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 Lynch DPT ’10, ’14 owner of Mobile Therapy Services LLC In Florida, Chad Madden MSPT ’00 owner of Madden Physical Therapy, Charles Stevens III ’10, ’13 DPT, CLT owner of Mobile Therapy Services in Pennsylvania and co-owner of Mobile Therapy Services LLC In Florida, and James Pumarada DPT ’00 Owner of Complete Physical Rehabilitation attended a Breakthrough PT Summit in Dallas, Texas for leaders in the field of physical therapy.
Dr. Sandra Rossi Kurtinitis ’65 presented as the opening keynote speaker at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II Conference in Baltimore, Md. on Feb. 23, 2020.
Dr. Rosemary Dziak ‘67, professor of oral biology at the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, received the 2019 Isiah Lew Memorial Research Award from the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) Foundation. She was honored for her significant contributions to the field of implant dentistry
Judith Frantz '78, former alumni board member, class agent, young alumnus award, has been promoted to vice president of PNC Bank, Wyoming, PA. The bank recently announced that Judith Frantz, branch manager, has been promoted to vice president. Frantz is a graduate of Misericordia University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She is also a graduate of Wilkes University, where she went to earn her MBA.
Pat Keegan; Shirley Pallante Keegan, BS 1991; Maria Pallante-Hyun BA 1986, Hon.D.H.L 2010; Chris Hyun; and Suzanne Pallante Buckley, BA 1988. Misericordia Proud sisters and all former Misericordia Field Hockey players came out to support Madison Keegan ’20 in her senior game on October 6, 2019.
Lesley Murray Plank ’91 and Duane Frank ’87 were united in marriage on January 7, 2020. They first met while students at Misericordia decades ago. After a few years, life took them down different paths. Until, June 2018, where they reconnected after thirty years at Alumni Weekend. Together, they are the parents of four sons, Jacob and Evan Plank, and Dylan and Ian Frank. Duane is the Senior VP of Sales for Axiom Payment Solutions, and Lesley is a Fifth Grade Teacher in the Dallas School District. Duane and Lesley reside together in Dallas, Pennsylvania.
Shelby Girard ’92 accepted a Special Education Teacher position with Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center, Buffalo, NY. The organization serves individuals of all ages and cultural backgrounds through their clinical and education programs. It is the largest freestanding hearing, speech, and learning centers offering this comprehensive scope of services in the US.
Jennifer Yurkon Hetro ’04 a lifelong resident of the Back Mountain, joined the Back Mountain Chamber as its executive director. She graduated from Dallas Senior High School and attended College Misericordia, now Misericordia University, earning her Bachelor of Science in Marketing with minors in Communication and Management. She has spent the last 19 years learning and growing at some of the region’s leading employers, including Benco Dental, Borton-Lawson, Century 21 Smith Hourigan Group, and Cornell-Cookson. She resides in Wyoming with her husband, two children, and their dog.
Christopher Wadas ’05 and his wife, Krista welcomed their son on November 27, 2019.
Michel Lukatchik ’05 and his wife, Jessica welcomed their daughter on December 30, 2019.
Ann Evans Stepanchick ’05 and Joel Stepanchick ’05 welcomed their second child, a daughter, Sophia Rose, on February 4, 2020.
George Brown ’07 was sworn into office as Mayor on January 6, 2020, at the F-M Kirby Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Brown says he has an agenda that he believes can change the direction of the city.“First of all safety in the neighborhoods. We have to bring back that safety factor. People want to move back to their neighborhoods. Also, the potholes. Every street you go down there’s a pothole. What street should I take or not take to get to my destination because of potholes.” Said Mayor George Brown.
Christine ’07 and Matthew Mills '08 welcomed their third child, Lucy Ellen Mills on September 17, 2019. Lucy joins big brothers, Gavin (9) and Gage (6).
Angela Grochowski McGill ’07 and her husband, Michael were married on April 18, 2020, and welcomed a bouncing baby boy on June 14, 2020.
Kristin Barsh ’08 welcomed a son Wyatt on March 24, 2020.
Michael Evans '08 has been named the Penn State Scranton Alumni Society's 2019 Alumnus of the year. Michael is the assistant dean for undergraduate nursing education at the Commonwealth Campuses and associate teaching professor of nursing at Penn State University’s College of Nursing.
