Posted October 26, 2021

Temple professor discusses our struggles with memorializing tragedy and other stories featuring Temple in the media

Faculty members discuss topics including the introduction of COVID-19 vaccine boosters, the decline of poverty across the country and the dangers associated with spotted lanternflies.

Photo of the entrance of the new Anderson and Gladfelter Terrace.
Photography By: 
Ryan S. Brandenberg

Seth Bruggeman, director of the Center for Public History at Temple University, discusses our challenges with memorializing tragedy, while Jason Gallagher, a professor of pharmacy and infectious diseases, discusses the introduction of COVID-19 vaccine boosters. A profile of Temple Ambler’s road to recovery also highlights the university’s top media hits for the month of September.

Pharmacies prepare to administer COVID-19 booster shots
COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are here, creating all kinds of complications for pharmacies, which need to prepare to administer the new doses. Jason Gallagher, a professor of pharmacy and infectious diseases, discussed the topic with the Wall Street Journal. “They’re going to have to get up to capacity again, which may not happen overnight. The public is much more eager for boosters than public health professionals are. People have gotten the message that this is coming,” he said.
The Wall Street Journal | Sept. 27, 2021

Temple Health enjoys strong 2021
Temple University Health enjoyed a very strong year in fiscal 2021. According to a recent Philadelphia Business Journal piece, the North Philadelphia-based health system posted a net income of $165 million for the year ending June 30, up from the previous year’s profit of $97.5 million. “We continue to be very busy and full,” said Nick Barcellona, Temple Health’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Philadelphia Business Journal | Sept. 27, 2021

Temple students welcome Afghanistan evacuees
Thousands of evacuees have recently fled from their native Afghanistan to Philadelphia in response to the Taliban takeover. Temple faculty, staff and students have been among those who have volunteered to welcome the evacuees upon their arrival at the Philadelphia International Airport. Among the volunteers was Diba Atar, Class of 2022, who also had previously fled from Afghanistan. “I would ask (evacuees), ‘How are you?’” Atar said. “They would tell me that they were exhausted but so happy to be alive, sitting here with their kids. They left everything behind. It was really emotional.”
6abc | Sept. 23, 2021

Ambler’s road to recovery begins
In early September, in the wake of Hurricane Ida, an EF2-level tornado barreled through the center of Temple’s Ambler Campus. While the damage was considerable, educators are not focused on what was lost and instead are choosing to focus on what can be gained. Sue Snyder of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on the campus’ recovery in mid-September. “The campus’ state-champion Turkish filbert tree, which also made it through Hurricane Sandy, was virtually untouched. A prodigious weeping beech that creates a shaded tunnel over a walkway was relatively unscathed, though a tree just behind it had fallen on a building. The greenhouse lost some glass panes, but all 1,600 plant species were undisturbed and three beehives left intact,” Snyder wrote.
The Philadelphia Inquirer | Sept. 17

U.S. Soccer Federation levels playing field
Last month, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced it had offered identical contracts to the players associations of both the men’s and women’s national teams. The move was made following a public and ongoing battle over pay equity. According to Leeja Carter, associate professor of instruction in the Department of Kinesiology, the move was a significant step forward. In this Quartz piece, she notes that “adding that the identical contract proposals are a recognition of the ways in which the U.S. women’s soccer team hasn’t been treated fairly.”
Quartz | Sept. 15, 2021

Poverty declines during pandemic
According to a recent report released by the U.S. Census Bureau, poverty decreased during the pandemic, as 9.1% of Americans were living in poverty in 2020 compared to 11.8% in 2019. However, while poverty declined on a national level, things still do not look great in Philadelphia, according to Judith Levine, director of Temple’s Public Policy Lab. “Philadelphia looks much worse than the nation as a whole, with extremely high rates of deep poverty,” she said.
The Philadelphia Inquirer | Sept. 14, 2021

Finding a better way to memorialize tragedy
Memorializing tragedy is easier said than done. According to this TIME article, it’s been an area where America has struggled for some time. “What happens so often in our history is that monuments end up standing in for the hard conversations that we should really be having about the past.” said Seth Bruggeman, the director of the Center for Public History at Temple University. “We kind of relied on them to do the remembering for us. In having done that we neglected to talk about stuff like institutional racism, failures of the Civil War, perpetuation of white supremacy. That was getting masked by the monuments.”
TIME | Sept. 10, 2021

Japan searches for a new leader
In early September, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that he would not seek reelection as head of Japan’s governing party. Since then, the country has elected Fumio Kishida as its new prime minister of Japan, but there were a number of options. Michael Cucek, an assistant professor of Asian studies at Temple University’s Japan campus, discussed the topic with the New York Times and touched on the importance of the election. “The public is angry about the way that COVID-19 and its economic effects have been handled,” he said.
The New York Times | Sept. 3

Danger of the spotted lanternfly
If you have spent any time outside this summer and fall, you likely saw a number of spotted lanternflies. They’re highly prevalent in this area and as an invasive species also pose a very dangerous risk. The Department of Agriculture is working to combat the species. According to Matthew Helmus, an assistant professor of biology, they are likely to start “supporting funding for programs that survey for spotted lanternfly, removing trees of heaven from their properties (this is the other plant that they are known to kill in order to eat) and learning how to identify the spotted lanternfly when it is on one's property.”
Salon | Sept. 3, 2021