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).
College Student Proves to be Woman of Mercy
Lia Rose Reckmeyer, a 2019 alumna of Mercy High School, is practicing the compassionate service so emphasized at her alma mater. The Benedictine College freshman has become a virtual volunteer, helping non-profits in Atchison, Kansas, where the college is located, expand their outreach, despite social distancing requirements.
In January and February, Reckmeyer was working with a team of students in a business class to promote the local office of the non-profit, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). They intended to implement their plans in April, but their strategy changed significantly due to the pandemic. Reckmeyer and her classmates persevered and found ways to promote the agency, including an informational section in an online church bulletin.
Reckmeyer also responded to a request for volunteers from the Atchison Boys and Girls Club. The Club, which typically hosts fifty kids every afternoon, five to ten years old, had to transfer their programming to an online format. Preparing all the videos that would be needed was a tall order for their limited staff. Reckmeyer was one of the many students who stepped up to help. Using the college’s newly acquired GivePulse platform, Reckmeyer was able to select from the various video needs to prepare one she felt comfortable with. She chose an “Activity video” and taught the kids how to make a paper boat. This served as the base for a Club-wide “Sail Away Challenge” which encouraged the youth to watch the video and make their own boat.
The digital opportunity was facilitated by the college’s Center for Service-Learning, a department which supports academically relevant community engagement. Reckmeyer, who intends to study Education, was delighted by the opportunity to help the children of Atchison. “I love working with kids and… it is important for them to know how much they still mean to us,” she said.
You can read more about Reckmeyer’s service with CASA by visiting https://www.benedictine.edu/academics/service-learning/newsletter/index and you can view her paper boat video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP72IRAkJQo.
Launched in 2016, the Benedictine College Center for Service-Learning engages students in challenging academic work and promoting the common good through cultivating mutually beneficial partnerships with community organizations in Atchison, Kansas, and beyond. Students encounter and apply course material as they address local needs and critically reflect upon their experiences.