Holy Family University Music Ministry Presents Magical Melodies: A Collection of Disney Favorites

HFU Music Ministry Presents Magical Melodies: A Collection of Disney FavoritesJoin the Holy Family Music Ministry on Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 7 pm for a free concert of Disney favorites. Families, children, and the young at heart are welcome to attend. This event is open to the Holy Family and local communality. The concert will take place in the ETC Auditorium.

Holy Family Music Ministry is a small ensemble of students who are singers and musicians at Holy Family University. They are under the direction of Bill Monaghan. 

“From my perspective as director, the students involved in the music ministry, while juggling very busy schedules, still find time to commit to our ministry, and above that, to our Disney concert this fall,” Monaghan said. “I have to admit, though, that I don't feel like I had to really twist any arms on this subject material, as everyone was over the top excited to relive the magic of their youth experiences with Disney. Singing the songs, I see glimmers and shimmers of magic in each and every one as they sing songs of their favorite characters.”

The group will be playing popular Disney classic from Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Toy Story, and more.

“Every year Music Ministry brainstorms ideas how we can gather the campus community for a night of music,” said Victoria Durso, President of Music Ministry. “In previous years we have performed Christmas concerts and our God Pop concert. The Disney concert is something Music Ministry has been hoping to do for the past year now. Our group is so excited to finally present this concert experience for the faculty, staff, students, family, and friends. We hope we will have everyone singing along with these Disney classics.”

Comm. Class Explores Celebrity, Social Media, and Branding

Kardashian BookStudents who are looking to dive deeper into the fame and celebrity of the Kardashian family can do so with Dr. Amanda McClain’s special topics course in the spring semester, COMM 399 - Celebrity, Social Media, and Branding. The course is based off of McClain’s book, "Keeping Up the Kardashian Brand: Celebrity, Materialism, and Sexuality."

The course is open to all majors.

“Celebrities are everywhere in our culture, from social media to politics,” McClain said. “They embody certain ideals and values, which are important to understand. Mediated popular culture, like celebrity, offers a way of analyzing American culture. Through the lens of celebrity, we learn about our peers, our society, and ourselves.”

This course will examine how social media can create celebrity and brands. Celebrity offers insight into American culture: societal norms, values, and ideologies. Students will examine the paradoxes of sexuality/conservatism, family/business, beauty/unhappiness, narcissism/celebrity, intimate/transgressive, and traditional/non-traditional gender roles, as well as materialism and public/private sphere themes.

“I hope students will see that we create celebrities and that celebrities reflect us,” McClain said. “Why is culture fascinated with women who flout the rules of convention? What does that say about American culture? The Kardashians are a way of talking about sensitive topics: race relations, LGBTQ and trans issues, materialism, femininity, masculinity, and sexuality, among others. It should be an interesting class for all.”

The Art of Forgiveness: Panel Discussion, Art Exhibit, and Performing Arts Program

The Art of ForgivenessThe Art of Forgiveness: Understanding Hurt, Hope, and the Healing Journey is a three-part multi-disciplinary program inspired by Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy. The event will take place on Wednesday, November 2, from 12:30 pm – 4 pm. The day’s events are below.

"Understanding forgiveness is not just for theologians or psychologists,” said Dr. James Huber, Associate Professor, licensed marriage and family therapist, and event creator. “Anyone who has ever been hurt by another may wonder what to do in daily life when the desires for justice and mercy compete for our attention and we want to get better, not bitter."

Fr. Mark Hunt stresses that forgiveness and spiritual perspective are topics discusses throughout the Bible, which will be the emphasis of his presentation.

“As circumstances beyond his control unfolded, Joseph—son of Jacob and sibling to a number of brothers and sisters—eventually had to come to grips with painful memories of brutality, betrayal, and other hurts inflicted on him by some of his brothers,” he said. “Narrated within the context of a complex family system who plunges at times into criminal activity of conspiracy, attempted murder, and human trafficking, the Book of Genesis presents Scripture’s first in-depth lesson on the power of forgiveness to heal and unleash the power of hope thus affording one a freedom to live life fully.”

