Things you should know about H1N1

Over one million people in the US have had H1N1 already in 2009.

Is H1N1 more dangerous than the usual flu virus?
H1N1 is not more harmful than the typical flu virus. The number of hospitalizations and deaths caused by H1N1 are actually lower than the number caused by the typical seasonal flu virus. The reason this new strand of flu virus is alarming is because more people seem to be susceptible to it and it has a longer season.

Why is it called “swine flu?”

H1N1 is sometimes called “swine flu” because many of the genes in the virus were originally found to be similar to flu viruses that occur in pigs, but after further testing it was discovered that this virus is very different from what is spread among North American swine. You cannot get the H1N1 virus from eating meat.

What group of people is most susceptible?

College students fall into the age group of high susceptibility to H1N1 because people under 25 years of age seem to be more vulnerable to swine flu. Since the disease spreads easily among people who live in close contact, communal dorm living also puts college students at risk. Typically elderly people are at a greater risk for the flu, but H1N1 seems to be a bigger threat to the young. Pregnant women and people with health problems such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease are also highly susceptible to H1N1.

Is there a vaccine for H1N1?
A vaccine for H1N1 is currently being produced and should be available soon. A normal seasonal flu vaccine should be used alongside the H1N1 vaccine, but neither vaccine will provide protection against both. Since the H1N1 vaccine production is behind schedule, there may be a limited supply at first. Eastern has requested a supply, but is still unsure if the University will receive it. If Eastern does receive a supply of the H1N1 vaccine, it will be offered to resident students first, then to the rest of the Eastern community.

Dr. Jack Bower returns

Business students with Dr. Jack Bower on their original schedules were surprised on the first day of classes to learn that the assistant professor of accounting was lying in a coma at the hospital.

Bower, who started convulsing during a doctor’s visit on Aug. 24, was in the coma for two full days, as doctors tried to determine what was wrong. They came to the conclusion that one of Bower’s medications for Lymphoma Non-Hodgkin, EXJADE, caused liver toxicity.

“He had a medicine to help with an iron overload,” Bower’s wife Wendy said. “His liver started to fail and his body was trying to get rid of toxins.”

Bower was diagnosed with Lymphoma Non-Hodgkin in 2003. Wendy Bower said the diagnosis has made Bower stronger and given him the desire to help others and become stronger in his faith in God.

Wendy Bower and the rest of the family were with Bower in the hospital throughout his stay. She said it was hard, but it was definitely encouraging to see how Bower’s faith grew as he dealt with his health.

Bower awoke from the coma on Aug. 26, but remained in the hospital until Aug. 30. “I don’t remember a thing,” Bower said. “I just woke up with strong memories of nightmares.”

The classes Bower was scheduled to teach this semester were “shuffled” by the business department as a result of his sudden hospital time.  Different professors oversaw the classes on the first day until other professors were scheduled to teach them.

Bower is currently back and teaching classes, but can only take on a limited amount of his previous workload. “The doctors want me to get more rest and work less,” Bower said.

Bower said he is not worried about future complications from the coma. “It’s just a reminder of the frailty of life, that can break very easily,” he said. “If you’re a Christian, you’re ready for death … You know where you’re going.”

The Journey of Jonsen from Johnson & Johnson

Accounting professor Rick Jonsen believes that it is “God’s timing” that brought him to Eastern from the huge multinational company Johnson & Johnson, where he worked from 1997 until 2009.

Recently, Jonsen and his wife transferred from California to New Jersey for his post as the Director of Talent Acquisition for Pharmaceutical Businesses.
“We recruited scientists, physicians, … sales people and executives for Johnson & Johnson,” Jonsen said.

Unlike many professors here, Jonsen is completely new to Eastern.
He went to undergraduate school at San Francisco State University and majored in geography, recreation and humanity. Following his graduation, he worked for a state park until he found himself in a different field.

“I went west to California and worked in retail and became the store manager at Eddie Bauer,” Jonsen said. 

He explained that this was when he discovered that he enjoyed the relational aspect of the position and went to the University of San Francisco to earn a master’s degree in human resources and organizational development.

At this point, Jonsen was considering taking a break and earning his PhD. He was looking for nearby universities when he came across Eastern’s Web site which had a vacancy posted for an accounting professor.

Without wasting any time, he applied for the position. His past experience made him the perfect candidate for the job and he was hired in the spring semester.

Since Jonsen will be teaching here this fall, he decided to put his dream of pursuing his PhD on hold until another year.

“Being able to join Eastern and teaching here has been a fulfillment of a long time aspiration,” Jonsen said. “I have always wanted to teach.”

Campolos oppose in homosexuality debate

The Warner Library atrium was filled to capacity when Dr. Tony Campolo and his wife Peggy came to debate the controversial topic of homosexuality. The event was sponsored by Refuge, Eastern’s gay-straight alliance.

The room buzzed with anticipation as junior Elise Yarnell and Abby De Silva, co-presidents of Refuge, introduced the couple.

Tony Campolo, the first to speak, took a stance against homosexual behavior but not against homosexuals. His argument was similar to that of his opposition, Peggy Campolo. Both agreed that homosexuality was not a choice, but a biological predisposition.

They also agreed that the church must be more welcoming of the gay community, which brought up the question, “Why is the church such a weak force in straying the hatred toward the gay community?”

