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Spring 2004 Magazine

Angelo Akum’s

Flight of Faith

Editor’sInklings Chance has been on my mind of late. Serendipity’s role in my own life makes me wonder, have others experienced these same happy shifts of fate? If one had gone left instead of right, north instead of south, to this major or that internship, with this professor or that coach, how would life have been different? The Oxford English Dictionary cites Horace Walpole as the creator of the word “serendipity,” which he coined from the title of a fairy tale, “The Three Princes of Serendip.” The princes often happened into discoveries of things for which they were not even searching. This notion of good fortune, happy accident, or fortuity relates to several of our articles in this issue. Maggie Irvine’s story, “Seizing Fortune,” recounts only a few of the chances that have affected the lives of Gannon alumni and Villa Maria alumnae in ways both big and small. Professor James Meko ’66 found that his career path led him home to Erie, while other alumni have found opportunities and adventures farther from home. Chance changed their lives, their communities, even their cultures in ways both big and small—profound and quirky. The stories (on page 14) are only the tip of the iceberg, and as always, we invite you, our alumni, to offer us your own stories of the present or the past so that we may tell them in the future. Fortune may favor the bold, but “Chance favors the prepared mind,” or so maintained Louis Pasteur. The doctoral students involved in Gannon’s Counseling Psychology program are preparing to help those whom fortune may not have favored. Professors Robert J. Nelsen, Ph.D., and Linda Fleming, Ph.D., and the faculty members in the program work intensively with students and enable counseling clients to create positive presents out of sometimes horrific pasts (page 10). The story of Gannon Philosophy major Angelo Akum (page 6) offers a glimpse into these shadowed paths of true adversity and perseverance. Angelo is one of the Sudanese refugees referred to by some as “the lost boys.” Since his home and family were destroyed in the constant internecine battles of his homeland, Angelo has traveled often perilous pathways, wandering between Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya before finding his way to Erie, Pennsylvania. God works in mysterious ways. Through the accounts of our Gannon family, it becomes clear that seizing fortune can make amazing differences in all of our lives.

Deb Bartle, Editor (814) 871-5817 We’ve been fortunate ourselves at Gannon magazine.We recently learned that our Annual Report of the President won Gold awards from the 19th Annual Admissions Marketing Report and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

6 Flight of Faith

Angelo Akum’s amazing journey

10 Navigating the Storms of Life

Gannon’s Counseling Psychology Program



14 Seizing Fortune

Serendipity and Gannon alumni

Departments 2 18 19 20 21 22 29

NewsNotes AlumniFocus FacultyFocus SportsScan AthleteFocus AlumNotes EndNotes

Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. President David R. Fabian ’63 Director of Public Affairs Deb Bartle Publications Officer and Editor Maggie M. Irvine ’05 Editorial Assistant

Contributors: Dr. Paul DeSante ’55 Jana Hunt Jeannie Kloecker Julie Groenendaal Nick Pronko Design: Tungsten Creative Group

On the Cover: Philosophy major Angelo Akum maps his international journey. Photo right: Spring flowers bloom in the urn in front of Old Main.


Secretary Ridge Addresses Students

Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge spent over three hours at Gannon on Saturday, February 14 addressing students from Professor David Kozak’s Homeland Security classes and members of Leadership Erie’s Continuing Education Program. Dr. Kozak, longtime associate and personal friend of Ridge, organized the event on 36 hours’ notice when Ridge informed him that he would be in Erie. “It was a tremendous learning moment,” Kozak said. Kristin Vivelo, senior Criminal Justice major, agreed. “Having him here was amazing. I couldn’t believe how humble he is, given the task he’s taken on. I didn’t realize that Homeland Security was the third largest department in the our government structure.” Secretary Ridge, who was Gannon’s commencement speaker in 1995 and received Gannon’s Distinguished Pennsylvanian award in 1987, spoke on leadership styles, executive decision making, the challenges of promoting organizational change in a timely and effective manner, and comparative strategies for leading various types of organizations. He particularly stressed the need for leaders to respect all workers, no matter what their roles are. “All work has dignity,” Ridge said. “I learned the meaning of that phrase from my father.”


Ridge spoke, then stayed to answer questions and meet with participants before departing to pay a Valentine’s Day visit to his mother, who lives in Erie. Professor Tom Hudson celebrates with physical therapy graduates Gwen Medic and Ryan McElhiney.

Sullivan and Forquer Newest Trustees On January 1, 2004, Russell J. Forquer ’71 (photo, right) assumed the position of president of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors for a three-year term. As the incumbent, Forquer also becomes an ex-officio member of Gannon’s Board of Trustees for the same period. He succeeds Donald M. Carlson ’73 of Pittsburgh. Forquer is a senior partner with the Forquer Group, Inc., an Erie technology consulting company that he founded in 1993. The company’s services include needs assessment, project management, hardware/ software acquisition, training, and employee placement. Monsignor Richard J. Sullivan, who taught Theology at Gannon for 38 years, has also joined the GU Board of Trustees. Sullivan is the pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Erie. He attended Gannon for two years before going to Christ the King Seminary and earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. Bonaventure University.

December Commencement

Thomas F. Power, Jr. ’63 (photo, right) was the keynote speaker and recipient of an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at Commencement on December 14, 2003. Power, past president and CEO of Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation and a member of Gannon’s Board of Trustees, spoke of leadership, ethics, and values. President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., conferred 323 degrees during the ceremony, including two doctoral degrees, 244 master’s, 71 bachelor’s, and six associate’s.

Celebrating Diversity

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Observance Committee planned an excellent series of activities for January 19, 2004. The day began with an intercollegiate prayer service in the Waldron Center which was led by sophomore Political Science major Semaj Vanzant and Assistant Professor Parris Baker and attended by more than 160 students, faculty, and staff. Later, the Gannon community was well represented at the 14th Annual Memorial March through the streets of Erie, as well as at the Memorial Service at the Warner Theater. These activities were designed to help Gannon students learn more about the legacy of Dr. King and to encourage them to continue working for racial justice and harmony among people of diverse backgrounds.

Distinguished Alumni Dinner The Distinguished Alumni

Verizon Grant

A $25,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation will implement a tutoring program allowing third-year Gannon education students to work one-on-one with St. Andrew elementary students in Erie. The program will build the St. Andrew students’ “content literacy” skills—reading, writing, speaking, and listening—and will run through May of 2004. Gannon Professor Patricia J. Pollifrone, Ph.D., noted that tutoring/ mentoring programs such as this can help schools comply with the federal “No Child Left Behind” Act.

Dinner will be held on April 17, 2004. Awards will be presented to George C. Hillman, Jr. ’73, Mark J. Minnaugh ’81, Louis D. Salen ’50, Carla M. Noziglia ’63VMC, John J. Boland, Ph.D. ’65, Suzanne S. Prevost, Ph.D., R.N. ’82VMC, Mark Zagorski ’90, and Richard W. Suminski ’79MBA. The Honorary Alumna Award will be presented to Sally B. Rouch, Dr.PH, and the Monsignor Wilfrid J. Nash Principles of Christian Conduct Award will be awarded to Thomas J. Nash ’67.

Alumni Gifts Two Gannon alumni have made gifts to the University providing for campus building renovations and scholarships for students from Cochranton High School. A gift of $100,000 from James J. Weber ’62 will renovate laboratories in Zurn Science Center. One of the Zurn labs will be named in memory of Weber’s late parents, Leo J. and Evelyn Weber. A gift of $68,000 from Dennis A. McConnell ’70 will create the Harry, Betty, and Dennis McConnell Family Scholarship Fund. A native of Cochranton, Pennsylvania, McConnell designed the scholarship specifically for graduates of Cochranton High School who enroll at Gannon. The scholarship is reserved for academically qualified students with a demonstrated financial need. Eligible students can receive $1,000 per academic year over the course of four years.



Faculty/Staff News Gannon President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., was elected vice chair for programs of the Board of Directors of the Council of Independent Colleges. First elected to the CIC Board in January 2003, he will serve a twoyear term providing fiduciary oversight for the organization’s assets and approving operating budgets, participating in the development of long-range plans, and advising on the direction of the association’s programs and services. The CIC comprises of more than 500 independent colleges and universities that work collectively to strengthen college and university leadership, sustain high-quality education, and enhance the contributions of private higher education to society. In January, Alexander G. Wojtalik ’75M, Director of Purchasing and Materials, earned the designation of certified purchasing manager (CPM). Over the course of 12 months, he completed 120 hours of classroom instruction in the Purchasing Manager Certificate program and was required to pass four exams in order to earn certification.

