Associate Professor Scraba applies Franciscan values to giving back
Paula Scraba first came to St. Bonaventure to take a course in Franciscan women’s studies with Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., in the summer of 1996. Now, 15 years later, she works as an associate professor of physical education at the university, giving back to the community by sharing her Franciscan values with others.
Scraba graduated from the University of Connecticut, earning her Ph.D. in special physical education with a background in severe disabilities. She later received a Master of Arts from St. Bonaventure’s Franciscan Institute, for which she served as the resident coordinator for a time. Throughout her career, Scraba has been involved with many different organizations (producing impressive results for each), but now holds a tenured position at SBU, teaching classes in field block, adapted physical education, women in sports, and coaching among other topics.
“My job is to facilitate learning,” said Scraba. “Particularly with special education, the teacher is responsible for the outcome of the student. If the student is not progressing toward meeting goals, I have to go back to the drawing board and figure out what needs to change.” She also believes students have as much to offer as their professors. One of Scraba’s graduate classes once acted as the primary organizers of the first International Games for the Disabled hosted in America. “They were the head coach and I was the assistant coach on that one,” Scraba states, praising the “exceptional experiences” which often arise from such role reversals.
In addition to teaching at SBU, Scraba serves as sports chaplain for the women’s lacrosse and softball teams, coordinates SIFE trips to the Bahamas, occupies a seat on the Warming House board, holds shares of Canticle Farm, and runs local area workshops with the Franciscans Sisters of Allegany and Associates. When speaking about her extensive involvement with the campus community Scraba seems specifically proud of her role as minister-in-residence of the fitness and wellness house in Robinson hall. She feels an especially strong sense of community on the floor this year, noting that “doors are always open.”
Scraba’s commitment to these activities stems from her Franciscan beliefs about the importance of hospitality and service. She strives to pass on these and others values (such as compassion, sharing, and respect) to her students, telling them, “We all owe back to society what society has given to us.” She herself gives back by funding Franciscan Pilgrimages which allow students to travel over Christmas vacations to the places St. Francis and St. Clare lived, maintaining a scholarship at Briar Cliff University in Iowa, and supporting the “Spirituality of Sports” grant. Scraba also donates to HEOP, her alma mater’s marching band, and, most generously, St. Bonaventure’s athletics department.
Paula Scraba continues to spread her understanding of the value of “being there for the other.” She hopes to be remembered for her thoughtfulness, caring, and spirit of giving.
By Ethan Whipple, Class of 2012
Faculty and staff contributions shape Bona's future
Ann Tenglund knows firsthand how employee contributions help shape the future of the University and directly benefit students: She’s a 1982 graduate whose career here spans more than a quarter century.
“Like many students, I didn’t realize at the time what an excellent education I received. I didn’t find that out until later, when I needed to apply my abilities to my career,” says Tenglund, who is coordinator of the University’s Library Computer Services, Information Literacy Instruction & Curriculum Center.
Even with two master’s degrees to her credit, Tenglund points to the strong foundation of her undergraduate years at St. Bonaventure as being a huge part of her success in life — from the strength of the academics, to the relationships she forged with faculty and staff, to the focus on service to others.
“My St. Bonaventure education has never let me down,” says Tenglund, which is why she supports The Bonaventure Fund and served as co-chair of the 2009 Faculty and Staff Campaign. “I contribute financially to the University because it will help other students achieve the same experiences that I was fortunate to have as a student.”
When asked what key message she’d like to share with other faculty and staff members, Tenglund is quick to reply: “Our donations, in whatever amount, demonstrate to private and corporate donors, alumni, parents, friends and current students that those who work here are the first to show their support. That means a lot.”
Giving goes beyond dollars for the Cashings
Doug and Betsy Cashing chose St. Bonaventure University for its educational opportunities and to bring their young son closer to their families’ hometowns.
Twenty-eight years later, their son grown and gone, they still choose to call Bonaventure home.
“It’s a wonderful community,” says Doug, who holds a full professorship in the Department of Mathematics and has been on staff since 1981. “The faculty care about the students and about other faculty.”
Betsy, who taught in the public school system for three decades and is now a lecturer in Bonaventure’s School of Education, agrees. “I am very proud of this university,” she says, adding that she truly appreciates “the faculty, the staff, and the administration. I think we’re on a very solid path.”
With student traffic in their offices brisk, the Cashings serve St. Bonaventure as mentors and role models, and are also strong supporters of The Bonaventure Fund. "My mother always taught us that we are blessed, and because we are blessed it is our responsibility to be a blessing,” says Betsy. “Giving goes beyond dollars and cents. It’s also found in support and belief in who we are and what we do."
Adds Doug, “In order for the University to do what we really need to do, it’s going to take financial resources. Tuition is not going to meet those financial needs. If we’re going to continue, and build on the educational programs, we need to have the funds.”