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Expanding Mercyworld Erie to Eire

This is the place

The Great Wall

Where are they now?

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p. 14 p. 22

August 2010

A publication for alumni and friends of Mercyhurst College

Mercyworld, as many students fondly refer to our beloved campus, is expanding. Or maybe the world around us is shrinking. Whatever the case, opportunities for our students to have diverse experiences around the globe have never been better. Ever since the Sisters of Mercy traveled from Dublin to Pennsylvania and eventually to Erie to start our campus on the hill, Mercyhurst has brought the culture of the world to our students. However, over the years, Mercyhurst has also reached out beyond the gates to allow our students to experience other cultures.

“Over the years, Mercyhurst has also reached out beyond the gates to allow our students to experience other cultures.”

Today, Mercyhurst enrolls about 240 international students from 45 countries each year. But we’re doing more than just bringing international students to campus. At Mercyhurst we believe it’s important to allow our students the opportunity to study in a different culture. In this issue you’ll read about how Mercyhurst returned to Ireland this spring as a group of Mercyhurst students and faculty spent a full 10week term in Dungarvan. It was also in Dungarvan that the Mercyhurst College Institute for Intelligence Studies launched the first annual Global Intelligence Forum this summer. Faculty members led other student groups to Central Europe, China and Greece. We have more than 15,500 alums living in about 40 nations around the world and serving in a variety of capacities – from business to education, from social service to intelligence, from military to missions. So, when we say we prepare our students to be leaders who change the world, we mean it. There’s a story floating around about how one of our current Honduran students first heard of Mercyhurst. “A Mercyhurst bumper sticker,” she says – seen on a car in her home country. The Mercyhurst name really has gone global. Enjoy this issue and God bless,

President, Mercyhurst College

It’s important to us at Mercyhurst College to recognize and thank our many donors. It is also a goal for the college to be both fiscally and environmentally mindful. Please visit and click on the Mercyhurst Honors Magazine link to read this exciting online publication.

August 2010

Reaching beyond the gates

A publication for alumni and friends of Mercyhurst College

Expanding Mercyworld Erie to Eire

This is the place

The Great Wall

Where are they now?

p. 2 p. 6

p. 14 p. 22


Susan Corbran ’73 (814) 824-2090 We’d love to hear from you. Send your story ideas, suggestions and comments to or mail to Editor, Mercyhurst Magazine, 501 E. 38th St., Erie, PA 16546

Contributing Writers Meghan Corbin ’06, Susan Corbran ’73, Deborah Morton, Kristen Grenga

Art Director/Design

Steve Perkins (814) 824-3340

Class Notes Editor

Debra Tarasovitch (814) 824-2392

Director, Alumni Relations Joe Howard ’03 (800) 845-8568 (814) 824-2421

The Office of Marketing and Public Relations publishes Mercyhurst Magazine. Send changes of address to: Mercyhurst Magazine Mercyhurst College 501 E. 38th St. Erie, PA 16546




CONTENTS Mercyhurst Magazine | August 2010

s i s i h T he place. t


Erie to Eire


Mercyhurst considers ‘University’ designation


Mercyhurst hosts global intelligence conference


Three named to Athletic Hall of Fame


Paying it forward


Lakers outstanding in athletics and academics


The Great Wall and beyond


People in the News


Meet Weiling Chang King ’59


Tom Billingsley retires after 40 years


Alumni teach in Korea


Where are they now?


China connections


Alumni fall in love with ‘Hurst again


Students explore Central Europe

25 Mercyhurst News


Greek seas provide ‘lab’ for hospitality students


Class Notes


‘Angel Eyes’ changes life for alums Shawn, Sarah Basile


Wilwohl takes world of new media by storm


Expanding Mercyworld


Alumni Spotlights


‘This is the place.’


Expanding horizons

Erie to Eire Twenty-six Mercyhurst students and a half-dozen faculty members ventured across the Atlantic during spring term 2010 to establish the college’s first international satellite campus.The home base for Mercyhurst in Ireland was Dungarvan, a County Waterford seaport that’s Erie’s Sister City which quickly felt like home to the travelers. The group took core and major courses taught by Mercyhurst professors, plus a course in the Irish language and culture taught by local residents. The students also seized the opportunity to explore Ireland and the rest of Europe as much as possible. They visited “dear dirty Dublin” as a group, and spent Easter together in Paris, but smaller groups also visited many other destinations.


The students couldn’t stop raving about the welcome they received and the legendary hospitality of the Irish people. Dr. Heidi Hosey, recently named dean of international education at Mercyhurst, summed it up this way: “In the end, perhaps to our surprise, what is most impressive about Mercyhurst in Ireland is that it is truly Mercyhurst, a diligent working campus to the east, a cherished center of learning, and an extended network of family and friends. It is home.” Here’s more about the Ireland experience in the travelers’ own words.

Photo by Heidi Hosey

On classes:

On the impact of the trip:

On relationships:

“The classes taught here by our Mercyhurst faculty are more than just classes. The faculty has incorporated the information from the classroom into the culture of Dungarvan. We have learned more than any textbook could teach just from our experiences.”

“I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to see the sun rise over a different country, a different culture, and a different way of living, thinking, and being than I was heretofore accustomed… This morning, as I lifted up my exhausted head to look one last time at the Irish sunrise, I realized that I was looking out with new eyes.”

“While it is true that the majestic landscape and beloved tales of old add to the magic and splendor of the nation, one fact remains incontrovertible. Ireland’s true beauty has does, and will live and thrive in her people.”

– Caileen Farrell

“One of my classes is entitled British Literature Survey. In this class, we read Irish and British literature and poetry, discuss it, dissect it, and try and relate what we learn to our time here in Ireland… Somehow, I feel like I have learned more this term in Ireland with Dr. Reed and Dr. Snyder than any other term in the regular classroom. It’s weird I know.” – Libby McNamara, “Your Irish Rose” blog

“Another lovely difference we have come to enjoy is ‘teatime’ during class. The classes here are much longer in order to get all material done in such a short amount of time, so we get a short break for tea and cookies! I think this might be something each of us will miss when the day comes to take classes back in Erie again!” – Sarah Hricko, “Sarah in Ireland” blog

– from “The Road That Rises Before You,” a reflection by Ray Horton

“The final reception was a sad day. We planted a tree in the park commemorating our time there. It was symbolism that something had been planted here, and it wasn’t just a tree. It was much more than that. It was a memory. A family. A home.” – Sarah Hricko

“You only live once, and the more you expand your own horizons, the wider and more beautiful the world becomes.” – Ray Horton

“Mercyhurst in Ireland. It’s a transformational experience.” – Dr. Brian Reed

– Joe Weidenboerner

“When I first boarded the bus at Mercyhurst to take us to the airport to fly to Ireland, I boarded a bus of strangers. I knew no other Mercyhurst students on the trip. As I prepare to leave Ireland, I look back at the incredible relationships myself and many others have formed. We have not only become great friends with each other, but also with members of the community.” – Andrew Mayher, The Merciad

“I smile because something magical happened on this trip, and it wasn’t caused by leprechauns or faeries! It was caused by you, the great people of Waterford County, who showed us how phenomenal the Irish people really are! Thank you so very much for everything you’ve done!” – Libby McNamara

“One-hundred-thousand thanks to the town of one-hundred-thousand welcomes.” – Calvin Corso, from his blog “What’s the Craic?”

“It must be in our bones, or maybe our ‘deep heart’s core’ to steal a line from Yeats. Mercyhurst students reach out to the community wherever they are. Really, it seems to be a part of who they are. They serve, even without being asked to do so.” – Dr. Brian Reed MERCYHURST MAGAZINE | 3

“As I lifted up my exhausted head to look one last time at the Irish sunrise, I realized that I was looking out with new eyes.” – Ray Horton ’10

On travel: “We are balancing classes along with exploration. … We only have class Monday through Thursday, so we can travel on the weekends. Many of us have taken a bus to the second largest city in the country, Cork, and had a great time there. Others went to Waterford, and some traveled to Scotland for the weekend. We are going as a group to Dublin this weekend, then spending Easter in Paris. Others are planning trips to Germany, Croatia and possibly Italy. I’ll be traveling with two other students to Barcelona for a few days.” – Andrew Mayher

Mercyhurst hosts global intelligence conference What can a financial analyst learn from a pediatric urologist? What can an FBI counterterrorism expert learn from a forensic anthropologist working mass disasters? All use “intelligence” in their own ways to make more informed decisions, but rarely do they share with each other what works and what doesn’t. That all changed in mid-July when the Mercyhurst College Institute for

Gov. Tom Ridge and Kathleen O’Toole, Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate, Ireland 4 | MERCYHURST MAGAZINE

Intelligence Studies (MCIIS) brought together nearly 200 professionals at the inaugural Global Intelligence Forum: The Dungarvan Conference in Dungarvan, Ireland. Under this year’s theme of Analytic Best Practices, professionals from national security, business, medicine, forensics and the law gathered to share trade secrets, talk about current issues facing intelligence analysts and gather information in hopes of opening doors to new approaches in interpreting threats to national security, conducting business, analyzing medical cases and more. “One way professional intelligence analysts are improving their practice is by looking to other domains to see if their best practices might provide insight into how to do intelligence analysis better,” said James Breckenridge, chair of the Mercyhurst College Department of Intelligence Studies. “The U.S. national security sector, in particular, is innovative in this way, explicitly evaluating best practices in medicine and journalism for their

Paying it forward Tim Krysiek ’05, the last Mercyhurst student to win a Boren Scholarship, stepped up this year to advise another intelligence studies major seeking the coveted award.

