Page 1

October 2013

Do You Believe in the Possibilities? #






from the


As we roll deeper into this Fall Semester, the momentum and enthusiasm continue to build across campus for what is shaping up to be another very successful year. Undergraduate enrollment reached its highest level in a decade, and total enrollment increased by nearly five percent from last year. The growing student body, faculty, staff and Erie community are closely watching the progress being made on the Recreation Center and field house construction. This physical transformation is one designed to support student and employee health, wellness and engagement and upcoming announcements of new creative academic ventures, and additional coinciding facility enhancements are keeping expectations high. We are truly blessed to be able to boldly move forward from a strong foundation built these past several years to support the success of our students even in these challenging times. None of this is an accident. It is the result of careful planning and decision making and gratifying dedication by faculty and staff to making Gannon University a vibrant, innovative and international campus.

Keith Taylor, Ph.D., president, and Luke King, Student Government Association president, help students unpack their cars and move into their new homes at Gannon during move-in day.

You will find illustrations of the great Gannon story in the pages that follow, and many more are on their way in the days to come. We are happy to share the good news through the lens of our evolving “Believe in the Possibilities” campaign. As always, our eyes are on future possibilities and the tremendous potential our faculty, alumni and students possess to inspire, achieve and believe in themselves and the great impact they can and will have on our world. We have great stories to tell because we have great people living and creating the stories of Gannon, past, present and future. As we continue to grow, we sharpen our focus on partnering with our students and our community in deep and meaningful learning and living, delivering on our Mission, and promise to ensure their and our dreams and possibilities become realities. We Believe in the possibilities—and hope you do too.

Keith Taylor, Ph.D., President

Keith Taylor, Ph.D. President Melanie Whaley ’95 Director for Marketing and Communications

John Chacona Media Marketing and Communications Writer Andrew Lapiska ’09M Creative Services Director


Vol. XXVIII, No. 1 • October 2013 Gannon University • 109 University Square Erie, Pennsylvania 16541 • (814) 871-7000

printing Knepper Press

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

John Chacona Michael Gorski ’10M Rick Klein ’84 Andrew Lapiska ’09M Tim Rohrbach

Gannon Magazine is published by the Office of Marketing and Communications at Gannon University. Gannon Magazine welcomes ideas for submissions; this is your magazine, after all. The reality of having a physical magazine is that there is only so much space we can devote to stories and photos, however worthy. So, please continue to let us know what you’d like to see in these pages, and we will do our very best to make sure that the most interesting material is published for your enjoyment.


Gannon Magazine October 2013

10 GU Possibilities

Introducing our new comprehensive marketing campaign, and the possibilities it represents.

12 Lead with Honor

2nd Lt. Kayla Holtz believed in her possibilities, and was honored as one of the top two senior Army ROTC cadets in the nation.

14 Learn Through Service

Occupational Therapy Professor Lynne Oberle turned a change in federal regulations into an opportunity to take Gannon’s message of learning and service abroad.

16 Inspire the Future


Gannon University and President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., welcomed more than 700 new undergraduates for the Fall 2013 Semester at New Student Convocation on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Hammermill Center. The additions bring the Gannon total enrollment in excess of 4,000 students. Twenty-one percent of the first-year class are members of the National Honor Society including 11 valedictorians. Students new to Gannon University this year come from 20 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and from 19 nations, including Jordan, Sierra Leone and Singapore. Pictured above are new students posing for the traditional P.R.O.M.I.S.E. photo along with Dr. Taylor and Victor E. Knight. The incoming class is asked to take the P.R.O.M.I.S.E. pledge, which promotes a unified community through Promoting Responsible Ongoing Management In Social Environments.

Education graduate Jason Keim takes his first-hand experience of inspiration into his classroom to inspire a new generation of learners.

18 Homecoming Reunion A wrap-up of the milestone event, told through photography.

20 Up For the Challenge

Jim Brunelli arrives to coach a Gannon women’s basketball team with a storied history and lofty goals. #



03 newsnotes - innovation Ground-breaking ideas and the Gannon people who make them happen

04 newsnotes - community Doing well while doing good, on campus and beyond

05 newsnotes - worldview News from the world of Gannon University and Gannon University in the world

06 newsnotes - faith & service Our Catholic Tradition at work in our backyard and around the world

22 facultyfocus Inspiring stories about the women and men who inspire our students

23 studentfocus Extraordinary stories about exceptional students

24 alumnifocus Gannon University alumni making a mark on their professions, communities and churches

25 alumnotes Catch up on all the latest news of the extended Gannon University family

08 newsnotes - alumni Around the world and through the years with our far-flung alumni

09 universityupdate Keeping you up-to-date with news from a dynamic campus

fromthearchives “Thieves Carnival” Do you know these men and women (and men dressed as women)? They were in the cast of Jean Anouilh's “Thieves Carnival,” staged at Gannon College in 1963.

Do you recognize the students pictured here? Email Bob Dobiesz in Gannon Archives at


gannon magazine

october 2013



High Performance Strength and flexibility are two main concerns of practitioners of sport and exercise science, and through the creation of two new graduate programs Gannon’s leadership in the health sciences continues to grow. The master’s in Athletic Training and Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Science programs increase the strength of the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences and provide interested students with the flexibility of choosing their academic path. For instance, the master’s in Athletic Training program is available as a 52-credit, two-year option or as an accelerated program, which will allow students to finish their undergraduate degree in three and a half years, and their master’s in five years. The Sport and Exercise Science degree is a 36-credit, one-year program that allows students to choose a thesis or non-thesis based option. There is also an internship option that allows students to gain a year of hands-on experience while working with one of Gannon University’s varsity athletic teams as a strength and conditioning coach. Both programs will use the new Human Performance Center that is being established as part of the modernization of Gannon’s

Kory Stauffer, Ph.D. instructs students on the proper use of athletic training equipment Recreation Center, which includes a motion analysis lab and a human performance and testing lab. “With the growth of the undergraduate program and the success that our students have had after leaving Gannon, we felt that it was only natural that we build upon our strengths and offer graduate level education right here at home,” said Assistant Professor Jason Willow, Ph.D., chairperson of the sport and exercise science program.

BIG Ideas Pay Off Clients from Gannon University’s Erie Technology Incubator (ETI) impressed the judges of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners BIG IDEA Business Plan Contest for Northwest Pennsylvania. Four of the six finalists were ETI clients and three finalists from ETI earned cash for their outstanding business plan presentations, including contest winner Advanced Power Control Solutions LLC (APCS). APCS, which provides technologies for coalfired power plants to burn on natural gas, received a $35,000 cash prize from Ben Franklin, six months of residency at the ETI and other business consulting services. Yong-Kyu Jung, Ph.D.; Tom Woodward (APCS Finalists who received $10,000 seed money included Adaptmicrosys and president); and Karen Rzepecki ’94 reCAP Mason Jars. Adaptmicrosys, whose president is Gannon University Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Yong-Kyu Jung, Ph.D., is a semiconductor company that makes smart-connected devices run more efficiently. Founded by 1994 Gannon alumna Karen Rzepecki, reCAP Mason Jars makes high-quality plastic caps for Mason jars and an app that caters to those interested in using Mason jars for creative uses. “We appreciate our partnership with Ben Franklin and are pleased to congratulate these outstanding entrepreneurs,” said ETI Executive Director Jeffrey Parnell, who was promoted after serving as the Incubator’s interim director from March to July. “These collaborations will not only help the companies, but also Gannon, the city of Erie, and the region.”





A Garden Grows on Seventh Street It’s almost a cliché to say that Gannon grows young scholars and cultivates a love of knowledge, but this summer the University also cultivated vegetables, greens and herbs.

