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Carlow University Magazine President Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD

Dear Colleagues and Friends, As we conclude 2013, it is the perfect time for reflection; therefore it is with great pride that I share with you the first issue of Carlow University Magazine. A twice-yearly print publication, the Magazine has been renamed and redesigned to provide a snapshot of the success we are experiencing at Carlow University, the important stories to share with you, and the people and communities we have impacted. Inside you will find updates on our athletic success, learn about our latest endeavors, and meet inspiring alumni. In a very competitive landscape of higher education, it is critical to present and market Carlow’s distinctiveness in this region and beyond. Since assuming the presidency of this extraordinary institution based on Mercy values in July, I have been welcomed by multiple members of the community, both internally and throughout the region, along with multiple donors and friends of the University. There are many areas of the University that I have been impressed with—Carlow’s commitment to excellence, inside and outside of the classroom; the strong student-centered culture; and an exceptional commitment to social justice are unparalleled. The University community is embarking on an important strategic planning process that I started in September. This process has engaged the entire community in visioning Carlow’s future for the next five years. This future will build on its strong heritage but extend its entrepreneurial strength into the future where we demonstrate our distinctiveness in the transformational education we deliver to our students and to the community we serve. Carlow University, its faculty and students, make a difference in the world, and I encourage you to stay up to date on our strategic planning process and exciting accomplishments. In addition to the Magazine, please visit our new website at for regular story updates and alumni, donor, faculty, and student spotlights. You can also follow us via numerous social media avenues, including Facebook and Twitter. I am honored to serve as the president of this excellent institution and look forward to meeting more alumni and supporters of the University in the near future. It is my hope that, as you review the Carlow University Magazine, you will see for yourself all of the great things happening at Carlow.

Executive Editor Amy E. Neil Vice President University Communications and Strategic Positioning Editor Alison Juram D’Addieco, MST Art Director Lauren Boeh, MBA Senior Graphic Designer Writer/Photographer Andrew G. Wilson Director of Media Relations Contributors Autumn Burke Karen E. Galentine, MS Meghan Holohan Kristy Lumsden Jason Naughton Lindsay O’Leary Laura Rihn, MBA Dalyce Wilson Rose Woolley Awards Golden Triangle Award 2013 • 2011 • 2010 • 2008 • 2007 • 2006 Marcom Award 2010 • 2009 • 2008 • 2006


Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD

30% Recycled

Carlow University Magazine is published two times a year by Carlow University, 3333 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, 412.578.2091. ©2013 by Carlow University. It is distributed free to University alumni and friends. It is also available on Carlow’s website at www.carlow. edu. Please send change of address correspondence to the above address. Letters to the editor or any other communications regarding the content of Carlow University Magazine are welcomed and may be sent to the above address to the attention of the Vice President for University Communications and Strategic Positioning. Carlow University, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era. Further, the University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the University’s mission. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs and activities. This is a commitment made by the University and is in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations. For information on University equal opportunity and affirmative action programs and complaint/grievance procedures, please contact Andra Tokarsky, Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officer, Carlow University, 3333 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, 412.578.8897.





Being Open to Opportunities and Challenges Has Shaped the Career of Suzanne Mellon, PhD

06 AN EXPERT AT EMBRACING LIFE Wennette West Pegues ’58






12 BRAND-NEW SHOES Carlow Alumna Mary Hoffman Fricker ’68 Delivers Joy to Inner City Children


Nicole Bellavance ’13


16 CARLOW UNIVERSITY HELPS STUDENT BRIDGE HEARING AND DEAF WORLDS Danah Richter Participates as a Young Leader in Pennsylvania, National, and Canadian Conferences

17 MEASURING SUCCESS WITH BOTH HANDS Carlow Alumna Kimberly Zeske-Maguire ’91 Works with Hand Transplant Patients










Carlow University, a Catholic, women-centered, liberal arts institution embodying the heritage and values of the Sisters of Mercy, engages its diverse community in a process of life-long learning, scholarship, and research. This engagement empowers individuals to think clearly and creatively; to actively pursue intellectual endeavors; to discover, challenge, or affirm cultural and aesthetic values; to respond reverently to God and others; and to embrace an ethic of service for a just and merciful world.




Being Open to Opportunities and Challenges Has Shaped the Career of Suzanne Mellon, PhD ANDREW G. WILSON


I’VE REALLY COME TO SEE THAT A LOT OF LEADERSHIP IS HOW YOU MANAGE AND LEAD THROUGH CHANGE. IN TODAY’S WORLD, THAT IS EVEN MORE OF AN IMPERATIVE— TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE; SET A SHARED VISION OF WHERE YOU ARE HEADED, EMPOWER, COMMUNICATE, AND MOVE FORWARD. —Suzanne Mellon, PhD SUZANNE MELLON’S answer to that childhood question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” has changed several times over the years; most times long after any doubt about being a grown-up had passed. “When I think back to when I was an undergraduate student, would I have thought my aspiration was to be a university president? Never.” Mellon says. She repeats that last word softly, as she considers her career trajectory. “In middle school, I thought I wanted something medically related where I would be involved in helping people,” she recalls, adding that she was torn at the time between being a nurse or a physician. “When I went to the University of Michigan, I started with nursing, and enjoyed it. Often times, people have the narrow perspective that ‘this is a nurse and a nurse works in a hospital,’ but nursing is so much broader than that.” Her professional career has become more diverse over time, much as she has traveled from her native Michigan to New Hampshire and now to Pittsburgh. However, geography doesn’t reveal as much about her journey as the individual titles she has held: pediatric nurse, community health nurse, researcher, consultant, faculty member, associate dean, dean, executive vice president, and, finally, university president. “You need to be open to the opportunities and the challenges that you have before you over the course of your career,” she says. In June, a sense of opportunity and challenge converged in both the lives of Carlow University and Suzanne Mellon, PhD, as she was named the tenth president of the University, succeeding Mary Hines, PhD, who retired in July. Mellon came to Carlow from St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, where she had served as executive vice president and professor since 2009. As the chief operating officer and second in command to the president, she had responsibility for all areas of the college, inclusive of academic affairs, advancement, finance, marketing, enrollment, student affairs, athletics, and other administrative areas. For Mellon, an additional bonus in coming to Carlow and Pittsburgh, is that she is now within driving distance of her children. Mellon and her husband, who passed away in 2012, raised four


children who are each highly accomplished in very different fields. Her oldest son is a surgeon, living in Indianapolis, a second son is an attorney in Chicago, her daughter is an architect/ marketing manager living in Michigan, and she also has a son who is a Marine major, currently based in North Carolina. When George L. Pry, who was chair of the Carlow Board of Trustees at the time, announced that the board had named Mellon as Carlow’s tenth president, he said, “Suzanne has outstanding experience in all facets of higher education administration and proven knowledge of the major issues facing higher education. She is a visionary leader, whose creative outlook will help to strengthen Carlow and inspire others to join her.” The selection garnered praise from outside the Carlow community, too. “I’ve always found Dr. Mellon thoughtful and concerned not only for the intellectual enterprise, but for the people within it. Carlow chose well,” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, CM, president of DePaul University in Chicago, Ill. “While none of us have easy choices these days in higher education, I think the Carlow community will find a leader who treats them like the partners they rightfully are as they confront the challenges ahead together.” Many of the qualities that Holtschneider praises spring from Mellon’s strong belief in the Catholic intellectual tradition and what that brings to the landscape of higher education in general; from the reverence for creation to the importance of a perspective concerned with the whole person and how each student develops academically, socially, and spiritually. Particularly important, says Mellon, is the integration of both faith and reason into every discussion. “Faith and reason inform everything,” she says. “It’s also our focus on doing work in service to others and for the common good. Social justice is not just ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘what am I going to get out of it?’ There’s also ‘what am I doing that’s improving the world around me?’ That’s all part of the Catholic intellectual tradition in my book, too.”

As a community health nurse early in her nursing career, she often came face-to-face with systemic issues like poverty, abuse, mental health, or addiction—and sometimes all at once. The experiences she encountered in this area of nursing made her want to pursue a master’s degree at Ohio State University in psychiatric and mental health nursing, with a focus on family counseling and family therapy. From there, she served as a consultant for other nurses who were dealing with families going through major health issues. Pursuing her master’s whet her academic appetite, and an opportunity to teach nursing students presented itself, first at Wayne State University, and then at the University of Detroit Mercy. After getting her doctoral degree at Wayne State in 1998, she began doing cancer survivor research, and her focus on family counseling and therapy folded into that nicely. “I became interested in working with families who had inherited cancer risk—strong family histories of cancer—and what that meant for them dealing with it from a psychosocial perspective,” she says. “I wanted to help people survive [getting cancer], help them be resilient through it, and view it as something they can manage and deal with unless, obviously, they have a very aggressive form.” In addition to her teaching and research, Mellon wanted to make a difference at a higher level in the university than she could as a faculty member alone. When the position of dean in the University of Detroit Mercy’s College of Health Professions and McAuley School of Nursing opened, she approached Sister Maureen Fay, OP, then the president of the university, to see if Fay considered her to be a strong candidate to be dean. “I told her to be prepared because, as an internal candidate, everyone knows your flaws,” says Fay. “The College of Health Professions was our largest college and most complex, but I encouraged her to pursue the position.” Fay explained that the University of Detroit Mercy came about from a 1990 merger between the University of Detroit and Mercy College. As with any combination of distinct organizations, there is a period of growing




pains, a time when care must be taken to be certain no appearance of favoritism toward one or the other is given. “As dean, she really worked hard to unify the school around university goals, as well as the school’s goals,” says Fay. “She was extraordinarily helpful to me during that time in helping to get everyone pulling together. There was a lot of history [between the two merged institutions], and she was able to recognize that, but also inspire them to move further. She was well respected by her colleagues.” The opportunity to be dean of such a large and complex college helped Mellon come to a definitive decision about academe. “I think working in higher education is one of the best careers you can have because you have constant change, and the constant opportunity to work and engage in a learning environment,” she says. “I learn something new every day. If you think you know it all, that’s probably when you really should watch out [laughs] because that is not the case.” Dealing with the complex world that higher education has become has forced her to understand the importance of flexibility in a leader. Some of the people she counts as a mentor or role model are current or recently retired university presidents: Holtschneider, Fay, Cynthia Zane of Hilbert College, and St. Anselm’s Father Jonathan DeFelice. She’s also learned from watching leaders outside of higher education, too. “I do a fair amount of reading on leadership,” she says. “One of my favorite leaders—because I admire the way he stayed the course and had a vision for the future—was Abraham Lincoln. He did not have an easy presidency, but, when you think about it, he dealt with change and a lot of adversity, and did it while still keeping his eye on where things needed to be headed. “And frankly, another leader I admire is one of my sons, who is a Marine major. He is in Marine Special Forces, deployed four times. I’ve learned a lot about leadership and how you lead in adversity through him.” She has learned something from each of the leaders she admires, and that has helped inform her actions as a university administrator and, now, a president. “I’ve really come to see that a lot of leadership is how you manage and lead through change,” she says. “In today’s world, that is even more of an imperative—to connect with people; set a shared vision of where you are headed, empower, communicate, and move forward.” And through it all, she adds, it is important to continue to celebrate all of life’s opportunities. “Celebrating the heart, celebrating the people, and listening to the contributions that people have made,” she says. “That makes a huge difference.”


Summer Workshops


The Carlow University Women of Spirit Institute速





Wennette West Pegues ’58 ALISON JURAM D’ADDIECO




WENNETTE WEST PEGUES never stops. A self-proclaimed “techie grandma” who treasures her Mac and iPod and is quick to respond to email, Pegues is an expert at embracing life. A 1958 graduate of Mt. Mercy College (today Carlow University), Pegues went on to receive her master’s degree in sociology and counseling and her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Tulsa. Today, she is a student once again—this time at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) in Tulsa—a program she helped establish and run. She is also studying to be a docent at Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum, which houses the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West. The museum is the perfect spot for Pegues, who spends much of her spare time immersed in history. She is fascinated by genealogy and holds a certificate in genealogical research from Boston University. “I love history, and I love learning,” she says. Pegues’ impressive career in higher education began at Mt. Mercy—though she says she never expected to attend the school in the first place. She was a scholarship student at St. Paul’s Cathedral (now Oakland Catholic High School), when the school’s pastor asked her about her goals. What about Mt. Mercy? he asked. “Mt. Mercy was the epitome,” she recalls. “It was best thing in the whole wide world, but I never thought I’d be able to attend, because it cost money.” Pegues was thrilled when her pastor helped her secure a spot and assisted her in arranging for financial support. “I thought it was pretty cool that I could have that opportunity. My mother was so excited.” Pegues was not the first in her family to attend college, but she was one of only two Black students during her entire four-year Mt. Mercy experience. It didn’t matter, she says. She and classmate Viola Brown Boxley were treated just like everyone else. What was tough, she says, was that her mother was seriously ill. She recalls leaving class to spend the night at Montefiore Hospital after her mother’s heart surgery. She was back in class the next day. “I don’t think many of my classmates knew I had a dying mother,” she says. “I’m not one to say, ‘oh, poor me.’ I just did what I had to do.” Doing what she had to do also meant traveling to campus from her home in the then


brand-new St. Clair Village, far removed from the Oakland campus. Pegues recalls struggling through street car strikes that forced her to walk the three miles to campus. “Of course it was usually winter time,” she says. “But you couldn’t miss class. You couldn’t say it was too far.” “My grades suffered,” she says. “I never talked about it, but the Sisters of Mercy knew, and they understood.” As part of her nursing preparation, Pegues spent her last two undergraduate years as a resident nursing student in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore hospitals. She also enrolled in the Army Nurse Corps., a three-year program that helped pay tuition. Just months before graduation, on Good Friday, April 10, 1958, Pegues met a young man named Julius Pegues. What she didn’t know was that he was the first Black basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh. “I never even saw him play,” she laughs. “I didn’t recognize his name, but that gentleman and I have been together ever since.” The night of June 3, 1958, hours after Pegues received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, the young couple hopped into a VW Beetle and drove nonstop to his hometown, Tulsa, Okla., to start their new life together. “No one knew except one of my cousins,” she chuckles. “There was no staying over back then,” she adds. “You stopped, got gas, and kept on going.” The Pegues family flourished in Tulsa. In addition to raising three children, Pegues put her Mt. Mercy nursing degree to work, as both a practicing nurse and a nursing instructor at the Hillcrest Medical Center. After receiving her master’s and doctorate degrees, she soon became assistant dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tulsa, where she also taught sociology. During the course of an impressive career in higher education administration, Pegues found herself on the cutting edge of several important developments. She was one of the first two physician placement officers in Oklahoma, placing physicians in rural communities. Later, she became instrumental in the development of public higher education in Tulsa. In the early 1980s, explains Pegues, Tulsa had no public institution of higher education. A decision was made to bring upper division courses to the city by developing a consortium from four different institutions: the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma

State University, Langston University, and Northeastern State University. Pegues was the first director of the consortium—the predecessor to what is now Oklahoma State University, Tulsa. “It was absolutely wonderful,” she says. “I started to work on July 15, 1982, and in 56 days we had 1,862 students sitting down to courses. We had people driving down from Kansas; we had teachers from different parts of Oklahoma driving 150 miles to get their degree. The city needed it very badly.” In 2000, Pegues retired from Oklahoma State University, Tulsa, as associate dean of students at the College of Osteopathic Medicine. But retirement hasn’t slowed her down a bit. This September, she and her husband returned to Carlow for Alumni Weekend. She was relieved to see the same winding driveway leading uphill to her alma mater. Some things never change. But she was thrilled to see the many transformations that have occurred at Carlow over the last 55 years—including the great diversity of students now on campus. “The changes are so cool,” she says. “Carlow is doing a wonderful job providing service to students,” she says, “I see so many people having an opportunity to do so much.” She muses that providing service for others is really what it’s all about. “The students here today are smart and intuitive. They are the next generation. The thing is, we are all here for a reason. You become close to the people who surround you, and you are here to do something for somebody else.”

