Penn Study: Arts Improve Well-Being in Poorer Neighborhoods

A new study from Penn’s Social Impact of the Arts project found that cultural resources in lower-income neighborhoods are “significantly” linked to better schooling, health, and security.

“Going to a museum won’t cause you to lose weight or reduce your chances of being mugged, but communities with cultural resources do better,” Mark Stern, lead researcher of the project and professor of social welfare and history, said in a statement. “Our research clearly demonstrated that sections of the City are doing well on a number of dimensions of well-being, in spite of significant economic challenges.” Read more »

Penn Prof’s Study: Sleepy Teens More Likely to Become Criminals

Teenagers who are drowsy during the day are more likely to have a criminal record later in life, according to a new study from a Penn professor.

Adrian Raine, a professor of criminology, psychiatry, and psychology, writes in a new paper that teens who were frequently drowsy were 4.5 times as likely to have a criminal record by age 29.

“The simple finding is that kids who are drowsy during the day are more anti-social,” he tells Penn’s website. “What’s more interesting, however, is if we follow these kids for nine years, we find that sleepy teenagers are more likely to have a criminal record.”

The study began with a question Raine asked while doing his dissertation work under Peter Venables, a co-author on the paper. Back then, Raine studied the sleep habits of 101 15-year-old boys in England. Nine years later, he searched a criminal records database for the names of those 101 boys. Read more »

Study: Penn Ranks Fifth Worldwide for Producing “Unicorn” Founders

Photo: iStock/f11photo

Photo: iStock/f11photo

While it may be overrated to judge a startup by its valuation, the idea of the unicorn—a company valued in the billions—persists.

And a recent study, by the UK software company Sage, sourced on information from TechCrunch and Crunchbase, ranked the world’s universities according to the number of unicorn founders they produced. The study found that the University of Pennsylvania ranks fifth globally for producing what they’re calling “unicorn founders.”

So who’s on the list? Read more »

It’s Official: Joe Biden Is a Penn Professor

Vice President Joe Biden, pictured with Penn's Dr. Amy Gutmann, launches a "moonshot" initiative to hasten a cure for cancer at Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia on January 15th, 2016.

Vice President Joe Biden, pictured with Penn’s Amy Gutmann, launches a “moonshot” initiative to hasten a cure for cancer at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia on January 15th, 2016.

Joe Biden is now a Penn professor.

Penn officially announced on Tuesday what had been reported and rumored and talked about on an open mic by Biden himself: that the former vice president would join the faculty as the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor and lead the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, which will be located in Washington, D.C., and have an office on Penn’s campus.

“At Penn, I look forward to building on the work that has been a central pillar of my career in public office: promoting and protecting the post-WWII international order that keeps the United States safe and strong,” Biden said in a release. “The Penn Biden Center and I will be engaging with Penn’s wonderful students while partnering with its eminent faculty and global centers to convene world leaders, develop and advance smart policy, and impact the national debate about how America can continue to lead in the 21st Century.” Read more »

Amy Gutmann Is Brilliant, Boring, Inclusive, Safe, Distant, Warm, and Able to Stand on Her Head.

Photograph by Justin James Muir

Photograph by Justin James Muir

One afternoon in early December, Amy Gutmann, dressed in a puffy blue coat, exits her office and traverses Locust Walk to her next appointment, a quarter mile away. It’s a five-minute jaunt for an able-bodied adult who isn’t the president of the University of Pennsylvania. Alas, that rules out Gutmann, who is approached by students wherever she goes. They encircle her like puppies swarming their owner. One student strikes up a conversation about food insecurity on campus. Another asks for a hug. Someone promotes a dance show. “I can’t make it, but good luck,” Gutmann replies cheerfully. A bespectacled pupil named Katrina, short of breath, doesn’t even know what to say.

“I’m just amazed that I see you in person, that’s all,” says Katrina, who sounds like she’s speaking to Hamlet’s apparition. “People always joke: Amy Gutmann, a sighting is like Where’s Waldo?” Read more »

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