Monday, January 29, 2018

Widener University reinforces its commitment to community services and educational access

Widener Press Release

The Chester Higher Education Council Board recently approved the dissolution of the organization, effective in mid-2018.  As member institutions of the Chester Higher Education Council transition out of their council model, Widener University is reinforcing its commitment to providing community services and educational access to the people of Chester.

The council, known as CHEC, was formed more than a decade ago by Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Delaware County Community College, Neumann University, Pennsylvania State University Brandywine, Swarthmore College, and Widener University. Together, they operated the College Access Center of Delaware County, located on East 21st Street in Chester. Under the transition plan, the College Access Center will close on June 30, 2018, as the council is set to disband that month.

Widener President Julie E. Wollman said that the CHEC board’s decision has no impact on the university’s support for college readiness initiatives.

“Widener University remains deeply committed to supporting and improving college access for high school students in Chester and across Delaware County,” she said. “We see these changes as an opportunity to remove geographic barriers to services for those who lacked transportation to the College Access Center of Delaware County.”

As always, Widener remains open to opportunities for future collaboration. The university looks forward to learning the results of a study being conducted by two major community agencies to explore ways to provide services to high school students.

In addition to a large complement of existing services, Widener began delivering additional educational services to the community this fall, in a way that serves area students directly where they study.

The university began sending Widener undergraduate students into Chester High School three days a week, where they tutor and mentor high school students. They also provide college preparation services, such as help with the college search and application processes. In addition, Widener students provide after-school tutoring at the Boys & Girls Club of Chester, which is available to students up to age 18.

Gretchen Mielke, assistant dean in the Office for Civic Engagement, oversees the efforts.

“This volunteer work is really meaningful for our Widener undergraduates. It helps them share their knowledge and experiences with students who benefit from what they have to offer. They are able to give back to the community by assisting students who need additional academic support while they plan for the future,” said Mielke.

Junior finance major DeShawn Ivey, who helped get the programming at Chester High School started, said he wants to be a role model for the students. He saw the effects of crime and poverty while growing up in Philadelphia.

“We’re taking time out of our personal lives for this, and we explain how it’s possible to go to college after high school,” he said.

In addition to this work, the university operates the Widener Partnership Charter School in Chester. The K-8 school, which is Pennsylvania’s first university-based charter school, is dedicated to enabling students to become self-motivated, competent, lifelong learners. Students who are promoted to high school from the charter school are eligible for grants of $25,000 a year for four years to pursue their undergraduate education full time at Widener.

Widener’s Community Engaged Teacher Education program pairs undergraduate education students with teachers at Stetser Elementary School in Chester, where they spend mornings in elementary classrooms supporting the school’s literacy program. Teacher candidates also pair with community mentors who help them learn about the city’s values and culture, and how that influences the lives of their elementary students. To date, more than 35 Widener students have been part of the program since it debuted.

Widener signed an agreement with the city of Chester in April 2017 that offers hundreds of city employees, their spouses and dependents discounted tuition for degree programs offered through its Center for Continuing Studies. Eligible programs include associate’s degrees in six concentrations, bachelor’s degrees in eight concentrations and Master of Education degrees in three concentrations, with discounts up to 50 percent for standard tuition for the online Master of Education programs.

The university’s dedication to the community shines through these efforts and more. Consistently, Widener students contribute more than 108,000 hours of community service, worth more than $2.5 million each year, to the Chester community.

“Widener’s commitment to supporting education and well-being in a safe and healthy community is steadfast,” Wollman said. “The university’s connection to Chester remains as strong as ever.”

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Chester Clippers Boys Basketball sweeps their home stand

