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Spring 2011

It’s Erie-sistable! Students Alumni gain an education— and a new place to call home—in Erie.

In this Issue: University Purchases Antlers Pub & Grill, p. 2

• Campus Services Staff Lights Up Campus, p. 16

Vol. XXIV, No. 3 • Spring 2011 Philip H. Kelly, D.A. Interim President Karla Wludyga Director of Public Relations and Communications Audrey E. Starr Publications Officer and Editor (814) 871-5817

advisory committee Kimberly Cavanagh, DHSc, PA-C Britt Dyer Daehnke ’98, ’05M Caroline DiPlacido ’86 Kathy Felong ’83 Cathy Fresch Frank Garland Mary Carol Gensheimer Andrew Lapiska ’09M Joe Mattis ’69 Jerry Miele ’73, ’85M Catherine Oakley ’05M Rick Prokop, DSL Nicholas Pronko ’10M Rev. George Strohmeyer


Editor, Audrey E. Starr

A favorite social spot for alumni since 1938, Antlers Bar & Grill on West Fourth Street, will soon be reinvented for the next generation of students as the University’s latest property acquisition. Curious what plans are in store? Check out the story on p. 2. Speaking of alumni, have you heard the latest news from your fellow classmates? Turn to p. 22 for an updated batch of personal and professional achievements.

Ed Bernik Melanie Cherry Beth Gaertner Rick Klein ’84 Andrew Lapiska ’09M

design Tungsten Creative Group

You know Gannon is a Catholic, Diocesan university—have you thought about what this affiliation means for students? Jason Steinberg, associate director of the International Student Office, and Susan Haarman, associate director of campus ministry, give their views on p. 12, where you’ll also find a recap of this year’s Celebration of Catholic Higher Education, which put a Gannon twist on the usual National Catholic Colleges Week.

printing McCarty Printing

special thanks Paul DeSante, Ph.D. Jana Hunt Gannon Magazine is published three times annually (Winter, Spring and Summer) by the Office of Public Relations and Communications at Gannon University. Letters to the editor, class notes information, comments and suggestions are always welcome.

class notes and address changes Jana Hunt Coordinator of Gifts and Records (814) 871-7469 Gannon University • 109 University Square Erie, Pennsylvania 16541 • (814) 871-7000

For instance, you probably already know that the Gannon University Board of Trustees is searching for the institution’s seventh president, and that construction on Gannon’s new residence hall is under way. What you may not know is whether candidates have visited campus (p. 2), or when the new building’s doors are scheduled to open (find out on p. 17). You may be familiar with the University’s major highlights over the past 10 years, but if you take a look at the special insert in this edition (which chronicles Gannon’s accomplishments under outgoing President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.), I bet you’ll learn something new—like what year the Faculty Scholarship Celebration began.


Please note that Gannon Magazine is produced approximately three months in advance of the actual publication date. Submissions received after production has begun will be included in a subsequent issue. All submissions are subject to editing.

If you joked that “organization” is my middle name, the people who know me best wouldn’t blink. Storage containers are my idea of a fantastic present; I label anything that sits still longer than five minutes; and from groceries to gift ideas, I’m a chronic list-maker. Although schedules and preparation are a few of my favorite things, even I can admit that regular routines are more enjoyable with a few surprises thrown in.

About 350 faculty, staff and students took advantage of the annual Wellness Fair in February. Although the event is in its seventh year, organizers introduced a new theme, new prizes and nine new vendors. Here, occupational therapy students Emily Bartkowski (center) and Leah Johnson (right) show attendees how to relax using simple hand exercises.

After spending four years on campus, many students may feel prepared to write their own Gannon handbook, discussing everything from which parking spaces are ideal to the lunch item that can’t be missed. But have you thought about the work it takes to keep campus running, from the ground up? On p. 16, you get a behind-the-scenes look at all the hard work performed by Gannon’s dedicated campus services staff. Whether you just took your first walk down A.J.’s Way or you remember strolling past Downey Hall, there’s always something different to discover about Gannon University. I hope this issue of Gannon Magazine helps you relive those fond memories and inspires you to make new ones—no list required.

mission Statement Gannon Magazine honors the history, mission and strategic goals of Gannon University by serving as a forum to celebrate University achievements and engaging the entire Gannon community in the institution’s continued success.

Join us on:



The Gannon University Magazine Spring 2011

8 We ♥ Erie

Gannon Magazine explores the University’s hometown—and why students and alumni alike are fans.

16 Keeping Things Moving Go behind the scenes with the staff members who keep Gannon going.

12 Heart and Soul

What does it mean to be a Diocesan university? Two campus newcomers describe how they see it.

Gannon’s Golden Knight mascot makes a stop at one of downtown Erie’s iconic locations, the Warner Theatre, just two blocks east of campus.


on the cover

(L to R) Yunkai Liu, Rose Ann Garbulinski ’08, Mehmet Cultu, Jessie Badach, Constantine Kliorys, Keith Taylor, Suzanne Kitts and Tim Downs were among those representing Gannon’s faculty and staff in the inaugural Docs vs. Jocks volleyball game, held Feb. 20. The event, a fundraiser for the Make-AWish Foundation, pitted the team against a group of student-athletes. The Jocks escaped with a close, 3-games-to-2 win.

02 18 19 20 22 28

newsnotes alumnifocus facultyfocus sportsscan alumnotes endnotes

For search updates, log on to; news will be posted as it becomes available. The site also includes a copy of the University’s presidential leadership statement and information about former President Antoine M. Garibaldi’s appointment as the first lay president of the University of Detroit Mercy. To learn more about the University’s transformation under his leadership, see the special insert found in the center of this issue. Garibaldi’s last day at Gannon was Dec. 31, 2010, before spending the spring semester on sabbatical. He will serve as the University’s keynote speaker during commencement exercises on May 7, 2011. The ceremony, held at the Tullio Arena, starts at 1 p.m. In recognition for his nearly 10 years of service to Gannon, Garibaldi will also receive an honorary doctorate during the event. About 760 students are scheduled to receive degrees.


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The University plans to move into the space on May 15. Gannon officials are currently working with students to brainstorm ideas for the space as an alcohol-free, University-sponsored programming venue. The Pub’s liquor license was not included in the sale. The business was founded as The Antlers Café in 1938 by Jerry Emling, who owned it until his untimely passing in 1965. Favorite dishes in the early years included broiled Maine lobster (for $2.25) and homemade turtle soup (at 35 cents). By the late 1940s, Antlers served an average of 1,500 meals each week. Emling’s daughter, Judy, recalled many Gannon students who frequented the establishment. “I remember fraternity brothers from Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) gathering at Antlers on a regular basis,” she said. “They loved my dad and I was friends with many of them. One of them even taught me how to drive a manual transmission car!” To celebrate the pub’s history, the Office of Alumni Services invites all alumni to a last call event on May 5 at 7 p.m. For more information, call 1-877-GU-ALUMS (1-877-482-5867). Antlers Pub in November 1944.

Photo courtesy of Judy Emling

With its proximity to campus, Antlers was an easy choice for Gannon students looking to celebrate. Here, seniors from the Class of 1988 mark the start of the 100-day countdown to graduation.


“The committee is on schedule and is pleased with the progress,” Rouch said. “We aim to recommend a new president to the Bishop and Board of Trustees for their approval prior to the start of the 2011-12 Academic Year.”

Antlers Pub, a favorite hangout spot for students and alumni alike, is now a true campus locale after the University purchased the property on Dec. 21, 2010. Gannon also purchased the adjacent 10-space parking lot, giving the University ownership of all property in the block between West Fourth and Fifth streets and Peach and Sassafras streets.


The search for Gannon’s seventh president continued this spring. The search committee, chaired by the Rev. Nicholas Rouch, S.T.D. ’83, brought candidates to Erie in April for a series of interviews.

University Acquires Antlers Pub


Presidential Candidates Visit Campus



News, Notes and Quotables

Campus Police Host Safety Workshops Would you know what to do if a gunman opened fire near campus? Are you familiar with the proper way to wear your seatbelt? Throughout February and March, the University’s Office of Campus Police and Safety held several training sessions to educate the Gannon community on these topics and more. Sessions included: Campus Safety 101: How to Be Safe on Campus; Survival 101, a PennDOT program dedicated to raising seatbelt usage; Sexual Assault: Understanding the Issue; and Sexual Assault and Alcohol. James Waldon, John Coleman and Kim Carter, along with Amy Blackman of Erie’s Crime Victim Center, served as presenters. “This was something we have wanted to do for a while and are excited to start,” said Waldon, director of campus police and safety. “People are definitely interested in the topics and we had more than 100 attendees at some of

Campus police staff (L to R) Daniel Morales, Kim Carter, James Waldon and Kristen Bergquist stop for a picture with students (L to R) Julia Campbell, Donny Mallin, Chris Cook and Pallavi Limbu in A.J.’s Way last summer.

the sessions. We hope to make these safety trainings a regular occurrence on campus.” In addition, campus police have distributed an updated Emergency Procedures Manual, available online at

Five Things You Didn’t Know About…

Alternative Break Service Trips

More than 30 students devoted their spring break to service, traveling to four different locations from Feb. 28 through March 4. In Honduras, a group worked in a day care center, medical center and a school to provide basic English tutoring to children. Another group spent the week in the Bronx, N.Y., working in a soup kitchen. A group in New Orleans worked on homes damaged during Hurricane Katrina, while a group visiting Immokalee, Fla., focused on community service for migrant farm workers and their families.

Students, faculty and staff prepare to get to work in Honduras.

Think you know all there is to know about the Alternative Break Service Trip program, which is celebrating its 19th consecutive year in action? Here are five things you may not have picked up: Students aren’t the only ones giving back; alumni Evelyn (Prenatt) Madonia ’59VMC and George Schillinger ’75 helped out students in Florida and New Orleans, respectively, with time and funds. Each domestic trip added more educational opportunities this year: in Florida, students participated in a peaceful public protest for fair wages; students in New York viewed a film about street vendors and engaged in discussion with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps; and in New Orleans, the group took a faith-based tour of the city. This year, the groups gave more than 1,000 combined hours of service: bathing infants, teaching English to toddlers and children, conducting a community health survey, painting signs for a rally for living wages, digging trenches for the foundation of a new school, laying laminate flooring and preparing and serving meals. Gannon students interacted with students from other colleges including Valparaiso University, Bellarmine University, Duquesne University, St. Thomas University – Florida and Appalachian State University. Students attended an Hispanic Catholic Mass as well as a Mass at a historically African-American church. They also prayed the rosary in five languages.


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$1 Million Anonymous Gift Funds New Scholarship A $1 million gift from an anonymous donor has created a scholarship for students enrolled in Gannon’s College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.

Gannon Archives

These young men are some of Cathedral College’s first graduates. Do you recognize the year? Help us update our records and let Bob Dobiesz ( in Gannon Archives know.

The donor, a Gannon alumnus, has created the Cathedral College Endowed Merit Scholarship in the Liberal Arts in tribute to the University’s founding name and its early history. The scholarship is designed for academically qualified, full-time undergraduate students. Awards may be renewed annually, provided scholarship recipients maintain at least a 3.5 grade point average. Preference for scholarship awards will be given to first-generation college students. Any individual, foundation, trust, company or other organization may at any time make additional gifts to the scholarship fund. For more information, contact Tony Fulgenzio ’82, ’10M, director of philanthropy, at 814-871-7786. The College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences is composed of more than 20 bachelor’s degree programs, five certificate programs, four associate degree programs and more than 20 academic minors.

Alumnus Inspires Students during Black History Month More than 50 of Erie’s best and brightest minority high school students visited Gannon on Feb. 28 for the second African-American Leadership Conference in observance of Black History Month. As part of the conference, Bishop Stanley Smith ’91, an Erie native and graduate of Strong Vincent High School and Gannon University, gave an inspirational presentation on leadership. Smith is a former Air Force sergeant and pastor of Saint John Missionary Baptist Church in Meadville, Pa., and is the founder of His Hand Extended, a prison/drug and alcohol ministry in Erie. The event concluded Gannon’s celebration of Black History Month. Other events included:

� a presentation by Bette Walker, local storyteller and seamstress, at the University’s Gathering in Praise service on Feb. 17. Sponsored by the student group Multi-Cultures United, Walker shared personal experiences through seven of her colorful quilts.

� a soul food dinner on Feb. 18, which saw about 50 students in attendance. The event, which has been held for about the last six years, featured classic comfort food such as fried chicken, collard greens, cornbread and sweet potato pie.

� a lecture by Elon James White, host of the award-winning Web series “This Week in Blackness,” on Feb. 22. It was sponsored by Gannon’s Activities Programming Board.

� a showing of the 2009 documentary Soundtrack for a Revolution, which tells the story of the civil rights movement through music (such as the songs that freedom protesters sang on picket lines). Ann Bomberger, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, led a brief discussion after the film. She teaches African-American literature, composition and civic engagement at Gannon.

Bishop Stanley Smith ’91 gave an inspirational speech as part of the University’s celebration of Black History Month. 04

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A celebration of student, faculty and staff accolades

What else are students doing? Jasmine Shinko and Cassandra Wasson were recently awarded Sigma Xi Grantsin-Aid of Research for their research proposals; ROTC cadets Kayla Amsler, Mitchell Carroll, Patrick Doty and Eric Stormer received scholarships— plus lots more! Visit www. accolades/ students for a full listing of these and other recent accomplishments.

What else are faculty and staff doing?

Café Showcases Students’ Ingenuity The International Student Office, located on the first floor of Zurn Science Center, has recently expanded to include a project that brings students of all ethnic backgrounds together—the One Green World Café. The Café is a completely student-run coffee shop that not only serves fair-trade, gourmet brand coffee, but also locally sourced international foods. The Café, which started with one cardboard table, has expanded to a streamlined coffee shop, with every piece of the space designed and built by the students using recycled materials found in the basement of Zurn. Jason Steinberg, associate director of the ISO and a woodworker, has helped the students fashion the space, noting the only thing that students are not permitted to do is actually Sophomore Sohinee “Rhea” Ghosh

By Beth Gaertner

cut the wood. The idea for the One Green World Café came up when Steinberg began looking for a project in which international and American students could learn to work together. “Creating a coffee shop is a great way to create this blending of international and American students because we have students working together at the coffee shop getting to know one another and learning about different cultures,” said Kelsie Bunce, a sophomore business administration major and one of the student managers of the Café. The shop is operated by nearly 50 student volunteers, including four students using the job as an independent study course and one student intern assisting with publicity. The Café operates during the normal Gannon business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is currently working with a variety of campus organizations such as Metz Culinary Management dining services and Gannon’s Small Business Development Center to meet food safety requirements and work toward SERVSAFE Certification, which is required of all business operations to be a fully licensed business. “These certifications are the next steps toward expansion and will aid the coffee shop in being a vehicle for the internationalization of campus,” Steinberg said.

mans the counter in the new One Green World Café.

