Holy Family Enters Educational Agreement with St. Joseph’s High School

Holy Family University is excited to announce an Admission and Scholarship agreement with St. Joseph’s High School, to further both institutions commitment to faith-based learning. With the agreement, St. Joseph’s students will be accepted to Holy Family University as long as they meet three requirements: graduate with a high school degree, have a minimum GPA of 2.5, and meet the University’s SAT/ACT scores. St. Joseph’s students will also be able to receive scholarships if applicable and participate in instant decision days and specialized visit opportunities, among other benefits.

St Josephs High School Holy Family University Educational Agreement Signing

St Josephs HS / Holy Family University - Educational Agreement Signing 2016

From St. Lucia to Philadelphia—Augustin Finds His Stride at HFU

Taurai Augustin sized1,993 miles.

That’s the distance between Philadelphia and St. Lucia. If you’re fortunate enough to secure a flight with only one stop, it’ll take roughly eight hours in the air. Other flights can take up to 29 hours. When leaving from Philadelphia International Airport, you’ll eventually arrive at Hewanorra International Airport, where you’ll still have to endure an hour and a half drive, a 59-kilometer journey, to La Clery, the northwest tip of St. Lucia, and the hometown of junior Taurai Augustin.

Augustin’s arrival in the United States was planned, but his journey to becoming a college athlete at a small school in Northeast Philadelphia was a little bit of a shock.

In 2013, Augustin packed up his belongings and moved from St. Lucia to live with his grandmother in New Jersey. He began attending Union County College, where he became a member of the track and field and cross-country teams. After finding success in the classroom and on the track, Augustin piqued the interest of scouts from Holy Family University. The rest, you can say, is history.

“I had always been a dedicated and focused student,” Augustin said. “My coach at Union County was always keen on me picking the right school to transfer to afterwards. One of my offers was to Holy Family University, and after discussing the school, academics, and my role on the team, I was certain I would transfer here.”

Though most of his family lives in the U.S., his parents still reside in St. Lucia. Augustin joins his grandmother, an older brother, and an older sister in the United States. With the support of his family, the culture shock hasn’t been too dramatic, though Augustin admits it can be tough to be away from your parents and the laid-back island life.

“It has been a little challenging being away from my home, especially not being able to see my parents as much as I’d like, but that is part of the college experience,” Augustin said.

“Growing up on a small island and than coming to Philadelphia, there are a lot of changes. The roads, the huge buildings, the scenery, and the food are some of the things that were difficult to adjust to, not to mention the Philly dialect. Besides my family, I miss the atmosphere, the people, and the somewhat simplistic lifestyle of St. Lucia. The island life brings a culmination of beautiful weather, surreal environments, and hardworking people. I miss the scenery, the food, the festivities and the culture, but it still remains in me and I share it with my peers at Holy Family.”

Augustin’s accomplishments don’t just come on the track. He was presented the Top XV Award by the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference in May, an award that recognizes student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average that participated at the CACC championships. A Biology major with a focus on Pre-Med, Augustin has a 4.0 GPA, thriving in the small classroom environment of Holy Family.

“My educational experience at Holy Family University has been comprehensive,” he said. “Each professors shows their desire to teach, as well as make themselves available for any issues that may come along during the duration of the course. The fact that Holy Family University is a small institution allows my professors to be able to identify who I am so that we can build meaningful relationship.”

As far as what he’d like to do upon graduating, Augustin has his eyes set on a career as a sports medicine physician, where athletes can receive the same kind of treatment he was provided.

“When I graduate, I’d like to enter the medical field, prepare for getting into medical school, and eventually specialize in sports medicine so that I can treat athletes,” he said. “This degree will be the foundation for my medical career and I hope to use it to signify that hard work is a key part of success.”

Algarra Passionate About Tiaras and Stethoscopes

AlgarraJacqueline Algarra more frequently dons a pair of scrubs than a big colorful dress anymore, but that doesn't mean she has retired from the pageant circuit. Still competing today, the junior nursing major is currently focused on following in her mother’s footsteps to become a healthcare professional.

Entering her first pageant in the fourth grade, Algarra used the competitions as a way to break out of her shell—a way to combat her shy personality. After watching Sandra Bullock star in Miss Congeniality, Algarra knew that she wanted to start training and competing.

“It all started with Miss Congeniality when I was little,” Algarra admitted. “The movie made me interested in entering a pageant. I was very shy, so my first pageant brought me right out of that mindset. I loved every minute of it. I always kept up with Miss America and Miss USA competitions, and even attended Miss NJ in Atlantic City in 2005. I was in awe of each girl’s platform, talent, and love for their community service.”

