Team feeds of new tradition P. 21
Inside this issue: MAJOR GIFT HELPS AIM STUDENTS ON CAREER PATH P.3 PRESIDENT GAMBLE TO RETIRE IN 2015 P.6 LAKER ALUMS HEADING TO LAW SCHOOL P.7 POPULAR COURSE EXPLORES ‘BREAKING BAD’ PHENOMENON P. 15 DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI, ATHLETES HONORED P. 23-24
A message from the president
I’m amazed at how often I feel the inspiration of the Sisters of Mercy who founded this school – like when I was privileged to watch our own Sister Mary Matthew Baltus fy o ver campus. What a joyous – and well-deserved – moment that was for her. I’ve also been thinking about Sister Maura Smith lately as I watch our Autism/Asperger Initiative at Mercyhurst (AIM for short) build a national reputation. Her dream led Mercyhurst to create a program for students with learning dif erences more than 20 years ago. She was convinced that serving those students was a natural outgrowth of our Mercy mission.
We were pioneers in the feld then, just as w e were in 2008 when we added a program to serve college students on the autism spectrum. Now, thanks in part to the parents of one of our AIM students, we’ve launched a Career Path Program to make sure these talented students are ready for the job market. You can learn more on pages 3-5. Then there’s the photo on the cover of this magazine, one of my favorite images from fall term at Mercyhurst this year. That’s football coach Marty Schaetzle holding a giant spoon aloft for each player to touch on his way onto Tullio Field. Laker football didn’t do very well early in the season. As the losses piled up, Marty scrambled to fnd something t o motivate the team to perform as he believed it could. I have to think it was the Sisters of Mercy (Sister Damien, perhaps?) who inspired him to use a sort of parable to make his point. Check out the story on page 21 to read his message to the team – and to learn how the rest of the season unfolded. Let’s just say he seems to have started a wonderful tradition here on the Hill. As you may have heard, I’ve decided to step down as Mercyhurst’s president at the end of this academic year. You can read about that, and the search for the university’s next leader, on page 6, but I’m going to wait until the spring magazine to refec t a bit on the past 10 years. I wish you and your families a happy and blessed holiday season and a wonderful new year. God bless you and God bless Mercyhurst University.
Thomas J. Gamble, Ph.D. President, Mercyhurst University
Associate Vice President for Advancement Ryan Palm ’07 email@example.com
Contributing Writers Susan Hurley Corbran ’73 David Leisering ’01 Amy Lombardo ’96 ’01 Deborah W. Morton
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Magazine Editor Susan Hurley Corbran ’73 firstname.lastname@example.org (814) 824-2090 Design/Photography Jeremy C. Hewitt ’07 email@example.com (814) 824-3022
Contributing Photographers Jennifer Cassano Matt Durisko ’14 Jeremy C. Hewitt ’07 Caitlin Ewing ’14 Ed Mailliard Frank Rizzone Vice President for External Afairs Monsignor David Rubino, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org (814) 824-3034
Director, Alumni Relations Tamara Walters email@example.com (814) 824-3350 Class Notes Editor Debra Tarasovitch firstname.lastname@example.org (814) 824-2392
Come fly with me
- Anyone staring skyward Aug. 28 near the Mercyhurst campus spied a plume of smoke streaming from the back of a restored 1944 Boeing Stearman. It was none other than our own Sister Mary Matthew Baltus buzzing by. Nancie Baltus was 15 when she took her frst fying lesson in a vin tage biplane. That summer day, the spry 90-year old strapped on a headset, boarded the open-air fying machine at North Coast Air and let pilot Scott Allen fy her back in time to the golden age of aviation. The rarefed e xperience for Sister Mary Matthew, the longtime astronomy professor for whom the Baltus Observatory atop Zurn Hall is named, came courtesy of a Mercyhurst trustee who prefers to remain anonymous. The opportunity arose last year at a Mercyhurst Prep gala when a biplane figh t over the peninsula was of ered for bid at a fundraising auction. Sister eagerly bid, but was outdone by deeper pockets. Seeing her disappointment, the Mercyhurst trustee quietly placed an anonymous bid for a second figh t as a gift for her many years of Mercy service. This year marks her 70 th anniversary as a Sister of Mercy.
Sister was cool and collected as she climbed on board the shiny red, white and blue plane. “I just want to feel what it is like again,” she said. “The last time I few one of these w as back in 1945.” Allen few Sist er along the peninsula and then up and around Mercyhurst, where he unleashed his smoke system to the delight of spectators below.
Once back on the ground, Sister Mary Matthew was all smiles.
“I got to see Mercyhurst, the observatory and my old family home on Beech Avenue,” she said, obviously pleased. When asked if she’d do it again, she didn’t hesitate: “Oh sure, but next time I’d like him to let me fy it .”
‘Hurst aims high for students on the spectrum
By Susan Corbran
Transitions can be hard for students on the autism spectrum. Two unique components of the Autism/Asperger Initiative at Mercyhurst (known as AIM) have been developed to ease such transitions. For students trying to decide whether they’re ready to attend college, AIM of ers a three-week residential program called Foundations each summer. And now, thanks to a generous gift from the family of an AIM student, a Career Path Program will help ensure that AIM students can succeed in the work world following graduation.
