Shine bright like a Diamond

The Diamond Gems Dance Team is a group of 26 women who strive to energize fans at all football games as well as men’s and women’s basketball games. The girls practice 3 to 4 times per week, maintain academic standards, participate in gym workouts and attend all games.

Being a Diamond Gem can be tough, but these ladies always do it with a smile and put their best foot forward. The Gems have three members graduating this spring and they couldn’t be happier with the experiences they have gained with the team.

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Captain Julia Smith, a Diamond Gem for four years, credited her organization skills to her time on the team. She said that being busy with practices, games, and other obligations requires her to plan out her schedule as far in advance as possible. After her coach sends out “this week” emails, as well as an event schedule for the entire semester, Julia has to communicate any potential conflicts with her job and to anyone else who may need notifying. She believes the busy schedule helps her become more productive because she is forced to use her time efficiently.

“I’ve gotten to travel and meet so many people throughout my four years,” said Smith. “I’ve gotten to have a front row seat to all the games and participate in numerous events due to it as well. In terms of being an athletic training major it has also allowed me to be able to relate to my patients because I’ve been through what they are going through in terms of the amount of hard work, dedication and practice they have put themselves through.”

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Diamond Gems Captain Julia Smith

She says that leaving behind such an integral part of her life when she graduates will be bittersweet. She will miss her teammates and the close bond they have together the most.

Danielle Guibas has been a member of the team for three years and could not imagine her college experience without it.

Making the team in 2015 is hands down one of the best things that has ever happened to me,” said Guibas. “I have found a love for sports, being a part of a team, and representing my university every single day.

Guibas participated in countless school events, volunteered at life changing places and traveled for bowl games and tournaments. The Diamond Gems didn’t just change her college experience, it changed her life as well.

“I can walk away in May knowing I took advantage of the things Temple had to offer me; knowing that I am ready to enter the workplace with skills that will put me ahead of others,” said Guibas. “Being a Diamond Gem has taught me how to carry myself in a respectable and humble manner, it has taught me time management, confidence and presence, and most importantly the amazing feeling of being a part of something bigger than yourself.”

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Diamond Gems Senior Danielle Guibas

She says the highlight of her final season was going to The University of Delaware for UDA Camp in August. During the four days the team spent at camp she was able to form bonds with younger teammates and watch them grow and gain confidence.

Francesca Fadgen has been a member of the Diamond Gems for two years and loved being able to get involved at Temple and create memories with her teammates that will last a lifetime.

She looks forward to game days and the pregame rituals that help hype the team and fans up, especially where the team gathers in the tunnel and cheers the football players on before they enter Lincoln Financial Field. Her time on the team has not only been fun and rewarding, but has also taught her skills that she will carry on with her for the rest of her life.

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Diamond Gems Senior Francesca Fadgen

“Being so busy has taught me a lot about how to manage my time,” Fadgen said. “I have my major, a minor, and a certificate so it’s definitely doable.”

Fadgen said she prioritizes homework and school and that the crazy schedule is worth being able to dance with her team because of how rewarding it is.

Once I graduate, I will definitely miss my team most,” Fadgen said. “Diamond Gems has given me so many opportunities including getting to dance alongside so many talented women I’m lucky to call some of my best friends. My teammates make the rest of the Diamond Gem experience an incredible one.”

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Written by: Caroline Ciocca

Photos by: Ken Innes, Aspen Photography

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From Temple University to TLC: Meet the student who made it to the small scree

 

Frustrated from the lack of colors available when searching for nail polish, Neha Raman, a finance major at Temple University, started Rungh Cosmetics. Raman, longing to create custom mixes and colors, designed a nail polish set that includes 6 polish bases, 18 color pigment capsules, and a mixer to help blend the colors.

Nail polish lovers could create their own color polishes by mixing two or more color capsules from the kit. Raman never imagined that her small idea would be transformed into owning her own company at the age of twenty-one.

She thought she found her chance to catapult the business into success at the end of her Sophomore year here at Temple when she was forwarded an email about a new TV show that was looking for young entrepreneurs like herself. After applying, she heard back the next day and after various rounds of casting and interviews she found herself as a cast member on the first season of Girl Starter, a new TLC show.

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Girl Starter is a reality competition show where contestants are paired up and compete through various phases of early business building in order to win seed funding. Raman didn’t know what she was facing when she went to film the show in New York City, and originally was hoping to build her cosmetic company while on the show. However, she was immediately partnered with one of the other girls and they were tasked with coming up with an entirely new company together.

