Gregory Mandel Appointed Dean of Beasley Law School

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Credit: Ryan S. Brandenburg

The Beasley School of Law’s national search for a new dean has come to an end, as it named Gregory N. Mandel its new dean, Monday.

Temple University president, Richard Englert spoke highly of Mandel in a press release, saying “with Greg at the helm, the law school is poised to build on the momentum established by decades of faculty excellence and the visionary guidance of its former dean, Provost JoAnne Epps.”

Mandel has served as the school’s interim dean since July of 2016, replacing Epps who began her position as provost during the fall semester. Prior to being hired at Temple, in 2007, Mandel served as the associate dean for research and scholarship at Albany Law School.

“I look forward to working with President Englert and Provost Epps,” Mandel said. “I am honored to be a part of advancing both Temple Law’s commitment to being at the forefront of how law schools can contribute to society.”

Mandel is set to begin his tenure as dean on May 1, 2017.

Air Strike Hits Close to Home for Syrian Temple Student

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The recent air strikes and deadly chemical attacks in Syria have done more than shake the country, it’s directly impacted the life of Temple student Maryam Hallaj. Born in California and raised in Arizona, Hallaj and her family decided to relocate to Syria in 2006 in order to learn about their family’s culture.

The eleven-year-old at the time had no idea how much the move would impact her life, “moving isn’t easy to begin with. But cultural change is really hard. Especially when you don’t know a language and you’re just thrown into it,” she said. It took Hallaj roughly three years to learn the language and adapt to the culture in her new hometown of Aleppo. Just when she thought her life had settled, the war zone in Syria started developing.
“I fell in love with the city a little bit. It took me a long time, but I grew up there. And I did leave a piece of my heart there and I have family there, I care about people there. And to know that that’s all gone because of power fights is difficult for me,” Hallaj said.

Her family made the tough decision to move back to Pennsylvania in 2012, just as schools began to shut down and gun fire broke outside of their home. Hallaj describes living with the guilt of knowing that she is safe while others who couldn’t escape Syria are simply trying to survive. She also said that it’s sometimes hard for her to put herself in the shoes of others because what they are experiencing is so horrible.

“I can’t even grasp what it’s like for these people to live in camps or to be afraid to step outside their home. For an adult to manage that it’s hard enough, but for someone who is still very young to grow up that fast which such horrible traumatic experiences, it’s awful! There’s no way to really describe it. And to take away an education that is really valuable, it sets the country back a lot,” Hallaj said.

Once the family moved back to the United States, they went through some hardships getting back on their feet. The moved around from their father’s company garage and even slept on friend’s couches before becoming established again.

Hallaj is one of five Philadelphians to be granted the GSK Opportunity Scholarship, which allows her to attend Temple University. She plans to graduate in May 2017 and become an architectural designer in Philadelphia

What to Know for Friday, April 14

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The explosive was dropped by the border of Pakistan.

Thirty-six Islamic State fighters killed:

  • A bomb sent by the U.S. military to the Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan has killed 36 Islamic State fighters. The bomb, which was said to contain about eleven tons of explosives, is the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat. No civilians were killed in the incident but local Pakistani villagers report hearing the explosion from miles away. The Afghan Taliban has condemned the bombing to be a terrorist attack from the United States.

District Attorney law license suspended:

  • Philadelphia District Attorney Seth William’s law license has been temporarily suspended as he awaits trial on federal bribery charges. Williams will not make any legal determinations or act as an attorney in cases during his suspension. However, Williams will continue administrative, policy, and personnel duties.

Feyonda Fitzgerald drafted:

  • Temple women’s basketball senior Feyonda Fitzgerald has been drafted into the WNBA by the Indiana Fever. As the fourth All-American in Temple history, Fitzgerald averaged 17.3 points per game. She is now the fourth player in Temple women’s basketball history to be drafted.

Temple’s Rapping Professor


Professor Aaron Smith, also known as the “rapping professor,” has become quite popular amongst Temple students. He is a professor in the African American studies department and teaches multiple courses with Tupac hip-hop, with the revolution being the most popular amongst students.

