EngagePerspectivesCommunities of Practice at Penn: Equity and Inclusion
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Communities of Practice at Penn: Equity and Inclusion

The PARK Podcast’s new series explores communities of practice, where we ask our partner organizations to help us better understand both how they see the Penn community, and to describe the types of practices they use to engage others in their work on campus.

To shape our thinking here, we are using the definition of a community of practice created by the nonprofit, Campus Compact. “A community of practice is a learning community or collegial network, defined as a group of people who share interest in an area of inquiry, and engage in collective learning about that issue as it relates to their work or practice. Through discussions, joint activities, and relationship building, the community of practice develops a shared and individual repertoire of resources, skills, and knowledge to use in their practice.”

Excerpts from edited transcript.

Lia Howard: How can we learn together about our community as citizens and what practices best facilitate that learning? Our guests today are experts at creating community for students who are the first in their families to pursue a four year baccalaureate degree or who come from modest financial circumstances. We are looking forward to hearing today about Penn First Plus at the University of Pennsylvania.

Welcome to Marc Lo, the executive director of Penn First Plus (P1P), Keisha Johnson, director of the Pre Freshman Program (PFP) and Hatef Alavi associate director of Penn First Plus. Thank you for the deeply important work you do at Penn First Plus . The University’s hub for efforts to make the campus more inclusive of all forms of diversity. Specifically at the intersections of social and economic background.

The past couple of years have been so challenging, and we are very interested and curious to hear your ideas about the Penn community and advocating for students across campus. Marc, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role as the executive director of Penn First Plus?

Marc Lo: Hi Lia. Thank you so much for that graceful introduction. I grew up in a household where my mother was a part time x-ray technologist. My father was a bartender server and caterer. And we come from a family history of being farmers and truck drivers. And so I come from what I think a lot of folks would consider the working class relatively humble means and have the excitement of getting my first admission letter from Northeastern University and heading off there to college and having a wonderful educational journey that made me fall in love with the idea of working with college students for a living.

My research, when I went to get my Ph.D. was very much focused on first generation and limited income undergraduates who were attending highly selective private research universities in an urban center. So an environment that closely mirrors Penn And when the opportunities to come to Penn and to help lead us efforts to be more inclusive of this increasingly diverse city, I mean, I I just couldn’t ignore that possibility.

So, of course, I had to apply. And here I am today working with folks like Keisha and her staff to build partnerships and build an understanding of how we can be more inclusive of folks who may not come from experiences where they have access to the knowledge of how to navigate a pace so ripe with opportunity as the University of Pennsylvania.

Lia Howard: Marc, thanks so much for sharing a little bit about your personal background, too, and what draws you to this important work. It was a great story. Keisha, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role as the director of the freshman program?

Keisha Johnson: Thank you, Lia. And also thank you to the Paideia program for hosting us today. I guess I’ll first like to share how I feel very fortunate to serve in my role because it aligns with my passion and also my lived experience. So I’m originally originally from Baltimore, Maryland, and I was first in my family to go to college.

So my curiosity and love of science and helping others has definitely influenced my career path after receiving my bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in agricultural science, I served as a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service And then soon after, I transitioned into higher education. And that’s where I’ve spent over 12 years managing equity, inclusion and student access programs.

So in my current role as director of the pre-freshman program, just to summarize some of the things that I do, I collaborate closely with campus partners in providing an undergraduate summer bridge experience that fosters academic acclimation and a sense of belonging as students transition into Penn and also engage in year round programmatic and student support efforts of Penn First Plus and other university initiatives to carry out our commitment to student success and wellness.

I like to say that our goal is to support students through the navigation of the first day that they step foot on campus through their journey to graduation. On Franklin Field.

Lia Howard: Well said, that’s excellent. I had no idea about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I have lots of questions for you about that, but thanks for sharing about your passion for students. Hatef, could you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your role as the associate director of Penn First Plus?

Hatef Alavi: Of course. Thank you for having us. To start off, I was born in Iran and raised there for the first 13 years of my life in 1998. My family and I immigrated to the United States so that we can have access to more opportunities and to create a better life for ourselves. That transition period was very difficult for all of us, mainly due to the cultural and language barriers and the lack of access to social and financial capital.

We really had to start from the bottom how to work our way up the ladder. But to the grace of God and hard work and some help from our relatives, we were able to establish ourselves. I am a middle child and the first in my family to receive a bachelor’s degree in addition to a master and a professional degree.

