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The Gwynmercian

Volume 63, No. 1

Gwynedd-Mercy College

November 2011

GMC Students and Faculty Travel to Dublin By: Dana Hill

Ten Gwynedd-Mercy College students and two chaperones attended the first Dublin Pilgrimage for Young Mercy Leaders from August 5-14. This conference was held at the Mercy International Centre at the site where Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy in 1831. Students came from Mercy schools all over the world, including New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United States. Even though these schools arrived from around the world, they came together to grow a deeper understanding of Mercy. The students participated in different workshops. One was called “Are We Human or Are We Dancer?” and focused on songs in relation to feelings. Another popular session was titled “What Am I Going to Do with My One Wild and Precious Life?” It taught young leaders how to use discernment but also follow your heart when making decisions. In addition to the conference, the Gwynedd-Mercy group visited the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland. They saw many famous tourist attractions, went on different tours throughout the city, and also had some

fun shopping and experiencing the Irish culture. But the group was the most fascniated with Belfast’s peace walls and history. Huge walls were constructed at various points in the city, separating Catholic neighborhoods from Protestant ones. They are called peace walls because they were intended to keep the two groups from entering each other’s neighborhoods to cause violence. The pilgrims visited the first peace wall built in Belfast. People from all around the world come to sign the wall in hopes of peace being restored. In Northern Ireland, the Protestants and Catholics are in conflict and anger, due to their diverse religious and political beliefs. They even walk on different sides of the street with peace walls separating neighborhoods. There are 40 of these walls still standing all throughout the city. The Gwynedd-Mercy students found all of this tension and anger that divide communities to be very striking. “The trip changed my outlook on life drastically. I don’t take my religion, political views, and other freedoms for granted anymore,” said pilgrim Beth Harrison. Continued on Page 7

Front of Mercy International Centre in Dublin, Ireland (Photo by Beth Harrison).

C B S 3 ’s U k e e Wa s h i n g t o n Vi s i t s C a m p u s

Featured Segments in This Edition of The Gwynmercian:

*New Communication Club Offers Opportunities (pg. 2) *Taking My Own Advice (pg. 2) *English Students’ Association: A Gwynedd-Mercy First (pg. 2) *The Chimes Are A-Changing? (pg.3) *GMC Studies Abroad in Brescia, Italy (pg. 3) *Exonerated Death Row Inmate Visits GMC (pg. 4) *Eberle Inspires Students to Serve (pg. 4) *DeMarco Makes a Difference (pg. 4) *Delconte On His Way to 1,000 Points? (pg. 5) *GMC Winter Sports Preview (pg. 5) *Griffin Take 10: Student Edition (pg. 6) *Fall Movie Preview (pg. 6) *Gwynedd Gallery (pgs. 7-8)

On Left: GMC students pose with CBS3’s Ukee Washington at the anchor desk in Waldron’s brand new studio (Photo by Lauren Halupke).

By: Dan Freed

Ukee Washington, Philadelphia television host of CBS3’s morning news show, visited Gwynedd-Mercy College on October 18. In front of a crowd of mostly communication students and some faculty members, Washington gave a presentation in Connelly Faculty Center, before answering some questions from the crowd had. “Go for your dreams, because [life] goes by so fast,” Washington recommended. He warned students that it’s very difficult to get into broadcast journalism and even more difficult to stay there, but also offered encouragement to anyone looking to get into the field. If you do something you love, it’s not a job, Washington said, adding, “I’ve been on vacation for 31 years.” Washington admitted that he has had to make a lot of sacrifices to make it in broadcast journalism, but he loves having fun on CBS3’s morning show. In addition to talking about the difficulties of the industry, Washington spoke at length about the off-camera aspects of broadcast journalism. It takes a lot of preparation to make it onto the news, he said. Researching news

topics is crucial, because a good broadcaster needs to be familiar with anything that he or she might discuss on air. Washington said that being flexible and adaptable is also very important for a broadcaster. At times, especially during breaking news stories, a reporter might need to ad-lib or “live edit” scripts. It is important to do quick thinking and come up with good lines. Washington added that in these situations, the writers and editors in the control room have the vital job of relaying information to a broadcaster to help “keep the ball rolling.” Washington takes great pride in being the same friendly person off-camera as he is on-camera. “I love staying in touch with viewers through social networking,” he said. Afterwards, Washington went to Gwynedd’s brand new television studio to pose for photos with students. In one of the night’s more memorable moments, he sat at the studio’s anchor desk with junior communication major, Justin Nelson, where they ad-libbed a news story about the sale of the Philadelphia 76ers. “I was really nervous talking with Ukee,” said Nelson. “But he was really cool. I love Ukee.”

