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EST. 1929 VOL. 87 NO. 11



Accrediting agency slaps warning on Mercyhurst By Will Bickelmann


Staff writer

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education issued a warning on Nov. 21, 2013, to Mercyhurst University, warning that the university’s “accreditation may be in jeopardy because of insufficient evidence” that it complies with requirements regarding learning assessment. University officials are confident, though, that Mercyhurst will meet commission’s requirements on time and that the warning will be rescinded. The commission stressed in its notice that Mercyhurst remains accredited. (For more information on the warning, go to: .) “We’re definitely on the right track. We’re hoping to have our assessment function sufficiently improved by next fall,” Philip Belfiore, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, said about the warning. He noted that Mercyhurst did well in the other factors examined by the Middles States commission. “After assessing the school’s administrative and academic components, the only place in which we were lacking was our ability to assess our academic programs,” he said. The commission requires that Mercyhurst assess student learning outcomes from courses, from majors and from their overall academic experience at the university.

Those assessments must be properly documented at every level, gathered and then used by the university in its decision-making. Schools are also required to meet the Middle States Commission standards as a way to ensure that it meets its mission, goals, performance and use of resources. In part, that is where the assessment of learning outcomes comes to play. The Middle States Commission’s official warning followed several notifications to Mercyhurst over the years that its assessment function was lacking. Mercyhurst did not take enough action in that time to meet the commission standards. The commission’s warning is actually not an uncommon occurrence among universities, Belfiore said. Most universities that receive the warning make the recommended changes in due time and keep their funding. According to the Middle States website, five higher education institutions, including Mercyhurst, are on warning status. Three are on probation. Fifty-five had their accreditation reaffirmed, according to the web site. Though the official warnings are somewhat commonplace, actually following up on it and revoking the government funding is rather rare, Belfiore said. “In all my time here I’ve

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never heard of a university being shut down because of an accreditation issue,” Belfiore said when asked how often an official warning comes to fruition. As of now, Mercyhurst is on schedule in the revision process, Belfiore said. In November, Mercyhurst

faculty and administration developed a rubric to guide the improvement of the assessment function. That resulted from an intense effort by a number of faculty and administrators who have worked on the process since the summer. Dyan Jones, Ph.D., and Mary Brecken-

ridge, Ph.D., largely led that effort. During the most recent visit by Middle States Commission on Higher Education officials, they remarked on the good progress the school was making towards its goal of having the assessment function up to standards by

next fall, Belfiore said. For any questions or concerns about the accreditation issue, Belfiore can be found at Old Main 104 or reached at

Erroneous student bills cause temporary panic By Marcela Delgado Staff writer

Recently, Student Financial Services encountered a problem with the bills sent to students for the spring term. They were able to respond and find a solution as soon as they became aware of the situation. A parent called inquiring why the aid was not displaying on the bill, according to Carrie Newman, Director of Student Financial Services. Apparently, the bills did not include the pending financial aid for students. It was then that they noticed the problem and immediately sent an apology letter before they sent out the new bills. According to Ruth Ett-

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wein, Student Accounts Administrator, under a thousand students were impacted by the problem, which was solved in less than 24 hours. The call was received at 8:30 a.m and by 9 a.m a solution was in place. They sent the statements to a company and it takes them a couple of hours to process them. Even though not all students were affected, e-mail was sent to a little bit over a thousand students. “We produce bills for all different populations across all of our campuses and recently this year in 13/14 we have gone from one calendar for all campuses to multiple calendars across campuses and we have multiple student populations and the complications that have arose from those multiple

calendars, I would say has led to just a manual update error,” Newman said. Fortunately, the problem was solved as soon as they possibly could and they did not receive any complaints from parents or students besides the call that made them aware of the situation. “We do make every effort to ensure the correctness of the statements and we are always willing to answer any questions that the students or parents may have,” Newman said. “We do work very hard on our customer service commitment and providing superior customer service to our students and parents. So we were saddened by the error but knew that the students still qualified for the aid.” Newman also wanted to

remind students that FAFSA renewal filing has already begun, so those who want to file a refund should remember to do so by March 15 and spring financial aid refunds will begin Feb. 14 for most students. Students may also view their e-bill anytime via the portal. For more information the Student Financial Services office is located at old main 115, open from 8:30-4 p.m Monday through Friday. Students can schedule individual appointments as well. They can also be reached at or 814824-2288 for any further questions or concerns. Contributed photo


Students and parents alike were shocked when their bills did not include pending financial aid, resulting in exorbitant charges.

Online Poll Results Are you happy with your housing situation on campus?

Total poll responses: 124

10% Yes, I love my place. 20% No, it is falling apart... 60% No, it is an overpriced dump. 10% It is okay, minus the car in my apartment.

Read more inside & online

News: - Erroneous student bills creates panic Features: - Intel students surprise security firm with project Arts & Entertainment: - Cummings Art Gallery boasts new student art works

Be sure to vote in this week’s online poll: What is your opinion of J-term now that it is over?

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Meal plan mix-up creates confusion By Emani Burton Staff writer

Shortly after 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 10, several students on the Erie campus found themselves lacking a dining plan after they plans had been prematurely cancelled. A filing error combining the records of Erie campus students and North East campus students led to some confusion when switching from fall to spring services. Though Mercyhurst prides itself on its fair and equal student treatment, there are notable differences between the two campuses. One of these is the university’s new 4-1-4 academic calendar, which contains two 14-week long semesters and a shortened winter term. The 4-1-4 academic calendar allows students and professors alike to engage in unique educational opportunities. Since the 4-1-4 academic calendar has only been in place since the 2013-2014 school

year, it has not been instituted university-wide. Some campuses, like Mercyhurst North East, do not have a 4-1-4 academic calendar, leading to a university whose campuses are slightly out of sync. In accordance with arrival of spring term for the North East campus on Monday, Jan. 13, John Patterson the Director for University One Cards reset the meal plans, not knowing that improper filing would effect students on multiple campuses. Students who had bought a meal plan for fall term but not for spring found that their cards did not work at Egan Dining Hall and the Laker Inn. In a spirit committed to serving the needs of students first, no patron was turned away or denied a hot meal. “I take full responsibility,” said Patterson. “With the new J-term we simply didn’t know and couldn’t anticipate everything until January was actually here.” After quickly being cleared up, and meal plans restored,

Staff writer

PNC Bank has been experiencing technical problems over the past few weeks. The most recent problems include the failure to properly track purchases (instead of listing the correct location, it appears merely as a “misc. withdrawal” on the online banking app) as well as customers having difficulties accessing their accounts online or through the mobile banking app. Many Mercyhurst students use PNC as their bank. These difficulties have left many customers angry, partially because of the difficulties themselves, but also because of the reason for them: They’re the result of cyber-attacks against the bank.