Still competing today, Algarra finds time for competitions between her schoolwork. She recently competed in Miss NJ USA, Miss American Coed (MAC), and Miss Burlington County—a Miss America preliminary event. She is the current titleholder of Miss Pennsylvania American Coed 2015, representing Holy Family University. She also placed in the top 15 at MAC Nationals in Orlando out of 70 women. If that wasn’t enough, she also guest judges certain competitions. Her success landed her an interview with Fox 29s Good Day Philadelphia in December.

Algarra’s platform is The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), a group that she has a particular soft spot for, as someone who overcame her own eating disorder.

“I suffered with it through high school,” Algarra said. “At first, I always kept it to myself, but through the pageants, I’ve been able to help others through my story. Each year I attend the NEDA walk in Philadelphia and raise money for the organization. Eating disorders are the mental illness with the highest mortality rate of all mental disorders. Through my platform and through being a nurse, I hope to help all 10 million women and one million men suffering across the United States.”

When she isn’t rehearsing for a pageant, Algarra is preparing for a career in nursing. Following her mother’s lead, Algarra knew nursing was the right major for her once she arrived at Holy Family University.

“I’m a care giver at heart,” Algarra said. “I have always had an interest in health, and through volunteering at my local hospital, I knew it was the right path for me. My mom is a nurse, so she is able to give me the support I need in this tough but rewarding profession. I’ve watched her save lives and make so many people happy.”

Though she is open to any opportunities that her nursing degree will present her, Algarra gravitates towards treating the geriatric population.

“I have such a soft spot for the elderly,” she said. “They have a lot of knowledge and so many stories to tell—all you have to do is listen. The baby boomer population is getting older now and people are living longer than ever. We need more skilled personnel to take care of this population that can specialize in their diseases and body processes. My goal is to get my masters and become a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner.”

Lipinski Connects Students and Studies at LEAP Academy

elizabeth lipinskiBeing able to help children connect the dots in the classroom and learn a new concept is both rewarding and difficult. It takes patience and determination to make sure that the student fully comprehends the subject before moving on to the next topic. Elizabeth Lipinski ’11 has always had the passion to teach others. As a Special Education Teacher at LEAP Academy University Charter School in Camden, NJ, Lipinski is taking what she learned in the classroom at Holy Family University into an urban educational setting.

“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher—probably since the second grade,” Lipinski said. “I wanted to become a special education teacher when I learned how people have the capacity to learn in different styles. There’s no cookie-cutter teaching style anymore.”

After arriving on campus at Holy Family University in 2007, Lipinski immediately flourished. Wanting to feel like a student rather than a number at a large university, Lipinski knew her time at Holy Family was going to be special.

“I chose Holy Family University because of the small, close knit community and family feel," she said. "I wanted to be a name, not a number, and I knew that would happen here. When I started at Holy Family, it was exactly what I expected from orientation until graduation. Throughout my years here, the feeling of family was always evident. The community always had something to celebrate.”

Pursuing a degree in Elementary and Special Education, Lipinski foraged many memories both inside and outside of the classroom. According to Lipinski, these encounters were a catalyst to shaping the woman she is today.

“I started at Holy Family unsure of myself, and slowly this school became my home,” she said. “I was a member of the cheerleading team, and even moved on campus to live, allowing me to become more involved in different activities. I traveled with the Alternative Spring Break group and also became a resident advisor. HFU was a major influence for who I am today. I found myself and that reflects in how I teach my students.”

As a Special Education Teacher at LEAP, Lipinski is constantly challenged to help students who learn in different ways. With the trials and tribulations comes moments of joy, where everything finally clicks in one glorious “ah-ha!” moment.

“One of the most memorable moments for me was seeing one of my 11th grade students pass an English class that he had previously failed,” Lipinski said. “We spent weeks preparing for the test, which taught him about his study skills. He is now in a honors classes and is deciding which college to attend.”

Looking back on her time, Lipinski is happy with her decision to attend and graduate from Holy Family University. From the social life to the education she received, it all played out perfectly from start to finish.

“Holy Family is one big family,” Lipinski said. “Family is a major aspect of my time at HFU. There are celebrations and groups to help you work through problems. We pray together, eat together, learn together, and live together. We are family—and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Library Selects New Streamlined Management System

Holy Family University’s Library will introduce WorldShare Management System (WMS) as its new library management system, replacing SirsiDynix Symphony. The new system will be rolled out beginning in June with a full launch set for July. WorldShare Management System was recommended to Holy Family University during a presentation from the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) in November.

