Now showing items 1-20 of 5936

    • Evolution and phylogeny of the deep-sea isopod families Desmosomatidae Sars, 1897 and Nannoniscidae Hansen, 1916 (Isopoda: Asellota)

      Brix, Saskia; Held, Christoph; Kaiser, Stefanie; Jennings, Robert; Driskell, Amy; Brandt, Angelika; Jennings|0000-0003-4714-5824 (2021-10-13)
      In the deep sea, the phylogeny and biogeography of only a few taxa have been well studied. Although more than 200 species in 32 genera have been described for the asellote isopod families Desmosomatidae Sars, 1897 and Nannoniscidae Hansen, 1916 from all ocean basins, their phylogenetic relationships are not completely understood. There is little doubt about the close relationship of these families, but the taxonomic position of a number of genera is so far unknown. Based on a combined morphological phylogeny using the Hennigian method with a dataset of 107 described species and a molecular phylogeny based on three markers (COI, 16S, and 18S) with 75 species (most new to science), we could separate Desmosomatidae and Nannoniscidae as separate families. However, we could not support the concept of the subfamilies Eugerdellatinae Hessler, 1970 and Desmosomatinae Hessler, 1970. Most genera of both families were well supported, but several genera appear as para- or even polyphyletic. Within both families, convergent evolution and analogies caused difficulty in defining apomorphies for phylogenetic reconstructions and this is reflected in the results of the concatenated molecular tree. There is no biogeographic pattern in the distribution as the genera occur over the entire Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, showing no specific phylogeographical pattern. Poor resolution at deep desmosomatid nodes may reflect the long evolutionary history of the family and rapid evolutionary radiations.
    • Goodbye, Paley… Hello, Charles!: Marketing a Library Move

      Wilson, Sara Curnow (2019-08-25)
      How do you prepare a campus for the closure of one main library and the opening of a brand-new building? Temple University Libraries faced this question in 2019. Their marketing team answered the call by creating a campaign that honored their original Paley Library while building excitement for the new Charles Library. As part of this campaign, library staff worked together to create their own “Mean Tweets” video, reading real tweets patrons had posted about Paley over the years. In this column, the team's director reflects on the process and how it changed the tone of their overall campaign.
    • Identifying profiles of brain structure and associations with current and future psychopathology in youth

      Mattoni, Matthew; Wilson, Sylia; Olino, Thomas M. (2021-09-14)
      Brain structure is often studied as a marker of youth psychopathology by examining associations between volume or thickness of individual regions and specific diagnoses. However, these univariate approaches do not address whether the effect of a particular region may depend on the structure of other regions. Here, we identified subgroups of individuals with distinct profiles of brain structure and examined how these profiles were associated with concurrent and future youth psychopathology. We used latent profile analysis to identify distinct neuroanatomical profiles of subcortical region volume and orbitofrontal cortical thickness in the ABCD study (N = 9376, mean age = 9.91, SD = 0.62). We identified a five-profile solution consisting of a reduced subcortical volume profile, a reduced orbitofrontal thickness profile, a reduced limbic and elevated striatal volume profile, an elevated orbitofrontal thickness and reduced striatal volume profile, and an elevated orbitofrontal thickness and subcortical volume profile. While controlling for age, sex, and intracranial volume, profiles exhibited differences in concurrent psychopathology measured dimensionally and categorically and in psychopathology at 1-year follow-up measured dimensionally. Results show that profiles of brain structure have incremental validity for associations with youth psychopathology beyond intracranial volume.
    • Improving Interlayer Adhesion of Poly(p-phenylene terephthalamide) (PPTA)/Ultra-high-molecular-weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) Laminates Prepared by Plasma Treatment and Hot Pressing Technique

      Temple Materials Institute (Temple University) (2021-08-05)
      Poly(p-phenylene terephthalamide) (PPTA) is a high-performance polymer that has been utilized in a range of applications. Although PPTA fibers are widely used in various composite materials, laminar structures consisting of PPTA and ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), are less reported. The difficulty in making such composite structures is in part due to the weakness of the interface formed between these two polymers. In this study, a layered structure was produced from PPTA fabrics and UHMWPE films via hot pressing. To improve the interlayer adhesion, oxygen plasma was used to treat the PPTA and the UHMWPE surfaces prior to lamination. It has been found that while plasma treatment on the UHMWPE surface brought about a moderate increase in interlayer adhesion (up to 14%), significant enhancement was achieved on the samples fabricated with plasma treated PPTA (up to 91%). It has been assumed that both surface roughening and the introduction of functional groups contributed to this improvement.
    • NICE shared decision making guidelines and mental health: challenges for research, practice and implementation

