University of Pennsylvania Professor Receives ICA Fellows Book Award

Joe Diorio | | 215-746-1798
Monday, July 12, 2010

The International Communication Association (ICA), an esteemed academic association for scholars of human and mediated communication, today announced that Elihu Katz 's 1992 book (with Daniel Dayan of the French National Center for Scientific Research), Media Events: The Live Broadcasting of History (Harvard University Press), was selected to receive the 2010 ICA Fellows Book Award. The award recognizes those books that have made a substantial contribution to the scholarship of the communication field, as well as the broader rubric of the social sciences, and have stood some test of time. Any book nominated must have been available for at least the immediate past five years prior to the conference at which the award is presented.

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Penn Geneticist Named 2010 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

Karen Kreeger | | 215-349-5658
Friday, July 2, 2010

The Pew Charitable Trusts named Zhaolan (Joe) Zhou, PhD, assistant professor of Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, as a 2010 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. The program enables scientists to take calculated risks, expand their research and explore unanticipated leads. Scholars receive $240,000 over four years and gain inclusion into a select community of scientists that includes three Nobel Prize winners, three MacArthur Fellows, and two recipients of the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award.

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Zhaolan Zhou

Zhaolan Zhou

Deaths of Seneca

Friday, July 9, 2010

In The Deaths of Seneca, James Ker of Classical Studies presents the first comprehensive cultural history of the death of Seneca, who wrote often and eloquently about death. (SAS Frontiers)

1965 Shelby Cobra

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mike Peisach is not your average student. This Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics freshman built a rare British sports car from the ground up and then sold it to benefit a nonprofit. (Penn Current)

Penn’s Chief of Fire and Emergency Services Appointed to Board at Phila. Fire Dept. Historical Corp.

Jill DiSanto-Haines | | 215-898-4820
Thursday, July 1, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — Gene Janda, the chief of fire and emergency services for the University of Pennsylvania, has been elected to a three-year term as a general member of the board of directors for the Philadelphia Fire Department Historical Corporation, which supports the Fireman’s Hall Museum in Old City.

Janda joined Penn’s Division of Public Safety in 2000.  He oversees the day-to-day operations of a team of five safety specialists and sets the strategic direction of fire and emergency services.  As the co-chair of the University City Emergency Preparedness Steering Team, Janda works in collaboration with nearby institutions and the city to advance emergency preparedness across campus.

“Chief Janda’s 23-year career within the Philadelphia Fire Department, along with his decade of service here at Penn and his passion for public safety, makes him the ideal candidate to serve on the board of the Philadelphia Fire Department Historical Corporation,” Maureen Rush, vice president for public safety at Penn, said.  

Located in a restored firehouse built in 1902, the Fireman’s Hall Museum celebrates the history and heroic moments of Philadelphia firefighting through its exhibits and public programs.  The museum preserves and displays historical fire-fighting artifacts.  Its collection includes fire-fighting tools, apparatus, uniforms, photographs and fire marks.

Gene Janda

Gene Janda

Priceless art

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Philadelphia is known for magnificent works of public art, and some of the most spectacular pieces are on Penn’s campus, including Claes Oldenburg’s “Split Button” on College Green. (Penn Current)

Donald Twins Win Double Sculls at U-23 Trials

Monday, June 28, 2010

For the second straight summer, the twin duo of Elizabeth Donald and Rebecca Donald has made its mark on the national scene in women's rowing.

Last year, it was a pair of titles at the USRowing Club Nationals. This past weekend, it was the Donalds' championship row in double sculls at the under-23 World Championships Trials on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. As a result, the Donalds will represent the United States at the 2010 World Rowing Under-23 Championships, to be held July 22-25 in Brest, Belarus.

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The Donald twins

The Donald twins

Penn Graduate School of Education Researchers Head to Haiti to Improve Long-Term Educational Leadership

Jill DiSanto-Haines | | 215-898-4820
Monday, June 28, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — Sharon Ravitch, a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, will lead a team of researchers to Haiti on July 15 to launch an educational-redevelopment project aimed at helping to rebuild the country’s academic infrastructure.

