Archive for June, 2006

June 26th, 2006 by Campus Philly

Talking About Tokyo: From Hibachi to Hokusai

Just a few months ago, I was sitting rather uncomfortably in one of those stiff plastic seats in Temple University’s Anderson building. Munching on a banana-nut muffin, sipping hot green tea, I eagerly awaited the arrival of Dr. Fabienne Darling-Wolf—or “Fab,” to those fortunate enough to know her. A guest lecturer for my Journalism Design class, Wolf breezed through the double doors with a certain nervous glow on her cheeks. It was 8:40 a.m. on a particularly humid Thursday morning, and without a doubt Wolf was to meet more than a few blank stares from her less-than-enthused student audience. Apparently, the Japanese influence on Western design didn’t pique the interest of many present. But, fortunately, I wasn’t one of the disaffected.

I sat attentively absorbing all of the facts, despite the early a.m. hours. Highlighting everything from Hokusai’s Great Wave to the art of ukiyo-e (woodblock printing), Wolf presented a plethora of Japan’s finest arts and design.

Clicking through slide after projected slide, Wolf lured us into the traditional Japan known to samurai warriors and geisha of centuries past. Then suddenly, as if by some mystical means of time travel, Wolf whisked us away from the Edo period to present-day Tokyo.

Standing tall in its architectural glory, Tokyo alone has anchored Japan in a sea of design dull by comparison. Home to over 12 million, and best known for its sheer vibrancy, Tokyo represents Japan’s ultimate cultural merger—uniting the adherence to tradition with the advancement of modernization.

I was breathless, blown away by the beauty of such a sight. How could a country founded on tradition and age-old custom welcome mile-high skyscrapers? Could hand-rolled sushi and shopping malls really coexist? Could courtesans and avid consumerism call one country home?

And much to my surprise, Wolf concluded her presentation by presenting the possibility to find those answers personally, via a journey to Japan. The thought of studying this cultural anomaly, of reporting my findings firsthand, intrigued me. I had, in fact, milled over the idea of studying abroad before, thinking London my destination of choice. I had fancied myself digesting all of the museums, all of the media outlets and a few of the pubs too, of course. I imagined myself in a British episode of Cheers, where you’re kicking back with your mates, enjoying a pint, and you’re always glad you came.

I realize there’s no pubs, no pints and nobody is gonna know my name in Japan, let alone be able to pronounce it. And I’m fine with that, ecstatic even. After all, I did have a slight interest in Japanese culture prior to Wolf’s presentation, albeit an interest that was sparked by an unlikely source.

The spark that started the fire was horror movies. First it was The Ring, and then its superior Japanese predecessor, Ringu. And before I knew it, I was hooked. My slight interest became an all-out obsession, a passion to which I became extremely devoted. Insisting Japanese horror flicks ran circles, rings even, around their U.S. remakes, I sought to see them all. From Audition to Suicide Club, I’m still working my way through the best horror movies Japan has to offer.

And for a while, that was the extent of my Japanese interests. Aside from the occasional fast food hiatus for hibachi and a childhood stint in martial arts, I am virtually a novice of Japanese culture. But since that fateful day in the Anderson auditorium, my interests have been slowly evolving and quickly expanding.

Even now I don’t claim extensive knowledge of Japanese cinema, Japanese art or Japanese history for that matter. But I have a strong grasp on what interests me, and I’m willing to take my interests far beyond my local Temple University obligations and destinations.

And so, I filed the necessary paperwork, made the necessary appointments and played the waiting game. A few excessively long weeks later, I received word of my official acceptance to Dr. Fabienne Darling-Wolf’s Contemporary Media Culture Workshop at Temple University’s Tokyo campus. And to tell you the honest-to-God truth, I haven’t really had much to time to think about what I’m about to do, until now that is. One minute I’m chewing on Cheetos and watching Battle Royale, the next, I’m a foreign correspondent with a weekly column for an Internet magazine, prepping myself for a six-week study in Japan.

It’s now two weeks until departure, and I’m ready to pack my bags and head East. Of course, there is still much to do. Exchanging currency pre-flight, paying a few last-minute bills, picking out the perfect outfits and preparing myself body-and-mind for a complete nervous breakdown.