By Terry Thomas

Brian Randolph III erupted for 11 first quarter points in leading Chester (12-5) to a 60-56 overtime victory over the visiting William Penn York Bearcats. With the win, the Clippers held home court in their last four games and extended their winning streak to eleven (11) games. Michael Smith followed closely with 10 1st quarter points including three treys. Rahmee Gilbert added two points and the Clippers led after one, 23-7. While the Clippers went cold in the second quarter with their only field goals coming from Randolph and an old-fashioned three point play from Javan Graham, the Bearcats caught fire producing 20 points. The Clipper did manage to hit 6 of 8 free throws which allowed them to hold a 33-27 lead at the intermission. Chester went frigid in the 3rd quarter where their offense only produced 8 shot attempts. Gilbert produced three points and Randolph along with Kylair Blackston contributed 2 points apiece which enable the Clippers to force a tie at 40 points to close the quarter. The teams exchanged leads seven times throughout the 4th quarter before a Randolph jumper tied the score at 51 with 1:54 remaining. After a turnover by the Bearcats, the Clippers failed to win in regulation when Smith's mid-range jumper rimmed out. After winning the tap in overtime, the Bearcats converted and took the early lead. After Timothy Johnston and Randolph hit 1 of 2 free throws, the game was tied at 53 with 2:06 remaining. Randolph rebounded York's next shot and Smith gave Chester the lead for good 54-53 with 1:38 remaining. A steal and a bucket by Randolph sandwiched between four free throws from Smith would produce the final points in the game.

Brian Randolph III would finish the game high 24 points that matched his career high. Michael Smith joined him in double figures with 17 points. Isaiah Schmidt and Rahmee Gilbert each contributed 5 points and Timothy Johnston, Javan Graham and Kylair Blackston finished with 4, 3 and 2 points respectively. Returning to the starting lineup, Johnston also finished with a team high 8 rebounds.

Chester will return to league action on Tuesday, January 30th when they travel to Glenolden to take on the Interboro Bucs. The JV will tipoff at 6:00 pm with the Varsity to follow.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Engineering Mini-Camp for High School girls

Widener University press release
Chester, PA -- The Society of Women Engineers and the Widener School of Engineering will hold the 19th-Annual Engineering Mini-Camp for High School Girls on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018.
Students interested in science and math will attend for a hands-on introduction to the variety of problems solved by engineers daily and explore engineering careers in laboratory workshops. 

WHO: Over 200 high school female students from across the region. Members of the Philadelphia section of the Society of Women Engineers. Widener University female engineering students and alumni with assistance from the Women in Computing Club at Widener. 

WHAT: The camp will cover a range of engineering specialties and include lab sessions on nanotechnology, biomechanics, muscle development, computer animation, roller coaster design, tower building, bridge design software, aerodynamics, programming robots, lie detectors, pavement design with chocolate asphalt, reaction kinetics and electric-powered LEGO vehicles.
The complete lab schedule is available upon request.

There will also be two panel discussions between lab sessions. The first will be led by female engineers from the Philadelphia section of the Society of Women Engineers on the topic of career opportunities in engineering. The second will be a companion program for parents entitled “Sending Your Daughter to Engineering School.” 

WHEN:  Saturday, Feb. 3; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     Labs: 10:20 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2:20 to 4 p.m.
     Panel discussions: 12:10-12:40 p.m. and 1:40-2:10 p.m. 

WHERE: Kirkbride Hall, Widener University, 1610 Walnut Street, Chester, PA 19013.

WHY: Event will have great visuals and a number of opportunities to interview participating high school students as well as leading female professionals in the engineering field. Students will also construct a tower out of drinking straws, build roller coasters out of tubes, create asphalt out of chocolate and study red blood cells. 
The camp is free to all participants.

Chester Clippers Boys Basketball cruise past the Knights

By Terry Thomas

Chester kept their winning streak alive at 10 games after making quick work of Academy Park by the score of 68-31. Chester is now 11-5 overall and sitting atop the Del Val at 6-0. After jumping out to a 17-2 first quarter lead, the Clippers stayed focused and made it an easy night. Michael Smith led the way in the opening quarter with 8 of his game high 15 points. Timothy Johnston returned to the starting lineup and produced 4 points while Isaiah Schmidt came off the bench to hit a trey. Kylair Blackston's putback competed Chester's scoring. The Clippers were just as focused defensively holding the undermanned Knights to a mere 2 points in the first 8 minutes of the contest. In the 2nd quarter Chester distributed 14 points among six players with sophomore Zahmir Carroll leading the way with his 4 points. At the intermission it was Chester - 31, Academy Park - 13. The Clippers stayed focused on both ends of the floor in the 3rd quarter and after Brian Randolph III feed Johnston for a bucket at the 3:10 mark the lead was now at 48-18. Johnson finished the night with a career high of 14 points and 3 blocked shots to go along with his 6 rebounds and a steal. Smith and Blackston each added a bucket to complete the evening. Randolph hit buckets in the 3rd quarter from long-distance (trey), inside the paint and the foul line in contributing 6 of his 8 points. At the end of the 3rd quarter it was Chester - 52, Academy Park - 32. With the Clippers resting their primary players it was now time for the reserved to show the fans how they earned their spots on the team. And they didn't disappoint. Senior Kavon Spells led the way in the final 8 minutes dropping two treys for six point. Schmidt added four points and sophomore Malik Langley, who handled the point, also contributed 4 points and seldom used Zhaid Ferguson added his name to the scoring column with 2 points. Defensively this unit stayed true to the Clippers defense holding the Knights to only 9 points.

