Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame to name 2016 Inductees at HFU

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

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

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

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

Ashley Beck Turns Coding Internship Into New Opportunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blue Mass Celebrates Police, Fire, and Public Safety Professionals

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hornbach’s Calling Leads Her to the Library

AnnHornbach sized“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

~Stephen King

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glen Foerd-HFU Speaker Series: “Expanding Philadelphia's Parks in the 21st Century” on May 6


Glen Foerd-Holy Family University Speaker Series

Join us as James McClelland and Lynn Miller, authors of the recently published City in a Park, will present "Expanding Philadelphia's Parks in the 21st Century” on Friday, May 6, at 7 pm in the ETC Auditorium.

Fairmount Park, the municipal park system of Philadelphia that is the focus of their book, encompasses more than 11,000 acres and is one of the largest landscaped urban park systems in the world. Their talk will consider its expansion over the last 25 years. They will also sign copies of their book, which will be available for purchase.


Debby Kramer Presents at Tri-State College Library Cooperative Annual Spring Program


Debby Kramer, the Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian at Holy Family University, recently presented at the 2016 Tri-State College Library Cooperative (TCLC) Annual Spring Program on April 8, 2016 at Chestnut Hill College.

Presenting during a panel discussion titled, "Student Outreach: Ways to Connect through Library Programming," Kramer’s portion of the presentation was titled "Using PA Forward as a Framework." The presentation was an overview of recent activities and programs that the HFU Library staff has used as outreach to engage students and other Holy Family University related communities. It included programming in support of PA Forward's five literacy initiatives: basic, information, civic and social, health, and financial.

“Presenting at TCLC's Annual Spring Program, which focused on the impact that academic libraries can have on students, was a great opportunity to share information about the programming our library staff offers Holy Family students and members of the community,” Kramer said. “In preparing for this presentation, I was made aware of the wide variety of programs the library has offered our campus community. These efforts help to create a positive, caring, fun, and educational environment, which in turn can contribute to student retention.”


Amato and Goeltz Represent Holy Family University at Green Business Panel Discussion

Luanne Amato and Dr. Donald Goeltz represented Holy Family University during a panel discussion: “Green Business: It's More Than a Color” on Thursday, April 21 at the American Heritage Federal Credit Union. The event was sponsored by PECO and facilitated by the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Amato moderated the event while Goeltz sat on the panel.

“We were very pleased that the School of Business Administration and Extended Learning could participate in the Chamber panel on the green movement,” Goeltz said. "Professor Amato and I talked about our student activities, such as the Green Team, as well as how being green reflects the Holy Family University mission. We also illustrated how we integrate social responsibility, including the ‘triple bottom line,’ into the SBA curriculum. It was a great opportunity to support the Chamber and reach out to the business community.”

Luanne Amato
Holy Family University, School of Business Administration and Extended Learning

Luanne Amato retired from a 27-year career in Healthcare Administration as Executive Director of the Holy Redeemer Ambulatory Surgery Center. Most of her early healthcare experience was at Fox Chase Cancer Center, where she served as the administrative liaison between patient financial services and the medical community. Recently, Amato was hired full time at Holy Family University, after serving as an adjunct professional for 15 years. Amato is responsible for the facilitation of two seminars at Holy Family University: Change Management and Career Development, and she participated as an examiner for the Keystone Alliance for Professional Excellence (KAPE) Quality Award.

Dr. Donald R. Goeltz
Holy Family University, School of Business Administration and Extended Learning

Dr. Donald R. Goeltz's focus is to teach the theory, as well as the practice of business, through examples in the business media. Among the courses he has taught are: Introduction to Business, Principles of Advertising, Principles of Marketing, Digital Marketing, and Strategic Marketing. Along with his colleague Dr. Jan W. Budzylowski, he presented a paper last year at the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians conference titled, "Calculating Technology Base and Technology Overlap Using Patent Citations." He has published numerous articles and has been cited in several books about business competition.

Dr. Dan Mankowski Presented Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching By SAS

Dr. Dan Mankowski was recently presented the annual Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching by the School of Arts and Sciences during the school’s faculty meeting on April 12.

"I am overwhelmed and honored in receiving the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching,” Mankowski said. “It feels great to have your work recognized by your peers. Thank you to the School of Arts and Sciences for this designation."

Mankowski, an Assistant Professor of Speech and Theater, has taught classes on public speaking, theater, and various theater workshops.

