La Salle University students and faculty will now have access to the world-leading provider of business software, along with a global network of resources and curriculum, thanks to La Salle’s new partnership with the SAP University Alliance Program.
According to Brian Goldstein, Ph.D., La Salle’s Provost, the technology will be integrated in both graduate and undergraduate curricula and will be included in a variety of subject areas. “Through the Alliance Program, La Salle students from across the University will put classroom theory into practice through demonstrations, case studies, and academic projects,” he said. “It also will benefit La Salle to utilize and partner with other institutions and companies in the SAP ecosystem.”
In addition to the traditional methods of engaging the partnership through technology in the classroom, La Salle looks forward to engaging SAP’s mastery of design thinking methodology to support La Salle’s thriving Center for Entrepreneurship, and help students prototype and brainstorm in new, innovative ways. Also, the program hopes to engage non-traditional enterprise technology disciplines, like nursing or health sciences, in opportunities to learn how big data and analytics are effecting the industries in which they will work.
At a recent SAP University Alliance Program signing ceremony, which included 35 SAP employees who are La Salle alumni, La Salle President Colleen Hanycz, Ph.D., thanked them for their support of this partnership. More than $10,000 was raised to fund the Program by SAP employees Peter Tiano, ’85 and Hannah Datz, ’10, who are both La Salle alumni.
“La Salle recognizes the need for students who are literate in business technology across the globe,” said Hanycz. “The SAP University Alliance Program is one additional way we prepare our students for a successful career path.”
The SAP University Alliances is a global program with more than 2,650 educational member institutions in 90 countries worldwide, aiming to develop the critical skills for the digital enterprise among academics, university students, and young thinkers. The program exposes students and faculty to the latest SAP technologies and enables universities to integrate SAP software into their teaching by partnering to build technology skills.
SAP is the world-leading provider of business software, with offerings that include enterprise resource planning (ERP), business intelligence (BI), and related applications. SAP offers services that enable companies of all sizes, and is currently in more than 25 industries helping businesses to become best-run businesses.
Robert M. Vogel, Ed.D., professor of education at La Salle University, has published a book titled, Writers Matter: Empowering Voices of Israeli and Palestinian Teens—Cultural Narrative Building through Writing. Vogel is the founding director of the Writers Matter program at La Salle, and his new book captures the voices of children who participate in the program in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Vogel launched Writers Matter in 2005 and, over time, expanded it to include elementary and after-school programs within the School District of Philadelphia. Since its inception, over 12,000 students have participated in the program. In 2011, Vogel furthered the program’s reach when Writers Matter became available to students in Israel and the Palestine territories, where the program is comprised of nine schools with students in grades six through eight. The program is incorporated into students’ school days and is taught by their teachers.
Writers Matter’s approach encourages and motivates students to write freely about their family life, communities, friends, fears, hopes, aspirations, and expectations. Not only does Writers Matter provide a nurturing environment for each student, it helps them develop personal expression and find their own unique voices while also improving their writing skills. Students are able to relate their stories and life experiences with peers in their own schools or those who live in other countries, allowing each of them to experience their peers’ lives and cultures, many of which are very different. Students develop more positive attitudes toward each other, more actively listen to different perspectives, learn to practice tolerance, and hopefully correct negative images or stereotypes they have developed by the nature of living in areas of conflict.
In his book, Vogel provides a rare and unique window into the lives of children between the ages of 12–14 and living in one of the most tense and complicated regions of the world, one that frequently experiences periods of violence. “No matter what side of the fence or wall they live, these children often write about anguish, fear, and hopelessness. These challenges are not only rooted in their worlds of religious and political conflict, but also in everyday problems of communication common within friends and family,” stated Vogel.
“The Israeli-Jewish, Israeli/Palestinian-Arab or Palestinian living in the Palestinian Territories all share an uncertain future and face seemingly insurmountable challenges each day of their lives. However, regardless of geographical location, religion, politics, or personal trauma, they all share one thing in common—they have big dreams for the future,” Vogel adds. Writers Matter helps each student feel more positive about their own lives and future.
Vogel also involves many La Salle University students, who serve as mentors in the Philadelphia-area after-school program and during the summers in Israel. By becoming mentors, La Salle students are given the unique opportunity to help Writers Matter participants grow and develop their passions, while also growing themselves. La Salle students have said that the mentorships have helped them see firsthand how the program gives participants comfort and hope for their future.
Writers Matter: Empowering Voices of Israeli and Palestinian Teens—Cultural Narrative Building through Writing is available on Amazon and all proceeds support the Writers Matter program.
La Salle University has received a $1.25 million endowment commitment from the Maguire Foundation, which will provide permanent financial support to La Salle students who are Maguire Scholars. La Salle will match dollar-for-dollar this commitment to create the $2.5 million Maguire Endowed Scholars Program – one of the largest endowed scholarships in La Salle’s history.
