Posts Tagged ‘Widener University’


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.


A Pretty Perch Atop the Widener Dome

January 4, 2013


Walking across a very quiet Widener University campus on Friday afternoon, I noticed a red-tailed hawk perched atop the antenna extending from the dome on Old Main.

I snapped these shots before it flew away.

– Sam Starnes, Editor



Remembering PMC’s Fallen Vietnam Veterans

November 7, 2012

Who were the alumni from PMC who were killed in Vietnam? With Widener’s Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday in front of Old Main,  I thought it would be appropriate to pay tribute to the nine graduates of Pennsylvania Military College and one from Penn Morton College who did not return.

All ten are included on the web site of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), the nonprofit organization authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1980 to build a national memorial dedicated to all who served with the U.S. armed forces in the Vietnam War.

Listed below are their names and the year they graduated.  Click on the name to see their listing on the VVMF page.  Seven of the alumni have photos on the VVMF site, but three do not.  I have included photos below of the alumni not pictured on the VVMF page —  for those without photos on this page, click on the name below to see their photos on the VVMF page.  Also, please note that I submitted the photos below to the VVMF site, and expect that they will be posted soon.  —  Sam Starnes, Editor

William Ahlum ’66

Robert Aldrich ’69 

Robert Chinquina ’69

John L. Geoghegan ’63

Dennis P. Isom ’66 

James Johnson Jr. ’69  (Penn Morton College) 

Daniel F. Monahan ’62

Joe Mossman  ’61

William J. “Buddy” Stephenson ’63 

David R. Wilson ’66 

Ahlum ’66

Monahan ’62

Stephenson ’63


Preserving the Past, Serving the Community

June 5, 2012

By Erin Sylvester ’13

If you drive down Providence Avenue in Chester, you can’t help but notice the stately Colonial Georgian building that sits on the northeast corner of East 21st Street. This classic stone structure built in the late 1800s now houses the College Access Center of Delaware County, but it wasn’t always that way.

The home was in the family of Robert Wetherill, a Chester banker and industrialist who served in official capacity for a number of local organizations. After partnering with his brother Richard in 1872 to form Robert Wetherill and Company, a successful foundry and engine building facility, he gained global recognition for his company’s achievements in the iron and steel industries.

In 2009, the Wetherills’ house was transformed into the College Access Center as the first initiative of the Chester Higher Education Council—a nonprofit organization established by the presidents of Cheyney University, Delaware County Community College, Neumann University, Penn State Brandywine, Swarthmore College, and Widener University. “Widener was very fortunate to have such a beautiful, historic building on campus and to be able to renovate that building for a purpose that serves the people of Chester and Delaware County,” Widener President James T. Harris III said.

In recognition of the restoration of the house, The Delaware County Heritage Commission honored the Chester Higher Education Council in May with the 16th annual Leedom D. Morrison Heritage Award. This is the second time that Widener has received this  award, the first time in 2010 for the digital archiving of the George Raymond Papers. That project also recently won an award from the Chester chapter of the NAACP.

For more information, see the press release.

Erin Sylvester is a senior from Brunswick, Maine, majoring in English.


Looking Back to the Boardwalk Bowl

June 22, 2011

I’ve been busy this week finishing up stories for the fall issue of Widener Magazine that will be due out in October, and thought I’d share one of the photographs that will go with a story about the history of athletics on campus dating back to when baseball started way back in 1866.  Above is a shot of the Boardwalk Bowl in Atlantic City from 1967, Pennsylvania Military College’s last game of that season (click on image to enlarge).

In 1934, PMC played one of the earliest indoor football games on record in Convention Hall in Atlantic City, now known as Boardwalk Hall, the arch-roofed arena famous for being home to Miss America pageants until 2004.   The football team played six more games in Atlantic City in the thirties.

After a hiatus, PMC returned to Atlantic City in 1961 to play the Merchant Marine Academy, more commonly referred to as Kings Point for its location in New York state.  “Beat Kings Point,” became the mantra on campus. PMC played a game annually in Atlantic City until 1970.

After that, there was only one more game in Atlantic City, that in 1973 when Widener beat Fordham 49-20 in the last game of the season.  It also was Billy “White Shoes” Johnson’s final game in a Widener uniform before he went on to stardom in the NFL.

You can see scores of the games online in the Widener Football media guide.  There also are oral histories with PMC alumni talking about the game accessible on the PMC Museum web page.

–Sam Starnes, Editor


Goodbye, Cav — Widener University Professor and Project Prepare Director Alonzo Cavin

June 8, 2011

Dr. Cavin in 1989


“Dr. C.”


Sometimes even “Sweet Cav.”

These were nicknames used by students, faculty, and staff for Dr. Alonzo C. Cavin in his 41 years on the Main Campus of Widener.  He passed away Sunday at the age of 71.

“Dr. Cavin was an inspiration to all,” said Widener President James T. Harris III.  “He will be missed by the community, the university, and the students whose lives he touched.”

Dr. Cavin joined the faculty of PMC Colleges in June 1969 as an associate professor of education and the founding director of Project Prepare.  He was responsible for helping thousands of disadvantaged students earn college degrees.  Project Prepare‘s success made it a model for other colleges and universities, and in 1971, the program inspired Pennsylvania to create the Higher Education Equal Opportunities Act.  (You can visit the Wolfgram Memorial Library Digital Collections web page and read the text of an oral history with Dr. Cavin conducted in 2001.) 

Dr. Cavin retired in 2002 but continued teaching as an adjunct professor.  He also served the community for many years as a member of the Rotary Club of Chester, and as the chair of the Chester-Wallingford Chapter of the American Red Cross. After retiring from Widener, he continued to be involved in community service and was a member of the Council to Equalize Funding for Public Education and the C-U COPE Chester Upland Committee on Public Education.

Congo Funeral Home in Wilmington, Del., is handling the arrangements.  You can read the obituary by clicking here.  In lieu of flowers, contributions are requested in support of Widener’s African American Scholarship Fund.  Donations can me made online.

For a slide show of photos of Dr. Cavin, click here.

You also can view a video of the 40th Anniversary of Project Prepare made in 2009 that includes many images of him by clicking on the image below.


Alumna Profiled in Spring 2010 Winner of Widener-PMC Geoghegan Citizenship Award

April 7, 2011

1st Lt. Nicole M. Siemer ’06 will be the recipient of the university’s John L. Geoghegan Alumni Citizenship Award at the Widener-PMC Alumni Awards dinner on Saturday, April 16.    Widener Magazine in spring 2010 featured her in the article “Hospitality in War Time — Widener Grad Puts Degree to Use in Iraq” focusing on  her service with the Army Civil Affairs Division. Siemer (formerly Perkins) will not be able to attend the dinner because she recently has been deployed to Afghanistan.

Other winners of the 2011 Widener-PMC Alumni Association Awards are:  David M. Hall, Ed.D. ‘06 for Outstanding Alumnus Award; Associate Professor John F. Mahoney, Ph.D. for the  R. Kelso Carter Award; Michael S. Brady, CFP ’97, ‘00 for the Alumni Service Award; and Jonathon L. Krisko ‘11 for the John L. Geoghegan Student Citizenship Award. For more information on the awards, click here.

To attend the dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 16 in Lathem Hall on the Widener University Main Campus, register on the Alumni Weekend registration page or by calling 610-499-1154.  For the full alumni weekend schedule, click here.