Barbara Spellman Shuta ’68
When Barbara Spellman Shuta ’68 was a student, Marywood University was known as Marywood College, had strict regulations for the all-female student body, and required all students to pass swimming in order to receive their degrees. While campus life for students was much different from what it is now, Barbara is the perfect example of how a Marywood education can shape a motivated person to live a meaningful life.
As a student, Barbara majored in Secondary Education with a concentration in Theatre. Although primarily in the theatre department for most of her studies, she had the opportunity to meet other Marywood students in core classes. Plus, there was another avenue Barbara and the rest of the Marywood girls could travel if they wanted to meet other college students. “Mixers with the University of Scranton on Friday nights were a must!” she said.
Being a part of an all-womens’ college was something that Barbara considers a privilege. “There were many benefits to this including no distractions, no comparisons, and, most of all, opportunities for leadership that might not have been otherwise afforded to us in that area.”
With the strong foundation she received from Marywood, Barbara was able to begin her career in education with confidence and poise. Her coursework with professors like Sr. Anne Francis, Jeanne Spillane, Sr. Angela, Helen Leonard, and Rosemary Kazimer helped her to build her skills, her passion for teaching, and her understanding of what children needed to know. Eventually, she would be named five times to Who’s Who Among American Teachers. Barbara said, “All of my teachers at Marywood had integrity and a high bar was set, not only for content but for appropriate demeanor and respect.”
Because of her deep admiration for her classmates, professors, and for Marywood, Barbara has been one of the University’s greatest supporters. She has been a donor, volunteer, and most exceptionally, has spearheaded the Educators on Campus, which seeks to reengage Marywood graduates who are actively teaching in Northeastern Pennsylvania with recruited students from member schools to share in all that the University has to offer. Marywood is certainly proud to count her among our distinguished alumni.
Kim Kelly-Bartley ’78
Being from a small coal mining town in western Pennsylvania, Kim Kelly had no idea what to expect when she arrived at Marywood in 1974. Her only impression of the college had been from the catalog that she studied when filling out her application. As a Communication Arts major, Kim was granted a full four-year scholarship and knew she had to seize the rare opportunity she was afforded. So, Kim made the journey to Marywood, her heart filled with hope that she had made the right decision.
During her first day on campus, Kim introduced herself to a group of freshman who knew each other from Binghamton, New York. “That group lasted with me through the next four years!” she stated. Kim also made many friends in the Communication Arts Department, but she also made a very special friend in her roommate, Geraldine (Gerry) Mehling.
“Gerry was often in the hospital dealing with surgeries and maladies associated with Juvenile Arthritis, a condition that caused her to endure daily pain,” Kim said. Gerry served as a great inspiration to Kim, who marveled at her courage in the face of pain, her passion for attaining her goals, and her sense of humor as she navigated through the trials of life. Gerry passed away on December 28, 1997, and, of her legacy, Kim offered, “Gerry is someone Marywood can be proud to say was one of theirs in the spirit of the school and its mission.”
Kim’s coursework also provided a solid foundation for both her career and her life. Classes such as “Sociology of Mass Communication” and Sr. Kathleen Toner’s course, “Belief and Unbelief,” have influenced her almost daily. She credits the combination of classes, campus life, and the critical thinking skills she gained with helping her maintain a 30-year marriage to her husband, John, raising three children, and working as Vice President of Marketing and Menu Development for White Castle Restaurants.
The friendships Kim began, the lessons she learned both in and out of the classroom, and the leadership provided by her professors at Marywood University have left a lasting impression on her that no campus visit or view book would have ever been able to predict.
Mary Theresa Montoro ’94
Mary Theresa Montoro ’94 is a volunteer by nature. She has never allowed the opportunity to help someone pass her by, as evidenced by her willingness to adopt a child when she and her husband Vincent already had seven of their own. A stay-at-home mom, Mary Theresa also volunteered at her church as well as at her children’s schools.
Her busy schedule didn’t stop her from signing up for classes at Marywood University through a program called “Tuesday College for Women.” With her husband’s support, she was back in the classroom.
While a student, Mary Theresa made sure to attend Marywood events with her family. When she completed her degree, she was awed by the opportunities that Marywood had given her. “Everyone was so supportive of me as an individual, and I wanted to give something back after I had received so much.”
Soon, Mary Theresa became involved with the Marywood Alumni Club of NEPA, also known as the MAC Chapter. Eventually, she would become President of the MAC Chapter, and, while it is a lot of work, she said, “My job has been easy because of the faithful Marywood University volunteers.” Some of her favorite events include the MAC Baseball event, Breakfast with Santa, and Reunion Weekend.
After volunteering with the University for so long, she has seen what a difference giving of one’s time can make. To those considering volunteering, she said, “Look at the entire picture. You may think it takes a lot of time, but you’re not doing each activity all year long. I’ve never viewed volunteering as a big commitment; I’ve always viewed it as a series of small parts.”
If you’re interested in volunteering for Marywood events, please visit alumni.marywood.edu/volunteer or contact the Office of Constituency Relations by phone at (570) 348-6206.
James Langan ’09 (In his own words)
As a 2009 graduate from the Marywood Communication Arts Department, it is surreal to realize Marywood was the catapult to my recent success. Although my latest education is a Master of Science in Psychology, I credit Marywood University for preparing me with the experience and tools to seek out my dreams. In addition to my graduate degree, my post-Marywood background includes the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Management Training Program and a senior counseling role at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
I strongly support and encourage all Marywood students to get involved with practicum, volunteer hours, and internships on campus. This experience complements a degree and gives Marywood students an extra edge by looking more attractive on their resume after graduation.
The most interesting ingredient to my professional development was the presence of a mentor while at Marywood. Dr. Robert Sadowski was not only my academic counselor, but also a life-coach who worked closely with me to ensure a bright future after Marywood. Throughout my years at Marywood, I noticed a strong core of faculty who took great pride in serving as mentors. A student who allows a mentor to give him or her direction will maximize his or her Marywood experience and overall potential in the job arena.
Currently, I am serving as the Vice President of Your Location Lubrication, Florida's largest mobile oil change company. There is not a day that goes by that I don't thank Marywood for helping me make an impact on the world, personally and professionally.