Gannon University to Present Distinguished Alumni Awards in September

Gannon University Alumni Association

Gannon University Alumni Association

Gannon University is proud to announce five remarkable alumni who will receive the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award on Saturday, Sept. 28 during Gannon University’s Homecoming and Family Weekend. Distinguished Alumni recipients are selected by the National Alumni Board that represents more than 38,000 Gannon and Villa Maria College alumni across the globe. This year’s Distinguished Alumni recipients include:  

Carl Carlotti, Esq. ’77, (Retired) President of National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Williamsville, NY   Carlotti received his Political Science degree from Gannon University before attending law school at the University of Dayton in Ohio. Carlotti served as a solicitor for the City of Erie from 1980-1984, during Mayor Louis J. Tullio’s term, and joined National Fuel Gas in 1985 as a staff attorney. He became president of National Fuel Gas in 2016 serving 750,000 customers in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania.  

Joseph Cooley ’64, (Retired) Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for GST AutoLeather, China 

Cooley is a 1964 graduate of Gannon’s College of Engineer and Business who earned his degree in Business Administration. Cooley served six months in the U.S. Army Reserve following graduation and started his business career in the Automotive Industry, initially with Chevrolet Motor Division in his hometown of Buffalo, NY. He then moved to GM’s Overseas Operations in South Africa, Thailand and Venezuela. In 1981, Cooley joined Alfa Romeo as their Senior VP for North American Sales and Marketing until 1990, when he became a global sales executive for Garden State Tanning, a leading producer of automotive leather seating. 

Gregory Czarnecki ’89, Director of Applied Climate Science for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Cooksburg, PA  

Both a 1989 graduate of Gannon and father of a current Gannon University student, Czarnecki also served two terms as president of the National Alumni Board. A writer and avid photographer, Czarnecki recently published a pictorial history of Gannon University that will be available during Homecoming & Family Weekend this September. 

Kelly Miele, ’10, ’14M, Teacher at Fairview High School, Fairview, PA 

A winner of WJET-TV’s 2016-2017 Golden Apple “Teacher of the Year” award, Miele is an Advanced Placement English teacher at Fairview High School, one of the top-ranked schools in Northwestern Pennsylvania. She also teaches Honors English, serves as faculty advisor to the senior class and is coach of the Senior Powder Puff football team. Miele earned a bachelor’s degree in English/Secondary Education and Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Gannon University. 

Joseph Eugene Tarquinio ’68, ’70M, Executive Director of Maria House Project, Erie, PA 

Tarquinio earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Mark Seminary in 1968 and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Gannon in 1970, which was then Gannon College. Tarquinio taught math at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Erie and then accepted a position at the Harborcreek School for Boys, now known as Harborcreek Youth Services. For 31 years, he was as teacher, counselor, program director, Director of Human Resources before becoming the school’s Executive Director. In 2000, under the ministry of Monsignor James Peterson, Tarquinio became Executive Director of Maria House Project. Through the treatment ministry of the Maria House Project, Tarquinio assists those suffering from the effects of alcohol abuse, homelessness, incarceration and mental health issues.  

The Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented during a ceremony on Sept. 28 in the Yehl Alumni Ballroom of Gannon’s Waldron Campus Center, located at 124 West 7th Street. To register for Homecoming and Family Weekend, visit

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