FORWARD THE ALUMNI MAGAZINE of SETON HILL UNIVERSITY
Seton Hill University Celebrates the Class of 2022 at May Commencement
SP R I NG / S U M M ER 20 22
FORWARD FEATURES 2
Message from the President
Ruth O’Block Grant Left Indelible Mark on Seton Hill
Grant Scholars Continue Legacy of Ruth O’Block Grant
Karen Farmer White Honored as Woman of Influence Setonian Mission Formation Program Preserves Charism
10 of Sisters of Charity
12 Class of 2022 Asked to ‘Excel at Caring’ 14 MBA Alumna Serving Vulnerable Children in Ukraine 15 Seton Hill Supports Ukraine 16 NCCHE Publishes The Memory of Goodness 18 Spring Lectures Bring Seton Hill Together 20 Honors Students Present Capstone Projects 22 Students Place Third in National Business Competition 24 Future Scholars Offer S.T.E.M. Lessons at Area Schools 25 Sylvia Fields ’78 Named Woman of Distinction 26 Building a H.O.M.E. on the Hill 30 Alumna Geena Barberio One of Pittsburgh’s ‘30 Under 30’ 40 Alumni College Offers Lifelong Learning Opportunities
DEPARTMENTS CAMPUS NEWS
32 Laudato Si' 33 Tree Blessing
34 Sports Briefs
7 Sr. Susan Jenny 17 Sr. Mary Noël Kernan 25 Natalie Carbone Mangini
Trees bloomed in front of Sullivan Hall as the end of the 2021-22 academic year approached.
A MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT Dear Alumni and Friends, The end of another successful academic year at Seton Hill University brings with it great joy. We celebrate the accomplishments of our outstanding graduates, a tremendous group of young people who will now go out into the world ready to transform it. The faculty speaker at our May Undergraduate Commencement, Dr. David von Schlichten, reminded the graduates that they are “called to always excel at caring for one another, caring for the common good, and caring for creation.” Our graduates are ready to take on that challenge. We look forward to all that the Class of 2022 will achieve. ACADEMIC INNOVATION The Office of Academic Innovation and Planning continues to bring new academic programs to market so that our students and our graduates can enter a competitive global workforce prepared for whatever the future holds. A number of new programs – particularly at the graduate level – have been introduced in recent months that will allow Seton Hill to continue a sustained path of growth and offer students the education they need to begin or advance in their careers. Sister Susan Yochum, Provost, leads a campus tour for officials from the Pennsylvania New M.B.A. Department of Education. Specializations in Business Analytics, Cybersecurity Risk Management, and Leadership and Management provide pathways for success to recent graduates interested in expanding their education as well as working professionals looking to grow their skillsets. A new Master of Education program will allow educators to earn reading specialist
certification and help them teach their students how to apply critical thinking skills to what they are reading. A new Bachelor of Science degree in Data Science will allow students to combine math and computer science to interpret big data, while a Bachelor of Arts program in World Cultures and Languages provides students with opportunities in education, government, politics, public policy and law. The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, the first doctoral degree at Seton Hill, is currently enrolling its second cohort, and we anticipate a full complement of 30 students. The DPT program is another significant step in our continued efforts to offer advanced degrees that will meet the changing and expanding needs of our local and regional communities. Adding targeted advanced degree programs has the potential to draw new students to Seton Hill at the undergraduate level as students plan for careers that often require graduate degrees. For example, our successful Exercise Science Program – the most identified undergraduate major for applications to a DPT program, as reported by the American Physical Therapy Association – has seen growth of nearly 20% since 2019 as more students look to it as a route into a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. This model of undergraduate to graduate degree pathways is present in a number of Seton Hill programs – from business to education to health science. ACCOLADES In March, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Education – including Deputy Secretary and Commissioner of the Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education Dr. Tanya I. Garcia – came to the Seton Hill campus to hear from students, faculty and staff about the collaborative work our
campus community is doing to combat gender-based violence and sexual harassment. The officials heard about the Setonians Say No More program Seton Hill has put in place thanks to funding through the Governor’s It’s on Us PA Grant. We are proud that Seton Hill’s efforts are being recognized at the state level. Seton Hill business students traveled to California in April to participate – for the first time – in the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) Student Case Competition. The IACBE is the accrediting body for the School of Business. The team of three Seton Hill students competed with teams from across the country and took third place in the competition. Their task was to help a national pizza company market to Generation Z customers and they did so through a diversity, equity and inclusion lens. In addition, the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education successfully published a book – The Memory of Goodness – featuring essays on the Holocaust by the late Eva Fleischner that will be a resource to students and scholars of the Holocaust and other genocides. The book was made possible thanks to a leadership commitment by the late Hans Fleischner and his wife, Leslie, the brother and sister-in-law of Holocaust scholar Eva Fleischner. This summer, Seton Hill is hosting a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute that will provide middle and high school educators the tools they need to teach about genocide in their classrooms. The Summer Institute was made possible by a competitive NEH grant, and we are proud that Seton Hill is providing opportunities for educators from across the country. Finally, the spring was a very successful semester for athletics. Seton Hill was one of only four schools in NCAA Division II that saw their softball, baseball and women’s and men’s lacrosse teams
play in the NCAA Tournament – a remarkable achievement. The Softball team won the Atlantic Regional title and made their first ever trip to the NCAA National Championship. LOOKING FORWARD
President Finger participated in a panel discussion on the state of higher education as part of the Invest Pittsburgh 2022 Launch Conference. The virtual conference was attended by a variety of leaders in business, industry and government from throughout the Pittsburgh region.
The second largest school at Seton Hill, the Business School, has recently undergone a significant academic transformation that led to all undergraduate business majors being expanded to reflect current needs of the business world. The university has established the more quantitative and rigorous Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree. In addition, new majors in finance, financial economics, international business and business communication have been added. RUTH O’BLOCK GRANT The Seton Hill community, and in particular the School of Business, is mourning the loss of Distinguished Alumna, Ruth O’Block Grant ’54. As the former President of Louis A. Grant, Inc., a multimillion dollar international corporation, Ruth helped to establish offices in various locations in the United States and managed international business relationships, particularly in Brazil, Russia and Poland, to manufacture and sell specialized equipment for the metals industries and grow the global enterprise. Throughout her tenure, Ruth forged her path in a male-dominated field focused on building diverse partnerships and managed teams to extraordinary success. As the Immediate Past Chair of the Seton Hill University Board and a Trustee of the University, Ruth’s sharp business acumen and entrepreneurial
spirit – combined with her love of Seton Hill – made her an amazing advocate for the university and its students. Ruth’s passing on May 14 was a loss to our campus community. We will miss her sage advice and wisdom, but her legacy will carry on through The Ruth O’Block Grant Endowed Scholarship Program, which was established by a leadership gift from her daughter, Toni Verstandig, son-in-law Lee Verstandig, and grandson, Grant Verstandig, through The Verstandig Family Foundation. The Grant Scholar Program will ensure that Seton Hill students learn from Ruth’s example for generations to come. THANK YOU Thank you for your continued support of Seton Hill and our students – especially through your generous donations to the Setonian Financial Aid Fund and the Student Scholarship Fund, which have a long-term and meaningful impact on the lives of students. You help us ensure that future generations of talented students have the advantage of a Seton Hill education regardless of financial need. You are helping ensure our students are prepared to transform the world. Hazard Yet Forward, Mary C. Finger President
Entrepreneur, Distinguished Alumna and Left Indelible Mark on Seton Hill Legacy will be carried forth by Grant Scholars Ruth O’Block Grant was a determined entrepreneur, an inspiring community leader, a tireless advocate for education and a devoted mother and grandmother. She was truly a Seton Hill woman who served her beloved alma mater as a member of the Board of Trustees for 22 years and as Trustee Chair from 2017 to 2019. Ruth Marie O’Block Grant, a member of the Seton Hill College Class of 1954, died on May 14, 2022. “A champion for public service and community leadership, Ruth Grant offered her intellect and expertise to numerous governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporations throughout the Southwestern Pennsylvania region,” said President Mary Finger. “On a personal level, I will always cherish Ruth’s guidance, wisdom and quick wit. She was a dear friend and will be missed by all of us.” Never wavering from a challenge – and always pushing past the status quo – Ruth co-founded and led a corporation for 54 years. She and her late husband, Louis A. Grant Sr., founded Louis A. Grant Inc. together, and under Ruth’s leadership, the company grew to become a multi-million dollar international corporation and major disruptor in the steel and aluminum industry. She established offices in various locations in the United States and managed international business relationships, particularly in Brazil, Russia and Poland. Ruth’s international trade expertise was recognized at the national level, as she served as a member of the Department of Commerce District Export Council and Advisory Committee on East/West Trade, as well as panel co-chair for the East/West Trade Conference Pittsburgh. Throughout her tenure, Ruth forged her path in a male-dominated field and focused on building diverse partnerships and managing teams to extraordinary success. Ruth also used her talents in the financial sector, where she served as the first female board member of People's Bank of Unity and remained active on the Board of S&T Bank following the two institutions' merger. In her hometown of Plum, Pa., she was a champion of public service, serving in governmental roles with the Plum Water Authority, Plum Planning and Zoning Commission and the Plum Library Board. Ruth also served on the St. Francis Hospital Board of Trustees. Ruth’s service to Seton Hill and its students was remarkable. The immediate Past Chair of the Seton Hill University Board who
A senior photo of Ruth O'Block Grant from the Seton Hill yearbook.
remained a Trustee at the time of her death, Ruth served on the Board for a total of 22 years. Throughout her tenure on the Board, Ruth was a member of the Executive Committee, the Finance and Business Affairs
Trustee Ruth O’Block Grant ʼ54 Committee, the Committee on Trustees, the University Relations and Development Committee, and the Personnel Committee. She recognized the historic significance of the relationship between the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill and the University and worked to secure the preservation – and indeed the amplification – of the legacy, mission and charism of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill into the future. In addition to her time as a Trustee, she served as a member of the Farrell Advisory Board for Business, the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education Advisory Board, and the Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal Honorary Planning Committee. Ruth, a Seton Hill Distinguished Alumna, understood the significance of education in changing a life, and has been recognized for that commitment with the establishment of The Ruth O’Block Grant Scholarship Program at Seton Hill by her daughter, Toni Verstandig; son-in-law, Lee Verstandig; and grandson, Grant Verstandig, through The Verstandig Family Foundation. When the Foundation established The Ruth O’Block Grant Scholarship Program during the Seton Hill Centennial in 2018, Grant Verstandig, himself an entrepreneur, spoke of his grandmother’s influence on his life. Grant Verstandig said, “It is breathtaking for me to consider all that my grandmother has accomplished in the business world and for Seton Hill. While she remains a pragmatist, always asking the tough questions and diving into the details, she is an inspiration and mentor to me. I engage in conversations with her which have enhanced and allowed my entrepreneurial spirit to
Lee Verstandig, Toni Verstandig, Ruth O'Block Grant, President Mary Finger, and Ruth Ann Grant Wargofchik at the Centennial Scholarship Luncheon in 2019.