Leah M Holmberg (Steele) '08 and her husband, Joseph Holmberg, and daughter Kinsley welcomed our son Joseph Kade in March 2019. The Holmberg resides in Harrisburg PA.
Todd DeSando ’08 and his wife, Rachel, welcomed their daughter, Layla Corrine, on July 15, 2019. The family resides in Windermere, FL.
Angela Burda McLaughlin’08 and her husband, Edward, welcomed their first child, Brady Edward, on January 24, 2020.
Regis Rugemanshuro ’10 has been appointed Rwanda’s new Director of Social Security Pensions.
Deanna Lyons ’10 and her husband, Al welcomed their daughter on October 17, 2019.
Robin Razawich Chiapuzzi ’11 and her husband, Michael ’10 welcomed their daughter on November 19, 2019.
Erica Acosta '11 was appointed to the executive committee of the NAACP Wilkes-Barre Branch 2306 by Ronald Felton, president.
Krsytle Novak Farnham ’12 ’17 and Shaun Farnham were united in marriage on July 27, 2019.
Christelle Patrice ’13 and Frank Hoffman welcomed their first child, Luciano Andre Hoffman, on September 18, 2019.
Jim Cerulli '13 is joining Reading & Northern Railroad (RBMN) team as VP - Coal Marketing. He joins Bill Clark, Senior VP Coal Marketing, Mike Sharadin, AVP – Equipment, and the customer service staff who handle all RBMN’s business under VP Customer Service Susan Ludwig. In his new job, Jim will take the lead in dealing with the coal shippers along with the RBMN rail system. He’ll manage the coal service network, car supply for the shippers, relations with the shippers, and development of additional on-line coal facilities.
Dr. Thomas Gottstein ’13 is the clinic director for BenchMark Physical Therapy’s newest outpatient clinic in Georgetown, DE. Thomas is a certified orthopedic clinical specialist.
Marisa Wagner Tucker ’13 and Andrew Tucker ’13,’16 welcomed the birth of their daughter, Estella Josephine on September 13th, 2020.
Amanda Lee ’13, ’16 and Chris Boornazian were married on September 28, 2019 in Glassboro, NJ with a reception in Marlton. Amanda currently works as a physical therapist with BAYADA Home Health Care. The couple resides in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Melissa Ganser Davies ’14 and Rhian Davies welcomed their son on October 8, 2019.
Alyssa McEntee ’14 and Tyler Freas welcomed their daughter on October 11, 2019.
Jacqueline Horn ’14 and her husband, Daniel welcomed a daughter on October 15, 2019.
Maria Williamson Ramirez ’14 has recently been appointed assistant director of faculty development and diversity at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. She previously served as a senior student advisor at NYU and as coordinator of pre-college programs at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.
Shannon Joyce Cerulli ’14 and James Cerulli ’13 welcomed their first child, Ella Rose on July 5, 2020.
Kelsey Heller, DPT ’14, ’17 and Spencer Wallach were united in marriage on October 17, 2020 in Binghamton, NY.
Elizabeth Lencki ’15 accepted a CT Technologist position at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is Middletown, NJ.
Ellen Mahon ’16 and TJ Schaefer ’14 were united in marriage on June 15, 2019.
Kate Michael Jensen ’16 and her husband, Benjamin welcomed their first child together, a baby boy named Peter Lee Jensen on September 21st, 2020. The couple shares a five-year-old daughter named Annie.
Christine Zopf ’17 was awarded a United States Teaching Assistant position from the Fulbright Austria committee for the 2020-21 academic year. She will be teaching English at two high schools in Austria’s capital, Vienna.
Jessica Kreidler '17 and Mark Luksa were married on October 3, 2020. Jessica is a speech therapist with BLaST IU 17.
Alec Rodway ’19 during his first season as the boy's seventh-grade hoops coach at Valley View Intermedia School, Alec’s quick thinking and use of an on-site AED (automated external defibrillator) assisted in saving the life of referee, Sammy Bio. Bio’s family were thankful for AED’s and for those who were “brave enough to help!”
Arianna Catherine Anglovich ’19 and John James Roberts were united in marriage on September 21, 2019, at Our Lady of Victory Parish, Harveys Lake. Arianna earned a Masters of Science degree in nursing. She is employed by Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. The couple resides in Shavertown with their dog, Stella.
