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AlumNews Feb. 2012

Mark Your Calendar

MARCH 13, 2012


Volume VI, Issue III

“Sully” Center Expansion Underway On November 15, Medaille broke ground to renovate and expand the Kevin I. Sullivan Campus Center on the Buffalo Campus. The “Sully” Center was constructed in 1995, and in 2001 the building was dedicated in memory of Kevin I. Sullivan, the College’s fourth president. President Sullivan oversaw a period of extensive growth, from the start of a residence life program and intercollegiate athletics teams to the expansion of adult and graduate programs. At the groundbreaking ceremony, New York State Senator Mark Grisanti presented a proclamation on behalf of New York State, and shared, “It’s always a good day in Buffalo when you see growth like this.”

Alumni Networking Series continues

Economic Business Trends in WNY The Alumni Association’s four-part professional development series, hosted by the Amherst Alumni Committee and Office of Career Planning, concludes on March 13, 2012 with a seminar on economic business trends in Western New York. Panelists for this session include James Fink, Business First, who will discuss real estate development and the local economy and Beth O’Keefe, Erie County Industrial Development Agency, who will provide an overview of the 2011 tax incentives given to local businesses and will highlight employers who expanded in 2011 while discussing programs being implemented to restore vacant abandoned buildings. The session will begin at 6 p.m. and is open to all alumni and students free of charge. An RSVP is required. You can register for this event online at or call (716) 880-3368.

The expanded facility will include: • a large multipurpose, campus event center with a seating capacity of over 600 people; • a new 3,000 square-foot fitness center; • four new locker rooms, two for home teams and two for away teams; • an enhanced athletic training room; • an expanded campus bookstore; • a reconfigured student affairs suite with dedicated student group meeting and workroom spaces; • new student lounge space; • a redesigned athletic office suite; • a new late-night snack and food shop; • a reconfigured gymnasium with increased seating capacity; • and, the President’s Room, which serves as a special event and entertainment suite venue overlooking the multipurpose center and gymnasium. The project is slated for completion for the start of the College’s fall 2012 semester. When you were a student, what do you remember most about the Sullivan Center? Email your fondest memory to for inclusion in the May issue of AlumNews. PHOTO BY CHRIS RIPLEY ’12



Elizabeth Ortiz ’08 In the winter of 1988, Elizabeth Ortiz fell ill. She wasn’t sure what the illness was at the time, and to this day her condition during that time remains somewhat mysterious. Confined to her home, Ortiz, someone who describes herself as “not a TV person,” needed something to do to pass the time. With the holidays approaching, she figured she would try her hand at crafting her own Christmas gifts. Encouraged by the reaction of family and friends, Ortiz decided to sell a few items at a local craft expo. 24 years later, Ortiz is the proud owner of Silk Creations flower shop on Hudson Avenue in Rochester. To be sure, Ortiz’s story is impressive and inspirational. More striking still, is the fact that the business she built from the ground-up as a young adult continues to thrive despite an industry-wide shift away from brick-and-mortar operations to internet-based retailers that has defined the floral world of the last decade. Though old-fashioned hard work was surely a critical factor in the development and sustainment of her business, Ortiz gives the most credit to her husband and children, two sources of endless encouragement and people without whom Ortiz would never have been able to make Silk Creations into the success it has become.



The Medaille graduate also credits her success, in part, to her time spent in the Business Administration program. Specifically, Ortiz believes her degree assisted her in developing “better marketing [capabilities], inventory control and customer service skills,” all of which have been necessary parts in making her business what it is. With its theory-to-practice curriculum and student-centered community, the program helped Ortiz develop both the business acumen and interpersonal skills needed to succeed in an ever-more competitive market. Despite the challenges of sustaining a business, particularly one that must directly compete with the prices and convenience of internet-based retailers, Ortiz’s education, professional experiences and familial support-structure, as well as the quality of the product she produces, give the master florist and her loyal customer base confidence in the continued success of what has become an establishment of Rochester’s small business community. Visit Silk Creations online at or call (585) 467-4747. 2

Join the Alumni Association at Flying Bison Brewery for a tour, tasting and dinner. “Flying Bison Brewery is a packaging brewery located in the city of Buffalo, and the first standalone brewery to operate in the city proper since Iroquois Brewing closed its doors in 1972. An awardwinning brewery with over 30 years’ experience, owner Tim Herzog made a strong commitment from the inception of its company as merely an idea to establish Flying Bison Brewery in the city of Buffalo and foster the return of what was once a flourishing industry.” ( Join us on April 25, 2012 at 6 p.m. for a tour of Flying Bison Brewery. The event will include sampling Flying Bison’s products and a light dinner. Cost for alumni is $10 and $12 for guests. Learn more and register by visiting or call (716) 880-3368. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The Medaille College Photo Alphabet was developed using a collection of photos highlighting local landmarks that together serve to unite the Buffalo, Amherst and Rochester Campuses. Showcase your pride and display this photo in your office or home. The photo is available in a 4” x 12” black matte with black hardwood quality frame with an easel-back and hang tab for $28. The photo is also sold without the frame. To purchase this product, please visit the Faces of Buffalo website at

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THE CHOICES YOU MAKE DEFINE THE LEADER YOU BECOME Each day we make a choice to change the culture of organizations and families. To influence others by meeting the everyday needs of the community. Is it possible to make choices that will impact ourselves, our teams, and even our cities for the better?

