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August 2014

Developing a Worldview: Gannon’s Global Movement





from the


President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., joined students and staff this spring during an Alternative Break Service Trip to Mexico. Each of us has a unique view of the world. Gannon University is committed to broadening our organizational “worldview” as well as the perspectives of individual community members. Our goal is to increase our engagement across the globe, building a deeper understanding of differing cultures and recognition of the University’s and individuals’ social responsibility. We are fostering a worldview by expanding academic, service and immersion travel programs, welcoming a growing number of international students, and expanding of cultural engagement activities on campus. We recognize the vital need to lead a global movement, fostering awareness and inclusiveness within the University, the Erie region and across our nation. As we continue to cultivate this worldview, new doors of opportunity will open that will allow Gannon’s Catholic Identity to reach new borders, as well as bring the joy and color of other cultures to our Gannon community. By opening our minds, hearts, eyes and arms to our fellow nations, we are eliminating barriers that can separate us and engender the idea of foreignness among one another. “He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth,” Acts 17:26. We are all brothers and sisters, equal and connected by one God.

Vol. XXV, No. 1 • August 2014 Gannon University • 109 University Square Erie, Pennsylvania 16541 • (814) 871-7000

Through generous gifts to the University, we have established the Robert and Suzanne Barker Globalization Institute as well as endowed funds to support important global programming. In this issue of the Gannon Magazine you will read how this generosity has begun to shape the development of Gannon’s worldview through unique, new course offerings that will enhance students’ learning experience and faculty members’ teaching opportunities, additional service trips and learning abroad destinations, new partnerships with international universities and semester exchange programs. I have been privileged to join students, faculty and staff in extensive international travel to establish and support international University partnerships in service and learning. It is exciting and heartening to watch first-hand how interest in them has blossomed and the vision of Gannon as a leader in global education has evolved into a movement. I hope that you join us on the journey as you read about Gannon’s worldview in these pages and in the years to come. God Bless,

Keith Taylor, Ph.D., President

Keith Taylor, Ph.D. President

Laura Hinsdale Graphic Designer

Melanie Whaley ’95 Director for Marketing and Communications

Andrew Lapiska ’09M Creative Services Director

John Chacona Media, Marketing and Communications Writer

Mallory Hedlund ’14

Mallory Hedlund ’14 Marketing and Communications Specialist

photography Andrew Lapiska ’09M Friends of San Lucas Mission Church student, faculty, staff and alumni contributors

Gannon Magazine is published by the Marketing and Communications Office at Gannon University. We value your input; please direct any comments, questions or feature ideas to

printing Knepper Press

class notes and address changes Jana Hunt Coordinator of Gifts and Records (814) 871-7469



Gannon Magazine August 2014

06 Finding Unexpected Hope

Strategic Goals

We’ve heard the phrase “it’s a small world,” but the experiences and connections made through Gannon’s service trips reinforce this idea, as our University community is brought together with people around the world.


Robert and Suzanne Barker Globalization Institute


Where Will You Find Your Possibilities?

Developing a worldview at Gannon University has taken on a new meaning through an incredible gift and great generosity that has not only enhanced the campus’ global reach, but has made it possible for all students, faculty and staff to experience the world.

02 innovation 03 community 04 worldview

NewsNotes 05 06 07 08 23

growth legacy faith & service athletics alumnotes

The Possibilities

Inspire, believe and achieve the possibilities abroad. The experiences, memories and destinations are endless for Gannon students, faculty, staff and alumni through global education, and a significant presence and influence across the world.

14 inspire the possibilities 16 believe in the possibilities 18 achieve your possibilities


On the Cover: A group of Gannon students and staff members traveled to Thailand in Spring 2014, where they volunteered acts of service, taught English and went sightseeing.

Gannon Unive rsity Learning


20 facultyfocus 21 studentfocus 22 alumnifocus


x Semester/A cademic


and Students

Year Exchanges Spend a semester or academic year ab road at one of Gannon's eig ht partner institutio ns ! x Faculty-Led Tr ips Faculty leaders an d students travel to study a topic to fulfill up to three academic credits!



x Scholarships Are Availabl



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strategic goals

An Alliance of Strength Gannon University has joined the SAP® University Alliances program, the world’s leading provider of business software that enables enterprises to globally integrate products, people and processes across time zones, languages, regulatory environments and locations. A company with locations in more than 130 countries, SAP will allow the students’ in-classroom learning experience to bring the global marketplace to them through one integrated system. College of Engineering and Business students will join more than 150,000 students at 1,000 member schools to gain insight into how technology can empower businesses to optimize key processes, such as supply chain management and project planning. A core committee of faculty members has begun strategizing how this new opportunity will be integrated into the College’s curriculum as it transitions into the Center for Business Ingenuity in 2015.

Sitting on the committee to implement the SAP® University Alliances’ resources and curriculum into Gannon’s College of Engineering and Business are (L-R) Assistant Professor Rick Prokop, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Rich Hauser, Instructor Blase Nicolia, Associate Professor Mei-Huei Tang, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Bruce Kibler, Ph.D. SAP software offers large enterprises a powerful resource to plan, manage and sustain success in an increasingly globalized business environment. Gannon University will use these tools to prepare students to help them shape that environment.

Learning Leadership in Hawaii Mainland Americans make Hawaii a popular destination for a number of reasons, but learning about leadership is not usually among them. Nonetheless, for a group of nine young women in the University’s inaugural Leadership Experience program, a 10-day trip to Oahu, Hawaii was the capstone to a year-long immersion in self-learning, actualizing their potential as leaders.

Students and staff members traveled to Hawaii for the University’s inaugural Leadership Experience program, where nine young women learned the skills necessary to step into a strong leadership role when returning to campus.

Clement Bautista, director of the Office of Multicultural Student Services at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, led the group’s educational service-learning as they explored the history of the island, their people and their language.

Program leaders Angela Coustillac ’13, student development and engagement graduate assistant, and Brian Nichols, vice president of student development and engagement, mentored each student through studying the paradigms that influence who we become and how we live. “Each student has highlighted an area where they would like to step-up in as community leaders, so that we can continue to shift the culture at Gannon to a healthy and positive environment for our students,” said Coustillac. Allison McDermott reflected on her thoughts of the program as a student, “The clarity I was able to achieve while in Hawaii was something I really needed and have searched for most of this year. With it I was able to sort of close the door on one chapter in my life and open about three more going forward with my personal development. I’m coming back really excited to continue this journey, but also excited to see what I can do now with the insight I gained.” 2

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strategic goals Bringing Culture to Campus In 1947, thousands of people gathered in Edinburgh, Scotland for the inaugural Fringe Festival. This three-week festival happens once every three years and is the world’s largest, multi-faceted gathering of performers hosting theater shows, dance and musical performances, comedy and literary readings. Flash-forward 67 years and you have eight Gannon University students preparing for their travel to Edinburgh to partake in the 2014 Fringe Festival. After the University’s first trip to Edinburgh in 2011, the students were so inspired by the originality of the festival, that they decided to host one of their own on campus. In March 2014, Dramashop, Cathedral Preparatory and Villa Maria high schools and All An Act participated in Gannon’s festival, which consisted of eight shows, five venues and 75 participants.

The Rev. Shawn Clerkin ’86, director of the Schuster Theatre and associate theatre professor at Gannon, explained that they put on pieces that “speak to our own spirit and soul,” which allowed students to affirm their own artistic expression. “We are finding that we are enhancing the community of artists in Erie.”

because it is a great way for students to not only have the chance to perform on a literal world stage, but would allow them to encounter, network and experience theater from every continent. “Communication is on a global level, marketing and economics are on global level. Building teams and innovators exist in multiple time zones The spirit and and continents. inspiration of the We are seeing that Fringe Festival those distances have was attributed to been minimized by enabling students technology and we to realize they were Students enjoyed the view while touring have the ability to Stirling Castle. capable of writing connect through an entire play. communication and appreciate other “It’s the inspiration of the world festival cultures.” made local,” said Clerkin. “We take this worldview, make it immediate and make Gannon University will hold its own it local.” Fringe Festival once again in February 2015 and continue the tradition of Ethan Kelly, a senior biology major, said bringing the experience of Scotland’s that it’s an experience he is very much theater, music and arts culture back looking forward to. Kelly, who has to campus. Scottish heritage, is not only ready to perform, but is excited to see his family’s history. “It’s definitely Fringe Festival in Edinburgh going to be an eye-opener for a lot of people,” he said. “Hearing culture, seeing things you’re not used to, being around things you’re not used to is really a cultural shock; but it opens your eyes to all the different ways people live their life.” Clerkin said this trip abroad
is also important Mary Stephens and Khadija Djellouli represented Gannon while performing at Fringe Festival.





strategic goals

International Learning in Real Time Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, will cover topics associated with current environmental problems and the continuing energy crisis in the Contemporary Issues in Environmental Engineering and Sciences course. Students will discuss topics such as waste disposal and water resources in their cultures, comparing and contrasting the two locations’ environmental issues.

(L-R) Hanan Madanat, Ph.D.; Carolyn Baugh, Ph.D.; Assal Haddad, Ph.D.; Catherine Datte; Nick Artman; Kathleen Kingston, Ph.D., associate provost; and Hwidong Kim, Ph.D. gathered at Gannon University for course training in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). Real-time technology, such as FaceTime or Skype, allows us to connect with friends and family for social purposes, but what about using similar technology for academic purposes? That is exactly what students in two of Gannon’s courses will be doing this Fall Semester as a part of a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) initiative. Gannon University is partnering with the American University of Madaba (AUM) in Jordan to offer two co-taught courses by professors from both institutions who created shared syllabi that emphasize experiential learning and a cross-culture dialogue between the students enrolled in the courses. The courses will have similar structure, both having online lectures, real-time classto-class engagement and hands-on learning components, but will each focus on different social and global issues. Hwidong Kim, Ph.D., of Gannon’s Environmental Science and Engineering Department and Assal Haddad, Ph.D., of AUM’s


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“I want the students to be able to broaden their horizons and make decisions knowing the impact it has around the world,” said Kim. “My vision is to let people know we’re here and we can work with you, and I want students to know that scientists and Gannon engineers can apply their skills and knowledge to help others.” Professors Carolyn Baugh, Ph.D., of Gannon’s History Department, and Hanan Madanat, Ph.D., of AUM’s English Language and Literature Department, will cover the topic of modern human rights issues and the link to their historic roots through a unique oral history project in the History Without Borders course. The students will experience a hands-on learning approach while conducting interviews to compile the oral histories of the refugee populations in Erie and Madaba. By the end of the course, students will have an oral record from various refugee families that they will share to create awareness for this population. The COIL courses are a part of Gannon University’s initiative to globalize the curriculum and provide a teaching and learning platform that promotes the development of worldview through shared learning experiences for students and faculty members.

