Lifelong Walt Disney World Fan Accepted into Disney College Program

rj sized 2For senior Rachel Johnson, being able to intern at Walt Disney World has always been a dream of hers since she was young. After four years of hard work and dedication, that dream became a reality after she was accepted into the lucrative Disney College Program.

“I have wanted to do this program since I heard about it in eighth grade,” Johnson, a Communications major from New Lenox, IL, said. “I have spoken with many past program workers while on vacation and they have had nothing but great things to say about it. I have been vacationing at Disney ever since I was in kindergarten and have since been there about 28 times. I want to be on the other side, making magic for the guests.”

A member of the women’s volleyball team, Johnson applied for the internship in February. After completing both web and phone interviews, she was notified on March 14 that she was accepted. Johnson will be working with the Merchandising team.

“I was actually landing on my flight back from Chicago after spring break when I opened up my email and saw that I was accepted,” she said. “I immediately Face Timed my parents when I got off the plane and could not stop smiling. I wanted to cry I was so happy.”

After completing her internship with Disney, Johnson hopes to make a career out of her love for sports.

“I have always wanted to take my love of sports and turn it into a career,” Johnson said. “Whether that is with a major sports team or sports network—I hope that doing this program will allow me to network with a lot of people and help me figure out whether I want to pursue either a professional internship with ESPN, which is owned by Disney, within the Disney parks, or explore other jobs in the sports world.”

Getting to Know: Dr. Jennifer DeCicco

Jennifer DeCiccoAn Assistant Professor of Psychology, Jennifer DeCicco, PhD, is one half of the team that is bringing Neuroscience to Holy Family University. A self-proclaimed brain geek, DeCicco brings her expertise to the classroom, letting students learn the inner workings of the brain through hands-on experiences. She sat down with Holy Family University to discuss her background, how she knew teaching was the right career path, and her classroom philosophy.

HFU: What made Psychology the right field for you?

JD: “In high school I was always interested in psychology, but I never took a psych course until college at Rider University. I took Biological Psychology as an undergraduate and I was hooked. I was an instant brain geek. In my junior year, a student had missed a lot of class and my professor asked if I would be willing to help her out and go through the material with her. The student told me that I was good at this and that I should be a professor. I had given it thought before and I enjoyed teaching, but never seriously. I knew I was going to go on to graduate school, but had yet to think about my goals post-graduate school. These experiences as an undergraduate confirmed that teaching was not only something I was passionate about, but also that it should be my career. I was fortunate to have a great mentor who really inspired me to teach. I’ve always had an interest in biology, but not the same interest as other members of my family. I grew up in a very science-oriented family. My dad is a research pharmacist and my brother studies prostate cancer, so everyone has their own thing. We all have different perspectives in science. As compared to my dad and my brother, my interest has always been in the brain and aging.”

HFU: Can you tell me about some of your past and current research projects?

JD: “A lot of the projects and research I did throughout my undergraduate career asked questions about attention, aging, and physiology. When I went on to grad school, I continued with the same type of research program, but added an emotional component. I studied how individuals differ in the ability to regulate emotion, ranging from five-year-olds to 90-year-olds. Using electroencephalography (EEG), a noninvasive way to measure brain activity, my research projects and dissertation focused on how older adults and young children differ in how much they pay attention to positive, negative, and neutral stimuli using emotion regulation strategies. The big question is what characterizes adaptive versus maladaptive emotion regulation, which is associated with psychopathology and mood disorders.”

“I moved away from using EEG as my primary physiological measure, and now I use electrocardiography (ECG) to measure changes in heart rate. I am currently working on some analyses for a project that examines differences between college-aged students with and without ‘helicopter parents.’ The project aims to understand whether those with helicopter parents have greater physiological reactivity, as measured via ECG during a stress task, as compared to those who do not have helicopter parents. The goal is to understand whether having a helicopter parent plays a role in various outcomes from stress reactivity to depression and anxiety.”