While Dr. Smith has been very well known for quite some time now, there was certainly a boost in popularity after he appeared on MTV’s Wild N’ Out. He participated in the wild style battle as “Fearless,” his rap name.

All of his students were very supportive and proud of their professor as many of them expressed on social media. Dr. Smith decided to give his students a live performance at the Bell Tower on campus displaying his rap skills that landed him on Nick Cannon’s Wild N’ Out.

He sent an e-mail out to all of his students so that they could show up and experience his live performance. It was an 80-degree day and there was a tremendous amount of support shown by his students as well as those who were just at the Bell Tower enjoying the weather. They record the event with their phones and cheered him on as he performed.

“Aaron Smith is a great professor he actually was a judge at one of our rap battles, he’s very talented and I’m interested to see what he has next,” said Temple student Maada Sammah.

Students like Maada Sammah were very impressed with his performance and look forward to seeing more from the rapping professor.

“Instead of just theorizing and always showing slides and displaying what used to happen back in the day and what other people did, I figured some practical application would be more impactful for my students to really see the art in action,” said Dr. Aaron Smith.

Dr. Smith incorporates his raps into his lectures and entertains his students which allows them to be more engaged and retain important information, making what could just be another boring lecture for students an enjoyable learning experience.

Let’s Bake Hosts Decorating Competition

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Temple University’s student organization, Let’s Bake! TU, hosted their inaugural cupcake decorating contest. As a student organization with a mission to bring the delight of baking to Temple students, their competition allowed for members to compete using the techniques they’ve been learning all semester.

Let’s Bake! hosts workshops, as well as campus fundraisers, to teach decorating techniques. Their purpose is to bring this recreational activity to students, allowing them to destress and create something beautiful and delicious! This organization has over 250 members, and has progressed from a one star organization to a three star one in just one semester. The increasing popularity of baking by Temple students has allowed Let’s Bake! to host even more events, like the gingerbread house workshop the organization hosted just before the holidays.

This contest consisted of three rounds, each with their own themes. Each round lasted ten minutes, with Temple sophomore and the organization’s President, Jemi Patel, serving as judge. The first round was Beauty and the Beast-themed, meanwhile the second round served as a tribute to popular college student hangout, Starbucks. The final round was inspired by the popular springtime adage, “April showers bring May flowers.”

The winning student, freshman film major, Jasmine, won with her interpretations of Princess Belle’s beloved dress and rainy cupcakes.

Alpha Xi Delta Hosts it’s First Annual Step It Up 5K

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Alpha Xi Delta holds an annual AmaXIng Challenge to support their national philanthropy, Autism Speaks. This year they held their first annual Step It Up 5K at the bell tower. Their goal is to reach $2,000 by the end of the race.

“I’m running the autism speaks run today for my buddy. His little sister, when we were younger, got diagnosed with autism. So, I’m running today in honor of her,” said sophomore Tyler Barreto, who came out to the event despite the windy weather.

“All money raised today goes to funding better interventions and providing families with resources for children with autism,” said Alpha Xi Delta member, Courtney Periu.

Members from other greek organizations on campus supported the cause by not only showing up, but by entering to run. Two members of Delta Phi Epsilon came out to support their friends.

“We know how much effort and energy goes into philanthropies and how hard they work to put this together. So, we definitely want to support and like she said it’s a great way to start our Saturday morning,” said Delta Phi Epsilon member, Nicole Lacherza.

Alpha Xi Delta ended up raising $1,475 from the run, and plan to host more events throughout the month of April to fundraise as much as they can for Autism Speaks. Keep up to date on when and where the events are happening by following their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Activate TU Wins TSG Elections

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After a campaign that included a suspension and a delay in the announcement of results, Activate TU was named Temple’s new administration for the 2017-2018 academic year. Led by president Tyrell Mann-Barnes, Activate ran on the platform of every student having their voice heard.

Current TSG Vice President, Jai Singletary, called for more transparency in the election process after many questions surrounding this year’s election.

“I mean there is always going to be criticism, and valid criticism, so that’s the job for next years elections commissioner to make sure that those criticisms are heard and remedied, but I think the elections went out fair yes” Singletary said when asked about if he believed the election process was carried out fairly.

