Gannon Magazine June 2018

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June 2018



A Student-Produced Gannon Magazine

contents Gannon Magazine June 2018


On the Cover



The ability to see things from another’s perspective is one that is invaluable as we strive to be a more inclusive and loving nation, city and campus. There were over 4,100 undergraduate students enrolled at Gannon University in 2017, and each one had a different story and a unique experience. This cover hopes to capture the notion that our campus has a one-of-a-kind experience for everyone. Your Gannon experience through your lens is different from your classmate’s sitting next to you and the alumni who return to their alma mater to visit. (Photo By: Edge Online Magazine Student Staff)


People Who Shaped My Perspective


The Pitch of a Lifetime


Nash Library: The Next Chapter


Our Gannon Tapestry


Celebrate Gannon

07 08

Samantha Taylor ’18

Damali Donovan ’18 Carly Shean ’18

Peter Conley ’18 Kristy Gray ’18 Maddie Carnell, Olivia Rose and Rebecca Red Horse Tenger Batjargal

Silver Lining


Maria Hays


Growing Outside My Comfort Zone


Connecting with Our Ruskin Family

Katlyn Unger ’18

Maggie McKernan ’18 Ryan Micsky ’18 Erika Thomas ’18 Tierra Johnson ’18 Anubondem (Michael) Awungnkeng ’18 Morgan Grzegorzewski ’18

A Trailblazing Spring Sports Season Brandon Jaces ’18

17 Overcoming Hurdles

with Team Motivation

Franklin Castro Espinoza

A Letter to Freshman Me

Alexis Woodhouse

Chelsea Cowan ’18


Living Among the Navajo Nation


Class Notes

Maddy Kosinski

To receive the Gannon Magazine Online Edition directly to your inbox, or to manage your subscription preferences visit

Keith Taylor, Ph.D. President Melanie Whaley ’95 Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Gannon University • 109 University Square Erie, Pennsylvania 16541 • (814) 871-7000

Look for this symbol for articles with exclusive video, photo galleries and expanded content found in the Gannon Magazine Online Edition. View on your phone, tablet or computer at

Kendra Walker

Vol. XXXI, No. 1 • June 2018

Online Edition

Mallory Hedlund ’14 Marketing and Communications Specialist

Gannon Magazine is published by University Marketing and Communications:


Haley Figurski Michael Gorski ’11M Laura Hinsdale Matthew King Andrew Lapiska ’09M Nicole Lossie ’11 Kristine Rilling

Knepper Press

student, staff and alumni contributors

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

THE PEOPLE WHO SHAPED MY Samantha Taylor ’18, Nursing Major When I was seven, I told my dad my life plan was to go to Mount St. Mary Academy high school in Buffalo just like my mom. Then, I would go to Daemen College, where he worked, to eat lunch with him every day and become a nurse to help people. My plan changed in 2005, though, when my dad said we were moving from Buffalo to Erie, where he would work as the Provost (and eventually the President) at Gannon University. Little did I know how much this decision would change my life and perspective. Gannon has allowed me many opportunities to see the world in new ways. I’ve traveled to Mexico to work with a L’Arche Community, which is a community of people with and without intellectual disabilities living in solidarity. Here, I met a woman named Rosa, who spoke only one word to me, but whose presence and unconditional love was more impactful on my life than any conversation I’ve had. After my trip, I understood the importance of a smile, sacredness of a hug, and experienced the unconditional love of God through others.

I spent three spring breaks in Mexico before deciding to explore a new culture and perspective in Immokalee, Florida. Jimmy Menkhaus, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theology, and 11 students traveled here to encounter people who’ve migrated from Mexico, Guatemala and Haiti for a theology course in Catholic Social Teaching. We learned about the work the migrants do in the fields picking tomatoes, a physically difficult job often accompanied by inhumane abuse and injustices in the fields. Despite poor conditions, these individuals have faith and devotion to God; they trust His plan for them. Dr. Menkhaus has changed my perspective on life. He challenges students to fight for social justice and dignity for all. He has been an inspiration to me, and his perspective on life has changed how I see the world and encounter people and Christ. My experience in Immokalee affirms my desire to fight for social justice in nursing and give the best care to my patients, regardless of their story. Despite my dad changing my seven-year-old self’s life plan, I can’t imagine what my life would have looked like without Gannon. I have been so blessed to have traveled, served, learned and encountered so many beautiful people and places. My many experiences at Gannon and the impactful people I’ve encountered are at the core of me developing a perspective of love and acceptance for all. I am thankful to have been a part of this community, and although I am excited to move on to my life as a nurse, Gannon will forever be my home.

Top: (L-R) Keith Taylor, Ph.D., Gannon University President; Samantha Taylor ’18, Nursing Major; Mary Jean Taylor, PT, PhD, PCS, Gannon University Wellness Director Bottom: Samantha and her father, Keith, prepare for her Commencement Ceremony in May.




es ge resourc d -e g in tt u t the with c that reflec d a y h g e lo v o a n h h and tec nd learn dents who ts study a n e For the stu ity to watch the d tu s y uter wa tun ss ced comp paces, e c n a ro v the oppor p d A n o y. toda sformati ve study s entire tran modernized Nash ollaborati a coffee shop c , s b la ly s and oment of the new ital studio ecome a m ig b atures d s a h it at the new fe g e f o m Library, e ti m ir o e s are on on th ent amon of reflecti g excitem n y. ter of ti a it e s r r c e iv n next chap e th r fo Gannon U ts studen and ary story. two-year ly r a e n n Nash Libr e o h e ti T c th u tr s n n reco $16 millio culminated in ary and a of the libr edication d Blessing ed d n a e n th o w ti a ie V n a Dedic Library at ne18 re-envisio h s e a th N f f o o r y /Ju tou Ceremon 2018. This a , 9 .g e 1 . in n z a Ja mag ors to facility on ed the do n e p o y ll officia Library med Nash a transfor s


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THE NASH EXPERIENCE Carly Shean ’18, Master of Occupational Therapy Program

As a high school senior, choosing Gannon University felt like choosing a home away from home. Little did I know then, the adventure I was about to embark upon.


Damali Donovan ’18, Master of Business Administration Program Attending Gannon University for my undergraduate and graduate studies, I have experienced all the transformations of Nash Library. The first time I entered the library, I noticed the bright neon carpets on each level. Walking through those doors was akin to a time warp taking you back in time. Despite its looks, I loved the tranquility and ambiance it provided when I visited.

On the first day of class my freshman year, I contacted the Nash Library and within two hours I had a job! As a Service Desk Assistant at the Nash Library, I quickly came to recognize many faces on campus, which made Gannon feel even more like home. A co-worker became a best friend, a supervisor became my “Erie mom” and students knew me as “the library girl who smiles a lot.” Working at Nash Library has taught me invaluable lessons that I will apply in my professional career as an occupational therapist. I learned to provide effective customer service, have pride in my job, work efficiently and communicate with various student populations. Occupational therapy is a profession that serves others to maximize their independence in daily occupations. In the library, my role was to encourage students to utilize the resources it offers to maximize their potential to be a better, more independent student.

I could not wait to study in the new Nash Library for my My childhood probably had a hand in that, as most of last semester! There was a buzz on campus; everyone it was spent between bookstores and libraries. In high was rejuvenated and excited for change. With a new school, many of my friends would joke and say that my look, came a new perspective for future job would be as a librarian, “...everyone was rejuvenated learning. which, in a sense, became reality. About one week after the first day and excited for change. With Now, students choose to study here because it seamlessly fits all of classes, I received a call with the a new look, came a new student needs. More private study wonderful news that the Nash Library rooms, white boards, state-of-thewas interested in hiring me after perspective for learning. ” art technology and building design, applying for a job my junior year. and a delicious café! Gannon has truly taken student The newly remodeled Nash is a completely different suggestions and needs into consideration with the new experience from the one I stepped into my freshman year. Nash Library, which will ultimately move students, staff I look at the center of the library and I am still in awe that and community members in a positive direction. where there was once the main stairwell, there’s now a café. Believe in the possibilities, indeed! Working at the library is certainly an opportunity I am glad I received at Gannon University. Graduating is a bittersweet ending for me. I’m going to miss working at the library and with the employees. I’ve learned a great deal, whether in developing job or life skills. When I am asked why I like Gannon University, one of my responses is, “I like the people who work here.” The library’s employees are the first to pop into my head; they were my work family who truly cared for my wellbeing.

Read more about how the new Nash Library is impacting students at #GUPOSSIBILITIES




CE G L 4

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View more from Celebrate Gannon 2018, held on April 20, 2018, and see student excellence in scholarly and creative projects and research at


Celebrate Gannon offered me the perfect opportunity to celebrate the academic path that I have set for myself. Following this semester, I will be continuing on from undergraduate work to pursue my Ph.D. in mathematics and hopefully go on to be a professor. Celebrate Gannon not only allowed me to showcase my

AN EXPERIENCE YOU CAN COUNT ON Peter Conley ’18, Mathematics Major

undergraduate research, but, more than that, it allowed me to experience what it will be like to present my findings as a graduate student and what it’s like to teach a topic in mathematics. It encompassed what I have learned and prepared me further for the future. In doing so, I have been gratefully reassured in my choice to study mathematics and my choice to pursue it at a higher level. The confidence I gained from presenting will surely

guide me into the next step of my journey! Opportunities like this are so valuable for students such as myself and it was a beautiful thing to behold so many others sharing their academic research as well. I am thankful, not only for this event, but for Gannon as a whole, for guiding me into the next stage of life! This is truly something to celebrate.

SERVING THE COMMUNITY AND OUR ENVIRONMENT Kristy Gray ’18, Environmental Science Major and an overwhelming desire to do the best job possible.