      Zisman-Ilani, Yaara; Chmielowska, Marta; Dixon, Lisa B.; Ramon, Shulamit; Zisman-Ilani|0000-0001-6852-2583 (2021-09-21)
      The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) initiated an ambitious effort to develop the first shared decision making guidelines. The purpose of this commentary is to identify three main concerns pertaining to the new published guidelines for shared decision making research, practice, implementation and cultural differences in mental health.
    • The Shared Origins of Embodiment and Development

      Marshall, Peter J.; Houser, Troy M.; Weiss, Staci M. (2021-08-17)
    • Some characteristics of hyperglycaemic crisis differ between patients with and without COVID-19 at a safety-net hospital in a cross-sectional study

      Shah, Arnav; Deak, Andrew; Allen, Shaneisha; Silfani, Elayna; Koppin, Christina; Zisman-Ilani, Yaara; Sirisena, Imali; Rose, Christina; Rubin, Daniel; Zisman-Ilani|0000-0001-6852-2583 (2021-09-11)
      Objective: To compare patients with DKA, hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar syndrome (HHS), or mixed DKA-HHS and COVID-19 [COVID (+)] to COVID-19-negative (−) [COVID (−)] patients with DKA/HHS from a low-income, racially/ethnically diverse catchment area. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with patients admitted to an urban academic medical center between 1 March and 30 July 2020. Eligible patients met lab criteria for either DKA or HHS. Mixed DKA-HHS was defined as meeting all criteria for either DKA or HHS with at least 1 criterion for the other diagnosis. Results: A total of 82 participants were stratified by COVID-19 status and type of hyperglycaemic crisis [26 COVID (+) and 56 COVID (−)]. A majority were either Black or Hispanic. Compared with COVID (−) patients, COVID (+) patients were older, more Hispanic and more likely to have type 2 diabetes (T2D, 73% vs 48%, p < .01). COVID(+) patients had a higher mean pH (7.25 ± 0.10 vs 7.16 ± 0.16, p < .01) and lower anion gap (18.7 ± 5.7 vs 22.7 ± 6.9, p = .01) than COVID (−) patients. COVID (+) patients were given less intravenous fluids in the first 24 h (2.8 ± 1.9 vs 4.2 ± 2.4 L, p = .01) and were more likely to receive glucocorticoids (95% vs. 11%, p < .01). COVID (+) patients may have taken longer to resolve their hyperglycaemic crisis (53.3 ± 64.8 vs 28.8 ± 27.5 h, p = .09) and may have experienced more hypoglycaemia <3.9 mmol/L (35% vs 19%, p = .09). COVID (+) patients had a higher length of hospital stay (LOS, 14.8 ± 14.9 vs 6.5 ± 6.0 days, p = .01) and in-hospital mortality (27% vs 7%, p = .02). Discussion: Compared with COVID (−) patients, COVID (+) patients with DKA/HHS are more likely to have T2D. Despite less severe metabolic acidosis, COVID (+) patients may require more time to resolve the hyperglycaemic crisis and experience more hypoglycaemia while suffering greater LOS and risk of mortality. Larger studies are needed to examine whether differences in management between COVID (+) and (−) patients affect outcomes with DKA/HHS.
    • Novel Scalable and Simplified System to Generate Microglia-Containing Cerebral Organoids From Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

      Center for Metabolic Disease Research (Temple University) (2021-07-05)
      Human cerebral organoid (CO) is a three-dimensional (3D) cell culture system that recapitulates the developing human brain. While CO has proved an invaluable tool for studying neurological disorders in a more clinically relevant matter, there have still been several shortcomings including CO variability and reproducibility as well as lack of or underrepresentation of certain cell types typically found in the brain. As the technology to generate COs has continued to improve, more efficient and streamlined protocols have addressed some of these issues. Here we present a novel scalable and simplified system to generate microglia-containing CO (MCO). We characterize the cell types and dynamic development of MCOs and validate that these MCOs harbor microglia, astrocytes, neurons, and neural stem/progenitor cells, maturing in a manner that reflects human brain development. We introduce a novel technique for the generation of embryoid bodies (EBs) directly from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that involves simplified steps of transitioning directly from 3D cultures as well as orbital shaking culture in a standard 6-well culture plate. This allows for the generation of MCOs with an easy-to-use system that is affordable and accessible by any general lab.
    • Shared Decision Making in Primary Care Based Depression Treatment: Communication and Decision-Making Preferences Among an Underserved Patient Population

