Susan L. Taylor, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the National CARES Mentoring Movement and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence Magazine to Be honored by La Salle University


Susan L. Taylor, Founder, and Chief Executive Officer of the National CARES Mentoring Movement and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence Magazine, will be honored by the La Salle University African-American Alumni Association at an awards ceremony on Nov. 7.

She will receive the University’s Warren E. Smith, M.D., ’54 Award. The award is presented to an outstanding African American leader who has achieved success in his or her profession, demonstrated a commitment to traditional Lasallian values, made significant contributions to the community, and served as an outstanding example to all La Salle students.

A 1954 graduate of La Salle, Warren E. Smith, M.D., was one of the first African Americans to graduate from the pre-med program at La Salle University. He served as a psychiatrist to the La Salle community for 15 years before retiring in 1984. Dr. Smith was revered as a highly principled man who was deeply sensitive to the problems of the students he served.  Always available to those in need of his services, Dr. Smith was an advocate for the rights and care of many. He died on Sept. 13, 1990. The La Salle community established a scholarship and an award named for him.

“I am so looking forward to Nov. 7,” said Taylor.

“Ms. Taylor’s work with the National CARES Mentoring Program truly exemplifies the mission of St. John Baptist de La Salle, who founded the Christian Brothers, the order that operates La Salle, in using education to make a positive difference in the lives of young people,” said Trey Ulrich, Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations at La Salle University.  “Taylor’s efforts in partnering young African American men and women of modest means with leaders in the community made her an outstanding choice to be honored with the Warren E. Smith Award.”

Founded by Taylor in 2005 as Essence CARES, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, today the National CARES Mentoring Movement is a community-mobilization movement dedicated to healing and advancing our nation’s most defenseless children, our African American young trapped in a cycle of intergenerational poverty. In 58 U.S. cities, our CARES affiliates recruit, train and connect adults to local youth-serving organizations desperate for Black volunteers. Additionally, National CARES is building for scaling and replication, transformational group-mentoring programs focused on the emotional, social and academic development of struggling children in our country’s most under-resourced schools. In January, 2008, Taylor left Essence magazine after 27 years as chief editor to work full-time with community leaders in mounting what has become the largest mentoring movement in the nation’s history and the only organization providing mentoring, healing and wellness services on a national scale for Black children.

“Mentoring is all about caring,” Taylor said. “It’s caring enough to spend one hour a week to advise and guide a vulnerable young person. None of the forces claiming our children’s lives are more powerful than our commitment and love. We are the solution.”

According to its Web page, the National CARES Mentoring Movement seeks to end the struggles of Black America by connecting concerned adults with mentoring opportunities across the nation. Individuals are asked to volunteer at least an hour a week for a year to guide and encourage challenged youngsters in one-to-one or group mentoring relationships, where several adults spend time with a larger number of children.

National CARES serves as a resource, linking adults to mentoring opportunities in their communities. Southeast Pennsylvania CARES is led by Andrea Lawful-Trainer and Alex Peay. On a national level, it partners with organizations such as the National Urban League, the 100 Black Men of America, Children’s Defense Fund, the YWCA, the United Negro College Fund, the NAACP, major African American faith communities, fraternities, sororities, and other organizations whose labor and reputations have tremendous influence on public policy and programs that affect young people.

Taylor said that after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, she looked up, as the world did, at all the vulnerable youngsters whose lives, families and communities were disassembled and who needed the love, guidance and support of more able and caring adults in order to thrive. “We knew that the exciting annual Essence Music Festival had to bring more to the devastated city. It needed to be a party with a deeper purpose. We needed to focus on the children who had been displaced and were living in FEMA trailers. I saw that this challenging time could also lead to greater community engagement in the recovery and forward movement of our under-resourced children, not just in the Gulf Region, but throughout the nation.”

For tickets and information on the event, call 215.951.1535 or visit

An educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values, La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order. La Salle University consistently ranks as one of the U.S.’s top universities; in 2014, 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 higher education institutions) serving 940,000 students in 80 countries.

La Salle University’s BUSCA Program a Finalist in Excelencia in Education Award for Improving Higher Educational Achievement for Latino Students



La Salle University’s BUSCA program was named one of five finalists for the Examples of Excelencia in Education award in the category of associate’s degree programs. Excelencia in Education is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate Latino student success in higher education.

