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Penn Alumni Spring Webinars

This spring, take advantage of educational and networking programs all without leaving your home or office. These online webinars are free and easy to access directly from your computer.

When you were a student, office hours provided an opportunity to ask in-depth questions and to explore points of interest with your professor outside of class. Penn Alumni Office Hours provides this same opportunity to alumni – without the required reading or threat of a pop quiz. These live, in-depth, and interactive webinars offer Penn alumni an exclusive opportunity to engage in dialogue with Penn’s renowned faculty on a variety of topics.

February 15, 2012
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Office Hours with Peter Decherney
Hollywood’s Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet
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Copyright law guides filmmakers’ artistic decisions; it underlies Hollywood’s corporate structure; and it determines how audiences consume media. Since the widespread adoption of the internet in the 1990s, copyright law has begun to affect an ever-expanding range of media producers and consumers, including amateur video makers, file sharers, and internet entrepreneurs. As a result, even high school students now hold strong opinions about copy protection, the public domain, and other complex areas of cultural policy that had previously been the obscure domain of legal experts. Join Peter Decherney, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and English, for a discussion about copyright's influence over the art and business of film. Learn how copyright disputes involving Edison, Chaplin, Spielberg, and others shaped the studio system. And discuss how digital intellectual property is changing the industry today.

Additional resources:
Copyright Wars> Decherney reacts to recent Supreme Court case
Will Copyright Stifle Hollywood?> New York Times op-ed (October 4, 2011)

March 14, 2012
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Office Hours with John Gearhart
Regenerative Medicine: Stem Cell Tourism and Athletic Enhancements
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John Gearhart was one of the first scientists to identify and isolate human embryonic stem cells and is a leading expert in regenerative medicine. He is often quoted in the popular press and has testified in front of Congress numerous times regarding stem cell research and treatments. As the Director of the Penn Institute for Regenerative Medicine, John oversees and coordinates stem cell research across campus. Join John for a lively discussion where he will discuss the complex topic of stem cell tourism: when patients travel to other countries to undergo stem cell therapies that are not approved in the United States. John will also discuss the contentious issue of stem cell enhancements for athletes giving them a competitive edge!

Additional resources:
About John Gearhart
Penn Institute for Regnerative Medicine> Research areas
Chasing the Miracle Cure> ESPN article touching on the use of stem cell treatments for professional athletes (October 5, 2011)

April 18, 2012
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Office Hours with Anthea Butler
Faith Matters: Religion and Rhetoric in the 2012 Election
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Who says religion and politics don’t mix? Recent surveys indicate that the 2012 presidential contest could be the most religiously based presidential race in recent history, making it all the more important for voters to educate themselves about the religious rhetoric and strategies used by the Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Join Anthea Butler, Professor of Religious Studies, for a discussion of the crucial role religion is already playing in the forthcoming election. A sought after media commentator, Professor Butler blogs about religion and politics at the daily online magazine “Religion Dispatches.” She is currently completing her book The Gospel According to Sarah: How Sarah Palin and the Tea Party are Galvanizing the Religious Right (The New Press) to be published in Spring 2012.

Additional information about these and other upcoming Office Hours webinars available at

Regardless of whether you are currently in the midst of a job search or simply looking for a professional development opportunity, Penn Alumni and Career Services invite you to join us for the following career networking webinars. Each workshop will be led by a seasoned career counselor from Career Services’ list of external career coaches.

January 25, 2012
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Transitioning Back to Work: Matters of the HeART
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Presented by Amy Gleklen, W’81, WG’86, founder of Next Game Plan
Are you thinking about returning to work after a career break? Whether you are in the initial stage or at an advanced stage of your search, this webinar will provide you with the tools to build confidence in your abilities and develop a winning attitude to move forward. Amy will outline a process for exploring career reentry options and best-fit strategies. Her coaching approach builds on twenty-five years of leadership experience in the corporate, professional services, small business, and nonprofit sectors, through which she has helped clients transition to new careers, manage their careers, and move to the next level of leadership.

February 16, 2012
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Being Assertive in the Workplace: Striking a Balance
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Presented by Peter Jacobs, founder of Global Career Coaching
Some seem to believe that aggressiveness is the key to success at the workplace. They think that they can achieve their goals by imposing their views on others and forcing them to do what they want. Others are told that they have a lot of potential and great functional skills, but need to focus on becoming more assertive if they want to move into a leadership role. Ultimately, in team environments – where interpersonal relationships are very important for achieving goals - knowing when, where and how to be assertive is a core competency. In this webinar, Peter will explore how to recognize the situations where assertiveness will most benefit you and some constructive ways to manifest it.

March 6, 2012
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Navigating Career Resources for Penn Alumni
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Presented by Sharon Fleshman and Barbara Hewitt, Senior Associate Directors in the Career Services office
Did you know that as a Penn graduate you have access to lifelong career resources through the Career Services office at Penn? Whether you are in the midst of a career transition or simply contemplating your career options, sign-up for this webinar to learn how the Career Services office can assist you with exploring career options, perfecting your cover letters and resumes, applying to graduate or professional school, and accessing the online job listings employers post for University of Pennsylvania alumni. The webinar will also briefly cover best practices for the job search in what is still a tight job market. (Please note that Wharton MBA graduates are served by the MBA Career Management Office and Law School Graduates are served by Penn Law Career Planning and Professionalism Office. This webinar will not focus on services for graduates of these programs.)

April 10, 2012
1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
Personal Branding for Career Success
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Presented by Susan Chritton, M.Ed, Career Strategist for Pathways-Career & Life Strategies Personal branding is one of today’s hottest career strategy topics and an essential tool for thriving in today’s work environment. In this presentation, Susan Chritton, Master Personal Brand Strategist, takes you through the proven, three-step personal branding process so that you can learn the secrets of building and communicating your winning personal brand. This inspiring presentation is ideal for customer-facing employees and emerging leaders. It enables them to increase their confidence and use their innate strengths to build strong and enduring relationships. Participants will understand the need to increase their visibility, demonstrate their strengths, and align everything they do and how they do it with their unique promise of value.

Additional information about these and other upcoming career networking webinars available at

Photography and Web design by Valerie Blassey

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