Campus & Community

A unique but exemplary academic year: 2020-21 in review

A challenging yet successful year—Penn’s exceptional community of dedicated students, faculty, and staff overcame the world’s most significant obstacles to flourish, from outreach locally through volunteerism, to helping the world globally with mRNA technology. The 2021 academic year highlighted the best of Penn.

Tina Rodia

Counselors at Student Financial Services help find success, not stress

As grant-based aid packages—bolstered by named scholarships—have helped Penn welcome more students who come from lower-income households, Student Financial Services (SFS) has ramped up its ability to assist their academic journeys, especially during the pandemic when students needed more support than ever. That includes having two counselors—Silvia Hanks and Jodi Wagner—who specialize in serving highly aided students at Penn.

Penn Today Staff

In the News

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

$90 million HBCU partnership aims to increase diversity in high finance

The Wharton School will create a virtual institute for HBCU students interested in the alternative-investment industry.


The Washington Post

The ideas of the first Black economics Ph.D. offer solutions to our problems today

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, the first African American with a doctoral degree in economics, advocated for economic justice after graduating from Penn in 1921.


Philadelphia Inquirer

Alanna Shanahan is returning to Penn as athletic director

Alumna Alanna Shanahan has been appointed Penn’s athletic director. “I think one of the first pieces is just really helping the community get back on track in light of COVID,” she said.


The New York Times

14 excerpts from commencement speeches without the word C*VID

Alumna Laurene Powell Jobs’ commencement speech was excerpted. “We have to be prepared to walk through the door when it opens, or, by our own power and purpose, to open it ourselves,” she said.



Dr. Antonia Villarruel, advancing the top nursing school in the world

Antonia Villarruel was profiled for her emphasis on diversity and inclusion in her tenure as dean of the School of Nursing. “If we are advocates for our patients and for our communities, we have to demonstrate that same level of commitment by making sure that our education is open to diverse students and practitioners,” she said.