BUSCA was selected from among competitors from 26 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

“By sharing what works we hope to support educators, community leaders, funders, and policymakers to take an asset-based approach to serving Latino students,” wrote Deborah Santiago, COO and Vice President of Excelencia in Education in What Works for Latinos Students in Higher Education, an annual Excelencia in Education publication in which the 2014 finalists were announced. “Ultimately, we strive to inspire and support replicating and bringing to scale evidence-based practices that serve Latino students and thus serve the country.”

BUSCA was also named a finalist by Excelencia in Education in 2011.

Started in 1993, BUSCA is an innovative program that offers the region’s Spanish-speaking community the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree. Students begin the program with an intensive 12-credit course in English and then transition to classes conducted completely in English. Students study full time for five semesters, attending class in the evening, allowing them to work during the day. To offer students with the best possible chance of success, the program provides bilingual tutors, and motivational, academic, and financial aid counselors.

Currently, 160 students are enrolled in BUSCA, ranging from recent high school graduates to grandparents. Nearly 75 percent of the students who graduated last year enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs.

“For more than 20 years, La Salle’s BUSCA program has made it possible for Spanish-dominant people to pursue their dreams of achieving a higher education,” said Joanne Woods, Director of the BUSCA program. “We appreciate our institution’s extraordinary commitment to working with Hispanic students and the dedication of our instructors who provide the best possible educational experience for our students.”

Examples of Excelencia is the only national initiative to systematically identify and promote evidence-based programs and departments effectively boosting Latino enrollment, performance and graduation. It is presented in collaboration with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). The 2014 sponsors are ACT, Univision, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, DeVry University, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2014, Excelencia in Education is a Washington, D.C.-based national non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate Latino student success in higher education.

La Salle Freshmen to Compete for U.S. Championship at Network for Teaching Entrepreneurships National Challenge in San Francisco

La Salle University freshmen Aliyah Stephens and Jameel Kemp display their invention: a jacket with a solar panel that can recharge a smart phone.

La Salle University freshmen Aliyah Stephens and Jameel Kemp display their invention: a jacket with a solar panel that can recharge a smart phone.

La Salle University freshmen Jameel Kemp and Aliyah Stephens will compete in the championship round of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in San Francisco Oct. 7-10. Both are nursing majors. They were selected at the Eastern regional competition in Philadelphia to advance to the national challenge.

Their “invention” is a jacket with a cloth solar panel that collects solar rays, converts them to electricity, and then recharges a smartphone.

“I was speechless,” said Stephens, 18, of their regional win. “We were up against so much competition that it was hard to tell who the judges liked more. I knew we were a good team, and we tried to not to stress ourselves out. We just had fun presenting. So, hearing our names was an amazing feeling. I am so grateful that we were given this opportunity.”

“Not to be arrogant, but I already knew we were going to make it,” said Kemp, 19. “We have a great idea, and we are able to make others believe that.”

He explained that the jacket is charged by the sun through the cloth patch, then the energy is transferred into a battery pack in the inside pocket, which contains a USB socket where users can plug in their smartphones. While the pair is currently focused on the competition, Kemp said they hope to eventually start a business based on their idea.

Kemp and Stephens came up with the jacket concept for a senior project they worked on together at the World Communications Charter School in Philadelphia. Soon the pair worked their way up to competing on the national level, after entering and winning school-wide, citywide, and regional competitions.

Kemp conceived of the recharging jacket because he wanted something that could be worn every day that served a function beyond regular clothing. That’s when he decided to combine purposeful clothing with recharging smartphones. When Stephens joined him in the project, she suggested making the jacket eco-friendly.

“That was a better look for the competition and better for society,” she said. “We were challenged to enter the school-wide competition by our amazing teacher, Mr. Andrew Wakelee. When we won first place (at the city competition),we knew this was something we wanted to continue to do.”

While there are other clothing items that can charge batteries, Kemp said their jacket is more fashionable and geared toward an urban market. He said he and Stephens envision a business that puts solar chargers on blazers, business suits, and trench coats.

Stephens and Kemp met while students at Girard College, a private boarding school in North Philadelphia for students who live in low-income, single-parent households. “We both grew up there together,” Stephens said. Later, the pair transferred to the World Communications Charter School.

They also decided on the same major.

“I became interested in nursing because I wanted a career to pursue my passion, which is working with children and pregnant women,” Stephens said.  “Also, my mother is in school to become a nurse and she kind of influenced me. I would like to become a neonatal nurse and an adjunct nursing professor.”