“They came back and said, ‘We want a garden on campus,’ and we said, ‘We have a garden, but we have to move it,’” said Gretchen Fairley, director of service-learning.

It happened at Goodwill Gardens, a collaborative effort between inspired faculty members, the facilities department staff and volunteer labor coordinated by the service-learning department and the Gannon Goes Green Committee.

During the annual Day of Caring, a group of volunteers constructed raised gardens on the W. Seventh Street side of West Hall, a student residence hall.

The project started small, with a postage stamp-sized garden outside the Joe Luckey garage on W. Fourth Street. Then a group of students returned from an Alternative Break Service Trip to Detroit where they saw a burgeoning urban agriculture movement.

“We planted lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, tomato, pumpkins, tomatoes, herbs, onions, radishes, carrots, strawberries and cauliflower,” Fairley said. “We’ve been doing ‘Weeding and Watering Wednesdays’ that gather at 4:30, and neighbors, faculty, staff, some children of faculty members, and students come to help.”

Gannon students, faculty, staff and neighbors got their hands dirty planting, weeding and harvesting at Goodwill Gardens. The harvest will be donated to the food pantry at St. Patrick’s Church in Erie, which serves about 1,000 people a week.

On the GO This summer, the Gaining Options for College (GO College) program, a collaborative venture of the Erie School District, Gannon University and the GE Foundation, hosted a threeday conference that brought together federal and community agencies and educators from Erie and Louisville, Ky. Participants reviewed results of the national data-driven initiative that brings communities together to increase college access and success through academic enrichment, college exposure and service-learning. 4

gannon magazine

october 2013

Gannon's participation in the GO College program is facilitated by the University's Erie-Gannon Alliance to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability (Erie-GAINS) initiative and includes Gannon University Mentors (GUMs) who are helping to create opportunities for low-income, first-generation, and minority students at Erie's Strong Vincent High School.


worldview Visiting Academics From Abroad Gannon is proud to be hosting visiting academics with full financial support from foreign countries during the 2013-14 academic year. Zhong Hui, Ph.D., from China and Antonio Cardenas, Ph.D., from Mexico are conducting research and teaching classes in Gannon’s College of Engineering and Business. Zhong is in the electrical and computer engineering department and Cardenas is in mechanical engineering. “Gannon University values these collaborations,” said Carolynn Masters, Ph.D., R.N., Gannon's provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Giving our students access to experts from around the world will enhance their experience and we’re honored that they identified Gannon as a place to continue their work.”

Zhong Hui, Ph.D.

The Thai That Binds Timing is everything. Just ask Kathleen Kingston, Ph.D., Gannon’s newly appointed associate provost. While in Jordan for a conference, she received a phone call that led to a two-week project in Thailand, and the deepening of a relationship between a school in Hua Hin operated by the Salesian order and Gannon University. Armed with a passport and two free weeks on her busy schedule, she flew from Jordan to Thailand to take a look at the school. “I was living at the retreat house on the grounds of the school, and I thought this would be a great opportunity for the students,” Kingston said, “a perfect opportunity for culture and service.”

On her return, she wrote a proposal, had it approved through the Study Abroad Office, signed up seven students, and went to Thailand. For three weeks she taught English at Hua Hin Salesian School and provided training workshops for teachers in Thailand's Roman Catholic schools. She and the students were joined by Tim Hartigan, Ph.D., director of Gannon’s English as a Second Language program, who spent five years in Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer and a university English instructor. Each member of the Gannon contingent worked with two or three teachers for a one-week period to create a model for teaching English. The students, Kingston said, “could read and write in English, but couldn't understand if you spoke to them. So oral and communication skills were the targets.” Hartigan said, “I was very impressed with the respect that the students showed for Thai culture and the good questions they asked about it. Bridges are being built.” For an account of the service trip to Thailand, visit the students’ blog at

Gannon student Kara Sheldon (left) and Kathleen Kingston, Ph.D., ride an elephant in Thailand during a sightseeing trip. Gannon students at the Huahin Vitthayalai School in Hua Hin, Thailand, and teaching English in Catholic schools in Hua Hin.





Bishop Persico Celebrates First Anniversary Exactly one year after his ordination as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Erie, the Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, JCL was in the Board Room at Old Main. He wasn’t there as the chairperson of the Board, although he holds that position. Bishop Persico was attending a news conference announcing a new initiative to make attending Gannon University more affordable for students of Cathedral Preparatory School and Villa Maria Academy. It was a fitting occasion symbolically; for Bishop Persico is the embodiment of the family that is the Diocese of Erie. As Pennsylvania’s only Diocesan University, Gannon is a member of that family. The students, faculty and staff are grateful for the wise counsel and leadership of Bishop Persico and extends our best wishes to him on the occasion of his first year in Erie.

Bishop Persico (right) with Keith Taylor, Ph.D., president, Fr. Scott Jabo, president of Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria, and Carolynn Masters, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs

Catholic Thought and Action The election of Pope Francis focused all eyes on the Vatican for one of the most prominent news stories of 2013. For that part of the world that speaks English, the Holy See Press Office was a vital source of information, and the Rev. Thomas M. Rosica, CSB, deputy spokesperson in the Office, was a vital part of the process. Fr. Rosica’s front-row perspective on that world-changing event and on the ministry and message of Pope Francis were the subject of the Thomas J. and Mary H. Loftus Lecture on Catholic Thought and Action on Oct. 22, in the Yehl Room of the Waldron Campus Center.

Fr. Rosica (right) greets Pope Francis shortly after his election

Appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in 2009, Fr. Rosica also served as media attaché for the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican and is the CEO of Canada’s Salt + Light Catholic Media Foundation, a national organization committed to providing Catholics with the opportunity to connect with their Catholic beliefs and celebrate their faith. The Thomas J. and Mary H. Loftus Lecture on Catholic Thought and Action serves the Mission of Gannon University by providing new opportunities to promote the University’s commitment to the Catholic Intellectual Tradition as well as contribute to the learning experience of our students.


gannon magazine

october 2013

Led by the Spirit For years, the Opening Mass of the Holy Spirit was one of the traditions of the post-Labor Day calendar at Gannon. This year, however, the committee in charge of events for Preview GU, the four-day whirlwind of events for students new to the Gannon campus, had the idea that the Mass would be a perfect fit to the first-week festivities. So it was, as more than 300 students, faculty and staff crowded into a Yehl Room filled to capacity for an hour of fellowship and spirit. Rev. Nicholas Rouch, STD, ’83, a member of Gannon’s Board of Trustees and a former vice president of mission and ministry, was the celebrant and homilist, and in a nod to Gannon's international community, the general intercessions were read in French, Hindi, Mandarin and Russian.

The GIVE that Keeps On Giving How much good can one university community do in just three hours? When those three hours are during Gannon University’s GIVE (Gannon's Invitation to Volunteer Everywhere) Day, the answer is: quite a lot! GIVE Day, Saturday, Sept. 21, dawned cool and rainy in Erie, and that is nothing new. Neither is the enthusiastic response to the call for service. In Erie, 1,018 faculty, staff and student volunteers gathered for three hours of service, fellowship and good times at nearly 50 project sites throughout the city. Together they logged more than 3,000 hours of collective service. Kappa Delta Pi education honor society braved the rain to clean, weed and rake leaves at L’Arche Oasis on the city’s west side. Simultaneously in the same neighborhood, criminal justice students documented graffiti, broken streetlights and other neighborhood issues as part of a signature Erie-GAINS service-

Fr. Nicholas Rouch (left) celebrates the Opening Mass of the Holy Spirit. Senior Pre-medical/biology major Conor Grey (center) was part of the musical ensemble for the Mass. Junior biology major Shivali Singh (right) reads the an intercession in Hindi.

learning project directed by Christopher Magno, Ph.D. Gannon’s newest athletic team, acrobatics and tumbling, painted and decorated the walls of the daycare room at the YMCA of Greater Erie. In all, a record 12 athletic teams participated in GIVE Day this year, quite a feat on a fall Saturday when many teams are in competition. Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., was among the many volunteers at Erie’s East High School working to improve facilities for the Club Fit after-school program. However, this is just the Erie portion of the picture; GIVE Day is a national event. Fifty-six alumni also participated in GIVE Day volunteer activities in Atlanta, Ga.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Chicago, Ill.; Cleveland, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Harrisburg, Pa.; Newark, N.J.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Washington, D.C. Students (left and center) volunteer at East High School as part of the Club Fit after-school program; members of Gannon's acrobatics & tumbling team (right) paint a daycare center at the YMCA of Greater Erie.





