Positive Influencer

Ask any Knight what positively influenced them in their decision to come to or stay at Gannon and you’re likely to hear a common thread weaving through their multitude of answers: the people.

The Gannon Family is special. Our members create a transformative and vibrant force that radiates and draws new and aspiring learners each year.  

We asked, “Who in our community has inspired or positively impacted you?” and we’re excited to share some of your stories here.  

Maddison and Mary Carol"Mary Carol Gensheimer, director, School of Communication and the Arts, has had a significant impact on my Gannon experience. Whether it is personal or career development, I have felt support by M.C. every day. I truly would not be where I am without her. M.C. has helped me make the best decisions for my academic career and future endeavors. I cannot thank her enough for being a part of my Gannon experience and all that she has done for our community here at GU." 
- Madison Maurice, Student

Emili Blanton Alexander"[Ruskin occupational therapy associate professor] Dr. Bonnie Decker has been supportive in all her classes and has made me realize even if I'm having a hard time, I'm supposed to be here. I'm glad I've gotten to spend three years with her!" 
- Emili Blanton Alexander, Student  

Izzi Green"I met Emily Schneggenburger my first weekend of freshman year in Finegan Hall and she has been my rock all through college. She’s still my best friend and biggest support as we head toward graduation together this May! I’m so thankful Gannon gave me her!" 
- Izzi Green, Student

Kristen Senge"Nafeese Morgan is the best, he lights up everyone’s day and I couldn’t be more grateful to be his friend and watch the beautiful Erie sunsets together." 
- Kirsten Senge, Student

Olivia Wirfil"The Gannon community, as a whole, has an incredible way of supporting each other. Relying on someone for help while you navigate difficult times can be scary, but GU has a way of adding fuel to your tank. Knowing that you have a family behind you cheering you on is a blessing. I wouldn't be where I am without it. Proud 2021 alum!" 
- Olivia Wirfil ’21  

Ed Betza"A moment that has meant a lot to me at Gannon was in my Introduction to Sociology class with Ed Betza. We finished our course content at the end of the semester and ... he taught us life lessons about investing, relationships and our future careers. I often think about those lessons and I am grateful that I had a teacher like Ed who valued us as people. ... he recognized me as part of the Gannon community and made me feel like I was part of something bigger than myself." 
- Emma Willow, Student 

Dog by Gannon Sign"I love that Gannon allows support animals. I could not make it here without my sweet Penelope Rose. I get to make memories every day with my emotional support dog on campus!" 
- Chloe Dittman, Student

Softball Team"Gannon has brought me to meet amazing girls on the softball team. Without Gannon I would have never met my now lifelong friends that I can count on no matter what. Gannon allowed me to continue following my dreams of getting a degree while playing a sport I love." 
- Jessie Sheffield, Student

Gannon University
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(814) 871-7000

Gannon Magazine is published bi-annually by University Marketing and Communications.

We value your input; please direct any comments, questions or feature ideas to magazine@gannon.edu.


Doug Oathout
Chief of Staff and Director of Marketing and Communications

Mallory (Hedlund) Bottoni ’14
Assistant Director for Marketing, Communications and Content

Paige Penfield
Content Marketing Strategist


  • Laura Giannelli
  • Andrew Lapiska ’09M

contributing writers

  • Jeff Kirik
  • Nicole (Dohoda) Lossie ’11


  • student, staff and alumni contributors

exclusive video content

  • Matthew King

online edition

  • Michael Gorski ’11M
  • Nikki Luoma
  • Carine Uwase Munezero '26

To submit a class note, please contact:
Office of Constituent Engagement