Temple Police’s Newest Canine Officer

No Comments

Murphy as a puppy on the beach right after the Besa family got her.

Meet Murphy, the newest member of the Temple Police force.

His owner, Officer Larry Besa, has been with the K9 force at Temple for eight years now. Officer Besa has been training with his yellow lab, Jarvis, for the span of those years. He added Murphy to the family this past August.

Murphy and Jarvis playing tug of war at home.

Since then, the two have become best buds. When showing a picture of the two playing one night, he explained, “He gets a toy and then they just play tug of war for an hour. They’re buddies.”

Both dogs are trained in explosive-detection and patrol, which includes crowd control, article search, and tracking. They work at all different events ranging from the Liacouras Center to potentially out-of-state.

These dogs go through extensive training programs at the Philadelphia Police Academy to keep their skills fresh. They train at least three times a week while at work, and are re-certified twice a month. One of those certifications is for the explosive-detective portion, while the other is for the patrol aspect.

Despite all of the work that goes into training the dogs to be ready for the job, Officer Besa says it’s all worth it.

Officer Larry Besa with Jarvis (left) and Murphy (right).

When asked what the best part about the job is, he replied, “It’s a different job than the patrol aspect of riding around in a police car and answering radio calls. As the day goes on and you’re out there, you get the dog out of the car and you play with the dog and he does something crazy and stupid and it makes you laugh.”


Temple students can catch both these pups around campus, and are encouraged to always say hello!


The Holiday Season in Philadelphia

No Comments

The holiday season is in the air in Philadelphia. Young and old crowd into Macy’s for the light show before starting their holiday shopping. And Christmas carols floated through Center City’s Christmas Village sung by a local high school a cappella group. The audience even joined in on the singing before wandering off to the various vendors within Christmas Village.

Hot sausages and ornaments to write your Christmas wishes were for sale. We even met a special visitor, Santa Clause, who loves visiting the kids in Philadelphia.

Christmas wishes

It is Ernest Roebuck’s second year being Santa Clause at the Christmas Village. “I really enjoy the excitement from the children. And you can see in their eyes that they truly believe. It’s just so thrilling you know, to know that they are so young and innocent and just believe in something. It’s good.”

While ice skating around the rink at Dilworth Park, we asked a few kids to share with us what they are asking from Santa this year. Isaiah says, “An xbox, I want an xbox!” And his friend Victor had an unusual reply, “A pet rat…because my mom said I could get one!”

Dilworth park has ice skating until February and even offers some college discounts to those who come on Thursday nights. Temple students always receive $1 off their ice skate rental.

Ice skaters at Dilworth Park

The sound of the skates mixes with the ringing bells from the Salvation Army and the local street performers surrounding City Hall in the holiday spirit. As people pass into the courtyard they are greeted by the twinkling lights of the Christmas Carousel.

Carousel attendant, Eric Marchione, is the third generation manager of the carousels in his family business. He says, “I just enjoy doing it. It’s a unique thing. Its normally our off-season and it’s just something nice that we can extend into the Christmas months. The kids love it, and it’s just nice to see everyone moving around the circle waving and yelling Merry Christmas. It’s awesome.”


First Annual Temple Entrepreneur Summit

No Comments

The Fox School of Business is the go-to place for business career fairs on Temple’s campus.

Employers generally meet to find potential graduating talent for employment. What they usually don’t do is provide pitching assistance. That’s where the First Annual Temple Entrepreneur Summit came in on Monday, December 5th.

The First Annual Summit started at 4 PM and concluded around 8 PM that evening.

The Entrepreneur Summit opened with a mentoring session followed by several students pitching their business ideas. Most of the students were Fox Business majors, but a Film and Media Arts major was more than willing to share why he came to the Summit.

“So, my ultimate goal tonight is to meet different entrepreneur spirited students, Fox School of Business and also other students from other schools around Temple’s campus,” says Justin Harrison.

Attendance by students, faculty, and business representatives made this First Annual Summit an event that should be a continued tradition at the Fox School of Business.

