Briefly Noted. . .

The Nobel Buzz. She didn’t get a call from Sweden, but for Kathy Siwicki of Rose Valley, the announcement of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine came with a recognition of work she did nearly 30 years ago as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of 2017 Nobelist Jeffrey Hall.

Siwicki is a chaired Professor of Biology at Swarthmore College, where she has taught and researched for most of her career since her work in Hall’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Her 1988 article presenting research on circadian rhythms in fruit flies was cited as a key publication in the Nobel selection of Hall, Michael Rosbach, and Michael Young. Siwicki’s research has paved the way to greater understanding of biological rhythms in other species, including humans. “I thought it was pretty important at the time, but had no idea it would lead to anything this big,” she said recently.

Now as in 1988, her research focuses on Drosophila, the tiny fruit flies at the heart of much genetic research for several human (and who knows how many insect) generations. The Siwicki lab now concentrates on “the learned aspects of sexual behavior in Drosophila — specifically the responses of male fruit flies to unreceptive females.”


As pleased as she is to be associated with the Nobel-winning research, Siwicki said the enthusiastic affirmation from former students is most gratifying, “I am getting excited e-mails from alumni who are now in their own careers as scientists. They know what it takes to publish anything, let alone something with this resonance.”

On Saturday, September 23, Luminaria Club co-Presidents Sophia Foglio and George Steinke (pictured with club members and factory manager extraordinare, Anne Clauss below) rallied 200 SHHS Students and their families to make over 18,000 luminaria in five short hours! Many hands make light work for Fun. Food. Sand. Music. The ordering window for the January 1st event begins November 1!

Dr. Virginia Brabender, a Swarthmore resident and professor in the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology at Widener University, recently co-wrote The Impact of Parenthood on the Therapeutic Relationship: Awaiting the Therapist’s Baby, a resource dedicated to exploring a range of reactions patients and clients have to the circumstance of a child entering the therapist’s family.

Released last August, the book demonstrates how these varying reactions can be used to advance therapeutic development and how to achieve well-being in the workplace while waiting for the arrival of a baby.

“This book gives therapists the tools to use these personal life events to strengthen the therapist-patient bond and enhance the treatment,” Brabender said.

The text was published by Routledge and is available on

Kathie Jessup Harvey cuts the 80th birthday cake for her classmates and their spouses.

Members of the Swarthmore High School Class of 1955, along with spouses, convened at the Inn at Swarthmore last Tuesday evening, October 3, to celebrate their 62nd annual class reunion, and also their mutual 80th birthday, complete with cake. Strath Haven High School Principal MaryJo Yannacone spoke with the alums about what’s up at SHS’s successor school, born in 1983 with the creation of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, and she passed around a copy of the class’s yearbook. The gathering of this vibrant group was organized by Gordon Smith of Moorestown, N.J., who attended with his wife Nancy Smith (Class of ‘56), Karen Miller of Malvern, Mary Lou Hodgins of Seattle, Wash., Kathie Jessup Harvey of Greenville, N.C., Marguerite Hurd of Norfolk, VA, Terry and Judy Kerr of Vass, NC, Virginia Banian of Foxboro, MA, Richard Wright of Wilmington, Del., Martha Wintner of Haverford, S. Damon Kletzien of West Chester, Dorothy Rawley of Media, Roger Zensen of Graniteville, S.C., Carol Lincoln Myers of York (‘56), and Stuart and Bonnie Bowie of Wallingford.

The 21st Celebrate Photography Exhibit is currently being held in Borough Hall through October 31. Twenty-one local photographers have their work on exhibition. A wine-and-cheese opening reception, held on Friday evening, October 6, was well-attended. Jessica Graae provided live music. The exhibit is sponsored by Swarthmore Friends of the Arts, the community group responsible for the rotating art exhibits at Swarthmore Borough Hall. The exhibit is free and open to the public during the Hall’s normal hours of operation. For information about Swarthmore Friends of the Arts visit Photo by Gabi Weisfeld

ARC of Delco to Show Democracy in Action. Members of the Arc of Delco are energetic self-advocates, with opinions and vital interests in issues like threats to Medicaid funding and employment opportunities. This group — including (left to right) Emily Yoder of Thornbury, Tina Curtis of Upper Darby, Amanda Rothstein of Concord, and Jake Spencer of Middletown, shown preparing invitations — have invited Delaware County legislators to join them for a breakfast meeting next Friday, October 20, at the Lazaretto Ballroom in Essington. If you are interested in participating in this democratic undertaking, please call ARC of Delco Executive Director Eileen MacDonald at (610) 544-6600.

Thanks to donations of time and supplies from both the Swarthmore Public Library storytime community and the families of Swarthmore-Rutledge School, approximately 200 breakfast bags were compiled for homebound seniors on October 4. Each bag was topped off with a cheery homemade card. The bags will be delivered by Aid for Friends, a local organization whose mission is to alleviate the hunger and loneliness of isolated homebound individuals.

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