L–R: Wennette West Pegues ’58 and Julius Pegues.







I AM ESPECIALLY EXCITED TO HAVE EDUCATION STUDENTS FROM CARLOW OFFERING THE CLASSES BECAUSE OF THEIR PASSION AND COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION. —Christi Howell, board president, Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library IT’S A CRISP AUTUMN DAY at Pittsburgh’s Toy Lending Library. A perfect day to paint leaves. Inside, preschoolers saunter into the art area—a cozy nook sectioned off by a kid-size door and waist-high book cases. They step softly onto thick, colorflecked rubber matting and are quickly drawn into a mini-artist’s studio: paint, easels, crayons, colored tape, construction paper— it’s all here. Today, the kids grab bright blue plastic paint smocks and head to squat green chairs around age-appropriate tables. It’s art class day. The art area is open every day, but on Thursdays through mid- November, Carlow University School of Education students plan activities that make the visit all the more fun. Sam pulls a smock over his Batman t-shirt and heads to a table occupied by three little girls and three big college-aged girls. He is quickly greeted by Erin DiSanti, a Carlow junior from West Deer Township, Pa. “Hi! Come sit over here and I’ll tell you what we are doing,” says DiSanti. Next to DiSanti, Janelle McIntyre from North Huntington, Pa., and Amanda Knobeloch, from Wexford, Pa., also Carlow juniors,


are busy cutting oak and maple leaf shapes from thick paper. Sam finds a seat across the table from Abigail, who is busy coating a maple leaf shape with a thick layer of orange and red paint. “I will choose red,” Sam decides. “I’m going to make it disappear,” he adds. The kids cover their leaves in paint and then, with DiSanti’s instruction, apply a layer of plastic wrap over the paint, which they start to smoosh around with their fingers. “Make sure you put the plastic on the middle of the leaf,” says DiSanti. “What’s it feel like? Is it squishy?” “The paint is all mushy,” says Abigail. “Today my daddy is having a birthday,” announces Sam as he paints his leaf bright red. “I am making him a present.” The art classes were the brainchild of Elisabeth Moyer, a 2005 Carlow graduate with a degree in early childhood education and special education. Moyer worked for Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s DART program before giving birth to her daughters. Today, she and her children frequent the Toy Lending Library.

Moyer wanted to find a way to offer art classes to Toy Lending Library visitors, so she called one of her professors, Rae Ann Hirsh, director of undergraduate early childhood education at Carlow. The Toy Lending Library would supply the location, supplies, and preschoolers. Carlow students could come up with lesson plans and guidance. Hirsh jumped on the idea—a perfect opportunity for students in her Integrated Art class. “I was absolutely thrilled,” says Hirsh. “Hands-on experience is so necessary. You can create lesson plans all the time, but until you actually do it, you have no idea.” Christi Howell, president of the Toy Lending Library’s board of directors, is also thrilled. “I am especially excited to have education students from Carlow offering the classes because of their passion and commitment to education. Personally, I love it because my kids love art, and I can bring them here to do it!” Carlow junior Angela Marshall from Cranberry Township, Pa., says it’s all about the process. “Instead of directing kids to create a specific product,” she says, “it’s about letting the creative process happen.”

Amanda White, a mother of two from Pittsburgh’s Avalon neighborhood, is benefitting from that creative process—and from the Carlow students’ enthusiasm and direction. “She wants to do art when she’s here,” laughs White, gesturing to a smock-covered toddler at the art table. “It’s hard to paint with one while I’m holding the other!” she says, glancing down at her squirming baby. White says she’ll be coming here more often, as the weather gets colder. “We’re not always going to be able to go the park,” she says. “We’re going to be looking for things to do.” “The fact that Carlow is willing to do this allows us to offer more programming for our members,” says Howell. “It’s a really cool thing: you get paint all over yourself and your smock, and it’s great!” Opposite: Top: Carlow education students (L-R) teach art to preschool children at the Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library: Erin DiSanti, Janelle McIntyre, and Amanda Knobeloch. Bottom: Erin DiSanti helps students paint leaves.




PHILANTHROPISTS of every shape and size roam the halls of Carlow’s Campus School, sharing their time, treasures, and talents with those near and far. Meet, for example, Cecelia Cecconi, an eighth-grade student whose birthday parties take place at World Vision, in Sewickley, Pa. where guests sort supplies for the needy rather than unwrap presents. Cecelia has logged many additional hours at World Vision—and also conducts fundraisers to help support a Brazilian child. “It’s good to help people,” she says. “Doing good things makes you feel like a better person.” Chase McCorkle, another eighth-grader, spent much of this past summer working with young children at The Campus School’s summer camp and at Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena (PISA) sports camp. “Helping others makes you a better person,” he agrees. “It makes me really happy and motivated.” Cecelia and Chase’s work counts toward their 20-hour eighth grade service requirement, a Campus School program coordinated by religion teacher Peggy Lazar ’75. “Service is an integral part of The Campus School community,” says Lazar. “Volunteering promotes


leadership, cooperation, and respect through working with others. Students young and old receive personal satisfaction from knowing that they made a difference.” Long before they enter eighth grade, students learn about the Mercy mission in their classes and have many opportunities to give unto others. “Even the youngest of our student body participate in service and think about the wellbeing and the needs of others,” says Michelle Peduto, The Campus School’s executive director and head of school. “They also like to ride trikes,” she laughs, recalling a sidewalk transformed into a tricycle parking lot during the Trikeathon for St. Jude’s Research Hospital. “We do so much here, it’s just incredible.” “Many parents told me that the children themselves really took pride in asking for donations to help the children at the hospital,” says Trikeathon coordinator Erica Armbruster, director of the Carlow University Early Learning Center and assistant director of early childhood programs at The Campus School. Campus School faculty and staff also take pride in giving and, in 2012-2013, were the first group to give to

L–R: Cecelia Cecconi and Chase McCorkle, eighth grade students at The Campus School, are committed to service. Here they ‘high-five’ in Peggy Lazar’s religious education classroom.



The Campus School Annual Fund—used to provide support for immediate needs, including technology, programming, and teacher training. Peduto calls faculty and staff support of the Annual Fund “awe inspiring.” To date, the Annual Fund stands at $20,479.25, with a goal of $100,000 by the end of the 2013-2014 school year. “It shows their commitment,” says Peduto. “Our faculty and staff believe in what they are doing, and they were the first ones to step forward and support it.” That belief in the school’s mission is at the heart of so many philanthropic efforts and the inspiration for countless hours of service to others. As Cecconi puts it, “Helping people is the basis of morality. It’s doing something good for everyone, and you know it’s going to make someone happy.”

This past May, approximately 90 Campus School children, ages 3-6, brought their trikes to school, rode laps around the campus green, and raised nearly $4,800 for St. Jude’s Research Hospital.





Carlow Alumna Mary Hoffman Fricker ’68 Delivers Joy to Inner City Children “OH, GIRL. THIS IS ALL YOU.” Jennifer Johnson, a teacher at Pittsburgh’s Fulton Academy, pulls a pair of hot pink Converse sneakers, their tops lined with delicate, pale pink tulle netting, out of a box and hands them to a squirming little girl with braids and lots of beads. The recipient squeals with glee. Nearby, a boy is dancing in his seat, showing off his grey shoes with cool superheroes on the sides. “Yay! Look at my new shoes!” he says. A little boy in a light blue shirt and jeans raises his hand. “My shoe size is inside my shoe,” he says. “It’s a two.” No, this is not a shoe store. And no, it’s not Christmas. It’s a rainy Friday in October in the cafeteria of Fulton Academy, a pre-K neighborhood school in Pittsburgh’s Highland Park neighborhood that also offers a Frenchemphasis Magnet program. These kids are just a few of the 103 first grade students at Fulton who are receiving brand-new Converse sneakers, courtesy of Pittsburgher Mary Hoffman Fricker ’68. When Fricker graduated from Carlow College in 1968, she began teaching elementary school in West Mifflin, Pa. She saw, firsthand, the effect of poverty on young children. She held those memories close to her heart as she raised her two girls, and today, she and her husband, Joe Fricker, quietly make a difference in the lives of inner-city elementary school children. For the past seven years, Mary Fricker has worked to identify Pittsburgh public and Catholic elementary schools that qualify for the most free lunches. After isolating one school each year, she makes sure that each child in the school’s entire first grade receives a pair of shoes. Not just bargain-basement shoes. Brand-new Converse sneakers in popular colors and patterns. Throughout the year, Fricker purchases lots of sneakers. Teachers size up students’ feet, using white plastic shoe-sizers Mary ordered on the Internet. They send her a list, and she either matches the list with her inventory or purchases more shoes. Whatever it takes. Joe delivers the shoes in person, and the reactions they receive make their efforts more than worthwhile.


“I have teachers tell me that some of these kids have never had a new pair of shoes before,” says Fricker. “It’s like Christmas for them.” The children send her pictures of their shoes—and letters, too. “One boy wrote, ‘I didn’t think there were people really out there like you,’” she recalls. “They’re amazed that somebody they don’t know would give them a new pair of shoes. They treat them like gold.” Fricker has donated more than 1,000 pairs of shoes to the following Pittsburgh schools: Greenfield Elementary (twice), Spring Hill Elementary (twice), Martin Luther King Elementary, Woolslair Elementary, Grandview Elementary, Arsenal Elementary, Whittier Elementary, St. Rosalia Academy, St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Mary of the Mount, Cardinal Wright, St. Benedict the Moor, St. Agnes (Oakland), St. Agnes (West Mifflin), Good Shepherd, Word of God, East Hills Elementary, Fort Pitt Elementary, and Fulton Elementary. On November 14, 2013, Fricker was the recipient of the Outstanding Philanthropist Award as part of National Philanthropy Day, sponsored by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The ceremony took place at Pittsburgh’s Heinz History Center. Though honored to receive the award, Fricker is persistently humble—“others are far more deserving,” she says. But she is devoted to spreading joy—and hope. Kevin Bivens, principal of Fulton Academy, says he couldn’t believe his ears when Johnson read him a letter from Fricker this past summer, describing her intention to deliver shoes. “I thought someone was playing around,” he recalls. “I couldn’t believe it was true. When we found out it was real, we knew we had to jump on it.” Bivens knows these students well, guiding them into and out of the cafeteria and instructing them to “say ‘Merci’” to Joe Fricker after they receive their shoes. “ “My wife, Mary, was a first grade teacher,” Joe Fricker explains to the students. “She would be upset when kids would come to school and not have proper shoes. She’s been collecting shoes for years. These are really great shoes. These are brand new. She just loves first-graders. That’s why you’re getting shoes today!” “Everybody loves a first-grader!” says Bivens. At Fulton Academy, students are used to sharing. Due to recent overcrowding, they no longer have a library, an art room, or a music room. In fact one corner of the cafeteria is sectioned off by portable bulletin boards and is filled with drums, music stands, and instrument


cases. The librarian delivers books on a cart. Art is on a cart, too. “It really bothers me,” says Bivens of the missing library, which is now turned into much-needed classroom space. “I love the kids to be able to touch and feel the books.” But, thanks to the Frickers, these children receive something they don’t have to share: brand new, not hand-me-downed, fancy sneakers. Kathy Wetzel, an early intervention teacher at Fulton, calls the shoe project phenomenal. “This is a great thing for the kids. It’s so exciting—it’s like Christmas!” Fulton first grade teacher Lori Carmody says the kids couldn’t believe their ears when they heard they would be getting brand new shoes—from someone they didn’t even know. “They were ecstatic,” she says, “and the parents couldn’t believe this was happening.” Carmody turned the shoe sizing into a math game, teaching her students about measurement. “This has been so awesome,” she says. “I’m just thrilled.” For Fricker, giving joy is what’s most important. “These kids will think about this for the rest of their lives,” she says. “Someone who didn’t even know them gave them a new pair of shoes. I hope it makes a difference to them that they see kindness in the world.” Opposite page: Thanks to Mary Fricker, 103 pairs of shoes were given to Fulton Elementary students on October 11, 2013. Below: Mary Hoffman Fricker ’68

Mary Hoffman Fricker and McAuley Ministries Honored at 2013 National Philanthropy Day Carlow University Alumna Mary Hoffman Fricker and McAuley Ministries, an outreach of the Sisters of Mercy, were honored at the November 14, 2013 National Philanthropy Day Award Ceremony, sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals, at Pittsburgh’s Heinz History Center. Fricker received the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award for her philanthropic efforts to reach inner-city elementary school children. McAuley Ministries, the grant-making arm of Pittsburgh Mercy Health System and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy— who founded Carlow in 1929—received the Outstanding Foundation award. This past August, McAuley Ministries announced $1.2 million in grants, mainly supporting business development, education, services to persons who are homeless, and capacity-building initiatives in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, Uptown, and West Oakland communities. “These most recent grants exemplify our ongoing commitment to helping create neighborhoods that are safe, healthy, and vibrant,” stated Sister Sheila Carney, RSM, Carlow’s Special Assistant to the President for Mercy Heritage and chairperson of the McAuley Ministries Board of Directors.


