From the Air Force to Holy Family’s Second Degree BSN Program: Meet Stephanie Biggans

Students at Holy Family University come from many diverse backgrounds before they begin their first semester at the University. For some, their education at Holy Family is the beginning of a second career. For Stephanie Biggans, a current student in the Second Degree BSN 14-Month Accelerated Degree Program, her nursing career will be her third career in a life that has already been filled with impressive professional accomplishments.

Stephanie is a 17-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where she served as an air traffic controller. Stephanie was medically retired from the service after a knee injury, and the numerous surgeries she underwent sparked her interest in starting a second career in the medical field. “After I got out of the service, I used the GI Bill to go to go to school to become an x-ray tech,” she explains.

As it turns out, Stephanie was not the only member of her family who was interested in pursuing a career in medicine. Stephanie’s sister, Melissa Wenzel, who is also a veteran of the Air Force and retired from the service in August 2020, decided to go to school for nursing.

“Melissa, who was a medic in the Air Force, had been talking about going to nursing school,” says Stephanie. “We grew up in Philadelphia, so we were looking for schools in the area. We knew about Holy Family because we grew up in Mayfair, and we saw that they had an accelerated BSN program.”

After her sister entered the Second Degree BSN program at Holy Family University (Wenzel will graduate from the program in February 2022), Stephanie considered pursuing that career path as well. The COVID-19 pandemic gave her another push toward a nursing career.

“Once the pandemic happened, I started thinking that I should go back to school for nursing, too,” notes Stephanie. “I really saw and felt the impact of the pandemic. As radiology technologists, we were in every patient’s room from the ER to the ICU and even the OR. As an x-ray tech, I already give a lot to patients—but I wanted to give more.”

Stephanie entered the Second Degree BSN 14-Month Accelerated Degree Program in August 2021. So far, the program has exceeded her expectations. “The experience at Holy Family has been great,” she says. “Having been through x-ray school I had expectations of what nursing school would be like, but it has been very different. All of the students in the program already have bachelor’s degrees, so it’s a mature, friendly, and engaging group of students. Everyone has been so supportive. It’s not about who is the smartest or who’s getting the best grades, it’s about how everyone made it into this program and helping each other.”

In particular, Stephanie has strong praise for her experience with the faculty of the School of Nursing & Health Sciences. “The faculty is here to see us succeed,” Stephanie explains. “I think when you're in an accelerated program where the material is so intense, that can really make or break how you succeed.”

5.15.21 HF comm am 003 3429Holy Family University was recently named a Top 10 Accelerated Nursing Program in Philadelphia for 2021 by Best Value Schools. The University enrolls two Second Degree BSN Cohort – 14-Month Daytime Cohorts and two Second Degree BSN Cohort – 22-Month Evenings + Weekends Cohorts a year (spring and fall). Due to a limited number of spaces each semester, admission to the program is highly competitive. For more information (including admission requirements), please visit the program website or contact the Graduate and Professional Studies Office at 267-341-3327 or e-mail

Congratulations to the New HFU Black Student Union!

The Student Engagement Office is pleased to announce the installation of a new Registered Student Organization on campus! The first-ever Holy Family University Black Student Union was approved by Student Government last week and formerly established on Wednesday, November 10.
Black Student Union will be led by a team of Executive Board members which include: Desiree DraperKharon RandolphDavid RobinsonGeorgia PayeKorryn Braxton-Young, with the support of their advisor, Andrees Rivers, associate director of Student Engagement.
BSU will focus on creating a space for Black/African-American students to unite, support and celebrate one another on campus through various experiences. BSU will be open to all who wish to join as General Body Members and more details on upcoming meetings and events will be announced shortly. 

Remembering the Foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Frances Siedliska (Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good the Shepherd)

Holy Family University is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth invite you to join them in celebrating the anniversary of the birth and death of our Foundress, Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd, who was born on November 12, 1842, and died on November 21, 1902.

Mother Frances Siedliska

Frances Siedliska (Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good the Shepherd) was born into a wealthy, cultured family at the estate of her parents, Adolph and Cecilia Siedliski, in Roszkowa Wola near Warsaw, Poland, on November 12, 1842. She was educated privately by governesses. Religion came into her life through a zealous Capuchin, Father Leander Lendzian, who prepared her for her the reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion, and Confirmation. It was on the day of her first Holy Communion that she gave herself completely to God and on the day of her Confirmation she recognized the call to religious life.