“I was really anxious to come up with a new idea with a stranger in 24 hours,” said Raman, who was shocked to hear it. “But I’m the kind of person who is like ‘this is the circumstance and it has to be done,’ so we ended up doing it anyways.”

Raman and her partner, Claire Coder, ended up being extremely successful on the show and being the runners up for the grand prize, receiving $30,000. Throughout her time on the show, she learned not only about how to grow a business, but also about herself.

 

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She spent seven weeks in New York City, filming six days a week, while also trying to start a new company and keep up with her old company. Trying to balance all of these things was the biggest challenge Raman said she faced, but ultimately she was successful and was able to be one of the finalists in the competition.

While not divulging her plans for the money, she did say that the possibility of another start-up company could be in her future someday.

She learned a lot from the show and from her cast mates, especially her partner. Coder’s press tips have helped land Rungh Cosmetics in Buzzfeed, Insider Beauty and Bustle.

Being back in the Fox School of Business may not compare to the hustle and bustle of filming a reality TV show in New York City, but Raman says she plans to remain here for now although her mindset is focused on her new experiences and how she can apply them to her future endeavors.

“I signed up knowing this would be a life changing experience regardless if everyone watched the show, or no one watched the show,” said Raman. “I think that I definitely learned a ton and don’t regret anything.”

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Written by: Caroline Ciocca

Photos by: Caroline Ciocca

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Meet the team behind Big Brothers and Big Sisters at Temple

My Little comes down the stairs every week saying, ‘Oh girl! I’ve been waiting for you to come all week, I have to tell you a secret,’ and then she hugs me,” said Isabel Sefton, the Vice President of Big Brothers Big Sisters at Temple. “That’s my favorite part of my week, it’s when I am with her.”

For many members of this organization, being a Big is more than just being a mentor. Once they become mentors, they are reliable role models that their Little can trust.

The mission statement, according to Big Brothers and Sisters of America’s website, is to “provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the nation’s largest volunteer mentoring network with matches between Bigs (adult volunteers) and Littles (children), from the ages of 6 through 18 to help the children realize their full potential and shape their lives.

The Temple chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters is dedicated to help mentor local children from the Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region. After each college student is matched with a local elementary student, they are required to meet their Little every week for an hour and bond with them.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters at Temple, Executive team

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence area serves the Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pa., and Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties in NJ. According to the 2016 Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Fact Sheet, the organization has served 3,781 children from Southeastern PA. and Southern NJ.

They have also significantly helped children from the program as mentors or Bigs. Their fact sheet shows that 99% of children avoid using alcohol and tobacco; 97% advance to the next grade, 100% avoid using drugs and 98% have not become a teen parent since being part of this program.

“The main purpose is to provide children with mentors who might not have access to one otherwise,” Sefton said, “We, as an organization, stress that the Bigs are people for their Littles to rely on and not necessarily be seen as a tutor or babysitter.”

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Isabel Sefton, Vice President of Big Brothers Big Sisters at Temple

President of Temple BBBS, Berk Atillasoy, a risk management and insurance major, can attest to the importance of mentorship today. He joined as a Big during the fall semester of his freshman year and has since been part of the growth of the organization on campus.

“The reach of your influence as a mentor expands beyond your Little,” said Atillasoy, “Once you make a positive impact in someone’s life, they become a better version of themselves, which spills into many facets of life. They become better leaders, employees, family members, and community members.”

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Berk Atillasoy, President of Big Brothers Big Sisters at Temple

Not only do Bigs make a difference in the lives of their Littles by becoming a role model they can look up to, but they’re also benefiting as Bigs as well.

Atillasoy mentions that he learns the most from his Little and that it’s refreshing to hear from a younger perspective on life. He has been matched with his Little since October of 2015, and they are still matched to this day.

Members like Morgan Kolakowski, who is a journalism major with a minor in business and part of the Temple BBBS recruitment team, also agrees that being part of this organization is important because they’re improving the lives of these children but also theirs.

“My Little has given me the opportunity to have a little sister for the first time in my life,” said Kolakowski.

Since being part of Temple BBBS, Kolakowski advocates for mentorship to be taken seriously since it is important to take time to give back to others and help shape the future generation.

While many might give little importance to organizations such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters, it is indeed making a difference by having these relationships established between children and college students like the ones from Temple University.

“I just know that each time I’m coming to visit my Little, she looks forward to it,” Sefton said, “I appreciate the fact she trusts me and considers me to be someone she counts on, which makes all the hard work pay off.”

Written by: Gail Vivar

Photos by: Isaiah Spicer

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Temple Owls Square off against Temple Alumni in Lacrosse Exhibition

For the first time, the score did not matter to the Temple women’s lacrosse team, not even for head coach Bonnie Rosen and her staff.

