Spring 2006 Magazine
The World in Yehl Ballroom 17th Annual International Night
Editor’sInklings Everyday we make choices. Coffee or tea? Sweater or coat? Raincoat or umbrella? Sometimes the choices we’re faced with aren’t so simple. Do I take that job offer in LA? Do I start my own business? Do I tell my daughter that I’m not happy with her choice of husband? These are the types of choices that ﬁll us with the fear of regret and make us ask, what would have happened if I had chosen differently? What would have happened if I had gone to a university other than Gannon? It’s a reaction directly connected to the belief that the grass might be greener on the other side. The only way to really ever know is to go to the other side and ﬁnd out, if in no other way, at least in our imagination. The core of Gannon’s curriculum strives to arm our students with that skill and to allow them to experience the other side as much as possible, through hands-on learning experiences, international academic exchange, student-led organizations, and by simply using their imagination. And the curriculum has been doing just that for years. Brian Fargo ’71 (page 18) has had enough conﬁdence to realize that his choices weren’t always going to lead him where he had planned, but he let life, to some extent, lead him where it may and has been very successful in doing so. He made the choice to become a CPA, but he didn’t let it dictate who he was every waking moment. He found ways to experience the “other side” through volunteering in the community. He found out what it was like to be an animal rescuer and wildlife photographer, and what it’s like to reach out to women and children in need. Our students who traveled across borders over spring break (page 12) experienced what the grass was like in Mexico, China, and Greece, not only now but in the past. Likewise, the international students who decided to come to the States for their education at Gannon offered us all the opportunity to experience their way of life while they are here experiencing ours. Maybe we’ll never move to India, but through cultural exchange at International Night (page 6), our imaginations were tickled with what it might be like if we did. For one generation of the Nedresky family (page 10), all they needed was their imagination and a little research to have conﬁdence in knowing that Gannon was the right school for them. Now, they are reaping the rewards of that choice as their degrees help them to build their careers in the health sciences. In addition to the creative and analytical skills that students already have when they come to the University, Gannon’s liberal arts-based curriculum also inspires students to test their imagination and grow to be more than just an engineer, or just a respiratory therapist. In fact, several of our engineering students and a good many of our health science students donned the hat of a thespian for the Schuster Theatre performance of CATS (page 4) and entertained audiences of all types. The risk of opening our mind to imagine what it’s like on the other side is indeed scary, just as sometimes making a choice alone is frightful. But when made with conﬁdence, our decisions help to deﬁne who we are – whether we are empowered, successful, creative, kind, or any mix of these characteristics and others. Our students and alumni consistently prove that they have this conﬁdence as they live, work, lead, and serve in their communities.
Catherine Carlson, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org (814) 871.5817
Features The World in Yehl Ballroom
Gannon and the Erie community experience the cultures of international students.
10 Gannon Generations
An entire family is reaping the rewards of their Gannon degrees.
12 From Digital Presentation to Digging in Mexico Three spring semester classes take their lectures across borders.
16 A Letter from a Trustee
Tom Power ’63 invites alumni and friends to transform the University.
Departments 2 18 19 20 22 29
NewsNotes AlumniFocus FacultyFocus SportsScan AlumNotes EndNotes
Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. President Jennifer A. Mailey ’95, ’05M Director of Public Affairs and Communications Catherine E. Carlson ’05M Publications Ofﬁcer and Editor Advisory Committee: Britt Dyer Daehnke ’98, ’05M Harry R. (Rick) Diz, Ph.D., P.E. Chris Dubbs Cathy Fresch Melanie Karsak Catherine Oakley ’05M Rev. Nicholas J. Rouch, S.T.D., ’83 Laura E. Rutland, Ph.D. Lisa A. Wenner
Contributors: Paul DeSante, Ph.D. Cathy Fresch Jana Hunt Jeannie Kloecker Nick Pronko Dan Teliski ’97 Photography: Ed Bernik Design: Tungsten Creative Group
On the Cover: International students rehearse an Indian dance routine in Waldron Center before performing at International Night. Photo right: The Mary, Seat of Wisdom steeple stands against a crisp spring sky.
Renowned Religious Writer To Speak at Commencement
Prominent Politicians Speak at Business Ambassadors Gathering
Kenneth L. Woodward, a contributing editor of Newsweek, will offer the keynote address to the University’s new graduates at the May 6, 2006 Spring Commencement. As a 1957 graduate of Notre Dame University, Woodward has authored more than 700 articles for Newsweek in addition to contributing to publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wilson Quarterly, and The Chicago Tribune. He also served as the Religion editor of Newsweek for 38 years.
Gannon welcomed two alumni, Erie Mayor Joseph Sinnott ’88 and Erie County Executive Mark DiVecchio ’81, back to campus to speak at a quarterly meeting of the Gannon University Business Ambassadors Group in February. Their presentation, The Next Four Years, focused on a number of key issues for the local business community.
Woodward has received numerous awards, among them the Robert F. Grifﬁn Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Art of Writing from the University of Notre Dame in 2006. He has lectured at 50 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Europe and has been a Fellow of the National Humanities Center and Regents’ Lecturer in Religion at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kenneth L.Woodward will offer the keynote address at Spring Commencement.
The Business Ambassadors Group is made up of members from more than 40 local Erie Mayor Joseph Sinnott ’88 speaks companies as well to a large gathering of Gannon’s as individuals in the Business Ambassadors in the Yehl Room. business community. The Group is dedicated to elevating the relationship between the business community and the University and focusing on enhancing the educational, economic, cultural, and social resources of the greater Erie community. Mark Gaeta ’87, Major Gifts Ofﬁcer, coordinates the Group.
Garibaldi Elected Chair of CIC and United Way After serving on the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Board of Directors for two years, one as the Vice Chair for Programs, President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., was elected Chair. He will serve a two-year term ending in January 2008. The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of more than 550 independent colleges and universities that work together to strengthen college and university leadership, sustain high-quality education, and enhance private higher education’s contributions to society.
“It is a special honor for me to serve as the Chair of the Board of CIC,” Garibaldi said. “After 50 years, CIC continues to grow in size and stature, and I look forward to working with the Board of Directors and President Richard Ekman to enhance CIC’s mission.” As Chair of the Board, Dr. Garibaldi will preside at meetings of the Board and of CIC, represent the organization, and appoint committees and commissions with the advice of the Board. Garibaldi also assumed the position of Chair of the Board for the United Way of Erie County in March, a position that he will hold for one year.
Small Business Development Center To Celebrate Anniversary
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), funded by Gannon University and the State of Pennsylvania, will celebrate its 25th Anniversary this summer. The celebration will begin with the 16th Annual Small Business Awards Program on June 1, 2006 at the Ambassador Hotel. “The 25th anniversary commemoration is a credit to the Gannon administration who had the vision to seed the Small Business Development Center program,” said Debra L. Steiner, Director of the Gannon University SBDC. “Since 1981, the SBDC has assisted more than 15,000 entrepreneurs in starting and growing their business enterprises through business consulting services, educational programs, and industry research projects. This is also a celebration of the successes that each SBDC client has achieved over the past 25 years.” The Small Business Development Center is part of a statewide network that provides consulting and educational services to small businesses in communities throughout Pennsylvania. They also provide networking and help organize contests such as the Big Idea $25,000 Business Plan Contest, sponsored in part by Ben Franklin Technology PArtners. Last year’s winner of the contest, Forward.Vision., is a Warren-based company that designs and markets an infrared-based camera system to help pilots navigate more easily through smoke, darkness, fog, rain, and snow.
President Garibaldi (far left), Debbie Steiner ’93, ’00M (far right), and Steve Brawley (middle left) represent Gannon, the SBDC, and the Ben Franklin Technology PArtners respectively at the presentation of the Big Idea Business Plan Award to Dr. Patrick Farrell, managing partner of Forward.Vision. (middle right).
Remembering a Legacy
Gannon students gather together to march in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day march.
Gannon Recognizes Martin Luther King Jr. The University gathered for several events in January honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and his accomplishments as a civil rights leader and as an advocate for peace and justice. The celebrations began on Sunday, January 15 with a special Sunday liturgy. The events continued into Monday with a nonviolence training program and an intercollegiate prayer service followed by Gannon community members participating in the City of Erie Martin Luther King Jr. Day March. The day concluded with a performance by the Erie Chamber Orchestra, but celebrations continued later in the month with on-campus performances by the Howard University Jazz Ensemble, directed by Professor Fred Irby III.
Ivan George watches a game from the bench as the coach of Gannon’s baseball team.
Gannon baseball legacy Ivan George passed away at age 86 on November 18, 2005. George is well-remembered by the University for his 23 years of service as coach for the baseball team and 12 years as coach for the golf team. As baseball coach, he compiled a 258-335-2 record, ﬁnishing .500 or better 11 times, and he imprinted himself as a positive inﬂuence in his players’ memories. Pitcher Steve Grilli, who played four seasons in the majors with the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, was one of many student athletes who played under George on Gannon’s baseball team.
NewsNotes Knight with Scholars On February 19-20, the University welcomed more than 120 prospective students from Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and as far away as New Hampshire and North Carolina to campus for its annual Knight with Scholars event. The students in attendance had been accepted to Gannon for the fall 2006 semester and had also been selected for a Gannon University academic or leadership scholarship. This event gave them a chance to get a taste of college life by participating in academic lectures with Gannon students and faculty and attending “Gannon at a Glance,” a series of informational sessions on campus services and resources. “Knight with Scholars began as a way for prospective students to get a ﬁrst-hand look at what Gannon has to offer and has grown to be an important aspect of our overall recruitment efforts,” said Miles Vida, Enrollment Advisor with the Ofﬁce of Admissions. “The idea is to offer prospective students a welcoming and interactive weekend.”
