Temple Update Students Produce Segments for “Campus Takeover”

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MTV is taking over Temple University.

MTVU visited Temple’s main campus a few short weeks ago, enlisting several students to be producers on the project.

Temple Update’s Asad Bokhari, Kaicey Baylor, Alyssa Jerome, Nick Charles, and Jeseamy Muentes produced several segments for the “Campus Takeover” pilot episode.

Some of the segments included professors reading their “Rate My Professor” comments a’la ‘Mean Tweets’, A Diamond Dollar Date Challenge, and Food Truck Trivia. AaronRey Ebreo, a student you first saw on Temple Update, was also featured in the pilot episode in a Student Spotlight.

The pilot aired Monday, February 13 at the Student Center. It will later run on TUTV.


Philadelphia Auto Show Excites Temple Students

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Temple students, Heather Goodman, Julia Laitman, Skyeler O’Brien, and Will Stickney pose with a Toyota for a scavenger hunt

The Philadelphia Auto Show is the latest attraction for Temple students to check out.

An amazing array of cars, free promotions and an opportunity to see Temple University’s engineering students show off their race car; what could be better?

Companies like Toyota encourage students to use Instagram in order to get free prizes while Jeep has a roller coaster-like course where they show off the extreme capabilities of their newest models of cars.

Julia Laitman, an early education major at Temple University said, “I liked all of the promotions because I got to view some cool products and got hand warmers out of it!”

The show is incredibly interactive and has a lot of different components to entertain everyone.
The idea that “owls are everyone” is evident at the show being that Temple University’s very own engineering students have a car on the floor. Expect to see a single seat race car with a Temple “T” on it!

The auto show is taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from January 28th-February 5th with tickets costing $14.

Temple Theaters Presents “Reggie Hoops”

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Kristoffer Diaz, a Pulitzer-Prize nominated playwright, is the first-ever recipient of Temple’s Playwright Residency Program. Through this program, Diaz collaborated with students and professors from Temple’s theater department and wrote a full-length play with the student artists in mind. The play, Reggie Hoops, will premiere at Temple this week as part of the mainstage season.

Reggie Hoops tells the story of former NBA assistant general manager Reggie, who, in present day, receives an offer that causes her to make a choice between the game she loves or being close to her beloved family. In the 1970s, her parents deal with the outcome of the violent 1977 New York City Blackout that affected their wedding day. The play examines these two events side-by-side, showcasing a family discovering strength to face difficult times and suffering, and the struggles of making difficult decisions.

Reggie Hoops features a cast of extremely talented Temple theater students. The production, which will be housed at the Randall Theater, will hold a preview of the show will be held on Tuesday, January 31st at 7:30 pm.

The play officially opens on Friday, February 3rd and runs until Sunday, February 12th. The performance on February 4th features a reception with the playwright, Kristoffer Diaz, after the show. There are both matinee and evening performances. This is the world premiere of the play, so it is definitely an event you do not want to miss!

Tickets are $25 for general admission, and $10 for students and faculty with a TUID. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Tomlinson Theater box office.

To learn more about Temple’s world premiere production of Reggie Hoops, visit its event page or its BroadwayWorld article.

Diamond Gems Rank 8th in Nation at Competition

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Stancil, far left, performing with the Diamond Gems in their hip-hop performance.
Stancil, far left, performing with the Diamond Gems in their hip-hop performance.

“And welcoming our next team, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this is Temple University!” said the announcer as the crowd’s cheers ripple throughout the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. The Diamond Gems Dance Team hit the floor of the Jostens Center and embraced the audience as they prepare to compete at the Universal Dance Association’s College Dance Team National Championship. The moment that they took the stage was the culmination of hours of dedication, perseverance, and the desire to make it to finals in the Division 1A Hip-Hop category.

Two years ago, the team advanced to finals for the first time in Temple’s dance team history and ended the competition by being ranked 8th in the nation.

