Older News
Friday, March 02, 2012 03:08 PM

Stecklow leaves WSJ

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Steve Stecklow '76 left The Wall Street Journal in February after 18 years at the paper to become a London-based investigative reporter for Reuters. Stecklow joined the Journal in 1993 as a Boston-based national education reporter. He moved to London in 1998 as a global investigative reporter for the Journal, before returning to Boston in 2005. Stecklow shared the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service with three other Journal reporters for a series on backdated stock options. He was a Pulitzer finalist in 2003 as well, and has received journalism's prestigious George Polk award three times. Stecklow has worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Star, Philadelphia Bulletin, and the Atlantic City Press, and has been an adjunct professor at Boston University, teaching a course in investigative journalism.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012 12:00 AM

The history of the DP
(in 17 minutes, 33 seconds)

At the start of 2011, Executive Editor Lauren Plotnick said she wanted to start four days of training for new editors and managers with a session on the history of the DP -- something that would make them better appreciate the magnitude of running the 127 year-old organization. 

DP General Manager Eric Jacobs says the idea blossomed in his mind immediately: a video slideshow which would trace the paper's long history, interspersed with alumni memories to inspire the staff. "Standing in front of the group to talk through the DP's history would be dry, but I pictured a movie with historic photos, front pages, quotes from alumni which make you laugh and which make you cry, and dramatic music to heighten the emotional connection." 

Two long days of hectic work by Jacobs and Operations Director Katherine Ross later, the DP History movie emerged.

Thursday, January 19, 2012 12:00 AM

Kien Lam: around the world
in under 5 minutes

Former DP photographer Kien Lam '06 has made a splash on the world stage with his under-five minute time-lapse video of his nearly year-long trip around the world.

He visited 17 countries over 343 days, traveling without a set itinerary or plan, other than to head east and keep going. The 4 minute, 50 second video is composed of 6,237 photographs, and received more than 2.4 million views on YouTube since he uploaded it at the start of the year. 

Lam quit his job as a financial strategist in San Francisco to travel. In a recent interview with a travel blogger, Lam said, "I wanted to travel for more than 2 weeks at a time. Whenever I used to visit a country and meet other travelers, I was always envious that they had 2 months or 6 months or a year to travel. My entire “vacation” or “travels” was just one of a long list of places they were visiting on one trip. I felt like I wanted to do it now, rather than put it off for later."

How did he decide which countries to visit? "That was hard. I wanted to start in London to see some friends and then follow the sun and warm weather. 2010 was a particularly cold year in San Francisco and I just wanted to go where it was warm. I had places I wanted to visit, and made my decisions from country to country as I arrived."

Lam attributed his interest in photography to his early days at Penn — and the DP. "I took a Introductory Photography course my freshman year in college," and then joined the DP. "Having access to professional equipment and shooting real events taught me a lot about photography," he said. "The rest I learned on my own through shooting and a lot of trial and error."

For his world trip, Lam used only one camera — an under-$1,000 Panasonic — with two lenses. He shot more than 25,000 photos on the trip, although only 6,000+ appear in the video.

Penn even makes it into the video, with a blink-and-you-missed-it time-lapse shot of Locust Walk (at the 3:06 mark). On his website, Lam writes: "How many times have I walked down Locust Walk and how many more times would I have walked down if I actually went to all my classes? The path from here to the world of finance to backpacking the world and then becoming a photographer may not be a straight or related one, but sometimes that’s just how the universe works. And I’ll take it."

Read more about Lam's incredible journey on his website: http://kienlam.net/around-the-world

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Monday, November 07, 2011 12:00 AM

DP occupies NYT

Quietly escaping the attention of the mainstream media, a group of DP editors and reporters joined the "Occupy" movement November 4 by staging an occupation of The New York Times.

DP staff The visit was organized by Eric Dash '02, a reporter at the Times and member of the DPAA Board of Directors. He was joined in hosting the DP staff members by Alan Schwarz '90, a Times sports reporter.

The DP contingent broke into three groups for a tour of the newsroom, and then sat with Dash, Schwarz and several of their New York Times colleagues, including Louise Story, Brian Stelter and Jacques Steinberg, for a question-and-answer discussion.

"We talked a lot more about college journalism," than the operations of tie Times, said DP Managing Editor Unnati Dass, as well as issues in journalism ethics and "general big-picture advice which actually turned out to be really tangible and really, really cool."

"We have to try and do something like this every year if possible," said Dass. "This was very exciting for everyone who went, and really pumped everyone up."
At the end of the summer, a group of DP editors traveled to New York for another media day, visiting The Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post. That trip was coordinated by DPAA President David Burrick '06, who works at Huffington Post parent AOL.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011 03:51 PM
From the President

Welcome to our new website

Welcome to the new online home of the Daily Pennsylvanian Alumni Association!