“Dr. Mankowski was selected to receive the 2016 Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching for several reasons,” said Shelly Robbins, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “He volunteered to take over coordination of ENGL 115 - Public Speaking so that all sections would have a consistent experience. He works with adjuncts to assure they are all using the same online resources and require the same types of speeches from students. He created a rubric for Oral Communication that is the standard, not only for this course, but for General Education as well. This will allow all faculty to share a minimum standard for oral presentations across the institution. He also works with all of our students presenting at the SEPCHE Honors Conference to assist them in practicing and polishing their presentations for this event.”

Strittmatter’s Childhood Obsession Becomes A Lifelong Career

alyssa strittmatter sizedIt all started with a plastic red toy.

“When I was younger, my parents gave me a red plastic microscope as a gift,” Alyssa Strittmatter, a graduate of the class of 2012, said. “I was constantly using it, looking at slides, insects, or just grabbing dirt from my backyard. Anything that I could put on to a slide, I would look at it for hours under this tiny handheld toy. Ever since then I knew I wanted to be behind the lens of a microscope.”

Knowing that science was her calling—Strittmatter spent time after high school carefully selecting the perfect college for her desires.

“One of the main reasons why I chose Holy Family University was because I knew exactly what I wanted to do as a career,” she said. “Holy Family is one of the only colleges close to me that offered classes and a clinical program for my specialized medical field. Other colleges tried manipulating my career path by advising me to focus in other sciences, rather than the field I knew I so desperately wanted to be in. Holy Family captured the vision for my future from the start and never tried leading me astray.”

Even Holy Family’s name ignited a close connection with Strittmatter. Growing up in a Catholic household, her faith was an important aspect in her college selection.

“Besides the fact that I fell in love with the cherry-blossomed campus, what won me over was the ringing of the church bells down the street,” she said. “Being Catholic, I was never far from my family’s church. I could hear the church bells every day from any part of my neighborhood. The bells reminded me of home. I knew right away that I could make Holy Family University my home away from home.” 

Making the decision to move away from home and live on campus, Strittmatter would persue a degree in Biology, taking the first initial steps on her path to her dream job. Of course, an upgraded microscope didn’t hurt, either.

“I knew the next couple years would open up new opportunities and experiences for me, but I didn't know the advanced knowledge I would be receiving on scientific topics beyond the medical field,” she said. “The sciences in this lifetime are such incredible areas to explore and they expand further than any person could reach. Holy Family allowed me to gain knowledge in not only my field of study, but in biological sciences far beyond the human body.”

Throughout her time at Holy Family University, Strittmatter always had the support of her parents back at home. When she was young, it was tough for Strittmatter to fully comprehend what her mother did. Now, as she worked towards her own degree in biology, Strittmatter was able to talk and relate her studies to the work her mom did.

“I had no concept of what my mother did for work because I was so young,” she said. “I didn't fully grasp her career until middle school when my science course discussed cultural diseases. My mother went into detail about how she works in a laboratory where she performs testing to detect infectious diseases. She was and still is a scientist of viral pathogens. I wouldn't know what medical technology was or the importance of it without her.”

“Many people don't realize that there is a team of healthcare professionals behind a doctor's diagnosis. There is so much behind-the-scenes work that goes into patient care and I love being a member of that team. My mother taught me that in this line of work, I'm not just holding a test tube. I'm holding the life of a patient, a family member, or a child. I take so much pride in my work and I couldn't be happier that I followed in her footsteps.” 

Strittmatter’s senior year was remote, spending her time off campus at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children as part of the Medical Laboratory Science program. This unique experience provided her with an extra step above other graduates, and even helped Strittmatter secure her first job after graduation, as a Medical Laboratory Scientist at the hospital. Holy Family is affiliated with the Medical Laboratory Science program at St. Christopher's. When she applied to work at the program, she was told there were over 50 applications submitted and only eight students were accepted.

“When I received a call from the program director that I had been accepted, I knew that everything I had done up to that moment was the right choice,” she said.

Working in the Hematology, Chemistry, Urinalysis, Microbiology, Virology, and Immunohematology departments at St. Christopher’s, Strittmatter is able to assist doctors in diagnoses, making sure the patient is receiving the best care for his or her ailment. Looking back, her journey to becoming a Medical Laboratory Scientist started with a plastic red microscope, but ended at Holy Family University.

“My educational experiences were intense, yet rewarding,” Strittmatter said. “Not only was I able to open a textbook and read all about the depths of science, I was given the opportunity to take the information I had just learned and apply it in the laboratory. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome. This was the exact reason why I attended Holy Family—to make my childhood dream my adult reality. Holy Family University gave me the opportunity to turn my passion into a career.”