On Sept. 23, 2017, nobody recorded how many goals the Temple women scored or how many saves their goalkeepers made. Instead, they looked around the field and realized that playing an exhibition with alumni was more significant than winning the game.

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Not all the alumni players were recent graduates. Some went as far back as 1998 like graduate Erin Campbell Curtis.  Other alumni players included Jen Jefferson Cudzillo (2002), Alayna Tyson Russell (2004) and Erin Malany Gustafson (2005).

Recent 2017 graduates Rachel Barile, Carly Demato, Brooke Williams and Krissy Gallivan joined them.

“We love having this alumni game because it reconnects the past with the present,” Rosen said. “It’s a great day for our current players to get a chance to see the players who’ve come before them.”

Former Owl and 2013 graduate Meghan Clothier knew a lot about the current Owls lineup because she was Monmouth’s assistant coach when they played against Temple in their inaugural game at Howarth Field last February. Those two teams never before squared off against each other.

Temple won, 18 – 16.

“I was playing against Temple players whom I coached and scouted against,” Clothier said. “I also knew Temple’s tendencies from being a member of the team for many years.”

“It’s so different being in the cage defending the goals than being on the sidelines calling the shots (as a coach),” Clothier added.

Temple senior co-captain and attacker Kira Gensler found the alumni game to be both fun and competitive.

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“It definitely creates an atmosphere where there’s a lot less stress and a lot more fun to see if they still have their game and to put my best game forward,” Gensler said.

One minor problem Gensler had in the stress-free alumni game was that the alumni players knew how she played.

“They had that extra inside scoop from being an opponent after being a teammate,” Gensler said.

For example, they knew that while on the attack, she would frequently switch her stick from her left hand to her right, so they tried to prevent that.

“Whenever they stopped me, I’d just do another move,” Gensler said. “They know that I can be a real pest.”

Gensler is looking forward to captaining the team this spring.

“It’s rewarding to be able to serve the team and to be that kind of liaison between the coaches and the team and do what I can to be a leader,” Gensler said.

Last year, Gensler scored 14 goals, including her first career hat trick when the Owls beat Butler 19-7 last April.

The Owls went 13-5 last season. Lambeth, Barretta, and Gensler will be three returning Owls to watch for this lacrosse season.   

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Story by: David Block

Photos by: Xinyi Huang

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The ShEO of Design

Samantha Joie runs her own graphic design business as an empowered female entrepreneur

Without a doubt, you have seen one of Samantha Joie’s designs on campus, and if you haven’t, get ready to see more of her work. As the self-titled “ShEO of Design”, Joie is the go-to Temple student for any graphic design needs you may have.

It wasn’t until the second semester of her junior year that senior advertising major Samantha Joie figured out which career path to follow.

“I was originally a psychology major because I swore I wanted to be a counselor, but that is not my life,” Joie said. “Luckily I did all my Gen Eds first.”

Joie knew she wanted to pursue graphic design, but didn’t like the portfolio requirements for the major at Tyler School of Art. Instead, she switched to Klein College of Media and Communication, which offers an art concentration in its advertising curriculum.

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After she found a passion for her new major, Joie built her company, joiegraphics, from the ground up.

“I thought I wanted to work in an agency, which could be nice because I went to Atlanta and met a bunch of agencies under the company Publicist,” Joie said. “If my brand continues to excel at the rate it is excelling, I will to continue to be an entrepreneur.”

Joiegraphics can design anything from logos, flyers and websites to ebooks, portfolios and resumes.

“I literally can design absolutely anything down to a food truck card,” Joie said. “It’s whatever you want.”

Joie also runs the Spread Joie campaign, a way for her to help up-and-coming businesses. After answering questions about what the brand means to them, winners can expect joiegraphics to design anything and everything for them free of charge.

“I have a “Spread Joie” campaign because it is a play off my name,” Joie said. “[It’s for] anybody who has a business, but does not have the funds to do so. I know a lot of people who can not do these things and I want everyone to follow their dreams in the best way possible.”

Although her clients are usually not close by, they still have a significant impact on her company. She credits most of her business to social media and word-of-mouth advertising from her own clients.

“None of my clients are in Philadelphia, which is so interesting,” Joie says. “I love my clients to death because without them I literally would not be successful. Whenever I do a good job, they refer me to someone else. It’s like a chain reaction.”

Joie enjoys being an entrepreneur, but admits that she will miss her experience at Temple.

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“Truthfully I will miss working in the Dean’s office,” Joie says. “I developed so many great relationships with my professors and with different deans.”

