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D’Angelo Department of Music presents
Mozart’s comic opera
‘Cosi fan Tutte’
Read the story on Page 5
More inside & online
Mercyhurst establishes buy-up policy
Women and Leadership Task Force presents
Ambassadors lead Frozen Four hospitality effort at Tullio Arena
Equestrian Club keeps riding despite limited membership
March 23, 2011
College establishes property acquisition policy
By Mike Gallagher
The Board of Trustees approved the creation of a formal, written policy from a long-standing, yet unwritten policy of acquiring private properties to expand Mercyhurst College’s boundaries. According to the minutes from the Jan. 27 Board of Trustees meeting, the new policy permits the college to use “$150,000 of the annual operating margin to acquire private homes primarily bordering the boundaries of the Erie or North East campuses or as otherwise determined by the college administration to be strategic acquisitions.” Mercyhurst Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Jane Kelsey explained the reason for the new board policy. “Although such acquisitions had been our practice, we had never put it in writing as a board policy, and we ought to put on paper what is our practice,” she said. Mercyhurst began acquiring private homes in 1992. The purpose of acquiring these homes is “to give the college ﬂexibility to expand its boundaries in another property to this total. The house the college wants to purchase is located at 3831 Parade Blvd. It is listed at $114,900. The home appraisal came in at $104,000 and “by our policy, that’s what we offered, and they accepted,” Kelsey said. Once the homes are purchased, Kelsey said, they are “used as rental properties, largely rented by either faculty or administrators.” She said Mercyhurst does not plan to create new buildings on these properties. “If we would want to use the houses for purposes other than residential we would have to get a zoning variance from the city, which might be very hard to do,” Kelsey said. Even though Mercyhurst does not currently plan to build on these sites, these plans could change in the future. Kelsey used the apartment buildings on Briggs and Lewis, which the college acquired in the late 1980s, as an example of plans changing. “The sisters of Mercy back in the 1960s probably did not envision going farther east and acquiring those buildings and using them as student housing,” she said.
The yellow arrows indicate the nine properties Mercyhurst owns on Parade Boulevard west of campus. The college owns 13 total properties off campus. The Mercyhurst Campus is the largest single property in the city of Erie.
the future,” Kelsey said. To acquire these properties and houses, Mercyhurst College is “going through due diligence and using college resources appropriately,” she said. Even so, Kelsey said the amount of money Mercyhurst College has spent to acquire these homes is “hard to say.” She estimated the college spent an average of $90,000 to $100,000 per home. To date, Mercyhurst has pur-
Google Maps/ Merciad photo illustration
chased 13 houses. Two of those purchases occurred when the city of Erie installed the trafﬁc light in front of the gates. The college bought these properties out of a“moral obligation,” Kelsey said. The college plans to soon add
Career Fair provides 80 internship, job opportunities
By Stacy Skiavo
Mercyhurst College students seeking jobs and internships will have the opportunity to distribute resumes and meet with representatives from approximately 80 companies at the annual Career Fair. This year’s Career Fair will take place Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Mercyhurst Athletic Center. The fair, which typically takes place during fall term, was moved to the spring term for the ﬁrst time this year in order to coincide with companies’ hiring cycles. The fair gives many seniors a chance to ﬁnd postgraduation jobs and provides a great opportunity for sophomores and juniors to get internships, Executive Director of Experiential Learning Kyle Foust, Ph.D., said. Some of the top companies that will be present at the fair include Lord Corporation, Erie Insurance Group, UPMC, Barber National Institute, Citadel Broadcasting and Waddell and Reed Financial Advisors. The complete list of these many companies may be found online on the My Mercyhurst Portal. “Students get a chance to meet several employers, and it’s a great time to talk to professionals because networking is so important,” Foust said. About 600 students attend the Career Fair each year, and Foust encourages more to participate. “It’s an important event for anyone on a job search, and students should be received well by the employers,” he said. Students are advised to bring approximately 20 resumes to the fair to give to the various companies. Students should check the company listings online to give themselves a better idea of how many copies they will need, Foust said. The Career Development Ofﬁce on campus can help students compose resumes and print several copies for the event. Dolores Griswold, administrative assistant and Career Fair coordinator at the Career Development Center, led the event’s organization.
