Notes, Marriages, Births and Memoriam

Message from Brian Kurtz, Alumni Association President

We are all part of a strong tradition. Evidence of this was apparent during Alumni Homecoming Reunion Weekend in October when the University welcomed 908 alumni and friends back to campus for a weekend of fun and camaraderie. Those who haven’t been to campus recently may have been shocked to see how quickly things have changed. A gentleman celebrating his 50th class reunion told me that even though the expanding campus looks nothing like it did in 1964, it still felt like Gannon to him.

Buildings have changed, new academic programs have been introduced, and the campus has grown – even more with the recent announcement of a new campus in Ruskin, Fla. But our common affinity is to an institution of faculty and staff committed to impacting the lives of others. That tradition is what shapes students, and Gannon and Villa Maria alumni into being responsible and informed members of a larger community.

Register or log on to to share your fondest memory of your time at Gannon and Villa and tell us how the Gannon tradition has impacted you. It’s up to us alumni to ensure the tradition stays alive.

Brian can be reached at


SISTER MARGARET FRANK, S.S.J. VMC., formerly Sister Immaculata, recently celebrated her 60th Jubilee. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 2, 1954 from her home parish, St. Leo Magnus, Ridgway. She professed her final vows on Aug. 15, 1960. Sister Margaret is well known from the 30-plus years she served as administrator/principal of Villa Maria Elementary School. Prior to that, she was assistant professor and program director of elementary education at Villa Maria College and she served as principal at Sacred Heart School, Erie, from 1968 to 1974. Her teaching career includes work at St. Peter, St. Patrick, Blessed Sacrament, St. Andrew and Villa Maria Elementary Schools in Erie; St. Bernard School, Bradford; and St. Agatha School, Meadville. Sr. Margaret spent many of her "summers off" ministering at St. Joseph Home for Children and Harborcreek Home for Boys. Sr. Margaret served as Quality of Life Coordinator in Marycrest, the Congregation's infirmary and presently she ministers at Heritage

DENNIS R. WHITE has been appointed a director of Twentyfour/seven Ventures, Inc. White is the owner and C.E.O. of DRW & Associates, Inc., a strategic consulting firm. He is also currently a director of E.F. Hutton Group, Inc., a financial services company.


JOSEPH L. CROSSEN, PH.D. won the 2014 Rehoboth Beach Short Story Contest with "The Case of the Artist's Stain." His story will be published in a collection of shorts titled "The Beach House," by the Rehoboth Beach-based publisher Cat Mouse Press.


ROBERT W. MCGEE, J.D., PH.D., D.SC., CPA competed in the Taekwondo World Championship Tournament in Little Rock, Ark. in July, 2014 and won five gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

J. DAVID SERFOZO, and his wife Charlene, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on Oct. 12, 2014.


THOMAS J. GAMBLE, PH.D. will be retiring as president of Mercyhurst University on May, 31, 2015.  He will remain with the university as a professor and pursue other academic interests.

JOSEPH V. SCHEMBER, JR. has been named to the St. Martin Center's board of directors in Erie. Schember is a vice president with PNC Financial Services Group where he oversees the financial affairs of high- net-worth clients and has been a certified financial planner since 1991.


JOSEPH M. BIONE '75M is the president and chief executive officer at Specialty Vehicle Acquisition Company, dba ASC, Inc. (American Specialty Cars).


JO MARIE (KENNEDY) KEPPLE VMC has joined the staff at St. Boniface School in Erie as the new music teacher.  She has worked in Catholic schools for 30 years and will be teaching music to kindergarteners.


DANIEL P. LAVIN, D.D.S. (COL, USA, RET.) was inducted into the Sharon High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame on Aug. 30, 2014. He served in the U.S. Army for 30 years as a dentist and graduate dental educator. He was instrumental in helping develop the military's first electronic dental records.


FRANCIS J. KLEMENSIC, ESQ. was chosen as a "Lawyer of the Year" for the Pittsburgh metropolitan area by Medical Malpractice Law.  He has been on the Best Lawyers list for the past four years and has practiced medical malpractice defense, civil litigation and insurance litigation for over 30 years. Klemensic is a shareholder at Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. in Erie.


CHARLES H. “CHIP” DOUGHERTY, JR. has joined the board of the Carnegie Science Center. Dougherty is an intellectual property attorney with Beck & Thomas in Mt. Lebanon, Pa.


JOHN P. PLANZ has been named vice president of Miami operations for Suffolk Construction. In his new role, Planz will oversee the financial and operational aspects of all Suffolk's projects in the Miami area while directing project teams, assessing preconstruction and construction progress and ensuring the firm meets all client needs.


REV. SHAWN J. CLERKIN was among local vocalists who were asked to perform The Star-Spangled Banner on the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key's poem, which the first portion of became our national anthem in 1931.


MARGARET “MEG” (ROTHGERY) VANDERLAAN received the 2014 Outstanding Women in Business Award from the Denver Business Journal. VanderLaan is the chief communications officer for MWH Global. She was among 138 women nominated for the award.


DEBORAH (MOSTELLER) BECK was a presenter at the 30th annual fall meeting of the Workers' Compensation Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association in Hershey on Sept. 11, 2014. She made a presentation on the topic of "Legal Issues in Upper Extremity Cases" and explored cumulative trauma injuries involving the upper extremities. Beck is an attorney with Rawle & Henderson in the firm's Philadelphia office.

Sgt. MARK W. BETTWY is the new commander of the state police station in Greene County, Pa.  Bettwy is a 22-year veteran of the state police, previously serving as a corporal in Troop C in Clarion.

ANDREA NAYLOR GOLEMBIEWSKI, M.D. sold her practice and is working full time at McLaren Northern Michigan as the medical director of rehabilitation services, including work on the inpatient rehabilitation unit.


ARTHUR E. APOLINARIO, M.D. has published "The Absolute Last Weight-Loss, Diet and Exercise Book You Will Ever Need to Read," which is available at Barnes and Noble and Apolinario was named assistant professor, department of family medicine, at Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine. He is now a certified hypnotist in weight loss, anxiety and smoking cessation in addition to being a family physician.

JOHN B. CARLSON, ESQ. has been granted membership into the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys.


ANDREW F. POTALIVO, C.P.C.U. has been named vice president of marketing, sales and business development with the Harrisburg-based Penn National Insurance.


RICHARD R. WATKINS, M.D. is currently an associate professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University and an infectious disease physician at Akron General Medical Center. He is an active clinical researcher and has published over two dozen papers and several book chapters. He serves on editorial boards and as a peer reviewer for numerous medical journals. Also, he is active in national organizations with committee assignments at the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the National Institutes of Health.


JONATHAN S. DEARMENT has been elected president and chief operating officer of Channellock Inc. effective Oct. 1, 2014. DeArment was the company's vice president of manufacturing and engineering.

KRISTA (DEFRANKS) LUCAS participated in "Krista's 5K to Independence" benefit run to support Unity: A Journey of Hope, an organization that grants wishes to people with life-threatening illnesses in the tri-state area and Maryland.  Lucas suffered a heart attack in 2010, which left her in a coma for two months, partially paralyzed and unable to walk any notable distance. She was able to participate with the help of her hospice nurse and co-founder of the organization who pushed her in a wheelchair until the last 50 feet. From here she was able to walk using her walker to finish the race.


BRYAN J. LEFAUVE has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer at SKM Group in Buffalo. Lefauve has been with the company since 2005 and was most recently executive vice president.


ADAM J. PITZER and NICOLE (MIHELI) PITZER are both founding members of a non-profit organization called Stone by Stone, which supports a medical clinic and other community programs in a mountainous region in Haiti.


GREGORY D. HALL has been named the new manager of public relations at Erie Shriners Ambulatory Surgery Center and Outpatient Specialty Care Center. Hall is active in the community and serves on the board of directors of SafeNet.

KATHLEEN (MIKOLAJCZAK) JACKSON has joined the Erie Community Foundation as a part-time grant and accounting assistant. She will assist the finance department with the monthly and quarterly accounting processes, as well as grants and fund statement processing.

H. NICHOLAS LESLIE has been hired as the baseball coach at McDowell High School in Erie. Leslie was a two-time, all-Metro League player with the Trojans.

MATTHEW D. VENESKY, PH.D. had one of his research papers, titled "Amphibians acquire resistance to live and dead fungus overcoming fungal immunosuppression," featured as the cover story for the July 9, 2014 edition of Nature, one of the leading international science journals.


ELLIOT S. SPAEDER and SONYA (PYLE) WHITMAN '04 completed the 24.3-mile swim across Lake Erie from Long Point, Canada, to Freeport Beach in North East, Pa. He completed this feat in an astonishing 11 hours and 28 minutes, making him the third-fastest swimmer to achieve this milestone. Spaeder now joins the Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association's (LEOWSA) ratified list of those to complete this swim, joining an additional Gannon alumna, Sonya (Pyle) Whitman.


