Oct 17

Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk Connects Philadelphians

Opening on October 2nd, the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk is a 2,000-foot long concrete structure running parallel to the Eastern Shore of the river from Locust St. to the new stair tower on the southern side of the South Street Bridge. This project provides an important link to the Schuylkill River Trail and Center City from University City and West Philadelphia.

Runners, cyclists and others who frequent the Schuylkill River trail will now be able to extend their route with this newest addition.

“The boardwalk section of the trail will provide an important transportation link for cyclists and pedestrians between and among Center City, South Philadelphia and West Philadelphia,” Mayor Michael Nutter said during the boardwalk’s groundbreaking ceremony. “The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk project, now that it is complete, will go from a street departments construction project to become officially a part of the Fairmount Park system under the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation department.”

The ramp and boardwalk are designed to accommodate emergency and maintenance vehicles, according to the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC). The boardwalk’s 15 foot wide pathway is supplemented by four widened overlooks that allow people to rest and enjoy the views along the boardwalk without blocking the trail.

Read the full story here…

Oct 17

Robert Margolskee Appointed Monell Chemical President

The Monell Chemical Senses Center is an independent nonprofit basic research institute based in Philadelphia. For over 45 years, Monell has advanced scientific understanding of the mechanisms and functions of taste and smell to benefit human health and well being.

On Oct. 1, Robert Margolskee succeeded Gary Beauchamp as the center’s next president and director. Margolskee will be the center’s third director since its founding in 1968.

“This will be a big change for me and a big change for the center because Gary Beauchamp, the current director, has been our director for 24 years,” Margolskee said. “The big challenge basically for the director is to lead the research that goes on at our center. I’m a little excited, a little bit worried. I think the common word is trepidation.”

Margolskee received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his MD-PhD in Molecular Genetics from Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with the late Nobel laureate Dr. Daniel Nathans. He carried out postdoctoral studies in molecular biology at Stanford University with the Nobel laureate Dr. Paul Berg. While on the faculty of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, he was an Associate Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1997 to 2005.

Read the full story here…

Sep 23

Q & A With Janice Gable Bashman, Author of Predator

Janice Gable Bashman is the Bram Stoker nominated author of Predator, her first novel and solo book project for young adults. Bashman is also the editor of The Big Thrill, an International Thriller Writers’ magazine, and has had her short fiction published in various anthologies and magazines.

Bashman is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, and the International Thriller Writers, where she serves on the board of directors as Vice President of Technology.

Who are some of your favorite YA authors?

I enjoy reading Jandy Nelson, John Green, Jonathan Maberry, Nancy Holder, Veronica Roth, Marie Lu, Jay Asher, J.K. Rowling, Allen Zadoff, Markus Zusak, and many other young adult authors.

When did you decide that you wanted to get involved in the YA genre?

It wasn’t a conscious decision. I had the plot and the characters for Predator. The main character, Bree Sunderland, is a teenager and the point of view character, so the book fell into the YA genre. I love writing and reading in this genre. It’s a lot of fun.

Without giving too much away, what can you tell me about Predator?

Sixteen-year-old Bree Sunderland must inject herself with an untested version of her father’s gene therapy to become a werewolf in order to stop a corrupt group of mercenaries from creating a team of unstoppable lycanthrope soldiers.

Predator gives the werewolf legend a couple of new spins by introducing the Benandanti (an actual folkloric belief that certain families of Italy and Livonia were werewolves who fought against evil) as well as a modern scientific approach to mutation and the science of transgenics.

Read the rest of my interview with Janice here…

Sep 23

Global Conversations With: William Fedullo, Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association

When William Fedullo was young, he remembers wanting to be a center fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies. Eventually, he realized that he might need a back-up plan.

Besides baseball, Fedullo had enjoyed movies and television shows having to do with lawyers and felt that as a lawyer, he could change a lot of things that would not otherwise be changed. Fedullo now practices in the areas of medical malpractice, products liability, the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), insurance bad faith, construction accidents, vehicle accidents and other areas of personal injury.

This past January, Fedullo, who is a member of Global Philadelphia’s Board of Directors, became the 87th Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Next week, Fedullo and the Bar Association will take part in the World City Bar Leaders Conference, an international conference welcoming leaders of metropolitan bar associations around the world.

What inspired you to become a lawyer?

I remember “To Kill A Mockingbird” and a few other movies like that, which were pretty inspiring. I think that played a role in me wanting to do it. I remember in fifth grade we had a debate team and I won. My teacher told me that I would be a good lawyer one day. I wasn’t quite sure what she meant at the time but eventually I thought about it seriously, so that was inspiration a little bit.