As for the future, Joie strives to expand her company to be a one-stop-shop for all things graphic design. The graphic designer wants to enlist a team — with an illustrator, copywriter and printer on hand — to make the branding process easier for clients.

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Written by: Riley Rubiano

Photography by: Ramel Coleman

Temple’s Cheer team is here to bring it on

This year’s team is working twice as hard.

Every year, our cheerleaders bring it. Games, competitions and events shine with their talent, hard work and charm.  

“Temple cheer gave me friendships that will last a lifetime!” Brianna Roberts, a senior risk management major said. “Not only that, but the program as a whole boosted my confidence in my ability to succeed in both my personal life and career.”

The Temple University Cheerleading Team consists of 45 individuals and four captains who cheer at football, basketball (men’s and women’s) and various other sporting events. Every member must attend 10-15 appearances per semester, in addition to practices and games.

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The all-girls Cherry Team cheers at football games and competes in UCA Nationals.  They practice three times a week on top of games and competitions. The White Team, which is co-ed, practices two to three times a week in addition to lifting twice a week.

“Temple cheer 100% has made my experience at Temple University better,” Jazmine Rose, a junior construction management technology major said. “From being on the team for almost three years, I can say I have created the best memories and even better friends.”

For the team, cheerleading is a community and everyone has to be willing to help others. Senior tourism and hospitality management major Ali Gray, captain of the White Team, spoke about the values and attitudes of their team.

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“We build from the ground up here,” Gray said.

Gray leads the White team alongside captain Brianna Waselus, a junior kinesiology-health professions major.

They love to build on what others already know because they understand that their team members have strong suits and weaker areas. At their tryouts, they make sure to demonstrate their cheers and stunts multiple times so everyone has a fair shot.

One of their core values is being part of the community and wearing it proudly.  

“To us, cheering for Temple is more about representing the university and community rather than the program itself,” Cherry Team captain Sarah Metts said. Metts is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism.

Metts is joined with her other Cherry Team captain, Felicia Madonna, a fifth year therapeutic recreation major.  

In addition to cheering, the team loves to help out in the community and give back. Earlier this year, they took the opportunity to speak to students at Welsh School about the benefits of attending college and college cheerleading. Additionally, they offer clinics for high school and Temple students interested in cheerleading.

Despite the hard work of the cheerleaders, they do not receive the benefits that other sports teams do.

“We have it harder because we do it year-round,” Gray said. “We practice, we lift just as hard as any other team.”

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This does not stop the team, though.  Sarah feels that as long as they can cheer and uplift others, the team is satisfied. In fact, Sarah had a little closing message for everyone.

“If you sit there and doubt yourself you will never accomplish anything,” Metts said. “We make success stories here.”

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Written by: Nayanka Paul

Photography by: Nate Rogers

ASR: Small But Mighty

Alpha Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc. Epsilon  Chapter flourishes despite its size

What does it take to be an Alpha Sigma Rho (ASR) sister? Ask any of the members, and they’ll give the same answer: academic excellence, interpersonal growth, moral development and strength in unity.

Temple’s chapter of ASR, the only Asian-interest sorority on campus, was founded in fall of 2007. Seven students came together with a goal of creating a network of strong women based on unity, trust and sisterhood.

Alpha Sigma Rho Sororoty, Inc. Epsilon Chapter has crossed a total of 114 ASR sisters.

“ASR is unique because we are really diverse with so many different backgrounds,” Alysha E. Francois, a senior public health and ASR member, said. “I like how small we are because we know each other so well and even when something does arise, we have no choice but to fix it because it will affect us all.”

Zanie Marudo, a junior neuroscience major, is the external vice president and presents/banquets chair of ASR. She said never expected to find her best friends when she joined the sorority.  

“ASR really isn’t just four years,” Marudo said. “You meet people you want to be your bridesmaids, godparents to your kids, and best friends for life. It doesn’t end at graduation.”

In fall of 2017, the Epsilon Chapter celebrated 10 years of sisterhood on Temple’s campus with a decennial banquet.  

Cindy Nguyen, a senior biology major, will always remember the banquet as one of her favorite times as an ASR sister since she joined in the fall of 2016.

“Putting together such an extravagant event for ten years worth of sisterhood had really made me feel proud and prideful to be in ASR,” Nguyen said.

Founding members and other alumni of ASR were in attendance, too.

“I truly felt the love in that room to be quite honest,” Francois said. “Although I know every sister, I did not get to physically meet them until then. It was an amazing experience and they really care about you because you share those three letters that we earned.”

