Faculty Camaraderie Leads to Philanthropy

Dr. Michael Bartolacci, Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State Berks, loves to cook, so it seemed only natural for him to share meals with the other faculty and staff members in the Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building at Penn State Berks. Another faculty member in the same building, Tom Gavigan, Assistant Professor of Engineering, wanted to start a collection to reimburse Bartolacci for his expenses, but Bartolacci would not hear of it.

Gavigan then decided to start a collection and rather than reimburse Bartolacci, make a donation to the Greater Berks Food Bank. As a result, Gavigan has collected approximately $300 to date from Penn State Berks faculty and staff for the food bank. He is planning to present a check to the organization, located in Reading, by the end of February.

"Sharing food is such a basic human activity and sharing with those in need is the most required human activity,? explains Gavigan about his idea to make a donation to the food bank. ?It is difficult to understand that there are people around us who would go hungry without the services of food banks, soup kitchens, etc."

?Cooking and sharing food is in my blood,? comments Bartolacci. ?My father was born in the Abruzzo region of Italy and my mother in South Philadelphia. With such a food pedigree, I am just carrying on the tradition and I am so appreciative of my colleagues and their initiative to spread the sentiment to the local community."