This year, the dancers were determined to do the same, and perhaps, even place in the top 5 for all D1A Hip-Hop Teams.

The dancers of the Diamond Gems dance team sacrificed nearly their entire winter breaks in order to properly train for the competition. Each practice leading up to the championship is spent learning choreography, cleaning, drilling, and building endurance for the dancers, which takes close to 9 hours per day.

The highly distinguished UDA competition allows teams from around the country to compete in their division for Jazz, Pom, and Hip-Hop dancing. Dependent upon the number of teams in each category, only half of the them will move on to the final round of competition.

Team member and freshman Public Health major, Sylvie Dent, shared what her first experience on the Nationals floor was like. “My immediate reaction was excitement,” she said. “Once I saw the crowd all my fears turned into dust and I was ready to just perform my very best.”

Not only are the girls dancing learning extensive choreography but are also developing their character throughout the process.

Sophomore Early Childhood Education major Madison Diehl spoke about what she drew from the entire Nationals venture. “I gained a lot knowledge about myself as a performer,” she revealed. “For the first time, I felt like I was dancing as one with team rather than just me performing on stage as an individual.”

The Diamond Gems pose with their trophy in Orlando, FL.
The Diamond Gems pose with their trophy in Orlando, FL.

Ultimately, the team was ranked 7 following the first round of competition, and finished at number 8 in the nation for Division 1A Hip-Hop.

“What I took away from this whole experience, is that winning isn’t (and shouldn’t) be a team’s ultimate goal of Nationals,” says Dent. “Going out on the floor and performing to the best of your ability and being genuinely happy with your performance is all that matters.”

As a member of the Diamond Gems dance team, I can say wholeheartedly that I have never been more proud of a group of girls. I couldn’t have asked to perform on the floor with a more talented team of young women, and I can’t wait to witness this team blossom in the future!

Simone Stancil is a sophomore studying journalism and a member of the Temple Update web staff.

Engineering Project Takes Flight

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Dr. John Helferty is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Temple University, as well as an alumni of the school. As part of his Intro to Engineering class, students were to design quadracopters, which are drone helicopters made up of K’nex pieces.

“The idea of this class is to get hands-on, state-of-the-art technology in front of the students first semester, as soon as they come in the door,” stated Dr. Helferty.

This was the first college integration and competition involving K’nex, which donated the parts. Students had two weeks to get the projects together, which was 20% of their final grade, and were graded on the design and test flights. There also was a lucrative $400 prize to be split amongst the team who completed the obstacle course quickest.

Helferty also showed appreciation for help received from colleagues on the project. Jean Jacques Raymond of Montgomery County Community College, as well as a few of his students, were integral in providing information and help for the project.

With so much hard work and time invested, the process behind creating the quadracopter wasn’t easy.

“It’s got 4 wings with motors at each end. We’d take the K’nex pieces and make the frame of it, we’d make that quad shape. Then we’d take the electronics, the propellers with their wires and wire them to the ends,” said Mitchell Brasher, a Mechanical Engineering student.

The winning team, made up of Alec Beiswinger, Matthew Berry, Jake Erdlen and Brian DiBartolo, were able to complete the course in a remarkable 12 seconds. Despite the competitive aspect, everyone present shared a sense of comradery and had a blast with the flight. Though this was the first year building and flying the quadracopters, it seems that this initial flight was a great success.

Holiday Spectacular Lights Up Comcast Center

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The Comcast Holiday Spectacular draws thousands of people every year to the Comcast Center. The magic of the holidays comes alive in the fifteen minute show that plays at the top of every hour from 10am to 8pm daily. On Saturday’s from 11am-3pm, kids get a special treat when they have the chance to see and have their pictures taken with Santa.