Ruth O'Block Grant shares a laugh with Sister Sung Hae Kim, Sister Jane Ann Cherubin and Msgr. Roger Statnick at the dedication of Sisters of Charity Residence Hall.
soar. My greatest hope is that this gift will enable generations of Seton Hill students to find their passion, seek opportunities, take informed risks, and ultimately become leaders willing to work hard to bring about positive change in the world.” Student recipients, known as Grant Scholars, participate in a comprehensive program in the areas of entrepreneurship, business, health, cybersecurity and technology and benefit from the mentorship and guidance of talented corporate and nonprofit leaders. The Ruth O’Block Grant Scholarship Committee membership includes Ruth’s daughters, Ruth Ann Grant Wargofchik and Toni Verstandig, a Seton Hill University Honorary Degree recipient. Kathryn Dzurik, who graduated from Seton Hill in May and will be pursuing graduate study in Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, was an inaugural recipient of the Ruth O’Block Grant Scholarship. Kathryn spent time with Ruth and her family and was impressed by both her accomplishments and the strong sense of family, community and welcoming she felt when meeting her. “Mrs. Grant was such a wonderful person, and she was the embodiment of what you felt like when you come to Seton Hill,” Dzurik said. “I really felt like a part of the family. You could sense the radiating love she had for her family and Seton Hill.” She plans to volunteer with the Grant Scholar program in the future and hopes someday to be a Grant Scholar Mentor, adding, “Being a Grant Scholar meant everything to me. It really opened up the doors to all of the things I’m now doing. I am forever grateful to Ruth Grant and her family for the opportunities they opened up for me and other students at Seton Hill.”
Ruth O'Block Grant's Legacy Continues with Next Generation Three Grant Scholars Earned Degrees During May Commencement Ruth O'Block Grant's impact on the lives of Seton Hill University students continues through The Ruth O'Block Grant Endowed Scholarship Program, which was created in 2018 by Ruth's daughter, Toni Verstandig; son-in-law, Lee Verstandig; and grandson, Grant Verstandig, through the Verstandig Family Foundation. The Verstandigs created The Ruth O'Block Grant Endowed Scholarship Program at Seton Hill during the university's Centennial to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of Ruth Grant. Grant Scholars benefit from the mentorship and guidance of exceptional leaders and entrepreneurs, like Ruth Grant, and participate in experiences that will help them hone their leadership skills and prepare them for success in graduate school, their careers and their communities. Each Grant Scholar is paired with a mentor, who meets with them regularly to provide guidance and help them navigate their paths both during college and after graduation. Three Grant Scholars – Kathryn Dzurik, David Conely, and Marissa Kostrzycki Martini, graduated from Seton Hill in May and are ready to enter graduate school and the workforce. They join an addtional three Grant Scholars – Jessie Delio, Germaine Uwimpuhwe and Gracie Stynchula – who have graduated since the program was established in 2018. Dzurik, who earned a degree in Chemistry, was a Grant Scholar for three years. She will begin graduate studies in Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall. Conely, who earned a degree in Business Administration, was a Grant Scholar for two years. He is currently interning in sales development at U.S. Steel and will return to Seton Hill this fall to pursue his M.B.A. with a management specialization. Martini, who earned a degree in Business Administration, was a Grant Scholar for one year. She is currently working at Penn Cable Assembly, a manufacturer of wire leads, cable assemblies and wire harnesses, and plans to pursue further education in Grant Scholars Marissa Kostrzycki Martini, David Conely, and Kathryn Dzurik logistics and a career in that field. at May Commencement.
Alumna, Educator and Trustee Sister Susan Jenny Took on Many Roles at Seton Hill Sister Susan Jenny, SC, a Seton Hill alumna, faculty and staff member, and a former University Trustee, died May 5, 2022, at the age of 81. “Religious life has been satisfying and rewarding through circumstances I did not choose for myself. Iʼve had opportunities for growth in my spiritual life and in study, rich experiences with people, places and ministries I would never have imagined, and a sense of purpose that drew me beyond my own limitations. Religious life has been both a humbling and a privileged journey,” Sister Susan said of her life as a Sister of Charity. A member of the Seton Hill Class of 1966, Sister Susan taught in the Theology Department, served as Dean of Women from 1970 through 1977, and served as a part of the Campus Ministry team from 1979 to 1986. In 1986, Sister Susan was appointed director of initial formation for the Sisters of Charity, a position she held until 1992. She also helped coordinate programs for Doran Hall, a retreat and renewal center under the administration of the Sisters of Charity. From 1992 to 2001 she served as the associate director of the Office of Parish Life in the Diocese of Greensburg. In 2001, she assumed the ministry of coordinator of faith formation at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg, until 2006. During a sabbatical year, she served as writer for a book on the spirituality of the Sisters of Charity. In 2008, Sister Susan began ministry at Mt. St. Peter Parish in New Kensington, a position she held until 2012 when she was elected to office as a member of the Provincial Leadership Team. She then retired at Caritas Christi in 2021. “Sister Susan Jenny modeled a commitment to her alma mater and served as an inspiration to many,” said President Mary Finger. “We remain grateful for Sister Susan Jennyʼs service to Seton Hill University and its students during her time on the faculty and staff and as a member of the Board of Trustees.” During her time as a Trustee, Sister Susan Jenny served in a leadership role as Chair of the Identity and Mission Committee, where she examined the Universityʼs work in support of mission from the perspective of Seton Hillʼs various constituencies — students, faculty, staff, alumni, and Trustees — and reviewed and recommended opportunities for the future. She was also a member of the Executive Committee and the Committee on Trustees. She concluded her nine years on the board in 2021.
Seton Hill Board of Trustee Chair Karen Farmer White (center) celebrates at the Women of Influence event with her friend Claudette Lewis, Board Chair Elect Rebecca Cost Snyder, Trustee Rob DeMichiei and Karenʼs daughter Stacey White.
Seton Hill Board Chair Karen Farmer White Honored as a Woman of Influence Karen Farmer White, chair of the Seton Hill Board of Trustees, was recognized as a Woman of Influence by the Pittsburgh Business Times at an award ceremony on May 25. “Karen Farmer White is an incredible leader and a woman of great integrity who has devoted herself to improving the lives of others,” said President Mary Finger, who received the same honor in 2020. “She is a kind, caring and thoughtful individual who can connect with people from all walks of life.” Farmer White is a founding member of the PA Conference for Women, a nonprofit professional and personal development event for women. She chairs the Board of Trustees of Seton Hill University and also serves as Chair of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education where she and her colleagues provide input to the Pennsylvania Department of Education on testing, curriculum and teacher education programs. She also spent many years working as an educational consultant teaching others about diversity and equity.
“She knows that hearing from students in person helps her and all Trustees understand the Seton Hill student experience better. She is constantly advocating for Seton Hill students and working to ensure that their education is of the highest quality.” – President Mary Finger
At Seton Hill, White makes it a point to be present and involved in studentsʼ lives and education, serving as a mentor and role model for current Setonians and planning and participating in regular lunch meetings for students and Trustees. “She knows that hearing from students in person helps her and all Trustees understand the Seton Hill student experience better. She is constantly advocating for Seton Hill students and working to ensure that their education is of
the highest quality,” President Finger said. “I am grateful for Karenʼs efforts on behalf of Seton Hill and for all she does to advance education throughout the Commonwealth.” “I am just truly blessed to be in a position to share what I know with others,” Farmer White said of her work. During the awards ceremony, Farmer White danced her way to the stage to the tune of the song, “Happy.” Through a video presentation, she told those gathered at the event that
her mother was the biggest influence in her life. “I was always taught by my mother and my family members that I had a responsibility to give back and give to others,” she said. Indeed, Farmer White, who earned both a bachelorʼs degree in History and a masterʼs degree in Public Administration at the University of Pittsburgh, has committed her life to improving educational opportunities for all students. In particular, she has been instrumental on a number of fronts on connecting the educational community to the business community to help meet community needs. She has held administrative and faculty positions at the Community College of Allegheny County; served as the first Director of Community Outreach for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, where she developed arts and cultural educational programs; served as Vice President of Education at WQED Pittsburgh, where she won three Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards for educational programming; and was the executive director of the Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise (PACE), where she spearheaded a college preparatory program for Pittsburgh youth to help them gain access to higher education.
Karen Farmer Whiteʼs video presentation at the Women of Influence event.
Setonian Mission Formation Program Sisters of Charity
Msgr. Roger Statnick, the University Chaplain, will serve as Coordinator of the Setonian Mission Formation Program.
A six-figure leadership commitment from anonymous benefactors will enable Seton Hill University to institute a formalized and comprehensive program that will help the university to maintain and strengthen its Catholic, Setonian tradition for current and future students, faculty and staff. Seton Hill was founded as a four-year college in 1918 by the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, who trace their lineage to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton – the first American-born Saint and the foundress of Catholic Schools in the United States. The Setonian Mission Formation Program, which is being developed through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and draws significantly on the history and charism of Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton and the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, will allow Seton Hill to expand mission-focused activities that will build a foundation of leaders who will preserve the heritage and the charism of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill; continue to foster Catholic intellectual life
across campus; and help students explore the liberal arts in a distinctive and enriching Catholic framework. “Seton Hill University recognizes the importance of maintaining its Catholic, Setonian identity for future growth as a faith-based institution of higher learning open to students, faculty and staff with varied, and in some cases, no religious beliefs,” said Seton Hill President Mary C. Finger, Ed.D. “We are tremendously grateful for the generous leadership commitment to establish the Setonian Mission Formation Program, particularly at a time when there are dramatically diminishing numbers of Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill serving in faculty and administrative roles on campus.” “Seton Hill recognizes that that the majority of faculty, staff and students serving the mission of the university are not members of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill but have the unique opportunity to lead efforts to keep the tradition of the Sisters strongly present,” said Sister Maureen OʼBrien,
Preserves Charism of “Seton Hill University recognizes the importance of maintaining its Catholic, Setonian identity for future growth as a faith-based institution of higher learning open to students, faculty, and staff with varied, and in some cases, no religious beliefs.” – President Mary Finger
Vice President for Mission and Identity. “This effort requires a deepening of the focused formation programs that have been implemented at Seton Hill over the last five years – a deepening that will be made possible through the Setonian Mission Formation Program.” Seton Hill is developing the Setonian Mission Formation Program to be delivered at various levels to university constituencies, including students, faculty, staff and Trustees, to strengthen the knowledge base and understanding of members of the university community of the importance of Catholic, Setonian charism. Through the program, Seton Hill will expand the role of Msgr. Roger Statnick, the University Chaplain, to include the responsibilities of the Setonian Formation Program Coordinator. As coordinator, Msgr. Statnick will work with other campus leaders to review, revise and expand on existing programs and activities that educate students, faculty and staff about the history and legacy of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, Catholic Social Teaching, and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition; and create an intensive Setonian Leaders Program targeted at developing 12 to 15 leaders per cohort from among Seton Hillʼs administration, faculty, and staff with a vibrant knowledge of the role of the Catholic university and the role of a Setonian institution. “As coordinator of the Setonian Mission Formation Program, I look forward to helping to enrich both the intellectual and spiritual lives of the members of the Seton Hill community
and to bring thought leaders to campus who reflect the tenets of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, especially those related to the dignity of the human person, the common good, and openness and inclusiveness, which are particular to the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill,” Msgr. Roger Statnick said. The leadership gift to create the program will also allow Seton Hill to develop resources including articles, books and oral history records and provide funding for travel to important sites relevant to the life and work of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, including Emmitsburg, Md., and New York City. The gift will also fund the expansion of existing activities including Journey with Elizabeth, Founders Day, and orientation programs for faculty, staff, students, and Trustees; assist with the development of Catholic Intellectual Tradition components into the liberal arts curriculum as well as curriculum supporting the academic majors; and allow Seton Hill to identify and invite outside experts on Setonian history, Catholic Intellectual Tradition, Catholic Social Teaching and the Catholic university to participate in workshops on campus to provide the community with a comprehensive understanding of the role of the Catholic university and the role of a Setonian institution.
