College News Briefs
The Classified/Confidential Employees Awards Committee donated Thanksgiving food baskets on Nov. 25 to two underprivileged families through the College's Christian Women's Alliance.
The stars sparkled on Dec. 23, when the College celebrated its exemplary employees at a festive Celebrate the Stars brunch in the Bonnell Building cafeteria. Pictured from right are Doris Shepard, a 20-year employee; Stephen Ford, a 40-year employee; and Rhonda Simpson, a 30-year employee. "All of you have played an important role in helping the College and our students succeed," Board of Trustees Vice Chair Varsovia Fernandez said, referring to the 55 people honored at the brunch.
Staci J. Scott, director of Continuing and Professional Education, presented a certificate of appreciation to Al Taubenberger, president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Taubenberger was one of many business leaders who helped Corporate Solutions develop the Small Business Management Certificate program that is being offered for the first time this spring. The program offers three certificates—Starting Your Business, Maintaining Your Business and Growing Your Business—to existing and potential business owners and their staffs.
Catching up at Throw Back Night
Alumni were able to catch up with each other, learn about plans for the College and show their appreciation for alumni athletes during the College’s annual Throw Back Night and Alumni Reception on Nov. 17. After enjoying an exciting alumni basketball game, more than 60 College alumni, employees and students continued the evening at the alumni reception. Samuel Hirsch, vice president for Student Affairs, invited alumni to get involved, and Susan Piergallini, vice president for Institutional Advancement, informed the audience of the College’s expansion plans and capital campaign. Members of the Alumni Council were also in attendance and updated alumni on the "hot happenings" of the Alumni Association.
Developing and rewarding interest in our country's political process was the primary goal of Foundation Board member Joseph S. Rizzello when he established The Rizzello Essay Contest: The Constitution, Elections and Citizenship.
With a $1,500 student scholarship for the spring 2009 semester as motivation, Rizzello asked students to consider weighty topics, including the impact and influence of media on political campaigns, the Democratic National Committee's power to strip states' delegates, how campaign costs affect the democratic process and the pros and cons of the primary system. Winner Howard Jeffers rose to Rizzello's intellectual challenge.
Jeffers, a participant in the College's dual admissions program with Drexel University, is studying Architecture, with a minor in Mechanical Engineering. He hopes to one day establish a hybrid design studio. The media, Jeffers contended in his winning essay, wield great power in a "presidential campaign, as their domination of creating and spreading an image allows them to influence the landscape and direction of the country. This can have positive and negative impacts on American society and the world."
Jeffers also stated in his essay that "with the seriousness needed to select the President of the United States and maintain the country's standing in the world, educated decisions are needed, not fanfare over the candidate that makes a voter feel good."
College Offers Accelerated Foreign Language Instruction
The College launched a Summer Language Institute in 2008 that offers intensive instruction in several foreign languages with a twist.
The Institute's methods break away from the traditional model of college language instruction. Taught in an accelerated format, the Institute's three-credit intensive language classes include a cultural component as recommended by a recent report that stresses the importance of cultural content in language programs.
The report, "Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World," was produced by a committee of seven senior language educators who spent two years studying the state of language instruction. It recommends that interdisciplinary language programs contain more cultural content from the start to make graduates better able to function in a global environment.
Christopher DiCapua, assistant professor and head of the Foreign Languages department, said the new Institute will position the College "as a leader in the education of foreign languages in the area. Last summer, we offered Spanish 101 for three and a half weeks, then Spanish 102 for three and a half weeks," DiCapua said. "These courses included cultural components such as Spanish films, authentic lunches and trips to Hispanic cultural festivals." The extra cultural activities were an affordable $15 per student, thanks to a subsidy from the Office of Student Life.
Other examples of this immersive experience may include native dance lessons, visits to museums and language-specific cultural centers. "We want to offer students a more immersive experience with the opportunity to explore a language in an intensive format and with greater depth in the culture," DiCapua said. This summer the Language Institute will offer Spanish, Arabic and Swahili.
"The accelerated format is geared toward those who have a practical need for a new language skill, and to students who simply have a passion for languages," DiCapua said.
For those who want the ultimate immersive experience in a foreign language and culture, there is the three-week study tour to San Jose, Costa Rica. The traveling students will attend Spanish classes and earn three credits for their work. The College will continue to offer traditional foreign language classes for those who prefer to learn at a more moderate pace. For more information about the Summer Language Institute, contact the head of the department of Foreign Languages at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.751.8640.