January’s earthquake in Haiti killed nearly 1,300 teachers, leaving a massive void in educational leadership.

As a part of this long-term project, the Penn GSE team will conduct a community-needs assessment focused on education in Port au Prince and surrounding areas.   The team will assess a variety of educational institutions in Haiti, including private, public and religious- and community-based schools, in order to get a picture of the state of education in the country. 

The team will focus on leadership development at the school and community levels to determine where the greatest needs lie, and where to focus their efforts and actions during the next three years.

In addition, they will build partnerships with the Haitian Ministry of Education and relief agencies working to rebuild after the earthquake.

 “Our goal is to create partnerships that lead to in-country capacity building and sustainability, “ Ravitch said.  “We are customizing our work to the cultural context and collaborating with the local community.”

GSE’s team is comprised of three students and alumni.  Two of them, Ralph Bouquet and Wagner Marseille, were born in Haiti.

Bouquet, a student in Penn GSE’s Teach for America urban teacher master’s program, teaches at Frankford High School.  Marseille, a graduate of Penn GSE’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, is an assistant principal in Lower Merion, Pa.  The third team member, Laura Colket, is a doctoral candidate in GSE’s Educational Leadership program

The GSE team will return on July 23.  According to Ravitch, the next step will be to design a framework, produce a timeline, raise money to continue their work in Haiti and build a permanent team.

Future trips to Haiti will focus on collaborating with Haitian educators on professional-development programs and conducting a program evaluation.

Confederate Reckoning

Monday, June 28, 2010

In Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South, Stephanie McCurry of History tells how women and slaves became a force in the Confederacy. (SAS Frontiers)

Penn Powers Down: University-Wide Effort Nets 21 Percent Reduction in Electricity Use

Julie S. McWilliams | | 215-898-1422
Friday, June 25, 2010

PHILADELPHIA –- The University of Pennsylvania reduced its electricity usage by some 13 megawatt hours during last week’s hour-long Power Down Challenge.  This is equivalent to a nearly 21 percent reduction in the typical campus electrical load at this time of year, yielding substantial cost savings.

“This was obviously a success and exceeded our expectations,” Anne Papageorge, vice president of facilities and real estate services, said.  “We knew we could reduce by three megawatt hours but were cautiously hoping for a five to six megawatt reduction.”

Instead, Penn’s efforts saved more than three times the estimates, an amount that could service an estimated 10,000 households -- nearly 60 percent of the homes in University City -- with an hour of electricity use.

The event, conducted by Penn’s Green Campus Partnership in collaboration with the University’s Division of Facilities Services, was held in cooperation with the regional electric grid operator PJM, which conducts a test of its emergency electricity load shedding system annually. 

When electricity use is very high, such as on hot, humid summer afternoons, the grid operator asks Penn and other large power consumers to reduce their electricity consumption, ensuring that enough is available to meet the regional demand and to avoid the need to turn on inefficient power plants.

“While a significant part of this energy reduction came from operations, such as turning off the campus chiller plants and shutting down air handlers on a rolling basis,” Ken Ogawa, executive director of operations and maintenance, said, “much of the conservation was due to simple behavior changes in the Penn community.”

Many departments participated in the Challenge by turning off lights and powering down electrical devices, in efforts led by Penn’s Staff and Faculty Eco-Reps, a group of more than 100 employee volunteers who train their co-workers to help Penn meet its sustainability goals.  

“The Power Down Challenge showcased opportunities for the University community to conserve energy, enact behavior change on a regular basis and support Penn’s commitment to reduce energy use by 17 percent by 2014, as outlined in our Climate Action Plan,” Papageorge said. 

A portion of the financial savings from this energy test will be invested into Penn’s Green Fund, which provides grants for innovative sustainability ideas from faculty, students and staff that can help the University meet its sustainability goals through policy development and operations. 

Additional information on Penn’s Green Campus Partnership is available at


Penn’s Power Down Challenge results have been the topic of an editorial and a story in the Daily Pennsylvanian.

Operations staff monitor energy usage during the Power Down Challenge. (Photo: Steve Belfiglio)

Operations staff monitor energy usage during the Power Down Challenge. (Photo: Steve Belfiglio)