Actor Kal Penn to Teach at the University of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA - Kal Penn, star of the new film "The Namesake" and known for his role as Kumar in the movie "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle," will be a guest instructor at the University of Pennsylvania.  He will teach two undergraduate courses in the spring semester of 2008 tentatively titled "Images of Asian Americans in the Media" and "Contemporary American Teen Films."

"The Asian American Studies Program is delighted that Kalpen Modi, a.k.a. Kal Penn, chose our program to host his teaching engagement at Penn," Grace Kao, director of the Asian American Studies Program at Penn, said.  "Mr. Modi is one of the leading Asian American actors of his generation and is particularly aware of how his racial and ethnic identification has affected his professional experiences."

According to Kao, the courses will be offered by Asian American Studies, and be cross-listed by Cinema Studies.  Both programs are in Penn's School of Arts and Sciences.   

Kal Penn's numerous television and film credits include the television series "24" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and films "Epic Movie," "Van Wilder," and "Van Wilder: The Return of Taj."  

He currently stars as Gogol Ganguli in "The Namesake" and has just completed shooting on the tentatively titled "Harold and Kumar 2."  A native of Montclair, N.J., Penn received his B.A. in sociology with a specialization in theater, film and television from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is currently working on a graduate certificate in international security at Stanford University.