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PHILADELPHIA, PA, September 15, 2004 - As part of its "40 years... Creating Destinies, Community College of Philadelphia and the World" 40th anniversary celebration, the college is hosting an African Diaspora Film Series from October 2004 through April 2005. Each film is produced and directed by African Americans and features African American actors. All films will screen at 2:00 p.m. in room BG-11 at Community College of Philadelphia, Bonnell Building, 17th Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill Streets. The series is free and open to the public.

October 14
Aimé Cesairé : Une Voix Pour L'Histoire (Aimé Cesairé: A Voice For History) (Martinique)

November 11
Freedom On My Mind (USA)

January 13
You Have Struck a Rock (South Africa)

February 10
Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored (USA)

March 10
Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask (England)

April 14
Malcolm X (USA)

PHILADELPHIA, PA, September 10, 2004 - On Sept. 23, Community College of Philadelphia will host the opening reception for their "40 Years... Creating Destinies: A History in the Making" exhibit of historic College memorabilia and photographs. The exhibit kicks-off the College's yearlong 40th anniversary celebration. The exhibit traces the College's milestones with photography and artifacts beginning with its first president, Allen T. Bonnell, through the present.

The exhibit will depict the history of the College's campus and growth as it transitioned from the old Snellenberg department store building to its current campus at 17th and Spring Garden. A history of the College's Mint Building as one of the first original U.S. Mint locations will be depicted with photographs and artifacts. Photographs and quotes from prominent alumni in the Philadelphia will fill several display cases along with featured College faculty and staff. Each College president will have a display case depicting their many accomplishments and accolades.

Community College of Philadelphia opened its doors September 23, 1965, to 1,200 students after the State Board of Education approved its application. Today, the College serves more than 40,000 students each year at its Main Campus, three Regional Centers and various community sites. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, the College is the largest institution of higher education in the Philadelphia region, providing much-needed services to Philadelphians. For additional information, visit the College's 40th anniversary web page at http://path.ccp.edu/site/40th/.

Event details

EVENT: "40 Years...Creating Destinies: A History in the Making"
An Historical Exhibit of Community College of Philadelphia

WHEN: Sept. 23 - Oct. 31, 2004

Opening Reception, Thursday, Sept. 23, 4:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Community College of Philadelphia, Rotunda Gallery
1700 Spring Garden Street

INFORMATION: http://path.ccp.edu/site/40th/.

PHILADELPHIA, PA, July 14, 2004 - Community College of Philadelphia will host a "Smack Down Your Vote" rally, featuring WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) superstars Chavo Guerrero and Spike Dudley. The two wrestling superstars will give an enthusiastic presentation designed to encourage young people to register to vote, and go to the polls on election day.

The event will take place on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 at Community College of Philadelphia's Winnet Courtyard, 1700 Spring Garden Street, from 11:00 a.m. until 12 noon. In the event of rain, the rally will be moved to the Large Auditorium in the Bonnell Building. The event is free and open to the public with discounted parking in the College's lot on 17th Street, between Spring Garden and Callowhill Streets.

For more information, contact the Student Government office at 215-751-8209

With a decrease in funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and pending funding cuts from the City of Philadelphia, Community College of Philadelphia is forced to raise tuition and fees, making it harder than ever for many community college students, especially those with families to care for and jobs outside of school to make their education happen.

The cost of higher education has a direct impact on access. Increased tuition and fees to students should be of great concern to the City of Philadelphia. When the City and the State does not make higher education a priority, a steep increase in unmet financial need occurs among our students.

In the past, according to state statute, community colleges were funded for every student taught. This year, the state is not funding community colleges based on that statute, leaving every community college in Pennsylvania with a funding gap. Community College of Philadelphia is not receiving the funding it should to meet student needs during a time of rapidly increasing enrollment.

During challenging economic times, community college enrollment rises. Community College of Philadelphia has seen a steady increase each semester for several years. Enrollment each fall semester has been increasing consistently at about 9% over the past three years. Annual enrollment is well over 46,000, making Community College of Philadelphia the largest institution of higher learning in Philadelphia.

