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Judith Manno Stager VMC established the Judith Manno Stager Right to Life Fund at the Elk County Community Foundation. The fund will support programs, events, education and initiatives that promote the rights of the unborn. Stager is a founding member of the ECCF.


John “Jack” A. Walter was honored by Congressman Brian Higgins (NY) with a Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin during a ceremony at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park for his distinguished service in the U.S. Army. Walter served with the 1st Calvary Division, 1st/21st Artillery and was later promoted to 1st Lieutenant in Cambodia. He was awarded a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, five Air Medals, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 Device, and several other awards for his service in Vietnam. Walter retired from the military in 1974 and joined the aerospace and defense industry.


Edward M. Gabriel was nominated by the White House for Member of the United States Institute of Peace Board of Directors. Gabriel served as U.S. Ambassador to Morocco between 1997 and 2001. He has has an extensive background in international affairs, having convened multilateral policy forums involving national security, trade and energy issues. He is currently the volunteer president and CEO of the American Task Force on Lebanon. He is the recipient of several awards including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and ACCESS Arab American of the Year and was recognized by the FBI for his work on bilateral security issues. He is the recipient of Lebanon’s National Order of the Cedar and Morocco’s Order of the Ouissam Alaouite.


James A. McLaughlin, DMD retired from dentistry after 42 years of private practice.


Rev. Shawn J. Clerkin, AOJN transitioned from his role at Gannon University to become a full-time pastor in Franklin, Pa. Clerkin has been a fixture at Gannon for decades, serving as the university’s director of liberal studies and co-director of the School of Communication and the Arts.

Alumni Books

New Titles from your Gannon Family 


Kristal Ambrose ’16
Kai and Gaia Discover the Gyre
Bumblebee Books

Nicholas Fagan ’17 and 
Maria Hays ’19
A Moment in Time
Independently published

Megan Woller, Ph.D.
Assistant professor of fine arts
From Camelot to Spamalot: Musical Retellings of Arthurian Legend on Stage and Screen 
Oxford University Press


Global Matters 
We discuss current global phenomenon with Gannon international students, faculty and subject matter experts.

Dahlkemper School of Business
The Knight Roundtable
A weekly business podcast from the Dahlkemper School of Business at Gannon University.


Brian W. Bolash, Jr., Esq. was promoted to executive vice president of Erie Insurance. He will continue to serve in his previous duties as the company’s general counsel and corporate secretary.


Robert “Bob” A. Lowry joined the commercial lending team at First Security Bank. Lowry has spent the past 30 years wearing many hats in the banking industry. His experiences include retail, small business and commercial banking, wealth management, credit and risk analysis, and operations.


Barbara N. Burgess ’90M is the 2021 recipient of Winthrop University’s James Pinckney Kinard and Lee Wicker Kinard Award for Excellence in Teaching. Burgess is a professor at the university’s College of Business Administration, where she teaches business communication, professional development and organizational leadership courses. She developed the Wilkerson Emotional Intelligence Test for Academics and Careers, for which she was named the Thompson Scholar in 2016. The test and her ongoing research are designed to help students identify their areas of strength and weakness as they prepare for their professional lives.

Kenneth Ogorek ’90M is coordinating the local preparatory process for the upcoming Worldwide Synod of Bishops as part of his work for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He is also on the local planning team for the national Eucharistic Revival that was announced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Distinguished Alumni

Nominations Now Open

The Distinguished Alumni award recognizes alumni for their meaningful contributions in their professions, community and Gannon University.

The Distinguished Alumni awards are presented by the National Alumni Board, the governing body of the Alumni Association, and they are presented as part of the Homecoming and Family Weekend celebrations each fall.

Visit to nominate someone today.


Arthur E. Apolinario, MD, MPH, FAAFP was elected president of the North Carolina Medical Society on Oct. 16, 2021. Apolinario is also the chair of the Medical Affairs Committee at Carolina Complete Health Inc., which is the first provider-led care organization in the country. Apolinario is also the co-chair of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Task Force, which assists the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services with vaccine planning with a focus on equity. Apolinario is also the author of the book, The Absolute Last Weight-Loss, Diet & Exercise Book You Will Ever Need to Read, which was published in 2013.

Parris J. Baker, Ph.D., MSSA, served as vice chairman of human services on County Executive-elect Brenton Davis’ transition team. Baker is an associate professor of the mortuary science, social work and gerontology programs at Gannon University, pastor of Believer’s International Worship Center, and founder of the Men of Valor Ministries and Abba Fathers program.


Tracey McCants Lewis, Esq was recognized as one of 20 Black Women Making Hockey History. McCants Lewis is the Deputy General Counsel and Director of Human Resources for the Pittsburgh Penguins. She is also professor of law at Duquesne University School of Law. McCantis Lewis was named one of 28 Black executives to the Executive Leadership Academy class at Carnegie Mellon University in 2020.

Scott E. Miller, DBA will assume his new duties as senior vice president of academic affairs and provost of Pennsylvania Western University beginning July 1, 2022. Miller will lead the integrated institution from an academic affairs perspective, including budgeting, personnel and institutional planning. He also will direct all academic programs and lead the development of new programs. Miller was the dean of Edinboro University’s School of Business since 2012 and dean of its College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences since 2015. He is also serving as the interim dean of the College of Science and Health Professions.


Eric G. LaPrice, MS, ’99M, ’97C was selected for a temporary assignment to Alaska to serve as the acting district ranger of the Petersburg Ranger District on the Tongass National Forest. At nearly 17 million acres, the Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the system. His four-month assignment will run from mid-January through mid-May. For the second time in four years under LaPrice’s leadership, the Western Divide Ranger District of Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument has earned the Region 5 Regional Forester’s Honor Award for District of the Year.


Richard R. Watkins, MD, MS, FACP, FIDSA, FISAC was appointed as medical director and member of the CVS Infectious Disease Advisory Team at CVS. Watkins brings more than 14 years of experience as an infectious disease physician and clinical researcher. Watkins is a professor of medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, Ohio. He has published dozens of peer-reviewed research papers, book and book chapters and contributes media interviews regarding infectious disease topics, including COVID-19. Watkins is currently the chair of the publications committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and an associate editor for several academic journals. He serves on multiple committees at the National Institutes of Health. Watkins lives in Aurora, Ohio with his wife, Tracey Lemonovich, MD – who is also an infectious disease physician – and their two children, Savannah and Isaac.


Colin R. Petersen was selected to be the Western Division Coach of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Petersen is the long-time head coach of Gannon’s women’s soccer and is now a three-time PSAC West Coach of the Year, previously earning the honor in 2008 and 2015. He is the winningest and longest-tenured coach in the history of Gannon women’s soccer. He now has a 173-151-32 record.

Gannon University is able to offer a high-quality education that inspires transformational student experience, thanks to our donors.

Your gift to Gannon supports the greatest needs of our students through scholarships, financial aid, state-of-the-art technology and facilities, library and academic resources, and students’ extracurricular experiences.

Your support provides life-changing opportunities, experiences and resources that enable our students to follow their passions and achieve success. Thank you for your commitment to Gannon University and for the support you offer to all our students.  

How can you invest in our students?

  • One-Time Annual Gift
    Support Gannon’s greatest area of needs and emerging priorities or any specific program or area. 
  • Recurring Gift
    Your recurring gift provides a reliable source of support for Gannon. You can set your gift to automatically recur monthly, quarterly or yearly. 
  • Planned Gift
    When you include Gannon University in your estate plan, your generosity creates a lasting legacy and provides a comprehensive, value-centered educational experience that is grounded in Catholic faith.
  • Financial Portfolio
    Give to Gannon through donor advised funds, stock transfers, charitable gift annuities, IRA required minimum distributions and real estate. Our Leadership Giving Team can help you make your gift through one of these areas.
  • In-Kind Gift
    Use gifts of personal property to support our students’ education. 
  • Matching Gifts
    Double the impact of your gift. Contact your employer for more information. 
  • Amazon Smile
    A simple and automatic way to support Gannon every time you shop. All you need to do is start your shopping at The donation will be made at no extra cost to you after you select Gannon University as the charitable organization you wish to support. 

To discuss your gift, Barbara Beuscher, CFRE, vice president for University Advancement at 814-871-7468.


Michael R. Porembka ’02M, ’04C, ’11C is the new superintendent of Greater Latrobe School District. He worked as the district’s assistant superintendent since August 2019 and as director of safety and security since July 2013. His previous positions included director of teaching and learning, Baggaley Elementary School principal, and interim director of facilities.

