Empowering Students

Cary Anderson, associate provost and vice president of student life

One of the hallmarks of a Jesuit education is the resilience and flexibility of mind to not only weather adversity, but to also thrive within challenging times. While the last year threw so much at our students, the power of the relationships between our student life staff and students allowed us to deliver meaningful programming and experiences to complement their learning.

Throughout it all, our faculty and staff came together to ensure that student safety and student satisfaction remained paramount. The outpouring of volunteerism from every level of the institution for COVID-19 testing, vaccination clinics, contact tracing, virtual events and admissions tours made a very strange and scary circumstance much easier to bear. The “we got this” mentality was palpable and affirming. We softened the difficult reality of quarantine and isolation with creative activities, mental and spiritual check-ins, home-baked treats, and extra support so that students could keep up with their academics. We brought programming outside with heated tents and pop-up ice skating rinks, delivered supplies and held arts and crafts tutorials on Zoom, and worked with student groups to bring their ideas to life.

And we listened, really listened, when our students told us they were struggling to make friends. Restrictions on social activities, adjusting to life away from home while worrying about their family, learning in a hybrid and online environment, and coping with mounting anxiety all made college life different from what they expected. For those of us in student life professions, mental health considerations are a daily reality. COVID-19 amplified the need to be responsive. We have instituted critical services like 24/7 emergency and urgent call-in support and suicide prevention. And beyond this, we worked with students to implement programming like mindfulness, yoga, recreational and exercise classes that spoke to them, inspired them and connected them. Above all, we worked each and every day to destigmatize seeking help.

None of this can be done without deep relationships and genuine partnership between students and the campus staff that serves them. 

Together, we leaned into our Jesuit philosophy and approach of bringing our whole selves to our work. Our students learned valuable lessons about resilience and developing the intuition and maturity needed to make the decisions that are right for them, while also being cognizant of the greater impact of their actions. I am constantly in awe of the many ways that students understand their time here is about more than rounding out a resume; it’s about rounding out their character. When we stay true to our Jesuit values, and when we don’t just hear each other but actually listen, we thrive — not just as individuals but as a community with and for others.

cary anderson's signature





Cary M. Anderson, Ed.D.
Associate Provost and Vice President, Student Life




Leading With and For Others

First Black Student Senate President Makes Strides for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

student talking to a classmate in the library

Since her arrival on Hawk Hill, Taylor Stokes ’22 has been eager to support and advocate for her peers as a student leader. Now, the criminal justice major and justice and ethics in law minor from West Philadelphia is making a larger impact by using her voice to amplify marginalized voices as the University’s first Black Student Senate president.

In her sophomore year, she served as the Senate’s inaugural secretary of inclusion and equity and founded #BeCivil, a campaign to increase open dialogue about DEI on campus and create welcoming, inclusive spaces through identity workshops. Now as president, Stokes is expanding the identity workshops, which cover topics such as intersectionality, privilege, allyship and an exploration of cultural and social identifiers. In addition to developing and promoting these workshops, she’s also one of four students who present them at student organization meetings and campus events. This includes the annual Day of Dialogue, a campus-wide event featuring discussions and presentations on DEI topics. 

She’s also partnering with Nicole Stokes, Ph.D., (no relation) associate provost for diversity, equity and inclusion, to create diversity modules based on these workshops for students to complete through course learning materials. Stokes and her fellow senators also worked with the Center for Inclusion and Diversity and the Dean’s Leadership Program to bring Dear World — an interactive photo project where over 100 students, faculty and staff shared stories about their identity by writing messages on their skin and getting their portraits taken — to campus this fall.

“There’s so much more that people don’t think about when it comes to our identities, and I want to bring awareness to that [on our campus] and normalize it,” she says.

Cross-Campus Collaboration Results in Big Wins for Health Care

students giving vaccinations and health screenings


Students and faculty collaborated on a research initiative to prove that preventative health screenings not only address avoidable health problems, but they can also save health care providers money.

Beginning in 2014, Peter Clark, S.J., Ph.D., professor and director of the University’s Institute of Clinical Bioethics (ICB) and John McShain Chair in Ethics, together with Bridget McNierney ’19 and Ryan Williamson ’21, piloted the Health Promoter Program (HPP) at neighboring hospital Mercy Fitzgerald. The program aimed to reduce hospital costs by providing uninsured immigrant populations with free health screenings.

But as the pilot flourished, ICB came up against a challenge in proving that this program could be lucrative for health care providers — the data they had collected was not financial in nature and, therefore, didn’t translate for fiscal analysis.

Enter Tim Swift, Ph.D., professor of management and director of the Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Center for Business Ethics. Swift and his former graduate assistant Justin Stout ’19, ’21 (MBA) reworked the data collected by the ICB through a pharmacoeconomic analysis to provide evidence that the Health Promoter Program would save these institutions money — upwards of $140,000 a year.

In 2021, HPP began operating out of the U.S. Consulate offices in Philadelphia to reach a broader population. The program continues preventative health screenings and recently added vaccination clinics to its services

  Physics Major Lands NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant and Goldwater Scholarship

Alex Manduca '22, a physics major at Saint Joseph's University, wearing a suit


Alexander Manduca ’22 remembers evenings under the night skies as a kid, looking up at the stars through a telescope with his dad and wondering how it all began. It’s a curiosity that’s stayed with him throughout his life and inspired his major in physics.

Now a senior applying to graduate programs, Manduca is the recipient of the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship — a highly competitive STEM award given to less than 10% of applicants — as well as a grant from the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium. The grant has allowed Manduca to hone his focus on experimental cosmology and the early universe in collaboration with scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and the Simons Observatory.

“We’re building instruments that measure the cosmic microwave background — the background radiation of the universe — for the sake of understanding the universe's evolutionary history and paving the way for new scientific discoveries,” he explains.

In addition to Manduca's research endeavors, he is actively involved on campus in student groups and outreach efforts. As president of SJU’s Society of Physics Students, Manduca and his classmates are working to implement a technology that will monitor humidity and soil salinity in the University’s community garden, which produced over 400 pounds of food this year — all donated to fight food insecurity. He’s also working with his astrophysics class to build an ionospheric monitor and set up telescopes around campus for community members to learn more about solar flares, ionospheric disturbances and the early universe.

Manduca’s ultimate goal is to earn his Ph.D. and work in the field of space instrumentation. “I want to understand this very sensitive, early light of the universe and understand why we are here.”

Workforce Ready

Co-ops Unite the Classroom and the Workplace

student talking to a classmate in the library


Brock Jablonski ’22 will graduate this spring as one of three Saint Joseph’s students with a full-time offer to work with AmerisourceBergen, one of the largest global pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The double major in finance and business intelligence met his future employer during his second year of school through the University’s Cooperative Education Program. “I felt like I was ahead of the curve being able to work in a company my sophomore year,” he says.

Through the co-op program, students work in full-time positions, test driving a career and building a professional network while remaining on track to graduate in four years. Participants not only gain valuable work experience, but they also increase their earning potential.


The 145 students who participated in this year’s program will earn approximately $10K more than other Class of 2021 grads entering the workforce.


For the co-op class of 2021, 88% reported that co-op introduced them to a profession they want to pursue.

The program continues to expand year after year. Through the leadership of alumnus Matt Kaiser ’99, AmerisourceBergen's senior director of global indirect strategic sourcing, AmerisourceBergen has gone from hiring a single student per semester in 2007 to nearly a dozen today. Students work in sectors across the company from financial planning and analysis to master data, management, global sourcing and marketing.

Todd Krug, Ph.D., director of the Erivan K. Haub School of Business Co-op Program, says students tell him it’s “the most important and formative decision they made during their time at Saint Joseph’s.” The outcomes speak for themselves. For the co-op class of 2021, 88% reported that co-op introduced them to a profession they want to pursue.

Sample Co-Op Employers:

AmerisourceBergen Fox 29 Kellogg's
The Barclay Group The General SAP
Chubb Johnson & Johnson Siemen's

Hawks Talk Co-op

Making Connections

“I was getting mentored by and connecting with the people I grew up watching and considered my broadcast journalism idols. I got a chance to do some on-camera work, build a demo reel and create stories of my own."

— Alysa Bainbridge ’21, communication studies major, journalism minor and co-op at FOX 29

Getting A Head Start

“I was recruited by alumni at Cornerstone Capital to become a co-op in their career development program at the end of my freshman year. Through this opportunity, I passed the Series 65 exam and became a fully licensed financial advisor by my junior year. Thanks to Dr. Todd Krug and the co-op program, I have positioned myself to be years ahead of my peers in my financial planning career.

— Brian Gassaway ’21, finance major and coop at Cornerstone Capital Planning Group

Real-World Experiences

“I designed a cereal snacking planogram (a blueprint for how products are displayed in different aisles) from scratch for Southeastern Grocers, a grocery chain in Florida, using images from Kellogg’s database. It was really cool because I was a student and they trusted me to do this big project.