I often jokingly state that I have lived my life in reverse: family, work and finally college graduate. I am a mother of two grown children and a contributing team member of the Global Regulatory Compliance Department at LORD Corporation for over 22 years. Managing a home, fully committed as a full-time working professional and a part-time student requires good communication, time management and organizational skills,

I started discussions with Dr. Michelle Homan regarding the senior thesis process and requirements months before the 2017 fall semester. I had investigated various environmental projects at LORD Corporation, but none had fit the Gannon project timeline. Dr. Homan and I discussed several topics for both individual and group projects. I recall the moment Dr. Homan mentioned the project for the Community Shelter Services relating to an energy assessment. I immediately got excited; I thought, “Yes, this is the project for me!” With the knowledge I have gained at Gannon and my experience of project management and organization at LORD Corporation, I was confident in my ability to complete this project with a high degree of success.

The project goal was to develop energy conservation recommendations to reduce energy usage and associated costs for Community Shelter Services (CSS) by conducting an energy audit for the Lodge on Sass, a 50-unit housing facility. The multi-faceted project had its challenges, including keeping to an aggressive timeline, scheduling activities and managing tasks. The rewards of helping CSS, getting to know the friendly staff and tenants, and the knowledge gained by working with Joy Knapp (NWPAGE) and Steve Lipchik (The Energy Center, LLC) far exceeded the challenges. The success of this project is a direct reflection of all that I have learned from my managers at LORD Corporation, Gannon professors and especially Dr. Homan, who has guided me on this incredible journey to graduation.




Project Members: Maddie Carnell (Left), Rebecca Red Horse (Right), Olivia Rose (Not Pictured) Faculty Advisor: Saeed Tiari, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering (Middle)

Celebrate Gannon is an opportunity every April to come together as a University to view research projects done by the students. Since our major (Biomedical Engineering) is research-driven, this event is one we look forward to every spring. Gannon does a fantastic job at organizing this event with future employers to open career pathways. As Celebrate Gannon alumni, we were very excited to present at this year’s conference. The project we chose this year was: “A Numerical Bioheat Transfer Model to Estimate Time of Death with Application in Forensic Science.” This project utilized state-of-the-art software (ANSYS-Fluent) Gannon’s

Engineering Department provides students. The main goal was to analyze the effect of fat tissue on the time of death calculation. We analyzed underweight, normal and overweight body sizes to run a simulation utilizing ANSYS-Fluent to calculate internal body core temperature for 12 hours in 3-hour increments. This software is commonly used in industry today by top corporations. Our advisor, Dr. Saeed Tiari, worked with us multiple times per week for the entire spring semester, educating us on the many practical uses of ANSYS-Fluent. Dr. Tiari’s enthusiasm and expertise on the subject motivated us to take our project further, and we will be participating in the internationally recognized American

Society of Mechanical Engineer’s International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE) conference in Fall 2018. We are grateful for the opportunity to present at Celebrate Gannon and receive feedback from professors to help move us forward to an international conference. One of our favorite parts of Celebrate Gannon is reading posters from other departments and talking with fellow Gannon students on their research. We know the hard work and dedication it took to prepare, and all the students are respectful and excited for one another. The environment at Celebrate Gannon makes us very proud to be a part of this family. Go Golden Knights!


Project Lead: Tenger Batjargal Project Members: Niklas Bitters, Carter Miller, Rachel Amorose, Keefer Gregoire, Stephen Karpinsky ’18; Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

se ro


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The team was the first Gannon team to compete in any conference robotics competition and win a prize. Gannon’s ECE Department has shown its pride in the team and all its students as they continue to encourage and support student-led projects.



The team displayed its commitment to the project, meeting every Sunday afternoon for three-hour sessions and more throughout the week. Together, the team drove the decisions behind the work and implemented them while keeping consistent communication on our individual progress. With their passion and decication for engineering design, the team proved that college students are capable of leading and

implementing self-driven engineering projects. The team hopes to pave the way for future Gannon students and to inspire more students to pursue extracurricular electrical engineering design activities.


The Micromouse is an autonomous robot that competes against others to solve and find a path to a certain destination within an unknown maze, with the fastest Micromouse winning. The Micromouse project was student-led and studentdirected. While a faculty advisor and Gannon’s Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department provides encouragement and financial support, every technical design and decision was made by the team. After developing the autonomous robot for two and a half semesters, the team not only proudly presented at Celebrate

Gannon, but also won third place in the Micromouse competition at the 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Region 2 Student Activities Conference, where 295 students represented 29 different universities.

While I was heading out of my room in Finegan Hall, a friend of a mine, a senior, was presenting a room to a group of visitors. He stopped and asked me, “What is the best thing about Gannon?” It was a hard question to answer because there are several answers, yet none is simple to explain. I nervously replied by saying, “People are friendly here.” Because I wish I had the time and composure to tell our guests that my answer is profounder than that, here is my answer: I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t afraid. Being a Latino may not be the most popular thing in the U.S., especially when you are Honduran and no one knows where your country is. In addition to that, my country is hyperbolically negatively characterized, so I had a lot of reason to be terrified, yet I was fairly optimistic about people. Yes, people may have failed and abashed me in the past; but, they do inspire and bring me hope, and Gannon was not the exception. Not everything has been perfect, nothing is, but I am not someone that focuses on the missteps. When I was late to orientation from Pittsburgh, someone made sure I received the proper paperwork. When I sat at a table all by myself, someone asked for my name as if I was the most important person in the world. When I wanted to know where to buy food or groceries, someone drew a map and offered me a ride whenever I needed to buy something. When I wanted my class scheduled or my credits transferred, someone gave me their complete and undivided attention to make

that possible. When a friend got injured and had to go to the hospital, someone went frequently to make sure he was healthy. When I felt like an outsider, someone made sure that I felt welcomed, and domestic students were fundamental to this. I think that people can often categorize students into domestic and global. In certain situations that is a valid distinction, but it is not always the correct one. Domestic and global students have a lot in common. Most of us are far away from somewhere, but all of us want to reach elsewhere. We are all afraid of the new challenges presented in our life and do not know how to react to it. Everyone thinks that there is a gap between us, but there isn’t. It is just an imaginary border created by our trepidations. I can attest that domestic students are very friendly and cordial. So now that I have the words, I can say that people at Gannon aren’t only approachable and kindhearted, but more than anything, they are special.

Silver Lining

Franklin Castro Espinoza, Accounting and Legal Studies Major



A LETTER TO FRESHMAN ME Maria Hays, English Major

or be more excited id ’t n ld u co ou y , a know afra Dear Mari niversity and I that you have nothing to be p in U on n n a G t a y u a It is your first d e. However, I want you to know popularity, or afraid to speak er y h b stronger than s ip terrified to be to no longer be intimidated sh d n ie fr d il ader. ’ll bu of. You will learn oking at you for too long. You y day, and you’ll become a le er lo fear of someone meet people who inspire you ev e, you can imagin .) a position as et g ou y g er in d a op h (Yes, I said le t your first year, t. You get the job. You’ll be ou h g u ro th g in a op th e worry ge You’ll spend tim nt (RA) for the next year. St fellow RAs. They will encoura ta r d a Resident Assis w, and create bonds with you ed. Your door decorations an d ie v hired in Harbor ways you didn’t know you nee ey will be awesome. in th and support you ill take forever to design, but , 2015 you’ll 7 er b em ov w N s n rd t. O bulletin boa rority recruitmen be welcomed and accepted so h g u ro th o g ’ll ou’ll In Fall 2015, y l sister of Phi Sigma Sigma. You er thought you’d be capable a ev l become an offici nd develop a confidence you n w drastically. Your sisters wil ro a g with open arms, r time in the sorority, you’ll e plenty) and celebrate your y lb you of. Throughout es of hardship (and there wil part of you, and you will carr a m support you in ti Your Greek letters will become . g accomplishments the rest of your life. for you, allowin of rs r oo d fo of ou s y h en it oz w them e President ma opens d g om Si ec a b m y g ll Si a i tu h P en y t with and ev Your involvemen d with your greatest mentor the Greek Life advisor Anthon , on you to build a b ouncil. During your presidency odels and supporters. He will C m l the Panhellenic ome one of your strongest role ge your major (twice). He wil n ec a DiPasqua will b follow your heart when you ch ht thing. His influence rig encourage you to allenges and always do the always recognize your ch push you to face you how to be a good leader, to ud of yourself. ro on you will teach for what they are and to be p py ts upational Thera cc O r ou y r fo accomplishmen g in udy ajor. l no longer be st ional writing as an English m ’l ou y , rs ea y r u fess In fo your be studying pro perience and be grateful for l il w ou y e, re ex deg on your Gannon You’ll look back of accepting your admittance n s, impulsive decisio mpus. Like your sorority letter ca before visiting ou that you will y of rt a p a e om Gannon will bec rever. fo carry with your Love, Maria 8

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OUTSIDE Katlyn Unger ’18, Biology Program

It was a random weeknight evening and I found myself being unwillingly dragged to a sorority house to play card games. It was my first semester at Gannon after transferring from Duquesne University, but I didn’t think I was desperate to make friends. I had never seen myself as a “sorority girl,” and I definitely did not want to be in a house with a bunch of them. Attempting to go into the event with an open mind, I found myself having a genuinely fun time and making new friends. My assumptions were proven wrong, and I liked when that happened. It forced me to take a step back and question my own pre-judgments.


Three years later, I find myself about to graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and acceptances to my top two medical schools. The experiences and positive growth I have endured as a sister of Alpha Sigma Tau has had a direct impact on my successes.

I have been gifted with the opportunity to challenge my weaknesses and also exercise my strengths. Just in the past spring semester, I was able to lead “My assumptions were proven Gannon’s first all-Greek Alternative Break Service Trip and plan my Chapter’s 25th wrong, and I liked when that happened. It forced me to take a Anniversary Banquet. Both of these responsibilities were a step beyond step back and question my own my comfort zone, however having the emotional and influential support of my pre-judgments.” sorority sisters gave me confidence and pushed me to thrive.

The next day I got a call from the president of Alpha Sigma Tau saying they would like to extend me a bid. I didn’t know what all that entailed, but I was all about it. Little did I know that this one decision would setup the rest of my undergraduate career.