Oh sure, this is an opportunity of a lifetime, an amazing adventure and a considerably sizeable student loan expenditure. But all I’ve been hearing for the past two months is “culture shock, coach seat, communication barrier.”

“Yes, mom, of course I’ll miss the family. Yes, it is a 12-hour flight. Well, no, I really have no knowledge of the language,” I find myself repeating. Actually, I’ve grown somewhat tired of explaining the situation’s few setbacks. I’ve pretty much come to the point where I’m dropping mention of my summer abroad rather casually. “Oh Jackie, did you want to go see that movie on global warming?” Sorry, I can’t. I’m going to Japan.

Talk about prior obligations. And while it seems my words of excess wit and little wisdom describe my impending trip quite lightly, quite the contrary is true. And in spite of my seemingly casual attitude, I’m taking all the necessary precautions and packing in a few extras along the way. Just the other day, a good friend of mine bought me one of those 8-disc audio immersion tools, where I’m supposed to learn the language in no time flat. And I’ve dedicated a few good hours to the cause, with high hopes of its effectiveness.

Realistically speaking, I do anticipate a little mix-up regarding the whole language barrier thing. But I have successfully learned one integral phrase, for life’s little emergencies, “Ichi biru, kudasai.” Translation: One beer, please.

Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s exciting pre-departure adventure in Talking About Tokyo: An American Journalist in Japan.

June 23rd, 2006 by Campus Philly

A taste of Vietnam

I’ve always liked Asian food: Chinese takeout, Japanese sushi, spicy Thai. But my chances to explore other types of Asian food were limited when I was growing up in the culinary-deprived states of North Carolina and New Hampshire.

Now that I live in Philly, I have plenty of options. My new favorite is Vietnamese food, which has a substantially different flavor from other Asian cuisines because of its typical ingredients of lemon grass, rice noodles, and BBQ. Lately, I’ve eaten at a lot of Vietnamese establishments, but few can measure up to my two favorites.

Vietnam Restaurant

The Lai family, who still operate the establishment, opened their restaurant in 1984. It is consistently proclaimed one of the best restaurants in Chinatown and the city.

The atmosphere in Vietnam is different from most of what you will encounter in Chinatown. You won’t find any garish neon signs or shabby interiors here. The renovation, which was completed in 2000, infuses Vietnam with a type of ambiance associated with more expensive restaurants.

The food is top-notch and satisfying. Portions are large and exploding with flavor. I especially recommend the lemon-grass chicken soup, which comes with a side plate of sprouts and spicy peppers for extra flavor. A word of caution, however: take it easy on the soup because it’ll fill you up if you’re not careful.

The main courses are excellent. Two of my favorites are salt & pepper shrimp (skillfully spiced and battered jumbo shrimp) and beef wrapped in grape leaves.

There are also traditional Vietnamese desserts if you’re still hungry.

The food is so good you can hardly stop eating. I never understood how an animal could simply eat itself to death

June 22nd, 2006 by Campus Philly

A Primo Choice

The Good: Best hoagies in Philly, huge selection, tasty appetizers.

The Bad: Bread can run out as early as 2 p.m., which means no more hoagies.

The Price: About $7 for a single sandwich.

The hoagie, the hero, the submarine sandwich: all one and the same. Every region has its own “best of the best” sandwich shop and colloquial name to accompany it.

For Philly, and its surrounding areas, the only place to patronize is Primos Hoagies.

Although both of Primos locations (in Center City and South Philly) are be take-out only, the food makes it well worth it to find somewhere to eat.

The people behind Primos know how to make sandwiches the right way, piling on just the right combinations of meats and toppings, and then enveloping them with scrumptious bread that is baked fresh daily.

Everyone knows that it’s the quality of the ingredients that separates a good hoagie from a truly extraordinary one. As my great-Uncle Sal, who ran a deli in Brooklyn for years, used to say, “There’s Boar’s Head

June 22nd, 2006 by Campus Philly

Kibitz in the City

The Good: Huge sandwiches packed to the brim with mouth-watering meat.

The Bad: Soups leave something to be desired.

