Owls leave their mark on NORTH PHILADELPHIA.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY NEAL SANTOS, SMC ´08
Twenty children squirm in tiny plastic chairs, awaiting the breakfast being made by a man hovering over a hotplate. A few minutes later, the kids carefully examine their bright–green eggs before scooping up their first forkfuls. Bowtied and behatted like the Cat in the Hat, former Columbia North YMCA Executive Director Roger Jackson, EDU ´96, is serving the feisty daycare group at the Y in honor of Dr. Seuss´ birthday. Though he recently became the executive director of Camp Management Corp., he remains committed to the residents of North Philadelphia.
From healthcare providers to artists, many Temple alumni have ventured through the university´s main gates and into the neighborhood outside them. Each day, these Owls enrich daily life in North Philadelphia. Here, photographer Neal Santos, SMC ´08, captures them where they effect change.
JON KAUFMAN, CLA ´09
Occupation: filmmaker and media educator Degree: BA, Latin American studies Legacy: Kaufman co–directed Pull of Gravity, a documentary he made with El Sawyer, operations and film director at the Village of Arts and Humanities (where the pair met while Kaufman was a student). A longtime vision of Sawyer´s funded by the U.S. Attorney´s Office, Pull of Gravity depicts the journey of three men re–entering society after leaving prison; one of them returns to North Philadelphia. Kaufman also teaches media classes at the Village of Arts and Humanities on Germantown Avenue. Point of pride: "Taking an idea such as this and making a film like this—contributing, in some way, to raising awareness." Next step: He is documenting the development of the largest–ever Mural Arts Program work in Philadelphia, called Philly Painting.
ROGER JACKSON, EDU ´96
Occupation: executive director, Camp Management Corp. Degree: EdM, curriculum, instruction and technology Legacy: From the Columbia North YMCA to Camp Management Corp., Jackson has spent seven years (and counting) immersed in organizations commited to education. Mission: As executive director of Camp Management Corp., he oversees three organizations, including the College Settlement of Philadelphia—a day camp that serves the region's inner–city children. Point of pride: His students have gone on to earn college scholarships, both academic and athletic. Favorite Temple memory: "Besides meeting my wife?"
COMMUNITY DENTAL CLINIC,
KORNBERG SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY
Location: Community Dental Clinic, Kornberg School of Dentistry, Broad Street and Allegheny Avenue Four of the clinic´s seven dentists are Temple alumni: David Donatelli, DEN ´80, ´82 (center), prosthodontist and assistant professor; Chinchai Hsiao, DEN ´11 (left), endodontist and instructor; Merriam Seyedain, DEN ´11 (right), periodontist and assistant professor; and Frank Torrisi, FOX ´93 (not pictured), clinic director and associate professor Mission: Open since 2010, the clinic provides dental care for the neighborhood surrounding the Kornberg School of Dentistry and Temple´s faculty and staff. Years of experience: more than 65 Legacy: In a neighborhood federally designated as a "Dental Care Health Professional Shortage Area," the Kornberg Community Clinic serves 2,500 patients and handles 5,200 visits annually.
Photographer Neal Santos, SMC ´08, shares his thoughts on some of his favorite additional photos from this feature's shoots.
TAMICA TANKSLEY, SMC ´00
Occupation: special events coordinator, Office of Pa. State Sen. Vincent Hughes Degree: BA, communications Legacy: From honoring veterans and unsung heroes to helping high school students apply to college, Tanksley empowers the community through myriad events in the 7th District, which Hughes serves. Professional pride: While at Temple, Tanksley interned in the Division of Marketing and Government Relations at the Community College of Philadelphia and wrote for one of its publications. "To see my work in print made me feel it was something I could do, like, ´Wow, I´m a professional!´" Inspiration: "I was born and raised in North Philadelphia. I went to Temple; I lived in North Philly until I was 36 years old. For me to have the opportunity to serve this neighborhood turns my profession into a passion. I can give back to the community that gave so much to me." Favorite Temple memory: Tanskley addressed the Class of 2014 Convocation. "I shared my mistakes with them, so they could go further than I did. Oh, and dorm life was great, too!"
OLA SOLANKE, FOX ´94
Occupation: owner, Arts Garage, Ridge Avenue and 16th Street Degree: BA, risk management Legacy: After purchasing the property where the Arts Garage now stands, Solanke cleaned up the entire lot, removing abandoned cars, old tires and much more, and renovated the building himself. His venue draws 3,000 unique visitors per month to the neighborhood. Mission: He aims to promote and support up–and–coming artists of all kinds—musicians, writers, painters, sculptors and others. Point of pride: "I consider myself an entrepreneurial artist. I don´t write, I don´t paint, I don´t play an instrument, but I can find ways to help artists." Next step: Solanke is working to partner with area art schools to infuse the community with public art from academic environments.
DELANA WARDLAW & ELANA MCDONALD, CST ´96
Occupation: family–medicine physician (Wardlaw); pediatrician (McDonald) Degree: BA, biology Legacy: These identical twins grew up in North Philadelphia and wanted to study medicine after taking part in a Temple program in which they shadowed African–American physicians in Philadelphia. "We saw what a difference the physicians were making in the community," McDonald says. "It helped solidify my decision to practice in the city." Mission: To combat the health disparity that plagues African Americans in low–income, urban areas, the sisters provide health education and preventive care to patients at Temple Physicians of Nicetown (Wardlaw) and Memphis Street Pediatrics (McDonald). Point of pride: "On a daily basis, I am proud that I can connect with my patients and make them feel as comfortable as possible when discussing such a personal, private thing as their health," Wardlaw says.
Neal Santos, SMC ´08, is a photographer, a proud Temple alumnus and chief photographer at Philadelphia City Paper. His work also has appeared in publications including Grid magazine, Saveur.com and USA Today. Santos considers himself lucky to be a Philadelphian. He typed this bio as a cat walked across his keyboard in his southwest Philadelphia home.