La Salle University Senior Madeline Collins to Deliver Commencement Address at La Salle University’s Graduation Exercises

 

La Salle University senior Madeline Collins has been selected to deliver the student Commencement address at La Salle’s Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on May 17. And it might not have happened if she hadn’t had a conversation with a buddy, campus security officer Joseph Kitchen, who informed her of something.

“He’s so friendly, and we talk when I pass him on my way to lacrosse practice and class. Last year, he told me how any student could try out to deliver the address, and he mentioned the speaker, Emily Moran, and how amazing it was that a student-athlete was giving the 2014 student address,” said Collins, an Honors student with a double major in English and marketing.

“I’m pretty competitive and creative, so from there I put writing a speech on my ‘to-do’ list and bounced ideas around over the summer and all year, but I didn’t have anything significant committed to paper until the week it was due,” Collins said. After learning she would be giving the speech, she told her parents and her boyfriend, and then Kitchen.

It wasn’t until September that she found a theme for her speech. “I’ve been writing and reading poetry since I was in fourth grade, and took (La Salle English professor) Dr. Bryan Narendorf’s poetry workshop class last semester, which changed the way I approach creative writing,” said Collins, a resident of Millstone Township, N.J., who will attend St. John’s School of Law in Queens, N.Y. in the fall.

“I get ideas for poems all of the time, though whether or not they materialize into a poem is another story,” Collins said, “so basically what started as an idea for a poem became the backbone for a Commencement speech. Looking back at the writing process, it was cool to see how my English major sparked the idea, but that my marketing major ended up shining through often in the speech as well.”

Collins added, “The speech probably took me an hour to write. After that, I left it for a day, then came back to edit and submit it. The whole foundation for the speech is about a culmination of genuine, first-hand experiences, so I didn’t want to re-work it that much. I also didn’t show it to anyone before submitting it for the same reason—I wanted it to come off as fresh and authentic.”

Any graduating senior is eligible to apply to be Commencement speaker. First, written entries are submitted to a selection committee. Then, five finalists are invited to deliver the speech to the committee and a selection is made.

“Presenting it to an audience who were as committed, if not more committed, to La Salle than I am was an almost indescribable experience,” Collins said. “This speech is intentionally Lasallian in every way—so presenting it and knowing everyone in the room understood the perspective I was talking about and was bringing their own Lasallian memories into this one particular listening experience was humbling. Saying it in front of people for the first time made me feel like a college freshman, senior, and alumni all at once—it made the fact I’ll be graduating soon very, very real to me.”

Two words form the theme of the speech: tradition and innovation.

“These words … were they opposites or compliments? Do they contradict each other? Can they truly co-exist to create La Salle University’s identity?” Collins wrote. “But then I wondered: what if they balance each other out? Tradition and innovation. If La Salle’s past and future as a university could be described in opposing terms, I was certain that the experience—what it means to be a student here, an alumnus from here, a ‘Lasallian,’ an Explorer—surely could be described in a similar way.”

She also discusses being an athlete.

“Being a part of the women’s lacrosse team for the past four years has contributed to my college experience immensely,” Collins said. “I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to be a Division I athlete with such an amazing and fun group of teammates. I do realize, though, that not all students who go here are athletes, and wanted to make this speech a true representation of the graduating Class of 2015, so I bring more than athletics and what it’s like to be on a team into the speech.”

madeline-collins-lacrosse

“Every athlete I know here has more than school and their sport on their plates—that’s the type of experiences this speech is about,” Collins said. “It gets at that dual-identity, that balance of opposites that is unlikely for a college student, but which works perfectly to create the dynamic identity La Salle and its graduates embody. For me, being a part of the lacrosse team was always at the core of my La Salle experience, but being a double major, a member of the Honors Program, and volunteering with different organizations also contributed to my growth as an individual while at La Salle.”

Candace Taglianetti Bossell, head women’s lacrosse coach at La Salle, said, “We are so proud of Maddy and all that she has accomplished while being a dedicated student-athlete in our lacrosse program. Maddy has been an invaluable member of our team, and her dedication to the program is a testament to her incredible character.”

