Local Veterans Honored During National Vietnam War Veterans Day

As part of its commitment to military members and veterans, Geisinger recognized National Vietnam War Veterans Day by holding a “welcome home” ceremony at its Geisinger 65 Forward Health Center locations on Tuesday, March 29.

Nearly 50 Vietnam War veterans and guests were honored during the event, which concluded with a pinning ceremony. Events took place at eight 65 Forward locations, including Coal Township, Hazleton, Scranton and State College.

The ceremony included local Vietnam War veterans sharing their experiences both in Vietnam and at home. Staff presented certificates and recognized each veteran for their service.

“We have an ongoing commitment to military members and veterans at Geisinger,” said Chris Grill, Geisinger’s diversity, equity and inclusion program manager, who is a U.S. Army veteran. “Many of our local Vietnam War veterans returned home to no fanfare or ‘thank you,’ and they deserve our gratitude for their service. It was humbling to see many of them moved by the ceremony and appreciative of recognition on this special day.”

Geisinger’s commitment to the military community includes military and veteran recruitment programs and educational initiatives to help care teams understand military culture and veterans’ unique health needs. The health system has been recognized for its work, including being named a Military Friendly employer.

65 Forward Scranton Vietnam Vets (pictured above): From left, Vietnam War veterans John Frank, Dan Hulse, David Lennick, William Bechtel, Perry Hoffpauer and Kenneth Anderson Sr. Also in attendance but not pictured was Jack Neuls.

Skills in Scranton Act 158 Presentation

Skills in Scranton, the Chamber’s workforce development affiliate, will host Act 158: Pathways to Graduation, a virtual presentation on Wednesday, April 27 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. All school administrators, guidance counselors, educators, school board directors, higher education staff, and community members in Lackawanna County are invited to attend.  

Guest speaker, Sue Kuhl – Pennsylvania career readiness liaison – will discuss the Career Ready PA Coalition, updates impacting Act 158, and provide information to school districts on preparing students in college, career, and community readiness here in Lackawanna County.

For more than 25 years, Skills in Scranton – through its Educator in the Workplace program – has worked with local employers, school districts, higher education partners and Pennsylvania data experts to develop strategies that help ensure the regional workforce is aligned with high-priority jobs of the future.

Those interested in attending can RSVP to Karen Durkin at kdurkin@scrantonchamber.com. Media are also invited to attend.

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First Responder Friday Tickets Available Now

As a small token of gratitude, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are giving away 50 complimentary tickets to our area’s great first responders every Friday home game during the 2022 season at PNC Field. These brave men and women have protected and served us beyond measure over the years and we are thrilled to welcome them into the park.
Tickets are given away on a first-come, first-serve basis, and are limited to four per week per first responder.
First responders can register for tickets by filling out the form on the First Responder Friday page on swbrailriders.com. Our Community Relations department will contact the first responders that will receive tickets in advance of each Friday home game this season with information regarding the seats and to make further arrangements.
For more information, please contact Jordan Steiner, the Director of Community Relations for the RailRiders, at jsteiner@swbrailriders.com or by calling (570) 558-4616.

University of Scranton Joins National Cohort for Advancing First-Generation College Students

As a result of the commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students demonstrated through The University of Scranton’s THR1VE programming, Scranton was selected to join the national 2022-23 First-gen Forward cohort. The cohort is sponsored by The Center for First-generation Student Success, which is an initiative of the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation.

Colleges selected to the First-gen Forward program receive professional development, community-building experiences and have access to research and other resources of the Center to further improve programming for first-generation college students.

“Through the application process, it was evident that The University of Scranton is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies that foster an environment of success for this important population,” said Dr. Sarah E. Whitley, assistant vice president, Center for First-generation Student Success. “First-gen Forward now recognizes and supports nearly 300 diverse institutions across four cohorts, all of which continue to lead the nation through their commitment to first-generation student success.”

First-generation (first-gen) college students are the first in their family to attend a four-year college or university. At Scranton, first-gen students make up 22 percent of the undergraduate student population. In 2019, the University launched the THR1VE program in an effort to meet the diverse needs of first-gen students and foster their success at Scranton.

