Why Belong to a Professional Association?

This article originally appeared in Challenges, the newsletter from the Panuska College of Professional Studies.

PCPS faculty are leaders in a number of arenas. The faculty are not only members of their professional associations but have taken on leadership roles within those organizations. Being an active member and a leader provides opportunities for networking, enhances your professional growth, and enables you to work with colleagues in advancing the profession and serving others.

Networking is one of the most valuable aspects of association membership. It provides the opportunity to connect with colleagues in your community, regionally, nationally and globally. Association colleagues are a source of new friends, provide mentorship and often guide members in seeking new opportunities. These lifelong professional relationships not only provide opportunities for personal growth, but opportunities to contribute to society.

One benefit of association membership is keeping you in touch with the latest developments in your discipline through continuing education, publications and conferences. Opportunities are provided to influence policy to not only strengthen your profession but to improve society. The early development of the professions is replete with stories of leaders who single-handedly influenced the development of their disciplines. However, in an increasingly interdependent society, working together to achieve professional goals is now the norm and a necessity. Changes in legislation and policy occur as a collaborative effort. While we might not always agree with an organization’s stance, being a member provides a powerful means of influencing its direction, positions, policies, and spheres of influence. Connecting with others who have chosen the same career path allows you to gain new perspectives, share common experiences and collaborate in addressing issues within the profession and beyond. You can easily become a well-informed member of the profession.

In my career, I have not only accrued these personal benefits, but when I have been privileged to serve in an organization by volunteering, or holding appointed and/or elected office, I have brought back what I have learned to my workplace — in this instance, the classroom. Likewise, each of us brings a unique set of experiences to an organization that helps achieve its mission. Being an active member and leader helped me to pave the way for my students by working to improve the practice environment and the communities we serve. Connecting with colleagues across the country has enabled me to gain new insights on contemporary solutions to practice challenges. Active participation is a means of not only enhancing one’s credibility as a leader but also providing visibility for your organization beyond the local community. Having a ringside seat to the deliberations of association leaders as they address complex issues has allowed me to articulate the rationale for the decisions made and collaborate more effectively in developing solutions for the future.

Joining a professional association provides you with a built-in opportunity for professional growth. Associations are always looking for new members. While opportunities for leadership and advancement may be limited in some workplaces, setting your sights on leadership opportunities in an association can provide you with valuable experiences as you seek to advance your own career and prepare for new roles within your workplace. It can boost your confidence in taking risks as you assume more responsibility. Professional growth also means taking others.

Read more in Challenges, here.

Dr. Margarete Zalon is a professor in the Nursing Department.

DPT Alumni Reflect on Benefits of Community Based Learning

CBL trip to Guatemala

Maureen Taylor, Sammy Marri, and a local PT working on standing endurance with a child at the Gualan Nutriction Clinic.

“As the community based learning coordinator for the Physical Therapy Club for the 2016-2017 school year, I have learned immensely about the different opportunities that exist for students to volunteer within the surrounding community. Throughout the school year, the Physical Therapy Club provides exercise classes to three of the local senior living facilities and two of the local day cares. Seniorcise is an exercise class that occurs twice a week for 60 minutes while Kidercise is once a week for 60 minutes. These exercise classes are a great way for students to interact with the community & be creative in the exercise classes. In addition, the club assists in coordinating a Wheelchair Basketball Tournament for I AM organization & a Volleyball Marathon for Cystic Fibrosis as well as volunteering at the Leahy Clinic. The Leahy Clinic is run by students and provides physical therapy services to the uninsured in the surrounding area. While volunteering at the clinic, students are able to gain knowledge within the field.  There are two service trips available to PT club members: Navajo Indian Reservation & Guatemala. On the Navajo Indian Reservation, students partake in service including cleaning, organizing, painting, & assisting in the care of children at a local school as well as immerse in the Navajo culture.  In Guatemala, through Hearts in Motion, students provide physical therapy care to various communities. There are many other options for community based learning for students. Many students volunteer at the local soup kitchen, weight training for athletic teams, dog shelters, & Challenger Soccer. Challenger Soccer is a program at Riverfront Sports Complex for children with special needs who want to participate in sports and be a team member. I am very happy to been given this opportunity, and one of my favorite parts is learning how much our help is truly appreciated by the community.”

“This past January I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend a service trip in Guatemala with some of my classmates. While there, we provided physical therapy services throughout different towns and clinics to those who were in need. We went to help them but what we came back with was far greater. We learned about their wonderful culture, caring people & their vast sense of gratitude & kindness.  I, along with my classmates, will always cherish the memories that I have of the nine days that we spent in Guatemala giving ourselves to others & I know that our lives have been forever changed.”

Maureen Taylor, DPT Class of 2018


CBL tripi to St. Michaels, Arizona

(Left to Right): Bow Arrow, DPT class of 2017, Cassie Lucke, Lisa Jackowitz, and Danielle Frank, DPT class of 2019, at the Window Rock Navajo Tribal Park and Veteran’s Memorial in Window Rock, AZ, the capital of the Navajo Nation.

“During my time on the Navajo reservation my outlook on life and on my future career as a Physical Therapist changed forever.  The humility and gratitude shown among the Navajos, and their ability to share immensely with outsiders has impacted me greatly.  I look forward to learning more about the Navajo culture in hopes that one day, when licensed, I can return and provide the reservation with medical care through the integration of modern medicine and traditional Navajo teachings.”

-Danielle Frank, EXSC ’16, DPT Class of 2019


Learn more about the DPT program at The University of Scranton.

What Makes us one of the Best Business Schools?

