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fall 2010

University Magazine

Walking with


Healing the hurt and homeless in Haiti

Create a Lasting


Leaving a gift to Holy Family University through your will or life insurance policy allows you to make a meaningful contribution to the next generation of students, yet costs you nothing today.

“My parents absolutely loved Holy Family. When the college first opened in 1954, they encouraged me to enroll. They have since passed on, but they left me a life insurance policy, which I gave to the University on the occasion of their 75th wedding anniversary. I, like my parents before me, want Holy Family to continue providing opportunities for students to learn and lead meaningful lives.” Mary Gindhart ’59

Giving Through Your Will You can set aside a specific dollar amount, leave a percentage of your estate, or leave assets left over after providing for your family. Or you can leave financial investments, such as stocks, bonds, or CDs. These gifts may provide tax savings. Giving Through Life Insurance By designating Holy Family as the beneficiary of life insurance or by giving the University a paid-up policy, you can provide a significant gift while reserving other assets for other purposes. You also may receive tax benefits. Legacy gifts are easy to arrange, will not alter your current lifestyle, and can be easily modified to address changed circumstances or needs. For more information on legacy giving, contact Bob Wetzel at or 267-341-3428.

hope Knowledge Opportunities


In this issue






Playing for Laughs Forty years after doctors said he wouldn’t live past his 30s, comedian Tim Grill ’05 is lighting up the stage and keeping audiences in hysterics throughout the Delaware Valley. By Richard Rys


Prison Boss As head of the Philadelphia Prison System’s correctional industries, Eleanor Simpson Doherty ’81 provides incarcerated men and women with real-life job skills and alternatives to a life of crime. By Kristen A. Graham


Walking with Saints Seven days after a massive earthquake shook Haiti to its very core, emergency room physician Keith Lafferty, MD ’89 boarded a plane bound for the devastated country and an experience that would indelibly change his life. By Barbara Link




The Tigers Turn 25 From moving into the Campus Center to joining the NCAA’s Division II, Holy Family Athletics have come a long way, baby. By Steve Lienert


A message from the President

4 BrieflyNoted Out and about on campus 32 1000Words A visual slice of life at Holy Family

39 TigerTales

Reports from the court, track, and field

40 FamilyReunion

News for the alumni community

4 MemoryLane 4 A nostalgic trip back in time

6 GivingBack 4 Making a difference on campus 48 LastWord

Q&A with Bruce Boxer M’07, co-author of the new book Creative Solutions to Enhance Nursing Quality


Photo by Thony Belizaire/GettyImages

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A message from the President


n many ways, the Holy Family University experience is one of constant evolution. There are countless ways to catalog how we have changed over the years: from a locally oriented commuter college to a comprehensive university offering modern residence halls; from a single building to a thriving campus complex and three suburban sites; from no intercollegiate athletics presence to a competitive Division II program. Speaking clearly and cogently about these changes is vital, for if we cannot define ourselves with precision and clarity, we cannot expect others to do so. During these competitive times in higher education, allowing outdated perceptions to remain unchallenged can lead only to failure. That is why Holy Family is presently engaged in a repositioning and rebranding process. Probing deeply into who we are and what we stand for, and then communicating that to all of our constituencies, is the best way to ensure that the most accurate description of the University is given to the public. Thanks to this initiative, we are better positioned to articulate our identity than at any other time in our history. With renewed confidence, we are communicating the essence of Holy Family University: + We are a faith-inspired, values-oriented community of thinkers and problem solvers + Our faculty and students act with purpose toward excellence and success + We demand mastery in teaching and diligence in learning so that our graduates are certain to achieve outcomes of professional influence and success For proof about the quality of our graduates, you need look no further than the pages of this issue of Holy Family University Magazine. Here you will read about Dr. Keith Lafferty ’89, who headed to Haiti to work in a field hospital after the earthquakes that devastated the impoverished country in January; about Tim Grill ’05, a comedian who incorporates his struggles with spina bifida into his act; and about Eleanor Doherty ’81, who oversees Philacor, the Philadelphia Prison System’s correctional industries, which prepares inmates for post-release life by equipping them with transferable job skills and positive work ethics. One of the greatest things about Holy Family is that alumni such as Keith, Tim, and Eleanor are not exceptions. On the contrary, they are wonderfully representative examples of our graduates. In other words, they are like you—men and women prepared to lead with passion and wisdom, mercy and insight, throughout the world, wherever there is a need. Holy Family is indeed proud of all its alumni! God bless you and your families. Sincerely,

Editor Jennifer Zamora Art Director Jay Soda Contributing Writers Thomas W. Durso Paul Gornowski Kristen A. Graham Naomi Hall Suzanne Libenson Steve Lienert Barbara Link Bob Macartney Richard Rys Kathy Warchol Marie Zecca Contributing Artist Daniel Adel Contributing Photographers Susan Beard Design Michael Branscom Bob Macartney John McKeith Anne McNulty Kathleen Migliarese Sabina Louise Pierce Current Awards CUPRAP-The Association of Communicators in Education Feature Article - Silver Holy Family University Magazine is published biannually by the Division of Institutional Advancement. Please address all correspondence to: Editor Holy Family University Magazine 9801 Frankford Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19114 The opinions and views expressed in Holy Family University Magazine do not necessarily reflect the official policies of Holy Family University. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of published information.

Sister Francesca Onley, CSFN, PhD ’59 President

GreenChart These savings were achieved by the use of postconsumer recycled fiber for the cover and text pages of Holy Family University Magazine

University Magazine

© 2010 Holy Family University

27 trees

10,549 gallons

1,173 pounds

4,431 pounds

13 million BTUs

preserved for the future

wastewater flow saved

solid waste not generated

net greenhouse gases prevented

energy not consumed

Environmental impact estimates were made using the Environmental Defense Fund Paper Calculator. For more information visit


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We’ve Got You

Covered At Discounted Alumni Rates

The Alumni Association is pleased to sponsor an insurance program as a service to alumni and other members of our community. The program offers a variety of attractively priced insurance products, most of which are available to: alumni • students • spouses faculty and staff • parents, children, and siblings small business owners and employees

Health Insurance For those with a temporary or permanent need for coverage, such as the unemployed, self-employed, and recent graduates, and for special situations, including travelers and students. Travel Insurance Trip Protection and Travel Medical options for U.S. and foreign residents—from individual coverage for a vacation, to group coverage for organizations traveling abroad.

Life Insurance Long-term protection with great rates and fantastic features. Coverage is available to $1 million. Special Event Insurance Reasonably priced protection for events lasting from a few hours to as many as 10 days. Long-Term Care Insurance Provides peace of mind by protecting assets and transferring some—or all—of the risk of long-term care to an insurance company.

For more information visit or contact our program administrator, Meyer and Associates, at 800-635-7801. Revenue generated by this program supports the Alumni Association.



Out and about on campus

Holy Family Sends Off the Class of 2010 the visionary Founder and Chairman of the Catholic Leadership Institute, a nonprofit lay association of the faithful headquartered in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Prendergast addressed the undergraduate commencement ceremony, held in the afternoon, while Flanagan spoke to graduate degree recipients at the morning gathering. While the speakers delivered their insights with passion and eloquence, the most inspirational and moving moment came while students were receiving their degrees. Jisha Mathai, a Psychology major and student leader who had been wheelchair-bound since an accident at age nine, used a walker hilly temperatures and daylong to make her way across the stage and drizzle weren’t nearly enough receive her diploma. That short jourto dampen the spirits of Holy Family University’s Class of 2010, whose 800- ney, the first time Mathai had walked in public since her injury, elicited a plus members received their degrees standing ovation from her classmates, in dual ceremonies held May 18 at the assembled faculty and administrathe Kimmel Center, in Center City tion, and the audience who packed the Philadelphia. Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall. This year’s honorary degree recipients were John Prendergast, Cofounder of the Enough Project, a global initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity; Sister Janice Fulmer, CSFN, PhD, former Superior General of the Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth; and Timothy Flanagan,

“Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’” she told WPVI-TV. “I really want to see change in the world, especially for people with spinal cord injuries and paraplegics.” – Thomas W. Durso


Jisha Mathai (above) walks in public for the first time since an accident at age nine left her wheelchair-bound. John Pendergrast (top left), Sister Janice Fulmer, CSFN, PhD (bottom left), and Timothy Flanagan (center) receive honorary degrees at Holy Family’s 53rd commencement ceremonies.

After a combined 155 years of service to Holy Family, the following professors retire from the University: (left to right) Regina Hobaugh, PhD, Thomas Lombardi, PhD, Susan Miovech, PhD, Cathleen Jenner, PhD, S. Johanna Gedaka, SSJ, PhD, and Thomas Brown, MBA.


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New Three-Year Degree Option to Save Time, Costs eginning in September 2010, B eligible students in the School of Business Administration will have the

option to complete an undergraduate degree in just three years. The three-year program is open to students seeking a bachelor of arts in Business Administration with the following concentrations: Accounting, Computer Management Information Systems, Finance, International Business, Management-Marketing, and Sport Management-Marketing. Holy Family is the first university in the city to offer an innovative three-year undergraduate degree that isn’t part of a five-year graduate degree program. The University attracted national media attention in March when news of the program was announced in the Philadelphia

Inquirer, Inside Higher Education, and USA Today. Students earning a degree through this option will pay the same yearly tuition as a typical business undergraduate but save one year of tuition, time, and room and board, less the cost of summer courses. The option requires students to carry 18 credits per semester and take 12 credits over two summers, enabling them to earn the required 120 credit hours of instruction for a baccalaureate degree a year earlier. A personal advisor will work with three-year option students to help schedule classes and monitor their progress. Students must follow the three-year course sequence for the duration of the program. The three-year option is suited for

highly motivated students, including transfers and returning veterans. Students who do not maintain a minimum grade point average will be transferred to the traditional four-year program. - Naomi Hall

First Doctoral Program in University History to Launch in 2011


oly Family will kick off the new year by adding a doctoral degree to its growing portfolio of graduate programs. The new degree, a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Professional Studies, is a research-based program designed to develop innovative and ethical school and community leaders. The four-year program will begin in January 2011 and initially enroll about 25 students. Grace O’Neill, EdD, currently the Graduate Program Co-Chair, will serve as Acting Program Director. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education approved the 60-credit program in May 2010. “We seek to foster candidates who can make significant contributions to the field through applied research,” says Leonard Soroka, EdD, School of Education Dean. “By emphasizing research, along with interdisciplinary studies and ethical decision making, our program is poised to become a regional leader in doctoral education studies.” Three fields of study will prepare students to work in schools, agencies, and universities. They include educational leadership, which will prepare candidates to assume positions as superintendents or principals; literacy leadership, which will prepare candidates for leadership roles in the field of literacy within schools and at the university level; and professional studies in leadership, which will prepare candidates for leadership roles in focused areas such as special education. The program is flexible and designed for working professionals. Courses will be offered during the evening and summer sessions, and some online and weekend courses will be available. – Jennifer Zamora

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Hybrid MBA Expands to New Quakertown Location


oly Family University will open its newest location in Quakertown this fall. 

 It will be one of two locations hosting the University’s Accelerated Hybrid MBA program. Classes will be held inside the Spring Hill Suites by Marriott, located at 1930 John Fries Highway, just minutes from the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Quakertown exit. 

 Building on the University’s successful Accelerated MBA program, the hybrid format blends face-to-face classroom interaction with the convenience and flexibility of the online learning environment. Each eight-week course meets in the classroom one Saturday per month, with all other coursework conducted online. - Bob Macartney

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Out and about on campus

Criminal Justice Professor Takes SAS Reins


he new Dean of Holy Family’s School of Arts & Sciences (SAS) brings considerable familiarity to the role. Michael W. Markowitz, PhD, was in his second stint as a University faculty member when he was tapped to replace Regina Hobaugh, PhD, who concluded more than four decades at Holy Family in June. Dr. Markowitz taught Criminal Justice at Holy Family from 1991 to 1994 before departing for a variety of faculty and administrative positions at Widener University and Cabrini College. He also held an American Council on Education fellowship at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. He returned to the University as a Professor of Criminal Justice in 2009. As Dean, Dr. Markowitz oversees faculty and curricula in a variety of disciplines, many of which are required educational components, regardless of a student’s major.

