University of Scranton Science Center Ranked Among Best in the World

The University of Scranton’s Loyola Science Center was among “The 50 Most Impressive Environmentally Friendly University Buildings” in the world recognized by Best Masters Degrees, an education and career website for prospective graduate students.

The Loyola Science Center, ranked at No. 19, is listed with academic buildings in Seoul, South Korea, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, and Beruit, Lebanon, as well as facilities from campuses across the United States.

According to the website, the buildings selected “reflect leadership in sustainability and also have significant visual impact.”

The 200,000-square-foot, $85 million Loyola Science Center, dedicated in the fall of 2012, is the largest capital project in University’s history. The facility, designed by Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering (EYP), earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, gold status certification in 2014.

Among the center’s many “green features” are energy-efficient lighting and controls, water conserving plumbing fixtures, high efficiency boilers and chillers, rain garden features, green house, observation deck and a computerized building control system that operates the ventilation, heating, and air conditioning systems. Materials for the center were supplied from within a 500-mile radius, including a blend of locally quarried West Mountain stone. All laboratories and spaces are designed to maximize energy efficiency. The building’s massive heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system employs a heat-exchange wheel to recirculate already conditioned heated or cooled air.

The building is visually recognizable for its synthesis of locally quarried stone with the extensive use of glass that admits natural light into laboratories and teaching spaces. The design makes use of high-efficiency glazing to reduce energy consumption, enhance visibility and views and puts science on grand display.

In October of 2018, The Princeton Review recognized Scranton among the most environmentally responsible colleges in the nation through its inclusion in the 2018 edition of “The Princeton Review Guide to 399 Green Colleges.”  In addition, The Princeton Review has listed Scranton in its “Best Colleges” guidebooks among the nation’s top 20 “Best Science Labs” for the past four consecutive years, ranking Scranton’s science labs at No. 16 in the country its 2019 edition.

Use Your Career to Reduce Stress for Others

How Does Therapeutic Behavior Management Relate to Business?

Not only are these tips useful to Human Resources professionals, but they can help us all deal to stress in our work lives.

More than 80% of workers in the United States admit to having job-related stress. This continued stress frequently leads to burnout, which can affect an employee’s ability to remain productive in the workplace. Therapeutic behavior management can be beneficial to any employee experiencing job-related stress.

Job Stress vs. Professional Challenges

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the perception of job stress is frequently confused with professional challenges. These two concepts are not one and the same.

Job stress leads to unhealthy physical and emotional reactions, whereas professional challenges can energize an individual both mentally and physically.

Challenges motivate professionals to master new skills that will improve their job performance. Successfully completing a challenge at work frequently leads to the same feeling of satisfaction an individual experienced following accomplishments during their college career.

A survey conducted by Northwestern National Life finds that 40% of the workers surveyed feel their jobs are very stressful. Additionally, one-fourth of employees consider their jobs to be the number one stressor in their lives.

The Effect of Job Stress on an Individual’s Health

When an individual becomes stressed, the brain begins to prepare the body to take defensive action. This defensive action is frequently referred to as the fight or flight response.

During this response:

  • The nervous system arouses and releases hormones to enhance the senses
  • Respiration deepens
  • The pulse quickens
  • Muscles become tense

Although occasional or brief episodes of stress are of little concern, stressful situations that keep the body in a continuous state of activation must be addressed.

A continued state of fight or flight activation increases the amount of wear and tear on the biological systems throughout the body. Eventually, the ability for the body to defend and repair itself becomes compromised. This increases the risk of the individual becoming ill or injured.

Reduce Stress by Changing Your Thoughts About Work

Dr. Frank Ghinassi, who has served on the board of the Academic Behavioral Health Consortium, states that in order to make it through the workday with less stress, we need to alter the way we think about work. Changing our perspective may significantly reduce the apprehension and nervousness we experience in the workplace.

