U.S. News Ranks Scranton No. 5 in 2023 Guidebook

U.S. News & World Report ranked Scranton No. 5 among the “Best Regional Universities in the North” in the 2023 edition of the “Best Colleges” guidebook, which became available online today. U.S. News has ranked Scranton among the top 10 universities in its category for 29 consecutive years.

U.S. News also ranked Scranton No. 6 in its category for “Best Undergraduate Teaching,” a selection of the top colleges in the nation that express a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.

“Our students and their parents, our faculty and staff, and our alumni know well and value greatly the quality of the Jesuit education offered at Scranton. However, it is also very gratifying for Scranton to receive such consistently high-marks and recognition from more impartial sources like U.S. News and other national rankings,” said Rev. Joseph Marina, S.J., president of The University of Scranton. “We are delighted U.S. News once again ranked Scranton No. 5 in its latest guidebook.”

Several of Scranton’s programs were also included in national rankings, as opposed to listings by category. U.S. News ranked Scranton among the nation’s “Best Undergraduate Programs in Accounting” at No. 44 in the U.S.; among the “Best Undergraduate Nursing Programs” at No. 135; and among “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs” at No. 185 (where doctorate is not offered). Scranton’s was also listed among the 537 “Best Undergraduate Computer Science Programs” in the nation. Scranton also ranked No. 219 among America’s “Best Undergraduate Business Programs,” which listed just 516 schools that hold accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

For these program listings, U.S. News only ranked schools holding the highest recognized national accreditations in their fields. The rankings were based solely on dean and senior faculty recommendations from peer institutions.

In addition, U.S. News ranked Scranton No. 54 as a “Best Value Regional University in the North,” which compares academic quality of programs to cost of attendance. This is the tenth consecutive year U.S. News has recognized Scranton as a “Best Value” school. Scranton was ranked No. 145 in its category in “Top Performers on Social Mobility,” which looks at the success of schools that enroll and graduate students who were awarded with Pell Grants.

U.S. News uses data on 17 measures of academic quality to rank bachelor’s degree colleges in the America. For its rankings, U.S. News considers a range of quality indicators that include a peer assessment of academic excellence (20 percent); faculty resources (20 percent), which includes class size and regional cost-of-living adjustments to faculty pay and benefits; graduation rates (17.6 percent); freshman retention (4.4 percent); graduation performance rates (8 percent), which compares a school’s actual graduation rates with predicted graduation rates based on characteristics of the incoming class; financial resources (10 percent); a social mobility score (5 percent); graduate indebtedness (5 percent); and alumni giving (3 percent). U.S. News ranking analysis also includes student selectivity (7 percent), as measured by SAT or ACT scores and high school ranking of students in the top 25 percent of their class.

U.S. News categorizes colleges for their rankings based on the official Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classification of universities.

Barry Isett Opens Greater Scranton Office

Barry Isett & Associates, Inc. opened their newest regional office in Olyphant on August 1, 2022 – a development that will expand Isett’s services to the businesses and residents of the Greater Scranton Area.

The engineering and consulting firm has grown to nine locations across Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, now taking residence in the Rock Creek Corporate Center – Suite 214, 1444 East Lackawanna Street, Olyphant.

“We have a commitment to our associates to provide a workspace that’s not only close to the clients they serve, but to their families and homes,” Gregg Pavlick, Isett’s Vice President of the firm’s Northeastern PA region.  “Isett prides itself on maintaining both a healthy work environment and a healthy work-life balance for their associates.”  Already home to 13 associates who relocated from other branch offices, the Greater Scranton Office can accommodate up to 23 employees.

The new facility will provide Isett associates with large, smart workspaces; several common spaces for meetings and team building; and other modern amenities that align with the company’s values of Balance, Ownership, Service and Team.

Creating this new space in the Greater Scranton Area will not only serve the need of current clients, but also of future partners. “We wanted to offer a place where Isett associates can meet with clients and partners in the Greater Scranton Area and throughout Lackawanna County,” Pavlick adds. “We are looking forward to enriching and supporting this community.”

Hoffman Named Misericordia Alumni Board President

Christélle Hoffman ’13 of Nuangola has been named the president of the Misericordia University Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Hoffman graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Government, Law and National Security, along with minors in Political Science and Social Studies. She was among the first students to study that degree program at the university. While a student at Misericordia, Hoffman was involved with several clubs and organizations on campus. She served as the President of the Multicultural Club, a Peer Advocate, the Judicial Coordinator for Student Government Association, an Admissions Ambassador, and represented the student body for one of the Presidential Search Committees to name a few.  