Graduates of Community College of Philadelphia are some of the most employable residents in the city. A two-year degree or certificate can produce valuable workers in today's most in-demand fields such as healthcare, information technology and the legal profession. 93% of our graduates remain in the Philadelphia region after graduation and command an average salary of $38,904.

Adult students and high school graduates alike are finding community colleges fill a need in today's market. Adult students re-tool for a changing workplace. Recent high school graduates rely on the affordability of community college tuition to help finance their first two years of education and alleviate the burden of student loans.

The College also serves as a "feeder" to the region's colleges and universities. Over 90 articulation agreements with schools such as Drexel and Temple Universities ensure students transfer as juniors.

Lack of access for individuals who represent the future of Philadelphia hinders the pipeline of available employees in Philadelphia. Funding cuts to Community College of Philadelphia will affect the city's most in-demand professions such as nursing and other healthcare areas or information technology for years to come.

Philadelphia, PA - June 2, 2004 -- U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan, the FBI, the IRS, and the Inspector General's Office today announced the filing of indictments against Delores Weaver, the former director of adult basic education at Community College of Philadelphia, Faridah Ali, the assistant director for Sister Clara Muhammad and four others in connection with a scheme to improperly enroll students and defraud the College, the state, and the federal government.

According to the indictment, Weaver, while serving as director of adult basic education, and Ali, the assistant director of Education for Sister Clara Muhammad School, carried out a fraudulent scheme from fall 1999 through December 2001 to obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars of public funds earmarked to pay for adult literacy and job training. The indictment alleges that Weaver and Ali overstated the number of student registrations and courses allegedly taught at SCMS on behalf of the College. It charges that at least $224,000 in funds were used to pay teachers' salaries for adult courses that, in fact, never took place.

The indictment charges Delores Weaver, Faridah Ali, Lakiha Spicer, Azheem Spicer, and Eugene Weaver with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. Lakiha Spicer and Zaynah Rasool were also charged with false statements to the grand jury. The College, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania were victimized by this scheme, the U.S. Attorney said at the press conference.

Dr. Stephen Curtis, president of the College said, "I wish to emphasize that this institution was never the target of the investigation by the IRS or the U.S. Attorney's Office. As soon as federal investigators launched their inquiry, we conducted an internal and an external review of enrollment and employment procedures. Since then, we have established additional safeguards, strengthened auditing functions for these programs, and implemented more restrictive financial controls regarding dispersal of funds."

The College was in the process of re-evaluating and upgrading all community services and continuing education programs-including Adult Basic Education, GED preparation classes, and English as a Second Language classes-when IRS officials arrived on campus in December 2001 to seize the records, files and computer used by the former director of the Adult Basic Education Program.

By fall 2002, the College had completed its review and restructuring of the Division of Community Services and Continuing Education, which now handles these adult literacy programs. It also upgraded enrollment management practices, and dispersed oversight across a wider circle of college employees.

"These changes, along with other more recent improvements in the curriculum, have enabled us to improve the delivery and effectiveness of Adult Basic Education programs and provide stakeholders with superior financial safeguards and controls," Dr. Curtis said.

The revised procedures and controls include:

  • Stricter enrollment policies regarding documentation and paperwork for students who enroll right before or after registration deadlines.
  • Modification of procedures for appointing instructors: Instructors who are missing an official transcript or written reference may not be employed for more than one semester.
  • Major reorganization of the College's Community Services and Continuing Education Division. The new organizational structure streamlines functions and facilitates coordination and control of off-campus services and programs.
  • New management procedures: Spot checks are routinely made of all adult literacy classes held at community sites. These visits help staff to monitor the sites, document attendance, and independently verify registration. Uniform contracts and governance procedures have been established at all community sites.
  • New storage procedures for records: All records now are stored at the main campus instead of at community sites.