Kemp attended a summer mentorship program at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 that presented the basics about nursing. “It really made me want to learn more. While at the program, I was able to visit many hospitals and get real-life experiences that many nurses do in their everyday duties. I would like to become a pediatric or emergency nurse,” he said.

Each received a full scholarship to La Salle.

“I applied to La Salle because I wanted to be close to home and still be around my family,” said Stephens, who is from Philadelphia’s Germantown section. “When I heard about La Salle’s great credentials, I knew this was the place for me.”

Kemp, who also lives near the University, said, “I loved the fact that La Salle had such a small population, so I am able to have opportunities to interact one-on-one with the professors.”

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 has named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education in its recent college rankings.


La Salle University to Present Honorary Degree to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews


MSNBC talk show host Chris Matthews, one of the nation’s most prominent political commentators, will receive an honorary doctoral degree from La Salle University at its fall Honors Convocation ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 28.

The host of Hardball with Chris Matthews since 1997, Matthews graduated from La Salle College High School, which is run by the Christian Brothers, the religious order that founded and operates La Salle University. La Salle College—now a university—was founded in 1863 and added the high school to its campus in 1883. Matthews was a freshman at the high school in its final year at the 20th and Olney Avenue campus before it relocated in 1960 to Wyndmoor, Pa.

“Chris is the product of a Christian Brothers education, and that is evident when you look at his service in the Peace Corps during his younger days, but the educational legacy of the Brothers is also evident in the excellence he has demonstrated in broadcasting for many years,” said James Gallagher, Ph.D., Interim President of La Salle University. “For those qualities and his significant contributions to journalism, in which he often makes the confusing field of politics clearer to many, we are honoring him.”

The Honors Convocation ceremony celebrates La Salle students who made the Dean’s List the previous semester. Previous honorary degree recipients at the ceremony include The Silver Linings Playbook author and La Salle alumnus Matthew Quick and Franklin Institute astronomer Derrick Pitts.

A veteran journalist, Matthews has interviewed some of the world’s top leaders and covered some of the greatest historic events of the late 20th century, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the first all-races election in South Africa, and the Good Friday Peace Talks in Northern Ireland.

Growing up in Philadelphia, Matthews was one of five brothers to graduate from La Salle College High School. From there, he went on to earn his undergraduate degree in economics from the College of the Holy Cross in 1967. He then spent two years working on trade and business development in Swaziland, Africa, with the U.S. Peace Corps.

When Matthews returned from Africa, he began a 15-year career in American politics, serving as a staff assistant in the U.S. Senate, presidential speechwriter in the White House, and top aide to legendary Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, Jr.

In the late 1980s, Matthews made his transition to full-time journalism as the Washington Bureau Chief for the San Francisco Examiner.  He began his television career in 1994 as host of a two-hour nightly program on America’s Talking network before launching Hardball in 1997.

Matthews has received many awards for his work in journalism, particularly with Hardball, including the David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, the Abraham Lincoln Award from the Union League of Philadelphia, and the Gold Medal Award from the Pennsylvania Society.  He has authored six best-selling books and he holds 30 honorary degrees from institutions of higher learning, including College of the Holy Cross, Fordham University, St. Joseph’s University, Temple University, The University of Scranton, and Villanova University.

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 has named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education in its recent college rankings.



La Salle University’s Third Annual Community Health Fair Slated for Saturday, October 4, from Noon to 3 p.m.


La Salle University’s Community Building Team will host its third annual Explore Your Health! community health fair on Saturday, Oct. 4th, from noon to 3 p.m. at The Shoppes at La Salle, Chew and Wister Streets.

Highlights of the fair include free health screenings offered by La Salle’s Neighborhood Nursing Center, information and giveaways distributed by more than 50 vendors representing local healthcare related businesses and retailers, tours of La Salle’s new community garden, free raffles, sports clinics and other activities for children, a Zumba demonstration, and live performances by student and local artists.

More than 150 La Salle students, faculty, and administrators worked on Explore Your Health! to raise awareness about medical issues facing the community and to provide resources from the University and vendors to address them. The event is an initiative of the University’s Community Building Team, a group of faculty, staff, students, and area residents who commit themselves to the Lasallian value of “together by association” through creative thinking, dynamic decision-making, solidarity, and simply being good neighbors.

“Explore Your Health! is a great example of how the University lives out its Catholic and Lasallian mission as a socially responsible member of our neighborhood,” said TiRease Holmes, Chairperson of CBT and Director of Off Campus and Commuter Communities  at the University. “It helps us establish partnerships with our neighbors in the process of economic revitalization. Plus, it’s just a fun event.”