The technology and software utilized, along with training for the courses, was set up by Gannon’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL).



Gannon Goes Intercontinental Gannon University students experience hands-on learning in the classroom and on campus, but you can also find Gannon students in classrooms in Ireland and Jordan, in schools on the coast of Thailand and at England’s venerable Oxford University. As the 2014-15 academic year begins, Gannon University has memoranda of understanding for study abroad with colleges and universities on four continents outside North America, and more agreements are being pursued to open a greater range of opportunities to live and learn abroad. Some of these opportunities are through exchange programs, whereby Gannon students and faculty can study abroad for a semester or a year in Australia, Chile, Ireland, Germany and Jordan. Additional study abroad agreements, though not exchange programs, are available with universities in Italy and England.

Faculty members from Gannon’s Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences visited the Sacred Heart Nursing College in India in an effort to grow the University’s partnerships even further.

Students may also soon be able to earn a bachelor’s degree from Gannon and an M.D. or D.V.M. degree in a total of seven years from Ross University’s Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, respectively. The Ross campuses are located in the Caribbean island nations of St. Kitts, Nevis and Dominica. Expected to be signed in September is a similar agreement with the University of Medicine and Health Sciences in St. Kitts. “If you are a student in the Ross programs and you keep your grades up and take all the courses in the program, you are guaranteed an interview, and that’s a significant advantage,” said Lisa Nogaj, Ph.D., director of pre-professional programs. “You have the opportunity to study in a beautiful place that you may never get to live in again. It’s global citizenship and a unique cultural immersion experience.”

That is the heart of the Learning Abroad vision, a recognition that, notwithstanding technological advances that make the world a much smaller place, there is no substitute for living and learning in a culture that is not one’s native culture. Meagan McHugh is living evidence of Gannon University’s commitment to that proposition. As the newly appointed Associate Director of Learning Abroad, she ratifies the value of cultural immersion. “Even though I’ve only been at Gannon for six months, I think we’ve made great strides here at Gannon thanks to people’s ideas, imagination and support. The University has highlighted the importance of international experience, and just knowing that this opportunity is available to students here makes me think I’ve got the best job in the world.” #





Finding Unexpected Hope Janet Armbruster ’75 first visited Merida, Mexico as a starry-eyed Gannon College student in 1972. Forty-two years later, much had changed in Merida and certainly in Armbruster’s life, but her sense of service and the wonder of human connection is, if anything, stronger than it was then. Armbruster joined 11 students and Gannon President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., on a venture to the southern province of Yucatan on an Alternative Break Service Trip (ABST) this spring. They extended a tradition of service at the Mission of Friendship. As an undergraduate, Armbruster heard about the mission from the Rev. Jan Olowin, who had taken a group of male students there. It was a time of turmoil on college campuses worldwide and Gannon was not untouched. The heady aroma of societal change was in the air and Armbruster was eager to do her part. Arriving in Merida in 1972, Armbruster was assigned to one of the teams sent into small villages in the Yucatan, places that had no running water or electricity. “I was one of three girls who went to Chemax (shay-MOSH), almost across the state on dirt roads. The majority of the people lived in thatched huts,” Armbruster remembered. “We couldn’t eat anything that they made because of the water, and we lived on cornflakes in boxes, Twinkies and Coke for a month.” The group taught English to village children and had a member who spoke Spanish, but the children spoke a Mayan dialect instead of Spanish. “We ended up playing games with the kids and visiting families,

and we were involved in church activities,” Armbruster said. “We were ambassadors.” The participants on the ABST bleached walls at a day care center, painted classrooms and worked at Nueva Vida, an after-school program for girls age seven to 12. They made profound connections with the people they served, but perhaps none as profound as the one that Janet Armbruster made with a sevenyear-old boy. She had been sponsoring the child for three years and when the coordinator of sponsorship at the Mission of Friendship visited the Diocese of Erie offices last September, Armbruster asked her for a meeting. “I went there and took my picture of my sponsor child and asked if she knew who he was,” said Armbruster. “His name was Manuel, but according to the Mexican naming convention, he had six names. So, I asked if she knew anything about Manuel, but when she saw the picture, she said, ‘Ah, Alex!’” Armbruster was overcome. In 2012, she lost her grandson, Alexander Lee, shortly after his birth. She called him her “special child.” Sharing the same name as her grandson, now Alex in Merida is her “special child,” a fact confirmed when they met in Merida this spring. “He treated me like I was the fairy godmother. I had to see all his pictures, his toys and his artwork from school. He had to share all his experiences with me,” Armbruster said.

Images from Janet Armbruster’s first service trip in 1972 to Yucatan, Mexico are a cherished keepsake and memory of her history with this culture. 6

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Janet Armbruster’s “special child,” Alex, poses for a picture with one of his favorite toys from his “fairy godmother.” “It was very emotional. Maybe the main reason I went on this service trip with this group is that the one I took in 1972 had a life-changing effect on me and I wanted to see that in them, I wanted to see if they shared the experience that I had at that age. And they did within the first two days.”



Where Did You Find Your Pride? Strengthening the pride of being an American is just one aspect that Gannon ROTC students take away from their experiences abroad through the Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency (CULP) Program. Throughout the summer, three of the University’s ROTC cadets were selected to participate in the CULP Program and scattered across the globe to Chile, Senegal and Lithuania for a month after preparation at Fort Knox. Providing cultural awareness and language proficiency skills through immersion in a foreign country and culture allows the students to learn and experience vital lessons that will help them develop into global leaders. Connecting this notion with his dream of excelling in the Army, sophomore mechanical engineering major and second-year cadet in Gannon’s Army ROTC program Damian Cicchinelli signed up for this summer’s CULP program and was one of the 1,200 cadets

in the country chosen for the program. “I got involved in CULP because I had the strong belief in developing cultural awareness and leadership skills in an environment that I am not accustomed to. I believe those skills are important to have as a future officer in the Army,” he said. During his service trip to Chile, Cicchinelli held several roles and responsibilities including teacher, student, athlete, cadet and tourist. “I got to see what life was like as a cadet in Chile’s only military academy,” he said. He served on a team that taught English to the cadets at the Escuela Militar, the Chilean Military Academy, while the Chilean cadets interacted with the American students in Spanish. He continued his studies through courses taught in Spanish by Chilean professors. Cicchinelli even had the opportunity to join the Escuela Militar’s mountain climbing team. He learned more about the Chilean culture by exploring the city of Santiago, visiting cultural landmarks and museums. Through this exploration, Cicchinelli realized what he calls, “one of the biggest eye-opening moments during my mission.” He found that due to the country’s historical events, the Chilean citizens often frown upon their military.

Damian Cicchinelli traveled to Chile through the University’s ROTC program, which encourages cadets to experience training abroad with the Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency (CULP) Program. “After having the chance to interact with the cadets however, it amazed me to see the sense of pride they still have in serving their country, regardless of how citizens treat them. That is something I will never forget,” he said. “It helps me to realize how honored we are as Americans to serve in the military, whether it be [in the] Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force [or] Coast Guard.” Gaining more than just an enhanced Spanish dialect and understanding of another country is something Cicchinelli may not have expected when he signed up for the CULP Program, but how he gained his now unshakable sense of American pride is an experience he will never forget. “The once-in-a-lifetime experience meant a lot to me. It opened my eyes to another part of the world I have never seen before, and made me realize how honored I am to serve my country as a future Army officer.”

Cicchinelli visited several tourist sites while in Chile and was able to take in the religious culture and architecture. #



athletics 63MAKING A SPLASH

To pursue his possibility, Raz Yuval traveled halfway across the world, then across a new continent. The journey led to Gannon University, where he is a standout on the Golden Knights water polo team and in the classroom. Yuval grew up in Kibbutz Yagur, Israel. “As a kid, I played many sports and went from practice to practice,” he said. Though he also played basketball and tennis, his strongest sport was water polo. At age 17, Yuval was a member of the national team that participated in European Cup Finals in Istanbul, Turkey. His skills led to a scholarship to Diablo Valley College in California, but he transferred to Gannon “because of the great water polo team, as well as the amazing sport and exercise science program. It has been an incredible opportunity,” Yuval said.


“Gannon University has become my home away from Israel,” he said, adding, “I have been embraced for my Judaism. My coach, Don Sherman and my teammates helped me transition to life at Gannon.” Yuval has also found a home in Erie’s Jewish community, where he has celebrated Jewish holidays and taught Hebrew at a local congregation. Yuval is looking forward to his senior year as captain of the water polo team. “We have an opportunity to have the best season in program history, but my favorite memory from Gannon will be the family atmosphere and all the amazing friends I made from all around the world here.”

Taking a Chance The impact of being a Gannon Golden Knight travels far and wide, and has even introduced upcoming athletes to the possibility of becoming a Knight too. Skhosi Mgobozi, a South Africa native, may not have sprinted the length of Gannon University Field or sported maroon and gold if it were not for the influence of a former Gannon men’s soccer player. Presented with the opportunity to continue playing soccer while obtaining an education from a Catholic university in the United States, Mgobozi jumped at the chance to travel to Erie and join Gannon University’s men’s soccer team. Skhosi Mgobozi, a senior student-athlete and No. 5 on the men’s soccer team, came to Gannon University from South Africa to experience an unfamiliar culture and build relationships.

Currently a senior marketing major and entrepreneurship minor at Gannon, Mgobozi values the importance of experiencing new cultures and developing global relationships.

“My time at Gannon has been very rewarding because South Africa and America are worlds apart,” said Mgobozi. “I’ve learned how to immerse myself in an unfamiliar culture, which I believe will place me in good standing as I look to progress in my professional career. Meeting new people and adapting to a foreign culture has been an invaluable experience.” 8

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Leaders Across the Globe Student-athletes at Gannon University are not only leaders on campus, but they are also leaders across the globe. Athletic teams travel regularly to compete against other national teams and complete service within another culture’s community. This summer, the women’s volleyball team, accompanied by head coach Matt Darling, traveled to Nicaragua for a nineday trip, a majority of them traveling outside the country for the first time.

school doing arts and crafts projects after making a significant donation of art and school supplies. “Athletic groups bring a slightly different perspective and can teach others about teamwork, unity and leadership,” said senior outside hitter Maggie Desrosiers. “Getting out there is important; we are giving the kids something to do and something they feel proud of.” The team also worked with the women of Nicaragua within a Jam Co-Op, where they taught women what it means to be an entrepreneur and how to use and handle money. “As young women, it shows them how lucky they are and what their responsibilities are. It gives them a deeper appreciation for the things we do have,” said Darling.

The team was able to gain experience competing against the Nicaraguan national team four times while visiting in Managua, San Juan Del Sur and Grenada. The trip was about much more than competing in volleyball, however.

The volleyball team gained valuable experience on and off the Some of the most memorable court in Nicaragua while competing against their international experiences came from their Since the last trip to Nicaragua team and providing acts of service to their community. acts of service for the women in 2010, four players continued and children of the country. The their future internationally after student-athletes taught English lessons and participated in a graduation. “The trips show them that after Gannon, they’re mobile book project, delivering books into the countryside for not limited to staying in the tri-state area. The world becomes a some of the children it was their only access to reading materials. possible outlet for their futures.” They also worked one-on-one with the children of Los Papitos

A Hometown Visit Whether they were interacting with a new culture, engaging in service or competing internationally, the Gannon women’s soccer team had a memorable experience in South Africa this spring. In the home country of their head coach, Colin Petersen ’01, the team’s bond was strengthened when they came together to help others.

Petersen’s family engaged with the team throughout the trip by giving surfing lessons, cooking a traditional South African seafood meal and helping with logistics. Most importantly, said Petersen, the team was able to experience another culture, giving them a broader sense of the world.

The team spent 12 days in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pilanesberg, South Africa, visiting historical sites and local orphanages. At the orphanage in Mitchell’s Plain, the team gave the children donations of toiletries, cleats and more in a Gannon backpack filled with clothes and other goods. They were able to play soccer with the children and spend time with each child. “The way they interacted, I’m really proud of them,” said Petersen. “It was kind of quiet after leaving the orphanage; the girls realized they have a lot to be thankful for.”

“It’s important as athletes that we work as a team. On the trip they learned how to respect and work with people in different cultures,” said Petersen. “The world is becoming like a melting pot and I wanted them to see that.”

Not only did the team bond with one another, but they were also able to meet Petersen’s family, who were all involved with the trip. The coach brought his children with him to experience the culture in which he was born. He noted that the team was especially interested in what he did as a child when he used to live there. “I was able to let them look through my eyes to see a different world and appreciate it.”

Justine Rodrigues was among one of the girls of the soccer team that was able to pet a lion cub while visiting the safari in South Africa.




(L-R) President Keith Taylor, Ph.D. with Suzanne Barker and Robert Barker.

Robert and Suzanne Barker Globalization Institute Globalization is one of those concepts that seem easy to grasp, yet difficult to define, but not for Robert P. Barker ’72, whose eventful career exemplifies the idea. Barker, a member of the Gannon University Board of Trustees, had a fourdecade career with Parker Aerospace, a multinational manufacturer that designs, builds and supports systems and 10

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components for virtually every aircraft flying today. His career took him to dozens of countries, bringing him into contact with many cultures. Believing that Gannon students should have a similar opportunity to experience the world, Bob and his wife Suzanne have made a transformational gift to the University to create the Robert and Suzanne Barker Globalization Institute.

This cross-departmental institute’s goal is to enhance multicultural learning opportunities; prepare students, faculty and staff to be competitive, socially responsible world citizens, and to increase recruitment and retention of students who embrace open dialogue and a global perspective. The Institute will provide an endowment, capital and operating funding for study

Students on Gannon’s ABST to Mexico were able to share in one-on-one time with children of Friendship Mission while educating them, as well as playing games and having fun. abroad, international partnerships, student, faculty and staff exchange, international service trips, globalization of the curriculum, a global travel program and an international student services center. “The stars were aligned, the ability to help was there having retired from Parker, and the need was there,” Barker said. “Globalization was one of the key elements of Dr. Taylor’s Strategic Plan, and this was a way to get that objective launched in a powerful way.” The Institute acknowledges that the world will become a much smaller place in the future. What would Barker like the Institute to look like 20 years hence?

While service is a large part of students’ travel abroad experience, they also create powerful connections and memories while engaging with locals.

“I see students and faculty that are routinely engaged in world travel; an Erie campus where international students help enrich a diverse interchange of cultures; and where students build their resumes through global experiences, making them competitive and highly sought after in the world marketplace.” With future goals set and some currently in motion, the Institute may exemplify just that. The University hopes to grow its seven existing partnerships, and is developing a process to develop and analyze new partnerships. In conjunction with this goal, the opportunity for international internships will also be explored. The globalization of the curriculum will also be a main focus over the span of the next three years, during which a total of 50 new or

The students on the ABST in Haiti indulged in various activities of the Haitian culture, including fútbol.

revised liberal studies and major courses will update the curriculum. About 40 faculty members will pioneer this change to develop globally integrated coursework. Initiatives such as the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) courses, in which Gannon students and students of a partnering university will take the same course in real-time cotaught by a professor from each university, will grow during the three-year curriculum enhancement. No matter what the goal may be, the focus and purpose of the Institute comes back to the students. Barker’s vision to create possibilities that will allow students to become well-prepared, culturally aware, global citizens has only just begun. But with an increase in student, faculty and staff engagement in learning abroad initiatives in the Institute’s first year alone, that vision is on the horizon of becoming a cultural movement. A man who admits his passport is so completely stamped that he had to send it to have inserts put in, Barker has now put his stamp on the future of globalization at Gannon.

Participants on the ABST to Guatemala completed several acts of service including cleaning debris in the streets.




where will you find your



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Gannon University believes in creating an environment that allows its students, faculty, staff and alumni to develop a worldview, whether it is on our own campus, through service, during a course or in a semester exchange program. With the introduction of the Barker Globalization Institute, it has become even easier for students to believe in the possibilities abroad through an increase in the number of scholarships and for-credit travel experiences. This year, 209 students and 56 faculty members visited a total of 19 countries during various travel programs. Learning, experiencing and bonding are just a few examples of what is encountered through Gannon’s global initiatives. Students are also able to develop leadership skills that will translate into the work force, learn to communicate effectively with others, become self-aware and confident, and come back to campus with a vigor to make a difference in the world around them. In a world that is rapidly becoming global in scope, Gannon University is at the forefront of encouraging the development of worldview in the next generation of leaders. Gannon’s Office of Learning Abroad, Academic Affairs, Student Development and Engagement and Center for Social Concerns coordinate the University’s global initiatives, which include an array of options to cater to students’ preferences and needs. Students from a number of Gannon University majors traveled to Thailand this summer, where they were able to immerse themselves in the culture and give English lessons to more than 150 young boys.

DISCOVER YOUR POSSIBILITIES ABROAD SEMESTER EXCHANGE The University provides the opportunity for students, along with students from six countries, to study abroad for a full semester in either a standard exchange program or a tuition exchange program. Gannon partners with the following institutions for its exchange programs: • American University of Madaba, Jordan • American University of Rome, Italy • Australian Catholic University, Australia • Mary Immaculate College, Ireland • Osnabruck University of Applied Sciences, Germany • Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, Chile • Sacred Heart Nursing College, India • St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University, England FACULTY-LED PROGRAMS Gannon faculty members are often the driving force behind many global initiatives, thus the number of facultyled travel programs, some for course credit, is continuously increasing. These include trips such as, but not limited to: • Marine biology studies in the Bahamas • Occupational therapy clinical work in Quito, Ecuador • Earth science studies at Yellowstone National Park • Education studies in Thailand • Biology and engineering studies in Panama • Theatre experience in Scotland

ALTERNATIVE BREAK SERVICE TRIP (ABST) Offered every year during spring break and at the end of the spring semester, ABSTs are domestic and international service trips planned and run by student leaders with faculty or staff accompaniers. Some ABSTs include, but are not limited to: • Guatemala • Detroit • Toronto

• Haiti • Mexico • Washington, D.C.

T.R.A.V.E.L. PROGRAM The Transforming Residents Abroad Via Engaged Learning (T.R.A.V.E.L.) Program is a new program that encourages students to live together on campus, meet regularly to study the location and topic of their group’s choice, and travel together to their pre-determined international location at the end of the spring semester. GLOBALIZATION OF THE CURRICULUM The University is currently undergoing a three-year initiative led by faculty and staff members to globalize the curriculum across campus, which will incorporate about 50 new or revised global courses into the current curriculum. This will allow students to become exposed to more international engagement, worldwide service, and innovative teaching strategies that incorporate technology for real-time interaction with partnering institutions.

