Archive for the ‘Arts & Sciences’ Category


Widener Magazine Addresses Poverty

April 26, 2016

The spring edition of the Widener Magazine is out. The featured cover story, “Confronting the Pervasive Problem of Poverty,” takes a look at this issue and how Widener faculty and students are working together to combat it.  Other articles include a Q&A with new President Julie E. Wollman, a story about the Boundaries and Bridges program, and a look at the lack of civility in political arenas and elsewhere.



Widener Magazine: Brain Injuries, Paris, & Polo

October 8, 2015


The fall of issue of Widener Magazine takes on a variety of stories, including groundbreaking research into brain injuries, a study of parks in Paris and green spaces today, and the history of polo on campus. Magazines are in the mail to alumni and friends, and the full issue can be found online.

For those interested for more information about the story “A Polo Powerhouse of the Past,” you can find links to videos and information in the Digital Collection of the Widener University Archives here.

As always, we welcome your comments online. You can post a Letter to the Editor here.


Literary Reading Series Celebrates Local Writers

September 9, 2015
reading series post

Author Nicole Monaghan, a 1996 Widener graduate, and Louis Greenstein, author of the novel Mr. Boardwalk, read in May.

By Kelsey Styles ’17

The love of literature that Widener University creative writing professors Dr. Michael Cocchiarale and Jayne Thompson share couldn’t be contained on campus alone. It flourished within the walls of Widener and spilled over into the nearby town of Media where a reading series they organized is entering its sophomore year.

The State Street Reading Series, co-sponsored by Widener and the Media Arts Council, begins its second season this month and continues on the third Thursday of every other month.

“We’d like people to know that there’s something literary going on in Media,” Cocchiarale said. His hope is that more people are aware of its presence as an ongoing program “even if they can’t make it to every event.” At 7 p.m. on Sept. 17, Cocchiarale will read alongside Philadelphia author Asali Solomon.

Each event runs two hours, but each writer only reads for about twenty minutes. Authors who present are encouraged to bring copies of their book for purchase. The reading series, held at the Media Arts Center Gallery at 609 W. State St., is free to attend and reservations are not required.

Cocchiarale has been pleased with the attendance and overall outcome of readings in the first year. “We like where it’s going,” he said.

Several faculty members read last year, including Dr. Ken Pobo who shared selections from his poetry. Thompson read from the book she edited, Letters to my Younger Self: An Anthology of Writing by Incarcerated Men at S.C.I. Graterford and a Writing Workbook, which will also be this year’s common reading experience for Widener freshman. Local authors have included Nicole (Scarpato) Monaghan, an author and 1996 Widener English graduate, and Louis Greenstein, author of the novel Mr. Boardwalk. Novelist Alan Drew and poet Nathalie Anderson have been chosen as readers for November.

 “There are lots of talented people in this area,” Cocchiarale said. “We like the fact that we have solidified this as something that Widener does, but it’s also a great way to network. We wanted to build bridges with the community. Any time you can raise the profile of writers in the area, I think that’s a good thing.”

For more information, see the press release.


Printmaking Exhibit to Open in Widener Gallery

August 25, 2015

By Khalil Williams ’16

What happens when you blend a textured material — paper and glass, among others — with a creative mindset? You get printmaking.  A new exhibit on campus will be dedicated to it.

The Widener University Art Gallery will host the Cheltenham Printmakers Guild–Explorations in Printmaking, an exhibition featuring the work of 27 printmakers. The show will open September 1 and run to October 24.

Exhibition Chairperson Lois Yampolsky said visitors should expect to see the Printmakers Guild’s work demonstrate an array of printmaking techniques, including monoprints, dry point, digital and collagraphs — a type of printmaking where the artist uses various textured materials on a “printing plate” made of cardboard before paper is pressed to the surface and put through a press to produce a print. Pictured above is an untitled monotype by printmaker Stephen Kennedy.

You can meet some of the artists, including Yampolsky, at a reception the university will host on Saturday, Sept. 19 from 1 – 3 p.m. General admission is free to the public. Attendees can visit the art gallery Tuesdays from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The art gallery will be closed Sept. 5 and 26.

For more information on the exhibition and the Cheltenham Printmakers Guild, read the news release.


Widener English Professor Who Developed Prison Writing Anthology to Read at Media Arts Center

January 13, 2015

ContactSheet-026If you enjoyed Jayne Thompson’s article “Writing Wrongs, Mentoring Youth, Redeeming Souls” in the most recent Widener Magazine, you should  come hear her read as part of the State Street Reading Series on Thursday night in Media, Pa.

Thompson, a senior lecturer in the English Department, and Widener student Emily Defreitas co-edited Letters to My Younger Self: An Anthology of Writings by Incarcerated Men at S.C.I. Graterford and a Writing Workbook. The anthology of inmate writing was released last year, and received significant news coverage in the area.  She also recently was profiled by Widener sophomore Ashley DiRienzo on the Blue & Gold, Widener University’s Student Media Site.

Thompson will read at 7 p.m. Thursday night, January 15, and will be joined by Lise Funderburg, a Philadelphia-based writer who is the author of Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home. The State Street Reading Series is sponsored by Widener and the Media Arts Council, and is held every other month at the Media Arts Center Gallery, 609 W. State St., in Media. Thompson plans to read an essay about the anthology, as well as excerpts of the work published by the men. Admission is free and reservations are not required.


A Widener Magazine about Chester

December 18, 2014

In addition to my duties as editor of Widener Magazine, I often teach courses for the university. Last spring I taught five very talented students in a Magazine Journalism course who produced content for the inaugural issue of a magazine about Widener’s home city. Three more students assisted in copy editing and design over the summer and into the fall, and last month the first issue of Chester magazine was published.

One of the students from the class, Khalil Williams ’16, a communication studies student from Chester, was honored for his contributions by Chester Mayor John Linder (a 1976 Widener alumnus) with the Mayor’s Recognition Award at a recent City Council meeting.

Although print copies are limited, the magazine can be found online. You also can read more about it in a feature on Widener’s web site that allows you to watch three of the students and me in an appearance on the “Live from the Newsroom” show hosted by Delaware County Times Daily News Editor Phil Herron.

— Sam Starnes, Editor



Widener Student Whose Internship Studied Snow Monkeys Serves as President for a Day

April 7, 2014

pres for a dayBy Maria Klecko ’15

Readers will remember Rachel Yenko-Martinka’s experience engaging with Japanese snow macaques as featured in the fall 2013 issue of Widener Magazine and her humorous poem poking fun at misperceptions about monkeys.

Yenko-Martinka recently traded places with Widener President James T. Harris III for the university’s 12th annual President for a Day program. For her platform of depression awareness and prevention, the senior biology/pre-veterinary major met with Chester Mayor John Linder and various groups such as We’re All Widener and crisis management and counseling. She also presented her cause to Widener’s Executive Team.

Meanwhile, President Harris fulfilled Yenko-Martinka’s role as a student. He attended her classes and vocal lesson, ate lunch with her friends, made liquid nitrogen ice cream with the professional chemistry fraternity Alpha Chi Sigma, and even sprayed part of his hair blue to match the tips of hers.

Yenko-Martinka’s final act as President for a Day was holding a sushi reception in the University Center Atrium.

For more about her experience, read a first-person account on Blue & Gold, Widener’s student media website.