La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. Money magazine named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth-best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education. Globally, the Lasallian educational network includes 1,000 schools (60 of which are institutions of higher education) serving 940,000 students in 80 countries.

 

 

La Salle University Alum Rebecca Hutchinson Receives Fulbright Scholarship, Will Spend Nine Months Teaching English in Turkey

 
Becky-Sean

La Salle alum Rebecca Hutchinson (right) received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Turkey. She met her husband Sean, also a La Salle alum, on a service trip to Africa. He is a Community Service Coordinator in the office of University Ministry and Service at La Salle.

 

As a La Salle University freshman in 2008, Rebecca Hutchinson spent nearly a month in Tanzania teaching English and became close to one student, Edward, who was about 17.

The following year, she returned to Tanzania and reconnected with Edward, who taught her something life-changing: “English is everything,” he told her. “It’s the language of the world, of business. To make it, you need to know English!”

That, she said, made her switch her career goal from teaching Italian to teaching English as a second language. She has received a Fulbright Scholarship for 2015–16 to teach English in a university setting in Turkey starting in the fall.

“That trip to Africa was a life-changing experience that ultimately made me alter my career choice,” said Hutchinson, who earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education and Italian from La Salle in 2011 and her master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) this past January.

“When I was teaching in Tanzania, I felt like I was doing exactly what I was meant to do for the rest of my life. I decided to pursue my master’s in TESOL, and once I graduated with that degree, I knew I was not ready to stay in the United States,” she said. “I wanted to teach abroad for a longer period of time, and I decided a Fulbright, although extremely competitive and a challenging process, was the perfect opportunity that would allow me to fulfill my dream.”

Hutchinson has also asked Fulbright officials if she can teach English to younger students in Turkey on a volunteer basis; that request is under consideration.

Since 1965, more than 60 students from La Salle have received Fulbright Scholarships.

“When Rebecca told me she was pursuing a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Turkey, I knew she would get it,” said Hsiao-Ping Biehl, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish at La Salle and Hutchinson’s adviser during the Fulbright application process. “Since I have known Rebecca, she has dedicated all of her time to teaching English to those who need it the most: people who need to escape poverty and believe learning English is the tool to succeed in life. Rebecca Hutchinson embodies the Lasallian values of emphasis on good teaching and direct service to the poor and a heightened sensitivity to their needs.”

Hutchinson called the application process “challenging, rigorous, and extremely rewarding.”

“Writing a Personal Statement and Statement of Grant Purpose in the process pushed me to articulate my passions and present myself in a way that I just hoped those reading it would think I was deserving of such an honor,” she said. “I had a great deal riding on those two pages.”

She also had to interview with the Fulbright Committee at La Salle. “This committee asked me questions about my own qualifications and how I would handle certain in-country situations,” Hutchinson said. “Ultimately, their positive recommendation pushed me through the United States round and then the final decision was made by those in Turkey. I am very thankful to the committee for their support and recommendation.”

In addition to finding a new career path in Tanzania, Hutchinson found true love. She and her husband, Sean Hutchinson, met as part of a team of La Salle students who traveled there to teach through the Project Mapendo service trip. Sean, a 2010 La Salle graduate, is now Community Service Coordinator in La Salle’s Office of University Ministry and Service.

“Sean has been unbelievably supportive in encouraging me to pursue this opportunity, and it would not be possible without his selfless actions, support, and sacrifices,” Rebecca Hutchinson said. “Working at La Salle as the community service coordinator, Sean understands the value of travel, culture, service, and teaching. Because of this, Sean has rooted me on through every step of this process and will excitedly share in the adventure that is to come.”

Sean said, “I didn’t do any of the work. It was her résumé and qualifications that got her (the Fulbright).”

Sean will remain at La Salle while Rebecca is in Turkey, although he plans to visit her at least twice.

“Nine months is a long time,” he said, “but I couldn’t be the one to stop her from doing this.”

