Gospel music brought together some of the first Black students who arrived at this Pa. college in the late 1960s and early ’70s.

Both a connecting point and a fundamental expression of faith, gospel music brought together some of the first Black students who arrived at Swarthmore in the late 1960s and early ’70s.

Beyond the joy of a shared experience, the energy and emotion of singing gospel music connected students to their faith and to fond memories of home.

“It became a reason to gather,” says Cynthia Hunter Spann ’75, a Swarthmore College Alumni Gospel Choir member, reflecting on…


Here’s why I left a well-paying corporate job to pursue an independent business.

Three years ago I did the thing that everyone tells you not to do. I walked away from a well-paying corporate job in public relations to pursue my two passions: teaching and writing.

Quitting is not rare. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey data, more than 4.4 million people quit their jobs in August 2019, the highest number of people to quit in one month since the BLS began recording such data in 2000.

I imagine many of those…


While the city waited for funding, this Philly surgeon launched her own program to bring free coronavirus testing to the Black community. But it’s hardly the first time in her life she’s stepped up.

It was purely by chance that at the very moment Ala Stanford walked into a revival service at a Philly church last summer, a man fainted and was suddenly unable to move or speak. Frantic and afraid, the man’s wife, a friend of Stanford’s, asked the board-certified surgeon to ride in the ambulance with her husband to ensure that he received proper medical care.

Stanford said…


The Philadelphia musician spent the prime of his life in prison for murder until the courts said he should never have been convicted. Now he’s trying to recover what he lost — time, relationships, his sense of self — while living through a new kind of lockdown.

Jimmy Dennis lives in a bubble.

In the age of COVID, that’s not so uncommon. But even amidst this winter’s tightened restrictions, Dennis’s bubble is a bit more constricted than most. It’s just he and his girlfriend — his childhood sweetheart, Corby Johnson — and he’s not comfortable telling people where in the…


I recently went on a job interview for a faculty position at a local university, and the interview involved a teaching demonstration. The audience included a mix of faculty members and students, almost all of whom were white.

After the demonstration, I had the opportunity to field questions and receive feedback from students. I was prepared for softball questions about my experience and why I wanted the job; I wasn’t prepared for the comment I received from one of the only two black students in the room.

With hesitation, and perhaps with a bit of fear at voicing her opinion…


Fifteen years ago, I was exactly where some of you are.

I was a first-year college student with a tuition balance I couldn’t afford to pay. I reasoned my only option was to take a semester off, save some money and come back the following semester.

That semester off turned into a six-year break.

During those six years, I went from being a waitress, saving tips for school to being an administrative assistant at a local finance company with no clear plans for returning to college.

I’d later experience being laid off from my full-time job a week before Christmas…


Start by Ditching Your Vision Board

Everyone was excited. They sat at their stations gathering scissors, glue, and stacks of magazine pages bearing images of fancy cars, fancier houses, and celebrity heartthrobs.

The instructions were pretty simple. The vision board party host encouraged us to choose images that “represented the life we envisioned for ourselves.” No goal was too outrageous. The images, she said, were meant to inspire.

“You have to see yourself there.”

Nevermind if the guy I envisioned myself with was happily married with kids or the house that I wanted cost seven figures; nothing was off limits.

In between praising attendees’ creative choices…


Here’s What I Learned in the First Year

In October 2017, I gave birth to my son. Four months later, in January 2018, I did the thing that everyone tells you not to do. I walked away from a well-paying corporate job in public relations to pursue my two passions: writing and teaching.

Part of me saw my son’s birth and the brief maternity leave that followed as a window to explore my career options. Another part of me dreaded the idea of returning to work six weeks postpartum and missing so many precious moments with my family.

What I did is not rare. According to BLS Job…


I’ve always paid close attention to my gut. So, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend regular screening for colon cancer beginning at age 50, I had my first colonoscopy when I was 31.

After month-long bouts with anemia, constipation and bloating, my gut instinct told me something was wrong. My doctor agreed it was better to be safe and get screened early than to not know what was causing all the discomfort. It was unlikely, my doctor said, that I had colon cancer, but getting screened was the only way to know for sure.

Colon…


Everyone fears something. In fact, it is estimated that more than 19 million Americans suffer from specific phobia. But the things that we fear and the extent to which we fear them can vary greatly from person to person. While one person might overcome a fear of spiders during their childhood years, another might grapple with touching or even being near the creepy crawly arthropods long into adulthood.

In his role as the associate director at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety, David A. Yusko, Psy.D., sees dozens of patients living with a variety of debilitating phobias…

Queen Muse

Dynamic Writer. PR Pro. Professor. Mother. Lifelong learner. Contributor @ Philadelphia Magazine. Founder of The Queen Muse, LLC. www.thequeenmuse.com

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