A hacker group known as the “al-Qassam Fighters” has been launching a series of denial-of-service attacks against PNC Bank over the past year. For those who don’t know what those attacks are, denial-of-service is the use of multiple computers to overload a server with requests, and shutting it down in the process. Imagine you have a group of people trying to enter a room through one door: if one person goes through at a time, everyone gets in, but if every single person tries to slam their way through the door then no one gets to enter the room. Denial-of-service is accomplishing the same task: blocking access to the server, often for a certain purpose. The al-Qassam Fighters are implementing these attacks against PNC and other banks


in order to convince the American public that a video mocking the Prophet Muhammad should be removed from the Internet. It is likely that the al-Qassam Fighters are not implementing these attacks to steal money, using the video as a kind of side motive. Ideologically-driven groups of their nature aren’t doing this for money, and besides that, there is a great deal that Iran is funding and supporting the group. What this means for the average PNC customer is that their money is unlikely to be in trouble, but they’re going to be in for a bit of a rough time until PNC gets their security up to par to make these DoS attacks a non-issue. @TheMerciad

Initiative creates atmosphere By Melanie Todd Staff writer

With this being the first J-Term for Mercyhurst University, there were a lot of concerns. A prominent concern was keeping students occupied when they were not in class. The J-Term is meant to allow students to immerse themselves in their studies but to do so in a more relaxed manner. Many clubs and organizations used the J-Term as an opportunity to involve more students in their activities. This allows students to expand their interests and their college experience. Knowledge Empowers You (KEY) is an effort to coordinate these activities across campus. With so much time available throughout the J-Term, everyone wanted to maximize the time. Associate Vice President of Student Life Laura Zirkle worked on developing the initiative with other organizations.

“We wanted to make sure there were no gaps and limit redundancy,” she said. It was important that the activities were spread out over the term and that a wide variety of activities were offered. Activities this year ranged from sled riding, cocoa nights and trivia game nights to leadership workshops and guest speakers. There was a balance between enjoyable and educational activities helping to contribute to the overall college experience. With so many organizations, it can be difficult to keep all the activities on campus organized as a student or a faculty member. It is unfortunate when a student has to pick between going to one activity or another. “With all the time opened in J-Term, we don’t want students to have to do that,” said Zirkle. Through coordination with KEY, the students as well as the campus organizations have benefited greatly. Resources have been combined in advertising, space and


Patterson sent an email to students alerting them of the situation on Saturday, Jan. 11. “Parkhurst did a really good job. We try put the students’ needs first,” Patterson said. He believes that such an event is not likely to happen again, and will be brought up in the yearly review after the academic year is over. One reason that this issue was so quickly resolved was in part because students reported it to the One Card Office. “We really take the students opinions into consideration when we plan our menus.” said Patterson. He continues to urge students to let their voices be heard and to submit feedback through the comment boxes in the dining halls or through email. Parkhurst Dining has information about meal plans on their portal page for additional information.

PNC banking system experiences trouble By Nathan Turner

January 22, 2014

The Merciad

equipment. Calendars have been distributed with all the activities listed and the next event is often advertised at the end of an event. Technical equipment such as speakers or music is also easily shared through the KEY initiative. The students have benefitted greatly from their efforts and the campus organizations have opened a new line of cooperation expanding their capabilities. The initiative began over the summer as a conversation and has grown into a conference of the directors of Residence Life, Academic Support, Campus Involvement and Campus Ministry. The faculty strives to engage the freshmen in activities at Mercyhurst and encourage upperclassmen to remain involved throughout their years.


Sami Rapp photos

Students ‘get the experience’

By Sami Rapp

The Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute’s Field Method’s class is “Getting the Experience, Guaranteed,” in conformance with the school’s newest ad campaign. Using a mock site housed in the basement of Zurn, 18 students learn what it takes to complete an excavation and all of the things that are required to do at a site. You may have heard archaeology students discussing “the box.” Often they seem a little stressed, but often, after the class is over, students say how much they learned. This class prepares the students who will spend seven weeks over the summer excavating in Taos, New Mexico. In the photo above, senior Isaac Ogloblin uses a razor blade to carefully remove sediment around a bone feature that the class uncovered during the three-week class. In the other photo, part of the class gathers around their mock site to discuss what they need to do next. While taught by James Adovasio, Ph.D., and Jeff Illingsworth, the students are in charge of what occurs within their excavation unit.

Mercyhurst University Police & Safety

Police Log Tuesday, Jan. 7 Vandalism Ice Center Closed

Sunday, Jan. 12 Harassment 3908 Lewis Ave. Closed Monday, Jan. 13 Possession of Drug Paraphernalia 611 E. 38th St. Closed Monday, Jan. 13 Theft Ice Center Closed Tuesday, Jan. 14 Disorderly Conduct Lot #15 Closed Tuesday, Jan. 14 Theft Ice Center Closed

January 22, 2014

The Merciad

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‘Erie Places, Erie Stories’ exhibit concludes run By Nathan Turner Staff writer

Wikipedia photo

“Erie Places, Erie Stories” has ended its run at Erie City Hall.

If any Merciad readers remember as far back as Nov. 12 of 2013, they’ll remember that we posted a story about History Professor Chris Magoc, Ph. D., and his project “Erie Places, Erie Stories,” that was displayed at Erie City Hall. Since that time, the project has concluded and the photographs taken during the course Intro to Public History have gone on sale and Magoc himself couldn’t be prouder. “I was deeply impressed by the ability of the students to

rise to the occasion and produce high-caliber work on what really evolved into an upper-level project,” he said. While the class was only an introduction to Public History, the students experienced a wide range of what the difficult and, at times complex, discipline has to offer: “conducting oral histories, logistics of funding, [and] curating and managing an exhibit.” The idea of posting a public history of a city of Erie may sound strange to some students who only know it for its terrible weather, or its bar and club scene. But the city has a rich history of immigration, industry, and even some

aspects of organized crime. The project incorporates aspects of that history, including such neighborhoods as Little Italy, Polonia (Polish neighborhood on the East Side of Erie), and worker housing units in Lawrence Park. Overall, in the course of the project, the students were left to do their own work after a small set-up period. Magoc helped set up some of the connections for making the oral histories and wrote a small grant to help fund the exhibit, but the students overall were left to run the project on their own and they did so exquisitely. For a city with such a rich

and under-appreciated history, this project is just what it needed to shed some light on the spectacular history of rise and decline that comes with cities across the Eastern and Midwestern United States. One can only hope that the students who participated, and all those people who view the exhibit will take care to preserve the places of this city and the history they embody for future generations.


