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The Arts & Sciences Annual Fund supports students and faculty every step of the way.

Shaaref Shah, LPS’18

Neuroscience is my foundation. Building experiments that illuminate the human mind is my frontier.

-Bema Boateng, C’22

Bema Boateng doesn’t just want to know what you did, she wants to understand why you did it. Her major in neuroscience and minor in bioethics help with that. A senior with research experience in labs from Penn’s MindCORE and the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania to Ghana’s Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, she wants to design experiments that can provide insights into the complexity of human behavior. Next up: an independent study using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, along with grad school applications and the rest of senior year.

Anthropology is my foundation. Illuminating relationships between politics, cities, and climate change is my frontier.

-Nikhil Anand, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Nikhil Anand knows that our future on land depends on how we live with water. His research in cities from Philadelphia to Mumbai examines how political infrastructures of the past shape social inequities and environmental hazards and disasters in the present, like who has access to clean water and whose lives and livelihoods climate change places at risk. Working with scholars, architects, artists, and fishing communities around the world, Professor Anand uses anthropology to reimagine alternative, just futures.

Applied Geosciences is my foundation. Working towards water equity is my frontier.

-Erica DePalma, LPS’20

As an undergraduate studying environmental science and sociology, Erica DePalma was deeply interested in how policies affect people. When she entered LPS’s Master of Science in Applied Geosciences program, she was able to research that connection on a global scale, with work on water supply protection in the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. Now as senior water equity research coordinator at the Water Center, Erica is focused on working with water utilities from across the country and beyond. Her primary role, she says, is bringing together disparate people—scholars, artists, policymakers, practitioners, students—and supporting collaborative work that will lead to solutions to local and global urban water challenges.

Gifts to the Arts & Sciences Annual Fund have an incredible impact on the school and contributed to the success of the Power of Penn Arts & Sciences Campaign.

Chemistry is my foundation. Discovery is my frontier.

-Madeleine Joullié, Professor of Chemistry

In 1949, Madeleine Joullié was the only woman in Penn’s graduate chemistry program. Seventy-two years later, she’s recognized as a leader in the field of synthetic chemistry and is beloved and respected by generations of students. She’s still at Penn and still doing research because, she says, “I still find the same things interesting. When I get up, I want to go do chemistry.”

The Benjamin Franklin Society (BFS) is a University-wide giving society of distinguished donors whose leadership forms one of the foundations for unrestricted giving. BFS members are recognized at the following levels:

  • Ambassadors: $25,000 and above
  • Founders: $10,000 to $24,999
  • Fellows: $5,000 to $9,999
  • Associates: $2,500 to $4,999
  • The Red and Blue Society recognizes donors contributing between $1,000 and $2,499.
  • The Dean’s Circle is a School-based giving group whose members contribute between $500 and $999.
  • The Friends of SAS is a School-based giving group whose members contribute between $1 and $499.

Behavioral and Decision Sciences is my foundation. Testing theory in real-world settings is my frontier.

-Shaaref Shah, LPS’18

Shaaref Shah, LPS’18, initially wasn’t sure if he wanted to pursue a career in research. The one-year master of behavioral and decision sciences provided him with the opportunity to find out. Classes that combined theory and practice, combined with a capstone project that allowed him to pursue his interest in the intersection of behavioral science and business studies gave him his answer: research was definitely for him. After working as a research associate, he recently accepted an offer to pursue a doctorate in business and management with a marketing and behavioral focus.

Organizational Dynamics is my foundation. Bringing empathy to the business world is my frontier.

-Alicia Del Real, LPS’17

Alicia Del Real, LPS’17, enrolled in the master of organizational dynamics program because her favorite part of work was always helping people succeed. Now, that’s her whole career. As the president of a firm focused on leadership development, she says emotional intelligence and empathy are skills that deserve practice and attention. Whether she’s meeting with her clients over Zoom or for an outdoor meeting, she’s finding ways to stay connected and is grateful that every day, she gets to do what she loves.

The Warren Lichtenstein Arts & Sciences Annual Fund Challenge provides matching funds so that alumni can amplify the power of their Annual Fund gifts. Challenge donors are qualified for inclusion in the Benjamin Franklin Society, which honors Penn’s most generous supporters of unrestricted annual giving funds. 

Contact us

For more information, contact Laura Weber, Assistant Vice Dean, at or 215-746-7669.

If you prefer, you may send a check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. Please note “Arts & Sciences Annual Fund” in the memo section and mail to Penn Arts & Sciences, Office of Advancement, 3600 Market Street, Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3284.