NICOLE BELLAVANCE NICOLE BELLAVANCE’S bright red hair and wide smile could make anyone warm up to her. “I’m highly sociable,” she says. “In team environments, I tend to thrive; I tend to take on that natural leadership role.” Bellavance is an example of how perseverance, dedication, and a passion for learning lead to success. Initially drawn to Carlow’s intimate setting, Bellavance began her studies in 2001 but was forced to take a leave in 2003 due to health concerns. “Leaving and then coming back was tough,” she recalls. “I was apprehensive that I had been away for so long, and wasn’t going to do very well. It was a big hardship to come back into the swing of things as an adult student.” Despite the obstacles, Bellavance graduated in May 2013 with a 3.95 grade point average. She was also the recipient of the Communications Department’s award for academic excellence. “I’m always quick to ask for more work,” she says. “I just won’t accept anything less than an ‘A.’” Bellavance soon scored her dream job at UPMC Cancer Institute, where she currently integrates her passion for communication with her interest in medical research as a clinical research associate. Her work focuses specifically on gynecological oncology. She credits some of her success to communications professors Michael Balmert, PhD, and Chrys Gabrich, PhD, who challenged her to keep moving forward. She notes that Balmert’s Healthcare and Communications class, in particular, gave her the skills she needed to succeed. Carlow’s data and technology courses were right on target, as well. Bellavance offers words of advice for current or recent graduates. “I had quite a few internships,” she recalls. “If you have a company that you really like…don’t be afraid to call them. That’s how I got most of my internships. Take any opportunity you can to learn more.” “The teachers here are just fantastic, I just really can’t say enough,” adds Bellavance. Nicole Bellavance, ’13

Bachelor of Arts in Communication, May 2013 DALYCE WILSON





BILL DEBERNARDI SISTER GRACE ANN GEIBEL sits at her desk under the low-ceiling entranceway of Carlow’s A.J. Palumbo Hall of Science of Technology: sheet music in hand, smiling lively to passersby through the amber of a canvas. She may be easy to miss; students might crane their necks when passing breezily to class, but few grant her the attention she deserves. Even fewer take the time to appreciate the artistry and detail of the portrait. Fewer, still, appreciate the artist himself. And yet he, too, is worth a closer look. Carlow Associate Art Professor Bill DeBernardi, the portraitist of Sister Grace Ann, is internationally recognized. His work is featured in private, corporate, and museum collections across 11 states, Puerto Rico, and abroad—including France, Italy, and Venezuela. During the month of November, DeBernardi’s work was featured in a solo exhibition, “An American Festival #55 (Stale),” at the Penn State New Kensington Art Gallery. Art, says DeBernardi, was not always his primary focus. As an undergraduate, his interests were creative writing, biology, and anthropology. In fact, he equates his artistry to biology and anthropology. His method, he explains, is the preservation of a moment, an object, or a being, and a deliberative exploration. “It’s examining,” he says of his

Carlow’s Internationally Recognized Artist JASON NAUGHTON

artistic process, “it is an honest observation, influenced by memory and perception, but free of preconception.” But this examination is not without heart. “I am trying to be that little boy that I see as I walk by with that look of amazement: here’s a form, here’s a being, here’s a configuration,” he says. “It is that sort of wonder, that’s at the heart of everything.” At Carlow, DeBernardi works closely with Art Department Chair Dale Huffman to educate students beyond college. “A lot of people come out of college and feel kind of senseless as to what happens next,” says DeBernardi. The great strength of a small department, he notes, is the ability to develop lasting relationships with students. “We establish a rapport with students after they’ve left here, whether it’s phone calls and emails back and forth, doing a studio visit, or putting together an alumni show.” Likewise, DeBernardi strives to bridge this transition from college into the real world in his curriculum. “I started to tweak some of the classes to order to make that arch and that transition into the real world more seamless,” he says, “to position students so that once they leave here they have the tools to express themselves, but also have the tools to continue in lifelong learning.”


Last month, DeBernardi’s work was featured in a solo exhibition, “An American Festival #55 (Stale),” at the Penn State New Kensington Art Gallery.

Left: Installation view, “An American Festival #55 (Stale)” at Penn State New Kensington.




WHEN DANAH RICHTER visited the Carlow University campus, she saw the same potential that many students see when visiting the college that will become their academic home for the next four years. “When I was on the campus tour at Carlow, I saw the ability to be part of the Carlow community and that gave me a hope to succeed through all the challenges,” says Richter, who is from New Kensington, Pa. “I chose Carlow to give myself challenges and prepare myself for the real world after I graduate from college.” However, the challenges Richter arrived at Carlow with are greater than those of the average college student, and the barriers to becoming part of the Carlow community were a good bit higher. “Communication and writing English as a second language


are the most difficult things for me as a deaf student at a hearing college because no one knows how to communicate with my first language—American Sign Language (ASL)—and writing in English was an extreme struggle for me to learn,” says Richter, who is a junior social work major. Students whose first language is ASL often have difficulty with Standard Written English. Despite the early struggles, Richter has found Carlow to be everything she thought it could be when she was on that campus tour. “Because of our roots and our Catholic heritage, we are welcoming to all,” says Siobhan DeWitt, the campus minister at Carlow. “Catherine McAuley served everyone in the Dublin community when she founded the Sisters of Mercy. Through Carlow’s connection to the

Danah Richter Participates as a Young Leader in Pennsylvania, National, and Canadian Conferences ANDREW G. WILSON

Sisters of Mercy and our Catholic heritage, we are here to serve everyone in our community.” Welcomed into the Carlow community, Richter has begun to excel. She has been named to the Dean’s List for the past two semesters. “Danah is a student who is dedicated to success,” says Bridget Ponte, director of the Center for Academic Achievement at Carlow University. “I believe she can accomplish anything that she puts her mind to.” One of the things Richter put her mind to is being better at comprehending and writing Standard Written English. As part of her studies, she took an independent study course for the past three years focused on Standard Written English for students whose first language is ASL. “[Communicating and writing English] was an issue that Danah recognized in herself,” says Jackie Smith, a writing consultant in the Center for Academic Achievement and the Disability Services Representative at Carlow. “Danah has an amazing attention to detail and a mature self-determination. She is willing to ask for help and to help others when needed.” This willingness to both help and be helped has led Richter to recognition as a leader beyond the Carlow campus. She was invited to participate as a “young leader” in the Pennsylvania Society for the Advancement of the Deaf (PSAD) conference held in Pittsburgh in September 2013, and the National Association of the Deaf’s (NAD) National Leadership Training

conference in Omaha, Neb., in October 2013. She has also been invited to participate in the second annual Inspire Virtual Symposium, an online conference at the University of Calgary in Canada, for disabled students of varying abilities to present papers that challenge “ability expectations.” Richter differentiates between “deaf” with a lowercase “d,” referring to the condition of being non-hearing, and an uppercase “D” that refers to the Deaf Culture. Almost 29 million Deaf people live in America and about 300 million Deaf people live in the world. “Our ‘Deaf’ voices grow louder,” says Richter. Being invited to represent Pennsylvania—and by extension representing both Carlow and Pittsburgh—is just one more step in helping Richter achieve her goals. “I always search for more challenges,” says Richter. “My next destination is working with children with autism because I find autism to be a very interesting topic to work with. In five years, I hopefully might graduate with two master’s degrees: one in social work and a second in mental health counseling at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. In 10 years, I hope I will be able to work with hearing and deaf children and deaf adults in mental health services and/or organizations.” If Richter’s academic career at Carlow is any indication, she is well on her way to achieving her goals.


MEASURING SUCCESS WITH BOTH HANDS Below: Carlow Alumna Kimberly Zeske-Maguire, left, works with Sheila Advento, the first female double hand transplant recipient at UPMC.

KIMBERLY ZESKE-MAGUIRE ’91 sets about two dozen black and red plastic disks in front of Sheila Advento, and for a moment it appears as if they are getting ready to play a game of checkers. When the disks are set up, instead of asking Advento to make the first move, Zeske-Maguire instructs her to turn the disks over, one at a time, as quickly as she can, using only her left hand. Zeske-Maguire times her. When Advento is finished, she repeats the process using only her right hand, and, again, Zeske-Maguire times her. What may look like a game is really occupational therapy, made all the more challenging because as recently as two years ago, Advento’s hands belonged to someone else. She is the first female double hand transplant recipient at the University of


Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), which is the first hospital in the United States to perform bilateral hand transplants, as well as the first above elbow transplant. Zeske-Maguire, her occupational therapist and a Carlow University alumna, knows there are different ways to measure success; a lesson occupational therapists learn quickly. “The theory of occupational therapy is you do what’s meaningful for the patient,” says ZeskeMaguire, who is the facility director for the Hand and Upper Extremity Rehab Clinic of the Centers for Rehab Services (CRS) at UPMC. “You have to find which way is the best way to help your patient.” Help might mean sympathizing with a patient one time then challenging him or her to work harder the next, but either way, Zeske-Maguire is prepared.

Carlow Alumna Kimberly Zeske-Maguire ’91 Works with Hand Transplant Patients ANDREW G. WILSON

“I chose Carlow because I didn’t feel like I was going to get lost,” she says. “My first interest was in rehab counseling. I did field placements at the Children’s Institute, Western Psych, and Harmarville Rehabilitation Center. It was my placement at Harmarville that sparked my interest in occupational therapy.” As a psychology major, ZeskeMaguire’s advisor was Sister Rita Flaherty, who helped her select her classes and field placement opportunities. She says the statistics class, taught by Marlene Winters, PhD, prepared her for the research she’s been doing today. After Carlow, she earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Boston University. She worked at the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital in Atlanta before transferring to the VA in Altoona, Pa. She joined CRS in 1998, and became a certified hand therapist in 2001. She has been the facility director at the Hand and Upper Extremity Rehab Clinic since 2007. Occupational therapy helps patients regain the skills required to live a normal life. Often times, this means regaining the use of fine motor skills. “There are patients who can be hard to get motivated because they feel defeated,” Zeske-Maguire explains. “The flip side is there are some who are so overly motivated that I have to slow them down a bit. Most people fall somewhere in the middle.” Advento, a hard worker, definitely isn’t in the middle, as she has plenty of motivation. “My goal is full independence,” says Advento, who lost her hands and feet seven years ago from complications of a bacterial

infection. “I want to have no need for assistance from anyone.” She is well on her way to achieving that, too. Although she has an assistant who travels with her, Advento can drive and is able to work as a customer service representative for a medical laboratory. Zeske-Maguire credits Advento’s progress to her great sense of humor and strong work ethic. She says that soon after Advento received her new hands, they strapped a marker to her hand using ace bandages, and Advento, who had artistic abilities before the amputation, drew Garfield the cat. “She drew it better than I could, and I have my original hands,” laughs Zeske-Maguire. Advento has since begun to paint and draw again. Her progress has been documented many times by local and national media—and she even answered questions during a Q&A at the American Society of Reconstructive Transplantation conference in Chicago where Zeske-Maguire was presenting. Zeske-Maguire says Advento’s—and all of her patients’—goals are usually much simpler and clearer. “They want to be able to brush their teeth in the morning, or hold their loved one’s hand,” says Zeske-Maguire. “They want the everyday human things that most of us take for granted.” These are the very things that an occupational therapist can help them achieve.




THE UNINFORMED may think the only way to reach special education students is through magic, but a Carlow University professor and a magician are demonstrating that the idea is more than just hocus-pocus. “Special education is founded on the premise that all children learn differently,” says Susan O’Rourke, EdD, chair of special education and coordinator of instructional technology certification at Carlow University. Special education encompasses a spectrum of learners— from those who have particular challenges to their learning, as well as to those who are classified as gifted. “While many of our students are challenged by specific limitations related to sensory input, cognitive processing, and other medical factors,” explains O’Rourke, “a significant proportion of our students do not respond typically to traditional teaching methods. Special education teachers look for alternative means to support and improve student learning outcomes.” There are many possible alternative means of support for student learning, but O’Rourke feels magic has special qualities—none of which need to be pulled out of a hat. “The skills required to perform a magic trick are complex on many levels including attention, motor planning, dexterity, organization, sequencing, non-verbal and verbal communication, and social skills,” she says. “The benefits to student’s self-efficacy, self-esteem, and the ability to persevere are enhanced by learning and performing magic tricks.” And, notes O’Rourke, “learning a magic trick is fun!” To teach magic tricks as part of the education process, O’Rourke called on Kevin Spencer, a magician from Lynchburg, Va., who has a passion for educating children, as well as a passion for magic. O’Rourke first met Spencer because they are both members of the Division of International Special Education and Services (DISES), and have attended several of the same conferences. Recently, Spencer provided the keynote address at the DISES International Round Table 2013 in Tobago, West Indies. “Curiosity can be a powerful motivating factor in the education experience,” says Spencer, who has created his own magic-based curriculum titled Hocus Focus. According to Spencer, evidence suggests that children may learn and retain information more effectively when they are taught creatively and allowed to be creative. “Learning a magic trick encourages students to ask ‘what if’—a question that is at the very core of creativity and innovation,” he explains. “Learning a magic trick can encourage students to be creative, to search for answers, and can stimulate them to think in different ways.”