Bridget M. (Rager) Philip was named president of the Erie Catholic School System after serving as the interim president since January 2020. Philip will oversee and support the six schools in the system. Previously, she worked for 17 years in administrative positions at Gannon University, including director of Graduate Admissions and director of Global Admissions and Outreach.


David A. Burkett, Sr. ’03M, ’04C, ’07C was named the superintendent of Everett Area School District. Burkett currently works as superintendent of the Fannett-Metal School District in Franklin County and was previously the high school principal for Northern Bedford County.


Jessica L. (Kuzemsky) Paulsen was named the director of Strategic Initiatives at Distinctive Schools. She has led and managed Chicago nonprofits for more than 15 years.


Sean L. Marshall was announced as the new swimming coach at Billings West High School. He has been the head coach of the Billings Aquatic Club for the past six years and was a member of the Gannon University swim team.

Adam J. Susmarski, DO traveled as the team physician for the USA Olympic Wrestling Teams to the 2021 Pan American Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala. All three wrestling teams won gold medals in their last competition prior to heading to Tokyo for the 2021 Olympics.


Christian J. Hunter completed a thru-hike of the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail. Hunter set off on March 24 and finished the trail in Maine on Aug. 9, 2021. Hunter previously worked for the Forest Service in land surveying. Only about one in four are successful in completing a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail.


Marie E. Palano ’07C was promoted to assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Assessment for Seneca Valley School District. Previously, she worked 11 years as the district’s director of Analytics and Federal Programs.

Save the Dates: 2022 Homecoming and Family Weekend: Join us for our annual celebration with special events for alumni, families and friends, September 30- October 2


Leigh Anne Kraemer-Naser ’09M was promoted to director of applied studies at Northern Pennsylvania Regional College, where she oversees all associate of applied science degree programs. Kraemer-Naser is also an instructor for the early childhood education program. She began working with NPRC in January 2019. She previously owned Curriculum Solution Center, where she developed professional learning programs for educators and created student curriculum.


Christopher C. Frye, Jr. was named a member of the Westminster College Board of Trustees, effective July 1, 2022. Frye also serves on the Lawrence County YMCA Board of Directors, Foundation Boxing Board of Directors and the Pennsylvania Municipal League Executive Committee as the Northwest District Officer. Frye is the first Black and youngest mayor of New Castle, Pa. where he was elected in 2019. His term as mayor runs through December 2023.


Joey L. Maluchnik ’13C was hired as the superintendent for the Wilkinsburg School District. Maluchnik worked as the interim superintendent since May 2021. Prior to his appointment, Maluchnik worked as the principal at Turner Intermediate since 2019. Additionally, he has worked as an assistant principal at Greensburg Salem High School, Everett Area Junior-Senior High School and Orange County High school. He has also worked as a principal at the Everett Area Middle School.

Andrew J. Hellmann ’14M was the first male finisher in the 2021 Barber Beast on the Bay event on Sept. 11, 2021. Hellmann has won the event multiple times and is the owner of SNAP Fitness in Harborcreek, Pa.


Mackenzie M. Kranz was sworn in to the Erie Bureau of Police during a ceremony at Erie City Hall. Kranz served in the Pennsylvania National Guard and most recently worked as an officer with the Millcreek Township Police Department.


Erin Mrenak ’17M was named the new director of the Erie County Department of Health. Mrenak joined the county Health Department in February 2021 as the first director of strategy and policy and was promoted to deputy director in October.

Antwane D. Fields was sworn in as a police officer by the Erie Bureau of Police on Feb. 17, 2022.


Tyler P. Palka landed a role in the Hollywood film “American Underdog,” which features Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner. Palka initially tried out for the Arena League’s Philadelphia Soul team. After the league folded, he stayed in contact with the coach, who had signed on as a quarterback consultant for the film.


Alexander P. Wheaton ’19M is among the new faculty ranks at Erie County Community College of Pennsylvania. Wheaton was previously an adjunct at Gannon University and has also taught at Mercyhurst University.


