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May | Jun 2021
Volume 119, No. 5


Fighting Poverty with Cash

Several decades since the last big income experiment was conducted in the US, School of Social Policy & Practice assistant professor Amy Castro Baker has helped deliver promising data out of Stockton, California, about the effects of giving people no-strings-attached money every month. Now boosted by a new research center at Penn that she’ll colead, more cities are jumping on board to see if guaranteed income can lift their residents out of poverty. Will it work? And will policymakers listen? By Dave Zeitlin

The Vaccine Trenches

Key breakthroughs leading to the powerful mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 were forged at Penn. That triumph was almost 50 years in the making, longer on obstacles than celebration, and the COVID-19 vaccines may only be the beginning of its impact on 21st-century medicine. By Matthew De George

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Virtual healthcare by smartphone or computer helps physicians consult with and diagnose patients much more quickly, while offering them convenience and flexibility. The potential to save lives and improve efficiencies is tremendous. But can uncertain regulations and reimbursements, equity and access disparities, and shaky internet connections be surmounted? By JoAnn Greco

Writing Lives

Middle school memories. Meditations on motherhood. A prismatic accounting of the self. A long life well and furiously lived: on new memoirs by Jordan Sonnenblick C’91, Courtney Zoffness C’00, Beth Kephart C’82, and Nick Lyons W’53.


From the Editor | Saving lives, and seeing them.

From College Hall | A new generation’s “rendezvous with destiny.”

Letters | Historical arguments, and more.


Notes From the Undergrad | Home is where?

Alumni Voices | Pandemic connections that will last.

Elsewhere | “We’d entered without a map.”

Expert Opinion | The roots of vaccine hesitancy among Blacks.


Campus | In-person Commencement, fall reopening, views to remember.

Education Costs | Tuition and financial aid for 2021–22 announced.

Finance | Student-run credit union provides pandemic help and more.

Heard on Campus | PEGOT John Legend C’99.

Animal Health | Penn Vet takes care on the road with mobile unit.

Medicine | Orphan Disease Center looks to a new era of advances.

Environmental Justice | Water Center focuses on equity.

Leadership | Bowdoin’s Whitney Soule to head admissions.

Community Health | Lipman Family Prize goes to EarthEnable.

Sports | Local games allowed; AD Grace Calhoun headed to Brown.



Painting | Smithsonian exhibit “remember[s] the ladies.”

Architecture | Brick and mortar marketing in Building Brands.

Book Review | Two views on how to make good.

Briefly Noted


Gabrielle Glore W’91’s passion made Sylvie’s Love happen.

Amna Nawaz C’01 is a correspondent and anchor at PBS NewsHour.

Henry “Hank” Gutman C’72 has less than a year to help fix NYC’s DOT.




Old Penn | Marking 100 years since a Sadie Alexander first.

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