Studying abroad offered Temple students life-changing opportunities

Imagine having the opportunity to spend an entire semester immersing yourself in a culture completely different from your own; using your education to, not only, broaden your knowledge about your intended field of study, but also the world around you.

One of the best things about attending Temple University is the surplus of experiences and opportunities offered to students, such as on-campus clubs, organizations, athletics, jobs and internships. Temple doesn’t only offer on-campus experiences, though.

Each year, thousands of students from Temple and about 300 other universities around the country participate in Temple’s study abroad program.

Students also have the opportunity to study abroad throughout the year and experience a new city, country and culture. These incredible opportunities provide valuable experiences students simply cannot get anywhere else.

Owls have the opportunity to study almost anywhere around the world, including Rome, Japan, Ireland, England and more. Temple works to create programs that will help students of any major study at their dream destination.

Carolyn Bresnahan, a junior public health major with a Spanish minor, spent the Spring 2017 semester studying in Chile. Bresnahan was happy to improve her Spanish speaking skills while she was there and is “proud to now say that [she] is fluent in Spanish.”

Carolyn Bresnahan in Chile during her Spring semester abroad.

Emilee Williams, a junior communication studies major with a business minor, studied in Rome for six weeks this past summer and said she appreciated all that the city had to offer.

Most students would agree that one of the best parts about studying abroad is the ability to immerse themselves in different cultures. However, beyond just that, studying abroad also allows students to grow individually and learn more about themselves.

“Being immersed in a completely different culture and environment helps you learn about yourself but also teaches you that there is so much more out there than what we see immediately around us,” Williams said.

As with any new experience, studying abroad can also come with some challenges. Adjusting to an entirely new lifestyle and culture requires a huge learning curve. However, these students would still recommend it, as it can serve as a valuable growing opportunity.

“The biggest lesson I learned was to stop putting so much pressure on myself when it comes to new situations,” Bresnahan said. “Once I learned to let go and accept that I would learn [the Spanish language] as I went along, my experience became everything I hoped it would be and more.”

Studying abroad is a life-changing experience that offers many lessons one may not be able to learn in a classroom. It allows for personal growth and the building of connections, relationships and friendships that may last a lifetime.

Mike Kaba, a junior media analysis and political science major, studied abroad in London this past summer for five weeks. While studying in London, he also travelled to Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam. Although he was able to accomplish everything he hoped to do in each country, he felt five weeks just wasn’t enough to fully experience each country. Nonetheless, he enjoyed his trips.

Mike Kaba studied in London for his study abroad.

“It’s an extremely humbling experience to see how small our own little worlds are as you venture out and explore places you’ve never been… it was an extremely enriching experience,” Kaba said, offering that he is already looking forward to visiting London again.

Written by: Monica Mellon

Photos by: Carolyn Bresnahan and Mike Kaba

Temple Students Study Away in Arcosanti

Klein College of Media and Communication’s first ever Spring break study away program took place this semester in Arcosanti, Arizona.

Twenty-five students, both undergraduate and graduate, participated in the Klein College of Media and Communication’s Arcosanti program over spring break.

The program served to as a means in which students could analyze the relationship between technology and the environment.

From March 9th to the 19th, participants were able to gain three credits for a course titled Media, Ecology & Technology, taught by Temple’s very own Klein College professors Dr. Barry Vacker and Dr. Patrick Murphy.

Since this had been the first time the trip was offered, the group of students were not sure what to expect.

Junior journalism major Caitlyn Heter was hoping for the trip would bring specific outcomes.

“I was expecting an unconventional learning experience in a new place, which I hoped would give me ideas about how to incorporate ecological themes into my day-to-day life,” Heter said.

The concept of “arcology” was created by Paolo Soleri, architect and designer of the Arcosanti community. The idea fuses together concepts of architecture and ecology, allowing Arcosanti residents to make resourceful and mindful decisions regarding the architectural structure of the community as well as their lifestyle in the community.

Students were able to experience this philosophy first-hand in Arcosanti.

Katie Weaver, a freshman journalism and political science major, feels she gained a lot from the experience.

“The trip exceeded my expectations. I could not have imagined the incredible beauty and unique environment that I experienced in Arizona,” Weaver said. “I ended up becoming great friends with almost everyone on the trip; we all bonded and grew close over the course of ten days.”

Rachel DeCresci, a junior media studies and production major, is happy with all that the trip taught her.

“The main thing I gained from this trip was the simple, yet beautiful, Arcosanti way of life. They taught us to treat one another with respect, live simply, and to find beauty in everything,” DeCresci said.

“I would definitely recommend this trip,” said DeCresci. “It provided an eye-opening experience in how much of an impact humans actually have on the world.”


