Cultural Enrichment and Education

The Schemel Forum is one of the many ways we try to immerse our students and community into the pressing topics in the world today.

The Schemel Forum: Who Are We?

I’ve always dreamed of a post-provincial world and just maybe that dream has been turned into a reality — or an approach to a reality — in the Schemel Forum. We are a world that is globalized, that is interdependent, and that is more accessible than ever before both physically and electronically — for better and worse. It’s better because knowing more can help us to do more — identify and solve more problems, feel more connected to people who are different from us, collaborate across borders, help to reduce the amount of poverty, illness and illiteracy in our communities and in places we’ve never been to. It’s worse when it opens new wounds, evokes new hatred of others, more defensiveness and fear, making us feel inconsequential — “nobodies.” The goal of the Schemel Forum is to introduce us — to give us — in this small postindustrial city — access to the world as it is today. We have been a place to “be from.” Let it be a place to “be in.” We are as near to New York as some of its far-out suburbs. Higher education is one of our most significant assets.

The Schemel Forum invites out of school adults into the world of thought and discussion. In the thirteen years that the Schemel Forum has been at The University of Scranton, we have grown exponentially in our offerings and our clientele, in our collaborations with other entities and our openness to more of all the above.

As I repeat and vow to continue — we go for the gold. It is the quality of our programs that wins the admiration of the community; that sets a standard — that makes us an asset to the region. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to bring the world to Scranton and Scranton to the world. My thanks go to The University of Scranton, its faculty and administrators, to the outstanding thinkers who agree to come here to speak and to the out of school adults who join us in learning together.


Sondra Myers
Director, The Schemel Forum

Learn more about the Schemel Forum here!

Online Programs Ranked Among the Best!

U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 “Best Online Graduate Programs” ranked The University of Scranton’s online master’s degree programs in business (excluding MBA) at No. 51 and its MBA program at No. 118 in the nation. U.S. News also ranked Scranton at No. 64 in the country for “Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans.”

This is the ninth consecutive year that U.S. News ranked the University’s online programs among the best in the nation. The methodology used by U.S. News to determine the ranking has changed several times throughout the years.

For the 2020 Best Online Programs ranking, which published in January, U.S. News reviewed statistical information submitted by schools. The ranking criteria differed by category. The criteria used by U.S. News to rank online business and MBA programs included student engagement (30 percent), which looked at graduation rates, class size, one-year retention rates, and best practices such as accreditation by AACSB International, among other factors. The ranking criteria also included peer reputation score (25 percent); faculty credentials and training (15 percent); admission selectivity (15 percent); and student services and technology (15 percent).

In addition to offering distance education programs that incorporate coursework that is predominantly online, colleges and universities making the “Best Online Program for Veterans” list must have ranked in top half of 2020 Best Online Program rankings; be regionally accredited; be certified for the GI Bill, which includes participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program; and enroll a “critical mass of veterans” as defined by U.S. News based on the size of the college.

Scranton offers online MBA degrees in general business, accounting, enterprise resource planning, finance, healthcare management, human resources, international business and operations management; master’s degrees in accountancy, finance, health administration, health informatics and human resources and a dual MBA/MHA degree, in addition to graduate certificates. For technology, recruitment and marketing support, the University partners with Wiley for the online programs.

In other rankings published by U.S. News & World Report, Scranton has been ranked among the top 10 “Best Regional Universities in the North” for 26 consecutive years. Scranton is ranked No. 6 in the 2020 edition of the guidebook. U.S. News also ranked Scranton No. 5 in its category in a ranking of the “Most Innovative Schools” and No. 12 in its category for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” U.S. News also ranked Scranton’s programs in entrepreneurship at No. 33, finance at No. 43, and accounting at No. 52 in the country, among other rankings.

Nursing Professor wins Book of the Year!

The second edition of “Nurses Making Policy: From Bedside to Boardroom,” edited by Margarete Lieb Zalon, Ph.D., R.N., A.C.N.S.-B.C., F.A.A.N., professor of nursing and director of the University’s online master of science in health informatics program, Rebecca M. Patton, D.N.P., R.N., C.N.O.R., F.A.A.N., and Ruth Ludwick, Ph.D., R.N.-B.C., A.P.R.N.-C.N.S., F.A.A.N., won second place in the History and Public Policy category of the 2019 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards.

The American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards is an esteemed and prestigious competition in which the best in nursing publishing are chosen by a panel of judges who are experienced and well-established in the healthcare community. Awards are given for first, second, and third places across 20 categories. 2019 marked the 50th year of the awards.