After high school, I went to Brown University, where I got my bachelor’s in psychology with a concentration in leadership studies. And while I was there, I was extremely involved on campus. And through that engagement I just knew that I wanted to pursue a career in higher education. And so shortly after graduating from Rowan, I attended the university of Pittsburgh, where I got my master’s in higher education management.

And then I worked in residence life for some years, which was a great experience for me before going back to school at Rowan in 2016 to obtain my doctorate degree, which I finished in 2020. The way that I got to Penn was that I was going through my dissertation process and I came across this posting and after I read it I realized that it was right up my alley.

My research focused on first generation black men attending predominantly white institutions and the impact of their sense of belonging on their campus integration. So once I got here as part of my responsibilities now I coordinate developmental programing for our students, faculty and staff in collaboration with campus partners and various stakeholders. I also liaise with our Student Advisory Board and Faculty Working Group on ongoing new initiatives that will support vaguely students at Penn Triage Pressing Student Financial Needs and work with student financial services and student intervention services to recommend supplemental financial financial support to faculty students and work with our staff on strategizing new initiatives that provide students with access to capital and finding new ways to enhance their overall experience.

Lia Howard: You’re experts at fostering a more inclusive, socioeconomically diverse community at Penn. Marc, can we start with you? When you think of the Penn community, what comes to mind in a Plus that is historically laden with associations typical of Ivy League institutions, how do you work to shift the ethos of campus, to be inclusive of students who are either first generation college students and or come from limited incomes and middle class backgrounds?

Marc Lo: Well, I need to start off with acknowledging is the fact that Penn is is a pretty large space, right? We have a community of over 25,000 students, if you include undergraduates, graduates and members of our community, before we even get into the faculty and staff and the university health system. So when I think about the Penn community, I think about the realities of living in a space that is much like a miniature city or town where there are some enclaves where folks are finding their community.

When I think about how we move the needle forward of being more inclusive of our first gen and limited income student populations, it’s about making it more transparent. The ways in which we can find community scaffolding that entry for our students. I look toward the Gateway Student Mentorship Initiative that Penn first piloted. I look toward the first year exposure to research in biology program that we will work with our colleagues in biology to help facilitate or the first year exposure to research in STEM that we work with up with our colleagues in Computer Science, making these pockets of community more accessible to those students by by evidencing, showing them the pathway to finding a place that they can call home while they’re here, and also making sure that we’re also alleviating some of the economic barriers to finding community as well. Not every social opportunity has a cost attached with it. Sometimes it’s just enough to be around the table sharing conversation. Ideally, sharing something tasty that no one will have to had to really pay for and just connecting in those meaningful and deep ways. And for making sure that we foster more of that for our students is part of our goal here.

Lia Howard: Oh, Marc, that’s really cool. I love how you talked about these kind of research pathways becoming homes, intellectual homes for students. That’s a really interesting concept, and I’m going to think more about Keisha, can you tell us about how the pre freshman program works to transform inclusivity at Penn?

Keisha Johnson: Sure, Lia another great question. I think I can answer that in several ways. I like to think that our program, the pre freshman program, models inclusive excellence. So I’ll give a couple of examples and how I want to justify that statement. So we begin with a collaborative selection process, and that happens between the undergraduate school’s, Admissions, PennCAP [College Achievement Program], and Penn First Plus.

And so we select a diverse cohort of students who may be first generation lower middle income, they may be a graduate of an under resourced high school, they may come from a rural or urban community, they could be a student athlete, or home-schooled. So we select this cohort to participate in a four week, academically focused residential experience on campus.

So that’s number one. Another thing we do is work very closely with our Penn First Plus faculty co-directors in how we design the actual curriculum. And also with the Center for Teaching and Learning in how we train instructors on inclusive teaching strategies. So all of those things work together in how we are intentional, in how we design PFP. Due to partnerships with undergraduate schools and other campus partners, I think a common theme that you’ve heard from Marc and Hatef is that we work very collaboratively across campus. And so when students are here for those four weeks, we introduce students to their school advising and other campus resources that they may find useful, especially as they navigate from that high school to a Penn experience. And so by connecting them with these resources, it helps to promote student and faculty and staff interactions.

And also it provides students with the opportunity to become familiar with available resources. And I also want to touch on our partnership with Penn CAP, because we train and we select peer mentors and along with working with our students peer mentors, we implement co-curricular and cultural programing throughout. We weave it throughout the four weeks, some experience and throughout the first year that students are here on campus.

They’re also assigned to professional individual professionals, counselors from Penn CAP through graduation. So all of this together again, it promotes student to student engagement. It promotes that building of community. And I feel that it also helps to serve the student holistically. So we’re not just looking at the academics, but we’re looking at the whole student. And so our students actually become ambassadors in every space they enter.

I think that contributes to inclusivity. And I also think that this intentional and robust approach and how we design P1P from start to finish is a potential best practice in creating and transforming inclusion at Penn.

Lia Howard: Keisha, thank you so much. Yes. Best practice indeed. And I’m glad you highlighted the collaboration piece because I keep hearing collaboration from all of you and I appreciate that. Hatef, what would you like to add? What does this look like? It’s a big vision level. Inclusivity, of course, and at the programing level.

Hatef Alavi: Yes. So I think programing level, my focus is really on leveling the playing field for our FGLI students. And ensuring that they have access to different forms of capital for students who come from different walks of life and experiences. And due to their pre-college circumstances, they may not always have had access to certain resources or information, even though they are very resilient and have great work ethic and is still paramount for us to offer them academic, socio cultural, socio psychosocial and socio cultural support.

As much as we can practice advocacy and allyship and promote and encourage that in other spaces as well. We also always speak about our FGLI students from an asset lens and a growth mindset. We identify areas of growth and development of our students and try and then introduce them to various campus resources and promote engagement through intentional programing, leadership and developmental opportunities and ways that they can enhance their skills not only inside but also outside of the classroom. So not only do we have a very strong family friendly community at Penn, but we also have a very strong community among our faculty and staff who are very eager in joining our community and contributing to it in a meaningful way.

Lia Howard: Oh, thank you. That’s so wonderful to hear. And I really appreciate that asset model. How important. And so I want to move into thinking about how we engage community. And your website notes for important goals that guide your practice. I want to read them here. So it says, “reporting to the deputy vice provost and working in close partnership with units in the university life, student engagement, and financial aid, Penn First Plus is uniquely situated to advocate for students and collaborate with faculty and staff across all facets of the university. In that capacity, Penn First Plus:

collaborates with undergraduate colleges and their faculty on initiatives to promote more inclusive pedagogy. Accessible curricula and holistic advising for undergrads provides programing and empowers students to map individualized pathways through their Penn experience.

  • Partners with colleagues in student registration and financial services and across campus to find ways to make Penn’s academic and extracurricular opportunities more affordable and accessible and
  • promotes the importance of socioeconomic diversity in the academy.

Marc, can you comment on these four goals or avenues for change and say how they help Penn embrace academic and socioeconomic backgrounds in students? Do you have any stories on how this works specifically?

Marc Lo: Sure. Again, thank you, for, uh, a very, very big question, and I’m going to do my best to tackle. I think where a lot of this really starts with the notion of collaboration and recognizing that our current team of four full time colleagues is not enough alone to meet the needs of a population of students. That’s about 2000 undergraduates right and so when we talk about collaboration, it’s really about building the capital among our faculty and staff to understand the ways in which there are choices about the format of their resources of their programing, how they frame topics in conversation or in their course materials can make students from some communities, some backgrounds feel unwelcome at Penn.

So what we work to do is provide opportunities for training and conversation in those particular spaces. I think that one of the highlights of this is the Penn First Plus Ambassador program which I co-developed with a group of students to say this is the experience of being first generation and or a limited income at Penn. And here’s some evidence based advice as to how to think about being more inclusive of this population of students.

One of the things we also talk about is the fact that with every single program that we facilitate, we don’t think about what our students are missing. We think about what our students need to translate their skills into to be successful at Penn. And so when I think about our research and internship bootcamp, which is a four hour experience that is co-facilitated with career services and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, that is helping our students take everything that they’ve done in the past, whether it be in support of their family or for a part time job that they had in high school or what have you, and translate those skills into something that will get them to the next stage of their academic or professional journey.

A lot of the conversations that we tend to have across Penn around affordability, and that’s fair because we are at an institution whose tuition fee, room and board, and other expenses or about $84,000 a year. And that is a difficult price point for most families. And so we work with our colleagues in financial aid and in other spaces to make the burden of the financial burden of attending Penn more accessible to students.

