Kerry Phelan ’16 Staff Writer This year marked my fourth consecutive year volunteering at the Boston Marathon at mile 17. The Wicked Running Club, partnered with PowerGel, has been at the spot for the last five years and as a member, I had always been given the opportunity to volunteer.
This year, the club member who organizes the volunteers agreed to my request to let 10 members of Merrimack’s girl’s track team volunteer with Wicked.
The tragedies that afternoon began just as we were wrapping up our assignment. Before the explosions, the volunteer station had been, once again, an awesome experience. Our team and the club worked together really well and everyone had a great time watching not just the elites, but the thousands of runners who raced for time, for charity, or for fun. Our job was simple – hold out Powergel to the runners so they could grab them as they ran by.
Each of us was assigned a different flavor, and wore a shirt that matched the flavor’s color. As a bonus, we each received an official yellow Boston Marathon volunteer jacket. By 3 p.m., we were both exhausted and thrilled by the day’s excitement. We had just taken a group picture and returned to our cars when the news of the bombing reached us.
Panic immediately swept us as I thought of all the Wicked club members, and my mother, who was running with her best friend and would be finishing right around the four-hour mark. Desperately, each person in my car began to call her. When we finally got ahold of her, she was at mile 24, completely clueless of what was happening at the finish line. No one, especially not her, had seen this coming.
The marathon was such a happy Patriots’ Day tradition, and runners and spectators looked forward to it every year. The first hours following the tragedy did not get any better. The runners scattered, cold and exhausted, without their possessions, looking for some direction, many unable to make a phone because cellphone service had been cut. Boston was gridlocked; police roamed the hospitals, major buildings, and streets.
Getting out of the city, for a long time, was nearly impossible. Looking back on the experience, I am still very shaken. My own family had been in the midst of it all, and I knew people who were injured at the finish line, some more seriously than others. However, in no way will it stop me. Despite the tragedies, Boston pulled together and reacted courageously. Not only will I continue to volunteer, I will run the marathon one day. After watching my mom run Boston twice, and running the finish with her both times, I look forward to running down Boylston, remembering the tragic day that Boston became stronger than ever.
James Callens ’14 Staff Writer
Once again, it’s that time of year! The sun shines, the beaches open, and college students rush to the exit of their classrooms. But don’t be so anxious to forget about all the work and research you’ve done over the year. Instead, take the opportunity to send in your entry for the James Dyson Award.
The James Dyson Foundation of Charitable Trust started in 2007 and every year since has awarded college students grants for their innovative ideas. In brief, the award is given for the best design that solves a problem.
The James Dyson award is open to product design, industrial design and engineering university level students (or graduates within four years of graduation) who have studied in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and United States.
This year, participants will see the prize money triple. The prize money is split between three categories. The International winner receives 30,000 euros, the James Dyson Award, and 10,000 euros goes to your university’s department. Two international runners-up will receive 10,000 euros and a certificate of excellence.
Eighteen national winners will receive 2,000 euros and a certificate of excellence. This international design award celebrates, encourages, and inspires the next generation of design engineers. If you believe this is you, then make sure to have your entry in by Aug. 1, 2013. Register at http://www.jamesdysonaward.org.
Sarah Buckwald ’14, Staff Writer
Best Buddies is a great organization on campus that combines community service, friendship, and opportunities. Best Buddies help create friendships for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
College students at Merrimack are matched one-on-one with a buddy. They need to contact their buddy once a week and meet with them twice a month. Another type of buddy that the organization has is called an associate buddy.
They are not matched one-on-one with a student, but can still come to the event parties hosted by Merrimack. Best Buddies has a party once a month that includes different themes, such as Halloween, Valentines Day or St. Patrick’s Day.
The event consists of good food and music as well as a great time with your buddy. Junior Breanna Walukevich, president of Best Buddies, says, “I love Best Buddies because not only do we make a difference in the buddy’s life, but they make a huge difference in our lives as well.” Breanna was matched with her Best Buddy, Colleen her freshman year at Merrimack. She has had so many fun memories with her buddy and will continue the friendship for a lifetime.
Many students have benefitted from this program and highly recommend this opportunity. Best Buddies is a great chance to have the experience of reaching out to others while performing acts of service.
Patrick Lawlor ’13, Editor in Chief
Not many people have the opportunity to thank people in such a venue as this. Last issue I gave you my swan song, my favorite stories from four years on the Beacon staff. In this final editorial, I’d like to take this space to thank those who have helped me along the way during my time at Merrimack.
I would like to thank anyone who has ever written a word for The Beacon. You have made my job easier; you have done the Merrimack community a lot of good. I’d like to thank my friends, my roommates and my parents for putting up with my strange hours, and listening to my complaints and allowing me to vent.
I have always appreciated your thoughts and criticism. I also have appreciated your article ideas: many times, our drunken conversations have turned into major Beacon articles.
Whether you complimented me on an article, or pointed out an error I made, both were important to me. A special thanks to my parents for thinking everything I ever wrote was like spun gold.
Admittedly, many times my writing was meant just for my small audience of friends and family.
Jim Chiavelli, the advisor to The Beacon, has had an enormous impact on the Merrimack College community, which many do not even realize. He taught me to hunt for the story and have the audacity to publish it. I have made a great friend in Jim, and I am forever grateful to him for coming to Merrimack and sharing his passion for journalism for mere pennies. He taught me that it’s all war, just different tactics; that you don’t stir a cocktail with soda in it; and most of all, that you always have to listen to your conscience.