“We were very excited that the health fair doubled in size last year, with nearly 300 participants and more than 50 vendors.  There is something for everyone at the health fair, including activities for children, information and screenings for senior citizens, and general health information and screenings for all ages,” said Holmes.  The Zumba aerobic fitness demonstration is always very popular in getting participants active.

“Urban environments present unique challenges to keeping populations healthy,” according to Holly Harner, Ph.D., Chair of La Salle’s Department of Urban Public Health and Nutrition.

“People who live in urban environments also live with the realities of crime and poverty and are under chronic stress, which contributes to heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, and often don’t have access to quality health care,” Harner said.

Many urban neighborhoods don’t have outlets that sell fresh fruit and vegetables, Harner said. Poor nutrition contributes to diabetes, she said, and the density of urban areas contributes to asthma.

Urban areas benefit from the close association of community members, with projects such as community gardens and urban farming.

“We planned this fair because it’s a great opportunity to put forth a collaborative effort in which we can address the needs of our greater community by sharing resources within and outside the University,” Holmes said. “It’s also a great opportunity for the University community and community members to positively interact with one another surrounding a topic that impacts us all—health.”

The health fair exemplifies Lasallian values through active citizenship, outreach, and engagement. Together with the community, La Salle will be collaboratively educating, informing, and bringing awareness to neighbors and students on various health issues.

For more information about participating in the health fair and/or registering as a vendor, visit or call 215.951.1916.


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La Salle University Art Museum Awarded Grant by Institute of Museum and Library Services to Make Its Collection Available over the Internet

Henry Ossawa Tanner (American, 1859-1937), Mary, 1898, Oil on Canvas, Purchased with funds from Regina and Regan Henry

Henry Ossawa Tanner (American, 1859-1937), Mary, 1898, Oil on Canvas, Purchased with funds from Regina and Regan Henry

The La Salle University Art Museum received a grant of $76,391 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for its Collections Database Conversion program. The IMLS grant will be used to help make the Art Museum’s collection available to the widest possible public audiences over the Internet.

“Our grants are highly competitive. The Institute of Museum and Library Services enlists hundreds of library and museum professionals throughout the United States to review grant applications and make recommendations on projects most worthy of funding,” said IMLS Director Susan H. Hildreth. “Receiving a grant from IMLS is significant achievement, and we congratulate La Salle University Art Museum for being among the 2014 IMLS museum grantees.”

Klare Scarborough, Ph.D., Director of the La Salle University Art Museum, said, “This fall, we will begin implementing a collections digitization and access project, which will transfer about 4,000 artwork records from an outdated database system to a more modern collections management system. The records include information such as title and date of artwork; artist name, nationality and life dates; and artwork medium, along with a good-quality downloadable image of the artwork.”

“After electronic records are moved and new image files are created and added to the system, we will launch a Web kiosk which will give our audiences the ability to search La Salle’s art collection, and to download images for educational use. While the Art Museum’s website currently provides public access to images and information for all artworks on display, the project will establish a searchable online interface to records for the entire collection,” said Scarborough.

“We are very grateful and pleased that the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded the Art Museum this grant,” she added.

La Salle University Art Museum maintains a comprehensive collection of European and American art, along with special collections of non-Western art and ancient art. Highlights include paintings by Jacopo Robusti (Tintoretto), Charles Willson Peale, Henry Ossawa Tanner, George Rouault, Edouard Vuillard, Dorothea Tanning, and Alex Katz; drawings by Salvator Rosa, Eugène Delacroix and Edgar Degas; etchings by Rembrandt, Mary Cassatt and James McNeil Whistler; and photographs by Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit

IMLS museum grants support a wide variety of projects that create learning experiences, strengthen community communities, care for collections and provide broad public access.  A complete list of museum recipients is on IMLS’s web site: For information about IMLS grant programs, see:

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 has named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education in its recent college rankings. La Salle University Art Museum opened its doors to the public in 1975 and is the only university art museum in the area with a permanent display of Western art from the Renaissance to the present.###




La Salle University Breaks Ground on $35 Million School of Business Facility


Announces Major Gift to Business School


Philadelphia, PA —–
La Salle University held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new, $35 million School of Business facility on Sept. 16, 2014 on the building site at the intersection of Chew Avenue, Wister Street, and Penn Boulevard, off of Olney Avenue in Northwest Philadelphia.

