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THE TEMPLE NEWS

WHO OWNS

YOUR HOME? Read the special report on pages 4-8.

THE COMMENCEMENT ISSUE NEWS, PAGE 3 Temple will award six honorary degrees at its commencement ceremonies. @TheTempleNews

VOL 97 // ISSUE 29 MAY 7, 2019 temple-news.com @thetemplenews

OPINION, PAGE 11 A columnist argues students should eat at food trucks instead of chain restaurants.

FEATURES, PAGE 21 Seniors decorated their graduation caps to represent their college experience.

SPORTS, PAGE 31 A senior sabre will compete for the Nigerian national fencing team.


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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

THE TEMPLE NEWS A watchdog for the Temple University community since 1921. Gillian McGoldrick Editor in Chief Kelly Brennan Managing Editor Julie Christie Digital Managing Editor Evan Easterling Chief Copy Editor Greta Anderson News Editor Grace Shallow Investigations Editor Will Bleier Deputy City Editor Jayna Schaffer Opinion Editor Laura Smythe Features Editor Zari Tarazona Deputy Features Editor Michaela Althouse Deputy Features Editor Michael Zingrone Co-Sports Editor Sam Neumann Co-Sports Editor Claire Wolters Intersection Editor Maria Ribeiro Director of Engagement Siani Colon Asst. Director of Engagement Dylan Long Photography Editor Luke Smith Asst. Photography Editor Madison Seitchik Web Editor Co-Multimedia Editor Jared Giovan Co-Multimedia Editor Ian Walker Visuals Editor Claire Halloran Design Editor Phuong Tran Advertising Manager Kelsey McGill Advertising Manager Daniel Magras Business Manager

The Temple News is an editorially independent weekly publication serving the Temple University community. Unsigned editorial content represents the opinion of The Temple News. Adjacent commentary is reflective of their authors, not The Temple News. Visit us online at temple-news.com. Send submissions to letters@temple-news.com. The Temple News is located at: Student Center, Room 243 1755 N. 13th St. Philadelphia, PA 19122

ON THE COVER EVAN EASTERLING / THE TEMPLE NEWS

CORRECTIONS Accuracy is our business, so when a mistake is made, we’ll correct it as soon as possible. Anyone with inquiries about content in this newspaper can contact Editor in Chief Gillian McGoldrick at editor@temple-news.com or 215-204-6736.

News Desk 215.204.7419 news@temple-news.com

DEVELOPMENT

Renovations close IBC over summer break After designing the renovation The gym will undergo a for $202,000, the Board of Trustees $2.7-million renovation and approved the project’s final cost of will re-open at the beginning $2.7 million during its public session of Fall 2019.

BY COLIN EVANS Crime Beat Reporter The IBC Student Recreation Center closed for the summer on Friday to start a $2.7 million renovation. Campus Recreation will add more cardio machines and remove two of the facility’s four racquetball courts, The Temple News reported in November. The facility’s main entrance, lockers and restrooms will be renovated, and the university will install additional gender-inclusive restrooms, wrote John Doman, the director of Campus Recreation, in an email to The Temple News. The IBC will also get new flooring, lighting and paint, Doman wrote. The layout on the second floor will be rearranged to accommodate new fitness machines. Friday was the last day students could access the gym, and the facility is expected to re-open at the start of Fall 2019, according to a Campus Recreation release. Temple University Fitness Center and the Student Training and Recreation Complex will have extended hours of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays throughout the summer, Doman wrote.

in December. Nicole Skatuler, a senior kinesiology major, normally does not go to the IBC because it is mostly attended by men, she said. The money could be better spent elsewhere, Skatuler added. “There’s just more stuff they could spend the money on, like Tuttleman Counseling [Services], instead of more gyms,” Skatuler said. Miyalani Wagner, an undeclared freshman in the Klein College of Media and Communication, used the racquetball courts at the IBC before it closed, she said. Given that the university has two other gyms, renovating the IBC is not totally necessary, Wagner added. “I guess it’s an OK use of money, but they do have two other gyms,” Wagner said. “It’s not something that’s extremely necessary.” Corey Bowerman, a sophomore kinesiology major, thinks it would be helpful to spread students out across different gyms, but doesn’t understand why it costs so much to renovate the IBC, he said. “There’s not that much room in STAR,” he said. “They should’ve just made STAR bigger.” colin.evans@temple.edu @colinpaulevans

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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

THE COMMENCEMENT ISSUE

Temple to award six honorary degrees this spring The university will distribute many terrific graduates, who are bound you,’” he said. The Beasley School of Law named its highest number of honorary for similarly remarkable futures.” The Temple community and the its Center for Social Justice after Shelldegrees since 1986 this year. BY HAL CONTE Political Beat Reporter Six individuals will receive honorary degrees from Temple University this week, the most recipients since 1986, for its 132nd Commencement ceremony on Thursday. Honorees include boxer Bernard Hopkins, former men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy and trustee Leonard Barrack, a 1968 law alumnus. The Klein College of Media and Communication will honor Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward with its first-ever honorary degree, the Fox School of Business will recognize 1951 accounting alumnus Stanley Merves at ceremonies on Thursday. Stephen Sheller, the namesake of the Stephen and Sandra Sheller Center for Social Justice at the Beasley School of Law, will receive an honorary degree during the law school’s commencement on May 16. “Their contributions to Temple, North Philadelphia and beyond make these individuals ideal choices to receive honorary degrees,” President Richard Englert wrote in a statement. “They will undoubtedly serve as inspirations to our

University Committee on Honorary Degrees nominated recipients in November. The nominees were approved by the Board of Trustees based on their work, leadership and significant contributions to their industries, according to the university’s History and Traditions webpage. The university has awarded more than 900 honorary degrees since the school was founded. Dunphy, who retired as coach of the men’s basketball team in March, led the team to the NCAA Tournament eight times during his 13-year career. His time at Temple was “all the honor [he’s] ever needed,” Dunphy told The Temple News. Before Temple, Dunphy coached at Penn, making him the only person to lead two Big 5 teams. In his tenure, he guided the Owls to surprise victories against Villanova in 2009, Duke University in 2012 and unbeaten Southern Methodist in 2016. Off the court, he won the 2018 Dean Smith Award for charity and community service. But Dunphy’s greatest service to the university was helping student-athletes “understand their full potential on the field, in class and in the community, and adopt the mantra that ‘it’s not about

er, who fought for civil rights in Philadelphia alongside fellow lawyer Cecil B. Moore. Sheller and Moore successfully represented members of the Black Panther Party, who were arrested in mass before a 1970 convention at the Church of the Advocate on Diamond Street near 18th. “I was a witness to history in this period of time, a witness and a participant,” Sheller told The Temple News. “One of the points I make is that these are team efforts. I’m not some kind of magnificent knight. I’ve always done it with the help of others.” The Sheller Center describes itself as a “hub for social justice inquiry and advocacy” designed to link students and faculty to others fighting for disadvantaged people, according to its website. “In recognizing me, we are encouraging what lawyers can be doing for our society,” he said. “Not just representing a company or wealth, but doing things that can advance society’s best interests.” Hopkins, who grew up in North Philadelphia, won 55 matches and world championships at two weight classes. He was the oldest boxer to win a major title at 48 years old, NBC Sports reported. He could not be reached for comment.

Merves, who worked in senior positions at PwC, an international accounting firm, and the Internal Revenue Service, donated to many university projects at the Tyler School of Art and the Jewish Studies Program. He endowed the Stanley Merves Chair of Accounting and Information Technology, according to a release from when Merves won Fox’s 1999 Musser Award for Alumni Achievement. He could not be reached for comment. Woodward, who gained recognition for his coverage of the Watergate scandal, also could not be reached for comment. President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974 was seen as a result of Woodward and his colleague Carl Bernstein’s work, and the Washington Post won a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for their reporting. He could not be reached for comment. Barrack, who has been a university trustee since 2001, is a major anti-trust lawyer and founder of the law firm Barrack, Rodos & Bacine. He’s led many large-scale securities cases and is a former chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. A representative from Barrack’s law office said he greatly appreciates receiving an honorary degree. hal.conte@temple.edu

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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

A new multi-family unit is under construction on the corner of Willington and Oxford streets on April 14.

SAMEET MANN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

SPECIAL REPORT

Property owners span U.S. to cash in near Temple Savage has watched her community like before developers moved in. Temple lacks enough onNearly 15 years ago, the late Temple campus for its growing student — and property value — change drastipopulation, and investors are cally since her family moved into the University President David Adamany home in the early 1950s. In one year, predicted this. Residents who own their taking advtange of it.

BY THE TEMPLE NEWS Staff Report Hold onto your house, if you can. It’ll be worth a lot of money some day. This is the advice Alexis Savage’s grandmother left her decades ago. Savage, 67, still lives in her aunt’s home with her daughter and grandson. Her cousins used to live a few houses down from their home on Fontain Street near 16th. Her late grandmother lived across the street.

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her home’s market value increased from $103,700 in 2018 to $204,500 in 2019 due to property improvements and increased property value. “...I’ve lost a lot of friends because they have moved from the neighborhood,” Savage said. “Only a few of us are still left here ‘cause you had to have your house in order, financially, to stay around here,” she added, as her grandson played with his toy water gun on her home’s stoop. She looked up and down her street and reminisced on what her community looked

homes could sell them for a “premium” if there was a strong off-campus student housing market, he said in a 2005 interview with The Temple News. At the time, Temple was transitioning from a commuter school to an on-campus living one. Temple was in the business of education, not housing, he said four years after opening 1300 Residence Hall. This was Temple’s standard for the next several years: take its hands off on-campus housing to avoid a risky financial investment and instead let the

student housing market develop on its own. Temple did not build another on-campus housing option until Morgan Hall opened at Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue in 2013 with 1,275 beds. Now, developers from across the country have purchased properties around Temple to cash in on the booming market. Most developers live in Pennsylvania, according to data analyzed by The Temple News, but property owners from 37 states own homes near Main Campus, not including two owned by people in Puerto Rico and one in Toronto. Other top property owners live in New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Florida and California.

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With a soaring off-campus housing market and an estimated 6,000 students looking to lease off campus each year, a host of problems are arising for community residents and students. Near Temple, people are paying a median $765 in rent and utilities, according to the 2017 American Community Survey 5-year estimate. Sometimes, students never meet their landlords who could live hundreds of miles away, which can lead to little to no oversight of their properties and ever-increasing rent. This created a breeding ground for problems like trash and partying, which affect community residents’ quality of life. The style of each property varies from door to door, some with boxy, modular facades and others still left with an original brick rowhome look. But no matter whether landlords live on site or in California, the neighborhood won’t ever look the same, and residents are bracing for their community and livelihoods.

BOOMING VALUES

PROPERTY

It’s clear that properties around Temple are in high demand. In ZIP codes 19121 and 19122, which encompass Temple’s Main Campus, nearly 3,600 properties have been purchased since 2010. Only 58 properties were bought in 2000. More than 15 years later, in 2017, 720 were purchased. The prices at which people are buying these properties are growing at a similar rate, with the average buying price in 2017 at more than $306,000. In 2000, that average price was closer to $34,003 when adjusted for inflation. Investors all over the United States are seizing the opportunity to make money off of renters around Temple — who are primarily students. More landlords are investing in property around Temple because they are always looking to get involved in a place that’s “hot,” said David Wilk, Temple’s real estate management program director. Universities like Temple fuel this by driving economic development, innova-

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tion and entrepreneurship, Wilk said. Every city has its fair share of both good and bad landlords, he added. Some landlords are in it just for the money. “They just milk it,” Wilk said. “They milk it for every dollar that they can and usually an absentee landlord, or someone who doesn’t effectively manage his property, is going to be much more noticeable than one who really cares about their properties.” While these absentee “slum landlords” vex city officials and local residents, Wilk added, they can still make money by not managing their properties well. Still, Temple is a great place to invest right now, because of its increasing student population, he said.