Despite worldly allurements, criticism, and derision, Frances remained steadfast in her desire to serve God as a religious. After the death of her father in 1870, she consecrated herself to the service of God and recognized her mission to establish a new religious congregation. In the petition presented to Pope Pius IX on October 1, 1873, Frances described her congregation as one whose members would model their lives on the hidden life and virtues of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Their prayers, works, and sacrifices would be offered for the intentions of the Vicar of Christ and the Church. A new congregation was born when Pope Pius IX blessed Frances and the work she would do for the Church.

Frances SiedliskaIn religious life, the foundress took the name Mary. The early years of her congregation were very difficult but her heroic faith and confidence eventually triumphed. Soon, with a small pioneer group of candidates, the congregation was established in Rome, Italy in 1875. The sisters devoted themselves to catechizing children, instructing converts, and conducting retreats for women. Mother Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd, as she was known in religious life, gave herself without reserve to her sisters. As new candidates entered the congregation, the foundress opened a convent in Krakow, Poland in 1881. In 1885, she took herself and ten sisters (fully half of the fledgling congregation) to the United States where the Polish immigrants were requesting the help of religious. Convents were opened in Paris and London in 1891 and 1895, respectively.

Gradually her labors drained her physical strength. She had scarcely recovered from a serious illness when she began to work again. Under these extraordinary efforts, she finally succumbed and gave her soul to God on the Feast of the Presentation of Mary, November 21, 1902, in Rome. She bequeathed to her congregation the example of her life, the Covenant of Love (the Congregation’s Rule), her letters, and her last conference to the sisters during which she spoke of her favorite subject, reciprocal love.mother foundress

The life of Mother Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd was synthesized in the motto, “Thy will be done,” which she chose for herself and also gave to her sisters. Her spiritual strength was obtained from total immersion in God, fulfilling His will, which she believed to be the essence of holiness. For her, there was no other path to sanctity. Throughout her life, she walked this path humbly and intensely, having the Holy Family of Nazareth as her model.

Mother Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd’s life of holiness and heroism was recognized by her sisters and by the Church.  She was beatified on April 23, 1989, and given the title Blessed. Now recognized as Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd we pray that one day soon the Church will recognize her as a saint. We celebrate her feast day on November 21.

Holy Family University Announces Master of Science in Accountancy Program Revision


20181104 HFU 6883Holy Family University’s School of Professional Studies announces that the Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) has been revised to reflect the changing needs in the field of accounting. “The CPA Exam will be changing in 2024, and the University has taken proactive steps to revise our curriculum to reflect these changes” notes Krisi Ringen, Ed.D., dean of Professional Studies. “Our program is unique in the region because you do not need to have an undergraduate accounting degree to enroll in our Master’s program, and graduates with this degree can secure management-level roles in almost every industry, including banking, insurance, construction, manufacturing, and government.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that accounting jobs will increase by 10% between 2016 and 2026. Accounting jobs are expected to remain in high demand due to a continuing need for qualified experts to handle complex financial and tax-related matters for organizations and individual clients. A number of professions may require a master’s degree in accounting beyond the bachelor’s level and the CPA license. Potential jobs include:

  • Corporate Accountant
  • Financial Analyst
  • Controller
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Auditor
  • Taxation Specialist
  • Budget Analyst
  • Personal Financial Planner

Top Jobs for Masters in Accounting Graduates

MSA Salaries


Register today for the MSA Business Information Sessions at:  The In-person Information Session well be held on Wednesday, December 1 at 6:30 p.m., or attend the Virtual Information Session on Wednesday, December 8 at 6:45 p.m.  You can also email us at at for an individualized appointment.

Holy Family University Introduces the MBA Criminal Justice Concentration for January 2022


MBAProgram FB

In January 2022, the School of Professional Studies at Holy Family University is launching a new Criminal Justice concentration in the MBA program. This is the fourth concentration according to Karen Galardi, Ed.D., associate dean for Graduate and Professional Studies.

“We are very excited to offer this expansion of the MBA program,” Galardi notes. “Our new concentration will provide students with a critical overview of the criminal justice system and process. The instructional emphasis will be placed on the proposal of initiatives aimed at solving applied criminal justice problems, as well as maximum efficiency of personnel and resources.”

This new concentration prepares students for a number of career options, including:

  • Corrections Administrator
    Salary: $57,720
  • Emergency Management Director
    Salary: $64,730
  • Customs Official
    Salary: $80,000
  • Financial Examiner
    Salary: $91,000


Register today for the MBA Information Sessions at:

The In-person Information Session well be held on Wednesday, December 1 at 6 p.m., or attend the Virtual Information Session on Wednesday, December 8 at 6 p.m. You can also email us at at for an individualized appointment.