News

Getting to Know: Julia Scherpenberg, CRNP

Julia Scherpenberg sizedJulia Scherpenberg, CRNP joins Holy Family University as the new Director of Health Services, offering medical services to students on the Philadelphia campus. A former oncology nurse in Cincinnati, Scherpenberg made her way to Philadelphia in 2015, working as a Family Nurse Practitioner in the local area. Julia sat down with Holy Family University to discuss her background, the different services that Health Services can offer, and tips for avoiding illness.

HFU: Can you tell us more about your background and how you came to Holy Family University?

JS: “I was an oncology nurse for many years in Cincinnati, before completing my Nurse Practitioner education at the University of Cincinnati. I relocated to Philadelphia in 2015 and worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a health clinic before coming to Holy Family University. I always enjoyed my young adult patients, and I always had the desire to work in a college health clinic. Holy Family University provides a sense of community, allowing you to get to know the students individually, and allowing me to influence a healthy lifestyle in young adults.”

HFU: What do you enjoy most about the nursing practice?

JS: “I knew at a young age that I wanted to go into the nursing field. I enjoy helping people and aiding in their recovery. I look at all aspects of the patient to provide the best treatment and plan for them. Also, constant changes in the medical field allow me to constantly learn and grow in my profession.”

HFU: What assistance does Health Services offer students at HFU?

JS: “Health Services offers many services to students. We have laboratory services such as Titers and Tuberculosis Testing (PPD skin test or QuantiFERON blood test). I perform physicals for the School of Education, School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, and for work. Health services offers treatment for common illnesses such as colds, flu, sore throat, ear infections, cough, rashes, pink eye, women’s health, men’s health, and minor injuries. Many of the services are free for students.”

HFU: What are some tips you could offer college students to avoid different illnesses throughout the year?

JS: “Drink plenty of water every day. There are many benefits to water. Water maintains hydration, flushes out toxins, boosts your immune system, helps maintain energy levels, and improves brain function. Get adequate sleep each night. Sleep is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your heart, mind and weight. Wash your hands. Handwashing is most effective way to protect yourself from getting sick, and it stops the spread of germs. Students should wash their hands after using the bathroom, before meals, and after blowing their nose, sneezing, or coughing.”

HFU: Do you have any hobbies you like to do for fun outside of Holy Family?

JS: “I like to walk my dog, read books, and ride bikes with my husband.”

Weiss Turns Internship into Full-Time Job at Deloitte

Michael Weiss sizedAs Michael Weiss prepares for his upcoming graduation, he’ll bypass the cumbersome process of applying and interviewing for jobs in his field. The dual major in Accounting and Finance has secured a full-time position at Deloitte Tax LLP following the conclusion of his internship with the company this semester.

As a tax intern focusing on Business Tax Services, Weiss was required to complete a wide variety of tax and other professional training services, assist with tax research projects, and prepare numerous state and federal tax returns.

“I also attended ‘Deloitte University,’ the company’s 1,000-acre leadership facility located in Westlake, Texas, where I engaged in leadership conferences and took part in team building activities with other professionals from around the country,” Weiss said. “I took part in numerous community service projects with the company during the course of my internship.”

Weiss’ hard work earned him a position as a Tax Consultant following his graduation from Holy Family University. In this role, he will be responsible for preparing corporate federal and state tax returns and provide supporting analysis. He will also assist in solving complex tax questions and staying up to date with all the changes in the tax world.

“I was honored and proud,” Weiss said about receiving the employment opportunity. “Deloitte is an amazing, successful, and prominent company in the professional services industry. I knew that I put a great deal of time and effort into completing my assigned projects during my internship, and I was hopeful and optimistic that I would be given the opportunity to continue to work with such a great company for many more years in the future. I hope to begin my professional career with challenging but rewarding experiences. I am eager to build professional relationships with co-workers and clients, while helping others to the best of my ability. I want to grow as a professional and one day become a leader.”

As Weiss prepares to enter the workforce, he is thankful to the faculty members in the School of Business Administration who have helped him prepare for this moment during his four-year journey.

