Archive for the ‘Alumni News’ Category


Widener-PMC Association to Honor Alumni

April 17, 2014

alumni awards 2014By Maria Klecko ’15

It’s not too late to register for this spring’s Alumni Volunteer & Excellence Weekend set for April 24-26.

The events will honor past and future Widener alumni, staff, family, and friends who have donated their time and spirit to the university.  The annual Spring Celebration Alumni Awards Ceremony will be held at Spring Haven Country Club in Wallingford, Pa., at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 26. The 2014 awards from the Widener-PMC Alumni Association will recognize three alumni, a student, and a faculty member.

Other events include a Student Project Day, a Volunteer “Thank You” reception, and a Health Care Management Annual Business Meeting where students and alumni have the opportunity to network with those in the field.

Visit the Alumni Engagement Office page to register for these events and to see the weekend’s schedule.


40 Years Ago: Springsteen Rocks Widener

April 4, 2014

077_The_Boss_at_WidenerForty years ago a skinny kid from Jersey hopped on stage in Widener’s MacMorland Center wearing a straw fedora and electrified the crowd with songs like “Blinded by the Light” and “Rosalita.” A month later music critic Jon Landau wrote of the young artist, “I saw the future of rock and roll, and his name is Bruce Springsteen.”

The April 5, 1974, concert was the first of three that Springsteen played at Widener in less than a 12-month period in 1974 and 1975 before his Born to Run album launched him to rock and roll superstardom.

Joe Quinn from The Dome interviewed Springsteen and he said he “hoped that someday he would make it big enough to pay his band decently and not worry about making ends meet.”

Mission accomplished.

Dan Hanson ’97, Widener’s director of public relations, wrote a story about Springsteen’s concerts at Widener for the spring 2013 issue of Widener Magazine that won a silver CUPPIE award in the best article category from CUPRAP: The Association of Communicators in Education.  Hanson’s article revealed a long-standing mystery about bootleg video footage from one of the 1975 concerts.

Editor Sam Starnes won a gold CUPPIE award in the creative headlines category for the article’s headline “The Boss and the Booleg: Widener Concert Video the ‘Holy Grail’ for Springsteen Fans” and the magazine cover that combined images of Springsteen with President Eisenhower under the headline “Ike and the Boss” won a bronze CUPPIE award.


Entrepreneurial Widener Alumnus to Speak

March 17, 2014

By Maria Klecko ’15

An alumnus and entrepreneur featured in the fall 2012 issue of Widener Magazine will deliver the address at the university’s Honors Convocation.

Chris Hahn ‘99, who holds a Widener bachelor’s degree in computer science, predicted in the article that advancements in cloud computing, which makes data available on an Internet “cloud” accessible on multiple systems, will allow the analysis of large amounts of data at once to indicate trends in health care, weather patterns, economies, and more.

In 2007, Hahn co-founded Appature, a Seattle-based technology company that offers cloud-based marketing services for health care industries. The company continues to grow. Last year IMS Health—a leading provider of health care data—purchased Appature, allowing what had originally been a startup company to establish a global presence.

Honors Week is an annual tradition started in 1992. It celebrates students’ academic achievements, recognizes members of honor societies, and engages the Widener community in various events including student presentations, observatory viewings, concerts, and special lectures.  (The convocation where Hahn will speak is by invitation only.)

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Chris Hahn ’99 in his Seattle office in 2012.


Visiting Scholar To Explore Student Leadership

February 25, 2014

Komives bookBy Maria Klecko ’15

An expert on student leadership selected as the 2013-2014 Beideman Visiting Scholar will give a public lecture on Widener’s Main Campus on Wednesday.

Dr. Susan R. Komives will speak at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in Lathem Hall. Her speech will consider how the leadership lessons conveyed in the posters she hung on the walls of her college residence hall as a freshman have inspired her writing, research, and leadership practice.

Author of more than a dozen books and monographs on student leadership, Komives is professor emerita in the Student Affairs Program at the University of Maryland. Some of her accomplishments include serving as president of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). She also received the ACPA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and the 2013 Leadership and Service Award from the Association of Leadership Educators.

Paul Beideman, who received a master’s degree in finance from Widener in 1979, and his wife, Caroline, established the Beideman Visiting Scholar program within the Oskin Leadership Institute in 2011.



Hey Batter, Batter! Widener-PMC Alumni to Swing into Spring with the Phillies in Florida

February 14, 2014

Bright House Field in Clearwater

By Autumn Heisler ’15

Although we are still in the icy grip of winter, that does not mean we can’t dream of warmer times. And what better way is there to welcome the springtime than spring training with the Phillies?