For many of the sisters, being part of this sorority has created both academic and social opportunities.

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“Joining Alpha Sigma Rho has made such a huge impact in my academic career,” Nguyen said. “I’ve made so many connections with those inside and outside of the sorority that I would’ve never be able to. It has opened a lot of doors for me to pursue my goals and also motivate me to become a better student as well as a person.”

Compared to other greek organizations, ASR is not the biggest — but that does not stop the sisters from making their mark on Temple.

“Although our active house is small, but with our sisterhood, we can flourish and succeed as well like any other organization,” Nguyen said.

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Written by: Gail Vivar

Photography by: Nate Rogers

 

It’s Not an Organization — It’s Family

E-board members share how TUPAC is not just your average club as it approaches its 25th anniversary.

To outsiders, the black jacket with TUPAC’s logo might mean nothing — but to members of the club, it symbolizes family, or “kapamilya.”

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The Temple University Philippine American Council (TUPAC) is a student-run organization that promotes knowledge, awareness and understanding of Filipino culture to the student body of Temple.

“Our intention is to be closer to our culture and expand and explore what we already know and what we could know,” sophomore film major and executive board member Kate Martin said. “As e-board members, we are just there to make sure people are interested and keep coming back to remember that knowing your history is knowing your culture.”

 

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The organization holds general body meetings in which members become more familiar with Filipino heritage. During one such meeting, entitled “The Future is Filipina,” speakers presented their achievements and experiences as women of Filipino heritage.

In addition, TUPAC hosts a variety of events and fundraisers for members and non-members alike to join, like their meat skewer and Krispy Kreme donut sales.

It even formed its own dance team, TUPAC Legacy.

We like to get deep, but we also like to have fun,” junior speech language hearing sciences major Alyssa Guzman says.

TUPAC also runs a mentorship program called “ate/kuya/ading.” The Ates (older sisters) and Kuyas (older brothers) offer the adings (younger siblings) with any guidance or support they might need, according to TUPAC’s general officer Josh Lacerna.  

“It’s less of a mentorship program and more of a family environment that we’re trying to create because TUPAC is all about creating a home away from home,” Lacerna said.

Although the majority of TUPAC’s members are Filipino, everyone is welcome.

“If you’re not Filipino don’t be discouraged,” Martin said. “Our intention is to acknowledge and educate about the Filipino culture.”

TUPAC can feel like a community of its own inside Temple. The shared values and experiences bring members closer together than any other club.

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“I feel like it all goes back to Filipino culture,” sophomore biology major Riana Ramos and TUPAC member said. “Family and friends are such a big part in our lives and I feel like we get that sense in TUPAC.”

Unfortunately, the TUPAC family recently lost one of its members. Lorenzo Enriquez, the club’s secretary, passed away in June 2018.

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. 06 . 07 . 2018 . // tupac is more than just an organization. we are a family, and we are saddened to announce that we lost a family member last night. just like tupac, lorenzo enriquez was more than just our secretary and member. he was a confidant, a friend, a brother. through his wit, humor, and passion, he radiated a vibe that cannot be replaced. thank you, lorenzo, for your presence in our lives. you will not be forgotten. // attached is the phone number for tuttleman counseling, along with other hotline numbers. Tuttleman Counseling: (215) 204-7276 1700 N Broad St. 2nd Floor Philadelphia PA 19121 Walk in Hours MTTF: 10:30-1:30 , W: 9-12 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) The Trevor Lifeline (Suicide Prevention for LGBTQ Youth): 866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386) please keep lorenzo’s family in your prayers.

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His favorite quote, “Don’t forget the vision, and the vision won’t forget about you,” is remembered and embraced in TUPAC.

“His impact says a lot about how we view this organization as a family and not just something that is on campus for building a resume or networking, it gives a lot of emotional support,” junior psychology major Joan Cadete says. “Those are his own words. That quote really embodies us as an organization.”

In 2019, TUPAC will celebrate its 25th anniversary. The e-board hopes the current members will continue the administration for years to come and even increase diversity within the club.

A thing we want to do to grow as a org is to have obviously a lot of Filipino members, but also increase non Filipino members,” junior biology major John Yasay reveals. “I feel like if we educate people of what Filipino culture is and the different music and food, people would [know] what it is like to be Filipino.”

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Written by: Riley Rubiano

Photography by: Nathan Harvey

Dante Moreno’s Grind is Nonstop

Student at Temple balances school, work, and making his dreams come true.

When Dante Moreno first hosted his high school’s pep rally, he knew he never wanted to put the microphone down again.

“High school is where ‘TizzTheInfluence‘ was born.” Moreno said.