Sister Maureen OʼBrien, Vice President of Mission and Identity
Class of 2022 Asked to ʻExcel at Caringʼ Faculty speaker David von Schlichten, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Religious Studies, brought his Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton socks and singing voice to address the Class of 2022 during the May Undergraduate Commencement ceremony. This year 347 students received undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates during two ceremonies on May 7. Von Schilchten was selected by the class to offer remarks on behalf of the faculty. “We are called to always excel at caring for one another, caring for the common good and caring for creation,” he began. “Mother Seton was a genius at caring,” von Schlichten said. “Mother Seton saw the humanity in others… she saw God in others. She performed countless unglamorous, unflashy works and acts of care that Mother Aloysia Lowe and the Sisters have continued and that has been entrusted to you.” He shared two truths that he said helped guide him in his journey to care for others: Class of 2022 president Brianna Leith offers farewell remarks. Lance Edwards celebrates after getting his diploma.
“we are all human beings” and “caring is almost never flashy.” “Excelling at caring is difficult, but you can do it,” von Schlichten said. “I know Seton Hill students, you never cease to amaze me… You are fit to transform the world. Despite lifeʼs many hazards… you will move forward.” Brianna Leith, president of the Class of 2022, who, in her freshman year, began posting positive notes on a bulletin board on the second floor of Maura Hall that campus community members could share with one another, offered memories both from her own time at Seton Hill and the thoughts of her classmates during her farewell address. “I thought this moment would be one of the happiest days of our lives. However, for me, this is one of the most bittersweet,” Leith said. “I have found my family, my home away from home that will forever make me smile.” At the conclusion of von Schlichtenʼs speech – during which he sang parts of the Alma Mater – he prompted the graduates to challenge themselves, while reminding them that they have support while they pursue their dreams. “As you excel at caring, be sure to care for yourself and allow others to care for you,” von Schlichten said. “We at Seton Hill care for you, Class of 2022. As you think back to who youʼve been and look ahead to who you are, remember we are always here.”
Clockwise from top left: David von Schlichten jubilantly offers faculty remarks; Samantha Wilson is hooded by Dr. Kellee Van Aken, Chair of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, and Dana Elmendorf, Graduate Art Therapy Program Director; Devin Sosa admires his master's degree; students pose for a group shot at the May Hitumu Ceremony for graduates of African descent – Hitumu means "graduate" in Swahili; Brianna Lander is all smiles after receiving her diploma.
MBA Alumna Serving Vulnerable Children in Ukraine When Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Rachel Bryner Haddad wept for the besieged Eastern European nation where she spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. Then she got to work to help the Ukrainian people, who hold a special place in her heart. Haddad is director of programs and grants for A Family for Every Orphan, a Christian-based nonprofit that works in Ukraine and several other countries to place orphaned and vulnerable children with stable families. It’s now providing emergency relief to Ukrainian orphans, disabled children and vulnerable families through 12 partner organizations. “I hope to raise awareness of the beauty of the Ukrainian people, the true atrocities of this war and the various ways that people can get involved,” Haddad said. She joined the Peace Corps after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology/social and cultural history. She earned an MBA in Business Administration, Management and Operations at Seton Hill in 2014. From 2009 to 2011, Haddad worked in youth development at a school in Kreminna, a city of 18,000 people in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine, bordering Russia. Russians seized the city in mid-April after relentless artillery bombardment leveled it, killing civilians. “They’re being bombed every day,” Haddad said. “People are sending out messages on social media, looking for information about grandparents and other relatives. It’s dire – a very tumultuous and violent time.” Haddad, who resides in Harrisonburg, Va., keeps in touch with Ukrainian friends, in particular a teacher, Natasha, who helped her to assimilate into the community. “Many Ukrainians are on Facebook, and they’re sharing updates. There are strong efforts for women and children to evacuate, and a lot already have,” Haddad said.
Rachel Bryner Haddad MBA ʼ14 spent two years in Ukraine working with children during her time in the Peace Corps.
Haddad’s role with the Seattle-based nonprofit involves prospecting grant funding, coordinating grants and interfacing with partner organizations, which offer prayer and counsel. The organization also created an emergency fundraising campaign for Ukraine to provide food and water, medicine and supplies, evacuation assistance with gasoline or travel and shelter for the many days it takes to travel west. Haddad described Ukrainians as strong and “extremely resilient,” noting that through history they have been under threat of war or fighting to rebuild after violence, imperialism and invasion. “They are people who know how to survive – there are gardens grown, canning, freezing, raising livestock, preparing meats. There is a lot of pride in the community,” she said. Ukrainian children have “incredible reading and speaking skills” and start learning English in kindergarten, she said. Haddad would play pop tunes on her guitar for the children, who love American musicians such as Lady Gaga. Haddad joined the Peace Corps to travel and experience other cultures. “The Peace Corps was a good base to learn about myself and to help others. I felt it was the right next step to use my passion and talent. … It’s brought me an awful lot of peace and perspective. I think I’m a better person.”
Seton Hill Supports Ukraine
Proclamation in Solidarity with the People of Ukraine Issued at Commencement During Commencement Exercises on May 7, Dr. James Paharik, Director of the Seton Hill University National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education, read a proclamation issued by the university in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. The text of the proclamation read: Whereas, the invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine by the Russian government on February 24, 2022 is an affront to all who cherish freedom; and Whereas, the consistent targeting of civilians by Russian forces, the discovery of mass graves and other atrocities reported in Ukraine during this invasion are antithetical to the long tradition of Catholic teaching on war, the suffering of the innocent and a consistent ethic of life; and Whereas, Russia's false claims that Ukraine needs to be “denazified” as justification for the country's unprovoked act of aggression cannot be tolerated at this Catholic university, which is home to the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education; and Whereas, members of the Seton Hill community of Ukrainian descent – especially those who have family in the country – are deeply impacted by this unconscionable aggression; Now, therefore, be it resolved, and it is hereby resolved that on this seventh day of May, two thousand twenty-two, Seton Hill University records its solidarity with the people of Ukraine and prays for protection for all those in harm's way, for a swift end to the invasion, and for peace in our world.
Prayer Service Held for Ukraine Seton Hill University welcomed Reverend Oleh Seremchuk of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh to celebrate a prayer service for Ukraine on April 4 in Saint Joseph Chapel. Father Seremchuk is the Pastor of St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church in Perryopolis and Administrator of St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church in Scottdale. He is a native of Ukraine and his family still lives in the country. During the crisis, he has remained in regular contact with his family providing them with updates that he has learned through media reports and gathering information about their situation. He told those gathered that praying for Ukraine and its people is vitally important. “Lack of prayer is a lack of hope,” he said. “Prayer doesnʼt require our funds or our significant efforts. It requires only faith, time and our desire to stand together.”
Reverend Oleh Seremchuk speaks with Chaplain Msgr. Roger Statnick and student Stas Chernyshov, a native of Ukraine, following the prayer service on April 4.
National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education Publishes The Memory of Goodness The Seton Hill University National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE) this spring published a book featuring the essays of the late Holocaust scholar Eva Fleischner. The Memory of Goodness contains probing essays by Fleischner, a dedicated Catholic who became a remarkable, pioneering Holocaust scholar and educator. Publication of the book was made possible by a leadership commitment from the late Hans Fleischner and his wife, Leslie – the brother and sister-in-law of Eva Fleischner. The Fleischnersʼ gift to Seton Hill has enabled the University to expand programming around Holocaust education, including the publication of The Memory of Goodness, the filming of oral histories of Holocaust survivors, and the establishment of the Eva Fleischner Program on Truth Finding. A book signing was held on April 6 with one of the bookʼs editors, Carol Rittner, along with Chris Fleischner, Evaʼs nephew and the son of Hans and Top photo: Carol Rittner, Dr. James Paharik and Chris Fleischner at the book Leslie, in attendance. signing for The Memory of Goodness. The Memory of Goodness gathers Fleischnerʼs Bottom photo: Carol Rittner signs a book for Grant Scholar Kathryn Dzurik ʼ22. writings from the diverse books and journals in which they originally appeared. The writings focus on teaching, rescue and responsibility and Jewish-Christian relations – the fields in which Fleischner made her most important contributions to Holocaust studies. They reveal Fleischnerʼs fierce and unrelenting determination to affirm the inclusive religious pluralism that flourishing post-Holocaust respect between Christians and Jews requires. “Eva Fleischner was a dear friend of Seton Hill University and the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education and dedicated her life to educating the world about the horrors of the Holocaust and the ways that Christians were complicit,” said Dr. James Paharik, Director of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education. “We are honored to be able to present her work in a comprehensive form through the publication of The Memory of Goodness, and we hope that her words will serve as a reminder to people today and in the future of the deadly toll that disinformation and hatred takes on humankind.” The Memory of Goodness was edited by Holocaust scholars Carol Rittner and John K. Roth, who have published many books together, including most recently Advancing Holocaust Studies. Rittner is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Holocaust and Genocide Studies and Dr. Marsha Raticoff Grossman Professor Emerita of Holocaust Studies at Stockton University. Roth is Edward J. Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Founding Director, Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights (now the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights) at Claremont McKenna College.
