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April 2014


from the


As I look up from my desk, I see a portrait of Archbishop John Mark Gannon looking down on his namesake University and believe that he still takes great interest in what he has created. As you’ll learn from this issue of Gannon Magazine, he created and continues to influence the evolution of our very special University. Archbishop Gannon was nicknamed “the builder bishop” for the many churches, schools and other institutions he founded during his episcopate. But what he created was more than mere bricks and mortar, and will endure long after the buildings have disappeared. During his half-century of leadership in the Erie Diocese, he created an example of service to God, to Church and to community. That is the example we follow as his heirs. The stories included in these pages provide a glimpse of how faithfully all of us in the Gannon family—students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University—have followed his lead.

(L-R) The Rev. Michael Kesicki, Rabbi John Bush, the Rev. George Strohmeyer, Maj. Gen. William D. Razz Waff, Keith Taylor, Ph.D. and Chaplain Bruce Anderson gathered in honor of the Four Chaplains memorial service. (See page 7)

and projects. We, the descendants of the “builder bishop,” are building relationships, knowledge and the foundation of a better future through our collaborative efforts on campus and around the world. In 1944, the Pennsylvania Department of Instruction granted to the then Gannon School of Arts and Science, a charter authorizing the school to confer the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. Thus, Gannon College was created and faculty and students have been close partners in a vibrant learning community ever since. Surveying this University 70 years later, I’m enormously proud to be a part of Archbishop Gannon’s great institution and I hope you are too. As we continue our march forward and never rest on our achievements, we all certainly have a great deal to be proud of; and as I look up to his portrait, I think Archbishop Gannon does too.

We continue to extend Archbishop Gannon’s concern for the welfare of his community to reach an ever-growing family and global neighborhood through innovative and engaging programs

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

Keith Taylor, Ph.D., President

Keith Taylor, Ph.D. President

Mallory Hedlund ’14 Marketing and Communications Specialist


Melanie Whaley ’95 Director for Marketing and Communications

Andrew Lapiska ’09M Creative Services Director

Jana Hunt Coordinator of Gifts and Records (814) 871-7469

John Chacona Media Marketing and Communications Writer

photography John Chacona Michael Gorski ’10M Mallory Hedlund ’14 Sammie Janik Rick Klein ’84 Andrew Lapiska ’09M

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

Knepper Press

class notes and address changes

Gannon Magazine April 2014


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05 From TKE to FIC

An introduction to Gannon’s newly opened Forensic Investigation Center and a look into its past. What will students uncover here?

10 Buzzer Beater

Not only do our athletic teams come out successfully when faced with a minimal amount of time on the clock, Gannon staff, local contractors and first responders proved they can also perform “buzzer beater” moments.

12 The Possibilities

Gannon University presents countless possibilities for its students, alumni and faculty. Whether it’s providing real-world experience with a major league baseball team, sending a computer to near-space, or leading an entire community, the members of our Gannon Knight family are always believing, achieving and inspiring the possibilities.

18 Building a Legacy

The founder of Gannon University, Archbishop John Mark Gannon was a man of faith, service and education, whose vision created what the University stands for and practices today.

Strategic Goals 02 innovation 03 community 04 worldview

NewsNotes 05 06 07 08 23

growth legacy faith & service athletics alumni

The Possibilities 12 inspire the possibilities 14 believe in the possibilities 16 achieve your possibilities

Focus 20 facultyfocus 21 studentfocus 22 alumnifocus


Possibilities 1


strategic goals

Major Case #203 With a growing list of appearances on national television programs, Gerald Clark, Ph.D., continues to receive a lot of screen time lately. That is especially true for Clark’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Investigative Concepts: FBI Major Case #203 “Pizza Bomber.” A MOOC is an online course with open access, and while the concept is gaining national traction in higher education circles, Clark, assistant professor of criminal justice, is a pioneer of the course design. “The idea was brought to me by [Director of Distance Education] Tex Brieger,” Clark said. “Once we researched it, we thought, ‘Why not Gannon,’ but you need something unique and specific to offer.” Finding a unique angle wasn’t difficult. Clark was the lead investigator on the “Pizza Bomber” case, which presented a rich source for teaching investigative techniques and concepts. Throughout the MOOC’s six weeks, students learn investigative techniques, note taking and sketching; identifying, collecting, examining and

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Gerald Clark, Ph.D., has been interviewed by both CNN and HBO for his work on FBI Major Case #203 “Pizza Bomber,” and also co-authored a book surrounding the case, “Pizza Bomber The Untold Story of America’s Most Shocking Bank Robbery.” processing physical evidence; and obtaining information about suspects, as well as identifying and locating suspects through a series of introductory videos, a lecture video for week one, and discussion questions. The first MOOC Clark offered on was conservatively limited to 500 participants. “That was filled in a week and a half with students from around the world,” Clark said. The class that began on March 10 has over 600 students.

On the Move. Online. Bringing a quality, affordable Gannon education to more people is one of the things the University believes in. Online education is an opportunity for those who might not have the time to attend traditional classes. The array of programs delivered completely online continues to grow. Last summer, a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction was added to help working teachers achieve the next level of success in their profession. In February, an announcement was made that Gannon University's Villa Maria School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, which has been available in a 2

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combination of in-classroom and online classes, will be offered exclusively online beginning fall 2014. These classes join existing online degree programs leading toward a Master of Education in Reading, Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Administration and the RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.


strategic goals

Students Become Health Coaches An increasing number of Gannon University students are gaining real world, hands-on experience as health coaches for the patients of Erie hospitals. A class of six students is taking a seminar course taught by various Saint Vincent Hospital professionals, including a physician, health psychologist, dietitian, nurses and others who come as needed. The undergraduate pre-medical and physician assistant students gain exposure to patient contact and care through this initiative, which provides a well-rounded learning experience composed of both foundational knowledge and hands-on learning. “Through programs such as these, our students have the opportunity to learn vital skills, interact with patients and their

families, and communicate with members of the health care team– things they will not get from their textbooks or science labs,” said Provost and Vice President Carolynn Masters, Ph.D. Upon completion, students can apply for internships as active health coaches in homes of post-release patients to continue educating about healthy lifestyle choices and ensure they maintain their treatment regime. This initiative is similar to a GannonUPMC Hamot Medical Center program, in which they can serve as patient care technicians at Hamot after completing the program training. Students work about 12 hours a week and complete about 2,000

hours of work by graduation. “From the standpoint of training future health professionals, we have a big contingency of students who come here for that reason and we have a good reputation,” said Steven A. Mauro, Ph.D., dean of the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences.

Helping the Community, One Course at a Time The Peace Corps once used the advertising slogan, “The toughest job you’ll ever love.” Change “job” to “course” and you’ll have a good summary of Bruce Kibler, Ph.D.’s Business Policy class. Kibler coordinates projects with businesses, non-profit organizations or initiatives that, Assistant Professor of management, Bruce Kibler said, “can control where I Kibler, Ph.D., believes it is can see the demands, see the important for students to be learning, and where students involved in the community and learn through real-world are graded by the entity on how they perform.” experiences. Students encounter real-world issues, including managing the expectations of stakeholders, which can be the most important aspect of projects. Just ask Kibler’s students who researched Low-Profit Limited Liability Company legislation for State Senator Sean Wiley’s office.

Kibler explained that the students believed Senator Wiley would benefit from their research and analysis of the legislation before pursuing any action of implementation. “On the day they were to present, they were going to skirt the issue, but I urged them to present their findings. They did, and he lauded them for making a truthful presentation, but they were nervous about standing up to a senator,” Kibler remembered. “It was a huge, huge moment when he complimented them for providing good information.” The project is an example of the kind of academic servicelearning that Kibler advocates, an approach he identifies as three distinct components: 1. An external entity 2. Community involvement 3. Benefit for both the entity and the students The toughest course they’ll ever love.


Possibilities 3


strategic goals

Expanding International Education Opportunities in building a worldview for students and faculty via interaction with partner universities in other countries. Maria Curie-Skłodowska University was founded in 1944 and has a current enrollment in excess of 35,000 students and a faculty of more than 1,800. Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences was founded in 1971 and has a current enrollment of 11,200 students, including 700 international students from more than 85 countries. A faculty of 460 teaches in 91 programs (64 bachelor's and 27 master’s programs including MBA). Zbigniew Pastuszak, Ph.D., dean of the Faculty of Economics, at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (UMCS) in Lublin, Poland (left), and William L. (W.L.) Scheller II, Ph.D., dean of Gannon’s College of Engineering and Business (right). Expanding cultural and academic opportunities for students and faculty abroad, Gannon University recently signed exchange agreements with two European universities known for their excellence in teaching and research: Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (UMCS) in Lublin, Poland (a well known sister city of Erie), and Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences in Osnabrück, Germany. These agreements are part of the University’s strategic initiative

Gannon University’s College of Engineering and Business will be spearheading the initial cooperative efforts. The recent harmonization of European university degrees with U.S. bachelor's and master’s degrees and the growing offering of courses taught in English at European universities, allow students and faculty to move seamlessly across these two continents’ systems of higher education. The two recent agreements join those reached with Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland, and the University of Osnabrück (a more research based institution in the same city) in Germany. These agreements solidify a European presence for Gannon, which has already established relationships in the Middle East (Jordan), Southeast Asia (Thailand) and Australia.

United on Campus and Abroad Gannon’s second annual Unity Week included a focus on expanding our community outside campus borders through the Travel Expo. The week offered several activities for students to come together, including men’s and women’s basketball games, a senior class pizza competition and the Travel Expo. The originator of Unity Week, former SGA president and current graduate assistant for student development and engagement, Angela Coustillac, said, “It was a great collaboration between everyone. We aim to provide a 4

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welcoming environment where different demographics can support each other as members of one Gannon community.” The Travel Expo hosted nearly 150 students and 20 faculty and staff, who represented each of this year’s trips through Gannon’s four travel programs. The expo included information about seven Alternative Break Service Trips, five faculty-led trips, six semester exchange programs and eight T.R.A.V.E.L. Program destinations, all of which will collectively send students to about 30 different domestic and international locations.

