No doubt about it. Campus slows down in the summer. Most students and faculty are gone, some to exotic, exciting locales for research and educational pursuits. Those left behind (like the Wharton Magazine staff) are left to live vicariously through the lucky majority who got away. With that in mind, we asked four professors:

What are your plans for summer break?


David Bell“Trying to balance work and fun. In mid-July, my book Location Is (Still) Everything comes out, and I’m launching it with a talk at Google in San Francisco. Next, I head to Myanmar and Thailand on a faculty trek to see what’s up with e-commerce over there. Other than that, guitar practice, swimming and a trip home to NZ to see my parents.”

—David Bell, Xinmei Zhang and Yongge Dai Professor


Sigal Barsade“While the pace of summer campus life might seem slow, it is actually one of the busiest times for doing research. It’s a luxury to have a stretch of time to laser in on my writing, study design and data gathering. Midsummer is also when our four-faculty MGMT 610 team begins ramping up for the wonderful, huge and complex MBA teamwork and leadership core course.”

—Sigal Barsade, Joseph Frank Bernstein Professor Of Management


Pinar Yildirim“Summer is when I catch up on traveling. I will make several stops in the U.S. and Europe to give talks and make personal visits. Another event I am looking forward to this summer is the Wharton Global Initiatives visit to Thailand and Myanmar. I expect this to be quite an experience, particularly given the current political state of Thailand.”

—Pinar Yildirim, assistant professor of marketing


John Zhang“Summer is a good time to break away from routines and do something on the wild side. I plan to start ‘Professors Without Borders’ to recruit business professors to teach kids in countries with unsettled borders for free so that they can also be a force of good. For myself, I plan to enroll in acting classes at Penn to enhance my on-camera performing skills just in case that MOOCs take off before I reach my retirement age. Finally, I also plan not to carry out any of these plans!”

—Z. John Zhang, Murrel J. Ades Professor and Director of the Penn Wharton China Center


Connect with us:  Have a summer highlight to share with the Wharton community? Let us know at We’ll post the best online and in an upcoming print edition.