News

Holy Family University Statement regarding the “Decision 2016” Event

The “Decision 2016” event, being held on Holy Family’s campus on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, is hosted by a third party who contracted with the university to use our facilities for the event.

As an academic institution, we are committed to encouraging healthy dialogue and a diversity of views and opinions, but this is not a university-sponsored event.

As an equal opportunity institution, we are, and have always been, neutral in the political arena and do not endorse political parties or politicians.

Getting to Know: Dr. Diane Elliott

Diana Elliot sizedWith 20 years of education experience spanning from K-12 through colleges and universities, Dr. Diane Elliott joins the School of Education to provide her expertise to the future teachers of tomorrow. Dr. Elliott has taught courses on research designs and methods, quantitative analysis and statistics, and legal, social, and political issues in schools and the community. She sat down with Holy Family University to discuss her background, problems facing men and women in STEM, and finding hobbies in a house with two small children.

HFU: Can you tell me about your background and what brought you to Holy Family University?

DE: “I have been working in the education field for nearly 20 years, first in K-12 and later in higher education as a professor and administrator. My collective experiences prompted me to pursue a doctorate, which I earned from New York University in 2010. After a postdoctoral appointment at the Education Testing Service, I taught research methods, statistics, and assessment and evaluation at various institutions. My desire to continue to teach these areas brought me to Holy Family University. I’m looking forward to working with the students here.”

HFU: Can you describe some of your current research initiatives?

DE: “I have two active and complementary lines of research, both of which center on issues of educational equity. The first line of research examines the intersection of K-12 and higher education and seeks to understand disparities in educational attainment by analyzing the education trajectories of disadvantaged students. More specifically, my research integrates the education, psychology, sociology, and law fields to explore how personal characteristics, such as psychosocial attributes and cultural identity, interact with school and home environmental contexts to impact the educational success, college readiness, and educational attainment of disadvantaged students. My second line of research examines issues of educational equity from an assessment perspective and pays attention to the evaluation and assessment of student learning and programmatic interventions aimed at improving educational outcomes of students.”

HFU: What is your classroom philosophy when helping educate the future teachers of our world?

DE: “My style emphasizes my role as a facilitator to encourage dialogue. To achieve this, I frequently use current events, my own experiences, and especially students’ own personal and professional experiences as a foundation for grounding concepts and integrating existing knowledge with new understandings. It’s my belief that this approach conveys to students the idea that they already have skills related to the course topic, which enhances both interest and engagement with my course.”

HFU: Some of your most recent work has focused on STEM—an interesting topic for both male and female students. What is your opinion about the current state of STEM, and how do you attract more male and female students into this specific segment?

DE: “For the sake of innovation and our economy, we, as a nation, are in desperate need to attract and retain more students in STEM fields, especially women, who continue to be under-represented in these fields. How we go about achieving that goal is more difficult to answer. On the one hand, there has been a proliferation of programs to prompt early grade school interest in STEM fields, and by all accounts they seem to be meeting their objective. Yet, as students progress through the education pipeline, interest appears to wane. Some of my research suggests the transition to college is one point in particular where students alter their interest in STEM fields. Many students who begin in STEM related majors change courses during or after the first year. What I’ve found is that some students are not sufficiently prepared for the rigors of a STEM curriculum and others modify and realign their goals after self-reflecting on their true interests and/or after experiencing poor academic performance in early core courses. This variability in reasons is precisely what makes this issue so complicated. In my mind, the solution is to simply continue to develop and test multiple interventions, bearing in mind that one size does not fit all.”

HFU: What are some of your hobbies outside of the classroom?

DE: “I once saw a meme that said something like, ‘I never know what to say when people ask me what my hobbies are. I’m a mom. I enjoy trips to the bathroom alone and silence.’ I feel being an academic is equally consuming.  As an academic and a mother of two children that are four and seven, I don’t have much time for hobbies.  That said, whenever I can, I make time for running, which I hate doing but it helps keep me sane, reading, yoga, and photography. This past summer I earned my boating license, so now I can be a threat on both the roads and waters in and around the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area.”

