Dave Reynolds | The #NEPACreative Series | Coal Creative

Full story here.

Throughout 2017, we are working with our interns to highlight 52 Creatives from the NEPA region. We believe creativity is a broad term that cannot be easily confined within the walls of one simple definition. We want to know what being creative means to you and how you bring that creativity to light.​

Dave Reynolds is our 23rd #NEPACreative of 2017. Dave brings creativity to the area through theater.

Dave found love in theater as a junior in high school when he assumed the role of Moonface Martin in Anything Goes. As Dave was surrounded by talented people who gave their time and talents generously, he watched the play come to life in which he considered it amazing. He then knew that theatre would always be a part of his life.

Today, Dave teaches theater at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre and is a founding member of the Gaslight Theatre Company. He is also very involved with the KISS Children’s Theatre.

When Dave does have free time, Dave is a family man as he coaches his son’s little league team and tries to visit Knoebels over the summer!

Connect with Dave:


If you or someone you know is an NEPA Creative, please let us know by filling out the submission form or send us an email at holly@coalcreative.com.


Aubrey Kirwan | The #NEPACreative Series | Coal Creative

Full story here.

Throughout 2017, we are working with our interns to highlight 52 Creatives from the NEPA region. We believe creativity is a broad term that cannot be easily confined within the walls of one simple definition. We want to know what being creative means to you and how you bring that creativity to light.​

Aubrey Kirwan is our 22nd #NEPACreative of 2017. Aubrey brings creativity to the area through acting.

At a young age, Aubrey has found a huge passion for acting. Her sister who is actively involved in theater encouraged her to step on stage and try it out for herself! Aubrey explained she likes acting because she has the opportunity to entertain people, but while doing that, she is having fun up on stage. When the curtains are closed, Aubrey is either kicking a soccer ball around, reading, or playing with her friends. She still is interested in performing in the future, but is interested in becoming a veterinarian.

You can see Aubrey at some of the shows at the KISS Theatre.

If you or someone you know is an NEPA Creative, please let us know by filling out the submission form or send us an email at holly@coalcreative.com.


Jamie Smith | The #NEPACreative Series | Coal Creative

Full story here.

Throughout 2017, we are working with our interns to highlight 52 Creatives from the NEPA region. We believe creativity is a broad term that cannot be easily confined within the walls of one simple definition. We want to know what being creative means to you and how you bring that creativity to light.​

Jamie Smith is our 21st #NEPACreative of 2017. Jamie brings creativity to the area through The Social Fabric Collective – a non-profit organization that provides professional photography equipment, education and inspiration to high school students who are as diverse as they are dynamic.

Jamie began his interest in photography in the late 1990’s and wanted to establish a type of program that he wished existed when he was in high school. With his background in teaching, The Social Fabric Collective was formed. This allows students to be exposed to art, photography, field trips, guest speakers, and student exhibitions.

To learn more about Social Fabric Collective, click here.

Connect with Jamie:

If you or someone you know is an NEPA Creative, please let us know by filling out the submission form or send us an email at holly@coalcreative.com.

The Start of Something New!

Hello Everyone,

I have decided to start a blog of my own! This is in the hopes of me learning a few things while at the same time, you could learn a few things as well.

My main focus is going to be on marketing and social media. No matter where you work, there is always going to be a little marketing involved!

I am still unsure how much I am going to be posting, but feel free to follow me as I pick up a few things in the field!

Blog 001


Misericordia University Students Host Sensory Winter Wonderland – Press Release – Autism Speaks U Misericordia University

Full release here.

News Release


November 16, 2016

Mike Gombita, Marketing Chair








DALLAS, PA (November 16, 2016) – Misericordia University students will host an Autism Speaks U Sensory Winter Wonderland to raise awareness for autism speaks, North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization. The event will take place on December 4th from 11am-2pm in Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall at Misericordia University.


Children with autism and their families are invited to participate in many sensory-oriented events, a parachute activity, a photo-booth, and enjoy light refreshments. Holiday photo opportunities will also be available for families as well. All events are specifically designed for children who have sensory challenges. Student volunteers will strive to make this an opportunity that does not overwhelm any sensory sensitive participants. Families can pre-register at http://www.misericordia.edu/autism under the Autism Speaks U tab. Admission for the families is free.