CITY AND PLANNING

The most common property value in these ZIP codes is

$212,800 Since 2010, nearly 3,600 properties have been purchased near Temple.

Where we’re looking: ZIP Codes 19121 and 19122

In 2000, 58 properties were bought.

In 2017, 720 properties were bought.

UNIVERSITY

In Temple’s 2014 Visualize Temple campus master plan, administrators outlined several long-term on-campus housing plans. These include adding residence halls behind Temple Towers and next to White Hall, redeveloping Johnson & Hardwick halls and replacing Peabody Hall, which was demolished last year. As the student body continues to grow, more students will be looking for places to live on and near Main Campus. But there are no plans to do so within the next year. That leans on city officials to ensure off-campus development is done right. Off-campus developers need to receive city approval before tearing into any property, according to city property laws. There are some areas, like on Diamond Street, that have historic designations that require review from the Philadelphia Historical Commission before any exterior changes are made to a building, a spokesperson for the City Planning Commission wrote in an email. When a property owner wishes to change their property — whether they want to change its facade, add an addition or completely convert the space — HOUSING | PAGE 6

FAST FACTS: PROPERTIES AROUND TEMPLE

Most people who own properties live in Philadelphia. But many others live in the surrounding counties. Bucks County 436 property owners Montgomery County 1,099 property owners

Philadelphia County 12,4255 property owners

More than 1,400 property owners live outside Pennsylvania. The most out-of -state property owners live in:

The property owner who lives the farthest away is in McKinnleyville, CA, about 2,542 miles from Philadelphia.

1

New Jersey 657 owners

2

New York 334 owners

3

Delaware 123 owners

Two properties are owned by people who live in Puerto Rico.

SOURCE: Open Data Philly Property Assessments | JULIE CHRISTIE / THE TEMPLE NEWS

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NEWS PAGE 6 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 HOUSING

it almost always needs to go through a community approval process in its local ward. Developers or a representative must describe their intended project at a public community meeting. Votes by the ward, a registered community organization within the city, are nonbinding. The Department of City Planning takes the community’s opinion into account if it is concerned with zoning issues. Judith Robinson, the chairperson for the 32nd Democratic Ward Registered Community Organization that encompasses many off-campus properties west of Broad Street, said the decisions among community residents are rarely ever unanimous. “There’s some people who will come to a meeting, they oppose every single development,” Robinson said. “There’s a lot of friction,” she added. “Somewhat of an attempt to ‘protect our neighborhood.’” After some meetings, Robinson will call people who were upset about a specific project and try and learn more details about their concerns, she said. She will then act as a liaison between the developer and the resident to try and compromise on elements of the project. As development began to “take off” near Temple, the City Planning Commission worked with City Council President Darrell Clarke to choose areas where multi-family units would be allowed and areas that would remain dominated by single-family homes, wrote Paul Chrystie, a spokesperson for the City Planning Commission in an email to The Temple News. The City Planning Commission does not largely have a say over what a property can look like, as a result of private property rights, Chrystie added. Robinson said in the five years she’s led the 32nd Ward, she’s seen an increase in developers approaching the Zoning Board of Adjustment for approvals to convert single-family to multi-family units, which are geared toward groups of student renters. This is among the many changes Robinson has seen in the neighborhood, News Desk 215.204.7419 news@temple-news.com

TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

some good and some bad, she said. Community residents can benefit from a lot of the businesses and services that move into the area to cater to Temple students, she said. But “the bad,” includes her neighbors dealing with issues like student behavior problems, noise, trash and parking.

DEVELOPING The Temple News called 15 property owners near Main Campus and attempted to track down contact information for many others online. Joyce Jeter, a 1975 psychology alumna, and her husband, Lawrence Jeter, own a three-unit home on Diamond Street near 25th that they currently rent to residents, not students. They decided to buy the property in 2018, in part because Joyce Jeter anticipated the university’s expansion when she was a student at Temple, she said. “Back then, it was said that the plan was for Temple to visually meet the University [City], Penn area,” Joyce Jeter said. “The plans were in place way long before now. That was part of the consideration when we decided to buy, because I remembered that from the 70s.” Joyce Jeter is originally from West Philadelphia and moved with her husband about three years ago to Milton, Massachusetts, outside of Boston. “Students are going to cause local residents to be out-priced,” Joyce Jeter said. “They’re not going to be able to afford it.” Eventually, Joyce Jeter may have to raise rent on her own tenants, which is currently “not high,” she said. Increased competition from student housing and rising property taxes will continue pushing permanent residents out, she said. Ronald Bacon, 68, and his son Kevin Bacon manage BRK Development, which has one three-unit building two blocks from Main Campus on 16th Street near Montgomery Avenue. They bought the property in 2013 based on a recommendation from Ronald Bacon’s fraternity brother. The father and son manage the property themselves, though they live in South Jersey. Ronald Bacon, who grew

LIVING OFF CAMPUS: BY THE NUMBERS

$765

The median amount a renter has to pay in the area immediately surrounding Temple. This includes the cost of rent and assumed median costs for utilities. The number of properties near Temple that are multiunit. This is an 11 percent increase since 2010.

6,673

SOURCE: American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates 2010-17 | JULIE CHRISTIE / THE TEMPLE NEWS

up in West and South Philadelphia, said he comes to check on the house at least once a month. Young people’s interest in living in Philadelphia has changed the city he has known over the years, he said. “The gentrification...it’s a natural phenomenon in the city,” Ronald Bacon said. “Therefore, the city has to, as its social responsibility, make sure there are properties available that [low-income people] can afford,” he added. BRK Development mainly markets to students and otherwise had only one faculty tenant for a one-year lease in the past, Ronald Bacon said. Residents haven’t shown much interest in renting the property, he said. “We are pretty particular about keeping this a student property,” he added. “...We would not discriminate [against residents], but our preference is to have students there because it does work better when you have common people in the apartment. At least it has for us.” While BRK Development feels the impact of rising property values and “much, much higher” taxes, its student tenants have been consistent and the 16th Street property was worth the $375,000 investment, Ronald Bacon said. “The stability of the students has helped that area pretty well,” he said.

“We’ve actually been really successful in having our students stay for two or three years. We pick them up as a sophomore, and we’re only two blocks from the Main Campus and that has a lot of attractiveness in the area.”

MANAGING Some developers and property owners, who may not be able to attend to their tenants because they don’t live nearby or are busy with other investments, hire management companies to handle the day-to-day needs of students. MK Management Group is one of them. Connor McCarthy, a property management specialist and junior finance major, said the company manages 280 units for about 70 property owners near Main Campus. One other company, N Property Group, manages approximately 650 to 700 properties for nearly 140 property owners, an administrative assistant said. There are several others near campus, which manage the properties for a fee to the property owner. The Temple Area Property Association, a registered community organization of developers who rent to students near Main Campus, represents property owners with a total of 3,000 to 4,000 bed spaces near the university. HOUSING | PAGE 8 temple-news.com


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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

ZARI TARAZONA / THE TEMPLE NEWS Alexis Savage, 67, looks down at her grandson, 6, outside their home on Fontain Street near 16th on April 29.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 HOUSING

TAPA has a code of conduct that emphasizes “responsible development and property management,” and “to further the common goals of safety, good conduct, and an attractive neighborhood,” according to its website. “Most of the owners of the properties do not live in Philadelphia,” said Nicholas Pizzola, the vice president of TAPA, adding that many live in nearby suburbs. “In this Temple area, I would have to say, very few do.” It doesn’t matter where owners live, it’s all about how they choose to manage their properties, he said. TAPA has only removed two property developers from its membership in the past 10 years, with the last removal occurring three to four years ago, Pizzola said. The organization does not perform any oversight into the conduct of

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its members. “We hold ourselves to high standards, but we can’t enforce anybody else’s ownership, because we don’t have that authority,” he said. In the last 10 years, Pizzola said there was a high demand for off-campus housing with fewer options, so it was possible to rent a “doghouse.” Now, due to “tremendous” development, students expect their apartments to have granite countertops, ensuite bathrooms and special kitchen lighting, he said. “It’s just gone from one extreme to the other,” he said. “...[W]hat really matters for your experience at Temple off campus is the management provided to you by the owner, and good management trumps granite any time,” he added.

THE OFF-CAMPUS MARKETS’ IMPACT ON LIFE

For Savage, her problem with development has been more about the investors who came in and showed no respect, she said. Construction for a new property often disrupts another resident’s home, like Savage’s neighbor who used to live across the street. “When they dug so low, it cracked her foundation,” she said. “Justine was like 70 years old at that time. She had to go into a nursing home, but it wasn’t Temple ‘per se.’ It was the contractors that come out.” Once the students move in, some problems Savage has seen are trash outside students’ houses and students who have passed out on the street from drinking, she added. Ray Deca, 50, lives in the Diamond Park housing complex for seniors and people with disabilities on Page Street near 15th. Deca has lived in the complex for three years. Sometimes the students with bad behavior outshine those who are good, he said. However, some community residents felt gentrification didn’t adversely affect them and were more welcoming toward Temple students moving into the neighborhood. “[Temple students] are people too,” said James Sumter, who lives near the corner of Page Street and 15th. “They’re human beings, and they’re trying to get a quality of life, education and everything. We all should be.” Students themselves have noticed how much the neighborhood — and their rent — is changing during their short stays in North Philadelphia. Alexander Fucito, a senior information science and technology major, moved into his house on Carlisle Street near Norris in August 2017 with three other roommates, but had to bring in another person in 2018 when their Miami-based landlords increased their rent by $600 to $3,000 total per month. The increase was something “in character” for their landlords, Fucito said. Fucito and his roommates hadn’t seen much of their landlords, and it wasn’t unexpected when their rent went up, he said.

“They were very nice, a sweet older couple,” Fucito said. “They showed up over the summer. At the time, we had some bills that were overdue. ...They were very nice about that.” The owners could not be reached for comment despite multiple attempts using contact information provided by the tenants. The property stands out with its bright yellow door and is one of the only single-family homes on the street. Its owners bought the property for $65,000 in 2004, and its 2020 market value is $186,000, according to city records. If the university wants to help reduce rising property values and keep community residents in their homes around Main Campus, it should provide more on-campus, apartment-style housing for students, Fucito said. On Gratz Street, which is primarily occupied by student housing managed by the area’s management groups, multiunit home market values have surged in the past decade. “You can notice it,” said Mike Fetterhoff, a junior finance major who lives with his three roommates on Gratz Street near Berks. “Down at the 1700 block, it’s a lot of people that used to live in Philadelphia and the places are run down, a lot of windows are busted out. And then at 1800 [block], it starts to get better.” “There’s literally an abandoned [house] right down there, but this whole block is basically getting redone,” Fetterhoff added. Real estate growth in this area is inevitable now, with the growth of Temple, Robinson said. “So, at this point, we’re really just along for the ride,” she said. news@temple-news.com @TheTempleNews Words by: Greta Anderson, Will Bleier, Julie Christie, Gillian McGoldrick, Laura Smythe and Zari Tarazona. Data Analysis by: Julie Christie Photos by: Evan Easterling, Sameet Mann and Zari Tarazona

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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

COMMUNITY

Recovery group could re-up contract with district Two years ago, Williams, received North Philadelphia-based One Day At A Time is contracted recovery services from ODAAT. Now, by the North Central Special he supervises its cleanup program. “Part of recovery is not just getting Services District until June 30.