“Like the University, SAS is poised to begin a process of academic strengthening and growth—one that will further advance the mission of the institution and continue to meet the needs of our students in challenging and dynamic ways,” he says. “This is an exciting time for SAS, and I’m grateful to be a part of it.” Dr. Markowitz holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Richard Stockton State College, master’s degrees in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Rutgers University and Temple University, respectively, and a doctorate in Sociology from Temple, where he focused on criminology and the sociology of education. – Thomas W. Durso

Bittersweet Farewells Said at Folio Night


olio, the University’s literary journal, celebrated the unveiling of its 33rd edition in April during the annual Folio Night celebration at the Campus Center. It was a bittersweet farewell for longtime Folio advisor Thomas Lombardi, PhD, Professor Emeritus, and his wife, Victoria P. Lombardi, a Lecturer at Holy Family. Dr. Lombardi retired from the University in May after 45 years of teaching in the School of Arts and Sciences. Folio Night, which features writers and artists reading excerpts of their

original work as it appears in the journal, was marked with somber yet inspirational reflections and a spirit of sincere gratitude. Former students and colleagues paid tribute to Dr. Lombardi by sharing personal memories of him. Some simply thanked him. “It is my hope that Folio’s new standard bearers will continue to be guided by the time-honored traditions,” Dr. Lombardi said. Folio is now advised by Associate Professor John Woznicki, PhD, Division Head of Humanities, Arts

Susan Ewart, Dr. Thomas Lombardi, and Rev. James Collins reminisce at Folio Night.


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and Communications. He served as the master of ceremonies. Professor Patricia Michael, PhD, said, “For four decades Dr. Lombardi has made sure that the creative spirit and love of letters have played a central role in Holy Family life.” Dr. Michael, also gave a special tribute to Nicole Schiavoni, Co-editor of Folio 33 alongside Meredith Kahn, MA. Schiavoni battled serious illness, yet persevered through her studies and graduated with highest honors in December 2009. She was one of seven students among the December 2009 graduates to earn her undergraduate degree with the summa cum laude distinction. “When I think of Nicole, I think of words like integrity, dignity, and decency,” Dr. Michael said. A fellow student and friend, Susan Ewart, read two of Nicole’s works to the audience that evening. Schiavoni died in June. Folio Night ended with Dr. Lombardi and Dr. Woznicki leading a toast to the release of Folio 33, and the cutting of a celebratory cake for Dr. and Mrs. Lombardi. – Naomi Hall

From Sumo Wrestlers to Yoga, Grad Students Learn to Innovate and Integrate


he graduate student stood centerstage in the classroom dressed as a half-ton Japanese sumo wrestler, waiting to give her lesson. Professors sat behind aligned desks with evaluation documents before them, a scene reminiscent of the hit TV show “American Idol.” But this wasn’t a contest or a variety show act. This was a graded project for the graduate education program. “All of our graduate classes do interactive role play and look for connections between culture and other themes they’re teaching,” says Education Professor Lynn S. Orlando, EdD. Education majors learn that innovation and creativity enable students to make connections among the topics they learn. Dr. Orlando says that many graduate education students are transitioning into the teaching field from other careers. She encourages them to incorporate their knowledge outside of the classroom into the lessons they prepare for their future students.

One project she assigns is the alphabet project, in which students design an original language arts activity that shows an understanding of visual literacy and uses the alphabet as a primary tool. Graduate student Julie Martino, a certified yoga instructor, created a book called A Yoga Alphabet: A Story about Yoga, You, and the A, B, Cs. She is seeking a publisher for it. “I was not going to write this book

before Dr. Orlando assigned the alphabet project. Once I got into it, I was just so excited about it,” Martino says. – Naomi Hall

Professor Publishes Book of Literacy Lessons


inking language arts lesson plans with literacy standards can be a challenge for time-strapped teachers. With the release of her new book, Literacy Lessons K-8: Connecting Activities to Standards and Students to Communities, Associate Professor of Education Helen Hoffner, EdD, has made the task a bit easier. Published by Corwin Press in August 2010, the clear and concise book features classroom-ready lesson plans—complete with literature lists, directions, forms, assessments, and adaptations—that connect literacy learning with students’ lives and the community. It is intended to be a helpful resource for elementary teachers, group leaders, and those planning community events. Dr. Hoffner is the author of several education titles, including The Elementary Teacher’s Digital Toolbox, Writing and Reading Mysteries Grades 4-8, and A Look at Realistic Fiction. – Jennifer Zamora

Concrete Marker Tells Historical Tale


little piece of early 20th century history is tucked away on Holy Family’s Northeast Philadelphia Campus—one of the few remaining markers dotting the Lincoln Highway. Established in 1913, the Lincoln Highway is America’s first crosscountry automobile road. On September 1, 1928, it was officially marked and dedicated by groups of Boy Scouts, who placed approximately 3,000 concrete markers along the route to assure motorists that they were on the right road. The

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signs carried the Lincoln Highway insignia, a bronze medallion (“This Highway Dedicated to Abraham Lincoln”) and a directional arrow. The Lincoln Highway stretched from San Francisco to New York City, passing through Holy Family’s campus at modern day U.S. Route 13 (Frankford Avenue). The highway was a precursor to the interstate highway system established by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. – Jennifer Zamora

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Out and about on campus

Expansion Rejuvenates Tiger Café


ut aside previous notions about what constitutes “cafeteria food.” When students returned to campus this fall, a brand new food service area greeted diners at the Campus Center’s Tiger Café. The expansion nearly doubled the size of the University’s main dining hall, and new options reflecting the tastes and preferences of students and staff are on the menu. Some highlights include: A vegetarian station featuring whole grain pasta, tabbouleh, and couscous A pizza/stromboli/calzone station An enhanced pasta station offered at lunch and dinner An all-day breakfast grill with omelets made to order New charbroil grill featuring favorites like cheesesteaks, burgers, fries, and onion rings New soup offerings with gourmet breads Enhanced entrée and carving stations Two new deli stations to replace the current one A panini grill deli Two new areas for grab-and-go items like packaged sandwiches, yogurt, and fresh fruit A new beverage bar featuring bottled and fountain options A coffee-shop-style station Fruit smoothies A variety of fresh baked David’s Cookies and the daily dessert offering of cake and pies A soft-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt station with sundae bar Renovations began last May, and the remodeled Café opened for service in August. The expansion was necessitated by year-over-year growth in the Residence Life Program. – Jennifer Zamora

Noted Catholic Scholar Receives Presidential Award


everend William J. Byron, SJ, PhD, former President of Catholic University of America and the University of Scranton, received the Holy Family University Presidential Award at the Presidential Award Dinner on Tuesday, May 25. 

 Father Byron entered the Society of Jesus in 1950 and became an ordained priest in 1961. He


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holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Maryland, two master’s degrees from Woodstock College in Maryland, and a bachelor’s degree, licentiate in philosophy, and master’s in economics from Saint Louis University. He has authored 10 books, currently writes a bi-weekly syndicated column entitled “Looking Around” for the Cath-

Speaker Series Touches on Garment Industry


he second installment of the 2010 Holy Family UniversityGlen Foerd on the Delaware History Speaker Series took place on Friday, April 23. Dr. Kenneth Wolensky discussed the garment industry in the 20th century, emphasizing the main manufacturing centers of Philadelphia, Scranton, and the Lehigh Valley. A large crowd attended the free event, which was held in the Education & Technology Center (ETC), to hear Dr. Wolensky tell about the struggle women garment workers faced as they tried to organize in rural Pennsylvania beginning in the 1930s. A historian and the author of Fighting for the Union Label: The Women’s Garment Industry & the ILGWU in Pennsylvania, Dr. Wolensky serves as the Public History Program Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. – Bob Macartney

+ Did You Know? We recycle


gallons per year As part of its commitment to eco-friendliness, Holy Family converts used cooking oil to bio-fuel for use at a local farm. Dining Services estimates that it converts more than 250 gallons per year.

olic News Service, and is the author of the monthly “What Would You Like to Know?” feature for Catholic Digest. 
– Bob Macartney

Global Seminar Trip to London Hampered by Ash Cloud


en students from the Accelerated Degree Program’s Global Seminar were among thousands of people stranded overseas last April due to a volcanic eruption in Iceland. 

 Led by Assistant Vice President of Extended Learning Philip Moore and Student Support Coordinator Maura McConney, the students left April 10 for an eight-day educational trip to London, where they took behind-thescenes corporate tours and interviewed managers. 

 Their British Airways flight was scheduled to return Sunday, April 18, but was among the 95,000 flights canceled after an Icelandic volcano began spewing ash into the air four days prior. European flights were grounded because of concern that the ash would harm jet engines. Honour Moore, Associate Vice President of Extended Learning, kept in touch with the group through e-mail. The University funded the extended hotel stay so the group had a safe place to sleep while they waited for a flight home. The Intelligencer and The Philadelphia Inquirer covered the students’ plight.

While monitoring their options for their return trip, the students visited Pictet Group, an international private banking and asset management firm based in Switzerland; LaBranche & Co Inc., a stock-trading operation; Commission Junction, an online advertising and affiliate marketing company; and CNN International, the global division of the news network. Flights resumed late Tuesday night, and the group returned home the evening of April 21. Each year the Accelerated Degree Program offers the Global Seminar course, which is open to the program’s undergraduate and MBA students. – Bob Macartney

Student Managed Investment Fund Seeks Diversification of Funds, Majors


he Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF), launched by the School of Business Administration in September 2009, is nearing the halfway mark of its $20,000 goal. Thanks to generous donations and the hard work of the Business Executive Advisory Board, the fund has more than $8,000. An investment account was established with TD Ameritrade last year. Once the account is funded at the $20,000 level, SMIF students will begin making decisions about how to invest the money. The $20,000 minimum will allow for investment diversification, so that students can see how some investments perform compared to others. Cao Jiang, PhD, advisor for the group, wants to get the word out that the Student Managed Investment Fund is not just for business majors.

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“We’re basically trying to get as many students involved as possible,” Dr. Jiang says. “Actually, if you take a look at a lot of people working on Wall Street, a lot of times their [academic] background is not in finance per se, but double majors like political science and arts. “You have to have a broad knowledge. It’s not just about the stock market, but how to associate the knowledge you’ve learned and make a profitable endeavor,” Dr. Jiang says. Finance majors and students in the Investment Club are automatically involved in the SMIF, which is open to all students. Dr. Jiang says that he and Jan Duggar, PhD, Dean for the School of Business Administration, envision enough student participation for SMIF to organize committees that make investment recommendations and an investment executive committee that would ultimately be responsible for SMIF investment decisions. – Naomi Hall

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Walking with


thony belizaire/getty images

Seven days after a massive earthquake shook Haiti to its very core, emergency room physician Keith Lafferty, MD ’89 boarded a plane bound for the devastated country and an experience that would indelibly change his life. By Barbara Link

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A Special Connection Many of the staff members at Gulf Coast Medical Center belong to Summit Church in Fort Myers. For years, Summit Church has provided financial support to Mission of Hope Haiti. In operation since 1998, Mission of

Above: Physicians from Gulf Coast Medical Center board a truck bound for a functioning, but woefully understaffed, hospital in downtown Port-au-Prince. Right: Post-earthquake, up to 10 patients and their families crowded into rooms that typically hold one to two patients.