Chester's points came from ten of the twelve players who saw action in the contest. They assisted on 15 of their 27 made baskets and secured the basket with 8 blocked shots.

The Clippers will complete their four-game home stand on Saturday afternoon when the William Penn (York) Bearcats visit the Clip Joint. The JV tip-off is at 2:00 p.m. and the Varsity is scheduled to tip-off at 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Chester Clippers Boys Basketball remains hot in the Clip Joint

By Terry Thomas

The Clippers fought off the heat and Chichester's accuracy at the free throw line to pull off the 64-52 victory at the Clip Joint. The victory moved Chester current win streak to 9 games and a two game lead in the Del Val. The Clippers are now 10-5 overall and 5-0 in league play; the Chichester Eagles are also 10-5 but are sitting in second place at 3-2. Michael Smith led the way scoring Chester's first five points and a trey from Brian Randolph III to end the quarter allowed the Clippers to close to within three, 11-14. The Clippers clamped down defensively allowing the Eagles only 2 made field goals in the opening quarter but they connected on 10 of 11 free throws. The Clippers maintained their defensive pressure in the 2nd quarter again holding the Eagles to two field goals and their 5 of 6 free throws produced their 9 points. Meanwhile the Clippers opened the quarter on a 10-0 run capped by a trey from Smith. Rahmee Gilbert who was nursing a sore ankle contributed 4 points along with Kylair Blackston. Isaiah Schmidt dropped a trey from the corner and Zahmir Carroll stroked 3 of 4 free throws enroute to a 21-9 quarter for the Clippers. At the half it was Chester - 32, Chichester - 23. While Brian Randolph was absent from the scoring column, his presence was felt on the defensive end as he limited Chichester's leading scoring to only one bucket in the game which came in the 3rd quarter. Granberry finished with 15 points having made 13 of 16 foul shots. He came into the contest averaging just over 26 points per game. Chester led 43-35 at the end of the 3rd quarter. After sophomore Malik Langley scored to give Chester a 46-38 lead at 7:05, the Clippers would go scoreless over their next five possessions which allow the Eagles to tie the score at 46. Smith would give the Clippers the lead for good 47-46 hitting 1 of 2 free throws. However, Timothy Johnston would rebound the missed shot passed to Smith would went to the line and this time knocked downs both shots with 3:44 remaining. Chester - 49, Chichester - 46. Chester ran off four more points for a 7-0 run before the Eagles would connect on their lone three-point shot of the night. Back-to-back buckets from Blackston and Johnston pushed the lead to 57-49 with 2:10 remaining in the contest. With time running out, the Eagles were forced to foul but the Clippers answered the call by securing the win at the free throw line. Appropriately, the game ended with a steal and layup by senior Kylair Blackston.

While Smith led all scorers with 21 points, Blackston finished with his first double-double, 11 points and a career high 11 rebounds. Randolph ended his night totally exhausted with 4 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists. Carroll contributed 5 points, 7 rebounds, a blocked shot and an assist. And, Johnston (also 6 rebounds), Javan Graham, Langley and Schmidt each added 4 points.

Tonight's victory is win number 1,900 in the storied history of Chester High School Clippers Boys Basketball. Congratulations to Coach Taylor and all the players and coaches who have proudly worn the Orange & Black and truly demonstrated C-Pride at 'The High'.

The Clippers will continue League play and their home stand when they entertain the Academy Park Knights on Thursday, January 25th. JV tip-off is slated for 6:00 with the Varsity to follow.