      Matthews, Elizabeth B.; Savoy, Margot; Paranjape, Anuradha; Washington, Diana; Hackney, Treanna; Galis, Danielle; Zisman-Ilani, Yaara; Zisman-Ilani|0000-0001-6852-2583 (2021-07-12)
      Objectives: Although depression is a significant public health issue, many individuals experiencing depressive symptoms are not effectively linked to treatment by their primary care provider, with underserved populations have disproportionately lower rates of engagement in depression care. Shared decision making (SDM) is an evidence-based health communication framework that can improve collaboration and optimize treatment for patients, but there is much unknown about how to translate SDM into primary care depression treatment among underserved communities. This study seeks to explore patients' experiences of SDM, and articulate communication and decision-making preferences among an underserved patient population receiving depression treatment in an urban, safety net primary care clinic. Methods: Twenty-seven patients with a depressive disorder completed a brief, quantitative survey and an in-depth semi-structured interview. Surveys measured patient demographics and their subjective experience of SDM. Qualitative interview probed for patients' communication preferences, including ideal decision-making processes around depression care. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis. Univariate statistics report quantitative findings. Results: Overall qualitative and quantitative findings indicate high levels of SDM. Stigma related to depression negatively affected patients' initial attitude toward seeking treatment, and underscored the importance of patient-provider rapport. In terms of communication and decision-making preferences, patients preferred collaboration with doctors during the information sharing process, but desired control over the final, decisional outcome. Trust between patients and providers emerged as a critical precondition to effective SDM. Respondents highlighted several provider behaviors that helped facilitated such an optimal environment for SDM to occur. Conclusion: Underserved patients with depression preferred taking an active role in their depression care, but looked for providers as partner in this process. Due to the stigma of depression, effective SDM first requires primary care providers to ensure that they have created a safe and trusting environment where patients are able to discuss their depression openly.
    • An unusual presentation of non-IBD related colorectal primary extranodal diffuse large B cell lymphoma with a colo-colonic fistula

      Temple University. Hospital (2021-09-20)
      Diffuse large B cell lymphoma of the sigmoid colon and rectum is relatively uncommon and aggressive. Due to its nonspecific symptomatology, patients are often diagnosed late into the disease and present with life-threatening complications, such as hemorrhage, obstruction, or perforation, requiring emergent surgical intervention. Patients with colorectal lymphoma typically have inflammatory bowel disease or immunosuppression. We present a case of a 79-year-old male with no known inflammatory bowel disease or immunosuppression, who had significant weight loss, diarrhea, and abdominal fullness, found by CT to have irregular wall thickening of the recto-sigmoid colon along with a colo-colonic fistula, concerning for bowel perforation. Endoscopic evaluation and biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of recto-sigmoid Diffuse large B cell lymphoma, with a PET/CT scan revealing stage IV disease. He had a partial response to six cycles of palliative reduced dose R-CHOP and is currently receiving palliative radiation to the sigmoid colon and rectum. Surgery and/or chemoradiation remain the mainstay therapy for this condition. Clinicians, however, must consider patient's functional, nutritional, and clinical status prior to choosing an optimal therapeutic regimen. This case illustrates a unique clinical presentation of this condition and the associated diagnostic and therapeutic challenges that arise in order to prevent life-threatening complications.
    • New genomic resources and comparative analyses reveal differences in floral gene expression in selfing and outcrossing Collinsia sister species

      Frazee, Lauren J.; Rifkin, Joanna; Maheepala, Dinusha C.; Grant, Alannie-Grace; Wright, Stephen; Kalisz, Susan; Litt, Amy; Spigler, Rachel; Spigler|0000-0002-5997-9781 (2021-08-01)
      The evolutionary transition from outcross- to self-fertilization is one of the most common in angiosperms and is often associated with a parallel shift in floral morphological and developmental traits, such as reduced flower size and pollen to ovule ratios, known as the “selfing syndrome.” How these convergent phenotypes arise, the extent to which they are shaped by selection, and the nature of their underlying genetic basis are unsettled questions in evolutionary biology. The genus Collinsia (Plantaginaceae) includes seven independent transitions from outcrossing or mixed mating to high selfing rates accompanied by selfing syndrome traits. Accordingly, Collinsia represents an ideal system for investigating this parallelism, but requires genomic resource development. We present a high quality de novo genome assembly for the highly selfing species Collinsia rattanii. To begin addressing the basis of selfing syndrome developmental shifts, we evaluate and contrast patterns of gene expression from floral transcriptomes across three stages of bud development for C. rattanii and its outcrossing sister species Collinsia linearis. Relative to C. linearis, total gene expression is less variable among individuals and bud stages in C. rattanii. In addition, there is a common pattern among differentially expressed genes: lower expression levels that are more constant across bud development in C. rattanii relative to C. linearis. Transcriptional regulation of enzymes involved in pollen formation specifically in early bud development may influence floral traits that distinguish selfing and outcrossing Collinsia species through pleiotropic functions. Future work will include additional Collinsia outcrossing-selfing species pairs to identify genomic signatures of parallel evolution.
    • The Role of Local Communities and Well-Being in UNESCO World Heritage Site Conservation: An Analysis of the Operational Guidelines, 1994–2019