Panel Discussion on Forgiveness
ETC Lobby | 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Spiritual Perspectives - Fr. Mark Hunt
Restorative Justice - Dr. Michele Muni
Marriage and Family Therapy - Dr. Jim Huber

National Juried Art Exhibit on Forgiveness and Artist Reception
Holy Family University Art Gallery | 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Selected artists include Robert Thurlow, Charlesey Charlton-McCallister, Lisa DeLoria Weinblatt, John Wood, Aaron T Stephens, Ed Smith, Dorothea Osborn, Colleen Sweeney Gahrmann, Marilyn Rodriguez, Michael Wartgow, and Leila Hernandez.

Performing Arts Program on Forgiveness
ETC Auditorium | 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Featuring music, dance, poetry, and selected readings from literature and theatre on forgiveness.

James Ross to Present on American Cinema and Intellectual Property

JamesRoss- By Alyssa Reyes '18

As a child, James Ross only ever needed a pencil and a notebook, delving into the world of science fiction to create short stories and illustrations. Now, as an undergraduate communications student at Holy Family University, Ross wants to transform his passion for writing into a career as a journalist.

Ross is spending his fall semester interning at the Greater Northeast Chamber of Commerce, where he is combining his creativity with the digital world.

“My responsibilities include event preparation, communications, and telephone outreach to clients,” he said. “Additionally, I participate in membership outreach. The Greater Northeast Chamber of Commerce has allowed me to break out of my shell and network with others, which will allow me to develop a rapport with individuals when gathering sources for a news story.”

Interning isn’t the only way Ross is getting his foot in the door, as he has been selected to represent Holy Family University at the 27th Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & America Culture Association (MAPACA) on November 3. This is an annual scholarly conference committed exploring a wide variety of popular and American culture topics—ranging from fashion to horror.

Ross learned about the opportunity to present when his advisor, Dr. Janice Xu, Assistant Professor of Communications in the School of Arts and Science, informed him of the conference after he submitted a paper for her Branding class.

Ross will present his paper, “American Cinema and the Value of Intellectual Property” in the Film Studies sector, which observes all features of the motion picture from genres, film artists, the studio system, technology and technological advances, American films, and other parts that go into film. His paper is anything but ordinary, as he touches on an ongoing occurrence in the film industry that has sparked debate from everyone in the business.

“The paper is about intellectual property and how it relates to modern cinema, both creatively and financially,” he said. “Grounded in the discussion is the protection of one's ideas and creative works under copyright law. Intellectual property refers to the protection of one’s creative works where a patent, copyright, trademark, etc. can be obtained. With the advancement of free-speech and the freedom that is given to us on the internet, copyright cases have been under much discussion. I find the subject interesting because of my fascination with the ins and outs of the Hollywood studio system.”

As a cinema fan, this opportunity will give Ross the chance to speak about a very relevant and fascinating subject, with hopes that it leads to his ultimate goal: to become a journalist.

“It is tough at first, but I’ve had tremendous success as a communications major and look forward to expressing my voice through newspapers and online publications as a journalist.”

Holy Family University to Host 2016 Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Holy Family University will host the 2016 Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Sunday, October 16 at 1 pm in the ETC Auditorium. The 2016 honorees include Edward Duffield, colonial clock & compass maker, civic leader, educator; Robert N. C. Nix, Sr., U.S. Congressman; Al Schmid, World War II hero; William “Bill” Boggs III, television host, journalist, author; and The Friends of Pennypack Park.

For event tickets and more information, visit: or call 215-824-1636.

HFU Alumna/EdD student Jayda Pugliese named Best in Nation

Jayda Pugliese  Milken Award WinnerHoly Family University congratulates alumna and current EdD student Jayda Pugliese on winning the Milken Educator Award! This prestigious award is in its 30th year, and Pugliese is only 1 of 35 educators who will be honored by the Milken Family Foundation this year. The award comes with a $25,000 prize.

“The School of Education is extremely proud of Jayda's achievement,” said Dr. Kevin Zook, Dean of the School of Education. “From our interactions with her, we know the energy, passion, and dedication Jayda brings to teaching. Countless students have already benefited from her creative classroom teaching, and she will touch the lives of many, many more in the future.”

