Photo Page: LDI 2018 SUMR Bus Sightseeing Tour of Philadelphia

SUMR Blog

Photo Page: LDI 2018 SUMR Bus Sightseeing Tour of Philadelphia

From Writhing Dragons in Chinatown to the Rocky Statue at the Art Museum
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Goofing for the camera as they wait their turn for a photo op at the Philadelphia Art Museum's Rocky Statue are SUMR Scholars William Jackson and Nahnsan Guseh. They were on a bus tour of Philadelphia cultural and historic attractions with a contingent of other scholars from the University of Pennsylvania's Summer Undergraduate Minority Research (SUMR) program. Sponsored by LDI and the Wharton School Health Care Management Department, the three-month long SUMR program is aimed at underrepresented minority undergraduates and others interested in exploring potential careers in the field of health services research (HSR). It immerses students in an intense HSR curriculum and pairs each with a Penn faculty member in an ongoing HSR research project. And it sponsors a number of recreational outings like this one that enable the Scholars to explore Philadelphia.
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The excursion begins at a subway station adjacent the Penn campus as the group (above, left) awaits the train east to the Independence Mall area. [l to r, rear row] Joanne Levy, Director of the Penn LDI SUMR program, William Jackson of the University of Kentucky, and Risha Sheni of Cornell University. [second row] Zara Wermers of Tufts University and Tolu Omole of Arizona State University. [third row] Mohamed Abdirisak of Indiana University, Alec Hilton of Washington University in St. Louis, Manuel Alcala of Penn, Chidinma Wilson of Oakwood University, Tania Calle of Williams College, Ayomide Ojebuoboh of Boston University, Khalida Saalim of Georgetown University, Nahnsan Guseh of Syracuse University, and Sergio Chairez of the University of California at Irvine. [kneeling] Grace Nie and Christine Olagun-Samuel, both of Penn. Above, right, with the eastern wing of Independence Hall visible behind them, the SUMR scholars load up the top of the tour bus.
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The tour bus route stretches from the eastern end of the city along the Delaware River to the Philadelphia Art Museum along the Schuylkill river in the western portion of town. Arch Street is an artery through some of the most historic portions of Philadelphia. Above, left, is the Betsy Ross House. Folklore says the seamstress created the first United States flag. Down the street (above, right) is a nine-foot tall bronze bust of Benjamin Franklin surfaced with 1,000 keys collected by local school children. Like a sentry watching the passing buses, Bronze Ben stands just a short distance from the historical figure's grave site.
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A main stop for the SUMR scholars was the Philadelphia Museum of Art (above, left) perched atop the region's highest hill and fronted with the grand granite staircase made famous in the movie, "Rocky." Enjoying their walk up the Rocky steps (above, right) are SUMR Scholars Aymomide Ojebuoboh, Tania Calle, Risha Sheni, and Chidinma Wilson.
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Inside the Museum's central atrium is another famed stairway (above, left) leading to the golden archer sculpture, "Diana, Roman Goddess of the Hunt." On the day of the SUMR visit (above, right), those stairs were the subject of a one-day art project in which local students used thousand of pink Post-It notes to cover and change the color of the stone structure.
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The Philadelphia Museum of Art is renowned for its extraordinary collections of medieval religious art as well as the castle and cathedral-like galleries that display them. Gathered below a towering 15th-century crucifix scene (above, left) sculpted from oak are SUMR Scholars Tolu Omole, Tania Calle, Chidinma Wilson, Nahnsan Guseh, Manuel Alcala, Alec Hilton, Ayomide Ojebuoboh, and Zara Wermers. Above, right, SUMR Scholars Christine Olagun-Samuel and Grace Nie examine a gruesome 15th-century painting entitled "Dead Christ Supported by Two Angels" that was once part of a European church altar.
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The Museum's Asian galleries include a 14th-century Buddhist shrine called the "Temple of the Attainment of Happiness" (above, left) that was once part of the world famous Höryüji Temple complex near the city of Nara in southeastern Japan. Above, right, this traditional tea house and garden setting were originally built in the early 20th century for a Tokyo architect's home. They were disassembled, shipped from Japan and installed inside the Museum in 1957. Strolling the stone walkway are SUMR Scholars Ayomide Ojebuoboh, Alec Hilton, Chidinma Wilson, Mohamed Abdirisak, Tolu Omole, Zara Wermers, and Nahnsan Guseh.
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The Museum's sprawling Renaissance armor collection seems all the more incredible when you consider the crude nature of the metalworking technologies then available to the 16th-century artisans who created intricate structures that were both warrior tools as well as works of high art. Perusing one of the body armor sections (above, left) are SUMR Scholars Risha Sheni and William Jackson. Above, right, Ayomide Ojebuoboh, Alec Hilton, Tolu Omole and Zara Wermers get up close and personal with a full suit of horse armor originally made for a 16th century German Duke.
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Discussing SUMR issues during a break in the Art Museum cafeteria (above, left) are SUMR program Director Joanne Levy and Scholars Sergio Chairez and Khalida Saalim. Above, right, the touring Scholars gather on the top of the Rocky stairs with the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Center City skyline behind them.
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As happens every year, the finale of the Art Museum visit was a SUMR Scholar group photo op (above, left) at the two-ton, ten-foot high Hollywood icon that is one of the world's most famous art works. Go Rocky! Then, the hungry travelers visited Nomad Pizza (above, right) in the South Street/Society Hill section of the city, back near the Delaware River.