TUJ Students Animated by Studio Visit

No Comments

Japanese animation, or anime, is a large part of the country’s culture and a significant influence for many American students looking to study abroad.
Studio Ghibli is one of the most famous and popular Japanese animation studios around the world. The studio, which created popular movies like Howl’s Moving Castle
and Spirited Away, even has its own museum in Mitaka, a city in western Tokyo.
To celebrate Thanksgiving weekend, some TUJ students visited the museum to learn more about Japanese animation.
Jade Davis, a junior journalism major told Temple Update she’s been watching Ghibli moves since middle school.
“They’re just really heartwarming and they have something that I feel American animated moves lack, and they’ve just been so amazing, and I’m really happy to be here,” says Davis.
Junior film major, Chineme Aniagba, says she is another huge animation fan.
“That’s one of the reasons why I came to Japan,” says Aniagba. “And I haven’t seen a lot of animation places, but this is like the place, and I really love that.”
Eight of Studio Ghibli’s films are among the 15 highest-grossing anime films made in Japan, and five of the films have received Academy Award nominations.

Handling Stress During Finals Week

No Comments

Finals week is approaching, and Temple students are getting ready. From December 14th to December 20th every student will be busy with studying and taking exams.

A busy day at the TECH Center

Isaak Griggs, a junior at Temple studying Media Studies and Production, said “I feel more stressed during the finals.” During finals, Griggs prefers to hang out with friends and ends up “doing something that isn’t school work most of the time.”

Paley Library with Temple students studying

Ram Rallapalli, a junior student at Temple studying neuroscience, talking about stress, explained “When I know when the day of the final is, that’s when I tend to start feeling stressed because initially it always feels like it is closer than it actually is.”

When it came to the question about having more stress before or during finals, David Gansen, a senior at Temple studying bioengineering, stated, “Definitely before. During the finals, like after school is done, it is like a vacation. You spend an hour a day refreshing yourself, but not really stressed at all. I have a bunch of time then and just take the finals.”

During the study days, December 12th and December 13th, and during finals, there are certain places that Temple students prefer for their studying. The TECH Center and Samuel L. Paley Library are the places most students choose.

David Gansen suggested, “The sky lounge at the View at Montgomery.”

For Temple students who have a problem with stress and anxiety and need help, The Tuttleman Counseling Services is available at 215-204-7276.

TSG Transfer Student Discussion

No Comments

On Tuesday afternoon, Temple Student Government held a town hall meeting to hear from transfer students and how the University could improve their college experience.

Razin Karu, Transfer Representative, spoke about his experiences as a transfer student. He felt that joining Temple Student Government helped him make connections and made him feel more a part of the Temple community.

Karu wants to work with administration to include transfer students in freshman orientation activities. He believes that this will make students more comfortable in a new environment on the first day of class.

Karu says, “It helps them not just academically, but also to make friends and settling them down over here.”

Katie Hullihen transferred from North Hampton Community College in her junior year. She found it difficult to connect with other students around campus and within her major. She thinks it’s imperative that transfer students also have an orientation similar to freshman orientation with the overnight stay.

Hullihen believes, “They should have like something more where transfer students of the same major meet up every week, kind of like a club.”

Karu would like to gather student thoughts and opinions on how the University can better accommodate their college experience. He would like to get opinions from not only transfer students, but also commuter and international students. He believes that there is a lot of commonalties between the three. He realizes that it will be harder to work around commuters’ schedules since they have more commitments. He at least wants them to know that their opinions are valid and encourage students to contact him with any questions or suggestions.

Inside Out Prison Exchange Program

No Comments

In 1995, Lori Pompa took a group of Temple Students to Dallas State Correctional Institution to have them sit down with a panel of incarcerated people. Twenty-two years later, this one class has turned into an international program.

The Inside Out Prison Exchange Program was started by Pompa after an inmate at that first prison suggested she take the one-time experiment and turn it into a semester long class. After that visit, Pompa took a new group of students to Graterford State Correctional Institution in Montgomery County, PA.