The Price: $11 for a sandwich, about $15 for a whole meal.

New York-style Jewish deli Kibitz in the City, located only a block from the tourist-congested Liberty Bell, is nevertheless a popular lunch spot with the local working crowd—which means it must have something to offer.

Like most Jewish delis, Kibitz is best known for sandwiches so large that two slices of bread can barely contain them. Only the heartiest of eaters can finish one of these delicious monstrosities in a single sitting.

Sandwiches come in a variety of styles, but the best of the bunch are undoubtedly the hot pastrami, corned beef and beef brisket. Throw in a side of potato salad or coleslaw and a crunchy pickle (be sure you ask for the half-sour) and you’ve got a little slice of heaven.

The sandwiches are a bit pricey, usually around $11, but the quality of the meat is unmatched. And remember, one is big enough to split with a friend.

Kibitz also offers an assortment of soups, ranging from split pea to matzo ball, and entire platters, such as chicken or stuffed cabbage. None of the other cuisine compares to their overstuffed sandwiches, however.

If you still have any room left in your stomach, you can finish off your meal with one of the many fine baked goods behind the counter, such as a tasty black-and-white cookie a la Seinfeld.

Even with two floors of seating, Kibitz can get crowded around lunchtime on weekdays, and occasionally long lines at the main counter where you order and pick up your food can lead to lengthy waits. Try to avoid the usual lunch hours for speedy service.

While it may not quite measure up to some famous Jewish delis in New York, Kibitz in the City certainly gets the job done and is one of the best delis Philly has to offer.

Kibitz in the City 703 Chestnut St. (215) 928-1447 SEPTA Routes: MFL, 47, 38

June 22nd, 2006 by Campus Philly

The Eclectic N. 3rd

Tucked away in Northern Liberties, just south of Fairmount Avenue, a gem of a restaurant is just waiting to be discovered. Actually, it already has been by many since its opening four years ago. Every day N. 3rd (aptly named after it’s location at 801 N. 3rd St.) attracts droves of loyal diners from all walks of life.

The bar/restaurant atmosphere at N. 3rd reflects its surrounding neighborhood: funky and laid-back, haphazardly decorated with local art and Christmas lights. The bar is crowded; the lounge, noisy and hazy. The sidewalk dining is great for people-watching. The wait staff is friendly and mostly efficient.

N. 3rd has something to offer to everyone for every occasion.

The same can be said for the food. Whether you’re looking for an early lunch, a happy hour cocktail, or a late dinner (the kitchen stays open until 2 a.m.), N. 3rd is sure to have something just right for you.

The food is usually described as “eclectic-comfort food,” a confusing term to be sure, but one that seems to fit better than any other. N. 3rd has a great line-up that often puts a new twist on old favorites, from a simple bowl of macaroni and cheese (the best in town) to a superbly spiced rack of ribs. Though the selection is a bit limited, the standard menu items are delicious, and the appetizers will entice you before your entrée arrives. The mussels in a spicy red sauce are perfect for seafood lovers, and be sure to ask for extra bread for dipping.

The specials are also worth noting, particularly the ahi tuna-steak (order it rare with a side of wasabi mashed potatoes) and the five-spiced roast duck. If those favorites aren’t on the daily specials list, something else just as good has surely replaced them. Every plate is filled with the perfect amount of food: not too much, not too little—a surprisingly hard thing to accomplish.

Those over 21 can wash it all down with a bottle of Belgian beer or one of many inventive cocktails.

If great food, drink, and ambiance still aren’t enough, every Tuesday evening N. 3rd also hosts the Fancypants Cinema, a free screening of local films and works-in-progress.

If you’re looking for a change of pace from the typical restaurant scene, a place to wind down with your favorite beer, or the chance to indulge in inspired and ambitious food at a reasonable price, then N. 3rd should be number one on your list.

N. 3rd 801 N. 3rd St. (215) 413-3666 norththird.com SEPTA Routes: MFL, 5, 57

June 21st, 2006 by Campus Philly

The world's game…. not ours

The World Cup is finally here, and soccer (or futbol everywhere else) is the most popular sport in existence. It’s the game that changes lives, stops violence in some countries, incites it in others, and has a worldwide following that dwarfs that of any top American sport.

