Scranton Honors Staff Who Serve the Jesuit Mission

The University of Scranton presented Sursum Corda (Lift Up Your Hearts) Awards to four staff members at a convocation held on campus this month. The award recognizes members of the University’s professional/paraprofessional staff, clerical/technical staff and maintenance/public safety staff who have made outstanding contributions to the life and mission of the University. First row, from left, are: Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., president; Sursum Corda Award recipients Donna Simpson, Bryn Schofield and John Harris. Second row: Patricia Tetreault, vice president for human resources., and Jeffrey Gingerich, Ph.D., senior provost and vice president of academic affairs. Sursum Corda Award recipient Andrea Mantione, D.N.P., was absent from the photo.

Sursum Corda Awards were presented to four staff members and University of Scranton President, Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., delivered his State of the University address at the Spring Convocation, which took place in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center on Feb. 13. In addition, new staff members who joined the University between Feb. 1, 2019, and Jan. 31, 2020, were recognized.

Sursum Corda (Lift Up Your Hearts) Awards recognize members of the University’s professional/paraprofessional staff, clerical/technical staff and maintenance/public safety staff who have made outstanding contributions to the life and mission of the University. This year’s recipients were: John Harris, electrician; Andrea Mantione, D.N.P., director of the Leahy Community Health and Family Center; Bryn Schofield, administrative assistant to associate dean, College of Arts and Sciences; and Donna Simpson, consultant manager, Small Business Development Center.

Norris McLaughlin Welcomes Two New Members to Pennsylvania Office

The law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome Christopher R. Gray and the Honorable Rebecca L. Warren (Ret.) as members of the firm. Gray joins the joins both the TaxTrust, and Estates Practice Group and the Business Law Practice Group, while Warren will be a part of the Labor& Employment, Litigation, and Business Law Practice Groups.

“We are grateful to have these two established attorneys join our team and look forward to enhancing our multiple practices at Norris McLaughlin. Our clients will benefit from the additional experience Chris and Rebecca are bringing,” said S. Graham Simmons, III, administrative partner of the firm’s Pennsylvania office.

About Christopher Gray

Gray focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, and income tax planning.

In addition, Gray is experienced in corporate matters, business transactions, non–profit issues, health care governance, elder law, and general litigation. He represents high net-worth clients and their businesses in developing estate, gift, income tax, and succession planning strategies.

Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Gray has worked both in private practice and with a financial strategies company advising affluent private clients on business investments, multigenerational estate preservation, and wealth planning.

A long-time resident of Pennsylvania, Gray is a past officer of the Lehigh Valley Estate Planning Council, and currently serves on the Northampton Community College Foundation Board of Directors, where he is also Chair of its Planned Giving Committee.

With 25 years of experience, Gray frequently presents on tax law and initiatives, estate planning tools and techniques, and asset protection.

Gray received his J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, cum laude, in 1993 and his B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College in 1987. He also earned his LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center in 1994.

“Our Practice Group has witnessed recent and robust growth. We are delighted to welcome Attorney Gray to join our Team at this auspicious time. Chris is a fine asset to our firm and to our clients,” said Judith A. Harris, Co-Chair of the Tax, Trust, and Estates Practice Group.

About Rebecca Warren

Warren devotes her practice to labor and employment, business and corporate matters, and general liability litigation.

As a former in-house corporate attorney and having counseled businesses for over 25 years, Warren is acutely aware of the unique and varied legal needs of business clients. She has created thousands of customized legal documents for corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and sole proprietors. Warren is also well-versed in providing legal strategy and guidance regarding daily business issues and concerns ranging from employment matters to third-party disputes.

As a former prosecutor, Warren is well-positioned to counsel clients in crisis management, internal and governmental investigations, and regulatory and business compliance. She has represented prominent clients in high-stakes and multi-million-dollar cases at the county, state, and federal levels in multiple states.

In addition, Warren has extensive experience in insurance defense, white-collar crime, election law, health care, commercial law, estate practice and administration, family law, and real estate.

Warren handles all aspects of litigation for her clients, having appeared in court on thousands of hearings, proceedings, arbitrations, jury and non-jury trials, and appeals. She was formerly appointed Solicitor for various non-profit organizations and government agencies and had regularly served as a county Arbitration panel member and Chairperson.

Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Warren founded a multi-county law firm and real estate closing company and was a partner in a Philadelphia firm.

