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Thought Leaders' Blog

Whether of national interest or local importance, dialogue is a cornerstone of higher education.

Holy Family University is fortunate to have skilled educators and influencers who have deep understanding and personal connection to timely conversations. Please enjoy our Thought Leaders’ Blog, where members of our University will periodically share first-person columns about today’s trending topics.

Addressing the Opioid Crisis: Nursing’s Role

Cynthia Russell TLB web

By Cynthia Russell, PhD, RN, FAAN, PCC, NBC-HWC
Dean, School of Nursing & Allied Health Professions

Recognized as a public health emergency, the opioid crisis in the United States is beginning to get the recognition that it deserves. This past month, Dr. Mary Frances Suter, Doctor of Nursing Practice Director; Julia Scherpenberg, Family Nurse Practitioner Coordinator; and I were privileged to be among the regional healthcare providers and educators to attend the Independence Blue Cross Foundation’s Conference, “Someone You Know: Facing the Opioid Crisis Together.” This remarkable one-day event focused on giving voice to the individuals and their families impacted by opioid addiction. In addition, experts from around the nation and region shared leading trends in treatment, research, and grassroots educational efforts.

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Combating Fake News


By Barry Dickinson, PhD
Dean, School of Business Administration

We have access to more information today than at any other time in history. The information is instantaneously accessible through a device that we carry in our hand. We are bombarded with news notifications, emails, texts, and trending stories. When we notice something that is of interest, we pass it along to others or discuss it with our colleagues without much thought. Do we take the time to evaluate the credibility of the message or the news? How do we discern information from “fake news” or “alternative truth?”

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Reading, Writing, Arithmetic...and Civility

Kevin ThoughtLeaders 2By Kevin Zook, PhD
Dean of the School of Education

A woman goes out with a friend to a public restaurant for breakfast, a quiet morning of coffee and conversation. She is soon noticed by others who utilize various forms of “social” media to convene an angry mob to surround and harass her. Why is she targeted for such treatment? She dares to be an African-American woman who publicly articulates political views that challenge the status quo. A quiet breakfast incites an angry mob thanks to ideological intolerance and the ability to attract other like-minded bigots quickly and easily via “social” media.

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Developing the Soft Skills

Shelley ThoughtLeaders

By Shelley Robbins, PhD
Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

As Dean of Arts and Sciences, I frequently read reports of employer panels describing the skill set they are hoping to see in college graduates entering the job market. Almost without exception, employers are not looking for specific learning of facts that would happen in a major course. Employers are looking for broader cognitive abilities that will transfer from one project to another. More specifically, employers are looking to hire new graduates who can communicate effectively, use new data and technology to solve problems, think outside the box, and adapt to a changing world.

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