“I started out with this really strong interest in physiology, the brain, and behavior. That’s always been the common theme throughout my academic career, from my undergraduate degree through graduate school and beyond. Though I am passionate about research and statistics, some of my projects are service learning-based. These projects teach older adults how to use emotion regulation strategies that are known to have positive effects on well being. My research projects, in combination with these service-learning opportunities, aim to explore how we can use emotion regulation strategies and physiological measures to develop an understanding of what characterizes positive well being. My goal is to use various characteristics to develop profiles of what skilled emotion regulation versus maladaptive regulation looks like across the lifespan. More importantly, if we know identify a profile of what skilled regulation looks like, how do we help train individuals who aren’t doing as well?”

HFU: If you weren’t teaching, what would you be doing?

JD: “I can’t imagine not teaching. When deciding on my path for graduate school, my decision ultimately came down to whether I would have the opportunity to teach while in graduate school. The program I was in offered me a teaching fellowship, which was a perfect match for me. There has never been an aspect of my career that didn’t involve some sort of teaching. I began teaching undergraduate courses in my third year of grad school, and there hasn’t been a semester I have not taught since. I’ve always had an interest in teaching, and after I tutored that student, it sort of confirmed that this was what I was passionate about. It was her perspective that helped to confirm it, but I was fortunate to have really great teachers that helped me understand the importance of mentoring students. I’ve always sought to end up a school that valued this perspective. I kept gravitating towards small schools where I could continue to have that personal interaction with students that I had as an undergraduate. That’s what drew me to Holy Family University. There was a strong emphasis to know your students, have smaller classes, be able to work with students one-on-one, and engage students in critical thinking in and outside of the classroom.”

HFU: What is your philosophy in the classroom? How do you get students to connect to the material on a personal level?

JD: “In my Physiological Psychology class, I try to do a lot of hands-on activities. I tell a lot of personal stories and try to relate everything we talk about to personal experiences, topics, and stories in the media and things the students can relate to. So for me, it’s about relating it back to topics the students understand and use on a daily basis. I use a lot of clinical examples and have students complete mini-labs during class even though it’s a lecture. Neuroanatomy can be difficult for students to grasp solely by looking at 2-D pictures on a screen, so I have students make models of the brain in class. It’s all about a hands-on experience to tie it back into what we learned. If it is something unique the students can relate too, I think they walk away with the knowledge.”

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

JD: Outside of the classroom, sports are a big thing in our family. I played soccer for 15 years, and now my daughter plays what can only be described as organized chaos on the soccer field right now. I play on a softball team with my husband in a co-ed league and we are avid Phillies fans. We enjoy all Philadelphia sports and spending family time together, whether it is out at the zoo or the ballpark.”

Saturday Senior Class Legacy Flea Market Rescheduled for 4/30

The 2016 Senior Class Legacy has rescheduled its Flea Market for Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 9 am to 2 pm at Holy Family University’s Main Campus, 9801 Frankford Avenue at Grant Avenue.

Flea vendor spaces are just $15, 2 spaces for $25. Interested vendors should contact Michael at 215 333-3155. The day’s activities will include a silent auction, live entertainment, face painting and games for the kids, raffle prizes, a 50/50 and more.

April Art Gallery: Seriously Hilarious

April 2016 Art Gallery - Seriously HilariousHoly Family University Art Gallery Presents Seriously Hilarious

Exhibit Dates: April 6 – May 2

Artist Reception: Tuesday, April 12 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

On Tuesday, April 12, Holy Family University will host an artist reception for senior William Goebig to discuss his senior art exhibit Seriously Hilarious.

From the Artist: “This body of work is entitled Seriously Hilarious because there is a sense of duality to my art making. In one aspect, I am very serious and strict in my technique to create balanced and aesthetically pleasing designs. In the other aspect, I am looser and more spontaneous, like in my paintings and drawings of exaggerated features and abnormal situations. It is through these two styles of art that I have found my personal balance in art and in life.”

“Throughout my time as a student and during the course of my life I have always, quite literally, drawn on any piece of paper that was in front of me. These drawings usually turned out to be nothing but partially finished sketches of faces or letters. Although different, they always had one thing in common—they all ended up in the trash and I never paid them any mind. Recently I decided to use these sketches, give them life, and break away from the guidelines and rules that I thought art had to follow. My art today is a result of sketches that were either on a blank piece of paper, the back of a syllabus, or in a sketchbook.  This work is a break away from the seriousness of life and art, and is fun because life is hard and everyone needs a chance to escape; this is mine.”

