Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania Invites the Community to Sign the "Treaty of Renewed Friendship"

Pam Kosty | pkosty@sas.upenn.edu | 215-898-4045
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Long before the first Swedish settlers, before William Penn’s arrival, before there was a Declaration of Independence and then a United States of America, the Lenape people lived and thrived in Philadelphia and a wide region that included what is now eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and southern New York.  The history and culture of the Lenape Indians is an integral part of this region.
On Saturday, August 21, from noon gathering to 4:30 pm, the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania invites neighbors, friends, organizations and families to participate at the signing of the Treaty of Renewed Friendship at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. All who choose to sign indicate their wish to support the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania and to partner with them as caretakers of their sacred homeland.

To view the full release, click here.

To view the exhibition photos, click here.

Year of Water

Monday, August 16, 2010

Penn’s Climate Action Plan inspires the designation of 2010-11 as the Year of Water. The first activity is the Penn Reading Project, The Big Necessity by alum Rose George. (Penn Current)

Penn Graduate School of Education Finalizing $54M Grant to Evaluate National Reading Program

Jill DiSanto-Haines | jdisanto@pobox.upenn.edu | 215-898-4820
Thursday, August 12, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — A planned $54 million Investing in Innovation federal grant will bring $4 million to Penn GSE’s Consortium for Policy Research in Education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education to evaluate the effectiveness of a national program aimed at strengthening literacy among struggling first-graders in underperforming schools. Penn is part of a 16-university consortium working on this project.  The consortium will raise $9 million toward the $54 million total, and the federal government will provide the other $45 million.

Penn, along with 15 other universities involved in the project, is required to raise $9 million in matching funds, in order to secure the $45 million from the federal government.

Penn GSE faculty will collect and analyze extensive data on student performance, monitor the work of Reading Recovery teachers and track students’ long-term progress, as well as evaluate the implementation of the program in thousands of schools across the U.S.

Four faculty members from Penn GSE will evaluate the impact of scaling up the Reading Recovery program, a five-year project designed to provide long-term professional development for teachers who will work one-on-one for 30 minutes daily with young students to accelerate literacy development, enabling them to close the achievement gap.  It targets reading problems when they first become apparent, and the goal is to help bring the students up to speed with their fellow students in 20 weeks.

“According to the What Works Clearinghouse, the Reading Recovery program is the most effective early literacy intervention in existence,” Henry May, a senior researcher at the Consortium, said.  “Penn’s role in this project is to evaluate whether Reading Recovery continues to produce large and positive effects when we implement it on a really large scale.”

Reading Recovery teachers will interact with 90,000 students individually, but, through their broader work in other classrooms, these new teachers will have the potential to have an impact on nearly 450,000 young learners.

“Our team of researchers has the necessary experience in conducting large-scale field trials that is required to meet the rigorous standards of evidence established by the Department of Education,” May said.

May, along with another senior researcher from the Consortium, Leslie Nabors Olah, will serve as the co-principal investigators on this project, leading a team of 11 researchers in monitoring the students’ academic progress for five years.  Two senior faculty members, including GSE’s dean, Andy Porter, and Bob Boruch, will advise the research team.

Distinguished by its contributions to education policy, strong quality-control procedures and expertise in disseminating research products to policy makers and practitioners, the Consortium for Policy Research in Education’s researchers have extensive experience conducting experimental studies, large-scale experimental and quasi-experimental research, mixed-methods studies, qualitative case studies and multi-state policy surveys.

Penn Again Tops Higher Education Division of EPA’s Green-Power Partners List

Julie S. McWilliams | juliemcw@upenn.edu | 215-898-1422
Thursday, August 12, 2010

PHILADELPHIA –- With a green power usage of 200 million kWh annually, the University of Pennsylvania has retained its top spot among institutions of higher learning on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of green-power purchasers. 

The EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the highest green-power purchases in the nation since 2006, and Penn has led its peers for the past four years.

When compared to users of green power across all industries, Penn ranked No. 20 nationally.  Green-power purchases help reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use and support the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide.

Penn’s green power is generated by wind and represents 48 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage.  The University buys renewable energy certificates from local green-energy supplier Community Energy, which helps to reduce the environmental impacts. 

“Our continued purchase of wind power is representative of Penn’s larger commitment to sustainability at both the local and global levels,” said Ken Ogawa, Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services executive director of operations and maintenance.  “By purchasing power from sustainable sources, we are able to educate the Penn community on the importance of renewable energy while making a positive impact on the environment.”

Energy conservation is a major goal of Penn’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for a 17 percent reduction in energy use by 2014, and the use of green power is one of the University’s strategies to reach that goal.  Other strategies call for programs to encourage sustainable behavior in the campus community, renovations of existing buildings and adoption of higher energy standards for new construction.

Additional information about Penn’s Climate Action Plan and the Green Campus Partnership is available at www.upenn.edu/sustainability.

Penn’s purchase of wind energy from turbines such as this keeps it atop the EPA’s list of colleges and universities.

Penn’s purchase of wind energy from turbines such as this keeps it atop the EPA’s list of colleges and universities.

Penn Student Christopher Lester Receives U.S. Energy Department Graduate Fellowship

Jacquie Posey | jposey@upenn.edu | 215-898-6460
Thursday, August 12, 2010

PHILADELPHIA – Christopher Lester, a student at the University of Pennsylvania, is among 150 recipients of a new U.S. Energy Department Graduate Fellowship to encourage students to pursue careers in science, mathematics and engineering.

