Volunteer Opportunities Announced For Charter Week Day of Service

The 62nd Annual Charter Celebration will conclude with a University-wide day of service on Friday, February 12. Events will take place at Philadelphia Habitat for Humanity, Feast of Justice, Mount Nazareth Retirement Home, assisting with a local election phone bank, and a canned food drive for Philabundance.

Habitat for Humanity Build | 8:30 am - 4:30 pm | Limited to eight people
Transportation will be provided from the Northeast campus. All participants must bring their own lunch. Participants must arrive at 7:15 am to complete paperwork and take the van to the site.

Feast of Justice | 8:30 am - 2 pm | Limited to 12 people
Transportation will be provided from the Northeast campus to help with weekly regular food distribution. All participants must bring their own lunch. Participants must arrive at 8:00 am to complete paperwork and to take the van to the site.

Volunteer Phone Bank | 5 pm - 8 pm | Limited to eight people
Transportation will be provided from the Northeast campus. Participants will work with John Sabatina's election campaign in a phone bank to reach out to people in this demographic to remind them of the importance of voting in primary elections, especially in the city of Philadelphia, where primary elections largely dictate representation.

Visiting the CSFN Sisters | 2 pm - 4 pm | Limited to four people
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.

Cake for Kids | 1 pm - 3 pm | Limited to 25 people
Participants will decorate cakes for children who are less fortunate. The cakes will then be distributed to various food banks within the local area. The event will take place on Holy Family University's Main Campus in the Education and Technology Center Room 405.

Canned Food Drive
In a joint effort with Philabundance, Holy Family University will be collecting various can goods throughout the week and will deliver them to the South Philadelphia outlet.

Assignments to each volunteer site will be based on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested participants need to sign up by clicking here. Staff members must seek approval from their supervisors. Students must request an excused absence from their instructor.


Cold Mountain Selected as 2016 One Book, One Philadelphia Featured Read

Cold MountainHoly Family University will be participating in One Book, One Philadelphia for the second year in a row. The reading event is designed by the Free Library of Philadelphia to “promote reading, literacy, and libraries, and to encourage the entire greater Philadelphia area to come together through reading and discussing a single book.”

Cold Mountain, written by Charles Frazier, was selected as the featured book. Three complimentary titles, The Civil War, by Geoffrey Ward with Ric Burns and Ken Burns; Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup; and Sounder by William H. Armstrong have also been chosen. Cold Mountain will debut on the East Coast with Opera Philadelphia at the Academy of Music on February 5.

According to the Free Library of Philadelphia’s website, “Coinciding with the East Coast premiere of the opera Cold Mountain, composed by Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer, the choice of the novel Cold Mountain gives One Book, One Philadelphia a unique opportunity to tie in with another major cultural event. Additionally, our choice provides the inspiration to focus on the Civil War, with all its complexities and ramifications.”

Holy Family University participated in One Book, One Philadelphia last year, reading titles such as Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, Rodzina by Karen Cushman, and Locomotive by Brian Floca.

“The point of the program is to bring the Holy Family and Philadelphia communities together through reading, discussing, and participating in programs around a selected theme,” said Kathy Kindness, Assistant Director of Library Services.

Individuals interested in reading the selections can visit the Philadelphia campus library to rent a copy. Classroom sets of the books will also be available. Additionally, a display at the Philadelphia campus and Newtown site will include materials on incorporating topics about slavery and the Civil War into the classroom.

There will be two presentations by Paula Gidjunis ’71, a faculty member at Manor College, at the main campus library. The first, titled “African Americans During the Civil War: The Road to Freedom,” will be held on Wednesday, February 17, from 1:00 pm – 1:50 pm. The second, titled “Women in the Civil War: From the Home Front to the Battlefield,” will take place on Wednesday, March 16, from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm. Both programs are open to the public.

“Participating in the One Book program is important for a number of reasons,” Kindness said. “First, it connects Holy Family University with the broader intellectual and literary community in Philadelphia. We join ranks with the Free Library branches, Temple University, Drexel University, and area cultural institutions to promote literacy on and off campus. Second, the book titles and programming provide opportunities for our students, faculty, and staff to engage and connect with others in thoughtful ways that go beyond the classroom. Finally, One Book offers us multiple copies of ‘good reads’ for those who just want to kick back on a cold winter's night and ‘walk in another's shoes’ for awhile.”

For more information about Cold Mountain at the Academy of Music, click here.