“As a Graphic Designer, art plays a different role, which can be viewed as more strict and serious. The majority of my graphic art focuses on the guidelines of design. I enjoy making balanced designs because it allows a different approach to creation. It allows me to create a piece of art that I can look at and know that it can make sense by itself. My graphic design work is serious while my paintings and sculptures are hilarious.”

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.

For more information, please contact Pamela Flynn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Santos Continues Family Nursing Tradition After Completing Fast-Track BSN Program

Faye Santos - HFU NursingFaye Santos grew up in a family of nurses, starting with her grandmother and scaling all the way down to her brother. With such a rich history of nurses throughout her family, it was only fitting that Santos chose to study…education.

“My grandmother was a school nurse at St. John Cantius and All Saints in Bridesburg,” Santos said. “My mother, Geraldine Solitario, works for Temple Episcopal Hospital in the behavioral health unit. My aunt, Trisha Harbison, currently works at Fox Chase Cancer Center in the GI unit, and my other aunt, Maureen O’Neil, worked at St. Joes Manor, but has since retired. My brother is also a Certified Nurse Anesthetist at Aria Hospital. In the back of my mind, nursing was always an interest of mine. You could say that it runs in our blood.”

So, why then, did she peruse education?

“When I entered college after high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” Santos admitted. “I chose teaching because I adore children, but my mother was always telling me that I should be a nurse. Of course, being a stubborn daughter, I took the education route and honestly loved being a teacher.”

After graduating from Holy Family University in 2001 with a degree in Education, Santos spent the next decade of her life teaching—pushing students to grow inside the classroom.

“I have had great experiences teaching in Northeast Philadelphia,” Santos said. “Working with students in grades K-6, I can tell you that they were all smart, sweet, and special in their own way. I worked in special education classrooms and truly loved that population of students. I have a special place in my heart for children with learning differences.”

Maybe that soft spot in Santos’ heart stems from her relationship with her sister, Bridget, who suffers from a rare metabolic disorder that requires around-the-clock care from her mother, and when she was younger, Santos herself. Even without a nursing degree to her name, Santos willingly spent her childhood assisting her mother in the daily care required for her sister.    

“I feel like my sister has shaped my personality more than anyone else,” Santos said. “She has taught me how to be strong, loving, and most importantly how to value life. Bridget was very sick as an infant and doctors did not believe she was ever going to walk or talk. She was in a coma for the first two weeks of her life. An endocrinologist at CHOP discovered her liver did not function properly—she is missing a part of the Urea Cycle. She is deficient in an enzyme called Argininosuccinic Aciduria (ASA). As a baby and child, she was severely delayed, requiring special care and a strict low-protein diet. She takes medicine every six hours to help her with the liver disease. I enjoyed helping my sister for as long as I can remember. Today, she dances, plays ball, and participates in the Special Olympics. I have learned how to care for her by watching my mother through the years and I believe that has inspired me to become a nurse. She is our little miracle and the life of every party.”

Perhaps because of this caretaking dedication, she never really lost sight of nursing.

“I knew nursing was always going to come back around, and eventually I took the opportunity to complete the fast track nursing program at Holy Family,” she said.

After years away from the classroom, Santos quickly got back into an educational state of mind and will officially graduate as one of the first Second Baccalaureate Degree Pre-Licensure BSN Program cohorts in May.

In its first full term, the fast-track nursing program is designed to provide an intensive nursing course load, paired with real-world clinical experience. The program was conceived out of a request for individuals that did not want to take the traditional route to becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) after already having completed a degree in another field.

"The explosion of professional opportunities in the field of nursing over the last decade has caused many to consider a career in this fast-growing industry,” said Michael Markowitz, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “For an individual with a college degree in another academic discipline, the transition to becoming a nurse seems impossible, as ‘starting over’ is often not an option. Holy Family University’s Second Degree program creates a pathway for the motivated learner who wants to build on his or her degree by earning a BSN and becoming an RN. Rigorous and academically demanding, the program requires a significant commitment from a dedicated adult student but pays tremendous dividends in providing an open door to a rewarding and lucrative career transition."