“OCLC is a global library cooperative that has been around for almost 50 years,” said Shannon Brown, Executive Director of the Library. “They are the best source for full, detailed cataloging records in all formats. Through our current membership with them, we are able to borrow materials from thousands of libraries in over 100 countries. What is most appealing about the WorldShare Management platform is that librarians designed it. OCLC studied other library management systems and surveyed their own members about what works and what doesn't.  The result is a really intuitive system that will save our staff time and improve workflow and service.”

One of the advantages for students is the integrated database searching. The new system will allow users to seamlessly search thousands of databases with the click of a button.

“WMS includes a discovery service that works with virtually all of our databases,” Brown said. “This gives our users a single entry point, similar to a Google search, to all the Holy Family Library resources. This increases the value of our databases, making it easier for students to retrieve relevant information quickly. There are also major improvements to the mobile app, which provides seamless transition between devices and cloud capabilities.”

The new system will feature an updated, user-friendly interface that will appeal to students, according to Brown.

The Library staff unanimously agreed that WMS is the best choice in terms of value and ease of use,” she said. “The platform is truly intuitive and will improve workflow and services offered to students. Additionally, the implementation fee and on-site training costs were covered by a generous bequest to the Library from the estate of former student and long-time friend of the Library, Janet Mackiewicz.”

Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame to name 2016 Inductees at HFU

The Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame will announce five new inductees during a ceremony on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 10:00 am in the President’s Dining Room in the Campus Center. The inductees include three historical figures, one living individual, and one institution. Pennsylvania State Representative Michael J. Driscoll will announce the recipients during the event.

The inductees were chosen by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee, an eight-member panel of experts in various aspects of Northeast Philadelphia life. Sister Francesca Onley, CSFN, President Emeritus of Holy Family University, chairs the committee.

Inductees into the Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame must be current or former Northeast Philadelphia residents whose lives or careers have been marked by high achievement, or individuals or organizations that have had a lasting, significant, and positive impact on the Northeast Philadelphia community. There are currently 18 individuals and 10 organizations in the Hall of Fame.

The goal of the Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame is to foster civic values and a sense of community in Northeast Philadelphia, along with a greater awareness and appreciation of the area’s rich history, by honoring the lives and accomplishments of its most distinguished citizens.

Ashley Beck Turns Coding Internship Into New Opportunity

Ashley Beck sizedBehind the makeup of popular corporate apps are lines of dizzying code, designating what, where, and how the application will function for the consumer. Behind the code is Ashley Beck ’15, a former Pre-Med turned Computer Management Information System major at Holy Family University.

As a Pre-Med major in 2010 at a different university, Beck took a technology course as a requirement of her program, with the idea that technology and the medical world were closely intertwined. The course, Introduction to Computer Science, taught the theory and understanding of design patterns and programming language. That class sparked a passion for building and coding in the illustrious app world, where Beck is an iOS Engineer for Philadelphia-based Tonic Design Co.

“I took a technology course and honestly fell in love with the theory and understandings on design patterns and languages,” Beck said. “Being a Pre-Med major, I was not always interested in programming and becoming an engineer, but I did have a hobby for technology in general. I always had to have the new thing that came out that year.”

After switching colleges and her career trajectory, Beck, a Computer Management Information System major while at Holy Family University, now designs, architects, and develops mobile software for Apple’s iOS—working on building applications and software for clients such as Johnson & Johnson and Abercrombie&Fitch.

“Holy Family was close to home and I had relatives that went there and graduated—so it came highly recommended,” Beck said. “I liked the fact that the CMIS program was a mix of technology and the business behind such a growing career path. It really gave me a leg up when applying for internships and jobs within my field.”

Beck secured an internship while at Holy Family University with Tonic Design Co., working with the Web Development team. Post-graduation, Beck parlayed that internship into a full-time position with the company, but not without some help. Beck credits Dr. Jan Buzydlowski as a major influence in her success, especially his Structural Programming class.

“I was doing all kinds of stuff from coding email templates to editing CSS sheets for our clients while I was an intern,” Beck said. “I started to get pretty good at programming in JavaScript, so they started letting me do more complex tickets. This was right around the time I was taking a class taught by Dr. Buzydlowski. It changed the way I thought about forming methods and functions. This was the class that pushed me to learn Objective-C—the programming language used for iOS.”

Now with her foot firmly planted in the iOS programming world, Beck looks back on her time at Holy Family University fondly.

“Holy Family taught me to think outside of the box and not stop working until you came up with not only an answer, but the right solution,” she said. “I owe a good deal of my success to Dr. Buzydlowski. He is an incredible professor and mentor.”

