Faculty Affairs and Professional Development

Perelman School of Medicine

University of Pennsylvania


The Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty of the Perelman School of Medicine (ASEF-PSOM) serves to enhance the careers of the emeritus faculty by encouraging them to remain a part of the community of scholars in the School of Medicine. The Association also serves to support the senior faculty by raising awareness of the full range of retirement options available to them, whether they are planning to retire within two years or two decades.



2014-15 Letter from the President

Hello from your new ASEF President










An Enthusiastic Debut to ASEF-PSOM's New Series

"Healthy Aging"

On March 26th 2015, senior and emeritus faculty enjoyed a stimulating luncheon seminar "Skip the Checklist - Aim to Age Well" in the new ASEF-PSOM's program entitled "Healthy Aging." We were delighted to have as our speaker, Dr. Sara Hope Kagan, the Lucy Walker Honorary Term Professor of Gerontological Nursing and recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur fellowship in the School of Nursing.

In her unique and non-traditional presentation using cartoons to emphasize individual points, Dr. Kagan addressed the positive aspects of what we are all asking. What do we make of the current societal discourse on healthy aging? Is healthy aging a useful metric for an aging society? Or for individual lives? She offered "Aging Well" (an alternate version to our title) as a response to fundamental flaws made in the assumptions of healthy aging, and proposed parameters. One of the assumptions she questioned was on the so-called "silver tsunami" that predicts an aging world the younger members of the population would need to support. She counters this concern as most of the baby boomer generation are delaying retirement and working till much later in life. She posited that a major challenge to aging well is our being bombarded with so-called scientific information of what is portrayed as "required" to stay healthy. This results in too much attention being paid to checklists of medicines to take, food to eat and activities to undertake in order to delay aging. Instead, she argues that there is no one way to age well and that it will vary from individual to individual. Although genetic backgrounds are a factor, we should not put too much store in the notion in having a genetic destiny that cannot be changed. While we have to accept our own mortality and prepare for it sensibly, there are many individual ways upon which we should focus to remain healthy and active. "It's not your age, it's your frailty"; we need to keep mentally active and physically active. Certainly, exercise is good for you but it is important to realize it can be accomplished in activities other than specific hours in a gym-health club. Moreover, we need to maintain social relationships and promote mental activity by becoming involved in new situations and undertaking new challenges.

There were many questions for Dr. Kagan and points of discussion, always the hallmark of hours well spent!




ASEF-PSOM February event held at the University of Pennsylvania

Museum of Anthropology and Archeology

A group of Penn faculty and guests gathered at the University Museum on Feb. 19th for an afternoon program organized by ASEF-PSOM. We were first treated to a 90 minute lecture entitled "CSI: Ancient Egypt, Solving Deaths on the Nile" by Steven R. Phillips, Ph.D., an Emeritus Professor of Physical Anthropology and Curatorial Research Coordinator of the Museum's Egyptian Section. In this well-illustrated and fascinating presentation, Dr. Phillips introduced us to some basic principles of physical anthropology, demonstrating characteristics of the skull and bony skeleton that indicate the subject's likely gender, approximate age, and evidence of illness or trauma. These studies have been greatly advanced by radiological enhancements and are applicable in both archeological and forensic investigations. He briefly discussed the work at a Tennessee site, in which he had participated, where the decomposition patterns of human remains are examined using cadavers willed for scientific study. The second part of the talk was focused on Tutankhamun, the boy king whose tomb engendered such excitement when it was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. A popular theory - as murders always are - advanced in the 70's was that young King Tut had been killed by a blow to the head. However, closer skeletal examination suggested the damage noted at the base of the skull was likely caused by recovery from the tomb. The most probable cause of death could be ascribed to several factors: first, he had suffered from malaria, second, he had congenital deformations in one foot and difficulty in walking (as attested to by 20+ walking sticks in the tomb), and third, there was evidence of an unhealed leg fracture which could have led to sepsis. Taken together, these observations point to death by a less surreptitious set of circumstances than criminologists had envisioned.

Following the lecture, a graduate student in the Egyptology program led us on a tour of some of the Egyptian artifacts and provided historical and compelling background of the pieces. We also visited the laboratory where specimens including mummies (found in the museum basement!) were being analyzed. At our final stop, we gathered at the signature attraction of the museum collection, the 3,200 year-old massive granite sphinx of the Pharaoh Ramesses the Great that arrived here intact in 1913. Penn has amassed over 40,000 Egyptian artifacts and been fortunate in not experiencing the need to repatriate the treasures through permission obtained in their acquisition and in continuing personal relationships with influential Egyptians. Visit the Museum [www.penn.museum] at no charge with your Penn ID card and learn, as we did, about ancient history!



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Remembering with Smiles the ASEF-PSOM & PASEF

New Faculty Emeriti October 2014 Program and Reception

On a Fall Wednesday late afternoon and early evening on October 29th, 45 newly retired faculty from the University of Pennsylvania - of which 25 from 17 departments were members of the Perelman School of Medicine - were honored in a program and reception held at Sweeten Alumni House on a colorful tree-lined Locust Walk. The event was sponsored jointly for the second year by the Associations of Senior and Emeritus Faculty of the Perelman School of Medicine (ASEF-PSOM) and University (PASEF).

Greetings to the attendees were extended by former ASEF president, Anna Meadows, and current PASEF president, Jack Nagel, who then introduced our enthusiastic guest speaker Dr. Anita Allen, Vice Provost for Faculty. The amazing accomplishments of the 45 faculty, together with introspective and also humorous remembrances of their careers at Penn, were presented in short citations by Rob Roy MacGregor, past PASEF president, and Jeanne Myers, current ASEF president. Honorees were applauded and congratulated personally by many fellow colleagues. After the program portion, all enjoyed a reception of wine and a plentiful assortment of menu items, with - most importantly - time to exchange memories and talk about future plans.

ASEF Honoree Bios

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Hazel I. Holst, M.D., pioneer female plastic surgeon

Dr. Hazel I. Holst died April 9th at the age of 83. She attended Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania after being turned down at her first choice, the University of Minnesota, because administrators felt the married woman and mother would not use her medical training. Dr. Holst became a resident in general surgery at Women's Medical College (now Medical College of Pennsylvania), and then at HUP in plastic surgery. She spent the rest of her career in the Department of Surgery as one of the first titled women's doctors, and also practiced at the VA and Philadelphia General Hospital and CHOP, treating trauma victims. Hand surgery became her specialty, influenced by hand surgeon Hans May at Lankenau Hospital. A celebration of Dr. Holst's life will be held on June 20th at the Wyndham Alumnae House, Bryn Mawr College.

More information on Dr. Holst's life.




New Summary of Information on Retirement Communities

Howard Goldfine, Jim Saunders and Heidi George have recently assembled a set of tables providing important information for those considering the move to a retirement community. You can find this information by clicking on the Retirement Communities link under Spotlights in the right column of this web page or simply clicking here.




Medical Faculty Senate Presentation

On Wednesday, October 1st ASEF President Jeanne Myers delivered a presentation to the Medical Faculty Senate concerning ASEF's mission and current events. Here it is in case you missed it.




The Hitchhiker's Guide to Faculty Retirement

We are proud to announce the release of the Eighth Edition of the Hitchhiker's Guide to Faculty Retirement, ASEF's annually revised handbook highlighting the policy and process governing the transition from full-time faculty to emeritus.

Please refer to the official release notes for a review of the updates to this year's edition.




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