Families will be able to walk around and participate at designated activity tables moderated by volunteers. Crafts such as snow globes, snowflakes, and ornaments can be made and be taken home.


Shirts will also be available to purchase at the event as well as a donation table. All proceeds go to Autism Speaks, North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization. For details, contact Mike Gombita at 570-229-0086 or by email at gombitam@misericordia.edu.


Launched in 2008, Autism Speaks U, an initiative of Autism Speaks, is designed to support college students, alumni and faculty in their awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts. Student-organized events can range from hosting a 5K run, benefit concert, eating contest, panel on autism and more. While many of the students involved with Autism Speaks U have a personal connection to autism, others not directly affected have also joined the program to support the cause. Since its inaugural event at Penn State University in 2006, Autism Speaks U events have raised over $1 million and student-organized Walk Now for Autism Speaks teams have brought in millions more. Autism Speaks U events and chapters exist at colleges and universities across the country, including: Penn State University, University of California, Berkeley, Cornell University, University of Michigan, Ohio State University, University of Connecticut, Duke University, University of Maryland and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. College students, faculty and alumni can get involved with Autism Speaks U by visiting AutismSpeaks.org/U.







Spreading the Culture of Philanthropy

Full story here.

Many of our families and friends across the United States sat down at their dinner tables and shared how thankful they were for all that they have on Thanksgiving Day. Giving thanks may be a cliché, but at Misericordia University, we should be saying “thank you” all year round.

Without the support of some wonderful donors and through their philanthropic efforts, Misericordia would not be as beautiful and historical as it stands today and has for the last 91 years.

As you walk around campus, finding names on buildings is easier than playing a game of “Where’s Waldo?” The names are those of donors or the individuals commemorated by the naming of those buildings. Take the Geraldine Ruth Daley Anderson Bell Tower for example. The tower rings every hour and on occasion, chimes a tune that you would hear at church on Sunday. The gift of the bell tower was the donation of her husband, Dr. Robert S. Anderson. If it wasn’t for Dr. Anderson’s philanthropic action, there would be no bell tower.

As cheesy as it sounds, philanthropy rings true here and throughout the entire campus. Insalaco Hall, the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library and many other structures would not have been built if it weren’t for the generosity of others.

Now, getting back to the word “philanthropy.” The definition of philanthropy is “voluntary action for the common good.” I witnessed an example of philanthropy over the summer when a best friend, who is the president of our class, was proposing to me our class gift–A Women with Children Endowed Scholarship of $25,000. He asked me if I was interested in helping him market his plan, since I am a communications major and had worked with marketing over the summer. Of course, I said, “yes.”

After several meetings of working with him and his class officers, I was introduced to the Alumni Services coordinator, Lailani Augustine. I started meeting with her every week to discuss a marketing plan. Little did I know that I would be establishing a brand new organization on campus. The organization was named “Students Today, Alumni Forever” or “STAF” for short. This organization would not only supervise the Women with Children Endowed Scholarship, but also other philanthropic efforts at Misericordia. I was then named as president and chief operating officer.

Lailani then suggested, “You need to find more people.” At first I looked at her like she had three heads, but then realized, I did need more help. We added 10 other outstanding students to help in promoting the awareness of philanthropy. Each individual was hand-picked by the vice president of STAF and myself. Working with each and every one of these fine students has made the process of getting the organization off the ground easier. Being able to delegate objectives such as social media posting and event planning is so easy thanks to the efforts of our executive board.

I attended many informational sessions to present the culture of philanthropy to the faculty and staff of Misericordia as one of my duties as president and COO of STAF. Public speaking was always a strong point in my set of skills and in doing these presentations to the faculty and staff, I showed how much the culture of philanthropy meant to me.

I hope to educate the Misericordia community on the culture of philanthropy through our organization. We have already hosted our first event, Fall-anthropy, a successful event in which the Misericordia community was able to say “thank you” simply by signing a banner. They were also educated quickly on the impact of philanthropy and were given information regarding our organization.