Students have traveled to Jordan to learn more about archeology and the resources found in that country.




inspire the possibilities 3

ENRICHING COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS When asked to explain his reasons for participating in this spring’s Alternative Break Service Trip (ABST) to the Central American nation of Guatemala, Rev. Michael Kesicki ’83 said, “Anyone who’s been on one would say it’s a unique and incredible way to connect with students. It changes the life of many students. I don’t know if I’d say that for me, but then again, everything changes my life in one way or another.” That last statement reveals the extent to which Kesicki is open to everyday grace. He hesitated to call the journey a mission trip at all. “What it is about is the work of developing and understanding a community partnership. In Guatemala, the objective was to serve and partner with the local people at the San Lucas Mission and in the local community.” Kesicki, associate vice president for mission and ministry, and Becky Perry, resident director of West Hall and a member of adjunct faculty, accompanied eight students. Their destination was the mission at San Lucas Tolimán, located on the Lago de

The Rev. Michael Kesicki was once a student at Gannon, graduating in ’83. He went on to teach at the University, and now holds the position of associate vice president of mission and ministry, guiding students to find their calling just as he was able to. 14

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Atitlán, described by Aldous Huxley as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The mission is an ancient one, founded by the Franciscan order in the late 16th Century to serve the Mayan-speaking population in south-central Guatemala. Responding to a call in 1958 for greater involvement of clergy and lay people in world missions, the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota inaugurated a partnership with the Diocese of Sololá, Guatemala. Fr. Greg Schaffer, from New Ulm, began serving as pastor of the San Lucas Mission four years later. “Fr. Schaffer worked with local community to build, resettle land, distribute property from old colonial plantations, facilitate health care and education in San Lucas,” Kesicki explained. Having accompanied an Alternative Break Service Trip to Guatemala in 2013, he was familiar with the problems of poverty, access to healthcare and economic

The Gannon ABST group that traveled to Guatemala worked closely with the San Lucas Mission Church, where they also participated in the culture’s Mass. equality that the Mission sought to alleviate. The students worked with local families building brick stoves, while gaining sensitivity for the lives of persons who regularly face challenges that are almost unimaginable to fortunate North American university students. That sensitivity reached full flower one morning. Kesicki described it: “The group had already made the commitment to go to Parish Mass at seven o’clock. Spontaneously, the students went to a local store that sold goods at fair trade prices that were made by the local women. The students wanted to dress like the Mayan women of the parish and sit with them at the Mass. It wasn’t fashion. It was solidarity. They wanted to be with them.”

That Mass turned out to be one of the most moving aspects of the trip for Kesicki, who was, he said, “welcomed as a priest with a minimal ability to celebrate Mass in Spanish, a great experience for me.” That Mass on Ash Wednesday in the mission church of San Andres, included these words from the prophet Joel of the Old Testament: “Rend your hearts, not your garments.” In a post to the blog that documented the Service Trip, Kesicki wrote, “The words of the prophet introduce us all to the Lenten journey of conversion by challenging us to accept the invitation to a real conversion of the heart. We can only be changed from within, when our attitude shifts from self-focus to focus on God and our neighbor.”

Fr. Kesicki was invited to join Padre Benjamin and Fr. John Goggin to lead Mass at San Lucas Mission Church in Guatemala. #



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SHARE YOUR FAITH “I love the idea of a mountaintop vision,” Patrice Swick said. “I don’t see my life as a mountain where you go to the top and come down. It’s more like a mountain range where you climb and then go down. We live in the valley, but when you look up from the valley, there’s always another mountain to climb.” Going into her senior year at Gannon University, clear-sighted Swick can see several mountains just ahead and she’s eager to make the journey to their summits. Gannon itself was once one of those peaks for Swick, who was homeschooled. How many first-year college students view stepping into a traditional classroom as a new experience? For that matter, how many students combine a business major with a theology minor? Swick did. Although her career goals have changed somewhat since her arrival on Gannon’s campus, she remains sure of her vision. It’s a vision that was at once clarified and altered by an encounter with the University’s Center for Social Concerns. “It changed my life,” she said of the Center. “I know myself so much more than when I was a first-year student. I’m so different and more confident. “The Center has opened my eyes to what I want to be now and later,” Swick said. “They truly practice what they preach and meet you where they are at: on your level. They don’t expect you to rise to them, and you feel like you’re learning with them, like you’re


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going through what they’re going through, together with them. Laura [Goble, the Center’s director] said that when you figure out what you want to do, you find the people you want to be like and ask them how they got to be where they are. I do that with the Center’s people. “I now know that I want to work in student development,” Swick said. “I love working with college students. We’re figuring out who we are, changing our minds, and college is such a beautiful time. I want to help future students figure out who they are in a safe place.” She describes her business major as the articulation of her practical side, but theology, she said, “is a passion.” That passion was fueled by Swick’s participation in several mission trips, including Alternative Break Service Trips such as the one that journeyed to

The students involved with the Alternative Break Service Trip to Guatemala participated in daily reflections, writing journal entries on their experience while taking in the culture and scenery as shown above. the Mission at San Lucas de Tolimán in Guatemala, which she served as a leader. She described the experience as eyeopening. “The work is hard and I didn’t understand the language, but there was the familiar feeling of service.

“It was a universal church feeling, being able to appreciate my brothers and sisters in Guatemala as I appreciate those who are here in Erie. The Roman Catholic church is love and the trip was about spreading love and being love. “We made time to reflect every night,” she said. “I led one of these reflections one night in San Lucas, and I wanted to make sure that everyone could process what they went through— their own climb up the mountain. Being able to facilitate that was an honor.”

presentation at the annual Celebrate Gannon academic festival in April. “We called it ‘Guatemala: A Week of Love,’ because everyone fell in love with something or someone,” Swick said. “For some it was with faith, for others, with the simplicity and values of the culture. Some of us fell in love with the service itself, the work we did and the feeling of making a difference. And some were moved simply by awareness, the desire to spread the feeling of being so alive, so on fire, that they wanted to share from their mountaintop.”

Swick and her fellow travelers made a

Senior Patrice Swick was a student leader on the service trip to Guatemala, conducting a majority of the trip’s planning prior to the group’s departure. #



achieve your possibilities 95

PERSEVERE TO ACHIEVE Traveling and experiencing various cultures may often times go hand-in-hand with a career as a Foreign Service Officer according to Gannon University alumna Michelle (Jenkins) Hoyt ’95. Hoyt, a former international business major and Alpha Gamma Delta sorority member, is now employed by the U.S. Department of State, traveling throughout the world and working in what she calls her “dream job.” “What I love about the job is that I am always doing things I didn’t expect to be doing; a good chunk of every day is a surprise,” said Hoyt. Her main role as an economic officer is working to learn and understand the economic environment of the country to which she is assigned in an effort to promote U.S. economic interests overseas. She has taken on a number of special projects outside her daily tasks, including putting together a policy workshop focused around budget transparency. She planned the event from beginning to end, and brought people from various countries together in Brazil to talk about budget transparency. Calling this event “one of my favorite things I’m most proud of,” Hoyt continued on to say, “On the last day

I made some closing remarks and it was such a great feeling to get up there and see that I pulled it off.”

“What I love about the job is that I am always doing things I didn’t expect to be doing; a good chunk of every day is a surprise.”


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Hoyt credits both her French and German studies at Gannon, as well as language training through the Department of State for her success with being able to communicate effectively with other cultures. “Learning a language opens so many doors. You win over the hearts of the people in other countries because they are very happy you took the time to learn their language and their culture,” she said.

Our Gannon University alumni have experienced numerous opportunities to both travel and work abroad, including places such as Vilnius, Lithuania (above and below). She has spent the past year learning Ukrainian in preparation for a twoyear tour in the country, where her husband, also a diplomat, and her two children will join her. Hoyt has worked at U.S. Embassies in the Philippines and Lithuanian, as well as at the State Department in Washington, D.C. “One of the great things about the Foreign Service is that you can stay in the ‘same job,’ but you work in so many different places. There are always new challenges and new opportunities,” said Hoyt.

Perseverance, hard work and always following her dream are what enabled Hoyt to achieve her possibility and to find her “dream job.” “When you think about your career and your life in general you need to believe in your own possibilities, and set a goal and chart a course to get you there, and then relentlessly pursue it. Never let obstacles turn into regrets.”

Michelle (Jenkins) Hoyt ’95, is currently a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State, a career that she calls her “dream job.”




Parris Baker, Ph.D. ’92

facultyfocus Bringing Talent to the “Table” Shuttered factories, chronic unemployment and an increase in gun violence—for better or worse, these things are associated with the city of Detroit. Parris Baker, Ph.D., director of Gannon University’s social work program, will tell you that solutions to these problems must emerge from the community that is affected.

Baker saw this first-hand when he and Jessie Badach Hubert, associate director of the Center for Social Concerns, led a group of eight students on a March Alternative Break Service Trip (ABST) to the Michigan city that wants to be known for innovation, not decline.

When Baker and the Table Sharers arrived, they started conversations. “We did a lot of talking to people and to each other, and to me, that’s where the value of the trip emerged. You could see how much of the problem solving is in the gannon magazine

Baker had participated in ABSTs to Harlem and Montgomery, Ala. as a student in the 1990s. This time, he returned as a listener.

(L-R) Assistant Professor Parris Baker, Ph.D., Kevin Holland and Kayla Misera completed together at Earthworks in Detroit during a Spring 2014 Alternative Break Service Trip.

“I learned how to rest. I also learned that as we age, it’s important to leave room for people to grow. My natural proclivity is to do stuff, but it’s good to sit back and watch people,” he said. “I also learned what the notion of community means for people who have to live in a physical area and wake up every day with the same problem.”

“There are a lot of people who have an enormous amount of talent that we have to harness,” Baker asserted. “And hope. I know how important it is for communities that have it.”

“We called ourselves the Table Sharers, because we were focusing on the issue of food security and the idea of inviting people to the table to share food and community,” he said.


community and you miss that if you don't talk to the people.”

