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June 8, 2017

Krebs, Paula

Earlier this week, the Modern Language Association of America announced that La Salle University alumna Paula M. Krebs, Ph.D., will become its fourteenth executive director, effective August 1, 2017. Krebs, who graduated from La Salle with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in Women’s Studies in 1980, currently serves as dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, MA.  While at La Salle, Krebs was a student in the Honors Program, graduated with General Honors, and served as sports editor of The Collegian, the university’s student newspaper. She earned her Ph.D. in English from Indiana University, Bloomington, and she is a specialist in Victorian literature and culture.

“La Salle, and especially the teaching of amazing humanities faculty, including Caryn McTighe Musil, Judith Lowder Newton, Richard Lautz, and Minna Weinstein, shaped my commitment to Victorian studies and to the humanities,” said Krebs. “The Honors Program, led by the wonderful John Grady, centered the humanities and made clear the value of a liberal arts core for all different kinds of majors. My most intellectually engaging classes at La Salle were English, philosophy, and religion classes in which I formed lifelong friendships with folks who went on to become accountants, doctors, and lawyers—people who understand the value of the critical thinking we get from the humanities.”

“I have known Paula Krebs for years originally through the annual workshops for English Department chairs sponsored by the Association of Departments of English, a division of the Modern Language Association,” said Kevin Harty, professor and chair of the Department of English at La Salle University. “Paula has always been forward thinking, with a keen understanding of what disciplines such as English can and should do as American higher education shifts to meet increasingly conflicting demands placed upon it. Rightly, she recognizes that the study of English requires engaging with multiple audiences both on and off campus, much in the tradition of St. Jean Baptiste de La Salle, who encouraged us to meet our students on their own terms.”

“Paula Krebs is a scholar of demonstrated passion and commitment, dedicated to articulating the value of the humanities, supporting academic standards, and strengthening the professional standing of all those who teach and work in humanities-related fields,” said Diana Taylor, president of the Modern Language Association.

The Modern Language Association of America (MLA) works to promote the study and teaching of languages and literatures through programs, publications, an annual convention, and advocacy work. The MLA provides opportunities for its 24,000 members in more than 100 countries to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues, discuss trends in the academy, and advocate for humanities education and workplace equity.

Before arriving at Bridgewater State, Krebs was special assistant to the president regarding external relations at Wheaton College, an American Council on Education Fellow in the president’s office of the University of Massachusetts, and a professor and department chair at Wheaton. She has also been a regular contributor to higher education publications and writes a column for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s blog Vitae.

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June 6, 2017

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La Salle University alum Joe DeFelice, former Philadelphia GOP Chairman, has been named as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator for Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The region covers Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.

“My passion for community development started in my own neighborhood, working alongside developers, local leaders and nonprofits to bring about positive change. Having worked as a community leader, I certainly have an appreciation for the tough challenges facing communities across the region,” DeFelice said in a statement. “I look forward to advancing HUD’s mission across the Mid-Atlantic region by helping underserved neighborhoods become thriving communities, expanding homeownership opportunities for credit-worthy citizens, and helping eradicate homelessness–especially for our veterans.”

DeFelice graduated from La Salle with a B.A. in Political Science in 2000. As a student, he was a founding member of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, later serving as vice president and pledge educator. He was a member of the Intrafraternity-Sorority Council and a three-year starter on the University’s football team, which he served as Captain for two years. Also as a student, he founded and co-hosted Philly Sports Page on La Salle TV 56 and founded the College Republicans. Since 2007, he has served as an Adjunct Professor of Political Science teaching Introduction to American Government at his alma mater.

DeFelice has been involved with several community organizations, including serving as chairman of the Mayfair Community Development Corporation, president of the Mayfair Civic Association, and board member of the Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

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June 1, 2017

Kelly-Geffrey---Courtesy-La-Salle-University

On the faculty for more than 40 years, La Salle University retired professor of religion, Geffrey Kelly, Ph.D., died of pancreatic cancer Tuesday, May 30 while under hospice care. He was 84 years old.

Religious studies were more than the subject he taught, they were Kelly’s passion, having earned five academic degrees on the subject, and international acclaim as an author and researcher. Two of those degrees were earned at La Salle.

“Religious studies are more than pious devotions. Knowledge of religion is essential in order to understand the root courses of so many conflicts in our troubled world today and the demands religious faith makes on our moral behavior,” said Kelly in a 2007 La Salle publication.