It is an honor as president and COO of STAF to reach out to our Misericordia alumni and welcome them back to campus. Even to donate their time to volunteer for events such as Alumni Pie or First Year Move-In.

If you would like to learn more about “Students Today, Alumni Forever,” you can visit our page at http://cougarconnect.misericordia.edu/mustaf or like us on Facebook at facebook.com/misericordiastaf. You can also contact us atmustaf@misericordia.edu.

Summer Renovations Will Pave Way For Science Building – The Highlander

Full story here.

Mike Gombita/Ryan Foster, Reporter

Multiple campus construction projects set for summer break will improve parking, dining and learning, and some will pave the way for a future science building addition.

A building on 199 Lake Street, which was once owned by the Sisters of Mercy, will become home to health sciences departments.

“The building or as I call it, ‘the pyramid building,’ will have offices for the faculty and PT clinical instead of having it on the ground level of Passan Hall,” said Eric Nelson, Vice President of Finance and Administration. “The nursing faculty offices will be moving into that building as well, having a state-of-the art lecture room with the equipment to do the teaching methods for nursing.”

The faculty of the occupational therapy department, whose offices are located on the third floor of Walsh Hall, will relocate to Passan Hall where most occupational therapy classes are held.

“I feel really awesome about that,” said Sarah Novalsky, first year occupational therapy major. “It is nice to have your own little sanctuary.”

This move will open more parking spaces for students and faculty.

Novalsky said students to drive to campus often have to search for parking spots, and that causes some students to be late for class.

“It is going to solve so many problems,” said Novalsky.

Another project, which has been in the works for years, is the installation of a sidewalk from the four-way stop on Lake Street to the entrance arch. State government provided grants, Nelson said, but officials had to cross hurdles before they could start the work.

“One of the reasons why it is taking a long time is because of a creek,” said Nelson. “We needed permits and the Department of Natural Resources and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers needed to get involved because if you touch anything or hurt a frog, you’re in trouble.”

Dallas Township workers will set the pace of the work because Nelson said the sidewalks are a community project, not one that will serve only the university and students who walk among campus buildings.

Crews will also renovate the John and Mary Metz Dining Hall, Nelson said.

“We are scheduled to do the floor, ceiling, walls, and light fixtures,” said Nelson. Crews will install new counters, a gluten-free zone, a new salad bar.  Some projects will extend to next summer.

Darcy Brodmerkel, Director of Student Activities said incoming students will be able to use the cafeteria for orientation, although work will be incomplete.

“It will not be aesthetically pleasing to the incoming students, but what we can say to the incoming students and their families is that it is showing growth and will be so much nicer in the fall,” said Brodmerkel.

Another project on the list involves exterior work on the townhouses.

“We will first work on the exteriors and the maintenance issues and side the buildings with vinyl siding,” said Nelson. “We are also planning on creating more of an outdoor living space and upgrading the lighting, heating and air conditioning units,” Nelson said.

Nelson said kitchens and bathrooms will be upgraded in the future.

A series of small projects this summer will pave the way for a much larger one: construction of an addition to the science building. Crews will relocate utilities in an effort to prevent future problems during building construction.

“The main sewer line that is for the university is directly under where we want to place the addition,” said Nelson. “We also have to relocate the data lines that are underground.”

Since the electrical capacity for the science building takes up a majority of the electricity on campus, more transformers and extra lines need to be installed.

“Built in 1957, the current science building is one of the oldest buildings on campus, and is in serious need of an update,”said President Thomas Botzman. “This was built when we had about 1000 students,”

Botzman said the planned addition will house science labs and research space, and the original part of the structure will house offices and some classroom space.

According to Project Manager Peter Calkins, blueprints show that the addition will connect to the rear of the building via an atrium.

“There will be a large lecture hall located in the new building, and that is something we do not currently have,” said Calkins. “We have also been working on designing an outdoor rain garden to help beautify this area.”

Botzman said the new science building will also help the university to expand program offerings.

“Right now we are capped out on space in the science building. If we were to think about adding an applied physics major, which is not something we currently have, we need more space and labs,” said Botzman.

