Vol. 3, Issue 10
January 15, 2009
What’s Up @ Widener
New College Access Center will Serve
Inside this issue:
Delaware County Residents
Six Delaware County colleges and
Honor Dr. Martin Luther King 2
Jr. with a Day of Service universities are joining forces to address the
Free Services in Honor of 3
educational needs of county residents. Their
Dr. King first major initiative, the College Access
Center of Delaware County, will hold an
The Chemistry Club Prepares 3
for its Close Up open house January 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The College Access Center, an initiative
Faces of Widener 4
of the Chester Higher Education Council,
Points of Pride 4 will be located in a building owned by The College Access Center at 400 East
Spotlight on Sports 5 Widener University at 400 East 21st Street in 21st Street in Chester.
Chester. The center will provide free services
Delaware Campus Alumnus 5
Gives Distinguished Lecturer to students beginning in sixth grade and continuing through their senior year of
high school, and to adults wishing to pursue or complete a college degree.
Philadelphia Artists Explore 6
Services will range from college and career awareness and study skills
Journey at Art Gallery development to tutoring, mentoring, and assisting high school seniors and their
parents with the college financial aid process, according to Widener President
James T. Harris III, chairperson of the Chester Higher Education Council.
Take Part in the 2009 7
Presidential Inauguration The Chester Higher Education Council is a nonprofit organization formed by
the presidents of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Delaware County
Two-Week Peek 8
Community College, Neumann College, Penn State Brandywine, Swarthmore
College, and Widener University.
“All of the member institutions have been very active in their own right in
supporting education initiatives in Chester and throughout Delaware County,”
Harris said. “However, working together and coordinating our resources we can
accomplish a great deal more. Operating as the council also enables members to
act as one entity in pursuing private and public funding.”
The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania will be integral partners in the
Story Idea? center. The organization will provide $100,000 in funding for the first year of
• Send story ideas and items operation of the center.
for the Noteworthy section According to Cynthia Jetter, director of Community Partnerships and
to Allyson Roberts,
firstname.lastname@example.org Planning for the Lang Center at Swarthmore College, the Chester Higher
Education Council anticipates that the center will serve 1,000 youths and adults in
its first year through school-based programs, center-based community
workshops and at neighborhood sites.
The center will open on Monday, February 2. Operating hours will be from 10
a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a Day of Service
The Widener University community is invited to participate in the 16th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Day of Service on Monday, January 19 to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. The university invites you
to participate in one or all of the following events, which provide you with an opportunity to pause and
reflect on Dr. King’s contributions:
• MURAL: Help create a colorful mural through the Chester Mural Arts Project to celebrate Dr. King.
The artwork, which has been in the designing stages since August, will be dedicated to the Calvary
Baptist Church where Dr. King preached as a seminary student from 1948-1951. All volunteers are
encouraged to register for one hour shifts on CampusCruiser under the volunteer opportunities link.
8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
• MARCH: March with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Committee of Chester and
Vicinity from the Chester Salvation Army at 151 West 15th Street to the site of the Old Crozer
Seminary to place a wreath in memory of Dr. King. The group will then proceed to the James E. Clark
Auditorium at the Crozer-Chester Medical Center where Reverend Dr. Bayard Taylor, pastor of
Calvary Baptist Church, will deliver the keynote address.
12:45 p.m.—Bus Departs from University Center to the Salvation Army
1:30 p.m.—Keynote address at the James E. Clark Auditorium
• MUSIC and REFLECTION: Attend the annual commemoration of Dr. King’s life, where you can
literally sing his praise. Sponsored by Widener’s Black Student Union, the event will feature the
Widener University and Chester High School Gospel Choirs. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit
Award will also be presented at this time.
For more information on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service events, contact the Office for
Community Engagement and Diversity Initiatives at 610-499-4549 or visit CampusCruiser.
Pictured below, a rendering of the mural
design, which will be constructed during
this year’s annual MLK Jr. Day of
Service with help from President Harris,
the Presidential Service Corps, and
hopefully hundreds more Widener
students, staff, and faculty volunteers.