I will be forever thankful and feel extremely fortunate regarding the opportunities and relationships I have gained through joining Greek Life at Gannon University. One step outside your comfort zone is where you allow yourself to grow.



CONNECT NG WITH OUR RUSK N FAMILY Kendra Walker, Accounting and Finance Major

When I was a little girl I thought Lake Erie was the ocean. I loved how small I felt there and how endless the edge of the world could be. As I discovered that Lake Erie was, in fact, not the ocean and became more acquainted with the world around me, I developed a sense of wonder with just how beautiful it is. This wonder led me to Lake Erie 13 years later- this time to attend college.

From the beginning, Gannon University filled me with awe and has become like my fairytale. The cobblestone on A.J.’s Way, the beautiful brick of Old Main and the sunsets over the Lake are entwined with my perception of Gannon’s identity. I believe that deep-rooted perception is what made me so nervous to visit our campus in Ruskin, Fla., in February to serve as the Student Government Association President and a member of Gannon’s Board of Trustees for the groundbreaking of a new campus facility and the dedication of recently renovated common area to the existing facility. For three years, I had naturally heard tales of Ruskin. I saw the pictures, read the articles and even Google Map searched the location. Much like when

I couldn’t believe the lake was not actually an ocean, I couldn’t believe that there was a Ruskin campus. When my plane arrived in Tampa, I was not only struck by the warm climate, but the fast pace of the city. However, during our 90-minute drive to Ruskin, I noticed that the world around us seemed to get slower. Concrete jungles gave way to quiet farm land. Things grew further apart, but kept the sense of development. It was the feeling of a city that is just starting to gradually grow. In many ways it reminded me of Erie and I became more at home, comfortable and excited to see campus. Of course, I was most interested in meeting the students. Upon interacting I was surprised to see just how special these students were. I had the opportunity to see all the great work that they have been doing both in and out of the classroom. I heard of semester-long trips to Ecuador to provide care to the poor. I witnessed demonstrations using classroom equipment. I heard stories of how working in the community has changed their lives.

were each filled with a fire to make a difference in the world and the compassion to serve. I also saw the pride in their face when they talked of Gannon University. As they gave tours and talked of future development they were so proud and thankful that they were the first to experience the next chapter of the Gannon story. It was through the students, their hunger, their passion and, most importantly, their love, that I once again was filled with wonder. Gannon University is more than brick walls. It is more than a beautiful Lake and an arch. Gannon University is family. It is an institution with the Mission and commitment to transform lives. While one student may sit in the sands of Presque Isle Master of Athletic Training and another students Stephanie may bask in Deschamps (Left) and the sun at Hannah Merrifield (Right), the Gulf, we with Keith Taylor, Ph.D., University President (Middle) are the same. We share the same dreams and will always be connected by love.

These students were friendly and passionately fierce. They


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Graduate students celebrated the groundbreaking, and dedication and blessing ceremony on Feb. 16, 2018 at Gannon’s Ruskin campus; to view, visit

Alexis Woodhouse presented her research and pitched her self-made invention at American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Conference and Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah in April.

The Pitch of a Lifetime Alexis Woodhouse, Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program

This year, I had the opportunity to be the only student on My time at Gannon prepared me more than I can ever put behalf of Gannon to compete in the Inventors Showcase at into words for this experience. I was not only prepared, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) but I had so much support from my family, friends and my Conference and Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah in April. The entire campus. My professor, Dianna Lunsford OTD, M.Ed., invention that I presented was originally a piece of adaptive whose class in which I identified my idea and brought it to equipment I created for a class assignment. To be honest, life, was with me through this entire journey. this was probably the The knowledge that I have learned scariest academic experience Making it to that moment, sharing surprised me and also soothed me as I I have ever had. presented. I have always been a competitive

with my profession, and standing

I would not characterize person, but for me I didn’t feel like I among exceptionally successful lost. Making it to that moment, sharing myself as someone who scares easily. I moved with my profession, and standing among peers, I felt like I made it. across the country to join exceptionally successful peers, I felt like I Gannon’s new Occupational made it. This is what it’s all about and why Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program in Florida from the I’ve worked so hard to contribute, and will continue to west coast before it had even been accredited. I also would contribute, to my profession. not consider myself as someone that is easily intimidated. I This opportunity taught me more about my creativity and consider myself a strong and eternally independent woman. potential avenues for my career than any other experience However, on Friday April 20th, I was both intimidated and thus far. I had the opportunity to meet wonderful scared. innovative minds and professionals that are paving the way My seven-minute time slot to pitch my creation felt as quick as thirty seconds. I competed against inventors that have contracts with Under Armour and apps with over two million downloads, and I was faced with judges like Caroline Van Howe, the Chief Operating Officer of the Assistive Technology Industry Association.

for occupational therapists everywhere. Occupational therapy is such a beautiful profession in so many ways. It is diverse, creative, unique, satisfying, humbling and inspiring. It is such an honor to be part of this world and to try to make an impact on a field that has changed my life forever. #GUPOSSIBILITIES 11

our As graduation neared, I had prepared for the big day with an eye on the future. After a one-month reprieve, graduate school commences, my clinical rotations are in place and the final stretch toward achieving my title as a certified physician assistant, PA-C, has now begun. My recent to-do list has been peppered with preparation details, and helpful suggestions are being delivered to my mail as word gets out that this is the year! One solicitation caught my eye and stirred my imagination. It read something like, “Keep the school close to your heart with this unforgettable, wonderful, multi-color, layered, woven, campus university tapestry!”

Maggie McKernan ’18

Physician Assistant Major

Ryan Micsky ’18

Erika Thomas ’18

Tierra Johnson ’18

“Embracing everything that Gannon has to offer has furthered my professional, spiritual and personal life beyond what I would have ever expected. I’ve found a caring family of faculty and friends that always know how to guide me to do better and be better. While I had no idea what this University would have in store for me when I arrived, I’ve been grateful for it all.”

“I am from Erie and I was itching to leave! My father told me that I would end up at Gannon and I didn’t believe him, and here I am a graduate of Gannon University… My parents instilled in me wisdom and love. They push me to do great things, strive and pursue greatness. They inspired me to live out my dreams and do the things I love.”

“What I have valued most from being a part of Gannon’s family are the leadership opportunities and international experiences that I have gained. These opportunities have transformed and molded my liberal outlook in all my endeavors. I valued serving others and sitting in solidarity with my new international friends so much that I knew that choosing nursing was one of my best decisions...”

Mathematics Major


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Criminal Justice Major

june 2018

Nursing Major

“Tapestry,” I considered, “Interesting…” Tapestry is a word often used to describe an intricate or complex combination of things or sequence of events. In sharing my reflections on my years and experiences here on Gannon University’s campus, I realize I’ve been weaving a tapestry of my own that is both intricate and complex. Weaving together pieces of me with pieces of Gannon presented me with every opportunity to build my story, create my future and become my best self. My tapestry is unique, rich, colorful, multilayered and with threads both intentionally selected and surprisingly furnished– all intertwined to create strength, depth and texture.

My parting advice to those about to embark on this journey is that a university is truly what you make of it. Each will create his or her own tapestry, both similar and dissimilar to the next. Where do your interests lie? Whatever they are, the Gannon family will welcome you with open arms. Choose your academic focus, go to class and learn. These are the obvious goals of a university education. Your academic focus will lend the variation of blues to your tapestry, symbolizing wisdom, intelligence, trust and stability. At Gannon there is so much more... Hear more about our graduating seniors’ Gannon experiences online at

Anubondem (Michael) Awungnkeng ’18

Morgan Grzegorzewski ’18

Foreign Language Major

Physician Assistant Major

“Gannon’s travel programs are an opportunity all students should take advantage of. From my experiences, I developed relationships with fellow students and experienced a growth in my faith, sharing my talents with others and learning from those of others.”

“Gannon is the community and the people who are beside me, adding to my experiences and knowledge as we go through this time together. College is about so much more than those late night study sessions, exams, reports, etc. Together with my friends, mentors, staff and professors, I have learned about my relationship with God, perseverance with positivity and service to others. I feel blessed to be able to reflect about Gannon and remember the important moments filled with best friends, supportive faculty and many mentors. This Gannon community has challenged me to be a better leader, communicator and student of life while finding joy and staying positive along the way. Thank you, Gannon!” #GUPOSSIBILITIES 13


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SPRING SPORTS SEASON Brandon Jaces ’18, Journalism Communication Major


History was made when Gannon ushered in its 22nd sport, women’s wrestling 1 , and became the first college in Pennsylvania with the program. Slated to begin in Fall 2018, Christen Dierken was announced as the team’s head coach and is excited to help female student-athletes on and off the mat.

Gannon’s softball 3 program saw a first and a last season. The team made it the farthest it has in the program’s history. The Knights won the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional, winning three of four games. They then continued on to compete in the NCAA Division II Super Regional, where they later fell to West Chester University.

“They have a future after wrestling,” she said. “I had my dreams and my goals as a young person, too, that so many people helped me get to and it’s time for me to give back in that sense.”

The team won its first-ever Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) title, sweeping the four-game series. Pitcher Madi Beining was also named PSAC Pitcher of the Year, finishing 15-7-1 from the stripe.

The women’s team also received a $5,000 donation from Ann Peery Ritter, a newly inducted member of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Ritter said she is excited to see women’s wrestling come to Pennsylvania.

The Knights said farewell to longtime head coach Thomas Jakubowski, who led the team for a decade.