Graterford Correctional Institution Montgomery County, PA

At Graterford, she was approached by Tyrone Werts who had participated in the class and was interested in helping get the program started.

Pompa says, “There was a lot of miseducation about crime and justice, and we wanted to do something about that.”

What they did was create a program that focused on interaction between students – the “outside” – and the incarcerated – those on the “inside.”

While Pompa wasn’t sure of what reactions to the program would be, she received support from both students and those inside of the prison, saying, “The stuff that happened in the classroom was beyond anything that I could imagine.”

From the class formed Inside Out Think Tanks, which Werts describes as “groups of insiders and outsiders that meet on a regular basis and they do locally informed projects together.”

Werts is the National Think Tank Coordinator for the program, and works to organize these groups in ten different countries.

John Pace was also a participant of the program, and now works as the Program Assistant to Inside Out. He says one of the biggest changes he’s seen and been a part of since he first started working on Pompa’s team is the program’s expansion.

The program has reached over three hundred schools, and “[they’ve] trained over eight hundred instructors around the world, and probably over thirty thousand students have taken an Inside Out course.”

The program continues to grow, and this coming January will be the 52nd instructor training session in Chicago, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

Pompa, Werts, and Pace all agree that both students and those incarcerated benefit from the program. They know that both sides have preconceived notions, but they’ve seen those quickly dissolve and create a powerful learning environment that makes a difference in everyone.

Pompa even says, “People will say to me, ‘wow Lori, this must be like a dream come true.’ And my response to that is it’s really not because I never dreamed it, which makes it just that much better.”

To find out how to take the class or more about the program in general, visit www.insideoutcenter.org or visit their office located at 1938 Liacourus Walk.

Semester Wrap Up with the Red Diamond Battalion

No Comments

Cadets from the Red Diamond Battalion woke up early Wednesday morning for a breakfast of push-ups, sit-ups, and a two mile run.

The record Army physical fitness test marks the beginning of the end for a long and productive semester for the battalion. It is one of the many culminating events that measures how far the cadets have progressed since the beginning of the semester.

The cadets have accomplished a lot over the past few months. In October, the senior class successfully planned and executed a three day field training event designed to test the freshmen, sophomore, and junior cadets’ ability to operate in adverse conditions.

The good news continued for the battalion when the Temple University Ranger Challenge team took first in the second “Freedom” Brigade’s Ranger Challenge competition. This was a momentous occasion and marks a first in Temple University history.

It secured the team one of eight spots to represent ROTC and the United States Army in the International Sandhurst Military Skills competition being held at the United States Military Academy in April.

In addition, in just two weeks the battalion was able to raise over 1,500 pounds of food for the Preston and Steve Show’s Campout for Hunger food drive. Last Wednesday the cadets loaded the food into their trucks and marched it down all six miles to the stadium complex.

To kickoff the last week of the semester, Temple faced down Drexel ROTC in the annual Frosty Bowl flag football game. Although it came down to a tie, the team showcased the competitive spirit expected of an Army leader.

Cadet Katherine Berry, the outgoing battalion commander, shared what she thought led to this semester’s success.

“So we’re focused more on bringing our cadets up and focusing on helping them develop themselves, as opposed to maybe the past where the military was focused more on smoking and bringing people down,” said Berry.

On Thursday, the Red Diamond Battalion and Temple University University President Richard Englert will recognize the hard work the cadets put into this semester with the annual end of year awards ceremony.

Temple Update Exclusive: Remembering Michael Paytas

No Comments

On Wednesday morning, Temple Update broke the news of a student passing that occurred just two days prior.

Wednesday afternoon, President Englert sent out an email to the Temple community confirming the death of Michael Paytas.

Michael Paytas was a 24-year-old Business and Management student, set to graduate in only 3 weeks.

In an exclusive interview with Temple Update, Michael’s mother, Melinda Lilley, spoke with us about the sudden, heartbreaking death of her son Michael.


Michael and his mother, Melinda Lilley.


“Michael, since the day he was born, has always had a massive heart,” she began. “He always had a huge amount of friends.”

“Michael was loyal, loving, and kindhearted, and would do anything for anybody.”