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Hope Haiti runs the Church of Hope, the School of Hope, the Hope House Orphanage, and the Clinic of Hope. When disaster struck in Haiti, it seemed only natural that the staff at Gulf Coast Medical Center would extend their support for Summit Church and Mission of Hope Haiti by sending a medical team to provide assistance. “I didn’t know anything about Haiti,” says Dr. Lafferty. “I quickly came to learn that even before the earthquake, it was already a desperate situation. One in five kids born in Haiti don’t make it to the age of five. Pre-earthquake, there were 250,000 orphans. Now, there are nearly 500,000 orphans. How do you deal with 500,000 orphans? The lucky kids are the ones that live in the orphan houses. Otherwise, they become slaves to another family, or they live on the streets, or they die on the streets. I’ve done work in the inner-city, but never in a thirdworld country. The poverty is like nothing you see in the U.S. “Mission of Hope does extraordinary work in Haiti,” explains Dr. Lafferty. “The Hope Orphanage

“There were thousands of people surrounding the airport. They were homeless, they were screaming for doctors. The country itself was in chaos. Three quarters of the hospitals were wrecked. Many of the doctors had died. Medical care, already poor before the earthquake, was being done in the streets.” - Dr. Keith Lafferty

________ has about 20 homes, with about 20 orphans in each home. Every home has an orphan mother, and the older kids help to take care of the younger kids. There’s also a school for 1,200 kids, grades K through 12. The school is beautiful—the kids even wear uniforms. And there’s a clinic and a church. That mission exists to give these orphans a chance at life.”

A Country in Chaos Dr. Lafferty was among a team of 10 from Gulf Coast Medical Center—including other emergency physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, and nurses. With the airport in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince closed to all commercial travel, the team attempted to fly with Missionary Flights International (MFI)—an organization with the sole purpose of transporting medical personnel to third-world countries. But MFI’s

photos courtesy of Dr. Keith Lafferty


t was on January 12, 2010, when the 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. An estimated 230,000 people lost their lives, and another 300,000 were injured. More than one million people were left homeless. In the days that followed, Keith Lafferty MD ’89 watched CNN from his home as the gravity of the situation unfolded. Then he received a call. Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers, Florida, where Dr. Lafferty practices medicine as an emergency physician, was constructing a team for a mission to Haiti—a team that could provide desperately needed medical relief. Would he be interested in going? Without a moment’s hesitation, without even talking with his wife, his answer was “yes.” “Like everyone else, I was so sad, and I wished I could do something,” says the father of three young children. “I’ve always wanted to do medical missionary work, but life had gotten in the way. I was fortunate enough to get that call.”

existing fleet of Douglas DC-3 planes was booked solid with medical teams and supplies. In stepped NASCAR giant Hendrick Motorsports, owner of four racing teams, including defending Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson’s. Hendrick sent the company’s private jet and flight crew to pick up the Gulf Coast medical team and transport them safely to their destination. They landed in Port-au-Prince seven days after the earthquake. “There were thousands of people surrounding the airport,” recalls Dr. Lafferty. “They were homeless, they were screaming for doctors. The country itself was in chaos. Three quarters of the hospitals were wrecked. Many of the doctors had died. Medical care, already poor before the earthquake, was being done in the streets.” Mission of Hope sent a truck to pick up the Gulf Coast team for the hour-long ride to its onsite clinic. They were planning to transform the clinic into a fully functioning emergency facility and operating room. Dr. Lafferty and one of his colleagues quickly set up their sleeping tent, and prepared to get to work. No sooner did they arrive that they learned there was a full-functioning community hospital with hardly any medical staff located in the heart of downtown Port-au-Prince. The team immediately jumped on the back of the truck to make the reverse journey.

Hope Amid Devastation “When we got there, there were hundreds and hundreds of people in the street,” says Dr. Lafferty. “Their homes were destroyed. They had no money, no clothes, no food, nothing. Some were living in old cars, some were living under sheets and sticks. They were missing limbs. There were a lot of screaming babies. One lady who had just delivered twins walked towards us, carrying one dead baby, and another close to death. She was bleeding.”

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Dr. Keith Lafferty '89 (above) was touched by the love and fortitude of Haitians during his medical mission. He plans to return to the stricken country once every three months.

The team wasted no time getting inside the hospital, which had only one orthopedic surgeon, one obstetrician, and a few nurses staffing the entire facility. They quickly developed a plan, starting with a triage system. In almost no time, the emergency and operating rooms were fully functional, although there was only very basic anesthesia available. As word got out that the hospital was up and running, the hundreds of gatherers outside turned into thousands. Translators began to show up, and more and more help arrived, including medical teams from Korea, France, and the University of Miami. “In the wards, we had 10 patients in each room—rooms that would typically hold one or two patients,” recalls Dr. Lafferty. “Patients were lying on mattresses and on cardboard. They were surrounded by family members, holding hands and singing songs. It was quite a beautiful

experience to see how much these people loved each other. They have tremendous family values. On that first day, we didn’t leave the hospital for almost 24 hours.” Dr. Preston Chandler, a retired surgeon from Texas and a fellow member of the medical team, recalls a particularly moving moment during their first shift.

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______________ “Their homes were destroyed. They had no money, no clothes, no food, nothing. Some were living in old cars, some were living under sheets and sticks. They were missing limbs. There were a lot of screaming babies. One lady who had just delivered twins walked towards us, carrying one dead baby, and another close to death.” - Dr. Keith Lafferty

______________ “It was the middle of the night— about 4 am—when the people in the street began singing the most beautiful hymn. It was incredible. There was so much hope and fortitude among all of the devastation. Our team was in the trenches, and there had been no time to slow down or become emotional. But at that moment, I stopped and took it all in. It was the first time I sort of broke down,” Chandler says.

The Second Quake During the next 30-hour shift, Dr. Lafferty was taking a nap upstairs when the second earthquake hit. “It lasted seven seconds, and it sounded like a freight train,” he

remembers. “I didn’t know cement could wiggle like that.” Like everyone else, Preston ran for the doors. But he took a wrong turn and ended up in the basement. “Perhaps a good place to be during a tornado,” he laughs, “but not for an earthquake.” For the remainder of the trip, he became known to his colleagues as “Basement” Chandler. “Dr. Lafferty was nicknamed ‘Hollywood,’” says Preston. “We gave him some grief. But really, he’s a sweetheart of a man and just as sincere as they come.” With that second quake, everyone in the hospital had moved outside, except for one. “Right before the second shift, there was a baby born that

was dehydrated, sick with a fever,” explains Dr. Lafferty. “The medical team had to surgically put a line in this kid’s belly button. There was no ventilator in the hospital, so we put a breathing tube down his lungs, and volunteers took turns every hour bagging this kid—breathing for this kid. When everyone cleared out of the hospital, the last volunteer stayed there, bagging this baby. I found out two days later that the baby had been transferred to University of Miami Medical Center tent hospital and was doing fine. Remarkable.” Dr. Lafferty also witnessed incomprehensible tragedy. “The first baby that was handed to me, we tried to resuscitate. That baby died in my arms,” he says. “Later that day, I watched as a 21year-old kid who was paralyzed—who couldn’t breathe—I watched him die. I saw a 70-year-old man who shattered his pelvis and was carried for miles by his family on a homemade stretcher to reach the hospital. There was nothing we could do for him, except give him pain medication and place a catheter in his bladder. It’s not like we could send him to a nursing home or a rehab facility.”

Footsteps to Follow In When Dr. Lafferty returned from Haiti, his focus turned to unfinished business. For many years, Dr. Lafferty and a group of lifelong friends from Holy Family University had talked about creating a scholarship. They wanted to remember a dear friend and classmate who had passed away. They wanted to honor the professors who guided them. And they wanted to provide financial support for other motivated students who shared their passion for science and math. “As a student, I loved science,” explains Dr. Lafferty. “But I always thought I’d become a professional hockey player. Then I met some great people and professors along the road who believed in me, who took the time with me, who saw something in me I didn’t know existed. They helped me realize what could be possible. My group of friends, we were all in the same boat—financially challenged but extremely motivated. We knew what we had at Holy Family—we had lightening in a bottle. When I returned from Haiti, I called my friends and told them—it’s time.”


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In the fall of 2010, the inaugural Science is Beautiful Scholarship will be presented to a promising young student at Holy Family. The annual award is funded by Dr. Kimberly Heyer-Cuesta ’89, Vincent Frascatore ’90, Dr. Prem Rabindranauth ’90, and Lafferty. It honors the memory of Dr. Susan Nowak and the extraordinary guidance and encouragement this circle of friends received from the Holy Family faculty and staff, particularly Dr. Lynda Micikas, Sister Grace Kuzawa, Dr. Thomas McCormick, Dr. Arthur Grugan, and George Haynes, to name just a few. “Keith is part of a very special group of alumni who challenged each other, and in doing so, exceeded their own expectations,” says Bob Wetzel, Major Gifts Officer. “They had a remarkable experience here, and all have enjoyed continued success in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. Now, they’re making a difference in the lives of future students who share the same fascination with math and science. We’re very proud of them, and we’re very grateful for this gift and for their partnership.”

Bringing it Home By week’s end, the facility was treating hundreds of patients a day. On the last night there, the Gulf Coast team was gathering their belongings and preparing to have a meal. A medical team from Texas would soon be replacing them. “A lady comes in and asks if we would mind taking a look at a fiveyear-old boy she had found on the street—she thought he had bruised his leg,” says Dr. Lafferty. “We went out to see him—it turns out he had broken his femur and needed surgery. The woman—Danita—had traveled three hours from her own mission in Haiti—an area that was not hit—to search for abandoned children to bring back to her orphanage. She had originally come to Haiti 11 years ago, and upon seeing the need, left her lucrative career as a cosmetics representative, sold everything she owned, and started an orphanage. Today, Danita’s Children provides a home to 130 orphans, a school for nearly 300, a medical clinic, a church, and 18,000 meals a month. “The whole week we were in Haiti, while we realized what we were doing was a good thing, we knew that it was nothing compared to what some people do—people like Danita,” Dr. Lafferty reflects. “I met extraordinary individuals who get the big picture in life. I saw this whole other world

The team from Gulf Coast Medical Center treats shattered bones, paralysis, crushed organs, and hundreds of other life-threatening injuries during their weeklong mission to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Lives Forever Changed much right now. There was no time to process any of it while in Haiti. “When I began telling her about it, I lost it totally. We gave a lot, and did a lot of good there. Seeing these families stick together, seeing life at its most basic element, seeing the love of these people—all of us really feel like they gave us so much more than we gave to them.” Since that first mission in January, Dr. Lafferty has returned to Haiti—staying for another week. He’s committed to returning for a week at least every three months. “You see the poverty and the anguish,” says Dr. Lafferty. “And then you see the extraordinary work of the missions. You see what can happen when people donate their time and their money. It’s happening and it’s real. I can’t wait to bring my wife and kids there.”

_________ For more information about Mission of Hope Haiti and Danita’s Children, please visit and

_________ I didn’t know existed—people who have dedicated their lives to helping others. It cannot help but change your life. “When we landed back at Fort Pierce, my wife was waiting for me on the other side of the fence. I told her I couldn’t say anything just yet—it’s too

magazine @

Dr. Lafferty’s mission to Haiti touched countless lives back at home. He gave numerous talks, including a recent presentation at Holy Family University. He shared his experience with his family, his friends, his colleagues, his children’s schools, and the community. His daughter’s Girl Scout Troop made quilts for the Haitian orphans. “My kids have seen Haiti though my eyes. They’ve seen our video and our pictures, and they’ve cried. My oldest—she’s 10—wants to go there with me and help out, putting the kids to bed, playing ball with them, helping with meals.” For Dr. Lafferty, the impact has been profound. “I grew up in the housing projects with my mother and my sister,” he explains. “When I started at Holy Family University, I was very idealistic. I decided to become a doctor for all of the right reasons. I never wanted to lose my roots in the projects. Then

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this happens, and that happens. And there’s financial motivation. What Haiti did for me—it made me feel like a freshman at Holy Family again— back to all of the reasons why I chose to practice medicine. It’s given life a new meaning. “It’s become a priority for me to do missionary medical work,” Dr. Lafferty continues. “Ignoring it now is impossible. Gone from my family’s list of priorities are the professional and financial milestones. Gone from our minds are the problems we

thought we had in life—planning for retirement, the stock market. That all seems very minor now, even petty. At the top of the list is going back more and more to Haiti, giving more and more of ourselves to these children. There is a lot that has to change there, but there are so many people doing so much good. You help one kid, it means everything. “It was a blessing to go to Haiti. People said it would change my life. It more than changed my life. And my wife and kids’ lives. In Haiti, I just

practice medicine to help people. And they’re so appreciative. I am a believer in teaching by example, not by words. Meeting the people of Haiti, and those who have dedicated their lives to helping them, it just humbles you. It makes you want to be a better person. You’re literally walking next to saints.” Barbara Link is an award-winning freelance writer and President of Link Ink, a full-service communications company.

In February 2010, a group of 22 students from Holy Family University traveled to Spokane, Washington, on a mission of their own. The students opted to spend their Spring Break working with Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization committed to building safe, affordable homes for people around the world. The Alternative Spring Break Service Trip at Holy Family is a tradition that began in 2007, when 10 students joined forces with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Dana Dobrowolski ’10 was a freshman at the time. She remembers her English class writing letters to the Holy Family volunteers. “I was so moved by what the students were doing in New Orleans,” recalls Dobrowolski. “When applications came out for the 2008 service trip, I was right on it.” In her sophomore year, Dobrowolski accompanied the group to Miami, Florida. As a junior, she joined the trip to Corpus Christi, Texas, and this past year, Spokane. On the past two trips, she served as a Student Leader, assuming significant responsibility for organizing the students, arranging air and ground transportation, and directing fundraising activities throughout the year. “The travel cost for each student is about $1,000,” explains Matt Thomas, Assistant Director of Student Activities, who provides guidance to the students over


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the course of the year and serves as one of the trip chaperones. “Holy Family provides partial funding, and the students need to raise the balance.” Fundraising activities for the Spokane mission included a letter-writing campaign, a raffle drawing, and four dances for local grade-school students, each with a $5 admission charge. The weeklong trip requires a yearlong commitment. “The entire experience is awesome,” says Thomas. “The students are able to give something back, and learn a lot about themselves in the process. Building the house actually becomes one of the minor things. The growth and maturity that occurs in these students—their ability to expand their boundaries and their comfort zones—is incredible.” For Dobrowolski, each of her three trips has been special and unique in its own way. “When we arrived in Spokane, there was just a concrete slab for a duplex,” she recalls. “By the last day, the framework was built, and part of the roof was finished. We got to meet both of the families who would live there. I feel like I’m a part of those families’ homes. It was so meaningful to us and to the families. I absolutely loved everything about my experience.” Michael McNulty-Bobholtz, Director of Student Activities, sums it up perfectly. “The Alternative Spring Break Service Trip is an opportunity for students to live the mission of Holy Family University in a real-life situation. It’s tangible. It puts flesh to the mission.”

Habitat photos: Anne McNulty

A Mission of Their Own

Honor the Past, shape the future

At Holy Family University, we have the privilege of molding tomorrow’s leaders. Our students have the ability and the potential to make our community, country, and world a better place. You can help today’s students realize the dream of a college education by establishing a named scholarship. Your scholarship can honor the memory of a loved one or pay tribute to past accomplishments of a friend, while helping today’s students prepare for future success. Funding for scholarship awards may be provided through annual contributions or from the earnings of an endowment, a permanent fund you can create with one or more contributions. Contact Margaret Kelly at or 267-341-3343 to learn how you can establish a named scholarship. Your gift can help ease the burden of financing a college education for years to come.

“Financial assistance has helped me deal with expenses that would otherwise be difficult for my family to afford. Through the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Scholarship, I’m achieving my dream of becoming a registered nurse and one day opening my own health care facility for the underprivileged.” Cindy Pagan ’11 Scholarship Recipient Treasurer, Students at Your Service President, Environmental Club

hope Knowledge Opportunities



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Playing for

Laughs Forty years after

doctors said he wouldn’t live past his 30s, comedian Tim Grill ’05 is lighting up the stage and keeping audiences in hysterics throughout the Delaware Valley. d Rys

By Richar Illustration by D

aniel Adel

uise Pierce

Photography by Sabina Lo

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It’s less than an hour

before his performance, and the night has already been a tough one for Tim Grill ’05. He’s waiting to take the stage at the Comedy Cabaret, a small club at the Ramada Inn on Roosevelt Boulevard where local comics hone their craft. On this Saturday in June, with the shore season in full swing, the room is half-empty, and there’s an air of unease before the first joke is told. Tonight’s headliner is stuck in traffic. Another comic turns up missing when he’s introduced on stage. Then there’s Grill’s legs—they’ve been bothering him lately, and the simple act of walking is a struggle. Grill has spina bifida, and when he was born, the nerve endings of his spine were exposed through a hole in his back. From his knees down, there’s no muscle, only bone. That he’s alive at age 40 is astounding enough. But that he’s


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doing comedy? Stand-up comedy? Wind the clock back to 1970 and tell his doctors where he’d be today. They’d think you were kidding. As the chaos swirls around him and his legs ache, Grill does what he does best, what he thinks he was born to do. He turns to the hostess who collects cover charges at the door and tells her how he almost got a ticket on his way to the show tonight. No joke, he says. He was talking on his cell phone and his Bluetooth died. So he kept yapping, holding the phone to his ear, when he saw lights flashing behind him. It was a cop. Isn’t that always the way? For a minute, the hostess isn’t worried about the empty seats inside the club. As they trade stories about that gutwrenching feeling of being pulled over, she’s in stitches. Grill already has his first laughs of the night. And he

knows no matter what happens next, there’s nothing in that room—no rough crowd, no hecklers—that could compare to what he’s already faced in his life off-stage.

Growing Up “Different”


he first thing you notice about Tim Grill is the way he walks. We meet at The Dining Car in Northeast Philadelphia for lunch a few weeks before his Comedy Cabaret show, and he’s using a cane for support. His legs buckle, as if the joints swing side to side, not forward and back. Dressed casually in jeans and a baseball cap and wearing his Holy Family University ring, Grill says hi to the waitresses. They know him by name and smile when they see him. It’s not out of sympathy. That’s the next thing you notice about Grill. He’s one of those genuinely nice guys with a gift for lifting the spirits of those around him. As we slide into a corner booth overlooking Frankford Avenue, not far from the house he grew up in, Grill chuckles at his minor celebrity status here. “A lot of late-night meals after being out with my friends in my 20s,” he says. “Now I’m here at one o’clock in the afternoon and I need a nap.” By day, Grill works for a disability help center in Trenton, New Jersey, that handles calls from across the state. By night, he’s the “Barely Can Stand Up Comic,” performing in clubs across the Delaware Valley. In his act, Grill addresses the issue of his health early and head-on. “It’s not all I talk about,” he says, “but if I don’t address it, I feel they won’t listen to me.” Whether he’s performing a five-minute open mic or a 60-minute headlining set, he makes cracks about his gait (“In case you’re wondering if I’m drunk…”), briefly explains his birth defect, and jokes about how it affected

legs, and Shriners Hospital for Children became a second home. Still, Grill feels blessed. “I knew kids that were in wheelchairs for the rest of their lives,” he says. “I got lucky.” Grill’s parents transferred him out of a special-needs school and into third grade at nearby St. Jerome’s, where he became the school’s first disabled student. In the neighborhood and in the classroom, Grill had plenty of guardian angels—growing up on Draper Street, Grill had 11 cousins who lived within nine houses of each other, and along with his three older siblings, they all attended school together. Father Judge High, however, was a different story. Grill was on his own there, and his classmates behaved as adolescents often do. They mocked his walk. They would wait until he had climbed to the top of the stairs, then knock his books from his hands, so Grill would have to hobble back down to pick them up. He was offered a key to a private staff elevator, but refused to accept special treatment. “Anything that makes you different, there’s a bull’s-eye on your back,” Grill says. “It got pretty rough.”

Hitting the Stage


rill’s friends always said he should be a comedian, considering his upbeat personality and a knack for cracking wise. At age 27, while Grill was home recuperating after three more surgeries on his legs, he saw an ad in the newspaper for a comedy class. It felt like a sign. At Bonkers Comedy Café in Media, Grill learned the basics of the craft—how to write jokes, how to put an act together, how to work a crowd. The “final exam” was a show for his classmates and guests, and the rehearsals seemed like something out of a bad movie.

" I once had a comedian come up to me and say, 'Man, you're so lucky you have a disability. It makes you stand out from everyone else.' I have never in my life been told I was lucky to have a disability. Only in comedy." his childhood (On the “short bus” he took to school: “Great idea! How can we make handicapped kids feel normal? Let’s put them on a bus that’s different from all the other buses!”). He leaves his audience laughing, with little idea of how serious his condition really is. Of the three types of spina bifida, Grill’s is the most severe. Less than 24 hours after his birth, Grill was in surgery to close the hole in his back. His mother was told that if he survived the operation, he wouldn’t be able to walk, and wouldn’t live past his 30s. The procedure was successful, but he’d have more, averaging one a year for the first 10 years of his life. He spent most of that time with casts on his feet or braces on his

“There were crickets in the building, and since we’d already heard each other’s jokes, no one’s laughing,” Grill recalls. “I’d tell a joke and all you’d hear is crickets.” What Grill later realized was that the cruelty of some of his high school classmates was the perfect crucible to prepare him for his new hobby. “It gave me the thick skin I need to do comedy,” he says. “I put up with a lot, and to be a comedian, you have to put up with a lot. I know a lot of comedians who are very sensitive. A bad show will rattle them so easily. It doesn’t really do that to me.” Grill graduated from comedy school in 1997 and made an impression on the local stand-up circuit.

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thought to himself. “And here I am.” It was also the first time his sister saw his act. The guy before him bombed. “I was a nervous wreck,” says his sister, Diane. With only a few minutes to perform, Grill delivered his best material. The crowd ate it up. “He owned the stage,” Diane says. “I was speechless.” Grill walked off after his set and saw a woman in the corner motioning towards him. It was Mitzi Shore, mother of Pauly Shore and owner of the Comedy Store. No one talks to Mitzi unless she calls you over. Grill didn’t know what to think as he approached her. “You’re going places,” she said to him. “You have a future in comedy.” Grill has met some of his idols, including Dangerfield and Murphy, but says nothing tops the rush he felt that night. “It was one of the most incredible moments of my life.”

Dreams Realized


“When I first saw him, what struck me most was the disability,” says Andy Scarpati, owner of the Comedy Cabaret, with clubs across the Delaware Valley. “But when I saw him address it on stage, I was inspired by it. He took a disadvantage and made something positive about it. And on top of that, he was funny. I saw a lot of potential there.” Appearances on radio’s Opie & Anthony Show and some gigs with other disabled comics on the “Short Bus Comedy Tour” helped establish his name beyond his hometown. But the highlight of his career came during a visit with his sister in Los Angeles a few years ago. After a few evenings spent hanging out at the legendary Comedy Store, Grill made it onstage during an open-mic night—the comedic equivalent of performing at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. “All of my idols—guys like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Rodney Dangerfield—stood on the same stage,” Grill


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75-seat room at a Ramada on the Boulevard is about as far removed from the Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard as you can be. But despite the location and all of the pre-show drama, Grill is focused. Moments before he’s introduced, he finds a quiet space to rehearse. He’s got his cherrywood guitar in tow, which he uses for an Adam Sandleresque bit at the end of his set; along with his love of comedy, Grill is a music buff. When it’s finally his turn, he takes the stage, six-string in hand, to mild applause. The stage lights are so bright, he can’t see most of the faces in the crowd. He’s not rattled. Instead, he points at a tarp drooping from the ceiling. “You’re standing in the only comedy club in the world with a colostomy bag,” he says. They laugh and he’s off. For the next 20 minutes, Grill touches on everything from his disability to dating to jury duty (“I get out of it with my jury duty Tourette’s. You just scream GUILTY at every person that walks in.”). By the time he wraps up his song, “She Was a 10 at 2,” and says goodnight, the crowd is howling and clapping. Sitting by the adjoining hotel bar after the show, Grill rates himself as a six on a 10 scale. “Tonight was a bit of a struggle,” he says. “My timing was off.” You wouldn’t know it by the audience’s response, or by what happened as the room emptied. “Good performance,” says a middle-aged man, who pats him on the back. A woman and her friends smile as they pass him on their way out. “Great show,” they say. It’s this

kind of reaction that has led Grill to invitations for motivational speaking appearances at fundraisers, health care conventions, and even at Shriners Hospital. On his left wrist, he wears a day-glo green band given to him from a speech at Lower Moreland High School for Disability Awareness Week. Grill insists he doesn’t want to be defined by spina bifida, despite its presence in every aspect of his life—from his work to his comedy to his continued health problems. His family says he never complains. That’s why no one knew about the daily hell he faced in high school until it came up a couple years ago at a party.

“He could have been so bitter,” says his sister Diane. “But to come away with the sense of humor he has, it’s amazing.” As inspiring as Grill is, there’s one thing he wants to be known as—funny. “I once had a comedian come up to me and say, ‘Man, you’re so lucky you have a disability. It makes you stand out from everyone else.’ I have never in my life been told I was lucky to have a disability. Only in comedy.” Richard Rys is an award-winning freelance writer. His work regularly appears in Philadelphia Magazine.

22nd Annual Holy Family University

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For more information, please contact Lorraine Borisuk at 267-341-3377, or visit


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Prison Boss As head of the Philadelphia Correctional System’s prison industries, Eleanor Simpson Doherty ’81 provides incarcerated men and women with real-life jobs skills and alternatives to a life of crime. By Kristen A. Graham Photography by Michael Branscom

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the small business she manages hit $1 million in sales, Eleanor goods and services not just for the Simpson Doherty ’81 was thrilled about the financial milestone. But she prison system but multiple city agenwas more excited about what it meant for the men and women who work for cies. Because inmates are paid $0.50 Philacor, which offers real-life job experiences for adults incarcerated at the and $0.60 an hour, Philacor is prohibPhiladelphia Prison System. ited by legislation from selling to the “A lot of these guys have never had a success in their lives,” says Doherty, general public. Philacor Director. “In fact, some of our workers have lifelong expectations of Philacor’s workforce is deployed in failure. Working in our shops, whether building furniture or catering a meal two areas—shops that provide goods for hundreds, they come to realize what they are actually capable of, they get and services just for the prison, and to experience success first-hand. This helps break the cycle.” A self-sustaining business that does not rely on taxpayer dollars, Correctional Industries has existed in some form since 1933. In the early days, inmates worked in the laundry, bakery, and kitchen. During the Great - David Cervino, Corrections Officer & Carpentry Depression, they made clothes for the Shop Supervisor needy, sewed pillow cases and sheets, and performed laundry services for other city institutions. During World War II, inmates operated a cannery that provided applesauce for the Philadelthose that deal with other departphia School District. Eventually, carpentry, printing, and shoe-making shops ments. The prison-only shops are the opened, as well as a working farm at the Holmesburg prison. In 1975, the prolaundry, which cleans an average of gram was given a one-time grant of $1,000 to start a revolving fund and expand 170,691 pounds of laundry a month, prison industry services. Using that seed money, the program, which receives and the general products plant, which no aid from the city, has expanded to its current size. In 1985 the program ofproduces about 7,564 mattresses, ficially changed its name to Philacor. pillow cases, sheets, towels, and These days, Philacor has 200 inmate job slots, 25 staff members, and 11 washcloths a month. The others are industry shops throughout the city’s prisons. Most of the workers are men, but the barricade shop, which turns out women do work in the barricade and culinary arts shops and laundry. Philacor the yellow wooden barricades used is one of the largest-grossing jail industry programs in the U.S. and produces throughout the city; the carpentry shop, which produces an average of 70 items a month; the finishing shop; the culinary arts program; the dry cleaning plant; the graphics plant, which does printing and engraving; the textile plant, which does embroidery and silk-screening work; and the upholstery shop. The graphics plant is responsible for more than 50 percent of Philacor’s sales, with the furniture plant the next-busiest shop. But each sector is vital, says Doherty. “If we can train guys and get them out in the world with real job experience, it’s a win for the city and it’s a win for them,” she says. David Cervino, a Corrections Officer who’s also one of the supervi-

“Some guys are real artists. Some guys surprise you — they get on the saw, and they do great.”

Inmates working in the carpentry and finishing shops produce more than 70 custom items per month.


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Much of the furniture produced by the carpentry and finishing shops is sold to the City of Philadelphia. Here, an inmate works on a chair bound for a city courtroom.

sors of the Carpentry Shop inside the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center on State Road, finds real meaning in the work. On a typical day, his shop hums with the sound of tools buzzing. Inmates are excited to be doing something meaningful—idleness is tough in the jail. “Philacor’s quality is a full-time commitment,” a sign on the wall reads.

Because of Philacor, the inmates “get the confidence to do other things,” Cervino says. “We try to open their eyes up, tell them they can do things other than stand on the corner.” He and other supervisors also focus on teaching “soft” skills—showing up on time, listening to a supervisor, getting along with co-workers, account-

“If we can train guys and get them out in the world with real job experience, it’s a win for the city and it’s a win for them.” –Eleanor Doherty, Philacor Director

magazine @

ability. But the look in an inmate’s eye when he hand-crafts a drawer or discovers he’s got a knack for carpentry is a thrill, Cervino says. “Some guys are real artists,” he says. “Some guys surprise you—they get on the saw, and they do great.” Inmates are grateful for the work. “In Philacor, I am learning a trade for when I leave jail, to prepare me for when I get on the outside,” says Marshall W. “Working in Philacor has taught me patience and also how to work as part of a team,” Derek C. says. “The reason I like working at Philacor is because it gives me another personal outlook on the many opportunities afforded me during my time of incarceration,” says Larry M. As head of Philacor, Doherty has

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plenty of paperwork to do, but she always makes it a priority to get out into the shops. “I like to see how the inmates are doing,” she says. “I ask them about their experiences. I want their feedback.” An enthusiastic woman with a ready smile, Doherty leads a visitor into the Philacor showroom and beams. “Everything in here, we made ourselves,” she says, pointing out a double pedestal desk in oak, a massive cherry cabinet with intricate black metal knobs, and a walnut magazine rack. The furniture is carefully constructed with solid ingredients—cabinet-grade hardware, no particleboard

“In Philacor, I am learning a trade for when I leave jail, to prepare me for when I get on the outside.” - Marshall W., Philadelphia Prison System Inmate here—and the shops can handle any kind of custom order. “I think our prices are really competitive for the quality you get. It’s not junk,” Doherty says. If something breaks, a Philacor staffer will go out and fix it. It’s a challenge to expand the client base—Philacor would like to get

Philacor is comprised of 10 industry shops that teach inmates not only hard skills, but soft skills such as showing up on time and listening to a supervisor.


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more business with the school district and nonprofits who do business with the city—but the program’s message needs to get out, Doherty says. Though Philacor inmate-workers get valuable experience, they often have a tough time finding work when they’re on the outside. To spread the word, Doherty would like to hold an employee open house—an event where businesspeople could come into the shops and see the work the inmates do. “I think most people have a preconceived notion of inmate labor and products. If they just saw what we do, it would give the guys a foot in the door. Hopefully, they’ll be willing to give our guys a chance,” Doherty says. There are tax incentives for businesses that do so. Studying art at Holy Family, Doherty never imagined herself in a job that requires her to lock her purse away, walk through a metal detector, and raise her arms for a pat-down search every day. Doherty, who grew up and still lives in the Northeast, thought she might become an art teacher, something she did briefly after graduation. But city work—in a library, in the city’s deeds and mortgages department, in human resources, and finally in the prison system —proved steadier, and she found a home at Philacor, a program she had admired, in 1996. “I was familiar with what they did, and I loved what they did,” Doherty says. And yes, she does occasionally draw funny looks when she tells people where she works. “You should have seen them when I told them I worked in sales and marketing for a prison,” Doherty says. That first job, in marketing, was a real test for Doherty. She had no

With more than $1 million in annual sales, Philacor is one of the largest-grossing jail industry programs in the U.S.

experience in the field, but a strong interest in the work. “I was winging it,” she laughs. She had big ideas to expose others to the work the inmates and staff performed. First up was transforming a huge empty space inside the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center into a showroom—an attractive space to display the inmates’ work. Despite having no desktop publishing experience, Doherty had a Philacor catalog printed to show potential clients. She threw an open house and invited representatives from around the city. “People started getting more familiar with us,” Doherty says. Eventually, she was promoted to overseeing shops, to Assistant Director, and then to Director. There are challenges, Doherty points out, sitting at the desk inside her cinderblock office decorated with art prints, photos, and a Holy Family banner. Most inmates stay in the Philadelphia prisons for weeks, not months or years, while they await

adjudication, and so turnover means that it’s tough to train workers. “The longer we can keep an inmate, the better it is,” Doherty says. “They get skills, and our product improves.” Work is often interrupted by lockdowns on the cellblock. And running Philacor isn’t like running a regular business—it’s part business, part social service agency, and a part of the City

of Philadelphia’s massive bureaucracy, which means plenty of red tape. “It’s not like a regular business where you just have a relationship with the customer. You have to deal with the city’s procurement standards,” she says. “There’s a lot of things that go wrong, equipment issues and money issues,” she says. “It’s not always

Philacor by the Numbers 1 million Average number of impressions created per month by the graphics plant $1 million

Philacor’s annual sales

170,691 Pounds of laundry cleaned per month by inmates


Inmate hours worked, first three quarters of 2009


Number of items Philacor produces annually


Inmate salaries, first three quarters of 2009


 umber of mattresses, pillowcases, sheets, towels, and washcloths produced per month N by the general products shop


Number of items produced per month by the culinary arts program

1,143 Number of garments produced by the garment plant monthly


Number of garments cleaned a month by the dry cleaning shop


Number of individual inmate participants, first three quarters of 2009

220 Number of barricades produced annually by the barricade shop


116 Number of items per month completed by workers in the upholstery shop

70 Number of items per month produced by the carpentry shop and finished by the finishing shop

Overall job slots

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Eleanor Doherty, Philacor Director, shows off some of the furniture created by inmates.

easy to provide work experience that will be relevant for the economy today. We’re always researching new industries.” Some of the prison jobs—sewing, for instance—just aren’t that useful in a modern economy. Those shops focus a lot on life skills. Plus, Doherty would like for Philacor to work on more disposable products—customers

who purchase pieces of Philacor furniture rarely need to replace them. And as the city has tightened its belt in the past years, the Philacor staff has shrunk from about 40 to 25. Still, the staff has managed to do more with less. And Doherty relishes the job. “It’s a great place to work,” she says. “It’s funny how your perspective

changes. You forget the cinderblock. You block out the setting. It’s an opportunity to be creative, and it’s an opportunity to make a difference. It’s exciting, it’s always challenging, it’s always fun.” Kristen A. Graham is an award-winning freelance writer and a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Costs of Incarceration Officials say the nation’s local jail population is slipping for the first time since the U.S. government began keeping records. But with more than 2 million people behind bars, the U.S. has more people in prison per capita than any other country in the world, and America is building prisons at a rate never before seen. Prison populations began to soar after stricter state and federal sentencing guidelines were imposed in the mid-1980s, and in the early 1990s, when “three strikes, you’re out" laws took away much of the discretion parole boards had over when to release inmates. Studies typically find that imprisoning more offenders reduces crime, and violent crime has dropped in the past 20 years. But the price tag is high—the average cost to house each inmate is about $30,000 annually. In Philadelphia, it costs $97.79 per day to keep someone in prison. With an average population of 9,436, that means the city spends $922,746.44 daily, and $336,802,450.60 per year, housing prisoners. Add to that the additional costs of crime that can be quantified—lost productivity and jobs, judicial and legal services, direct expenditures for police protection, physical and mental health-related costs—and the true cost of correctional services becomes clearer. Former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger once said: “To put people behind walls and


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bars and do little or nothing to change them is to win a battle, but lose a war. It is wrong. It is expensive. It is stupid." Correctional industries, advocates say, represent a chance to instill responsibility, discipline, and a sense of accomplishment in those who need it most. Nationwide, correctional industries generate $2.4 billion in sales. There are 97 different businesses in all 50 states and at the federal level; they employ 91,043 inmates. Besides the goods and services they produce, correctional industries generate revenue through the purchase of raw materials, supplies, and equipment from the private sector. The work inmates perform helps satisfy a societal mandate that inmates be put to work to pay their debt to society, earning money that can be used to pay fines, court fees, and victims’ restitution. Inmates working in businesses like Philacor also helps to reduce idleness, which poses significant managerial and security problems for jails and prisons. Bottom line? Prison industries work to mitigate the cost of incarceration, supporters say. Experts calculate that for every person who successfully reenters the community, the city saves about $34,937.80 per year. And in Philadelphia, Philacor “eventually would like to define our success not just by a positive bottom line, but also by our effect on recidivism in this city," says Eleanor Simpson Doherty ’81, Philacor Director.

Your Life is Full of

Challenges Rising insurance costs needn’t be one of them! The Holy Family University Alumni Association has an ongoing partnership with Liberty Mutual, the nation’s fifth-largest auto and home insurer. Through Liberty Mutual’s Group Savings Plus® program,

Holy Family graduates may save up to 20 percent on their auto insurance and 10 percent on their home, condo or renters insurance.* That can be hundreds of dollars back in your pocket. Plus, Liberty Mutual offers their customers who have both auto and home policies an attractive multi-policy discount.

In addition to discounts, Group Savings Plus® offers Holy Family Alumni: The freedom to purchase insurance the way you want—through a personal sales representative at more than 400 offices countrywide, a toll-free telesales center, or online -•-

Convenient payment by automatic checking account deduction or direct billing to your home -•-

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Outstanding customer service from a local office, or from Liberty Mutual’s J.D. Powers and Associates-certified call centers To find out how much you can save, call 1-800-814-3731 ext. 53223 or visit for an immediate, no-obligation quote. Revenue generated by this program supports the Alumni Association. *Discounts are available where state law and regulations allow, and may vary by state.



A visual slice of life at Holy Family

Holi Moly! Students lob colored powder on the St. Joseph Hall’s lawn to welcome spring and celebrate Holi, the Hindu festival of colors. Traditionally, Hindu devotees and others enthusiastically drop their inhibitions and chase each other in temples and through the streets, playfully splashing colorful paint, powder, and water on each other. Holy Family Resident Advisors Jisha Mathai ’10, Calum Colton ’12, and Nicole Keller ’12 planned the event.


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Still Catching Up the Old-Fashioned Way? Upgrade to Holy Family’s new and improved online alumni community! You’ll re-connect in ways you never imagined. Get in touch with old friends, register for events, keep up with Holy Family news, search for jobs, post a resume, or find alumni in your field. Register today and create your profile!

a l u mni.h olyfam i ly . edu Share. Collaborate. Exchange. Grow.

P.S. F ind us on Facebook! Search for “Holy Family Alumni.” HOLY FAMILY UNIVERSITY


From moving into the Campus Center to joining the NCAA’s Division II, Holy Family athletics have come a long way, baby. By Steve Lienert Photography by Michael Branscom Pictured above are Soccer player Seydou Ba; Cross Country runner Jennifer Andrews; Men’s Basketball alumnus James Schultice ’92; Cross Country runner Latifah Porter; Sandra Michael, Athletic Director; and the Holy Family Tiger (clockwise from left).

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Jim Schultice ’92 got a phone call that forever altered his life. Doctors informed the 38-year-old former star player on Holy Family’s men’s basketball team that he had Parkinson’s disease. Last year, as a member of the inaugural class to be inducted into Holy Family University’s Hall of Fame, he announced his diagnosis to his extended family. This year marks Holy Family’s 25th anniversary of intercollegiate athletics competition sanctioned by a co-educational governing body, and over the course of that time, many players have donned the Tigers’ Copenhagen blue and white uniforms. But once a Tiger, forever a Tiger, as Schultice found out first hand. “Since that time, the athletic family has been ungodly supportive of me,” Schultice says. “Alumni, players, and everybody in the Athletic Department have been hugely supportive. Not just people in the athletic association, but professors that have taught me in the past, have all reached out to me and have been very supportive. I’m honored to be a graduate of Holy Family.” It’s the type of atmosphere that Athletic Director Sandra Michael has fostered for 25 years. Encouragement from her husband and respect for University President Sister Francesca Onley prompted Michael to accept the

job in 1985, and she has piloted the Athletic Department ever since. It’s been a long journey that started with small steps. “In 1985 when it first started, I thought ‘Let’s go one step at a time,’” Michael says. “The first thing we did was get into NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). That was something that was unfamiliar to me—I was more familiar with the NCAA than the National Association—but at the time, this whole area was in a district within the NAIA, so it was a natural fit for Holy Family.” When Michael took over, Holy Family had just three athletic programs. The men’s and women’s basketball teams were coached by the same person, and the softball team was coached by a maintenance worker. The basketball teams played in a girls’ grade-school gym. “The locker rooms weren’t anything special,” says Michael Glitz ’91, who played with Schultice for three years and was inducted into the Hall of Fame with him in 2009. “There really wasn’t any seating. But for me, it was more than that. It wasn’t just about the basketball. It was about the school and the environment.” To be considered legitimate, though, Michael believed the University must have legitimate coaches. “I knew we had to upgrade that and take that seriously,” Michael says. “That’s where I started—with the coaching staff. Then we went out and heavily recruited and year by year we got stronger and started adding programs along the way.” In fact, Michael assisted in the recruitment of Schultice, and when he arrived in 1989, Holy Family had broken ground for a new gymnasium. “I remember when I was being recruited they were

Hall of Famer Michael Glitz dunks the ball in the 1985-86 season (left). Hall of Famer Michelle Rubino ’01 goes for a goal during women’s soccer’s CACC championship season in 2000 (above center). Hall of Famer Debbie Schopfer ’91 became the first woman to score 1000 points and grab 1000 rebounds during the 1989-90 season (above right).


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building a new gym at the time and Sandy Michael said they were building the gym for me,” Schultice says. “It was just a nice thing to hear from the Athletic Director. To see where they are today, it’s an honor to say I played there.” Michael has a different recruiting memory of Schultice. “I can still remember the first day I met Jim and his family,” Michael says. “The most important aspect that his father stressed was ‘I want my son to graduate,’ and I assured him, ‘He will graduate,’ I said. ‘He will leave here with a very good education, and you will be there on his graduation day,’ and sure enough Jim did excel in the classroom as well as being one of our premiere basketball players.” Over the past 25 years, Michael has collected hundreds of stories that mirror the same sentiment. “I appreciate the entire journey,” Michael says. “I appreciate what has been afforded to me at the University. This is something that goes way beyond me as a director. I’ve had great support from the Board of Trustees and Sister Francesca every step of the way. I do recognize the growth of the Athletic Department and where we are today and I still have a vision of where I want to be 10 years from now. It’s something you have to appreciate as you go through it because there are so many opportunities where you can just really feel satisfaction, whether it’s at graduation that day for your student-athletes, or whether it’s a big win, or one of your student-athletes says, ‘Thanks, I’ve had a great experience at the University.’ “I’m not foolish enough to go through this journey without keeping my eyes wide open. I don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about the past because that’s the heart and soul of me. The past drives my vision. What I focus on is where we’re going because I know there’s much more that Holy Family athletics can achieve.” Which seems to have been Michael’s thought process from day one: Always look to improve. In 1999, when the University was eyeing a jump to the NCAA, Michael suggested Holy Family go Division II instead of Division III. “There were a lot of Division III schools in Philadelphia and its suburbs,” Michael says. “We felt we would be best seeded in Division II because we were giving athletic scholarships at the time and we just thought that would be the best fit for us. By that point we were pretty much up and running. I really felt as though we were moving in the right direction, that we were going to have an athletics program that was going to be recognized locally, region-

The late 1980s and mid-1990s saw the addition of Men’s Soccer (1989), Men’s Golf (1995), and Women’s Cross Country (1996) to the Athletics roster.

ally, and nationally, and here we are. I am very proud of the fact that people are aware of Holy Family nationally because of athletics. I feel we are accomplishing our goals year to year.” Everything at Holy Family seems to be growing at an exponential rate. The multi-story Campus Center is a far cry from the small room that housed a 16-piece universal gym in the 1990s, and the sparkling new residence halls have helped Holy Family expand internationally. And those three athletic programs? They’re up to 13, including Women’s Basketball, Cross Country, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track, and Volleyball, and Men’s Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, and Track. “We still have local, home-grown athletes in our programs,” Michael says. “Yet we are afforded the opportunity to recruit not just nationally, but internationally now. We’re making tremendous strides with contacts throughout the world. We’ve grown in that area and our coaches have accepted that challenge. There’s not a limit on where we could recruit and there’s no way that would be possible without the residence halls.” “When I was there, we could only recruit from schools 10-15 miles away,” Glitz says. “The dormitories really opened up the recruitment of who could play there. When I was there, we had to settle for second best because the best players were going Division II or Division I.

“I don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about the past because that’s the heart and soul of me. The past drives my vision. What I focus on is where we’re going because I know there’s much more that Holy Family athletics can achieve.” – Sandra Michael, Athletic Director

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You had to take raw talent like myself and develop it. But now they have a really good opportunity where they have dorms, they’ve branched out to Bucks County. They’re in different areas now. When I went there, it was just that campus with a couple hundred students. The school has really grown.” Things don’t seem likely to slow down anytime in the near future, either. Michael envisions a softball complex that hosts national events near campus and hopes to see a pavilion that can hold upwards of 5,000 students for basketball games. “I just think the sky is the limit for Holy Family,” Michael says. “I’m proud just to be part of it, the entire journey, because it’s a great ride. I don’t see a limit in the future. I see a lot of growth and a lot of success. We want to bring home a national banner. There’s no doubt about it. There’s not one coach I have that doesn’t have that as his or her ultimate goal.”

Even with those grandiose plans, she still makes sure not to lose that personal touch. Schultice, who says he is doing well and taking medication to combat the disease, is a member of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Team Fox, which helps raise money for Parkinson’s research. Holy Family has joined Schultice in his fight. Schultice hosts a golf outing every year, the most recent of which raised $12,000 for his cause. Michael had Holy Family jerseys created with “Schultice 55” on the back. “I’ve gotten a lot of support from the men’s basketball team and the Athletic Department at Holy Family and the school in general has supported the endeavor,” Schultice says. “Being a graduate of Holy Family and Catholic schools, its helped deal with life’s fouls a little easier.” Once a Tiger, forever a Tiger. Steve Lienert is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia.

Athletics Hall of Fame Inducts 2010 Class Sharon Brown ’99 recently took a trip to IKEA that she won’t soon forget. She was shopping for a new kitchen when she got a surprise message from her Dad that said she had to return a call from Holy Family Athletic Director Sandra Michael. “I kind of lost my connection with Holy Family; I moved out to Conshohocken,” Brown says. “I hoped I didn’t do anything wrong.” Michael informed Brown that she had to be available on April 24,

the day Brown and four other Holy Family stars from the past would be inducted into the Holy Family University Athletics Hall of Fame. “It’s crazy to think that way, that somebody would look at you as a great player, to put you in the Hall of Fame,” Brown says. “It’s such a great honor. And it’s a great feeling. But it doesn’t hit you until you’re there.” Brown, a former softball player who currently holds the Holy Family record for most RBIs in a career with 115, joined Lance DiRenzi ’91

Pictured from left to right are 2010 Hall of Fame inductees Lance DiRenzi, Tracey Petner, Michelle Rubino, Sharon Brown, and Joe Simko.


(men’s soccer), Tracey Petner ’90 (women’s basketball), Michelle Rubino ’01 (women’s soccer), and Joe Simko ’96 (men’s basketball) as 2010 inductees. Among other accolades, Simko is Holy Family’s all-time steals leader with 254 and is second on the school’s all-time scoring list. Still, the call from Michael caught him off-guard. “It was definitely an honor,” Simko says. “It was a surprise. It was only the second year they did this. I thought I may be going in one day, but I didn’t think it would be that quick.” DiRenzi played for Holy Family’s first Men’s Soccer Team in 1989. He’s second on the Tigers’ alltime list for career points with 92 and third in career goals with 36. Rubino is the Tigers’ all-time leader in career points (187) and assists (55) for the Women’s Soccer Team. And Petner was Holy Family’s first Women’s Basketball All-American and led her team in scoring all four years she played at Holy Family. The 2010 class joined the five inductees from the 2009 class: Michael Glitz ’91, James Milligan ’93, Debbie Schopfer ’91, James Schultice ’92, and Michael.

Reports from the court, track, and field


SPRING Sports Roundup Women’s Basketball Under the direction of first-year head coach Mark Miller, the women’s basketball team had another phenomenal season. The Tigers reached the NCAA Tournament for the seventh straight season, including their second-ever appearance in the East Region Final. On January 28, 2010, the team set the NCAA Division II record for most consecutive regular season conference wins by defeating Goldey-Beacom, 64-32. The streak, which is still active, currently stands at 103 games. The Tigers led NCAA Division II in scoring defense for the second straight season. Forward Catherine Carr was named Daktronics Division II Women’s Basketball All-America second team and Division II State Farm Coaches’ All-America honorable mention. The Tigers went 30-3 overall, the seventh time in program history that the team won at least 30 games.

Men’s Basketball Forward Justin Swidowski was the story for the team in the 2009-10 season. In just two seasons, he

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became the 24th player in Holy Family history to score 1,000 career points. Swidowski was tabbed as a Division II Bulletin AllAmerican honorable mention selection. On April 30, John O’Connor was named as the program’s fourth-ever head coach. O’Connor has been at the Division I level for 17 seasons, including the final three as an assistant at Georgia Tech.

Softball Pitcher Jody Searfoss set the single-season (242) and career (656) records for strikeouts. Angela DiBeneditto became the career leader in home runs with 17. Catcher Deanna Myers slugged 13 home runs in 2010, a single-season record. The team finished 24-23 overall, the first time it ended the season over .500 since 2005. The Tigers made their third consecutive CACC Championship Tournament.

Women’s Lacrosse Under first-year head coach Sarah Lautenbach, the women’s lacrosse team made the largest improvement, in terms of wins, in NCAA Division II during the 2010 season. The Tigers went 10-7 overall this year. In 2009, the team was 0-16. The team made its firstever CACC Championship Tournament appearance, and reached the championship match. Midfielder Stephanie McNesby was selected as the CACC rookie of the year.

Men’s Golf


Jonathan Radick became the first

Fred Tuwei won the 3,000-meter run

golfer from Holy Family to participate in the NCAA Division II Atlantic/ East Super-Regional. Radick, who qualified as an individual, took eighth place in the tournament, narrowly missing a trip to the NCAA Championships by a single stroke. As a team, the Tigers finished fifth at the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championships.

at the Collegiate Track Conference (CTC) Indoor Championships. June Cain won the 400-meter dash at the CTC Outdoor Championships. Latifah Porter won the 400-meter dash at the CTC Indoor Championships. Tuwei, Cain, and Porter all were invited to participate in the 2010 New Balance Collegiate Invitational. They are the first Holy Family runners to participate in the event. The men’s 4x400 relay team of Patrick Monteith, Rashid Gilmore, Mike Grubby, and Brian Davis finished 12th in the CTC event at the Penn Relays. -­ Paul Gornowski

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News for the alumni community

Class Notes

What you do is news to your fellow alumni and your alma mater! Tell us if you have moved, changed your phone number, updated your e-mail address, become engaged, married, had or adopted a baby, reunited with a group of classmates, received an award or promotion, changed jobs, or just want to say “hello!” Please forward details to the Office of Alumni & Parents, Holy Family University, 9801 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19114-2009. You may wish to fax information to 215-637-2110, e-mail a message to, or post the note through our online alumni community at


Arlene Sablowski Postupak ’63 is a PA Nursing Home Administrator. She savors every moment spent with her children and granddaughters, especially at their villa on Hilton Head Island. Nijole Salciunas Helveston ’67 spends her winters in North Fort Myers, Florida. Nijole has two children and six grandchildren. Joan O’Mara Peterson ’68 retired from the classroom after 30 years teaching French. Joan now owns a tutoring company and divides her time between Michigan, Florida, and five beautiful grandchildren. When Joan’s husband retires, they plan to move to Florida.


Christina Wiser Mitchell ’81 was named Metro Editor in charge of local content and operations for the Courier-Post newspaper in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Christina has been with the newspaper for 26 years. She has two sons, 16 and 13. Julie Bamberger-Herrmann ’83 has been married to husband Bob for 12 years. She has been a social worker at the Philadelphia Corpora-


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Anthony (Tony) Renzi ’86 recently was named Executive Vice President of single-family portfolio management by Freddie Mac. Renzi is a 24-year veteran of GMAC Residential Capital, where he served in numerous leadership positions and gained considerable hands-on experience in operations, portfolio management, and loss mitigation on a multi-billion-dollar portfolio.

PROFILE tion for Aging for nearly 20 years. Julie loves working with the elderly and their caregivers.


Lisa Bellini Crytser ’93/M’95 lives in Florida with husband Alfred and children Dominic, 12, and Angeline, 10. She teaches fourth grade at Oasis Charter Elementary. John McGovern, Esq., CPA ’93 is the Treasurer for the campaign of Sid Michaels-Kavulich, candidate for Pennsylvania State Representative, 114th District. Janice Leshner Jakubowitcz ’94 was proud to attend Dr. Lombardi’s retirement celebration at Folio Night in April. One of Janice’s stories was published in Folio. She has been

writing stories and poetry over the years and has been published in magazines and on the Internet. Janice’s daughter is a sophomore at Muhlenberg College. Terri Tallon-Hammill ’96 was appointed to the position of Executive Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees at Thomas Edison State College in March 2010. Dr. Lourdes Reddy Santoni M’96 recently traveled to India to learn about Buddhist tradition and how it compares to Christianity in its philosophy. Lourdes and others on the trip developed an anthology of poetry. Michelle Tumolo ’96/M’06, Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Holy Family University, will be married on December 4, 2010. Michelle’s fiancé is Mark Foley,

a nurse at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. David Beaver ’98 recently assumed the role of Assistant Controller at Crown Holdings, Inc. in Philadelphia.


Suanne Bernacki M’03 achieved board certification in Nursing Professional Development from the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC). The ANCC, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA), provides individuals and organizations throughout the nursing profession with resources they need to achieve practice excellence. Dan Kilcoyne ’04 and his brother Shawn began selling flash-frozen ice cream while they were in high school. In April of this year the brothers became owners of the U.S. business Mini Melts. The Mini Melts company manufactures and sells flash-frozen ice cream. The two brothers had been Mini Melts vendors since 2004. It is sold through vending machines that dispense the

cryogenically frozen ice cream in small cups that come with spoons. Dan, who was president of SGA for two years while a student at Holy Family, still brings ice cream back to campus each year for stress reduction week. Johanna Engel Flickinger ’05 married her college sweetheart on September 15, 2007, in Philadelphia. Johanna, who graduated with a degree in Communications, is now attending school to become a nurse. Johanna and husband Aaron moved into their first home in March 2010. Jeffrey Kruczynski ’05 is a Writer/ Editor at The Sports Network in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. It is a Web site with clients throughout the United States and Canada who rely on the site for stories and game recaps. Phyllis Bourke Schuck ’07 was married on May 9, 2009. Matt Gremo ’07, who previously worked in Information Services at Holy Family, recently accepted a position at Yellow Book as a Web Content Writer. Sarah Varacallo ’08 was recently accepted into Drexel University’s Science of Instruction Program. Kaitlyn Mrozinski ’09 and Joseph

Zuchero ’09 are engaged with a summer 2012 wedding planned. Deniene Tosto ’09 is a Staff Accountant at Universal Technical Resource Services (UTRS). Jessica Kovalchick ’10 was hired at Foundations for Behavioral Health as Therapeutic Staff Support. Brittany LaCouture ’10 has been accepted into law school at Georgetown University. Steven Nicoletti ’10 completed a co-op with Liberty Mutual and was subsequently hired by that firm as a Financial Sales Representative. Steven already has two business trips scheduled for Liberty Mutual: one to Orlando, Florida, and the other to Phoenix, Arizona.

In Memoriam Deborah Sembello Keefe ’64 passed away on June 12, 2008. Deborah was the mother of Dawn Keefe McFadden M’97. Nicole Schiavoni ’09 died on June 14, 2010.

2010 Alumni Reunion and Awards Dinner Honoring the School of Arts and Sciences Friday, November 19, 2010 6 pm to 9 pm Torresdale-Frankford Country Club

All alumni are welcome and Arts and Sciences alumni are highly encouraged to attend. For more information and to RSVP, call 267-341-3339 or e-mail

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Join us for a tribute to former Arts & Sciences Dean and faculty member Regina Hobaugh, PhD, and a special welcome to incoming Dean Michael Markowitz, PhD. The Arts and Sciences Alumni Award will be presented to a graduate whose personal, academic, and humanitarian accomplishments exemplify and advance the mission of Holy Family University through dedicated commitment and service to the local community and society at large. To submit a nomination, visit

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familyreunion Awards Presented to University’s Newest Alumni


wo Holy Family graduates were recognized for outstanding achievement in their undergraduate careers on May 18 at Commencement ceremonies. Alumni Association Board Member Karen Menello Fox ’94, M’07 presented the Association’s Alumni Senior Award to Gina D’Emilio ’10, an Art Education major. The award is given each year to a graduating student who best represents the student body through his/ her campus involvement, community service, life experience, and academic achievements. D’Emilio was a member of the University’s soccer team, President of the Student Visual Art Association, and an intern at a summer arts camp. She was the featured artist for the University’s annual Senior

News for the alumni community

Thesis Exhibition on display at the Art Gallery in April. Vice President for Academic Affairs Sister Maureen McGarrity, CSFN, PhD, presented The Mother

Mary Neomisia Award to Julie Ivers ’10, a Management/Marketing major. Holy Family’s Board of Trustees established the Mother Mary Neomisia Award in honor of the University’s Founding President. The award is given annually to a senior who exhibits outstanding qualities of service and loyalty to the University and the ideals that S. Neomisia had in mind when she established the institution. Ivers served as student ambassador for Undergraduate Admissions, Editor of the Tri-Lite student newspaper, student mentor, student representative on the Middle States Reaccreditation Sub-Committee, and received several University awards and national honors.

Legacy Campaign Doubles Participation, Contributions


he 2010 Senior Class Legacy Committee began its campaign to raise funds for a senior class gift early last fall. Marissa Donatone, Gary Gentner, Melissa Hipwell, Julie Ivers, Jessica Kovalchick, and Patricia Paluch, along with faculty moderator Dr. Mary Carroll Johansen, worked closely with the

Alumni Director and the Vice President for Student Services to organize events and campaign for a $20.10 donation from fellow classmates. Several senior class events were offered to those who donated, including a class pinning and dinner in April with President Sister Francesca Onley, faculty, and administrators. As an added bonus, the seniors who donated were invited to represent Holy Family at Philadelphia: A City of Graduates at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mayor Michael


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Nutter and Bill Cosby participated in the first-ever, city-wide event honoring Philadelphia’s college graduates and were pictured in several photos with Holy Family graduates. At the close of the campaign on

June 30, the committee had raised more than $4,200, doubling both participation and contributions over 2009. A dedication ceremony for the 2010 senior class gift is planned for early November.

and meetings with University administrators and staff. They were especially interested in Holy Family Hall, where they attended all of their classes, and they were particularly impressed with all of the changes that have occurred on campus over the years. The tour was followed by lunch in the Campus Center, where the group received updates on the athletic program, residence life, and The Class of 1960 celebrates their 50th anniversary at the Kimmel Center. academic programs. n Sunday, May 16, Sister are to be worn at all times—knee socks Finally, the University paid special Francesca Onley, CSFN, PhD, will be frowned upon” and “students recognition to the Class of 1960 at and the Alumni Association welcomed are allowed to leave campus daily if the May 18 Commencement, held at the Class of 1960 and other alumni they return by 7 pm.” the Kimmel Center. Graduates of the celebrating anniversary years for a The program ended with Marianne class came from California, Florida, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Reunion Brunch at the TorresdaleClisham Harrington ’60 leading a Pennsylvania for this special occaFrankford Country Club. Alumni from round of the Holy Family “College” sion. After 50 years, the class remains the classes of 1960, 1965, 1970, 1975, School Song. 1980, 1990, and 2005 attended. After the brunch many of the gradu- active and in touch with each other, The brunch was highlighted by a ates attended the Baccalaureate Mass gathering annually for reunions. tribute to the Class of 1960, given by of Thanksgiving, held Sister Francesca, with special recogin the Campus Center. nition given to all of the anniversary The Class of 1960 was classes by Linda Colwell-Smith ’83, recognized during the past Alumni Association President. Mass by Reverend James Florence McGuckin Hogan ’60 MacNew, OSFS, Campus gave the invocation and Gini Fluehr Minister. Campbell ’60 amused the group with On Monday, May 17, memories and trivia about Holy Fam- members of the Class of ily College rules back in the late 1950s. 1960 were invited to reGraduates from the Class of 1970 celebrate their 40th Some examples included “stockings turn to campus for a tour reunion at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club.

Class of 1960 Celebrates Golden Anniversary


HURM Alumni Celebrate Program’s 10th Anniversary


an Duggar, PhD, Dean of the School of Business Administration, alumni, current students and faculty celebrated the 10th anniversary of the graduate Human Resources Management (HURM) Program at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club in May. The reception and networking event included a special tribute to Anthony DiPrimio, PhD, the founding director of the HURM program. Betsy Wilkinson M’09, a HURM graduate, honored Dr. DiPrimio and presented him with a congratulatory plaque on behalf of the Alumni Association. Among the special guests was Dr. Alexander J. Hatala, Lourdes Health System President and CEO and a close colleague of Dr. DiPrimio.

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HURM alumnus John Biasiello ’97, M’03 was instrumental in organizing this special program with the Office of Alumni & Parents and the School of Business Administration. - Marie Zecca

Dr. DiPrimio, founding Director of the HURM program, accepts a plaque from Betsy Wilkinson M’09

FALL 2010



A nostalgic trip back in time

Hideout Three students grab a bite to eat on the roof of Holy Family Hall, affectionately called the “sun deck,� in the mid 1970s.


FALL 2010

Say It Loud, Wear It Proud

Catch the Holy Family spirit at our online bookstore. Order at

Automatic Umbrella 42" folding umbrella with Holy Family logo $14.98

Legacy Adjustable Washed Twill Cap*

Unstructured twill cap with embroidered Holy Family logo, 100% cotton $19.98

Red Shirt V Notch Hoodie

Junior fit hooded sweatshirt with screen printed Holy Family logo, 60% cotton/40% polyester $39.98

Alumni Coffee Mug

11 oz coffee mug with alumni logo $8.98

Jansport Open Bottom Pant Open bottom sweat pant with embroidered/appliquĂŠd Holy Family logo, 55% cotton/45% polyester $34.98 * Washed twill caps are available in a variety of specialties.


Due to seasonal changes, some items shown may vary slightly in color and or graphics.


Making a difference on campus

A Legacy to Remember


ast September, the Athletic Department endured a different kind of loss as it mourned the sudden passing of longtime manager Walt Swartz ’92. Since the beginning of his freshman year, over 20 years ago, Swartz was an Event Staff Manager at all men’s and women’s basketball games and women’s volleyball games. While the University community mourned the loss of this longtime friend, his family and friends decided to take action. They established The Walter J. Swartz, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund to be awarded to a student who continues in Swartz’s footsteps as a student manager in the Athletic Department. Through a generous contribution from Swartz’s family, the scholarship received a jumpstart. His friends and family then began diligently organizing a beef and beer with the goal of

raising an additional $14,000 to endow the scholarship and keep Swartz’s memory alive in perpetuity. This event, held on May 8, was successful. Through this endowed scholarship, Swartz’s legacy as a fun-loving, enthusiastic, spirited, and dedicated Holy Family volunteer will last forever. If you would like to contribute to this scholarship, please send your contributions to: Holy Family University, c/o the Walter J. Swartz Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, Attention: Institutional Advancement, 9801 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19114.

Grant to Provide Community Health Resources


eginning next year, nursing students will have a chance to impact the local community long before graduation. Through a generous grant of $10,000 from the TD Bank

Foundation, Ana Marie Catanzaro, PhD, Chair of the Master of Science in Nursing Program, will work with approximately 45 undergraduate and graduate students to provide targeted

health education, disease prevention plans, and vital immunizations to underserved populations throughout the Philadelphia region. The grant will help expand programs currently in place at Libertae, Inc., a transitional housing facility for women recovering from chemical dependency and their children, and Mercy Neighborhood Ministries, a day program for developmentally delayed adults and seniors who live in group homes. Dr. Catanzaro, along with Holy Family faculty and students, has provided limited healthy living programs and flu and H1N1 vaccines to vulnerable populations at the two organizations for the last few years. Without the assistance of Holy Family faculty and students, neither of these nonprofit organizations could provide health promotion, immunizations, or disease prevention services to their clients. According to Dr. Catanzaro, the grant will help support more community members and provide additional services. – Suzanne Libenson


FALL 2010

On the Scene


Scholarship Ball 2010 Holy Family’s generous benefactors joined the University for its 17th annual Scholarship Ball on June 10 at the Crystal Tea Room in Center City Philadelphia. Walter D’Alessio, Vice Chair and Board Member of NorthMarq Capital, Inc., received the 2010 Corporate Leadership Award for his 50-year career in public-sector urban planning and private-sector real estate financing and development. The event raised more than $309,200 for student financial aid. 1) For the fourth year, the Wanamaker Building’s Crystal Tea Room played host to the Scholarship Ball.


2) Holy Family President Sister Francesca Onley, PhD, chats with Corporate Leadership Award winner Walter D’Alessio at the cocktail reception. 3) Pictured from left to right are ball-goers Ray Angelo, President, Westinghouse Lighting Corporation and Member, Holy Family Board of Trustees; Carol Angelo; Corporate Leadership Award winner Walter D’Alessio; Melve Freeman; and Marshall Freeman, Commissioner, Philadelphia Human Relations Commission.


4) Independence Blue Cross President and CEO Joseph A. Frick (left) and other ball attendees bid on silent auction items. 5) Sister Angela Cresswell, CSFN, Assistant Professor of Education, and Sister Benita Skrzyp, CSFN, get down on the dance floor.


6) Sister Jolanta Kruczak, CSFN, and her partner polka the night away. 7) Feather boas make the night merrier! 8) Guests groove to the beat of the David Christopher Orchestra. 5



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FALL 2010



Questions and answers with…

Bruce Boxer, PhD, M’06 Teacher and author Bruce Boxer is the Nursing Quality/Magnet Program Director for South Jersey Healthcare. He holds four degrees, including an MBA in Health Care Administration from Holy Family, and is working towards a master’s degree in Nursing. Bob Macartney recently caught up with Boxer to get his perspective on health care in America and his new book Creative Solutions to Enhance Nursing Quality. Your new book, Creative Solutions to Enhance Nursing Quality, deals with starting magnet programs. However, there is quite a bit of controversy over these programs, which require hospitals to satisfy a set of criteria designed to measure the strength and quality of their nursing. What is it about the magnet program that you feel makes it successful?

You have earned four degrees, including a PhD, and are working toward a fifth. What is it about learning that appeals to you?

No one field is an entity to itself, so challenging yourself is important. Business affects health care. Education affects health care. Research affects health care all the time. The need for knowledge becomes interconnected, and when you are able to tie it all together, you wind up with better outcomes. Health care has been a hot topic lately. What are your views on the changes taking place in health care and how they will affect nursing?


FALL 2010

One of the things we need to realize is that the realm of nursing has changed. Nursing accountability and the knowledge nurses need has changed. Quality improvement is on the nurses’ heads now. They are the caregivers and need to understand how to keep improving quality. I believe we are going to see more consumer-driven healthcare. Consumers will be much more savvy, and with insurance reform will have more freedom of choice in the hospitals they want to go to. So how will they make that choice? They will look for the best hospitals. Data shows the consumer is starting to look more for quality indicators in health care, and I expect that trend to continue.

We are creating innovative ways of delivering patient care to meet our patient’s needs. I am obviously a big believer in the magnet program. One of the problems with the magnet framework is people have a hard time navigating it. Most new magnet starters fumble until they talk to someone who has done it, so the impetus to write this book was to give people guidelines as they start the magnet journey, and help enhance nursing quality.

What led you to co-author a book with your sister?

I have a unique blend of education, and I have the ability to integrate and see a global view of things and how they interrelate. With that, I have a well-rounded view of a lot of aspects within the magnet program and I can give people some insight. I also reached out to my colleagues, and at the end of each chapter, we have contributions from nurses at other institutions—creative solutions and innovative ways nurses have taken care and changed it to solve problems in care delivery.


STUDENTS ARE COUNTING ON YOU! “I came to Holy Family University to study Psychology for Business, and I graduated last spring to begin pursuing a career in human resources. But I will be the first to tell you that I couldn’t have done it without help. Like most of my classmates, I received financial aid.” Melissa hipwell ’10 Financial Aid Recipient

Annual gifts from alumni and other generous friends allow Holy Family to provide financial help to students like Melissa. Government support is declining, and with the economy down, such contributions are more important than ever. More Holy Family students need financial aid, and many who’ve been receiving aid need additional assistance. If you’ve been making annual gifts, please continue to give what you can. If you haven’t given, there will never be a better time to start. Everybody’s help is needed. Each contribution to Holy Family makes a difference and is appreciated. No gift is too small. Make yours today using the enclosed envelope or give online at


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in this issue


Walking with Saints Seven days after a massive earthquake shook Haiti to its very core, emergency room physician Keith Lafferty, MD ’89 boarded a plane bound for the devastated country, and an experience that would indelibly change his life.

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Prison Boss As head of the Philadelphia Prison System’s correctional industries, Eleanor Simpson Doherty ’81 provides incarcerated men and women with real-life job skills and alternatives to a life of crime.

Playing for Laughs Forty years after doctors said he wouldn’t live past his 30s, comedian Tim Grill ’05 is lighting up the stage and keeping audiences in hysterics throughout the Delaware Valley.

The Tigers Turn 25 From moving into the Campus Center to joining the NCAA Division II, Holy Family Athletics have come a long way, baby.

Holy Family University Magazine - Fall 2010  

Holy Family University is a fully accredited Catholic, private, co-educational, four-year comprehensive university located in Philadelphia,...

Holy Family University Magazine - Fall 2010  

Holy Family University is a fully accredited Catholic, private, co-educational, four-year comprehensive university located in Philadelphia,...