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President’s Engagement Prize Includes Penn Nursing Senior & Faculty Mentors

“These projects represent a most remarkable range of Penn-educated talent, determination and public-spirited enterprise among our students. They will no doubt be outstanding ambassadors of public service, and I look forward to seeing the results of their projects,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann

Melanie Mariano, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), is one of three Penn students who have been awarded a President’s Engagement Prize this year.

Each prize recipient will receive as much as $100,000 for project implementation expenses and $50,000 for living expenses. The Prizes, first awarded last year, are competitively awarded annually to Penn seniors to design and undertake local, national or global engagement projects during the first year after they graduate.

Mariano’s project is called “Living HEALthy: Health Expansion Across Libraries.” She will partner with the Free Library of Philadelphia to assist library patrons in obtaining health information, medical counseling and preventive health services. Her project will employ a “one-stop-shopping” approach that will actively disseminate health information, provide care and allocate resources in an efficient way. Mariano will pioneer an inter-professional health-care model with social workers, nurses and librarians. She is being mentored by Monica Harmon, MSN, MPH, BSN, Senior Lecturer at Penn Nursing.

Another Penn Nursing faculty member, Kathleen Brown, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, Practice Associate Professor, is also mentoring a, award-winning senior from the College of Arts and Sciences. Kriya Patel’s project will help women about to be released from the all-female Riverside Correctional Facility in Philadelphia to apply for and secure health insurance and identification prior to release. The health insurance will allow the women to stay on their much-needed medication, which will aid in the re-entry process.

“These projects represent a most remarkable range of Penn-educated talent, determination and public-spirited enterprise among our students. They will no doubt be outstanding ambassadors of public service, and I look forward to seeing the results of their projects,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann, who made the announcement today.

The President’s Engagement Prizes are intended to strengthen Penn’s commitment under the Penn Compact 2020 to impactful local, national and global student engagement. The Prizes have been endowed by Trustee Judith Bollinger and William G. Bollinger, Trustee Lee Spelman Doty and George E. Doty Jr. and Emeritus Trustee James S. Riepe and Gail Petty Riepe.

The Selection Committee was chaired by Vice Provost for Education Beth Winkelstein, representing Provost Vincent Price. The members were Marc McMorris, chair of the Trustee Committee on Local, National and Global Engagement; Katlyn Grasso, a 2015 Engagement Prize winner; and a faculty member from each undergraduate school: Andrew Jackson of Engineering, Terri Lipman of Nursing, Emilio Parrado of Arts & Sciences and Keith Weigelt of Wharton.