Faculty and staff representatives at the Travel Expo informed students of the many places they could visit through Gannon’s various travel programs.



From TKE to FIC The solidly built white stucco mansion on Erie’s “Millionaire’s Row” has been both a family home and a fraternity house. But now, it’s about to become a “crime scene” that educates. The former Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) house at 246 W. Sixth St. will also be a laboratory, virtual reality simulator and classroom. All these functions, among others, are in the design of the Forensic Investigation Center (FIC), an innovative building that will offer students in Gannon University’s criminal justice program an unprecedented level of realism in training for a wide range of careers.

Gerald Clark, Ph.D., assistant professor of criminal justice, was a longtime FBI agent and the lead investigator on FBI Major Case #203, commonly known as the “Pizza Bomber” case. He sees the resources of the FIC providing a high level of training for what is quickly becoming a technology-oriented field. “In the basement, we’ll have a firearms training simulator,” Clark explained. “It’s an interactive screen and computer software that will present students with a scenario for shoot/don’t shoot decisions to hone their judgment, accuracy and timing. If it’s a shoot situation and they fire, the simulation will record who fired first, and if it was a hit or a lethal hit.”

David Martine, instructor in the criminal justice program, had a long career as an agent for the Central Intelligence Agency, but for the first four years of his career he was an FBI forensic laboratory scientist doing firearms and tool marks analysis for high-profile cases such as the assassination attempt on former President Ronald Reagan. “We’ll have the same sort of lab in the FIC,” he said, “with comparison microscopes for the analysis of fibers, ballistic evidence, fingerprints and graphology.” Both Clark and Martine point to the building’s third floor as perhaps its most interesting feature. The mock family room and bedroom will simulate an actual crime scene.

both in the FIC and through an endowed “Power” Scholarship awarded each year to active TKEs who maintain a 3.0 GPA. The scholarship was established by alumni of the Delta Chi chapter when the TKE house was sold to the University. Under the provisions of the Power Challenge, the initial gift from the sale of the TKE house was matched dollar-fordollar by Gannon. Construction on the FIC is expected to be completed in time to host the criminal justice department’s popular summer programs. “I’m so excited for that because the ability to be in there hands-on with the students will be a fantastic opportunity—for all of us,” Clark said.

The simulated crimes will be filmed and then students will collect evidence. Cameras will allow students in the firstfloor classroom to observe and discuss their methods. “I’m using this for a class I teach on being an expert witness, which I’ve frequently done in court,” Martine explained. “Establishing and maintaining a chain of custody is crucial, and students will learn how to do that.” They’ll also learn how to identify the characteristic target-selection behavior of terrorists for a class in counterterrorism. The FIC has also attracted the interest of other departments, making it a true interdisciplinary facility. The biology and chemistry departments will contribute knowledge about forensic analysis, while computer science will explore the new field of exploitation analysis. Theatre students will get into the act in the roleplaying and interrogation scenarios. So the legacy of the TKE house lives on, #

Possibilities 5



Building on a Legacy As we recognize the 70th anniversary of Gannon University becoming a four-year institution, it cannot go without also noting its physical expansion as well. Beginning from just a few buildings located in downtown Erie, some of Gannon’s first major expansions to its campus came with the purchase of the former Strong Mansion in 1941, which is now known as Old Main, and in 1950 with the completion of the Gannon Auditorium (“Audi”) now known as the Hammermill Center. However, the campus experienced substantial development during what is known as the “growth years” from 1956 to 1977. A report of then Gannon College in 1967 concluded 2,795 undergraduates, 185 graduates and 143 faculty members filled 24 academic programs across seven acres of campus. This academic growth spurred the need for the physical growth of the campus as well. Gannon began acquiring and building several residence halls and living spaces before incorporating academic buildings. Beyer Hall, the Gannon Theatre (Schuster Theatre), the Learning Resource Center (Nash Library), the Schuster Art Gallery and Zurn Science Center were all part of Gannon’s campus footprint by the end of this era. Academic growth has blessed Gannon once again, and the University has been presented with the opportunity to expand physically and academically and continue to build upon its legacy while preserving the history of the downtown Erie community.

The Student Recreation Center, originally constructed in 1984, is now the Recreation and Wellness Center and is currently undergoing modernization to include new features such as a Human Performance Lab and an indoor field house, which is expected to be complete by summer 2014. In the spring of 2014, the University will open the Forensic Investigation Center (FIC) to advance the education of its criminal justice program and offer crossdisciplinary courses. Gannon's new School of Communication and the Arts will be housed on the corner of Seventh and Peach streets in the fall of 2014, providing an integrated space for 90.5 WERG-FM, The Gannon Knight, a band room, a TV studio and the Schuster Gallery. Also in the fall of 2014, a new Biomedical Engineering Lab will be housed in the lower level of 130 W. Eighth St., currently occupied by Erie Technology Incubator (ETI). ETI, along with the Dahlkemper School of Business and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will colocate at 900 State St. in Gannon’s Center for Business Ingenuity. These three entities will begin transition to the new location in 2015, with an expected full transition to be complete in the summer of 2016. One man’s initial vision to provide affordable and equal post-secondary educational opportunities spurred a movement to believe in the possibilities at

For construction photos and updates, visit 6

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Gannon University, which inspired those influenced by this belief to leave their legacy and give back so that generations to come may achieve possibilities of their own— and that is what Archbishop Gannon’s legacy is.

Renderings of the Recreation and Wellness Center (top), School of Communication and the Arts (middle) and Center for Business Ingenuity (bottom).



Honoring the Four Chaplains Chaos covered the deck of the sinking U.S.A.T. Dorchester on Feb. 3, 1943. Four chaplains, representing four different religions, uttered prayers of serenity as they removed their own lifejackets and gave them to soldiers without question of religion, race, creed or ethnicity. The Four Chaplains, Lt. George L. Fox, Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Lt. John P. Washington and Lt. Clark V. Poling, have since been recognized by Congress for their honorable acts. An annual memorial service is held in their name, and this year, Gannon hosted the 70th anniversary in its Yehl Alumni Room on March 27. The University brought together Junior ROTC programs, its own Pride of PA ROTC Battalion, members of local American Legion and VFW Posts, and local veterans for this special occasion.

Keynote speaker Maj. Gen. William D. Razz Waff, Commanding General of the 99th Regional Support Command, gave insight into the selfless service provided by the military. Maj. Gen. Waff, alongside President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., presented the Rev. George Strohmeyer with the Legion of Honor Humanitarian Award. Veterans financial aid and enrollment counselor, Ron Swift said, “I think this is a tremendous opportunity to share in this interfaith activity, to be prayerful, to be thankful, and to recognize the importance that the military has to preserve our religious freedom.” Lt. Col. Bradley Nadig, professor of military science, believes, “Gannon wants to develop and foster student growth through value-centered

Keith Taylor, Ph.D. and Maj. Gen. Waff present Rev. George Strohmeyer with the Legion of Honor Humanitarian Award given in recognition of commitment to selfless service and societal advancement that has affected the quality of life in the community without regard to faith or race. training emphasizing faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social responsibility. I think that links in so nicely with the Four Chaplains.”

MLK Day: “Education is a Civil Right” “Education is a Civil Right” was the theme of Martin Luther King Jr. Day for Gannon and downtown Erie communities. Community members engaged in a prayer service at the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel, a reflection in Perry Square, marched to the Martin Luther King Center and congregated over lunch in Gannon’s Yehl Room. Lanise Saunders, electrical engineering major, reflected on the effects of Dr. King’s work for equal education opportunities during her speech at the prayer service. “His intentional actions have given different people the equal opportunity to go to school and earn a degree on many levels, but I strongly believe that this

is not where he wanted the journey to end,” said Saunders. The Office of Mission and Ministry and Lipton Walter, Ph.D., held a multi-media contest that awarded the top three students for their work: Roman Denisyuk, for a series of four sketches titled “Unfortunately…Reality;” Katilynn Perkins, for a digital storytelling piece around Parris Baker, Ph.D.’s education; and Michael Fujito, for his satirical play “Three Wild Dogs.”

Gannon and Erie community members gathered for a prayer service, a march and a lunch served by the University’s faculty, staff and students in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


Possibilities 7

athletics Œ Gannon’s football team clinched its first winning season

since 2010, finishing 6-5 overall. The 2013 Knights set single-season records for points (361), touchdowns (48) and extra points (45), and set the school record for passing first downs (125).

 Gannon women’s volleyball made its fifth-consecutive

appearance in the NCAA Atlantic Regional. The Lady Knights won a stunning quarterfinal road upset over the No. 1 seed Clarion Golden Eagles in the PSAC tournament and finished the season with a 20-14 mark.

Ž Sophomore Veronica Bujdos earned All-PSAC accolades for her strong performance during the 2013 cross-country season, and became the second Gannon runner to earn allregion accolades in the last two years.

 The Gannon women’s golf team won its second PSAC

championship in three years at Hershey Country Club. The Lady Knights shot 325 for a two-day total of 648 and a twostroke victory over California.



 For the first time in program history, the Gannon women's soccer team earned a spot in the PSAC Final Four with a 1-0 road upset over No. 15 Slippery Rock. The win was the first postseason victory in program history for the Lady Knights, who finished the season with a 10-8-1 record.

Sophomore Mani Brueckner captured her third All-America award, and was named PSAC Athlete of the Year and Daktronics All-Atlantic Region Player of the Year both for the second consecutive season. She led the PSAC conference in points (33), ranked second in assists (13) and fourth in goals (10). She is ranked fourth nationally in assists, 23rd in points and 58th in goals.

‘ Robbie Bennett was named to the Daktronics NCAA

Division II Men’s Soccer All-America honorable-mention team and to the All-PSAC first team for the third consecutive season. He led Gannon in goals (14), points (30) and gamewinning goals (3) this season. He topped the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) in goals per match (0.78) while ranking second in points per match (1.67). Bennett ranks 21st among all NCAA Division II players in goals and 31st in points per match.







Coach Don Henry (center) offers words of advice to a wrestler during practice.