- Class Note
Beatrice Williams Ray: March 22, 2020
Elizabeth Febish Hines: May 20, 2020
Elizabeth Leonard Chepules: April 8, 2020
Helen Hajduk Rutkowski: November 8, 2020
Marion Nau Mokrynski: June 30, 2020
Mary Pasternick McDade: January 2, 2020
Gladys Aguilu Port: December 15, 2019
Ruth Monk Quinn: April 18, 2020
Trudie Cochran McManus: January 30, 2020
Margaret Lukasavage Borton: July 22, 2020
Elinor Kane Perry: August 2, 2020
Marie Williams Favinger: October 15, 2020
Altagrazia Rizk Barouk June 15, 2019
Shirley Fisher Regan June 29, 2019
Jane Carroll Rymer September 5, 2019
Anna “Nancy” Mahon Kralik: February 2, 2020
Terry Ann Hochberg Stasny: May 31, 2020
Gabrielle Dooley: January 19, 2020
Joan Bakun Lavery: July 6, 2019
Elizabeth Steinbacher Turzanski: July 10, 2019
Mary Dougherty Janetatos: July 16. 2019
Elaine Giustino Seeb: December 26, 2019
Amelia Magni Brislin: January 26, 2020
Mary Agnes Kelly: April 19, 2020
Ann MacFarland: June 11, 2020
Romaine Isopi Ercolani: November 9, 2020
Sheila Kelly McCarthy: June 14, 2019
Carmella Santasania Cannon: July 24, 2019
Kathleen Guyette Nelson, C.S.C.: September 19, 2019
Mabel Richards Solomon: November 1, 2019
Mary Alice Tkach Moring: January 5, 2020
Diana Bernardoni Peck: January 18, 2020
Joan Greco Castelli: February 29, 2020
Miriam Butz, RSM: June 28, 2020
Joan Aszuk Peterson: December 6, 2019
Jean Turnberger Quinn: January 19, 2020
Patricia Buckley Herceg: April 17, 2020
Mary Louise Mulligan MacFarland: May 19, 2020
Sister Regina Mary Rusak: August 1, 2020
Dorothy Anne McLaughlin, RSM: July 8, 2019
M. Elizabeth Cronin Moylan: December 5, 2019
Joan Kush Doolan: January 21, 2020
Margaret Conboy Woodin: April 22, 2020
Marguerite Ann Sauer: May 18, 2020
Phyllis Ann McGeady Asson: July 10, 2020
Jeanne McLaughlin Hayes: September 20, 2020
Ellen Gradley Gelnaw: November 6, 2019
Ann Marie Hayko Huntz, CFCS: October 31, 2019
Regina “Jean” Kotchan Behmke: January 29, 2020
Lucy Pennoni, RSM: October 2, 2020
Marilyn McHale Duke: July 14, 2019
Maria Wrubel, RSM: July 27, 2019
Ann Marie Bender Shallow: October 27, 2019
Alethea Brennan: July 16, 2020
Cheta Bortz Malvizzi: July 3, 2019
Patrice Conahan Benjamin: December 2, 2019
Frances “Fran” Petrella: December 16, 2019
Victoria Warnick Kazimi: January 23, 2020
Nancy Rovinski Valletta: March 13, 2020
Nancy Reber Wall: March 19, 2020
Maureen O’Brien Connell: April 1, 2020
Paula Mary Aumen, RSM: July 13, 2020
Mary Lou Menn Skesavage: August 13, 2020
Jeanne Toltowicz Capriotti: July 28, 2019
Rosalie Kulas Gudz: August 25, 2020
Patricia Ridzon Gerstle: July 18, 2019
Alice Doggett, RSM: September 16, 2019
Veronica Veljacic Muzic: June 18, 2019
Elizabeth “Liz” Glosser: April 6, 2020
Nora Barrett Burke: September 21, 2020
Sally Healey: June 28, 2019
Ann Patrice Wassel, RSM: August 16, 2019
Catherine Steadle: April 14, 2020
Joan Toomey Lynn: June 5, 2020
Elizabeth Maureen Connell: August 27, 2020
Catherine Seed Escandel: December 3, 2019
Fran Stein, RSM: February 13, 2020
Marilyn Elaine Getchonis Nauhaus: August 7, 2020
Suzanne Dunbar: August 15, 2019
Janice Williams: March 21, 2020