Based in Conshohocken, Pa., the Maguire Foundation is a nonprofit that invests in the education of Philadelphia-area youth, and provides financial assistance to students from kindergarten through college. Started by James J. and Frances M. Maguire in 2000, the Foundation partners with 28 colleges and universities on the east coast and currently supports more than 300 Maguire College Scholars at these institutions.
The Maguire Foundation’s relationship with La Salle began four years ago, and has blossomed since. “The generous gift from the Maguire Foundation will help La Salle further the education of even more Maguire Scholars for years to come,” said La Salle President Colleen Hanycz. “Our first Maguire Scholars completed their four-year journey at Commencement in May, and we are excited to welcome more this fall and further the impact of the Maguire Foundation. What makes the endowment so special is that the Maguire Foundation is based on many of the same principles of our Lasallian heritage: the importance of education and service to others.”
The Maguire’s story and appreciation for the value of education and giving back is deeply aligned with the mission of St. John Baptist de La Salle. Born in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Germantown, Mr. Maguire had a difficult time in school as he was growing up. After serving in the Korean War, he enrolled at St. Joseph’s University where he continued to struggle until he met Reverend Hunter Guthrie, who was able to recognize Maguire was dyslexic. Guthrie stuck by Maguire throughout college and helped him with his reading and comprehension skills through graduation. Knowing that hard work, determination, and the kindness of others helped him reach his goals, Maguire values the importance of contributing to the education of students who show promise.
Mr. Maguire started his career in insurance at MetLife, where he focused his attention on working with the Philadelphia deaf community. He later went on to form nationally recognized Philadelphia Insurance Company, and in 2012 published his autobiography, Just Show Up Every Day, which focuses in part on his career and his struggles with dyslexia. His core values of preparation, passion, integrity, discipline, responsibility, and balance are the framework behind the Maguire Foundation. By giving toward the education of today’s youth, the Maguires are able to help students thrive and become future leaders.
“Receiving the Maguire Scholarship meant a great deal to my family and me. For my parents, it helped to lessen the financial burden of paying for my four years at La Salle. In addition to the help with tuition, it was an honor to be recognized for my academic achievements in high school, as well as my community involvement,” said Kaitlyn Corson, one of La Salle’s first Maguire Scholars. “My four years as a Maguire Scholar were spent being an active member of the La Salle community. Through organizations on campus as well as international service experience, I was able to demonstrate [not only] the ideals of the Maguire Foundation, but also the Lasallian tradition.”
Brother Joseph Burke, F.S.C., Ph.D., ’68, President of La Salle University from 1992–98, and chair of the Psychology Department, passed away on July 3, 2016.
Br. Joe was a Philadelphia native, growing up in Kensington. He attended La Salle College High School and joined the Christian Brothers at the age of 18. Br. Joe then attended La Salle College where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English, and later earned a M.Ed. in educational administration from the University of Miami, and a Ph.D. in psychology from United States International University.
Br. Joe returned to La Salle in 1973 to teach psychology and won the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching just three years later. He was Chair of the Psychology Department from 1978 to 1986, then left for a fellowship at the University of Hartford. He returned to La Salle again in 1990 as Provost and then was selected as La Salle’s 27th President in 1992. He was La Salle’s second alumnus President, and at 47 years old, also one of the youngest.
Br. Joe was a dynamic leader during a transformative time at La Salle. By the end of his presidency, enrollment had increased by 400 students and La Salle’s endowment grew by 70 percent. During his tenure, the University opened the $4 million Communication Center on South Campus, resulting in explosive growth in the communication program. The Bucks County Center opened in 1997, expanding La Salle’s graduate programs to the Philadelphia suburbs. The University’s first doctoral program, in clinical psychology, was established in 1998. The School of Business earned the prestigious AACSB accreditation for the first time, and La Salle athletics joined the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Br. Joe also had a strong commitment to diversifying La Salle’s student body and faculty. During his last year as President, 58 percent of La Salle’s students were female and 20 percent were minorities. An unassuming private man, Br. Joe had an unwavering passion for education and students, and developed a strong foundation for La Salle’s future successes that continue today.
In 1998, Br. Joe decided to step down as President to return to his greatest love, teaching. He remained in the classroom, and served as chair of the psychology department until his death. In 2013, Br. Joe was presented with the Br. John Dondero Award in recognition of his accomplishments in the psychology field. In 2015, he served as Interim President at Manor College.
Br. Joe is survived by a sister Elizabeth, brother Michael, nephews Joseph and Michael, and niece Nina.
The viewing for Br. Joe will take place on Thursday, July 7 from 4 to 7 p.m. followed by a funeral mass, both at the De La Salle Chapel on La Salle’s campus. Burial will be at the Brother’s cemetery in Beltsville, MD on Friday, July 8 at 11a.m. All are welcome to attend.
La Salle University alumnus John Langan, ’63, and his wife, Dr. Judith Nadell, have created a $1 million endowment to support at-risk first generation La Salle students who work hard and are motivated to earn a college degree, but who are in need of additional support services and financial assistance. This is the first and only endowed gift from an alumnus at this leadership level, designed to benefit these students.
