Manor College Leads the Pack When it Comes to OER Adoption

A recent survey of Manor College faculty indicated that the vast majority now use Open Educational Resources in the classroom. What exactly are Open Educational Resources (OER)? The materials vary, but essentially: textbooks, research materials, and other educational assets that can be accessed digitally by students, often for a low cost or as free open-license content. As college costs continue to rise, the benefit of having inexpensive or even free textbooks is obvious. Dr. Cherie Crosby, Manor’s Professor of Education Programs, headed the survey to find out how prevalent OER usage really was at the college, and the degree to which the college was best serving its students financially. Manor College faculty’s quick adoption of OER is ultimately in keeping with the school’s mission to provide students an affordable pathway to education. Higher Ed is Slow to Embrace OER, Despite Advantages Manor’s Fall 2018 survey polled 53 faculty members from a wide range of disciplines, and an overwhelming majority reported that their courses use OER materials. This is in contrast to most colleges and universities—national surveys indicate a far lower rate of adoption. How does Manor stack up? The Babson Survey Research Group polled nearly 3,000 instructors, and discovered that a mere 9% of faculty nationwide are using OER for their classes.  In addition, only 30% report even being aware of open educational resources. The Fall 2018 survey further found that Manor faculty were using a wide variety of OER, including open source textbooks, openly licensed videos, articles, powerpoint presents, and more. For Many Students, Cost is a True Barrier to Education For students who attend school with the help of financial aid and scholarships, the hefty bills associated with traditional textbooks are no small burden. The College Board estimates that the cost of books and supplies for undergraduates now totals an average of $1,430 per year. A recent study detailed by Inside Higher Ed indicated that 85% of students had not purchased textbooks by the first day of class—and 90% of these students, in turn, cited cost as the reason. High costs delay students receiving their learning materials—a choice with a clear impact on grades and, ultimately, students’ ability to progress with their degrees. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report recently highlighted OER as a way for students to help reduce the cost of their degree. Accessibility is Key to Success “Our faculty are paying close attention to the costs of books and classroom materials; they are working hard to ensure quality free and very low-cost materials are available,” said Manor College President, Dr. Jonathan Peri, in a recent email to the Manor community. As a member of Pennsylvania’s State College Textbook Advisory Committee, which is charged with developing recommendations to improve the affordability and accessibility of college textbooks statewide, Peri is elated with Manor College faculty’s initiative with Open Education Resources: “We are able to offer opinions through the lens of experience. While textbooks are always on reserve for students at the library, the college has gone one step further by making sure class materials are accessible anytime, anywhere.” So why have Manor College faculty adopted OER so quickly, compared to other colleges and universities nationwide? Faculty are acutely aware of the financial burdens associated with traditional textbooks, and are actively engaged with creating cost-effective solutions that better serve their students. “The benefit of OER is that it removes financial barriers and levels the financial impact for our students. Without access to coursework, students can’t be successful,” explained Dr. Crosby. Will the Rest of Higher Ed Catch Up? While the national numbers may not seem all that rosy, Higher Ed as a whole is slowly coming on board. Data gathered by Inside Higher Ed shows that, while the national rate is low, it has improved from 5% in the 2015-16 school year to 9% in 2016-17. Dr. Crosby aptly summarizes the need for institutions to push forward, despite the challenges: “It all comes down to: how can we best serve our students?”

Manor College Welcomes New Philadelphia Archbishop, Borys Gudziak

On February 18, 2019, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had chosen a new Archbishop and Metropolitan for the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia, Borys Gudziak. His appointment was recommended by the Synod of Ukrainian Catholic Bishops. Gudziak will be officially welcomed as the new Metropolitan-Archbishop on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia, and all are welcome to join in prayer and congratulations. Rev. Gudziak is currently the bishop of St. Volodymyr the great Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in Europe; he is, additionally, the founder and president of the Ukrainian Catholic University, located in Lviv. Originally from Syracuse, New York, Gudziak was born to Ukrainian immigrants and earned degrees from Syracuse University, the Pontifical Urban University, and Harvard University before moving to Lviv, Ukraine to found the Institute of Church History. Gudziak was ordained as a priest in 1998, and in 2012 he was appointed Bishop. Over the course of his service, Gudziak has received numerous awards and distinctions for his theological work, and he has travelled across the world to give lectures on theology, spirituality, and more. Borys Gudziak has been chosen to replace Most Rev. Stefan Soroka, who retired after many years of esteemed service last April.

