Category Archives: Uncategorized

Paul Meyer: World leader in plant exploration

When Paul Meyer, Director of the Morris Arboretum, received the Arthur Hoyt Scott medal in 2018, Chanticleer’s Executive Director Bill Thomas described Paul as a “world leader in plant exploration.”

Turns out, helping to establish the North America-China Plant Exploration Consortium, or NACPEC, is a legacy about which he is most proud.

I interviewed Paul on the eve of his retirement from the Arboretum after 42 years. He described what he sees as the impact of this world-wide coalition.


What does “home” mean to a refugee family fleeing war in Syria?

On the night of December 14th, Pam Prell sat in her minivan in the cellphone parking lot at Philadelphia International Airport, waiting for the arrival of the Dahans, a family of four, refugees from the war in Syria. As a representative of the Refugee Resettlement Ministry at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, she’d signed on to drive Sameer, Majidah, eight-year-old Ayman and Iman, almost 2, to temporary housing the church had found in Mt. Airy.

This story, told in images and music, documents the family’s first 90-days in the city.

“Are we going to be on the news?!!”

This summer I interviewgun-violence-fisted a number of Philadelphia public school teachers and kids for a series of audio slideshows that were featured at Need in Deed‘s September Teacher Soirée. Drove all over the city. Didn’t surprise me to hear the same message consistently: student-driven problem solving surpasses drill and kill learning every time. You can look at pie charts and analyze test data and . . . you can ask kids what they got out of a richly conceived, yearlong service-learning project. Want to hear the difference? Just listen to their enthusiasm!

You can hear teachers talk about their experience, as well. To underscore the points they made, we found research that supports the value of learning grounded in student voice. Makes for a more compelling story.