From the Mat to the Hall of Fame Gannon University Athletics Hall of Fame A sold-out Yehl Alumni Room played host to a memorable induction ceremony in February for the nine members of the 2014 Gannon Athletics Hall of Fame class that was headlined by a pair of All-American selections. Brett Lindenmuth ’97, a two-time All-American, was the only male swimmer at Gannon to repeat. Seventeen years after his graduation, Lindenmuth still holds school records in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events. Wrestler Lantz Schwabenbauer ’01 was also a two-time All-American and Academic All-American, and a three-time NCAA Division II East Regional Champion at 165 pounds, as well as a three-time National Championship qualifier. Danny Adamson ’80 ranks fourth all-time in Golden Knights basketball history in field goals made (627) and field goals attempted (1,429), and ranks among Gannon’s top ten all-time scorers. Former women’s soccer great Erin Cray Pizzo ’01, ’06M, finished her career as the Knights’ all-time leading scorer, and still owns two of the school’s top six single-season goal totals. Erie native Kelly Reedy Elwell ’85, ’93M was a four-year starter for the Lady Knights basketball team, the program’s third all-time leader in scoring. She is also second in steals, second in assists and third in field goals made. Inducted posthumously was Pete Karuba ’51, a two-way player during the 14-2 run during the 1949 and 1950 football seasons. Terry Waldorf ’91, a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Buffalo, N.Y., was named Division II goalkeeper of the year during his senior soccer season. He is Gannon’s alltime leader in shutouts (31), goals-against average (0.80) and victories (46). Debra Wood Konjanovski ’99, ’02M was a member of Gannon’s first varsity lacrosse team in 1996 who has held the school record for career points (359) since her graduation in 1999. For 10 years, that total was the highest in the history of NCAA Division II. Rick Klapthor ’79, affectionately known as “Stats,” received this year’s Distinguished Service Award for his 39 seasons as Gannon’s official scorer.

For the 30 years since the program returned as a varsity sport, Don Henry is wrestling at Gannon University. As the only head coach the program has had in that interval, Henry is a near-legendary figure, but one who is as notable for his modesty as for his accomplishments in the wrestling room or on the mat. Now the secret is out, as Coach Henry was a part of the 2014 induction class of the NCAA Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame. Henry’s career numbers speak for themselves. He coached eight regional champions and qualified wrestlers for the national championships 34 times in his career. Under his leadership, the Golden Knights recorded 15 consecutive top-29 national finishes. Tom Boyd, Henry’s assistant and a former Gannon wrestler himself, says his mentor’s greatest impact has been his ability to get the most from his wrestlers. “On the mat, he takes average wrestlers, guys that have unfinished business, guys that had unfulfilled dreams in high school, and makes them great wrestlers,” Boyd said. When asked what the modest Henry might regard as his greatest accomplishment, Boyd mused that Henry would probably deflect the conversation to one of the wrestlers he has mentored. “Coach would be just as likely to point to the match a few nights ago when Trevor Beiter got his first win. That’s the kind of guy he is. There may be coaches who have 100 more wins than Coach Henry, but he's a teacher,” said Boyd. “He picks you up and guides you. He’s a father away from home for most of these kids.” And now, he’s also a Hall-of-Famer.


Possibilities 9

The Hammermill Center has been home to many memorable beat-the-clock victories in its nearly 65-year history, none of which reached the scale of what happened during 21 days throughout December and January. The victory was won by dozens of highly motivated men and women wearing coveralls, hardhats, fire helmets and the occasional business suit. Theirs is a story of effort beyond expectation—and more than a little luck. It started on the bitterly cold evening of Monday, Dec. 23. An explosion tore through a utility room under the west side stands of the Hammermill Center. While the building was vacant at the time of the incident, a high school basketball game had ended just about an hour earlier. It was the first flash of luck propelling the project.


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Another was the location of the explosion, which Gary Garnic, associate vice president, campus services, likened its construction to that of a “bomb shelter that contained the pressure.” First responders to the scene found a building filled with acrid smoke spreading to adjacent Waldron Campus Center, Beyer Hall and Old Main. The Erie Fire Department worked in the dark to extinguish any burning, while keeping water away from the Hammermill Center’s hardwood floor, which proved to be a decisive factor. Penelec immediately shut down power to the surrounding area. Representatives of the University’s insurance carrier and contractors were quickly on site. By 3:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve, Building Systems, Inc. and Lathrop Electrical had two dozen men ready to pull the stillsmoldering cables.

Another looming problem was addressed first, however. Without power and heat to the five-building complex, water pipes could soon burst in the sub-freezing temperatures. A 175-kilowatt standby generator powered by a 240-horsepower diesel engine restored some heat to the buildings. On Dec. 26, a decision was made to finish the project in time for a crucial game that the women’s basketball team would play on Jan. 15. Goals were set for each 12-hour period; and manpower and equipment were adjusted to accomplish those goals. “It was an aggressive schedule, and there were a lot of skeptical people,” said Linda Wagner, vice president, finance and administration. The extent of damage hadn’t been fully determined, and the ability to get equipment and materials was an open question.

The completed renovations to the Hammermill Center (left) leave no trace of the fire, smoke damage (bottom left), scaffolding (bottom middle) or construction (bottom right), and all normal activities have resumed.

Tim Schaaf, president of Building Systems, Inc., sent crews as far as Jamestown, N.Y. and Pittsburgh for materials not available locally. Nearly 500 sheets of plywood were carefully placed over foam to protect the hardwood. Remediation workers wiped down every surface in the 210,000 square feet in the five buildings affected. Interviews of needed subcontractors— duct cleaning, painting, electrical—were held on site, where selected contractors began work immediately. Subcontractors were chosen and several remained present around the clock in shifts of 16 to 18 hours a day. The plan was to move the restoration efforts from the outside in, focusing ultimately on the Hammermill Center. The first milestone was to get the offices in Old Main, Keim Commons, Waldron and Beyer Hall ready for staff by Jan. 3. “Everyone pitched in and no one complained,” marveled Wagner. “Staff, partners and deadlines were made clear from the beginning, and the entire effort showed everyone’s commitment to the project and to Gannon.” Because the existing paint in the Hammermill Center would have retained the smell of smoke, a decision to repaint the wall surfaces arose.

could be applied. Forty percent of the volume of the building was allotted to scaffolding, which was moved once every 10 and a half hours. Seventeen subcontractors, employing an average of 76 workers a day, put in more than 17,000 man-hours. On the busiest day, more than 120 workers were on the job. Incredibly, much of this happened when no one was looking. Thousands of students, faculty and staff had little idea of the enormity of the undertaking— which was the point. “The selflessness with which everybody responded was incredible,” Wagner said. Garnic said, “Our basketball teams had an opportunity to do something special this year, something historic. All we wanted to do was to get them back into their home as soon as we could.” When a grateful crowd left the Hammermill Center on Jan. 15, they witnessed the Lady Knights defeat Indiana University of Pennsylvania 78-69 and the men’s team won against fifthranked IUP with a 67-61 victory that turned the course of their season. Appropriately, that win came in overtime.

In the Hammermill Center, 120 tons of scaffolding was erected floor-to-ceiling so that 5.8 miles of wire could be pulled and replaced and 238 gallons of paint


inspire the possibilities Encourage Active Learning With more than 10 years of experience working in the collegiate, high school and youth sports industries, as well as experience in sport marketing, ticket sales, sponsorship sales, coaching and strength training, Eric Brownlee, Ph.D., assistant professor of sport marketing and management, understands the importance of gaining real-world experience. Brownlee provides his students with practical experience outside the classroom through involvement in local and area initiatives and introduces them to several influential sports leaders. He tells us how he is able to inspire possibilities at Gannon: Q: As the lead professor in the sport marketing and management program, what are your goals for the program? A: I want to make learning fun and I think doing things outside the classroom does that. I want students to gain realworld experience to help them take one step closer to getting a job right after graduation. I like to bring in speakers like [Gannon Athletic Director] Mark Richard or [Gannon’s assistant director of athletics media relations] Will Nowadly. I try to involve the students and myself with all Gannon athletics. Q: What initiatives are students currently involved in? A: This year, a class wrote sponsorship proposals to businesses, including First National Bank, which decided to be a sponsor of the NCAA Elite Eight 12

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tournament hosted by Gannon. About 40 Gannon and Akron [University] students volunteered at the tournament, and attended a sport-business conference Gannon created that included speakers like John Frey, director of operations for the Erie Otters, and Greg Coleman, general manager for the Erie Seawolves, among a few others. Students are participating in a College Ticket Sales Training Program with the Cleveland Indians. They’ve been able to make ticket sales with clients and attend an advanced seminar at Progressive Field. The top four ticket-sellers within the 10 colleges and universities participating will be given job interviews with the Indians. Students attended the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Sports Business Conference in April, where they heard

Assistant Professor Eric Brownlee, Ph.D., and students attend a sales training seminar at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. (L-R) Eric Giopulos, Troy Direnzo, Tyler Smith, Shaniece Mohawk, Osekhodion Alli, Brownlee, Paul Russo, Dennis Zuccolotto, Emily Meyer, Karen Bukowski, adjunct sport management and marketing instructor, and Sean Hupp. from influential people, including keynote speaker Frank Coonelly, [Pittsburgh Pirates’ president]. Q: You provide students with practical experience through community involvement. Are you involved in initiatives outside your classes? A: Yes, I’m working with another Gannon professor, [Bruce Kibler] a Gannon graduate assistant, [Michael Martin] and a professor from Akron University [Seungbum Lee] on a research survey

for Erie Insurance Arena. It measures the customer-service satisfaction related to the renovations of minor league sport stadiums. The data will be compared to an arena in Canton, Ohio that was similar to the Erie arena before renovations. We hope to show the Erie Convention Center Authority the effect of the facility’s amenities. Q: Why do you think it is important to inspire students through real-world experience? A: The sport industry is very competitive,

and while I can teach students the fundamentals in the classroom, nothing substitutes for real-world experience. The industry is also dynamic and it’s very important for students to truly understand the current trends in the industry and be able to interact with professionals. I always believe that a combination of in-class education and real-world experience is what employers are looking for, so I design my classes to meet these demands.

