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Alex Epstein

Liberal Arts Alumnus Hosts Community-Centered Music Festival

The second annual HoodStock brings live performances, local art and fresh food to the North Philadelphia community.
by Sara Curnow Wilson

College of Liberal Arts alumnus Alex Epstein ’14 is planting more than one kind of seed in North Philadelphia. Epstein is a co-founder of the Urban Creators , a group that turns neglected land in North Central Philly into urban gardens and farms.

This Saturday, Epstein and the rest of the Urban Creators will celebrate the second annual HoodStock  festival. HoodStock pairs a neighborhood-wide service day with live performances, local art, fresh food and community design activities. Stic.man of Dead Prez will be among the performers.

Urban Creators is a youth-led Philadelphia organization founded in 2010 by Temple students and other North Philly residents who saw a need to connect their physically adjacent but socially isolated communities. The organization brings organic produce to areas where healthy food is hard to acquire and teaches communities about sustainability and social entrepreneurship. Their hope is to put into place an infrastructure that will nourish the community for generations to come.

The group had humble beginnings. Recalling their history, Epstein explains that much of the first year was spent going door to door to gauge community interest. The second year was perhaps even less glamorous.

“We spent our second year clearing away debris and re mediating the soils of a former garbage dump,” he says. In their third year, this land was successfully transformed into their urban farm—and venue for HoodStock—Life Do Grow.

Now, five years later, the Urban Creators has created a network of urban farms and gardens that spans nearly four acres. For both the Urban Creators and the community, that land is much more than just a garden.

“We are able to offer local residents safe spaces to gather, cultivate fresh produce and celebrate community,” Epstein says, adding that the farms also serve as training grounds for younger Philadelphians interested in creating similar spaces in their own neighborhoods.

HoodStock will take place on July 25 at Life Do Grow Farm at 11th and York Streets. From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Urban Creators welcome volunteers for neighborhood service. The concert and festivities begin at noon.


Brett Krutzsch

College of Liberal Arts Doctoral Graduate Wins LGBT Religious History Award

Brett Krutzsch, Ph.D., won the prize for an excerpt from his dissertation, titled “The Martyrdom of Matthew Shepard.”


Brett Krutzsch, a College of Liberal Arts Ph.D. graduate in Religion, has been named the recipient of the LGBT Religious Archives Network’s 2014-15 LGBT Religious History Award.

The prize, which is the only award of its kind in the academic study of LGBT religious movements, was given for “The Martyrdom of Matthew Shepard,” which is an excerpt from a chapter of Krutzsch’s dissertation, titled “Martyrdom and American Gay History: Secular Advocacy, Christian Ideas, and Gay Assimilation.”

“I am tremendously honored to receive this award,” Krutzsch says.  “I greatly admire the scholars who received this award in previous years, so I am humbled and thrilled to be included among such an impressive and well-known group. I am extremely thankful for this national recognition that supports scholarship on religion and LGBT history.”

Krutzsch’s dissertation — which he defended with distinction this past in March —investigates the role of religious rhetoric in facilitating American gay assimilation through an analysis of gay martyr discourses from the 1970s through 2014. The project principally examines the archives, narrative representations, memorials, and media depictions of Harvey Milk, Matthew Shepard, Tyler Clementi, and AIDS.

Krutzsch, whose paper was selected from 11 papers submitted this year from scholars in the U.S., Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands, is the eighth recipient of the LGBT Religious History Award. LGBT Religious Archives Network jury members Dr. Joanne Carlson Brown, Dr. Heather Rachelle White and Dr. Bernie Schlager described Krutzch’s work as “outstanding analysis of material and sources; interesting thesis and topic with original thought not just reporting what happened or what was said.”

Krutzsch earned a B.A. from Emory University and a M.A. from New York University. Before arriving at Temple, where he served as an Advanced Graduate Scholar at the Center for the Humanities, he was the Assistant Director of Global Programs at New York University.

Recently, Krutzsch accepted a faculty position at the College of Wooster as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

By Joseph Master


Kelly-McQuain-

College of Liberal Arts Creative Writing Alumnus Named 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow

Kelly McQuain’s work has been featured in Painted Bride Quarterly, Cleaver Magazine, Redivider and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Now he’s got another fellowship to write home about.