Following graduation, Hoffman relocated to California, where she completed a year of service through Mercy Volunteer Corps. While in California, she worked and earned a Master of Science degree in Forensic Science with a specialization in Investigation from National University. After several years on the west coast, she moved back to Northeastern Pennsylvania where she was employed as a Forensic Interviewer in Luzerne County. In this role, Hoffman spoke with more than 2,000 children ages three to 18 who were victims of severe trauma or abuse. She is currently working in a consulting capacity with local police departments to assist children who have experienced any type trauma or abuse.  

Hoffman is excited to begin her term as president after being an actively involved alumna for the last nine years. “Misericordia had a huge impact on my life. It molded me into who I am today. Being part of the Alumni Board allows me to give back to the university, our alumni and the current students. I’ve enjoyed my time on the board and I’m interested to see where this position takes me,” she said.

Her goals as president are to focus on how alumni and current students view their time at Misericordia. She also wants to encourage alumni to get involved and show their support for their University however they can. “Very few private Catholic Universities have thrived the way Misericordia has. It’s important for people to know where students came from and where they are going after they graduate. I want people to see the uniqueness of our alumni and understand that we aren’t just “kids” that graduated from a university. We graduated from a university where we are full of compassion, and we have the pure dedication which stems from the charisms of mercy, service, justice and hospitality,” she said.

As Alumni Board President, Hoffman will also serve as an ex-officio member of the University’s Board of Trustees. She currently lives in Nuangola with her husband Frankie and two-year old son Luciano.

Misericordia University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, in Dallas, Pennsylvania. It is Luzerne County’s oldest four-year college offering 37 degree programs in three academic colleges, including Health Sciences and Education, Arts and Sciences, and Business. Faculty at Misericordia are accomplished scholars and educators who prepare students to emerge into a challenging society as ethical leaders, through challenging academic standards and high levels of engagement with students, including research, service to others, and career preparation.

2022 SAGE Awards Applications Open Now

The SAGE Awards, Scranton Awards for Growth and Excellence, recognize the outstanding efforts, talent, creativity and innovation in northeastern Pennsylvania. Applications are open now through September 23.

Applicants must be members of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce in good standing in order to apply.

Applicants may not apply for an award received in the past – unless it is one of the following two awards  –  Best Practices in Marketing and Communications and Hometown Star. Previous award winners are invited to submit in these categories again, as long as the project is a new endeavor and notably different from your prior award achievement.

Misericordia Awarded Pasmart Advancing Computer Science and Stem Education Grant

Misericordia University is among 42 organizations across the Commonwealth to be awarded funding through the 2021-22 PAsmart Advancing Computer Science and STEM Education Grants Program. The university was awarded a grant in the amount of $375,750 in response to their proposal, “Teach STEM!: Strengthening the STEM Pipeline by increasing the number of culturally-responsive Computer Science and STEM teachers in Luzerne County.”

Launched by Governor Tom Wolf, PAsmart is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Education. PAsmart strategically invests resources in education and training opportunities to support Pennsylvania’s economic growth now and in the future. According to the PAsmart website, over the next decade, most of the better paying jobs in Pennsylvania will require some form of education or training after high school, especially in the fast-growing fields of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and computer science.

“The success of our initiative is predicated on the collaboration amongst valued regional stakeholders such as the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce. Joining us in this partnership are Luzerne Intermediate Unit-18 and the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Development Board. Each of these organizations possess a unique, yet interconnected role focused toward alleviating the extreme teacher shortage, particularly in the secondary STEM field, that is impacting the quality of learning experienced by our young students spanning the county,” said Colleen Duffy, Ed.D., chairperson, Teacher Education Department and director of Graduate Teacher Education at Misericordia University.

Additionally, through distinct partner-driven offerings such as new certification programs and professional development courses, the program looks to effectively reverse declining enrollment in teacher preparation programs. These efforts will supplement the STEM workforce pipeline by growing student interest in pursuing CS/STEM majors and careers.

Since 2018, the Wolf Administration has secured $60 million and strategically invested in education and workforce development through PAsmart. The Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board provided initial recommendations and approved the framework for the funding priorities.

Targeted and Advancing PAsmart grants support high-quality STEM and computer science learning and professional development opportunities to communities across Pennsylvania, including within early learning centers, libraries, out-of-school time providers, career and technical centers, post-secondary institutions, and K-12 schools. The department awarded a total of 438 PAsmart grants since the 2018-19 school year.