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Gwynedd-Mercy College

New Communication Club Offers Opportunities

Picture Above: Members of the Communication Club’s Executive Council (l-r) Beth Harrison, Cassie Towler, Ryan Donnelly, and Rob Gregor (Photo by Beth Harrison). By: Cassie Towler

Gwynedd-Mercy College’s newly formed Communication Club has brought excitement to campus. The club’s mission is to provide students with more interests and a deeper insight into the communications field through social media, events, guest speakers, and increased contact with communication professionals. The idea of the Communication Club was formed at the end of the spring semester last year while working on a public relations campaign for the communication program in one of Janis Chakars’ classes. “I am very excited in what the Communication Club has to offer to Gwynedd students this year. We are placing emphasis on student media through so that all students are actually aware of what is happening on campus more often. We have also been putting a lot of effort into creating and planning events that we

believe will benefit the Gwynedd-Mercy community as a whole,” says Beth Harrison, president of the Communication Club. One of the Communication Club’s main goals is to utilize the web and social media. The website has provided the students with school event announcements and news related to sports, entertainment, opinion pieces, and college and local news topics. This exciting website is published and run by the Communication Club. The website will continue to be updated frequently. “The website was created as a way to better inform Gwynedd-Mercy College students of campus and local news, since a lot of upperclassmen do not browse through the portal on a regular basis,” says Harrison. “Gwynedd Now is also a great way for the students to freely write about whatever topics they show

Taking My Own Advice By: Katie Starrantino

Last year, I wrote an article encouraging students to make a difference. The article included five easy steps that would stop students from saying, “I’m just one person, how can I make a difference?” and get them up and helping others. Step three was a call to become a leader. This step encouraged students who were passionate about something to inspire others by starting a club. The article detailed the steps to take in order to start a club at Gwynedd-Mercy College. After this article was published, I started to think about how many of these five steps that I was following. I could check off four steps, but when it came to step number three, I realized I wasn’t really being a leader. Of course, not everyone is required to be a leader, because it is just as helpful to support a group as it is to start one. But, in my case, there was a topic I was extremely passionate about; a topic that I felt wasn’t getting the attention it deserved on campus. In my article, I had challenged others that if “there is something you are very passionate about, why not inspire others?” Now, it was the end of the spring 2011semester and I was asking myself the very same thing. So, with the help of Sara Allison and a group of other amazing supporters, I

started a Colleges Against Cancer chapter on campus. It is our hope that Colleges Against Cancer will really pick up speed in this fall semester. Our goals are to raise as much money as we can for the American Cancer Society. We also want to get the word out about cancer by participating in events such as letter writing parties, where we write to lawmakers about cancer. Our biggest goal will be to successful execute GwyneddMercy College’s first Relay for Life event. We are going to need a lot of support, especially from Gwynedd-Mercy students. Cancer is something that has touched almost everyone’s lives. Perhaps you knew a friend, relative, or teacher with cancer. Maybe cancer hit close to home and you lost someone whom you had a special bond with. Whatever the situation, cancer seems to affect us all! It is my hope that Colleges Against Cancer will raise money to help find a cure to this terrible disease and also raise awareness for everyone at Gwynedd-Mercy college. As my last year at Gwynedd-Mercy begins, I find myself taking my own advice and I am very happy I did. I hope that all my readers will find what inspires them and use their passion to make a difference. If you’d like to learn more about Colleges Against Cancer please contact me at

November 2011

interest in, and have the chance to share their articles with Gwynedd-Mercy College.” The Communication’s Club Executive Council has been hard-working along with their faculty advisor, Janis Chakars, to create and maintain this website. This year’s Executive Council members are communication students Beth Harrison, Ryan Donnelly, Cassie Towler, and Rob Gregor. The Communication Club plans to use the newly constructed media room as much as possible. The new media room is located in the Griffin Complex, across from the Pepperazzi. This room is filled with up-to-date equipment including H-D cameras, editing software, and audio technology. The room is also equipped with an anchor desk and a green screen. The media room will be mostly used for communication classes, but the new club has high hopes to make use of this technology as much as possible. Another attractive component of the Communication Club is the agreement with Gwynedd-Mercy’s Athletics department. Club members, along with any other students interested in sports broadcasting, will have many opportunities to do camera work, broadcasting, writing, and editing for sports games here at school. “Anyone who has any interest in being a camera person, writer, or broadcaster should consider working with us on the athletics broadcasts,” said club member Daniel Freed. “It’s a great résumé builder and should be a lot of fun.” Throughout the school year, the Communication Club also plans to hold various events for the student body. These events will include guest speaker nights, where professionals from the communications field will speak to students about their careers, and provide insights into today’s communication field. The club will also hold various workshops for professional development to its members that will give them professional advantages against other communication personnel. This club is open to students of all majors, and is always open to more membership. If your club or organization would like to place announcements on, or if you want more information about the Communication Club, contact Beth Harrison at

View the “Gwynedd Now” website at “Like” Gwynedd Now on Facebook!

English Students’ Association: A Gwynedd-Mercy First By: Caitlin Angelone

Few clubs become very well-known on the Gwynedd-Mercy campus, but one is determined to make a difference through literature. The first club of its kind, the English Students’ Association is looking for members of all majors to help start a fun literary environment. “We want to give students the opportunity for literary design, a chance to network, to have fun, to share their interests, to participate in service, and to ultimately have something that is entirely their own,” President Ashley Scheiber commented. The club is not just for English majors; all majors can join in this first year club because “it’s very service

and activities driven,” Scheiber says. Some fun events they have planned for the semester is a spooky story night, Shakespeare in the quad, and a “Book Club” night - where a new book will be explored every month in a group setting. Catered for the new freshmen, October is focusing on The Last Lecture, the GMC First Year Experience book of the year. More than anything, the ESA would also like to share literature and art with the community. There are events planned at the Foulkeways Retirement Home and Hobbit House. If you are interested to become a member, e-mail Ashley Scheiber at

Do you love books? If so, the English Students’ Association is great for you! (article on left)

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Gwynedd-Mercy College

November 2011

The Chimes Are GMC Studies Abroad A-Changing? in Brescia, Italy By: AnaLee Rodriguez

Twice recently, unusual chimes have rung from the campus bell tower startling students and causing them to wonder what is happening. On September 15 the chime was “Ave Maria” and six days later it was “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” but the bells do not have a new DJ. The chimes change either because the system is being tested, as in the first case, or there is a special occasion, as in the second. The second case was on September 21, which is International Peace Day, so we got an appropriate tune. The chime master is Lourdes Library director Dan Schabert, who operates the bells with his staff from a machine called a carillon. The boxy device is kept in a closet-like room in the Lourdes Library. Different melodies can be played by inserting various cards, or music can be played manually with an attached keyboard. The bell tower is run on an automatic timer and rings at every hour and quarter hour. The Gwynedd-Mercy bell tower was created in 1993. It stands 62 feet tall and weighs eight tons. It has four bronze bells, which were cast in the Netherlands. The tower was donated and built by Joseph Mascaro, who was also a President’s Council member. One bell is dedicated to his wife and another is dedicated to his mother. The third is for Mother Mary Bernard Graham. The fourth bell is for the Virgin Mary, making Ave Maria a most fitting chime. So each time you hear the bell tower chime, you will now know a piece of its interesting musical history.

Look out on rare occasions for different chimes from Gwynedd-Mercy College’s Bell Tower (Photo by AnaLee Rodriguez).

Want to write for The Gwynmercian, or learn more information? Contact harrison.e@ or

Picture Above: Study Abroad students going for a bike ride in Brescia, Italy (Photo by Sarah Tefft). By: Sarah Tefft

This past summer, I had the privilege to study abroad in Bresica, Italy, along with ten other students from Gwynedd-Mercy College. These other students were Kat Giordano, Natalie Wills, Erin Magee, Kelsey Deveney, Justine Bednarz, Jen Rothenheber, Drew Viola, Frank Evans, Brain Whalen, and Sonya U. We traveled to Italy on May 19, and came back home on June 20. We arrived in Brescia on a Friday, and spent the weekend getting acquainted to the town. Even though Brescia is not necessarily a very popular tourist destination, native Brescians took notice of us because were considered loud Americans. It made us stick out like sore thumbs. In Brescia, we had classes Monday through Thursday. We took Italian in the morning and Philosophy of Italy in the afternoon. The Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (where we attended philosophy class) had a nice welcome for us. We were even able to meet college students that were studying English as their major. We would encounter them a lot during our time there, and were a big help to us. I think we also helped them as well, because they were able to hear American English rather than British English. We had a philosophy class on the rocks bordering Lago di Garda (Lake Garda) and then went swimming later that afternoon. Going back that night was our first time taking the train without the help of Elisa Clewis, but as our luck would have it, we went on the wrong train that did not work with our train tickets and had to pay an extra five Euros. We eventually arrived where we were supposed to be, and it was something we can all laugh about now. That was only the first of our train troubles that month. Most of the time it went smoothly, but we learned that there are always going to be some issues when traveling. You just cannot avoid it. During the first week, we toured many sites in Brescia. We went to a classical concert, a Latin mass in a thousand year old church, a market with food from all over the world, saw Roman ruins, artwork from Early Civilization to the Renaissance period, and saw an Italian football game. Clewis was so gracious to invite us to her lake house for a picnic celebrating Republic Day in Italy on June 2. We learned how to make tiramisu, and received recipes for pasta carbonara and a delicious beef roast, which was prepared for us by Clewis’ father and a friend.

We would travel every weekend to new destinations. We went to Pisa, Florence, Rome, Venice, Verona, and Bolzano. For our last weekend in Italy, the girls traveled to Rimini for a relaxing weekend at the beach while the guys made the long journey to Capri for the weekend. I understood many interesting new things while studying abroad. I learned how to ride a bicycle without hitting pedestrians or cars, how to successfully ride the metro in Rome, and that Italian students attend high school for five years but it is much more rigorous than high school in America. I also realized that Italians do not go out to dinner until 7:30 pm, and that pasta is the first course of a meal while meat is usually the second. Cafe americano is watered down espresso and tastes nothing like coffee, and that you have to eat cioccolato con panna (hot chocolate with whipped cream) with a spoon because it is so thick. When dining out, you have to ask for your check because your server will assume you want to relax and take your time eating the food. Even though it is nice to be able to relax, it does not always happen so smoothly when you are in a rush with traveling and trying to get to other places. I learned so much from this trip, and am appreciative of the fact I can tell people that I lived in Italy for a month. When traveling on the weekends, people would ask where I was from. I would say I was from Brescia, but then of course I told them that I am from Philadelphia (they did not seem to buy the idea that I was an Italian native). I loved meeting so many new people from all around the world. It was great meeting a lot of Americans studying abroad as well. It was interesting to hear how long they were there for, where they were staying, and what classes they were taking. I would go back to Brescia in a heartbeat. It was the perfect location to study abroad and really learn about true Italian culture. I miss the friends I made in Brescia, but I still keep in touch with some of them. This was absolutely the best experience of my life and I would not trade it for anything else in the world. If you have the chance to go to Italy when Gwynedd-Mercy College brings the program back, I highly recommend you to go!

Some GMC students enjoying a gondola ride in Italy (Photo by Sarah Tefft).