MAI starts dig at Vero Beach By Heather Swede Contributing writer

The Mercyhurst University Archaeology Department started a dig on Jan. 6 in Vero Beach, Florida. One hundred years ago, very close to where the Mercyhurst team is commencing its dig, scientists found evidence of extinct animals such as mammoths, saber-tooth cats and ground sloths. They also found a human who is known today as “Vero Man.” “Vero Man” has been a controversial topic for scholars because it is unclear whether the bones were from the period of the Ice Age like the extinct animals, or if they are from a more recent time. The Mercyhurst team hopes to find information that will clear up this scholarly uncertainty. This team has been put together by the Chief Field Assistant for this Vero Beach dig, Anne Marjenin. Marjenin is currently the director of the Archaeology Processing Lab at Mercyhurst. She has put together a wide variety of excavators for this dig including current Mercyhurst

students and alumni, students from other institutions, and a number of volunteers from the Vero Beach area. “We know, without a doubt, that we will recover material informing on the geology and past climate of Florida (which also applies to much of the southeastern United States) and will almost certainly recover ecofacts informing on the biota of the area as well as artifacts indicating human use/occupation of what used to be inland Florida,” said Director of Mercyhurst Curation and Conservation Jeff Illingworth. The dig at Vero Beach is looking to be very promising and revealing. Once the team of excavators discovers artifacts during this dig they will be sent back to Mercyhurst University for analysis. After being analyzed the artifacts are going to return to Vero Beach to be displayed. The archeological dig in Vero Beach, FL., will continue for the first five months of 2014.


‘Tosca’ by Puccini By Will Bickelmann Contributing writer

Saturday, Jan. 18, the Mary D’Angelo performance center hosted the Live in HD opera “Tosca” by Puccini. The theater on campus in just one venue for the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series. As the actual performance takes place in New York City, the viewer sitting in the PAC and other theaters across the country will be able to witness the opera taking place on a screen. Most people purchased their tickets at the door with few buying them beforehand. Only 94 seats were taken out of 772 that the theater is capable of accommodating. “Tosca” is one of several operas which are scheduled to show at Mercyhurst this year. Six more operas are scheduled to be performed by the end of the academic year including “Rusalka” by Dvořák, “Prince Igor” by Borodin, “Werther” by Massenet, “La Bohème” by Puccini and “Così Fan Tutte” by Mozart.

A.E. Marjenin photo

Zach Nason, second from right, and Michelle Farley, second from left, are among those taking part in the Vero Beach dig.

The Metropolitan Opera is a company based out of New York City and their Live in HD series allows people to view the operatic performance for a much cheaper and convenient option than viewing the original performance at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York. “Tosca” is a tragic story of love and loss takes place in Rome in the year 1800 and was created in 1900 by Giacomo Puccini. The opera features a woman whose husband was sent to execution for harboring a fugitive. The woman promises herself to a malicious police official in exchange for her husband’s life. After the police officer commanded the husband be spared the woman stabbed him to death. The opera ends with the husband dying due to the insincerity of promise of the police officer to spare him and with the woman being hunted down for her murder of the police officer. @TheMerciad

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January 22, 2014

The Merciad

Features ROTC cadets earn special honors By Melanie Todd Contributing writer

On Sept. 1, 2010, Eric Pelosi officially joined the Mercyhurst University ROTC program. One year later, as a sophomore, William Margiotta joined the program. Now four years later, they will both graduate with high honors. Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG) has been awarded to Pelosi, an Intelligence Studies Major with a Russian minor. Distinguished Military Student (DMS) has been awarded to Margiotta also an Intelligence Studies Major. Both cadets


will graduate as commissioned second lieutenants and have made the “Pride of PA” Battalion very proud. As a DMG, Pelosi performed better than 75 percent of 5,400 cadets across the


country. The criteria for the honor include academic proficiency, performance in the 30-day Leader Development Assessment Course (LDAC) and success in the Army Physical Fitness Test. Pelosi is the

Cadet Major and oversees operations and training of cadets in the “Pride of PA” Battalion including members from Mercyhurst, Gannon and Penn State Behrend. “It’s one of the more difficult positions in the battalion, but I find it rewarding,” Pelosi said. Also, as team captain of the Ranger Challenge Team, Pelosi lead the fitness team to jump 13 places in the competition overall and win in their heat for the 10k Ruck Run. Through summer programs such as Airborne School and the Cultural Understanding Language Proficiency Pro-

gram, where he traveled to Togo and Lithuania to teach English, Pelosi has immersed himself into his future as a military officer. After graduation, Pelosi will serve his country in military intelligence. DMS distinction requires outstanding leadership, rank in the top third of his or her military science class with a rank in the top half of his or her overall college class and plan to serve as an active duty officer upon graduation. Joining the military has been something Margiotta has wanted to do “for as long as he can remember.” A family

friend who was a colonel in the Army was a significant influence. Margiotta is the Mercyhurst company commander in charge of overseeing all of the training of the cadets in the Mercyhurst branch of the “Pride of PA” Battalion. As a company commander, he plays a vital role in preparing cadets for their futures in the Army. The training they acquire now may very well prove to be life-saving in their future. Margiotta will serve as an infantry platoon leader after graduation and training. @TheMerciad

Communication professor retiring By Alexandra Kleckner Contributing writer

Shuishan Hu photo

Dennis Lebec will be retiring after a decade of teaching in the communication department at Mercyhurst University.

The Mercyhurst community is losing a revered professor of communication this year. Dennis Lebec, who has taught in the Communication Department for a decade, will be retiring at the end of the academic calendar. Although Lebec has spent the last 22 years in academia, he started his career in television production. For nearly 16 years, Lebec worked as both a director and a producer for a local TV station. With many years of involvement in and contribution to the TV production industry, Lebec was not only able to bring practical, first-hand experience into his classroom lectures, but also to Mercyhurst’s chapter of National Broadcasting Society. As adviser of NBS, Lebec traveled to national and regional conventions with students who possess an interest in telecommunications. When Lebec was not teaching or assisting students in becoming linked to the world through the NBS, he could also be found working with students annually on department films.

