MERCYHURST MAGAZINE SPRING 2018
Chasing Olympic dreams Ryan Zapolski ’11 and Elizabeth Fisher Zapolski ‘11 P. 2
Inside this issue:
HISTORY DEPT. NAMED FOR THOMAS B. HAGEN P. 4 ’68 GRADS RECALL TUMULTUOUS ‘60S P. 8 SISTER CAROLYN HERRMANN IN HER OWN WORDS P. 15 MCCABE SISTERS START FAMILY TRADITION P. 23
The Office of Marketing and Public Relations publishes Mercyhurst Magazine twice a year.
Magazine Editor Susan Hurley Corbran ’73 firstname.lastname@example.org 814-824-2090 Design Jeremy C. Hewitt ’07 email@example.com 814-824-3022 Contributing Writers Susan Hurley Corbran ’73 Deborah W. Morton Contributing Photographers Jeremy C. Hewitt ’07 Angela Zanaglio ’16 Printing Leader Graphics, Erie, Pennsylvania
Inside this issue 2
FOUR 2018 OLYMPIANS WITH ONE THING IN COMMON: MERCYHURST UNIVERSITY
HURST CHRISTENS THOMAS B. HAGEN HISTORY DEPARTMENT
KEYMAN ASEFI: THE MAN BEHIND MERCYHURST’S NEW ARCHITECTURAL FOOTPRINT
CLASS OF 1968 RECALLS CHANGE-FILLED YEARS AT HURST
REMARKABLE WOMAN LED MERCYHURST THROUGH TUMULTUOUS ‘60s
Director of Alumni Engagement Lindsay Cox Frank ’12 ’14M firstname.lastname@example.org 814-824-2330
DALY WRAPS UP 51-YEAR CAREER AT HURST
ROBERTS TO SUCCEED DAUSEY IN PROVOST’S OFFICE
NEW VP OF MISSION INTEGRATION NAMED
Class Notes Editor Courtney Olevnik ’08 ’13M email@example.com 814-824-2246
DEAN NAMED FOR WALKER COLLEGE
BELOVED LAKERS ATHLETIC DIRECTOR JOE KIMBALL RETIRES
ICE BREAKER TOURNAMENT COMING TO ERIE
RIDGE-PALMER FRIENDSHIP YIELDS SUPPORT FOR ARCHIVES
MERCYHURST ADMITTED TO COALITION FOR ACCESS, AFFORDABILITY AND SUCCESS
CHRISTMAS TREE HONORS MERCY LEGACY
ERIE INNOVATION DISTRICT MAKES GAME-CHANGING MOVES
HOSPITALITY DEDICATES WINE ROOM
REFERRALS HELP DRIVE GRADUATE ENROLLMENT
HURST IS A TRADITION FOR MCCABE FAMILY
WEAVING CONNECTIONS: JAVI CUBILLOS ’11
MERCYHURST ALUM CHEERS EAGLES ON TO VICTORY: JESSICA STACHELRODT ’13
A HURST LOVE STORY: KALEIGH HUBERT ’13, ALEX VINESKY ’14
PATIENT ADVOCACY: KATE DUDA NEWMAN ’71
INTEL GRAD FIGHTING CYBER THREATS: HENRY PELTOKANGAS ’10
NEW PROGRAMS ADDRESS NEED FOR CYBER PROFESSIONALS
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A message from the president Eleven years ago, New York Times sportswriter Dave Caldwell wrote a story about our women’s hockey program, quoting then-star forward and 2006 Olympic gold medalist Meghan Agosta on why she chose to attend Mercyhurst: “I wanted to go to a school where I felt like I could fit in, where it is a family.”
And, yes, we are in good health. Construction is on schedule for our new sophomore residence hall, which will open I know that feeling resonates with all of us who live and work this fall. The new-andat Mercyhurst. We are an inclusive community that strives to be improved student compassionately hospitable. What I find particularly inspiring, though, union at Mercyhurst is how our graduates take that feeling with them long after they’ve left North East is an Mercyhurst. amazing space, and an equally spectacular As I write this letter, the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, interior design are underway, and Mercyhurst is excited to have three alumni and one project is underway in current student on Olympic ice: Ryan Zapolski for Team USA, Meghan Hammermill Library, Agosta and Bailey Bram for Team Canada, and Emma Nuutinen for Team where we are building Finland. You can read more about them inside these pages. a new cyber lab center and renovating the main floor. What you’ll see from the interviews with our three alumni is that each one of them seeks to excel, not so much for themselves as for the greater good; to inspire others; and to give of themselves through service – lessons learned, at least in part, from their Mercyhurst years. Could we ask for anything more?
I’d also like to recognize that our history department has a new benefactor and has been named in honor of Thomas B. Hagen, chair of Erie Insurance Group. Tom has generously given $1.5 million to Mercyhurst, a large part of which will support the university’s pursuits in the fields of history, specifically its ongoing academic partnership with the Erie Maritime Museum and the U.S. Brig Niagara. Tom, like so many of you, has become family to us and we are grateful for his support.
Besides these contemporary alumni vignettes, you’ll find flashbacks as members of the 50-year Class of 1968 recall what it was like on campus I hope you enjoy perusing our spring magazine, and I thank you for being during the turbulent ‘60s and share what they did after graduation. a part of the Mercyhurst family. Speaking of after graduation, check out the photo of alumni who now work at Mercyhurst. It’s amazing how large that network has become over the years. Until next time, Carpe Diem. We have also tried in this magazine to keep you abreast of changes. Provost and alumnus David Dausey will be leaving us to return to his native Pittsburgh where he will become provost at Duquesne University in July. Beloved athletic director Joe Kimball has retired, as has Mary Daly, seemingly the longest-serving employee in Mercyhurst history. Sister Lisa Mary McCartney, RSM, will step down from Cabinet as vice president for Michael T. Victor, J.D., LL.D. Mission Integration at the end of this year to transition to part-time status. President, Mercyhurst University I am grateful for the leadership, the commitment to Mercy, and the loyalty of these dedicated individuals. As always, our people are the common denominator in the health of our institution.
ON THE COVER: Ryan Zapolski ’11 tries out his Team USA gear after being named starting goalie for the American hockey team at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Joining him on the ice is his wife, Elizabeth Fisher Zapolski, also a 2011 Mercyhurst graduate.
Four 2018 Olympians with one thing in common: Mercyhurst University When the puck dropped at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Mercyhurst University was well represented on the ice. Four Lakers competed: Ryan Zapolski ’11 with Team USA; Meghan Agosta ‘11 and Bailey Bram ‘12 with Team Canada; and current student-athlete Emma Nuutinen with Team Finland. That Mercyhurst’s men’s and women’s ice hockey programs – and coaches Rick Gotkin and Mike Sisti – have produced Olympic-caliber athletes comes as no surprise to those familiar with the Lakers’ storied spirit of competition.
Ryan Zapolski ’11 When the National Hockey League (NHL) elected not to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, it opened the door for Zapolski, who played for Mercyhurst from 2007 to 2011 and now plays for Finland-based Jokerit in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He was named starting goaltender for Team USA. “For guys like me, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I think that is something that we will all use as motivation – to not let a chance like this go to waste,” he said after his selection. Zapolski got a late start in youth hockey, not in the crease until age 11. He went on to play at Erie’s Cathedral Preparatory School and then enrolled at Mercyhurst. After graduating, Zapolski started his pro career with the ECHL, where he became just the second player in history to be named Rookie of the Year, Goaltender of the Year, First Team All-Star and MVP in a single ECHL season. Determined to play at the highest level, he traveled overseas and was signed by the Finnish pro team Lukko, where he spent a couple seasons before jumping to Jokerit and leading the team to a 15-game win streak last year. Just before heading to South Korea, Zapolski spent a week in Erie with his family and continued his workouts at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. During a media event at the MIC, Erie Mayor Joseph Schember issued a proclamation in his honor and his alma mater retired the #35 jersey he wore during his playing days as a Laker. Ryan and his wife, Elizabeth Fisher, were high school sweethearts who attended Mercyhurst together, Ryan studying biology and Elizabeth marketing. They were married in Christ the King Chapel on Aug. 1, 2015. Zapolski summed up his feelings this way: “I am honored to have the chance to play for our great country and carry on such a strong hockey tradition. Being able to represent Erie and Mercyhurst is really special to me and I hope it can inspire future generations of kids to really believe in their goals and to never give up on your dreams!” Top: Young fans Sam Wilkosz, 4 (in goalie mask), and Ian Wilkosz, 2, were thrilled to meet Olympian Ryan Zapolski during a Mercyhurst visit. Bottom: Honoring Ryan Zapolski before his departure for South Korea are from left: Bill Flanagan and Father Scott Jabo of Cathedral Prep; Erie Mayor Joseph Schember; Zapolski; President Michael T. Victor; and Rick Gotkin, head men’s hockey coach.
Meghan Agosta ’11
Bailey Bram ’12
Meghan Agosta would appear to lead a charmed life. Everything she touches seems to turn to gold.
Bailey Bram remembers sitting in the hallway of Team Canada’s headquarters four years ago, waiting to hear if she had made the roster for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, only to learn she was out, the very last player cut.
Being named to Finland’s women’s ice hockey team for the 2018 Olympic Games was a mixed bag for Mercyhurst forward Emma Nuutinen. She was honored and excited to make the team, but disappointed that fellow Laker Vilma Tanskanen, her best friend since childhood, wouldn’t be joining her.
She already had her first Olympic gold medal when she arrived at Mercyhurst, where her career (2006-2011) was the stuff of legends: a four-time All-American, she finished her NCAA career as the leading scorer in Division 1 women's hockey history. She took a year off from her studies to train for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, where she won gold #2. After winning her third gold in Sochi, Agosta returned to campus in 2014 where fans lined up to meet her and check out her medals. This year she set her sights on a fourth gold medal in Pyeongchang, South Korea. In addition, she has experienced the rare opportunity of fulfilling both of her life’s passions: ice hockey and police work. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Mercyhurst and is a constable with the Vancouver Police Department. Balancing Olympic prep and working full time as a police officer isn’t easy, but Agosta squeezes in gym and ice time whenever she can. Since there is no women’s hockey program in Vancouver, she plays on the Valley West Hawks men’s team in the British Columbia Major Midget League and the Vancouver Police Men’s Hockey Team. She took a one-year leave of absence from the police force to train with Team Canada in Calgary. She said she was as enthusiastic about her fourth go-round at the Olympics as she was her first. “The Olympics never get old,” she said. “It’s always a new journey.” She isn’t yet calling this her last Olympics, although she turned 31 during the Games. “I want to inspire the younger generation to do something special with their lives,” she said, promising to continue the pursuit of her passions for as long as she can.
It was devastating. She took comfort in the support of her family, and then went off to play hockey in Sweden. “I needed to get away and heal,” she said. She also needed to do some real soul-searching on what to do next with her life. Ultimately, she decided to stick with hockey and try again for the Olympics.
The women, who grew up in Vantaa, Finland, played together in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, and both competed for a spot this year. Nuutinen was one of 23 women to make the roster; Tanskanen was named first alternate.
Fast-forward four years, waiting for the 2018 roster to be called: same place, same hope, same sick-to-your-stomach feeling. “I couldn’t even breathe,” said Bram.
Despite the fact that Nuutinen headed to Pyeongchang alone, she felt she was better prepared physically and mentally this year than she was four years ago, when she was only 17.
And then the verdict: Bailey Bram was in!
“Finland’s women’s hockey has taken big steps ahead in the past couple of years,” she said. “Competition to earn a spot for the Olympic team this year was very difficult and it demanded improving my speed on the ice. I worked a lot with my weaknesses and I’m happy that it paid off. I’m definitely a better player now than I was in 2014.”
“There were tears, lots of tears,” said the 27-yearold. “But I knew I was stronger mentally and physically this time around.” Bailey comes from a hockey family. Her dad, Bill, as head coach of the Eastman Female Selects AA team in Landmark, Manitoba, had an eye for talent. Ultimately seven of his eight kids would play the game, making the Brams one of the most famous hockey families in Manitoba. Bailey and her sister Shelby both played for Mercyhurst. Bram’s family life and her Mercy education also inspired her commitment to service. In Canada, she volunteers for a group called Classroom Champions, which connects underserved students with world-class mentors. As a mentor, she creates classroom video lessons on topics like healthy living, diversity and goal-setting. Part of her life’s purpose, she said, is to inspire others, especially those who have been through hard times. After all, she knows how it feels— that agony of defeat. But, she also knows, there’s always tomorrow. She is engaged. She just bought a new house. And, she’s finally part of Team Canada.
Nuutinen and Tanskanen came to Mercyhurst this academic year from the University of North Dakota, which eliminated its women’s ice hockey program, and both performed extremely well for the Lakers. Nuutinen said, “I’m more than happy that I found a new home at Mercyhurst. I made the decision to come here after my visit. I loved how small and pretty the campus was and everyone I met was very nice and friendly to me.” Nuutinen hopes to graduate with degrees in marketing and sport business, but said she’s not sure what career path she’ll pursue. For now, it’s all hockey.