Along with loving his friends, Michael was also very close with his family.

Michael and his brother’s dog “Mercedez” that he loved


“He loved his family. Our favorite memories were probably down the shore. We vacationed in Ocean City, New Jersey. We would go there every year when he was younger. He loved the shore.”


Melinda and Michael shared a special love of one Philadelphia sports team.


“Michael and I LOVED the Eagles! Tried to watch every game together!”


Melinda also spoke Michael’s passion for music.

“He was so gifted. He picked up the guitar in two seconds. He also picked up the drums in two seconds. He was so talented. He did teach himself, he picked it up on his own. He was probably around 18-19 when he first started.”

“He loved rap [music] cause of his age. He liked Rock and Roll too though, he was very diversified. He was such a good boy. One of the last songs we listened to was ‘California Dreaming ‘by the The Mamas and Papas.’ I mean he liked all kind of genres. He was such a good boy.”

Melinda took a moment to compose herself.

A photo Melinda took of Michael driving her


“We would drive to and from Temple almost everyday. His sense of humor was profound, and his laughter always made the days so much easier!”

Melinda then continued on to explain the special connection Michael held with Temple.


“He always did well in school and he cared about his grades.”



Michael Paytas died with only 3 weeks left until graduation


“He was so looking forward to graduating. It was his proudest moment. My mother paid for his college at Temple, and she’s 89 years old. The only thing he wanted to happen was that if I have to go up to Lancaster to pick you up and bring you back here to see me graduate I will do it. That’s what kind of kid he was.”

“My dad, his grandfather, George Lilley, graduated from Temple. He passed away in 2007, but my dad was hysterical! He had the same sense of humor as Michael! Both graduating from Fox- another reason he (Michael) was so proud.”


Michael and his brother, David (29).


“After graduation, he wanted to start a breakfast/lunch business with his brother, David.”


After all his family has been through over the past week, Michael’s mother, Melinda, just wants him to be remembered for the loving person he was.

“Everybody that knew him was fortunate. He just had a heart of gold. He was so grateful for everything. He had such a big heart.”



Services for Michael will be held as follows:

December 9th at 11AM

Red Clay Creek Church

500 McKennans Church Rd

Wilmington, DE 19808



UPDATE: Temple Student Found Dead in Off-Campus Apartment, Determined a Drug-Overdose

No Comments

Updated: 12/4/17 3:00 PM

The Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed that the recent deaths of both Temple students, James Orlando and Michael Paytas, were due to drug overdoses.

Philadelphia Police has provided a statement about the incident.

“On 12/2/17 at 6:50 AM the girlfriend of a 20-year-old deceased male reported that she woke up as the deceased was having labored breathing,” it reads. “Medics were called, the male was then unresponsive and pronounced on scene; the Medical Examiner’s office notified cause of death unknown at this time.”

According to police, foul play is not suspected. The Medical Examiner’s Office is not releasing information about the type of drugs involved in each case.

Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business stated, “Our Fox School community is deeply saddened by the passing of James Orlando, the second loss we have suffered in recent days. Our thoughts and prayers are with James’ family and friends, to whom we send our heartfelt condolences.”


Original post: 12/3/17

 Temple University has experienced its second student death in one week.

James Orlando (Credit: GoFundMe)

James Orlando was pronounced dead in his apartment on the 1800 block of Berks Street after police responded to a 911 call at the off-campus residence on Saturday, December 2.

Orlando, 20, was discovered by medical officials who were unable to revive the third-year Fox School of Business student.

Orlando’s death comes less than seven days after Michael Paytas, another Fox School student, was discovered unconscious in Paley Library. Paytas was later pronounced dead at Hahnemann University Hospital.

This also comes just days after the preliminary hearing for Joshua Hupperterz, the man charged with the murder of 22-year-old Temple University student, Jenna Burleigh, in late-August.

“We are extremely saddened by the passing of James Orlando, a third-year business student from Reading, Pennsylvania,” said a spokesperson for Temple University.

A GoFundMe page has been created in James Orlando’s honor.