FORWARD THE ALUMNI MAGAZINE of SETON HILL UNIVERSITY
Seton Hill Celebrates In-Person Commencement for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 Inside: Special Commemorative December 2020 Commencement Program
SP RING/SUMMER 2021
Message from the President
Robert Brownlee Visits Math Center
Gift Celebrates the Legacy of Eva Fleischner, Ph.D. Commencement Ceremonies Celebrate
10 the Classes of 2020 and 2021 14 Nathan Stanko '21 Honors Mother's Memory and Completes Degree Student Ambassador Program Connects Students
16 to Leadership Opportunities, Philanthropy
18 Student Entrepreneur Team Makes National Finals 19 Model UN Team Wins National Award 20 Seton Hill Welcomes Dr. Momodu Taylor as Dean 21 Melissa Alsing Honored as CIO of the Year 22 Sam Hartman Wins National Track Championships 23 Baseball Earns Spot in National Championships 26 Seton Hill Named a Military Friendly School 28 Art Donations Inspire Creativity at Arts Center 30 Lisa Scales '84 Honored as Pittsburgher of the Year 32 Marisa Corona '17 Named one of Pittsburgh's 30 Under 30 Mary Ellen Pollock Raneri '77 Continues
34 Mother's Legacy in the Kitchen
40 December 2020 Commencement Program
DEPARTMENTS CAMPUS NEWS
35 AICUP Advocacy Week 36 Earth Day Events
37 Vaccine Clinics 38 Sister Mary Schmidt Lecture
39 Sports Briefs
9 Shulamit Bastacky 24 Bernadette Fondy, Ph.D.
25 Susan O'Neill '79
Seton Hill graduate Courtney Cecere '21 captured this photo of Seton Hill Drive during her final semester.
On the Cover: Class of 2021 graduates Paris Szalla, Mark Nealon, Cheyenne Trest, Caitlin Srager, Samantha Moon, Thomas Sekunda and Miracle Josey Jackson celebrate on Sullivan Lawn.
A MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT Dear Alumni and Friends, When I met with a group of Student Ambassadors remotely last spring in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that while Seton Hill students were grateful for virtual learning, they wanted to return to campus in the fall for in-person classes.
We were pleased to have Pittsburgh philanthropist and community leader Catharine Murray Ryan with us to address the graduates and receive an Honorary degree.
Now here we are – more than a year later – and I am grateful to report that Seton Hill successfully completed the entire 2020-21 academic year with face-to-face classes in our traditional residential campus setting, and we will do the same for 2021-22. Our students, faculty and staff were committed to staying in-person – and they showed tremendous resilience in the face of great adversity.
Class of 2021
Our Alumni Relations Office has been innovative in finding new ways to connect with alumni as well by hosting a number of virtual events throughout this past year – including the inaugural Alumni Book Club and presentations by alumni on a number of topics. In fact, Alumni Relations has started a new Virtual Hub that houses recordings of events held throughout the year that can be accessed at shualumni.setonhill. edu/virtual-hub/. Going forward, we expect more events will have both inperson and virtual components as we value the importance of connecting with alumni from around the world. This challenging academic year culminated in three in-person Commencement ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 on May 22. What a wonderful day our graduates had celebrating their accomplishments!
I am pleased to offer you some additional updates on happenings at Seton Hill. Many Seton Hill seniors have achieved graduate school acceptances to institutions as diverse as Boston University (Advertising); Carnegie Mellon University (Information Security Policy Management, Music Performance); Johns Hopkins University (Data Science); Lipscomb University (doctoral program in Pharmacy); Penn State University (doctoral program in Chemistry); and the University of Pittsburgh (Bioengineering). Almost one-third of our undergraduates pursue graduate study immediately following graduation from Seton Hill. In addition, class members have secured full-time employment with entities including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (information technology specialist); National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (intel analyst); Manassas Park City Schools (first grade teacher); and, the United States Department of Justice (forensic scientist). Our post-graduation placement rate of 95% (within six months of graduation) remains significantly above the national average of 86%. Academic Accreditations & New Programs After the completion of a self-study
process and a virtual site visit last fall, Seton Hill University received reaffirmation of accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in March. The Middle States evaluation team was highly complimentary of Seton Hill and its academic programs and commitment to our Mission and Identity. The School of Business recently completed a curriculum review, which has resulted in a realignment of the Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and strengthening of existing majors and development of new majors including: Accounting, Accounting CPA, Business Communication, Finance, Financial Economics, Human Resources Management, International Business, Management and Sports Management.
W E I V E R E N TRIBU
’Block Grant udents and Ruth O st ill H n to Se ed ton Hill w featur e about the ways Se ec pi The Tribune-Revie a in y el on C io and David g the pandemic. Scholars Jessie Del face learning durin o-t ce fa r fo en op was able to stay
The Richard King Mellon Foundation Annual Report included an article on Nathan Stanko '21, who was one of several Seton Hill Health Science students to receive emergency scholarship aid from the foundation.
Seton Hill has also added a new online-only program in the Adult Degree Program – a Bachelor of Science degree in Allied Health Leadership – to help meet our region’s workforce needs. Student Aid Even before the pandemic, all of us at Seton Hill recognized the increasing financial needs that our students and their families faced. All too often, the
difference between attending Seton Hill or returning for another year can be measured by just a few thousand dollars. The shutdowns necessitated by the pandemic certainly exacerbated this need for our students. We remain grateful, especially, for our alumni, friends and benefactors who supported scholarships along with the Setonian Financial Aid Fund that has provided greatly needed aid for students facing economic hardships. Beyond those emergency needs, Seton Hill is committed to increasing support to those students who are under-resourced. This fall, Seton Hill will launch The Elizabeth Ann Seton Scholarship Program, which will
support incoming first-year students from Pennsylvania with significant financial need. The program will provide scholarship aid to eligible first-year students. The Elizabeth Ann Seton Scholarship Program will enable more students from underrepresented socioeconomic backgrounds to not only begin, but also, to complete their Seton Hill education. We estimate between 75 and 100 incoming full-time traditional first-year students will receive funding in Fall 2021. Seton Hill is funding this program through private support and, in particular, a tremendous gift of almost $1 million from an anonymous donor.
Alumni, Homecoming and Family Weekend – where we will honor our Distinguished Alumni for 2020 and 2021 and celebrate milestone reunions for classes ending in 0, 1, 5 and 6, particularly our 50th reunion classes of 1970 and 1971.
Please continue to stay well and keep Seton Hill and its students in your prayers.
We are eager to welcome the Class of 2025 and all Setonians for the 2021-22 academic year. And, we look forward to welcoming alumni and friends back to campus in October for
I want to thank you for your continued support during this challenging time at Seton Hill and in our world. I value deeply our alumni and friends who have provided support in a variety of ways to our students and to our entire campus community through these days. The Seton Hill community is truly extraordinary.
Hazard Yet Forward, Mary C. Finger President
KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh came to campus to film two pieces about Seton Hill. The Eye on Education piece featured interviews with administrators and students, who spoke about the educational opportunities Seton Hill has to offer. Meanwhile, students Allison Pittman, Shayla Jellison, and Hannah Metheney helped KDKA's Mikey Hood experiment with CRSPR technology for a STEMFest educational program.
Robert M. Brownlee Visits Mathematics Enrichment Center
Pictured with Robert Brownlee during his visit are students Emily Ross, Olivia Carerra, Marlayna Verenna, Morgan Vincent, Vinayak Prataap, Joshua Gottlieb, and Brendt Billeck.
During a visit to Seton Hill in April, Robert M. Brownlee, a university benefactor and nephew of founding Dean of Students Sister Francesca Brownlee, stopped by the Robert M. Brownlee Mathematics Enrichment Center. Brownlee met with Center Director Amy Beninati and several students who use the center, which provides not only tutoring for students who need extra help with math but enrichment programs for mathematics majors. The Robert M. Brownlee Mathematics Center was made possible by a gift by Mr. Brownlee during the Seton Hill University Centennial. Students shared with Brownlee the ways they use the Center and how it has enriched their Seton Hill experience. In a letter sent to Brownlee after the visit, Vinayak Prataap, a Computer Science major with a Mathematics minor from India, said, “The Mathematics Enrichment Center has been one of the centerpieces for many students studying mathematics and other science disciplines that are offered at Seton Hill University. The equipment, resources, and services offered by the Center have led to many new, constructive, and productive interactions that have helped in growing the knowledge of those students who choose to take advantage of it.” He added, “As a tutor, I have received much feedback about the work that we do in the Center. It is satisfying to listen to comments acknowledging and thanking the many hours that the tutors in the Center spend in helping other students on campus
flourish in their courses.” Emily Ross, who graduated in May with degrees in Mathematics and Actuarial Science, said the Brownlee Mathematics Enrichment Center helped her find “a new passion within mathematics.” “I decided I wanted to be a teacher to give mathematics the proper voice it deserves to inspire other women and young students to study the subject,” she said. “With that being said, I will be returning to Seton Hill to continue my studies in graduate school in the middle school education program.” Bob Brownlee signed one of the dry erase tables in the Mathematics Enrichment Center that students use during tutoring and study sessions.
Gift from Hans and Leslie Fleischner Celebrates Commitment creates The Eva Fleischner Program on Truth Finding and supports the work of the Seton Hill University National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education Seton Hill University has received an extraordinary gift from Leslie and Hans Fleischner. The commitment, given in honor of Hans Fleischner’s sister Eva Fleischner—a pioneering Catholic theologian in Christian-Jewish relations and Holocaust studies and a longtime friend of Seton Hill and the university’s National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE)—will expand The Eva Fleischner, Ph.D. Endowed Fund for Visiting Scholars and Students in Holocaust and Genocide Studies; prepare the compilation of a scholarly piece on Eva Fleischner’s work; complete The Eva Fleischner Oral History Project; and, create The Eva Fleischner Program on Truth Finding. In commenting on the magnitude of the contribution, President Mary Finger said, “Hans and Leslie Fleischner are cherished friends of Seton Hill. The Fleischners continue to enrich Seton Hill and our National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education. We are privileged that their support will expose our students to important programs and help advance peace and understanding in our community and indeed our world.”
Scholarly Piece on the Work of Eva Fleischner The expansion of The Eva Fleischner, Ph.D. Endowed Fund for Visiting Scholars and Students in Holocaust and Genocide Studies will foster continuing growth and vitality in the field of Holocaust Hans and Leslie Fleischner and Genocide Studies and allow for the agreed to compile the scholarly piece engagement of that will advance the writings and work Holocaust scholars around the world. of Eva Fleischner. Both are uniquely The most recent Eva Fleischner Lecture suited for this work because of their featured Holocaust scholar Dr. John K. longstanding friendship with Eva. The Roth in March 2021. book will include Eva's most important Dr. Roth, the Edward J. Sexton scholarly articles, some of which are Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and the now out of print or hard to find. Dr. Roth Founding Director of the Center for the and Dr. Rittner expect that the articles Study of the Holocaust, Genocide and within the book will be organized into Human Rights at Claremont McKenna three sections, including: Teaching about College; and Dr. Carol Rittner, RSM, a the Shoah; Rescue of Jews During the Distinguished Professor of Holocaust Shoah; and Jewish-Christian Relations and Genocide Studies at the Richard After the Shoah. At this time, publication Stockton College of New Jersey, have
The 2021 Ethel LeFrak Holocaust Education Conference Presented Virtually – Sunday, November 7 through Wednesday, November 10 Holocaust Education Today: Confronting Extremism, Hate and Denial
The mission of the NCCHE is to teach about the Holocaust and to apply its lessons to the world today. One of these lessons is that interreligious understanding is absolutely essential in creating a more tolerant and peaceful society. In addition to sessions focusing on the history of the Holocaust and the politics of the present, the virtual 2021 LeFrak Conference will feature several programs intended to educate the audience about the role that religion can play in helping to confront the threats our world faces today. For more information, please visit www.setonhill.edu/ncche.
the Legacy of Eva Fleischner, Ph.D. for the piece is planned for early 2022. Both Dr. Roth and Dr. Rittner anticipate that additional scholarly work will follow that will advance Eva Fleischner’s legacy locally, regionally and internationally.
The Eva Fleischner Oral History Project Through The Eva Fleischner Oral History Project, which is currently underway, the Seton Hill University NCCHE is capturing the oral histories of local and regional Holocaust survivors and later the children of Holocaust survivors as well as survivors of the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh. The oral histories will be compiled into a series of video documentaries that will be used as a resource for Holocaust scholars as well as for educators who are teaching about the Holocaust and/or genocide in K-12 schools and at the collegiate level. Seton Hill is collaborating with award-winning filmmaker, Iris Samson, and celebrated videographer, David Cohen, on the oral history project. Both Samson and Cohen have television documentary experience through their work with WQED-TV in Pittsburgh. The NCCHE plans to feature one or more interviews as part of The Ethel LeFrak Holocaust Education Conference, which will be held from Sunday, November 7, 2021 through Wednesday, November 10, 2021. The title of this year’s conference is “Holocaust Education Today: Confronting Extremism, Hate and Denial.”
