Manor’s Influence: An Alumni Story

When I entered Manor College to study psychology, I had no idea that in a very short time I would find a second home. Manor is a wonderful, warm community where you can find your place and yourself. The school provided opportunities not only to study with knowledgeable and extremely helpful professors, but also activities and experiences with people who helped me grow as a person.  17688855625_aecf9367f8_oReceiving an education at Manor College gave me an opportunity to grow and improve my capabilities, which paved the way for my future studies. Graduating with an associate degree in Psychology from Manor College, transferring to Holy Family to pursue my Bachelor Degree, and now studying at College of Staten Island (CUNY) as I work toward a Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, I am extremely humbled and eager to continue on with my education. Because of Clinical Mental Health Counseling’s recent introduction to New York State, I feel extremely fortuitous being able to attend a New York school, which instituted a new cutting edge program in this field. CUNY is among the first leading schools offering such a dynamic, forefront curriculum which, as of now, is rarely offered in New York.

The process of transferring from Manor College was an emotional challenge; leaving the community I loved, even as I was pursuing my passion, was bittersweet. However, Manor equipped me with tools to surpass my comfort zone, leave where I felt most comfortable, and use the experiences of my two years as a support for new ventures. The experience of the warm, welcoming and jubilant atmosphere of Manor College became my foundation for making an adjustment to a new college community. I felt strengthened by the support and spirit I had experienced at Manor, and was soon able to find my way on my own.  

The Manor professors’ exuberant attitudes and passion for their life’s work were the foundation that helped me excel in the classroom. Their continuous help and encouragement enabled  students to find and develop the ability to accomplish their scholarly tasks and understand the subject at hand.  18425399_1681809461833198_3560221200651121028_n

I am extremely fortunate to have started my college education at Manor College. My aspiration is to become a licensed Psychologist, working with a hospital and in a private practice. With continuous encouragement from Manor College’s community, even after having already graduated, my dream can truly become a reality. I am privileged for having been able to attend the small, Ukrainian Catholic college that suited my character, helped me develop unknown strengths, and reflects the values with which I live. My wonderful two years at Manor College provided the foundation for all subsequent paths.

– Vera Penkalskyj

The Home Stretch of the Semester: 5 Smart Things To Do Over Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving Break is practically here, and while it can be tempting to sleep and watch movies all break, your future self will thank you if you’re even a little bit productive during break. Here are 5 (productive) things to do over Thanksgiving Break as a college student:


  1. Get caught up: Were there reading assignments you put off during the semester because you were too busy? Thanksgiving Break is the perfect time to return to those readings, take notes, and be better prepared for the next test! This break is also the ideal time to revisit any topics you didn’t completely understand the first time around.
  2. Get ahead: With final projects right around the corner, this is a great time to make major progress on them without other class assignments getting in the way. (Imagine how thankful you’ll be when you sit down to complete your project in December and it’s already halfway done!)
  3. Create an academic plan: Spring registration is open, and registering over break gives you time to review your academic plan and make any necessary changes (make sure you run these past your advisor) before registering. Having an academic plan helps keep you on track to graduate by making sure you’re taking the right classes in the right sequence.
  4. Catch up on self-enrichment activities: During the semester, you probably cut out some personal time, but Thanksgiving Break gives you the opportunity to relax and spend time doing fun activities you don’t have time for when the semester is in full-swing. From reading or cooking, to napping or family time, Thanksgiving Break is a time to unwind and focus on yourself.
  5. Make to-do lists: By now, you probably have a good sense of what’s coming for the remainder of the semester. Take advantage of this during break by writing out to-do lists. Regardless of whether you add them straight to your planner or write yourself sticky notes, having due dates written out can help reduce some of the stress you’ll most likely experience during the final stretch of the semester.

We’re in the home stretch of the fall semester, and Thanksgiving Break gives us some extra time that we can utilize to get ahead. If you work on these things over break, we guarantee you’ll be glad you got them out of the way when you had the spare time!

We hope your break is as productive as it is relaxing!


10 Fun Things To Do in Philly Over Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving is a time for great food, friends and family, catching up on your sleep and starting to prepare yourself for the end of the semester. Thanksgiving break is also the perfect time to head to the City of Brotherly Love to have some fun! We’ve outlined 10 (of the many) awesome things to do in Philadelphia during Thanksgiving break!

1.) Christmas Village


Christmas Village in Philadelphia is an outdoor Holiday market located in Center City.   The village is a replica of a traditional Christmas market in Germany.  With more than 80 vendors with food, drinks, ornaments, holiday gifts and more, visiting Christmas Village is a “must-do” over your break!