Current Gannon students (left to right) Mandy DiCicco, Drew Rogers, Allison Boyd, Ryan Carlisle, and Jamie Taylor share their experiences at Gannon with prospective students and answer their questions at the Knight with Scholars luncheon.
Schuster Theatre’s CATS a Wild Success The Schuster Theatre production of CATS entertained packed houses for almost all performances, capturing the attention of students, alumni, faculty and staff, Board of Trustee Members, and members of the Circles of Distinction. John Paganie ’69, Regional Mark Fiscus performs as Bustopher Jones in President of the Schuster Theatre production of CATS. Penelec–A FirstEnergy Company and Gannon Trustee, commented, “I’ve had several opportunities to see Gannon students perform in the Schuster Theatre, and I’m always impressed by their talent. This production of CATS was very well polished, and the actors really connected with the audience.” Mr. Paganie was also impressed by the academic diversity of the actors, especially when he found out that two of the actors, Steve Fusaro and Mark Fiscus, were majoring in engineering ﬁelds. “Being an engineer myself, I know that engineers can often be painted as intellectual but lacking interpersonal skills. It was neat to see that this isn’t true, as these students portrayed,” he said.
Distinguished Alumni now during Homecoming
The annual Distinguished Alumni event, held previously in the spring, will take place over Alumni/ae Homecoming/ Reunion Weekend, October 6-8, 2006. If you would like to nominate someone for this prestigious award, please visit the online community at www.gannonalumni.org to ﬁll out a nomination form, or contact Cathy Fresch, Director of Alumni Services, at email@example.com
The Crystal Flame that Distinguished Alumni receive represents the passion that has led them to be successful in their careers.
The production, directed by Ed Helenski ’89, Technical Director for the Theatre, was one of the ﬁrst amateur productions of the Broadway play in the nation. The ﬁnal showing on February 19 was the annual Gannon University Schuster Theatre/Alex Clemente Fundraiser.
Faculty and Staff News
Ten Years as Number One
The University’s Jump Start Program hosted its second annual Wellness Fair for Gannon employees this past winter. In accordance with efforts to support healthy living, the Jump Start Program offers education and services to the Gannon community— its Wellness Fair being the largest event of the year. At the Fair, Gannon faculty, staff, and administrators were presented with information about Weight Watchers, the Hamot Wellness Center, healthy living in general, and a multitude of other health-related issues and services. They were also treated to free massages and provided with the opportunity for free cholesterol and blood pressure screenings.
The University’s student-produced literary magazine Totem was chosen for its 10th consecutive ﬁrst-place award in the American Scholastic Press Association’s (ASPA) annual magazine competition. This year’s ﬁrst-place award also came with a “special merit” designation.
Jump Start began in 2004 after several years of research into health awareness programs, how they are organized, and how one at Gannon could be funded. Today, the program actively engages the employees of Gannon in healthy living through the hard work of a committee comprised of : Jason Willow, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sport and Exercise Science; Dawna Mughal, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Dietetics; Tom Hudson, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy; Carolyn Galleher, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy; Cindy Mancini, Secretary of Human Resources; Jay DiFrank ’68, ’75M, Associate Director of Human Resources; Ali Schneider, Director of the Health Services; Melissa Lesniewski, Secretary of New Student Services; Mary Beth Danowski, Assistant to the Vice President of Finance and Administration; and Beth Shick ’92, Director of the Ofﬁce of Student Organizations and Leadership Development.
“Your magazine shows the efforts of talented and creative editors, writers, artists, photographers, layout designers, staff members and advisor,” the ASPA (College Point, N.Y.) said in a letter to the publications staff. The Totem includes poetry, ﬁction, short stories, art, photography, and graphic design done by Gannon students and faculty and staff. Senior Occupational Therapy major Danielle Petrozelle and senior English major Christian Peterson served as co-editors of the publication, and Berwyn Moore, Associate Professor of English, served as faculty advisor.
The Lance Returns with Award-Winning Design After ten years of absence, the Lance, Gannon’s yearbook, returned to publication in 2005 and was recognized quickly as an award-winning book. The ﬁrst organization to recognize the efforts of the staff was Taylor Publishing, the Lance’s publisher, who added the book to their “Yearbook Yearbook!” list of inspirational ideas for fellow yearbook designers. It was also recognized with a Columbia University Silver Crown Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA). Catherine Oakley’05M congratulates student Ross Miceli, Editor-in-Chief of the Lance, after receiving their critique from CSPA on last year’s book, which Ross designed.The publication received a Silver Medal and a score of 907/1000.
Robin Powers, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, has her blood pressure checked during the 2nd Annual Wellness Fair, hosted by Gannon’s Jump Start Program.
The World inYehl Ballroom
As Gannon continues to gain recognition nationally, it is also becoming known halfway around the world in the fast-developing country of India, in addition to Turkey, Bahamas, Nigeria, Hong Kong, and approximately a dozen other countries. To share the flavor of home, international students hosted an evening of cultural exchange, figuratively flying guests around the world without them having to leave the comfort of Yehl Ballroom. International Night 2006 (the 17th annual), “Passport to Entertainment,” kicked off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 with a welcome and a dinner consisting of the tastes and textures from all over the world. Catered? Absolutely not! All dishes were homemade by natives of the countries represented. Following dinner, students and faculty entertained guests with music and dance performances while they browsed an exhibit of international photos that the Gannon community had entered in a contest. The annual event is one night each year that everyone shares the rich delights from far- away homes. But how did Gannon become peppered with such unique individuals? It started with a connection to India, a diverse country in and of itself.
From India to Erie
Seventy percent of the University’s international student population comes from India, mainly Hyderabad, located in Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad is the ﬁfth largest city in the country and one of the centers for technology and development. It’s the city where north and south meet, bringing language and ideas together in a democratic environment. At left: Sushrutha Locharam, right: Kevin Wang, son of Dr. Mei-Huei Tang, Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Sciences
“I have always had an interest and appreciation for diversity,” explained Deepti Mallepeddi, one of the students from India. “There are many different accents, languages, and cultures represented in India, and I’ve always been accustomed to living among variegated perspectives. At home, I have the culture of South India, but I lived in North India for my whole life. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know both cultures,” she said. Mallepeddi serves as the Indian Women’s Representative for the unofﬁcial Indian Student Organization that thrives independently at Gannon. The organization was formed for Indian students to reach out and help each other. “When new students arrive,” Mallepeddi said, “we help them ﬁnd good apartments, help them get settled, and introduce them to others around campus.” The self-organized group also ﬁnds their connections useful when it comes time to plan for International Night. Together with Kalyan Gadde, the Indian Men’s representative, Mallepeddi helped to gather Indian students to plan and practice the dance routines and to arrange who would prepare the large variety of Indian food that guests sampled throughout the evening. “We assigned cooking by groups of apartments where Indian students live,” Mallepeddi said. “That way we
The Young Erie Hellenic Dancers Students from Gannon’s Foreign Language Club
Kalyan Gadde with Dr. and Mrs. Garibaldi
had four or ﬁve people in each kitchen working together to cook for the event.” The group also prepared ﬁve Indian Dance routines, two exclusively performed by women, two by men, and one that was intermixed. Other groups performed dances from the cultures of Greece, Ireland, Poland, and the Philippines, but the Indian groups by far put on the largest show. The connection between Gannon and India started in 1999 when an agency in Hyderabad contacted Gannon in hopes of establishing a relationship with the University. Mehmet Cultu, Ph.D., Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and International Student Advisor, explained, “They had sixty applications for us that year, and before we really knew it, there were six students landing in Erie for schooling at Gannon!” Since then, Gannon’s reputation has grown in that part of the world, and consultants continue to recommend the University to Indian students.
Cultu, an international man himself, understands not only the Indian students who travel to the Deepti Mallepeddi United States to continue their education, but students from all over the world. He came to the U.S. from Turkey in 1967 as a Fulbright Scholar to pursue a doctoral degree. He had already earned his bachelor’s and master’s of science from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, but he felt his doctoral degree would be more worthy if obtained from an American university. “The resources in America were better than where I was,” he said, “and Ph.D. programs were (and
still are) more prestigious when coming from the States. Having an American degree has added value—particularly for Indian students right now as technology is booming in their country. It gives them a competitive edge.” As International Student Advisor, Cultu supports the International Students once they have been accepted to Gannon alongside Melanie Karsak, Director of the International Students Ofﬁce. The Ofﬁce handles issues such as immigration paperwork, socialization, helping the students with everyday living, traveling to and from the airport, grocery shopping, and helping them to ﬁnd places to live. Currently, 134 international students are physically here on campus, but the University supports a total of 168 visas, many of which are for recent graduates who are pursuing post-graduate work.
