Posted December 16, 2020

Highlights from recent stories featuring Temple in the media

Temple scientists made an HIV breakthrough, while an Owl earned a Grammy nomination, and faculty discussed the impact COVID-19 is having on how children learn and develop.

Snow falls on Main Campus
Photography By: 
Ryan S. Brandenberg

Temple faculty discussed the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on children and the economy, scientists came one step closer to an HIV cure and alumni made standout contributions in fields as diverse as politics, entertainment, business and philanthropy.

Remote learning has become a gateway to social media
Learning on digital devices at home has exposed many children to social media much earlier than their parents had expected. Jordan Shapiro, an assistant professor of instruction specializing in intellectual heritage, believes children should be introduced to social media earlier than traditionally advised. “If you want to teach people how to deal with problematic interactions within a space that is part of our lives, then you don’t do it by ignoring it,” he said.
New York Times|Dec. 10, 2020 

Considering the long-term effect the coronavirus pandemic is having on children
COVID-19 has stopped toddlers from going to day care, parties and playdates—and parents are beginning to worry about the effect the extended isolation might be having on their children. Social interaction and physical and verbal exchanges build “structure and connectivity in the brain,” said Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, a professor of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts. 
New York Times|Dec. 9, 2020 

Three Owls part of this year’s Martin Luther King Leadership Development Institute
Arrion Bethea
, CLA ’96, Damon Green, KLN ’03 and Taiwan Martinez, CLA ’08, are among this year’s participants in the Martin Luther King Leadership Development Institute, which trains leaders to bring about positive change in their communities. “There are no divisions of class, race, age, economic status. Participants need only have a commitment to Kingian principles and a desire to make a difference,” said Joe Robinson, the institute’s president.
Penn Live|Dec. 9, 2020 

Is it safe to get a massage right now?
A tense year has left many people looking for ways to relax, including visits to wellness centers and spas. Although getting a massage is considered less risky than dining out in a crowd without a mask, experts believe it’s important to consider the current COVID-19 rates. “It’s a risk-benefit scenario, but right now with the percentage of positive tests we’re dealing with in Pennsylvania, the risk probably outweighs the benefit,” said Krys Johnson, epidemiologist and assistant professor in the College of Public Health.
Philadelphia Inquirer|Dec. 7, 2020

Few studies look at high blood pressure treatments for African Americans
High blood pressure affects African Americans more than any other group in the U.S. But as a new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association points out, few clinical trials have focused on Black adults with hypertension. The lack of research “really thwarts our ability to deal with a problem that has more grave consequences for this population than others,” said Deborah Crabbe, a professor of medicine in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine.
American Heart Association|Dec. 7, 2020

Tyler professor shines in Miami
Vogue chose a Kamala Harris teapot by Roberto Lugo, a potter and assistant professor at Tyler School of Art and Architecture, as one of the five most fascinating objets d’art featured at Design Miami.
Vogue|Dec. 5, 2020

Owl lands a Grammy nomination
When entrepreneur and mixing engineer Benjamin Thomas, FOX ’18, graduated, he said his next stop would be winning a Grammy. Now he’s one step closer to his dream, with a Grammy nomination for his work on Ingrid Andress’ country music album, Lady Like. “I did not think this would be possible this soon. That’s why my first reaction was shock. I didn’t see it coming,” Thomas said. 
6ABC|Dec. 4, 2020

How coronavirus survivors can deal with sensory loss
Many people who recover from COVID-19 are left with a lingering symptom: the loss of their sense of smell and taste. Valentina Parma, a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the College of Liberal Arts, and her colleagues have gathered and analyzed thousands of surveys from survivors with this issue. Although there is no known cure, the body can heal itself, eventually. “Time is an important variable for recovery,” she said. “There is plasticity in our system, and olfactory neurons can regenerate and reestablish function. How long this process can take following a COVID infection is still under scrutiny.”
HuffPost|Dec. 4, 2020

Using martial arts to stem the tide of youth gun violence
Temple football alumnus Jeffrey Whittingham, CLA ’14, took up jiu-jitsu a year ago and it’s taught him to step outside his comfort zone and see the world differently. Now he’s offering a free weekly jiu-jitsu class for Philadelphia children and teenagers, doing his part to keep them off the street and safe from gun violence. “Being in the inner city, we’re used to trauma, so I think mindfulness is important because a lot of these kids, unfortunately, are seeing what’s going on out here,” he said. “So, I want them to come here and I want them to be at peace.”
CBS3|Dec. 3, 2020