Ryan L. Cedzo was among the winners of a Fair District PA map-making contest for his state Senate and House redistricitng maps. Cedzo, who earned a bachelor’s degree in math, is now working with Fair Districts PA to oversee the creation of a composite state House map to submit to the Legislative Redistricting Commission.

Reganne L. O’Brien recently secured nonprofit status for her organization, The Warrior in HER. The organization helps local women with mental health and chronic illnesses by providing resources and support. O’Brien is the founder and executive director and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public health and epidemiology at Kent State University.

Inspiration for the Next Generation

Inspiration for the Next Generation honors individuals who set a precedent of commitment to Gannon University through philanthropic leadership. We’re grateful for the generosity of these leaders who step forward to strengthen the university and transform the lives of current and future students.

Jim Ahearn“The growth at Gannon has been amazing, but there has been one constant – the same loving energy and spirit that I experienced at Gannon is still present today. This energy and spirit is contagious, and I feel so much joy when I visit campus. My wife and I have designated Gannon in our will, and I try to give back generously to our school that has given so much to me. As alumni, there are many ways to remain engaged with Gannon long after your time here is over. Our university needs engaged alumni as we continue to grow and expand in a very competitive world.”

Jim Ahearn ’61
Donor for 40 consecutive years and and Gannon National Alumni Board director.


Maggie McKernan and Nick Tabar

Maggie McKernan ’18, ’19M married Nick Tabar ’16 on Sept. 18, 2021.

Elisabeth “Lis” M. Seibel ’16 married Joseph Mallon on Sept. 25, 2021. 


Madelyn Rose Bottoni

A daughter, Madelyn Rose Bottoni born on Jan. 11, 2022 to Mallory (Hedlund) Bottoni ’14 and her husband, Jason. 

A son, Aidan Jennings Powers born on Sept. 14, 2021 to Krystin (Benkowski) Powers ’08 and her husband, Justin.