      Jang, Hanbyeol; Mennis, Jeremy; Jang|0000-0003-4203-3620; Mennis|0000-0001-6319-8622 (2021-06)
      UNESCO’s world heritage program aims to protect sites of cultural and natural heritage worldwide. Issues of local communities and well-being have been given increasing attention by heritage conservation scholars, but a systemic review of UNESCO guidelines has not been performed. Here, we examine the evolution of the ‘Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention,’ documents representing the heritage conservation policies of UNESCO over the period 1994–2019. Using keyword analysis and document analysis, the findings show evidence of an increasing emphasis on local communities, growing primarily since 2005. However, the theme of well-being only first emerged in the operational guidelines in 2019. Political, economic, and environmental challenges idiosyncratic to specific places often complicate the role of local communities and well-being in heritage conservation priorities. Future research should investigate the potential implementation and implications of these changes for the guidelines at specific UNESCO world heritage sites.
    • A Mixed Method Analysis of Burnout and Turnover Intentions Among Higher Education Professionals During COVID-19

      Winfield, Jake; Paris, Joseph; Paris|0000-0001-7636-903X; Winfield|0000-0001-6181-8664 (2021-10-11)
      The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly and dramatically altered higher education including changes to the workplace. Many staff and faculty positions were eliminated while other employees experienced furloughs or reduced work hours. Our study examines the experiences of 1,080 higher education professionals serving in various functional roles during the COVID-19 pandemic from 830 institutions of higher education in the United States. We utilized an explanatory sequential mixed methods research design to examine quantitative and qualitative survey data from October 2020 to understand how jobs in higher education changed during the pandemic and how these changes were associated with an individual's burnout and intention to leave higher education. Using multiple regression and thematic analysis and the job-demands and resources framework, we find that higher education professionals who experienced significant disruption in their work had increased odds of experiencing burnout. We also find that eliminating staff positions and significant levels of burnout were associated with increased intentions to leave their current profession in higher education. In open ended responses, higher education professionals described how increased job demands through decreased staff and increased workloads were not accompanied with increased resources, leading to burnout. These working conditions negatively affected participants' personal lives, including their physical and mental health. We conclude with recommendations for research on working conditions in higher education in the pandemic-era and emphasize that institutional leaders should seek systemic changes to support employees.
    • Active Ecological Restoration of Cold-Water Corals: Techniques, Challenges, Costs and Future Directions

      Montseny, Maria; Linares, Cristina; Carreiro-Silva, Marina; Henry, Lea-Anne; Billett, David; Cordes, Erik E.; Smith, Christopher J.; Papadopoulou, Nadia; Bilan, Meri; Girard, Fanny; Burdett, Heidi L.; Larsson, Ann; Strömberg, Susanna; Viladrich, Núria; Barry, James P.; Baena, Patricia; Godinho, Antonio; Grinyó, Jordi; Santín, Andreu; Morato, Telmo; Sweetman, Andrew K.; Gili, Josep-Maria; Gori, Andrea (2021-09-13)
      Cold-water coral (CWC) habitats dwell on continental shelves, slopes, seamounts, and ridge systems around the world’s oceans from 50 to 4000 m depth, providing heterogeneous habitats which support a myriad of associated fauna. These highly diverse ecosystems are threatened by human stressors such as fishing activities, gas and oil exploitation, and climate change. Since their life-history traits such as long lifespan and slow growth rates make CWCs very vulnerable to potential threats, it is a foremost challenge to explore the viability of restoration actions to enhance and speed up their recovery. In contrast to terrestrial and shallow-water marine ecosystems, ecological restoration in deep marine environments has received minimal attention. This review, by means of a systematic literature search, aims to identify CWC restoration challenges, assess the most suitable techniques to restore them, and discuss future perspectives. Outcomes from the few restoration actions performed to date on CWCs, which have lasted between 1 to 4 years, provide evidence of the feasibility of coral transplantation and artificial reef deployments. Scientific efforts should focus on testing novel and creative restoration techniques, especially to scale up to the spatial and temporal scales of impacts. There is still a general lack of knowledge about the biological, ecological and habitat characteristics of CWC species exploration of which would aid the development of effective restoration measures. To ensure the long-term viability and success of any restoration action it is essential to include holistic and long-term monitoring programs, and to ideally combine active restoration with natural spontaneous regeneration (i.e., passive restoration) strategies such as the implementation of deep-sea marine protected areas (MPAs). We conclude that a combination of passive and active restoration approaches with involvement of local society would be the best optimal option to achieve and ensure CWC restoration success.
    • Hepatitis B x antigen (HBx) is an important therapeutic target in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma

      Medhat, Arvin; Arzumanyan, Alla; Feitelson, Mark A. (2021-09-04)
      Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a human pathogen that has infected an estimated two billion people worldwide. Despite the availability of highly efficacious vaccines, universal screening of the blood supply for virus, and potent direct acting anti-viral drugs, there are more than 250 million carriers of HBV who are at risk for the sequential development of hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). More than 800,000 deaths per year are attributed to chronic hepatitis B. Many different therapeutic approaches have been developed to block virus replication, and although effective, none are curative. These treatments have little or no impact upon the portions of integrated HBV DNA, which often encode the virus regulatory protein, HBx. Although given little attention, HBx is an important therapeutic target because it contributes importantly to (a) HBV replication, (b) in protecting infected cells from immune mediated destruction during chronic infection, and (c) in the development of HCC. Thus, the development of therapies targeting HBx, combined with other established therapies, will provide a functional cure that will target virus replication and further reduce or eliminate both the morbidity and mortality associated with chronic liver disease and HCC. Simultaneous targeting of all these characteristics underscores the importance of developing therapies against HBx.
    • Migrations of cancer cells through the lens of phylogenetic biogeography

      Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine (Temple University) (2021-08-25)
      Malignant cells leave their initial tumor of growth and disperse to other tissues to form metastases. Dispersals also occur in nature when individuals in a population migrate from their area of origin to colonize other habitats. In cancer, phylogenetic biogeography is concerned with the source and trajectory of cell movements. We examine the suitability of primary features of organismal biogeography, including genetic diversification, dispersal, extinction, vicariance, and founder effects, to describe and reconstruct clone migration events among tumors. We used computer-simulated data to compare fits of seven biogeographic models and evaluate models’ performance in clone migration reconstruction. Models considering founder effects and dispersals were often better fit for the clone phylogenetic patterns, especially for polyclonal seeding and reseeding of metastases. However, simpler biogeographic models produced more accurate estimates of cell migration histories. Analyses of empirical datasets of basal-like breast cancer had model fits consistent with the patterns seen in the analysis of computer-simulated datasets. Our analyses reveal the powers and pitfalls of biogeographic models for modeling and inferring clone migration histories using tumor genome variation data. We conclude that the principles of molecular evolution and organismal biogeography are useful in these endeavors but that the available models and methods need to be applied judiciously.
    • Hyperammonemia Post Lung Transplantation: A Review

      Leger, Robert; Silverman, Matthew S.; Hauck, Ellen S.; Guvakova, Ksenia D.; Leger|0000-0002-2013-4685 (2020-10-26)
      Hyperammonemia is the pathological accumulation of ammonia in the blood, which can occur in many different clinical settings. Most commonly in adults, hyperammonemia occurs secondary to hepatic dysfunction; however, it is also known to be associated with other pathologies, surgeries, and medications. Although less common, hyperammonemia has been described as a rare, but consistent complication of solid organ transplantation. Lung transplantation is increasingly recognized as a unique risk factor for the development of this condition, which can pose grave health risks—including long-term neurological sequelae and even death. Recent clinical findings have suggested that patients receiving lung transplantations may experience postoperative hyperammonemia at rates as high as 4.1%. A wide array of etiologies has been attributed to this condition. A growing number of case studies and investigations suggest disseminated opportunistic infection with Ureaplasma or Mycoplasma species may drive this metabolic disturbance in lung transplant recipients. Regardless of the etiology, hyperammonemia presents a severe clinical problem with reported mortality rates as high as 75%. Typical treatment regimens are multimodal and focus on 3 main avenues of management: (1) the reduction of impact on the brain through the use of neuroprotective medications and decreasing cerebral edema, (2) augmentation of mechanisms for the elimination of ammonia from the blood via hemodialysis, and (3) the diminishment of processes producing predominantly using antibiotics. The aim of this review is to detail the pathophysiology of hyperammonemia in the setting of orthotopic lung transplantation and discuss methods of identifying and managing patients with this condition.
    • Exercise capacity is associated with hospital readmission among patients with diabetes