The Diversity Council of Community College of Philadelphia proudly presents "Women of Color," an enlightening exhibit depicting the artwork of four women from different cultural backgrounds and life experiences. The exhibit, which opens on Tuesday, June 1, 2004, will be on display in the College's Rotunda Gallery located in the Mint Building, 17th and Spring Garden Streets. The exhibition will feature the work of Sheena Garcia, Marta Sanchez, Pauline Houston McCall and Betsy Casanas. Although each of these women comes from diverse cultural backgrounds their work delivers a fundamental message speaks to all women. Each of the four has overcome adversity and feels a strong sense of obligation to encourage others through their art.

The exhibition aims to build a more inclusive campus community which understands, respects and embraces the value of diversity among the students, faculty and staff.

A brief biographical profile on each artist is included.

WHAT: Women of Color Exhibition

WHERE: Community College of Philadelphia's Rotunda Gallery Mint Building
17th and Spring Garden Streets

WHEN: June 1 - June 30, 2004
Opening Reception: June 1, 2:30 p.m.

Artist Profiles

Sheena Garcia is a Philadelphia born painter whose work pays tribute to the culture of women in our society. The joys, challenges and disappointments she has encountered as a woman of color has been the inspiration for her paintings. She grew up in the Northern Liberties section of the city and studied art and culture at the Bodine High School for International Affairs, and then majored in painting and art therapy at University of the Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Her desire to expand her knowledge about paint and artmaking took her Europe and North Africa for further study in these respective areas. While studying abroad, Ms. Garcia discovered her form of expression and nurtured her gift. Sheena has had the opportunity to be associated with such celebrated artists as sculptor, Dr. Selma Burke of the Harlem Renaissance and with acclaimed Philadelphia artists Charles Searles, Elizabeth Osbourne and Christine Lafuente. Ms. Garcia has had the honor of having her work regularly exhibited at Gallery Art 54 in the renowned Soho District in New York City. Her work has been extensively reviewed by New York City's Gallery Guide, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News.

In the words of Ms. Sanchez, "My work is an ongoing narrative recording the existence of my family and friends. I strive to relate the hope, prayers and humanity of the common man."

Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, painter Marta Sanchez is inspired by traditional Mexican folk art. She earned a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from Temple University's Tyler School of Art. Sanchez is widely known for her retablo paintings, an offspring of traditional Mexican prayer paintings. These metal masterpieces capture and convey the heartfelt dreams and wishes of her subjects as if the artists were lighting a candle in prayer for her subject.

Ms. Sanchez holds Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Temple University's Tyler School of Art. She currently teaches at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Temple's Tyler School of Art and the Springside School.

Her work in housed in collections at the Fine Arts Museum of St. Petersburg, Fla., the State Museum of Pennsylvania and the Free Library of Philadelphia. Several pieces are currently part of a touring exhibition entitled, "Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge." Her public art commissions can be seen in the Philadelphia area at Simons Recreation Center and The Children's Hospital in Montgomery, Pennsylvania.

The source of Pauline's imagery stems from the voices of her ancestry - an African American of German, Spanish and Cherokee descent. Her art has been strongly influenced by historic struggles of her heritage. McCall holds a BFA from Moore College of Art and has shown her work in the Philadelphia area at Hopkins House Gallery, October Gallery, Walt Whitman Gallery, New Jersey State Aquarium and the Painted Bride Art Center. She is very active in youth outreach programs in New Jersey and Pennsylvania schools.

Casanas was born and raised in North Philadelphia and earned her BFA from Moore College of Art and Design. She began teaching at Taller Puertorriqueno since age 19, and has continued to teach a variety of workshops at the Village of Arts and Humanities, Moore College of Art and Design, Thomas Eakins House, and Kensington Branch Library.

She has designed over 30 public mural and mosaics since 1995 in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia, Elkins Park, Chester, Manayunk, Camden and Cherry Hill. She currently teaches design at The Charter Higher School for Architecture and Design. She currently is showing at Moore College of Art and Design.

On May 11 at 11:00 a.m. Community College of Philadelphia will meet on the front steps of the State's Capitol to ask for full funding to meet the growing needs of all 14 community colleges statewide.

Students, faculty and staff will ask legislators to meet the statutory obligation to fund every student taught.

Community college enrollment rises in response to difficult economic times. Many adult students and laid off workers have been attending to earn a degree or certificate and enhance their marketability in the workplace.

Despite this growth, Community College of Philadelphia and all other community colleges in Pennsylvania have received a decrease in funding. Results of the funding cut include increased tuition and fees for students who often are already experiencing difficult financial situations.

Tuition at Community College of Philadelphia will rise to $97 per credit hour with an increase in fees for most classes. New fees will be implemented and 13 positions will be abolished. Programs will be discontinued and course offerings reduced.

Governor Rendell has proposed a 5% increase next year, however this would be on top of a funding deficit, which will only perpetuate the deficit.

Community College of Philadelphia's graduating class of 1,808 was the largest in the College's 38 year history. Among the graduates, 778 are over the age of 30 and 388 are over 40. These factors combined with an increased enrollment of 46,000, means that the possibility of such a reduction in funding comes at a time when Philadelphians can least afford it and the College needs it most.

PHILADELPHIA, APRIL 26, 2004 - Christine James-Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way International (UWI) will deliver the keynote address at Community College of Philadelphia's 38th Commencement. The ceremony takes place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 2, 2004, at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue.

Highlights of her experiences during a recent trip to several cities in Asia and the impact of globalization on today's aspiring career professionals will be reflected in her message to 1,750 graduates about "Charting Your Future in the Global Marketplace."

Ms. James-Brown, a native Philadelphian, was named President and CEO of UWI, based in Alexandria, Virginia, in March of this year. Prior to her move to UWI, Ms. James-Brown had been with United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania (UWSEPA) here in Philadelphia for 25 years. From 1994 until her current appointment, she led the UWSEPA organization as its President and CEO. She was also a member of the Board of Trustees of Community College of Philadelphia for 14 years.

After a world-wide search process, Ms. James-Brown was selected from a group of more than 90 outstanding candidates as UWI's fifth president, succeeding Robert M. Beggan, who retired after 35-years of service with United Way at the local, national, and international levels.

Two weeks after assuming her new role with UWI, Ms. James-Brown embarked on a 14-day tour of several cities in Asia that included: Tokyo, Japan; Taipei, Taiwan; Seoul, Korea; and four cities in China - Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Beijing. The purpose of the trip was to visit agencies and meet with United Way representatives, Board members, trustees and volunteers in those respective cities. Within the next few weeks, she will be making trips to England, Greece and Puerto Rico.

Ms. James-Brown has a long history of community involvement and Board service. She has served on numerous Boards in the City, including: the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce; the Samuel S. Fels Fund; the Delaware Valley Grantmakers; the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition; and the Forum of Executive Women.

Ms. James Brown had the distinction of being a U.S. Olympic Torch-Bearer as the torch traveled through Philadelphia on December 23, 2001 - en route to Salt Lake City, the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. In March of 2002, Ms. James-Brown had the honor of serving as moderator for "A Conversation of Service," a Presidential panel with President George W. Bush and six volunteers. President Bush conducted the panel at the Perelman Theater in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts during his visit to Philadelphia to promote volunteerism.

Now, as President and CEO of United Way International, Chris James-Brown will lead UWI and its 45 member countries in efforts to foster a new level of understanding and enhance voluntarism, giving and accomplishments in communities around the globe - so that everyone benefits.

United Way International (UWI) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1974 to strengthen communities and improve lives around the world.

PHILADELPHIA, PA, APRIL 26, 2004 - It is said, that true success is not determined by what you have. Real success is measured by what you have overcome.

