Communiqué submissions can be sent to Stephanie Palmer at, ext. 8040, or by interoffice mail to Room A7–114.
September 2011

Karen Aumann, associate professor of Art, will open her studio in South Philadelphia for one weekend in October as part of the 2011 Philadelphia Open Studio Tours. You can view her new collection of wood-fired stoneware pitchers, bowls, teapots and mugs along with burnished terra-cotta vessels, Ikebana vases and nature-inspired sculpture on October 15 and 16 from 12 to 6 p.m. at 701 Reed Street. For more information about this citywide event, including maps, please visit the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours website or contact Karen at

Karen Auman ceramics image

Ari Benjamin Bank, assistant professor of English, created and helmed an invitation-only gala in Center City to benefit the Abramson Cancer Center's Integrative Medicine and Wellness Program at The University of Pennsylvania Hospital in August. The event raised close to $10,000 in ticket sales, donations and silent auction purchases towards Abramson's myriad programs and services — such as massage, yoga, meditation, nutritional counseling and talk therapy — to cancer patients and their families undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Besides raising funds to maintain and expand these programs, as many doctors, their patients and staff from the Abramson Cancer Center noted, it was fulfilling to share a meal, listen to live music and enjoy each other’s company outside the hospital setting. A similar event is in the works.

Ari is not only a teacher at the College, a board member for a Philadelphia anti-violence program and a published poet, but is also now an accomplished fundraiser. This was his third successful fundraising event for a nonprofit group, not including his year-round fundraising to garner donations for numerous academic awards and scholarships presented at the College's annual Academic Awards ceremony. For more information about fundraising, please contact Ari at

Constance Garcia-Barrio, adjunct instructor of Foreign Languages, has published a commentary about riding SEPTA’s Route 23 bus service. It appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer on August 3, 2011 and can be read online. She also just received a Gold in the National Mature Media for an article in Milestones about an architect who started a writing workshop for senior citizens.

Ji Gao, professor of Mathematics, was invited to speak by the 3rd International Conference on Analytic Mathematics and its Applications at the College of Mathematic and Information Science, Xinyang Normal University, Xinyang, China from August 8 to 12, 2011. Ji delivered a speech titled, “The Semi-Uniform KK Spaces and the Geometry of Banach Spaces.”

Nikki Johnson-Huston, adjunct instructor of Paralegal Studies, has been selected as a 2012 Eisenhower Fellow and will travel to India in 2012 for four to six weeks. Eisenhower Fellowships engages emerging leaders from around the world to enhance their professional capabilities, broaden their contacts, deepen their perspectives and unite them in a diverse, global community — a network where dialogue, understanding and collaboration lead to a more prosperous, just and peaceful world. They select eight to ten high-achieving, mid-career, U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents abroad for an intensive, individually designed program in the country of their choice. Fellows are selected by blue ribbon steering committees and are currently recruited from Philadelphia, Research Triangle in North Carolina, New England (Boston) and St. Louis.

Karen Auman ceramics image

Kelly McQuain, associate professor of English, was a recent participant in the "Philadelphia: Revolution to Republic" Landmark Institute sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, which took place in Philadelphia in June 2011. Venues visited included the Library Company of Philadelphia, the National Constitution Center, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and other sites. In July, Kelly was a featured reader and participant in the Post-Graduate Workshop and Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, sponsored by the University of New Orleans and Napier University (U.K.). There he researched Scottish writers, including Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott, and explored the rich offerings of Edinburgh, the first city to receive the UNESCO World City of Literature designation. He has new poetry publications in Press 1 and the Painted Bride Quarterly.

Kelly McQuain photo
McQuain meets Thomas Jefferson at the
opening reception for "Philadelphia: Revolution to Republic."

Joo Won Park, assistant professor of Music, will perform a solo concert for the Kansas City Electronic Music & Arts Alliance on September 24, 2011. Please visit their website for more information about the concert. Joo has also released a compilation album consisting of the winners of a composition competition organized by the Society of Composers, Inc. This album can be purchased at

Music Album photo

Robert Ross, assistant professor and Music Department chair, had his setting of Psalm 51 in Hebrew for chorus and string orchestra aired during a 24-hour live broadcast titled We Remember September 11 on WPRB 103 FM (Princeton New Jersey), on the 10-year anniversary of that date.

