Staying Active on Campus!

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

Getting movement into your day can be beneficial to you in so many ways! Exercise can help improve your mood, boost your energy, and promote better sleep! These are all great for college students; especially graduate students! The University of Scranton has so many opportunities and facilities for students to get active. There is something for everyone!

1. The Fitness Center

One of the most popular fitness activities and locations on campus is the fitness center itself! A membership for graduate students is only $70 per semester and includes access to the Byron Recreation Center. This membership includes access to this 14,000 square foot facility, which holds 50 pieces of cardio equipment, 22 weight machines, and a state of the art free weight area. Our beautiful fitness center is a great place to relax and get in a great workout.

2. Intramural Sports

Some of the most popular activities on campus are intramural sports! For their efforts, winners of each league take home a t-shirt, which is one of the most coveted items given away on campus! Each season and semester host different sports leagues. Intramural sports leagues include: badminton, basketball, kan-jam, kickball, soccer, softball, ultimate frisbee, bean bag toss, dodgeball, volleyball, whiffle ball, pickleball, and flag football! This is a great way to get your friends together once a week for some exercise!

3. Swimming

The Byron Recreation Center is home to a six-lane, Olympic-size, competitive swimming pool! Open swim and lap swim are available if swimming is your go-to fitness activity! In addition, locker rooms, saunas, and steam rooms are available nearby.


4. Fitness Classes

Spin, yoga, Irish dance, Zumba, HIIT, and many more fitness classes are held in the Byron Recreation Center and outside campus, including the beautiful rooftop garden in Leahy Hall! There are options for everyone, from relaxing yoga to intense spin classes! The new spin classroom has been a very popular addition to the Byron Recreation Center!

5. Racquetball

Inside the Byron Recreation Complex, you’ll find so many fitness activities and locations! One of which, are multiple racquetball courts! All the gear you would need to play can be borrowed from the main desk inside the front door of the building. Racquetball is a great wintertime sport and gets pretty competitive between friends here on campus!

6. Indoor Walking Track

Inside the Byron Recreation Complex, there is a 1/10-mile walking track surrounding three basketball courts! This is the perfect spot to get a walk in with a friend when the weather might not allow for a stroll outside! Bring some headphones and walk as many laps as you please!

7. The Dionne Green

On any nice day in Scranton, there is one place where you are guaranteed to find students getting some sun while playing frisbee, soccer, or any sport you can think of: the Dionne Green! Home to the University’s own amphitheater, this 22,000 square foot green space is always a popular spot on campus! Pick-up soccer games can be seen here throughout the week, and they are always great to watch on the sidelines or from this great view in the dining hall!

8. Open Gym

The Byron Recreation Complex’s three courts can be used for multiple sports: basketball, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, and more! Supplies can be borrowed from the main office of the building, inside the entrance. During open gym times, bring some friends and have a pick-up game!

9. Outdoor Sand Volleyball

Next to Condron Hall, the University has its very own sand volleyball court! On sunny days, you can usually find a pick-up game happening with some spectators watching! This is a perfect place to get a few friends together and enjoy the sunshine!

No matter the time of year, you’re sure to find great opportunities to stay fit and energized. Perhaps that’s why the University ranked among the nation’s “Healthiest Colleges in the U.S.” by just a few years ago.

An Educational Trip of a Lifetime!

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

About one year ago, I woke up early during my intersession break to catch a flight to Guatemala.  No, I did not go there to simply escape the cold, although that certainly was a perk!  I traveled there with twelve second- and third-year University of Scranton Doctor of Physical Therapy graduate students, as well as two of our professors, for an educational trip of a lifetime!  Our professors organized a trip for us with a non-profit organization called Hearts in Motion (HIM). On our trip, we teamed up with four students and one professor from another Jesuit institution to provide physical therapy triage services to individuals who ordinarily do not have access to care.

Each day, we woke up with the call of a rooster who lived on the hotel grounds, ate a delicious Guatemalan breakfast, and traveled via bus from our hotel to various locations surrounding the town of Zacapa. At each site, patients lined up to receive our services before we even arrived. As students at a Jesuit school, we are taught to always strive for “magis” or the “greater”. To ensure each patient received the greatest quality of care, we split up into groups that included two to three student therapists and a translator. Our professors, along with two physical therapists from Guatemala, rotated around to each group as needed. This gave us the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from each other throughout the day.