We’ve all heard this before but, quite frankly, Americans generally don’t care. “This is so boring,” “Why am I watching this?,” “He’s not going to score anytime soon,” are just some common quotes that usually flow out of the mouths of Americans who are accustomed to watching baseball, basketball, or “real football”. It is far from a secret that we have a somewhat broad and blatant apathy for the game the rest of the world loves so much. Our simple aversion as spectators is not the issue, however. The real mystery arises in why we can’t seem to take to the sport despite its potential.

Imagine the power of a true soccer following in America. Consider the popularity of a David Beckham-like figure in the States, or the possibility of Lincoln Financial Field being filled with fans at the height of a 3rd season, along with baseball and football. The earning prospective would be ridiculous. The powers that be would love it if we had a change of heart, and they have made an honest effort to make it happen.

Freddy Adu was supposed to be a superstar in the U.S., and FIFA had hopes of becoming a recognizable acronym. Considering everything else that the media influences us to like (weight loss, Starbucks, and Paris Hilton) why can’t we all turn on a soccer game with a group of friends and have a good time? Are our sports really that much better?

You would think this was a rhetorical, introspective question, but there really is an answer……Yes. To us, our sports really are that much better; and here are three of the biggest reasons why:

1. It’s all about the numbers

We are a capitalist society our preference for sports reflects our ideology. We love our big numbers and figures. In the world of sports this translates into one word; statistics. Numbers are our way of validating talent in most cases. Judging by TV ratings and fan attendance, football is currently the most popular American game (when aired, NFL broadcasts are the top rated shows 73 percent of the time). Football is the epitome of a statistical game. Every tackle, pancake, and deflection is recorded and accredited. Soccer, on the other hand, is virtually devoid of stats aside from goals and penalties.

2. “The Land of Opportunity”

We like tangible and immediate results for our efforts. Soccer is not a game designed for immediate outcomes. For example, in football and baseball, a 40-yard pass or a leadoff triple have an imminent implication on the game. In soccer, nothing really counts unless you score, and that only happens about twice a game. Perhaps if we were holistically more into spiritual art, yoga, or other cultural aspects other than “meat and potatoes,” we would recognize the nuances of a game like soccer.

3. Drama, Drama, Drama

We can’t wait to watch American Idol and see who gets kicked off, or to find out about the next celebrity divorce. We love the back-and-forth of it all—and soccer is not the most dynamic sport around. The lead doesn’t often shift, and it’s difficult to make a big impact in one play. This is so unlike American sports where you can watch a team practically win the game and then throw it all away in 10 seconds. Think about the Steelers vs. Colts in this past years’ playoffs, the infamous Derek Fisher 00.4 shot, or the Red Sox vs. Yankees game seven a few years back when Aaron Boone won the game with a walk-off homerun. These were all games that were practically won by one team, and then definitely won by the other in a short period of time.

So as we view ESPN and notice the increasing number of soccer commercials and get excited about this new intriguing sport, let’s keep something in mind. Sure, we can watch, but we might just be programmed not to like this game. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we haven’t caught on yet…but we’ll see.

June 21st, 2006 by Campus Philly

The world's game…. not ours

The World Cup is finally here, and soccer (or futbol everywhere else) is the most popular sport in existence. It’s the game that changes lives, stops violence in some countries, incites it in others, and has a worldwide following that dwarfs that of any top American sport.

We’ve all heard this before but, quite frankly, Americans generally don’t care. “This is so boring,” “Why am I watching this?,” “He’s not going to score anytime soon,” are just some common quotes that usually flow out of the mouths of Americans who are accustomed to watching baseball, basketball, or “real football”. It is far from a secret that we have a somewhat broad and blatant apathy for the game the rest of the world loves so much. Our simple aversion as spectators is not the issue, however. The real mystery arises in why we can’t seem to take to the sport despite its potential.

Imagine the power of a true soccer following in America. Consider the popularity of a David Beckham-like figure in the States, or the possibility of Lincoln Financial Field being filled with fans at the height of a 3rd season, along with baseball and football. The earning prospective would be ridiculous. The powers that be would love it if we had a change of heart, and they have made an honest effort to make it happen.