LUNA L. REES '07M, '07C has been named interim director of the Erie County Office of Children and Youth by Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper. Most recently, Rees had served as a mental health program specialist for the Department of Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities.


ANTHONY R. DEMARO '08C is the new assistant superintendent with the Mt. Pleasant Area (Pa.) School District. He most recently served as the principal at the Yough Intermediate Middle School for the past three years.

Capt. JENNIFER S. KRYSINSKI, USAF had her wedding featured on the TLC channel's show "Four Weddings," which aired on Aug. 15, 2014. Krysinski is a captain in the U.S. Air Force; her nuptials saluted her patriotism with a red, white and blue theme.

BRIAN M. KURTZ was recently named Director of Economic Development for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. Kurtz has worked there since 2011. In his current role he oversees all development, research and activation efforts in downtown Pittsburgh. Additionally, Kurtz was elected President of the Gannon University National Alumni Board, representing the 35,000+ members of the Gannon University Alumni Association.

JOHN D. PICHETTE '10M and KAYLA A. (FRACASSI) PICHETTE celebrated their first wedding anniversary on Oct. 19, 2014.


WILLIAM R. HENDERSON III '09C is the new superintendent of schools in the Frazier School District. Previously, Henderson was a health and physical education teacher in the school district, and held the position of athletic director and coached football and softball for about seven years before he left to teach in Oakland, Md. Most recently, Henderson was the superintendent of the Southeastern Greene district.


AARON H. KLEPS '11M has joined the Tri-State Pain Institute in Erie as a physician assistant.


DEACON ERIC J. DINGA was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt at the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greenburg, Pa. on Aug. 12, 2104. He will be ordained to the priesthood on June 20, 2015.

LAUREN A. HOLTZ is a health and education multimedia account executive at The Buffalo News.

MITCHEL S. MEIGHEN recently received the Golden Apple Award for outstanding educator from Edinboro University and Jet 24 Action News. Meighen teaches eleventh grade English at Fairview (Pa.) High School and is the only first-year teacher to be selected for this award.


MARK V. CARLOZZI has been hired as a full-time ticket sales executive with The Akron RubberDucks, the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

TIMOTHY D. CROUSE '12M graduated from Drayer Physical Therapy's orthopedic residency program
and passed the OCS examination in March 2014.

BENJAMEN C. GANGEWERE is a fourth-year medical student at LECOM, Erie. He will graduate from medical school in May 2015.

JEANA M. SMITH, PH.D. '14M graduated with a doctor of physical therapy. In addition to her doctorate, Smith holds a bachelor of science degree in sports and exercise science from Gannon University. She has accepted a physical therapist position with the Leesville Rehabilitation Hospital in Leesville, La.


KATHLEEN A. CARUSO accepted a full-time physician assistant position in gastroenterology in Dubois, Pa.

CASEY GRAFFIUS recently became one of the newest members of Pitt Law's Law Review.

AMANDA E. HAIG recently graduated from Canisius College in June 2014 with a Master of Science degree in  forensic accounting. She is working as a risk assurance associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Pittsburgh.

REBECCA G. LENOX signed on to work as a physician assistant for Foothills Medical Center in Las Cruces, N.M.

ERIK J. NESBIT '14M is a physical therapist with Lake Pointe Health Center in Lorain, Ohio. 

TIFFANY N. THOMPSON '14M is a physical therapist at Roland Park Place in Baltimore, Md. 


Ernest G. Babon '58 married Mary Ann Rossi on July 26, 2014.

Kathryn A. "Kara" Gear '06 married Jonathan Lamon on May 24, 2014.

Lauren Danielle Hervatin '12M married Joshua Alan Scott on June 7, 2014.

Nicole Marie Lyman '06, '07M married Jason J. Folaron '05 on Aug. 23, 2014. The bridal party included fellow alumni Ashley Sterbank '06, 08M; Amanda (Tucker) Moore '06, '07M; Becky Blackett '06 and Josh Kroening '06.

Rianna MacWhirter ’12 married David Wilcox ’13 on July 5, 2014. The bridal party included Adriena MacWhirter ’14; Nicole Dohoda ’11; Laura Baldwin, Ashley Young ’12; Jared Lossie ’12; Brent Elder ’12; and Joe Witkowski ‘12.

Stephen Michael Nemenz '11M married Elizabeth Sue Beckman on June 14, 2014. 

Deanna Marie Rubenstein '09 married Cory Rafferty on June 27, 2014.

Matthew Scott Schutz '10 married Kelle Christina Berchtold on June 21, 2014. 

Jeana M. Smith '12, '14M married Hector Marquez on April 25, 2014. 


a daughter, Gianna Josephine Buffa (born on Aug. 29, 2014) to Jorel Bryant Buffa '06 and his wife, Jennifer.

a son, William Robert Goodson Byrd (born on Oct. 6, 2014) to Randolph A. Byrd '77M and his wife, Kathryn.

a son, Guy Golembiewski, Jr. (born on Aug. 16, 2014) to Andrea (Naylor) Golembiewski, M.D. '91 and her husband, Guy. He joins big sister Ani, who was born October 2012.

a daughter, Mason Kay Justka (born on July 22, 2014) to Hope-Anne (Parks) Justka '09.

a son, Crosley James Jacobs (born on Jan. 9, 2014) to Amy (Ruttencutter) Jacobs '01 '02M and her husband, Jason.

In Memoriam


Richard G. Anderson ’91
Mary Mancuso Arey ’62 VMC
Charles E. Atterbury, Jr. ’80
James W. Baltes ’60
Lorraine O'Day Barnes ’91
Brian M. Barto ’78
Deacon Gerald J. Beeman (ND)
Mary Wise Bickel ’50 VMC
Ernest J. Bold ’48
Richard P. Carideo ’71
Betty Ward Caruana ’89 VMC
Donald E. Chase ’62
Jerry Chiccarino, Jr. ’63
Albert J. Cook ’47
John T. Cooney ’51
Eugene R. Criscione ’82 Ph.D.  
Victoria Surgo Dollinger ’35 VMC
James L. Donner ’59
Rev. John T. Dugan ’66
Myrna Slocum Eddy ’51 VMC
John B. Farver ’41
Judith A. Fine ’68 VMC
Tracy Houck Fischer ’89 VMC
Gordon A. Golder ’56 Ph.D.
Marjorie Anderson Grad ’47 VMC
Andrew K. Gulish ’84
Carolyn A. Gustafson ’69 VMC
Janice L. Hanusik ’92
Robert P. Herzog ’56
DeMara Hewitt ’50
Sister Mary E. Hirsch, R.S.M. ’77G
Naomi Palmer Hoffman ’75 VMC
Jamie L. Jacoby ’07G
Donald V. Key ’64
Carol Wargo Korbanic ’63 VMC
Philip J. Kraus ’58
Joyce Horneman Leach ’74 VMC
Joseph M. Limber ’91
Barry E. Lloyd, Sr. ’74G
Albert A. Logan, Jr. ’65
Marilyn Bragan Loggins ’67 VMC
Gary E. Manczka ’71
John P. McCaffrey ’54
Anne Bohen McCuskey ’71
William J. Nelson ’50
Lawrence P. Olon, Esq. ’62
Donald A. Olszewski ’70
Nicole Howard Pachell ’98
William T. Paul ’83
Robert F. Pikor ’64
John F. Riddle ’62
Robert P. Root ’71
David B. Ross ’73G
Joanne M. Sivillo ’04G, ’04C
Florence M. Smith ’49 VMC
Ronald J. Smith ’08G
Harry J. Staszewski, Jr. USMC ’73
Joseph M. Szymanowicz ’61
Sister Anastasia Valimont, S.S.J. ’50 VMC
Thomas L. Vandervort ’66
Michael J. Veshecco, Esq. ’70
Louise O'Leary Wilson ’96G

Parents and Friends

Treva Goss Anderson
Robert C. Bowen
Charles Dailey, Jr.
Susan Dailey
Mary A. Fessler
Shirley L. Gustafson
Charles P. Henness
Herman L. Howland
Gary L. Johnson
Daniel G. Krahe, Sr.
Marilyn Bragan Loggins
Rev. Msgr. John J. Lucas, V.F.
Orlinda Mathews
Andree Mir
John L. Nicolia, Jr.
Keith Odem
Joy Pappas Pulakos
Denita J. Richards
Barbara J. Rourke
Gustavo G. Scacchitti
Marguerite L. Stauffer
Grace G. Tullio
Margaret E. Victor
Sr. Christine A. Vladimiroff, O.S.B.

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