Pre-Med Faculty Provides Mentorship to Students

Faculty members of Holy Family University’s new Pre-Med track held an informative evening exploring the possibilities of the program, including conversations with esteemed alumni, on September 9 at The Farm and Fisherman Tavern Market.

Dr. Chris Carbone, Assistant Professor of Biology, talked students through the Pre-Med blueprint, MCAT plan, course review, CV and personal statement assistance, on-campus clubs, research opportunities, and hospital shadowing opportunities.

The event featured both live and pre-packaged video messages from local doctors and committee members, including Dr. Bushra Malik, Dr. Gerald Wydro ’90, Dr. Marlapudi Prem, Dr. Lynda Micikas, Dr. Shelly Robbins, Dr. Keith Lafferty ’89, Piotr Kopinski ’11, and Rachel Dillinger ’14.

The Pre-Med track at Holy Family is based on a curriculum that prepares students for careers in the health professions with the knowledge of fundamental concepts in the biological, biochemical, chemical, physical and social, and behavioral sciences. This curriculum incorporates the core set of prerequisite course required by most medical programs with additional courses recommended by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). In addition, this track includes targeted classes in the social and behavioral sciences to prepare students for the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Section of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).


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Drs. He and Mauldin Present at American Chemical Society National Meeting

He Mauldin ResearchDr. Dian He, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Dr. Stanley Mauldin, Associate Professor of Biology and Biochemistry, presented a poster at the 252nd American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting and Exposition at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on August 23. Their work was titled “Computational analysis of structure and biological function of translesion DNA polymerase zeta from Dictyostelium discoideum.”

According to their abstract, "DNA is an essential molecule that contains our genetic information that determines our physical characteristics. Being such an important molecule, DNA is fragile, and can be damaged by multiple internal and external agents. Therefore, DNA needs to be repaired, or the damage needs to be bypassed to preserve the genetic integrity. Polymerase zeta is one of the proteins can that can bypass the damaged sites on DNA. Our model organism, Dictyostelium discoideum, is an organism that is highly resistant to DNA damage and therefore mimics cancer cells that have become resistant to chemotherapy. To gain insight on the mechanism of bypassing the DNA damages, we are exploring the structure of polymerase zeta and its interaction with a damaged DNA molecule, both in lab and through computer simulation. The computer simulation results were presented during the American Chemical Society National Conference.”

The American Chemical Society strives to advance science, advocate for chemistry, enable career development, educate the public, support future chemists, and promote diversity. The ACS represents more than 140 countries, with nearly 157,000 members.

"This is my first time attending the American Chemical Society Convention and I found the presentations on DNA repair to be very enlightening,” said Dr. Mauldin. “I enjoyed interacting with other professionals in the same field."

He continued, “I’ve attended the ACS Convention many times and I appreciate the opportunity ​to present our research. There was a great turn out and many people showed interest in our poster."

Elizabeth Moore Book Reading/Signing on September 19

The Unseen World sizedElizabeth Moore, Associate Professor of Writing and Coordinator of Humanities, will host a book reading and signing of her third novel, The Unseen World, on Monday, September 19, at 12:50 pm in the Library.

The Unseen World tells the story of Ada Sibelius, the daughter of David, an eccentric and socially inept single father who runs a computer lab located in Boston. Ada joins David during his daily work—becoming a protégé along the way. While David's lab begins to gain success, questions regarding his past start to surface. With David's mind failing, Ada is determined to discover her father's secrets.

This is Moore’s third novel and follows the success of her 2012 novel, Heft, which was pegged by NPR and Oprah as a book to watch out for during the year.

“I became an instant fan of Liz Moore the moment I opened her second novel, Heft, back in 2012,” said Shannon Brown, Executive Director of the Library. “The Library Book Club is honored to have Liz lead a discussion of her latest book and spend the time signing them for her fans and supporters from Holy Family. This event is not to be missed.”

Faculty Present at Teaching and Learning Assessment Conference

drexel conferenceFive Holy Family University representatives—Dr. Elizabeth Jones, Dr. Dianna Sand, Dr. Bernice Purcell, Dr. Janet McNellis and Dr. Lisa D. Belfield—will attend and present at the 2016 Annual Conference on Teaching and Learning Assessment from September 7-9, hosted by Drexel University.