Lebec’s interests are not limited to production and broadcasting. Upon retirement, Lebec plans on dedicating more time on the green, where he says he would like to “shave some strokes off my scores.” Lebec would also like to travel, read literature, and write after his retirement. Lebec was allowed the opportunity to do some teaching during his graduate schooling, and since then teaching has never been out of the question for him. Prior to Mercyhurst, Lebec taught at two other universities, yet he describes Mercyhurst as being his “most satisfying” experience in academia. As for communication majors, the fondness is reciprocated. Many students said that Lebec will be “a hard one to beat,” but are grateful for all that he has taught them, and all of the extra hours that he has dedicated to the department over the years. The Mecyhurst community will certainly feel the effects of Lebec’s absence, but as the cliché goes, “where one door closes, another one opens.



Senator Spotlight

Intel students surprise security firm with project By Nathan Turner Staff writer

Hello Everyone! My name is Grace Doman and I am a senior Early Childhood and Special Education Major. I am an MSG senator for the Hafenmaier School of Education and Behavioral Science, the Chair for MSG’s Events and PR Committee, and part of the All College Mission committee. I’m involved with the Education Honor Society Kappa Delta Pi, Council for Exceptional Children, and I’m currently student teaching at Waterford Elementary. In my off time, I love hanging out with my friends and family. I am a student with problems, just like any of you, so I would love to learn what you want MSG to do for you, the students. If you see me around campus please feel free to stop me. We are your voice!

The city of Erie and Mercyhurst in particular has always had a close relationship with Ireland. Between the Sisters of Mercy and the sister-city relationship between Dungarvan and Erie, the ties between Mercyhurst and the Emerald Isle have always been strong. Now five seniors have added another link in the chain. Eric Pelosi, Andrea Javor, Scott Christian, Jeffrey Haney, and Clair Riley completed a research project for one of the world leaders of mobile security, AdaptiveMobile of Dublin. According to Pelosi, the project was “to determine the financial cost of cyber attacks to mobile service providers, like Time Warner.” Christian added that the project was to help “see what direct effects, if any,

the attacks had on the providers.” The project was not easy at times. “We did have some issues with communication,” Javor said. “The time zones were difficult to coordinate at times.” The team was only able to communicate with their decision maker, AdaptiveMobile CEO Brian Collins, through email. In addition, Pelosi stated, “he’d be flying all over the world” while the project was going on. “He was actually in Singapore when we presented, and we had to present over the phone.” This was a departure from the typical approach of the Strategic Intelligence class where the decision maker will actually come in and view a 45-minute presentation complete with PowerPoint or Prezi. The project had some high points as well. “The fact that our project was useful to the company

was great,” said Christian. “They were actually able to use the data we collected, which we thought surprised them.” Collins, in a letter to President Gamble, stated that “… this analysis was of the highest standard, and the fact that it was presented by current students dictates it should receive even further plaudits. … As a reader of over 50 of these types of reports a year, I can confirm this work would definitely qualify as top quartile.” The students also would like to extend their public thanks to Professor Kris Wheaton, who helped direct them at times throughout the project. “He helped us work out some of the communication problems which emerged at times,” Javor said, “and overall, was just a fantastic help.”


The Merciad

January 22, 2014

Arts &

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Student artists to display talents again By Mathew Anderson Editor-in-Chief

The arts on campus, no matter what form they take, seem to always flourish in the spring. The end of the school year is in sight and the weather is, hopefully, beginning to warm up; however, this doesn’t mean the students of the arts are taking any time off to enjoy themselves. The first department to put their talents on display is the Dance Department. With no shortage of inspiration, the first weekend in March will be continuing the department’s annual presentation and incorporating Mercyhurst’s academic theme by exhibiting “Happiness is Beyond Words III.” The show, with a preview performance on Feb. 28 and running for the next two days, will feature choreography by Lesley Bories-Scalise, James Clouser, Michael Gleason, Mark and Solveig Santillano and Department Chair, Tauna Hunter.

While the Mercyhurst Dancers are always impressive enough to watch on-stage without incentive, there are two unique aspects to “Happiness is Beyond Words III” that gives students and community members even more reasons to see the show. The first is a special opportunity to attend a “talk back” that will immediately follow the Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, performances. This will allow audience members to interact, meet, and ask questions with the dancers about any aspect of the performance. The second unique reason is that this event will also benefit SAFENET, an organization that is dedicated to ending domestic violence and offering direct services to victims of domestic violence. SAFENET provides support, education and a sanctuary to those affected by violence. “Happiness is Beyond Words III” will run Friday, Feb. 28, at 4:30 p.m. with a $5 preview performance with balcony seating only, with two shows on Saturday, March

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The Laramie Project tells the emotional story of Matthew Shepard. The performance will run April 24 — 27.

1, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and ending on Sunday, March 2, at 2 p.m. The Dance Department will be holding the “Black and White Salon,” which will benefit and raise funds for the Jenni-Lyn Memorial Scholarship Fund. The event will showcase the Mercyhurst Dancers and will be held in the DanceSpace. “This student driven concert supports a scholarship fund established by the Watson family after the tragic loss of their daughter in 2010. It is their wish to assist qualified senior dance majors with audition expenses,” says Professor Tauna Hunter, Dance Chair. At the end of March, vocalists from the D’Angelo School of Music will be performing Gioacchino Rossini’s “La Cenerentola.” The opera, which translates into “Cinderella” tells the classic story with a few twists, one of the most noticeable changes being Cenerentola gives Prince Ramiro a bracelet instead of a glass shoe. Showcasing the classic battle between good and evil, Cenerentola represents love in its purest form. Featuring a full orchestra, lights and costumes, “La Cenerentola” is bound to be a family favorite and bring this fairytale classic to life. The opera will run for two performances on Friday, March 28, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 30, at 2 p.m. At the end of April, the Mercyhurst Theatre Program will present “The Laramie Project” by Moisés Kaufman and the Members of Tectonic Theatre Project. Directed by Dr. Brett Johnson, this show tells the story of a 21-year-old University of Wyoming student who was kidnapped, beaten to within an inch of life and tied to a fence in the middle of the photo

Two Mercyhurst Dancers in rehearsal for this years annual performances of Beyond Words, titled “Happiness is Beyond Words,” set to thrill audiences Feb. 28 - Mar. 2.