Students Conference-bound Chemistry students Caleb Gehrhart and Keith Krise developed a spectrophotometric method for measuring atmospheric oxygen as part of the American Chemistry Society (ACS)’s ChemVention. Their work won Gannon’s Student Affiliate Chapter of the ACS a place as one of five chapters invited to the National ACS meeting in Anaheim, California, in March 2004 to present their work. The top prize of $1,500 will go to the winner. The ACS is the world’s largest scientific society. Being chosen as finalists in competition with nationwide chapters is an outstanding achievement.

Miller, Brewer Earn RIMS Scholarships Risk Management majors Erin Miller and Justin Brewer are attending the Annual Conference of the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) in San Diego, California, having won sponsorships from the National RIMS Student Involvement Committee. They will attend seminars, workshops, and industry sessions on risk management, employee benefits, and other topics. Miller, a junior, and Brewer, a senior, were nominated by their professors at Gannon, obtained recommendations, and wrote essays to compete for the sponsorships. GU students have won places at the last four conferences.

GU Ambassadors Host Morgenstern


The Gannon University Business Ambassadors Group hosted a breakfast seminar on January 22 on leadership ethics featuring Bill Morgenstern, CEO of RentWay, Inc. Morgenstern (photo, right) addressed many topics from accounting irregularities and leadership to business development and overcoming adversity. Most of the 35 members of the Business Ambassadors Group are alumni who own or operate local businesses.


Homecoming/Reunion Weekend Dates Set Gannon’s 4th Annual Alumni Homecoming/Reunion Weekend will be October 29–31, 2004. The classes of 1954, 1964, 1979, and 1994 will celebrate landmark reunions. Physical Therapy, Physicians Assistant, ROTC, SGA, Honors Program, and African-American alumni and Villa Maria alumnae will also reunite.

Gannon Students A Class Act Listed in Who’s Who When Director of Admissions Shelly Barnes, Nicole Carroll, Emily Conaway, Julieann DeBlasi, Ryan Flanagan, Rebecca Galek, Jennifer Grzywinski, Ashley Heath, Lindsey Hopkins, Shelly Huey, Jennifer Janosko, Stephanie Orient, Alison Phillips, Andrea Sickles, Jason Smith, Rose Zawistowski, and Megan Zinkhann were all named to the 2004 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Christopher Tremblay (photo, right) learned that one of his co-stars in the Erie Playhouse production of Our Town had applied to Gannon, he jumped at the opportunity to welcome her. Iroquois High School student Channah Rudzinski applied, was accepted, and deposited to Gannon all in four days! During rehearsal, Tremblay used the stage to announce Channah’s acceptance to the Villa Maria School of Nursing as part of his lines—re-written for the occasion. The cast and crew, along with Channah’s mother, added their applause.

Student Author

Senior Villa Maria School of Nursing student Kristi Steighner (photo, left) had her article, “Breaking the Cycle of Pain,” published in the inaugural Student Column in On the Edge, the official newsletter of the International Association of Forensic Nurses Fall 2003 issue. The defines and reviews the self-mutilating behavior of a patient, examines theories regarding the disorder, offers treatment recommendations, and outlines the role of the forensic nurse in helping the patient obtain proper care.


Flight of No longer a “lost boy,” Angelo Akum is a man at home with himself.

Dr. William Haggerty, Chairman of Gannon’s Philosophy Department, and Angelo enjoy one of their philosphical discussions.


Faith t

he struggles and obstacles of which motivational speaker and author Og Mandino writes are crucial aspects of college life. Students struggle to define who they are and explore different friends, beliefs, purposes, majors, lifestyles, even religions. For Angelo Akum, undergraduate Philosophy major, both the struggles and the courage with which he faced them have been profound. Angelo arrived in Erie on June 19, 2001. His preparation for the trip was a hasty, three-day crash course on American culture. He laughed as he recalled it. “Of course you cannot learn a culture,” he said. “Certainly not in three days, nor in three months. I have been here two-and-a-half years and I am still learning.”

Obstacles are necessary for success....Victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats....Each struggle, each defeat, sharpens your skills and strengths, your courage and your endurance, your ability and your confidence.... Og Mandino

Angelo is originally from Sudan, one of more than 20,000 children, mostly boys between the ages of six and 18, who were separated from their families during the conflict between the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The youths were dubbed “lost boys” (though they bear little resemblance to the gleeful boys who played pirates and Indians in Peter Pan). According to UNICEF, which has attempted to aid the youths, some government and SPLA factions attacked villages—killing adult men, enslaving women and girls, and forcibly conscripting boys to use as live minesweepers or soldiers. Refusal was not an option.


was the boys’ only recourse. With little knowledge of where they were headed, they banded together and braved perils unfathomable to most Americans, falling prey to starvation, disease, and even wild animals along the way.

Angelo and the other boys trekked from Sudan into Ethiopia, were forced back to Sudan across the River Gilo, and then had to make their way to the refugee camps in Kenya. All totaled, they covered over 1,000 miles on foot.

Angelo said he preferred not to speak about much of his journey, but noted that he left Sudan in 1989, and managed to survive the journey from Sudan to the refugee camps in Ethiopia, searching for a place where he would be safe. For a while, he and the other boys lived in the camps there. In 1991, they had to flee when a new government came to power in Ethiopia. They escaped the tanks and soldiers firing at them by crossing the rain-swollen River Gilo back into Sudan, though some of the boys who survived the bullets then fell prey to crocodiles.


ngelo spent two-and-a-half years journeying to Ethiopia and then back to Sudan with the other lost boys, only to find he had to trek once more from his homeland—this time into Kenya. His walk to the camps, back to Sudan, and then to Kenya covered over 1,000 miles. He was one of the lucky ones; less than half the boys who originally left Sudan survived to make it to the camps. After reaching the sometimes dubious safety of the Kenyan camps, which held over 60,000 refugees from Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia, Angelo spent nine years trying to rebuild his life.

Philosophy and faith light the way


When I finished the novels, I could not find anything in them that would help me in my life. I gave up reading them and turned to philosophy and faith because I saw meaning in them.

“In the camps,” he said, “at first I read novels—anything I could find. I liked to study. But when I finished the novels, I could not find anything in them that would help me in my life. I gave up reading them and turned to philosophy and faith because I saw meaning in them. In the camp I read the “Book of Wisdom” and the “Book of Proverbs” from the Bible. There was more than that—even beyond the wisdom of Solomon.” Life in the camps, though difficult, gave Angelo the chance to study with Sudanese and Kenyan teachers at schools funded by the United Nations (UN). Already fluent in Dinka, one of the tribal languages of Sudan,

Angelo learned Nuer, Swahili, English, and Arabic in the camps as well, though he said modestly that he is “only partly fluent in Arabic and Nuer.” “In Ethiopia I became more involved in church. I have been Catholic since then. I was very involved with the Catholic faith there and stayed in the parish in the camp. The Bible encouraged me to do whatever I could, though circumstances might interfere. I taught catechism classes and explained the Catholic faith to young children in the camp. Before I came to the U.S., I tested and applied to the seminary in Africa. But by then there was an initiative to resettle the lost boys in America, so I gave up the idea of going to the seminary and came here.” In 1999, the UN, working in collaboration with the U.S. State Department, referred over 3,300 of the boys—now youths—to the U.S. for resettlement. “There is no way you can be trained into a new culture, but if you have some sort of common sense, you become acquainted with how things are done,” Angelo said. “I brought nothing with me but my clothing and my Dinka Catholic hymnal. When we arrived in Erie, the International Institute had an apartment ready for six of us to share.” With quiet satisfaction, Angelo added, “I started working that month. With the help of the Sisters of St. Benedict, I earned my GED [General Educational Development’s high school equivalency], and was living on my own within a year.”


is friend Joe Hartleb introduced Angelo to Dr. Mary Rose Barral, a former teacher at Gannon, and he enrolled as a Philosophy major.

“My friends and cousins ask me what I want to do with a degree in philosophy,” he said. “I don’t always have a straightforward answer for them. With philosophy you have to have some inborn need to question things—to consider. It helps me to think. I know I wish to stay. America is my home now. I would like to apply to graduate school when I have earned my bachelor’s degree and some day teach philosophy. My aim is to make it.”

Freedom to grow

“Socrates tells us ‘the unexamined life is not worth living,’” said Professor William Haggerty, Ph.D., who chairs the Philosophy Department at Gannon. “Philosophy teaches us reflection and self-examination. These are especially valuable in circumstances such as Angelo’s. He has grown a great deal since I met him—he’s a very serious student. He has a totally different perspective in terms of culture and international experience, which benefits the other students in his classes. He works very hard. I have enormous admiration for him.”


