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Hurst Happenings

HUMANS OF MERCYHURST: Emilio Colaiacovo’98

Emilio Colaiacovo ’98 was elected to the New York State Supreme Court on November 3, 2015 and took his oath of office on December 29, 2015. His term of office, which is a fourteen year term, began on January 1, 2016. The State Supreme Court is the highest trial-level court in New York and is vested with unlimited civil and criminal jurisdiction.

Prior to his election,Colaiacovo, Emilio Justice Colaiacovo was the managing partner of the Bouvier Partnership, a law firm in Buffalo, New York. Concentrating is practice in the areas of Matrimonial and Family Law, Justice Colaiacovo was recognized as one of the Top 10 Attorneys in Buffalo by Buffalo’s Business First. Justice Colaiacovo also served as Associate Counsel to the Erie County Water Authority and was appointed as a Court Examiner by the Presiding Justice of the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Fourth Department.

Justice Colaiacovo is married to Kimberly Colaiacovo, an attorney with Barclay Damon LLP. They reside in Clarence, New York with their two children.


Pregame Reception Success

ERIE, Pa. – Mercyhurst alumni and staff successfully cheered the men’s basketball team to a win against Gannon Wednesday night at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center (MAC)! The Lakers defeated crosstown rival Gannon, 48-37, in the inaugural Porreco Pride of Erie Game in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division battle. Alumni and employees mingled and enjoyed a pregame reception put on by the alumni department. Food and drinks were enjoyed, as was the appearance of President Victor and Provost Dausey. In all, almost 200 alumni and employees showed up to support the Mercyhurst Lakers! With the win, the Lakers improve to 13-4 overall and 10-3 in the PSAC, while the Golden Knights fall to 3-13, 2-11 PSAC. The alumni department would like to extend a thank you to all who came and looks forward to seeing everyone at future events!

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Information for this blog was retrieved from a Mercyhurst Athletics’ online article, you can read the full story here

Principal Power: Heidie and Russ Ciesielski `97 `97

Heidie and Russ Ciesielski are at the helm of two schools; Heidie is the principal at AGS Middle School in Fenton, MI and Russ is currently interim Heidie and Russ Ciesielski pose for a photo at a Fenton Regional Chamber of Commerce dinner. She is the principal at AGS Middle School in Fenton. He is the interim superintendent in Linden and the Linden High School principal.superintendent and will later return to his duties as principal of Linden High School.

The couple met while attending Mercyhurst, Heidie a volleyball player, and Russ a hockey player. They have two children, Maxwell and Madelyn who find “going to the Principal’s office” not so bad, considering the Principals are mom and dad!

Information for this blog post was retrieved from an online article, you can read the full story at:

Mercyhurst knowledge applied to the real world: James Downing `15

JiPhone Screenshot 2ames Downing `15 graduated from Mercyhurst in May and is already seeing his hard work paying off. He created an app that combines social media with a puzzling aspect. Users can solve puzzles in the app’s database or they can take a picture and it will puzzle it and send to friends! The app also has a statistics section to keep track of top friends and user averages.

James explained that his studies in the Intelligence Studies program here at Mercyhurst helped him a lot throughout the process of developing the app. He was well prepared from the rigor of the Intelligence Studies program to balance studies, jobs, and the app all during his senior year.

His course work also helped him to get a better understanding of the apps database – specifically from his Database Management class that he took last year.

He also had experience with start-ups because he previously began and ran social media accounts for an intelligence website started by Hurst alumni Spencer Vuksic and Graham Westbrook called

He has come a long way and the app has now turned into much more than a “side project”.




You can learn more about James’ app online and even download here:

Great work, James, lots of great things to expect from the Class of 2015, our newest Mercyhurst alumni!


Class of 2010 hockey alumni: success in their careers


Recently, two Mercyhurst Ice Hockey alumni were in the news for career successes.

Meghan Agosta-Marciano `10 has been using her degree in criminal justice and minor in psychology in her field. She recently completed a 10-month academy and is working as a police officer with the Vancouver Police Department. Read the full story on Meghan’s hockey background and new position with the VPD here:

Neil Graham `10 another former Lakers star has been named the head coach and director of hockey operations for the Idaho Steelheads. He is the youngest Head Coach in Steelheas history and also the youngest bench boss currently in the ECHL. Read the full story of Neil’s new spot with the Steelheads here:



Game On!

Game On! From home runs to half-court shots, the Lakers assembled their best-ever year in 2014-15.
By: Scott Koskoski `00
As I exited Erie Insurance Arena after Mercyhurst’s undergraduate commencement on Sunday, May 17, the crack of a bat quickly got my attention. Right next door, at Jerry Uht Park, the Laker baseball team was playing Millersville University for the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship, with a first-ever trip to the College World Series on the line.

The perfect balance of academics and athletics, I thought.

Well, the “#LakeShow” did prevail that Sunday, advanced to the World Series, and ended up finishing 4th nationally among all NCAA Division II teams. The Lakers’ performance was just one of a myriad of fantastic finishes for Mercyhurst teams in 2014-15, one that deserves an alumni standing ovation.

The men’s soccer team advanced to the regional finals. The men’s tennis team took out the No. 1 team in its region and advanced to the “NCAA Sweet 16” in Arizona. Speaking of sweet, the Laker men’s basketball team earned its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth and after all these years, finally put on its dancing shoes. The women’s rowing team, no stranger to success, brought home a national silver medal. And after a bleak 0-4 start, the Mercyhurst football team rattled off seven straight victories, including a come-from-behind win over Slippery Rock at Michigan Stadium, to finish 7-4.

Add it all up, and Mercyhurst Athletics finished 2014-15 in 15th place among more than 250 Division II schools in the annual Learfield Sports Directors Cup – the program’s highest-ever finish.

And as if that’s not enough, the Lakers captured the highest Academic Success Rate in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference for the second year in a row. (The PSAC includes our archrival school just a few blocks away in downtown Erie, so there’s yet another victory!)

Wow! As Frank Sinatra might say, it was a very good year.

Mercyhurst Laker student-athletes deserve our attention and praise. Athletes comprise nearly 25% of our traditional undergraduate population, and between the Erie and North East campuses, more than 800 men and women are proud to don the Kelly Green and White. And not only are our Lakers good at sports, but they’re good sports too, contributing more than 2,000 hours’ community service to Erie-area organizations this year.

Head to the official online home of the Lakers,, and bookmark the site for information, schedules and when the Lakers are next playing a game near you. Better yet, join me and become part of the Laker League, the official support organization for Mercyhurst Athletics. You can choose your giving level, and no matter the size of your gift, you’ll qualify for some pretty cool Laker swag.

Talented student-athletes, dedicated coaches and a bit of Irish luck all combined to produce our most memorable year yet. There’s only one way to know if 2015-16 will top it – get to a game, be loud, be proud, and Go Lakers!

Alumni in the News

A few alumni have been making great strides in their fields…congratulations to these Lakers on their recent accomplishments!

Louis D’Ambrosio `99, a vice principal at William A. Diggs Elementary School, was names the 2015 Charles County Public Schools Vice Principal of the Year! He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in special education, both from Mercyhurst University.
Read the full story here:

William McGahee `01, assistant principal of North Hills High School will become the principal of Ross Elementary, the largest elementary school in the North Hills School District. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from Mercyhurst University and a principal’s certificate and master’s degree from Slippery Rock University.
Read the full story here:

Jennifer Mobilia `03, News10NBC anchor and reporter, will be taking over as the host of Roc City Tonight on News10NBC at 7p.m. and also the co-anchor position on News10NBC at 11p.m. After graduating from Mercyhurst, her career has taken her through Buffalo NY, Ft. Myers, FL, and Providence, RI.
Read the full story here:

Student Scholarships – Yet Another Reason to Give!

marnieMARNIE MILLER ’15 – Sociology

Marnie graduated May 17, 2015 from Mercyhurst University with a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology.

She was born and raised in Erie and is the youngest of eight children.  She is also the only college graduate in her family – and she’s the baby.  Her young adult life was anything but easy.  She was abused and burned and had gasoline poured on her and was set afire by the father of her children.  Scarred, and a recovering addict she was placed in a religious school which she says saved her life.

When her youngest son entered 9th grade she decided it was time to begin her college education.

“I believe in the power of education. I did this for me, but of course also to show my children that you can do anything you set your mind to.”

Marnie will tell you Mercyhurst has been the most amazing time of her life.  “Coming back to school as an adult student, every need was met from academic advisors to Learning Differences to the administration and staff.  I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC with Dr. Joe Morris and Dianne Rogers and other students to attend President Obama’s second inauguration. I can’t tell you how much encouragement I have received from everyone on campus.”

“I am a starter but not always a finisher.  I learned integrity at Mercyhurst and I apply it to my life daily.  Mercyhurst and the scholarships I received are the reason I finished my degree.  My final course was fully paid for by a scholarship.  If it wasn’t for the scholarships I would not have been able to make it at all.  AT ALL.”

“Mercyhurst has defined who I am and have become.  My goal in life is to be an educated well-spoken woman who can reach out to others with similar backgrounds, pay it forward and make a difference.  By the grace of God and Mercyhurst University I am on my way.”


We didn’t want to miss you this year.  Our year ends Sunday, May 31, 2015.

It’s not too late to support the endowed scholarships at Mercyhurst.  All gifts, no matter what size will help students like Marnie Miller achieve her dreams.  Can we count you as a loyal alumni?


Thank you.

Carpe Diem.

Class of 2015: Update Your Information

Congratulations to our newest alumni! We want to be sure that you’ll remain connected for years to come. To do this, please fill out the short form below:

Fill out my online form.

THANK YOU for the Giving Day Support!

Giving Day was a huge success – because of YOU!

We’d like to extend our gratitude to everyone who participated in our first annual Giving Day. Because we all came together to show our support and pride of Mercyhurst, Giving Day was a success.

What’s even better is that no area of the Mercyhurst community was unrepresented in Giving Day. Alumni, trustees, parents, employees, and friends all joined in – Together, the Mercyhurst community can do great things!

An unofficial count from yesterday brings us to 348 donors and $57,203. We have heard from a number of supporters that they are sending checks, those will be added to the totals later this week.

Again, we thank you for your support of Mercyhurst University – May 5 was surely a great day to be a Laker!


Mercyhurst Alumni is on Facebook Follow Mercyhurst Alumni on Twitter Connect with other alumni on LinkedIn The Official Mercyhurst Alumni YouTube Channel