Other Countries Represented
Although the population of Indian students at Gannon far exceeds that of other foreign countries, the rest of the international student body makes up for the difference with variety. It includes students from countries such as Canada, Romania, Bahamas, Turkey, France, Spain, Nigeria, Hong Kong, Poland, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, and Puerto Rico. Their experiences at Gannon and with International Night, though, aren’t that much different from each other’s. Laura Vasui came to Gannon from Brasov, Romania, to earn a master’s of arts in English. “I was thinking long ago that I would like to travel to a foreign country for higher education,” Vasui said. “Back then, I thought I would end up in Germany like many others from my country. But, when the time came, I wanted to be unique with the place I chose to travel to.” Around that time, she met Emilio Vasui ’99 when he was on a visit to Romania, and he suggested that she investigate the possibility of attending Gannon. He had studied psychology here and had been impressed with the quality of education he received. “I initially looked at schools in New York,” Laura said, “but then I realized that Gannon might be a good place for me. The tuition here is not too high, and the quality of education is very good.” It is a different type of education than she is used to, however. “In Romania, there wasn’t much classroom discussion. We would
Melanie Karsak and Dr. Mehmet Cultu
Lublin Polish Folk Dancer
Dr. Dawna Mughal, Associate Professor of Dietetics
sometimes be required to present material, but mostly we would take examinations. We didn’t write papers or simply discuss things in the classroom. That’s one thing about the educational practices in the United States that I really appreciate—I can learn much more about different people’s perspectives,” she said. She added, “Gannon also offers me opportunities to do other things. I’m so happy to be involved in events such as International Night.” Laura prepared Pigs in a Blanket for the event, but instead of using pork as she normally would have, she used chicken to accommodate the cultures that might not eat pork and/or beef. She also made and served a type of chicken wrap unique to Romania. Laura plans to apply for U.S. citizenship after graduating, as she and Emilio are now married. Her international student visa, sponsored by Gannon, will expire shortly after graduation, and she will be required to apply for full citizenship in order to stay here with her husband. Emilio has been a citizen since 1988 and currently owns a construction company in Erie. After he graduated from Gannon, he worked at Hamot Medical Center for two years. Most of the University’s international students stay in the States for a year after graduation to gain some work experience, and many of them stay. Before they make that choice, though, they experience as much as they can with Gannon’s support and the International Student Organization here on campus. Erhan Karsak, President of the International Student Association (ISA), said, “The ISA currently has 32 ofﬁcial Laura Vasui members including undergrad international and native citizen students. All
of the graduate international students are associate members of the ISA as well.” Karsak is from Istanbul, Turkey, and is currently studying Electrical Engineering as an undergraduate student. “Many of the upper classmates I attended high school with in Turkey had traveled abroad for their education. They all told me about their experiences, and this inﬂuenced my decision to travel abroad. I rather like being abroad, too,” Karsak said. He chose to come to the United States because of the diverse population here. After Karsak made that decision, it seemed to fall into place that Gannon would be the right place for him. “I met Dr. Mehmet Cultu in Istanbul when he was recruiting students here,” Karsak said, “and he helped me to ﬁnd Erie and Gannon.” Now that Karsak is here, he is very involved in ISA activities, including International Night, at which he served as the MC. He also helped to organize the event and cooked food for it.
Students weren’t the only ones who shared their culture at International Night. Faculty and staff who participated included Dr. Mei-Huei Tang from Taiwan, Dr. Carlos Mamani from Peru, Dr. Thomas Parthenakis from Greece, Dr. Karina Vernaza from Panama, Dr. Aydin Yesildirek from Turkey, Dr. Roy and Mrs. Marilyn Voshall from the United States, and Dr. Dawna Mughal from the Philippines. Next year, if you would like to experience the world from the Yehl Ballroom, make sure to buy your tickets early as they sell out quickly.
In 1971, Darlyne Earick and Joseph Nedresky met in a freshman chemistry class, not knowing that more than 30 years later, they would be the parents of an entire “Gannon” family. Darlyne and Joseph at graduation with Father Joseph C. Gregorek, Ph.D., in 1975.
Darlyne and Joe attended Gannon because they wanted their higher education to come from a local college. Others in their family—including Len Earick, Darlyne’s father—had also attended the University, and many family relatives before and since Darlyne and Joe’s time here have attended Gannon. The Nedresky children, Peter, Lisa, and Matthew, though, weren’t convinced that a local education was the best for them. “All three kids initially wanted to go out of town for college,” Mrs. Nedresky, RD/LDN, ’75,’97 said, “but then they decided that Gannon really had what they needed.” Matthew Nedresky, currently a junior at the University, commented, “Gannon is a great school for Health Sciences, and that is the ﬁeld I want to be in.” As all of the Nedresky children were interested in Health Sciences, they all found that Gannon was the place for them to be. And, so far, their Gannon degrees have paid off.
The Nedresky family at Peter and Amy’s wedding.
Peter Nedresky, PA-C, ’00 and his wife, Amy Nedresky, PAC, ’01 both currently reside in California and work as physician assistants with specialties in orthopedics and surgery, respectively. They enjoyed attending Gannon together, and for them, it strengthened their relationship. “The fact that we could go through the Physician Assistant (PA) program together,” Amy said, “really strengthened the bond between us.” Amy’s brother Richard Zmyslinski ’04, ’05M also attended Gannon and now works for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in reconstructive plastic surgery, a highly competitive ﬁeld.
Lisa Nedresky, RD/LDN, ’03 currently resides in Pittsburgh, too, and works for UPMC Shadyside Hospital as a dietitian on the nutritional support team for cancer patients. Lisa, like her mother, graduated with a degree in Dietetics, and so far, she is pleased with where her degree has taken her. “The clinical exposure that I received as a student at Gannon helped me to gain the experience I needed to get to where I am now,” she said. Like her father, Lisa is considering continuing her education with medical school.
Joseph Nedresky, M.D. ’75, a radiologist, currently serves as the Chief of Diagnosis at Hamot Medical Center, and he’s happy that Gannon degrees have helped his children build their careers as much as his did for him. “Gannon was instrumental in building my career,” Dr. Nedresky said. “It helped me to build fundamental knowledge and work ethic that I’ve held with me throughout. Darlyne and I are thankful that our children had the same wonderful experience with the University that we did.” Mrs. Nedresky currently uses her degrees in biology and dietetics to offer consultation for different areas of community nutrition. She also has a teaching certiﬁcate, and so she works, teaches, consults, speaks to various group settings, and volunteers at many and varied places in the community in the Erie area. May Gannon be the right place for many family generations to come.
From Digital Presentation
to Digging in Mexico by Trenae Egan ’06
When most students think of Spring Break, their first thoughts shift towards sand, surf, and MTV or recovering from the first half of the semester that had been filled with PowerPoint slides, papers, exams, lectures, and discussions. Some Gannon students, though, spent their spring break doing more than watching television, catching up on sleep, or enjoying the beach; they spent it with a professor and their classmates visiting a foreign country.
Suzanne Richard, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, took a small group of students to Belize to experience Mayan, Aztec, and Incan culture. This trip served as a ﬁeld trip for a class that students were taking—one that is part of the Archaeology and Culture minor Richard has been developing. Some of the sites students enjoyed included Tikal in Guatemala, Caracol in Belize, as well as an archaeological dig. “When I climbed on the ruins, it felt like I was on top of the world,” said Zack Bernazzoli, a junior psychology major. “The feeling is hard to describe.” Nathan Ziegler, a freshman history major, had the same feelings about the ruins as Bernazzoli did. “My favorite part was climbing on the Mayan ruins; on top of the temples there was a good visual. You could see the canopy of the jungle for miles.” One aspect of the trip that junior physician assistant major Hilary Petersen enjoyed was being able to understand some of the stories about the sites before they ever got there. “I didn’t feel like a tourist because I knew information about the sites from the class on Archaeology, and everywhere we went we had mini lessons; I felt like I was always learning something new,” she said. Students also participated in an archaeological dig with a group from the University of Texas where they found arrowheads and pieces of pottery. Richard wanted the trip to go above and beyond the archaeological aspects, though; she wanted her students to gain a new understanding of their own world from experiencing someone else’s. “When you go abroad, your world becomes so much bigger, but you can also see the similarities from where you are at home and learn to appreciate your personal background and what you have,” she said. They did not stay in hotels during the experience, but rather stayed on a natural preserve in huts with
“The goal of this trip was for the students to combine classroom learning with experiential education,” Parthenakis said. “They experienced learning with all of their senses.”
mosquito nets. Once everyone got used to the quirks of the preserve, they were able to enjoy their surroundings, especially during nighttime hikes. One of the ﬁrst nights, the group tracked tarantulas, which they were able to hold once they coaxed them out of their holes. At another point in the trip, the group spread out so that the individuals could spend some solitary time in the jungle. “We were spread 50 yards apart and left there for 45 minutes,” Petersen said. “We were told to observe the jungle, and by the end, we learned that the jungle is actually very quiet as opposed to what we assumed it would sound like. We learned that nothing will bother you unless you bother it.” Despite being alone in the jungle and interacting with wildlife, none of the group members ever felt in danger. “We went ‘birding’ in the morning and saw toucans. We also saw several spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and leopards during our trip,” Bernazzoli said. Not only did Richard and the students enjoy seeing interesting ﬂora and fauna, but they also enjoyed the local cuisine. “We ate a lot of rice, beans, chicken, pork, and beef. Everything was good, but their meat was a little tougher than ours,” Bernazzoli said. In addition to Richard encouraging her students to take away a new sense of wonder and appreciation from the trip, she also was exposed to a new environment because it was her ﬁrst time traveling to a jungle climate, as opposed to her desert experiences in Jordan.
Academia in the Mediterranean
While Richard’s students spend time digging in the earth, Thomas Parthenakis, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of History, took his students on a tour of Greece, the birthplace of academia.
Kristie Smith, a pre-medicine sophomore who participated in the trip, said the adventure with Parthenakis gave her a new understanding of the country’s history. “I’ve never been out of the country before, but I felt very safe. Dr. Parthenakis’ enthusiasm for Greece motivated our entire group,” she said. “It’s a lot different seeing the monuments and sites ﬁrsthand than it is reading about them in books.” Some of the sites the group of 30 experienced included the ruins of Olympia where the ﬁrst Olympic Games were held in 776 B.C.E., the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and a tour of the Greek islands of Poros, Hydra, and Aegina. “We saw a lot of temples and monasteries,” Smith said. “If I had to pick one favorite part of the whole trip, it would be touring the ruins of Olympia.” This was the sixth trip to Greece Gannon students have taken since Parthenakis has been at the University, and like always, his students took a class to learn about the culture and history of Greece before departing for their spring break destination. Because of the class and the trip, Smith has a new love for travel. “Although the plane ride was somewhat overwhelming this time around, I think I could get used to traveling,” she said “Dr. Parthenakis knew more than I ever thought one person could know about Greece. He made me enjoy my experiences.”
Halfway Around Today’s World
Whereas the groups traveling to Belize and Greece focused on the history of their respective countries, a third group incorporated current events into their trip. Gary Mahan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Finance, took his group to Beijing, China, to expose them to a different lifestyle and culture. “China has a great contrast to the United States in business, political systems, economic development, culture, religion, and education,” Mahan said. “They are the ﬁfth largest economy in the world and one of the United States’ largest trading partners; it is increasingly important to learn about their international importance because of the increasing globalization of the world’s economy.” In addition to the importance of the students learning about China’s economic signiﬁcance, the group still had time to learn about the history of the city and surrounding landmarks, including Tiannamen Square and The Great Wall. For Janet King, a psychology and gerontology major, she felt a buzz in the air when she visited these two sites and was glad she went with Gannon University because she experienced things she would not have done if she had traveled alone. “The landmarks were so ancient and amazing, but in addition to visiting them we went to the U.S. Department of Commerce, which you need special permission to do,” she said. Brendan McNicholas, a junior business administration major, agreed with King about experiencing ancient landmarks. “Visiting The Great Wall was my favorite part of the trip,” he said. “We got to do our own thing and walk around on the wall. There were vendors everywhere trying to sell things, and it was a great workout.” When the group wasn’t getting a workout from walking along The Great Wall, they were mingling with some of Beijing’s residents. “We visited a person’s home in Old China,” King said. “We had lunch with them and learned how to make dumplings; it was a great hands-on experience.” King said it was nice to have a homecooked meal, but everything needed to be translated for them because the family
did not speak English. Although the language barrier posed a problem in this particular instance, King said there were very few problems communicating in most of the other places they visited. “All it takes is eye contact and a head nod to have communication; the words were not necessary,” she said. King did learn some Chinese during her trip, however. “I learned how to say hello, thank you, and good-bye. I found it interesting because the literal translation of good-bye is ‘I wish to see you again’,” she said. Both King and McNicholas found China very welcoming regardless of any language difﬁculties. “We made friends with everyone we saw,” McNicholas said. “They were fascinated by westerners; people would stare at us in Tiannamen Square and come join our group pictures.” King had her own unique experiences with Beijing’s residents. “When we visited Ritan Park, we were watching tai chi classes, and I was invited to participate with the group,” she said. As King was interacting with the group, she realized how very health conscious the Chinese are. “They had exercise equipment located in their parks and even though it was very cold outside, they were all bundled up doing their exercises.” Opportunities such as these for Spring Break travel are available to students every year in addition to missionary trips and independent travel. (Dr. Parthenakis’ tour of Greece, which happens every other year, is also open to alumni.) Regardless of location, these acts of taking learning out of the classroom, and the country, strengthened the college experience for these students, and Gannon will continue to offer as many of these opportunities as possible.
transformation Do not conform yourself to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
A Message from Tom Power ’63 It is my personal privilege to witness the transforming power of Gannon University on a frequent basis as a Trustee. Every time I walk across our beautiful campus, I see hundreds of young people eagerly preparing for their futures. They are full of hope, dedication, and enthusiasm on their personal journeys in life. My personal journey started the same way… at Gannon. My time here was very instrumental in the professional and personal successes I have witnessed over the course of 40 years. The academic courses and activities that engaged me, the professors that took an interest in me, and the lifelong friendships who encouraged me all had a positive impact on my life as a Gannon student and beyond. Those characteristics are still the basis of Gannon’s values today—the sense of academic commitment and personal attention that each student receives, as well as the rich faith-based community that welcomes all. I think that is the reason why so many of Gannon’s 31,000 alumni are successful in their careers and in their personal lives. By chairing The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign, I am helping lead the way into a very pivotal time in Gannon’s life as an Institution. This endeavor is crucial in ensuring that Gannon continues its strong traditions of academic excellence with updated facilities, enhanced faculty support, and additional student scholarships. I invite you to join me in this fundraising effort, and in doing so, remember ways in which Gannon helped you to become who you are today.
The major areas of focus for the comprehensive campaign include goals of $13 million for Gannon’s endowment, which will improve faculty support and increase student scholarships, $9.5 million for renovations of Zurn Science Center that will enable students to learn in facilities that are necessary in preparing for tomorrow’s work environment, and lastly, $7.5 million for the Annual Fund, providing additional assistance for everyday operating costs of the University. As of April, we had reached 53 percent of our total Campaign goal of $30 million. Consider the impact that Gannon has had in your own personal journey, and please join me in helping the Institution grow. Your participation in The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign is vital to our University’s future. Over the next few years, watch for the many opportunities for participation that will become available. I look forward to actively working with you and other alumni and friends to ensure that Gannon transforms and empowers generations to come.
For more campaign information, contact Britt Dyer Daehnke ’98, ’05M, Campaign Coordinator, at 1-877-GU-Alums ext. 6 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AlumniFocus Brian Fargo ’71 “While we often think that we have total control over our plan for life, we really do not, or at least I have not,” said Brian Fargo ’71, a man who has been successful in many endeavors throughout his life. Today, he continues his accomplished career as Vice-Chairman and Chief Financial Ofﬁcer of Capri Capital Limited Partnership, a Chicago-based real estate investment and advisory ﬁrm. He also spends his free time experiencing his true passion—wildlife photography. He has exhibited at the Peggy Notebarte Nature Museum in Chicago and has been the only photographer to exhibit at the Palate and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago.
“While we often think that we have total control over our plan for life, we really do not, or at least I have not.” Name Brian Fargo, CPA
Current Position Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Ofﬁcer of Capri Capital Advisors, LLC
Family Wife, Susan; sons, Aaron Fargo and his ﬁancée Jennifer and Jameson Fargo, Ph.D.; daughter-in-law Heidi; and grandchildren, Paige and Nathaniel
Best Advice to Students “As much as you would like to plan your life, it takes many twists and turns, and you have no idea what will happen. Think of what interests you now and pursue that as a career, but relax a little, too.”
Balancing success in multiple areas, as rewarding as it can be, is also a challenge for Fargo. “When work becomes stressful, it is hard to be creative with my hobby,” he said. It’s not just work that keeps him away from his camera, though. Fargo also volunteers as the Vice President and Treasurer for the Primo Center for Women and Children in Chicago, and he is a member of the Urban Land Institute, the American Institute of Certiﬁed Public Accountants, and the Illinois Institute of Certiﬁed Public Accountants. He is on the Shedd Aquarium Council and a supporter of the Lincoln Park Zoo, among other national wildlife organizations, and he volunteers as the Chairman of Felines, Inc., a no-kill shelter for cats in Chicago from which he and his wife, Susan, have adopted two cats, including their current family member, Molly. A brown bear shakes And that’s all in his spare time. off water after diving for salmon In the workplace, Fargo and his two partners have in Brooks River, Alaska; one of Fargo’s many wildlife grown Capri Capital Advisors, LLC over 12 years photographs. (Reprinted with permission.) from a start-up to become the largest minorityowned real estate advisory ﬁrm in the U.S. with $7.3 billion in assets under management. (Last year it sold its mortgage banking business with $5.3 billion in assets under management.) Prior to joining Capri, Fargo was Vice President and Department Head of regional real estate ﬁnance with the Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Ltd., a Japanese bank, which at the time was the largest bank in the world. He was the ﬁrst American to head up a business group for the bank in the United States, and in this capacity he managed a $1 billion real estate loan portfolio. Previously with JMB Realty Corporation and Urban Investment and Development Company, he held positions as manager of accounting, director of cash management, treasurer, and Vice President of project ﬁnance. Earlier in his career, Fargo worked in public accounting in Erie and was a founding member of Fargo, Dowling, Pashke and Twargowski CPAs. His successes weren’t always derived from a strict plan and vision, though, as many might guess. Fargo took his time with life and let the experiences role in. He also followed his family tradition of serving in the military, spending four years in the Marines that included a tour and a half of Vietnam. “After serving my four years, I came back to Erie and spoke with Mr. Joe McLaughlin, a guidance counselor, about enrolling at Gannon,” Fargo said. “I had the nerve to tell him that my plan was to spend two years at Gannon and then transfer.” Luckily, Fargo enjoyed Gannon so much that he ﬁnished his degree at the University. “Gannon was the right size of classes for me,” he said. “I was also very impressed with the quality of professors.” Last year, Fargo expressed his faith in Gannon by announcing a $20,000 gift to the University for a scholarship at last year’s Distinguished Alumni Dinner. Here at Gannon, we’re thankful and honored to celebrate him as one of our many successful alumni.
FacultyFocus Michele M. Kauffman, JD, MPAS, PA-C Being a faculty member involves much more than lecturing classes and overseeing exams; it requires reaching out to students and helping them to understand the context that surrounds the material they are learning. Michele Kauffman, Associate Dean of the College of Sciences, Engineering, and Health Sciences and Chair of the Physician Assistant Department, faces this challenge every day—not only through teaching, but serving as an example. “As budding Physician Assistants (PAs), students need to recognize that they will be part of a healthcare team in their career. They will need to collaborate with all of the healthcare professionals to offer the best care to patients,” Kauffman commented. Kauffman has a knack for team work and balancing perspectives in her own career, and her talents are appreciated by the multitude of local, state, and national committees on which she serves. These volunteer positions require her expertise in the area of Physician Assistants and higher education, and also in law. Kauffman has found that her dual degrees in the medical and legal ﬁelds have served her well, and made her a rarity among her peers. Her most recent accomplishment, publishing Physician Assistant’s Business Practice and Legal Guide, involved both disciplines and currently sits on the bookshelves and desks of a variety of professionals. Jones and Bartlett Publishing had approached her and asked her if she was interested in writing the book about two and a half years ago, and she happily accepted the invitation.