"The professors at Holy Family University bring a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge that has greatly facilitated the preparation process for myself,” he said. “Throughout my years here, I have grown to greatly appreciate all the areas of study that I have taken. Holy Family University laid the ground work for my professional career and gave me the necessary skills to prepare me for the challenges ahead.”

Campus-Wide Day of Service Highlights Charter Week Celebration

Holy Family University’s Charter Week celebration culminates in a campus-wide Day of Service on Friday, February 17. Staff, faculty, and students have the opportunity to visit locations such as the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Feast of Justice, among other trips.

“The University Day of Service is one of my favorite events during Charter Week, as it really emphasizes what being a part of the Holy Family community is all about,” said Mike McNulty-Bobholz, Assistant Vice President of Student Life. “Every year these great locations open their doors to Holy Family and welcome us in. It’s a great feeling to see everyone working together to achieve one goal, and that is to make a difference.”

Interested participants can sign up for trips with remaining spots by clicking here.

Aid for Friends
On campus | 12:50 pm - 1:45 pm

This service project will be done on campus. Participants will work together to prepare meals for senior citizen and shut-ins, which will be distributed through the Aid for Friends program. The food was generously donated by Parkhurst Dining Services.

Blessed Sarnelli Community Revamp
Kensington, PA | 8:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Members of the Maintenance and IT department will travel to Blessed Sarnelli Community, an organization dedicated to providing for the needs of people who are poor and abandoned with an emphasis on empowering young adults to share in this commitment through prayer, hospitality and service. While there, they will provide general maintenance and enhancement services, including painting the service area, electrical and wiring work, and spackling. Southampton Cleaning will provide a full interior deep cleaning and Sherman Williams will donate paint and other supplies needed to complete the job.

“This project came about from Ralph Carp, Director of Campus Operations, who already donates his time helping Blessed Sarnelli Community,” said Joe Glasson, Manager of Maintenance and Operations. “It’ll be nice for our group to get down there and use our hands to make a difference for those who use the services. Blessed Sarnelli Community has a great mission, and we’re glad to be involved with them during the University’s day of service.”

Cakes for Kids
Ed Connections | Philadelphia, PA

Faculty, staff, and students of the School of Education will participate in a Cakes for Kids project. All cakes made that day will be donated to the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry for distribution. The group supplies cakes for children, and sometimes adults, who may be celebrating their birthdays or other special events without family support. Cakes are made and decorated by students as well as by members of the faculty and staff.

“Cakes for Kids offers a service to the community by brightening the life of the child and family receiving the cake,” said Dr. Helen Hoffner, Professor and Reading Specialist Program for the School of Education. “The organization also benefits Holy Family University students by giving them the opportunity to serve and to develop baking and decorating skills to share with their own families. Holy Family University students, faculty, and staff enjoy participating in Cakes for Kids because they can learn basic cake decorating techniques and have the satisfaction of knowing that they brightened the life of a child.”

Canned Food Drive
On campus | ongoing throughout week

In a joint effort with the Student Government Junior Class, the School of Business Administration and the Business Society, Holy Family University will be collecting various can goods throughout the week and will deliver to local food bank. Donations can also be made at the Bensalem location.

Feast of Justice
Philadelphia, PA | 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

Individuals will help with weekly food distribution to those in need. Transportation will be provided from the Northeast campus. All participants must bring their own lunch and arrive by 7:30 am to complete paperwork and take the van to site.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Langhorne, PA | 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Participants will help stock shelves, move furniture, and assist the Habitat for Humanity ReStore team during their morning shift. Transportation will be provided from Northeast campus. Participants must arrive at 9:15 am to complete paperwork and take the van to site.

Visiting the CSFN Sisters
Philadelphia, PA | 2 pm - 4 pm

Interested participants will travel to Mount Nazareth Retirement Home to distribute a rose to the Sisters as a token of appreciation for their years of service and dedication to Holy Family University. Transportation will be provided from the Northeast campus.

Getting to Know: Dr. Alexandra Adams

Alex AdamsTasked with managing enrollment strategies for Holy Family University, Dr. Alexandra Adams details what enticed her to the position, what she would like to complete in her first 90 days, and what some of her favorite summertime hobbies are in her first sit down interview with Holy Family University.