The second edition of “Nurses Making Policy” explores the nurse’s integral role in facilitating health policy change and advocating for the patient, both in the hospital and in the larger political system. The editors have donated all their royalties from both editions of the book to the Washington Fellowship Fund at the American Nurses Foundation, which is the philanthropic entity of American Nurses Association. The Washington Fellowships Fund is focused on getting nurses a seat at the highest-policy making tables and maximizing nurses’ participation on Capitol Hill committees.

Dr. Zalon, who has been a member of Scranton’s faculty since 1988, was inducted as an American Academy of Nursing Fellow in 2010 in part for her positive influence on health care policy and delivery. Her leadership legacy includes grassroots advocacy, progressive program design, execution and outcomes in state and national nursing organizations focused on establishing practice and education policy, and building research funding capacity.

Dr. Zalon has authored book chapters, as well as articles published in numerous scholarly journals and other professional publications. She has also made research and health policy presentations at the local, state, national and international levels. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Zalon serves on the American Academy of Nursing’s Acute and Critical Care Expert Panel, and is the president of the Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania. She is a past chair of the American Nurses Foundation, a former board member of the American Nurses Association, past vice-president of the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and a past president of the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association.

Dr. Zalon is a recipient of the Duke University School of Nursing Distinguished Alumna Award, the PSNA Distinguished Nurse Award and a Leahy Fellowship at The University of Scranton. She also received the University’s Excellence in Graduate Teaching Faculty Senate Award in 2017.

Dr. Zalon received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her master’s and Ph.D. in nursing from New York University.

DBA Student Earns National Award for Dissertation

Congratulations to Joy Chacko!

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) awarded University of Scranton Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) student Joy Chacko the Michael J. Barrett Doctoral Dissertation Award for his DBA program dissertation study entitled “The Effects of Internal Audit Management Training Ground and Reporting Relationships on Internal Auditors’ Judgments.”

The IIA’s dissertation award is typically given to one dissertation a year under the oversight of the Committee of Research and Education Advisors. This committee is comprised of both academicians and practitioners actively involved in the profession of internal auditing. The selection process is competitive and includes the following criteria: relevance of the topic to internal auditing; soundness of methodology; coherent organization and clarity of presentation; and quality of data (where applicable). With an international membership of more than 200,000 members, the IIA is among the largest and most respected professional organizations for accountants.

“It is an honor for me to receive this extremely competitive award. I am so excited and inspired. The IIA’s Doctoral Dissertation Award is considered the most prestigious award for a dissertation in the internal audit area,” said Chacko, who also thanked his DBA dissertation committee members for their guidance.

Members of Chacko’s dissertation committee include University of Scranton accounting professors James Boyle, DBA, dissertation committee chair, and Douglas M. Boyle, DBA, Accounting Department chair and DBA program director, as well as West Chester University accounting professor Anthony Cataldo, Ph.D.

While a DBA student at Scranton, Chacko, Chandler, Arizona, has co-authored a paper published in Internal Auditing entitled “Addressing the Talent Management Challenge in Internal Auditing” and a paper accepted into the American Accounting Association’s (AAA) Mid-Year Conference entitled “The Influence of Unethical Pro-Organizations Behavior on Internal Auditors’ Fraud Detection.”

Scranton’s DBA program is well-structured and uniquely designed to blend academia and industry with the Ignatian element to transform students,” said Chacko. “The experienced faculty are recognized both in academia and in industry for their professional experience and knowledge and have outstanding records of publishing in top academic and professional journals. While in the program, many students have already published and continue to publish. Indeed, I chose the right program that adds value to the 21st-century calls and would recommend this program to others.”

Before enrolling in Scranton’s DBA program, Chacko earned four graduate degrees (including an MBA) and has over 16 years of senior management experience in various industries. His practice expertise includes operational improvement and business transformation. His research interests include internal auditing, internal controls and corporate governance.

Housed in the Kania School of Management, the University’s DBA program began in the fall semester of 2017. Last year, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) recognized the University’s DBA program for “Innovations and Best Practices in Canada, Latin America and the United States.” The program was developed with a concentration in accounting, to provide experienced practitioners with a practical pathway to an academic career. The program offers participants flexibility, while still providing for the development of the knowledge and skill set necessary to become a “scholarly academic” – one who is qualified to teach at a school of business that possesses or is seeking formal accreditation by AACSB International.