The e-newsletter of Chestnut Hill College

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The e-newsletter of Chestnut Hill College

News & Notes

News & Notes

President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D., poses with Senator Arthur Haywood (D., 4th District), left, and Elias Joseph, assistant director of Pennsylvania's Budget Office, during a visit this summer to a Clement Hall classroom in support of CHC's RCAP grant application.


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Bookcover for Pensieve

Patrick McCauley, assistant professor of religious studies, has just published “Into the Pensieve: The Philosophy and Mythology of Harry Potter” through Schiffer Books. The book examines the arc of the storyline in Harry Potter, digging below the surface to explore ethical, mythological, and religious meanings in J.K. Rowling’s best-selling series. Find more at the publisher’s website.

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Sandra González ’98, principal of Antonia Pantoja Charter High School in North Philadelphia, recruited more than 200 volunteers to build a playground for the students at the school. Parents, 76ers basketball players, even some sisters visiting for the World Meeting of Families, helped with the project.

The school is located in an economically distressed area, and there are not many safe places for the children to play. Even though the playground will be used for the 709 students at Pentoja Charter School, there are plans to open it up for other members of the surrounding community.  

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Students in the LENS program pose in late August.
Brenda Lange

Students chosen by the Office of Service-Learning to participate in the LENS (Leadership, Engagement and Service) Program gather on campus a week before official move-in day in August. The program introduces the students to SSJ sponsored works and social justice issues in the area through specially chosen service work at agencies including Philabundance, Saint Joseph Villa and Broad Street Ministry, among others. They also reflect on issues of social justice, participate in teambuilding activities and immerse themselves in the mission and legacy of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.

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screenshot from St. Joseph's University Youtube channel

Tia Noelle Pratt, Ph.D., ’99, is a visiting instructor of sociology at St. Joseph’s University and is featured on that school’s You Tube channel, where she talks about the power of young people, their role in shaping the future of the church, and Pope Francis' relationship with younger generations. View the video here.

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Administration and staff members from CHC joined in honoring David Montgomery, Philadelphia Phillies Chairman, at the Moyer Foundation’s 3rd Annual Champions for Children luncheon in September. He received the Jamie Moyer Legends and Community All Star Award for his lifelong dedication to the city of Philadelphia.

Pictured in the photo at right, (left to right) Jamie Moyer, Fran Vorsky, director of alumni/advancement events, Susannah Coleman, vice president for institutional advancement, Lynn Tubman, director of athletics and recreation, Karen Moyer, President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D., and David Montgomery.

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Walkers get ready to set off on their Lily's Loop walk around campus.
Brenda Lange

Offering Hope and Help to Special Families

Lilian Hope surprised her parents when she arrived on the scene in July 2007, seven weeks premature, weighing only 2 lbs., 12 oz. In spite of dire predictions, Lily survived her first night and spent nearly a month in the neonatal intensive care unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital. As she grew, she struggled with issues such failure to thrive and gastrointestinal problems and required several surgeries. Specialists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were frequently part of her life.

Six years later, Lily’s brother, Aidan Patrick, joined the family. Also born prematurely, with various challenges due to his early arrival, today he takes part in an early intervention program for physical and speech therapy.

Lily and Aidan’s parents decided shortly after Lily’s birth to find a way to help families like theirs, that didn’t have the time or resources to prepare for their child’s early arrival. Lily’s Hope Foundation became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2013 to raise funds for these families. Since that time, 150 families have been helped with essential care items for premature infants, such as formula, diapers, car seat systems, care packages for siblings, gift cards and money. Read more about the foundation at Donations may be made directly on the website.

Lily and Aidan are the great niece and nephew of Marie Bambrick, SSJ, coordinator of Philadelphia Teaching Fellows at CHC. Along with Teri Wiedeman-Rouse, assistant professor of education, Sister Marie advises CHC’s student club, Council for Exceptional Children, founded 10 years ago to help all children with special needs. Each year the club’s members lead a walk known as “Lily’s Loop” around campus to raise funds  for Lily’s Hope Foundation to help  premature babies and their families. This is the seventh year for the Lily’s Loop walk at Chestnut Hill College; $1,200 was raised for this worthy cause.

For more information, contact Sister Marie at or 215.248.7014.

—Brenda Lange

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Camille St. James accepts her scholarship award from Thomas Klee, Ph.D.
Brenda Lange

New Scholarship Awarded to Psy.D. Student

On October 5, a third-year student in the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology was awarded the first Thomas Klee, Ph.D., Scholarship for the Study of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Camille St. James is the award recipient for the spring, 2016 semester.