It's been a long time coming, but we're happy to now have a website which offers the features DP Alumni have been asking for. On this site you will find countless ways to interact with your fellow DP alums, including:

  • Online Directory: Look up the contact information of your former DP colleagues. You can search for people by name, by class year, by city, by occupation or employer, and more.
  • Message Boards: Start discussions with fellow alums, and read and reply to the topics you care about most. There are standing topics for jobs offered and wanted.
  • Community: Send messages to fellow alumni, create your own "circles" for group discussions. (Think of it as a mini-Facebook, without the privacy concerns.)
  • DP News: Get real-time news about what's going on with the DPAA and at the DP, including the latest awards won by the DP and awarded by the DPAA.

Please take time to login and check, and if necessary update, your contact information in the online directory.

All DP alumni can log into to update their own information, but the only way to access all the features of the site is to be a paid member of the DPAA. Not a member? You can become one by clicking here. Already a member but don't have your login information, or not sure of your status? Click here to drop us a note, and we'll get you squared away promptly. 

We have many ideas about content we'd like to add to this site over time, and how to provide timely information to and from your fellow alumni. But since this site exists to serve you, we need to hear from you about what you'd like to see here in the future.

Enjoy exploring the new site. If you have any recommendations about how we can better improve the experience, please let us know.


David Burrick, 2006
DPAA President


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Monday, October 03, 2011 12:00 AM
Marquez Conference 2011

Alumni lead annual conference for DP staff

For the 26th year, nearly two dozen DP alumni journalists in late September converged on campus on a Sunday afternoon to talk about the DP, journalism, and careers at the DPAA's annual Steven A. Marquez Journalism Conference.

DP students listen to Lee Levine '76 (right) discuss journalism ethicsSpreading out around the second floor of Wharton's Huntsman Hall, more than 75 student DP staff members attended a series of nine interactive discussions led by a diverse group of DP alumni.

The keynote session by Lee Levine '76 focused on ethics issues in journalism. Levine is a founding partner of Levine Sullivan Koch & Schultz, a Washington, DC-based media law firm, and has served as the DP's legal counsel for the past two decades.

A "News Reporting 101" session focused on how to come up with great story ideas, report them out and get it right. The panelists were Rachel Feintzeig ’07, reporter at Dow Jones; Eric Tucker ’01, crime reporter at the Associated Press; and Eric Dash ’02, reporter at The New York Times

Eric Dash '02Eric Tucker '01Rachel Feintzeig '07A session for 34th Street staffers was led by Howard Gensler ’83, entertainment editor at the Philadelphia Daily News and Doree Shafrir ’99, senior editor at Rolling Stone.

Adam Rubin ’95, NY Mets beat writer at ESPNNewYork.com; Cindy Shmerler ’81, ESPN tennis commentator and Tennis magazine contributing editor; and Jane Allison Havsy ’96, multimedia sports journalist at the (New Jersey) Daily Record led a panel on improving skills for sportswriters.

Sabrina Rubin Erdely '94, Roxanne Patel Shepelavy '93, and Jason Schwartz '07A "Visual Journalism" session focused on how to use photography and design to tell great stories in print and online. Panelists were Albert Sun ’10, graphics editor at The Wall Street Journal/WSJ.com; Dan Shepelavy ’93, executive creative director at the Brownstein Group; and freelance photographers Shannon Jensen ’06 and Ryan Donnell.

News, sports and features writers who write long-form feature stories were the focus for "Writing the Big Story" panelists Sabrina Rubin Erdely ’94, a contributing writer at Rolling Stone; Jason Schwartz ’07, senior editor at Boston Magazine; and Roxanne Patel Shepelavy ’93, a freelance writer.

A new session this year addressed "How to be a multi-platform journalist," covering blogging, tweeting, video reporting, and other tips on elevating online stories. Panelists were Loren Feldman ’78, small business editor at The New York Times; Rod Kurtz ’02, executive editor at HuffPost Small Business; Adam Rubin and Doree Shafrir.

A panel for news and sports beat reporters dealt with working a beat, developing sources and brainstorming follow-up story ideas. The panelists were Sabrina Eaton ’85, Washington correspondent at The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Catherine Lucey ’01, City Hall bureau chief at the Philadelphia Daily News; Eric Dash, Cindy Shmerler, and Eric Tucker.

Doree Shafrir '99 and Howard Gensler '83 talk with the 34th Street staffAs is tradition, the afternoon came to a close with a careers panel with many of the alumni panelists responding to questions from DP staff members about getting internships, first jobs, career tracks, freelancing, and graduate school.

This year's Marquez conference was organized by DPAA Board members Catherine Lucey '01 and Rachel Feintzeig '07.

