Science Faculty Awarded Alden Trust for Zebrafish Lab

zebrafish2Dr. Jackie Myers and Dr. Chris Carbone, Assistant Professors of Biology, have recently been awarded a $75,000 grant by the George I Alden Trust. The grant will be used to purchase equipment for basic science research and development of a new zebrafish facility.

Students will have the opportunity to work with zebrafish in their course related laboratory experiences. Currently, students in the honors section of Biology 120 are utilizing the lab for one of the independent research projects. The students have set up different conditions to determine the effects of water quality to establish appropriate fish habitat conditions. Students interested in pursuing further Zebrafish-related research will have the opportunity to work directly with Dr. Carbone and Dr. Myers.

“During our transition to Holy Family University, we knew an animal model system was important for research,” Myers said. “We came from institutions where murine models were the primary research tool. Independently, we came to the conclusion that the Zebrafish model would be the most practical system and would easily integrate into the classroom. Through many research discussions, it became evident that Chris and I had a strong collaborative research interest. During the Spring of 2015, we began planning on how to make a Zebrafish research facility for faculty and students a reality.”

The addition of the Zebrafish will provide students with an exciting view into biomedical research.  

“Introducing a new variety of biology research at Holy Family provides students the opportunity to complete research-based internships internally,” Carbone said. “Additionally, improved research facilities provide us the opportunity to apply for research-based federal funding. The development of a sustainable research agenda will benefit student research and faculty scholarship for many years to come.”

Part of the Alden Trust offer included a stipulation that Holy Family University match the grant’s monetary funding, indicating the institution’s commitment to the Zebrafish project. This match was made possible through a bequest from Janet Mackiewicz’s estate. Mackiewicz earned three degrees from Holy Family University—Elementary Education/Psychology ’99, MEd ’09, and Art ’14. She passed away in May 2014 after a battle with cancer.

“Janet Mackiewicz left a gift to the University that is going towards exactly what she wanted—advancement of the sciences,” said Sister Maureen McGarrity, President of Holy Family University. “Janet’s name evokes many memories across the campus community, none more so than her never ending quest for education. With her help and generosity, we were able to match the funds of the Alden Trust grant and get the Zebrafish project off the ground. I’m excited and proud that we can use Janet’s gift towards this exciting endeavor.”

Huber, Shea, and Corbin Present at Pennsylvania Counseling Association's Conference

Dr. Diane Shea, Dr. James Huber, and Lisa Corbin will present at the 48th Annual Pennsylvania Counseling Association Conference on November 12 in State College, Pa.

The Pennsylvania Counseling Association (PCA) is a state branch of the Washington, DC-based American Counseling Association (ACA), the national professional association that represents the 526,000-plus professional counselors who live and practice here in the United States.

Lisa Corbin, Practicum/Internship Coordinator and Dr. Diana Piperata, Clinical Director at Self Help Movement, Inc.
Creative Mindfulness Strategies for Non-Traditional Population

Presenters will engage attendees in hands-on mindfulness activities that have been shown to work with the diverse clients of Self Help Movement, Inc., a multi-level of care substance use disorder treatment facility located in Philadelphia, Pa. Presenters will provide a brief synopsis of Mindfulness meditation as related to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), as well as a portrait of the population being served within SHM. Participants will then engage in three hands-on activities that they can take back to use with their diverse populations. Activities using kinetic sand, bubbles, and markers will exemplify the underpinnings of mindfulness.

“We are establishing a qualitative research project that will investigate outcomes of participating in the mindfulness meditation group,” Corbin said. “Clients will be asked to elaborate on how they were or were not affected by participating in the mindfulness meditation group, which activities appeared most influential, and what strategies they are using after the group has ended. Results from this study will be utilized to create a quantitative research design.”

Dr. Diane Shea, Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology and Dr. James Huber, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology
Class Notes: The Creative Use of Music in MFT and School Counselor Education and Supervision

In this one-hour, interactive workshop, Dr. Huber and Dr. Shea will describe, discuss, and demonstrate creative and effective ways to use music to engage students, enhance learning, and explore diversity in graduate Marriage and Family Therapy and School Counseling courses and supervision.

"Music has been called ‘the universal language’ so we like to use it to help energize the

learning process and stimulate creative thinking in our counselors in training,” Huber said. “For example, listening to world music in a multicultural counseling class may help students appreciate new aspects of their diverse clients.  Even Bruce Springsteen's classic song Streets of Philadelphia can become the inspiration for a good clinical case study."

Additionally, Huber will be a part of a panel, titled “Creative Strategies for Engaging Students and Enhancing Counseling Training Programs.” He will join representatives from Marywood University, Arcadia University, and Villanova University. The panel will provide participants with specific teaching strategies that engage students in their learning as well as offer ideas for increasing involvement and a sense of community within counselor training programs.

"The HFU Counseling Psychology faculty is a creative team of teachers,” Huber said. “This statewide panel is a great opportunity share some of our success stories in interactive classroom methods, innovative skill building exercises, and inspiring service learning activities.”

Better Late Than Never, Lowe Reaches Her Education Goals

KimLowe SizedKim Lowe’s fateful day wasn’t even intended to be for her. In 2008, seated in an office with a friend who was interested in going back to college, Lowe realized that her own education aspirations were still alive and well. She originally attended college in the 80s, but had to withdraw because of family circumstances. However, it wasn’t long after Lowe entered that office that she spoke with an admissions counselor, described her hesitation about reentering school, and met with a college representative.

She graduated with a degree in Human Services in 2011 and then earned a Master’s in Administration of Human Services in 2012.

Now a doctoral student in the School of Education at Holy Family University, Lowe is expecting to graduate in Spring 2018 with an EdD in Educational Leadership and Professional Studies. However, the journey hasn’t been without its fair share of heartache.

At a young age, Lowe was diagnosed with Spinal Meningitis, which doctors believed could have left her with cognitive and emotional impairments. After overcoming the odds, her health declined yet again when she became pregnant with her daughter.

“My health deteriorated to the degree of becoming permanently disabled,” Lowe said. “As a survivor of abuse and brain injury, I still cannot believe that my long journey towards a college degree has afforded me the chance to obtain a doctorate degree.”

A debilitating pregnancy left Lowe vulnerable and skeptical that she could achieve the education she had always wanted. With support from her family and friends, Lowe committed herself to physical rehabilitation and has been able to work with mental stimuli to continue her education.

“Despite everything, I have a greater appreciation for many of the things that people take for granted, like eating, being self-reliant, and feeling healthy,” Lowe said. “In my dining room I have a makeshift classroom with a blackboard, dry erase board, and posters. I repeat things often, but at least I have the tools to enhance my learning and memory. I continue to be under doctor’s care to address my physical and emotional needs. I sometimes view life as being overwhelming, but there is a support system in place.”

After she completes her education, Lowe has aspirations to become a motivational speaker—to help those searching for encouraging and powerful words to make dramatic changes in their lives.

“Poor self-esteem and lack of motivation has inhibited many people from living to their fullest potential,” Lowe said. “I was that person. I want to move people into a higher knowing of themselves. I want to help adults get back on track.”

Everything Lowe has worked for over the past eight years has been in tribute to her daughter, Kyla, a freshman at Merion Mercy Academy, who she hopes to inspire with her own higher-ed journey.

“Returning back to college was one of the hardest decisions of my adult life,” Lowe said. “As a single parent, I did not want to neglect my child. I believed that my time for a formal education was behind me; my role now consisted of being a mother and provider, not a college graduate. One day, I was talking with my daughter about resilience and determination. I stressed the importance of finishing what you started in life. I reflected on the fact that I did not complete college. As my daughter’s first role model and teacher, it was important to lead by example.”

“The past eight years have involved countless marked-up papers from my professors, the not-so-good grades, the late-night naps on the computer desk, and, of course, the final passing grades. I shared these moments with Kyla because I want her to witness the power of faith and resiliency. Obstacles are a part of life. It is important to learn how to remain on course of your life’s goals.”

As her graduation date continues to draw near, Lowe is moving towards the finish line—slowly, but surely, better late than never.

