Robbins and Stokes-DuPass Lead the Charge for Study Abroad

SR - ItalyWith more than 24 countries between them, Dr. Shelly Robbins, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor, and Dr. Nicole Stokes-DuPass, Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor, know a thing or two about study abroad trips. Robbins and Stokes-DuPass see the merit in both short-term and long-term study abroad trips. The pair sat down with Holy Family University to discuss the benefits of these trips, their reasons for leading multiple trips to foreign countries, and their favorite destinations.

HFU: What are your thoughts on the documented benefits of short-term study abroad trips?

NSD: “I firmly believe that study abroad opportunities are an essential part of the higher education experience. Now more than ever because we live in an increasingly globalized world and our students will need cultural competency skills in order to compete with their peers in the global economy. The higher education literature supports this claim. Kuh (2008) identifies study abroad as one of the high-impact activities of a university experiences as measured by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Specifically, the data shows that first-year students and seniors who participated in these high-impact activities reported greater gains in learning and personal development. Many students and parents ask if there are real benefits to traveling for 8-12 days versus spending a semester or an academic year abroad. A recent research study at Michigan State University examined this exact question. They found that even short-term study abroad programs enhance students in four major ways: Academic/intellectual—problem solving and language skills, historical knowledge; Professional—professional contacts, direction for future career choices; Personal—an appreciation for the United States, confidence, personal identity, increased flexibility; and Intercultural Interest—an interest in other cultures, diminished ethnocentrism, language skills, cultural sensitivity”

SR: “Short-term study abroad trips allow students enrolled in highly structured academic programs to experience the benefits of international travel. Like Nicole said, these include increased cultural sensitivity, openness to new experiences, increased self-confidence, and a better view of the United States’ place in the world. On a practical level, students gain experience in using different currency, trying a new language, and visiting sites they may have only heard about or seen on TV. This allows students to understand the importance of geography and politics first hand.”

HFU: What have been some of the personal reasons for you leading these study abroad trips?

SR: “I did not travel outside of North America until I was 30. My whole understanding of the world and my comfort zone was changed at 30 by a trip to Israel and Egypt. I remember my sense of awe when seeing the Sphinx for the first time. I love that component of travel. I want to instill in them the sense that there is more in the world than the area around campus. There may even be better places than Wawa to get lunch.”

NSD: “I’m a strong advocate for study abroad and I have created these opportunities for the past 10 years because I have personally observed the change in students prior to and upon return from a study abroad experience. Many return with a broadened perspective on a myriad of social issues, tangible skills of being able to navigate daily life in a new country, and communicate with people from cultural backgrounds that are different from their own. As our workplace and society becomes more diverse, and as globalization of business intensifies, an individual’s sensitivity to cultural differences, combined with an ability to adapt his or her behavior to those differences, will become increasingly valuable.”

NSD-FinlandHFU: Why did you select the countries that you did for study abroad trips?

NSD: “Because I always include a strong academic component to the programs that I lead, I will often choose countries that I have great familiarity with, or where I have conducted prior research. I am a political sociologist who explores issues of public policy, citizenship studies, international migration, and nationalism. For me, it is important that travelers have tangible connections to their respective majors and are able to leave the experience exposed to new and different ways to tackle common social issues. For example, the criminal justice majors who traveled with me to Finland got the opportunity to visit a prison in Helsinki, where the approach to criminal justice is more focused on rehabilitation than on retribution or punishment. The goal of this visit was not to identify which system is ‘better or worse,’ but rather to have our students exposed to models for addressing crime that are unique or different from the models that our society uses—a broadening of perspective.”

SR: “Initially we chose destinations that were not too challenging, but exotic enough. In 2008, I was asked not to take students to Paris because of the ‘language barrier.’ But I wanted Paris, so we persevered. We have been back there several times. More recently, I have begun asking students where they want to go. Italy and Australia/New Zealand grew from those open invitations to students.”

HFU: Out of all of your trips, what has been your favorite country and favorite moment?

SR: “Personally, my favorite was our visit to Turkey and the day we spent in Troy. As a Classics minor, this was the top of my bucket list. As we walked through the ruined city, I was able to talk about the history of Troy VI and its archaeology. We covered everything from the Trojan Horse to Schliemann’s Trench.”