Photos by Brian Reed

A conference summary, photos and other information can be found at

utility for adaptation or adoption in the national security sector. This conference was intended to continue that path of innovation and discovery by exploring the nature of analysis and its application in various disciplines from a global perspective.” Former CIA official Mark Lowenthal kicked off the conference by stirring the pot saying “intelligence analysis” was an “art not science,” a theme that was argued throughout the conference. Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and Erie native Tom Ridge delivered the keynote address to representatives of 18 participating countries on lessons he learned and advice on intelligence presentations to high-level officials. Speaker after speaker delivered tactics and strategies that could span a variety of fields, something participants appreciated. Many plan to return to next year’s conference scheduled to be held the same week in July 2011.

The quest was successful. JoEllen Marsh will spend her junior year at the University of Jordan on a David L. Boren Scholarship awarded by the National Security Education Program. Tim and several other previous Mercyhurst winners studied in Russia, but JoEllen will instead focus on Middle Eastern culture and language. She studies Arabic at Mercyhurst, and hopes one day to work as an intelligence analyst or foreign service officer. Tim says the Boren is tailor-made for ’Hurst intel students because it emphasizes foreign languages that are important to national security but not widely taught. His own story shows just how much the foreign study opportunity can mean. His experiences in Russia helped paved the way to a Marshall Scholarship – the first ever awarded to a Mercyhurst student. Many Marshall winners come from larger and better-known schools, but Tim says his Mercyhurst education prepared him well to compete for the Marshall and support from his faculty mentors (including Fr. Steven Simon, Dr. Michael Federici, Dr. Mary Ann Owoc, Dr. Candee Chambers and others) helped him through the grueling application process.

Tim spent the following summer in San Francisco working for Google. As the tech giant prepared to launch Google Maps in Russia, he helped research Russian laws that might affect the project. Then in the fall he enrolled at Oxford for his second master’s degree. He describes his program there as “entrepreneurial ,” saying, “When you have an idea, they encourage you to run with it.” He focused on Russian and East European studies and wrote a dissertation on how Vladimir Putin’s energy policies affected foreign investment in his nation. The famed university was an amazing place to network, he says, and a connection with a former Marshall Scholar led to his first post-degree job with Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). Today, Tim’s a senior strategy analyst for Statoil, a Norwegian firm that’s the biggest offshore oil and gas company in the world. Based in London, he works on the company’s international business intelligence team and supports Statoil’s business development efforts in places like Abu Dhabi, Russia, and China. “I was thrilled to hear of JoEllen’s success because I know that prestigious awards like the Boren Scholarship are tremendous opportunities for personal and professional development,” he says. “I’m extremely proud of my alma mater for continuing to invest in the prestigious awards program and helping its top students to compete on the national and international stage.”

He graduated from Mercyhurst in 2005 with a double major in intelligence studies and Russian studies, and then completed two graduate degrees with Marshall funding. First came a degree in international relations at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, where Tim concentrated on Middle Eastern and Central Asian studies and became fascinated by energy politics. His dissertation was about the geopolitics of the Caspian Sea oil pipeline. In addition, Tim laughs, the experience turned him into a golfer and a Scotch drinker.

Gov. Tom Ridge and Tim Krysiek at the Global Intelligence Forum in Dungarvan, Ireland.


The Great Wall and Beyond Step through those landmark gates and you enter “Mercyworld.” The gates mark the entry to a special place, but they don’t confine the college community or limit access to it. As Dr. Gamble likes to point out, “the gates are always open.” From its earliest days, Mercyhurst has welcomed students from many countries and sent its students into the world to experience varying cultures. In the following pages, you’ll learn how some of today’s students are expanding the concept of “Mercyworld” and how alumni are building on the foundation that started here.


International students aren’t a new phenomenon at Mercyhurst Meet Weiling Chang King ’59 Weiling Chang traveled a long way from her native China to Mercyhurst College. But that trip, and the chemistry degree she would earn here, springboarded her into a notable career in scientific research. At age 72, this 1959 ’Hurst grad is still spending time in the lab. Weiling and her family moved from Shanghai to Taiwan in 1949, just weeks ahead of the Communist takeover of the Chinese mainland. She enrolled at Taiwan’s best schools, but dreamed of studying in America.

Weiling from Praeterita 1959 and today

After a personal telegram from Mother Borgia Egan verified Mercyhurst had accepted Weiling and awarded her a scholarship, she won government approval to head overseas. Weiling left Taiwan on Jan. 26, 1956, one of 50 adventurous students on a chartered propeller-driven plane. She flew to Japan and on to Seattle,

then took a red-eye flight to New York, a train to Erie, and a cab to Mercyhurst, where the second term was already under way. She carried her belongings in a single 44-pound suitcase and wore the only coldweather clothing she had – her mother’s old fur coat. “I was so homesick that first year,” she recalls. “But the girls and the nuns were so nice to me. My classmates often took me home with them for the holidays so I wouldn’t be alone.” Weiling had studied English in China, but term papers still proved a challenge. Luckily, she says, her major (chemistry) and her minors (biology and math) relied heavily on Latin, the universal language of science. She worked 20 hours a week in the dish room to cover her room and board and made most of her own clothes on the sewing machines in the home ec classrooms. Though she got a late start on her freshman year, Weiling graduated just three and a half years later. Thanks to Sister Mary Charles Weschler, her chemistry professor, she was baptized as a Catholic the day before commencement. She went on to earn a master’s degree in physical chemistry at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and married mechanical engineer Wen H. King, another native of mainland China who had lived and studied in Taiwan. His work for Boeing took the couple to Seattle, where Weiling joined the research faculty at the University of Washington Medical School.

Weiling (second row, far left) and classmates celebrate their 50th reunion in 2009.

She worked there for five decades with noted investigator Dr. John Glomset, who is credited with a variety of breakthroughs in MERCYHURST MAGAZINE | 7

the study of cholesterol and lipids, and co-wrote many of his studies.

Yiming Chen of Zibo joins Mercyhurst students during their visit to Shanghai. He’ll be a freshman at Mercyhurst this fall.

Weiling’s only child, Robert, earned a doctorate in chemical engineering at UC-Berkeley. He now works for a pharmaceutical company and has given her three grandsons. Widowed two years ago, Weiling still lives in Seattle. Neither “retirement” (in 2006) nor a kidney transplant 14 years ago has slowed her down. She still volunteers in the lab, but also works part time as a tax preparer. When not working, she’s likely at the Chinese senior center near her home. She studies piano on Monday, Chinese painting on Wednesday, calligraphy on Friday and Tai Chi on Saturday. On Sundays she plays golf. Clearly, she absorbed Mercyhurst’s Carpe Diem spirit.

Today, Mercyhurst recruits students around the world and maintains scholarship programs for students from Erie’s Sister Cities of Dungarvan, Ireland; Lublin, Poland; and Zibo, China. There will be about 240 international students on campus this fall representing 45 countries. But you might be surprised to learn just how far back we can trace this welcoming tradition. Weiling wasn’t the first foreign student – or even the first Chinese student – to find her way to Mercyhurst. Early yearbooks list graduates including Helen Liu of Hankow, China (1940), Aileen Yueh of Tientsin, China (1951), Molly Li of Shanghai, China (1953) and Frances Lucy Chang of Taipei, Formosa (1955). Weiling learned about the Hurst through a friend of a friend of Yueh, and determined to follow her here. Students also came to Mercyhurst in the ‘40s and ‘50s from Puerto Rico, Guam, Cuba, Colombia and Jamaica. In fall 1957, the Merciad reported that two “political refugees from Hungary” had enrolled. What drew them all? If you can shed light on this mystery, please contact us. We’d love to share your stories. 8 | MERCYHURST MAGAZINE

Alumni teach in Korea, seizing opportunity to explore Far East South Korea is about 7,000 miles from Mercyhurst. So what are the odds that half a dozen Mercyhurst alumni would be living and working on the Korean peninsula at the same time? Pretty good, it appears. Several recent grads have gone to Korea to teach English language classes, and are using Korea as a base of operations to explore all the Far East has to offer. Angela Phillips ’08 ventured to Korea with her Mercyhurst roommate, Kara Bemis ’08. They’re teaching English to elementary, middle and high school students in the southern city of Ulsan, but that’s just part of the experience. “On the side I study martial arts, yoga, a modest amount of Korean language, some traditional Korean arts and crafts, and have just begun surfing on the Sea of Japan,” Angela says. “I travel quite a bit around the country, looking mainly for Buddhist temples, beaches and great hiking (which is everywhere here!).

I also have plans to travel China, Japan and around Southeast Asia in the near future.” Jason Lappies ’06 lived and taught English for a while near Angela and Kara in Ulsan, but has now moved on to travel around Southeast Asia. Besides his year in Korea, he’s visited China, Japan, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar) and Cambodia. He’s due back in America this fall. Before departing Korea, Jason did meet up with Matt Fish ’08 in Changwon, where Matt has been teaching middle school students for about a year and a half. “Teaching has been a great way to find a deeper understanding of a foreign culture,” Matt says. Though he knew little about the nation before moving there, he’s developed a deep respect for the Korean culture, with its Confucian emphasis on education, hard work and respect for the elderly.

China connections Erie’s Chinese Sister City, Zibo, rolled

that attracted exhibits by nearly 200

out the red carpet for a group of

nations. Expo 2010 Shanghai China

Mercyhurst students this summer. In

was designed to position Shanghai as

the fall, Erie will return the favor when

“the next great world city.”

it welcomes the first two Zibo students to enroll at Mercyhurst.

other sites in Shandong Province,

Professor Daliang Wang, a Zibo native,

including Jinan, its capital; Mountain

led the three-week tour of China

Tai, the most sacred mountain in China;

that allowed students to immerse

and Qufu, hometown of Confucius.

themselves in Chinese culture and polish their language skills. The students – majors in international business, intelligence studies and history – had already completed basic courses in the Chinese language.

Daliang Wang greets incoming freshman Xinbei Yang during a visit to Zibo Experimental School.