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Alumni Association Events Calendar


Make a choice. Make an impact.

March 13 Economic Business Trends in WNY

B R OA D C A STI N G L IV E MAY 4, 2012

Amherst Campus I 6-8 p.m.

March 31 Buffalo Bandits Game April 24 Founders’ Day

©2011 GiANT Impact, LLC. All trademarks shown are the property of their respective owners.

Hosted by

Twentieth Century Club I 6 p.m.

April 25 Tour: Flying Bison Brewery Flying Bison Brewery I 6 p.m.

May 2 Campus Carnival & Spectacular Senior Stuff

Friday, May 4, 2012 I 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Amherst and Rochester Campuses

Buffalo Campus I 3-8 p.m.

May 4 Leadercast at Medaille Amherst & Rochester Campuses 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

June 7 Rochester Graduation Celebration Rochester Campus I 6 p.m.

Amherst Campus I 30 Wilson Rd., Williamsville, NY 14221 Rochester Campus I 1880 S. Winton Rd., Rochester, NY 14618 Visit for ticket prices, group rates and to register. Questions? Call Evelyn Hamilton at (716) 880-3368. 3

CLASSNOTES 1970s Kathleen Turner ’72 is celebrating her 40th year in education and is currently working at Hamlin Park 73 school in Buffalo.

1980s Shirley (Laughlin Reeves) Sarmiento ’80 published Celebrate You, a book of poems which is a celebration of self and is available for purchase on

1990s Gregory Bell ’96 is the president/ owner of Firm Forensics LLC, a computer forensics firm. Bell is also an adjunct teacher for the University of California-Irvine and the University of Phoenix.

2000s Kelly (Miller) Blake ’00 and Mark Blake ’00 welcomed Mason Elliot into the world in October 2011. Mason joins sisters Kameran and Natalie and brother Kyle. Chad Cornell ’00 became a certified financial planner in 2011.

Ross Munt ’01 has been named the new assistant scout executive/chief operations officer by the Coronado Area Council (Salina, Kan.) Boy Scouts of America. He has over a decade of professional Scouting experience, is an Eagle Scout and has been a dedicated Scouting volunteer for many years. Munt came to the Coronado Area Council after serving as the development and marketing director for Monmouth Council in N.J. 4

Kristin (Wendel) Deutsch ’03 and Shaun Deutsch ’02 welcomed daughter Callie Anne into the world in August 2011. Nicole (Lachat) Bennett ’04 and Adam Bennett welcomed daughter Brianna Nicole into the world in December 2011.

Lloyd Ruffle ’06 ’11 is an adjunct professor of marketing at Bryant & Stratton College. Erik Saladin ’05 has been promoted to claims supervisor for The Hartford – Northeast Division. The Hartford is an insurance company specializing in the handling of workers compensation claims and is located in Syracuse. Donald Bouchard ’07 owns and operates Bouchard Financial Services, LLC, which specializes in financial planning, investment management and tax preparation. William Childs ’07 joined North Carolina State University as a veterinary technician. Previously, Childs worked for Ross University in Toronto.

Kelly Costello ’07 is the human resource generalist at AccuMED Innovative Technologies, a manufacturing company in Buffalo.

Jonathan Gill ’07 joined Buffalo State College as an adjunct professor this past fall and is teaching Communication 301 and Introduction to Public Relations and Advertising. Colleen Lyons ’07 joined Segmedica as the market research operations manager. Kathy Wood ’07 moved to Omaha, Neb. where she is working on a doctorate in occupational therapy. Wood plans to concentrate on patients with brain tumors and will complete her studies in 2014 with a residency in Kenya. Wood lived in Lancaster and worked for Kaleida Health in the Anatomical Pathology Department before moving. Jeff Conrad ’06 ’08 is the sales director at KegWorks. Elizabeth Ortiz ’08 presented on entrepreneurial success in January at the 2012 Pathways to Entrepreneurial Success at Monroe Community College in Rochester. Melanie Stewart ’08 and Andrew Park ’08 are happy to announce their engagement. The couple plan to marry in August 2012 in the Finger Lakes region on the Canadaigua Lady. Jonathan Augustyn ’09 is an undergraduate admissions counselor at Medaille’s Buffalo Campus. Molly Platt ’09 joined Bryant and Stratton College as a financial aid advisor for the institution’s online programs.