Foster Worldview at Home It’s often said that service-learning experiences at Gannon University, especially those abroad, can build a palpable sense of family. For Brent Sleasman, Ph.D., associate professor in Gannon’s School of Communication and the Arts, the connection between travel and family is more direct. “My wife and I have two children who were born in Haiti and have family members there,” Sleasman said. “Haiti is a part of our life, and my goal is to take our entire family. It's important for our [biological] daughter to see where her brother and sister were born, and for my younger child to see the connection you can make with Haiti.”

In 2013, Sleasman and a translator taught homiletics, the art of preaching, to undergraduate Haitian students in English. Last spring, he was able to return with senior philosophy student Jacob Steen to research the role of translation in undergraduate classes. Associate Professor Brent Sleasman, Ph.D. (back left), with his translator and students in his 2013 homiletics course in Haiti.


Possibilities 13

believe in the possibilities Design my future Imagine that you are an outer-space fanatic. You are spending your last year as an undergraduate software engineer working with your best friends to design, plan, build and launch a mini-computer to near-space. You track every moment with pictures and video as it travels into the atmosphere, gathering data after it returns to Earth, and present it all as the capstone to your college experience. A Raspberry Pi is a minicomputer, which the students developed software for to store various data via SD-card, track satellite GPS coordinates, and capture photo and video imagery, all while it is being launched over 100,000 feet into the atmosphere.

This scenario is anything but imaginary for senior software engineering major, David Kramer. Kramer was able to do just this for his senior design project. Acting as project chair, he worked alongside close friends and senior information systems students, project coordinator Tim Wiley, scribe John Clark and production manager Daisuke Takagi, to create the Gannon University Raspberry Pi Space Initiative, or Project GURPSI. He was initially tentative to present the idea to the team due to its level of difficulty, but was reassured through confidence in his friends, “I don’t doubt their abilities, ever.” The team planned Project GURPSI with the guidance of Theresa Vitolo, Ph.D., computer and information science associate professor. “As with many senior design projects, first comes an idea, then the enthusiasm drives


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the imagination. In September, Dave and his teammates liked the idea of putting a ‘Raspberry Pi in the sky,’” Vitolo said. “Dave has the ability to keep the details in order, to marshal the skills of the members and to keep the energy going.” The team created to raise donations for purchasing the equipment needed for a successful launch and to document their project. The students raised more than $1,800, with a significant donation of $1,500 from Gannon’s Student Government Association’s (SGA) Student Project budget. As an active member of SGA, Kramer was especially grateful for this donation. Kramer explained that purchasing the equipment was not as easy as he thought. “It’s been a very interesting learning experience. There have been many ups

Team GURPSI includes seniors (L-R) Tim Wiley, David Kramer, John Clark and Daisuke Takagi. and downs throughout it, and today was one of them,” said Kramer as he opened a box of equipment containing only two of the three parts the students ordered. “The team has been working really hard every week, attempting to stay ahead of schedule. This is a very challenging project, but the finished product and launch will be well worth all of our hard work,” said Kramer. “We’ve had our fair share of successes and mishaps, but I’ve learned it’s all about how you deal with it.”

Kramer’s hard work and perseverance is paying off for Project GURPSI and another important aspect of his life as graduation approaches–job interviews. He recently interviewed with leading global security company Northrop Grumman for its Professional Development Program (PDP), which would allow Kramer to experience assignments in various areas of the company before choosing which best fit his interests and abilities.

impressed by the project, his teamwork experience and technical and engineering capabilities. Kramer views his senior experience as “surreal.” Project GURPSI has been both challenging and rewarding for Kramer, but what stood out to him the most were the numerous possibilities he designed for his future.

Project GURPSI has been a great addition to his resume, explained Kramer. Northrop Grumman was seemingly

engage in versatility With the bold statement, “I really do love Gannon,” sophomore psychology major, Katy Roose’s engagement in student initiatives is seemingly infinite. As a first-year student, Roose played in 15 of the 37 games for the PSAC tournament-qualifying softball team. She was chosen for Phi Eta Sigma, winning a four-year Presidential Scholarship. Roose is part of Psychology Club and Active Minds and is a member of Phi Sigma Sigma social sorority. She is the sophomore-class representative on Gannon’s Student Government Association (SGA), and serves on four SGA committees. Finishing the list of her vast involvement, Roose is chair of the Gannon University Team Spirit (GUTS) committee.

To Roose, family is important, too. “I’m close to mine, and that's the nature of where I’m from,” she said. Roose’s brother is autistic, a source of inspiration for her. “This is what I want to offer at Gannon University, to be creative, to help people like my brother.”


Possibilities 15

achieve your possibilities Going the extra mile The academic career of Peggy Doheny, Ph.D.’70 VMC winds back and forth between nursing and education, a little like the twin snakes that surround the winged rod of the caduceus, the emblem of registered nurses. It’s an appropriate symbol for a nurse and educator who contributed greatly to both professions. For 34 years, Doheny was a beloved presence at the College of Nursing at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, where she is now Professor Emerita. It was an academic career that was as gratifying as it was long and achievement-filled, but it was not the career she envisioned for herself when she came to the suburban campus of Villa Maria College in 1966. “My mother was a nurse, and nursing seemed like a good fit when I was looking at college programs,” Doheny remembers. Not wanting to go too far from her home in Cleveland, Villa Maria seemed like a good match. “I was very homesick when I first went away, but then I started to meet people and getting into my nursing courses,” Doheny said. “Dr. [Dorothy] Novello was there at the time and she was quite dynamic. It was a very positive experience and provided me a very positive preparation for the professional life.” That professional life took many unexpected turns that led to rewarding 16

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places. As a newly graduated staff nurse at St. Vincent Charity Hospital in Cleveland, she was approached to teach at the hospital’s school of nursing. “I didn’t want to do that,” she remembers. “I liked nursing, but driving home, I thought I should apply.” It was the beginning of a career in education that embraced the possibility of changing the way new nursing students were taught. “I was teaching a beginning class at Kent State and there was no text. With two colleagues, we got the idea that we could write this.” “This” was “The Discipline of Nursing: An introduction.” The book became a standard text used by several hundred schools of nursing to provide a broad overview of various theoretical approaches to the profession. In the meantime, Doheny published widely and made numerous presentations as one of the first nationally recognized nursing researchers on osteoporosis and bone health in men.

Ann Jacobson, Ph.D. (left) and Peggy Doheny, Ph.D. (right) rode about 30 miles to their jobs as professors at Kent State University’s College of Nursing for National Bike to Work Day 2012. Her contributions to her profession led to Doheny’s induction into the American Academy of Nursing in Washington, D.C. last October, joining a select group of more than 2,000 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy and research. And it all started at Villa Maria College where Doheny credits Novello and Sr. Mary Rose, her maternity nursing instructor, for encouraging her to challenge herself to achieve her possibilities.

“They were always saying, ‘What else can you do to become a leader,’ and encouraged us to do more, to think about things and not be satisfied with the status quo of nursing and patient care,” Doheny said. “They encouraged all of us to ask questions, to forge ahead in terms of leadership and not being shy about speaking up. Villa Maria College has always been an important part of my nursing history, and my history, too.”

said, adding that her hobby became more serious when she bought a bike as a graduation present to herself after finishing work on her Ph.D. In 1996, she began doing the Pedal to the Point tour sponsored in northeast Ohio by the National MS Society. “I’ve raised $2,000 a year for 18 years riding for MS. It’s a pay it forward sort of thing,” Doheny said. It’s also another way that Doheny, as she has always done, goes the extra mile.

Another part of her history is biking. “I’ve loved biking my whole life,” Doheny

COMMITTED TO COMMUNITY For Harbor Creek Superintendent Patricia Hawley ’09C support is an understatement when speaking of her commitment to the community, as well as the community’s commitment in return. “There are many philosophies of leadership; my main job is to serve the community and make sure we provide the best education for the kids. The support of the community is integral to that,” she affirmed. “When I’m asked to describe the district, I always talk about how the community is really dedicated to the students.” Approaching one year as superintendent, Hawley is dedicated to accomplishing both district and personal goals. She is currently creating a 10-year financial security plan for the district, and is in the midst of construction processes to increase safety within its educational buildings. Hawley

is simultaneously writing her dissertation in pursuit of her Doctorate in Gannon’s organizational learning and leadership program. Hawley demonstrates her commitment through advancing her own knowledge in order to advance the community as well. (L-R) Pamela Chodubski, principal of Harbor Creek Junior High School; Patricia Hawley, Superintendent of the Harbor Creek School District; and Tom Corbett, Governor of Pennsylvania. #

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He was called the “Builder Bishop,” a man under whose leadership churches, schools, institutions and an entire culture were built. He was Archbishop John Mark Gannon, a poor boy from the west side of Erie whose legacy is the inheritance of the Gannon University family. The scope of the man’s accomplishments can only be comprehended with the perspective of time, and time itself is a component of those accomplishments. When he died at age 92 in 1968, Archbishop Gannon had been a priest for exactly two-thirds of a century and a bishop for 50 years. In that period, he saw the Catholic population in his diocese grow to nearly a quarter of a million. To serve them, Archbishop Gannon began a legacy of construction projects including the establishment of 28 new parishes and 49 new churches, nearly one for every year of his episcopate. A fervent advocate of the value of education, Archbishop Gannon presided over the founding of 20 elementary schools, eight parish high schools, five independent high schools and five diocesan regional high schools. In 1933, he established Cathedral College, a two-year institution that was the forerunner of Gannon University. Cathedral College was a direct result of a promise then-Bishop Gannon had made to about 30 graduates of the new Cathedral Preparatory School to provide them with a higher education. As the U.S. and Erie County economies sank

into the most desperate year of the Great Depression, the Rev. Dr. Joseph J. “Doc” Wehrle, the superintendent of the diocesan school system, opened Cathedral College under the charter of Villa Maria College as a downtown extension for men. In time, this experiment grew to become a four-year, co-educational university with an enrollment more than a hundredfold that of the first Cathedral College class. Archbishop Gannon’s deep faith and boundless energy was felt beyond the borders of his diocese and of the United States. In the wake of the Mexican Revolution, the Church was under siege and training of priests was forbidden by government decree. To keep the faith alive in Mexico, Gannon was appointed chairman of the Bishops' Committee to establish a seminary at Montezuma, N.M. in 1936. The “builder bishop” was as effective in building the Church in Mexico as he was in the Diocese of Erie. In gratitude for his leadership, he was the principal speaker at the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Pontifical Coronation of the Venerable Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of both Mexico and Latin America. In 1945, he was named treasurer of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, an organization that dispersed large sums for the relief of millions both at home and abroad in the critical years after World War II. Despite his manifold accomplishments, Archbishop Gannon was a humble man.

