American City & County

Fels Institute: A stellar U.S. Communities innovation partner

SmartTrack (formerly called Schoogle) was the 2015 Penn Policy Challenge (PPC) and runner-up in the Fels National Public Policy Challenge. SmartTrack focuses on assisting school districts manage their resources and enhance their procurement efforts. The SmartTrack team that won the PPC includes Fels students, former educators and a student pursuing an engineering doctorate. The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice and the Graduate School of Education also played a role in the creation of SmartTrack.

“SmartTrack simply wouldn’t exist had it not been for Fels,” says Nate Bronstein, CEO of SmartTrack and SP2 alum. He tells GPN that three out of the four founding members of the firm were Fels students.

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Reuters

Your Money: How to launch a deserving student with a scholarship

Allison Weiss Brady and her husband Chip Brady, a business development consultant, recently gave their largest-ever gift, $250,000 to the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, with preference given to low-income or first-generation college students.

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Novogradac & Company

Housing Credit Improves Lives, Boosts Economy and Saves Government Money

Notable landmark research by Dennis Culhane, a professor with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice, investigated government costs associated with chronic homelessness. His 2002 study found that in 1999, a mentally ill homeless person in New York City cost the federal, state and city governments $40,449 per person per year, and placing that person in supportive housing with services reduced that annual cost by $16,282 per home.

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The Philadelphia Citizen

A local psychiatrist’s app helps users help the homeless—and provides certainty about where their money goes

SP2 researcher Dan Treglia assisted in creating a location-based smartphone tool that allows individuals to donate everyday goods to people experiencing homelessness while also connecting them with outreach programs in the city.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Commentary: Bucks case shows value of child-abuse reports

Debra Schilling Wolfe, executive director of the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, and Research at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses the value of reporting child abuse in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer opinion piece.

“Our child-welfare and law enforcement systems can only help if someone calls. But we also need to understand that the Constitution protects the rights of individuals and that officials cannot investigate allegations that don’t rise to the legal definition of harm. As frustrating as that might be, those who have concerns about the welfare of children should makes those calls and be persistent. Offer as much information as you have. What might seem insignificant can actually make a difference.”

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The Pennsylvania Gazette

The Election Issues That (Ought to) Matter

“We’re in the middle of an incredibly contentious and consequential presidential election process,” says John L. Jackson, the Richard Perry University Professor of Communication, Anthropology, and Africana Studies and dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2). “And no one should be going into it without a rich sense of our most pressing contemporary social issues, and of the data that best contextualizes those issues.”

SP2 is one Penn institution currently tackling the fast-approaching 2016 presidential election.

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The New York Times

Old and on the Street: The Graying of America’s Homeless

SP2 professor Dennis Culhane comments in this New York Times article about the emergence of an older homeless population.

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Penn News

SP2 Student Named Pulitzer Center Student Fellow

SP2 student Rachel Townzen received an International Student Reporting Fellowship from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in partnership with Penn’s Middle East Center and South Asia Center.

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Penn News

Penn School of Social Policy & Practice to Host Public Forum to End Homelessness May 19

SP2 Dean John L. Jackson, Jr., will lead a panel of the nation’s leading policy experts in a conversation about homelessness, assisted housing policy and the charge to make a change.

The event, co-sponsored by the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative, will be followed by a reception/book launch for the SP2 Penn Top 10 Social Justice & Policy Issues for the 2016 Presidential Election.

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