Lester, from Marietta, Ga., studies fundamental particles and their interactions in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences. He has been involved in high-energy hadron collider physics in searching for rare interactions in the electroweak sector that involve multiple gauge bosons, Ws Zs and Photons.  He currently is working on a project at the Collider Detector at Fermilab investigating new methods for using the tau decay channel in searches for the Standard Model and Super-symmetric Higgs boson.  He is also working on commissioning the TRT detector at ATLAS.

The program is part of an initiative to strengthen the scientific workforce by providing financial support to young scholars during the formative years of their research.

Each graduate fellow will receive $50,500 per year for as long as three years to support tuition, living expenses, research materials and travel to research conferences or to Energy Department science facilities.     

The fellowships are funded in part from $12.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

A complete list of Fellowship Program recipients is available at http://science.energy.gov/scgf.

Christopher Lester

Christopher Lester

Middle East partnership

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wharton extends its global reach with the Wharton Entrepreneurship and Family Business Research Centre in Abu Dhabi, spearheaded by Raffi Amit. (Wharton Magazine)

Nine Penn Students and Five Alumni Awarded Fulbright International Exchange Educational Scholarships

Jacqueline Posey | jposey@pobox.upenn.edu | 215-898-6460
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nine University of Pennsylvania students and five Penn alumni have been awarded scholarships to participate in Fulbright international educational exchange program.  More than 1,500 U.S. citizens will travel abroad for one year of foreign study in one of 155 foreign countries, sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

The Fulbright Program is designed to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  Grant recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. 

Penn’s Fulbright recipients and the countries to which they will travel for graduate studies are Sherri Cohen, Turkey; Ruth Erickson, France; Rebecca Hood,  Mexico; Jonathan Howard, Brazil; Cameron Hu, Egypt; Rebecca Kantor, Estonia; Esther Kim, South Korea; Julia Luscombe, Ecuador; Daniella Mak, Portugal; Julia Perratore,  Spain; Michael Poll, Poland; Michael Wojcik, Germany; Monisha Chakravarthy, India; and Kara Gaston, Italy.

The Fulbright Program is funded primarily though an annual congressional appropriation to the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  Further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is available at http://fulbright.state.gov.

Philadelphia Judge and War Veteran to Speak at University of Pennsylvania Veterans Upward Bound Graduation

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WHO: Patrick Dugan, Philadelphia Municipal Court judge and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

WHAT: Graduation ceremony for 40 U.S. veterans

WHEN: Aug. 26, 2010, 7 p.m.

WHERE: University of Pennsylvania
 Houston Hall, Bodek Lounge
 34th and Spruce streets

Judge Patrick Dugan, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony of the TRIO Veterans Upward Bound program at the University of Pennsylvania.  Forty veterans have completed a series of intensive pre-college educational courses. 

TRIO Veterans Upward Bound is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Education that offers free, intensive, non-credit academic courses and a full array of academic support services to veterans who may want to work toward bachelor’s degrees. 

Penn Research Points to the Influence of Non-Catholics on the Changes Brought by Vatican II

Jacquie Posey | jposey@upenn.edu | 215-898-6460
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

PHILADELPHIA – A new analysis of voting patterns among bishops at the Second Vatican Council points to the indirect influence of non-Catholic churches in the Council’s liberalization of the Catholic Church.

Melissa Wilde, an associate professor of sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, led a team of researchers that investigated data from the Vatican Secret Archive to determine the critical factors influencing how bishops voted at the Second Vatican Council. 

Their findings are outlined in “Religious Economy or Organizational Field? Predicting Bishops’ Votes at the Second Vatican Council,” published in the August issue of American Sociological Review. 

The researchers found that the relationship between the church and state as well as changes in the institution’s situation in relation to other institutions, particularly a loss of dominance and the presence of and relationship with other religious institutions, were crucial factors in predicting whether religious leaders would be open to change and also what kinds of change they would prioritize. 

They concluded that in places where the Roman Catholic Church enjoyed a stable monopoly as the state church, religious leaders were almost impervious to outside influence and opposed to most kinds of change.   In areas in which Catholicism was not the established faith but where the religious field was stable, however, leaders of other religious institutions were a crucial source of influence on Catholic bishops who attended and voted at Vatican II.

The article also explores factors that predicted bishops’ votes on two of the most contentious issues dividing the Roman Catholic Church during Vatican II from 1962-1965: the validity of a document titled “On the Sources of Revelation,” which upholds the inerrancy of the Bible, and the importance of the Virgin Mary.

“This is the first attempt to subject any Council votes to rigorous quantitative analysis,” said lead author Wilde, who studies the processes and factors that direct religious change.  “It was exciting being the first person to gain access to these votes on an event as important as the Council.”

In addition to her research on Vatican II, Wilde has examined the demographic factors that explain why American Protestantism has gone from being majority Mainline to majority conservative and the role of religious competition in the rise in marital annulments in the Catholic Church.

She is currently investigating how and why the politics of sex and gender have become key issues dividing the American religious field through a comparative-historical study of the major American religious groups’ reactions to changing norms regarding birth control, abortion, divorce, women’s ordination and homosexuality over the course of the 20th century.

The paper on Vatican II was co-authored with Kristin Geraty, an assistant professor at North Central College, and Shelley Nelson and Emily Bowman, Ph.D. candidates in sociology at Indiana University. 

The article is available to members of the media by contacting Daniel Fowler at pubinfo@asanet.org or 202-527-7885.

Melissa Wilde

Melissa Wilde

In my words....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Charles Bernstein of English publishes All the Whiskey in Heaven, a collection of poems. The New York Times has called him “accessible, enormously witty, often joyful....” (SAS Frontiers)