2.) Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest


If you love to ice skate, this is the PERFECT activity for you and your friends! The Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest is open from November 24, 2017 to March 4, 2018. This fest includes a beautifully lit landscape, outdoor seating area with fire pits, warming cabins, games, foods and drinks! Text your friends NOW – and make a plan to head down to the RiverRink.


3.)  America’s Garden Capital Maze


America’s Garden Capital Maze will be returning to Dilworth Park for a second season! It’s a pop-up maze mixed with a garden! The maze features beautiful lights and plants that will highlight more than 30 public gardens and historic landscapes around Philadelphia.


4.) Hit the Cinema!


Head to a theater near you and see Disney/Pixar’s latest film, Coco! The movie is about a musician Miguel, who has to face his family’s ban of music. There are many theaters in the area including United Artists Grant Plaza 9, AMC Woodhaven 10, AMC Philadelphia Mills, and Regal Cinemas Warrington Crossing 22!


5.) Christmas at Peddler’s Village


If a huge gingerbread display is something you would be interested in, you have to check out Peddler’s Village! Located at 2400 Street Road in New Hope, this outdoor shopping mall is perfect for a chilly day!


6.)  Longwood Gardens


Located in Kennett Square, PA, Longwood Gardens is home to a four-acre conservatory filled with holiday lights, topiaries, music, and more! This is definitely a Christmas outing you do not want to miss.


7.) Christmas Light Show at Macy’s


Shopping followed by a Christmas light show? Yes please! The Wanamaker Building in Philadelphia, home to the department store Macy’s, comes to life with thousands of Christmas lights from November 25 – December 3, 2017.  This 100,000-light show is narrated by Julie Andrews and features music from the famous Wanamaker Organ.  Performances are free and take place every two hours during store hours.  


8.) Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad


Stop in for a bite to eat and check out the Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad! It features an interactive model train set that celebrates the history of the best food market in the area!


9.) Comcast Holiday Spectacular


This 15 minute Comcast Holiday Spectacular needs to be added to your to-do list! Open from November 23 – January 1, 2018, this 15 minute show features a musical journey with some of the greatest holiday music such as Carol of the Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, and The Twelve Days of Christmas. You can see this show at the top of each hour from 10am – 8pm through December 31.


10.) Small Business Saturday

An American holiday that falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is a great way to support small and local businesses! Philadelphia is home to SO MANY great small businesses, so support one (or a few) and get started on your holiday shopping!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Why Going to College in the Suburbs is Awesome!

Not sure whether or not to go to school in the suburbs? Are you wondering what the suburbs offer students? We can help; here are 7 reasons why we love our suburban college campus!

Scenic views:


In the city, practically everything is pavement; this isn’t true in the suburbs. Enjoy lush green grass and strong trees on Manor’s campus. Take a minute to sit in the grass under a tree; we promise you won’t regret it!


Sister Francis

The road out front of our campus isn’t busy, so you’ll rarely (if ever) hear cars honking, tires skidding, or people yelling. This makes campus the perfect place to unwind and relax.



The suburbs tend to be safer than cities. On top of this, Manor College was given an A+ for safety this past January; college campuses don’t get much safer than that!



If you drive to campus, the ride to a suburban campus is much more bearable than a drive to an urban campus. Cities are known for having crowded roads and rushed drivers. Depending on your commute to Manor, there will be significantly fewer people on the roads on your way to Manor than if you had to drive in the city.


baby birds

When we say nature we don’t mean little birds eating the scraps of food you leave behind. We mean fawns, baby birds, and butterflies. Spend some time on campus, and you’re bound to run into some animals starting life on their own.

Campus barn:


The suburbs give us space for our very own barn, right next door. Whether you’re a Vet Tech student, love horses, or just want to take a walk, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to say “hello” to our horses!

Alverthorpe Park:


Our campus is next door to Alverthorpe Park, a beautiful park with paved trails, a pond (complete with a fountain!), picnic tables, tennis and basketball courts, a playground for kids, and more! Normally, only Abington residents can take advantage of their offerings, but your Manor ID will give you access! The large, shady trees make the park the perfect place for a walk or jog, even on a hot day.

Our lush, safe, suburban campus is the perfect place to hangout, relax, or study. If you want to see our campus yourself, schedule a campus visit!

Meet President Peri

Hear what President Peri majored in college and how it led him to Manor!

Life in New York

This past semester I had the great privilege to sit down with President Peri and talk to him about his life as a college student. What his dreams were, what his major (or majors he tried) were and how his path led him here to Manor College.