With the rigorous course load, the program is demanding of every individual that is accepted. Due to a limited number of spaces each semester, admission to the program is highly competitive.

“I honestly did not think I was going to apply to a fast-track program, but my aunt called me and said the program was just starting,” Santos said. “The following day I was on the phone for an interview. After I was accepted, I was determined to complete it. I began taking my prerequisites for the nursing program while working as a substitute teacher. The program was very intense, and the teachers had high expectations for the nursing students. The professors were top notch and very professional—they wanted to see us succeed. I believe they have prepared me by challenging my critical thinking skills and always emphasizing quality patient care.”

Now that the nursing program has ended, Santos has started working at a Progressive Care Unit at St. Mary’s Hospital in Langhorne as an aid. She is studying for her nursing boards and spending more time with her family.

“I have the patience and love to care for people who are not well. I am a very compassionate person and always want to put a smile on people’s faces if they have a heavy cross to carry,” Santos said. “It brings my life meaning to make people happy and I believe it is because my sister taught me how to see the world through her eyes. I always say ‘treat others the way you want to be treated’ and I believe that holds true for nursing. When a patient is ill they need compassion, kindness, and quality care. Nurses should treat the patient as a person and care for them as they would a loved one. I am beyond thrilled with my decision to become a nurse and make a difference in my community.”

Holy Family Students Showcase Work at SEPCHE Honors Conference

Nineteen students from Holy Family University will travel to Chestnut Hill College to participate in the 18th Annual SEPCHE Honors Conference on April 2. Holy Family students will present work on various subjects, including academics and art.

"The SEPCHE Honors Conference is a wonderful opportunity for our best and brightest to share their work with fellow students and faculty from the other institutions in our consortium,” said Michael Markowitz, Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Holy Family University's presence at this event is always strong and impressive, due in large part to the tireless work of Father Mark Hunt. I know I speak for the Holy Family community when I express my sincere gratitude to Father Hunt for his profound commitment to our students and their intellectual growth."

Art Presentations

Samantha Dwyer
Title of work: Dormant Bud
Medium: Oil painting
In my work I concentrated on the multifaceted aspects of a tree from the strong roots to the fragility of the branches to everything in between and how this can be viewed as a representation of self. I wanted to explore how we are affected by outside forces beyond our control, how we deal with and internalize the inevitable changes through life, how they shape us, and continually force us to grow. I also wanted to focus on the layers of self and how we must dig deeper than outside appearances.

Christina Little
Title of work: Broken Home
Medium: Painting
The Broken Home is a representation of a normal ordinary home with a white picket fence. However, the inside of the house is broken reflecting its struggles. The human heart is trying to break free to start anew. The hills represent the ups and downs the heart is going through living in the broken house.

Kelly Greene
Title of work: Polar Bear
Medium: Plaster
I chose to create a bear out of plaster because I love nature. Most of my art is focused on nature. I live on a farm with a large wooded area and I spend a lot of time sketching what I see there. I have never seen a bear, but it is one of my favorite animals.

Iesha Liberato
Title of work: There is a Time and Season (series)
Medium: Printmaking
In my artwork, I always try to involve my belief in God. In the series, There is a Time and Season, I am reflecting how—although there is a time for everything we do as humans—the way we portray how we live is different. Beauty can come in every season of life.

Corina Williams
Title of work: Woman
Medium: Clay, oil, paint, gesso, and acrylic paint
This sculpture was created in homage to the inner struggles I have overcome throughout my first semester at Holy Family University. Woman’s body lies peacefully without disturbance, but within, she is mysterious. Her facade exudes womanhood but internally she is unknown.

Academic Sessions

Ketsia Estime
Biochemistry: Expression of Proprotein Convertases in Normal and Tumor-Associated Fibroblasts
Proprotein convertases (PC) are proteases that activate many other proteins after recognition and cleavage at the RRR/K sequence. Normal and tumor associated fibroblasts (TAF) differ in shape, fibers, and expression of alpha smooth actin. In this presentation, we explore the expression of several PCs, normal-like and TAF tissues in traditional cell culture dishes (2D), and 3-dimensional fibroblast-derived matrices (3D).