Matt says few Koreans speak English. After a class at Changwon University, he has mastered enough of the difficult Korean language to speak to a taxi driver or order food. “But I won’t be talking politics or writing books in Korean anytime soon,” he laughs. “Recently, I accidentally ordered a plate of chicken feet because of my poor language skills.”

In addition, students toured Zibo and

As he has for the past several years, Wang also took time to do some recruiting for Mercyhurst, including stops at Zibo Experimental School, sister school to Erie’s Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, and

They visited historical sites from Beijing,

Shanghai Business School, which hopes

the cultural and political capital of the

to develop exchange programs with

nation, to Shanghai, its financial and


economic hub. This summer Shanghai is also hosting a huge world’s fair

“Hiking has been my favorite part of Korea. Most mountains house a Buddhist temple or two that make a hike of a few hours very rewarding.” - Matt Fish ’08

Like Angela, he’s been impressed by the hiking opportunities in his adopted country. “In my free time I have traveled around Korea and hiked most of the major peaks and national parks,” he notes. Come September, Matt will be on the move again, embarking on a 25-day trek through Nepal that he expects will be “one of the most physically and mentally demanding adventures of my life.” From there he’ll head to India, Thailand and Cambodia before returning to the United States. Eventually, Matt hopes to study law and focus on environmental issues, but he’s not ready to settle down just yet. “I am content with traveling and appreciating the vast beauty of the world,” he says.

Language problems notwithstanding, he’d recommend the experience to other students. “I think it is a great opportunity for recent college graduates to experience another culture outside of their comfort zones.”

Editor’s Note: Other Mercyhurst graduates are also working in Seoul, South Korea’s capital. No doubt, still more can be found in exotic locations in the Orient and around the world. We’d love to hear from you. Go to and “Tell Us Your Story.”

Students explore Central Europe A student group led by Dr. Heidi Hosey and Dr. Joanne McGurk traveled the highways and byways of seven central European countries this summer. Their 16-day tour included stops in Berlin, Germany; Bratislava, Slovakia; Prague, Czech Republic; Budapest, Hungary; Vienna, Austria; Munich, Germany; Colmar, France; and Lucerne, Switzerland. The trip followed a spring term course that focused on the theater and cinema of Central Europe since World II, exploring

how the partitioning of the region among Eastern and Western powers had affected these art forms. “These visions differ significantly from the aesthetics of Western Europe,” Hosey said, “and we were able to see these ideas in every setting we visited and feel the art come alive in the pride, immense beauty, unimaginable suffering, and unbreakable will to survive that is Central Europe after nearly 1,000 years of being at the historical crossroads of European life and culture.”

Besides reflecting on literature, the students mourned the horror of the Dachau concentration camp, scaled the heights of Mt. Pilatus in the Swiss Alps, attended a chamber concert featuring the music of Mozart and Strauss in a room in which Mozart once performed, visualized the Berlin Wall and its fall at Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate, imagined life behind the Iron Curtain, and more.

Greek seas provide ‘lab’ for hospitality students More than 40 students – including 16 hospitality management majors from Mercyhurst – got a hands-on experience of the hospitality industry during a 13-day tour of Greece this summer. Peter Zohos, who directs laboratory operations for Mercyhurst’s hospitality management department, organized the trip to allow students to experience the


hospitality industry as both consumers and practitioners. College students from schools in Arkansas, Texas and Colorado also joined the group. As a “class project,” students were required to arrange a sail through the Aegean Sea, and then enjoyed the voyage themselves. “The experience was eyeopening,” Zohos said. “They were able

to live the tourist experience, but also gain some perspective of what it takes to organize and operate a successful tour.” Other stops for the travelers included ancient Olympia, Agamemnon’s Tomb in Mycenae, Delphi, and the islands of Santorini, Mykonos, Patmos and Hydra.

‘Angel Eyes’ changes life for alums Shawn, Sarah Basile “Zoya” means “life,” and it’s an appropriate name for the 2-year-old charmer from Ukraine who this spring joined the family of ‘Hurst grads Shawn Basile ’01 and Sarah Pulley Basile ’03 ’06.

Zoya has bucked the odds repeatedly. Born June 3, 2008, she had both Down Syndrome and a heart condition that called for surgical repair. Her mother abandoned her at the hospital.

Married soon after Shawn earned his pharmacy degree at Lake Erie College of Medicine (LECOM) in 2005, the Basiles settled down in Erie. Shawn’s a pharmacist at the CVS drug store just blocks from campus, and Sarah teaches in the suburban Millcreek School District. They bought a house. They got a dog. And they prayed about what their next move should be.

Unlike most special needs children in her country, she received the surgery she needed. And her big blue eyes on the “Reece’s Rainbow” website captured the hearts of both Shawn and Sarah. “There were plenty of reasons not to do this,” Sarah says, “but once we saw her we couldn’t get her out of our hearts.”

Sarah’s background is in special education (she got her master’s at Mercyhurst in 2006), and both the Basiles worked with groups for children with special needs, like the Gliding Stars adaptive skating program and the Erie Adaptive Sailing Experience (EASE). It was only a short step to thoughts of adopting a child with Down Syndrome. To their surprise, they learned there’s a waiting list to adopt kids with Down Syndrome in America. But, through “Reece’s Rainbow,” they quickly discovered a huge demand for adoptive families overseas. Children with special needs have little worth in many cultures, so they’re warehoused in orphanages and then – often by the time they turn 4 – moved into mental institutions. With little nurturing, few survive long.

After navigating a maze of paperwork and making two trips (totaling five weeks) to Ukraine, Shawn and Sarah brought Zoya Faith home in April. They celebrated both her adoption and her second birthday with a “Zoyapalooza” party in June. Zoya had already been showered with gifts, so they asked their guests to make contributions to Reece’s Rainbow instead. The organization awards grants to help potential families meet the high cost of international adoptions, which can reach $25,000 or more.

The little girl who could barely sit up when she arrived is walking now. Exposed to the English language for the first time just months ago, she’s developed quite a signing vocabulary and is putting words together as well. “People often tell us we’ve done a wonderful thing,” says Sarah. “But she’s changed our lives so much more. After going through two horrible years, she’s already let it all go. She’s the happiest kid. She’s an inspiration to us.” Check out the Basiles’ blog at to follow Zoya’s story. Visit to learn about other children awaiting adoption or to make a donation.

The Basiles get ready to begin their journey home on what they call “gotcha day” – April 19, 2010, the day they were allowed to take Zoya from the orphanage.

Inspired by Zoya’s amazing story, EASE (the Erie Adaptive Sailing Experience) christened its brand-new sailboat in her honor.


Expanding Mercyworld: 50 states, 40 countries and counting. In 1926, when Sister Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy purchased the parcel on the Hill with the intention of changing lives through education, they had no idea the reach their vision would have. Over the years, Mercyhurst College graduates have left the college and have traveled across the globe. Today Mercyhurst alums reside in all 50 states and at least 40 countries, though that number continues to rise each year. So, no matter where you are in the world, chances are, there’s a Mercyhurst alum close by!

Any alumni in your area? The maps to the left and above depict the states, Canadian provinces and countries where our alumni are currently living. Alumni events are held across the U.S. throughout the year. Check to see if there’s one in your area!


Impacting the world. Where in the world is Mercyhurst? With alumni spread around the world, we would like to get photos of you, wherever you are, wearing your Mercyhurst garb. Visit to upload your photos and tell us your story. We’ll share the photos and stories on the alumni website and, who knows, maybe in a future issue of Mercyhurst Magazine.


Class of 2010

Erie Campus

s i s i Th he place. t

· Degrees awarded: 725

(609 bachelor’s degrees, 112 degrees, 4 associate degrees)master’s

· Largest major: business (84 graduates)

· Largest school: Walker Sc hool of Business and Communication (199 graduates)

· Total graduates through 20 10: 17,981

Students thinking about college worry about lots of things, from whether they can afford a college degree to how they’ll fit into the campus community. A new Mercyhurst ad campaign aimed at high school seniors directly addressed many of those fears, using facts about the Mercyhurst experience to allay the worries. The tag line – “This is the place.” “This is the place they said I couldn’t afford,” for example, pointed out that few students pay the full “sticker price.” In fact, 97 percent of incoming freshmen receive financial aid. “This is the place they said I wouldn’t fit in” described a diverse student body including students from 43 states and 45 foreign countries. “This is the place they said was too close to home” encouraged Erie County students to apply and take advantage of special scholarships for local students. Mercyhurst is using the same catchphrase to promote opportunities for prospective students, like “This is the place for transfer students” or “This is the place for adult students.” So what kind of place is Mercyhurst today? The information on these pages provides a snapshot of the college as it starts the 2010-11 academic year.


Incoming Freshmen · Erie Campus

· Confirmed as of July 31: 677 ): 1600 · Average GPA: 3.4; average SAT (3 sections represented: 19 · States represented: 27; foreign countries ness, applied · Most popular majors: intelligence studies, busi biology forensic sciences, education, sportsmedicine and

International Students

· New students confirmed as of July 31: 67 pus: 240 · Total international students expected on cam · Countries represented: 45 (including Bhutan, China, Nepal and Vietnam)

Campus Improvements Summer 2010

Erie Campus · Facelift for entrance and front boulevard at er facilities · Addition to Rec Center to provide locker, show ceramics lab · Installation of “green roof” over Zurn Hall to house sportsmedicine · Renovation of McAuley Hall north basement are Apartments · Half-million-dollar upgrade to Highland Squ

Fundraising 2009-10

n nears · Phase I of Engage. Enrich. Envision. Campaig dule sche completion - a year ahead of · Cash and pledges: more than $8 million for first time in Mercyhurst history record · Individual donors: more than 4,700, another · Alumni participation: near 20.5 percent, a third consecutive annual increase

Aaron Loncki

Collegiate Academy ’09 Strategic Communication major ’13 Aaron was one of the freshmen featured in our latest “This is the place” television commercials and print advertising. He is an Erie native, an Eagle Scout, and a strategic communication major at Mercyhurst’s Erie campus.