Ghinassi states that it is not necessarily the facts that compel our emotions, but what we think about a particular event. Our cognitive interpretations are responsible for driving how we feel.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Job-Related Stress

The National Institute of Mental Health recognizes CBT as an effective treatment for anxiety disorders and depression.

CBT therapy is unique in that it focuses on the beliefs and thoughts a patient has, rather than a patient’s actions. Because job-related stress is frequently caused by perception, some of the strategies utilized in CBT therapy may help individuals who are dealing with job-related stress.

4 CBT-Inspired Strategies to Reduce Job-Related Stress

1. Prioritize

Stress levels begin to rise as our responsibilities increase throughout the workday. Make a list of the things you need to accomplish. Rate these tasks according to importance. Chances are that several tasks are crucial, while others are not very important. Now you can focus your attention on the crucial tasks; completing the unimportant tasks only after the crucial tasks have been addressed.

By taking the time to prioritize, you can clearly see the tasks that require immediate attention and which tasks can be addressed at your leisure; thus reducing your stress levels.

2. Create an Oasis

Whenever your attention wanders and you begin thinking stressful thoughts, Ghinassi recommends taking a break. Find a quiet place where you can perform calming non-physical exercises. These exercises may include positive imagery, deep breathing, and listening to soothing music.

3. Use Probability to Eliminate Negative Thoughts

Catastrophizing is a type of thought pattern that focuses on every possible mistake or slip up that can lead to a downfall. Besides causing stress, this kind of black-and-white thinking may cause you to have a sense of impending doom. Instead, Ghinassi suggests controlling these thoughts by weighing the likelihood – or probability – of something happening. Once you bring this technique into your regular patterns of thought, it can be a calming influence in eliminating worry about things that aren’t likely to manifest into actual problems.

4. The Cognitive Flip

If you feel as if you have lost control of a situation, you can try to curb stress levels by thinking about the things you can control. That doesn’t mean the things you can’t control won’t happen but by focusing on what you have the power to control, you are reminded that you can shape your own outcomes.

Having these behavior management tools at your disposal and knowing how to use them will help you manage stress, often before it becomes debilitating. If you are a manager, fostering some of these patterns in a general way can help your staff.

By addressing staff mental health issues, performance levels increase and a company or organization becomes a better place to work. A qualified leader in a company’s human resources department will encourage the use of these techniques by everyone in the company, when needed. They can be used to significantly improve the atmosphere and health of the work force.

Knowing methods like this to improve morale and productivity is just one small – but very effective – part of an advanced human resources education, such as a Master of Science in Human Resources Management. If you want to step up and do more for your company, look into the online master’s in human resources management offered by The University of Scranton.

The Surprising Necessities of Health Informatics

Experts in health informatics are becoming an integral part of the insurance industry as more insurers work with health-care providers to find cost-effective ways to enhance the quality and safety of patient care.

The Affordable Care Act has led to changes in the delivery and reimbursement of health-care services, prompting health care systems, health care providers, and insurance companies to work together to improve patient outcomes and the bottom line.

With the advent of electronic medical records, health-care providers have been turning to health informatics professionals to manage sophisticated health information systems. Insurers also are using informatics to help health-care providers enhance the quality of patient care while simultaneously reducing costs.1

Today, insurance companies rely on health informatics experts who are adept at analyzing medical data to spot emerging trends, to improve health literacy, reduce hospital readmissions and visits to the emergency room, and help individuals prevent and manage chronic and costly medical conditions.2

Labor experts expect the demand for a well-trained health informatics workforce to grow, and those holding an advanced degree are likely to have their pick of jobs. A Burning Glass Technologies analysis3 of job postings nationwide showed that health informatics jobs remain open longer than many others because of a shortage of candidates. Informatics positions constitute the eighth-largest share4 of health-care occupation postings.

