Pope John Paul II at Logan Circle #3, 1979.15-4. City of Philadelphia, Department of Records, City Archives, Office of the City Representative Photographs

As Philadelphia Prepares For One Papal Visit, Temple University Student Spends Summer Researching Another

American Studies major Angela Indik found some hidden gems this summer interning with the Philadelphia City Archives to research the 1979 visit of Pope John Paul II.

by Joseph Master


Temple student Angela Indik displays her research project at the Philadelphia City Archives.

On October 3, 1979, Pope John Paul II arrived at Philadelphia International Airport to fanfare comparable to the coming of the Beatles at JFK. Cardinal John Krol and Mayor Frank L. Rizzo —who knelt to kiss the Piscatory Ring as the press flashed photographs — greeted the pontiff on the tarmac while onlookers cheered.

“Your Holiness, we welcome you to the great city of Philadelphia,” Mayor Rizzo said. “With all the love and affection we can send to you, we are so happy to have you here.”

“Thank you very much,” the Pope said. “Philadelphia means ‘Brotherly Love.’ Thank you.”

For the next two days, John Paul II made Philadelphia home, offering Mass to a crowd of 1.3 million at Logan Circle and to the clergy at the old Civic Center. Crowds lined the streets from City Hall to the Art Museum. Television crews camped out for the play-by-play.

It’s all about to happen again. With Pope Francis set to arrive in Philadelphia this weekend, the crowds will be back — two million people by some estimates. Yet, while the city looks forward to the arrival of Pope Francis, one Temple University student has been tasked with looking back.

An Internship of Papal Proportions

Angela Indik, a 44-year-old American studies major, spent this past summer researching Pope John Paul II’s visit while interning at the Philadelphia City Archives. She used her findings to build an exhibit — including newspaper clippings, original documents, ephemera and photographs — that is on display now at the Archives’ entrance at 3101 Market Street.

Indik, a Bucks County native who worked as a certified massage therapist for 13 years, says she came back to Temple to major in American Studies because she caught the genealogy bug.

“I’ve always been fascinated by history and our ancestors,” Indik says.  “I loved finding old documents and researching their origins. Getting this internship has given me hope that I will get a job in my field when I graduate.”

Thanks in part to mentorship from Hilary Iris Lowe who serves as the director of Temple University’s Center for Public History and helped Angela secure the internship, Indik was able to turn a passion for digging into the past into a decidedly forward-thinking opportunity.

“It’s fantastic that Angie was able to put together an exhibit on Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1979,” Lowe says. “It’s extremely rare that an undergraduate student would have this kind of opportunity — and it speaks to Angie’s interest and hard work that the city trusted her to put it together. It’s a wonderful idea to create an exhibit that helps us all put the current visit into a recent historical perspective.”

The Lowdown on the 1979 Visit

What was so interesting about Pope John Paul II’s visit, which was the very first Apostolic sojourn in the United States?

“Well, everything!” Indik says. “It was such an amazing, big event. And it was interesting to find the stories behind the story.”

For one, then-mayor Frank Rizzo was a polarizing figure who held office during an economic downturn, amid allegations of racial discrimination in City Hall. In 1979, Rizzo was serving his final term. Pending the papal visit, Rizzo sanctioned the construction of a three-story platform to elevate the Pope while he offered Mass at Logan Circle. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took notice and sued the city of Philadelphia for violating the First Amendment by using taxpayer money to fund a religious ceremony.

The ACLU won the suit.

“Thankfully, Mayor Nutter does not seem to be on setting himself up for this kind of legacy for Philadelphia,” Lowe says. “It is, as you say, a different time.”

Angela’s Research Highlights

  • The Pope made Philadelphia his home on Oct. 3 and 4, 1979.
  • 1.3 million people attended the Public Mass at Logan Circle, including 20,000 who reserved seats around the altar.
  • John Paul II performed two masses: One at the Civic Center (just for clergy) and another for the public at Logan Circle.
  • At the Civic Center, the Pope experienced some technical difficulties:  his microphone shorted out.

Pope John Paul II received these gifts from the City of Philadelphia:

  • A historic Matthew Carey bible from the 1700s. It was one of the first Catholic bibles printed in America.
  • A copper engraving of William Penn with Native Americans signing a treaty. This was chosen because Penn brought religious tolerance to Philadelphia.
  • A plaque with Pope John Paul II’s papal coat of arms.
  • A porcelain sculpture of two fawns titled “Young and Free.” This was chosen for the Pope’s belief in peace, freedom and the spirit of youth.

Next Stops

When Indik decided to go back to college as a non-traditional student, she certainly had her doubts.

“It was a big risk for me to join this obscure profession,” she says. “But now that I’ve had this experience, I know this is definitely what I want to do.”

Her hard work has certainly paid off. This semester, Indik secured another internship for course credit working in the archives at Laurel Hill Cemetery.

“I tell people I’m majoring in American Studies, and they ask what am I going to do with that?” she says. “I’m pretty optimistic now.”

*Pope John Paul II at Logan Circle #3, 1979.15-4. City of Philadelphia, Department of Records, City Archives, Office of the City Representative Photographs 

CHAT art exhibition

College of Liberal Arts Faculty Honored with Research Grant Awards

Inaugural awardees include 15 individual and 20 collaborative projects that involve a total of 76 faculty researchers.

