Cathy Gerard receives Annual Alumni Award
Class of 1970
Cathy Gerard is a member of the Marywood University Class of 1970. She has exemplified the core values of Marywood as an educator, community organizer, mental health counselor and in her current role working in economic development and employment and training. She has touched the lives of all ages through her involvement in the Scranton School district in her early career teaching summer school and sixth graders molding the minds of our young and later in her 40 years in the employment and training field through career counseling of low income and disadvantaged Adults and Dislocated Workers.
During the 70’s, Cathy’s career shifted to a role as military wife in Texas, Arizona and the Panama Canal Zone. Again reverting to her roots and training at Marywood, she began a second phase in the area of community involvement. During that time she completed coursework and attained her Master’s degree while volunteering as a mental health worker with military families and becoming very involved in Army Community Services. Through information, education, guidance and community involvement, the skill sets acquired at Marywood of service to others were cultivated. Through involvement in the mental health system in Arizona, Cathy was instrumental in assisting both clients and families attain services to overcome mental health issues. Also at this time, grassroots community organizing was necessary to set up satellite clinics in two surrounding communities where services were none existent and funds not available to acquire office space. With a strong commitment to helping others, another core value learned at Marywood, Cathy was able to link families to services so that their loved ones could stay in the community.
In the late 70’s, Cathy had the opportunity to live in the Panama Canal Zone when the negotiations were under way to return the canal to the Panamanian Government. Again working in the capacity of community organization, Cathy, along with a social worker friend, conducted Parent Effectiveness Training for military families and interdenominational Youth programs. Over the three year time frame, Cathy interacted with many different branches of the military in an educational capacity and through fund raising activities organizing auctions to raise funds for military families.
Upon relocation to northeast PA, Cathy found a career in employment and training through the Federal Workforce programs. She has worked 40+ years to match job seekers with training in high demand occupations to transition them into self sufficient employment. She has taken on various jobs from counselor, program director, operations manager to Site Administrator. She administers the State and Local Internship Program and the TANF summer youth program where each year 100 to 150 young adults are placed in meaningful worksites to gain valuable experience. In her current position she manages Workforce Innovative and Opportunity Grant contracts and has functional supervision of the partners in the PA CareerLink® system. Her involvement in community projects has included Keystone UNICO (Italian Service Organization), Marywood Alumni Association Board of Directors, Marywood’s 50th Reunion Committee, NE Philharmonic and many others. From painting for NeighborWorks, involvement in Habitat for Humanity, serving at St. Francis Soup Kitchen, baking and staffing the stand at St. Joseph’s Center Picnic, Marywood Breakfast with Santa and other service projects, Cathy exhibits the Marywood core values and is always giving back to the community.