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By: Jim Coyle

Gwynedd-Mercy College

November 2011

Exonerated Death Row Inmate Visits GMC

As Shujaa Graham took to the lector in the Julia Ball Auditorium on September 29, I couldn’t help but notice a certain level of tension in the room. Here was a man who had been on death row and seen some of the most dangerous and depraved human beings alive. It would be easy for anyone to be, at the very least, a little intimidated. However, the moment he began to speak the entire atmosphere in the room changed drastically. No longer was there a stern and threatening prison inmate standing before us, but an ordinary man willing to bear his soul. This was a man who had been through and extraordinary and terrifying set of circumstances and yet somehow managed to pull through despite the odds. Born in Lake Providence, La. in the 1950’s, Graham spent much of his early life as a share cropper in the segregated south. In 1961 his family moved to Born in Lake Providence, La. in the 1950’s, Graham spent much of his early life as a share cropper in the segregated south. In 1961 his family moved to South Central, Los Angeles in search of a better life. Unfortunately for Graham this was not to be. He spent the majority of his adolescent life in juvenile institutions,

Eberle Inspires Students to Service

mostly for misdemeanor crimes such as theft. At the age of 18 he was sentenced to life in prison for a $35 robbery. It was here that Graham adopted the religion of Islam, learned to read and write and even became a member and a leader of the Black Panther movement. But just when things were starting to look up for Graham, a riot broke out resulting in the death of a security guard. Graham was accused and convicted of the murder. Four trials later, his conviction was overturned in 1979 and he was released from prison two years later. Graham currently resides in Maryland with his family where he owns his own landscaping business. Despite no longer being on death row, he continues to work for equal rights and an end to capital punishment. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Graham for an interview during his visit: Q: So I understand that you taught yourself to read and write while in prison, that must have been challenging. Graham: “Well it wasn’t as bad as you might think, I’m a great listener and I have a great memory, so whenever I heard someone read I made sure to listen. I would read whatever I could get my hands on dictionaries, bibles, you name it.” Continued on Page 7

DeMarco Makes a Difference

By: Annie Ness and Ray Friend

By: Brianna Virginio

For many years, the yellow farmhouse on Deer Path Lane has been viewed by some Gwynedd-Mercy College students as being creepy and even having minor significance to our campus. But this building is actually really important to our campus. In fact, this building is called the Visitation House, and is where the Campus Ministry/Mercy Works Center is located. Here at Gwynedd-Mercy College, the role of Campus Ministry is to support all members of the college’s community in their spiritual growth. Christine Eberle, the director of Campus Ministry for the past eight years, has been fulfilling this goal. She inspires students to get involved with the community, provide them with opportunities to volunteer, and promotes the search for spiritual growth with an emphasis on service to society. With spirit of hospitality, Christine has been motivating and assisting students to get involved with their community through the actions and words that she shares with them every day. Spreading things by word-of-mouth can only lead to so much; so Christine finds it to be even more effective when she actually shows it. She encourages students to step out of their comfort zone and into the world of volunteering early in their college career. She shows them how rewarding and enjoyable it can be not only for themselves, but also for the people around them. “I have gotten to know Christine since my freshman year at Gwynedd-Mercy College through various activities,” says student Beth Harrison. “And no matter what tasks Christine does for Campus Ministry, she always displays a positive attitude and has become a role model for many Gwynedd-Mercy College students like myself.” Determined to make a difference and accomplish her ambition to help others, Christine also provides students with a place they can go to fulfill their desire to volunteer. New and exciting volunteer opportunities are always being presented to the students. Christine uses these services to promote the search for spiritual growth in students as they cultivate mercy and justice in the world. They show this by embracing compassionate service, social justice, and spirituality. “As the director for Campus Ministry, she is in charge of overseeing the students involved with service projects on pretty much the entire campus - everything from Habitat for Humanity and Students for the Mercy of Animals to the Lamb Foundation and Mercy Mentors. She is the coordinator for the Scholars in Service to Pennsylvania program on Gwynedd’s campus, and she is the go-to person for the Mercy Works team, consisting of the student leaders for the aforementioned service projects,” says senior Ashley Scheiber. Whether Christine is in her office working or just another friendly face around campus, her willingness to aid students and faculty members is never put to rest when she is around. Her understanding and strong, close connections with students forever lingers in the memory of the students as they move on to the next chapter of their lives.

Picture of Shujja Graham speaking to guests at his Common Hour event (Photo by GMC’s Public Relations Department)

Picture of Christine Eberle (Photo from Brianna Virginio, provided by Christine Eberle). “I have learned much from Christine and I am thrilled to call her a mentor and friend. I know my friendship with Christine will last well beyond my years at GMC,” says senior Steven Rufe. “Christine has developed a terrific rapport with the students she works with, and many of the students go to her for advice. Christine’s faith is what really sets her apart from other people at GMC.” Before Christine became the person she is today, she underwent some spiritual searching and growing of her own. All of her passion for volunteering started when she was in her sophomore year of college after she saw a retreat table on St. Joseph University’s campus. One of the guys from the recruiting team had changed her whole direction of what she wanted to do in life simply by asking her to join the retreat. She started working with the retreat program through campus ministry in her sophomore year, and then began volunteering at the Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness on Sunday nights during her senior year. For this volunteer activity, Christine and a team of people would enter center city and walk around offering food and beverages to the homeless. After college graduation, she began volunteering her time in Richmond, Virginia. In Richmond, Christine took on full time volunteering for a year and half in a House of Hospitality for Homeless People. At this House of Hospitality, Christine helped people bathe themselves and provided people with clothes. She also completed office work and prepared food in the kitchen for people. A year and half later, Christine decided to serve as the Associate Director of the Newman Center (Catholic Campus Ministry) at West Chester University for eleven years. Afterwards, Christine came to Gwynedd-Mercy College in August of 2004 and received the position as director of Visitation House & Campus Ministry. Throughout the nineteen years thus far in campus ministry, she has changed lives and encouraged a plethora of students to get involved in Mercy service throughout the community, especially at Gwynedd-Mercy College.

