Mercyhurst Magazine Fall 2017

ADAM OLSZEWSKI, M.D. ’10 Adam Olszewski chose Mercyhurst for his Pre-Med studies because he thought a small school with a liberal arts orientation would best prepare him for a future medical career. The best part, he says, was that classes were relatively small, all were taught by actual professors, and those teachers were always accessible and approachable. For example, he wanted to get involved in research. “It was as easy as asking my advisor, Dr. (David) Hyland, to point me toward someone who was doing research,” he says. Hyland put him in touch with Dr. Steve Mauro and soon Adam was sampling Lake Erie waters to help with Mauro’s research on E. coli bacteria. Their work led to a paper that was published during his sophomore year, as well as an Environmental Protection Agency grant to continue the project. The prestigious grant, targeted to smaller universities without large research budgets, came with a scholarship and stipend for Adam. He spent his frst year after Mercyhurst in a pre-master’s program at Philadelphia’s Drexel University, sort of a primer for med school. The following year he entered Thomas Jeferson University Medical School, earning his M.D. in 2015.

he landed a second-year spot in the neurosurgery residency at Vermont Medical Center. He’s about a third of the way through the seven-year program now.

Though his preferences for a specialty are still evolving, he’s leaning toward skull base surgery, a

minimally invasive surgical technique for evaluating, diagnosing and treating benign or cancerous growths located on the underside of the brain, the base of the skull and the upper vertebrae of the spinal column. He says he can picture himself pursuing a fellowship after that and eventually teaching at an academic neurosurgery center. In May, Adam proposed to fellow Hurst alum Haley Bradstreet atop the Liberty One building in Philadelphia; they’re planning an October 2018 wedding in Vermont, an area they’ve both grown to love. They especially enjoy snowboarding, hiking and paddleboarding on Lake Champlain. A 2012 dance graduate, Haley has an administrative day job with the neuroscience grad program at Vermont, but she also teaches dance at four studios in the area and recently became involved with a start-up dance company.

After completing a yearlong general surgery internship at Jeferson,

ANDREA HASHIM HANSEN ’04 Andrea Hashim Hansen is using both her Dance major and her Political Science minor these days as founder and executive director of Kern Dance Alliance, a nonproft advocacy organization that promotes dance and the arts in her hometown of Bakersfeld, California. Her long-range goal is to build a vibrant and fourishing arts scene in central California’s Kern County, where just 10 arts organizations now serve close to 1 million residents. She says her next project will be implementing a bachelor’s degree program in dance at the Bakersfeld campus of California State University. Some might fnd her combination of academic programs at Mercyhurst odd, but she says it was one of the best academic choices she ever made. “The arts and politics often go hand in hand,” she notes. “Through my political science courses, I learned how to write persuasively, navigate political channels, write grants, and garner the confdence to speak to large crowds about my interests and passions.” A profle of the Mercyhurst dance program in Dance Teacher magazine frst put Mercyhurst on Andrea’s radar. The brutally cold temperatures that greeted her on her frst visit to Erie proved quite a shock to the California native, but Mercyhurst ofered a warm welcome. “The endless hours I spent in the danceSpace and the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center are some of my fondest memories,” she says. During her time here, she also did a summer internship with Ballet Concerto in Fort Worth, Texas; got professional performing experience during two seasons with Lake Erie Ballet; and taught open classes for non-majors.

She headed to grad school at the University of Arizona after graduation, intending to become a college professor. She’s done some college teaching, including directing the dance department at Glendale Community College and teaching online dance humanities courses (including some for Mercyhurst). Today she’s focusing on Kern Dance Alliance and serving as vice president of the Fox Theater Foundation in Bakersfeld, but her most important role is as mom to Alexander (who’s about 2) and Hannah (four months). She and husband Michael Hansen are celebrating their fourth anniversary this fall. Andrea says she maintains relationships with many of her professors from Mercyhurst, noting that her dance teachers are still an excellent source of support and that her roommates and fellow dance majors remain her closest friends to this day. “We are all scattered across the country, but when we see each other it’s like we are living in Egan Hall all over again!” 11

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