The Temple News Web site launches

Thanks in large part to our online editor Sean Blanda, The Temple News, the college newspaper for which I work that services the Temple University community, has finally launched its independently designed Web site, based off WordPress.

I am happy to say I was active in the switch over and working with Sean on its design elements.

Check it out or read Seany’s blog on the real details of how the switch, from College Publisher which hosts most college papers in the country, went down.

Christopher Wink on Fox 29 News

myfox_full_logo_1011.jpgI am being interviewed tomorrow morning by Fox 29, the local Philadelphia affiliate, regarding youth voting in the coming presidential primary season, particularly Super Tuesday.

The interview will be cut for the 5 p.m. news.

Additionally, on Tuesday, I will be a guest on the channel’s morning show, answering similar questions before 8 a.m. and pushing the blog for which I will be writing on the primary results. Check it out.

Gary Foster: a weighty new challenge

Interview and article prepared for the Philadelphia Business Journal, as filed last week, without edits, to run in last Friday’s edition.Gary Foster is moonlighting.The director of Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education has assumed the presidency of the Obesity Society, an interdisciplinary group based in Maryland that is considered to hold preeminence in the field ofgary-foster.jpg obesity. The commitments are demanding.“It’s a challeneg and opportunity. The presidential activities take considerable time and effort,” said Foster, 48, who grew up in Levittown.The benefit for Temple is the increased visibility Foster is giving CORE, which opened in March 2006 on Temple’s health sciences campus.“The work is not all unreated, so there’s lots of synergies,” said Foster, who was courted from his position as clinical director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Weight and Eating Disorders to start Temple’s program. He traded 25 years at Penn for the chance to chair the largest school-based obesity prevention trial in the country, based in more than 10,000 square feet of dedicated research and clinical space.In 1981, he took a research assistant position at the University of Pennsylvania. There he worked under the legendary obesity physician Dr. Albert J. Stunkard, among other “luminaries,” including Kelly D. Brownell, who is now the director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University.“It was pretty clear for me,” he said. From then on, a man who never had a weight problem himself was determined to find a reason why so many others do.He went back to school. He got a masters in psychology from Penn and his PhD in clinical psychology from Temple. And his interest continues.“We don’t know as much about obesity as the lay public thinks we do,” he said. “We eat too much and don’t exercise enough… it’s more complex than that.”He has been a part of the group for nearly 20 years. Now, as president, he thinks it’s time to decide for what the group wants to be known.“Obesity is the most prevelant, serious public health issue of our time,” he said. “We at the Obesity Society need to be poisted to address that…”

Cadence Cycling Foundation: giving North Philadelphia kids the bicycle dream

As submitted last week, unedited, to the Philadelphia Business Journal for today’s edition.

For Jack Simes, it’s all about the smiles.

The executive director of the Cadence Cycling Foundation, housed at the Cadence Cycling & Multisport Center in Manayunk, is helping to introduce youth from Philadelphia’s underserved neighborhoods to the cycling world.

“There was a huge amount of enthusiasm,” said Simes, of the program’s first 30 young participants. “Cycling is a huge world sport, so it can take these kids around the world if they want it to.”

With a $10,000 retail donation from Fuji, a bicycle retailer with headquarters in Northeast Philadelphia, the foundation started its indoor training session with 22 modified single speed bicycles. Inside the Cadence Cycling Center, the bikes are on stationary trainers and linked through a computer system that allows riders to race each other, without moving. In April, the young riders, mostly between the ages of 11 and 16, will hit the streets with their instructors leading the way.

The kids have plenty of support, from Jay Snider, co-founder of the Cadence Cycling Centers in Philadelphia and New York, who is an avid rider to Simes, who was on all three U.S. Olympic cycling teams in the 1960s and won a world championship in 1968.

“We’re introducting competitive cycling to kids who might not get a chance to ride,” Simes said.

See other examples of my reporting here.

University does something illegal to puppy

Canine solicitation has been criminalized.

The signature item at Temple University’s fourth annual Owl Club auction, held on Saturday, was a cute golden retriever puppy, in addition to Wing Bowl passes, Philadelphia Eagles tickets, and golf packages with Temple football Head Coach Al Golden.

Turns out, though, that only a licensed kennel can sell a dog, as the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

So while proceeds from the auction benefit Temple athletics, including the reported $700 that women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley paid for the dog, Temple might run into more trouble, as they face a citation for the infraction.