“The Milken award is only given to a few of the best teachers every year, and to be selected as one of those teachers has been life changing,” Pugliese said. “When I was given the award, I was crying because it is the dream of every teacher to be recognized for their hard work. Having a national panel tell me that I am the best of the best is humbling. The fact that I have made myself so distinguishable as an educator validates to me that I am doing something right as an educator; I am changing lives.”

Pugliese has also been named a finalist for the 2016 Escalante–Gradillas Prize for Best in Education. The winner will be announced on Oct. 26.

“As a teacher, I believe that it is imperative to cultivate an environment that commands equity, accountability, and excellence in the education of all children,” she said. “Every student should have equal opportunities and ample support in becoming successful, well-rounded individuals. I aspire to foster an educational environment in which students are not only academically successful, but are also culturally aware, recognize the importance of global and community stewardship, and are prepared with 21st century learning skills for future endeavors.” Coverage: Coverage:

Press Release from the Milken Family Foundation.

Full STEAM Ahead: Philadelphia Science and Math Teacher First in Nation to Receive
2016-17 Milken Educator Award, $25,000 Cash Prize

Jayda Pugliese from Andrew Jackson Elementary Is City’s First Winner since 2007

SANTA MONICA, CA (Oct. 5, 2016) — What started as a normal school assembly turned into a life-changing event for Jayda Pugliese, a fifth-grade science and math teacher at Philadelphia’s Andrew Jackson Elementary School. Pugliese (pronounced “Pug-lee-see”) was presented with the prestigious Milken Educator Award, which comes with a $25,000 cash prize. She is the sole recipient in Pennsylvania this year and the first recipient in Philadelphia since 2007.

Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-Founder Lowell Milken kicked off the 2016-17 Milken Educator Awards tour with today’s ceremony at Andrew Jackson Elementary. He was joined by Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite, praising Pugliese’s work before cheering students, respected colleagues, distinguished officials and the media.

Pugliese is the first among up to only 35 educators who will be presented with the honor during the Milken Family Foundation’s (MFF) cross-country tour. This season marks the 30th year of the Awards, hailed by Teacher magazine as the “Oscars of Teaching.”

“Jayda Pugliese is a tenacious and innovative leader who gives students tangible opportunities to explore and excel in both the arts and sciences. Her blended learning expertise and skill in cutting-edge technology are exemplary,” said Lowell Milken. “We are proud to recognize Jayda with this Award and are confident that she will continue to prepare talented young minds for a globally competitive society.”

“The impact that an inspiring, engaging, and motivational educator has cannot be overstated, as it’s a positive influence that will benefit students for the rest of their lives,” said Rivera. “This year’s Milken Award winner not only serves as a role model to students but also to other educators, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education thanks her for her tireless efforts on behalf of Pennsylvania’s students. The effects of that work will certainly be far-reaching and enduring.”

“I am pleased to be a part of the Milken Educator Awards as we honor Jayda Pugliese for her exemplary dedication to students and teachers alike,” said Kenney. “On behalf of our city, I congratulate her and thank her for her fine work.”

“The Milken Educator Award represents the gold standard for teacher excellence, and I am proud to have Jayda serving as a model for that excellence right here in our District,” said Hite. “The hard work, innovation and dedication she displays in the classroom every day are deserving of this recognition. Andrew Jackson students have such a fantastic teacher in Jayda and her efforts are making such a positive difference in their lives.”

Andrew Jackson Elementary is a diverse, high-need K-8 school where 100% of the students are eligible for free and reduce-priced lunch. Pugliese consistently raises the bar for her students and uses technology to keep them fully engaged. More than 80% of Pugliese’s students showed at least one year’s growth in math skills during the teacher’s first year at Andrew Jackson, and many of her students work above grade level.

Pugliese has completed several successful crowdfunding and education grant campaigns that have helped to equip her classroom with state-of-the art science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) learning tools. A fundraising campaign through helped to supply her students with microscopes, a 3D printer to produce new products designed by students, and “snap circuits” to study electricity. She also won a competitive grant for blended learning (a mix of online and face-to-face interaction) and will train and monitor the faculty at Andrew Jackson as the blended learning program is implemented.