Academic Programs · Erie Campus

· Majors: 46; Concentrations: 56 · New majors in French, Spanish, French Education, Spanish Education · New concentration in biochemistry, biology and chemistry: sustainability studies · New concentration in biology: neuroscience · New concentrations in business: business economics, business competitive intelligence, human resource management · New concentration in psychology: applied behavior analysis

Mercyhurst North East

· Class of 2010: 258 associate degrees; most popular majors: nursing (91), law enforcement (40) · Programs: 22 two-year associate degrees and seven one-year certificates, including a 20-week Municipal Police Training Academy · Now offering its first bachelor’s degree: the RN to BSN bridge · Enrollment: expected to again pass 1,000 students in 2010-11

Placement Success · More than 87 percent of 2009 graduates are employed or continuing their education. (latest data available) · At least seven students admitted to medical schools in 2010, including Penn State, George Washington, Temple, LECOM, Ohio College of Osteopathic Medicine, Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Ross University · 100 percent placement in schools of veterinary medicine, dentistry, podiatry, optometry, physician assisting · At least four students accepted to law schools in 2010, including University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City University, University of Akron



Gates installed at campus entrance


College admits male students


Mercyhurst complete building, enrolls first students

Mercyhurst considers ‘University’ designation Over the last 84 years, Mercyhurst has grown from a one-building venture serving undergraduate women of the Erie region into an organization that now serves more than 4,000 men and women from around the globe; offers certificate, associate, bachelor’s, post-baccalaureate and master’s degrees; and operates five locations throughout Erie County, plus online courses and off-site graduate certificate programs in Northern Virginia. “It is fair to say the Mercyhurst of 2010 is drastically different from the Mercyhurst of 1926,” Mercyhurst College President Tom Gamble reflected. “And, yet, at the heart, the same institution exists and the same mission thrives.”


Since 2007, both the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and U.S.News & World Report have placed Mercyhurst in the “Master’s College and Universities II” category. They made the change, without consulting Mercyhurst, because of the college’s enrollment and the types of degrees offered. Soon, campus discussion turned to whether “college” adequately described today’s Mercyhurst. In March 2010, college trustees authorized the administration to explore a change to university status. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Education must approve such a change. The application process, which includes interviews, a printed

application and a site visit, is now under way and usually takes about a year to complete. Mercyhurst administrators plan to present the application to the college board in October. Mercyhurst leaders believe a “university” designation would have nothing but a positive impact on the college and its reputation. “The Mercyhurst our students, our alumni and the community know and love will continue on regardless of what we call it,” Gamble said. “But, we believe the change in status would align our public identity with the structure and breadth of academic programs we already offer.”


North East campus opens


What might Mercyhurst University look like? It might be composed of four colleges.


Mercyhurst offers first graduate program

Mercyhurst College The traditional four-year, studentcentered, largely residential, liberal arts baccalaureate college that exists today. The Mercyhurst University COLLEGE of Graduate Studies Current and future on-site graduate school programs, as well as offsite master’s degree and graduate certificate programs.

He added, “A move to university status is really calling us what others already see us as. For current students and alums, of course, as the reputation of Mercyhurst is elevated, the value of the degree is enhanced.” College employees, students and alumni agreed. In a recent survey, 93 percent of respondents believed a status change would have a neutral or positive impact on the college’s reputation. Gamble said Mercyhurst College (the traditional undergraduate, four-year, Erie campus) will work to enhance its quality reputation with minimal increase in enrollment. Growth would come in the

remaining programs – the two-year, graduate and adult offerings, including online and off-site programs – but they too would fulfill the Mercyhurst promise of a high-quality academic experience. He stressed that Mercyhurst would still offer a hands-on, personalized liberal arts education and that faculty, not graduate students, would teach.

The Mercyhurst University COLLEGE of Associate Degree Programs Mercyhurst North East, as well as other locations that currently exist or might be developed. The Mercyhurst University COLLEGE of ADULT and Continuing EDUCATION Studies Adult undergraduate and postbaccalaureate programs, professional development programs and noncredit programs.


Greg’s worked for United Refining Company since graduating in 1989. Today, as director of retail marketing, he oversees the day-to-day operations of nearly 300 Kwik Fill/Red Apple convenience stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. He and his wife, Dede, live in Warren, Pa., with kids T.J., 17; Valerie, 13; and Lydia, 8. Sports remain a big part of his life. He serves as president of the Warren County Youth Football League, which he founded eight years ago, and as football coach at Warren Area High School. He also coaches his daughters’ softball teams.

Three named to Athletic Hall of Fame

Meghan Frey

The Mercyhurst Athletic Hall of Fame this year inducted a pair of outstanding student athletes, as well as the man who launched the college’s signature rowing program.

Greg Latimer A two-time AllAmerica linebacker from 1985 to 1988, Greg Latimer still holds Laker records for tackles in a single game (24 on Nov. 14, 1987, vs. Salisbury State) and in a season (132 during that 1987 campaign), and is third in career tackles (339). He took over the team lead in tackles from his brother, Tim, who starred from 1981 to 1984.

2009-10 By The Numbers

Everything still revolves around soccer for Meghan Frey, who holds every major goalkeeping record in Mercyhurst women’s soccer history and helped the Lakers to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 1999 through 2001. She was one of the most decorated Mercyhurst student-athletes, earning two AllAmerican awards. Meghan launched her professional soccer career in 2002 as goalkeeper for the Boston Renegades W-League team, which won a national championship that season. She then went on to play for the New York Power of the Women’s United Soccer Association, the Bristol City Football Club in England’s Women’s Premier League, and the Long Island Rough Riders of the USL W-League.

24 Varsity Sports (12 men’s, 12 women’s) 58.7 PSAC Winning Percentage (273-190-8) 20 teams qualified for conference tournaments 12 teams selected to NCAA tournaments 1 National Championship (NCAA II Rowing, Varsity 8) 63 All-Conference selections


12 All-America selections

She’s still part of the Rough Riders organization, now serving as vice president of facilities and operations. For several years, she organized camps to train young goalkeepers, ages 6-18. She’s also an assistant coach with the Rough Riders’ W-League team and previously coached at Dowling College and St. John’s University.

Larie Pintea The retired editor of the Erie Morning News and a longtime member of Mercyhurst’s President’s Associates, Larie convinced Sister Carolyn Herrmann to begin a rowing program in 1970, soon after the college admitted its first male students. He acquired some used equipment and coached a largely inexperienced team through its first season. When they beat Notre Dame in fall 1971, Larie was already envisioning a rowing program that could one day compete in prestigious international races like the Henley Royal Regatta, a feat that Mercyhurst accomplished in 2009. Mercyhurst recognized Larie’s legacy when one of three new boats that arrived in 1974 was christened the “Larie Pintea.” What he termed “Mercyhurst Crew – A New Tradition” grew to include a women’s team in 1975. With a national title for the women in 2004, big finishes at the Dad Vail Regatta, and that Henley appearance, expectations for both the women’s and men’s teams continue to grow each year.

2 Coaches of the Year (Ray Yost, men’s tennis; Adrian Spracklen, women’s rowing)

2 NCAA Elite 88 Award Winners (Vicki Bendus, women’s hockey; Bethany Brun, women’s rowing)

2 Players of the Year (Vicki Bendus, women’s hockey; Zach Nash, men’s lacrosse)

2 CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-Americans (Taylor Hilinski, women’s soccer; Bryan Boyce, football)

2 Rookies of the Year (Nick Scheetz, men’s lacrosse; Ben Rawding, baseball)

2 PSAC Top 10 Winners (Taylor Hilinski, women’s soccer; Kyle King, men’s tennis)

326 Mercyhurst Scholar-Athletes

83 members of Chi Sigma Alpha, Pi Chapter , the National College Athlete Honor Society

233 PSAC Scholar-Athletes

Lakers outstanding in athletics and academics

Once again during 2009-10, the Mercyhurst Lakers demonstrated the well-balanced student-athlete mix the college is known for, excelling not just in athletics but also in academics. Overall, the Lakers secured an 11th place finish in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Dixon Cup with a winning percentage of nearly 59 percent. Just as impressive, the PSAC recognized 233 Lakers as scholar-athletes for earning GPAs of 3.25 or higher. That’s 44 percent of ‘Hurst athletes, the best performance in the conference. On the national academic scene, juniors Vicki Bendus and Bethany Brun each captured an NCAA Elite 88 Award, given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA participating at an NCAA championship event.




She can do it all.

As the USA women’s hockey team entered the Olympic final game against Team Canada, many Lakers weren’t sure who to root for. Team USA would be the obvious choice, but leading Team Canada was fellow Laker forward Meghan Agosta. The Laker squad captain was on a one-year leave from Mercyhurst to train for the Olympic games.

An all-around great guy and an example of what being a Laker truly means. That’s how you could describe men’s tennis player Kyle King. A native of Greenville, Pa., he was awarded the 2009-10 PSAC Sportsmanship Award.

It’s no wonder Mercyhurst College women’s hockey forward Vicki Bendus was tapped for several academic and athletic performance awards this season. Bendus takes her studies seriously, posting a 3.93 GPA with a demanding curriculum in the biology/pre-medicine program but when this native of Wasaga Beach, Ontario, puts on her skates it’s all about hockey. In 2009-10, she led the women’s hockey team to its second appearance in the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four in Minneapolis, Minn. The Lakers fell to Cornell in a nail-biter overtime finish in the tournament’s semi-final round, leaving the #1 ranked Lakers with a 30-3-3 record. At the tournament, Bendus was presented the 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, the most coveted individual prize in NCAA women’s hockey. The AHCA / RBK First Team AllAmerican accumulated 28 goals and 37 assists for 65 points last season to lead the Lakers and tie for first nationally in overall points. She also received the NCAA Elite 88 Award, an honor given to the studentathlete with the highest grade point average participating at an NCAA championship event.

