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 seventh 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

The Program recently completed its sixth year, serving a total of 106 STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Medicine) assistant professors to date; click here for more details on all Pathways participants. 

Participants: All University of Pennsylvania Assistant Professors in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Medicine) fields on the Tenure or Clinician-Educator track may apply, and 12-18 will be selected to participate.  Note: Assistant professors who have been faculty members for at least one or two years (here at Penn or at another institution) may be better positioned to get the most out of this program (as compared with those just appointed). We will, however, accept applications of assistant professors at any stage (from recent appointment to pre-promotion review) for consideration.

Time Commitment: Faculty in the program will attend a total of eight (monthly) sessions on select Fridays, beginning at noon. Lunch is provided. The first session is 3 hours and the following sessions 2.5 hours. For the final session, we will divide the class into two groups with each staying for a 2.5-hour timeframe between 12:00 and 4:30 PM. In addition to class time, participants spend about 1-2 hours per week intermittently on program-related activities.

Program Dates (All Fridays):  2019: Sept. 6th, Oct. 11th, Nov. 15th, Dec. 13th and 2020: Jan. 24th, Feb. 21st, Mar. 20th, Apr. 17th   

Program Content:

  • Total Leadership Program (3 sessions): 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
  • 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 Effective Leadership, Promotion, Time/Energy Management, Effective Communication, 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. 

Expected Outcomes:   In our program thus far, Penn Pathways Fellows have achieved significant outcomes. They developed 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 17th to Susan Primavera ().  Space is limited, so we 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 ()

Ivan Dmochowski PhD, School of Arts & Sciences ()

Stewart Friedman PhD, Wharton School ()

Bridget Keogh Dougherty MPH, Perelman School of Medicine ()

Susan Primavera, Perelman School of Medicine ()

Lucy Wolf Tuton PhD, Perelman School of Medicine ()

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