Construction of the addition is scheduled to begin in 2018, and officials expect it to be completed by 2020. However, the timeline depends upon completion of supporting projects, which include a relocation of the softball field to allow for the creation of a parking lot, further renovations to the dining hall, and the construction of a new nursing clinic and an additional road.

“The softball field will be moved back to the sports complex, and the current field will be turned into a parking lot,” said Botzman. “The team will now have access the field house, as they should.”

“We would not go ahead without constructing a parking lot first,” said Botzman, adding that parking spaces will increase.

“We will end up putting more spaces in that lot than we will take away from behind the science building.”

Nelson said students will be impressed with the campus this fall.

“We are trying to always have a fresh new look on things,” said Nelson.

Nelson said as long as the “stars are aligned,” construction projects scheduled for the summer should be completed by the beginning of the fall semester.

Study Abroad Offers Additional Opportunities – The Highlander

Full story here.

Michael Gombita, Reporter

University officials are offering students the chance to study at six overseas institutions and one national university as a result of a 2014 survey in which students said they were interested in studying in Africa, Australia and other countries around the world.

The study showed that students were most interested in Australia, Italy, Ireland, and England. Officials used this survey as a basis for planning the study abroad program’s visits to the programs overseas.

Marguerite Roy, visiting professor of the history department and overseer of the development of new study abroad agenda, has been working since summer 2014 with Carolyn Yencharis-Corcoran, Assistant Director of the Insalaco Career Center, by discussing and meeting with study abroad associates to create a program for students.

“As a result, we now have affiliation agreements with six overseas institutions and one national,” said Roy. “What this means is that our students have the opportunity to study at one of these universities and have their credits transferred as if they were attending Misericordia.”

Classes in English, fine arts, history, religious studies, service learning, and occupational therapy are some classes that students can choose to take during the study abroad experience.

One main concern that students have is still the financial costs for the program. Students have been hearing about the opportunities that the study abroad program has to offer but cannot afford it. Sydney Pesaresi, first year medical imaging major, is interested in seeing famous landmarks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but she said the price she will have to pay is not worth it.

“It would be interesting to see the places that you travel to,” said Pesaresi. “But I would not be able to go because of my major and the cost of the program.”

The cost to participate in the study abroad program have been kept to a minimum, Roy said. Students should not see a change in his or her costs, whether they attend Misericordia or an overseas institution. In addition,credits that students studying abroad will be transferred as if they were attending Misericordia.

The study abroad program offers students an opportunity to explore, grow, and shape their experiences not only as college students, but also as citizens of the world. The classes and institutions have been specifically selected by university officials to benefit the students in his or her studies if they decide to study abroad, Roy said.

“All programs have been specifically selected and screened to ensure they offer the appropriate support to our students,” said Roy. “The goal is for the student to have the best possible study abroad experience to possible in the country of their choice.”

The university has also joined the Institute of International Education’s initiative to double the number of its students studying abroad over the next four years. The IIE listed the top five reasons for students to study abroad, which include employers’ interest in workers who have cross-cultural skills, cutting-edge technical skills and competency in languages other than English.  IIE reports that many of the world’s influential innovations are originating from the collaboration of cross-cultural teams, often located continents away.

Overall, students who study abroad tend to have higher grades, increased confidence, and study abroad leads to college graduation and higher retention rates.

“Students have shown interest in the program,” said Roy. “At first we had just a few students at our information session, but since the word has gotten out, we at least had 24 students, and a number of faculty and administration participated in our last session.”

Students who are not able to make the information sessions have been coming in to sign up as well. Students have applied for programs both for the summer as well as the semester programs.

Christopher Rehrig, first year occupational therapy major, is interested in seeing an actual pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

“It is interesting to see the different cultures as you would travel,” said Rehrig. “I am Irish so Ireland would be really cool to see.”

Rehrig also said he was curious to see how students in different countries study and whether overseas institutions have different types of teaching techniques or in-class activities.

Faculty led programs are also a part of the study abroad program.

“This is a great way for students who are looking for a shorter summer, experience,” said Roy. “There are three programs open for participants such as Ireland with professor Weber, Canada with professor Wright and Tanzania with professor Mailloux.”

