Students and Campus life

A Year of Creativity and Bold Thinking Through Bass Connections

The 2021-2022 school year marked a series of welcome returns for the 1,200 students, faculty, staff and community partners who participated in Bass Connections. Our 61 year-long project teams resumed their in-person work on campus, many teams participated in their first fieldwork since 2019 and we were once again able gather together in Penn Pavilion to celebrate the year through our annual Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Showcase.

Work in progress: Think of it as a kind of fitbit for whales


Before becoming a student again in 2011, I worked for PopCap Games. We made Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies, and I was COO for a while and ran worldwide game studios. When I turned forty, I decided to leave and do something different with my life.

My heart had always been in science.

I lived in Seattle, where there’s an endangered population of Southern Resident killer whales. I kept thinking this would be an interesting career to have, to try and help with the conservation and recovery of populations like those.

Students study political theater, then tell their own stories


When Faulkner Fox planned her inaugural political-theater workshop for fall 2020, she didn’t predict an imminent summer of activism.

At first, she’d thought it would be an in-person class attending in-person theater, but then the coronavirus made that impossible. Months later, a second global phenomenon: The Black Lives Matter movement surged in response to murders like George Floyd’s, which Fox (and her students-to-be) experienced in real time. Fox hadn’t been anywhere. She hadn’t even been inside a grocery store, but then she was in the streets, marching for racial justice.