University Welcomes New Staff Across Departments


Bethany Jopling, Staff Writer

The university has welcomed new faculty members to a variety of departments.

New professors joined the university faculty in the Business, Biology, Social Work and Speech Language Pathology departments.

Ms. Reethee Antony is the newest assistant professor in the Speech Language Pathology department.  She lived in New York and has taught since 2012 at four different universities as an adjunct professor before joining the university.

“Misericordia is beautiful. I love Pennsylvania and so does my family, especially my son,” she said.

There were many different reasons Antony picked Misericordia as the place for her new career, one being that she feeels there is an equal emphasis given to research and teaching.

“I felt that Misericordia has the right balance of teaching, clinical work and research,” Antony said.

She said she has goals she would like to set forth during her time here.

“The main goal while I’m here is to expand and explore Speech Language Pathology in all three of its domains, in terms of teaching, imparting the knowledge to the students, and clinical work,” she said.

The Social Work department is also welcoming its newest associate professor, Viviana Lucabeche.

Lucabeche has been in this field since 1999 and has earned her PhD.

She worked at another state school for 14 years previously, where she was a 10-year associate professor, which made her decision to change schools crucial.

“I really like it here,” Lucabeche said. “People seem very friendly, students seem very friendly, and the people say ‘Hi’ when they see you and I like that.”

She said what finalized her decision about coming to Misericordia was the university’s charisms and how it lines up with social work values.

“For me, my career is personal as well as professional, and I think social work is a calling, so the fact that the university believes in what I’ve been trained to do for all these years just seemed like a great fit to me,” she said.

One of Lucabeche’s main goals is to work on and with the issue of immigration.

“Immigration is a passion of mine, although it’s not my area of research, but it is something that is very real and personal to me and I felt this responsibility within the past 2 years to get active and to do something about it,” Lucabeche said.

Lucabeche loves social work and teaching and considers it an honor to be able to do both in a place that supports the efforts that are made.

She would like her students to know that she sees her role as a professor extending beyond the classroom.

“It would be my hope that students stop and visit in my office, or become involved in other activities I would like to get involved with. I love to see students grow,” she said.

Linda Auker is a new assistant professor of Biology.  She has her PhD in Zoology and was a visiting assistant professor for five years.

“Everyone is just really down to earth, and the students are interested in learning and very serious about learning too which is really cool. I feel a sense of belonging here and everybody has just been so welcoming,” Auker said of Misericordia.

She likes the university a lot so far and the friendliness of fellow faculty, students, and staff has made it even more welcoming for her.

Auker has a few goals she would like to accomplish in her new position.

“My main goal would definitely be to get students interested in biology, to establish a nice community, a research community, with student’s collaborations with faculty,” she said.  “I’d also like to start a very inclusive women in science group that’s open to everybody on campus. That is one of my personal goals.”

Auker wants to make sure her students know to never be afraid to ask questions, and that it is okay to say ‘I don’t know’.

“I teach my students basically to be life -long learners,” she said.

The newest assistant professor in the College of Business is John Ash,  a healthcare consultant for the last 30 years who has also been an adjunct faculty member at the university since 2001.

“I love Misericordia. I like the small class sizes, the atmosphere. It feels like family,” he said.

Ash has an active role in his community and uses real life experiences to better relate to his students.

“I’m also a paramedic, I’ve been for the past 40 years, I still do that on a part-time basis to stay clinically active and relatable to my students in healthcare,” he said.

His goal is to reinvigorate the healthcare program by making it more competitive against other institutions.

Ash also has advice for all of his students.

“The one thing I’ve always told my students is don’t discard your dreams. Believe in yourself; believe in the dreams that you have, that you want to accomplish in your life, and that it is my job as a professor to help students see those dreams and possibly give them a pathway to realizing,” he said.