Brittany Wilman
Biology: Role of Furin in Tumor Microenvironment
Proprotein convertases are proteins that activate other proteins. In this case, the proprotein convertase activates a series of cancer-related proteins after proteolytic cleavages at the sequence RRR/KR. Furin, which is a convertase, shows decreased expression in fibroblasts associated with tumors. In this report, we explore the effects of furin overexpression on fibroblast phenotype.

James Ross
Communications: Brand Product Placement in Film: The Case of Google in “The Internship” (2013)
This presentation seeks to discern product placement in cinema, as both a means to get consumer attention and to build brand awareness. The accompanying paper also discusses how the target consumer segment is presented and how the diverse dynamic company culture strives for user efficiency.

Ryan Keller
Communications: Stages of Relationship Development When Two People Meet—Application of Interpersonal Communication Theory in the Film, 500 Days of Summer
This study uses the theoretical framework of Knapp’s Model of Relationship Development to examine the film, 500 Days of Summer, as a media text. The model views relationship development as a 10-step process, with two phases—the Coming Together Phase and the Coming Apart Phase. The study found the model useful but not perfect when applied to the experiences of the characters.

Thomas Nolan
History: The Impact of Cotton on the U.S. South, Leading to Civil War
In the decades preceding the Civil War, cotton farming in the South began to expand and flourish rapidly. This increased the South’s need for slavery and was also the catalyst for increased economic prosperity, making the South overconfident in its ability to secede from the Union and eventually plunging the nation into Civil War.

Nicole Pyle
Mathematics: The Underlying Mathematics of Beach Erosion
Beach erosion is a process that occurs when there are more beach materials, specifically sand and other materials within the sand, being exported than being supplied to a particular section of the beach. The best way to understand beach erosion is to learn the following: how erosion can happen, how to measure it, how to determine the necessary precautionary actions, and how and when to apply those actions in order to protect the beach. We will also see an example of how beach erosion has impacted the coastline of New Jersey.

Jason Seeton
Mathematics: Sabermetrics: Mathematics in Our National Pastime
Sabermetrics are advanced analytics of baseball player performance. Creator Bill James described them as “the search for objective knowledge about baseball.” In this presentation, the history of baseball and sabermetrics are discussed as well as information on the derivation, implementation, and users of sabermetrics. Not limited to baseball, the concept of sabermetrics has also been applied to areas such as law enforcement and education.

Melissa Goodwill
Mathematics: The Irrationality of Pi
The concept of pi has been around for centuries, but Johann Heinrich Lambert did not discover the proof for pi’s irrationality until the 18th century. Lambert proved that pi over four is irrational, thus proving pi is an irrational number. Since his discovery, several mathematicians have found many simpler proofs.

Tara Kelly
Mathematics: Queuing Theory and Its Applications in Traffic Control
Queuing Theory is the study of waiting in lines. This presentation will address Little’s theorem and basic queuing models. It will then focus specifically on how these formulas can help determine traffic signaling and control.

Alyssa Whitbeck
Psychology: Is Excessive Use of Social Media a Form of Narcissism?
Social media usage has become a social norm and is relied upon by many. Due to this, researchers have examined how usage could impact people in the long term. One main focus has been on how social media relates to the current rise of narcissistic tendencies. The relationship between social media usage and narcissism in today’s generation will be examined.

Allison Yanar
Psychology: Whirligigs
As part of a Sensation and Perception course, students selected a piece of art from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and identified how concepts related to visual perception (e.g., depth perception) were represented in their chosen piece. The piece of artwork I selected for this presentation is Whirligigs by Allison Yanar.

Meghan Roberto
Psychology: The Artist’s Garden: Visual Perception in Art
As part of a Sensation and Perception course, students selected a piece of art from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and identified how concepts related to visual perception (e.g., depth perception) were represented in their chosen piece. The selected piece of artwork for this presentation is The Artist’s Garden in Argenteuil: A Corner of the Garden with Dahlias by Claude Monet.

