Parking day 1

Temple University Ambler Students, Faculty to Create “Pop Up” Park in Doylestown

A brand new park is about to pop up in Doylestown Bourough, but it isn’t somewhere off the beaten path. It will be right in the heart of town thanks to a collaboration between temple University Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture faculty and students and community volunteers.

Park(ing) for People, a temporary 120-foot, by 12-foot “pop up” park will be open to the public on Friday, September 18 and Saturday, September 19, taking up a few parking spots right in front of the County Theater, 20 E. State Street, at the main intersection in Doylestown.

This community outreach effort is part of Park(ing) Day, a global event designed to bring attention to the need for more urban open space, spark discussions about how public space is created and allocated and improve the quality of the places in which we live and work.

Temple’s part of the Doylestown project is being spearheaded by Associate Professor Baldev Lamba, chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture.

“Imagine a greener, more people-friendly space in place of parking spots. This pop up park is a true partnership between our students and faculty and volunteer architects, horticulturists, landscape architects, artists and organizations in the region,” said Lamba. “It’s been a wonderfully energizing, fun and rewarding experience. The outpouring of encouragement and offers of help from the community has shown over and over again just how amazing people in the Doylestown area truly are.”

According to Lamba, Park(ing) for People will highlight “an urban meadow theme.”

“It will include plants, perennial grasses and trees that can handle an urban environment in addition to seating areas for people passing by,” he said. “All of the material will be reused within the community. Our park and streetscape is 100 percent sustainable.”

Several events are planned around the pop up park, said Lamba.

The grand opening, which includes a concert by Faith and Practice, will begin at 12 p.m. on Friday, September 18. A concert by the Lucas Ebeling Trio will also be held on September 18 from 3:45 to 5:45 p.m.

On Saturday, September 19 community members are invited to join Dtown Bike Riding Basics on a bike ride to the pop up park beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Linden Elementary School. Additional events on September 19 include “Story time with Miss Larissa” from 10 to 10:45 a.m. and a concert by the Overtone Acoustic Duo from 12 to 1 p.m.

“We will also host a photography competition. We are looking for interesting photographs taken of the pop up park during Park(ing) Day, which will be used in an event photo gallery,” Lamba said. “Two winning photographers will be awarded gift certificates from local restaurants and shops. Submissions may be made at by September 25.”

In addition to the lush displays of plants and trees, Lamba said, Abby Sernoff, a local mixed media collage artist, is creating a 6-foot-tall cylindrical art installation titled “Taking Flight,” which incorporates several of her original bird and nature inspired works.

An additional art installation by Central Bucks West senior Olivia Horan titled “Diaphanous Bloom” is, according to Horan, a “reflection on my generation’s struggle in claiming ownership of our future and our role in securing and improving a better world.”

Lamba is no stranger to the concept of pop up gardens. He coordinated the award winning design of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s first pop up garden in 2011. Located at 20th and Market Streets, the garden took its inspiration from Temple’s award winning Philadelphia Flower Show exhibit — Écolibrium – French Traditions/Modern Interpretations — from the same year. While that park was a touch larger — 32,000 square feet — the message and premise is the same as the Doylestown pop up park, Lamba said.

“It’s about changing mindsets. It’s showing people that urban centers can have areas that are green, innovative and inviting,” he said. “With the Philadelphia pop up gardens, people hate to see them go — it builds a sense of community. It’s such a unique concept. No one expects to see a park just spring up in the center of town, and this is the most active part of the borough.”

Among the many supporters of the Park(ing) for People project are Schumacher Landscaping & Construction; Sentinel Process Systems Inc.; the Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects; Bucks Beautiful; Clearview Nursery Inc.; Doylestown Borough’s Environmental and Recreation Committee; Doylestown Business Alliance; Feeney’s Plant Nursery and Garden Center; Huberific Graphic Design Studio; Ralph C. Fey AIA Architects; and Temple University Ambler.

For additional information about Parking(ing) for People, contact 267-337-3195 or Follow Park(ing) for People on Facebook.