Four Presented Honorary Degrees During Holy Family University’s 2016 Graduation

Holy Family University will present four honorary degrees during its 2016 Commencement Ceremony, held on Thursday, May 12 at the Kimmel Center. Mother Dolores Hart, OSB, The Honorable Charles F. Dougherty, Sister Thea Krause, CSFN, PhD, and Denis P. Mulcahy have been chosen as this year’s recipients. Mother Dolores Hart and Charles Dougherty will receive their honorary degree during the graduate ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Sister Thea Krause and Denis Mulcahy will receive their honorary degree during the undergraduate ceremony at 12:30 p.m.

With a blossoming career in Hollywood, Mother Dolores felt a calling to do more. Her acclaimed autobiography, The Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows, describes her life’s path from being a glamorous, successful, Hollywood actress to the tranquil secluded life of a cloistered nun. She made the decision to leave the bright lights behind and joined the Benedictine Community at Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut, where she would later become the Dean of Education.

Her love for film as an artistic medium for spiritual growth led to the creation of an HBO documentary in 2012 about contemplative monastic life. With funding from Paul Newman and Patricia Neal, she founded the Gary-Olivia Theater, an open-air theater at the Abbey that hosts performances annually for the surrounding community. She continues to be the only nun to be an Oscar-voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Charles F. Dougherty was elected to Congress from the third district of Pennsylvania and served for two consecutive terms from 1979-1983. Before Congress, he was State Senator from the fifth district in Philadelphia. Throughout his 10 years in elected office, he has been known for his strong character and distinguished leadership in promoting Catholic values. Among Congressman Dougherty’s most notable accomplishments has been his steadfast defense of the unborn. While in the State Senate, he was a leader in promoting and passing Pro-Life legislation. On Capitol Hill, he founded and co-chaired the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. The Caucus continues its important work to this day, promoting legislation to protect unborn children and the rights of pro-life medical providers across the country.

Congressman Dougherty is also well known for his robust support of Catholic education at every level. As a legislative leader in the State Senate in the early 1970s, then Senator Dougherty conceived of and helped push through the Institutional Assistance Grant (IAG) program, supporting private higher-educational institutions in Pennsylvania. Congressman Dougherty has been decorated with several awards including the Legion of Merit from the Secretary of the Navy for outstanding service to the Navy and Marine Corps. He also received the Presidential Medal from the Republic of Lithuania. He was named a Knight of St. Gregory by Pope John Paul II and has been frequently recognized for his Pro-Life efforts.

In her more than 40 years as a Sister of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Sister Thea has worked vigorously to promote the mission, values, and philosophy of the Catholic Church and the religious congregation. She currently serves as Clinical Director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic and ethicist at the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center, both in Altoona. Sister Thea often cares for veterans returning from combat duty who have very serious and frequently unseen trauma resulting from their military service. Sister Thea is on the faculty of Mount Aloysius College and Saint Francis University, where she teaches clinical and business ethics. Sister Thea has also served as international planning officer for the Congregation.

On the national level, Sister Thea took on the task of facilitating the merger of five American provinces into one in 2007 so that Sisters of the five provinces might better utilize their resources for the sake of mission. Sister Thea’s commitment to the mission continues through her role as chairperson of the Mission Advancement Committee of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth and chair of the board of trustees of Mission and Ministry, Inc. Sister is also involved in board work for a variety of charitable agencies providing leadership, vision, and direction, always with a heart focused on mission.

Mr. Mulcahy is Co-Founder and Chairman of Project Children, an organization established in 1975 to provide children from Northern Ireland a break from the violence and strife of their native land. Mr. Mulcahy, along with this brother Pat, wanted to do something to help the children. They brought six children from Northern Ireland—three Protestants and three Catholics—to upstate New York. They showed the children that they could live and play together in peace and understanding.

Over the last 40 years, Project Children has made a difference in the lives of nearly 23,000 children. Mr. Mulcahy joined the New York City Police Department in 1969 and was assigned to the Street Crime Unit some years later, receiving the gold shield of detective in 1973. In 1983, he entered the elite Bomb Squad and served as a First Grade Detective and Bomb Technician. In 1987, he was awarded the Medal of Valor by the NYPD for the extremely dangerous task of diffusing a bomb. He retired in 2002 after 33 years of service. Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Mr. Mulcahy has received significant recognition and accolades for his work with the NYPD as well as his leadership in Co-Founding Project Children. He was awarded the Bene Merenti Medal from his Holiness Pope John Paul II, as well as the Cardinal Cooke Right to Life honor in 1991. In 1995, President Clinton asked Mr. Mulcahy to accompany him on his historic trip to Northern Ireland.

