The newest edition of the Widener Magazine has rolled off the press and is on the way to alumni and other members of the university community. Feature stories focus on Widener’s strategic plans, cancer-fighting research by an engineering faculty member and a student, an anthology of writing by inmates edited by an English Department faculty member and a student, as well as a Q&A with three new deans on campus. Look for yours in print or check it out online.
With almost 40 separate events, Widener’s 2014 Homecoming/Family Weekend — with most activities taking place from Friday, Oct. 17 through Sunday, Oct. 19 — has something to appeal to all alumni, students, parents, faculty, and staff.
Activities range from receptions at the individual schools, breakfasts, barbecues, parties, as well as an alumni softball and roller hockey games, a stargazing night in the Widener observatory, a hypnotist, a stand-up comedian, and of course, the annual football game.
Check out the full schedule to see the event, time, and place for you. We hope to see you on campus next month!
By Khalil Williams ‘16
Are you interested in learning about wine, becoming technologically savvy, or understanding history?
If yes, Widener’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) in Exton, Pennsylvania, is offering classes on these topics and many more starting in the fall semester.
All are welcome at an open house from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 28, at the Exton Campus at 825 Springdale Drive in Exton. Attendees can learn about lifelong learning classes being offered this fall, meet the instructors, tour the facility, and register for classes. Call 484-713-0088 to reserve a spot.
With more than 60 courses available in a wide range of subjects, field trips, a speaker series, and more, OLLI provides unique, socially engaging programs for mature adults who want to experience the joy of learning. Topics covered include current events, history, travel, literature, genealogy, wine appreciation, music, philosophy, psychology, and religion. Non-credit courses are offered at the Exton Campus and off-site locations in Chester and Delaware counties. For more information, visit www.widener.edu/olli.
By Maria Klecko ’15
Members of the Widener community recently gathered with leading national journalists in New York to commemorate and evaluate a quarter century of the Internet and online news.
The university co-sponsored the event “Journalism and the Web@25: Lessons in Disruption, Evolution and Endurance” hosted by the Poynter Institute at the Ford Foundation. Industry professionals from advertising, technology, and communication fields attended, interacting with one another and hearing about the impact of the Web on journalism.
A select group of Widener students were invited to help facilitate the event, registering guests and ushering them to the venue. Faculty members from the university also attended.
Dr. Amy Franzini, chairperson and associate professor of communication studies, gave opening remarks expressing Widener’s support of Poynter’s mission to connect journalists across the globe and gratitude for the opportunity to be involved in the discussion.
Poynter Institute President Tim Franklin moderated while a panel of journalists and media executives participated in a lively discussion, reflecting on how journalism has changed since the invention of the Web and speculating the future of digital media. They also shared personal experiences and lessons learned from digital journalism.
Panelists included Rob King, senior vice president of ESPN; Brian Stelter, senior media correspondent for CNN Worldwide and host of the network’s “Reliable Sources”; Melissa Bell, co-founder and executive editor of Vox.com; Kathleen Carroll, executive editor and senior vice president of the Associated Press; and Jeff Jarvis, founder of BuzzMachine.com and professor and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Prior to the event, several Widener faculty members wrote opinion pieces for the Poynter website Press Room page on the impact of the web on several fields including privacy, mental health, and the gathering and dissemination of news. Authors included Franzini, Angie Corbo, assistant professor of communication studies; Dwight DeWerth-Pallmeyer, associate professor of communication studies; Sanjay Nath, director of the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology; and Robert Power, professor of law.
To learn more about the event, read an article from Poynter highlighting its key discussion points.
By Khalil Williams ’16
Calling all Widener-PMC alumni! Time is running out to make nominations for the 2015 Alumni Awards.
Hosted by the Widener-PMC Alumni Association every spring, the awards include the Outstanding Alumnus award, the Alumni Volunteer Service Award, two John L. Geoghegan Alumni Citizenship Awards – going to an alumnus and a current undergraduate student who have excelled in academics, leadership and community service – and the R. Kelso Carter Award for non-alumni service to the University.
If you want to make a nomination, submit your entry by August 31. All award nominations must briefly summarize the person’s academic achievements, demonstrated leadership on and/or off campus, and community service. Nominations can be made online and on paper. For more information, visit Widener’s Alumni Awards page.
By Khalil Williams ‘16
Widener is partnering up with arts and humanities organizations to raise the curtain on an exciting new program that uses theater techniques to bring the city of Chester together and solve problems on issues affecting it.
Widener is entering a partnership with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the city of Chester, and Chester Arts Alive! to launch a new and unique civic engagement program that seeks to influence problem solving and help rejuvenate the city.
A result of a $72,000 discovery grant given to the Pennsylvania Humanities Council by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, the initiative will feature nationally known theater artists Bob Leonard and Jon Catherwood-Ginn from Virginia Tech University, who will work with Chester Arts Alive! and Gas & Electric Arts. The project uses theater techniques, such as story circles and image theater, to drive conversations among city residents, youth, seniors, preservationists, business owners, artists, and Widener to expand community engagement.
The program adds on to the proposed Chester Cultural Corridor (C3) project, which spans a one-mile long city district from Widener to the Downtown district that seeks to bring people together through arts and humanities. The conversations held through this project will help guide decisions that will advance the Arts and Culture District with Deshong Park as the centerpiece for the Corridor.
While the project is new, theater isn’t unfamiliar with the Widener community. You might remember that Widener Magazine included a story in the spring 2014 issue about the University’s own student-run theaters: the Lone Brick Theatre Company and the FreshBaked Theatre Company. The story talks about the two companies and their recent plays.
By Khalil Williams ’16
The most recent issue of Widener Magazine features the story of alumnus Fred Maahs, director of national partnerships-community investment for the Comcast Corporation and chair of the American Association of People with Disabilities. He earned his associate’s degree at the Brandywine College campus in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1984.
He is one of more than 3,000 alumni to graduate from Brandywine College in its twenty-five year history. The school was opened in 1966 as Brandywine Junior College. Widener entered a merger with Brandywine in 1976. Brandywine graduated its final class in 1991 on the campus that is home to Widener Law’s Delaware Campus.
Now all alumni have the opportunity to view information specific to Brandywine College in the Digital Collections of the Widener University Archives.
The exhibit, created by Jill Borin, an assistant archivist of the Wolfgram Memorial Library, features an abundance of documents from 1965 to 1991 including photographs, student handbooks, and The Valley yearbook.
Two Brandywine yearbooks – the 1985 and 1989 issues of The Valley – are unavailable at the time of this post. If anyone has a copy of either issue, they are asked to contact Borin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Widener and Pennsylvania Military College yearbooks have been online in the Digital Collections since 2011.