The Eva Fleischner Program on Truth Finding Through The Eva Fleischner Program on Truth Finding, Seton Hill and the University’s National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education will develop curriculum and programming that ensure students engage in rigorous analysis and transparent dialogue in order to develop the skills necessary to
Seton Hill Students Hannah Vincent and Ariana Scott Named Fleischner Fellows Dr. James Paharik has named Hannah Vincent, Seton Hill senior Arts Administration student, and Ariana Scott, senior Global Studies and Sociology student, the inaugural Fleischner Fellows. Hannah will serve as an assistant for the Eva Fleischner Oral History Project. As part of her overall responsibilities she will also curate the physical exhibition of the Harry B. Knights Collection in the Harris Gallery of the Seton Hill Arts Center during The Ethel LeFrak Conference this fall. The Knights Collection is an archive of photographs and letters from Harry B. Knights, a United States soldier whose unit was involved in the liberation of Nazi concentration camps at the end of World War II. Hannah Vincent previously co-curated Seton Hill’s virtual Knights Collection exhibition in Fall 2020. Ariana Scott will conduct a research project on disinformation in social media and its effects on political attitudes. search for and recognize truth. James Paharik, Ph.D., Director of the NCCHE and Professor of Sociology at Seton Hill said, “Seton Hill University’s mission is undergirded by Catholic Social Teaching. At the core of Catholic Social Teaching is the promotion of the common good and building a just society on the fundamental values of Truth, Freedom, Justice, and Love.” He continued, “The Eva Fleischner Program on Truth Finding will be of critical importance, especially now, as we are living in a time of rising nationalism, ideological extremism, scapegoating of ethnic and religious minorities, and political violence. Media are increasingly being used to promote propaganda and to deny truth.” He added, “Through this initiative Seton Hill will develop a comprehensive program for all students that begins with the First-Year Connections course, works through the liberal arts curriculum and various academic programs,
and culminates with the Senior Seminar course.” President Finger said, “All of us at Seton Hill University are grateful to Hans and Leslie Fleischner for all they have done to advance Eva Fleischner’s legacy and ensure Seton Hill students are truly well prepared to transform their communities and the world.”
The Memory of Goodness: Eva Fleischner Lecture Explores Holocaust Scholar’s Contributions Dr. John K. Roth explored the dual aspects of Dr. Eva Fleischner’s contributions to the study of the Holocaust—its darkness and its light—and paid tribute to her life in a virtual lecture sponsored by the Seton Hill University National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE). Roth is the Edward J. Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and the Founding Director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights (now the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights) at Claremont McKenna College. The lecture, titled, “The Memory of Goodness: Eva Fleischner and Her Contributions to Holocaust Studies,” was sponsored through the Eva Fleischner, Ph.D., Endowed Lecture Fund. More than 200 guests participated, including Hans and Leslie Fleishner, the brother and sister-in-law of Eva Fleischner. Born in Vienna in 1925 to a Jewish father and Catholic mother, Fleischner and her family fled the Nazis, settling in the United States in 1943. She became a noted scholar of Jewish-Christian relations as well as a close associate of the NCCHE at Seton Hill. Fleischner spent much of her life showing how and why “the Holocaust could not have happened if Christians of Germany, Europe, and the world had taken an unequivocal stand against the Nazi program of persecution and eventual extermination of the Jews,” she once wrote. “That focus, she emphasized, made Christian antisemitism central to her work,” said Roth. His family became close friends with Fleischner in 1999 after she moved to an ecumenical retirement community in California where his father, Josiah, lived. Fleischner published extensively on topics such as teaching the Shoah and women who saved Jews, examining the dark elements of human behavior that the Holocaust revealed and reminding us what goodness is, Roth said. She was best known for researching and writing about women who rescued Jews, using the term “memory of goodness” in a book about survivors’ experiences. Rescuers like Germaine Ribière, a French Catholic who saved many lives, show that the Holocaust did not have to happen, Roth said. “It could have been prevented or stopped if enough today in silence as human beings are oppressed, discriminated Christians had defied and protested the racial antisemitism that against, killed?” climaxed in the Nazis’ ‘Final Solution,’” he said. On the importance of the Holocaust for Christians, In 1999-2000, Fleischner was one of six Catholic and Jewish Fleischner wrote that “a glib, easy affirmation that God is good scholars named to the International Catholic-Jewish Historical and looks after us all, that all suffering has a deeper purpose, Commission, which examined 11 volumes of the Vatican’s archival that good always comes from evil—such cliches are no longer material on Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust. Roth read from her possible after Auschwitz,” Roth said. conference paper on the Pope’s spirituality: “In the face of the While faith in God is still possible, “such faith will henceforth Holocaust, neither Pius’ personal holiness and trust in prayer nor be lived in alternating moments of darkness and light.” his chosen tool of quiet diplomacy was enough.” Roth said, “I am even more convinced, because of Eva’s life Fleischner recognized that Christians who confront their and its goodness, that she is urging us still, especially as posttradition’s complicity in the Holocaust could feel guilt. Instead, Holocaust Christians and Jews, to keep striving, no matter the she encouraged responsibility, Roth said. odds, for a world where, as she so much hoped, justice and truth “Her concept of responsibility required repentance and embrace. a turning away from antisemitism and racism toward acts and “Light and darkness—Eva’s light helps people even now to relationships that mend the world,” he said. live and breathe with hope like hers.” As a teacher, Fleischner believed that Holocaust study must lead to self-reflection: “What would I have done? Do I look on
Holocaust Survivor Shulamit Bastacky Proves ‘One Person Can Make a Difference’ “On Yom Hashoah each year I kindle the candles. I kindle them in the memory not only of my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who did not survive the Holocaust, I kindle them also for a Roman Catholic nun, a righteous gentile who risked her life to save mine.” – Shulamit Bastacky The story of Shulamit Bastacky, a child Holocaust survivor, will continue to be told in her own words through the Education Fund established in her honor by the Seton Hill University National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE). Through the Education Holocaust Survivor Shulamit Bastacky with Sister Gemma Del Duca, co-founder of the Fund, the NCCHE will train Westmoreland County National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill. Bastacky died on teachers to incorporate survivor testimony into January 1, 2021 at age 79. their classes. Bastacky, of Pittsburgh, who for decades made it her mission to tell that story, died on January 1, 2021 at age 79. She was a regular speaker at Seton Hill’s annual Interfaith Kristallnacht Remembrance Service and in campus classrooms, as well as at schools throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area. “Her death to us at Seton Hill was a blow,” said James Paharik, Ph.D., NCCHE Director and a Professor of Sociology. “Shulamit was the type of person, you didn’t just meet her, you bonded with her. We all felt a very personal connection with her. She meant a lot to not just Seton Hill but the many schools she visited.” Bastasky was born in 1941 in Vilnius, Lithuania, just after the Nazi regime took over. Her parents handed her over to a Polish nun who hid her, alone in a small cellar, for three years. “…She came as often as she could and brought me enough food to survive until the next time,” Bastacky wrote in her biography, “Beyond Memory.” While the nun risked her own life to provide what care she could, Bastacky never felt the sun’s warmth or the touch of another human during those years. After the war, Bastacky’s parents, who both survived labor camps, found her at an orphanage, identifying her through a birthmark. The family eventually moved to Pittsburgh, where Shulamit earned a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh and spent her career in geriatrics. Sr. Gemma Del Duca, who co-founded the NCCHE, first heard Bastacky’s story three decades ago at a Kristallnacht service. “Shulamit was saved, and she never ceased to be grateful and to emphasize that ‘one person can make a difference,’” said Del Duca, who became a close friend. “Her presence at Seton Hill University, where she became a special friend of the Sisters of Charity, provides us with the charge to reach out and to teach others, especially young people, to build bridges of friendship across religious, cultural, racial, generational divides.” Bastacky presented her story as one of triumph and encouragement, Paharik said. “She was able to survive through the kindness of strangers. And be aware of who is being discriminated against in these times – don’t just be a bystander but an ‘upstander.’”
Commencement Ceremonies Celebrate Catharine Murray Ryan Receives Honorary Degree and Addresses Graduates
Pittsburgh philanthropist and community leader Catharine Murray Ryan is hooded by Seton Hill President Mary Finger and Board of Trustees Chair Karen Farmer White as Ryan receives an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during Commencement ceremonies on May 22.
After a challenging year that showcased the resilience of the campus community in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, Seton Hill University held a series of in-person Commencement celebrations on May 22 that honored both the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2020, who were unable to gather for graduation last year. Seton Hill held three commencement ceremonies – one for graduate students and the other two for undergraduate students based on their degree. Pittsburgh philanthropist and community leader Catharine Murray Ryan, a recipient of the Seton Hill University Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal, served as the keynote speaker at both undergraduate ceremonies and was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Seton Hill in
recognition of her outstanding contributions to Catholic education and, in particular, to Mission and Identity efforts at the university through The Rose M. O’Brien Center for Campus Ministry. President Finger said Catharine Murray Ryan supports a holistic vision for student formation and development. “The support you provide to Campus Ministry programming at Seton Hill University through The Rose M. O’Brien Center for Campus Ministry and through the Ryan Campus Ministry Endowment for Student Programming affirms both community participation and respect for the individual. The spirited reflection, sacramental ministry and community service programming you sponsor leads students to value the graces of courtesy, kindness, compassion, dialogue and respect for diversity.”
the Classes of 2020 and 2021 First Ruth O’Block Grant Scholar Graduates Gracie Stynchula, one of five students selected for the Ruth O’Block Grant Endowed Scholarship Program, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry on May 22, 2021. Stynchula, pictured here with President Mary Finger, is the first Grant Scholar to graduate from Seton Hill. The Ruth O’Block Grant Endowed Scholarship Program was founded during Seton Hill’s Centennial by the Verstandig Family and Grant Verstandig - the founder and CEO of Rally Health - to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of Grant’s grandmother, Seton Hill alumna and Immediate Past Chair of the Seton Hill Board of Trustees, Ruth O’Block Grant. Grant Scholars participate in experiences that help them hone their leadership skills and prepare them for success in graduate school, their careers and their communities. Each Grant Scholar also benefits from the mentorship and guidance of an exceptional leader and entrepreneur. Stynchula’s Grant Mentor was Seton Hill alumna Cheryl Maurana, Senior Vice President for Strategic Academic Partnerships at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Stynchula, whose younger brother is living with developmental and health issues, will pursue a graduate degree in Genetics from the University of Pittsburgh.
In her remarks, Catharine Murray Ryan highlighted the parallels between the lives of today’s graduates with that of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in three particular ways: The turmoil of the Revolutionary War compared to that of the current political environment; the discrimination she felt during her conversion to Catholicism related to that being felt by students of color today; and, finally, her experiences with illness and death that echo those felt during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said, “Seton Hill has given each of you a fine education and has equipped you with the skills and tools you will need to go forward with your life’s work. This is an invaluable gift,” Ryan said. Yet this unique year at Seton Hill has also given you another really important set of life skills
that will serve you equally well in the future. Among them are resilience, … compassion, … courage, … and self-confidence. Catharine Murray Ryan continued, “This is the selfconfidence that comes from facing all the bumps and bruises this year has thrown at you and knowing now that you can tackle whatever lies on the road ahead,” she continued. “None of you know today exactly where that road will take you. I do hope it will bring you back here to Seton Hill, your alma mater, often. But whatever road you travel, you will always have a steady and reliable companion in the person of Elizabeth Ann Seton. Feel free to call upon her often and let her be your guide.”
Top: John Makell IV receives his degree from President Finger. Bottom Left: Graduate Lilian Real celebrates during Commencement. Bottom Right: Joshua Esch receives his degree.
Top: Sister Mary Norbert Long, Provincial Superior of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill; President Mary Finger; Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg Larry J. Kulick; Board of Trustees Chair Karen Farmer White; and Honorary Degree Recipient and Speaker Catharine Murray Ryan pose for a photo prior to undergraduate Commencement ceremonies on May 22. Left: Sarah Black elbow bumps Graduate Art Therapy Program Director Dana Elmendorf after being hooded. Bottom Left: Graduate Nicole Hicks shows off her decorated cap. Bottom Right: Kennedi Stevens blows kisses to her family during Commencement.
Nathan Stanko poses for a portrait in Saint Joseph Chapel, a place on the Seton Hill campus that reminds him of his late mother, Laura Stanko Dominelli, a 2010 alumna.