Kendall C. Wood is living proof that no matter how far you have fallen in life; your life is never a lost cause. It's never too late to turn your life around and become a concerned and productive member of society.

According to Kendall, one the greatest lessons that he has learned in life is: "There is no honor in the dishonorable."

Kendall, 44 and a full-time student at Community College of Philadelphia for the past two years, graduates next week. But early on, it was unlikely that anyone would have ever imagined him to be college material - let alone a leader or a candidate for community service.

For much of his childhood and young adult life, Wood was no stranger to the pressures and pitfalls of life. He was born and raised in the Point Breeze section of South Philadelphia, where he was surrounded by some of the worst elements of inner city urban life.

He dropped out of high school in the tenth grade. Soon after he joined the Job Corps and earned his GED. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the US Army. After completing a three-year tour of duty in 1981, he received an honorable discharge and returned to civilian life.

Although Kendall was now an adult, he was not ready to face the freedoms of civilian life. His life took a turn for the worst in his 20's. He hit rock bottom in his 30's. But now, he's accomplishing fantastic feats in his 40's.

Kendall's life began to spiral out of control when he became addicted to drugs. His destructive lifestyle eventually led to living in the filthy stretches of cardboard shanties in the Skid Row section of Los Angeles, the nation's largest homeless district that spans 50 blocks in downtown LA. He turned to crime to support his drug habit. The crimes he committed resulted in a series of arrests for burglary and several stints in prison.

Finally, tired of his dreadful life and the madness of living on the streets, Kendall checked into the VA Hospital in LA, where he got the help he needed to liberate himself from grips of addiction.

Today, 44 year old Kendall has managed to rise above his circumstances because he refused to let the stumbling blocks in his life destroy him. Now that his life has been transformed, he is using his life experiences and his abilities to be a beacon to others - and in so doing; he is rallying others to roles of responsibility.

For the past two years, he has been a full-time student at Community College of Philadelphia - with current cumulative grade point average of 3.78. On May 2, 2004, he will be graduating with an Associate's Degree in Science. In the fall, he is headed for Temple University to pursue a Bachelor's Degree. It is his ultimate goal to obtain a Ph.D. in Chemistry.

As a full-time student at the college, his list of accomplishments are many: March 2003, inducted into Rho Upsilon Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of two-year colleges; elected Vice-President and Treasurer of the honor society the following month; and winner of the May 2003 National Chemistry Award for Outstanding Freshman. This month he was named the recipient of the prestigious Thomas W. Langfitt, Jr. Memorial Award for Volunteer Community Leadership.

PHILADELPHIA, PA, APRIL 25, 2004 - Community College of Philadelphia will pay tribute to six individuals from Northeast Philadelphia for their outstanding contributions at its Fourth Annual Distinguished Leadership Awards Breakfast to be held at the College's Northeast Regional Center, 12901 Townsend Road from 8:00 am to 9:30 am on Thursday, April 29, 2004.

Each year, the awards ceremony recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions as leaders in education, community service, business, faith-based activities, as an elected official and as a high school student.

This year's Northeast leaders to be honored include:

    • The Honorable Michael J. Stack
      State Senator
      5th Senatorial District


    • Mary Anne T. Benner
      Assistant Vice President and Northeast Regional Officer
      Beneficial Savings Bank


    • Gertrude Brown, Ed.D.
      Educational Trainer/Consultant


    • Sister Alma Rose Schlosser, SSJ
      St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls


    • Dr. Joseph M. De Angelis
      Father Judge High School


  • Marcus O'Shaughnessy
    Graduating Senior and Honor Student
    Abraham Lincoln High School


Pennsylvania State Senator Michael J Stack - who comes from a family with a long-standing commitment to public service, has been a tireless and dedicated public servant since first joining the Pennsylvania Senate. In 1988, at the age of 24, he was the youngest person to ever run for the State Senate. Senator Stack has been a staunch crusader against cuts in community college funding. His contributions and influence have played an integral role in the restoration of $3.7 million in funds for community colleges and $3 million for capital projects. He is active on several Boards, including the Board of Trustees of Temple University; the Board of Trustees of the Holocaust Museum; and the Board of Directors of Jewish Employment and Vocational Service of Delaware Valley. The Senator serves on several Senate committees that include: Minority Chair, Aging and Youth, Banking and Insurance, Law and Justice, Urban Affairs and Housing, Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness.

