Posted November 25, 2020

Highlights from recent stories featuring Temple in the media

Nikki Franke talked about her career as a coach, while a professor at the Klein College of Media and Communication taught her students via a robot.

students walking Temple Universitys Main Campus in autumn
Photography By: 
Joseph V. Labolito

Temple faculty discussed the coronavirus pandemic, from news of a vaccine and when you should change your mask to why some people are engaging in risky behavior as cases surge. And Nikki Franke talked about her career as head women's fencing coach, while a professor at Klein College of Media and Communication taught her students in an inventive way—via a robot.

Former Owl helped pioneer part of the research behind promising COVID-19 vaccines
Katalin Karikó, a biochemist and former Owl, has spent most of her career researching mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid). Her work paved the way for both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines, which have shown an efficacy of approximately 95% in clinical trials. “I never doubted it would work,” she said. “I had seen the data from animal studies, and I was expecting it. I always wished that I would live long enough to see something that I’ve worked on be approved.”
Guardian|Nov. 21, 2020  

More consumers are doing their holiday shopping online
The coronavirus has pushed more people to shop online than ever before. Sherri Lambert, an assistant professor of marketing and supply chain management, said Black Friday shopping deals started weeks ago and the usual routine of waking up early and jostling with huge crowds doesn’t apply this year. “We’re not going to have that rush, because we can’t have the crowds,” she said. “COVID is spiking again, so we’re not going to have that.”
KYW News Radio|Nov. 20, 2020  

The Philadelphia lecture that inspired Martin Luther King Jr.
On Nov. 19, 1950, Martin Luther King Jr. attended a lecture in a Center City Philadelphia church given by Mordecai Johnson—an educator, activist and pastor—about the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi. The talk had a profound impact on King, helping shape his approach to nonviolent resistance. But until recently, historians have missed exactly when and where it took place. “Confirmation of the date and location of the Johnson lecture adds another element to the underappreciated impact Philadelphia had on Dr. King’s fight for justice and civil rights,” said Linn Washington, professor of journalism.
WHYY|Nov. 19, 2020  

It might be time to change your fabric face mask
When you wash your fabric face mask regularly, as experts have advised, the fabric and fit can begin to deteriorate. And this makes the mask less effective. “A newer, fresher mask is likely to have tighter fibers, and so it’s likely better at keeping out other particles and keeping your particles in,” said epidemiologist Krys Johnson, assistant professor in the College of Public Health.
Philadelphia Inquirer|Nov. 18, 2020  

Pfizer trial might pave the way for a COVID-19 vaccine
Pfizer has announced that final trial results for its COVID-19 vaccine showed it had a 95% success rate and was effective across different ages and ethnicities. “[It’s] a first in the history of mankind: less than a year from the sequence of the virus to the large-scale clinical trial of a vaccine, moreover based on a whole new technique,” said Enrico Bucci, an adjunct professor of biology. “Today is a special day.”
Reuters|Nov. 18, 2020 

A Temple nurse on helping Hispanic patients in their final hours
Maria Rodriguez, an oncology nurse and interpreter, cares for patients at Temple University Hospital. “Just being with patients from Day 1 and following them through their care, seeing them going through surgery, chemo, radiation, you get to know them. You get to be so close to them and their family members. You try to detach from it. But as a feeling human being, it’s very hard to do that. Taking care of them became my goal,” she said.
Philadelphia Inquirer|Nov. 18, 2020 

Psychologists explain why people are taking risks, despite a rise in coronavirus cases
Coronavirus cases have risen steeply in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but some people continued to socialize even as the risk of contracting the virus increased. Melissa Auerbach, an assistant professor in psychology, believes this is because they are tired after several months of not being able to see friends and family. “People have limited mental resources for self control,” she said. “We have all of these factors depleting self control, like the recession, the pandemic, and not being able to socialize like we used to. All this is very outside of our wheelhouse in terms of how we normally deal with self regulation and self control of behaviors.”
Philadelphia Inquirer|Nov. 18, 2020 

An architectural spotter’s guide to Main Campus
Jake Tammara, Class of 2021, has compiled a list of 10 of the most beautiful and photogenic buildings on Main Campus, including the Bell Tower, Mitten Hall and Charles Library. “Students study abroad to different countries to see sights like the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben during their undergraduate career, so shouldn’t we attempt to pay at least some attention to the beautiful pieces of architecture that exist on our own campuses?” he said.
College Magazine|Nov. 16, 2020

Teacher’s robotic presence aids in-person learning
Faced with the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, Temple’s faculty and students have adapted to a more hybrid model of teaching. For journalism students in Assistant Professor of Instruction Amy Caples’ class, that includes being taught by her in the broadcast studio via a telepresence robot. “It’s funny at first because it’s like her on a little robot but it’s also useful because she’s able to come over to us and talk to us,” said Camyron Decosti, Class of 2022. 
CBS3|Nov. 16, 2020

Nikki Franke reflects on nearly five decades of coaching
Growing up, Nikki Franke, CPH ’74, ’88, head women’s fencing coach at Temple, never dreamed of becoming a fencer, let alone competing at the Olympic Games or coaching. Now she is the only Black female head coach in the U.S. in all three NCAA divisions and 12 of her former fencers have become coaches as well. “I believe that being an example and a mentor to others is one of the best forms of activism that a person can engage in,” she said. “It is so important to advocate for and support female head coaches so that our young female athletes of color can look at us and see a mirrored image of what they can be, and not feel they are looking through a window and not see who they are.”
Minnesota-Spokesman Recorder|Nov. 11, 2020

Small business owners are cautiously optimistic about coronavirus vaccine news
Although trials for various vaccines seem promising, the coronavirus still poses a challenge for everyone, including small business owners. Jamie Shanker-Passero, associate director of the Small Business Development Center at the Fox School of Business, encouraged small businesses to think creatively during the holiday season because foot traffic will be down. “The incentives that often come with Small Business Saturday will not be the same. The goal cannot be to fill your store up to capacity, so businesses will have to find new ways to pivot,” she said.
Philadelphia Inquirer|Nov. 10, 2020

—Edirin Oputu