Accounting Students Find Strength in Numbers

Accounting Nuts lightened sizedFor accounting students Michael Weiss, Carli Mastantuno, and Lauren Apice, the decision to work with numbers has always been an easy choice. Facing an overloaded credit schedule to eventually sit for the CPA exam, the group pools its resources to form a permanent study group, acting as academic, social, and emotional support during a sometimes difficult schedule. Their relationship has earned them the nickname “the accounting nuts.” Three might just be their lucky number.

“We rely on each other when it comes to taking notes or clarifying an aspect in class that maybe one of us didn’t quite understand,” Apice said. “We have formed a tight study group and are always there to help or answer each other’s questions. After spending so many long days and hours with them, I am proud to say that they have become two of my best friends.”

“Originally, I thought I was the only Accounting and Finance major until I met Mike on the first day of college. We both had the same idea that majoring in dual subjects and getting 150 credits, the required amount of credits to sit for the CPA exam, in a four-year timeframe was the best path to follow. We convinced Carli, an Accounting major at the time, to pursue the dual degree with us. After that, we had all of the same business classes together and seemed to gravitate towards one another, especially since we are all dedicated and extremely hard workers.”

The dedication to the dual degrees has helped all three with studying the required material. As a constant study group, the team uses each other for clarification, extra help, or some much needed stress relief.

“Because we all take the same classes and share the same break, we normally work together on any assignments that are due for the upcoming week,” Mastantuno said. “Although each assignment is our own thoughts and own ideas, we are all there to provide feedback to one another, while helping each other improve any mistakes one of us may have made. There are also times during our breaks where we have managed to go to the mall or to lunch if we did not have any schoolwork to complete.”

As the group continues on their degree path, with extra classes filling up the little free time they already had, Weiss, Mastantuno, and Apice are glad to have each other, making the process easier to overcome.

“Working with them has made the course overload much more bearable,” Weiss said. “The three of us work together and always push each other to limit, while having fun and bonding as much as possible. Lauren and Carli have become my close friends, and there are no other people I would want to spend my academic career working with.”

Glen Foerd-HFU Speaker Series: Philadelphia: The Industrial Metropolis

When Philadelphia was the “Workshop to the World,” the Sellers family numbered among the city’s leading industrial families, developing canals, railroads, and manufacturing goods ranging from textiles to steel frames for bridges and skyscrapers. As Philadelphia deindustrialized in the 20th century, the Sellers family fortunes also declined. Dr. Domenic Vitiello, an urban historian from the University of Pennsylvania, will examine the rise and fall of Philadelphia as an industrial metropolis through a focus on the Sellers family and their network of associates.

The event will take place in the ETC Auditorium on Thursday, November 10, 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.

Online Winterim Courses Now Available

Holy Family University is pleased to offer Winterim courses for 2016-17 in a completely online format to provide students with a flexible remote classroom experience. Offered by colleges and universities nationwide, such sessions have the potential to create mid-year course completion options for students across programs and academic majors. Winterim runs from December 26, 2016 through January 4, 2017.

Designed to fit between the fall and spring semesters, Winterim offers a series of undergraduate and graduate courses in a manner consistent with the Pennsylvania Department of Education requirement of 42 hours of instructional time for a typical three-credit course.

Registration for current students is open online until Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 12 noon. Registration for new and visiting students can be done in person at the Registrar's Office until Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 7 pm.

The course offerings for Winterim are below.

ACCT-404-OL Auditing
BUSA-103-OL Business Math 
BUSA-402-OL Labor Law 
BUSA-435-OL Senior Seminar in Business Policy 
COMM-115-OL Communication and Culture
ENGL-101-OL Writing I
ENGL-102-OL Writing II
ENGL-115-OL Public Speaking
ENGL-235-OL Understanding Movies
MNMK-413-OL Quantitative Decision-Making
MNMK-439-OL Senior Seminar: Management/Marketing
RELS-108-OL Basics of the Catholic Faith
PSYC-101-OL General Psychology
PSYC-318-OLC/L Globalization
SOCO-101-OL Introductory Sociology
SOCO-318-OLC/L Globalization

For more information, please visit

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 two-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 – 3 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.

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.”