Just as we are taught to strive for “magis”, we also aim for the Jesuit ideal of “cura personalis” or “care of the whole person”. Prior to going on the trip, I doubted how much we could help each person if we only saw them once; however, I was pleasantly surprised when my professors told me that the patients would be able to receive follow up care if needed. At the end of each day and at the end of our trip, we had guided prayers and reflections on our experiences. Out of the 250 patients seen, a pediatric patient marked one of the biggest imprints on my heart. The child had cerebral palsy and malnourishment. His mother reported that he often wanted to stand or walk, but it became too difficult for her to help him by herself. Through the triage services, our professor helped us to retrofit donated braces to his legs to make it easier for the mother to assist her child with ambulation. HIM then offered the child continued services to help address his neuromuscular and nutritional deficits. The look of pure joy that filled the mother’s face after she realized her son would finally be receiving the care that he needs is an image that I will remember throughout the rest of my academic and professional career.

In addition to the educational and emotionally moving physical therapy patient experiences, the cultural immersion experiences made the trip unforgettable. Throughout each treatment session, we gained new insight into the Guatemalan culture and the differences between each surrounding town. Our last couple of days in Guatemala was spent in the beautiful city of Antigua, exploring and enjoying many experiences that the country offers. I had the opportunity to tour a coffee plantation, ride a horse up a volcano, buy Guatemalan goods crafted by the locals, and indulge on authentic food. I am beyond grateful for the service immersion experience that allowed me to fine tune physical therapy skills and my Jesuit ideals of “magis” and “cura personalis”, while having fun along the way!

This trip was just one of the many volunteer opportunities that the University offers to students. Although this trip was specific to physical therapy students, service opportunities are also available to graduate students of other majors. During a typical year, graduate and undergraduate students can participate in both international and domestic service immersion experiences through The Center for Service and Social Justice. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, The Center for Service and Social Justice was still able to offer immersion experiences to students; however, it was in a virtual format! This winter, they offered a virtual domestic immersion chance to explore racial justice in Detroit, as well as a virtual international immersion opportunity with Christians for Peace in El Salvador.  The variety of service and immersion experiences offered by The University of Scranton allows students to enrich their life as graduate students and create unforgettable experiences!

The Leahy Clinic: An Opportunity Like No Other

The University of Scranton’s Edward R. Leahy Jr. Center Clinic for the Uninsured earned a 2020 Gold Rating from the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) Quality Standards Program.

As a member of NAFC, the Leahy Clinic is required to quantify and qualify the care provided utilizing a formalized set of quality standards set forth by this national association. Voluntary submission of information to the NAFC on the various policies and procedures is required to attain their standards rating along with validation that they are successfully incorporated within the organization. NAFC quality standards elements included policies and procedures related to the following areas: administrative, enhanced access and continuity of care, identifying and managing patient population information, planning and managing care, providing self-care support and community resources, tracking and coordinating care and measuring and improving performance.

Procedures documented by the Leahy Clinic, Lackawanna County’s only free clinic, include reports of the diversity in its racial, ethnic and language composition within the patient population. Language services and multi-lingual staff of the clinic interpret for the patient utilizing culturally specific dialects that decrease the possibility for misdiagnosis due to lack of understanding in both directions of interpretation. The Leahy Clinic has also established relationships with medical and diagnostic specialists with the goal of improving overall health and decreasing inappropriate Emergency Department utilization due to lack of accessible care, by implementing a patient navigation system.

“We have been members of NAFC for the past 10 years, and along with University of Scranton students, have been able to develop resources and provide patient care based on best practices for delivery of outpatient care,” said Andrea Mantione, D.N.P., director of the University’s Leahy Community Health and Family Center, which includes the Leahy Clinic. Both Dr. Mantione and Maria Vital, Ph.D., operations manager at the Leahy Community Health and Family Center, have been featured as guest speakers to NAFC’s national audience.

“We continue to work with both the National and State Association of Free and Charitable Clinic as a model of high quality health care delivery to our most vulnerable populations,” said Dr. Mantione. “We are excited to have received this top rating highlighting our commitment to providing quality care for our patients.”