La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. Money magazine named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth-best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education. Globally, the Lasallian educational network includes 1,000 schools (60 of which are institutions of higher education) serving 940,000 students in 80 countries.

 

 

Family Affair: La Salle University Junior Kelley Grady Receives Flubacher Scholarship

 

La Salle University junior Kelley Grady wasn’t able to personally accept the University’s Joseph Flubacher Scholarship, but she was well represented:

At the ceremony were her grandmother, Helen, widow of La Salle economics professor John Grady, her father, Brian and her Uncle John, both economics majors at La Salle, and her mother Elizabeth. Kelley Grady, who is studying at the National University of Ireland Galway this semester, asked her grandmother to accept the scholarship on her behalf.

“The school and the economics department in particular were, and still are a huge part of my grandmom’s life,” said Kelley Grady. “La Salle is family to her, as are many of my professors. I wanted her to accept the award because I know she feels a great connection to the school and I am very happy to have that connection continue through my experiences at La Salle.”

Kelley Grady said she likes economics “because it can be applied to and help explain everything in life. Everything I learn in economics is connected and helps me to understand so much about the way systems work.”

She added that her family’s strong connection to La Salle influenced her decision to apply to the University.  “La Salle has held countless positive memories for me since childhood,” she said. “In that way I suppose my family did influence my decision, however I believe that I ultimately chose to attend La Salle because it was the school that best fit my needs and wants in a university.

“When I learned that I received the Flubacher Scholarship I was honored and very proud of myself,” she said. “The economics department holds its students to a very high standard, and I have worked hard to reach that standard for the past three years. It felt very nice to have that work recognized in such a wonderful way.”

The Flubacher Scholarship is given annually to an outstanding economics student. It was established in 1996 by grateful and generous alumni, friends, and faculty to honor the late economics professor Joseph Flubacher, whose was an admired and respected educator.  The scholarship is open to Economics or Economics and International Studies majors of outstanding intellectual achievement

Flubacher, hired Kelley Grady’s grandfather John to teach economics at La Salle in 1960.

“It is such an honor to have been told that Kelley is receiving the Flubacher award.  She has worked tirelessly to achieve the things she has accomplished at La Salle,” Brian Grady said. “She has immersed herself in the community: volunteering for DePaul USA (which seeks to find housing for the homeless), being a member of the mock trial team, being selected for the University’s Ambassadors program, participating in the business fraternity, and maintaining her honor’s curriculum. We could not be more proud of how Kelley has applied herself.  She strives every day to learn and experience.”

Economics Chair David Robison said, “In all things, Kelley seems to show great care, respect, and concern for others.   In my Game Theory class, where students played a variety of games, she always took care NOT to impose costs on others – choosing to lose the games rather than compromise her values.”

La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. Money magazine named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth-best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education. Globally, the Lasallian educational network includes 1,000 schools (60 of which are institutions of higher education) serving 940,000 students in 80 countries.

 

 

La Salle Alum Mike Sielski Named Top Sports Columnist

 

La Salle University alum and Philadelphia Inquirer sports columnist Mike Sielski was recently named the country’s top sports columnist in the over-175,000 circulation category by the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE). The column-writing category is judged based on style, writing quality, originality, and local appeal, according to the APSE website.

Sielski found out he had won the award when he saw a tweet from APSE, “Philadelphia Inquirer’s Mike Sielski takes first place in Column Writing…”

After finding out he had won, he felt beyond humbled and very excited. After telling his wife and calling his parents with the news, he called his boss and, jokingly, said, “I really think you need to give me a raise.”

Sielski graduated from La Salle in 1997 with degrees in English and Communication. A student in La Salle’s Honor’s Program, Sielski was also sports editor and later editor-in-chief of The Collegian, the University’s student newspaper. He was also selected to give the Commencement Address at his graduation exercises.

Sielski knew he wanted to be involved in sports, either as a writer or broadcaster, when he was a student at La Salle, and he began writing for The Collegian as a freshman.

“La Salle gave students the opportunity to pursue what they wanted to pursue,” he said. “There was never a person at La Salle who said things like ‘oh you can’t do that’ or ‘you should try something else.’ No one doubted the students, but instead helped students and provided the proper resources.”

One column Sielski is particularly proud of, published on Father’s Day, is “A son’s perfect swing,” about his son Evan, who turns 4 this June and is on the autism spectrum.  While Sielski was in Clearwater, Fla., last year, covering the Phillies during spring training, his wife, Kate, met with specialists from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who revealed Evan’s diagnosis. From a press box in Florida, Sielski listened to the meeting through a conference call. “The specialists’ voices were warm and understanding and kind,” he wrote in the column, “and each of them said what a bright and charming little boy Evan was. But then a doctor said the word autism, and Evan’s daddy didn’t hear much else after that because his head started spinning.”

Though Evan was on the spectrum, the Sielskis soon learned there was one thing that seemed to calm him down and put a smile on his face: watching the Phillies. Evan would run around the house, chanting the names of the players and swinging a little bat around whenever a Phillies game was on TV. Sielski said the feedback he received on the column—through through hundreds social-media posts, emails, text messages and phone calls—was overwhelming.

When Sielski was asked if he could give any advice to an aspiring sports writers, he said, “First step, read everything you can get your hands on. Second step: You have to write. You get better the more you write.”

 

 

La Salle University Presents Distinguished Faculty Service Award to Nancy Jones and Distinguished Faculty Scholarship Award to Kevin J. Harty

 
English Chair Kevin J. Harty (left), recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Scholarship Award, and Nancy Jones, Chair of the Department of Integrated Science, Business and Technology (right), recipient of the  Distinguished Faculty Service Award, after receiving their honors from Br. John McGoldrick, F.S.C., Assistant Provost.

English Chair Kevin J. Harty (left), recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Scholarship Award, and Nancy Jones, Chair of the Department of Integrated Science, Business and Technology (right), recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Service Award, after receiving their honors from Br. John McGoldrick, F.S.C., Assistant Provost.

 

La Salle University recently presented two faculty members with annual awards: Kevin J. Harty, Ph.D., Chair of the English Department, received the Faculty Distinguished Scholarship Award, and Nancy Jones, Ph.D., Chair of the Integrated Science, Business and Technology Department, received the Faculty Distinguished Service Award.

The author of several books and many articles on film and TV adaptations of “medieval” figures King Arthur, Joan of Arc, the Vikings, and others, Harty said, “recognition is also nice—and a bit humbling. But the award also is a testimony to the people who have helped, encouraged, and supported me over the years with my research, including students who have sat through classes as I tried out various approaches, and our great, underappreciated colleagues in the La Salle library, without whose help no one could carry out serious research. La Salle is still a teaching-focused university, but there is a long tradition in the English Department—and in other departments—of colleagues who conduct important research that has gained national and international recognition. These colleagues have also been wonderful teachers. So the award, though an award for scholarship, is really an award that recognized the tradition of the Lasallian teacher-scholar.”

In presenting the award to Harty, Brother John McGoldrick, F.S.C., Assistant Provost at La Salle, said, “His 1993 Casebook on the Chester Mystery Cycle (a series of Biblical plays written by unknown authors in the 15th and 16th centuries) is still a standard book on medieval drama. All external commentators noted, however, that it is Kevin’s work in Arthurian studies that sets his scholarship apart. His 1991 collection, Cinema Arthuriana, along with his 1999 collection, King Arthur on Film: New Essays on Arthurian Cinema, pioneered the serious academic study of films inspired by the Arthurian legends. In addition, the film catalog and film synopses contained in Kevin’s 1999 monograph, The Reel Middle Ages, established the canon for this area of study.

McGoldrick added, “If his earlier reputation as a serious medievalist first drew scholarly attention to Kevin’s work on the cinema Arthuriana—a term he devised—the insights he has since developed have now attracted a fresh band of scholars who want themselves to mine the rich vein of this sub-discipline.”

