After 34 years at Penn, Myrna Cohen, the Executive Director of the Weingarten Learning Resources Center, will retire from the University at the end of this semester, the Vice Provost for University Life announced Dec. 3.
Cohen, who received her Ph.D. from Penn in 1992, has led Weingarten since it was created in 2004 and oversaw learning resources at Penn for the three years prior. She first came to Penn in 1984 after working at Rutgers University-Camden supervising student teachers, according to the VPUL press release.
At Penn, Cohen is also on the senior staff in the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of education in the Graduate School of Education, where she teaches postsecondary academic literacy.
Weingarten now houses the Office of Student Disabilities Services and the Office of Learning Resources. Students look to Weingarten for professional assistance in academic areas like reading and writing, time management help, and study strategies. Weingarten also manages accommodations and support for students with documented disabilities.
Cohen helped students launch the initiative that aimed to overcome the "Penn face," which refers to the veil students employ to disguise any feelings of distress or struggle in the highly competitive academic environment of Penn.
Under her watch, Weingarten has hosted several workshops and facilitated study groups for first-generation, low-income students. The Center also launched the "Resilience Consortium" for students, faculty, and professionals from Ivy+ institutions to promote academic resilience. On Nov. 19 and 20 this year, the group held its inaugural international symposium at Penn.
"My best moments were working individually with students, collaborating with campus partners, and making it all come together at the Weingarten Center," Cohen wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian. She also wrote there that her replacement has not yet been appointed.
She earned a master's of education in the psychology of reading from Temple University and her bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University.