Michele M. Kauffman, JD, MPAS, PA-C
Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law Master of Physician Assistant Studies from University of Nebraska Medical Center BS in Physician Assistant Studies from Saint Francis College
Some Current Committees:
PANCE 1 Test Committee, National Commission on Certiﬁcation of Physicians Assistants Scholarship Committee, Erie County Bar Association Committee on Student Conduct (Chair), Gannon University Mission and Identity Council, Gannon University
“This guide can be used in multiple areas,” Kauffman said. “Its most obvious use would be as a textbook for an intro Physician Assistant college course. I focused on accreditation standards while writing so that it could be used for this purpose.” The book is also useful, though, to practicing PAs who can use it as a reference regarding medical malpractice and insurance issues and HIPAA. Supervisors who might be interested in hiring a PA for the ﬁrst time could use this book to learn the beneﬁt of Physician Assistants, or folks who might be considering a career switch could use it as an introduction and a brief history of the profession. Students in the University’s PA program have access to this same knowledge through working with Kauffman, as she teaches an average of six credits per semester in addition to her duties as Department Chair and Associate Dean. This includes overseeing the Physical Diagnosis III Lab, where students actually visit local hospitals to compile histories of patients and perform physical examinations. Kauffman also mentors students who are working on clinical research. While Kauffman organizes, oversees, and teaches within the University’s PA program, she also serves as a volunteer attorney to keep her legal skills up-to-date. She provides service regarding issues such as wills and powers of attorney to citizens who otherwise would not be able to afford legal services, taking approximately 1-2 cases per year. Her schedule and dedication to her career and the University deﬁnitely keep Kauffman busy, but she still ﬁnds time to spend with her family of twin sons, Adam and Kevin, her husband Mark, and her two dogs, Pepper and Shiro.
“As budding Physician Assistants (PAs), students need to recognize that they will be part of a healthcare team in their career.”
by Dan Teliski, Gannon Sports Information Director
The winter intercollegiate athletic programs have always been the foundation of Gannon’s athletic department, but the 2005-06 campaign proved to be a unique rebuilding season. Senior wrestler R.J. Paterniti highlighted the winter season, earning All-American honors for the third time with a seventh-place ﬁnish at the NCAA Division II National Championships. Both basketball teams hovered around the .500 mark, but made signiﬁcant strides at the end of the season. The women’s team advanced to the GLIAC Final Four for the third consecutive season while the men’s squad posted two victories over teams ranked in the region’s top 10 during the ﬁnal two weeks.
It was an unusual season for the Gannon men’s basketball team. Former Gannon assistant John Reilly returned as head coach on May 16 and faced the difﬁcult task of replacing six seniors when the recruiting season had already passed. Therefore, Gannon entered the 2005-06 campaign with only 11 players on the roster, including two red-shirted players and one who was more well known on the football ﬁeld rather than on the court.
rebounds per game. He ranked third among NCAA Division II players. Truskauskas also landed a spot on the league’s alldefensive team. Former standout football quarterback Darmel Whitﬁeld had joined the team during the preseason to increase the roster size and turned into one of Gannon’s best guards. He led the team and ranked fourth among GLIAC players with 62 three-pointers.
Fourth-year head coach Cleve Wright led the women’s basketball team to its third consecutive appearance in the GLIAC Final Four in 2005-06. Showing the unique ability to play its best basketball at the end of the season, Gannon won ﬁve of its last eight regularseason games to qualify for its ninth consecutive GLIAC post-season tournament. The Lady Knights were 18-8 alltime in the month of February under Wright. Gannon then stunned Hillsdale 84-78 in the GLIAC quarterﬁnals, becoming only the third team to win a quarterﬁnal game on the road since the conference moved to home playoff sites in 2002-03. The Lady Knights overcame two deﬁcits of 10 points during the game. Gannon ended the season with a 73-57 semiﬁnal loss to eventual GLIAC and Great Lakes region champion Grand Valley State. The Lady Knights ﬁnished 14-15 overall and 8-9 in GLIAC play.
Despite being outmanned, the Golden Knights fought Christina Jackson continued a fabuhard to the bitter end. The squad posted a 57-50 Darmel Whitﬁeld lous collegiate career victory over Quincy in the Porreco Cup ﬁnals. with her usual display Gannon also defeated two of the region’s top 10 in the of post-season accolades. The ﬁnal three games. The Golden junior forward was named to Knights knocked off Ashland the All-GLIAC ﬁrst team, the 77-76 in overtime on senior GLIAC All-Defensive team, and Bobby Bossman’s three-pointer the Daktronics All-Great Lakes with six seconds remaining. One Region second team. week later, the squad overcame a 13-point, second-half deﬁcit and Casey England was selected to secured a 57-54 victory over local the All-GLIAC second team. rival Mercyhurst. The junior guard led the team and ranked fourth among GLIAC The team ﬁnished 12-15 overall players with 58 three-pointers. She and 6-11 in the GLIAC, but the sits in third place all-time at Ganseason was ﬁlled with positive non with 172 career three-pointers. performances. Junior transfer Au-
rimas Truskauskas was named to the All-GLIAC second team after leading the conference with 11.6
AthleteFocus By Trenae Egan ’06 While many students spent their summer vacations at minimum wage jobs or lounging by the pool, one student spent hers traveling abroad reﬁning her basketball skills.
Christina Jackson, a junior from Lorain, Ohio,
The seasons seem to blend together for the Gannon wrestling team because the results continue to be the same year after year. Longtime head coach Don Henry once again led the Golden Knights to national recognition in 2005-06 and produced another All-American wrestler. Gannon entered the 2005-06 season ranked 16th in NCAA Division II. The Golden Knights soared as high as 15th nationally in mid-December before ﬁnishing 25th at the NCAA Division II National Championships. Gannon ﬁnished fourth at the NCAA Division II East Regionals, placing seven wrestlers in the top ﬁve of their respective weight classes. Three wrestlers qualiﬁed for the national championships with ﬁne performances at the regional championship. Senior R.J. Paterniti made the most news, becoming the ﬁrst wrestler in school history to win four regional championships. A.J. Sayles and Brandon Monin also qualiﬁed for the national championships.
The men’s swimming and diving team completed its ﬁfth consecutive winning season with a 6-4 dual record in 2005-06. The Golden Knights went 2-1 against GLIAC opponents during the regular season with victories over Ashland (133-129) and Findlay (129-79). The squad’s only GLIAC loss came at Wayne State. Gannon ﬁnished fourth at the 2006 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Swimming and Diving Championships at Northern Michigan. Senior Elliot Spaeder and freshman Connor Wolf tied for second place with 32 points each.
traveled to Turkey for two weeks as a player for Athletes in Action on a basketball mission trip. During the trip, the expedition team on which she played scrimmaged other teams, helping them to prepare for the World University Games to be held in Turkey. Jackson’s team played ﬁve games against the Turkish National Team, Lebanon, and South Africa. It was also an opportunity for the Jackson and other team members to introduce those whom they played to the word of Jesus. Other members of her team included an University of Arizona player and a woman who plays overseas in Israel, all of them women who had a great deal to teach her. While on the tour, Jackson spent a lot of time working on her jumper. She chose to work on this shot because as a small post player, having a good jump shot will make her a better-rounded player. In addition to the jumper, Jackson needed to work on her 3-point shot because Turkey’s court is set up differently from those she is accustomed to. “The three-point line was nine inches farther back from what it is over here,” Jackson said. “It was a different situation to get used to.” Another oddity Jackson encountered was the paint on the court. “It was hard to know where I was on the court at ﬁrst,” she said. “Here the paint is set up like a square, but in Turkey it was more like a triangle so I would go to move and not be in the place I thought I should be on the court.” Once she gathered her bearings with the new court setup, she said it was just like playing in the United States. In Jackson’s opinion, the trip was a success. She has been playing basketball since she was in middle school, and this helped her get one step closer to her dream of playing overseas after graduation and hopefully in the WNBA. “I want to go overseas for a year or two after I graduate,” she said. “This helped me see if I could handle being that far away, and I know now that as long as I’m playing basketball I can handle it.”
ROBERT J. HEIBEL traveled to Washington, D.C. on January 17 to receive the Platinum Medal for Lifetime Achievement from Open Source Solutions (OSS), one of the nation’s oldest teachers and practitioners of open source intelligence. Robert is the executive director of the Mercyhurst College Institute for Intelligence Studies. MARY (MILLER) MAXWELL (VMC) ’95M was named outstanding alumna of the year by her alma mater,Villa Maria Academy. Mary is the executive director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Erie.
WILLIAM C. WITKOWSKI has been named Penn State Behrend’s 2005 Alumni Fellow, the most prestigious honor given by the Penn State Alumni Association. William is the owner and CEO of Port Erie Plastics.
DENNIS R. HORRIGAN has been named as the new president and CEO of the Catholic Independent Practice Association, LLC. Dennis is vice president for Managed Care at Independent Health in Erie.
