Award Winning Professor of Education!

Dr. Julie Cerrito, Director of the Graduate Program in School Counseling at the University of Scranton, received the Partner in Education Award by the Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC).  This award was presented at the annual PACAC conference at the Kalahari Resort in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania.

The PACAC Partner in Education Award was created to enhance awareness about the association by recognizing someone outside the membership for outstanding contribution to, and support of, post-secondary education. This award represents the collaborative spirit needed to foster a commitment to educational equity and access for all. Individuals, institutions, and organizations may be nominated to receive this award.

As the Director of the School Counseling Graduate Program, Dr. Cerrito regularly works with school counseling graduate students in finding innovative ways to assist school-aged students, particularly high school students, in reaching their postsecondary education and career goals. Drs. Julie Cerrito and LeeAnn Eschbach, faculty members in the Department of Counseling and Human Services at the University of Scranton, have collaborated with local high school administrators and practicing school counselors to create special district-wide and multi-district events such as “Post-Secondary Education Readiness Night”, “College Application Night”, and “College Signing Day”. These events invite both high school students and their parents to their respective neighborhood schools, where graduate students in the field of school counseling share vital information (ex. how to select a major, how to apply to college, how to visit a college, etc.).

These topics are important when it comes to navigating what comes next after high school and the steps one should take in planning successfully for college and a future career. Research has indicated that first-generation college students, racially and ethnically diverse students, and students from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds often lack the resources and support needed to navigate the many unknowns of the future. These events attempt to reach out to those student populations, level the playing field, and help them gain the confidence they need to be proactive in planning for the future. Graduate school counseling students frequently comment on the direct benefit of increased “learning through doing” as well as the opportunity to impact youth positively in the local area. They see how their future work as school counselors connects to really making a difference in the lives of school-aged students and their families.

To learn more about the School Counseling Program, click here.


Terrence Zealand, Ed.D.: Making a Difference with a Scranton Graduate Education

Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, a counseling alumnus’s organization has taken in more than 1,700 babies with HIV.

It was 1987 when Terrence Zealand, Ed.D. G’71 and his wife, Faye, opened a one-family brick home in Elizabeth, New Jersey, for HIV-positive babies. This was the year that AZT, the groundbreaking HIV treatment medication, was approved by the FDA, but years before the dramatized story chronicling the discrimination against Ryan White, a boy who contracted the virus through blood transfusions. But Zealand and his wife were already bringing young children who were HIV positive — feared in the outside world, feared even in hospitals — into a home they called St. Clare’s. 

They had already begun a foundation for people with AIDS, the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children (ARFC). Their idea for the home began after they met a baby in a hospital in Newark, New Jersey, whose mother had AIDS.

“Nobody would take the baby,” recalled Zealand. “Everyone was afraid of it. We knew the mother would die and the baby would have no place to go.”

More than 30 years later, the graduate counseling alumnus from Trenton, New Jersey, and his wife have made possible the care of more than 1,700 babies. It would always be hard to watch the babies get sick and die, he said, but the very beginning was hard in other ways, too.

The night they opened St. Clare’s Home for Children, a rock came crashing through the window. A voice outside cried, “Get out of the neighborhood!”

Although it turned out to be an isolated incident, Zealand was undeterred. It has been his faith in others, like the dozens who volunteered to hold and play with the babies in Elizabeth that first year, that have buoyed him throughout his career.

During high school, Zealand began training to become a priest at a Franciscan seminary but left after 11 years of training. His younger brother, already a Scranton alumnus, suggested he check out the graduate counseling rehabilitation program at the University. After securing a federal training-ship, Zealand enrolled, working as a resident assistant in order to help pay for his education. He was already dating Faye, who began working at Head Start in Scranton. They married during his third semester in graduate school.

“Faye is African-American. Scranton was a safe and accepting place for us at a time when not all places were accepting of interracial couples,” said Zealand. “I think it was the Jesuit influence; we were surrounded by enlightened individuals.”

Click here to read the full story in The Scranton Journal!


Click here to learn more about the Rehabilitation Counseling program at The University of Scranton!