Gaertner is a junior communication arts major and work study in the Communications office.

Alumnus Helps Name Parish Library after Father Gregorek For nearly 28 years total, the Very Rev. Joseph Gregorek, Ph.D., V. F., biology professor, has been a fixture on Gannon’s campus. But for much of the 1980s, he was also a mainstay at St. Peter and St. Paul Parish in Alta Loma, Calif.—and his contributions there were recently recognized when the parish’s library was named in his honor. As fate would have it, Gregorek’s former parish has more than one connection to Gannon; its current pastor, the Rev. Patrick Kirsch ’77, is a Gannon alumnus. “I received a call from Father Pat, letting me know that the parish committee felt it appropriate to name the library in my name. I thought, ‘Why me?’ I only did what I was ordained to do, serve the people. And I was ordained to do so for the sake of God, not myself. So I was very honored that they would remember me in this way,” Gregorek said. From 1984-1992, Gregorek was a resident priest at St. Peter and St. Paul while also serving as associate dean of basic sciences at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona, Calif. He currently serves as a weekend assistant at several churches in the Diocese of Erie, including St. Casimir, Holy Family and St. Ann’s. “Throughout his whole life he has been dedicated to education and growing in holiness; I could think of no greater person to name our library after,” Kirsch said. “Father Gregorek’s name is mentioned over and over. He is so well-loved and remembered by all of the people for his dedication and willingness to be a servant.”

The parish honored Gregorek during a special Mass celebrating the church’s 30th anniversary, followed by a dinner and the formal blessing of The Rev. Joseph Gregorek (left) and The Father the Rev. Patrick Kirsch ’77 (right) Joe Gregorek celebrate the parish library naming. Parish Library. About 300 people attended the event, including former members of Gregorek’s youth group, many of whom brought their own children to meet him. “I most fondly remember the people; their dedication to the parish was very memorable,” Gregorek said of his time in California. “My first day, I was in a hurry and I answered the telephone, ‘Hello, St. Peter and Paul,’ and the woman on the other end corrected me, ‘No, father, it’s St. Peter and St. Paul, don’t you forget it!’ That was the kind of pride they had in the church.”


Chris Dubbs, grant writer, co-authored a new book, Realizing Tomorrow: The Path to Private Space Flight, that tells the stories of how ordinary people got into space; a paper co-authored by engineering professors Weifeng Xu, Ph.D., Stephen Frezza, Ph.D. and Wookwon Lee, Sc.D., was honored with a Certificate of Merit at the recent World Congress on Engineering and Computer Science— plus lots more! Visit www.gannon. edu/accolades/ facstaff for a full listing of these and other recent accomplishments.



Gannon Recognized by Malaysian Ministry of Education

Doctoral Program Awards First Degree Gannon’s doctoral program in organizational learning and leadership (OLL), which formally began in 2007, awarded its first degree in December 2010 to Stephanie Williams ’03C, principal of McDowell Intermediate High School in Erie. She also earned a K-12 principal certificate and a superintendent letter of eligibility from Gannon.

Stephanie Williams ’03C was recognized in December as the University’s first organizational learning and leadership doctoral program graduate.

“I believe in Gannon, its Mission, its vision and its educational program. I found the OLL program challenging, engaging and highly interactive. The teaching staff was highly involved in the process and readily available to meet with students. I will always value the knowledge, confidence and connections I have made throughout the experience,” Williams said.

Williams’ dissertation was titled, “Effects of Servant Leadership Behaviors on Public School Superintendents’ Length of Tenure.” Among her hypotheses, she found that a school district’s organizational culture and overall performance tend to be positively impacted by the superintendent’s ability to empower subordinates and to foster a climate of trust and cohesiveness. In addition, she concluded that the most successful superintendents focus on team building, creating a shared vision and building relationships. “Since I am a building principal, I wanted to expand beyond my area of expertise, and I began looking at leadership and what was done consistently by what I termed a ‘gold standard’ superintendent that resulted in increased length of tenure,” Williams explained. “After studying several leadership styles, servant leadership is one that I believe in and feel results in exceptional leaders.” Gannon offers two active doctoral programs: organizational learning and leadership and physical therapy. A third in nursing practice is awaiting approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Gannon University has been formally recognized by Malaysia’s Ministry of Education, paving the way for the University to continue to grow its international student population. As a result, Gannon has been awarded a Malaysian Quality Assurance Certification (MQAC). “This recognition is very significant because it will allow Gannon to much more effectively and aggressively recruit students from Malaysia. We’re very excited and grateful for the support of the Malaysian government,” said Thomas B. Hassett, director of international admissions. Specifically, the recognition will further Gannon’s efforts to enroll government-sponsored students from Malaysia. Such students receive tuition assistance to study in the United States and other countries. It also provides greater credibility to the Gannon degrees earned by Malaysian students, Hassett said. Gannon also holds similar recognitions by other governments, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia. There are currently 365 international students from 22 countries enrolled at Gannon.

“Celebrate Gannon” Showcases Student Talent More than 65 students showcased their creative and scholarly talents at “Celebrate Gannon,” a campus-wide event held March 25. The celebration served as an opportunity for students to highlight their community service and other types of campus and community involvement.

Senior biotechnology major Jessica Moore explains her poster presentation. 06

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“Celebrate Gannon” combines two prior events, the Graduate Research Conference and the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Celebration. Through a variety of presentations, students presented their work in four categories: undergraduate research and scholarship; graduate research; creativity, such as artwork, poetry and performance; and engagement, including service/volunteerism and athletics.

in the details A c l o s e r l o o k a t G a n n o n ’s i c o n i c t r a d i t i o n s

Schuster Theatre

The Schuster Theatre in Scottino Hall is a multi-form or “black box” theatre. The layout of the theatre changes for each production, ranging from auditorium or proscenium-style seating to classic theatre-in-the-round.

➎ Like senior Nicole Dohoda (left, seen here ➍ with sophomore Jasse Camacho in 2010’s Stage

Nearly 1,000 alumni have received a ➋ degree in theatre or communication arts.

Fright), about 50 students are currently majoring in theatre or communication arts.

➌ Typically, rehearsals follow a four- to fiveweek schedule, with about six two- to three-hour

Each year’s productions are selected by a ➎ committee of theatre faculty and students; the goal is to include a wide variety of plays over the fouryear period a student is here. We try to include a Shakespeare play, a modern musical, a classic musical, a Greek play, a modern European, etc.

Congratulations go to the Gannon University theatre department, which has been chosen to participate in the International Collegiate Theatre Festival (ICTF). The festival will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland in August 2011. Gannon is one of only 15 college and university theatre programs from the U.S. and Canada to be chosen for the ICTF.


rehearsals a week. “We attract students from all majors at the University, from nursing to chemistry to electrical and mechanical engineering. The best part about this department is that we are totally inclusive,” said instructor Paula Barrett.


We ♥ Erie!

It’s not a university—it’s a communiversity. That’s how Miles Vida, a Gannon enrollment advisor, describes Gannon to prospective students. From the school’s location in the heart of downtown Erie to its commitment to serving the surrounding neighborhood, the University is linked to the Flagship City in more ways than one. In fact, more than half of freshmen surveyed in Fall 2009 agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “Gannon’s environment and location in Erie is good.” Many of the more than 10,800 alumni who currently call Erie County home were first introduced to the area as a Gannon or Villa Maria College freshman. Even if post-graduation travels led them elsewhere (and you can find out how far on p. 11),

reminiscing with fellow alumni at off-campus locations like Antlers Pub is a popular homecoming event each year.

So what’s with all the love? Here are five reasons Gannon believes in Erie.

Small-city atmosphere, ♥ big-city amenities. With a population of 101,786, Erie is the fourth-largest city in Pennsylvania. Its moderate size serves up numerous entertainment and educational offerings—all of which can benefit Gannon students. “When comparing Erie to the three largest cities in the state—Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allentown—we tend to have more of the benefits than the disadvantages, like less traffic and fewer safety concerns,” explains Jennie Morgan-Velez, a Gannon enrollment advisor. Students can cheer on one of Erie’s five sports teams, from hockey to Nascar-sanctioned racing, enjoy an evening on the town (from museums to comedy acts to off-Broadway theater) or get their pulse racing at Waldameer, the 10th oldest amusement park in the country.

Becca Coleman, a sophomore theatre major, starred as Dorothy in the 2010 Erie Playhouse production of The Wiz. 08

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Students pick up trash while enjoying the scenic Lake Erie view during GIVE Day 2010.

“I like Erie because there is always something to do—I’m never bored here. From fishing and swimming on the lake to skiing at nearby resorts or going to any of hundreds of events downtown, you will never be tired of Erie,” said Molly Homchenko, a high school senior utilizing Gannon’s dual enrollment program.

Indeed, Erie’s tight-knit and caring atmosphere blends well with Gannon’s Catholic Mission. The city’s diverse population—nearly 20 percent identify themselves as a minority—can help new students easily relate to others or learn more about different cultures.

On top of social activities, the Erie area boasts plenty of opportunities for academic experiences and career preparation. Gannon’s biology department spends 3,650 hours in the field each year, often researching wildlife and plants at Presque Isle State Park—in fact, more than 325 different bird species have been identified in the region.

The University’s Campus Ministry office has capitalized on the city’s cultural variety by instituting a “Dining Around the World” series that helps students embrace other ethnicities. So far, the group has enjoyed cuisine from the Middle East, Jamaica and Japan, among others. American students have also helped their international classmates experience U.S. traditions, introducing them to local Erie fare like Smith’s hot dogs, pepperoni balls or handmade treats from one of the city’s longstanding chocolatiers.

The history department has forged a close bond with the Erie County Historical Society, with as many as half a dozen students working at the nonprofit each semester. Students also help fundraise during the Erie Heritage Fest and assist with independent research projects—for instance, senior Maria Caulfield is working on a first-person interpretation of Annie Strong, whose family built what is now Gannon’s Old Main. According to the University’s Career Development and Employment Services office, roughly 65 percent of students are engaged in internships, practicums and co-operative experiences within Erie County each year. Frequent student placement locations include General Electric, Erie Insurance, UPMC Hamot, city and county government and area schools, just to name a few.

♥ You’ve got a friend. “I love Erie for its hometown atmosphere. The city is small enough to navigate easily yet big enough to meet a variety of people,” said Deon Dawkins, a junior nursing major from Temple Hills, Md.

As a Catholic, Diocesan university, Gannon provides ample opportunities for students to worship—for example, every four years, Gannon plays host to a rotating student worship experience called Intercollegiate Gathering, which allows students at area Catholic schools a day of self-reflection and fellowship. But students’ faith development is not confined to campus boundaries. Erie is home to nearly two dozen religious denominations within city limits alone. In addition, Gannon is active in living out its Catholic Mission through service to the community. In 2010, the University started Erie-GAINS (Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability) to stimulate positive change and improve the sustainability and viability of downtown Erie and the neighborhoods surrounding campus. The initiative focuses on education, health and well-being, the economy, public safety, neighborhood revitalization, the environment, spiritual development and social change. 09

Students (L to R) David Okienko, Randi Montagna and Christina Parker enjoy an impromptu snowball fight on Friendship Green.

In 2009, Independent Sector valued volunteer hours at $20.85 per hour. Thus, combined with the University’s cash donations, Gannon’s 79,421 total service hours during the 2009-10 Academic Year are valued at nearly $1.8 million, the majority of which directly benefited organizations in Erie. “As an urban campus, Gannon has a unique footprint within the city. We overlap with the downtown environment and, as such, have a duty to positively impact the area,” Vida said. “You can really tell everyone on campus—from upper administration to faculty to the student body—takes that responsibility seriously.”

♥ Water, water everywhere. One of Erie’s unique characteristics is its designation as the only Pennsylvania port on the Great Lakes. Erie County touches 51 miles of Lake Erie coastline, and Presque Isle State Park has 135 miles of paved multipurpose trails that are also ADA (American Disability Association) accessible. The lake offers both recreation and resources for students. Students Greg Evanoff and Destin DeMarion recently competed in the FLW College Fishing Qualifier, representing the Gannon University Bassmasters, following several months’ worth of practice on Lake Erie. Routinely, Gannon students are awarded for their research presentations regarding issues critical to the lake and surrounding watershed. In 2010, for example, two students (Linsey Bocian and Jillian Rhoads) received awards and eight others presented at the Regional Science Consortium’s 6th Annual Research Symposium in 2010. “I like Erie because I enjoy being close to the water. I love being able to fish here and run at Presque Isle,” said Emily Reinhart, a sophomore electrical and computer science engineering major from Gibsonia, Pa. 10

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Winter ♥ wonderland. Located in the snow belt, Erie certainly sees its share of winter weather—and students wouldn’t have it any other way. The area experiences a full range of weather events, including snow, ice, rain, thunderstorms and fog. “The snow is great—there’s always a ton of stuff to do during the winter months,” said Tyler Ankney, an undeclared sophomore from Gibsonia, Pa. On average, Erie sees 92 inches of snow each year, and there are about as many ways to enjoy it—from snowshoeing at Asbury Woods Nature Center to enjoying the picturesque ice dunes along the shore to joining Gannon’s Ski Club at nearby Peek’n Peak Resort. According to Gary Garnic, associate vice president for campus services, physical plant staffers take only four hours, on average, to completely clear campus walkways and parking lots after a major snowfall. In addition, Gannon’s physical plant offers a helping hand to Erie proper by clearing sidewalks and walkways in the vicinity around campus.

Where in the World While many of Gannon and Villa Maria alumni reside in Erie County, Pa., grads can be found in all 50 states and nearly 60 foreign countries. The top landing spots include: Pennsylvania – 19,967 New York – 2,017 Ohio – 1,960 Florida – 1,142 Virginia – 834

Location, ♥ location, ♥ location. Car, boat, plane, train or bus—take your pick, they can all get you to Erie. The city is also located within about two hours of three major metropolitan areas (Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo) and lies within 500 miles of more than half of the U.S. population. “I am from Pittsburgh, so Erie is far enough to have privacy and feel independent but close enough to visit home easily,” said Amrit Singh, a junior finance major. Erie’s proximity to major cities doesn’t mean it shares their high price tags, however. It’s not surprising that one of students’ favorite aspects of the area is its low cost of living and availability of free entertainment. Pennsylvania does not impose sales tax on clothing or apparel, and at least twice a year, Gannon’s marketing office makes free tickets to Erie sporting events available to students. In 2009, the University began a partnership with the Erie Metropolitan Transportation Authority to allow anyone with a Gannon ID to ride city buses free of charge. A new, campus-specific route was also initiated, giving students an even easier way to travel from Wehrle Hall to the Morosky Academic Center. Within a one-mile radius of campus, students have access to more than 40 restaurants, 25 shops and two dozen banks and medical facilities.