The Canadian flag was raised in the 2-0 USA loss, and Agosta skated to her second consecutive Olympic gold. Agosta earned Olympic records for most goals and hat tricks in a tournament and was dubbed the tournament MVP. Prior to this year’s Olympic bid, Agosta was named a 2009 First Team All-American, a two-time Patty Kazmaier Award finalist, College Hockey America Player of the Year, CHA Three-Star Player of the Year, CHA All-Tournament Team member, and Frozen Four All-Tournament Team member. The American Hockey Coaches Association voted her a Division I First Team All-American as a freshman, to complement her CHA Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year awards.

This year, Agosta will rejoin the star-studded Laker squad with hopes of adding a Frozen Four trophy to her collection. If the team is successful in earning a final four bid, they won’t have to travel far – the 2011 Women’s Frozen Four will be held at Erie’s Tullio Arena.

King displayed sportsmanship, leadership and values at every match, as any of his opponents will testify. He routinely applauded opponents’ good shots and even apologized if he got a lucky bounce. In a team match with the teams tied 4-4, King was playing in what would ultimately be the deciding match. On the third match point of the set, King’s shot caught the top of the net and fell over, giving Mercyhurst the 5-4 team win. As King shook hands with his opponent, he apologized, calling the shot lucky and apologizing that the match ended like that. He also said his opponent had played one of the best matches of his college career. King, an English major, graduated with a 4.0 and was named to the ESPN The Magazine Men’s At-Large Academic All-America® team as a third team selection after being named first team Academic All-District.


People in the News Dr. Laura Lewis received the 2010 Teaching Excellence Award. An associate professor of social work/sociology and a research fellow with the Mercyhurst Civic Institute, she has championed social justice causes, most recently representing Mercyhurst on Erie Together, a community initiative formed in 2009 to combat poverty. Robert Kuhn assumed the post of chief of police and director of public safety at Mercyhurst on July 1. Kuhn, who has more than 30 years of experience with the Erie Police Department, holds two bachelor’s degrees, is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., and has worked for the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Irene Brown, who’s taught in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Information Systems since 1984, retired this spring.

Development. Foust formerly served as assistant director of career services and cooperative education.

The Board of Trustees granted tenure and promotion to associate professor to faculty members James Breckenridge (intelligence studies/ business), Dr. Roger Griffiths (mathematics/ computer science) and C. Noelle Partusch (dance). Amy WeaverKaulis (fashion merchandising) and Dawn Wozneak (intelligence studies) have been named assistant professors. Judy Smith, Ph.D., formerly director of the Mercyhurst Counseling Center, has been named executive director of wellness. She will oversee both the Counseling Center and the Cohen Student Health Center, while working to promote the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of Mercyhurst students. Dr. Kyle Foust has been appointed to the new post of executive director of experiential learning. He’ll oversee the Career Development Center, the Office of Service Learning, and the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership

Dr. Mary Hembrow Snyder has been named the first endowed chair in Mercy & Catholic studies at Mercyhurst, where she has been a member of the religious studies faculty for more than 23 years. She will also direct the new Center for Mercy & Catholic Studies.

Dr. Brian Ripley has been appointed dean of faculty and will work full time as an associate to the vice president for academic affairs. Attorney Meredith Schultz is moving from her administrative post to become a full-time faculty member and interim associate dean of the Walker School of Business. In other appointments, Dr. Mary Ann Owoc was named associate dean of the Zurn School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Dr. Chris Magoc associate dean of the School of Social Sciences.

Tom Billingsley retires after 40 years Tom Billingsley first came to Mercyhurst in 1963. A Gannon history student, he spent two summers here, cutting grass and helping out with maintenance. He lived in one of the deck houses that used to stand where Sullivan Hall is today. He earned his bachelor’s degree, then a master’s from the University of Virginia, taught high school for a while and spent two years in the military, including a tour in Vietnam. A commissioned officer in field artillery, he earned the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal for Valor. When he came to work here full time – in 1969 – Mercyhurst had just admitted its first male students, and Tom became the first male admissions counselor. Except for short periods when he was doing doctoral work at the State University of New York at Buffalo, he remained at the college until retiring on June 30. 20 | MERCYHURST MAGAZINE

Eight veteran employees who contributed a combined 200 years to Mercyhurst retired at the end of June. In addition to Executive Vice President Tom Billingsley (see story below), they include faculty secretary Mary Jeanne Weiser (36 years); Mercyhurst North East Registrar Bonnie Hall (35 years); academic counselor Betty Damper (27 years); Marion Nies, assistant to Vice President Billingsley (20 years); Ed Hess, director of sponsored research (16 years); Police Chief Ken Sidun (14 years); and PC support specialist Bernie McGallis (13 years).

Four new trustees will join the 34-member college board of trustees at its meeting Oct. 28, 2010. They are: Sister Mary Ann Bader, RSM ’73, Patrick J. Weschler, Esq. ’78, Counting those two early years, Tom was part of Mercyhurst for 42 years – half its history. And, at one time or another, he was responsible for virtually every function except academic affairs. Tiring of life on the road as a recruiter, he became the college’s registrar. He moved into McAuley Hall the first year that men lived there. In the late ’70s, when Mercyhurst attracted federal grant money earmarked to help smaller colleges become more effective, Tom supervised the program. During the ’80s, he handled enrollment services, admissions and financial aid. As the college grew, Tom was a

senior Santina B. Sgro and Matthew J. Robaszkiewicz ’88. Bader, who has been president of Mercyhurst Preparatory School since August 2002, will complete the tenure of retiring Trustee Sister Maria O’Connor, RSM. Weschler, a partner in the law firm of Buckingham, Doolittle and Burroughs, LLP, Akron, Ohio, will complete the trustee term of the late Helen F. Mullen. Robaszkiewicz becomes president of the Mercyhurst College National Alumni Association Sept. 1. He is affiliated with the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministries, Washington, D.C. Sgro, of Valley View, Ohio, is the current president of Mercyhurst Student Government. She is an intelligence studies major.

Brittany Prischak ’09 has returned to Mercyhurst as the college’s sustainability officer. A 2009 graduate, she compiled the college’s first greenhouse gas emissions inventory as her senior project. Besides updating that inventory, she’ll coordinate campus recycling and energy conservations efforts and other programs designed to promote a sustainable future. Dr. Helen Fabian Mullen ’47, former academic dean of Mercyhurst (Erie Campus) and the McAuley Division, died Monday, Feb. 8, 2010. She had served on Mercyhurst’s Board of Trustees since 1991. In 1978, Mercyhurst named her its Distinguished Alumna of the Year.

Four Mercyhurst alumni were recently elected officers of the college board of trustees for Fiscal Year 2011: Marlene D. Mosco ’68, chair of the board; Richard A. Lanzillo, Esq. ’83, vice chair; Sister JoAnne K. Courneen, RSM ’64, vice chair; and Mary Ellen Dahlkemper ’73, assistant secretary. Other officers are Robert S. Miller, secretary, and Owen J. McCormick, second assistant secretary.

key part of four self-study teams, in 1975, 1982, 1992 and 2002. He became director of administrative services in 1984. At the peak of his 25 years in that role, he was responsible for the physical plant, athletics, budget and student life. He was the face of Mercyhurst for town-gown relationships. He was even acting president on occasion. He supervised other areas, too, from auxiliary services and police and safety to ROTC and the Sullivan Conservatory. Officially, his final title was executive vice president but he laughingly called himself the “director of stuff.”

In retirement, he hopes to travel the country, like John Steinbeck and his faithful poodle, Charley, did a half-century ago. He’d like to find out what the American experience has been like for different people and how America came to be the country it is today. He’ll also have more time to spend with his wife, Lupé; daughters Ashley and her husband, Todd, and Brooke and her husband, Matt; and grandchildren Logan and Aidan.


Where are they now? Mercyhurst Magazine invited some longtime faculty members to fill us in on what they’ve been doing since leaving the Hurst. Marilynn Jewell with her collie, Tammy, at her Michigan cottage.

courses, since we were able to get to know each other more personally.” Marilynn Miller Jewell taught German and English courses at Mercyhurst from 1965 to 1993, including four levels of German, the “World Masterpieces” literature class, Advanced Grammar, and Word Origins in Latin and Greek. She chaired the Department of Language Arts for several years, and served a term as president of the Faculty Senate. She worked part-time in administration as well, serving as assistant to former President Dr. Marion L. Shane. She graduated from the Hurst in 1948 as valedictorian of her class, earned her master’s degree in 1965 by studying summers at Middlebury College, and received her doctorate in 1981 from the University of Michigan during a twoyear sabbatical.

Edward Gallagher

Marilynn Jewell After wrapping up a 28-year teaching career at Mercyhurst in 1993, Marilynn Jewell and her husband traveled widely through Europe and Asia. Once traveling became too much of a chore, she says she became a stay-at-home wife, mother and grandmother. Today, Marilynn and Ken, who celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary in November 2009, spend winters at their home in Palm Harbor, Fla. During the summer months they head 22 | MERCYHURST MAGAZINE

north to their cottage on beautiful Blue Lake in Michigan. They have four children and eight grandchildren, now ages 23 to 31 who are either in graduate school or working. Reflecting on her years on the Hill, she says, “Mostly I remember – and miss – the people … dear friends among my colleagues … dear friends among the Sisters of Mercy … and the students. I remember especially the students who accompanied me on the Intersession travel

Ed Gallagher is at home in Millcreek Township these days, but he and his wife, Esther, traveled extensively after he retired in 2001, including tours of the West Coast, Mexico, Central America, northern South America, the Caribbean, France and England. They still spend four to six weeks every year in an ocean villa at Hilton Head, S.C. He notes they especially enjoy connecting with students and alumni from Mercyhurst’s hospitality program they encounter in the hotels and restaurants there. Always a big man, in recent years Ed has shed 170 pounds through a combination of the Atkins Diet™ and a challenging walking program. He’s still working to maintain that remarkable loss, although some recent surgeries, including a knee replacement a few years ago, are making it hard to keep up with the exercise regimen. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and cooking. Though Ed and Esther never had children of their own, they consider the hundreds of students they’ve taught over the years family.

