Graduate Education

Graduate Education

Take Your Studying Outdoors (On-Campus Spots)

Written by: Nicki Sanchirico Exsc/Kines ’18, DPT ’21

Dionne Green: Lawn & Amphitheater

Spring is officially here, and warm weather is quickly approaching! This means that my favorite season for studying is finally here. Sitting in the sun with a Starbucks’ Refresher in hand always makes studying more enjoyable.

Last week, my friend Rachel posted our favorite off-campus spots to catch some rays while studying. This week, you will get to read about our favorite outdoor study spots located directly on The University of Scranton’s (the U’s) campus.

The Dionne Green and the tables by the Weinberg Memorial Library are two of the most popular outdoor study spaces on campus. Both areas are in the central hub of campus, right near the student center (The DeNaples Center). The atmosphere of these study spots is perfect for grabbing a snack while completing some light work or group studying. In this area, students have a variety of places where they can sit. Students at the U know that when the tables with the purple umbrellas are in these areas, warm weather is here to stay. Despite the ample availability of tables, many students, including myself, will still opt to sit on a blanket or towel in the grass. There’s even an amphitheater with cemented areas for students to sit at!

Jacob and the Angel Sculpture

For students who want to study outside but require a quieter environment, one of the best spots to study is in a grassy area right near one of the sophomore residence halls, Gavigan Hall. This area has cemented spots so that students can be on the ground without having to sit directly in the grass. My favorite time to study in this area is leading up to sunset. From this location, you can watch the sun slowly lower behind campus’s Jacob and the Angel statue. After long hours of studying, there is something magical about watching the colors fill the sky behind the statue!

Another great spot for students to study is Alumni Memorial Green! It is quiet area tucked behind The University of Scranton’s Office of Admission’s building (The Estate), which makes it ideal for completing assignments that require minimal distractions. One of the best parts about this area is the big trees where I can set up a hammock. Often, I can be found rocking in a hammock while reviewing flashcards for upcoming tests.

If I’m not found in Alumni Memorial Green, I’m usually studying on the 4th floor Therapy Garden in Edward Leahy Jr. Hall. When this area is not being used for occupational therapy classes, all students can use this area. It provides a beautiful view of the downtown Scranton area for students to observe when they need a break from looking at their notes. As a graduate student in the health sciences, this area is the most convenient outdoor study space for me since it is part of my academic building and has readily available outlets to charge laptops. I never had to worry about my laptop dying during the many study sessions that my friends and I have spent there!

Pantle Rose Garden

At the U, we are lucky enough that campus wifi reaches all of the amazing on-campus outdoor study spaces, so students aren’t limited in the type of work they can do outside. I have written research papers, studied online notes and met for group projects, all while sitting in one of these locations. I have even had the opportunity to have class outside in the Dionne Green’s amphitheater and in the Therapy Garden!  Although these study spots are some of my favorites, I also have studied in many of the other study areas offered on campus with my friends. Two of my friends love studying at the picnic tables in the Pantle Rose Garden or spreading out on a blanket on the Founder’s Green. Once you get to campus, you can explore the U’s many options to find a place that best fits your needs!

Study Spaces in Scranton’s Backyard

Written by: Rachel Kosty Exsc/Kines ’18, DPT ’21

Scranton is such an amazing city to attend graduate school in! There is so much to do, but the city still has a feeling of home that accompanies it. There is one thing you’ll definitely be doing in graduate school no matter which of the University’s excellent programs you choose: studying! As a Doctor of Physical Therapy student, I have done a lot of studying, so from an expert, here are some of my favorite off-campus spots and places to study around the beautiful city of Scranton!

  1. Northern Lights Espresso Bar

If there’s two things that go together, it’s coffee and studying! The Northern Lights Espresso Bar is located right in Downtown Scranton, just two blocks from Leahy Hall (home to DPT). The place has both indoor and outdoor seating available (weather permitting), which makes for a great study spot! They serve coffee, espresso, many other drinks, snacks, breakfast and lunch! You’ll find many students studying inside with you. It’s a great place to be!

  1. Adezzo Coffee Shop and Lounge

Another coffee stop located right in Downtown Scranton is the Adezzo Coffee Shop and Lounge. This spot is a little more hidden, making it a great place to study when you need less noise! Adezzo has two lounges, one inside and one outside on their patio! Sitting outside on a nice day is amazing with the decorations and string lights they have set up! You can even bring your pet with you for fun study distractions and breaks.

3. Lackawanna State Park

If studying outdoors is something you’re interested in, the Lackawanna State Park is a great option! The park has many picnic tables spread throughout and around the beautiful lake where you can sit and study while watching the kayakers and fishermen. I spent most of my summer at these picnic tables during our Gross Anatomy course! Getting some sunshine while studying is a great two for one that can’t be beat!

4. The Lackawanna County Courthouse Square

The square in Downtown Scranton is the center of the city, one block from Leahy Hall! The public works department is kind enough to upkeep this little downtown park throughout the year. They decorate it with lights for the holidays, place flags out for memorial day and also put out some very nice picnic tables, which are perfect for studying in the sunshine! During the warmer months, you’ll find many picnic tables spread out in the square, perfect for sitting with a friend and getting some studying done!