Nicole Williams: a rare model

Interview and article prepared for the Philadelphia Business Journal, as filed last week, without edits, to run in last Friday’s edition. American law firms have not always had black female attorneys. Some don’t have any today.Nichole L. Williams, an associate in the Haddonfield, N.J. office of Archer & Greiner, is one of particular note and promise.

williams-nicole-l.jpg

Last month, Williams, of Blue Bell, was selected for membership in the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, a prestigious professional organization for women of color.

“The organization has an incredble reputation,” said Williams, 29. “I wanted to be a part of that.”

The Coalition formed in 1971 in New York City and has rapidly expanded beyond its now symbolic name. Today, the group numbers some 7,000 members in 24 states and Washington, D.C.

With her membership in the organization’s Pennsylvania chapter came a leadership role, as Williams took on co-chair responsibilities of the public relations committee. She is charged with promoting the group’s signature event, the Madame C.J. Walker Awards luncheon and economic development seminar to be held on March 1. Little more than two weeks later, in her capacity as board member of UrbanPromise, a nonprofit that offers activities for youth in Camden, N.J., she is hosting a fundraising bowling event with Andre Iguodala from the Philadelphia 76ers at Lucky Strike Lanes at 13th and Chestnut Streets on March 18.

Oh, and she is a lawyer, too, one with a goal in mind.

“In this role as a black female attorney, I take it as my reponsibility to speak for those who don’t have a voice themselves,” she said. “To serve as a role model.”

She concentrates her practice in corporate law and joined her firm’s sports and entertainment practice group in August. There, too, she is representing underrepresented groups, as the only female and the only associate member. She doesn’t seem worried. Williams will continue her drive to service and find strength in an organization full of successful people who had plenty of reasons not to be.

“As a young, black, female attorney, I wanted to surround myself with women who were doing incredible things” Williams said. “I’ve done it.”

Men's college basketball video

For The Temple News, the college newspaper for which I work, I filmed yesterday’s men’s basketball game between Temple University and crosstown Big 5 rival St. Joseph’s.  A friend and colleague, Sean Blanda, edited it. The quality is less than stellar because of some technicalities – this was our paper’s first foray into adding video to our Web site – but check it out. Temple lost on a buzzer beater.

The professor and the sexpert

hill_m.jpgTemple University’s resident public intellectual, Marc Lamont Hill, who can be seen a whole lot answering the tough and less tough questions on cable news has a (relatively) widely read blog.The reason your sex life sucks? Because you aren’t reading it.

Hill, either the most well known academic this school boasts or the prof who dabbles in pop culture so much that this school hides him, offers his Web site as a forum for Timaree, a former college sex columnist and current Widener University grad student. It is typical shock fare, but sometimes it gets too good to not mention.

Like one from last week, about a question I didn’t entirely understand on a type of intercourse I thought I knew everything about. Yeah, I know, you really ought to check it out here. But, trust me, it’s (verbally?) graphic.

Campus unknown named next dean of Japan campus

By Christopher Wink | Jan. 22, 2008 | The Temple News

Bruce Stronach was named the next dean of Temple University-Japan on Jan. 10, to replace the retiring dean, Kirk R. Patterson. Stronach will officially join TUJ on Feb. 1 but will not assume the role of dean until April 1.

An interim dean has not been named.

Currently, Stronach, a campus outsider with an academic career that spans three decades and two continents, is transitioning from his term as president of Yokohama City University, where he has been since 2004.

“I am very happy to have been selected as dean,” wrote Stronach in an email from Japan. “I am very much looking forward to working with everyone on the Temple team in Philadelphia, Tokyo, and elsewhere around the world.”

Stronach is accomplished, having been the first foreign president of a Japanese public university when he was first hired as president of YCU, a mid-sized school of 4,500 in a city of 3.5 million some 20 miles south of Tokyo.

Prior to that appointment, Stronach had been acting president at Becker College in Worcester, M.A. since 2003 and its chief operating officer before then since 1998. From 1990 to 1997, he held faculty and administrative positions at the Graduate School of International Relations at the International University of Japan in Niigata, eventually serving as the school’s dean beginning in 1994. Stronach also has held faculty appointments at Merrimack College in North Andover, M.A, and at Keio University in Tokyo.