In Memoriam


Johanna (Bodnar) Ackerson ’68VMC
Mary E. Adams ’71VMC, ’91M
Daniel J. Anderson ’71, ’80M, ’89M
Steven P. Bacik ’87 
George A. Barcellona ’76 
Jason M. Belton ’02 
Arnold E. Bergquist, CPA ’58 
Michael W. Beuchert, C.L.U. ’71 
Richard J. Billak ’69
Declan Bingham ’19, ’20M
Steven P. Blecki ’14 
Richard J. Bliley ’57 
William M. Borowy ’61 
Laurie K. (Donick) Braine ’77VMC
Donald F. Brown ’61 
Richard C. Burkholder, DMD ’54 
Robert J. Buseck ’76 
Deacon James L. Chatterton ’66 
Paul D. Chicatelli, MD ’63 
Kimberly J. (Brady) Clark ’82 
Colby P. Coates ’70 
Gary R. Conrath ’60 
Sister Rebecca A. Costa, SSJ ’67VMC, ’77M
James W. Cotter, Jr. ’66
Mary B. (Fischer) Criscione ’82 
Lawrence D'Ambrosio, Esq. ’53 
Tessia L. Day ’95 
Fred M. Deluca ’58 
Robert L. DeMarco ’53 
Deacon Robert P. Denoon ’00C
Jeffrey M. Detore ’03 
Richard R. Diplacido ’69 
Sylvester S. Dittmer ’71 
James F. Divins ’65 
Richard H. Donnelly, Sr. ’54 
Donna M. Dorer ’80
Mary (McLaughlin) Eaton ’47VMC
Robert C. Engstrom ’92, ’98M
Valerie B. (Bixby) Everett ’79 
Mary T. Fahrs ’59VMC
Alfred E. Farmer ’77 
William F. Filipkowski, Jr. ’58 
Michael M. Filutze ’94 
Katrina M. Foltz ’06M
Richard W. Fuchs ’60 
William G. Fuhrmann II ’92 
Linda S. (Cioccio) Gidos ’72 
Anthony J. Giovannitti ’73 
Dale L. Haibach ’67 
Robert P. Hausmann ’56 
John L. Heibel, DDS ’57 
David H. Heidecker ’72, ’93M
Robert E. Held ’54 
Gregory J. Helminski ’82 
John P. Herrmann ’62 
Elspeth J. Holt ’68M
Richard J. Johnson ’48 
Margaret A. (Quinn) Kelsey ’52VMC, ’83
Jerome R. Kenwood ’66 
Alice (Luther) Kichlu ’67VMC
Joseph P. Kisiel ’93 
Patrick J. Kloecker ’08 
Victor J. Krym, DDS ’59 
Daniel A. Leal ’60 
Marianne (Carnahan) Ledbetter ’50VMC
Barbara (Lorence) Lewis ’64VMC
Wayne L. Lovercheck ’71, ’82 
James E. Machek ’79 
Joseph S. Machuga ’84 
Elinora Mando ’57VMC
Irene L. Mando ’74M, ’75C
James L. Mangol ’64 
Robert J. Manns ’84M
Ernest H. Marchini ’50 
Dennis E. Marcinko ’64 
Deacon Thomas J. Matusiak ’66, ’71M
David M. Mayhew ’98 
Kathleen (Gahn) McMahon ’71VMC
Regina P. (Schneider) Merritt ’04M
Martin J. Mesler, Jr. ’69 
Clara (Dachtyl) Meyer ’70VMC
Michael D. Mihalick ’69
Glenn G. Miller ’74 
Richard W. Miller ’61 
Vincent J. Monacella ’48 
Robert J. Monahan ’58 
Lawrence S. Morrow ’63 
Andrea N. (Kulick) Nigro ’11 
Donald J. Obuszewski ’70 
Frederick R. O'Polka ’81M
James A. Parenti, DDS ’73 
Leonard Paulitz ’50 
Jerome M. Pelkowski ’57 
Laura D. Petrash ’99 
Patricia G. (Jenkins) Petrinec ’91 
Arlene M. (Lacey) Polaski ’77VMC
Susan Rieger ’66VMC
Sister Mary R. Romeo, SSJ ’75VMC
Rita J. (Heintz) Rose ’55VMC
Peter J. Russo ’59, ’66M
Leo W. Schlecht, Jr. ’58 
Edward J. Selleny ’61 
Margarita (Pedraja) Shon ’42VMC
David E. Sidelinger ’74 
Fred Sovyak, PE ’93M
Brent J. Stahl ’94
Ronald F. Steg, DDS ’51 
Robert C. Stone ’72 
Lois (Owens) Sullivan ’56VMC 
Martin R. Swabb ’80 
Rocco J. Taccone ’65 
Robert G. Timmons, MD ’60 
Jessica L. Tinko ’92 
Stephen J. Troese, Esq. ’63 
Margaret A. Tufts ’66VMC
Sheldon van Deventer ’00, ’03M
Frank D. Vona ’67 
Norman J. Ward ’51 
Dorothy M. (Brinig) Weaver ’60VMC
Paul V. Webb, Jr., Esq. ’69 
Robert A. Weber ’75 
Donald J. Welsh ’82 
Richard D. Whiting ’66, ’72M 
William C. Witkowski ’67 
Caryn A. Wolfe ’95M
Toni Young ’79

Parents and Friends

Richard D. Carlisle  
Matthew Caster, DPT
David G. Chivers  
Linda Eidell  
A. James Freeman 
Richard A. Gammon, Ph.D.  
Linda L. Gier  
Angela (Sutkoff) Guerrein 
Kenneth P. Hanas 
Saundra Kirkpatrick 
Margaret A. (Heldt) Knight 
Joseph A. Leone  
Jacob W. Martin 
Amy K. McKellop 
Larry G. Morton, Sr. 
Louis E. Narducci 
Genevieve M. Nelson  
Carlos Pabon 
Marika Powers 
Rev. Daniel J. Prez 
Richard J. Reuscher 
Toby F. Rinas  
Bernice Sadler
Richard R. Sambuchino, D.D.S. 
Stephen S. Stack  
Margaret Teliski 
Robert J. Teliski 
Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D., S.S.L.
Kevin Wilczynski 


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  • Laura Giannelli
  • Andrew Lapiska ’09M

contributing writers

  • John Chacona
  • Chloe Forbes ’21
  • Nicole (Dohoda) Lossie ’11
  • Bob Shreve

editorial contributors

  • Mallory (Hedlund) Bottoni ’14
  • Haley Figurski
  • Kristine Rilling


  • student, staff and alumni contributors

exclusive video content

  • Matthew King

online edition

  • Michael Gorski ’11M
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