Manor College and Milton Hershey School Partner to Create Access and Affordability for First Generation Students

Manor College is pleased to announce that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Milton Hershey School (MHS) on December 2, 2019, formalizing a partnership crafted to nurture MHS student success. “As a result of this partnership, MHS students have access to resources to help them succeed in their academic pursuits and guidance as they navigate the unknowns that come with decisions on a college campus, especially if they are the first in the family to go to college,” said Tanya Baynham, MHS Vice President of Graduation Programs for Success Division. “Manor College is a natural fit for our next partnership because of the variety of degree programs that align with our Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways, including concentrations focused on health science, business, and technology.” The administrations of Manor College and MHS established this partnership to create access and benefit first generation students at the collegiate level, improving persistence and graduation rate outcomes. In addition to academic support, the agreement encourages students to obtain work-study and on-campus employment as well as getting involved in multiple support programs on campus. “Our agreement with the Milton Hershey School informs our region that Manor is committed to shared core values,” said Dr. Jonathan Peri, President of Manor College. “Students in our institutions are largely first-generation in college and seeking pathways to the American dream. It is our design to get them there.” The formalized agreement will make it possible for Manor College’s student-services staff and the continued educational support specialists at MHS to identify early alert triggers of students who need support. “It is truly an honor and a blessing to have the opportunity to attend college. As a first generation college student and admissions officer, it is my pleasure to support students throughout the college search process,” states Daniel Perez, interim Vice President of Admissions. “At Manor College, we will provide a personalized journey from the first moment our students set foot on campus, until the day they graduate.”

Giving Tuesday to Address Food Insecurity

Manor College is excited to announce that this year’s Giving Tuesday will focus on combating food insecurity, both externally by creating meals with Rise Against Hunger and internally by enhancing the Manor College food pantry, Bird Feed. Giving Tuesday is a global day of philanthropy that occurs on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—this year it falls on December 3—to kick off the charitable holiday season. All funds donated to Manor College on Giving Tuesday 2019 will support Bird Feed, allowing the college to expand its offerings through space renovation and equipment upgrades, like a refrigerator, inventory management software, food accessibility tools, and a community garden. Food donations are also being encouraged, with donation receptacles ever present on campus and in branches of WSFS bank; the goal for the holiday season is to collect at least 300 meals. In addition to this internal effort to alleviate food insecurity, Manor College–in partnership with WSFS Bank–will be packaging 10,000 meals in two hours with Rise Against Hunger. Rise Against Hunger is an international relief organization that is dedicated to mitigating hunger by distributing food and aid to the world’s most vulnerable populations. Director of Student Engagement Ashley Hillegas purposely selected this activity for our students to connect with the greater community: “Manor College chose to partner with Rise Against Hunger because we both want to accomplish the same goals when it comes to ending hunger in our communities. Their mission goes beyond just meal packaging and taking food to those who need it. They are equipping communities of people with the proper tools and education to break the cycle of food insecurity. Food insecurity is so prevalent, and it is up to us to raise awareness and take the steps needed to provide resources for those in need of food.” The Bird Feed is designed to meet the immediate food needs of its students on campus by providing a variety of non-perishable food items and basic necessities to students and their families. There has been significant focus and research in recent years about the significance of food insecurity on college campuses. When Manor College’s student senate studied this data, it advocated for campus outreach and spearheaded the creation of Bird Feed. “Since its opening in September 2017, the Bird Feed has collected and distributed over 2,121 lbs of food to students and their families,” said Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Alison Mootz. “When a student is hungry and does not know where his or her next meal is coming from, it is difficult to concentrate in class and while studying. By providing food and basic toiletries, we help to alleviate the worry and hunger, allowing students to focus and complete their education.” Last year, a local community member and friend of the College–Paul S. Peters, Esq.–ran for 12 hours straight in order to bring awareness to Manor’s Giving Tuesday efforts. At the time he stated, “I have chosen to take on the challenge of running for 12 hours on a treadmill to raise money for and awareness of Manor College and everything it has to offer…from the amazing launch of 15 bachelor’s degrees, rebranding, upgrades to the campus, enhanced learning and employment experience, and the fact that Manor has the largest enrollment of minority students in Montgomery County.” Dr. Jonathan Peri, Ph.D., JD, President of Manor College, looks forward to Giving Tuesday every year as a significant community event that involves students, faculty, staff, and neighbors. “When we gather in this season’s spirit of sharing–this year enhancing our campus food pantry–we show our student body how to convert knowledge and intent into action,” said Peri. “At Manor College, it is our calling to educate beyond the classroom, modeling and including students in our roles and duties as a community of citizens.”

Manor Commemorates Lives Lost During the Holodomor

This Monday, Manor College held a community memorial and prayer service in memory of those killed during the Holodomor. What was the Holodomor? From 1932-1933, Ukrainians were subjected to a man-made famine that killed millions of people. Joseph Stalin wanted to punish Ukrainian farmers for resisting Soviet collectivization. Despite being known as the “bread basket” of Europe, Ukrainians received little of the goods they produced during this time. The Soviet Union’s decision to continue to mass export grain out of the country as people began to starve triggered a famine, with thousands of people dying from starvation each day. This event is now recognized as an act of genocide. During the remembrance, guests, students, staff and faculty participated in a symbolic act of bell tolling and spooning wheat grains person by person into a large bowl. Manor’s Student Chaplains assisted. President Jon Peri spoke on his recent efforts to have the Holodomor added to the Pennsylvania educational curriculum, and trustee Eugene Luciw read from the PA State House of Representatives Resolution 392, “Victims of Communism Memorial Day.” Finally, Father Ciurpita blessed and broke bread that was distributed to the crowd, bringing the event full circle. “There is the tradition in certain regions of Ukraine to have three breads present at a funeral, at the end of which are blessed.  One is given to the priest, the second is given to the poor and the third is divided up and eaten by those present,” explained Ciurpita. Manor College strives to foster appreciation for its Ukrainian heritage and culture. The College was established in 1947 by the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great, Jesus Lover of Humanity Province, a Byzantine Ukrainian order of the Eastern rite. Manor College wants to reverently acknowledge those who were affected by the Holodomor.

Dental Hygiene Students Place 7th in Statewide Poster Competition

Last week, Dental Hygiene students participated in a statewide “Informative Poster” competition at the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists Association annual Keystone Dental Health Conference. There were 44 student poster presentations, and monetary awards were presented to the top 10 teams. Two Manor students, Amy Deng and Duongchanthra Bopa, came in 7th place for their presentation entitled: “Could There Be a Correlation Between Alzheimer’s and P. Gingivalis?” All of the Dental Hygiene students also participated in special student events that the Association sponsored on Saturday. The conference was a great opportunity to network with students from other PA schools, and served as a nice introduction to dental hygiene‘s  professional association.

Maintenance Improvements on Campus Lead to Better Energy Efficiency, Utility Savings

Recent facility changes at Manor have had a positive impact on the ongoing effort to conserve energy on campus.  Manor recently installed a new Air Conditioning system in the Basiliead Manor building, and the newer system will save money on energy and even has the more modern fresh air component, which filters fresh air throughout the building in place of condensed air which adds to our energy savings. The new boilers were installed in the Residence Hall also contributing to energy conservation and utility savings. Throughout the summer, maintenance staff worked hard to replace many ceilings and lighting fixtures replacing the older lighting with newer LED lighting, which have a much longer life and contribute to additional energy savings on campus.  Most recently, PECO honored the work of Manor maintenance staff on campus, acknowledging the substantial energy savings from their work replacing these lighting fixtures.  As a result of this, PECO awarded Manor College almost $4,000 for the hard work of the maintenance staff in establishing a significant energy efficiency on campus.  Manor College would like to thank the maintenance staff for their hard and dedicated work on campus, and congratulate them on their accomplishments which have not only improved the environment but have also contributed to an ongoing financial savings.