Gwynedd-Mercy College student, Samantha DeMarco, participated in the Independence Blue Cross Nurse Internship Program this past summer. This internship program offered a behind-the-scenes look at the managed health care industry through hands-on clinical experience and insurer setting. The Independence Blue Cross is one of the leading health insurers of Pennsylvania that offers health care coverage modified to meet modern medical needs of members. Samantha worked in the Clinical Precertification Department. This refers to various procedures, services, diagnostic tests and home infusions that need review by the Medical Policies of the Independence Blue Cross. She specifically worked in the Cosmetic Review Department. The nurses who work for Independence Blue Cross in this particular department review cases for procedures that are “potentially cosmetic” to establish medical necessity. “We worked with the Independence Blue Cross Policies to determine whether surgery could be established medically necessary to patients regarding insurance coverage,” DeMarco said. Common examples include reduction mammoplasty, blepharoplasty, orthagnathic surgery, abdominoplasty and panniculectomy, and some scar revisions. A great deal of clinical information about these procedures is sent via mail, e-mail, and through an electronic fax server. “One of the responsibilities I assisted with involved organizing this clinical information so that it was accessible to the review nurses, as well as contacting physician’s offices to verify if the information was sent, and to explain what needed to be sent,” said DeMarco. “I also completed cases that dealt with skin lesions. That is, if a patient has some kind of skin cancer like a melanoma or basal cell or even something that is suspicious, it can be removed. However, in repairing the incision, the repair code is technically considered cosmetic. I learned how to complete these cases and notify the office contacts of the authorization,” said DeMarco. To determine approval of a case, the Independence Blue Cross undergoes a series of tests as well as approval of a group called “Care Coordinators.” Photos, office notes, X-rays, and letters of recommendation are all sent to this department to determine coverage. Though the experience was surely difficult, DeMarco describes it as an experience that was “beneficial,” especially in consideration of her background and the tasks she had to accomplish. DeMarco would “definitely be open to the possibility” of working full time at the Clinical Precertification Department. “During the internship, I also observed in a variety of other departments within the company to get a grasp on their importance and function,” said DeMarco. Even with a competitive internship secured beneath her belt, Demarco has not lost her grasp on humility. “They just called me intern,” she jokes. “They sometimes called me Sam too.”

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Delconte On His Way to 1,000 Points at GMC?

Headshot of Dan Delconte (Photo by Doug King). By: Doug King

Gwynedd-Mercy College athletics is an integral part of campus life. Most people do not know that the college actually offers seventeen different NCAA sports that give various student athletes a chance to compete. Not surprisingly, men’s basketball is one of the most popular and well attended competitions on campus. GwyneddMercy’s team is made of numerous student athletes who come from various areas of southeastern Pennsylvania and even as far as New Jersey. One member of the team in particular is truly a success story. Many students who live on campus attend GwyneddMercy College’s sporting events. Some attend for the competition, while others will show up for the social gathering. Even though some students may not be very familiar with Gwynedd sporting events, Dan Delconte’s basketball talent has been kept under the radar, despite his numerous accomplishments. During his high school career at Wissahickon High School, Delconte broke many long-standing records. In a four year career at Wissahickon High School, Delconte scored over a thousand points. This was a feat so incredible that the school administrators, as well as his coaches, presented him with a trophy basketball bearing his name and number. The basketball still remains in Wissahickon High School’s lobby showcase to this day. Ashley Bristow, a current Gwynedd-Mercy student who also graduated from Wissahickon, still remembers watching Delconte play basketball. In fact, she was a member of the cheerleading squad who attended all of the home games. “Dan was really good at shooting 3 pointers and he was also really fast,” says Bristow, “I recall Dan as being that guy who was nice on and off the court; he was always very respectful.” In addition, Dan also set the high school’s all-time assists and steals record, a record that still exists to this day. Surprisingly, he accomplished all this while standing at only 5 feet 7 inches tall. Obviously, this is not a very typical basketball body type, which kept him from getting basketball scholarships at major colleges. “I received about twenty Division 3 offers, but not one offer to play at any Division 1 basketball programs,” says Delconte. In regards to his basketball career at GwyneddMercy College, Delconte is on track to breaking more records. When asked about the possibility of Dan breaking a thousand points for his career at Gwynedd-Mercy, head basketball coach John Baron says, “He is real close and he should surpass that total by Christmas. Dan has always been an integral part of the offense, even as a freshman. His first two years on the team he shared time on the court with other players, but he eventually became a starter by his third year.” The numbers don’t lie. As a freshman, he averaged 18 minutes a game and played in all 31 games that season. Because he is 5 feet 7 inches tall, most people have no idea that Delconte even plays basketball. But Delconte’s height did not deter Baron from recruiting him. “Maybe at first, but he more than makes up for it in heart and strength, he’s very strong,” says Baron.