Black Lives Matter

POPPYN and VOICES Students Promote Black Lives Matter Movement

The event was hosted by the University Community Collaborative, an organization founded by political science professor Barbara Ferman that works with Philadelphia youth.Students

by Sara Curnow Wilson

Tuttleman 102 was full of energy earlier this month as participants in the POPPYN and VOICES programs prepared for their final event. Some students worked to coordinate the details of their presentations while others socialized and greeted guests. All laughed and cheered as they recognized themselves and their friends on a slideshow from the year’s programming.

Though the warmth in the room that evening resembled the end of any other program, the event differed from the typical last day of class or camp, in that behind the hope and happiness was reference to a bleaker reality. The posters that covered the wall proclaimed “Afrofutures Are Bright” and “We Gon’ Be Alright,” but they also spelled out the names of young black victims of police brutality like Eric Garner and Rekia Boyd.

POPPYN and VOICES are parts of the University Community Collaborative, an organization that works with Philadelphia youth to foster a positive youth culture and build better communities. UCC, founded by political science professor Barbara Ferman, encourages its participants to identify and raise awareness about problems in the community.

This year, the programs centered on the Black Lives Matter movement. The evening began with a presentation from POPPYN, a news show produced by high school and college students that airs on Philly’s Public Access TV and is available on YouTube. The POPPYN students shared clips from their latest episode and talked about their experiences researching, interviewing and editing. The VOICES after school program students closed out the event. VOICES students shared their collaborative blog, Project Blackout , as well as personal poetry, song, and art about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Each group took part in a Q&A, during which students were quick to highlight the importance of the programs in the Collaborative Continuum. Participants described their renewed critical thinking skills, senses of self-empowerment, and understandings of the world around them. “I’m so aware now,” one student said, referring to racial tensions in the justice and education systems. Another described talking to her high school’s administration to make the curriculum in her history course less Eurocentric.

All participants agreed that the biggest benefit of the program was working closely with other students, both their high school peers and their college leaders. In the words of one participant, “I made a family here.”

Anastasia Checchio

8 Must-Bring Items for College Freshmen

Senior neuroscience major Anastasia Checchio shares pearls to help incoming freshmen make their college transition a no-brainer.

by Anastasia Checchio

Whether you’re traveling a few minutes or a few hundred miles away from home, the countdown to college is overwhelming. Fortunately, the wait is almost over and fall semester is just around the corner! The beginning of the semester is exciting for all students, especially incoming freshmen. I remember feeling a mix of emotions in anticipation of move-in day, none of which compared to the overwhelming excitement that I felt once I finally moved in.

There is so much to do in the summer before you move away to college, it’s easy to let an essential item or two slip through the cracks. Lucky for you, I’m here to help!  As a rising senior, I’ve been around the block a few times (sometimes barefoot, but we’ll get to that). I’ve picked up all sorts of tips and tricks along the way and it just so happens I’d like to share a few.

So, Class of 2019, here is my list of the top eight must-brings for the start of the 2015-16 school year.


So, I suffered an embarrassing incident during my first month at Temple, thanks to Philadelphia’s unpredictable precipitation patterns. It was early and I woke up late, threw on sweats in a flustered frenzy and dashed down the stairs of 1940 into an epic torrential downpour. As I was finally about to make it to my class, a police officer on 12th street stopped the oncoming herd of students to allow cars to pass. As I waited in the rain, my flip-flop got caught in the stream gushing down 12th street and floated away. After I caught my flip-flop, I trudged to what was left of lecture and sat there in my sopping clothes, thinking about the embarrassment that could have been avoided had I:

  • Stopped hitting the snooze button on my alarm
  • Listened to my mother when she graciously offered to buy me rain boots

I cannot stress enough the importance of rain gear in college. Consider bringing multiple umbrellas, for you will go through many during your time at Temple due to the merciless wind tunnels on campus. Classes do not stop due to the rain, so be prepared!