Free Services in Honor of Dr. King
While Widener invites the entire campus community to participate in its university-wide initiatives
marking the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service., many groups and organizations also take it upon
themselves to carry out their services free-of-charge on or around the holiday.
All first and third-year students in the Institute for Physical Therapy Education will work with Widener
PT faculty and alumni to conduct blood pressure screenings for Chester residents while also checking
devices such as wheelchairs and walkers to make sure they are clean and in good working order. The
group will work on January 16, 18 and 19, and volunteers will visit various senior centers, churches, and
other organizations to blanket the Chester community, helping as many people as possible.
Also in honor of Dr. King, the Widener University Small Business Development Center will waive
fees for its "First Step" seminar, designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs jumpstart their business plan. The
SBDC will offer the seminar at three separate times and locations to help all interested participants take
advantage of the opportunity. The seminar will run in both the morning and the evening on Monday,
January 19 and again on the evening of Monday, January 26. See the Two-Week Peek on Page 8 for more
details, or visit the SBDC website.
The Chemistry Club Prepares for its Close Up
Lights, Camera, Action!
With loud explosions and bubbling brews, the Chemistry
Club provided plenty of action while demonstrating a
series of experiments to be used in educational films
produced by Fabian-Baber Communication. To prepare
for their close ups, the students volunteered their time to
research, select, and practice experiments, which will be
edited to supplement video lectures on five chemistry-
“The students worked over a weekend to prepare for
the filming, dedicating so much of their time and effort to
make sure their experiments were a success,” said Dr.
Louise Liable-Sands, assistant professor of chemistry. “I
was blown away by their dedication and professionalism.” Senior Karen Voelker and Assistant Professor of Chemistry
In addition to carrying out the experiments, the students Dr. Louise Liable-Sands assist Support Scientist Martin
had to write up the materials used, procedures, safety Schultz with setting up a shot for the Fabian-Baber
precautions, disposal recommendations, and expected
observations to help producers create a narrative for each of the 13 reactions they demonstrated.
When completed, the films will be used in high school and community college classrooms and possibly
internationally. The camera crew will return again soon for additional footage to complete a total of five
films on topics ranging from atoms, molecules, and compounds to the periodic table. Each film will feature
Widener University labs and the following students turned movie stars: Kaitlyn Gerhart, a senior chemistry
major; Paul Gorman, a freshman chemistry and secondary education major; Brittney Offenbacker, a
chemistry major; Miguel Rodriquez, a biology/pre-med major with a minor in biochemistry; and Karen
Voelker, a senior chemistry major.
In addition to the student participants and Dr. Liable-Sands, Dr. Andrea Martin, assistant professor of
chemistry; Martin Schultz, support scientist; and Michelle Donnelly-Kelleher, the chemistry lab stockroom
coordinator; were instrumental in making the first shoot a success.
Faces of Widener: John G. Culhane
Busy doesn’t even begin to describe the schedule kept by Widener
Law Professor John G. Culhane, who also serves as director of the
top-10 ranked Health Law Institute on the Delaware Campus. In
addition to his teaching responsibilities at Widener, Culhane lectures
every other fall semester at Yale University’s School of Public Health,
traveling by train to Connecticut once a week.
Outside of the classroom, Culhane oversees the student
organization “Outlaws,” formerly the “Gay Straight Student Alliance.”
He also continues to study and discuss law-related issues that pique
his attention, including public health and policy, compensating
victims of disaster, and the rights of same-sex partners. To explore
such topics, he recently began a blog, which can be accessed at
NPR recently honed in on Culhane’s expertise regarding the rights
John G. Culhane,
of same sex partners, airing an hour-long interview with him on Professor of law and Director of the
Proposition 8, California’s statewide ballot proposition banning same- Health Law Institute,
sex marriage. His articles on victim compensation paved the way for Delaware Campus
his role in the documentary film America Betrayed, which examines
ways the U.S. government contributes to, and profits from, disasters at home and abroad. Recently picked
up by a distributor, the film will soon make its way to the big screen in a limited release and possibly on
national television at a later date.
Culhane is the recipient of two student-conferred and one alumni-conferred outstanding faculty awards.