When Mark Stookey and Lisa Chismire started researching college options for their son, they had some special concerns. Diagnosed as a child with Asperger’s syndrome, Andrew Stookey was at the top of his high school honors classes academically, but had a harder time in areas like social interaction and executive functioning. As he got closer to graduation, his parents discovered public schools in their hometown near Philadelphia had little to of er to students like Andrew. They pushed the school district, even threatening legal action, until it developed a program to help Andrew and others on the spectrum prepare for college. Determined advocates for their son, they researched options all over the East Coast before eventually settling on Mercyhurst and its AIM program. “Mercyhurst was by far the best program I saw,” Mark Stookey said. “Lots of the others had one or two of the pieces that Mercyhurst of ers, but Mercyhurst was the most complete package.” AIM of ers: • a supported living environment. Students can choose to live in a special AIM residence hall run by a trained hall director. • individualized social skills training. AIM staf ha ve identifed mor e than 100 social skills that students may need to practice and created training modules to address them. Students are assigned to complete the modules that address their specifc needs . • peer mentoring. AIM students spend several hours each month with their peer mentors, other students from the Mercyhurst community. • social activities, including optional meal gatherings and events on and of campus .
• academic support, including priority scheduling, testing accommodations, mediation with teachers, and more.
The one thing the Mercyhurst program needed to add, Mark Stookey believed, was a mechanism to help AIM students move forward into the work world after graduation. AIM Director Brad McGarry agrees, noting that unemployment rates among adults on the autism spectrum hover around 85 percent. “It’s not enough to prepare these students academically for the world of work. We have to make sure they’re employable after graduation,” he said. He and his staf w ere already working on a new vocational track for AIM students when Stookey and Chismire approached them with a proposal to help fund it. They have agreed to donate $250,000 – $50,000 to kick-start the new Career Path Program as it rolls out over the next three years, and $200,000 as seed money for an endowment to fund the program into the future. “Where else could we put our money where it would have a bigger impact for Andrew and other students like him?” Mark Stookey asks. He says the lifetime earnings of just one successful AIM student will more than cover the family’s investment. He adds that the stars aligned for this project because Mercyhurst already had a plan in place and was ready to launch it as soon as the funding became available. He’s convinced that Mercyhurst can be a model for the rest of the educational establishment. “We’re going to help the world understand just how much people on the spectrum have to of er.”
Mark Stookey, center, and his wife have donated a quarter-million dollars to build a career preparation track into Mercyhurst’s AIM program. He’s pictured with, from left, Ryan Palm ’07, associate vice president for advancement; President Tom Gamble; his son, sophomore Andrew Stookey; and Brad McGarry, director of AIM.
- McGarry and his staf ar en’t swimming instructors, he explains. “We push kids into the deep end to see whether they can stay afoa t.” They pushed the 22 students in Foundations this year to live on their own, navigate an unfamiliar campus and city, co exist peacefully with a roommate, socialize with their peers – even take and pass a college course. These tasks can overwhelm any new college freshman, but they’re even tougher for students with Asperger’s syndrome or other forms of high-functioning autism. The ratio of staf t o students is nearly 1-to-1. Staf members w on’t let any student drown, but they don’t throw in a lifeline at the frst sig n of trouble, either. Students need to learn whether they can tread water. Many parents have assumed a college degree isn’t possible for their - kids on the spectrum. McGarry says Foundations gives parents hope, and an objective way to determine if the kids are ready for the demands of college life. Foundations has developed a reputation as the leading college readiness program in the country, McGarry says. Demand was so high this year that he had to turn away dozens of potential students. He accepts only those he thinks have a reasonable chance of success, TESTING THE WATER Mercyhurst’s summer Foundations program gives students on the autism spectrum a chance to “test the waters” of life on a college campus. That’s an apt metaphor, says Brad McGarry, who directs both Foundations and the year-round Autism/Asperger Initiative at Mercyhurst (AIM).
Under the Career Path Program, students will begin preparing for post-college careers from their frst t erm on campus, completing individualized modules to build the social skills they’ll need to fnd and hold jobs . They’ll use specialized software to assess their own skills and interests, and then begin exploring potential careers. They’ll gradually be introduced to the workplace, frst b y shadowing workers in their chosen feld , then by working in paid Career Path Experience jobs on the Mercyhurst campus, and eventually by interning of campus . AIM plans to build a network of local businesses and alumni interested in working with its students, and will help students tap into national resources as well. In addition to extensive preparation, students can be assigned a job coach to help them navigate jobs and internships. Plans call for a full-time staf member t o oversee the Career Path Program. Mark Stookey hopes other AIM families will see the value in the new program and contribute to the endowment, but he also expects that Mercyhurst alumni – including thousands of teachers – will embrace the concept. For information or to make a gift, contact Ryan Palm, associate vice president for advancement, at 814-824-3320 or rpalm@ mercyhurst.edu . If you can provide an internship experience for an AIM student – or a job for an AIM graduate – contact Brad McGarry at 814-824-2451 or email@example.com .
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based on what he learns from parents and what he observes during a pre admission interview.