BY COLIN EVANS Crime Beat Reporter Tuesday through Friday, Malik Williams cleans litter off the sidewalks near Temple University in his blue and orange One Day At A Time uniform. Armed with shovels, brooms, leaf blowers and trash cans, the eight-person crews of people in recovery collect trash block by block. They’re from ODAAT, a North Philadelphia-based substance use recovery organization that provides housing and employment and youth services. “Some of these guys were trashing these streets,” said Williams, a supervisor on ODAAT’s street cleanup team. “Now they’re cleaning it up.” When the university unveiled the North Central Special Services District on April 5, a nonprofit that will dedicate funds to upkeep in the neighborhood near Main Campus, the SSD Board expanded its contract with ODAAT. The group cleans the district’s area and assists residents with trash removal Tuesday through Friday, starting April 1. The SSD Board’s contract with ODAAT will continue through Spring 2019 move-out and end on June 30, said Tara Miller, the executive director of the district. The SSD Board will decide whether to renew ODAAT’s contract before June 30, and it likely will, Miller said. Joan Briley, the SSD Board president, believes the board will likely renew the contract, she said. The group works between Broad Street and 18th Street to the west and Oxford Street and Dauphin Street to the north.

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off the substance you’re addicted to,” he said. “It’s about a whole new way of life. The core of the disease is self-centeredness, so helping and reaching out to the community is part of that healing process.” ODAAT crew members also use their presence in the North Philadelphia community as an opportunity to spread information about the organization’s services to residents, said Joby Suender, ODAAT’s chief of staff. Services include job training, access to a food pantry, housing and after-school youth programs, he said. “It seems like it’s just street cleaning, picking up trash and litter, but it’s really a lot more than that,” said Suender, a 2014 geography and urban studies alumnus. “The guys are out handing ODAAT information to residents in the neighborhood in case they need connections to any type of those services.” ODAAT’s contract extension came after a pilot in a smaller area of the neighborhood near Main Campus during “the move-out,” when students leave behind trash and large debris after leaving off-campus apartments for the summer, The Temple News reported. The district chose ODAAT to tackle trash issues because the organization’s clients are often from North Philadelphia, Miller said. “When you’re working in your community, it helps when you’re trying to build relationships with your neighbors,” she added. Residents gave positive feedback to the SSD Board and said workers are responsive to requests to help clean areas with a lot of trash, Miller said. Trash in the area around Main Campus poses a threat to neighbors’,

DYLAN LONG / THE TEMPLE NEWS ODAAT employee Malik Williams cleans Diamond Street near 16th with a wind blower on Friday.

especially children’s health, said Rahim Poplar, 39, who has lived on 15th Street near Norris for five years. ODAAT provides a service for the neighborhood while preparing people in recovery for employment, he said. “It’s good to clean the streets out here,” Poplar added. “We need to get pollution out of the street.” Students’ trash on 18th Street near Montgomery Avenue is so bad that Nate Taylor, a 20-year resident, sweeps the streets along with his neighbor, he said. “Nobody’s cleaning this block but us,” Taylor said. “We don’t get help from our neighbors or the city.” Taylor has not seen or heard of ODAAT, but welcomes their help cleaning, he said. “I don’t care who you from,” he said. “If you’re going to clean [the block],

clean it.” Adohn McNeil, who has been with ODAAT for five months, said he loves when people thank him for cleaning the street. “It’s a ‘clear-your-mind’ kind of therapeutic,” said McNeil while reaching down to grab trash from under a car tire. The response to ODAAT’s street cleaning work in the area near Main Campus has been positive, said Jerria Shipley, who has also worked with ODAAT for five months. “It’s greatly needed,” Shipley said. “It’s appreciated.” colin.evans@temple.edu @ColinPaulEvans

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OPINION TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

PAGE 10 EDITORIALS

Increase on-campus housing Do you know who owns your home? Do you know how much it’s worth? A lot of people who live near Main Campus couldn’t answer those questions. So, The Temple News dedicated a staff-wide longform story to find out. The Temple News found that property owners who own homes near Main Campus primarily live in Philadelphia and neighboring suburbs. We also found that property owners hail from 37 different states, which does not include two owned by people in Puerto Rico and one in Toronto. Other top property owners live in New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Florida and California. People from all over the country are coming to this area to get a piece of the development boom brought on by the increasing student population. In Temple University’s master plan, it says it’s committed to developing and replacing on-campus housing to meet future demand. But the univer-

sity has been paying little attention to the demand for more housing. When there isn’t enough on-campus housing to meet the needs of the student body, more students live off campus, which comes along with an increase in trash and changes the quality of life and property values for long-time residents. We’re glad Temple’s stepped up in the creation of the North Central Special Services District to help minimize these issues, but it’s a reactionary measure. We can’t stop property owners from investing in this area’s housing market, but the university can make concrete plans to increase the amount of on-campus student housing — and fast. Small changes, like block cleanups, aren’t enough anymore. By making more students able to live on campus affordably, the university can be a better neighbor and mitigate at least some of the student-related problems off campus.

Congratulations, first-gen grads More than 9,000 Temple University students will graduate and become alumni on Thursday during college and university-wide commencement ceremonies. Some will be the first in their families to reach the achievement. First-generation students are a significant portion of the Temple population. In Fall 2015, when most of the Class of 2019 enrolled at Temple, 16.9 percent of freshmen didn’t have a parent or guardian who attended college. First-generation students face challenges with finances and adjusting to college at higher rates than their peers. In this week’s Intersection, first-generation students shared their stories of navigating college and wrote letters@temple-news.com

tributes to the mentors and professors who helped them earn their degrees. The Editorial Board thanks those who shared their journey to Thursday’s graduation in this week’s issue and congratulates all graduates, especially those who are the first in their families to earn a college degree. They overcame challenges other students may not encounter and situations when they couldn’t ask a parent or close relative for help. The Editorial Board also commends the people who mentored these students and provided them with strong support systems. Best of luck to the Class of 2019 in all its future endeavors.

THE COMMENCEMENT ISSUE

Leading and learning in a year of changes

The editor-in-chief wrote about her experience leading The Temple News and her impact on the publication.

It was that time of the night again. “Are you sure you’re sure?” During this past year as editor-in-chief of The Temple News, I had this night, quite frankly, every MonGILLIAN MCGOLDRICK day night since August EDITOR-IN-CHIEF 2018. And it was almost always at a time when the birds started chirping into Tuesday morning, and I sure didn’t have any brain power left. And I’m sure I asked the question about 10 more times until the person responded with a resounding “YES!” But I had to be sure. I’d ask this question of my news team almost every week. If it wasn’t that, I was surely asking my design editor and managing editor if our front cover was ethical, responsible and eye-catching. I used to get defensive while I was news editor my junior year when the editor-in-chief would question me. Now I got it — and I couldn’t help but challenge everyone to be sure. It was in these moments, when I could feel the irritation from sleeplessness in the room, I would be overwhelmed with a feeling of thankfulness followed by an ever-present feeling of self-doubt. I would feel so thankful we had this space to challenge one another to tell the best, most accurate stories we could for our community. I’d feel the weight of how much power we were given to tell them. This is a time in our world where journalism is under attack, from Main Campus to the White House. And there’s arguably nothing more important than

being sure. This year, we changed a lot about The Temple News. We changed our style — we’re a tabloid now, we have crosswords, we have an engagement team and we have daily online content to boot. We made so many strides to tell stories we’d never been able to tell through Intersection. This is illustrated in our #MeToo issue, our collaboration with women’s magazine REFINE for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and this week’s dedication to those who helped first-generation students graduate. This year was, as always, an eventful time at Temple University. Each of my four years here, I’ve worked to cover the latest administration debacle, like the ouster of former president Neil Theobald, former trustee and comedian Bill Cosby’s two sexual assault trials, or most recently, the Fox School of Business’ rankings scandal. Plus, our sports team covered not one, but two football coaching searches this year after former coach Geoff Collins went home to Georgia Tech, then the University of Miami’s Manny Diaz left to do the same. We covered so, so much more across sections and angles. I’m so lucky to work with such a hardworking, talented staff. I’ll miss hearing the features desk and opinion and intersection editors calling up their reporters to get more details. I’ll miss the news team’s never-ending jokes about Temple officials. I’ll miss our new digital office crew typing along to their “Fuck You” playlist. I’ll miss the cross-office yells of excitement when a Philly team is performing well in a Monday night game. I for sure wouldn’t trade this crazy year of learning, leading and questioning. gillian.mcgoldrick@temple.edu @gill_mcgoldrick

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OPINION PAGE 11

TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

FOOD

Break the chain, try new North Philly eateries Students should try new foods on Main Campus instead of looking for familiarity. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I make it a priority to try restaurants people recommend. And I’m not only interested in upscale Center City dining; my eyes are always searching for good bites near Main Campus. So when I read The Temple News’ Lunchies issue last semester, I made it CHRISTINA my mission to try MITCHELL HEALTH COLUMNIST every food on the staff picks page. Spoiler alert: I failed. But I checked a good portion of them off my list, and I was a little ashamed I hadn’t discovered some of these food trucks before. So, I’m advising Temple University students, especially those who are graduating soon, to expand their horizons when it comes to eating because North Philly has a lot to offer. Some students may look to familiar chain restaurants like Wendy’s and Chipotle for consistency and comfort, especially if they’re away from home for the first time. You can improve your nutritional variety and become healthier. Not to mention, students shouldn’t be afraid to figure out what they like and don’t like. It disheartens me to see students turn away from some of the foreign foods simply because they are not so common where they’re from. I felt better last month when I saw the outcry against the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspection announcement that it would begin enforcing a 2015 ordinance that requires trucks to move from their parking spots at night. After a petition directed to City Council to “Save Temple University

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Food Trucks” received more than 6,000 signatures, the city delayed ticketing and towing food truck vendors. It’s nice to know there are other passionate foodies on Main Campus who would hate to lose our array of vendors that allow students to try new foods all the time. Mikala Moorech, a junior psychology major, dislikes self-proclaimed “picky eaters” based on her own personal experience living with one, she said. “I would always tell her that there is so much better food in Philadelphia that she could eat instead,” Moorech said. “College students studying here should definitely take advantage of it.” “You can eat at a chain restaurant anywhere,” she added. Last year, I wrote an essay about my foodstagram, an Instagram account where I strictly post photos of my meals. This year, I used the account to document my mission following the Lunchies issue. Looking back on my posts, I tried cuisines from all different cultures made just walking distance from each other. Eating from food trucks on Main Campus can seem like a trip around the world. The beef ramen from the Kobawoo Express truck on Montgomery Avenue near Liacouras Walk had me loudly slurping noodles in the middle of the Tuttleman Learning Center. The bulgogi, which is made with white rice, beef, onions and scallions, from Korea House on Norris Street near 13th had me wondering why I hadn’t tried Korean food before this year. College is about meeting new people who come from different backgrounds. You should meet new foods, too. Mary Kate Durnan, a sophomore data science major, compared the willingness to try new foods to being curious about others’ social and political views. Students who are accepting and understanding of each other should want to