One of Culhane’s fondest Widener memories, however, occurred when he approached the previous School
of Law Dean Douglas E. Ray about getting benefits, equal to those granted to his married cohorts, for his
partner. “It was truly remarkable how fast my request was granted,” Culhane said. “Dean Ray pushed the
issue and helped the changes take place quickly.”
Culhane’s partner, David Girasole, also has ties to Widener as a recent graduate (summa cum laude, no
less) from the Center for Education. Girasole wrapped up student teaching last semester and is currently
looking for a full-time position teaching English.
Culhane and Girasole reside in Philadelphia with their four-year-old twin girls, Courtnee and Alexa,
who they adopted in May 2007. “They are at the age now where they are beginning to become more
involved in what’s going on,” Culhane said of his daughters. “I recently celebrated a birthday, and this was
the first year they got into the festivities, helping to make dinner, cupcakes, and a birthday card.”
With the curious tots at home, Culhane is guaranteed to have a personal life that is equally – if not more
– exciting than his professional one.
Points of Pride…
Philadelphia sports fans have Eagles fever with the team’s recent run in
the playoffs. Widener once played host to frenzied Eagles fans as the site
of the team’s summer training camps between 1973 and 1979. The land
behind Old Main became a practice field for many legends of the
Philadelphia Eagles and National Football League: Harold Carmichael,
John Bunting, Roman Gabriel, Bill Bergey, Frank LeMaster, Ron
Jawarski, and Wilber Montgomery. It was also where Delaware County
native Vince Papale proved himself to become a walk on member of the
team, which later became the plot for the blockbuster film Invincible.
Spotlight on Sports: Meghan Fitzsimmons
Widener senior Meghan Fitzsimmons, who enjoyed a phenomenal career both on and
off the court, was named the Middle Atlantic Conference Volleyball Scholar-Athlete
of the year.
Fitzsimmons put forth another solid campaign in which she was fourth on the team
with 2.52 digs per set, ending sixth in school history with 1,136 career digs, and third
with 32 aces. Her efforts helped Widener (26-10) reach the postseason for the first
time in school history, defeating the City College of New York at home in the Eastern
College Athletic Conference South Tournament, and make the Commonwealth
Conference Tournament a second straight year.
A standout student-athlete, Fitzsimmons sports a 3.88 grade point average in
Elementary/Early Childhood Education and is a three-time member of the MAC
Academic Honor Roll. The tri-captain notched a 4.0 grade point average in the spring Athletic and Academic
2006 semester and was named to inaugural MAC Fall Sportsmanship Teams in 2007. All Star
Fitzsimmons has assisted in her hometown of Lancaster, NY, at the Recreation
Volleyball Camp, and was also a part of the Widener University team that hosted the Special Olympics
and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Fitzsimmons will receive her award at the annual MAC Administration Luncheon on May 5.
Delaware Campus Alumnus Gives
The Corporate Council Technology Institute at Widener University School of Law presented its annual
distinguished lecturer award to Wilmington attorney Kevin F. Brady.
Brady, a partner in the business law group at Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz LLP, is a 1982 magna
cum laude graduate of Widener Law’s Delaware Campus. He received the honor on January 8
before delivering the keynote address during a two-day, intensive course on Technology and the Law at
Wilmington attorney Richard K. Herrmann presented Brady with an engraved crystal obelisk and
honorarium. Herrmann is a visiting professor and co-
chair of the Technology Law Practice Technology
Center at Widener. He also directs the Corporate
Council Technology Institute, which was established
to become the major legal technology resource for
the corporate law community.
“Kevin has shown himself to be an outstanding
member of the Delaware bar in his efforts to further
education on legal issues related to technology
locally, nationally, and internationally,” Herrmann
said. “We value his contributions and felt he richly
deserved this recognition.”
Brady regularly guest lectures at the law school on
the topic of electronic discovery. He frequently
Richard K. Herrmann, right, presents Kevin Brady (’82) with the writes on electronic discovery issues and has guest
annual distinguished lecturer award from the Corporate Council lectured in China on litigation procedures.
Technology Institute at the School of Law.