Freddy Adu was supposed to be a superstar in the U.S., and FIFA had hopes of becoming a recognizable acronym. Considering everything else that the media influences us to like (weight loss, Starbucks, and Paris Hilton) why can’t we all turn on a soccer game with a group of friends and have a good time? Are our sports really that much better?

You would think this was a rhetorical, introspective question, but there really is an answer……Yes. To us, our sports really are that much better; and here are three of the biggest reasons why:

1. It’s all about the numbers

We are a capitalist society our preference for sports reflects our ideology. We love our big numbers and figures. In the world of sports this translates into one word; statistics. Numbers are our way of validating talent in most cases. Judging by TV ratings and fan attendance, football is currently the most popular American game (when aired, NFL broadcasts are the top rated shows 73 percent of the time). Football is the epitome of a statistical game. Every tackle, pancake, and deflection is recorded and accredited. Soccer, on the other hand, is virtually devoid of stats aside from goals and penalties.

2. “The Land of Opportunity”

We like tangible and immediate results for our efforts. Soccer is not a game designed for immediate outcomes. For example, in football and baseball, a 40-yard pass or a leadoff triple have an imminent implication on the game. In soccer, nothing really counts unless you score, and that only happens about twice a game. Perhaps if we were holistically more into spiritual art, yoga, or other cultural aspects other than “meat and potatoes,” we would recognize the nuances of a game like soccer.

3. Drama, Drama, Drama

We can’t wait to watch American Idol and see who gets kicked off, or to find out about the next celebrity divorce. We love the back-and-forth of it all—and soccer is not the most dynamic sport around. The lead doesn’t often shift, and it’s difficult to make a big impact in one play. This is so unlike American sports where you can watch a team practically win the game and then throw it all away in 10 seconds. Think about the Steelers vs. Colts in this past years’ playoffs, the infamous Derek Fisher 00.4 shot, or the Red Sox vs. Yankees game seven a few years back when Aaron Boone won the game with a walk-off homerun. These were all games that were practically won by one team, and then definitely won by the other in a short period of time.

So as we view ESPN and notice the increasing number of soccer commercials and get excited about this new intriguing sport, let’s keep something in mind. Sure, we can watch, but we might just be programmed not to like this game. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we haven’t caught on yet…but we’ll see.

June 21st, 2006 by Campus Philly

Field of Dreams: Pitcher's poison

Any fans of Philadelphia sports know that championships are hard to find in this city. The Eagles and the Sixers never had a chance to prove their salt in the playoffs, and the Flyers just did not meet anyone’s expectations. I will pray for those of you who took the Vegas odds on the Fly Guys at beginning of the season. Trust me, I did the same.

As summer begins, only one Philly team has the chance to fulfill any hopes of a decent playoff run—the Phillies. Many people would laugh at that thought, and they’d be right. Last season the Phillies were rated as having the best off-season moves, according to ESPN, and were considered a contender to represent the National League in the World Series. They fell short by one game, leaving many to wonder, “Why do we watch them?”

I theorize that this year there will be some interesting reasons to watch. This Phillies team has some of the strongest potential in the National League—its only a matter of how they choose to use it. In order to get the best look at the situation, you have to go in depth on both sides of the ball, offense and pitching. These are the two problems that have been lingering over the Phillies’ collective heads; but this team, if focused correctly, could see them through. Without further ado, here is the offense:

I’ll start with the new hero of Philadelphia, Aaron Rowand. He is a huge upgrade in centerfield from former centerfielder Kenny Lofton. Coming to the Phillies in the Thome trade, Rowand has been solid defensively and good with the bat. He has been hitting consistently with a .288 batting average with 7 home runs, 25 runs scored, and 22 RBIs. After his wall crash, he is one player that will bring that solid competitive edge to the locker room, and perhaps a jolt to the fans as well.