“We are honored and beyond grateful to receive this generous gift from John and Judith,” said La Salle President Colleen M. Hanycz, Ph.D. “The John Langan, ’63 and Dr. Judith Nadell Endowment for Student Success will allow us to provide even more underserved students with a transformative education, which is a direct reflection of our values instilled by the Christian Brothers and the legacy of Saint John Baptist de La Salle.”
Langan’s lower-middle-class childhood in Reading, Pa., some devoted La Salle professors, and a struggling student he instructed during the first year of his teaching career were all factors in his decision to create the endowment.
As a high school student, Langan was challenged by reading a simple message on a bus that passed by his home. “I remember the exact words: ‘Open your mind—read a book,’” Langan said. “To prove to myself that sign was not true, I walked into town and bought a book called The Swiss Family Robinson. After reading it, I had to admit I enjoyed it and decided that I’d be missing something if I didn’t keep reading. As a result, I became a much better student and wound up being awarded a full scholarship to La Salle.”
At La Salle, Langan was greatly influenced by five English professors—Charles V. Kelly, Daniel J. Rodden, Charles F. Koch, John Keenan, and Brother Daniel Burke, F.S.C.—who taught him the values of compassion, hard work, teaching for and relating to students, and working on behalf of the common good.
While teaching night classes after graduating from La Salle in 1963, Langan met a young, passionate first generation student with specific career goals and aspirations. “I was stunned by his intense desire to learn and the level of attention he gave me in class. At the same time I realized, in a defining moment in my life, that I wanted to help teach students like him the skills they needed to advance in their lives,” Langan said.
Armed with the principles and down-to-earth teaching styles his La Salle mentors instilled in him, Langan went on to author and publish a series of reading and writing skills textbooks for McGraw-Hill, and later founded Townsend Press, a New Jersey-based independent publisher of educational materials for students from grade school through college.
The John Langan, ’63 and Dr. Judith Nadell Endowment for Student Success enables La Salle to provide skills instruction and personal support through its successful Academic Discovery Program, which receives partial funding as a Pennsylvania Act 101 program, to additional underserved students.
The Academic Discovery Program aims to assist students by helping them establish well-defined career goals and providing them the tools they need to achieve success and confidence in school and in life. The program includes a rigorous six-week summer term prior to entering their freshman year.
“Students participate in classes, counseling, advising, tutoring, and co-curricular activities that help prepare them for college, and build a community among themselves and a solid foundation for success both at La Salle and after graduation,” said Assistant Provost Teri Ceraso. These students stay with the program their entire time at La Salle and have access to counselors, advisers, and tutors who focus equally on the development of cognitive and non-cognitive skills. The program also provides emergency assistance, such as help with books, meals, and housing.
Now, thanks to The John Langan, ’63 and Dr. Judith Nadell Endowment for Student Success, even more high-risk students will be provided with the resources to help them thrive at La Salle and achieve success beyond college in their professional and personal lives as shaped by the values of a Christian Brothers, Lasallian education.
Molly Mahon, a senior nursing major at La Salle, has been selected to deliver the Undergraduate Commencement address on May 22—and it’s all thanks in part to a book by social activist, anthropologist, and physician Paul Farmer.
“I found out a few years ago that La Salle was one of the few schools to have a student give the Commencement speech,” she said. “I always thought that was such an incredible opportunity, but wasn’t sure if I was up for the challenge.”
But then she read To Repair the World, a collection of commencement speeches written by Farmer, whose global humanitarian work she’s always admired. “I became really interested in the power of stories and how he used his experiences to grab the attention of others,” Mahon said. “Instead of a challenge, I viewed the Commencement speech as a unique opportunity to share my experience at La Salle and how it has changed the way I view the world.”
Mahon’s own La Salle story is rooted in the community. She’s the third person in her family to graduate from La Salle, following her brothers Tom Mahon, ’10, and Kevin Mahon, ’14. During her time here, Mahon has remained dedicated to service and outreach. Mahon has gone on service trips to Kenya, West Virginia, and Haiti. She also spent a summer studying abroad in El Salvador, where a program coordinator’s words stuck with her: “You will never pass this way again.”
She is also a La Salle Student Ambassador, serving as a liaison between the student body, administration, alumni, and University community; active in Pheed Philadelphia, which brings La Salle students together to fight hunger in the city; and was named a Newman Civic Fellow in 2015.
In her Commencement speech, Mahon will use stories of her La Salle experiences to reflect on the opportunities and obligations she and her classmates share as new Explorers. Ultimately, she wants to inspire the community that gave so much to her. “Whether it was from faculty, staff, community partners, or my peers, I have leaned on so many people throughout my college experience,” she said. “There’s a daily example of giving and taking from the community and it creates such a rare and inspiring space. That’s definitely what I’ll miss the most—being surrounded by people who challenge you to question whatever you don’t understand, actively trying to lift you to new heights.”
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