Philadelphia Artists Explore the African-American
Journey at Widener Art Gallery
From the freedom they were born to on the African continent to the freedom
they escaped to on the Underground Railroad, a new exhibition at the Widener
University Art Gallery explores the journey of African-Americans through the
camera lens and collagraph creations of two Philadelphia-based artists—
Marlene Grolnic and William Earle Williams.
The exhibition opened on January 13 and runs through Saturday, February
28. A reception to meet the artists will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday,
January 24. The exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public.
Grolnic, who was an elementary school teacher in Philadelphia for more
than 30 years, retired in 1999, and has spent her time exploring her cultural
heritage by researching the different African tribes creating African masks
using collagraph printmaking and mixed media. Grolnic’s contribution to the
exhibition, titled “African Spirits,” includes 27 prints.
“I try to include a characteristic of the traditional mask with my own
personal style,” Grolnic said. “To create my work, I collage on cardboard
with various materials. Once
sealed, I ink the surface and watch Marlene Grolnic
with anticipation the colors and African Spirits
Nafana Couple, collagraph
textures appear on the black paper
as I turn the press.”
Williams, a professor of fine arts and curator of photography
at Haverford College, has been focusing his camera lens on the
locations and remnants of the Underground Railroad since 1986.
Williams began him artistic journey on the “freedom train” at
Gettysburg, PA. Along the way, he has photographed sites from
Louisiana to New York. Williams’ journey will be represented
by 43 photographs in the exhibition.
Working strictly in black and white, Williams’ images
capture many of the sites as if they were frozen in time, while
others are encroached upon by elements of modern times. In all
William Earle Williams
of his work, however, there is a brilliant sense of light and
Uncovering the Path to Freedom: geometry that elevate the images to their rightful place of
Photographs of the Underground Railroad historic importance.
Levi Coffin Barn, Fountain City, ID, silver gelatin print
Vist the Widener University Art Gallery
The Widener Art Gallery is open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from
10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gallery will be closed on Saturday, January 17. For more information about the
exhibition or the Art Gallery, contact Rebecca M. Warda at 610-499-1189, e-mail email@example.com,
or visit www.widener.edu.
Dr. Virginia Brabender, associate dean and director of the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology, has
been elected president of Section IX (Assessment Psychology) of the Society of Clinical Psychology
(American Psychological Association Division 12) for 2010.
Dr. Nadine McHenry, associate professor of education, recently presented “Do Teaching Practices Really
Change as a Result of Professional Development Activities?” at the 3rd Annual Conference on Research in
STEM Education held in West Chester, PA, and sponsored by The Math Science Partnership of Greater
Dr. Susan McNiff, assistant professor of education, recently presented “School Counseling in the 21st
Century: Challenges and Opportunities for School Counselors” at the annual meeting of the Delaware
County School Counselors Association.
Dr. Justin Sitron, a clinical assistant professor in the Center for Education, co-authored “Sexological
Worldview Development: A New Construct for Framing Affective Training in Sexology” with Dr. Don
Dyson, assistant professor in the Center for Education. The duo recently presented the paper at the annual
meeting of the Society for Scientific Study of Sexology held in Puerto Rico.
Dr. Jeffrey Sparagana (’07), an alumnus of the Center for Education’s School Leadership Doctoral
Program, and Dr. Ning Wang, associate professor in the Center for Education, recently co-authored the
book Kindergarten Transition: The Effect of a Half-Day Prekindergarten Program on Readiness in
Kindergarten, published by VDM Verlag Dr. Muller in Germany. Sparagana’s dissertation served as the
basis for the book.
Take Part in the 2009 Presidential Inauguration
Widener will offer students, staff, and faculty the
chance to take part in Inauguration Day 2009 with
plenty of places to view the historic event.
The Cultural Program Planning Committee,
Political Engagement Committee, and Student
Government Association will sponsor the Main
Campus viewings of the inauguration of President
Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
The viewings will begin at 11:30 a.m. on
Tuesday, January 20 in University Center Rooms A
and C, the Webb Room, the Dining Center and
Lathem Hall. Students from the Widener
Partnership Charter School and Stetser Elementary
School may also attend the viewing in Lathem Hall. All Widener students, faculty, and staff are invited to
watch at any of the locations.
