COVID communications and first generation students

Marcus Wright, undergraduate program manager and academic coordinator in the Department of Sociology and doctoral student at the Graduate School of Education, analyzes academic messaging to expose blind spots.


Alice Paul’s mysterious manuscript

Heather J. Sharkey and three students transcribed a hand-written manuscript of the doctoral dissertation by Alice Paul, who earned her Ph.D. from Penn in 1912. As part of a virtual symposium, they joined John Pollack of the Libraries to discuss their efforts.

Louisa Shepard

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In the News


Is there really a truck drive shortage?

Steve Viscelli of the School of Arts & Sciences spoke about the tough working conditions faced by long-haul truckers. "We have millions of people who have been trained to be heavy duty truck drivers who are currently not working as heavy duty truck drivers because the entry-level jobs are terrible," he said.


Scientific American

What monkeys can teach humans about resilience after disaster

PIK Professor Michael Platt and Camille Testard, a Ph.D. student in the Perelman School of Medicine, spoke about their research on how rhesus macaques in Puerto Rico adapted in the wake of Hurricane Maria. “We see this massive surge in the time they spend in proximity to other partners, and their social tolerance increasing toward many different partners,” said Testard. “We saw active building of relationships with individuals that they didn’t really interact with before.”


Philadelphia Inquirer

What will sex, dating, and marriage look like on the other side of the pandemic?

Frank Furstenburg of the School of Arts & Sciences spoke about the pandemic’s impact on families and relationships. “I would be very surprised if we don’t see a sharp drop in fertility, and similarly a considerable decrease in cohabitation because the ability to experiment and form relationships has been severely curtailed,” he said.


Associated Press

US births fall, and virus could drive them down more

Hans-Peter Kohler of the School of Arts & Sciences commented on the possibility of a further decline in birth rates due to the coronavirus. The question isn’t whether or not there will be decline, but rather if the decline will be lasting, he said.


Philadelphia Inquirer

Wisconsin judge’s ‘regular folks’ remark shows how pandemic exposes classism

Annette Lareau of the School of Arts & Sciences spoke about the lack of contact between Americans from upper and lower classes. “There are few spaces where people of different classes encounter each other,” she said. “IKEA, the zoo, July Fourth parades. But increasingly, people stay within their own worlds. That helps them treat others with contempt and shame.”


The New York Times

Trump hasn’t given up on divide and conquer

Daniel Hopkins of the School of Arts & Sciences and alumna Samantha Washington were cited for their research about changes in white Americans’ views on race during the last few years.