NICOLE HWANG / THE TEMPLE NEWS

learn about other cuisines, she said. “Temple has a lot of pride in the diversity of our campus,” Durnan said. “Exposure to new ideas and cultures are a crucial part of our college experiences.” And if better understanding and relating to those around you isn’t enough of a reason to try new foods, supporting local businesses should be. Sure, when you get a McGriddle from McDonald’s for breakfast, you can expect the same, consistent breakfast sandwich you’ve probably been eating since you were a kid. But when you get a ham, egg and cheese on a croissant from Chicken

Heaven or the Boss flatbread sandwich from Saige Cafe, complete with egg, cheese, tomato and avocado, you’re supporting the local economy and showing appreciation for your community. Above all, when you try new foods, you’re helping yourself by learning to branch out. My journey with trying new foods has made me feel more well rounded, and I get excited to share my new favorite restaurants on my foodstagram. I rarely ever get the same dish twice. Listen to my recommendations, and you might find your new favorite meal. christina.mitchell@temple.edu

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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

THE ESSAYIST

Watching an ‘Endgame’ to my adolescence

ALI GRAULTY / THE TEMPLE NEWS

No Spoilers: A student reflects on “Avengers: Endgame” as the closing of a chapter in his life. BY TYLER PEREZ LGBTQ Columnist I still remember the first time I watched “Iron Man.” I was only 9 years old at the time, but I immediately fell in love with the character, the story and the essence of the superhero. Eleven years later, I am even more enamored by the Marvel Cinematic Universe than the day I was first introduced to it. During my adolescence, I adored the complex characters and stories I found in Marvel movies, entranced by each one as letters@temple-news.com

I anxiously anticipated the next movie. In middle school, I remember my first time seeing “The Avengers,” a mind-blowing crossover of all the characters I came to know and love. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve only appreciated the movies more. Even as I mature and enter adulthood, I cannot help but be ecstatic beyond my mind when I see the iconic opening credits to a Marvel movie. But last month was the end of that era. On a cold Sunday evening with my best friend, I finally got to see the anxiously anticipated “Avengers: Endgame.” A three-hour-long cinematic wonder, “Avengers: Endgame” was the cathartic ending to my adolescence in more

ways than one. It took every character from every movie I had grown to love — from Black Panther to Black Widow, Spider-Man to Star-Lord — and placed them on the same screen, a sort of blissful ending to everything I had known for 11 years. But between the movie’s cataclysmic interstellar battles and complex character arcs, it was so much more than just an ending to me. It was a signal that one of the defining constants of my childhood was going to fade away by the end credits, that my adolescence in and of itself was dissipating during the three hours I sat in that theater. Watching characters like Thor, whose first movie came out when I

was still in the sixth grade, and Doctor Strange, whose movie I only saw for the first time in college, on the same screen is almost an ode to the person I’ve grown to be during those years. Today, I am a sophomore college student with multiple jobs and adult responsibilities, but seeing characters like Iron Man again immediately transported me to my younger, elementary school self that was astounded by that first Marvel movie. Movies like “Guardians of Galaxy,” “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” are films I’ve seen with lifelong friends, during past relationships and with my family at different points in my life. To see those characters together is truly an incredible experience. In retrospect, the films are essentially defining characteristics of specific years for me. “Iron Man” was released the year before I entered middle school, and in my sophomore year of college, I finally got to see “Endgame,” the culmination of every one of my favorite movies. It feels as if the final credits to “Endgame” are the final credits to my youth. It’s a beautiful and terrifying thought that a single movie could signal the conclusion of a whole chapter of my life, but it’s a lesson I’m coming to learn in the days since I’ve watched the movie. It’s an understanding that although I’m saying goodbye to my adolescent years, these movies and characters I fell in love with will always be there as a testament to my adolescent self and the franchise that anchored me during all those years. Some people might say it’s childish to feel so connected to a bunch of movies about superheroes, infinity stones and a talking raccoon. But I feel like there’s nothing more adult than to accept that. tyler.perez@temple.edu @perezodent

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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

THE ESSAYIST

Happy Mother’s Day to my Granny, our matriarch For Mother’s Day, a student writes about how her grandmother is the foundation of her family. BY JAYNA SCHAFFER Opinion Editor I can’t help but smile when I come home from college and look out the window to see Granny teaching my 2-yearold cousin Izzy how to catch ladybugs. I remember when I was that toddler running through the yard barefoot next to her. When I was little like Izzy, Granny always told me there were fairies and gnomes living in the yard, but we just couldn’t see them because they were so tiny. As I grew older, I guess I thought about the fairies and gnomes less and less. But my understanding of those times in the yard remained throughout the years; there is magic in every day, even if it’s too small to see sometimes. Earlier in the semester, my poetry professor told me I have a “superpower” for telling stories about everyday moments and making them seem fantastical in my poems. I immediately thought back to being a little girl in Granny’s yard, imagining all the things I couldn’t see. And I also thought about the scraps of paper Granny has tucked away in her nightstand inscribed with poems I wrote when I had pretty much just learned how to pick up a pencil. I tried to remember if those poems were fantastical, too. My imagination is just one small drop in the ocean of things in my life influenced by Granny. And as I watch her help shape Izzy into the person she’ll grow up to be, I realize that’s how it happened for each

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KAITLYN GROSS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

of us in my close-knit family of strong women. As Mother’s Day approaches, I’d like to say thank you to the matriarch of our family. After all, she’s the one who raised my mom and aunts to be the amazing women I know and love. Without my sweet Granny, none of us would be who we are. When Granny moved from East Hampton, New York, to Philadelphia as a child, she didn’t have much. Because of her upbringing, she taught us to work hard and appreciate all we have instead of focusing on what we don’t. With that, she taught us that we have each other, something money can’t buy. That’s why moments with my family — whether we’re enjoying a meal at

Granny’s dining room table or sitting on the porch sharing laughs — are priceless. For as long as I can remember, Granny has believed in me and rooted for me. During my 15 years of cheerleading, Granny and my mom were the loudest fans in the crowd. That doubles as a metaphor for how my entire life has been with those two in it. Granny teaches us about politics, our Narragansett Nation ancestry and what it was like being a teenager in the 1960s. She shows us her secret recipes, her “steals” from the thrift store and how to have a green thumb even in the city. She teaches us to be caring and empathetic, but also courageous and fierce. She leads by example; live and let live but also stand your ground.

Most of all, Granny teaches me and the rest of my family not to take life so seriously. Each day is a gift and should be spent spreading contagious laughter — something Granny’s really good at. Thank you, Granny, for making so many of my Halloween costumes from scratch, staying up late on countless occasions to watch “Saturday Night Live” with me, taking me shopping when I wanted to dress like Avril Lavigne in sixth grade and for always being my goto girl. You say we keep you young, but I say you make us wise beyond our years. jayna@temple.edu @jaynaalexandra_

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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

THE COMMENCEMENT ISSUE

Graduates commit to service, teaching programs Seniors joined the Peace Corps and Teach for America to help communities across the country and abroad. BY MADISON KARAS Campus Beat Reporter

W

hen Ellie Dittes was a toddler, she traveled to refugee camps in Albania with her parents. They worked for the United Nations to deliver humanitarian aid during the civil conflict in Kosovo, a self-declared independent country in southeastern Europe, in the late 1990s. About 455,000 refugees fled to Albania, which borders Kosovo, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. “Seeing all of the good that they were able to do, it did really push me to want to try and do something like that,” said Dittes, a senior economics major. “My parents have been my example, what pushed me to look for an opportunity to serve others.” After graduating, Dittes and several other Temple University seniors will join the Peace Corps, a federal government volunteer program, and Teach For America, a national organization promoting educational equity. For low wages, students in the competitive programs will work in the United States and abroad to serve some of the most vulnerable populations. Dittes will begin her 27-month Peace Corps service on May 24 in Kosovo. As a community organizational development volunteer, she’ll increase women and youth’s employability and community engagement. She will receive language, cultural and on-the-job training before being partnered with a local non-government community organization or government organization. Dittes is excited to meet her host family, community members and the other program volunteers, she said. She features@temple-news.com

added that she is most excited to focus on building relationships in the community to understand how she can best help them. “I think for me it’s going to start at like the relational level,” she said. “So just like building these really strong relationships with people in my community and learning more about them and learning more about their struggles or what exactly their needs are. I think that that’s kind of one of the most important first parts, just spending a lot of time listening and seeing what people actually need.” While Dittes decided to go abroad, senior history major Patrick O’Malley wanted to stay in the United States. He aspired to be a teacher his whole life and applied to Teach For America. There were five application rounds for the 2019 program, which runs from September through March. Teach for America volunteers commit to two years in the position, and Peace Corps volunteers commit to three months of training and two years of service in their assigned locations. The organization offered O’Malley a paid position as an elementary diverse learning teacher in the Chicago Public Schools district for two years. He’ll leave on June 15 to start training, which involves teaching special education in an underserved school. O’Malley, whose brother has autism, describes himself as a disability awareness advocate. “This kind of ties in with exactly what I want to do in my career,” O’Malley said. “I think that this will just give me a new opportunity to do that, in kind of a new light.” O’Malley wants to help every child receive a valuable education, he added. He will earn his master’s in education at Relay Graduate School of Education in Chicago through a joint program with Teach for America. James Earl Davis, a higher education

MADISON KARAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Sara Webber, a senior early childhood education major, will head to New Orleans, Louisiana after graduation through Teach For America.

professor and the Bernard C. Watson Endowed Chair in Urban Education, said service experiences like the Peace Corps can help students build a “global identity” they can utilize in their careers. “It gives you a sense of your broader contribution to humanity,” Earl said. “That particularly has a transformative experience, particularly to college graduates.” Sara Webber’s motivation to join Teach For America stemmed from being a student teacher at John Moffet Elementary School in South Kensington in Spring 2019. The senior early childhood education major said the school didn’t have many resources and some teachers didn’t show a passion for working with students. Webber will leave on May 28 to start her training as an elementary educator in the Orleans Parish School Board district in New Orleans, Louisiana. While Webber and her family didn’t expect she’d be placed in Louisiana, Webber just wanted

to be assigned to work with elementary school kids. “I’m really excited to be given my own classroom and being able to have the freedom to hopefully enact that change in their school just starting with one class,” she said. Webber wants to make the students feel accepted and teach them they can achieve their goals, no matter the circumstances, she said. Webber also wants to help students learn about opportunities for their futures, like college. After Teach For America, O’Malley wants to continue working in the Chicago Public Schools district, he said. “It’ll be a really great opportunity for me to just witness new lives in a new city,” O’Malley said. “Seeing not only how I can make an impact on them, but how they will make an impact on me and what I want to do in my career.” madison.karas@temple.edu @madraekaras

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YEAR IN PHOTOS TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

YEAR IN PHOTOS

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YEAR IN PHOTOS PAGE 16

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YEAR IN PHOTOS PAGE 17

TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

PHOTOS BY: HANNAH BURNS COLLEEN CLAGGETT GEVENA HEFFERNAN

DYLAN LONG JUSTIN OAKES CLAUDIA SALVATO LUKE SMITH


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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

LIVE IN PHILLY

South Street Spring Festival takes over Headhouse Plaza

DYLAN LONG / THE TEMPLE NEWS

The annual South Street Spring Festival took place last Saturday at the Headhouse Plaza along South Street. Attendees enjoyed live music and perused clothing, food and face painting stands. John Carson, a 60-year-old South Philadelphia resident, dressed up as a shark as he handed out flyers for Philly AIDS Thrift, a nonprofit thrift store that donates proceeds to local organizations fighting HIV and AIDS. He wears it to grab festivalgoers’ attention, Carson said. “I’ve been working for Philly Aids Thrift for eight years, and I’ve been wearing the shark suit [at the festival] for four,” Carson said. Festival vendors included popular local eateries like Nomad Pizza and the New Jersey-based jewelry company 5one7 Designs. “It’s very well run, from a vendor’s perspective,” said Nancy Harper-Petoukhoff, 68, standing next to Danielle Petoukhoff, her 32-year-old daughter and the owner of 5one7 Designs. Jennifer Ellsworth-Aults, a 40-year-old Philadelphia resident, attended the festival with her husband and two children. “It seemed like it would be a nice family event,” she said. “We’re all having a great time.” features@temple-news.com

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THE COMMENCEMENT ISSUE

Student develops at-home ovarian cancer test kit A standard test can cost around A senior bioengineering major started developing the kit after $650. Kight hopes her inexpensive, non-invasive test will allow high-risk winning $20,000.