Ed Gallagher

“Those were our kids, and we’re both missing them a lot,” he said, including the Laker cheerleaders he used to coach. Ed Gallagher came to Mercyhurst in 1972 and retired in 2001. During most of his career here, he ran the secondary education and student teaching programs, and he served as assistant academic dean from 1977 to 1980. He was also president of the College Senate for many years and was the first recipient of Mercyhurst’s Teaching Excellence Award.

Sister Mary Matthew Baltus, RSM Sister Mary Matthew started teaching at Mercyhurst in 1961. Though she hasn’t taught full time since 1991, she’s still very much a part of the college. She makes her home with three other Mercy sisters in a house adjacent to Mercyhurst Prep

and fills her days with a variety of activities. She teaches math part time in the Adult College, tutors several Ugandan sisters who are attending Mercyhurst, does watercolor painting, works in her vegetable garden, drives retired sisters to their appointments, and attends Elderhostel (Exploritas) programs. Her memories of Mercyhurst date to the college’s early days, when her mother brought her to campus to watch the May Crowning in the grotto and the Maypole dances on the front lawn. She studied at Mercyhurst for a year before transferring to Cornell University, entered the Sisters of Mercy soon after her graduation, and has been associated with the college one way or another ever since. “When I first taught at the college there were about 400 students, all women,” she recalls. “They were wonderful girls, and I loved teaching them and working with them.” Sister Mary Matthew Baltus held many positions at Mercyhurst: professor of astronomy and math; dean of students in charge of residence life; interim academic dean; chairperson of the Math and Science Department; chairperson of the College Senate; and, most recently, adjunct faculty member in the Adult College. The Baltus Observatory atop Zurn Hall was named in her honor in 1993.

Jamie Yule Jamie Yule lives in western Montana and is outdoors every chance she gets enjoying what she calls “possibly the most beautiful place on God’s green earth.” In 2008, she took a Forest Stewardship Workshop

being offered by the State of Montana on Flathead Lake (where her family owns a cabin) and eventually wrote a management plan for her family’s forest property. Now she represents Montana landowners on the Montana Forest Stewardship Steering Committee. She also serves as president of the homeowners’ association for the 46-unit townhouse complex in which she lives. She says, “Now and then I do not-for-profit catering for a few close friends. Sourdough starter came to my home in 2008, and since then weekly bread baking is routine as well as exploration of various world cuisines. This year I opened a completely private Italian restaurant (Ristorante Hellgate Canyon) open to friends by appointment only. A close friend and I collaborated on a complete home remodel for a mutual friend nearby and served as general contractors for all renovations.” She’s active with Christ the King Parish, and continues to be a parttime caregiver to her sister, Val, and to her longtime friend, Marie Matte. Jamie B. Yule came to Mercyhurst in 1960 as an instructor in home economics, became department chair in 1969, and was promoted to full professor of what was then known as Human Ecology in 1975. The department was later renamed Family and Consumer Sciences. In 1998 her former students created the Jamie B. Yule Scholarship in her honor, “for her teaching excellence, leadership in Human Ecology education, and contribution to the Mercyhurst College community.” Jamie Yule with her friend, Marie Matte, at the nursing home where Marie now resides.

Sister Mary Matthew paddles her kayak, a gift from her family to celebrate 60 years as a Sister of Mercy.


Alumni fall in love with ’Hurst again at Reunion Weekend Mercyhurst launched a new tradition June 1113, welcoming alumni – including members of the 50-year Class of 1960 – back to Erie to celebrate a special Reunion Weekend.

The golden anniversary class gathered in the Bookstore Coffee Bar on Friday evening, then were honored at a more formal dinner in the Cummings Gallery on Saturday.

The popular Homecoming Weekend and HurstFest will continue each fall (see details on back cover), but class reunions will now be scheduled in June. Anniversary classes can spend more time reminiscing and reconnecting while taking advantage of Erie’s many summer attractions.

Many ’60 alums chose to stay in Warde Hall, the new freshman residence hall that opened in fall 2009. It was a new experience for the women who spent most of their college years in Egan Hall, the school’s original dormitory. The graduates who attended the inaugural event had high praise. Said Marlane Paruso ’60, “Not having returned before the 50th reunion, I was awed at the growth of the college and the administration’s vision for a larger and better Mercyhurst with dreams of it becoming a university. I truly fell in love with Mercyhurst again.”

Reunion co-chair Barbara Chambers wrote, “Every one of the class members expressed how much they enjoyed the weekend and how glad they were to have come.” Co-chair Joan Santangelo added, “We made a lot of new memories.” Each Reunion Weekend will feature gettogethers for classes marking 10-, 25-, 40and 50-year anniversaries. If you graduated in 2001, 1986, 1971 or 1961, mark your calendars now for Reunion Weekend 2011 on June 10-12. Special reunions will also be offered each year for generational groups and for alumni who share special interests. For 2011, these will include graduates of about 15 years ago (Classes of 1995, 1996 and 1997) and 35 years ago (Classes of 1975, 1976 and 1977).

Barbara Chambers shows off apparel from her student days, including her May Day dress, sweatshirt and college blazer.

Members of the Class of 1960 pose on the stairs of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. Row 1 (beginning at the bottom): Sister Phyllis Marie McDonald, Joan Kostolansky Santangelo, Adele Ontko, Sister Mary Mark McCarthy. Row 2: Mary Lou Kelly, Joan O’Malley Ciucevich, Marlane Franco Paruso. Row 3: Mary Bescher Johnson, Theresa Proulx Crowley. Row 4: Joan Bye Dengler, Barbara Chambers. Row 5: Barbara Donatelli Bentze, Toni Baronoski Benczkowski. Row 6: Mary Stark Miller, Kay Clayton Hutton, Carolyn Golanka Euliano. Row 7: Wanda Toth Snyder, Margaret McCaughey Keough, Charlotte Grey Kneidinger. Row 8: Laurel Lockhart.Row 9: Marilyn Smith Batra, Patricia Green Conner. 24 | MERCYHURST MAGAZINE

If you can’t make it back to Erie, Alumni Relations also stages events in cities around the country. They started with Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, but have also branched out to cities from Denver to Boston to Washington, D.C.

Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum was the site of an alumni gathering March 30.

Mercyhurst to offer classes at Erie neighborhood center

Mercyhurst affiliates with two medical institutions

Mercyhurst has announced a partnership with Erie’s Booker T. Washington Center that will allow center city students to earn up to their entire first year’s worth of college credits at little out-of-pocket cost in a familiar location that provides a variety of support services. The new initiative is aimed at students who might have thought a college education wasn’t attainable. Mercyhurst will offer nine courses at the center during the first year of operation.

Mercyhurst College has entered into affiliation agreements with two medical institutions – the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Independence, Ohio, and the New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, N.Y. This will allow qualifying students to accelerate their education in the health professions

‘Hurst goes 100 percent wind power

A new flat-rate tuition system goes into effect at the start of the 2010-11 academic year for traditional students pursuing a four-year degree, replacing the old per-credit billing system. Most fulltime students (those who register for eight to 12 credits in a trimester) will pay the same standard rate, resulting in more predictable bills. Students will continue to pay major-specific fees for such things as science labs, music lessons, art supplies and student teaching. Flat billing is currently being explored for other campuses and student types.

Mercyhurst announced in May it would become 100 percent wind powered this year. Mercyhurst began purchasing wind energy seven years ago at the 10 percent level, increasing to 30 percent in 2008. Besides helping to meet the college’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the change will actually reduce the premium Mercyhurst pays to purchase wind energy off the regional electricity grid. Cleveland area alums got together March 31 at Dave and Buster’s.

Dinosaur exhibit attracts thousands

Alumni from the Buffalo, N.Y., area met April 6 at My Tomato Pie in Amherst, N.Y.

To learn about upcoming events, as well as about current happenings at Mercyhurst, visit and register for the Online Alumni Community. And check out the Mercyhurst College Alumni Network on Facebook®.

A new exhibit of specimens from Mercyhurst’s Sincak Fossil Collection is attracting thousands of visitors at Erie’s Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) at Presque Isle State Park. The show – which continues through late September – features a 15-foot-long, 7-foot wide Plesiosaur. Other highlights include an enormous specimen of Tsintaosaurus, a heavily built, duckbilled dinosaur from China; life-size skulls of Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops; and a nest of five real fossil dinosaur eggs. The exhibit is free and open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Mercyhurst offers flat-rate billing

MNE partners with Lake View Country Club A new collaboration with the Lake View Country Club is providing service-learning opportunities for culinary students from Mercyhurst North East. The students are gaining valuable experience in the food service sector, including operational procedures, service excellence and restaurant management. In addition, Laker golf teams are using the Lake View course for team practice and Mercyhurst employees are eligible for discounted social memberships at the club.


MERCYHURST COLLEGE CLASS NOTES The SEVENTIES Rosemary Blieszner ’70, alumni distinguished professor of human development, associate director of the Center for Gerontology, and associate dean of the graduate school at Virginia Tech, delivered the keynote addresses at Virginia Tech’s fall University and Graduate School Commencement ceremonies on Dec. 18, 2009. Blieszner addressed undergraduate students at the University Ceremony. John Gable ’78 announces that Ginia Faye and Bobo’s World Adventure – the first in a series of children’s books – has been published.

The EIGHTIES Sandy Taylor ’87 has been named superintendent of the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site in Tuskegee, Ala. She also supervises the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site and the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail.