Kathryn M. McCarthy
Public Speaking: The Negative Effect of Social Media
Social media is tainting today’s society. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are constantly growing and their users are becoming more attached. With the heavy reliance on social media, face-to-face communication is diminishing and the negative effects of this change are outweighing the positive benefits many supporters claim from use of technology.

Mary Torpey
Religious Studies: Jesus Christ and Recapturing the Contemplative Life
This presentation will address the contemplative life as taught by Jesus Christ and enlighten listeners on how He serves as the perfect model for contemplation. Aspects of contemplation such as love, attentiveness, and living in relationship with God the Father will be discussed as well as the behavior and restoration brought by the person Jesus.

Diversity Forum Focuses on Identity, Power, and Privilege

register-for-the-diversity-forumHoly Family University will host a Diversity Forum on April 11 from 3 pm – 5 pm in the ETC Building.

The forum, titled “Navigating the World with an Open Heart and Mind: Identity, Power, and Privilege,” aims to promote thoughtful and honest dialogue between individuals with ideological differences; describe thoughtful and civil language with which issues of diversity can effectively be discussed; explore concepts of identity, privilege, and dimensions of power that influence interpersonal interactions; discuss the role of political correctness, first amendment rights, and their influence on effective communication; and explore strategies to integrate a sincere respect for the dignity of all persons and the oneness of the human family during cross-cultural interactions, even when challenged by distinct differences in perspectives or world views.

"Many in today’s society are choosing insensitivity and incivility, through verbal, written, and digital communication as one way of expressing their First Amendment Rights," said Gloria Kersey-Matusiak, Coordinator for Diversity. "However, as members of the Holy Family campus community, we are compelled by the mission of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth and of the University to communicate and interact with others in ways that exemplify Holy Family’s core values, respect for the dignity of all persons, and the oneness of the human family. Yet, as human beings, we sometimes find ourselves in conversations and situations in which our deepest values and beliefs are challenged. How do we overcome the urge to strike out at individuals by responding in insensitive and negative ways that are mean-spirited, hurtful and disrespectful of fellow children of God with whom we share this planet?"

Panelists include Dr. Ernest Bonaparte, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Judith Dalton, Associate Dean of the Office of Institutional Diversity at Arcadia University, Dr. Patrick McElwaine, Counseling Psychologist, and Barbara Simmons, Executive Director of The Peace Center.


Ernest Bonaparte, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years experience in the field of mental health. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Dr. Bonaparte has held multiple supervisory and leadership positions in the area of community mental health, including Project Director for the Kings County Hospital Crisis Intervention Center and Director of Psychology at Kingsboro Psychiatric Center, the primary NY state mental health facility in Brooklyn. Currently, Dr. Bonaparte is a private practitioner, consultant, talk radio host, and is an Adjunct Professor at the Queens College masters program in Mental Health Counseling.

A graduate of St. Joseph's Prep high school in Philadelphia, Dr. Bonaparte completed his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Bonaparte then completed his Doctoral studies at the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University in Long Island, New York. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1989.

Judith Dalton is the Associate Dean of Institutional Diversity at Arcadia University. Dalton is responsible for providing institutional leadership, focused on enhancing the campus climate in relation to areas of diversity. She collaborates with members of the University and community-at-large in providing educational programs and workshops regarding cultural diversity and social justice; and provides mentoring and advocacy for historically underrepresented and marginalized students, faculty, and staff, and those with varied cultural and religious perspectives. Dalton manages the Office of Institutional Diversity, its budget and staff; serves as advisor to varying student clubs and organizations, and as a Title IX Deputy Investigator for issues regarding student sexual assault and harassment.

A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Dalton came to Philadelphia to attend LaSalle University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Management, Personnel and Labor Relation. She also earned a Master of Education degree from Temple University.

Patrick McElwaine, PsyD., LPC. is currently completing his post-doctoral fellowship at Brooke Glen Behavioral Hospital in Fort Washington, PA. He is a 2015 graduate of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (PCOM) APA-accredited clinical psychology program in 2015. He became a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in 2007. He is a graduate of Holy Family University with his MS in 2004 and his BS in 2000. Throughout his career, Dr. McElwaine has worked as a therapist in numerous settings including community mental health, residential treatment, and inpatient treatment.