Harty joined the La Salle faculty in 1982, and in 1992 was a recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Not long ago, Jones received an envelope from the Office of the Provost.

“I assumed it was a request to act as a marshal for an event. I, in no way, expected it to tell me about any award,” Jones said.

In presenting the award to Jones, Brother McGoldrick said, “During the past 15 years, Nancy’s service in support of ISBT, its faculty, and its students has created a ‘safe to fail’ environment, within which, faculty and students are encouraged to explore and experiment with new subjects, technologies, and modes of instruction that have permitted ISBT students to be among the first (at La Salle) to experience handheld computing technology, social media, cloud computing, autonomous drones, 3-D printing, and flipped classrooms within the curriculum.”

McGoldrick mentioned that, in addition to directing ISBT, Jones teaches chemistry courses, serves as academic advisor to the majority of ISBT students, chairs the University’s Leaves and Grants committee, and directs the annual new faculty orientation program each August. Jones, who joined La Salle’s faculty in 1986, and has also served as President of the Faculty Senate for two years. (Jones’ two-year term as president expires in May, 2015.)

Her dedication to students grew out of an experience she had in her junior year of college with a professor who took the time to get to know her and mentor her.

Jones enjoyed both the course in analytical and inorganic chemistry and the instructor, Richard Eisenberg, who was teaching it.  She found him approachable and was very interested in his area of research but was unsure about asking him if she could work in his laboratories.

“I didn’t have to ask because he asked me. It was the first time anyone had really noticed me,” she said. “I liked that area of chemistry and the idea of graduate study. I met professors from all over the world that year. Eisenberg encouraged me to apply, and I ended up at one of the top schools for inorganic chemistry.”

La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. Money magazine named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth-best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education. Globally, the Lasallian educational network includes 1,000 schools (60 of which are institutions of higher education) serving 940,000 students in 80 countries.

 

La Salle University Student Eric Frazier to Participate in National Science Foundation Program in Mathematics This Summer

 

La Salle University sophomore Eric Frazier, a resident of Towson, Md., won’t have very far to travel to participate in a National Science Foundation summer program for advanced mathematics: he’ll be at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus (UMBC).

“I am really eager to start the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) because it is about 20 minutes from my house, which means I can spend time with my family and friends over the weekend,” said Frazier, who majors in mathematics and computer science major at La Salle.

The Calvert Hall High School graduate was extremely excited about his acceptance to the program, particularly he knew from La Salle Math Department Chair Jonathan Knappenberger that “acceptance rates for REU programs are usually just five percent of their applicant pool.”

The UMBC application process required Frazier to update his resume and write a three-page paper describing his background in computer science and mathematics, his interest in computing mathematics, and his interest in working in teams.

“What I like about math is the problem-solving aspect,” Frazier said. “I love to sit down and solve puzzles, especially the harder ones because when I complete them I feel extremely satisfied. I love math, and I don’t think I could be in any undergrad institution and not apply math in some way.”

He will be at UMBC from June 15 to early August 7. According to the REU website, students in the program will work in teams on projects submitted by high-caliber researchers from academia and industry, closely supported by experienced graduate students and faculty members in collaboration with UMBC’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Consulting.

La Salle University Computer Science professor Michael Redmond said, “Eric is an engaged student with a strong work ethic. He is thorough in his work, not only writing excellent program code, but also following guidelines for quality goals such as maintainability and usability. He has a wide and varied set of interests. Activities range from handling communications for the Math club, including the Web site, along with musical activities and a backstage role with the theatre club. With his minor in Digital Arts, Eric spans quite a large range from the mathematical to the artistic.”

After graduation from La Salle, he hopes to study math at the graduate level.

La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. Money magazine named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth-best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education. Globally, the Lasallian educational network includes 1,000 schools (60 of which are institutions of higher education) serving 940,000 students in 80 countries.

La Salle University Student Molly Mahon Named a Newman Civic Fellow for Her Dedication to Community Service

 

La Salle University junior Molly Mahon has been named a Newman Civic Fellow for her dedication to service and outreach. Presented by Campus Compact to inspiring college student leaders, only 201 students nationwide were designated as fellows for 2015.

This is the fourth consecutive year a La Salle student has been named a Newman Civic Fellow.

Mahon, a nursing major from Willow Grove, Pa., said, “I was walking through the University’s chapel lounge when Brother Bob Kinzler (Director of University Ministry and Service) told me I was named a Newman Civic Fellow. It definitely took me by surprise! It’s such an honor, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

As a freshman, Mahon began working with Pheed Philadelphia, which focuses on addressing hunger and homelessness in the city. She also helped coordinated two international service trips to schools in Kenya and Haiti. As the coordinator for the University’s inaugural trip to Haiti, she completely developed the program, identifying partners and planning the itinerary.

video filmed by Molly Mahon during her service trip to Haiti

“I grew up in a household where this type of work was integrated into our family life,” Mahon said. “My parents, brothers, sisters, and I worked with Sarnelli House, a community that provides social services to the people of Kensington, and TODAY Theater, a theater program for disabled youth and young adults. I never really viewed it as service. I just simply saw it as an opportunity to learn and meet people.”

Before entering La Salle, Mahon also had service experiences in Mexico and Haiti. “I’ve always gravitated to work related to hunger and homelessness, which led to my involvement in Pheed Philadelphia at La Salle,” Mahon said.

She added, “The littlest things motivate me to continue to do this type of work. On a personal level, I’ve made incredibly genuine relationships with people who utilize the social service organizations I volunteer at, and with fellow volunteers. On a social level, I’m passionate about systemic change, and I view the work that I do as a way to assimilate and to better understand populations that experience injustices of any kind. Overall, the Lasallian values of faith, service, and community are what drive my passion for civic engagement.”

A graduate of St. Basil Academy in Jenkintown, Pa., Mahon said she decided to become a nurse when, at 17, she worked with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in 2011 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. “They have a wound-cleaning clinic and Home of the Dying, and I was blessed with the opportunity to visit with the Sisters and work with them in both clinics,” she said. “I really enjoy working with both pediatric and geriatric populations, and I ultimately see myself working in the public health field.”

La Salle University students previously named Newman Civic Fellows are: Emily Plummer, a communication major from Tampa, Fla. (2012); Daniel Bowers, a secondary education and mathematics major from Philadelphia (2013); and Mathew Roche, a secondary education and history major from East Brunswick, N.J. (2014).

Newman Civic Fellow awards are made in memory of Frank Newman, Ph.D., a co-founder of Campus Compact, which seeks to foster students’ involvement in public service and as democratic change-agents. Campus Compact has grown to represent more than 1,100 college and university presidents committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. The Newman Civic Fellow awards are made possible through the generous support of the KPMG Foundation.

La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. Money magazine named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth-best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education. Globally, the Lasallian educational network includes 1,000 schools (60 of which are institutions of higher education) serving 940,000 students in 80 countries.

 

 

La Salle University Adviser, Student Receive Awards for Involvement with Explorer Ambassadors Program

 

Rachel Christie and Helene Baczkowski

La Salle University received awards for advising and leadership from District II of the Affiliated Student Advancement Programs (ASAP) of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for its Explorer Ambassador program. Students in the program represent La Salle at University functions, including alumni receptions, Homecoming, Reunions, Family Weekend.

Helene Baczkowski, Director of The La Salle Fund, was one of two individuals named outstanding adviser, and Rachel Christie, a senior and President of the Ambassadors, was one of three students selected for outstanding leadership. Without knowing it, Baczkowski and Christie had nominated each other for the awards.

“Rachel didn’t know I nominated her,” said Baczkowski, “and when I learned I received the award I thought that Rachel, as President of the Ambassadors, had something to do with it.”

Christie said, “When I first learned I received the award, I was incredibly excited and honored to have been selected, knowing how many other fantastic candidates I was up against. I feel so fortunate to be named District II’s Outstanding Student Leader.”

The student leadership award is presented to a dedicated student who has significantly improved his or her student advancement organization through leadership and by inspiring growth, collaboration, and meaningful connections.

Christie is a dual major in art history and communication, with concentrations in communication management and public relations.

In her letter nominating Christie, Baczkowski wrote, “We have counted on her to make sure that many large University affairs have gone smoothly by having her manage student involvement in these events. She has also made a concerted effort to personally connect with our Board of Trustee members, Alumni Association Board members, University administrators, faculty and staff, and other students, and in doing so has set a great example for the younger Ambassadors.”

At La Salle, in addition to serving as President of the Ambassadors, Christie is President of Lambda Pi Eta honor society, President of Students for La Salle, and Vice President of the La Salle chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. She is also involved with the Communication Department Student Board and the Association for Women in Communication.

“I was raised in a family where giving back and paying it forward were always a front-of-mind instinct,” Christie said. “My parents are incredibly driven, hard-working, and service focused, and being around them has made it second nature. For me, service is essential to opening the door for others to have the same experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to have myself.”

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Christie first heard about the University from a relative’s friend, and then she visited the campus. “I chose La Salle in large part because of the people I met on my first visit to campus, especially Dr. Lynne Texter, Chair of the Communication Department. Between my conversation with Dr. Texter and experience with the campus, I knew it would be a great fit,” she said.

Christie has interned at Brian Communications in Conshohocken, Pa., since 2013, and she also had internships with the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, the Delaware Valley chapter of the National Kidney Foundation, and the Des Moines Radio Group.

The Outstanding Adviser Award is given annually to an adviser who has facilitated effective progress within the organization and has served as a mentor to involved students.

In nominating Baczkowski for the award, Christie wrote, “She has created leaders. She is a firm proponent of delegation. She actively encourages members to suggest ideas and make them their own. She wants students to learn how to be successful without having an authority figure guiding them every step of the way. She wants our members to grow and learn, and she will do anything to help make that happen.”

Baczkowski, a La Salle alum with a B.A. in communication and MBA in management, said, “I was very flattered when I learned I had won. I wasn’t expecting something like that. I love getting to know the students and all they’re doing on campus, in and out of the classroom. It gives me great stories and examples to share when interacting with and creating solicitations for our alumni. They’re why we do what we do.”

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing, and allied areas. CASE’s District II consists of more than 50 colleges and universities from Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and West Virginia.

La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. Money magazine named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth-best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education. Globally, the Lasallian educational network includes 1,000 schools (60 of which are institutions of higher education) serving 940,000 students in 80 countries.

 

 

La Salle University’s Master of Science in Nursing Ranked in Top Quarter of Programs Nationwide

 

La-Salle-day1-118

La Salle University’s Graduate Nursing program was ranked in the top quarter in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

The University tied for 122nd out of 503 master’s degree programs for nursing.

Rankings were based on 13 indicators, which included survey results, the ratio of full-time faculty to full-time students, the undergraduate grade point average of entering students, the number of master’s degrees awarded, and federal research grants awarded to faculty members.

La Salle’s Graduate Nursing program, which has about 340 students, has risen dramatically in the rankings in the past four years.

“Moving up 70 spots in the rankings in four years is testament to the quality and dedication of the faculty, students, and staff. I greatly look forward to what the next four years will bring for the nursing programs at La Salle,” said Brian A. Goldstein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Dean of La Salle’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Patricia Dillon, Ph.D., R.N., Director of Graduate Nursing Programs at La Salle, said, “Our faculty is committed to providing quality graduate education that prepares our students to become excellent clinicians and leaders in nursing. I commend them and our staff for assuring a quality program that reflects Lasallian values and am proud of our nursing graduates. Through an ongoing outcomes assessment and continuous improvement process, the program continues to improve to meet students’ learning needs in an ever-changing health care arena.”