The University announced last November that it planned to construct a six-story, state-of-the-art facility to house its School of Business. The new building has been designed to include amenities and spaces that facilitate the collaborative learning, networking, and teamwork necessary in today’s business world.

“This is one of the most significant projects that La Salle has undertaken in its 151-year history,” said William R. Sautter, Chair, La Salle University Board of Trustees. “This facility will ensure that future generations of business students will have access to a world-class learning environment that will equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to compete in the global economy and make significant contributions to their communities.”

The 87,000-square-foot building will be located on the University’s West Campus and will  extend the University’s frontage from Olney to Chew Avenue. The project will also have a positive impact on the community, creating approximately 600 jobs during construction.

In addition to the ceremonial groundbreaking, University officials will also announce today that Mr. & Mrs. Edward J. Fierko are making a $3 million gift to the new School of Business facility.  Mr. Fierko, who is Vice Chair of La Salle’s Board of Trustees, is one of the five largest individual alumni donors in La Salle’s history, and a 1963 La Salle School of Business alumnus.

“Ed Fierko is a staunch champion of this University and a longtime booster of the La Salle School of Business,” said James P. Gallagher, Ph.D., Interim President, La Salle University. “His leadership and many contributions have and will continue to propel this University forward.”

The School of Business facility’s state-of-the-art amenities will include a dramatic atrium space that can be used to host networking and social events; a sales training laboratory and simulation facilities; a corporate-style boardroom; a 300-seat auditorium, and flexible collaborative learning rooms, gathering spaces, and technology-equipped breakout rooms that will reinforce interactions among students, faculty, and business executives.

“It is our job to help build future generations of business leaders,” said Gary A. Giamartino, Ph.D., Dean, La Salle University School of Business. “We have a compelling mission, talented students, and inspiring faculty, and now we are breaking ground on what will be one of the most advanced learning facilities for business education in the nation.”

The facility is scheduled to open for classes in January 2016. The project is being funded with $20 million from the University and $15 million in planned alumni donations.

Consultants for the project include Daniel J. Keating Company, Kimmel-Bogrette Architecture + Site, Bohler Engineering, The Harman Group, Inc., and Burns Engineering Inc.

La Salle’s School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a designation held by less than 5 percent of business schools worldwide. La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist deLa 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.

Learn more about the new School of Business building at


Ashley Torres, President of La Salle’s Students’ Government Association, Continues Tradition of Addressing Freshman Class

Ashley Torres, President of the La Salle University Students' Government Association, speaks to the incoming freshmen freshmen class at the University's Opening Convocation ceremony.

Ashley Torres, President of the La Salle University Students’ Government Association, speaks to the incoming freshman class at the University’s Opening Convocation ceremony.

La Salle University tradition has the President of the Students’ Government Association (SGA) address the incoming freshman class and their families at the University’s Opening Convocation, and this year’s SGA leader, Ashley Torres, is no stranger to speaking before large crowds.

“I still get nervous right before speaking, but the freshmen are just as nervous with starting their new journey!” she said of her address on August 21. “Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking to about 100 young people at the Redemptorists’ Young Adult Dialogue in Canandaigua, N.Y., which was a religious retreat for Catholic youth from Redemptorist order  parishes.”

More than 1,000 freshman students, transfer students, and their families were in attendance at the convocation. Torres’s talk focused on the Lasallian community and values that will change the new students’ views on the world.

A senior political science major, Torres decided to run for President when other SGA members encouraged her.

“That was truly a compliment and a risk I could not turn away from,” she said. “Since I was a young girl, people have told me I was a natural-born leader, because I have always been fearless when in social situations and taking initiative before I was asked, and you would find me leading a game or teaching a quirky song to friends. In addition, I was always the one in our family with creative ideas and made sure we acted upon them. But I never thought I would be the student government president at the college I attended.

“La Salle University has given me numerous opportunities and has broadened my perspective, and this role is the least I could do,” she added. “I truly care about the students and their ideas. After all, this is our school and I want to make sure our voices are heard.”

In addition to the SGA, Torres has been involved with AIDS Outreach, service trips with Project Appalachia and to the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. She spent two years volunteering with AmeriCorps, where she was a college-prep mentor for students in Philadelphia’s Kensington section, and she interned at the city’s chapter of the Arthritis Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania.

Torres had been an SGA senator, and last year she was the organization’s Vice President of Public Affairs. “I sat on the community-building team and student media committees, started a new video blog with SGA updates, and managed our social media,” she said.