Sister Mary Noël Kernan Remembered for Role as Co-Founding Director of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education
When Sister Mary Noël Kernan was returning to the United States from volunteer service in Korea in early 1987, she decided to stop in Israel to visit with her friend and fellow Sister of Charity of Seton Hill Gemma Del Duca. Sister Gemma had been living and working in Israel since the 1970s, and Sister Mary Noël was interested in learning more about her work and life in the country. So when Sister Gemma returned to the United States later that year with an idea to start a Holocaust education center on the Seton Hill campus, she knew exactly who to turn to for help. “It seemed great that Sister Mary Noël could be the person to represent the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE) here on the Seton Hill campus since she was so fresh with ideas about Israel and what we were doing there,” Sister Gemma said. Sister Mary Noël Kernan ʼ48, the co-founding director of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill, died on April 17, 2022. She was 95. A Pittsburgh native, Sister Mary Noël entered the congregation of the Sisters of Charity in 1948 from Saint Bernard Parish. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Seton Hill College, a master’s degree in English from Duquesne University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. Sister Mary Noël taught at Seton Hill College and in secondary schools in the dioceses of Pittsburgh and Tucson. She also served as the director of the English Curriculum for the Pittsburgh diocese
and ministered in the Western Pennsylvania Correctional Facility. In 1986, during a sabbatical, Sister Mary Noël traveled to Korea, where she inaugurated a program in which American Sister volunteers taught conversational English to high school teachers and students. It was on her return from that trip to Korea that she stopped in Israel to visit Sister Gemma. Sister Mary Noël would serve as the co-director of the NCCHE at Seton Hill from 1987 to 1996. She was the face of the Center in the United States, while Sister Gemma represented the venture in Israel. In 1996, while she left the day-to-day operations of the NCCHE and became Co-Director Emerita, Sister Mary Noël still lent a hand from time to time – editing documents or providing assistance in the office. “I can’t say enough about what Mary did to really establish the roots of the Center at Seton Hill,” Sister Gemma said. “She deserves our thanks.” Concerning her years of religious life, Sister Mary Noël observed, “My life has been blessed by the people with whom I’ve worked and by the work I’ve been given to do [which] provided situations to keep me learning about God’s plan for me and for all creation.”
Sisters Mary Noel Kernan and Gemma Del Duca laugh together. The two were co-founding directors of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education.
Spring Lectures Bring Seton Hill Community Faith, Race & Sisterhood Explored During Sister Mary Schmidt Lecture Sisters Sylvia Thibodeax and Alicia Costa, both members of “I did well in my studies and made lasting friendships with the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans – a congregation of the Sisters and classmates,” she added. “My Seton Hill experience Black women religious, spoke to the Seton Hill community virtually began for me an adult faith journey which has strengthened my about “Faith, Race & Sisterhood: Exploring the Diversity Question life for the many challenges and opportunities I’ve had in my brief with the Sisters of the Holy Family” as part of this year’s Sister 85 years.” Mary Schimdt lecture. Sister Alicia entered the Sisters of the Holy Family in 1969. “The topic is a timely one as we at Seton Hill University She taught at multiple schools throughout Louisiana and at Xavier work to continue the history and legacy of the Sisters of Charity of University in New Orleans. In 2004, the order assigned her to Seton Hill and their commitment to issues of diversity, equity and teach at Seton Hill University. inclusion,” President Mary While Sister Alicia Finger said. found most people friendly The Sisters of Charity and developed lifelong of Seton Hill have a history relationships both with the with the Sisters of the Holy Sisters of Charity and with Family dating back more others on campus, she did than 100 years. The Sisters not always feel welcomed by of Charity traveled to New everyone. Orleans in 1921 to prepare Greensburg’s overall members of the Sisters lack of diversity often left of the Holy Family for the Sister Alicia the only person state teaching exam so that of color in the room wherever Sisters Sylvia Thibodeaux (left) and Alicia Costa joined the audience live from they could educate Black she went in the area. New Orleans via Zoom. children in the city as the “At times I felt sympathy opportunities for education for the students, faculty, and in the South were limited by staff who seemed to have had no experience of other races,” Jim Crow laws. Sister Alicia said. “I came to realize that God had sent me for a “I knew it at the time and I believe it today that God’s special reason to awaken them.” wisdom touched the hearts of the women in leadership of the While she could have backed away from the challenges she Sisters of Charity and they responded to meet a need genuinely,” faced, she was determined to carry on and make as much of an Sister Sylvia said. impact on her students and diversity initiatives on campus as she Both Sisters spent time on campus – Sister Sylvia as a could during her time at Seton Hill. student in the 1960s and Sister Alicia as a faculty member in the Looking at today’s Seton Hill and seeing the work that is early 2000s. Attendees could watch the lecture remotely or join a currently being done on campus through the President’s Task watch party on campus in Cecilian Hall on April 15. Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion also gives Sister Alicia Sister Sylvia was assigned to study at Seton Hill by her hope and encouragement. religious superior in 1965 and graduated from Seton Hill College “There is more work to be done, but I can see a great deal in 1967 with degrees in English and American History. of progress from the time I was at Seton Hill,” Sister Alicia said. “For the first time I was away from my religious community, “Things have really changed within the last 20 years, and that is a away from what was familiar. I had never lived exclusively good thing. SHU is really growing in grace.” with people who were different from me,” Sister Sylvia said. “Surprisingly, I adjusted. I found a new home.”
Together In-Person and Virtually Campus Exhibit Explores Civic Empathy of the Sisters of Charity An exhibit titled “Faith, Race, and Sisterhood: Lessons in Civic Empathy from the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill” was blessed by members of the Sisters of Charity and Seton Hill University during a ceremony April 15. Curated by Casey Bowser, archivist for the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill and Seton Hill University, assisted by Sr. Louise Grundish, archivist emeritus for the Sisters, the exhibit showcases decades of work with marginalized communities by the Sisters of Charity. Highlights of the exhibit include the relationship between the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill and the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans, the Sisters of Charity’s work in the Hill District of Pittsburgh and mission to support Black families, travels to war-torn Korea in 1960 and later establishment of a religious community, and the work of Sister Francis Assisi to establish the Ozanam Strings, a school of music and performance group for inner-city children. Especially relevant to Seton Hill is the work of Sister Lois Sculco, who began teaching Seton Hill students about experiences of other races through literature in 1967. Her role evolved over her 50 years at Seton Hill and included service as the administrator for the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education, Vice President for Mission and Student Life, and President Mary Finger speaks at the exhibit dedication. the institution’s first Affirmative Action Officer.
Trustee Rob DeMichiei Offers ʻLeadership Lessonsʼ During Farrell Lecture While becoming Chief Financial Officer his career he held executive finance roles of UPMC at age 39 wasn’t something that Rob with the General Electric Company (GE) and DeMichiei expected, the steps he took get Price Waterhouse. He is currently on the there began early in his career. Seton Hill University Board of Trustees as Chair of the Finance and Business Affairs The Seton Hill Trustee spoke to the Committee and a member of the Executive audience of students, faculty, staff, and Committee and Investment Committee. alumni both in person and via Zoom in April DeMichiei also serves on a number of other during this year’s Farrell Lecture, an annual area boards. lecture series made possible by a leadership Though DeMichiei values his career, gift in 2007 by the Farrell Family Foundation it wasn’t the only area of his life in which of Pittsburgh. Seton Hill University’s School he committed significant time to being of Business and the Wukich Center for successful. Entrepreneurial Opportunities, in partnership with the university’s Alumni College, “My greatest achievement, far more sponsored the event, held in Cecilian Hall. important than what you see on this screen, is the family I have,” he said. His presentation, titled “Leadership Lessons for the Next Generation,” touched Dr. Debasish Chakraborty, Dean of the School of His family includes his wife Amy, on his takeaways from the leaders he Business, and Rob DeMichiei at the Farrell Lecture. their four children, and grandchildren. His encountered during his 35 years in Corporate son, Chris DeMichiei, is a 2014 graduate of America and how he applied them to both Seton Hill University. himself and his teams. “Invest in relationships. Everybody should plant seeds, the “There’s no overnight success,” DeMichiei said. “I’ve always younger you are the more seeds you need to plant,” DeMichiei said. pursued difficult assignments and difficult tasks so I could develop and “Five years later, 10 years later, 20 years later – you look at all the grow and be the best that I could be.” seeds you’ve planted, the relationships you’ve developed and you’re After his 16-year tenure at UPMC, DeMichiei retired as Executive going to see a forest.” Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of UPMC at age 55. Earlier in FORWARD MAGAZINE
Seton Hill Honors Students Present
After four years of research and preparation, 20 students in the Seton Hill Honors Program presented their Senior Honors Capstone Projects during a symposium in April. Their research topics reflected their academic pursuits and interests and often aimed to reveal or offer solutions to a problem on campus, in the community or globally. "These projects are the result of student dedication to intellectual curiosity and a community of mentorship and support," said Dr. Christine Cusick, Director of the Honors Program. From helping people understand data collection and privacy concerns of the free web to examining the social climate surrounding the use of lethal force by law enforcement to a concert promoting women composers, the projects aimed to provoke thoughtful response and – at times – promote change. A sampling of the presentations follows.
Chloe Walls presents her Honors Capstone Project "The Importance of Dental Health" to a room of faculty, staff and students. Wallsʼ research offered a look at the reasons why people neglect dental health, which is often related to fear and/or costs. She produced a guide for Seton Hill students that will be distributed by the Office of Health Services to help students find a local dentist who takes their insurance.
Alyssa Neast produced "The Study of Nutrient Pollution Produced by Seton Hill" and discussed the process where too many nutrients, often nitrogen and phosphorus, are added to bodies of water and can act like fertilizer, causing excessive growth of algae. Nutrients often run off of land where lawn and garden fertilizers are used.
Teresa Weickert presented on "Embracing Change: Mentoring and Emotional Intelligence," which discussed her efforts to provide diversity, equity and inclusion education at an area middle school.
Senior Capstone Projects Summer Blackʼs presentation "Returning to Postsecondary Education after Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)" was a personal one. Summer suffered a TBI in a jet ski accident and struggled with a variety of issues when she returned to Seton Hill. Through the Office of Disability Services, she found the resources to help her complete her studies. She worked on suggesting improvements to the Disability Services website that would help students with disabilities that are unseen, such as TBI, get the assistance they need.
Faith McDowell’s Honors Capstone Project Includes Concert of Her Original Works Faith McDowell wrote her first piano composition in the third of McDowell’s compositions – both instrumental and choral – by grade and penned a musical in middle school. Seton Hill students and alumni. Through her Honors Capstone Project, the Seton Hill University For her research, she surveyed choral and instrumental music Music Education major highlighted the importance of showcasing directors at middle and high schools in western Pennsylvania and the work of women composers on both asked for programs from their past three professional and educational stages. years of concerts. From those programs, she tallied how many works were by male For her project, McDowell researched composers and how many works were by the lack of women composers overall – and female composers. the large gap that exists when it comes to their works being programmed at concerts. She found that only about 5.44 percent of works performed at regional high school She presented her research findings and middle school concerts between – and 10 of her own compositions – at 2018 and 2020 were written by women “Women Write Music Too!: Composition composers. That’s in line with a global study Premiere Concert” in April at the Seton that found that while 13 percent of published Hill University Performing Arts Center’s composers are women, only about 5 percent Reichgut Concert Hall. are being actively programmed in concerts. “It was right up my alley to discuss the She’s hoping that her research will underrepresentation of women in music,” make music directors more aware and said McDowell, who will graduate from more willing to program music by women Seton Hill in December. composers. At the same time, she’s hoping During the first half of the concert, her music will inspire other young women to McDowell presented her research into Faith McDowell presented a concert of her original be composers. women composers and then shared works as part of her Honors Capstone project. “For those who are interested in recordings of some of the instrumental composing – yes, you can do this,” she said. works she has composed, performed by “You can follow your passion. There are people who are fighting for local ensembles. you if you are underrepresented in this field.” The second half of the concert featured live performances
SHU Students Place Third in National Business Competition
Allison Riddle, Associate Professor of Marketing and Communications Jen Jones, Kaylee Pivirotto and Jessica Palko with their third place award at the IACBE Student Case Study Competition in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Senior Allison Riddle, junior Kaylee Pivirotto, and freshman Jessica Palko had a real-world opportunity to test their business skills when they gave a marketing presentation to representatives from Donatos Pizza about how to reach Gen Z in Costa Mesa, Calif. The team of three communication majors tied for third place when they represented Seton Hill at the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) Student Case Study Competition. The students were recruited for the competition by Jen Jones, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Department Coordinator of Marketing and Communications, who served as the team’s advisor. They spent a month researching their case, which was attracting younger customers to the existing Donatos Pizza brand that has skewed to older generations. The team came up with their first round of data by doing a literature review, citing more than 30 sources in their presentation. They then created a survey with a statistically significant number of Gen Z participants to further back up their strategy. “I was really proud that their idea was based in research and not just being a part of Gen Z,” Jones said.