Hailing from Long Island, New York, as a young child, President Peri had grand dreams of becoming a (the fastest) race car driver and says that he spent much time on the

President Peri with go-kart racing trophies

President Peri (left) with his father (right) pose in front of their go-kart racing trophies.

weekends with his father go-karting and participating in races in NY (you should ask him to see some of his trophies)!  

By the time President Peri was 18-years-old, he realized that his dream of being a racecar driver was a bit unrealistic – due to needing funding and sponsors. Villanova University visited President Peri’s high school and while a young President Peri was chatting with the Villanova representatives, he thought that this was a sign from God and “divine providence” that he should attend Villanova University.

Did you know? President Peri loves music and listens to all types of music, everything from classical to hip-hop.

President Peri Heads to Villanova

As a freshman student at Villanova, President Peri started off as a Liberal Arts major then changed to an Engineering major and then had “a change of heart” due to taking Major World Religions, taught by Professor Paul Moijes that President Peri considered to be “life-changing,” and from that moment, he became a Theology major.

Did you know? When President Peri when was inaugurated as President last April, Professor Paul Moijes was in attendance.

On campus – President Peri was involved in the Pre-Law Society, the Solar Car Team and joined a social fraternity, which he considered “good and bad.” Good because he gained lots of friends with whom are his friends to this day, and bad because it took some time away from his studies, which led to impact on his grades.

President Peri’s fondest moments of his college experience at Villanova were the relationships that he formed with everyone from classmates to his relationship with the current Villanova President, Father Peter Donohue. Father Peter at the time was a theater professor, and although President Peri never took a theater course, Father Peter was around campus and very “ministerial in his approach,” and built a great friendship and became a mentor for President Peri.  When President Peri was considering taking the presidency at Manor, he sought guidance from Father Peter.

Upon graduation from Villanova, President Peri, started attending Law School at Widener University, while interning for a judge at a criminal court in New York.  Currently, President Peri is a student at Eastern University, studying to obtain a Doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership.

Did you know?  President Peri is a licensed lawyer in Pennsylvania, New York, Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania, and the Supreme Courts of the United States.

Marriage, Family, Foster Care & Faith

Looking reflectively, President Peri recalls many distinctive moments in his life, one being when his wife, Kristin, was a Public Defender in Philadelphia and how “she could see the best in people no matter who they are. She represented those who had troubling lives or took a wrong turn in life and made it her mission to try and get them on the right path.”

One aspect of life that is very close to the Peri’s family heart is foster care. President Peri shared with me the importance of foster care and adopting children, which is giving children the love and tools they need to be successful adults who know that they have a solid foundation built on love. This really hit home for me because I, myself grew up in foster care and know firsthand what the harsh realities are for a child in the system. Four years ago, President Peri and his wife adopted their son, Bruno, who President Peri says is “incredible and such a loving part of our family.”

In my opinion and after spending a good 90 minutes with President Peri, I have learned so much.  President Peri is truly a leader that many should strive to be. He is compassionate, empathic, smart, loving and most of all – he loves Christ and carries the love that Christ says we should have for one another.

President Peri is frequently seen around campus talking with students.

As someone who will be walking across the stage to receive my diploma later this month –  I am fortunate enough to had been given the opportunity to interview such a wonderful leader and it is my hope that he continues to lead Manor College in the direction in which God has chosen.


Stress Less: Tips for Stress Awareness Month


Stress (noun): a fact of life for college students.

April is National Stress Awareness Month, not that college students aren’t aware of it. Chronic stress is linked to six of the leading causes of death in the United States, so it is more than just the occasional pimple, so it is important to recognize the signs and the small every day things that you might not know are increasing your risk. Once you are familiar with the signs of stress, and there are some strange ones, there are simple ways to relieve that stress, as well as some large life changes that can help manage stress.


  1. More forgetful- No, this is not just you getting older. Stress can cause your working memory to be impaired. Your brain could actually be shrinking. Stress inhibits your brain’s ability to create new synapses (connections between brain cells when new memories are made) according to new research out of Yale. This brain shrinking can have secondary problems with your emotional control.
  2. Fatigue- Fatigue, different than just being tired after a hard workout, is usually associated with a sense of mental exhaustion.
  3. Visiting the bathroom more frequently- Stress causes a similar biological response known as a flight-or-fight response. Chemical changes cause your body to think there is a threat and reacts to make it easier for you to flee dangerous situations. The idea is that relieving yourself will also “relieve” you off excess weight.


