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January 19, 2011

Senior class to donate outdoor plaza By Jennifer McCurdy Staff writer

This year’s Mercyhurst College seniors have decided to build an outdoor plaza for their senior gift. The plaza consists of a circular structure of retaining walls, which will provide seating and a gathering area for students, faculty and college community members. The plaza is designed to serve as an outdoor classroom during good weather. The plaza will be at the grassy area of the intersection point between the Zurn Hall, Hirt Center and Old Main sidewalks. Liz Contrella, chair of the senior gift committee, said she thinks the gift will live up to the longstanding Mercyhurst senior gift tradition. “All gifts in the past have been measures of the dedication and hard work of the senior class, and I imagine our 2011 senior class

gift will measure up equally,” she said. The senior gift committee chose the design to enhance the unused space and blend with the aesthetic style of the college. “As a class, we will leave this plaza to Mercyhurst as a beautiful addition to our campus that we can always return to and visit,” Contrella said. Junior Melissa Sheffield shared her thoughts about the senior gift choice. “I think it would be a good gift if they make it classy,” she said. “It will be a good place for students to congregate.” In an e-mail to seniors, the Senior Class Gift Steering Committee explained how the gift fits in with the values of the college. “As we know, part of our Mercyhurst College core values are to be compassionately hospitable and reflectively aware. Our gift of this plaza will support both of these core values as people can gather

together, appreciate another and reflect in this area.” The senior class will donate the cost of construction, which will range in price between $10,000 to $15,000. “We need the participation from all seniors to pledge toward our gift,” Contrella said. Seniors who pledge more than $100 will have their names stamped onto bricks. “As an individual, I don’t think anyone should miss out on the opportunity of leaving your name on a brick to forever be a part of our campus,” Contrella said. “Mercyhurst will forever be a part of us. Now it is time for us to forever become a part of it.” The senior gift committee hopes the gift will be completed before graduation. “We hope to see the plaza constructed by May 2011, but clearly this will depend on the weather and when construction can begin,” Contrella said.

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The plaza will be located at the grassy area between the Zurn, Hirt and Old Main sidewalks.

Student-produced horror flick in the making By Mike Gallagher Contributing writer

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Senior Leah Hubbard is beginning to produce her winning script, “The Diary of Sarah Lucas.” The film will be shown on campus in May.

Mercyhurst College senior Leah Hubbard is this year’s communication department’s script contest winner and will have the opportunity to produce and present to the college community her own horror film. Each year, the winner of the script contest produces his or her script and shows the film in Taylor Little Theatre during Communication Week. Communication Week is an annual series of events in May in which all divisions of the communication department come together to show the best of what they have produced throughout the year. Hubbard’s winning script, “The Diary of Sarah Lucas,” is inspired by a haunting experience she had in Old Main. According to Hubbard, the story is similar to “Paranormal Activity” and “The Blair Witch Project.” The story begins with the main characters ghost hunting and trying to prove to themselves that ghosts do not exist. They are proven wrong when the film’s antagonist,

“A Menacing Thought,” played by Hubbard, is responsible for the disappearance of each of the film’s six characters. “The film focuses a lot on what you can’t see,” Hubbard said. “It’s very Hitchcockian.” The story is filmed through the eyes of Sarah’s character. The film starts with Sarah stating, “Hi, my name is Sarah Lucas and you might never see me again.” In order for the film to scare the audience, Hubbard wants it to be genuine. “I want real performances,” she said. “I don’t want people to be faking, and I want real reactions.” After studying for a fashion test with a friend in the Old Main loft at about 2 a.m. one evening, Hubbard and her friend decided to take a break and venture to the Chapel. According to Hubbard, the friend, frightened by Old Main’s history of being haunted, said, “Let’s not go into the chapel, the walls could bleed.” The very instant Hubbard’s friend finished saying this, they both heard a clear and terrifyingly chilling female scream coming from the attic of Old Main. They imme-