According to Shannon Fennie Murphy, assistant dean of students who oversees the University’s first-gen programming, THR1VE focuses on three pillars: understanding and celebrating the first-generation identity; connecting students to resources; and celebrating students’ successes. Programming was initially based on a first-generation needs assessment conducted in late 2018 and is further guided by current needs identified through a student advisory council.

THR1VE programming begins at orientation and continues throughout matriculation. Programming includes the GU1DE peer mentoring program, which pairs first-year first-gen students with upper division first-generation volunteer mentors; a community awareness component that identifies staff and faculty members who were also first-gen college students; and participation in the National First-Generation College Student Day, among numerous other initiatives.

“The THR1VE monthly newsletter scaffolds student resources based on the time of the academic year and the class year of the student,” said Murphy Fennie. “For example, the October newsletters focus on tutoring services, imposter syndrome, and wellness resources for first-year and sophomore students, and on career development, internships and financial wellness for juniors and seniors. We find providing students with appropriate resources just prior to them needing the information reduces stress and allows students to navigate the systems independently.”

Murphy Fennie noted there are also many opportunities for involvement in THR1VE for faculty and staff who are first generation college students themselves or want to be advocates for current first generation students at Scranton. Faculty and staff members interested in becoming involved with the THR1VE program can complete this online survey.

Murphy Fennie wrote an article about THR1VE programming in the January 2022 issue Connections, published by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

The Center for First-generation Student Success is the premier source of evidence-based practices, professional development and knowledge creation for the higher education community to advance the success of first-generation students. Based in Washington, DC, the Center offers an outlet for sharing cutting-edge research and current media conversations, opportunities for engagement through online learning, conferences and events, as well as access to numerous programs and services intended to improve first-generation initiatives across higher education.

The Honesdale National Bank Donates to Wayne County Food Pantry

Thomas E. Sheridan Jr., President and CEO of The Honesdale National Bank, took a pie to the face after employees contributed funds to the Wayne County Food Pantry.

During an employee appreciation event on national Pi Day, employees at HNB rallied to collect funds to donate to the local food pantry. A threshold of $1,000 was placed that stated Sheridan will take a pie to the face to show his appreciation. Members from the food pantry met at the HNB Corporate Center in Honesdale to receive the donation.

Employees went above and beyond, pulling together a total of $2,223, which was then matched by HNB for a grand total of $4,446. This is demonstrative of the HNB Family’s commitment to helping other families in need in our community as inflation impacts local community members.

The Honesdale National Bank, established in 1836, holds the distinction of being the area’s oldest independent community bank headquartered in Northeastern PA, with offices in Wayne, Pike, Susquehanna, Lackawanna, and Luzerne Counties. The Honesdale National Bank offers personal banking, business banking and wealth solutions. For more information on HNB’s products and services, visit www.hnbbank.bank.

Pictured (L to R): Thomas E. Sheridan, HNB President & CEO, Marcy Swingle, EVP, Director of Human Resources at HNB, Clarissa Wimmers, Wayne County Food Pantry Coordinator, & David Hartung, System of Care Coordinator at the Wayne County Food Pantry.

Day of Caring Returns after Two-Year Hiatus

The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties is pleased to announce the return of the Nancy Jackson Memorial Day of Caring, Thursday, September 1st, 2022. “Day of Caring was always a day we circled on our calendar,” said Gary Drapek, President and CEO of the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties. “Canvassing Lackawanna and Wayne County with a band of volunteers eager to participate in community service projects exemplifies the United Way. A community resource for community resources.”

As years past, the 28th Annual Nancy Jackson Memorial Day of Caring, kicks off The United Way’s Campaign for Lackawanna and Wayne Counties. “It’s always been an energizing opening to an essential campaign season that helps so many vital programs in our community throughout the upcoming year,” added Drapek.

United Way’s Day of Caring is named after long-time philanthropist and friend of the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, Nancy Jackson Matthews. Since

Nancy began Day of Caring 28 years ago, the program flourished under her guidance and leadership, receiving state-wide and national recognition. More than 15,000 volunteers have contributed in excess of 75,000 hours to complete more than 1,000 projects in Lackawanna and Wayne Counties. Nancy helped coordinate more than $2 million worth of in-kind projects. However, it is the tens of thousands of individuals in need whose lives have been touched by Nancy’s passion and dedication that are her true legacy to our community. “We are humbled to continue honoring Nancy’s imprint on this community, so many years after her passing,” said Barry Snyder, Vice President of Community Outreach of the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties.