Nathan Stanko ’21 Honors Mother's Memory and Completes Degree Nathan Stanko vividly remembers playing as a young boy on the Seton Hill campus while he visited his mother – Laura Stanko Dominelli – while she attended classes. While they would often play hideand-seek and other games – there was one place on campus that young Nate knew was sacred to his mother – Saint Joseph Chapel. And that is where Nate – who graduated with a degree in Biochemistry in May 2021 – would often stop for comfort and solace during his mother’s battle with leukemia and after her death. “The Chapel is the place on campus
where I felt her presence the most,” said Stanko, who lost his mother in June 2020 just before the start of his senior year. After his mother’s death, Stanko would find a home at Seton Hill – a residence hall room that provided him a place to live during a turbulent time in his life – and was able to complete his studies thanks to a generous grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The $100,000 emergency grant provided much-needed scholarship support to Stanko and other Seton Hill students pursuing degrees in Health Science fields of study. “Under normal circumstances,
there is a pressing need for additional institutional aid for Seton Hill health science students that often means the difference between a student completing their course of study or dropping out of school. Those student financial aid needs were more deeply felt due to the extraordinary challenges brought about by the pandemic,” President Mary Finger said. “The emergency grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation allowed Seton Hill to provide critical bridge funding to the institution’s most economically vulnerable health science students, a number of whom are Pell eligible, to ensure that they are able to complete their college education and
stay on track to become future healthcare providers at a most critical time in the history of our region and our nation.” For Stanko, the emergency assistance could not have come at a more opportune time. His mother was diagnosed with leukemia during his sophomore year at Seton Hill – and Nate became not only a caregiver for her but her donor for an allogenic stem cell transplant. Initially, the transplant had good results that enabled the mother and son to start their regular walking routine again. However, Laura developed a complication from the transplant known as Steroid-Refractory Acute Graft-VersusHost Disease – a condition that has very few treatment options. Despite her doctors’ best efforts, Stanko’s mother
died in June 2020. After his mother’s death, Stanko, who had commuted to campus from his mother’s house in his first three years at Seton Hill, also found himself homeless due to family circumstances beyond his control. Thankfully, the Richard King Mellon grant funding came at the right time. “The scholarship from the Richard King Mellon Foundation was a makeor-break situation for me,” Stanko said. “Without the scholarship and other financial aid assistance from Seton Hill I would not have been able to complete my senior year.” Stanko said the personal care and attention he received at Seton Hill – especially from his faculty advisor and mentor Jonathan Moerdyk – also enabled his success.
In fact, despite all that he had been through, Stanko made the Dean’s List in both the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters – and he discovered a new pathway for his life. Stanko had considered becoming a physician, but his mother’s death prompted him to look into studying pharmacy. After graduation, Stanko moved to Tennessee where his sister lives and will begin his Pharm.D. studies at Lipscomb University in the fall. “I decided to pursue pharmacy because the condition that took my mother’s life has very few treatment options,” he said. “Ultimately, I would like to earn both my Pharm.D. and my Ph.D. in Pharmacy and conduct research into drug therapies that would save the lives of others faced with the same complication.”
Nathan Stanko receives his diploma from President Finger in May 2021.
Student Ambassador Program Connects Students to Leadership Opportunities, Philanthropy When Student Ambassadors met virtually with Seton Hill President Mary Finger last spring for a discussion with her, the conversation was anything but typical. Seton Hill students had to head home to finish their Spring 2020 semester online due to the shutdowns necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they weren’t sure when – or if – they would be able to return for in-person classes. The Ambassadors stressed to President Finger their desire – and that of many of their classmates – to return to campus in-person and their willingness to follow health and safety measures to do so. “Meeting with President Finger is one of my favorite things to do as a Student Ambassador,” said Jessie Delio, a senior Business major. “She always makes it a point to make time for our meetings because she genuinely cares about what we have to say. When the pandemic hit last March, she wanted to meet with us to discuss the abrupt remote semester and a possible return to campus plan for the fall. She wanted to make sure our needs were met at that time because it was such a time of uncertainty – and she wanted to make sure we knew she was there for us as well as all of the other students.” The regular meetings with President Finger are just one of the many opportunities that the Seton Hill University Student Ambassadors (SHUSA) are engaged in. SHUSA promotes, fosters and creates lifelong leadership skills and philanthropic commitment to Seton Hill for its student members – and connects them to alumni and friends of the university. Student Ambassadors strive to improve the quality of the university through professionalism, dedicated service, and a direct partnership with alumni and friends through the Office of Institutional Advancement. Student Ambassador candidates are nominated by faculty, staff and other ambassadors and are selected through an application and interview process that looks for strong leaders with involvement in campus activities, service, Seton Hill University Student Ambassadors advisor James Pirlo (front) with current and athletics and/or the arts and academic former student ambassadors, including (first row) senior Jessie Delio, senior Marlayna Verenna, Shannon Hubble ’21, senior Christy Gordon ’21, (back row) Sarah Hester ’20, achievement. Kennedy Kehew ’20, Alyssa Doyle ’20, Josh Esch ’21 and Mercedes Holets ’20. “Seton Hill Student Ambassadors are engaged in a number of ways,” said James Pirlo, Major Gifts Officer and the SHUSA advisor. “Through their regular meetings with President Finger, participation in Phonathon and other student-driven philanthropy initiatives, or helping guests at signature events such as the Scholarship Luncheon, Alumni Weekend and Christmas on the Hill, Student Ambassadors take on leadership roles and see the value of philanthropy to their lives and the lives of their student peers.” While the pandemic limited in-person events during the past academic year, Student Ambassadors were engaged in and assisted with virtual opportunities instead. Delio was nominated by one of her professors for the SHUSA program during her freshman year. “I was very interested in getting involved on campus,” she said. “Philanthropy was a new concept to me, and I was excited to join a program to learn more about it. “SHUSA has honestly given me many awesome opportunities,” she added. “I have met so many amazing students through this program.”
Student Ambassader Spotlight: Joshua Castanedas Joshua Castanedas, a sophomore communication and political science double major, has always had a passion for politics and activism. Originally from the Bronx, New York, Joshua transferred to Seton Hill to explore an athletic opportunity as a football player. Since transferring, Castanedas has become a Student Ambassador and manages to balance his coursework and his extracurriculars to maintain a high GPA. “I wanted to become a Student Ambassador because as a person who has aspirations to pursue a political career, I felt that this would be a great opportunity to not only learn from, and be a part of the university, but also continue to help the Seton Hill community in any way that I can,” Castanedas said. “I also felt that this would be great representation for not only the current minority students attending Seton Hill, but for the future ones as well.” “My time as a student ambassador and as a Seton Hill student has been such a surprise for me,” he added. “I have been able to grow as a student and as a person in ways that I could have ever imagined. What’s great about it all is - I’m just getting started.” In fact, during the Spring 2021 semester, Castanedas made time for several important projects. During his internship with Keisha Jimmerson, Associate Dean of Students for Diversity, Inclusion and International Student Services, he introduced the “My Name, My Identity” campaign to Seton Hill. The “My Name, My Identity” campaign helps build positive connections, promotes diversity in and outside the classroom, and builds the importance of understanding perspectives and others’ backgrounds. He received assistance from Jimmerson and Jen Jones, Ph.D., Associate Communication Professor and Communication Department Coordinator. “Joshua was responsible for bringing the national My Name My Identity Campaign to a university campus for the first time,” Jones said. “He is passionate about inclusion and understands its connection to Seton Hill’s mission. His work mobilizing students on campus through multiple events is a great example of his commitment to ‘transform the world’.” To bring awareness and respect to the cultures and identities behind our names, and to bring people of all backgrounds together, events were held on campus for student participation. For Castanedas the message of the “My Name, My Identity” campaign is important. “We’re in a time where political activism is highly stressed,” he said. “After all the events of the past year
and current events, I believe it is necessary and important for a university like Seton Hill to embrace diversity and bring people together.” Castanedas also took on environmental issues in a project for a course with Jessica Brzyski, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology. Students were to create a scavenger hunt to promote awareness of environmental sustainability on campus. Castanedas and his group chose to focus on the courtyard located next to Seton Hill’s post office. “Our group decided to do a ‘plant a day’ theme,” he said. “We’ve created a QR code that takes students to a Google Doc that shows them a video and riddle to solve in order to get to the courtyard. Those who are able to find the courtyard will receive a seed and a pot for planting.” Castanedas believes he made “a great choice” in transferring to Seton Hill. He appreciates the support he’s received from his coaches, professors and staff members. “I’ve learned more in a year here than I would have anywhere else,” he says. “I feel I finally found a home in Seton Hill.”
Seton Hill Students Named Finalists in National Entrepreneurship Competition
Third time in Five Years that SHU students participated in e-Fest A team of aspiring entrepreneurs from Seton Hill University were among 25 teams from across the nation named finalists in a student entrepreneurial competition that took place in April. Seton Hill students Jody Kuhns and Jayla R. Wright competed with their product - Safet-E-Sense – at e-Fest, a virtual event hosted by the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. They are the third Seton Hill team in five years to be named finalists in the competition. Sponsored by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas, and EIX.org, a non-profit online platform for entrepreneurship education, e-Fest celebrates student teams who submitted the top business pitches in a preliminary online competition. Kuhns and Wright, who are both Business Administration majors with a specialization in Entrepreneurial Studies, created Safet-E-Sense - a smart gas leak detector applied directly to any gas appliance. It will detect the leak at its source, Jayla Wright determine the severity of the leak, and shut off the gas before it becomes a hazard. The Seton Hill team competed against students from colleges and universities such as Johns Hopkins University, Virginia Tech, Rutgers University, George Washington University, Georgetown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the three-day event that ended on April 24. “All of us at Seton Hill are delighted that another group of Seton Hill student entrepreneurs were among the national finalists in the e-Fest competition,” said President Mary Finger. “Seton Hill has a history of encouraging entrepreneurship among its students through both the university’s strong business curriculum as well as offerings Jody Kuhns outside the classroom, including programs of the Wukich Center for Entrepreneurial Opportunities. Jody and Jayla have benefitted from outstanding faculty mentorship in developing their business plan and did an excellent job representing Seton Hill on a national stage.” “The real-world experience that Seton Hill students gain from participating in events such as e-Fest is invaluable,” said Debasish Chakraborty, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Business at Seton Hill. It
is exciting to see students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to real life situations, and I congratulate Jody, Jayla and their advisor, Assistant Professor of Business Lyzona Marshall, on reaching the finals of this competition.” “It was an honor to have yet another Seton Hill team represented in the e-Fest Business Plan competition,” Marshall said. “This year’s team is truly exceptional because they demonstrated the spirit of entrepreneurship through the ability to meet this competitive challenge while dealing with the restrictions of a pandemic.” This year’s event was a virtual one, so Kuhns, an Adult Degree Program student from Latrobe, Pa., and Wright, a traditional student from Homestead, Pa., did not get to travel to Minnesota as past teams have done. After submitting their initial plan, the team went to work connecting with engineers, other entrepreneurs, financial advisors, Seton Hill faculty and other students, and experts in the natural gas field to fine-tune their product and presentation. “If I was ever to take a crash course in entrepreneurship and get a real perspective of what it is like to develop an idea and see it to completion, this is it,” said Kuhns, who works full-time for People’s Natural Gas in addition to her studies at Seton Hill. “There is no better feeling than being able to apply the knowledge and experience learned in the classroom and apply it directly to something on a much grander scale. Doing the groundwork, understanding the frustrations and roadblocks you face in reality, meeting the demands and pressure of deadlines and accepting that which you cannot change has helped me to see the broader perspective.” Wright said being selected as a finalist validates that her hard work is paying off. “I saw this experience as an opportunity to gain more knowledge and meet new innovative people like myself,” Wright said. “I was very excited to see other ideas and generate my own from them. I think connecting with others is a great way to learn and I was glad to be able to do that during this competition.”
Model UN Team Honored with Outstanding Delegation Group Award Seton Hill University’s Model United Nations team was honored with the highest award, the Outstanding Delegation Award, for their work at the first ever virtual New York Model United Nations Conference conducted by the National Model United Nations Organization. The team of nine Seton Hill students received an Outstanding Delegation Award for their work representing the country of Singapore at conference. This is the first time that a Seton Hill team won the highest award given at the conference, and they did so under the challenging circumstances of negotiating in a virtual format rather than the traditional in-person format in New York at the United Nations. In another first, Paris Szalla, Seton Hill Model UN’s club president, served as a chair overseeing one of the largest committees of the conference with several hundred students - the General Assembly 2nd committee – which addressed the issues of financing for development, information communication technologies, and disaster risk reduction. Szalla, a senior Global Studies major from Cheswick, Pa., was responsible for ensuring all delegates were given speaking time and led the committee parliamentary procedure. Members of the Seton Hill team in addition to Szalla, included Gabrielle Bubin, a sophomore Political Science and Global Studies major from Prince Frederick, Md.; Meghan Cutshall, a freshman Political Science major from Hollidaysburg, Pa.; Brianna Franzino, a junior Global Studies major from Greensburg, Pa.; Shannon Hubble, a senior Political Science major from Mount Pleasant, Pa.; Emma Jorgensen, a junior Political Science major from Sewickley, Pa.; Mark Nealon, a senior Political Science major from Moscow, Pa.; Pietro Porco, a freshman Political Science major from Tarentum, Pa.; and Ariana Scott, a junior Political Science and Sociology major from Leechburg, Pa. Advised by Dr. Roni Kay O’Dell, associate professor of political science at Seton Hill University, the team immersed themselves in the culture and politics of Singapore throughout the 2020-2021 academic year as they prepared to represent the nation at the Model UN Seton Hill Model UN Team members included Shannon Hubble, Paris Szalla, Emma Jorgenson, Megan conference. Cutshall, Gabrielle Bubin, Ariana Scott, Mark Nealon and Pietro Porco. The students won the Outstanding Delegation Award for their excellent negotiation and diplomacy skills during their Committee work. Students work in Committees at the conference to negotiate agreements on human rights and common security issues with delegates representing other countries. Topics included the rights of Indigenous people; establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free-zone in the region of the Middle East; financing for development; peaceful uses of nuclear energy; climate change and health; and universal healthcare. “I am so proud of Seton Hill’s Model UN team. They not only continued to raise awareness about the UN and Sustainable Development Goals this year and trained to learn negotiation and diplomacy skills during the challenges of the pandemic, but they also won an Outstanding Delegation Award for their negotiation skills, their collegiality, and their dedication to addressing shared threats and achieving shared goals in this simulation,” said Dr. O’Dell. “The Model United Nations Conference allows students the ability to practice their negotiation, speaking, and writing skills with a group of hundreds of peers from universities across the world.” The National Model United Nations Organization hosts conferences in New York City, Washington D.C., and various locales round the world every year. This year they were challenged because of the pandemic and the practical challenges to travelling and put their efforts into creating a virtual conference that would not only allow students to continue the important work of learning how to negotiate and simulate the UN, but also practice how to negotiate in an online format just as UN delegates have had to do this year.