Gold Standard: Knight Statue Installed A new statue representing Gannon University was installed at the entrance to Gannon Field on Sassafras Street The 8-foot-3-inch, 800-pound Golden Knight statue sculpted by Jon Hair was made possible by a gift from Irwin Belk, the retired executive of Belk Stores, the largest privately owned department store company in America. The Gannon University Class of 2013 also partnered in the funding of the project. The Golden Knight was first mentioned as Gannon's nickname in 1945 when basketball player and accounting major Dick Buseck ’46 wrote an article in the Gannon Mansion referring to the “Knights around Gannon.” The University selected the Golden Knight as its mascot because the Knight is “Always faithful, generous, brave and honorable.”

Timothy Flanagan, Ph.D. ’73

An Education Fit for a President Five of the eight Gannon University alumni who are college presidents were on the move this summer.

Belk, of Charlotte, N.C., is a patron of the arts and has commissioned numerous sculptures for educational institutions across the country, including several that Hair sculpted. Hair has fulfilled more than 80 major public art commissions. He has won six national and international competitions and has sculpted portraits of celebrities such as movie and television icon Dick Van Dyke and media mogul Ted Turner.

Timothy Flanagan, Ph.D. ’73, was appointed the 18th president of Illinois State University, after serving as the president of Framingham State University since 2006. Bradley Davis, J.D. ’97, had his yearlong interim tag removed and signed a threeyear contract as the president of West Valley College in Saratoga, Calif. Anthony DiGiorgio, Ph.D. ’63, retired after 24 years as the president of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.; William J. Pepicello, Ph.D. ’70, announced his retirement as president of the University of Phoenix after 20 years with the school, seven as president; and David Szczerbacki, Ph.D. ’73, stepped down as president of the College of Saint Rose. The three others include Thomas J. Gamble, Ph.D. ’72 (Mercyhurst University), Ronald J. Volpe, Ph.D. ’67 (Hood College), and Lou Agnese ’74M (University of the Incarnate Word).


gannon magazine

october 2013

The new Golden Knight statue guards the entrance to Gannon University Field (left). The Knight's squires from the physical plant crew ease him into position (top right). Sculptor Jon Hair accepts the gratitude of the Gannon community from Dr. Taylor (bottom right).

universityupdate A New Deans List The future leadership of Gannon University’s three academic Colleges is now in place with the selection of two new deans, and changes in departmental leadership. In May, Steven A. Mauro, Ph.D., became the dean of the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences and William L. (W.L.) Scheller II, Ph.D., accepted the position of dean of the College of Engineering and Business. The two new deans join Linda M. Fleming, Ph.D., who is dean of the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Mauro held dual faculty appointments at both the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York and at Mercyhurst University. Mauro was also a NIH Ruth Kirchstein Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., from 2003-05. Mauro has a strong faculty research background and a successful grant procurement record. Scheller was the department head of industrial and manufacturing engineering and interim department head of business at Kettering University in Flint, Mich. Scheller brings a wealth of experience in both the engineering and business sectors through his work in developing collaborative academic programs, formation of meaningful industry partners, and a strong record of engagement within the community. There is also new leadership in the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences with Sarah Ewing, Ph.D., selected by unanimous vote to serve as chair of the biology department and Lisa Nogaj, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, accepting the position of pre-professional program director. Ewing joined Gannon in Fall 2009 as assistant professor and director of the College's preprofessional programs, and was selected as the inaugural recipient of Gannon University's Research Initiation Award funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE grant to promote women in the STEM disciplines. Nogaj joined Gannon in Fall 2010 after having previously held a faculty position at Southern Connecticut State University. She has been actively involved in mentoring undergraduate students in research, additionally serving as the lead faculty on a recent NSF grant submission to support high school outreach programs in nanotechnology.

Steven A. Mauro, Ph.D. (top), William L. (W.L.) Scheller II, Ph.D. (bottom)

Stay Up-to-Date with Gannon If you want to keep up with what's happening at Gannon between issues of the Magazine, visit the Newsworthy page at or the Gannon Alumni website at You'll find stories about the people, programs and possibilities that are happening right now.

For the most recent Gannon news, visit #




gannon magazine

october 2013


SIBILITIES How do you express the soul of a place that is as large, varied and complex as Gannon University? It helps to personify the institution, to imagine the University as a person and to ask what sort of language—visual and verbal—this person would use, and what sort of qualities this person would embody. Here at Gannon, we hear about qualities like community, caring, achievement and high standards, a constellation of attributes that, taken together, trace the outline of what Gannon University means. These are the ingredients—the stars, really—of a comprehensive new marketing campaign. Embodied by our students, faculty and alumni we have so much to talk about when we talk about the soul of Gannon University. It’s a belief, a belief in a better world and in our capacity to bring that world into being. Possibility is the soul of Gannon University.


Kayla Holtz ’13 Alumna, Physician Assistant Program



The oath taken by U.S. Army officers at the time of their commissioning was approved by Act of Congress 29 in September 1789, and has changed very little since that time. The manner in which the oath has been administered, however, has changed a lot. Just ask 2nd Lt. Kayla (Amsler) Holtz ’13. Holtz, who is continuing her education in Gannon’s five-year physician assistant Master’s program, was commissioned as a U.S. Army officer at Commencement in May by Capt. Payton Holtz, via Skype, the internet video telephone service.

An officer has to administer the oath, and Amsler selected Capt. Holtz, who was then her fiancé, but he was sent into the field in Afghanistan for his third deployment.


gannon magazine

october 2013


“I mentioned it to Col. Nadig [professor of military science and commander of Gannon’s “Pride of Pa.” ROTC Battalion], and he was all for it,” Holtz recalls.

The connection was made, and in the middle of an Afghan afternoon in the field with 1st Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, Holtz administered the oath to his fiancée. “I had 30 family and friends to view the ceremony, and you could hear people crying when he came on the screen,” she says. “I knew I couldn't look up from my computer because I would be crying, too. It was one of the coolest things I've ever done.” She should know, because Holtz has made a career of doing cool things in her time at Gannon.

To be eligible for consideration, female cadets must be seniors who will graduate and be commissioned within the academic year; be in the top 50 percent of their class academically; have successfully completed the Leader Development Assessment Course or the Nurse Summer Training Program; and embody the “traditions of service, patriotism and loyalty so much a part of the contribution of Army women past and present,” as the rubric states. Holtz was ranked in the top 10 percent of her class. She was also the Cadet Battalion Commander for Gannon's Army ROTC program—which is one of the top eight Army ROTC programs nationwide. She was also the winner of this year's MacArthur Award, Gannon's winner of the George C. Marshall Leadership Award, and ranked No. 71 on Army ROTC's national order of merit list, a ranking of all the senior cadets nationwide (almost 5,600). That’s a distinguished list of accomplishments for an ROTC cadet, but Holtz is now a commissioned officer. Does she feel as though anything has changed? “I do,” she says with the taciturn matter-of-factness of a career military officer. “I do feel different. A lot of people back home know I graduated, and even though I'll be staying on campus, it feels as though one chapter of my life has closed and another one has begun.”


