Partings
Penn State Intercom......October 18, 2001

Director of Center for Women
Students retires after 22 years

Sabrina C. Chapman, director emerita of the Center for Women Students, has retired after 22 years of service.

Chapman has been active in women's advocacy and the women's studies field for a number of years. She has served as director of the Center for Women Students and affiliate assistant professor of sociology and women's studies, and has taught sections of the introductory women's studies course for more than 13 years.

She received the University's Award for Outstanding Contributions Improving Equal Opportunity and Cross-Cultural Relations. In addition, she has provided leadership and worked to develop a grant proposal regarding violence against women, which resulted in a two-year award of $451,409.

She has held leadership positions in both the National Association for Women and the National Women's Studies Association, and has served as chair and convener for the Committee of Institutional Cooperation Women's Advocacy Network.

In her retirement, Chapman is looking forward to more fully enjoying all that the University and local community have to offer, particularly the performing arts and recreational opportunities. She also plans to travel and perform community service.

Two Abington professors
retire with emerita status

Vicki Abt and Priscilla Cohn, two women who pioneered changes in society, recently retired from Penn State Abington with emerita status.

Abt, professor of sociology and American studies, received national attention for exposing the embarrassing depths of talk-show sleaze and triggered a re-assessment and change of direction by Oprah Winfrey.

Abt came to Abington as an instructor in 1966. She received her doctorate from Temple University in 1971. In the '80s, she initiated the first scientific study on gambling and became one of the first consulting editors of the Journal of Gambling Studies. In 1985, she co-authored The Business of Risk: Commercial Gambling in Mainstream America, with University colleague James Smith and Eugene Christiansen, special assistant to the New York City Off-Track Betting Commission.

Abt co-authored a paper with Mel Seesholtz titled "The Shameless World of Phil, Sally and Oprah." It posited that talk shows were dangerous because they suggested that therapy was being provided by the host-facilitators. In 1994, Winfrey invited Abt to be a guest panelist on her show to justify the criticism. Though Winfrey was indignant, this clearly marked a new direction in her format.

In 1997, Abt produced a book with Abington's associate dean, Leonard Mustazza, Coming After Oprah. She subsequently served as an expert witness in the landmark trial against Time-Warner regarding the murder case instigated on the Jenny Jones talk show -- a case that won the largest judgment to date against a major talk show corporation.

Abt was honored with the AMOCO Award in 1985 and became a full professor in 1987. Recently, she helped establish Abington College's Division of Social Sciences.

Cohn, professor of philosophy, has been an internationally recognized crusader for animal rights for more than two decades.

Cohn began teaching at Abington in 1966 and completed her doctoral degree from Bryn Mawr College in 1969.

Cohn's growing reputation in the area of animal ethics, particularly the field of non-hormonal immune-contraception for animals, earned her speaking engagements in Europe, South America, Australia and Africa. In 1987, she organized the first International Conference of Wildlife Contraception, held in Philadelphia.

In 1996, Cohn edited Contraception in Wildlife and in 1999, she edited and published Ethics and Wildlife.

She has given expert testimony in many animal rights court cases, and she has founded her own nonprofit organization, PNC which stands for Pity, Not Cruelty.

Cohn recently returned from Africa where she participated in the Fifth International Conference of Fertility Control.

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