5. Frances Slocum State Park

Another great outdoor study location, a bit further from campus, is Frances Slocum State Park! Located about a half-hour from Scranton, this park is great for grabbing a friend and some lunch to take with you when studying! Also, don’t forget to bring a blanket with you!  I’ve spent many Saturdays laying in the sun by the lake while studying. It’s truly like being on vacation, right in Scranton’s backyard!


Never Go Hungry at Scranton

Written by: Nicki Sanchirico Exsc/Kines ’18, DPT ’21

The University of Scranton offers a wide variety of food options for its undergraduate and graduate students! There are a few main areas for students to grab a bite to eat: “3rd floor” (The Fresh Food Company), “1st floor” (1st Floor DeNaples food court), “big P.O.D.” (the Mulberry Street P.O.D. Market and food court) and “Einsteins” (Einstein Bros. Bagels).

The 3rd floor of the DeNaples Center is considered the main dining hall on campus.  This provides students with an “all-you-care-to-eat” style of service for a single meal swipe or price. There are many different stations with meal choices changing at each meal and individual plates made to order. This provides students with an ever-changing variety of choices and the ability to customize their meals. There is always one station that is for students who require a gluten sensitive diet and a station for students who are vegetarian. Fan favorite meals include the raspberry chicken and the chicken parm sandwich. Two of my personal favorite meals are their poke bowls and chicken enchiladas! At the beginning of fall 2020, a new option called “Fresh Food Co to Go” was introduced. Through this option, students pick up food through a to-go line and can enjoy the food outside or back in their residence halls.

The 3rd floor isn’t the only food area on campus that introduced new to-go options! The 1st floor food court, big P.O.D. and Einsteins were always known as areas where students could grab a quick bite to eat, but now it is even more convenient for students to order food. Students now have the option of ordering via a mobile app! This is a convenient way for students to order and pick up food quickly on busy nights. The 1st floor food court includes Which-Wich, Chick-fil-A, Zoca, Oath Pizza, a pasta station and Grill Works. My go-to meal on 1st floor is always a Zoca bean burrito bowl! In big P.O.D., you will find a sandwich station, a salad station and a station called Road Trip America.  Road Trip America offers students a taste of food from various regions! My personal favorite place to grab a quick bite to eat is at Einsteins. Nothing beats grabbing a warm bagel sandwich or a breakfast burrito between classes.

As a graduate student, you can pay for meals as needed, or you can participate in a meal plan. Full meal plans and commuter meal plans are offered. There are three options for the full meal plans: 10 meals per week, 14 meals per week or unlimited. There are two options for the commuter block meal plans: 30 meals per semester or 60 meals per semester. During my graduate school experience, I opted for the 60-block meal plan. This allowed me to get a couple of meals a week on campus with friends and grab a couple of quick meals on busy test days! Whether you decide to get a meal plan, or just pay for meals as needed, you’ll always have plenty of options available on campus!

“Scranton? Where The Office takes place?”

Written by: Rachel Kosty Exsc/Kines ’18, DPT ’21

If there’s one question you’ll be continuously asked from the moment you are accepted to the University it’s, “Scranton? Where The Office takes place?” Scranton, PA is famous for many things, but well known to most is that this is where one of the best comedy TV shows of all time is set! During your time here, I highly recommend you re-watch the series. You’ll find yourself yelling at the TV, “Hey I know where that is!” and “Pam has a University of Scranton flag behind her desk!” The creators of The Office did a fantastic job of filling the TV show with actual places and objects from the real Scranton, down to Froggy 101 radio station stickers and the McCarthy Cab cars! Family and friends will ask to visit you here and take a tour of Scranton to see places and memorabilia from the show! My cousins asked to do just this, so here are some famous places to go visit in Scranton if you’re a fan of the show!

1.  The “Scranton Welcomes You” Sign

Everyone and anyone who has seen The Office knows this sign! It’s shown right in the opening credits! It can now be found inside the Steamtown Mall and is a fantastic photo-op for any fan of the show! The Steamtown Mall is also featured in the show as well!

2. The Dunder Mifflin Building (kind of)

Another famous building featured in the opening credits of the show is home to an actual paper company! The building is owned by the Pennsylvania Paper & Supply Company and features the Dunder Mifflin Logo on the tower.

3. Poor Richard’s Pub

An establishment frequented by all employees of Dunder Mifflin is Poor Richard’s Pub! The pub is located inside of South Side Bowl (a bowling alley), a great place to spend the evening bowling and having a drink where actual members of the office have been! The pub sells memorabilia perfect for any fan!

4. Lake Scranton and Lake Wallenpaupak

The Lake Scranton featured in the show is very different than the one in real life but is still a beautiful place to take a walk on a sunny day! You won’t find any sandy beaches at Lake Scranton or a booze cruise on Lake Wallenpaupak, but they are both gorgeous places to visit!

