What We Do

In honor of the life and work of its namesake, the Mother Maria Kaupas Center seeks to identify and respond to needs in the community.  The Center provides a home to several projects and programs dedicated to community service and welcomes those interested in opportunities to volunteer their time and talents.


The following are part of the Mother Maria Kaupas Center in Mount Carmel, PA:

1) Bucknell University Coal Region Field Station; Mt. Carmel, PA

a) Service Learning
Note: This list of classes is a partial one. It is likely some Bucknell professors worked with students in communities in eastern Northumberland County during this period without requesting facilitation efforts through the Coal Region Field Station of without notifying Field Station contacts in Mount Carmel or the University.

Spring 2017
Environmental Community Projects (ENST 411 — Amanda Wooden)
Three students in this senior culminating experience course for environmental
studies and environmental science majors helped community partners begin
development of a community garden in Mount Carmel.
Thinking Space (GEOG 326 — Vanessa Massaro) — Half of this class worked
on a project on “Tourism, Cultural Heritage and Centralia;” the other half helped
Mount Carmel Borough to analyze blight through spatial mapping.
Applied GIS (GEOG 204 — Duane Griffin) — Three students co-enrolled in
Vanessa Massaro’s GEOG 326 course combined their course projects to develop
GIS spatial analysis projects in this course that were then incorporated as one
part of the larger project in GEOG 326.
Modernity, Metropolis, Machine (HUMN 333 — Nick Kupensky) — Student
Tyler Candelora completed a research project on the absence of coal miner
monuments in Shamokin.
Managing for Sustainability (MSUS 400 — Neil Boyd) — Three senior
students from the class developed an action plan for Mount Carmel Borough
Council for the creation of a citizens’ recreation committee.
Management 101 (MGMT 101 — Jamie Hendry) — The class of 27 students
created a “company” whose successful goal was improving the distribution line,
food storage, inventory and marketing for the Mount Carmel Area Food Pantry.
Anthropology (ANTH 201 — Michele Johnson) — Student James Hamm
researched the essence of coal culture.

Spring 2016
Geographies of Justice (GEOG 218 — Vanessa Massaro) — Students, who
worked with the Mother Maria Kaupas Center, Mount Carmel Borough and Mount
Carmel Downtown Inc., researched the issues of youth retention, community
cohesion and alternative financing. Among the initiatives proposed for
implementation were the development of a neighborhood block program and the
development of a welcome pamphlet for new residents.
Sustainability Action Learning Project (MSUS 400 — Eric Martin) — Senior
management students prepared studies related to strategic planning and
community development for the Mother Maria Kaupas Center and Mount Carmel
Downtown Inc.
Video Ethnography (SOCI 206 — Carl Milofsky) — Documentary on Shamokin
volunteer firefighting.
Susquehanna Country (UNIV 241 (IP) — Alf Siewers and Katie Faull)
Students participated on a field trip to a coal mine in Trevorton where they met with the coal mine operator, followed by a brief tour of Central. One student’s
final project focused on coal mining history in Trevorton, available on Omeka.

Fall 2015
Rural Communities (SOCI/UNIV 242 (IP) — Carl Milofsky and Jamie
Hendry). A group of four students did a community assessment in Mount Carmel.

Spring 2015
Video Ethnography (SOCI 206 — Carl Milofsky) — Documentary on Shamokin Fire History Museum.

Mother Maria Kaupas Center 2016 Progress Report
Final Research Report VFW Community Garden
Final Kaupas Camp Assessment
Developing a Green Space at the Mount Carmel Public Library Final Report
Coal Region Field Station and Associated Activities – YE Report 2015-16
Alternative Financing
Youth Retention
Welcome Packet and Programs
The Mother Maria Kaupas Center-Final Spring 16

ND presentation_news release
Coal Country Final


b) Bucknell University Place Studies and Sustainability
Shown at the Community Engagement Faculty Institute at the University of Notre Dame in May are, from left, seated, Sisters Theresa Dabulis and Margaret Petcavage, of the Sisters of Saint Casimir; standing, Jake Betz, director of the Mother Maria Kaupas Center in Mount Carmel; Mindy Rueden, director of the Maria Kaupas Center in Chicago, Sister Elizabeth Ann Yocius of the Sisters of Saint Casimir; Rev. Martin Moran, pastor of Divine Redeemer Church in Mount Carmel; Carl Milofsky, professor of sociology at Bucknell University; and Shaunna Barnhart, director of the Place Studies Program at Bucknell.


c) Independent Studies with Professors 
The “40 Miles Project” – a partnered project with Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

1) College students’ volunteer service projects. The college students, with the help of faculty advisors, would develop and implement a community needs assessment within the Mt. Carmel community and create a plan to respond to the identified needs.  They would participate in leadership skills development activities and reflection each day on the community outreach they offer.bucknell-campus

2) Three-year Sustainability Research Project. The Mother Maria Kaupas Center and Bucknell University’s Center for Sustainability and the Environment will collaborate on projects aimed at supporting the creation of a new and sustainable future for the region. Faculty and student-interns will use the Center as their base of operations.


2) Mother Maria Kaupas Center Service Projects

1) Diocese of Harrisburg Catholic Campus Ministry Involvement
2016: Bucknell University Catholic Campus Ministry, Millersville University Catholic
Campus Ministry, Bloomsburg University Catholic Campus Ministry, Franklin and
Marshall University Catholic Campus Ministry, Elizabethtown College Catholic Campus Ministry, Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catholic Young Adult Group
2017: Elizabethtown College Catholic Campus Ministry, Bloomsburg University Catholic Campus Ministry, Bucknell University Catholic Campus Ministry

2) Winter College Program
2015-2016: Lee Amarose, Lucas Amarose, Heather Bolick, Jen Bolick, Magdalena
Callahan, Sydney Casey, Angelina Duda, Bryce Fiamoncini, Luke Holleran, Tyler
Holleran, Kassondra Martz, Bryan McFadden, Zach Wasiliewski, Jordan Winhofer
2016-2017: Lee Amarose, Heather Bolick, Magdalena Callahan, Sydney Casey,
Elizabeth Cooper, Angelina Duda, Bryce Fiamoncini, Dylan Fiamoncini, Catherine
Fletcher, David Fletcher, Emily Padula, Tyler Thompson, Zach Wasiliewski


3) Kaupas Camp

The second annual Kaupas Camp for middle-school students who reside in the Mount
Carmel Area School District was held weekdays from June 19 to July 14, 2017, holidays excluded.

The camp, sponsored by the Mount Carmel Area School District, was suggested by the
Mother Maria Kaupas Center, which helps plan the camp and spearheads a fund-raising effort to support it. In recognition of the Kaupas Center’s involvement and the Center’s commitment to service to others, as inspired by Mother Maria Kaupas, the school district graciously named the event the “Kaupas Camp.”

The camp includes:
o An educational component provided by the STEAMS program, which is
administered by the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit.

o Free athletic clinics provided by Bucknell University coaches and members of
their staffs. In the summer of 2017, camps were provided for basketball, football,tennis, wrestling, track and field and field hockey. The tennis and football camps were held on the Bucknell campus; the others were held at school district
facilities in Mount Carmel.

o Enrichment activities provided by Bucknell, including an animation workshop,
GIS, garden/greenhouse on campus and river conservation.

Three days of community service. Service projects during the 2017 Camp
included students visiting local nursery homes, a cemetery cleanup and a
cleanup project in Atlas.

The camp is planned by a task force that consists of Father Martin Moran, pastor of Divine Redeemer Church; Jake Betz, director of the Mother Maria Kaupas Center; Bernard Stellar, Mount Carmel Area superintendent of schools; Pete Cheddar, camp coordinator and junior high school principal; Lisa Varano, senior high school principal; Sue Nestico, junior high school principal; John Darrah, Mount Carmel Area head football coach; Greg Sacavage, Mount Carmel Area athletic director; Mike Venna, Mount Carmel Area Board of Education member; Judy Polites, representing Mount Carmel Downtown Inc. and Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School; Jolene Scicchitano, Aaron Domanski and Kelly Domanski, Mount Carmel Area faculty; and Mike Tanney, Yvette Beaumont and Sue Hoffman, STEAMS (Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit); Carl Milofsky, Bucknell, professor of sociology; Maisha Kelly, Bucknell, senior associate athletics director; Shaunna Barnhart, director of the Place Studies Program at Bucknell’s Center for Sustainability and the Environment


4) Local Saint Vincent de Paul Society Outreach
The Mother Maria Kaupas Center is the base for their outreach to the Mt. Carmel Food Pantry and for the preparation and distribution of meals to the homebound and to those struggling to meet basic needs. Members: Karen Alekseyko, Edward Amarose, Lisa Amarose, Sue Bolick, Ronald Coleman, Henry Fadrowski, Patricia Fadrowski, Irene Hrycenko, Joann Kozlowski, Walter Kozlowski-President, Mary Frances Nowroski, Thomas Nowroski, Gerald Palovick, Rita Pizzoli-Treasurer, Karen Sebastian, Albert Zuech, Sharon Zuech


5) Divine Redeemer Parish Confirmation Students and Parents Community Outreach
Yearly projects of the parish Confirmation class and their parents are selected and implemented within the Mt. Carmel community.  Special emphasis is placed on outreach and service to the elderly members of the community.






The following is a link to the Sisters of Saint Casimir newsletters: