Marywood University Receives Council of Independent Colleges Program Development Grant

Marywood University was recently notified that it is the recipient of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) NetVUE Program Development Grant, in the amount of $46,153. The grant will be used between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2023. Marywood University is among a group of NetVUE, the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education, a nationwide network of colleges and universities formed to enrich the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation among undergraduate students.

Marywood University’s “Integrative Core Curriculum Fellows Program,” was developed to build a curricular structure that supports integrative learning and vocational exploration strategies in the new Core. The Core Curriculum helps students think critically, examine values carefully, and act responsibly. Additionally, the Core Curriculum challenges students to engage in civic responsibility in terms of social justice, unmet human needs, and empowerment of others, as it provides a context within which students can realize meaningful personal and professional lives.

This grant program will help Marywood to intentionally support and thread reflective practices that develop vocation throughout the Core in a systematic, measured, and faculty-led process. The work of the eight Fellows and the Project Team will equip Core faculty with the knowledge, support, and materials to integrate opportunities for students to begin to recognize their life’s purpose and their impact on those around them.

Marywood University’s mission and message of passion and purposes matches the student’s academics with cultural, social and human experience to give each student a fully immersive education—one that prepares students to make a difference and impact on the world.

Colleges and universities that are members of NetVUE are already committed to campus activities that encourage vocational exploration by students. These institutions are making significant investments of their own resources to develop and sustain vocational exploration initiatives. In order to support NetVUE member campuses in their work, Lilly Endowment Inc., has provided funding to The Council of Independent Colleges to be used for NetVUE Program Development Grants. Leaders at colleges and universities have observed that grants for program development at even modest levels enable their institutions to strengthen and expand existing programs significantly.

For additional information about Marywood University, please visit, or call the Office of Admissions, at (570) 348-6234. For additional information about the CIC or NetVUE, please visit

The Wright Center’s Dr. Madhava S. Rao, Announces Retirement

After four decades of faithfully serving our community, renowned area cardiologist and medical educator Madhava S. Rao, M.D., has decided to embrace a well-deserved retirement. Throughout the span of his 40-plus year career, Dr. Rao has touched the hearts and improved the lives of countless patients and families through his practice of cardiology. And thanks to generations of cardiologists — serving patients regionally and nationally — who trained under Dr. Rao in The Wright Center’s Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program, his life-saving legacy of service will continue well into the future.

“We appreciate Dr. Rao’s legacy and his many amazing contributions over the decades to support delivery of our mission to improve the health and welfare of our community. We wish him and his family many blessings and great prosperity in his well-earned retirement,” said Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, CEO of The Wright Center for Community Health and President of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. “Dr Rao’s valued passion for education, cardiovascular expertise and healthcare system insight have been great influential assets to our regional practicing physicians and learners. His career contributions have benefitted our community in immeasurable ways.”

“Teaching made me a better doctor, because when you see that enthusiasm for learning, it makes you want to learn more, too,” Dr. Rao shared. “Even now, whenever I get asked to do consultations for my former student fellows, they always send me a note of appreciation. They’re great doctors, but when they come to me for a second opinion, it’s a validating confidence boost. It inspires me and feels good to continue to help them.”

Dr. Rao graduated from Mysore Medical College in India and completed his internal medicine residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. He then completed his cardiology fellowship training at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and notably went on to earn board certifications in nuclear cardiology, echocardiography and clinical hypertension. A fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Rao has served the greater Scranton community since 1979, most recently serving as Director of Non-Invasive Cardiology for the Geisinger Heart and Vascular Center at Geisinger Community Medical Center.

Throughout his career, Dr. Rao held numerous leadership roles, including Chief of Cardiology at the former Community Medical Center in Scranton, where he also was a well respected president of the medical staff; valued chairman of the Mortality and Morbidity Committee; a vested board member of the Quality Committee; and a 10-year passionate member of both the Board of Directors and the Medical Executive Committee.

He has been integral to medical education in the area, starting in 1980 when he was a preceptor for internal medicine residents and students enrolled in the Scranton Temple Residency Program, which later became The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. He passionately supported the development of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s Cardiology Fellowship and made numerous contributions to ensure it has thrived. For more than a decade, he has served as a key faculty leader and as the director of non-invasive cardiology for our fellowship. To date, 14 physician learners have graduated from this program, with nine more currently in training.

During his time with The Wright Center, Dr. Rao has been honored by the students, residents and fellows he has taught cardiology, who have voted him Teacher of the Year on numerous occasions.

“Throughout my years studying with him, Dr. Rao has been amazing,” said Dr. Neil Patel, a third-year Cardiovascular Disease Fellow at The Wright Center. “He has always been very passionate about teaching and the specialty of cardiology. as well as the profession of medicine in general. Everyone in our fellowship so far, myself and previous graduates included, are now board-certified in echocardiography and nuclear cardiology, and we all credit those accomplishments to Dr Rao.”

“Dr. Rao has been a great mentor. His teaching skills, especially in echocardiography and nuclear cardiology, have been exemplary,” agreed fellow third-year Cardiovascular Disease Fellow Dr. Guarav Patel.

“Dr. Rao has been a true inspiration not only to Wright Center cardiology fellows, primary care residents, and medical students, but he has also positively influenced the careers of many local practicing physicians, myself included. He’s been an exemplary doctor, teacher and mentor, and his years of service have been a blessing to our community. We will all surely miss him,” shared Dr. Jignesh Sheth, Chief Medical Officer and a practicing internal medicine and addiction medicine physician for The Wright Center for Community Health.

“Physician learners and our community alike benefited from Dr. Rao’s decades of practice and his many contributions toward training the next generation of cardiologists, as well as other specialty and primary care physicians. I have been privileged to be his colleague and wish him well,” said Dr. Samir B. Pancholy, Program Director for The Wright Center’s Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship.

“Teaching has been very rewarding, but the greatest satisfaction is knowing I did something good for the community,” Dr. Rao shared. “I have seen the commitment from Dr. Thomas-Hemak and The Wright Center to improve primary care and medical education in our community, especially when it comes to rural health, and I have appreciated the opportunity to be part of that.”

An acknowledgement celebration is planned for the future when a gathering to honor Dr. Rao will be COVID-19-safe.

The University of Scranton Kania School of Management Accreditation Extended

The gold standard for business school accreditation – AACSB International – will continue at The University of Scranton for the next five years. The undergraduate and master’s programs in business offered by The Kania School of Management have been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) for the past 25 years. AACSB has extended Scranton’s accreditation through 2025.

Schools accredited by AACSB submit to a comprehensive, 360-degree review every five years to prove that the college continues to offer students an exceptional and relevant business education.

“Parents and students recognize AACSB as the de facto gold standard for business school accreditation. The external accrediting body provides them reassurance of the quality of the business programs being offered at Scranton,” said Sam Beldona, Ph.D., dean of the Kania School of Management.

Less than five percent of business colleges worldwide – 882 schools of business in 57 countries – hold the prestigious AACSB accreditation.

Dean Beldona credits the success of the AACSB accreditation review to the scholarship and passion for teaching of the faculty; the care given to students by staff, alumni and business partners; and the motivation and aptitude of our students.

The accreditation review, completed by deans of other AACSB accredited schools, includes an extensive written report in addition to an onsite visit. The visiting deans meet with faculty, staff and students, the provost and president, as well as multiple advisory committees. The process seeks evidence to prove the education provided by colleges remain relevant to the current needs of businesses. The review looks at a school’s course creation or innovation; the course delivery or engagement of faculty, staff, students and other shareholders; and outcomes or assessment of learning.

Dean Beldona noted that the successful innovations at the Kania School of Management include the launching of a business honors program, a new master’s degree in finance, new undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business analytics and a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Program, which AACSB recognized in 2019 for “Innovations and Best Practices in Canada, Latin America and the United States.”

“Faculty have not only remained current with research, but have been internationally and nationally noted for successful research and publication,” said Dean Beldona. Most recently, the Accounting Department was ranked as the fourth most prolific department in the world for accounting education research (excluding cases) over the most recent six-year period in a 2020 Brigham Young University report. The report also ranked three faculty members with respect to authorships of individual accounting faculty in the area of accounting education.

“Examples of the University’s engagement with the community include MBA curriculum content developed specifically for and delivered at Geisinger in Danville and for Tobyhanna Army Depot. In addition, we have worked with The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to develop initiatives for the Women’s Entrepreneurship Center, as well as other programming,” said Murli Rajan, Ph.D., associate dean of the Kania School of Management.

Undergraduate Kania School of Management programs include bachelor’s degree programs in accounting, business administration, business analytics, economics, electronic commerce, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, management, marketing and operations and information management.

Graduate level Kania School of Management programs include a master’s in accountancy, a master’s in finance, a master’s in business analytics and a master of business administration (MBA) in general management or with a specialization in accounting, business analytics, finance, healthcare management international business, management information systems, marketing and operations management.

Combined bachelor’s and master’s level programs include accounting BS/MBA, operations management BS/MBA and finance BS/MBA, as well as accelerated programs in a number of areas.

The University also offers online MBA programs in general management or with specialization in accounting, business analytics, enterprise resource planning, finance, healthcare management, human resources, international business and operations management.

Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the longest serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master’s level and doctoral degrees in business.

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania Receives $10,000 Donation from FNCB Bank

FNCB Bank, locally-based for over 111 years, recently donated $10,000 through the Pennsylvania Neighborhood Assistance Project Tax Credit Program, to NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania for their Beautiful Blocks Program.

The Beautiful Blocks Program provides matching grants of up to $1,000 per property to groups of 5 or more Scranton residents to help them make exterior improvements to their homes. Grants are awarded annually through a competitive application process. Applications for the 2021 program year are now open at

The support of NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is part of FNCB’s larger Community Caring initiative. As a true, local community bank, FNCB is making a difference through volunteerism, donations and outreach programs.

Geisinger Issues Alert About Scammers Posing as Vaccine Schedulers

Geisinger is alerting patients to recent reports of scammers trying to steal personal data by posing as COVID vaccine schedulers.

The suspected fraudulent activity involves automated calls and/or text messages or live callers reaching out to Geisinger patients under the guise of scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine. The scammers are asking patients for their name, date of birth and Social Security number in order to schedule a vaccine appointment.

The community and patients should be aware that Geisinger will never ask for a Social Security number, and if someone asks for it, it is a scam. Anyone receiving such a call should hang up or not respond.

For more information about this scam and to learn about ways to protect your personal information, visit The webpage provides information about the latest security alerts from Geisinger. This includes more information about phone spoofing scams, ways to help protect yourself against becoming a scam victim, and how to contact Geisinger if you have an information security concern related to Geisinger.

As a reminder, never give out personal information, such as your Social Security number or medical record number, over the telephone — and do not rely on caller ID to be accurate. If you receive a call that is unexpected, suspicious or about which you have any doubts, you should hang up and call Geisinger directly at 800-275-6401 or check your myGeisinger account for messages.

Wolf Administration Announces Liquid Fuels Distribution to Municipalities for Local Roads and Bridges

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has committed $452.7 million in liquid fuels payments to help certified municipalities maintain their roads and bridges.

This year’s allocation is approximately 7 percent less than last year’s, due to reduced gas tax revenues as a result of COVID-19.

“We have the fifth-largest state-maintained road system in the country, and there are even more locally owned roads and bridges,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “These critical investments help keep our communities safe and connected.”

PennDOT’s annual distributions assist with municipalities’ highway and bridge-related expenses such as snow removal and road repaving. There are 120,596 miles of public roads in Pennsylvania. There are 73,091 miles owned by municipalities and eligible for liquid fuels. The formula for payments is based on a municipality’s population and miles of locally-owned roads.

Act 89 of 2013 made more funding available for locally owned roadways. Before the law, municipalities received $320.8 million in liquid fuels payments.

To be eligible for liquid fuels, a roadway must be formally adopted as a public street by the municipality, meet certain dimension requirements, and be able to safely accommodate vehicles driving at least 15 mph.

For the complete list of local payments, visit the “Municipal Liquid Fuels Program” page at under the “Doing Business” Local Government page.

MEDIA CONTACT: Alexis Campbell, or 717-783-8800

Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple Announces Bright Side: A Virtual Variety Show

WHO:  The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple
WHAT: Bright Side: A Virtual Variety Show
WHEN: Thursday, March 11 at 7:00 PM; Pre-show Happy Hour at 6:00 PM
TICKET PRICE: $25 General Viewership; $60 Patron Viewership
PRESENTED BY: Montage Mountain Resorts

Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple is pleased to announce a new fundraising initiative in collaboration with Posture Interactive.  Bright Side: A Virtual Variety Show will be live-streamed on March 11 at 7:00 PM and is presented by Montage Mountain Resorts.

“A top notch variety show with lighthearted, family-friendly entertainment is just the dose of optimism we can all use right now,” said Deborah Moran Peterson, SCC Executive Director.  “The concept was conceived by the SCC staff, is professionally produced by Posture Interactive, and will showcase the talents of local performers and artists.”

The hour-long production will feature performances from the Scranton Fringe Festival, Scranton Shakespeare Festival, New Vintage Ensemble, Newave Studios, Flashmilk Productions, Michele Conaboy McGrath, Stephen Murphy, Erin Malloy and Friends, Mike Miz, Roy Williams, Mariah Hawley and the Scranton Cultural Center Youth Theatre Program.  Chris Bohinski, of WBRE’s PA Live!, and Camille Reinecke, SCC Youth Theatre Program Director, will serve as the evening’s emcees.

While the production aims to shine a spotlight on local talent, it also hopes to support local businesses.

 “Throughout the evening, gift cards to local restaurants and businesses, as well as other prizes, will be raffled off to event attendees,” explains Peterson.  “The event will not only support the SCC, but will do its best to build up our community.  It’s a win, win!”

Audience members will have a chance to virtually mix and mingle with each other during a pre-show Happy Hour sponsored by PNC Bank and hosted by the SCC’s Board President, John Murray, along with Celebrity Bartender, Conor McGuigan.

Bright Side:  A Virtual Variety Show is presented by Montage Mountain Resorts.  The pre-show Happy Hour is sponsored by PNC Bank.  Additional sponsors include Geisinger, Truist Bank, WBRE/WYOU, Lamar Advertising, Fidelity Bank, Century Dental Associates, FNCB Bank, Honesdale National Bank, NET Credit Union, Fellerman and Ciarimboli and Entercom Pennsylvania.

Tickets are $25 for general viewership and $60 for patron viewership, which includes admission to the pre-show Happy Hour at 6:00 PM as well as additional entries into the evening’s free giveaways.  They are available for purchase at  For more information about the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple, visit