Warren was elected as the first female District Attorney of Montour County by a 3:1. In that role, she designed and implemented an intensive, personalized victim rights program; created the Multi-Disciplinary Investigative Team for child abuse cases to minimize trauma for minor victims; and collaborated with agencies to provide services and treatment for offenders

Warren received her J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law in 1991 and her B.A. with honors from Bloomsburg University in 1988.

“We are excited to see growth within the firm and I am proud to be able to extend our team’s reach by adding Rebecca’s many years of experience. Having her in-house perspective, as well as her service as a District Attorney, will be a great addition to our group,” said Patrick T. Collins, Chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group.

University of Scranton Seeks Businesses for Career Expo

Spring 2020 Career Expo

Please join us for an opportunity to meet our outstanding student population for our Spring 2020 Career Expo on Thursday, April 2, 2020.

  • 12 PM – 3 PM
  • Byron Center
  • Registration Fee: $150.00 (For-Profit), $75.00 (Non-Profit/Government/Schools)
  • Registration fee includes: Parking, one 6-foot covered table, two chairs, wi-fi access, hospitality area (coffee, tea, water and lunch, sponsored by Baker Tilly).
  • Students from all majors will be invited to attend in search of graduate and professional schools, internships, full-time and part-time experiences. For a list of undergraduate majors click here. For a list of graduate programs click here.

To register click here. You will be prompted to sign in or sign up for Handshake.

Note: Signing up for an account does not register you for an event. Once you have a Handshake Account you can follow the above link to register for the Spring 2020 Career Expo

TOOL Coming to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

Photo credit: Travis Shinn

John Scher/ Metropolitan Entertainment presents TOOL along with special guest Blonde Redhead at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre on Friday, May 1, 2020.  TOOL, who recently took home the GRAMMY Award® for Best Metal Performance for the song “7empest,” has added the Wilkes-Barre stop as part of an extensive spring tour of North America.

The tour news arrives as the Los Angeles-based band wraps up a sold-out Australasian tour, with the final two shows of the trek, back-to-back sold out performances at Auckland’s Spark Arena, happening later this week. The Sydney Morning Herald described the live offering as “an immersive art-rock experience that forced you to feel a little of everything. It was an intricate collage of light, sound and imagery.” The Fear Inoculum tour, which has seen the band performing in some cities for the first time in over a decade, has received widespread accolades with the Los Angeles Times calling it “impeccable,” the Chicago Tribune describing the performances as a “twisting multimedia rollercoaster of a concert” and The Arizona Republic describing the shows as “a visually breathtaking night of dystopian art-rock spectacle.”

Fear Inoculum ( arrived on Aug. 30 following years of anticipation. The album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200, shattering sales and radio records while also earning widespread critical praise. NPR said, “Fear Inoculum was worth the 13-year wait,” The Atlantic declared the release “precise and devastating,” Revolver dubbed the 10-track album “a masterpiece that will be dissected for years to come” and Consequence of Sound said Fear Inoculum finds “TOOL in peak performance.”

TOOL formed in 1990, releasing four multi-platinum studio albums: Undertow (1993), Ænima (1996), Lateralus (2001) and 10,000 Days (2006); two EPs: 72826 (1991) and Opiate (1992) and the limited-edition boxset Salival (2000). The band has won four GRAMMY Awards®: Best Metal Performance (1998, “Ænima”), Best Metal Performance (2002, “Schism”), Best Recording Package (2007, 10,000 Days) and Best Metal Performance (2020, “7empest”). TOOL is Danny Carey (drums), Justin Chancellor (bass), Adam Jones (guitar) and Maynard James Keenan (vocals).

Friday, May 1, 2020, Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Doors: 6pm   Showtime: 7:30pm

Tickets, $65 – $125 (plus applicable fees) available online at  There is a four (4) ticket limit per order.  If tickets remain, they will be available at the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena beginning Saturday, February 29. Box Office hours: M-F 10-4pm. Sat 10-2pm.

Misericordia University to Host Events Celebrating Women’s History Month

Misericordia University faculty and staff from a variety of academic disciplines are collaborating on a series of programs to celebrate Women’s History Month in March. Touching upon a wide range of topics, the events highlight women of achievement, women in poetry and career opportunities in the sciences. Each program is free and open to the public.

Little, Lalaine

The series begins Thursday, March 12, with “That’s So Cool! Why Have I Never Learned That? Bringing Women Scientists into the Light,” a presentation featuring Leah Horton, Ph.D., a lecturer in biology and director of the University Scholar Program in the Schedler Honors College at the University of Central Arkansas, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in room 206 of the Science Center. The lecture is part of a biweekly series of seminars sponsored by the Misericordia University Department of Biology that provides students and the public with the opportunity to learn more about scientific research. Grace Chen, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, is coordinating the lecture series.



Hiester, Marine

A “Women’s Issues Forum” on Wednesday, March 18 at noon in the Catherine Evans McGowan Room of the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library will feature a panel discussion moderated by Marnie Hiester, Ph.D., professor of psychology; Maureen Pascal, D.P.T., associate professor of physical therapy, and Linh Nguyen, M.A., manager of multicultural inclusion initiatives. The theme of the program, “Unsung Women,” will address issues that are often overlooked in society, such as those affecting minority women, single mothers and survivors of domestic violence.




Caleb, Amanda

The month-long series continues Monday, March 30 at 6 p.m., with the program, “Eight Women Who Changed the World,” featuring 10-minute presentations by Misericordia University faculty on eight influential women in their respective academic fields. Amanda Caleb, Ph.D., director of the Medical and Health Humanities Program, will facilitate the event scheduled in the McGowan Room of the Bevevino Library.




Black, Jennifer

Kara Carmack, Ph.D., assistant professor of fine arts, will discuss Marsha P. Johnson, an African American transgender woman and leading LGBTQ rights activist; Jennifer Black, Ph.D., associate professor of history and government, will examine the life of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, an activist who advocated for black woman suffrage and an end to lynching, and Linda Auker, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, will discuss Jane Lubchenco, renowned marine ecologist, former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration undersecretary and American Association for the Advancement of Science president, who is known as “the bionic woman of good science.”



In addition, Heidi Manning, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will feature Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, who revolutionized the field of astronomy and the understanding of the chemical composition of the universe; Cheryl M. Jayne, O.T.D., O.T.R./L., C.P.C.-A., assistant professor of occupational therapy, will discuss Eleanor Clark Slagle, one of the earliest proponents of the emerging field of occupational therapy and one of the founding members of the American Occupational Therapy Association, and Tiffany Mulally, Ph.D., assistant professor of education, will offer the story of Lael Wilcox, one of the best ultra-endurance cyclists in the world – female or male – noted for winning the 4,300 mile Trans Am Bike race in 2016 and setting the record for the 2,750 mile Tour Divide in 2015.

Patrick Danner, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, will feature Diedre McCloskey, whose work in the rhetoric of economics sparked a new understanding of the social and physical sciences as rhetorical pursuits, therefore shaping the study of professional and technical writing as it is known today. Joseph Curran,  Ph.D., professor of religious studies, will discuss Lisa Sowle Cahill, past president of the Society of Christian Ethics and the Catholic Theological Society of America, who shaped the fields of sexual ethics, bioethics and natural law-based doctrine.

Empowerment-themed stickers will be on sale for $1 and T-shirts will be available for $10 at every Women’s History Month event. Proceeds benefit the Catherine McAuley House shelter for women and children operated by the Sisters of Mercy in Plymouth. Rachel Urbanowicz, M.A., assistant professor of Mass Communications and Design, is organizing the project.

Throughout the month, the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery will also host “Women Artists: Four Centuries of Creativity,” an exhibit organized by the Reading Public Museum in Reading that features 37 works from the museum’s permanent collection. On display Feb. 22 through May 10, the acclaimed exhibition examines works on paper – etchings, engravings, lithographs, drawings, watercolors, woodblock prints, and photographs – by some of the most important women artists of the time period. The show chronicles the emergence of women as professionals in the field of art and records their noteworthy creative contributions. The exhibit was made possible by the generous support of the Sandra Dyczewski Maffei Endowment.

To supplement the exhibition, the Friedman Art Gallery will host “Women Creators,” a series of Saturday workshops under the direction of Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Teaching artists Ellen Jamiolkowski and Kim Hogan.

Jamiolkowski, a ceramicist, will lead workshops in succulents, garden stakes and herb sachets, on March 14, March 28, and April 4 from 2-4 p.m. at the Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Center All-Purpose Room, at 4 E. Center Hill Rd., Dallas.

On March 21 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Bethlehem artist Kim Hogan will teach a glass mosaic workshop in Dudrick Room 216 of Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall on campus. The “Women Creators” workshop series is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

The Pauly Friedman Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 12-7 p.m., Friday 12-5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m., or by appointment. The gallery is closed on Mondays and for all university holidays.

For more information about Women’s History Month at Misericordia University, please go to or contact Dr. Black at, or 570-674-1491.

Geisinger’s Scranton Childbirth Center Delivers 100th Baby

Joseph Sowka and Nicole Griguts of Scranton care for their newborn daughter, Victoria Sowka, in the Childbirth Center at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton

Victoria Sowka arrived as a milestone.

The 100th child delivered at Geisinger Community Medical Center’s Childbirth Center, Victoria was born at 4:57 p.m. Feb. 5 to Nicole Griguts and Joseph Sowka of Scranton. At her time of birth, she was 20 inches long and weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces.

Griguts had received maternity care in Scranton before, but this was the first time she chose the Childbirth Center, which opened in October, for her labor and delivery. Staffed with certified nurse midwives and obstetrician/gynecologists, the Childbirth Center offers mothers-to-be the resources to deliver naturally or rely on medical and surgical treatments.

“I was going to see the midwives at Geisinger – Mount Pleasant,” Griguts said. “They first suggested I could deliver here, and I had heard this place was beautiful.”

With eight spacious suites designed for labor, delivery and recovery, the Childbirth Center provides all of the technology and medical expertise of a state-of-the-art birthing unit in a space imbued with the comforts of home. Large rooms give moms the opportunity to move around and experiment with birthing balls, benches and hydrotherapy tubs right up until delivery, and wireless monitoring equipment can be concealed in cabinets or brought out as needed.

“It was a cool experience,” Griguts said of being cared for by midwives. “They’re very helpful.”

Sowka added that the whole staff was attentive and accommodating during their stay.

“They’re very relaxed, and they know what they’re doing with the baby,” he said.

Childbirth Center operations manager Lauren Gleason said through the first 100 births, the unit has had a high rate of success in helping mothers who intend to deliver vaginally achieve their goal.

“At Geisinger Community Medical Center, our current rate of C-section is significantly lower than the national average,” Gleason said, noting that lower-intervention births are associated with the best outcomes.

But the frequency of low-intervention births at the Childbirth Center, while a point of pride, is not the most important observation to note over the first 100 deliveries. The big takeaway, Gleason said, is the unit has been able to adapt to the specific needs of each mom who delivered there. It is equally equipped to cater to the most low-risk, natural birth as it is the scheduled or emergency C-section, and it offers pain management options for everyone in between, giving expectant mothers choices before and during labor.

“The beauty of the Childbirth Center is we have the services to meet each patient’s wishes and the capability to customize their birth plan,” Gleason said. “The best thing we can do to serve members of the community is provide them with education and options and empower them to make the best choice for them.”

Learn more at

VIA Public Media Wins Two Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Awards


VIA Public Media wins two 2020 Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters awards

VIA Public Media has received two 2020 Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Excellence in Broadcasting Awards.

Lisa Mazzarella, Larry Vojtko and Paul Lazar have been awarded the 2020 Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Award for Outstanding Radio Feature Story / Report / Series for the Keystone Edition story “Bucknell Professor Shines Light of Hope In to the Darkness of Lebanon” which premiered on Nov. 23, 2019 on VIA Radio.

The piece, produced as part of VIA’s Keystone Edition program features electrical and computer engineering professor Amal Kabalan speaking about a solar backpack project she created with Shehryar Asif, an electrical engineering major to assist students from refugee camps in Lebanon to allow them to do their daily homework.

The piece is available to listen to anytime here:

VIA Producer / Director Kris Hendrickson also won in the Outstanding Television Feature Story / Report / Series for his short documentary Glynn Lunney – Segment for State of PA.

In this video, Old Forge PA native, Glynn Lunney talks about his time serving as flight director for NASA during the historic Apollo 11 mission which landed a man on the moon. Glynn shares his experiences working the Apollo missions, the principles he was raised on and his core values that guided him through the space race and beyond.

The video is available to watch anytime here:

“It is always an honor to be recognized by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters for the work that we do. Stories like these highlight the amazing work of our regions citizens and are part of VIA’s mission and commitment to showcase local stories and bring them to national audiences.” Said Ben Payavis, Chief Content Officer at VIA Public Media.

To learn more about the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters, please visit

State Representative Marty Flynn Visits Diverse Business Loan Recipients

From left, Bob Durkin, president, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; Kristine Augustine, vice president, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; Amy Ware and Erin Pallo, owners of Learn and Grow Early Childhood Center; and State Representative Marty Flynn.

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce recently joined State Representative Marty Flynn on a visit to Learn and Grow Early Childhood Center on Saint Ann Street in Scranton. The business was recently approved for funding through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Diverse Business Financing Initiative.

Learn and Grow is a full-service childcare facility that provides care for children aged 6 weeks through 12 years old. This Diverse Business Financing Initiative was established to support lending to diverse businesses. The program is administered locally by MetroAction, the small business loan affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

During the tour, Amy Ware and Erin Pallo, owners, provided a tour of the center and provided representatives with an update on how the funds were used to enhance business operations.

About MetroAction
MetroAction is the leading non-profit community development organization in northeastern Pennsylvania. Providing more than $6 million in loans to start-up and expanding small businesses, it is a committed resource for the support needed to grow strong, thriving businesses in the region.

Johnson College and the Scranton Public Library Enter New Partnership

Jessica Serrenti, Community Relations, Grants, and Development Officer, Scranton Public Library; Scott Thomas, CEO, Scranton Public Library; Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO, Johnson College; Kellyn Williams, Chief Academic Officer, Johnson College; Ashley Cease Hassenbein, Academic Resource Officer, Johnson College

Johnson College announces a new partnership with the Scranton Public Library, one of the six libraries making up the greater Lackawanna County Library System. This partnership will provide Johnson College students with access to databases, free on-line tutoring, and a rotating book collection that will be featured in the campus resource center.

Ashley Cease Hassenbein, Academic Resource Officer at Johnson College, feels that the resources offered by Johnson College, paired with those offered by Scranton Public Library, will greatly increase opportunities for research. Students will also be able to sign-up for library cards on campus or on-line, and Johnson College will also be added as a stop for the Bookmobile.

In addition, Johnson College students will have the opportunity to appy skills learned as part of their academic curriculum by performing basic maintenance on the three historic buildings that make up the Scranton Public Library.

“The library is a community-wide resource and, by partnering with Johnson College, we get to promote our collections, facilities, and knowledgeable staff to students who are the future of the local economy,” says Scott Thomas CEO of the Scranton Public Library. “Our historic buildings are beautiful, but present maintenance challenges and will be perfect learning laboratories for Johnson College students.”

For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email, or visit For information on the Scranton Public Library, call 570-348-3000 or visit

Lackawanna College Announces New Beekeeping Certificate Program

New beekeeper Michelle Wheeler holds a frame during a hive inspection.

The Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center is excited to announce a new multi-level Beekeeping certificate program. This intensive three-step program is designed to provide students with a deep understanding of honey bees and beekeeping. The three levels of certification are as follows: Beginner Beekeeping, Intermediate Beekeeping and Advanced Beekeeping. The ten-week Beginner Beekeeper certificate is currently accepting students for its March 2020 launch.

The program is designed to support both new and seasoned beekeepers through an entire apiary year. During the Beginner Beekeeping certificate, participants will learn about honey bee biology, rules and regulations, beekeeping equipment, steps to start a colony, applied care and environmental challenges. By the end of this course, participants will be able to start an apiary and manage hives for maximum bee and ecological health. Upon successful completion of the course, students will earn a Beginner Beekeeping certificate and will be prepared to take the Intermediate Beekeeping certificate program, which is set to begin Fall 2020. These programs support a beekeeper’s preparation for the Eastern Apicultural Society (EAS) of North America’s nationally recognized Master Level Beekeeping certification process.

The Beginner Beekeeping certificate starts March 26, 2020, and runs every other Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. until May 28, 2020. The cost is $250, textbook not included. The program will be held at the Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center (LCEEC), 93 MacKenzie Road, Covington Township.

Session Dates and Topics:

March 26: History of Beekeeping

April 2: Honey bee Biology

April 9: Behavioral Aspects of Honey bees

April 16: Apiary Equipment and Installation

April 23: Rules and Regulations

April 30: Environmental Challenges

May 7: Pollinators and Their Benefits

May 14: Hive Check and Applied Care

May 21: Review

May 28: Final Exam

To register or for more information, please contact Michelle Wheeler at (570) 842-1506 or visit LCEEC’s website at for session descriptions and our beekeeper instructors’ biographies.