Experience the Moravian Effect
Twice a month InCommon tells the story of one of Moravian’s alums who exemplify what we call the Moravian Effect. The added value from their Moravian experience is created through Moravian’s emphasis on strong, personalized majors, hands-on learning opportunities, and encouragement of a deeper enjoyment of life—which is nurtured by engaged faculty and alumni. Surveys of our graduates show that these qualities help them grow in four years into focused adults who succeed and excel in an increasingly challenging world.
Geoffrey Roche ’08
Coordinator of Community and Government Relations, Pocono Medical Center
Alumnus Credits Political Science Professor For Guidance
Geoffrey Roche '08
When Geoffrey Roche ’08 transferred to Moravian College during his freshman year, he immediately felt a connection with the College’s liberal arts education, small campus atmosphere, and involved faculty members. This was the type of education he wanted to receive, in the academic setting that promoted success.
“From early on I saw a real commitment from the College’s administrators not only to develop me as a student, but also to develop me as a student leader,” he says.
Roche wasted little time becoming involved on campus, serving in the student senate for two years before being elected to the position of Student Government treasurer for two more. “I’m not a numbers person, but I did it because I saw a real need. I strived to improve the financial system, making it more user-friendly for the student organizations,” he says, proudly noting that several of the documents he helped create are still used by today’s Student Government.
Roche was also active in Christian Fellowship, The Comenian, Model NATO, Gamma Sigma Sigma and Pi Sigma Alpha, and served as president of the Student Alumni Association. Roche fondly recalls his time as a resident advisor and resident director, which provided the unique and rewarding challenge of overseeing his peers.
“It was a life-changing opportunity for me,” he says. “I was supervising my peers, some of whom were my friends. This also allowed me to not only be their friend, but be a mentor to them. At times I had to tell them what they were doing wrong, and other times lift them up and improve the work that they were doing. I learned how to be an effective leader.”
Always politically active, having interned for a state senator in high school, Roche flourished at Moravian, continuing to volunteer in local and state election campaigns, in addition to earning a competitive Capitol Hill internship in Washington, D.C., during his junior year. Roche credits John Reynolds, Ph.D., professor of political science, for pushing him to expand his knowledge base whenever possible. This encouragement led Roche to a government relations internship at Lehigh Valley Health Network during his senior year.
"I’d say the entire Political Science Department was definitely very interested in helping students get to where they wanted to go." — Geoffrey Roche ’08
“Dr. Reynolds was not just a great professor, he was a great resource,” Roche says. “Because of all the government experience I had, he encouraged me to pursue an internship in government relations, which was great because that’s what I do now. I feel he is always really looking out for his students, not only academically, but also from a professional aspect. I’d say the entire Political Science Department was definitely very interested in helping students get to where they wanted to go.”
As coordinator of community and government relations at Pocono Medical Center, Roche is responsible for advancing the center’s federal, state and local legislative interests, while maintaining positive working relationships with elected officials and members of the media.
Now in the midst of his second term for the Alumni Board’s Board of Directors, Roche continues to serve the Moravian community. His wife, Rebecca Angstadt Roche '08, is also on the board. He co-chairs the Alumni Board’s student and alumni relations committee, “ensuring that our students get all the opportunities that are possible to them to meet alumni and be engaged with alumni.”
While at Moravian, Roche recalls the faculty’s commitment to community service “has always stayed with me.” Today he also gives back, volunteering as chairman of the American Heart Association’s Pennsylvania advocacy committee for policy and legislative planning. In June, he joined Pa. Rep. Mario Scavello at a press conference in the state Capitol to unveil legislation to update the Clean Indoor Air Act, which would strengthen the law banning smoking in public places.
Additionally, Roche was selected as a Rural Health Fellow to participate in the National Rural Health Association’s yearlong, intensive program aimed at developing leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America.
“It has always interested me to serve others, and I saw that in our faculty,” he says. “Not only did they want to help students, they wanted to help others – regardless of where they came from.”