HFU: Can you tell me about your background and how you ended up in the enrollment side of higher education?

AA: “I have worked in higher education since earning my undergraduate degree 25 years ago. After a short stint in development, I served as Assistant to the President/Chief of Staff at a college, and in that role, I was the primary research assistant for the President. This included researching enrollment and retention for the college, as well as state and national trends—an assignment that ignited my interest in the enrollment management model of higher education. After demonstrating my abilities as Chief of Staff for nine years, I was promoted to Vice President for Student Affairs, which included all enrollment and student affairs functions at the institution.”

HFU: What attracted you to the Vice President of Enrollment Services position at Holy Family University?

AA: “I was looking to move into a vice presidential position, specifically at a private institution—one that had a mission that focused on impacting and empowering the lives of its students. I found that Holy Family University’s mission to ‘educate students to assume lifelong responsibilities towards God, society, and self’ fit perfectly with what I was seeking.”

HFU: What are some goals that you’d like to meet in your first few months?

AA: “Right now I am getting to know the Holy Family University family to better understand our programmatic offerings and internal processes. I also want to get to know our students and to better understand why they chose Holy Family University. Also, what were the major factors that influenced their decision to attend the university? Most importantly, within the first 90 days, I would like to have the Strategic Enrollment Management Committee in place and actively driving the enrollment planning process on campus.”

HFU: Outside of the office, what do you like to do for fun?

AA: “I love to bike, hike, and exercise. Travel, music, sports, and photography are some of my favorite things to do for fun—from attending a Philadelphia Orchestra concert, to watching a Phillies game along the third base line on a warm summer day, to hiking in Zion National Park in Utah with my camera around my neck. My philosophy is, life is a gift, live each day to its fullest and make a difference.”

Charter Week Celebration Held from February 13-17

Holy Family University’s Charter Week celebration, honoring the 63rd anniversary in which Holy Family University was chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, will be held from February 13-17. Each day will feature new activities thanking the years of dedicated service to students, faculty, and staff who have made the previous year’s possible. Please join us in as many events as possible!

Monday, February 13
Faculty and Staff Longevity Recognition Awards | 1:00 pm | Campus Center, Lower Lobby
Anniversary Cake | 1:30 pm | Campus Center, Main Lobby
The entire campus community is invited to attend. Coffee and cake will be served.

Tuesday, February 14
Mission and Core Values Awards Ceremony | 4:00 pm | Campus Center, Lower Lobby
Honoring students and organizations who exhibit the Mission Core Values

Wednesday, February 15
Anniversary Mass| 1:00 pm |Campus Center, Gymnasium
Celebrant Rev. James MacNew, D Min

Thursday, February 16
Faculty dialog gathering – Sharing our faith traditions |12:45 pm | Campus Center, Room 113
Sponsored by James Higgins, retired full-time faculty member

Friday, February 17
University Day of Service
Open to students, faculty and staff. Students must receive permission from their professors. Registration forms are available through campus email.

Holy Family University Sponsored Day of Service opportunities include:

Habitat for Humanity ReStore | 10:00 am - 1:00 pm | Transportation will be provided from Northeast campus. Participants must arrive at 9:15 am to complete paperwork and take van to site.

Feast of Justice | 8:00 am - 2:00 pm | Transportation will be provided from Northeast campus to help with weekly regular food distribution. All participants must bring their own lunch. Participants must arrive at 7:30 am to complete paperwork and take van to site.

Visiting the CSFN Sisters | 2 pm - 4 pm | Transportation will be provided from the Northeast campus to Mount Nazareth Retirement Home to distribute a rose as a token of appreciation for their years of service and dedication to the University.

Aid for Friends | 12:50 pm - 1:45 pm | This service project will be done on campus. Participants will work together to prepare 30 lunches for senior citizens, which will be distributed through the Aid for Friends program.

Canned Food Drive | In a joint effort with the Student Government Junior Class, Holy Family University will be collecting various can goods throughout the week and will deliver to local food bank.

February Art Gallery: Natasha Giles

NatashaGiles sizedHoly Family University Art Gallery Presents Social Voyeurism, paintings by Natasha Giles
Exhibit Dates: February 2-28, 2017

The Holy Family University Art Gallery is pleased to present Natasha Giles’ work, titled Social Voyeurism. The exhibit features paintings from her most recent body of work, and are inspired by social media, memory, and the experience of moments in time. In this series, the unspoken communication of body language and character is exuded in each captured moment.

Natasha is a Georgia based painter and educator, originally from Kentucky. She received her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007 and her MFA from the University of Kentucky in 2011. She will have upcoming exhibitions at Transylvania University, the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, The Lyric Theater and Cultural Arts Center (Lexington, Kentucky), and The Carnegie Center (New Albany, Indiana).

From the artist: “My work is about social voyeurism and our shared experience of memories and moments in time. Many people are laying their private or mundane thoughts and actions at the feet of the masses for consumption. I pilfer public images, memories that are not my own, and create paintings where I imagine, investigate, and become a part of that original moment. In my paintings, I reinterpret each event and invite the viewer to engage and participate with me. Each painting is created from images found on social media. The photos used as reference were taken by different individuals. More than anything, I am drawn to the interactions of the people in the original photographs. What intrigues me is the illusion of time and the unspoken communication of body language; the personality and character that is exuded in a captured moment.”

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.

Business Society Hosts Pins for PTSD Event

Pins for PTSD sizedBy Schyler Ellerbee '20

The School of Business Administration’s Business Society held their Pins for PTSD event on Saturday, January 14, at Thunderbird Lanes. More than $2,000 was donated to the Post Traumatic Stress Foundation of Philadelphia.

“Many of our society members are aware of PTSD because of their interactions with veterans,” said Dr. Luanne Amato, Management-Marketing Instructor and faculty adviser. “Also, they recognized that PTSD is not only for veterans and there limited causes that support this issue. Our members consider it a silent issue—not usually heard about or taken seriously.”

Attendees enjoyed pizza, soda, bowling, and endless fun throughout the night. Bowlers were also able to bid on various prize baskets, including Mary Kay cosmetics, Wawa giftcards, Palace Skating, Philadelphia Flyers memorabilia, a signed Philadelphia Eagles Jersey, and Adventure Aquarium tickets.

"We were all amazed at the level of participation, the quality of the bowling, the number of baskets provided, and most importantly, the amount of money raised," Amato said.

Getting to Know: Gene Kovalchick

Gene Kovalchick sizedAs Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Gene Kovalchick has been tasked with implementing the best and most accessible technology initiatives across Holy Family University’s three locations. With a strong background in the IT field, Kovalchick sat down with Holy Family University to talk about what made him interested in his field, enhancements he would like to see made campus-wide, and what instrument he plays in a couple local bands.

HFU: Can you tell me about your background and how you came to Holy Family University?

GK: “I have over 25 years of experience in the field of IT leadership, IT strategy, architecture, management, and support fields. Prior to joining Holy Family University, I served as Executive Director of IT Services for Bucks County Community College, where I worked with many of the same challenges that Holy Family faces today. Those challenges included Colleague, cloud computing services, wireless networks, desktop and classroom technology, and Help Desk support. Before working in the higher education environment, I held various IT Director positions at pharmaceutical companies leading global teams to provide IT technology expertise and support.”

“I first learned of Holy Family University when my daughter chose to attend the school for her bachelor’s degree. Her enthusiasm and success with Holy Family was heartwarming for a parent hoping to give their child a good start in life. Her success and subsequent return to Holy Family for her master’s degree just made it all the more special. When the opportunity came to apply for this position, I knew that this was the place for me too.”

HFU: What made you interested in Information Technology?

GK: “As an undergraduate, my advisor suggested I take a course in the new Computer Science major that was just starting. Having already taken a number of Physics and Math courses, I was fascinated by the integration of electronics, logic, and programming. Ever since, information technology has kept my interest and has never given me a dull day.”

HFU: In your position, what are some technology-related projects you’d like see come to Holy Family University?

GK: “Technology changes so quickly that there is always a new project to benefit the University. The key is to find the right balance between the cost and benefit of the many possible projects. Just a few technologies that could bring new functionality to HFU include an updated and enhanced intranet web portal and document imaging.”

HFU: How do you see technology in the classroom as being integral to a student’s learning experience?

GK: “As it is said, technology is only as good as how well it is used, whether inside or outside the classroom. Making technology easy to use, accessible, and having faculty and students use the tools is rewarding. Technology can enhance knowledge and foster a lifetime of learning. I am always excited by enabling new ways for students to learn and grow.”

HFU: Outside the confines of Holy Family University, what do you like to do for fun?

GK: “When I’m not walking, hiking, biking, or skiing, I play saxophone in two community bands and a jazz band. I also substitute when needed in two swing bands.”

Alpha House Expanding to Aquinas Hall in 2017

Alpha HouseAlpha House Nursery, Pre-K, and Kindergarten will begin an expansion project in the spring semester to renovate Aquinas Hall, providing increased opportunities for students while offering more room to learn and grow on Holy Family University’s campus.

According to Mary Becker, Alpha House Director, the plan is to continue to use the current building for the nursery and Pre-K, while the Kindergarten would move to the new location adjacent to where Alpha House is currently located. Alpha House is estimating a 25 percent enrollment increase over the next two to three years with the additional spaced provided by Aquinas Hall.

Aquinas Hall previously housed the School of Business Administration before it moved to its current location in Bensalem in 2015.

“The teachers and staff of Alpha House are very excited about acquiring Aquinas Hall to expand our program,” Becker said. “The possibilities are endless as we contemplate how the added space will enhance our Nursery, Pre-K, and Kindergarten programs. Our initial plan is to move Kindergarten to the new building, however, we see many opportunities for our teachers and students to use the new space to incorporate new and innovative ways of learning. The added space will also allow us to offer more families the opportunity to choose Alpha House for their child's first school experience.”

According to Jim Trusdell, Vice President for Finance and Administration, the renovation will feature the following enhancements:

  • To create a handicap entrance to the north side of the building and to build a walkway/ramp from the Aquinas Hall parking lot to the nearest entrance.
  • The main entrance would be on the south side of the building, near Alpha House. A concrete walkway would be installed with a canopy above both doors.
  • To remove several interior walls to create one large open classroom.
  • To renovate the bathrooms, including an accessible bathroom from the hallway.
  • To create roadway highlights for student crossing between Alpha House and Aquinas Hall.

Holy Family University Outfitted with Energy Efficient LED Lightbulbs

If things seem a bit brighter on Holy Family University’s campus, look up. The University is in the middle of a lighting renovation project that will replace old halogen lightbulbs and fixtures with energy efficient LED bulbs.

During the course of the three-month project, over 5,000 lightbulbs will be replaced with LED lights. The renovations began around December 16 and will conclude sometime in April. The LED lighting project will reduce Holy Family University’s electrical energy consumption by at least 1.3 million kWh annually, reducing annual utilities cost by approximately $200,000. The University will receive a one-time rebate from PECO because of the change, which will amount to approximately $70,000.

“The lighting renovation was a necessary project and one that we wanted to complete in the new year,” said Jim Trusdell, Vice President for Finance and Administration. “The benefits of LED lightbulbs, both from an academic and financial perspective, are well documented. We’re glad to be working with all of our partners on this project to bring more energy-efficient lighting to Holy Family University.”

This project is a coordinated effort between Holy Family University, Opterra Energy Services, Evolution Energy Partners, and PNC Bank. The installation is being completed by Armour & Sons Electric, Inc. out of Langhorne, PA. Armour & Sons is affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and is a member of many electrical organizations, including the National Electrical Contractors Association, the Electrical Association of Philadelphia, and Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI).

LED lights use 30 percent less energy than the old halogen lightbulbs and are made of a plastic material, providing more safety in the event a bulb was to break in a high traffic area. The increased lighting will also improve lighting around campus walkways and near university security cameras. Studies have shown that students who learn in classrooms with full-spectrum LED lighting experience less stress and anxiety, improved behavior and attitudes, improved health and attendance, and increased performance and academic achievement.