One of the most notable came earlier this year when Holtz was honored by the Women's Army Corps Veterans' Association with the Pallas Athene Award as one of the top two senior Army ROTC woman cadets in the nation.


Student, Communication Arts Student-Athlete

Supportive Community There’s no homesickness for Gannon students like Tashawn Sneed. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Gannon’s programs, faculty and staff nurture students who are pursuing college life far from home. “It’s a refreshing feeling,” Sneed says. “The support I get here at Gannon is as if I were at home. They create a family atmosphere that helps me thrive as a student.” Sneed, a communication arts major from Brooklyn, N.Y., is a member of the Golden Knights football team; but that’s not his only Gannon family. His coaches, his advisors, his professors and his residence hall directors all communicate with one another to offer guidance to students.

JORDAN RICKAN ’12,’13M Alumna, 5-Year MBA Program

Internship to a Career Gannon students are enabled to fast-track their careers thanks to internships like the one Jordan Rickan completed at nearby Erie Insurance. Top employers rely on Gannon students, and Gannon students rely on the University’s reputation and resources to access these internships. Rickan majored in risk management, finishing both her bachelor’s degree and her MBA within five years. She already had a job at GEICO waiting for her after graduation where she entered the company’s Emerging Leaders program.

If history is any guide, it will be another distinguished chapter in an extraordinary career.



Lynne Oberle Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy Program



Sometimes restrictions bring about opportunities. Take the case of federal Health Information and Patient Privacy Act (HIPPA) regulations and other recent Federal guidelines. Though they were enacted to protect patient privacy, the regulations prohibit fourth-year and senior physical therapy students from gaining hands-on experience with patients and limit them to observing. Lynne Oberle, assistant professor of physical therapy, didn’t feel that the new regulations met student needs, so she devised a service-learning trip to Ecuador last spring that was an unintentionally rich cultural immersion project, as well as a concentrated technical learning experience for the nine students involved.


gannon magazine

october 2013

It was not a lavish place. Equipment was scarce, the facilities spartan. The challenges were many. “We had only one student who knew a bit of Spanish, and nobody at the camp spoke English,” Oberle said.


Oberle’s classroom was Camp Hope, a facility for developmentally disabled orphan children an hour’s bus ride from Quito, Ecuador.

The needs of the children were equally acute. “I was told that most of the kids were ‘dumpster babies’— dumped in construction excavations,” said Allison Blakely, one of the students on the trip. “In their culture, having a disability is not acceptable. Most are babies, from six months to a year old, and their deficits are just starting to show. They don't have the income or the services to support them.” Into this breach stepped Oberle, her students and Paul Lavery, an occupational therapist from Erie’s Shriners Hospital. The results were inspiring.

ZAK KOSKO Student, Criminal Justice Program

Uncover the Truth

Putting into practice what you learned in college can be challenging. But when Gannon University criminal justice students like Zak Kosko embark on their careers, they’ll have an edge on others entering the field. Kosko can confer with Gannon faculty including former FBI agent Jerry Clark. Kosko also obtains hands-on experience with mock crime scene investigation tactics, firearm simulators, surveillance, forensics and fingerprinting. He can also take innovative elective courses such as crime mapping, terrorism, gangs and victimology.

“We did wheelchair evaluations and fittings, feeding evals, and taught the staff how to feed kids safely,” Oberle says. “We revised the programming and taught new techniques.”


Blakely was instrumental in one of these techniques. A former student at the Cleveland Institute of Art, she led the creation of a sensory integration room. “It's a space to help children cope with things they easily get overwhelmed by—the sun, noise, anything. I was sort of the art director of the project, so I painted a mural. I wanted cool colors, so we painted one wall navy blue with constellations. On the other wall, there were waves and dolphins, and we put in a blue light that calmed it more. We found things around the orphanage that we made objects out of—and we did this within 36 hours, start to finish.” Working with the children at the day camp was incredibly rewarding, Oberle says, but it was not the most memorable part of the one-week stay. For her, that came after the children returned to the orphanage for the evening. “Every night from 8-10, we'd sit on the veranda and have classroom time, discussing different evals that we used—muscle tone, feeding protocols—anything pertinent to GU students in what they saw and did that day. It was amazing to see how my students could process all this information and the hands-on techniques they'd been taught. It was taking book knowledge and putting it into practice.”

LAUREN MYRICK ’11 Alumna, History and International Business Programs Contract Analyst, Project Manager, General Electric

Transform Your Degree Lauren Myrick acquired leadership skills at Gannon that she’s using in her job as a contract analyst/project manager at General Electric in Erie. With her history and international business degrees she’s able to understand the past and apply it to the present. Brian Rich, CPP, the director of global security at GE, said, “What Lauren was exposed to at Gannon is exactly what we look for in a GE leader.”

It was also establishing a precedent. Oberle, who is incorporating her experiences in her doctoral dissertation, is planning a return trip to Ecuador next spring. “It was fabulous, and the people were beautiful,” Oberle beamed. “I saw Gannon University students who displayed some advanced leadership skills. They were very good at collaborating.”



Jason Keim '13 Alumnus, Education Program



In preparing for a role, some actors deeply consider the motivation of the character they are about to play. When Jason Keim ’13 walked onto the set of a commercial for Gannon University’s new “Believe In the Possibilities” advertising campaign, he knew instantly what it was about. “When I was filming the commercial, I was handed the card and it said ‘Inspire the Future,’ and that hit me,” Keim said. “I thought, ‘I’m there. I’m Mr. Keim, I have a class. I did so much work for four years at Gannon, and [because] teaching is inspiring kids for the future, I’m there.’”


gannon magazine

october 2013


Keim is in his first semester as a teacher in the Millcreek School District where he was once a student. He is indeed “there,” but the path he took was not always easy. When Keim was 10 years old, his father had a stroke that left him physically disabled.

“He couldn’t drive, he lost his job, he had vision problems.” Keim says. “It was hard on me, but all my teachers rallied around me to help me and my brother succeed in school. I saw all these people helping [us], so I knew I wanted to help people, and I think it's important to be a role model as a teacher.” When Keim graduated from McDowell High School in 2009 he enrolled at John Carroll University in Cleveland, in part because of an athletic opportunity there. His father’s health worsened and after one semester Keim transferred to Gannon. “Gannon University was the only program in the area that has special education and math. I didn't want to do elementary special education, but I was interested in middle school/ secondary age special education, and Gannon really made me believe in the possibility of being a teacher because it helped me to be a teacher quickly,” he says.


For Keim, the culmination of his experience was student teaching at J.S. Wilson Middle School in Millcreek where he had once been a student. “The high point was getting to the end of student teaching and being asked to give a speech about the importance of education at the award ceremony at the end of the year,” he says. “I got Spring Student Teacher of the Year. So even though my dad passed away when I was a college sophomore, I knew that I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish.” He credits his teachers at Gannon with much of his success. “The best part of the [education] program was the staff, all teachers with field experience, and that helped a lot,” he says. “There are some amazing professors at Gannon. Janice Whiteman really makes the education program run and work. She's outstanding. Dr. [Leighann] Forbes has so much passion for teaching. Through an internship, I got to go to a state conference, and that was important to me. “But just as important as academics are the intangibles, like persevering. So even if you don’t see an equation for the rest of your life, you need to persevere, meet deadlines and get to work on time. And inspiring the future was massive for me in the ability to be a role model.”

GREG ANDRASO, PH.D. Professor, Biology Department

Learn Outside the Classroom The way that Gannon professors can personalize students’ research inspires possibilities. For biology professor Greg Andraso, Ph.D., that means teaching students in a variety of ways, not just in the classroom, but also in laboratories and in the field. He takes students on the Environaut, a 53-foot vessel owned by Gannon, where they can conduct research on ecological issues like the effects algae has on public beaches.

