Graduate Education

Graduate Education

“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!

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.

Where to Study on Campus – Revealed!

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

During graduate school, it is important to have a space where you can study effectively. My study style continuously changed throughout my undergraduate and graduate time at Scranton. Where I choose to study each day depends upon the material I am learning and the weather outside. Luckily, Scranton offers a wide variety of indoor and outdoor study areas for students. Even after being at The University of Scranton for seven years, I still love all the study areas that our campus has to offer! Below are a few of my favorite spots to study on a cold Winter’s day:

The Library

  • The 1st floor of the library offers an active study environment. It includes PCs, duel screen MACs, comfy seating, and group study areas. Via the student portal, my friends and I reserve a group study room whenever we know a big test is approaching. The study rooms include flat screen TVs, as well as a chalkboard or white board wall. Sometimes my friends and I connect our laptop to the TV screen to project practice problems. Then, we race against each other to correctly write the answer on the wall. For me, this is a useful way to practice quick information recall, learn from classmates and have friendly competition! The TV screens can also be used to practice group presentations or to simply review notes with friends.
  • In contrast to the 1st floor, the 5th floor is used for quiet study sessions. The 5th floor is split into two areas. One area has beautiful mural panels painted around the perimeter. It features natural lighting with views of sunsets and a ceiling that creates a relaxing background noise on rainy days. Large study tables give students ample room to spread out notes, and comfortable couches give students a cozy spot to read. The other area of the 5th floor has books, cubicles, and Brody chairs. Brody chairs are giant comfy chairs with a tray table for work, outlets for laptops, and dividers between chairs for focus. My friends and I compare them to first-class airplane seats! Since the chairs can be reserved for two-hour time blocks, and the 5th floor library is one of the quietest spots on campus, this area provided the perfect environment for my online exams this past Fall!

    Picture of a student using a Brody chair in our University library!








Edward Leahy Jr. Hall (Leahy)

  • In Leahy, there are PT/OT/Kinesiology practice labs, group study rooms and seating by Einstein Bros Bagels (referred to by students as simply “Einsteins”). As a physical therapy student, I often study in the labs; however, the seating by Einsteins has consistently been one of my favorite study spots on campus ever since Leahy was built (during my sophomore year)! Einsteins provides tables where I can spread out my work, as well as a space where I can chat with my friends during my study breaks. Plus, who doesn’t love studying by warm bagels and hot chocolate on a cold Winter day? Both the group study rooms and Einsteins are open to all students. In fact, many of my friends in other academic disciplines also study here with me!

    Picture of students studying near Einsteins!








Loyola Science Center

  • Loyola Science Center (LSC) is where I spent most of my study time during my undergraduate years. LSC offers labs for a variety of majors within the College of Arts and Sciences, student study tables/chairs, group study rooms, and Bleeker Street Café. All the study rooms in LSC have a chalkboard and floor to ceiling windows. My favorite part about the study rooms is that the windows provide gorgeous views of campus, and students can write on the windows using dry erase markers! Studying always seems much easier when I am overlooking freshly fallen snow and have a warm croissant from Bleeker in hand.

    Picture of a student studying in an LSC study room!

  • LSC is also the home to the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE). The CTLE provides services to students who have disabilities and peer tutoring to any student who requests it. If students are interested, they may apply to be tutors in subject areas they excelled in. I personally tutored for Statistics, Nutrition, and Kinesiology! Currently, my roommate works as a tutor for the Writing Center, assisting both undergraduate and graduate students through various stages of the writing process. The CTLE is a great resource for students who need a little extra academic help or for those who want to gain experience in teaching others.

The University has such a wide variety of study spots that it was hard for me to just chose a few favorite ones!  The library has multiple other areas that my friends describe as “hidden gems” on the 2nd through 4th floors. Besides Leahy and LSC, all the other academic buildings have areas that I enjoy studying in. Even as a physical therapy major, one of my other favorite study spots is in Brennan Hall (the home to the Kania School of Management) on a couch outside the Pearn Auditorium!

Once you come to campus, you can explore and find which areas work best for you. Regardless of your studying preferences, you are sure to find a study spot that fits your needs!

