The University of Pennsylvania has established the Department of Africana Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences.
The new department will be devoted to the study of the historical and contemporary experiences of Africans and peoples of the African Diaspora. The initial roster of 11 standing faculty are all current SAS professors who will now hold joint primary appointments with their original home departments. Additional faculty, from across SAS and from several other Penn schools, are expected to assume secondary appointments. The department will administer the Africana Studies undergraduate major and minor, Ph.D. and graduate certificate that were previously offered through Penn’s Center for Africana Studies.
“Penn has a deep and eminent tradition of research and teaching excellence in Africana Studies,” said Rebecca W. Bushnell, dean of SAS. “This new department will allow us to showcase and build on that great work. The faculty’s global, cross-regional approach to Africana Studies, one that draws on disciplines across Penn, will make the department distinctive in this important field.”
The department has its roots in what was originally known as the Afro-American Studies Program, established in 1972, although distinguished scholarship in this field has been done at Penn since the late 19th century when W.E. B. Du Bois wrote “The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study,” the first scientific sociological study of race. In February, Penn awarded Du Bois a posthumous professorship in sociology and Africana Studies.
In its inaugural year, the department will be chaired by Camille Z. Charles, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor in the Social Sciences. The department will be housed in 3401A Walnut St., adjacent to the Center for Africana Studies.
The University of Pennsylvania is now accepting applications for its Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.
The program will award postdoctoral fellowships to scholars and educators from different backgrounds, races and ethnic groups and from other diverse groups whose life experience, research experience and employment background will contribute to Penn’s academic excellence. The deadline for applications is Aug. 1.
Selected postdoctoral fellows will receive three years of funding and medical benefits, travel, relocation and research allowances as well as scholarly mentorship and research training.
The fellowship is open to all areas of study at the University. During the past two years, 10 postdoctoral fellows have been accepted. They are now studying at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Graduate School of Education, School of Social Policy and Practice and School of Nursing.
Graduate students who will complete their Ph.D.s by the program’s start date or who have completed a Ph.D. within the past three years are eligible. Those currently participating in postdoctoral programs at institutions other than Penn may also apply. Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
To apply, each candidate must submit an application form, plus a current curriculum vitae with publication history, a personal statement that outlines the applicant’s research interests and experiences and three letters of recommendation.
The Annual Report is helpful in understanding how Public Safety works closely with city, state and federal agencies; its partnership with Allied Barton, ADT Advanced Integration, the University City District and other schools in the area; and its role in the community.
It outlines the Penn Patrol Zone, which extends from 30th Street to 43rd Street and from Market Street to Baltimore Avenue. The report also explains the Division’s training and diversity policies, lists personnel demographics and showcases its community outreach efforts as well as its sustainability practices.
The report highlights the Share-the-Road Campaign, Campus Fire Safety & Emergency Preparedness Day, DPS’s free self-defense courses, emergency and safety drills, open houses, new technological developments and the many additional services Public Safety provides, including walking escorts, vehicle lock-out assists and “jump starts.”
Students gathered Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania’s Houston Hall of Flags on 34th and Spruce streets in West Philadelphia to attend a special session of the Wharton School of Business where they were assigned the task of designing commercial products.
Housekeeping robots that operate by voice command and electric book bags, which dispense items electronically, were among the creations conceived by the students.
Only these were no ordinary college students, these were the students of Henry C. Lea Elementary school in West Philadelphia attending College Day hosted by University of Pennsylvania students and faculty.
During the day long event, students were treated to a tour of the university, participated in a panel discussion where they had an opportunity to engage with Penn students about life at the college and attended a Marketing 100 class designed to simulate an actual classroom experience.
“Today is a very special day called College Day and here’s where we try to encourage middle schoolers to think about college life and to see higher education in their future,” said Glenn Bryan, the school’s assistant vice-president. “We are also working with parents to try to make sure that they support their children’s aspirations.”
College Day gave the students and their parents an intimate look at college life.
Alex Amaniel is a senior at the university and lead organizer of College Day.
“The big goal is to get kids excited about the possibility of going to college and the other goal is to get them to internalize the idea of going to college,” he said.
Amaniel said some youth might see attending a prestigious university like Penn as a pipe dream until they are given a chance to attend the college themselves.
“Being on the campus, being a part of the campus for a day, talking to other college students, seeing what it is all about, helps you internalize it,” he said.
Amaniel, who hails from a single parent household, said watching his mother struggle to do the best to provide for her children has inspired him to reach back and help others.
“I came from a low-income background and am here on full financial aid,” he said. “It gave me the desire to see a better outcome for a lot of the students in this area who came from similar backgrounds.”
More than thirty students participated in College Day and those interviewed expressed enthusiasm about the event.
Dominic Bright said College Day helped him to think about what college really felt like.
“It changed my view of coming here,” Bright said. “I learned what to do to get there and now I know what I want to be.”
At the seven University of Pennsylvania polling places where many Penn students voted in last Tuesday’s presidential election, the clear winner was President Obama.
The margin was 2,844 votes, or 79 percent, for Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and 746 votes, or 21 percent, for Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.
The breakdown by location:
Penn Center for Rehabilitation and Care, residents of Kings Court English College House, Sansom Place East and Sansom Place West: 592 for Obama-Biden, 182 for Romney-Ryan.
Vance Hall, residents of Rodin and DuBois College houses: 337 for Obama-Biden, 87 for Romney-Ryan.
Hill College House, residents of Hill: 348 for Obama-Biden, 100 for Romney-Ryan.
Harrison College House, residents of Harrison and Gregory College houses: 333 for Obama-Biden, 57 for Romney-Ryan.
Harnwell College House, residents of Harnwell and of Mayer Hall in Stouffer College House: 271 for Obama-Biden, 54 for Romney-Ryan.
Houston Hall Reading Room, residents of the Quad and of Stouffer Hall in Stouffer College House: 718 for Obama-Biden, 231 for Romney-Ryan.
Civic House, residents of the Woodland Terrace neighborhood: 245 for Obama-Biden, 35 for Romney-Ryan.