ROBERT W. MCGEE, JD, PHD, DSC, CPA, CMA, CBA is the co-author of a new textbook coming out in
November 2005, titled, Accounting and Financial System Reform in Eastern Europe and Asia. FRANCIS S. SGROI is retiring following Holy Cross High School’s girls’ soccer season. Frank has coached at Holy Cross High School in Delran, New Jersey, since 1989 and has amassed a career record of 236-97-25. Frank has also been teaching mathematics at Holy Cross for 32 years. GERALD W. TIDD has joined MidCap Business Credit as the vice president and regional sales manager. Gerald is MidCap’s representative in Ohio and the surrounding states.
EDWARD A. GRODE, M.A., M.ED. has started a geography magazine titled The Geography Teacher, a biannual journal that features a variety of topics but is devoted to helping provide lesson plans to geography teachers. Ed is the director of Mercyhurst’s Institute for Geography. JOSEPH P. KARPINSKI, CPA has been promoted to managing director of Consultant Relations at Evergreen Investments in Charlotte, North Carolina. SANDRA (BLASCO) SAGALA (VMC) gave a presentation at the Blasco Library in Erie examining the popular TV western series Alias Smith & Jones. Sandra is the author of Alias Smith & Jones:The Story of Two Pretty Good Bad Men and Buffalo Bill, Actor: A Chronicle of Cody’s Theatrical Career.
RUSSELL J. FORQUER was recently elected to the Saint Mary’s Home of Erie Board of Trustees and to the Board of Directors of Erie Vision and Blind Resources. FREDERICK A. NIEBAUER has been named chief ﬁnancial ofﬁcer for Kahiki Foods, Inc. in Gahanna, Ohio.
JAMES D. WALKER, ESQ. has been the Managing Director of VATAmerica, LP since its founding in 1993.
GEORGE C. HILLMAN JR. has been named director of emerging technologies at Accounting Management Solutions (AMS), New England’s leading provider of outsourced accounting, ﬁnancial management, and recruiting services.
GARY R. LUCHT ’76M is the new executive director of Erie County Child Protective Services (CPS).
VALERIE (O’TOOLE) BAKER, R.N. volunteered at Camp Barclay this past summer, a camp designed for children with diabetes.Valerie is a faculty member in the nursing department at Gannon University. CAPT KEVIN J. GALLAGHER, U.S.N. (VMC) has returned from service on the USS Bataan, which provided emergency relief following Hurricane Katrina.
TIMOTHY J. TROTT ’80M recently received his personal investment advisor designation. Timothy is a wealth management advisor for Merrill Lynch in Erie.
upcoming alumni events May 25
Erie Scholarship Golf Outing Lake Shore Country Club, Erie, PA
Pittsburgh Scholarship Golf Outing Sewickley Heights Golf Club, Sewickley, PA
Chautauqua Luncheon and Reception Chautauqua Institute, NY
Alumni/ae Homecoming/Reunion Weekend Gannon University, Erie, PA
AlumNotes PHILIPPE G. CARSTENSEN has accepted a new position as director of marketing for Global Secure Corporation’s (GSC) Safety Products Division. GSC provides products and services for the Homeland Security and disaster response market.
MARK A. DIVECCHIO has been elected as the new County Executive for Erie County. He was sworn in at an inauguration ceremony on January 2, 2006 in Gannon University’s Old Main. JUDITH (ZUCCARINI) KALLENBACH had a book published entitled Review of Hemodialysis for Nurses and Dialysis Personnel. Judith is a registered nurse for Fresenius Medical Services in Akron, Ohio. JOY (MEZZACAPO) NEMITZ (VMC) has been hired as executive vice president of business development and sales for Synchronoss Technologies in Bridgewater, New Jersey, a provider of telecom business process outsourcing. DEBRA (SKURCENSKI) THOMPSON (VMC) ’90M has been a presenter at several local seminars, including those hosted by the Erie Community Foundation Nonproﬁt Partnership, Gannon University, and Bucknell University Small Business Development Centers. Debra is president of Strategy Solutions, Inc.
LISA (PONTZER) QUINN (VMC) volunteered at Camp Barclay this past summer, a camp designed for children
with diabetes. Lisa is a faculty member in the nursing department at Gannon University.
LT. KEVIN C. SMITH, M.D., USA was recently promoted to his current rank while serving as deputy commander at Kenner Army Medical Center at Fort Lee,Virginia.
THOMAS P. GANNON ’84M Joined Kaiser Aluminum as the vice president of Marketing, Aerospace and Distribution Products. DAVID J. JOHNSON, PH.D. ’87M was asked by Sage Publications to author a chapter on middle adulthood development in their Encyclopedia of Human Development. David is an instructor in Gannon University’s Psychology Department and a licensed psychologist with Deerﬁeld Behavioral Health in Erie. TIMOTHY L. MURRY (VMC) wrote a chapter entitled “Inhalational Anesthetics” in the Nurse Anesthesia Secrets textbook published by Elsevier Mosby. Timothy is an assistant director of didactic education at Carolinas HealthCare System Nurse Anesthesia Program/UNCC. VICKY (POWELL) WIEDER (VMC) was named director of nursing services at Beverly Healthcare Titusville.
Behind every successful organization there is a mission, a vision, and a plan with established goals. It had been three years since the National Alumni Board established a strategic plan for the Gannon University Alumni Association. Although there was a great deal of activity during those three years, the plan needed to be reviewed to continue being successful. On March 11, 2006, the National Alumni Board met with the sole purpose of spending their day on the Strategic Plan. All but one member of the board was able to travel to Erie. One member, Jim Weber ’62, traveled from California. The initial process involved two full review days and a great deal of work over a four-month period. The result was planning documents complete with objectives, action steps, and responsible people identiﬁed to implement the plan. (The current strategic plan can be viewed online at: www. gannonalumni.org; Alumni Association; drop down to the Board/Strategic Plan.) With the assistance of Strategy Solutions, a business development ﬁrm in Erie, owned by Debbie Thompson ’81VMC, ’90M, and National Alumni Board Vice President, James Scozzie, Ph.D., ’65, the review process went smoothly. The majority of the morning was spent redeﬁning the goals. Then small breakout groups reviewed the objectives and action steps. The National Alumni Board is in the process of revisiting the results of the day, making changes and considering recommendations before it approves the plan during its summer board meeting. The four revised goals are as follows:
• Continue to increase active participation among alumni in the Association • Strengthen connections between and among the University and its alumni • Continue to increase alumni interaction with current and prospective students • Continue to support University fundraising efforts I encourage you to visit the alumni website and follow the progress of the strategic plan designed with all the Gannon and Villa Maria alumni/ae in mind. We welcome any comments or suggestions you may have. I hope this short note ﬁnds you well and enjoying 2006. Remember, mark your calendars for the 2006 Alumni/ae Homecoming/Reunion weekend scheduled for October 6-8th.
Russell Forquer ’71, President, GU Alumni Association
ALMITRA (CLEMENTE) CLERKIN has been chosen as the new executive director of the Erie Playhouse. She will assume the duties of this newly structured position on September 6, 2006, following the current director’s retirement. Almi is currently the Youtheatre and development director of the Erie Playhouse. DENNIS R. SCULLY has been promoted to vice president of Engineering & Operations for Enidine, Inc., in Orchard Park, New York. Dennis joined Enidine
in 1998 and has served as quality assurance manager, production manager, and director of operations.
ELIZABETH M. HANNOLD, PH.D. ’96M is working as a research health scientist at the Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. ALFRED G. NEUBERT, M.D. has been named chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Reading Hospital. Dr.
Neubert will oversee the residency program, as well as the gynecology, oncology, and maternal-fetal medicine departments.
LORI L. JAKIELA has published her ﬁrst book, Miss New York Has Everything, a memoir. The book chronicles her life growing up in the small town of Trafford, Pennsylvania, which was founded by manufacturing wizard George Westinghouse in 1904. Lori is an English professor at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.
MICHAEL J. KARPIK, CSA is a senior principal of State Street Global Advisors Limited in Boston. Michael is the chief investment ofﬁcer of Global Collateral Management.
RONALD F. FIZER was the keynote speaker at New River Community College’s Veterans Day ceremony. Colonel Fizer is the Plant Commander of the Radford Army Ammunition Plant, as well as a joint assignment as Commander of the Scranton (Pennsylvania) Army Ammunition Plant.
Gannon University National Alumni Board 2005-2006 Russell J. Forquer ’71 Marilyn J. Kraus ’55 VMC Mark J. Minnaugh ’81 Regional Directors Erie, PA Erie, PA Pittsburgh, PA William I. Alford II ’65 James A. Scozzie, Ph.D. ’65, Darryl A. Langshaw ’01, Sr. Ann Stephanie Stano, Akron, OH Cleveland, OH ’02M SSJ, Ph.D. ’67 VMC David L. Dowling ’91 Cleveland, OH Erie, PA Deanna L. Leskovec ’00, Tampa, FL ’01M Heather D. James J. Weber ’62 Daniel J. Durishan ’80 Cincinnati, OH McAllister, Esq. ’98 Santa Ana, CA Latrobe, PA Washington, D.C. Jeremy J. Ballaro ’02 Marilyn J. Kendall, Ed.D. Buffalo, NY ’69 VMC, ’71M Candace D. Battles ’93 Erie, PA Erie, PA Gannon Alumni Map Donald M. Carlson ’73 105 36 Washington Pittsburgh, PA Maine 24 1 74 Vermont Montana North Dakota Dana M. Fallon, Esq. ’91 Minnesota 17 New Hampshire 56 Washington, DC 1,812 41 Massachusetts 195 95 Oregon New York 5 Wisconsin 284 25 Rhode Island 27 South Dakota Susan P. Forquer ’66 VMC Idaho Michigan Connecticut 147 15 16,885 Wyoming Erie, PA Pennsylvania New Jersey 399 35 Iowa 13 77 198 1,764 Nebraska Lisa C. Gillette ’99 Nevada Indiana Ohio 298 D.C.40 Delaware 73 83 Illinois 27 West Arlington, VA 190 748 Maryland 608 Virginia Virginia Utah Colorado 533 51 79 101 Kansas California Richard J. Hudic, Jr. ’91 Missouri Kentucky 583 North Carolina Harrisburg, PA 165 Tennesse 30 217 14 239 Oklahoma 37 Linda M. Hunley ’83 Arkansas South Carolina Arizona New Mexico 77 209 Alabama Pittsburgh, PA 19 Georgia Mississippi 435 Scott M. Krall ’84 Texas 18 Hawaii 44 Pittsburgh, PA Louisiana 1,043 28
Puerto Rico ....................5 Virgin Islands .................3 Armed Services ..........38 Foreign Countries....251 in 48 Countries
= National Alumni Board member locations
Total Alumni represented on map: 28,476 Currently, Gannon is in contact with more than 31,000 alumni/ae.