Overall, the debate lacked a central focus, and at times it seemed as if both Campolos were saying the same thing.

In spite of this oversight, the general feeling in the room was positive and the event was seen as a success for both Refuge and the Eastern community at large.

Emily Pfizenmayer, 2007 graduate and former president of Refuge, said, “Refuge has grown and it is a testament to the student body, administration, and faculty.”

In Eastern’s early days, being a homosexual on campus was difficult. 2007 graduate Peter Macari, an openly gay student, felt that the discussion was an important one that had not existed during his time here.

“The people who were ‘out’ at Eastern were outcasts,” Macari said. “But I’m proud to say I’m an Eastern alum after this.”

Security Report

Sunday, August 23.
5:46 a.m. Walton.
Campus security received a hang-up call. They heard a child but no one was speaking. Realized it was child playing with phone.

Wednesday, August 26.

4:10 a.m. Sparrowk.
Security found a half full, open beer can in the parking lot.   

Wednesday, August 26.

4:00 p.m. Gough.
Student reported cash ($165)  taken from unlocked room.

Tuesday, September 1.
12:30 a.m. Sparrowk.
An ambulance was summoned for a student but the student refused treatment from the EMTs.

Tuesday, September 1.

2:51 p.m. McInnis.
Student struck multiple parked vehicles while parking. Information was exchanged.

Wednesday, September 2.

9:00 a.m. McInnis.
Vehicle rolled out of parking space striking parked vehicle. No damage found.

Irv Homer dies on McInnis stage

While addressing an audience of about 300 in McInnis auditorium, legendary Philadelphia radio broadcaster Irv Homer suddenly collapsed.

On June 24, Homer was scheduled to introduce author G. Edward Griffin for a program by The Big Talker 1210 AM when he suffered a massive heart attack.

Standing at the podium, Homer appeared to be in good health. With the loud and strong voice of a radio personality, he easily commanded the attention of the crowd.

After opening with a joke, he began to recount his service in the Air Force during World War II.

As he described an air show that he did at the end of the war, his breathing became labored. One of The Big Talker’s staff members brought Homer water, arriving just in time to catch him as he collapsed.

Over the gasps and the shrieks of the audience, the staff member demanded that someone call 911. Someone else cried out, “Is there a doctor in the house?”

A woman responded by immediately running to the stage and checking for a pulse. After discovering that Homer did not have a pulse, she began performing CPR and requesting that someone get a defibrillator. The radio station’s staff frantically searched McInnis for the device, but was unable to find one.

After about a minute and a half of CPR, campus security arrived at the scene and escorted one of the staff members to the security office where the defibrillator was held.

Another minute passed before the staff member returned in full sprint to the stage.

It took the paramedics another five minutes to arrive. Homer had yet to be revived by the staff, even with the help of the defibrillator.

Entering from the back of the stage, the paramedics quickly took control of the situation. They placed Homer on a gurney and wheeled him out of the auditorium, doing CPR along the way.

Homer was taken to Bryn Mawr Hospital.

Although the paramedics were able to revive him briefly, Homer was later pronounced dead at the age of 85.

[Editor’s note: Bryon Calawa works with the Instructional Technology Support  Center and was in the auditorium when Homer passed away this summer. This is his first-person account.]

Eastern in the City closed

“After three years of serving students and shaping leaders who will surely change communities and lives, the Eastern in the City one-year undergraduate program will be closing,” according to the letter that was distributed to the administration, faculty and staff of Eastern in February.

EIC was a program under the umbrella of the School for Social Change located in center-city Philadelphia. The School for Social Change also encompassed such programs as Community Education, Master of Arts in Urban Studies, and Cross Boundaries. All of those programs are being maintained in some capacity except EIC. The aforementioned programs will be moved to their new location at the Falls Center on Henry Avenue, which is also the site of Eastern’s new Charter Academy.

Former Director of Eastern in the City Amy Pérez expressed disappointment about the closing of EIC,  but also recognized the reality of the situation. “One major reason (for the closing) was the internal duplication of EU programs in Philadelphia,” Pérez said. Other programs in the area like the Esperanza College and People for People Institute “attracted many of the same population.” This diminished the enrollment at EIC, which, on average, serviced 55 students a semester throughout its three years of operation.
On the other hand, Jerome Scott a former EIC student, said of the program, “EIC was a very beneficial experience for the two years that I attended, however, I always had a feeling that it was somehow being mismanaged behind the scenes.” He attributes the closure of the program to poor communication between EIC and Eastern’s main campus.

According to Pérez, when administrators first re-envisioned the future of EIC, they did not plan for closure. The first draft of plans included “some changes,” but the decision to close was reached in January by Pérez, EIC’s dean Vivian Nix-Early and other administration. 

Throughout its three-year run, somewhere between 20 and 25 faculty were involved with Eastern in the City. “The programs at the School for Social Change shared full-time faculty, so that part of their load was teaching a course or two with EIC,” Pérez said.
The change is unlikely to affect the faculty in any great capacity, but those who were planning to attend EIC will have to make other arrangements.

The requirements for admission into the EIC program were a bit more extensive than those of traditional undergraduate admission. “Admission was based on a review of high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, two written essays, and a personal interview,” Pérez said. Students who enrolled did so under the precepts of EIC’s mission statement, part of which said, “To equip aspiring agents of social change by providing them with a rigorous, affordable faith-integrated education.”