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Focus on Faculty

Focus on Faculty
Students and faculty members gather at the equator during intersession 2017 with their Healthcare in Africa and Christianity in Africa courses.

Faculty Members Further Work in Uganda Thanks to Strategic Initiative Funding

With the launch of the Strategic Initiative Funding process in 2016-17, many University students, faculty and staff were granted financial support to fund innovative projects to advance the goals of the University’s Engaged, Integrated, Global Strategic Plan. 

Several professors received support to strengthen the 11-year relationship between the University and Uganda, where Scranton students have been studying since 2006, thanks to a faculty-led, study abroad course. Now, theology/religious studies professors Charles Pinches, Ph.D., and Cyrus Olsen, Ph.D., have teamed up with the chair of nursing, Catherine Lovecchio, Ph.D., MSN, to offer on-campus conferences featuring Ugandan personnel and expanded travel courses and internship programs in the East African country. They hope the outcome will be “an integrated global learning environment connecting increased numbers of Scranton students, alumni and faculty with institutions and communities in Uganda.”

Through a connection with the nursing school at Bwindi Community Hospital in southwest Uganda, nursing students and faculty have advised and interacted with an institution that has radically changed the health of hundreds of thousands of people.

Professor Scahill Discusses 2017 Henry George Lecture

The annual Henry George Lecture Series took place on Nov. 17, featuring David Autor, Ph.D., an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Edward Scahill, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, is the chair of the Henry George Committee in the Department of Economics and Finance, and he spoke with the Journal about this year’s lecture:

Why is it called the Henry George Lecture?

The Robert Schalkenbach Foundation in New York was established in 1925 to propagate the ideas of Henry George, a 19th-century economist and social reformer. His bestselling book “Progress and Poverty” fits under the broad ideal of Jesuit education. With the assistance of John Kelly, a local realtor and a member of the Schalkenbach Board of Directors, the School of Management received a grant that funded the lecture series.

Nine lecturers have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. Do you have a knack for knowing who will win?

There’s some lore that Robert Solow, our second lecturer, found out that he won the Nobel while here at Scranton. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it makes a nice story, so I don’t question it. In addition to the fall lecture, we also have a spring seminar. One of our previous spring speakers was Angus Deaton, a Scottish-American economist whose research examines how happiness and income are correlated across different countries. He received a Nobel Prize in Economics in 2015.

Tell me about this year’s lecturer.

David Autor, Ph.D., is the Ford Professor of Economics and associate department head of MIT’s department of economics. His lecture was on trade with China, which is a political football right now. The lecture discussed “Automation and Employment: What Should (and Shouldn’t) We Worry About.” Although some economists and analysts believe that the increased use of robotic technology in the workplace will have a negative impact on jobs, Dr. Autor is more optimistic. This was an interesting and relevant topic for our students, who will soon be searching for jobs.

Read more here.


Michael Friedman, Ph.D., professor of English and theatre, received the 2017 John L. Earl III Award. The award is given annually to a member of the University community who demonstrates the spirit of generosity and dedication that the late Dr. John Earl, a distinguished professor of history, exemplified during his years at Scranton (1964-1996). 
More on Dr. Friedman here.

Julie Cerrito, Ph.D., received the Edwin L. Herr Fellowship for Excellence in Counseling Leadership and Scholarship Award from Chi Sigma Iota, the international counseling academic and professional honor society. The award is presented to a full-time counselor educator in the early stages of his or her career, whose professional goals include career development or international issues in counseling. Dr. Cerrito is an assistant professor and the director of the  school counseling program in the Department of Counseling and Human Services.
Learn more about Julie Cerrito, Ph.D., here.

Julie A. Nastasi, Sc.D., O.T.D.
assistant professor of occupational therapy, was named an Ambassador of Sight by The Lion’s Club Low Vision Centers of Fairfield and New Haven counties in Connecticut. Dr. Nastasi is the director of the University’s Edward R. Leahy Jr. Center Clinic for the Uninsured and established a program at the clinic that helps those with low vision remain independent.
Read more here.

Yamile Silva, Ph.D., was named president of the International Association of Women’s Studies in Hispanic Literature and Culture, an organization dedicated to advancing the study of women and gender-related topics in Hispanic literature, and promoting the work of Hispanic women writers. Dr. Silva teaches in the departments of Latin American Studies,  Women’s Studies and World Languages and Cultures.

Read more here.

In Pursuit of Business Education for Justice

By Rose Sebastianelli, Ph.D., Professor of Operations and Information Management 

What does it mean to be a Jesuit business school? What role should business faculty play in fostering Jesuit ideals? What are the objectives of a mission-inspired project in teaching? How can the scholarly output of business faculty contribute to the Jesuit mission?

These were some of the questions examined by a small group of faculty in the Kania School of Management (KSOM) at The University of Scranton, who took part in the Business Education for Justice Seminar, which I organized and led with support from the University’s Jesuit Center and the KSOM dean, Michael Mensah, Ph.D., as the “capstone project” for the Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP).

Under the auspices of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), ICP is an 18-month program  “designed to educate and form administrators and faculty more deeply in the Jesuit and Catholic tradition of higher education.” It includes online workshops, reflection papers, seminars and an immersion trip to the United States/Mexico border through the KINO Border Initiative. ICP concludes with a “capstone experience” in which participants plan projects for advancing mission on their own campuses.

Participating in ICP motivated me, a full professor with almost 30 years of service to Scranton, to more fully understand the Ignatian tradition and consider the ways in which it could (and should) impact my work going forward. In addition to providing a Jesuit-inspired education to students, I want to ensure Ignatian values are passed onto future generations. This requires collaboration with colleagues to create a critical mass of KSOM faculty committed to fulfilling the Jesuit mission through the “service of faith and promotion of justice.” I want to exploit the “multiplier” effect so that Ignatian values can be shared as broadly as possible, with colleagues, students, alumni and the business community. I also want to include newly hired faculty with the potential to contribute to the Jesuit mission for many years to come. These goals inform the design of the Business Education for Justice Seminar.

Read the full version of this article in the October 2017 issue of Connections, the online magazine published by the American Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) here.

Read about faculty members who earned rank and tenure in 2017, here.

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