Big Names Come Out To College Signing Day

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The Liacouras Center was filled with stars for the fifth College Signing Day.  The event was hosted by Nick Cannon and had appearances from, Bradley Cooper, Camila Cabello, Ciara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Keke Palmer, Kelly Rowland, Malcolm Jenkins, Questlove, Rebel Wilson, Robert De Niro, and Zendaya.

The biggest name of all was former First Lady Michelle Obama, who started the event in 2014 as a way to shine spotlight on high school seniors going to college.

Michelle Obama wanted to make sure all the students knew how proud she was of them.

To all of the young people, not just here in this city but around the nation who are celebrating college signing day.  We are proud of you.”

Robert De Niro shared his praise for the students, “Congratulations on your success in high school. And your poised for success in your next move.  Your accomplishments required a lot of commitment and maturity. Those qualities will serve you well as you continue your adventure.”

The celebrities told stories of their college careers, gave advice to the students about how to excel as they continue their education, and emphasized the importance of education.

One student at the event said what the event meant to her.

“I think it motivated us more to go to college, and they gave us really good advice and things to do, not to do, and things to look out for, and it was really helpful,” she expressed.

Signing day started in just a dozen cities and has since grown to over 2,000 nationwide.

Filadelfia conecta con la gente de Puerto Rico

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Ubicado en West Kensington, en la esquina de la 5 y Huntingdon, Taller Puertorriqueño es un centro comunitario que se enfoca en proveer programas educativos. La corriente galería de arte del centro, “Extension or Communication” es liderada por el artista Grimaldi Baez. La exposición es un foro abierto que toma una mirada creativa en los temas que todavía enfrentan a Puerto Rico siete meses después de que el Huracán María golpeó la isla.

Grimaldi Baez, el artista y organizador principal del galería

Los artistas locales están participando en la exposición para reunir a la comunidad Latina en Filadelfia, y para arrojar luz en los proyectos que surgieron para ayudar a la isla.

“Es una manera de mirar la galería como un espacio en blanco en el cual nosotros podemos aceptar nuestros ideas,” dijo Baez.

Baez, un nativo puertorriqueño, visitó la isla con sus colegas para investigar y desarrollar ideas para la galería. Colectaron fotografías, pinturas, y periódicos para conectar la gente en Filadelfia a la devastación en la isla.

Una de las artistas, Sheldon Abba, dijo “The idea is that the gallery space itself is actually used as a place to work through these narratives and invite others to come in.”

Después de ver la devastación, el equipo también se inspiró para iniciar una recaudación de fondos para enviar luces y agua de vuelta a Puerto Rico. Lo que consiguieron era mucho más de lo que esperaban.

Carteles y periódicos incluidos en el proyecto

Según Baez, “Nosotros organizamos por aca, y en tres semanas, recogieron catorce mil dólares.”

“Extension or Communication” será exhibida en Taller Puertorriqueño hasta el 5 de mayo, pero los artistas esperan extender su estadía más tiempo para continuar su trabajo.


Students Experience New Mental Health Simulation

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Temple nursing students are getting a chance to hear first hand what its like living with a mental illness.

A new program at Temple’s College of Public Health gives students the chance to hear what its like to have Schizophrenia. The mental health simulation uses MP3 players to immerse students in hallucinations Schizophrenic patients might hear.

Assistant professor Barbara Stephens is teaching a class this semester that took part in the program.  She explains the simulation as “a program of hearing voices. It’s voices that are sometimes happy and kind voices, many times derogatory, mean, command voices telling you what to do.”

The simulation is meant to increase empathy for patients with mental illnesses and prepare them for their next rotations in a psychiatric hospital. Professor Stephens says “They’ll have a better understanding of what its like to hear voices or to have those voices in your head distracting you.”

Junior Maila Turay took part in the simulation, saying, “I was supposed to complete a word search which was particularly hard to do because I’m trying to think of words in my head and people are yelling and shouting at me.”

Other tasks the students had to perform during the simulation included filling out a job application, filling prescriptions, completing a math exam, and cutting out shapes.

Many students found the simulation emotionally exhausting, but said it would help them relate to patients in the field.

