Tag Archives: Penn students

Top 10 Free Travel Apps for Winter Break & Beyond


This week, I’ve  personally put together 10  free travel apps that I think will help ease the hustle and bustle of traveling this holiday season. Planning a trip is a  great way to take a break from studying for finals. Whether flying or driving, these apps will help you focus on being there, not getting there. Continue reading Top 10 Free Travel Apps for Winter Break & Beyond

Brainstorm 2015: We need you!

lightbulbHelp design the 2015  Engaging Students Through Technology Symposium! We will identify broad themes as well as new technologies to feature. Click on a date below to register for one of three brainstorming sessions or email us:

  • Wed. July 15, 3 to 4 pm
  • Tues. July 28, 2 to 3 pm
  • Thurs. July 30, 10 to 11 am

Our annual symposium is designed for faculty. Last year, we brought together over 130 people from all 12 Penn schools, and students shared their ideas on technology integration.

Save the date: Friday, October 30, 2015. We plan a faculty panel, an undergraduate student panel, and several threads for afternoon workshops. Below are the faculty remarks from last year:

Exam vs. Nobel chat?

Students from Chem 251 class
Eric Shiuey and Evan Selzer

Should I take my organic chemistry exam or accept an invitation for coffee with a Nobel Prize winning scientist?  Eric Shiuey C’16 and Evan Selzer C’16 hesitated. Fortunately, their professor Jeffery Saven set them straight. Exam rescheduled!

The two students  set off for a chat at the Inn at Penn with Dr. Stanley Prusiner, winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

A few weeks earlier, Eric and Evan had created a video for the course CHEM 251, Principles of Biological Chemistry. They had pored over journal articles on prions, a new class of pathogens discovered by Dr. Prusiner. As part of the assignment, students share links to their videos with the scientists whose work is referenced. Eric and Evan wrote to six scientists and four responded with feedback. One email brought a surprise! An invitation to meet with Dr. Prusiner when he visited Penn this April as part of the Year of Health activities.

Vickie Karasic and I met recently with Eric, Evan and Jeff to get the scoop.. Continue reading Exam vs. Nobel chat?

A Penn Newbie Experience

Lahari Uppuluri
Lahari Uppuluri

Lahari Uppuluri is an international student from India, working towards her masters degree in nano-technology. As a graduate intern at the WIC and EC, Lahari teaches workshops on Google Tools and PowerPoint. This is her first PennWIC post.

It is admissions season again and quite a few people have been getting in touch with me to know what Penn is like to be at. I thought I should document my experience as a newbie here before it gets too old. So here’s what I went through in my first semester:

Mid-august has harsh sunlight that not all would be used to, with the low humidity here. I ended up walking thirteen miles back and forth the first day I was here!

As I dropped by the ISSS for student registration, I saw a large room full of overwhelmed graduate students (foreign nationals) brimming with excitement. I could sense the competition that there is to come, determination to perform and a slight hint of fear, probably for the unexpected. The first striking aspect about Penn is the sheer size of the university; it is unlike any other academic institution that I have seen. The overwhelming size of resources available to any student studying in this place is just ridiculously large and beyond my imagination. Penn took extraordinary efforts to provide to all students a world-class establishment of literature, technology, health and medical attention besides the academics. In my opinion, research at Penn is second to none. Socializing and networking with the high-quality peer group instilled a renewed sense of seeking and exclusivity in my circle. In short, the quality of life for students here was certainly elevated.

Faculty and program advisors were extremely helpful. As the semester proceeded on full speed, I could spend all my day at Van Pelt at the two library commons without regret.

I did not use Google search much after I came to Penn. I looked up information at Van Pelt with the millions of online books that Penn provided access to. WIC and EC were the tech and design-savvy study areas. Here I indulged my hobbies like learning poster design, learning and teaching software that makes life easy and having group discussions. Best part about being at the two Commons was study breaks during the finals weeks with coffee and hot chocolate.

To boost myself up to the speed here in the United States, there were resources like the Marks Family Writing Center, the Weingarten Learning Resources Center (VPUL), Career Services and CAPS. In addition, Penn Safety and Penn Transit were two tremendously helpful resources that I had.

There were tons of stress relief events like networking, social hours, happy hours, paint nights. Knowledge sharing seminars happened every day; it was the best way to find out what happened everywhere else at Penn, including other schools. We had guest speakers from other universities, corporations, start-ups, entrepreneurs, student achievers and more.

I mostly regretted that there were just 24 hours in a day, spent all my waking hours with in Penn and only ever returned to my home to sleep.

Now I’m completing my second semester here and continue to appreciate what Penn gives me. How do you feel about being at Penn?

March 4 – Spring 2015 Majors Dinner

SAS PFP 2014 DinnerWe welcome undergraduate students to join our March 4 Majors Dinner (register now!) here at the Weigle Information Commons. The Commons thrives on student voices. We learn from your experiences, your ideas and your comments. So please share!

We’ll be talking about the Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellows Program (open to current sophomores and juniors) and the Seltzer Family Digital Media Awards (open to current first-years, sophomores and juniors). We’ll also discuss our Ready, Set, Succeed series and our Senior Research Spotlight and highlight ways to share your voice through Spring 2015 activities at the two Commons.

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 how to teach (Excel)

You do you.

kelliThis guest post by Kelli Liu, a sophomore from southern California majoring in biology and Apple campus representative, describes her thoughts on software upgrades.

Like many people, I am a creature of habit and I often find myself resistant to changes unless I find them absolutely necessary. This aspect of change is extremely applicable to my life when it comes to updating my life technologically. Everyday I am bombarded with my apps, email, and softwares notifying me that my current version is outdated and that I must update immediately. However, I often become really comfortable with the structure of a software, app, or email format that I am using, and I find that often times when I update I regret the decision immediately. New updates are certainly nice and more developed, but sometimes they are not better for me. Continue reading You do you.