According to the event description, the goal is to “restate our commitment to academic quality, and acknowledge that the quality of the student academic experience must be the driver behind all assessment and accreditation activities.”

Elizabeth Jones, PhD and Dianna Sand, EdD | School of Education
Presentation Title:
Promoting Academic Quality through Development of Meaningful Rubrics for First-Year Courses

In this session, Jones and Sand will discuss the processes used to develop several common rubrics for multiple sections of a first-year college-success course; the piloting of several rubrics and how this information was used to inform the development of the final rubrics applied to required student assignments; and the processes used to obtain faculty buy-in. The focus in this session will be on how to assess the critical thinking and communication skills that are transferrable across different courses. Participants will develop a plan for using a rubric in their own teaching and will explore how they might collaborate with their colleagues to use a common rubric.

Bernice Purcell, DBA | School of Business Administration
Presentation Title:
Pieces of the Program Assessment Puzzle

This snapshot session is the result of the continuing assessment journey of a local academic. It is a reflection on the interaction of the assessment and accreditation processes with the goal of impact maximization and process simplification. The presentation will focus on the different types of assessment, i.e. formative, summative, direct, indirect, internal, and external. Examples will be given of artifacts that fall into each category and ideas for measuring and reporting data will be shared. The goal is to add to the dialog regarding how these items form an evaluative instrument to use in continuous quality improvement.

Janet McNellis, PhD and Lisa D. Belfield, EdD | School of Education and Office of Institutional Research and Assessment
Presentation Title:
Me, Myself and I: Self-Assessment As a Means to Enhancing Academic Quality

We believe that students who go through their academic programs should, in addition to mastering academic content, achieve growth in areas such as critical thinking ability, drive for life-long learning, collaboration ability, and other non-academic domains. However, sometimes faculty grapple with the issue of how to measure these non-academic concepts. In this presentation, we will discuss one solution to this issue; that is, the use of student self-assessments to measure non-academic growth. We will provide real-life examples from two academic programs: one undergraduate and one graduate, in a School of Education. Participants will gain an understanding of the academic and non-academic benefits of student self-assessment and will be able to create a useful self-assessment instrument for their students.

Kathleen Bartholomew Confronts Bullying in Nursing Profession

Kathleen BartholomewOn Wednesday, September 7, at 11 am in the ETC Auditorium, Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, will share stories from the nursing profession in a presentation titled, “Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility: Why Nurses Eat Their Young and Each Other.” The event is open to the public.

The phrase “nurses eating their young” is an insider term used to explain the bullying, harassment, and emotional abuse that can be experienced by new nurses from experienced nurses. The trauma occurs in hospitals, nursing schools, and beyond.

Cynthia Russell, Dean and Professor of the School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, sees the talk from Bartholomew as a worthwhile opportunity for Holy Family’s nursing students to learn about a difficult topic and how they can become a part of the solution.

“Kathleen Bartholomew shares a message related to horizontal hostility in the workplace that unfortunately resonates with practicing nurses, while serving as a reality check for students joining the healthcare professions,” Russell said. “A leader in nursing and healthcare, Kathleen brings forward practical strategies to cultivate a culture of civility and enhanced inter-professional relationships to the forefront through her books, articles, and presentations.”

Nurse-to-nurse hostility was the subject of Bartholomew’s second book. Bartholomew is an accomplished public speaker, performing at many nursing conventions and hospitals. She has also given a TEDx Talk titled “Lessons from Nursing to the World” in 2016.

“I am so pleased that Kathleen will be here in person to speak to our nursing students and faculty,” said Shannon Brown, Executive Director of the Library. “Her TEDx Talk was truly inspirational and her close examination of hospital hierarchy shows us how crucial interpersonal relationships among healthcare professionals are to the lives of their patients.”

September Art Gallery: Zachary Pritchard

september art gallery sizedHoly Family University Art Gallery Presents Zachary Pritchard

Exhibit Dates: September 2 - 28

Artist Reception: Wednesday, September 28 from 12:50 pm – 2:50 pm.

On Wednesday, September 28, Holy Family University will host an artist reception for Zachary Pritchard to discuss his collection, made from paper-mache, plaster, fired clay, pigmented wax, cast iron, and aluminum. The exhibition will also feature sculptures on pedestals, freestanding pieces, and wall sculptures.

Pritchard earned his BFA in sculpture from Buffalo State College in 2011. As part of his studies, he participated in an international artist residency, creating art in Finland and Latvia. He went on to earn an MFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His work has been exhibited across the United States, recently in Massachusetts, New York City, and Philadelphia. His most recent body of work has been featured in group and solo shows, earning high praise. He currently lives and works in Philadelphia.

From the artist: “My work explores themes and personal experiences of humor, loss, death, loneliness, and attraction. Working with materials that lend themselves to manipulation, such as paper-mache, plaster, pigmented wax, paints, and metals, my work plays with structural balance and expectations of materials in primarily anthropomorphic forms. I consistently work in an intuitive process that seeks to translate an unspeakable subconscious language through objects. Engaging the viewer in a familiar, yet uneasy presence, my aim is to elicit raw and visceral emotional reactions through my sculptures, drawings and paintings.”

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.

August Weekend Intensive Focuses on (De)Evolution of American Mass Media

Mike Fitzpatrick sizedHoly Family University’s School of Business Administration and Extended Learning is hosting the 2016 Weekend Intensive from August 12-14. The theme of the weekend will be “The (De)Evolution of the American Mass Media: Losing the Public’s Trust.”

The weekend-long session will focus on the current election and political news coverage—including the role that mass media has on public opinion and how the public has lost faith in objective journalism.

“The Weekend Intensive allows Holy Family University’s Extended Learning students a chance to delve into contemporary issues and events that are not normally offered in the curriculum,” said Bob McNeill, Executive Director of Extended Learning and Continuing Education. “Along with guest speakers, it allows students to analyze the connections between politics, the American media, and big business. Not only will our students become more informed about the political process, the historical role of the media, and corporate influence, but they will also become more informed citizens in one of the most unique Presidential elections.”

Meeting dates and times for the Weekend Intensive are below:
Friday, August 12: 6 pm – 10 pm
Saturday, August 13: 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday, August 14: 12 pm – 4 pm

House Representative Mike Fitzpatrick, 8th District Pa., will be a guest speaker during Saturday’s session.

“Representative Fitzpatrick has been a good friend to the Extended Learning programs over the years,” said Chris Quinn, Director of Extended Learning and Continuing Education. “He has served as a Weekend Intensive guest speaker several times and even helped teach one. The fact that Extended Learning, which sits in the 8th district, has the opportunity to listen and engage with its sitting Congressional House Representative on a topic addressing politics and media demonstrates the program’s strong commitment to academic quality and community.”

Much of this weekend is open to the public. If you’d like to register or for more information, contact Chris Quinn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Author Robin Black Visits HFU to Talk Crash Course

Author Robin BlackOn Thursday, August 18 at 7 pm, the Holy Family University Library will host Robin Black, author of Crash Course: Essays From Where Writing and Life Collide.

According to her website, “Robin Black’s path through loss and survival delivered her to the writer’s life. Agoraphobia, the challenges of parenting a child with special needs, and the legacy of a formidable father all shaped that journey. In these deeply personal and instructive essays, the author of the internationally acclaimed If I loved you, I would tell you this and Life Drawing explores the making of art through the experiences of building a life. Engaging, challenging, and moving, Crash Course is full of insight into how to write—and why.”

This event is part of the Library’s summer book club reading event. Other events have included a Skype conversation with Amy Stewart, author of Girl Waits with Gun. 

“For our last book club event of the summer, we are thrilled that Robin will be joining us in person,” said Shannon Brown, Executive Director of the Library. “Robin was introduced to us through Professor Liz Moore. Crash Course is a collection of personal essays about the author's life and the experiences that shaped her as a person and influenced her writing. It is a fascinating read for anyone, but especially those interested in the writing process or writing as a profession. We hope to see you engaging with Robin during this exciting event.”

 

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