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So far Kristin has created 26 blog entries.

Paul Smith ’78

Paul’s Surprising Hit Song Adventure

Paul Smith ’78, referred to as McPaul Smith in the television-writing world, can now say he has a hit song. At the end of May and beginning of June, a song that he co-wrote, “Castaways,” was #1 on Spotify and YouTube for about a week. This was intriguing to Paul because “Castaways” was written back in 2003 when he was head writer and lyricist for the animated preschool series The Backyardigans. The song was recently made popular through the video-sharing app TikTok when teens and young adults started creating dances to some of The Backyardigans’ songs. “Castaways” went viral, and, while completely unexpected, Paul can now say that 18 years later, he wrote a hit song! Actually, he can say he wrote two hits because in addition to “Castaways” he wrote the song, “Into the Thick of It,” also from The Backyardigans, which has taken off on TikTok as well. Chances are, if you scroll through the app for just a few minutes, you will hear a video made to one of these songs. Learn more about Paul’s incredible success as a lyricist, screenwriter, and producer for numerous popular children’s television shows!

Paul Smith ’782021-07-27T09:02:03-04:00

Cora Howey ’01

Cora Howey ’01 – Cora’s Journey to the Top

Cora Howey’s journey to the incredible career she has today began the day after she graduated from Penn State University when she drove to NYC with one month’s rent, no job, and big dreams. While it was intimidating, Cora knew she would be able to make it. She said, “at MPS, you never thought you couldn’t do something because they always told you whatever you want to do, you can, because look at what you’ve already done here.” She feels Mercyhurst Prep propelled her to where she is today.

Today, Cora Howey ’01 works for Meredith Corporation as the executive director of advertising for Entertainment Weekly. She graduated from Penn State University in 2005 with her degrees in advertising and art history. In moving to New York City, she pursued careers in both and ultimately found that advertising was the path for her. She began her career as an advertising sales assistant, which fueled her passion to become a sales representative. She knew that she would get to meet and entertain an extensive amount of people and while fun and exciting, she just truly has a passion for travel and meeting new and different people, so she knew it would be the perfect fit. Cora said this passion was fostered at MPS, “the curriculum influenced me so much to know there was more to the world, and I wanted to go out and find it.”

In 2008, she began her career with Entertainment Weekly. They brought on Cora to establish their digital platform, which was brand new at that point. She was then recruited by Parade, found in hundreds of newspapers around the country, to get their digital platform up and running. When she returned to entertainment weekly, she reached her goal of becoming a sales representative, and, just three years in, became the director of east coast sales. Last year, Cora was promoted to the executive director overseeing even more business and teams. Like most, the pandemic changed the way they had to go about their jobs, and they had to dig deep to find new business and meet their goals. She said her team was the highest performing team last year, which made her incredibly proud. Her true reward comes from mentoring her team and watching them grow and succeed as they did last year.

Through all her success, she has had a ton of fun along the way. A big part of her job is selling and attending celebrity events based around major award shows and television events like the Emmy and SAG awards. Over the years, she has met hundreds of celebrities at these events including, Will Smith, Melissa Etheridge, Chris Hemsworth, and Neil Patrick Harris, to name a few. She said she has always loved pop culture and will forever be grateful to have found a career where she gets to be a part of it.

Cora Howey ’012021-07-26T16:26:07-04:00

Mercy Education names Mercyhurst Prep President Ed Curtin to new school leadership role in Florida

Mercy Education names Mercyhurst Prep President Ed Curtin to new school leadership role in Florida

Curtin served Mercyhurst Prep for 31 years; search for the school’s sixth president will begin immediately

Contact: Alyson Amendola

ERIE, Pa. (June 17, 2021) — The Mercyhurst Preparatory School Board of Trustees today announced that President Ed Curtin has accepted a new leadership role within Mercy Education, effective in early August. Curtin will be the founding head of school for the new Catholic career and technical junior/senior high school in Stuart, Fla. Mercy Education’s innovative new school will prepare historically marginalized students for both the health sciences workforce and/or post-secondary education.

