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magazine

Inspiring Hope in Poverty

Against All Odds

Doctor Word

Tess Gerritsen parlayed her passion for medicine into a

calling to be a creative writer. The result — a storied career as a best-selling novelist with more than 24 titles to her credit, including the book that spawned characters Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, now part of the & Isles” (starring Angie Harmon, left, and Sasha Alexander, right).

By Kristin Boyd

16 Alvernia University Magazine

LEFT: TNT/ MATTHEW ROLSTON; RIGHT: JESSICA HILLS

hit TNT television show “Rizzoli

While on maternity leave and caring for her two young sons, physician Tess Gerritsen gave birth to a new career: writing. “I was a subscriber to Honolulu magazine, which was having its first-ever fiction contest,” Gerritsen recalls. “I thought, ‘Well, I’ll give it a whirl.’” To her surprise, Gerritsen’s semi-fictionalized story about a boy who’s coping with a repeatedly suicidal mother won the contest, and she decided to leave her successful medical practice and pursue a writing career. “My children took long naps. That gave me time to write,” she says. “One page a day gets you a novel in a year. If you make it a routine to write every single day, you’ll have a story.” Now a New York Times best-selling author of two dozen books, Gerritsen recently earned acclaim for creating the popular characters of homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles. The pair inspired the hit TNT television show “Rizzoli & Isles,” starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. Gerritsen, whose combined passion for medicine and writing has made her a soughtafter speaker, spoke in October to a captivated Alvernia audience, many of whom were aspiring writers, as a featured presenter in the university’s annual Literary Festival. Her focus – finding great story ideas and explaining the difficult process of creative idea generation. “It’s harder than you think to come up with a good premise. We all think we have good ideas, but if it doesn’t ring that emotional bell, it’s probably not a good idea,” says Gerritsen, who released her latest book, Last to Die, in August. “You need that punch-in-the-gut moment that makes you want to keep reading because you have to know what’s going to happen next.” Sue Guay, assistant professor of English and communication and chair of the annual Literary Festival at Alvernia, extended a personal invite to Gerritsen. “We’re dedicated to finding writers who focus on topics of interest to students, faculty, staff and community members,” Guay says. “Tess is an extraordinary medical mystery writer whose journey supports the idea that careers evolve and that hard work and determination are key factors in achieving success.” “I always liked the fact that [Gerritsen] turned her medical career into a writing career,” Guay adds. “Tess is very well educated. She is articulate. She is the epitome of an excellent

“One page a day gets you a novel in a year. If you make it a routine to write every single day, you’ll have a story.” Tess Gerritsen

Continued on page 50

Alvernia University Magazine

17

16 | Word Doctor Inspiration from best-selling novelist Tess Gerritsen

In fall of 1962, 2,000 CatholIC bIshops proCessed Into st. peter’s

Revolution Faith

basIlICa to begIn what’s been desCrIbed as the most Important relIgIous event of the 20th Century: the seCond vatICan eCumenICal CounCIl. fIfty years later, vatICan II has Indeed Changed the way the CatholIC faIth engages Contemporary soCIety and revolutIonIzed the way the ChurCh defInes Itself — and Its relatIonshIp wIth the modern world. 

by peggy landers Pope Paul VI, who played a crucial role in developing and implementing Vatican II, blesses the city of Rome from the main loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica.

18 Alvernia University Magazine

18 | 50 Years of Vatican II A look at the most important religious event of the 20th Century

bite

F

arm-to-table. Nose-to-tail. Sustainable eating. These terms are ubiquitous in foodie manuals urging a diet based on locally grown ingredients. Ian Knauer, the acclaimed food writer who finds his inspiration on his family’s centuries-old farm about 15 miles southeast of Alvernia’s campus, and who spoke on campus in October, says these buzzwords reflect old common-sense ideas. Mouth-watering dishes result when creative cooks respect the earth. It makes sense to use a whole animal and eat edible weeds flourishing in your garden – hence Knauer’s recipes for purslane salad and a whole pig roasted in a pit. “The apples are ripe when the apples are ripe,” says Knauer, best known for his time as a food editor at Gourmet magazine. “It’s egotistical for us to decide that we should eat asparagus in February.” His muse is the 40-acre farm five miles west of the village of St. Peters. Johann Christopher Knauer brought his family there from Germany in the mid-1700s. Nearly 300 years later it inspired Knauer (yes, you pronounce the K) to author a cookbook, The Farm, which was published in April. It sprinkles morsels of memoir among 150 recipes starring ingredients he’s grown or foraged himself. When Sue Guay, assistant professor of English and communication, read a review of The Farm in the Reading Eagle, she thought Knauer was exactly the type of writer she should invite to speak at Alvernia during the Greater Reading Literary Festival. “Berks County takes great pride in local recipes and home-grown food,” says Guay, chair of the literary festival committee. She was also impressed by how Knauer

taking a

stressed the value of preserving land, which hits home in Greater Reading’s agricultural areas. Knauer says his family never entertained the idea of selling its farm, even during the last decade’s housing boom. “It’s a whole lot of memories and history all in one,” says cousin Leif Collins, sipping coffee in the farmhouse kitchen paneled with century-old floral wallpaper. “This place is a living object.” During his visit to Alvernia, Knauer addressed a full house for his presentation that focused on passion for creative cooking with a holistic bent. The event included a brief cooking lesson, preparing one of his favorite recipes, “Potato Nachos,” much to the delight of the audience. No one lives on the farm full-time. Knauer travels there frequently from his home in New Hope, Bucks County. He and sisters Cecily and Haley grow a garden that sprouts a cornucopia including hot peppers, brussels sprouts, onions, lettuce Continued on page 49

Acclaimed food writer Ian Knauer finds his inspiration on his family’s centuries-old farm 15 miles southeast of Alvernia’s campus.

out of life

By Rebecca VanderMeulen

42 Alvernia University Magazine

42 | Bite Out of Life A knosh with acclaimed foodie Ian Knauer

Also inside:

6 | News

Spoken Hand, new major, interfaith award

25 | Aspirations & Inspirations Exciting plans for campus

Cover: Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos; right: Theo Anderson

Winter/Spring 2013

Alvernia’s men’s soccer team goes head-to-head with Widener University in the shadows of the newly opened Founders Village apartment units 3 & 4. The Crusaders clinched the ECAC South title with a win over Marywood. See page 10 for more.

32 | Healthcare in High Gear Career training for the future

36 | Cover Story Inspiring Hope in Poverty Against All Odds

Alvernia views its commitment to the Berks County community as essential to its mission.

Today the

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Service and Holleran Center for Community Service provide provocative programs on important current topics — including local political debates — while our Arts & Culture Series now brings a diverse selection of local and national artists and performers to campus. This fall, Alvernia launched two major initiatives fundamental to our mission and significant for our surrounding communities as well as the campus. Our Founders Day Lecture by Rabbi Howard Hirsch from the Center for Jewish-Christian Dialogue initiated a three-year 50th anniversary appraisal of the Second Vatican Council, held between 1962 and 1965. A series of renowned experts will examine key Council documents that transformed the Catholic Church and its relationship with the rest of the religious and secular worlds. You can read more about the Council’s impact and our plans to commemorate Vatican II on page 18 in this issue of our magazine. The lecture also inaugurated the next stage in Alvernia’s efforts to become a leading community resource for interfaith dialogue. We are fortunate to partner already with the region’s Jewish Federation and Islamic Center and to host meetings of A Common Heart, a group that promotes dialogue among Catholics, Muslims and Jews. As with our Vatican II series, part of the Church’s Year of Faith, our interfaith work is part of a broader effort. We are participants in the national Interfaith Challenge, sponsored by the White House and the Department of Education, and partners with the Interfaith Youth Core. Welcome initial encouragement has been provided by Trustee Michael Fromm and his wife Susan through their support of our Values & Vision Campaign. They have established the Fromm Interfaith Award, which will honor Alvernia students who demonstrate leadership in interfaith dialogue, on campus and among high school students. In these and other ways, we are remaining faithful to the vision of the Bernardine Sisters who founded this once-tiny college and are so gratefully remembered by those earliest alumnae. Today, Alvernia continues to be a place of opportunity for people of all backgrounds and a special kind of school: a university committed to improving the quality of life for its surrounding communities. Like our graduates, and our foundresses, Alvernia strives to do well and to do good. From my family to yours, peace and all good,

most valuable universities… play a vital role in the communities where they are located.

Greater Reading Convention & Visitors Bureau; right: Theo Anderson

T

he campus felt like a bustling small town during this fall’s Homecoming and Family Weekend. It reminded me of one of those hometowns or neighborhoods that is also a close-knit community. There was even more activity than usual. Our new Parents Council held its initial meeting. And a large crowd, including spirited alumnae from our earliest years (Classes of 1967, ‘68 and ’69), joined together to dedicate our first Alumni House (corner of St. Bernardine Street and Greenway Terrace). Stop by, alums!! We live in a nation comprised of communities — places where we raise families, educate children, help those in need and celebrate accomplishments. The strongest ones help provide a livelihood for many and are a source of pride for all. Today the most valuable universities, in addition to contributing broadly to American society, play a Thomas F. Flynn vital role in the communities President where they are located. Such universities view that role as essential — not peripheral — to their mission. As at Alvernia, they offer programs that support local workforce needs and contribute significantly to the quality of life in their communities. This is not a new concept at Alvernia. We have a well-established reputation for providing community service and programs for working professionals. We continue to receive national recognition as a model of community engagement. Countless alumni offer powerful testimony of how an Alvernia education helped them transform their lives, even as they raised families and held jobs. Yet now, the University is also becoming increasingly recognized for contributions to the region’s intellectual and cultural life. Our Seniors College, founded over a decade ago, draws hundreds of lifelong learners to stimulating courses on campus and at sites throughout the area. The annual Literary Festival attracts an array of speakers, including the nationally renowned author of Amazing Grace Jonathan Kozol and New York Times best-selling novelist Tess Gerritsen, both of whom appeared on campus in October. Our O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public

Welcome ‘Home’ Homecoming and Family Weekend provided the ideal backdrop to dedicate the first location on campus committed to the 11,000 graduates of the university: the Alvernia Alumni House. The newly renovated structure located at 329 St. Bernardine Street provides an ideal location for alumni to gather with faculty, staff and current students in an environment that fosters a sense of community. The house serves as a visual reminder to current students as well as alumni about how Alvernia values its graduates and looks to their engagement in the university’s future. It is yet another symbol of Alvernia’s progress and a reminder that our alumni are always welcomed back. John Wanner, member of the class of 1982 and chairman of the Alumni Council said, “This structure will stand as an outward sign that graduation is not the end of a student’s journey with Alvernia. Instead it is the beginning of a lifelong membership as alumni of an institution that encourages each graduate “To Learn, To Love and To Serve.”

“This structure will stand as an outward sign that graduation is not the end of a student’s journey with Alvernia.” John Wanner ’82

Alvernia Alumni House is open during normal business hours Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Darlene Berk, director of alumni relations, at 610-796-8212 or via email at Darlene.Berk@alvernia.edu.

Alvernia University Magazine

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Campus News The Who, What and Why of Alvernia University

For more news, visit alvernia.edu/news

headline Spoken Hand concert here

Stars come out at night Alvernia’s newest outdoor entertainment venue is actually part of the oldest building on campus. A large crowd gathered in the recently opened Francis Hall Plaza to enjoy the cool and contemporary sounds of David Cullen and the Spoken Hand Percussion Ensemble. The group featured a combination of music and special lighting effects to fill the evening air and transform the plaza. Cullen’s classical jazz opening stood in stark contrast to Spoken Hand’s high-energy polyphonic rhythms. Spoken Hand has earned a national reputation through its concerts at festivals, art centers and theaters around the country.

