Faculty Pathways

Penn Faculty Pathways Program

Penn Faculty Pathways Program

The Penn Faculty Pathways Program, co-sponsored by the Provost’s Office along with Deans of the respective schools, is designed to enhance the personal and professional development of faculty members in the first phase of their careers at Penn. The goal of the Penn Pathways program is to improve academic productivity as well as job satisfaction in junior faculty by providing resources to guide their career planning, personal development, and scholarly success at Penn. Now in its fourth year, Penn Pathways Fellows have reported significant increases in job satisfaction, knowledge of their personal strengths, confidence in their negotiation skills, and progress towards their career goals. Penn Pathways Fellows develop a sense of camaraderie, support and shared experience that transcend school and department boundaries to create a culture of collaboration.  Pathways also offers an optional second year of extended leadership and professional development skill building.

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Goals: The specific aims for the Penn Pathways program are:

  • Maximize the potential of Penn’s world-class faculty by optimizing their creativity, productivity, engagement, and satisfaction at work and in other parts of life
  • Build community and faculty collaboration across disciplines
  • Provide targeted  skill-building sessions to improve strategies for academic success at Penn 

Participants: All Tenure and Clinician Educator track Assistant Professors in STEM fields who have been at the University of Pennsylvania for two or more years may apply, and 15-18 will be selected to participate.

Time Commitment: Faculty in the program will attend a total of eight monthly sessions on select Fridays between September and April. Six of these sessions will be from 12-2:30 pm, and the first and last sessions will be extended until 3:00 pm. Participants will spend approximately 2 hours per week intermittently on program-related activities.     

Program Dates, 2016-17 (All Fridays):
2016: Sept. 9th, Oct. 14th, Nov. 4th, Dec. 9th ;  and, 2017: Jan. 13th, Feb. 17th, Mar. 24th, Apr. 21st

Program Content:

  • Faculty Career Development (5 sessions): Seminar sessions will be facilitated by content-area experts from Penn and other sites. Combining discussions with skill-building activities, these sessions focus on developing fundamental strategies for Promotion, Negotiation, Effective Communication, Time Management, and Career Planning. In the process, participants create a network of colleagues within the University who can provide peer mentoring and also some collegial enjoyment. 
  • Total Leadership Program (3 sessions):  This program developed at Wharton has been used with professionals world-wide. Through peer mentoring and individual reflection, these sessions will focus on increasing performance at work, at home, in the community and for the private self (mind, body, spirit) – by finding mutual value among these four life domains (see

Expected Outcomes:  Among our program cohorts thus far, Penn Pathways Fellows have achieved transformational outcomes. They found empowerment, insight, knowledge, and skills for advancing their academic careers and clarifying their values and goals for their work and other parts of life.  As one participant summarized, “the program provided me the impetus to think deeply about the direction I wanted to take my personal and professional life.” Others felt the program provided them a “sense of belonging” and “more connected” to the Penn community.    

Application Due Date: Email a completed application by June 13th to Susan Primavera (). Space is limited; we therefore encourage interested faculty to apply early.  

Program Contacts:  Feel free to address any questions or concerns to any of the following Pathways team faculty and staff:

Stephanie Abbuhl MD, Perelman School of Medicine ()

Stewart Friedman PhD, Wharton School ()  

Susan Margulies PhD, School of Engineering and Applied Science ()

Susan Primavera, Perelman School of Medicine ()

Patricia Scott, Perelman School of Medicine ()

Lucy Wolf Tuton PhD, Perelman School of Medicine ()