Expanding Energy Exploration

A $2 million gift from David Elliman, C’73, WG’77, and Dr. Andrea Branch through the BAWD Foundation will enable SAS to jumpstart its effort to attract three new faculty members to Penn.  The funds will provide startup support for faculty specializing in ways to bring renewable energy sources to market. Over the next three years, SAS basic science departments, including Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, and Biology, will join together to conduct multi-disciplinary searches centered on this theme, which will help solidify Penn’s role as a leader in energy research.  

“Few areas of scholarship are as crucial to our global future as energy research,” says Dean Rebecca Bushnell. “The scholars recruited with the help of the Elliman Fund will bolster our promising energy initiatives with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, like the Penn Center for Energy Innovation (Pennergy) and the new Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER), increasing our momentum in this vital area of study.”

Elliman’s own interest in energy innovation and appreciation for scientific research led to this incredible gift.  “After meeting with current Penn faculty engaged in energy research and teaching I came away convinced that this ‘cluster hire’ approach will allow the School to build on existing strengths by attracting new faculty who are doing cutting-edge energy research,” he says.

Elliman earned a B.A. in Biology from the College, then received an M.S. in cell biology from the University of California at Irvine and an M.B.A. from Wharton. He is founding principal of the Elmrock Group of companies. He serves as a member of the board at The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and is a trustee of The Jackson Laboratory and a director of Great Western Oil and Gas Company.  He served as an Overseer for the School from 1998 to 2007 and is currently a member of the Advisory Board for the Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management.  Andrea D. Branch, Ph.D., is Professor of Medicine and Associate Professor of Surgery at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, where she specializes in diseases of the liver. They are the parents of Dascher Branch-Elliman, C’12.

Arts & Sciences News

Michael C. Horowitz Awarded Department of Defense Grant to Lead Team on Study of Autonomous Systems and AI

Michael C. Horowitz, Professor of Political Science, will oversee the study of autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

View Article >
Earthquakes at the Nanoscale

In collaboration with Robert Carpick and David Goldsby, Tian, who graduated from Penn in 2017 with a doctorate in physics, recently published a paper in Physical Review Letters which attempts to tackle these devastating natural phenomena by investigating the laws of friction at the smallest possible scale, the nanoscale.

View Article >
Doris Wagner Named Robert I. Williams Term Professor

A leader in the fields of plant biology, chromatin modification, and epigenetics, Wagner’s research focuses on understanding at the molecular level the complex changes that occur when an organism switches developmental programs.

View Article >
Wrongful Convictions Reported for 6 Percent of Crimes

A study from Penn criminologists results in the first general estimate for the prison population as a whole.

View Article >
Race Has a Place in Human Genetics Research, Philosopher Argues

Penn philosopher Quayshawn Spencer says there is a racial classification that’s medically useful to reliably sample human genetic diversity.

View Article >
Exploring the Sounds of the Middle Ages

Assistant Professor of Music Mary Channen Caldwell's freshman seminar course, “Hearing (in) the Middle Ages,” explores a range of sounds heard throughout the medieval period, whether produced by people, instruments, bells, or animals.

View Article >
Mia Bay Named Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History

Mia Bay, a well-recognized scholar of late modern American intellectual and cultural history with a focus on African-American history, joins Penn.

View Article >
Custer Awarded Dissertation Fellowship

Lee Ann Custer, a doctoral candidate in the History of Art Department, received a Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship.

View Article >
Two Penn Arts and Sciences researchers have been selected as 2018 Andrew Carnegie Fellows

Daniel Q. Gillion and Beth Simmons have been selected to receive the fellowship, allowing them to devote as long as two years to research and writing.

View Article >
Poli Sci Professor Studies Why Women Run (Or Don’t Run) for Office

In a survey study of women interested in running for office, the analysis highlights intriguing new insights.

View Article >
Korea Expert Discusses Looming U.S.-North Korea Summit

Eugene Park, director of the James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies, examines the forthcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

View Article >
The Power of Penn Arts & Sciences

On April 12, 2018, the Power of Penn Arts & Sciences fundraising campaign was announced by the Board of Overseers. Launched in conjunction with the University’s Power of Penn campaign, it aims to raise $550 million for the School of Arts and Sciences.

View Article >
2018 Penn Arts and Sciences Dean’s Scholars

Penn Arts and Sciences has named 20 students from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, and the Graduate Division as Dean’s Scholars. This honor is presented annually to students who exhibit exceptional academic performance and intellectual promise.

View Article >
Joseph Subotnik Named Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor

Joseph Subotnik, Professor of Chemistry, has been named Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Chemistry. A theoretical chemist who focuses on electronic processes in the condensed phase, Dr. Subotnik has made key contributions in electronic structure theory, chemical dynamics, and statistical mechanics.

View Article >
Two Penn Arts and Sciences Professors Named Guggenheim Fellows

Charles L. Bosk, Professor of Sociology, and Charles Yang, Professor of Linguistics and Computer Science, have been awarded 2018 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowships.

View Article >
Ahmad Family Endowment Supports Penn Global Seminars

Hyder Ahmad, W’90, and his family have made a generous gift to establish the Ahmad Family Endowment for Penn Global Seminars in Arts and Sciences.

View Article >
Abraham Nitzan Named Donner Professor of Physical Sciences

Abraham Nitzan, Professor of Chemistry, has been named Donner Professor of Physical Sciences. Nitzan’s research focuses on the interaction of light with molecular systems, chemical reactions in condensed phases and interfaces and charge transfer processes in such environments.

View Article >
2018 Teaching Award Recipients Announced

Steven J. Fluharty, Dean of Penn Arts and Sciences, and Paul Sniegowski, Stephen A. Levin Family Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, have announced the recipients of the 2018 awards for distinguished teaching in the School.

View Article >
College Graduation Speakers for 2018 Revealed

Angela Duckworth, G’03, GR’06, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology, will address the Class of 2018 at the graduation ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences on Sunday, May 13, 2018. She will be joined by student speaker Helena von Nagy, C’18.

View Article >
Individualized Care Will Become the Standard for Depression Patients

In a new paper for the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, researchers Robert DeRubeis, Samuel H. Preston Term Professor in the Social Sciences, and Zachary Cohen of Psychology, address precision medicine, also known as customized-care, in the context of treatment for depression.

View Article >
Restoring Vacant Lots Reduces Gun Violence and Crime

In cities across the U.S., about 15 percent of land is considered vacant or abandoned. These areas can foster criminal activity, and urban residents, especially those in low-income neighborhoods, often view vacant land as a threat to their health and safety.

View Article >
Robert DeRubeis: Samuel H. Preston Term Professor in the Social Sciences

Professor of Psychology Robert DeRubeis has been named the Samuel H.

View Article >