In addition to her responsibilities as the go-to expert in blended learning, Pugliese is chair for her grade band and a Professional Learning Community leader. With a background in teaching gymnastics, she founded the HYPE (Healthy Youth Physical Education) after-school program at the school, which was named the best in the city. Students look up to her, colleagues respect her, and parents get involved in her programs.

Outside the school, Pugliese provides professional development districtwide in technology integration and working with diverse student populations. She is a board member of her local TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) affiliate, serves on the teacher advisory council for the Philadelphia Zoo and writes about technology for

Pugliese has multiple certifications and has taught both regular and special education classes in Philadelphia. Before coming to Andrew Jackson, she served as a classroom teacher, technology director, and coordinator of the K-12 ESL and special education programs at ASPIRA Bilingual Charter School. She spent three years teaching seventh- and eighth-grade math and special education at Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School. In high school, Pugliese, who is hearing-impaired, organized a sign language club to tutor students at a local school for the deaf; as a teacher, she relates well to students with disabilities and teaches compassion and understanding to all her students.

Pugliese earned a Bachelor of Arts in special education and elementary education and a master’s in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and literacy from Holy Family University; she expects to earn an Ed.D. in educational leadership and administration there in 2018. Pugliese began teaching at Holy Family in 2016 as an adjunct instructor.

More information about Pugliese, plus photos and a video from today’s assembly, can be found on the Milken Educator Awards website at

Milken Educators are selected in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish. In addition to the $25,000 prize and public recognition, Pugliese’s honor includes membership in the National Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,700 top principals, teachers and specialists dedicated to strengthening education.

More than $138 million in funding, including $68 million in individual $25,000 awards, has been devoted to the overall Awards program, which includes powerful professional development opportunities throughout recipients’ careers. Many have gone on to earn advanced degrees and be placed in prominent posts and on state and national education committees.
The Awards alternate yearly between elementary and secondary educators. Unlike most teacher recognition programs, the Milken Educator Awards has no formal nomination or application process. Candidates are sourced through a confidential selection process and then reviewed by blue ribbon panels appointed by state departments of education. Those most exceptional are recommended for the Award, with final approval by the Milken Family Foundation.
Past recipients have used their Awards to fund their children’s education or their own continuing education. Others have financed dream field trips, established scholarships and even funded the adoption of children.
To get regular updates on the surprise Milken Educator Award events, follow and use the #MilkenAward hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Milken Educator Awards tour is on social media at,,, and

For more information about the Milken Educator Awards, visit or call MFF at (310) 570-4772.

About the Milken Educator Awards
The Milken Educator Awards, created by the Milken Family Foundation, is in its 30th year. The Awards provide public recognition and individual financial rewards of $25,000 to elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and specialists from around the country who are furthering excellence in education. Recipients are heralded in early to mid-career for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish

October Art Gallery: Lisa Bigalke

Bigalke sizedHoly Family University Art Gallery Presents Lisa Bigalke
Exhibit Dates: October 4 - 27

Lisa Bigalke graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside with a bachelor’s in Art in 1996. She received her MFA in Studio Art, with a concentration in printmaking, from Louisiana State University in 2000. She currently teaches at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Since 2000, she has exhibited her work in more than 15 solo exhibitions. In 2016, she was awarded a Racine Art Museum Fellowship Grant.

From the artist: “Most people have a place that makes them feel alive. For me, that is being outside with my feet in the grass. Farm, park, garden—it doesn't matter, as long as plants are growing. The bulk of my imagery has come from places explored with friends—the Chequamegon National Forest, Grant Park in Milwaukee, or even my garden. For me, this body of work began on a trip with my sister and mother exploring places found in my father’s notebooks. He died when we were children on a hunting expedition and this was a way to feel close to him.”

“Traveling through these places, being able to document through photos, drawings, and notes, gives me the opportunity to reinterpret and organize. I include in my final works maps, statistical information, and personal letters to indicate reality, the actuality of these places and my relationship to them. The spirit of the place comes through in the color and texture. The intensity of the color often reflects time of day exaggerated, such as a mid-morning golden yellow light shimmering through the leaves at Buckhorn State Park. Abstracting from nature allows me to create decorative patterns and visual texture in both the macro and micro of the landscape. I include a readable landscape with an enlarged abstracted fossil, flower, or water pattern.”

