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Two New Hires for the Advancement Team

Sammie Emsick Becker ’05 has accepted the Director of Events position at Mercy High School and began her new role on June 13, 2022.

Since graduating from Mercy, Sammie earned a bachelor in elementary education, a certificate in Catholic School leadership, and most recently, a Master of Science in educational leadership. Outside classroom teaching, she has served as the athletic director for St. James for the past three years where, in conjunction with supervising all things athletics, annually planned the “Spring Fling” fundraiser where dollars raised went straight to the athletic program. Her most recent “Spring Fling” event set a record for money raised for St. James. She further has event planning experience by way of her time at Dundee Bank, where she was the community involvement coordinator and worked closely with various Omaha businesses to promote and grow relationships with key stakeholders of the bank via special events.

She’s married to Tyler Becker and has two boys Ty (12) and Drew (10). 
Welcome back to Mercy Sammie!

Brian Altenhofen began his new position as Director of Marketing and Communications on July 5th.

He comes to Mercy with a wealth of knowledge having earned a doctorate degree in communication and technology studies from Texas A&M University and teaching at Truman State University for the past five years. He also served as the Director of the Truman Leadership Scholars, mentoring and programming leadership experiences for Truman Scholars. Prior to his academic career he spent five years as a Jesuit Scholastic.

He is married to Michaela Cullan Altenhofen who will return to Mary Our Queen Catholic School teaching 3rd grade. They have four children Dylan (16), Lily (9), Dominic (7), and Clara (3). 



Education and Music Guided Her Career

February 12, 2020
By Deb Daley

Education and music have become the heart strings of her life’s journey.  Margaret Pesek ’92 is a graphic designer for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN, affectionately known as Music City, U.S.A. Her Mercy education was instrumental in leading her to this career. 

“I was drawn to this job because it is about educating and informing visitors and hopefully opening them up to a greater understanding of how interconnected we are and how music can bring us all together.  My time at Mercy and at college gave me an appreciation of broader education,”she said. 

Margaret decided to attend Mercy since the public school near her parents’ farm did not offer the variety of courses she was seeking.  When she visited Mercy, she found the community friendly and the smaller class size less daunting.  

“I was involved in competitive speech, with drama on set design and in performance as well as art club.  I really enjoyed the little creative family that formed with teachers and friends.  The art room with teacher Betty Darrell was kind of a second home for me.  And the Speech Team with Hersch Rodasky was something I really enjoyed all four years,”she said. 

After graduation, she decided to attend the University of Iowa in Iowa City and pursued a degree in English.  After a semester, she decided to add Fine Arts to her major.  She took a variety of design classes as well as painting, drawing, photography and metal smithing that helped broaden her creative skills.  She graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Fine Arts. Her first job was as a graphic designer at a small public relations firm in Omaha where she had interned while in college. 

She joined the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2005.  Her job involves any and all graphic design work from creating kids’ worksheets for the education center, to print and digital ads, to exhibits of different sizes.  

“Through my formal education I came to realize that all I learned connected to create a greater, more enriched understanding than just studying for the next test,” she said.

She admits it makes her happy when she runs into someone who has visited the galleries and come out sharing a deeper understanding of the roots of America’s musical styles.

Unfortunately, she does not get to come back to Omaha very often.  However, she still has lifelong friends she met at Mercy and they keep in contact on social media.

Posted in Featured Alumnae