Winners Announced in Electric City Flower Show

Congratulations to Noteology, the Scranton Tomorrow Downtown Business Class winner in the Electric City Flower Show! As part of the Scranton City Pride First Friday Celebration last week, members of the community voted online for their favorite floral displays. By popular vote, Noteology’s creative container display at 537 Wyoming Avenue won! Scranton Tomorrow officials presented owners Danielle Fleming and Mark Bonfiglio, and the Noteology team, with a trophy in celebration of their achievement.

The University of Scranton Spring Events

In recognition of Pope Francis’s call toward environmental sustainability, The University of Scranton’s Sustainability Office has chosen the theme “The People’s Planet, Climate Justice” for this spring’s Earth Day celebration. The theme of climate justice focuses on the merging of civil rights and climate change to draw attention to the effects of environmental changes on different communities. Many of the University’s offices and departments have come together to offer numerous educational events in honor of Earth Day and Scranton’s ongoing sustainability efforts.

Events are open to the public, free of charge, unless otherwise indicated.

This year’s Environmental Essay Contest is open to all area students in grades 5-12. The essay will revolve around the theme “The People’s Planet, Climate Justice.” Submissions will be accepted until April 3, and winners will be announced at the Evening of Environmental Science event on April 20. For more details, visit the contest webpage.

World Water Day will be celebrated through an interactive event at the University’s DeNaples Center on March 22. Informative activities and displays will help raise awareness of water usage and its importance. March 22 will also start Plant Based Meals Week for University students, in which the positive impacts of eating green will be promoted at meals offered at the Fresh Food Company.

Tonyehn Verkitus, executive director at Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania, will discuss environmental factors and how disparities in communities jeopardize health and well-being at a Community-Based Learning talk on March 23. The talk begins at 11:45 a.m. in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center.

On March 30, the film “The Seeds of Vandana Shiva” will be screened at the Moskovitz Theater of the DeNaples Center at 7:30 p.m. The film shows many successful changes made through environmental activism and caring for all people. Vandana Shiva is a wonderful example of a woman’s lifelong leadership and activism that has improved the lives of millions of people around the world.  A very interesting, entertaining, and inspiring movie.

On April 14, an Environmental Art Show address will be given by artist Stephanie Williams in the Heritage Room of the Weinberg Memorial Library, beginning at 4:30 p.m. William’s work includes pictures of nature, people, creatures, sounds and energies. The library will also host an Environmental Art Show featuring environmental art of members of the University community from April 14 to April 25 in the Heritage Room during library hours.

On April 17, Nicole Negowetti, former clinical instructor at the Harvard Animal Law and Policy Clinic, will discuss her work concerning sustainable agricultural procedures. The talk, offered by the University’s Gail and Francis Slattery Center for Ignatian Humanities, begins at 5:30 p.m. at Brennan Hall, The Pearn Auditorium.

The Earth Day Fair will take place the following day, April 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the atrium of the Loyola Science Center. The event will host University student displays as well as, displays from university departments, local non-profits and governmental offices, which will provide information about sustainable practices and products.

The Evening of Environmental Science, set for April 20, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the atrium of the Loyola Science Center, will feature a display of essays received for the Earth Day Essay Contest, as well interactive environmental displays and activities. Awards for the Essay Contest will be presented at the event.

Earth Day celebrations conclude with a three-hour kayaking trip on the Susquehanna River for students on May 6, hosted by the University’s Sustainability Office and the Society for Sustainability and Conservation.

Visit The University of Scranton’s sustainability webpage for information about the University’s sustainability efforts and Earth Day events, or call the Office of Sustainability at 570-941-6267.

The Dime Bank Announces Contest

The Dime Bank and Kasasa, an award-winning financial technology and marketing provider, announce a national and local contest offering the chance to win cash prizes to help people connect this holiday season. Local contestants can win $1,000.00 from The Dime Bank and can also submit their entry to the national contest where one grand prize winner will receive $25,000.00 and two runners-up will receive $10,000.00.

Kasasa is partnering with local community banks and credit unions across the country as an extension of their “These Are My People” contest. To enter The Dime Bank’s local contest, people can submit a photo or video with a short explanation of why they want to win to Just by entering, local contestants can win $100.00 gift cards. They can also share their post on social channels using the hashtags #TheseAreMyPeople, #thedimebank, #contest, and #Kasasa to encourage friends to enter to win.

Kasasa’s “These Are My People” contest provides community members the opportunity to share their story and how the prize money will help them connect with their loved ones, from buying flights to visit hometown friends not seen since the pandemic started, to helping a local small business that is struggling with rising costs, or to make a final mortgage payment ahead of retirement for grandparents.

“We believe your money should do more for you and your community. This holiday season, we’re putting our money where our mouth is and giving back to help people spend time with their loved ones and strengthen their connections,” said Gabe Krajicek, CEO of Kasasa. “We’re helping community banks and credit unions do what they do best, give back to their communities.”

The contest runs from November 7 – December 7. Local winners will be announced on December 10 and receive the $1,000.00 cash prize sponsored by The Dime Bank. Local contestants can also visit to submit their entry to win the national contest, sponsored by Kasasa and in partnership with NBCUniversal, which will award one winner with $25,000.00 and two winners with $10,000.00. National winners will be selected by a Kasasa panel of judges and be announced on December 19.

PennDOT Announces ‘Innovations Challenge’ Contest

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that students are invited to participate in the sixth annual PennDOT Innovations Challenge, which encourages students to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges in a competition among their peers. The Innovations Challenge is open to all students in grades 9-12, regardless of their school’s learning model.

For this year’s challenge, students are asked to develop ideas to help address the shortage of commercial truck parking along major interstate corridors in Pennsylvania. Trucks parking on highway shoulders and ramps is common during overnight hours and presents a significant safety issue. As just-in-time deliveries continue to be the mainstay of global business, the demand for truck parking will continue to increase. Federal hours-of-service regulations require more down time for drivers, which translates into an increased demand for truck parking, and many local governments have strict ordinances against overnight truck parking in their communities.

The challenge asks students to select one of Pennsylvania’s interstate corridors where truck parking is a known issue and develop an innovative approach to increase commercial truck parking availability in that area and offset costs incurred for construction. The solution must consider local ordinances and zoning laws for the area selected, commercial entity interaction in land development, community impact, restroom facilities, and space requirements for commercial trucks that are generally 70-80 feet long.

“Pennsylvania is a critical freight corridor, and it’s important that commercial drivers have adequate safe parking along our roadway network,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “I’m excited to see the creative ideas that the students bring to this year’s challenge.”

Regional Innovations Challenge winners will be selected and invited to present their solutions to the PennDOT Secretary and a panel of judges, who will determine the statewide winner. For this year’s challenge, the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) has donated $2,500 and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA) has donated $1,500 for a combined total award of $4,000 to the statewide winning team.

“In addition to the challenge itself, we hope that this experience will open students’ minds to the possibility of a career in transportation after graduation, maybe even with PennDOT,” Gramian said.

For complete Innovations Challenge details, visit and click on Innovations Challenge. The submission deadline is Jan. 27, 2023.

The University of Scranton’s Earth Day Essay Contest Open for Submissions

Area students in grades seven to 12 can participate in The University of Scranton’s Earth Day Essay Contest 2021. The contest is offered free of charge and this year’s essay theme is “Caring for our Common Home.”

Essays for students in grades seven and eight must be between 200 to 400 words. Essays for students in grades nine to 12 must be between 300 to 500 words. Electronic submissions must be sent to on or before Friday, April 9.

Visit the University’s Sustainability website for complete submission rules and details. Only electronic submissions will be accepted this year. Mail-in entries will not be accepted for 2021.

Winners of the Earth Day Essay Contest will be announced via an event hosted on The University of Scranton Sustainability Office Facebook page on Earth Day, April 22, beginning at 7 p.m.

This year marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day.