grasslands of Laramie, Wyoming. Not discovered until the next day, he was rushed to the hospital and died several days later. The student, named Matthew Shepard, was savagely beaten and left to die because he was gay. After speaking with over 200 people who were both directly involved with the case and regular citizens in Laramie, Kaufman and Tectonic Theatre members constructed a truly moving theatrical experience. “‘The Laramie Project’ is a breathtaking theatrical collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable,” Johnson said. Performances run Thursday, April 24, through Saturday, April 26, at 8 p.m. with a matinée performance on Sunday, April 27, at 2 p.m. Adult tickets: $10, senior/ student/PC: $7 and youth/ MUStu w/ID is $5. The arts will wrap up with another Dance Department performance, also mixing a

department tradition with this year’s academic theme, “Happiness is Raw Edges: A Celebration of Twenty/ Forty Years (RCC),” featuring Mercyhurst Dancers and returning alumni. The performance will be celebrating 40 years of dance at Mercyhurst University and to honor Artistic Director Tauna Hunter and Production Manager/Resident Designer, Michael Gleason. The performance will feature the Mercyhurst dancers and alumni for a 20-year commemoration of choreography by both Hunter and Gleason. After the performances, there will be a “talk back,” a special opportunity to meet, talk with and ask questions of the dancers and choreographers following the Friday and Saturday evening performances. “Happiness is Raw Edges” will run Friday, May 2, at 4:30 p.m. with a $5 preview performance with balcony seating available only, with two shows on Saturday, May 3, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and ending on Sunday, May 4, at 2 p.m. Adult tickets: $15.50, senior/stu-

dent: $12.50, PC: $7.50, youth: $5.00 and MUStu: $3.50. Of course, other organization, like the RSCO Theatre Appreciation Club, will be holding a variety of events that give students that aren’t in the arts departments a chance to explore their creativity. One of the club’s bigger events, “The Winter Cabaret: Broadway Backward” takes place in just a few weeks with a twist on gender specific songs. Featuring both popular and classic pieces, “Broadway Backward” will feature Mercyhurst students performing Broadway favorites opposite of the performers gender. The performance will take place on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Taylor Little Theatre. Tickets for the show are $5 at the door, cash only. All ticket and additional information for any show can be found at (814) 824-3000, at the Performing Arts Center box office or at @mathewanderson1

Cummings Art Gallery boasts new student art works

Zach Dorsch photo

Mathew Anderson photo

Just one piece of 59, Anna Wesley’s digital work “Surreal Self Portrait” captures a serene beauty that’s hard to explain. Her piece seemed to capture the attention of onlookers and keep them curious as to the meaning behind the artwork.

By Mathew Anderson Editor-in-Chief

Cummings Art Gallery is known in the area for showcasing some of the best artwork in the area — the Juried Student Art Show is no different. Providing viewers with a variety of artistic mediums, Mercyhurst students were encouraged to submit drawings, paintings, photography, digital works, sculpture, mixed media and many more.

Joanne Ivey, director of the Stonewall Gallery, acted as guest juror for the show, choosing a total of 59 works to be shown in the exhibit. First prize went to sophomore Michael Wagner for his pen-and-ink drawing of rap artist Kid Cudi, also titled “Kid Cudi.” The unique drawing was made completely of quotes from the rap artist. Sophomore Jake Lowy earned second prize for his photo set “Sight of the Wild,” which featured photos of wildlife

taken at Cleveland’s Metroparks Zoo and in the Florida wetlands. Lowy’s photos seem to capture the essence of each animal he photographed. Last, but certainly not least, third prize was awarded to Kimberlyn Bloise for “Horsehair Raku Bowl #11,” a ceramic work. On top of these three top prizes, Ivey also chose three student works that earned honorable mentions including sophomore Kayleigh Ferguson’s “Symphony No. 3,” sophomore Megan Steele

for “Skyline Collage” and senior Shelby Yukevich for “Employees Only,” which was just one installment of a three part series on decay. The Juried Student Art Show exhibit will run through Feb. 9. Cummings Art Gallery is located in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center lobby. Normal gallery hours are Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. @mathewanderson1

Mathew Anderson photo

“Untitled” (top) by Megan O’Polka and Cameron Demarco’s “Jawbreaker” (bottom) are just two examples of artwork in Cummings Art Gallery for the Juried Student Art Show.

Page 6

January 22, 2014

The Merciad


The views expressed in the opinion section of The Merciad do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercyhurst University, the staff of The Merciad Relay for Life successful or the Catholic Church. Responses on any subject are always welcomed and can be emailed to

The inefficacy of J-term finals By Nathan Turner Staff writer

If I may have a moment of the faculty’s time, I would like to ask a question: Given that we’ve crammed about 14 weeks of materials in the period of 14 days, under the absolutely infallible logic that spending three hours a day on a single subject guarantees retention of all the knowledge learned in those 14 days, how are you expecting to truly test the subjects we’ve been working on? I’m going to be completely honest when I say that the idea of having a comprehensive final where you can thoroughly discuss all the intricate ideas

which have come out in some of these classes to be absolutely ridiculous. Some courses, like Philosophy or Political Science courses, are going to be almost impossible to discuss what happened back at the start of the class because the students are just so sick of everything. On top of the fact that it will painful to remember everything for the final, or else the final would be ridiculously easy, the retention rate for the information slammed into the students’ heads will be terrible. A student remembers best when something is repeated over a time period, when there is time to digest the information thoroughly and have it

implanted in their long term memory. A day is not time. A day is a moment. That information is not thoroughly understood before new information is jammed on top of it. In essence, the student has likely forgotten a great deal of it within a few days. In addition to this, I’m hearing so many stories of faculty members who are either unsure of how to structure these courses for a 3-week period, or are just trying to cram the same 14-week class into 3-hour classes while trying to keep all the complex ideas in the process. When the faculty isn’t exactly sure of how a class is going to go, or how it should go, then I think you’ve got a problem.

Either way, I think the finals on Friday, Jan. 24, are going to either flop or you’re going to need to curve the living daylights out of all of them to ensure the students’ average GPA doesn’t drop like a stone. And whoever thought this J-Term up needs a swift kick in the pants. There is no dumber idea than trying to make students cram a semester of information into three weeks while the winter rages outside; there are more fun alternatives present. And by “fun alternatives,” I mean gouging out our eyes with grapefruit spoons.