JEN PAPICH Student, Mechanical Engineering Program Student-Athlete

Excel in Athletics and Academics Senior mechanical engineering major Jen Papich is an all-star in the classroom and on the basketball court. That’s why she chose Gannon to achieve the possibility of excelling in academics and athletics. She was the leading scorer for the nationally ranked Lady Knights during their run to the Elite Eight in 2013, all while achieving Capital One Academic All-District honors, among other academic awards.

And he’s just getting started.



HOMECOMINGREUNION Photos courtesy of Rick Klein '84 Photography








gannon magazine

october 2013





Homecoming Reunion Weekend October 10-12, 2014!





1. Danielle (Sterbank) Myers '04 gets her face painted in anticipation of the Homecoming football game. 2. Villa Maria College alumnae show off their early bird scarves at registration. 3. Members of Gannon's Greek community perform during the Homecoming parade. 4. Gannon mascot Victor E. Knight joins fans at the Alumni Tailgate in the Knight Club before the game. 5. 2013 Distinguished Alumni award recipients. 6. The Villa Maria College alumnae gather for a group photo at the High Tea in Old Main. 7. The Gannon Golden Knight Football team gets pumped up before the football game. 8. Gannon and Villa Maria College classes of 1963 after receiving their Heritage Society Medallions at the 50th Reunion Dinner. The group danced the night away with live music performed by “The 4 Jays.” 9. Gannon students show their school spirit in front of the Golden Knight Statue. 10. Students Patrice Swick, Meredith Gursky and Natalie Pertz celebrate at the Center for Social Concerns' 25th Anniversary Reception. 11. Victor E. Knight leads the Gannon gameday cheerleaders in the Homecoming parade. 12. Candace Battles ’93 gets down on the dance floor with James Jeffries at the African American Alumni Reunion in the Knight Club. For more photos, or to order your own prints from the weekend, visit!





gannon magazine

october 2013

Consider the facts. Brunelli inherits a Gannon University women’s basketball team that went 31-5 last season, advancing to the Elite Eight in San Antonio. The team’s last loss was to the eventual national champion, Ashland University. Twelve of the 13 players on that team return, including all five starters.

Photo Courtesy of Richard Shiro and Anderson University

So the cupboard is not exactly bare. But with so much returning talent, such a tradition of success and with Gannon hosting the Elite Eight at the Erie Insurance Arena next March, much is expected of Brunelli’s Lady Knights. And just to up the ante, the squad will open the season with an exhibition game on the road against the University of Connecticut, the defending national champion—in Division I. Clearly, Brunelli doesn’t mind a challenge, and he’s been in this position before. In 2008, he inherited an Anderson University (S.C.) team that went 28-4 in the previous year and won 79 games in the three seasons preceding his first year. With only seven players returning, Brunelli led the Lady Trojans to the quarterfinals of the 2009 NCAA Division II Southeast Region Tournament, and three NCAA Tournament appearances in his five years there. Is this starting to sound familiar? “Every coach’s goal is to win a national championship, and I think the leadership is here at Gannon and they're committed to excellence on the court and in the classroom,” Brunelli says of his goals at Gannon. “I heard about what a great job this was. The icing on the cake was that this is back home. My family and I haven’t been back in Pennsylvania in 13 years.” Brunelli is a native of Force, Pa., in Elk County, between St. Mary’s and DuBois, and his roots in the area—and the area’s basketball tradition—run deep. He played and coached at PSAC rival Clarion University where he counts as friends and mentors Dr. Dick Taylor, Ron Righter and Margaret “Gie” Parsons, who is one of a

select number of Division II coaches with 400 career victories. So, what kind of coach will Brunelli be?

He's very outgoing, motivating and energetic and really loves teaching the game of basketball which creates so much excitement for this upcoming season.”

“I believe I’m a player’s coach, and what I mean is that I’m a people person,” he says. “I’ve always been a good recruiter, and I think I’m a defensive coach, too, but I’m a very passionate person, very excitable, and I want a team that’s going to be that way. Obviously Coach [Cleve] Wright did an amazing job here, and we’re going to try to build on that and make it better.”

One of the ways he plans to do that is by taking on Division I teams, and Brunelli set the bar high with UConn.

His players are ready. Brittany Batts, a junior guard, says, “Playing for Coach Brunelli is very exciting and I can't wait to continue learning everything he has to offer on and off the basketball court.

And it will be only one of the many challenges happily faced by Jim Brunelli and a Gannon Lady Knights team that has demonstrated that they are up for any challenge.

“I’ve always told my teams that we’ll play teams that are bigger and better than us, and this is the best team in women’s basketball. It’ll be a great experience,” Brunelli says.

Hosted by Gannon University Erie Insurance Arena March 25, 26 & 28, 2014 Tickets on sale now! #


Frank Garland


Frank Garland, Gannon’s director of journalism and communications program, published his first book this year, “Willie Stargell; A Life in Baseball,” honoring the late Pittsburgh Pirate and baseball hall of famer. The multiple stories throughout the book vividly depict Stargell’s life on and off the baseball field. Garland conceived his first book idea while meandering through the Baseball Hall of Fame bookstore with his son, where he came across Stargell’s autobiography. However, there were no additional books, which got Garland’s gears turning. In 2007, Garland, a 12-year sports writer, instinctually began making phone calls, delving through old newspaper and magazine clippings and researching court files until his book was sent to the publisher in 2012.


gannon magazine

october 2013

“I’ve been a sports writer since graduating college. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” said Garland. The Pittsburgh native conducted over 80 interviews with Stargell’s children, friends, ex-wives, teammates and opposing players. The five-year process was routinely put on hold during Garland’s return to teaching however. His involvement at Gannon and focus on his students overcame his drive to continue writing his book. Garland’s inner sports fanatic was on cloud nine during interviews with influential baseball personas such as Chuck Tanner, Steve Blass, Hank Aaron and Joe Morgan. He said he learned that Stargell “wasn’t perfect, but he was perfectly human” through interviews with several of his unrelated children and one of his wives. The sentiment of the interviewees distinctly came across through each story of Stargell’s influence

on baseball, racial issues and awareness for sickle cell anemia. During his interview process, Garland came across the purpose for his book. He was confronted with deaths of some which he interviewed, and realized his work held a larger significance. The stories he was retelling are now a service to the sports world to preserve the name and legend of Willie Stargell, so that those who recognize the player’s importance will have a reference to his life. “Willie Stargell; A Life in Baseball” is available to purchase online at and at the Gannon University Bookstore.

Education B.A. San Francisco State University M.S. West Virginia University Title Instructor, English Department Advisor, The Gannon Knight Hobbies Sports, Writing, Listening to Music

studentfocus Luke King

That Luke King should have the work ethic of a farmer should come as no surprise. King is one of 10 brothers and a sister who, along with their mom, run Freedom Farms, 200 acres of center-cut America in Butler County, Pennsylvania. The appetite for hard work has not only served King well, it’s hard to imagine how he could sustain his busy campus life without it. Consider that King is a senior premedicine/biology major. He’s also the 201314 Student Government Association (SGA) president. Yet somehow, he finds time for an independent research project that could someday help older people recover use of their hands. King is studying cell conformation for myoblasts fibroblasts, which in older persons can lead to the fingers curling inward, limiting their range of motion. “This research is the first of its kind in the region, and I had to do a lot of in-depth research just to get it started,” King says. “I had done directed research under a professor, but I wanted to do my own research.”

“I went on the Alternative Break Service Trip to Haiti in 2012, and I now know not only that I want to go into medicine, but into public health,” King says.