Activate was one half of a historic election which featured more than 1,000 votes from the previous year’s. With over 5,000 votes cast, the election was one of the closest in TSG history. Connecting TU lost by less than 100 votes and although they were not the winning party, they shared their congratulations with Activate. “I have to congratulate them on that.” said Connecting campaign manager Kevin Malone when asked about Activate’s win.

Activate TU feels they are an accurate representation of Temple’s student body and according to Vice President, Kayla Martin, they plan to start work as soon as possible. Visit TSG’s website for more information on the election process.

Campus Police Have New Home West of Broad

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Cecil B. Moore is one of the well-known streets of Philadelphia, and is now home to the newest campus police building.

Campus Safety recently moved into a building on the corner of Sydenham and Cecil B. Moore Ave. Quincy Eason, an Allied Universal Guard, told Temple Update he thinks it’s a great location for TUPD.

“Temple campus basically cuts off two blocks and starts to go more into the community…and around here is just starting to get better as far as safety wise,” Eason said.

This marks the first Temple Police Station on the west side of Broad Street. This station will be fully operational by the end of April.

Temple police thinks this is a prime location for Temple students. Former Police Captain Eileen Bradley says that it was a strategic plan to put the hub on Cecil B. Moore.

“The change over the last four years, the development of the west side of Broad St. have exploded and I think it’s important that we have a presence on the west side that not only the students drop in but also we deal with a lot of the community members,” Bradley explained.

TUPD is excited that they could make this a mini police station. Monica Padilla, whos helps TUPD with External Relations, says that this 24-hour hub is nothing but a win/win situation.

“The Cecil B. Moore area corridor is very busy…having Allied security there or Temple Police there, or our officers being able to work out of that location or Temple EMS working out of the location which makes it easier for us to communicate with our community members, students and business owners in that area,” Padilla says.

3 Things to Know for Tuesday, April 11

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Women’s lacrosse will play for their fifth straight win. (Courtesy of Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University)

New details on San Bernardino school shooting:

  • Fifty-three-year-old Cedric Anderson is responsible for the murder-suicide that took place at North Park Elementary School on Monday. Anderson walked into the special-education classroom and started shooting, killing an 8-year-old and the teacher, Karen Smith, who was Anderson’s estranged wife. Anderson then committed suicide. North Park will be closed for at least Tuesday and Wednesday and counselors were made available for students, family, and staff.

United Airlines passenger dragged off plane, sparks outrage:

  • A man was dragged off an overbooked United Express Flight on Sunday night at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport by Chicago Aviation Department security officers. The man refused to give up his seat because he said he was a doctor with patients to see the following morning. Backlash against United ensued on Monday as a video recorded by a passenger on Flight 3411 showing the incident went viral on social media. United’s CEO Oscar Munoz released a statement on Monday apologizing for how the event was handled.

Temple women’s lacrosse:

  • The Temple women’s lacrosse team returns home to host Butler on Wednesday in a BIG EAST matchup. The Owls will be looking for their fifth straight win. Temple enters sitting in the second position in the BIG EAST standings, while Butler is ranked last in the conference.

Dick Vermeil to Speak at 2017 Commencement Ceremony

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Photo Courtesy of Temple University

Temple University’s 2017 Commencement Speaker will be former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil, according to a statement released by Temple University this morning.

The Hall of Fame candidate coach will address students at the 2017 Commencement ceremony May 11th.

He will also receive an honorary degree alongside Estelle Richman, a longtime public service champion and former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, according to the statement.

“We are beyond thrilled to honor Dick and Estelle at our Commencement ceremony,” said Temple President Richard Englert. “Through their many contributions to our society, they have truly embodied leadership, excellence, and service — qualities that Temple holds dear.”

Vermeil spent 15 seasons as an NFL head coach — including seven seasons with the Eagles. He later launched a successful career in the booth as an NFL and College Football Analyst for CBS and ABC.  

The former coach has also been active in the community. He has supported many charity events and programs in and out of the area, including partnering with the Chester County Council and Boy Scouts of America, to host a yearly golf tournament named after him.

Vermeil will receive a Doctor of humane letters, while Richman will receive a Doctor of laws.