5. Cooper’s Seafood House

If there is one place on this list that has the most Office memorabilia, it is Cooper’s! The restaurant has lots of artifacts, photos and history of the Scranton area, and also features a large gift shop where you can get all The Office gear you could imagine, plus more! What a great restaurant to have dinner, get some mementos and take a few photos!

6. The Electric City Sign

Scranton, what? The Electric City! Scranton is famously known as The Electric City for having the first street cars in the U.S. to be powered by only electricity! There is an amazing sign found in downtown Scranton at the corner of N. Washington Ave and Linden Street that makes a perfect place to recreate Michael and Dwight’s music video!

7. Alfredo’s Pizza Café

Famously mentioned in The Office is Alfredo’s Pizza Café, which is definitely not Pizza by Alfredo’s! Alfredo’s Pizza Café is a real restaurant located on S. Washington Street in Scranton! Stop by for a great photo and head inside to grab some pizza!

8. The University of Scranton!

When you re-watch the show, you’ll notice just how many times our university is featured! From t-shirts to office decorations, our school is represented! A fun fact you may not know is that The University of Scranton actually hosted the wrap party for The Office! All the cast members were here on campus to say one final goodbye to the series. They even hosted a panel session in our gym! When you step on campus, you are standing where each one of the cast members of the show has as well!

Although Scranton might not be home to its own Chili’s, there are so many places you can visit both on and off campus that were important to the series! If you stick around here in Scranton long enough, you might even get to meet a cast member from the show! A few are very well known for coming back into town regularly and hitting up our favorite local establishments.

Refresh Yourself—with a Retreat!

Written by: Nicki Sanchirico Exsc/Kines ’18, DPT ’21

The University of Scranton (The U) offers retreats to help both undergraduate and graduate students deepen their faith. While The U is a Catholic and Jesuit institution, students of all faiths are welcomed on the retreats! These retreats have served as one of my favorite ways to refresh and reset myself! During my first semester on campus, I signed up for a retreat as a way to meet more people and get involved on campus. This retreat was held at the University’s retreat house at Chapman Lake. I was (and still am) enamored by the retreat house’s beauty! I enjoyed that first experience so much that I ended up leading that same retreat a year later, and I continued to go on at least one retreat per year after that. As a senior, I wasn’t sure if I would have the time to go on retreats in graduate school. Luckily, with just a little bit of time management skills, many of my classmates and I were able to continue our faith journey on retreats during graduate school!

While all of Campus Ministry’s retreats provide students with the opportunity to reflect on their own faith, relationships and life experiences, each retreat has its own theme. Just a few months ago, I went on a single day hiking retreat called Born to be Wild. This past fall, the retreat took place on a hiking trail called “On Top of the World” right near campus. I initially signed up for it without knowing much about the retreat’s topics or area we would be hiking. I mainly signed up because I thought it would be a fun, yet safe activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I was right! Throughout the retreat, we listened to talks, self-reflected, participated in group discussions and laughed with new friends. Each leader delivered a witness talk in a carefully selected area of nature to fit the topic of the talk. This allowed me and the other retreatants to have meaningful self and group reflections about finding God in all things.

Most recently, I went on the virtual Endings and Beginnings retreat. This retreat took place via Zoom just a few weeks ago, not long after the change of the New Year. For three days, myself and other retreatants met for an hour. During that hour, we listened to a talk before going into breakout group discussions. While Zoom is certainly not the retreat format Scranton students are accustomed to, students who participated were excited to experience a retreat during a time when many of us were home for our intersession break. For one of my friends, it served as an opportunity to try a retreat for the very first time. For myself, it served as the perfect retreat to close off my retreat experiences at The U before I graduate this spring.

I am continuously thankful and loved all the retreats that I have been on, and it is hard to pick just one favorite; however, if I had to choose one, I’d say my personal favorite was Divinely Designed (DD)—a women’s only retreat experience. (Don’t worry men, there’s a retreat called Soul Men just for you!) DD discusses topics that young women face, such as handling relationships, having faith, finding a voice and performing self-care. Ironically, prior to going on this retreat, I didn’t think I’d be very interested in it. For some reason, I could not imagine spending a weekend with only women! However, I decided to go on the retreat after a few of the leaders and past retreatants told me how much they loved it. I ended up loving the retreat itself, and I even became best friends with one of the girls from my small group!

Everyone I know who has been on multiple retreats has either their own favorite retreat or favorite piece of a retreat. Campus Ministries makes sure to offer a wide variety of retreats each year so that there is a retreat for students in every level of their faith journey. For example, some other retreats offered include: Faith and Fables, Manresa, Search, Live it!, Praise and Worship, Athlete’s and many more. Whether stepping outside your comfort zone means going on a retreat for the very first time, or whether it means going on a retreat where you don’t know what to expect, I highly recommend going on at least one retreat that is outside your comfort zone during your time at Scranton! For me, some of the best “Scranton magic” happened when I took that leap of faith!

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