Medal Update The women of Team Canada took the silver medal, losing in the gold-medal final to Team USA. Team Finland captured the women’s bronze medal. The men of Team USA fell to the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.
From left: Provost David Dausey, Thomas B. Hagen, President Michael Victor, Vice President Cal Pifer, Dean Leanne Roberts
Hurst christens Thomas B. Hagen History Department Thomas B. Hagen’s impact can be seen and felt all over Erie and around the state:
lifelong dedication to community development and historic preservation.
At Erie Insurance Group, Erie’s only Fortune 500 company, which he chairs;
Hagen recently gave Mercyhurst a $1.5 million gift, part of it earmarked to support the university’s pursuits in history, including its partnership with the Erie Maritime Museum and the U.S. Brig Niagara.
At the Historical Society of Erie County, which has designated its campus the Thomas B. Hagen History Center; At Preservation Pennsylvania, which presented him with its highest honor for historic preservation, the Otto Haas Award. And now at Mercyhurst as well. As of last fall, Mercyhurst’s history department is known as the Thomas B. Hagen Department of History. It’s a fitting tribute for a man best known for his
Every student who enters the Hagen History Department is fascinated by the past. And each will emerge with a strong background in history, in keeping with the traditions of a liberal arts education. Along the way, they can also opt to specialize in areas like education, public history, and soon documentary filmmaking.
Senior Andrew Gebauer spent fall term immersed in the study of medicine during the Civil War, working with primary sources created more than 150 years ago.
He borrowed a medical journal written in 1865 by the medical director of the Union Army through Inter Library Loan. Carefully turning pages turned brown and crusty with age, he learned not only how war injuries were treated, but also about lasting advances in medical care that resulted. He accessed digitized versions of other resources right on his computer.
“What sets us apart from other programs is the diversity of options and possibilities we offer our students,” says Department Chair Dr. John Olszowka. “We simply facilitate pathways that allow them to grow into the career they wish to pursue.” Whatever they focus on, he adds, the skills they learn – conducting thorough research; analyzing and weighing facts; and presenting sound and eloquent conclusions both orally and in writing – will serve them well in any career they choose. Here’s a snapshot of some of the options available in the history department.
“Most people have heard gruesome stories about battlefield amputations without anesthesia,” he says. “I want them to understand that yes, it was gruesome, but so many medical advances came out of it.” Andrew presented his paper – “From Bull Run to Petersburg: The Story of the Union Medical System and Its Lasting Effects” – in January at a conference of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society, in New Orleans.
In August 2017, Mercyhurst announced that it had become an “Official University Partner” of the U.S. Brig Niagara. Just months earlier, seven Hurst students enjoyed a journey of a lifetime, setting sail for two weeks on the reconstructed replica of the 19th century warship that sailed and fought during the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie. Nine students are already registered to make the trip this summer, and it’s expected to become an annual offering.
Students in Mercyhurst’s Public History program are front and center in efforts to document Erie’s past and widely share the stories uncovered. Dr. Chris Magoc, who started the Public History program in 2003, says his students’ senior projects often live on long after they’ve graduated. Just a few examples: •
“You Are Here, We Are Here: A Portrait of Erie’s Historic Eastside Multicultural Community.” Students partnered with the Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network to help transform the image of Erie’s east side. Erie Insurance underwrote production of a booklet describing the cross-cultural diversity of the area, and other grants will allow students to expand the effort with oral history interviews, photos and more. A comprehensive inventory of 31,000 historic buildings in Erie County, begun by Steve Bukowski ’12, who photographed and documented 500 properties in the city. In 2014 Bukowski’s senior project became the basis for the production of the Erie County Cultural Heritage Plan (adopted in 2017), and four other public history students worked on parts of the inventory and plan. “African Americans in Erie County: A Heritage Trail.” Adriana Houseman ‘11 researched and produced a driving tour of 22 sites related to the rich history of African Americans in the Erie region. Now, thanks to a grant from Erie Arts and Culture, current students will work with a team of community historians to publish an illustrated brochure and create a website featuring oral histories and additional information about the sites.
The students will enroll in Professor Ben Scharff’s course on the history of the Great Lakes, which covers everything from the native peoples who inhabited the region to its pivotal role in the War of 1812 to its current post-industrial condition. But for students the highlight is living aboard the Niagara and learning traditional seafaring skills from professional crew members.
home for retired veterans since her freshman year. Her film covers the history of the home since its founding in 1836, and includes interviews with residents, employees and others with a personal connection to the home.
Sydney Van Leeuwen knew she wanted to combine her love of history with documentary filmmaking. So she created her own contract minor by combining courses in history, communication, photography and art. It was so successful that it’s become the prototype for a regular documentary filmmaking concentration proposed for next fall. In the meantime, Sydney’s wrapping up her senior project: a documentary on Erie’s Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Home. The topic was a natural, since she’d been volunteering at the
Keven Gregg ’12 ‘13M was one of the first students to complete Mercyhurst’s innovative 4 + 1 program, earning both an undergraduate degree in history and a master’s degree in secondary education in just five years. “This program seemed like a no-brainer to me,” he says. “I could get my graduate degree at a discounted price before even starting my career, so once I started teaching I wouldn’t have to worry about ‘going back to school.’”
Sydney was also the first Mercyhurst student named a “Historical Scholar” by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, one of just 15 in the nation chosen to enjoy a week in New York City attending seminars and lectures and touring historic sites. Dr. Averill Earls, the newest member of the Hagen History Department faculty, will shepherd the filmmaking program. Last spring, students in her Digital History: Storytelling class used the popular new medium of podcasts to tell historical stories. The first series, titled “Hurstories,” covered topics like Mercyhurst and its assorted hauntings, shipbuilding in the Erie harbor, Erie County & the Civil War, building the Erie Canal, and smuggling around Lake Erie. (Check them out at hurstories.podbean.com.) Now a social studies teacher in Mooresville, North Carolina, he says the program prepared him well. “Being a history major allowed me to take a lot of high-level history courses with great professors, do in-depth research and writing, and generally learn to act as a historian in addition to being a teacher,” he explains. “I like to think of myself as a historian who teaches rather than a teacher who happens to know history.” Keven is currently teaching world history, AP U.S. Government & Politics, and AP European History, a course he redesigned for the school. He’s also the head cross country coach, assistant coach for the track & field team, the world history team lead, and a senior project advisor. 5
The man behind Mercyhurst’s new architectural footprint By Deborah W. Morton
From the farthest reaches of campus – the Interior Architecture & Design Department on Wayne Street – came a virtual unknown in instructor Keyman Asefi who, since discovered, has taken one bold step after another in transforming Mercyhurst’s architectural footprint.
talented faculty, there had to be someone whose mind he could pick. So, he reached out to Kathy Weidenboerner, chair of the Interior Architecture & Design Department. She recommended Asefi, who helped Myron tweak what would later become the trendy Grotto Commons.
His first blip on the college community’s radar came with the renovation of the student union at Mercyhurst North East. His quirky design elicited universal oohs and ahhs. (See photos at right.) Then, Cal Pifer, vice president for external relations and advancement, plucked Asefi from the classroom to design two more projects, both in the library: on the ground floor, a cyber security lab and Network Operations Center; and on the main floor, a complete overhaul of the lobby and surrounding study spaces, including the Ridge Reading Room.
Asefi grew up in Tehran, the son of a developer who built houses for quick sale. Even then, Asefi yearned to put his mark on the spaces, so he went off to study and later work in Southeast Asia, eventually making his way to the United States to learn firsthand about American architecture. He has been an instructor at Mercyhurst since 2015.
What’s not widely known is just how Asefi came to be tapped for these jobs. Enter David Myron, vice president for finance and administration.
In dedicating the MNE student union last fall, Mercyhurst President Michael Victor told the assembled crowd: “I have been through a fair number of building projects in my lifetime, and I can honestly say this is the first one to completely exceed my expectations.”
Myron began his Mercyhurst tenure nearly three years ago as renovations were underway in Egan dining hall. He felt something was missing; more open spaces were needed, not to mention some accouterments to add personality. Certainly among Mercyhurst’s 6
He says Mercyhurst’s leaders, like him, think outside the box and are open to innovative design ideas.
Asefi explained his vision: “I tried to shape an environment on multiple levels where students could hang out together, or be on their own;
a place where they could feel motivated and creative. The design features random platforms where you can sit or stretch out. There’s minigolf and other games. There’s custom-built study pods where you can be alone. I used vibrant colors and floor-to-ceiling glass that lets in lots of natural light, and there’s green turf on the walls to absorb sound.” The reception to Asefi’s work at North East is universal. “When working with Keyman, it’s clear that you’re working with someone who is a visionary and someone who can see and use space as an expansive design element,” said MNE Vice President Dave Hyland. “Keyman has created something truly unique that our students use every day, can see as an extension of themselves, and about which they feel very proud. All of us at Mercyhurst North East are overjoyed with what Keyman designed for us.” After witnessing the eye-popping transformation of the union, Pifer was determined not to settle for less with the library projects. With the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences committing heavily to expansion in areas of cyber security
and data analytics, the new lab and operations center, funded by a $1 million investment from nationally technology company MCPc, had to be nothing short of sublime. He had a comrade in Asefi, who believes our surroundings affect the way we think. “You can’t teach creativity in a non-creative environment,” Asefi said. “You have to practice in an innovative space. The spaces where you work or study have an impact on you. If our goal is to send students out into the cyber security world, why not bring real-work operations into our space here? Why not give our students that kind of experience?” Asefi’s plans (see sketches at left) call for clean lines and sharp, often unexpected, angles. Perhaps most striking is the entrance, where strips of built-in LED lights span the deep blue walls to create striking patterns. And don’t expect all walls and ceilings to meet at standard right angles. TVs, monitors, clocks and lights don’t hang on the white aluminum paneled walls – they’re built in. Everything in the lab is custom-designed and specially built.
The new facilities are expected to open sometime in the spring. Asefi’s next charge, meanwhile, is to design the main floor renovation, made possible through a $500,000 gift from alumna and retired Trustee Ellen Ryan and her husband, David. The details are still being finalized, but Director of University Libraries Darci Jones says the library is a place where tradition meets technology. The main floor design includes efficiency initiatives and more learning spaces, a modernized circulation desk, a technology assistance area, an updated writing center and tutoring services area, upgraded offices and much more. Two gifts, $250,000 each from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation and the Arnold D. Palmer 2003 Charitable Trust, will make possible construction of the Ridge Reading Room to enhance the Thomas J. and Michele Ridge Collection. (See related story on the Palmer gift, page 20.)
Celebrating the opening of the new MNE Student Union (from left): Morgan Barksdale, fall student government president; Trustee Christina Marsh; Vice President David Myron; Director of Student Life Michelle Simpson; President Michael Victor; Vice President David Hyland; designer Keyman Asefi; Provost David Dausey; Deacon Raymond Sobina; and De’Martaz Turner, fall student government vice president
At the start of their sophomore year, members of the Class of 1968 witnessed groundbreaking for a second academic building (Zurn Hall of Science and Fine Arts, which would open during their senior year). Pictured during the ceremony: Student Government President Carole Stoiber (Napolitano) ‘66; Sister Carolyn Herrmann, RSM, president; Sister Mary Clare McWilliams, RSM, general superior of the Sisters of Mercy in Erie; Erie Congressman Joseph Vigorito; Father William Beibel, Mercyhurst chaplain; Msgr. Homer DeWalt, Erie Diocesan Schools Superintendent; Erie Mayor Charles Williamson; and Carl Lechner, MD, president of Mercyhurst’s Advisory Board.
Class of 1968 recalls change-filled years at Hurst Twice in the weeks leading up to their June 2 graduation, members of the Class of 1968 gathered in front of Old Main to carry on traditions that dated to the college’s earliest years. Senior Kathy Fitzgerald crowned the statue of Our Lady during the Mary’s Day celebration. And on Lantern Day, the graduating women dressed in white and launched small sailboats into a pond to symbolize their departure from college into the world beyond Mercyhurst’s gates. It was apparently the last time either of those ceremonies was held – a fitting reminder of the unique experience of this transitional class. When they arrived in 1964, life at Mercyhurst was little different than it had been during the ‘40s and ‘50s. By the time they graduated, the waves of change that were rolling across the nation were being felt on campus as well. The biggest change – coeducation – wouldn’t happen until after they left. But they were there: 8
When Sister Carolyn Herrmann set out to create a Blueprint for the college’s future.
When Barry McAndrew, Bill Bryan, John Lincourt, Igor Stalsky and other men joined the faculty.
When male students from Gannon started taking classes here.
When the Sisters of Mercy gave up their “in loco parentis” role and rules were loosened.
When the trimester system and intersession were introduced.
When Zurn Hall was built.