First and foremost, Kelly was a teacher, receiving three prominent La Salle awards through the years –the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Dr. Roland Holroyd Award for Distinguished Teaching and Service, and the University’s Faculty Distinguished Scholar Award.

“He always looked for another perspective and encouraged us, his students, to do the same, hoping we’d come away with an appreciation for a different culture. I adored the man. He spoke seven languages, taught at Princeton, could tell you most anything in Irish history, and somehow he was still humble and interested in what YOU had to say,” said Michael Donovan, ’05. “He was also fun. He liked to dance, and was just plain great company. I will miss the conversations most of all. A warmer, more compassionate gentleman, the world has never known.”

Kelly was a leading scholar regarding the life and theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, considered the most famous martyr of the German Resistance to Adolf Hitler and Nazism. He authored numerous books and articles on Bonhoeffer, in addition to serving two terms as President of the International Bonhoeffer Society (English Language section).

Beloved by his students, many remaining in touch long after graduation, Kelly also directed La Salle’s Ireland travel-study course and was an adviser to the Sigma Phi Lambda Fraternity, both for many years.

“Over all of his years with us, in additional roles as religion department chairperson and emeritus professor, Geff inspired generations of Explorers with his unlimited enthusiasm and affection – for the study of theology, the search for God, his students, colleagues, family, the fraternity, the Christian Brothers, and La Salle University,” said friend and colleague Brother Michael McGinniss, F.S.C., Ph.D., president emeritus, professor, and director, University Honors Program at La Salle.

Kelly received his bachelor’s degree from La Salle University in 1954. He went on to complete three master’s degrees, from La Salle, Villanova, and Lumen Vitae in Belgium. In 1972, Kelly received a Doctor of Sacred Theology from Louvain in Rome.

A longtime resident of Glenside, Pa., Kelly is survived by his wife, Joan, daughter, Susan, and sons Brendan and Michael, also La Salle alums.

Viewings will be Sunday, June 4, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Monday, June 5, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Church of St. Luke the Evangelist, 2316 Fairhill Ave. (at Easton Rd.) in Glenside. Funeral Mass follows at 11:00 a.m.

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May 24, 2017

David Falcone Lindback

In recognition of his dedication to excellence in teaching, David Falcone, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at La Salle University, was named the recipient of the 2017 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University’s recent Commencement ceremony.

The award, created through a grant from the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, has been awarded annually to a full-time faculty member since 1961. Faculty members and graduate and undergraduate students nominate professors, and then the recipient is selected by a committee that includes representatives from the faculty, student body, and administration.

In presenting the award, La Salle Provost Brian Goldstein, Ph.D. read select descriptions of Falcone written by those who nominated him: “Not only is he great in the classroom, he spends hours each day with an open door so that students can get individual attention”; “He is a great colleague to junior faculty”; “He supports student scholarship with care and enthusiasm”; “His creativity in teaching never ceases to amaze me.” Students have expressed similar views: “He has mastered the ability to both captivate and motivate his students through class discussion, materials, and assignments”; “Best teacher ever! Makes learning fun and helps you understand hard concepts easily.”

“I have been a teacher for almost 40 years, and what receiving the Lindback Award highlights for me is how such a moment holds a little part of all of us.  We really are in this together,” said Falcone. “I guess the real honor for me is to have had the opportunity to be a part of all of this for so long, and I have my students and so many others to thank for that.”

Falcone, who has taught at La Salle since 1980, teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in general psychology, developmental psychology, personality theories, statistics, cognitive development, and methodology, among others. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton, his master’s degree from Western Illinois University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky.

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May 18, 2017

MegAnne Liebsch

Out of more than 750 applicants, La Salle University student MegAnne Liebsch, ’18, has been selected for the highly competitive Dow Jones News Fund Internship. This summer, the program sends 85 undergraduate and graduate students to work as data and digital journalists, business reporters, and multiplatform editors in paid internships at 55 of the nation’s leading news organizations. Liebsch begins her role as an Interactive News Editor for Central Connecticut Communications—a media company publishing newspapers in Bristol, New Britain, and Newington, Connecticut—in June.  She is the second La Salle University student to participate in this prestigious internship.

“MegAnne is one of the most dogged student reporters whom I’ve had the pleasure to teach in my 11 years at La Salle,” said Huntly Collins, assistant professor of communication. “She digs until she finds the answer.” She continued, “Over the three years that I have had her in class, I’ve watched her writing get better and better. Today, I would be hard pressed to name another student who writes with such accuracy, precision, and grace.”

