News

Higgins Awarded Gesu Spirit Medal

JimHiggins sizedJim Higgins, retired full-time Assistant Professor of Accounting and current part-time instructor in Finance and Accounting for the School of Business Administration, will be awarded the Gesu Spirit Medal from the Gesu School during their annual gala on May 11, 2017.

“My first thought was of the Jesuit Priests and Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters who had a significant effect on my life, as well as my family,” said Higgins. “The surprise was being chosen from among so many worthy associates. I am extremely happy for the recognition given by a school the Archdiocese wanted to close in 1993. Our students today are being admitted to the best high schools in the area."

The Gesu Spirit Medal honors individuals who have shown extraordinary commitment to Gesu School through their loyal advocacy and actions, and who have made a significant contribution to Gesu School’s success as a model inner-city elementary school.

Higgins has been involved with Gesu School for more than 70 years. He graduated from Gesu in 1945, later moving on to Saint Joseph’s Prep and Saint Joseph’s University, where he received his accounting degree. Higgins became the school board's first treasurer in 1993. He is still an active member of the board today.

“Jim is a tremendous asset to not only our University but also the students,” said Barry Dickinson, Dean of the School of Business Administration. “His teaching style is very empathetic and the students love him. He often spends time with students after class to assist them and is always willing to help out when we need someone to fill in at the last moment. He is well deserving of this award.”

HFU Student-Athletes Recognized with 2017 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Awards

Athletics Softball sizedTen Holy Family University student-athletes have been recognized with the 2017 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Award in the latest issue of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

Graduate student Cristian Cepeda was named a male semifinalist for the award. Cepeda is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Holy Family University and is a member of the men’s soccer team. Additionally, nine other HFU student-athletes were recognized for their commitment to their craft and the classroom with team awards.

"The Athletics Department is extremely proud of all of our student-athletes who were recognized as 2017 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholars,” said Robin Arnold, Associate Director of Athletics. “They each represent the highest ideals of excellence in the classroom, in athletics, and in service to the community."

According to their website, “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education sponsors the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Awards to honor undergraduate students who have excelled in the classroom as well as on the athletic field. Inspired by tennis legend Arthur Ashe, Jr.'s commitment to education as well as his love for the game of tennis, U.S. colleges and universities are invited to participate in this annual awards program by nominating their outstanding sports scholars. In addition to their athletic ability and academic performance, Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholars demonstrate a commitment to community service and student leadership.”

To qualify for the designation, student-athletes must have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher through the spring 2016 term, must have completed one full academic year at the institution, must be currently enrolled in the nominating institution, must have been an active member of an intercollegiate athletic team during the 2015-16 academic year, must have demonstrated a record of service to the campus or community, and must be a minority student-athlete.

Individual Awards

Graduate Cristian Cepeda, Criminal Justice, Men’s Soccer, Male Semifinalist for the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Award

Team Awards

Sophomore Samantha Klem, Digital Forensics, Softball, Fourth Team, 3.36 GPA

Junior Mariano Cepeda, Finance, Men’s Soccer, First Team, 3.87 GPA

Junior Taurai Augustin, Biology/Pre-Med, Men’s Track and Field, First Team, 3.97 GPA

Junior Victoria Hernandez, Criminal Justice, Softball, First Team, 3.96 GPA

Senior Corey Williams, Accounting, Men’s Track and Field, First Team, 3.68 GPA

Senior Brianna Scotto, Accounting, Softball, First Team, 3.85 GPA

Senior Christina Little, Art Therapy, Women's Tennis, Third Team, 3.28 GPA

Senior Kianna Tidball-Beckford, Criminal Justice, Women’s Track and Field, Fifth Team, 3.43 GPA

Senior Emerald Adams, Management Marketing, Women’s Tennis, Second Team, 3.57 GPA

Guest Speakers Help Shape Student Social Media Views

Jared Solomon sizedAs social media continues to evolve, there is no one right way to operate a channel. To bring a well-rounded and comprehensive perspective to her classroom, Dr. Amanda McClain, Associate Professor of Communications for the School of Arts and Sciences, has utilized a number of guest speakers to talk about corporate social media use and the different strategies involved in making a platform successful.