Kelly McQuain ‘91, who received his M.A. in Creative Writing (Fiction), was recently named a fellow at the Lambda Literary Foundation’s 2015 Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. The week long retreat will be hosted this June at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

The Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices — a first-of-its kind program for LGBTQ writers — offers participants an intensive, seven-day immersion in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, genre fiction and playwriting, with mentoring, networking and other opportunities for emerging LGBTQ voices in the publishing industry.

McQuain, whose poetry collection, Velvet Rodeo (2014), was recently selected by poet C. Dale Young for the Bloom Chapbook Prize, as well as two Rainbow Award citations, is a two-time Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellow and 2015 Lamda Literary Award nominee.

A suite of twelve pages of McQuain’s poems have also been published in the April 2015 issue of Assaracus, and his poem, “Thirst,” won an honorable mention in the spring issue of Philadelphia Stories.

Mc Quain is an Associate Professor of English at the Community College of Philadelphia where he is a past recipient of the President’s Diversity Award. In 2013, he was among 16 U.S academics chosen to tour China for three weeks as guests of the Chinese Ministry of Education and the East-West Center of Honolulu.

McQuain also expects to publish a new anthology titled Rabbit Ears: TV Poems (New York Quarterly Books) later this year and was recently selected as a Tennessee Williams Scholar to the 2015 Sewanee Writers’ Conference in Tennessee.


2015 Graduates

2015 College of Liberal Arts Grads Share Advice, Job Landings


Today, 748 degrees will be awarded to College of Liberal Arts graduates from 17 states and the District of Columbia. Hidden in those numbers are the immeasurable successes and failures, professors and mentors, family and friends who helped along the way.

Before wishing our graduates a fond farewell, we asked them to take a look back at their time at Temple and to offer some advice to future Owls.

Here’s what they had to say …


Thomas CarneyThomas Carney
Major: Anthropology
Minor: History

What was your favorite moment at the College of Liberal Arts? At Temple?

“Taking History of Philadelphia as a CLA class through the History department. I learned so much about this great city from a cultural, religious, geographic, and historic background. It included field trips and Helen Heinz as an amazing professor.”


Nneka A. OkoyeNneka Okoye
Major: Neuroscience
Minor: Pre-Medicine

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen?

“Have fun, but always be networking, working, and have a solid foundation so graduation is fun and not scary. Have positive company around you. Keep a good head on your shoulders.”


Mina YoussefMina Youssef
Major: Neuroscience

What are your plans for the future? Will any local companies benefit from your talents?

“You will never know your passion and interests until you immerse yourself in that discipline, and Temple University will allow you to do just that. Every single one of these opportunities have helped me secure a full-time job at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where I am able to further develop my professional skills while doing something that I love — to conduct research.”


Alaina McNaughtonAlaina McNaughton
Major: History
Minor: American Studies

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen? Perhaps something from a Cameron Crowe film?

“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just … literally … twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”


Reginald Lamar Streater
Major: Political ScienceReginald Lamar Streater
Minor: African American Studies

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen?

“Try to grow and broaden your horizons. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much you don’t know about the world and your fellow man and woman.”


Nicole Lea DiCrecchio
Nicole Lea DiCrecchioMajor: Psychology
Minor: Cognitive Neuroscience

What was your favorite moment at the College of Liberal Arts?  At Temple?

“My favorite moment at Temple was when I was able to travel across the country to Nashville, Tenn., to present a research poster that I had worked on during my internship. Temple made this experience possible by awarding me a travel grant, it is certainly something I will never forget.”


Gray Tennis Gray Tennis
Major: Sociology
Minor: Spanish

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen?

“Temple is what you make it. Reach out. Use the resources on offer. Join a club, a team, a group — whatever it may be. I used several connections with teachers to help find and leverage jobs outside of school. I know this may sound intimidating, especially if you’re shy, but if you reach out, you will be rewarded.” 


Kaila Imani Barnes  Kaila Imani Barnes
Major: Anthropology
Minor: Human Biology

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen?

“Do not slack off during your freshman year. Take the beginning of each semester to plan out how you will study for each class based upon its difficulty for you. It is so hard to get your GPA up if you don’t begin to do it during freshmen year.”


Melissa Sara TuckerMelissa Sara Tucker
Major: Psychology
Minor: Criminal Justice

What was your favorite moment in the College of Liberal Arts?  At Temple?

“In fall 2015, I am excited to begin working towards my Masters in Occupational Therapy. I couldn’t feel more prepared for graduate school, thanks to the well-rounded education I received during my time in CLA. Many times over the years, I had CLA professors mentor and guide me. I always got the feeling that these professors were truly invested in my future and wanted to see me succeed.”


Matthew BeckerMatt Becker
Major: Political Science
Minor: English

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen?

“Find your passion. It is more important than whatever entry level job you take after school. If your mind is active, it will change constantly even after you finish school.”


Luisa Pinto
Major: Double major psychology and professional studies-Spanish Luisa Pinto

What was your favorite moment in the College of Liberal Arts?  At Temple?

“My favorite moment? That’s hard to say when every semester was filled of amazing people and experiences.”


Atiya TuckerAtiya Tucker
Major: French & Spanish

What are exciting plans for the future? Any travel on the horizon?

“I currently work for Delta Air Lines at JFK airport in New York. As of Oct. 1, I will be teaching English (TAPIF) to high school students in Toulouse, France, for the 2015-2016 school year.”


James J WelcomeJames J Welcome
Major: Criminal Justice

What advice would you like to share with our incoming freshmen?

“Always give your full effort. Whether you feel your classes are easy or you can shrug class because you are already doing do not become overconfident. Treat each class and assignment seriously, the habits you start with can determine your work ethic.”


Gianna Marie RossGianna Marie Ross
Major: Anthropology
Minor: Art History

What was your favorite moment in the College of Liberal Arts?  At Temple?

“All our professors come from such different backgrounds and have amazing tales of all they have done. Learning about them and helping them along the way are some of the most memorable times at Temple University”.


Alumni return for Panel and Networking Night

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On February 16, College of Liberal Arts students and fellow alumni gathered in the conference room on the top floor of Anderson Hall for a Career Panel and Speed Networking Mixer.

In attendance were five prominent graduates of CLA: Carlos Beato, Robert Giampietro, Jeffrey Reinhold, Carol Veizer and Gerald Vigna. The event began with a panel discussion where the distinguished practitioners discussed possible career paths and networking strategies and gave advice to motivated Owls.

The discussion was followed by a speed networking session where attending students had the opportunity to connect directly with the speakers in smaller groups. The alumni in attendance were from all different industries and were able to give aspiring professionals valuable career advice.

Carlos Beato (Sociology and Psychology ’01) was not new to giving undergrads advice at CLA networking events, as he has attended prior sessions CLA has hosted. Beato has a vast background working in law offices and counseling several different types of corporations and companies. Beato currently provides counsel to the Speaker of the City of New York’s Council on State and Federal issues. He also has had employment working in the government relations sector where he worked with labor unions, fortune 500 companies and large non-profits.  The former Owl also served as a social worker where he counseled victims of domestic violence and other crimes.

Giampietro graduated from CLA in 1972 with a degree in English and now owns his own consulting firm, Giampeitro Consulting, LLC. He previously worked as president for Trend and Innovation at Toys and Babies RUs. Giampeitro also served as the vice president of Strategic Alliance and New Business for Target for 23 years, during which he introduced SuperTarget and worked on target.com. His extensive experience in Business Development and Strategic Consulting in HR, Property Development, Marketing, Product and Brand Development and merchandise presentation make him an ideal networking opportunity for students interested in communications.

Reinhold obtained an Economics degree from CLA in 1979 and returned to Temple in ’86 to get his masters in Finance. His company, Reinhold Residental, owns and manages 13 properties located in the Philadelphia, West Chester and Pittsburgh regions.Three of Reinhold’s buildings, The Packard, Metropolitan and Old Quaker, previously won “Top Ten” awards from the Apartment Association. The former chief financial officer of New York Stock Exchange listed Checkpoint System, Inc., Reinhold has had major exposure to both the real estate and finance industries. The distinguished alum is an active member of the Philadelphia housing community and serves on the Board of Visitors for CLA.

Veizer received a degree in English in 1973 and founded the NJ Center for Healing Arts in 1989. The center is now accredited as being one of the first integrative mental health centers in the country. Veizer also co-founded the International Network of Integrative Mental Health. She is a professor, practitioner and still maintains an active integrative psychotherapy practice. Veizer thanks her early education in humanities and the arts, saying “it gave me a wider lens through which to look at science in the context of social and cultural expression.” She has boundless knowledge to share with students about mental health and the changing paradigms of the field.

Vigna (Religion ’73) was president of the CLA Alumni Association (CLAAA) in which he was responsible for restructuring and establishing four working communities. He has dedicated immeasurable hours giving back to Temple by serving as a member on the TUAA board, Alumni Engagement Committee and Community Service Committee. Vigna has also held mock interviews for the Temple University Career Center. Now a professor at Alvernia University, Vigna has served as the director of the masters program in Community Leadership and also founded Alvernia’s Center for Ethics and Leadership. Vigna has also worked as the treasurer for the College Theology Society and was their vice president for two years. 
The professor has a lengthy resume dealing with aspects of Religion and Theology.

The CLA Career Panel and Speed Networking Mixer was a success in allowing students to network and create relationships with outstanding alumni in various fields one can enter upon graduation from Temple.

The next networking event will take place on April 15th. To find out more information click here.


OwlTalks to connect CLA students with alumni

 

College of Liberal Arts students now have the opportunity to network in a matter that is more familiar to them—in text-based chats.

On April 15th, all CLA majors are invited to participate in OwlTalks and connect with past alumni in a virtual networking event. During the one hour session, students will have the chance to receive advice and guidance in the form of several 10-minute text based chats with experts in their field.

Undergrads and recent graduates from the College are highly encouraged to sign up for OwlTalks to seek useful advice about their major and possible career paths.

“This is an excellent opportunity for students to ask alumni questions about their experiences in certain occupations, industries and fields,” said Tina Vance Knight, Senior Associate Director of Alumni Career Services.

Upon entry, participants will be asked to pick a particular sector in which they are interested in. Past choices have been in the art, communications, business, non-profit and STEM industries. By narrowing the fields, Alumni can provide fellow Owl’s career advice about their particular job search approaches, networking strategies and professional development.

Students are advised to sign up for this event to build personal and professional relationships within the greater Temple community. Since it is text-based, one can make useful connections and build a greater network from anywhere– making this session convenient and easy from anywhere.

When registering, participants can choose to sign up with their LinkedIn account. This will allow Alumni to view their profile and resume during the one-on-one chat. Although a LinkedIn is encouraged, it is not required. After the event, all connections and chats will be saved allowing attendees to easily follow up and reconnect at a later time.

To register for OwlTalks or to find out more information, click here.


Philly Urban Creators recruiting for Intentional Housing Program

The continuing expansion of Temple into North Philadelphia neighborhoods leaves a greater need for a unified community between students and local families. Now more than ever, students are moving to off-campus locations where developing complexes are beginning to dominate the area. Although growth is exciting, the result of this gentrification is a rising tension between local families and students.

Tenants of the area are now experiencing the rate of development affecting their housing prices and leading to higher monthly rents. Many long-term residents of the surrounding Temple area feel they are being pushed out.

To foster a stronger sense of inclusion and connectivity between the two groups, Philly Urban Creators (PUC) is offering students the ability to take part in an Intentional Housing Program.

PUC is now recruiting individuals who are interested in living, working, and joining a movement which aims to desegregate communities and build healthy relationships amongst neighbors.

Instead of creating even more new housing, PUC aims to house “social and environmentally active tenants” who wish to be a voice and participant in strengthening the relationships that make up the areas landscape.

Teaming up with landlords in the area, Urban Creators offers students a chance to become a part of an “intentional community.” Chosen tenants of the housing program agree to and are responsible for five hours of street cleanups, community building workshops, and maintenance of urban gardens each month.

In addition to affordable housing, the Intentional Housing Program allows students to receive credit for living and working as an intern with PUC. Internships range from maintaining and developing farms/gardens to behind the scenes management, market research and outreach initiatives. Students are not limited to picking just one and can create a hybrid internship between the several different options offered.

To help desegregate communities and build mutual respect, PUC is now accepting applications to their program. More information can be found here.


Economics Department receives donation from renowned alumnus

The Department of Economics within the College of Liberal Arts has received two donations this year from Dr. Lacy Hunt, a successful and internationally respected economist.
The author of books and numerous articles in both the popular press and scholarly journals, Hunt is often asked to comment on global economics by national and foreign news programs. Although he is a world renowned professional, Hunt still feels it is important to support the progress taking place in the Economics program at Temple, said Michael Bognanno, Chair of the Economics Department.

Dr. Hunt contributed $10,000 in the fall of 2014, followed by another $10,000 donation this spring, Bognanno said. The contributions by Dr. Hunt will be used to aid summer research scholarships for Economics doctoral candidates. The donations, combined with a recent endowment from Dr. Jeffery and Elizabeth Coons, will allow the department to support up to four doctoral candidates this summer. In addition to financial aid, the assistance from Dr. Hunt will go toward bringing two high-profile scholars to campus to share their research with students and faculty.

Dr. Hunt received his Ph.D. in Economics in 1969 and has maintained a long term commitment to Temple since finishing his schooling. He served on the Board of Trustees from 1987 to 2010 and is now an Honorary Life Trustee. Dr. Hunt is currently the Executive Vice President of Hoisington Investment Management Company.


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Temple alumni create Fly in 4 scholarship

Fly in 4 has energized the Class of 2018. Now two alumni and longtime Temple supporters are giving the program a major boost.

The Alan and Deborah Cohen Goldman Sachs Scholarship Fund was established through a generous $350,000 grant recommendation made by Alan M., CLA ’72, and Deborah Miffoluf Cohen, FOX ’72. This school year, the scholarship was awarded to two students—one in the College of Liberal Arts and one in the Fox School of Business—who signed up for Fly in 4, Temple’s innovative plan to fast-track students’ futures and limit their debt.

“We feel like we were given a huge gift to get a high-quality education and pursue our dreams, so this is our way of giving back.”
— Deborah Miffoluf Cohen, FOX ’72

“The Fly in 4 aspect of the scholarship was especially compelling,” said Alan M. Cohen, executive vice president and global head of compliance at Goldman Sachs, who recently became a member of Temple’s Board of Trustees.

Temple President Neil D. Theobald “showed us the data that giving people the opportunity to graduate in four years is a tremendous economic advantage,” Cohen added. “The true cost of extending college for an extra year or two is a bad trade-off economically, but that isn’t obvious to most students at the time.”

Fly in 4 launched this school year to an energetic response from Temple students. About 88 percent of freshmen and new transfer students signed up for the program.

In many ways, Fly in 4 was designed to help students who are like the Cohens.

“Both of us were in the first generation of our families to attend college, and that was largely because Temple was so affordable,” said Deborah Miffoluf Cohen, who had a long and successful career in merchandising before retiring. “We feel like we were given a huge gift to get a high-quality education and pursue our dreams, so this is our way of giving back.”

The Cohens’ grant was made at their recommendation by Goldman Sachs Gives. Their contribution was matched by Temple University.

The gift is already having a major impact on this year’s two scholarship recipients.

Melanie Tucci, Class of 2018, is an international business major from northeast Philadelphia. Like the Cohens, she’s part of the first generation in her family to attend college.

Tucci said she was working three jobs this past summer but, because of the scholarship, has been able to reduce her work hours to about 12 per week, giving her more time to study.

Tucci added that the scholarship will help her save money for a study abroad trip to Rome next year in pursuit of her goal of working for an international corporation.

“Receiving the scholarship was amazing,” she said. “It lightened my burden significantly.”

Brianna Seay, Class of 2018, is a psychology major from Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood. Her long-term goal is to become a dentist, but earlier this school year, she was worried she wouldn’t be able to afford to register for the spring semester.

When Seay learned she had received the Alan and Deborah Cohen Goldman Sachs Scholarship, she was “overjoyed and shocked.”

The Cohens “released a true burden off of me,” she said. “I’m really thankful.”


Mantle

A Hooded Scarf making Real Magic

Photo caption: Avi Loren Fox models her Wild Mantle on Eighth Street. Her Wild Mantle business raised money on Kickstarter. TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

Avi Loren Fox’s entrepreneurial endeavor with a hooded scarf started where so many efforts to find oneself do – at a bar.

The place: McShea’s Restaurant & Bar in Narberth. The time: September 2013.

Fox’s dilemma: The Narberth native and 2010 Temple University graduate with a degree in environmental studies had just closed a photography business she and her brother Nikolai operated for three summers. “I decided to enter that terrifying space of taking a year without any plans,” Fox recalled, citing her mother, Teresa, a meditation instructor, as the inspiration for that timeout. So to McShea’s Fox went, wearing a hooded scarf she had made out of old sweaters. “All of a sudden, I realized everyone was looking at me,” Fox said. “That’s where the Wild Mantle story started.” Wild, indeed.

First came 50 orders from McShea’s patrons and acquaintances for Fox’s head-and-neck covering – called the Mantle; the company name is Wild Mantle – which required her to solicit on Facebook for seamstresses to help make them. They sold for $144 – the price settled on by Fox after she consulted a numerology psychic, who advised that 44 was her career number, success her trademark, and “to take what’s in your heart and make it bigger.” To accomplish the latter, Fox needed to find a U.S. manufacturer willing to work with a start-up to sew hoods made of alpaca from Peru and lined with fleece. (Clothing dependent on scavenged material, such as used sweaters, is hard to scale in quantities to meet the kind of wholesale demand Wild Mantle will need to grow into the sustainable business Fox envisions, experts said.) She found Ice Box Knitting Mill in Longmont, Colo., which required a minimum order – 144. Talk about karma.

Then this fall came the real magic, as Fox put it: Wild Mantle launched a Kickstarter campaign Nov. 20 to raise $30,000 in 34 days to cover the cost of the first batch of Mantle hooded scarves. Fox raised more, $39,827. She attributes that to some high-profile Twitter promotions by actress Kat Dennings, who stars in the CBS series 2 Broke Girls and, as a Bryn Mawr native, was home-schooled with Fox. The first batch of scarves, expected by March or April, primarily will go to Wild Mantle’s (www.wildmantle.com) Kickstarter backers. Fox hopes to have hoods to offer retailers by fall. They will retail for $280, dictated by the price of alpaca, and, she added, “I want to pay people fairly to manufacture in the U.S.A.” Among those she has consulted for advice are Dave Neill and Jacob Hurwitz, the Wynnewood cofounders of American Trench L.L.C. They raised $19,108 on Kickstarter in early January 2013 to help launch their Made-in-the-U.S.A. line of trench coats, currently retailing for $785.

But the outerwear market has proved an expensive one – involving much capital to purchase materials and meet manufacturer minimums. So, Hurwitz said, American Trench has turned its focus to socks and caps it has made in Reading and North Carolina while the company nears profitability and can better support its coat line. He called Wild Mantle’s Kickstarter performance “totally awesome and really the testament to America’s support of entrepreneurs.” As to Wild Mantle’s prospects, he said the world outside crowdfunding required “adjustments along the way to a more commercial environment where you have to find the right price.” “She’s either going to find boutiques” that will carry a $280 scarf, Hurwitz said, “or she’s going to have to come up with a garment that’s less expensive.” As a college student, Fox, now 28 and living in Ardmore, was honored by the Society of Women Environmental Professionals for founding and running for three years Narberth Greens, a grassroots organization dedicated to encouraging and supporting environmentally friendly living. Among its accomplishments was a flower and vegetable exchange for farmers to swap surplus crops, and an energy challenge for the borough.

Sustainability remains a priority for Fox. She is a member of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, where her hooded scarf was little more than a concept at the time of the support group’s main annual networking function in 2013, the Social Venture Institute. Yet “there was a buzz through the conference from some of the other entrepreneurs, even experienced ones, that, ‘Hey, I think this woman is on to something!’ ” executive director Jamie Gauthier wrote last week in an e-mail. She has been impressed with Fox’s progress. “Think of all the young people who have had trouble lately finding gainful employment,” Gauthier said. “Avi is an example of how you can employ yourself and do it on your own terms and according to your own values.” Fox named her scarves Mantle because, in the Golden Compass young-adult books, it meant a role or responsibility and, in ancient times, a loose-fitting cloak, she said.

She hopes to have enough capital to open a studio by summer or fall, to afford employees in 2016 – and possibly influence an industry. Said Fox: “It’s really a medium for me to figure out what the next cutting edge is of social and environmental change within the manufacturing realm.”

Source: A Mantle Piece