Essay competition in need of submissions
Students can enter essay submissions for the ﬁfth annual P. Barry McAndrew Essay on Literature Contest. The student with the best critical essay on a work of ﬁction, poetry or drama will win a $250 prize. Essays should be six to 10 pages, double spaced and formatted according to MLA guidelines. Entries will be judged on the originality of ideas, the clarity of claims and the eloquence of argument. Students need to submit their entries electronically to Dr. Marnie Sullivan by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 25.
Career Development Center offers scholarship
Students interested in working with children and youth can apply for the AmeriCorps Scholarship. Winners of the scholarship must complete 300 hours of service. The scholarship is good for $1,200 for the 2011-2012 academic year. Applications for the scholarship will be available on April 1. For more information, email Colin Hurley at churley@mercyhurst. edu or Kaitlin Schafer at email@example.com.
March 23, 2011
By Alaina Rydzewski
percent of the questions. The task force results were presented Tuesday. “Although we did not ﬁnd any intentional examples of discrimination, what we did ﬁnd is that there is a perception of gender inequality,” meaning that men generally have more opportunities,” Edwards said. Some of the bigger issues creating this perception are that females make up only 16 of 54 tenured professors and three of 17 full professors. The task force is now looking into these ﬁgures, and Edwards believes that “given the trends in higher education with women attaining more bachelor’s degrees than men, Mercyhurst has to pay attention to this so that this aspect of diversity is represented at the college.” This is important because Mercyhurst is a college founded by women for women, with 59 percent of students being female. “If we can pay attention to women,” Edwards said. “Maybe we
can pay attention to other underrepresented groups on campus.” According to the Executive Summary the task force provided, recommendations include: increased representation of women among the upper administration, more hiring and retention of female faculty and administrators, identiﬁcation and recruitment of female candidates for membership on the Board of Trustees, including an obligation to seek out talented women, creation of a mentoring program for women at the associate professor rank, and most importantly, continuation of the task force for at least another year. Professor Alice Edwards, Ph.D.; Assistant Professors Jodi StaniunasHopper and Melissa Surawski, Ph.D.; Associate Professors Candee Chambers, Ph.D., and Roger Grifﬁths, Ph.D.; Administrators Darci Jones, Michele Wheaton, Merry Shultz, J.D., and Judi Smith, Ph.D.; and Trustee Mary Ellen Dahlkemper make up the task force.
Employment rate, Faculty has gender disparities salaries increase for class of 2010
By Mike Gallagher
A recent 2010 graduate survey shows the employment rate and starting salaries for Mercyhurst College graduates increased between 2009 and 2010. According to a March 14 Mercyhurst press release announcing the survey results from the college’s Career Development Center, “95 percent of Mercyhurst College graduates from the Class of 2010 are currently employed or continuing their education, compared to 87 percent from the Class of 2009.” According to Executive Director of Experiential Learning Kyle Foust, Ph.D., “1,117 were surveyed, and 33 percent responded.” To perform the survey, “we originally sent out emails,” Foust said. However, due to the “migration to the Lakers.edu (email system), it was not as fruitful as we had hoped it would have been, so we ended up using phone calls and online surveys,” he said. Prior to this, emails were usually an effective way to conduct the survey. Fifty percent of students responded to the survey last year, compared to 33 percent who responded this year. The job placement rate for “this year was 95 percent compared to 87 last year,” Foust said. The ﬁgures show “more people are employed in full-time jobs related to their major, and the starting salaries for the class of 2010 are higher than the class of 2009,” Foust said. When asked if the job market is really that much better, Foust said that “the ﬁgures from our graduate surveys show it is, but I think there is still a lot of concern out there about the job market.” Even so, there is hope for the job market. “We’re starting to see that employers are becoming more comfortable hiring people,” he said. The Women and Leadership Task Force found that there is a “perception of gender inequality at the college,” along with “concrete disparities,” Alice Edwards, Ph.D. and chair of the task force, said. President Thomas Gamble, Ph.D., along with nine members of the Mercyhurst College community, created the task force in March 2010, to focus on women and leadership in the faculty and administration. In the key ﬁndings, the task force stated that there is a deﬁnite inequality in the number of male and female deans, representation in upper administration, full and tenured professors, and number of sabbaticals granted. These were found by a survey of male and female professors, 91 of whom completed more than 75
Overview of the survey data from the 2010 Graduate Survey
� In general, Mercyhurst graduates feel satisﬁed that
their Mercyhurst education prepares them for their current position, whether they are employed or continuing their education.
� Seventy-nine percent of all graduates are either very
satisﬁed or satisﬁed with their post-graduation status; an increase of 16 percent from 2009.
� Of those graduates who are employed, 59 percent
are placed in full-time jobs related to their major; an increase of seven percent over last year.
� Eight percent of the 2008 graduates who are
employed felt Mercyhurst did not prepare them for their current job, a drop of 4 points from the class of 2009.
� Those who did an internship received double the
number of job offers than those who did not complete an internship.
� Twenty percent of those graduates who completed
an internship while at Mercyhurst currently work for the company who hosted their internship.
March 23, 2011
Ethan Magoc photo
The University of Wisconsin captured its fourth women’s hockey national championship in six years Sunday afternoon at Erie’s Tullio Arena. The Badgers beat Boston University, 4-1. Mercyhurst had been selected to serve as host school
Ambassadors lead Frozen Four hospitality effort
By Priscilla Chavez
During the Frozen Four, Mercyhurst’s Student Ambassadors represented themselves the way their green jackets portray them; the role of student representatives for the college. From Friday night’s puck drop until Sunday’s on-ice championship celebration, ambassadors served as ushers, worked the media hospitality room and greeted and assisted fans. Ambassadors who volunteered their time spent three to eight hours working at Tullio Arena this weekend. These hours were deducted from their 33 required service hours that must be completed each term. For many ambassadors, the Frozen Four was a great experience to show many schools that Mercyhurst knows how to represent itself, even without its players competing on the ice. “Working the Frozen Four tournament was great fun,” says ambassador Amber Kissman. “It was awesome to be able help out with such a huge event coming to Erie. It felt like we were working together putting Mercyhurst on the map.”
for this year’s Frozen Four, staging the three-day event in Erie for the ﬁrst time ever, with 3,956 fans in attendance. The Lakers lost March 12 in the NCAA quarterﬁnals to Boston University, failing to earn a chance to play at Tullio.
Since it was the ﬁrst time Mercyhurst and Erie hosted this event, it was important to create good impressions. “I had a lot of people from other colleges ask me about Mercyhurst and (its) Ambassadors. They were all impressed by the fact that the school was so well represented at the games,” says ambassador Jacob Grifﬁn. Besides representation, other ambassadors like Maria Jose Cesar enjoyed their volunteer time. “It was really cool to see hockey from another perspective besides being in the audience, and to be able to be a part of this event,” Cesar says.
Slur raises religious awareness Auction to beneﬁt Grace House
By Kathleen Vogtle
As the Mercyhurst College community launches Mercy Week 2011, a great opportunity presents itself: an invitation to remember and actively participate in the school’s living Mercy tradition. The theme is powerful: We are reﬂectively aware. It is a core value meant to be all-inclusive, we should be aware not only of ourselves but also of the needs and feelings of others. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. As seen throughout the world, ignorance and inconsideration are often major factors in people’s actions. Erie is no exception. Recently, a Mercyhurst student, Ian Tasman, was with some friends ordering food at a local Wal-Mart. An employee gave him a large portion of food and was told by a co-worker that the portion was too large. The employee asked in response if he should serve a “Jewish portion” instead. “Being someone who is of the Jewish faith and has dealt with anti-Semitism before, I didn’t ﬁnd that remark funny,” Tasman says. “To make the situation worse, the two employees laughed at the comments even though I was visually distraught.” In response, Tasman called the store manager, who seemed “ticked off ” at being called. Tasman was offered a $20 Wal-Mart gift card for his troubles. “The fact that they were trying to buy me off was just as upsetting as the incident,” he says. “I would like to ﬁnd a logical reason for someone to say something like that, but all I can think is that they are uneducated and ignorant to peoples’ beliefs, feelings, and tragic histories surrounding religious intolerance. “I think about it each day and it’s something horrible that no one should have to have experienced.” Many people have become complacent and immovable in their views, especially regarding matters of religion. Tasman’s experience is undeniably visible on a global scale, and such unawareness presents a daunting but necessary challenge. The core value and theme of Mercy Week, that we are reﬂectively aware, seeks to revitalize our understanding and commitment to accept this challenge. For it is only through our work and dedication that any such value may be realized.
By Kristen Ribelli
Grace House is a shelter in the Erie community that provides a safe environment that offers community and supportive services for women veterans. Their goal is to help transition veterans to be self-sufﬁcient and stable within the community. Six senior communication majors are working to raise awareness and provide funding for Grace House by continuing an art auction that was started last year by Mercyhurst then-senior Jordan Zangaro. Artists can participate as individuals or on a team of up to ﬁve people, and will have six weeks to transform elegant dresses bought
for $10 into works of art. Artists can shop for dresses furnished by Grace House from March 21 to 25 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the lower level of the Audrey Hirt Academic Center. Completed art may be returned to Hirt between noon and 3 p.m. May 2 to 6. Artists will donate their item to be auctioned off at the “Women in Transition: Silent Art Auction” Monday, May 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Mercyhurst College’s Cummings Art Gallery. All proceeds from the auction will go to Grace House. Entrants are responsible for all ﬁnances needed to create their artwork. The artwork must be named and artists identiﬁed. For details about the event, contact Jackie Hartz or Jen Mieczkowski by email.
March 23, 2011
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
‘Cosi fan Tutte’ leaves many laughing
By Sarah Mastrocola
The music department’s production of the famous Mozart opera “Cosi fan Tutte” this weekend at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center successfully showcased the prodigious talents of the singers studying at Mercyhurst. While tackling one of the more challenging operas in classical repertoire, the singers pulled off this performance with professionalism, beautiful vocalizations and a healthy splash of humor. The sets for the opera were stunning, and the costuming was beautiful and effectively captured the character of the time period. “I absolutely loved the show,” said junior Katie Wagner. “The costumes and the sets were gorgeous, and everyone did a wonderful job. I was very impressed.” The opera also featured an excellent performance by the Mercyhurst student orchestra conducted by Scott Tomlison, Ph.D. The singing by the performers was beautifully executed with clear, pure tones that made for a wonderful listening experience. Although at times it was difﬁThe scene in which the disguised ofﬁcers pretend to poison themselves because the ladies spurn their advances was particularly amusing. The maid Despina, who aids in the trickery, likewise had several funny moments and musical oneliners. Along with Don Alfonso, her sneaky deeds and masquerading as both a doctor and a judge moved much of the action of the story. The rendition of “Cosi fan Tutte” that the Mercyhurst singers produced was especially accessible to the audience because it was sung in English rather than the more traditional Italian. “This was the ﬁrst opera I had ever seen, and so I was scared that I wouldn’t really understand it, but I actually really enjoyed the performance,” said junior Nikki Zeak. The production was also triple cast, so each performance was slightly different and therefore afforded the audience a new experience within the same construct. “It was interesting to see how each cast brought something different to the table, as each singer’s interpretation was different,” said senior Christine Wilbur, who worked on the technical crew for the shows.
Tyler Stauffer photo
Andrea Baker, Kathleen Reveille and Liz Zurasky perform a scene in ‘Cosi fan Tutte.’
cult to hear what words they were saying, the synopsis in the program, along with the acting and contextual clues, made the story easy to follow. Much of the humor in the opera came from the antics of Ferrando and Guglielmo, the two ofﬁcers who disguise themselves as Albanians in order to test their lovers’ faithfulness. While masquerading, the two singers’ slapstick behavior kept the energy light and the audience entertained.
‘Project Abolition’ deals with horrors of human trafﬁcking
By Emma Rishel
This past weekend Project Abolition, an event to teach audiences about the relatively unknown problem of human trafﬁcking, took place in the Taylor Little Theatre. This event was collaborative in nature with many groups teaching the audience through artistic expression and true-life stories. The most powerful moments were provided by Theresa Flores, who spoke about her heartbreaking story as a human trafﬁcking victim. She was forced into the sex trade for two years, all the while having to hide it from everyone because if she didn’t, they would kill her family. She says the only thing that got her through this unbearable time was her faith in God. Flores wrote a book telling her full story and has founded the Gracehaven House in Ohio, a therapeutic home for girls under 18 who have been victimized by sexual exploitation. Senior Lindsey Smith originally started Project Abolition after learning about human trafﬁcking about two years ago. This weekend’s performance was intended to raise awareness. Because of the expressive nature of performance, those involved were able to provide an image of what it is like to be trafﬁcked. Local dance school Erie Dance Conservatory performed “Grace,” a piece full of metaphors of the cold felt by trafﬁcked victims and the grace that comes to save them. Smith’s own choreography, “Cry Freedom,” displayed the trapped and tortured lives victims are forced to live. Girls’ names are replaced with numbers, they don’t get to sleep more than three or four hours a night and never keep the money they earn. In “Faces of Trafﬁcking,” SoMar Dance Works collaborated with local composer Erik Meyer and musicians Lynn Johnson, Anna Meyer, Marika Koch and Gloria Rhodes-Evans. The piece was a poignant portrayal of the tragic stories of victims of sex trafﬁcking. It shocked audience members by bringing to the stage the hidden real-life situations of helpless girls who are coerced into becoming prostitutes and raped on a daily basis. Project Abolition taught a lot about the problems of human trafﬁcking, as the dancers spoke about the lives of victims. The trafﬁckers regularly drug the victims so girls become addicted to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. If they tell anyone, they know the trafﬁckers will kill their family members. Sisters Barbara Daugherty and Laura Wingert are part of the Collaborative Initiative to End Human Trafﬁcking, whose mission is to educate and advocate for the prevention and abolition of human trafﬁcking. They made clear that human trafﬁcking is not just the sex trade, but also sweatshop labor, nannies, maids and custodial services. It is basically the illegal buying and selling of people for labor of any kind. They stressed the importance of spreading awareness about the problem and the necessary support for legislation to end human trafﬁcking. The tragedy of it all was brought to life in the event’s dances and was supported by the poetry readings of Thomas Forsthoefel, Ph.D., professor and chair of religious studies at Mercyhurst. He’s also the 2010-2011 Poet Laureate of Erie County. His poem “I Leave” told of the struggles of gay religious ﬁgures and the standards of the church that they must combat. Another poem he read called “Tsunami,” to commemorate the recent disasters in Japan, adverted to the cause and effect of natural disasters and persuaded listeners to acquire mindfulness on the issue. Junior Kristen Marincic also recited her poem, “The Ghost Within.” It revealed the inner struggles of human trafﬁc victims and how the ghost of child rape stays with a person forever.
The views expressed in the opinion section of The Merciad do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercyhurst College, the staff of The Merciad or the Catholic Church. Responses on any subject are always welcomed and can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 2008 September 3, 23, 2011
Helping the mentally ill Letter to the editor:
By Mike Lado
Here is an issue that frustrates the you-know-what out of me. On this campus, I guarantee that there are students suffering from a mental illness. Whether it’s bipolar disorder or depression, they shouldn’t have to suffer. When many of these students cry out for help, their friends and family members assume the worst and stop interacting with them. But this loss of companionship can be devastating to someone with a mental health issue. Many people are simply afraid to be around someone with a mental illness. They believe the lies that all people who have a mental illness are weak or will become violent. Although there are documented cases of the connection between violence and mental illness, the vast majority of people who are mentally ill are actually more likely to become victims of violence and bullying. When they reach out for help, they are pushed down by a society that says “suck it up!” Let me tell you something: Mental illness is as serious a problem as cancer. It can kill someone just like a tumor, and it requires treatment as well as the support of family and friends. We wouldn’t tell a cancer patient to solve the issue on his own, would we? Then why do we tell people with a disorder that they aren’t worth saving? In case you didn’t know, mental illness is a real biological condition that affects about 78 million Americans. With support structures and treatment, people with a mental illness can become functioning members of society. And you can do something to help impact the lives of these people. Volunteer at a hospital or a mental health clinic; be an advocate for treatment of mental illness; campaign for compassionate treatment of the mentally ill. We at Mercyhurst are a kindhearted group of people. We are socially merciful. I am certain that someone who is mentally ill just wants a friend. They want to get better, but they are afraid to seek treatment for fear of being judged and ostracized from society. We can help build a better world for them. It starts with you.
Praise for cheerleaders
For the past seven years, I have been employed as a receptionist at Baldwin Hall. One of the joys of this ministry is the opportunity to visit with the girls as they come and go at Baldwin. They are the joy of my life. Many of these girls are basketball or hockey players and cheerleaders and their schedule has become my schedule and I make every effort to be present at their games to show my support. I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the cheerleader
coach, Pat Zimmer, for the superb job she is doing with the girls and to publicly thank the cheerleaders for their faithfulness in performance at the games. I feel they do not get enough credit for all the good they do—they are often unsung heroes and deserve to be praised. My fervent hope is that these women might soon be joined by at least one brave male cheerleader. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? - Sister Mary Paul Carioty
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Obama’s health care plan mimics Nixon’s
By Caitlin Handerhan
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law what was arguably the most historic piece of legislation passed by the 111th Congress: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As liberals rejoiced and conservatives grimaced, the Affordable Care Act became law. Commonly known as health care reform, this landmark law brought the tyrannical reign of insurance companies to an end. Despite irrational opposition from the right, the ﬁnal passage of the bill provides fair and affordable options for the estimated 46 million Americans living without health care coverage. With the national fervor surrounding health care reform simmering down, it seems timely to take a look at the actual content of the bill in a comparative context with previous attempts at reform, most notably under Republican administrations. As early as the Jan. 30, 1974, State of the Union address, President Richard Nixon was touting the beneﬁts of not only reforms to the health care system, but also the need for a universal health care plan to enable every American to gain access to care. The Nixon Era proposals for health care reform were not defeated due to public unrest or aversion to the proposed content. During this period in the battle for reform, the bill became a victim of circumstance. By 1974, Watergate had come to dominate the national discourse and Nixon’s health care lost traction; the 1970s became another failure in the annals of reform.
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The bill Obama signed in the spring of 2009 forbids insurance companies from placing an annual or lifetime limit on a policy, bans dropped coverage of an ill patient, and eliminates discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions, along with many other provisions which echo Nixon’s call for coverage of all. Clearly, upon comparatively examining these two attempts at health care reform, the levels of hypocrisy within the conservative platform become evident. The health care plan proposed under President Nixon’s Administration is very similar to the plan which President Obama proposed almost 40 years later, and the same Republican party which once came close to historically implementing reform has become the ‘party of no’ in a futile effort to block it.
The Merciad is the official student-produced newspaper of Mercyhurst College. It is published throughout the school year, with the exception of finals weeks. Our office is in Hirt, Room 120B. Our telephone number is (814) 824-2376. The Merciad welcomes letters to the editor. All letters must be signed and names will be included with the letters. Although we will not edit the letters for content, we reserve the right to trim letters to fit. Letters are due Mondays. by noon and may not be more than 300 words. Submit letters to box PH 485 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dreams are possible
Mary Nolte discusses reaching her dream. in Ireland.
Assisting during a crisis
Thomas Snippert urges Americans to send money to Japan.
March 23, 2011
club’s activities include taking lessons, trail rides, fund raising, ﬁeld trips, volunteer activities and intercollegiate competition. The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) is the group that hosts all riding events. “Any college student should be able to ride and compete regardless of ﬁnancial status or riding level,” the IHSA wrote in its mission statement, making it a perfect ﬁt for Mascellino and Birmingham. The IHSA sponsors many stables throughout the tri-state area including Brenric Stables in Edinboro, where Mascellino and Birmingham take lessons and train every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Brenric Stables is also the home of Halli Bidwell, who serves as instructor for Mascellino and Birmingham. She also accompanies the two women to every competition. “She has been very helpful,” Mascellino said. “She makes sure we are ready for each competition and (she) has a high reputation with the IHSA.” The organization picks the venue for each competition and provides
horses at random for each rider to make things fair among the competing men and women. “Whether you place or not depends on your ability to make the horse cooperate with you,” Birmingham says. “Some horses have a lot of attitude and can give you a hard time. “Some horses are ex-race horses and ex-Olympic Equestrian horses which are highly skilled and easier to work with. It all depends on the skill of the rider.” Mascellino and Birmingham compete in English saddle competitions, a formal set of events in contrast to the more hectic and fast-paced Western saddle competitions. The pair’s last competition was a weekend event in Reedsville. Birmingham took fourth place both days, earning six points, and Mascellino took sixth place on Saturday and ﬁfth place on Sunday, earning three points. Mascellino and Birmingham invite all Mercyhurst students who are interested in competing or simply being around horses to venture out and take a lesson.