One goal she has for her presidency is to “make sure students know the potential SGA has to make their campus better. Students are not readily seeking Senate members out for improvements. SGA is looking for better communication methods; whether mock town hall meetings or more social media outreach, we have to find the best ways to serve.

“The Students’ Government Association is composed of dedicated members who work towards the well-being of our community,” she added. “I want to make sure that we are coming up with innovative ways to gather input from our constituents, the students, to strategize and get needs met this year. I want students to know that La Salle’s administration is lending their ears and is here for our success.”

After she graduates from La Salle, Torres said she’d like to spend a year of service on the U.S.-Mexican border and further her education in either law or politics.

During spring break last year, Torres was in a class that travelled to El Paso, Texas, to learn about immigration up close. They roomed at a church there that has a program for college students to visit and learn about border issues.

“The horrific and desolate conditions I witnessed forever changed my perspective on the privileges I have as an American,” said Torres, whose family is from Puerto Rico. “I had the chance to speak to migrants from Mexico who shared their life stories, which were both disheartening and inspiring at the same time. I want to be an advocate for Mexicans and South Americans because nobody deserves to be treated as a subhuman.

“I plan to apply to a few service programs to reaffirm my passion of working toward a better future for the immigration system,” she added. “That is where my heart is and I know with the experiences I will have, this could be my driving force through graduate school.” ​



La Salle University Presents Lasallian Distinguished Educator Award to Senior Associate Dean of Students Alan Wendell

Alan Wendell (center), Senior Associate Dean of Students at La Salle University, was awarded the University’s Lasallian Distinguished Educator Award. On the left is Margaret McGuiness, professor of religion and Executive Director of Mission Integration at La Salle University, and on the right is James Gallagher, Interim President of La Salle University.

Alan Wendell (center), Senior Associate Dean of Students at La Salle University, was awarded the University’s Lasallian Distinguished Educator Award. On the left is Margaret McGuiness, Ph.D., professor of religion and Vice President of Mission Integration at La Salle University, and on the right is James Gallagher, Ph.D., Interim President of La Salle University.

For his commitment to the well-being and success of students, Alan Wendell, Senior Associate Dean of Students at La Salle University, was awarded the University’s Lasallian Distinguished Educator Award. It honors outstanding members of the La Salle community who exhibit in their daily lives a commitment to Lasallian priorities and traditions.

Wendell has been at La Salle for 26 years, and he said the best part of his job is “being with a student who is struggling, and then having the opportunity to watch them move through a situation and succeed.”

When notified he received the award, Wendell said his first reaction was “pride in thinking that people somehow link the work I do with the work of previous award recipients.”

He said he became interested in student life while pursuing a graduate degree in counseling psychology at the University of Kansas. “I enjoyed helping students work through issues, but learned there were many more ways to do that than through daytime appointments in my office. Often the help was more valuable and appreciated where they lived,” he said. “So I began my career in residence life at the University of Kansas. From there I moved into the resident life position at La Salle.”

He began as Assistant Director of Resident Life for Judicial Affairs, then successively became Assistant Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students and then Senior Associate Dean of Students. During his first six years at La Salle, he and his wife, Deidre, daughter, Callan (“Callie”), and son, Jacob, lived on the La Salle campus, first in a University apartment and then in a townhouse. They now reside in Fort Washington, Pa.

A letter nominating Wendell for the award stated, “Alan promotes education in all endeavors, believes in the value of learning from mistakes, and promotes excellence. He works hard and thoughtfully and expects others to as well. Alan is often taking on additional projects to promote the well-being of students. Examples of these additional projects over the years include: co-chairing the Dining Service Committee, serving on the Service-Trip/Students Traveling work group, co-advising the Jazz/Pep Band, and advising the Community Development Advisory Board.”

The letter continued, “While Alan does not teach in a traditional classroom, he certainly educates beyond the classroom! He strives to incorporate learning opportunities into the residential communities via the Honors Community, Signum Fidei Community, and Business Scholars Community. Alan also infuses learning into the conduct process. He ensures students are familiar with and have access to the community standards and trains his staff to take an educational approach to conduct hearings.”

Wendell oversees community development at the University, which includes: Building and sustaining the residential communities; supporting our commuter and off campus students, providing support and oversight to student crisis situations; communicating high expectations for student conduct and challenging student misbehavior, support and oversee activity of student organizations, provide opportunities for student leadership development, develop and manage new programs for incoming students.

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. The University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 30 schools in the North Region and among the top 10 Catholic schools in the region.