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.

What Does “Christian” Mean Today?

JS TLBBy Joseph Stoutzenberger, PhD
Professor, Religious Studies

As a Religious-Studies professor, I ask my students to tell me about their religious background. I find it’s important to know given our subject matter. Lately I’m finding more students who identify themselves as “Christian.” Not Baptist or Methodist, simply Christian. Some even say they were raised Catholic but are now Christian.  

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Preserving Academic Integrity in Writing at the College Level

NF ThoughtLeaders Template

By Nicole Fortuna, MLA
Professional Writing Tutor
Center for Academic Enhancement

Grammarly.com is my virtual nemesis.

And its older, invasive cousin, autocorrect, is on the precipice of ruining my credibility with loved ones. Despite Grammarly.com’s sleek, relatable marketing and blatant appeal to the younger millennial audience (who often learned how to write essays on their school-issued tablets rather than with paper and pencil), I wholeheartedly reject this “improvement” app. In an age of hegemonic text automation alongside a ubiquitous adoption of online learning, how do we continue to preserve academic integrity and authenticity in writing at the college level?

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Whisper Down the Lane and Data Quality

Bernice Purcell TLB

By Bernice Purcell, DBA
Associate Dean and Professor
School of Business Administration

Have you ever played whisper down the lane? That’s the children’s game where someone whispers a sentence to a second person, who whispers it to a third, and so on, until the last person hears it. When the last person says the sentence out loud, it is typically not the same thing that the first person said. 

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“…and Justice for All.” – Inclusive Education is Backward by Design

TLB Brian BerryBy Brian Berry, PhD
Professor
School of Education

As an educator preparing current and future teachers of students with disAbilities, I am interested in the richness of the American educational system, which is nothing if it isn’t a promise to a better future for all and not just the most privileged. American education has always been intertwined in the social and political realities of the day, with schools reflecting the impulses in society. Whether it was a family in Kansas in the 1950s disgusted with the inferiority of separate schooling (Brown vs. Board of Education) or family members in Pennsylvania in the 1970s challenging nonexistent education and low expectations entrenched in state-sponsored segregated special schools (PARC decree), education has always been a mirror on what is happening in America and a bell weather on how America strives to live up to its promises.

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Riding The Roller Coaster of Knowledge

Don Goeltz WebBy Don Goeltz, DPS
Associate Professor Management-Marketing
School of Business Administration

We are all on the roller coaster of knowledge. Warning: it is very scary, but we have no choice and are in for the ride.

Knowledge has a half-life, so we are plunging downward on the knowledge roller coaster as the value of what we know decreases. At the same time, we are also hanging on for dear life as the volume of new knowledge increases exponentially, making the ride back up quite steep. To make matters worse, the roller coaster of knowledge gets steeper and falls more quickly each year.

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The Adult Learner

Karen Galardi web

By Karen Galardi, EdD
Dean, Graduate and Professional Studies

Have you ever wondered why adults look for opportunities to learn? Some may be seeking new knowledge and skills while others may be looking for opportunities for career advancement. There are even those looking for a new skill set that will prepare them for a complete career change. Whatever the motivation, adult students may face unanticipated barriers and challenges when looking to return to college. Oftentimes, these students are working full-time, may have personal responsibilities such as a spouse, children, or caring for elderly parents, or have financial obligations.

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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

BarryDickinson

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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