Barbara Simmons is the Executive Director of The Peace Center, a non-profit educational organization based in Bucks County, and serving the tri-county region. She has been with the organization for more than 25 years, overseeing the creation and implementation of programs focused on interrupting and transforming the cycle of conflict, violence, racism, and bullying.

Ms. Simmons is an adjunct professor for the International Peace and Conflict Resolution masters program at Arcadia University, Glenside, where she teaches Facilitation for Conflict Transformation and Advanced Mediation. She is also the founder and executive producer of PeaceTalks Radio project, which has taken her to Japan, India, Vietnam, South Africa, Rwanda, Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and Canada as an independent journalist. PeaceTalks has produced 13 audio features for National Public Radio, Public Radio International and Philadelphia’s WHYY.

Ms. Simmons graduated from the Institute of Archaeology and went on to be certificated in Conflict Analysis and Resolution; Restorative Justice Family Conferencing, Basic and Advanced Community Mediation, School Peer Mediation; Family and Divorce Mediation; International Conflict Transformation; Conflict Resolution and Peace Education in Schools; Middle East Conflict Analysis; International Cross-Cultural Communication; Alternatives To Violence (AVP); Batterers Intervention; Creating Sanctuary, Trauma and Healing; Racism, Power and Non-Violence; Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC), Compassionate Listening and Conflict Resolution and Analysis, Northern Ireland.

Jordan Joins Marketing and Promotions Team at Citizens Bank Park

Juwan NewsJuwan Jordan claims to not be the Phillie Phanatic, but as a member of the Marketing and Promotions team for Citizens Bank Park, he is in charge of escorting the Phanatic to his various locations throughout the game.

Even if he was the Phanatic—could you blame him for not telling?

A junior Sports Marketing major with a full course load, practice for the men's track and field team, and weekend meets, Jordan was already used to early mornings and late nights. Jordan's nights are even busier now, as he spends his time at the ballpark working for the Phillies 2016 season.

"After I check in, I have to get the script for the entire stadium and take it out to the people who do the interviews and the scoreboard," Jordan said. "Whenever the Phanatic has activities, we have to organize them and make sure he is where he needs to be. When someone does the national anthem, we have to get the person down to the field and make sure they're prepared. Everything I do is very time sensitive."

Jordan first learned about the opportunity to work part time for Citizens Bank Park through an email from the Athletics Department. After applying and securing an interview, he was offered the job. Though he originally began working in the Hall of Fame Club and Suites, Jordan has since transferred to the Marketing and Promotions team, where he hopes to make a career out of the opportunity.

"It's been very beneficial to my life," he said. "I've been able to talk to various people in the sports field. I've met the owner and manager of the Phillies. Just being able to be around such important people of a great organization impacts me and motivates me to continue to do positive things within my major."

Being able to watch every Phillies home game, concerts at venue, and other activities hosted by Citizens Bank Park has taught Jordan a lot about the business he hopes to soon be in. As an athlete, Jordan has always had a vested interest in what was happening on the field. With his major, he is looking to find out how the upper management of these professional franchisees works.

What's his dream job, you ask?

"Although I travel every summer to different states throughout the country, becoming a member of a Major League Baseball Front Office would be a dream come true. What other place would I enjoy this more than Philadelphia, where I could always see my friends and family, while enjoying my dream job?"

Drama Club Explores Love, Life, and Careers in “Edges”

HFU Musical "Edges" April 2016Under the production direction of Gina MacKenzie and musical direction of Sue Trotter, the Holy Family University Drama Club will perform the musical “Edges” on April 9-10.

“Edges” is a contemporary musical that gives us a glimpse into the lives of young adults as they struggle to find their places in love, life, and career. While they navigate through the worlds of first jobs, first loves, and social media, the audience sees how difficult it can be to start out on the edge of adulthood. Music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul challenge both the audience and the performers to listen to intricate rhythms and the little voices in our own heads.