Before revealing the secrets behind any magic tricks, Spencer asked for and received the enthusiastic support of both the International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Society of American Magicians. Beginning in October 2013, O’Rourke and Spencer collaborated on two projects at the Propel School, a charter school in Braddock Hills, Pa. In the first project, Spencer performed a magic trick for gifted students that hinged on math and science principles. The Propel students were paired with Carnegie Mellon University engineering students, and together they analyzed the math and science principles behind the trick. The trick and the analysis became the basis of math and science exploration for several weeks to come. In the second project, Propel students with special needs were linked with students at Belmont School in Derry, Northern Ireland, via video conferencing. Spencer introduced magic/illusions to students at both schools and asked them to learn a trick and teach it to peers via video conferencing. The goal was to develop a range of skills including communication, fine motor, motor planning, and memory. The students would continue to meet via video conferencing on six occasions over the next several months. Teaching students a magic trick helps them to be more aware of their thought processes, including the mistakes they make. Through those mistakes, students develop critical thinking and problem solving abilities, which can improve their observational techniques and self-determination. “We remove the stressors of being right and give them permission to take intelligent risks,” says Spencer. “Learning a magic trick provides students with an opportunity to learn facts and concepts they can see, touch, manipulate, and talk about.” O’Rourke and Spencer’s collaboration stemmed from a desire to utilize video conferencing in delivering the Hocus Focus curriculum to a wider range of students. They also wanted to see if the video conferencing itself might actually enhance students’ skill development. “We hope to measure and analyze student growth over the life of the project and determine the effects of video conferencing on the outcomes,” says O’Rourke. “Over the years, I’ve witnessed an increase in motivation and effort put forth by students when preparing for their participation in video conferences,” she says. “Given Kevin’s extensive research and experience in utilizing the Hocus Focus curriculum in the traditional sense, an opportunity to research the effects with the introduction of a media source seemed interesting.” Carlow University’s School of Education is on the forefront of this new research in many ways. “The notion of analyzing magic tricks to explore science and math concepts grew out of our work in High Performance Learning in the School of Education,” says O’Rourke. New knowledge about the way children learn, coupled with recent advances in neuroscience and the use of digital technology in the classroom, have prompted Carlow’s School of Education faculty to take a fresh look


at the way teaching and learning occur in the 21st century. Their research has led them to examine both how they are teaching college students and how the students are prepared to teach in the modern classroom. As a result, O’Rourke has begun to use magic to teach certain concepts at Carlow, as well. “We realize the value of problem-based and projectbased learning through students’ discovery—especially for students who learn differently and are classified as ‘gifted,’” says O’Rourke. “This perspective prompted the idea to use a fun, playful magic trick to motivate and engage students to discover and determine the science and math concepts illustrated in the trick.” Of course, if the students are motivated to learn math and science by using fun magic tricks, we never know in what field the next breakthrough will occur. “Perhaps,” Spencer says, “these very students will develop new methods that can be used to advance the art of illusion into the next century!”

Both pages: Magician Kevin Spencer says curiosity can be a powerful motivating factor in the education experience. Magic can encourage students to be creative and search for answers, and can stimulate them to think in different ways.



A CONVERSATION WITH ELSIE HILLMAN Elsie Hillman spent an evening discussing her remarkable life, and it didn’t take long to have her explain the secret of her success. “I’m really sort of a bridge between people,” said the woman who was instrumental in turning out the vote for Republican presidential candidates from Dwight Eisenhower to George Herbert Walker Bush because she was able to bring together coalitions of labor, women, and traditional Republicans. “I still have contacts in Washington. I can call someone up and have them take my call. I can be a liaison or ambassador between what somebody needs and somebody else can give them.” These were just a few of the ideas expressed during a conversation between Hillman, a Carlow Board of Trustee emerita, and Ellie Wymard, PhD, director of the MFA in creative writing program at Carlow. The conversation took place during the Lives of Public Leadership and Influence lecture series during Carlow’s Speak Up Week, February 18-21, 2013. Sponsored by the Dr. Tom Hopkins Communication Laboratory, Speak Up Week included a number of events designed to encourage members of the Carlow community to speak out on issues that matter most to them and those they love. Lives of Public Leadership and Influence was made possible thanks to generous funding from the Michele R. Atkins Endowed Chair for Ethics Across the Curriculum and the Kenneth D. Hines Endowment for Ethics in the Professions. Wymard’s questions provided a framework for the evening, but Hillman seemed quite comfortable talking about her life, and casually dropping names of politicos like U.S. Senator Hugh Scott, Pennsylvania Governor Bill Scranton, U.S. Senator “Johnny” Heinz, and even heavyweight boxer Billy Conn. “I believe the issues—not the politics—have always been attractive to me,” she said. “I guess I thought I could always make a difference.” Making a difference in Pennsylvania politics in the 1950s was not easy for a woman—even one who had married Henry Hillman, the heir to a steel and coke fortune who steered the family money into real estate and venture capital—and because of that Hillman often would mentor other women—like Barbara Hafer—who she felt


could make a difference in politics. She also acknowledged that today’s political climate in the Republican party doesn’t make it easy for a woman—even one who considers herself a bridge builder. “We’re out of date,” she said, indicating the Republican Party. “I can’t imagine myself joining that party today. Of course, I’m not sure the Democrat Party is pleasing all of the democrats either.” Hillman also discussed the recently published case study of her life, Never a Spectator: The Political Life of Elsie Hillman, which has been incorporated into several Carlow courses. Throughout the evening, Hillman’s comments about the people she encountered and the politics she practiced over her life would bring a positive reaction from the audience, but, by far, the loudest cheers of the evening came when Hillman voiced the one factor that would improve the world today. “I think we would be better off if more women were involved in politics.” By the sounds of things, no one at Carlow disagreed.

L–R: Ellie Wymard, PhD, and Elsie Hillman



INVESTING IN STUDENTS Michele Atkins and Elsie Hillman Challenge Alumni

Michele Rehfeld Atkins ’82, chair of Carlow’s Board of Trustees, likes a good challenge. A straight-A student in high school, Atkins completed one year of college but was forced to take time off to earn funding for her education. The year was 1963. She soon married and moved to Texas when her husband, Pat Atkins, became a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin. Atkins recalls being the only faculty wife who did not have a college degree—a fact that continued to gnaw at her. When the family ended their journey in Pittsburgh, Atkins was challenged to finally finish what she’d started. “We were driving on Route 19,” she remembers. “Our kids were maybe 6 and 8, and I was again bemoaning the fact that I never finished my degree.” Knowing just how much education meant to his wife, Pat pulled the car over at the busy Fort Couch Road intersection, turned to Michele, and encouraged her go for it. Find the right program, he told her. Enroll. There is no time like the present. That was the deciding moment, recalls Atkins. She accepted the challenge and enrolled, at age 32, as an undergraduate at Carlow College. Since completing her bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1982, Atkins has worked professionally in not-forprofit management, strategic planning, fundraising, and governance for such organizations as the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the American Lung Association, Gilda’s Club of New York City, and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Most recently, she was president and CEO of Heritage Community Initiatives of Braddock, Pa. “My husband and I were both the first in our families to go to college,” says Atkins. “We feel a huge responsibility to ensure that others are also able to go to college and graduate.”


This past Spring, Michele and Pat Atkins created a ground-breaking $50,000 challenge towards The Carlow Fund, matching all gifts, dollar for dollar, up to that amount, through June 30, 2013. The Carlow Fund provides financial support to student scholarships and financial aid, technology enhancements, library resources, and faculty development. The Atkins’ challenge was answered by Carlow supporters in just five weeks—and was soon enhanced by Carlow Board of Trustee emerita Elsie Hillman, who doubled the challenge to make it $100,000. “Carlow University is and has always been a very special place in Pittsburgh and in my heart,” says Hillman. “As a former trustee, I learned so much about the Mercy tradition and wonderful approach to higher education, especially for those young, bright women who choose Carlow. Carlow will always have my support.” When the challenge reached completion, Carlow Fund donations totaled $225,375.34—a huge, unprecedented success. Atkins is thrilled by this success. “Carlow helped to shape why I did what I did with my life,” she says. “It’s where I learned that I wanted to make a difference.”


In honor of the 1929 founding of Mt. Mercy College by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow has developed the Carlow University 1929 Society. A group of philanthropic alumni and friends of Carlow, the 1929 Society seeks to ensure that the University can plan for the future, confident that resources are in place to meet the most immediate demands. To become an inaugural member of the Society, individuals are asked to contribute $1,929 or more to The Carlow Fund during the fiscal year (July 1-June 30). A year-round campaign with a mission to keep Carlow University affordable, competitive, and strong, The Carlow Fund provides immediate, unrestricted income where it is needed the most. With this critical support, donors help provide the financial resources such as student scholarships and financial aid, technology enhancements, library resources, and faculty development. “Carlow University is a valuable educational institution to Pittsburgh,” says Larry Karnoff, principal of Larry Karnoff Consulting and a friend of the University. A member of Carlow’s Development and Cultivation Committee, Karnoff says he is proud to support the new fund. “When I learned that the school was inviting its friends and alumni to participate in the 1929 Society with a gift of that amount, I thought this would be a good way to help the students,” notes Karnoff.

To learn more about the Carlow University 1929 Society, please contact Karen E. Galentine, Vice President for University Advancement, at 412.578.6135. Michele Rehfeld Atkins ’82



CAPOZZI KIRR CHALLENGE CONTINUES TO PAY IT FORWARD Barbara Capozzi Kirr ’60 has a message to tell. She wants to make sure others know the life-changing quality of the Carlow experience. A social work graduate, Capozzi Kirr says she’s very grateful for the solid education she received, but also for the perspective she gained, inspiring in her a love of learning that continues to this day. Capozzi Kirr is a former Carlow trustee and her husband, David Kirr, is a life member of Carnegie Mellon’s Board of Trustees. They both know the importance of giving back to their alma maters, and they have decided to spread the word about Carlow in the form of generous gifts that keep on giving. In 2005, the Kirrs set aside $50,000 for the Barbara A. Capozzi Kirr ’60 and David M. Kirr Endowment for Teaching Excellence. At the same time, they gave an additional $50,000, creating the Capozzi Kirr Endowment Challenge. It was a way to share their good fortune and inspire others to do the same. Their challenge gift, available in 10 $5,000 grants, would match any individual or group of individuals or organizations that would give $20,000 toward establishing a new, named endowment for $25,000. For each new named endowment, the Kirrs would contribute $5,000. Anita Dacal, Carlow University executive director for philanthropy, says the Capozzi Kirr Challenge has been “tremendously successful.” “It’s so incredible,” says Dacal. “They helped us in ways you can’t even count. It’s a real, organic, philanthropic experience. This is relationship building. It’s understanding where your money is going and who it is educating.” Dacal says the challenge has inspired many to give more—including Georgia Lundberg Navaretta ’63. Having pursued a fulfilling nursing career, first as a U.S. Naval Officer and then later as a public health nurse and a pediatric hospital nurse, today Navaretta and her husband, Gerald Navaretta, live in Kingwood, Texas. They came across the Capozzi Kirr Challenge while researching endowed scholarships on Carlow’s website.


“It was too hard to pass up,” she says. “It gave us a way to give money now, and direct where the money would go. The Kirr matching funds were an opportunity to set up our scholarship earlier than we planned.” The Navarettas created the Georgia Lundberg Navaretta Nursing Scholarship, a need-based scholarship awarded to a full-time junior or senior female undergraduate student in nursing who demonstrates satisfactory academic progress and a commitment to pursue nursing as a profession. While the timing was perfect—honoring Navaretta’s fiftieth reunion in 2013—her greatest wish was to ensure that young people could grow from the Carlow experience just as she did. “Mount Mercy educated me so that I could pursue my career of nursing and created in me my love of volunteering, which has brought me much happiness,” says Navaretta. “I would hate to see someone have to give up on their dream because they couldn’t afford it.”

Top: Barbara A. Capozzi Kirr ’60 and David M. Kirr. Bottom: Georgia Lundberg Navaretta ’63.



WHAT’S IN A NAME? Two Clark Families Come Together to Support Nontraditional Students For eight years, Pamela Clark ’11 took courses to earn a bachelor’s degree in theology from Carlow University. In her classes, the mother of four met other nontraditional students, many of whom juggled family, school, and a career. “I met the most amazing women in my classes, young and old alike…who were raising families, working full time, and trying to better themselves and get an education so they could get a better job—I admired them so much,” says Clark. As Clark’s graduation neared, she realized her siblings, parents, in-laws, and children would want to give her gifts. In lieu of presents, she requested donations for a scholarship for nontraditional students. And it turns out, an

existing Clark scholarship—the Leonard and Mary D. Clark Memorial Scholarship—was the perfect fit. Established by Eleanor Clark Quigley ’75, the fund honors the memory of her parents and is awarded annually to a female, undergrad nontraditional student. “Mary, my mother, was very interested in education and in my education,” explains Clark Quigley. She recalls that, when she graduated from high school, she wasn’t planning to attend college. Her mother had different ideas, and convinced Clark to attend Mount Mercy College—which she did for two years before quitting to get married and start her family. When Clark Quigley was in her 40s, however, she re-enrolled at Carlow, graduated, and became a first grade teacher in the Norwin School District, where she taught for 22 years. Her daughter, Susan Hankowitz, also graduated from Carlow as a nontraditional student. “I was a nontraditional student. Mount Mercy helped me obtain grants and loans,” recalls Clark Quigley. “I was thrilled to be given a job to pay off those loans, and it helped me decide that [starting a scholarship] would be helpful.”

Top: Pamela Clark ’11 and her mother, Virginia Trovato. Bottom: Eleanor Clark Quigley ’75.

ALUMNA ESTABLISHES MILES AGAINST MELANOMA SCHOLARSHIP A decade ago, Jessica Vega-Rogowicz might have had a different association for the word “gold”—as in a golden tan. “During my college years, I was unaware of the damaging effect of sun and tanning bed exposure,” says Vega-Rogowicz, who graduated from Carlow in 2004 with a dual degree in elementary and special education. “I vacationed yearly at the beach and started using tanning beds while I was in college.” Following two bouts with melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, Vega-Rogowicz has a different outlook on tanning. She formed a local chapter of Miles Against Melanoma, a nationwide non-profit organization that aims to fight melanoma by increasing awareness; supporting patients, survivors, and families; and fundraising for research. At her alma mater, she established the Jessica Vega-Rogowicz Miles Against Melanoma Scholarship, which provides $1,000 for education majors to use for their studies. Scholarship applicants are asked to submit lesson plans detailing how to avoid health hazards like melanoma.


Because of Vega-Rogowicz’s efforts to combat melanoma, the Carlow University Alumni Association presented her with the first G.O.L.D. Award, recognizing Graduates Of the Last Decade who embody the Carlow traditions of excellence and shared values through professional achievements, personal accomplishments, and dedication to the mission of the University. “Jessica is richly deserving of this award,” says Rose Woolley, director of alumni relations at Carlow. “She is a tremendous advocate for both sun safety and for Carlow.” The Miles Against Melanoma Pittsburgh Chapter’s inaugural year was immensely successful, raising $25,000 to benefit the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. “I had a lot of negative energy,” says Vega-Rogowicz, “and I needed to channel it in a positive way. Establishing a scholarship is one more positive way that I can raise awareness about sun safety.” L–R: Joanne Malenock, PhD ’59, president of Carlow’s Alumni Association Board of Directors, Jessica Vega-Rogowicz, Suzanne Mellon, PhD.



2013 SPRING COMMENCEMENT Carlow University’s 2013 Spring Commencement took place on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Soldier’s and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Oakland. The graduating class consisted of 297 (22 men and 275 women), of which 217 received bachelor’s degrees, 72 received master’s degrees, and eight were awarded their doctorates.




Prior to the commencement ceremony, Carlow’s chaplain, the Reverend Harry E. Nichols, also pastor of St. Stanislaus/St. Peters in the Strip District, celebrated a Baccalaureate Mass for all graduates and their families at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland.






Carlow University is listed in the top 20 private colleges and the top 100 overall in Washington Monthly’s annual ranking of more than 1,500 colleges that provide the “best bang for the buck.” Carlow University is also the only private college in Pennsylvania that made the cut for the top 20. Washington Monthly awards highest marks to colleges that are both effective and inexpensive. “We are pleased an independent source like Washington Monthly has confirmed what we have known about Carlow,” said Suzanne Mellon, PhD, president of Carlow University. “Our mission when Carlow was founded 84 years ago was to not only provide students with a personalized education that prepares them for a career and for life, but to educate people who are not being served by other schools. We are still fulfilling that mission today.” Of the 1,572 colleges and universities considered, only 349 made the list. Each year, the 44-year old Washington, D.C.-based magazine publishes a list of the colleges in America “that do the best job of helping nonwealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.” Schools were ranked according to three main criteria, including

recruiting those with modest means, meeting a specific graduation rate threshold, and ability of graduates to earn enough in the workforce to pay back their student loans. Carlow was ranked 96th overall (public and private) and 19th among just the private schools. Notably, Carlow was one of only three schools from Pennsylvania among the top 100, one of only two Catholic schools among the top 100, and the only Pennsylvania school on the list of private colleges. The closest top 20–ranked institution geographically is more than 370 miles away from Pittsburgh. “Our rankings aim to identify institutions that are acting on behalf of the true public interest,” says Robert Kelchen, editor of the 2013 College Rankings. “The Washington Monthly’s college guide demonstrates that it’s possible to serve a variety of public interests and provide a great college experience at the same time.” The full list of Washington Monthly’s 2013 Best Bang-for-the-Buck rankings can be found at




For the eighth-straight year, Carlow students, faculty, and staff were recognized for their efforts within the community by being named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Launched in 2006, the Honor Roll is a national recognition program that highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement. Carlow has been selected to the Honor Roll ever since the program’s inception. “These institutions have inspired students and faculty alike to roll up their sleeves and work alongside members of the community to solve problems and improve their neighbors’ lives,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National Community Service. Carlow students help out locally with programs like the Youth Media Advocacy Program and the annual Student Government Association Fashion Show which benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters. Students help out locally, nationally, and globally through service opportunities such as Alternative Spring Break. “This is a testament to the commitment of faculty, staff, and students in living out the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, our founders,” said Jessica Friedrichs, Carlow’s coordinator of service-learning. “The Mercy mission is one that sees service in the pursuit of social justice as an essential component to liberal arts education.”

For a complete list of Honor Roll awardees visit


CARLOW UNIVERSITY BIOLOGY PROFESSOR RECEIVES “FIGHTING SPIRIT AWARD” AT COACHES VS. CANCER EVENT Laura Schatzkamer’s Triumphant Battle Against Breast Cancer Earns Honor at Event at Heinz Field Laura Schatzkamer, an assistant professor of biology at Carlow University, received the “Fighting Spirit Award” at the Coaches vs. Cancer TipOff Madness event, one of the premier basketball events of its kind in the country and hosted by many area universities’ men’s and women’s basketball coaches, at Heinz Field on October 2, 2013. In the fall of 2008, Schatzkamer, who teaches anatomy and physiology to nursing students, and is the faculty athletics representative and advisor to Carlow’s dance division, felt a lump in her left breast. “It was small, but clearly not normal,” she recalls. “My first thought was, ‘This can’t happen to me, I’m a healthy person, and my body wouldn’t let me down.’” That small lump turned out to be cancer, and she had surgery in October 2008. As she waited for the surgery to heal and her chemotherapy to begin, she continued to teach her classes, but she was aware of a change in her perspective. “My world was a new one,” she says. “Instead of syllabi, I was thinking survival.” She completed her chemo treatment in time to be at the pool for Memorial Day weekend 2009. One year later, she became a paddler on the Pink Steel dragon boat team, the Breast Cancer Survivor Division of the Steel City Dragon Boat Association. She has not stopped paddling since, and was featured in a television commercial for UPMC along with the rest of her Dragon Boat racers last year. (For more information about dragon boat racing, please visit www. “We are a group of women who hang tight together, are there for each other, and have a bond that I don’t believe I would have found under any other circumstances,” said Schatzkamer when she accepted the award. “I accept this award on behalf of my team, because every member of Pink Steel has a fighting spirit.”

Two years ago, Schatzkamer, a Fox Chapel resident, became a personal trainer, specializing in helping other survivors get back into shape after cancer. “I’m feeling healthy, energetic, and I welcome every new day,” she says. But even with this positive attitude, Schatzkamer knows there is more to be done, and her message is both direct and simple. “Cancer can strike anytime or anyone,” she says. “Just when you least expect it, your world can be turned upside down. We celebrate survival, but—the truth is—we don’t all survive. There is more to do, a real and final cure to be found, and I hope it comes soon.”

Laura Schatzkamer



L-R: Susan O’Rourke, EdD, professor and chair of Carlow’s Special Education Programs; Pauline Greenlick, adjunct professor, treasurer of Bright Kids Uganda; Victoria Nalongo Namusisi; Suzanne Mellon, PhD; and Mary Burke, PhD, professor and chair of Carlow’s PsyD (Counseling Psychology) program.


Kwagala is the Ugandan word for “love,” and her father’s love for her is the reason why Victoria Nalongo Namusisi, a fisherman’s daughter, received an education and became a journalist, a government official, a supporter of scouting for young people, and ultimately, the founder and executive director of the Bright Kids Uganda, a children’s home in the city of Entebbe that she established in 2000. “I would hear people say, ‘there goes the fisherman’s daughter,’ whenever I passed by,” she told an audience of education and psychology undergraduate and graduate students at Carlow University on October 2, 2013. “My father used to tell us that the only gift he could ever give us was an education.” Once she had her education and became a journalist and then a district administrator in Uganda, Namusisi discovered that her entire family’s status had been upgraded. “Once I had my education, I would hear people say, ‘there goes the district administrator’s father,’” she said, noting that there was little difference between her family and other fishermen’s families except for one thing. “The difference was that my father took education seriously.”


Namusisi came to Carlow through the invitation of Carlow professors Mary Burke, PhD, and Susan O’Rourke, EdD, who visited Uganda and the Bright Kids orphanage in July. One of the purposes of the return visit was to broaden the horizons of Carlow students by hearing Namusisi’s exceptional story. “We have very little experience of what it’s like to live in a country with very little resources,” said Margaret McLaughlin, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Carlow University, who introduced Namusisi to the audience. “Victoria demonstrates how much a single individual can influence what goes on in a country.” Bright Kids Uganda provides a home and education for more than 60 children who have been affected by violent conflicts in northern Uganda, HIV/AIDS, poverty, and abandonment. One of the first children she cared for at Bright Kids Uganda was a young boy living on the streets of a city in northern Uganda that was ravaged by war for nearly two decades. The boy appeared to be no more than three or four years old; but Namusisi was stunned when she discovered how old he actually was.

“He was six and a half years old, but he was so malnourished that he looked like he was three and a half,” she said. He had a swollen face and a distended belly, but, when she took him to a doctor, she found he was disease-free. Still, because of the malnourishment, the doctor gave him only about two weeks to live. “If you want to save him,” the doctor told Namusisi, “keep him warm and give him food.” But even with that treatment plan, the doctor wouldn’t—or couldn’t—give any guarantees that he would survive. That didn’t deter Namusisi. She went to see if she could find any parents or relatives, and when she asked if she could take the boy with her, she was stunned at the one word answer, “Take.” “It was a big shock to me that a whole human being had no value,” she said. “Life had lost its value in northern Uganda because of this war.” With food, shelter, and especially her care, the boy thrived, and now he is a teenager, healthy and strong, but still a grade level or two behind his age group due to the neglect he experienced early in life. “I thank God that through Bright Kids I had the chance to save some lives,” said Namusisi, who turned her attention to the Carlow students in the audience. “You are blessed in this country. Education is a right. In Uganda, education is not a right. It is a privilege.” She illustrated the impact that education can have on the children of Uganda by telling about the impact O’Rourke and Burke had when they visited in July. A mother brought a baby that was unresponsive and feared to be developmentally delayed, she recalled. “Susan spent a few minutes with the child touching it on the feet, then the hands, making sounds for the baby to follow, and soon he was turning his head and responding to the sound, something he hadn’t done in months,” Namusisi said. “The situation was changed by an expert in just one hour. How much can we gain by having a team from Carlow visit Bright Kids for just two weeks?”



EDNA O’BRIEN TO HELP MFA PROGRAM CELEBRATE 10TH ANNIVERSARY IN STYLE International Icon Will Be at Carlow on April 5, 2014 Carlow University is pleased to welcome acclaimed Irish novelist, memoirist, and poet, Edna O’Brien to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing Program on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rosemary Heyl Theatre, in Antonian Hall on the Carlow campus. “Edna O’Brien is an international icon,” said Ellie Wymard, PhD, director of the MFA program at Carlow. O’Brien, who has been called the doyenne of Irish literature, published her first novel, The Country Girls, in 1960 to much acclaim and controversy. The novel is credited with breaking the silence on sexual matters and social issues during a repressive period in Ireland following World War II, but it also was banned—and even burned—in Ireland, which, for O’Brien, still hurts. “They used to ban my books, but now when I go there, people are courteous to my face, though rather slanderous behind my back,” she told George Plimpton for his 1986 book, Writers at Work. “Then again, Ireland has changed. There are a lot of young people who are irreligious, or less religious. Ironically, they

wouldn’t be interested in my early books—they would think them gauche. They are aping English and American mores. If I went to a dance hall in Dublin now I would feel as alien as in a disco in Oklahoma.” Born in 1930 in Twamgraney, County Clare, O’Brien’s family was extremely religious and she believes their strict Catholic beliefs stifled her imagination. Her parents sent her to a convent, where the types of literature allowed within its confines was limited. The first book O’Brien ever bought was Introducing James Joyce by T.S. Eliot. She has said that Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man made her realize that she wanted to be surrounded by literature for the rest of her life, and the publication of The Country Girls made that a certainty. Overcoming her oppressed adolescence, O’Brien was anything but oppressed during the “Swinging ’60s,” where she threw parties in London that were attended by Marianne Faithfull, Sean Connery, Princess Margaret, and Jane Fonda, among others. She was wooed by Richard Burton, Marlon Brando, and Robert Mitchum, and Paul McCartney walked her home late one evening.

The author of more than 30 novels, short story collections, non-fiction books, dramas, and poetry collections, O’Brien published a memoir of her life, titled Country Girl, in 2012. Scottish novelist Andrew O’Hagan believes O’Brien “changed the nature of Irish fiction; she brought the woman’s experience and sex and internal lives of those people on to the page, and she did it with style, and she made those concerns international.”



The celebration started early with alumni reading selected works from 10: Carlow University’s MFA Anniversary Anthology on Friday, October 4, 2013 during Alumni Weekend.



