Study Spots: Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics (PCPSE)

The south view of the contemporary expansion of the Ronald O. Perelman Center. (Photo: copyright Adrien Williams, courtesy of KPMB) https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/new-perelman-center-looks-future-while-preserving-past

If you are a lover of historic art deco architecture and are in the hunt for a new study spot, look no further than across from the Penn Bookstore at 36th and Walnut. Inaugurated in 2018, the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics (PCPSE) is the latest addition to the School of Arts & Sciences, which rehabilitated and significantly expanded the circa-1925 West Philadelphia Title and Trust Company building at 133 S. 36th. Enter on 36th street through the set of glass doors in the new addition across from Cosi Cafe:

Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics https://www.facilities.upenn.edu/maps/locations/perelman-center-political-science-and-economics

The main lobby is airy, and if you enjoy studying under natural light, it should be the perfect locale for you, especially when the days are long and it’s sunny outside. Upon entering, you will find student lounges, with various types of seating, on either side of the escalators:

If you’re looking to do group work in art deco-meets-futuristic style, your team will feel energized and motivated to collaborate utilizing one of their six group study rooms, which can be reserved online:

“One of the most important roles of a great university is to encourage open dialogue, the free exchange of ideas, and civil and robust expression of divergent views, on our campus and all around the world,” Gutmann added. “This building will be a place to do just that.”

https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/new-perelman-center-looks-future-while-preserving-past

So give the new PCPSE a try and let us know how you enjoy it! And don’t forget to step outside and cross-over to the conveniently located and newly revamped Penn Bookstore Cafe to refresh and replenish in between your study sessions!

By Staff Writer: Min Derry, Learning Fellow

Wellness: James G. Kaskey Memorial Park, The Biopond and Biology Greenhouses

Biopond @ James G. Kaskey Memorial Park

The James G. Kaskey Memorial Park is a fitting tribute to the first day of Spring, an unassuming nature oasis tucked away within Penn’s urban campus.

“This green space which we call today the James G. Kaskey Memorial Park, or BioPond, was created during the last decade of the nineteenth century, opening as a research garden in 1897. Although the idea for a garden on University of Pennsylvania campus was first presented by Dr. J.T. Rothrock, then chair of the Department of Botany, it was Professor of Botany, Dr. John M. MacFarlane who finally convinced the Biological Department of the special advantages to be gained by reclaiming the waste ground which surrounded the department. Although the area was a scant five acres, generally considered far too small a space for a Botanical Garden, Professor MacFarlane did succeed in transforming waste hills and hollows of sand and gravel into a garden which fulfilled not only the botanical research needs of members of the department, but was also a graceful addition to the University landscape” (Penn Arts & Sciences).

Over the years, it has been renovated (dredged, relined and realigned) for maintenance and sustainability; however, it has lost some of its original acreage due to campus development around it. Nonetheless, it still stands today as a campus treasure.

If you like the outdoors, there are benches and a few picnic tables where you can take in the sun and read/study. I prefer to go for a nice walk when I need a break from my work, and especially pack my lunch there where I can eat al fresco. You will delight in some of the live species that inhabit the pond, such as fish and turtles, if you observe carefully. Now is the best time to enjoy it, before it gets too hot to be outside in the Summer. But crisp Fall-Winter walks are also unexpectedly enjoyable.

As you set out to walk and meander through the paths, cross over bridges or perch on a bench upon which to find a point of rest, consider an analogy to your academic journey:

  • Which paths have your consciously and unconsciously taken thus far?
    • What have they revealed?
    • What have you learned?
  • What experiences, wins and apparent defeats have served as bridges to where you have arrived or hope to arrive?
    • Who or what has kept you connected and/or motivated?
    • What connections have you made?
    • How have you made sense of your experiences?
  • Where have you found rest and support?
    • What is the value of pause and reflection?
    • How do we plan for and schedule rest points in our schedule, in our paths?
    • How will you support others?

Next time you take a study break or seek an outdoors green space for studying, consider the opportunities that the Kaskey Memorial Park, including the biopond and greenhouses, offer for self-reflection, self-assessment, self-nurture and growth.

By Staff Writer: Min Derry, Learning Fellow

Study Spots: The ARCH

The ARCH building intersects Arts, Research and Culture:

  • The Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF)
  • Ben Franklin Scholars
  • University Scholars
  • Makuu
  • La Casa Latina
  • The Pan Asian American Community House (PAACH)
  • Student Performing Arts

It is designed to be a safe, supportive, inclusive and critically generative space where students can assert their agency, activism and ingenuity with confidence.

“One of the most engaging features of the building is the large amount of carved stone ornamental detail on the exterior.  There are three cross‑gables on the main (east) elevation.  The middle gable is placed adjacent to the southern end gable and is set back, forming a picturesque mass crowned by an elaborate double serpentine chimney.  A one- story entrance portico with Gothic details stands out from the middle gable, and is set below a two story mullioned window.  The south facade is marked by symmetrically placed polygonal bays with ornate stonework panels, battlements, and windows topped by trefoils” (Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services).

Address: 3601 Locust Walk, Philadelphia PA, 19104

Demographic: Undergraduate and graduate students

Noise Level: Bustling with activities

Traffic: Moderate to high

Perks: Gothic Revival Architecture, Performance Arts, Culture Houses, Nourishment, Meeting Rooms Available for Reservation

Accessible from Locust Walk near 36th Street:

Auditorium and meeting rooms that can be reserved:

There are student lounges throughout:

Culture Houses offer their own student lounges:

  • Makuu
  • La Casa Latina
  • PAACH

Tortas Frontera Mexican Dining:

If your academic endeavors invoke the intersection of culture, arts and research, consider making The ARCH a motivating, inspirational and interactional Study Spot!

By Staff Writer: Min Derry, Learning Fellow

Study Spots: The Wharton School

John M. Hunstman Hall

There’s nothing like getting down to business than carving out a space at the Wharton School to get your studying done:

Address: Jon M. Huntsman Hall, 3730 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Demographic: Undergraduate, MBA, executive and doctoral business students

Noise Level: Business ambience

Traffic: Moderate to high

Perks: Large-Scale, Sophisticated Architecture, Green Spaces, Nourishment, Group Study Rooms Available for Reservation

Accessible through the Levy Lobby from Walnut Street and the Zweig Lobby from Locust Walk, it provides a wide array of spaces, including:

  • Student Lounges throughout
  • The Koo Family Plaza, Terrace and Patio, accessible through 2nd floor:
  • Two Cafes:
    1. Undergraduate Cafe off of Locust Walk and Zweig Lobby
    2. MBA Cafe on the second floor connecting to Koo Family Plaza

Next time you set out to attend to the business of your academic affairs, consider the Wharton School as your preferred Study Spot!

By Staff Writer: Min Derry, Learning Fellow

Study Spots: Levin Building

Levin Building, Stephen A.

425 S. University Avenue
Philadelphia PA, 19104

If you enjoy urban, contemporary, modern architecture, check out the Stephen A. Levin Building as a study spot. The interdisciplinarity of the commitment its houses intersects studies of the brain with human behavior. Curiously, even “the building’s design reflects its function in the ornate aluminum sunscreen with cutouts on the south façade. The pattern of the sunscreen is designed to convey the branching and network structures found at all scales of biology and to resonate in psychological, linguistic and cognitive models” (Penn Today).

Part of Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences, it was inaugurated in 2016 as an “expansion of the Lynch Laboratories, this building provides for the collaboration, exchange, and integration of knowledge that characterizes the study of Biology and Psychology at Penn. The Levin Building is attached to the south end of the Leidy Laboratories Building and houses research laboratories, teaching facilities, and spaces designed for interactions to foster the kind of cross-disciplinary work that increasingly characterizes work in these fields” (Penn Facilities and Real Estate).

If your research question is interdisciplinary in nature, this may be the perfect study spot for you. Let your neuroscientific and neurobehavioral juices flow!

Address: 425 S. University Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104–6220

Demographic: Interdisciplinary Neuroscience students, students from Biology, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences at the School of Arts & Sciences

Noise Level: Calm ambiance

Traffic: Low to moderate

Perks: Cool Architecture, Next to Bio Pond, 2 Group Study Rooms Available for Reservation

THE BIOPOND AND BIOLOGY GREENHOUSES
JAMES G. KASKEY MEMORIAL PARK

The Levin Building is located next to the Penn Bio Pond. Enjoy the close proximity and take a study break, stretch out your legs, take a short walk, take in the beauty of nature and breathe in some fresh air. For more content on the Biopond, check out this Blog.

By Staff Writer: Min Derry, Learning Instructor

Study Spots: Annenberg Library

Kemuel Benyehudah

Previously, a Penn GSE RWL Masters Student, Kemuel Benyehudah, now a PhD student at the Higher Education Division of Penn GSE, wrote a wonderful blog featuring the Annenberg Library as a recommended Study Spot. Check out his Blog here. We have added some updated photos of the library, below.

If you like a smaller, cozier and more intimate study environment that feels a bit more manageable than larger libraries, with all of the benefits of book and resources pick up and returns, but more importantly, a wonderfully dedicated Reference staff, experience the Annenberg Library!

Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication has a unique, eclectic and critical ethos that is distinctly interdisciplinary. You will enjoy the student lounge right outside the library as much as the library itself. Also, check out the artwork as well as their regularly featured public events, such as guest speakers, movies and other presentations.

By Staff Writer, Min Derry, OLR Learning Fellow.

Study Spots: Penn Law School

jpalumbo@law.upenn.edu

If you are looking for some variation to your usual study spots at Penn, consider Penn Law School. The study and collaboration facilities at the Penn Law School offers choice, versatility, support, nourishment and ecological access. It is located at 3501 Sansom StreetPhiladelphiaPA 19104. While you can typically gain access to the Law School with a Penn ID, please check for any changes to access for non-Penn Law School students during special Law School schedules, including final exam times, etc.

The Law School is comprised of four interconnected buildings surrounding a central courtyard (Map of Law School Complex): Silverman Hall, Gittis Hall, Tanenbaum Hall, and Golkin Hall, with Silverman being the most traditional, and Golkin the most modern. You can take a  Online Self-Guided Tour of the Law School Complex.

First, let’s pause to admire the beauty of the combined architecture styles, where the original, old and traditional co-exist fluidly with the new, contemporary and modern:

Now let’s hunt for your desired type of study space based on your preferences or mood for the day:

Biddle Law Library

This library is great if you prefer absolute silence.

Outdoors

Rooftop Terraces

Lounge Spaces

Gathering Spaces

There are enclosed rooms too. First check protocols for reservations, if applicable.

Relax and Nourish

And there is much, much more! If you’re looking for a change of scenery, and would appreciate an array of choices, versatility, nourishment and/or outdoors spaces – all in one complex – we hope you will explore the Penn Law School as a possible study spot for you!

Staff Writer: Min Derry, Learning Fellow, Weingarten Learning Resources Center.