“MegAnne excelled in both editing and Web classes, exhibiting a rare combination of technical, design, and editing skills,” said John Beatty, associate professor of English. “That combination was no doubt key in getting her the internship in Interactive News Editing, which applies traditional writing and editing skills to the online environment.”

Liebsch’s journey as a Dow Jones News Fund intern begins on May 24, where she will attend a one-week multimedia news editing seminar at Penn State University led by Edward Trayes, Ph.D., of Temple University’s Center for Editing Excellence. She will then begin her post in Connecticut. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the editing internship program, which was launched by Paul Swensson, executive director of the Fund from 1961 to 1968. Swensson believed bright college students could work well as copy editors, despite never having been daily professional reporters. In addition to the weekly stipend earned during the internship, all Dow Jones News Fund interns returning to college receive $1,000 scholarships.

MegAnne Liebsch is a rising senior at La Salle University, majoring in communication and minoring in English and history. She currently serves as the managing editor of The Collegian, the University’s student newspaper, is a student in the Honors Program, and is a coordinator with the Camden Aware Immersion Volunteer Program.

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May 9, 2017

hannah

Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 273 students who will make up the organization’s 2017 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows, including La Salle University’s own Hannah Brough. This is the fifth time that a La Salle University student has received this prestigious honor.

The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides fellows with access to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

“I did not come to realize my passion for social justice until my first collegiate volunteer and immersion experience in Kenya. I was struck by the serious gender and economic inequality that controls so many communities around the world,” wrote Brough in her personal statement. “After returning home, I struggled with a sense of hopelessness and insignificance in the fight against the cyclical nature of generational poverty. Later, while working with women in Honduras, I gained a better understanding of both the emotional effects of poverty and the importance of social-justice-minded solutions.”

Brough is a speech-language pathology major with an impressive history of leadership in issues of service and social justice. In her letter of nomination, La Salle University President Colleen Hanycz, Ph.D., wrote: “As a freshman, Hannah began working with Pheed Philadelphia, a service and social justice organization of La Salle University which focuses on addressing hunger and homelessness in our city. Later coordinating that program, Hannah worked to attract new volunteers and create awareness opportunities about issues of hunger and food insecurity. Hannah actively encourages members of the La Salle community to become aware and involved in issues of social and economic justice, both locally and globally.”

As a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow, Brough will be part of the first group to benefit from a completely re-designed fellowship. “The cultivation of community-committed leaders has never been more crucial,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “We rebuilt the Newman Civic Fellowship experience because our country needs more people who know how to bring communities together for positive change. We are thrilled to welcome this group of 273 exemplary students as the first cohort to participate in this new model.”

The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.

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May 2, 2017

jehanzebred

La Salle University graduate student Jehanzeb Dar was recently selected for the National Board for Certified Counselors’ Minority Fellowship Program-Youth (NBCC MFP-Y). The Fellowship grants Dar $8,000 to support his education and facilitate further service to underserved minority populations, with a specific focus on transition-age youth (ages 16–25). The goal of the Minority Fellowship Program is to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse populations by increasing the number of available culturally competent behavioral health professionals.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to receive the NBCC Minority Fellowship and to be among the other recipients. This achievement would not have been possible without my training and education in the Professional Clinical Counseling program at La Salle University,” said Dar. “My aspirations to work with underserved racial and ethnic minority youth reflects the long Lasallian tradition of serving marginalized communities and promoting social justice. I am grateful to all of my professors, especially Dr. Dalesa Martinez, who taught me the importance of utilizing context-sensitive therapy and integrating social justice concepts like intersectionality into counseling practice.”

With this fellowship, Dar hopes to not only provide competent and ethical mental health services to youth of color, but also help address and challenge health disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations.

Dar is a graduate of Penn State Abington, and is currently pursuing a master’s in the professional clinical counseling program at La Salle. After graduation, Dar aspires to work with underserved and marginalized communities, especially transition-age youth who identify as South Asian, Middle Eastern, or Muslim. Dar is also committed to implementing intersectional and social justice counseling practices to better serve populations of diverse racial, ethnic, gender, class, religious and sexual orientation backgrounds. This fellowship will not only allow Dar to continue his education and attend counseling conferences but also will enhance his counseling skills and advocacy to provide competent, compassionate and ethical mental health services to people of color, Muslims and other marginalized communities.