Angelo has a totally different perspective in terms of culture and international experience.

ith his age and experience, Angelo is hardly a typical undergraduate. He likes his fellow students and says they are always ready to help. Still, the vast difference between his experiences and theirs cannot help but distance him from his younger classmates. Any time for socializing is limited, for he works daily at Blair Company while also taking a full course load. Angelo has worked continuously since he arrived in Erie, and now shares an apartment in order to save his money for college expenses. He has little time to devote to the fun and games that other students enjoy, though he has done a bit of traveling and hopes to do more. “In 2003, I went to Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and to Lansing and Grand Rapids, Michigan. I enjoy the freedom of driving wherever I wish and I would like to travel more around America,” he said. His favorite summer pastime is riding his bicycle around the area. “I like Gannon. My studies, my faith, and my job— those I rely upon,” he said quietly. “Priests like Father Santor [Director of Catholic Refugee Ministry at St. Mark Catholic Center] and my Philosophy professors, especially Dr. William Haggerty and Dr. David Nordquest, have been very helpful to me. Philosophy and faith helped me get through. Definitely.”





of Life Gannon’s Counseling Psychology Program


The most complex machine on Earth is neither a computer nor a multi-geared propulsion engine. It is the human brain—the source of our thought, emotions, and actions.

The processes that make us human—thinking, reacting, imagining, anticipating, and performing—flow from our feelings, memories, abilities, and perceptions. How do we determine the reasons why we do the things we do? Or change them? Psychology is the study of the mind. At Gannon, the Counseling Psychology faculty members teach students how to use research and empirical analysis of human behavior to chart the course of the mind, offer insight, and steer clients into the calm after the storm. Professor Robert J. Nelsen, Ed.D., ABPP, and Director of Training, explained the different levels of Gannon’s Psych program. “While undergraduates in the program learn the history, philosophy, and scope of psychology, master’s level students learn to become good consumers of research. Doctoral students must perform and evaluate their own research. Human behavior is the raw data we use to expand our understanding of how the mind works.”

Charting the Course of Behavior

Counseling psych represents an intersection of many different disciplines, including biology, medicine, linguistics, statistics, anthropology, sociology, education, and artificial intelligence. According to Dr. Nelsen, it grew out of the nineteenth-century application of empiricism to philosophy—attempts to measure and quantify human behavior and intelligence. This multidisciplined (often colorful) background explains why some counseling psych programs confer Psy.D. degrees upon their graduates while others, which grew out of vocational education and psych programs, confer Ed.D. degrees. Still others, such as Gannon’s, confer a Ph.D. Regardless of the initials on the degree, all accredited doctoral counseling psych programs require mastery of the same essential course work. Gannon’s doctoral program in Counseling Psychology trains students to

become scholar-practitioners. Professor Linda Fleming, Ph.D., explained the term. “The program trains students to practice psychology with the ability to empirically validate their own work and that of others.” This means that Gannon’s doctoral graduates are ready not only to use research done by others to diagnose and treat clients, but to design, analyze, and apply their own research results. The crucial focus is upon using empirical data and working collaboratively with clients to help them understand and control their own behavior.


tudents entering Gannon’s graduate program must have a master’s degree in a related field—generally psychology or counseling. They are professionals who have worked as counselors in various group or private settings, including health services, schools, prisons, industry, and private practice. As such, they’re prepared for the rigors of counseling. What is challenging is the sheer volume of work they must complete, most of it in closely supervised therapy experiences.

Weathering the Storm

“As counseling psychologists, we help people find the tools to deal with challenges that life throws in their path,” said Dr. Fleming. “Our doctoral students learn to do this through hours and hours of supervised experience. Gannon’s program is unique in not sending students out into the community to obtain training experiences. Instead, it brings the community into the University.” 11

11 11

Our emphasis is upon developing really excellent practice skills in every student. “Our emphasis is upon developing really excellent practice skills in every student,” said Dr. Nelsen. “Therapists of that quality require a lot of faculty time. The hours and hours we spend watching them do therapy ensure that we get to know them well. It provides a rich mentoring experience for each student.” Dr. Nelsen, Leeann Zeitz, Leigh Sturm, Edmund Cieslak and Barbara Gmuer Doctoral course work includes everything from statistics and research methodology to personality exchange practicum feedback. assessment and neuropsychology. The core of the r. Nelsen considers the immediate interacprogram is two years of individual, group, couples, and tion possible with live supervision invaluable. child therapy experience provided by the student under “The teaching moment is immediate,” he continuous live supervision and interaction with the said. “The team is able to help the therapist faculty—a model unique to Gannon. seize that moment and learn from it. That is “A program this faculty-intensive is unique as far as I so much more valuable than merely reviewing a tape am aware,” said Dr. Fleming. “The interaction becomes later.” When they begin, he added, some of the stueven more intensive during the dissertation process. dents are tense about being scrutinized so minutely, Most universities would be unwilling to dedicate so but they grow to like it as they realize how beneficial much faculty time to so few students. We feel it is criti- the immediate feedback can be. For instance, students cal in preparing psychologists who have well-developed in the group therapy practicum work in teams of two, clinical skills but also possess the ability to scientifically with one team observing as another conducts a session. validate their own work and that of clients.” Then the teams will reverse and the observers become the therapists with their own group while the first Dr. Nelsen described each practicum as a blending of team observes. theoretical knowledge with actual application. “We tell


them over and over that they must know exactly why a therapeutic treatment works. They will be the leaders in their field.”


Students learn by counseling clients in the controlled setting of one of the practicum therapy suites, with the class and professor serving as a support team on the far side of a one-way mirror. The team observes the therapy session through audio-visual monitors and the mirror, and can break in at any time to offer advice, point out details of behavior the student has missed, or suggest an alternate method of approaching an issue. The therapist can also pause and ask for guidance. Each session is recorded, reviewed, analyzed, and presented to the team later by the student-therapist.

Community Currents

Following the four semesters of practicum experience, students spend a year working at Gannon’s free Psychological Services Clinic on West Seventh Street. In addition to providing students with an opportunity to gain additional experience in a different setting, the on-campus clinic reflects one major philosophy of the department and the University—service to the community, particularly populations in dire need. As state and government services have been cut due to budget constraints, the clinic has begun functioning as a community resource for those in need. Elaborate screening procedures ensure that clients who are accepted can benefit from the clinic’s services and that the clinic offers them appropriate therapies. At times, students must

work with state or federal agencies to obtain proper medical care, nutrition, housing, or other services for clients before any therapy could benefit them. “All manner of factors can come into play in an individual’s situation,” Dr. Nelsen commented. “We train our therapists to be sensitive enough to allow their clients to identify these factors and then establish collaborative therapeutic relationships to address them. The client must truly want to improve. We cannot simply prescribe an operation to make things better. There is a lot of hard work required by therapist and client.” Some graduate students joined Dr. Fleming to serve on the Mental Health Task Force of the Erie International Institute. In 2003, they began offering services to Erie’s community of “Lost Boys” [see page 6]. The team moderates a monthly discussion group helping the young men socialize, discuss problems, and share tips on adapting to life in Erie.


fter their clinical and practical experiences, graduate students must complete 2,000 hours in an internship approved by the American Psychological Association (APA). These highly competitive internships are similar to the rotations required of medical students and do not differentiate between clinical and counseling psych students. Dr. Fleming noted that Gannon’s students have been extremely successful in obtaining the internships they sought at locations such as Danielson Institute at Boston University, Montana State University–Bozeman, and West Virginia University Counseling and Psychological Services Center, to name a few. The students must complete and defend their doctoral dissertations after finishing their internships. Dissertations cover research of interest to the student and have examined topics such as gender issues in therapeutic interaction between male clients and female therapists; family relationships of Bosnian refugees and posttraumatic stress; and evaluations of the effectiveness of training teachers, clergy, and AIDS workers in basic counseling skills. The APA requires another year of supervised post-doctoral experience before psychologists can sit for their licensing exams. The requirements of Gannon’s program and the APA ensure that graduates are well-equipped, fully competent psychologists with the tools to serve those in need.


octoral candidate Kim Coddington knew from her first elective psychology course in high school that she wanted to major in psychology. Following her bachelor’s degree in psychology and work in a mental health unit, she earned her Clinical Psychology master’s degree and gained experiences working with children, adolescents and communities in different locations. “My work prior to entering Gannon’s doctoral program in Counseling Psychology helped lay the foundation for developing a deeper understanding of the theoretical knowledge presented in the course work. I was able to apply personal experiences to theories we discussed in class, deepening my understanding of both.” Coddington said her most influential clinical knowledge grew from her doctoral-level practicum and clinic experiences at Gannon. The program deepened her clinical competence and enriched her professional identity. She noted that the strengths of Gannon’s program include the chance to build strong mentoring relationships with faculty members and the direct supervision provided during the practicum and clinic experiences. The faculty were open to exploring diverse spiritual issues in the counseling setting when appropriate. Married with three children, Coddington says balancing her academic pursuits and family responsibilities has been worth the challenge. Those family responsibilities offered painful but fertile ground for Coddington’s work in 2000, when her eight-yearold son had a stroke at school. Her son’s full recovery drew Coddington’s interest to neuropsychological treatment issues, including relationships between the brain, behavior, emotions, and the rehabilitation of brain injury. Having finished all her course work, Coddington will soon complete her clinic and practical experiences and begin an internship with the Erie Psychological Consortium in September. This will include rotations with Community Integration, Inc. (a community counseling resource serving Erie County), Northshore Psychological Associates and Health South Rehabilitation Hospital. She is eager to put her experience and training into practice.


Seizing Fortune by Maggie M. Irvine

Fortunate happenstances or sometimes just plain luck play an important role in shaping our personal lives.



erendipity, fortunate happenstances, or sometimes just plain luck play an important role in the shaping of our personal lives, our careers, and even society. Sometimes these instances happen in the blink of an eye. Others develop over a more prolonged period. These little unplanned yet oftentimes fortunate, but sometimes unfortunate, happenstances help to shape who we become as well as the world around us. Following graduation, Gannon students enter into the world in search of many different things. Throughout their journeys, however, some alumni have discovered that they weren’t always looking for the answer they found.

International Incidents

Kristin Kelly ’99 BSN traveled to Palermo, Sicily, in 2001 to work as a charge nurse at Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti e Terapie (IsMett), a cooperative venture between the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Sicilian government. Kelly arrived in Sicily on September 11 and watched in horror as the CNN broadcast from London showed America’s World Trade Center towers being attacked and destroyed. Kelly said the following days were frightening and tense as pro- and anti-American sentiments aired around her. “I wasn’t certain of my safety and even less certain of the safety of those I loved at home,” she said. One night while eating dinner at a friend’s, she met another nurse wearing a Gannon University sweatshirt.

“I asked her, ‘Where did you get that Gannon sweatshirt?’ She was an alumna! Her name was Josie Castracane and she had earned her BSN in 1995, four years before I did,” Kelly said. “Meeting Josie turned a sad and lonely situation into an exciting experience. Never in a million years did I expect to meet another Gannon nurse in Sicily.”

Sold on Gannon

Mark Schreiner ’00 was living and working in Raleigh, North Carolina, when he decided to pursue an employment opportunity advertised by a local company. Schreiner sent his resume to Learning Technologies, Inc. and was selected for an interview. Schreiner’s sales experience interested LTI, as did the marketing internships he completed while at Gannon. LTI interviewed 80 people; Schreiner and one other applicant made the final cut. LTI was so impressed with the two finalists that both were hired. It was only after meeting his new co-worker, Kevin Marz, that Mark realized he had also attended Gannon. “Of all the people they interviewed for the job,” Schreiner said, “I never expected to work with another Gannon guy in Raleigh.”

Time Capsule in a Handbag

As every woman knows, the contents of a purse reveal both the mundane and the frivolous. For Marti Pastore ’53 VMC, her purse offered a journey back in time. The Villa alumna had long forgotten the purse she lost in 1950 while helping to set up the Gannon library in the Strong Mansion. Then, in 1999, a construction worker pulled it from the hollow wall where it had lain in what was then known as Downey Hall. Returned intact, Pastore’s purse contained a oneand-a-half cent stamp, a 55-cent bus token (good for six rides!), her driver’s license, YWCA and social security cards, a pair of glasses, a photo of Pastore and a high school friend, a lime-green


Jim Meko, center folding toothbrush, three old barrettes, lipstick, cake mascara, and tickets for a 1950 choral series. Pastore’s purse served as an unintentional yet fascinating time capsule that survived the evolution of the last 54 years at Gannon University.

Accidental Writer

When Gianni DeVincent Hayes, Ph.D., graduated from Villa Maria College in 1971 with her biology degree, she intended to become a medical doctor. A serious car accident affecting her vision and stamina drastically altered her plans.


“I had always wanted to be a doctor, but the Lord had something else in mind for me,” Hayes said. “I’m glad He did.” ayes pursued writing and has taught college and written professionally for over 20 years. She remembered her excitement at her first story.

“The first time I was published—the first time I ever saw my name in print, the first time I ever sent the Villa Sisters my byline—was one of the most euphoric moments of my life,” she said. Since then, Hayes has published more than 100 articles and short stories for national magazines, has appeared on dozens of national radio and television shows, and has written several screenplays, one of which has been optioned by a movie company.

Coming Home

The tragic death of Professor Tom Leonardi brought James A. Meko ’66 back to Gannon University. Meko spent 25 years with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in locations across the United States. In 1996, he agreed to take a position in Gannon’s Criminal Justice department that was left vacant after the death of Leonardi, his high-school friend from Cathedral Prep.


With the encouragement of his Gannon classmates Frank Hagan ’66 (currently a professor of criminology at Mercyhurst College) and David Kozak ’66 (currently a professor in Gannon’s political science program), Meko returned home to Gannon and helped make some changes to the Criminal Justice program that he believes would have pleased Leonardi. He has also had

the opportunity to keep in touch with his two best friends from college, Hagan and Kozak.

Colorful Candy Coincidence

In 1986, Colonel Dave Fabian ’63 was slated to become the director of advertising for the U.S. Army, but as an English major, he had no practical experience or training in advertising. As part of its Training with Industry program, the Army placed him with the Leo Burnett advertising agency in Chicago for six months to prepare him to manage the Army’s annual $100 million “Be All You Can Be” recruiting campaign. At Burnett, he spent mornings learning market research, media buying, copywriting, layout, design, sales promotion, and radio and television ad production. Afternoons he served as a client service associate for the M&M/Mars account, promoting their Three Musketeers candy bars. After six months of training, Fabian was required to come up with 100 creative marketing ideas for the M&M/Mars account to help the agency win Mars’ M&M and Snickers accounts from a rival New York agency. One of the 100 ideas Fabian suggested was different colored M&M’s for each major holiday. Shortly after Fabian left Burnett to manage the Army’s advertising campaign, pastel-colored M&M’s hit the market in celebration of Easter, followed by his recommended introduction of new M&M color mixes for each holiday. Fabian retired from the Army in 1994 and now serves as Gannon’s Director of Public Affairs. His role in the evolution of seasonally colored M&M’s became known during Gannon’s 2003 Homecoming/Reunion Weekend, when Gannon alumni were treated to maroon and gold colored M&M’s—the company’s recent expansion of color mixes to represent college and university colors. Fabian said he wasn’t smart enough to think of that marketing ploy back in 1986.

Forensic Traveler

an Assistant Professor of Sports Medicine and Family Medicine for the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Sampson encouraged Mitchell to apply to VCOM’s founding class of 2007. Mitchell was accepted, and Sampson, who serves as his advisor, “coated him” during the VCOM White Coat Ceremony.

Villa Maria College provided Carla M. Noziglia ’63 with the background in the sciences and English that fueled her success. Serendipity provided the opportunity.

After Noziglia retired from the Tulsa Police Department’s Forensic Unit, she wanted to give back to her profession. A friend with the U.S. Department of Justice/International The summer after he became president of Criminal Training Assistance Program Gannon University in 2002, Dr. Antoine M. Noziglia M. Carla recommended her as the Senior Forensic Garibaldi was strolling through Doc’s LandAdvisor in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, East ing in Waldron Campus Center when he spied a very Africa, where she helped design the upgrade to their familiar face. laboratories and served as a liaison to the U.S. Embassy.

Not Just Another Face in the Crowd

Only the second woman to be honored as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists, and one of 20 other honorees in the 56-year history of the Academy, Noziglia’s decision to serve her profession placed her in rare company indeed.

Bond of Brothers

In 2002, Michael J. Sampson, DO ’87 was catching up on the status of Pi Kappa Alpha, his Gannon fraternity, when he received an e-mail from the president of the chapter—Justin Mitchell ’03. “It turned out that Justin was my little brother to the eleventh, and I learned he was interested in attending medical school,” Sampson said. As the Assistant Team Physician for Virginia Tech Athletics and

“During my time as a seminarian, I spent a year as a novice at the Josephite High School for boys in Clayton, Delaware,” he said. “Brother Tom Vincent was the principal. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw him sitting in Doc’s Landing chatting with Joe Luckey.”


s Dr. Garibaldi soon learned, Brother Tom and Joe had grown up together in Erie at St. Joseph Orphanage. As a student in the early 1950s, Tom worked as Gannon’s handyman. When he decided to join the Josephites to become a religious brother, he told Monsignor Wehrle that he knew “just the guy” to take his place. 53 years later, Joe Luckey is one of the best-known and best-loved employees Gannon has ever had, and Brother Tom still comes home to visit his friends. Countless other coincidences, great and small, converge to shape the lives of those we know and those we don’t. Whether serendipity reveals a divine plan, or simply offers an opportunity, we all benefit when we seize fortune.

