07 Mar 2012

Sphinx Newsletter: Winter 2012

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1) Welcome Note
2) Upcoming Events
3) Sphinx  Campus Update
4) “Sphinx Links” Mentoring Update
5) Sphinx Leadership  Award
6) Sphinx Alumni Fund

1) Welcome Note

Dear Sphinx Members –

Since we resurrected the Sphinx Board of Governors three years ago, we have accomplished a number of things, but have only begun to hit our stride. Steve Klitzman, Board member and C’66, has done a stellar job starting a mentoring program called “Sphinx Links.” So far, the program has connected over 20 Sphinx alumni mentors and undergraduate mentees and is seeking more mentors for the Class of 2012.(see story below). Greg Suss, Board member and C’75, is launching a new Sphinx leadership award in memory and honor of the late Paul Miller, C’83,  a former Sphinx Scribe and Commissioner on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Board will bestow this recognition for the first time at the Sphinx Banquet on April 27 at the Orpheus Club(see story below).

From continuing to upgrade the Sphinx website, to fundraising for an endowment, to exploring a long-term Sphinx gift to Penn, the Board’s actions to date are only exceeded by its camaraderie and enthusiasm in ensuring Sphinx remains a strong and effective Penn organization for many years to come.

We look forward to seeing you at the next Sphinx get-togethers—the Annual Banquet on April 27 (details below) and a champagne brunch during Alumni Weekend on Saturday, May 12 from 10:30-11:30am–Goodhand room in the LGBT Center (3907 Spruce).  If you have suggestions, please feel free to email me at merrie.frankel@moodys.com, or call me at 212-553-3652.
All the best,
Merrie S. Frankel, C’76
President-Sphinx, Board of Governors

P.S. Our hard-working Board member Lex Ruby Howe, C’07, has recently moved to Australia to be an aide to the Prime Minister. We already miss her, but know she’s only an email away, full of ideas.

2)  Upcoming Events

Annual Sphinx Banquet – April 27

The 2012 Sphinx class would like to invite all our alumni to the annual Sphinx Banquet. It would be an honor to have you present at the most important Sphinx event of the year. At the banquet we will be officially initiating the class of 2013 and this year’s honorary member. The event will take place Friday, April 27th at the Orpheus Club (254 South Van Pelt Street). Tickets will be available for purchase soon, Please be on the look out for pricing information.

If you are interested in attending please reach out to Wolete Moko (wmoko@sas.upenn.edu) or Luis Ernesto del Valle (delu@wharton.upenn.edu).

Alumni Weekend Champagne Brunch – May 12

Join the new Sphinx class, graduating class, and fellow Sphinx alumni as we kick off Alumni Weekend.   A champagne brunch will be held on May 12 from 10:30 – 11:30 am in the Goodhand Room of the LGBT Center at 3907 Spruce St.

3) Sphinx  Campus Update

Though not too much of the semester has gone by… Sphinx has been very busy!

First, a short synopsis of last semester… We came back to campus and the Sphinx fun started immediately. Not only did we attend shows, but also tapped and initiated seven new Sphinx — all of whom have completely changed the dynamic of our group for the better. We supported our friends’ shows. We held secret dinners, a Sphinx BYO, a Sphinx sleepover, and an amazing homecoming reception with Friars. As the semester wound down, we began to plan next semester’s events.

We did two particularly exciting things so far this semester. Firstly, we went to Phillyfest – a South Asian Dance competition – in which one of our members, Nicky Singh, competed and Penn Masala performed. Nicky’s team won second place for their incredible performance! Second, some Sphinx members made their way to a cabin in the Poconos. The trip was  fun and a great  bonding experience.

We will be celebrating our second semester together, but  we want to take a moment to recognize the individual accomplishments of some Sphinx members. First, we congratulate Tom Brandt who was chosen in the Major League Soccer supplemental draft. His constant commitment and obvious skill were recognized by the Philadelphia Union. We wish him all the best. Additionally, we want to congratulate Roni Mathew (Dhamaka), Wolete Moko (Mask and Wig) , Gabby Abrishamian-Garcia (Strictly Funk), Zachary Bell (Simply Chaos), Cortney Charleston (The Excelano Project), Joseph Lawless (Without A Net), Vinay Rao (Penn Masala), Harshil Shukla (Penn Masala), Nicky Singh (Masti) , and DeAnna Supplee (All her Plays) on their upcoming shows.

We are celebrating our last few months as Penn students and hope that at some point we will be able to celebrate with all of you.

SMSL (So Much Sphinx Love),
Anita Saggurti
Chief 2012

4) “Sphinx Links” Mentoring Update

“Sphinx Links” Mentoring Program Seeks More Mentors for Sphinx Class of 2012; Matched 10 Sphinx Class of 2011 Graduates With Sphinx Alumni

The Sphinx Senior Society Board of Governors created the “Sphinx Links” mentoring program in 2010 to offer the career and life advice of experienced Sphinx alumni primarily to current Sphinx seniors and recently graduated Sphinx members, but also to other Sphinx alumni

For the Sphinx Class of 2012, we are now seeking Sphinx Links alumni mentors. To become such a mentor, please fill out the questionnaire on the Sphinx web site here.

