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Education in brief

News from the world of higher education.

Penn providing legal advice for food truck vendors

Food trucks are a popular presence at local college campuses -- now some Penn students are helping keep the trucks legal.

The Philadelphia Mobile Food Association was formed recently to help mobile food vendors and other small business owners work with city government on issues like regulations on trucks and limits on times and places where trucks are allowed to operate.

Second- and third-year students involved in the Penn's Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic, working under two faculty members who are also licensed Pennsylvania attorneys, provide free legal advice to the PMFA. The clinic helps businesses and business organizations with legal agreements and documents during startup.

USciences appoints first female president

The University of the Sciences has named its first female president, Helen Giles-Gee. She has been involved in higher education for more than 30 years.

Giles-Gee holds a B.A. in psychobiology, an M.S. in science education and a Ph.D. in experimental research techniques from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.S. in zoology from Rutgers.

"I am honored and excited to join University of the Sciences as its president at a time when its mission of educating strong leaders in the fields of health and the sciences is crucial to the success of the state and the country," Giles-Gee says.

Sustainable design award to PhilaU

Philadelphia University's master's program in sustainable design has won the 2011 Beyond Green High Performance Building Initiative Award from the National Institute of Building Sciences. The institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to "improving the performance of our nation's buildings while reducing waste and conserving energy and resources."

Founded in 2007, the PhilaU program was one of the first interdisciplinary sustainable design programs in the country.

A spring break of service for Gwynedd students

Not all college students use their spring breaks to party. Twenty-four Gwynedd-Mercy College students spent an Alternative Spring Break program participating in service projects. Students traveled to Bronx, N.Y.; Cincinnati, Ohio; New Orleans, La.; and Biloxi, Miss. Some participated in after-school programs; others worked in a shelter for victims of domestic abuse.

This is the eighth year in a row of the program. "It was an identity-forming experience and it stretched each of us in our own way," says Betty Scanlon, RSM, of the school's community service program.