Staff writer

So, any of the regular g ym-goers, be it athletes, fitness nuts, or muscleheads, have noticed a sudden influx of new people. People who have before now never been seen in the confines of the Rec Center. I believe the meme says it best: “Brace yourselves, the New Year’s Resolutions are coming!” And so the gym goers are treated to a gym crowded with guys who don’t know what they’re doing, or who

are just going through the motions, thinking “I’m going to lose weight and get a sixpack by summer by walking on this treadmill!” Dude, I hate to break it to you, but you’re not. Not unless you stick with it past January 30. See, that’s the date a lot of people think is the cutoff point for the New Year’s resolutions, if they make it past the 30th, then they mean it. If they don’t, then they were just taking up oxygen. So, my message is this: Stay. Work. Get a plan and get after your goals. I personally love seeing people whom I’ve never

seen there before, but that excitement turns into disdain when three weeks later, they’re gone. Your body ain’t going to change drastically in two weeks. So don’t give up because it didn’t. You owe it to yourself. You made the resolution, so keep it! Even when it’s hard. Even when it hurts. Even if the only time you’re going to be able to get to the gym is right when it opens, get there and get after it! If you miss a day, say “I’ll go again tomorrow” and then do it! If you do, you’ll see the change. You’ll reach your goals if

you work at it. Your willingness to endure pain and trouble to reach your goals is a sign of discipline. And that discipline is what you need in your everyday life; to be a good student, a good employee, a good spouse, a good parent, or to be good at whatever it is you hope to do with your life. Consider today and tomorrow. Today is the first day of the rest of your life: what are you going to do with it?

Staff writer


Recently, news anchor Robin Roberts publicly came out of the closet with the statement referring to her “longtime girlfriend, Amber.” The response was overwhelmingly positive. No one knew how such a statement would be received. Thankfully, however, it was a show of support and not of hatred. However, I pose the question: “Why does it matter?” Roberts is a news anchor, a profession where sexuality matters very little (then again sexuality matters very little in most professions). The media frenzy surrounding Roberts, however, ignores one fact about her: she’s human. The frenzy has made her special for something which isn’t special at all. Her sexuality is not unique and rare, or there wouldn’t be a gay community to rally behind her. The media has chosen to elevate her for being a gay woman, choosing to ignore that she is only a woman who is gay. T he critical difference between the identifications is that the former sees her only as a sexual orientation and the latter sees her as a human being. Roberts, like all others,

is a woman with a heart yearning to love and be loved. She has trials and temptations, like all of us. Our society has taken to finding ways of categorizing each other with titles, such as “gay” or “straight,” “black” or “white,” “Muslim” or “Christian.” These are not the whole, but merely parts. And as we are told, “the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts”. Roberts’ sexuality is of minimal importance for the same reason my sexuality is: it’s only one part of her. There is an infinite amount of informa-

Our society has taken to finding ways of categorizing each other with titles...

Nathan Turner

tion and qualities which we have ignored in order to focus on a single tile of a beautiful mosaic. She may have dreamed at one point of being a professional basketball player, but we’ll never know because we’ve stopped the learning process with one small detail about her. The same things are expected of Roberts, me, and the rest of humanity: we are expected to love God and one another; we

are expected to try and work for peace through whatever means available to us; and we are expected to safeguard the gifts we have been given on this planet (most importantly, each other). It is not necessary to know someone’s sexuality, political affiliation, or views on God in order to do this, no more than it is necessary to know how he/she likes his/her steak cooked. It is not necessary because you should be willing to love a person and work beside him/her regardless of these opinions. All people are to be respected as human beings, as brothers and sisters, as creations of God with inherent dignity and worth. Every single person is to be respected regardless of whether they respect you or even themselves. Mother Theresa said “If we judge people, it gives us less time to love them.” I agree, but I add that we judge each other because it’s easier than trying to love them. We choose to judge them and look for an excuse not to love them. It is job of all humanity to love the unlovable, for we are all unlovable in some way. We must love our brothers and sisters, regardless of what they’ve done or believe. We


Sister Jeanette of the Sisters of Mercy is celebrating a double milestone this year. Born at the end of 1912, Sister Jeanette had the unique opportunity to celebrate her 101 birthday. She is shown here with President Tom Gamble and Mary Gamble.


must forgive the unforgiveable, otherwise we have forgiven nothing. What someone has done, what they believe, and who they find attractive are only small fragments of a person. There is so much more to understand about them, if only we chose to get closer to them. The best way to get close to someone is love them, not judge them. Judgment looks at one aspect, while love looks at the whole picture. In calling the spotlight to Roberts’ sexuality, we have judged her, whether we know it or not, because we have reduced her to a singular facet of her personality. We have done her a disservice. I commend Roberts for her honesty, but I condemn the media for making her a news story. She’s not; she’s far too complex. We are all too complex to ever be just a news story. We are meant to love and to be loved. And you can’t love a story, nor can it love you in return; you can only do that with a human being.


The Bad... Student Financial Services scared students by sending out bills with pending financial aid. In addition, several students had their J-term meal plans acciden-

The Ugly... tally cancelled. Despite the fact that all J-term students are out of their classes by either 11:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m., Laker Inn is still noticeably understaffed with only one

Robin Roberts’ sexuality isn’t an issue that should be relevant By Nathan Turner

Students across campus are overjoyed that J-term courses are coming to an end this week. Although originally thought to be an excellent learning opportunity, students have found that the material a course should cover isn’t effectively covered within a 3-week period.


Students take their New Year’s resolutions to the Rec Center By Nathan Turner

The Good...

The Weird... cashier and one employee at each station. Egan got a little racist on Monday, serving stereotypical Southern style dinner in honor of Martin Luther King. Jr. Dinner consisted of shrimp and

The Merciad Editors Mathew Anderson Zach Dorsch Juan Mendez Daniel Tarr Samantha Bante Garrett Erwin Alejandra Zeron Leann Krysiak Nicole Lawrence Sami Rapp Ethan Johns Will DeFeo Bill Welch Positions editormerciad Editor-in-Chief managingmerciad Managing Editor newsmerciad News Editor featuremerciad Features Editor sportsmerciad Sports Editor A&E Editor entertainmentmerciad opinionmerciad Opinion Editor copymerciad Copy Editor photomerciad Graphics photomerciad Photo Editor ejohns89 Web Editor admerciad Ad Manager wwelch Adviser

The Merciad is the official student-produced newspaper of Mercyhurst University. It is published throughout the school year, with the exception of finals weeks. Our office is in Hirt, Room 120B. Our telephone number is (814) 824-2376. The Merciad welcomes letters to the editor. All letters must be signed and names will be included with the letters. Although we will not edit the letters for content, we reserve the right to trim letters to fit. Letters are due Mondays by noon and may not be more than 300 words. Submit letters to box PH 485 or via email at

Write for The Merciad, email

Page 7

The Merciad

January 22, 2014


Men’s hockey has two overtime games By Samantha Bante Sports editor

The Mercyhurst University men’s hockey team settled for a 3-3 overtime tie on Saturday, Jan. 18 against the University of Connecticut at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. The Lakers are now 11-1-3 in conference play and 13-9-4 overall. With such a successful season, there are many top players who are getting recognized for all of their dedication and hard work. There are three outstanding players who are on the national ballot for the 2014 Hobey Baker Award, given to the top player in Division I men’s hockey: senior forward Daniel O’Donoghue, junior forward Matthew Zay and junior goaltender Jimmy Sarjeant. “It is a great honor just to be nominated, there have been a

lot of great hockey players and people to have been nominated and selected as winners. To have been selected is very humbling and a lot of credit goes to my teammates for helping me get this opportunity,” Sarjeant said. Also, for the fourth time this season, junior goaltender Sarjeant was named the Atlantic Hockey Association’s Travel Team USA Goaltender of the Week as announced by the conference office on Tuesday, Jan. 14. When asked about their biggest challenges so far, Sarjeant said, “We started the season off with a few losses, but we battled through adversity a couple times to get some wins and gain confidence. It is always tough going through a stretch of losses, so for us it has just been to continue to remain positive and committed to our systems and teammates to ensure future success. This is paying off for

Contributed photo

Daniel O’Donoghue, Jimmy Sarjeant, and Matt Zay are on the national ballot for the 2014 Hobey Baker Award.

us right now, but as I said earlier, we need to continue to do the things we have been doing that have given us success.”

With a total of 692 saves, and an average of 2.41, Sarjeant has proven to be an outstanding asset to the team and

continues to prove his skills as a goaltender each and every game. When asked what they

doing differently to prepare for the rest of the season, Sarjeant replied, “Continuing to trust our systems, ourselves, our coaches, and our preparation. We do a lot of video analysis that our coaches prepare for us week to week. Our on-ice preparation also needs to continue and improve if we want to continue down the path of championship aspirations. “Every team we play brings a new challenge and we constantly have to prepare and make adjustments to compete each game. Each game is a different battle in itself and we need a full team commitment to win games,” Sarjeant said. The Lakers will travel to Buffalo, NY to take on Cansius College on Thursday, Jan. 23, and again on Friday, Jan. 24, at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. @Sbante91

Men’s basketball challenges Clarion this Wednesday By Samantha Bante Sports editor

With a record of 8-8 so far and 4-2 in the PSAC, and with a recent successful win during overtime against Robert Morris University (77-65) on Wednesday, the Mercyhurst men’s basketball team is feeling a burst of energy during the middle of the season. Although they suffered a (43-64) loss against Slippery Rock this past Saturday, Jan. 18, the Lakers are looking forward to redeeming themselves during a (PSAC) Western Division game against Clarion Wednesday, Jan. 22. Leading the Lakers with most points this season is junior Jonathan Ouegnin, who is averaging 10.2 points, 5.5

rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.4 steals per game this season. When asked how he believes the team is doing this year so far, Ouegnin replied, “We had some ups and downs so far, I think that we know that we come together and play well winning some though games against Gannon for example, we just have to do at every game. “My biggest goal is to help my team as much as possible to win games, doing what the coach tells me to do. As far as the team, our goal is to make it to the playoffs and win the PSAC championship,” Ouegnin said. The Lakers currently have one of the top defenses in that nation, allowing 61.7 points per game. They also are averaging more points than their

opponents this season with a 63.1 average leaving the other teams with only 61.7. “During practice we scout the other opponent’s plays, to know how to play them, we are basically getting ready learning their personel strenghts and weaknesses,” Ouegnin said. Having a record of 6-2 with home games, the Lakers are looking forward to challenging Clarion University Wednesday, Jan. 22, with the home court advantage at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center. The ball is set to drop at 7:30 p.m.


Alison Ockasi photo

The Lakers are looking forward to challenging Clarion University Wednesday, Jan. 22 with the home court advantage at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center.

Mizia, D’Urso step up for men’s wrestling with honors By Samantha Bante Sports editor

The Mercyhurst men’s wrestling team has had another successful weekend with redshirt freshman Francis Mizia leading his team to a pair of convincing victories during the week - a 31-9 victory at West Liberty last Wednesday and a 24-12 home win over No. 16 Lake Erie College on Saturday. With the victories, the Lakers improved to 9-1 overall and remained 2-0 in the PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) Division II standings. Mizia was named the (PSAC) Wrestler of the Week as announced on Monday, Jan 20, and is the first Laker to receive this award this season. Another wrestler that has been stepping up on and off the mat for the Lakers is sophomore Dylan D’Urso with 17 victories, just ahead of Mizia with 15.

Ed Mailliard photo

Francis Mizia was naked the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s Wrestler of the Week on Monday, Jan. 20.

“The team is doing very well, and receiving national recognition as is due for the talent we have. We have several matches coming up with ranked oppo-

nents so we will see how high we can finish in the polls but I would project a 10 ranking by the end of the year,” D’Urso said.

D’Urso was the only Mercyhurst grappler ranked in the top eight of a particular weight class, earning a seventh-place spot in the country

at 141 pounds. “I don’t know if I’d say one person is stepping up more so than others. We all know how good we can be and it’s more about doing what is expected of us as a team. If we all wrestle to our ability, success will follow and that’s been the case for most of our matches,” D’Urso said. With the addition of six new freshman wrestlers and one redshirt freshman, the Lakers are working and practicing hard to make this season one to remember. “It’s always difficult coming in as a freshman and trying to compete the same way you did in high school. Some of them hadn’t lost many matches in high school and so it was potentially difficult. But, they have responded well and we don’t see them as freshmen once they are in the lineup and we have the same expectations for them as we would the veterans, and I’m sure you would find out they have the same view,”

D’Urso said. Mercyhurst, which won the ir first-ever Division II regular season dual championship in the PSAC last season, will hit the mat this weekend against a pair of PSAC rivals this Friday and Saturday. “I think we are more than capable of winning the rest of our duals throughout the year as well as another PSAC title. I would also not be surprised at all if we were to qualify all 10 of our guys for nationals, but a lot of things have to go our way for that to happen. Qualifying for nationals is such an unpredictable event that it’s hard to put an exact number on it but if we compete well at the end of the year great things will happen,” D’Urso said. The Lakers will travel to No. 7 Kutztown on Friday. and match up at 7 p.m. Then will square off with East Stroudsburg on Saturday at 3 p.m. @TheMerciad

Wagner selected in Major Lacrosse League Draft By Samantha Bante Sports editor

Andrew Wagner of the Mercyhurst men’s lacrosse team was selected in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Draft on Friday, Jan 20. Wagner was chosen by the Rochester Rattlers in the seventh round pick. “It is a pretty humbling

experience overall to be selected in the MLL draft but I still have work to do in order to earn a spot on the team,” Wagner said. Wagner has been one of the top players in program history, winning the William C. Schmeisser Award as Division II’s Most Outstanding Defender in the last two seasons. He was named to the

United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-American First Team in 2012 and 2013. Wagner was also a USILA All-American Honorable Mention as a freshman. “It was a huge surprise for me as I didn’t really put much thought into it and wasn’t even aware that the draft was on that specific night. I also have to thank all of my

coaches dating back to when I started playing in seveth grade and, most of all, my teammates because without them I would not have had any of the success I’ve achieved,” Wagner said. During last year’s season, Wagner started all 19 games, playing a very significant role in the Laker’s defense as they advanced to the NCAA Championship in May. Wagner

also was able to earn Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Defensive Player of the Year honors. “I’m looking forward to ending my career as a Laker with another national championship. It has been a great ride and I’ve been blessed with a great senior class who would all like to finish on top like we started freshman year,” Wagner said.

Wagner was the only Divison II athlete selected in the seventh round. “I’m just excited for the opportunity to possibly become a part of a professional lacrosse team and hopefully continuing to play the sport of lacrosse for years to come,” Wagner said. @Sbante91

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January 22, 2014

The Merciad


Living Geek Weekly: Should I give Windows8.1 a try? By Zach Dorsch Managing editor

Windows 8 Tips and Tricks 4. Explore the Edges: If you’re using a touchscreen, swiping in from the edges will switch you to the start screen and many other options. Working with a mouse is a little more of a challenge until you find the sweet spot that will display all of the Charms on the left side and the app switcher on the right.

As more people make the switch to Windows 8 many are confused on how to use the new Metro layout. As a way to ease some of the pain I have collected some of the most useful tips to help make this transaction a smooth one. 1. Download Windows 8.1: It is a free update for Windows 8 that adds a load of new features such as the return of the start button, as well as some tweaks to make the experience even better. Don’t worry, all of these tips will apply to both Windows 8 and 8.1.

5. Learn to use the Windows Key: The Windows key is by far the easiest way to get to the start menu. Past that you can use the Windows key plus C to open up your Charms, or Windows and M to minimize all windows.

2. The Start Screen Isn’t Scary: Many users think the Start screen works best for touchscreen and without it the layout is worthless. In reality you don’t even have to click on the program you’re looking for, just start typing the program you are looking for and the search menu will automatically open up and give you results. Another tip for the start menu is to pin your most used programs to the start menu by right clicking on the program and select “Pin to Start” this way your most used programs will be easier to access.

6. If all else fails, download Classic Shell: If after a few weeks you still find yourself longing for the old start menu you can download Classic Shell for free at www. This program will allow you to add a start menu similar to the one found on Windows 7 back onto your computer.

3. Use your SkyDrive: The SkyDrive is one of the most useful programs once you get used to it. Not only will SkyDrive back up all your PC settings but it also allows you to save all your important documents and access them form any other computer. Another plus is Mercyhurst already provides students with a 7GB SkyDrive by using the same login credentials as your University Email. @zdorsc22 Contributed photo

Beauty Talks

Lavender Lotion helps with dry skin By Leann Krysiak Copy editor

The winter weather leaves my hands feeling dry and scaly. So dry, that my knuckles sometimes crack and bleed. Yuck. Of course I can’t just use any old lotion. I needed something that was good for my skin and good for the environment. This lotion is simple and made with natural oils and butters. It works so well that I used it on my face after I got wind burn from walking around Presque Isle this past weekend. I do not recommend using this on your face often, but feel free to use it on any dry skin like hands, legs and elbows daily. If you haven’t heard by now what 15 chemicals to avoid, you’ve been living under a rock. So check out Fresh Face Forward’s list of chemicals to avoid at

This week’s recipe for a calming lavender lotion is very simple. I highly recommend investing in lavender essential oil. Extract is a cheaper alternative, but it is diluted and the scent does not last as long. Lavender is known for its skin healing properties and used as a calming agent. The Greeks used to scent their baths with lavender and believed it to be soothing to untamed lion and tigers. This week’s recipe comes from, but I did tweak it by adding shea butter for extra moisturizing power: Lavender Lotion 1/3 cup coconut oil 1 tbsp shea butter 2 tbsp grated bees wax 5-7 drops of lavender essential oil

Combine the shea butter and bees wax in a microwave safe container. Microwave on intervals of 15 seconds until it starts to melt. Stir in between and break up any big chunks. Then add the coconut oil and continue heating until the mixture is melted all the way through. Stir and let sit, stirring every so often. Add 5-7 drops of lavender, stir one final time and let cool completely. Need help finding the ingredients? Check out the ingredient guide on Fresh Face Forward’s Recipe page. Did you like it? Love it? Tell me what you think on the Fresh Face Forward’s Facebook page or send your comments to

Crunch Cake


Difficu lt Prep T y: Easy ime: 2 0 min Total Time: 3h Yield: 12 pie ours ces

By Sami Rapp Photo editor

Frozen Strawberry Crunch Cake

Why I like this recipe: It might be cold out but it is never too cold to have something as delicious as this! Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes Yield: 12 Pieces Ingredients 1 box Nature Valley Granola Bars 1/3 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup flour 6 tablespoons melted butter 2 egg whites 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1 lemon 4 ounces cream cheese 1 1/2 cups freshly chopped strawberries

Instructions 1. Put the granola bars in a food processor and process until you achieve a coarse crumb. 2. In a large bowl, add the crumbs, brown sugar, flour and melted butter and mix together. Then spread into an 8x8 pan that has been covered with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool. Then divide in half and set aside. 3. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs whites and sugar and mix on high. Add the heavy cream and continue mixing for another five minutes.

4. Continue to add the fresh squeezed lemon juice and softened cream cheese. Mix on low speed until mixed. 5. Fold the fresh strawberries into the cream mixture. 6. In a buttered glass cake pan, press half of the crumb crust mixture on the bottom. Top with strawberry mix and then add the remaining crumbs to the top. 7. Cover and freeze for three hours or more and enjoy!


The Merciad, January 22  

The digital version of The Merciad, Jan. 22