Broadcast on a large flat screen in the lobby of the Comcast Center, the show features scenes from The Nutcracker, an orchestra, a dance sequence, and an interactive sing along portion at the end of the show. The Comcast Holiday Spectacular has become a tradition

The show is the same every year, but many guests return and bring friends to experience the holiday magic. “This is my first time seeing the show. I knew I had to see it after the way she described it,” Marilyn Cook says as she motions to her friend, Pat Gessner, who saw the Comcast Holiday Spectacular last year and brought Marilyn to see it this year.

“It was very varied. They had a lot of things going on. They had a little sing along and then they had an orchestra playing,” Eileen Smith says when asked how she enjoyed the show for the first time. Her and her friend had heard about the show from friends and made the Comcast Holiday Spectacular a destination they had to see.

The show runs from Thanksgiving to New Years.

Temple Library Helps Students Relax and Refuel for Finals

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Do you need to relax and refuel before finals? The Temple Library is here to help.

Crunch Time Café is hosted by the Temple Library and provides activities to help students take a break during study days and final exams.  The series of events includes free food, activities, and therapy dogs.

Freshman Rema Qasmieh appreciates Temple’s initiative to not only help students study but also help them relax. “The great thing about Temple is that they give us a lot of recreational things to do and I think that’s great because a lot of people are staying up and are definitely cramming.”

And she’s not the only one. Students like sophomore Asmaa Abdulah and senior McMishah Rapheal are thankful for the goodies the Library provides.

“The Crunch Time Café really does help. I came here for snacks and coffee and I found that,” stated Asmaa.

McMishah also benefited. “I appreciate it just for them just thinking about me. That’s something my mother and father would do.”

Possibly the most exciting event of the week is the De-stress with Dogs event that will be held on Friday.   Students can stop by and hang out with some four legged friends.

“I am a huge dog fan and I’ve usually seen at other colleges that there is this dog event and I was wondering when Temple was going to get one,” stated Rema.

“I know how helpful they are for de-stressing,” agreed Asmaa.

Sometimes the best study tip can be to take a break. Stop by the Lecture Hall in the basement of Paley Library to unwind with some fun activities. Check out the Crunch Time Café events calendar for more info about the remaining events.

Good luck on your finals owls, and remember to treat yourself.

Christmas Village: A Philadelphia Tradition

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Philadelphia’s Christmas Village has returned for it’s ninth season.

The holiday tradition is modeled after German Christmas markets, notably the Nuremberg Christmas market. An entirely German team heads up the holiday market that’s made it’s home at City Hall on Dilworth Plaza from Thanksgiving day until Christmas Eve.

The Christmas Village began on Dilworth Plaza in 2008 and moved in 2011 for construction on the Plaza. They found their new home at LOVE Park across the street until returning home this season.

Christmas Village hosts over 80 vendors from around the world, who set up shop for a month and sell traditional goods from their homes. Visitors to the market can drink gluehwein, a spiced wine traditional to Germany, as well as apple cider and hot chocolate. They can also purchase gifts throughout the holiday season.

The Christmas Village has a new addition this year, a carousel has been placed in the center of City Hall. The village is also home to the Rothman Ice Rink on Dilworth Plaza.

Christmas Village has become a home to many vendors who have returned to the market for years, but it’s also become a December tradition for several local Philadelphian’s.

Class of 2020 Reflect on First Semester

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Every year, high school graduates across the globe move on to the next step in their journeys, college. While there are high schools that do prepare students for college academically, no amount of information could truly prepare students for the experiences that await them at college. Navigating college can be intimidating for the first time, but also exciting as one may finally be on their own for the first time. They’ll make new friends, attend parties, study overnight, and learn more about what they truly want (and don’t want) from life.

These general ideas of what first year students experience are vague though, as each student perceives their first semester differently. As we complete this Fall 2016 semester, students Shayla Chambers, Parker Wilson, and Claire McGinty kindly share their reflections on their first semester at Temple University. Whether you’re reading to relate, or to feel the nostalgia, enjoy!