Written and Photographed by Greta Phillips




Temple’s Career Fair

Temple’s career fair helps students build their professional careers


The Career Fair is one of the regular events held by the Temple’s Career Center.

It is an avenue for students to jumpstart their career, as it provides them with the opportunity to network with various professionals from a wide array of industries.

For some, attending Career Fair for the first time can be daunting. Marcel Lu, a junior majoring in communication studies, said that he struggled to make the first move.

“It was overwhelming at first because there were hundreds of companies lined up and I didn’t know where to start. Although I prepared some questions beforehand, I was still confused as to which company I should talk to first,” Lu said.

Sylvia Dao, an international student from Vietnam, is studying journalism. She says that she came to the career fair confident and ready to accomplish her goals.

“It was a little nerve-wrecking, but I was pretty confident. There were long lines for more popular companies like Comcast, whereas smaller companies like start-ups generally had shorter lines,” Dao said. “You have to have your elevator pitch ready as a conversation-starter. I was not intimidated because they were there to talk to the students, after all.”

According to Sylvia, the key is to be proactive.

“Building your connections goes on even after the event. I would follow up with employers afterwards, such as by meeting up with them for coffee or simply sending thank-you notes within 24 hours after the event,” Dao said.

Both of them agreed that networking was not easy. Nevertheless, they believe that the experience helped them to step out of their comfort zones and ultimately honed their networking skills.

They also benefited through gaining greater insights into various opportunities that they were not aware of previously.

For Marcel, the career fair landed him an internship as a site operations associate at City Year, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping students and schools succeed.

“City Year was one of my top choices. I got to pitch myself to the recruiter, and my advanced preparation in researching the company helped me to make a good first impression,” Lu said.

Just like Sylvia, he also followed up with the recruiter immediately after the event.

“I sent the recruiter an email and asked about internship opportunities. Although she told me that she did not have any available positions, she referred me to her colleague who was looking for an intern,” Lu said. “Her reference led me to getting the position.”


By Michelle Pangestu

New Kids on the Block


Class of 2020 has picked Temple as their new home for several different reasons.


Temple University’s Class of 2020 is the largest and most qualified that the university has ever seen.

Approximately 5,100 new faces will be on campus this year, a university record, and these new students are among the more competitive classes Temple has seen. Class of 2020’s average high school GPA was 3.56 with an average SAT score of 1170- both record numbers for the university.

This year’s freshmen come from 46 different states and 65 different countries, and every one of them with Temple University for one reason or another. Whether it was for a city experience while in college, the chance to cheer on the Temple at Division I athletic events, or the diversity of school, these incoming freshman have all decided to call North Philadelphia their home for the duration of their college experience.

“After I met Dr. Scott Gratson at the open house event, I knew Temple was the place for me,” said freshman media studies and production major Max Eagle.

Eagle knew that he wanted to attend a school in the city to enhance his opportunities in an environment with a huge media presence.

“The passion that Dr. Gratson spoke with about the SMC (School of Media and Communication) made me pick Temple over other Philly area schools like Drexel,” Eagle said.

Daniel Kotas, a biology major from Roxbury, Conn. weighed various factors when he made his decision.

“I picked Temple for all their research opportunities and their medical school with a great reputation. Plus, the price of Temple couldn’t really be beat when compared to all the other city schools that I looked at,” Kotas said.

Freshman journalism major Patrick Bilow from Malone, N.Y.  felt certain after his first visit to Temple.

“As a journalism major, I knew I needed to attend a school with a large media market, Bilow said. “Once I got into Temple, I visited and loved it so I stayed.”


By Connor Clark



Temple Applications On the Rise

More people than ever are applying to be a Temple owl


Temple University’s increasing number of applicants is being by noticed the Temple Admissions Office.

The amount of Temple hopefuls is increasingly exceeding the number of open freshman, transfer and graduate student places, making Temple a more competitive university each year.

Due to the rising number of applicants, Temple’s admissions office is positive about having a more difficult job at choosing people to attend the school.

“We have been in a fortunate position now that our academic profile has grown and we have attracted more students, internationally and nationally,” said Karin W. Mormando, the director of admissions.

This year’s incoming freshmen class broke the record of having the highest average high school GPA  with a 3.56. The freshmen class is also diverse, consisting of students from students from 65 different countries around the world.

People are not just applying to Temple for its diversity in people and its academic scores.

“Students are choosing Temple for incredible on campus experiences. Our faculty and the opportunities to prepare them for their next stop,” said Mormando.

Some of these experiences include living in the 5th largest city in the country, giving students opportunities with jobs, internships, arts and culture. Additionally, Temple encourages school pride with free game day tickets, student tailgates, pep rallies, Free Food Fun Friday events and many other activities to make students feel involved.