Justin Mitchell and Dr. Michael Sampson


AlumniFocus Tina Donikowski ’85 and Geri Cicchetti ’80, ’98M


Tina M. Donikowski

Sisters Tina Cicchetti Donikowski ’85 and Geri Cicchetti ’80 ’98M share more than an alma mater; they share talent and the drive to excel at everything they do.

Grad year

Gannon University 1985


After receiving her bachelor’s degree in accounting, Cicchetti served GTE as an auditor and accountant before moving into corporate sales, where that drive to excel served her well— earning incentive trips to France and Mexico.

General Manager—Propulsion and Specialty Services at GE Rail in Erie


Husband, Michael; sons Joe and Thomas; sister, Ann Carlin (a current Gannon student) and sister, Geri Cicchetti

Donikowski said that they come by their drive naturally. “Our mother taught us that we could be anything we aspired to be. She instilled in all of her children self-confidence, drive, and the importance of giving to others.”


Cicchetti added, “Our parents were always very supportive, even though neither attended college. Sending their three daughters, who were only four years apart in age, to Villa Maria Academy was a major stretch of the family budget. They were always self-sacrificing and giving when it came to their children.”

Active in Elfun, GE’s volunteer group, and serves on the Boards of the Erie Boys & Girls Club and Athena PowerLink

“Take the tough courses and do well.”

That supportive attitude helped Donikowski persevere as she worked full-time for GE while attending Gannon at night for six-and-a-half years to earn her bachelor of science degree in Industrial Management. She graduated with honors and completed GE’s Manufacturing Management Training Program. Name

Geri A. Cicchetti

Grad year

Gannon University 1980, 1998 MBA


President—Villa Maria High School


sister, Ann Carlin (a current Gannon student) and sister, Tina Donikowski


Saint Vincent Board of Corporators, Past President GU Alumni Association and Erie Advertising Club, Founding Member of the GoFish Commish and Past Chairperson of the Board of March of Dimes.


“Be a person of excellence...and enjoy the ride.”

“Gannon was very flexible and accommodating, and that made all the difference. David Dahlkemper was my advisor for Industrial Management. He went out of his way to help me schedule and complete the course work, knowing I was a part-time student trying to complete my degree.” Donikowski served GE in manufacturing, sourcing, and marketing before becoming General Manager in 1999. She noted that students must push themselves to succeed. “Take the tough courses and do well—the world is competitive and complex; companies look to hire the best.” As Villa’s new president (in charge of development, marketing, public relations, and finances), Cicchetti agrees. “You must value educational opportunities and be flexible. When you set out to pursue one career, be open to the possibilities of others. Good skills are transferable. As you change jobs, companies, and even careers, you should strive to be a person of excellence. In the last class of my MBA program at Gannon, Dr. David Frew told us, ‘It should never be about the money. Do the Zen thing.’ That is what I do with my work and play; my friends and family—enjoy the ride.”

FacultyFocus Fong-Kiong Mak, Ph.D., P.E. “Inertia” is not a word one could ever associate with FongKiong Mak, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor and Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Mak is far too passionate about his discipline to be anything less than...electrifying. Mak claims that his zeal for life-long learning is essential in engineering and something he tries to teach his students. “Subject matters are constantly evolving and changing,” he said. “The only way to keep up with the changes is to embrace them and keep learning.”

“Politicians define the society, but Before attending college, Mak worked as a technician for two engineers build it.” years, but recognizes that most of his students have considerably less hands-on experience. Despite these differences, he said they are just as eager to learn as he was. He helps them master more than just engineering skills.

“My goal is to see all my students develop the qualities to be CEOs,” he said. “To achieve that, I teach students ways to gain technical, communications, and leadership skills. In any given course, the design process used to achieve the particular outcomes is as crucial as the technical content. The same logic and critical thinking that achieve a certain technical design can be applied to accomplish other goals in life.” Mak most enjoys teaching the senior-level power electronics class. Students must integrate all four years of engineering course work into a single application of power electronics. Though it is time-consuming and demanding, Mak said the class gives his students confidence and pride in what they’ve achieved. He wishes that more people outside of his discipline were as proud of engineers.


Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois B.S. in Electrical Engineering from West Virginia University


Consulting Engineer for GE Rail Program Director for Gannon/GE Rail Embedded Software Graduate Program

Awards and Certifications

Certified Professional Engineer (P.E.) Who’s Who in America’s Teachers, 2002 and 2003 Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

“It is time to reassess the value of engineering when so many technical jobs are being outsourced to other countries. We all know the greatness of our nation relies upon our technology.” He noted, “Politicians define the society, but engineers build it.” When asked what his future projects might entail, Mak replied, “I have worked with the tiniest microprocessor designs and huge heavy-duty electric machine control and power systems. I’ve had fun with hardware, have been an engineer, a consultant, a professor, a chair. Perhaps, the next things to experience are the software aspect of the discipline and entrepreneurship.” He added, “When I was frustrated with my research, my Ph.D. advisor Marija Ilic would say, ‘Everyone tries his or her best. But, sometimes, the best is not good enough. One must try harder!’ With that advice, I have only one way to go when I am challenged with a problem—I keep moving forward.”


by Dan Teliski, Gannon Sports Information Director

After a solid fall season, Gannon continues to prosper during the 2003-04 winter campaign. The winter programs have traditionally been Gannon’s strongest, and the 2003-04 season appears to be heading in the same direction.

Men’s Basketball

“The beat goes on.” The Gannon men’s basketball team chose that phrase as its 2003-04 slogan and it couldn’t have been more appropriate. The Golden Knights are once again near the top of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) as the calendar turns to March. The squad finished the final regular season with a 21-6 overall record and a 12-5 league mark, putting the Knights in a second place in the GLIAC South Division and qualifying for quarterfinal tournament play. Head coach Jerry Slocum has advanced his team to the GLIAC Tournament for the eighth consecutive year, a streak unmatched by any GLIAC team. In addition, the squad is hoping to tie a school record with its fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament. Slocum entered the season sixth among active NCAA Division II coaches with 540 career victories. He is already Gannon’s leader in career victories with 160 (as of February 25, 2004) during his eight-year tenure.

Women’s Basketball 20

Second-year head coach Cleve Wright continues to turn around the Gannon women’s basketball program with another solid campaign in 2003-04. The Knights needed only 17 games to tie their

win total of 12 from last season. The squad was atop the GLIAC South Division standings for the majority of the first semester, but ended the season in second place. Gannon finished the regular season with a 17-10 record and 10-7 GLIAC mark. It has been a solid turnaround with only two seniors on the roster—Kelly Irwin and Katie Garms, who both have been hampered by injuries. The remaining roster consists of three sophomores and five freshmen. Gannon qualified for the GLIAC Tournament for the seventh consecutive season last year and has locked in an eighth appearance in 2003-04. The Knight will host the quarterfinal game on March 2. The Knights, who failed to advance to the NCAA Division II Tournament in 2002-03 for the first time in four seasons, have been ranked as high as fifth in the Great Lakes region. The top eight teams will be invited to participate in the national tournament at the end of the regular season.


The wrestling team is ranked among the nation’s best again in 2003-04. The Golden Knights ascended as high as 16th in the NCAA Division II national rankings and enter the final week of February with a 7-7 dual record. However, the record is a little deceiving as losses have come against five nationally-ranked Division I and II opponents. Gannon opened the season with five consecutive victories over West Liberty State, Kutztown, Carson-Newman, Colorado School of Mines and Anderson. R.J. Paterniti, Jason Radtke, and Ryan Marovich have led the way. Paterniti, who was ranked eighth nationally in the first week of February, won 18 of his first 21 matches, including a 3-1 victory over Western State’s Adrian Jiron, the number one-ranked wrestler in Division II, and a 3-2 upset of fifth-ranked Ryan Ickes of PittJohnstown. As of January 27, Radtke is 16-6 at 174 and Marovich is 12-4 at heavyweight.

AthleteFocus Men’s Swimming and Diving

The men’s swimming and diving team concluded one of the program’s best seasons ever. The Golden Knights finished the season with an 8-1 dual record, including a seven-meet win streak in the middle of the season. The successful campaign included victories over Edinboro, Penn State Behrend, Findlay, Slippery Rock, and West Virginia Wesleyan. John Cenedella was named Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Swimmer of the Week twice. The senior has been a triple-winner five times and a doublewinner twice in nine dual meets. Gannon finished fifth out of six teams with 239 points at the 2004 GLIAC Swimming and Diving Championships at Hillsdale College. Chris Conway was Gannon’s leading scorer during the GLIAC Championships with 25 points. Diver Justin Piazza qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships.