How difficult is it to enter a career in the law?

When I came out there seemed to be a lot more jobs. I came out of Widener Law School in ‘76 and it seemed to me at that time that if you really wanted to get a job you could. I think that since the 2008 recession it has been different. Young lawyers coming out of law school now find it much more difficult to find an area of practice, or for that matter just to find a job.

I think it’s rebounding a bit. There are more jobs incrementally it seems, but it’s still the number one concern when you’re a lawyer coming out of law school, to get a job that you’re satisfied in doing but it’s not impossible. I think if you’re dedicated and stay with it you’ll find a job. It’s just a matter of really dedicating yourself to that. It is more difficult today than when I came out of law school.

What stands out as a significant moment in your career?

In the year that my son was born, 1993, we had I think the largest reported verdict for a FELA hearing loss case at $300,000. It was kind of a neat day because when I went home, I think my son was about two or three months old, and I got a nice verdict on a tough case. The jury came back with a substantial verdict at that time and I came home early. I was able to take my son out of his crib and just hold him for a few hours to contemplate what a sweet day that was. That day was pretty memorable, more for holding my son than for the verdict.

Read the rest of my interview with Chancellor Fedullo here…

Sep 22

What Makes Philadelphia A “Renaissance City”?

Philadelphia is a city of innovators, a city of makers, a city of immense cultural and historic significance. There’s a reason why it was once the capital of the United States.

As a native son of the city, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) Jack Ferguson represents Philadelphia to the world.

“What that truly means is that we’re out asking people to come to meetings, conventions, shows and international travel for groups or individuals,” Ferguson said of his role at PHLCVB. “I always tell people that the melting pot of Philadelphia is the Reading Terminal Market because you get the best of all cultures that we have to offer. Our residents, our workers, our visitors, our convention attendees and our rail system that runs beneath it.”

An entrepreneur, Ferguson’s career has seen him head national and international sales staffs of 2,200 for such companies as Promus Hotel Corp., Doubletree Hotels and Guest Quarters Suite Hotels.

He previously served as senior vice president and partner of LearnSystem, which has the capability to reach hundreds of thousands of hospitality industry professionals to improve job performance and customer service skills via web-based training and evaluation.

“I think there are multiple things that make Philadelphia the ideal renaissance city,” Ferguson said. “When you talk to international travelers, and we do surveys of international travelers, it becomes clear that the city is historically known. Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Declaration of Independence. They know what was done here and they know that the country was founded here.”

They also know the story of Rocky Balboa and the iconic steps leading up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“It’s iconic and it always shows Philadelphia as it understands its people and supports its winners,” Ferguson said. “Certainly Rocky was a winner, that’s a very positive thing. They know a little bit about the culture, I think in particular they know about the depth of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but they are also now familiar with the Barnes Foundation and the art there. They know us culturally, maybe not as deeply and as richly as we would like them to.”

International visitors also find the architectural richness of the city tied into its history, he added, going all the way back to how and why William Penn designed the city the way he did.

Read the full story here…

Jul 09

Global Conversations With William Burke-White

When William Burke-White attended Harvard Law school, he worked very closely with Ann Murray Slaughter, who was then a professor at the university.

As Burke-White completed his PHD in political science, Slaughter became Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton University. She gave Burke-White his first academic job as a lecturer.

Burke-White started teaching international law and foreign policy at the prestigious university and after three years of service, he was offered a position at the University of Pennsylvania’s Law school as a professor and deputy dean of international programs. The university announced that on July 1, Burke-White will begin a new role as the inaugural Richard Perry Professor and Director of the Perry World House.

Could you tell me about the Perry World House?

About a year and a half ago, Richard Perry and his wife Lisa, who are alumni of Penn, made a major gift to establish a center for all things international across the university. Over the last year the university has been searching for someone to come in as the inaugural director and I was asked to do so.

The world house will be a kind of connecting point, a hub for everything international that happens across the university that brings in the different schools and provides a place for students and faculty doing international work all over the world to really come together.

It will also be a kind of think tank within the university that brings Penn’s academic work to solve global challenges. Thinking from an interdisciplinary perspective, if you’re trying to address climate change for instance, you can bring together scientists, political scientists, economist and engineers in a single place to really apply academic knowledge to advancing a solution.

Read the full story…

Jul 09

GPA Spotlight

I started writing for Global Philadelphia in early 2013 and have been writing different pieces for them since then. They were nice enough to include me in their monthly newsletter last June. Super nice of them. You can read the small write-up on me below and check out the newsletter in all of its entirety by clicking the photo. Also, huge thanks to Kaniz Pramanik of Humans Of Temple University for taking the photo of me :)


Apr 21

Documenting The Faces Of Temple

Spin-off blogs based on Brandon Stanton’s “Humans of New York” have become a trend among some amateur photographers, including junior biology major Kaniz Pramanik.

Pramanik created “Humans of Temple University,” which she said tells a variety of stories through pictures and short interviews as a way to showcase how diverse her peers are. Her efforts started out as way to showcase some of her own work. Pramanik began taking pictures for Humans of Temple University in January of this year, but posted the photos later in February because of what she called her hectic schedule.

“Just within two weeks, I think I had around 200 followers,” Pramanik said. “I was like, ‘Wow, that’s amazing.’”

Pramanik said she has been interested in photography since high school when she took a black and white photography class. She said she loved being able to develop pictures in the school’s darkroom and manually manipulate the photos.

Not being able to afford the equipment to have her own darkroom, Pramanik decided she would explore the digital realm of photography. She bought a camera and began taking pictures, posting them to her Flickr page.

“I started taking pictures of people that I knew,” Pramanik said. “I’m trying to spread it out and pick random people. Just picking people that really interest me. I’m trying to get everybody in.”

Pramanik said there are many people around the university that interest her when she’s wandering around Main Campus with her camera, even a person who’s quiet and studying. She said her policy is to politely explain her purpose and ask permission to take their picture. She follows this with a series of short questions centered around the subject’s major, reason for attending Temple and any advice they have for fellow students.

So far, people have been receptive to the idea, Pramanik said, adding that no one on Main Campus has turned down her request to photograph them.

“I’m just trying to get out that you’re not alone,” Pramanik said. “There’s this one guy who’s from Washington D.C., who’s featured on the page and his life is hard, being far from home and being in school. A lot of people connect to that.”

Read the full story

Check out the multimedia component by journalism majors Avory Brookins and Noa Garcia

Visit and like Humans of Temple University.

Apr 15

Global Conversations With Krista Bard

The Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia (CCAP) is the oldest association of foreign consuls in the United States, encompassing representatives from over 30 countries around the globe. Members of CCAP are responsible for enhancing and coordinating relations between their respective countries and the greater Philadelphia region.

To Krista Bard, CCAP’s newly appointed president, that responsibility means much more. To her, international harmony and peace is what the Consular Corps really strives to accomplish, leveraging the city of Philadelphia’s special place in the world.
What is your role as the president of the CCAP?

As president of CCAP, my goal is one: to make sure that the other consuls do their jobs as well as they can for their countries, and then two: to better work as a whole in representing Philadelphia and its international character on a global stage.

What prepared you for this role?

I’ve been working and doing projects for Lithuanian since childhood. I went there in 1988, although it was still part of the Soviet Union. I’ve been involved for many years and then I was named consul, four years ago now, and became a member of the Consular Corps in Philadelphia.

I became one of CCAP’s officers and then joined the executive committee. From there I was asked to become president. There’s a saying that God moves in mysterious ways. In 1988 I was just following my heart. I really wanted to see Lithuania. Who would have predicted what it would lead to today? You just keep following your heart and God’s mysterious ways do unfold.

Were you afraid while you were in Lithuania because of the presence of the Soviet Union?

Yeah, I was scared. I do remember getting off the plane there were soldiers. Even then Americans who were on the trip didn’t understand. They were journalists, they were used to freedom of speech and I was telling them that they could not go off of the schedule.

Read the rest of my question and answer interview with Krista

Apr 01

Music Program Serves Philadelphia Youth

Musicopia is a nonprofit after school program that works to ignite lifelong interest in music for youth. The program works to establish partnerships with school districts throughout the region, and is a leader in revitalizing in and after school music programs.

Musicopia’s mission is to bring a vibrant combination of music performance and education to both students and communities. The nonprofit provides musical opportunities for children from kindergarten through high school, and just last year worked with 25 Philadelphia area high schools. Musicopia concentrates on schools in the poorest of neighborhoods and offers different opportunities for those within those neighborhoods to work with music.

Some of the schools that Musicopia has been able to work with so far include, Andrew Jackson School in South Philadelphia; St. Martin de Porres in North Philadelphia; and Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School in Hunting Park.

You can read more about Musicopia and the awesome work that they do by visiting the sites below:

Blending Jazz and Classical Music For Musicopia

Sharing The Joys Of Music With School Kids

Musicopia String Orchestra


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