More information and tickets will be available soon on



THE CAMPUS SCHOOL OF CARLOW UNIVERSITY CELEBRATES ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2013-2014 THE CAMPUS SCHOOL HAS GROWN BEYOND ANYTHING I COULD HAVE IMAGINED. —Sister Mary Paul Hickey, founder Although a sixth grade student from 1963 may be contemplating retirement today, The Campus School of Carlow University— founded in 1963—is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and preparing for many more years of educating children. “For the past 50 years, The Campus School of Carlow University has been in the forefront of innovation and creativity in teaching,” says Michelle Peduto, the executive director and head of the school, which teaches Pre-K through grade eight and Montessori classes for ages 3 through 6 and 6 through 9. “As I look at our dedicated staff and the achievements of our students, I am constantly amazed at all we have accomplished, and am excited for what the coming years hold for our school.” In September 1963, Sister Mary Paul Hickey opened the Mount Mercy College Campus School, for kindergarten through sixth grade, as a demonstration school for Mount Mercy

College’s (as Carlow University was known then) School of Education. “The goal was to provide opportunities for college students preparing for elementary school teaching to observe and participate in excellent teaching and enthusiastic learning,” said Sister Mary Paul, the school’s founder and a member of the Sisters of Mercy. “The Campus School has grown beyond anything I could have imagined.” The kick-off event for the Campus School’s year-long celebration occurred on Saturday, September 14, 2013, when the Most Reverend David Zubik, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for all the blessings bestowed on faculty, parents, and their children during its history. A special remembrance was made of deceased students and faculty members, and several awards were presented—including Faculty Emeritus Awards to Sister Marilyn Froehlich

and Sister Vivian McElhinney, the Legacy Award to Ruth and Fred Egler, and the Director Emeritus Award to Sister Mary Paul Hickey. On November 30, 2013, the Campus School presented an Alumni Celebration of the Arts at Carlow’s Kresge Theatre. Current students and families, alumni, and friends of the Campus School enjoyed a wine and cheese soiree and were treated to performances by Campus School alumni and friends. The Caribbean Vibes Steel Band, led by Verna Crichlow, a 2008 Carlow University Woman of Spirit®, and featuring her two Campus School alumni daughters, Jeanne and Georgina Crichlow, delighted the audience with the sounds of steel pan. Grace Callahan, a Campus School alumna and a student at Duquesne’s Graduate School of Music, performed vocal selections along with her sisters, Audrey and Celeste Callahan, also alumni. Other vocalists included the North Hills Harmony Line Chorus and its Sunburst quartet, featuring the talents of alumni parent, Joe Fricker. Mark Thompson, a professional mime and husband of Campus School teacher Linda Wallen, treated the audience to movement theatre, and Campus School alumna Chareeni Kurukulasuriya, an undergraduate student at Yale University, read her poetry. The 50th anniversary festivities will extend into 2014, at the annual Campus School International Picnic on May 17, 2014 and at a special dinner cruise on Sunday, August 10, 2014 from 6 p.m.–9 p.m. aboard the Gateway Clipper Fleet’s Empress.

For more information on the events, Campus School alumni, parents, and friends are invited to call Maria DeFeo at 412.578.6158.







CARLOW OFFERS INNOVATIVE NEW PROGRAMS Carlow faculty and administration are working hard to create innovative, new programs that prepare students to meet the current and future needs of employers. Learn more about these and Carlow’s other new programs at

GETTING SOCIAL Keep a finger on the pulse of Carlow’s digital social scene by checking out updates like these at

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER ENDORSEMENT CERTIFICATE This flexible and convenient program prepares students to meet the Pennsylvania Department of Education competencies for teaching children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. MSN-NCEL NOW OFFERED ONLINE Busy inpatient nurses who aspire to be leaders or educators have a convenient, new option. Carlow’s popular Master of Science in Nursing with a Concentration in Education and Leadership (MSN-NCEL) is now offered completely online. MSN/MBA DUAL-DEGREE PROGRAM Recognizing a need for nurses to be trained in business management, Carlow now offers a dual-degree program in which students earn both an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) and an MBA (Master of Business Administration). THREE NEW MBA CONCENTRATIONS Earlier this year, Carlow’s popular Master of Business Administration program retooled its concentrations in response to regional employer needs. The three new concentrations are:

It was a rainy summer, but sometimes it’s worth it: Rainbow over the Monongahela in June 2013.

Although we can’t condone hanging out of windows, we are quite fond of this photo from the 1980s.

• Healthcare Management • Project Management • Global Business NEW MAJOR: CRIMINAL JUSTICE Students who choose to major in criminal justice at Carlow University learn from experienced and supportive faculty with valuable connections to law schools, government offices, and law firms. ALCOHOL AND DRUG COUNSELING CERTIFICATE The new, post-graduate Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate program allows students to specialize in the growing field of addictions. TWO NEW TIME- AND MONEY-SAVING FAST-TRACK PROGRAMS Carlow now offers two accelerated programs in which undergraduate students can get on a “fast track” to graduate studies. Qualified students can take up to 12 graduate credits as undergraduate students. • •


Psychology Early Admission Program—Students can earn early admission to Carlow’s Master of Science in Professional Counseling program. RN to BSN with Fast-Track Option—Registered nurses (RN) working toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can apply to take graduate classes that count toward their MSN.



PLAYFAIR A few of our newest Carlow students at New Student Orientation’s PlayFair on the Green in August. PlayFair is a team-building event where students to get to know each other and celebrate their similarities and their differences. Mercy Service Day 2013

McAuley Hall and the old smokestack in early autumn morning sun.

SENIOR DAY Senior Day at Highland Park Tennis Courts on October 12, 2013. Congrats to our tennis seniors Amanda Capatolla, Amber Omstead, and Supriya Plumley!

Steelers pre-season game

MOLE DAY October 23rd was Mole Day, a play on Avogadro’s Number 6.022 x 10^23, worldwide and for the Carlow Chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS)! What better way to celebrate than with their periodic table of cupcakes?

MERCY FOUNDERS FORTNIGHT As part of Mercy Founders Fortnight (a celebration of the lives of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas who founded Carlow) there were several opportunities to walk the labyrinth for spiritual reflection and stress reduction in the St. Agnes Center of Carlow University.

Above L to R: Nicole Passarella, president of the Carlow Chapter of the ACS and Katelynn Marmura, member of Carlow Chapter of the ACS. Night of the Celtic




THE NEW CARLOW.EDU IS HERE! If you’ve visited the website lately, you have probably noticed our new look! Designed as a comprehensive update to Carlow University’s online presence, the updated site focuses on the heart of our University—the alumni, students, faculty, staff, and community—within an uncluttered, engaging layout to make your experience easier and more enjoyable. Our new website extends beyond the curriculum to share inspiring and heartwarming stories. Student and alumni spotlight stories are showcased throughout the site to keep you up-to-date with fellow Carlow alumni accomplishments and news. University Communications and External Relations led the website redesign charge and launched the new site in August 2013 with the help of a great local firm, Mind Over Media. Behind the scenes, we worked tirelessly to build more than one thousand pages and ten thousand pieces of content, including digitized photos from the 1920s to next month’s athletic events. We optimized the navigation, moving the most important links to where you’ll look first—at the top of the homepage. For current students, there is a quick links menu for everything from Blackboard to student e-mail. Carlow University President Suzanne Mellon, PhD believes that the new site better represents the University’s mission. “The update of our website reflects the culture and history of Carlow and the University’s commitment to transparency in providing alumni, students, and the community with the succinct and accurate information for which they’re looking,” she said. While you’re browsing, let us know what you think. We’re quite proud of it.






CHANESSA SCHULER Bachelor of Arts, Mass Media ’12 Chanessa Schuler knew she wanted a career in media. She also wanted to impact the world around her. Carlow University helped her do both. Her current position as a multimedia specialist with the Saturday Light Brigade (SLB Radio Productions, Inc.) grew out of a Carlow-arranged internship through the Youth Media Advocacy Project (YMAP). ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

JOCELYN INLAY Carlow University sophomore Jocelyn Inlay, a resident of the City of Pittsburgh’s Lincoln Place neighborhood, was selected for the Irish American Scholars program, and will spend the 2013-2014 academic year at Queens University Belfast in Northern Ireland. STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

CINDY FICKLEY Associate Professor, School of Nursing Accuracy in pediatric dosing is critical. Unlike adult medicine, there are no standard doses. That’s why Carlow University Associate Professor Cindy Fickley utilizes high-fidelity simulation (HFS) to make sure nursing students are on the top of their games mathematically.

DALE HUFFMAN Chair, Art Department Nationally and internationally renowned potter Dale Huffman is an inspiration—and a true hands-on mentor. His students delve right into the nuts and bolts: Building kilns. Assisting with firings. Preparing clay. “My goal,” he says, “is for them to learn how to manage these things on their own.” FACULTY SPOTLIGHTS





Women’s tennis, basketball, and volleyball continue to exemplify the Champions of Character designation that Carlow has earned.




The recent addition of men’s cross country has brought greater diversity to the athletics programs offered at Carlow.

Carlow student athletes excel in their fields; softball and soccer teams warm up for the season.






Carlow Celtics Head Coach Marcus Pollidore and his Carlow University Celtics soccer team had the opportunity to defend their Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) title on a new home field this season, and it was a location befitting a champion. Carlow University and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds entered into an agreement for the Carlow Celtics soccer team to play their 2013 home schedule at the Riverhounds’ Highmark Stadium, a 3,500-seat facility located at Station Square. “Highmark Stadium is an outstanding venue,” said Pollidore, who is in his seventh season with Carlow. Last year’s team, which

went 15-3-1, including 6-0 in the conference, won the conference championship with an overtime win over Point Park University, and qualified for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) tournament. This year’s team made it all the way to the KIAC semi-finals before losing to Point Park in a shootout following a thrilling double-overtime scoreless match. It was a hard-fought game from beginning to end, and was testimony to why the Celtics are “champions of character.” “I want to thank the Riverhounds for providing this opportunity,” said George Sliman, Carlow’s director of athletics. “Highmark Stadium is an excellent venue for our fans and I believe we attracted new fans to Carlow Soccer.”



NEWEST INDUCTEES TO CARLOW WALK OF FAME COME FROM VOLLEYBALL, SOCCER, AND SOFTBALL Three Carlow University undergraduate athletes will forever be immortalized in stone for their exceptional performances in and out of the realm of sports. The Department of Athletics 11th Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony, held on October 16, 2013, was a commemoration of the success that Carlow University values in students. The three inductees honored with stones on the Walk of Fame included Student Athlete Award recipient Erica Powell, Senior Athlete Award recipient Amanda Cotherman, and Spirit Award recipient Rachel Blonski. The Walk of Fame is dedicated to all those who participated in athletics at Carlow University. The names engraved on the center of the Walk are those of students who received the Coaches Purple and Gold Award given from 1980-1981 through 1986-1987 and those who received the Celtic Award beginning in 1991-1992. The names on the borders of the Walk are alumni donors who supported the construction of the Walk. Admiring the newest stones on Carlow’s Walk of Fame are (L-R) Erica Powell, Amanda Cotherman, Athletic Director George Sliman, and Rachel Blonski.


ERICA POWELL Erica Powell, a biology/perfusion technology major with a 3.9 cumulative GPA, played a large role in the Carlow Celtics volleyball team’s academic success. “Erica’s ability to balance the rigors of competitive collegiate sports and the demands of a challenging academic curriculum attest to her self-directed motivation and team spirit,” says volleyball head coach Julie Gaul. Powell was named an All-American volleyball scholar-athlete in both 2011 and 2012, received the NAIA Scholar-Athlete award in 2011 and 2012, and was awarded USCAA Academic All-American status.

AMANDA COTHERMAN Amanda Cotherman, a member of the 2012 championshipwinning soccer team, learned how to juggle more than a soccer ball during her tenure at Carlow. A nursing major, she successfully held a 3.392 cumulative GPA while exhibiting superior performance on the field. She earned a spot in the Walk of Fame with the Senior Athlete Award. “Amanda was a huge asset both as a player and a captain,” says Head Coach Marcus Pollidore. In the championship game against hometown rival Point Park University, Cotherman scored the only goal of the game—in overtime.

RACHEL BLONSKI Rachel Blonski, a 2013 graduate of the biology/autopsy specialist program, leads her life with spirit on and off the softball field. Her overall attitude, leadership, team-building skills, and commitment to success earned her a place in the Walk of Fame with the Spirit Award. Blonski was the 2013 Carlow Celtics softball team captain, chair of the Student Athlete Association, an NAIA Scholar-Athlete, and USCAA Academic All-American in both her junior and senior year. “Rachel embodies the ideal, spirited Carlow student athlete,” says softball team Head Coach Bob Sirko.




FOR CARLOW CROSS COUNTRY TEAMS, HARD WORK BEGINS TO PAY OFF Both Carlow University’s men’s and women’s cross country teams were in their second season of competition this fall, and began to see some improvement over their inaugural season. Both teams competed in five regional invitationals, with the best finish for both teams being fifth place (out of 10 teams for the women and 11 teams for the men) at the Pitt-Greensburg Invitational held in October. Director of Athletics George Sliman says the goal for team membership is about 20 student athletes, and says, “First year coach Andrew Rowland is looking forward to his first complete year of recruiting student athletes for both the men’s and women’s teams.”







Coach Julie Gaul’s Carlow University Celtics volleyball team finished their 2013 season at 21-21, and 5-8 in the conference, but numbers don’t tell the whole story. “When you look at the competitive schedule that we had, we had a really successful season. And we’re still a young team,” says Gaul, who notes that the team only loses two players to graduation, Amanda McKenzie and Leah Stack. “We constantly improved throughout the season, and we had a couple of really successful moments.” One of the successful moments came early in the season as the Celtics defeated crosstown rival Point Park University, a pre-season favorite, to win the KIAC conference, at the “Jam the Gym” event held at Kiski Area High School. “Jam the Gym” is a fundraiser for a scholarship in memory of Kiski’s assistant coach, Jaime Moran, who died of leukemia in 2012, as well as a way of honoring the former head coach, Ellen Toy, who is battling stomach cancer. Toy and Gaul were teammates at the University of Pittsburgh in the 1980s.


Another bright spot was Carlow’s post-season showing. Seeded ninth in a 12-team field, the Carlow University Celtics won their first round match in the KIAC Volleyball Tournament at Midway College in Midway, Ky., over eighth seeded Cincinnati Christian, but lost the second round match to the number one seed, Asbury College. Individual honors included McKenzie earning first-team all-conference status for KIAC, and also being named a first team All-American by the USCAA. Carlow’s Volleyball team also had four other USCAA Academic All-Americans, which included McKenzie, as well as sophomores Carly and Kelsey Bonk, and Ashley Grooms.


“Since the season ended, I’ve noticed a lot of our volleyball team working out on their own, which I see as another good sign for next year,” says Gaul. Above (L-R): Leah Stack and Amanda McKenzie provided senior leadership to a Carlow Celtics volleyball team that finished the season 21-21.