BY CARLEE CUNNINGHAM For The Temple News Emily Kight has watched many women in her family be diagnosed with reproductive system cancers. These experiences prompted her to create an at-home screening test for ovarian cancer. “I never really met my grandmother,” said Kight, a senior bioengineering major. “...She had so much cancer in her abdomen when she died. And my mom was 38 or 39 when she was having symptoms.” Kight’s test and store-bought pregnancy tests use lateral flow technology, which absorbs liquids, like urine or blood, to detect proteins that are abundant when cancer is present. The test detects human epididymis protein 4, which increases in women’s blood with ovarian cancer. The prototype is in “proof-of-principle” testing, where drugs or medical devices are tested on a small scale to examine their efficacy, accuracy and safety. Kight started developing the athome ovarian cancer test in Fall 2017. She won $20,000 from Fox’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl last year and put it toward developing the test at nanoComposix, a company that manufactures nanoparticles. Current ovarian cancer tests are invasive and require a doctor. Only 20 percent of ovarian cancers are detected at early stages because symptoms often appear late, according to the American Cancer Society. In 2019, about 22,350 United States women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, according to American Cancer Society estimates.

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women, like those with family histories of breast cancer, to test themselves easily and frequently. “What are you going to do, take a $650 test every month?” Kight said. “If you’re middle class, or less, that’s not really going to fly.” Kight is also working with a software developer on an app that could read the test results and give users a score to help determine if further medical testing is needed. Kight aims to gain Food and Drug Administration approval and patent the test and app. Kight hopes to attend graduate school in the fall to continue studying bioengineering and is considering Jefferson University. She was selected for the National Science Foundation’s competitive Graduate Research Fellowship Program and will receive three years of project funding and tuition. Kight is a 2011 film and media arts alumna who worked as a freelance photographer before returning to Temple in 2016. She struggled to find work where she could use her first degree, she said, but her interest in documenting animal behaviors and collecting data through film steered her in a scientific direction. She also developed a cooling scalp cream that quells compulsive hair-pulling and won scholarships and prizes in several competitions, including the Fox School of Business’ Innovative Idea Competition. “When I started bioengineering, I was like, ‘I’m going to start a company, I’m going to sell products, I’m not going to be in debt, I’m going to get grants and I’m going to get into a Ph.D. program,’” Kight said. In Summer 2017, Kight received

CARLEE CUNNINGHAM / THE TEMPLE NEWS Senior bioengineering major Emily Kight won a runner-up award at the College of Engineering Design competition on Friday for the at-home ovarian cancer test she began developing in 2017.

Temple’s Maximizing Access to Research Careers scholarship. As part of it, she has since worked 15 hours per week in engineering professor Bojana Gligorijevic’s lab, which focuses on metastatic cancer cells. “She had a bunch of completely insane ideas at first,” Gligorijevic said. “And then, as time progressed, she made them less and less insane as she was learning about the field.” Jacqueline Tanaka, a biology professor and the director of the Maximizing Access to Research Careers program, said Kight was perfect for the scholarship. “As a woman in bioengineering, we felt she had a lot of potential and was very deserving of support,” Tanaka said. “She definitely fit the criteria.” Gligorijevic “wasn’t surprised” to

learn Kight won the graduate research grant. “She should be inspiration for all Temple students to see how much you can do when you’re self-motivated,” Gligorijevic said. While Kight’s first degree didn’t go as planned, the learning experience ultimately helped her accomplish her goals, she said. She now hopes to bring a different perspective to the science and technology field. “If you want good science, you need everyone’s voice,” Kight said. “It can’t just be privileged kids who had their parents pay to get them into Yale. If that’s the only perspective, it’s not going to be a creative one.” carlee.cunningham@temple.edu @carleeinthelab

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THE COMMENCEMENT ISSUE

Senior heads to local youth leadership nonprofit A senior communication and while in seventh grade, and volunteered social influence major serves as with the nonprofit since 2011. Now a staff member, she is looking forward to a director at a local nonprofit. BY EMMA PADNER City Life Beat Reporter Sabrina Briggs did not want to follow in her parents’ footsteps. She grew up watching her mother work for public health nonprofits, and her father do community work with Philadelphia schools and police. Now, Briggs finds herself equally invested in Philadelphia’s nonprofit sector as the director of Wave Week at Spark the Wave, a nonprofit that educates middle and high school students about nonprofits, community work and leadership “I started to realize there are a lot of things that are untouched in Philadelphia, in health care, in all these realms,” said Briggs, a senior communication and social influence major. “I kind of let of my version of, ‘I want to make a lot of money,’ [become], ‘I want to make a lot of change,’ and felt more validity within the change I’m making than the salary that was accompanying corporations.” Briggs started the role in January after being involved with the organization since childhood. She attended the camp

VOICES

What is the most important lesson you learned in college?

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seeing participating students find their niche, she said. “They find what they have passion for and what they can see themselves doing in a couple years, whether in high school, college or into their career,” Briggs said. “They start to find a little bit of passion behind what sparks joy in giving back.” Wave Week is the organization’s largest service leadership program, which will take place in July at Villanova University. Students will work with community residents on service projects like park cleanups and personal care packages for women. In addition to Wave Week, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit’s chapters partner with local schools, youth groups and other nonprofits on service seminars that provide teenagers with leadership and volunteer training. It also operates Club Wave, an after-school community service student organization, at Pennsylvania high schools like Pottsgrove High School and Unionville High School. For Briggs, it’s an “honor” to be part of a small team working on a big project.

“That felt deep in my heart because it just shows that my hard work after 10 years does pay off,” she said. Katie Oleksiak, Spark the Wave’s executive director, has known Briggs since the first summer she participated in Wave Week. She has loved watching Briggs grow and enact community change, she said. “She knows that we’re there to inspire the next generation of leaders,” Oleksiak said. “That comes out in everything she does.” Briggs is focused on teaching kids about communication skills, having a commitment to community service, and diversity and inclusion, she said. While navigating the struggles of nonprofit work, like finding funding, Briggs turned to her parents for inspiration. “I see my mom work incredibly hard to impact and influence the Philadelphia community on a public-health scale [more] than I’ve seen any person or woman of color do, and she’s one of my role models,” Briggs said. Though Briggs is the director and is overseeing this summer’s Wave Week, she wants to utilize volunteers’ individual skills to make the experience more meaningful for students.

“I also want to take a step back knowing that I can delegate and really play my team to our advantage, using their skills and not necessarily doing all the work, but allowing them to shine through this whole project,” she said. Matthew Kowalski, an Intellectual Heritage instructor, taught Briggs in his Fall 2017 Intellectual Heritage II class. Briggs is more than prepared for her role at Spark the Wave because she sees the “whole picture,” he said. “Sometimes, when people do service work, it’s this kind of rose-colored glasses. …They go in and they want to help, but without a larger context of understanding why certain communities need help,” Kowalski said. “[Briggs] is keenly aware and attuned to these kinds of structural and systemic issues that go into it.” Briggs is excited to see what the future holds for her in Philadelphia’s social impact community. “I feel like anyone who’s graduating feels like they’re prepared to go out into the world and do what they worked to do for four or five years,” Briggs added. “So I’m just excited to see where I land.” emma.padner@temple.edu @emmapadner

ABDUL AZIZ ALSUMAIT Senior chemistry major

SHIYU SHANG Senior accounting major

Consciously enjoy the time you have ... because living in the present is the best thing you could actually do.

Engage in the community and join in organizations. [Networking made me] better at learning English and engaging in American society and culture.

SIDNEY SALEH-KURTZ Senior psychology major

SEAMUS FITZPATRICK Senior kinesiology major

Everyone’s going in different career paths, so I think it’s important to socialize with people that maybe aren’t interested in what you’re interested in because you never know for the future.

Really enjoy yourself, because now that I’m about to graduate, [I’ve] got the real world coming. So try to have the best time you can when you’re young, but then also work hard. temple-news.com


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THE COMMENCEMENT ISSUE

Decorated grad caps sum up student experiences Many seniors will show off you’re going to do things and you’re gotheir personal designs during ing to have an impact, but you might not commencement ceremonies always see that impact.” Paige Hughes, a senior human dethis week. BY BIBIANA CORREA Trend Beat Reporter After being in and out of remission for more than 10 years, Ryan Craft’s mother died from breast cancer in January. Craft, a senior finance major, will honor his mother’s memory by putting a photo of her on his graduation cap during Thursday’s commencement. His mother pushed him to strive for a better future and saw him become a better student after high school, Craft said. “I just figured I’d make it in honor of her since she was always there all along,” he added. “Since she won’t be able to be there, at least she can be with me on my cap.” Many Temple University seniors are participating in a nationwide college tradition and decorating their graduation caps for this week’s commencement ceremonies. Designs range from humorous sayings to personal stories and reflections. Almas Ayaz, a senior supply chain management major, is paying tribute to Temple by having a silhouette of the Bell Tower painted on her cap alongside a quote from Michelle Obama that represents her time in college. The quote, “We were planting seeds of change, the fruit of which we might never see,” is from “Becoming,” Obama’s 2018 autobiography. Ayaz picked the quote because of her work in student leadership positions with Temple Student Government and the South Asian Students Society of Temple University, she said. “I’ve started initiatives that I haven’t really seen the whole fruit of the labor,” she added. “So just kind of saying, in life

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velopment and community engagement major, decided to take a humorous approach to her cap. She put “Thank You Coffee” in the center along with a painted-on coffee stain. Hughes is highlighting coffee because it fueled her through college, she said. “Everyone knows no matter what time of day it is, I’m always with a cup of coffee,” Hughes added. “It always keeps me up, and it always keeps me going.” Jaclyn McMonigle also used humor to inspire her cap design. The senior human development and community engagement major, who will receive a Bachelor of Science, put the quote, “I’m done with this B.S.,” because “it was funny but truthful,” she said. As a first-generation college student, McMonigle is proud of her accomplishments, which she couldn’t have done without her family’s support, she said. “They helped me by always being there for me even when I wanted to just give up,” she said. “College isn’t always for everyone, but they had faith in me that I could do it and look, here I am, a graduating senior.” Senior bioengineering major Anthony Wanichko’s journey to graduation wasn’t easy either. Academic advisers told Wanichko he wouldn’t be able to complete his major in four years because he took the wrong math class freshman year, he said. But he was determined. He loaded up on 17 credits each semester to graduate on time. Wanichko decided to decorate his cap with the signatures of friends, professors and advisers who helped him throughout his time at Temple. “I wasn’t able to do it alone,” Wanichko said. “That’s what I wanted the cap to symbolize. That these are the people

COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS Anthony Wanichko, a senior bioengineering major, decorated his graduation cap with signatures from friends, advisers and professors who impacted him during his time at Temple.

who made my college career possible and helped me with the degree I’m so proud to be earning.” Some graduating students have turned to artists on campus to design their caps for them. Senior advertising major Morgan Pivovarnik has been decorating caps for students, ensuring the students are part of the design process. Pivovarnik is charging $15 to $20 per cap. The project is a great end to her artistic career at Temple, she said. “I’ve taken a lot of studio classes at Tyler, and I’ve done some Temple and Philly-themed art,” she said. “So I think that the last big art project I’m doing be-

ing graduation caps is a cool way to end the year.” Pivovarnik’s work has allowed students like Ayaz to express themselves during their final moments as Temple students. “These are things you don’t need to play down because a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to graduate, unfortunately, or even the opportunity to go to college let alone,” Ayaz said. “To be able to do that is really cool, and you should celebrate it.” bibiana.correa@temple.edu

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2. Star of 1967 film “The Graduate”

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4. Hawaiian wreath sometimes worn during graduation 5. Site of Temple’s commencement 8. Singer of “School’s Out” 9. Tech pioneer who delivered Stanford University’s

6. Student of highest academic achievement 7. Oldest university in United States 10. Graduation attire 11. Rapper and producer of album “Graduation” 12. Highest academic honors

Answers from Tuesday, April 23: 1. Reading Terminal, 2. Chinatown, 3. Passyunk, 4. McGillin’s, 5. Hoagie, 6. Wawa, 7. West African, 8. Siddiq’s, 9. Dalessandro’s, 10. Scrapple, 11. Soft pretzel, 12. Irish potatoes, 13. South Philly Barbacoa

features@temple-news.com

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THE COMMENCEMENT ISSUE

To the supportive professors who kept me afloat He was the last person I expected A senior writes about how a photojournalism professor to confide in — I respected Dr. Trayes, but saw him as professional, gruff and changed her life for the better.

BY ERIN BLEWETT For The Temple News

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he Friday before spring break of my junior year, I hit my breakpoint. A breakpoint usually occurs when someone is drowning. It is the moment a person can no longer physically hold their breath and cannot resist the urge to inhale. Growing up in New Jersey — about five minutes from the beach — near-drowning experiences were common in my childhood. The experience of being sucked below the waves until my head spun and heart pounded was almost a rite of passage. But it wasn’t until college that I experienced a different kind of drowning — life was kicking my ass. I was lost. The passion that drove me through my first two years of college had faded at some point in the prior months, and I was drowning in my lack of purpose. At the time, I was enrolled in my first photojournalism class taught by Edward Trayes and Sarah Fry. I didn’t think much about photojournalism until that point, and certainly did not picture myself pursuing it as a career. Trayes taught me to love and value the connections I made between my subjects and my camera in photography. The class was one of the only places where I felt like I had my head above water. But that Friday, when Dr. Trayes asked me the simple question, “Do you know how well you’re doing?” I burst into tears. Unable to hold in the waves of my emotions, everything I was struggling with poured out.

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reserved. But our conversation was the first time in months I felt more air in my lungs than water. I shared the things that were making it so hard to stay afloat and he listened. I told him how I planned to withdraw from the semester. After trying to convince me how much I needed to stay, he made me promise to come back and finish the course with him over the summer. I saw the father in him that day. He asked me if I was hungry, if I was financially stable, if I needed anything at all. He told me he would help me piece together my life again. This is the side of Dr. Trayes available to any student in need if they take the time to get to know him outside of a classroom. He is equally authentic and honest — two qualities I believe are crucial for all educators. It’s not always obvious which students desperately need support. But checking in with students, taking the time to listen to them, helping them find a voice and directing them to the resources they need can save people from drowning. They are essential actions and things Dr. Trayes did for me. Dr. Trayes is retiring at the end of this year, after 52 years as a professor at Temple. He taught me to slow down to view the world around me and to see possibility in everything. Because of him, I look for light everywhere — not only through the viewfinder of my camera but also as a human trying to make sense of the world. For more than 50 years, Dr. Trayes has touched the lives of nearly every photojournalist to walk the halls of Annenberg Hall. He has shaped an entire

DYLAN LONG / THE TEMPLE NEWS Edward Trayes, co-founder and director of the Dow Jones News Found and the director of the Master of Journalism program and photojournalism sequence, is retiring after 52 years at Temple.

generation of visual journalists with his thorough, and yes sometimes harsh, way of teaching the craft. Yet, I wouldn’t change a thing. Photojournalism is the life preserver I never knew I needed. When I first picked up a camera, it felt like home, and I haven’t put it down since. Thank you, Dr. Trayes, for what you’ve done for me and so many others. While this piece touches mostly on my relationship with Dr. Trayes, I cannot rightly finish it without offering a very special thank-you to Sarah Fry. In the time that I’ve known Sarah, she remains a consistent source of joy, comfort, friendship, warmth, guidance and laughter in my life. She is incredibly dedicated to her students and puts in countless hours to ensure that they reap the most benefits from the courses she teaches. I’ve seen the admiration that she evokes in each person she teaches during my time working in the Klein School for Media and Communication’s photo lab.

It is a running joke in the photo program that we resemble each other. I suppose dark hair, bangs, glasses and an ardent love for long skirts automatically makes us twins. But even when it is said in jest, I value this comparison. Sarah, you are a light, and any of the places that your life may take you are implicitly better because of your presence. I also want to thank professors Jillian Bauer-Reese, Soomin Seo, Larry Stains, Maida Odom, Saleem Ahmed, Meredith Edlow, Logan Molyneux and Ms. Rosalind Williams — the backbone of the Journalism Department — for helping me keep my head up. Each of you offered me incredible kindness that played an integral role in my road to graduation. Your empathy, understanding and support will always have a place in my heart. As Dr. Trayes likes to say, “Keep in touch.” erin.blewett@temple.edu @ErinBlewett

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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

THE COMMENCEMENT ISSUE

First-generation graduating seniors wrote letters to professors and mentors who impacted their lives at Temple University.

Dear Dr. Jacqueline Tanaka, As a biology major at Temple University, I have been privileged to learn a variety of subjects in a variety of spaces. In the classroom, professors lectured me on literary analysis and hormonal regulation, which furthered my understanding of course material. Outside the classroom, mentors taught me intangible skills, like analytical thinking and relentless focus, that furthered my ability to promote diversity and inclusion in my future profession. Dr. Jacqueline Tanaka, a biology professor and director of the Maximizing Access to Research Careers Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research Scholars program, is one mentor who taught me these things. Although I never had Dr. Tanaka as a course instructor, she unequivocally dedicated herself to helping me discover my path to success. I often compare the guidance I received from Dr. Tanaka to the production of diamonds, which form after years of immense pressure. Like many things, finding diamonds takes work, dedication and commitment. Dr. Tanaka put in this effort for me. I met Dr. Tanaka at the beginning of my tenure as Student Body President. A close friend of mine had just joined MARC, and I wanted to join, too. However, Dr. Tanaka was not so quick to admit me to the program. She heard how much I already had on my plate including being president of TSG, vice president of Student Activists Against Sexual Assault and a resident assistant, and immediately turned down my interest for applying Spring 2017. The following semester, I reconnected with Dr. Tanaka. I had just completed a winter session course intersection@temple-news.com

DYLAN LONG / THE TEMPLE NEWS Senior biology major Tyrell Mann-Barnes wrote a letter to Dr. Jacqueline Tanaka, a biology professor, who personally mentored him throughout his undergraduate years at Temple.

called AIDS and Society, which I felt had enlightened my trajectory. The course enabled me, for the first time in my undergraduate career, to see connections between social policy and epidemiology. I sent Dr. Tanaka an email about this experience, also telling her my fears, discoveries and long-term dreams. She replied that she would do everything she could to help me accomplish my goals. She did. Dr. Tanaka helped place me in the lab of Dr. Tricia Burdo at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine to study HIV and chronic inflammation. She also helped me continue my research interests post grad by connecting me with my future employer. Following graduation, I will be conducting research that aims to build communi-

ty and improve patient outcomes at Katz’s Center for Asian Health under the direction of Dr. Grace Ma. This will allow me to work on projects that aim to improve the quality of life for members of the North Philadelphia community and beyond. Working with Dr. Tanaka and MARC fine-tuned my skills as a scientist-in-training while simultaneously giving me new ones, like the ability to promote diversity and inclusion in my workplace. Without Dr. Tanaka, I doubt these opportunities in research would have existed for me. Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Dr. Tanaka, thank you for mak-

ing me, and the other students you’ve touched, feel that our dreams are attainable. Thank you for creating spaces that challenged me and allowed me to grow. You are an agent of change, and I am thankful for your existence and guidance. As we both leave Temple — I to my career and you to Yale, where you will be teaching and promoting access for underrepresented communities in biomedical science, I have no doubt that you will continue to be a light for so many more individuals. You will be dearly missed. -Tyrell Mann-Barnes Senior biology major tyrell.mann-barnes@temple.edu @MannBarnes

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THE COMMENCEMENT ISSUE

Dear Susan Alunan, Thank you for being a phenomenal professor, mentor and friend to me these last few years. Thank you for teaching me the classics in Introduction to Political Philosophy, and after making sure we had John Locke on lock, taking the time to introduce us to a diverse breadth of other great philosophical thinkers like Al-Farabi, Gloria Anzaldúa, Frantz Fanon, Paulo Freire and Audre Lorde. As an ambitious young woman of color, learning about these nonwhite philosophers excited me. I never had the chance to study these perspectives before, and I am so much better off now because of it. I remember ending that semester so inspired and feeling like I truly belonged in academia. The topics I was interested in were just as worthy of study as any others in the mainstream. You helped me transition from a student to a student leader by appointing me as one of your first civic engagement interns as part of the Civic Engagement Internship for the political science department. I learned my voice matters and people like me matter. As I pursue a career as a lawyer, I know I belong in this country and in its politics and government. Thank you for fostering a sense of community within my personal and professional life — something that started on the fourth floor of Gladfelter Hall and has extended much, much farther. You introduced me to

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role models and friends alike. You showed me that a woman shouldn’t have to sacrifice her personal style to look professional. To this day, I am envious of your black blazer that ties on the side. So fly! Thank you for letting me host our first-ever Temple in the City event in my orange heels. Working with women like you taught me to wear what makes me feel confident and what matters most isn’t our outward appearance, but the ideas, morals and ethos we carry within. You gave me the courage to wear my natural curls during job interviews and tranquility that I will wear long after, knowing I never have to change myself to conform to others’ expectations. Thank you for your opendoor policy and for mentoring students like me. You reassure me time and time again that the path to success is not linear, and for that, I will always be grateful. You are the inspiration for many things I do at Temple, including the speech I will give at College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremony on Thursday. Thank you for accepting me for exactly who I am. My experience at Temple would be nothing without wonderful professors like you. Sincerely, Maha Ouni Senior political science and history major maha.ounie@temple.edu

LUKE SMITH / THE TEMPLE NEWS Yazmine Hamou, a senior political science major, sits in the Tuttleman Learning Center classroom where she had class with Meredith Edlow.

Dear Meredith Edlow,

I think it was a tweet I made just days ago, about a lack of teachers of color throughout college, that made me realize how important having you as a professor was. I’m sure you remember my nonchalance, like Emilio Estevez in “The Breakfast Club,” in an introductory journalism course. I neither shined as a student nor did I display any sort of journalistic promise (rightfully so? Perhaps to be decided in the next five years). Our class was so small, and it could have easily been a film student’s parody of the aforementioned “Breakfast Club,” but somehow we meandered through discussions of crime in the context of Truman Capote and race. I felt enlightened — not from the texts you had us read — but from how my mind expanded in this oversized room in Tuttleman Learning Center. It’s a funny thing. My entire academic career is now bittersweetly coming to a close, and throughout I can count the women of color who have taught me on one hand (with difficulty, too). It may have after my mother realized that middle school lotteries and metal detectors were substandard for my education — and moved us from Baltimore to a sleepy, rural Central Pennsylvania town — when I lost Black women to look up to outside of my family. No longer were there Alpha Kappa Alphas who picked me up from school and the Johns Hopkins Hospital nurses who made their presence known at Red Robin on Friday nights.

I suppose I felt confident in my Blackness. I felt proud enough of my mother’s efforts. But undeniably, moving took a toll. It affected my perceptions of myself, the world, my imagination and my creativity. And perhaps most importantly, once I had you as a professor, the feeling of impostor syndrome, which manifested in a constant struggle to approach my professors and find a reason for me to be in school, went away. Those feelings dissipated, to an extent, as I was faced with a professor who was just like me. We had many conversations about our roles as Black people, Black women, and the never-ending vacillation of fitting in and feeling frustratingly separate. Prior to your course, I had never met an adult Black woman who shared so many of my own interests, with a social life that mirrored my own. As a first-generation college student, so much of my experience relied on this mirror and this sense of community. There is a desire to find my people, a group that is a patchwork of personalities that somehow make a beautiful blanket of comfort and understanding. “Your people” can show you a future and lead you there. You showed me that there is nothing that compares to realizing the kind of life that is possible for someone like you. Meredith, you are one of my people. -Yasmine Hamou Senior political science major yasmine.hamou@temple.edu

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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

THE COMMENCEMENT ISSUE

Graduating seniors wrote letters to professors who left an impact on their lives at Temple University.

Dear Sheri Lambert,

Dear Eli Goldblatt, The first time I walked in the classroom for English 3020: Writing for Sustainable Change taught by you, Sonia Galiber and Alexander Epstein, I predicted it would be a highlight of my college experience. It was. The first time I heard you speak, I heard the voice that cared deeply about and advocated for communal knowledge, collaborative action and constructive skill-building — especially in spaces where that is not commonly offered and funded. I saw a professor who was passionate about seeing his students succeed and pursue their goals. Throughout Spring 2018, you continuously offered resources to me and other students in our classroom. I am so appreciative of your thoughtfulness and investment in us. Your rawness — both in how you express your worldviews and in how you define sustainable changes — reminds me why I love being alive on this Earth. It is because of people like you. Thank you for gifting words to the thoughts in my mind that I did not know how to express before. Thank you for being an essential part of a classroom that I craved since my freshman year; one that speaks with the inner self and its vivid influenc-

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es on the work that we do, our values and ethics. Thank you for seeing greatness in me and reminding me of it. Thank you for constantly telling me that clarity in my intentions and goals is important. As a graduating senior, I am taking your encouragement with me. It really means a lot. Your teachings and this course mean so much to me that I placed all of our past readings in a personal archive. I will always keep the memory of the essential role you played in my college experience. Not only did you help me academically, but you reinforced my desires to be grounded in personal truths and communal beliefs. You are and have been a phenomenal professor. I wish you all of the best in your well-deserved retirement years. May your life be full of joy, peace, love, longevity, good health and everlasting prosperity. I celebrate you and am honored to have shared a classroom with you. Take good care of yourself. Best wishes, Nagiarry Porcena-Meneus Senior geography and urban studies major edu

nagiarry.porcena-meneus@temple.

Like most incoming freshmen, I had no idea what to expect when I began my education at Temple University in 2015. I enrolled in the Fox School of Business with a marketing major and elementary education minor. Although my minor didn’t last long, I immediately fell in love with the school and everything about it. As I continued my studies, I realized how lucky I was at Temple. My professors at Fox were amazing. They are 100-percent dedicated to their students and have left lasting impacts on me in their own unique ways. Sheri Lambert, a marketing and supply chain management professor, whose guidance helped me prepare for my first full-time job after graduation, is one of those professors. The first course I took with Sheri was during my senior year, but I had been vying for a spot in her classes long before that. A family friend recommended Sheri to me during my sophomore year, describing her as “fabulous.” I searched for her every registration period after. Not surprisingly, Sheri was in high demand. I continued to hear amazing things about her from previous students, friends and other faculty members and wondered if I would ever get a spot in her class. When I finally did, in Fall 2018, I was ecstatic. I had nervously enrolled in a Consumer and Buyer Behavior course with a “TBD” professor — always a risky move, especially when you rely on Rate My Professor — assigned to Sheri a week before the start of the semester. After my first class with Sheri, I understood the accolades that preceded her.

As a mother and step-mother to eight children, Sheri’s authenticity and compassion comes through in the classroom. She supports students when unexpected dilemmas occur, provides thoughtful academic feedback and most importantly creates a safe classroom environment. Her class is not only a safe space for students to ask questions about class material but also real-life situations happening all around us. Sheri genuinely cares for her students and takes hours out of her week to talk individually with me and other students — helping us with resume critiques, job hunts, writing or anything else. It was clear that while Sheri wanted us to do well in the classroom, she wanted us to succeed in the real world even more. For me, graduating this May, the real world is right around the corner. Sheri helped me prepare myself for my first upcoming full-time job that I will begin upon graduation. Her assistance this year has left a lasting impact. So, Sheri, thank you so much for being that amazing professor. The time and compassion you’ve devoted to me is something I’ve never experienced from a professor before. All of my professors set the bar high, but you’ve set it over the top. Thank you for allowing me to grow in the classroom and as a person. The lessons you’ve taught me — academically and in life — give me confidence to tackle post-grad. Thank you, Temple, and thank you, Sheri! Sincerely, Isabel Paynter Senior marketing major isabel.paynter@temple.edu

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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

THE COMMENCEMENT ISSUE

First-generation seniors reflect before graduation First-generation students discuss the triumphs and hardships they faced while at Temple. BY ALESIA BANI For The Temple News Rebecca Jackson entered her freshman year at Temple University with $300 in spending money, which she earned from working at her local library. To find day-to-day meals on a limited budget, she sought workshops and club events that advertised free food. Jackson is among approximately 30 percent of Temple students whose parents or guardians never graduated college. Nearly one-third of incoming freshmen in 2017-18 did not have a parent or guardian who graduated from college, according to the 2017-18 Temple Fact Book. First-generation students often have lower socioeconomic statuses than other groups of students, which can increase their chances of dropping out of school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. When she graduates on Thursday, Jackson, a management information systems major, will be a part of the 11 percent of low-income, first-generation students to earn a college degree within six years of enrolling at a post-secondary institution, according to the Postsecondary National Policy Institute. Jackson’s parents worked physically demanding factory jobs throughout her life. Watching them struggle through injuries and long work hours inspired her to pursue a college education, she said. “I saw the jobs they did, and I didn’t want to trade my body for a salary,” Jackson added. Jackson’s mother worked at various factories in her hometown Hazleton, Pennsylvania, while her father spent the last 20 years as a journeyman pressman,

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operating printing equipment that puts ink on plastic. They each worked long days and wore steel-toed shoes that destroyed both their feet and posture, causing her father to have severe back problems, Jackson said. During Jackson’s freshman year, she saw another first-generation student leave school for financial reasons. Jackson received Temple’s President’s Scholar Award, a full-tuition scholarship, but faced financial burdens along the way. Through it all, she is proud to have made it to graduation. Melissa Bellerjeau, a senior journalism major who will also be a first-generation graduate, helped her grandmother clean houses while she was growing up. This influenced her decision to attend college and make financial investments for her future, she said. “I know how hard you have to work sometimes to earn $7.25,” Bellerjeau said. “I have my own personal ambitions, but I was definitely further motivated by those experiences to aspire to higher things.” While at Temple, Bellerjeau studied abroad for a year and interned for AT&T. She also interned for U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, whose district includes some of the area near Main Campus, at his Philadelphia office. She will join the Peace Corps after graduation and hopes to find a job in government when she returns. Wherever she works, she is very conscious about financial benefits offered, she said. Financial planning for retirement has been ingrained in her head at the age of 21, she added. Tyrell Mann-Barnes, a senior biology major, is one of six first-generation students pursuing a college education in his family. Attending college was always part of Mann-Barnes’ plan, but he struggled with studying and forming relationships with professors, some of whom doubt-

CLAIRE HALLORAN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

ed his ability to succeed because of his first-generation status, race and sexuality, he said. Mann-Barnes was not introduced to research as a career until his fifth year at Temple. “In order to get an opportunity, you have to reach out to someone, and going in I wish I knew that,” he said. “But better late than never.” Programs like Penn First, a student organization at the University of Pennsylvania for first-generation, low-income students, could be implemented at Temple, said Maha Ouni, a first-generation college student and the College of Liberal Arts’ commencement speaker. In 2016, the organization opened Penn’s First Generation Low Income Center, which includes resources like emergency funds, opportunity grants, career and internship assistance and academic assistance. Ouni, a senior political science and history major said she sought out her own mentors for support at Temple. The Broad Street Finish Line Scholarship, which Temple University announced this February, is a new initia-

tive to help first-generation students. Those who applied for admission in Fall 2019 were automatically considered for the program. “It was something we have always wanted to do, but coming up with the funds to do it is no easy task,” said Shawn Abbott, Temple’s vice provost for admissions, financial aid and enrollment management. Despite economic barriers along the way, these students are not slowing down. “The most important thing I’ve learned is I’m good enough,” Ouni said. She hopes graduating will set a positive example for other first-generation students, Muslim women and Tunisian immigrants like herself, she added. “Academic achievement isn’t only for a special group of people. If you can dream it, you can do it,” she added. alesiabani1@temple.edu Editor’s Note: Maha Ouni was a freelance reporter for The Temple News. She played no part in the reporting and editing of this story.