Students aren’t the only ones singing the city’s praises; alumni think it’s pretty Erie-sistable too. For Ben Speggen ’07, ’09M, an adjunct English instructor at Gannon and managing editor of the area’s only weekly newspaper, the Erie Reader, sticking around after graduation was a no-brainer. “There are a several reasons why we decided to stay in Erie,” said Speggen, “but the primary reasons would be the job opportunities we encountered and the personal relationships we had formed. My wife, Chelsey (Nagle) ’10, and I were both able to secure jobs in Erie that wouldn’t be available in our hometowns. Also, as a student, I became close with Father George Strohmeyer and his work with L’Arche Erie, which I wanted to continue.” For Marilyn (Way) Kraus ’55VMC and her late husband, Paul ’55, all roads led back to Erie. After living abroad in Germany for a year with the U.S. Army, the couple chose to settle in Erie, in part due to their fond memories of college life. “I was born and raised in Oil City, Pa., and attended Villa Maria College after graduating from Oil City High School in 1951. I met Paul, a Gannon student at the time, at a Villa mixer and we married in 1955—the year I graduated,” she said. “Upon returning to Erie, Paul assumed his career at Emil Kraus and Sons Advertising. I raised four children while occasionally substitute teaching. We both were very active in volunteer work—Paul as a scoutmaster and I as a volunteer for various charities.” Ben Speggen ’07, ’09M, a native of Carmichaels, Pa., is proud to be an Erieite.

“I like Erie because it’s not the typical area for a college campus. There’s a lot of different activities to do, and so many of them are within walking distance of Gannon,” said Mandy Layne, a junior communication arts major from Burton, Ohio.

Do you have an Erie story to share? Head to Gannon’s Online Alumni Community at to post yours. 11

How the University’s Diocesan roots inspire a commitment to service


gannon magazine

spring 2011

Gannon University has many unique traits: a closeknit campus in the midst of a bustling urban area; the region’s largest high-fidelity Patient Simulation Center; and, most notably, its identity as one of less than a dozen Diocesan colleges in the country. But what does it mean to be a Diocesan school? This is the question that intrigued two new Gannon staffers when they arrived on campus last fall. Read on for a dialogue between Jason Steinberg, associate director of the International Student Office, and Susan Haarman, associate director of campus ministry, as they discuss their perception of this critical component of Gannon’s Mission.

Jason: I’d like to begin by observing that language is what brought me to Gannon. More specifically, my love for language—for its sounds and structure,

Susan Haarman (left) and Jason Steinberg (right) discuss the tenets of a Diocesan university.

its complexity and depth—is what started me on the path toward a career in service to international and American students. All languages, even English, are the keepers of hidden treasures and surprises (some old, some new) and a special joy for me is encountering and engaging with these as they appear. My introduction to the word “diocesan” occurred during the interview process for the associate director position in the International Student Office. When I first read the position’s details on the Gannon website, I imagined the adjective was pronounced much like its proper noun counterpart “diocese,” with the emphasis on the “ee” [di-o-SEE-zan]. I was pleasantly surprised then, when in the interview, someone rolled out the real pronunciation, with the long, broad The Rev. George Strohmeyer welcomes the congregation at Community Mass during the University’s Celebration of Catholic Education.

“ahh” in the middle [di-AAHH-cesan]. Sounding both foreign and familiar, the word captivated my fascination. Coming from a large public research university, however, I haven’t had much opportunity to explore the meaning of the concept. Maybe you can help fill me in?

Susan: Jason, love of language and love of the sacred go hand in hand. I firmly believe you can’t be in love with how we express ourselves, our ideas and the things around us without also coming into a deeper appreciation for that which we seek to name and describe. So on that note, I’d love to do what I can to elucidate a little more about what being a Diocesan school means. It’s something I’ve been discovering as a new hire this year as well. I’ve worked in Catholic colleges before, but all of them have been operated by Roman Catholic religious orders, so they are associated with that order’s charism, or spiritual focus. Gannon’s Diocesan, so rather than being affiliated with a religious order, it’s affiliated with 13

Junior Theresa Pfister (center) enjoys a teambuilding exercise during the second annual Faith Field Day, which attracted 55 students making up six teams.

Gannon is called to be more than “just a university” to the community.

Jason: So it seems that the border between “Gannon” and “the community” is not as tightly drawn as it would be if it weren’t a Diocesan school. That, for example, can explain the Erie-GAINS (Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability) focus on helping develop the neighborhoods surrounding Gannon. the Diocese of Erie. The diocese is essentially the geographic territory that’s under the supervision of a specific bishop. Bishops are local practical and spiritual leaders of Roman Catholic communities. Think of dioceses as sort of “spiritual voting districts.” So what’s that mean for Gannon? On a very practical level it means that the bishop of Erie has a special role as the chair of our Board of Trustees, and he’s intimately involved

Gannon is committed to the faith development of all its students, no matter where in their academic journey they are. For the first time, this year Gannon offered a special Metanoia Retreat, specifically designed to help upperclassmen deepen their faith and bond with their classmates. “I had attended and led a retreat called Kairos that had a similar focus and feel on the collegiate level,” said event organizer Susan Haarman, associate director of campus ministry. “I thought the concept would work well at Gannon because the retreat is peer-led with supervision from campus ministry. I worked with the student team for six weeks to help plan and shape the retreat, but ultimately it was the students’ frank and honest conversations


gannon magazine

spring 2011

in the ins and outs of life at Gannon. On a deeper level, it means Gannon is connected and committed to the Diocese of Erie. I think this should mean not just educating its young adults, but really asking how it as an institution can strive to be a better neighbor and partner in downtown Erie, how it can stand up for the rights of oppressed folks in Erie and how it can use its influence and resources to build a better way of life in this diocese. Brass tacks, it means

More generally, development and growth are important for the lifeblood of any organization. How does a Diocesan school reconcile the need to grow, change and flourish with its fundamental connection to the culture, traditions and history of the Catholic Church? And related to that, another question: A strong component of our office’s mission is to look for innovative ways to integrate international and American students. How might this correlate Continued on next page after insert.

about the struggles, joys and different roles faith plays in their lives that made it so powerful.” Metanoia means “repent” in Greek, and the retreat—held at Camp Notre Dame in Fairview, Pa.—encouraged selfreflection and evaluation. “A better literal translation of the word metanoia would be ‘you have to change your heart.’ The retreat asks questions about how people need to change their heart, perspectives and actions so that they are living a fuller, more loving life with better relationships and deeper grounding in faith,” Haarman explained. “I was really amazed at how seriously students

took the experience and how willing they were to grapple with those big life questions. In many cases, students were opening up to people they literally just met that weekend.”

A Decade of Progress

2001-2011 Gannon’s Transformation under the Leadership of President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.

If you happened to pass by the president’s office over the past 10 years, you were likely to face a series of friendly questions from Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. Well-known on campus for his personable demeanor and remarkable memory, he was often found in the Old Main lobby, chatting with prospective students, current upperclassmen, faculty and alumni alike. He would interrupt his daily meetings and step out of his office to ask about their hometown (often identifying students or alumni who hailed from the same place); their field of study (always making sure they met with Gannon’s dynamic faculty); even their favorite sports team (a true Golden Knights fan, Garibaldi attended many of the school’s 18 varsity team competitions during his tenure). But most importantly, as Gannon’s sixth president, Dr. Garibaldi asked us all to believe. A strong believer in Gannon’s foundation as a Catholic university, he utilized his past experiences and connections “to promote Gannon’s Catholic Identity and its Mission throughout the University, in the community, around the country and in the world,” as he stated when introduced as the University’s sixth president on June 4, 2001. With a firm belief that Gannon could be a world-class university, he collaborated with faculty and staff to implement new initiatives and revitalize current programs that could raise Gannon’s national standing. Specifically, he


aimed to make Gannon a top Catholic university “by strengthening the quality of its academic programs, recruiting more talented undergraduate and graduate students from Erie and around the U.S. and supporting the faculty’s daily work as teachers, scholars and community leaders.”

reflected another one of Garibaldi’s four priorities: to lead a vigorous and successful fundraising campaign of more than $30 million, with the active assistance of the Board of Trustees, alumni and University community, for student scholarships, endowed faculty chairs and infrastructure improvements.

He also believed that the implementation of a strategic planning process would allow Gannon to identify a set of immediate common goals and capitalize on its strengths. Ten years later, Garibaldi and the Gannon community accomplished those priorities and the majority of the goals and objectives of two five-year strategic plans. Enrollment increased by 25 percent; more than 30 campus facilities were purchased, renovated and/or constructed; and for seven consecutive years, Gannon has been ranked in the top tier in its region in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” guide.

Between 2001 and 2010, Gannon experienced significant changes in its national reputation, Catholic Identity, students, facilities, endowment and more under Garibaldi’s leadership. As a new decade begins, Gannon’s leadership is in transition after Garibaldi announced he would be the first lay president of the University of Detroit Mercy, effective July 1, 2011.

His belief that Gannon could accomplish a comprehensive fundraising campaign was realized in 2008, when The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign concluded with more than $31.5 million raised. This achievement

In 2005, Gannon unveiled a new University branding initiative, which featured a bright gold sunburst logo. Just like these rays, Gannon University shines even brighter today. No matter what the future has in store, the Gannon community is sure to do what it has done best over the last 10 years: believe in the possibilities.

Promoting Gannon’s Catholic Identity and Mission You can feel it at Mass in the voices of the Chapel Choir and at ecumenical services in the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel. You can see it in the vibrant activities of campus ministry and numerous faith-sharing groups or in the crucifix on the wall of the Hammermill Center. Unquestionably, Gannon’s Catholic Identity and Mission have been strengthened over the last 10 years and its reputation as a Catholic university has grown stronger.

(Clockwise from top) The University’s Welcome Mass, held each year during Preview GU welcome activities since 2002, routinely sees a full house crowd of nearly 300. ■ Gannon’s On Catholic Identity publication, first created in 1999, has received three updates since then. ■ The Rev. George Strohmeyer, University chaplain, shares a moment with Jen Toney ’06, ’08M in 2003.

faculty, staff and students—known as the Mission and Identity Council—to help ensure Gannon’s Catholic Identity was always at the forefront of University activities. Among other work, the council has since updated Gannon’s On Catholic Identity publication, which articulates Gannon’s expression of its responsibilities as a Catholic university, and has initiated a review of both the Mission Statement and Statement on Catholic Identity.

During his first month in office, Garibaldi “I believe Dr. Garibaldi’s finest achievement at Gannon has been his strengthening obtained individual copies for the entire of its Catholic Identity,” said the Most faculty and staff—all 650 of them— Rev. Donald W.Trautman, S.T.D., S.S.L., of the newly promulgated The Application Bishop of Erie. “He has modeled that of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Pope John Paul II’s Catholic Identity to students and has structured it to administration and programming.” 1990 Apostolic Constitution on Catholic In 2004, Gannon initiated a public Universities. He also encouraged the prayer, delivered by a student-athlete, Gannon before all home athletic competitions. community The University joined a select group to attend of other Catholic colleges across the the weekly Community country in 2008 and began commemorating National Catholic Colleges Mass and Week, a seven-day celebration of monthly Catholic higher education. The same Gathering year, Gannon’s music ministry program in Praise increased its membership three-fold, service and in Fall 2009, the Catholic House at 11 a.m. and to refrain from holding reached full capacity with 12 student meetings at that time so that more residents. The current location for this faculty, staff and students could worship faith-based living-learning community, together. In August 2002, he instituted 306 W. Sixth St., was acquired by the a special Welcome Mass for new University in 2006. students and their families so that the school year would begin with a religious Another new practice that Garibaldi celebration that reinforced Gannon’s began in Fall 2001 was visiting the Catholic foundation and its commitment seven high schools in the Diocese of to faith development. Erie, along with the vice president for mission and ministry and a Gannon Under the leadership of the vice enrollment advisor, to speak about president for mission and ministry, planning for college and the academic whose responsibilities were formally and financial aid opportunities Gannon approved by Garibaldi in 2002, he offered. Over time, these visits paid commissioned in 2003 a new group of 3

huge dividends for Gannon, with as many as 73 and 66 students enrolling in 2008 and 2006, respectively, compared with 45 students in 2001.

the viability of downtown Erie and the neighborhoods surrounding campus in collaboration with government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

For many of the 19 commencements during his tenure, Garibaldi used his personal connections to recommend to the Board of Trustees many outstanding leaders in the Church and Catholic higher education, including former Ambassador to the Vatican and Louisiana Congresswoman Lindy Boggs and Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and four prominent Catholic university presidents. By their presence, Gannon’s identity as a Catholic university was acknowledged and promoted.

The University has also been continually recognized for its service commitment. For four consecutive years, Gannon has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, servicelearning and civic engagement. Gannon’s commitment to service was a primary reason for the University’s recognition in Washington Monthly’s “2010 College Rankings,” a first for the institution.

Students’ Service to the Community Service to others is a core principle of the teachings of Catholic social justice, and Gannon students have generously given back near and far. During the 2009-2010 Academic Year, for example, Gannon’s Center for Social Concerns reported that Gannon students recorded 70,085 hours of service to the local, national and global community—nearly 48,000 more hours than were recorded 10 years prior. This large increase was aided by the director of service-learning position, who in 2006 began reporting to the vice president for mission and ministry, thereby enhancing the efficiency of service and serving-learning activities for students. During the summer of 2010, the University launched ErieGAINS (Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability) that will stimulate positive change and improve 4

Garibaldi’s Community and Regional Service Familiar throughout the community, Garibaldi was also very active in the Erie region’s education, social service, business and economic development organizations, as well as the region’s two major medical centers. Many of those relationships resulted in partnerships for Gannon students, staff and faculty.