As the Class of 1968 gets ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer, we invited a number of graduates to reminisce about their time at Mercyhurst during the tumultuous ‘60s.
Freshman year “During orientation week we were assigned a ‘big sister’ from the junior class who had the responsibility of looking out for us and teaching us about campus life. These juniors gave us funny initiations that included wearing a sign with a made-up name to classes the first week. My name was Moof—and it has stuck till this day!” - Linda Salem Burtis “My freshman year was still very traditional – and somewhat innocent, as I remember. The Sisters lived with us in the dorms as Deans of Residence. During the week, we were required to be in our dorms by 7:30 p.m. We had quiet hours every night until 9:30, lights out at 11 p.m. I always had an 8 a.m. class! On the weekends, we could have one 10:30 p.m. night, and one 12:30 a.m. night – Friday or Saturday. One of the sisters was always on the desk to check us in and out!” - Paula Blood Pitts
“The dress code pontificated no shorts or jeans (not even on cold, snowy days. Burr-rr, those winters in skirts!); however, ‘slacks and Bermuda shorts and kilts may be worn at picnics, hayrides, or by decorating committees and stage-craft crews in carrying out their work. Sneakers may not be worn on Sundays unless…for a picnic or tennis.’ Evening meals were dress-up, family style affairs served by waitresses like yours truly.” Shirley Miller Schilling “I just remember always wearing kilts and knee socks, Weejun loafers, matching skirts and sweater sets and blouses with Peter Pan collars with circle pins or button-down shirts. Of course we were never allowed to wear pants on campus. When we had any activity of importance in the chapel we wore academic attire and white gloves.” - Jane Carney “Those first weeks we had to wear nylons and skirts or dresses. It was like wearing a uniform again, but we got to change each day. We couldn’t wear pants until junior or senior year – whatever the temperature was.” - Marlene DiTullio Mosco “At exactly 6 p.m. we (student workers) organized platters of meat, vegetables and potatoes onto large trays, held these heavy trays one-handed on our shoulders, and lined up in the kitchen. A bell was rung, we came out in a line and began serving dinner. We then stood at our stations on the side of the dining hall waiting to clear plates and bring out dessert. Describing this scene now makes it sound as if Mercyhurst was a finishing school for wealthy girls!” - Linda Salem Burtis
Paula Blood Pitts Paula married Tom Pitts just 13 days after her graduation, so she’ll be celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary as well as her 50th class reunion this June. They met on a train returning from the 1965 World’s Fair in Flushing, New York, and traveled back and forth between St. Bonaventure University and the Hurst for the rest of their college years. Certified as a secondary science teacher, Paula taught middle school life science in Rome, New York. After a break to raise three children, she returned to work teaching high school science and finished her career as a high school computer lab supervisor. Over the last 50 years, she also learned to quilt, has been active in whatever parish she has belonged to, and now does volunteer work at her local library in Queechee, Vermont. None of her children attended Mercyhurst, but she’s part of a big Laker family: two of her sisters, a brother-in-law, two nieces and a nephew have all attended the Hurst.
“Dress was always skirts or dresses—no slacks. We still dressed up to leave campus—coats, heels, gloves—they had loosened up on the ‘hat’ rule! We still had room checks on Friday afternoon, and there was a demerit system, and one could be ‘campus-ed.’” - Paula Blood Pitts “Social life was gathering with a group of friends in the suites set aside for that and singing Joan Baez songs while some of the girls played their guitars. There were also Gannon socials - Mixers - on the weekends where you could go and meet guys and dance (and pray you weren't a wallflower!). As far as political issues we were pretty sheltered. I rarely watched TV but we knew the Vietnam War was going on and we sang all the great songs of protest - songs from Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan.” - Maureen Milan Carroll “For those who didn’t date or care to date, fun was had on campus: sledding down the Grotto’s hills, over the mounds of snow, trying not to hit a tree or break a leg (Oops, someone didn’t get that memo!) or raiding the cafeteria’s fridge in Egan Hall. There were also ‘sing-a-longs’ with those girls who played their guitars. Card games went on day and night.” - Shirley Miller Schilling
Linda Salem Burtis Within three years after graduating from Mercyhurst, Linda Salem had met her husband, David Burtis, in New York City, gotten an MSW from Rutgers University, and become a mother of two daughters. Her working life since then has been varied. She has been an award-winning environmental reporter; a nationally ranked tennis player who ran a large tennis academy; and, since 2000, has worked in the field of wind and solar energy. “I love this green work and have no plans to retire,” she says. Linda is a peace and environmental activist who has organized a local nuclear freeze march and started several grassroots groups that mobilized her town to keep drinking water clean and minimize air pollution. She and David also enjoy long-distance trekking and have walked several classic routes, including the Tour du Mt. Blanc, which circles Europe’s highest mountain.
Life as a commuter “Being a day student never bothered me because right from the beginning I chose to get involved in things. I loved the dorm students and had a lot of fun with them.” Jeanne Keim Phillips
Mary Patalon Schaaf An elementary education major with a focus in math and science, Mary started teaching even before officially graduating from Mercyhurst. She went on to earn a master’s degree in school administration from Edinboro University, but fate intervened in 1977 in what she calls a “seize-theday moment.” When Merrill Lynch decided to open a branch office in Erie, she applied and was hired, launching a 30+year career in the then-male-dominated world of financial advising. After a stint on Wall Street, she came home to Erie, eventually teaming up with the second woman hired here – Craige Pepper Victor – to run educational seminars for women, combining elements of her two careers. Mary was honored several times by Merrill Lynch as one of the top female financial advisors in the nation. After retiring from Merrill Lynch, she was recruited to run for public office and is now in her second term as Erie County Controller, responsible for protecting taxpayer dollars. Mary has one son and two grandchildren.
“In our class, the residents kiddingly called us dirty old day hops and we retaliated by calling them dirty old dorm students. We really did get along very well with each other and I always felt like we were a very close class. We had a lot of laughs and made some lifelong friends.” - Jane Carney “I didn’t have those dorm experiences and rules and regulations of the nuns that the resident students did, but I probably spent more time on campus than most commuters because I was in the work-study program. We played a lot of pinochle in the day hop lounge in the basement of Old Main. There were Gannon dances every Friday night.” – Mary Patalon Schaaf “During my first week of school I met another day hop who dragged me to the college bulletin board on the second floor of Old Main (this is where we all left notes for each other and you checked it every day). She signed me up for everything. Because of that I got to know so many girls from all different classes and really felt a part of college life, even though I was a dirty old day hop! I thank Georgina Cantoni for that.” - Jane Carney “We had a ‘day hop’ lounge that was located on the lower level of Old Main. We would meet there to discuss the day’s classes, socialize, or some played cards there. Another gathering spot where some of the Erie girls would meet for lunch was in a snack bar in McAuley Dorm. It was here that friendships were formed and those friends have remained some of my closest friends today.” - Gretchen Hinz Brugger
was a wonderful mentor and friend and teacher to me. Sr. Mary Charles, Sr. Mary Matthew, all the faculty gave me the confidence to pursue my seize-the-day moments.” – Mary Patalon Schaaf “I am confident that the influx of male instructors was due to the impending change to coed. I did enjoy the perspective that the male professors brought to our learning environment. I believe it created an atmosphere that challenged our learning in a positive way.” Stephanie Lucas Basile “I was an El Ed major and had the ‘luck of the Irish’ to be taught by the best: Dr. Garvey, Dr. Bryan, Mr. Lincourt, Mr. McAndrew, Sister Matthew among others. Through my life I have thought of them, been mindful of what they taught and tried to incorporate their teachings in my life.” - Peggy Meagher Pietraszek “I had such knowledgeable teachers and when I think of how many of them were Ph.D.s and not graduate assistants like in the bigger schools, I feel I really benefited from their experience and knowledge. Mother Eustace was head of the English department and my major professor. When I started as a freshman I was scared to death of her but I came to really like and admire her. She was just so smart and knew so much plus she was a very compassionate person.” Jane Carney
Jeanne Keim Phillips At one point, Jeanne was one of three Keim girls at Mercyhurst. After teaching for a year in Millcreek, Jeanne married her high school sweetheart, Carmen Phillips. When he finished his military service, they returned to Erie and she taught again in Millcreek until taking a break to raise her three children. She returned to teaching part time as a math teacher with the Intermediate Unit, assigned to St. Luke School, for 17 years before taking a full-time job with the Erie School District. She loved teaching and stayed until retiring five years ago. Now she’s an active volunteer with Blessed Sacrament Church and School and walks four miles every day with a group of friends. Carmen is also retired and they enjoy traveling to visit their seven grandchildren. Jeanne served so long and well on the Mercyhurst Alumni Association board that she earned emeritus status and this year will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award for service to Mercyhurst.
Faculty memories “Sister Carolyn hired several young male professors at the beginning of our freshman year. They had newly minted graduate degrees, were just married and began their academic careers at Mercyhurst. They were enthusiastic, their lectures were riveting and their energy created a great vibe throughout campus.” - Linda Salem Burtis “Bill Garvey and Dick Kubiak really influenced my career. I was honored to participate in Bill Garvey’s final publication on Erie’s Mayors.” – Sue Sutto “Through the work-study program, I was assistant to Sister Angelica, which opened up the world of art to me. I was Dr. Garvey’s secretary. My mentor was Sister Mary Celine, who basically invented a precursor to computer language. She 10
Gretchen Hinz Brugger Gretchen graduated with a degree in Home Economics education and began teaching at Venango Christian in Oil City, Pennsylvania. After her first year of teaching, she married John Brugger and then taught at McDowell High School. She became a stay-at-home mom while raising three children. When her youngest was in high school she returned to work part time as a grocery store home economist, supervising and planning fundraising dinners for organizations. Now she spends retirement traveling with her husband, playing bridge, volunteering at her parish, and attending the sporting events of her eight grandchildren.
“My major was history with emphasis on American History. The three who taught my history classes were Sister Loretta, Dr. Garvey, and Mr. Kubiak. Each brought a very unique teaching style to the classroom. And each had a very different approach to teaching. All three of them had a profound impact on my Mercyhurst experience.” - Stephanie Lucas Basile “I loved Barbara Weigert, who was in charge of the education program. Barry McAndrew was wonderful in English and Sister Mary Matthew, she was a gem. Dr. Bryan, Dr. Lincourt, Barry all came at the same time. That was exciting.” Jeanne Keim Phillips “Of all my teachers, Sister Mary Charles and Dr. Haas (who was from Austria, but taught Spanish) stand out the most. Sister Charles was brilliant, kind, and patient. She was my chemistry teacher. If it weren’t for Dr. Haas being a sponsor for the American Student International Service, I would never have thought of going to Europe after freshman year, much less staying there to live and work both in Switzerland at different resorts and then in Copenhagen, Denmark.” - Shirley Miller Schilling “Many of us took Dr. Donatelli's Aristotle class during intersession so we wouldn't have such a load during our last term. It turned out to be one of my most memorable classes. Aristotle's philosophy intertwined with Dr. D's philosophy of life really impacted me. To this day, I still think about the things I learned in this class.” Jane Carney “I dealt with Sister Carolyn because of being a class officer and on student council. She was a wonderful, very charismatic, very caring person, but very soft-spoken. She didn’t need to raise her voice. Sister Carolyn was a presence that was always absolutely respected.” - Jeanne Keim Phillips
Change comes to campus “I don't remember really being aware of too many changes during my first few years on the hill. Of course it was during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights marches and we were aware of and interested in all those issues but we were also wrapped up in our own little world of college life...at least I was. Life really changed senior year. The calendar changed, Zurn opened, and I went out to student teach. We now had intersession and left school at Christmas and didn't have to be back until the end of January. The opening of Zurn made me feel like I was in a big school. I had to go between TWO buildings for classes and had to leave notes for classmates on TWO bulletin boards now. What confusion.” - Jane Carney “The campus was a sheltered and very ‘town and gown’ place during our first two years. I spent little time beyond the gates at the bottom of the hill except for weekend mixers or basketball games at Gannon and occasional shopping excursions into Erie. By junior year, those gates opened, literally and figuratively. This was due both to Sister Carolyn’s visionary leadership and the hyper ’60s world outside which had finally reached Mercyhurst. For the first time, we were allowed to take classes at Gannon. The college bought the Baldwin apartments and juniors and seniors didn’t have to live in the dorms—we could now live in apartments with kitchens. This gave us freedom to come and go without curfews and without the sisters around to monitor us when our boyfriends came by.” - Linda Salem Burtis “I think 1968 was the beginning of what Mercyhurst is today. We saw Zurn Hall built for our senior year, more male faculty, a very few male students taking courses—though they were not matriculated at Mercyhurst, and the Sisters went from their old traditional habits to a more modified version. I thought they looked GREAT! It was a feeling of moving toward a new and modern beginning.” - Paula Blood Pitts
Stephanie Lucas Basile Stephanie married Dennis Christenson and they raised four children before his death in 2006. In 2012, she met and married another amazing man – George Basile. Since graduating, she’s been a news reporter, a facilitator, a trainer, a community education coordinator for a school district in Kentucky, a consultant in community education for the Kentucky Department of Education, a Girl Scout leader, a Band Booster President, a political activist, a magazine editor and story editor, and a CCD teacher and coordinator. She’s currently a writer, editor, proofreader and voice actor (with her own business, Edit Perfect/Voice Perfect). Active in her parish church, she also graduated from an intense three-year Church Ministry Institute sponsored by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Basiles traveled across Croatia three years ago to explore the villages where her grandparents grew up.
Peggy Meagher Pietraszek Margaret “Peggy” Meagher Pietraszek earned her degree in elementary education and served as editor of the Praeterita yearbook. She also holds a master’s degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Now retired, she was formerly a teacher and team leader in the Millcreek School District and Libertyville (Illinois) School District. She taught English in Tokyo and was a member of the board of directors for the American School in Japan for four years. She and her husband, Henry, spend summers in Chicago and winters in Naples, Florida. She now serves as a Mercyhurst Trustee, carrying on her parents’ long association with the school. Her father, the late Erie newsman Joseph E. Meagher, was among the first lay advisory board members at Mercyhurst, and her mother, Marie, was a member of the original Carpe Diem Society.
“When I was at Mercyhurst, Pope John XXIII opened all the doors and windows of a stuffy church and we saw changes all around us, not just at Mercyhurst, but in our local parishes as well. Mass with guitars and folk music.... religious in regular clothes....” - Georgina Cantoni “We were that transition class. It was a good transition. We were growing up, school was changing, all for the better. We were a little more of a change agent class.” - Marlene DiTullio Mosco “The Vietnam War did bring a kind of expansion of life to the campus. Girls had friends and relatives being drafted so awareness became much more intense. Vatican II was concluding and the changes brought by the decisions in Rome affected some of the practices we had been used to. One I remember in particular was that we no longer needed to wear a head covering to go into chapel. Another major change from Vatican II was that some of the nuns chose to wear ‘street’ clothes, rather than the traditional habit.” - Stephanie Lucas Basile “Political issues became huge then. I didn’t go to march at Selma, but I would go to rallies here in Erie. I remember going to Shiloh Baptist Church in one class for a rally for civil rights. Vietnam was such a big thing, students were involved in protests, and it was very
Georgina Cantoni Georgina – who edited the Praeterita yearbook in 1967 and took photos for the Merciad newspaper – began her career as a reporter for the Erie Morning News and did freelance writing and public relations in the Erie area, then moved to Dallas as a writer/editor for the National Center of the American Heart Association. Completely switching fields, she later earned a graduate degree in geology. She put her newly acquired math and science knowledge to work as a technical writer and, after working for several years with a small high-tech startup company, opened her own small consulting firm. She eventually focused on usability analysis and business analysis. Now retired, she lives in Duluth, Minnesota, where she volunteers with the local animal shelter and food bank and is a Bear Educator for the North American Bear Center. She married Jheri McMillan in 2010.
much a part of our discussions – should we be there?” - Jeanne Keim Phillips
Going coed While class members now applaud the decision to admit men to Mercyhurst, several acknowledge they’re glad the change didn’t come until after they’d left. “Attending an all-girls school was important—I had discovered that the learning environment with other women was very appealing—and, the sisters KNEW that! Their focus on educating women was inspiring! I had no objection to going coed— but, then I didn’t have to attend classes with the men. I did feel, though, that it needed to happen for Mercyhurst to survive—I’m glad it did happen.” - Paula Blood Pitts “I was supremely glad it happened the semester after I graduated. There were approximately 700 women on campus and it was a small and close-knit family. We all knew financially that men would have to be admitted to sustain any growth and despite the fact that most of us were against it, we all felt it had to be.” - Maureen Milan Carroll “Overall, Sister Carolyn and Dr. Garvey possessed the foresight to repave the direction of Mercyhurst from a ‘prim and proper’ all-girls college to one that was
Marlene DiTullio Mosco Marlene was one of the first Mercyhurst women to take courses at Gannon. She was interested in a business career, but didn’t want to teach, so she went downtown for courses in economics and business management. After graduation, she became a training director at a hometown bank where she later moved up to director of marketing and public relations. For 30 years she steadily climbed the corporate ladder, survived the merger of two financial institutions, and in 1998 was named the first female regional president of PNC Bank. She had been elected a trustee of her alma mater three years earlier and made board history as the first graduate of Mercyhurst elected chair of the board. Retired now after 47 years at PNC and 25 years on the Mercyhurst board, she’s enjoying her young grandson. (Both daughter Emily and son-in-law Bob Merski are Mercyhurst graduates.) Her husband, Homer Mosco, runs the travel agency they own.
Maureen Milan Carroll Maureen worked as a dental assistant before she and husband Doug welcomed three daughters and she became a stay-at-home mom. In 1986 she opened her own business as a title abstractor/recorder, where she’s still working 32 years later. She was also a hospice caregiver for several years. She and Doug were married for 44 years before his death. Maureen credits Sister Loretta McHale for bringing them together. When Maureen and Stephanie Lucas Basile visited Washington, D.C., Sister Loretta urged them to look up alumna Bonnie McGough. Bonnie couldn’t meet them, but she did set them up with blind dates. “A little bit of panic ensued when we realized we would not be going together,” Maureen recalls, “but we figured there was no way Sister Loretta would have steered us wrong on Bonnie! So we went out and met two great guys. The funny part is I never met Bonnie to thank her until three months after Doug and I were married.”
coed. Personally, l felt the all-girl atmosphere was more conducive to study, creativity, and development of character. Practically, there was a need to change in order to survive (note Villa).” - Shirley Miller Schilling “Men and women working together, that’s life, it’s the way things are. I was never a proponent of single-sex school – the world isn’t built that way. There’s no chance we would have ever survived without becoming coed. Male students brought sports and different things that helped build the school and make it profitable.” - Marlene DiTullio Mosco
Mercyhurst’s impact Looking back 50 years after graduation, the students interviewed all agreed about the impact of their Mercyhurst educations.
Jane Carney Jane started teaching in the inner-city Erie junior high school where she had done her student teaching. She had worked in the Children’s Room at the Erie Public Library all through college, so when she was ready for new challenges, she earned a master’s degree in library science at the University of Pittsburgh. She accepted a position as a middle school librarian at Westlake Middle School in Millcreek Township, where she worked until retiring in 2005. As much as she loved her years at Westlake, she is also enjoying retirement, which offers freedom and the chance to spend time with family, volunteer, exercise, travel and just socialize with friends.
“Mercyhurst gave me a “seize-the-day” mentality. I like having challenges in my life and rising to the occasion. I also realized that I should not be intimidated as a woman in a male-dominated industry. I got that from my background at Mercyhurst. They convinced us we could do anything.” – Mary Patalon Schaaf “My lifelong friends were made at Mercyhurst. From college to 50 years later I consider the women I became friends with while I attended college are still today my best friends. I’m not sure I would have had as fulfilling a life if it weren’t for the intellectual stimulus I received at Mercyhurst. We are so lucky to be part of this outstanding institution of higher learning.” – Sue Sutto “About a year or so after I moved to Dallas, I realized what an extraordinary education I had. First, in the Erie Public Schools and then at Mercyhurst. The Erie schools gave me a solid
foundation. Probably the most important thing that I learned at Mercyhurst is that you can continue to learn...that there are all kinds of different ideas out there. We learn about them through the arts, through literature, through history, as well as science. Moving to a different place from where I grew up required that I listen to and learn of a different perspective. And yet, not to be lost. To be able to evaluate those different ideas. The values I have from my family, my community, and Mercyhurst have been a beacon for me. So important, especially now when we are inundated with many messages and many lies.” - Georgina Cantoni “I think the education at Mercyhurst prepared me to be more socially conscious and to hold the values I learned there in high regard and try to pass them on to my children and grandchildren. The value of integrity - doing the right thing when no one is watching; being loyal - I still have the same group of lifelong friends from college; being civil - you can agree to disagree without acrimony; and being a lady and upholding the principles of Mercyhurst's founder Mother Borgia Egan who had a vision for the college and the women who attended that they would contribute to their families, communities and the world by their actions.” Maureen Milan Carroll “My Mercyhurst education impacted my life by propelling me to enjoy adventure, to look for the good in everyone, to maintain contact with and cherish family and friends near and far, but most importantly to stay true to my belief in the power of God and His saving graces through our Lord Jesus Christ and to honor His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. I think that the education at Mercyhurst challenged us young women at a time when women were ‘behind the scenes’ to become lady-like, yet resourceful, creative, knowledgeable, adventurous,
Shirley Miller Schilling After about a year of teaching in Ohio, Shirley ventured to Europe, landing a job at a school for children of U.S. military personnel in Bindlach, Germany. There she also met and married Sgt. Robert Schilling. Back home in St. Joseph, Missouri, she was a stay-at-home mom for 15 years while she and Bob raised six kids. When her youngest was 6, she became a Mary Kay consultant. She also was a substitute teacher, took graduate courses to become certified in Missouri, and even worked nights for the U.S. Postal Service. She says, “Then, lo and behold, I ended up in prison!” For more than 23 years, she’s been teaching at a medium-high security men’s prison. Shirley and Bob travel annually to Jamaica, where they help sponsor an impoverished country school called Broughton Primary in Little London. They take along clothing, school supplies, and cash to meet some of the school’s bigger needs.
compassionate, courageous and responsible, daring us to step out of our comfort zone to make our world a better place, and be strong in the faith of knowing there is a higher power.” - Shirley Miller Schilling “The impact that Mercyhurst has had on my life has been immense. The liberal arts education that I was given taught me how to solve problems, think outside of the box, be an active citizen, and live my Catholic faith fully.” - Stephanie Lucas Basile “In my years at Mercyhurst, there was a major presence of the Sisters of Mercy. Many were teachers or participated in activities with the students. Always aware of their mission to serving others, the sisters exemplified this in teaching social values and leadership in the world. I so love the fact that the Mercy tradition is evident in today’s environment. What the students learn from Mercy values will serve them well in their lives, just as it did in my time.” - Peggy Meagher Pietraszek “I think I matured at Mercyhurst. Besides the excellent education I received, I was encouraged to be open to new ideas. I learned about leadership and having a social conscience. I developed lifelong friendships and in addition to all of this had fun and now have a storehouse of many wonderful memories. Most importantly I learned about tolerance and accepting ideas and others different from me. Something that I have tried to practice throughout life. I thank college and Mercyhurst for that.” - Jane Carney “In one of my book clubs we just recently read the book The Outliers whose premise is that no one is self-made. We are who we are because of the people, places, and events which have impacted our lives. Mercyhurst has to be one of those places for me. It certainly played a role in making me the person I am today. I am grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of the Hurst family.” - Jane Carney “God brings people and encounters into one’s life for a number of special reasons. There is no ‘by accident.’ If we had made different decisions, like not choosing to attend Mercyhurst, our lives would have been different physically, mentally, spiritually, and morally.” - Shirley Miller Schilling 14
Sue Sutto Sue had been teaching history in Erie for just a few years when a golf game with legendary Erie real estate Broker Jane Theuerkauf, a former Mercyhurst Trustee, sent her into a new career path. Theuerkauf suggested that Sue would be good at selling real estate. She took the offered job, excelled at it, and eventually opened her own firm, Sue Sutto Realtors Inc. She retired in 2014 after a very successful 42year career in the field. Along the way, she served as president of the Greater Erie Board of Realtors and was named “REALTOR of the Year” in 1990. She served on community boards, too, including the Erie County Convention Center Authority, St. Mary’s Home, EmergyCare, the Erie Cemetery Association and the Kahkwa Club. Retirement has allowed her to play more golf and spend more time in Florida.
Members of the committee planning the 50th reunion for the Class of 1968 include (standing, from left) Jeanne Keim Phillips, Nancy Ketchel Bennett and Jane Carney; (seated, from left) Mary Anne Zeitler, Stephanie Lucas Basile and Peggy Meagher Pietraszek. Not present for the photo: Sue Sutto, Mary Patalon Schaaf, Jean Jacob Kamats, Marlene DiTullio Mosco, Gretchen Hinz Brugger and Shirley Miller Schilling.
