Laker Updates

Eric Sciotto ’93

Eric Sciotto ’93 has accomplished major success in his career after MPS. His latest achievement is being cast as Giuseppe in the Chicago run of Light in the Piazza starring opera-sensation Renee Fleming. During Eric’s four years at MPS, he performed in all of the spring musicals, was in a few of the winter plays, and was also a member of the show choir and dance company.

After graduating from Mercyhurst Prep, Eric went on to further his performing arts education at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, one of the top musical theatre programs in the country.  Since receiving his BFA in 1997, his career has taken off. He has performed in twelve Broadway shows: Aida, Annie Get Your Gun, Sweet Smell of Success, Sweet Charity, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, Cry-Baby, Pal Joey, Rock of Ages, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and most recently Something Rotten in which he starred as William Shakespeare. He has even toured the nation in a couple of shows.

Aside from all of his success on Broadway, he also works behind the scenes. He flies around to teach master classes in musical theatre performance and musical theatre dance, and he directs and choreographs musicals and plays as well. Just this past fall, he joined the musical theatre faculty at the University of Utah.

Meghan O’Brien ’15

Meghan O’Brien ’15 is currently working at NBC as part of NBC Universal’s Page Program. This program is a year-long rotation where college grads get the opportunity to further develop their interests within television from the business, content, and consumer perspective. Every year there are over 15,000 applicants, and just over 200 are chosen for the program; it is extremely competitive. Meghan learned about the program in her sophomore year at Syracuse University and knew it was what she wanted to do after graduation.

During Meghan’s 4 years at MPS, she was involved in the performing arts, the spring musicals, and dance company. She was also on the cheerleading squad, so it was clear that she liked to perform and put herself out there. “Performance was always a huge aspect of my life, and something that I could fully grow into at MPS.” Meghan knew that she wanted to continue to be “on stage” as she furthered her education, but she didn’t necessarily want to pursue musical theatre or dance as a career. Her love of performing led to her interest in communications, specifically broadcasting. She felt that broadcast journalism was a natural fit because it allowed her to be creative and in front of an audience on camera. It is like performing, just in a different way.

Meghan received her degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She graduated this past May and moved to New York City to begin the NBC Page Program. She now lives and works in NYC and is loving it. Since she began the program, she has worked on NBC’s late night shows like, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and SNL. Over the summer, she ran the green room and managed all of the guests for the Today Show, and currently she is working at NBC Sports. She is producing, editing, and creating content for NBCSN, the Olympic Channel, and NBC. Her next rotation will begin mid-December.

Mary Oliver Masi ’04 has had a very successful writing career since her days at Mercyhurst Prep. After high school she went on to Emerson College in Boston where she studied writing. After graduating college, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in television writing. She has lived and worked out there as a TV writer ever since. She has worked on various shows during her career, a few being Chicago PD, APB, and Take Two. She currently works on the CBS show, FBI. Most of her work has been for network procedurals. The amazing part of Mary Oliver’s story is that she credits one of her former MPS English teachers for helping her succeed in her writing career. That teacher is Mrs. Pirrello, who has been retired from MPS for a few years now. Mary said, “I credit her so much for nurturing my love of creative writing and giving me the confidence to pursue it as a full-time career.”

Cassie Zimmer ’15 was chosen as a fellow for the largest qualitative study ever undertaken about life in the United States. Cassie is one of 75 fellows, selected from over 1,500 applicants, for the American Voices Project. It is an initiative of Stanford and Princeton universities with the goal of interviewing 5,000 people in all 50 states and Puerto Rico about life in the US. The interviews will take place in about 200 different US communities. The goal is to take the information gathered and use it to inform local, state, and federal policy to improve the country. Some of the topics discussed are healthcare, education, politics, and social media. The study lasts one year and will take Cassie throughout the Southwestern United States, California, and Alaska, moving every 6 weeks.

Jonathan Nolan ’93

Jonathan Nolan ’93 has been honored multiple times for the amazing work he is doing. He, along with the Woodrow Wilson Middle School music program, was selected as a 2019 Merit Award winner. This is awarded by the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, and Jonathan also received a special citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for all his hard work and dedication to his music program. He has been the dedicated band teacher at Woodrow Wilson since 2004. Even more recently, Jonathan was awarded the 2019 Imagine Award from Erie Arts and Culture. This award recognizes an educator who has made an outstanding contribution to the community by using arts and culture in an educational setting to inspire and empower their students. Photo by R. Frank Media.

Geoffrey Glover ’90, PhD

Geoffrey Glover ’90, PhD, received the Tina and David Bellet Excellence in Teaching Award this past April. This annual award recognizes outstanding and innovative teaching in undergraduate studies in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Geoffrey has his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University ’12, and he currently teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. Geoffrey studies and teaches African American Literature, Science and Speculative Fiction, and 20th century American Literature with a special focus on the politics of speculation—or, in other words, why and how different groups use speculation about alternative worlds.

Kelly Miele ’06

Kelly Miele ’06 was recently awarded the Young Alumni Award from Gannon University. She graduated from Gannon in 2010 with her Bachelor of Arts in English/Secondary Education and again in 2014 with her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. She now teaches English at Fairview High School. She teaches the Advanced Placement classes, which she began teaching after only three years on the job. This September marked her tenth year of teaching and she has spent all ten years at Fairview.

In 2017 Kelly received the Golden Apple Teacher of the Year award. Students are the ones who nominate their teachers for the golden apple awards, so it is a true testament to how Kelly’s students feel about her. One of her students said, “Her teachings will forever guide me because she has been so successful in encouraging personal growth by means of academic achievement. Miss Miele consistently radiates a positive enthusiasm toward English and teaching in general, allowing her to have a strong impact on me, both within the English subject area and far beyond.” Kelly has a true passion for English and is truly great at sharing that with her students.

Sadie Curtin ’09 is currently a theology teacher at Magnificat High School. It is an all-girls college preparatory high school located in Rocky River, Ohio. She is one of two teachers who created an assignment called the Agape Experiment. It is a very involved semester-long project that takes place in the second semester of junior theology in the Catholic Social Teaching course. The course covers a wide variety of social justice topics, and the project was created so that students have the opportunity to explore an injustice and work to create a solution. The Agape Experiment is based on the Genius Hour model used in companies where 20% of the work week is used to pursue a passion. Sadie and her fellow teacher took this model and implemented it into their classroom so that about 1 day a week students are able to explore an area of social justice they are passionate about. The students have complete freedom in how they want to learn—listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, reading articles, interviewing people, using social media, reading blogs, and watching YouTube, among other ways they find attractive to their learning style. Throughout the course of the semester students begin to develop a “solution” or “product” to help alleviate their injustice in the world. The sky is the limit—students are encouraged to shoot for the moon and to try anything they think will make the world more just and loving. They are not graded on this assignment and failure is acceptable, as long as they honestly try. There have been remarkable outcomes. Sadie said, “The Agape Experiment started with a leap of faith and has resulted in a beautiful response of young women taking action in our world to make it more just and loving in a way that suits their passions and talents.” Read the story of one student’s noteworthy success from the project.