Griffin Heroes


With the head of an eagle and the body of a lion, a Griffin is a symbol of enormous strength and vigor, symbolizing an ability to meet challenges head on.

Griffins always rise to the occasion, both in life and work.

If you or a fellow Griffin is making a difference during the COVID-19 Pandemic, submit your story and a photo to marketing@gmercyu.edu. #GriffinHeroes

To help provide GMercyU students with the resources required for remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, please consider donating to The Griffin Heroes Fund. Your support allows students to pursue their goals and dreams without interruption, so they may become the next generation of Griffin heroes.

Allison Alejo ’20
Nursing

Submitted on 4/27/20

I am a graduating senior in nursing at GMercyU. I currently work at Abington-Jefferson Hospital as a nurse assistant. I work on a medical-surgical unit that closed for a few weeks, and I worked on dedicated COVID units during that time. 

However, we are still at risk for exposure now that my unit is open again. The workload definitely takes a toll on me as a graduating nurse, but I’m amazed by the support I receive from my GMercyU community. I appreciate all of the people who express love and gratitude to those of us working in all fields- healthcare, grocery/retail, restaurants, first responders, etc. 

I continue to pray for everyone as we experience this pandemic. I would like to share this quote I read on social media the other day: “Strong alone, stronger together.” Thank you to my GMercyU family! 

Jennifer Benson ’17
Criminal Justice

Submitted on 4/25/20

I currently dispatch police, fire and emergency medical services throughout Montgomery County! I answer the calls to people who are having the worst days of their lives and I help them the best way I can. I give medical instructions over the phone, if needed. I’ve saved a few lives by giving CPR instructions over the phone. I’m the calm voice on the other end of the phone making sure you know that you’re not alone.

 

 

 

Bill Beck ’13
Criminal Justice

Originally posted on @gwynedd_mlax

Bill is a member of the Philadelphia Police Department. Bill is an officer in the East Division Task Force, and is on the front lines fighting the Coronavirus while completing his normal duties of keeping the residents of the city safe.

 

 

Madison Burkle ’19
Nursing

Submitted on 4/27/20

I currently work as a registered nurse on a PCU unit, which has now become a partial Coronavirus floor. I love what I do. Nothing is more rewarding than helping someone through what could be the most difficult part of their lives. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lillian Cancel ’22
Nursing

Submitted 5/1/2020

I work as a CA/NA at Abington-Jefferson, I float around the hospital filling in for the staffing needs on every unit. I tested positive for COVID and have been out of work for the required time, but the time has come to go back to perform my duties. I am thankful that I was able to fully recover and get my clearance to return to do what I love most, taking care of those in need!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aryn Cantagallo ’17
Radiology

Submitted on 4/14/20

I graduated in 2017 with my BS in Radiology! I’m currently on the frontline, working as a CT Tech at Roxborough!

 

 

 

 


 

 

Nick Coan ’12
Biology

Originally posted on @gwynedd_mlax

Dr. Nick Coan is on the front lines fighting the Coronavirus in Northern New Jersey. Nick works as a DO Medical Resident in the ICU/ER at Christ Hospital in Jersey City, NJ.

 

Matt Collins ’17
Criminal Justice

Originally posted on @gwynedd_mlax

Matt is on the front lines fighting the Coronavirus in New Jersey. Matt works as a Patrolman with the Egg Harbor Township Police Department.

 

 

Micaela Coltellaro ’20
Nursing

Submitted on 4/30/2020

Currently working as a Nurse Assistant at Cooper University Hospital
 

 

 

 


 

Lindsey Disalvia ’17
Nursing

Submitted on 4/30/2020

I currently work at Abington Hospital and have been working in the ICU with COVID-19 patients, and various COVID units. I couldn’t be more proud to represent GMercyU as a former student during this time. I’m also so proud to be a nurse, and to be able to help these patients during this difficult time. Thank you to all the Griffin Heroes & all the amazing healthcare workers for being on the front lines!

 


 

Jordan Dzierzgowski ’19
Nursing

Originally posted on @gwynedd_mlax

Jordan works as a registered nurse in the emergency department at Jefferson Washington Township Hospital in New Jersey. Jordan is a graduate of Washington Township High School and currently is on the front lines fighting the Coronavirus in his hometown.

 

Giavanna Feinstein '19
Psychology

Submitted on 4/30/2020

I'm currently at St Mary's in the ER, working as a patient access rep doing patient's registration and I’m around COVID patients all day. I'm also cross training in Maternity. A lot of people think it's OK to go out when they don't need to but it's really hurting everyone around them. Please wear a mask if you certainly have to go out. If you don't then please stay home, call older relatives if they need help so they don't have to go out.

Ashley French ’19
Nursing

Submitted on 4/27/20

I currently work on a rehab unit in an older adult community. My half of the unit has been transformed into a designated COVID unit, where I help care for those infected almost every day. 