Weekly meetings where the Seton Hill team was able to interact with the other teams, competition hosts, and Donatos Pizza representatives were also part of the competition experience. The students’ strategy to evolve the brand’s identity to better reach Gen Z revolved around diversity and inclusion. Ideas for the campaign included: expanding corporate donations tied to specific causes around diversity, equity and inclusion; creating content and accompanying promotions around different holidays and celebrations throughout the year; and building community on social media by accommodating and showcasing different cultural perspectives. One example in their presentation came from one of the weekly meetings. After talking with the two women who were representing Donatos in the competition, the students developed the idea of highlighting women in the brand and their favorite products during Women’s History Month. “Overall, the experience was both insightful and fun,” Pivirotto said. “The process of research on my end helped enhance my writing and research skills.”
Once their preparations were complete, the team traveled to California to present their strategy to the Donatos representatives and members of local business communities in a Shark Tank-style competition. The students from Seton Hill comprised the only allfemale team in the competition. Though some of the teams had been participating in the competition for years before they earned a top spot, they were excited to place in the top three in their first year. “As someone in their first year of college it was a great experience being able to network with others that work in the same field that I want to work in,” Palko said. “Being at the competition and being able to present in front of the judges, some of whom came from Donatos, was very nerve racking, but it was worth all of the countless hours of work that my teammates and I put in.” While the experience of the competition was a first for all the team members, it wasn’t the only first for the students.
For Pivirotto, traveling to California meant her first time flying and her first time leaving the Eastern time zone. “As a Spanish major and someone heavily involved in humanities, the cultural experience of being in California was amazing,” she said. Though it was a lot of work, and completed quickly, the students came away with a strong sense of accomplishment. “We gave it everything we could, and we are so happy to be able to bring home a win to Seton Hill and create a path for major change in Donatos,” Riddle said. “It was the best way to finish out my career at Seton Hill!” Jones was impressed with the students’ dedication to the competition on top of their studies, leadership activities, and jobs. She has since noticed elements of the students’ strategy appearing on Donatos’ social platforms. “I told them, ‘You are making a difference. You are transforming the world,’” Jones said.
The students prepared a presentation on how to attract Gen Z customers to the Donatos Pizza brand for this year's IACBE Student Case Study Competition.
Students Jessica Palko, Kaylee Pivirotto, and Allison Riddle prepare to give their presentation in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Future Scholars Offer S.T.E.M Lessons at Area Schools Biology major in the LECOM program, and Nguyen, of Morgan Hill, Calif., a Biochemistry major in the LECOM program, designed a lesson plan around acids and bases and tied them to impacts on the environment and everyday life. A lesson plan they developed on the cell cycle included an escape room activity. Future Scholars also volunteered at a Girl Scouts event at Westmoreland Mall that focused on S.T.E.M. The Future Scholars group all said the service aspect of the program drew them in. "I was looking for the opportunity to give back," Sheffler said. "Hopefully, I was able to inspire students to enter the William Sheffler, Madison Kober, Dr. Amalene Cooper-Morgan, Matthew Nguyen and S.T.E.M. field." Nana Agyepong Added Kober, "As student leaders, it's important to branch out further and look to the greater community." The Future Scholars Program, initiated by Assistant Professor Agyepong said she was a student in a similar program when of Chemistry Amalene Cooper-Morgan, Ph.D., in Fall 2021, she was in middle school and wanted to be able to do the same continued in the spring semester with four new Seton Hill students for someone else. offering Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics "The Future Scholars program gave me the opportunity to (S.T.E.M.) lessons at teach students something that interests me and gives the students area schools. a chance to engage more in science," she said. Seniors Madison Kober and William Sheffler, who both graduated in May, junior Nana Agyepong and sophomore Matthew Nguyen worked with students in the Jeannette City School District and Penn Hills Charter School on various lessons and experiments. The program allows Seton Hill students in the sciences an experiential learning opportunity that allows them to expand their leadership abilities and provides students in Jeannette and Penn Hills the opportunity to engage in science with people closer to their own age. Kober, of Harrison City, Pa., and Sheffler, of New Stanton, Pa., who both majored in Biology in the cooperative Osteopathic Medicine degree program with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), developed lesson plans on blood typing and ocean currents. Agyepong, of Gaithersburg, Md., a
Madison Kober and William Sheffler help students in a Penn Hills Charter School classroom.
Sylvia Hill Fields ʼ78 Honored with Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction Award Sylvia Hill Fields ʼ78, Executive Director of the Eden Hall Foundation, was recognized as the 2022 Woman of Distinction in Philanthropy by Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania in May. “Sylvia is an exceptional leader – not only in the Pittsburgh region – but on the state and national level as well,” President Mary Finger said. “Her efforts have created in those around her a desire to be part of the change that is needed in our community and in the world.” Fields was one of 11 Pittsburgh women and two local Gold Award Girl Scouts honored for their accomplishments and leadership at the annual Awards of Distinction. The annual event honors inspirational women and celebrates the mission of the Girl Scout Movement, which is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Fields has helped to advance numerous colleges and universities in the region, including Seton Hill. A Distinguished Alumna and former Trustee, she has served her alma
mater as an advocate for students, dedicated to providing them with the resources and academic opportunities needed to succeed. The Foundationʼs commitment to Seton Hill allowed the university to complete construction of the JoAnne Woodyard Boyle Health Sciences Center in 2015, providing laboratory, research and classroom space to prepare future health care professionals. In her role at the Eden Hall Foundation, Fields manages the legal and financial business of the foundation with responsibility for the allocation of more than $10 million annually in support of community and regional programs that address issues in southwestern Pennsylvania. She began her grantmaking career at the Duquesne Light Company, where she was best known for establishing a Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy. Throughout her career, Fields has worked to build a better community by focusing on opportunities for women, girls and underserved youth.
Natalie Carbone Mangini ’49 Blazed a Trail for Women in Science As a child, Natalie Carbone Mangini enjoyed reading books and experimenting with chemistry sets over playing with dolls. Her love of learning would lead her to study Chemistry at Seton Hill and would help her become the first woman to hold the title of Scientist at Westinghouse’s Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, setting her on a path as a trailblazer and role model for women in science. Mangini, a Distinguished Alumna of Seton Hill, died on May 31, 2022. She was 93. Growing up in the village of Crabtree, Westmoreland County, Mangini spent much of her childhood and adult life working in Carbone’s, the restaurant opened by her parents in 1938 and operated by her family until 2018. After graduating from Seton Hill in 1949, Mangini began work at Westinghouse – but soon became bored with her role. She applied for a position in the atomic power laboratory and was called for an interview when the supervisors thought she was a man. After some hesitation, she was offered the job she wanted in radiochemistry. Mangini worked on nuclear procedures for the USS Nautilus,
the world’s first atomic-powered submarine. In addition, she helped to develop safety procedures for the nuclear reactor at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the first commercial application of nuclear power. Her work on the Nautilus led to her appearance on the television game show “What’s my Line?” She spent 10 years in the radiochemistry department until she had to leave due to her first pregnancy. Her family would grow to include four children: Vanessa Hooper, Natalie Stefanick, Vincent Mangini and Melissa Orlosky; and several grandchildren. After Westinghouse, Mangini helped her husband run his oil business while also continuing to work at the family restaurant. Mangini once said she lived her life not worrying about what other people thought – especially as she worked in the male-dominated nuclear field. “Whatever you decide that you like to do – go do it,” she said. “It’s never work if you love it. I never felt like I was working. I always felt like I was having fun.” FORWARD MAGAZINE
Building a H.O.M.E. on the Hill
Project H.O.M.E. Seeks to Expand on Diversity Efforts at Seton Hill
Inaugural Project H.O.M.E. cohort members include (left to right) Joshua Castanedas, Olivia Carrera, Franklin Orczeck, Monisola Adigun, Elizabeth John, Elijah Nelson, Kiara Rockymore and Steryling Lang. Missing from the photo are Kaylee Pivirotto and Chelsea Weid.
As members of the President’s Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion were talking with students about what they wanted Seton Hill to be, Sister Maureen O’Brien, Vice President for Mission and Identity, was particularly struck by the comment made by one of the students. “They wanted Seton Hill to not be a hotel – but a home,” Sister Maureen said. “So in order to allow our students from diverse populations to experience this sense of home, we recognized we needed to have a diverse group of student leaders who can help guide us in these efforts and train the student leaders who come after them.” What was born out of the conversations of the Task Force – and in particular the work of the group’s Mission Committee led by Sister Maureen and
Labrea Pringle, a 2017 Seton Hill alumna and educator – was Project H.O.M.E. (Honor, Openness, Magnfication, Educate). “Project H.O.M.E. is a vitally important program aimed at planning, organizing and synthesizing diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism training among students,” said Seton Hill President Mary Finger. “Through Project H.O.M.E., Seton Hill is providing training for diverse current and emerging student leaders. These participants will be accessible to students experiencing issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion and will serve as advocates. We believe Project H.O.M.E. can be a national model for diversity, equity and inclusion efforts on college campuses.” Dr. Momodu C. Taylor, Chief Diversity Officer at Seton Hill, added, “Project H.O.M.E. is a program designed to
enhance and grow an inclusive campus climate at the university where all are welcome and have a sense of belonging. It is my hope that this program expands into campus life, reimagining our campus community and giving thoughtful analysis to our processes and systems to further the goals of diversity, equity and inclusion at Seton Hill and in the greater Greensburg community.” Sister Maureen said that Project H.O.M.E. came to the forefront after the Task Force developed its mission statement. “After we finished the mission statement and defined the underlying values, we realized that there had to be people who had to evaluate how we were living out that mission. We needed to have student leaders specifically trained
in diversity, equity and inclusion who could be the ones that would evaluate the climate from the perspective of students. They would also be available to be people who other students could come to when they were really experiencing issues that involved a lack of appreciation or a lack of understanding of our diverse student populations.” She added that Project H.O.M.E. aligns with the overall mission of Seton Hill University – and with the charism of the Sisters of Charity. The inaugural cohort of 10 student leaders for Project H.O.M.E. were nominated by faculty and staff and were selected through an extensive interview process. They began intensive training – developed and led by Pringle – during the Spring 2022 semester, which will continue this summer and beyond. “I think one of the real benefits of Project H.O.M.E. is that it’s rooted in learning – the students are learning how to identify discrimination when they see it and how to identify bias,” Sister Maureen said. “It’s not just based on feelings. It’s based on a learning experience that helps them to be more aware and more mindful of discrimination and injustices.“
“The training was very intentional about defining those key terms and having an openness – sharing their own identities in a safe space and to think about the identities of other people,” Pringle said. “Future training will not just be self-reflective but will teach the students to be problem solvers and advocates for themselves and others. That was a key push point for developing the curriculum in that Project H.O.M.E. participants (left to right) Monisola Adigun, way. We are starting with Chelsea Weid, Elijah Nelson and Joshua Castanedas ourselves and ending with listen to speakers at the opening of the Faith, Race and all of us.” Sisterhood Exhibit, which focused on the outreach of the Sisters of Charity into marginalized communities. Pringle, who has a master’s degree in Urban Education and is now pursuing a doctorate at the University Each member of the Project H.O.M.E. of Miami, teaches English at a school cohort was awarded a leadership in Wake Forest, N.C., and is passionate scholarship for their participation, which about social justice issues. She sees the speaks to the importance of the program to same passion in the cohort members. Seton Hill, Sister Maureen said. “They have a willingness to keep Beyond their work in the Seton their feet on the gas. … They really are Hill community, the Project H.O.M.E. empowered to do something about what program will help these students became they are experiencing,” she said. better citizens in their communities after graduation. “They will be agents of change who will change systems which discriminate against others,” Sister Maureen said. Added Pringle, “We are preparing students to be global citizens, and I think my ability to come back to my alma mater to do something to continue to transform the lives of students so that they can transform the world in other ways – that’s what it’s all about. It’s a cyclical transformation, and I think that’s how we’re going to effect change.”
Seton Hill Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Momodu C. Taylor, Elijah Nelson, Vice President for Mission and Identity Sister Maureen O'Brien, Kiara Rockymore, Kaylee Pivirotto, Elizabeth John and Erica Nuckles, Director of Learning, Engagement and Partnerships at The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, at a private tour for Project H.O.M.E. students of the Museum's "Stephen Towns: Declaration & Resistance" exhibition in March.
Meet the Project H.O.M.E. Inaugural Cohort These 10 Seton Hill student leaders were nominated by faculty and staff and selected through an interview process for the inaugural Project H.O.M.E. cohort and will advocate on behalf of Seton Hill students on issues around diversity, equity and inclusion. Monisola Adigun, 18 • Pensacola, Fla. Sophomore, BS/MS Physician Assistant major “I hope to become a person that students can approach regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and to help organize events that target DEI.”
Olivia Carrera, 19 • Penn Township, Pa. Junior, Biology Pre-Med major “Where I grew up was not very diverse. When I came to Seton Hill I got the opportunity to experience different cultures and meet people from around the world. Through Project H.O.M.E. I hope to see different groups interacting with each other and being more willing to talk to new people and make them feel more at home.”
Joshua Castanedas, 21 • Bronx, N.Y. Senior, Communication and Political Science major “As a future activist/politician, one of my main goals is to fight for diversity, equity and inclusion, especially for minoritized groups. I will help start and lead conversations, especially the difficult ones, while also motivating others to push and fight for change.”
Elizabeth John, 20 • Uniontown, Pa. Junior, Forensic Science and Criminal Justice major “I had a very hard time my first semester at college. I wanted to be a part of Project H.O.M.E. so that I could help others who might have a tough time in a new environment whether it be on this campus or just in everyday life.”
Steryling Lang, 22 • Fort Worth, Texas Junior, Social Work major “I wanted to be a part of Project H.O.M.E. to make Seton Hill a more equitable place of learning. I hope to make other students feel heard and have a long-lasting home here at Seton Hill.”
Elijah N. Nelson, 24 • South Florida Senior, Criminal Justice major “I wanted to be the voice for my peers who may lack the confidence to speak up. I hope to be able to give people, our students, our administrators, and our community, a different and active learning environment where we all feel safe and brave enough to share our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. I want us to be one and love all through our message and mission statement.”
Franklin Orczeck, 19 • Greensburg Sophomore, Mathematics 3+ Engineering major “Iʼve dedicated my whole life to the service of others, especially that which makes the world equitable and, thus, accessible to all. I believe that through Project H.O.M.E, we will inspire a community that strives to challenge injustice and explore new directions.”
Kaylee Pivirotto, 21 • Plum, Pa. Senior, Spanish and Communication major “I wanted to be a part of Project H.O.M.E. to grow my understanding of inclusivity and work with other members of the SHU community to make the campus a more accepting and loving place!”
Kiara Rockymore, 19 • Pittsburgh Junior, Sociology major “I wanted to be a part of Project H.O.M.E. so that I can apply and learn more about how to spread awareness of anti-racism and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion action on campus. I also want to be part of the change that will transpire on campus amongst people of color attending a predominantly white institution.”
Chelsea Weid, 20 • Richeyville, Pa. Junior, Social Work major with specializations in Medicine and Behavioral Health/Addiction “I wanted to be a part of Project H.O.M.E. because I wanted to be a part of creating a safe and welcoming space for other individuals like me on campus. I felt that Seton Hill needed individuals who were willing to stand up and be the faces of diversity on campus. Through this, I hope to be able to positively impact other LGBTQ+ students on campus by creating a safe and welcoming environment for all students to feel recognized and appreciated.”
Alumna Geena Barberio Honored as one of the Pittsburgh Business Times ʻ30 Under 30ʼ Geena Barberio has a go-to descriptor for her marketing role at a startup: “There are days that thereʼs a New York newsroom feel – youʼre in that adrenaline rush, itʼs crazy, itʼs fun. There are a lot of late nights, and the workdays are never the same.” Barberio is director of marketing for Idelic, a Pittsburgh-based company that created a software suite designed to help truckers improve efficiency by tracking and managing drive data. She jumped on board as one of the companyʼs first four employees – it now has more than 90 – and supervises a team which drives revenue by creating brand awareness and developing strategic messaging. Geena recently was selected as one of the Pittsburgh Business Times “30 Under 30” for 2022. The awards, presented in partnership with Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc., honor leaders under age 30 in
Pittsburghʼs business and nonprofit communities. Her success in the business world is only one aspect of her accomplishments. Barberio graduated in 2016 with bachelorʼs degrees in both Music and Business Marketing, studying opera and piano and performing with the universityʼs Choir and Opera Workshop. She returned to the Hill in 2019 and earned an MBA with a specialization in Entrepreneurial Studies. It was only natural that Barberio chose to attend Seton Hill; she had taken piano lessons at the university since middle school. “I was getting to know the faculty and already felt such a strong connection. Itʼs that home away from home – being a part of something,” she said. Opera and commerce may be an unusual mix, but Barberio had a plan. “In music, you can be in performance, a music therapist or an educator. I didnʼt want to do any of those, so I combined business with a music curriculum,” she said. “Iʼve always been a creative person, but I have the business side too. I come from a line of entrepreneurs and have always thought Iʼd own a business one day.” The university now offers a major in Commercial Music, which connects those two areas. Her goal after graduating was to work as a marketing generalist. The position she found set her up well for a future role at a startup. “I was fortunate enough to get my first job at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in Mt. Pleasant. They had no marketing person – I had a chance to build a marketing department from scratch,” she said.
When Idelic offered the opportunity to do more with a startup, Barberio was ready. “Seton Hill teaches you how to think about things, how to problem solve, and the strategy behind it,” she said. “Itʼs about understanding who you are marketing to, what channels to use, and what resources you have. All these different pieces come into play.” While she enjoys the pace, daily challenge, and people at Idelic, Barberio sees embracing entrepreneurship as her long-term goal. “I would like to own my own business, whether thatʼs a startup or not,” Barberio said. “Iʼd like to do something that will impact my community, make a positive impact and be successful as an entrepreneur. And Iʼll keep making an impact in the jobs I have.” While the COVID-19 pandemic dropped the curtain on her public performances, music remains an integral part of her life. She still plays piano and sings every day, calling it her “between-meeting stress reliever,” and does freelance marketing for a music company in Texas. “A lot of musicians donʼt know how to market themselves,” Barberio noted. “Being a marketer and a musician, Iʼd love to make an impact on that.” To her surprise, she discovered many musicians in her workplace. “Musicians tend to be good in and involved in startups. Thereʼs a commitment in music that works well there,” she said. “As a musician, thereʼs always more you could be doing – the same with a startup.”
CAMPUS NEWS 32
Seton Hill University and Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill Formalize Laudato Siʼ Action Platform Commitments Members of the Seton Hill community and the Sisters through principles of Catholic Social Teaching and the of Charity of Seton Hill reaffirmed their commitments to Catholic Intellectual Tradition to value all of creation and sustainability efforts during a ceremony on April 27 on to work through action plans and advocacy to enhance the Administration Building Lawn. Seton Hill University the beauty of Godʼs creation,” the Seton Hill University President Mary C. Finger and Sister Jane Ann Cherubin, commitment states. General Superior of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, formally presented both organizationsʼ Laudato Siʼ Action Platform Commitments. Laudato Siʼ, Pope Francisʼ second encyclical, subtitled “On Care for Our Common Home,” calls on all people to be stewards of Godʼs creation and to take “swift and unified global action” on issues of sustainability and climate change and recognize how those issues impact the most vulnerable in our world. “As we celebrated Earth Day last week, we are reminded of the fragility of the planet – Seton Hill University President Mary C. Finger and Sister Jane Ann Cherubin, General Superior of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, formally presented both organizationsʼ Laudato Siʼ Action Platform and how we all must do Commitments on April 27 on the Administration Building Lawn. our part to protect it,” President Finger said. “Indeed, as Seton The Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill commitment Hill University fulfills its mission to educate students to renews their General Chapter Statement from 2019. think and act critically to become global citizens – and “The Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill move beyond as the Sisters of Charity continues its work with the most frontiers to witness charity and justice to our wounded vulnerable among us – it is important that we affirm our world. We advocate for and serve with those who live in commitment to take action to care for our common home poverty. We model interculturality and reconciliation. We and to work toward a better future.” restore and protect the earth. This commitment is made in Both Seton Hill University and the Sisters of Charity of faith, hope, and love, recognizing that the Charity of Christ Seton Hill have committed to participation in developing a urges us, knowing that we are participating in Godʼs work seven-year plan to preserve the earth and to foster learning of transformation, for we know that things can change.” and care for creation, in all its forms. “To that end, we pledge to educate our students
Class of 2023 Dedicates Class Tree in Memory of Maclean “Mac” Maund
Mac Maundʼs parents, teammates and classmates gather following the tree blessing in April.
The Seton Hill University Class of 2023 held the traditional Junior Class Tree Blessing Ceremony April 28 on the Administration Building Front Lawn. The class dedicated their tree in memory of Maclean “Mac” Maund, a member of the Class of 2023, who died in a vehicle accident in January 2020 during his freshman year at Seton Hill. Maund, a Penn-Trafford High School graduate, was a member of the Seton Hill baseball team. “This year we are recognizing and acknowledging Mac Maund and the extraordinary impact he has had on our campus and continues to have at Seton Hill despite his short time here as a member of our community,“ said President Mary Finger. While Mac only spent a brief time living at Seton Hill, his history on campus started years before with baseball camps and youth games at the Seton Hill baseball field. The Seton Hill baseball team as well as Maundʼs parents, Pete and Heather Maund, were in attendance at the event. Friends, classmates and teammates offered their memories and prayers during the ceremony. “Mac was a friend, a teammate, a son and, even for a short time, he was a Griffin,” said Marc Marrizaldi, Seton Hillʼs Head Baseball Coach. “We miss Mac every day but this tree signifies one of the many ways his spirit continues to live on, both on our campus and in our hearts.” Lance Edwards ʼ22, who was Maund's Resident Advisor, said that what comes to mind when he thinks about Mac is his smile.
“From the few months I knew Mac, I saw the impact he had on the community and his peers. His joy and light was contagious,” Edwards said. “I encourage you all to smile because he did that every day. His smile was a part of his personality – of who he was.” The junior class at Seton Hill University has an established tradition of planting a tree on campus each year since 1920. The Class of 2023 tree will be planted as part of the second row of trees being added along Seton Hill Drive.
Left: Heather and Pete Maund Below: Class of 2023 officers Erin Schulte, Mackenzie Longo, Sarah Semekoski, Ellen Davis and Allie Sheffler join President Finger at the tree blessing.
Postseason Tournament Runs Give Seton Hill an Historic Spring Season Seton Hill was one of only four colleges and universities in NCAA Division II that had their softball, baseball, and men's and women's lacrosse teams all play in the NCAA Tournament for their respective sports, joining the University of Tampa, Adelphi University and Wingate University. Additionally, track athlete Samuel Hartman made a return trip to the NCAA Division II National Championship after earning titles in the 110 meter and 400 meter hurdles in 2021.
Softball Wins First Atlantic Super Regional Title; Plays in National Championship It was a record-setting year for the Seton Hill University softball team as they made their first trips to both the NCAA Super Regional and the Division II Softball Championship. After being eliminated from the PSAC tournament, the Griffins fought their way through the NCAA Atlantic Regional and Super Regional, arriving at the Division II Softball Championship in Denver, Colorado on May 26 with five straight postseason wins. An initial 0-4 loss to Auburn University Montgomery led to an exciting 8-1 win over Adelphi, but the Griffins were unable to come away with a second win in Denver. The team was eliminated from play in their third game after a 9-6 loss to Cal State Dominguez Hills. In the NCAA Atlantic Regional, a 3-0 win over seventhseeded Claflin University and a 3-2 win over six seed Shippensburg University in 10 innings sent the Griffins to the regional final. They defeated Claflin definitively with an 11-0 victory, breaking the game open in the seventh inning of the second game with seven runs. In their first trip to the NCAA Atlantic Super Regionals May 19, the women earned their first win over Kutztown 7-0. They took an early 4-0 lead in the first inning of their second game against the Golden Bears, with a 9-5 victory clearing the Griffinsʼ path to Denver. SHU ended the season with a 42-12 record. The Griffins were ranked seventh overall in the final National FastPitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll, the first time they have broken into the top 10. Griffin graduate student outfielder Jenna Osikowicz became the first Seton Hill softball player to be named an All American by the NFCA, earning second team honors. She was also one of 50 players named to the 2022 Schutt Sports/ NFCA Division II National Player and Pitcher of the Year Award List. Osikowicz was also named the PSAC West Athlete of the Year for the second straight season. Graduate student Morgan Ryan was the D2 Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) Atlantic Region Pitcher of the Year. Jenna Osikowicz on left and Morgan Ryan on right
Baseball makes 11th NCAA Regional Tournament Appearance While Seton Hillʼs baseball team set back-to-back season high records in their first two victories of the NCAA Division II Regionals, lightning unfortunately did not strike a third time for the Griffins. After a weather delay pushed game two from Friday afternoon to Saturday, May 21, the West Chester Rams won the next two games, ending the Griffins bid to head to the Atlantic Super Regionals. After earning an at-large bid as fifth seed in the Atlantic Region, the Griffins finished the season with their 11th NCAA Regional appearance and a record of 33-19-1. On day one of the tournament, the men set season highs with 18 runs and 21 hits to defeat top-seeded West Chester 18-7. Seton Hill opened play in the Atlantic Region with a redemption victory over Slippery Rock 10-9 after losing to the team during the PSAC West regular season. The Griffin bats set a seasonhigh 19 hits, with nine of the 10 runs scoring with two outs in an inning. All nine starters had at least one hit in the wins over West Chester and Slippery Rock. Senior reliever Nash Bryan and junior third baseman Jack Oberdorf were named to the D2CCA All Atlantic Region Team. Jack Oberdorf on left and Nash Bryan on right
Womenʼs Lacrosse Earns Second Straight PSAC West Title Seton Hill earned its second straight PSAC Western Division title on the road at Edinboro April 27. The Griffins scored early and often in the 20-0 win over the Fighting Scots with four goals in the first 1:09 of the contest and eleven players scoring in the match. The womenʼs lacrosse program made their seventh trip to the PSAC postseason out of their eight full seasons in the league, hosting the PSAC Womenʼs Lacrosse Final Four in Greensburg for the first time on May 6. In their semifinal match against West Chester, the winner of the Eastern Division quarterfinal, the women were eliminated in the driving rain with a 17-8 loss to the Rams. The two teams faced off again less than a week later in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the fourth consecutive trip for the program. Seton Hill’s 19-10 loss ended their tournament run. SHU finished the season 14-5 overall with a 10-2 record in PSAC West play. Seton Hill junior defender Makayla Kintner earned All American honors from the Intercollegiate Womenʼs Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA), repeating as a third team selection for the second consecutive year. Kintner joins assistant coach Emma Simmers as the only two Griffins to earn IWLCA All American honors twice in their careers. Graduate student attack Jaclyn Frank was named the PSAC West Athlete of the Year, Kintner received PSAC West Defender of the Year, and freshman midfielder Megan Bunker earned Freshman of the Year. The three Griffins also earned first team All Region honors from the Intercollegiate Womenʼs Lacrosse Coaches Association and first team All PSAC West honors, along with freshman Skylar Orlowski.
Top to bottom: Megan Bunker, Mikayla Kintner and Jaclyn Frank
Menʼs Lacrosse wins G-MAC Championship, Advances to Final Eight in NCAA Tournament While Commencement ceremonies were taking place on campus May 7, Seton Hillʼs menʼs lacrosse team was celebrating a crowning achievement of their own – taking home the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Championship. The men led from start to finish with a final score of 14-10 over Mercyhurst. This was Seton Hillʼs third G-MAC championship, adding to their titles in 2017 and 2018, and their fifth consecutive matchup against Mercyhurst in the championship game. With a fresh title, the team earned the fifth seed in the North Region of the NCAA Division II Menʼs Lacrosse Tournament – and their second matchup against Mercyhurst, the regionʼs fourth seed, in five days. This was the fourth straight season and fifth time in school history the menʼs lacrosse team has earned an NCAA bid. The Griffins traveled back to Saxon Stadium in Erie, Pa., to defeat Mercyhurst yet again with a score of 8-7. This win advanced them to the quarterfinals, where their tournament run ended against top-seeded Mercy College May 15 with an 11-10 loss at SUNY Purchase in Purchase, N.Y. The Griffins finished their season with a record of 13-7.
Samuel Hartman Repeats as PSAC Champion in Hurdles Seton Hill senior Samuel Hartman qualified for both the 110 and 400 meter hurdles for his second straight trip to the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which were held May 26 and 27. Hartman finished 14th in the preliminaries of both events with a time of 52.19 in the 400 meter hurdles and 14.69 in the 110 meter hurdles. He won the PSAC Championship in both events – repeating his feat from the 2021 season. Hartman was the reigning National Champion in both events. Hartman was named the 2022 PSAC Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year for the second straight season. He and Mallory Sanner ʼ15, the only two National Champions in Seton Hill history, are also the only two Seton Hill track and field athletes to win a major award from the PSAC. Hartman, a Computer Science major, also earned a second PSAC Spring Top 10 Award Winner, an award which goes to studentathletes who distinguish themselves in the classroom, as well as in the arena of competition.
Track Athletes Break School Records, Receive National Academic Awards Four school records were broken during the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic in April. Freshman Gabriel McConville set a new record in the 1500m for the men with a time of 3:54, while senior Sydney Wolf set a new record for the women with a time of 4:37. Wolf and teammates junior Darby Roth and seniors Allison Pittman and Alexis Cunningham set a new school record of 9:38.38 with a first place finish in the 4x800 relay. Freshman Hannah Smrcka set a new school record in the 5000m Invite race with a time of 17:12.06. Wolf was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Womenʼs Cross Country/ Track & Field Team, and Samuel Hartman was voted onto the menʼs team.
Sydney Wolf set two new school records.
Postseason Success Propels Griffins into Top 100 in NCAA Division II After a very successful spring season where all four of the Griffin teams made the NCAA Tournament, the Seton Hill Athletic Department finished 81st in the 2022 NCAA Division II Learfield Director's Cup standings for the 2021-22 school year. This is the fourth top 100 finish for the Griffin Athletic Department since joining the NCAA and the second best ranking in school history.
Winter Sports Wrap-Up Christiane Frye Named PSAC West Rookie of the Year Women’s basketball guard Christiane Frye earned the PSAC West Rookie of the Year title and was also named to the All PSAC West second team. Frye, a sophomore, has the second most steals as a Griffin since Seton Hill joined the NCAA. "To earn both All-Conference and Rookie of the Year speaks to the impact Christiane had on our team,” said head coach Mark Katarski. “She so richly deserves both honors for her efforts this season."
Griffin Wrestlers Second in Nation for Academics The Griffin wrestling team finished second in the country in the 2021-22 National Wrestling Coaches Association Division II Top 20 Scholar All America Teams with an overall GPA of 3.505. Drury University was first with a 3.542 GPA. Eight members of the team were named NWCA Division II Scholar All Americans: seniors Tyler Alberts, Frank Bonura, Joel Cawoski, Sawyer Daugherty, Luke Ewing, Logan McKoy; sophomore Riley O'Mara; and freshman Bryce Wilkes. The Griffin wrestling team sent ten wrestlers to the NCAA Super Region I Championship in Johnstown, finishing in sixth place. Cawoski competed in the 2022 NCAA Division II National Championships in Saint Louis and was eliminated after dropping both of his two matches.
Griffins in Prime-Time McDermott Tops ESPN Plays Griffins outfielder Neal McDermott received national attention in April for a running, diving catch on the warning track that robbed Clarionʼs Tim Irons of a hit. McDermottʼs catch was named the No. 1 play on ESPN SportsCenterʼs Top Plays April 8. McDermott is the second Griffin baseball player to make the Top 10. Derek Orndorff ’21 made the list last season with a spectacular grab against IUP.
Seton Hill makes Prime-Time Episode of Jeopardy! “What are Griffins?”
Seton Hill made national television during a prime-time Jeopardy! College Championship episode in February. The “answer” appearing on screen read: “Foes of Seton Hill University have to face-off with these mythical bird-lion hybrids.” To which, Brandeis University student Joey Korman provided the correct question, “What are Griffins?” Of course, Seton Hill alumni across the country knew the right “question” too!
James Delaney ʼ13 Wins NCAA Lacrosse Championship as Head Coach James Delaney ʼ13, a 2018 Seton Hill Universityʼs Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, led the University of Indianapolis womenʼs lacrosse team to its first NCAA Division II championship in 2022. The third seed Greyhounds won over top seed East Stroudsburg University, 11-9. Delaney became the programʼs head coach in 2018 after a year as the teamʼs offensive coordinator. In his first year as head coach, Delaney helped the women earn their first NCAA playoff berth. He has been with the team for six of their seven seasons. As his biography for the Hall of Fame induction mentioned, Delaney was “one of the most successful members of the Seton Hill menʼs lacrosse program.”
New Coaches Named For Soccer and Basketball
Dilveer Chaggar ’14, MBA ’17 will Head Men's Soccer Dilveer Chaggar knows Seton Hill’s men’s soccer program as a player, graduate assistant, volunteer coach and assistant coach. Now he’ll be calling the shots as the Griffins new Head Men’s Soccer Coach. He succeeds Dan McCarty who left after 21 years with Seton Hill.
Adrian Blewitt to Lead Women’s Soccer Adrian Blewitt was named the Griffins Head Women’s Soccer Coach. He most recently was the head women's soccer coach at Army West Point and has coached men’s and women’s soccer teams at Division I, II, and III institutions.
Ben Wilkins Takes Over Men’s Basketball Westmoreland County native Ben Wilkins has been tapped to lead the Seton Hill Men’s Basketball program. Wilkins comes to Seton Hill from the United States Military Academy at West Point where he spent the past six seasons as an assistant coach. In his first four seasons at Army, Wilkins and head coach Jimmy Allen produced the most wins in their first four seasons at Army since Mike Krzyzewski.
Shane Simpson, who was named to Team Hearthstone, poses with the Griffin in the temporary Esports arena.
Brian Lewis and Brad Messner interview Nathaniel Huff (Team Overwatch) during the roster announcement stream.
Griffin Esports Announces Inaugural Roster With Griff the Griffin and other technology-minded members of the Seton Hill community in attendance, Brad Messner and Brian Lewis – members of the Esports steering committee – went live on the video game streaming platform Twitch to announce the teamʼs inaugural roster. The announcement came from the temporary Esports facility and featured an unboxing of the teamʼs new PCs as well as interviews with two of the team members. Seton Hillʼs Esports players will be competing in video gaming tournaments against other college players from across the country as a member of the National Association of College Esports (NACE). Team members include: Team Hearthstone: Shane Simpson Team Fifa: Jared Parsons Team Rocket League: Jack Wagner, Anthony Panko, Nicky Stumme Team Overwatch: Nathaniel Huff, Theo Tsatsos, Nicky Stumme, Jacob Burkey, Logan Leonard Team League of Legends: Austin Choi, Logan Leonard, Quan Hoang Minh Truong, Logan Lindenmuth While several computer science majors are part of the team, students overall represent a variety of majors on campus. Similar to NCAA sports, team members are eligible for scholarships and must maintain a minimum GPA to remain on the team. Four of the team members, Nathaniel Huff and Anthony Panko (Soccer) and Jacob Burkey and Logan Lindenmuth (Track and Field) are also members of traditional sports. SETON HILL UNIVERSITY ESPORTS JERSEY MOCKUPS A new 875-square foot arena is currently under construction in Canevin Hall. Set to open later in the fall, the arena will be the permanent home of Esports at Seton Hill. FRONT
Seton Hill students selected the design for the new Esports team jerseys in a vote during the Spring. The jersey was designed by Breanna Salvio ʼ16, Graphic Designer in the Office of Institutional Advancement.
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A COLLECTION OF LIFELONG LEARNING PROGRAMS
Alumni College Offers Lifelong Learning Opportunities
Missing your days of learning on the Hill? Stay in touch and learn something new along with fellow Setonians by participating in the Alumni College. This collection of lifelong learning programs for Setonians officially launched in March and presently includes three types of events, in addition to featured lectures throughout the year: SETON HILL UNIVERSITY ALUMNI
Lunch & Learn - a one-hour program featuring subject matter experts offering a bite-sized presentation and Q&A on a variety of topics
Alumni Book Club - a virtual opportunity for Setonians to connect, enjoy reading and take part in thought-provoking discussion
SETON HILL UNIVERSITY ALUMNI
Chalk Talks - interactive lectures offering alumni an exclusive opportunity to engage in dialogue, ask questions, and explore points of interest with Seton Hill faculty The alumni office hosted four events in the spring, in addition to offering live streaming opportunities for the Farrell and Sister Mary Schmidt lectures: • "A New Horizon for Business" Chalk Talk by Jen Jones, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Department Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, School of Business •
"Veterans Benefits" Lunch & Learn with Matt Zamosky ʼ10, Westmoreland County Director of Veterans Affairs
"Creative Giving in Challenging Times" Lunch & Learn by Jim Sismour, longtime planned giving specialist
"A Way Back to Health: 12 Lessons from a Cancer Survivor" Lunch & Learn with Kelley Murray Skoloda ʼ86 featuring a discussion on her book of the same title Upcoming events for the fall include Book Club sessions and a Lunch & Learn on cybersecurity with Anthony Krance, Information Security Officer at Seton Hill.
To suggest a topic or speaker, contact the Alumni Relations office at email@example.com. For more information and to register, visit the Alumni College website: shualumni.setonhill.edu/alumnicollege/
Matt Zamosky '10 (top), Jim Sismour and Kelley Murray Skoloda ʼ86 shared their knowledge in Alumni College webinars.
Seton Hill University
BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2021–2022 Bishop Larry J. Kulick, J.C.L. Honorary Chair
Karen Farmer White Chair
Mary Norbert Long, SC ʼ67 Vice Chair
Rebecca Cost Snyder Chair Elect
Louise Grundish, SC Secretary
Carmen Rivera Bauza ʼ83 Robin Heffernan Beck ʼ64 Rachel Blais, SC Todd D. Brice Robert A. DeMichiei Margaret DiVirgilio ʼ80 Barbara Einloth, SC ʼ71 Christine Delegram Farrell ʼ79 Mary C. Finger, ex officio Linda Fiorelli ʼ74 Matthew J. Galando ʼ04 +Ruth OʼBlock Grant ʼ54 Grace Hartzog, SC ʼ71 Donna Marie Leiden, SC ʼ66 Moshood B. Martins M.S. ʼ14 Elizabeth Boyle McDonald Miriam Arroyo Murray ʼ84 Mary Jo Mutschler, SC ʼ69 Patricia OʼDonoghue Kathleen Sarniak-Tanzola ʼ78 Mary Elizabeth Schrei, SC ʼ65 Frank P. Simpkins James C. Stalder Kym K. Stout Bridget Widdowson ʼ82 Jessica Ybanez-Morano ʼ84
TRUSTEES EMERITI Jean Augustine, SC ʼ63 James Breisinger Laurie Ann Carroll ʼ81 Mary Lou OʼNeil Costello ʼ55 Sara Gill Cutting ʼ62 Rosemary Donley, SC John R. Echement Gertrude Foley, SC ʼ59 Brigid Marie Grandey, SC ʼ63 Maureen Halloran, SC Donald M. Henderson Richard Hendricks Mary Ellen Lawrie Cooney Higgins ʼ64 Patrice Hughes, SC ʼ62 A. Richard Kacin Arthur H. Meehan Donald I. Moritz Barbara Nakles ʼ76 Maureen OʼBrien, SC ʼ67 Maureen Sheedy OʼBrien M. Ellenita OʼConnor, SC ʼ58 Paul M. Pohl Michele Moore Ridge ʼ69 Marc B. Robertshaw Arthur J. Rooney, Jr. Ralph A. Scalise Anita Schulte, SC ʼ57
Maureen OʼBrien, SC, M.A.
Vice President for Mission and Identity
Melissa Alsing, M.B.A.
Brent M. Jackson
Rosalie Carpenter, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration, CFO
Molly Robb Shimko, M.B.A.
Imogene L. Cathey, J.D.
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Vice President and General Counsel Vice President for Enrollment Management
Lisa Carino Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement 724.838.2409 firstname.lastname@example.org Mira Funari Associate Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director for the Campaign 724.830.1993 email@example.com Erica Adams Advancement Services Manager 724.830.1137 firstname.lastname@example.org Callista Arida Assistant Director of Alumni Relations 724.552.1310 email@example.com Jessica Delio Development and Communications Associate 724.552.4329 firstname.lastname@example.org Sarah Dudik Senior Writer for Advancement 724.838.4200 email@example.com Cynthia Ferrari Title III Coordinator 724.830.4639 firstname.lastname@example.org Amy Lankey Donor Stewardship Manager 724.552.4303 email@example.com Linda Morlacci Director of Foundation, Government and Corporate Relations 724.838.4232 firstname.lastname@example.org Jimmy Pirlo Major Gifts Officer 724.552.4371 email@example.com Jennifer Reeger Director of Communications and Media Relations 724.830.1069 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Seremet Administrative Assistant 724.552.4366 email@example.com
Chief Information Officer
Molly Robb Shimko Vice President for Institutional Advancement 724.830.4620 firstname.lastname@example.org
Breanna Salvio Graphic Designer 724.552.4397 email@example.com
UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION Mary C. Finger, Ed.D.
Susan Yochum, SC, Ph.D.
Brett Smith Major Gifts Officer 724.838.4244 firstname.lastname@example.org Annie Urban Executive Director of Principal Gifts and Community Engagement 724.552.4323 email@example.com Ashley Zwierzelewski Director of Alumni Relations 724.830.1005 firstname.lastname@example.org FORWARD & CLASS NEWS DESIGNS: Breanna Salvio WRITING: Sarah Dudik, Jennifer Reeger and Gloria Ruane PHOTOGRAPHY: Ken Reabe, Barry Reeger, and SHU staff and students PRINTER: Laurel Valley Graphics The Forward magazine is published by Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA 15601, setonhill.edu, (724-830-1005), for the alumni and friends of the University. Postage paid at Greensburg, PA. Seton Hill University, as a matter of tradition and principle does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, gender, age disability, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other universityadministered programs. Seton Hill University adheres to the non-discrimination legislation of both the federal government and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including, but not necessarily limited to, the Civil Rights Act or 1964, Title VI, Title IX, 1972 Handicap Provision, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Class of 2022 graduate Kayla McCargo gets a congratulatory kiss following the May 7 Commencement ceremony.
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