Seton Hill Welcomes Momodu C. Taylor, Ph.D. as Dean of Students and Diversity Officer campus climate for students that enhances Momodu C. Taylor, Ph.D. has educational opportunities, fosters a been appointed as the University’s sense of belonging and is supportive of Dean of Students and Diversity Officer. all students and will provide leadership Dr. Taylor, who suceeds Adriel Hilton, for comprehensive inclusion-oriented began his new role on July 1, 2021. experiences and initiatives for the “On behalf of the Seton Hill university community in collaboration with University community, it is my distinct campus partners. pleasure to welcome Dr. Momodu C. Dr. Taylor comes to Seton Hill from Taylor to campus as he assumes this Bowie State University, a public historically integral role for our students, faculty Black university in Maryland, where he and staff,” said President Mary Finger. served as Co-Curricular Assistant to the “Dr. Taylor is an exceptional and Vice President for Student Affairs. In this creative leader and educator who will role, he created infographic reports in be an incredible asset as Seton Hill support of the vision and mission of the examines and enhances its diversity Division of Student Life and served as an efforts, particularly through the work of advisor to the Vice President in areas such the President’s Task Force on Diversity, as best practices for student engagement, Equity and Inclusion.” retention, professional development, and “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. collaboration with academic affairs. In Taylor into this important role for our addition to his responsibilities at Bowie, students and the community,” said Rosalie Carpenter, Ed.D., Dr. Taylor also most recently served as an online Adjunct Vice President for Student Affairs. “Dr. Taylor quickly established Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies/Liberal Arts at Wheeling himself as a student-advocate, connector, critical thinker, and University. someone who will be able to lead initiatives as we continue to Prior to his work at Bowie State, Dr. Taylor served as the strive for inclusive excellence at Seton Hill.” Director of Student Involvement at Lenoir-Rhyne University, “I am pleased to join the Seton Hill University family. The where he oversaw student activities programming and student opportunity to serve in the unique and innovative position of organizations with a focus on Dean of Students and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Diversity Officer is a great programming. At Lenoir-Rhyne, honor,” said Dr. Taylor. “I "I look forward to continuing to expand upon the Dr. Taylor also served as the look forward to continuing university’s commitment to student engagement, as Lineberger Center for Cultural to expand upon the well as diversity, equity, and inclusion. In doing so, and Educational Development’s university’s commitment I look to build partnerships with faculty, staff, the Multicultural Studies Scholar in to student engagement, Greensburg community, and friends of the university, Residence, a visiting professor as well as diversity, equity, for the betterment of our student experience." of leadership studies. and inclusion. In doing so, - Momodu C. Taylor, Ph.D. He also served the Prince I look to build partnerships George’s County Public Schools with faculty, staff, the in Maryland as the Assistant Greensburg community, Coordinator of the Academy of Law, Education, and Public and friends of the university, for the betterment of our student Service and as a History Educator/College and Career Readiness experience.” Specialist. Dr. Taylor, who was selected following a national search, Dr. Taylor earned both a Doctorate in Leadership Studies will be responsible for coordinating tangible efforts that support and a Master of Arts in Teaching (History Education) from North Seton Hill’s Catholic mission, co-curricular learning and the Carolina A&T State University and a Bachelor of Arts in History university’s four pillars of welcoming, learning, celebrating and from Livingstone College. serving. He will lead efforts to support a vibrant and engaged
Melissa Alsing Honored by Pittsburgh Technology Council as a 2021 CIO of the Year Melissa Alsing, Chief Information Officer at Seton Hill University, was honored by the Pittsburgh Technology Council and the Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group the 2021 CIO of the Year in the Small Universities/Non-Profits category at a virtual awards ceremony held Thursday, June 24. “I am honored to be recognized by my peers in information technology for the work I have done at Seton Hill University, especially during these challenging times,” Alsing said. “Technology is infused in everything we do at Seton Hill – but during the pandemic we had to find new and creative ways to keep the campus community connected. I am grateful for a wonderful team of IT professionals who continue to be innovative and to Seton Hill faculty and staff who embrace technology and the ways that it can – and does – enhance our learning community.” Seton Hill University President Mary Finger said, “The entire Seton Hill University community congratulates Melissa Alsing on being named CIO of the Year. The honor is well-deserved – particularly for her efforts over the past year – as Melissa has led a team of extraordinary IT professionals who have provided outstanding support to the university community and allowed us to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether she was supporting efforts to enhance education for faculty engaged in online learning in the Spring of 2020, developing hybrid models to allow for both in-person and remote learning during the 2020-21 academic year, or offering assistance to the Seton Hill Health Services team’s COVID-19 testing and contact tracing efforts, Melissa and her team have elevated the technological capabilities at Seton Hill, which has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School since 2012.” Melissa Alsing has served as Chief Information Officer at Seton Hill University since 2015. In this role, Alsing sets priorities for the university’s information technology staff and manages Seton Hill’s network infrastructure, academic technology support, administrative software support, telecommunications, media services, web and cloud development and the Help Desk. Alsing began her work at Seton Hill in 2009 and has served in several roles, including Director of Information Systems, DBA; Executive Director of Information Technology; and Acting CIO. Prior to Seton Hill, Alsing worked for eight years at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pa., where she served as Manager of Administrative Systems, DBA; Manager of Web Development; Web Development Specialist and Administrative Computing Specialist. She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Clarion University and an MBA from Chatham. The CIO of the Year Awards are presented by the Pittsburgh Technology Council and the Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group to honor the leaders who keep southwestern Pennsylvania’s technology center on the cutting edge. The annual awards recognize the region’s top information technology and information security executives at all sizes and types of companies throughout the Pittsburgh region.
Seton Hill Recognized as a Tier 1 College for Distance Learning Educate to Career, an online nonprofit publication, has recognized Seton Hill University as a Tier 1 College for its ability to adapt to distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Tier 1 College, Seton Hill “excels at online and in-classroom instruction, delivered affordably,” according to Educate to Career. Universities must have offered online instruction for a minimum of three years to be considered for the Tier 1 ranking. Educate to Career is a nonprofit formed in 2013 by retired businessman Mike Havis to help students and their families find data on occupational outcomes derived from various majors, the salaries associated with these outcomes, and also where to pursue their education. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Educate to Career expanded its information to rate colleges and universities on distance learning capabilities – a key concern of many students and families.
Samuel Hartman Wins Two National Championships in Track Seton Hill’s Samuel Hartman became the first two-time NCAA National Champion in university history by winning both the 110 meter and 400 meter hurdle titles at the 2021 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Allendale, Michigan. Hartman won his first national championship by defeating Tyron Lewis of West Texas A&M by .01 seconds in the 110 meter hurdle with a time of 13.88 seconds. Hartman won his second national title by .25 seconds over Jackson Blanchard of Grand Valley to claim his second title. His time in the 400-meter finals was 50.50 seconds. Hartman is only the third person to pull off the double hurdle title in NCAA Division II history. "Sam handled the pressure of his first national meet incredibly well," stated Head Coach Bobby Over. "He came in with the mindset of taking it one race at a time. He was confident in his abilities and the work that he put in to get here. I'm very proud to see him leave the meet as a two-time champion." In addition to his national championships, Hartman, a junior Computer Science major, has also been lauded with conference, regional and national honors both for his athleticism and his academics. Hartman was named one of the four U.S. Track and Field and Cross County Coaches Association Division II Track and Field Scholar Athletes of the Year. Carrying a 3.80 cumulative GPA, Hartman was named the Outdoor Track Scholar Athlete of the Year. In addition, Hartman earned the prestigious Pete Nevins PSAC Scholar Athlete of the Year Award – the first Griffin to earn the award. The PSAC Pete Nevins Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards are presented to the top student-athletes who have achieved at least a 3.50 cumulative grade point average while competing at an outstanding athletic level. Student-athletes must have been recognized as a conference Fall, Winter, or Spring Top Ten Award Winner to be eligible for the honor. "I'm so honored to receive this award," stated Hartman. "It has been an incredible year, and I am so thankful to Seton Hill, my coaches, and teammates for helping me accomplish everything I have. I am very excited to get back on the track and do it again." "Sam is certainly deserving of the PSAC's most prestigious award given to an athlete," said Seton Hill Athletic Director Chris Snyder. "In a year like none other, Sam completely dominated the competition on the track and in the classroom.
We all are very proud of Sam's accomplishments and in the way he represents himself, his team and Seton Hill." Hartman was also named the PSAC Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year and the USTFCCA Atlantic Region Track Athlete of the Year. He won two PSAC Championships and was named the Most Outstanding Track Athlete of the meet at this season's PSAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He was also named one of the PSAC Winter/Spring Top 12 Award winners and was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All District Team.
Track and Field Athletes Earn Individual Titles, Assistant Coach Ashley Ivill Earns Honor The Seton Hill Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams earned a number of individual titles and honors this spring. At the PSAC Championships, the men finished fifth overall, tying the best mark for the team in school history, while the women finished 11th. In addition to Sam Hartman’s titles, Hunter Martin won the PSAC title in the long jump while Sydney Wolf won the championship in the 800-meter dash. Assistant Coach Ashley Ivill was named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross County Coaches Association Atlantic Region Assistant of the Year. Seven members of the team earned All Region honors, including Hartman, Martin, Sven Rabsahl, Wolf, Alexis Cunningham, Kristen Greggerson and Sarah Johnson.
Baseball Reaches NCAA Division II Championships for Second Time The Griffins baseball team completed the most successful season in program history in 2021 a year after their season was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seton Hill posted a 39-8 overall record with a 23-4 mark in PSAC West play. The team won their first PSAC Western Division crown since the 2014 season. After winning the Atlantic Regional Title in the regional round of the NCAA Tournament, the Griffins advanced to the NCAA Division II Baseball Championships for the second time in team history. The program also made a national championship tournament when Seton Hill competed in the NAIA. Outfielder Derek Orndorff – who was featured twice on ESPN’s SportsCenter for outstanding catches – said the team had dedicated themselves to win in honor of Maclean Maund, who died in a vehicle accident in January 2020 just before his freshman season at Seton Hill was about to begin. “If you’ve known our team for the past two years, we’re not doing it for ourselves, we’re doing it for Mac,” he said after the team won the Atlantic Regional Title. “That’s what this is for. That’s been the glue that’s kept us together.” While the team went 1-2 in the national championships, they were lauded for their work on the field and off. Tommy Pellis was named PSAC West Athlete of the Year, Owen Sabol was recognized as PSAC West Rookie of the Year, and Head Coach Marc Marizzaldi was named PSAC West Coach of the Year. Marizzaldi won his 600th career game this season, which was also the 600th win in program history. Seven members of the team earned All PSAC West honors. Pellis was named National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Division II Conference Commissioners Assocation and American Baseball Coaches Association Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year while Marizzaldi earned the NCBWA Atlantic Regional Coach of the Year award. Ben Vicini and Orndorff each also earned All Region honors with Pellis being named an All American by the NCBWA. Marizzaldi was named the ABCA Atlantic Regional Coach of the Year. Pellis also earned academic honors, being named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All District Team and being named a PSAC Winter/Spring Top 12 Award winner. The baseball team earned the Top Team GPA Award from the PSAC for their performance in the classroom during the 2020-2021 school year. The Griffin baseball team finished with a 3.413 GPA to take home the Top Team GPA Award. This is the fourth consecutive time the baseball program has won the award from the PSAC. The team has also won the award in six of the last seven seasons.