It’s more than a gut feeling. He’s developed a rating scale that measures how students perform on what he calls the “AISE Domains”: academic progress, independence, social competence and emotional stability. The scale allows him to calculate a GPA of sorts. Like the grade point average all students earn, it ranges from 0 to 4.0, but it measures far more. During the Foundations experience, staf members c ontinue to measure performance on the AISE Domains and the student’s progress toward individual goals. Everything from workshops to social activities is designed to help students develop the skills they’ll need to succeed in a college. At the program’s close, each family gets a personalized report with a recommendation for the future. This year, McGarry told fv e participants they probably weren’t ready to enroll in college yet. The rest, he believes, can succeed, with some level of accommodations. Five of them enrolled in Mercyhurst’s AIM program this fall. Eleven of the 12 students in this year’s freshman cohort have completed Foundations.
MCGARRY TREK AIMS TO BUILD AWARENESS After launching a program to help students on the autism spectrum achieve job success, Mercyhurst is aiming even higher to advocate for more vocational resources for these students with a pair of adventure trips in 2015. Brad McGarry, who directs the Autism/Asperger Initiative at Mercyhurst (AIM), will set out to “Raise the Roof for Autism” in February when he climbs Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro. Then a few months later he’ll lead a group of AIM students and friends as they “Conquer the Canyon” in Arizona. Kilimanjaro is composed of three distinct volcanic cones and rises more than 19,000 feet above sea level in northern Tanzania. It’s billed as the highest freestanding mountain in the world, and McGarry admits climbing it is a “bucket list” thing to do. “But more importantly, we’re trying to raise awareness for the lack of vocational resources for adults on the autism spectrum. I work every day with some really, really bright young adults and I want to make sure that they and other folks on the autism spectrum can get quality work and have jobs they love just like everybody else,” he explained. McGarry’s been hiking and climbing all over northwestern Pennsylvania as he trains for the climb, set for Feb. 6-16.
Contributions to fund the summit attempt and to beneft v ocational awareness can be made at hurstalumni.org/raise-the-roof-for-autism . You can follow McGarry’s adventures through a video diary on his Facebook page, Raise the Roof for Autism. The Conquer the Canyon group will leave Mercyhurst right after graduation in May to begin “the grandest hike on earth.” It’s the second time an AIM group has made the trip to experience the magnifc ent beauty of the Grand Canyon. From the rolling hills of the rim to the steep descents into the canyon of up to 3,000 feet, they’ll be led by expert guides who will interpret the geology, history, for a, fauna and environmental zones of the canyon. The itinerary also includes visits to the Valley of the Sun, the Sonoran Desert and the Red Rock Country of Sedona, a Colorado River Float Adventure, and Walnut Canyon National Monument. To help fund the trip for an AIM student, visit hurstalumni.org/conquer-the-canyon .
Gamble announces plan to retire in 2015
Thomas J. Gamble, Ph.D., has announced that he will retire on May 31, 2015, after nearly a decade of distinguished service as Mercyhurst University’s 11 th president. He will, however, remain at Mercyhurst to pursue other academic interests. “It has been an enormous privilege to serve as president of an institution that I love and where all three of my children received their education and degrees,” said Gamble, who turns 68 next year. “My frst professional loves have always involved learning, teaching, research and writing and I desire to spend the last several years of my tenure at Mercyhurst in those activities, which are a genuine source of joy and rejuvenation for me.” Gamble advised the Mercyhurst Board of Trustees that he would not seek an extension of his contract, which expires at the end of the 2014- 2015 academic year, but he agreed to stay on longer if necessary to allow for an orderly presidential search and transition. “Dr. Gamble has been a transformative president for Mercyhurst and we are deeply grateful for his many years of dedicated service,” said Board Chair Marlene Mosco. “Since he was appointed president in 2006, he has been the driver behind many bold decisions, including the transition of Mercyhurst College to Mercyhurst University in 2012, changing the academic calendar from three terms to a traditional semester system and introducing a new core curriculum in 2013.”
Prior to his selection as university president, Gamble was vice president for academic afairs a t Mercyhurst. He is a former director of the Mercyhurst Institute for Child and Family Policy and founding director of the Mercyhurst Civic Institute. He began his teaching career at Mercyhurst as an adjunct faculty member in 1985 and became a full- time professor of criminal justice and psychology in 1997, earning tenure in 2003. Before joining Mercyhurst full time, he was
aflia ted with the Erie County Ofc e of Children and Youth (OCY) from 1983 to 1997 as director of the Edmund L. Thomas Center and director of professional services. He became executive director of OCY in 1988. Gamble holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Gannon University, a master’s and doctorate in psychology from Syracuse University and a second doctorate in social psychology
from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Afairs , one of the top public policy schools in the county. He was a postdoctoral fellow in child psychology at Yale University from 1982 to 1984.
SEARCH UNDERWAY TO NAME SUCCESSOR Two former student leaders of Mercyhurst, now members of the university’s board of trustees, have been named to lead the national search for the university’s 12 th president. Board Chair Marlene Mosco named Joseph G. NeCastro ’78, chief fnancial and administrative ofc er for Scripps Networks Interactive Media, Knoxville, Tennessee; and Richard A. Lanzillo ’83, shareholder of Knox Gornall McLaughlin & Sennett, P.C., Erie, to co chair the Presidential Search Committee. Joining Lanzillo, Mosco and NeCastro on the Presidential Search Committee are: • Trustee JoAnne K. Courneen, RSM ’64
chair of the physical therapist assistant Mercyhurst Student Government) • Joseph M. Morris, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and director of the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics • Michael A. Elnitsky, Ph.D., associate professor, chair of biology department and pre-health advising program • Janice M. Haas, assistant professor and • Trustee John H. Langer ‘95 • Trustee Desmond J. McDonald • Trustee Robert S. Miller ’11 • Trustee Joanne M. McGurk, Ph.D. (president, Faculty Senate) • Trustee Scott A. Koskoski ’00 (president, Alumni Association) • Trustee Nicholas T. Latta ’15 (president,
“We feel good about the composition of the Presidential Search
Committee,” Mosco said. “It represents a cross section of ages, disciplines, occupations and length of service to the board and university. It is also the frst time so man y Mercyhurst graduates who were all former student leaders have been named to a search at the university. They have a vested interest with this being their alma mater.”
Joseph G. Necastro
- able to communicate with the co chairs and As the search progresses, the university community will be able to access a Presidential Search website through a link mercyhurst.edu at . Constituents will also be committee through a link on the website.
Richard A. Lanzillo
program at Mercyhurst North East.
• Trustee Rosemary D. Durkin ‘77
Alums making mark in legal arena
Students majoring in criminal justice, English or political science can take a pre-law concentration within their departments. These majors provide students with a solid foundation for the rigors of law school. Michael Federici, Ph.D., chair of the political science department, says that in his 20+ years in the department, not a single graduating senior in political science who has applied to law school has failed to be accepted. Students in any major can pursue an 18-credit pre-law minor. In addition, students who have opted to not formally pick up a pre-law concentration or minor are still well prepared for law school as a result of the strong liberal arts foundation they receive at Mercyhurst. Bollheimer says the liberal arts focus at Mercyhurst helps develop “intellectually well- rounded students” who will succeed in law school. She adds, “Law schools are looking for students who understand various ways of thinking, who know how people and society work, and who can engage in solving difcult problems in the world.” Mercyhurst also has an infrastructure in place to assist students on the journey to law school, including an active Pre-Law Society that provides guidance on LSAT preparation and the admissions process. It brings in local attorneys and regional law school admissions representatives to meet with students, and organizes visits to law schools. There’s also a four ishing network of ‘Hurst alumni who routinely provide advice and mentoring for prospective law students. In the following pages, we profle just a f ew of Mercyhurst’s alumni lawyers.
The American Bar Association suggests students preparing for law school and legal careers need to excel in analytical thinking and problem solving, critical reading, writing, oral communication and listening, research, personal organization and management, serving others and promoting justice. Coincidentally, Mercyhurst’s core curriculum was designed to help students master all these essential skills and values. That might explain why increasing numbers of Mercyhurst graduates are earning admission to top law schools, receiving signifcan t scholarships, and launching successful legal careers. At least a half-dozen 2014 graduates began law school this fall, joining an impressive group of Mercyhurst alums who are already in law school and practicing law. Mercyhurst students have recently earned admittance to schools including the University of Michigan, DePaul University, Duquesne University, Hofstra, University of Pittsburgh, Case Western Reserve and Indiana University at Bloomington. Meredith Bollheimer, J.D., who has run Mercyhurst’s Pre-Law Society for the past nine years with Tina Fryling, J.D., says she is continually impressed with the number, quality and diversity of Mercyhurst students interested in attending law school. While the majority of pre-law students have been (and still are) political science majors, students from majors as varied as chemistry, public health, intelligence studies, history, business, criminal justice and dance are increasingly choosing to pursue pre-law studies and law school.
’36 GRAD WAS FIRST TO PURSUE LAW CAREER While the numbers may be on the rise now, dozens of Mercyhurst graduates have pursued law careers over the years, starting (it’s believed) with Catherine Durkin, a 1936 graduate who went on to serve as one of the frst la y members of the Mercyhurst Board of Trustees. Rosemary Durkin ’77 followed her Aunt Catherine to Mercyhurst, to law school and eventually into the Mercyhurst board room. She says Catherine fnished la w school in just two years, graduating from the Western Reserve University School of Law in 1948. She was the only woman in her class, and one of just fv e in the whole school, at a time when soldiers returning from World War II flled most of the sea ts. The school’s dean had encouraged Catherine to apply, but he died while she was a student. His successor didn’t believe women should be attorneys and refused to give her a letter of recommendation, but she found a job anyway, as in-house counsel for an insurance company. She continued to practice in a small fr m and later as a solo practitioner, primarily in trusts and estates law, until 1980. She died in 2009. Rosemary Durkin majored in history at Mercyhurst before attending Case Western Reserve, graduating in 1980. Today she’s a shareholder and member of the Trusts & Estates Group of Stark & Stark Attorneys at Law in Princeton, N.J. She’s married to fellow alum Jefr ey M. Best, and their daughter, Deirdre Best, graduated from Mercyhurst in the spring and is now a graduate student in education.
Albert Veverka ’05, fourth from left, hosted members of the Pre-Law Society on a visit to Pittsburgh law schools last year. With him, from left: Evan Christensen, now a student at Northern Illinois University College of Law; Mary Mancuso, now at Indiana University Maurer School of Law; Amanda Bortak; Emily Orlando; Kelsey Gorcica; Ian Grecco, now at Duquesne University School of Law; Joseph Wheeler; and Mike Vervoort.
BAR ASSOCIATIONS ELECT ‘HURST ALUMS Two classmates from the Mercyhurst Class of 1983 will head bar associations on opposite sides of Pennsylvania in 2015. Richard Lanzillo, Esq., will step up to the presidency of the Erie County Bar Association, while Bruce Pancio, Esq., will lead the Montgomery Bar Association outside Philadelphia. Bruce was a criminal justice major expecting to work in parole or probation before shifting his sights to the law. He says Barry Grossman’s Constitutional Law was the most interesting class he ever took, and helped nudge him toward new goals. After graduating from the Villanova School of Law, he accepted his frst job with a Philadelphia law fr m specializing in insurance defense work. He remained in that feld through several jobs before deciding to open his own fr m. With partner Joseph Walsh, Esq., he launched Walsh Pancio, LLC in 2007 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. The fr m focuses its practice on civil litigation with a heavy concentration on representing defendants in personal injury cases as well as builders in construction defect cases. Since its formation, one of the fr m’s clients has been the Erie Insurance Group. The fr m has expanded its practice to the entire eastern half of Pennsylvania and hired two associates and several paralegals to serve their clients. He’s personally handled thousands of civil cases, trying more than 70 to jury verdicts. He’s been admitted to practice before a variety of state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Bruce has long been active with the Montgomery Bar Association, which provides continuing education for its members, represents the interests of lawyers to the legislature, and organizes regular gatherings of lawyers in dif erent specialties to share news and concerns. In 2009, he headed one of its largest sections as the president of the Trial Lawyers Section. He presently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Montgomery Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the association. He’s also active with the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, having served on its board since 2011 and as a volunteer for many years prior. The organization is composed of lawyers who volunteer their time to represent the interests of children involved in litigation – to make sure the child has a voice in matters ranging from protection from abuse cases to testifying as a witness in a criminal case. Bruce and his wife, Linda, have three children: Lauren and Jim, who are following in dad’s footsteps as frst -year law students at Drexel University and Temple University, respectively, and Danielle, a junior at Temple University.
In addition to his Erie County Bar Association role, Rich Lanzillo is now co-chairing the committee searching for Mercyhurst’s 12 th president. He’s served on the Mercyhurst Board of Trustees since 2003 and as its vice chair since 2007. He made his mark at Mercyhurst even earlier, during his student years, winning back-to- back terms as student government president and earning the coveted Carpe Diem Award at graduation. After graduating from Mercyhurst with a major in history and minor in business, Rich enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he served as a law review editor and earned his Juris Doctorate degree summa cum laude in 1987. Today Rich is a shareholder with the law fr m of Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C., headquartered in Erie. He handles complex commercial, employment and civil rights litigation and appellate work and has successfully litigated several precedent- setting cases in state and federal courts. Rich has held a variety of ofc es within the Erie County Bar Association, most recently vice president, and is actively involved in several other professional and charitable organizations. Rich and his wife, Jo-Ann Israel Lanzillo ’ 86, have two daughters, Amanda, a graduate of Georgetown University, and Eliza, a junior at Brown University.
WILLIAM DOPIERALA Erie native Bill Dopierala ’72 majored in history at Mercyhurst and thought he’d become a teacher – until the prospect of student teaching convinced him education wasn’t the right feld f or him. Instead, after taking a law course from former Erie County Executive Barry Grossman, he opted for law school, graduating from Duquesne University School of Law in 1975. He’s believed to be the frst male M ercyhurst graduate to become an attorney.
Albert Veverka, an avid golfer.
- ALBERT VEVERKA An internship following his junior year at Mercyhurst helped push Albert Veverka ’05 toward law school. He spent that summer working for Senator Barbara Boxer (D Calif.). Like several other graduates, he’s quick to credit the grounding in reading, writing and oral argument he got in the political science department for preparing him to succeed at the West Virginia University College of Law. “I felt abundantly prepared, and I owe Doctors Clemons, Ripley, Federici and Morris a world of gratitude for challenging me through four years at Mercyhurst,” he says. He interned his frst summer of la w school with Justice Max Baer of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and eventually took his frst job as a la w clerk to the Hon. Katherine B. Emery of the Washington County Court of Common Pleas. Albert then spent three years as an assistant district attorney In Allegheny County before accepting a position this fall with the law fr m of Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote in Pittsburgh. He currently focuses his practice on criminal and medical malpractice defense. He’s returned home to Mt. Lebanon, a suburb in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. An avid golfer, he loves traveling to play courses all over the country. He also still plays tennis, the sport in which competed for four years at Mercyhurst. Following up on his student ofc e as co-president of the Mercyhurst Young Democrats, he now serves as a Democratic committeeman. He also visits high schools throughout the Pittsburgh area, talking to students about careers in law as well as preparing them for the legal challenges they may face when they turn 18.
After graduation he went to work for Erie Atty. George Levin, but in 1979 joined the staf of Er ie County Children’s Services, working to protect abused and neglected children. When he moved to the Erie County District Attorney’s Ofc e nearly a decade later, he helped establish a special child abuse prosecution unit within the DA’s ofc e. Working with County Detective Larry Dombrowski ’91, he pursued grant funding that allowed
the county to hire a detective to specialize in child abuse. In 1996, Bill joined the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Ofc e in Erie. As a senior deputy attorney general in the Erie ofc e, he defends lawsuits against state agencies in a 10-county area of northwestern Pennsylvania. Bill and his wife, Heather, have three kids: Scott, 39; Katie, 33; and Emily, 28, a 2008 Mercyhurst grad. Bill was the frst captain of the men’s tennis team, the frst intercollegiate sport of ered in 1971 for men at the newly coeducational Mercyhurst, and helped the Lakers to an undefeated match record in their frst y ear. Though he plays little tennis these days, he does enjoy ofcia ting high school football in the Erie area and spends a lot of time reading.
ANDREA BULLOTTA DALOIA Andrea Bullotta Daloia ’98 was about halfway through a dance major at Mercyhurst when she decided political science would be a better ft f or her (though she still kept a dance minor). During her senior year, Professors Michael Federici and Randy Clemons encouraged her to pursue law school. She attended Cleveland Marshall College of Law, fnishing sec ond in her class in 2001. “Although nothing can entirely prepare you for law school, the tougher classes that focus on a ton of reading and writing (especially the ones taught by Drs. Federici and Clemons) did a great job in preparing me,” she says.
Today she’s still in Cleveland as counsel in the law ofc es of Thompson Hine. She focuses mainly on construction litigation involving contract disputes or injuries at construction sites. She’s also part of the Products Liability Practice Group, most often handling lawsuits related to occupational exposure to various chemicals. Though she’s single and has no children of her own, she loves spending time with her nieces and nephews and other family members who have moved near her home in the Cleveland suburb of Westlake. In her spare time, she frequently practices yoga and Pilates, and is also involved in a variety of community service projects, from legal aid events to soup kitchens.
instrumental in my maturation as a student and a person,” he says. “Their advice, guidance and rigorous courses helped instill in me the confdenc e and knowledge necessary to pursue a law degree.” He earned his law degree from SUNY Bufalo S chool of Law in 1998. He worked as an assistant district attorney prosecuting criminals in Westchester County, New York, through 2003, then relocated to the Bufalo ar ea and practiced in the malpractice feld f or fv e years. Returning to the prosecution side, he joined the Erie County District Attorney’s Ofc e in 2009 and is now assigned to the Financial Crimes Bureau, specializing in white-collar prosecutions. With a job, a wife and four children between the ages of 4 and 11, he doesn’t have much spare time, but does cycle, swim and coach his children’s hockey teams.
Christopher Jurusik ’95 grew up in Elmira, New York, but played hockey and graduated from Bishop Ridely College in St. Catharine’s, Ontario. He says his hockey career didn’t four ish at Mercyhurst – but his academic career did. One of his frst classes , American Government with Dr. Randy Clemons, shifted his focus from the hard sciences to political science. Clemons’
teaching style, he says, encouraged students to participate during his lectures, creating a dialogue and encouraging critical thinking. “I owe a debt of gratitude to both Drs. Clemons and Michael Federici as they were
Alspaugh continues her dance training.
MARY CATHERINE COSGROVE ANDRES Mary Catherine Cosgrove, an undergraduate social work major,
married fellow student Dennis Andres shortly after they graduated in 1972. When the youngest of their three children was about a year old, she went to work as a hospital social worker, frst in Erie and later in Indiana.
JO ALSPAUGH Jo Alspaugh ’08 double-majored in dance and French at Mercyhurst, but found her ultimate career in a much dif erent feld – family la w and litigation. She never abandoned her love of performing, though, dancing professionally with the Albany Berkshire Ballet before deciding on law school, and with the Ballet Theatre of Ohio even as she studied law at Case Western Reserve University. Now, despite a demanding position with Erie’s Quinn Law Firm, she continues to appear with SoMar DanceWorks, the dance troupe led by Mark and Solveig Santillano that’s in residence at Mercyhurst. Jo, who earned her J.D. in 2013, says her Mercyhurst experience more than prepared her for law school because the practice of law draws from so many dif erent skill sets. Both her majors and her core courses helped develop those skills, including reasoning, writing, communicating, and more. She was a teaching assistant for Case Western’s appellate practice program, and a judicial extern in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. She devotes much of her practice to family law issues, including custody, divorce and support. She’s also a trained “collaborative lawyer” who can of er alternative dispute resolution services to interested clients, avoiding costly litigation and multiple court hearings. Active in the Erie County Bar Association, she serves on the Leadership Committee for the women’s division and is involved in mentoring through the Bar Association’s Attorneys and Kids Together program. Besides performing, she also teaches dance at the Erie Dance Conservatory and serves on the boards of the Erie Contemporary Ballet Theatre and the Erie Dance Consortium.
A decade later, she decided it was time to broaden her horizons. A master’s in social work was an option, but she also found herself drawn to the law, perhaps inspired by her dad, who had been a sitting judge throughout her childhood in Bufalo , New York. She started studying part time at Valparaiso University School of Law. When Dennis, who had earned a master’s degree in scene design and technical theatre at Syracuse University, took a position with St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, she enrolled in law school full time. She received her J.D. in 1991 – the same year her oldest son, Dennis Jr., graduated from high school. She says her Mercyhurst education provided a sound foundation for legal study, but adds that the multitasking skills she developed as a working mom were also helpful. Mary Catherine started as a part-time deputy prosecutor, while also maintaining a private practice, focused on family issues. For the past 11 years, she’s been a full-time deputy prosecutor for St. Joseph County, Indiana. Two years ago, she entered the Democratic primary for probate court judge. Though she lost, she says the experience of running was awesome. “Everyone must follow the ethics rules so there isn’t any mudslinging,” she explains. “I enjoyed all the terrifc people I met – and the fact that the whole process was out of my comfort zone so I pushed my envelope.” She also continues to serve her community, frst v olunteering to educate women about domestic violence and legal issues, and more recently providing pro bono service to hospice patients. She’s also a River City Rocker, spending several hours each week rocking infants in the newborn ICU.
GARY COAD Gary Coad always wanted to be a lawyer, but he knew his chosen specialty – patent work – required expertise in the hard sciences, so he majored in chemistry at Mercyhurst, graduating in 2009. He was always on the lookout for intersections between science and law while he was here. He
- Mercyhurst for preparing her for law school at the State University of New York at Bufalo . “While I think it is hard for anything to truly prepare you for your frst y ear of law school, I think the classes of ered by the Political Science Department had me better prepared than most of my frst year counterparts. I would like to give a very grateful shout out to Dr. Clemons, Dr. Federici, Dr. Morris and Dr. Ripley!” She adds that Dr. Michael Federici is tougher than most law school professors she encountered. “He pushes each of his students to their edge, asking them to independently analyze complicated political, and legal, issues in his classes, not just accepting his thoughts or arguments as ‘true’ solely because he says so.” She also credits the tough love provided by department patriarch Dr. Randy Clemons. “He relishes forcing his students to think outside the box, reminding them that there is rarely a ‘right’ answer, and teaching them to look at every situation through multiple lenses before determining a course of action. This is exactly how you are asked to think in law school.” - KAITLYN FAUCETT Three years into her legal career, Kaitlyn Faucett ’09 says she’s grateful to
recalls a seminar class with department chair Clint Jones, Ph.D., where each student had to give a presentation on an area of research. “So I spoke to a group of future scientists on the basics of patent law,” he says. Gary attended the Franklin Pierce Law Center (now the University of New Hampshire School of Law), a school well- known for its patent curriculum. After graduating in 2012, he joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, a highly regarded fr m with about 1,200 attorneys in 20 ofc es around the world. The fr m handles complex corporate, litigation, regulatory, tax and restructuring challenges for clients. Gary works in patent litigation, representing clients who allege new products or services have infringed on their patent rights. He’s based in Washington, D.C. “The law is an incredibly crowded feld and a v ery hard market to enter,” he says. “But as a scientist you have something few others have.” He’s made an open of er to mentor Mercyhurst students interested in following his path to the law. Gary and his wife, Myumi (a patent litigator at another D. C. fr m), live in Alexandria with their two small dogs. When he’s not at work, he says you’ll fnd him on the golf c ourse.
Kaitlyn’s been licensed to practice in Texas since 2012 and New York since 2013. For the last year she’s been an associate at Levinthal Wilkins & Nguyen, PLLC, a Houston-based litigation fr m that handles business and commercial disputes, as well as catastrophic personal injury actions. “I absolutely love my job!” she says. Before joining LWN, she served as in-house counsel for a boutique oil & gas company where she primarily examined title and managed the company’s litigation.
- Kaitlyn and her boyfriend, Ryan, live in Houston with their one-and-a-half-year old Doberman Pinscher, Royal. In her free time, she enjoys running, hot yoga, Bufalo spor ts, and a fair amount of mindless reality TV. Determined to give back to aspiring attorneys and law students, she’s active with the Houston Bar Association, the Texas Young Lawyers Association, the New York Bar Association, and Phi Alpha Delta.
TINA FIELDING FRYLING Tina Fielding Fryling ’92 is not only a practicing attorney, but also has a hand in teaching the next generation of lawyers. An associate professor of criminal justice at Mercyhurst, she’s been teaching classes like Constitutional Law for several years, and is best known around campus for the mock trials her students stage each term. Starting this year, other teachers around the country are using a textbook she authored titled Constitutional Law in Criminal Justice . The 636-page book examines the provisions of the U.S. Constitution that guide the investigation of crimes and of threats to public safety and national security, as well as how those provisions have been interpreted by the courts. It features open-ended scenarios based on actual cases that allow students to explore situations they’ll face in the criminal justice system. Tina, a Wattsburg native, majored in criminal justice at Mercyhurst and then headed to the University of Dayton School of Law. After graduation, she clerked for Erie County Judge Fred Anthony and worked for a local law fr m, gaining experience in areas of the law from juvenile justice to civil litigation to bankruptcy.
She then pursued a master’s degree in administration of justice at Mercyhurst and stayed on to teach. Never one to stop learning, she says she’d continue taking classes now if she had the time. Instead, on top of her class load, she maintains a solo legal practice in criminal, bankruptcy and family law, and handles appeals for the Erie County Public Defender’s Ofc e. Tina’s the mother of four kids ages 8-14. In her spare time, she used to play the trombone and she takes Irish dance lessons.
FRANK KOSTIK JR. Frank Kostik Jr. graduated from Mercyhurst in 2001 with a major in political science and an ROTC commission. When his fellow cadets were heading to active duty, he requested a waiver to pursue a degree in law. It was only a temporary delay, though. After earning his J.D. from Harrisburg’s Widener University School of Law in 2004, he entered the Army. His frst assig nment was as a legal assistance attorney at Fort Riley, Kansas, but he worked his way rapidly up through the ranks. He’s held a range of legal posts, including a deployment to Iraq during “the surge” as a brigade judge advocate, and earned a Master of Laws degree from the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School. Now a major, he’s part of the U.S. Army Trial Defense Service, assigned as senior defense counsel at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and acting senior defense counsel at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. In that role, he defends soldiers accused of committing crimes ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies like sexual assault and murder.
It was Professor Michael Federici’s American Government class that drew Frank to political science, and a recommendation by an ROTC instructor that aimed him toward the law. He’s grateful for the preparation he received at Mercyhurst, particularly in case analysis and legal writing. The notoriously rigorous requirements of the poli sci department taught him to stay ahead of the reading, he says, and that’s a major component of success in law school. Frank’s wife, Alison L. Fedrow, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, so she splits her time between Silver Spring, Maryland, and their home in Kansas. Frank’s brother, Adam, graduated from Mercyhurst in 2011 with a double major in philosophy and political science – and an ROTC commission. He earned his degree this spring from the University of Dayton School of Law.
LINDSEY WEBER KELJO Lindsey Weber Keljo ’04 majored in political science and world languages (specifcally Russian and Spanish) a t Mercyhurst. After her 2004 graduation, she did campaign work for the Republican Party in Pennsylvania for a couple of years until one of her clients – Erie County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Garhart – encouraged her to take the LSAT and apply for law school. Before and during college, she worked as a child entertainer and clown, under the stage name “Rainbow.” She wrote about that experience when she applied to law schools, impressing admissions ofc ers enough to win entrance to schools like Michigan, Duke and the University of Pennsylvania. She chose top-rated Michigan, whose admissions director told her, “You’re the frst clo wn we’ve ever let in.” Graduating in December 2008, she accepted a job in Washington, D.C., with Patton Boggs LLC (later Squire Patton Boggs), a law fr m that is also consistently ranked as the nation’s top lobbying fr m. Lindsey loved her job, which allowed her to use her legal degree to advocate on behalf of her clients on Capitol Hill and with the regulatory agencies. Perhaps because she joined the fr m during the depths of the recent fnancial crisis, she specialized in fnancial ser vices, focusing on, among other things, many of the regulations that have stemmed from the Dodd- Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Earlier this year, she accepted a new position as counsel to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), a trade association
that includes many of her former clients. At SIFMA, she will continue to advocate on behalf of the fnancial ser vices industry. Lindsey and husband Michael Keljo (an executive with Hilton Worldwide) welcomed
son Charles John (Charlie) earlier this year. They look forward to raising him in D.C., which she says has some of the best schools in the nation, multitudes of educational activities, and where she expects him to meet “lots of Washington dorky famous people.”The frst time she took Charlie to a work event, she recalls, Ken Starr kissed his head.
In her spare time, Lindsey likes to enjoy all the Washington area has to of er, from exploring museums and historical sites, to hiking just outside the city limits, to walking the streets of Old Town, Alexandria, where she lives with her family. She also enjoys playing soccer on a recreational team with fellow Michigan alums and spending time with her dog, Marcie.
Love and loss... and hope By Susan Hurley Corbran 6:15 AM, Sunday morning. A soft voice innocently calls, “Daddy? Can you make me some pancakes?” With eyes half shut and a slight smile, I answer, “Sure, honey, I’m coming right down.” In a moment of butter, four and maple syrup , my shattered family begins to heal. The night before, I’d told Amanda (four years old), Kevin Patrick (six), and Christopher (two) that their Mommy had died. If it were not for my kids, I would have remained in bed for a long time. But Amanda needed me to rise and be her daddy. My little girl’s 6:15 AM wake-up call summoned me to fnish the job m y wife, Pamela, and I began: making pancakes, making memories and making a loving home for our three children. This is our journey. Kevin McAteer ‘89 lost his wife on Feb. 17, 2007. Numb with grief and disbelief, he was still determined to ensure that the kids would remember what Pamela looked like, what she sounded like, and how much she had loved them. He gathered home videos, created photo collages, wrote down family stories. Gradually, the scrapbook he was building for the kids morphed into a journal of how the whole family survived its unthinkable loss and he decided to share it with a broader audience. On Father’s Day 2014, he published the story in book form. Kevin found his title in the words of Amanda, who looked so much like her mother: “Daddy, can you make me pancakes?” He says it shows how quickly the next chapter of your life starts. “When you have kids depending on you, you don’t have time to think about it,” he says. “Sometimes life puts you in insanely adverse situations and you just have to step up.”
From top: Kevin, Pamela and the kids a few years before cancer struck; Kevin and his kids the frst summer after Pamela’s death; the six children from Kevin and Shayna’s blended family. Opposite page: The McAteers in a “Brady Bunch” pose.
“Daddy, Can You Make Me Pancakes?” (2014, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) is available through amazon.com . Follow the McAteers’ story at kevinmcateer.com/blog/ .
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