Gwynedd-Mercy College

November 2011

Undersized or not, Delconte is an athlete with amazing basketball skills. “Dan is a real team player; if he doesn’t break a thousand points it’s because he is playing to set up everybody else on the team,” says Keith Mondillo, director of Athletics. Delconte is currently in his senior year at GwyneddMercy. With almost 750 points already achieved, he is well on his way to scoring over a thousand points for his career at Gwynedd-Mercy College. However, breaking the all-time assists and steals record will not come easily. Ironically, Gwynedd-Mercy College had its first Hall of Fame induction ceremony on September 24, 2011. The six inductees included former basketball player Greg Small, who graduated with the Class of 1995. Small finished his basketball career at Gwynedd-Mercy College as not only the school’s all-time leader in assists, but also the all-time leader for the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference with 652 assists. Furthermore, he is the fourth alltime leading scorer as well as the second all-time leader in steals. So, the question remains, will Delconte be able to complete such a herculean task? Gwynedd-Mercy College’s basketball program kicked off the season in spectacular fashion, with a preseason tournament in beautiful Costa Rica. However, these tournament games are just exhibitions that do not count for the teams overall record. The home opener, which just so happens to be the first official game of the season, is a conference match up against perennial contender Rosemont College on November 22 at 7:00 pm in the Griffin Complex. Look for Delconte to keep scoring this season. For more information about any of Gwynedd-Mercy College’s athletics teams, visit http://www.gmcgriffins. com.

GMC Winter Sports Preview By: AnaLee Rodriguez

Track and Field Mike Dager, the head coach for the men’s and women’s track and field teams, believes this year’s teams have what it takes to qualify for the National Championships in California. Last year, the indoor men’s team placed first in its conference by a small margin. They hope to increase their winning potential by a wide gap. This year they do not have former key regional and ECAC distance runner, John Watts, because he graduated, but the team captains and some key athletes will strengthen the men’s track team: • Drew Viola, the team captain and sprinter • Justin Turner, an accomplished jumper • Anthony Adams, a nationally ranked sprinter and jumper • Greg Borgmann, a thrower and decathlete • Dan Dunkleberger, who is a top ranked sprinter in the country • Matt VanDenHengel, a solid distance runner • Joe Kubiak and Brett Kubiak, who are also solid distance runners. “We have some pumped up seniors that want to qualify for California” says coach Dager. The women’s track team last year was declared as a top ten team in the region. Distance runner Carissa Reh, and javelin thrower Amanda Price, are just some of the key seniors this year. “I want to push my potential and raise the bar during my last year here,” says Price. In addition to throwers, the women’s team also has many strong distance runners and sprinters. The women’s team is already well-rounded with upperclassmen, but there are numerous freshmen with potential that will be a big presence this year in track and field. “This year’s women’s team is the largest ever in school history,” says Dager. “We have a big team this year which will help us a lot,” says Lauren Brown, a senior sprinter. Look for the men’s and women’s track teams to make great strides on the track and field. Men’s Basketball Last year, the men’s basketball team was ranked fourth regionally, went 21-7, and went to the NCAA tournament by receiving an “at large bid.” John Hogga and John Krabtree were key athletes because they were both 1st team for the Colonial States Athletic Conference, but graduated back in May. This year Dan DelConte, Brandyn Wims, Doug

Berzins, and Frank Champion are some key players this season to help reach the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive year. “I expect us to win our league and make a deep run in to the NCAA tournament,” says Brandon Williams, a forward on the men’s team. “The whole team needs to step up, since we started our season early by traveling as a team to Costa Rica for some team bonding, and to compete against some local schools,” says John Baron, the head men’s basketball coach. This is the first year that the Gwynedd-Mercy College men’s basketball team went on a foreign tournament, which encompassed ten practice games against local Costa Rican teams. This year the team has six freshmen, and according to Baron, some are ready to play and compete right away. “Our goals for this season is to compete and win the CSAC Championship, and get back to receive another bid to the NCAA Championship, but it’s going to take a lot more then the key players for us to reach that point,” says Baron. The men’s basketball team plays their first game of the season on November 18 away against Middlebury College. The Griffins’ home opener is November 22 against Rosemont College. Women’s Basketball The women’s basketball team went 17-11 last season. There were a ton of injuries that had the team miss out on their championship run. Last year was the first year, in thirteen years, that the women’s team did not make championships. Key losses due to graduation are Kristy McGrath and Stacey Judge. Some key returning athletes are Bryn Cotteta and Brittany Neill, who are team captains this year. “We should be better than last year, and I am excited about all of the freshmen because every single one of them will be contributors,” says Keith Mondillo, the head women’s basketball coach. Transfer student Taylor Austin, a six foot forward, should also be a key contributor this season. The team is going to Florida on January 1-5 to expand their playing grounds and competition. They will play new opponents while doing some team bonding. “There is a good balance between freshmen and veterans on the team, so I have expectations to exceed where we as a team left off last year,” says Mondillo. The women’s basketball team plays their first game of the season on November 15 away against Kean University. They play in their home opener on November 28 against Rosemont College.