And then what are the things that are considered you know extras, but still part of the Penn experience that we can provide some other form of specialized grants, or the student can take that wonderful, underpaid internship in Washington D.C. or in New York or in some other part of the country or world and really see the opportunity to make that dream a reality.

And I want to go back to, you know, part of one of your earlier questions around the image of who is able to come to a place like Penn to address the fourth bullet point and just say that, um, from an equity perspective, we have to hold two things. First is the fact that campuses like Penn serve a very small percentage of the total college going population.

And so I say that acknowledging some humility and also acknowledging the fact that campuses like Penn take up an outsized portion of the narrative of college going and higher education in this country. Part of that is because of all the resources and opportunities that they provide, that gives them a certain level of prestige and or rank. And so if we consider for a moment an argument around equity that if we want to provide access to as an equal access as possible to as many wonderful opportunities as the student can locate, then campuses like Penn have a particularly unique burden in making sure that we are at our sister city.

And the ways in which we include students from under-resourced communities are rebuffed. We need to do more in this space, continue to expand those resources, because the reality is outside of Penn, a lot of the work around promoting access to professional opportunities to economic mobility comes from community colleges and regional masters institutions. And so there’s a piece of this where Penn in particular, has an obligation to recognize its privilege, the privilege that it holds and use that privilege for the greater good, especially when it comes around issues of socio economic and racial diversity.

Lia Howard: Well said, that’s so very interesting, and I appreciate much of what you said, Marc, I was hearing kind of a bi-directionality there. Arrows, seem to go both ways between your students and the university community, both their explaining, their experience and their learning from, you know, the different programs through boot camps and then again through their ambassadorship.

Very, very cool. So Kiesha, how does the pre freshman program work to achieve these goals, perhaps focus specifically on the second goal, to empower students to map individualized pathways through their Penn experience?

Keisha Johnson: Sure thing. Thank you again for the question Lia. I think I will build upon what Marc said. Marc previously said that he spoke about evidence based advice. So I like to say that our program uses data to inform how we program and how we make decisions. And so using institutional survey data and student feedback, we’ve learned how students consistently highlight or identified an increased sense of belonging after participating in Pre Freshman Program (PFP).

So they’ve often shared how it’s made a difference in their comfort with connecting to campus resources or asking questions going to office hours or even simply finding peer groups that they could actually relate to. So we’ll provide our students with this foundation in an environment where they feel like they can belong and that they feel supported.

This supports retention and it can be a catalyst for students to map their individualized pathways to Penn. So when students are feeling comfortable, they’re more likely to exercise their agency and explore their interests, whether it’s choosing or changing their major or simply taking advantage of the vast opportunities that Penn has to offer. I mean, this can include participation in research community based organizations or even study abroad opportunities all that aligned with the student’s personal and academic goals.

So we want all students to feel supported and also to become more comfortable with navigating challenges. I have talked a little bit about growth mindset. So we also want to encourage that, encourage students to build that growth mindset and sometimes they have to gently be nudged to also operate outside of their comfort zone. And so I think that all of this is important as they map out their individualized pathway.

Lia Howard: Keisha, thanks so much for that. Interesting that belonging is at the heart of their student agency as they see and map out their plan here at Penn really important ideas. Hatef, what examples or stories might you add to what Marc and Keisha have already shared regarding the community of practice practiced by P1P.

Hatef Alavi: Of course so you know as we have mentioned in community practice is very important to us and we collaborate with a lot of different stakeholders on various opportunities. We are very purposeful with our efforts and not only nurturing those connections but also further expanding on them. So a couple of examples that I can use is in our Emergency and Opportunity Fund committee, which just won the 2022 Model of Excellence program award for this is a collaborative effort between student intervention services, student financial services and Penn First Plus in addressing the socioeconomic diversity, our students are faced with on a daily basis. Students don’t need to identify as FGLI or highly aided to apply. This opportunity is open to all students. And so as a committee we meet on a weekly basis to discuss each applicant, review their application and eligibility, and then provide them with the funding accordingly.

Another example is something that Marc alluded to a little bit earlier which is our research and internship resumé bootcamp program, which just won the National Excellence Award in their first generation student success category, which is a partnership with our Career Services and Center for Undergraduate and Research on Fellowship. This program was established in January of 2019, and we had about 50 students who attended the four hour session.

And we have been doing a great job in maintaining that same level of success and engagement throughout the pandemic. The next program that we do for our campus body is P1P Ambassador Training, which is the home call and training program that was developed to further inform faculty and staff upon about our FGLI students, their learning experiences, ways in which class plays a factor in their overall experiences, and how through affective, intentional mentorship and advising, we can help our students to have a more positive Penn experience. And lastly, last year, P1P and VPUL teamed up on study break program before finals where each various office offered a different relaxation activity or space for our students to come to, to come to and hang out or grab something to eat before finals and just kind of relax themselves before finals began. So community, our practice is extremely important to the work that we do, and I think there’s still many opportunities for us to expand on this work and to build new connections with other colleagues and departments and further identify best practices to ensure our students success.

Lia Howard: Well, congratulations P1P on all these awards, that’s excellent! From NASPA and the Model of Excellence Award. Congratulations. I’m really proud of you, and I’m really excited to have colleagues that are so accomplished in doing such wonderful work. So congratulations. And the past almost two years have been deeply challenging. And I want to just spend a minute reflecting on that with you all.

We’re living through a pandemic which has altered the way we live and work. We’ve been exposed to tragedies like the murder of George Floyd, chilling acts of anti-Asian hate crimes and what’s going on now in the Ukraine. Yet we’ve witnessed widespread protest marches where people of all races have joined together to decry these deep injustices. We’ve experienced political toxicity, polarization, even an insurrection in our Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Yet we’ve also seen a record amount of voting and political participation.

All these things have influenced the way we as U.S. citizens think about our U.S. community. And they’ve rippled out to affect the way we think about Penn as well. In short, living in community is both challenging and invigorating, deeply painful at times. Deeply rewarding. We want to examine what are some of the challenges and joys of your work within the Penn community.

So, Marc, what are some of the things that have been challenging this year and what have been some of the things that have brought you joy, hope and encouragement?

Marc Lo: Just prior to this conversation, I was having a socially distanced, perfectly Covid compliant lunch with a group of students that I mentor and I think even with what is happening socially and politically in the world right now, getting signs that the pandemic is coming to an end and we can more comfortably break bread and socialize, then the mood in the room was different than it has been in any of the most recent semesters.

And so that brought me significant joy, just being able to witness students smile and be excited about what might what a post spring break potentially post-COVID might look like. It’s made me mindful of the power of nonverbal cues in communicating with someone which is more difficult to read when you are, you know, protecting yourself and others by wearing a mask.

I think another piece of this is just the reality of the last two years of deep trauma that you acknowledge. We think between increasingly voyeuristic coverage of racial injustice, which to be clear has always existed in the United States and across the world. But has captivated the media in ways. I want to take a brief second to problematize in ways that centered ratings over ethical care of communities of color and allied spaces between the social political unrest both in the United States and abroad, and also to the very real challenges of how do you engage and act in the community when everything is filtered through a computer screen and you only get to witness so much of a person, whether it be voice or picture, and how challenging that can be when you might be in a location that potentially doesn’t have broadband access or when you are navigating being both a student in college and being the person taking care of members of your family because you’re studying remotely. I think that’s been a lot to hold for a lot of members of our community.

And I want to be clear to the students, faculty and staff as well. Especially as we move back to being increasingly in-person and having to understand how do we care for our families and how do we care for ourselves now that we’re not Zoom hopping between classes and meetings and whatnot. But I think another piece that gives me encouragement and this draws from some of the lessons of those experiences is how much more sensitive and aware of various members of our faculty and staff are about the experiences our students have had because of COVID.

I rewind to, I forget whether it was this fall 2021, of fall 2020, it was in a fall covid blur. I believe I remember in both semesters, just folks being overwhelmed by having to find ways to accommodate student needs and being eager to learn more and how this led to such great engagement, either with one of our collaborative workshops with the Center for Teaching and Learning or with the Penn First Plus Ambassadors Program, just folks being eager to figure it out so they can have as many members of their classroom community or community or practice or access their resources as possible.

I think we are envisioning the current moment with greater sensitivity and compassion for the needs of others. And that gives me a lot of encouragement.

Lia Howard: Marc, thanks so much. The beautiful line about exiting it with compassion, leaving this moment with more compassion. That’s that’s beautiful. Keisha, so how would you respond to this question?

Keisha Johnson: Thank you, Lia. Wow, Marc, you really unpack that very well. I would say that. So thank you both for highlighting and recognizing the complexity that we all have had to navigate these past couple of years, not just within our Penn community, but also within our society. And so if I’m thinking in terms of like my work here at Penn, I have to say that’s been particularly challenging and delivering a virtual and then a hybrid version of the pre freshman program.

During that time, we learned so much. We learned of the nonacademic areas. You see it in literature, but, you know, just to see it firsthand, of when students are not together in the playing field and level. You know, there were barriers and challenges that some students experience whether it was access to technology whether it’s housing, food insecurity or any other factors, it could be watching siblings, and these factors could have competed with the students time and ability to fully engaged in the academic, the social and the community building aspects of the program. So although that was a challenge, I have to say a joy is through these partnerships that we’re all talking about, like through campus partnerships, learning how to effectively utilize or over utilize, however you want to take it on zoom technology and the resiliency of our students, faculty and staff, we were able to pivot, we were able to pivot through that virtual in a hybrid delivery and we were able to adapt to all of the changes that came our way.

So in fact, another encouragement that I have is how our program was able to grow actually and serve the largest cohort in the program’s history doing average or delivery. However, students and faculty both share their preference of having an in-person program. So that that also speaks to that sense of belonging in that community and importance of connections. Another encouragement that I have and Marc alluded to this already, is that things are opening up.

So, the fact that things are opening, we’re planning to provide a fully in-person PFP this summer. And so we’re actually in the recruitment process of selecting our incoming peer mentor team. And our candidates are amazing students. They are full of pride. They came with creative, innovative ideas. So this always gives me joy when I interact with and I’ve learned from students and colleagues both.

So that gives me joy. And I’m looking forward to a great 2022 P1P.

Lia Howard: Yeah. I’m so glad it will be in person and so much hope. Looking forward to that. And then also just all you see out again about collaboration and really appreciate that coming out of this session, thinking about all the ways you collaborate. So Hatef, how about you? What have been the challenges? What has brought you Joy?

Hatef Alavi: Thank you for the question. I also want to thank for everything that Marc and Keisha said. And I would say one of the challenges is the community experience and exhaustion, exhaustion as a result of the pandemic and everything else that you mentioned at the beginning of this question. Our goal is to really provide our students with exciting in-person events and opportunities where they can excel in their academic goals, speak their mind, promote free speech, and take care of their mental health but obviously, because of the pandemic over the last two and a half years, it’s been so difficult to accomplish some of our goals.

Having said that, the pandemic has also taught us some new ways of thinking, programing and teaching and connecting with our colleagues and our students. We’re always thinking of creative ways to stay engaged with our students, welcoming them to our beautiful space and continue to serve as a resource and an advocate to all of them. Another challenge that we have been experiencing over the last few years as fostering a sense of community among our family, among our faculty leadership, and there is a sense of need for us to help our student leaders with developmental opportunities where they can put on events and programs for their respective communities and in that process learn new skills.

But many of them are just fatigued and have been dealing with different competing priorities, which is impacting their availability and at times their energy to meet and to work in collaboration with different organizations However, you know, the help is coming and the future is looking promising, and we’re all excited about reengaging with our student leaders more effectively after spring break.

Now, with these challenges on this job, some of the joyful things that come to mind are, you know, one of them is very thankful for having a supportive and understanding senior leaders, colleagues and team members who can relate to each other’s experiences, challenges and successes, who can check up on you and see how you’re doing personally and how they can serve as a support system to you on a personal, professional level.

I also tried to get the glass half full and be optimistic about the future. And there are many opportunities for us as a department and the university to better support our faculty, students, and streamlining resources to create a path to success. So I mean, there was about the remaining two remaining of this semester. I’m finishing the year on a strong note getting ready for PFP and NSO before we embark on a new academic year.

Lia Howard: Hatef. Thank you. Excellent. Yeah. I mean, thank you for acknowledging the fatigue that your students are facing, that many are facing. But thank you also for acknowledging the kind of amazing team that you have. And I vouch for that 100% and the other colleagues at Penn, we really appreciate being just right across the hallway from you in College Hall.

So I want to thank our guests so much. We’ve enjoyed our time with you and are so grateful for the ways you serve and care for the Penn community. Thank you. Please join us in April as we visit with another one of our partner organizations and learn about their thoughts on the Penn community and the practices they use to sustain their work here.

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