The NINETIES Tony Prusak ’90, director of convention sales for Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center, was named vice president for communications and technology of the International Medical Meeting Professionals Association (IMMPA) at the group’s annual meeting May 17-19 in St. Louis, Mo. He was also named to the board of directors for the St. Louis-based organization that provides education, certification and resources to healthcare meeting professionals. Kelly Higgins ’95 earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Fayetteville State University. Ryan Banks ’96 was promoted to director of sales for the “Mrs. Meyer’s

Clean Day” brand for the Caldrea Company based in Minneapolis, Minn. Mrs. Meyer’s is an all-natural, earth-friendly personal care and home cleaning line that can be purchased in retail stores. Ryan resides in Atlanta, Ga., and has a home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Tyson Erlewine ’96 lives in Simpsonville, S.C., where he works as supervisor of therapies at Hillcrest Memorial Hospital. Tyson was selected as one of Greenville’s Best and Brightest 35 and Under by Greenville Business Magazine. Tyson has been recognized as a Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy (OCS) and as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). Tyson, his wife, Sheri, and three children (Carson, Brennan and Payton) are very involved in their community. Tyson has developed a community outreach program to local senior groups about orthopedic issues that seniors may face. He also enjoys coaching baseball and flag football. James Schmitt Jr. ’98 earned a master’s of business administration from Point Park University in Pittsburgh on Aug. 20, 2009. Michael Karabinos ’99 is part of ChemCollective, a digital library of online activities for general chemistry instruction that engages students in authentic problem-solving activities. His recent work on the project led to publication in Science magazine.

The MILLENNIUM Anne Onofrey McClendon ’00 has received her Ed.D. in elementary education from the University of West Alabama. She lives in Tuscaloosa, Ala., with her husband, Allen, and children, Grady and Sadie.

Jill Kolivoski, MT ’01 was part of the 47-member medical staff that supported more than 200 U.S. athletes at the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, Canada. Christina Maffei ’01 was promoted from restaurant manager to food and beverage director at Trump International Hotel and Tower Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii. Christina joined the Trump Hotel Collection in 2007 as part of the pre-opening team for the Chicago property, and later joined the pre-opening team for Hawaii before the opening in late 2009. Scott Platz ’01 was awarded his MBA from Lake Erie College on Dec. 13, 2009. Thomas Reznik ’01 graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. His wife, Annie DeMeo Reznik ’02, and children, Caroline, 2, and Anthony, 7 months, were there to cheer him on as he crossed the stage. He is continuing his training in internal medicine at Rhode Island Hospital/ Brown University. Brandon Gabler ’02 completed his Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Arizona in May 2009, and is employed as senior archaeologist at William Self Associates Inc. in Tucson, Ariz. Mandy Clark ’04 has accepted a position as vice president of operations at Stem Cell Assurance in Boca Raton, Fla. The company provides autologous adult stem cell banking and related procedures. Emily Marie McGuirk ’07 received her master’s degree in art therapy and counseling psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Ill. Kenny Foster ’08 was featured in the “Where Are They Now?” section of the Jefferson County Neighbors paper. A first lieutenant in the U.S.

Army, he has been stationed in Fort Polk, La., and Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, and in June moved to Fort Carson, Colo. The article highlighted Kenny’s love for running. Kenny, who attended Mercyhurst on a cross country scholarship, has run many marathons, 10Ks and half-marathons. He is a member of the Army Marathon Team and will be training for the 2012 Olympic Marathon. Katie Zinn ’08 graduated from Case Western Reserve University with her master’s in social service administration.


Liz Strucker ’94 and Jason Meador pose with the Laker cheerleaders outside Tullio Field on Sept. 19, 2009. Their wedding in Christ the King Chapel coincided with Homecoming Weekend festivities on campus. Tamerine Kolniak ’97 married Steve Tarnish on June 14, 2009, at Belhurst Castle Winery and Hotel on Seneca Lake in Geneva, N.Y. Lauren Brechtel ’03 married Creg Pura on Jan. 31, 2009, at Holy Rosary Church in Johnsonburg, Pa. They honeymooned in Hawaii and reside in Wilcox, Pa., where Lauren is an administrative assistant at TempleInland, a medium-density fiberboard mill in Mt. Jewett, Pa.

Wilwohl takes world of new media by storm When Josh Wilwohl blogs about “instant communication,” the “give it to me now” paradigm and the “raw energy” of breaking news, there’s no denying his conviction. “Journalism is morphing from a bricks-and-mortar environment to a handheld phenomenon,” he says. “Netbooks®, iPhones®, BlackBerries® and other handheld devices are where the world’s major stories are breaking.” The 2008 Mercyhurst graduate and former Merciad editor has taken the world of new media by storm, pioneering a loosely defined concept - “handheld journalism” - into his

own personal brand and parlaying that into a hot, new career field. Since leaving Mercyhurst, Wilwohl landed a job with, a new hyperlocal, national news organization spearheaded by AOL; worked for newspaper giant The New Jersey Star-Ledger; earned his master’s degree in emergency and disaster management; co-founded, an online news organization operated from handheld devices to provide commentary and analysis on global emergencies and disasters; and coined the term “handheld journalism.”


Danielle DeMatteo ’00 married Jeremiah Dabolt on Sept. 26, 2009, at Deerhurst Presbyterian Church in Buffalo, N.Y. Members of the wedding party included Dr. Tracy Bacik-Brausa ’99 and Kara Wurst McGrath ’00. The couple spent two weeks traveling in Hawaii before returning home to Buffalo. Scott Fiorina ’04 and Meghan Lang ’05 were married Aug. 25, 2007, at St. John Bosco Church, Parma, Ohio. They currently reside in Painesville, Ohio. Other Mercyhurst alumni in the wedding party included: Doug Morally ’04, Jessica Allison ’05, Megan Johnson ’05 and Sheena Kieffer ’06. Jennifer Cufri ’05 married Michael Tucci on Sept. 26, 2009, at St. John Vianney Church in Mentor, Ohio. They now reside in Painesville Township. Kelly Martin ’05 married Ryan Leszczewski on Sept. 19, 2009, at Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Pickerington, Ohio. The wedding party included Mindy Gates ’03 as matron of honor and Melissa Springer ’03. Elizabeth Tasker ’05 married Timothy Immarino on Sept. 12, 2009, at the Chapel of the Divine Word in Cleveland, Ohio. Autumn Hamady ’05 was in the wedding party, and Carrie Rose ’05 was cantor for the Mass. Elizabeth and Tim live in South Euclid, Ohio.

Jennifer Anderson ’06 married Timothy Michel on Oct. 10, 2009, at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Butler, Pa. They spent their honeymoon in Hawaii and now reside in Prospect, Pa. Jennifer is a service coordinator at Community Care Connections and Timothy is a supervisor at Adams Manufacturing. Ryan Bessey ’06 married Lindsay Drzazga on Nov. 7, 2009, at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Blasdell, N.Y. Philip Ganci ’06 was the best man. Ryan and Lindsay live in Lloyd Harbor, N.Y., where Ryan works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Ellen Karstedt ’07 and Jason Zittel were married July 25, 2009, in Eden, N.Y. Members of the bridal party included Jessica Introna ’07 and Amber Chutz ’07. Ellen’s sister, Paula, a current student at Mercyhurst, was maid of honor. Ellen and Jason are now living in Hershey, Pa. Ellen is the daughter of Amy Blood Karstedt ’80 and Gordy Karstedt ’80. Colleen Davis ’08 ’10 and Ken Dowse ’07 are engaged to be married. They are planning an Oct. 23, 2010, ceremony. Amanda Placek ’08 married Aaron Wood on May 1, 2010, at Grace Church, McKean, Pa. Members of the bridal party included Sally McKenney ’08 and Elizabeth Ellis ’08.

BIRTHS Kathleen Nicholson Mahon ’89 and husband Daniel had a daughter, Delainey Kathleen, on March 9, 2010. She joins big sister Shea. The Mahons reside in Wexford, Pa.

Brian Aarons ’92 and Shannon Campion had a son, Rylan August Aarons, on Oct. 1, 2009. Kristen Churchill Melan ’92 and husband Peter had a daughter, Sophia Catherine, on Nov. 19, 2009. She joins big brother Patrick. Jule Gardner Banville ’95 and husband Lee had a daughter, Kate Gardner Banville, on Dec. 8, 2009. Jule lives in Missoula, Mont., and has taught classes at the University of Montana School of Journalism. Jennifer Petersen ’95 and Jeffrey Wisneski had a son, Linus Antti Wisneski, on Dec. 12, 2009, at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa. Kimberley Bolek White ’96 and husband Jeff had a daughter, Sophia Adrien, on July 18, 2009, in Elmhurst, Ill. Tamerine Kolniak Tarnish ’97 and husband Steve had their first son, Nathan William, on Nov. 5, 2009, in Buffalo, N.Y. Carla McCutcheon Wienke ’97 and husband Todd had a son, Mason Emmett, on Oct. 27, 2009. Mason joins big sister EvaRose Marie. Craig Young ’98 and Tricia Petrich Young ’98 had a daughter, Brooke Susan, on Feb. 21, 2010, in Willoughby, Ohio. She joins big brothers Wyatt and John. Ryan Wienand ’99 and Amy Pieczynski Wienand ’00 had a son, Jacob Michael, on June 6, 2009. He joins big brother Miles.

