Posted July 15, 2020

Highlights from recent stories featuring Temple in the media

Faculty experts examine the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on health and the economy and students and professors respond to protests against racial injustice. 

An Owl statue spreads its wings on Temple's Main Campus.
Photography By: 
Betsy Manning

As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, faculty experts discussed its effect on health, psychology and the economy. Students and faculty also responded to the protests against racial injustice and a renewed interest in Black culture. And an alumna made history at the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Treating COVID-19 patients with immunotherapy
Doctors at Temple University Hospital treated the first six patients in the U.S. as part of a clinical trial that uses immunotherapy to treat COVID-19. “It’s like activating or revving up your own immune cells, your own immune system,” said Gerald Criner, professor and chair of thoracic medicine and surgery at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine and the director of the Temple Lung Center. Doctors are trying this immunotherapy on milder cases of the coronavirus and hope it will prevent the disease from getting worse. 
6ABC ︱July 7, 2020

Medical students volunteer as tutors
Front-line medical workers who are also parents or guardians have faced an added challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic: supervising their children’s learning. Hayoung Youn, Class of 2021, led a volunteer effort by medical students to tutor the children of front-line workers, providing much-needed support.
WHYY ︱July 6, 2020  

Why young people keep putting themselves at risk of COVID-19
Despite the risks posed by COVID-19, young people are still socializing and contracting the virus. Psychologists explain that getting young people, particularly teenagers, to stop meeting their friends because of the risk of spreading the virus can be challenging. “This is an age group where individuals tend to be focused on immediate rewards and not thinking as much about long-term consequences and costs,” said Professor of Psychology Laurence Steinberg.
Philadelphia Inquirer ︱July 1, 2020

Better training needed to handle mental health emergencies
Amid calls for police reform, experts are also recommending better training to help police handle mental health emergencies. Ajima Olaghere, an assistant professor of criminal justice, said a major roadblock for effective responses to mental health emergencies is the fact that there is no uniform policy across the nearly 18,000 police departments in the U.S.
ABC News︱June 27, 2020 

Is it safe to return to gyms?
Gyms and fitness centers are beginning to reopen across Pennsylvania, but many epidemiologists have said they don’t plan to return to them anytime soon. “Gyms are an area where we go to sweat, and we’re breathing heavily,” said epidemiologist and Assistant Professor in the College of Public Health Krys Johnson. “When you’re in close proximity to others who are doing the same thing, it can be a high-risk environment,” she said.
Philadelphia Inquirer︱June 26, 2020 

Searching for signs of COVID-19
Philadelphia’s health and water departments have teamed up with Temple’s Water, Health and Applied Microbiology Lab for a pilot program that looks for traces of COVID-19 in the city’s sewage. Heather Murphy, an assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatics who leads the lab, said this type of testing could become an “early warning system” for the coronavirus.
Philadelphia Inquirer︱June 25, 2020 

The history of Juneteenth
Juneteenth—the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery—marks the day in 1865 when enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas, learned they were free. Molefi Asante, chair of Africology and African American Studies, said it is a day Black people in America should never forget: “It is relevant in 2020 and I am hoping that in 3020 it is still relevant.” 
6ABC︱June 17, 2020 

Introducing the Philadelphia Orchestra’s first Black female member
Nicole Jordan, BYR ’10 , is joining the Philadelphia Orchestra as its new music librarian, making her only the fourth current Black member of the ensemble. “I never imagined I would accomplish something like this. You dream about it, but you never really know if you can pull it off or if you’ll have the opportunity,” Jordan said.
Philadelphia Inquirer ︱June 16, 2020

Photographing Philadelphia’s protests
When protests against racial injustice began in Philadelphia, Tyler School of Art and Architecture graduate student Isaac Scott, Class of 2023, was out on the streets, camera at the ready. “We only get certain moments in history where there’s an opportunity to make real change,” he said. “I hope we take advantage of this moment while we have it.”
The New Yorker︱June 15, 2020

Temple Japan students organize Black Lives Matter march
Students at Temple University, Japan Campus helped found Black Lives Matter Tokyo and organized a Black Lives Matter march in June, the first coordinated by a local BLM group in Tokyo. “First and foremost, we want to stand in solidarity with the people who are protesting in the United States right now,” said Temple Japan student Sierra Todd, Class of 2022, the main organizer and founder of Black Lives Matter Tokyo. 
Japan Times︱June 14, 2020

Doctors use stories to help them cope with the coronavirus pandemic
Narrative medicine—a discipline in which physicians use elements of literature and art to better understand patients’ stories—is helping doctors and nurses cope with the challenges of treating people during the pandemic. Naomi Rosenberg, an emergency room physician at Temple University Hospital, teaches narrative medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine and said the discipline helps her “metabolize” what she takes in while caring for COVID-19 patients.
Los Angeles Times ︱June 10, 2020

The future of small businesses
As the Philadelphia region entered the yellow phase and many businesses began in-person operations, owners also faced the challenge of responding to the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. Maura Shenker, director of the Small Business Development Center, discussed how businesses are coping with a complex situation. “Fortunately, small business owners are entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs look for the opportunity in the challenges and remain positive,” she said.
WHYY︱June 5, 2020

Insights on tallying Pennsylvania’s primary results
An increased number of mail-in ballots were cast during the 2020 Pennsylvania primary, which led to election officials taking longer to tally the results. “Maybe a tenth of the mail-in ballots were cast in [the] 2016 primary as opposed to what we might be expecting now,” said Assistant Professor of Political Science Michael Sances.
CBS3 ︱June 4, 2020

Preparing for a trip to the doctor’s office
Hospitals and clinics are open for routine, preventive care, but some people are wondering if it’s safe to visit. Aimee Palumbo, an epidemiologist and assistant professor of instruction at the College of Public Health, suggests questions people may consider before they go in, including whether staff and patients wear masks at all times and how often the waiting rooms and offices are cleaned.
WHYY︱May 29, 2020

—Edirin Oputu