Women’s Softball Earns First Trip to PSAC Finals; Individual Players Earn Honors The Women’s Softball team finished the season with a 32-14 overall record and went 25-7 in the PSAC west, winning the PSAC Western Division title. In the post-season, Seton Hill earned their first trip to the PSAC finals, defeating Mercyhurst and Gannon to advance. The Griffins were ultimately defeated by West Chester in the PSAC Finals. Five Griffins earned All PSAC West honors led by Jenna Osikowicz, who was named PSAC West Athlete of the Year and Logan Hartman, who was named PSAC West Pitcher of the Year. Osikowicz, Hartman and Lauren Dellett earned Division II Conference Commissioners Assocation and National Fastpitch Coaches Association All Region Honors. Osikowicz also earned an academic honor as she was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All District Team. FORWARD MAGAZINE
IN MEMORIAM 24
Bernadette R. Fondy, Ph.D. Bernadette R. Fondy, Ph.D. was a quiet, thoughtful woman who shunned the spotlight – but whose intelligence, innovation and creativity led to the creation of academic programs that will serve generations of Seton Hill University students. Dr. Fondy, a 1969 Seton Hill alumna who served as a dedicated faculty member and administrator, lived with pancreatic cancer for three years until she died peacefully at her Greensburg home on November 30, 2020. She was 73. A native of Pittsburgh, Bernadette earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Seton Hill; a master’s degree in Biology from the University of Dayton and her Ph.D. in Plant Physiology, also from the University of Dayton. Dr. Fondy joined the biology faculty at Seton Hill in 1972 and engaged her students in research opportunities. She received four research grants from the National Science Foundation; presented research papers at the national meetings of the American Society of Plant Physiologists for 14 consecutive years; actively participated at the National Institutes of Health Extramural Associate Program that focused on increasing the participation of undergraduate women in scientific research; and conducted plant research as a Fellow for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. She served as Academic Dean at Seton Hill and was promoted to Vice President for Academic Affairs. During her time as the chief academic officer, she guided the development of the Seton Hill Physician Assistant Program and the master’s degree programs in Elementary Education and Art Therapy. She then served as director of the Physician Assistant Program and led its transition to a master’s degree program. Prior to her retirement, Dr. Fondy initiated the Exercise Science major, served as Dean of the School of Natural and Health Sciences, and as the inaugural director of the Office of Academic Innovation and Planning at Seton Hill. In this role she worked with faculty to develop several new academic programs, including cybersecurity, data analytics and nursing. For her contributions to Seton Hill and the education of generations of students, Dr. Fondy was presented with the 2020 Distinguished Alumna Leadership Award. At a Memorial Mass for Dr. Fondy held in Saint Joseph Chapel in December 2020, Dr. Charmaine Strong, former Dean of Students at Seton Hill, presented a remembrance written by her and several
of Bernadette’s closest friends and caretakers, including Provost Susan Yochum, SC, Ph.D.; Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Kathryn Rother; Claudia Winter, Marilyn McSparrin, and Carol and Ron Zera. They described Dr. Fondy as an accomplished woman who was humble and unassuming. “Bernadette was wise, willing to listen, and her advice was always on point,” they said. “She was a person of integrity, compassion and kindness. She knew herself too. When weighing a decision she would say, ‘I need to sit on this for a while.’” Her yard was a profusion of flowers blooming at different times of the year. She nurtured orchids on her windowsill, loved nature and animals, and cared for stray cats in her neighborhood by offering them water in a heated water bowl. Her love of animals extended to the many rescue dogs she adopted and loved over the years, her friends said. She was also extremely handy. “If one of us ever mentioned that something needed fixing, Bernadette came to the rescue,” they said. “She was always willing to help.” “Bernadette stayed positive and faced her illness with courage and grace,” her friends said. “Driving into Pittsburgh for medical appointments, she would share how grateful she was for one more day.” At Seton Hill, she established the Bernadette R. Fondy Endowed Scholarship to support academically-talented Seton Hill students with financial need who plan to study one of the natural sciences. And she provided leadership support to renovations of the Sr. M. Muriel Flamman Greenhouse to help students develop a love of nature. Her final wish was to include a quote – “The bridge is love” – from Thornton Wilder’s Bridge of San Luis Rey. The phrase references the bridge of love between the land of the living and the land of the dead. Dr. Fondy was the daughter of the late Bertha B. (Colucci) and Romolo F. Fondy and was also preceded in death by her brother, Albert Fondy (Vivian). She is survived by her brother, Thomas Fondy (Sandy), and nieces, Jessica, Susan and Lynn, as well as two grandnephews. For alumni and friends interested, Dr. Bernadette Fondy requested that memorial contributions be made to the the Seton Hill University Sr. M. Muriel Flamman Greenhouse Fund. Please contact Lisa Carino, Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement, at email@example.com or 724.838.2409 for more information.
Susan O’Neill ’79 Remembered for Her Design Talent, Mentorship of Students The creativity and skill of award-winning designer Susan O’Neill ’79, Seton Hill Theatre and Dance program costume director, will live on in the costume shop and on stage, her colleagues say. O’Neill, of Mercer, Pa., who earned a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising, died on Dec. 23, 2020, at age 63. “Sue had the ability to marshal forces and carry through on her projects. She was great with her hands; she was a good teacher. She had a lot of attributes that can’t be replaced in one human being,” said Dr. Kellee Van Aken, Dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts. O’Neill loved sharing her expertise with students and spent countless hours in the costume shop bringing her visions to life for dance performances and five annual theatre productions. “She was the costume shop,” Van Aken said. When O’Neill joined Seton Hill’s blossoming theatre department in 2003, she brought decades of experience in dressing top stars: Pavarotti and other opera greats as the resident costume designer/ coordinator for The Pittsburgh Opera; specialty puppets for “Mister Rogers Neighborhood;” and modern dancers for The Dance Alloy in Pittsburgh. “She was great to work with,” said Denise Pullen, Associate Professor of Theatre. “She not only gave you what you asked for, she gave you more. She did her research, made suggestions. She was very collaborative and still accommodating.” Seton Hill’s costume shop expanded exponentially during O’Neill’s tenure and today extends down hallways along two sides of the Performing Arts Center, packed floor to ceiling. “She may be gone, but she’ll be here long after we’re retired,” Van Aken said. “She donated a lot of her personal stock to Seton Hill that will always be here, and dozens of her designs are in that area.” Many of Seton Hill’s costumes must be constructed, or “built,” Van Aken noted. “Obviously, you can’t buy a Renaissance gown off the rack. It’s in our stock, or it gets made. Dance was fairly new as a major when I came on in 2002, so there was no stock for dance.” O’Neill had a good grasp of costume history, a must for designers, she said. “If you’re doing a Greek production, you have to know what they wore. Sue went through a really rigorous exam to get accredited in costume design.”
Hundreds of books on fashion design and vintage magazines lined her office. “She collected a lot of that and shared it with students,” Pullen said. Her fine art skills shone through her design renderings – multiple images drawn in color, accompanied by fabric samples to show color and texture. While adjunct Patty Barker, O’Neill’s sister and a part-time costumer, did much of the machine sewing on costumes, O’Neill often did handwork – skills she taught to students. “Not just costumes, but also prosthetics - hair and wigs,” said Pullen, adding that she once walked into the costume shop to find students making chain mail armor for an upcoming show. “If Sue didn’t know about it, she would research it, look at it and figure out how to do it.” O’Neill most enjoyed teaching, Pullen said. “There are so many students who went on to use what she taught them,” she said. “She loved to see them develop agency and figure out how to do something by a specific process. That could mean failing and trying again. She was very demanding. Within those demands she always gave tons of support.” O’Neill was the catalyst behind Seton Hill’s participation in The Westmoreland Museum of American Art's “Art as Fashion” events. O’Neill’s students designed costumes based on museum pieces that were modeled during the events. In 2019, O’Neill’s students modeled for featured guest Clyde B. Jones, III, Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, who provided a behind-the-scenes view of the Met Gala. Pullen’s favorite memory of working with O’Neill was as the director of “The World Goes Round,” a cabaret-style musical review of Kander and Ebb songs that ended with a kickline to “New York, New York.” At the last minute, O’Neill decided to find and fix 14 different white costumes with gold vests and top hats. “I didn’t know they were coming,” Pullen said. “We decided to just incorporate them into the song; we had the dancers pass them straight down the line. We made it part of the choreography.” “She was going to get those in,” she said. “They were beautiful costumes.”
Seton Hill Named a Military Friendly® Seton Hill University has earned the 2021-2022 Military Friendly® School designation. Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. Over 1,200 schools participated in the 2021-2022 survey with 747 earning the designation. The 2021-2022 Military Friendly® Schools list was published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at www. militaryfriendly.com. “Seton Hill University has a long-standing commitment to ensuring veterans and their dependents receive a high-quality education and have access to programs that enable their success in the classroom and in their future careers,” said Seton Hill President Mary Finger. “This commitment dates back to World War II when Seton Hill educated a group of male veterans returning from their service even though the institution was, at the time, a women’s college. Over the past 75 years, Seton Hill has continued to serve veterans and their dependents through the Yellow Ribbon program, which extends additional tuition benefits beyond the GI Bill, and works to meet the unique needs of student veterans through a variety of academic, counseling and career readiness support services. Seton Hill has also expanded its outreach to alumni veterans through the establishment of the Seton Hill Veterans Alumni Affinity group, further engaging with our community of veterans even after graduation.” The Military Friendly Schools list is compiled using methodology, criteria, and weightings that measure the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer) and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans. “Military Friendly® is committed to transparency and providing consistent data driven standards in our designation process. This creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to consistently evolve and invest in their programs. Schools who achieve designation show true commitment and dedication in their efforts. Our standards assist schools by providing a benchmark that promotes positive educational outcomes, resources, and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the Military Community,” said Kayla Lopez, National Director of Military Partnerships, Military Friendly®. The Military Friendly® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The designation is sponsored by VIQTORY, a service-disabled, veteranowned small business (SDVOSB) that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs® and Military Friendly® brands.
MiRan Surh ’84 and Charles A Korean War veteran who recently published “Tour of Duty,” a book of his letters home, and a Seton Hill alumna who assisted him shared poignant stories as featured speakers at a virtual Veterans Appreciation program honoring veterans and active-duty military personnel. Charles Marwood of Pittsburgh realized his dream to travel when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an electrician mate in July 1948, a month after graduating from high school. He wanted to see the world, and he did – from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the Mediterranean to the South Seas. He promised his parents that he would write home as often as he could, and he did that, too. In remarkable detail, Marwood described his day-to-day experiences during the war, writing on average two letters a week – 400 in all. Marwood and Seton Hill alumna MiRan Surh ’84 met through the Korean War Veterans of Western Pennsylvania. Surh grew up Kangjin, South Korea, where she attended St. Joseph School for Girls in Kwang-ju, founded in 1962 by the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill. She came to the U.S. to earn a bachelor’s degree at Seton Hill, then pursued master’s degrees in Special Education and Social Work. She serves as the Director of Community Relations for the nonprofit Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh. As part of her volunteer work to connect the U.S. and Korea, she leads a veterans volunteer program at two Pittsburgh-area high schools and SoMyong Girls High School in South Korea. The students write to Korean War veterans in the Pittsburgh area and maintain war memorials. During the virtual Veterans Appreciation program in November, sponsored by the Seton Hill University Alumni Association Veterans Affinity, the two shared their story and how they came to publish the book of Marwood’s letters. Marwood was stationed on an escort carrier and an aviation supply ship from August 1950 to June 1952, returning home on leave to marry Joanne O’Hanlon in 1951. After military service, he worked at Jones and Laughlin Steel Company for 35 years and raised two children. “Many years ago, my mother gave me a box and said, ‘Here are some letters you wrote when you were in the
School for 2021-22 Program Features Alumna and Korean War Vet Marwood Discussed “Tour of Duty”
Navy,’” Marwood recalled. “Two years ago, I looked into that box, and only then did I realize the treasure that I had – every letter I wrote home, all in chronological order, were waiting for me.” One day, Marwood showed Surh the letters. “I had never seen any young men, about 18 years old, having that kind of emotion, that kind of love for family, that kind of sincerity, and so responsible. … I thought, ‘This is not something we need to keep in the box. We need to let the whole world know … as a veteran, as a father, as a husband, and as a grandfather, all this time he has been practicing the same thing: great love, sincerity, responsibility.’” “Even during the time he served in the Korean War, he was practicing that, and he kept a promise,” Surh said. Surh persuaded Marwood to make the letters a project, went home and started typing. She called on her high school volunteers and their mothers to assist in the slow, painstaking process, which took four months. “Christmas was always a tough time for me,” Marwood said of a letter he selected to read, which brought him to tears during the virtual event. “Dec. 25, 1951. At 10 a.m. the (South Korean) orphans… came up the gangplank. I spied this cute little girl right off. She had tears as big as quarters on her cheeks… Gosh, she grabbed my hand so tight, and when I stopped down to say hello, she even put her arm around me. I also had a little boy, and for an hour I had my hands full – walking around the ship, up and down ladders, and taking pictures, and even wiping their little noses…” MiRan Surh ‘84 and Charles Marwood published a book of Marwood’s letters After dinner, each child was given a treat bag with home while he was serving in the Korean War. candy, an apple and an orange. When a Roy Rogers movie and Christmas cartoons were screened, “there weren’t enough chairs to go around, so she sat on my lap.” Afterward, Santa gave each child a gift, “a jacket and a shirt – real cute.” After the children performed a dance, it was time to go. “We loaded them into the boat, and that brought to an end a Christmas Day I’ll never forget.” Surh said every letter was special to her, “because everything is from his heart, and it shows so much about him and how much he loves his parents… I came to the U.S. (to attend) Seton Hill, and I missed my parents so much. I was 19.”
The late Josefa Filkosky’s “Pipe Dreams” was restored as part of a project by adult art student George Hritz and placed at the entrance to the Seton Hill Arts Center.
Art Donations Inspire Creativity at Seton Hill Arts Center An interactive sculpture by a Seton Hill University alumna and a restored pipe structure by the late Josefa Filkosky, a longtime art professor and pioneer in minimalist art, have been installed at the Seton Hill Arts Center in downtown Greensburg. A steel sculpture titled “Eighth Avenue,” donated by Pittsburgh resident Saige Baxter ’16 was placed inside the center. “Pipe Dreams,” a 2,000-pound steel outdoor sculpture, was moved to the Art Center where it was restored by adult art student George Hritz of Greensburg and installed adjacent to the center.