“It thrills me because I grew up in a wrestling family,” she said. “This excites me that young women today can wrestle.” Along with this major announcement in April, Gannon also hosted the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) National Championships in the Hammermill Center for the first time with the help of the Erie Sports Commission. The Acrobatics and Tumbling 2 team won its third national title, the Inversion Pyramid Title, which consisted of student-athletes Lisa Wagaman, Chelsea Cowan ’18, Brittney McNiff, Sarah Guarriello, Ashley Barrish, Danielle Samuel, Sydney Pouliopoulos, Elizabeth Martin ’18, Hayley Nejman ’18, Jocelyn Scott, Nikki Pizzi and Zeina Ellamei. Individual achievements included Cowan, who was named a 2018 All-American; Scott, who was named to the 2018 Acrobatics and Tumbling All-Conference First Team; while both Cowan and Nejman received honorable mentions. According to Mark Jeanneret, CSEE, Events Director for the Erie Sports Commission, the NCATA Championships brought in over $1 million, making it a huge success for both the Erie and Gannon communities. 4


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Jakubowski plans to move to Florida with his family and hopes to stay involved in the sport, and he is sure the next coach will have a great team to lead. “Someone will inherit the best softball talent ever at Gannon and I will be their biggest fan,” he said. To honor the athletic teams for all they have done this year, the athletic department hosted a ceremony for the athletes and their accomplishments in April at the Bayfront Convention Center. Two of the biggest awards of the night are the male and female athletes of the year 4 , reserved for senior studentathletes. This year’s female athlete of the year was Kelsey Ansec ’18, an outside hitter on the volleyball team and education major. The male athlete of the year was Zay Jackson ’18, a guard on the basketball team and criminal justice major. This article is reported as of May 22, 2018. For a final spring season recap, visit

Gannon Director of Athletics Lisa Goddard McGuirk (middle) presents Kelsey Ansec ’18 (left) and Zay Jackson ’18 (right) with the Gannon Senior StudentAthletes of the Year awards.


H G N I M O C R OVE Throughout my experience as a gymnast for 13 years, I was looking for something new and acrobatics and tumbling was calling my name. Being part of Gannon’s Acrobatics and Tumbling team has been an amazing opportunity to try something new and be part of a sport that has grown across the nation.

ursing Major

n ’18, N Chelsea Cowa

carried me off the floor that day. I am so thankful for the support I had from my team who I will always consider my family.

and coaches, I would not be half the person or athlete I am today.

Not only did our coaches prepare us for competitions, but they also Their support motivated me to find prepared us for life. Over the years I a way to still be part of the team. So, have grown mentally and developed I practiced other skills that didn’t a better understanding of discipline, involve my achilles like handstands accountability and respect. I owe everything to my amazing “Experiencing a national championship teammates and coaches!

My first day practicing on the Acrobatics and after such adversity with some of my When I started on the team Tumbling team did not in 2014, the sport was in its go as I had hoped. As I teammates was a surreal feeling.” second year at Gannon. It’s went for a tumble run, my amazing to look back and see and conditioning. I was able to achilles tendon completely tore and how far our team has grown. From compete in four heats that year for I needed surgery to have the tendon not even attending nationals as a team the team, two of which I made the reconstructed. I was devastated. I my freshman year, to hosting the national event finals. Experiencing thought that my whole college career National Championship my senior was over. a national championship after such year, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the team! I’m truly My fellow seniors, Michaela Soper ’18, adversity with some of my teammates was a surreal feeling. thankful and blessed for the studentHayley Nejman ’18, Elizabeth Martin ’18 and Kelsey Leclair ’18 were by

my side during this time of despair. Hayley and I were rivals competing in gymnastics growing up, but as soon as I got injured she was there to make sure I was okay. Michaela physically

My coaches over the years, Chevonne White, who coached in 2014-2017, and Jacquie Eshleman and Alia Nolan, my current coaches, have made my experience incredible. Without the constant support from my teammates

athlete experience I’ve had at Gannon University. View video of the 2018 National Championship at #GUPOSSIBILITIES 17


Navajo Nation Maddy Kosinski, Physician Assistant Major

Service can be defined as “the action of helping or doing work for someone.� I believe people are more inclined to think of service as a physical action of building a house, collecting donations or helping clean a community. After my Alternative Break Service Trip (ABST) to the Navajo Nation in Arizona, I have discovered that the service of giving your time while learning is invaluable in itself. ABST programs can be divided into the following categories: Reach Out, Explore Within and Live Among. My trip was classified as Live Among, where the focus is for students to learn about systems that oppress and marginalize people. The overall goal is to educate students so that they can inspire change wherever they may go in life. My experience with the Navajo Nation is one that not only broadened my cultural horizons, but one that touched my heart as well. During our journey we learned so much about the Navajo culture. Our facilitators, Vanessa Brown and Lawrence Kaibetoney (Mr. K), served as cultural ambassadors and personal guides for our trip. They taught us about the significance of the sweat lodge and the hoop dance. The sweat lodge is a dome-shaped structure made of clay where large volcanic rocks are placed inside. It is used as a means of purification for the Navajo people at


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least once per week. The hoop dance features a solo dancer who uses a dozen hoops to create a variety of animal shapes for the audience. Each hoop symbolizes a struggle one has in his or her life and teaches that an individual should tackle one problem at a time. Learning about these and many other culturally significant experiences opened my eyes to the beautiful and symbolic way of the Navajo life. Mr. K and Vanessa showed us various locations to experience the history and beauty of the Navajo Nation. We saw Coal Mine Canyon, where Navajo people hid when they were forced on The Long Walk to Fort Sumner. We visited the Code Talker Museum, where we learned the importance of the Navajo involvement in the creation of an unbreakable code used in World War II. After experiencing the indescribable beauty of the Grand Canyon, we had a reflection centered around the frustration for the industrial push for uranium mining nearby. The Navajo people live a life full of symbolism. They cherish the land, and through all their hardships, they have maintained a love for humankind. Through my time, participation and active listening, I am changed as a person because of my ABST. View an expanded photo gallery online at

(L-R) Vanessa Brown, Maddy Kosinski and Lawrence Kaibetoney (Mr. K)


RICHARD D. DIBACCO, D.P.M. received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater PA Education Foundation. Dibacco serves as director of Podiatry Associates Foot and Ankle Center. He is the founding director of the podiatric surgical residency program at Millcreek Community Hospital and has served as chief of podiatric surgery at multiple hospitals in Northwestern Pennsylvania. His past honors include Doctor of the Year at Union City Memorial Hospital. Dibacco currently serves as president of the Kent State University Foot and Ankle Board of Directors.







PRISCILLA “SALLY” (HERBSTRITT) DIBACCO VMC, MARY (MCCORMICK) RILEY ’87M & JULIE (FERRICK) WILSON ’88 are among the parishioners who organized the 125th anniversary gala for St. Peter Cathedral on June 30, 2018. Wilson cochaired the gala alongside her husband. ANTHONY N. OTTAVIANI, D.O., MPH, MACOI, FCCP was awarded the prestigious Citizen of the Year award at the Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce 2017 Annual Awards. Ottaviani is the Chief Academic Officer at Largo Medical Center in Florida. This award is presented to a person who focuses attention through their direct efforts in the Central Pinellas area resulting in acclaim/public notice; is distinguished through outstanding achievement in community service; and performs volunteer services to the community.


REV. MSGR. HENRY A. KRIEGEL will continue to serve as the pastor at Saint Patrick Church. Mgsr. Kriegel is turning 75 this year, which is the age priests typically retire; however, he will continue to serve the community, marking his 48th year in the priesthood. Prior to Saint Patrick Church, he served several parishes in the 13-county Erie diocese.



DENNIS R. HORRIGAN retired as CEO of Catholic Medical Partners (2015) and is now a consultant with Optimity Advisors. Horrigan is the new president and CEO of the Catholic Independent Practice Association, LLC. He is also vice president for Managed Care at Independent Health. ROBERT “BOB” A. PACSI ’77M was among those inducted into the Mercer County Hall of Fame. Pacsi enjoyed a 44-year career coaching high school basketball, recording 542 wins and 332 losses, landing him in the top 25 alltime in Ohio history. Among his awards are: Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year (Division 2) 1983 and 1984, and Service Award 2007; Trinity H.S. Hall of Fame 1985; Stark-Summit Counties Coach of the Year 2010; State of Ohio Bob Arnzen Award 2012; Akron Dapper Dan William Falor Award 2012; Summitt County Coach of the Year 2013; and the Twinsburg Hall of Fame Award in 2017.


ROBERT J. CARROLL has retired from IBM and currently volunteers for SCORE, a service organization partnered with the Small Business Administration. He also volunteers as an AARP Tax Preparer at his local library.

Alumni of Delta Sigma Phi and Gannon graduates from the early ’70s got together in La Quinta, Calif. to reconnect and enjoy the company of old friends from college. The alumni traveled from California, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania.


WALTER J. SCHUPP, SR. retired in 1999 and is currently residing in East Stroudsburg, Pa.


SISTER ROSE A. FEDORKO, S.S.J. VMC is celebrating her 70-year jubilee. She entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph from Holy Rosary Parish in Johnsonburg in 1947. Sister Fedorko served as a teacher for several Catholic schools in Erie and as campus minister at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, among other assignments.


SISTER LUCILLE DESTEFANO, S.S.J. VMC is retiring after 70 years of religious service. Sister Destefano began playing the organ at just 12-yearsold at St. Leo Parish in Ridgway. She taught piano and organ privately, and then later as part of the faculty of Villa Maria College and Gannon University. She also served as liturgy director for the Sisters of Saint Joseph community. Sister Destefano spent many years building and supporting the Erie Diocesan Chapter of National Pastoral Musicians, helping other musicians hone and share their gifts.








(L-R; Front) John Stetter, Rich Schieler, Bob Cinque, Pat Casey, Tom Dollinger, Bob Barker, Kevin Sullivan. (L-R; Back) Larry McHugh, Danny Martin.

Achievements by Gannon University faculty, staff and administration


at Gannon, notes, “you never know where your educational career may lead you.” GIANNI D. DEVINCENTIS-HAYES, PH.D. VMC recently had her 24th book published entitled, “Once Upon a Black Crayon: Barry’s Dilemma.” It is her first children’s book.