Class members: If you haven’t yet made plans to attend the June 8-10 reunion, it’s not too late. To register, use the form sent to you by mail or contact Lindsay Frank, director of alumni engagement, at 814-824-2330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remarkable woman led Mercyhurst through tumultuous ‘60s Sister Carolyn Herrmann It’s been said that Sister Carolyn Herrmann was exactly the leader Mercyhurst College needed to guide it through the 1960s, a period of significant change in the world and on The Hill. But even Sister Carolyn wasn’t quite sure how she got that assignment. In the early 1990s, she told oral historian Larie Pintea, “I don’t know why I was chosen rather than someone else. I don’t know at all what moved her to select me.” The “her” she referred to was Sister Loretta McHale, the history professor who automatically became Mercyhurst’s president in 1960 when she was elected Mother Superior of the Sisters of Mercy. But Sister Loretta realized she was going to need help, since the Sisters were also getting ready to build a new motherhouse and high school on the hill south of campus. So she tapped Sister Carolyn, then a chemistry professor, to become the college’s first executive vice president. “She must have recognized potential for leadership. She never told me that. I suppose she saw strength of character, of conviction, ability to persuade, to lead other people. She knew I was well read. She knew I was not just a chemist, but also interested in sociology and psychology and philosophy and theology and everything else. I would guess that’s why she chose me, but I never did ask her.” EDITOR’S NOTE: In 1991 and 1992, Sister Carolyn Herrmann sat down for several interviews with retired Erie Morning News editor Larie Pintea. A good friend of Sister Carolyn’s (and the man who convinced her to bring rowing to Mercyhurst), Pintea was conducting an oral history project to document the development of Mercyhurst College. Her story and the quotations below are excerpts from their wide-ranging conversations.
Young Helen Herrmann had studied with the Sisters of St. Joseph at Erie’s Sacred Heart School. But as a student at Mercyhurst Seminary, she found herself attracted to the Sisters of Mercy. “Whatever I saw in them made me want to become one of them.” She entered the order in 1933, finishing her high school work as a postulant, then earned her college degree in 1938 when she was just 20. Since Mercyhurst’s early days, Mother Borgia Egan had been sending young sisters off to prominent graduate schools each summer to prepare them to teach at the college. So Sister Carolyn earned a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota (in 1942) and a doctorate from the University of Notre Dame 10 years after that. She studied chemistry. “Sister Fidelis was looking for an understudy for the chemistry department and I was a good student. I liked everything, and I didn’t know enough to know what I’d really like to do. In those days in religious life, you did what you were asked to do.” She also obeyed the surprise request that she move into administration. Sister Loretta remained president, but Sister Carolyn acted as the CEO, she said. When Academic Dean Sister Mary Esther fell ill and died, Sister Carolyn took over her role as well. Sister Carolyn became president in 1963, after the Sisters of Mercy changed their bylaws to separate the roles of the Mother Superior and the college president. But well before that election, she had started setting change in motion. “My term (as president) was 1963 to 1972, but I had already put in two critical years before that,” Sister Carolyn told Pintea. “When people talk about my administration, they look at coeducation as the big accomplishment. But without the other
things, we wouldn’t have been around (to go coed).” Long before the milestone vote in 1969 to admit male students, she had to tackle a number of challenges. She candidly assessed the situation she faced. “The curriculum was out of date and enrollment was falling when I came in 1961. We had only 200 students when I came in 1961. We weren’t attracting people. Everything was stagnant. There was no excitement, no forward look. And women were going to coed institutions.” The first big step was forming a lay advisory board. “They enabled us to move the college from being a little closed-door institution where we did everything ourselves,” she said. “We were open to the outside world. We had to make the city more aware of us, and have public relations so people knew what we were doing up here. We had to have people interested in supporting us with money – tuition wouldn’t carry us alone.” She hired new faculty (including several men) and encouraged the entire faculty to review and update the curriculum. “I was looking toward making Mercyhurst College a first-class academic institution, one of good intellectual caliber, very strong academically,” she explained. Those new faculty members “saw that the college was changing, that I had something in mind for this college, that we were moving, and they liked being part of it.” Middle States was due to evaluate Mercyhurst in 1965. Sister Carolyn wrote most of the self-study herself, and said the Middle States people who visited “caught the spirit. They said this college was so alive and on the edge of something and they felt the administration and I particularly were given a mandate for change.”
The biggest changes emerged from Blueprint I – the strategic plan developed by a faculty committee and adopted late in 1966. Among the changes: curriculum revisions, a new trimester system with an intersession, and creation of a College Senate, the first shared governance at the school. Not everyone was on board yet, but Sister Carolyn had made it clear that change was coming, one way or another. She told faculty members, “I want you to know before you vote that we’re not going back to business as usual. If (this) is not approved, we’ll start again and develop something else.” Coeducation When talk of coeducation surfaced in the late 1960s, all angles were examined. Sister Carolyn said there were financial reasons, academic reasons and social reasons pushing Mercyhurst in that direction. In addition, she said, Mercyhurst had been drifting toward coeducation for a few years. Gannon and Mercyhurst had begun some cooperative programs. Gannon men came to Mercyhurst for art, music and elementary education classes not offered at their school, and Mercyhurst women could take courses like business administration at Gannon. “Men were already coming up here and liked it here and wanted to stay. We had the foresight to change our charter to allow us to give degrees to men. We were drifting toward coeducation, but we weren’t giving them full status as students at Mercyhurst College. Then when coeducation was announced in 1969, we began actively recruiting men – but we already had 24 full-time male students here. Dan Burke graduated in 1969.”
Sister Carolyn Herrmann at Mercyhurst Alumnae Banquet with, from left, Audrey Sitter Hirt ’49, Mary Catherine Sherwood Lieb ’42 and Erie Bishop Alfred Watson.
Rules Many rules that had been enforced for decades were relaxed during Sister Carolyn’s tenure – and some cherished traditions ended. “I didn’t agree with all the rules, some were just too strict, like the printed checklist for rooms: baseboards dusted, sink cleaned, etc. “Knowing the way young people were being brought up, I saw we could no longer have college freshmen come at age 18 or 19 and impose these rules on them when they didn’t have these kinds of rules in their own homes… I didn’t feel that was our job. We were no longer in loco parentis. … Many of the older faculty felt we should continue as we always were. We would never have been able to survive. I wasn’t just looking at survival. I was looking at making us a very good college.”
Postscript: Sister Carolyn Herrmann retired as president of Mercyhurst College in 1972, following a decade during which the school became coeducational and doubled its enrollment and facilities. She served as director of education with the Catholic Near East Welfare Association in New York City for a year before returning to Erie as resource coordinator of the Sisters of Mercy and director of development and alumni relations for the college. She lived for many years with Sister Maura Smith and other sisters in the old farmhouse on the back campus. In 1982, she spent a year at the University of Notre Dame as one of 12 women selected for the Religious Leaders Training Program, and later directed the Erie Senior Citizen Advocate Office. She was elected as superior of the Sisters of Mercy in 1983. In 1990, the new Mercyhurst Student Union was named in her honor. She died Dec. 28, 1996.
She said students rebelled against May Day. “There was rebellion in the ‘60s all over the country. I didn’t like the fact they didn’t go to graduation, but I could understand rebellion against this rigid code, especially with programs like May Day. They looked on it as a big show for the city, too much spent on fancy clothes and flowers. It no longer fit. I knew that too.” Reflecting on her own development, Sister Carolyn told Pintea, “When I look at what has happened to me in my life time, I lay it all to the credit of the Sisters of Mercy. I was given all these opportunities by the Sisters of Mercy. I never would have had a doctorate or gone to graduate school. I thought I wanted to be a nurse when I was young, and I probably would have if I didn’t come to Mercyhurst Seminary. And my whole life changed.”
Right: In 1989, Sister Carolyn Herrmann and Sister Maura Smith show off the flowers that surrounded the Mercy Campus House.
Sister Carolyn Herrmann greets Mercyhurst’s first male graduate, Daniel Burke, in 1969.
In 1989, Sister Carolyn Herrmann marks the 20th anniversary of coeducation with nine of the original 16 men who enrolled at the college in 1969. Front row, from top: John Grazier ’71, Thomas Richter ’73, Robert Dillemuth ’72, James Sabol ’70. Back row: Gary Bukowski ’73, William Taft ’72, Larry Rice ’72, Mark Santia ’73, Russell Sundy ’71.
Daly wraps up 51-year career at Hurst After more than a half-century of service to Mercyhurst, Mary Daly retired from her alma mater on her birthday (Dec. 29, 2017) as its longest-serving lay woman administrator. Daly earned her business degree from Mercyhurst in 1966 and immediately joined the college’s staff. Within a few years she became the college’s public relations director and she later held several cabinet-level vice president positions. She was the highest-ranking woman administrator at Mercyhurst for 25 years. For the past 17 years, she has served as the president’s liaison to the Board of Trustees and board professional. She left Mercyhurst only briefly to earn a master’s degree in corporate and political communication from Fairfield University. A respected public relations professional, Daly was the first woman elected president of the Erie Ad Club and the first woman to receive the George Mead Award for a Distinguished Career in Public Relations. She also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Mercyhurst and was honored by the Mercy Center for Women as a “Woman Making History.” Daly’s advertising campaigns captured many awards. She also launched the school’s first professional website; founded Mercyhurst Magazine and the Monday Morning newsletter; and supervised events ranging from graduations and Christmas parties to the Old-Fashioned Fourth of July and the D’Angelo Young Artist Competition. She spent her final months at Mercyhurst compiling a chronology of the university’s 90+year history.
Roberts to succeed Dausey in provost’s office Dr. David Dausey – Mercyhurst’s executive vice president and provost for the past two-and-a-half years – will leave at the end of the academic year to become provost at Duquesne University in his native Pittsburgh. A 1997 Mercyhurst graduate, Dausey returned to Erie in 2011 to launch Mercyhurst’s public health program. An internationally respected public health and health care expert, he had previously been a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and the senior director of health programs and initiatives at CMU’s Heinz College. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale University. Dausey set aside his teaching career to join President Michael Victor’s administration in August 2015. In that role, he led a complete academic restructuring including new colleges, new administrative deans, a new calendar and curriculum overhaul. He was also active in service to his community, most notably as chair of the Erie Innovation District. Dausey said the opportunity at Duquesne allows him to return to his hometown, where his parents and extended family live. He and his wife, Nichole Putt Dausey ‘97, have two young sons, Eli and Danny. He said he views Mercyhurst and Duquesne as “kindred souls,” closely aligned in values and mission with both institutions sharing a strong Catholic heritage. “Returning to Pittsburgh is a homecoming for me and my family, but Mercyhurst will always be my alma mater and I love everything about it. It is irreplaceable.” Dr. Leanne Roberts, currently dean of the Hafenmaier College of Humanities, Arts
and Social Sciences, will succeed Dausey as provost and vice president for academic affairs in July. Since joining Mercyhurst’s education faculty in 2001, Roberts has been an exceptional educator with wide-ranging expertise in academic leadership. She was awarded the coveted Teaching Excellence Award in 2014, the same year she was promoted to full professor. In addition to her roles as department chair, associate dean and dean, she has served on a variety of university committees and on the executive board of the Faculty Senate. She has been noted for her intellectual energy, creativity and innovative mindset. Roberts has secured many large grants and contracts to enhance the university’s strategic initiatives and the educational experience for Mercyhurst students, and to positively affect the Erie region, in particular through the nationally recognized Carpe Diem Academy, a K-2 extended learning day program for innercity children. Roberts received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Edinboro University and her doctorate in Education from the University of Akron. Prior to coming to Mercyhurst, she worked in public and corporate education, consulting with clients that included Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Goodyear, Quest Diagnostics and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Roberts lives in Erie with her husband, Dr. Joseph Morris, chair of Mercyhurst’s Political Science Department, and two children, Gracie and Logan.
New dean named for Walker College Brenda J. Ponsford, Ph.D., J.D., has been appointed dean of the Walker College of Business, effective Jan. 2, 2018. Previously, Ponsford served as dean of the Sydney Lewis School of Business at Virginia Union University (VUU).
New VP of mission integration named Sister Lisa Mary McCartney, RSM, will step down June 1 from her position as Mercyhurst’s first vice president for mission integration. Though she’ll reduce her schedule from full time to part time, she’ll remain active on campus while Dr. Greg Baker steps into the cabinet-level job.
Prior to her tenure at VUU, Ponsford was dean of Business and Aviation at Henderson State University (the public liberal arts university of Arkansas); and served as the MBA director and the marketing department chairperson at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She earned her doctorate in business administration, MBA and Bachelor of Science
in Marketing and Economics from Virginia Tech and her juris doctor from Concord University School of Law. She is widely published and has presented at more than 50 conferences here and abroad. Among her primary teaching and research interests are B2B Marketing, Channels, Customer Service, eCommerce, Logistics, Negotiation, Promotion and Strategy.
Sister Lisa Mary, who joined the Sisters of Mercy during her sophomore year at Mercyhurst, earned a doctorate in English from the University of Notre Dame and joined the Mercyhurst faculty in 1980. She remained until 2008 when she was elected to the leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy in Erie. Appointed to the mission integration role in 2008, she was charged with ensuring that Mercyhurst’s Mercy and Catholic heritage continues to flourish on campus. Thanks to her foresight, more than 100 staff and faculty members have completed the Mercy Emissary Program and committed themselves to helping preserve the legacy of our founders. Baker has served as director of Campus Ministry for the past 10 years and is an adjunct instructor for Catholic Studies. Before coming to Mercyhurst, he was director of youth and young adult ministry for the Erie Diocese, a parish youth minister, a Jesuit Volunteer, and a long-time camp counselor. He has served as president of Inter-Church Ministries of Erie County and is currently working with Bishop Lawrence Persico on the diocesan Faith Formation Implementation Team. Baker and his coworkers in Campus Ministry have overseen the growth of a dynamic ministry program centering on student leadership, a ministry whose scope is the envy of many Catholic colleges and universities. He has overseen the development of the popular Carpe Diem Retreat Program and MYRACLE, Mercyhurst’s nationally recognized youth retreat outreach program. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Gannon University, a master’s in Theology from St. Bonaventure University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fordham University. He and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of four children.
Beloved Lakers Athletic Director Joe Kimball retires Joe Kimball retired this spring as Mercyhurst’s Athletics Director after a career in athletics that spanned more than four decades. From the early days of coaching youth basketball with his wife, Heather, to helping organize the Bob Sanders Camp for Erie Youth, to coaching college football and managing two dozen varsity sports at Mercyhurst, Kimball’s life has been deeply invested in building character, confidence and discipline in young people through athletic competition. A graduate of Syracuse University, he went on to earn a master of education degree from St. Lawrence University. After serving from 1984 to 1992 as head football coach at St. Lawrence, he came to Erie to head up the Lakers football team from 1993 to 2002. He
then joined the City of Erie School District, holding a variety of positions including principal of Strong Vincent High School. He served as running backs coach for Gannon University from 2006 through 2008 before returning to Mercyhurst as AD to oversee 24 varsity sports and more than 600 studentathletes. A lifelong champion of student-athletes, Kimball has guided the Lakers’ ascent to national prominence in both NCAA Division I and Division II. And, thanks to his emphasis on academics, Mercyhurst student-athletes consistently outpace their peers in federal graduation rates and NCAA academic success rates. The Kimballs are the parents of three sons, Connor, Bryant, and Colin. Bryant and Colin are Mercyhurst alums.
Ice Breaker Tournament coming to Erie The Erie Sports Commission (ESC) and Mercyhurst University will host the 2018 Ice Breaker Tournament. One of the premier NCAA Division I ice hockey tournaments in the nation, the event will feature the University of Notre Dame, Providence College, Miami University and Mercyhurst University. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) will be the title sponsor for the tourney, set for Oct. 12-13 at Erie Insurance Arena. “Erie is home to a robust sports community and certainly Mercyhurst University’s Division I Lakers are a big part of that landscape,” said Mercyhurst President Michael Victor. “That we are able to host this tournament and provide our city’s fans the opportunity to see college hockey at its best, not to mention bring scores of visitors to our city, is absolutely thrilling.” For more information, including ticket details, visit hurstathletics.com/icebreaker.
Mercyhurst admitted to Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success
Photo Courtesy of the Tom & Michele Ridge Collection at Mercyhurst University
Ridge-Palmer friendship yields support for archives Erie native and former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge met fellow Pennsylvanian and professional golfer Arnold Palmer during his campaign for governor in the early 1990s and they became fast friends, sharing a deep and abiding respect for each other. In honor of that friendship, the trustees of the Arnold D. Palmer 2003 Charitable Trust have pledged $250,000 to Mercyhurst University to be used for renovations showcasing the Tom & Michele Ridge Collection in Hammermill Library. “One of the most unexpected but lasting friendships made during my time in public service was my friendship with Arnold Palmer,” Ridge said, in acknowledging the gift. “He was many things to many people, but to me, a dear and beloved friend for over 20 years. I think of him often and miss the regular visits and times together when the conversation often turned to politics and government at both the state and national level. I am truly honored and grateful that the legacy of our friendship will be part of the Mercyhurst archives.” The collection spans Tom Ridge’s military service in Vietnam through his years as Pennsylvania governor and the first Secretary of Homeland Security. It also features the historic papers and ephemera from Michele Ridge’s service as First Lady.
Mercyhurst University joins 130 higher education institutions across the United States as a member of the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success, an organization dedicated to streamlining the college application process for all students, particularly those from underrepresented groups, including low-income and first-generation households. “During its 92-year history, Mercyhurst has strived to live the mission of its founders, the Sisters of Mercy, who believed that a college education should be available to all who seek it,” said Mercyhurst President Michael Victor. “Joining the ranks of the Coalition is closely aligned with that mission and provides us one more tool to reach a diverse community of learners.” The Coalition provides a free platform for high schoolers to develop online portfolios as early as the ninth grade, including a digital locker that enables students to build a library of materials to share with the colleges of their choosing; a space for students, counselors and teachers to engage with each other; and an application.
Members of the Coalition include a diverse group of public and private universities that provide substantial support to lower-resourced and underrepresented students, maintain holistic admissions practices, offer institutional financial aid, and demonstrate consistent graduation rates across all income levels. “The Coalition was formed by a cadre of Ivy League Schools and universities represented in the Big 10,” said Joseph Howard, vice president for enrollment at Mercyhurst. “To be invited to join this cause is an honor for Mercyhurst and affirms our commitment to providing lifechanging educational experiences to all persons, regardless of social class.” Mercyhurst’s participation in the Coalition provides the third application option for prospective students; the university will also continue to accept its own Mercyhurst-specific application and the Common Application.
Christmas tree honors Mercy legacy The front campus at Mercyhurst University was transformed during the Christmas season when the Michael Victor administration decided to invest in a 30foot artificial tree that could be positioned in front of Old Main, where it would illuminate the statue of Mary.
The intention is to honor the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy and remind ourselves that Mercyhurst continues to be a community alive in the Mercy tradition more than 90 years after its founding.
ErieID partners host a press conference announcing new downtown headquarters and Dell collaboration. From left are Mercyhurst President Michael Victor, Provost David Dausey, ErieID CEO Karl Sanchack and Erie Insurance President & CEO Timothy NeCastro.
Pictured during the dedication of Mercyhurst’s new wine room are (from left) Joseph G. NeCastro and Richard A. Lanzillo, vice chair and chair of the Board of Trustees; donor Christopher S. Johnson; and President Michael T. Victor.
Hospitality dedicates Johnson Wine Room Mercyhurst University hospitality and culinary students now have the opportunity to learn more precisely about fine wines, thanks to a gift from alumnus Chris Johnson that led to construction of a wine room and plans to build a prestigious collection. Johnson, an Erie native and 1989 hospitality graduate who now works as a financial advisor in Cary, North Carolina, returned to his hometown Nov. 21 for the dedication of the new Christopher S. Johnson Wine Room. It is situated next to the university’s Marriott Café in the Center for Academic Engagement. “This represents a remarkable teaching tool for our hospitality and culinary programs,” noted Cal Pifer, vice president for external relations and advancement. “We are very grateful to Chris for his generosity.” The Johnson Wine Room is outfitted with beautiful cherry wine racks, the latest humidity-control system, and as the pièce de résistance: a custom wine barrel that has been transformed into a tasting table. Pifer said the collection will comprise “investment-grade wines.” Donors, he said, will be able to contribute bottles to help build the collection.
Erie Innovation District makes game-changing moves The Erie Innovation District, LLC (ErieID), has taken some major steps toward developing and attracting new businesses to downtown Erie, including forging a collaboration with Dell, one of the largest technology companies in the world. At press time, a number of new initiatives were on the cusp of being announced. Less than six months ago, the ErieID board hired Karl Sanchack as CEO following a national search. Sanchack came to Erie from AB Innovations, LLC, a Virginia-based consulting firm focused on best practices in innovation, where he was managing director. He has 25 years of technology and innovation management experience from Silicon Valley through the aerospace and defense industries. Next, the ErieID located its initial downtown Erie headquarters in a shared space with the Erie Insurance Innovation Center at 717 State St. In addition, Cleveland-based national technology company MCPc signed on as a partner, while Ben Franklin Technology Partners agreed to provide funding for eligible early-stage tech startups. The ErieID got its start in September 2016 when Mercyhurst University received a $4 million Shaping Tomorrow grant to lead the transformation of downtown Erie into a hub for innovation in the fields of data science, safety and cybersecurity. Besides Mercyhurst, the original partners included Erie Insurance, McManis and Monsalve Associates and Velocity Network, Inc. The grant was awarded by the Erie Community Foundation, Susan Hirt Hagen Fund for Transformational Philanthropy and the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority. Learn more about the effort at erieinnovationdistrict.com.
Referrals help drive graduate enrollment Nearly two-thirds of graduate students surveyed recently say they applied to Mercyhurst at the suggestion of their friends, family or colleagues – and it’s no wonder. Mercyhurst has a network of alumni working all around Erie in business, criminal justice and education. And intelligence studies alumni work all over the world in government agencies and multinational corporations. The solid reputation of Mercyhurst graduates even inspires employers with no Mercyhurst connection to refer their employees to the Hurst for graduate education. “You can’t overestimate the power of a referral,” says Travis Lindahl, director of graduate and adult enrollment. In his case, a friend home on break casually suggested that Mercyhurst would be the perfect place for him. “Twenty years later, I have two Mercyhurst degrees, a wife I met here, and a career helping others discover Mercyhurst for which to thank her,” he said. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, referrals bring joy to President Michael Victor’s heart. “First, it helps reassure us that our alumni and friends of the college believe in what we do. Second, it gives the opportunity for your friends and family, coworkers and colleagues, to discover what’s so special about Mercyhurst firsthand.” The opportunity for referrals is even greater now that more and more graduate programs have moved online. Master’s degrees in criminal justice, secondary education and intelligence studies can now be earned online, with new programs in cyber security and cyber risk management to follow soon. “As more and more of our programs move online, there is one less barrier to recommending a Mercyhurst graduate program,” said Lindahl. Recently, the Office of Graduate and Continuing Education sent out an information viewbook to more than 20,000 alumni and friends of the college. “The best way to encourage referrals is to make sure those who care deeply about Mercyhurst know what we offer. When you know what’s offered, opportunities to connect the dots pop up in conversations all the time,” according to Lindahl. His office reached out to current and former online intelligence studies students with a minireferral campaign recently and it paid immediate dividends. “We received many inquiries and applications, which went a long way toward filling our spring cohort,” said Lindahl. “I’m thankful that so many of those alumni cared enough to share our information. Monetary gifts to the university are certainly appreciated, but word-of-mouth referrals are free and go a long way too!” Visit mercyhurst.edu/grad to learn more about our master’s degree programs. 22
DEGREE PROGRAMS Anthropology Applied Intelligence (Erie, Pa) Applied Intelligence (Online) Criminal Justice Administration (Online) Data Science Organizational Leadership Physician Assistant Studies Secondary Education (Online) Special Education and Applied Disability Studies
Hurst is a tradition for McCabe family Jim Kaveney ‘96 likes to brag that he’s part of the largest Mercyhurst family ever – and he makes a pretty strong case. The tradition started with his mom, Rosemary McCabe Kaveney, a 1954 Mercyhurst alumna, and two of her sisters, Mary “Tweetie” McCabe Clark, who graduated in 1952, and Sister Joan McCabe, RSM ’63. The Sisters of Mercy helped all three girls finish high school and attend college after the untimely deaths of both their parents. Rosemary studied education and taught for many years in the Erie Public Schools. Tweetie majored in business. And Joan entered the Sisters of Mercy while still in high school. After graduating from Mercyhurst in business, she went on to nursing school. Today she runs the health care facility at the Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse. Rosemary and her late husband, James, had nine children and five of them graduated from Mercyhurst: Joanne Kaveney Samsel ’81 (a nurse); Bill Kaveney ’88 (director of national accounts for a pharmaceutical company); Mary Cathleen Kaveney Dolansky ’93 (a teacher with the Erie School District); Suzanne Kaveney Iacobucci ’96 (a surgical nurse practitioner); and James Kaveney ’96 (president of Alkemy Partners). Jim’s wife, Lisa Stafford Kaveney, is a Mercyhurst grad, Class of 1997, and earned a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership in 2002. She and Jim co-own Alkemy Partners, which provides training and development for pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
Top Row: Left: Rosemary McCabe Kaveney, Mary Therese (Tweetie) McCabe Clark, Sister Joan McCabe, RSM Middle: Suzanne Kaveney Iacobucci, Cathleen Kaveney Dolansky, Joanne Kaveney Samsel. Right: Lori Kaveney and Daniel Leonard Bottom Row: Left: Jim and Lisa Stafford Kaveney Middle: The Clark family: (clockwise from center) Bill, Debbie, Mom Mary Therese (Tweetie), Mary Therese Clark Ciesa, Patty Clark Thornton, Colleen Clark Radtke Right: Bill Kaveney
And even two of Jim’s brothers who didn’t come to the Hurst have connections here. Jeff Kaveney’s wife, Lori, has worked for 13 years in Mercyhurst’s Learning Differences Program, a job she took over from Tom Kaveney’s wife, Lisa. Not to be outdone, Tweetie and her late husband, William Clark, sent four of their five kids to Mercyhurst in the 1980s. Patricia Clark Thornton, William Clark, Colleen Clark Radtke and Mary Therese Clark Ciesa all studied hospitality management or business, and all have enjoyed long careers in the hotel industry. Patricia is in sales with Marriott-Orlando; William is director of finance at Hilton Columbus Downtown; Colleen has been with Marriott International for 33 years; and Mary Theresa also works at Marriott in account sales. Bill also met his wife, Suzanne Kozlowski Clark, at Mercyhurst. While none of the cousins’ children have come to Mercyhurst (yet), another relative did enroll recently: Daniel Leonard, a sophomore whose mother is a first cousin to the McCabe sisters. Just inside Mercyhurst’s front gates stands a lamppost inscribed to commemorate the family’s special relationship with the school and with the Sisters of Mercy: “McCabe-Kaveney Light the Way.” “We’ve been indebted to the sisters for ages because of their care and compassion,” Jim says. 23
Class notes Holly A. Chiappazzi Villella ‘79 is a contributing artist with Clark Whittington’s Artists-inCellophane, a venue for original art sales in North America. More than 500 artists contribute their work to be dispensed through upcycled cigarette machines stationed in national art museums and other high-traffic venues; the Erie Art Museum has an Art-O-Mat machine. Holly paints impressionistic watercolors (submitted with an original Haiku) and gouache abstracts. Karen Gens Jakiel ‘84 has been hired at EmergyCare as foundation and government relations coordinator. She will manage grant requests as well as a comprehensive government relations program to advocate for legislative and policy goals favorable to the emergency medical services industry. Monica Klos ‘84 has accepted a position with Allegheny Health Network as practice manager for the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. John Deasy ‘90 will lead a renewed effort by the Irish government to seek relief for the undocumented as the first envoy to help undocumented Irish people in the United States. Paul Casey ‘94 was named vice president of operations and branch development for the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy, New Jersey. Melanie Songer Lucht ‘95 was appointed assistant vice president for enterprise risk management at Carnegie Mellon University. She will help the university proactively manage and mitigate the many inherent risks associated with operating a global institution of higher education. Cheryl Sibble Moore ‘95 earned a Doctor of Psychology degree with a specialization in organizational leadership from the University of the Rockies, Denver, Colorado. Michael Eldred ‘97 completed an Ironman competition on July 23, 2017, with a time of 16:04.
Kelly Matczak ‘98 has created Eagle Point East, a company dedicated to empowerment and helping professionals and individuals find their true paths and creative solutions to life’s challenges. She is the author of two books available on Amazon: Manifesting, Willing and Creating: Live the Life You Desire and Italy with a Side of Mayo. Louis D’Ambrosio ‘99, principal of Arthur Middleton Elementary School, presented on Capitol Hill on Oct. 24, 2017, with a panel pertaining to state ESSA plans and the effects of Title II funding for recruitment & professional development for principals. Alex Ogeka ‘02 has been promoted to executive director of the Kutztown University Foundation. From 2011 to 2014, he was director of alumni engagement at Kutztown and served as a campaign committee member for KU’s “Setting the Stage” campaign, which generated more than $15 million. He was named the foundation’s senior director of development and alumni relations in 2014. Dr. Brandon Gabler ‘02 has been named regional director and vice president of operations with Commonwealth Heritage Group Inc., a cultural resources consulting company, in its Dexter, Michigan, headquarters. Bradley Sage ‘03 was named director for the athletic training program at Indiana University.
Weaving connections Javi Cubillos ’11 had never even located Erie on a map before she embarked on the three-flight, 24-hour trek from her home in Chile to enroll at Mercyhurst in 2007. “It took me forever to get there!” she recalls. “Luckily, when I arrived, I found a beautiful campus and a very welcoming community, including very supportive faculty and staff and many other Latin American and international students who shared a little of my culture so I never felt too far away from home.” By the time she returned home to stay, she had earned two Hurst degrees, a B.A. in Communication in 2011 and an M.S. in Organizational Leadership in 2014, and was ready to put her skills to work. Javi and her husband, Juan Vidal, now work at the international school she attended. But soon they hope to leave the busy city of Santiago behind and relocate to Lonquimay, a remote area in the south of Chile where they hope to live in a calmer, more selfsustainable manner. As partners in a tourism business (agrestechile.com), they plan to provide personalized travel experiences to Lonquimay, teaching travelers about the indigenous culture that predominates in the area. They’ll offer everything from cultural activities like Mapuche cooking and learning about their medicinal herbs to exploring the beautiful geography of the area with physical adventures including trekking to a volcano crater and skiing virgin mountain slopes. Inspired by the people who inhabit the region, Javi has also launched a social entrepreneurship project
Amanda Mountain ‘04 has taken a new job as associate director of development at McCurdy Ministries Community Center in Espanola, New Mexico. She lives in Santa Fe. Amanda Harnocz ‘07 was promoted to director of digital content at Cleveland 19 News.
Javi Cubillos (center) with Mapuche women.
titled AkuRuka Mapuche. Seventy percent of the population of her soonto-be home is from the MapuchePehuenche culture, some of Chile’s first peoples. “Throughout Chile they have been unfairly marginalized and driven out of their lands, resulting in an impoverished community,” she explains. “This wonderful culture is dying, its language runs the risk of being extinct not many years from now, and their people strive very hard to find ways to endure in the high Andean regions of the country.” Mapuche women traditionally create beautifully intricate weaves incorporating Mapuche cosmology and vision and try to sell them (often unsuccessfully) in the streets or at local fairs. AkuRuka expands the market for these goods using online channels like Etsy and Facebook, allowing the women to become self-sufficient and economically independent – and, most importantly, encouraging them to preserve their culture and pass it on to new generations. Each unique weave comes with a photo of the woman who made it, a tag telling how the product was made, and a QR code that leads to a video detailing the entire process from obtaining the wool to the final weaving. The artisans earn a fair price for their extensive work, from the shearing of the sheep through washing the wool, spinning it into yarn, dyeing it with natural herbs, and finally weaving it on a loom (which is also made by the women). Check out her project at facebook.com/AkuRukaMapuche and at AkuRuka.etsy.com.
Class notes Anna Walzer Ceren ‘09 has been named senior art director by Engel O’Neill Advertising & Public Relations, where she supervises design for the agency’s consumer and industrial clients. Caileen Farrell ‘11 has been named marketing and communications manager at The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland. Trenton Frey ‘14 has been named assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Los Angeles Kings in the National Hockey League.
BIRTHS AND ADOPTIONS Quinn Sullivan Boehmler ‘02 and husband Scott had a son, Caellum Hale, and a daughter, Emersyn Rose, on April 24, 2017. Caellum and Emersyn join big brother Garrison at their home in Rhode Island. Brendan Doran ‘05 and wife Elizabeth had a daughter, Ava Catherine, on Sept. 22, 2017. Elizabeth Tasker Immarino ‘05 and husband Tim had their first child, James Alessio, on Sept. 22, 2017. Kristen Wanner Mekota ‘05 and husband Chris had their third daughter, Evelyn Rose, on Oct. 23, 2017. She joined big sisters Ava and Grace. Valerie Nezich Walker ‘05 and Brian Walker ‘06 had their first child, Declan, on July 3, 2017. Josh Long ‘06 and wife Melissa had a daughter, Charlotte Aspen, on May 28, 2017. She joins sister Emma.
Elyse Lagana Jones ‘08 and Alfred Jones ‘09 had their first child, Emerson Alfred Jones, on July 24, 2017. Nicole Rapacki Konieczki ‘08 and husband David had a daughter, Eva Marya, on Sept. 1, 2017, in Erie. Kaitlyn Slomski Nelson ‘08 and husband Elijah had a daughter, Madeline Conway Nelson, on May 10, 2017. Michelle LaSlavic Wagner ‘08 and Timothy Wagner ‘09 had a daughter, Lillian Marie, on March 2, 2017. Thomas Eighmey ‘09 ‘11M and Jacquelyn McCarthy Eighmey ‘11 had their first child, Jayden Thomas, on June 10, 2017. Shannon Reed Grube ‘10 and husband Richard had their first child, Isabelle Louise, on July 18, 2017. Meaghan Farrell Christian ‘11 ‘13M and husband Matt had their first child, Lincoln Matthew, on July 3, 2017.
MARRIAGES Krystle Lacher ‘06 married Matthew Manera on Sept. 3, 2017, in Buffalo, New York. The bridal party included maid of honor Stephanie Lacher ‘11, groomsman Justin King ‘06, and bridesmaid Vanessa King ‘08. Christina Machesney ‘06 married Sean Rising on Sept. 30, 2017, at St. Teresa of Avila Church in Pittsburgh. Chrissy Stewart ‘06, Katie Cerqua ‘06, Matt Peterson ‘06, Matt Stewart ‘09, Ania Dunin ‘06 and Sean Underwood ‘06 participated in the ceremony.
Carrie Schwabenbauer Gaw ‘07 and husband Charles had a son, Palmer Sidney, on April 10, 2017. Palmer joins big brother Peyton. Shelley Herron Hall ‘07 and husband Mike had twins Porter McNeil and Parker Grayce Hall on Feb. 10, 2017. Colleen Lanigan Hordych ‘07 and husband Jacob had their first child, Lydia Margaret, on April 22, 2017. Jamie Krusewicz ‘07 and husband Troy Martin had a son, Tucker Dean Martin, on Dec. 2, 2017.
Jessica Lamb ‘07 married Kerry Bowman ‘08 on Oct. 6, 2017, in Cleveland, Ohio. The bridal party included Maeve Kelly Gavin ‘07, Allison Moore ‘07 and Patrick Henk ‘07. The Bowmans now live in the Washington, D.C., area. Ashley Saunier ‘07 married Shane Scaff on Sept. 3, 2017, in Imperial, Pennsylvania.
Mercyhurst alum cheers Eagles on to victory From the dance floor to the courtroom, Mercyhurst alumna Jessica Stachelrodt has balanced an eclectic lifestyle since graduating in 2013, not the least of which is her recent appearance at Super Bowl LII as a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader. Her day job is as a judicial clerk for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Jessica was born in San Diego, but lived most of her life in Franklin. She earned a dance degree from Mercyhurst and later went on to get her juris doctor from Temple in 2017. “I am so happy I went to Mercyhurst,” she said. “I made lifelong friends and earned a degree in something I actually loved and continue to love. The Mercyhurst Dance Department also gave me professionalgrade resources, facilities and opportunities to learn and create. I would not have been able to be a part of the Eagles organization without the training I got at Mercyhurst. Additionally, law schools love academic diversity. My liberal arts, dance degree helped me get admitted to several law schools.” The former Laker Shakers dance team member said she was thrilled to cross off a Super Bowl appearance from her bucket list. “I absolutely love to perform,” she said. “That love is as integral to my identity as my name and face. The Super Bowl is the largest stage I will ever perform on, and it’s absolutely thrilling.”
Class notes Kaitlyn Slomski ‘08 married Elijah Nelson on Oct. 25, 2015. The bridal party included man of honor Jonathan Slomski ‘11, matrons of honor Rachel Auld Reed ‘08, Jessica Kocent Rodriguez ‘08 and Marie Blum Capizzi ‘08, bridesmaid Kate Balconi ‘10, groomsman Charles Hatfield ‘04, and mother of the bride former professor Jill Slomski. Jenna Kauffman ‘09 married Anthony Koch on Oct. 22, 2017. David Swickline ‘10 married Leanne Abate at the Abilena Plantation in New Bern, North Carolina. They reside in New Bern, where David is a school psychologist in the Craven County School District and Leanne is a speech language pathologist.
A Hurst love story How’s this for a quintessentially Mercyhurst love story? Kaleigh Hubert ‘13 and Alex Vinesky ’14 met in August 2012 when both worked on The House That Hurst Built, a Habitat for Humanity build to celebrate Mercyhurst’s new university status. “The two of us volunteered to help put up the roof. I noticed that Kaleigh was struggling to move her ladder and offered to help – that’s how it all started,” Alex recalls. A few months later, he asked her to be his girlfriend on the roof of Old Main (in the days before the area was locked at all times). They continued to see each other, even heading to Mississippi on a spring break Habitat for Humanity trip. Grad school and jobs took them to different cities after graduation, but they made the best of their long-distance romance. With both of them finally back in Erie in 2015, Alex was ready to make it official, but those locks prevented him from returning to the Old Main roof to propose. Instead he took Kaleigh back to the now-completed Habitat house in east Erie, where owner Rosemary helped pull off the surprise. “I got down on one knee and proposed in the exact spot where it all started,” he says. They were married in Christ the King Chapel on Sept. 16, 2017, with a wedding party that included many of their close Mercyhurst friends. They honeymooned in Jamaica. Kaleigh is a physician assistant with OB-GYN Associates in Erie, and Alex works as a logistics analyst at Ryder Supply Chain Solutions. They recently bought a home in Erie, and are making plans for a trip to England and Ireland this spring. “We couldn’t be happier that our love story started at the Hurst,” they agree.
Randi Heitman ‘11 married Bernie Cage on July 15, 2017, outside their home in Waterford, Pennsylvania. Her bridal party included maid of honor Deidre Hartz ‘11 and bridesmaid Jane Henry ‘12. Randi is employed by the Wattsburg Area School District as a music teacher for grades 5-12 while her husband works in logistics at Verizon in Erie. Jessica Mathew ‘11 married Ryan S. Neal on July 22, 2017, in Zelienople, Pennsylvania. The bridal party included maid of honor Alex Brooks Hyland ‘12, bridesmaid Katelyn Schulmeister ‘11 and bridesman Shamus O’Donnell ‘11. A reception was held at the Doubletree by Hilton in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. The newlyweds honeymooned in Budapest, Vienna and Prague. Jessica is a family and consumer science teacher at Harbor Creek High School. The couple resides in Erie. Charity Moore ‘11 and Matthew Weiss ‘11 were married on Aug. 12, 2017, in Christ the King Chapel at Mercyhurst University. The maid of honor was Christy Moore ‘13 and the best man was Joshua Tracey ‘11. Bridesmaids were Briana Duncan ‘11, Emma Bradic ‘11 and Rachel Kandefer ‘11. Groomsmen were Jessy Chase and Dr. Zachary Kwasnicka ‘11. Charity and Matthew reside in Morgantown, West Virginia, where they are both employed as archaeologists. They spent their honeymoon visiting archaeological sites in England and Scotland. Heather Mills ‘14 married Kevin Dudek ‘14 on Aug. 12, 2017, in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. John Wagner ‘14 was a groomsman. They reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and are doing well as a second grade teacher and sales representative. Caitlin English ‘15 married Nathan Lumley on June 17, 2017, in Frederick, Maryland. McKenzie Rowland ‘15 and Steven Messina ‘14 were married in Spring Hill, Tennessee, on Oct. 8, 2017. McKenzie and Steven reside in the Washington, D.C., area.
Class notes ALUMNI DEATHS Rita Rittenhouse Wisner ‘45 Ruth Marsh Swenson ‘47 Mary Roberta Hitchcock Harold ‘48 Margaret Mikolay ‘48 Joan Knapp Spakowski ‘48 Joan Riley Dori ‘50 Elizabeth Meehan Greenleaf ‘52 Helen Eisert Rowe ‘52 Margaret Broderick Mathews ‘53 Mary Theobald Schwartz ‘57 Eleanor Cavanaugh ‘59 Mary Suzette Cassidy Casey ‘61 Judith Cromie Swenson ‘64 Sandra Leone Neumaier ‘65 Grace Paternostro Lococo Batten ‘74 Andrew Cameron ‘74 James F. Lieb ‘74 Mary Ann Lee Bryan ‘75 Lawrence Randy Shoup ‘75 Barbara Dee Engel ‘76 Linda Simpson Sacha ‘77 Eric Livingston ‘79 Gretchen Froehlich Moore ‘80 Beth A. Paletta, Esq. ‘82
Karen Dougherty ‘85
Lori Marwood Wheeler ‘86
Shirley Miler Schilling ‘68 (Edith Miller)
Gregory Shabbick ‘89
Sue Sutto ‘68 (Norma von Korff Sutto)
Robert Pirrello ‘91
Betsy Bierfeldt ‘72 (Helen Bierfeldt)
Douglas G. Dailey ‘92
Joseph Rupp ‘89 (Nancy Lou Lieb Rupp)
Timothy Klein ‘97
Garrett Clark ‘97 (Florence Rothwell ‘84)
Chad J. Ewings ‘99
Jennifer Stackpole Piccirillo ‘03 (Doris Engel Stackpole)
Justin T. Ethridge ‘03 Zackery Maier ‘04 David Dubowski ‘09
Blake Stabler ‘12
Pat Dunn ‘78 (Christa Dunn)
Patricia Cavanaugh Kirk ‘60 (Eleanor Cavanaugh ‘59), also aunt of Mary Kirk Barber ‘84
Ann Minnium ‘57 (Richard) Marilyn Hirst Welsh ‘74 (Charles Welsh) Mary Ann Mead Baldauf ‘85 (James Baldauf) Father of: Kenneth “Breeze” Walker ‘90 (William Walker) Danielle Klein ‘97 (Timothy Klein ‘97) Rique Pizarro ‘97 (Ricardo Pizarro) Father and father-in-law of: Norma Telega Johnson ‘95 and Toby Johnson ‘95 (Edward Telega)
Florence Scutella Rothwell ‘84
Brother of: Patricia Lawlor ‘65 (Bernard J. Lawlor) Former Employees: Sister Agnes Jean Lavin, OSB, a former business professor James F. Lieb ‘74, who retired in 2014 as director of finance after 38 years of service at Mercyhurst Nancy Lou Lieb Rupp, a student account officer for 23 years who retired in 1997 Deanna Miller, a senior student
Patient advocacy The new Katharine A. “Kate” Newman Protocol for Non-Ambulatory Patients at UPMC Northwest honors a woman recognized by the Oil City community for her outstanding volunteer efforts. In addition to a successful career and exemplary service to the community, Kate Duda Newman ‘71 accomplished most of her triumphs later in life from a wheelchair as the result of Multiple Sclerosis. She became a patient advocate, along with her family members, after developing pressure ulcers during a May 2016 stay at UPMC Northwest, just two months before she died. UPMC Northwest’s Nursing Council worked with Newman’s family – including sisters Deborah Duda Gale ’77 and Sherry Duda Donze ’80 – to develop the protocol for treating non-ambulatory patients, which was presented to the family last June. On average, six patients each day are put on Kate protocol. “Kate’s life’s work was filled with fierce pride, and her story will resonate with so many. As her condition deteriorated, she became exceedingly disabled to the point where she realized that she was no longer able to adequately direct her own care. That was a turning point for her,” said Gale. “She wanted to do something that would help people that might not have the benefit of the strong advocates that she herself had had. This combined effort between my family and
the nursing staff at Northwest would have pleased her greatly.” “Kate clocks,” used to identify when it’s time to tend to patients, are an example of the cohesive and standardized system that is now in place to care for nonambulatory patients. Staff at UPMC Northwest remember that Newman was a dedicated volunteer at the Kate Duda Newman (ce hospital, assisting patients with nter front) is flanked by sisters directions and delivering papers Deborah Duda Gale and Sherry Duda Do nz e. Sta nding be hin d them: Joe, Gregg and from one unit to another on her Gary Duda. electric scooter. “In her nearly paralyzed body, Kate knew her limitations well, and so she relied on her personality and her smile to forge ahead and live fully despite her disability,” her sister said.
New programs address need for cyber professionals The global rise in cyber crime has created an unprecedented demand for cyber security professionals, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 37 percent job growth over the next four years. To meet this growing need, Mercyhurst University recently announced two new online master’s programs in Cyber Security and Cyber Risk Management. Generously funded by Betsy Hirt Vorsheck, a 1977 Mercyhurst graduate and board member of Erie Insurance, these programs leverage Mercyhurst’s reputation as an international leader in intelligence and cyber education. Cyber Security Housed in the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, the Cyber Security program prepares students to analyze cyber threats to computer systems, networks and networked devices, and protect those systems from cyber attacks. Students will also evaluate the legal, regulatory and ethical issues related to cyber security and privacy, and learn to effectively communicate complex cyber security information. One of the few online programs in the nation to address cyber threats to business as well as national and international security, this program prepares students for careers as cyber analysts and IT security specialists in virtually any industry. Cyber Risk Management Although cyber security risks are a growing concern to businesses, managing cyber risk through insurance is relatively new, and thus difficult to quantify. A joint offering from the Ridge College and the Walker College of Business, this program integrates traditional elements of risk management with cutting-edge science in big data and cyber security, providing students with the skills to assess and mitigate cyber risks. Coursework highlights the technical, legal and business aspects of cyber risk management, with special emphasis on monetizing cyber risk through insurance. This unique program prepares students for careers as cyber security managers in small and large enterprises, as well as for careers in the insurance industry. Both programs consist of 36 credit hours and expect to enroll their first cohorts in Fall 2018. Visit mercyhurst.edu/grad for more information.
Intel grad fighting cyber threats Henry Peltokangas ’10 entered the intelligence field focusing on cyber threat intelligence when much of the attention was on terrorism. Now, nine years into his career, he’s at the forefront of the fight against cyber threats. For the past two years, Henry has worked for Cisco, where he played an important role in creating the firm’s Threat Intelligence Director technology, which helps customers rapidly operationalize cyber threat intelligence to protect their computer networks. Henry was a teenager in Finland when he watched the World Trade Center fall in 2001. “I couldn’t believe what was happening. When it was confirmed that it was a terrorist attack, I decided that I wanted to make a difference, which eventually drove me to work in security.” An assignment to military intelligence and long-range reconnaissance during his military service introduced him to the career he would pursue, and his search for schools quickly focused on the United States. “Mercyhurst was the only place that really had a dedicated program for intel studies and the best set of courses available,” he recalls. The day after taking his last exam at the Hurst in 2009, Henry flew to Amsterdam and his first job with iSIGHT Partners, a U.S. cyber threat intelligence firm acquired by FireEye in 2016. He had studied traditional intelligence methods, but he soon found himself heading to the cyber side of the security spectrum. Promoted to team manager of cyber threat intelligence, he transferred back to the States two years later. “I really enjoyed producing intel reports but eventually moved to a product management role because I wanted to make better intelligence products. Intelligence has always struggled with what constitutes ‘good intelligence’ and I think there is
still much we can improve, especially on the cyber side.” He moved to Symantec in 2013 as product manager for its DeepSight Intelligence Portal and created an intelligence program to provide a new service known as Managed Adversary and Threat Intelligence (MATI). Now at Cisco he’s tackling a longstanding problem. According to Cisco, “Part of the genius of Threat Intelligence Director is its ability to ingest third-party threat intelligence and operationalize it with Cisco’s network security devices. The ability to have these two parts work together – intelligence on one hand and security technologies on the other – was the missing link in making the intelligence valuable.” Virtually all cyber security companies use their own intelligence in their products, but major companies have to take intelligence provided by the FBI, Homeland Security and industry sharing groups and use it to defend their networks. “Companies can’t rely on just one source of intelligence and, without our technology, putting it in use has been largely a manual process,” Henry explains. Cyber security wasn’t a focus of Mercyhurst’s curriculum when he was here, but Henry says the analytical skills he learned here have served him well in the field, and he’s not alone. He says he’s encountered many Mercyhurst graduates who have become influential in the cyber world. And he’s excited about the new programs in cybersecurity being developed at Mercyhurst. “Look at any report on the skill gap in cyber security – there’s definitely room for every single Mercyhurst grad to work with cyber and they’ll find lots of opportunities.” Henry and his wife Jacqueline married in 2016 and now live in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Following the August 2017 Academic Convocation, Mercyhurst employees who are also Mercyhurst graduates gathered for a “family portrait” in front of Old Main. From members of the President’s Cabinet to faculty to staff in just about every department on campus, more than 100 alumni have decided to stay at – or return to – their alma mater to launch their careers. Once a Laker, always a Laker! Photo: Frank Rizzone
President and Mrs. Michael Victor hosted a Christmas celebration for the Sisters of Mercy in Erie. Seated (from left): Mercy Sisters Mary Louis Oslick, Rita Panciera, Rita Brocke, Pierre Dembinski and Paul Marie Westlake. Standing (from left): Sisters Joan McCabe, Carol Ann Voltz, Kathryn Preston, Edith Langiotti, Mary Mark McCarthy, Mary Andrew Himes, Natalie Rossi; President Victor; Sisters Lisa Mary McCartney, Kathleen Ann Kolb, Phyllis Marie McDonald, Mary Ann Bader, Catherine Edward Delaney, Bernadette Bell, Michele Marie Schroeck, Patricia Whalen, Mary Paul Carioty, Felice Duska, JoAnne Courneen and Maria Lucia Serrano.
UNIVERSITY ST 0 -1
RELIVE YOUR COLLEGE MEMORIES AT
501 East 38th Street, Erie, PA 16546
1 8 R E U NIO
Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients Sheila Sullivan Coon ’72, Service to the Community
Vivetta Petronio ’58, Service to Mercyhurst (posthumously)
Sister Lisa Mary McCartney, RSM ’71 Sister Carolyn Herrmann Award
Jeanne Keim Phillips ’68, Service to Mercyhurst
Joseph Pacinelli ’78, Service to the Field
Ivan Rusilko, DO ’06, Young Alumnus Award
Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees 1998 Men’s Soccer Team
Anthony Maher ’02, men’s soccer
Meghan Agosta ’11, women’s ice hockey
Catrina Sheaffer Spano ’04, field hockey
Register at mercyhurst.edu/alumni/ reunion or call us today at 814-824-2330.
Published on Mar 14, 2018