Barbara Lavery Jackson: May 28, 2020
Theresa Mayewski: May 21, 2020
Barbara Lavery Jackson: May 28, 2020
Lyndell Wertman Julio: October 6, 2019
Mary Sebastian Kuklevich, CJC: March 22, 2020
Judith Makravitz Gallagher: August 1, 2019
Roseanna Kersavage: January 8, 2020
Mary Ann Wozniak Schultz: January 22, 2020
Mary Kilgallen: April 16, 2020
Jane Fitzpatrick Vannata: April 30, 2020
Ann Marie DeGennaro Roche: August 16, 2019
Rosemary Haduch Kozlowski: October 8, 2019
Carolyn Dipinto: February 24, 2020
Eleanor Motz Mackinder: June 10, 2020
Catherine Lance Wega: September 30, 2020
Patricia Kormos Wright: April 2, 2020
Mary Grace Dowd Loncoski: April 13, 2020
Judith Shaughnessy Wycallis: June 6, 2020
Marie Walker Carchilla: June 6, 2020
Ruth Martin: July 12, 2019
Patricia Whalen Fosko: October 22, 2019
Phoebe Reznick Sechrist: January 28, 2020
Barbara Swartz Kunec: June 2019, 2019
Judith Christian: November 30, 2019
Mary Gubitosa Zingaretti: June 19, 2020
Linda Capone: July 8, 2020
Noreen Gallagher: December 23, 2019
Jean Kelly: December 19, 2019
Patricia Strempek Piazza: May 10, 2020
Elizabeth A. “Betsy” Clark: September 15, 2020
Richard Peard: June 23, 2019
Margaret Reinhard Sosnak: August 24, 2019
Stephen Yakubisin: August 14, 2020
Ann Kostic Dolan: September 27, 2019
Patricia Leonard: June 2, 2020
Nancy Dettore: April 2, 2020
Deborah Gulla Sobeck: May 5, 2020
Ilalou Warmouth: February 17, 2020
Patricia Flanagan: June 29, 2019
Barbara Wall: December 11, 2019
John Hoban: January 10, 2020
Andrea Sileski Schappert: April 23, 2020
Bina Dendler Holdredge: July 29, 2020
Jane Olinatz Sennett: September 21, 2020
Leo Gill Jr.: May 6, 2020
John Kahiu: June 1, 2019
Laura Reider Novakowski: December 5, 2019
Irene George Transue: January 13, 2020
Joyce Volpicelli: October 12, 2019
Sheryl Lenz: November 14, 2019
Judith Geer Spitale: March 1, 2020
Virginia Sweezy Curtis: July 9, 2019
Dianne Swetz Curry: January 24, 2020
Tracy Hallman Mione: February 5, 2020
James Sedorovich: July 18, 2019
Vera Clemons Cornish: February 25, 2020
Christian Royek: April 9, 2020
Linda Glickman: August 3, 2020
Lesa Marie Shusta: April 3, 2020
Rebecca Taylor Manfre: May 18, 2020
Mary Kay Price Bifano: August 15, 2020
Ann Walsh Ceaser: December 22, 2019
Abigail Lowe Critchfield: March 13, 2020
Tiffany “T-Bird” Owens: June 20, 2020
Jeffrey Magda: June 25, 2019
Robert Sees: April 11, 2020
Charles Dennis: May 16, 2020
Ryan Balara: October 26, 2020
Thomas D. Carmondy: ’07 ’10: March 27, 2020
Amy Elizabeth Gaughan: January 18, 2020
Joseph O’Hearn: January 11, 2020
Ashley Allen '14 '18: November 3, 2019
Michelle Groves Zerpa: August 1, 2019
Hany Alfredo Castanada: April 5, 2020
Notifications can be made by submitting a Class Note (please include obituary if possible).
- Alumni Memoriam
On 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.
- Misericordia University Alumni Relations
- Postcard Profile
You 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.
- Misericordia University Alumni Relations
- Postcard Profile
“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.”
- Misericordia University Alumni Relations
- Postcard Profile