An art educator, Baxter is pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Teaching at Maryland Institute College of Art. “Seton Hill is the reason I create art with welding,” she said. “I had a wonderful, wild ride of welding in the past six years.” Baxter was a painter until she took a sculpture class with art professor Pati Beachley. “She taught us how to weld. Welding is so permanent, and there’s so much requirement for perfection. It suits me. I like that it’s laborious, exhausting; you put your whole body into it.” Relatively few women artists work with welding, Baxter said. “I was really
inspired by Josefa Filkosky – a woman who also welded. It was really empowering to hear a woman’s legacy like that. It made it seem like everything is possible.” “A small, fortunate moment” at an open house launched Baxter into the professional art world. “I was making clunky, $6 Christmas ornaments. Greensburg businessman Ray Charley came up to me and asked if I’d like to do a project.” The 10-month project yielded a 1,000-pound public memorial to Greensburg philanthropist Jennings Womack, located at Greensburg Salem High School.
“It was a commission, her first outdoor piece with a budget, meetings, managing a project,” said Beachley, who mentored her. “It was a real confidencebuilder. It was a larger piece, and she was able to do it in an environment where she had me to consult with. And she was paid for it, too.” In 2019 Baxter was chosen Emerging Artist of the Year for Pittsburgh and was awarded a solo gallery exhibition at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Most of the abstract steel sculptures she creates are interactive. “I figure out how to make it, then I ask, can you sit on it, stand on it, walk through it? Interactive art gives viewers a moment to marinate in it, to have fun in that space in any way they want.” She has taught welding to women, urban youth in the Pittsburgh area, adults in Baltimore and internationally in Portugal. “I really love teaching welding. I think getting a master’s in teaching is the right move,” she said. Hritz is a lifelong art enthusiast whose admiration for Filkosky’s work led him to audit Seton Hill classes in metalsmithing, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and design. Through an independent study class, he proposed a restoration of “Pipe Dreams,” which had sustained some deterioration and damage, and a move to a high-visibility spot outside the Art Center. Outdoor sculptures require regular upkeep, and Seton Hill boasts one of the largest collections of Filkosky’s work, said Beachley, who directed the project. “If you don’t take care of a sculpture, it becomes neglected and attracts vandalism and disrespect. It’s important to give these works the respect they deserve.” “Josefa was known to keep her sculptures in repair,” said Hritz, who also graciously funded the restoration project. “She would visit her sculptures with a can of Bondo and repaint them.”
Hritz’s plan drew on his experience with creating 500-pound kinetic outdoor sculptures for his home as well as his career as director of contracts and negotiations at Westinghouse Electric Corp. “I know how to manage projects,” he said. “It’s such a large sculpture. I didn’t want to damage it. I hired professionals to do the heavy work.” Once the piece was moved to the Art Yard – an outdoor open space at the Seton Hill Arts Center - a contractor blasted off the paint, and Hritz and Beachley worked to match the original red color. “PPG no longer makes that paint, but we used an epoxy that may be an exact color match,” said Hritz, who handled most of the painting. “He did a perfect restoration. It’s beautiful,” Beachley said. “A lot of care
and thought was given to where and how to position the sculpture, to preserve Josefa’s legacy.” Hritz felt the prominent location benefits both Seton Hill and the community. Concerned about potential salt damage in winter, Hritz designed two saddles to keep the sculpture elevated, and Brian Ferrell, associate professor of art, created them on a 3D printer. Hritz has supported the art department for years, donating equipment and funding scholarships for students to attend conferences, Beachley said. He and his wife, Beverly, who audits piano classes, are happy to give back, Hritz said. “Seton Hill brings a lot to the community. It’s made our retirements much more rich.”
Alumna Saige Baxter’s steel sculpture “Eighth Avenue” sits inside the lobby of the Seton Hill Arts Center.
Lisa Scales ’84 Honored as Pittsburgher of the Year When Pittsburgh Magazine called to let Lisa Scales ‘84 know she had been named Pittsburgher of the Year for her efforts leading the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank through the COVID-19 pandemic, Scales said she was humbled and overwhelmed with emotion. “I thought of all the people who could have been recognized this year as well as all those who have been recognized in previous years,” she said. “It’s certainly been very good company.” Indeed, the Pittsburgher of the Year recognition by Pittsburgh Magazine, which dates back to 1986, has honored luminaries such as the playwright August Wilson, children’s television pioneer Fred Rogers and philanthropists Elsie and Henry Hillman. In naming her Pittsburgher of the Year, Pittsburgh Magazine cited Scales’ innovation and creativity as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in helping feed the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I think the (Pittsburgher of the Year) recognition is also a validation of the resilience, hard work and creativity of the entire staff of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank,” Scales added. “We could not have responded in the way we did without the cooperation of the community.” The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank set up drive-through pick up options for those who suddenly found themselves needing assistance during the pandemic shutdowns. Cars were lined up for miles and Scales was there with her staff handing out food boxes and listening to the stories of those who needed help.
“People had been in line for food prior to the pandemic, but the pandemic shone a spotlight on the critical problem of food insecurity in our country,” Scales said. Scales herself put a spotlight on the
issue with national interviews, including one with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “The sheer number of people who never in a million years thought they’d be in line for food assistance was
overwhelming,” Scales said. “Food is a basic human need, and we’re here for people whenever they need us. We’re here for them at some of the hardest times in their lives.” She added, “What’s inspired me the most about the pandemic has been the generosity of people who have stepped up to make a difference in people’s lives and to ensure people have the ability to thrive.” Scales did not foresee herself working on food insecurity issues when she graduated from Seton Hill. She earned a law degree from Boston University – following in her father’s and grandfather’s footsteps as attorneys. But a chance conversation led her to leave the law in 1992 to join Just Harvest, a Pittsburgh advocacy group that works to reduce hunger and poverty. Four years later, she joined Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank as supervisor of its Green Harvest program. She was promoted to the Food Bank’s Chief Operating Officer in 2002, and, in 2012, was selected as the president and CEO. Under her leadership, the Food Bank has gone beyond providing food. “Food banks are transforming the ways we are carrying out our mission,” she said. “At our core we provide food to meet people’s immediate needs, but we are also
doing things to connect them with other resources such as applying for SNAP, job training opportunities, housing transportation and utility assistance so that we help stabilize their lives.” In fact, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank established a permanent call center during the pandemic that not only takes calls from those in need of food assistance but also connects them to other resources. Scales, a Seton Hill Distinguished Alumna, credits her Seton Hill education for inspiring her life’s work. “When I think about my education
at Seton Hill it taught me to think critically, how to act ethically and to have compassion and care for others,” she said. “That was built into the education I received at Seton Hill.” She said she often thinks about how Seton Hill’s mission to prepare students for the world in which they are destined to live and how that ties in with her own hopes. “I believe we are destined to live in a world where all of our neighbors are food secure where everybody has enough to eat every day,” she said. “It’s a human right. That I believe is a world in which we are destined to live.”
NOMINATE A DESERVING SETONIAN FOR THE
2022 DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARDS
Learn more at the Seton Hill Alumni website at alumni.setonhill.edu, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 724.830.1005. Nominations for the 2022 awards are due by September 30, 2021.
Marisa Corona ’17 named one of Pittsburgh’s 30 Under 30
Don’t be afraid to fail. Network. Build your leadership skills. Be open to a career change. Communication alumna Marisa Corona ’17 offers that advice to undergraduates as a volunteer for Seton Hill’s Career Connections Program, which provides students the opportunity to connect with professional alumni at organizations nationwide. Corona speaks from experience as she was recently named a 30 Under 30 by the Pittsburgh Business Times and Leadership Pittsburgh. As a digital content specialist for UPMC Health Plan in Pittsburgh, she helps plan members get information for their health care needs. When COVID-19 swept across the country, she assisted in developing a pandemic communication plan to maintain that access to care. “I am extremely proud of what our digital marketing team was able to accomplish and created while also navigating an entirely new work environment while working from home,” Corona said. Two months before she graduated with a specialty in media advocacy and corporate communication, she landed her first job as a media strategist at the Smith Brothers Agency in Pittsburgh, where she had interned the previous summer. Corona felt confident and well-prepared to enter the workforce. “Seton Hill really values students,” Corona said. “Whether it’s an internship or work on campus, you’re valued as part of the team. You’re not the kid in the office; they have expectations. It’s valuable how they look at us as young professionals. It sets you up for a level of confidence you take into the real world.” The faculty holds students to a high standard, Corona
said, crediting Communication faculty Jen Jones, Ph.D. and Dr. Frank Klapak, Ph.D. who has since retired, with her success as an undergraduate. “They value you as adults, and they really shape you,” she
said. “They gave us real examples to work on for everything we did in class, and it was based on a professional standard. They set high goals and that definitely opened doors.” In mentoring Seton Hill students through Career Connections, Corona draws on her four years of experience in the professional world. “I always express to students to try different things, even things that scare you. It might surprise you. I never would have thought I’d work for a health insurance company. Then I started to work at UPMC, and I love it,” she said. She encourages students not to be intimidated if they come across a professional on LinkedIn or an intriguing company. “Network. Do your research. You’ll see on the flip side that you can be that one person to get that job or to get your resume noticed,” she said. You may not love your first job, but be open to other opportunities, she advises. “Don’t put yourself in these boxes. Even though you’re done with college, you’re not done with learning.” Fear of failure is a real thing for young professionals, she said. “You will mess up, big time, especially new graduates. Don’t be afraid of that. The outcome will make you better at your job, more confident.”
An active volunteer during her time on campus, Corona carries on that practice in both her personal and professional life. Through Pittsburgh Young Professionals, where she serves as a board advisor for social media, she meets peers and makes connections. “I graduated on a Saturday, started working on Monday, and went right into the workforce. I loved my job, but I was the youngest person there by about eight years. I was missing the social aspect of working with friends.” Corona met a broad spectrum of young professionals and found social opportunities to network and learn from them. “You meet people from different industries and get exposure to many careers. I know people who work for the (Pittsburgh Penguins) and at law offices,” she said. One of the youngest board members ever named to the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, she provides marketing and strategic planning support to the nonprofit, which stages 18 new, one-act plays in community theatres. When COVID-19 shut down theatres, Corona and her team stepped into new roles and devised a way to present plays via Zoom. “I know that value of the arts for a community, for a person. They’ve done so much for me to be able to express myself,” she said. “I really love to give back to those organizations.”
Mary Ellen Pollock Raneri ’77 Continues Mother’s Legacy in the Kitchen
"Baking with Lucy” Became an Internet Sensation During the Pandemic Mary Ellen Pollock Raneri ’77 is writing a sequel to the cookbook she and her 97-year-old mother, Lucy Pollock, published last summer after the wild success of their Facebook live-stream show, “Baking With Lucy.” After Pollock passed away suddenly from COVID-19 on November 22, Raneri continued the cooking show in her honor and is writing a second book, a collection of recipes and family memories. “Baking With Lucy in Her Cozy Kitchen,” published a week after Pollock’s death at age 98, has 222 recipes, a number that marks her birth year of 1922. The next book, set for publication in October, will include 98 recipes, one for each year of her life, as well as 65 stories representing Raneri’s age and 88 photos for her late father’s life. The stories range from sloppy joes at school to Pollock’s lemon cream pie. “Everything is wrapped around a story, whether it’s grieving or celebrating her life,” Raneri said of the upcoming book. A visual artist, Raneri spent her career teaching others to write. After retiring she pursued an art degree at Westmoreland County Community College and has exhibited and curated multiple times.
Mary Ellen Raneri ‘77 (left) and her mother, Lucy Pollock, in the kitchen.
Her current project is a batik in keeping with her muse: “Mom’s Green Bean Garden.” She credits her mother and father, Michael, a state police trooper, for nurturing her talents. “Dad was a musician, and mom was always interested in the arts. They always made sure there was money for music and art lessons, and my mom put me through college.” Pollock was an inspiring “Renaissance woman” who always tried new things, Raneri said. “Since she died, I tell my husband, Phil, that I morphed into my mother – always involved in projects, always multitasking.” The cooking videos came about after the pandemic shut down the world last spring. Raneri suggested her mom demonstrate bread baking, and they agreed it would be fun. With a broad smile and a spatula in hand, Pollock dished out common-sense tips from the Raneri kitchen in Latrobe in her matter-of-fact manner: “Don’t burn the garlic. Knead the dough until it’s not sticky.” “It took off so fast. It was just meant to be instructional,” Raneri said. “My mom was so funny, so quirky – she was just the same on camera. Everyone really fell in love with her.” Within a week, the first segment drew several hundred thousand views and comments from around the world. A cookbook wasn’t part of the plan, but viewers kept asking for one. For six months the two sorted through family heirloom recipes from Pollock’s Italian family of 11 as well as hundreds she had snipped out of newspapers and magazines since the 1960s. She was very selective, preferring recipes with few ingredients and “nothing too fussy,” Raneri said. When Jenna Bush interviewed Pollock for the “Today Show” two weeks before she died, she was camera-ready, as always. Every morning she styled her hair, spritzed on her signature perfume. “She’d put on her eyebrows and her big earrings, even if she wasn’t going anywhere. She was very particular about her appearance,” Raneri said. After her husband’s death in 2012, Pollock sometimes mused about her own funeral. “She said, ‘You know, I’m an old lady. I don’t know that anyone is going to come to see me. Don’t do anything fancy,’” Raneri said. “When she did die, there were like 100,000 people who watched her funeral. It went out all over the world. She went out with a bang, and that’s good.”