Moreno, a senior Communications major with a focus on Entrepreneurship at Temple, is a traveling professional DJ, who goes by the name of TizzTheInfluence. To add to that, he was elected in the fall semester of his senior year to be president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), which oversees “The Divine Nine, and became the president of Temple’s Pi Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha.

Moreno, a transfer student, is not new to the game of hard work and diligence.

“My main goal was to leave Temple University with some type of impact, presence and footprint,” Moreno said.

After deciding to officially transition from being an MC to a DJ during the summer before his junior year in 2017, Moreno was offered a position to DJ at one of Philadelphia’s most popular hip-hop and R&B radio stations— Boom 103.9.

That position led to Moreno getting his own show with Boom 103.9 as the host of the Sunday Night Flex. Moreno has also had opportunities to DJ at music events like Rolling Loud, a hip-hop festival in the Bay Area; and for labels, Bad Boy Entertainment and 1017 which represent artists like King Combs and Asian Doll.

If it’s not obvious, Hustling is second nature to Moreno. To add to all of his other opportunities, Moreno is gearing up for rapper, Gucci Mane’s U.S. tour, ‘The Unusual Suspects’ Tour. Moreno is excited to DJ for Asian Doll while traveling the country and continuing to pursue his responsibilities as a full-time student.

“I got a the phone call while sitting in class,” Moreno said. “I went into the hallway, gave them my information and sat back down. I wanted to scream the whole rest of the lecture.”

However. DJing isn’t Moreno’s only gig in the entertainment world. He landed an opportunity in June 2018 to co-host the BET Top Ten Experience Moments for the 2018 BET Awards; a ceremony that awards some of the biggest stars in the the Black entertainment industry.

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With his busy schedule, there’s no time for Moreno to be nervous before a show.

“Things move so fast around me that by the time I get to the show it hasn’t really hit me what I’m doing,” Moreno said. “Afterwards, I get even more hype than I was the first time and I’m just like ‘I wish I could relive that moment,’ or ‘I wish I could hear myself on the radio.’”

As the President of the black historical Black fraternities and sororities on campus; Moreno is aware of the dedication and accountability it takes to be a leader.

As President, Moreno has organized visits to public schools in North Philadelphia. While visiting,  he and his line brothers speak to the students about their college experience and sometimes even put on step shows for them.

Stepping is a form of dance that is embedded in the history of the Divine Nine.

“The most rewarding reaction we get is from the kids when we do community service,” Moreno said. “It’s heartwarming when they look at you like you’re superstars.”

All of his accolades sound impressive, but Moreno admits his biggest challenge is organizing his hectic schedule involving both his schoolwork and show preparation. However, similar to his duty as being the president of Temple’s Divine Nine, he always finds a way to get the job done.

“Show prep really starts with class prep, like a syllabus,” Moreno said. “For instance, I’m going to be in Los Angeles for this amount of days then I have to leave on this day. What’s due? What’s going on that week?”

As he prepares to leave Temple, Moreno hopes to be remembered as a “go-getter” who brought change to his campus while following his dreams, whether it’s as a Greek president or as a DJ.

“I just want people to look at how I hustled and use that as motivation,” Moreno said. “You don’t have to give me credit for anything else. The littest DJ, the littest host, whatever, just remember me as a hustler.”

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Written by: Ngozi Nwanji

Photography by: JVisuals312, Bryce Hodges

Uzuri Dance Company: Daughters of the Sun

Representation matters, and the women of Uzuri Dance Company are demonstrating that with each step

While watching Uzuri Dance Company perform, one thing became clear: the magic of women of color is powerful.

Specializing in contemporary modern dance, the organization is the only dance company on campus with a mission statement aimed at women of color.

Njera Perkins, the president of Uzuri Dance Company and a senior strategic communications and public relations major, explains that inclusivity is key to the organization.

“Uzuri Dance Company was for women of color who needed a safe space, initially to dance, but we’ve opened it up to where it’s a sisterhood, because college can be hard,” said Perkins. “Once you’re a member, you’re always a member.”

Uzuri means “beauty” in Swahili, and for this company, beauty is in the diversity, empowerment and dance.

Khristin Charity, the vice president of the company and a senior kinesiology major, said that Uzuri is special to her and many students of color.

“Our camaraderie and our synergy, and just being around all these women who come from different backgrounds and even different dance backgrounds,” said Charity. “It makes me very happy.”

The company was created in 2012, and this past fall semester, Perkins and her team have added seven new members to the organization.

One of those new members is an international student from Spain, Alba Fombona.  

