News

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.”

Holy Family University Announces Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

DNPHoly Family University’s School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions has announced its new Doctor of Nursing Practice program, beginning in the Fall 2017 semester. This offering bolsters the already popular undergraduate, graduate, and second-degree programs offered by the nursing school. All classes will take place on Holy Family University’s Newtown, PA site.

The program has three objectives: to provide a doctoral nursing curriculum that is designed to address current and future global health care needs and issues in a variety of health care settings; to prepare graduates for positions of leadership in advanced nursing practice; and to provide a foundation for certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

“The Doctor of Nursing Practice adds to the ability of the School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions to meet the challenges of the increasingly complex American healthcare system,” said Catherine Heilferty PhD, RN, CNE, Associate Dean for the School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions. “It raises the level of expertise of Holy Family nurses to the highest clinical level. It is also consistent with the University's mission to advance knowledge and care for patients at the local level and beyond. The blended learning format will allow for a strong relationship with faculty and is flexible enough to allow students to work while attending school.”

The program is designed with three entry points: Post-APRN to DNP, MSN to DNP, and BSN to DNP. It is possible, regardless of entry point, that students can continue in their current positions while going to school. In some cases, the DNP scholarly project can be done at the students’ place of employment.

Post-APRN to DNP: Holy Family University will begin the DNP program for MSN-prepared nurses who are certified as advance practice nurses in the Fall of 2017. Nurses who qualify for this track can complete the program in as few as two years of study.

MSN to DNP: Holy Family University will begin the DNP program for MSN-prepared nurses (those NOT prepared as family nurse practitioners) in the Spring of 2018. Nurses in this program will engage in simulation and hands-on activities in addition to developing the knowledge and skills required to provide advanced nursing care to persons of all ages in primary care settings as Family Nurse Practitioners. Those who qualify for this track can complete the program in as few as three years of study and will be eligible to sit for the certification exam in this specialty.

BSN to DNP: Holy Family University will begin the DNP program for BSN-prepared nurses in the Fall of 2018. Nurses in this program will engage in simulation and hands-on activities in addition to developing the knowledge and skills required to provide advanced nursing care to persons of all ages in primary care settings as Family Nurse Practitioners. Those who qualify for this track can complete the program in as few as four years of study and will be eligible to sit for the certification exam in this specialty.

The class will follow a cohort model, meaning students will enter the class at the same time and take all subsequent classes together until the completion of the program. Students will take one eight-week classroom course at a time. Courses will feature a blended format, meaning that five out of the eight weeks of class will have face-to-face classroom experiences with members of the faculty and their fellow cohort classmates.

Holy Family University Unveils PsyD Program

PsyDIn continuing to offer the best programs to its students, Holy Family University has announced its latest program—PsyD in Counseling Psychology—the first doctoral program offered by the School of Arts and Sciences. This program is also the first counseling psychology PsyD offered in the greater Philadelphia region. All classes will be offered out of Holy Family University’s Newtown, PA site.

Beginning in Fall 2017, the new offering will follow a traditional face-to-face classroom format in a cohort model. The Counseling PsyD program will be rooted in social justice and multicultural competence—two pillars of Holy Family University’s mission. Students in this subject would be required to complete a dissertation before graduating. The doctoral program is designed to meet the standards of accreditation set by the American Psychological Association and will be seeking that accreditation when it is eligible to do so.

“The Doctor of Psychology program has five main goals,” said Dr. Freda Ginsberg, Director of the Counseling Psychology graduate program. “First, to provide an empirically based counseling psychology program that prepares students for the practice of professional psychology. Second, to offer a quality, doctoral level education, based in research and evidence based practice. To assist students in developing a deep professional identity that includes an ethical awareness and knowledge of legal issues surrounding the practice pf psychology. To enable candidates to make significant contributions to their field of knowledge through applied research and quality improvement to existing delivery structures. And finally, to instill a meaningful dedication to social justice and multicultural competence in accordance with the mission of Holy Family University and the principles of Counseling Psychology.”

Upon graduating, students would be able to pursue a Psychologist license to begin practicing.

“Arts and Sciences has been considering a doctoral program in Psychology for many years,” said Shelley Robbins, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “We looked at various options and decided upon a program that allows graduates to license as Psychologists after graduation. This opens new career opportunities and increases our graduates' earning potential. The School of Arts and Sciences is ready to build graduate programs. We believe strong graduate programs will increase the University's contribution to the community and attract students to all programs.”

The School of Arts and Sciences currently offers a Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology—a program that currently has approximately 200 students that are eligible for licensure as LPCs in Pennsylvania.

Holy Family Speaker Series - Our Polish Heritage

polandDr. Jan Buzydlowski and Sister Brendan O'Brien will discuss Holy Family University’s Polish roots during a talk on March 12 from 1:00 pm – 1:50 pm in the Holy Family Hall Auditorium. The talk is titled "Our Polish Heritage."