Archbishop John Mark Gannon was a man with a vision. See that vision in a brief video by scanning the code or visit

He resisted the calls for the college he established to be named in his honor and insisted that Cathedral College was a more fitting name. But there can be no more fitting honor for Erie’s “builder bishop” than a vibrant university bearing his name and dedicated, as Archbishop Gannon was dedicated, to faith, service and education.

(L-R) Bill Edmondson, vice president of enrollment; Matthew Cummings, director of communications for Erie Public Schools; and Keith Taylor, Ph.D., announce the Archbishop Gannon Scholars Program.

Expanding Equal Education Opportunities John Mark Gannon’s legacy of assuring access to affordable, quality higher education was reaffirmed in January with the Archbishop Gannon Scholars Program (AGSP). This initiative between Gannon University and the Erie City School District provides an opportunity for students in the Erie public schools who have the academic credentials to be admitted to Gannon University, but do not have the financial ability to attend. Through the AGSP, federal and state grant funds are the only resources that a qualifying student will need to cover his or her tuition cost at Gannon. The first students in the AGSP will attend the University in fall 2014.


Possibilities 19

Kim Cavanagh

facultyfocus “If you come to a fork in the road, take it,” goes the quote attributed to the baseball player Yogi Berra, and that’s exactly what Kim Cavanagh, DHSc, PA-C did. It was a road that led her to be named Educator of the Year by the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants (PSPA) at the group's annual convention in Erie.

With an interest in health care as a teen, Cavanagh also had a deep family connection to education through her sister and her mother, Janice Whiteman, director of Gannon University’s School of Education.

trained educators,” Cavanagh said. “So to have my mom as a role model is so important, and my husband spends a lot of time with curriculum, as does my mom. To talk to them about these concepts is very valuable.” Cavanagh continues to advance her profession as the chair of the assessment council of the Physician Assistant Education Association, a national organization for which she researches assessment tools and develops infrastructure for initiatives such as online assessment capabilities. “That involvement has been valuable to me because I’ve met other educators across the country, and I’ve seen what they do,” Cavanagh said. She pointed out that physician assistant education programs are governed by a strict set of standards. “We all look pretty similar because we have to do the same things, but how we deliver education might be different.”

“We all look pretty similar because we have to do the same things, but how we deliver education might be different.”

But a biology degree from Siena College, a Physician Assistant Certificate from Drexel University and a Master of Physician Assistant Studies with a specialization in cardiology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center pointed her to health care. Cavanagh was a physician assistant for a decade before teaching in Gannon’s PA program early in her career. She began teaching full-time after receiving her doctorate in 2009. The transition was made easier by family ties to the profession, including her husband, who is the principal of a middle school in suburban Erie. “As health care providers, we’re not


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Cavanagh cited Gannon’s extensive use of 14 mediumto-high-fidelity patient simulators as a point of differentiation, but she also cited a faculty “who care about their students and work hard, and that's invaluable to prepare students for their careers. Preceptors tell us, ‘We want more Gannon grads,’ and those graduates are really good ambassadors of the University.” According to PSPA’s award criteria, so is Kim Cavanagh, the “Pennsylvania physician assistant educator who

Kim Cavanagh, DHSc, PA-C, associate professor of the physician assistant program, educates students in the PA program through a variety of class formats, including lecture-based. inspires, stimulates and challenges [her] students and colleagues through outstanding contributions to PA education and the Physician Assistant profession.” When asked about her reaction to that designation, Cavanagh said, “Humbled and honored are the words I use. I absolutely love what I do, so to receive an honor for what I love makes it more special.” Education Bachelor of Science in Biology, Siena College Master of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Nebraska Medical Center Doctor of Health Science, Nova Southeastern University Title Associate Professor and Associate Director Physician Assistant Department Hobbies Reading, Playing Golf and Watching Basketball

Back home in Limerick, Ireland, Mai Burke Hays played camogie, the women’s equivalent of the rugged sport of Irish hurling. How rugged, you may ask? “I’ve had a broken radius from the slap of a hurley [stick]. My fingers are broken and crooked. I tore my anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments, and had a fractured tibia that the skin was holding in place,” she said with a smile. This is a woman who isn’t afraid of anything. Hays is the first student from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick to come to Gannon University under a new cooperative agreement signed last year. “Mary I,” as Hays calls it, is the oldest institution of higher education in Limerick, and is recognized as a leader in teacher education in Ireland. “It’s very much the same as Gannon,” she said, “a small, tight-knit community.”

“I see the upside to smaller classes and getting to know different people, and Gannon is much more interactive than ‘Mary I’ that’s lecture-based.” The junior education major learned that education is taught differently on this side of the ocean though. “Gannon is a lot more like high school was. At ‘Mary I,’ it’s your responsibility to go to lectures, to do the work. It’s independent study, and we do everything together, the same 64 people in every class we take.” Still, she said, “I see the upside to smaller

Junior education major, Mai Burke Hays is a part of Gannon’s exchange program with Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland. classes and getting to know different people, and Gannon is much more interactive than ‘Mary I’ that’s lecturebased.” With a twinkle in her eye, she added, “And we don’t have 8 a.m. classes.” Just the same, when the opportunity to spend a semester at Gannon arose, Hays leapt at the chance with the tenacity of a camogie player. The adjustments necessary to become accustomed to a different culture weren’t always easy, but Hays has been able to find echoes of home. “I’m on placement at St. Peter Cathedral School, which is close to my experience,” she said. Though she misses her family, Hays has friends to ease the transition. “That’s been very easy. Everyone has been so lovely.” Asked about the most valuable aspect of her pioneering experience at Gannon, Hays said, “Coming to a place where there’s nothing or no one you know, it’s a big adjustment, a big learning curve. Then academically of course, Gannon is very strong, with a lot of homework. I’m at my desk for hours, whereas at ‘Mary I,’ we’d get weeks to do assignments.”

More than 150 years ago, Thomas Patrick Gannon came from County Roscommon in Ireland, not far from County

Mai Burke Hays


“Coming to a place where there’s nothing or no one you know, it’s a big adjustment, a big learning curve.” Limerick, to settle in northwestern Pennsylvania and start a family that would include the namesake of this University. The connection between the University and Ireland has grown stronger, and Hays is happy to be a part of it. Year Junior Hometown Limerick, Ireland Major Education


Possibilities 21

Tyler Reed ’11

alumnifocus “I’ve had some big life changes recently, and thought I would give you an update,” Tyler Reed wrote to his former professor Yunkai Liu, Ph.D., bioinformatics program director. Days earlier, Reed welcomed his first child into the world, a daughter named Story, and two months before this he began his job in Lafayette, Colo. at Thermo Fisher Scientific Incorporated. This $13 billion global company is the world leader in serving customers in pharmaceutical and biotech companies, hospitals and clinical diagnostic labs, universities, research institutions, government agencies, and environmental and process control industries. Reed is a programmer working closely with scientists to analyze genes and transcription between RNA and mRNA molecules. He develops programs to target specific genes for testing or amplification and develops the software to run analyses on the testing to collect data.

The class of 2011 alumnus credits the liberal arts aspect of Gannon’s curriculum and the integration of biology into the bioinformatics program for his success. The study of human cells has long been an important interest of Reed’s. After his father passed away from cancer, Reed was adamant about combining his programming skills with his interest in biology. The Kane, Pa. native received an associate’s degree in programming from the Pittsburgh Technical Institute, but it was not until a fellow church attendee approached Reed that he was introduced to Gannon. “A member of my church gave me a paper with course listings and introduced me to biomedical engineering,” said Reed. “It was not what I was interested in, but it helped me find the bioinformatics major; so I researched colleges and Gannon came up.”

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“I would get stuff done early, so the teachers gave me work outside the curriculum to practice and help me learn more,” said Reed. He interned at NIH, where he worked on developing a gene ontology pathway hierarchy encoder, and received the 2010 Exceptional Summer Student Award. He worked at ETI his senior year with Comfort Care & Resources, where he was able to continue in a job after graduation.

“I would get stuff done early, so the teachers gave me work outside the curriculum to practice and help me learn more.”

At 21 years old, he enrolled at Gannon University and got married within that same year. His life has moved quite rapidly since. Reed gained ample experience during his undergraduate at Gannon, from taking on extra work from his professors, to interning at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and working at the Erie Technology Incubator (ETI).


Class of 2011 bioinformatics graduate, Tyler Reed recently started a job in Colorado with a leading global pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, where he said he now enjoys his family, job and the nature of the new location.

Since moving to Colorado, Reed and his wife have adapted to the new area and lifestyle. “I like hiking in the mountains and it’s definitely not something you can get in Pennsylvania. My wife and I like hiking because it’s something we can take the baby along for, too. Looking east and seeing the plains and looking west and seeing the mountains, its so beautiful here,” said Reed.

alumnotes 1952

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


JOHN G. PLAVCAN '71M and his wife, Janet, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on November 28, 2013. ROBERT T. “TOM” SCHLAUDECKER, SR. is set to retire as the director of the Upper Room homeless shelter in April. He has worked as a volunteer with the shelter since it opened in 1995.


JACK ST. PIERRE is retiring after eight years at the helm of CAN BE, the Community Association for New Business Entrepreneurship. He previously retired in 1998 as president and CEO of Pocono P.E.T., Inc., which he founded in 1985 with the assistance of CAN DO, Inc.


MICHAEL A. FETZNER, ESQ., was among those listed in the most recent edition of Best Lawyers in America; Atty. Fetzner was selected for workers' compensation law. Fetzner is an attorney with Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. in Erie.


GERALD GANCE is entering his 46th year as a teacher/administrator. He retired from public education at Red Bank Regional High School after 38 years, and is currently teaching at Ranney School, a private high school in New Jersey. He has been elected Teacher of the Year twice, in 1998 and 2002, is a member of the Red Bank Regional Educational Hall of Fame, and was elected to the Nobel Society of Educators in 2005.

ROBERT W. MCGEE, PH.D., competed in the Taekwondo National Championships in Orlando on Oct. 18-19, in the 60-99 year-old category, and won gold medals in all eight events.


JOHN “JACK” C. DEEN, JR. received Oaklyn's “Volunteer of the Year” award. Deen is director of policy administration for Colonial Penn insurance company in Philadelphia. NADIA L. HAMILTON '70M celebrated her 90th birthday on Aug. 30, 2013. Hamilton taught home economics for nearly 40 years at Harbor Creek and Ft. LeBoeuf High Schools. She was “Mary Brooks” for Meadowbrook Dairy, and has been involved in numerous community activities. WILLIAM J. PEPICELLO, PH.D., was recognized as a top Arizona Leader by “AZ Business Leaders,” an annual publication that combines profiles of 400 top Arizona executives in more than 60 industries. Pepicello was the president of the University of Phoenix, retiring at the end of 2013. He began his tenure at the university in 1995, and has held a number of leadership roles including provost, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the School of Advanced Studies.


GIANNI D. DEVINCENTIS-HAYES, PH.D., VMC, has published her 24th book, titled “Time, A Seasonal Collection of Short Stories.” She is the founder and president emeritus of the 23-year-old Writers Bloc, Inc. She is also the recipient of two schools' Distinguished Alumni awards, including Gannon’s in 1982. The University of Maryland has created an archive in her name for her writing and teaching accounts. She is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Devincentis-Hayes also recently received her Doctorate.

a son, Maverick Richard Gailey (born on June 6, 2013) to Nicole “Nikki” (Frisbee) Gailey '12M. a son, Clayton Deane Best (born Sept. 16, 2013) to Kristen Wright Best, CPA '98 and her husband, Matthew. Clayton joins big brother, Avery Matthew, born Sept. 26, 2009. a daughter, Anna May Lawrence (born Oct. 10, 2013) to Erin M. (Duddleston) Lawrence '02, '03M and her husband, Gerald. Anna joins big sister, Emily Marie, born March 14, 2011.


RICHARD L. PFINGSTLER was elected president of the Metal Powder Industries Federation. Pfingstler is CEO of Atlas Pressed Metals in DuBois, Pa.


MARY (MONOLA) GAMBLE was recently elected president of the Erie Art Museum's board of directors. She has served on the board for five years. Gamble was the first Erie woman owner/operator of an advertising agency, 2M Advertising.


DENNIS M. MCGEE '76M is running for a Republican seat on the Lemoyne Borough Council. He is the president of Dennis McGee and Associates, LLC, and is a federal special agent.


JON K. MILES has been promoted to president and chief operating officer from regional vice president with EHD. He joined the company in 1997.


THOMAS E. CARLOTTI retired as the chief of police for the Millcreek Police Department in Eire, following a 32-year career in which he served as officer and corporal in the patrol division, detective corporal and sergeant in the juvenile and adult crime units, commander of the juvenile aid and special services divisions, professional standards officer and deputy chief. DAVID A. KELL, PH.D., has been appointed as visiting assistant professor of chemistry for Culver-Stockton College. Kell was a chemistry professor from 1989 through 2005.

a son, Daniel Edward Kohar (born on Nov. 28, 2013) to Christopher M. Kohar '95 and his wife, Jodi. Daniel joins older sister, Emilee and brother, Andrew. a son, Leo Alexander Godoy (born on Jan. 11, 2014) to Kaija C. (Allgaier) Godoy '02 and her husband, Michael. a daughter, Clarissa Mae Oakley (born on July 16, 2013) to Catherine Engman Oakley '05M. She joins big sister Michaela Belle, born Jan. 6, 2009.


Possibilities 23


A Message from Gannon University Alumni Association President, Scott M. Krall ’84 As my term as president of Gannon University's Alumni Association draws to a close, I not only look back, but also look forward to the continuing advancement and success of the Gannon University Alumni Association and its governing board, the National Alumni Board (NAB). In 2003, I was excited to be involved with the Pittsburgh Region, which connects alumni in the region with one another through various events and activities. This was a way to support an objective from our first strategic plan, which was to increase alumni interaction with one another and with the University. Subsequent strategic plans evolved to not only strengthen these connections, but to add objectives aimed to increase alumni interaction with current and prospective students and to support the University’s philanthropic efforts. During my term as president, the NAB was able to create and implement many initiatives to strengthen our connection with alumni, students and the University. One was the successful launch of the Mentoring Achievement Program (MAP) with Lambda Sigma, the sophomore honor society. A total of 14 students participated to accomplish the following goals: • Encourage early student exposure to the Alumni Association • Foster positive alumni and student engagement • Assist in the University goal of sophomore retention by creating meaningful Gannon connections • Fulfill the leadership requirement for membership in Lambda Sigma In September, eight alumni regions sponsored projects to support Gannon University’s GIVE Day. In October, 588 alumni participated in various events at the 2013 Alumni Homecoming Reunion Weekend. During that weekend, the NAB members adopted the following mission statement for the Alumni Association: The Gannon University Alumni Association engages and connects Alumni to the University and to one another. This mission statement is the foundation of the process to develop the next Alumni Association Strategic Plan (2014-2018). This plan will outline how the NAB will carry out its mission and continue to engage Gannon University and Villa Maria College alumni and graduating students into the future. I encourage each of you to visit the Alumni Association’s website ( to monitor the progress of the strategic plan and stay in touch. I will continue to stay connected to Gannon University and hope you will do the same. To the Gannon administration, faculty, staff, board members and alumni, I want to thank each of you for your support. To the new Alumni Board Executive Committee and all the board members, I wish you all the best in meeting the 2014-2018 Strategic Plan’s objectives that will continue to promote the advancement and success of Gannon University.


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NANCY E. DUSCKAS '80M recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new Dusckas-Taylor Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc. at 5151 Buffalo Road in Harborcreek, Pa. Projected completion date is spring 2014. The new facility is an expansion of Erie's Dusckas Funeral Home, Inc. JOHN A. WELLS retired as the Leesburg, Va. Town Manager in Oct. 2013. MARK L. WETZEL has joined Aviv REIT, Inc. as chief financial officer and treasurer. Wetzel previously served as executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of DuPont Fabros Technology, Inc.


FRANCIS J. KLEMENSIC, ESQ., was among those listed in the most recent edition of Best Lawyers in America; Atty. Klemensic was selected for medical malpractice law— defendants. He is an attorney with Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. in Erie. JOY (MEZZACAPO) NEMITZ, VMC, is the new chief marketing officer at Commontouch, a leading provider of Internet security technology and cloud-based services. ANTHONY M. RUFFA, D.O., has joined the Ashtabula County [Ohio] Medical Center. GARY J. WINSCHEL has been named senior vice president and senior relationship manager for PNC Wealth Management.


WILLIAM F. TREACY, JR. has joined L.B. Foster Company as general manager, Transit Products, and will work from the company's Suwanee, Ga. facility.


THERESE (ROPELEWSKI) BRIGHT, PH.D., graduated from St. Louis Community College in May 2012 with an Associates degree in Applied Science Dietetics Nutrition, and is also a Registered Dietetic Technician with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. CLIFFORD R. DAVIS, (RET), has earned the designation of chartered adviser for senior living (CASL) from the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and has also qualified for membership in the Million Dollar Roundtable (MDRT), an international, independent association of nearly 19,000 leading life insurance producers. Davis is a financial advisor with Northwestern Mutual Financial and recently celebrated his 20th anniversary with the company.

MICHAEL W. YELINEK has joined Advanced Disposal as regional manager for the company’s northern and central Wisconsin divisions.


WALTER W. COOPER '87M is the new senior vice president of strategy and corporate development officer for Matrix Medical Network, a national leader in prospective medical assessment services for Medicare Advantage plans and one of the largest employers of nurse practitioners. JANE L. INGOLD was recognized by the MidAtlantic Regional Archives Conference with a 2013 Service Award for co-chairing the Local Arrangements Committee for its spring meeting in Erie. Ingold is the associate librarian and archivist at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College. The Behrend Archives, which Ingold manages, was featured on CSPAN-2 in October as part of the “Cities Tour” series.


BRUCE W. BOLLER was recently named Bertie County's 2013-14 Teacher of the Year. Boller is the biology and biotechnology instructor at Bertie Early College High School in North Carolina.


JOSEPH W. HOAG has joined the Office of Advancement at St. Bonaventure University as a major gifts officer. Hoag most recently served as national accounts manager of diocesan solutions for Cathedral Corporation in Rome, N.Y., and previously served more than 10 years as director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Erie. BRIAN A. ZIROLI recently wrote a novel titled “Christmas, At Last,” available through Kindle, and on Ziroli is currently pursuing his MBA at Gannon University and is expecting to graduate in spring 2014.


MITCHELL R. SMITH, JR. will be joining the new Erie Hurricane pro basketball franchise as an assistant coach. The team will be an expansion member of the Central Basketball League in 2014.


KENNETH M. OGOREK '90M recently appeared on Salt and Light Media in Canada. He is also a speaker for CMG Booking. View Ken's video clip at Ken is the director of catechesis for the Archdiocese of Indiana.

JOHN K. PAGLIA, PH.D., '96M has been appointed Interim associate dean with responsibility for fully employed programs at the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University. Paglia is also an associate professor of finance, founder and past director of the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project, and most recently served as chair of the Finance and Accounting Department. He was appointed director of accreditation in July 2013 and will continue in that role. RICK S. RICE is the program director and on-air personality at Rock 104.9 in Asheville, N.C. He also is the public address announcer for the Asheville Tourists and UNC Ashville basketball. COL WILLIAM S. WOZNIAK, USA, has assumed command of the U.S. Army Central Command Area Support Group in Qatar.