“This layering of surface texture requires the viewer to interact with the rich surfaces. They are forced to peel back the layers and read it at my pace. The overlapping and concentrated use of the pattern puts the viewer into the realm of my journey, for they travel on my journey through the image. Those who look once may just find a pretty landscape; those who get lost in the color and pattern find the meaning.”

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.

Holy Family University Habitat for Humanity Offers Leaf Raking Service

Habitat Leaf Raking sizedMembers of the Holy Family University Habitat for Humanity campus chapter are teaming up with Habitat for Humanity Bucks County to rake leaves for Bucks County residents on three different weekends in October.

Raking will be offered from October 8-9, 15-16, and 22-23. Those interested can schedule appointments to have Holy Family volunteers come to their homes and rake leaves from their residential property. Volunteers will bring their own rakes, but ask that homeowners provide bags for leaf collection.

Holy Family University volunteers will be in Morrisville on Oct. 8-9, the Newportville section of Levittown on Oct. 15-16, and the Highland Park area of Levittown on Oct. 22-23.

"The event is a way for Holy Family University students to give back to their community,” said Evan Horsey, President of the HFU Habitat for Humanity. "Our group distinguishes itself based on Holy Family University's mission core values, especially service and responsibility. Our goal for this event is to help those in need of service, particularly senior citizens and elderly homeowners, as well as those with disabilities. We are also willing to help new families, or anyone who is simply too busy.”  

To make an appointment, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Active Shooter Awareness Program on Sept. 26

Holy Family University’s Public Safety Department, in conjunction with the Philadelphia FBI, will host an Active Shooter Awareness Program on Monday, September 26, at 9:30 am in the ETC Auditorium.

The program will be conducted by FBI Special Agent Joseph F. Metzinger, Campus Liaison Agent, Active Shooter Program Coordinator for the Philadelphia FBI.

The event will cover topics such as defining an active shooter, active threat, and hostile event, as well as what separates these from traditional criminal actions. Participants will also learn how active shooters and active threats can range from workplace violence matters to the targeting of campuses, schools, and other entities. The Run, Hide, Fight method will also be discussed.

“I think this is a very important and needed presentation for Holy Family University, especially in today's trend of violence on campuses around the country,” said Joseph McBride, Director of Public Safety. “Holy Family University needs to know that it can happen here. We need to be prepared to react to the situation quickly in the proper manner to minimize loss of life.”

The event is open to all members of campus. The presentaion will be streamed to the Woodhaven and Newtown sites.

International Day of Peace Event Headlined by Cuba Conversations

cuba1On Wednesday, September 21, Holy Family University presents "International Day of Peace: Opening the Doors to Cuba.” The event will take place from 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm in the Campus Center Lower Lobby.

The event will feature Cuban food, music, and Latin dancing, led by Holy Family student Hector Andrew Lopez.

According to Dr. Gloria Kersey-Matusiak, Professor in the School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions and Coordinator for Diversity, the International Day of Peace is being presented to meet three diversity objectives.

“First, to link the International Day of Peace to the opening of Cuba by President Obama,” Kersey-Matusiak said. “Second, for those of us who traveled to Cuba this past summer to share our wonderful experiences with the campus community, and lastly, to raise awareness and celebrate Hispanic Heritage month, which runs from September 21 - October 21 on our campus.”

Faculty presenters will also share their experiences about the cultural, socio-political climate, and status of healthcare based on our respective disciplines.

Dr. Nicole Stokes-DuPass, Associate Dean and Associate Professor for the School of Arts and Sciences, stated that she will, “offer a sociological approach to the opening of Cuba in the context of openings and potential opportunities for political peace. Dr. Diane Menago will address psychosocial issues and mental health delivery in Cuba. Dr. Kersey-Matusiak and Dr. Wombwell will offer their perspectives on issues around global health and healthcare in Cuba.”