Gannon University To Honor Five Distinguished Alumni

Posted: September 29, 2016

Gannon University will honor five individuals for their accomplishments and service to others during Homecoming Reunion Weekend. The annual presentation of Distinguished Alumni Awards honors alumni of Gannon University and Villa Maria College and is being held Friday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. in Gannon's Yehl Alumni Room in its Waldron Campus Center.

Representing the College of Business and Engineering is Almitra "Almi" (Clemente) Clerkin, Executive Director of the Erie Playhouse. Clerkin graduated cum laude from Gannon in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business management. She is currently the executive director of the Erie Playhouse and also serves various civic organizations such as Erie Arts & Culture. She is a Hamot Health Foundation corporator and a member of the board of directors of St. Mary's Home of Erie.

From the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences is Elisabeth "Betsy" (Roeback) Monsalve. She earned her nursing degree from Villa Maria College in 1970 and her Masters of Science degree in nursing from Wayne State University. She became one of the first certified nurse practitioners in the country.

She currently serves as a director at McManis & Monsalve Associates of Erie. Her volunteer service includes the Erie Rotary Club and the Our West Bayfront neighborhood planning and development organization.

Representing the College of Humanities Education and Social Sciences is John "Jay" Alberstadt, Jr. Alberstadt graduated magna cum laude in 1976 with a degree in sociology. He earned his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law and has practiced in Erie for the past 30 years. Alberstadt is a partner at MacDonald Illig Jones and Britton LLP where his practice concentrates on real estate, commercial and economic development.

Alberstadt serves on the boards of Northwestern Legal Services, the Catholic Charities Counseling and Adoption Services, Housing and Neighborhood Development Services, ExpERIEnce Children's Museum and the County Bar Association.

Adam J. Susmarski, D.O. is the recipient of the Young Alumni Award. He graduated summa cum laude from Gannon in 2005 with a degree in sport and exercise science. He went on to Michigan State University where he earned his medical degree. He is currently the chief resident in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Susmarski also serves in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps and has been deployed to Afghanistan, Kuwait, Africa and Europe.

The recipient of this year's Monsignor Wilfrid Nash Christian Conduct award is Sister Mary Miller, OSB. Miller earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education from Villa Maria College in 1967. She is currently the director of Emmaus Ministries, a position she has held for the past 36 years. Her ministry includes 300 volunteers dedicated to feeding the needy of the Erie region and providing 45,000 meals and distributing over 15,000 bags of groceries each year.