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Baker has always been active in the community. He organizes the largest Christmas celebration for impoverished families in Erie County, an annual event that serves 700-800 guests a hot Christmas dinner while also providing each person a present and clothing. Lately, he has been working with the East Side Eagles, a grass-roots community organization in one of Erie’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Returning to Erie and working on issues of food security is one method that Baker uses to galvanize people to work together. “It’s hard to get a lunch program in the Eagles area, because we can’t get a building,” Baker explained. “So we’re doing the program in a tent outside.” Baker is working with the Sisters of St. Joseph in to build an urban greenhouse in the Eagles neighborhood. “Food brings people together. Like communion, food is a central part of religious tradition,” he said. “There are a lot of people who have an enormous amount of talent that we have to harness,” Baker asserted. “And hope. I know how important it is for communities that have it.” Education B.A. Gannon University '92; M.S.W., Case Western Reserve University; Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh Title Assistant Professor of Social Work, Program Director of Social Work, Mortuary Science and Gerontology Hobbies Basketball with my daughter, chess and learning and experiencing new communities, cultures, music and religion.

studentfocus Every year, Gannon University’s Center for Social Concerns organizes Alternative Break Service Trips (ABSTs) that take students across the globe. These studentled trips not only help local citizens, but also allow students to experience different cultures. During spring break 2013, nine students and two faculty members traveled to Haiti for a truly unforgettable experience. Meredith Gursky, a junior social work major and intern at Erie’s Multicultural Community Resource Center, was the student leader for the trip. While it was Gursky’s first trip abroad, she is no stranger to service trips, having been on two her freshman year. Gursky said the focus of the Haiti trip was their work with children; Gannon volunteered at two orphanages, the Mother Theresa and Madam Samson’s feeding programs, and two health clinics. At Saint Dominic’s Orphanage, they helped children pick up trash and made an effort to teach the importance of respecting the environment.

One of the most surprising things for Gursky was how learningbased the trip was. She originally expected to see something concrete, but in actuality realized it was about being present with people, learning about culture and seeing how joyful the Haitians were that mattered the most to her. Steve Mauro, Ph.D., dean of Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences, also said the trip was eye-opening and helped him appreciate the Haitian people. “I have come to understand the resiliency that the Haitian culture has,” he said. “I have so much respect for them and the experience led me to value and be thankful for every opportunity that I have been given in life.”

“You don’t have to go far to get that culture [experience],” Gursky said. “It helps you look at things from a different angle, which can only help you in your future.”

The Gannon volunteers also visited the Rainbow House, where they worked and played with children age eight to 14 who have in some way been affected by AIDS. Gursky said it was a unique experience being carefree with them, because that made it “easy to forget” the struggles the children faced.

Meredith Gursky

A New Perspective

Meredith Gursky is actively involved with various acts of service both on and off campus, through Student Government Association, the Social Change Fellows program or while on an Alternative Break Service Trip.

Additionally, Mauro believes the trip and the Haitian people positively transformed the volunteers. “This is certainly something that [the students] have never experienced before, something that you can only experience in Haiti,” Mauro said. “It was a one-of-akind opportunity. Students come back changed after an experience like this.”

cultures, both abroad and in Erie. “You don’t have to go far to get that culture [experience],” she said. “It helps you look at things from a different angle, which can only help you in your future.”

Year Junior Hometown Canton, Ohio

According to Gursky, the most important thing she learned was how decisions in our country affect the lives of those in other countries and the “trickle down effect” they experience.

Major Social Work Minor Spanish

Gursky credits Gannon for her opportunities to be exposed to different #



Mark Luschini ’80

alumnifocus Sharing the Gannon Experience For Gannon alumnus Mark Luschini ’80, success stems from a combination of the experiences and relationships he holds and how he applies these to his outlook on life and on his career. As Chief Investment Strategist for Janney Montgomery Scott and President of Janney Capital Management, Luschini traveled a unique road to arrive in the finance and management world he is now in. Beginning his studies at Gannon in pre-medicine, Luschini ultimately graduated with a degree in psychology, which he says he is able to apply to his career today through analyzing behavioral financial trends. He also attended Gannon for his graduate degree, earning a Master’s in Business Administration. Bridging the two backgrounds in his day-to-day work, Luschini develops the firms’ guidance strategies and suggestions that are presented to clients, and handles various fiscal management duties. As a global investor he also emphasizes the importance of being knowledgeable about the world around him as crucial to his field.

“With global activity today being fungible, it moves very quickly and seamlessly across the world,” said Luschini. “If you aren’t tied into global macroeconomics and geopolitical tensions that exist today, you might walk away and say, ‘Why does that have anything to do with me?’ The idea that something that happens across the world has no impact [in the U.S.] is archaic.” While Luschini’s experiences throughout his career have been vast, he claims that his proudest moment is to hold the role of investment strategist for about 20 years before also including asset management into his role, substantially growing the firms’ investment results. This dual role has allowed him to serve as both practitioner and instructor, which, upon reflection, is a unique means of leading and educating others that he experienced with his professors at Gannon. “Its important to say that it lends credibility,” said Luschini. “I can communicate that what is happening in theory is also happening in the real world.”

Mark Luschini ’80, still relates to his experience at Gannon University through a shared bond with his daughter, and applying teaching techniques he experienced from his past professors to his career today. By applying his past experiences at Gannon and in his field to his current position, Luschini has been able to grow as an individual and in his career. According to Luschini, however, this growth and success would not be what it is today if it were not for his wife and children. “My motivation that drove me to do what it is I do, was getting married and having a family,” he said. Luschini is the father of four children, one of whom is a current Gannon senior. “It’s allowed me to relive the whole Gannon scene,” he said. “That was another proud moment for me.”

“My motivation that drove me to do what it is I do, was getting married and having a family.”


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His daughter Corinna Luschini, political science major and scholarship swimmer, said, “Sharing my Gannon experience with my dad has brought us closer together than if I would have gone to any of the other schools I was applying to at the time. I’m happy I chose Gannon because it makes me proud to say that my dad also went here.”

alumnotes 1952

ROBERT J. TULLIO is celebrating 60 years as a realtor in the Erie area.


ARTHUR C. ARKELIAN is the recipient of the 2014 Louis J. Tullio Award presented by the Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership.


JAMES F. TOOHEY, ESQ. has been recognized by the Erie County Bar Association as “Chancellor of the Bar 2014.” This award honors Atty. Toohey’s contributions with respect to his ethical practice and attitude toward the courts and fellow lawyers and his participation in both civic and community life.

Church. Fr. McSweeney has had a long, rewarding career as a priest and is also well known by Erie theatergoers for his many roles in the 60’s and 70’s. He founded Gannon University’s theatre department in 1973 and a decade later started WETG, Channel 66. He also became nationally known when he was hired by NBC on a regular basis to comment on theological topics, including covering the funerals of the popes and the elections of their successors. 


LOUIS A. PITSCHMANN, PH.D. is Dean of Libraries at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

RICHARD D. DIBACCO, DPM was recently elected president of the board of directors for the Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine Cleveland Foot and Ankle Clinic. Dr. DiBacco is the principal podiatrist of the Foot and Ankle Center in Erie.

RONALD J. VOLPE, PH.D. will be stepping down as Hood College president, after 14 years, on June 30, 2015, marking the end of nearly 50 years in higher education. His tenure has lasted about twice as long as the average college president’s. Volpe was appointed as Hood’s 10th leader in 2001. Before moving to Maryland, he served in many administrative roles at Capital University in Ohio, the University of Pittsburgh and Gannon University.




ANTHONY N. OTTAVIANI, D.O., MPH, MACOI, FCCP was named president of the American Osteopathic Foundation Board of Directors, and will complete his one-year term at the end of 2014. He has served on the board since 2009. Ottaviani practiced pulmonary and critical care medicine with Sun Coast Internal Medicine Consultants for 40 years. He is currently the chief academic officer for Largo, Fla. Medical Center, overseeing 130 residents and fellows in 13 programs with 60 medical students on campus.


JOSEPH R. MATTIS became the assistant women’s golf coach for Gannon University in September. ROBERT W. MCGEE, JD, PH.D., DSC,CPA competed in the Taekwondo National Championships in Anaheim, Calif., March 21 - 22 and won three gold and five silver medals.


PETER E. CAYEA has accepted a new position as general manager for Cameron Services Middle East based in Muscat, Oman.


MSGR. THOMAS J. MCSWEENEY recently retired as pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic


W. PATRICK DELANEY, ESQ. has been selected as a 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyer. Delaney is a partner with the law firm of MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton LLP, and is a trial attorney and chairman of the firm’s litigation department.


JOHN F. BAILEYS retired in 2012 after over 39 years in the electric utility industry, and now is doing part-time energy consulting. He moved to Georgia to enjoy less cold and snow than the past 45 years in Pennsylvania and Indiana. John notes that his close neighbor in Georgia is John Juggenheimer, Gannon class of 1972.


JANET (HORTON) DOLAK retired at the end of the 2014 school year after 25 years in public education. She spent three years subbing dayto-day, 10 years as school counselor/guidance director at Wyalusing Valley, two years at Nazareth High School as school counselor, and 12 years at Tamaqua Senior High School as school counselor. DENNIS J. LUCHEY has joined Susquehanna Bank as vice president, director of benefits in the Human Resources Department. He will direct the design, development, marketing, education and delivery of the bank’s benefits programs across a multi-state footprint.


JOSEPH P. NEDRESKY, M.D. is now providing radiology services at Millcreek Community Hospital in Erie.


MARY KAY KALIVODA, a former St. Thomas More Club member, is working with the Maria House Project to hold the inaugural Father Peterson Golf Tournament Saturday,

a son, Griffin Scott Crum (born Jan. 6, 2014) to Brandon S. Crum ’10 and his wife, Ashley.

a son, Drew Walker Hatch (born on April 9, 2014) to Caleb R. ’09 ’10M and Amy M. (Walker) Hatch ’10.

a daughter, Callie Ann Fiorisi (born Feb. 17, 2014) to Brian M. Fiorisi ’05 and his wife, Stephanie. Callie joins older brother Jonathan Michael Fiorisi (2).

twin boys, Andrew and Cody Laidlaw (born on Nov. 12, 2013) to Sandi Whiteman Laidlaw ’98M and her husband, Ed.

a daughter, Violet Nicole Halladay (born April 18, 2014) to Nicole Kuss Halladay ’02 and her husband, Jeffrey. Violet joins big sister, Lillian Catherine (5), and big brother, Owen Paul (2).

a son, Louden James Radtke (born April 2, 2014) to Jessica L. (Yingling) ’05 and Jason G. Radtke ’06. Louden joins big sisters, Alyssa (9) and Alexis (6), as well as big brother, Logan (3). a daughter, Madelyn Elizabeth Yorkgitis (born Oct. 22, 2013) to Brian K. Yorkgitis, D.O. ’02 and his wife, Erin. Madelyn joins big sister, Amelia Grace (4). #



Sept. 20, at the Union City, Pa. Country Club. The tournament will benefit the Maria House Project, which was founded by “Fr. Pete” to help men recovering from alcohol and other addictions, imprisonment, homelessness and mental illness. Information is available at

(L - R) Carla M. Noziglia, Greg J. Czarnecki, Brian M. Kurtz

A Message from Gannon University Alumni Association President, Brian M. Kurtz ’08 As one of the more recent graduates on the National Alumni Board, I’m humbled to begin a two-year term as president of the Alumni Association and to serve with all of the current directors and regional coordinators to create lifelong connections among Gannon University and Villa Maria College alumni. I’m honored to be joined on the executive board by vice president Greg Czarnecki ’89 and secretary Carla Noziglia ’63VMC as we implement the Alumni Association’s Strategic Plan that was adopted earlier this year under outgoing president Scott Krall ’84. I thank Scott for his leadership and dedication to the University and Alumni Association. The all-volunteer board meets on campus three times per year and continues committee work through email and conference calls each month. At our June meeting, we celebrated the students who benefitted from the board’s 100-percent participation in giving to Gannon’s Annual Fund for Academic Excellence. I hope you will join me in October for Homecoming Reunion Weekend to reconnect with our classmates and fellow alumni. You’ll be amazed at how campus is growing! I look forward to hearing your suggestions of how we can better serve you over the next two years. Contact me at


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CHARLES V. PITTMAN ’76M retired as senior vice president for publishing at Schurz Communications, effective March 31, 2014. He has spent the last 11 years with Schurz Communications and a total of 33 years in the newspaper industry. Pittman is the new president of the Inland Press Association, a national trade group.


WILLIAM “BILL” N. EULIANO has been named aftermarket director for North America at SECO/WARWICK Corporation in Meadville, Pa. Euliano will be responsible for all aftermarket services including technical rebuilds and upgrades, renewal parts and field service. He joined SECO/WARWICK in 2011 as operations manager.


JANE (ZUBER) DUROVCHIC is a corporal with the Edinboro University Police Department. PAMELA (HORNAMAN) TRONETTI, D.O., AGSF has been named Clinician of the Year by the American Geriatrics Society. She was honored for her accomplishments in creating a geriatrics program at the Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Fla.


PATRICK E. HENDERSON, D.O. has joined Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Washington as an ear, nose and throat specialist. His areas of expertise are laser surgery for the head and neck, skin cancer reconstruction, cosmetic and reconstructive head and neck surgery, endoscopic sinus and nasal surgery, head and neck disease and trauma and implantable hearing devices and hearing reconstruction. FRANCIS J. KLEMENSIC, ESQ. was selected for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list for 2014. He is a shareholder at Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C., and has 30 years of experience in practicing medical malpractice defense as well as general civil and insurance litigation in state and federal courts throughout Pennsylvania. His main focus is on the defense of healthcare providers.


MARK D. BAKER, D.O. has returned to family practice and joined Medical Associates of Erie/Clinical Practices of LECOM at Plaza 18 Medical Center in the heart of “Little Italy” in Erie. Baker previously was in family practice for eight years and served as a site, district and utilization management medical director in the Pa. correctional environment for 21 years. Baker is also a clinical associate professor of family practice and osteopathic manipulative medicine at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

PAUL R. HAKEL ’82M is a senior vice president for wealth management at UBS Financial Services in Erie, and is also a member of the board of trustees at Millcreek Health Systems, developing investment strategies to suit their financial goals.


DAVID A. DORE, ED.D., has been named as the new president of Pima Community College’s Northwest Campus. Dore was the dean of instruction for career and technical education at Mesa Community College. TIMOTHY L. EBERLEIN was presented with the Master Fitter Award from Henry-Griffitts Golf Fitting at the PGA Show in Orlando, Fla. in January. Eberline is the PGA Master Teaching pro and campus director for the Golf Academy of America in Phoenix, Ariz., and education chairperson for the Southwest PGA Section. Eberlein is just one of 61 master fitters in the world. He was recognized for attending all of the H-G training schools, fitting 1,000 students, completing a research project/thesis and writing nationally published articles on fitting and conducting seminars.


BERNADETTE J. FRIEDRICH, PH.D. ’92M received the inaugural Triangle Fraternity Outstanding Advisor Award. She is the director of Michigan State University’s College of Engineering. The brothers of Triangle fraternity had a secret plan; they thought that 17 years of advising by Friedrich deserved much more than just a thank you, so they helped create a new national award to honor her.


JANE L. INGOLD was recognized as part of Women’s History Month at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. Ingold is a reference librarian in the John M. Lilley Library. Through her years at Behrend, she has received countless relics and souvenirs of the Behrend family, the college and the Hammermill Paper Company, and she has made meticulous efforts to carefully keep track of everything she’s found or been given since she first came to Behrend in 1999. JOHN A. YONKO, Jr. is in his fourth semester as an adjunct professor at Gannon University, after he was contacted by a GU theology professor during a round of golf in 2012. Yonko also has a full-time job at Camp Notre Dame in Erie.


CLIFFORD J. FAZZOLARI has recently published his 11th novel, “Dogs on Main Street,” which was inspired by Bruce Springsteen and redemption. Cliff’s fourth book will be released this spring. TIMOTHY J. MAINES has joined ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as vice president of quality. In this role, Maines will lead the global quality function and will ensure quality and compliance in clinical, manufacturing and laboratory good practices.

LORA A. MOFFATT, ESQ. has joined the Intellectual Property Group of the law firm Crowell & Moring LLP at the firm’s New York office.


THOMAS M. JONES and SAMUEL M. CUMMINGS ’ 90 are embarking on a new business venture, the first of its kind in the area. They are opening CJ Sprits, state licensed as the first “craft distillery” in Northern Pennsylvania.


CARLETTE M. ALLEN VMC is seeking reelection as the Fremont County, Colorado coroner. Allen was appointed to the position in January 2013 following the retirement of her predecessor. She had previously served as the chief deputy coroner and has been with the coroner’s office since 2007. MARGARET “MEG” (ROTHGERY) VANDERLAAN is now the chief communications officer for MWH Global, and will continue to lead the company’s communications strategies globally. She was formerly vice president of communications. She joined MWH Global in 2009.


FREDERIC J. AMENDOLA was awarded the Rising Star Award from Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. Amendola is an agent with the company and was honored for his 2013 sales performance, with more than 20 transactions closed for more than $2 million in sales. DAVID P. MCKELVEY has been named President of MAY Medical, a spinal implant company headquartered in Pittsburgh. KENNETH M. OGOREK ’ 90M recently spearheaded an effort to find out what topics that Catholics in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis wish that their friends, neighbors and relatives knew about their faith. The resulting resource, great for evangelization efforts, appears here: http://www/archindy. org/yearoffaith/10things.html. Any alumni interested in Church-related careers can contact Ogorek via the Archdiocese of Indianapolis at RONILYN M. REILLY is a producer for the Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family,” which was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. BRADLEY T. ROAE is seeking his fifth twoyear term for the State House seat in the 6th District of Pennsylvania.


DEBORAH (MOSTELLER) BECK has joined Rawle & Henderson LLP as counsel for the firm’s Philadelphia office. Beck focuses her practice on workers’ compensation litigation and was the 2004 defense co-chair for the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Section.


EPHRIAM “TIGER ” BILETNIKOFF ’ 05M was appointed Director of Supply Chain for IEC Electronics in February 2014. BONNIE M. CLARK, ED.D ’ 92M has been promoted to vice president of instruction/ provost, West Campus, of Pasco-Hernando Community College in Florida. Clark was formerly the provost and associate provost of the school’s Spring Hill campus (2010-2014) and dean of arts and sciences from 2006 to 2010. LISA M. MILLER ’ 94M ’ 08M has been named assistant vice president for academic affairs at Mercyhurst University’s North East campus, where she will be primarily responsible for faculty and student academic concerns. Miller joined the staff in 2002, teaching in the physical therapist assistant program. THERESA (PISCOR) PODBIELSKI and her husband, Paul, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by taking a nine-day family camping trip to Elkmont in the Smoky Mountains.


GARY N. LEE ’ 93M has been chosen to serve as the director of administration for Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper. Lee is currently president of Harrisburg-based GNL Consulting Group, which specializes in creating business plans, developing businesses for minorities and women, securing funding for small businesses and developing youth entrepreneurship programs.


SAMUEL C. ASHBAUGH has been named as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget by Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. REV. MARK R. JUCHTER was chosen as one of two Air Force Chaplains to attend the 20142015 Army Family Life Program. He will be working on a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling at Texas A&M University and participating in the Army Family Life Center at Fort Hood, Tex. beginning July 2014. ERIC G. LAPRICE, M.S. ’ 97C, ’ 99M received a great book review by The Midwest Book Review on his coffee table photography book, “Best Foot Forward.”


RALPH F. BERARDI is seeking a five-year term on the Hornell City School District’s Board of Education. Ralph spent a lengthy career in the supermarket business, working in almost every aspect, from stocking shelves to running stores in Hornell, N.Y. MATTHEW W. STEGER was awarded the “Outstanding Customer Service Award” by WIN Home Inspection at their annual franchise conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. This award is based upon returned customer surveys exceeding 90 percent satisfaction levels. Less than 15 of the company’s more than 140 franchisees won this award. This was the second consecutive year that he’s won



Maureen Anne Bradley ’12M married Daniel Alexander Cephas on Dec. 21, 2013. Julie Coppolo ’05 Married Andrew Lapiska ’09M on May 17, 2014 Rico J. Dillard ’02 married Sara Sypula on June 29, 2013. Kayla Ann Fracassi ’08 married John Duke Pichette ’08 ’10M on Oct. 19, 2013. Colleen M. Gildea ’92 married Charles P. Shaffer on March 15, 2014.

Sarah M. Grab ’10M married Steven Skelton on Oct. 19, 2013. James Christopher Griesacker ’04 married Sara Beth Jett on Jan. 18, 2014. Leanne Nicole Opperman, PT ’13M married Jeffrey Alan Homza on Aug. 31, 2013. Christina M. Parker ’12 married Patrick Rakowski on Feb. 18, 2014. Kristen J. Patterson ’12 married Walter LaPlante on July 19, 2013. Brent Andrew Vargo ’00 married Courtney Brianne Tome on July 26, 2013.

this award. Steger has owned and operated WIN Home Inspection in Elizabethtown, Pa., since 2002.


CHAD S. HENDRICKSON, M.D. opened a new dermatology clinic in Slippery Rock, Pa. on March 1. Hendrickson served as a Major in the U.S. Army and was a physician stationed in Iraq and in Germany, treating wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. Hendrickson earned a 12-month fellowship at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md., where he will perform work at the institute’s Laboratory of Mammalian Genetics and Gene Therapy under Jeffrey Meedin, Ph.D. AMY (BARRY) MURCKO DNP, RN, ACNSBC ’ 96M has been promoted to chief operating officer for Sharon Regional Health System. She joined SRHS in November 2012 as chief quality officer and has played a major role in leading the improvement of numerous clinical quality and patient safety initiatives. She will be responsible for the overall performance of day-to-day operations and quality of the health system.


LISA M. SMITH spent a decade working in Hollywood before returning to her native Pittsburgh to help bolster the film industry’s presence there. She is currently chief operating officer of Steeltown Entertainment #



and teaches cinema at Point Park University. While working in Hollywood, Smith’s projects included the Emmy-nominated “Project Greenlight” for HBO; the feature film “Abduction;” “The People Speak,” directed by Chris Moore and Howard Zinn and she also produced several Discovery Channel, MTV and VH1 series.


RENEE (FRYDRYCH) ANDREEFF, Ph.D. received her Doctor of Education in Health Education from D’Youville College in December 2013. She was also recognized as a Distinguished Fellow from the American Academy of Physician Assistants in January.


BRIDGET K. DOLAN graduated from Seattle University on June 15, 2014 with a master’s in nonprofit leadership. REBECCA L. MARTIN ’ 99M has been selected as president and C.E.O. of the Federal Way Washington Chamber of Commerce. Martin has been hired as the new president/CEO of the Ludington/Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce.

in memoriam

ATTY. TIMOTHY S. WACHTER has been selected for inclusion on the 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, which features the top 2.5 percent of outstanding young lawyers in the state. Wachter is an attorney at Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett P.C., where he focuses his practice on representing governmental entities, municipalities, school districts, authorities and special purpose entities. Wachter has also been appointed by Gov. Thomas Corbett to serve on the Edinboro University Council of Trustees and was among those nominated for the Erie Reader’s “40 Under 40” award.




SARA K. BLISS ’ 00M is one of 13 teachers who are in the final round of the 2015 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year award nominations. Bliss is the 11th grade contemporary US history teacher at Titusville High School. JAIME J. TECZA has been named principal at University Park Creative Arts Elementary School in northwest Charlotte. Tecza most recently served as assistant principal at W.M. Irvin Elementary in Cabarrus County since 2011 and at Boger Elementary from 2010 to 2011.


BRIAN J. O'NEIL ’ 05M has been selected as the new principal for Hillcrest Intermediate School in Norwin, Pa. Most recently he had been the assistant principal and cyber education coordinator for the district’s middle school, and previously spent nearly three years as the assistant principal at Kiski Area High School in Vandergrift, Pa.


ELLIOTT J. EHRENREICH, ESQ. has been selected for inclusion on the 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, which features the top 2.5 percent of outstanding young lawyers in the state. Ehrenreich is an attorney at Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett P.C., where he focuses his practice on business acquisitions and financings, health law and other general business transactions. WILLIAM T. ELIAS, III is a senior pharmaceutical sales representative for Forest Pharmaceuticals in North Carolina. MICHELLE L. KAUCIC ’ 05M was promoted to Director of Strategic Communications for the New York City Department of Transportation.

Henny Adorante, RN ’65VMC ’68M Roger L. Allen ’50 Thomas E. Barnes, CPA ’61 Richard W. Bendig ’50 Frank J. Benes ’79 Ellen Kreidinger Bertone ’50VMC Peter R. Bianchi ’78 Raymond D. Bogardus, Sr. ’59VMC Carl W. Bowers, Jr. ’01 Alice Schick Brien ’59VMC James R. Brown ’55 Karen O'Donnell Brzuz ’92 Jay D. Buchanan ’48, ’67M Mona Buschak ’95M John F. Busch, Jr. ’52 Carol Daniszewski Calhoun ’96

gannon magazine

august 2014

George J. Cooney ’49 Joseph A. Cyterski, Jr. ’58 David A. Donikowski ’67, ’70M Chester J. Dudzinski ’54 John A. Dzuricky ’85 John G. Edwards, Ph.D. ’66 David P. Eskra ’64 Abdulatif Fatrosh ’13M James J. Fessler, D.D.S. ’47 Cindi Woodley Fontaine ’89M Alice Denson Fowler ’81 John M. Gallagher, Jr. ’58 Georges R. Garinther ’57 Charles R. Genck ’54 William J. Gilchrist ’52 Thomas J. Griffin ’84 W. John Hannigan ’59 Ronald D. Hickey ’59

BRIDGET (RAGER) PHILIP has been named director of graduate admission at Gannon University. In her new position, she will oversee the professional and support staff of the graduate admissions office. She will also develop and implement marketing and recruitment plans to achieve the enrollment goals of the University. REBECCA A. STYN ’02M has been named senior sales manager at the Erie Sheraton Bayfront Hotel. Styn is also a contributing editor and writer at the Erie Reader and is a writer for Lake Erie LifeStyle Magazine.


KATHARINE “KATE” (NEUBERT) MUROSKY was among those nominated for the Erie Reader’s “40 Under 40” award. Murosky is a wish coordinator at the Make-a-Wish Foundation and is an actress with the Erie Playhouse.


KELLY D. MATCZAK ’ 02C, ’ 04M and her two business partners from What It Takes, Inc. created a successful fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach & Martin Counties, Fla. called the Coconut 5K. “After years of running and friendship, we arrived at a place where we combined our resources and strengths to create a company that fosters the enjoyment of running, wellness and helping our community.” Matczak has run a full marathon and two half marathons and is Chief Communications Officer for Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County. MATTHEW D. VENESKY, PH.D. is a visiting assistant professor in the biology department at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. In the last year, he has had multiple publications in scientific journals including Nature Climate Change and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Cheryl Williams Hilinski ’99 Richard T. Holmes ’97M George E. Kaufman ’58 Jean McKay Kent ’57VMC James R. Klein ’60 David D. Kranking ’06C Jean Pflueger Kuebel ’51VMC Elizabeth A. Kuhar ’81 Ada L. Lawrence ’72M John F. Lea ’68 Richard J. Leary ’58 Thomas A. Maginn ’47 Charles A. Margetta ’61 Frank Mazza ’72 Thomas M. Mead ’49 James P. Middendorf ’63 Theodore Mohnkern ’48 George A. Moore ’62


JULIE COPPOLO Married Andrew Lapiska ‘09M, both are employees at Gannon. Their bridal party included: Jessica (Haney) Przybylski ’05, Christie Buchleitner ’05, Danielle (Sterbank) Myers ’04, ‘06M and Lauren (Simek) Theisen ‘02 PAUL J. PASCUZZI ’ 05M, ’ 05C has been hired as the Warren County, Pa. fiscal director. Pascuzzi has been an active participant in government for decades. He is vice chairman of the county’s redevelopment authority and is president of Clarendon Borough Council. He recently retired from the financial department at OSRAM Sylvania.


East, Pa. in 11 hours and 28 minutes. He raised more than $10,000 in donations to the Erie Downtown YMCA. LEANNE (BENDER) VENESKY is a RN in the CVICU at UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie.


KATHLEEN “KATIE” M. FROEHLICH ’ 08M was recently hired as an occupational therapist for the Hand and Upper Body Rehabilitation Center in Erie. She recently completed the Evelyn J. Mackin Hand Therapy Fellowship at the Philadelphia Hand Center and, prior to her fellowship, she worked as an occupational therapist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

JOREL B. BUFFA has accepted a position at Rockwell Automation in Cleveland as an import/export compliance analyst.

HOLLY (ARNDT) ICKES officially opened her own photography business in March 2014. Her website is:

LINDSAY C. FOSTER graduated with honors from Syracuse University College of Law. Foster relocated to State College, Pa., in November 2013, to serve her community as an assistant district attorney in Centre County.

MELANIE (KERNICK) KARSAK ’ 07M has published a novel, “The Harvesting,” in the currently popular zombie genre, for which she was a B.R.A.G. Medallion recipient. She has also authored a series of steampunk novels, “The Airship Racing Chronicles.” Karsak is an instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

JENNIFER L. KRONENWETTER ’ 06M was awarded the Teacher of the Year award by the Troy High School student council. She is the U.S. civics and government/economics teacher at the high school. KARA (CALABRESE) MORGAN ’ 06M has been named associate registrar at Gannon University. In her new role, she will oversee scheduling for first-year students as well as maintaining and updating new student data. Morgan joined the University’s graduate admissions department in 2002. ELLIOT SPAEDER is now the third fastest swimmer to complete the 24.3-mile swim across Lake Erie. Spaeder swam from Long Point, Canada to Freeport Beach in North

Thomas Paton ’60 Michael J. Petrelia, Jr. ’71 Carl R. Phister, Jr. ’48 Eilene Crawley Pierson ’49 Cynthia Tuberson Przepierski ’80 James H. Reisenweber ’70 Joanne M. Rice ’95 Robert J. Robison, Jr. ’75 Gordon Rogers ’75 James J. Rudy ’63 Eraldo Scacchitti ’79, ’82M Donna Hall Stone ’76 William Z. Toflinski ’56 Richard C. Trabinger ’76 Anthony Truong ’85 Lynn E. Volk ’95 Alan J. Vukmir, ND ’09 Aaron C. Wagner ’73

GREGORY G. MANDALAS ’ 07M was promoted to principal in the Karns City Area School District in Pennsylvania. HEATHER NEU was nominated for the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York’s Doris S. Hoffman Outstanding New Lawyer Award. KIMBERLY A. PETROSKY has been employed as a law clerk to the Honorable Jonathan D. Grin, Centre County , Pa. Court of Common Pleas since Jan. 7, 2013.