Through his work on SGA, King was told of an SGA Special Projects Fund, available to students who want to improve their leadership skills.

The experience so impressed King that he has spearheaded an effort to create a framework by which others can have the same transformative experience.

“Angela [Coustillac, 2012-13 SGA president] urged me to apply, and though I was looking for $1,500, the award was for twice that amount,” King says.

He calls it SEA (Students Engaged Abroad). It’s an annual trip for 10 to 12 students who travel to a destination they choose, study a topic and do a poster presentation at Celebrate Gannon.

King also makes time in his busy schedule for service projects. “The Center for Social Concerns was my home away from home,” he says. “I love every person in that department.” King also acknowledges the catalytic effect that service can have on an academic career.

“I'm paying my way as the student leader,” King adds. “We hope to make this an SGA priority. I'm excited to see how this develops in the next few years.” For Luke King, though, the next few years will be spent in medical school. But given his busy schedule this year, medical school just might seem like a vacation. Year Senior

“SGA finds a faculty member to lead the trip, helps the students build an agenda and facilitates the project,” King says.

Position Student Government Association, President

The first such SEA experience will be next spring, with a trip to Rome where students will study architecture.

Major Pre-Medicine/Biology

Hometown Mars, Pennsylvania



Luke Marusiak ’84

alumnifocus Imagine being fresh out of college, in the Army and stationed in a foreign country. The only English-speaking voices are the ones narrating your regimented existence. There, an unlikely voice developed. Luke Marusiak ’84 began to read books inspired by humanities courses he took as part of his liberal arts education at Gannon University. Despite holding a degree in electrical engineering, Marusiak began internalizing the stories that two decades later would be put on the pages of a series of novels he authored called the “Good Fight Series.” “In the Army I was signal corps; we logged everything,” Marusiak says. “The more you logged, the more you realized the conciseness that made things. It also gave you the idea that there was this sweep of stories and history that you could catch and you could catch someone’s mood by what they put down. That’s when I began to think of [writing novels].” His eagerness to write intensified after his deployment to Iraq as a member of the 1st Infantry Division during the Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm. “I thought someone should write this down,” Marusiak says. “So I worked at it, for many, many years of producing things that I wasn’t happy with until finally in 2011, I launched my first book.” Not all of his novels are about his time in the Army. He also drew inspiration from growing up in western Pennsylvania and working as an executive at companies that produce semiconductors, hard drive media and vacuum chamber systems in California’s Silicon Valley, where Marusiak still works and resides today. “It is a bit of a leap to think that an engineer could write novels,” Marusiak admits when someone once asked. “I said I’m more than an engineer; I’ve done more than just that.” Marusiak wrote about a college in Erie, inspired by Gannon but he called it “Winston College” as a proxy. “Although I didn’t know it when I was here, my experience at Gannon left such a deep impression that I couldn’t write about that era without writing about Erie and a small Catholic-affiliated college and all those experiences,” he adds. His first three novels, “Marx & Ford,” “Loud & Clear,” and “Fear & Hope,” are available on and, and he plans to write three more as part of his series. 24

gannon magazine

october 2013

alumnotes RICHARD “DIK” L. VENABLE and his wife, Mary Ruth (Huegel), celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary on June 21, 2013. Dik is a veteran of both World War II and Korea and is a retired management employee of GTE/Verizon and lastly from Home Depot in a second career. Dik and Mary live in Lakeland, Fla.


ANTHONY J. DIGIORGIO, JR., PH.D., retired as president of Winthrop University after nearly 24 years of service. Over those 24 years he has awarded more than 26,000 degrees to students; given 41 honorary degrees; presided over 71 graduation ceremonies; led the University to 100 percent national accreditation; and guided more than $58 million in capital construction projects. DANIEL A. NAWROCKI and his wife, Janet, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 8, 2013. Daniel taught junior high and high school chemistry, and later served as a guidance counselor in the Erie School District until his retirement in 1996. RONALD F. ZIEZIULA, M.D., and his wife, Judy, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 8, 2013.


SISTER MARY H. FORNEY, S.S.J. VMC, was recognized for her five-year ministry at Gallagher Center Alzheimer's Unit at St. Mary's East in 2012 and she also volunteers at St. Mary's Asbury in Erie.


THOMAS M. CONDRASKY has recently retired from Merck after 43 years in the pharmaceutical business. His cousin, Lauren Condrasky, will begin her education at Gannon in the physician assistants program this fall, exactly 50 years after Thomas enrolled in 1963.


MARILYN V. (BLESSEL) SECCO VMC recently completed her first book, Front Porch Tales, a collection of short stories celebrating the joys and trials of everyday life.


ROBERT W. MCGEE, PH.D., is the North Carolina State Taekwondo Champion in the 60-99 year-old age category.


MARGARET A. “PEGGY” DOHENY, PH.D. VMC, was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing on Oct. 19, in Washington, D.C. Doheny is professor emeritus who was on the Kent State University College of Nursing faculty for 35 years. She is a member of the American Nursing Association and Ohio Nursing Association. She has been recognized for her research and leadership by the Delta Xi chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, Daughters of the American Revolution and the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses. Doheny's area of research is osteoporosis, and she has received numerous grants and has completed numerous publications and presentations based on her research. THOMAS A. SMITH, CPA, recently retired from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency as Director of the National Finance Center in Indianapolis. Upon graduating from Gannon, he began his career with the Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C., and later served as an audit manager for the Department of the Treasury Office of the Inspector General, before moving to Indianapolis.




MICHAEL F. CHEVALIER '75M recently received the Special Recognition Award from the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania for “Dedicated Education and Training Programs helping Pennsylvania providers, problem gamblers and their families find the best in recovery.” Chevalier is president of Preferred Systems, Inc., which provides training throughout Pennsylvania for Compulsive Gambling Counselor Certification and Gambling Prevention Program within Erie County. TIMOTHY J. FLANAGAN, PH.D., will be stepping down as the president of Framingham State University to begin as the new president at Illinois State University beginning in the fall of 2013.


GEORGE J. DANIAL, D.O., has received his C.M.D. (Certified Medical Director) professional designation. DAWN C. (COBURN) JOY, R.N. VMC, has been granted Lumina Leader Accreditation. Joy is president of Coburn Consulting and Resources, a consulting firm that specializes in individual, group and organization performance.


PAUL J. STADLER, D.D.S., is celebrating the 25th year of his private practice dental office in Shewsbury, Pa.

a son, Jack D. Lloyd (born March 22, 2013) to Brandon E. '98 and Sherri L. (Turner) Lloyd '98, PA-C. Jack joins older sisters, Mary, 7, and Addie, 4.

a son, Maddex James Osorio (born May 2, 2013) to Ryan F. Osorio '99 and his wife, Christina. Maddex joins older brother, Tanner Francisco Osorio, 4. a son, Lindon Robert Takoch (born on April 25, 2013) to Tara M. Takoch '03 and her husband, Seth. #



EARL J. KOON '79M has been nominated for re-election as a director of the Northwestern REC (Rural Electric Cooperative) Board of Directors.


GARY J. BROZEK is among the candidates running for an open seat on the Norwin School Board. WILLIAM A. YANICKO, PA-C, was inducted as a member of the Deer Lakes Distinguished Alumni Class of 2013. Yanicko currently owns SiwickiYanicko Funeral Home and Taylor Supplies, a funeral director supply printing and advertising specialist company, and is a licensed insurance agent.

A Message from Gannon University Alumni Association President, Scott M. Krall ’84 Gannon’s National Alumni Board and the Office of Alumni Services have faced an exciting time of change this summer. On July 1, Cathy Fresch stepped down as director of alumni services after 15 years in the position and stepped into a new role as director of development within the division of University Advancement. Tracy Lyons, who has been with the alumni office for over five years, has assumed the role of director of alumni services. Erin Sekerak ’04 has been promoted to associate director.