The Princeton Review listed The University of Scranton’s Kania School of Management among the nation’s “Best Business Schools” for 2020, marking the 15th consecutive year that Scranton has been included in the listing of just 248 of the most elite business colleges in the nation. Scranton was included among the list of “Best On-Campus MBA Programs,” which was published online in November.

“We commend these schools for their outstanding MBA programs, each of which has stellar academic offerings as well as on-campus and off-campus experiential components,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor in chief, in a news release announcing the 2020 “Best Business Schools” lists.

The listing of business programs is compiled from an analysis of institutional data and survey data from students attending the business schools. The data incorporates career outcomes, academic rigor, admissions selectivity and other factors.

The profile of Scranton on the “Best Business Schools” website noted its “Jesuit values add an element of social responsibility to the work students do at the Kania School of Management (KSOM).” The profile also said Scranton is “focused on what will be required of an MBA graduate in today’s marketplace” and described the school as an “excellent learning atmosphere,” where “everyone is friendly and willing to help.” The Princeton Review also noted Scranton’s professors were accessible and “provide critical insight.”

The University’s Kania School of Management is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which is widely considered the standard of excellence for business schools. Less than five percent of business colleges worldwide hold AACSB accreditation.

The Princeton Review also listed Scranton in its 2020 edition of the “Best 385 Colleges,” ranking Scranton among the nation’s “Best Science Labs” (No. 7), “Best Campus Food” (No. 10) and “Best Run Colleges” (No. 20). The Princeton Review also included Scranton in its 2019 “Guide to Green Colleges.”

In other national rankings, U.S. News and World Report included Scranton in a national ranking of the “Best Undergraduate Business Programs” (No. 224) and ranked Scranton’s entrepreneurship program at No. 33, its finance program at No. 43 and its accounting program at No. 52 in the country. In the overall ranking for colleges, U.S. News ranked Scranton No. 6 among the “Best Regional Universities in the North,” marking the 26th consecutive year that Scranton ranked in the top 10 of its category.


Learn more about the MBA program at The University of Scranton.

The People Who Make it Possible

Without people like Margaret C. Perez, the involved, well-rounded education we are able to provide our students with would not be possible.
Margaret C. Perez, Bethlehem, had known Edward R. Leahy, J.D. ’68, H’01, for more than 60 years. She knew his wife, Patricia, and their late son, Edward Jr. She also knew of the work of The University of Scranton’s Leahy Community Health and Family Center and Edward R. Leahy Jr. Center Clinic for the Uninsured housed in the Panuska College of Professional Studies, and was so impressed by its mission that she bequeathed a portion of her estate to the Edward R. Leahy Jr. Endowment at the University – a gift of nearly $1 million.

“Margaret, or Marge as we called her, was a good soul and a life-long friend. She never said an unkind word to anyone and went to church nearly every day,” said Edward Leahy. “She had no children or living relatives and when she passed away at the age of 88, she gave her entire estate to charities, including a portion to the Leahy Endowment at the University.”

Leahy said Perez visited the Leahy Community Health and Family Center years ago and was deeply moved by the compassionate service shown to people with disabilities. Shortly after her visit, she told Leahy of her intent to bequeath a portion of her estate to the endowment at the University.

The Edward R. Leahy Jr. Endowment was founded by Edward and Patricia Leahy to honor the life and memory of their son, Edward R. Leahy, Jr., whose personal disabilities were attended to with compassion and skill by many health professionals over the course of his life. The endowment provides financial resources to support theoretical and applied research, faculty development, and support for programs that advance the cause of disabled persons who need long-term assistance.

The Panuska College of Professional Studies houses occupational therapy, physical therapy, kinesiology, counseling and human services, health administration and human resources, nursing and education. Every graduate of PCPS completes a community-based learning requirement for service.  In addition, PCPS houses the Leahy Community Health and Family Center with four clinics in medicine, physical therapy, counseling and low vision, and the Alice V. Leahy Food pantry, University of Success program and the new center of Autism.

Perez was born in 1930 in Allentown to the late Manuel and Terrsa (Yllanes-Lugris) Perez. She worked for 47 years with Western Electric, Bell Laboratories and Lucent, before retiring in 1995. She was a member of St. Simon and Jude Catholic Church, Bethlehem. She died in March of 2018.


Learn more about the Panuska College of Professional Studies.

Interested in a DBA? Look no further!

AACSB recognized Scranton for providing a non-traditional research DBA in accounting that “promotes diversity and practice relevance by providing a flexible path for experienced practitioners to gain the knowledge and credentials required to succeed in tenure-track positions at AACSB accredited institutions.”

The University developed its DBA program in accounting in response to the pending shortage of accounting faculty, and The Pathways Commission on Accounting Higher Education of the American Accounting Association (AAA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) call to develop more flexible, non-traditional tracks to an accounting doctorate for experienced practitioners. AACSB also has recognized this need. Several Scranton accounting faculty members researched and published manuscripts in highly recognized journals, examining the national challenge as part of their research to develop the DBA program at the University. These journals included the Journal of Accountancy, Accounting Horizons, Strategic Finance, and Management Accounting Quarterly.

The University’s DBA program in accounting, launched in the fall of 2017, is a research degree that was developed specifically to provide experienced practitioners with a practical pathway to an academic career, while still providing for the development of the knowledge and skill set necessary to become a “scholarly academic,” that is one who is most qualified to serve in a tenure-track position at a school of business that possesses or is seeking formal accreditation by AACSB International.

Read the full story in The Scranton Ledger.

Learn more about the DBA program here.