The Leahy Clinic, now in its 13th year of operation at the University’s Panuska College of Professional Studies, provides free non-emergency healthcare to uninsured Lackawanna County residents who may otherwise forego healthcare due to cost or seek care in hospital emergency rooms. Through the innovative collaboration of community health provider volunteers with undergraduate and graduate student volunteers and faculty members, as well as other University resources, the Leahy Clinic has been able to offer free care that includes medical, counseling, physical therapy and low vision services, along with exercise and nutrition classes. Since 2007, the clinic has served more than 7,000 individual patients through more than 16,000 visits.

Founded in 2001 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., the NAFC is working to ensure that the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care and strives to be a national voice promoting quality health care for all. Both the NAFC and The Leahy Clinic for the Uninsured are dedicated to ensuring that patients receive quality health care.

The Leahy Clinic provides unparalleled academic experience and hands-on opportunities for our health care students.
Learn more about the Panuska College of Professional Studies.

We Celebrate Nurses!

Nurses deserve to be celebrated, especially now.

Check out this collection of stories and Royals Respond honor roll entries that highlight our Royal Nurses!

Learn more about a Graduate Nursing education at Scranton:


25-Year-Old Partnership Focuses on Global Health

Since 1995, The University of Scranton has engaged in a Health Management Education Partnership with Trnava University in Trnava, Slovakia.

The long-standing partnership between the two Jesuit universities, which in the past has received support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other U.S. funding sources, was recently enhanced by support from an Erasmus+ grant from the European Union. Erasmus+ is the European Union’s program that provides opportunities for over 4 million participants to study, train, gain experience and volunteer abroad and also supports activities with partner countries.

“Our partnership with Trnava University first started when Father Panuska was president of The University of Scranton and U.S. agencies were giving aid to former Soviet Union and Central European countries. The U.S. aid focused on creating programs that were sustainable, and we certainly did that with this partnership,” said Daniel J. West Jr., Ph.D., professor and chair of Scranton’s Department of Health Administration and Human Resources.

“Today, the European Union is providing support to the partnership. This is a continuation in cooperation with a move of support from the U.S. side to the E.U. side,” said Viera Rusnakova, M.D., Ph.D., vice dean for international relations and development at Trnava University and affiliated faculty member for health administration at the University, during a recent visit to Scranton as part of this program.

The Erasmus+ supported project was developed by Trnava University to sustain the long-term cooperation with Scranton and to improve the mobility of teachers to further strengthen the international dimension of the program, especially in research and pedagogical capacities of both partnerships. The project builds on existing cooperation that includes study visits, exchanges of lecturers and students, joint conferences and research publication especially in the area of health administration education and public health and social work.

“The previous 20-plus years of collaboration has had an indisputable impact on the improvement of quality of education at Trnava University and its workplaces, supporting international auditing and providing expertise from the American side of the university, as well as quality assurance at healthcare facilities in Slovakia,” said Martin Rusnak, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Public Health at Trnava University and affiliated faculty member for health administration at Scranton.

Dr. West said that the program has produced much research that has been disseminated through publications, as well as “by faculty sharing research with students in the classroom, so the international mobility of teachers is a crucial element to the sharing of information.”

“And, the international dimension of health care important component of education and research,” said Dr. Rusnakova.

According to Drs. Rusnakova and Rusnak, Trnava University provides opportunities to address health problems not only in Slovakia, but also in international and global contexts. They explained that the issues addressed cross national borders or have a global political and economic impact. They include improving health (including mental health), reducing health inequalities and protecting against global threats. Attention is paid to the problems of travel medicine, as well as to migration, population aging and chronic diseases, a common response to natural disasters and persistent threats to infectious diseases. Thus, the focus is not just about comparing and identifying differences in health across countries, but rather finding common features in terms of possible collective, partnership-based activities.

“Global health is aimed at citizens around the world, promotes interpersonal understanding and calls for the cultivation of such approaches,” said Dr. Rusnakova.

For the future, the partners are examining executive certificate programs and joint degree possibilities and are looking to develop technologies capable to deliver these programs.