(L-R) Erie Mayor Joseph V. Schember, Jr. ’72 and Judge John F. Cherry ’73

JOSEPH V. SCHEMBER, JR. ’72 & JOHN F. CHERRY ’73 Schember became Erie’s 48th mayor and third consecutive Gannon University graduate to lead the city after being sworn into office by longtime friend and fellow alumnus Dauphin County Court Judge John Cherry. Mayor Schember retired from PNC Bank as vice president after a 40-year career and is a former Erie City Councilman. While Cherry went on to practice law and served as district attorney of Dauphin County before being elected to the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas. ROBERT W. MCGEE, PH.D. recently picked up his fourth martial arts world championship for sparring in the Men’s Black Belt 50-plus age division. While the 70-year-old McGee could have competed in the 60-plus ring, he wanted to challenge himself. In July, 2017 he won world championships in taekwondo, karate and kung-fu, and also won a world silver medal in taichi. McGee is currently an associate professor of accounting at Fayetteville State University.


PETER E. CAYEA was recently promoted to Cameron Manufacturing Systems Global Deployment Leader located in Milan, Italy. He is responsible for improving Materials Management performance globally for Schlumberger Corporation, an oil field services company. Cayea, a history major while


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LAWRENCE E. MCHUGH has joined the Board of Directors of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta. He also serves on the Boards of the Atlanta Technology Angels and the Atlanta chapter of P&G Alumni, and is a mentor at Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center.


ANNE (DEWEY) MCCALLION has joined the Board of Directors of PennyMac Financial Services, Inc., where she serves as Senior Managing Director and Chief Enterprise Operations Officer. She joined the executive management team in 2009, and is responsible for overseeing the company’s enterprise operations function and has management responsibility for legal, regulatory relations, human resources, technology infrastructure and corporate administration. She previously served as the company’s chief financial officer.


DAVID A. SEYBOLDT and his wife Evelyn were honored by the Association of Fundraising Professions with the 2017 Outstanding Philanthropist award.


PHILIP C. MAZANEC ’76M will be taking over as the interim president and CEO of The Center for Health Affairs and CHAMPS Healthcare. He previously served as the chief operating officer and is a 39-year veteran of the organization.


CARL M. CARLOTTI, ESQ. was featured speaker at the Manufacturer & Business Association’s November (2016) Eggs ‘n’ Issues briefing. During his presentation, “Energy: The Increasing Importance of Natural Gas,” Carlotti provided a detailed view of National Fuel with the benefits and challenges facing the natural gas industry. Carlotti is president of National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation. RICHARD M. KIRKNER is seeking the Phoenixville borough council seat for the North Ward. Kirkner is an editorial consultant, independent healthcare journalist and a former council member serving from 2009 to 2013.


LOWMAN S. HENRY serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association and Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Foundation.


MICHAEL C. TANN became the new director of Wichita Transit in Kansas in May. He had served since 2013 as the executive director of the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority (EMTA). He managed Erie’s system of 74 fixed route and 64 paratransit vehicles under a $20 million annual operating budget. As head of Wichita Transit, Tann will manage 144 employees and a $15.5 million annual budget amid the largest transit system in the state of Kansas. PAMELA (HORNAMAN) TRONETTI, D.O. has been named president of the Parrish Medical Center’s medical staff. She is the first woman and first doctor of osteopathic medicine to hold the position. Tronetti is board-certified and fellowship-trained in family practice and geriatric medicine. As medical staff president, Tronetti is an ex-officio member of the PMC Board of Directors, and presides over the Medical Executive Committee, all medical staff committees and departments.

As most GU alumni, Gannon holds a very special place in my heart. It also holds a special place in my community. After graduation, I made the decision to stay in Erie. I put my engineering degree (BSME 2010) to use for nearly eight years as a quality engineer at LORD Corporation. During that time, the city called strongly to me. I wanted to be downtown, and I wanted to ensure its growth. Gannon has responded to this call. The modernization of Nash Library is not only beneficial for students, but is a huge asset for the downtown community; large financial investments in the Our West Bayfront Organization immediately impact the lives of all who live downtown; and smaller projects such as the St. Joseph House of Faith and Action demonstrate Gannon’s commitment to service within our community. Watching these developments along State Street and the West Bayfront area not only have revealed Gannon’s dedication to the city, but have empowered me to be a more active part of this City’s growth. I decided to do so in a big way. I opened Ember+Forge, a coffee shop on the corner of Fourth and State streets, flexing my business degree (MBA 2011).

In June, Hannah Kirby will become president of the National Alumni Board as current president Greg Czarnecki ’89 steps down after three extremely effective years of service. The National Alumni Board includes professional alumni from across the nation.




KATHLEEN M. BERKLITEMANZELLA ’85M held her first book signing in March for her first two murdermystery books: “Can’t Take Back Yesterday” and its sequel: “Tomorrow Comes.” The book signings occurred at The Book Trader in Edinboro, Pa. In the first book, you find out who the killer is and learn about the victims. In the sequel, you follow the survivors as they deal with the fallout and discover the secret behind the murders. BerkliteManzella’s books are mostly based in Erie with Gannon University included, as one of her characters becomes an incoming freshman. Both books are available for purchase. She is currently editing her third book, also a murder mystery based in Erie.








Letter from National Alumni Board Vice President, Hannah Kirby ’11M


As a new business owner, a citizen and an Erie City resident, investments in our City have been reassuring. I can see sustained growth and am excited for the future of Erie. Gannon’s involvement in this growth makes me proud to be part of the Gannon Family.



DONNA M. DORER received a letter from Florida Governor Rick Scott commending her 18 years of service as a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, and for her service to the local community. MARKO JOVANOVICH has been named vice president of Infrastructure Administration at Erie Insurance. Jovanovich joined Erie Insurance in 2003 as section manager in the IT Operations and Support Department. He was promoted to IT Director in Fall 2014. Jovanovich is responsible for all data center and print operations, server, network and telephony administration and IT disaster recovery. He also oversees enterprise systems management and enterprise applications.


JOHN E. GOMOLCHAK, ESQ. was among a panel of presenters at “The Probate Process from Start to Finish,” a continuing legal education function in Erie, Pa., hosted by the

National Business Institute. Attorneys and certified public accountants from across the region attended. Gomolchak presented on topics including filing an estate in probate court; administering the estate effectively; uncovering laws of intestacy, and how they may apply. Gomolchak is an assistant professor of business administration and accounting at Thiel College. ANTHONY M. RUFFA, D.O. is opening two new medical offices – offices that do not have waiting rooms, examination tables or even stethoscopes – as he is managing his practice via Telemedicine. Psychxpress and eUrgicare are online medical offices that offer psychiatry and urgent care, respectively, without the patient ever leaving his or her home. Patients access the medical office through their computers, tablets or smartphones by visiting and Ruffa, an Erie physician, has been working with Gannon University’s Small Business Development Center to help bring the #GUPOSSIBILITIES 21

websites to fruition. Staff and students have helped the physician identify his market and how to reach his potential patients.


WILLIAM J. DOAN, PH.D. returned to Gannon University in March as part of the Schuster Theatre’s 2018 Alex Clemente Fundraiser, where he performed his solo presentation of “Drifting,” a life journey into traumatic brain injury, sibling loss and art. Doan is a member of Penn State’s School of Theatre. Doan served as president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education from 2011-2013 and was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre in April. ANTHONY V. FULGENZIO ’10M is vice president for Advancement at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio. Fulgenzio had been employed for the past 17 years at Gannon University, most recently as executive director of philanthropy and communications. CHARLES G. KNIGHT, CPA has become a trustee to the Erie Community Foundation’s board of directors. Knight is the principal in charge of Schaffner, Knight, Minnaugh & Company, P.C. accounting and auditing services since the firm’s inception in 2008. He became a certified public accountant in 1984 and a certified valuation analyst in 1999. KATHRYN (QUIRK) REDMAN was a presenter at a nutritional eating seminar offered by the Corning Community College’s Community and Public Health Academic program. Redman is a recovery coach for women, with experience in life recovery coaching (12-Step), faith-based lay counsel, grief and loss processing, mental health first aid, women’s leadership, behavior change, and wellness and recovery action planning. She also is a recovery peer advocate.


FREDERICK J. BLOOM, JR., M.D., M.M.M. has been appointed to the AMGA Foundation’s Board of Directors, which guides the organization to enable


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medical groups and other organized systems of care to consistently improve health care. Bloom is the president of Guthrie Medical Group in Sayre, Pa., where he is responsible for more than 400 providers with over 50 specialty services and primary care specialties in 27 locations in Pennsylvania and New York. REV. MICHAEL T. KESICKI participated in the Luther 500 celebration at Thiel College in November. Father Kesicki began the program with a discussion about the Reformation. Father Kesicki is the Associate Vice President of University Mission & Ministry at Gannon University. TIMOTHY G. NECASTRO, CPA was honored by the Giuseppe Mazzini Civic Association at its 44th annual Columbus Day Celebration in October. He is the president and CEO of Erie Insurance. Necastro joined Gannon University’s Board of Trustees in September 2017, and also gave the Commencement speech for Gannon’s Class of 2018 in May. GREGORY J. RUSNAK has been named Chief Administrative Officer for the newly formed SC Health Company, a partnership between Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health. Rusnak formerly served as the Executive VP and COO of Greenville Health System. He is responsible for ensuring operations in the Upstate and Midlands areas support the health company. He manages information technology/ services, human resources and supply chain functions, and oversees all affiliate chief operating officers, postacute care, and ancillary and support services.


JOSEPH G. HUGAR ’87M has been selected the new president for the Sharon Regional Health System. Hugar most recently served as the President and CEO of Holy Family Medical Center in Des Plaines, Ill., and Presence Life Connections in Mokena, Ill.


GREGORY F. REED, PH.D. is among the 2018 cohort to join the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP) Board of Directors. Reed is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, and director of the Center for Energy and the Energy GRID Institute.


RICHARD “RICK” J. BUTLER won the 55-59 age group gold medal and set a new 36-hole, all-time best score at the Florida State Senior Games. During the two-day Florida Senior Games competition, Butler was the only golfer to record back-to-back days of scores in the 70s. He shot a 73 one day, and gained a score of 70 the following day for a 143 win, capturing the 36-hole alltime best score.