Temple researchers use CRISPR to cure the simian equivalent of HIV
A team of researchers led by Kamel Khalili, Laura H. Carnell Professor and chair, Department of Neuroscience, and Tricia Burdo, associate professor of neuroscience at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, have used CRISPR gene editing to eliminate simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), the primate equivalent of HIV. “Our technology is designed to cut out the viral DNA from the person’s genetic material so once ART [antiretroviral therapy] is stopped, there is nothing there to reactivate and cause disease,” Burdo said.
Salon|Dec. 2, 2020

Owl one of Forbes’ 30 under 30
Forbes selected David Silver, KLN ’13, as one of the magazine’s 30 under 30 for 2021. The co-founder of REC Philly (Resources for Every Creator), which offers artists access to resources including space and education, Silver has helped build the organization into one that has raised over $3 million.
Forbes|December, 2020

From music to streetwear
Brian Nadav
, CLA ’05, has swapped life as a touring musician, playing the guitar and oud, for one running Lapstone & Hammer, the Philadelphia-based streetwear shop. “Fashion is an unspoken language, a way of expressing yourself,” he said. “You walk into a room, and you get a vibe about a person, by the way they dress, by the way they carry themselves, by the way they groom themselves.”
Jewish Exponent|Nov. 29, 2020

The Biden campaign’s national advisor for Black engagement is Temple Made
Adjoa Asamoah
, CLA ’98, was part of a team that worked to galvanize African American voters for the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket. “I helped another Black woman ascend to the second-highest office in the land,” she said. “I was just so proud. The weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.”
Philadelphia Inquirer|Nov. 29, 2020

Checking in on California’s Main Streets
COVID-19 has taken a toll on California’s Main Streets, places which were once symbols of prosperity and community. “People love community. They love sidewalks. They love streets with activity,” said Miles Orvell, professor of English and American studies. “They love the idea of living in a place that has a sense of identity.”
Los Angeles Times|Nov. 27, 2020

Rising coronavirus cases are putting pressure on front-line healthcare workers
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb, doctors and nurses have become frustrated with people who remain reluctant to wear masks or follow basic safety measures. “Our families are suffering horribly and disproportionately,” said Maura Sammon, MED ’99, an emergency medicine specialist at Temple Health. “Of course I am feeling burned out, but I don’t have the time to be burned out.”
Philadelphia Inquirer|Nov. 27, 2020

Owl owns the same Dunkin’ store where he got his start
Sonny Ho
, FOX ’94, landed his first job in high school, working as a porter at a Dunkin’ store. Now he owns that store and 44 more and has donated $100,000 to the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia. “I call Philly my hometown,” he said. “It feels great to be able to give back to my community.”
Philadelphia Inquirer|Nov. 26, 2020

Temple doctors use ultrasound to detect pneumonia in COVID-19 patients
Doctors at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, including Ryan Gibbons, MED ’07, have found that a portable ultrasound device is an effective way of identifying which patients suffer from pneumonia, a common complication in those with severe COVID-19.   
Philadelphia Inquirer|Nov. 25, 2020

COVID-19 vaccinations could become mandatory for healthcare workers
Tony Reed
, executive vice president and chief medical officer for the Temple University Health System, believes institutions like Temple haven’t made a COVID-19 vaccine mandatory because you can’t do so until you have enough supply and, since the vaccine is new, compelling people to take it might not be the best approach. However, he believes it might become a requirement for health system employees in the future. “If this becomes a recurring, seasonal virus like the flu, then yes, I would see it becoming mandatory,” he said.
Philadelphia magazine|Nov. 24, 2020

Temple University Jazz Band’s Covid Sessions swings
Covid Sessions, the Temple University Jazz Band’s new album, was recorded, mixed and mastered during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Great under any circumstances, but under the present circumstances Covid Sessions is a triumph that Temple ought to celebrate like an American [Athletic] Conference championship,” said reviewer Matt Silver.
WRTI|Nov. 23, 2020

—Edirin Oputu