Sophomores chosen for Lead to Serve Program

Twenty-five students were chosen for the program.
A group of 25 sophomore students at Misericordia University have been selected to participate in a unique program that has been designed to develop leadership skills and foster their desire to serve their communities in the spirit of the Religious Sisters of Mercy who founded the institution of higher education in 1924.

Kit Foley, dean of students, developed and launched the Mercy Leadership Program: Lead to Serve in 2011. “This select group of sophomores, for the most part, have been involved in community service in high school and have shown us a passion to lead and serve others,” says Foley. “Our hope is to make sure that their expertise and drive is fostered and the students are guided by the tenets we promote as a Mercy institution.”

The 11-week program is held during the fall semester and includes weekly sessions on topics such as team building, leadership skills, inclusion and management style. The speakers include representatives from different departments on campus including representatives from the Sisters of Mercy, who will share the story of Catherine McAuley, RSM, who founded the order to carry on her mission of helping others, especially women and children.

A panel of current student leaders will also provide stories on the outcomes they have achieved and the motivation behind the campus leadership work that they do. A separate session will provide the students with tips on achieving a healthy balance in their life, as they juggle academic, family, work and service leadership obligations.

Throughout the semester, each student will help develop and participate in a group service project to benefit the local community. “Last year, one of the projects was centered around disability awareness and resulted in a student organization being formed on campus to carry that mission forward. It is exactly that type of a result we were hoping for,” adds Foley. “The current Student Government Association president broadened her leadership skills through the inaugural program last year.”

The students were selected from a pool of 60 who received preliminary invitations to apply. “The selection process is difficult because we have so many excellent students to choose from, and so many with extensive backgrounds in community service in high school,” adds Foley. “The students represent a wide variety of majors, from sport management to accounting, many of which are outside what you would consider the traditional service-oriented majors of the health and medical sciences, and education.”

“I wanted to become a part of Mercy Leadership Program to connect with my peers who also live with a passion to help people,” says Courtney Sult, a speech-language pathology major from Dallas, Pa. “I hope to achieve a sense of togetherness by sharing this passion and I hope to gain a better understanding of the mission of the Sisters of Mercy. At Misericordia, I really like how there are so many ways to get involved, not only with the campus, but throughout the community.”

“I have realized, through this program, that everyone has their own unique personality and in order to achieve a goal that the group is aiming for, every single person needs to have their voices heard and we need to work to mesh everyone’s ideas together,” adds Nick Ciaglia, a sport management major from Moscow, Pa.

“During my freshman year, I got involved in a lot of school activities and in service projects on campus,” says Caroline Landen, a psychology major from Bridgewater, N.J. “I fell in love with helping others and doing service, and this year I wanted to do more. The most valuable lesson I learned so far was that working with others, who can also lead, is so beneficial because we are able to work together and achieve a common goal.”

“As a future teacher, I was excited when I received the application to be a part of the Lead to Serve program because leadership is a very important quality to have when leading a class,” said Brian Quinlan, a history and secondary education major from Kutztown, Pa. “Misericordia’s Mercy heritage and history of serving others played a major factor in my choice to attend this school. I really wanted a school that would allow me to expand my horizons by reaching out and helping others.”

The program will conclude with a special recognition dinner on campus for the students.

In addition to Ciaglia, Landen, Quinlan and Sult, the students selected for the program are Victoria Adeyinka, Maplewood, N.J.; Conor Brennan, Stockholm, N.J.; Brittany Bressler, Chalfont, Pa.; Beatriz Chavez, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; DeAnna Darling, Groton, N.Y.; Ryan Evans, Noxen, Pa.; Alexandra Graham, Madison, N.J.; Mary Hawes, Bangor, Pa.; Jarrett Higley, Dushore. Pa.; Celsi Illiano, Dover, Del.; Patrick Johnson, Montville, N.J.; Heather Marsico, Duryea, Pa.; William Morrow, Forty Fort, Pa.; Giuliana Mucaro, Howell, N.J.; Marybeth Rissinger, Pottsville, Pa.; Rebecca Santoleri, Glen Mills, Pa.; Perry Santosus, East Northport, N.Y.; Elisabeth Shovlin, Mountain Top, Pa.; Alexandria Smith, Seaford, Del.; Tamara Stubits, Slatington, Pa.; and Caitlin Vitale, West Pittston, Pa.


Misericordia University students selected to participate in the Misericordia University 2012 Mercy Leadership Program: Lead to Serve are shown front row, from left: Tamara Stubits, Slatington, Pa.; Beatriz Chavez, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Heather Marsico, Duryea, Pa.; Marybeth Rissinger, Pottsville, Pa.; Celsi Illiano, Dover, Del.; and Victoria Adeyinka, Maplewood, N.J. Second row: Elisabeth Shovlin, Mountain Top, Pa.; Mary Hawes, Bangor, Pa.; Perry Santosus, Long Island, N.Y.; Alexandria Smith, Seaford, Del.; Caroline Landen, Bridgewater, N.J.; Courtney Sult, Dallas, Pa.; Rebecca Santoleri, Glen Mills, Pa.; DeAnna Darling, Groton, N.Y.; Giuliana Mucaro, Howell, N.J.; and Brittany Bressler, Chalfont, Pa. Third row: Caitlin Vitale, West Pittston, Pa.; Alexandra Graham, Madison, N.J.; Nick Ciaglia, Moscow, Pa.; Brian Quinlan, Kutztown, Pa.; Patrick Johnson, Montville, N.J.; Conor Brennan, Stockholm, N.J.; and Jarrett Higley, Dushore, Pa.