Volume 7, Number 2, 1998


Getting it write

Chris Yasiejko, AS '99, an English/journalism major from Newark, Del., was named the 1998 recipient of the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association's Harry Merrill Memorial Collegiate Sports Writing Award. Yasiejko is the 15th recipient of the award, established in 1984, and the first winner not to come from the University of Pennsylvania.

A graduate of St. Mark's High School in Wilmington, Del., and a former sports editor of The Review, Yasiejko is now the paper's managing editor.

Strictly ballroom

It is a rainy, miserable Friday night. In the upstairs of an otherwise vacant, brick building, two dancers flow as one across the wooden floor of a small dance studio.

To the backdrop of sensuous violin music, the couple focuses solely on each other, dancing with a hypnotic rhythm and smooth magic. The young woman, slim and graceful, moves her arms to and fro, her body fitting like a puzzle piece into the embrace of her muscular and lithe partner.

"Wait a minute, wait a minute," the young woman says, stopping the pulse, killing the chemistry. "Hold my waist."

They begin again, counting out beats, putting life back into their $100 dancing shoes.

For Ericka Fredricks, 22, of Dover, BE '97, and Shane Ford, 23, of Washington, D.C., AS '98, the 1997 American Collegiate Ballroom Dance Champions of nine different dances, this Friday night is like many others: practice; dinner-perhaps, at the restaurant next door; and maybe a performance or supplementary lesson later.

Since the couple was paired through the Ballroom Dance Club in September, 1996, they have practiced together, between jobs and school, at times when other students might be partying or sleeping.

But such is the life of champions- and of close friends-who claimed their title at the Bob Carpenter Center in August, beating out couples from 12 universities.

-Erin K. Liedel, AS '00
From The Review

Solve It!

Students from grades 5 through 8 can join an elementary-level math league this summer without leaving home.

Solve It, offered by the Department of Educational Development, allows students entering grades 5 through 8 to work on mathematics problem-solving by responding to materials sent to them throughout the summer. Three monthly packets are mailed by the 15th of each month, and students mail solutions back by the end of the month to receive written comments and feedback.

Two levels of difficulty are offered: Level A for students entering grades
5 and 6 and Level B for students entering grades 6 through 8. Cost is $45 for Level A or B or $55 for both problem sets.

For further information, call (302) 831-1658, or write to Solve It, University of Delaware, 107 Willard Hall Education Building, Newark, DE 19716.

Through These Eyes

Through These Eyes: The Photographs of P.H. Polk," one of the South's most eminent African-American photographers, debuted earlier this year in the University Gallery at Old College. The exhibition, which celebrates the centennial of the birth of this important and influential
artist, was curated by UD doctoral student Meredith Soles and began a national tour after closing at UD.

From 1928 to 1938, Prentice Herman Polk taught photography at Tuskegee Institute (now University) in Alabama, and, in 1933, became the third chairperson of the photography department at the Southern school.

From 1939 until his death in 1984, Polk held the position of official photographer at Tuskegee University and, having one of the few private studios in the Macon County area, also became a well-known portrait photographer during his lifetime.

Polk's images of Southern life-from the dignitaries who visited Tuskegee and the middle-class African Americans who frequented his private studio, to the farmers and laborers who worked the cotton fields of rural Macon County-exemplify the photographer's keen ability for telling a riveting human story through the camera's eye.

Staff responds to SOS

You may see Valerie Shay, AS '99, driving around campus in her newly purchased 1994 Ford Escort. But, at the start of the fall semester, she was standing outside her previous car as it burst into flames.

In September, Shay was traveling back to campus from Wilmington. As she neared Newark, she noticed smoke rising from the rear of the car. While on the off-ramp, the car began to shake.

Shay turned into the Delaware Field House parking lot and smoke began to pour out from under the car's hood. As she jumped out of the car, the front caught fire-first the right side and then the hood. A nearby student loaned her a car phone to call 911.

"About three minutes later, Officer William Staker arrived," she says. "He was incredible."

Shay said his compassion made her feel much better, but when she finally got to work at the Student Services Building, the full impact of what had happened hit her. She told her boss, Laura Boyd, about the loss of her car.

The next day, Shay found a card on her desk. Signed by her coworkers, it included $400 to buy a new car.

Shay says she was overwhelmed by the support, and wrote a letter to University President David P. Roselle to tell him of her co-workers' kindness.

-Heather Miller, AS '98

Fancy footwork

The University's Precision Dance Team, which performs at half time at men's and women's basketball games, placed third in the Universal Cheerleading Association's National Cheerleading Championship held in January. Last year, the team placed sixth.

"Their experience gave them a confidence that really showed through on the floor. They were dynamic!" Coach Ann Marie Parisi says.

To qualify for the competition, the team submitted a two-minute dance routine video. Going into the competition, the team was ranked seventh.

At the same competition, the UD cheerleaders placed sixth in Division I and YoUDee, the Blue Hen mascot, won honorable mention in the mascot competition. UD was one of only a few schools with competitors in each category.

-Gail Walford

A whale of a team

The UD community swim team, for children and teens ages 4 to 18, has grown from a guppy to a whale. Starting out with eight members three years ago, the UD Otters now number more than 200.

This year, the Otters placed third in a mid-Atlantic competition against more than 700 other teams and 7,500 swimmers. The team also placed second in the state championships, under the leadership of Coach Dan Shelton, HN '95.

Assistant coach is Christopher Lyons, HN '96, and there are 12 student coaches.

The silver skates

Hans Brinker may have owned the original silver skates, but in 1998, the Olympic silver belongs to Russian ice dancers Angelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov, who train at UD's Ice Skating Science Development Center. The couple won the silver medal in February at the Olympics in Nagano, Japan, and went on to win the World Championships in April in Minneapolis. After winning the silver, Ovsiannikov told a crowd of international media, "I want to say thank you to all the people at the University of Delaware." The gold medal went to Russians Pasha Gritschuk and Eugeny Platov, who formerly trained at UD.

Three other UD ice dancing teams also competed in the Olympics, including Irina Lobacheva and Ilia Averbukh of Russia, who finished in fifth place; Galit Chait and Sergey Skahnovsky of Israel, who placed 14th; and Elena Grushina and Ruslan Boncharove of the Ukraine, who finished in 15th place. Lobacheva and Averbukh finished fourth in the World Championship competition.

Catching customers on the Net

There was once a time when local businesses could rely on printed ads and word-of-mouth recommendations for advertising. Today, advertising is a lot more complicated and businesses are using media that were never considered before.

Two University students have tapped into one of these growing media and formed a web consulting company targeted at local businesses' need for advertising on the Internet.

Edward Abbott, AS '99, and Greg Zerenner, AS '98, operate Off Center Applications, a business that designs web sites using the latest technology.

Off Center deals mostly with companies unfamiliar with the Internet and its advertising potential, Zerenner says.

Typically, they say, once a web site is created, there is a chance it could be left floating in cyberspace, serving no purpose to the business. Off Center tries to make sure that doesn't happen.

"We know tricks of the trade to get the site noticed," Abbott says.

When people are looking for web sites, they often use a search engine such as Yahoo, Zerenner explains. Typing in a word like "bookstore" might bring up hundreds of sites, so Off Center adds things to the site to make sure it will come up as close to the first returned search page as possible. Reach Off Center www.off-center.com

-Dawn E. Mensch, AS '00
From The Review