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April 24, 2017

La Salle-TruMark

Beginning in the fall semester of 2017, TruMark Financial® Credit Union will provide affordable financial products and services at a new student-operated credit union branch on La Salle University’s campus. With a full service branch on site, students will have the benefit of learning how to manage their money more responsibly and have the opportunity to attend free financial literacy workshops. The branch is designed with a teller pod that gives the credit union a more welcoming atmosphere, removes the barriers of traditional high banking counters, and allows for a more personal service experience.

“This new relationship aims to draw on the distinct strengths of each organization in working with youth: TruMark Financial’s commitment to providing financial education for young adults and La Salle’s mission and tradition of combining progressive ideas with practical needs of students,” said Richard F. Stipa, chief executive officer, TruMark Financial.

TruMark Financial is also providing a significant gift to La Salle for naming rights to the University’s major athletic facility. The Tom Gola Arena at Hayman Hall will now be known as the Tom Gola Arena at the TruMark Financial Center. The credit union also will provide scholarship and financial literacy support at the university.  As April is National Financial Literacy month, both organizations are pleased to announce a comprehensive financial literacy program will be offered to engage and educate La Salle students in money management related subjects.

The credit union will have a presence on campus, engage in professional mentoring to students, and participate in the university’s experiential education program. By working together, both organizations hope to provide the students with the financial tools needed to make informed financial decisions so they can manage their money responsibly.

As part of its ongoing financial literacy program, Building Financial Futures, credit union employees will work with school administrators and conduct personal finance presentations on topics such as saving, borrowing, investing, and budgeting on campus.

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April 20, 2017

Senior Jack DiMatteo Gives Undergraduate Address

Alum Mike Sielski, ’97, Awarded Honorary Degree

Alumna Hannah Datz, ’10, Delivers Graduate Address

DiMatteo, Jack
Jack DiMatteo

La Salle University announces the lineup of speakers for Commencement 2017. Graduating senior Jack DiMatteo has been selected to deliver the Undergraduate Commencement address on Sunday, May 21. Alum Mike Sielski, a sports columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer since September 2013, has been selected as the honorary degree recipient. Alumna Hannah Datz, VP Retail North America at SAP Hybris, will give the address at La Salle’s Graduate Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 19.

Jack DiMatteo is a student in La Salle’s Honors Program double majoring in political science and economics. Over the last four years, he has worked as the head student manager for the men’s basketball team, has Letters to the Editor published in The New York Times and Chicago Tribune, and helped raise more than $19,000 through the African Mission Healthcare Foundation for Dr. Tom Catena, an American physician working in the Sudan at the Gidel Mother of Mercy Hospital. Following graduation, DiMatteo continues his education at the University of Virginia to earn a Masters of Public Policy.

“Since I arrived at La Salle as a freshman, I’ve always admired the unique tradition of having a student deliver the commencement address, and now as a senior, I feel deeply humbled to be a part of that history,” said DiMatteo. “The framework for my speech comes from the Latin translation for Brothers of the Christian Schools, Fratres Scholarum Christianarum, or F.S.C. While that acronym does not technically mean Faith, Service, Community, it has come to stand for those things. I will use that to discuss what those values mean in the context of our graduating class, and how it ties to our motto of Explorers are Never Lost. I believe that as La Salle University graduates, because of our commitment to Faith, Service, and Community, we are never lost.”

Mike Sielski graduated from La Salle in 1997 with degrees in English and communication. A student in La Salle’s Honors 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.

“My four years at La Salle were wonderful, among the best of my life, and this is an incredible honor, truly overwhelming and humbling,” said Sielski. “I have to assume that the committee members who selected this year’s speaker had run out of ideas, happened to have a copy of that day’s Inquirer sports section spread out on a table in front of them, and said, ‘Hey, this guy who wrote this thing about the Eagles today went to La Salle. Let’s pick him.’”

Hannah Datz graduated from La Salle University’s Business Scholars Co-op Program in 2010 and served as Commencement speaker for her class. In her address, she explored the meaning of what it means to be Lasallian and what distinguishes La Salle alums from other college graduates. During her time as an undergraduate, she was a student leader and tour guide.  Datz currently serves as a member of the La Salle University Board of Trustees.

“In my speech to the 2017 graduates, I’ll explore what it means to be Lasallian in a professional sense, and how the virtues and values of a Christian Brothers education have impacted my personal and professional life,” said Datz. “When I spoke to my peers seven years ago at my Undergraduate Commencement, I was projecting the life that this strong foundation would help me obtain. In reality, the effects of a Lasallian education helped me more than I could have imagined, both professionally, in a fast-paced global career track with SAP, and personally.”

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