Based on the responses of the potential mentees, the members of the Class of 2012, we are especially looking for Sphinx alumni mentors in the areas of:

  1. Actuarial Consulting and Science
  2. Advertising
  3. Brand Management
  4. Coaching
  5. Communications
  6. Doctoral Program in American Studies, English
  7. Entrepreneurship in Bioinformatics and Biotechnology
  8. Genetic Engineering
  9. Health Care Consulting/Economics/Management
  10. Law
  11. Management Consulting
  12. Marketing
  13. Medicine
  14. Nursing(Adult Acute Care; Anesthesia; Emergency; Trauma Care, etc.)
  15. Politics
  16. Product Development and Management
  17. Public Health and Nutrition (domestic and international)
  18. Public Policy Advocacy (Women/Queer Rights; Non-Profit/Social Ministry/Using Spanish, etc.)
  19. Public Relations (at technology and multimedia firms)
  20. Quantitative Management Consulting
  21. Regenerative Medicine
  22. Sales
  23. Technology Marketing
  24. Theater
  25. Urban Education (Teach for America)
  26. Venture Capital

If you work in any of these areas and are willing to offer your expertise and guidance to members of the Sphinx Class of 2012, please email Steve Klitzman at sklitzma@aol.com, or call Steve at 202-418- 1763. (Steve, C’66, is a member of the Sphinx Board of Governors and Coordinator, Sphinx Links).

2011: Sphinx Links Matched 10 Mentors and Mentees

In 2011, Sphinx Links matched 10 Sphinx Class of 2011 graduates with Sphinx alumni in business, entertainment, finance, journalism, law, medicine, new media and public health. The Sphinx alumni advised the recent graduates on their job searches, helped them practice for interviews, and also discussed post-Penn career opportunities, including work, graduate school, public service or volunteer activities.

Sphinx Links also provided contact information on Sphinx alumni in New York City working in the “government/legal area” to a Sphinx alumnus now working in NYC as a government prosecutor and thinking of making a job change.

The new Sphinx Links program has been well received by both mentors and mentees. For example, one alumni mentor wrote his mentee and he “spoke for over an hour yesterday evening. We had a good chat about our backgrounds and his upcoming job search, and I helped him to prep for an interview this week. We definitely intend to keep in touch, especially over the upcoming several weeks during his search. Thanks for connecting us!”

In a similar positive vein, one Class of 2011 mentee now working as a paralegal but planning to apply to law school in 2012 wrote that she found “invaluable” the conversations she’s had so far with both a recent Sphinx alumna who also worked for a year and then started Harvard Law School as well as with a Sphinx alumnus who’s been practicing law in Philadelphia for many years.

The role of a Sphinx Links mentor and your level of involvement will be entirely up to you and your time commitment should be relatively limited. As we state on the Sphinx web site, “you may exchange an occasional email or telephone call, help a student prepare for an interview, counsel a recent graduate entering the job market, advise a fellow Sphinx alumnus or alumna considering a job or career change, provide advice and expertise on an industry, market or profession, or even offer an internship or job.”

(Thanks to Steve Klitzman for his diligence in initiating, organizing, and matching Sphinx Links mentors and mentees)

5) Sphinx Board To Award New Paul Miller Sphinx Leadership Award at Annual Spring Banquet

The Sphinx Senior Society Board of Governors is pleased to announce the Paul Miller Leadership Award, which it will present for the first time to a graduating Sphinx senior at the annual Spring Banquet in April.

The award is named in honor of Penn and Sphinx Alumnus Paul Miller C’83.  An active member of the Penn Community as a student (Mask and Wig, SAC, Sphinx Scribe), he suffered from a form of dwarfism, achondroplasia, and became a tireless fighter for civil and disability rights. After graduating Harvard Law School, Paul helped pass the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act barring discrimination on the basis of disability.   President Clinton named Paul a Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on which he served with considerable distinction for ten years. Later, he returned to Washington to work in the Obama administration as Special Assistant to the President with responsibility for managing political appointments at the U.S. Department of Justice as well as for positions relating to disability programs.  At the time of his death from cancer in October 2010, he was a professor of law at the University of Washington Law School.   The Sphinx Alumni Board of Governors is proud to name its new leadership award for Paul Miller, an outstanding campus leader and a distinguished public servant.

The award will be given to the graduating Sphinx senior who the Board regards as one who has most selflessly and significantly contributed to the betterment and missions of the Sphinx Senior Society and the University; demonstrated collaborative leadership with others in the Penn community on a major program or project, especially in the areas of civil rights and public service, and/or inspired and led other campus leaders to enhance the Penn community as  a “leader of leaders.”

A sub-committee of the Board of Governors, upon the additional advice of the sitting undergrad Chief, Pharisee and Scribe (who are ineligible for consideration), will choose the recipient based on the above criteria, holding up the values and achievements of Paul Miller as an aspirational model of leadership.

You can find the full award proposal and application details at: http://bit.ly/Ai1J2t

6)  Sphinx Alumni Fund

The Sphinx Alumni Fund has successfully supported and strengthened the activities of the Sphinx Senior Society and the Sphinx alumni community over the past year, and we are now pleased to announce  a new online giving tool.

Contributions are critical to support the current Sphinx class and alumni community. Donations at  any level are greatly appreciated, but suggested levels include:

Chief – $250
Pharisee – $100
Scribe – $50

Please click the link below to donate today: