two hands form the shape of a heart around the Nittany Lion Shrine in the distance

A collective Valentine to Penn State Scranton

Members of the Penn State Scranton community share what they love most about Penn State Scranton.
By: Morgan Sewack

​DUNMORE, Pa – Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated annually on February 14, is a day for everyone to express the way we feel towards someone or something we love.

While many may be sharing special moments on this day with their significant others, we at Penn State Scranton thought it might also be a great opportunity to share what members of our campus community love most about Penn State Scranton.

What we found, is that there is a lot of Nittany Love out there for our campus.

Here is what our students, faculty and staff shared about why they love Penn State Scranton:

Terri Caputo standing in visitors area of admissions office

Terri Caputo, assistant director of enrollment management

“I know it sounds corny, but when I tell prospective students that choosing Penn State Scranton is not only choosing a college, but a lifestyle and a family, I truly mean it.

I have been at Penn State Scranton for more than half my life and the experience has been amazing! It started off with students playing with my children when I had them on campus, to my former students bringing their children for me to meet.

There have been so many amazing experiences, but one comes to mind:  I had an adult learner who recently moved to Scranton from another country. I met with him and got him all set to start school. He then brought his whole family in to meet me and told them I was the person who helped him take the first step to make all their lives better. I know the students have made my life better, and I hope I have done the same for them.”

Pat Sheridan standing at Lectern in classroom

Pat Sheridan, adjunct lecturer in business

“I love that we have a Penn State education in our backyard. I love that we have high-quality faculty and staff at our campus. 

I love that our campus has continued to progress.

I love that we have small classes where students have the opportunity to get to know their professors and how the faculty and staff take an interest in the students.”

Dave Stoshick

David Stoshick, student and Lion Ambassador

“I love that Penn State Scranton feels like my second home!

Being here allows me to learn in a beautiful setting, challenge myself, and have fun while doing it. I can also unwind at great events, such as Pet Therapy Day and Stuff- A- Plush.

I also love that I have the opportunity to be a student leader within one of Penn State’s most prestigious organizations, Lion Ambassadors!”

Photo of Dharti Ray in front of the Lion Shrine

Dharti Ray, assistant director of student services and engagement

“I love working with such an amazing team at Penn State Scranton. The community environment of the campus makes me feel supported and empowered.

As an alum, I loved being part of student organizations and events! My time at Penn State Scranton helped me understand who I wanted to be in the future.

Lastly, I love assisting our students to positively impact their college career. The best part of doing my job is to see the excitement in their eyes for upcoming programs and initiatives.”

Mary Ann Joyce holding a book in front of the non-fiction collection in the library

Mary Ann Joyce, information resources and services support specialist

"What I love most about working for the Penn State Scranton Library is our ability to help students.

Whether they're asking for help finding a book, looking to borrow a laptop, wanting to make a 3D print, answering some questions, or just letting them know we have a space for them to study, it's nice to help them. If we make them laugh or smile, it's even better."

Jo Ann Durdan smiling, seated at her desk

Jo Ann Durdan, education program specialist for the Center for Business and Community Development

I love working at Penn State Scranton because the campus culture allows me to be an integral part of something greater than myself.

Working in the Center for Business Development and Community Outreach, I have a director that encourages me to represent the campus and continue to grow professionally.

Running educational programs that bring people to our campus is very rewarding. The most exciting and exhausting part of my job is working on the Nittany Cub Camps -- but worth every minute.  Hopefully, they will be the next generation of Penn State Scranton students. 

Sarah Tichenor, assistant registrar

Assistant Registrar Sarah Tichenor

“I love working at Penn State because of my co-workers.

 No matter what question I may have, I know that I can pick up the phone or walk into someone's office and they will help me out.

We have a wonderfully welcoming environment for faculty and staff!”

Frank Sorokach in front of whiteboard in classroom

Frank Sorokach, assistant teaching professor of business and economics

“I love that we get the best of both worlds at Penn State Scranton. We are a part of one of the best and most recognized universities in the world, but we get to experience it from the lens of the Scranton community.

I love that I get to experience diverse work -- from teaching, to advising students, to the important work we do at the LaunchBox, no two days are the same. I love that our LaunchBox has become part of the economic development efforts in Northeast Pennsylvania. The LaunchBox team is often at the table helping entrepreneurs with partners like the Scranton Chamber of Commerce, tecBRIDGE, Ben Franklin and others.

I love that our students graduate and move on to do cool work. I stay in touch with many graduates and am so proud of the things they accomplish. It’s cool to talk to former students and hear about their careers.”

photo of Mike Evans in Dawson Building hallway

Mike Evans, assistant dean for undergraduate nursing

“I love my colleagues who are like family to me. I love the welcoming, warm environment that is found here. I love the energy and excitement of our students. I love that we graduate approximately 50 new nurses a year to help with the nursing shortage in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

I love watching our students succeed. I love that I have grown up on this campus from a student to a faculty member to an administrator and am proud to call Penn State my second home.

I love that my wife is an alumnus of this campus and I look forward to the day when our son is a student at this campus. I love Penn State! I love the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing and I love Penn State Scranton!” 

Evelyn Miller stands at the bookstore counter

Evelyn Miller, assistant manager of campus bookstore

"I love working at Penn State Scranton, meeting new students, and getting to know new faculty and staff. Every day is a new adventure.”


Ashlyn McNally poses for a shot with the PSU Scranton athletics logo as a backdrop

Ashlyn McNally, student athlete

“I love Penn State Scranton because the faculty and staff are really helpful and cooperative. 

Also, it's close to home and I was able to meet new people that are important in my life.

Lastly, it allowed me to try new things that I didn't think I would be able to try before.” 

Dr. Meg Hatch seated in front of a chart depicting bird species

Meg Hatch, associate professor of biology

“What I love about Penn State Scranton: The beautiful view and convenient location.  

Working with colleagues from multiple disciplines who care about student success. Knowing the staff and knowing whom you are referring students to (rather than just sending them to an office or service where you don’t know the employees).

Having small class sizes which makes it easier to get to know students and seeing them around campus outside of class. Lots of opportunities through workshops, presentations, and attendance at conferences to learn and improve.  What I really love about Scranton are the people -- faculty, staff and students!” 

Majid Chatsaz stands at entranceway of the manufacturing lab in the engineering Building

Majid Chatsaz, assistant professor of engineering

“I can’t believe it’s been 36 years since I started at PSU Scranton! 

It was not my intention to stay for so many years here, but after a short while I felt this is where I want to stay. The friendly atmosphere, the closeness with colleagues and students made it so desirable.

When I see that my former students have top positions in Lockheed and NASA, I enjoy knowing that I have had a part in the success and achievements of the next generation!”

Jim Hart seated at his desk in his office

James Hart, assistant teaching professor of communications, arts, and sciences

“What I most love about PSU Scranton is the people -- students, staff, faculty and administration.

We rely on each other and work together to assist our students in achieving their goals and ultimately, a Penn State degree.”

Conor Tone headshot with Penn State sports logo in background

Conner Tone, student athlete

“I love Penn State Scranton because the weight room is easy access and has a lot of the things I need to be healthy. The affordability for me to stay close to home and get a good education. To be able to meet the people at this campus and how many friends I have made.”

Brent Wilson stands in doorway of the word processing office

Brent Wilson, staff assistant, print center

“One of the biggest benefits of being at a smaller, more close-knit campus is the sense of belonging and inclusion it creates; you generate an intimate, friendly bond with not only your fellow employees, but also current students.

I, myself, experience such affable comradery with both my work colleagues, as well as students, on a daily basis -- ranging from simple social conversations, which often have the effect of boosting peoples’ spirits when they’re feeling down, to active encouragement of my writing endeavors, which typically have nothing to do with Penn State.

Such authentic interaction fosters a sense of wholesome community amongst our campus personnel that is inimitable anywhere else. Everyone has each other’s back, and it is apparent that everyone cares about and respects their fellow coworker/instructor/mentor.”

Megan Cruciani seated at her computer

Meghan Cruciani, assistant director of academic advising

“I love working at Penn State Scranton because of the amazing community of staff, students, and faculty. There really is a culture and feeling of family, and I am grateful to be part of it.

I love working with our students through academic advising and helping them navigate their path through college. It really is a privilege to be part of their experience and to watch them grow through the process.

Our students are very hard-working and appreciative of the help they receive. I don’t think they realize that we often learn as much from them as they do from us. They amaze me every day.”

Penn State Scranton Chancellor Marwan Wafa

Dr. Wafa standing in front of wall with PSU alma mater graphic displayed on it

“I love Penn State Scranton because of the highly dedicated colleagues who believe in, and value, their roles in helping students achieve their goals of earning Penn State University degrees.

Our students are the reason for our being members of this beautiful campus.

I also value our culture of a welcoming and supportive campus that facilitate the collective efforts to help our students navigate their academic pursuits to the finish line.”

Paul Perrone seated in his office at his desk

Paul Perrone, assistant teaching professor in English

Teaching Professor in English Paul Perrone is known across campus for his poems, which he writes for many of the campus' special occasions and events that he is invited to attend.

When approached for this Valentine's Day feature, he didn't disappoint -- penning two poems for the two academic programs that he is program coordinator for -- English and Multidisciplinary Studies.

You can read both poems below.​

Poems by Paul Perrone


She said:
What do you love about
our world of English
as a discipline?
I said:
English aims its arrows
to the heart and soul and essence
for our existence as we see it in
the birth of words 
in the wombs of our minds
trying to embrace the ever
expanding expanse of what we
thought we knew about
the delicacy, fragility, and
strength of our spirit in
the brief moment we have
of what we know as us.

Multidisciplinary Studies

What was I supposed to do?
Tell us what you love about your discipline of Multidisciplinary Studies.
Remember what Hamlet said to Horatio:
“There are more things under the heavens than are dreamth of in your philosophy.”
Multidisciplinary Studies gives you the opportunity to explore things that are different yet the same in a  construct that you want to achieve your dreams so you can love what you do.
Your course of study becomes a world of your creating so you can love what you do when you do it.