CARLOW UNIVERSITY HONORS FIVE ALUMNI AS 2013 CARLOW LAUREATES Recognized for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Professional Contributions, and Service

Carlow University’s most prestigious alumni award, the Carlow Laureate, was awarded to five distinguished alumni on Friday, May 10, 2013, at a luncheon at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association. Carlow Laureates are recognized for their outstanding academic achievements, professional contributions, and service. Recipients of this award have risen to the highest ranks of their chosen professions, have contributed to new knowledge in their disciplines, and have been guided by the principles of a Carlow education— one tied to academic rigor, but one also tied to service.




The 2013 Carlow Laureates are: Margaret Meis Armen, JD CHIEF PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF MICROCREDIT NOW Margaret (Margie) Armen, JD, attorney and activist, graduated from Mount Mercy College in 1969 with a major in Spanish and a minor in secondary education. She recently founded her own firm, MicroCredit NOW, a think-tank for developing impartial and reliable metrics for the success of micro credit, cataloging best practices for the microfinance industry, and promoting innovation in providing financial services to women entrepreneurs in the developing world. After teaching until 1973, Armen began working for Stouffer Foods Corporation before enrolling in the Cleveland Marshall College of Law of Cleveland State University, where she served as executive editor of the Cleveland State Law Review and received several academic prizes. After graduation, she joined the General Counsel’s Office of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), where she worked in energy, transportation, housing, environment, defense, criminal investigations, Social Security, and education. In 2006, she retired from GAO with the title of deputy assistant general counsel. Armen also led several professional organizations, among them The International Alliance for Women (TIAW), where she was active in TIAW’s Micro Credit Program.

Barbara K. Mistick, PhD PRESIDENT OF WILSON COLLEGE Barbara K. Mistick, PhD, began her tenure as the 19th president of Wilson College in 2011, where she is also a tenured professor of business. She served as president and director of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh from 2005 to 2011, making history as the first woman president of the first public library in the nation. Previously, she was a distinguished service professor of public policy and management in the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. Mistick holds a prominent leadership role in some of higher education’s most influential state and national organizations. These include membership on the board of directors of the


Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities (APCU) and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania (AICUP), as well as the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA). Mistick received her Bachelor of Science from Carlow College, her Master in Business Administration from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, and her doctorate in management from Case Western Reserve University.

Carol Awkard Neyland VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AT DOLLAR BANK Carol Neyland earned her Bachelor of Science degree in classical languages from Carlow College in 1973. She has worked in the financial services sector for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Dollar Bank, Neyland was responsible for regulatory compliance for the local office of TIAA-CREF. Before that she spent 26 years at Mellon Financial Corporation, now BNY Mellon. Neyland graduated from Carlow with majors in Latin and Greek and later won a teaching fellowship to teach Latin at the University of Pittsburgh. After achieving her master’s degree in classical languages, she won an appointment as an academic advisor and completed her master’s degree in business administration. Over the years, Neyland has served on a number of non-profit boards, some of which included: Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania, the Urban League, Family Health Council, Pittsburgh Dance Council, Parental Stress Center, Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program, Pittsburgh Civic Garden Center, Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, and the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh.

Sister Cynthia Serjak, RSM

After serving for more than a dozen years as a music teacher and pastoral musician in schools and churches in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Serjak was elected to the leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy of Pittsburgh. Her desire to work with others in making music wherever they are led her to create a music program for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the city of Pittsburgh. Serjak served as coordinator of music for the Mother of Mercy Chapel at the Convent of Mercy, has worked with young women preparing to become Sisters of Mercy. She has also served as the director of the New Membership Office for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The author of two books and co-author of a third, Serjak also composes music, particularly for the Sisters of Mercy.

Rita McGinley EDUCATOR AND PHILANTHROPIST, RECEIVED A POSTHUMOUS AWARD Rita McGinley, educator and philanthropist, was born and raised in Braddock, Pa. After graduating with degrees in biology and English from Mount Mercy College in 1940, she embarked on what would be a 45-year career as a teacher and guidance counselor in General Braddock and then Woodland Hills school districts. She credited her time at Mount Mercy, along with her upbringing in Braddock, with inspiring her to dedicate her career, and her life, to student success. As a philanthropist, she maintained that dedication to student success by generously funding The Rita M. McGinley Center for Student Success—the core of the newly envisioned University Commons. Soon to be located in the repurposed Grace Library at the center of campus, the new University Commons will become a focal point of the Carlow student experience.


In addition to her Bachelor of Arts degree, McGinley holds an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Carlow University and is one of Carlow’s Women of Spirit®. She died on February 15, 2013.

Sister Cynthia Serjak, RSM, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in organ, music education, and theology from Carlow College in 1972 and her Master of Science in professional leadership in 1997. She also has a MFA in musicology from Carnegie Mellon University.

Opposite Page: Top: Rita McGinley. Bottom (L-R): Margie Meis Armen, Barbara K. Mistick, Carol Awkard Neyland, Sister Cynthia Serjak.



ALUMNI WEEKEND October 4–7, 2013

L-R: Georgiann Schaefer ’63 and Isabel Aiello Sestrich ’63.

L-R: Marie Esquela, Sarah Esquela, France Rossetti (Father Tavard’s niece), Anna Margaret Loncaric Esquela ’64, and Camille Rossetti (France Rossetti’s daughter). Both France and Camille Rossetti traveled from France for Alumni Weekend: A Tribute to Father Tavard.

L-R: Anna Marie Wiber Nelson ’63, Mary Ellen FitzGerald Collins ’63, and Mary Cotruzzola ’63.

First row L-R: Sandy Petro Tracy ’63, Patricia Kirkham ’63, Nancy Louvris Mulligan ’63, Suzanne Mellon, PhD, Judith Davies Klingensmith ’63, and Kathleen Spohn ’63. Second row L-R: Catherine Cron ’63, Mary Rickard ’63, Dorothy Gerhard ’63, Anna Marie Nelson ’63. Third row L-R: Mary Ellen FitzGerald Collins ’63, Barbara Gaynor ’63, Mary Cotruzzola ’63, and Johanna Boyle Giasi ’63. Fourth row L-R: Georgia Navaretta ’63 and Loretta Fox ’63.

L-R: Kathy Lamb, Barbara Hoffman, Dorothy Kaiser Lamb ’38, and Anita S. Dacal ’69.



ALUMNI ACTIVITIES L-R: Mary Scalercio ’73 and Suzanne Mellon, PhD.

Standing L-R: Judith Davies Klingensmith ’63, Anna Marie Kocak Kassab ’63, Ellen Ashburn ’63, Loretta Fox ’63, Anna Marie Nelson ’63, Catherine Cron ’63, Patricia Santelli ’63, and Katherine Kon ’63. Sitting L-R: Kathleen Sphon ’63, Sheila Begg ’63, and Patricia Kirkham ’63.

Sitting L-R: Camille Rossetti, France Rossetti, Suzanne Mellon, PhD, Bob Vega (Jessica Vega-Rogowicz’s father), and Scott Rogowicz (husband of Jessica Vega-Rogowicz). Standing L-R: Elissa Medore Sichi ’59, Joanne Malenock, PhD ’59, Barbara Kraft ’83, and Jessica Vega-Rogowicz ’04 (2013 G.O.L.D. Award Recipient).

L-R: Mary Langdon Duff ’43 and Jackie Dixon ’11.

L-R: Mary Ellen FitzGerald Collins ’63 and Suzanne Mellon, PhD. WINTER 2013



MBA EXECUTIVE IN RESIDENCE RECEPTION Laura E. Ellsworth, partner-in-charge, Jones Day Pittsburgh

ALUMNI NIGHT AT PNC PARK Alumni enjoy dinner, Pirates game, and fireworks in PNC Park’s Budweiser Bowtie Bar. L-R: David Onufer, Mary Onufer ’04, ’05, ’06, and Ciaran Hall.

ALUMNI LEADERSHIP RECEPTION L-R: Janet Nock ’60, Joe Nock, and Suzanne Mellon, PhD.




NATIONAL ALUMNI COUNCIL KICK-OFF MEETING L-R: Dory Dominguez ’67 and Jeanne Gleason ’60.

NEW YORK CITY L-R: Rebecca Baker ’95, Susan Lee ’79, and Suzanne Mellon, PhD.

LAKE CHAUTAUQUA SISTER ROSE MARIE HAUBER SCHOLARSHIP LUNCHEON Above: Top (L-R): Britti Momich, Kristy Giandomenico, Liz Smith, Rebekah Stern. Bottom (L-R): Barbara Kraft ’83, Maureen McBride ’75 and Keri Baker ’10. Below: The Benefit took place at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association.


Alumni trip to Lake Chautauqua in front of the Athenaeum Hotel.








Jack and Rhodora Donahue ’47 have received the Church ALIVE Award. This award is given by the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese, in addition to the Manifesting the Kingdom Award, for proclaiming Christ in their communities through their gifts of time, talent, treasure, devotion, commitment, and love.

60s Valerie Tucci ’60 is a tenured professor at the College of New Jersey. Jeanne Lese ’61 received the Hero Award from the International Veterans Against Mefloquine for her contribution to research and advocacy concerning the dangers of mefloquine and was part of a historic face-to-face meeting about mefloquine with the FDA. Judith Gallick O’Sullivan ’63. Her daughter, Kathryn, received Malice Domestic’s 2012 Award for Best Traditional Mystery; Kathryn’s novel, Foal Play: A Mystery, was published on May 7, 2013 by St. Martin’s Minotaur, a division of Macmillan Publishing. Patriciann (Furnari) Brady ’66 retired from Lutheran Social Services in Sioux Falls, N.D. where she had worked as a licensed social counselor for the past five years.

APRIL 26 - MAY 7, 2014

Suzan Kupperman ’67 retired from her position as a speech pathologist at Hillsboro School District in Oregon.






Sister Maureen Clark, CSJ ’71 worked in the correctional system for 13 years in Pittsburgh then accepted a position in the Massachusetts correctional system, where she has served for the past 26 years. She has spent most of her time serving as Catholic chaplain, working with the female offender population. A highlight of

her ministry continues to be the creation of programs that help reconcile and reunify women with their children and families. She received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Fairfield University on May 19, 2013. Judith Kaspic LaSpada ’73 is enjoying her time planning vacation bible school for children at Our Lady of Joy Parish in Plum Borough, Pa. She also teaches second grade CCD classes. Joseph Paul Uranker ’74 has been accepted to show his work on a new site, Custom Made. Eleanor Quigley ’75 is the recipient of the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). Quigley was one of 15 volunteers recognized for more than 4,000 hours of service through community projects throughout Westmoreland County. Annette Condeluci ’79 received her MBA in public administration on June 21, 2012 from Strayer University, Washington, D.C. at an event at the Verizon Center.

80s Vaneeda Bennett ’81 was recently elected to the board of directors of the MedStar Health Research Institute in Hyattsville, Md. Anne Scott-Hargreaves ’83 graduated in May 2013 with a Master of Science in nursing, as a family nurse practitioner and nursing educator. She currently resides in Nashville, Tenn. with her husband and five children. Judith A. Kaufmann ’84 was a recipient of the 2012 Cameos of Caring Nurse Educator Award, representing Robert Morris University. Tracy Soltesz, PhD ’85 has been promoted to professor of anatomy at the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, affiliated with the University of Pikeville in Pikeville, Ky.



Lynne Figgins ’88 is director of business development for Eyetique and 3 Guys Optical.

90s Christine M. Angeletti ’90 was a recipient of the 2012 Cameos of Caring Donate Life Award, representing Children’s Hospital of UPMC. Cristen Cuddy-Krebs ’90 completed her doctorate in nursing practice from Robert Morris University. Cuddy-Krebs is the founder/ executive director of Catholic Hospice & Palliative Services, the area’s only pro-life hospice; and HALO (Hospice Advocacy and Leadership Organization), a nonprofit that raises the awareness of patient end-of-life rights and of fraudulent practices in hospice, a growing concern across the nation. She resides in Wexford, Pa. with her husband and five children.

Elizabeth Beatty ’97 was a recipient of the 2012 Cameos of Caring Award, representing Kindred Hospital, Heritage Valley. Shana Bielich ’98 was chosen as one of Pittsburgh’s Fifty Finest eligible and most accomplished. She was featured in Whirl Magazine in August 2012. Ondrea Robinson ’98 was honored by Pennsylvania Women Work as one of its Women of Courage at a fundraising event October 12, 2012, at the Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh. Rev. Eleanor Williams ’99 will retire after serving the needs of disabled and disadvantaged students in the Pittsburgh Public School District for 30 years. In 1993 she co-founded the nonprofit Parents Against Violence.


Denise Abernethy ’93, director, emergency services, UPMC Shadyside, has been named the 2013 Emergency Department Nurse Leader of the Year. Abernethy received this national award at the Emergency Nurses Association Leadership Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Rev. Dorthea (Lorrie) GheringBurick ’00 received the Howard Chambers Award for Academic Excellence in 2005, became an ordained minister in 2006, and currently serves the congregation of Buffalo Presbyterian Church, Sarver, Pa.

Carla Bergamasco ’94 is team lead nurse for the Prader-Willi syndrome unit at The Children’s Institute.

Valerie Phillips ’00 has relocated to Virginia and is coaching men’s basketball.

Wendeline J. Grbach ’95 was a recipient of the 2012 Cameos of Caring Nurse Educator Award, representing UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing.

Mayra Patricia Toney ’00 was a recipient of the 2012 Cameos of Caring Nurse Educator Award, representing Mercy Hospital School of Nursing.

Charleeda Redman ’95 was honored as one of the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 50 Women of Excellence 2012. She is currently the executive director of corporate care management at UPMC.

Amanda Harbay ’03 currently teaches first grade at East Catholic School in Forest Hills. She obtained her master’s degree in education degree from Edinboro University in 2009.

Sherry Konick-Hoback ’96 has been director of nursing for the last six years for the third largest community health organization in Florida. Just recently, she was promoted to chief clinical services officer. She is currently pursuing her MBA with a health services management concentration at Keiser University.

Denise Schreiber ’03 was elected to the Garden Writers Association (GWA) as Regional 2 director, encompassing Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. She is also the local arrangement chair for the GWA 2014 Symposium in Pittsburgh.