Carole Kuhn Waldinger ’64 Alice J. Wardenga ’46VMC Lucy Rosinski Warus ’41VMC Shirley Gillespie Waterman ’49VMC Christine Siggers White, D.P.M. ’91 Henry J. Wienczkowski ’63 Sister M. Norbert Wiley, S.S.J. ’58VMC Henry P. Wolfhope, CPA ’63 Mona M. Wright ’79

Parents and Friends Catherine E. Angelucci Vera L. Betts Jerome H. Blakeslee Mary Schultz Blakeslee Deborah A. Caniac


SARAH E. BELEN, DPT is a doctor of physical therapy at Drayer Physical Therapy Institute in Lexington. MEGAN L. FISHER is a registered nurse on the mother/baby unit at UPMC Hamot Women's Hospital in Erie. KATHARINE R. MCCLELLAND ’08M has been named the new assistant principal for West Allegheny High School in North Fayette, Pa. SARAH PARLOW ’08M is a new board member with Garden of Peace Project, a volunteer-run organization founded to increase the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being of all people.


CATHERINE A. CIPRIANI has accepted a full time position at Strong Vincent High School in Erie teaching 9th and 10th grade English. MALLORY L. CROSTON is a Special Education teacher for the Anchorage School District in Alaska. She is currently teaching in a primary resource classroom. CHRISTOPHER W. CUVIELLO currently teaches middle school social studies in Indian Land, S.C. SARAH E. GUDGEON was among those nominated for the Erie Reader’s “40 Under 40” award. Sarah works in the public relations department at the Erie Veterans Affairs Medical Center. JESSICA F. OSTE, DPT ’ 09M is a pediatric physical therapist at Positive Steps Therapy in McCandless, Pa. AARON E. SUSMARSKI has joined LECOM as institutional director of human resources. He is responsible for the main campus in Erie and its campuses at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa. and in Bradenton, Fla.

Rev. Lewis M. Evans, D.D. Kathleen Przychodzien Fabian William J. Gallagher Gregory J. Haraburda Sally Zurn Mead William B. Miller Rose M. Odem Ralph Riehl, Jr. Susan Riehl Jack F. Roehm Margaret McConaughy Schilling Donna M. Teckmeyer Charles Tomczak Sr. Dominic Twohill Laura A. Willson Louis A. Zambelli, Sr.





MARIE E. FELEGIE began working at the Erie VA Medical Center in September 2013. SARAH M. GRAB-SKELTON ’10M has resigned as an assistant with the Gannon University women’s basketball program to accept a teaching position within the Iroquois School District in Erie. LAURA A. HUNTER, ’12M is a physical therapist at Millcreek Community Hospital in Erie. HANNAH E. KIRBY was among those nominated for the Erie Reader’s “40 Under 40” award. Kirby is an engineer with LORD Corporation. 1ST LT. ERIC W. SCHUMACHER recently completed a deployment in Kandahar, Afghanistan, assigned with the 101st Airborne Division. During the deployment, Schumacher commanded a reinforced detachment of military police responsible for the safe return of service members and their equipment. Schumacher is executive officer of the 194 Military Police company at Fort Campbell, Ky. KAITLYN S. SLOMSKI ’10M was among those nominated for the Erie Reader’s “40 Under 40” award. She is the creative director of Eriebased Niche Team LLC, where she specializes in strategic planning, brand management and social media management.

ELLEN M. KROL is an occupational therapist at Metro Hospital in Cleveland. STEPHEN M. NEMENZ ’11M is the principal of Our Lady’s Christian School in Erie. ANTHONY R. PRIBONIC was among those nominated for the Erie Reader’s “40 Under 40” award. Pribonic is a fitness entrepreneur who established iRock Fitness. STEPHANIE M. VAUGHN ’11 is an occupational therapist in Elyria, Ohio. BRADLEY M. WILSON ’11M has been named as one of “20 to Watch” education technology leaders by the National School Boards Association’s Technology Leadership Network. He was recognized for initiating the use of digitized lessons for students to use at home on district-provided iPads. Wilson is a social studies teacher at Fort Couch Middle School.


ERIK M. FORT is currently a student at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science and is employed by Stephen P. Mizner Funeral Home in Meadville, Pa. ROBERT C. HOCHBERG ’12M has begun taking an online Accounting Certificate program at the University of California Berkeley to sharpen the accounting skills he learned at Gannon and to work toward the requirements to sit for the CPA exam.

GARRETT B. STURGES is the quality control specialist at Crown Castle International.

KATHRYN RUMMEL ’12M is employed by Upper St. Clair School District in Pittsburgh.

AMBER L. WEBSTER ’10M is currently teaching Instrumental Music (grades 4-12) in the Otto-Eldred School District in Duke Center, Pa.

ERIKA R. GRECO is the director of Internet Marketing at Lakeside Auto in Erie.


JENNIFER L. BANKS is a scientist at LORD Corporation. BETH A. CARDOT graduated from the University of Dayton Law School in May of 2014. RYAN M. FARRELL has been accepted to study law at the University of Lucerne for the spring 2014 semester through a partnership agreement with The John Marshall Law School. ANNLYN M. HARVEY has accepted a position at Florida Southern College as a hall director. STEPHANIE L. KOMOREK is in her second year of teaching 4th grade for Montgomery County Public Schools in Rockville, Md. She also recently accepted a position as head coach of a youth swim team in the Montgomery County Swim League.


JARRETT E. RIZZONELLI is a Therapeutic Support Staff, Counselor with Children’s Behavioral Health in Erie.


MITCHELL A. CARROLL, MICHAEL A. KRYSIAK, ETHAN P. PATTERSON and ERIC A. STORMER were all commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant during the 2014 Gannon University Commissioning Ceremony held May 10. Mitchell was commissioned as a Military Police Officer, with his first duty assignment at the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y.; Michael was commissioned as an Infantry Officer and will report to Fort Benning, Ga. for his first duty assignment; Ethan was commissioned with the U.S. Army Nurse Corps with his first duty assignment at Fort Sam Houston, Texas; and Eric was commissioned as a Military Police Officer, with his first duty assignment at the 101st Screaming Eagles Air Assault Division at Fort Campbell, Ky.

HEIDI A. FRYNKEWICZ graduated May 10 with a Bachelor of Science degree, Magna cum Laude. She is a member of Kappa Gamma Pi, Beta Beta Beta Biological, Lambda Sigma, and Phi Eta Sigma National Collegiate Honor Societies. A four-year member of Gannon Women’s Softball Team and this year’s inaugural season of Gannon’s Acrobatics and Tumbling Team, Heidi received Division II Athletics Directors Academic Achievement Award, PSAC Scholar-Athlete Award and NFCA All-American Scholar-Athlete Award each season. She is also a member of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority and Order of the Omega National Interfraternity Honor Society. Heidi is employed as a ball girl with the Pittsburgh Pirates and as an intern at Frontier Pharmacy. In August, Heidi will begin an accelerated three-year program at LECOM School of Pharmacy. ALEXANDRA “LEXIE ” D. MASTRO was the 2014 Gannon University Medal of Honor recipient. JENNIFER R. PAPICH has been chosen as the PSAC’s nominee for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year award. She is a three-time All-PSAC Western Division First Team selection, a two-time Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American and three-time First Team All-District honoree. The Woman of the Year award is designed to honor female senior student-athletes for their collegiate achievements in academics, athletics, leadership and service. Papich was named Gannon’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year. She was named to both the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and Division II Bulletin All-America honorable mention teams the last two seasons. She was a two-time Daktronics All-Atlantic Region second-team selection, the PSAC Western Division Athlete of the Year in 2012-13 and a three-time All-PSAC Western Division first-team honoree. Academically, Papich was named to the PSAC Winter Top 10 for the second consecutive season with a 3.95 cumulative GPA. A biomedical engineering major, she is a two-time Academic AllAmerican. RT. REV. SEAN W. ROWE ’14M has been elected as the provisional bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, Pa. Rt. Rev. Rowe was previously the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Rowe is a Ph.D. candidate in organizational learning and leadership at Gannon University.

Tell your fellow alumni what you’ve been up to! Share your success, marriage, awards or an addition to your family in Gannon Magazine and GU eNEWS Visit to submit your Class Notes. We want to hear from you! 28

gannon magazine

august 2014

The Auerbachs:

Values-Centered Education is Their Motivation to Give Back

Joanne (Zentis) and Stephen Auerbach at “Field of Dreams” in Dyersville, Iowa

Joanne Zentis Auerbach ’69 was one of the very first women to attend Gannon College. She was an English major and one of only 18 women in her entire graduating class. Her husband Stephen attended C.W. Post College. Although they come from different parts of the country and different religious backgrounds, the couple shares important values, an appreciation for such things as gratitude, Judeo-Christian ethical and moral standards, the value of hard work and the importance of enjoying life.

Auerbach Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Commuter Students. According to Joanne, “Our happiness and success in life is in large part the result of values instilled in us by our families. We have chosen to include our alma maters in our estate plan to assist future students to reach their goals through a wellrounded education.” What will be “your” legacy? Consider an estate gift to establish a named fund at Gannon.

That is why the Auerbachs have included Gannon University in their estate plan. In the future their gift will establish the Joanne and Stephen

There are many different ways to include Gannon in your estate plan and numerous student and faculty projects that can be supported at the University. For more information, please call the Gannon University Advancement Office. Contact: Tony Fulgenzio, Executive Director of Philanthropy and Communications at (814) 871-7786. Or visit our website at




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Gannon Magazine August 2014  

The magazine for alumni and friends of Gannon University.

Gannon Magazine August 2014  

The magazine for alumni and friends of Gannon University.