseverance. Most importantly, it’s been the source of several amazing friends over the years – especially during the times in life when it’s typically more difficult to make new ones.

Marching in Philadelphia Pride

Marching in Philadelphia Pride

And speaking of new, you also may know that I am leaving Penn. I’m graduating from my tenure at Penn to go over to University of the Sciences, about 9 blocks southwest of Sweeten House, as Director of Alumni Relations. Founded in 1821, University of the Sciences is a leading science and top pharmacy college in Philadelphia. In fact, it is America’s first pharmacy school. While I’m leaving Penn, I won’t be too far and, as an added bonus, USciences’ president is a proud Penn alumna, Helen Giles-Gee, CW’72, GEd’73, Gr’83. In addition, another teammate of mine, Greg Wallace, PCP’14, is USciences alumnus and I’ve already been cultivating him to return to reunion weekend this year.

Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 rules social media. Anthony, Gr’17, was the 1000th person to LIKE Bingham Cup Sydney 2014. From the Facebook page, “From the looks of it Anthony plays hard! An official Bingham Cup ”Play Hard” T-shirt is coming your way mate!”

It’s been a pleasure sharing my Penn experiences with you as a staffer over the last two and half years. I have already promised to work on my reunion as my 20th comes up in 2015 and I will be joining the Penn Club of Philadelphia. When I settle into my role at USciences, I will approach the interview program about helping out. Lastly, I have promised our communications staff that I will post quarterly on the blog as an alumnus.

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#tbt, Sydney 2005

In the meantime, feel free to check up on my trek through Australia – Perth to Syndey – via stops in Hong Kong and Bangkok at https://tagboard.com/CJinOZ/183930#featured.

This tournament is getting major media attention in Australia. Here are two South Sydney Rabbitohs, brothers Sam and Tom Burgess, who have backed the Bingham Cup and have called for an end to homophobia in sport in Australia. The Rabbitohs are partially owned by Russell Crowe.

Truly Red and Blue,
Casey

Me and Lex Ruby Howe, C’07, WEV’09, WEV’10, GEd’12, my favorite Aussie at Penn. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Casey R., Leaving Penn, Lex. H., Locust Walk Talk, Penn Club of Philadelphia

Congratulations to the Class of 2014

Author: Janell Wiseley

 

Comm-6comm-8Comm-5Comm-3

comm-4Comm-7Comm-2

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Filed under Academics, Alumni Programming, Alumni Weekend, Alumnni Education, Campus Life, Commencement, Janell W., Leaving Penn, Locust Walk Talk, Memories of Penn, Reunions, Sweeten Alumni House, Traditions, Uncategorized, View from Sweeten

Dear, Sweeten –

Author: Lisa V., C’02, GeD’10

Eight years is a long time.  It’s long enough to witness four Olympic games; long enough to get a bachelor’s degree – twice; long enough to become a doctor – medical school, residency and all.  For me, the past eight years have been long enough to grow up from an unpolished post-grad looking for any old job to a professional woman with what one might actually categorize as a “career.”  How did this happen?

In May 2005, I came back to Penn for the first time since graduating in May 2002, this time not as a student but as a staff member.  I remember walking through campus that fall during move-in, feeling as though I could relate much more to the incoming students than my colleagues or fellow alumni.  It was much like coming home from college for your first Thanksgiving, unsure whether you should sit at the kids table or the grown up table.  Lucky for me, I wasn’t forced to choose.

How it all started

How it all started

In the ensuing years, I received a true education.  I learned how to work hard, and play even harder.  I learned that the art of building relationships is the key to success – both professionally and personally.  I learned that impromptu dance parties are the best remedy for a long, hard day of work – and just about anything else.  I learned – by example – what it means to be a mentor, a leader, a team player.  I learned that work-life balance is a journey, not a destination – but it’s a journey made far less arduous when accompanied by amazing friends and colleagues.

Playing hard

Playing hard

Team building

Team building

Penn has always been a special place for me.  As an undergraduate, it’s where I met my very best friends and received an education that opened my eyes to the world’s possibilities.  But I’d be lying if didn’t say that the past eight years have been as – if not more – transformative.  My Penn family – stand-in moms and sisters and brothers and aunts and uncles – have guided and supported me through marriage and moves and babies and second degrees.  They’ve made me laugh when I felt like crying.  They’ve talked me off the ledge, and been there to catch me when I still managed to fall over it.  They’ve celebrated my successes as if they were their own, and reassured me that my failures were merely stepping stones.

Growth and expansion

Growth and expansion

Eight years is a long time.  It’s long enough to acquire a second family; long enough to build relationships that will endure well beyond my tenure here; and long enough to know that I will never again find such an amazing group of passionate, loyal, creative colleagues.

Thank you, Sweeten, for eight tremendous years.   It’s a sin that it has to come to an end – but I know you will all be part of the next chapter of my life in your own ways.

xxoo

Lisa

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Filed under Leaving Penn, Lisa V., Memories of Penn, Photos, Sweeten Alumni House, The Sweeten Life