CLASSNOTES 2000s Scott Blodgett ’10 presented on entrepreneurial success in January at the 2012 Pathways to Entrepreneurial Success at Monroe Community College in Rochester. Brenna Gerwitz ’10 joined OncoMed Oncology Pharmacy as manager of marketing and sales. Nicholas Sautter ’10 is the director of channel development at 360 PSG in Buffalo. In December 2011 he was recognized as account manager of the month. Christa Lands ’11 and Steven Hayes welcomed son Colton Hayes into the world in November 2011.

Nicholas Calandra ’11 is the chief operations officer at Hearts for the Homeless, a not-for-profit organization that works to provide food and clothing to homeless men, women and children in the city of Buffalo. Calandra is the vice president of the Young Alumni Committee at Medaille. Gina Serra ’11 began working for CitySynergy, LLC in Williamsville after graduation in May 2011. She is the business development manager, specializing in City Dining cards for Rochester, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. Serra is also a member of the Young Alumni Committee at Medaille.

From Left: Jean Mayfield ’05, Todd Hoddick ’07, Jessica Sobczak ’05, Michelle Nero ’03, Ryan Hasenauer ’03 ’06, Leah Myers, Chad Gingerich ’07, Christopher Bruzee ’05, Rachel (Conti) Bruzee ’05 ’07, Leah (Spurling) Burch ’03, Aaron Burch ’04 and daughter Rylee Burch. PHOTO BY LEE LEE DEE PHOTOGRAPHY

Jessica (Colvenback) Tracy ’05 and Ryan Tracy ’06 were married in September 2011. The ceremony was held at The Williamsville Meeting House followed by a reception at the Palms Banquets. The couple honeymooned in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Jamie (Gregorio) Thielman ’05 ’06 and Douglas Thielman were married in October 2011 in Canandaigua, N.Y. Gregorio is a special education teacher at Baker Victory Services ECP. The couple’s bridal party included: Rachel (Conti) Bruzee ’05 ’07, Kimberly Overbeck ’06 ’08, Erin (Finn) Dicanio ’06, Jessica (Colvenback) Tracy ’05, Leah (Spurling) Burch ’03, Christopher Bruzee ’05, Aaron Burch ’04 and Stephen Hammann ’05.

Braeden Passariella, son of Angela (Lange) Passariella ’07, in a Medaille onesie. If you have a baby announcement, email and we’ll send you a Medaille onesie for your little one!

Recently engaged? In addition to wedding announcements, AlumNews now features engagement announcements in our class notes section. Share the news with us and classmates by e-mailing Celebrating a wedding or anniversary? Share that with us, too! 5


Once a Scout, Always a Scout For many, time spent with the Boy Scouts is short-lived but influential. A rite of passage for many male youths, membership in the organization affords participants the opportunity to learn basic life-skills not easily acquired in an ever more technologicallyfocused world. In spite of the uniqueness of this opportunity, however, the tenure of most members is confined to a relatively brief portion of childhood. For Ross Munt, the values and mission embodied by the Boy Scouts of America have existed as a life-long passion. Recently named the assistant council executive/chief operating officer of the Coronado Area Council, a Salina, Kan.-based chapter of the national organization, Munt is now in a position to further the causes of an organization that has dramatically influenced his own life. “The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law,” shared Moss. In his new capacity, he is ideally poised to promote the importance of these values in future generations of Scouts.

“In scouting’s 100-year-plus history, many young men who have earned the rank of Eagle Scout have gone on to be business, civic or political leaders. I credit getting my last job, before coming to work for the Scouts, directly to being an Eagle Scout.” Reflecting on the influence Medaille had on his future career, Munt explains, “I was a 2+2=12 student at Medaille. I think that right from the beginning I learned how to juggle long hours and multiple priorities. I was not working for the Scouts while in school but I sure learned how to multi-task between my day job, classes, and internship.” Likewise, the knowledge and dedication of the faculty and staff stands out in his mind, “I remember a professor who called me at home after class to make sure he had sufficiently answered a question that I had asked,” Munt said. The Buffalo native and Eagle Scout has spent most of his professional career working with the Boy Scouts of America in various capacities, the most recent being his time spent as the development and marketing director for Monmouth Council, BSA in Morganville, N.J. Munt has been recognized on several occasions for his professional dedication, vision and success. Despite the long-distance move, Munt and his wife are looking forward to the new adventure afforded them with this new position as well as the birth of the couple’s first child, expected in February.