 

 

 

Celia Gagliardi ’22
Nursing

Submitted on 4/30/2020

Currently working as a Nurse Assistant at Jefferson Hospital in Washington Township, NJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storm Gehrke ’17
Accounting/Criminal Justice

Originally posted on @gwynedd_mlax

Storm is currently on the front lines fighting the Coronavirus while completing his normal duties of keeping the residents of Kirkland, Washington safe. Storm works as a police officer with the Kirkland Police Department.

 

Amanda Goff ’18
Business

Submitted on 4/27/20

Since graduating from GMecyU, I have been working at Inspira Medical Center in their (HIM) Health information management as a Medical Records/Documentations Specialist.

 

 


 

 

Katherine Hayton 
Nursing

Submitted on 11/2/2020

Fourth year at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center as a nursing assistant! Part of the best Quaranteam!

 


 

Mike Henry ’12
History

Originally posted on @gwynedd_mlax

Mike is an Emergency Medicine Physicians Assistant at Chester County Hospital in Pennsylvania. Mike is on the front lines fighting the Coronavirus.

 

 

Victoria Hercolini ’15
History, Education

Submitted on 4/28/20

Us teachers are doing everything we can to keep our kiddos learning, growing, and staying positive! We've had to completely change the way we teach, how we reach students, and supporting families at home. 

My team at Austin Meehan MS in Northeast Philadelphia has done amazing things! We've made videos, used Google Meets, created a functioning class schedule and created an Instagram to give morning and afternoon announcements just to bring as much of the "school day" to our students. 

Thank you to all #GriffinHeroes and workers keeping us all safe!
 

 

 

 

 

William Thomas Jeffrey ’84/’19
Nursing

Submitted on 4/29/2020

Right now I am working a COVID-19 testing in a tent behind Nazareth Hospital. When outpatient procedures resume, I will be back inside doing short procedure/ENDO.

Benjamin Keliojor ’17
Criminal Justice

Submitted on 6/22/20

I am a patrol officer for the Philadelphia Housing Authority Police Department. I deal with shootings, burglaries and domestics on a daily. I don’t mind as long as I know I’m helping people or the community. Other than that, my job is really just being a counselor for people in tough situations and providing a deterrence for future criminal activity by patrolling hot zones and recent crime spots. 

 

 

 

Jihan Latimer ’20
Education


During COVID-19, I have been working on distributing my inspirational books to any audience who needs a pick me up. My books range from graphic novels to fiction novels. I am in the process of completing a Halloween book for middle schoolers for the Fall. My goal is to uplift any reader, and be a vessel for inspiration.

If anyone is in need of inspiration at this time, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

The Tale Of Miss Berta London: "Recollections of Accomplishments"
Galactic Teens 

 

Liam Malley ’14
Nursing

Originally posted on @gwynedd_mlax

Liam is an Emergency Room Nurse at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California. Liam is on the front lines fighting the Coronavirus.

 

 

Nicole Martin ’19
Nursing

Submitted on 4/28/20

I am fighting the COVID-19 pandemic on the front lines from Jefferson Northeast Emergency Department as a Registered Nurse.

 

 


 

 

Ajia Mays ’19
Nursing

Submitted on 4/29/2020

I’m currently working on a COVID-19 Unit. I never would have thought I would be a new grad (10 months in) working as a nurse in the middle of a pandemic.

Mckala Ottey ’20 
History

Submitted on 4/24/20

I work at CVS and half of my coworkers quit or took family leave, which left the workload to the rest of us. I love work and I love being able to help people, but it's hard seeing people breakdown because we're out of the things they need. Its hard seeing people argue over the last bottle of Lysol. Its hard being screamed at by customers all day for things out of your control. Honestly though, I wouldn't change it for anything. Someone needs to do it and I'm more than happy to. Bless those that are in the healthcare fields because just being in a pharmacy makes me lose my mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracie O’Brien-Petrowski ’04


I am a Corporal for the Philadelphia Police Department. I am currently assigned to Police Radio where my duties include supervising the 911 center and the Police dispatch room  During this pandemic we are working diligently to ensure the citizens of Philadelphia can continue to contact emergency services and that Officers are able to safely respond in a timely manner.

 


 

Gabrielle Peel '21
Respiratory Care

Submitted on 5/15/20

Working in the ICU at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

 

 

Kelli Stillwell ’19
Nursing

Submitted on 4/24/20

I have been working as an operating room nurse in surgery since graduation. I was transferred from day shift to twelve-hour nights in the ICU during the pandemic and that is where I remain until further notice. I am a COVID-19 warrior, GMercyU strong nurse!

 

Jessica ’17
Nursing

Submitted on 4/24/20

I’m a GMercyU BSN 2017 graduate currently living and working in NYC on the front lines ♥

 

 

Peter Pappas ’15
Business

Originally posted on @gwynedd_mlax

Pete works as the Executive Director of Harborview Rehab and Care Center at Lansdale, where he manages the daily operations of a 126-bed skilled nursing facility. He is responsible for ensuring the safety of all staff and residents by developing a comprehensive infection control program designed to minimize the risk of the virus to the facility’s vulnerable population.