NSD: “This is difficult for me to answer because they all offer unique experiences. One of my favorite ‘teachable moments’ was having a conversation with a criminal justice student who also worked for one of our state prisons after we visited a medium security facility in Finland. This particular facility did not refer to the residents as prisoners. They trained staff to use the term ‘client’ instead because of Labeling Theory. The director who spoke to our group said that the term prisoner would label someone for life, and what would happen after they serve their time and leave the facility? After the visit, the student said, ‘I learned about Labeling Theory in my classes, but never thought about it being applied in that way in terms of the language that we as practitioners toward the people in our prisons.’”

What is Marketing? Just Ask Dr. Donald Goeltz

Attendees at a recent SCORE Bucks County event were able to learn about marketing and its transformation over the past 50 years courtesy of Dr. Donald Goeltz, Associate Professor in the School of Business Administration and Extended Learning.

As a member of SCORE Bucks County, Goeltz has been active in counseling startups and small businesses, as well as meeting with over 20 clients throughout the year. The services are free and confidential. Businesses range from a machine shop in Bristol to a youth band in Perkasie to a yarn distributor in Doylestown. Individuals utilize SCORE Bucks County meetings to learn, ask questions, and receive further counseling sessions.

"The seminar attendees seemed to enjoy the overview of the history of marketing, the description of the current impact of digital, search, and social media on marketing, and my view of a more digital future,” Goeltz said. “My contribution to SCORE is returned many times over by working with the entrepreneurs and small businesses. It also keeps me grounded in the classroom, as these are real businesses, not just textbook cases."

SCORE National was formed 50 years ago as resource partner to the Small Business Administration to help aspiring and existing businesses. SCORE Bucks County has served small businesses in Bucks County for over 25 years and includes 54 active volunteers, counseling offices in Fairless Hills, Doylestown, and Quakertown, over 1,500 client services yearly, 25 seminars/webinars annually, and 5,300 regular subscribers to newsletters.

Emily Gilmour Accepted into Hofstra’s Graduate PA Program

emily gilmourNot even a month removed from walking across the stage at the Kimmel Center where she accepted her diploma and turned her tassel, Emily Gilmour ’16 will move on to Hempstead, NY and attend Hofstra University, where she will study to be a Physician’s Assistant (PA).

A Psychobiology major while at Holy Family University, Gilmour knew she had a passion for the sciences since high school. A 12-day medical camp in Washington DC with the National Youth Leadership program before her junior year at Conwell-Egan Catholic showed Gilmour that it wasn’t just science, but medicine, that she was truly interested in.

“Since I was young I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in science,” Gilmour said. “During that camp, I learned about the various aspects medicine had to offer me. It was at this camp I knew I wanted to become a Physician’s Assistant. At the end of the trip I made the decision to shadow a PA to see what it was like on a daily basis. After that experience, there was no doubt that this was the career path for me.”

One moment still sticks out in particular to Gilmour during her shadowing experience—a pivotal moment that solidified her decision to pursue medicine.

“The PA I was following was treating a critically ill patient from a prison who was not responding to previous medical treatment,” she said. “He was going to be intubated for a period of time in order to reverse his condition. Right before he was sedated, he grabbed my hand, looked me in the eyes, and asked if I would say a prayer with him and continue to hold his hand until it was over. I didn’t let go of his hand until the procedure was over. In that moment, knowing that I was able to comfort him, assured me that this was the career for me. Being a PA is physically, intellectually, and emotionally demanding, but in the end, it’s worth it.”

Gilmour’s education at Holy Family University has prepared her for an in-depth medical education. Whether it was her coursework or the values instilled in her from Holy Family, Gilmour feels ready to face her next journey head-on.

“HFU has provided me with the necessary foundation to become a Physician’s Assistant,” she said. “Everything I have learned set the ground work for my future career. The core values of Holy Family University were embedded in each and every one of my courses. Holy Family’s motto, ‘I’m bound by my responsibilities,’ will continue to be an important reminder in my future education and career. I will be responsible for my patient’s wellbeing, but that is exactly what I want to be doing.”

Using what she has learned in the classroom at Holy Family, combined with her work as a Unit Secretary at Lower Bucks Hospital in Bristol, Gilmour hopes to work in an ER after receiving her PA degree.

“During my time at Lower Bucks Hospital, I’ve learned how to take vitals, interact with patients, perform electrocardiograms, and assist doctors during routine procedures,” Gilmour said. “This job has validated my passion to work in an ER. I love the fast paced environment and variety of patients that an ER brings. I’d also like to specialize in trauma because I like the adrenaline rush you get while thinking on your feet.”