diately ran from the building. “We were outside the building, but my friend left one of her $60 dollar pair North Face gloves in the attic, so we had to go back for it,” Hubbard said. They were too frightened to go back alone, so they called Police and Safety. With the help of campus police, they searched for the glove, but the glove was not to be found in the attic where it had been left. Instead, the glove was found pinned with a push tack to a bulletin board next to the chapel. “It was the scariest night of my life, and I knew that I needed to do something with it,” Hubbard said. “I needed to write about it.” Hubbard has filled all the cast positions and is in early rehearsals of the film, but she still has crew positions to fill. Crew positions include editing, slamming doors, running past cameras and screaming in the halls. Students who are talented screamers or are interested in helping out on the crew can e-mail Hubbard at “It’s scary and people are going to love it,” Hubbard said. “I want everyone to be scared out of their pants.”


January 19, 2011

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Students learn to choose healthy, tasty alternatives By Stacy Skiavo Staff writer

Students borrow laptops through library’s lease program By Andrew Kopcienski, MSG representative Contributing writer

Mercyhurst Student Government (MSG) recently approved a proposal for a new laptop lease program to be instituted at the Hammermill Library. The laptop lease program will feature four Dell laptops and a portable projector, each of which can be rented from the library’s circulation desk for approximately four hours at a time. The program is intended to facilitate group-oriented work and to assist those without access to laptop computers. Students will be able to take out a portable projector on a cart to use in the group study rooms in the library. The projector will be able to adapt to both Macs and PCs and will have an instruction booklet demonstrating how to display an image on a study room wall. In order to use one of the laptops or the projector, students will need to present their Mercyhurst ID at the circulation desk. The Services and Facilities Use Committee put forth and approved the proposal on Jan. 7. Freshman Caitlin Selewitz, a member of the Services and Facilities Use Committee, explained why the committee developed this program. “It’s really the easiest solution for emergency laptop situations that the college is willing to go to at the moment,” she said. “We believe it’s the first step in moving the college towards having a college-wide laptop program.” The laptops will be higher-end Dell machines, with 4 gigabytes of RAM and 2.4 GHz processors. They will include Windows 7 Home Premium and Microsoft Office 2010 and will have the same printing software that the desktops in the library have. According to the MSG proposal, the program will not allow students to take the laptops outside the library. The computers will have security measures installed to ensure that they can be traced if they are stolen. Freshman senator Victoria Horning, a member of the Services and Facilities Use Committee, said the program was designed to allow students more flexibility in choosing how and where to work in the library. The laptop lease program is scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of spring term.

College students typically love to eat, but many students might be surprised how easy it is to eat delicious foods that are healthy. On Wednesday, Jan. 12, Tim Harvey’s Nutrition for Health Professionals class held its sixth annual Taste or Waist event, which was run by sports medicine students. Before the event, the students were required to pick a dish, typically one that was unhealthy, and alter the ingredients in order to decrease the calories and make the dish healthier. Each student prepared a recipe twice. The first dish was made using the regular unhealthy recipe, and the second dish was prepared in a health-

ier way by substituting ingredients. The objective was for both dishes to appear visually the same. “The cooking part always seems to be fun for the students,” Harvey said. “The students seem to really enjoy the interaction at the actual event, though.” The sports medicine students prepared 20 dishes for students at the event to taste. “I made fudge and substituted ingredients like skim milk and light butter instead of regular butter,” junior Katie Scherer said. Senior Briana Witt made a dessert and substituted several items as well. “I made chocolate velvet cake and used a healthier butter that was 20 calories less, as well as fat-free items,” she said. In order to taste the dishes, students were asked to make a 50cent canned good donation. The

proceeds were given to The Mercy Center for Women. After trying both versions of the dish, students voted which item they thought was the healthiest. Sometimes it was difficult for the students to determine which one was healthier. “I could taste a little difference, but I think the unhealthy cookie recipe was moister,” senior Kaitlyn Beckel said. Students typically prefer the healthier choice recipe rather than the original recipe. “The past five years has shown about 60 percent of people choose the healthier version as the tastier, demonstrating our point that you can in fact substitute healthier ingredients without losing taste,” Harvey said. The event indicated that students do not have to sacrifice taste when eating healthy.


