Archive for January, 2010


Facebook This — Widener Students’ Research to Be Presented at New York Conference

January 27, 2010

A group of psychology students featured in the fall issue of Widener Magazine have been selected to present their research at the Eastern Psychological Association conference in New York in March.   Dr. Ross Steinman, assistant professor of psychology, supervised ’09 graduates Colleen Fail, Theresa Ulmer, Erica Melfe and Jaime Cafaro (pictured, from left) in their study of the impressions that people make on their Facebook pages.  “This research adds to a nascent literature on social perception in the digital age,” Steinman said.  Ulmer, Melfe and Cafaro are now students in Widener’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.



New Chair of Widener’s Trustees a Top College Football Official

January 25, 2010

Nicholas P. Trainer, named Widener’s chair of the board of trustees in December, is not only the retired CEO of Sartomer Company, Inc., of Exton, Pa. —  he’s also one of the NCAA’s most elite football officials.  “When Texas and Alabama played for the national championship earlier this month, he was the man in the instant replay booth, the one whose decision of an official’s call could cause 50,000 or so fans adversely affected to murder him,” wrote Ed Gebhart, a columnist for The Delaware County Times.


Widener Ways to Help Haiti

January 21, 2010

In Spring 2008, Widener Magazine profiled Delaware-campus alumna Dr. Sheila Salvant Valentine, a native of Haiti.   Now we are asking you to help her country.  “From Hurricane Katrina to the earthquake in Western China in 2008, the Widener community has answered the call for aid in innovative and diverse ways,” said Widener University President James T. Harris III. “Again, we call on Widener in the spirit of our civic engagement mission to come to the aid of the victims of the Haiti earthquake.”

Below are upcoming events sponsored by Widener.   For more information, see press releases from the university and Widener Law.

–Hoops for Haiti – Jan. 21, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Main Campus, University Center Atrium
Widener’s Fine Feline Dance Team will sponsor “Hoops for Haiti.” Stop by and learn how to use a hoola hoop or learn a new hoola hoop trick from the dance team for a $2 donation. Larger donations are encouraged. All money raised benefits the American Red Cross earthquake fund for Haiti.

–Student Auction – Jan. 27, 8:30 p.m.
Scrimmages Restaurant and Sports Bar, 4723 Concord Pike, Wilmington, Del.
To benefit Doctors Without Borders, the student chapter of the American Association for Justice will auction of services such as babysitting and residence hall/office cleaning to the highest bidder.

–Empty Bowls Luncheon – Feb. 18, 12-2 p.m.
Main Campus, Lathem Hall
Purchase ceramic bowls created by Widener students, faculty and staff as part of the university’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Make a $10 donation to help ship food and water to Haiti, and in exchange, you’ll receive a ceramic bowl to keep and a hot soup lunch.



Former Widener Lacrosse Star Leading Lacrosse Training Equipment Company

January 15, 2010

Jeff Siipola ’95 was a standout on the lacrosse field when he was a student at Widener.  Now he’s a standout in the lacrosse training business.

Siipola is a managing director of MaxXcel, a maker of training equipment for lacrosse and other sports.  The company is a sponsor of the US Lacrosse Coaches Convention in Baltimore this weekend.

Siipola said former Widener lacrosse coach Chris Wakely, who appears in a promotional video for the FP360, MaxXcel’s main product, was a big influence on him. “Coach Wakely was such a positive influence on my life,” said Siipola, who while at Widener was named to play in the College North/South Allstar game. “The hard work ethic, focus and drive that I have today in my career and my new company are directly attributed to what I learned from Coach Wakely playing lacrosse for him at Widener.”

Siipola lives in Sparta, N.J.


The Deshong Art Collection at Widener

January 13, 2010

An article in Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer focused on the “languishing” state of the Alfred O. Deshong mansion and museum on the Avenue of the States in Chester, and also tells the story of theft of some of the paintings from the collection in the 1970s.  Reporter Mari A. Schaefer writes in the Inquirer that in the 1980s a “court took control of the estate, giving the art to Widener University.”

A primary feature of that art collection, a  Japanese sculpture from the Meiji period (1868-1912) eagle that stood in front of the Deshong Mansion, now stands on the lawn of Old Main.  Restored and installed last November, it bears the new name “Freedom’s Pride.”   A few other pieces from Deshong’s holdings that include Japanese carved ivory figures, Chinese carved hardstone vessels, Japanese and Chinese lacquerware and numerous large bronze vases, can now be seen in the Widener Art Collection & Gallery on the first floor of University Center on the Chester Campus.

Begining in June and running through August 2011, the gallery will be devoted to showing much of the Deshong collection.  Currently, the gallery is showing “Private Visions: Shadows of a Journey 2010” by Philadelphia artist Tanya Dodd Murphy.  The gallery is free and open to the public from Tuesday through Saturday.


Widener Leads Region in Tobacco Ban

January 5, 2010

The university’s upcoming ban on tobacco — smoking and smokeless — made the front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer today:  “Widener University, as of July 1, will become the first four-year college in the Philadelphia area to ban smoking and use of other tobacco products on its campuses – indoors and out,” Inquirer Staff Writer Susan Snyder wrote.

President James T. Harris III wrote about the ban in Widener Magazine last fall, citing the estimated 443,000 deaths smoking causes each year as a key reason for the ban on tobacco.  “The facts about the human toll of its use are staggering,” he wrote.

With the slogan, “Proud To Be Tobacco Free,” the ban begins on all four campuses in July 1.   In advance of the ban, cessation resources and classes are being offered for faculty, staff, students and family members.