Mary Anne T. Benner - launched her career with Beneficial Savings Bank as a Customer Service Representative in 1973. She rose through the ranks - from Teller to Head Teller, and eventually Branch Management. In February 2003, she was appointed to her current position of Assistant Vice President and Northeast Regional Officer. Ms. Benner contributes much of her spare time and talents to community service work. Since 1998, she has served as Co-Chair for the March of Dimes Northeast Walksite Committee since 1999 and served as a committee member since 1994. Her other community involvements include: Vice President for Membership Development for the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce; Member of the Northeast Family YMCA Board's Capital Campaign Committee; Class Mother for the Chalfont Playground Dancers; member of Our Lady of Calvary Home and School Association, and an active parent in Our Lady of Calvary's Athletic Association and the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization).

Gertrude Brown, Ed.D. - was teacher of Clinical Laboratory Assisting/Applications in Biology and Chemistry with the School District of Philadelphia where she taught for 30 years. Although she is retired from the school district, Dr. Brown maintains an active practice as an Educational Trainer and Consultant for the Center of Occupational Research and Development (CORD) - sharing her skills and experience with over 400 teachers in states across the nation. She also devotes her dynamic energies and enthusiasm to work in her community. She is a long-time member of the Greater Northeast Chamber of Commerce and recently received the honor of "Ambassador of the Month" for service as Ambassador to new members. She was recently honored for outstanding service to the Citywide Police Advisory Council and for her volunteer work with the American Red Cross Bloodmobile. Dr. Brown holds a special place in her heart for Saint Katherine Drexel, a fellow Philadelphian and founder of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Four generations of Dr. Brown's family were educated by the sisters. Today, Dr. Brown is deeply involved in a $3.5 million renovation project to establish a St. Katherine Drexel Mission and Shrine.

Sister Alma Rose Schlosser, SSJ - President and Chief Administrator for St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls - the largest girls' high school in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia with over 1,000 students from parishes in Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties and New Jersey. St. Hubert has had a long-standing relationship with Community College of Philadelphia. For more than 15 years, St. Hubert's has made it possible for the College to offer on-site courses to people living in the Northeast community. Today, over 1,500 students a year are taking evening courses at St. Hubert's. Sister Alma Rose shares her talents and administrative expertise as a Board of Trustee member at Mount St. Joseph Academy in Flourtown and at Chestnut Hill College.

Dr. Joseph M. De Angelis - his career with Archdiocese of Philadelphia spans 33 years. He has served as Science Teacher at Northeast Catholic High School; Science Curriculum Chair for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia; Director of Guidance Services; Assistant Principal of Academic Affairs; and now Principal of Father Judge High School, his alma mater, class of 1967. Under his leadership, Father Judge High School has achieved the number one position among 20 high schools within the Archdiocese for college scholarships awarded to graduates. Father Judge also has one of the highest percentages of graduates attending college and enlisting in the military.

Marcus O'Shaughnessy - is a top honor student and a graduating senior, at Abraham Lincoln High School - ranking number 8 in his graduating class. Mr. O'Shaughnessy is the Commander of Cadets for Lincoln's Air Force Junior ROTC and responsible for the student leadership of a corps of over 130 cadets in grades 9-12. As Commander, O'Shaughnessy's leadership has been invaluable in helping younger cadets develop the courage to take stand for principles and not submit to peer pressure - even in the face of ridicule and rejection by fellow students. He is credited with planning and implementing various community service projects, team competitions and community ambassador programs. In addition to his record of high academic achievement, he has earned two nominations to the United States Naval Academy.