The event is coordinated with the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia's Chopin Concert, which will be held in the ETC Auditorium at 2:00 pm the same day. The first 20 students to attend the talk will receive a free ticket to the concert.

“I realized that some may not know of Holy Family University's Polish roots, so I wanted to arrange a presentation about the history of the University and the Order of Sisters' Polish origin,” Buzydlowski said. “Many may know that the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth were founded by Frances Siedliska, but what you may not know is that she was Polish. It will be a very interesting talk that I encourage students, faculty, and staff to attend.”

For more information about the presentation, contact Jan Buzydlowski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Holy Family University Names Dr. James Garvey Vice President for University Advancement

JamesGarvey sizedHoly Family University announced that Dr. James Garvey has been named Vice President for University Advancement. Dr. Garvey officially assumed the position on Monday, February 27, 2017.

Dr. Garvey brings more than 20 years of advancement leadership in education, with special expertise in development, alumni relations, and strategic planning—with a goal of ensuring future viability and growth for the University. His extensive experience includes working with Boards of Trustees, alumni and volunteer boards, and managing government relations and strategic communications. Over his career, Dr. Garvey has successfully directed a number of comprehensive capital campaigns exceeding $200 million.

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. James Garvey to our University family," stated Sister Maureen McGarrity, CSFN, PhD. "Dr. Garvey brings not only extensive fundraising experience to Holy Family University—a talent that will allow us to continue to grow—but also a firm grasp on what it means to be part of a private, Catholic institution. His success will provide a strong foundation of support as we launch new doctoral programs and continue to refine our offerings to meet the needs of our students."

Prior to joining Holy Family University, Dr. Garvey served as Associate Dean at Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law from 2011-2017, where he led a successful campaign raising more than $64 million. He also served as Vice President for Strategic Priorities and Advancement for New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire from 2010–2011, where he led the college’s strategic planning process. Dr. Garvey was the Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at Philadelphia University from 2007-2010, where he managed the advancement efforts for the University’s six schools, as well as the athletics department and library. He has similarly served as Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations for the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine from 2004-2007, and as Director of Development for the William Penn Charter School from 1993–2004, a Quaker day school for grades K-12 located in Philadelphia.

"Joining the Holy Family community as its new Vice President for University Advancement is a truly unique opportunity,” Garvey said. “I was drawn to Holy Family’s historic, faith-based mission, as well as the transformative impact it has on the deserving students it serves. There is a strong sense of place here, along with a pervasive family orientation. I look forward to working with President Sister Maureen McGarrity, her senior team, faculty, staff, students, and alumni in planning for the future, identifying strategic priorities, and turning that vision into reality."

Reporting to the President, the Vice President for University Advancement serves as the Chief Advancement Officer and Chief Advisor to the President and the Board of Trustees on all matters related to institutional advancement, including fundraising, alumni relations, and communications related to external positioning and messaging to alumni, donors, and friends. The Vice President for University Advancement works closely with all constituents and advisory boards, along with a broad array of external stake holders to achieve the strategic priorities of the institution.

Holy Family University Restructures BSBA Program

BSBAHoly Family University has restructured its Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program for the Fall 2017 semester for students who enter the program with a Business Associate’s (A.A. or A.S.). All classes will be held at Holy Family’s Bensalem, PA location.

This new program path will follow a cohort style—students entering the program at the same time will continue to take classes with all of the same students throughout their journey. They will move through the program together, which has been shown to be a benefit for student learning and persistence in completing a degree, according to Robert McNeill, Director of the Division of Extended Learning and Continuing Education.

“A true cohort program, one in which all of the students start at the same time and move through the course sequence as a cohesive group, provides several benefits to the students,” McNeill said. “First, they complete their degree faster. Second, they are taking classes with like-minded individuals who have made the commitment to complete their degree. Third, an exciting group dynamic starts to develop within the cohort. New friendships are forged, informal support systems develop, and by the end of the program, the group is a cohesive unit. From an academic perspective, research has shown that the persistence rate for programs of this type is usually better than 80 percent. For an undergraduate program, this is tremendous.”

Students now entering the revamped BSBA program will take classes in eight-week sessions, with two courses per each session. Each fall, spring, and summer, a unique Weekend Intensive course will be scheduled to continue the acceleration of the degree completion. Students will be offered a fixed tuition for continuous enrollment in order to complete their degree in a scheduled amount of time—20 months—thus truly ensuring an accelerated path to a bachelor’s degree. Classes will only be offered in the evening, enabling students to continue to work or gain employment while they complete their degree.

“One of the greatest challenges for adult students today, perhaps all students, is being able to determine the total cost of their education,” McNeill said. “The tuition lock allows students to do just that—project their tuition costs through the completion of their program. It is a very positive aspect in the adult higher education world.”

Courses will feature a blended format, meaning that five out of the eight weeks of class will have face-to-face classroom experiences with members of the faculty and their fellow cohort classmates. The other three weeks, classes will be online, providing flexibility for the students. Summer sessions, required to complete the 20-month path, will be offered online to allow those in the cohort maximum vacation and learning flexibility.