A surprise to this writer has been the ever-unpopular, David Bell. For the last few years Bell has been less than worth his contract, and Philly fans have let him know it. Bell was booed every time he entered the batter’s box throughout most of last year. This year, he has come on fairly strong, hitting .262 with 24 RBIs, and 21 runs scored. These numbers have kept him out of the negative spotlight, and I am sure fans hope he stays that way. Even though these numbers are not as huge as his contract, I think fans can take solid hitting from Mr. Bell. I know I will.

A frustrating batter leadoff hitter is Jimmy Rollins. J-Roll has been a familiar face for the Phillies, and always has an opportunity to be an All-Star. Though he is second on the team with 47 runs scored (making it obvious that he is on base), his .252 batting average is not what a leadoff man should be. J-Roll’s main problem is that he likes to swing for the fences, as do many ballplayers in the era of the home run. I think what Charlie Manuel should do is watch the movie Major League. Wesley Snipes’ character is the leadoff man who swings for the fences, but every time he does the manager makes him do twenty push-ups. It sounds old school, but if it works for J-Roll, the Phillies could have one the best leadoff men in the game and J-Roll can add more stolen bases (14 total this year) to his numbers instead of home runs.

Though many have complained about Pat Burrell, his season thus far has been very good. Pat ‘the bat’ is in the top ten in the National league in RBIs with 47, and top fifteen in home runs with 16. His batting average is mediocre at .259, but for a power hitter I will take that for the RBI production. His strikeout count is still high at 52, but it is still second on the team. From watching him at the plate, Burrell has gotten slightly more patient with the bat, which is what he has lacked throughout the years. Though he still needs work on it, his numbers are excellent and have gotten him an All-Star ballot nod.

He might have cooled off after the All-Star break last year, but Bobby Abreu has picked up production once more. His homerun total, 7, does not do his production justice. He is tenth in the National League in RBIs with 46 and fifteenth in league in stolen bases with 10. He is also sixth in the league in runs scored, with 48. His on-base percentage is the best on the team, which could be due to the National League-leading 65 walks. Bobby has been putting up amazing numbers, even without the long ball. He is part of the center of the amazing power line-up for the Phillies. The homeruns will come, but until then, Abreu can put himself on-base for last year’s rookie of the year to slam home.

The best second-baseman in baseball is Chase Utley. Though there might be some who disagree, any Phillies fan will stand up and cheer, just as they do every time he enters the batter’s box. Utley has been quite possibly one of the most dominant batters the Phillies have. He is top-twenty in home runs with 12, in RBIs with 40, and batting averages with .303. The big mark for him has been runs scored. He is second in the National League in the category, touching home plate 52 times. Always a consistent hitter, Utley will find a way to make a hit, especially in the most clutch of situations. No need to ask the magic eight ball if Utley makes the All-Star game, because all signs have to point to ‘YES.’

I decided to save the best for last. Athletes in any sport can fall prey to the fated sophomore slump. All Phillies’ fans were happy to see that Ryan Howard didn’t suffer from it. Lighting up the month of May with a National-league leading 13 home runs, Ryan Howard has continued his dominance since grabbing the 2005 Rookie of the Year trophy. Howard is third in the league in home runs with 22 and in RBIs with 54. His batting average has been around .300 all season but has dropped to .294 recently. This of course is still a great average with the numbers he has put up for this club, and makes him a clear contender for the All-Star game. He has been the most dangerous bat the Phillies have, and with the other five players mentioned all hitting at a solid rate, they have a chance to make their offense one of the best in major league baseball.

The Phillies have the presence of bat to take the NL East. With Howard, Utley, Abreu, and the rest of the crew putting on a solid effort, there is no reason to think otherwise. Of course knowing the usual result of Philadelphia sports teams, that could be just enough to put some doubt in the minds of fans. The Phillies are going to have to play big if they want to win back their public. Promises on paper will no longer cut it for the Phightin’ Phils. It is time to lay it all out on the field.

There is one more thing that the team needs to solve—pitching. Stayed tuned for next week when I’ll cover the other half of the Phillies’ puzzle, the pitching staff. Those who know the Phillies understand that it is a horse of a different color with this ball club.

June 21st, 2006 by Campus Philly

Leadership Philadelphia

Some people are naturally leaders. For those who wish to improve their leadership skills, the non-profit organization Leadership Philadelphia exists to make that happen.

