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Postcard Profiles

Postcard Profile

Each month, the MU Alumni Relations team will add a brief Postcard Profile of an interesting graduate of Misericordia University. The team will be speaking with alumni from all generations to share the latest news about Misericordia and hear what's going on in the lives of our alumni. For more information, 

Michael Gombita

homecoming2019On the first weekend of October, Misericordia University celebrated another Homecoming Weekend. For the first time in many years, Homecoming Weekend was celebrated for three days, October 4th, 5th, and 6th. 

With reunions being celebrated, tailgating food being served, and children enjoying all the family-friendly activities, there was no doubt HOCO19 was a great weekend for all.

For some, it is a yearly tradition to come back like 2016 alumnus, Zack Sabaday.

"I love the atmosphere at Misericordia. Every time I come back, it's just a reunion of good friends, and good memories, and just all the good times that Misericordia has brought all of us, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I am not going to miss Homecoming for the life of me!"

And for others, it was their first time celebrating HOCO as an alumni like 2019 alumnus, Wesley Hill

"It feels just amazing to be surrounded by all my peers and all my friends. I just love it; I wish I could be in here every day!" 

While events like the Athletics Hall of Fame, Kegs and Eggs, and Mimosas and a Masterpiece were scheduled throughout the weekend, the highlight of HOCO weekend is the tailgating.

Amberlynn Habich, 2018/2019 alumna, could not wait to spend time with her friends. 

"My favorite part about Homecoming is seeing friends that you know you haven't seen in a really long time and getting to spend time together." 

For others, it was a true Homecoming like 2016 Alumnus, P.J Steiner, who has not been back to Misericordia in a long time. 

"I haven't been here for the past four years, so I definitely want to be able to see my friends and family here and just kind of reconnect with them and have a good time."

Taylor Webb, class of 2019/2020 alumna, was excited to be back on campus, but brought feelings of wishing she was back. 

"It's so fun being back and seeing my friends, but I also miss being here. I am really excited to have one more semester here in the spring."

But what we wanted to find out this year at Homecoming is how much Misericordia has made an impact on some of our tailgaters this year. While making our way through the parking lot aisles and snagging some food along the way, we went around asking the simple question we ask in every podcast, "How has Misericordia helped you get to where you are today."

For Wesley Hill, both the education and relationships he has made have certainly helped him transition to adult life. 

"To future my learning knowledge and my career development, and I think it really helped me to where I'm at right now. I think that my friends and my family here at Misericordia has really shaped me to the person that I am."

For Amberlynn Habich, nothing compares to an SLP degree at Misericordia. 

"I mean, the speech program I think is like kind of unrivaled. I have had multiple compliments on my clinical skills and speech in general, and I think bringing that back to Misericordia is a really cool experience and, you know, just keep improving the name of Misericordia."

PJ Steiner brings connections to what he did at Misericordia and has applied them to where he works today. 

"It's done so much. I mean, the amount of ability to be able to be with the organizations that I have, like being able to be a part of the Ultimate Frisbee team helped me get involved with Millersville University, so now I'm able to work with the Ultimate Frisbee team. They're able to get involved with their campus as well and kind of say, 'You know, this is what Misericordia did.' Then also, you know, just being able to be a part of the Misericordia soccer team helped me be able to be a coach for Elizabethtown College Soccer which is what I'm doing now as well. So I mean, Misericordia has helped me out so much and being able to have the connections there as well has just done so much for me overall."

Zack Sabaday has had his journey trying to achieve his dreams at Misericordia and has done so with tremendous support.

"I came here for biology thinking I wanted to go into the medical field, and everybody here reinforced that. The (faculty and staff) were supportive. I had the greatest professors that I could have ever asked for. They were like another set of parents basically, and they guided me in the right direction. (Misericordia) provided me with a great education to get where I am today, and now I'm back at Misericordia in the physician assistant program. So working towards the goal of getting in the medical field and achieving my dreams."

In total over 500 alumni made their way back to Dallas, PA to celebrate the fond memories and friends they have made at Misericordia. We hope you can join us for Homecoming 2020: Friday, October 2nd to Sunday, October 4th.

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Michael Gombita

adam grzechYou can take an alumnus out of Dallas, but you can't take Dallas out of an alumnus. Adam Grzech '13, '17 took keeping Misericordia "close" to his heart very literally. He and his wife, Erin Kain Grzech '14, have moved from Dallas, Pennsylvania to Dallas, Georgia to Dallas, Texas. The couple built such a strong community at Misericordia in Dallas, PA that they found a way to never leave.

Adam currently serves as the Director of Operations for Keystone Automotive in Texas. He also serves as the President of the Misericordia University Alumni Association Board of Directors. Adam is very excited to bring his direction to the board, and he invites other alumni to get back on campus and reconnect with Misericordia.

Adam and Erin have relocated several times over the last few years, but Adam believes that every move, challenge, and adversity has made them stronger and pushed them to continue to do better. Adam loves that they have had the opportunity to share the culture of Misericordia around the country. Not every city can be Dallas, PA, but Adam believes that there is no reason that you can't bring Misericordia and the four charisms wherever you go. Misericordia Alumni are everywhere. Home is where the arch is, and according to Adam, when you find other alumni in your area, it can be such a great feeling to get together and create that feeling of "home" once again.

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Michael Gombita

Rae“It’s within every person to live the life that they want to live and to help create change.” 2009 communications alumna Rae Decker Baldino is currently the Director of Communications and Development at United Cerebral Palsy of Northeastern Pennsylvania where she is creating change through serving those who do not have a voice, as well as those who need help finding their voice.

It is clear that the charism of service had quite an impact on Rae during her time at Misericordia. Rae feels that she was able to begin working with non-profits because Misericordia’s communications program gave her a taste of everything in the field. She felt that no matter what situation could arise, she had the skills to adapt and learn on the fly thanks to the amazing program and faculty at Misericordia.

One thing that Rae learned at Misericordia that she would love to share with others is: “…so what if you fail or you make a mistake…some of those [challenges] were the best learning experiences of my life.” She continues to say that you always need to get back up and keep trying, because taking those steps to try again defines who you are, your work ethic, and your ability.

Rae has had quite a life journey since she graduated from Misericordia 10 years ago, yet the charisms and lessons that she learned while at Misericordia have remained close to her heart. “To be able to…give back the gifts that I have been given, and to help other people be that change that they want to see and do good and put good in the world…you can’t put a price tag on that.”

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Michael Gombita

agnes cardoni“To become the best version of yourself, you have to stay open to every opportunity that’s here, and don’t say: I don’t have time. You’ll never have time. Make a little time- stretch;” the wise words of 1969 alumna Dr. Agnes Toloczko Cardoni to current Misericordia students.

Misericordia might have been a little different 50 years ago when Agnes attended this institution, but the experiences that students walk away with when they become alumni still remain the same. Celebrating her 50th reunion this year, Agnes exclaims that you are at Misericordia to not only learn, but to become yourself.

Agnes learned long ago that she is an introvert at heart; however, being back on campus for Alumni Weekend to celebrate her 50th reunion with her classmates, Agnes quickly transformed into an extrovert as she had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and share fond memories. Agnes shared some exciting news that recently, she retired from 50 years of teaching (although she could never truly retire as she continues to teach online).

According to Agnes, when you compare the few majors that were offered to women back in 1969 to what is offered today- “it’s breathtaking.” Her final advice to alumni? Come back often; come back in awe; stay in touch with other alumni, and never forget Misericordia.

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Michael Gombita

abby and mariaA friendship for a lifetime. June marks National Best Friends Day, and 2017 Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) alumnae Maria Cantoran and Abbey McCann exemplify the true meaning of friendship. They are proof of the amazing bonds that can continue beyond the arch.

Maria was a transfer student when she met Abbey in class, but the two just clicked; so much so that Maria and Abbey now work together at New Story, a special needs school in Wyoming, and Helping Hands, an outpatient clinic in Kingston.

What is their secret for a great friendship and solid careers? They both agree how important it is to have someone by your side through the difficult times- both in your profession and outside of it. They believe that they have personalities that balance each other out. When one is going through something, the other is there for support.

Misericordia gave Maria and Abbey the knowledge to be successful in their careers and an amazing friendship. They felt prepared and confident to walk through the arch and begin their work as an SLP thanks to the classes, clinics, and hands-on experience that their program provided. Abbey boasts that Misericordia allows you to do anything that you set your mind to and gives you the tools to do just that. Misericordia is more than a school; it is a home where classmates become friends and friends become family.

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  • Misericordia University Alumni Relations
  • Postcard Profile