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January 19, 2011

Peace Talks promote tolerance, understanding By Elizabeth Zurasky Staff writer

With outbreaks of war occurring constantly around the world due to religion, Mercyhurst College’s Campus Ministry is reaching out to promote tolerance and coexistence throughout the campus’s diverse religious backgrounds through events called Peace Talks. “Peace Talk events will include information sessions on particular traditions, faith-based discussions, general meditations and celebrations of other religions including holidays and holy days,” Jennifer Detchon said. With new additions and new ideas, Campus Ministry is working to incorporate all religions. Headed by Director Greg Baker, Assistant Director Christine Brotherson and

Fr. Jim Piszker, Campus Ministry offers many activities for students to attend. A new addition to the Campus Ministry team, Betty Amatangelo, is very excited about the ideas that the team is currently working to put in place, such as the Peace Talks. “Peace Talks” are meetings where members of every religion are welcome to discuss their individual journeys through faith. Mercyhurst student Detchon had the idea to have these discussions on campus. The main goal of these Peace Talk meetings, according to Detchon, is to “help students of all beliefs feel more spiritually welcome in the Mercyhurst community.” Campus Ministry also sponsors many events, which are always welcoming to every religion. Along with worship services, members of the group meet for lunch in Egan Cafeteria every Wednesday from 11

Jill Barrile photo

Betty Amatangelo, a new face in Campus Ministry, heads up the Peace Talks. a.m. to 1 p.m. There is also a women’s group that meets every Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Campus Ministry lounge, along with alternative breaks and

immersion trips. Amatangelo said that Campus Ministry wants everyone “to feel welcome and free to relax, study, talk or offer ideas to create commu-

nity building programs and to enrich student life here on campus.” Amatangelo is very enthusiastic about the upcoming Peace Talks. “As Mercyhurst continues attracting people with different geographical, political and religious ideas, we need to continue to attempt to meet their needs in these areas,” she said. Some may believe that tolerance of other religions on a Catholic campus reduces our vision as a Christian school, but Amatangelo believes otherwise. “Hospitality, tolerance and nonviolence all come from the Mercy Mission statement. Historically, this type of gathering is the foundation of our Catholic identity,” she said. The next Peace Talk will be held on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 4 p.m. in the Campus Ministry lounge — located on the main floor of the Student Union.

Psychology senior receives Teacher Feature: Dr. Jack Williams Psi Chi research grant By Lynn Dula Staff writer

Senior psychology major Nicole Vaisey has been awarded a Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grant. The grant is intended to help defray the cost of conducting undergraduate research projects in the field of psychology. Psi Chi is the International Honors Society in Psychology. The society was founded in 1929 to encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in scholarship, while advancing the science of psychology. Psi Chi is a federation of chapters located at more than 1,090 colleges across the U.S., Canada and Ireland. The society aims to serve two goals: “to provide academic recognition to its inductees by the mere fact of membership, and to nurture the spark of that accomplishment by offering a climate congenial to members’ creative development.” Vaisey is the president of the Mercyhurst chapter of Psi Chi. After applying for the Psi Chi Research Grant, she was awarded the highest possible amount of

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Senior Nicole Vaisey recieved $1,500 for her research.