The work, possibly the first-ever setting of the complete text of Psalm 51 in Hebrew, was commissioned by Chamber Choir Cantinovum of the Jyvaskyla Polytechnik Institut (Jyvaskyla, Finland). Its premiere performance there on Good Friday, March 29, 2002 was subsequently rebroadcast on September 15, 2002 for a September 11 memorial.

Stephanie Scordia, instructor of English, was named Program Director of Philadelphia Stories, Junior in June 2011. This new online literary magazine serves young writers and artists in grades K-12. A division of Philadelphia Stories, it is dedicated to promoting the creative talents of our communities' youth and providing young people with a chance to share their work with a larger audience. Please visit their website for more information about the magazine, including ways to get involved.

Dena Sukol, adjunct professor of Paralegal Studies and Sociology, co-advisor of the Student Government Association, and adjunct professor at University of the Arts, participated in a teleconference seminar sponsored by the Shechter & Co. Law Firm, Tel Aviv, Israel in June 2011. As a relatively young country, Israel’s experience with the legal issues of an aging population is limited; the area of Elder Law is new and growing. The conference sought to present leaders in the Israeli legal community with an array of legal approaches used in Europe and the U.S. to support and protect the elderly.

Dena Sukol photo

David E. Thomas, dean of the Division of Adult and Community Education, was recently presented with YouthBuild Charter School’s 2011 Legacy Award at the school's annual graduation ceremony held at Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia. Other special guests included Leslie Boissiere, executive director of the White House Council for Community Solutions; David Eisner, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center; and John Gomperts, director of AmeriCorps. Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter delivered the keynote address.

David was cited for his lasting impact on the students and alumni of the YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School in creating innovative and successful bridges from alternative educational programs to post-secondary educational options. For the academic year of 2010-11, 81% of YouthBuild Philadelphia students who had participated in the newly-structured YouthBuild-Community College of Philadelphia Summer Bridge program he designed passed their Spanish and Technology courses, earning college credit. This program also resulted in a 210% increase in enrollment from the previous year and provided guidance for the overall development of the YouthBuild national and local post-secondary educational options initiative. David has actively strengthened connections between YouthBuild and the College and given his personal time to support the partnership and learning for YouthBuild students in Philadelphia.

David Thomas photo

Pete Watkins, assistant professor of Psychology, Education and Human Services, authored a chapter titled “A Decade of Educating Youth Workers at an Urban Community College” that appears in the newly released book Advancing Youth Work: Current Trends and Critical Questions (Routledge, 2011). This book is part of an ongoing national conversation about the future of the youth work profession and the education and training required for those who work in youth programs. Please visit the publisher’s website for more information about the book.

David Watters, assistant dean of Students and director of Student Life, was elected President for 2011-12 of the Pennsylvania College Personnel Association (PCPA) this past April. The PCPA is the state affiliate chapter of the American College Personnel Association. As an active member of PCPA for the past 12 years, David most recently served on the Executive Board as the Two-Year East Member-at-Large. His term of office will continue to 2012-13 as the Past President on the Executive Board.

Correction: In the August issue of Communiqué, Lavern Allen’s length of employment and job title were incorrectly listed in the Employee of the Month entry. She has been a full-time employee at the College for eight years as an Accounting Generalist.

Athletic Events Schedule

Men’s Soccer Games
Date Location Time
Thurs., Sept. 22 Delaware 4 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 24 Valley Forge 4 p.m.
Thurs., Sept. 29 @ Lehigh Carbon 4 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 1 Harrisburg 1 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 8 @ Delaware 1 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 15 @ Valley Forge 1 p.m.
Please visit the Men’s Soccer page for the complete schedule.

Women’s Volleyball Games
Date Location Time
Sat., Sept. 24 Phila./Lehigh Carbon @ Bucks 12 p.m.
Mon., Sept. 26 Valley Forge 7 p.m.
Wed., Sept. 28 Luzerne 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 1 Delaware 12 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 4 @ Lehigh Carbon 7 p.m
Thurs., Oct. 6 @ Harrisburg 7 p.m.
Mon., Oct. 10 Bucks 7 p.m.
Please visit the Women’s Volleyball page for the complete schedule.

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country
Date Location Time
Sat., Sept. 24 @ USMA/Valley Forge 1 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 1 @ PSU Mont Alto 1 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 8 @ Luzerne 1 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 15 EPCC Championship @ Thaddeus Stevens
Please visit the Cross Country page for the complete schedule.

Date Location Time
Sat., Sept. 24 @ Delaware 12 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 1 Luzerne 12 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 9 Delaware 12 p.m.
Please visit the Baseball page for the complete schedule.