The scholarship was presented during an event at Commonwealth Chateau on the SugarLoaf campus, in conjunction with recognition of the donor who made it possible. Thomas Klee, Ph.D., taught in the graduate program at CHC for 24 years and co-founded the Psy.D. Program in 1997 with Scott Browning, Ph.D., ABPP, and Joseph Micucci, Ph.D., ABPP. This program is unique in its approach to the study of psychology, as it takes a holistic approach based on a fundamental respect for the welfare of humanity and human diversity.

“This approach treats the physical, psychological, spiritual, cultural and relational dimensions as critical to understanding the whole person,” says Cheryll Rothery, Psy.D., ABPP, associate professor of psychology, chair of the department and director of clinical training. Today, the program has about 120 students.

When Dr. Klee, who retired in 2011, decided to reach back and help a student in the Psy.D. Program who was studying the same branch of psychology that had been his specialty, he worked with the Office of Institutional Advancement to establish this new scholarship, which “provides $5,000 toward tuition for a student in Year III of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Chestnut Hill College who demonstrates a commitment to modern psychodynamic theory as applied to psychotherapy.”

Dr. Klee was honored with an engraved plaque for his contribution to Chestnut Hill College, the profession of clinical psychology and the students who have learned so much from him.

Current Psy.D. students may request information on the application process for the Thomas Klee, Ph.D., Scholarship for the Study of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy from Cheryll Rothery, Psy.D., ABPP, at

—Brenda Lange

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Understanding Disability Accommodations

Recently, Kristin Tracy, director of the Disability Resource Center, and Cecilia Cavanaugh, SSJ, Ph.D., dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies, were asked to give a presentation at Archbishop Wood High School to educate faculty and staff members regarding disability accommodations at the collegiate level.

The presentation, titled, “Comparison of the Requirements and Procedures of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),” was given to approximately 60 faculty members over the course of two days.

According to Tracy, one of the purposes of the presentation was to clear up the “misconceptions that disability accommodations do not exist at the collegiate level.”

“Many students and parents don’t know that there are resources in higher education,” Tracy says. “We just want to bring awareness to that.”

Tracy believes education and awareness is key, and not just among students and parents, but among faculty, guidance counselors and administrators as well, as they are the ones working with the students on a daily basis and should be able to identify the need for an accommodation.

“What it really comes down to is helping the teachers and guidance counselors — those who work closest with the students — be able to help those students self-advocate,” says Tracy. “Once we’ve gotten the self-identification process started, people like me can really focus on the student to meet them where they are.”

For more information on CHC’s Disability Resource Center, visit its website.

— Marilee Gallagher ’14

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1650 Society Induction

As the World Meeting of Families began in mid-September, so did the College’s annual Mission & Legacy Week, designed to celebrate the heritage of Chestnut Hill College as sponsored work of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia.

During the week, the campus community was invited to join a variety of activities and events, including the viewing of Pope Francis’ address to the U.S. Congress, a day of service, Sunday Mass in Carlino Chapel followed by a broadcast of the Papal Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and a lecture given by Chris Lowney, author of the book, Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads. Lessons from the First Jesuit Pope.

The College brought the week to a close with a celebration of Founders’ Day, a commemoration of Chestnut Hill College’s founding in 1924, with a talk given by Katherine Hanley, CSJ, titled, “Reflecting on the SSJ Charism and Mission.” The talk connected the mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, the message being preached by Pope Francis and the call to live a mission of active, inclusive love.

After Hanley’s presentation, the College had its first commissioning of the 1650 Society, Chestnut Hill College’s Mission Honor Society.

“I feel extremely fortunate to be a founding member of the 1650 Society,” Mary Katherine Ortale ’16 said after the event. “I’ve felt fortunate since our first meeting around the fireplace in McCaffrey Lounge, just as the first six sisters sat around the hearth in LePuy, on living the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph. I look forward to our continued times of sharing and service as those who came before us.”

—Cristina Diaz ’15

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Parents Can Stay Connected

It’s not always easy to send your child off to college, and especially in his or her first year, parents may find themselves lacking information and wanting to know more. Chestnut Hill College has recently revamped its website, and added a convenient link for parents to find news and information from safety and security issues to career and learning resources to a variety of news sources through which they can be kept up-to-date, including The Griffin, the student newspaper, Griffin TV news, the student-run news video program, the News Center site that lists all events happening at the College, and this newsletter.

Additional information:

The residence halls close on the following dates, at the following times:

Thanksgiving Break: Tuesday, November 24 at 6 p.m. to Sunday November 29 at noon.

Winter Break: Friday, December 11 at 6 p.m. to Sunday, January 17 at noon.

Break Housing Applications must be completed by the student on the MYCHC portal. Please make the appropriate travel plans to meet the date and time parameters to avoid added fees.

Residence Life Care Package Program

Many families elected to send their student a welcome care package and arranged for several to be delivered throughout the year. If you missed this opportunity you can still make arrangements. We work with On Campus Marketing to provide these fun surprises to students. Visit