The Graduate Nursing program offers 10 master’s degree concentrations and seven post-graduate certificate programs. La Salle’s BSN, MSN, DNP, and APRN post‑master’s certificate programs are all fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Courses are offered in online, in-class, and hybrid formats. Students can take classes at La Salle’s main campus in Northwest Philadelphia and at the Bucks County Center in Newtown, Pa.

La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. Money magazine named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth-best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education. Globally, the Lasallian educational network includes 1,000 schools (60 of which are institutions of higher education) serving 940,000 students in 80 countries.

 

 

La Salle Hosts Inaugural Open Minds Sustainable Innovation Challenge

 

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Over the first weekend of February, 43 La Salle students from various schools and majors converged in Holroyd Hall for the inaugural Open Minds Sustainable Innovation Challenge, filling almost every available spot in the first-ever competition of its kind on the University’s campus.

It’s one of the first steps in a new direction for La Salle’s Center for Entrepreneurship, which hosted the competition. Since its founding in 2010, the Center has continued to evolve to meet the needs of the changing market and recently revamped its mission to include new academic and experiential programming designed to reach students across disciplines and majors outside of the School of Business in which it is housed.

“We’re expanding beyond purely business-related concepts and refocusing on innovation,” said Steve Melick, the Center’s Executive Director. “Innovation needs to be at the core of what students do.”

That’s why he and Marsha Timmerman, assistant professor of Integrated Science, Business, and Technology (ISBT), set out to design a unique competition that would encourage students to recognize the importance of entrepreneurship and innovative thinking.

The challenge was sponsored by a generous donation from CaptiveAire President and CEO Robert Luddy, ’68, whose vision for students to become lifelong learners and virtuous leaders is a fundamental part of the Center for Entrepreneurship’s redefined mission.

“Some students may feel that they’re not cut out for entrepreneurship, but innovation is a precursor to entrepreneurship. You can’t have one without the other,” he said. “With this competition, we’re putting more emphasis on the innovation. We’re taking the sting out of the business side of it.”

The Center succeeded in appealing to students from a variety of disciplines—more than half of the participants were non-business majors, including students pursing sociology, biology, environmental science, nursing, and ISBT. Demographically, the Open Minds Competition also attracted a diverse group—70 percent of participants were minorities and 36 percent were women.

Students formed teams with two to five members and worked around the clock to research a specific problem, create a sustainable solution, and prepare a business presentation for a panel of judges. This panel included seasoned business leaders with an eye for innovation—Stephen Zarilli, ’83, President and CEO of Safeguard Scientifics; Edward Fierko, ’63, President of EJF Associates; Gregory Bruce, MBA ’81, Dean Emeritus of La Salle’s School of Business; and Jim Johnston, Ph.D., Vice President of BioCoat Inc.

The teams competed to earn internship opportunities as well as their share of more than $10,000 in cash awards to be used for ongoing research and development for their products. The coveted first place prize went to the team that created “Phood Fuel,” a small organic material decomposer that can be used by supermarkets.

“I hope to work in the field of social entrepreneurship to find ways to come up with solutions to a problem that will benefit the community and this competition taught me that I will be able to do this in the future,” said freshman Samantha Brodie, one of the winning team members.

Brodie devised the concept with sophomores Meredith Graff and Sydney Jefferson and MBA student Michelle Lambert. They determined that by decomposing the high percentage of food waste that typically goes to a landfill, they could create valuable compost and capture methane for electricity generation.

Two projects tied for second place:

  • Soci, a social media platform that would allow users wearing a wireless-enabled bracelet to communicate with each other and share contact information and other data.
  • Soular, a technology fashion company that integrates solar panels and electrical components into clothing to power cell phones and other mobile devices.

Melick deemed the competition—which he hopes will become an annual event—an all-around success. And the judges agreed.

“What the Center drove home with this competition was phenomenal. I was floored not only by the students’ level of enthusiasm but by the quality of the concepts developed,” Zarilli said. “It’s important that we continue to provide opportunities for students to think outside the box and be given tools to think innovatively about new concepts.”

La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. Money magazine named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth-best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education.