Curtin has served Mercyhurst Prep in Erie for 31 years and was named president of the school in 2015. The Board of Trustees has launched a search committee to begin finding the sixth president of Mercyhurst Prep. Board member Emily Wachter will lead the search process.

“Ed is an excellent school administrator, a tremendous teacher, and is an outstanding human being,” said Sister JoAnne Courneen, chair of the Mercyhurst Prep Board of Trustees. “The leaders of Mercy Education recognized his strengths as a leader and have witnessed firsthand his ability to call forth the best of the faculty and staff of MPS and its students. Mercy Education knows quality when they see it.”

During his six years as president of Mercyhurst Prep, Curtin worked to establish articulation agreements with higher education institutions such as Mercyhurst University, Gannon University, St. Francis University, and Carlow University to provide academic and scholarship opportunities for Mercyhurst Prep students. He also played an instrumental role in bringing to fruition the William Vorsheck Jr. Athletic Facility, a shared project with Mercyhurst University. 

Curtin, in his administrative roles, has also focused on transforming the spaces that serve the academic, spiritual, and extracurricular needs of students. Among the physical campus upgrades, The Bill and Audrey Hirt DREAM (Design-Research-Engineering-Arts-Math) Lab opened in 2015 and offers students a state-of-the-art technology learning center equipped with touchscreens, video walls, 3D printers, drones and virtual reality systems. Under Curtin’s leadership, the Betsy and Bill Vorsheck Library Resource Center was also transformed into a modern, multi-use study gathering space. The school’s Performing Arts Center, cafeteria, dance studio, campus ministry, and athletic facilities were also upgraded during his tenure.

 “While it will be a major change in my life after 31 wonderful years at Mercyhurst Prep, building a new school rooted in Mercy will certainly feel familiar and I am edified knowing that Catherine McAuley’s vision continues to grow,” said Curtin. “This is an exciting opportunity for me knowing that I will have a part in establishing a school that will deliver a strong Mercy education and provide opportunities for historically marginalized students.”

Prior to becoming president of Mercyhurst Prep, Curtin was assistant principal from 2011–2015, chair of the Theology Department from 2003–2015, and on the Theology faculty since 1990. Curtin also currently serves on the Sisters of Mercy Ethics Committee.

Mercy Education names Mercyhurst Prep President Ed Curtin to new school leadership role in Florida2021-06-17T11:54:06-04:00

Shelby Crosby ’92

Dr. Shelby Crosby ’92 – Teaching is her true passion

Throughout the month of February, Mercyhurst Prep has been celebrating Black History Month with the help of the MPS Critical Concerns Club. They are educating themselves and the community by selecting historical figures to highlight each morning with a brief memoir read on the morning announcements. An MPS alumna studies and teaches the works of some of those we are highlighting every day.

Shelby Crosby ’92, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Memphis in their African American Literature Department, and teaching is her true passion. She received her BA from Morehead State University and her MA and PhD from the State University of New York, Buffalo, where she started her teaching career as a teaching assistant. From there, she taught at D’Youville College and has now been at the University of Memphis since 2008. Currently, her favorite course to teach is a course called Black Women & the Fantastic, which focuses on Black women who write in the genre of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

In college, her studies took her in many directions until she finally landed on English. Taking English courses for fun in her first few years, she knew she loved it and loved presenting but didn’t know how to turn it into a career. Her interest was not in elementary or secondary education, but she didn’t know how to become a college professor. Even so, she took a leap and worked toward her doctorate to reach her goal of teaching at the collegiate level. She said that at MPS, she was encouraged to think critically and ask questions, which is an invaluable skill to have and helped her immensely in her college studies and beyond.

Shelby’s work has appeared in numerous journals and books in the past, but recently she has been working on her first book project. She is co-editor, along with Dr. Aparajita Nanda, of God Is Change. Religious Ideologies in the Works of Octavia Butler. The book will be out next month and published by Temple University Press. She explained, “It is an edited collection that explores how Octavia E. Butler creates and uses religion in her novels to critique the racial, class, and gendered imbalances in our worlds.”

Shelby Crosby ’922021-07-26T16:09:45-04:00