Marywood University’s School of Social Work to Hold Master of Social Work Virtual Information Sessions

Marywood University’s School of Social Work, Lehigh Valley program, will hold Master of Social Work (MSW) Virtual Information Sessions on Wednesday, January 6, at Noon, Monday, January 25, 2020, at 5:30 p.m., and Wednesday, February 10, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. The sessions are free and open to anyone interested in advancing their career with a master of social work degree. To register for the MSW Virtual Information Sessions, at the Lehigh Valley location, please visit https://forms.gle/qY556z48aGAPyAZB8.

The MSW Information Sessions will provide study options for full- and part-time students; advanced standing for bachelor of social work graduates; provide admissions information; and give internship program options.

For additional information about Marywood University’s School of Social Work or its MSW Information Sessions, please visit www.marywood.edu/ssw/index.html, or call the office of Admissions, at (570) 348-6234.

Johnson College Receives It’s On Us PA Grant

Johnson College was one of 42 Pennsylvania institutions of higher education awarded a grant through Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s “It’s On Us PA” initiative. The $30,000 grant will help Johnson College improve campus awareness regarding sexual violence among students, faculty and staff.

The funds will help create an updated curriculum module for all students on the College’s Desire2Learn learning management system. The College will review current institutional policies, processes and resources available for reporting sexual violence and serving the needs of potential victims with a Pennsylvania Title IX consultant who will make recommendations for improved compliance and reporting. The grant will also support updated training for the College’s Title IX coordinator and staff to be sure that Johnson College is following best practice operations for continued campus safety within a climate of proactive leadership

The College’s mission is to be proactive in making students, faculty and staff fully aware of the issue of sexual violence, how to report and what resources are available to assist those in need. Additional grant activities will include a campus-wide It’s On Us program event in the spring where students, faculty and staff will be encouraged to take the It’s On Us pledge against campus violence.

“Our goal is to maintain the excellent record of low to no incidents of sexual violence on our campus,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College president & CEO. “Should the need arise, we want to be proactively prepared to comply with Pennsylvania law. The It’s On Us grant will help us accomplish these goals.”

The It’s On Us PA grant program was created to provide colleges and universities with support and resources necessary to shift campus culture and promote healthy relationships. The grant provides funding from January 2021 through May 2022 to implement strategies on campuses to address goals of the Governor’s It’s On Us PA campaign, which include:

  1. Improve awareness, prevention, reporting, and response systems regarding sexual violence in schools, colleges, and universities to better serve all students.
  2. Remove/reduce barriers that prevent survivors of sexual violence from reporting and/or accessing vital resources by creating a more consistent, empowering reporting process for student survivors of gender-based violence.
  3. Demonstrate significant, proactive, and sustainable leadership to change campus culture by challenging Pennsylvania’s education leaders – including college and university presidents, as well as students, teachers, faculty, staff, families, and communities to pledge to improve their institutions’ climate around sexual assault.

Since 2016, the Wolf Administration has awarded 150 It’s On Us PA grants totaling nearly $4 million to more than 70 post-secondary institutions, including public and private two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email enroll@johnson.edu, or visit Johnson.edu.

Lackawanna College Receives It’s On Us PA Grant

Lackawanna College received a grant award of $19,250 as part of Governor Tom Wolf’s 2020-21 It’s On Us PA grant program. This is the third time Lackawanna College has received this grant.The College joins 42 postsecondary institutions across the state slated to receive this funding, which helps colleges and universities address and respond effectively to sexual violence on campus.

To support the Governor’s It’s On Us PA campaign, Lackawanna College will launch its “It’s On Us, Lackawanna” initiative. The project will include targeted training for staff on Title IX procedures and trauma awareness and a variety of sexual violence awareness events during the “Red Zone”. The “Red Zone” is the first six weeks of the fall semester, a time when students, particularly freshmen, are most likely to experience sexual assault on college campuses.

“We are excited and thankful to once again be a part of the State It’s On Us initiative. Providing the proper educational tools and resources are the first steps in maintaining a safe and comfortable campus environment,” said Brian Costanzo, Lackawanna College Title IX Coordinator. “Dollars from this program will provide those necessary resources and opportunities to both students and staff members.”

The initiative will educate, engage, and serve Lackawanna’s students, faculty and staff and improve the College’s current sexual violence response systems.

The It’s On Us PA campaign, launched in 2016 by Governor Tom Wolf, was pioneered during the Obama administration. The Governor’s It’s On Us PA grant program aims to support post-secondary institutions’ efforts to create campus environments in which all community members are informed, active bystanders, working together to end sexual violence, and where survivors are able to access the rights, resources, and accommodations afforded to them through state and federal law.

National Band Association Journal Publishes Article by Dr. F. David Romines

An article addressing advanced saxophone instructional techniques by Fred David Romines, D.M.A., associate professor of music education, director of bands and co-chairperson of the Music, Theatre, and Dance department at Marywood University, was published in the November 2020 issue of the National Band Association Journal. The submission reveals several instructional insights routinely addressed in the Marywood course, “MUSC 303A Woodwind Methods I” (a course required of all Marywood music education majors).

Dr. Romines has been a member of the National Band Association (NBA) since 1977 and presently serves the NBA as Pennsylvania State Chairperson. The National Band Association Journal has a current circulation of approximately 2,500 band directors from all 50 United States, Europe, and Asia.

Dr. Romines has studied saxophone with several of the country’s leading performers and teachers, including: Anthony D’Andrea, Gary Sperl, Jerry Coker, William Scarlett, Douglas Masek, and Steven Mauk.

For additional information about Marywood’s Music, Theatre, and Dance department, go to marywood.edu/mtd, or call the Office of Admissions, at (570) 348-6234.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant SBA Webinar

Are you a theatrical producer, talent representative, venue promoter or do you operate a live venue, live performing arts organization, movie house or cultural institution and have been impacted by COVID-19? Register for SBA’s webinar on Thursday, January 14, at 3 p.m. ET, for a preliminary overview of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program included in the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act. Eligible organizations with a reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic will have the opportunity to receive up to a $10 million grant under the program.

This webinar will provide introductory information about the grants, who can apply, how potential organizations can prepare, and additional details re: eligibility and applications.  

Crystal Window AC85 Acoustic Window Receives Industry Recognition

National manufacturer Crystal Window & Door Systems and its impressive product line continue to receive fenestration industry recognition.  Leading national trade publication US Glass Magazine named the Crystal Acoustic Window AC85 Aluminum Window the winner in the façade/glazing systems category of its annual “Readers’ Choice Awards,” featured in the December 2020 issue.  This is the second year in a row and the third time in the past five years that a new Crystal product was picked as a favorite.

“The Crystal Series AC85 Acoustic Window delivers industry leading acoustic sound transmission reductions,” said Sabrina Leung, Crystal’s R&D/Architectural Sales Manager.  “Independent lab testing of the AC85 window for a recent project in New York certified an outstanding Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class (OITC) sound reduction rating of 42 using double pane insulated glass.  This means properties in high noise areas near highways, rail lines, airports, or heavy traffic can use these windows to provide very comfortable interior environments.”

The aluminum frame Crystal AC85 Acoustic Window is available in either casement or fixed window styles.  The heavy-duty aluminum 7-⅞” depth thermally-broken master frame window features a dual-sash configuration for both styles.  For the casement, the interior sash opens in and the exterior sash opens out.  The AC85 dual sashes each have a 1-¼” glazing pocket which accepts double or triple pane insulated glass units.  With appropriate glass, Low-E coatings, and argon filling options, notable U-values of 0.28 are achieved.

The US Glass Readers’ Choice Awards are determined by the publication’s national and international subscribers voting online during November for the most impressive new products featured in the publication during the year.  Crystal was a previous Readers’ Choice Award winner in 2019 with its Magnus Commercial Vinyl Series 4500 uPVC window line and in 2016 with its aluminum Series 8500/8600 projected window line.

US Glass is the most widely read architectural glass industry magazine, offered monthly in both print and online editions.  The associated US Glass online information platform provides a daily email service to subscribers and offers the latest industry news, product information, commentary, and observations of leading industry experts.

MMQ Announces Promotions

MMQ, P.C. is pleased to announce the following promotions: Emily Clifford, CPA has been promoted to Manager. Emily joined MMQ in January 2014 and has extensive accounting, audit and tax experience in not-for-profit organizations and family owned businesses in various industries. As Manager, Emily will be training and supervising staff while leading client engagements. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration from Wilkes University. Emily is a member of the AICPA and the PICPA.

Anthony J Gangemi has been promoted to Senior Associate. AJ has been a member of the MMQ team for over 3 years. As a Senior Associate, AJ will provide accounting, audit and tax services for non-profit organizations, employee benefit plans and small business clients. AJ received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration, Accounting from Misericordia University. He is currently working towards the completion of his CPA license requirements.

Penn State Scranton to Observe Annual MLK Day with Virtual Event

Penn State Scranton will once again honor the enduring legacy of the late Martin Luther King Jr. while recognizing the campus’ own commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion with a virtual presentation of its sixth annual MLK Day Celebration.

The free event will take place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Monday, Jan. 18 — at 2 p.m. on Zoom, and is open to both the campus community and the general public. Those interested in attending can register at: https://scranton.psu.edu/mlk.

This year’s MLK Day theme is “Love and Truth,” according to Dharti Ray, campus coordinator of diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition to remarks by Chancellor Marwan Wafa, student leaders of the Multicultural Council — Indian Student Association, Student Organization of Latinos, Black Student Union and LGBTQA+ Club — will present readings from some of King’s iconic speeches.

The campus will also recognize those committed to making the world a more diverse and inclusive place with its Excellence in Diversity Award. Two awards will be given at the ceremony: one to a member of the campus community, and another to a local community member or organization who demonstrate a commitment to diversity.

Meanwhile, the campus is a community partner for the Greater Scranton MLK Commission’s annual MLK Day Community Event, which will take place Jan. 18 at noon on Zoom. Also open to the general public, the free event will feature a talk by Penn State alumnus and former NBA player John Amaechi, now an organizational psychologist, internationally known public speaker and bestselling author. To register for the event, visit https://safdn.org/mlk-event.

“We are always excited to be part of their celebrations. The MLK Commission works very hard throughout the year to put their event together and we are happy to provide any assistance needed,” Ray said.

The “Love and Truth” theme, selected by the MLK Commission, was inspired by King’s quote from his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech: “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”

“Love and truth leads to empathy; we all need to listen with empathy,” Ray said.

According to the MLK Commission, Amaechi’s talk, which is titled “The Unarmed Truth” and being sponsored by Geisinger, will delve into the concept of unarmed truth “in an effort to inspire and move our community towards equitable justice and unconditional love.”

“Be prepared to be inspired and transformed as Dr. Amaechi challenges the beliefs and behaviors that prevent us from being our best selves and community, and offers personal insights and tools to create hope and individual growth,” said MLK Commission publicist Jennifer Pennington.

Now is as good a time as ever to reflect on and put into action King’s philosophies, Wafa said, given the bigotry that still exists in American society and was further amplified during the 2020 nationwide protests resulting from the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers.

In Wafa’s view, the community as a whole should be able to agree to commit to issues of social justice, “so that we can all live in peace and harmony.”

“All of these things we see now raise the alarm that we should be doing more to remove the barriers that exist between us, so that we can see we’re all human beings who despite our differences share many things in common,” Wafa said. “People need to get to know one another so they don’t fear each other and draw false assumptions about those who are different from them. We should be bringing humanity together and overcoming our fears of those we don’t know, while also celebrating our differences.”

MLK Day typically features a community service element in which students, faculty and staff spend part of the day volunteering out in the community. While COVID-19 mitigation efforts will prevent that this year, Ray said event participants will have the opportunity to register for programs that promote diversity and inclusion, including the campus’ well-regarded Diversity Circles.

Ray said King’s ideals apply well to the missions of academic institutions like Penn State Scranton — which is why it’s so crucial to pay homage to his legacy.

“Leaders are developed throughout their college experience and it is important to remind all of MLK’s journey,” Ray said. “His vision to provide equal and fair education to all is a principle of many institutions today. Equitable opportunities for all is the vision he had for the future of America, and we must continue to push that mission forward. That is the way to sustain a more diverse and inclusive society.”

For more information on the campus MLK Day Celebration, contact Ray at 570-963-2685 or djr5630@psu.edu.

For further information on the MLK Commission’s event, contact Pennington at 570-903-9450 or gsmlkcommission@gmail.com. And, for more on Amaechi, visit www.amaechiperformance.com.

PPP Reopens This Week

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will reopen the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13. The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act.

This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.

“The historically successful Paycheck Protection Program served as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses and their employees when they needed it most,” said Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “Today’s guidance builds on the success of the program and adapts to the changing needs of small business owners by providing targeted relief and a simpler forgiveness process to ensure their path to recovery.”

“The Paycheck Protection Program has successfully provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to America’s small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “This updated guidance enhances the PPP’s targeted relief to small businesses most impacted by COVID-19.  We are committed to implementing this round of PPP quickly to continue supporting American small businesses and their workers.”

Key PPP updates include:

  • PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
  • PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
  • The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, destination marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
  • The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan. 

A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:

  • Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
  • Has no more than 300 employees; and
  • Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

The new guidance released includes:

For more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp or treasury.gov/cares

ATHENA Award Eligibility

Qualifications:
  • Nominee must provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
  • Nominee must demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in her business or profession.
  • Nominee must demonstrate an ongoing advancement or progressive job growth in her career including significant leadership accomplishments and milestones along the way.
  • Nominee must possess a minimum of 10 years of professional business experience.
  • Nominee must actively assist women in achieving their full leadership potential.
Eligibility:
  • Previous Athena Award recipients are not eligible for nomination.
  • The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce staff are not eligible for nomination.
  • The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce board members are not eligible for nomination.
  • Athena committee members are not eligible for nomination.
  • Athena committee members may not score an application that they submit for nomination.
  • Nominees must own or be an employee of a business that is a member in good standing of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.
  • Nominations must be received no later than January 20, 2022 at 4 p.m. Incomplete nominations will not be reviewed.
Selection Process:
  • Nominations will be live on www.scrantonchamber.com on January 4, 2022.
  • Nominations must be received by January 20, 2022 at 4 p.m.
  • The Athena Award committee will review all nominations and score independently.
  • The Athena Award winner will be announced by February 11, 2022.
  • The Athena Award will be presented at the International Women’s Day Celebration on March 8, 2022.