REV. MARK A. GENOVESI, M.A. was ordained a Permanent Deacon for the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio on Sept. 16, 2017. He was assigned to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Toledo. He married Kate (Schlotterer) Genovesi on June 21, 1986. They have four children and two grandchildren. He received an M.A. in Systematic Theology from Lourdes University in 2016 and has been a Theology instructor at St. Francis de Sales High School since August 2015. LOUIS J. MONTEFIORI has been named vice president of sales and marketing for Coordinated Care Network (CCN) Pharmacy in Pittsburgh. CCN is a 340B specialty pharmacy with mail order services for specialized patient needs. Prior to joining CCN, Montefiori spent 25 years in sales and management with Bristol-Myers Squibb. In his new role, Montefiori is responsible for sales to new and existing accounts and all marketing for the pharmacy.

LAURIE (ZENDRON) TRESKY is among the 2017 Knoch High School Sports Hall of Fame inductees. Tresky served as a co-captain of the Golden Knights women’s volleyball team in her final two seasons and was named team MVP both years. She is now a school counselor in the South Butler School District in Pennsylvania.


MICHAEL J. KARPIK is chief operating officer of PineBridge Investments, an internationallyfocused, New York-based asset management division of Hong Kong’s Pacific Capital Group. In his new position, Karpik is responsible for the company’s global operations, finance, compliance, risk management, product management, funds and technology functions.


ROBERT J. CATALDE has assumed the role of Erie County Court Administrator. Catalde has served as a solicitor for the clerk of records office and as clerk of courts for 23 years. In his new role, he will oversee all administrative aspects of the court, including policy, budgeting and personnel matters relating to 300 Erie County Court employees. The court administrator also acts as the court’s liaison to the other branches of Erie County government. BRIAN F. DALTON, PH.D. ’93M & DIANA M. DUBIK-DALTON Brian is Vice President for Enrollment at Alfred University. He was named “Outstanding Young Man of America” in 1996. Diana is working in the University Relations office at Alfred University. JOSEPH E. SINNOTT was the commencement speaker for Gannon University’s 256 graduates on Dec. 9, 2017. The former Mayor of Erie was honored at the start of his keynote address in the Hammermill Center by Gannon President Keith Taylor, who presented him with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.


MICHAEL J. OLIVER is Vice President of Electrical/EMC Engineering at MAJR Products Corporation, where he is responsible for customer EMC design and consulting and new product development. He is also the company’s ISO-9001:2000 management representative. Oliver is the founder and currently serves as chairman of the IEEE Pittsburgh EMC Chapter. He is co-chairman of the SAE AE4 Electromagnetic Compatibility Committee, and a member of the IEEE EMC Standards Advisory Coordination Committee (SACCom). ANTHONY J. SCIARRINO, ESQ. LYDIA (GONZALEZ) SCIARRINO Anthony is a Philadelphia-area attorney who specializes in the insurance field. While Lydia is the new CEO of the Mazzoni Center in South Philadelphia.


ANTHONY J. BERDIS, PH.D. is an associate professor of chemistry and the team leader of Cleveland State University’s Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease, which is conducting research on a new therapeutic agent to improve the effectiveness of treatment for patients who have been diagnosed with brain cancer. The Center will soon begin tests on additional cancerous tumors to assess the effectiveness of the agent in treating breast cancer, leukemia and other diseases. DAVID J. FENOGLIETTO ’90M was appointed national chairman of the Lutheran Services in America Board of Directors. Fenoglietto has served as CEO and president for Lutheran SeniorLife, based in Mars, Pa., since 2004. SeniorLife is a nonprofit social ministry serving senior citizens regardless of physical condition or financial circumstances. Additional SeniorLife campuses serve Armstrong, Butler, Beaver and Lawrence counties. Lutheran Services in America is one of the largest health and human services networks in the United States, with more than 300 nonprofits. LSA provides a range of critical services to seniors, children and families.

RENEE (VOGT) LAMIS, PH.D. ’90M is the new Chief of Staff for Erie Mayor Joe Schember. SHERRY A. MASOTTO SWETZ ’98M, ’76 is being honored with a Community Service Award by the Pymatuning Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution for her work with Joshua’s Haven in Sharon, Pa. Masotto Swetz recognized the community needed a shelter and opened the first location for Joshua’s Haven Rescue Mission on Oct. 1, 2008, relocating to a larger facility on Nov. 1, 2015. The mission houses men, but food is often given to men, women and children in need, and, if finances are available, a motel room or bus ticket is provided. KENNETH M. OGOREK ’90M continues to speak and consult with Catholic organizations throughout United States. Focusing on “Organizational Health for Apostolic Impact” Ogorek’s 2018 schedule includes the Mid-Atlantic Congress, the National Catholic Educational Association Convention and Expo, and the Saint John Bosco Conference for Evangelization and Catechesis. BRADLEY T. ROAE is seeking the Republican nomination for a seventh term as the 6th District seat in the state House of Representatives. He was first elected in 2006 and currently serves on the House appropriations, insurance, state government and gaming oversite committees.


DIANE (RAO) HARMAN, PH.D. was honored by Muskingum University with the “William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching.” The award is named in honor of an alumnus whose career combined teaching, ministry and service as president of Miami University and Ohio State University. Harman currently serves as professor of theatre and director of forensics at Muskingum University. During her time at Muskingum, she has directed more than 25 productions and written plays for students to present. KAREN (FETSKO) HJERPE, PH.D. has spent nearly 25 years as a member of the athletic department at California #GUPOSSIBILITIES 23


1 University of Pennsylvania, where she coached the women’s volleyball team from 1993-97 before assuming the position of athletic business manager. She was promoted to associate athletic director in 2003 before becoming interim athletic director in 2011. She is in her third year as athletic director. Hjerpe, also Cal’s head compliance officer and former senior woman administrator, was inducted into the Baldwin High School Sports Hall of Fame following her volleyball career. During her 1986-87 senior year at Baldwin she was a key member of Baldwin’s first-ever WPIAL girls volleyball championship team. TIMOTHY P. KUZMA is among the Erie School Board nominees vying for a seat on the school board. Kuzma won a Republican nomination as a write-in candidate in the May primary. He is a real estate agent for Howard Hanna, and has also coached swimming and diving and water polo at area high schools, colleges and universities.


DARON C. PRAETZEL, D.M.D. founded the nonprofit organization Faces Foundation in Hot Springs, Ariz. in 2014. The foundation provides facial surgery and reconstruction for children and young adults with facial deformities who would otherwise not have the resources to have them corrected. The organization provides these services free for low-income families, active military and veterans


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Francesca Lucia Colella ’11, ’12M married Frank Anthony Catalano on Jan. 20, 2018.

Abby M. Badach ’11 married Patrick E. Doyle ’12M on Aug. 3, 2017 at Yosemite National Park. 1

Melissa Marian Conti, Ph.D. ’10 married Thomas Anthony Mazza on Oct. 21, 2017.

Jessica Helen Mathew ’16M married Ryan Scott Neal on July 22, 2017.

Laura L. Long ’15M married Benjamin McCracken on Sept. 9, 2017.

Kathryn Lynn Demetriadis ’11 married Ethan C. Swope ’12 on July 15, 2017.

Ashly N. Wyrick ’15 married Chuck Leffler on Aug. 12, 2017.

who have birth defects, facial scarring, facial abnormalities and those who have sustained war injuries. In return for the surgery and services, patients who qualify will be able to earn their surgery by “paying-it-forward,” donating their time to partnering with nonprofit organizations in the community.


MATTHEW FLANNERY, ED.D. has been selected as Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Wilson School District in Pennsylvania, where he has been employed for over 11 years and currently serves as principal of Shiloh Hills Elementary School, from which he received a nomination for the 2017 National Distinguished Principal award. Prior to serving at Shiloh Hills, Flannery was the principal of Wilson’s Lincoln Park and West Wyomissing Elementary Schools, were he worked to transform the schools from the lowest performing in the district to the highest. In his new role as assistant superintendent, Flannery is supervising the evaluation and development of building-level leadership, as well as completing professional development initiatives related to principal and teacher evaluations.

SCOTT E. MILLER, D.B.A. has been named the Dean of Edinboro University’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS). Miller joined the University faculty in 2010, and has served as the Interim Dean of the CAHSS since 2015. He will continue his role as Dean of the School of Business, which he has held since 2012, in addition to his responsibilities in CAHSS.


REV. JASON A. GLOVER, S.T.L. in January 2017, Rev. Glover became president of The Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools. He served as the interim president since June 2016. JOHN F. KROTO, ESQ. has been selected as the new Chief Deputy for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Kroto was a member of the Knox Law Firm since 2013, and previously served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Thomas P. Agresti and was a litigator at the Quinn Law Firm. JODI (SMITH) PRESLOID was among the women honored by the Career Women’s Club in Punxsutawney, Pa. during Career Women’s Week. Presloid is the community banking manager and vice president at S&T Bank. She manages the operations of the bank while maintaining a high level of service for its customers, and she is responsible for business development. Presloid serves as treasurer of the

Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Punxsutawney Rotary Club, where she is the executive secretary/administrator. She is a treasurer at the SS.C.D. school and an S&T retail advisory board volunteer.

Life” in October as part of the annual fall lecture sponsored by Mercyhurst University’s William C. Sennett Institute for Mercy & Catholic Studies. Baker serves as director of campus ministry and adjunct instructor at Mercyhurst. He has been engaged in youth and young adult ministry for the past 20 years and has been heavily involved in local ecumenical work.

DAVID L. ROSE ’93 is Managing Director of Spiroflow Automation Solutions, Inc. in Monroe, N.C. Rose has experience in operations management, organizational design and business development in the manufacturing and engineering industries. Prior to Spiroflow, he was VP and General Manager of the Precision Castparts Corporation, a materials business based in Charlotte. He also served in a variety of business leadership roles as president, CEO and managing director for GE, and various other aerospace, railway and building products industry companies.