Equestrian Club keeps riding despite only two members
By Matt Cirell
When you get thrown off the horse, you must get back on. In the case of Haley Mascellino and Caitlin Birmingham, the lone members of this year’s Mercyhurst Equestrian Club, they never had a horse, a stable or a place to ride. All they have is the desire to compete and a school that will support them. Haley Mascellino and Caitlin Birmingham grew up in suburban Pittsburgh. The two girls had the passion for riding horses but never had the resources. “I have always wanted to be on an [equestrian] team, but growing up in Pittsburgh, I never got a chance to learn the ropes, let alone ride a horse,” said Mascellino, a junior biology major. “Also, I want to be a veterinarian and this is a good way for me to study the ailments and treatment of large animals like horses.” Birmingham, a freshman, comes from a similar background.
Haley Mascellino, left, and Caitlin Birmingham, right, are the lone members of the Mercyhurst Equestrian Club.
“I am in the same boat as Haley,” she said, “I grew up close to her in Pittsburgh, and I never got the chance to ride or compete. Now that I’m here at Mercyhurst, I can do that.” Mary Ann Owoc, Ph.D., of the archaeology and anthropology department, founded the Mercyhurst Equestrian Club in 2004. The
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Caitlin Birmingham, above, rides in an English saddle competition. The club is looking for new members. The club takes lessons at Brenric Stables and competes in local horse competitions.
March 23, 2011
home series. Teams will travel away for two games, then play that same team at home the following day. This type of travel can have a signiﬁcant impact on a player. So far, this hasn’t posed too much of a problem for McCall and the Lakers. In his second and ﬁnal season with the Lakers, McCall has picked up where he left off last season. He has started all 20 games and continues to play at a high level. To date, he is hitting .368 and is second on the team in hits, doubles and RBIs. Last season, McCall played through nagging injuries but still had a solid year. Now, he hopes to stay healthy and have an even better senior year. “Baseball is a lot of wear and tear I just need to stay ﬁt,” McCall says. “Going through the routine helps to produce.” McCall’s natural position is middle inﬁeld, but this season he has played everywhere. He has started a majority of this season at
McCall, baseball team off to strong start
By Spencer Hunt
Mercyhurst is a Division II athletic school in nearly every sport. Even though it is not considered a big-name school, the Mercyhurst baseball team still plays at a big-time level. Senior Kevin McCall spent two years playing for the University of Buffalo before transferring to Mercyhurst. He says the differences between the two are smaller than one might think when jumping down a division. “The talent isn’t much different. There is more traveling here and more in-conference games, but overall the skill level is similar,” McCall says. Traditionally in a Division I school, teams travel and stay a whole weekend away for a threegame series. But in the DII PSAC schedule, teams have home and third base, with occasional starts at second base and in the outﬁeld. This jack-of-all-trades role is one that McCall enjoys. Any team would love to have a player who hits more than .300 and can play just about every position. “It’s just practice. Repetition is the father of learning,” he says. McCall and Mercyhurst are off to an excellent start, holding a 15-5 overall record and are coming off a two weekend split against Gannon University. Baseball players are considered the most superstitious of athletes, having the exact same routine before a game or when they are at the plate. “I listen to the same soundtrack and go through the same motions before every game,” he says. Perhaps all the repetition will lead to a PSAC title this season for the Lakers. They take on Clarion University in another home and home weekend. Saturday’s home games start at 1 p.m.
The baseball team is off to a strong start thanks in part to the solid play of senior Kevin McCall, above.
Tyler Stauffer photo
Wisconsin women’s hockey team wins NCAA title
Ethan Magoc photos
Meghan Duggan, Wisconsin senior captain and 2011 Patty Kazmaier Award winner, leads her team in a victory cheer as they clutch the trophy following their Frozen Four win. Duggan beat out Mercyhurst’s Meghan Agosta and Boston College’s Kelli Stack for this year’s award, given annually to the top collegiate women’s hockey player. Agosta had been nominated as a topthree ﬁnalist during each of her four seasons with the Lakers but never won. Laker assistant captain Vicki Bendus earned the award in 2010 as a junior.
Wisconsin assistant captain Geena Prough kisses the NCAA Division I women’s hockey trophy as she lifts it Sunday afternoon at Tullio Arena. The Badgers defeated Boston University, 4-1, to claim their fourth national title in six years. Prough transferred from Mercyhurst following the 2008-09 season shortly after it lost to Wisconsin in the Frozen Four at Boston.
View more images from Sunday’s title game online at merciad.mercyhurst.edu.
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