Women’s Swimming and Diving

The women’s swimming and diving team wasn’t far behind the men’s team with a 6-3 meet record. The Knights’ celebrations include victories over Findlay, Edinboro, Penn State-Behrend, and Slippery Rock. Two of the three losses were of the hard-luck variety, a loss at Division I Cleveland State and a 105-100 loss to West Virginia Wesleyan in which Gannon led through nine events. Sonya Pyle has been named ECAC Swimmer of the Week twice and Pola Schadendorf has earned the weekly honor once.

Geoff Husted needed little time to

burst onto the Gannon basketball scene as a freshman in 2001 and has never slowed down. The junior center recently put his name among the school’s elite basketball players by surpassing 1,000 career points. On January 31, 2004, Husted became the 24th men’s basketball player in school history to score 1,000 career points, during the Hillsdale College game at the Hammermill Center. The Canton, Ohio native began his collegiate career with a bang during the 2001-02 season. He was named MVP of the 2001 Gary Miller Classic, Gannon’s annual Thanksgiving Tournament, and it was history after that. Husted netted 238 points off the bench as a freshman and 410 points while starting 28 games as a sophomore. Head coach Jerry Slocum expected Husted to have a big season in 2003-04. “I believe he’s ready for a big year,” Slocum said in a preseason interview. “He has a great power game. Plus, he can step out and hit the 15-foot jumper, making him one of the best big men in the league.” Slocum was right on the mark. Husted led the team in scoring (17.7) and rebounding (8.5) this season. After being selected to the All-GLIAC second team as a sophomore, Husted is almost a lock for a first-team selection this season and will be a legitimate All-American candidate. Husted has also garnered praise from other GLIAC opponents. Gary Manchel, head coach of crosstown rival Mercyhurst, called Husted the “best center in the league” during discussions with the Erie Times-News prior to the Gannon-Mercyhurst game on January 26. Gannon’s big man in the middle has provided Gannon fans with big moments. The best part— he has one more season left in 2004-05.



JOHN F. KLOECKER and his wife, Sophia, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on October 10, 2003.


THOMAS A. VOGEL and his wife, Shirley, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on November 26, 2003.


REV. JOSEPH F. FINUCANE has retired as pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Lawrence Park.


DENNIS R. MARIN, CPA has joined the Mercyhurst College board of trustees. He is the founder and president of Wedgewood Investors Inc.


JOHN T. YOUNG ’67M recently gave guest lectures at the Mercy Center on Aging and at the WatsonCurtze Mansion as a participant in the GU Speakers Bureau. John is an associate professor and chairperson of Gannon’s English department.


LOUISE “Lisa” (ANTOUN) HUMENAY (VMC) is one of 17 teachers from around the US recognized in Exceptional Parent magazine’s annual education issue. Louise is a teacher at the Happy Hearts Inclusive Preschool at The Barber Center in Erie.


MARY D. TELLERS (VMC) is the director of the newly formed Center for Nonprofit Services, a project

That’s E! Entertainment


Gannon will be featured throughout April 2004 on the “National College Review” appearing on E! Entertainment Television. The Review showcases public and private universities, providing an overview of curricula and campus life for prospective students and their parents. Check local listings for the program, which generally airs in the mornings on E!

of The Erie Community Foundation. The CNS is a community-based management support organization which provides education, training, and tools to local non-profit member agencies.


JOHN A. METALONIS is a design manager at High Pressure Equipment Company in Erie.


NORBERT G. DISHINGER, JR. ’80M opened Fortune Personnel Consultants (FPC) of Grand Rapids, Michigan. FPC is an executive recruitment firm which places highly qualified mid- to senior-level professionals nationwide in the automotive, commercial/ industrial equipment, and aerospace manufacturing industries. REV. THOMAS L. TYLER is the new pastor for St. Joseph Parish in Force, Pennsylvania.


JOHN E. WROBLEWSKI ’74M presented a paper at The Northeast Regional Conference on Excellence in Learning and Teaching in Oswego, New York, in October 2003. John is an assistant professor of management information systems, school of business at SUNY-Fredonia.


MARY (CARNEY) FROEHLICH has been named a staff accountant with Vitus J. Kaiser, CPA.


ROBERT P. BRECHT ’77M was promoted to senior executive vice president for FirstMerit Corp. He will lead their six banking regions. Robert joined FirstMerit in 1986 and most recently served as regional president and CEO for its Ohio and western Pennsylvania banking offices.


THOMAS E. CARLOTTI has been promoted from sergeant to lieutenant in charge of the Millcreek Township police department’s juvenile division.


GREGOR M. OLSAVSKY published an article titled “The Number of 2 by 2 Matrices over Z/pZ with Eigenvalues in the Same Field” in the October issue of Mathematics Magazine. He is an instructor of mathematics at Penn State Behrend. GERALD T. RAMSDELL, D.V.M. has been certified as a diplomate by the American Board of Veterinary

AlumNotes Practitioners. He practices at North East Animal Hospital, specializing in dogs and cats.


WILLIAM J. DETISCH was promoted to corporal in the Millcreek Township police department’s criminal investigation division. DAVID C. MCCLELLAND is director and president of Infectech in Sharon, Pennsylvania, and has been appointed to the board of directors of Nutra Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in identifying and acquiring intellectual property and operations in biotech. TIMOTHY J. SANSONE is the owner of The Ale House, located in Vestal, New York.


SUZANNE (SHIMMONS) PREVOST, PH.D. (VMC) was elected secretary of the board of directors of Sigma Theta Tau international nursing honor society for 2003–2005. She was installed during the honor society’s biennial convention in Toronto, Ontario. MATTHEW J. SMITH is seeking election to a full four-year term as county attorney for Mojave County, Arizona. He is currently finishing the previous county attorney’s unexpired term.


PETER A. CARUSO has been named to the Butler County Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors for 2003-2004.

In the fall of 2003, my peers on the Gannon University Alumni Association Board of Directors elected me president of the Association. Taking office January 1 of this year, I succeeded Don Carlson (photo, left), who served as president for six years and to whom I owe a big thanks for the wonderful job he did. I am a 1971 Gannon graduate with B.S. degrees in Science and Mathematics. I have four brothers who are Gannon graduates (Timothy ’64, Harold ’69, Paul ’74, and Charles ’79). In addition, my wife, the former Susan Palmisano ’66, is a Villa Maria graduate and was the Villa Maria Board of Trustees’ representative to Gannon at the time of the Gannon and Villa Maria merger—hence my strong Gannon and Villa ties. Several years ago when I was asked to serve on the Alumni Association Board, I realized that I owe Gannon for providing me with the skills and values that have enabled me to succeed in my business career. I thought about the people at Gannon who helped me—professors like Jim Freeman, Joe Bressan, and Dean Kraus—and knew it was my payback time. Thus, I wholeheartedly agreed to serve. My personal vision for the Alumni Association is to elevate the connection of current and future alumni to the University. The vehicle to accomplish this is an aggressive strategic plan created in 2003 by the Alumni Association Board. We will begin implementing the plan in 2004. As I begin my term, I respectfully request that every alumnus or alumna reading this column take one (or several) of the following actions: • Call a classmate and reminisce about your time at Gannon or Villa • Attend a regional alumni event (held nationwide) • Donate to the Annual Fund • Visit and tour the campus • Visit and register at the Alumni Online Community ( • Attend the Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner–April 17, 2004 • Enroll in a class (regular or continuing education) • Attend Alumni Homecoming/Reunion Weekend 2004 (October 29–31) • Recruit a student If you have questions on how to engage in any of the above, please contact the Office of Alumni Services at 1-877-GU-Alums. I look forward to meeting many of you at alumni and University events throughout the year. I can be reached at (814) 453-3366, extension 23, or at I welcome your opinions, thoughts, and concerns!


AlumNotes Gannon Alumni David Szymanski ’89 and David VanAmburg ’69 share more than an alma mater and a first name. Both won $25,000 for their companies in the “Big Idea” Business Plan Contest.

Mercer, and Warren (PA) counties with a staff of consultants with expertise in accounting, finance, marketing, research, banking, international business, environmental issues and small business ownership. SBDCs work with small firms across the Commonwealth to help them compete economically.