Megan Laverty Bruno ’00 and husband David had a daughter, Mia Marie, on Oct. 1, 2009, at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. She joins big sister Emma. Thomas Reznik ’01 and Annie DeMeo Reznik ’02 had a son, Anthony Thomas, on Oct. 20, 2009, in Howard County General Hospital. They also have a daughter, Caroline. Allison Oberle Wakeman ’01 and Jesse Wakeman ’00 had a daughter, Abigail Elizabeth, on March 26, 2010. Abigail joins big sister Olivia, 2. They live in Newark, Del. Mandy Weaver ’01 ’07 and husband Gerald had a son, Isaac James, on Jan. 26, 2010. He joins brother Josh and sisters Lindsey and Victoria. Brandon Gabler ’02 and wife Rachel had their first child, daughter Juniper Elise, on Oct. 7, 2009. Alison Stahre Heramb ’02 and Ryan Heramb ’02 had a son, Charles Raymond (Charlie), on Sept. 26, 2009. He joins brothers Jack and Sam and sister Ellie. Michelle Mogel Hosford ‘02 and husband Donnie welcomed their third child, daughter Soraya Ainslee, on Aug. 17, 2009. Soraya joins bothers Mason and Aidan. The Hosfords reside in Erie, Pa. Jennifer Palladino Noe ’02 and husband Patrick had a son, Luke Paul, on Jan. 22, 2010, in Buffalo, N.Y. Jeffrey Halladay ’03 and wife Nicole had a daughter, Lillian Catherine, on May 31, 2009, in Savannah, Ga.

Were you to Google® “handheld journalism,” you’d discover Wilwohl’s blog ( tops the search list.

offered an editor/writer position with the StarLedger. He’s since left to enhance his multimedia talent at

As a Mercyhurst student, Wilwohl was the first to move the Merciad student newspaper to an online edition and to deliver a more investigative approach to college news. His forward-thinking wasn’t lost on an industry that in recent years has issued more pink slips than business cards.

“Mercyhurst gave me the background and confidence to do what I’m doing now,” he says. “What’s great about Mercyhurst is that you can make and sustain relationships that you never could at a larger college. I still call my Merciad adviser, Bill Welch, for advice.”

Wilwohl says the Star-Ledger listened to some of his ideas, and the Huffington Post now captures his tweets for its technology edition. He’ll likely make even more inroads when his new book, All the News That Fits in Your Pocket, comes out this fall. There will not be a printed version, just one that can be captured on handheld devices, like the Kindle®, and as an “app” on the iPhone® and iPad®.

In fact, he had two newspaper job offers before he even left campus, opting to take his first with The New Jersey Herald in hopes of breaking into the New York market. Eight months later, he was

While journalism is a business Wilwohl is passionate about, he refuses to accept the status quo, and cautions other professionals to think outside the newsroom.

He says he has no idea where technology will take him in today’s rapidly evolving information delivery age, but he plans to be at the front of his class regardless.

MERCYHURST COLLEGE CLASS NOTES Lauren Brechtel Pura ’03 and husband Creg had a son, Carson Andrew, on Nov. 12, 2009.

Husband of:

Father of:

Constance M. Settlemeyer Ripley ’58 (Noel Ripley)

Gerard “Sparky” C. Mills ‘80 (John J. Mills Sr.)

Nicolle Bellmore Pierse ’04 and husband Jeff had a daughter, Ellizabeth Danielle, on Sept. 6, 2009. Ellizabeth joins big sister Hailley.

Gloria Borczon Palmer ‘61 (John A. Palmer)

John J. Woodruff ’80 (John R. Woodruff)

Stephanie Schnacke Fox ’05 and Timothy Fox ’04 had a daughter, Alyssa Marie, on Feb. 12, 2010. They live in Charlotte, N.C.

Son of:

Muriel Lehman Flecken ‘36

Teri Zupsic Reese ’69 (Antoinette Zupsic)

Patricia Haughney Weithman ‘42 Elizabeth Rogers Kulyk ‘45 Sr. Mary Clare McWilliams, RSM ’45 Janet Steinmetz Stephens ’49 Anna Marie Bergan Teed ’59 Mary Kierzek Copple ‘74 Carol Gustafson ‘78 Paul Dahlkemper Jr. ‘95 Beth Amati Reichel ‘01 Emma King Carr ’03

Brother of:

Cammy Kwolek Matusz ’62 and Tania Kwolek Hanlin ’64 (Isabelle Kwolek)


Helen Fabian Mullen ‘47

Cathy Castner Swords ’73 (Brian Swords) Mother of:


Elizabeth Watkins Anibaldi ’02 and Emily Watkins Tomaino ’04 (Douglas A. Watkins)

Pamela Habib ’70 (Arlene Habib) Vicki Yurcovic Wyten ‘73 (Margaret R. Yurcovic) Rosemary Slater Johnson ’74 (Norma R. Slater) Brian K. Ward ’74 (Margaret L. Ward) Margaret M. McMinn ’96 (Mary Ann Hancheck)

Sarah Hanrahan Rose ’41 Father-in-law of:

With Apologies The office of alumni relations extends sincere apologies to Martha Calvert Husband ’59, who was erroneously listed as deceased in the February/ March 2010 edition of the Mercyhurst Magazine. We appreciate Martha’s humor and graciousness in communicating the error to us. She wrote, “To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Martha is currently living in Rocky Hill, Conn.

Eric Anibaldi ’95 and Anthony Tomaino ’03 (Douglas A. Watkins) Brother-in-law of: Anne Dymski ’54 (The Rev. Dan Dymski) Friends of the College Donald DiPlacido Father John Dollinger Irene Gardocki Sandy Petruso

This issue includes alumni news received through June 15, 2010.

Spotlight on: Pamela Swaney ’06

Spotlight on: Kia Chapman ’03

Pamela Swaney joined the St. Louis Ballet as a corps de ballet dancer soon after her graduation in 2006 and has also taught for the St. Louis Ballet School for the past three years.

When Kia Chapman was studying elementary education at Mercyhurst, she was also active in productions of the Erie Playhouse. Today she’s putting her training from both venues to work in the Denver, Colo., area.

Promoted to soloist in 2008 and to principal in 2009, she has danced roles including the Snow Queen in “The Nutcracker,” Aurora in “Sleeping Beauty,” Photo by Rick Klein and the title role in “Cinderella.” While her company performs primarily classical story ballets, she’s also appeared in several Balanchine ballets and contemporary works, and was a guest artist with Ballet Chicago in 2007. Pam credits her Mercyhurst dance professors for their mentoring, even after graduation. “The performance opportunities I received at Mercyhurst have both physically and artistically prepared me for the rigors of a professional company,” she reflects. Unfortunately, she’s had to take a break from performing for several months due to an injury during a recent “Swan Lake” rehearsal. Once her recuperation is complete, she expects to be back on stage. Eventually, she’d like to teach full time. “I feel that keeping the art alive and passing down information to the next generation is important,” Pam says. “Most of all, I want to share my passion for dance with others.”

Kia’s been teaching second grade in charter schools for the past six years. In addition, she earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Northern Colorado in 2009 and continues to perform in semi-professional theater. She even won a “Tiny” award as Best Supporting Actress for her role as Sister Mary Amnesia in “Nunsense.” She was recently promoted into a new role as regional Data and Differentiation Coach for Imagine Schools Colorado. She’s also started an afterschool program for elementary school students that teaches character lessons through drama. After a successful summer camp tryout, she’ll take The Character Players and her original musicals into three schools this fall. Kia has earned a variety of awards during her teaching career, capped by recognition as Teacher of the Year for National Imagine Schools. “I feel fortunate to have gone to a school that prepared me so well for my future career as an educator,” Kia says. “The immediate in-classroom experiences were diverse and many, and they enabled me to build my confidence as a teacher.”

Expanding horizons The Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center celebrates its 15th anniversary

Mercyhurst’s Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center provides a critical link to the cultural richness of the world beyond its gates. Over the past 15 years, the broad reach of the PAC has brought to campus Japanese Taiko drummers, Flamenco guitarists, Palestinian oud players, Mexican folk dancers, Celtic musicians and contemporary American dance companies.

PAC Quick Facts • The PAC cost $3.7 million to build. • The inaugural season ushered in roughly 4,000 people; last season more than 27,000 people attended. • In 15 years, the PAC has brought more than 500,000 visitors to campus. • Nearly 100 events are offered annually at the PAC, drawing in people from around the region and as far away as Denver, Colo. • The PAC staff incudes 6 fulltime staff members and 90 work-study students. • The student staff represents more than 13 different countries. • Mercyhurst is one of only four colleges in the U.S. to offer the Met: HD Live Series, launched here in 2007.

The actual connection that world renowned visiting artists provide is more than a transient link to audiences in the theater: Mercyhurst students in a variety of disciplines have unique opportunities to connect one on one with internationally recognized artists. The Visiting Artist Series, as well as other student outreach programs, allow Mercyhurst students to engage in dialogues with professional artists. These connections are vital networking opportunities that have even led to employment. The Guelcher Film Series, the Met: HD Live Series, and the Live from NY’s 92nd St. Y Series have also played a significant role expanding world views. For years, critically acclaimed films have helped to expose both the Mercyhurst and Erie communities to important global issues, while satellite technology has allowed them to connect with some of world’s most influential minds and artists. Stronger than ever, the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center looks forward to a stellar anniversary season, beginning with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on Sept. 29. Also visiting this season are the brilliantly hilarious Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, five-time Grammy Award winning blues guitarist Buddy Guy and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, who will perform as part of the PAC’s second annual fundraising gala in May. To request a season brochure call (814) 824-3000 or check out for event listings.

Wynton Marsalis

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage


501 East 38th Street, Erie, PA 16546

Erie, PA Permit No. 10

• Alumni Golf Outing • Unveiling of the Front Entrance • Friday Night Lights • Campus Tours and Gatherings • Homecoming Tailgate • Homecoming Football Game • Hurstfest 2010 • Mass in the Chapel • Homecoming Brunch Please visit for details and registration Prefer to register by phone or by mail? Contact us at (800) 845-8568

Mercyhurst Magazine - August 2010  

Mercyhurst Magazine - August 2010 A magazine for alumni and friends of Mercyhurst College, Erie, Pa.