Students Advocate for State Grant Funding as part of AICUP Advocacy Week Seton Hill students met with Pennsylvania legislators and their staff members as part of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICUP) Advocacy Week in April. Students met virtually with state Rep. Eric Nelson, Seton Hill alumnus Rep. Mike Puskaric and Dottie Staffen, a staff member from Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward’s District Office in Greensburg. The legislators took time to listen to students’ advocacy of PHEAA grant funding, which enables them and their peers to fund their education, as well as other issues facing students. Pictured participating in the virtual meeting with Staffen are Grant Scholar Kathryn Dzurik, Seton Hill Director of Communications and Media Relations Jennifer Reeger, and students Ariana Scott and Nathan Stanko. Meeting with Puskaric were Dzurik, Reeger, Grant Scholar David Conely, Stanko and student Abigail Skatell.
Seton Hill wins CUPPIE Award for "I Love the Hill" Campaign
Orthodontics Residents Excel
Seton Hill's Office of Alumni Relations has been named a winner in the 2021 CUPPIE Awards for its 2020 "I Love the Hill" Social Media Campaign. The CUPPIE Awards are presented annually by CUPRAP (College and University Public Relations and Associated Professionals) honoring communications efforts at college and universities in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. Seton Hill received an Honorable Mention award in the Electronic Media/ Social Media Campaign Category for "I Love the Hill," a social media campaign on the Alumni Relations Facebook page around Valentine's Day that aimed to focus on the ways alumni and friends love Seton Hill. CUPRAP received 357 CUPPIE entries spanning eight different categories in this year's competition.
In late May, eight Orthodontics Program residents who sat for the American Board of Orthodontics Phase II Certification Exam all passed with high marks. The passing grade for the exam is 500—two Seton Hill residents scored in the 900-plus range and others in the 800-plus range.
Seton Hill Celebrates Earth Day with Service, Tree Blessing and Butterfly Garden Rededication Seton Hill University held a series of Earth Day events in April for the university community that included service projects, the annual Junior Class Tree Blessing and the Rededication of Sondra’s Butterfly Garden. Sondra’s Butterfly Garden was first dedicated in 2013 in memory of Sondra Lettrich, Ph.D., a longtime Education professor at Seton Hill who inspired generations of future teachers. Brianna Marks, who graduated in May with a degree in biology and an environmental studies minor, worked during the spring to improve the garden with weeding, new planting and a general cleaning of the area as part of her Honors Capstone Project. During the rededication ceremony, Marks also presented her research on the mental health benefits of nature and participants were encouraged to plant some flowers. Sondra’s Butterfly Garden is located in Saint Joseph Courtyard, between the Administration Building and Saint Joseph Hall on campus. Since 1920, the junior class at Seton Hill University has planted a tree on campus. During the Class of 2022 Tree Blessing Ceremony, which took place on the lawn in front of the Administration Building, the university community gathered to bless a tree that will be planted as part of the second row of trees being added along Seton Hill Drive. The tree was dedicated to Seton Hill faculty members who died in 2020. Pictured are Class of 2022 advisor Daniel Casebeer, Jessie Delio, Lance Edwards, Madison Kober, Sister Maureen O’Brien, Bri Leith, Patrick Wu, and President Mary Finger.
Seton Hill students, faculty and staff engaged in a variety of Earth Day service activities at community organizations throughout Westmoreland County. In these photos, members of the men's basketball team volunteered at Hempfield Park to build benches as part of the park's renovation project while members of the field hockey team helped Sister Barbara Ann Smelko with projects at the Caritas Christi Garden.
Seton Hill Health Science Students Get Real World Experience Delivering COVID-19 Vaccines Students in various health science fields at Seton Hill, including Nursing and Physician Assistant, gained real world experience by preparing and delivering COVID-19 vaccines during on-campus clinics in the spring. The university partnered with Hayden’s Pharmacy in Youngwood to bring the Pfizer vaccine to campus in a series of clinics – first for those who qualified due to age or medical conditions and then to the general campus community once immunization was open to everyone 16 and older in Pennsylvania. Student volunteers prepared syringes, delivered the vaccines and monitored newly vaccinated individuals for the 15-minute waiting period under the watchful eye of Hayden’s Pharmacy staff as well as faculty in the Nursing and Physician Assistant program. Seton Hill students faculty and staff also did their part to keep the community safe through an Instagram Video series called Seton Hill Looks Forward. Community members shared the ways they were staying safe – including mask wearing, avoiding large crowds and getting vaccinated – and the reasons why they took those precautions.
Nursing student Chloe Pohland prepares a syringe with the Pfizer vaccine with direction from Diane Kondas, Ph.D., Director of the Daniel J. Wukich School of Nursing.
Musical theatre student Todd Griffin shares why he got vaccinated as part of the Seton Hill Looks Forward Instagram series.
Nursing student Madison Hemminger delivers the COVID-19 vaccine to a student.
“We Cannot Quarantine Compassion” Elizabeth Ann Seton Biographer Catherine O’Donnell offers virtual Sister Mary Schmidt Lecture
A biographer of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton connected the connections during COVID-19. “Elizabeth Seton wrote that to love many dimensions of her life and heart with life during the COVID-19 and to be able to connect is so valuable, and one of the most pandemic in “We Cannot Quarantine Compassion,” the Sister Mary excruciating things we all felt as the pandemic started is that the Schmidt Lecture presented virtually by the Sisters of Charity and ways we wanted to help people were the very ways we could not – Seton Hill University in April. by bringing them food, by taking care of their children, by visiting, by touching,” she said. “COVID-19 returned us, in ways no one wanted, to something closer to Seton’s world, in which disease just stalked her loved She and two colleagues at Arizona State initiated “A Journal ones, in a way scarcely understood and, in a way, feared,” said of the Plague Year,” an online archive of everyday people’s Catherine O’Donnell, Ph.D., a professor of History at Arizona State experiences that has gathered about 15,000 entries from around University and the author of “Elizabeth Seton: American Saint.” the world. Many who participated confessed to exhaustion, fear and struggles that Seton would have understood, O’Donnell said. During the hardship, loneliness, fear and tedium of the “She cared for her own children and other people’s children, and pandemic, she thought of Seton’s profound respect for science and her writings reveal the burden she bore.” for prayer and her awareness of the needs of both body and soul. Her writings show love and grace but also a very human “Seton’s life was short, only 46 years long, but it was filled with weariness, she said. drama and risk,” O’Donnell said. “Elizabeth Seton created a sense of family and community She was born to an Episcopalian family in 1774 in New York over and over again in her life, always out of difficult circumstances City, when people were suffering under British rule by fear, disease - in her stepmother’s cold home, for the orphaned children of her and disposition. Her mother died when she was 3, and Elizabeth’s father-in-law, for the sisters nearby.” father remarried. Seton came to see connection and commonality in difference. “She knew she wasn’t welcome in their home, and she was After converting to Catholicism, she wanted to persuade others to unhappy,” O’Donnell said. “She never forgot any of her difficult join her but did so a way that caused conflict with her family and childhood because the compassion that she showed throughout her friends, O’Donnell said. “She developed a way of living out its truth life grew from that soil.” while accepting that others would find their own way. The solidarity Elizabeth married William Seton, a successful merchant’s she achieved was not through agreement but through love.” son, and the couple had five children. “Those years were happy,” As the struggle for unity continues today, O’Donnell noted, O’Donnell said. “Solidary emerges through truly seeing people and seeing But life took a turn when her husband contracted differences.” tuberculosis. His father died, leaving the couple in charge of his failing business and William’s many half-siblings. The couple traveled to Italy, hoping in vain that its climate would save William’s life. It was in Italy that Seton embraced Catholicism. “She returned to New York to struggle on and converted,” O’Donnell said, eventually moving to an apostolic women’s community in Emmitsburg, Md. O’Donnell said Seton Catherine O’Donnell presented the virtual Sister Mary Schmidt Lecture in April. inspired her to build
The Griffins Men’s Lacrosse team finished their season with an 11-3 overall record and were 5-1 in Great Midwest American Conference play, finishing second in the regular season. In post-season play, the team finished as G-MAC Tournament runner up and earned a NCAA Tournament bid, falling to St. Anselm in the NCAA First Round. Twelve Griffins earned All G-MAC honors led by Logan Gray, named Specialist of the Year, and Kevin Mo, selected as Keeper of the Year. Seven Griffins earned U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All Region Honors including Gray, Mo, Logan Maloni, Thomas Hanulak, Remy Sell, Christian Krauch and Blake Profio. In addition, Maloni, Hanulak and Mo all earned USILA All American Honors. Maloni also played in the USILA Senior All Star game. The team was honored with the USILA Division II Team Academic Award while 27 members of the team were named to the G-MAC Academic All Conference Team.
Men's Lacrosse Earns NCAA Tournament Bid; Individual Honors
Women’s Lacrosse Wins First PSAC West Title; Coach Courtney Grove Named Coach of the Year The Seton Hill Women’s Lacrosse team finished their season with an impressive 13-3 overall record – and were a perfect 10-0 in the PSAC West, winning the first PSAC West title in school history. The successful regular season run earned the Griffins a NCAA Tournament bid. They fell in the first round to East Stroudsburg. Eight members of the team earned All PSAC West honors, led by Kristi Kada, who was named PSAC West Athlete of the Year. Coach Courtney Grove, who won her 100th game this season, was named Coach of the Year. Colleen Roy was named the PSAC Women’s Lacrosse Champion Scholar, an award that goes to the player participating in the championship who had the highest GPA. Five members of the team earned Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association All Region honors including Kristi Kada, Kate Kada, Makayla Kintner, Jaclyn Frank, and Roy. Kristi Kada became the first Griffin to earn first team All American honors from the IWLCA. Kintner also earned IWLCA All American honors. Kintner was also named a CoSIDA Academic All District selection.
Doug Wood Golf Classic Returns for a Successful Outing The Doug Wood Golf Classic returned to Arnold Palmer’s Latrobe Country Club after taking a break in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Classic was once again a sell-out and provided Seton Hill alumni and friends an opportunity to support all of the university’s athletic programs as well as the Douglas J. Wood Memorial Endowed Scholarship, established by the family of the late Seton Hill Trustee who was an ardent supporter of Seton Hill and its student athletes. Among those attending the event were members of the Wood family including Doug Wood’s wife, Valerie Wood, son and daughter-in-law, Doug and Chelsie Wood, and their children, Dewey, Henry and Jack. The 2022 Doug Wood Golf Classic will be held on June 10, 2022 at Arnold Palmer’s Latrobe Country Club.
Conferring of Degrees
Seton Hill University
December 2020 Graduates Commemorative Program
* May 2020 Graduates were featured in a Commemorative Program in the Fall/Winter 2020 edition of the Forward.
Dear December 2020 Graduates, Commencement marks an important day in the lives of graduates and their families. As they cross the stage to receive their diploma, graduates are moving from one phase of their lives to another. One chapter comes to a close and another begins in those brief moments. It is a joyful moment when I present each graduate with their diploma. Seeing the excitement on our graduates’ faces – and hearing the celebratory cheers from their family members and friends – truly makes me proud to serve Seton Hill and its students. I am a first-generation college graduate myself, so I understand the hard work and dedication and the struggles and sacrifices that students and their families make to attain an education and to earn a degree. And so it was heartbreaking when the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to hold an in-person graduation for our 2020 graduates at their originally scheduled times. This Commemorative Commencement Program – which lists the names and degrees of those who would have been recognized at our December undergraduate Commencement ceremonies – serves as one way that all of us at Seton Hill acknowledge the accomplishments of you and your classmates. I know these days have been challenging. I am proud of each of you and value deeply the resilience of your class in completing your senior year strong and remaining connected with one another. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton said, “The front door, the back door, the side door that leads to the Chapel…all the windows, upstairs and downstairs, open at your coming.” You always have a special place here at Seton Hill University, and we look forward to welcoming you back to your alma mater. Hazard Yet Forward,
Mary C. Finger President
The Caritas Medal The Caritas Medal, commissioned in 1993 to mark the 75th anniversary of Seton Hill University, is worn by faculty and staff who have given 20 years of distinguished service to Seton Hill University. It was designed by Christopher Markle, then a senior graphic design major in the Seton Hill University School of Visual and Performing Arts. The university seal appears on the obverse which includes the Coat of Arms of Seton Hill University. On the reverse is a line drawing of the Seton Hill University Administration Building. The medal is inscribed with words from Wisdom 1:5, A holy thing it is, the spirit that brings instruction.