Unfortunately, mattresses in the residence halls aren’t the most comfortable (read: it’s kind of like the princess and the pea). Of course, nobody truly realizes this until their first night here. Or the next morning, when your body hurts in places you didn’t know existed.

Your dorm room should be a haven — a relaxing space to seek refuge at the end of a long day. Back in high school, I created my perfect space at home over the years and I was determined to recreate it in my new residence at Temple. I came prepared on move-in day with all of the essentials, but most importantly I came with two mattress toppers. Out of all of the furnishings for my dorm, nothing topped those toppers. My new haven would not have been complete without an incredible bed to come home to after classes.

It’s a great investment (I promise).


I have to admit something: Parents are right sometimes. Especially when they urge you to bring a first aid kit. Listen to your mom when she tries to pack one for you. She is right. You are wrong. They’re necessary.  At college, your parents are no longer around to take care of your bumps and bruises; it’s all on you.  It’s inevitable that at some point you’ll get hurt or sick, so be prepared!

Typically, these kits are equipped with everything to treat minor injuries and ailments. If any further attention is required you can always stop by the Student Health Center on the 4th floor of 1810 Liacouras Walk. I am thankful that I had one of these; I’ve seen my fair share of tumbles and illnesses. You’ll be just as thankful once you’re in need of Band-Aids and/or Advil after a long weekend (trust me).

Thanks, mom.


When I came to college I had no idea what an HDMI cord was, but now I can’t live without one. These nifty cords can be used to transmit what’s on your computer to your TV screen! It is, in a word, brilliant.

This cord comes in handy when you’d like to watch movies or shows on your TV instead of having all of your friends crowd around your laptop. If you have Netflix, this is an absolute must-have! My friends and I still have viewing parties to watch movies together and catch up on our shows.


Trust me: There is no such thing as too many pairs of headphones. I never realized how much I used them until I came to college and lost my first pair. It’s like when you lose a sock in the laundry — if the sock played music and helped you find privacy in crowded spaces.

Misplacing a pair of headphones always starts same: You came home from class, leave them on your desk, start your homework (read: watch Netflix), and just as you’re about to leave… your headphones are gone.

You tear apart your dorm room; find that sock you’ve been missing for months (score), but no headphones. You text all of your friends and enter all five stages of grief.  As you brutally interrogate your roommate about her most recent whereabouts, you think to yourself “how could I have possibly misplaced my headphones?”

You’ll find that losing your possessions is extremely easy in college, but finding them is extremely difficult.  Save yourself the headache and pack an extra pair.


I really never used a water bottle prior to college, but I’ve come to realize that they are an absolute must-have for students. They cut down on the sale of plastic bottles, and they save you money.

Carrying a water bottle is eco-friendly and furthers Temple’s commitment to sustainability. Our university shows its appreciation for those who use water bottles by providing more than 100 filling stations throughout campus. This is especially convenient, because these stations make it easy to fill up before class. Water bottles are a convenient and sustainable way to stay hydrated throughout busy days on campus.

If you, for some reason, forget to bring a water bottle to school, feel free to visit Erin McHugh, the College of Liberal Arts’ Director of Enrollment Management. Her office is on the 12th floor of Anderson Hall.

She’ll hook you up.


This time in your life is all about self-exploration: pursuing your passions and finding your place in the world. With college comes a new level of independence and responsibility, both of which should not be taken lightly. College is your time to branch out, but make sure that you do it realistically.

You need a plan.

An agenda is the perfect way to organize yourself so that you can efficiently complete everything you seek to accomplish. You will soon realize that college is all about balance, and an agenda will help you plan sensibly so that you aren’t over-exerting yourself or setting unrealistic expectations.

I’ve found that my agenda has changed. What I wanted on move-in day isn’t necessarily what I want now. As an incoming freshman I was a psychology major, and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would switch to neuroscience. I remember meeting a neuroscience student at orientation before I even moved in and thinking, “Wow neuroscience. That’s something I could never do.” Here I am, a senior neuroscience major with an undeniable passion for the subject matter. My agenda has changed over time, thanks to the support that I’ve found it my advisors, teachers, and peers here at Temple University.