MARGARET (WAGNER) POLLOCK was chosen as a finalist for the Pittsburgh Business Times' 2013 “CFO of the Year” award. Pollock is CFO of Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh, Inc.


KATHY A. COOK '93M has been named president of St. Joseph Health Center in Warren, Ohio, a member of the Humility of Mary Health Partners. Cook most recently served as chief nursing officer at St. Elizabeth Health Center. She has been part of the HMHP system since she started as a nursing student at St. Elizabeth's School of Nursing. KATHY SCHRECKENGOST '93M has incorporated Little Steps Physical Therapy as an independent company. She has worked as a pediatric physical therapist for 20 years, and currently has contracts with early intervention programs in Erie and Crawford counties to provide physical therapy in a child's home or in a community setting. MICHELE (BLAKE) TATE has been appointed the new executive director of the Department of Environmental Protection's Citizen Advisory Council. Tate has worked for the DEP for 17 years, most recently as the regulatory coordinator in the policy office.


ERIC G. LAPRICE, M.S. '97C '99M, was recently a guest on “San Diego Live” to talk about his newly published book, “Best Foot Forward.” You can visit his website for his book and to view his other photography work.


CPT GREGORY M. HUET, USN (RET.) '84M, recently accepted a new position as the associate director, health services at the University of Rhode Island.

Rico J. Dillard '02 married Sara Sypula on June 29, 2013. Lauren Nicole Elder '12 married Brent Brinton Elder '12 on Oct. 18, 2013. Aaron W. Hertel '01, '03M married Rebecca Flinn-Seifert on Oct. 10, 2013. Elizabeth "Ellie" A. Hess '11 married Mitchel S. Meighen '11 on July 27, 2013. Casey L. Hill '08 married Matthew Anderson on Oct. 12, 2013.

Cassandra Lee Horton '08 married Alexander D. Winter '09M on June 29, 2013. Megan A. Kerrigan '05M, '10C married Perry Phiel on July 6, 2013. Lacey Rae Kurt '06, '07M married Chad Donald Hughes on Aug. 10, 2013. Rebecca Kathleen Lelonek '10 married Eric N. Bowman on Sept. 21, 2013. Chelsea Erin Lenaway '11, '12M married Phillip Martin Grant '10 on Aug. 3, 2013. Kristan Leanne Mealy '11, '12M married Aaron Scott Chilcott on Oct. 6, 2012. Pamela L. Morrison '04, '11M married Jonathan Burdick on June 27, 2013. Kristin Anne O'Hern '10 married Gregory David Lazzara '09 on Sept. 1, 2012. Jamie Renee Reese '11C married Dustin Thomas Schumacher on Aug. 31, 2013. Amanda G. Schreck '12 married Joseph Schenberg on Sept. 7, 2013. Sarah Christina Srnka '12 married Christopher Thomas McDonald on May 11, 2013. Jennifer Lynn Samick '10M married Andrew Martin Labant on July 13, 2013. Rachelle Lynn Savannah '01, '02M married Scott Haberberger on June 21, 2013.


Possibilities 25


JENNIFER (MAILEY) GREEVY '05M has published a children's book, “We ALL Love Pancakes!” that is available for sale on Amazon. com. Greevy works as director of communications and recognition at Giant Eagle, Inc. in Pittsburgh. ROBERT D. TAYLOR recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new Dusckas-Taylor Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc. at 5151 Buffalo Road in Harborcreek, Pa. Projected completion date is spring 2014. The new facility is an expansion of Erie's Dusckas Funeral Home, Inc.


ANTHONY J. TURINI is a career counselor and women's soccer coach at Bethel College in Newton, Kan.


in memoriam

ANDREW BIELOMYZA is a four-time world record holder in weightlifting. He set the bar at the Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate New York State Championships, held August 10 in Rochester, N.Y. His performance in the 275 Raw Modern Submaster class landed him the world records in the squat (580 lbs), bench press (350 lbs), dead life exercise (590 lbs) and total weight lifted (1,520 lbs). Bielomyza is an executive level manager for BJ's Wholesale Club in Stratford, Ct.



TAMARA S. PHILABAUM '98M has been named chief administrative officer of Knox, McLaughlin, Gornall & Sennett, P.C. law firm. In that role, she has supervisory responsibility for all administrative functions at the firm. DAWN (DUNLAP) POWELL, R.N., has accepted a position with St. Luke's Children's Hospital in Boise, Id., as a developmental/ behavioral health pediatric nurse practitioner. Powell will be working primarily with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and those with neurodevelopmental delays.


BRIAN T. KLOSS, D.O., J.D., PA-C, published his first set of flash cards through McGraw-Hill on the subject of toxicology, in January. The flash card set uniquely combines comic book illustration with medical education. It is his goal to break most medical specialties down into simple comic book drawings over the next 10 years to improve students' understanding of the subject matter. The flash cards were recently featured on AMC's “Comic Book Men,” and Kloss created a website to promote the concept: www. Kloss is currently practicing Emergency Medicine at the Syracuse Veteran Administration Medical Center and teaches residents and medical students part time at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Sister Marie P. Ashworth, S.S.J. ’64VMC Roger Barlow ’76M Jane Howell Bergman ’74 Eric R. Bisbee ’94 Eugene E. Blystone, Ph.D ’53 John Bobango, Jr. ’65 James O. Bonnell ’60 Regis C. Brennan, Jr. ’70 Abrielle M. Brynda ’15 Lisa Grignol Burkholder ’95, ’04M Donald G. Buseck ’52 Maureen Hoenig Callahan ’70VMC Paul Cap ’66 Sharon Hazen Chapman ’88VMC Sister Mary L. Cizik ’56VMC Clarence L. Colvin ’66 Richard L. Darby ’62 Robert E. Davies ’54 Danean Blinzler Delinski ’98 Cosmo S. Dello ’66 Judith Almasi Downing ’77 Ernest S. Ellis, USA ’51 Charles A. English ’54 Thomas R. English ’58

gannon magazine

april 2014

Vincent J. Faga ’96M Robert A. Farren ’85 Rev. Robert P. Fedor ’56 Mary Hafey Fischer ’63VMC Michael J. Forslund ’99M Raymond A. Guerrein ’47 Richard J. Haughney ’50 Thomas D. Heberle ’49 Thomas M. Heim, U.S.N. ’85 Francis Horan ’60 John H. Horn ’50 James H. Jansen ’50 Adele Deham Jarema ’41VMC John T. Jerge ’56 Amanda M. Juchno ’11 Mary Koziorowski Justka ’79VMC Robert F. Kalivoda ’52 Maria Heya Karcic ’51VMC William J. Kintz, Jr. ’50 William J. Kostiuk ’73 Danielle Lizeroux Lei ’79 Frank J. Liebert ’58 Andrew S. Lindway ’57 Charles E. Long, Sr. ’57 Rita Rutkowski Mabie ’59VMC William A. Mack ’60


MICHAEL P. RUGH was among the members of the Class of 2013 of the Gateway High School Sports Hall of Fame. He served as team captain of the soccer team his senior year with the Gateway Gators and has the honor of being part of the only Gateway boys team to make it to the WPIAL quarterfinals in school history.


STEPHANIE B. COULTRIP is an eighth grade teacher at South Amherst Middle School in the Firelands Local School District in Ohio. LUCAS L. DILLINGER '02M was recently elected to the FSC US Board of Directors, to serve on the Board's Economic Chamber for a three-year term. Dillinger is forest certification manager and a procurement forester at Domtar's Johnsonburg, Pa. mill. ELLIOTT J. EHRENREICH, ESQ., has been elected a shareholder of Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. Ehrenreich, who is licensed to practice in both Pennsylvania and New York, concentrates his practice on business acquisitions and financings, health law and other general business transactions. He has successfully represented a diverse range of clients including businesses, franchises, physician practices, a national healthcare service provider and several non-profit entities throughout western Pennsylvania and western New York.

Patricia A. Martin, Ed.D., ’65VMC, ’73M Robert F. McCrarey ’69 A. Margaret McDonald ’32VMC Carrie A. Misterovich ’06 Steven C. Nicholas ’77 Theodore R. Olson ’88M Charles O. Onuoha ’79, ’80M Charles Orbanek ’74 Patricia F. Owens ’69, ’79M Stanley P. Pekelnicky ’71 Paul J. Policicchio ’72 Sister Mary F. Prenatt ’50VMC John F. Rainsford, Jr. ’52 Robert S. Rambler ’90 Louis N. Raub ’56 John T. Reagan ’60 Bernard T. Reiser ’63 Jeffrey D. Rouch ’80, ’81M Henry I. Russell ’61 Theresa Kaufman Salchak ’49VMC Eileen Schilken-Windsor ’82VMC Catherine Dietrich Seibold-Johnson ’82VMC, ’89M Dolores M. Sheridan ’74M Ralph E. Shultz ’63 Merih M. Sinik ’70, ’73M

KSENIA A. STAFEEVA, MD, has joined the staff of New Eyes in Las Vegas as an ophthalmologist and cornea specialist.


KATHARINE (NEUBERT) MUROSKY performed in the Erie Playhouse's December musical production of “Mary Poppins.” Murosky is currently working as a wish coordinator at the Make-A-Wish Foundation, teaches at the Erie Dance Conservatory and works as a private voice coach.


EMILY CROSS BENESH, PH.D., has been published in “Nature” for her work in prostate cancer. Benesh earned a Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University. She is now doing post-doctoral work at Washington University of St. Louis. Her article: “Maternal high-fat diet induces hyperproliferation and alters Pten/Akt signaling in prostates of offspring” can be read at www. srep03466.pdf TINA R. CHEKAN '05C is the new superintendent and CEO for Propel charter schools. Chekan has been with the Propel system since its inception in 2003. She began teaching kindergarten and has worked as a literacy coach, principal and assistant superintendent.