Sophomore occupational therapy major Jenna Aimes said she is interested in travel but not a study abroad experience.

“It would be cool to go take summer classes somewhere else,” said Aimes. “I would rather travel by doing missionary work. I also would not be able to do it because of the cost.”

Roy feels that the program is going to be worth the journey.

“Once students go abroad and come back, they will share their enthusiasm about the experience and the numbers will grow from there,” said Roy. “Students are very excited about the prospect of learning other languages and going somewhere outside the United States.”

Roy took part in a study abroad experience in France during her junior year in college.

“It changed the course of my life for the best,” said Roy. “I would not trade my experience for the world!”

Roy praises University president Dr. Thomas Botzman for making the program a success, as it was one of the university’s top priorities.

“He wants to make sure students who would like to study abroad to have the opportunity,” said Roy. “He, in conjunction with the study away, has been instrumental in moving forward so quickly.”

Students will have the opportunity to study abroad in the following locations and institutes: The Umbra Institute, Perugia and Florence, Italy; University Limerick, Dublin City University, and National University of Ireland at Maynooth in Ireland; St. Mary’s University in Twickenham in England; University of Wales, Trinity St. David in Wales; Southern Cross University, Lismore in Australia; Tanzania and Uganda in Africa; American University in Washington D.C.; Montreal, Quebec City in Canada; Cross Keys, Manchester; and Mustard Seed Communities in Kingston, Jamaica.

Students, faculty or administration interested in the study abroad program may contact Marguerite Roy at mroy@misericordia.edu.


Students Visit Time Warner Research Labs – The Highlander

Full story here.

Michael Gombita, Reporter

 The communications department offered a very special trip to students who have volunteered their time in student media.

    Dozens of majors and non-majors visited Time Warner’s research lab in New York City.

    Students had to meet a Martz bus before departure 6 a.m. Nick Vitale, junior communications major, did not get enough sleep.

    “I only slept for an hour because I forced myself to do Mr. Kimbrough’s Film and Filmmakers [class] paper,” said Vitale. “I woke up at 4:20 a.m. and I was pretty excited going.”

    Students toured the media lab where they learned about the research strategies Time Warner uses to discover whether audiences will like products, which may include films and film trailers, and even product placement in retail stores.

    A Time Warner guide explained both quantitative and qualitative research methods.  For example, in a room staged to resemble an average living room, high-tech equipment measures the eye movements of viewers watching content on a television screen.  Data analysis reveals how the viewers felt about the content, and how often they attended to it.  In one study, researchers measured the habits of dual screen users, those who watch television programming while they also use a second device to post on social media.

    Afterwards, students had a couple of hours free to roam the city. Sean Lynch, first year communications major,  did not have a planned itinerary, but he enjoyed his time.

    “A group of us just walked around. We didn’t have spots in mind,” said Lynch. “We did walk around the piers of the Hudson, but other than that, we made the most of it.”

    Students visited a variety of tourist attractions, restaurants, and shops. Lena Williams, first year business major, did her share of visiting the city’s retail stores.

    “We went to some pretty expensive stores such as Dash, American Apparel, Lush, and Chanel,” said Williams. “We also used the subway for transportation and went to Bantam Bagels, which is one of Oprah Winfrey’s favorite foods.”

    Williams has a major interest in fashion so a trip to New York City was perfect for her.

    “I enjoyed seeing so many different types of fashion,” said Williams. “That is the one thing I love about New York is seeing all the different types of fashion.”

    Other participants decided to get the all-around view of New York City and get the “tourist experience,” which is what Matt Scanlon wanted to do.

    “We took a ferry to see an awesome sight-seeing tour of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Statue of Liberty,” said Scanlon.

    Scanlon and five friends rushed to board the New York Water Taxi because the main attraction for the group was the Statue of Liberty. Unfortunately the group found a flaw in their plan.

    “We got on the wrong ferry,” said Scanlon. “We only got to see the Statue of Liberty from the boat and were not allowed to get off.”

    The group of friends seemed to find the brighter side of the tour.

