University of Scranton Students Win Fulbright Grants

Two members of The University of Scranton’s class of 2022 have been awarded 2022-2023 Fulbright grants, the prestigious international academic exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government that awards competitive, merit-based scholarships for recipients to spend a year conducting research or teaching abroad.

Through the 2022-2023 Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Peter Amicucci ’22 won a Fulbright-Lappeeranta University of Technology Graduate Award to Finland, and Crysta O’Donnell ’22 won an English Teaching Assistantship to Andorra.

Widely considered to be the premier international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright program awards grants based on the recipients’ records of academic achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

“Both graduates will benefit greatly from their Fulbright experience. Crysta’s aptitude for languages and appreciation of different cultures make her well-suited for a career in foreign service. Peter will absorb and learn sustainable supply chain management practices from a world-renowned institution and put that knowledge into practice throughout his career,” said Susan Trussler, Ph.D., associate professor of economics and finance and The University of Scranton’s Fulbright Program Advisor.

Since 1972, a total of 127 University students have been awarded Fulbrights.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

Peter Amicucci, Poughquag, New York

Growing up in the scenic Hudson Valley, Peter Amicucci has always been in awe of nature.

“I enjoy hiking and just being in nature. Mount Beacon is a favorite spot that I go to throughout the year with my family and friends. The views are beautiful,” said Amicucci. “Being near the Hudson River also made me aware of the damage pollution can have on the environment, as well as the positive impact of clean-up initiatives. That’s where my interest in sustainability began.”


Amicucci studied sustainable practices in his coursework at Scranton. His class in Quality Management included the study of environmental management systems.

As a Fulbright student, he plans to learn even more about sustainable practices.

Amicucci will pursue a two-year Master of Science degree in economics and business administration with a concentration in supply management at Lappeeranta University of Technology in Finland. Dr. Anni-Kaisa Kankonen, vice dean of academic affairs and professor of supply management at Lappeeranta University will serve as his mentor.

“Lappeeranta University of Technology is known for its expertise in supply chain management and Finland is one of the most sustainable countries in the world,” said Amicucci.

The focus of his research will be on sustainable supply chains specifically for the tourism industry. He will look for ways to make ecofriendly improvements throughout the supply chain of the service sector. His planned courses include “Green Logistics” and a project course on “Sustainable Business.” He will also take courses on Finnish language and culture.

His ultimate goal is to create a consulting firm that specializes in helping businesses in the tourism industry, such as hotels, theme parks and commercial transportation companies, develop and support their sustainability efforts in the procurement, manufacturing and delivery of their goods and services.

In addition to course studies, Amicucci plans to immerse himself in the local Finnish community through his love of music and sports. He has played the trumpet since the fourth grade and was a member of the University’s Performance Music Concert Band and Strings Ensemble. He was also a member of Scranton’s varsity wrestling team. In Finland, he plans to join a music ensemble and a wrestling club.

Amicucci earned a bachelor’s degree in operations management, summa cum laude, from Scranton with minors in mathematics and business analytics. He is also a member of the Business Honors Program, one of the University’s five programs of excellence. At Class Night, he received the University’s Excellence in Operations Management Award.

A Dean’s List student at Scranton, Amicucci was inducted into Omicron Delta Epsilon, (international economics honor society), and Alpha Sigma Nu (national Jesuit honor society), where he served as vice president. In the 2021, he came in sixth place in both Future Business Executive and Organizational Behavior and Leadership at the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference, and came in first place for Future Business Executive and second place for Organizational Behavior and Leadership at the 2021 Pennsylvania State Leadership Conference Qualifier. He was the president and founder of Scranton’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter. He was also a member of the Business Club, PRISM (Portfolio of Responsible Investment Under Student Management), Business Honors Club and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

His semester studying abroad at Fordham University London Centre was cut short in 2020 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the summer of 2021, he participated with about 200 college students from across the country in a leadership development internship at Hershey Park.

In the greater Scranton community, he volunteered with Big Friends, Little Friends.

Crysta O’Donnell, Riegelsville, Pennsylvania

Crysta O’Donnell was born in Nicaragua in a multi-ethnic home where French and Spanish were spoken daily.

