When the Penn Futures Project (PFP) began, the deans of Penn's Graduate School of Education, School of Nursing, and School of Social Policy and Practice wanted to work together to collaboratively address pressing social issues that affect Philadelphia’s most vulnerable young people and their families.
Almost three years later, projects involving students and faculty from all three schools are changing how the city of Philadelphia uses big data to deliver social services, forging ground-breaking partnerships between teachers, counselors, social workers, and nurses at a high school in the Kensington neighborhood, and developing better ways to serve LGBTQ students.
The PFP now includes five projects. PFP’s three Calvin Bland Fellows are also developing new initiatives that will promote social justice. As the PFP grows, the deans felt it needed new leadership to manage the efforts more closely. At the PFP’s February 12 progress update, the deans announced Penn GSE's Vivian Gadsden and Penn Nursing's Terri Lipman as PFP's new standing faculty leaders.
“We all know deans can only take things so far,” GSE Dean Pam Grossman said. “It takes the faculty stepping in and providing some of that intellectual leadership to take it to the next level.”
Gadsden, the William T. Carter Professor of Child Development and Education at GSE, directs the National Center on Fathers and Families. Lipman is the Miriam Stirl Endowed Term Professor of Nutrition, a professor of nursing of children, and assistant dean for community engagement at Penn Nursing.