Misericordia University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, in Dallas, Pennsylvania. It is Luzerne County’s oldest four-year college offering 37 degree programs in three academic colleges, including Health Sciences and Education, Arts and Sciences, and Business. Faculty at Misericordia are accomplished scholars and educators who prepare students to emerge into a challenging society as ethical leaders, through challenging academic standards and high levels of engagement with students, including research, service to others, and career preparation.

Geisinger Medical Center Becomes First Comprehensive Heart Attack Center in U.S.

Geisinger Medical Center (GMC) is the country’s first hospital to receive The
Joint Commission/American Heart Association (AHA) Comprehensive Heart Attack Center

Already recognized by the organizations as a Mission Lifeline® Heart Attack Receiving Center
for its ability to quickly restore blood flow to the heart in patients with the most severe type of
heart attack, GMC has now set the national standard for care coordination among hospital
leadership, interventional cardiology, cardiac surgery, heart failure, advanced practice, nursing,
life support, emergency medicine, emergency medical services (EMS), care management,
pharmacy, and cardiac rehab teams.

Every second is critical when trying to preserve heart muscle and function in patients having
cardiac episodes, and this degree of full-team support means patients will receive the highest
level of care as quickly as it can be delivered.

Geisinger engaged the certification process to bring the best possible cardiac care close to
home for patients and members in central and northeastern Pennsylvania – another step
forward in the system’s vision of making better health easier for the communities it serves.

“GMC staff has shown they’re ready to treat a broad spectrum of chest-pain patients including
those who go to the emergency room (ER) with chest pain, go into cardiac arrest outside the
hospital, have heart attacks and need blood flow restored quickly, need open-heart procedures,
or need advanced therapies like extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for life support
or left ventricle assist device (LVAD) procedures for heart failure,” said interventional
cardiologist Thomas Scott, D.O, director of the cardiac catheterization lab and co-medical
director of the Comprehensive Heart Attack Center Certification program at the medical center.

Geisinger partnered with The Joint Commission on the pilot program for this new certification in
November, and a multi-disciplinary team was ready when the commission returned at the end of
July for a rigorous onsite review.

Reviewers with a nursing background evaluated records for patients who were currently
admitted or had been cared for at GMC since the beginning of the year and pushed staff on
quality measures including leadership engagement, collaboration with EMS, medical decision
making, systemwide approach to quality improvement, performance improvement projects and
engagement with pharmacy at the bedside.

“Taking care of these patients is a team sport,” said Cinde Bower-Stout, R.N., M.H.A.,
cardiovascular quality manager and program director of the Comprehensive Heart Attack Center
Certification program at the medical center. “Our front-line staff are just as critical as our
specialists as they assess lab results for potential issues, administer pain-management
treatment, educate patients on what to expect when they get home and receive ongoing care,
round with our multi-disciplinary teams and help patients regain their strength with in-hospital
therapies in preparation for discharge.”

Geisinger was also noted for its ability to offer cardiac rehab in both in-person and virtual
formats to help patients recover after cardiac events.

PennDOT Phases in Newly-Designed Driver Licenses, ID Cards

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced that, as part of ongoing security enhancements, PennDOT is updating the design and enhancing the security features of its driver license and identification card products.

“The update is an important component of PennDOT’s ongoing work to enhance and protect the integrity of the driver license and identification card issuance process,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said.

PennDOT is piloting the new products at the Summerdale Driver License Center in Enola beginning September 12, 2022. All Driver and Photo centers will transition to the new products by mid-November 2022. The new products will be phased in over the next four-year renewal cycle and will replace existing products. The new products will be phased in during renewal cycles and will replace existing products. Both current and new card designs will be in circulation during the transition period.

Both standard and REAL ID compliant products will use the new design and security features. REAL ID is optional in Pennsylvania, and customers are able to opt into REAL ID. Beginning May 3, 2023, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card, or another form of federally acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID. More information about REAL ID can be on the REAL ID page on the Driver and Vehicle Services website.

The cards look different and have additional enhanced security features that improve fraud prevention and protect from counterfeiting and alteration.

  • Guilloche Security Design, a feature that includes sophisticated techniques to embed a variety of customized security patterning into the credential, using non-commercial software developed specifically for high security documents (banknotes, passports, ID cards, etc);
  • Optically Variable Ghost Portrait and Variable Data with UV, features that change their appearance when the viewing angle of the card changes, which moves them from fully visible to non-visible. The card also includes an ultraviolet (UV) response that fluoresces under UV lighting. The UV response is fixed – visible under UV light regardless of viewing angle;
  • Dynamic Look Through Element (DLTE), a dynamic feature with gold metallic tint that is visible under direct lighting.