“Social media use has greatly expanded over the past several years,” McClain said. “Employers look to new graduates for guidance on how to craft targeted messages and reach audiences. Students must be able to effectively use platforms and quickly learn as new platforms emerge.”

Students in the COMM 250 Introduction to Social Media class have met with Jared Solomon, PA State Representative, 202 District, who discussed how he used social media throughout his campaign; Daniella Nahmias Scruggs, Development Director for HIAS Pennsylvania, who Skyped into the classroom to discuss how the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society utilizes various social media channels to reach a target audience; and Dave Pavlak, Communications Specialist in the Marketing and Communications Department at Holy Family University, who shared the various channels the University uses, how students can become involved, and how to measure analytics.

As a final project, students will be analyzing Solomon’s and HIAS’s social media accounts, making recommendations to help improve their social media strategy.

“Guest speakers permit students to understand how what we're learning in class is used in the working world,” McClain said. “Interaction with the professionals engenders a deeper understanding of how entities utilize social media, and on another level, what they want social media professionals to do for their brands. Students treated some of the guests as clients; brainstorming how they could better the speakers' social media use to raise awareness, for development, and how to tell a cohesive story.”

April Art Gallery: Ashley Shackleford and Katelyn Scherber

Holy Family University Art Gallery Presents Split Personalities by Ashley Shackleford and Pain then Love by Katelyn Scherber
Exhibit Dates: April 7-21, 2017

The Holy Family University Art Gallery is pleased to present Split Personalities by Ashley Shackleford and Pain then Love by Katelyn Scherber, two graduating seniors. Each will present a collection of artwork throughout their time at Holy Family University.

April art gallery Shackleford sized

Ashley Shackleford artist statement: “This art exhibit shows both of my personalities. When looking at my artwork hanging on the walls, you will feel many emotions at once. All of the bright colors I have used will bring you happiness, while the darker tones I used may bring anger. Emotion is a huge aspect of art and can vary in many ways. Everyone’s emotions are different.”

“The colors I have chosen are very bright and vibrant to reflect on the American Traditional style of tattooing. I have made four complete designs—one painting and one print to go with each. The paintings show big bold lines as well as color, while my prints are black and white and consist of very thin strokes that show more detail. I thoroughly enjoy the tattoo field and love to incorporate it into my artwork. Tattoos are a way to express oneself through body ink. Tattoos make you unique and show off your creativity, which to me is an amazing thing.”

“My other artwork shows off my athletic abilities. I love being in the gym and staying in shape. I created my own business called Body By Shack, where I am a personal trainer. Being able to pursue my goals in the gym while helping others achieve theirs is perfect for me. I’ve made business cards, t-shirts, flyers, and a website for those who are interested. On the shirt that I made, I added my business logo so my clients would be able to show off their new workout clothes and start to feel great in their own body. Art and the gym are two of the most important things in my life besides my family. I can always lean on both to relax or to collect my thoughts. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

April art gallery Scherber sized

Katelyn Scherber artist statement: “There are two parts to my show: pain and love. Pain: I was asked a question during my freshman year of college—‘what sparks a particular emotion to you?’ and my initial answer was pain. My father was a heavy smoker that, at the time, made me angry and hurt that he chose cigarettes over his own health and well-being. All that pain from him choosing to smoke, and then to actually want to live his life, was brought out in a lot of my work. After he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, all my hate and anger turned in to complete pain. After a year of dealing with the pain, I decided to try and turn my art around and focus on what I love. Within all these works, you’ll begin to notice the different mediums used to express my emotions in many different ways.”

Love: My last cigarette painting was a watercolor painting where the smoke turned into butterflies. It was a painting that finally made me realize it’s time to start focusing on my happiness. In my Printmaking II class, I created five different animal faces. Although it is not as personal as my cigarette pieces, drawing the animals allowed me to open up the more positive side of myself. I find beauty in all the wild creatures that I draw. Lions are strong and have beautiful manes. Giraffe are tall and always rise up when they are down. Goats are independent but still have a sense of personality. Foxes are cunning and have beautiful coats. But there was one animal that wasn’t as wild. This is more of the personal side that I wanted to incorporate. The dog is a symbol of loyalty, and after having a very difficult summer, I was still able to come home to my dog, who would be there for me on my darkest days. He would give me a sense of protection when I needed it. Moving on to the four magazine covers, they are about being me living as a student-athlete on a college campus. Food became a routine of watching what I ate and how much I can afford to buy. The irony is that college students have busy schedules so they can study and get a job to afford ‘luxurious’ food, yet only find time to eat and afford quick, cheap meals.”