He served on the United Way of Erie County Board of Directors for nine years and was its chairman in 2006-07; he was a founding board member of the Erie Downtown Partnership, then known as the Downtown Improvement District, and Gannon hosted some of the early planning meetings in Old Main in 2002 and 2003. During his tenure at Gannon, he was on the Erie Regional Chamber

“Dr. Garibaldi will leave an extraordinary legacy. He leads by example; his expectation for excellence is mirrored by his own actions,” said Bonita Booker, CAAP director. “Dr. Garibaldi’s accomplishments will be measured by those whom he has inspired in both the Erie and Gannon communities.” and Growth Partnership Board (the former Erie Conference) and the Growth Partnership Committee, and the former Civic Coordinating Committee. He was also: a member of the St. Vincent Health System Board from 2002-2010; a six-year member of the Cathedral Preparatory Advisory Board; and a member of the Hamot Board of Corporators.

*Photo courtesy of the Manufacturer & Business Association’s Business Magazine/Ron Stephens

(Left) Strong participation in service events like GIVE (Gannon’s Invitation to Volunteer Everywhere) Day has earned Gannon national recognition. ■ (Right) Dr. Garibaldi stands with several successful Gannon alumni who are also active in the Erie community.

Distinguishing the University In addition to promoting Gannon’s Catholic Identity and Mission, another immediate priority of Garibaldi’s was to make Gannon a world-class university. In the years that followed, Gannon lived up to the challenge. The University’s achievements have been and continue to be recognized nationally. In the 2011 U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” guide, Gannon was ranked 46th overall out of 172 schools in the northern region of the Regional Universities category (formerly classified as Master’s Universities). The 2011 edition marked the seventh consecutive year the University achieved a top tier ranking.

On the state level, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP). He also serves on the boards of the two largest diocesan universities in the country, the University of Saint Thomas (Minn.) Board of Trustees and Seton Hall University (N.J.) Board of Regents. In May 2009, he was appointed to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Review Board; and he chaired the Middle States Commission on Higher Education Evaluation Teams of two prominent east coast institutions in 2005-06 and 2009-2010.

In addition, Gannon ranked five times as one of only 15 institutions in its class in the Great Schools, Great Prices category. In 2010, Gannon was also ranked as a Top Up-and-Coming School, the first time it received such an honor. Garibaldi also helped raise Gannon’s regional and national name recognition through his leadership and service on the boards of several national higher education organizations such as: Council of Independent Colleges, where he was a board member, vice chair for programs, chair of the board and past-chair; NCAA Division II Presidents Council, serving as chair of the Executive Committee Subcommittee on Gender and Diversity; American Council on Education Board of Directors; National Association of College and University Business Officers Board of Directors; and Association of Governing Board’s Council of Presidents.



June 4, 2001 Antoine M. Garibaldi is announced as the sixth president of Gannon University, effective July 1, 2001.

September 2002 Gannon’s first-ever Strategic Plan I: 20022007 is approved by the Board of Trustees.

November 2002 Gannon faculty are recognized for their scholarly collaborations at the first Faculty Scholarship Celebration.

March 2003 Gannon University receives full reaccreditation for another 10 years by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

July 2004

Enrollment Growth Enrollment increased by 25 percent between 2001 and 2010, from 3,401 to 4,238 students. The latter figure, from Fall 2009, represented Gannon’s highest number of students in 17 years. At the same time, Gannon enrolled its largest freshman class (649 students) in 16 years. In fact, beginning in 2005, the University has enrolled first-year classes of more than 600 students for six

Alumni C. Christopher Cooney ’63 and Brian Jackman ’63 make a donation to start Gannon’s first endowed professorships.

September 2004 Gannon is awarded a $1.824 million federal Title III grant, the largest in University history. The funds help create a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and an Academic Advising Center at Gannon. 5

consecutive years. During the December 2009 and May 2010 commencement ceremonies, 1,032 undergraduate and graduate degrees were awarded—the largest number in school history. Several student populations have increased as well over the last 10 years. International students now represent 9 percent of the Gannon student body, up from 5 percent in 2001. Minority and international student recruitment have also been key areas of focus, with 812 more students of color and 210 more international students than were present on campus a decade ago.

“Dr.Garbaldi will truly be missed. He always made himself available to students and encouraged us to come meet and talk with him. He’s helped me look at different career options and has always offered to lend a helping hand,” said Alysia Tucker, a senior science major.

Recognizing Faculty Contributions Gannon’s 346 dynamic faculty—50 more than in 2001—have been critical to the University’s success through their teaching, scholarship and research. As the number of faculty has grown, so have their academic credentials. One of Garibaldi’s major goals was to increase the percentage of faculty with terminal degrees from 53 to 70 percent. By 2009, that goal was achieved as 70.6 percent of Gannon faculty held terminal degrees. To honor their commitment to excellence and scholarly research, Garibaldi instituted the Faculty Scholarship Celebration in 2002. This


annual event has grown from honoring 74 faculty in its first year to recognizing 92 during 2010. During the 2001-02 Academic Year, Gannon faculty salaries were, on average, at 80 percent of the mean of their peers. Garibaldi proposed that the University would strive to achieve 100 percent for faculty and staff within five years. By 2010, faculty salaries were at 100 percent and staff salaries were at 96 percent of the mean. Other improvements he initiated include higher increases to base salaries for faculty promoted in rank and partial funding for faculty sabbaticals beginning in 2006. Moreover, after at least six years of diligent work by three provosts and national consultants, the University’s Institutional Policy Manual (formerly known as the Governance Manual) was completely revised, with revised criteria for the promotion and tenure of faculty.

Success and Increase in Student Activities Extracurricular involvement has risen as well: there are now more than 75 clubs and organizations, and 50 of them are new since 2001. Many of Gannon’s 18 Division II varsity athletics teams have achieved success in the last decade, with three teams— women’s basketball, men’s soccer and softball—clinching Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships in 2007 and the Lady Knights basketball team advancing to the NCAA Division II Final Four in 2010.

Gannon’s international student population has increased 4 percent since 2001. Here, Shweta Jadhav ’08M (left), from India, and Shaundra Curtis ’10 (right), from the Bahamas, enjoy studying in A.J.’s Way.

Student-athletes like Dave Patronik ’06, who won the regional individual golf championship and advanced to the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2003, have excelled as well. Beyond athletics, Garibaldi showed his support for all student activities by regularly attending student plays and other events as often as possible.

“In my years at Gannon, Dr. Garibaldi became more like family to me than the president of the University. I will never forget my first few weeks at Gannon; I was so homesick and remember being angry with my parents because they wouldn’t let me come home for Labor Day weekend,” said Megan (Klass) Julius ’06. “That Friday, Dr. Garibaldi called me into his office to see why I was so upset and took some time to calm me down. Knowing that I had come to campus for Knight with Scholars, he suggested that I reconnect with my host to have a friend on campus for the weekend. Not only did Dr. Garibaldi take time out of his busy Friday, but he called me Saturday morning to make sure I was doing better!”

Establish a Strategic Plan Gannon’s first Strategic Plan: 20022007 was formally approved on Sept. 27, 2002 by the Board of Trustees— and the University’s growth and progress haven’t showed signs of slowing down since. After achieving many of the goals in the first plan and identifying new objectives, Strategic Plan II: 20082013 was approved in 2008. More than 20 new academic programs were developed and four existing ones were revised to better meet students’ needs. By Fall 2010, the University had added several education certificates, bachelor’s degrees in sports management and marketing and journalism communications and doctoral programs in physical therapy and organizational learning and leadership, just to name a few. Gannon was the first in the region to offer programs in both entrepreneurship and biomedical engineering in 2010 and 2011, respectively. In response to one of the strategic goals that noted the growing enrollment in health sciences majors in particular, in 2007 the University’s two-college structure changed to a new three-college format: the College of Engineering and Business, the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences and the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences, named in honor of alumnus and Trustee Robert H. Morosky ’63, whose major gift that year made him the University’s largest donor to date. From the creation of the Erie Technology Incubator on campus to the groundbreaking for a new five-story, 100,000-square-foot residence hall in May 2010, Gannon has certainly seen its share of campus change during the last decade.

Jan. 29, 2007

The University has made 33 building and property acquisitions since 2001, like Gitnik Manse and Courthouse Commons in 2004 and the former Verizon building, which became the Robert H. Morosky Academic Center. Nearly 10 properties were purchased to provide additional student housing, including Harborview House Apartments in 2007 and Freshman Hall (formerly owned by the Sisters of the Divine Spirit) in 2010. Other longstanding buildings received state-of-the-art upgrades. For the first time since 1964, Gannon’s cafeteria underwent a complete renovation in 2003. The updated space now offers more food stations and features a lower-level seating area (formerly known as The Scrounge and now named Club LaRiccia) outfitted with a stage and entertainment system. In 2007, renovations began on the outside of Beyer Hall to replace paneling and windows. With a particular focus on sustainable design, an $18.5 million renovation of Zurn Science Center was completed in August 2009, offering students in the science and engineering departments state-of-the-art labs and enhanced classroom facilities.

“Since its construction in the early 1970s, the Zurn Science Center has been a center of academics on the Gannon campus. As science education evolved, the need to update Zurn became apparent.These renovations provided an improved learning environment for introductory students and dedicated research space for both faculty and students, increasing the learning and productivity for all who spend time in Zurn,” said Michael Bucholtz, Ph.D., chemistry professor. Members of the University’s Health Center and Counseling Services and the Office of Campus Police and Safety hosted a ribbon cutting and reception

Gannon unveils new Believe rebranding, which updates the University’s graphic appearance and target messages.

Sept. 16, 2007 Robert H. Morosky ’63 becomes Gannon’s largest donor ever with a major gift to name the University’s newest property acquisition, the former Verizon building, which houses the health sciences programs.

Fall 2007 University expands from a two- to a three-college structure.

Oct. 3, 2008 The Erie Technology Incubator hosts grand opening attended by state and local leaders.

Dec. 31, 2008 The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign concludes as the University’s largest and most successful fundraising effort in school history with more than $31.5 million total raised.

May 14, 2009 The Patient Simulation Center, a state-of-the-art high-fidelity training facility in the Morosky Academic Center, opens.


in November 2009 to celebrate their new office space in the basement level of Harborview House Apartments. The offices relocated following a summer-long renovation process to upgrade the area, providing larger accommodations as well as a more central location for students. In the Palumbo Academic Center, an expanded Commuter Corner was opened in Fall 2009, complete with a kitchenette, study rooms, lockers and a social lounge. At the start of the Fall 2010 Academic Year, the University celebrated the grand opening of a new Student Success Center, placing academic support services like career services and the math and writing centers under one roof for the first time.


(Clockwise from top) The Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University, opened in 2008, currently aids 20 clients. ■ Gannon’s radiologic sciences department was the first to go completely paperless in 2007. ■ The University’s Patient Simulation Center opened in 2009 and features 14 high-fidelity manikins.

Two major facility renovations bolstered Gannon’s reputation as a regional education leader. On Oct. 3, 2008, a grand opening ceremony was held for the Erie Technology Incubator (ETI), a facility designed to nurture early-stage and startup advanced technology businesses and entrepreneurs, which opened in August 2008. The ETI, located in the former Boys & Girls Club of Erie building, underwent $5.3 million in renovations to transform the 33,000-square-foot space. Today, it is home to 20 clients, 16 of which are tenants.

In February 2009, Gannon’s Trustees approved a comprehensive Campus Master Plan, which outlines potential improvements and modifications to the physical footprint of campus, ensuring that the University is poised to continue this physical progress. The plan focuses on three distinct principles: reinforcing existing land use patterns, creating a unique and recognizable campus and developing purposeful open spaces. Changes haven’t happened only to building exteriors; progress can be noted inside many University facilities as well. Technology has expanded significantly and classroom functionality has been enhanced with the addition of digital daises and projectors in most classrooms.

In May 2009, the University celebrated another milestone with the opening of the Patient Simulation Center, a 5,800-square-foot education and training facility that features 14 high-fidelity human patient simulators. Since opening, more than 19 classes have utilized the space, which has seen 1,373 visitors from around the region. Nearly $1.2 million in generous gifts and grants were obtained to make the Center possible.

In 2002, the Office of Alumni Services launched an Online Alumni Community ( to offer alumni from around the world a single place to receive University updates, upload their own news and announcements and network with fellow alumni. One year later, Gannon launched a redesigned version of its main website ( which today receives nearly 100,000 hits per month.

In 2009, Gannon became an active voice in the social media world, starting a Facebook page, YouTube channel and accounts with Twitter and LinkedIn. Gannon’s academic programs have also benefitted from innovation. In 2007, Gannon’s radiology program became the University’s first academic department to go completely paperless. Faculty utilize digital, not film, X-rays and personal tablet PCs—brought to campus first in 2005—to prepare students in the classroom for their careers in the clinical setting. In recent years, Gannon has also increased efforts to minimize its environmental footprint. The Gannon Goes Green Committee was formed in 2008 to help develop an awareness of sustainability issues with the Gannon community and to present ideas that are both environmentally and economically advantageous to the University.

“One of the things I most admire about Dr. Garibaldi is how he treats everybody the same. He always remembers your name, whether you’re a student, faculty or staff member. It’s rare to have that kind of connection with someone who holds such an important title,” said Ray Luniewski, Gannon electrician.

Nov. 12, 2009

Increasing Fundraising and External Support With more than 95 percent of Gannon students receiving some form of financial aid, ensuring the successful completion of a major comprehensive fundraising campaign was a crucial University goal in 2001. By 2008, the University’s endowment had doubled to $37.5 million in seven years. And in 2010, the university’s total budget had grown from $41 million in 2001 to $70 million in 2010. In 2009, this objective was met with the conclusion of The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign, the most successful fundraising initiative ever at Gannon University. The campaign, which launched in 2001 and concluded on Dec. 31, 2008, brought in a total of more than $31.5 million from more than 12,000 donors—and met its $30 million goal four months early. Eight donors pledged gifts of more than $1 million. Additionally, another $8 million in federal and state grants were obtained, bringing the campaign total to nearly $40 million. This $31.5 million effort tripled the University’s previous fundraising total. Funds raised benefitted Gannon’s endowment and Annual Fund for Academic Excellence, facility renovations, student scholarships, faculty research and other operational expenses.

After undergoing an $18.5 million renovation, the Zurn Science Center is blessed and re-dedicated.

The University was also the recipient of significant grant funding over the past 10 years. These funds supported a variety of projects, such as the creation of a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in 2004—aided in part by a $1.824 million federal Title III grant, the largest in University history—and the Erie Technology Incubator (ETI), which received more than $5.2 million in grants, including a $4 million state capital grant. In 2008, a National Science Foundation grant of $600,000 allowed Gannon to offer scholarship aid to undergraduate students in six majors in its School of Engineering and Computer Science.

