Category Archives: Success Stories

Interview with Dr. Charlene Wong

Researchers (from left) Mike Kaiser, Charlene Wong and Cjloe Vinoya
Researchers (from left) Mike Kaiser, Charlene Wong and Cjloe Vinoya (Photo by Emma Lee/WHYY) Link to WHYY NewsWorks story below.

Charlene Wong is a pediatrician in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program here at Penn.  I spoke with her about her recent study on how young adults use Healthcare.Gov to choose health insurance, and also about the ways in which the WIC was able to support her team in that process.

Q: Hi Charlene.  Tell me about the study you did.

CW: We did a study looking at how young adults are able to navigate and make decisions about the health insurance plans on HealthCare.gov. We were really excited because from the study we were able to make 6 recommendations about how to change and improve HealthCare.gov to better support people in making informed, smart decisions about health insurance.
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Summer in Weigle

linkedin photoThis guest post by Amanda Gisonni, a junior in the College studying Psychology, describes her experiences over the summer using various resources in the Weigle Information Commons to improve her technology skills.

If you have ever been in the Weigle Information Commons before, you know it is a great place to work with a group. There are booths, study rooms and free-standing tables, plus talking is always welcome. But did you know it is a technology hub, too? It’s a place where you can get access to the latest gadgets, use top-notch software programs, and take hands-on workshops. Ultimately, you can learn how to use a new program like Excel, Photoshop, iMovie and more, which is exactly what I did this summer.

At the start of the summer I barely knew how to use Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator or WordPress. Now I can navigate my way through all three Adobe programs, and I even created my own WordPress website. How did I accomplish this? I spent time in Weigle. I took some WICshops, watched Lynda.com tutorials, and experimented with my own projects in some of the software programs.

This is the front and back of a business card I created with Adobe InDesign in the "Making Business Cards with Adobe InDesign" WICshop.
This is the front and back of a business card I created with Adobe InDesign in the “Making Business Cards with Adobe InDesign” WICshop in July.

Weigle is a great resource for students, but it’s disappointing that not everyone takes advantage of it. Students often get bogged down with school work and claim they simply do not have time. I disagree. I think if students knew how to use the resources available at Penn, they would.

Here is a simple guide to get you started:

  • Sign up for a WICshop (aka a Weigle Information Commons workshop). Check them out this September! Try WordPress Basics, Photoshop Layers, Making mini iMovies, and Crafting a better resume with InDesign and more!
  • Spend some time in a booth or group study room using the software programs on all of the computers. Experiment with InDesign, Photoshop, Excel and more. Reserve a spot here!
  • Don’t have the time to take a WICshop? Reserve a time slot on Lynda.com and learn at your own pace and on your own time! Check out all the videos that Lynda has to offer on the Lynda.com website.
  • Lastly, if you have any questions, just walk in! The Weigle Information Commons staff are friendly and eager to help you out! For those who do not know, Weigle is located in Van Pelt Library on the first floor. Enter through the turnstiles and take a left after the elevators, and then continue straight and you are there!

Check out Amanda’s website at www.amandagisonni.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter @amandagisonni

Learning how to teach (Excel)

ImageThis guest post comes to us from Nicolette Tan, a junior in the College studying political science. She wrote this reflection essay during her participation in MGMT 353 Wharton Field Challenge in fall 2013. WIC staff assisted students in the seminar taught by Arjun Bhaskar and Samaira Sirajee with guidance from Professor Keith Weigelt in learning how to present Excel skills to small business owners in Philadelphia.

It’s one thing to know how to use Excel yourself; it’s another to be able to teach it.  Today’s workshop definitely showed me that teaching is hard, and even more so when you’ve only met these people for the first time. The class got off on a high note, when Grace asked the class to “Raise your hand if you’re excited about learning Excel!” and people cheered and raised their hands enthusiastically. One thing that strikes me every time is the positivity that the students bring to the class, and how eager they are to improve themselves – regardless of age or background, and I have so much respect for that. Continue reading

Learning Space Design

Last week, I had the rare opportunity to facilitate a webinar on learning space design with Joan Lippincott, Henry Myerberg and Jeanne Narum. After the live WebEx webinar, I recorded my comments with a PowerPoint voiceover. Continue reading

Congrats to Video Contest Winners 2014!

We congratulate the winners of the 2014 Make a Point Video Contest!

  • First Prize: WE by MengXi Cissy Tan
  • Second Prize: The Most Astounding Fact by Kaitlyn Danielle Levesque
  • Third Prize: Iconography & Fantasy by Daniel Haun
  • Popular Choice Award: Upenn Happy Video by Aditya Narayan

View the winners online.

We thank our judging panel of faculty, staff, students and alumni, and the many faculty who encouraged their students to participate in our annual contest.

Online Voting Results:

  • Upenn Happy Video: 99
  • Live the Life You Want to Live: 57
  • The Most Astounding Fact: 53
  • Children of Hope: 37
  • WE: 36
  • Iconography and Fantasy: 25

Backyard Brains in the Classroom

This spring, BE 310, Bioengineering Lab II, took on a project to combine robotics and biology, using WIC’s iPads and cockroaches. Using a hardware set and an app from Backyard Brains, students in the class taught by David Meaney and Susan Margulies used their own muscles and brains to drive the muscles in cockroach legs.

When Sevile Mannickarottu first approached us with his idea, we were surprised to learn about this use for iPads. Fortunately, it was easy to install the free app on 12 of our iPads. Continue reading

Way to go Jean Lee!

Jean Lee C’09 is in the news this week. Her new film project The Tortoise and its Tail has been selected as the Indiewire Project of the Day. It’s in the running for Project of the Week via Indiegogo and you can vote (email confirmation needed) until May 23.

Jean has been chosen as one of the Penn Alumni You Should Know About and her film selected by the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women, so lots of love heading her way recently! She has taken on a complex, controversial topic. As she describes it: “A short film about Daniel, a recovering sex offender, who breaks parole on Halloween to go on an adventure with his estranged daughter.”

Jean received won one of our Seltzer awards back in 2008 – the first year we made awards. I remember clearly when I first met Jean.

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