The event will take place at Holy Family University’s Education Technology Center (ETC) in the lobby and art gallery. Parking is available to all in the Campus Center parking lot in the visitor section without restriction.

This exhibition is part of Holy Family's monthly Gallery shows held throughout the academic year, each of which showcases a new and diverse exhibit featuring artists from around the world as well as Holy Family University's graduating art majors. The intended audiences of this exhibition are people of all ages.

The University Art Gallery is located on the Lower Level of the Education & Technology Center on the University’s Northeast Philadelphia campus. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday, from 8 am - 8 pm.

Meles Interns with US Department of State

Meles sized2Junior Naftali Meles has spent his semester at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), interning with the US Department of State through its Pathways Internship Program.

The psychology major is training to be a Contract Specialist in the Industrial Hardware sector of the DLA in Philadelphia, with the goal to secure a permeant position upon graduation. In his role, Meles reviews and bids out federal contracts to competing vendors.

“I work in Industrial Hardware, where we support the military with anything related to hardware—nuts, bolts, screws—and supply these to the troops who need them,” Meles said. “There are five departments that the DLA supports: clothing and textiles, construction and equipment, industrial hardware, medical, and subsistence. I began in clothing and textiles over the summer, and have since been recruited for industrial hardware. This program has the potential to be a permanent position once I graduate from Holy Family University.”

According to the Defense Logistic Agency’s website, “The origins of the Defense Logistics Agency date back to World War II when America's huge military buildup required the rapid procurement of vast amounts of munitions and supplies. After the war, a presidential commission headed by former President Herbert Hoover recommended centralizing management of common military logistics support and introducing uniform financial management practices.”

Government work isn’t something new for Meles. His father currently works for the City of Philadelphia, while his brother works at Joint Base McGuire–Dix–Lakehurst in New Jersey.

“My father is a social worker, and my brother works at Joint Base McGuire,” Meles said. “Government work is something that runs in my family and I am happy the position came through. I believe it is a respected career choice that can really lead to serious opportunities later on. The training provided is very versatile and can really be applied to many situations in life, while influencing my learning and skills development.”

His time at Holy Family has been influential during the course of his internship.

“Holy Family University has been the cornerstone that allowed this internship to happen,” Meles said. “The programs I am in and the services that Holy Family provides are very important in this career choice.”

Business Society Hosts Third Annual MBA Panel

Holy Family University’s Business Society will host its third annual MBA Panel on Thursday, April 6, from 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm at the Bensalem location.

Dr. Luanne Amato, Management-Marketing Instructor for the School of Business Administration, will moderate the event.

More than 10 colleges will be represented during the event, including St. Joseph’s University, Villanova University, Rutgers University – Camden, Arcadia University, Cabrini University, Philadelphia University, Rosemont College, Rowan University, Gwynedd Mercy University, and Rider University.

Panelists will describe the MBA environment, what it takes to succeed as an MBA student, and explain their individual programs. Attendees are encouraged to bring any questions they have about entering an MBA program to the event.

"The third annual MBA Panel is set to be the largest and most exciting MBA Panel Holy Family University has ever hosted,” said Lilly Kelly, Business Society President. “This program is beneficial to students, as they will receive all the information needed to be accepted into the MBA program of their choice. In addition, it gives them a wonderful opportunity to network with representatives from 11 notable programs. "

For more information, contact Lilly Kelly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

HFU Snapchat Offers Behind-the-Scenes View of Student Life

HFU SnapchatThose looking for a more intimate portrayal of Holy Family University daily student life are encouraged to follow the newly created Snapchat account HFU_official.

Created by the Marketing and Communications Department and run by revolving student social media ambassadors, the audience is able to see a wide range of student activities, including weeknight and weekend events, dormitory life, inside the classroom, and more.

“Snapchat is one of the most popular and fastest growing photo sharing social media platforms currently,” said Heather Dotchel, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications. “While Holy Family already has a robust Instagram presence, the Marketing and Communications Department thought it would be a good idea to give students a voice through our social media channels. Paired with our new social media minor, we wanted to give the students an opportunity to control a corporate social media account while gaining real-world experience.”