Companies, volunteers and agencies are encouraged to contact Barry Snyder, Vice President of Community Outreach, bsnyder@uwlc.net, to see how they can get involved. Whether it’s a company encouraging their employees to perform a day of community service, members of the community that’d like to volunteer their time or an agency requesting help with a project that enables them to continue their mission to move forward. All inquiries are welcomed.

“We’ve been gearing up for this day for over two years now. We are excited to safely welcome back everyone to a fulfilling day of service and community,” Drapek said.

Johnson College will Host 5th Annual Auction for Children’s Advocacy Center

Johnson College’s Carpentry & Cabinetmaking Technology program will host an auction to benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, on the Johnson College campus. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., and the auction starts at 6:00 p.m.

More than 60 items will be available to bid on, including cutting boards, tables, cabinets, a bookcase, and more. All items were created by students in the Carpentry & Cabinetmaking Technology program. Most of the items were made from re-purposed wood. To register to attend, visit Johsnon.edu.

Johnson College provides real-world, hands-on learning in a caring environment and prepares graduates to enter into or advance their careers. Johnson College degrees become essential careers. Johnson College was founded in 1912 and is the region’s premier technical college, offering 17 associate degree and 4 academic certificate programs. A low student-to-teacher ratio supports an emphasis on hands-on instruction. Located in Scranton on a 44-acre campus, the College is an accredited, private, non-profit, co-educational institution with a strong tradition of working with regional businesses and industries to ensure a skilled and qualified workforce. For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email enroll@johnson.edu, or visit Johnson.edu.

University of Scranton Graduate Programs Top National Rankings

Several of The University of Scranton’s graduate programs ranked among the best in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 edition of “Best Graduate Schools.”

Scranton’s MBA Specialty in accounting ranked No. 14 in the nation, tying with Harvard University, Arizona State University and Ohio State University in the U.S. News full-time MBA program ranking. Scranton’s MBA specialty programs in business analytics ranked No. 29 and finance ranked No. 34 in America in the ranking published by U.S. News online March 29.

In addition to the program specialty rankings, Scranton’s graduate program in nursing ranked No. 95 and its part-time MBA program ranked No. 100 out of all such programs nationally.

For the graduate school rankings, U.S. News uses data gathered by surveys of college faculty and administrators, and for nursing programs, from professionals working in health care, to assess the quality of programs. U.S. News also uses statistical data such as faculty student ratios and student test scores. The U.S. News ranking of the Best Graduate Schools Ranking by MBA Specialties is based solely on ratings by business school deans and directors of AACSB-accredited MBA programs.

The University’s graduate-level business programs include a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), Master of Accountancy (MAcc), Master of Science in Finance (MSF). Master of Science 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. The University also offers combined/accelerated bachelor’s and master’s level programs including accounting BS/MBA, operations management BS/MBA, finance BS/MBA, management BS/MBA, and College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor’s/MBA, and other programs.

Graduate nursing degrees offered by Scranton include Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): Family Nurse Practitioner, MSN, and post-master’s certificate; Executive Nursing Leadership, M.S.N; and Nurse Anesthesia, DNP, and an accelerated MSN degree program.

All of the University’s graduate programs hold the highest national accreditation within each discipline, including accreditation by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) for business and accreditation by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for nursing and Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) for nurse anesthesia.

Earlier this year, U.S. News’ Best Online Programs” publication ranked the University’s online master’s degree programs in business (excluding MBA) at No. 55 and its online MBA program at No. 98 in the nation. U.S. News also ranked Scranton at No. 65 in the country for “Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans.”

In other rankings published by U.S. News, Scranton has been ranked among the top 10 “Best Regional Universities in the North” for 28 consecutive years. Scranton is ranked No. 5 in the 2022 edition of the guidebook. U.S. News also ranked Scranton No. 14 in its category for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.”