Dave Onufer ’04 was chosen as one of Pittsburgh’s Fifty Finest eligible and most accomplished. He was featured in Whirl Magazine in August 2012.

in Washington, D.C., to end the War on Drugs. She is returning to Pittsburgh ready to take local action, using personal experiences as motivation.

Jackie Anderson ’05 has accepted a position as an agent with Farmer’s Insurance Company.

Melissa Lynn Sharp ’11 was a recipient of the 2012 Cameos of Caring Award, representing West Penn Allegheny Health System, Allegheny Valley Hospital.

Ashley Esposito ’06 led her second trip to Beattyville, Ky., where she and students from Merion Mercy Academy in Philadelphia ran a non-denominational bible school. Mary Reilly Burgunder ’08 was a recipient of the 2012 Cameos of Caring Advance Practice Award, representing UPMC Home Health/ Home Care. Jenny MacBeth ’09, ’11 is featured as a subject matter expert on social media in a new book by Barton James: Digital Media: A Visual Encyclopedia: D5liver. Tera McIntosh ’09 has been awarded a PhD in leadership and change from Antioch University. Her dissertation, “Show and Tell: Using Restorative Practices and Asset Based Community Development to Address Issues of Safety and Violence,” explores how restorative practices could help increase the social fabric within communities in order to help solve complex community problems.

Natalie DeCario ’12 has accepted a position as the communication specialist for AGB Capital, in charge of all blogging and social media. She also works with the presidents of the four separate companies that are part of the ABG Capital group. Christina McLachlan ’12 has accepted a position as an administrative assistant at Soujourner House. Lea Steadman ’12, Michelle Lagree, and Meredith Neel, current MBA students, have, along with one student from Chatham, been selected to participate in the Idea Foundry’s Spring 2013 InterSector Accelerator Program. The team has developed and researched a project called Farm Truck Foods, which makes fresh foods and produce available to Pittsburgh’s many “food desert” communities.

10s Lisa Costa ’10 was honored as one of Pennsylvania Women Work’s Women of Courage at a fundraising event on October 12, 2012, at the Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh. Meghan Foy ’10 was rated “highly effective” in Washington, D.C., public schools where she has been employed as an art teacher since graduation. She was also chosen to be interviewed on her views of the visual arts in public schools. Kayla Bowyer ’11 is a public ally at Amachi Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization for children whose parents are incarcerated. Bowyer participated in a June 2013 rally



CONDOLENCES 40s Mary Margaret Grant, sister of Eleanor Keener Midgley ’43, died October 8, 2012. John E. Kopay, husband of Margaret Hamas Kopay ’46, died December 27, 2011. Dr. Kenneth L. Garver, husband of Bettylee Weisburg Garver ’47, died March 21, 2013.



Mafalda “Tillie” Worden, mother of Sister Judith Worden ’60, died July 29, 2012.

Mary Jane Brabender, mother of Cheryl Brabender Walter ’72, died August 5, 2012.

Marie Similo, mother of Jean Similo Baldwin ’61, and Mary Similo Ross ’73, died November 4, 2012.

Joseph Talarico, father-in-law of Deborah Grimes Talarico ’73, died November 25, 2013.

Joseph Rosario Ross, father of Cynthia Ross Koch ’62, died September 28, 2012.

Stanley Fajerski, father of Marianne Fajerski Miller ’75, died January 27, 2013.

Robert Brenza, husband of Nancy O’Donnell Brenza ’65, died August 25, 2013.

Dolores J. Hochlinski Wegrzynek, mother of Lynn A. Wegrzynek ’75 and Nancy Wegrzynek Miller ’77, died May 3, 2013.

Robert Edward Lund, husband of Carol Gagliardi Lund ’66, died December 27, 2012.

Thomas Joseph McCarten, father of Patricia McCarten Stack ’76, died January 8, 2013.

James W. Sham, husband of the late Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Sham ’66, died September 19, 2013.

John V. Policicchio, father of Sara Policicchio Phillip ’76, died March 10, 2013.

William J. McVeagh, husband of Angela Valitutti McVeagh ’51, died November 1, 2013.

Erika Jean Reiber, sister of Louise Reiber Malakoff ’67 and Karen Reiber Gethen ’69, died November 9, 2013.

Paul Vincent Baldi, father of Sara Marie Baldi ’77, Paulette Baldi Studdert ’79, and Ann Baldi Rock ’82, died December 10, 2012.

Martin Trichtinger, husband of Arlene Trichtinger ’52, died June 7, 2013.

James M. Bukata, husband of Virginia Kuhn Bukata ’68, died December 7, 2011.

Mary Ellen Diener, mother of Mary Kay Diener ’77, died June 10, 2012.

Hugh F. McKeegan, husband of Joan D. McKeegan ’53, died October 20, 2012.

John H. Stafford, husband of Judith Conley Stafford ’68, died May 11, 2013.

William E. “Billy” Garver, Jr., grandson of Bettylee Weisburg Garver ’47, died March 14, 2013.

50s Edward J. Corcoran, husband of Mary Lou Hurley Corcoran ’50, died September 6, 2011.

Patrick Minnock, father of Bridget C. Minnock ’78, died August 8, 2012.


Have you recently moved, gotten married, had a baby, changed jobs, earned an advanced degree, or received a promotion? If so, please send us your news, updated information, or business card, and we will send you a Carlow University luggage tag as our way of saying thanks.

John V. Cannon, father of Marilou Cannon Hudanick ’89, died October 10, 2011.

90s Dr. Sam Toma, husband of Irene Toma ’93, died March 18, 2013.

00s Rita Duffy, wife of Robert Duffy ’00, died February 25, 2012. Viola Scozio, grandmother of Ashley Anne Popojas ’09, died November 26, 2012.

FRIENDS Violet Clark, mother of Marilyn Noll and mother-in-law of Walter Noll, died December 16, 2012.

William Shaughnessy, husband of Ava Maria Shaughnessy ’53, died September 20, 2013.

Jennifer Matlak Andrew, daughter of Mary Matlak Kleysteuber ’69, died August 1, 2013.

Mary M. Creighton Kengor, mother of Marilyn Kengor Cupec ’57, died December 24, 2012.

John E. Pater, father of Diana Pater Gardner ’69, Jacqueline Pater Cortese ’76, and Jennifer Pater Grieger ’73, died March 25, 2013.

Thomas Donald Lauterbach, husband of Suzanne Miller Lauterbach ’83, died March 16, 2012.

Duke Barry Simpson, brother of Marlene Simpson Gardner ’69, died July 30, 2013.

Mary Thornton, mother of Barbara Thornton Nissly ’86, died May 6, 2012.

Andrew R. Teed, husband of Patricia Trena Teed ’69, died August 19, 2011.

Angeline J. Cvetan, mother of Mary Cvetan ’87, died March 27, 2013.

Emilie van Voorst, sister of Michele van Voorst, LB, died January 30, 2013.

Ed Allen, grandfather of Lisa Paugh Mathey ’88, died July 2, 2012.

Kuna van Voorst, sister of Michele van Voorst, LB, died June 15, 2012.

John M. Nicolella, brother of Mary Nicolella ’57, died November 8, 2012. Marie Buntag Grigassy, sister of Ellie Wymard ’58, died October 19, 2013. Suzanne Laubach (Our Lady of Mercy Academy), aunt of Greg Laubach and sister-in-law of Angela Laubach Slocum ’58, died July 19, 2013.


Elizabeth “Betty Ann” Heginbotham, mother of Lisa Heginbotham Simpson ’82, died March 31, 2013.

James Herbert “Bert” McConomy, brother-in-law of Eileen and Thomas McConomy, died August 27, 2013. Erika Van Oldeneel, sister of Michele van Voorst, LB, died April 25, 2013.



Sister Marie Colette Rittelmann ’45 died June 20, 2012.


Martha Callas Briem ’75 died June 5, 2013.


Sister Rose Ann Dorinsky ’47 died February 5, 2013.

Anne T. Weimerskirch ’61 died May 6, 2013.

Anne Remington Larkin ’75 died September 13, 2010.

Veronica Butler Schulte ’35 died January 22, 2013.

Helene Wolf Merritt ’47 died July 18, 2012.

Elisabeth Benko Anderson ’63 died June 15, 2012.

Megan Lee Sandell ’75 died July 27, 2013.

Mary Agnes Sheran ’36 died July 30, 2012.


Sister Mary Carol Bennett ’63 died October 25, 2012.

Gretchen LeDonne Petruna ’76 died September 2, 2012.

Jane Beck Wells ’37 died June 1, 2013.

Dorothy Arch Mueller ’50 died October 22, 2013.

Mary McClean Zang ’63 died March 1, 2013.

Mary Kay Fabiani ’79 died October 21, 2012.

Jane Fulton ’38 died August 25, 2013.

Dolores Coyne Diercks ’51 died February 14, 2013.

Mary Healy Corba ‘64 died November 15, 2010.


Elizabeth Brown Manion ’38 died September 17, 2011.

Sister Mary Houpt ’51 died September 4, 2012.

Dorothy Sinchak Junio ’64 died November 14, 2010.

Ellen Bruecken Pagnotta ’81 died December 7, 2012.

Rita M. McLaughlin ’38 died May 23, 2012.

Esther O’Toole Ruskin ’51 died September 29, 2013.

Barbara Durbin Lescalet ’64 died January 24, 2013.

Lilia Comer Huguley ’84 died August 26, 2013.

Jean Boslett Sheedy ’39 died April 24, 2013.

Ann Harding Mahoney Gilin ’52 died March 12, 2013.

Barbara Philpott Welsh ’64 died January 8, 2010.

Kenneth Faub ’85 died January 22, 2013.


Yvonne L Paulin Botzer ’53 died September 11, 2012.

Rose Marie Ehmann ’65 died June 3, 2010.

Joan Ann Newcomb ’86 died December 18, 2012.

Rita M. McGinley ’40 died February 15, 2013.

Mary Elizabeth Elliott Rodgers ’53 died November 4, 2013.

Joanne Slominski Keefer ’66 died April 7, 2012.

Joseph M. Laffey ’89 died October 26, 2010.

Marie Yagatich ’41 died February 14, 2013.

Patricia Crowley Stark ’53 died June 14, 2012.

Noelle Nanna Yorio ’68 died October 9, 2011.

Anita Yunker Heger ’42 died June 23, 2012.

Lillian E. DeMarco ’54 died November 24, 2012.

Margaret Mary Tanghe “Peggy” Suess ’69 died August 10, 2013.

Bonnie Lee ’91 died October 8, 2013.

Gertrude “Trudy” Gross Hendrickson ’42 died April 22, 2010.

Patricia Barrett Aldridge ’55 died April 26, 2013.

Paula Pezzulo Williams ’69 died December 7, 2012.

Robert J. Thomas ’92 died April 29, 2012.

Tessie Mantzoros ’42 died June 14, 2013.

Grace Ammannito Scarsellato ’55 died May 14, 2012.


Mary Ann Klenotic ’99 died October 17, 2010.

Mary Alice Duff Haydt ’43 died September 7, 2013.

Marjorie Amend Haas ’57 died February 15, 2013.

Nancy McCusker Benson ’70 died August 11, 2012.


Sister Mary George Klockgether ’43 died April 18, 2013.

Sister Mary V. Jasiota ’57 died April 2, 2010.

Andrew J. Hungerman ’72 died October 12, 2012.

Patricia L. Carroll ’01 died August 8, 2012.

Sister Mary Florence McClain ’43 died October 24, 2012.

Sister Madeleine McCabe ’58 died July 4, 2013.

Suzan D. Leonard ’72 died May 13, 2012.

Mary Ward Pantalone ’44 died February 25, 2013.

Sister Rosemary Flaherty ’59 died August 31, 2013.

Jennifer Pater Grieger ’73 died September 3, 2013.


Mary Agnes Barry Dixon ’45 died January 21, 2013.


Lucille Lewis Meuschke ’73 died June 8, 2013.


Please send alumni news to Rose Woolley at; by mail at Carlow University, 3333 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; call 412.578.6274; or visit, and click “share your news.”



MARRIAGES Maryann Marks ’73 married William Liss on October 31, 2009. Jennifer Kennedy ’93 married Rodney Woodard in March 2013. Rev. Dorthea (Lorrie) Ghering-Burick ’00 married Daniel Burick, CRNA on May 14, 2011. Courtney Ezzo ’07, ’10 married Jamal R. Smith on January 21, 2012. Emily Obranovich ’09 married Randy Denman, Jr. on July 2, 2011. Kailey Edder-Tritt ’11 married Jason Tritt on October 6, 2012. Sarah Montgomery ’11 married Ricardo Hall on June 29, 2013. Jenna Schwartz ’12 married Johathan Flickinger on June 1, 2013. Kevin Goodwin (graduate student) is engaged to Christine Spitler; marriage will take place in May 2014.

BIRTHS Elizabeth Tomayko ’77, a grandson, Andrew Richard, born September 21, 2013. Katherine (Santypal) Korsak ’05, a son, Shane Stephen, born September 9, 2011. Jessica Vega-Rogowicz ’04, a son, Andrew (Drew) Scott, born November 6, 2013. Katie (Kelly) O’Keefe ’06, twin girls, Kelly Marie and Elizabeth Joan, born February 19, 2012.


“Alyssa,” 2012, a watercolor by Carlow art student Rachel Trainer.


the board of trustees is pleased to announce the inauguration of the 10th president of carlow university

suzanne k. mellon, phd please save these very important dates: friday, april 4, 2014 Inaugural Mass · 1:30 p.m. · St. Paul Cathedral · Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

saturday, april 5, 2014 Inauguration Investiture with Procession · 10:30 a.m. · Antonian Theater · Carlow University

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Pittsburgh, PA

3333 Fifth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Permit No. 2483



Carlow University Magazine | Winter 2013  

Carlow University Magazine is published twice per year by Carlow University and is distributed to University alumni and friends. The publica...

Carlow University Magazine | Winter 2013  

Carlow University Magazine is published twice per year by Carlow University and is distributed to University alumni and friends. The publica...