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Gwynedd-Mercy College

G r i f f i n Ta k e 1 0 Student Edition By: Rebecca Avery

Have you ever seen a familiar face around campus and wanted to know more about the person? Well, now is your chance to get to know the people in your neighborhood. Griffin Take 10 is a feature in which The Gwynmercian spotlights individuals in the GMC community with short 10-question profiles.

are truly unrivaled by any other college or university. Our students ban together to fight social justice issues, and when we see a need that should be met, we find a way to meet it. The GMC community is our best asset, and I am proud to be a part of it and call it home.” 4.) Favorite Class: Reading Sequence classes

Picture of Steven Rufe (above); follow his blog on the GMC Admissions page too (Photo from Rebecca Avery, provided by Steven Rufe).

Steven Rufe: GMC Senior

5.) Three Things He Can’t Live Without: iPhone, music, and Starbucks 6.) Favorite Food: Anything Italian 7.) Favorite TV Show: House

1.) Major: Elementary, Special, and Early Childhood Education 8.) Favorite Movie: The Wizard of Oz with a minor in Psychology 2.) Clubs & Activities: Education Club, Special Education Club, Sigma Phi Sigma President, Chairperson on the Orientation Planning Team, Student Committee Member for the Council of Exceptional Children, Griffin Ambassadors, and Intern for the Partnership For Global Justice at the United Nations.

9.) Future Plans After Graduation: “I’m currently looking into graduate school. I am aiming to head to Columbia next and study International Education.”

10.) Best Advice for Other GMC Students: “GET INVOLVED. Getting involved at GMC was the best thing I have ever done. Nobody says you need to join a billion 3.) What He Likes Best About things, but joining just one club or activity at GMC will GMC: “Ever since stepping help you to expand your horifoot on our campus as a first zon, meet people, and also build year student three years ago, I fell in love with the people. The your résumé.” faculty, staff, and administration

November 2011

Fall Movie Preview

By: Rebecca Avery

Fall is finally here, so students are once again looking for something to distract them from their tests, projects, and homework. The whole month of November is filled with new releases of all types of movies that will keep audiences coming back for more. Students who need a break from school will not be disappointed by the great films that are scheduled to come out in November. For moviegoers who love Marilyn Monroe, be sure to check out My Week with Marilyn on November 4. Colin Clark, played by Eddie Redmayne, is an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branaugh) and is an assistant on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl. Clark documents the romantic interactions between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) that happened on set while Monroe was on her honeymoon with her playwright husband, Arthur Miller. Also on November 4, Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) are back six years after their Guantanamo Bay adventure in their latest film, A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas. The stoner friends cause a holiday uproar after they accidentally burn down Harold’s father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree. Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, and Eddie Murphy star in their latest movie, Tower Heist, out on November 4. After the hardworking men find out they have fallen victim to a wealthy man’s fraud investment scam, they decide to get their revenge and rob his high-rise residence. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the role of former president J. Edgar Hoover in his latest movie J. Edgar, coming to theaters on November 11. Hoover was considered to be the face of American law enforcement for 50 years who was feared and admired by many. Behind closed doors however, Hoover kept secrets that could have ruined his career and life. Naomi Watts and Josh Lucas also star. Twilight fans will get their Edward Cullen fix with the release of the latest Twilight installment, Breaking Dawn: Part One, on November 18. Edward and Bella are finally tying the knot and expecting their first child, but their unborn child poses different threats to the Quileute werewolf pack and the Volturi vampires. Don’t miss Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in part one of the epic conclusion. The penguins from Happy Feet are back in their latest movie, Happy Feet 2. Mumble’s son Erik is struggling to realize his talents in the Emperor penguin world while Mumble and his family and friends discover a new threat to their home. Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Pink, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon star in this film coming out on November 18. In George Clooney’s latest film, The Descendants, Clooney plays an indifferent husband and father who tries to reconnect with his two daughters, played by Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller, after his wife is in a boating accident off the coast of Waikiki. Look for The Descendants on November 28. Be sure to check out these films as well as a number of other new releases this fall.

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Gwynedd-Mercy College

November 2011

Continued Dublin Pilgrimage article from Page 1 The group also went to Giant’s Causeway, which is located at the northern point of the Northern Ireland coast. “It was extremely windy there, but the views were incredible. The hexagonal columns of basalt were interesting to look at since it’s a natural wonder of Northern Ireland,” said Harrison. “It is definitely a place everyone needs to visit before they die. Giant’s Causeway is that breathtaking.” On the way back from Giant’s Causeway, they visited Corrymeela, in the town of Ballycastle. It is a retreat place, or safe haven, for Protestants and Catholics to come together to discuss “The Troubles.” Corrymeela provides a safe environment for Protestants and Catholics to discuss their issues with one another. These leaders from Gwynedd-Mercy College were selected to go on the pilgrimage based on a whole application process. The students were mainly chosen based on an application, recommendations, essay, interview, student involvement, leadership qualities, and merciful values they have shown. The pilgrims and chaperones came to know the mercy tradition better by being where McAuley worked and lived. They walked in her footsteps and even got to see her rosary beads and the cross she held on her death bed. After visiting all of these incredible places, the students had to depart from Dublin and return to the United States. The Gwynedd-Mercy group enjoyed connecting with other people from all different countries, and learning new insights. This pilgrimage is truly an experience that they will cherish forever.