As a Fulbright Teaching Assistant, O’Donnell will travel to Andorra, a small country that borders Spain and France, where both Spanish and French are dominant languages. She will teach English and American culture at an Andorran School.


“Andorra’s official language is Catalan,” said O’Donnell, who looks forward to learning yet another language. “As a Fulbright student, I will also have the opportunity to learn and practice Catalan.”

Languages come easily to O’Donnell, who learned English at a very young age at a prestigious elementary school she attended. She is fluent in Spanish and English and advanced in French. She also has a natural love and interest in learning about different cultures.

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship award will also allow her to develop her other passions: teaching and diplomacy.

O’Donnell enjoyed teaching her younger sisters the languages she mastered. While serving as an English as a Second Language tutor at Scranton, she developed creative approaches to helping students learn English.

“I used images, art and songs by popular artists to help students understand the words, meanings and culture,” said O’Donnell. “I plan to do the same with my students in Andorra.”

O’Donnell’s interest in a future career as a diplomat began when she and her mother and sisters emigrated to the United States. She saw first-hand the challenges and barriers faced by those entering the country, as well as the importance of the resources and assistance others can provide. O’Donnell wants to be a resource to others in the future.

As a Fulbright student, O’Donnell will also volunteer to coach youth soccer. In addition, she will research how the cultural and linguistic diversity of Andorra’s people relates to their allegiance and engagement with the sport of soccer.

O’Donnell earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies and Hispanic studies, summa cum laude, from Scranton with a minor in French and a concentration in Latin American studies.

A Dean’s List student, O’Donnell was inducted into Alpha Mu Gamma (national foreign language honor society), Phi Alpha Theta (international history honor society) and Pi Sigma Alpha (national political science honor society).  At Scranton, she was president of the Spanish Cultural Society and a member of the Mountain Sports Club, the Archery Club and the Fencing Club. She also volunteered the University’s Leahy Clinic, serving as an interpreter for migrant families.

Sky Zone Air Court in Pittston

Sky Zone, a subsidiary brand of CircusTrix and the creator of the world’s first indoor trampoline park, has officially installed an Air Court in our Pittston location. Located at 195 Enterprise Way, Pittston, PA 18640, Sky Zone is bringing the power of play, featuring a number of fun and out-of-the-box attractions including trampolines, warrior course, sky slam, challenge zone, foam zone and more! To celebrate, Sky Zone Pittston is having a ribbon cutting for our Air Court on Friday, June 3, 2022 at 1 pm.

The Pittston community is encouraged to join Sky Zone on Friday, June 3, 2022 for its Air Court opening, which will include a ribbon cutting, music, food, and giveaways.   Tickets are limited to building capacity, so it is highly encouraged guests book their ticket online to confirm their spot:

Sky Zone Pittston features a wide variety of attractions is open to children and adults alike and features several private party and event spaces, which can be reserved for birthday parties, corporate outings, meetings, fundraising events, and more.   

For more information on the park, scheduling events or purchasing a pass, guests may visit our website:

Johnson College Spring 2022 President’s List

Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College, has announced the President’s List of students who have completed the 2022 Spring Semester with a grade point average of 3.90 or higher.

Jacob Banta, Automotive Technology, Trucksville, PA
Brittany Bethel, Veterinary Nursing, Dallas, PA
Richard Christianson, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology, Susquehanna, PA
Philip Davitt, Electrical and Construction Technology, Dickson City, PA
Dylan DeGroat, Automotive Technology, Shohola, PA
Jon Dellia, Physical Therapist Assistant, Olyphant, PA
Brandon Grandinetti, Computer Information Technology, Olyphant, PA
Jacob Hansen, Electrical and Construction Technology, Clarks Summit, PA
Joseph Healey, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology, Throop, PA
Jared Hodorawis, Architectural Drafting & Design Technology, Honesdale, PA
Chandler Holmes, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology, Shickshinny, PA
Colby Kogan, Automotive Technology, Tobyhanna, PA
Anthony Kutchmanich, Physical Therapist Assistant, Greenfield Twp., PA
Andrea Marques, Carpentry and Cabinetmaking Technology, Sybertsville, PA
Alexander Mros, Radiologic Technology, Wilkes-Barre, PA
Virginia Murray, Automotive Technology, Jessup, PA
Alexander Nallin, Veterinary Nursing, Scranton, PA
David Neiman, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology, Shavertown, PA
Devin Nowicky, Radiologic Technology, Drums, PA
Nichole Nye, Electrical and Construction Technology, Archbald, PA
Brianna Onyshczak, Physical Therapist Assistant, Blakely, PA
Christian Overholtz, Automotive Technology, Scranton, PA
Tanya Patterson, Radiologic Technology, Monroe Township, PA
Matthew Rosengrant, Electrical and Construction Technology, Lake Ariel, PA
Michael Salansky, Computer Information Technology, Susquehanna, PA
Terry Benjamin, Biomedical Equipment Technology, Richmondale, PA
Arthur Vitagliano, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology, Prompton, PA
Nancy Wassef, Radiologic Technology, Tobyhanna, PA
John Wesnesky, Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Clarks Summit, PA
Evan Wilcox, Architectural Drafting & Design Technology, Milanville, PA
Emily Williams, Computer Information Technology, Scott Township, PA

Northeast Regional Cancer Institute Receives Donation

Riverside School District hosted their own colon cancer awareness t-shirt fundraiser in March to sell to students, teachers, and families in the school district as a way to support the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute’s colon cancer education and awareness campaign, C.A.S.U.A.L. ( Colon Cancer Awareness Saves Unlimited Adult Lives) Day.  

The fundraiser was led by a Riverside School District Mother, Kim Owens. Kim has been a longtime supporter of C.A.S.U.A.L. Day as her husband Dennis passed away from colon cancer at a young age. She started her own C.A.S.U.A.L. Day team to honor him. The school designed and sold their own colon cancer awareness t-shirt and donated the proceeds to support the work of the Cancer Institute. Several families in the Riverside school district have been affected by colon cancer.  

Proceeds from C.A.S.U.A.L. Day benefit the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute efforts to raise colorectal cancer awareness and support colorectal cancer screenings for low income, un/underinsured individuals. 

Geisinger Selects Cloud Provider

Geisinger, one of the country’s most well-established and innovative integrated health systems, has chosen Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its strategic cloud provider. As part of the agreement, the health system plans to transition its entire digital portfolio of more than 400 applications and numerous workflows to AWS.

Geisinger will be one of the largest electronic health records migrations to AWS to date and is planning to transition the majority of its systems and applications to AWS. The decision comes after a detailed multi-year review and selection process that identified transitioning to AWS will assist Geisinger in saving several million annually after implementation is completed – cost savings that can be used to make investments that support Geisinger’s mission to make better health easier.

In addition to the significant cost savings, Geisinger’s cloud migration to AWS will enable the healthcare system to develop new, innovative technological advancements in areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning and more that will help improve access to and quality of care. It will also enable teams to create workflow efficiencies for employees to increase productivity while streamlining and simplifying daily work.

“This is more than migrating applications to the cloud,” said John Kravitz, Geisinger’s chief information officer. “We know that rapidly evolving technology, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, can help save lives. Not to mention that this will make our staff more agile and responsive so they can spend more time at the bedside, where our patients need them most.”

As part of the effort, Geisinger has also committed to comprehensive cloud skills training for the vast majority of its 24,000 employees. Training is already underway with many Geisinger employees, and the training will be ongoing over the next five years.

“At the end of the day, everything we do at Geisinger is about making better health easier,” said Kravitz. “This effort is no different. Technology is something that enables us to carry out our vision. Migrating to AWS does just that. Being more nimble with technology development and deployment lets our teams focus on doing what they do best – providing compassionate, world-class, easily accessible healthcare to the communities we have the pleasure of serving.”

“AWS is thrilled to collaborate with Geisinger to support their mission ‘to make better health easier’ for their communities,” said Phoebe Yang, General Manager, Health at AWS. “It’s a privilege to enable their teams with power of the cloud to gain operational and clinical efficiencies, upskill their workforce, and ultimately enable the health and wellness of those they serve.”

Marywood University Transfer Tuesdays

Marywood University will hold its Transfer Tuesdays program for college students or former college students who are considering transferring to Marywood University. We welcome transfer students at all stages of their college careers.

Transfer Tuesdays opportunities will take place on the following Tuesdays during the late spring/summer: June 14, July 26, and August 9, 2022. Those interested can schedule an appointment every half hour beginning at 2 p.m.

Registered visitors can discuss financial aid and scholarship options, transfer credits, take a tour of campus, review credits for transfer eligibility, and complete an application for admission. Marywood University’s fall semester begins on Monday, August 22, 2022.

For additional information, or to register for the spring/summer Transfer Tuesdays program, please call Marywood University’s Office of University Admissions, at (570) 348-06234, email, or visit

PennDOT, Partners Tout Improvements, Safety, and Opportunities for Bicycle Use

To mark May 20, 2022 as Bike to Workday in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), rabbittransit and Commuter Services of PA held an event at the Middletown Train Station to highlight improvements and opportunities for cyclists in Pennsylvania.

“PennDOT has taken our Active Transportation Plan and made it a part of everyday business, linking people to their communities by enhancing facilities for biking, walking, and transit,” said Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation, Jennie Louwerse. “With our planning and safety resources, PennDOT is focused on making sure that everyone, no matter how they travel, has access to transportation options.”

The department makes available information, graphics, and videos to help riders and pedestrians of all ages travel safely. Further demonstrating commitment to safe travel options, the Wolf Administration recently announced 64 projects to improve transportation alternative options and enhance mobility and accessibility across the state. The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is expanding these Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside program investments by providing an additional 43 awards. Another 56 multimodal projects were recently selected for state Multimodal Transportation Fund investments.

“Bike to Work day is a great example of expanded mobility. Providing safe and efficient opportunities is the key to success,” said rabbittransit Executive Director Richard Farr. “When we connect bicycles to other modes of transportation, we help individuals travel further, truly enhancing mobility on our communities. All of our fixed route vehicles have bike racks and bikes ride free!”

The new Middletown Train Station which opened to the public in January exemplifies the coordination of rail, car, bus, pedestrian, and bicycle transportation modes through the planning, design, and construction of a multimodal hub.

“Bike Month is an excellent reminder that having a multimodal approach to our transportation network helps meet the needs of our regional commuters and directly supports our mission of reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality,” said PA Commuter Services Deputy Project Manager Stacy Newcomer.  “The Middletown station and the covered bike racks at this facility are outstanding assets to help commuters travel regionally and ease their decisions to make more sustainable commute choices.”

Learn more about cycling and walking in Pennsylvania at Learn more about rabbittransit and Commuter Services of Pennsylvania on their websites.

Tanureet Kochar, M.D., joins The Wright Center

Board-certified internal medicine and geriatric medicine physician Tanureet Kochar, M.D., has joined The Wright Center for Community Health, where she is accepting adult patients at the Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn. Kochar will begin seeing patients Tuesday, June 14.

In addition to her clinical duties, Kochar will serve as internal medicine and geriatric physician faculty member for The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, helping to train the next generation of primary care physicians.

Kochar will provide care to patients and teach developing physicians within The Wright Center’s interprofessional, team-based environment, which is home to residency programs in family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, and physical medicine and rehabilitation, as well as fellowships in cardiovascular disease, gastroenterology and geriatrics.

A graduate of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana, India, she completed her internal medicine residency at Charlestown Area Medical Center, Charleston, West Virginia, and geriatric and sleep medicine fellowships at Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center. 

The Wright Center treats patients of all ages, income levels and insurance statuses at its nine primary care practices in Northeast Pennsylvania. Together, the primary and preventive care network offers access to high-quality, nondiscriminatory, affordable health services to patients regardless of their health insurance status or ability to pay. Certain patients may be eligible for the sliding-fee discount program based on family income and size.

The organization was designated a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike in 2019. It offers integrated care, providing patients with the convenience of going to a single location to access medical, dental and behavioral health care, plus addiction treatment and other supportive services. The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education is the nation’s largest medical education safety-net consortium that develops the physician workforce of tomorrow.

To schedule an appointment with her at the Mid Valley Practice, go to or call 570-230-0019. To find the most convenient community medical home, go to and click on patient care and primary care offices.