Gilmour has had an impact on those who taught her as well. Dr. Chris Carbone, Assistant Professor of Biology, has witnessed Gilmour’s success in the classroom first hand and knows that she has all the tools of the trade to succeed in such a program.

“During my interactions with Emily both in and out of the classroom, she has continuously demonstrated herself as an intelligent, mature, compassionate, and motivated young woman that knows the meaning of hard work and dedication,” Carbone said. “She has developed a real and genuine fascination with medicine and understands that medical knowledge must translate into the appropriate patient care and proper bedside manner to be a successful Physician’s Assistant. She possesses all the core virtues, passion, intellectual capacities, and practical life experiences that will allow her to excel in any PA program.”

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

Pam Flynn Presents Showcase on Gun Violence in the Community

PamFlynn ConsideringHarmPam Flynn, Professor of Art and Coordinator of Fine Arts, will present mixed media original works during an art exhibit titled Considering Harm at the Orange Public Library on Tuesday, June 14 from 5:30 pm – 7 pm. Considering Harm examines the realities of gun violence in the community.

The event is part of NeighborWorks Week 2016, with organizations such as HANDS, ValleyArts, University of Orange, Not Orange, the Orange Public Library and the City of Orange Township participating in the weeklong slate of events.

"Considering Harm in Orange, NJ, has brought a strong reaction from the Orange community,” Flynn said. “The opening on June 2 brought meaningful conversation about gun violence in the Orange community. Conversation is the first step to change, and after this weekend and the Orlando shootings, sensible change will be our first step to safer communities in America."

According to Tap into West Orange, “The mixed-media original works of art by Pamela Flynn are paired with text about incidents of gun violence in the Orange, NJ area—together creating tension forcing the viewer to consider harm. Considering Harm is traveling through major US cities. Each time Considering Harm is exhibited, it is tailored to fit the particular location; drawing attention to the harm gun violence brings to local individuals and communities. The work has been exhibited in New York City, Philadelphia, Frederick, Maryland and Alexandria, Virginia.”

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.”

Linda Rowan Honored During “Women Who Make A Difference” Event

salute to womenCongratulations to Linda Rowan ’92, who was honored during YWCA Bucks County’s “Salute to Women Who Make A Difference” event.

Rowan, a board member for Alpha Sigma Lambda, Delta Delta Chapter of Holy Family University, received her award during a ceremony on Thursday, May 12 at the Pen Ryn Mansion.

Rowan has been a resident of Bucks County for 40 years. In addition to Holy Family University, Rowan holds degrees from Penn State University and Drexel University. Her teaching career has included early childhood education and elementary teaching, along with 15 years as a school librarian. Rowan currently works as a reference librarian for the Free Library of Northampton Township and has been chair of the Founders Campership Fund since its establishment in 1999.

The “Salute to Women Who Make A Difference” event celebrated 25 years of recognizing the outstanding service of remarkable Bucks County women. YWCA Bucks County is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

Counseling Psychology Presents at PACES Eastern Regional Conference

Three members of the Counseling Psychology faculty presented at the Pennsylvania Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors (PACES) Eastern Regional Conference in Plymouth Meeting on April 15. The topic, "Preventing Academic Burnout: How To Stay Cool At School When Your Professional Plate is Full" was created by Dr. James Huber, Dr. Diane Shea, and Lisa Corbin.

The one-hour interactive workshop explored multiple roles and academic demands of faculty who are counselor educators, supervisors, researchers, and clinicians, and how they can manage the increased number of overlapping workplace stressors in higher education.

"As counselors and educators, we need to avoid the Caring Paradox" Huber said. “This states, ‘take my advice. I'm not using it!’ and instead practice the self-care suggestions we give to our clients and students every day."

The presentation included 10 practical suggestions for being active and productive in academia while still preventing burnout. Some of their tips included:

  • Stop working through lunch
  • Take care of your physical health
  • Enjoy a passion unrelated to work
  • Connect with others
  • Nourish your spiritual health
  • Workplace balance
  • Keep a healthy sense of humor

"We engaged colleagues in fun activities to demonstrate some realistic ways to incorporate self-care into everyday life," Corbin said. “It was a great conference to showcase these tips for preventing burnout.”

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.”