Turay says, “I think it will just help me understand that some behaviors are just irrational. Theres something going on that I’m just not able to understand so I can give someone the benefit of the doubt and just not automatically judge them.”

Although this is only the first semester the program is taking place, students and professors are saying it is already a success and hope to expand the program in the future to include more interactions during the simulation.

Sixers Continue Home Winning Streak

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The moment may finally be here. The Philadelphia 76ers kept their home winning streak alive in their nail bitter 116-105 victory over the Orlando Magic sparking dreams of a playoff run.  

Thrill flowed through the Wells Fargo Center as the Sixers looked to extend their home winning streak to ten. Six players scored in the double digits, including Joel Embiid, who ended the game with 28 points and 14 rebounds.

“I feel like the game is becoming easy for me, I’m not pushing, I’m just letting the game come to me,” said Embiid about his performance against Orlando.  

Ben Simmons scored 17 points with 7 assists, and JJ Redick added 16 points, shooting 6 for 8 with one 3 pointer. Marco Belinelli, who was signed earlier this month to strengthen the bench, scored 15 points. Robert Covington also scored 12 points and Dario Saric had 11.  

76ers Head Coach Brett Brown had nothing but praise for Embiid during the post game press conference.

“There was a fierce competitor and tenacity in Joel Embiid like he really has a disposition to defend, he’s got a skill package to score, but a disposition to defend,” says Brown.

The Sixers trailed the Magic by 9 points in the first quarter with more turnovers than field goals, but Richaun Holmes swooped in to save the day.

Richaun responded to a question about his performance by saying, “I just do what I do. You know run the floor, bring energy, rebound, try to play good defense, try to continue to expand on the lead, and play good basketball.”

Brown decided to play Holmes instead of veteran Amir Johnson so Holmes could stay fresh.

Brown says, “My motivation right now is, I know Richaun has value. I know he has things that he can bring to the table. And I respect how he’s handled himself when he wasn’t playing that much. I know it’s my job to keep him alive. Tonight was an example of that, and I thought he did very, very well.”

With an 87-71 lead going into the fourth quarter, Brown decided to test the bench.

“We have to grow our bench, we have to give those guys confidence that they can close out games, and they did,” says Brown.

Ben Simmons had this to say when asked about the benches performance: “It shows they can hold it down. We have guys who are capable of doing that. It doesn’t have to be the starting five. They teach those players really well. It gives us more time to rest and more confidence in the whole team.”

While Philadelphia might be looking ahead towards another parade down Broad Street, Coach Brown is still taking it one game at a time.

Brown says, “In my mind it’s to take that approach in our remaining games so we can become hardened and I hope well-drilled when it matters most in a playoff situation.”

If this home winning streak continues, the Sixers will have their chance to be in the Playoffs and maybe even the Finals.

New Saxbys Provides New Opportunities

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The new Saxbys inside Speakman Hall is open for business.

The coffee shop is run entirely by students as part of a new Experiential Learning Program.  It is the fourth Saxbys of its kind and provides unique opportunities for its workers.

Temple University President Dr. Richard Englert says, “This is an opportunity not only for students to get great food, great beverage, but especially for students who are learning the trade of working in this kind of enterprise for them to learn on the job.”

There are currently 61 students from all over Temple working at the new Saxbys. What makes the Experiential Learning Program different is that the student workers are under the management of an undergraduate student.

School of Tourism Hospitality Management seniorJulia Maass is the store’s CEO, or Café Executive Officer.

Maass says, “I heard about this through my program at STHM and through all the stuff I learned about, it was an amazing experience for myself to grow as a professional and personally.”

Founder and CEO of Saxbys, Nick Bayer, was also on hand for the grand opening event. Bayer says the program is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Maass.

“She has to lean on her team and her leadership of this café to be able to create their marketing plans, to order the right amount of product, put their product away, to be able to take care of guests, take care of one another, build relationships in the community,” says Bayer.

Maass says one of the best aspects of her experience so far has been the connections she’s made.

“We’re here on Temple’s campus serving Temple, so were a community serving a community,” Maass expressed.

President Englert summed up the program with the following description: “A student is the CEO, sixty students are working here, this is the way that students learn on the job.”