Dear Rochester Graduate, Rochester’s Alumni Committee is looking for increased input from Medaille graduates to help us best accomplish our goal: serving you. It is our sincere desire to maintain an ongoing and productive relationship with all of our alumni, and with that in mind, we are making a push to involve a larger portion of our graduates in the development of engagement programs that will be implemented by the Committee. As graduates of the MBA program ourselves, we understand the sense of community fostered throughout the time spent at Medaille and we would like to project the benefits of that community beyond graduation. If you have a suggestion on how we can better engage alumni – whether that suggestion involves a simple revamping of our communication practices or an overhaul of the events we host – please let your voice be heard – email On behalf of the Rochester Alumni Committee, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year. Warm Regards,

Jason Pardi ’12


Kevin Stell ’12


Summer (Gemmati) Handzlik ’08 ’12 GRAPHIC DESIGN Carla Kestner CONTRIBUTORS Kara Kane, Kevin Bates, Michael Carbery AlumNews is published quarterly. For submissions please email

Alex Rouse ’12 Led Men’s Soccer in Remarkable Season


When, the preeminent Division III soccer website, announced its 2011 All-American teams Medaille forward Alex Rouse was selected as a 3rd Team All-American. This latest accolade comes on the heels of Rouse being named the AMCC Player of the Year for the second straight time. Rouse led the Mavs to the AMCC Regular Season title and reached some milestones along the way. He became the program’s all-time leader in goals scored, finishing his illustrious career with (81), which ties him for 9th all-time in Division III soccer. The Mavs boasted the nations 2nd most potent scoring offense averaging (3.63) goals per

game. Rouse had a big part in that as he led the nation in goals scored with (28), ranked 4th in goals per game (1.17), and 5th in points per game (2.58). Rouse was also recognized by the NSCAA as a Regional All-American for the third time in his career. The Mavs finished the 2011 campaign with an impressive (19-4-1) overall record and a perfect (9-0-0) mark in AMCC play. The Mavs reached the finals of the ECAC South Championships where they fell (1-0) in double overtime to Swarthmore College. Follow the Mavericks athletics teams online at

Record Racers at Reindeer Run PHOTO BY CHRIS RIPLEY ’12

A record number of participants (806) turned out in mild December weather to participate in the 17th Annual Reindeer Run 5K race. As in past years, the race began on Main Street at the Humboldt Rail and continued on to Delevan Ave. Participants included alumni, friends, faculty and staff, and community members. “I ran with a few friends because it was a great chance to support the athletic program, and also reconnect on campus,” shared racer Daniel Barrancotta ’10. Joshua Demars crossed the finish line first with a time of (16:51), followed by John Beyer who came in at (19:39). Tammy Putt placed first on the women’s side with a time of (19:39) while Judy Arlington, head coach of Medaille’s cross country team, placed second in the women’s division with a time of (20:04). After the race, participants were invited to stay for the race party that included food and beverages, free massages, holiday music and more. For Barrancotta, the post-race party delivered. “It was a great chance to catch up with some other alumni, former coaches, and athletic department staff. Medaille does a great job with the post-race prizes and food; it was a very enjoyable time,” he said. George Amos ’77 also enjoyed the post-party. “I loved the route and I enjoyed the after race get together in the gym, with many of the students Ryan Amos ’10 (his son) went to Medaille College with.” For Laura Comstock ’06, crossing the finish line and beating her previous Reindeer Run time was the highlight of the race. “I love the route through the cemetery and the weather was perfect,” shared Comstock. The race has become a tradition in the Athletic Department, and excitement for the 2012 race has already begun. “When I received my B.S. from Medaille, there was no gym! I can’t wait for the next Reindeer Run,” shared Amos. The race continues to grow from year-to-year and all proceeds from the event benefit Medaille Athletics. 7




Office of College Relations 18 Agassiz Circle I Buffalo, NY 14214


Morgan is a freshman criminal justice major at Medaille College who is on the women’s basketball team this year. As one of nine children from a small rural community outside of Rochester, she didn’t think it would be possible to attend a private school like Medaille—a place where she knew she’d get the small class sizes and individual attention she wanted. Thanks to Morgan’s good grades, and the support of the Medaille Annual Fund, Morgan is the first person in her family to go to college. As she said, “Medaille is the perfect fit for me and I couldn’t be happier.” That’s just one—of many—examples of how alumni gifts to Medaille College make a difference. Your contribution gives back, and will never be forgotten. To make your gift, send checks to: Medaille Annual Fund, 18 Agassiz Circle Buffalo, NY 14214. Give online: or call (716) 880-2209 to charge a gift.

an unforgettable experience!

Medaille College AlumNews, February 2012