Blue Mass Celebrates Police, Fire, and Public Safety Professionals

On Friday, May 6 at 10 am in the Campus Center Gym, Holy Family University will celebrate the bravery and dedication of Police, Fire, and Public Safety professionals during the 10th annual Blue Mass.

Joe McBride, retired Philadelphia Police Department Sergeant and current Director of Public Safety at Holy Family University, constructed the event. Fr. James MacNew will preside over the Mass.

“The Blue Mass is important to the Officer's who are currently working on the streets, those who previously did, and to the families of officers who gave their lives to protect the public. This Mass reminds the families that these individuals were valued, respected, and never forgotten,” McBride said.

A 22-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, McBride worked as a Patrolman and in Plainclothes Investigations before retiring as Sergeant. His son, Brian, is a currently a Lieutenant in his 21st year with the Philadelphia PD.

“At the Blue Mass, we gather in prayerful support of the men and women who serve selflessly day and night to protect the citizens and their families,” Fr. MacNew said. “We gather in gratitude to God for the valiant spirit of self sacrifice demonstrated by our officers on every shift as they practice charity, patience, kindness, counsel, and courage in running unfailingly toward danger to protect the men, women, and children they have sworn to serve. We also gather in devout remembrance of officers from across the nation that have given the full measure of selfless service, who have given their own lives in the line of duty.”

Distinguished guests include Police Commanders from the Philadelphia Police Department, recruits from the Philadelphia Police Academy, and Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 officials, among others.

Hornbach’s Calling Leads Her to the Library

AnnHornbach sized“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

~Stephen King

If Stephen King’s quote is true, then Ann Hornbach ’00 works in a land full of whimsy.

In a world littered with computers, tablets, smartphones, and accessible information at the snap of a finger, Hornbach spends her days among the original information and entertainment providers—books.

Hornbach’s journey to become the Library Supervisor at the Torresdale Neighborhood Library was similar to one of the many novels lining the shelves at the library—filled with unexpected twists and turns, ups and downs, all leading to a happy resolution. However, one thing remained a constant, even when she was a little girl.

“I had wanted to go to Holy Family since I was in grade school at nearby St. Dominic,” Hornbach said. “Even as a kid, I loved the campus, it just seemed so inviting. I chose Holy Family University in part because it was so close to home, but also because I just loved the school and the grounds. I believed that at the other universities, I would just be a number, one in a very large crowd. I got the feeling that Holy Family would have a more intimate, family like atmosphere. I was not disappointed.”

Originally a Computer Management Information Systems major, Hornbach mulled over her career options before finally switching to Religious Studies.

“I was sensing a calling to another career, one in which I would be serving others,” she said. “My intention at the time was to pursue a career in either pastoral care or teaching religion in one of the Archdiocesan high schools. I had also considered entering religious life, which I had been thinking about since my husband passed away in 1986.”

After completing her education at Holy Family, an interesting opportunity presented itself. Choosing not to pursue education or pastoral care as her career calling, Hornbach answered an ad from the Free Library of Philadelphia for library trainees.

“I had thought of being a librarian in the past, and I believed that this was the right career for me to pursue,” Hornbach said. “I applied for the position and was eventually accepted. After two years of library school at Drexel University, I earned my MS-LIS in Library Science. My education and experiences at Holy Family were instrumental to my success. Dr. Stoutzenberger wrote me a wonderful letter of recommendation.”

Her work in the Torresdale Library hasn’t gone unnoticed. Former Philadelphia May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter presented Hornbach with the Richard­son Dilworth Award for Ex­cel­lence in Cus­tom­er Ser­vice in May of last year. City Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on also presented Hornbach with a cita­tion that re­cog­niz­ed her various educational initiatives.

“To say I was shocked when I won the Richardson Dilworth award and received a citation from City Councilman Bobby Henon is truly an understatement,” Hornbach said. “My work, in and of itself, is very rewarding. Being recognized for doing what I love to do has been quite humbling. I am very grateful to the Dilworth Award selection committee, Councilman Henon, and fellow Holy Family alum Linda Colwell-Smith, who nominated me for the award.”

Still involved with Holy Family University, Hornbach, who serves on the Alumni Association Board of Advisors, still revels about her time as a student.

“I loved my time at Holy Family,” she said. “I truly felt that it had a very tangible family atmosphere. Everyone was so friendly. I pray to the beloved Holy Family every day, and I truly believe Their Spirits are alive and well at Holy Family University.”