Students transferring credits without an associate’s degree will be able to join a cohort as their academic progression permits.

“The restructuring of the program with the additional benefits is intended to raise awareness of HFU's adult student friendly nature and provide a solid education accelerated degree completion alternative to the adult students in our area,” McNeill said.

Sister Maureen McGarrity, CSFN, Unanimously Elected GNPCC Vice-Chair for 2017

SMMSister Maureen McGarrity, CSFN, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Holy Family University, was unanimously elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce at the group’s Feb. 14 monthly meeting.

Sister Maureen, the fifth president of Holy Family University, will immediately work alongside Nancy Morozin of the Dining Car, who is GNPCC chair.  Sister Maureen will assume the duties of GNPCC chair in January 2018.

“I am humbled and honored by the vote of confidence from the Board, and I look forward to working with Nancy, all the Board members, and the GNPCC staff to strengthen this organization and spread our influence throughout the area,” said Sister Maureen.

Sister Maureen is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth (CSFN).  She earned her PhD in Microbiology at Saint Louis University, following her studies at Holy Family University and Villanova University.

Prior to her appointment as President of Holy Family, she served as Provost of the University, where she oversaw academic affairs, enrollment management, marketing and communications, institutional research, and student life.

She has been an integral member of the leadership team at Holy Family as the University has experienced significant growth yet remains deeply committed to its core values and mission.

Sister Maureen will become the second member of her religious order to chair the GNPCC.  Sister M. Francesca Onley, CSFN, PhD, who served 32 years as president of Holy Family University and retired in 2014, was the first.

“Sister’s accomplishments throughout her outstanding career will make her a great leader for this organization as we move ahead in our re-invention and re-branding,” said GNPCC President Pam Henshall.  “It is an honor to work with her and to learn from her.”

March Art Gallery: Margi Weir

Margi WeirHoly Family University Art Gallery Presents the Frontline Series, ink drawings by Margi Weir
Exhibit Dates: March 3-30, 2017

The Holy Family University Art Gallery is pleased to present Margi Weir’s work, the Frontline Series, a collection of ink drawings. An Assistant Professor of painting and drawing at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Weir earned her MFA in painting from UCLA, her MA in painting from New Mexico State University, a BFA in painting from San Francisco Art Institute, and a BA in art history from Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

Weir has had solo exhibitions at Ivan Karp's OK Harris Gallery in New York and the Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. Weir has completed installation pieces at Athens Institute of Contemporary Art (ATHICA), Lexington Art League (KY), and the Las Cruces Museum of Art (NM). Awards for her work include first prize in the Contemporary Art Center of Las Vegas' Juried Exhibition in 2012, the prize for Best Work on Paper in the first Southwest Biennial at the Albuquerque Museum in 2006, and Best of Show in the New Directions in Fiber exhibition at the CORE Art Center in Denver, Colorado in 2004.

From the artist: “I began making drawings of ink and ink wash about 10 years ago using a technique that I call a ‘snap line.’ A snap line is the mark made by dipping cotton twine into liquid or diluted ink, pulling it tight, and snapping it against the paper in an action similar to plucking a guitar string. It is a record of the violent impact of ink with paper. It suggests an event, an explosion, a reverberation, yet the over spray lends a softness to the line quality. I like the idea that something beautiful on the surface has an underlying violence, a dark side, if you will.” 

“I moved to Detroit in 2009 to join the faculty of Wayne State University. I found, not only Detroit, but the Midwest in general, to be full of unfamiliar sights and sounds. I was also confronted by the architectural decay that was, initially, frightening. I began to draw these skeletons of buildings to familiarize myself with my new environment. Through drawing, I learned and understood new information. I internalize it and knew it in a way that transformed it into something familiar and less frightening. These drawings are fairly large but they are intimate studies of my neighborhood as I became familiar with it. You could say that I am drawing close to Detroit. I have titled the series ‘Frontline: Detroit’ because I still begin my drawings with snap lines. I use them to find the main compositional and architectural lines to anchor the drawing. As I paid closer attention to the urban ruins, I found that they are not only in Detroit—I began to notice them all across the country. There are architectural bones of regional cultures that dot the countryside along Route 66. There are ruins of motels, gas stations, and whole towns. There are ‘bones’ left from natural as well as financial disaster. I have expanded the ‘Frontline Series’ to include Route 66 and other cities in America.”

“My drawings continue to be private attempts at understanding my surroundings. In the summer of 2013, I began to notice the reclamation by nature of the empty lots left by fire or blight removal. The opulent vegetation makes these open spaces appear pastoral in the heart of the city. These ‘Terrain Vagues,’ which are no longer city but not country either, are my focus in recent drawings. ‘Terrain Vagues’ is a French phrase for urban outlying areas that are in between the city development and the pastoral country. That seems to be an appropriate description of these patches of open space within Detroit.”

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.