    “It would have been nice to go to the actual statue, but we made the best out of the boat tour itself,” said Scanlon. “The views we got to see of the skyline were breath-taking.”

    The group headed up to the top deck where they were able to have a 360 degree view.

    They were able to see the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Ellis Island, USS Intrepid, World Trade Center, Governor’s Island and other surrounding landmarks.

    Everyone who was on the trip then met up at the Stage Door Pizza restaurant where students enjoyed items on the menu compliments of the communications department.

    The communications department offers the trip to media-related sites every year. It is open to all students who participate in student media, regardless of major.

Students Say Metz Chickened Out – The Highlander

Full story here.

Mike Gombita, Reporter

Students are crying fowl over changes to dining menus.
As a result of student and guest feedback and executive decisions of the management, Metz Culinary Management changed the “J. Clark’s Grille” weekly menu.
“They stopped serving grilled chicken every day out of nowhere,” said Mike Harth, first year medical imaging major. “They didn’t notify anyone that they would do that.”
“Currently, on a daily basis we offer chicken patties, turkey burgers, hot dogs,” said Dale Lent, executive chef. “On Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, we offer hamburgers. Tuesday and Thursday we offer grilled chicken and on the weekends they are both served on the daily items.”
Bruce Deeble, general manager, said guests may have hamburgers five days a week and grilled chicken four days each week. He said there are alternate chicken selections when grilled chicken is not available.
“We do have chicken available as a patty,” said Deeble. “It’s not a processed patty. It is a chicken breast patty that is offered every day.”
Julianne Cariola, first year occupational therapy major, said grilled chicken is a mainstay.
“I think it’s bad because it’s the most popular item on the menu,” said Cariola. “One day when I was getting dinner, I had to wait in line for so long because everyone wanted grilled chicken.”
Cariola feels grilled chicken is a staple in students’ diets.
“All the athletes need their protein,” said Cariola. “They don’t have a sufficient protein meal in the main plate. Veal is available, but a lot of people do not like it. So then people are left with kind of nothing to eat.”
Cariola also mentioned that she has also seen students add the grilled chicken to their salads as part of their meals.
Jordan Hoffman, a first year physical therapy major, said the grilled bird is always a good choice for a meal.
“I do not think that people eat off of the main plate as much. If I do, it is maybe once a week,” said Hoffman. “I am kind of bummed out.”
Hoffman, who is also a member of the softball team, says it is important that she has balanced and healthy meals.
“Grilled chicken is healthier than the fried foods,” said Hoffman. “Now I kind of have to go to the fried stuff because if I do not like the main plate, I have to eat the fried items on the menu.”
Deeble said he has heard students’ complaints, but there is good reason for the menu change.
“We had more of the concern on the grilled chicken than the hamburgers,” said Deeble. “Our reasoning is the cost of the product and doing it seven days a week, twice a day.”
Lent is interested to find out whether the menu changes will be a success.
“In the beginning of the fall semester we added a gluten-free area,” said Lent. “This semester, we added more items like cereal, pop tarts, and bread.”
Deeble listed more healthy dining additions.
“We added the Live Well Station that contains hummus salad and fruit,” said Deeble.
“We also added spinach this semester to the salad bar every day by students’ request.”
Deeble said sustainability is another reason for the menu switch.
“We don’t limit what you pick. We give you what you would ask for,” said Deeble. “That is why we are very cognitive about that.”
The T.A.S.T.E. Initiative has also helped in sustainability as well.
“It has the students eat what they take,” said Deeble. “In return, they get a stamp and then if they get ten, they get a token.”
Deeble explained that the waste level dropped a substantially as a result of the program. This semester, the waste level had dropped to about seventy pounds.
Metz Culinary Management does its best to please everyone, Deeble said, and he understands that students may be getting tired of some menu items.
“Students eat here six to seven days a week,” said Deeble. “You can go to your favorite restaurant in the whole world, and if you are eating there every day, you will get tired of it.”
Deeble explained that there are many food choices in the dining hall.
“The deli has many meats and cheeses for students to choose from,” said Deeble. “You can basically make your own sandwich there hot or cold.”
Deeble said Metz is willing to accommodate special diets. Students may contact Metz if they have any concerns.