$1,500 to defray the costs of her research. While any member of Psi Chi can apply for this particular grant, the application process requires some thought. “In order to get the grant that I received,” Vaisey said, “I needed to provide Psi Chi with an abstract, a description of my research, a budget that outlined how I would use the money I received and a copy of my curriculum vitae.” As a psychology student, Vaisey is required by Mercyhurst to complete either a psychology internship or a senior research practicum in

order to earn her degree. She has the opportunity to explore an area of psychology most interesting to her. “I enjoy studying social psychology the most because I am fascinated by the way that people interact with each other and society as a whole and how they function as an individual in a group,” she said. After graduation, Vaisey plans to take a short break from her studies. However, she plans to attend graduate school in the near future, and in 10 years hopes to be established as a professor of psychology in a university setting. In addition to her duties as president of the Psi Chi Mercyhurst chapter, Vaisey is also a member of the Mercyhurst Psychology club and the Mercyhurst Active Minds chapter. She also works at the Math Lab and the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics. On top of all her extra work, she is putting her grant to good use by planning and carrying out her own research project. Psi Chi, which can be found at, also offers a wide range of other grants and awards to its members, including summer research grants and grants for computer-based research.

By Jennifer McCurdy Staff writer

Jack Williams, Ph.D., claims that exciting things happen in the Mercyhurst Chemistry Department. “I’m learning all of the time,” Williams said. The chemistry professor enjoys working at Mercyhurst for many reasons, including the great equipment, small classes and student-faculty interaction. His favorite aspect of teaching though, is the research. Williams studies a variety of subjects in the laboratory, such as the different compounds in coffee beans from different countries, or the variety of defense mechanisms of plants. Williams received his doctorate in organic chemistry from Villanova University. He taught at both Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania before joining the Mercyhurst community in 1976. Williams currently conducts research in the areas of natural products and forensics while teaching courses in Organic Chemistry, Spectral Interpretation, Principles of Chemistry and Forensic Chem-

istry. “Mercyhurst didn’t used to have such an interest in research,” Williams said. “It sharpens my teaching skills.” According to Williams, he can get excited about the research and bring that excitement into the classroom. He finds the research stimulating for professors and students alike. In his classes, Williams emphasizes how a piece of information is useful to a student’s prospective major. He believes that it is important to teach the applications of knowledge in order to make the information interesting to students. Like many Mercyhurst professors, Williams also teaches transferable skills. His students can expect to learn about critical thinking skills, and deductive reasoning in addition to their chemistry curriculum. Williams thinks highly of the chemistry department. “The bottom line is that you can get a job,” he said. “If you like chemistry, there are so many things you can do with it.” To read the full version of this story, please visit features.


January 19, 2011

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Cavani String Quartet concert features innovative Mercyhurst collaborators By Sarah Mastrocola Staff writer

Known for both its passion and technical prowess, the Cavani String Quartet will appear in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (PAC) this Friday at 7:30 p.m. Having been described as “passionate and interesting... an accomplished example of craftsmanship and wonderfully communicative” by The Strad, a monthly music publication, the Cavani String Quartet is sure to deliver a great show.

Formed in 1984, the quartet was appointed Quartet-in-Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1988, and in 2005, they became the first recipient of the Guarneri String Quartet Residency Award from Chamber Music America. They have a strong commitment to teaching music as well, and have received national acclaim for their inspiring and innovative teaching and proactive approach to residencies. One portion of Mercyhurst’s Cavani concert will include a 20minute collaborative piece in three movements that features the work of artists from the Mercyhurst

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The Cavani String Quartet will perform on Friday, Jan. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the PAC.

music, dance and art departments. The collaboration consists of “Canandaigua Quartet,” a score Albert Glinsky, Ph.D., composed that Cavani will play, along with art elements courtesy of Daniel Burke, art department chair, and a choreography from music professors Mark and Solveig Santillano. The collaboration first began when PAC director Michael Fuhrman organized the different departments to present a piece together at the Cavani concert. Glinsky had already composed the music, and both pre-existing and fresh art works of Burke’s were incorporated into and alongside new choreography to create a cohesive whole. SoMar Dance Works, a company in residence, is directed by professors Mark and Solveig Santillano and includes six dance department students who perform for the company. Santillano said of the choreographic process, “All the dancers collaborated on the choreography. Solveig and I directed the process, but their ideas all influenced the work, and everyone contributed, which was a very welcome thing.” “I am really excited to be part of the Cavani String Quartet performance,” said senior SoMar company member Sarah Hricko.

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Daniel Burke, Albert Glinsky and Mark Santillano each contributed their talents to the Cavani performance. “It’s not every day that you get to combine three different art forms together into one.” The art pieces Burke created are integrated into the presentation in a variety of ways. The dancers carry some pieces on, hang them and allow them to fly into place. In other sections, the dancers move with PVC pipes attached to birds, a motif of Burke’s art. The piece will also include projections of the art, with videos that Santillano shot and edited. In addition to the use of the physical art as props of sorts, the choreography also features subtle bird-like imagery and movement. The idea of birds perching, sug-

gested by Burke, led to the use of double barres employed by the dancers for unusual balancing and partnering. When asked about the upcoming performance, senior SoMar company member Nicole Lyons said, “I like the piece a lot because it’s very innovative and uses a lot of different elements that normally wouldn’t be used in a dance piece.” Tickets for the Cavani String Quartet concert are free for Mercyhurst students with ID and $15 for adults, seniors, non-Mercyhurst students and president’s cardholders. Tickets can be purchased by calling 824-3000 or by visiting the PAC box office.

Guelcher Film Series brings exciting season By Claire Hinde Staff writer

The Guelcher Film Series has a particularly exciting lineup this winter season — perhaps one of the best in the series’ nine-year history. Featuring films such as “The Kids are All Right,” and “The King’s Speech,” the series is sure to please film fanatics and casual attendees alike. Though all the films that the Guelcher Film Series presents have already hit the big screen, they still

provide the Mercyhurst and Erie communities with a great cultural and social opportunity. The Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (PAC), a non-profit organization, cannot premiere films, which makes the series nontheatrical. However, PAC Director Michael Fuhrman said that he always tries to choose a variety of films to appeal to both the college and the Erie community. “I look for films that really say something,” Fuhrman said about this eclectic season, which includes documentary, independent and

international films. Fuhrman also has a chance to link learning and leisure with the Guelcher films, occasionally partnering a film with a professor or campus group in order to stimulate discussion for the fullest potential experience. In the upcoming season, the United Way of Erie is sponsoring the screening of “Waiting for Superman,” a documentary the PAC will show on March 23. United Way can also use the film as a starting point for a discussion about the future of education in America. Also, some of the films are

preceded by a “Brew and View,” an event Fuhrman and Assistant Marketing Manager Michelle Ellia organize to promote local Erie businesses and to provide social interaction for the community. Fuhrman said these events demonstrate that Mercyhurst is openminded, allowing students to mingle with faculty members before being submerged into the real world. They also serve to bring an important social aspect to the arts. In a society that is quickly becoming more individualistic, a “Brew and View” allows for interaction and discussion about the films.

This season, “The Kids Are All Right” and “Four Lions,” a quirky film about a group of British jihadists, will each feature a “Brew and View.” “You could always watch the movie on Netflix, but come on out and see the film. Hear both sides of the story. You might be surprised by what you see,” Fuhrman said. Given that the films are free to students with ID, Fuhrman’s advice seems wise. Films are shown Wednesdays at 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. in the PAC, and the film schedule can be found online at arts_entertainment.


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January 19, 2011 September 3, 2008

The views expressed in the opinion section of The Merciad do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercyhurst College, the staff of The Merciad or the Catholic Church. Responses on any subject are always welcomed and can be e-mailed to

Political rhetoric causes worry By Caitlin Handerhan Staff writer

In light of the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at a “Congress on Your Corner” event in Tucson, Ariz., two weeks ago, many have speculated about the nature of the political rhetoric in this country. Though this crime currently appears to be the work of a deranged madman who had a personal vendetta for Giffords, it remains worthwhile to examine the recent national tone of political dialogue. As a former intern and campaign scheduler for former Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper, I staffed countless events and heard the very worst from voters. The discourse that dominated the last campaign cycle was unbelievable. I never felt physically threatened during public events, but it

was frustrating to hear the overtone from angry voters on both sides who had been whipped into a frenzy by misinformation. As a fiscally conservative Democrat, Congresswoman Dahlkemper was a natural political threat to opposition on the right, and as the Election Day came upon us, so did the onslaught of attacks. Now don’t get me wrong. I completely welcome heated debate and political discussions of everything from basic ideology to policy. I mean, I’m a political science major — a complete nerd. I live for this stuff. What I didn’t anticipate was the misinformation and lies that permeated the discourse surrounding the campaign, and my inability to reason with the voter calling Dahlkemper a “communist” or “baby-killer” because of her healthcare vote. While I will spare you the policy details, I can tell you both assertions are not true. Sadly, the anger remains, and the rhetorical madness went beyond your average misinformed voter.

Many around Pennsylvania’s 3rd District were subjected to huge billboards blatantly misrepresenting Kathy Dahlkemper’s votes. The most extreme was a sign on I79 which read “Vote the Marxists Out of Washington” complete with hammer and sickle. I ask you this: How many voters enraged by the “socialist takeover of our government” have ever even studied Marx or Lenin, or understand what communism is? As a political science major, I didn’t even study it in a classroom setting until this term. Call me a radical, but maybe we should try to understand what it is we are upset about. Moving forward from the Tucson tragedy, I think we as a nation need to keep in mind how far is too far. My experience with the political discourse in the last election made a huge impression on me – I saw a constituency of voters angry with the government and upset about the direction we are headed. Those opinions are not causes for

Resolutions seem unnecessary By Mary Nolte

Staff writer A few weeks ago, everyone was obsessing over what they needed to change about themselves. They’re called “New Year’s resolutions,” and everyone seems to have one. People want to lose weight, be more assertive or start taking care of the environment. As a general consensus right now, everyone is determined that this is going to be the best year of their life, because they are going to make the change that will make everything better. I may be the only person that feels this way, but the thought of a New Year’s resolution seems odd to me. People are so con-

cerned with coming up with a way to better themselves. But what it all really is, is change. Isn’t that why you come up with a resolution? To change yourself ? The only life experience I have to draw from this is my own, but from this, I’ve noticed that any change that happens in my life doesn’t come from the beginning of a new year. It comes from within myself. From looking in the mirror and seeing something different; from spending a day in the woods marveling the world around me. From spending time with someone who seems to understand me better than I do myself. Change in your life comes from looking deep into yourself and finding something you never knew was there, not from a dif-

ferent date on the calendar. I’m not saying that New Year’s resolutions are bad. What I’m saying is that people put too much faith in the New Year to change themselves. That’s why most of you who have made a resolution have already given up on it three weeks into the year. Everyone assumes the New Year does all the work. The truth is, the date on the calendar is arbitrary. No one realizes that they have to change themselves. There is no magic in the New Year. The magic is within yourself. Maybe what we should all do at the beginning of a new year is look back at the year we’ve just had, forgive ourselves for all we did wrong, and realize that maybe this year wasn’t the best year of our lives, but the rest of them won’t be either.

The Good

concern. The discussion of divergent opinions ultimately makes us stronger. What does worry me is the misinformation that has dominated our political discourse. The past two weeks have been filled with news articles, blog posts, Twitter updates and commentary about the political rhetoric that has swept the nation. As I see it, voicing your view is a great thing; free speech is a hallmark of this nation. My concern with the political discourse dominating the airwaves these days isn’t whether or not I agree with it, it is whether or not it is grounded in facts.

Midterms are over! Now, we just have to worry about finals in a few weeks.

The Bad

Although we had Monday off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, night classes still took place.

The Ugly

Apparently, zodiac signs are changing. First, we lost Pluto and now our astrological signs.

If you don’t want it printed . . . don’t let it happen. Editors Ethan Magoc Kelly Luoma Alex Stacey Victoria Gricks Nick Glasier Alaina Rydzewski Kaitlin Badger Tyler Stauffer Ethan Johns Chrissy Mihalic Daniela Carcamo Bill Welch Brian Sheridan

Positions Editor-in-Chief editormerciad Managing Editor newsmerciad Features Editor featuremerciad Opinion Editor opinionmerciad Sports Editor sportsmerciad A&E Editor entertainmentmerciad Graphics photomerciad Photo Editor photomerciad Web Editor ejohns89 Copy Editor copymerciad Ad Manager admerciad Adviser wwelch Adviser bsheridan

The Merciad is the official student-produced newspaper of Mercyhurst College. 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 e-mail at


January 19, 2011

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Mercyhurst Athletic Center keeps students active By Alaina Rydzewski A&E editor

Need some inspiration for getting those extra pounds off after this Christmas season? I think the real question is, who doesn’t? The treadmill-elliptical-treadmillelliptical routine can become quite stagnant. I know this from personal experience. But one thing that never bores me and always keeps me interested in the Mercyhurst Athletic Center (MAC) is the unique classes it offers. These classes, more often than not, go unappreciated and unattended. Many of us know that unattended events at Mercyhurst generally disappear, so this is more than just your run-of-the-mill informational column. This is a petition to get yourself off the couch or out of bed and to the MAC to take advantage of one of its great classes. Director of the Fitness Center Tom Herman said that he and the student instructors get together each term and decide on the classes, handpicking them for what they think the student body will enjoy

Alaina Rydzewski photo

Mercyhurst College students participate in the Tuesday afternoon’s step class being offered at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center. the most. Classes vary and are offered every term. This term, there are classes in Pilates, yoga, step, Latin dance, spinning, Total Body and Zumba. Latin dance instructor Felica Guerra is very excited about her classes. “This class is very fun and enter-

taining for me and the rest of the students. I enjoy teaching it and they enjoy learning it. I teach them salsa, merengue, rumba, samba, and other Caribbean movements.” Guerra said, “This class is good to improve abdomen, hips, legs and a good cardio workout.” Guerra thinks that Mercyhurst

students will be very engaged physically and mentally during her classes. “The class is very fast and fun. I try to interact with all the people in the class,” Guerra said, “I recommend this class to any boy or girl that is interested in learning how to dance different Latin dances from

many Latin American countries.” Guerra, from Nicaragua, has a vast amount of experience in teaching dance. “I began teaching dance classes when I was in junior high back in Nicaragua at my mother’s dance studio. I have been dancing ballet, jazz and ethnic dancing since I was a very small girl. I heard coach Herman was looking for someone and I told him I would be perfect for the job,” Guerra said. With this diverse selection, one cannot go wrong and is guaranteed to have fun. You might not even notice the calories being burned off until they’re gone. Senior Evie Niederriter, an instructor for Total Body class, said, “Having classes offered at the gym is an incredible benefit, particularly for females who feel intimidated in the typical gym setting ....classes allow participants to get that without having to wander around the gym searching for open equipment.” Niederriter encourages anyone who wants to lose or maintain weight or even build muscle tone to try her class. “I have found that the best way to engage the entire body is by utilizing as much variety as possible, with every exercise leading quickly into the one after it so that participants gain endurance,” she said. Junior Renai Medeiros, the instructor for the step classes, agrees with Niederriter. “Students may not have the motivation to do things on their own, so having an instructor to motivate them would help students get the results they want,” she said. Herman said he is “proud of the fact that classes are taught by our students,” and stresses that there is always a need for new instructors. He urges students who are interested in teaching classes to become certified. Certification classes are offered at Mercyhurst College each year; Latin dance is at the end of January, Pilates is in February, step is in March and spinning is in April. For more information or a schedule of the classes, you can call the MAC at extension 2525 or visit the My Mercyhurst portal.


January 19, 2011

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Sisti reaches 300th win milestone By Nick Glasier Sports editor

The Mercyhurst College women’s hockey team has arguably been one of the most successful women’s hockey programs in the nation during the past decade. This level of prestige was cemented this weekend as head coach Michael Sisti achieved his 300th win on Saturday with a 12-0 victory over Brown University. Sisti’s initial reflections on the win were not one of reveling in the success that he had accomplished but a pure businesslike approach. “As an individual win it was a win that we needed to have right now. Our margin of error is very small if we want to accomplish the goals that we set for ourselves this year,” Sisti said. Sisti’s ability to take each game one at a time has led him to a level of success rivaled by few in women’s hockey. Sisti has been at the helm of the women’s hockey team since its inception 11 seasons ago. Over that period of time he has compiled a 300-82-26 record and six appearances in the NCAA Tournament. The Lakers have reached the Frozen Four twice in the past two years elevating to the elite of women’s college hockey. Last season, the Lakers were the

top-ranked team in the nation. This level of success was never expected for a small-college program like Mercyhurst when Sisti was brought in to start a women’s hockey program. “When this program started, many people saw it as a trendy new thing but over the years with a lot of hard work we have really turned it into something very successful,” Sisti said. Since the program was started Sisti has only coached one team without a winning record. Sisti has credited much of this success to the great group of players and coaches he has been able to work with. “I have really been able to work with a lot of great assistants, coaches and players and have been able to make something special here,” Sisti said. There has also been a lot of hard work for Sisti who has to work with some smaller resources to accomplish a great deal. “A lot of people think that coaching is just getting behind the bench and coaching games but there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. As coaches, we work some very long hours,” Sisti said. This preparation has been necessary for Sisti as his success has made a long waiting list of teams in the College Hockey America conference looking to dethrone the Lakers.

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Mercyhurst College head women’s hockey coach Michael Sisti takes some time to smile during their victory over Brown.

Ethan Magoc photo

Mercyhurst College head women’s hockey coach, Michael Sisti, won his 300th game on Saturday in a 12-0 rout against Brown University. “With the amount of success we have had, there are a lot of teams in our league that want the success that we have and are constantly looking to knock us off the top of the mountain,” Sisti said. Reaching the 300th win plateau has elevated Sisti to a very exclusive club in women’s college hockey. This success has brought many big schools looking to bring Sisti in to run their programs, but Sisti has not been interested. “There have been opportunities for me to move on to other programs but the administration has made it known to me that they don’t want me to leave and have done all they can to make this program successful,” Sisti said. The administration recently showed its support to Sisti and the women’s hockey program when it built a weight room addition at the

Mercyhurst Ice Center to supply the hockey program a workout space. “I started this program 11 years ago. I have put a lot of time and effort into the program and really have a lot invested in it emotionally and physically to bring it to the level that it is at now,” Sisti said. For Sisti being part of a big program is not the most important thing as a coach. “One of the most satisfying things is being able to see these athletes go through our programs for the four years and get their degrees,” Sisti said. Sisti has had a number of highly successful players throughout his tenure. Last season, senior Vicki Bendus won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which is awarded to the nations top women’s hockey player. Bendus has also participated for

Canada in various tournaments. Senior Meghan Agosta has won two gold medals as a member of Canada’s women’s hockey team. Senior Jesse Scanzano, juniors Hillary Pattenden and Bailey Bram have also participated in various tournaments for Canada. Sisti’s ability to recruit these top players has been a key staple to his success. Yet, some of his most memorable players have not been stars, as Sisti’s main enjoyment comes from seeing his players receive their diplomas after four years of hard work. “Some of the most memorable players are those players who don’t necessarily get the most ice time but do a lot for the program in other ways and put those four years in,” Sisti said.

The Merciad, Jan. 19, 2011  

Digital version of The Merciad for Jan. 19, 2011.

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