REV. MICHAEL P. ALLISON '04M has been named president of the Shenango Valley Catholic School System, which includes Kennedy Catholic High School, Kennedy Catholic Middle School and Blessed John Paul II Elementary School.

Cathy has been instrumental to the Alumni Association over the years through her efforts to foster relationships with, and among, alumni. She has assisted and supported the National Alumni Board thorough development of our strategic initiatives to engage all alumni and promote University traditions to current and potential students. We look forward to continuing to build those relationships as we move the Alumni Association to the next level with Tracy and Erin.

ERIC D. ROLL, PH.D., has been elected a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Roll works at KMT Waterjet Systems in Baxter Springs, Kan., where he engineers industrial pumps that operate at pressures up to 100,000 psi.

The success of the National Alumni Board is due to the dedicated support of our alumni. This school year brings many opportunities to engage with your alma mater and with each other, from regional events like GIVE Day to a new student mentoring program. Our alumni volunteers are the heart and soul of the Alumni Association, giving selflessly of their time, energy and expertise to support the advancement of Gannon University.


The Alumni Association paid tribute to the 2013 Distinguished Alumni during Homecoming weekend Oct. 4. The awardees included Gregory F. Reed, Ph.D. ’85, Kevin P Sullivan ’87, Antoinette Spevetz, M.D. ’83, Andrew C. Rapp ’95 and Monsignor James E. Sanner ’53. We are inspired, moved and motivated to action by our honorees, who are accomplished in their field and communities which exemplifies the Gannon mission.

SUZANNE (SHIMMONS) PREVOST, PH.D. VMC, has been named the dean of The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing.


JAMES A. SWORDS has been hired as the new human resources director for Lewis County and the Lewis County General Hospital. James served as chief of Fort Drum's military personnel division and director of human resources following his military retirement in July 2009.


REV. JOHN P. TRIGILIO, JR., PH.D, Th.D., celebrated his silver anniversary (25 years) of priesthood on May 14 with a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick, Harrisburg, Pa. Twenty priests and deacons along with 700 of the faithful attended the Mass and subsequent reception. His Eminence Archbishop William Skurla of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh concelebrated.

JEFFREY A. WISNIEWSKI was named Chamber Volunteer of the Year by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce for 2012. Wisniewski currently serves on the chamber's legislative policy council, is a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand Class 31 and sits on the LGS board of regents. Wisniewski has founded and organized numerous golf tournaments benefiting children with special needs, shelter animals, hospitality education scholarships and everything in between. Wisniewski is also a director with Carolina Improv Company.



THOMAS W. BRENNAN has been named chief marketing officer of the Erie Federal Credit Union. In his new role, Thomas will oversee all marketing strategy, advertising, brand management and community outreach for the credit union.


gannon magazine

october 2013

CHRISTINE KORCINSKY, CPA, recently joined Penn State Erie, The Behrend College as a parttime evening lecturer of accounting. Korcinsky is a business, computer, and information technology teacher and department chair at McDowell High School in Erie.

JO ANN PALCHAK, J.D., was named among the 2013 “Leaders in Law” by the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. Palchak is an associate in the Tampa office of the law firm of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP.


BETH A. (FIEL) HEROLD has been appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett to the Pennsylvania Alzheimer's Disease State Planning Committee. The 17-member committee will work to create a plan to address the growing Alzheimer's crisis in the state. Herold is the director of Butler County's Area Agency on Aging.

KIMBERLY (WASHOK) JONES has been promoted to director of the Stormwater Management Division for the town of Bluffton, S.C. Her duties will include overseeing the town's programs to protect the May River. Jones graduated from Gannon University with a bachelor of science in biology and went on to earn a master's in biology and ecology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Jones previously served as the town's water quality program manager.



DENISE (GOLINO) KITCHEN has joined Morris Coupling Company as the human resources manager.

MARK E. MUENZER has been appointed director of Community Development for Evanston, Ill. Muenzer has been zoning board of appeals manager in Chicago's Department of Housing and Economic Development since 2011.


JOHN K. FINNERTY has been appointed to the new position of state reporter for CNHI (Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.) newspapers, including the Meadville Tribune, New Castle News, Sharon Herald, Danville News and Sunbury Daily Item. BRIAN T. FULLER was named assistant principal of McDowell High School in June 2013. Fuller had previously served as the school's director of athletics.

in memoriam

KIRAN K. RAJASENAN, M.D., has been selected as a Top Doc in Pittsburgh Magazine for 2013. Dr. Rajasenan is a medical oncologist practicing at UPMC.

ERIC G. LAPRICE, M.S. '97C '99M, has accepted an offer to do a 120-day detail as the acting district ranger for the Townsend Ranger District of the Helena/Lewis & Clark National Forest in Montana. Laprice is currently the NEPA Planner and Safety Manager with the U.S. Forest Service at the Red Rock Ranger District in Sedona, Ariz.


IVAN J. MULLIGAN, PH.D. '95M, was named a co-recipient of the Gerald & Helen Swatsworth Faculty Award from St. Francis University. Dr. Mulligan is an associate professor of physical therapy.

ELAINE A. MARTYN has been named as vice president of Development for Global Fund for Women. TROY L. NESMITH was among the 2013 inductees to the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame. He is one of the leading scorers in Gannon men's basketball history, and went on to a successful professional career in Europe.


AARON M. GARRITY '07M won the Highmark Quad Games bike race for the third straight year and became the winningest male cyclist in Quad history, taking his fifth bike title. LISA (WOZNEAK) TO '01M has been appointed as the new executive director of Hospice of Warren County.



THOMAS R. PUCKETT was a finalist in the Buffalo Excellence in Media Awards for Radio Personality of the Year.

MEGAN V. (HARTMAN) BARTON started a new position as a QA analyst at Brand Networks in Rochester, N.Y., in July 2013.


NICOLE M. CARROLL, D.O., completed her family practice residency at Clarion Hospital in June 2012 and is currently a family practice physician at Marianne Family Practice in Shippenville, Pa.

CARL R. HOEGERL, D.O., M.Sc., has accepted a position of chair of medicine at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Lynchburg, Va.

ADAM J. MOOK '05M is the compliance department manager with Logistics Plus, Inc.

BRADLEY J. DAVIS has been named as the new president of West Valley College. Davis has served as the interim president since June 2012.

Parents and Friends

Alumni Edward L. Arrington ’70 Melanie Hoh Bard ’59VMC Robert K. Bartlett ’50 Margaret Tarr Bender ’59VMC Americo Berarducci ’52 Mary J. Bova ’89VMC John A. Brugger ’48 Charles J. Burgoyne ’54 Marilynn Buel Burns ’64VMC Mary S. Butera ’64VMC Donald R. Chrzanowski ’74 Frank N. Comito ’60 Judith Jetter Crane ’63VMC Michael F. Eisert ’69 Kevin M. Ellis ’73 Lynn Rainsford Finegan ’76 Thomas V. Getchell, Ph.D. ’63 Brian Glowacki, Esq. ’80 David R. Gorndt ’73 Elizabeth F. Hain ’64VMC Raymond J. Hancock ’49


Wayne E. Hughes ’56 David P. Kahl ’59 Deborah Harvey Lewis ’05 Victor J. Luszcz ’69 Albin A. Malys ’60 Kathleen Longhine Meme ’73VMC ,’75M William A. Morocco, Sr. ’68 Carol Brown Mosenson ’76 Marco A. Nicolazzo ’80 Joseph R. O'Hara, Jr. ’76 Frederic J. Oprendek, Jr. ’63 Stephen G. Ratkowski ’81 Marianne Novak Robic ’63VMC Darlene Largey Scavona ’69VMC Thomas M. Schlecht ’80 Kathleen Maloney Schupp ’73VMC Margaret Severance ’66VMC Timothy L. Shannon ’88 Stephen N. Toczylowski ’55