Law School students, staff, and faculty may also gather to watch Widener’s own Joe Biden take the
oath as Vice President. The Delaware Campus will show Inauguration Day festivities in the Ruby R. Vale
Moot Courtroom following a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. remembrance event at 10 a.m. The Harrisburg
Campus community should stay tuned for further details regarding time and location for its watch party.
A Look at the Next Two Weeks in Widener Events
Thursday, January 15 Tuesday, January 20 (Cont.)
7 p.m. Are You Smarter than a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service 11:30 a.m. Harrisburg Campus
Sigma? Fundraising Event; Monday, January 19 Inauguration Watch Party; TBD
As a civil rights 6 p.m. Women’s Basketball vs.
leader, Dr. Martin Arcadia University; Home
Friday, January 16
Luther King Jr. used 8 p.m. Men’s Basketball vs. Arcadia
11 a.m.—1 p.m. Involvement Fair; the power of service University; Home
University Center Atrium to help bring
communities Saturday, January 24
Saturday, January 17 together to achieve
11 a.m. & 1 p.m. People to People
common goals. Fraternity and Sorority
In 1994, Congress Recruitment Begins
Ambassador Program Presentations
initiated the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of
for students in grades 5-12; 1 p.m. Men’s and Women’s
Alumni Auditorium Service to transform the federal holiday
Swimming vs. Elizabethtown
honoring Dr. King’s life into a national day of
community service to remember his teachings
Monday, January 19
of nonviolence and social justice. 1—3 p.m. “Meet the Artists”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Widener provides a wide range of Reception; Widener University
Day of Service opportunities for all members of the university Art Gallery
to participate in this day of service and help our
community come together to improve the lives 1 p.m. Women’s Basketball vs.
8 a.m.—2:30 p.m. MLK Mural
Messiah College; Home
Project; Lathem Hall (Sign up on of others and build bridges with our neighbors.
Campus Cruiser to volunteer)
3 p.m. Men’s Basketball vs.
8:30—11:30 a.m. SBDC First Step Messiah College; Home
Seminar; Widener SBDC (Free)
7—8 p.m. Poetry Night;
12:45 p.m. Transportation Mac Street Lounge
provided from University Center to
Monday, January 26
Chester’s Salvation Army for the
annual march to the Old Crozer
3 p.m. Supreme Court Justice Randy
Seminary’s commemorative MLK
J. Holland swears in Delaware Civic
Clinic students to the limited
6—9 p.m. SBDC First Step Seminar; practice of law in Delaware courts;
Delaware Campus; Room 126, Main
Christ Community Lutheran Church;
Upper Darby, PA (Free)
7 p.m. Black Student Union’s Inauguration Day 2009 6—7 p.m. Public Viewing of the
Annual Commemoration of Dr. Tuesday, January 20 Night Sky; Widener Observatory
King’s Life; Alumni Auditorium
Watch Inauguration Day 2009 with other 6—9 p.m. SBDC First Step
students, staff, and faculty on three Widener Seminar; Norristown Public Library
Tuesday, January 20 campuses. The swearing-in ceremony is (Free)
scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m. on
Inauguration Day 2009
Tuesday, January 20. Tuesday, January 27
10 a.m. Delaware Campus Stop by any of the following locations on the
Inauguration Watch Party and MLK Main Campus to catch the action: University 11 a.m.—6 p.m. College Access
Celebration; Ruby R. Vale Center Rooms A and C, the Webb Room, the Center Open House; 400 E. 21st St.,
Moot Courtroom Dining Center, and Lathem Hall. Chester, Pa.
On the Delaware Campus, stop by the Ruby
11:30 a.m. Main Campus R. Vale Moot Courtroom. The location for the Wednesday, January 28
Inauguration Viewings; University Harrisburg Campus viewing is yet to be
Center Rooms A and C, the Webb
determined. 6 p.m. Men’s and Women’s
Room, the Dining Center, and Swimming vs. University of
Lathem Hall Delaware; Home