      Zisman-Ilani, Yaara; Fasing, Kevin; Weiner, Mark; Rubin, Daniel; Zisman-Ilani|0000-0001-6852-2583; Rubin|0000-0002-6871-6246 (2020-10-05)
      Introduction: Patients with diabetes are at greater risk of hospital readmission than patients without diabetes. There is a need to identify more modifiable risk factors for readmission as potential targets for intervention. Cardiorespiratory fitness is a predictor of morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this study was to examine whether there is an association between exercise capacity based on the maximal workload achieved during treadmill stress testing and readmission among patients with diabetes. Research design and methods: This retrospective cohort study included adult patients with diabetes discharged from an academic medical center between July 1, 2012 and December 31, 2018 who had a stress test documented before the index discharge. Univariate analysis and multinomial multivariable logistic regressions were used to evaluate associations with readmission within 30 days, 6 months, and 1 year of discharge. Exercise capacity was measured as metabolic equivalents (METs). Results: A total of 580 patients with 1598 hospitalizations were analyzed. Mean METs of readmitted patients were significantly lower than for non-readmitted patients (5.7 (2.6) vs 6.7 (2.6), p<0.001). After adjustment for confounders, a low METs level (<5) was associated with higher odds of readmission within 30 days (OR 5.46 (2.22–13.45), p<0.001), 6 months (OR 2.78 (1.36–5.65), p=0.005), and 1 year (OR 2.16 (1.12–4.16), p=0.022) compared with medium (5–7) and high (>7) METs level. During the 6.5-year study period, patients with low METs had a mean of 3.2±3.6 hospitalizations, while those with high METs had 2.5±2.4 hospitalizations (p=0.007). Conclusions: Lower exercise capacity is associated with a higher risk of readmission within 30 days, 6 months, and 1 year, as well as a greater incidence of hospitalization, in patients with diabetes. Future studies are needed to explore whether exercise reduces readmission risk in this population.
    • Building and Maintaining Metadata Aggregation Workflows Using Apache Airflow

      PA Digital (2021-09-22)
      PA Digital is a Pennsylvania network that serves as the state’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The group developed a homegrown aggregation system in 2014, used to harvest digital collection records from contributing institutions, validate and transform their metadata, and deliver aggregated records to the DPLA. Since our initial launch, PA Digital has expanded significantly, harvesting from an increasing number of contributors with a variety of repository systems. With each new system, our highly customized aggregator software became more complex and difficult to maintain. By 2018, PA Digital staff had determined that a new solution was needed. From 2019 to 2021, a cross-functional team implemented a more flexible and scalable approach to metadata aggregation for PA Digital, using Apache Airflow for workflow management and Solr/Blacklight for internal metadata review. In this article, we will outline how we use this group of applications and the new workflows adopted, which afford our metadata specialists more autonomy to contribute directly to the ongoing development of the aggregator. We will discuss how this work fits into our broader sustainability planning as a network and how the team leveraged shared expertise to build a more stable approach to maintenance.
    • #RealCollege 2021: Basic Needs Insecurity During the Ongoing Pandemic

      The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice (Temple University) (Temple University. The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice, 2021-03-31)
      Entering the fall 2020 term, higher education was reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. Enrollment was down—particularly among students most at risk of basic needs insecurity; fewer students had completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); and college retention rates had dropped. Students and faculty were stressed and anxious. By the end of the term, more than 267,000 Americans died. At the same time, the federal government pumped an unprecedented $6 billion into student emergency aid via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This report examines the pandemic’s impact on #RealCollege students who were able to continue their education in this challenging environment. Using our sixth annual #RealCollege Survey, fielded in fall 2020, we assessed students’ basic needs security and their well-being, as indicated by employment status, academic engagement, and mental health. In total, over 195,000 students from 130 two-year colleges and 72 four-year colleges and universities responded to the 2020 #RealCollege Survey.