Freshmen student Nico Sottosanti was happy with the way his acceptance and arrival at Temple University turned out. “When I got to Temple, I felt like I was finally blessed with the opportunity and resources to find what make me truly happy in life–both professionally, and personally,” Sottosanti said.

As Temple continues to receive increasing numbers of applications as well as a pool of applicants that is becoming more and more diverse, it is the admissions officers’ difficult job to decide who will be the perfect fit to take advantage of these experiences.

By Claudia Murtha

Fun GenEd’s on Campus

To many students, hearing the phrase ‘GenEd’ (short for general education courses) brings to mind images of math, English and other standard lectures. However, for students looking to keep their credits interesting, that is not always the case.

There are many GenEd courses that mix up the old formula and provide students with a unique and enriching experience.

One such class is Philadelphia Dance Experience, a course dedicated to the critical analysis of various pieces of dance.

Bijaan Jiwani, a freshman at Temple, said this class stands out because of its different structure. In this GenEd, students learn hands-on.

“It’s engaging in a very different way from my other classes,” Jiwani said. “There is no professor droning on and on about some lecture they have prepared. We see real performances.”

Following a performance, students in the class discuss its relevance and meaningfulness.

“We talk about how dance is used as a form of communication and why it’s still an important part of culture today, especially in a city like Philadelphia,” Jiwani said.

Jiwani recommends this class to anyone seeking to become more culturally aware.


Another noteworthy GenEd at Temple is Race & Ethnicity in American Cinema. This course encourages students to dig deeper into the portrayal of race and ethnicities in film.

“Since the early years of filmmaking, movies have stereotyped race and therefore play a powerful role in how people perceive ethnic groups,” said Professor Ginger Jolly, one of the course’s instructors.

But this class goes more in-depth than just watching movies.

“Typically, audiences don’t discuss movies in terms beyond ‘like it’ or ‘don’t like it,’” Jolly said. “However, class discussion gives each student the opportunity to think and speak analytically about the film and to have a richer viewing experience.”

Student Shaun Luberski recommended another film class called Disasters: Geology Vs. Hollywood.

“We watch disaster movies about hurricanes, volcanoes, tornados and more. When we are done, we learn the science behind it and whether or not the film accurately portrayed the events,” Luberski said.

An interesting GenEd option not linked to the creative arts is a course called Doing Justice. This class views procedures and protocol within the field over the course of history.

“We learn about the history of police corruption in the 20s and 30s,” senior Jess Messink said. “It’s fascinating to see how it relates to the present. It’s true that history repeats itself.”

The class requires time and effort, since it relates to the real occupational field.

“It’s a great experience for anyone interested in the topic,” Messink said.

Written by Ben Hoermann

Photographed by Sarah Whitehead

Origin of the Owl

“The owl of the night makes the eagle of the day.” So were the words of Temple University’s founder, Russell Conwell. The story of how Temple students became Temple Owls is a long one. Because Temple began as a night school to teach students with limited means, the students were referred to as “night owls.” The decision to officially call students “owls” was made by the trustees of the Grace Baptist Church, where Conwell served as minister.

In fact, the trustees chose birds to represent all three branches of the church: the Samaritan Hospital (now Temple Hospital) they chose the dove, for Temple College they selected the owl, and for the church itself they chose the eagle. Conwell endorsed the decision and kept a plush owl on his desk. The owl was a symbol of resourcefulness and courage.

In 1931, Temple’s football team received a live great horned owl as a gift from the University of Missouri football team, dubbed Owliver. Unfortunately, nobody was prepared to take care of the owl and he was donated to the Philadelphia Zoo, where he lived until 1947.

In 1977, Temple decided to try again and a costumed character named “Victor E. Owl” was introduced. Seven years later, the university conducted a contest to choose a new name for the mascot, and students chose the name Hooter. As the school’s official mascot, Hooter is now a familiar face at Temple’s football games, basketball games and other school spirit events.


Stella, Temple’s current live mascot, began her career in 2013. Stella is a great horned owl who was born in 2010 in Washington state. She arrived in Pennsylvania in 2011 and lives in the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA. Besides serving as Temple’s live mascot, Stella also serves as an education ambassador at the Elmwood Park Zoo, helping guests learn about wildlife conservation.

Hooter and Stella aren’t the only owls in the collegiate nest. Although Temple was the first university in the United States to adopt the owl as a mascot, several other schools and universities across the country have joined the parliament (the name for a group of owls).

Rice University in Texas has Sammy the Owl, while Kennesaw State University in Georgia has Scrappy and Brandeis University in Massachusetts has Ollie. Like Temple, Florida Atlantic University has both a costumed mascot and a live owl mascot named Hera and Owsley. Hera is the only other live owl mascot in Division I athletics, alongside Stella. Bryn Mawr College, Kenne State College and Southern Connecticut State University have owl mascots as well.

