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Volume 112, No. 1


Penn at Pixar

Alumni have been working at the icon of computer animation since long before Toy Story—when the company wasn’t even called Pixar yet—and a steady stream of Digital Media Design graduates are continuing to help create new hits like the Academy Award-winning Brave and this summer’s Monsters University. By Molly Petrilla

Being There

As director of the Penn Program for Mindfulness, Michael Baime M’81 has helped hundreds of healthcare professionals acquire the skills to improve their interactions with patients, increase their job satisfaction, and reduce stress in their personal lives. “You just have to be there,” he says, “aware of what is already happening.”
By Kathryn Levy Feldman

Shell’s Odyssey

Wharton professor Richard Shell’s unorthodox new book on success draws on his own wandering path to an academic career—which included jobs house-painting and fundraising in DC, a nasty bout of hepatitis in a Kabul flophouse, and a flirtation with monastic life in Korea—and celebrates the power of uncertainty. By Dave Zeitlin

Civic Hacker

Josh Tauberer Gr’11 believed the government should just give him the data he needed to create GovTrack, his website to help people follow the progress of Congressional legislation. When the powers-that-be said No, he went out and got it anyway.
By Alyson Krueger

The Work of a Generation

Once hailed as a “landmark” achievement, alumnus and Penn English professor Robert Spiller’s Literary History of the United States now feels not just dated but fundamentally misguided. What happened?
By Dennis Drabelle


From the Editor
From College Hall

First Person: Essays
Notes from the Undergrad Hell of a town
Alumni Voices
All choked up
Secrets of life
Expert Opinion Writing toward truth

Gazetteer: News & Sports
Brendan O’Leary on Syria’s civil war and the region’s future
Canada claims Franklin, too (on commemorative postage stamp)
Man-of-many-media Tukufu Zuberi curates a pair of museum exhibits
LEGO’s lessons for innovators
Anthea Butler’s battles in the blogosphere and twitterverse
New book aims to “pressure-test” social entrepreneurs’ good intentions
National Medal of Arts for Laurie Olin
Football’s strong senior class; field hockey’s new field of dreams

ART Greg Dunn Gr’11’s paintings show the brain’s beauty
MUSIC Harry Mendell EE’76 GEE’76 invented digital sampling
BOOKS Bad business. The Billionaire’s Apprentice and The Firm
BOOKS Not another polemic. Adoption: A Brief Social and Cultural History
MUSIC Father and son, and Mask and Wig. The Gypsy in My Soul

Alumni: Profiles
Isabel Lizardi C’05 “plays” with paint and light at Bare Conductive
Matt Simon C’02 supports his Ping-Pong career by being a doctor
Page Talbott G’76 Gr’80 is remodeling Franklin, and his museum
Farah Jimenez C’90 serves the homeless at the People’s Emergency Center

: Events
: Notes
: Obituaries

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