 

Anthony Pozsonyi ’19
Nursing

Originally posted on @gwynedd_mlax

Anthony is on the front lines fighting the Coronavirus in New Jersey. Anthony works as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department at Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus.  

 

 

Albert Rementer ’17
Business

Submitted on 4/15/20

Albert Rementer is a local DJ and has been DJing via Facebook Live in order to raise funds to donate food to local essential employees in South Philadelphia. For example, one week he asked his viewers/listeners to donate in order to raise funds to purchase food to send to our neighborhood ShopRite employees. He has been raising over hundreds of dollars in each session thus far.

Matthew Richter ’15
Criminal Justice

Originally posted on @gwynedd_mlax

Matt works as an Assets Protection Business Partner for Target. He handles all things theft/fraud and safety/security for 13 Target locations. As Target remains open as an essential retailer, the AP team is tasked with handling crowd control, metering, and keeping a safe and secure environment for their guests. They also support validation of the cleaning/sanitation process going on in the stores.

 

Zach Richter ‘12 
Psychology

Originally posted on @gwynedd_mlax

Zach works at a facility that provides both short-term rehabilitation and long-term care which has him in direct contact with one of the most vulnerable populations during this pandemic. Zach’s role is Social Services in Long Term Care as a Resident Advocate. His caseload consists of residents who have persistent challenges with mental health that require non-pharmacological interventions and at times require him to initiate and coordinate transfers to inpatient behavioral health units.

He is a member of the Secured Memory Care Unit which consists of residents who have progressed end-stage Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease. Zach is currently involved in a study through Penn State University to coordinate care for residents who present with Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia.

Tim Smyth ’08
Education

Submitted on 4/24/2020

I am currently working with the US State Department in a virtual exchange program. We are working with educators on every continent (except Antarctica), in impoverished areas. We are showing them how to increase student engagement and literacy skills through the use of comics!

We are showing how storytelling through comics can empower children around the world through our shared values of humanity. It’s been an amazing experience working alongside these educators who are also sharing about their struggles with quarantine and the global pandemic. It has really enforced that we are truly one world and we all share so much in common. Of course, I began my comics in education journey when earning my MS Reading Specialist degree at GMercyU. Forever grateful.

Ashley Conslavi Stankiewicz ’08
Nursing

Submitted on 4/27/2020

I work full time for the Hospital of the University Pennsylvania in the Center for Human Phenomic Science. My unit conducts clinical trials and gives investigational drugs not yet approved by the FDA. Currently, we are conducting a clinical trial on Penn Medicine’s healthcare workers, looking to see if they are asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19.

I’m also am adjunct faculty / clinical instructor for GMercyU’s Accelerated BSN program at the Philadelphia campus for the past four years. 

 

 

Julia Hennessey Trumball ’11/’13
Nursing

Submitted on 4/24/2020

I'm currently working in the ER at Jefferson Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia

 

 

Kelsey Timte '19
Education

Submitted on 5/17/20

Being a teacher during this time has it’s behind the scenes struggles. Our goal as educators is to provide lessons and engage students in activities that will help them grow as learners and citizens. With our world being flipped upside down and the classroom being turned into virtual sessions, I, along with my fellow coworkers, are working long, tiring hours to accommodate the students. Between GoogleMeet small group sessions, one-on-one sessions and endless meetings and planning we are providing all of our time to ensure each student is still learning and benefitting during this pandemic.

There’s also a sense of needing to create that safe environment virtually. I still post morning messages on my assignments and still provide check-ins and support. It’s been very hard being so far away from each other, but I know the work we continue to do will be impactful. Educators at my school also have the opportunity to work all summer long with a virtual program to help make sure the learning gap doesn’t widen. These strenuous hours are definitely worth it, but I’m counting down the days until I can see my kiddos again.

Ciara Vinson ’19
Nursing

Submitted 5/18/20

Currently working at Waverly Heights, a senior living community

 

 

 

 

Tiffani Noelle Wright
Nursing

Submitted on 4/28/20

Being a new nurse was already a challenge within itself, however I am a proud Mercy Nurse! GMercyU has prepared me to face adversity as a nurse because every day is a new day...new challenges, new patients, etc. I currently work in a large teaching hospital in the city as an operating room nurse but during this pandemic I have been deployed in order to help with taking care of our patients that need it the most. I pray that we all stay strong during this time! Stay home and stay safe!

 

 


Jenna D’Arcy Zarilli ’12
Nursing

Submitted on 4/24/2020

Since graduating from GMercyU, I have been working on a Surgical Intermediate Unit at Abington Jefferson Hospital. I had my first baby in November, a little boy Oliver. When I came back from maternity leave, I found out they turned my floor into a COVID floor.

With our patient ratios quickly rising to 4:1, we are scared and reusing N95 masks for seven shifts. It’s a very trying time for the staff and families of our unit. We are banding together as a work family and having each other’s back.

The days are long and very hard with no light in site. Tears are shed constantly. We are holding the hands of loved ones dying, holding tablets so families can FaceTime their loved one, staying in rooms longer then we would prefer because the patients have no one. If I can stress anything, it’s to stay home, practice social distancing and wash your hands!!