Posted April 28, 2021

Fox introduces a virtual reality business class and more stories featuring Temple in the media

Temple faculty offer advice on how to deal with COVID-19 vaccine side effects and overcome a fear of needles.

The Bell Tower on Main Campus.
Photography By: 
Ryan S. Brandenberg

Sonia Sanchez talks about the Black Arts Movement, an Owl helms a groundbreaking new cable news program and a CLA professor offers advice on how parents can help their children cope with a year “lost” to the coronavirus pandemic.

How to overcome a fear of needles
Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will require an injection, but for some people, the thought of being confronted with a needle is difficult to bear. “Those of us who take care of kids have been trying methods to help them be more comfortable with being vaccinated for our whole careers,” said Margot Savoy, chair and associate professor of family and community medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. Letting children hold someone’s hand or encouraging them to focus on something else can ease their fears and a similar approach can work with adults. 
Discover magazine|April 18, 2021  

A virtual reality business class for Owls
The Fox School of Business is offering one of the first classes in an MBA setting that uses virtual reality to bring students together for discussion-based learning. Students from across Philadelphia, or from different parts of the world, don VR headsets to learn in a classroom designed to look like one on Temple’s Main Campus. The technology is often used to recreate hands-on training for medical procedures or policing, but Gabby Gutierrez, a video editor at Fox, adapted it to suit a classroom setting. “Building this is like two different fields, you have the game designing aspect, the artistic, 3D-designing, and we were trying to figure out what works to bring into this environment,” she said.|April 16, 2021 

Despite all the hardship, there are things we might miss about life during the pandemic
With COVID-19 vaccines increasingly available and businesses beginning to reopen, we seem to be on the cusp of returning to normal. But while the constraints we are under are challenging, Devon Powers, an associate professor of advertising, media and communication, feels that for some of us, they have also become a comfortable new reality. “There’s a good side and a bad side to almost everything. Life rarely gives us a straightforward lesson,” she said, “and I think many have tried to gain or learn from this experience.”
WDET|April 16, 2021  

An Owl sets out to change how African Americans get their news
Marc Lamont Hill
, EDU ’01— a professor and the Steve Charles Chair in Media Cities and Solutions at Klein College of Media and Communication—is the host of Black News Tonight, a new primetime show on the Black News Channel. The show is the only cable news program in the U.S. created by and for people of color. “There are various platforms that tell stories of the Black world but they only tell stories to the extent that they intersect with the mainstream a lot of times,” he said. “So, we often have to look really hard and really far and wide to find stories about us.”
Philadelphia Tribune|April 16, 2021

How to recover after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
With many people experiencing fatigue-inducing side effects for a few days after receiving the vaccine, experts are advising people to rest both before and after getting their shot, to give their immune systems a chance to get their antibodies working. “The side effects are primarily immune related—it’s your body reacting to the spike proteins of the virus it’s being taught how to make, and that can give you the same kind of side effects that having a mild case of the flu or other viral infection would do,” said Jason Gallagher, a clinical professor at the School of Pharmacy and clinical pharmacy specialist in infectious diseases at Temple University Hospital.|April 15, 2021

Roberto Santos the first person of color picked to head the U.S. Census Bureau full time
President Joe Biden has selected Roberto Santos, the president of the American Statistical Association, to lead the Census Bureau. If confirmed, Santos, who is Mexican American, would be the first person of color to serve as a permanent director of the Census Bureau. He was previously the senior study director at Temple’s Institute for Survey Research.
PBS|April 13, 2021

Considering the best way for college students to use credit cards
For Cynthia Axelrod, an associate professor and deputy chair of the Finance Department at the Fox School of Business, the best way a student can use a credit card is wisely. “Debt is debt, regardless of whether it is a student loan, a car loan or a credit card,” she said. “Students need to use credit cards judiciously and to give them a lot of thought before simply charging an expense. Is it a need, where it is a must-have, or is it an impulsive want?”
WalletHub|April 12, 2021 

Making the most of remote internships
Niccolas Uff
, Class of 2022, is currently on his third apprenticeship with CBS—all of them have been virtual. “I’m talking to the people at CBS just as much as I’d be talking to them in person,” he said. “Actually, because of virtual, I get to talk to people that I wouldn’t have the chance to talk to, [like Oprah Winfrey].”
Billy Penn|April 12, 2021 

How to help teenagers cope with the “lost year”
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have led many to think of the past year as a “lost year” and parents of middle schoolers are anxious that their children have missed out on key developmental milestones. But Laurence Steinberg, a professor of psychology, is optimistic. “Do kids need certain kinds of experiences at this point in their lives in order to be able to develop normally? Yes, but there’s no reason to think an interruption like this is going to cause permanent damage,” he said. “The plasticity afforded by the adolescent brain at this age allows for recovery.”
New York Times|April 11, 2021 

WRTI honors Sonia Sanchez as a Hometown Hero
Sonia Sanchez
, HON ’98, Philadelphia’s first poet laureate, developed a stutter as a child and this honed her awareness of how language works at an early age. Her appreciation for the power of spoken and written words has fueled her efforts as a poet, playwright, activist and co-founder of the Black Arts Movement. “An organization like the Black Arts Movement was about artists who demanded an art of struggle; an art that related to our her-story/history, and what was really going out in the world,” she said. “You had to live it and taste it.”
WRTI|April 9, 2021

Nonfatal shootings are on the rise in Philadelphia
As homicides have risen in Philadelphia, so have the number of nondeadly shootings, incidents that can have lifelong consequences for the people involved. “Nonfatal shootings mean that someone is still around and has to deal with the impacts of the shootings on their lives more mentally, physically. And that drains these individuals’ resources, but also eventually the city’s and the society’s,” said Jason Gravel, an assistant professor of criminal justice.
NBC10|April 9, 2021

An Owl is refurbishing computers and giving them away for free
Since he began his TechCycle project last spring, software engineer Hai Thai, CST ’02, has repaired and given away nine laptops to students and families in Philadelphia, to a family in Guatemala and to a convent of nuns in Brooklyn that needed a computer to attend virtual church services. “For me, having access to the internet opened a world of information. It was a goldmine,” he said. “By doing this, not only do I feel like I help someone else, but it makes you appreciate what you take for granted, being able to buy a computer.”
Philadelphia Inquirer|April 7, 2021   

Half of a Washington, D.C., horticultural power couple is Temple Made
Jim Kaufmann
, TYL ’94, is the director of the Capitol grounds and arboretum for the Architect of the Capitol, which maintains the buildings, monuments and gardens on the U.S. Capitol campus. Together he and his wife, Cindy Kaufmann, are responsible for managing more than 300 acres of the Washington landscape. The pandemic has left him fewer opportunities for hands-on work, which he misses. “Nothing ever replaces the ability or the experience to walk the grounds, feel the landscape and talk to people,” he said.
Washington Post|April 5, 2021

—Edirin Oputu