Indeed, Stronach, 57, is the accomplished academic to his former competition, 37-year-old attorney Matthew J. Wilson, TUJ’s current chief legal counsel and the only other candidate to be named a finalist by the university’s search advisory committee.

Wilson had been a frequent de facto acting dean when Patterson was away on leave, most recently in the interim between Patterson’s TUJ departure Dec. 17 and Stronach’s appointment, according to some at the campus. However, some university sources said Wilson’s exact role was unclear.

No official announcement regarding an interim dean was named between Patterson’s official exit Dec. 31 and Stronach’s official entrance Feb. 1. TUJ’s semester began on Jan. 14, according to Stephanie Gillin, chief of staff to University Provost Lisa Staiano-Coico, who, with President Ann Weaver Hart, made the final decision on Patterson’s successor.

There had been some question to the delay in the decision to nominate Stronach, a longtime friend of Patterson’s. Official comment on the timing of the announcement has not been made.

“I am just beginning to absorb all the pressures of the transition and to bring myself up to speed on matters pertaining to both the home campus and the Tokyo campus,” wrote Stronach in the same email from Saturday.

He has not spoken to what, if anything, his friendship with Patterson, who was not active in the selection of his replacement, might mean for his plans and goals.

Patterson, who served from 2002 to 2007 and announced his retirement on Aug. 27, will likely be remembered for a tenure highlighted by unprecedented growth, though marred with late coming criticism of his leadership style, which some suggested was too controlling. Sources, including TUJ administrators and faculty, who afforded this characterization would not speak on the record but additionally praised the fiscal successes Patterson led.

“My successor will inherit an institution that is very optimistic,” wrote Patterson in an email from early December. “TUJ is becoming a first in the world model for international education.”

The man Stronach beat out, Wilson, had a leading role in the Patterson administration. He noted during interviews on Main Campus in November that his direct experience with TUJ was a prize advantage in his quest to become dean.

“I won’t have an on-the-job learning period,” he said while on Main Campus in November.

Despite watching an outside leapfrog him for the chief spot he coveted, Wilson intoned his intentions to stay on with his role at the branch campus.

“I am excited that Dr. Bruce Stronach has agreed to join the Temple family,” he wrote in an email to The Temple News from Tokyo on the day of the announcement. “[I] look forward to working with him in my capacities as Associate Dean and General Counsel.”

Wilson, who is narrow, blonde and noted for his boyish features, rapidly ascended through administrative ranks during a four and a half year TUJ career.

Wilson was taken on as a professor of law at TUJ in April 2003 and began what has been a startling ascension. Just two months later he was named the law program’s director. Then, a little over a year later, he was installed both as TUJ’s chief legal counsel and associate dean. Those positions, which he still holds, were coupled with a semester as director of TUJ’s undergraduate program last spring. If he had been appointed, he would have been the youngest dean in that campus’s history.

But he wasn’t and, where Wilson’s rise through Temple administrative ranks has been heralded, Stronach’s youth was less direct. His first attempt at college failed.

“You should be committed to your education because I wasn’t,” he told The Temple News in a November interview on Main Campus.

Young Stronach grew up on a small farm in Massachusetts and first left home for Boston College in the late 1960s. The football player who got caught up in the anti-war movement struggled to find a desire for academics, so he left in 1970. The next three years of his life were spent working as a truck driver and in various manufacturing capacities.

“The first half of my life was spent in factories, on trucks,” he said in the same interview. “So, I think I have a pretty good idea what the real world is like.”

Stronach has two daughters, one of whom currently attends Wake Forest University, another is a student at a high school outside of Boston.

In speaking with The Temple News, Stronach expressed an interest in further developing TUJ’s image as a permanent fixture of higher education in Japan and working on partnerships with other Japanese universities.

“I want TUJ to become more of a Japanese institution,” he said in November, while still just a candidate for the position. “Not just the extension campus of Temple University.”

Still, he admitted not knowing much about the daily operations of TUJ.

“I don’t know all that much about TUJ,” he said. “But I think that is more of an asset than a deficit.”

-30-

The Temple News originally misreported when Stronach will officially become dean. He will join TUJ on Feb. 1, but won’t become dean until April 1 as changed on Jan. 23 at 6:21 p.m.

This story was prepared for the 1/22/2008 edition of The Temple News. See it here. This is a follow-up in continued coverage of this story. See the original on this Web site here.