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A Career Leadership Program for Tenure & Clinician-Educator Track
Assistant Professors in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math & Medicine (STEMM)

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 STEMM faculty members in the first phase of their careers at Penn. The goal of the Penn Pathways Program, now in its 12th year, is to improve academic productivity and job satisfaction by providing resources to guide faculty career planning, personal development, and scholarly success at Penn.  Penn Pathways Faculty report significant increases in job satisfaction, knowledge of personal strengths, confidence in negotiation skills, and progress towards career goals.  Penn Pathways Faculty develop camaraderie, support and shared experiences that transcend school and department boundaries to create a culture of collaboration.  Pathways offers an optional second year, which provides additional leadership and professional development skills.

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 University of Pennsylvania Assistant Professors in STEMM fields on the Tenure or Clinician-Educator track may apply, and 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) are likely to benefit most from this program. We will, however consider applications of assistant professors at any stage, from recent appointment to pre-promotion review.

Time Commitment: Faculty in the program will attend a total of eight monthly sessions on select Fridays, beginning at noon. Lunch is provided at in-person sessions. The first session is 3 hours and the following sessions are 2.5 hours.  The final session may go longer.    In addition to class time, participants spend about 1 hour per week intermittently on program-related activities.

Program Dates (All Fridays):  2024: Sept. 20th, Oct. 25th, Nov. 15th, Dec. 13th and 2025: Jan. 17th, Feb. 14th, Mar. 14th, Apr. 11th 

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.  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 Faculty 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.” The program has made others feel a “sense of belonging” and “more connected” to the Penn community.   

Application Due Date: Email a completed application by Friday, May 31st to Susan Primavera (  Space is limited, so we encourage interested faculty to apply early.  
 Click here to download the application form.

Questions: 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 J. Dmochowski, PhD, School of Arts & Sciences (
Stewart Friedman PhD, Wharton School (  
Lucy Wolf Tuton PhD, Perelman School of Medicine (  
Susan Primavera, Perelman School of Medicine (

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