— Allison Saile ’21, food marketing major and co-op at Kellogg’s


Top 5 Athletic Moments Of the Year

saint joseph's university athletes


  • David Grana ’21, Alan Kahlenbeck ’21 and Matthew Scarpill ’21 all earned Academic All-American awards. Grana made men's soccer history as the first player to achieve First Team status on the College Sports Information Directors of America 2020-21 Academic All-America First Team. His teammate Kahlenbeck was added to the Second Team. Scarpill earned Academic All-America recognition for the second consecutive year, making him the only Hawk to earn the honor multiple times, and just the second SJU Academic All-American in men's track and field and cross country history.

  • The softball team captured the Atlantic 10 North Division title. Sarah Ostaszewski ’20, ’21 (M.S.) became Saint Joseph's all-time leader in doubles in Hawks' softball history and became the fourth player to reach 200 career hits. Head Coach Erin Brooks earned her 300th career victory.

  • Graduate student Zach Michon ’20, ’22 (M.H.A.), broke a University record in the 5000m at the Atlantic 10 Program Record Race. Michon then finished his Atlantic 10 career by winning both the 1500m and 5000m and leading the men's track and field team to a ninth-place showing in a field of 12 teams at the 2021 A-10 Outdoor Championships.

  • Stephanie Kelly ’21 was voted the Atlantic 10 Women's Lacrosse Co-Offensive Player of the Year and set a program record for career assists. Men's lacrosse claimed the Northeastern Conference regular-season title, and Head Coach Taylor Wray was voted the 2021 Northeast Conference Coach of the Year. Zach Cole ’22 was named the Northeast Conference Player of the Year and surpassed 400 career face-off wins.

  • James J. Maguire ’58 launched the University’s $55-million fundraising campaign to support the campus master plan with a $20 million leadership gift. The gift will help fund high-performance facilities that will meet and exceed the ever-changing needs and expectations of the Division I student-athlete, create campus community connection and engage fans like never before.

Men's basketball player Taylor Funk shooting the ball at a game
Name, Image and Likeness

NCAA Policy Changes the Game for Student-Athlete Business Ventures

In July of 2021, the NCAA granted college student-athletes the ability to receive compensation from third parties for business activities, endorsements and other uses of their name, image and likeness (NIL). Immediately, Saint Joseph’s Athletics introduced an NIL policy for all student-athletes and provided resources for students, coaches, parents and community members to manage these new and expanded opportunities.

At Saint Joseph’s, NIL opportunities are viewed as an integral part of personal and professional development. The options are endless — student-athletes can get paid to endorse products on social media or other platforms; they can advertise a myriad of services, along with a tagline such as “I am a Division I student-athlete at Saint Joseph’s University;” and they can make paid appearances or sell an autograph.

In the first months following the NCAA announcement, 40 SJU student-athletes engaged in NIL activities. Early NIL adopters include soccer goalkeeper Christian Matson ’25, who landed a sponsorship with goalkeeping glove company Set GK; graduate student Cassidy Atchison ’21, who is sponsored by field hockey brand Longstreth; and graduate student Taylor Funk ’21, who scored sponsorships with Restore Health and Wellness Therapy, Discover Lancaster and Make Your Mark Barbershop.

Levi Anderson playing lacrosse
Shooting for Success

Athlete's Triumph Over Dyslexia

As an international, first-generation college student-athlete, Levi Anderson ’23 knew there would be a lot to juggle at college. In his youth, Anderson was diagnosed with dyslexia, which made reading comprehension difficult; he says it has been one of the hardest challenges he’s had to overcome.

However, as a student in the University’s Athlete Center for Enrichment (ACE), it wasn’t something the lacrosse player had to tackle alone. ACE monitors the academic progress of Saint Joseph’s student-athletes — 38 of whom earned a perfect grade-point average this spring, with 213 qualifying for the Academic Distinction Honor Roll with a 3.5 GPA.

The office offers a wide range of services including orientations, academic boot camps, first-year seminars and networking dinners. ACE also specializes in support for first-generation, international and graduate students.

"When I came on campus, I wasn’t really sure if I could make it all work, between different expectations and the daily rigor of being a D1 athlete,” says Anderson, who’s pursuing a degree in sociology with a master’s in criminal justice. “But working with ACE has really helped me get my schedule figured out, keep up with my classes and stay accountable.”