Sisters of St. Basil Stories Wanted

Ninety years ago, three Sisters of St. Basil arrived in Philadelphia in response to the Church’s Call to serve the Ukrainian immigrants. Not knowing a word of English, these young Sisters (the oldest was 30-years-old) courageously and joyfully entered the New World to tackle the overwhelming needs of the Ukrainian immigrants. Many immigrant children were orphaned due to the frequent coal mining accidents in Western Pennsylvania. Others had no work because most were uneducated and spoke no English. Where to begin to address these crucial needs? The Sisters moved on all fronts at once: they began an orphanage, opened a carpet factory to teach a trade, established evening classes teaching English and Religion in Philadelphia as well as parishes in PA, OH, NJ, NY, IL, MI. Later, they opened a full-time day elementary school system, an Academy and a college (Manor College). Today the Sisters teach in several parish schools, administer Manor College, St. Basil Academy and the Basilian Spirituality Center, do Pastoral Ministry and work in Chanceries. To celebrate the work of the Sisters a Book of Memories will be published recalling people’s experiences and memories of the Sisters – those living or dead. It was previously announced that the deadline was May 1st, however, due to the many requests to extend the deadline date, the deadline has been extended to July 1, 2019. There will be a small monetary prize (1st prize a $100.00 U. S. Bond; 2nd and 3rd prize a $50.00 U.S. Bond) for the top three stories, however, all stories will be published. Send them to: Sr. Ann Laszok, OSBM or Sr. Ann Laszok, OSBM 542 Melrose Avenue 710 Fox Chase Rd Ambridge, Pa. 15003 Fox Chase Manor, PA 19046 724-266-5578 If you have any questions or want more information about the Srs. of St. Basil visit our website or contact Sr. Dorothy Ann, OSBM at

Prominent Attorney Gloria Browne-Marshall to Give Speech at Manor College

The Black History Month Conference: 400 Years of Perseverance event scheduled for 2/21 has been re-scheduled for April 4, 12:30-1:45 in the Library Presentation Space.  Gloria Browne-Marshall, a prominent civil rights attorney and activist, will give a speech at Manor College to coincide with Black History Month. This commemorative speech, titled “400 Years of Perseverance,” will recognize the 400th Anniversary of the 1619 arrival of Africans to the Virginia Colony, as well as highlight the following four centuries of African American resistance, perseverance, and contributions to America. This free event will take place from 12:30-1:45pm in Manor College’s Basileiad library presentation space and is open to the public.    Browne-Marshall, who serves as a professor of Constitutional Law at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is an international speaker and syndicated columnist. In addition to writing several books on justice and law — several of which are already required reading for students taking Criminal Justice courses at Manor College — Browne-Marshall has been a regular contributor to CNN, MSNBC, CBS, and CSPAN, offering commentary on Supreme Court decisions, police shootings and more. Watch: video clip of Browne-Marshall on CBS News.

Manor College Field Trip: Sixers Training Facility in Camden, New Jersey

By sophomore Business Administration student, William Rodebaugh On Thursday, February 7, 2019, Manor College sports-management students and basketball athletes had the opportunity to visit the new state-of-the-art Philadelphia 76ers training facility. Located in Camden, NJ, it first opened on September 23, 2016. The facility is home to all the basketball operation staff members and makes up for 66,230 of 125,000 total square feet of space that can be found along the Delaware Waterfront’s eastern base. Leading this exciting trip was Professor J.P Lutz. Professor Lutz is a sports fan with experience in marketing and ticket sales for the Philadelphia Eagles. This was his first time visiting the facility and he expressed great joy and excitement in being there. He expressed his appreciation for the student opportunity: “The Philadelphia Sixers provided our students with an incredible opportunity to tour their new corporate headquarters as well as learn from some of their top ranking executives. I was excited to see students who are looking to potentially work in the sports industry take advantage of this field trip.” A majority of the time was spent at a panel discussion with four panelists who work at the facility and at games: Jill Snodgrass, who serves as Vice President of Ticket Service and Operations; Ben Cobleigh, the Vice President of Ticket Sales; Chelsea Fenstermacher, the Director of Ticket Sales; and Darrell Smith Jr., a Digital Media Coordinator and former Blue Jay at Manor, Class of 2012. The four panelists showed great hospitality to both the students and leaders on the trip for more than an hour, answering numerous questions. Some questions were about what the panelists enjoy about their jobs and what they do not. There were also questions about the opportunities that can be offered to college students. Even after the panel discussions, the panelists opened the door for further discussions, and offered their business cards for follow-up conversations. While the Manor College group primarily stayed on the business side of the organization, students were able to see some unique sports items that included the 1982-83 NBA Championship Larry O’Brien trophy, a floor sample from the Spectrum, and jerseys from all-time great Sixers players. One thing that made this trip even more memorable is that the students were at the facility during a historic week of trade. On February 5, after a 119-107 loss to the Toronto Raptors, a series of major trades were made. In the early hours of the morning, Philadelphia received Tobias Harris, Mike Scott and Boban Marjanovic, all from the Los Angeles Clippers. Additionally the Sixers traded Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, and Landry Shamet and give up first-round picks for the 2020 and 2021. As the student group left, a press conference at 5:00pm was being prepared for, in which another exciting trade was made: Markelle Fultz to the Orlando Magic for Jonathon Simmons. The trip served as a great point of connection for the College cohort. Alumnus Darrell Smith, Jr, attributed his success to his time at Manor: “If it weren’t for Manor, I probably wouldn’t be here at the Sixers.” Additionally, Professor Lutz was excited to see students who are looking to potentially work in the sports industry take advantage of this field trip. Kimberly Hamm, who serves Manor as their Vice President of Advancement, also attended the trip: “We are so pleased that the Sixers organization hosted our students for this exciting panel. All the staff were so kind and open about their experiences in the industry. Our students learned so much from and had a great time.”