Andrew Coopersmith brings to Penn Wharton PPI his academic background in economics and history in addition to his extensive administrative experience at Wharton and Penn.
Dr. Coopersmith began his career at Penn as an Associate Director in Career Services. In 2005, he was selected as the Director of Administration and Advising for the Vagelos Program in Life Sciences & Management (LSM), a dual degree program of the Wharton School and the College of Arts and Sciences that integrates the study of bioscience and business. As the first director of that program, he worked with faculty and administration to establish it as a premier Penn program for undergraduate students. He launched a summer internship program for LSM sophomores and juniors that places students in life science companies as well as consulting and investment firms across the U.S. and overseas. For his work with LSM, Dr. Coopersmith was a recipient of one of Wharton’s 125th Employee Recognition Awards, for his demonstration of “extraordinary effort, leadership and innovation.”
Dr. Coopersmith earned a B.A. in Economics from Georgetown University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in History from Harvard University, where his area of specialization was the U.S. Civil War. He is the author of Fighting Words: An Illustrated History of Newspaper Accounts of the Civil War (The New Press, 2004), and his articles have appeared in North & South, a magazine for Civil War scholars.
Director of Web Communications
Lisa Marie Patzer is a digital media professional who has worked in web, video, and multimedia production since 2001. Prior to joining the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative, Ms. Patzer managed the web communications, social media, and digital video marketing for Penn Alumni Relations.
Ms. Patzer earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Film and Media Arts from Temple University. Her graduate research explored the influence new media technologies have on the individual and the public sphere. With the use of interactive sensors and physical computing devices, Ms. Patzer designed interactive video installations and online interactive narratives.
As Director of Web Communications for Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative, Ms. Patzer develops, manages, and executes web and social media content. By fostering online access to economic research at the University, the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative strives to strengthen the connections between faculty, students, alumni, journalists, and policymakers.
John Galm comes to Penn Wharton PPI after spending nearly a decade traveling the country while playing music semi-professionally. Through various temporary and odd jobs between travels, as well as his experience managing live music events, John developed a facility for administrative work, which he hopes to further develop with Penn Wharton PPI. Originally from the Lehigh Valley, John earned a BA in English Literature from Kutztown University, and expects to pursue further education in the near future. He also still writes and records new music, and is probably working out a melody in his head right now.
Associate Director for Students
Ben Schneider returned to Penn Wharton PPI as the Associate Director for Students. He worked in the Washington DC office of the Initiative from 2012-2015 and is excited to be on campus focusing on student programs. Ben works with students in the Public Policy Research Scholars program, the Public Policy Initiative Student Group, and collaborates across campus with student organizations to foster opportunities related to public policy. Most recently, Ben worked as an English teacher in Morocco.
Ben graduated from Penn with a BA in history in 2011, and worked as a research assistant to professors in a wide range of fields.
Assistant Director for Strategic Outreach
Sylvie Spewak came to Penn Wharton PPI after three years serving in the House of Representatives. As a Legislative Assistant for the Second Congressional District of Pennsylvania, she managed a portfolio that included finance, housing, education, labor, and medical research. As lead staffer on the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative, Sylvie worked with stakeholders across the globe to coordinate efforts and elevate neuroscience as a legislative priority. Sylvie graduated from Duke with a B.A in economics and public policy and with a focus on behavioral economics and consumer protection.
Matt Stengel came to Penn Wharton PPI with both a background in financial research and a history of service as a member of the Penn community. He was instrumental in growing Penn Wharton PPI’s presence on campus and coordinating those efforts with the Initiative’s operations in Washington, D.C., during his tenure as Assistant Director of Research and Coordination. Currently, he is responsible also for writing all Penn Wharton PPI Issue Briefs.
Mr. Stengel earned a B.S. in Economics from Wharton in 2010. At Penn, he was actively involved with the Newman Center and Fox Leadership through initiatives such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters financial literacy pilot program and FLINOLA (Fox Leadership in New Orleans). He also happens to be one of the few remaining 76ers fans on the planet.