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SPORTS PAGE 29

TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

LACROSSE

Owls wrap up first season in new conference Many of its core players will return next year, hoping to build off this year’s success. BY JAY NEEMEYER Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter After missing the postseason in 2018, Temple University bounced back and made the inaugural American Athletic Conference lacrosse tournament. The Owls ended their season with a 13-9 loss to Cincinnati in The American semifinal on Thursday in Ohio. Despite the loss, coach Bonnie Rosen is proud of the Owls’ performance this season, she said. “I thought our team fought really hard [this year],” Rosen said. “Definitely as I sit here at the end, I am very excited for what we get to work for heading into next year.” Temple finished the season was a 6-11 record but went 3-2 in conference play, which placed them third at the end of the regular season. The Owls will maintain their core players for next season, as seven of Temple’s eight all-conference players will return. Temple’s returning honorees include its starting goalkeeper and leaders in goals, assists and draw controls. Junior attacker Maddie Gebert was a unanimous first-team all-conference selection. Gebert received weekly conference hours three times during the season, including winning Attacker of the Week twice. Gebert ended the season with a team-high 40 goals and 44 points. Gebert scored five goals in the Owls’ semifinal loss to Cincinnati and recorded a team-high eight shots on goal. She was going scoreless in back-to-back games in March, but ended the season on an eight-game scoring streak. “Maddie’s drive to the goal is as strong as any attacker that you can find in the country,” Rosen said. Due to NCAA rules, players were @TTN_Sports @TheTempleNews

GENEVA HEFFERNAN / THE TEMPLE NEWS Junior attacker Maddie Gebert passes during Temple’s 12-9 loss to Boston University on March 12 at Howarth Field.

not made available during the week after the season ended last week. Sophomore midfielder Bridget Whitaker, a two-time Weekly Honor Roll recipient, and junior defender and captain Kara Nakrasius were also voted as members of the first team. Whitaker led the team in assists with 21, and Nakrasius recorded a team-high 68 draw controls. Whitaker recorded four assists against Cincinnati, and Nakrasius collected four ground balls and three draw controls. Five Temple players made The American’s second team — junior attacker and midfielder Olivia Thompson, senior midfielder Amber Lambeth, sophomore midfielder Jen Rodzewich, sophomore defender Courtney Taylor and junior goalkeeper Maryn Lowell. Thompson and Lambeth both served as captains alongside Nakrasius.

Thompson scored 31 goals, including a six-goal game against Rutgers University on Feb. 13. Lambeth was second in draw controls with 48. Taylor was second in ground balls with 45, while Lowell had 50. Thompson played both midfield and attacker this season, which helped her development as a player, Rosen said. The Owls almost missed the conference tournament for the second straight year after missing the postseason in their final Big East Conference season in 2018. In March, they lost four games in a row, including their conference opener against the University of Florida on March 30. Temple went 3-2, including 3-1 in conference games, to close the season. The Owls beat East Carolina, 18-5, in their second-to-last regular-season game to clinch a spot then earned the No. 3 seed by beating Vanderbilt University.

The Owls returned to the postseason for the first time since the 2017 Big East tournament, but they lost their third straight playoff game. Rosen and her coaching staff will now shift focus to preparing the returning players for next season. The rising senior class has 10 members, six of whom started more than 10 games during the 2019 season. Temple is graduating just four seniors and will have a strong upperclassmen presence for next season, meaning most of its players will have experience on the field. “It’s an exciting time,” Rosen said. “It’s a little bit of a sad time to see one thing end, but fortunately for many of us, we get a chance to dream about what can be next year.” jay.neemeyer@temple.edu @neemeyer_j

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SPORTS PAGE 30

TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

FOOTBALL

Former recruit charged with murder of girlfriend Police say Jamal Speaks accidentally shot and killed his girlfriend and staged it as a selfinflicted wound. BY DANTE COLLINELLI For The Temple News Former Temple University football recruit Jamal Speaks tried to frame his girlfriend’s death as a suicide after accidentally shooting her, according to the Prince George’s County Police Department in Maryland. Speaks has been charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, illegal weapons charges and assault charges for the death of his girlfriend, Saniyah Floyd, 18.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 32 SIXTH YEAR

With that luck, and a lot of hard work, Mesday stuck with football and earned an important role on the Owls’ defense last season. Because of this, he earned a sixth year of NCAA eligibility and was placed on scholarship for next season. Mesday spent five years as a walk-on student-athlete, playing just six games in his first four years. During the 2018 season, Mesday had 22 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks and two forced fumbles. With another year of eligibility, Mesday will likely be one of the Owls’ starting defensive ends as a part of a rotation. Last year, Mesday was finally healthy and finished as the Owls’ third-leading sacker and third with eight tackles for loss. “It was worth the two ACL surgeries,” Mesday said. “It was worth sticking with it and actually following through with everything.” “He’s what Temple football is all about,” former defensive tackle Michael

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Speaks, 19, allegedly illegally purchased a gun and had been “playing” with it on April 7, the night of the incident, police said. He fired a bullet that struck and killed Floyd around 10:30 p.m. then placed the gun in Floyd’s hand to make it appear like a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Friday’s police press release. Authorities pronounced Floyd dead at the scene. Witnesses told first responders Floyd accidentally shot herself, but the medical examiner ruled her death a homicide, police said. Speaks later allegedly admitted his involvement in the alleged shooting. He is currently being held by the Prince George’s County Department of CorrecDogbe added. “When you come to Temple, it’s not about the stars or the ranking or the school or even how you get there. Everyone starts on a clean slate and he started from the ground up. And it’s just exciting to see and hear his story and everything he’s ever worked for, it all paid off.” Mesday knew he wouldn’t play right away as a preferred walk-on. As a result, he redshirted his freshman year in 2014, but tore his ACL later that season. The following year, Mesday tore his ACL again, leading to another redshirt season. “Mesday never really wavered in his determination to achieve what he wanted,” former running back Rob Ritrovato said. “Obviously, there was definitely moments where he had low points, but he never showed that to the people on the outside. He always kept pushing forward and took it with a grain of salt.” To carry his grandmother’s memory on the field, Mesday wears the No. 10 — representing a dime — the same number he wore in high school. Mesday is motivated to perform well in honor of his grandmother. “People can pass it off as a coinci-

tions without bond. “There’s been no evidence discovered at this time that Speaks intended to kill her,” Christina Cotterman, a Prince George’s County police spokeswoman, told the Washington Post. Speaks announced he received a scholarship offer from former coach Geoff Collins on Twitter on May 27, 2018. He later verbally committed to the university, but Speaks never signed a National Letter of Intent with the program during national signing periods in December and February. Speaks attended Ballou STAY Opportunity Academy in Washington, D.C. A regulation temporarily prevented him from playing football for the school in September because he didn’t have a

residential address in Washington, D.C. Covenant House Greater Washington, which helps people aged 18-24 experiencing homelessness, helped him find housing to make him eligible to play under D.C. public school rules. He played his freshman season at Ballou and part of his sophomore season before D.C. Public Schools ruled him ineligible, causing him to miss his junior season. Temple declined to comment because coach Rod Carey was not involved in recruiting Jamal Speaks. dante.collinelli@temple.edu @DanteCollinelli

HO JUN YU / THE TEMPLE NEWS Zack Mesday, a graduate student defensive end, attempts to block a pass during the Owls’ 27-17 win against South Florida at Lincoln Financial Field on Nov. 17, 2018.

dence if they want, but a dime always appears when I need it,” Mesday added. Mesday also credits his ability to navigate his college career to his undergraduate degree in early childhood education. “That whole process definitely helped me mature,” he added. “Younger kids, they look up to you and think you’re the greatest thing in the world, but you have to be able to not have a relationship that is too friendly, which I would com-

pare to my leadership on the field.” In Mesday, Dogbe has seen a player who has not backed down from adversity “I saw a level of consistency and perseverance from Zack,” Dogbe said. “He went through a lot of adversity through his career with the injuries, but he’s always preserved through the hard times.” . sam.neumann@temple.edu @SamNeu_

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TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

FENCING

Senior to compete in international competition Blessing Olaode will compete for the Nigerian national fencing team after graduation. BY ALEX McGINLEY Fencing Beat Reporter Even though Blessing Olaode has spent most of her life in the United States, she considers Nigeria her home. Next month, the senior Temple University sabre will fence for Nigeria at the African Zonal Championships. Olaode hopes to fence for Nigeria for the next three or four years to raise its international fencing profile. Olaode was born in Nigeria and holds dual citizenship with the United States and Nigeria. She lived there until she moved to New Jersey with her family when she was 4 years old. “It’s very humbling,” Olaode said. “It does have an added level of pressure. It makes me want to do that much better because I’m fencing for Nigeria. Nigeria doesn’t really have a stake in the fencing world. I want to be able to pave that path for other people.” The sabre began competing for the Nigerian women’s fencing team in June 2018. Olaode won four out of five bouts in the pool round at the 2018 Senior African Championships in Tunis, Tunisia, and finished sixth overall in the sabre competition. Olaode also went to the 2019 Seoul Fencing Grand Prix from April 26-28 in South Korea. Olaode lost all six bouts in pool round and finished 145th out of 155 fencers. She also competed at the Sabre World Cup on January 25 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Olaode faced former Temple fencer Fatima Largaespada at that competition. Olaode wants to finish in the top three in the African Zonal Championships in June. “If I were to win, I would want to win for Nigeria,” Olaode said. “If I were to lose, I would want to lose for Nigeria @TTN_Sports @TheTempleNews

Sabres Blessing Olaode (left) and Jessica Rockford practice at the Student Pavilion on Feb. 22, 2018.

because I just kind of have that attachment to Nigeria.” Olaode is not the only Temple fencer to compete internationally. Junior sabre Kerry Plunkett, junior foil Kennedy Lovelace and junior sabre Malia Hee have all performed in international competitions. Lovelace and Hee have represented America, while Plunkett has fenced for Great Britain. Fencing at Temple has prepared Olaode for international competitions because she practiced against her teammates who competed internationally, she said. “They’re experienced fencers, so fencing them gives me that kind of experience,” Olaode said. “They’re also very supportive. They’ve been through the process before, so they were able to tell

me what to expect and how to deal with everything that’s going on.” Olaode finished her career at Temple with a record of 149-93 in dual meets. Olaode won first place in the individual sabre competition at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional to clinch her first appearance at the NCAA Championships. She competed at the championships with Plunkett and Lovelace. Olaode placed 12th and earned All-American honorable mentions. The Owls will miss Olaode’s leadership, coach Nikki Franke said. Olaode was the sabre squad captain her junior year and the team captain this past season. “She has a very strong work ethic,” Franke said. “She’s extremely responsible. She has shown great leadership the

ALEX ST. CLAIR / FILE PHOTO

past two years when she’s been in the position of leadership. ...It was such a benefit to the team having her leadership and setting the right example for everyone.” Olaode will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. She plans to attend a graduate program at Rutgers University in New Jersey. As she moves to other endeavors, Olaode is fond of her time at Temple. “It’s been an amazing experience,” Olaode said. “I got to know four groups of amazing girls and had that connection with everyone. ...I made a lot of connections and have that network now that I can always fall back on.” alex.mcginley@temple.edu @mcginley_alex

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SPORTS PAGE 32

TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2019

HE’S A

SIXTH

YEAR

Zack Mesday was awarded a sixth year of NCAA eligibility on scholarship after two ACL tears early in his career. BY SAM NEUMANN Co-Sports Editor

Z

ack Mesday was unsure if he wanted to continue to play college football. That was, until he found a dime at Temple University football’s prac-

tice field. The graduate student was questioning his future in the sport after his second ACL surgery during his third year at Temple. When Mesday found the dime, he saw it as a sign to keep playing from his grandmother, who died in 2007 from throat cancer. “Ever since she passed, we’ve seen dimes everywhere,” Mesday said. SIXTH YEAR | PAGE 30

DYLAN LONG / THE TEMPLE NEWS Graduate student defensive end Zack Mesday earned a sixth year of NCAA eligibility and will play a major role for the Owls on the defensive line next season.

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Profile for The Temple News

Vol.97 Iss.29  

May 7, 2019

Vol.97 Iss.29  

May 7, 2019

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