A Celebration of Service Begins Weeklong Series of Inauguration Events
More than 750 University of Scranton students, faculty and staff joined the University’s new president, Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., to volunteer at nearly a dozen area nonprofit organizations at the first of a weeklong series of events planned to celebrate the Inauguration of the 25th president of the University.
Father Quinn joined students and staff members at
St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen, where they swept floors and sorted clothes at
the Scranton facility.
Standing in front row, from left, are: Joseph Nardella, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in bio chemistry from Scranton; Mara Smith, a junior majoring in international business from Haddon Township, N.J.; Shannon Kirk, a sophomore majoring in marketing from Levittown, N.Y.; Father Quinn; Monsignor Joseph Kelly, director of St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen; and diocesan secretary for Cahtolic Human Services. Standing in back row, from left, are: Elise Gower, coordinator for international service programs; Julie Bialkowski, director of parent relations; Hillary Fanelli, a senior majoring in counseling and human services from Toms River, N.J.; Brian Dolan (red shirt), a freshman majoring in nursing from Pearl River, N.Y.; Kristyn Lizbinski, a junior majoring in neuroscience from Drums; and Alyssa Maslen, a sophomore majoring in counseling and human services from Vorhees, N.J.
Fanelli thought it was “pretty cool” to volunteer alongside Father Quinn. “It’s amazing to see him with us,” said Fanelli, “It proves he means what he says. It will make the students’ passion for service even stronger.”
Dolan saw the celebration of service “as a very warm, friendly way to start year.”
The Brains Behind the Operation
The University’s Community Outreach Office arranged for a variety of volunteer opportunities at area nonprofit organizations, as well as projects on campus, to give participants a meaningful choice in the way they served and also the flexibility needed to accommodate busy schedules. The Community Outreach Office also organized the hundreds of volunteers who participated and saw to all the details to make the event a success – including the commemorative T-shirts given to participants.
Standing, from left, are Lori Moran, assistant director of community outreach; Patricia Vaccaro, director of community outreach; Michael Wiencek, a senior biology and philosophy major from Fleetwood, who is among the students who helped to organize the Celebration of Service; and Ellen Judge, administrative assistant, community outreach. A barbeque was held Friday evening for participants.
Students, faculty and staff also volunteered at St. Joseph’s Adult Day Program, the Everhart Museum, Friends of the Poor, the Taylor Community Library, the Gino Merli Veterans Center and the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, among other organizations.
Among the projects available for participants on campus was the “Nurses to Newborns” initiative organized through the Community Outreach Office to provide infants with clothing and other necessities. On Friday, students helped to make blankets for newborns. From left, are Lauren Majeski, a graduate student in the health administration master’s degree program from Dalton; Caitlin Brady, a senior nursing major from Wellesley, Mass.; and Julieann Ostroski, a senior nursing major from West Pittston.
Brady said that by selecting A Celebration of Service as the first Inauguration event, President Quinn is sending a “strong message to the student body in support of doing service.”
Timothy Matthews, a sophomore accounting major for Greenlawn N.Y. concurs.
“At The University of Scranton, service is part of who we are. It is part of our foundation,” said Matthews (right), who volunteered at the Employment Opportunity Training Center (EOTC) with Kyla Hennigan, a freshman nursing major from Shickshinny.
Katharine Breuninger (left), information receptionist, and Maryjane Rooney, director of alumni relations, were among the staff members who volunteered at the EOTC.
To see a complete list of upcoming Inauguration events, visit the Inauguration website.