VanAmburg’s company, MutualGravity, Inc., won the Gannon Small Business The Ben Franklin Development Center/ Technology Partners Ben Franklin Technology is supported by Partners Award. VanAmburg the Pennsylvania incorporated the company Department of in 2003 with alumnus Art Community and Leopold ’86 and three Economic Development others to automate internal and is designed to and external Internet stimulate business communications for small Peter Panepento of the Erie Times-News growth and economic and mid-sized businesses and and David VanAmburg ’69 development. The organizations. MutualGravity organization helps manufacturing- and technologyprovides secure access to online desktops, web based companies that are interested in developing site content management, internal and external communications and public relations, marketing new products and processes. and sales automation, and automated reporting and data mining. Szymanski, his wife Jennifer, and partners, won the Clarion University Small Business Development Center/Ben Franklin Technology Partners Award for their business plan establishing Chain-Serts Inc. in St. Marys to produce replaceable insert chains for chainsaws. They have a working prototype for commercial cutters that is “...affordable, hard, sharp, and no longer needs to be sharpened,” according to Szymanski. Gannon’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), directed by Debra L. Steiner, serves Erie, Crawford,


Ben Franklin Technology Partners President Vic Russ, Jennifer and David Szymanski ’89, and State Senator Joe Scarnati (R)



GREGORY P. BLOXDORF, D.O. was recognized at the 2003 fellowship and awards ceremony in New Orleans, Louisiana. Greg is director of medical emergency, director of the osteopathic intern program, and assistant director of the department of emergency medicine at St. John West Shore Hospital/University Hospitals Health System in Cleveland, Ohio.


REV. SCOTT E. KATREN has replaced the retired Rev. Joseph Finucane ’59 as pastor at St. Mark the Evangelist parish in Lawrence Park. DIANA (GUSTITUS) MYERS (VMC) is a registered nurse at Saint Vincent Health Center. MICHAEL J. SAMPSON, D.O. co-wrote a paper with Gunnar Brolinson, D.O.,

births a daughter, Sara Jane (December 4, 2003), to Mary Toohey Barrett ’87.

in the December 2003 issue of Current Sports Medicine Reports titled “Pathophysiology of Pain in Sports.” He was interviewed by Virginia Business Magazine for a January 2004 article, has been appointed to the admissions committee at VCOM, and is faculty advisor to their student chapter of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians.


SARAH (COHEN) KAVENEY, RN (VMC) earned a national award for her work as a nurse manager at Hamot Medical Center. She was recently promoted to director of critical care.


MICHEL HEENEMAN is the North American representative for the Port of Rotterdam, based in Chicago, Illinois.

a daughter, Abigail Scott Miller (December 10, 2003), to Scott E. Miller ’93 and his wife, Holly.

a daughter, Gabrielle (September 8, 2003), to Jeff D. ’98 and Heather Curcio Krystofiak ’97.

a daughter, Haley Rose (January 12, 2004), to Charles “Chip” E. Rohrbach, RN ’96 and his wife, Elaine.

a daughter, Cara Elizabeth Leonardi (December 8, 2003), to Amy Brezovsky Leonardi ’98 and her husband, Chris.

twin boys, Matthew and Jonathon (September 2, 2003), to Chad A. Sayban ’94 and his wife, Julie.


CAROL (CARTER) PASQUALE is a respiratory therapist at Millcreek Community Hospital.


RICHARD D. HAMBOR is head coach for the Catonsville (Maryland) High football team for the next school year. Rich has been the offensive coordinator since 1997, coached varsity basketball last year and is the assistant this season, and is the head junior varsity baseball coach. ERIC G. LAPRICE ’99M was hired by the US Forest Service as a biological scientist and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Coordinator for the San Juan National Forest in southern Colorado. He will coordinate NEPA studies assessing the environmental impact of proposed forest activities, revise the forest management plan, and perform hazardous fuel reduction projects.


MELISSA (KING) BROWN ’02M is a fourth-grade teacher at Perry Elementary School in Erie. CHARLES E. ROHRBACH, RN has been accepted to Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s entering class of 2004.

in memoriam Alumni Chester Blazek ’49 Sister Margaret M. Chilinski ’42 Kathryn McQueeney Chronis ’54 Guido J. DiLoreto ’49 Robert J. Dippold ’58 Sister Catherine A. Drab ’46 Robert S. Dudzinski ’72 William R. Foster, Jr. ’66 Barbara Hinman Freitas ’95 Sister Miriam Fuhrman, SSJ ’69 Judy Passmore Gardner ’93 Richard C. Gorzynski ’81 Gary F. Gregory ’72 Robert Hanson ’85 Anne Quinlan Jones ’54 Reverend Joseph Kacprowicz ’78 George J. Lashinger, Jr. ’52 Paul J. Lore ’54 Sister Mary McDonnell, OSB ’58 Russell H. Olin ’56 Joseph R. Perll ’48 Scott A. Powell ’54 R. Clifford Reese ’61 Ronald R. Roach ’74 Lee R. Roeback ’54 Harold J. Schroeck, Jr. ’65 Susan Snyder Shifler ’81M Michele Kujan Snyder ’84 Edward R. Stiff ’58 Loretta Traynor ’64 Yvonne E.Yelensky ’79

Friends and Parents William J. Kelly, Esq. Kenneth G. Osborne Marion Osborne Louis Pollock James H. Schaaf

JENNIFER D. SUTTER-THOMPSON received her real estate license and works for Howard Hanna’s southwest Erie office.



alumcal 2004 April 6

Circles of Distinction Dinner Gannon University

April 17

Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner Gannon University

April 25

Erie Alumni Family Day Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park–Erie

April 29

Buffalo Alumni Happy Hour Papa Jake’s

May 6

Washington, D.C. Alumni Happy Hour Whitlow’s on Wilson

May 12

Charlotte, N.C. Alumni Happy Hour Red Star Tavern

May 13

Raleigh, N.C. Alumni Happy Hour Southend Brewery

May 24

Pittsburgh Scholarship Golf Tournament Sewickley Heights Golf Club

May 27

Erie Scholarship Golf Tournament Lake Shore Country Club

October 29–31

4th Annual Alumni Homecoming/Reunion Weekend Gannon University


JONATHAN S. DEARMENT has been named vice president of manufacturing and engineering at Channellock Inc., the Meadville-based maker of pliers and other hand tools. MICHAEL J. E. WALSH founded Healthcare Education Associates, Inc., a continuing education company for physical therapists.


BRIAN M. DOUGHERTY, ED.D. ’98M has completed his Ed.D. at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. He is currently the assistant superintendent for the Athens (Pennsylvania) School District. JULIE (KRUMPE) GROENENDAAL is assistant director of alumni services at Gannon. JENNIFER (CHIAVETTA) HILL teaches Spanish at Southtowns Catholic School in Lakeview, New York. JEFF D. KRYSTOFIAK earned his master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore and was promoted to director of residential care at the Board of Child Care Falling Waters agency in West Virginia. AMY (BREZOVSKY) LEONARDI is an occupational therapist in Charleston, West Virginia.


MELANIE (GUY) MOYER received her master’s degree in Education from Edinboro University.

ERIN (MCGILL) MUNZ is a sonographer at Saint Vincent Health Center. NATALIE (ZUBA) ROSE is an assistant manager at Lenscrafters in Erie.


PATRICIA (ADIUTORI) KAISER ’01M is an auditor for the Naval Audit Service in Washington, DC. TIMOTHY E. MYERS is a registered nurse at Saint Vincent Health Center and is a student at the Hamot Medical Center School of Anesthesia. MELISSA (WEBER) WEIR is a radiological technologist at Saint Vincent Health Center. NINA (BISH) WOLFARTH is a counselor at Gannondale Home for Girls in Erie.


ANDREA D. FISHER ’02M is an occupational therapist serving kindergarten through fifth graders in three different elementary schools in Dayton, Ohio. SARAH M. KANE is a third-year student at Drexel College of Medicine doing her surgical rotation at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. ANGELA (MARTZ) KUCHCINSKI is a medical assistant at Susquehanna Medical Associates in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. NICHOLAS T. KUCHCINSKI is a correctional officer for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.