AlumNotes JONATHAN P. MIHALIC has been named to the Project Management Institute (PMI) Power 50, a list of the top 50 proliﬁc leaders in project management. Jonathan is a senior associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. JOSEPH E. SINNOTT, ESQ. has been elected as the new Mayor for the City of Erie. He was sworn in as Erie’s 47th mayor on January 2, 2006.
JULIA (CHEMBARS) GOODING was named as one of six ﬁnalists from Pennsylvania for the 2005 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the nation’s highest honor for K-12 teaching in these ﬁelds. Julie is a science teacher at Hopewell High School in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.
CHRISTINE A. BANISZEWSKI is the ofﬁce manager for the General Teamsters Union Local 397 in Erie. STACEY (MCANNALLEN) MCKINNEY is a chemist for Koppers, Inc. in Pittsburgh. Stacey is currently setting up a new section in their HPLC Lab. KENNETH M. OGOREK has published an article in the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s Our Sunday Visitor Publishing’s Catholic Parent Know-How series, entitled “Faith-Filled Summer Activities.”
BENJAMIN E. BULKLEY ’91M has been elected to the California Healthcare Institute’s (CHI) board of directors. Benjamin is president of Commercial Operations for Invitrogen Corporation in Carlsbad, California.
BRETT E. HOLDEN, PH.D. ’93M was named the 2005 Master Teacher by the Student Alumni Association at Bowling Green State University. The award recognizes faculty members who demonstrate special care for their students and is considered the highest honor given to faculty. Brett is an English professor at Bowling Green State University.
LORETTA (WUNCH) BRANDON ’92M has accepted a new position as the assistant director for media relations at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. MALORIE J. KOSHTFEDYSHIN ’94M joined the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville as the new director of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. THOMAS S. WEETER is a regional ﬁeld coordinator for the PA House of Representatives Republican Caucus in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
VALERY (GRUSKY) KEPLEY had an article published in the Journal of American Association of Physician Assistants titled “Low Back Pain: An Interventional Approach.”
DAVID GONZALEZ ’97M has been appointed to Erie City Council to complete Joe Sinnott’s remaining two-year term. David is the director of Latino services at the HispanicAmerican Council of Erie.
marriages Stephenie Nicole Billig ’02 married Brian Lee Zimmerman ’00 on July 16, 2005. Karen Eileen Chludzinski ’02 married Nicholas Antonio Rueda on June 3, 2005. Kevin D. Dunlavey, D.M.D. ’00 married Ann Mehler on December 17, 2005. Jennifer L. Haun ’99 married Thomas S. Weeter ’92 on September 10, 2005. Deborah M. LaChapelle ’02 married Kevin Foley on October 1, 2005. H. Nicholas Leslie ’04 married Shawn Mae Gledhill on July 30, 2005. Jill Nicole Lugaila ’01 married Ashley Kenneth Orris on May 20, 2005. Julie L. Mandaville ’00 married Michael J. Schmidt on September 24, 2005. Nicole Lynn Martin ’03 married Jared James Holiday on August 13, 2005. Amanda L. McHale ’05 married Mark D. Burke on October 8, 2005. Linda Terese Mientkiewicz ’05M married Mark David Lorei on August 11, 2005. Michael Stephen Neubauer ’02, ’04M married Aimee Danielle McKean on October 15, 2005. Angela Renee Pero ’05M married Philip Joseph Annibale on July 23, 2005. Michele Ann Pyle ’99 married Thomas Jon DiMattio on May 27, 2005. Amy Lynn Reed, O.D. ’98 married Larry Leo Lauer, Jr. on June 26, 2005. John W. Sinclair II ’99 married Nicole Marie Pusateri on August 27, 2005. Christine Marie Stenger ’95, ’01M married Gabriel Joseph Fracassi on September 3, 2005. Brandon Thomas Tolon ’00M married Mary Elizabeth DeSanto on April 24, 2005. Major Craig J. Wagner ’85 married Silvia Ungarelli on December 18, 2004.
CORY A. BROWN, D.O. is currently a family practitioner with Gulf Coast Physician Partner in Pace, Florida. CHRISTINE (STENGER) FRACASSI ’01M is program director at YMCA of Greater Erie. DAVID J. SEDLOCK, M.D. received his medical degree from Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He has recently joined Scottsdale Pathology Consultants in Scottsdale, Arizona. David is board certiﬁed in anatomic and clinical pathology.
LORI K. RIZZO ’96M recently joined St. MaryCorwin Medical Center in Pueblo, Colorado, as a nurse practitioner and will be providing patient care in the areas of diabetes and surgery. STEVE E. GIFFORD is the new executive director of the Greensburg Community Development Corp.
CHARLES J. “CHUCK” PETERS has entered into a partnership with Expedient Communications of Pittsburgh to advise, oversee, and represent its business interest in the Northwestern Pennsylvania market. Chuck will continue to serve as chairman of the Northwest Pennsylvania Technology Council, which he co-founded in 2001.
MELISSA (RIZZO) DERENZO, M.D. was recently appointed to the medical staff at Butler Memorial Hospital and has joined the practice of Dr. Constantine Balouris in Butler, Pennsylvania. Melissa received her medical degree from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. KEVIN T. HEDDERMAN ’99M is the owner of Hedderman Properties, which buys and renovates blighted properties in the city of Erie and provides housing for those who might not otherwise be able to afford it.
a son, Alexander Neil (October 7, 2005) to David M. Baron ’99 and his wife, Angela.
a daughter, Olivia Mary (October 5, 2005) to Scott T. Leicht ’88 and his wife, Debbie.
a daughter, Mayra Rose (November 11, 2005) to Tonya M. (Allemang) ’97, ’02M and Kevin T. Briggs ’00.
a daughter, Jillian Renee (February 8, 2005) to Patricia J. (Carter) Mazzarese ’97 and her husband, Frank.
a son, Joseph David (July 20, 2004) to Melissa (Rizzo) DeRenzo, M.D. ’97 and her husband, Joseph.
a son, Lucas Anthony (September 19, 2005) to Lisa (Muto) Sanchez ’99 and her husband, Louis.
Vic Hitchcock ’62, ’82M and his wife Maggi Hitchcock (left and middle) laugh and talk with Joe Gaeta ’62 at the Alumni Pre-game Party before Gannon faced off with Mercyhurst on the basketball court.
BRIAN M. DOUGHERTY, ED.D. ’98M is the new superintendent of the Corry Area School District. AMY (ELKIN) BRZUZ is the only person in Northwestern Pennsylvania to obtain certiﬁcation as a driver rehabilitation specialist. Amy is a registered occupational therapist and a Pennsylvania certiﬁed driving instructor. Her new certiﬁcation qualiﬁes her to evaluate, train, and prescribe vehicle modiﬁcations for people with physical disabilities. JULIE (KRUMPE) GROENENDAAL has accepted a freelance position with eBizITPA as the Education Program Coordinator. She will be responsible for coordinating its existing education programs, developing new programs, and marketing them. AMY L. REED, O.D. is the managing optometrist at Lens Crafters in Okemos, Michigan. JOHN W. SMITH II is an analytical chemist at Merck in West Point, Pennsylvania.
CAPT. BRENDAN M. WOLF is the deputy staff judge advocate of 2nd Force Service Support Group (Forward), currently stationed in Iraq. He is an attorney with the Marine Corps assisting Marines while they are stationed overseas. KRISTEN D. WRIGHT, CPA has been hired by Inergex, Inc., a business and technology alignment ﬁrm providing integrated, business-driven IT solutions. Kristen will handle project setup and invoice management processes.
PATRICK J. FABIAN has been hired as the new baseball coach at North Catholic High School. JOHN W. SINCLAIR II is employed by Waddell and Reed Financial Services. JENNIFER (HAUN) WEETER is a legislative research analyst for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Republican Caucus State Government committee.
PETER J. CALLAN ’00M, formerly Erie County’s personnel director, has been hired as the vice president of human resources for IFP North America, Inc. The company is planning a 300,000square-foot juice-manufacturing plant which is expected to employ about 300 people in Princeton, New Jersey. BRANDON T. TOLON ’00M is an engineer at General Electric Rail. JULIE (MANDAVILLE) SCHMIDT is a physician assistant with Service Medical in Springville, New York, and is a member of the board of directors of Western New York Physician Assistant Association of New York State Society of Physician Assistants.
partners for success by Homer Smith ’76 Gannon University’s African American Alumni Committee, with assistance and guidance from Gannon’s Center for Experiential Education Ofﬁce and the Alumni Services Ofﬁce, has established “Partners for Success,” a group of experienced Gannon University Alumni and Erie area professionals who will serve as mentors/buddies for minority students. “Partners for Success” will match Erie area professionals and Gannon alumni with incoming minority students. These individuals will provide support, direction, and feedback for students as they adjust to life at Gannon and into their chosen ﬁelds of interest. The “partner” relationship can consist of telephone calls, personal contacts, a shadow experience, or whatever proves to be comfortable and beneﬁcial for the parties involved. Pearl Jeffries ’81, has helped to chair and drive this initiative along with Cheryl Rink, Assistant Director, Gannon University Center for Experiential Education.