Multi-Talented Andrea Green to Hold Workshop on April 7


andrea greenHoly Family University, in conjunction with the School of Education, is excited to announce that Andrea Green, an award-winning musician, music therapist, composer/playwright, and director of children's musicals, will present an interactive workshop and public presentation on the topic of using the arts as a vehicle for teaching tolerance, on April 7.

Green, a Philadelphia native, enjoys national acclaim for creating nine classic Broadway-style children's musicals focusing on inclusiveness, providing a uniquely supportive framework that offers every child of every ability level an important part to play, and delivering heartfelt messages of acceptance

Green will present her model for integrating the arts into teaching and will engage Holy Family University students in a dynamic, illuminating, creative experience during a daytime class. Green will conclude with a two-hour public presentation later that night, exploring how to utilize music to foster tolerance and friendship among children. The public event will take place in the ETC Auditorium from 7-9 pm.

Green’s musical, On the Other Side of the Fence, won the gold medal at the 2015 NY International Film Festival and the bronze medal from the United Nations for “outstanding achievement in a film that exemplifies the ideals and goals of the United Nations.” The musical was also the subject of a documentary that, according to her website, provides “an inspiring, behind-the-scenes look at the process and production of a musical performed by school children as acting and singing partners from the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia.”

Green and her musical have also won the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award for best documentary.

For more information about Andrea Green, visit her website,


Screening of “Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia” During 2016 Charter Celebration


Urban TrinityIn conjunction with the 2016 Charter Week celebration of Holy Family University, History Making Productions, an Emmy-award winning production studio located in Philadelphia, will have a special screening of “Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia” at Holy Family’s campus in Northeast Philadelphia on Thursday, February 11, at 7 pm.

“‘Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia’ explores Philadelphia’s history through the lens of the many Catholic immigrants who shaped and changed the city,” said Sam Katz, Executive Producer and Founder of History Making Productions. “The film exposes the experiences, challenges, sorrows, and triumphs of the diverse and unique Catholic communities who have shaped the religious, social, and physical landscapes of the Greater Philadelphia region throughout the past three centuries.”

The screening, taking place in the Education and Technology Center Auditorium, will also feature a discussion by Katz.

The viewing of the movie coincides with the 2016 Charter Celebration of Holy Family University. The weeklong celebration runs from February 8-12, featuring a Mass celebrating the 61st anniversary of the University, a welcoming ceremony, the Mission Core Value awards ceremony, and a day of service.

“Charter Week holds special meaning for Holy Family because it provides an opportunity for us to pause and appreciate the value of the University expressed through the many—past and present—who have been part of its Mission to serve families,” said University President Sister Maureen McGarrity, CSFN, PhD. “The airing of the film, ‘Urban Trinity,’ is especially meaningful as part of this celebration because it places the University in the larger context of a Catholic tradition that has significantly shaped the history of our country. As we come to appreciate more fully the accomplishments of the past, we will surely be inspired to renew our own efforts, personally and collectively, to ‘seize the day’ and transform the future.”

Seating is limited. To reserve your seat, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 267-341-4002 no later than January 28.


Holy Family University to Participate in March for Life

2016 March for Life - Holy Family UniversityHoly Family University will once again participate in the March for Life event, a demonstration in Washington D.C. recognizing “the more than 55 million Americans who have been lost to abortion,” according to the organizations website.

On Friday, January 22, campus chaplain Father James MacNew, OSFS, students, and other University representatives will journey to the capital for a day of worship and peaceful reflection. Buses will leave the Campus Center parking lot at 6:15 am. Upon arrival, participants will stop at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, participate in a Mass celebrated in the Great Upper Church, and then join the march to the Supreme Court. Dinner will be provided courtesy of the Campus Ministry. The bus will return back at Holy Family University by 9:00 pm.

The theme of this year’s event is “Pro-Life and Pro-Woman Go Hand-in-Hand.”

"We go to the March for Life event to 'incarnate' the love of God for the human person and to put church teachings into action,” Rev. MacNew said. “We recognize that the law itself is a teacher and so, if what the law permits is immoral, we are obliged to take action to change the law and to protect the most innocent among us. Nonetheless, the students and other members of the Holy Family community journey to Washington D.C., attend the liturgy with Archbishop Chaput in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and venture forth to embrace the cold and the elements, not primarily as political activists, but rather as men and women of faith, responding to the call of God's love for each unique and irreplaceable human person.”

According to the organization’s website, “The March for Life began in Washington, D.C., as a small demonstration and rapidly grew to be the largest pro-life event in the world. The peaceful demonstration that has followed on the somber anniversary of Roe v. Wade every year since 1973 is a witness to the truth concerning the greatest human rights violation of our time, legalized abortion on demand.”

Senior Psychology major Christopher Rocks, one of the student organizers of the trip, believes the event will be meaningful to those who attend.

This is an important event for students to participate in because it is a day that helps bring students together, as well as help to bridge the gap between our students and our society,” he said. “Most importantly, it helps each individual become closer to God.

Speakers at the March for Life event include Matt Birk, former Baltimore Ravens player and Super Bowl Champion; Sue Ellen Browder, Author, Subverted; Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family; Dr. Margarite Duane, MD, Co-founder and Executive Director, FACTS; Jewels Green, Silent No More campaign; Nathan Grime, Student, Concordia Lutheran High School; Caitlin Jane, Christian Music Artist; and Shawn Welcome, Performance Poet.

“More than ever, in this sacred year, it is incumbent on us, men and women of faith, to lovingly proclaim the truth of God's loving mercy as we work to change the law so that it might become a beacon of justice for all," Father MacNew said.

Students interested in participating need to sign up by clicking here.

New Pre-Physical Therapy and Pre-Med Tracks Offered

Chris Carbone Holy Family University, an institution that boasts an already robust science curriculum for its undergraduate and graduate students, continues to grow its program with two new healthcare track offerings—Pre-Med and Pre-Physical Therapy.

Pre-Physical Therapy, which will be offered beginning Fall 2016, will provide students an opportunity to learn the basic principles associated with the physical therapy profession.

“The curriculum entailed in this proposal is designed to provide the necessary prerequisite courses required to gain admission into a variety of graduate Doctoral of physical therapy programs,” said Chris Carbone, Assistant Professor of Biology.

“It’s a basic biology curriculum that has influences with physics, mathematics, and physical therapy related classes that students will be exposed to at the graduate level. By exposing students at the undergraduate level to the material covered by these topics will not only increase their probability to successfully master the material at the graduate level, but will also reinsure the admission committees that our students can intellectually handle the rigors they will experience after being admitted into their programs.”

Students hoping to pursue the Pre-Physical Therapy track will have free electives that, according to Carbone, allow the student to customize their experience.

“That allows you to apply to whatever institution you want to,” he said.

In addition to Pre-Physical Therapy, Holy Family University offers students the opportunity to pursue a Pre-Med track. The Pre-Med program takes a more in-depth approach to the profession, including additional areas of study and an emphasis on the MCAT test, the exam a students needs to pass in order to gain admittance into medical school.

“The Pre-Med program has more checkmarks that it needs to meet,” Carbone said. “It has more basic science, math, chemistry, and physics. The curriculum in the Pre-Med program also takes into consideration the requirements of newly designed MCAT exam that includes a new section that tests knowledge of introductory concepts in psychology and sociology. As a result, courses from these disciplines have been added to expose students to a variety of courses in the social and behavioral sciences.”

With Holy Family already bolstering a positive reputation regarding its nursing program, Carbone, one of the creators of the physical therapy track along with other members of the Biology Department, hopes the addition of these new programs compliment the nursing program. Carbone noted that there are plans to add two new tracks—Pre-Physicians Assistant and Pre-Pharmacy—in the near future.

“That’s what I hope to achieve with the addition of these new programs,” Carbone said. “The crowning jewel of Holy Family is nursing. I hope to add another component to that by including these healthcare professions. Overall, yes, nursing is here. But I also want to compliment that from the biology perspective with these healthcare disciplines with the ones we have and the ones we plan on developing in the future.”

Sunday Night Comedy Series: Derrick Knopsnyder Returns to Holy Family University


Derrick KnopsnyderThe Office of Student Engagement, in collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, is welcoming the first comedian of its Sunday Night Comedy Series for the spring semester.

Appearing on Sunday, January 17, comedian Derrick Knopsnyder is making his second trip in two years to Holy Family University to showcase his brand of comedy to the students and University community.

Knopsnyder, the 2011 winner of Stand Up to Cancer's Funniest Person competition and the 2012 finalist at the Cleveland Comedy Festival, is an up-and-coming young comedian who brings a brand of funny that connects with today’s college student. The Office of Student Engagement selected Knopsnyder to come back to Holy Family because they “recognized how much he connected with our students in his first trip and really spoke to what they found funny.”

Knopsnyder’s biography online reads:

“I am a young comic, born and raised in a small ‘classy’ town, or ‘redneck’ town whichever, I don't like labels. Since I was a little kid I've always wanted to be a comedian, then after my first year in college I decided that there is no better time than the present and I took to the stage for the first time in May 2010. I can remember them calling my name to walk up to the stage, and then the realization set in…this is actually happening! After doing open mics from May till October I had my first breakthrough in the industry, I got my first paid gig! It wasn't much, just barely enough to cover the gas it took me to get there, but that was neither here nor there the bigger picture was, I just got money for doing comedy. Since then I've done many shows with a bunch of great comics.”

Knopsnyder will be performing on Sunday, January 17 at 7:00 pm on the Northeast Campus in the ETC Auditorium. Admission is free for all students and members of the University community. Seating is limited and is held on a first-come, first-served basis.


Nursing Students Run Poverty Simulation

On December 10, 2015 from 8:00 am until 12:30 pm, students in Holy Family University's fast-track, second-degree nursing program experienced a nursing simulation at the Holy Family University-Newtown location that focused on the effects that poverty has on their patient populations. The simulation began with the students completing a questionnaire about their beliefs about people living in poverty. During the simulation, students were assigned a family unit and scenario. It was expected that the students fully assume the identity and function of the family scenario they were assigned. They were given a monthly salary and a list of expenses that they had to pay during each week of the month (one week = 15 minutes). All of the scenarios had an income that was either below the poverty line or slightly above.

Somewhere along the line, they were given a card chosen randomly with unexpected expenses that they also have to pay. The students went to a series of tables to pay their expenses. Each table was labeled as the grocery store, rent, child care, utilities, etc. Inevitably, they ran out of money before the end of the simulation and had to make the choice of buying food vs. prescription drugs, rent, etc.


Upon completion of the simulation, the students were asked to complete the questionnaire again to determine if their attitudes about poverty have changed. There was then be a debriefing where the students discussed their challenges and feelings about the simulation.

Diane Gilson, Holy Family University's Nursing Lab Faculty Leader, said, "For our nursing students, this simulation helps nurses understand the complex issues of poverty and its effects on health in addition to understanding the many other challenges experienced by the poor. Furthermore, the poverty simulation helps students understand their own negative attitudes toward people living in poverty. As we know, there is a stigma associated with poverty."

The School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions has a history of running real-world simulations to help educate their students beyond the classroom. Previously, the Philadelphia campus hosted an active shooter simulation in 2014 and the Newtown campus hosted a mass casualty drill in 2013. Not only did these events give the nursing students valuable simulated healthcare experience, but they allowed the students to experience cooperative simulation drills with local police, fire, and emergency services personnel.


November Art Gallery: Beyond Exteriors

NovArtImageHoly Family University Art Gallery Presents Beyond Exteriors

Senior Student Art Exhibition by Christine West

Exhibition dates: November 3- November 22, 2015
Artists Reception: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 7:00 - 9:00 PM

Artistic Statement: Beyond Exteriors

Beyond Exteriors invites the viewers to consider what is beyond the obvious facades that they encounter in their everyday lives. I want the viewers to explore the humanity and psyche that are behind the various exteriors that are presented to them whether it is an abandoned building, old furniture, or a human face. I encourage the viewers to acknowledge and connect with the stories and emotions that are under the surface.

As an artist I am drawn to surfaces and textures, and in my work I use textural elements to highlight and support the emotional content. Wrinkled skin, rotten wood, and cold gritty concrete draw the viewer into the work and communicate an emotional energy. The textures and surfaces in my work are meant to evoke emotional responses that mirror the human and expressive content of the piece.

My body of work includes various media and processes to include oil paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture. I like to explore and replicate various textures by using various processes. Using a variety of media and processes allows me to produce a meaningful image multiple times, which enables me to explore the image and content more fully while still fulfilling my need for variety and innovative production.

Holy Family University Gallery is on the Lower Level of the Education and Technology Center, 9801 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19114.


School of Ed's Grant Writing Funds Playground


On Thursday, September 24, two School of Education faculty members, Dr. Janet McNellis and Dr. Patricia Joergensen, took two Education students, Hannah Britland and Valarie Killian, to Antonia Pentoja Charter School to help build a playground. The school has been planning this playground for eight years.  The principal of the school, Sandra Gonzalez, is a doctoral student in our EdD in Educational Leadership and Professional Studies program. Ms. Gonzalez took a doctoral course with Dr. McNellis last year and as part of the course wrote the application for the KaBOOM grant that funded this playground.