Widener’s 6th annual Phillies Spring Training Alumni Event will take place the third weekend of March in Clearwater. A sunset happy hour gathering is set for 6 p.m. Saturday, March 22, and the pre-game gathering begins at noon Sunday, March 23, at Bright House Field before the Phillies play the Minnesota Twins.

Visit the Alumni Engagement Office page for more information and to register for your time to relax and work on your tan while watching the Phillies.


Widener Alumna Named to Philadelphia List of African American Leaders Under 40 to Watch

January 30, 2014

Goddett1By Maria Klecko ’15

Not only has Davida Godett fought and won a battle against life-threatening strokes, the Widener graduate has used her experience to help others. Her perseverance has been recognized by the Philadelphia Tribune which named her to its list of “Ten People to Watch Under 40″ in its magazine focusing on the most influential African American women in Philadelphia.

Godett, who earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Widener in 1999, is a three-time stroke survivor who founded Healthy Thoughts, a nonprofit organization that spreads stroke awareness in the community and offers support to stroke survivors and their families. She also established and serves as president of the Caterpillar to Butterfly LLC.

Godett has been featured in USA Today, and also has appeared on various news outlets such as ABC, Comcast Network, and HLN.


Widener Alumnus on New Jersey Supreme Court

January 23, 2014
Fernandez football-page0001

Fernandez-Vina in 1973

By Maria Klecko ’15

A former Widener football player nicknamed “Fuzzy” was recently sworn in as an associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina — known in his days at Widener as Fuzzy Fernandez — earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1974. While at the university, he displayed his leadership skills on the football field. He was a starting offensive guard and co-captain of the team that included Billy “White Shoes” Johnson.

A native of Cuba, he attended high school in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, and graduated from Rutgers School of Law-Camden in 1978.  He was a partner at Kelley, Wardell, & Craig, a law firm in Haddonfield, New Jersey, in 2004 when he was nominated to the Superior Court.

vinaFernandez-Vina decided two important cases last year while a Superior Court judge, according to a story in the Courier-Post newspaper. In March, he permitted Camden County to take over Camden police department, and in April he sided with Camden when the city attempted to place a curfew on businesses.

The article also explains that his lifelong nickname, which Governor Chris Christie joked about during the swearing-in ceremony, was inspired during midget football league play when he was compared to Fuzzy Thurston, a star for the Green Bay Packers.


Start 2014 with a Widener Magazine Class Note

December 20, 2013


1983 Commencement

Class notes — the blurbs updating what has been going on in the life of our Widener and PMC alumni — have been included in campus publications since at least 1865.

If you want to join in this long tradition in 2014, you have a little time left. The deadline for submitting Class Notes to make the spring issue is January 2.

You can submit your class notes and photos three ways:

1. Enter on the Widener Pride Network at

2. E-mail Patty Votta at

3. Mail to the Office of Alumni Engagement, Widener University, One University Place, Chester, PA 19013

For an example of previous Class Notes, check out the fall issue.


Alum Named Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year

December 13, 2013

Grisillo Teacher of the Year SmallAnthony Grisillo, a 2002 graduate of Widener’s master of education program, has been named Pennsylvania’s 2014 Teacher of the Year. Grisillo, currently in his fifteenth year at Rose Tree Media School District in Delaware County, is an instructor for the Academically Gifted Program for kindergarten through fifth grade.

“Anthony’s ability to inspire creativity, encourage innovation and engage his students has had a positive impact on all who have spent time in his classroom,” said Gov. Tom Corbett, pictured with Grisillo.

For more on Grissillo, read our press release and watch an interview with him on Fox 29′s morning show.


Widener Alumnus Called to the Big Leagues

December 5, 2013
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James Quinlan photo by Dan Mendlik/Cleveland Indians

By Maria Klecko ’15

A 2007 graduate of Widener’s Institute of Physical Therapy Education doctoral program is playing a whole new ballgame.

James Quinlan has been named head athletic trainer of the Cleveland Indians. In the previous two seasons, he filled that role for the Columbus Clippers in the minor leagues. Previously, he worked for four seasons as the Indians’ Minor League rehab coordinator.

Quinlan graduated from Temple University before receiving his doctorate in physical therapy from Widener. He started his career in baseball in 2003 when he worked as an athletic training intern for the Phillies.


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