Temple University has selected the first batch of recipients for its Presidential Humanities and Arts Research Program Grant Awards, according to a press release issued last week by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.

This new initiative from Temple University President Theobald — which aims to foster faculty research, scholarship and creative activity in the humanities and art — examined faculty contributions to scholarly books and journal publications, dance, drama and musical performances, community-based arts and culture programs, and film documentaries through a competitive peer-review process. In all, the competition included 47 humanities and arts proposals from 102 Temple University researches, representing a diversity of academic disciplines.

The inaugural awardees include 15 individual and 20 collaborative projects that involve a total of 76 faculty researchers. The following 17 College of Liberal Arts Faculty were selected in the inaugural cycle:

  • Seth Bruggeman: History – $10,000
  • Douglas Duckworth: Religion – $5,000
  • Kenneth Finkel: American Studies – $12,000
  • Kristin Gjesdal: Philosophy $5,000
  • Alex Gottesman: Classics – $5,000
  • Patricia Hansell: Anthropology $4,000
  • Priya Joshi: English- $5,000
  • Peter Logan: English $10,000
  • Rajuta Chincholkar-Mandelia: Women’s Studies $5,000
  • Patricia Melzer: German $5,000
  • Lara Ostaric: Philosophy $5,000
  • Aunshul Rege: Criminal Justice $5,000
  • Jeremy Schipper: Religion $5,000
  • Howard Spodek: History $3,000
  • Damien Stankiewicz: Anthropology $5,000
  • Roland Williams: English- $10,000
  • Sean Yom: Political Science $5,000

“The College of Liberal Arts is delighted that so many of its distinguished faculty were awarded grants through the Presidential Humanities and Arts Research Program Grant Awards,” College of Liberal Arts Senior Associate Dean Richard Deeg, Ph.D., said. “This success is a testament to the creativity, diversity and scholarly excellence of liberal arts faculty.”

The next call for proposals will be issued in December 2015.

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”.


Director of academic advising, Chris Wolfgang honored at basketball game

Last week at the TU men’s basketball game vs Lasalle director of Academic Advising, Chris Wolfgang was honored for his endless hours spent making sure that students succeed here at Temple and are on track to graduate. Chris Wolfgang is passionate about listening to students and working with them to achieve their dream of graduating from college. In his tenth year at Temple, Chris also serves as secretary for the University’s chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

Learn more about Chris Wolfgang on the “Meeting the Student Services Staff” page.

Nadia Kravchenko

Obituary: Nadia Kravchenko, CLA Senior Administrative Specialist

Nadia Kravchenko, a 41-year employee at the College of Liberal Arts, lost her three-year battle with brain cancer on May 9, 2011. She was 63.

Nadia KravchenkoNadia began working for the College of Liberal Arts in the Academic Advising Center in 1969. She held several other positions through the years in American Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Dean’s Office. Along the way, she earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies, graduating magna cum laude.

Nadia often talked about how Temple had changed over the years, but also how many important things were still the same. She could always be counted on to share her experience, warmth and wit, and her attention to detail helped many faculty members with their research and manuscript preparation. In the Dean’s Office Nadia managed the complexities of room scheduling and course evaluation preparation for departments – projects huge in scope and importance. She retired from her role as senior administrative specialist in September 2010.

Nadia was born in France to Ukranian émigrés after World War II. The Kravchenko family moved to Northeast Philadelphia when Nadia was 8 years old; she remained in the Northeast until shortly after her retirement.

Diagnosed with cancer in 2008, Nadia had only good things to say about her team of doctors at Temple University Hospital. During those three years, Nadia had countless treatments and appointments for tests and check-ups. Her bravery through it all was inspirational. She believed that laughter was the best medicine and was able to make jokes about things she used to remember “falling out the hole” in her head. Throughout her illness, Nadia’s primary concern was that she didn’t let anyone at Temple down, and that she continued to do a good job. Her dedication to her work was especially admirable and she will be missed.


A memorial service and luncheon will be held on Friday, July 15th at 11:30 AM in the President’s Conference Center, 1810 Liacouras Walk, Philadelphia, PA. Please email Annette McMenamin Bakley by Wednesday July 6th if you plan to attend.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the award established in Nadia’s name to support non-traditional students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Checks made payable to Temple University with “Nadia Kravchenko” in the memo line may be directed to the CLA Development Office in 1234 Anderson Hall.

Sustainability Logo

CLA appoints Sharon Smith to Sustainability Ambassador

The College of Liberal Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Sharon Smith, Administrator for the Criminal Justice, Political Science, and Sociology departments, as the College’s new Staff Sustainability Ambassador.

Together with the faculty Sustainability Ambassador, History Professor Drew Isenberg, Sharon will help coordinate the college’s efforts to foster an awareness of the impact all of us—students, faculty, and staff—have on the environment in both our academic, professional, and personal lives.

All of us can help make changes that will contribute to the College of Liberal Arts being more “green” and help us become more “sustainable.”

Sharon’s first request is for each of us to pause a moment to take the Sustainability Pledge! Let’s demonstrate to President Hart and the Temple community that the College of Liberal Arts is committed to live more sustainably.

Sharon’s office is 208 Gladfelter Hall. She can be reached at and (215) 204-7577 or (215) 204-7763. We encourage you to contact Sharon with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have.

Please join us in welcoming Sharon to her new assignment as our Sustainability Ambassador.