Archive for December, 2013


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.


Widener Student Clinton Global Initiative Project Examining Harmful Effects of Herbicides

December 17, 2013
Nicole Gillette for Clinton Story blog post 12-17-13

Nicole Gilete in a Widener laboratory.

By Maria Klecko ’15

Nicole Gilette’s passion for research has sparked her investigation of a global phenomenon.

Gilette has been awarded funding for her research in conjunction with Widener biology Professor Itzick Vatnick and two other Widener students who are studying the effects of herbicides in aquatic ecosystems.

Her project was one of five chosen last spring to receive funding for the 2013-2014 academic year as part of the Clinton Global Initiative program. Widener is the first university in the Philadelphia region to join the Clinton Global Initiative University Network as featured in an article in the spring 2013 issue of Widener Magazine.

“This project wasn’t something I’d focused on before, but it’s opened my eyes to different things I can do with research,” said Gilette, a sophomore biology and biochemistry double major from Audubon, Pa. “It’s helped me realize that research doesn’t always go according to plan. I’ve become a lot more patient with the process.”

Widener has partnered with the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina for the project. The collaboration began when a student from there came to Widener as part of the study abroad program. Vatnick works with both universities in their research as the teams have conducted the same experiment.

Gilette and the other researchers have found that herbicides affect the physiology of crayfish. The findings provide evidence that herbicides are harmful to aquatic ecosystems. Gilette says that over time the negative effects of herbicides can alter the makeup of an ecosystem because ecosystems depend on their natural state.

“This project brings more awareness to the dangers of herbicides,” she said.

Gilette feels honored to be part of the Clinton Global Initiative Program. “It makes us more connected with the world,” she said.


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
Quinlan_James (2)

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.