Shayla Chambers

Shayla Chambers is a Communication Studies major from Bridgeport, Connecticut. To Shayla, unlike students who may come from small towns, coming to Philadelphia’s urban environment was an easy transition, “Where I’m from is an urban city setting similar to Philly, so I felt comfortable in terms of the urban environment from the start.”

In regards to her adjustment to college life, she had this to say, “I feel like I’m adapting well to the new environment, even though initially it took a little time for me to adjust. I love how there’s always something going on and that there are different student events and clubs that suit my interests.”

Shayla seems to have gotten one of the most important aspect of college down, time management. In making sure she set enough time aside to study, she said her first semester wasn’t harder than she expected.

In closing our interview, she gave us a tip for next years incoming students.

“Don’t be afraid to branch out and try or join new things, whether that be student clubs, organizations, or any of the other activities that are offered here at Temple.”

Our next student, is Parker Wilson, a Kinesiology major from Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania.

Parker Wilson

The one thing he found at Temple to be most unexpected was the amount of freedom he had.

“I wasn’t used to it cause I was living with my Dad and he’d ask what work do I have, what do I need to do…also I played a lot of sports in school…having practice everyday after school was a big part of my life and I invested a lot of time in it, so coming here and only playing inter mural sports…it was getting used to that and not have a schedule set for me.”

Parker mentioned his older sister attended Temple and during his visits to see her, loved that Temple was in the city. Coming from a small town, the move to the city was what Parker desired, “I wanted to go somewhere where there was more than just three things to do…I can’t see myself going anywhere other than the city,” he said.

In asking Parker if he could go back and tell himself anything before his first semester, he said this.

“Get a feel for time management and studying cause in high school you can get away with not studying…and I’d tell myself to be more personable and to put myself out there.”

Claire McGlinchey

Our last student to share her reflections on her first semester is Claire McGlinchey, an Advertising major from Media, PA.

One thing Claire didn’t expect to learn at college was fencing, “I joined the club on a whim near the beginning of the semester and it’s had a really great impact on me. I guess that just goes to show that there’s a lot more to college than academics,” she said.

Despite coming from a small town, Claire adapted rather quickly to her new environment.

“When I first got here, I found myself wishing I had chosen a more nature-infused college, but with time, I saw the lack of trees and green space as a fair trade-off for the exciting bustle and infinite possibilities offered by the city.”

For many students, going away to college is one’s first time away from home. Claire truly loves the new form of independence she has.

“The best part of being away from home is the ability to set my own curfew; there’s something so liberating about hanging out with my friend at two in the morning in the middle of the week.”

“I’ve noticed between my thirteen years in public school and my first few months of college is the way my academics meld into my personal life. I think that’s just a natural part of living on campus. Everywhere simultaneously feels like my classroom and my home…I find I have deeper intellectual conversations much more frequently here than I ever did at home.”

Boyer College of Music Presents Family Holiday Concert

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With the holidays approaching, students at Temple are getting into the festive spirit by decorating their dorms, drinking hot cocoa, and blasting Christmas music. Listening to Christmas music is one of the best ways to fully get into the spirit, and the Boyer College of Music’s Holiday Concert is the perfect way to hear these classic songs live!

Boyer’s Family Holiday Concert features seasonal favorites performed by Temple University’s Jazz Band, Symphony Orchestra, and choirs. Come early at 4:30 PM for a special performance of Tim Warfield’s Jazzy Christmas in the main lobby, and a performance by the Temple University Horn Ensemble, directed by Jeffrey Lang, at 6:30 PM on the mezzanine.

The concert will be housed at Lew Klein Hall at the Temple Performing Arts Center on Friday, December 9th. The event officially begins at 7:00 PM. Admission is free, but be sure to get there early for a good seat. If you cannot make the actual concert, but still want to watch the festive performances, the event will be livestreamed here. Be sure to bring the whole family for a concert full of holiday cheer and iconic music!