The annual fall conference was,  in its second year, named in memory of Steven A. Marquez ’79, a former DP Managing Editor who was a reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News when he died in 1987 at the age of 29. Marquez, a native Philadelphian, was a strong supporter of the city’s local communities and was widely praised for his neighborhoods coverage while at the Daily News. He had maintained close contact with the DP in the years after his graduation, and had been elected to serve on the DP Alumni Association Board of Directors just before his death.

Loren Feldman '78Adam Rubin '95Rod Kurtz '02


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Thursday, September 01, 2011 12:00 AM

2011 DP Alumni News

Two Jews and a Muslim walk into a bar… is not the start of a bad joke — it's a description of a Christmas weekend getaway trip to Montreal by three DP alumni. Shawn Safvi '08, Josh Kay '10 and Alex Raksin '09, (left to right in the picture at right) became friends working on the business staff of the DP in 2006 and 2007. They all live and work in New York. 

Alex Koppelman '05 was named The New Yorker's new online Associate News Editor at the end of November. The former 34th Street Magazine Editor-in-Chief had been working as News Editor at trade journal Adweek, which followed a stint as a political blogger for Salon.com.

About two dozen DP alumni visited the DP office following Penn's Homecoming romp over Princeton November 5. Among the returning alumni from recent years were Parisa Bastani '08, Anthony Campisi '09, Matt Conrad '07 (recently passed the New York State Bar), Michelle Marcus Dayan '07, Michelle Dubert '07, Ari Friedman '06 (currently a medical student at Penn), Cezary Podkul '06 (now working at Reuters), Jeff Shafer '06, and Jonathan Tanenwald '06. From the most recent graduating class, returnees included Rachel Baye '11, Michael Gold '11, Naomi Jagoda '11, and Andrew Scurria '11. 

Catherine Lucey '01, a former DP Campus News Editor and current reporter and City Hall Bureau Chief for the Philadelphia Daily News, gave birth to her first child with husband Ryan Donnell on Friday, October 21. The baby, Cillian Patrick Lucey Donnell, weighed in at 7 lbs., 5oz.  Ever the devoted DPAA Board member, Catherine participated in the DPAA's annual Marquez Journalism conference less than a month before giving birth. (And Ryan, a freelance photographer who is not a DP alum, nonetheless reprised his participation in the Marquez conference in a session for photographers and designers.)

Speaking of photography, Philadelphia freelance photographer Jacques-Jean ("J.J.") Tiziou '02, filled the role of proud papa when the largest mural in the city, composed entirely of his photographs, was officially dedicated on October 12.

J.J. Tiziou's How Philly Moves photos at Philadelphia International Airport

The 85,000 square foot, six-story tall mural of "How Philly Moves" -- an ongoing project capturing average Philadelphians expressing themselves in dance -- is installed on the side of Philadelphia International Airport's parking garages. The massive mural of 26 Philadelphians dancing is visible to every passenger entering and leaving the airport, as well as driving by it on Interstate-95. Tiziou shot more than 18,000 photos of 174 people dancing to create the final imagery, which took more than two years to bring to fruition as part of the city's Mural Arts Program. Tiziou notes that "'How Philly Moves' isn't about dance. It uses dance just to remind us that the biggest resource Philadelphia has is all around you. It's Philadelphians and the culture they create." You can read the DP's story on the mural dedication here, read more about the project here, and see photos on Tiziou's website here.

Friends mini-reunionA dozen friends who served on the 121st, 122nd and 123rd Boards held a mini-reunion in New York in mid-October. They gathered at the apartment of DP couple Alex Small '08 (DP Senior Photo Editor on the 122nd Board) and Alanna Kaufman Small '08 (DP City News Editor the same year), who were married last year. Shown in the photo at right: back row: Josh Wheeling '08, David Walker '08, Jared Miller '09; middle row: Jeff Shafer '06, Matt Conrad '07, Lea Chu '07, Alex Small '08, Becca Starr '08, Rachel Feintzeig '07, Tali Yahalom '09; front row: Alanna Kaufman Small '08, Mara Gordon '08.

Gordon writes that she moved back to Philadelphia in August from Lilongwe, Malawi, where she was working for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. "I have just started my first year at Penn Med, now known as the 'Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.' An added benefit of being back in Philly is getting to read the DP in print! I would love to be in touch with any DP-ers in the area."

Randall LaneRandall Lane '90 became editor of Forbes in September. He had worked at the magazine from 1991 until 1997, scoring five cover stories and rising to Washington bureau chief before leaving to launch the short-lived P.O.V. magazine. Most recently, he was editor-at-large at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. He is the 2010 author of "The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane".

Send us your update for Alumni Notes!

We want this to be a vibrant and frequently-updated website for DP alumni, so we need to hear from you about what's new in your life. New job? Children or grandchildren? Travels? Send us an email and let us know what you've been up to!

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