  1. Not eating breakfast- I get it, eating a donut every morning is tempting, but it doesn’t prepare you for a successful day. Maintaining proper nutrition throughout the day sets you up to make healthy choices. You’re more likely to not bail on your workout if you’re feeling full and healthy.
  2. No bedtime routine- Other than sleeping just being so darn amazing, its an important time for your brain. It is a time for your brain to do all the things you had done during the day; clean, relax, and make memories. An irregular sleep schedule means you don’t have time to wind down, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  3. Drinking too much coffee- Good news or bad news first? Good news: coffee isn’t making you stressed. Bad news: your cup of joe does cause changes in your body that make it responds like you are. It causes a rapid heart rate and increases blood pressure, similar to when you are stressed.


  1. Create a mantra– Mantras are a word or phrase that are used while meditating to help you concentrate. I will be honest, I’ve tried meditating and it just is not my thing. But, a mantra is one good thing I took from it. One that you have probably heard before, “this too shall pass.” Create one that is right for you, something to ground you in that moment. Need some guidance or ideas? Click here.
  2. Laugh it up- Stress is all about hormones, but so is laughter. Research has found that it actually reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in blood. Additionally, it causes the brain to release the “happy hormone,” Oxycontin. So, laugh it up a your teachers bad jokes, it is actually helping more than you know.
  3. Power nap- Researchers at a French university found that a quick nap (just 30 minutes) is able to reduce the negative hormonal impacts that lack of sleep has on the body. Since lack of sleep is often a cause and a result of stress, sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on your health that is hard to recover from. Taking a nap when you have so much to do may seem counter productive, but trust me, it will help. Can you tell yet that I love sleep?


  1. Keep a happiness or gratitude journal- Journaling nightly can be a bit time consuming, but you can keep it simple. Each night or morning, or lunch break even, write the things in it from the day before that have made you grateful or happy. It is also helpful in identifying the things that are causing you stress so you can remedy them.
  2. Reevaluate your priorities- This is the hardest thing for any of us to do, but probably the most important. Think about the life you want, about what will make you the happiest version of you. Then make a conscious effort to put those things first. If spending time outside or reading a book makes you happy, but you haven’t had time for it, making it your conscious priority over other things will make you measurably happier.
  3. Establish a routine- Whether it is just a morning or evening routine, a routine for scheduling appointments, or a weekly routine for working out, it will ensure you have time to fit all the things in your day that you want or need to. It takes only about 21 days to establish new habits. So, give it a try. Wake up early to enjoy a nice cup of tea with your cat. You deserve it, and a stress free life.

Additional resources

  1. The Daily Beast– 7 Ways You Stress Yourself Out
  2. Shape– 10 Weird Ways Your Body Reacts to Stress
  3. American Psychological Association– How Stress Affects Your Health
  4. Shape– Four Foods That Can Cause Stress

10 Reasons Why I Enjoy Taking the Bus

Catching the bus or a train for many has its benefits and for many people, it’s less hassle and stress, so here I have outlined 10 reasons why I enjoy taking the bus.

pic 11. It’s accessible. The bus for the most part is accessible and easy to travel by; for myself, I commute to school every day from the Greater Northeast section of Philadelphia. sightseeing2. Sightseeing. By catching the bus to campus daily, I get to see various parts of the city that I’d normally wouldn’t pay attention to while driving or getting a ride  image 3 for blog      3. Cost-Friendly.  By opting to catch the bus, it allows me to save money to do other things. For many, it’s a struggle to keep up with car payments, gas, and maintenance.  So, by me catching the bus, it allows me to save up for other things.        walking blog image 4             4. Getting Fit. With me being a full-time student, sometimes it’s hard for me to find the time to go to the gym due to me always being on campus and in classes, so every morning I walk to class

sitting on bus image 55. Commuting by bus relieves stress. Every time I travel to school, it allows me some time to study or think as I map out what I need to get done for the day.

people on bus image 66.  You never know who you’ll meet. While traveling by bus,  I am able to meet so many different people from all walks of life and I have met many people to network with.

Sense of Independence7. It gives you a sense of independence.  While riding the bus, you have to know how to travel and it’s in that moment that you learn how to navigate wherever you are.  If you get lost, there is always someone you can ask for help with directions.

traveling in groups image 88. You can travel in groups. Sometimes the bus comes in handy for groups of people. For example, I went to Beyonce’s Formation World Tour, and my friends and I chose to take the bus instead of driving to avoid the traffic we would have faced getting there.

Front Door Blog image 99. Door- to-Door Service. Every day that I travel on the bus when it’s time for me to go home, I am dropped off right at my door so I can get home and get to studying!

planner blog image 1010. Strengthens my planning skills.  The bus helps me plan effectively and make sure I plan ahead to ensure I get to what I need to be on time.

I hope that you all enjoy my 10 reasons why I enjoy taking the bus and hope that you get out and sightsee too!