House Life

2016 College House Deans' Integrated Knowledge Award

The mission of the College Houses at Penn is to provide supportive residential communities for undergraduate students. By design, the Houses integrate the intellectual and academic experiences of the conventional classroom with the everyday life—through programming, events, and powerful interactions between faculty, staff, and students.

In support of that academic mission, the eleven College House Deans, who serve as chief administrators of these communities, are pleased to announce the winners of the sixth annual College House Deans Integrated Knowledge Award.

Award Winners
(left to right: Jared Fenton, Austin Bream, and Darlina Liu)

First Place:
Austin Bream
Kings Court English College House

Austin Bream.







Austin Bream is a man with a passion for practical, forward-thinking sustainability. Currently serving as a Resident Advisor in Kings Court English College House, he is also working as an intern with Green Campus Partnership, running the Green Living Certification program and the Power Down Challenge.  He works with the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities as a member of the Academic Advisory Board, and he helped launch WetLand, a "mobile, sculptural habitat and public space constructed to explore resource interdependency and climate change in urban centers" (  In Kings Court English, he is developing a solar-powered, hydroponic food garden and leads House programming on sustainability and environmental issues.

"Austin has unobtrusively but consistently combined acknowledgment of his responsibility to his community with expressions of his community’s responsibilities to its world. He provides an ongoing but understated example of how to integrate one’s passion for the pursuit of meaningful and tangible change with a rigorous pursuit of one’s intellectual and academic goals. He is, in short, a stellar role model for his residents, and for the residents of KCECH more broadly. And he achieves all of this without ever standing on a soap-box or stridently calling for change." — Prof. Cam Grey, College House Fellow, Kings Court English College House


Second Place:
Darlina Liu
Rodin College House

Darlina Liu.







As an RA in Rodin College House, biology major Darlina Liu strives to integrate her interests in health and wellness into the lives of her College House residents.  Leveraging her experiences as a programming VP in the Leadership Residential Program and as a Caught Caring volunteer in Rodin's #rodinCARES program, she has melded her academic interests in biology and anthropology by organizing Rodin_24 dinners around the topics as diverse as gun violence and bio-photonics research. Creating events like "Fitness February" and Walk'n'Talks allows her to foster cultural change aimed at increased health and happiness in her community.

"I have noticed Darlina especially in her role as co-leader of #rodinCARES. I myself have benefited from the “Take What You Need” campaign, and noted how successful such a simple and silent gesture could be... My family personally participated in the MLK Jr. Day of stairwell painting—that activity offers permanent support for generations of students to come, with the uplifting and colorful messages and images in the otherwise dreary and dirty stairwells. They make a difference in my own daily life, time and time again. And the day of painting itself is therapeutic, community-building, and memorable... Her whole-person approach, to herself and to others, is itself a healing influence." — Dr. Jamuna Samuel, College House Fellow, Rodin College House



Third Place:
Jared Fenton
Harrison College House

Jared Fenton.





Seeking solutions to remedy the ongoing mental health crisis at Penn has been a challenge for the University administration and health professionals.  Also answering the call for aid is Harrison's Jared Fenton, a Penn Civic Scholar who founded Penn Reflect, a student group intended to give Penn students a place for peer support and student-run group therapy.  Gathering over food like sushi and pizza, Penn Reflect welcomes students to open up to each other about what life at the University is actually like, providing opportunities for them to form supportive communities to combat stress and feelings of failure.  Jared partnered with the College Houses, bringing programming to Harrison and Rodin, and his program has grown to over 300 participants and spawned offshoots to continue and spread the work of healing.

"Most residents come to events looking for a source of food or something to pass the time with, but Jared engages more than others. He is one of the most passionate residents I have met so far." —Lyndsi Burcham, Social Events Coordinator, Harrison College House



The award recipients received a cash prize at a special award reception in April 2016:

  • First prize: $1,000
  • Second prize: $500
  • Third prize: $250

Selection Committee

The candidates were reviewed and winners chosen by the College House Deans: Patricia C. Williams of Du Bois; Shawna Patterson of Fisher Hassenfeld; Dr. Christopher Donovan of Gregory; Courtney Dombroski of Harnwell; Dr. Frank Pellicone of Harrison; Trina Nocerino of Hill; Dr. Krimo Bokreta of Kings Court English; Dr. Marilynne Diggs-Thompson of Riepe; Tommy Murphy of Rodin; Nadir Sharif of Stouffer; and Amanda Atkinson of Ware.