Johnson College to Host Transfer Day

Johnson College is holding a Transfer Day on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Moffat Student Center on its campus in Scranton, PA. The College is encouraging current college students that are interested in changing the direction of their education and ultimately their career path to visit its campus.

Students will meet with Enrollment, Financial Aid, Career Services, and Counseling and Disability Services representatives. In addition, staff members from the Registrar’s Office will be on-hand for transfer credit analyses and review potential schedules for the upcoming semester. Students will learn why Johnson College is the leader in hands-on education, how it exposes students to industry from day one, and how its two-year degree programs, focusing on careers in in-demand industries, have the highest return on investment in the short term. 

To attend Transfer Day at Johnson College, students must register online at or contact the College’s enrollment team at or (570) 702-8856.

Geisinger Offering Free In-person and Virtual Culinary Medicine Classes

Geisinger is excited to offer in-person and virtual culinary medicine classes at their new state-of-the-art teaching kitchen in Selinsgrove.

Culinary medicine is a new program offered by Geisinger, consisting of hands-on classes that combine the art and skill of cooking with the science of nutrition. The curriculum is evidence-based and emphasizes the role of food in the treatment and prevention of disease based on the Mediterranean diet.

Free of charge and open to everyone, the series of four classes are led by a culinary-trained registered dietitian. They’re typically held on consecutive weeks or months throughout the year. And you don’t need any cooking experience or knowledge to attend.

The first class introduces you to the Mediterranean diet and cooking basics. The remaining three each focus on one of a typical day’s meals and healthy eating habits. You must be 18 or older to participate.

Classes begin Tuesday, Dec. 6, and are being offered through May 2023. Participants joining virtually can be located anywhere in Pennsylvania. Register today or learn more at

Participants use the same entrance as Geisinger’s Multispecialty Clinic in Selinsgrove at 157 Roosevelt Ave. Classes are held in the Family Practice Center community room.

Geisinger thanks the Degenstein Foundation for their generous gift that made this teaching kitchen possible for the health and education of the community, as well as the Family Practice Center for partnering with us to use their community room for the classes.

WVIA Radio Announces Joint Celebration of 50th Anniversary

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WVIA Radio and The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic announce a joint celebration of their respective 50th anniversaries. The Philharmonic and WVIA will mark the occasion by collectively commissioning and presenting the world-premiere of Palma, a fable for narrator, young string players, young chorus, and symphonic orchestra with music by Paul Salerni and text by Dana Gioia. The event will take place at the Scranton Cultural Center in November 2023.

Just as the Philharmonic commemorates its continued mission to present live symphonic performances and music education through multiple concert series and educational outreach programs such as Music in our Schools, Young People’s Concerts, and the NEPP Mentoring Program, WVIA is pleased to present this piece as a salute to its beloved WVIA Radio and its hosts. Erika Funke, Lisa Mazzarella, George Graham, Larry Vojtko and Paul Lazar collectively immerse our region in classical, jazz, and opera programming throughout the broadcast week along with Morning Edition each weekday, All Things Considered, and Fresh Air in the afternoon, and many favorite weekend programs such as Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and WVIA’s own WVIA News and Keystone Edition.

Dr. Paul Salerni, NEH Distinguished Chair in the Humanities and Professor of Music at Lehigh University, director of the Lehigh University Very Modern Ensemble, and founder and Artistic Director of the Monocacy Chamber Orchestra will collaborate with Dana Gioia, a former Poet Laureate of California and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Salerni and Gioia are no strangers to collaboration. Salerni’s one-act opera Tony Caruso’s Final Broadcast, with a libretto by Dana Gioia, won the National Opera Association’s Chamber Opera competition. Haunted, a one-act ballet opera composed by Salerni, with a libretto by Dana Gioia, is adapted from Gioia’s poem of the same name.

Salerni, a lover of Italian fables, has written compositions in the past based upon two of his favorites: The Big Sword and The Little Broom and The Old Witch and the New Moon. This newly commissioned selection completes the trilogy of fable-inspired works. The work will feature the main character, Palma, who wrestles with the conflicting interests of toiling for basic survival and her desire to make music with a cherished violin. Palma is named after Salerni’s ninety-four-year-old mother who was born in Carbondale.

Featuring the NEPA Philharmonic conducted by Mélisse Brunet, this special performance will continue WVIA’s tradition of educating young people and the Philharmonic’s tradition of nurturing young players in their musical gifts. The performance will include the participation of talented local children from the Choral Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania and a school string ensemble from the Abington Heights School District. Enthusiasts of Salerni’s work note that while his compositions are challenging for the most talented of professional instrumentalists, they deftly engage audiences of all ages. As such, this debut performance narrated by WVIA’s own Erika Funke is destined to be a cherished highlight for our Pennsylvania communities.

This performance will be the final concert Mélisse Brunet will direct as the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic’s Music Director. Following the program, there will be a reception to thank Mélisse for her outstanding leadership and extend our warmest wishes for a brilliant career.

SWB RailRiders Broadcaster Honored by Ballpark Digest

Ballpark Digest has named Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders voice Adam Marco as the 2022 Minor League Baseball Broadcaster of the Year. The publication annually honors the best achievements from across the industry and Marco is the second Scranton/Wilkes-Barre broadcaster to win this prestigious award. 

“If I had Adam’s skill set, I would have a much easier time articulating just how deserving he is of the award,” said Katie Beekman, the RailRiders General Manager. “His unwavering dedication to his craft, his quick wit and his vast knowledge of the game make him the perfect candidate for this award. The RailRiders are so proud of his accomplishments and we hope to enjoy his talents for many years to come.” 

Marco has broadcast over 1,500 Minor League Baseball games in his career. He joined the RailRiders in 2018 as the fourth lead voice in team history. A 2001 graduate of Mercyhurst College, Marco worked in terrestrial radio for seven years before starting in baseball in 2007 with the Williamsport Crosscutters. After two seasons with the Oklahoma City RedHawks, he became the broadcaster of the West Virginia Power. Over eight seasons with the Power, he also served as a group sales and corporate sales representative before taking on the club’s Director of Marketing role in 2014. Marco was honored by the South Atlantic League as their Media Relations Director of the Year that same year. 

He replaced former SWB broadcaster and current Cincinnati Reds voice John Sadak in 2018. Sadak won this honor from Ballpark Digest in 2013 after the RailRiders inaugural season at the revamped PNC Field, which earned their praise that season as Ballpark of the Year. 

Since 2018, Marco has also served the team in various roles, ranging from marketing to sales to promotions while handling the RailRiders media relations and maintaining the club’s website. 

“Broadcaster of the Year is one of the most important industry awards we present—broadcasters are the public face of every baseball team, so we take our decision very seriously,” said Kevin Reichard, Ballpark Digest publisher. “Adam Marco is one of the best in the business. He calls a great game, but beyond that he’s an integral part of the RailRiders’ success in many ways not seen by fans. We’re honored to recognize his accomplishments.” 

The RailRiders open to the 2023 season at home on March 31. Season tickets are available at or call (570) 969-2255 for more information.

The Wright Center Celebrates First Graduate of NIMAA Medical Assistant Program

A collaborative program between The Wright Center for Community Health and the National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA) has graduated the first student from the initiative that seeks to address the national shortage of clinical medical assistants.

Melissa Lemus of Scranton, the first graduate of the program, has been hired as a certified medical assistant by The Wright Center for Community Health to work at the nonprofit’s Scranton Practice, 501 S. Washington Ave.

A medical assistant is responsible for assisting doctors and nurses in providing care to patients in hospitals, doctor’s offices and other health care facilities. Duties include recording and updating medical histories and contact information in patient files, scheduling patient appointments and performing standard care procedures, such as taking blood samples, health coaching, measuring and recording vital signs, and more.

The NIMAA program educates and trains students over 29 weeks to become certified clinical medical assistants. The program, which requires a commitment of 32-36 hours per week, combines flexible online learning with a paid internship at one of The Wright Center for Community Health’s primary care practices in Lackawanna, Luzerne or Wayne counties. Participants may be eligible for federal assistance and other cost-defrayment options.

Students who are accepted into the program receive personalized training with experienced medical professionals at The Wright Center for Community Health during the clinical portion of their education. After completing the educational component, students are eligible to take the National Healthcareer Association Medical Assistant examination to receive their certified clinical medical assistant credential.

The employment outlook for medical assistants is projected to grow 18% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 104,400 openings are projected annually on average, over the decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For more information about the training program, contact Carla Blakeslee, The Wright Center’s clerkships coordinator, at Or visit

Northeast PA AHEC 1st Annual Health Career & College Exploration Event

Northeast PA Area Health Education Center (NEPA AHEC) in partnership with Northern Tier Industry & Education Consortium (NTIEC) held the 1st Annual Healthcare Career & College Exploration Event on Friday, October 14th from 10am-4pm at the Viewmont Mall, Dickson City. This event had over 35 vendors including colleges, universities, and healthcare organizations who were there to educate students on the health career programs they had to offer, scholarships, healthcare employment opportunities as well as employment incentives. Six school districts bussed students to this event and over 200 high school students attended. This is what some of the participants had to say:

“At this event, students were able to walk around and visit each table. The tables were made up of both College representatives and employers. This was a great way to branch out and learn more about this field. We had a great time, while still learning and better our understanding of these opportunities.”

“This event allowed me to explore colleges, and even job opportunities all in one place!”

“I learned a lot about all the different colleges around me and it helped me narrow down my choices.”

“The exploration event really helped me figure what colleges I want to go to and helped me better
determine what career pathway I want to experience.”

“I really enjoyed this time and opportunity I was given, and I feel like it really helped me explore my
options going into healthcare.”

This event was made possible through grant funding, courtesy of the Scranton Area Foundation,
Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation, and Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance. NE PA AHEC and NTIEC partner together to broaden our reach to help students explore careers and create their individual professional journey. Plans have begun for next year’s event to be held Thursday, October 12,

PennDOT Honors Employees for Innovative Ideas

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) recently recognized PennDOT employees with Innovation Awards for their efforts to improve work practices and create efficiencies. One team member from PennDOT’s Engineering District 4, which represents Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming counties was among the honorees.

“PennDOT has a strong legacy of creativity to help us meet our daily mission and goals,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “I’m proud to recognize these employees for their creativity and dedication to the department.”

Employees were recognized for ideas and smart practices submitted through IdeaLink and WorkSmart, online suggestion systems that allow employees to share their ideas and efficient work practices. Over the last decade, PennDOT staff have submitted more than 3,300 ideas through IdeaLink, several hundred of which have been implemented. Since 2016, more than 230 smart practices have been published in PennDOT’s WorkSmart system.

Gramian and other department executives honored winner Summer T. Koziel, Senior Civil Engineer Supervisor, during a ceremony in Harrisburg on Nov. 30. Koziel was recognized for creating the Liaison Project Manager Manual via One Note.

“We are proud to have Summer as a part of our team in Engineering District 4-0.” said PennDOT Engineering District 4-0 District Executive, Richard N. Roman, P.E. “Her innovative spirit and personal initiative to take on additional responsibilities make her a great asset to PennDOT.”

Geisinger Recognized as Top Employer by Military Organizations

Geisinger has been recognized as a top employer for its continued support of military veterans and active service members with two recent designations. The Pennsylvania-based health system was recognized by Military Times on its 2022 Best for Vets: Employers rankings and earned the 2023 Military Friendly® Employer with Gold distinction designation by VIQTORY.

This is the fourth consecutive year Geisinger has been recognized with a Military Friendly® Employer designation, however, this is the first time the system has received the gold distinction.

Both honors recognize Geisinger’s commitment and efforts to building programs and opportunities for military veterans. 

The Military Friendly® Employer with Gold distinction signifies that an employer is setting the example for veteran and service member inclusivity with their programs and initiatives.

Companies earning the Military Friendly® Employer designation were evaluated using public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,000 organizations participated in the 2023 Military Friendly® survey.

Final ratings were determined by combining an organization’s survey score with an assessment of the organization’s ability to meet thresholds for applicants, new hire retention, employee turnover and promotion and advancement of veterans and military employees.

For the Best for Vets recognition, Military Times evaluates the areas of greatest importance to transitioning service members, veterans and their families when looking for an employer. Recruitment and employment practices, along with retention and support programs were given the most weight in scoring and final rankings.

“Our military veterans have done so much for us. That’s why we’re committed to providing care options and career opportunities to them in their local communities,” said Kim Drumgo, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for Geisinger. “We know that employing talented and dedicated people, like those from our veteran community, helps us make better health easier for our members and patients — including more than 48,000 veteran patients.”

Geisinger employs more than 800 veterans and active-duty service members throughout the system. As part of its commitment to the military and its veterans, Geisinger offers a paid military leave benefit, which allows service members employed by Geisinger to be paid for time at annual trainings, encampments and drills. It also is part of a military fellowship program that eases the transition of active-duty service members looking to move into a civilian career.

To learn more about Geisinger’s veteran programs and career opportunities, visit

IRS National Tax Security Awareness Week

To wrap up National Tax Security Awareness Week, the Internal Revenue Service and the Security Summit partners today urged businesses to remain vigilant against cyberattacks aimed at stealing their customer’s personal information and other business data.

The IRS continues to see instances where small businesses and others face a variety of identity-theft related schemes that try to obtain information that can be used to file fake business tax returns. For example, phishing schemes continue to target businesses as well as tax professionals and individual taxpayers.

“Just like individuals and tax professionals, businesses of all types need to be on the lookout for attempts to steal information and data,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Doug O’Donnell. “Businesses are especially attractive to cyberthieves because there is a potential to steal a lot of data. They may use the information to file a business tax return or use customer data for identity theft.” 

The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax software and tax professional industries operate cooperatively as the Security Summit to highlight data security and fight identity theft. Today marks the final day of the seventh annual week dedicated to information security and helpful tips for individuals, businesses and tax professionals.

Cyber criminals target businesses of all sizes; knowing some cybersecurity basics and putting them in practice will help business owners protect their business and reduce the risk of a cyber-attack. Criminals can target a business’s credit card or payment information, business identity information or employee identity information.

Businesses are encouraged to follow best practices from the Federal Trade Commission, including:

  • Use multi-factor authentication.
  • Set security software to update automatically.
  • Back up important files.
  • Require strong passwords for all devices.
  • Encrypt devices.

More information is available at FTC’s Cybersecurity for Small Businesses.

Businesses should especially be alert to phishing email scams that attempt to trick employees into opening embedded links or attachments. IRS related scams may be sent to so the IRS can try to track, stop or disrupt scams.
To improve security, the IRS now masks sensitive information from business tax transcripts, which summarizes tax return information, to help prevent thieves from obtaining identifiable information that would allow them to file fake business tax returns. Only financial entries are fully visible. Other information has varying masking rules. For example, only the first four letters of each first and last name will display for individuals and businesses. Also, only the last four digits of the Employer Identification Number will be visible.

The IRS also has the Form 14039-B, Business Identity Theft Affidavit, that will allow companies to proactively report possible identity theft to the IRS when, for example, an e-filed tax return is rejected.

Businesses should file the Form 14039-B if it receives a:

  • Rejection notice for an electronically filed return because a return is already on file for that same period.
  • Notice about a tax return that the entity didn’t file.
  • Notice about Forms W-2 filed with the Social Security Administration that the entity didn’t file.
  • Notice of a balance due that is not owed.

This form will enable the IRS to respond to the business and work to resolve issues created by a fraudulent tax return. Businesses should not use the form if they experience a data breach but see no tax-related impact. For more information, see Identity Theft Central’s business section.

In addition to phishing and other scams, all employers should remain alert to Form W-2 theft schemes. For example, a thief may pose as a company executive who emails payroll employees and asks for a list of employees and their W-2s. Businesses often don’t know they’ve been scammed until an employee reports that a fraudulent tax return has been filed.

There’s a special reporting procedure for employers who experience the W-2 scam. It’s available in the Identity Theft Central’s business section on

Finally, Security Summit partners urge businesses to keep their EIN application information current. Changes of address or responsible party information may be reported using Form 8822-B. Changes in the responsible party must be reported to the IRS within 60 days. Current information can help the IRS find a point of contact to resolve identity theft and other issues.

For more details and to learn more about this year’s National Tax Security Awareness Week’s efforts, visit

SACF To Host ‘Elevating Voices for Community Solutions’

The Scranton Area Community Foundation, in partnership with the City of Scranton, is hosting “Elevating Voices for Community Solutions” — listening sessions on Tuesday, December 6, and Wednesday, December 7, 2022, at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM to address solutions for critical topics from the City of Scranton’s Strategic Economic Development Plan.

This is a free event open to all in the community who are interested in learning more about the various needs and challenges in Scranton.

During these listening sessions, community leaders from nonprofit organizations will share relevant community needs throughout Lackawanna County. Topics for discussion, taken from the City of Scranton’s Strategic Economic Development Plan, include industry growth; welcoming diverse talent; affordable and quality housing; emergency services; and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

“The Scranton Area Community Foundation is proud to bring together local nonprofit organizations to gain a comprehensive and clear picture of the region we serve,” stated Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. “We value our opportunity to work in partnership with the City of Scranton to develop strategies to maximize the use of funding in the region and we look forward to hearing from leaders of nonprofit organizations to get their perspectives on the current issues and challenges they are facing as well as what lies ahead,” Ducceschi added.

“Elevating Voices for Community Solutions” Listening Sessions will take place at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center on Tuesday, December 6, and Wednesday, December 7, 2022 from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM. To register to attend, please email the Scranton Area Community Foundation at