Mercyhurst College announces senior award winners

During commencement weekend May 21-22, 2005, 18 students and two faculty members will be awarded the highest honors given by Mercyhurst College.

 Timothy F. Krysiek of Carroll Valley, Pa., is the 2005 recipient of the Carpe Diem Award, the highest honor given to a traditional-aged student. Krysiek received the award at the Sunday, May 22, commencement where he delivered the class address. A double major in intelligence studies and Russian and post-Soviet studies with a minor in political science, Krysiek graduates with a 4.0 GPA and will earn his master’s in Middle Eastern and Central Asian Security Studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The Carpe Diem Award is given in recognition of intellectual competency, personal integrity and, especially, leadership impact. 

 Donald F. Sacco of Cochranton, Pa., earned the highest academic honor given by Mercyhurst College and the Erie Catholic Diocese – the Bishop’s Award for Academic Excellence. Sacco earned a 4.0 GPA and graduated on Sunday, May 22, with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. 

 Stephanie Heher of Erie, Pa., is the 2005 recipient of the Catherine McAuley Award, presented to the outstanding adult undergraduate student for superior academic work and personal and professional achievement, and whose studies and years at Mercyhurst were characterized by tenacity and perseverance. She graduated Saturday, May 21, with a bachelor of science in family and consumer sciences – interior design.

 Mary L. Brigham of North East, Pa., is the 2005 recipient of the President’s Award for Adult Excellence, presented to the graduating adult student with the highest GPAamong adult students. She graduated on Saturday, May 21, with a 3.9 in business management.

 Kristen Hudak of Sidman, Pa., is the 2005 recipient of the Mother Borgia Egan Award, presented to the graduating honors student who fully embodies the spirit of a liberal arts education. She graduated on Sunday, May 22, with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a 4.0 GPA.

 Meghan E. Roach of Lakewood, Pa., is the 2005 recipient of the Frank Barry Leadership Award presented to the graduating senior who has exemplified superior leadership and involvement while a student at Mercyhurst. She graduated on Sunday, May 22, with a bachelor of science degree in forensic science.

 Joseph R. Betz of Lakewood, Ohio, is the 2005 recipient of the Sister Carolyn Herrmann Service Award, presented to the graduating senior who has given unselfishly of time, energy, talent and loyalty to the college, and demonstrated a genuine concern for social justice issues. Betz graduated on Sunday, May 22, with a bachelor of arts degree in social work and religious studies.

 Thera L. Gaston of Sarver, Pa.; Michael J. Foglio of Ashtabula, Ohio; and Kathryn A. Gehringer of Erie, Pa., are the 2005 recipients of the Alumni Recognition Award, given to the graduates who demonstrate loyalty and strong ties to their alma mater and whose undergraduate days have been filled with the spirit of “The Hurst.” Gaston graduates with a bachelor of arts in intelligence studies and a minor in Russian studies. Foglio graduates with a bachelor of arts degree in political science with a minor in communication and public relations. Gehringer graduates with a bachelor of arts in elementary education.

 Seven Mercyhurst College students were recognized with President’s Awards for Excellence in a school during the college’s annual academic awards banquet held Saturday evening, May 21: James A. Mikulec, Highland, Mich., School of Social Sciences; Kristen M. Kirchendorfer, Westlake, Ohio, Hafenmaier School of Education and Behavioral Sciences; Valerie Nezich, Marquette, Mich., Walker School of Business and Communication; Matthew J. Rendulic, Springboro, Pa., and Sarah E. Dowden, Stafford Springs, Ct., School of Arts and Humanities; Gloria A. Emberger, Downingtown, Pa., and Rebecca L. Turner, Erie, Pa., Zurn School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

 Three recipients of the 2005 Sister Eustace Taylor Graduate Student Awards were presented on Saturday, May 21, to Scott W. Bengston, Warren, Pa., special education; Karen A. Miller, Erie, Pa., organizational leadership; and Jennifer L. Wozny, Erie, Pa., intelligence studies. The awards recognize overall achievement in scholastics, leadership, service, community involvement and character that distinguishes them as outstanding citizens, alumni and professionals. 

 Ben McAvinew of Clinton, Ohio, and Desirae Clark of Salmo, British Columbia, Canada, are the 2005 Outstanding Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Both received their awards during the annual sports recognition luncheon held on Saturday, May 21. 

Additionally, two faculty members were honored during graduation celebrations this year:

 Dr. Phillip Belfiore, associate professor of special education and director of the Mercyhurst graduate program in special education, was named the 2005 Teaching Excellence Award recipient. Belfiore’s dedication was recognized when the faculty and administration honored him at a reception on Friday, May 13.

 During the Sunday, May 22, commencement ceremony, retiring English professor P. Barry McAndrew was distinguished for an unprecedented record of 40 years of continuous service on the full-time lay faculty of Mercyhurst with an honorary doctor of letters degree.

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