Penn Graduate Student Center

Penn Theme

About Penn Theme

Each year, the Penn Provost’s office sponsors a series of events around a theme chosen by faculty, staff and students.  Past themes have included: Evolution, Arts & the City, Water, Games, and Sound.

2014-15 is the Year of Health.  During the year we will explore health, wellness, and welfare across many areas of our lives. What role does health play in defining our history and guiding our future? In our relationships and interactions with others? In technological development? In business? How does health differ throughout the world, both conceptually and physically? What are some of the ethical and legal questions health raises? Join us for events devoted to this fascinating topic. And let us know if you have ideas for events related to Health during the year!


Afternoon at the Morris Arboretum

Sunday, October 19, 2014, 01:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Meet at the entrance of the Penn Bookstore
Ticket sales end: Saturday, October 18, 2014
Price: $5 each, no limit

Join us in exploring the beautiful fall foliage at one of Pennsylvania's oldest public gardens. The Morris Arboretum is home to thousands of rare and lovely woody plants, including some of Philadelphia's oldest, rarest, and largest trees. Come meander along winding paths and streams to discover hidden natural and artistic treasures!

Our trip will coincide with the following events:

  • The Scarecrow Walk: More than 30 scarecrows will be on display. Vote for your favorite in the “Heroes and Villains” theme!

  • Bloomfield Farm Day: Along with demonstrations, music, food, and a few animals, is the opportunity to tour the restored Springfield Mills, originally constructed in 1760.

  • Grist Mill Demonstration Day: Come visit this 18th century mill and see how corn was milled for meal and flour.

Purchase tickets from the Front Desk at the Graduate Student Center.

The $5 cost for this event covers bus transportation to and from the Penn Bookstore and entrance to the Arboretum. The bus will leave from the Penn Bookstore at 1 PM and return to the Penn Bookstore at 5 PM.

Meet at 1 PM outside the Penn Bookstore at 36th & Walnut. The bus will depart promptly at 1:15 PM.  Don’t be late!! 

We will provide snacks for the bus trip, though we recommend bringing a water bottle. Food and drink will be available for purchase at the Arboretum.

Year of Health

Show dates
Mindful Meditation

Join your fellow grad students for guided meditation with Sandi Herman of Campus Health Initiatives. Mindful Meditation sessions will be held every Thursday at 12 noon in the lower level meeting room in the Grad Center at 3615 Locust Walk. 

Show dates
Chair Flow Yoga

Interested in trying yoga but don't know where to start? Join us for our chair yoga series! You get the same benefits of a regular yoga workout (like increased strength, flexibility and balance) but don’t have to master complex poses. Chair yoga can even better your breathing and teach you how to relax your mind and improve your well being.

John Wylie currently works as a Police Lieutenant with the University of Pennsylvania Police Department. He received a BA in Religious Studies from Franklin & Marshall College, and his MS in Organizational Dynamics from Penn. John is the father of two young men, Brent Michael-Alexander and John LeJuan II. John has been teaching yoga for the last 6 years and is a certified Yoga Instructor RYT 200 In Baron Baptiste’s Power Yoga through Power Yoga works and Bill Raup in Philadelphia. He has 80 hours of teacher training under Shiva Rea in Prana Flow Vinyasa . He completed a certificate in teaching Yoga for Seniors at the Kripalu Yoga center in Massachusetts. John’s yoga teaching is influenced by instructors that he has had in Anusara and Anna Forrest Yoga along with Duncan Wong, Janet Stone, and Simon Park. For the last three years he has been studying Iyengar Yoga (Classical Yoga) under Yoga Master Mrs. Joan White here in Philadelphia. John describes his style of teaching Power yoga as Fluid Power, whereby the yoga allows you to flow with movement into various positions and also become still to find freedom and peace in alignment. He has taught Chair Yoga for the last three years from the same ideological format. In another lifetime John also received a black belt in a Japanese Karate style called “Muji Shin Te” with his sensei Thomas Coleman.

Show dates
Fun-Runs @ The Grad Center

Need some motivation to get up and get going on a Saturday morning? Want to exercise within a casual, supportive community? Then join us for "Fun Runs @ The Grad Center!" On select Saturday mornings, we will meet outside the Grad Center, jog along the Schuylkill River, and engage in friendly conversation along the way! Feel free to bring your questions about running or racing in Philadelphia.

Please note that this is a physical, outdoor activity; therefore, you must participate according to your own fitness level and experience. Please dress appropriately, and please do not exert yourself over your own limits. We will break into small groups, as needed, and run between 2-6mi at about 8:00/mi to 12:00/mi pace.

Please RSVP by pressing the registration button. Make sure you arrive on-time; otherwise we may leave without you! Please contact us, as soon as you are able, if you have registered and cannot attend--this helps us to plan accordingly.

Scheduled workouts will be led by Josh, a Grad Center Fellow, PhD student at PennGSE, and experienced marathoner and coach. We can add sessions, if regular attendees would like to take a turn at leading workouts, as well.

  • Meet outside the Grad Center just before 10:30am.
  • If weather is inclement, we will meet inside the Grad Center lobby (and may cancel, if the weather is very poor). 
  • The building is locked until 12pm, so do not bring extra belongings with you!

Book Discussion: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Monday, October 20, 2014, 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
Room 305 (3rd Floor)

Join other graduate students in discussing this year's reading project text The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down with Kathleen McCauley, Professor of Cardiovascular Nursing and Associate Dean for Academic Programs.  Wine and cheese will be served. You can purchase the book at the Graduate Student Center for $5.

The Spirit Catches You, by Anne Fadiman, explores the story of a Hmong family, refugees from Laos who immigrated to California, whose young daughter was diagnosed with severe epilepsy.  Despite the best intentions of everyone involved – medical workers and family members – cultural misunderstandings led to tragedy.  The Spirit Catches You explores both global medical issues, as well as those central to American healthcare practices. Read more about the book here.

Book Sale: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Price: $5 each, limit 1 per Graduate Penn Card

Purchase a discounted copy of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down for $5 and join us for our book discussion on October 20th.

Common Room Hours

Monday-Thursday: 9AM-8PM Friday: 9AM-6PM Weekends: 12 NOON-6PM

Graduate Student Center

3615 Locust Walk
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia PA 19104-6221