STEPHEN P. KOVACS, D.O., FCCP has joined the Board of Trustees for Mercyhurst Preparatory School. Kovacs is the co-director of the newly formed Lung Center at UPMC Hamot, and is co-founder of Medical Opinion Systems, a new local startup that arranges online medical second opinions with physicians from all over the country. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at Erie Day School.

ANDREW SALAMON has been named region vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Virginia-Carolina Region. Salamon most recently served as the region VP of sales for the Pittsburgh Region.

TIMOTHY M. SHINE has been promoted to vice president of Commercial Lines Technology. He joined Erie Insurance in 1999 as an Actuarial Programmer. He has held a number of positions across ERIE’s IT department, serving as a systems analyst, release manager, section supervisor and section manager before being promoted to IT Director in 2014.


GREGORY J. BAKER presented on the implications of gender in “Spirituality and Gender: Catholic Perspectives on a Whole and Just


Lucas Joseph Gardner (born May 19, 2017) to Stacey McKinney Gardner ’04 and her husband, John. Lucas joins big brother Nathan. 1 Charles Jude Bloom (born Sept. 14, 2017) to Zane E. Bloom, Jr., ’96 and his wife, Karie. Charles joins older siblings Zane, Wesley, Alicia and Emily. 2



Jocelyn Grace Hugar (born Aug. 28, 2017) to David R. ’09 and Sandra (Dellaquila) ’09 Hugar. 3 Parker Thomas Lossie (born Sept. 7, 2017) to Jared J. ’12 and Nicole (Dohoda) ’11 Lossie. 4



Rosalie Lewis (born June 28, 2017) to Kimberly A. Shultz Lewis ’01 and her husband, Samuel. Rosalie joins big brother Shane, age 2.


CHANEL COOK ’00, ASHLEY MATSON ’16 & LEANNA H. NIERATKO ’16 are among the 30-something women who appeared in a series of articles published in March on According to the article, these women “chose Erie to plant their roots, make their marks and take their risks.” Cook is the outreach services manager for the Erie County Public Library. Matson is director of the Mother Baby Unit at Magee-Women’s Hospital at UMPC Hamot. Nieratko is general manager of the Whole Foods Co-Op and is currently pursuing her MBA at Gannon. DEBRA A. FRAZIER ’00M is an English professor at Butler County Community College where her students improved their reading skills by authoring books for three- to five-year-old children. The reading and comprehension skills she teaches serve to improve the reading skills of students who have dyslexia, are line-skippers, have difficulty in identifying or recalling facts, or are overcoming other obstacles affecting their reading. BRIAN M. KUPCHELLA ’01M was honored as one of 14 Penn State Alumni Fellows in October 2017. The lifelong title of Fellow is the highest award given by the Penn State Alumni Association. Kupchella is president, CEO and chairman of Truck-Lite, a market leader in truck and trailer safety lighting that has introduced over 250 innovations to the transportation industry.


REV. THOMAS S. MATHEW ’10M has been appointed to the faculty of Gannon University with residence at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Millcreek Township. MICHAEL J. NUNES is vice president of current programming for NBC, including being involved with the nation’s favorite drama, “This is Us,” and has been named by Variety magazine as one of “the most prominent up-and-comers in the entertainment business.” #GUPOSSIBILITIES 25

JOHN T. SANTARLAS has been named general manager for Penn Machine Co. He will be responsible for coordinating operations of the company’s Rail Transit and Locomotive Gear Divisions to help ensure long-term growth. Before he was promoted to his current position, Santarlas led Penn Machine’s Locomotive Gear Division. Prior to joining Penn Machine, he held positions focused on strategic procurement and operational excellence with GE Transportation, Siemens and Kongsberg.


VICTORIA L. GILCHRIST is currently serving as the director of Community Services at Brevillier Village in Harborcreek, Pa. CORY K. JOHNSTON has been promoted to vice president/controller for CNB Financial Corporation. In his position, Johnston will lead the finance department and oversee financial and regulatory reporting for the bank’s 41 branch offices in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. He also will act as the primary liaison with external audit and tax firms, and serve on the Management Asset-Liability Committee and Enterprise Risk Management Committee. LYNEIL C. MITCHELL ’05M, ’07M is now a member of the Butler Area School District Athletic Hall of Fame and Gannon University Athletic Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Butler HOF in 2014 and the Gannon HOF this year during the induction ceremony on Jan. 27. Mitchell is a physical therapist and owner of Revolution Physical Therapy, with facilities at Family Sports Center in Butler and the Lakevue Athletic Club in Valencia.


KENNETH A. BERLIN ’04C will remain Superintendent of the Wattsburg Area School District for the next five years, a position he has served in since September 2013.


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KELLY D. MATCZAK ’04M, ’02C has served in leadership roles for more than 19 years. Drawing from her experience, she created Eagle Point East, a company dedicated to empowerment. Matczak helps professionals and individuals find their true paths and creative solutions to life’s challenges. She is the author of two books, “Manifesting, Willing and Creating: Live the Life You Desire” and “Italy with a Side of Mayo.” SUE A. (LONG) MOYER ’04M, ’05C was named new superintendent for the Duquesne City School District on March 1. SONYA (PYLE) WHITMAN competes in CrossFit competitions in addition to being the Villa Maria Academy’s swim team coach. Whitman was a member of the Gannon University swim and water polo teams, and in 2007 swam 26.5 miles across Lake Erie.


TIFFANY L. GILKEY was chosen as the New Castle Area School District monthly recipient of its school board’s Pride and Promise award for her fundraising efforts to provide backpacks for underprivileged children within the district. Gilkey works as the executive assistant to Georgia Berner, the CEO of Berner International in New Castle, Pa. MATTHEW P. JONES appeared on the cover of Lake Erie LifeStyle in 2012. Jones was basketball coach at the former East High School. He set records at East High while he was on the court. Jones is a behavioral speech therapist at Wilson Middle School, and mentors students on many levels.


EMILY E. BARKER, PA-C ’08M was recently awarded a specialty credential called a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in Pediatrics from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

(NCCPA). Barker is a certified physician assistant with Children’s Primary Care in Turtle Creek, Pa. She is one of only seven PAs in the state to earn a CAQ in Pediatrics since the program’s inception in 2014. AMANDA D. SCULLY ’10M is a physical therapist with NovaCare Physical Therapy in Erie. She recently traveled to Poland for the World Games to provide her PT services for 2016 Olympian, Laura Zeng. She also has assisted with ALC rehabilitation of two Chinese Olympic volleyball players. Scully has been working with USA Gymnastics for five years and has been instrumental in developing their injury prevention and sports performance programming.


JOSEPH A. BRADLEY ’08C will resign as the Superintendent of the Purchase Line School District in Commodore, Pa. on June 30. He joined the district in November 2013, and previously worked for several years with cyber schools, including Pennsylvania Virtual Charter Schools, in Norristown and Commonwealth Connections Academy in Harrisburg. He also served four years as principal of North Star High School in Somerset County. JEFFREY J. JOHNSON, II ’11M has joined the General Electric sales staff at the company’s Fort Worth, Texas location. REBECCA (AIRGOOD) MILLER, PA-C ’08M is now seeing patients at Penn Highlands Family Medicine in Saint Mary’s, Pa. Miller will provide patients with wellness exams and vaccinations as well as treatment and management for both acute and chronic illnesses.


ERIN M. CARROLL ’10M is an occupational therapist working at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She was recently highlighted by the Cleveland (Ohio) ABC affiliate for the work she is doing to help veterans regain their independence.

Carl E. Amann ’62 Patricia A. Anysz ’96 Jessica L. Baker ’10M James A. Baldauf ’62 Charles J. Battaglia ’61 Richard E. Bergan ’74 Joseph J. Bizjak ’87 Werner M. Bloos, M.D. ’80 Mary Hamilton Bluxome ’65VMC Patricia Cronin Boehm ’67VMC Margaret Hain Bogardus ’68VMC Robert D. Boorum ’69, ’74M Sister Hildegarde Boxer, S.S.J. ’66VMC Julia Wittman Braccia ’83 Floyd R. Bradley ’64 Elizabeth Smyth Brand ’46VMC Norann Burke Brugger ’59VMC Mary Ann Smith Bryan ’86M Stanley J. Brzezicki ’70 Frances P. Burgoyne-Burt ’61VMC Jerome P. Burke, Jr. ’60 Edward C. Buzas ’58 Richard A. Buzza ’57 Thomas A. Byrne ’63 Dennis P. Cerami ’70, ’77M Michelle Gunther Chin ’78 Joseph D. Cochran ’95 James E. Conners ’73M John R. Copple ’73 Brenda Watterson Corp ’92 Susan P. Curry ’78 Ann Ciacchini Cuzzola ’64VMC Norbert A. Cyterski ’53 Robert E. Deegan ’56 John E. Deringer ’70 Kathleen Tomczak Derooy ’81 Debra S. deRusha ’92 Edward DiMattio ’60 Robert E. Donovan ’56

James L. Duncan, Jr. ’98 Richard J. Dunford ’57 Mary Carole Crotty Earnst ’62VMC John W. English Jr. ’67 Chad J. Ewings ’07M, ’08C Howard R. Ferguson, Jr., Ph.D. ’72M Michael W. Ferralli ’67 Peter N. Forbini ’62 James D. Fuhrman ’71 Richard T. Gabrich ’67 James A. Gall ’82 Ruth E. Gingenbach ’56VMC Olindo G. Giraro ’47 David M. Grant ’70 Michael J. Greulich ’66 Mary White Guelcher ’70M Robert P. Guelcher ’57 Betty Murphy Hamel ’39VMC Charles W. Hanes ’61 Louis C. Haughney ’48 James A. Hein ’72 Richard L. Herbstritt, Ed.D. ’49 Norman A. Hess ’56 Thomas A. Hoke ’57 Mary McFadden Holodnak ’59VMC, ’95 Michael D. Homansky ’64 Thomas P. Johnston ’93M Rev. Msgr. William C. Karg ’51 Thomas C. Klaus, M.D. ’66 Evelyn J. Koford ’55VMC Howard E. Kraus ’59 Richard E. Kubiak ’72 David W. Kuneman ’72 Daniel M. Landsberg ’56 Timothy D. Lavin, D.O. ’84 Jakob L. Lawson ’95 Joseph F. Leto ’60 Anthony J. Licata ’56 John L. Locke ’64

