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The business of consciousness

One Penn alumnus helps a global manufacturer commit to improving its footprint

Steven Finn, a two-time graduate and affiliated faculty member of the Organizational Dynamics (OD) program here at Penn (MPhil OD ’11, MSOD ’08) believes that the biggest impact he can have as a leader in the fight against food waste is to “inspire behavior change.” And he did just that in 2016 as an Executive Committee member for Feeding the 5000 in Portland, Maine.

The first Penn Arts and Sciences Graduate Ben Talks is taking place on Friday, March 17. This event gives selected students, including students from the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, the chance to compete for prizes of $500 by presenting TED-style talks to a campus audience. A group of judges selects winners based on their ability to share their research effectively to non-academics as well as to other scholars outside of their own discipline. 

Grad Ben Talks includes presentations in:

“As a finance professional with executive positions, I wanted to become a coach and help other professionals who may be dealing with adversity. I found that opportunity here at Penn,” shares Bruce Friedman the Executive Director of Fiscal Operations for Penn’s Business Services. He also served as a board member for Dyskeratosis Congenita Outreach (DC Outreach), Inc., a rare disease advocacy organization and Bournelyf Special Camp, a camp for children with special needs.

“It’s important when engaging with a trans student, staff, or faculty member, to have background knowledge of what’s facing their community,” shares Amy Sollitti, a Biology major in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies’ Bachelor of Arts program. Amy is the co-chair of Penn Non-Cis, a student group that focuses on creating a supportive space for trans, gender non-conforming, and non-cisgender people of all identities.

“It started with my mom,” shares Selena Oleck (Master of Science in Applied Geosciences ’15) about her lifelong commitment to environmental issues. “She instilled in me from a young age that the Earth is important.” Today, Selena is a Staff Geologist for Roux Associates, an environmental consulting firm. In her role, she focuses primarily on industrial sites in New Jersey with suspected or known contamination. Her work is split between filing reports, doing field work and conducting research that helps engineers find solutions. She notes, “I like solving real-world problems.”

Shine on your professional health school applications with the academic preparation and hands-on experiences provided by Penn’s Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate Programs. Chat live with Pre-Health Director Jackie McLaughlin and two current students to learn more about:

“Parks don’t function well unless people are using them,” shares Emma Fried-Cassorla (Master of Environmental Studies ’12), the former Communications Manager at the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC). During her tenure, she was in charge of making sure locals and visitors alike made their way to the Delaware River for the Spruce Street Harbor Park, Winterfest and Penn’s Landing events—and they did. By the millions.

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