Clinton E. Smith ’62 Edwin D. Smith ’47 John H. Smith ’69 Richard A. Smith ’93 William G. Smith ’72 Vera Lloyd Snyder ’64VMC Sylvia D. Swartzfager ’69VMC Barbara Smith Sykes ’72VMC James H. Tarbell ’57 John C. Tate ’77 Rachel Thompson ’84 Samantha M. Thompson ’08C Rita M. Vilkinofsky ’92 Robert D. Volkmar ’70, ’73M Virginia L. Walsh ’70VMC William F. Ward ’50 Roger J. Watkins ’96 Robert T. Weber ’69, ’73M Patricia Fanning Welser ’99M Robert J. Westerling ’50 Joseph W. Wieczorek ’51 Raymond Wieszczyk, Sr. ’52 Richard M. Wilczynski ’53 Daniel R. Winkler ’69 Richard H. Yochim ’50 Ruth Butler Zdunski ’82

SEAN L. MARSHALL has been named the head coach of the Weymouth Club Waves swim team, which offers a year-round developmental age group, junior and senior program in Massachusetts. The Waves compete in U.S. Swimming as part of the New England LSC.


SARAH C. KRENK, '06M, '06C has authored a book called “Changing Landscapes – My New Normal,” about dealing with her double aneurysm rupture and subsequent stroke. She wrote the book to help anyone going through a traumatic time and for caregivers dealing with the aftermath of a trauma. You can purchase this at TAMI L. NOTARANGELO is a CT Scan Technologist at UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie. JANEEN M. PERETIN '06M has been hired to serve as the Baldwin-Whitehall School District's director of information and instructional technology. Peretin is currently the assistant principal at Baldwin High School. DANIELLE R. PETROZELLE '07M and Rebecca Iscrupe wrote an article called “Framework for Fieldwork–Making the Most of Student-Educator Collaboration” in the July 22, 2013 edition of “OT Practice,” which is published by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

Parents and Friends Robert A. Allison, Jr. Stephen Antolik Kenneth T. Baer Douglas F. Bowman, Jr., M.D. Olin W. Bracken, Jr. William H. Brendley, Jr. Maureen Hoenig Callahan Jeanette Shioleno Chartrand Bonney Daubenspeck Daniel Desser Rev. Homer DeWalt Margaret Quinn Dwyer Leon Evans Janet A. Fearon Patricia Corrier Filutze Clement G. Fuhrman Raymond G. Harvey Martin D. Henry, Ph.D. Donald J. Hohman Esther M. Joy Robert V. Kiel, D.O. Leslie D. Kier Patricia J. Kirschner Mary Wingerter Knight-Strong


SHANE S. MURRAY, '07C, '05C has been named as the new superintendent of the Iroquois School District in Erie. ANDREA J. SNYDER '07M is a learning support teacher with the Corry Area, Pa. School District.


JESSICA L. BAUMANN, MD, recently graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Medical School. She is now a resident at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz. GRACE R. KRETSCHMANN traveled to Rwanda this past summer. She went on a sponsorship tour with Compassion International. Kretschmann is currently teaching on the Navajo Reservation in St. Michaels, Ariz. MARK H. MORRISON '08M has joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford as a visiting instructor and interim director of the Mathematics Center. MELISSA M. NELSON '08M has been hired as the new assistant principal at Mellon Middle School in the Mt. Lebanon School District near Pittsburgh.

Jack Lee James J. Marconi Kathleen Matczak Merrill McGranor Rev. Msgr. Richard J. McGuire Samuel H. Minney, Jr. Donald E. Myers, Sr. Chester J. Nyberg Jerome I. Pogorzelski Robin Powers, Ph.D.* Caliope Richmond Louise Howe Rutthoff Eleanor R. Santia Mary Schaaf Victor Sergeant Joan C. Stoklosa Mark R. Taccone Robert F. Taft Audrey Welther Twiss

*former faculty member


Possibilities 27

LOUIS T. SHERNISKY graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in May with a Juris Doctor degree. He accepted a position as assistant chief counsel with NASA at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Shernisky assists senior attorneys in rendering legal services to all elements of the Kennedy Space Center and other NASA organizations.


CHRISTOPHER P. DEARBECK '09M is the new fine arts coordinator for the Billerica Public Schools in Billerica, Mass. AMANDA C. FLICK was hired as the marketing and communications specialist at The Nonprofit Partnership in Erie. She will be assisting area non-profit organizations to improve their marketing efforts by improving their websites and annual reports, as well as by incorporating social media into their marketing strategies. SHELBY R. SMITH is a payroll specialist at American Tower in Boston. SAMANTHA E. VONARX is a medical technologist at Elk Regional Health Center laboratory in St. Marys, Pa. CHAD W. WAGNER '09M is a teacher at Maplewood Elementary School in the Penncrest School District in Crawford County, Pa.


JORDAN R. BURKE, PHARM.D., '10C is a pharmacist at Northwest Pharmacy Solutions in Meadville, Pa. SABRINA CHIRCO has been promoted to the position of director of research and grants with The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership. MARK D. DEMSKI is an e-Commerce Coordinator at Dick's Sporting Goods Corporate office. JONATHAN W. NEENAN passed the Pennsylvania Bar Exam on his first try, and is a newly appointed associate district attorney with the Erie County District Attorney's Office. KAYLA M. NELSON is an e-Commerce Coordinator at Dick's Sporting Goods Corporate office.

1LT ERIC W. SCHUMACHER is currently deployed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, with the 551 Military Police Company. Lt. Schumacher is commander of a 40-member military police detachment assigned to overseeing the safe redeployment of service members and their equipment to the United States. KAITLYN S. SLOMSKI '10M has been appointed to the Women's Roundtable of Northwest Pennsylvania. Slomski is project coordinator at Niche Team LLC. GARRETT B. STURGES received his MBA from California University of Pennsylvania, graduating with honors. Sturges received the graduate student of the year award for 2012-13, and the presidential scholar award for 2013.


TAYLOR S. BLAETZ started in the Masters of Bio Behavioral Psychology program at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky. ANGELICA BASCO DE ROSA recently conducted a presentation on Gannon University’s campus, titled “Radiation Induced Bone Loss: Space Flight and Beyond.” It focused on the problem of radiation-induced osteoporosis, both in space flight and cancer radiotherapy applications. De Rosa is currently pursuing her doctorate in biomedical engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her laboratory experiments have flown on numerous space shuttle missions, most recently STS-135. DESTIN S. DEMARION has been named the Bassmaster Northern Opens' Angler of the Year. Demarion collected two top 10 finishes out of the three events, and also finished third overall in the Bassmaster Southern Open's Co-Angler of the Year standings.

MEGAN T. MCCULLUM is currently getting her Master’s degree in Homeland Security/Terrorism at Southern New Hampshire University. LAURA M. ZIRKLE '12M has been named vice president for student life at Mercyhurst University. Zirkle has been with the university for 15 years, most recently serving as associate vice president for student life.


ELIZABETH A. FELDMAN '13C received her white coat during ceremonies on Sept. 23, 2013. She is a member of the Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 2016 at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM). SELENA N. KING has been named the new director of development for L'Arche Erie, Inc. King will be responsible for promotion and communication of the organization's mission and services throughout Erie County, Pa. MARIBETH T. KUNTZ '13M recently completed her Masters of Physician Assistant Studies program at Gannon University. In October, she reported to Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama for officer training. From there she will be assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana to begin her practice as a physician assistant. ASHLEY M. MAKAREVICH '13M was recently named assistant principal of the new Moon Area School District's high school. She had previously served as an elementary and middle school teacher in the Mercer Area School District. KELCI V. MARTIN has accepted a staff-nurse position at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center on Tower 5, their Stroke/Pulmonary Unit in Baltimore, Md. EVAN M. TWOMBLY has been signed to the Erie Explosion football team for the 2014 season.

ANTHONY R. PRIBONIC is currently the president and co-owner of iRock Fitness in Erie.


REBECCA A. ISCRUPE and Danielle R. Petrozelle wrote an article called “Framework for Fieldwork– Making the Most of Student-Educator Collaboration” in the July 22, 2013 edition of OT Practice, which is published by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

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!


gannon magazine

april 2014

The Ryans:

Tony and Lesley Ryan at the ancient library of Ephesus in Turkey.

A Culture of Service and Giving

Carole “Lesley” (Schuster) Ryan, a graduate of the Massachusetts General School of Nursing, earned her B.S. in Nursing from Villa Maria College in 1976. She dedicated her career to helping others, becoming Erie’s first enterostomal therapist, serving on the staff of five of Erie’s hospitals and directing a private health care company, Medi-Center. “During my career, I worked at every hospital and on every shift, and my goal was to provide compassionate and professional service to my patients,” commented Lesley. Her husband, Tony Ryan graduated from MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering. He co-founded Rent-Way, serving as President and Chairman and is now Chairman Emeritus. Tony had leadership roles in some of Erie’s biggest industrial companies including Johnson Control, Skinner Engine Co., Automated Industrial Systems and Spectrum Control.

The Ryans now enjoy retirement in Naples, Florida, visit Erie periodically and realize that the many blessings they’ve enjoyed throughout the years are the result of their great educations. “By including Gannon in our estate plan, we can have a significant impact on generations of nursing students,” said Tony. Their daughter, Karen, earned her Master’s degree from Gannon and their granddaughter, Madison Manchester, is a current undergraduate student. So when it came time for the Ryans to establish their estate plan, including four full scholarships in the Villa Maria School of Nursing was at the top of their list. “With this gift, we are excited to help bolster a culture of Villa Maria College and Gannon alumni giving to the University,” said Lesley.

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, Director of Philanthropy at (814) 871-7786. Or visit our website at


Possibilities 29

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October 10-12, 2014!

Your First Opportunity to Take a Guided Tour of Gannon's New and Exciting Facilities: Forensic Investigation Center Recreation and Wellness Center School of Communication and the Arts Watch your mailbox this summer for your homecoming registration!

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Gannon Magazine April 2014  
Gannon Magazine April 2014  

The magazine for alumni and friends of Gannon University.