Charles J. Burgoyne Lynn Rainsford Finegan James J. Freeman David P. Kahl Lisa Lindberg Kathleen Longhine Meme Carol A. Odell Rev. Monsignor James W. Peterson Vangela Simon Rev. Monsignor John R. Snyder Robert W. Waidley Berta M. Weber, Ph.D

Stephen K. Zuilkoski, Jr. ’62 #



Kaylee Anne Kebort ’09 married Sean Bennett on Sept. 22, 2012. Kaija C. Allgaier ’02 married Michael Godoy on Nov. 10, 2012. Jessica L. Bush ’11 married Kyle J. Goldcamp ’09, ’11M on July 21, 2012. Elizabeth A. Bocan ’10 married Brian C. Wilhelm ’10 on Aug. 18, 2012. Adam J. Carnahan ’02 married Casey Sturiale on Sept. 29, 2012. Anne K. Guidos ’82 married Charles (Hank) Freeman on Nov. 17, 2012.

Allison Kate Kozelka ’02 married Matthew George Weeks on April 12, 2013. Brian F. Sakowski ’01 married Jennifer Raney on March 2, 2013.


ROBERT L. ADAMCZYK has joined the accounting firm of Schaffner, Knight, Minnaugh & Co., P.C. TERRY W. STRUBLE '06C has been hired as superintendent at Clearfield Area School District.


FRANCIS W. BEECHER received a doctorate in plant breeding from Texas A&M University on May 10, 2013. He has accepted a position as a corn line development breeder at Monsanto in Williamsburg, Iowa.


RUSSELL D. CHELTON has been named a Certified Fraud Examiner by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Russ is a CPA with the accounting firm of Schaffner, Knight, Minnaugh & Co., P.C.


HEATHER M. HANES '07M is a teacher for the St. Marys Area School District and is also a Sparks cheerleading and gymnastics coach and part-time instructor for Penn State-DuBois.

REV. DAVID M. RENNE was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest by Bishop Lawrence T. Persico on June 7, at St. Peter Cathedral, Erie.

JODIE E. PERRY '07M has been appointed as the new principal of Seneca Valley Intermediate High School.

CAMERON M. CURRY received her master's degree in liberal studies with a concentration in communications studies from the University of Toledo on May 5, 2013.

HANNAH H. TRIPP, D.O., recently graduated from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. She was the recipient of the Dedication to Primary Care Award for Pediatrics. In July she started her residency as a pediatric intern at Akron Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio.


REV. TYLER J. BANDURA and REV. MATTHEW J. MORELLI were ordained as Roman Catholic priests on June 1 by Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg, Pa. KYLE J. GOLDCAMP '09, '11M is ending his playing career in the NBA D-League with the Erie Bayhawks, having come up just short of getting the big break that would have him playing in the NBA. He was invited to training camp with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011 and the New York Knicks in 2012, getting to the last round of cuts with the Cavaliers. PATRICA A. HAWLEY-HORNER '09C is the new superintendent of the Harbor Creek School District. DANIEL J. HOWELL scored two goals, helping the Erie Admirals S.C. to a 7-1 win over the Zanesville Athletic FC, and also helping the team secure the third seed in the division playoffs in Detroit. DAVID R. HUGAR is an AM sales specialist with Connoisseur Media. SANDRA K. HUGAR is a teller supervisor at PNC Bank.


REBECCA K. LELONEK is a physical therapist at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Erie. JOSEPH E. RIDDLE, JR. '10M is a physical therapist for UPMC Center for Rehab Services in White Oak, Pa.


COREY E. MCMURRAY is a physician assistant for Ohio Health-Marion Area Physicians.


MICHAEL P. GHILANI '12C was recently selected as the 2013 Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principal of the Year. Ghilani is the principal at Upper St. Clair High School. MATTHEW J. SZCZUPAKOWSKI is currently working as an account executive for the Memphis Redbirds minor league baseball team. The Redbirds are the AAA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.


ANDREW B. BEMIS has joined the accounting firm of Schaffer, Knight, Minnaugh & Co., P.C. as a tax consultant. ASHLEY N. WIMER has taken a cross-country bicycle trip that started in Edinboro, Pa., to Colorado. After the bike trip, Wimer plans on applying to work at an AIDS clinic in Africa before resuming her educational goals, which include attending medical school earning her doctorate degree.

The Diocese of Erie celebrated the jubilee anniversaries for faithful servants throughout the Diocese. The following are Gannon University and Villa Maria College alumni who were recognized: 70 Years Sr. Phyllis Weaver, OSB ’47VMC 65 Years Rev. Robert J. Levis 60 Years Sr. Catherine Anne Mesanko, RSM Sr. Rebecca Costa, SSJ ’67VMC,’77M Sr. Emilie Rose LeBoeuf, SSJ ’64VMC Sr. Mary Irene Lunger, SSJ ’65VMC Sr. Rita McNulty, SSJ ’60VMC Sr. Dorothy Wilwohl, SSJ ’64VMC

gannon magazine

october 2013

Sr. Millicent Zimmer, SSJ ’68VMC Sr. Marilyn Zimmerman, SSJ ’64VMC,’70M

Sr. Laura Vallimont, OSB

50 Years Rev. Donald E. Berdis ’57 Msgr. Joseph K. Bobal ’68 Sr. Mary Drexler, SSJ ’71VMC Rev. John M. Fischer ’73M Rev. Howard J. King ’57 Rev. Paul A. Schill ’57 Rev. Msgr. John W. Swoger ’57

25 Years Very Rev. John Detisch, V.F. ’83 Sr. Therese Glass, OSB ’68VMC,’70M Very Rev. Michael T. Kesicki ’83 Rev. William M. Laska ’83

40 Years Rev. Msgr. David Rubino

Permanent Deacons, 10 years Deacon Glenn Kuzma ’55

“A“Agift theway way giftopens opens the andand ushers giverinto into ushersthe the giver thethe presence of of the presence thegreat.” great.” Proverbs 18: 15-17

Paying Forward Is What Father Leo Believes is Important in Life Rev. Leo Gallina ’66 learned a good deal from his parents while growing up in Bradford, Pa., about the importance of investing and the value of a good education. “They taught me to be wise and prudent while planning for the future,” Gallina said. The Gallina family also shared their philosophy with their children about the value of giving: “Help now, give as you live.” In 2011, Father Leo established the Leo J., Jessie S. and Rev. Leo J. Gallina “Power” Scholarship honoring the memory of his parents. The endowment is for financially deserving business students enrolled at Gannon and Father Leo’s contributions are matched dollar-for-dollar by Gannon. Gannon University is also part of Father Leo’s estate plan. “It is a great way to look your life over and see what you can do with what you have been given and share with others,” he said.

For more information on how your estate plan gift later can secure a naming opportunity now contact: Tony Fulgenzio, Director of Philanthropy (814) 871-7786



Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 5605 Pittsburgh, PA

Gannon University 109 University Square Erie, PA 16541-0001

Want to help Gannon go green? Complete the subscription form at to be notified when the online edition of Gannon Magazine has been posted, and we’ll stop sending you a print copy.

getConnected Keeping connected to Gannon University is easy, please send your preferred email address along with your name and class year (if applicable) to to receive the latest news and updates from the University.

Coming in 2014: Exclusive e-editions of Gannon Magazine!




Gannon Magazine October 2013  

The magazine for alumni and friends of Gannon University.

Gannon Magazine October 2013  

The magazine for alumni and friends of Gannon University.