“She actually wanted to join the company because in Spain, she cannot major in dance in college,” Perkins explained. “That’s a first!”   

Uzuri Dance Company is more than just a student organization. It operates as an actual dance company. In fact, Uzuri has an annual formal showcase every year.

The showcase, which takes place in the spring semester, allows the Uzuri women to show everyone on campus the dances they have been practicing throughout the year.

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While Uzuri’s dance styles mainly include modern and contemporary, they branch out in the months leading up to the showcase by exploring jazz, hip-hop, and ballet, and other genres members have not previously practiced.

Toree “Hurricane Toree” Weaver, the creative director and secretary of Uzuri Dance Company and a senior journalism major, is known for her rigorous, yet effective, approach as one of the choreographers.

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“Coming from a performance arts school, I never wanted to teach,” Weaver said “But being able to see everyone’s growth over the years and knowing that I played a part in that is always so rewarding.”

Weaver said she has received letters from parents thanking her for the improvements she helped instill in their daughters.

Everyone in the company is guaranteed a flesh-tone leotard that matches their skin tone, something that Uzuri members take pride in.

“The experience of a woman of color is so unique,” Weaver said. “Temple should know that if Uzuri can be a stepping stone for more inclusive organizations, that would be amazing.”

Weaver will always cherish the memories she’s made with other Uzuri members.

“Just that bond, I feel, has helped us stand out,” said Weaver with a smile. “People always say, I can tell when Uzuri is coming from a mile away.’”

Written by: Haniya Shariff

Photography by: Taylor Johnson

Klein Senior and New Yorker by day, DJ by Night

What life is like as a DJ and a college student at Temple University

We’ve all walked to class with earbuds in our ears. For us, drowning out the world is only temporary. For Kendall Jones, it’s her entire life.

Jones is a senior media and communications major by day and DJ by night.  You may have heard of her by her stage name, DJ Kendollaz.

Jones was always musically inclined. She picked up flute in fourth grade and although she hasn’t played since high school, she says she still remembers all the techniques and could play just as well today.

Two of her uncles are DJs, and her parents were always avid music lovers, so she’s always been exposed to the lifestyle. Jones spends her free time digging through Apple Music and building countless playlists.

“It was always bound to happen,” Jones said.

She recalls her first gig, freshman year, to be a hit. One weekend her friends wanted to throw a party, and Jones happened to have the most extensive music library, so she was put in charge of the music that night. She invested in some equipment and guided the night with a mix of reggae, dancehall, and old school 90’s hip hop.

Jones has been actively spinning since then, and has played at least 100 gigs. What separates her from other DJs is her sense of style and choice of music. Other DJs dress for the media and wear “flashy stuff, designer stuff,” Jones said.

However, Jones likes supporting underground brands because she can form relationships with them more easily. Her current brand? Visionary Society, which is described as a lifestyle streetwear brand modeled for motivational purposes.

Even with her level of experience, Jones still gets nervous.

“A DJ has about 12 seconds after playing a song to figure out what the next song will be,” she said. “I still draw blanks sometimes, but I think organizing your music beforehand is the best way to do it.”

Jones strives to create a different experience every time she spins. This means going through her entire library and building a unique playlist to match the mood of the gig.

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Some events will have multiple DJs working shifts, so it’s easier to maintain variety because and they all have different sounds, Jones said. But when it’s just Jones, she has to figure out how the whole night will unfold by herself.

So how does she keep going?

“My love for music, and just really wanting to share that with other people,” Jones said. “The purpose of me as a DJ is to develop stories through music and create an unforgettable experience, and allow people to be moved by their souls.”

Her favorite part of DJing is that more often than not, it doesn’t feel like work.

Kendollaz said that the environment at Temple and in the city has molded her as  DJ.

“Getting started D.J.ing here at Temple, the environment has played a huge part. Being in a city, being around other D.J.’s has definitely taught me to pay things forward,” she said. “Because for a lot of opportunities, people didn’t have to trust me, but they did.”

 

Written by Lucy Niyazova

Photography by Taylor Johnson

Meet Temple’s Love Your Melon Campus Crew

The organization works to bring joy and love to children with cancer

Most people remember their childhood as time of playing outside in the sun and simply being happier.

But for a child with cancer, the experience can be drastically different.

Temple’s Love Your Melon (LYM) crew works to make that experience a little brighter. It sells beanies and other apparel, and a portion of its sales goes toward children battling cancer.

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The organization is affiliated with the The Love Your Melon Fund, which is comprised of over 800 campus crews all over America and Canada.

In addition to selling apparel, Temple’s chapter of LYM organizes activities to engage with young patients directly. A few times during the semester, team members visit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where they play games with patients and hand out beanies.

“We want to be able to provide any sort of happiness for these kids, especially when they’re battling something that’s bigger than they are,” Crew Captain Anna Brignola said.

LYM also plans “superhero adventures.” The team members usually find social media posts about children who have cancer, contact them, and after learning about each child’s interests, they orchestrate a personalized outing or an event.

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Past adventures have included trips to public parks; Rebounderz, an indoor trampoline arena;  and Dave & Buster’s, a family-friendly restaurant and arcade.

However, LYM’s biggest adventure was for a young “superhero” named Nicky, 7, who they surprised with a meet and greet with almost every player on the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster.

“Nicky was just completely blown away,” Brignola said. “Not many [LYM] groups get to make that happen.”

The team also sets up fun tables with games and giveaways in the Student Activities Center in order to spread the mission to as many people as possible.

As the volunteer crew manager, Morris wants students to know how easy it is to become involved with LYM.

“You can do anything from visiting a table to joining the crew to eventually holding a leadership position, which is achievable for anybody,” Morris said. “We love having new people join us to help spread the word about our mission.”

Olivia Morin, the LYM secretary and a junior health professions major, said that her favorite part of the club is spending time with the children’s families.

“It extends the reach,” said Morin. “And while it’s nice to see the kids and their families feel happier, it’s amazing for us to see them smile and laugh. It puts things into perspective.”

Abby Morris, the volunteer crew manager and a junior media studies & production major, said she enjoys LYM because she is able to give back and spend time with children.  

“You get to make a lot of friends within the club and do fun things, but the underlying message is really for the kids,” Morris said. “When you’re actually physically there with them, you get to see what you’re working towards. It’s a really humbling experience.”

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Written by: Haniya Shariff

Photography by: Olivia O’Neill

 

The Face Underneath the Makeup

Jaya Bolden: Student, sister, makeup artist, entrepreneur

Starting your own business is not easy, especially for senior communication studies major Jaya Bolden. She faced criticism from her family when she first explored her passion for cosmetics.

“I would ask my parents for makeup brushes and eyeshadows and they did not know why I was buying all this stuff, to the point where they cut me off one time,” Bolden said. “Until one day, my mom told me ‘go do [makeup] on your sister.’ My sister to this day still has the photos of her looking like a clown.”

Five years later, Bolden’s business, makeupbyjaya, is thriving. Based in Philadelphia with a studio in Washington, D.C., makeupbyjaya provides makeup services for photo shoots, production, bridal, prom and other special events. Bolden also offers beginner’s makeup classes for specialty training, which run three hours long.

Also, Bolden created a special makeup session called the Beauty and the Beat Brunch, during which she serves food to her clients. Not only is it fun and interactive, but also inexpensive.

“I thought, let me think of something else that has not been done before,” Bolden said. “I have caterers in my family so we worked hand in hand.”

Bolden had the opportunity to highlight her makeup skills on the set of BET network shows “Bobby Jones Show”, “Black Girls Rock” and “Joyful Noise” from the summer before her freshman year up until her junior year at Temple.

She taught older makeup artists some of her tricks and learned new techniques, like applying makeup on men.

“I learned a lot of lessons at BET,” Bolden told us. “It felt amazing to get paid to do what I love to do by a big corporation. I was stunned by the fact that I was the youngest one there.”

In addition, Bolden has had the chance to work with her mentors, Renny Vasquez and Lauren Nicely, who are both prominent makeup artists in the industry.

Renny Vasquez taught Bolden how to enhance and match skin tones. Bolden worked closely with Lauren Nicely by chance when they were both booked for the same wedding party.

“I really appreciated getting tips from [them,]” Bolden said.

Bolden’s biggest makeup tip? It is not what you would expect.

“Skincare first. That’s my number one thing,” Bolden said. “I wear makeup once a week, but [people] still know me as the makeup artist. I take really good care of my skin to the point where makeup turns me off sometimes.”

As far as advice for future entrepreneurs, Bolden said persistence is key.

“Never stop what you are doing, no matter what people think,” Bolden said. “Some people aren’t going to jump on the bandwagon until they see that you’re working. I’ve had people [who] didn’t like me in high school book me.”

Bolden looks fondly on her time at Temple as graduation approaches, and the role her school has played in advancing her career.

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“I think I’m going to miss most the interactions with people,” Bolden said. “I want to continue to grow my brand and let people know me as Jaya Bolden, not just the makeup artist.”

Written by: Riley Rubiano

Photographed by: Taylor Johnson

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