The role of Big Data

The field of health informatics is at the crossroad of where health care meets information technology. Experts in this field are involved in the collection, managing, and processing of clinical and medical information. With their keen analytical skills, health informatics professionals turn data into useful information that can ultimately lead to improved clinical outcomes at a lower cost to patients, providers, and insurers.5

Insurance companies have access to a treasure trove of health data gleaned from policyholders’ billing claims, health assessments, wellness programs, lab readings, medications, family history, and more. Insurers can run computer algorithms on huge amounts of health data to better understand the health needs of their members, including identifying gaps in care plans to optimize patient care.

Building healthy communities

For example, insurers can use data to identify and assist individuals who are at risk of developing chronic and costly diseases before symptoms appear. This information can be used by health-care providers to develop patient education and wellness programs to keep people healthy.6

In addition, health informatics experts can use data to identify individuals who have a chronic illness and need help to avoid serious consequences. For example, educating diabetics on the importance of visiting their primary care provider for periodic foot checks is a cost-effective way to reduce the number of diabetics who need costly amputations and rehabilitation because their disease has progressed.

Avoiding hospital readmissions

With the cost of preventable hospital readmissions totaling $17 billion annually,7 the federal government launched an initiative that penalizes hospitals that have avoidable readmissions. Some insurers are using health informatics to identify and connect frail or sick patients who are likely to be hospitalized with free health coaches.8 These coaches can help patients by coordinating care, providing transportation to medical appointments, and resolving medication issues – all with the goal of keeping people healthy and out of the hospital.

Click here to learn more about Health Informations education at The University of Scranton.

1-2 & 5-6: PWC. Advancing healthcare informatics: The power of partnerships, 2016, Accessed 23 August 2016.





Rankings Matter: Striving to be the Best

The University of Scranton graduate programs are once again ranked among America’s best by U.S. News & World Report in its 2019 edition of “Best Graduate Schools” that published online March 20. Scranton’s part-time MBA program ranked No. 74 in the nation and its graduate program in nursing ranked No. 98.

Several of Scranton’s master’s degree programs were among additional graduate program rankings published on the U.S. News website, including rehabilitation counseling (No. 24); healthcare management (No. 42); physical therapy (No. 53); occupational therapy (No. 58); and nurse anesthesia (No. 65). U.S. News also ranked Scranton’s MBA program specialties in production operations (No. 15); information systems (No. 20); finance (No. 23); and accounting (No. 28).

For the rankings, U.S. News uses data gathered by surveys of university faculty and administrators, and for some programs, professionals who hire recent graduates, to assess the quality of programs. U.S. News also uses statistical data such as faculty student ratios and student test scores in its ranking of the “Best Graduate Schools.”

The University’s graduate-level business programs include a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), Master of Accountancy (MAcc), Master of Science in Finance (MSF) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in general management or with a specialization in accounting, enterprise resource planning, finance, healthcare management, international business, management information systems, marketing and operations management. The University also offers combined/accelerated bachelor’s and master’s level programs including accounting BS/MBA, operations management BS/MBA, finance BS/MBA, management BS/MBA, and College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor’s/MBA.

Graduate nursing degrees offered by Scranton include Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, MSN; Family Nurse Practitioner, MSN and post-master’s certificate; Certified Advanced Practice Nurses, MSN; and Nurse Anesthesia, MSN and post-master’s certificate. Scranton also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), which was listed as unranked by U.S. News.

All of the University’s graduate programs hold the highest national accreditation within each discipline, including accreditation by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) for business and accreditation by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for nursing.

Earlier this year, U.S. News’ “Best Online Programs” publication ranked the University’s online graduate degree programs in business (excluding MBA) at No. 83; graduate education programs at No. 101 and MBA at No. 108. in the nation.

In undergraduate rankings published online and in print by U.S. News, Scranton has been among the top 10 “Best Regional Universities in the North” for 24 consecutive years. Scranton is ranked No. 6 in the 2018 edition of the “Best Colleges” guidebook. U.S. News also ranked Scranton’s programs in finance at No. 17, accounting at No. 17 and entrepreneurship at No. 22 in the country. U.S. News also ranked Scranton No. 18 as a “Best Value Regional University in the North.”

To learn more about graduate programs at The University of Scranton, click here.