Actor Kalpen Modi-more fondly known as Kal Penn - conquered Hollywood after his hit movie Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. But, with students raving about his Asian American Studies class as the semester ends, it seems Modi has conquered something perhaps more significant than teenage humor: the field of academia.
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After 33 years away from Penn's campus, 1975 Law School alumnus Jeffrey Cooper will return on July 1 to take over as the new Vice President for Government and Community Affairs.
While many Penn students juggle academics, extracurricular activities and a social life, there is still one thing left for many to learn to balance - a checkbook.
Art History professor Michael Leja and Annenberg visiting scholar Don Mitchell were recently awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation.
Many students across the country may scramble to get funding for the next academic year, but for now Penn administrators say students should not be worried.
With only weeks left until the end of the academic year, JPMorgan Chase, the investment firm that acquired Bear Stearns last month, has started rescinding offers made last fall for summer internships and full-time positions.
The University was awarded its highest credit rating ever by credit rating agency Standard and Poor's last month.
Pamela Anderson, Playboy and Maxim, look out.
The typical "American-dream" family - complete with pet, SUV and soccer-mom - has in recent decades given way to an increasing number of divorced and single-parent families. As a result, colleges like Penn may have to rethink traditional formulas in financial aid and admissions.
Tuition and fees are set to increase by 4.5 percent next year - the smallest annual increase Penn has seen in the last seven years - bringing the price of an undergraduate academic year to $37,526.
As lucky students across campus are finalizing their summer internship plans, seven undergraduates who thought they were done may not be so lucky.
Schools across the country might be under fire due to unethical agreements with credit-card companies, but it looks like Penn is in the clear.
Although Penn raised more money than ever before last year, a recent report reflects that its fundraising has fallen slightly behind compared to its peers.
Engineering freshman Dara Elass wears long sleeves, pants and a burkha, a head scarf traditionally worn by Muslim women, every time she pays a visit to Pottruck. She follows traditional Islamic law, which requires that women cover up in the presence of men - even at the gym.
If a recession is on the horizon for the economy, Penn officials and finance experts say the University should not be too worried.
When it comes to senior-level administrations across the nation and at Penn, women may have broken the glass ceiling, but minorities may still have a few punches to go.
Need-blind admissions for international students? Not yet for Penn. With Dartmouth College's announcement last month that they would extend need-blind admissions to international students, Penn now stands in the minority of Ivy League schools without such a financial-aid commitment. Cornell and Columbia Universities are the only other Ivies that have not made the financial leap. Although Penn is currently need-blind for all North Americans, including Canadians and Mexicans, there is no word yet on when it will extend this policy to all international student applicants. "Obviously the University wants to increase the number of aided international students," financial-aid director Bill Schilling said. "We are moving in that direction gradually." According to Schilling, extending need-blind admissions to international applicants would have "significant financial implications." With the recent expansion to its domestic financial-aid program, Penn cannot afford to take this costly step just yet. "We have to wait for the dust to settle in terms of cost and resources available before we do anything else really significant," he said. Currently the admissions office turns down non-citizens due to financial need requests whom they would otherwise normally admit. Although it hasn't turned need-blind yet, Penn officials continually stress the importance of attracting a diverse international student body. "Penn has a very strong commitment to international students," Associate Dean for Transfer and International Admissions Elisabeth O'Connell said. As part of its international development, the University recruited its first group of Penn World Scholars. The international scholarship program - which currently includes only eight students - offers financial aid to international students from developing countries. These accomplished and academically distinguished youth leaders in their respective countries come from Ecuador, South Africa, Palestine, Latvia, Pakistan, Bolivia, Bulgaria and Brazil. Penn World Scholar and College freshman Ignacio Crespo said that he had a 'pretty good' financial-aid package as a member of the program. "There's not a lot of financial aid for international students [in the United States]," he said. "[Penn World Scholars] helps students from emerging countries to have a good education." Rob Nelson, associate director of the Provost's office, helps manage the program. He said that it will eventually expand each year, but it will remain smaller for the moment to form a "core of student leaders." While Nelson said the program was "running out of our back pocket right now," program directors intend to provide it with more concrete infrastructure in the coming years. "[World scholars] are supposed to be the students who are going to build bridges between international and domestic students," Crespo said. "The University seems focused on working on international development."
Need-blind admissions for international students? Not yet for Penn.
"Making History" is making strides.
Last week, Judith Hodara, the Senior Associate Director of MBA Admissions at Wharton, and her outside consulting stints raised a few eyebrows - within the Penn administration and the wider admissions community.