Social media ambassador positions are currently available, and open to students of all majors. Those interested in showcasing their week through Holy Family University’s Snapchat account are encouraged to contact Dave Pavlak, Communications Specialist, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Author James Hockenberry Visits HFU for Book Reading and Signing

over here sizedOn Tuesday, April 4, from 12:50 pm–1:50 pm, author James Hockenberry will visit the Holy Family University Library on the Philadelphia campus to read portions of his new debut novel, Over Here.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming James to the Library,” said Kathy Kindness, Assistant Director of Library Services. “His historical novel, Over Here, is a departure from our regular book club fare. This fast-paced spy thriller, set in New York City prior to American involvement in World War I, depicts a little-known era and event in American history. Mr. Hockenberry will provide insight about this time period and why he chose to write about these historical events.”

Over Here features a thrill ride of espionage, financial implications, and real history depicting German saboteurs attempting a clandestine war, with elite Bomb Squad members Gil Martin and Paul Keller, hot on their heels. This is the first novel in the World War One Intrigue Series.

Hockenberry grew up in Bronxville, New York. His debut novel reflects his deeply ingrained German-American roots. James’ grandfather was a prosperous New York City businessman in 1915 and told stories of the Great War (WWI). James grew up hearing of lives the war touched and the real human concerns the war caused. Hockenberry’s heritage, his meticulous research, and his own career as a brass tacks financial executive have coalesced to create Over Here, a powerful, fast-paced novel of a highly influential episodes in the political and financial history of the United States of America during World War One.

Books will be available for purchase on the day of the event. Hockenberry will also sign copies at the end of the discussion.

Please RSVP to Kathy Kindness at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Glen Foerd-HFU Speaker Series: In the Cradle of Industry and Liberty

Known as the "Workshop of the World," Philadelphia once produced an extraordinary array of manufactured goods—from hosiery and hats to ships and locomotives. In a highly illustrated lecture, Jack McCarthy, a longtime Philadelphia archivist and historian, will trace the history of Philadelphia’s manufacturing—from the small shops of colonial craftsmen to massive industrial plants of the 19th and 20th centuries—as well as the dramatic downsizing in manufacturing that began in the mid-20th century and the city’s recent transition to a post-industrial, service-based economy.

The event will take place in the ETC Auditorium on Thursday, March 30, at 7 pm.

The lecture is part of the Glen Foerd-Holy Family University Speaker Series that showcases topics of area cultural and historical interest. The series invites a distinguished speaker to Holy Family University each semester for a lecture on a topic in American history from the War of 1812 through the early 20th century, which is the period of time interpreted by Glen Foerd on the Delaware, the historic house museum located a few blocks from campus. All lectures are free and open to the public.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Chosen as 2017 One Book, One Philadelphia Featured Read

Mark Haddon - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - book coverHoly Family University will be participating in One Book, One Philadelphia for the third year in a row. The reading event is designed by the Free Library of Philadelphia to “promote reading, literacy, and libraries, and to encourage the entire greater Philadelphia area to come together through reading and discussing a single book.”

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon has been selected as this year’s featured book.

According to the Free Library of Philadelphia’s website, “The story of an eccentric and gifted young man who gains a deeper understanding of himself while solving a neighborhood mystery, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is the 2017 featured One Book, One Philadelphia selection. The 2017 featured book came to life on stage at the Academy of Music as part of the 2016–17 Broadway Philadelphia season. The Tony Award-winning National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time ran from February 28 through March 5, 2017.”

“We're very excited to be part of the Free Library's One Book, One Philadelphia initiative again,” said Kathy Kindness, Assistant Director of Library Services. “Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is about Christopher, a boy with amazing mathematical abilities, learning differences, severe social anxiety, and a troubled family life. He discovers his neighbor's dead dog and, in the course of investigating this bizarre and disturbing event, embarks on a remarkable journey of self-discovery. While Christopher is never diagnosed with Autism or Asperger Syndrome in the book, his story is a small window into life through the eyes of someone on the autism spectrum. The novel is also a great mystery for those who like sleuthing.”