BRIAN L. ZIMMERMAN is a physician assistant for Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine of Erie.
A survey was sent to a group of prospective partners asking if they would be willing to be a guest speaker. A meet-n-greet was held with members of the MCU/Minority Cultures United on September 25, 2005 to get feedback as to how this program and relationships with Gannon Alumni and Erie area professional would beneﬁt them. The students in attendance embraced this idea and thought it would be good to make such a program available not just to incoming freshmen but to all interested minority students.
Our goal is to have this initiative fully functioning by the fall 2006 semester. The committee has proposed to coordinate a student orientation or social during the fall semester matching students with partners at that time.
JOSEPH D. HUDSON ’04M is an environmental consultant for Andrew Martin and Associates. MATTHEW P. MADURSKI was named as editor at the St. Marys Daily Press. JILL (LUGAILA) ORRIS is a physician assistant at Orthopedic Surgeons, Inc. in Erie.
ELLIOTT J. EHRENREICH J.D. has formally been admitted to the Erie County Bar Association in ceremonies held on November 4, 2005. He graduated cum laude from Duquesne University School of Law in July 2005 and has joined the law ﬁrm of Elderkin, Martin, Kelly and Messina in Erie.
If you would like to volunteer as a partner or would like more information regarding the Partners for Success initiative, please contact me, Homer Smith, at (814)871-7784 or email@example.com.
Annette Franklin LSD, ’94 (left) a Mental Health Program Specialist in Erie County, and Jamie Taylor, a student in the Dahlkemper School of Business met at a Partners for Success meet-n-greet in October.
AlumNotes DEBORAH (LACHAPELLE) FOLEY is a quality assurance coordinator for four of Arch Chemicals product lines and is also in charge of the Microbial Lab and the SAP Quality Module Super-User in Rochester, New York. MICHAEL S. NEUBAUER ’04M is a CPA/senior accountant at McGill, Power, Bell & Associates. KAREN (CHLUDZINSKI) RUEDA is employed by Broadway Bank in San Antonio, Texas.
SANDRA A. RANCK, RN ’04M recently presented her thesis, “The Relationship Between Pediatric Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Adult-Onset Asthma,” at the 16th International Nursing Research Congress in Hawaii. Sandra is the school nurse at Grand River Academy, a boys college preparatory high school in Austinburg, Ohio, and an adjunct faculty member at Gannon University and Kent State University, Ashtabula, Ohio.
LAWRENCE E. GIOIA received his Master’s CHRISTINE (WINTEMUTE) degree in information systems Management from SMITH Carnegie Mellon University is the new director of the Pioneer Florida Museum and in December 2005. He Village located in Dade City, joined DiamondCluster International (DCI) as an Florida. Associate IT Consultant in February 2006. STEPHANIE (BILLIG) ZIMMERMAN ’02C is currently teaching at Fort H. NICHOLAS LESLIE is an engineer with LeBoeuf Middle School in the Pennsylvania State Waterford, Pennsylvania. Department of Environmental Protection in Philadelphia.
MOLLY L. BUCHKO is a substitute teacher for the Erie School District. NICOLE (MARTIN) HOLIDAY is a math teacher with The Prevention Network: Class Academy in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. ADAM C. RATHFON, D.C. graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic and is now practicing at Choice Chiropractic & Wellness Center in Wexford, Pennsylvania.
AMY M. MULLIGAN ’04M recently competed in the Ford New York City Triathlon.
ANGELA (PERO) ANNIBALE ’05M is a budget analyst for the Fairfax County Department of Management and Budget in Fairfax,Virginia. LINDA (MIENTKIEWICZ) LOREI ’05M is a reading teacher for the City of Erie School District. AMANDA (MCHALE) BURKE is a full-time criminal justice student at Gannon University and is employed by the Meadville Tribune. GEOFFREY W. HUSTED has signed a professional contract to play with the Dakota Wizards of the Continental Basketball
in memoriam Alumni
Albert R. Allgeier, Ph.D. ’67 George A. Brugger, Esq. ’63 Blaine E. Burgert ’71 Frank A. Carnovale ’60 William J. Cavanaugh, Esq. ’48 Angela M. Dean ’88 Phyllis Tenpas DesForges ’51 VMC David P. DiPlacido ’65 Sister Mary R. Flanagan, O.S.B. ’40 VMC Leo T. Haley ’50 Thomas G. Hilbert ’63 Thomas W. Lloyd ’68 John W. Mackin ’51 Rev. Johnnie R. McCloud ’92 Carolyn Volk Pakiela ’84 VMC David H. Parmenter ’56 Rev. James F. Pilsner ’92 Russell F. Pluta ’57 Roslyn Protaz ’74 Allen R. Rickloff ’74 William E. Rosenbaum ’50 Joseph J. Sarvadi ’60 Allan K. Shea ’86 Martha A. Underwood ’60 VMC Robert D.Viney ’70 Timothy C.Yochim ’80
Have you recently married, changed careers, published a book, or had a child? If so, let us know! You can post your information and see what your friends are up to in the online alumni community at www.gannonalumni. org, or you can send your information to Jana Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-871-7469.
Association (CBA). Geoff is the only member of the 10man roster who did not play at the Division I level in college. STEVEN J. PETERS is an electrical engineer for Penelec.
STACY J. ROSS is a registered nurse at Hamot Medical Center.
Learning Beyond Borders: International Exchange at Gannon University On the evening of Saturday, March 25, Gannon hosted its 17th Annual International Night. Once again, it was a sold out affair. For my wife, Carol, and me, it was our ﬁfth straight year attending this exciting event at which many of our students and faculty from other countries dress in their native attire and share their indigenous cuisine, music, and classic and modern dances with members of the Gannon and Erie communities. International Night is the major event for our 134 currently enrolled students who hail from 18 countries, including the Bahamas, Belarus, Burma, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, The Gambia, India, Japan, Lithuania, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden and Turkey. We also support another 34 student visas for recent graduates who have decided to remain in the United States to obtain work experience. While the number of international students we currently serve is impressive for our Master’s I Comprehensive category, the fact is that Gannon currently has alumni in 48 countries, many of which are their native countries. Some of those alumni came to Gannon as long ago as the 1940s. Thus, when we celebrate International Night, we are celebrating a Gannon tradition of academic exchange. Gannon’s international student body not only strengthens the diversity of our student population, but the international students individually provide ﬁrsthand knowledge of what life and politics are like in their home countries. These students enrich our campus community by sharing their unique experiences and exposing us to cultures and customs we would otherwise know little about. Those personal perspectives are extremely important in today’s world in which the media not only gives the news but also analyses of how people interpret their individual situations. Our international students teach us about their countries’ strengths and their challenges. In addition to bringing international students to Gannon, we also support students’ exploration off campus, during which they can experience people, places, and cultures across the globe. We encourage them to study abroad and to enroll in classes that physically take them to different places and, in a sense, times. Suzanne Richard, Ph.D. (History) and Thomas Parthenakis, Ph.D. (History) both took students to foreign countries over spring break to learn about cultures of the past and present in Belize and Greece, respectively. Gary Mahan, Ph.D. (Business) also took students to China this semester to learn about the current economics of a giant
country in the Far East. Apart from these classes in the spring, Renae Pryjmak spent her fall semester abroad, studying at Oxford. Junior seminarian Jason Feigh is currently studying at The Pontiﬁcal University of St. Thomas (The Angelicum) in Rome through a partnership between Gannon and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Before Renae and Jason, Diane Henneberry ’05 traveled to Africa to further her knowledge in the environmental sciences and to experience the satisfaction of learning through service. Most recently, our new Provost, Keith Taylor, Ph.D. and Mahesh Aggarwal, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering) traveled to northern India to tour several campuses in Delhi, Bhopal, Patiala, Mandi Gobindgarth, and Dehradun. Their visit included stops at Amity University, Accman Business School, Sagar Institute, Thapar Institute, PIMT, and DIET to develop academic partnerships, to establish opportunities for student and faculty exchange, and recruit students. Additionally, Douglas King, Ph.D. (English), is planning a trip to France for students in May. In order to assure that students’ study abroad experiences are meaningful and effective, the University has established collaborations with institutions of higher learning in several parts of the world, including our partnership with Ross University in the Dominican Republic. While students are here on our campus, the International Students Association (ISA), headed by Erhan Karsak from Turkey, introduces them to cultures from afar. Each year, the ISA hosts a Thanksgiving/Diwali/Ramadan dinner. The Association also hosts coffee hours every other week throughout the academic year at which international students give presentations about their native countries. Our international exchanges are essential to disciplines such as archaeology, engineering, political science, and foreign languages, but they also provide our students with awareness of other cultures and of other perspectives. Providing opportunities for international students to enroll at Gannon helps their countries to build independence, and exchange strengthens our students’ awareness of situations in distant lands. Gannon will continue to strengthen these exchanges, and I invite our international alumni to help us in this global endeavor.
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The Final Touch
Junior theatre major Alaina Manchester as Grizabella and Junior physical therapy major Bryan Rall as Old Deuteronomy serenade the audience at the end of a CATS performance.
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