“It’s great to be able to bring a musical like ‘Edges’ to the stage at Holy Family University,” MacKenzie said. “Even with a small cast, the musical will bring a relatable experience to the stage for the audience. We’ve all dealt with the themes of first love, first jobs, trying to fit in, the age of social media. This musical is a direct representation of all of these things we’ve all gone through at one point or another. It is a great production and can’t wait for people to see it.”

Opening night will be on Saturday, April 9 at 7 pm. On Sunday, April 10, the show will begin at 2 pm. General admission tickets are $5 and all students who present their school ID are free. Snacks and refreshments will be served.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Gina MacKenzie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 267-341-3649.

Getting to Know: Dr. Madigan Fichter

Dr. Madigan FichterA new Assistant Professor teaching History in the School of Arts and Sciences, Madigan Fichter, PhD brings vast knowledge about Eastern Europe and the Balkans to the classroom. She sat down with Holy Family University to discuss her background, her struggles with the foreign research archives, and her current taste in music.

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

MF: “I received my PhD from New York University in History. I specialize in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. I specifically work on the socialist period and I write about 60s counter culture and student protest movements in the Balkans during that time.”

HFU: What sparked your interest in that particular region?

MF: “My interest was first peaked after watching this crazy counter culture movie from the 70s that was made in Yugoslavia. I was really fascinated by the idea that there would be counter culture and student protest movements in the socialist world, not only in the west. The stereotype is that students in Chicago or Paris, including the May 1968 incident in Paris, are the big iconic moments of the global 60s. But this was also happening in the socialist world.”

HFU: Besides studying this era of history, are there any additional areas of history that fascinate you?

MF: “The Balkans is my area of specialization. Generally speaking, I think of myself as somebody who works on Europe, who thinks about Europe in the world. I like to think I study Europe at its largest extent.”

HFU: Students today are used to a fast-paced high-tech learning experience. How can you incorporate some of that into your lessons about history?

MF: “Something I think is really essential to what I do in the classroom is use technology. Sometimes we will watch a small clip of a documentary that will show us the architecture of an Aztec city. Sometimes it’s a whole film. In the course I am currently teaching on social movements, we are watching a film about the Algerian War in the 50s and 60s. The movie itself is a historical source, but it is also a way to have a visual representation of what history looked like. I sometimes try to incorporate music and I try to bring in a lot of primary source documents as something to get a discussion going. These give us more of an inside look of what it meant to be from that period.”

HFU: You’re currently working on a book manuscript titled Balkan Underground: Counterculture and Student Rebellion in Southeastern Europe, 1965-1975. What can you tell me about it?

MF: “My big goal for the summer is to try and hammer out a pretty solid draft to get a book contract going. It’s about the counter culture and student activism in the 1960s. One of the big ideas I’m interested in is trying to use this as a way to argue that the Balkans isn’t this weird outlier that doesn’t quite fit in to Europe—that is somehow out of the normal flow of history. The usual way of perceiving the Balkans is that it’s a bunch of crazy people who want to kill each other and don’t know anything else. However, we see that they are sophisticated counter cultures that are every bit engaged in the world as anyone else. I’m trying to show that the Balkans are part of the world, part of history, and that they’re an important part of European history. The west is not the only way that we can understand counter culture. I’m trying to decentralize the west as the gold standard for how we understand student protest in the 1960s.”

HFU: With such a fascination in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Romania. and Yugoslavia, have you ever had a chance to travel to these locations and what was that experience like?

MF: “I’ve spent a considerable amount of time doing research in the Balkans. It’s always exciting and challenging. They’re not always the easiest countries to do archival research in—for example, ex-socialist secret police archives are not the most straight forward to use. But I also did a lot of oral history, which meant that I went and interviewed a lot of former student protestors. It’s something that I find truly fascinating. At the end of the day, the stories that you find while tracking down documents and finding the right people to talk to is the thing that keeps me excited about what I’m doing.

HFU: Outside of the classroom, what are some of your hobbies?

MF: “I’d say that I am a pretty passionate music fan. I love music. I’m a very big blues fan, so I like the old blues guys. I’ve been on a Billie Holiday kick, so I guess I have some interest in jazz as well. I am very into film, and there is a film festival happening right now that I wish I was at because it combines all of my interests. It is about films from the jazz age, so it would be really cool to check that out if I have the time.”