To reflect on past experiences from the Dublin Pilgrimage, visit the blog at http://gmcdublinpilgrimage.blogspot. com/

Continued Exonerated Death Row Inmate article from Page 4 Q: You were in and out of juvenile institutions as a child, and went to prison at 18, what was that like? Graham: “I got mixed in with the wrong crowd at a young age. The juvenile institutions that they sent me to did help, but they recycled me back into the same negative environments with the same negative influences. It wasn’t very productive. So I kept ending up right back in juvi, until I was old enough for prison.” Q: In 1973 you were accused of the murder of prison guard Jerry Sanders, can you tell me a little bit about that? Graham: “I was framed because of my involvement with the Panthers. They needed someone to pin it on and I was their scapegoat.” Q: How important was public support in your release? Graham: “Oh, very important, these two young white children Brian and Cindy would skip school to be at my trial. They told me they would petition to get me out, but of course I didn’t believe them, after all these were just kids, what were actually going to make a difference, but low and behold they proved me wrong. They gave out flyers in their neighborhood, picketed outside the courthouse, and it worked, three years later the decision was overturned, and I was released. It really goes to show the power of protesting.” Q: I understand you were an avid supporter for the release of Troy Davis, who was unfortunately executed last Wednesday despite a large public outcry. What are your thoughts on that case? Graham: “It’s a real shame what happened to Troy.

Picture Above: the Dublin Pilgrims in front of Belfast’s first peace wall (l-r: Amy Vandegrift, Mary Ashmore, Katie Kane, Katherine Klinges, Kellie Delhagen, Kate Taylor, Regina Sellman, Steven Rufe, Ashley Scheiber, and Beth Harrison) (Photo by Beth Harrison). Seven out of 10 of the eyewitnesses on his trial have retracted their original testimonies claiming that they had been pressured by police into convicting him. Seven out 10, more than half, he should have gotten a retrial. I was lucky enough to have four trials, Troy Davis only had one.” Q: Do you think that the well publicized events of Troy Davis’s case will have any impact on capital punishment in the future system and if so how? Graham: “I like to think that out of every negative situation comes a positive one. In the case of Troy Davis I hope that the publicity boost that his case received will enlighten and inspire to stand up and take notice that our system isn’t working, and needs to be fixed.” Q: Having been through this whole ordeal, do you feel like you have a greater appreciation for life? Graham: “Definitely, every morning I wake up and thank god that I’m alive. I have a beautiful wife and three children whom I love dearly. Did I ever think that when I was sitting in that cell waiting to die, that I’d have any of that? Of course not, at that point I had all but given up hope. I can’t tell how happy it makes me to be able to do this. Just being here right now with you is a gift. To be able to do what I do, to be able to go to schools and talk about my experiences with the children, and young men and women like yourself is worth it. Even if I’ve only changed the mind of one person, it’s worth it, because that one person could be the deciding factor in whether someone lives or dies.” Q: Do you think that there will ever be an end to capital punishment? Graham: “Absolutely, I’d say within the next 10 years

in the U.S. As far as other countries go, there are already 120 countries around the world that have abolished the death penalty, most of which are in Europe. Something like 80 to 90 percent of China, Saudi Arabia including some states right here in the U.S. Where was it? I think it was Rhode Island, where the citizens voted to put an end to capital punishment by requesting a constitutional ban in their state, so now Rhode Island doesn’t have a death penalty.” Q: What about critics who say an “eye for eye” that these people deserve what’s coming to them because of what they’ve done, or the families of victims who are looking for closure? Graham: “So many people out there who’ve lost someone will tell you that their looking for closure. Well, let me tell you something closure is a myth. So you’ve gotten your revenge, now what? It isn’t going to bring that person back. If someone gets raped, we don’t use rape as a form of punishment against that person. The same should go for capital punishment, it’s barbaric and needs to be stopped.” Q: And how would you recommend we do that? Graham: “People need to speak up. We have to keep fighting, keep organizing, keep picketing until they get the message murder is wrong, period.”

Gwynedd Gallery On left: GMC students Beth Harrison (left) and Ryan Donnelly (right) pose at FallFest with Nick from the Preston and Steve radio show (Photo by Beth Harrison). On right: CBS3’s morning news anchor, Ukee Washington spoke to students in the new GMC studio (Photo by GMC Public Relations Department).

Page 8 The Gwynmercian

Gwynedd-Mercy College

November 2011

Gwynedd Gallery

(continued from Page 7)

Picture at Top Left: Some GMC students posing for a picture outside of Dorney Park; they went to Dorney Park through Student Activities’ Weekend Programming opportunities (Photo by Steve Hull). Picture at Top Right: Dublin Pilgrims took a break from the Conference for Young Mercy Leaders to pose outside of the Mercy International Centre on Lower Baggot Street (Photo by Beth Harrison). Picture on Bottom Left: GMC Men’s Basketball took some time away from their tournament in Costa Rica to go whitewater rafting (Photo provided by GMC’s Public Relations Department).

The Gwynmercian Staff

Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437 Volume 63, No. 1 November 2011 Editors-in-Chief.....................................Beth Harrison & Dan Freed Writers..................................................Caitlin Angelone, Rebecca Avery, Jim Coyle, Ray Friend, Dana Hill, Doug King, Annie Ness, AnaLee Rodriguez, Katie Starrantino, Sarah Tefft, Cassie Towler, and Brianna Virginio

Volume 63, No. 1 was written and developed by students of the Intro to Journalism class and other GMC students interested in journalism. We hope you enjoyed reading this edition, and continue reading many more editions! If you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail or