A Year in Review: 2018

Holy Family University was blessed with good fortunes and positive outcomes throughout 2018. Students across a variety of disciplines participated in conferences and internships that boosted their classroom experience with experiential opportunities; faculty across each school published scholarly work that reinforces the academic quality and rigors, and the University was the recipient of numerous grants and gifts that will impact future generations of students. Here is a look back at some of our favorite moments.

Student Success


Holy Family’s women’s volleyball team captured its first Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championship and received the program's first bid into the NCAA Division II Tournament this season. Holy Family went on to advance to the East Region Final; the first CACC team to do so in women's volleyball. Fox29's Bob Kelly visited the team on December 11 to showcase their championship run this season.


Alyssa Christiansen, Dayna Howitz, and Reece Young, senior nursing majors, presented their research projects and accompanying posters during the Independence Blue Cross Foundation’s recognition event for its nursing internship program on August 3.


Students from the School of Business Administration’s Freshmen Experience class (FEXP) compiled and wrapped 102 Christmas boxes for children in the Dominican Republic. The gifts will be delivered and distributed through Operation Christmas Child.

Amanda Gurecki

Amanda Gurecki, a senior criminal justice and psychology major, completed the 10-week Honors Internship Program with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.


Patrick Murray, a junior English major, secured an internship to write and produce a play for No Longer Bound, a community-based prevention services organization located in Bristol, Pa that works with children ages 5-12 outside the classroom to promote unity and healthy living in their neighborhood and beyond.

SEPCHE honorsconference

Twelve students were selected to showcase their scholarly work at the 19th annual SEPCHE Honors Conference at Arcadia University. Working under the direction and guidance of Holy Family’s Honor Council and a mentoring professor, student work ranged from sabermetrics to the influenza virus, as well as various art pieces.

Three students from the inaugural Doctor of Psychology in Counseling Psychology program were accepted for their first conference presentation at the Pennsylvania Psychological Association’s annual conference. The presentation is entitled Self-Care for Psychologists: Mindfulness Based Techniques and discussed how self-care for psychologists is imperative in order to deliver effective services. 

Scholarly Work


Dr. Jonathan Rosen, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the School of Arts and Sciences, completed and published various works throughout 2018. Rosen’s first, a co-published volume at ICESI University entitled Economía y política de Colombia a principios de siglo 21: De Uribe a Santos y el postconflicto, focuses on the peace process, history of internal armed conflict, political economy, drug trafficking, and organized crime in Colombia during the 21st century. His second published piece is a book he co-edited, Violence in the Americas, where he and his co-editor analyze the general trends and nature of violence in various countries throughout the Americas. Rosen also co-authored Illicit Markets, Organized Crime and Global Security, which focuses on various arms of illicit markets, including drug and human trafficking. He published an article entitled “Overcoming Stigma and Discrimination: Challenges for Reinsertion of Gang Members in Developing Countries” in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. Finally, he recently published his latest book, Drugs, Gangs, and Violence, with his co-author Hanna Samir Kassab.

IPL Conference

The Involuntary Pregnancy Loss Collaborative, spearheaded by Drs. Kimberly Dasch-Yee, Jenai Grigg, and Stacy McDonald, hosted the 2018 Involuntary Pregnancy Loss Conference to bring together professionals from a variety of disciplines to share research and findings regarding the psychosocial impact of prenatal, perinatal, and neonatal pregnancy loss.

Fic Book

Dr. Robert Ficociello, Assistant Professor of Writing for the School of Arts and Sciences, co-edited a book entitled Eco Culture: Disaster, Narrative, Discourse. Eco Culture is a progressive continuation from his last book, America’s Disaster Culture: The Production of Natural Disasters in Literature and Pop Culture, which was published in October 2017.

HelenHoffner web

Dr. Helen Hoffner, a professor in the School of Education, finished her latest book, Catholic Treasures and Traditions. The illustrated encyclopedia examines the perplexing questions about the history of Catholic school and church practices, as well as dispels superstitions followed by Catholics.

Jan Don

Dr. Jan Buzydlowski, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Don Goeltz, Associate Professor in the School of Business Administration published a study entitled “Calculating The Euclidean Technology Distance of Dyads Using Patent Citations” in the Journal of International and Interdisciplinary Research.

McElwaine Menago

Dr. Patrick McElwaine, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Diane Menago, Associate Professor, for the School of Arts and Sciences’ Counseling Psychology program, presented at the Lilly Conference in Bethesda, Maryland. Their presentation was entitled “Creating a Community of Learners through Innovative Pedagogical Approaches.”

Malaszczyk Purcell

Karl Malaszczyk, Esq., Assistant Professor, and Dr. Bernice Purcell, Associate Dean and Associate Professor in the School of Business Administration had their article “Big Data in Fraud Detection” accepted for publication in the Journal of Finance and Accountancy

Gifts and Growth

Gregory Horizontal

Carl Gregory, a former Holy Family University Board of Trustees member for more than 35 years, and his wife, Elizabeth, established the Carl F. and Elizabeth M. Gregory Charitable Trust, naming Holy Family University as the sole beneficiary. At the end of the annuity period in 2028, all of the principal and income of the trust, more than $190,000, will be distributed to the University.


Holy Family University was awarded a $1.5 million grant for campus enhancement from Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Plans for enhancement are still being developed but will include renovations to the Campus Center and Holy Family Hall, designed to bring all student services under one roof to improve student access and enhance their experience.

MH ribbon cutting webHoly Family University’s Marian Hall, located on the corner of Frankford Avenue and Grant Avenue, has recently gone through a transformative restoration courtesy of a generous, anonymous donor. The building was officially blessed and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held in October.

HFU OHiggins

Holy Family University and International University of Catalonia (UIC Barcelona) signed a memorandum of understanding involving a student and faculty exchange program with the School of Education. The two sides are also exploring a similar agreement for the School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions. Holy Family University and Universidad de O'Higgins signed a memorandum of understanding involving a faculty, scholarly, and research exchange program with the School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.


Holy Family University’s School of Education was awarded a two-year grant for $97,000 through the William Penn Foundation that will be used to convert the undergraduate PK-4 program to blended, online, evening, and on-site delivery formats to increase access for non-traditional students who are currently in the early childhood workforce and want to obtain their degree or certification.


Holy Family University was named the 174th Best College by Money Magazine in 2018-19, an increase of 22 spots from the previous year's rankings. Holy Family University was the third highest Philadelphia-based university, behind the University of Pennsylvania (14) and Temple University (167).

SOE Grant

In partnership with George Washington High School, Holy Family University’s School of Education (SOE) has formed a new student group called Future Teachers of Philadelphia. The goal of the group is to identify high school students in Philadelphia who have an interest in teaching as a career and to provide activities that nurture and support those aspirations.  

EL Comm

Holy Family University’s Division of Extended Learning announced two new accelerated Bachelor of Arts programs in Communications and Psychology. These programs teach the exact same curriculum as the traditional, face-to-face programs, but are offered in consecutive eight-week terms.

Holy Family University’s School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions was granted approval by the State Board of Nursing to introduce a new track to their Doctor in Nursing Practice program: Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Certified Register Nurse Practitioner.

Family Center

Holy Family University’s Family Center was awarded a $5,000 grant by the Opus Foundation that will potentially be used to create a series of topics specifically of interest to Holy Family students adapting to university life, as well as after graduation.

Holy Family University was awarded an It’s On Us PA Grant, as announced by Governor Tom Wolf and the Department of Education. The award will be used to assist the University in its efforts to prevent, address, and respond effectively to sexual violence. The grant totals $29,896.