Sergeant Andrew Rapp Named Army’s Top Military Intelligence Soldier By Sergeant Kyle J. Cosner, U.S. Army Special Operations Command While interrogating suspected al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan and participating in combat patrols there, intelligence officers with the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) (SFG Abn) knew they had one of the Army’s top soldiers working among their cast of quiet professionals. Now, almost a year later, the secret’s out. Sergeant Andrew C. Rapp, a 3rd SFG Abn counterintelligence special agent, received the 2003 Russell Award, the Military Intelligence Corps’ prize for its top junior enlisted soldier. [Editor’s note: Rapp graduated from Gannon in ’95 with a B.A. in English.] According to his citation, Rapp was selected because “the intelligence he collected was used for security and operational planning at not only the local command level, but also at the theater and national levels.” The citation also stated that Rapp’s opinion on intelligence matters was so sought after that commanders often asked specifically for his personal analysis of various situations. For operational security, many of Rapp’s achievements in Afghanistan remain unreleasable. “This is an absolutely incredible young man,” said Major General Geoffrey C. Lambert, commander of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Abn), during the ceremony. “The award he’s getting today is for the best performance of duty by junior enlisted soldiers in the military intelligence community of the Army worldwide. This is really something.” Retired Command Sergeant Major Sterling McCormick, now the vice president of the Military Intelligence Corps Association and the Corps’ honorary command sergeant major, said Rapp was a perfect

Sergeant Andrew C. Rapp, a counterintelligence agent with the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, NC, stands at attention after receiving the Russell Award March 7, 2003, at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.The award is presented to the top soldier in the Army’s military intelligence community. (Photo by Sergeant Kyle J. Cosner, USASOC PAO) example of the type of soldier whom the award committee sought to honor. “It takes a soldier who has distinguished himself within the military intelligence community, but it also takes a soldier who has demonstrated professionalism in his or her military occupational specialty,” McCormick said. Among the reasons for Rapp’s consideration for the award were citations for heroism while under enemy fire. Decorated with a Joint Service Commendation Medal with a valor device for his efforts during an ambushed combat patrol, Rapp immediately reacted to stabilize soldiers wounded when their patrol unexpectedly came under attack. After tending to the wounded, Rapp turned his attention and his weapon against the enemy force. He has also been recommended for the Bronze Star Medal with a valor device for his actions in combat. Although his efforts as a counterintelligence agent were recognized as the best in the Army, Rapp said he didn’t understand all the attention being given to him for what he considers to be a standard duty performance. “I feel I don’t deserve anything, because you’re supposed to do your job anyway,” Rapp said. Editor’s Note: Sergeant Kyle J. Cosner is the Public Affairs noncommissioned officer for U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, NC. This article is edited and reprinted with his permission and the permission of the USASOC PAO. When asked if Gannon magazine could reproduce his article, Sergeant Cosner responded, “We’d love for Sergeant Rapp’s fellow alumni at Gannon to learn about his amazing achievements while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Sergeant Rapp is an outstanding soldier and a true representative of the talented men and women at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.”


AlumNotes SHERI J. MACRINO is currently a student at Penn State College of Medicine. MATTHEW P. MADURSKI is a copy editor at the Naperville Sun in Naperville, Illinois. JOHN A. YAROS is executive officer for an artillery battery in the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.


CHRISTIAN D. SCHMALZ ’02M is an anesthetist at Intermountain Anesthesia in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

WILLIAM T. ELIAS III is currently working for Pfizer as a pharmaceuticals representative in Boston, Massachusetts.

BILLIE (JANOV) SCHWETZ is a business analyst at SI International Inc. in Alexandria,Virginia.

ASHLEY (HOYDIC) FRIES is a radiological technician at Hamot Medical Center.

LESLIE M. WINGROVE teaches marketing in the Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida, and serves as the hotel management magnet program director and the varsity cheerleading coach. She is pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Central Florida.

JENNIFER (HALEY) MERSKI is a respiratory therapist at Saint Vincent Health Center. DAVID A. NOGACEK, JR. is a community justice officer at Erie County Juvenile Probation. STACEY (CASS) RANDALL is a group supervisor/teacher at Barb’s Care-a-Lot in Harborcreek.

marriages Patricia Anne Adiutori ’00 ’01M married Jamie Patrick Kaiser on May 24, 2003.

Jennifer Kathryn Chiavetta ’98 married William Anthony Hill on December 6, 2003.

Danielle Renee Apa ’03 married Vincent Douglas Kruse on August 30, 2003.

Amanda L. Grover ’03 married Matthew P. Madurski ’01 on July 26, 2003.

Nina Michelle Bish ’00 married Kenneth Nicholas Wolfarth on August 9, 2003. Carol D. Carter ’92 married Bert Pasquale on August 23, 2003. Stacey Louise Cass ’02 married James Eugene Randall on October 4, 2003.


Diana Elizabeth Gustitus Askins (VMC) ’87 married Timothy Edward Myers ’03 on September 19, 2003.


DANIELLE (APA) KRUSE is a student at Tri-State Business Institute, bartends at Skeeter’s Clubhouse and Grille, and is a self-employed makeup artist.

AMANDA (GROVER) MADURSKI is a student at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, Illinois. HOLLY (PERES) NOGACEK is a radiologic technologist/ computer sonographer at Hamot Medical Center. MAURA (O’ROURKE) SMITH is a special education teacher at Erie’s McKinley Elementary School. PATRICIA M. SUDAR is currently working at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, on the CardioThoracic Surgery Stepdown Unit.

Billie Rose Janov ’02 married Brian Christopher Schwetz on October 11, 2003.

John A. Metalonis ’72 married Delora K. Moore on September 20, 2003.

Vincent L. Jenco, D.O. ’52 married Helen Finotti on October 3, 2003.

Holly Marie Peres ’03 married David Alan Nogacek, Jr. ’02 on September 6, 2003.

Melissa Marie King ’96 ’02M married Lance Carlo Brown on August 9, 2003. Julie A. Krumpe ’98 married Gene A. Groenendaal, D.O. on August 23, 2003. Angela Lee Martz ’01 married Nicholas Thomas Kuchcinski ’01 on May 24, 2003.

Jennifer Lynn Haley ’02 married Michael Mahoney Merski on October 25, 2003.

Erin Marie McGill ’98 married Gilbert William Munz II on October 19, 2002.

Ashley Renee Hoydic ’02 married Eric Michael Fries on July 12, 2003.

Sara B. Meisinger ’98 married John T. Gleim on October 9, 2003.

Maura Ann O’Rourke ’03 married Christopher Joseph Smith ’03 on July 19, 2003. Christian Douglas Schmalz ’02M married Elisa Anne Mickels on September 20, 2003. Scott A. Swartzfager ’92 married Barb Stork in October of 2003. Melissa Sue Weber ’00 married Jason Allan Weir on August 23, 2003. Natalie S. Zuba ’98 married John Rose on May 3, 2003.


Internships Expand Opportunities Gannon has long prided itself upon providing a solid liberal arts education. Gannon College and Villa Maria College were created not simply to train their alumni and alumnae in professions, but to open vistas of new opportunity to them through exposure to the artistic, cultural, literary, scientific, and spiritual realms of thought. As a University, Gannon remains committed to those ideals, but in today’s increasingly competitive economy, we also recognize that hands-on experience is crucial in enabling our students to enter their chosen fields. One way in which we do this is by encouraging our students to participate in internships, shadowing, and co-ops, both inside and outside of the University. These meaningful experiences give students valuable work opportunities, the chance to build networks and contacts, and training to hone their skills, all of which help them determine whether their initial interest in a particular job or field of endeavor will blossom. Though it is impossible to list all who have benefited from internships, they cross every department and college line for students majoring in Biology, Business, Chemistry, Engineering, English, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Nursing, Pastoral Studies, Political Science, Theatre, and more. While we encourage freshmen to concentrate mainly upon the academic side of their chosen disciplines, they take part in shadowing experiences that help many decide what careers or specialties they wish to pursue. Our students benefit from immersion in these

professional, scientific, and business settings in several ways. They learn appropriate professional conduct and communications skills. They gain access to the latest technologies, trends, knowledge, and job skills. Most of all, they learn confidence in themselves and learn how to begin building the networks of contacts and support that they will need to succeed in their professions. Some students, like Bill Baker ’03, who interned as an Advertising Communications major with Potomac Communications Group in Washington, D.C., find their niche perfectly. Bill was offered a position with the company before he even graduated and is now Potomac’s Senior Project Coordinator. Similarly, Ryan Bonacci ’03, a Criminal Justice major, interned on Secretary of State Colin Powell’s security detail and is now in official training to become a secret service agent. Jared Heyman ’03 worked in organic synthesis at Youngstown State University and is now a doctoral student at Duke University. Those are just a few examples of how internships affect our students’ futures. Ensuring that more positions for such personal and professional growth become available to our students requires dedication and continuous effort—effort that our successful alumni, faculty, staff, trustees, and friends are uniquely prepared to undertake. Gannon students will be remarkably well-prepared to grasp the opportunities available to them in the future because of experiences such as these. As I hope you have concluded, our young graduates will enter their chosen professions not as novices, but as knowledgeable workers because of the hands-on experiences they are receiving outside of the classroom and in varied settings. I would encourage alumni who are interested in offering internships during the academic year or the summer months to contact Cheryl Rink in the Career Services Office at (814) 871-5881 or at


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The Final Touch

Gannon University President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., signs the diploma authorizing the award of a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology to Cathleen A. Miner窶馬ow Cathleen A. Miner, Ph.D.

Profile for Gannon University

Spring 2004  

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

Spring 2004  

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