P.S. Once the warm weather begins, stay tuned for a post about some my favorite outdoor study spaces!

Top 8 Favorite Places & Activities in Scranton

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

“So, what’s there to do in Scranton?” is one of the first questions I get asked by anyone who hears where I go to school. I can tell you in my six years here, I have never had a day where I couldn’t find something to do. In fact, I started making a bucket list of the places I still need to see before I graduate! Scranton and the surrounding area are full of hidden gems if you look around! Here are my top eight favorite places to go and things to do in Scranton.

1. Lackawanna River Heritage Trail

If you like to run or go for walks, Lackawanna County has some beautiful trails, but my favorite one is right in Scranton! The trail follows the Lackawanna River and, when it’s complete, will connect to be over 70 miles! The section located in Scranton is beautiful, paved, and perfect for exercising! My dog and I spend hours here most weeks. My favorite place to start is right at the University’s new “Kevin P. Quinn, S.J. Athletics Campus” where the trail follows past the baseball field for a little over two miles. You can also walk in the other direction past the softball fields for a bonus few miles!

                                            2. Hiking

There are so many hiking trails around Scranton that I have a list saved on my phone of some I still need to try out before I graduate! The state parks near here have some excellent trails, and there are many others! My favorites are Rickett Glen State Park, the Delaware Water Gap, and Campbell’s Ledge. There is also a beautiful walking trail around Lake Scranton that stretches for about three miles!

3. Coal Mine Tour

Locals to Scranton will tell you about this one, and I wish I’d found out about it when I first came to Scranton, but I didn’t until I was here for three years! So, I’m going to pass this secret onto you. One Saturday, a friend and I went to the coal mine tour not knowing what to expect and had the best time! If you didn’t know, Scranton is a historic coal mining city. If you talk to the locals, I can guarantee you either someone in their family or someone they know used to work down in the mines. This tour takes you down 300 feet below the earth on a mining vehicle to see a coal mine that opened in Scranton in 1860! The tour guide will take you through the entire history of coal mining and how it played such a huge role in Scranton’s history. This tour will far exceed any expectation you have for it. I guarantee it!

4. Jitty Joe’s and Mannings

I never knew how amazing ice cream could be until I came to Scranton! There are a few ice cream shops here that actually make their own ice cream. It’s so much better than anything you can find in the store! My top two favorites are Jitty Joe’s and Manning Farm Dairy. Be sure to try the edible cookie dough at Jitty Joe’s! Mannings even lets you come tour their dairy farm so you can see right where the ice cream comes from!

5. Susquehanna Brewing Company

For students 21+, Susquehanna Brewing Company is the place to be! Also known as SBC, they craft all of their own beer on site! The beer here is different than any other you’ve tried, I promise! They have so many different kinds, but their fruit beer is one of a kind! They also host free events every week like trivia, bingo, and during the summer they have food trucks visit!

                                           6. Kayaking

There are so many parks and lakes around the Scranton area to explore! One fun activity is renting kayaks to get out on the water! Kayaks can be rented at Lackawanna State Park, on the Susquehanna River in Falls, PA, and on Lake Wallenpaupack! Scranton has beautiful weather into the fall, in the spring, and especially in the summer. Take advantage of every sunny day you get! The Poconos are famous for their beauty and can be found right in Scranton’s backyard!

7. Montage Mountain

If winter sports are more of your thing, the area has its very own Ski Resort! Montage Mountain is located just 15 minutes from campus! They have skiing, snowboarding, and tubing! During the summer, they also have a water park! Concerts are held often during the warmer months at the Pavilion. Recent past performers include: Blink 182, Jason Aldean, and Fall Out Boy!

8. Eating

I still, to this day, have yet to find an area with as many restaurants as the Scranton area! Within walking distance of campus, there are 20+ alone! Some of my personal favorites are: Ale Mary’s, Backyard Ale House, and the famous Cooper’s Seafood House that was featured in The Office! Just a short drive away from campus is a town called Old Forge that is actually the pizza capital of the world! There are endless places to eat around Scranton, so make a bucket list of places to try as soon as you get into the city!

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