The owl is one of Temple’s many traditions. Our mascot has a rich history that stems from Temple’s origins as a night school. While the school itself has changed, all Temple students past and present know that they will always be proud Owls.

Temple Alumni Give Back to the University as Professors

With over 308,000 Temple alumni, these former students can be found pursuing careers all across the United States. There are a certain few, though, that chose to return to their alma mater — not for a homecoming football game, or to make a speech, but to teach. Some of these alumni have even become professors in the same colleges they earned their degrees from.

For some, the role reversal of student to professor was an unexpected one. Francesca Viola (CLA ‘78), said that she never intended to be a professor, but became interested after finishing her career in broadcast television.

“Not in a million years did I ever think I would be a professor,” Viola said. “After my years in broadcasting I decided to return to school for law. It was there where I realized that I loved academia, and now I’m an assistant professor in the journalism department.”

Some professors, such as Viola, have been able to transition from a different career path right into being a full time professor. Others have been able to give back to the Temple community by way of teaching, but in a part-time capacity as an adjunct.

Jillian Bauer (SMC ‘06) has taken her experience as a professional photographer and graphic designer to the classroom as an adjunct professor in the journalism department.

“The courses that I teach here are more multimedia-based courses, so my prior experience goes hand in hand with what I’m doing with the students,” Bauer said.


Becoming a college professor can be a big accomplishment for some — becoming a college professor at your alma mater can make it even more special. Viola says she takes pride in being able to help current Temple students reach their career goals.

“It’s a very gratifying experience. It’s wonderful to see students as they are learning, and feeling like you made a difference,” Viola said.  “The fact that I can do this at a school where I received two degrees makes it even more worth it.”

“I really like teaching here,” Bauer added. “As a former student, I’m comfortable in my surroundings, and feel like I’m able to connect well with all of my students.”

For Viola, the most satisfying thing about teaching at her alma mater is the connection she makes with her students.

“I’m able to keep in touch with a lot of my former students and follow their careers,” Viola said. “I do meet a lot of new people, but I also get to see students that I taught end up with jobs in the [media] industry, and to me that’s very satisfying.”

Written by: Joseph Williams

Center City Campus Renovations

Temple University’s Center City campus introduced a new Barnes & Noble bookstore and Starbucks café, both of which opened gateways to a more diverse crowd and a more beneficial use of space.

“It has opened up that corner of our building, which was pretty much like a dead corner,” said Denise Stevenson, a Temple security guard for Allied Barton. It has really brightened up that area of the building.”

In this common area, not only do students enjoy refreshments and find a place to study, but individuals from around the city can also gather here before continuing on with their routine.

“We get a lot of business people in the morning, and then in the evening there are a lot of night classes,” said Gary Nines, Temple University senior and bookstore attendant.

With a new café and bookstore just downstairs from where classes are held, students can get their work done or grab snacks before classes get started.

“Everyone’s coming in! They’re stopping to get a snack, get their coffee, or get supplies before they go up to their class,” he added.

It is also used as a place to mingle.


“I was actually getting coffee once and I met somebody who lives in my building,” said Terry Hurst, a freshman in the Fox School of Business. “It was cool to find a connection there.”

Originally, Temple’s Center City campus had a bookstore on the third floor of the building. This one did not have the added commodities of many snacks, a modern design or outdoor seating currently on the campus.

“I had classes here and I was a student before it was done,” Nines said.  “It’s just kind of a nice added benefit.”

Today, the space is equipped with power outlets and Temple gear; they even take diamond dollars.

“I like it. It’s very Temple. You definitely know that that’s what kind of store you’re in,” Nines said.

Hurst also said the space provides a social atmosphere similar to that of main campus.

“The coffee shop is excellent, because if you have a little bit of time before class or while you’re waiting for the subway, you can just hang out there and be friendly with a bunch of Temple students,” Hurst said. “You kind of feel in your element even though you’re at Center City.”


The expansion of the café and bookstore took over a corner that used to be a computer lab.

“Downtown I can access the bookstore. It’s more convenient now,” said Emmanuel Korlewala, a sophomore media studies and production major.

Stevenson added that it works as a liaison between the outside world and the university because common people now have access to what goes on at Temple.

“We are getting some Temple students as well as the outside population on a daily basis. It’s a business setting now! It’s more open to the public — it’s a good look for Temple.”

The renovated space opened in early 2015.

“It’s a nice place for students to come, relax for a little bit and maybe do a little work, so I think it’s a nice addition,” Nines said.

Written by: Maryvic Perez

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