“People go through the program to learn how Philadelphia works behind the scenes and to meet other civic-minded executives,” said Elizabeth Dow, president and CEO of Leadership Philadelphia since 1993. Dow also went through the program 20 years ago when working for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Leadership Philadelphia provides seminars to train individuals to enhance their leadership skills and serve on various non-profit boards. The organization offers various types of programs to meet the needs of its members.

Originally named The Community Leadership Seminar Program, the organization has been in operation since 1959. First established by corporate leaders and associates within the Fels Institute of Local and State Government at the University of Pennsylvania, Leadership Philadelphia has operated as an independent non-profit organization since 1978.

Its goals are “to put the talent of the private sector to work on behalf of the community, to inspire people to serve, and to act as the hub of a large and diverse network of professionals,” Dow said. Successful graduates of the programs are offered placements on the boards of local non-profit organizations.

Alumni from the program include leaders throughout the city, from presidents and CEOs of large companies and universities, to attorneys, editors, and politicians, including Marlene Dooner, VP of Comcast Communications, and Don Smolenski, CFO of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The organization runs a number of unique programs, including the Core Program, which runs from September through June, and consists of eleven seminar sessions with guest speakers and activities to provide leadership development; the Executive Program, a dinner seminar series offered in the fall and spring for senior business executives who are either new residents of Philadelphia, or who have recently been promoted to an executive leadership position in their field; and the Private Series, which provides leadership workshops to local organizations, tailored to meet clients’ needs.

Students can apply to these programs, although the price is a little steep at $5,950. Most employers usually pay for their employees to attend the programs.

“If a college student could afford it, could show a track record of leadership and a strong intention to stay in Philadelphia, they would be welcome to apply,” Dow said.

According to Dow, the organization is currently busy with several different programs including a special summer program at Bryn Mawr and a series for student leaders at the Episcopal Academy in the fall.

Another important project the organization is currently working on is the Connector Project. The study aims to identify successful leaders throughout Philadelphia, find out what makes their leadership effective, and plan a curriculum of study to teach leadership development in local schools.

“This project was created to commemorate our upcoming fiftieth anniversary,” Dow said. “We want to share our wisdom about leadership with the rest of the community.”

Currently, Leadership Philadelphia is working with a Harvard professor and expert in social network analysis to develop a curriculum and write a book detailing their findings. They plan to share the results of this research with other cities in 2009.

Dow is proud to be leading an organization that has a significant impact on the community.

“It is a source of talent for non-profit boards, a vehicle to improve the effectiveness of non-profit organizations and executives, and a credible and widespread voice for what is good about Philadelphia,” she said.

For more information about Leadership Philadelphia, visit www.leadershipphilad

You’ve sent out what seems like a hundred resumés, gone on a blur of interviews, and now you’ve finally landed a great job. But the hard work isn’t over yet, because now you have to begin building a workplace reputation that will position you for promotion and success. Here are a few easy tips to help you make a great first impression.

1. Understand the chain of command: The lower you are on the company totem pole, the more superiors you will have. Finding out who you superiors are and how their jobs relate to yours as early as possible will prevent needless confusion later. Knowing the chain of command will also keep you from making the embarrassing and costly mistake of unknowingly going above your boss’s head.

2. Be careful not to overachieve: Everyone loves a proactive new employee, but no one likes an overachiever. Unless you are working with a new company, most offices’ day-to-day responsibilities are clearly assigned to specific employees. Therefore, you may be stepping on someone else’s toes by taking on a responsibility that wasn’t specifically assigned to you. You should be careful not to take on work that may be your superior’s responsibility without getting permission from him or her first. While you may believe you are being helpful and proactive, others may think you are trying to take credit for their work and could retaliate in the future.

3. Be watchful in making alliances: We’ve all heard it before: It’s not what you know; it’s who you know. This can ring particularly true in the complex world of office politics. Your office alliances (a.k.a. friends) have the potential to determine how you are viewed by your coworkers and, in some cases, the promotions and projects you will receive. For this reason, it is vital to take your time to make the right alliances. Be friendly, yet very observant!