Annual Report: Highlights

Lindsey Wotanis

Lindsey Wotanis, Ph.D., associate professor of communication arts, was elected to serve as President of the Society for Collegiate Journalists' National Council at the Society's biennium conference in Louisville, Ky. Dr. Wotanis is serving a two-year term (2018-2020), with the possibility of re-election for a second term. She has served on the National Council since 2012, holding positions including Chapter Representative and, most recently, Vice President for Communication.

In June 2019, David Palmiter, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Marywood University, was approved for fellow status with the American Psychological Association (APA) for two divisions: Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (division 53) and Society of Media Psychology and Technology (division 46). Dr. Palmiter is also a fellow for APA's largest division, Psychologists in Independent Practice (division 42).

In August 2019, Marla Kovatch, M.A., CCC-SLP, professor of practice in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department at Marywood University, was recently chosen to be featured in an article with the National Aphasia Association’s Aphasia Threads

Best places to work

In December, Marywood University was named among 2019’s Best Places to Work by the Times Leader Media Group. The silver award for Best Places to Work was presented to Christina Brundage, career engagement specialist, and Molly Baron, director of human resources at Marywood University.

The Class of 2019 is nearly 100 percent employed or in pursuit of advanced degrees. Of the 99.7 percent of graduates who are pursuing graduate school or are employed, 92.2 percent of those employed have jobs related to their major. Marywood’s Class of 2019 includes 52.1 percent who are continuing their academic careers in graduate school, with 88.3 percent of those advanced degree seekers choosing to continue their graduate studies at their alma mater.

Marywood was recognized as one of the 2019 Best Online Master’s in Emergency Management programs in the nation by BestColleges, a leading provider of independent college rankings, college planning resources, and higher education research. Marywood was also ranked #27 in the Top 45 Master’s in Higher Education Programs and as the best program at a Catholic University by that same year.

School of Architecture

Marywood University’s School of Architecture was ranked in one of the top tiers of schools with the most hired graduates from architecture schools by the DesignIntelligence 2019 School Rankings Survey. It was also among the Top 50 Best Architecture Degrees by According to, Maywood University is ranked at #29 because its undergraduate students have several exceptional ways to earn an architecture-focused degree, including bachelor of architecture (B.Arch.), bachelor of environmental design in architecture (BEDA), and bachelor of interior architecture (BIA). 

In 2019, Marywood’s Early Childhood Education Program ranked among the best in the country in a recent listing of’s Best Early Childhood Education Schools. Ranked at #26 from the hundreds of schools evaluated, Marywood ranked among the 50 schools that offered exceptional early childhood education programs selected. 

Marywood’s chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, won the 2019-2020 Psi Chi Model Chapter award. Psi Chi’s Board of Directors and Central Office staff chose only 23 chapters to achieve the Model Chapter status from nearly 1,200 chapters.

Clinical psychology

Marywood University’s clinical psychology doctoral program (Psy.D) ranked #30 among the top 50 in the nation for students to consider in 2020. The ranking was provided by, a leading online social community for graduate-level psychology students.

The 2019 and 2020 graduating classes from the Communication Sciences and Disorders department’s Master of Science program in Speech-Language Pathology achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the National Examination, which is required for certification as a speech-language pathologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and licensure in all states.

Marywood University is among Money’s 2020 Best Colleges. Marywood also offers the “Best Value” among Northern Regional Universities, according to the 2020 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges ranking. Marywood was also one of only two regional institutions included in U.S. News “Best Colleges for Veterans” category.

Marywood TRHT

In January 2020, Marywood University was named by The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to host a Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) campus center. Organized around the five pillars of the TRHT framework—narrative change, racial healing and relationship building, separation, law, and economy—the Centers seek to prepare the next generation of leaders to confront racism and to dismantle the belief in a hierarchy of human value. 

The university purchased the former Holy Family Residence, renaming it Marywood Heights, and established it as the first university-based retirement community (UBRC) in Northeast Pennsylvania. Students will be able to use the space free of charge for their clinical rotations and internships. Additionally, those who reside at Marywood Heights can participate in life at Marywood, such as musical events, art exhibits, use of the Learning Commons, and more. While the pandemic halted some of these community collaborations, the university remains committed and connected to Marywood Heights. During the initial peak of COVID-19 in the spring, Marywood did its part by donating supplies of vital medical equipment to Marywood Heights, as well as other local hospitals and medical organizations. 

In February, Marywood received a Pennsylvania Education Improvement Tax Credit donation in the amount of $20,000 from Fidelity Bank through the University’s Momentum program. Additionally, Marywood University will receive the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Robert Noyce Scholarship. The grant, which totals $1,195,022, will be awarded to assist Marywood students in meeting the significant teacher shortage and addressing the need for those teachers in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Marywood COVID medical donations

Marywood has been involved in many charitable ventures over the past year. In light of COVID-19, Marywood University has been donating its supplies of vital medical equipment to local hospitals and other medical organizations. Marywood volunteers have been assisting the food giveaways conducted by Friends of the Poor throughout the area. In addition to food giveaways at announced locations, volunteers take any remaining food and donations and deliver them door-to-door, which serves an additional 500 or more families.

In May, Christopher Speicher, Ph.D., associate professor and director of entrepreneurship in Marywood University’s School of Business and Global Innovation, was named a regional recipient of the 2020 ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) recognizes individuals each year who exemplify teaching excellence in the classroom. In July, Dr. Speicher received the 2020 Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) International Teaching Excellence Award. 

Marywood University master of business administration and undergraduate business students, as well as their faculty advisor, Christopher Speicher, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Business and Global Innovation, participated in the X-Culture International Business Project. The X-Culture Project is a large-scale experiential learning exercise designed to provide students with an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in international virtual collaboration. 

Interior Architecture Awards

Marywood University senior Interior Architecture students received three of the top ten international design awards from Formica Brand Corporation. Jessica Reid, Oxford, N.J., was awarded third place for her “G Table”, and she received $500. She will also be featured in Form Magazine. Allison Plunkett, Hatboro, Pa., received fifth place with her “Imagination Table” design; and Brandon Freely, Clifford Twp., Pa., rounded out the top ten designs with his “Geode Table” design.

Marywood University graphic design students and a recent graduate, including Alexander Jubinski, senior, Dalton, Pa.; Amanda Focht, 2019 graduate, Philadelphia, Pa.; and Matt Catanzaro, senior, Peckville, Pa., won top awards recently at the NEPA American Advertising Federation (ADDY) 2020 Awards Ceremony. Additionally, Marywood’s Chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists (SCJ) took home ten awards in the national contest for students’ work at The Wood Word, Marywood University’s online news source, and TV-Marywood, the campus television station in May. 

Physician Assistant students

Marywood’s Physician Assistant (PA) program is named among the Top 15 Physician Assistant Schools in Pennsylvania by Turbo Scholars.

Marywood’s Interior Design program ranks third among the top eleven design programs in the state of Pennsylvania according to  

Marywood’s Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) earned Gold Chapter honors from the National NSSLHA Executive Council. 

Marywood’s student-run radio station, VMFM 91.7, was voted “Best College Radio Station” by This is the 16th time that VMFM has merited top honors in this regional contest.

Marywood University’s String Project was selected to be featured in a national documentary that is being made by the music company J.W. Pepper. The documentary is about the National String Project Consortium’s (NSPC) Virtual Orchestra celebrating its 20th Anniversary.