Mercyhurst Magazine Fall 2022


Jim Breckenridge has a long and enterprising history with Mercyhurst, serving as director of admissions from 1998 to 2001, and then as a faculty member and first chair of the Department of Intelligence Studies from 2002 to 2011. He was founding dean of the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies & Applied Sciences from 2014 to 2017. During his tenure at Mercyhurst, he also served as dean of the Walker School (now College) of Business. In 2017, he was named provost of the U.S. Army War College. Breckenridge earned a doctorate in Organizational Learning and Leadership and a master’s in Business Administration at Gannon University. He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in History from the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, respectively. Christine Spadafor As CEO of SpadaforClay Group, Erie native Christine Spadafor has led transformational industry initiatives at the intersection of strategy, operations, finance, and change management in both domestic and global markets. She has worked extensively as an advisor to Fortune 500 C-suite executives. Spadafor is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard School of Public Health and was recognized by the American Bar Association as one of the nation’s top 20 female attorneys with business expertise for board service. In 2019, in recognition of Mercyhurst’s commitment to arts and culture, Spadafor created an endowed chair in Music and an endowed scholarship in Voice Performance in honor of her late mother, Mary Pellegrino Spadafor. Barbara Wenig ’95 Barbara Wenig is a 1995 graduate of Mercyhurst University, then an international student from Rome, Italy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Finance and Business Administration and went on to enjoy a successful career in high-powered New York City finance. In September 2021, she joined Principal Global Investors as head of global operations and platforms. PGI is Principal Financial Group’s global asset management business, with oversight for $535 billion in AUM (Assets Under Management). In her role, Wenig is charged with advancing strategic initiatives; managing relationships with board members, clients, and industry constituents; and engaging in new business efforts in support of PGI’s platforms globally. In addition to her Mercyhurst degree, she earned an MBA from Ohio State University.

Trustees, students share seats at the table The Student Life Committee of the Mercyhurst Board of Trustees believes strongly in having the opportunity to liaise with students, to hear what is on their minds, and to learn more about their Mercyhurst experience. For two years, COVID-19 thwarted those efforts—until this past May. Vice President for Student Life Dr. Laura Zirkle, Trustee Lev Kubiak ’88, chair of the Student Life Committee, and Assistant Vice President for Student Life Sarah Allen organized a Student Leadership Lunch with key university administrators and 12 trustees on Friday, May 13, in Grotto Commons. Among the 17 students were outgoing MSG President Nick Brodfuehrer, pictured at top with Trustee Patrick Weschler, and outgoing MSG Vice President Douglas Wilsch with Kubiak.


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