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7 posts from April 2011


The Biggest Loser WINS BIG!

A front page story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, “University of the Sciences Bod Pod measures body fat percentage,” focuses on the University's Biggest Loser competition that hosted 33 contestants this past semester: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/120586549.html

Way back in January the Exercise Science & Wellness Managment program began accepting faculty, staff and student participants to compete against one another for the title of The Biggest Loser and a $250 first place prize.  There were, however, a few differences in comparing this contest to the reality TV show.  Each participant was given the option of having an ESWM student as their own personal Wellness Coach and the winner would be determined based upon fat percentage lost, not pounds.  The participants were assessed in the Bod Pod - an egg shaped device that uses Air Displacement Plethysmography to determine the subject’s body composition. When the brief, non-invasive tests are finished, (subjects sits comfortably in the Bod Pod, breathing normally for a total of 120 seconds), the computer prints out the personalized data, including body composition results (fat mass vs lean mass) and recommended caloric intake depending on the subject’s physical activity level. The BOD POD also measures the resting metabolic rate (RMR) which is the amount of energy body uses at rest. University of the Sciences is one of four locations to have a BOD POD, including the Philadelphia Eagles, West Chester University, and Lincoln University.

When it came down to naming the winner during the last week of April, one person stood above all the rest - Brigid Isackman with ESWM minor/Biology major, Lindsay Hummel, as her Wellness Coach.  The cumulative fat loss among all participants was a whopping 59%


When Einstein met Chaplin

My new blog post, in honor of what would have been Chaplin's 122nd birthday:

"The Tramp, the Professor, and Frankenstein's Brain Surgeon"


Faces of Philadelphia Science

I was pleased to participate in the Faces of Philadelphia Science project, suggested by the Philadelphia Science Writers Association (PaSWA) for the Philadelphia Science Festival.


Who's buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery? PCP Luminaries.

The Library Company of Philadelphia is currently featuring an exhibit about Laurel Hill Cemetery.

So what’s the big deal?

The cemetery was established in 1836 by Library Company librarian John Jay Smith, China merchant Nathan Dunn, and druggist Frederick Brown.

You guessed it. Frederick Brown was no ordinary druggist; he was one of the 68 founders of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. After completing an apprenticeship with Charles Marshall (PCP’s co-founder and first President), Brown opened a store at Fifth & Market streets and at PCP’s first meeting on February 23, 1821, he joined the Committee on Plan which proposed the establishment of the college and drafted the original constitution. Brown subsequently served on the first Board of Trustees.

His son Frederick Brown, Jr., graduated from PCP in 1861 and later became President of Laurel Hill Cemetery. Other PCP luminaries buried at Laurel Hill include founders Henry Troth and Peter Williamson and photographer Frederick Gutekunst (P’1853) - to name just a few.

The online exhibit can be seen here:


Or you can visit the exhibit in person at: The Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA. Gallery Hours: Monday thru Friday: 9:00 A.M. - 4:45 P.M. Admission is Free but the exhibit closes on April 29.

faculty goals vs. student prefrences

Download Mting responsibilities as faculty or giving into students


The Science Behind Philadelphia’s City Squares

Philadelphia is a city rich with scientific history.  Of the four main squares in its downtown area, it is interesting to note that three are named after people who have had at least some association with science:  James Logan, Benjamin Franklin, and David Rittenhouse.  The fourth is named after George Washington, who was a surveyor by occupation early on in his career, an endeavor based on detailed knowledge of mathematics.

Read more at:

Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science

Living Social with USciences and Building the Brand in the Process

Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. Flickr. Five years ago you may not have heard of any of these, probably because most of them were just coming into existence. Now, millions of Americans use these social networking tools as their primary means of communication and gathering information. This is particularly true for those in their teens and twenties who even consider e-mail to be getting outdated.  Email outdated?  I remember tapping away on the ol' IBM Selectric at Baxter Advertising, circa 1988.

So what’s a university to do? Join the social networking revolution, of course. And University of the Sciences has. It’s not just about being part of the latest craze, though. It’s about reaching our core constituencies where they are most likely to find us and reinforcing our brand in every medium. According to Nielsen, the average American spent more than 61 hours on the Internet in January, up 10 percent from just the month before. More than seven of those hours were spent on Facebook alone, with another hour on YouTube. Social networking sites are where people congregate, and USciences wants to be where the people are, telling the story of our brand and engaging with our alumni, students, and supporters.

The ubiquity of social media also gives us a unique opportunity to simultaneously share our new branding with—USciences, where healthcare and science converge—and listen to multiple audiences. We want people to recognize that USciences delivers an unparalleled scientific education that will enable them to be leaders and innovators for new generations.

Social media allows those who already know us to communicate with us, often in real time, something we don’t get with traditional media outlets. We find out what our students, alumni, and prospects are thinking as they give us feedback through comments, posts, links, and videos. Their responses let us know that if our new branding is being understood and if we are fulfilling the brand promise we have made. We are able to answer their questions and concerns as they come up, sometimes even before they arise.

But USciences is also using social media to get the word out to people who have never heard of us and to elevate the general awareness of our brand. We are running ads on Facebook that promote the graduate chats or undergraduate or graduate programs. The ads are cost efficient, since we only pay if someone clicks on our ad, and they target individuals who are interested in the types of programs we have to offer. It’s also easy to track response and to tweak—or replace—ads that are not performing. As USciences stories and news get shared virally across Facebook and Twitter, others are made aware of our expertise, which elevates the positive perception of our brand.

 Tree stump tell a story 

And it’s a perception we live up to. We know we have a great story to tell. Not all science degrees are created equal; we’ve been doing this for 190 years. If we can get the word out to prospective students, they will have a great career. What we teach our students is life or death. Their future work and research will change the world. We want them to know we are the university that can best prepare them for that worthwhile future. And so we will tell them—wherever they gather and in whatever medium furthers the USciences conversation.


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