The e-newsletter of Chestnut Hill College

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The e-newsletter of Chestnut Hill College

News & Notes

News & Notes

Students pull an all-nighter to decorate campus in early December

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas!

The CHC student body gathered to decorate the College and kick off a weekend of Christmas traditions on Thursday night, December 3.

Christmas Decorating Night was first held in 1928 as a thank you to the Sisters of Saint Joseph. The event has since been held annually on the first Thursday after Thanksgiving.

This year, the College’s Student Government Association class officers picked color schemes as a theme for their class decorations.

Priscilla Lugo ’16 celebrated her fourth Christmas Decorating Night this year. “I’m planning on staying up all night, even though I have a class at 9:30 tomorrow,” she said around midnight.

Christmas Decorating is held from 9 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday. Once the decorations are complete, the students who have managed to stay awake walk to the house of President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D. and sing Christmas Carols.

Carol Night 2015
The Rotunda is filled with music on Carol Night.

The next night, the College opens its doors for Carol Night, when the jazz, wind and string ensembles as well as the Hill Singers perform for the College community and the public.


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The cast of "It's a Wonderful Life" poses with Jennifer Thorpe, advisor, on opening night.
The cast of "It's a Wonderful Life" poses with Jennifer Thorpe, advisor, on opening night.
Brenda Lange


It’s a Wonderful Life = a Wonderful Success!

What better way to start the holiday season than with a stage adaptation of the classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life?” CHC’s Mask & Foil club presented the play over the weekend of November 20-22 drawing record numbers of enthusiastic theatergoers.

“The amount of positive feedback I received was fantastic,” says Jennifer Thorpe, director of residence life. “It was the largest cast we have had in my 10 years as advisor and they had so much synergy and were delightful to work with. It was our most ambitious effort and we are thrilled with the quality of the performance.”

The club’s spring efforts will include a variety show, Mystery Dinner Theater and an improv night.

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Donate baby items to the Baby Bureau
Donate gently used baby items to The Baby Bureau on Saturday, December 19.

Help New Moms Help Their Babies

Chestnut Hill College will host a baby clothing and supplies drive to benefit The Baby Bureau on Saturday, December 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donations can be dropped off in the lobby of Fournier Hall.

The Baby Bureau’s “wish list” includes new and gently used baby clothes (0-12 months), new receiving blankets, new rattles, new board books, baby shoes and Dreft (high efficiency) detergent.

The organization was founded by Fran Wasserman ’11 SCPS, who turned her passion for service and desire to help underserved moms and their babies into a non-profit. Each mom receives a “Baby Bundle” that includes 30 outfits, onesies, sleepers, a hat, bib book, new rattles, socks, shoes and a beautiful handmade blanket.

For more information about The Baby bureau visit For information about the clothing drive contact Mary Ann Borek at 215-242-7706.

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Sabra Ann Walter, M.S., shares her research on stepfamilies with CJ Stemple ’16, a student in the SUS psychology program.
Sabra Ann Walter, M.S., shares her research on step families with CJ Stemple ’16, a student in the SUS psychology program.
Marilee Gallagher '14

Evolving Research Shared Through Psy.D. Poster Session

Recently, 19 doctoral students in their third year of the five-year Psy.D. program, presented their research in the form of a poster session that was open to all students, faculty and staff on the College campus.

“At this point in the program, our research is still evolving, but it’s good to have that opportunity to defend what we have and get input and advice from the faculty and those interested in the work we are doing,” says Keri Condoluci, M.S., who presented her research on An Exploration of Primary Care Physicians’ Knowledge of Psychological Trauma, Associated Risks, and Identifying Efforts to Increase Screening Practices.

In addition to the faculty and staff that support the Psy.D. students, Meredith Kneavel, Ph.D., professor of psychology, has been bringing her undergraduate students to see the presentations for seven years.

“It’s important for the younger students to see firsthand what research is like and that it can be fun and not as scary as it sounds,” she says. “It definitely makes everything feel less big and less intimidating when the time comes for them to do projects like that.”

- Marilee Gallagher '14

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Fitness Center
CHC's Fitness Center recently gained some state-of-the-art athletic equipment.

Loving the Fitness Center Facelift

CHC’s Fitness Center received a facelift prior to the start of the 2015-2016 athletic year. The redesign by Gym Source even earned a mention in the National Fitness Trade Journal. New equipment, including a state-of-the-art Torque X-Rack system with 12 Olympic platforms and Octane LateralX elliptical machines, were also installed, allowing students and student-athletes to train like never before.

“The customized 54’ X-rack was the perfect fit for a much more functional and efficient experience for all of our users- student-athletes, students, faculty and staff,” Sandy Dickson, director of fitness and recreation, said in an interview with NFTJ. “To say we are loving it would be a huge understatement.”

To read the full story, which appears on page 18 of the FALL 2015 issue of NFTJ, click here (

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Brielle Frasca and Santa

In the Spirit of Christmas

Brielle Frasca ’17 recently was tapped to play one of Santa’s elves by the Chestnut Hill Business Association and spent a day in town with Jolly Old St. Nick interacting with kids and their families. Frasca most recently was seen in Mask & Foil presentation of “It’s a Wonderful Life” in which she played Annie. She also directed the play.

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Playing All Night

Recently, the Computer Club took part in a 24-hour video gaming marathon in support of Extra Life and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The event was live streamed on Twitch allowing anyone to watch the club play a variety of games from Mario Kart to Five Nights at Freddy’s. In all, $448 was raised in the second year of the event.

“Team Griffin Nation would like to thank everyone who watched, donated and was there throughout the entire process of making this event a reality,” said Chris Alford ’15, club president, after the event. “From the bottom of our hearts, thanks, and here’s to the possibility of Extra Life 2016 for Griffin Nation!”

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CHC participants join Helen Prejean, CSJ, (second from right) in Washington, D.C., in November.

In the Ignation Tradition

Campus Ministry invited students ranging from first to senior year to represent the College at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C., in November. The annual gathering allows Catholics who follow the Ignatian tradition to come together in support of social justice and solidarity to learn, reflect, pray, network and advocate together. Topics ranged from social justice to workers’ rights. One of the keynote speakers was Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of “Dead Man Walking” and an anti-death penalty activist who has spoken at the College in the past.