Alvernia partnered with Barley Snyder Attorneys at Law, Fulton Bank, Murphy McCormack Capital Advisors, ParenteBeard and Teleos Partners to develop an exciting new venture — the Family Business Center at Alvernia University. Created to meet the needs of family business owners in Reading, Berks County and beyond, the Family Business Center is designed to strengthen family-owned firms and help them address their most critical problems. The center hopes to provide owners and key personnel with

6 Alvernia University Magazine

timely and valuable information to strengthen their organizations. It will offer educational seminars featuring nationally recognized speakers and advisors, drawing on the professional expertise of sponsors and partners. Drew Mendoza, nationally known managing principal of the Chicagobased Family Business Consulting Group, was the center’s inaugural speaker. He spoke on the challenges and opportunities of working with adult siblings and cousins in family business settings.

Theo Anderson

Center addresses family business needs

New Healthcare Science major drawing attention

411 38 6 39 1

200 9

201 1

20 10

2012

328

(numbers indicate incoming freshman)

We’ve Got Class! shine at political conventions

underinformed on issues related to health and wellness, health systems policies and health management,” says Bertoti. “The development of the new degree reflects Alvernia’s commitment to the broad array of opportunities and community needs within healthcare, beyond those met by the direct care clinical healthcare provider.” Graduates with a healthcare science degree are often employed as health counselors or advocates, policy analysts or science and health writers. In addition, they often find positions in government organizations, consumer groups, healthcare agencies, scientific research or consumer institutes.

AU is ‘military friendly’ Alvernia welcomed the largest freshman class in its history this fall, for the third consecutive year, with 31% of the more than 411 incoming students hailing from states outside of Pennsylvania, including not one but two students from California who traveled across country to join our acclaimed ice hockey team.

Students

Addressing the ever-growing demand for skilled healthcare professionals, healthcare science has been added to Alvernia’s list of popular undergraduate majors related to the allied health services fields. The new degree program utilizes a strong interdisciplinary design that encourages service and the promotion of healthy lifestyles for persons of all abilities, income levels and backgrounds. According to Associate Professor Dolores Bertoti, it is an excellent mid-degree opportunity for transfers or new applicants with associate degrees. “The healthcare science program creates advocates for individuals and communities that are under-served or

Each presidential election year, The Washington Center offers a unique opportunity for qualifying college students interested in politics to attend the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. During the fall semester six Alvernia students had the privilege to take part in this

G.I. Jobs magazine recently announced that Alvernia had earned the designation as a Military Friendly School, recognizing the university’s commitment to support the continuing education needs of American military personnel. Only the top 15 percent of universities, colleges and trade schools in the nation hold this distinction. According to the magazine, the award is a testimony to the positive way that Alvernia is serving military students. “The recognition by G.I. Jobs is simply a validation of the ‘above and beyond’ effort Alvernia displays when serving veteran students,”

says Stacey Adams Perry, dean of admissions and student financial planning. “We hope this recognition will not only allow us to reach prospective students, but enable us to better serve our current body of military students — both veterans and those on active duty.” Alvernia also participates in a number of military-based funding programs to support veterans, such as the Yellow Ribbon Program. Established in 2008, the Yellow Ribbon Program allows post-9/11 military veterans to qualify for free tuition based on funding from the university and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

unique program. Ryan Cupo, Slate Kleinsmith and Brendon McGirr attended the Republican Convention in Tampa, Fla., while classmates Brandon Harry, Junior Bernard and Melissa Mitchell were part of the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Alvernia students

attended seminars that were structured to enhance their perspectives on civic engagement through guest speakers, site visits, small group discussions and volunteer work in the 2012 race for the White House. Several kept the Alvernia community posted about their experiences through blog posts. Alvernia University Magazine

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Campus News

New partnership focuses on young professionals A partnership through Alvernia’s School of Graduate and Adult Education will help emerging leaders in the region develop skills needed to advance their careers and support economic development in the Berks County area. Alvernia has joined forces with the Greater Reading Young Professionals (GRYP) to offer educational opportunities, leadership development programs, and community service integration initiatives that will help develop

skills and competencies needed by young professionals. A highlight will be a regional conference planned for spring 2013 through Alvernia’s O’Pake Institute. “This initiative is geared towards advancing the professional success of GRYP’s members and is complementary to the charter of both organizations,” said Toni Eckert, Alvernia’s director of Leadership Berks and Business Outreach. “Our graduate and adult education

programs are offered in a variety of formats (online, blended, classroom) that are ideal to meet the needs of working adults and GRYP’s growing membership.” The partnership complements Alvernia’s Leadership Berks program that focuses on connecting and building community leaders and coincides with GRYP’s 10th anniversary and community impact cause for 2013, “Education and Workforce Readiness.”

National grant supports community news

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Reading Police Academy cadets spend mornings building their physical stamina before heading to the classrooms.

CJ program includes police academy certification Though she died in 2010, Sister Pacelli’s legacy lives on through many projects she took an active roll in, including the ever-popular criminal justice program she began in 1974. Graduates with degrees in criminal justice (CJ) go on to work in many fields, including departments of corrections, judicial courts, social services and of course — law enforcement. In order to become a municipal police officer in the state of Pennsylvania, recruits must pass Act 120 training. That can be a costly and time-consuming step for many CJ students, but not those at Alvernia. Directed by Department Chair Ed Hartung, Alvernia’s CJ program has a unique advantage. Through its partnership with the Reading Police Academy, which maintains its training center on the university’s

campus, CJ students have the option of attending the academy to obtain Municipal Police Officer Certification (Act 120) as part of their regular four-year program. To be accepted into an Act 120 program, applicants must pass physical fitness tests, a criminal background check and a psychological exam. It’s an academically and physically rigorous 820-hour basic training program completed in 20 weeks and designed to provide students with the initial skills necessary to begin their law enforcement careers. Alvernia students are eligible to apply for the academy during their junior year in order to attend during the first semester of their senior year. This allows recruits to obtain Act 120 certification as part of their four-year degree without extended time or expense.

Carey Manzolillo

Alvernia, together with the Berks County Community Foundation, received a grant from the Knight Foundation to develop a media-intensive course where students will create news content based on gaps identified in the community. The project, called “Free Flow,” is one of 20 across the country to share $3.67 million in grants. Jodi Radosh, associate professor of communication, helped secure the grant and will play a key role in implementing related programs with students. Radosh will work with other project organizers to determine what kind of information residents in five area neighborhoods need but aren’t getting through current media outlets. Alvernia students will be trained to produce reports on issues that need further exploring. Radosh plans to engage her students as citizen journalists — an opportunity for them to sharpen important investigative and writing skills while helping local community members to be better informed of issues that affect them.

Campus News

Herbeins, RSO receive top AU honors Alvernia hosted its annual President’s Dinner in October, honoring organizations and individuals who have made a significant impact on the university and its surrounding community. This year’s recipients were Carl and Kathleen Herbein ’95 (Franciscan Award) and the Reading Symphony Orchestra (Pro Urbe Award). More than 300 local business and community leaders, university trustees, faculty and administrators attended the event. Presented to Carl and Kathleen Herbein, the Franciscan Award honors individuals who selflessly give their time, talents and resources to serve Alvernia, the community and their profession.

“The Herbein’s have long been generous supporters of Alvernia and many other organizations in the Reading community,” said Alvernia President Thomas F. Flynn. “As embracers of our Franciscan identity, they possess a love of the community, which is deep and diverse.” This year’s Pro Urbe (which translates to “for the city”) Award was given to the Reading Symphony Orchestra for enriching the cultural lives of the citizens of Berks County. For nearly 100 years the men and women of the Reading Symphony Orchestra have been filling the community with beautiful music from around the world. President Flynn, left, with Kathleen and Carl Herbein.

Fromm Interfaith Award established

Consul General Yaron Sideman, right, addresses Alvernia students in November.

TOP: ed kopicki; Bottom: Carey Manzolillo (2)

Consul General addresses students After speaking to the World Affairs Council of Greater Reading about relations between Israel and its neighbors, Consul General of the State of Israel Yaron Sideman addressed students enrolled in the Global Perspectives and Poverty in America classes at Alvernia. Sideman’s visit, coordinated between the Holleran Center for Community Engagement and the Jewish Federation of Reading, was part of Alvernia’s efforts to expand important interfaith dialogue on campus, building on the inclusive heritage of the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters. Consul General Sideman serves the Mid-Atlantic Region, which includes Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, Kentucky and Southern New Jersey. He began his post this past August and is the highest-ranking diplomatic official representing Israel in the region.

Interfaith dialogue is an area of special focus at Alvernia, and the university recently began expanding related programs through a multi-year initiative that includes events and lectures. So when University Trustee Michael Fromm, CEO of Fromm Electric Supply, and his wife Susan expressed their interest in establishing an award to recognize Alvernia students who demonstrate leadership in interfaith dialogue, it was a match made in heaven. “Susan and I share a passion for promoting respect among Christians, Jews and people of all faiths,” said Michael Fromm. “We are especially proud to have our family’s name attached to such a meaningful initiative.” The Fromm Interfaith Award will be presented annually and includes a grant to support associated student work. “We are honored that through their support Mike and Susan are entrusting Alvernia to be a leader in developing interfaith dialogue,” said Thomas F. Flynn, Alvernia’s president. “The Fromm Interfaith Award is an important next step in reinforcing interfaith dialogue as a distinctive element of our university.” Alvernia University Magazine

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Nerney nabs spot with Generals Brain Nerney ’12 has joined the ranks of distinguished Alvernia athletes who have gone on to compete at the professional level. Nerney, who was a forward on the Crusaders basketball team, recently signed a contract to play with the Washington Generals. The Generals are famous for traveling with and having a tough time defeating the Harlem Globetrotters. His career with the Generals will include a full schedule of games across the country and around the world.

Brian Nerney in action for the Crusaders.

Diller shatters shutout record

Double Trouble For 21 straight seasons Alvernia’s women’s basketball Head Coach Kevin Calabria and the Crusaders finished the year with playoff appearances. That streak came abruptly to an end last year. Now Calabria hopes to kick start a new run with a very talented ’12-’13 squad that has many seeing double. The team features freshman twin sisters Kelsey and Kayla Wolf and junior twins Katelyn and Kelsey Gill.

When senior goalie Ben Diller and the Crusaders walked off the field with a 0-0 tie against York College in the fall, it was actually cause for celebration. Diller made eight saves in the game and recorded his 16th shutout moving him to the top of Alvernia’s list for career soccer shutouts, one ahead of Richard Kessler (’09). He closed his Crusader career with an impressive 21 shutouts. “My freshman year coming into a program where no one knew who I was, I knew that I had a lot of work to do to prove myself,” said Diller. He saw time in five games and started two before a concussion put those efforts on hold. During his sophomore year he posted a 0.66 goals against average. He made two saves in a 1-0 win over Cabrini College for his first career shutout and blanked Delaware Valley on three saves in his last game of the year. Last year the wins — and the shutouts — came in bunches. Midway through the year Diller and the Crusaders shut out four straight opponents during a string of seven straight wins. This year, his consistent performance led the Crusaders to 14 victories, and a double-overtime win in the ECAC South championship game.

Sports

This fall the men’s tennis team worked on their service game without

For more news, visit athletics.alvernia.edu

stepping foot on the tennis court. Instead they served up soup at the Kennedy House in Reading, Pa., as part of the Catholic Soup Kitchen Program. The tennis team worked in conjunction with parishioners from Holy Rosary Church to provide meals to over 300 needy people during the weekend-long program. Oh, and their tennis was pretty good too, with sophomore Daniel Minnich earning the MAC Championship at #2 singles, the first-ever individual title for Crusader Men’s Tennis.

Paige Brach

Golf team has new home Past Alvernia golf teams have called Flying Hills Golf Course and Reading Country Club their home turf. However, this fall the teams received exciting news: their new home course was upgraded to one of the region’s very finest private golf clubs, Ledge Rock. Both the men’s and women’s golf teams play and practice at Ledge Rock, which features 7,206 yards of golf from the championship tees for a par of 72. The course was designed by Rees Jones.

Hall of Famers The Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2012 was inducted during the annual celebration in October. The inducted Class of 2012 included: Tanisha Giddens-Beatty (women’s basketball), Todd Meyer (baseball), Marie Michalik-Rosahac (women’s

Ben Diller reached new heights this season.

cross-country), Jim Sutton (crosscountry coach, faculty athletics representative), Lou Topper (men’s golf) and Butch Ulrich (cross-country).

main image: Theo Anderson; insets: Jon King

The Who, What and Why of Crusader Sports

WINNING by serving

Alvernia University Magazine

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Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy

Chown used an Alvernia Faculty Excellence Grant to create a new course: OT 427 High Technology and Adaptations, in which students explore the expanding use of technology as it relates to all aspects of occupational therapy service delivery. This new course involves teaching therapeutic modalities, including ultrasound, functional electrical stimulation, cryotherapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and biofeedback.

communication

Occupational Therapy

q Greg Chown, OTD, OTR/L

q Richard Law, Ph.D. Associate Professor of English & Communication

Law examined character development, revealing the courage and misapprehensions of Ethan Wharton’s travel dreams as part of a panel entitled, “The Transatlantic Writer: Edith Wharton, Text, and Travel,” at the 2012 South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference. Law showed how a trail of (mis)judgments led to the catastrophic escape attempt, reflecting Wharton’s portrait of a grotesque reality emerging from the search for exile.

 Notable Adam Heinze, Ph.D.

Bongrae Seok, Ph.D.

Ana Ruiz, Ph.D., and Judith Warchal, Ph.D.

As part of a 2012 Faculty Excellence Grant, Heinze is working on establishing a lab to study how temperature impacts single-cell organisms that are mixotrophic (organisms that both eat and photosynthesize, much like a Venus Flytrap).

Seok published Embodied Moral Psychology and Confucian Philosophy (by Lexington, November 2012). The book discusses the importance of embodied emotion (direct sense of others’ suffering) as an essential element of morality.

Drs. Ruiz and Warchal finalized “An Instructor’s Guide for Teaching Ethics in the Introduction to Psychology,” an activities guide for teaching ethics to undergraduates. The research was funded by an Alvernia Faculty Excellence Grant.

Assistant Professor of Biology

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Associate Professor of Philosophy

Professors of Psychology

Periscope

q My Turn

Election Reflections

Alvernia’s faculty making a difference

Peggy Bowen-Hartung, Ph.D., CTSq Associate Professor of Criminal Justice; Chair, Psychology & Counseling Department; Chair, Institutional Review Board

qT  ufan Tiglioglu, Ph.D.

For more news, visit

The Collaboration of Institutional Review Boards and DoctoralLevel Programs in Leadership After a rigorous three-phased review process, two doctoral faculty members and three doctoral students were selected from 550 proposal submissions to present at the International Leadership Association’s 14th Annual Global Conference in Denver. Each proposal was reviewed by at least five and as many as 16 reviewers to select the very best to be presented at the conference. Tiglioglu, Bowen-Hartung and student Tracey Brown presented a paper titled, “Institutional Review Boards in Doctoral Level Programs with a Focus on Leadership Programs.” Student Rachel Gifford presented a paper titled, “Leadership in a Collectivist Society,” and student Sean Cullen presented a paper debating the influence of social networking titled, “@Social Media: Does Having Followers Online Make a Person a Leader?”

Business & Criminal Justice

Theo Anderson (4); Carey Manzolillo; Bottom right: AP Photo

Director, Ph.D. Program Associate Professor of Business

President Obama possesses a vaunted getout-the-vote machine. The story goes that by astute registering of young and minority voters, within a framework developed by behavioral scientists, the president was able to turn out new voters in numbers sufficient to replace those 2008 voters who had lost their attachment to him. The Tim story continues that this allowed him to hold off Blessing, a resurgent Republican Ph.D. effort spearheaded by an Professor of history energized base. & political Much of this is untrue. science When the 2012 election returns are compared to the 2008 election returns it is clear that the president lost voters at a stunning pace. In California alone the president fell over two million votes short of his 2012 election total. He lost votes in eleven of the twelve battleground states (CO, FL, IA, MI, MN, NV, NH, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI), gaining only in North Carolina. In fact, President Obama gained votes in only two states—North Carolina and Louisiana. While Governor Romney did better than the president, gaining GOP votes in twenty-seven states, including ten of the battleground states (CO, FL, IA, MI, MN, NV, NC, VA, and WI), he Continued on page 54

alvernia.edu/news/faculty_scholarship

Alvernia University Magazine

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Jeffrey Gaines Q&A

Q: You’ve toured with some of the

biggest names in the business. Which artist was your favorite to play with? A: All of them — playing in front of Sting or Tracy Chapman or Gregg Allman — one is not better than the other. It is the opportunity to turn on a new audience that I love. So all of them have afforded me that opportunity.

Q: What kinds of music did you

grow up listening to? A: I liked British Pop — Beatles, Elvis Costello, David Bowie. I also had great soul sounds in the household — Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and Ike & Tina. We were wide open growing up. If it was music, I was listening.

Q: When did you first start playing

in front of an audience? A: As a young kid — talent shows at school and the usual means. Professionally, I started in my late teens, in the clubs of Harrisburg.

Q: Name a career highlight. A: E very time I play in front of an audience — Alvernia was a career highlight. I live to play live.

Q: What do you like most about performing?

A: Connecting with the audience is the

Q: What events led to your professional singing breakthrough?

A: I got signed really young. The labels got a

hold of my first demos, and Chrysalis/EMI offered me a deal. Those were simple and beautiful times.

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right: Dan Z Johnson

whole part of performing. It is more about communication — communicating the song and a story — to the audience. Without that connection, there is no point.

Arts & Culture Happenings around campus

Spring brings comedy and class to campus

American singersongwriter Jeffrey Gaines recently brought his soulful style to Alvernia, where he played for a packed Francis Hall audience. A Harrisburg, Pa., native, Gaines is an accomplished musician, having toured with the likes of superstars including Stevie Nicks, Paula Cole and Sting. His musical interest was sparked at a young age by his parents’ collection of soul music. That led him to test his performance skills while playing in his teens with local bands. We recently sat down with Gaines for a series of intriguing questions.

The lineup of events for the spring 2013 Arts & Culture Series is as diverse as ever with a broad range of performances that promise something for everyone. World-class juggler Dana Tison brings his juggling skills, comedic talents, charisma and love for the Gospel to Francis Hall Theater and Recital Hall in January. A seventime gold medal juggler in international competition, Tison is sure to entertain the whole family with his perfect blend of comedy and jugglery. On the other end of the spectrum, in March, Alvernia welcomes concert violinist Christopher Collins Lee and harpist Merynda Adams. Collins Lee, an international concertmaster of 14 orchestras, is a past official Musical Ambassador of the U.S.

Department of State and has received numerous international awards. Adams made her New York debut in Carnegie Hall to a sold-out show and has taught at Drew and Seton Hall universities. Beginning in January, the Miller Gallery will host an exhibit of women artists, sponsored by the Reading Public Museum. The exhibit features more than 20 female painters whose works span a period of 300 years, including the works of Elizabeth VigÊeLeBrun, Mary Cassatt, Käthe Kollwitz and Peggy Bacon. For more information on these events and more, visit www.alvernia.edu/arts-culture.

Spring 2013

Events @ Alvernia Several exciting events are planned for the spring. Mark your calendar and plan to attend. Visit www.alvernia.edu for details on all events. 1. W  omen Artists January-February 2. Dana Tison Juggler & Comedian January 31 3. Batdorf Lecture Wrongful conviction: The Kenny Walters story March 13 4. C  hristopher Collins Lee & Merynda Adams Classical strings, violin and harp March 19

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Doctor Word

Tess Gerritsen parlayed her passion for medicine into a

calling to be a creative writer. The result — a storied career as a best-selling novelist with more than 24 titles to her credit, including the book that spawned characters Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, now part of the hit TNT television show “Rizzoli & Isles” (starring Angie Harmon, left, and Sasha Alexander, right).

16 Alvernia University Magazine

By Kristin Boyd

Left: TNT/ Matthew Rolston; right: Jessica Hills

While on maternity leave and caring for her two young sons, physician Tess Gerritsen gave birth to a new career: writing. “I was a subscriber to Honolulu magazine, which was having its first-ever fiction contest,” Gerritsen recalls. “I thought, ‘Well, I’ll give it a whirl.’” To her surprise, Gerritsen’s semi-fictionalized story about a boy who’s coping with a repeatedly suicidal mother won the contest, and she decided to leave her successful medical practice and pursue a writing career. “My children took long naps. That gave me time to write,” she says. “One page a day gets you a novel in a year. If you make it a routine to write every single day, you’ll have a story.” Now a New York Times best-selling author of two dozen books, Gerritsen recently earned acclaim for creating the popular characters of homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles. The pair inspired the hit TNT television show “Rizzoli & Isles,” starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. Gerritsen, whose combined passion for medicine and writing has made her a soughtafter speaker, spoke in October to a captivated Alvernia audience, many of whom were aspiring writers, as a featured presenter in the university’s annual Literary Festival. Her focus – finding great story ideas and explaining the difficult process of creative idea generation. “It’s harder than you think to come up with a good premise. We all think we have good ideas, but if it doesn’t ring that emotional bell, it’s probably not a good idea,” says Gerritsen, who released her latest book, Last to Die, in August. “You need that punch-in-the-gut moment that makes you want to keep reading because you have to know what’s going to happen next.” Sue Guay, assistant professor of English and communication and chair of the annual Literary Festival at Alvernia, extended a personal invite to Gerritsen. “We’re dedicated to finding writers who focus on topics of interest to students, faculty, staff and community members,” Guay says. “Tess is an extraordinary medical mystery writer whose journey supports the idea that careers evolve and that hard work and determination are key factors in achieving success.” “I always liked the fact that [Gerritsen] turned her medical career into a writing career,” Guay adds. “Tess is very well educated. She is articulate. She is the epitome of an excellent

“One page a day gets you a novel in a year. If you make it a routine to write every single day, you’ll have a story.” Tess Gerritsen

Continued on page 50

Alvernia University Magazine

17

Revolution Faith

By Peggy Landers 18 Alvernia University Magazine

In fall of 1962, 2,000 Catholic bishops processed into St. Peter’s Basilica to begin what’s been described as the most important religious event of the 20th century: The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. Fifty years later, Vatican II has indeed changed the way the Catholic faith engages contemporary society and revolutionized the way the Church defines itself — and its relationship with the modern world. 

Pope Paul VI, who played a crucial role in developing and implementing Vatican II, blesses the city of Rome from the main loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica.

faith revolution

Vatican II turns 50

Below: Francis Miller/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images; Bernard Gotfryd/Getty Images; AP Photo

I

when Pope John XXIII formally brought it to an end in t was a pivotal time in American and world history. President John F. Kennedy captured the imaginations preparation for the Second Vatican Council. While Vatican I defined the dogmas of papal infallibility of a new generation with his vision for a man on and the primacy of papal jurisdiction, the Second Council the moon. “Love Me Do” rattled across AM radio issued four “apostolic constitutions” including Gaudium et stations as The Beatles set their sights on a cross-Atlantic Spes, which called the church to engage in dialogue with invasion with the Rolling Stones not far behind. contemporary society and its problems. An American U-2 spy plane snapped photos of Soviet “Gaudium et Spes really brought church teaching and missiles in Cuba, and the world held its combined breath moral values to bear on a world punctuated with war, as a threat of nuclear war loomed large. “Leave It to hatred and injustice,” said Scott Davidson, theology Beaver” was a prime time TV hit (remember June Cleaver instructor at Alvernia and director of campus ministry. in her pearls?), and the Vietnam War spilled nightly into “It acknowledges not only that science and culture have living rooms, complete with daily body counts. things to teach the church, but also Catholics who lived through that that the church has a mission to period of the Second Vatican Council, “Vatican II came at the sanctify the world around it.” which became more simply known as Vatican II, may never forget changes that visited their parishes, some Impact end of a long history of welcomed, others that continue to be The Second Vatican Council met the source of controversy. for three years from 1962-65. Many discussion within the “For the first 25 years after Vatican theologians identify its biggest II, every step of the expansion of our achievement as articulating a new church that had gone on way of understanding the church as college was related to the Second Vatican Council,” says Sr. Roberta the people of God and not merely a McKelvie, special assistant to the for a few hundred years.” hierarchical structure. president for mission at Alvernia and “The texts of the Second Vatican member of the Bernardine Franciscan Council, which focus on the renewal Jerry Vigna religious order, which founded the of the liturgy, the priesthood, the university. “Everything we are, missionary identity of the Catholic many of our key academic areas — social work, criminal Church…are living texts — texts by which the Holy Spirit justice, nursing, the allied healthcare areas as well as our leads and guides us into the 21st Century,” said the Most foundational commitment related to service within the Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of Allentown. local community — were all inspired by the Council.” Emerging from Vatican II, the Church’s identification Although Vatican II was described by some as a with the poor and suffering became more prominent. revolution, 20 previous ecumenical councils had been Catholic religious orders took a fresh look at issues such held, including the First Vatican Council in 1869-70. The as community and identity, and the pope became a more outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War and the entry of the visible human rights advocate. Italian Army in Rome interrupted the Council. Although New ecumenical bridges were built, and a renewed never resumed, it was not officially closed until 1960 dialogue between Catholics and other faiths emerged,

The times they were a-changin’...............................Martin Luther King stirs the nation.................................. Turmoil and controversy provided a cultural backdrop to Vatican II from 1962 -‘65. The same year the Council appeared on the world stage, President Kennedy promised to land a man on the moon before the end of the decade. Marilyn Monroe died of an overdose. Russian ballistic missiles in Cuba pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war. And the United States quietly began training pilots from a little-known Southeast Asian country called South Vietnam. Later, the nation played host to the British musical invasion, mourned the loss of JFK, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and suffered racial strife causing scars that would last generations.   

“…in many ways Vatican II wanted the fellowship of believers to grow up.”

above right: sharon gunther

Scott Davidson

especially with respect to Christian-Jewish relations. Rabbi Howard Hirsch, professor of theology at Regis University, Colorado Springs, Colo., who spoke at Alvernia in September, said it was the spirit of the Second Vatican Council that developed new inroads toward interfaith dialogue and understanding. Council leaders were committed to working together “to throw open the windows of the Church and let in fresh air,” said Hirsch, referring to the declaration that redefined Catholic relations with non-Christians and ended Churchsponsored anti-Semitism. Vatican II also gave laypeople a previously undreamed of role in the celebration of the Mass and the day-to-day concerns of the parish. Laypeople began more formal roles in celebrating the Mass, delivering scriptural readings and serving communion. Women no longer covered their heads with veils or hats. Guitar masses became popular, and folk songs even made their way into the celebration. Many have said it encouraged exploration of individual

conscience and collegiality. It birthed a new breed of Catholic, an engaged participant rather than a passive observer and mere memorizer of catechism. It changed the way people experienced their faith in both simple and complex ways. But the Church also experienced challenges during the same period, very much tied to the turbulent times of the cultural revolution of the 1960s, including a drop in vocations, dwindling Mass attendance and dissent on Church teachings — including birth control and even abortion.

The next generation Changes inspired by Vatican II began reshaping the next generation of Catholic faithful. Unlike their parents, who for the most part were devoted followers who grew up in the post-Great Depression melting pot of the United States, younger worshipers had few inhibitions about questioning church teachings. 

............................................the beatles invade the U.S.................................................................... JFK is assassinated..............................................

faith revolution

Vatican II turns 50

Lecture series marks Vatican II at 50 Last October marked the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s opening that began in 1962. From 1962-1965 the Council debated and decided on how to move the message and meaning of the Catholic Church more deeply into the lives of its members. In conjunction with the worldwide commemoration of Vatican II, Alvernia is offering a series of lectures that provide opportunities to learn more about this important Council and to celebrate the significance of its work in the life of the Church. “We hope to shed light on the Council and how its actions 50 years ago continue to affect the mission of the university today,” said Sr. Roberta McKelvie, special assistant to the president for mission. Lectures planned for the next five semesters center on several of the topics discussed at the Council: Ecumenism, non-Christian religions (2012-13), Religious Liberty (Spring 2014), Apostolate of the Laity (Fall 2014), Church in the Modern World (Spring 2015), and the legacy of the Council (Fall 2015).

“One of the things Vatican II espoused was the ideal that laypeople should commit to their faith in their heart of hearts, in their intellect and in their will,” said Davidson. “That’s an adult believer who doesn’t just accept all rules and regulations uncritically, but someone who continues to ponder. In many ways Vatican II wanted the fellowship of believers to deepen their faith.” To symbolize the new post-Vatican “we’re all in this together” dynamic, for the celebration of the Mass, the priest and altar were spun 180 degrees to face the congregation, not the tabernacle as had been the tradition for centuries. Latin was replaced as the official language of the Mass with the local vernacular. Girls were allowed to be altar servers and laymen and women distributed the Eucharist. Social justice concerns as a means of living out the gospel

message became a new focal point for “works of mercy,” and prayer services with nonCatholics were more frequent. Alvernia was barely a year old in 1959 when Pope John XXIII, just three months into his pontificate, announced somewhat jarringly that he would convene an ecumenical council to help the Church “come to grips, in a clear and well-defined way, with the spiritual needs of the present time.” Many were stunned. They thought the 78-year-old former Patriarch of Venice would be a transitional pope, reassuring if not remarkable. But, like Martin Luther King four years later, Pope John XXIII had a dream. The Holy Spirit had come to him, he said. He would renew the Church, not change Church doctrine, he reassured the critics whom he called “prophets of gloom.” Pope John envisioned a kinder, gentler

The Founders Day lecture on Sept. 11, featuring Rabbi Howard Hirsch, launched the Vatican II series. Rabbi Hirsch, founder of the Center for Christian-Jewish Dialogue at Regis University, offered insightful reflections on changes in Jewish-Christian relationships during the last half-century since the Second Vatican Council convened.

TOP: Theo Anderson RIGHT: AP Photo; Ralph Morse/Life Magazine/Time & Life Pictures/ Getty Images; AFP/Getty Images; AP Photo/stf

22 Alvernia University Magazine

The times they were a-changin’.......War rages in Vietnam.............

“We hope to shed light on the Council and how its actions 50 years ago continue to affect the mission of the university today.” Sr. Roberta McKelvie

Catholic Church, “full of mercy and goodness toward the children separated from her” rather than condemnation. He envisioned a church open to its times, to scientific discovery and even to its non-Catholic neighbors who, according to old school teachings, were locked out of salvation simply because they were not Catholic. “In the present order of things, Divine Providence is leading us to a new order of human relations…And everything, even human differences, leads to the greater good of the Church,” Pope John XXIII said. The Council was an large undertaking, coming 92 years after Vatican I began and 467 years after the Council of Trent, which introduced the Latin Mass. Every bishop and leader of a Catholic institution, including universities and religious orders, was asked for ideas. Protestants and other non-Catholics

and members of the Orthodoxy were invited as observers, and more than 9,000 proposals were submitted to Rome. Less than eight months after presiding over the opening session of Vatican II, Pope John XXIII died of stomach cancer, and Pope Paul VI took over. By December 1965, when Vatican II concluded, American soldiers were dying in Vietnam. Within a short time, race riots erupted in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Bob Dylan’s song, “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” became an anthem for the moment. Thirty-five thousand anti-war protestors marched on Washington, D.C., President Kennedy and Malcolm X were assassinated, and the Civil Rights, Voting Rights and Medicare Acts were put into law. Vatican II was not to be immune from the unrest. The 16 landmark documents produced by the Vatican Council created their own turmoil, with some blaming Vatican II for everything from the decline in vocations to dropping Mass attendance. Still, Vatican II boosters promoted change and self-criticism as pathways to renewal. Just three years after Vatican II ended, Pope Paul VI worried that “the Church is in a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would better be called self-demolition.” He later observed that “from some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.” Pope Paul died in 1978 and was succeeded by Pope John Paul I, whose death 33 days after assuming the papacy made his reign among the briefest in history. Karol Wojtyla, a product of communist Poland who participated in Vatican II as a young archbishop from Krakow, replaced him. Pope John Paul II, who would be beatified in 2011, was a man who appreciated structure and authority. He grew up in a

communist-tainted world where the church was seen as a safeguard against evil. Alarmed at what he viewed as a misinterpretation of Vatican II, John Paul embraced a more orthodox brand of Catholicism, launching a new catechism, and bringing about a “papalization” or recentralization of authority in the Vatican and reining in aspects of Vatican II that some perceived as more liberal. Several historians have said that John Paul changed the “servant model” of the postVatican II church that emphasized the need to be engaged in social transformation, to one of a “community of disciples.” In a recently released essay Pope Benedict XVI, who attended the Second Vatican Council as a theological adviser, reiterated a prominent teaching about Vatican II: that it should be interpreted in connection with the Church’s millennial traditions, not as a sweeping break with the past. “The Council fathers neither could nor wished to create a new or different church. They had neither the authority nor the mandate to do so,” he wrote. Though Council texts were written in the mid-1960s they still speak to a 21st Century Catholic Church that deals boldly, courageously and charitably with the challenges of secularism, international terrorism and consumerism, according to Bishop Barres. “The texts reflect our everpresent need and desire as Catholics to propose constantly — in a spirit of bold humility and compassion — the truths of Jesus Christ, the truths that set us and the world free.” That is clearly the case at Alvernia where Vatican II informed the institution’s growth as a community and university. “We’ve taken seriously the mandates and proposals of Continued on page 48

............. John Glenn orbits the Earth.................... Marilyn Monroe dies........................................Ali rules the ring...........................................

One of our country’s greatest renewable resources is the opportunity to earn an education. At a time when many schools have aggressively overpriced their education, Alvernia is committed to keeping education affordable so that students of all backgrounds will have access to a high-quality, values-based education. You can help us honor our commitment with a gift to the Alvernia Fund this year. The mission of the Alvernia Fund is to secure and develop financial resources to strengthen the Alvernia educational experience, making it affordable and accessible to students from all economic backgrounds, while providing alumni and friends with meaningful opportunities to remain involved in the life of our university and students. Every gift to the Alvernia Fund helps graduate skilled professionals shaped by strong ethical values who become leaders with the moral courage to make a difference in their local communities and the global society. Please give the gift of education by making a contribution to the Alvernia Fund today at: alumni.alvernia.edu/donations. If you would like additional information about the Alvernia Fund, please contact Mark Piekarski, director of annual giving at mark.piekarski@alvernia.edu or 610-790-1901.

Aspirations Inspirations What will Alvernia look like in 2015? What about 2017 or even 2020? The university’s remarkable progress over the last several years has been carefully guided by sound strategic planning that led to many notable achievements, including attaining university status, launching the Values & Vision Capital Campaign and celebrating Alvernia’s 50th Anniversary. Those plans have also guided significant advancements in the academic areas with substantial commitments to both undergraduate and graduate education — at the doctoral and master’s levels — and a greatly expanded and enhanced undergraduate, residential community. The university’s strategic and campus master plans, originally conceived in 2007 and updated in 2011, continue to shape our future into 2018 and beyond, and details of both are available on Alvernia’s Web site. Driven by aspirations during the next several years to enhance the educational experience of undergraduate and graduate students and ultimately to achieve our vision “To Be A Distinctive Franciscan University,” our university plans include a number of compelling building projects that will transform the face of the campus and enable our continued prosperity. While our plans remain subject to changes and updates as we respond to shifts in the marketplace, just as we have done it the past, they comprise a compelling vision for our future that excites and inspires. So what might Alvernia’s campus look like during the next few years? Turn the page and see! 

&

Updates to th e university’s

strategic

plan have

set the stage for a series of

exciting new projects planned during the next several years

that

w ill

transform

Alvernia’s

campus into one of the most

compelling college Settings

I N

th e

Mid-Atlantic.

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Francis Hall Entryway 2014-2016 Francis Hall will once again be the focal point for visitors entering Alvernia’s campus following completion of a new front entryway and parking plaza.

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Entrance s u p m a C w Ne

2014-2016 ia a newly ter campus v n e ill w rs o ine it Vis ith the Bernard w d re a sh y, a ew designed driv ncis Hall renovated Fra a to s d a le t se. Sisters, tha e Motherhou in rd a rn e B e th entryway and

s East Campu

2015-2020 the use will create o h ld e fi d n a nd athletic field rdine Street a a rn e A multipurpose B t. S f o ers rnia’s pus at the corn ill expand Alve w new East Cam n o ti a c lo re ace. The 12-ac ace as Greenway Terr recreational sp l a n io it d d a ts ffer studen campus and o tive housing. well as innova

Exciting additions planned for Alvernia’s Campus

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e for people to and check ou read t books, Frank A . F ra nco Library ha become a bust s ling student h u b fo r te chnology and learning. A potential exp a n si on will feature a large glass-f ront wing facin g the quad, expanded are as for group a nd independe study, addition nt al classroom sp ace and enha access to the nced latest technolo gy.

2015-2020 No longer just  a quiet plac

Library Add ition

2014-2016 in front of the rt u o c l a iv rr a A new will ge apartments a ill V rs e d n u o F e ce into a prim a sp e th rm o transf -like te with a park le p m o c t o sp gathering . bench seating d n a e c a sp n gree

rt Arrival Cou

By Carey Manzolillo james Eric siburt

zombies? How does someone who teaches theology, philosophy and ethics end up researching zombies in popular culture? Just ask Alvernia humanities faculty member James Siburt whose venture into the undead began with the extensive research into visual culture he initiated years ago. “Dr. (Carrie) Fitzpatrick and I discussed the phenomena of pop-culture research and how one paper on a topic can stick with you throughout your career, which in my case was zombies,” laughs Siburt. “In actuality, the zombie research I did was grounded in religion, semiotics and social justice.” In fact, semiotics — visual communication through graphics and film — has always been a part of Siburt’s teaching and research. While working on his Master’s degree in religion, Siburt focused on aspects of visual culture and how people are influenced by and find meaning in art, film and pop-culture media, as well as how the sociological study of these same cultural products can provide insight into human beings. Insight into human thought and the human condition is at the core of humanities. Scholars use analytical, critical or speculative research methods to help explain or understand why people act or feel different ways. It is an endlessly changing field, and one that becomes more important each day — as our multicultural and pluralistic world becomes closer through technology. “Our world has been forever changed by our ability to socially connect with billions of other people around the world,” says Siburt. “Whereas cultures were once contained geographically, they are now spreading digitally, and due to this advancement, new cultures are being formed that are not as easily defined or governed.” Interested in continuing his research, Siburt had difficulty finding a doctoral program that was a good fit and would provide a next step. But during an American Academy of Religion conference, he bumped into Spence Stober, a professor of biology at Alvernia who was heavily involved in the Ph.D. program. “Dr. Stober explained that my interdisciplinary research in pop culture, sociology, communications and religion could be applied to leadership studies,” says Siburt. “During my first research class at Alvernia, I stumbled across semiotics, and it was like taking my first breath of air. It was exactly what I had been pursuing, and I now had the philosophical structure

30 Alvernia University Magazine

within which to apply my research.” Although semiotics is a broad science that spans language, medicine, fashion, zoology, etc., Siburt is applying it to pop-culture media as a means to determine significant cultural signs. “These revealed signs can provide cultural knowledge on a variety of socially understood norms such as ethics, leadership and social justice,” says Siburt. Researchers like Siburt agree that there is a rich source of information being consumed in the media that can provide scholars of all disciplines with new insight into human social norms and cultural trends. And yes, that definitely applies to zombies. “Zombies, like other undead creatures, have begun to represent either the human condition or symbolism of the ‘Other.’ In the comic book, as well as in the television series “The Walking Dead,” the zombies are a representation of the potential human condition that the survivors are struggling to avoid,” explains Siburt. Some sociologists claim that Western culture’s fascination with violence and gore in films is directly related to the violence and death caused by humanity’s many wars. Siburt clarifies, “Because we can’t face the reality of the death and violence in the world, we subconsciously embrace it in our pop-culture media.” Studying pop-culture semiotics also opens a familiar and interesting door when teaching undergraduate classes. “The incorporation of popular culture media into the curriculum plays a crucial role in providing a shared starting point for both instructor and student, with the intention of bringing them into a broader and more theoretical understanding of the topic being taught,” explains Siburt. That kind of understanding is important to help students learn about theology and philosophy. But it’s the diversity of students who take Siburt’s COR 600 “Organizational Ethics” class that pushes him to really make connections. “It forces me to focus on an understanding of the ordinary ethics that are at play in all types of organizations,” he explains. “It is also another course where an understanding of pop-culture media, semiotics, social justice, leadership and my current research in issues of power and resistance all come into play.” Eventually it all comes together, in the study of the human condition. Jim Siburt is a regular contributor to the Alvernia faculty blog. Read more about his research at: http://alvernia-faculty.tumblr.com/.

Theo Anderson

Leadership, semiotics … and

faculty spotlight

“Zombies, like other undead creatures, have begun to represent either the human condition or symbolism of the ‘Other.’…the zombies are a representation of the potential human condition that the survivors are struggling to avoid.” James Siburt Alvernia University Magazine

31

Healthcare in

high gear

New technologies, changing needs and growing challenges are driving increased demand for capable employees in the healthcare field. With programs, partnerships and new initiatives in place, Alvernia is training the next generation of highly skilled caregivers and professionals to meet the evolving needs of today’s vibrant healthcare industry.

By Susan Shelly

Providing, delivering and paying for quality healthcare is a frontburner national agenda item and an increasing concern shared by most Americans. As the need for quality healthcare increases and costs continue to rise, we wrestle as a nation about how we can assure availability of quality care, how it should be distributed, and importantly, who will pay for it. And, with an aging population and increasing incidence of chronic diseases, the situation is becoming increasingly urgent. Reports show that by 2030 nearly 20 percent of the population will be 65 and older. And, if the occurrence of obesity continues to climb at its current level, 13 states by that year could have obesity rates of higher than 60 percent, according to a recent study by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. These and other factors are contributing to a rapidly growing incidence of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, hypertension and mental health issues, badly straining the confines of the U.S. healthcare system. While the debate continues and many questions and uncertainties regarding healthcare remain, one fact has emerged clearly: the need for healthcare professionals — particularly highly educated and skilled workers — will rise at unprecedented rates in the coming decades. Researchers at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and Workforce predicted recently that 5.6 million additional healthcare workers will be needed by 2020. And, the study revealed, the great 

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right: Theo Anderson

majority of the jobs that will be available will require post-secondary education, with higher-earning positions demanding advanced degrees and training. Alvernia has risen to the forefront of addressing this rapidly growing need for highly educated employees, both in clinical settings and other areas of healthcare. Regional partnerships with large providers like St. Joseph Medical Center, the Reading Hospital and Medical Center and others are providing many opportunities while expanded nursing and occupational therapy programs and a new healthcare science major are also playing important roles. “The focus is on meeting our regional community’s needs and helping students to be able to progress,” said Karen S. Thacker, dean, College of Professional Programs at Alvernia. “We know that the more educated our workforce, the better the outcomes to patients will be.” Alvernia’s commitment to better-educated nurses extends back to late 1980s, when the college initiated a RN-BSN completion program with St. Joseph Hospital, a first of its kind in the region. That began a partnership that has extended more than 20 years and has expanded into additional continuing education programs for nurses as well as clinical education initiatives in patient care and community outreach. In 2011, the university formed a partnership that simultaneously enrolled students in the institution and The Reading Hospital and Medical Center’s School of Health Sciences. “We’re building relationships with Reading Hospital nurses, radiology technicians, paramedics and surgery technologists,” Thacker said. “All of these allied health professionals can have the opportunity for a bachelor’s degree from Alvernia that complements what they already have.” Dual-enrolled students attending the School of Health Science receive an Alvernia photo identification card and have access to university facilities and events. “We want those students to know us, so that when it’s time for them to transition here they’re comfortable and ready,” Thacker said. Alvernia is also working with Reading Area Community College (RACC) to provide smooth transitions for students who obtain associate degrees at RACC and wish to continue their education at Alvernia. “We’re looking at all the healthcare programs the institutions offer, from certifications to master-level degrees,” Thacker said. “We are working toward establishing seamless processes for students who wish to transition from one school to another, or from one program to another.” It’s important for the schools to work together to assure that ample numbers of students get the education they need in order to fill varied healthcare jobs, including nursing, as they become available. “There’s no way we can produce enough nurses through our program alone,” Thacker said. “We need the diploma and the associate (degree) students in order to turn out the numbers that will be needed.” Alvernia’s College of Professional Programs offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, while students in RACC’s healthcare programs earn associate degrees, and the Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences offers diploma programs.

“We’re building relationships with Reading Hospital nurses, radiology technicians, paramedics and surgery technologists. All of these allied health professionals can have the opportunity for a bachelor’s degree from Alvernia that complements what they already have.” Karen Thacker, dean, College of Professional Programs Alvernia’s new healthcare science major will prepare students for various jobs in a wide range of healthrelated fields or to continue their studies in graduate or professional schools. “It (the major) is intended to be diverse,” said Dolores Bertoti, an associate professor and department chair for Allied Health and Human Services, who worked to develop the major. “Today’s healthcare arena requires professionals who are clinicians not only working with patients but also working in many other areas of healthcare.” In keeping with the university’s Franciscan values, the mission of the healthcare science program is to prepare graduates to work in a changing healthcare environment while becoming engaged in their communities. The program provides education from the Catholic and liberal arts traditions, combining professional education with ethical values. After completing core classes, students in the healthcare science major will be able to develop an area of concentration that will prepare them to work in areas including pharmaceutical sales, public health, health underwriting, community education and grant writing. “The intent is to meet the needs of the broad arena of jobs,” Bertoti said. “We need bachelor-level, trained professionals to work in the many areas of healthcare.” The university also continues to focus on its existing master’s program for occupational therapy and a four-year degree in athletic training. Alvernia’s initiatives to expand and build on its healthcare programs are in response, in part, to calls from the Institute of Medicine, the National League for Nursing, the Robert Wood Johnson and Carnegie foundations and other organizations to boost the educational levels of healthcare professionals. Nursing at the entry level is one of the few professions for which a bachelor’s degree is not required, although the trend is for hospitals, including those in Berks County and surrounding areas, to achieve bachelor degree-level nursing staffs. “The majority of hospitals in our region are seeking to meet the national goals of having a bachelor’s degree workforce,” Thacker said. Research also has suggested that nurses who have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing exhibit improved critical thinking, decision-making and communication. The recent Georgetown University study report stressed the need for advanced training and degrees for healthcare workers – both among professionals and those Continued on page 51

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Inspiring Hope in Poverty

By Lini S. Kadaba

Against All Odds

36 Alvernia University Magazine

Gloria M. Aznar will never forget the rats. As a child growing up in the dismal, hope-snuffing South Bronx, where poverty was everywhere, she kept vigil through the night on the living room sofa rather than sleep in her bed. “I was so terrified of these rats,” she says. “To me they were the size of cats. That’s how big they looked to me. “You have to live it to understand it.” The harrowing experience was one of many memories that washed over her as the 59-yearold nursing sophomore at Alvernia University read Jonathan Kozol’s Amazing Grace. The New York Times best-selling book from 1995 is required for 2012-13 First Year Seminar as well as other courses. It chronicles in unvarnished, heart-wrenching detail the lives of children and their families who lived in Mott Haven, a South Bronx neighborhood in the poorest congressional district in America. “This was my life,” says Aznar. 

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Inspiring Hope in Poverty

“Somewhere, there was something better waiting for me.” Gloria Aznar 38 Alvernia University Magazine

When Kozol spoke on campus in October, Alvernia President Thomas F. Flynn introduced him as “a truth-teller concerning issues that most would prefer to ignore or side-step.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 16 percent of the U.S. population lives below the poverty line – a statistic that has increased each year since 2008. Children are hit hardest, with more than one in five living in poverty. In Reading alone, poverty hits more than 40 percent of the population. Despite those staggering odds, some do triumph and find hope amidst the harrowing challenges of poverty. Aznar made it out of the South Bronx and continues to achieve in ways she never imagined. She has raised five successful children and has worked at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center as a licensed practical nurse for several years. Now, she holds down 12-hour weekend shifts even while studying toward her registered nurse credentials – a profession she considers a calling. The same is true about Junior Bernard, 24, a Haitian native and Alvernia sophomore who survived his country’s devastating earthquake and overcame hurdle after hurdle, including a stint when he had to beg in the streets, to pursue his education in the United States. He has written a book-length account about his ordeals titled The Survivor and has a second book in the works. Gina Dierolf, 22, is another success story. The senior studying psychology at Alvernia is well on her way to achieving her dream to work in the mental health field.

She grew up in a single-parent household in Northeast Reading and now helps other low-income children at the Olivet Boys & Girls Club. Talk to them and it’s clear the three share a sustaining optimism that bolsters them against grim odds. They have faith, both in God and themselves. They have initiative, determination and abilities that have served them well, and all have found role models who supported them from an early age. They inspire and, in many ways, reflect a quiet heroism. But they also are lucky – and too many others like them never get the same chances, argues

This page: Theo Anderson; previous spread: Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos

Against All Odds

Gloria Aznar

Kozol in Amazing Grace. “They do console us,” the 76-year-old writes, “but I think they may permit us also to congratulate ourselves too easily about the `bootstrap’ possibilities for individual endeavor or for localized renewal efforts in an atmosphere where the toxicity of life is nearly universal.” According to Kozol, success stories – the little miracles of poor communities – often “depend on someone in a relatively powerful position that can turn the key for them in the lock,” he says in an interview. He goes on to say that “charity is not a substitute for justice.” Systemic poverty, he makes the

case, is due to social policy choices that ghettoize the poor and squash their spirit. Many of New York City’s homeless were relocated to the South Bronx, for example. He has his critics, who say he ignores the progress made over time, and his ideas about poverty can be uncomfortable to hear – but that’s exactly why the Holleran Center for Community Engagement brought Kozol to campus. Its director, Jay Worrall, hopes students will grapple with the complexities of poverty in this country. “Our role is not to convince the students that one way or another way is right,” Worrall says, “but rather to have them think about

the problem in a new way.”

—  — On this evening, Gina Dierolf has shed her book bag and switched into a blue staff T-shirt at the Olivet Club in Reading. Upstairs in the homework/ computer center, she hovers near Edwin Gomez, 10, who peers at a sheet of fifth-grade multiplication problems through over-sized glasses. Dierolf flags a mistake and encourages the boy to rework the calculation, which he does. “Now you’re good,” she says with a shy smile. She points out his picture on a nearby bulletin board and 

says she never thought of her family – or Reading – as poor. “I guess I was an optimistic child,” she says. But the signs were there – and now looking back, she recognizes the hardships her mother, who worked the third shift doing laundry at a nursing home, had to navigate after her husband, Eugene, died suddenly. “There were times when we would spend the night at other people’s houses so we weren’t freezing in the winter because my mom couldn’t afford to pay the bills,” Dierolf says. “But she tried her hardest. …If we asked my mom for something or needed to do something, she was always

there to make it work somehow. We got a dog. We afforded it somehow. I don’t know how.” As Dierolf got older, the city’s woes became more apparent. Her school was rundown; family friends could not find work as jobs disappeared. Still, Dierolf says she always had role models, including her mother, sister and a fifth-grade teacher who “made everything fun and interesting.” One of the strongest influences on her was an after-school program – similar to Olivet. Her work at the boys and girls club is a way to pay it forward. “I feel like I have to go there,” she says. “Most of the kids don’t have people at home to be their support for them because

Theo Anderson

commends him: “You’re a good student in the homework center. So be proud.” He beams. With her unassuming presence and soft words of encouragement, Dierolf builds the self-esteem of her charges and makes the kind of impact that Kozol encourages. Edwin says he likes “Miss Gina,” as he calls her. “’Cause she talks nice and is nice to people,” he says. “She’s gentle.” Dierolf has worked at the center since her freshman year, earning a little more than minimum wage. She uses the income to help with college costs and to spot her mother, Gerry, for cab fare to work. Dierolf, who has an older sister,

Inspiring Hope in Poverty

Against All Odds

Junior Bernard

they only have one parent or their parents are at work a lot and rarely get a chance to be with them. “I grew up in the city where they’re growing up,” she continues. “I can help them somehow, I feel, even if it’s just helping them with their homework and letting them go on computers and do activities.”

—  — Junior Bernard has big dreams. He can’t list them fast enough. He wants to start an online business – a million dollar idea he says he’s keeping close to the vest for now. He wants to start a clothing

brand that will offer employment to his friends still mired in the poverty of Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world. And he wants to start a university in his hometown of Jeremie, in the southern part of the nation, to make higher education more accessible. “I have no doubt in what I’m saying,” says the communication major with designs to pursue an MBA. The middle of five children, he saw his parents – his father fixes electronics; his mother sells items at market – struggle to support him and his siblings. Many of his teenage friends dropped out of school, often because they had girlfriends who they got pregnant. “I started to have a dream,” he says. “I don’t want to end up in that situation. How can I make it out?” Already enterprising, he set his sights on America and followed around volunteers working in Jeremie, all the while picking up bits of English. But his path to the States and Alvernia was strewn with setbacks despite the occasional stroke of good luck. While looking for work at call centers and hotels in the Dominican Republic, he was forced to live for six months in depressing poverty. “It was the worst experience in my life,” he says. “Not eating for days. Surviving on faith. It was horrible. I was in a situation where I had to beg.” Back in Jeremie, he met

“I was in a situation where I had to beg. How can I make it out?” Junior Bernard

Continued on page 52

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bite taking a out of life 42 Alvernia University Magazine

F

arm-to-table. Nose-to-tail. Sustainable eating. These terms are ubiquitous in foodie manuals urging a diet based on locally grown ingredients. Ian Knauer, the acclaimed food writer who finds his inspiration on his family’s centuries-old farm about 15 miles southeast of Alvernia’s campus, and who spoke on campus in October, says these buzzwords reflect old common-sense ideas. Mouth-watering dishes result when creative cooks respect the earth. It makes sense to use a whole animal and eat edible weeds flourishing in your garden – hence Knauer’s recipes for purslane salad and a whole pig roasted in a pit. “The apples are ripe when the apples are ripe,” says Knauer, best known for his time as a food editor at Gourmet magazine. “It’s egotistical for us to decide that we should eat asparagus in February.” His muse is the 40-acre farm five miles west of the village of St. Peters. Johann Christopher Knauer brought his family there from Germany in the mid-1700s. Nearly 300 years later it inspired Knauer (yes, you pronounce the K) to author a cookbook, The Farm, which was published in April. It sprinkles morsels of memoir among 150 recipes starring ingredients he’s grown or foraged himself. When Sue Guay, assistant professor of English and communication, read a review of The Farm in the Reading Eagle, she thought Knauer was exactly the type of writer she should invite to speak at Alvernia during the Greater Reading Literary Festival. “Berks County takes great pride in local recipes and home-grown food,” says Guay, chair of the literary festival committee. She was also impressed by how Knauer

Acclaimed food writer Ian Knauer finds his inspiration on his family’s centuries-old farm 15 miles southeast of Alvernia’s campus.

By Rebecca VanderMeulen

stressed the value of preserving land, which hits home in Greater Reading’s agricultural areas. Knauer says his family never entertained the idea of selling its farm, even during the last decade’s housing boom. “It’s a whole lot of memories and history all in one,” says cousin Leif Collins, sipping coffee in the farmhouse kitchen paneled with century-old floral wallpaper. “This place is a living object.” During his visit to Alvernia, Knauer addressed a full house for his presentation that focused on passion for creative cooking with a holistic bent. The event included a brief cooking lesson, preparing one of his favorite recipes, “Potato Nachos,” much to the delight of the audience. No one lives on the farm full-time. Knauer travels there frequently from his home in New Hope, Bucks County. He and sisters Cecily and Haley grow a garden that sprouts a cornucopia including hot peppers, brussels sprouts, onions, lettuce Continued on page 49

ryan Perry ’14

As Perry kicks off the second half of his education at Man Alvernia, he plans to stay involved. “There are so many with a plan events happening on campus,” he says. To students just starting journey at Alvernia, says, “Leave your Perry istheir studying criminal justice atheAlvernia with the dorm room. Walk around campus. Go to the library andultimate to the gym. Get involved in everything has tohe offer goal of joining the Secret Service.Alvernia Next summer, so you can make the most of your college experience.” plans to enroll in Officer Candidate School for the United States Marine Corps. “I will attend the Reading Police Academy my first semester, finish the last of my courses my second semester, and then graduate with commission as a second lieutenant,” he says. “I will serve in the Marine Corp for six years and then hopefully enter the Secret Service when I am 29.” As Perry kicks off the second half of his education at Alvernia, he plans to stay involved. “There are so many events happening on campus,” he says. To students just starting their journey at Alvernia, he says, “Leave your dorm room. Walk around campus. Go to the library and to the gym. Get involved in everything Alvernia has to offer so you can make the most of your college experience.”

42 Alvernia University Magazine

Theo Anderson

Alvernia attracts students from across the nation and around the world, but none have traveled further than Ryan Perry ’14. That’s because Perry, who hails from the land ventured thandown 8,000under. miles from Among the students walking Alvenia’s campus, theredown is oneunder, who hails frommore the land RyanCanberra, Perry ’14 Australia, to study criminal justice at the Reading, Pa., campus. came all the way from Canberra, Australia to study criminal justice at Alvernia. “Twenty-three years ago, my parents left New Jersey so my could six months at the Australian Institute of “Twenty-three years ago, my parents left New Jersey dad so my dadwork couldfor work for six months at the Australian Sport a sport theyPerry fell insays. loveAs with the place Institute of Sport as a sport psychologist; they fell in love withasthe placepsychologist; and never left,” a result, Perry never left,”citizen. Perry says. As a result, Perry was born there was born there and spent the first 18 years of his life asand an Australian and spent the first 18 years of his life as an Australian citizen. when itnew. came time for college, Perry was ready for But when it came time for college, Perry was ready for But something something new. “Growing up, I he always to attend college thein the “Growing up, I always wanted to attend college in the United States,” says.wanted “From what I heard and in saw States,” he experience says. “Frominwhat I heard saw in you movies, going to college in the U.S. was totally differentUnited from the college Australia. Inand Australia, movies, going to college the isUnited States drive to class and only attend classes in your major. Youthe don’t stay on campus, and in there no real socialwas scene.” He totally different the college experience in Australia. In wanted more, so Perry decided to look for schools nearly 10,000 miles from home. Australia, you drive to class and only attend classes in your major. You don’t stay on campus, and there is no real social Professors on a first-name basis scene.” He wanted more, so Perry decided to look for schools acrossCatholic the Pacific. When Perry started his college search, he wanted a small university with division three sports (because he played baseball at the time) and a good criminal justice program. Alvernia showed up at the top of his list, and he’s been thrilled with his American college experienceProfessors since he enrolled on a first-name basis When Perry started his college search, he wanted a small “I felt a smaller school would really help me academically, anduniversity it really has,” says. III “Here, the(because professors Catholic withPerry Division sports he know me on a first-name basis, and I can go into their played offices whenever to. Inand class, I can criminal put my hand up baseball atI need the time) a good justice and immediately have my question answered,” he says.program. Alvernia showed up at the top of his list, and he’s been thrilled with his American college experience Perry also chose Alvernia because of its baseball team, which played on for the first part of his college years. since he he enrolled. “It’s a great group of guys with a lot of talent,” he says of “I the program. felt a smaller school would really help me academically, and it really has,” Perry says. “Here, the professors know me The ultimate pledge of allegiance on a first-name basis, and I can go into their offices whenever I need to. In class, I can put my hand up and immediately Perry is studying criminal justice at Alvernia with thehave ultimate goal of joining the Secret Service. Next summer, my question answered,” he says. he plans to enroll in Officer Candidate School for the United States Corp. “I because will attend thebaseball Readingteam, Police Perry also Marine chose Alvernia of its Academy my first semester, finish the last of my courseswhich second and graduate with as hesemester, played on forthen the first part of hiscommission college years. a second lieutenant,” he says. “I will serve in the Marine Corp for six yearsofand then hopefully enter theheSecret “It’s a great group guys with a lot of talent,” says of Service when I am 29.” the program.

student Profile

Finding home a

World away

For Australian native Ryan Perry, Alvernia’s welcoming campus is a perfect fit.

By Elizabeth Shimer Bowers Alvernia University Magazine

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Alumni Profile: Jennifer Krow ’03, M’11

Jennifer Krow, third from right, spends some time with a few of her Disney friends in Orlando.

Wishing Upon a Star… Alvernia alumna is living out a dream working for Disney As she recalls her many childhood memories of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Pluto, Jennifer Krow ‘03, M‘11, knows that she is living proof that dreams do come true. “I am a big Disney fan; I have many memories of coming to Walt Disney World as a child with my family, as well as later in life with my husband and both our families,” says Krow. The Alvernia graduate translated her Franciscan education into a dream job as senior financial analyst for Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Making smart financial decisions for Disney A Reading Pa., native, Krow graduated from Alvernia with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance in 2003 and a master’s degree in business in 2011. She began her finance career at Godiva Chocolates, and then moved west to work for Microsoft and then on to what

46 Alvernia University Magazine

is now known as the Disney Interactive Media Group. She has also held various finance roles at Walt Disney World, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Home Shopping Network. At the Grand Floridian, Krow puts her people and analytical skills to work to manage the budget and support a number of the resort’s business lines, including guest service operations, merchandise, recreation, housekeeping, and administration areas. She acts as a critical thought partner for the resort, providing financial analyses to measure profitability. Krow also performs analyses on new concepts and projects, as well as postmortem analyses to measure the impact of business decisions. “And I help manage the five-year and annual operating plans,” she says. Krow says she enjoys interacting with the Grand Floridian operators and helping guide them to make financially

sound decisions for the resort. She also enjoys her role as a member of Alvernia’s President’s Advisory Council, a leadership group that meets regularly to provide advice and perspective on major institutional issues. “Embrace curiosity” Working for Disney allows Krow to operate in an environment that many guests view as a fantasyland. “Disney hosts many people from different backgrounds and cultures, bringing them all together with a positive message,” she says. “The resort gives people the chance to escape reality and just focus on the good, being with people they care about and building memories.” To current Alvernia students who strive for a position such as hers, Krow says to keep an open mind. “Be open to learning new things, meeting new people and being in new places. Change is constant,” she says. “Curiosity is a great thing, so embrace it.”

Alumni Class Notes ▼1960s Dr. Colleen (Hoffman) Woodard ’68 and Richard Zakour were recently married.

▼1970s Rosemarie (Panfile) Malanga ‘71 and her husband Ronald celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on July 22. Rosemarie and Ronald have three children: Chris, Veronica and Monica. Timothy Daley ‘79 was featured in the Reading Eagle’s “Faces in the News” for his position as Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity of Berks County. Liz Symons, RN ‘79 has relocated to Pennsylvania after living in North Carolina for the past 11 years. She has recently started working at Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest in the MICU/SICU, after spending the last eight years as a travel nurse, working from Connecticut to Arizona and many spots in between.

▼1990s David Bentz ‘94 was one of four Shillington firefighters that received the Meritorious Service Award for rescuing a kayaker in the Schuylkill River. Holly A. Sibley Lamont ’96, M’01 celebrated one year as a stage four breast cancer survivor on April 21. She was featured in Maryland’s Komen Race for the Cure advertising in October. She is a teacher in the Reading School District, celebrating her 15th year teaching 1st grade.

▼2000s Steven Paul ‘04 and Sarah Noska are engaged to be married. Audrey Beth Krause ‘04 and William Dickman were married on July 21. Rebecca (Peal) Morrow ‘05, M’07 was named Director of Residential Life at Albright College. Morrow of West Reading oversees three professional staff members and 35 student staff members.

Kyle Smith ‘11 is engaged to Denise Elliott ‘11, M ‘12. A September 2013 wedding is planned.

Shirley Feyers ‘06 was featured in the Reading Eagle’s “In Our Schools” section. Feyers is the Principal of Mount Penn Primary Center in the Antietam School District. She is also the federal programs and language arts coordinator for the district. Conor Delaney ‘07 and his partner Courtnie Nein were featured in the Business section of the Reading Eagle regarding their new

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Stephanie (Simmers) Long ‘07 and her husband Benjamin welcomed Joshua Daniel Long into the world on July 1. Joshua weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces and was 21 inches long.

Julianne (Little) Campfield ’09 married William Campfield on June 23, at Shepherd of the Hills Church in Bechtelsville, Pa. There was an evening reception shared with friends and family following at Presidential Caterers, East Norriton, Pa. Juli and Bill live in Boyertown, Pa.

Amanda Ruth M’07 is the Sr. Financial Planning & Analysis Partner at QVC.

Kyle Smith ‘11 is engaged to Denise Elliott ‘11, M ‘12. A September 2013 wedding is planned.

business Good Life Financial Group. In addition, Conor recently had a daughter, Blake.

Ariel Velez ‘12 is a Student Financial Planning Counselor at Alvernia University. Victoria Opdyke ‘12 and Andrew Kirk are engaged to be married. The couple met at Alvernia University. An October 2013 wedding is planned. Victoria is serving Alvernia as an Interim Admissions Counselor. Have info for Class Notes? Submit it to alumni.alvernia.edu.

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Alumni awards presented Alvernia presented awards to two outstanding alumni during the annual President’s Dinner in October. The Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes contributions of Alvernia alumni to their professions, communities and the nation, was presented to Col. Deborah Geiger, Alvernia class of 1983. Col. Geiger’s commitment to serving her country began shortly after she graduated from Alvernia with a criminal justice degree. That’s when she started a 28-year stint in the U.S. military. Over the course of her decorated career, she has held an array of leadership positions from platoon leader to brigade commander. Her numerous awards include the Legion of Merit, Joint Commander Medal, Army Commendation Medal and National Defense Service Medal with bronze star. Currently on active duty in the Military Police Corps, she serves as an instructor at the Army War College at the Carlisle, Pa., Barracks.

Mark Your Calendar!

faith revolution | Cont. from page 23

the Second Vatican Council, which have formed the backbone of who we are in so many ways,” said McKelvie. “I think we have done a tremendous job in encouraging students, as well as faculty and staff, to participate in the Council through a number of means, but especially community service and social justice issues. And we all have pride that we are part of an institution where service and making a difference in the lives of others is interwoven into the fabric of who we are as a university.” And so the spiritual brush fire ignited 50 years ago by a then little-known pope’s dream of renewal continues through the work of universities, hospitals, parishes and families around the world. “It is a new dawn,” said Pope John XXIII. But dawn is a process. “Vatican II came at the end of a long history of discussion within the church that had gone on for a few hundred years,” says Alvernia theology instructor Jerry Vigna. “…Big institutions change very slowly.” Peggy Landers, a former Editor with the Philadelphia Daily News, is an awardwinning journalist who specializes in writing about religion, food, fashion and travel.

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2013 January 30 Alvernia vs Albright College Men’s and Women’s Basketball Games and Social

February 2 Women’s and Men’s Alumni Basketball Games and Social

March 9 Alvernia Night at the Reading Royals

May 2 Margaritaville

June 15 Alumni Night at the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs

Visit Alvernia’s alumni website for more information: alumni.alvernia.edu

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Just another way to stay connected

ed kopicki

Dr. Flynn with 2012 Ellen Frei Gruber Award recipient, Deanna Reuben,’79.

The Ellen Frei Gruber Award was presented to Deanna Reuben, class of 1979 and current member of Alvernia’s board. The award honors an alumnus who embraces the institution’s core values and demonstrates exceptional commitment to the university. Since graduating, Reuben has played a visible role in helping many non-profit agencies as well as her alma mater. Her service to the community is extensive and includes working with the Family Services Agency, Berks Youth Chorus, Friends of the Reading Hospital and the Reading Symphony Orchestra. She also organized and was the primary performer for fundraising concerts supporting the ALS Association of Philadelphia and Berks Women in Crisis. A talented vocalist, Reuben has chaired Alvernia’s Arts Committee, which has brought a variety of performers to the university. Under her leadership, the successful Arts at Alvernia Series has strengthened the university’s place as an arts destination in the community.

BITE OUT OF LIFE | Cont. from page 43

and garlic. Knauer, 35, grew up in Allentown. Every other weekend his family would visit the farm. He would mow the lawn in the summer and chop wood in cooler weather. “I hated this place when I was a kid,” he says. His grandfather, Daniel Knauer, ran the farm in addition to his career as a school administrator. Daniel, who died in 2010, taught his grandson how to raise honeybees and cook beets. From his grandfather, Knauer gained an appreciation for hard work. After graduating from Hofstra University on Long Island, he parlayed his affinity for numbers into work as a stockbroker for New Times Securities Services and Fidelity Investments. But he didn’t want to be sucked into the extreme greed he saw in “It’s egotistical his colleagues. He left finance for us to in 2000, around the time the tech decide that bubble burst. “A Ferrari is a really we should eat awesome car, but how does it change your life?” asparagus he asks. But Knauer in February.” loved how food brought people Ian Knauer together and made them happy. He’d devoured cookbooks as a kid. Through a friend he landed a gig watching the son of legendary food critic Ruth Reichl. Knauer would fall asleep at Reichl’s house, nose in her cookbooks. Reichl went on to launch Gourmet and hired Knauer as a test cook, in charge of making recipes developed by the magazine’s food editors. He was eventually promoted to write recipes himself and took lessons at cooking schools around the world. Gourmet was shuttered in 2009. Since then Knauer has written for publications like Bon Appetit and Men’s Health. He says good cooking doesn’t require hours in the kitchen. His recipes call for ingredients that aren’t hard to find. “One of my favorite things to do is look in the fridge and see what’s in there, and be as creative as I can with it,” he says. In August, he had some tomatoes that were close to rotting and concocted a ratatouille pizza. He dismisses today’s crop of cooking shows

as merely entertaining “dump and stir” offerings. So in 2013 he’s launching a show in PBS, also called The Farm. He wants to teach viewers how to make delectable locally sourced meals. People already have what they need to be good cooks, he says. Someone just has to show them how. “Instead of preaching

values, I want to spread the word,” Knauer says. “I’ve discovered this really awesome thing. Check it out.” Rebecca VanderMeulen is a freelance writer based in Downingtown, Pa. Her work has appeared in Keystone Edge, Berks County Living, The Philadelphia Inquirer and various highereducation publications. Alvernia University Magazine

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Tess Gerritsen

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researcher. She reads every magazine, every newspaper, and something in a story will hit her, and that will be the impetus for a novel. She is so creative.” Gerritsen says her creativity stretches back to childhood. She was a veracious reader who dreamed of being like Nancy Drew, her favorite character, and wrote her first “book” at age 11. “It was a book about my cat that had died. I even bound it with needle and thread. Once you start reading a lot, you think, ‘I want to do this. I want to tell a story.’ I always wanted to be a writer,” she says. However, as a young adult, Gerritsen followed her parents’ advice and enrolled in medical school after graduating from Stanford University. “I had conservative Chinese parents who believed science was the way to make a career,” she says. “Even in college and medical school, I remember jotting down stories in my notebooks and continuing to read. I would reward myself after an exam by diving back into a novel. I enjoyed medical work, but writing was always my passion.” Gerritsen returned to her passion while raising her sons, now ages 28 and 30. “We live so long, and there is enough time to have three or four occupations,” she says. “One thing I told my sons is you better do what you like to do. You cannot predict what’s going to make you happy.” In 1987, Gerritsen’s first novel, Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was published. She wrote eight more romantic suspense novels, as well as a screenplay, Adrift, which aired as a 1983 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson. She later began writing medical thrillers, including Harvest, which was released in 1996 and became her first New York Times best seller. Her other suspense novels include Life Support, Bloodstream, Gravity, Body Double, Vanish and The Apprentice, which is the novel that introduced Rizzoli and Isles. “The Apprentice, the sequel to The Surgeon, came about because the villain from The Surgeon wouldn’t leave my head. I knew there was more to his story,” Gerritsen says. “And I wanted to write more about Jane Rizzoli, who was so deeply haunted by the case. Jane was

LEFT: Jessica Hills; right: Theo Anderson (2)

word doctor | Cont. from page 17

healthcare | Continued from page 35

“Tess is an extraordinary medical mystery writer whose journey supports the idea that careers evolve and that hard work and determination are key factors in achieving success.” Sue Guay

merely a minor character in The Surgeon but her personality was so strong and vivid, she took over the story. “She’s based on many female cops I’ve met — tough, smart and hungry to be respected. Maura, also a minor character at first, is very much based on my own personality. She believes in science and logic and is at heart an introvert.” Gerritsen, who has a knack for crafting unforgettable characters and storylines that stick with you for days, was eager to share her “writing secrets” during her discussion at Alvernia. “Developing characters is a lot like meeting someone for the first time. You know their gender or race or height or even age. But I’ve learned that, after a few months of writing, the character reveals itself over time,” says Gerritsen, who has sold more than 25 million books worldwide. ”I read something or hear a conversation, and I think, ‘Well, what happens next?’ It sparks my curiosity and gives a starting point for novel. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer. I focus on the emotion and start writing. I start off with a vague idea where I think the story will go, but I let it unwind by itself.” Her best advice for beginning writers? Being creative takes immense effort, a good bit of self-editing and the ability to shake off self-doubt. “Don’t get discouraged,” she adds. “Halfway through [your writing], you’ll question yourself. The best you can do is to keep writing. After you polish your first draft, and polish it again, you’ll realize, ‘Wow, this turned out OK.’” And remember, “the first draft always stinks,” she says, laughing.

in support jobs. “In healthcare, there are really two labor markets – professional and support,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, the lead author of the report and director of the Center on Education and Workforce. “Professional jobs demand postsecondary training and advanced degrees, while support jobs demand high school and some college.” It is advantageous for healthcare workers to pursue additional education in order to attain professional status, the report said, because a professional worker on average earns two and half times more than a support worker. “Changing healthcare needs and increasing challenges for the future will demand highly skilled and committed employees,” Thacker said. This is particularly true in the nursing field, where a great many jobs are expected to become available as the economy improves and nurses who have delayed retirement leave the workforce. “There will be a great demand, and we want to be sure that we are doing everything we can to help meet that demand,” Thacker said. Susan Shelly has written more than 30 books and is a frequent contributor to area newspapers and magazines. She lives in Shillington, Pa.

Today’s healthcare arena requires professionals who are not only clinicians working with patients, but are working in many other areas of healthcare. Dolores Bertoti

Kristin Boyd has been writing for newspapers and magazines for more than 10 years. Alvernia University Magazine

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“If we asked my mom for something … We afforded it somehow. I don’t know how.” Gina Dierolf

volunteer Billy Barr, a New Jersey businessman who was taken with this translator, a smart, resourceful young man. “He called his wife and said, `We cannot let him die in poverty,’” Bernard says. As the Barrs started the process to bring him to the U.S., Bernard traveled to Portau-Prince to take an English proficiency exam. It coincided with the country’s worst earthquake in two centuries. “I stayed there three days, and it was three days in hell,” he says. He was unharmed but conditions in the capital quickly deteriorated. “It was like a zombie movie, all these dead bodies. Crying every single day. A lot of people were in buildings. You could hear them, but no one could reach them.” Bernard wrote about the ruin around him and his belief that God saved his life with a plan in mind. The essay, emailed among Americans who knew him, eventually found its way

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to Robyn Stuart, assistant director of student activities at Alvernia. Bernard was offered a full scholarship. But he faced one more hurdle: He had to pass his GED. Bernard, 21 at the time, was testing at a sixth-grade level; if he failed the exam, he would have to return to Haiti. But after weeks of study, he succeeded. “With God’s grace and hard work and faith, I did it,” he says. “Because you are born in poverty, doesn’t mean you have to die in poverty. There is a reason for people to have dreams.”

—  —

During his visit to Alvernia, Kozol, a slight man with thinning hair, speaks to social work students about his work with poor children in Boston and popular preconceptions. “I don’t know how you feel,” he says. “I try very hard not to scapegoat the parents, not to be too harsh on parents in disorganized families.” His measured tones are punctuated by a wry sense of humor. “I happen to be Jewish,” he says. “But I’m very fond of St. Francis.” Mostly, though, he inspires by urging the students to not feel powerless in the face of such vast societal problems. “History is not something you need to read about in textbooks,” he says. “History is what you do in the morning about the ideals you dreamt about the night before. You don’t need to watch it like a movie. You can be part of it.” Dani Motze, 22, a social work senior from Mount Penn, scribbles down salient points, energized by Kozol’s words. “That’s why I’m studying social work – to learn what I need to do about poverty,” she says. “I have always had to my core empathy and compassion.

People think they have to make change through an official institution or official agency. … But what he’s saying is that people can make a difference in unofficial ways.” Like mentoring a neighbor’s child. Or treating a homeless person with dignity. Alvernia aims to help its students learn of and act on their responsibilities to the world at large, says Dr. Joseph Cicala, vice president for University Life and dean of students. “Along with the privilege of scholarly study, we want our students to actively engage throughout our society, particularly in partnership with those who may not have immediate access to such privileges,” he says, adding that the freshman class spent their first full day of orientation cleaning up playgrounds around Reading. Gloria Aznar has her own mission of the moment. She wants to meet Jonathan Kozol, tell him the impact his book has had on her. “To me, it’s a blessing that finally somebody put it in words, because people actually lived those experiences,” she says, gripping her copy of Amazing Grace as Kozol prepares to speak before more than 875 students and community residents. An only child, Aznar often was the caretaker for her ill mother. Many times, the family had little food. “Sometimes, we used to boil an onion and drink that broth and eat the onion,” she says. “That’s all we had for that day.” The lobby of the rat-infested building where the family lived was often clogged with prostitutes and drug addicts, who would shoot up in front of her. She recalls times when she and her mother stood pressed

left: Theo Anderson; right: Carey Manzolillo

against all odds | Cont. from page 41

Kozol on campus against the front door of their apartment to prevent vagrants from kicking the door in. At school, she was an eager student but wasn’t taught much. “I was already in seventh grade, and I couldn’t tell time,” she says. Then at 14, the worst happened. She was raped. She never told anyone. She gave birth to a son, dropped out of school to raise him and was pressured into a marriage of convenience to a man eight years her senior. He would disappear for months at a time and later became verbally and emotionally abusive. When she tried to flee a few years later with her then two young children, he followed, first to Philadelphia and then Reading. “Then my nightmare started all over again,” she says. She eventually escaped his grip – and her fortune turned when she got a job with a dentist who trained her to be his assistant. That led to her GED and then her LPN. “Somewhere, there was something better waiting for me,” she says. “My mother said, `Never give up.’ That kept me going all my life.”

—  —

Kozol has finished speaking to a standing ovation. Aznar approaches the table where he is signing books and tells him where she grew up and went to school. She clasps his hand and gives him a long embrace. In her copy of Amazing Grace, which she presses to her chest, he has drawn a heart and inscribed that they share a “kinship in the struggle together.”

During his visit to Alvernia, Jonathan Kozol (above) spent time talking to students and faculty about effecting change in their lifetimes. Kozol and President Flynn (right) talked at length about their similar backgrounds, growing up in neighboring Boston towns. It was in Boston, while working as a teacher within the public school system, that Kozol began to fully realize the adversity that the poor faced in their pursuit of education. Kozol spent much of his time since the early ’90s in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in America, Mott Haven, located in the South Bronx, New York City. While there, he was introduced to issues beyond the educational adversity that faced the poor, including underfinancing of medical care, lack of proper housing, deficiency of occupational opportunities and the rampage of violence. His book Amazing Grace, which was spawned by the wealth of experiences he gained from the South Bronx community, attempted to humanize these social issues through the experience of specific individuals, and to call for social reform.

Alvernia student Gloria Aznar (above) shared many of her challenging life experiences with Kozol during his time on campus. The author presented Azner with a signed copy of Amazing Grace and the pair shared a hug before parting, bringing several onlookers to tears.

Lini S. Kadaba is a former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter based in Newtown Square, Pa, and regular contributor to Alvernia Magazine. Alvernia University Magazine

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my turn | Continued from page 13

too lost votes in a stunning number of places. These declines reflect strengthening trends. In 2008, for instance, the Republicans lost voters in seventy-one of the seventy-two counties in Wisconsin and in fifty-five of Pennsylvania’s sixtyseven counties. We are not just turning into a nation divided between red and

blue, we are turning into a nation of voters and non-voters—and the nonvoters are beginning to win. Although the final figures have yet to be certified, the final tally of lost votes will be close to ten million in a country whose population continues to grow. The reality is clear: voting by the general populace is collapsing

President Thomas F. Flynn, Ph.D. Publisher and Editor in Chief Brad Drexler Creative Director Steve Thomas Contributing Editor Carey Manzolillo ’06, M’07 Contributing writers Elizabeth Shimer Bowers; Kristin Boyd; Dr. Thomas F. Flynn; Audrey Hoffman ’09, M’10; Lini Kadaba; Andrew Kaucher ‘15; Jon King ’04; Peggy Landers; Carey Manzolillo ’06, M’07; Susan Shelly; Rebecca VanderMeulen

and catastrophically so. Tim Blessing has been a key researcher of leadership and presidential studies since 1979. He has figured prominently in evaluations of presidential performance for more than three decades and appears frequently in the media on issues related to the United States presidency.

Save the Date

Margaritaville! May 2, 2013 Live music and good times with alumni, faculty and staff make this a favorite event each spring. Visit alumni.alvernia.edu for details on all alumni events.

Alvernia Magazine is a publication of Alvernia University. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Correspondence should be addressed to 540 Upland Avenue, Reading, PA 19611, or email: magazine@alvernia.edu

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Theo Anderson

Contributing photographers Theo Anderson; Sharon Gunther; Jon King ’04; Carey Manzolillo ’06, M’07

Passion for teaching

By Andrew Kaucher

Teaching young children to love and appreciate any subject is much easier when they know they are loved and valued by their teacher. For Heather Shainline ‘12, an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA), loving the children she works with comes as second nature. Today she is one of 16 VISTAs working through the Pennsylvania Campus Compact. This specific program aids college campuses that are passionate about improving at-risk K-12 student success, increasing college access for at-risk high school students and extending food access for low-income families. The Compact’s overall goal is to help bring these individuals and their families out of poverty. As part of her VISTA commitment, Shainline is working in collaboration with Alvernia’s Holleran Center for Community Engagement to grow the Alvernia READS program— a natural fit for her love of teaching. In doing so, she is playing a role to make a difference in a nation where more than half of kids below the poverty line are not read to daily. Without a solid basis for reading and a developed love of reading, children from lowincome families are showing a more than 40-point gap on reading comprehension tests between themselves and children from highincome families. “Heather is a remarkably compassionate and capable young woman with a passion for working with children and is a perfect fit for the Alvernia

Heather Shainline

READS program,” said Jay Worrall, director of the Holleran Center. “She is the latest of many outstanding VISTA workers who have made an impact at the Holleran Center.” Shainline is using her experience as a VISTA to work with the underprivileged and at-risk youth she wants to teach in the future. “I want to be out there. I want to have a classroom…my hopes and my dreams are to teach,” she said. Her affinity for education is nothing new. In fact, it began when she was a youngster. As far back as preschool, she had always wanted to teach. Attending a small, Catholic high school set her up perfectly to fall in love with Alvernia years later. “At a university like Alvernia, where community service is well understood and appreciated, and the campus community well loved, and well developed, I fit right in,” said Shainline. As an education major, she had the opportunity to student teach during her last semester. “I loved being where I was. I loved teaching all the kids. I loved the atmosphere. I loved telling people what I was doing,” she said. Last May, Shainline received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with the intent to teach as soon as possible, but fate led her first to a year in the national AmeriCorps VISTA program – and the opportunity to put her passion in action. Andrew Kaucher is a sophomore majoring in English at Alvernia. Alvernia University Magazine

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Vatican II

See story page 18

years later

The Vatican Council’s sweeping changes during the culturally turbulent ’60s continue to reverberate around the world.


Alvernia Magazine Winter/Spring 2013