Jesse D. Lockett ’74 Carol F. Lynch ’66M Julia McQuone MacDonald ’64VMC Robert J. Makufka ’61 Virginia Mancuso, R.N. ’68M Robert E. Marcus ’66 Richard E. Marczak ’61 John A. Mariani ’65 Edmond D. Marino, Ph.D. ’63 Dennis R. Markley ’75 Conrad J. Marshall, Esq. ’59 Georgia Paddock Maxham ’40VMC James E. McGarrity ’71 Michael P. Mcgrorey ’87 Joseph J. Milewski ’76, ’82M Richard B. Miller ’95 Carl J. Minzenberger, Jr. ’53 Marvin E. Mishrell ’50 June Grata Mollic ’64VMC John R. Molsky ’73M Rev. Rosetta W. Montgomery ’99 Sister Marie E. Moyer ’63VMC Louis P. Musante ’64 Sister Anne Nasimiyu ’82M Charles T. Netkowicz ’74 James T. Nichols ’72 Richard J. Ohmer ’69 Robert L. Oliver ’68 Ronald P. Olowin, Ph.D. ’68 Joseph T. Polanski ’52 John P. Polenta, M.D. ’80 James A. Post ’88M Cathy J. Preston ’91M Edward G. Rawa ’64 Sister Mary A. Reed, S.S.J. ’57VMC, ’72M Scott R. Reithmiller ’93M Daniel J. Roessner ’72M Florence Rossetti Rothwell ’89M Matthew S. Rouch ’78

Donald R. Russell ’66 David M. Schabacker, Jr. ’64 Bernice Hafey Schwartz ’63VMC Warren D. Schwinden ’69 Patricia Cook Sederburg ’92 Sister Leonie Shanley, S.S.J. ’57VMC Daniel C. Sharkey ’78 Milton Simon ’69M Livia Desanto Smith ’56VMC Jean E. Snook ’39 Jean DeStefano Snow ’71VMC, ’75M Rupert J. Stadtmiller ’57 Olin L. Stancliff ’81, ’71M Elizabeth Garrick Steinbaugh ’67 James L. Sullivan ’53 Norma Von Korff Sutto ’42VMC John J. Szczesny ’60 Frank O. Tassotti ’71, ’73M Mary A. Traynor ’61VMC Ronald R. Turbaczewski ’76M Robert J. Urban ’50 Robert R. Uszacki ’64 George M. Varrato ’75, ’78M Edward J. Venglik, Sr. ’68 Jonathan Vidal ’94 Thomas A. Vogel ’54 Leonard P. Wallen ’69 Robert S. Ward ’64 Daniel Washington, Jr. ’87 Jason P. Wasner ’00M Alfred B. Wegmiller ’66 Renee L. Westerdahl ’87, ’92M Nancy A. Whitby ’50VMC Randall S. Whiteman ’89 James J. Wingenbach ’49 Kim E. Wiseman ’89 Harold E. Wright ’63 Gary P. Zielonis ’75

Joseph F. Haas Mary L. Hackley David M. Hallman, Sr. Joseph M. Hoegen Amy Wise Hultman Harvey L. Kanter, Ph.D. Deacon Frederick W. Keck, Ph.D. James W. Keim, Jr. Blair S. Kennel Susan H. Kingston Mary M. Knox Robert E. Knox Marilyn Przybyszewski Konieczny

Prudence L. Kuhn William D. Lamberton, M.D. Howard C. Lincoln Maurita Costa Mead Irma E. Miller Michael S. Mitchell Anthony G. Mulcahy Rev. Msgr. Charles S. Murcko Richard A. O’Leary Gertrude E. Petersen Sister Mary A. Reed, S.S.J. Mary J. Richwalsky Norbert A. Rydzewski Mary L. Scalise

Charlene M. Sisson Francis J. Smith Larry V. Smith Jean E. Snook Jean DeStefano Snow E. Eloise Spiegelhalter Francis J. Straub Armond J. Strazzer Darlene M. Thomas Thomas C. Vicary Keith L. Waugh, Sr. Joan Wedzik Thomas M. Wells, Jr. Togo D. West, Jr., Esq.

in memoriam


Parents and Friends John F. Applebee Emery D. Barnett, Jr. Erland A. Carlson William M. Carlson Gerard R. Cassell Geraldine Ciotti Ciacchini Ann Ciacchini Cuzzola Dorothy Anderson Cyterski Justin M. Dangelo Berardino Distefano, M.D. Nancy Weschler Dwyer Remo Ferrari Douglas J. Fleming Elizabeth H. Greenleaf










4 5 6 7

KYLE J. GOLDCAMP ’11M is serving as the director of LaSallian Ministry at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh. LEIGH A. KRAEMERNASER ’09M is celebrating five years as an entrepreneur and owner of Curriculum Solution Center, LLC. She has trained over 7,000 educators in creating safe social environments and using engaging, hands-on learning strategies. Recently, Kraemer-Naser presented at the International Bullying Prevention Association Annual Conference, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Regional Conference and the Pennsylvania School Age Child Care Association Annual Conference. Her latest professional passion is researching and exploring STEM strategies.


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HANNAH E. KIRBY ’11M has taken on a new business venture. She owns the coffee shop Ember+Forge in downtown Erie at 401 State Street. Kirby’s coffee shop is housed in a 200-year-old building that was originally home to a chandlery and candle-maker, which got her to thinking about flames and different images of fire before she eventually settled on the idea of ember. Kirby also wanted to honor Erie’s industrial tradition, which led her, eventually, to the word forge. It was her husband, Sam Caraballo, who suggested she combine the words for the shop’s name.


BRIAN P. HENNESSY has joined the law firm of MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton LLP as an Associate with the firm. He will be a member of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group and the Business Transactions Practice Group.

TRAVIS M. SHAFFER credits the opportunity he took during the summer following his sophomore year at Gannon University as the key to his future career path. He believes saying “yes” to an opportunity, as well as taking on challenging situations, is important to finding the chosen direction in life after college. Shaffer accepted the challenge of attending a six-week nuclear chemistry program at Brookhaven National Laboratory, which led him to finding his professional passion and career in biomedical research.


ASHLEY B. PETRONE is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience at West Virginia University. She recently had an article published on azcentral. com, a part of the USAToday network. The article explains why wrestlers have hydration test requirements to compete at the high school and collegiate level. SHERRY ZIESENHEIM ’12M has been named a senior manager for the East Pennsboro Township-based accounting firm, Boyer & Ritter. She will work with the forensic, valuation and litigation support services groups.


KENNETH ADAM MEYERS recorded a five-song extended-play album titled “Motive” that raised $3,440 for the Fibrosis Foundation of Western Pennsylvania at its release party last July at Pittsburgh’s Hard Rock Cafe. Meyers was selected to participate in the Foundation’s Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest that honors young men and women for success in their careers while tasking them to raise funds and awareness for the foundation. Meyers is a registered nurse and cares for CF patients.


ERIKA D. FAIN ’15M is currently employed by Select Rehabilitation as an occupational therapist.

JACOB I. FAIT, PH.D. ’14M has been named Dean of the School of Business and Technology for Tusculum College in Greenville, Tenn. Fait previously served as assistant dean of graduate and professional programs and Doctor of Business Administration director at Lincoln Memorial University. In his new role, Fait will be responsible for the development, management, assessment and improvement of programs, curricula, faculty, staff and resources for the School of Business and Technology. He works closely with other senior academic administrators to develop, implement and evaluate institution-wide academic policies and procedures. LIAM L. NADLER is now a member of the Sioux City Bandits, a professional football team competing in the Champions Indoor Football League. Nadler is the team’s new starting quarterback. JABULANI “JABS” NEWBY has been signed by Saenz Horeca Araberri of the Spanish Liga Española de Baloncesto (LEB) Oro Gold League from CB Clavijo. Newby began his fourth year of professional basketball with Saint

CORINNA N. PALKO, D.V.M. recently completed her D.V.M. degree at Purdue University, after studying at Gannonaffiliated Ross University vet school in the West Indies island of St. Kitts and Nevis. Palko works at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Vet Hospital in Tampa, Fla.

John Riptide in the National Basketball League of Canada (NBL Canada). The 6-foot-3 guard then signed a professional contract with CB Clavijo of the LEB Oro Golde League where he played in 10 games, before moving to Saenz Horeca Araberri. During his professional basketball career he has traveled to Canada, Mexico and Spain. BRETT R. WILER ’14M was named the new business development officer in Erie Mayor Joe Schember’s administration. Wiler’s focus is toward business retention and attraction.


ADAM M. BLAZEK has signed a contract to play overseas with Rustavi of the Georgian Super League, the top level of competition in Georgia. Blazek, a guard, played the past two seasons in the National Basketball League of Canada.


TIMOTHY J. GRUNZEL was again St. Patrick in this year’s Erie St. Patrick’s Day Parade, taking over for his second cousin, Mark Borowy, who passed away in May, after playing St. Patrick for decades.


LAURALEE E. GECI ’15M is currently employed by CoreMedical Group as a travel occupational therapist.

MICHAEL A. PLEVA will be attending St. Vincent Seminary this year.

SHAWNA A. RAYMOND is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Physician Assistant studies at Gannon University.

Gannon University

s e l c r Ci

of Distinction

The Circles of Distinction honors those who step forward as philanthropic leaders to pave the way for students to achieve their academic and personal goals. On behalf of Gannon University, we would like to thank and recognize our Circles of Distinction members whose generous contributions have inspired leaders for generations. View the 2017 Donor Honor Roll, or join the Circles of Distinction by giving today at

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