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SAS Partnerships

Alumni Role Models

Differentiate yourself. Take a risk. Be persistent. Alumni at a recent careers panel gave College students this advice for pursuing careers in finance. Each year, the College and Penn Career Services host such an event to enable students to learn from liberal arts graduates with successful careers in the financial services industry. The program, which began in 2001, was the idea of Jeff Solomon, C’88. Solomon, a partner at Ramius Capital Group, says he hopes to demystify the job-seeking process. “There’s so much pressure to get the perfect first job,” he says. “That’s just not the case. I tell students they don’t have to have all the answers. They just need to work hard. That’s what will set them apart.” And the students seem to be getting his message. One young alumnus wrote to Solomon after a previous panel. He said Solomon inspired him to apply for a job at a hedge fund, something he had dreamed of but was not sure he was qualified to do. He tried anyway and got the job.

This year’s panel featured Jerry Cudzil, C’97, vice president at Goldman Sachs & Co.; Rafael Rosato, C’88, manager at DeLage Landen Financial Services; and Sapna Choksi Shah, C’93, W’93, director of strategic planning at Linens ’n Things, and was moderated by Solomon. Other participants have included Jude Driscoll, C’86, president and CEO, Delaware Investments; Gerry Scott McClure, C’86, director, BV-Cornerstone Ventures, LP; Gordon Paris, C’75, WG’77, acting chief executive, Hollinger International; Jonathan Rosenstein, C’86, senior managing director, Triology Capital; George Walker, C’91, W’91, WG’92, managing director, Goldman Sachs & Co.; and Adam Wegner, C’87, vice president and general counsel, Starpoint Health, Inc.

The program has been so successful it will be expanded to other fields. College dean Rebecca Bushnell says, “It’s important for our students to know there are many possible career paths and to understand how their College education can prepare them. Conversations with alumni help them do that.” Donna Reff Shelley, C’82, will moderate a panel on non-medical careers for science majors this fall. Shelley is an assistant professor of clinical sociomedical sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Scholarship Challenge

Thanks to the generosity of Warren Lichtenstein, C’87, and two anonymous College alumni, $615,000 in challenge funding is available to help establish 19 new scholarships for College students. These gifts will provide a 50 percent match for gifts of $67,000 from other donors, bringing the total contribution for each gift to $100,000, the minimum needed to endow a scholarship. Each fund will provide partial support for one student’s four-year education in perpetuity.

Such partnerships among donors have been a tradition in the College for several years. University trustee and SAS overseer Paul Kelly, C’62, WG’64, was the first to establish a match for College scholarships in 1997. He was followed by trustee and overseer Mitchell Blutt, C’78, M’82, WG’87, in 1999 and overseer Christopher
Carrera, C’88, in 2002.

These funds are especially important now, when more than 60 percent of all College students need some form of financial support. Scholarship gifts ensure that a Penn education is affordable for all qualified students, regardless of their financial ability. Donors may designate their scholarships for students from particular majors, from certain geographic regions, or with specific academic criteria. Anyone interested in meeting this challenge can contact Jean-Marie Kneeley at 215.898.5262 or

CASI Celebration

The School’s increasingly global nature has been reinforced by the completion of a major fund-raising campaign for the Center for the Advanced Study of India. CASI is the first U.S. academic organization dedicated to the study of contemporary India. An international group of supporters raised $2 million to endow the center and establish the Madan Lal Sobti Chair for the Study of Contemporary India. Founding director Francine Frankel, a political science professor, is the inaugural holder. The chair is named for the father of Rajiv Sobti, Gr’84, and Sanjiv Sobti, WG’85, Gr’86, who were major supporters.

Sreedhar Menon, retired deputy president of American Express Limited and a member of CASI’s International Advisory Board, was instrumental in the campaign’s success. Other key volunteers and supporters included Raman Kapur, Par’07, president, Worldwide Generics, Schering-Plough Corporation; Sunil Mittal, chairman and group managing director, Bharti Telecom Limited; Dalip Pathak, WG’78, managing director, Warburg Pincus International LLC; and Peter Geithner, consultant and former director, Asia Programs, Ford Foundation. CASI honored its contributors in March at a reception at the Penn Club of New York.

The $2 million from these supporters was matched by an unprecedented
$1 million from SAS. Dean Sam Preston said, “Our commitment to CASI reflects our awareness of the centrality of India to the international community. It is already one of the most important countries in the world, and its prominence will only grow. CASI’s initiatives—linking academics, policymakers, and professionals—are fostering a better understanding of India and its importance at Penn and beyond.”

Gift Gets Cinema Studies off the Gound

A gift from parent Jeff Berg is helping to build SAS’s new program in cinema studies. (For more about the Cinema Studies Program, see story on p. 10). Berg, the father of a College sophomore, is chairman and CEO of International Creative Management, one of the world’s largest talent and literary agencies. His $100,000 gift will help develop the program’s video and DVD collection. Until now, Berg has been a strong advocate for Berkeley, his alma mater. Since his daughter’s enrollment in the College, however, he’s become involved here, serving on the Parents Leadership Committee. He also visited campus last spring as a guest speaker in a College film course and gave a public lecture on the effects of media and entertainment on popular culture, a version of a talk he gives annually at the London School of Economics. The fact that he made the gift despite his involvment at Berkeley “makes a statement” about his commitment to Penn and the cinema studies initiative, says Berg. “I think Penn has an opportunity to plant a flag with this program—to create something unique and valuable among existing film studies programs—and I’m pleased to help in the process of doing so.”

Collaboration by College and Library

The College and Van Pelt Library have announced an innovative project to unite in one location their services that help students become better learners and faculty become better teachers. The new Collaboratory, which will be located on the first floor of the library, will align the academic strengths of the College with the multimedia resources and research expertise of the library to benefit the entire Penn community.

It will provide a central place for students and faculty to experiment with research, learning, and teaching techniques; discover new ways of presenting their findings; share ideas; and be inspired by one another. Group workstations and meeting rooms will further enhance this atmosphere of collaboration and discovery. The Collaboratory also will house computer laboratories offering instruction, as well as assistance in conducting online research, accessing and analyzing data, and creating multimedia projects.

The Collaboratory will offer a convenient site for undergraduates to take advantage of a range of academic services, including learning support, writing help, research assistance, and seminars on useful topics such as time-management and public-speaking skills. It also will help faculty become even better teachers by offering seminars on pedagogy, technology training, and videotaping sessions. In addition, experienced research librarians will be available to assist both faculty and student researchers in all stages of their projects, from conceptualization through presentation.

“The Collaboratory has the potential to make a real difference in the way faculty teach and students learn,” says Rebecca Bushnell, dean of the College. “It’s really about learning from each other. There’s so much potential in both the library and the College, so much knowledge and expertise. Once we bring all these wonderful people together, just think of the possibilities.”

The opening of this groundbreaking project is scheduled for 2006. The SAS board of overseers has already made a generous contribution to the Collaboratory in honor of former College dean Rick Beeman. But making it a reality requires additional funding for renovation of the library space, the creation of a digital media lab, and the creation of flexible study areas as well as a permanent operating endowment. If you are interested in supporting this project, contact Jean-Marie Kneeley at 215.898.5262 or

Copyright ©2004 University of Pennsylvania
School of Arts and Sciences
Updated September 1, 2004