February 2009

Alumni Involvement

Ground is broken on a new, five-story, 100,000-squarefoot residence hall, Gannon’s first new dormitory construction in nearly 25 years.

For many years, alumni have been active in giving back to their alma mater, and this loyalty intensified under Garibaldi’s leadership. Along with the University’s Trustees, alumni gave a total of $21.7 million to The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign, representing 69 percent of all donors.

Dr. Garibaldi made it a point to visit with Villa Maria College alumnae, like Ann (Lynch) Bach ’49VMC (left) and Mary Kathryn (Homan) Mehler ’49VMC (right), during homecoming festivities each year.

Gannon introduces the Gannon Stimulus Initiative that adds $2.6 million more to the financial aid budget.

February 2010 Gannon is named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the fourth consecutive year the University has received such recognition.

May 20, 2010

August 2010 For the seventh consecutive year, the University is ranked in the top tier in U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” guide.

August 2010 A new Student Success Center, placing all of Gannon’s student support services in one location, is further enhanced by a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the first of its kind ever to be awarded to the University. 9

The Annual Fund for Academic Excellence has raised more than $10.6 million over the past 10 years, breaking the $1 million mark for the first time in 2002. Attendance at Alumni Homecoming & Reunion Weekend has been steadily climbing as well, with more than 750 alumni registered for the 2010 festivities, an all-time high. As of 2010, the University had more than 32,500 alumni—which includes about 3,500 graduates from Villa Maria College, which merged with the University in 1989. Honoring and including these women in the life of the University has been a key focus of Garibaldi’s since he arrived on campus.

highlighted former Villa alumnae and faculty at prominent Gannon activities (Sister Leonie Shanley, S.S.J. ’60VMC, former president of Villa Maria College, served as commencement speaker in May 2003) and often acknowledged

the Sisters of St. Joseph, founders of the College. In 2010, the University honored the Sisters of St. Joseph’s 150th anniversary with the commissioning of an icon, which resides in the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel.

“Dr. Garibaldi will always hold a warm spot in the hearts of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Erie. At each commencement, he would recognize the contribution of Villa Maria College to higher education, along with Gannon. His connection with the Sisters will live on in the years to come whenever we view the lovely Icon of St. Joseph, dedicated to us on our 150th anniversary in 2010, and each November when our once ‘homeless’Thanksgiving Dinner now has a home at Gannon’s cafeteria, thanks to the generous offer of Dr. Garibaldi,” said Sister Michelle Healy ’66VMC, assistant professor of theology.

He made it a point to always reference Villa Maria College in speeches and articles, attended longstanding events like the Villa Maria tea during homecoming,

(Clockwise from top) Dr. Garibaldi has joined each year’s freshman class in pledging to PROMISE to make responsible decisions. ■ The late Msgr. Addison Yehl, professor emeritus, the Rev. Michael Kesicki ’83, theology instructor, and two seminarian students, Jason Feigh ’07 and Matias Quimno, pray in Gannon’s Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel in 2006. ■ The 2009-2010 women’s basketball team is all smiles after securing the Atlantic Region championship title.


Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., served as the sixth president of Gannon University from July 1, 2001 until Dec. 31, 2010. Through June 30, 2011, he is on sabbatical and will be the keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient at Gannon’s 2011 Spring Commencement. He received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Howard University in 1973 and his Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1976. Nationally recognized for his more than 30 years of teaching, scholarly work and administrative experience in education and the federal government, Garibaldi is a fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association. He is the author of 11 books and monographs and more than 80 research articles and chapters.

in November 2008 to the Pennsylvania TRIO Programs conference; in October 2007 at Bowling Green State University on teacher education; and at four conferences in 2004. In November 2003, he delivered the keynote speech at a Howard University symposium on one of his most extensively researched and published topics, the growing disparity in male and female college enrollment.

Garibaldi remained actively engaged in his professional field of educational psychology while serving as president, and he was selected as a fellow of the American Educational Research Association in June 2008 for his lifetime contributions to the discipline. More than 10 of his professional articles and book chapters on education topics were published during his presidency.

Some of the awards he received while at Gannon include: Howard University’s Distinguished Alumnus for Postgraduate Achievement Award in the field of education in March 2004; the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award in May 2006; the Papal honor of Knight of St. Gregory the Great in November 2006; an honorary doctorate from Seton Hall University in June 2007; and the Notre Dame Club of Erie’s Person of the Year Award in March 2010.

He also delivered several major speeches, including: in September 2010 to the annual conference of the Council for Opportunity in Education;


Gannon University

109 University Square

Erie, PA 16541-0001

Loftus Lecture Highlight of Catholic Education Celebration Continued from previous page.

with the overarching mission of the Diocese and therefore, by definition, the Church?

Susan: I think your office’s mission of bringing American and international students together to build relationships that are mutually enlightening and engaging fits in beautifully with the school’s Mission and the diocese. The Roman Catholic Church is a global church and members are constantly being invited to recognize their membership in the world community and see all people globally as people of dignity and worth. The deep-seated belief that all people are our “neighbors” naturally supports an office that wants to break down barriers!

A Feb. 8 lecture on Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman served as the highlight of Gannon University’s week-long Celebration of Catholic Higher Education, held in February. Other events celebrating Catholic education at Gannon included an Evening Prayer of the Church, Mass, a luncheon with area leaders in Catholic education, a Faith Field Day and men’s and women’s basketball games versus Edinboro University. The lecture was given by the Rev. Nicholas Rouch, S.T.D. ’83, vicar for education for the Diocese of Erie, and Sister Kathleen Dietz, F.S.O., theology instructor. Titled, “Blessed John Henry Newman: The University in Idea and Experience,” the lecture also included a question and answer session. Newman was an important figure in the religious history of 19th century England. His beatification was proclaimed in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. The lecture on Cardinal Newman served as the inaugural Thomas J. ’74 and Mary H. Loftus Lecture on Catholic Thought and Action. The Loftuses established an endowed fund, bearing their name, through a major gift to the University. The objectives of the Thomas J. and Mary H. Loftus Lecture on Catholic Thought and Action include furthering the University’s Mission and Catholic identity, distinguishing Gannon as a Catholic and Diocesan University and broadening the understanding of the Catholic faith as well as its heritage and traditions. Through the endowed fund, Gannon periodically will offer programs and lectures. The Loftuses are members of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Cary, N.C. He attended Gannon for two years of his undergraduate work before transferring to the University of Detroit to obtain a bachelor’s degree, returning to Gannon and earning his MBA in 1974. He joined Lord Corp. in 1957 as a design engineer and served in a number of engineeringmanagement positions until his retirement in 2001 as senior vice president and general manager of the Mechanical Division, which had more than 1,100 employees worldwide. He is a current member of the Gannon University Board of Trustees, where he chairs the Enrollment Committee, and has served on the Presidential Search Committee. Loftus was awarded the Innovation Award in 1997 by Lord Corp. and received Gannon’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002. He was also the University’s 2009 Winter Commencement Speaker and received an honorary doctoral degree.

The question of how a Diocesan school reconciles a fast-moving world with being rooted in tradition is the same one that could be asked of anyone with religious conviction. I think the answer lies in Gannon taking seriously the faith that roots it and seeking to always make that faith a dynamic force in the school’s life. It’s not just language to put on brochures or token programming—our identity as a Catholic school allows us to ask hard questions of society in what at times can seem like a counter-cultural way. On the other hand, our faith identity calls us to respond to those changes by engaging culture and finding creative new ways to represent the values we stand for.

A crowd of more than 200 attended the inaugural Thomas J. and Mary H. Loftus Lecture on Catholic Thought and Action. Shown are: (front row, L to R) Sister Kathleen Dietz, theology instructor, Thomas Loftus ’74 and Mary Loftus; (back row, L to R) the Rev. George Strohmeyer, vice president for mission and ministry and University chaplain, the Rev. Nicholas Rouch, S.T.D. ’83, vicar for education for the Diocese of Erie, the Most Rev. Donald Trautman, Bishop of Erie, Phil Kelly, D.A., interim president, and Keith Taylor, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. 15

By Carly Lyons

At approximately 7:13 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, I found myself in the front seat of a Gannon van, driving to the East 38th Street post office to collect Gannon University’s mail for the day. I can’t say that this is how I typically start my day, but for members of Gannon’s mailroom staff, this is a daily occurrence. It takes more than just a group of dedicated professors, a bunch of students seeking degrees, some administrators and a handful of money to make a University run. So what does it take? I had the opportunity to step inside the shoes of those who work in some of the most vital departments as part of Gannon’s campus services. I took a look at the custodial staff and grounds crew. I visited the maintenance building and saw where everything from light bulbs to plumbing fixtures are kept. I got to see how most of the paperwork for the University gets published and helped unload mail. One of the first places I visited was Gannon’s Distribution Services, otherwise known as the mailroom. The mailroom receives, on average, 97 packages a day, processes approximately 1,873,000 pieces of outgoing mail each year and handles 7,800 pieces of incoming mail per day, which includes both internal and U.S. Postal Service mail. Cindy Benovic, supervisor of distribution services, credits the success of the mailroom to the people she works with. “I have a fabulous boss; I have fantastic employees,” said Benovic. “I have the best people on campus.”


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Next in my exploration was the maintenance department, which consists of 14 employees, including maintenance supervisor Josh Eberle. According to Eberle, the department is in charge of almost everything and anything that you can think of on campus. From maintaining the inside and outside of buildings to dealing with electrical and plumbing issues, this team does it all. Although Eberle notes that everyone on staff is a “jack of all trades,” there are two electricians, two carpenters and one licensed plumber on staff. The group deals with approximately 150 maintenance issues a week—such as changing light bulbs, snaking drains and hanging shower rods. “I like seeing how efficiently we run,” said Eberle. “We work hard to make Gannon a good place, and doing that is rewarding.” The maintenance department is also working to make Gannon a greener campus. Currently, the team is working on putting new plumbing fixtures in the Palumbo Academic Center, which will help regulate the amount of water that is used in the building, saving approximately 350,000 gallons of water a year. The team is also working on installing more energyefficient lighting on campus and is installing a new energy-efficient elevator in Harborview House Apartments.

Galen Adams ’04C, ’07 (back row, far left), custodial supervisor, has championed Gannon’s green efforts. Here, (back row, L to R) Josh Eberle, Mike Wellington and Carmen Toscano, along with (front row, L to R) Amanda Mikesell and student work studies Emily Taft and Andrew Hartle, take a break from working on an organic campus garden started by Adams.

The custodial department at Gannon is in charge of various duties, the most significant being maintaining and cleaning the inside of all campus properties. Managed by Galen Adams ’04C, ’07, this staff of 26 employees does everything from vacuuming carpets to washing windows and mopping floors. Conversely, the grounds crew at Gannon is in charge of maintaining the outside of the buildings. Headed by Michael Wellington, the grounds crew has a staff of eight who do everything—from cutting grass to snow removal to sidewalk cleaning, this department helps make sure the Gannon community stays beautiful, year-round. Last—but definitely not least—is the Gannon Press, which takes care of 90 percent of the paperwork and publications on campus. Director Chris Matheis notes that the press has nine full-time employees, including a graphic designer and a variety of other employees who take care of copying, typing and binding requests. “The Gannon Press can do anything a commercial shop can do. In addition to the work that the GU Press does for the University community, we also complete outside work for the Diocese, local grade schools and the Sisters of St. Joseph,” Matheis explained. “It’s nice to be busy. I love crafting and being creative and I love working with the students.” The copy machines in the press’ copy center run for approximately eight hours per day and reproduce approximately 60 jobs per day. During the 2009-2010 Academic Year, the Gannon Press purchased 168,000 reams of 8 ½-by-11 inch 20 lb. white paper—that’s 8,400,000 sheets. If you put all this paper end to end, it would stretch from Erie to Denver, or about 1,459 miles. As a student, I spend my days going to classes, working, attending various meetings, running errands and participating in extracurricular activities. I’m not unlike many others who take for granted how my mail gets into my campus mailbox, how handouts from my classes get on my desk and how I come home every night to a clean apartment building. After spending a few days behind the scenes, however, I have a newfound appreciation for all that it takes to keep Gannon running smoothly—from the ground up.

Lyons is a senior communication arts major.

In addition to A.J.’s Way, Gannon’s hardworking grounds crew has 12 city blocks to cover when clearing snow and other debris.

�� Rising High Construction on Gannon’s newest building, a 100,000-square-foot residence hall, is continuing on schedule. The five-story building, located at 147 West 4th St., is scheduled to begin housing students in the Fall 2010 Semester. Recent developments include completion of the roof, beginning brickwork to the building’s exterior and interior drywall installation. Keep up with the building’s progress online via Gannon’s live webcam at www.gannon. edu/newreshall.

March 2011


Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak ’77

Featured Alum


alumnifocus notes that the solid liberal studies core he received at Gannon—including history, science, sociology, psychology, literature, fine arts, foreign languages and more—provided him with an excellent basis for further education in theology and canon law.

When the Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak, J.C.D. ’77 heard the news that he would be the eighth bishop of the Diocese of AltoonaJohnstown (Pa.), after excitement and humbleness came another emotion: surprise.

“The living out of Catholic identity at Gannon is all about the faith formation of the students and faculty so that in all aspects of the college experience [they] can see the God-given goodness of others.”

“Some people might view Gannon as being Catholic simply because of its relationship to the Diocese or the Bishop of Erie. The living out of Catholic identity at Gannon is all about the faith formation of the students and faculty so that in all aspects of the college experience, whether in the classroom, in the chapel, in social interaction or in community service, everyone involved can learn the truth about their identity as revealed to us by God, and can see the God-given goodness of others,” Bartchak said. Time and again, faculty, students and alumni alike mention Gannon’s caring and tight-knit atmosphere as one of the University’s unique characteristics. Bartchak agrees, mentioning the important role friends and mentors have served in his life.

“I had some great teachers at Gannon, including Father Alphonse Crispo, Father Stephen Minkiel, Dr. Walter Minot, Dr. John Fleming, Dr. Ward Peterson and Msgr. James Peterson,” Bartchak said. “I am especially grateful for having known Father Charles Drexler ’65, who directed my senior seminar on Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Father James McCullough ’53, who was my spiritual director.” He encourages students to make similar connections and focus on the basics. “I would encourage current students to make learning a lifelong activity. Also, do whatever they can to share their knowledge with others in whatever way possible. Finally, I would encourage them to make prayer a priority in their lives so that they can develop a lifelong relationship with Christ. I would also encourage them to put their faith into action by getting involved in activities during their time at Gannon and in their parish communities in the years ahead,” he said.

“I have been very satisfied in the ministry I have exercised as a canon lawyer for the past 20 years. However, I have always had a great fondness for parish ministry and I hoped that someday I 5 MINUTES, 5 QUESTIONS would be assigned as pastor When I wasn’t in the classroom, you could find me playing on the St. Mark Seminary basketball of a parish,” Bartchak said. team. We played against teams from other seminaries and we also played in the Gannon men’s “All of a sudden I learned intramural league at the Hammermill Center. that I have been appointed I will never forget Msgr. Peterson beginning a course on the New Testament by asking us the to be the pastor of an entire question, ‘What does the word gospel mean?’ Not only did he give us the answer in the classroom, diocese! It will be a change but he showed us the answer by challenging us to put it into action. More than 35 years later, he is for me. I have worked in still doing that. He just sent me a note about joining him for a retreat he gives every year for the men the same office and lived in at Rockview State Prison. the same parish rectory for As a Gannon student, I also learned how to parallel park. We commuted each day from the seminary 20 years. But I am looking to Gannon. I was one of the bus drivers and I had to learn how to parallel park a full-size bus on forward to it.” The appointment made Bartchak the first Gannon graduate to be named a bishop. He was a student at St. Mark Seminary and earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Gannon. Among others, Bartchak

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Peach Street next to Old Main. Sometimes, the late Joe Luckey ’55 gave me hand signals until I was within six inches of the curb—he didn’t want me to get a parking ticket! There are so many, many books available for those looking to deepen their faith. I have found several of the recent books of Pope Benedict XVI to be helpful, including The Joy of Knowing Christ. I have just ordered a couple of his new releases, including Holiness is Always in Season. I would also recommend books on spirituality by William A . Barry, S.J. or Ronald Rolheiser, O.M.I.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading and listening to music. I also enjoy cycling. My favorite route has been the trail at Presque Isle. I have been advised that when I get to the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese it will be more like mountain biking!


Featured Faculty

By Melanie Cherry military bases, as well as disaster relief and international refugee operations.

of our campus nestled here near Lake Erie’s bay are breathtaking,” she said.

But Lichtenwalter did not always associate her profession with charitable works and community assistance. She spent almost 10 years as an accountant and internal auditor, but even in the field of finance, she displayed her empathetic and compassionate nature.

While at Gannon, Lichtenwalter has underscored the importance of faculty research among her colleagues, earning a Faculty Award for Research with Undergraduate Students in 2010. In addition to her contributions at the university level, she has published 10 academic works and presented more than a dozen lectures nationally.

“The vice president I worked for told me my “The spectacular feature of a social work strength was in identifying and correcting degree is that it provides entry into a broad problems while helping people feel good and flexible discipline,” said Lichtenwalter, about it instead of emphasizing ‘blame’ associate professor of social work. “Our toward any particular department or person,” students acquire the foundational knowledge she said. and skill sets that are “The spectacular feature of a social Lichtenwalter transferable to said it was work degree is that it provides entry a wide array time for a of settings.” into a broad and flexible discipline.” career switch when she Lichtenwalter realized she spent nearly as much time said though her profession is exciting and volunteering in shelters and soup kitchens as dynamic, many people think that social she did in the office. She returned to school workers only operate with government and focused her career on the relationship agencies or child welfare services. In between poverty and marginalized women fact, social work covers a wide variety with an emphasis on mothers, female of areas, offering supports in schools, caregivers and women with disabilities. hospitals, community centers, prisons and While developing her new profession’s unique skill set and values, Lichtenwalter worked in a number of different positions, including director of social services for a nursing home, mobile therapy for Abraxas Youth and Family Services and grant administrator for UPMC Hamot community service projects. She also taught as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh before coming to Gannon in 2005. Lichtenwalter said the University’s highcaliber faculty, dedicated students and culture of excellence compelled her to stay in Erie, as well as the region’s natural landscape. “The distinct seasonal changes in northwestern Pennsylvania and the splendor

Education B.S., Finance/Accounting – La Roche College M.S.W., Community Organizing/Development – University of Pittsburgh Ph.D., Social Work – University of Pittsburgh

When she’s not educating the next generation of social workers, Sara Lichtenwalter enjoys outdoor activities— especially if there’s snow involved!

Professional Affiliations National Association of Social Workers Council on Social Work Education Society for Disability Studies

Despite her extensive accomplishments, Lichtenwalter points to her students as her greatest contributions to social work. She said one of her favorite aspects of teaching involves the exchange of realworld experiences with her students and watching them grow professionally. “Teaching social work classes involves empowering students to empower other individuals, families and communities to improve their well-being,” she said. “I love my part in assuring that there will be confident and competent social work service providers to assist families and individuals.” When she finds time, Lichtenwalter enjoys the magnificence of Lake Erie through sledding, biking, nature walks, kayaking… and eating ice cream at Sara’s. As she put it: “I’m a social worker for all seasons!” Cherry is a senior journalism communications major and intern in the communications office.

Awards GU Service Award, 2011 GU Outcomes Achievement Award, 2010 Faculty Award for Research with Undergraduate Students, 2010 Erie Homes for Children and Adults’ Community Service Recognition Award, 2009

Sara Lichtenwalter, Ph.D.

According to the website for the National Association of Social Workers, the social work profession involves helping people obtain services, counseling and psychotherapy, helping communities or groups improve social and health services and participating in legislative processes. For social workers like Sara Lichtenwalter, Ph.D., the practice of social work encompasses so much more.


Athletic Accomplishments


BY DAN TELISKI ’97, director of athletics media relations

While the Gannon basketball teams gained the national spotlight during the last two seasons with a pair of NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearances, it was the Golden Knight wrestling squad, as well as the swimming and diving teams, that grabbed everyone’s attention with stellar post-season runs this year.


The Golden Knights concluded the 2010-11 campaign with a 16th-place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championships, marking the 13th consecutive season that the program finished 26th or higher. The program recorded its fourth consecutive winning season with a 9-2-1 dual record. Four Golden Knights were among the field of 160 wrestlers who qualified for nationals. The foursome was led by All-American Zack McKendree, who finished second in the 165-pound division. In addition, Jose Matos also earned All-America honors after taking eighth place in the 125-pound class. McKendree finished his collegiate career as the second-best wrestler in the country. He became the fifth two-time All-American in school history after finishing seventh in the 149-pound weight class in 2008. Matos is the 13th single-season All-American in school history. Twenty different Gannon wrestlers have now won a total of 28 All-America awards.

A.J. Milanak (141) and Ethan Swope (149) joined McKendree and Matos at the national championships, but both were eliminated during the first day with 1-2 records.

Academically, the Golden Knights recorded the 10th-highest team cumulative gradepoint average (3.194) in the country. McKendree, Milanak, Swope and Tony Petrella were all represented on the AllAcademic first team.

Women’s and Men’s Swimming Both Gannon swimming and diving teams produced great seasons in 2010-11, capped by arguably two of the best individual performances in school history at the NCAA Division II Championships. The programs captured six All-America awards at nationals. The women’s team went 8-5 in dual competition during the regular season while the men went 5-6.

Junior diver Rocco earned allAmerica honors in the one-meter dive (10th-place,

Jose Matos 20

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Luke Curtis was the lone Golden Knight to qualify for the national championships. Curtis picked up a fourth All-America award during the week. The freshman earned the

Two weeks earlier, Gannon hosted the NCAA Division II Super Regional One tournament at the Carneval Athletic Pavilion. The Golden Knights finished third with McKendree becoming Gannon’s all-time leader in victories. He concluded his collegiate career with 111 wins.

Sarah Anderson, Kaitlyn Bosy, Ellie Hess, Diana Rocco and Jackie Rzymek represented the women’s swimming and diving team at the NCAA Division II National Championships in San Antonio, Texas.

Zack McKendree

392.10 points) and the three-meter dive (13th-place, 372.25 points). She is now a five-time All-American, representing three more than any other diver in school history. Rocco is also the only diver in school history to earn All-America honors in multiple championships.

Diana Rocco distinctions in the 400-yard IM (sixth-place, 3:57.72), the 500-yard freestyle (ninth-place, 4:30.20), the 1,000-yard freestyle (10thplace, 9:23.74) and the 1,650-yard freestyle (12th-place, 15:54.33). The Adelaide, South Australia, native shattered the school record for All-America awards in a single season. No Gannon swimmer, female or male, had earned more than two in a single season. Likewise, he is the first swimmer in school history to become an All-American in four different events. Previously, no Gannon swimmer had been an All-American in more than two.

Men’s Basketball

The Gannon men’s basketball team concluded the season with a 15-11 overall record and 6-8 conference mark, posting at least 15 wins for the third time in the last four seasons. The Golden Knights opened the season with a

the Golden Knights played 10 games decided by four points or less.

a rebuilding season. The Lady Knights entered the 2010-11 season having lost all five starters to graduation.

Stephen Battle was named PSAC Western Division Freshman of the Year. It marked the second consecutive season Gannon was awarded the PSAC West Freshman of the Year award. Tanner Furno received the honor last season.

The squad finished 13-13 overall and 5-9 in the PSAC Western Division. It marked the fifth consecutive season and seventh in the last eight that the Lady Knights recorded a .500 record or better.

Battle averaged 12.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game as a true freshman. The forward shot 56.2 percent (118-210) from the field, 40 percent (10-25) from three-point range and 65.6 percent (81-125) from the free throw line. He ranked seventh among PSAC players in field goal percentage, 14th in defensive rebounds per game (4.3), 19th in rebounding and 21st in scoring.

Julie Kleber landed a spot on the AllPSAC Western Division first team. Kleber averaged 13 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals during her senior season. The Lady Knights’ leading scorer ranked fifth among PSAC players in three-point field goals per game (2.1). She also ranked 12th in 3-point field goal percentage (38.1) and 14th in scoring (13.0).

Stephen Battle

Women’s Basketball

7-2 record. Head coach John Reilly’s ’89M club barely missed the post-season after winning five of its last seven games. Overall,

One year after advancing to the NCAA Division II Final Four, the Gannon women’s basketball team was faced with

athletefocus By Nicholas Pronko ’10M

Afrim Latifi Growing up in his native Kosovo, Afrim Latifi had only a few true priorities: family, school, homework and soccer. Latifi has played soccer most of his life, starting at around age two. Considering his longstanding love of the game, it is little wonder that Latifi made his mark on the Gannon record books. As a senior last fall, Latifi led the Knights in goals, assists and points. He scored 15 goals; for comparison’s sake, the team’s secondleading scorer, Evan Chate, had six.

As a sophomore, Latifi also led the Knights in goals, with 13. And, as a freshman in 2007, he scored the first goal in the GLIAC championship game as the Knights captured the conference title with a 2-0 win over Northwood University.

“Afrim is a very passionate player with a strong desire to succeed,” said Gannon coach Rob van Rheenen. “He thrives on the pressure he puts on himself to be the best player on the field and be a consistent scorer.” In spite of his many accomplishments, Latifi is most proud of the fact that he chose to attend Gannon and play for van Rheenen, whom he greatly respects. Latifi came to know van Rheenen by working as one of his assistants at a local soccer camp. Latifi recognized that van Rheenen always had his best interests in mind, in terms of whether that meant Latifi would play soccer for Gannon or elsewhere. “He’s a great coach and positive influence,” Latifi said.

Latifi will graduate in May with a degree in sport and exercise science (pre-physical therapy track). Ideally, he would like to continue his soccer career, including potentially playing overseas. Latifi is also considering several schools, including Gannon, for graduate studies.


Also as a senior, Latifi was named to two All-American teams and was named Atlantic Region Player of the Year by Daktronics.

His 44 career goals rank sixth-best in Gannon men’s soccer history.

Pronko is Gannon’s media relations officer. 21

Gannon University Alumni

’60s RICHARD D. DIBACCO, D.P.M. ’62 was appointed chairman of the clinical education and research committee for the board of trustees at Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland. CARLA (MILLER) NOZIGLIA, M.S. ’63VMC had the second edition of her book, The Forensic Laboratory Handbook Procedures and Practice, co-written by Ashraf Mozayani, published by Humana Press. GREGORY F. ATZERT ’66 is the executive director of the Gordon-Masters Memorial Football Club of Burlington County, N.J. REV. LEO J. GALLINA ’66 was honored at the inaugural Bradford (Pa.) Regional Medical Center’s Spring Swing Gala. Gallina, who has served as the pastor of St. Bernard Church for the past 10 years, includes visitations to BRMC in his daily rounds and is responsible for several philanthropic initiatives at the hospital. JOHN E. PAGANIE ’69 retired from FirstEnergy Corp. on May 1, 2011. He has held many positions during his career, most recently serving as vice president of energy efficiency with the company. JOHN E. SHALKHAM ’69 received the 2006 American Society of Cytopathology's Cytotechnologist Award for Outstanding Achievement. This award is given in recognition of meritorious contributions to or achievements in the field of cytopathology. Shalkham is program director of cytology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

’70s EDWARD L. ARRINGTON ’70 is the first African-American mayor of the Village of Owego in New York. JOSEPH P. MALONEY, CPA ’70 was elected president of the Presque Isle Partnership’s board of directors. Maloney is a CPA with Maloney Reed Scarpitti & Co. in Erie. GIANNI D. DEVINCENTIS-HAYES, PH.D. ’71VMC had several of her new books published, including: Jacob’s Demon, Lucifer’s Legion and 22 Friar Street. DeVincentis-Hayes is the author of more than 14 published books. Besides novels, 22

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alumnotes she also writes pictorial histories, biographies, general nonfiction, textbooks and various columns and articles for online sites and hard copy newsletters and magazines. To view some of her publications, visit: www.creative-services. biz/books.html. She also became a first-time grandmother this year. DANIEL E. HYNES ’71 retired from Pennsylvania Electric Co. after 36 years of service. MOST REV. MARK L. BARTCHAK, J.C.D. ’77 has been named the eighth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Pa. (see p. 18 for more information). REV. PATRICK V. KIRSCH ’77 and his parishioners at St. Peter and St. Paul Parish in Alta Loma, Calif., have dedicated their new parish library as The Father Joe Gregorek Parish Library.

Gregorek, a Gannon biology professor, was a resident priest in the parish from 1984-1992 (see p. 5 for more information). JEANNE (CUCUZZA) LAMB ’78VMC recently retired from teaching family and consumer science at North East (Pa.) High School. MICHAEL P. GRIFFIN ’79 retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Jan. 31, 2011. His retirement marked a 31-year service to the U.S. government, including the U.S. Air Force, National Security Agency and the FBI. His last 12 years of service was to the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group, Hostage Rescue Team, as a supervisory special agent. Griffin has accepted a strategic position with SCITOR Corp. in Annapolis Junction, Md., to assist with collaborative efforts to create a safer, more secure homeland.

Students Get Chance to Dine with Executive “Gannon provided me with a foundation for life. From networking opportunities to faith development, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the values instilled in me during my Gannon years.” That’s what alumnus Michael Doka ’73 told engineering students when he returned to campus March 17 as the spring Executive-on-Campus speaker. Doka is president of Los Angeles-based Rehrig Pacific Co., a plastic shipping container and packaging manufacturer. During his visit, he was able to visit with alumni, faculty, staff and students and explain what it’s like to put a Gannon engineering degree into practice as part of a global company. Doka received a Bachelor of Science in engineering from Gannon and an MBA from Stanford University. He was hired at Rehrig Pacific in December 1971 as a machine operator. Following his graduation from Gannon, he was promoted to production supervisor at the Erie plant. In 1977, Doka transferred to Los Angeles to become plant manager, also spending time as a sales representative and assistant to the president. In the following years, Doka moved up the company’s ranks, holding such positions as general manager of the Fremont division, president and chairman of the board. At Gannon, Doka was a member of Delta Chi fraternity. He and his wife, Ella, have two children, Charity (Doka) Jackman and Elizabeth (Doka) Bishop, and four grandchildren. View an excerpt of Doka’s visit online at

Alumni Remember…

in memoriam

Robert Joseph Luckey ’55 Robert Joseph “Joe” Luckey, 82, of Erie, passed away Jan. 18, 2011 at St. Mary’s Home East. He was born Dec. 31, 1928 in Mobile, Ala., the son of the late Robert Graham and Anna Fawcett Luckey. At the age of seven, Luckey was moved from an orphanage in Alabama to the former St. Joseph Home for Children in Erie. Upon graduation from high school in Sharon, Pa., he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a military chaplain’s assistant during World War II. In 1952, Luckey enrolled at Gannon College and today is recognized by the University as a 1955 alumnus. In point of fact, he halted his studies due to lack of funds and entered into employment with the College in the maintenance department at the advice of the late Rev. Msgr. Joseph J. “Doc” Wehrle. By his retirement in 2008, Luckey had received the Archbishop John Mark Gannon Medal of Distinction, was made a member of the University’s Founder's Society, was a special honoree at the 2008 Gannon University Alumni Dinner and was also recognized by the Serra Club. Luckey was founder of the Erie Area Theater Organ Society and spent much time and effort restoring pipe organs. In addition, he relished playing the role of Santa Claus for children at Christmas, one year logging over 40 appearances.

Rev. Msgr. Lawrence T. Speice ’55 The Rev. Msgr. Lawrence “Larry” T. Speice, 75, passed away on Jan. 16, 2011 at his residence in Cambridge Springs, Pa. Born in Erie on June 3, 1935, he was a son of the late Harold Francis and Marie Engist Speice. Speice attended Saint Ann School and graduated from Cathedral Prep in 1953. From 1953-55, he pursued seminary studies at Saint Mark Seminary and University in Baltimore, Md., where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and later a Bachelor of Sacred Theology. He was ordained a priest on May 11, 1961 at St. Peter Cathedral in Erie. His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, named him a Prelate of Honor in 1996. Following ordination to the priesthood, Speice was appointed associate editor of the Lake Shore Visitor. On Aug. 27, 1963, he was appointed to Gannon College where he remained until 1982. While at Gannon, he served as instructor, assistant director of admissions, dean of students, assistant registrar and vice president for external affairs. He was currently a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. He also served as weekend assistant at the parishes of Our Lady, Queen of the Americas, Conneaut Lake, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Erie and Saint Hippolyte, Frenchtown. From 1982-1991, he served as the diocesan vicar for vocations, and in 1985, he was appointed rector of St. Mark Seminary. Other appointments included chaplain of the Serra Club of Erie and the community at Gannondale, and he was elected dean of Meadville Deanery in 2002, serving for three years. In March 2000, he was appointed pastor of Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, Cambridge Springs where he remained until his retirement in October 2010. Speice also had a special love and care for Camp Notre Dame in Fairview, Pa., where he served from 1961-1996 as the chaplain and as a member of the board of directors.


Catherine (Owen) McLaughlin ’54VMC Esther Pikiewicz ’54VMC Donald E. Kundrath ’56 Jerauld F. Boudreau ’57 James F. Hannan ’57 Maureen (Moran) Kennedy ’57VMC James R. Davis ’58 David U. Eiswerth ’59 William J. Quirk ’59 Fred H. Kibler ’66 Thomas R. Sosey ’67

John R. Costell ’69 Paula (Stanek) Strong ’69, ’71M John A. Monocello Jr. ’73 William D. Anderson ’74 Lucille H. Burton ’78VMC Lee A. McEnery ’78 Margaret “Maggie” Damico-Barber ’79VMC John “Jack” F. Sheridan ’79M Ruth (Herrlich) Burton ’80M Francis H. Keim ’80M Joseph M. Lunger ’82

I fondly remember Joe singing Christmas carols during lunch at Gannon. He was a wonderful comfort for homesickness and helped me get through school and was a warm and kind gentleman. —Kim Whelan ’87, ’95M

Alumni Remember… I remember meeting Father Larry in “The Scrounge” at Gannon, doing his work as the director of vocations. When he invited me to the Villa Maria campus for a vocation retreat, it was impossible to say no. He had the gift of persuasion. —Marlene (Weindorf) Ek ’85 Father Speice was running orientation when I showed up as a Gannon freshman. He said hello, then put me to work taking ID photos. I remember him as a selfless, memorable man who got others involved. Like so many others, I am thankful for having known him. ­—Larry McHugh ’72

Thomas S. Hazlett ’86 Joyce M. Brink ’96 Tara (Eagle) Stapp ’99 David E. Conover ’05M

Friends Hans Haurwitz Joseph R. McClellan Nancy K. Olenski Lewis G. Taft Sister Miriam Vos, O.S.B. Leon Wallerstein


Sister M. Celine Bucholz, O.S.B. ’48VMC Melvin E. Carney, Ed.D. ’49 Charles L. Jones ’49 Robert J. Mahon ’49 Anthony T. Mucciarone ’49 Norman J. Boetger Sr. ’51 Constance Nowak ’51VMC, ’67M Patricia (Dolan) Hermann ’54VMC Sister M. Claire Kearney, S.S.J. ’54VMC

I attended Gannon during the 1970s and remember Joe very well. When several of us started the college radio station, WERGFM, Joe was a great “go-to” guy for advice. He was a fixture at Gannon, but he was also a face of Gannon—everyone on campus knew Joe Luckey! Joe will be missed by every one who knew him. —Art Hoffman ’78


Gannon Athletics Hall of Fame Welcomes Class of 2011 Gannon University celebrated the latest class of its Athletics Hall of Fame on Jan. 22, 2011 with the induction of eight new members and one team, increasing membership to 46 inductees.

Steve Moyer ’99 is Gannon’s all-time

Gary Smallshaw ’92 was a three-

Kathy Wotus Kuhns ’93 is one of

men’s basketball leader in three-point field goals. The former guard broke the NCAA record for career three-pointers and owns the top three single-season three-point totals in school history.

time All-America defender for the Gannon men’s soccer program, landing a spot on the all-region team every season during his collegiate career. In addition, he was named NCAA Division II Defender of the Year as a senior.

two Gannon volleyball student-athletes to have their jersey number retired. The former outside hitter became Gannon’s first American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American in 1991. She set a national record in 1991 with 47 kills during an NCAA Division II Tournament victory at New Haven.

Larry Potash ’70 produced Gannon’s lowest single-season baseball ERA and pitched Gannon’s first-ever no-hitter against Steubenville in 1968. He is the only pitcher in school history to throw three shutouts in a single season. Potash was drafted by the New York Mets in 1970 and played two seasons in the minor leagues before an injury cut his career short.

(first photo) Front row (L to R): Dick Dowling ’63, Norm Gaylord ’64, Joe Calamita ’62; Back row (L to R): Bob Nieratko, Rich Sambuchino, Coach Al Kendziora ’62, Tom Kujawinski ’62 (second photo) Al Kendziora ’62 (left), Rich Sambuchino (right)

The 1962 bowling team captured the only team national championship in school history when it won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national title. Coached by Al Kendziora ’62, the roster included

Joe Calamita ’62, Dick Dowling ’63, Norm Gaylord ’64, Tom Kirk ’62, Bob Nieratko and Rich Sambuchino. 24

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Gerry Burbules Vensel ’92M is Gannon’s all-time winningest volleyball coach, producing a 271-61 record during nine seasons (1986-94) as the program’s head coach. Gannon qualified for the postseason seven times, advanced to five NCAA Division II Tournaments, won three NCAA Division II East Regionals and made three NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearances during her tenure.

Darmel Whitfield ’05 is the first football player inducted into Gannon’s Athletics Hall of Fame. The former quarterback is Gannon’s all-time leader in passing yards, pass completions, completion percentage, 300-yard games, 200-yard games, passing touchdowns, rushing touchdowns, total offensive plays, total touchdowns, total offense and points.

Joe Gaeta ’62 is the 2011 Distinguished Service Award recipient. Gaeta was one of the founding members of the Gannon Athletics Booster Club, serving as past president. He was a two-sport student-athlete during his collegiate career, serving as a team captain for both the baseball and basketball teams.

As head coach, Judy Saurer led the Gannon women’s basketball program to an 88-47 record during five seasons (1985-1990) and was Gannon’s all-time leader in winning percentage until the 2009-2010 season. Under her watch, the program made its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1988.

MARK A. WHEELER ’79 is a senior electrical systems design engineer at General Electric Co., working with electrical power generation equipment in power plants around the world.

’80s MARK DOMBROWSKI ’80 was named as a new member of the Presque Isle Partnership. Dombrowski is the department manager of government relations for Erie Insurance. DAVID C. NEMIR, PH.D. ’81M has been appointed to the El Paso City Council’s Public Service Board, which serves as the board of directors for the El Paso Water Utilities, and was sworn in on Jan. 12, 2011 for a four-year term. Nemir is the founder and president of TXL Group Inc., an El Paso, Texas, company that is developing thermoelectric technology for capturing value from waste heat. VINCENT V. SANDS, CFA ’81M received the 2011 Clarion University Distinguished Alumni Award. Sands is chairman of BNY Mellon of Pennsylvania and executive vice president of BNY Mellon Asset Servicing. CAROLYN (MARSHALL) ROSE ’82VMC completed her master’s degree in public health in August 2010 from Walden University. She is currently nursing director of the Summit County Health Department in Park City, Utah. She is also a member of the core team developing disease reporting system software for Utah that is compatible with CDC's National Notifiable Disease System. MARK L. NELSON, PH.D. ’83 has been conducting research with beer and was featured on the Discovery Channel’s “How Beer Saved the World,” which premiered on Jan. 30, 2011. He has also developed a new antibiotic currently in human trials. JOSEPH M. PETERS, PH.D. ’84M was named director of the School of Education for Northern Marianas College in Saipan, Marianas Islands.

ERIC A. BALLINGER, ESQ. ’89 was selected for the 12th annual Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service by the Supreme Court of

Gannon University’s Office of Alumni Services recently welcomed two new assistant directors to join Director Cathy Fresch (center). Tracy (Stolz) Lyons (left) began her new position on Jan. 3, 2011, after serving as alumni services secretary since December 2007. She gained higher education experience working in the residence life division at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where she also received a Bachelor of Arts in media communications and a Master of Arts in leadership and liberal studies. • Favorite spot on campus: The grand staircase in Old Main. • What I like best about our alumni: Their stories! I love when they reminisce and paint a picture of what it was like here when they were students, and what they loved best about Gannon. • What alumni may not know—but should: We have an active Online Alumni Community at where alumni are encouraged to update their profile, submit class notes and photos and network with Gannon and fellow alumni. Erin Sekerak ’04 (right), who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in advertising communications from Gannon, returned to campus on Jan. 18, 2011. She earned a Master of Education in higher education administration and student personnel from Kent State University and has held student life positions at Kent State, John Carroll University, the University of Notre Dame and most recently, Clarion University. • Favorite spot on campus: Waldron Campus Center. As a student, I could often be found having lunch with my Phi Sigma Sigma sisters or working hard in the IFC/Panhellenic office. • What I like best about our alumni: I think I’ve taken a pretty interesting path that ultimately led me back “home” at Gannon, so I’m excited to learn the paths alumni have taken in their personal and professional lives: obstacles they’ve overcome and the stories they have to tell. • What alumni may not know—but should: The National Alumni Association has agreements with several businesses to offer discounted rates and special offers exclusively for Gannon alumni through the Alumni Affinity Program. Companies also donate some of the funds back to the Association, which goes to the Gannon University Alumni Legacy Scholarship fund. The Office of Alumni Services can be contacted by calling 1-877-GU-ALUMS (1-877-482-5867).

Georgia, Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. The award was presented at a ceremony on Feb. 15, 2011.

’90s KENNETH M. OGOREK ’90M has published another book, a religious education resource written specifically for parish youth ministry settings. Check it out at aspx. MARK S. ZAGORSKI ’90 was promoted to CEO for eXelate, a behavioral ad targeting marketplace.

RICHARD J. HUDIC JR. ’91 was appointed executive deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. SUSAN L. MOYER ’91, ’95M was hired by Erie Together to be the local poverty initiative’s project facilitator. Moyer will be responsible for facilitating Erie Together’s overall initiative, ensuring targeted strategies are tackled. LYNN M. RUPP ’91, ’03M was named vice president of strategic and operational performance at UPMC Hamot in Erie. Rupp will oversee the hospital’s new strategic and operational performance division.


ERIC J. PURCHASE, ESQ. ’88 formed a new law firm with fellow attorney Tim George, Purchase & George, P.C., to better serve people who have been injured in northwest Pennsylvania.

Say Hello to Your New Alumni Services Staff!


JEAN M. CARDOT ’92 received her Master of Arts degree in communication studies from Edinboro University on Dec. 18, 2010. DEBBIE (WOODEL) DAVIS ’92 received her Master of Arts degree in counseling from Edinboro University on Dec. 18, 2010. MARTIN P. AVERILL ’93 joined the Dallas, Texas, office of Shackelford, Melton & McKinley LLP, as a partner. BRIAN T. FULLER ’93, ’09M, ’10C became one of only 449 in the nation to earn his CMAA (Certified Master Athletic Administrator) certificate. Brian is currently the associate athletic director/director of school advancement at McDowell Intermediate High School in Erie. LESLIE A. PETROSKY ’94 is a strategic account executive with FedEx in the Washington, D.C. metro region. JUSTIN W. SHAGINAW ’94, ’96M served as a personal trainer at the 2010 World Cup.


ANNMARIE MARTUCCI ’96 is an RN at Saint Vincent Health Center in Erie.

RUTH E. ROEDER ’96 received her Master of Arts degree in counseling from Edinboro University on Dec. 18, 2010. CARL R. HOEGERL, D.O. ’97 has published a novel, Andrew’s Gift, based on a true story. Proceeds from the book will be used to start scholarship funds at various Catholic schools and colleges. KELLY JO (DALEY) MOYER ’98 received her Master of Education degree in educational leadership from Edinboro University on Dec. 18, 2010. BARBARA F. SAMBROAK ’98M was promoted to vice president of finance for The Erie Community Foundation. SHEILA (FITZGERALD) STERRETT ’99M is the regional manager for northwest Pennsylvania for U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s office.

’00s ANNA M. DIBBLE ’00M was appointed to the WCA Hospital’s board of directors. Dibble is the quality director at Cummins Inc. in Lakewood, N.Y.

a son, Mason Robert (born Feb. 8, 2011), to Melissa (Lockhart) Kowalkowski ’99 and her husband, Bob. Mason joins older brothers Tanner Joseph (6) and Owen William (3). a daughter, Torriana Zoie (born Oct. 8, 2010), to Roseann (Evans) ’00 and Ronald S. Russo ’00. Torriana joins big sisters Francesca Rose (4) and Marissa Beth (1). 26

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MATTHEW J. BLACKBURN ’02 is the western Pennsylvania director for U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s office. MICHAEL S. NEUBAUER, CPA ’02, ’04M was elected treasurer of the Presque Isle Partnership’s board of directors. Neubauer is a CPA with McGill, Power, Bell & Associates. ERIC C. HERN, MBA ’03M, ’04M was named controller for Segel & Son Inc. in Warren, Pa. Hern is responsible for all financial functions of the company and plays a role in most other operational areas, including strategic planning, marketing, facilities management, corporate affairs and operational analysis.

MATTHEW A. CHARTRAW ’04 is a business systems consultant at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, N.C.

a son, Wyatt (born Jan. 3, 2011), to

a son, Christopher Eric, was born to Julianne (Mazza) ’98 and Eric J. Davis ’99. Christopher joins older siblings William (6), Matthew (5) and Catherine (1).

KELLY M. BECKER, D.O. ’01 was named Strongsville (Ohio) Person of the Week. Becker is a physician with Southwest Medical Group and volunteers her services to a number of Strongsville High School athletic teams.

CORY K. JOHNSTON ’03 was promoted to credit administration officer with CNB Bank in Clearfield, Pa.

Anne Avery (born Oct. 15, 2010), daughter of Lauren (Simek) ’02 and James E. Theisen ’02. Anne joins big brother Evan (3) and big sister Elizabeth (2).

a daughter, Lucy Anne (born Oct. 20, 2010) to Joel Burlingham ’97, ’99M and his wife, Amanda. Lucy joins older brother Jack (3).

EDWARD P. MCMAHAN ’00 received his Master of Education degree in educational leadership from Edinboro University on Dec. 18, 2010.

Jennifer M. (Tomecsko) Leichliter ’01, ’03M and her husband, Brian.

a son, Lukas Daniel (born July 22, 2010), to Sara (Kitchen) ’01, ’03M and Daniel Pesut ’01. Lukas joins older sister Sydney (2). a daughter, Kelsey Snow (born Sept. 29, 2010), to Meghan (Snow) Petruzzi ’01 and her husband, John. Kelsey joins older brother Luke (6). a son, Ashton Edward (born Oct. 27, 2010), to Colleen (Bohonek) Leach ’06 and her husband, David. a son, Samuel Wallace (born May 31, 2010), to Leanne (Bender) ’06 and Matthew D. Venesky, Ph.D. ’04. a daughter, Nicolina Marie (born Jan. 6, 2011), to Jodie M. (Gloekler) Camillo ’09M and her husband, Carmine.

MATTHEW D. VENESKY, PH.D. ’04 successfully defended his thesis and will officially obtain his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Memphis this spring. He has accepted a postdoctoral research position at the University of South Florida in Tampa. TRACY J. BERCHTOLD ’05 is an actuarial specialist at Erie Insurance. JOSEPH R. ROMANOWICZ ’05 is a shift leader with Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center in Erie. DARMEL WHITFIELD ’05 has joined the Canton Cougars of the Ultimate Indoor Football League as their quarterback. NATALIE M. KIRO ’06 received her Master of Education degree in reading from Edinboro University on Dec. 18, 2010. LINDSEY A. SMAIL ’06 is employed by Pediatric Care Specialists in Johnstown, Pa. LEANNE M. (BENDER) VENESKY ’06 is a registered nurse on a post-surgical floor at Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital.

ANDREA F. APPLEBY ’07 received her Master of Education degree in reading from Edinboro University on Dec. 18, 2010. RYAN W. COSGROVE ’07 is an operating room nurse at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, N.C. SARAH A. CSIR ’07 received her Master of Arts degree in counseling from Edinboro University on Dec. 18, 2010.

Andraso, Diz Chosen for Inaugural Professorships Aquatic research and renewable energy will be the areas of focus for two Gannon faculty members who have been chosen for the University’s inaugural CooneyJackman Endowed Professorships. Greg Andraso, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, and Rick Diz, Ph.D., P.E., associate professor of environmental science, have been approved for the professorships, which will run through August 2013. The endowed professorships are designed to allow Gannon faculty members time to focus on research projects and other scholarly activities through reduced teaching loads. The professorships also provide the resources required for the research.

ROBERT T. OHMER ’07 is a website designer for Ares Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio. JAMIE C. SHADD ’07 is the new women’s soccer coach for Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio. CHRISTINA M. DYCKES ’09 is a physician assistant at UPMC Hamot in Erie. AMANDA C. FLICK ’09 is a marketing and communications specialist at The Nonprofit Partnership in Erie.

Greg Andraso, Ph.D.

SARAH A. GAMEL ’09 is a physician assistant for the newly opened E.J. Nobel Hospital’s clinic located at Hermon-DeKalb Central School in DeKalb Junction, N.Y.

Andraso will continue to conduct research on aquatic invasive species and disease-causing bacteria in Lake Erie. Specifically, Andraso’s research-related goals include: preparing manuscripts for previously completed experiments; continuing research on predation by round gobies on dreissenid mussels (zebra and quagga mussels); and continuing to study the bacterial genus Aeromonas in both Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie.

CORY J. KNIGHT ’09 joined the accounting firm of Schaffner, Knight & Minnaugh Co. P.C. as an auditing and accounting associate. BRANDON S. CRUM ’10 is a life and long-term care specialist at Byham’s Insurance Services Inc. in Meadville, Pa., and is an assistant coach for the Allegheny College baseball team.

Diz, the director of Gannon’s Center of Excellence in BioEnergy, has engaged in teaching and research related to renewable energy for more than five years. Through his professorship, he will focus his efforts on biomass-to-energy production with three main objectives: organize a series of public lectures; mentor and fund student projects on renewable energy; and study the conversion of waste materials into renewable fuels.

Rick Diz, Ph.D., P.E.

John A. Green ’62 and his wife,

Zachary Brian Leslie ’06C married

Dorothy, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Angela Marie Rapela on Sept. 25, 2010.

John C. Skuce ’64 and his wife, Judy, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Daniel Michael Eaton ’08 married Tracy Lynn Fabrizio on July 31, 2010.

Jennifer Marie Gorman ’06, ’07M

Katelyn Ruth Pacansky ’10

married Eric Joseph DePanfilis on June 29, 2010.

married Joseph Arthur Ludrof on Aug. 28, 2010.

Colleen Elizabeth Laboda ’06

married Joseph Emerson Perry on July 10, 2010.

Ashley Marie Flamino ’03C, ’03 married Daniel Blake Piasecki on May 29, 2010.



KATELYN R. PACANSKY ’10 is a cardiac care nurse at UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie.

The endowed professorships are named for two Gannon alumni, C. Christopher Cooney ’63 and Brian Jackman ’63. Both enjoyed long and successful careers with Tellabs, a global designer and developer of telecommunications networking products.


A Word from the President


Since January, it has been my privilege to serve as interim president during the transition from Dr. Antoine M. Garibaldi’s remarkably successful tenure to Gannon’s next step. In the past, I have served as a dean for a number of years and more recently as provost for a year. In those jobs, I learned much about the University, but the view from the President’s Office helps me appreciate even more the high quality professionalism that constitutes the operation today. The personal touch of the old Gannon that I knew when I started teaching in the English Department in 1968 is alive and well in the now more sophisticated 21st century school Gannon has become. In my 43 years here, I’ve seen Gannon successfully navigate a number of leadership changes. We approach this change from a clear position of strength in great measure because of what Dr. Garibaldi was able to achieve. I hope you take time to read the insert in this magazine that details many of the great accomplishments during Dr. Garibaldi’s tenure as president. In 2001, he came to a good institution; in 2011, he is leaving Gannon notably stronger. For this, we have been blessed. Another one of our long-time colleagues, Dr. Tim Downs, is also moving on after nine years as dean of the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. He has accepted the position of vice president for academic affairs at Niagara University in New York. It is a testament to Gannon’s strength that other good schools look to us for their leaders. As an institution with a leadership team focused on the future, we operate from a position of strength in recruiting highly qualified candidates to the presidency and the dean’s job. Our new president will have the pleasure of leading an institution that is running smoothly. The new president will find a student-centered university infused with Catholic values providing strong academics to motivated students. The new president will inherit students, faculty, staff and administration ready to test the possibilities of our history and our future. Thank you for your faith, and thank you for believing in the possibilities. Philip H. Kelly, D.A. Interim President

Lately when I speak to people who know I am a member of the Gannon University Board of Trustees, I’m often asked, “How is the search for a new president going?” As the chair of the Search Committee, I can tell you that I am extremely pleased with the progress. The executive search firm Witt/Kieffer is assisting with the recruitment process and the Search Committee conducted in-person interviews with several candidates in April. The Search Committee is currently on schedule for a recommendation to the Most Rev. Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D., S.S.L., Bishop of Erie, and the Board of Trustees in May. To fill you in on the process that has taken place up to this point, the Search Committee was appointed on Dec. 16, and our first meeting was on Jan. 10. Our first significant responsibility was to write the Leadership Profile to help prospective candidates learn about Gannon and the kind of person we are looking for as president. That document has been on Gannon’s website since Jan. 20; you can view it, a list of the members of the Search Committee and more at


The work of the Committee has been significantly assisted by John Thornburgh and his associates from Witt/Kieffer. Mr. Thornburgh was on campus in December to listen to members of the University community as they discussed Gannon’s success and their hopes and goals for the next president. As a third party, he and his associates have interacted with applicants to aid in delivering the most qualified candidates for consideration. Gannon is thriving and in an enviable position to attract a strong pool of candidates. Additionally, it’s clear to me that the members of the Search Committee take their responsibility very seriously and are willing to devote significant time to the work involved. The Search Committee includes Board members, faculty, staff, a student leader and it’s also worth noting that 10 of the 15 members hold degrees from Gannon. Gannon lives in our hearts and I assure you that we will select a president who believes just as strongly in our beloved alma mater. Rev. Nicholas J. Rouch, S.T.D. ’83 Vicar for Education, Catholic Diocese of Erie Chair, Gannon University Presidential Search Committee


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Passing It On The Archbishop Gannon Founder’s Society

As Gannon University students, Dr. Antoinette Spevetz ’83 and her husband, Dr. David Hardic ’79, dreamed of doing good through careers in medicine. Both achieved their dreams, with David becoming an optometrist and Toni becoming a physician and associate professor of medicine at Cooper University Hospital in New Jersey. “We both enjoyed our time at Gannon and feel it gave us the education we needed to go on to graduate school,” Toni says. “I believe in Catholic education, and I like the smaller community feeling. At Gannon, people know you and your goals, and there is always someone there to help you, guide you and put things in perspective.” Because both doctors believe a Gannon education made a big difference in their lives, they’ve donated regular gifts over the years and decided to include a gift to the University in their estate plans. “We don’t have any children,” Toni says, “so when we drew up our wills, we thought about where we would like to see our money go and where it would do the most good. We both feel loyalty toward Gannon, so it feels great to be able to help students who are potentially on the same path or who would like to go to school but can’t afford it. It’s easy to give through estate planning.”

“I hope my fellow alumni also think about what Gannon gave them and how that experience helped them get where they are today. Think about it, pray about it and make the most generous donation you can.” —Dr. Antoinette Spevetz ’83

If you feel called, a gift in your will is one of the most popular and easiest ways to leave a legacy at Gannon University. To find out if this option is right for you, contact: Tony Fulgenzio ’82, ’10M Director of Philanthropy 109 University Square Erie, PA 16541 Phone: 814-871-7786 E-mail:


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Gannon University Erie, PA

Gannon University 109 University Square Erie, PA 16541-0001

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Gannon Students 1 ■

For the 12th year in a row, Gannon students modeled responsible decisions with an alcohol-free St. Patrick’s Day event. About 450 people turned out for the party, which featured karaoke, games and a service project of writing cards to military personnel. Get Rec’d is sponsored by the University’s KnightLIFE (Lifestyle Information for Everyone), which hosts several alcohol-free socials throughout the year. In addition to an evening of entertainment, attendees were eligible for several prizes, including Erie SeaWolves tickets and the coveted first spot in the on-campus housing lottery. “These events make Gannon unique; many colleges hand out tips for alternatives to drinking, and a few schools offer special events, but in my research, Gannon is the only one that provides an alternative activity on such a large scale,” said Julie Srnka ’80, assistant director for programs with student development.

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1. Alicia Lanni (left) and Amanda Haig (right) show off their St. Patrick's Day spirit. 2. (L to R) Matt Szczupakowski, Olivia Colonello, Tomorrow McDonald and Michael Schnell get in touch with their crafty side. 3. (L to R) Hilary Hor and Jessica Buckel are all smiles.

Spring 2011 Gannon Magazine  

Stay in touch and see the history of Gannon as it’s made! Gannon Magazine is published three times annually (Winter, Spring and Summer) by t...