To close this article, I’ve chosen what I believe to be the most important “must have” for any college freshman: an open mind.

Being open-minded means immersing yourself in new experiences, which is what I believe college is all about. Everybody’s college careers will differ, but as incoming freshmen you are all unified by the shared experience of a new beginning.

College provides you with a clean slate and a chance to reinvent yourself; it’s just up to you to execute. Being open-minded is the most important advice I can share, because it has the power to open doors that you never knew existed.

If there was one thing that I did right as a freshman, it was put all biases aside and start my college career with an open mind. I am thankful every day for the incredible friendships that I have formed and as I look back on my years at Temple, I wouldn’t change a thing. My friends and I always say that we are so lucky to have found each other. We are truly fortunate, but I sometimes wonder if we would have found each other without being open-minded. I am unsure of how I would have found a group so different, yet so alike, without this mindset. My friends are eclectic and certainly quirky; each of us adds a different facet to our dynamic bond. Each of us posseses our own unique strengths and weaknesses, and we tackle college’s ups and downs together. I am so lucky to have such a strong support, and I owe it all to freshman me.

The beginning of college evokes different emotions for all of us. Regardless of how you’re feeling about the beginning of this new journey, it’s your time, Class of 2019, and we couldn’t be more excited to have you.

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. 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.

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


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 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.


Students dig into the Bronze Age

Temple students Paige Randazzo, Class of 2017, and Marvin Fequiere, Class of 2015, spent their winter break in northern Oman. While there, the pair unearthed the 5,000-year-old skeleton of a child from a stone tomb atop a cliff on the Arabian Peninsula.

“It was everything I have ever wanted,” Randazzo, an anthropology major from Lafayette, New Jersey, said of the experience. “At the same time, it was scary, because I knew these bones were a person and I was responsible for handling them and that they could break because they were so old.”

The duo were among six undergraduates from Temple who were taking part in bioarchaeology training as part of the Social, Spatial, and Bioarchaeological Histories of Ancient Oman (SoBO) project. Bioarchaeology is the study of human skeletal remains from archaeological sites for the purpose of reconstructing past human activities and health patterns. The SoBo project analyzes the area’s shifting Bronze Age mortuary traditions.

Kimberly Williams, an assistant professor of anthropology and a skeletal biologist, launched the project in 2010 after she received a Temple Faculty Senate Seed Money Fund grant and a National Science Foundation grant, which continues to fund the project and the students’ field experiences.

This year, the SoBO team also included Temple graduate student and research assistant Megan Luthern; the project’s co-director, Lesley Gregoricka, a bioarchaeologist from the University of South Alabama; three of Gregoricka’s students; a resident of an Omani village close to the dig site; and a member of Oman’s Ministry of Heritage and Culture.

Besides skeletal remains, over the course of five seasons of fieldwork the excavations of more than 20 tombs have uncovered ceramics from Mesopotamia, carnelian beads from southern Asia’s Indus Valley and locally made bronze swords, daggers and personal ornaments.

“The Mesopotamians wanted bronze [a copper alloy]. There is evidence of copper mining and smelting, and of exporting the resulting bronze to Mesopotamia and beyond,” said Williams.

“What’s fascinating is that, at the same time you have great civilizations nearby, this was a not-well-documented hinterland populated by workaday people who, in the grand scheme of history, far outnumber the elite,” she said. “We want to understand the role of these relatively invisible people.”

Williams said the fieldwork trains her students to employ the scientific method in the real world, developing and testing hypotheses and adapting them to the conditions they encounter and the data they generate.

It also allows her students to determine if they have the requisite passion for scientific fieldwork. For example, Fequiere, an anthropology major from northeast Philadelphia, plans to return with Williams to Oman both for a dig in May and one next winter.

Likewise, Nurvidia A. Rosario, Class of 2015, an anthropology major from South Philadelphia, said she found her niche cleaning skeletons in the Oman laboratory. She now intends to pursue a graduate degree in bioarchaeology.

“You start thinking about these people as actual persons, wondering, ‘Who were they and what were they like?’” said Rosario. “From the way they were buried it’s obvious that they had people who cared about them. It also says a lot about the human experience.”

Randazzo, who received a university Creative Arts, Research and Scholarship grant to fund her honors thesis on erosional effects on the tombs, had a similar epiphany: “When I was out there, I knew I had to be a bioarchaeologist. I got this peaceful feeling knowing I was in the right place.”

-Bruce E. Beans

CLA students approved for CARAS research program

Three students from the College of Liberal Arts have been approved for the Creative Arts, Research, and Scholarship program for the spring semester of 2015. The Temple University Research Administration in collaboration with the Office of Provost and the Deans of Temple’s Schools and Colleges provides funding for undergraduate or professional students to engage in research projects that contribute to advancing their field of study.

Before being chosen for the grant and project, Samantha Stella, Christopher Sohnly, and Jennifer Francesconi had to submit a clearly focused project plan addressing an issue, concern, or aspect related to his/her field of study including a detailed budget proposal. The applicants also had to obtain an endorsement by a full-time faculty member and the dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Samantha Stella’s (psychology, cognitive neuroscience) research will determine if social media usage has an impact on one’s empathy. Since social media sites are relatively new, some research has indicated that the popular sites can have an antisocial impact, while other research has demonstrated prosocial effects, Stella said. She is very curious to see what the impact on empathy will be, particularly in the undergraduate population. Mentored by Jason Chein, Stella will analyze data results to see if there is a statistically significant relationship between empathy and social media usage.

During his research project, Christopher Sohnly (landscape architecture) will refine data gathered to support the landscape management plan he created over the summer of 2014 for Gheel House, located in Pughtown, Pennsylvania. Sohnly designed and cleared a trail system through the acres of woodlands, meadow, and wetlands that the Gheel house sits on for the residents and office tenants of the area to enjoy as a contracting job. Mentored by Eva Monheim and Susan Mrugal, Sohnly has taken surveys of the land and vegetation, while also working with residents, directors, and staff of Gheel House to best implement their vision of the area.The CARAS project will allow time to organize and archive flora lists, photographs and maps so that this primary data will be available to others.

Jennifer Francesconi’s (psychology) project on the effects of aging on decision making was sparked by her interest in cognitive deficits produced by neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s. Her research will investigate the performance differences in decision making by young and aged mice. While working with professor Vinay Parikh, Francesconi will explore if aged mice use a different strategy then younger ones, while accessing their brain network level. She hopes to determine why some are more susceptible to cognitive decline in aging, while others are not.

With their acceptance to the CARAS research program, each student received a grant that will help them fund their research in hopes they will discover valuable data and experiences that will help grow their research, creative, and intellectual skills in their desired field of study.

Baccalaureate Awards Ceremony now accepting nominations

Annual Awards and Scholarships Nomination Process Now Open

Each year on the eve of commencement, the best and brightest in the College of Liberal Arts are honored at the annual CLA Baccalaureate Awards Ceremony. Baccalaureate award prizes can range from just recognition and can extend all the way to scholarships and internships. Some awards, prizes, and scholarships are general for all College of Liberal Arts students while others are department specific.  The accolades are named in recognition of past alumni, school presidents, faculty members, or friends of Temple that truly made a mark in their field of work.

Faculty members are encouraged to nominate students who meet the eligibility criteria for specific awards. Although the Awards Selection Committee does not accept student self-nominations,  students who do feel they are qualified should see the faculty Undergraduate Chair of their major. It should be noted that scholarships are credited to tuition and only students with more than 12 credit hours remaining after spring 2015 are eligible for scholarship money, but there are other awards available for those who do not match that condition. Nominations are due by not later than Monday, February 9th. View a full listing of awards being given out this year.