Candidates for Degrees Bachelor of Arts Christopher Anderson ����������������������������������������Religious Studies Jaylon Ansell ������������������������������������������������������������������������History Zachary Beauchamp ������������������������������������������������������������Theatre Morgan Bergman ������������������������������������������������� Communication Erin Bruce ����������������������������������������������������������������������� Education Jaime Croissant �������������������������������������������������������� Art Education Jolene Cummins ������������������������������������������������������������ Education Gianna Donate �������������������������� Criminal Justice and Psychology Nicole Dragich ����������������������������������������������� Educational Studies Sadye Eisenhauer ������������������������������������������������� Communication Abigail Filapose �������������������������������������������������������������� Education Thomas Griffin �������������������������������������������������� Behavioral Health Gio-vanni Hew ����������������������������������������������������������������Sociology Rieley Hoopes ������������������������������������������������������������Mathematics Austin Iddon �������������������������������������������������������� Communication Lucas Joanis �������������������������������������������������������������������������English Allyson Johnson ������������������������������������������������������������� Education Haruka Kariya ��������������������������������������������������������������� Psychology Jenna Kerlicker ��������������������������������������������������������������� Education Heather Lake �������������������������������������������������������� Human Services
Emily Lawrence ���������������������������������������������������Religious Studies Anna Martz ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� Music Andrea Meyers ���������������������������������������������������������������������English Lauren Moore ����������������������������������������������������������������� Education Paola Morales ����������������������������������������������������������������� Education Breanna O’Brien ����������������������������� Theatre Design & Technology Azaria Oglesby ���������������������������������������������������������������������Theatre Sofia Saenz ��������������������������������������������������������������������Art Therapy Alexis Salvio �������������������������������������������������������������� Art Education Gabrielle Schrack ���������������������������������������������������������Art Therapy Samantha Sensenig ������������������������������������������������������������Spanish Austin Shaw �������������������������������������������������������������������������English Mary Kay Smalich-Evans ����������������������������������� Behavioral Health Maria Sunseri ������������������������������������������������������������������������� Music Ashlynn Swauger ���������������������������� Theatre Design & Technology Phoebe Walczak ������������������������������������������������������������Art History Haley Wilt ������������������������������������������������������������������������������Dance Jennifer Henry �����������������������������������������������������Religious Studies Rebecca Scassellati ���������������������������������������������������������������English
Bachelor of Fine Arts Autumn Alko ������������������������������� Graphic and Interactive Design
Rebecca Scassellati ������������������������������������������������ Graphic Design
Bachelor of Music Christopher Albertson ���������������������������������������� Music Education Breanna Bianco ��������������������������������������������������� Music Education Christina Colebank ��������������������������������������������� Music Education Cassie Kulesa �����������������������������������������������������������Music Therapy Maria Long ������������������Music Education and Music Performance
Erin McElhenny ����������������������������������������������� Music Performance Jordan Saghy ������������������������������������������������������������Music Therapy Nicole Elli ����������������������������������������������������������������Music Therapy Emily Landsman �����������������������������������������������������Music Therapy
Bachelor of Science Tina Ashbaugh ��������������������������������������� Business Administration Isabella Battiata �������������������������������������� Business Administration Matthew Bonish ���������������������������������������������Sports Management Lara Brady ��������������������������������������������������������������������� Accounting Tiffany Burden ���������������������������������������������������������Health Science Katherine Carlso ���������� Accounting and Business Administration Breanna Cavanaugh �����������Computer Science and Cybersecurity Michael Connell ������������������������������������� Business Administration Alan Diltz �����������������������������������������������������������������������Chemistry Andrew Doak ����������������������������������������� Business Administration Tammy Elliott ��������������������������������������������������������������� Accounting Jayden Emberton-Gaines ��������������������������������������Exercise Science Daquan Glover �����������������������������������������������Sports Management Joshua Griffith ���������������������������������������������������Computer Science Emily Grove ���������������������������������������������������������������Cybersecurity Shannon Haig ���������������������������������������������������������Health Science Gabriella Jablonski ������������������������������������������������������������� Biology Ally Kaputa ��������������������������������������������������������������Health Science Robert Karmonick �����������������������������������������������������Cybersecurity Brady Kesterholt ������������������������������������������������������Health Science Kevin Lenhart ����������������������������������������� Business Administration + Degree in Honors
Haley Lucas ��������������������������������������������������������������Health Science Diana Marisca ����������������������������������������� Business Administration Victoria Murrell �������������������������������������� Business Administration Natalie Opalka ��������������������������������������������������������Health Science Monique Otten ��������������������������������������� Business Administration Thomas Pellis ����������������������������������������� Business Administration Amber Popp ������������������������������������������� Business Administration Brittany Postma ������������������������������������������������������������������ Biology Kevin Reed ���������������������������������������������� Business Administration Mary Ann Regina ������������������������������������ Business Administration Michelle Sanner �������������������������������������� Business Administration Laramie Sisco ������������������������������������������ Business Administration Jenna Snyder ��������������������������������������������������������� Forensic Science Holli Stiltenpole ��������������������������������������������������� Forensic Science Barbara Sutherin �����������������������������������������������������Health Science Lauren Villone �������������������������������������������������������������������� Biology Wendi Walsh ������������������������������������������������������������Health Science Kennedy Kehew ������������������������������������������������������������������ Biology Sierra Luzier ���������������������������������������������������������� Forensic Science Madison Smith........................................................Health Science
Certificates Jennifer Henry ����������������������������������� Pastoral Ministry Certificate
Theresa Scruggs ��������������������������������� Pastoral Ministry Certificate
Master of Arts Ashley Rosenberry ��������������� Elementary/Middle Level Education
Dawn Tote ��������������������������� Elementary/Middle Level Education
Master of Business Administration Brian Bortz ���������������������������������������������� Business Administration Anna Clocker ������������������������������������������ Business Administration John DeLoach ����������������������������������������� Business Administration Aniah John ��������������������������������������������� Business Administration Joseph Lewandowski ������������������������������ Business Administration
Kourtney Miller �������������������������������������� Business Administration Nicholas Perry ���������������������������������������� Business Administration Falon Rozhitsky �������������������������������������� Business Administration Brittani Smouse �������������������������������������� Business Administration Daniel Stariha ����������������������������������������� Business Administration
Master of Education Valerie Cerra ����������������������������������������������� Innovative Instruction Kelly Clever ������������������������������������������������� Innovative Instruction Ashlee Diemert ������������������������������������������� Innovative Instruction
William Galo ���������������������������������������������� Innovative Instruction Eric Lutz ������������������������������������������������������ Innovative Instruction Micaela Reed ����������������������������������������������� Innovative Instruction
Master of Science Jaime Gonzalez Martins ��������������������������������������������Orthodontics Jennifer Hadra �����������������������������������������������������������Orthodontics Monica Hummel �������������������������������������������������������Orthodontics William Mitchell �������������������������������������������������������Orthodontics
Katelyn Owen ������������������������������������������������������������Orthodontics Micah Yetter ���������������������������������������������������������������Orthodontics Falon Rozhitsky ���������������������������������������������������������Orthodontics
The Seton Hill University Alma Mater
The caps, gowns, and hoods of academic dress, first used in the United States in 1754 with the founding of what is now Columbia University, represent a tradition believed to have begun at England’s Oxford or Cambridge University in the 12th and 13th century. The standard cap, the mortarboard, may have first reflected the square shape of the Oxford quadrangle.
Alma Mater hail we greet thee, Sons and daughters come to meet thee, Keep us near thee, we entreat thee, Dearest Seton Hill. Chorus: Seton Hill we love thee, Make us worthy of thee, Make us glow with zeal to know Warm as the skies above thee, Alma Mater may thy hoary years, but brighter make thy story, Be to thee a crown of glory, Dearest Seton Hill.
The cut of the gown’s sleeves indicates the highest degree earned by the wearer: pointed for the bachelor’s, long, closed, and square for the master’s, and full, round, and open for the doctorate. The doctoral gown is faced with velvet, with three velvet bars on the sleeve. The length of the academic hood reflects the degree, the longest for the doctorate, slightly shorter for the master’s, and shortest for the bachelor’s; its color reveals the academic field and its lining, the degree granting instituion. As established by the American Council on Education, colors for hoods for selected disciplines are: Arts, Letters, and Humanities ��������������������������������������������White Business ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Drab Dentistry ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Lilac Education ���������������������������������������������������������������������Light Blue Fine Arts �����������������������������������������������������������������������������Brown Law �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������Purple Music ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Pink Philosophy ������������������������������������������������������������������ Dark Blue Science ����������������������������������������������������������������� Golden Yellow Social Work ������������������������������������������������������������������������ Citron Theology ����������������������������������������������������������������������������Scarlet
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 ’67 Vice Chair
Rebecca Cost Snyder Chair Elect
Louise Grundish, SC Secretary
Carmen Rivera Bauza ’83 Robin Heffernan Beck ’64 Rachel Blais, SC Todd D. Brice Robert A. DeMichiei Margaret DiVirgilio ’80 Barbara Einloth, SC ’71 Christine Delegram Farrell ’79 Mary C. Finger, ex officio Linda Fiorelli ’74 Matthew J. Galando ’04 Ruth O’Block Grant ’54 Grace Hartzog, SC ’71 Donna Marie Leiden, SC ’66 Elizabeth Boyle McDonald Miriam Arroyo Murray ’84 Mary Jo Mutschler, SC ’69 Patricia O’Donoghue Kathleen Sarniak-Tanzola ’78 Mary Elizabeth Schrei, SC ’65 Frank P. Simpkins James C. Stalder Kym K. Stout Bridget Widdowson ’82 Jessica Ybanez-Morano ’84
TRUSTEES EMERITI Jean Augustine, SC ’63 James Breisinger Laurie Ann Carroll ’81 Mary Lou O'Neil Costello ’55 Sara Gill Cutting ’62 Rosemary Donley, SC John R. Echement Gertrude Foley, SC ’59 Brigid Marie Grandey, SC ’63 Marcia M. Gumberg Maureen Halloran, SC Donald M. Henderson Richard Hendricks Mary Ellen Lawrie Cooney Higgins ’64 Patrice Hughes, SC ’62 A. Richard Kacin Arthur H. Meehan Donald I. Moritz Barbara Nakles ’76 Maureen O’Brien, SC ’67 Maureen Sheedy O’Brien M. Ellenita O’Connor, SC ’58 Paul M. Pohl Michele Moore Ridge ’69 Marc B. Robertshaw Arthur J. Rooney, Jr. Ralph A. Scalise Anita Schulte, SC ’57
INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT Molly Robb Shimko
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement 724.838.2409 email@example.com
Associate Vice President for Advancement Operations 724.830.1993 firstname.lastname@example.org
Advancement Services Manager 724.830.1137 email@example.com
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations 724.552.1310 firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Grants and Government Support 724.830.4639 email@example.com
Donor Stewardship Manager 724.552.4303 firstname.lastname@example.org
Major Gifts Officer 724.552.4371 email@example.com
Director of Communications and Media Relations 724.830.1069 firstname.lastname@example.org
Graphic Designer 724.552.4397 email@example.com
Major Gifts Officer 724.838.4244 firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrative Assistant 724.552.4366 email@example.com
Executive Director of Principal Gifts and Community Engagement 724.552.4323 firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Alumni Relations 724.830.1005 email@example.com
UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION Mary C. Finger, Ed.D.
Maureen O’Brien, SC, M.A.
Vice President for Mission and Identity
Melissa Alsing, M.B.A.
Jennifer Lundy, M.B.A.
Rosalie Carpenter, Ed.D.
Molly Robb Shimko, M.B.A.
Imogene L. Cathey, J.D.
Susan Yochum, SC, Ph.D.
Chief Information Officer
Vice President for Student Affairs Vice President and General Counsel
Vice President for Enrollment Management
FORWARD & CLASS NEWS DESIGNS: Breanna Salvio WRITING: Jennifer Reeger, Gloria Ruane, and Jessica McClleland PHOTOGRAPHY: Barry Reeger, SHU staff and students, and Tribune-Review PRINTER: Laurel Valley Graphics
Vice President for Finance and Administration, CFO Vice President for Institutional Advancement Provost
The Forward magazine is published by Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA 15601, www.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 university-administered 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.
For IRA Owners, 2021 Marks the Return of the Required Minimum Distribution Alumni and friends have a wide range of options for creating the legacy they envision at Seton Hill University. We want to help you maximize your impact through gift opportunities that enhance both your gift to the University and your tax benefits. The ability to make Qualified Charitable Distributions from your IRA was maintained in the 2019 SECURE Act. Also in that Act, the age when Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) kicked-in was raised to 72. For 2020, the RMD requirement was suspended, but is once again in effect for 2021. Giving directly from your IRA continues to be an advantageous way to make your gift to Seton Hill. The Qualified Charitable Distribution enables you to give up to $100,000 per year from your IRA directly to a qualified charity such as Seton Hill without having to pay income taxes on the distribution. For those 72 and older, the distribution also counts toward your Required Minimum Distribution. Alumni celebrating reunion milestone anniversaries may find the Qualified Charitable Distribution especially helpful. Maryan Kurp Baughman '71 found that to be the case when she decided to make a reunion gift to Seton Hill.
"In honor of my 50th reunion, I wanted to make a meaningful gift to Seton Hill because of the special memories I have from my time at the Hill. Through a qualified charitable distribution from my IRA, I was able to make that meaningful gift and save on taxes at the same time." - Maryan Kurp Baughman ’71 To make a Qualified Charitable Distribution, please speak with your IRA administrator. For other questions, please contact Lisa Carino, Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone, 724.838.2409. We are grateful for your interest in Seton Hill and all you do to help students achieve a Catholic, liberal arts education in the tradition of the Sisters of Charity.
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Seton Hill Takes the Day On in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. More than 250 Seton Hill students, faculty, staff and alumni participated in a variety of service events as part of the annual Take the Day On service program in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. in February. The TribuneReview captured images of members of the Seton Hill football team volunteering to clean stalls at Stoneybrook Foundation Riding Center, a therapeutic riding center for children and adults with disabilities.