Alumni Spotlights

Vickie Swinehart, ’81: Ensuring the Health of Her Community

Vickie Swinehart, ’81: Ensuring the Health of Her Community

  • on May 7, 2021
  • by Lisa McMahon, M.A.'09
  • in

When Vickie (Carson) Swinehart, ’81, accepted a position as a home care nurse in Seneca County, N.Y.’s Department of Public Health, she was looking for a work schedule that aligned more with the demands of raising her family. What she found was a challenging and rewarding career that has spanned...

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Reducing the Stigma Around Suicide

Reducing the Stigma Around Suicide

  • on April 16, 2021
  • by Lisa McMahon, M.A.'09

The stigma around suicide prevents many people from talking about it. Krysta Broeker, B.S.’19, is determined to change that.As the suicide prevention project coordinator for Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital’s new “Know the Signs” project, she is reaching out to community agencies and others...

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Protecting Her Community Behind the Scenes

Protecting Her Community Behind the Scenes

  • on March 29, 2021
  • by Lisa McMahon, MA'09
  • in

In the first few weeks of 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the United States, county health directors across New York state began to meet and plan strategies to mitigate the outbreak’s impact in their regions. Mary (Welch) Beer, B.S.’77, director of public health for Ontario...

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From the Bureau to the Bard

From the Bureau to the Bard

After a 30-year career with the FBI, Eric Corbett Williams, B.S.’62, followed a passion for acting that began when he was 14.“There’s a little actor in every FBI agent!” he says.The Niagara Falls, N.Y., native’s first on-stage experience was as the newsboy in a production of William...

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Bringing NU Nursing’s Legacy of Caring Around the World

Bringing NU Nursing’s Legacy of Caring Around the World

Like many young women at that time, Lucy Pierce’s first experience in the medical field was as a candy striper at her local hospital.“I really enjoyed working with all the people I came in touch with, both patients and employees,” she said, “and felt my path was naturally to continue in...

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Ashley Bantelman, B.S.’10: From NU to the UN

Ashley Bantelman, B.S.’10: From NU to the UN

Ashley Bantelman, B.S.’10, came to Niagara University with an interest in natural science and a desire to do research. She was able to pursue both during her four years at the university—as a biology major (with minors in French, math, chemistry, and philosophy), she worked closely with Dr....

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A Pioneer in Palliative Care

A Pioneer in Palliative Care

  • on November 3, 2020
  • by Lisa McMahon, MA'09
  • in

When Patrick Coyne, ’82, was a teenager, he was in a car accident that broke his leg and put him in traction for several weeks. During that time, he grew to appreciate the nurses who took care of him, an appreciation that led him to pursue a career as a nurse, himself.Coyne, who worked as an...

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Providing Leadership in a Pandemic

  • on September 28, 2020
  • by Lisa McMahon, MA'09
  • in

When asked what his initial reaction was when he first heard that Catholic Health would be transferring all its COVID-positive patients to its St. Joseph’s campus, where he is a nurse manager in telemetry, ICU and dialysis, John LaForge’s response was slightly unexpected.“I was proud that they...

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Lights, camera, action! Wheatfield native publishes book on making it in Hollywood

Actress, comedian and, most importantly, a Wheatfield native, Meghan Deanna Smith, ’12, always knew that she was supposed to be an actor.“My parents don’t even know why. Ever since I was little and could speak, I just always said ‘I’m going to be an actor,’ even before I really knew what...

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Sending Hope to Cancer Patients

Sending Hope to Cancer Patients

  • on June 23, 2020
  • by Lisa McMahon, MA'09

What if there was a shot that cured cancer?If the technology co-developed by Dr. Michael Ciesielski, ’93, proves as effective as current clinical trials suggest, a vaccine to treat one of the most common and aggressive forms of primary brain cancer might be available in just a few years.Dr....

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