I’d like to thank the Physical Plant staff for their constant and tireless dedication to making this campus safe and beautiful. These talented men are Merrimack’s best salesmen. Their kindness to me and support for the paper have been tremendous. They are the most sincere and honest people on this campus. Some of the facilities team have taught me as much as my professors have in a classroom. The life experience and lessons gained while working in the ice rink made my college experience truly well rounded.
I’d like to thank Brian Heafey, who has been a great friend and an excellent teacher. Brian taught me that honor comes before money, and how to survive a zombie apocalypse.
Professor Deb Burns, thank you for putting your neck out for The Beacon. We were young, we were dumber than we are now, and you invested in us. I value your relationship with The Beacon and appreciate what you’ve done for us.
To all my professors, I have valued my education and enjoyed the interesting lectures and conversations that I will remember as I leave Merrimack. The Sociology/Criminology Department, the English Department and the Communications Arts and Sciences Department have the best faculty on campus.
I’d like to thank this year’s editors for putting up with my running stream of consciousness and psychotic tendencies. I am often a fool, sometimes a jerk, but I have always appreciated you. Thank you.
My biggest thanks of all goes to our readers. Thank you for sticking with us through good times and bad. The best is yet to come. Next year’s editorial staff is a fresh and dedicated bunch. Best of luck, and Godspeed.
Michael Romanella ’13 Sports Editor
Four years and four quarters – that’s how I see my college career at Merrimack and my time with the Beacon staff. Coming from New Jersey, the only time I’d ever heard the word Merrimack was in history class – the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac.
North Andover was just another place to meander, let’s face it, getting to Merrimack from any route is just a lot of trees and not much else to look at. But, like in every facet of life, there’s something that draws us to a place. The people in the community are great – it’s a close-knit community filled with joy.
The Beacon staff is just a subset of that. They are an even closer group of people who help one another grow and prosper. Over the course of a game, whether it be football, baseball or hockey, you experience adversity that must be overcome to achieve victory.
Throughout these four years there has been plenty of adversity in our version of the pressroom. But the Beacon has never faltered or folded. The staff has always risen to the occasion, and that’s a characteristic I can take with me. Being a sports editor has been an honor.
In four years I’ve been able to witness Merrimack Athletics grow to dominance. Merrimack hockey fought to a no. 1 ranking two years ago and made the NCAA tournament. They gave fans something to really cheer about in Manchester – we will see you again soon, Fighting Irish. Warriors football captured their second NE-10 championship in 2009 – something no one, other than the people in this community, ever thought could happen.
Even the construction project that is currently finishing up just shows all of us there’s a brighter future for everything at Merrimack, athletics included. The clock is winding down slowly. It’s time to work the two-minute offense in a last-ditch effort to build memories that will last a lifetime.
There’s no going back now; we can only complete this game and move on to next season. When the clock strikes zero, you can just look back, nothing more. John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” This just simply means that while we would love to live in the moment and have a peaceful ride, we can’t help but make plans for the future.
The true experience of being alive is beyond those plan. We must charish everything we have – that’s college in a nutshell. Thanks to everyone on the Beacon staff and thanks, Jim, for all you’ve taught me. Until next time.
Helen Gillis ’13 Staff Writer
Merrimack College Men’s track and field had their most recent meet at the Greyhound Invitational at Moravian College on April 20 in Bethlehem, Pa. Freshman Denzel Livingston had a big day for himself, winning the long jump with a final distance of 6.75m.
This made it a personal record for him and broke the school’s previous record. The jump also qualified him for the New England Championships that will take place in mid-May.
Livingston also came in second overall in the 100m dash finals. He had a time of 10.84 seconds, which was a new school record as well. Graduate students Ethan and Ian Weaver took fifth and sixth place in the 400m with times of 49.47 seconds and 49.84. Ethan Weaver also took a fifth-place finish in the 200m dash with a time of 22.77 seconds.
The women’s track and field team also traveled to Bethlehem to compete in the Greyhound Invitational. Sophomore Noelia Figuereo came in first place in the 100m dash with a time of 12.01. This time also set a new school record in this event. With this win, Figuereo has come in first in at least one of her events in every meet this year.
She also came in third place in the 200m dash with the time of 26.22 seconds. Junior Briana Devereaux had a first-place finish in the 1500m run. She beat all her competition by more than three seconds with the time of 4:45.57.
Sophomore Alyssa Otis earned fourth in the high jump with a distance of 1.53m.
Alicia Unis ’13 Staff Writer
As the sun returns, the grass greens, and the sound of cracking bats echoes into the bitter air of campus, you can feel it: it’s baseball season.
The Merrimack College baseball team has made a strong showing this season. Currently standing with a 20-14 overall record, they have solidified themselves as a firm opposing force to their competition. They have most recently proved their resiliency through a turnaround series of games this past weekend.
Beginning with a loss to Adelphi in early April, the Warriors grudgingly descended into a seven-game losing streak. But the team refused to let a few fallen games define their season. In true Warrior spirit, they instead used it to ignite a determination to once again become victorious.
This opportunity came in the form of the Saint Anselm’s College baseball team. Having an adjusted double-header due to the rainy weather on Saturday, the Warriors overtook Saint A’s in a single game, winning 1-0 in the first of a three-game series. Saint A’s defended their home field in the second game on Sunday, with a 6-1 victory over Merrimack. After leading the Warriors only 1-0 for the first six innings, Saint A’s went on a hitting streak, scoring five runs in the seventh inning, and overwhelming the silent bats of the Warriors.
With the series in a 1-1 stalemate, the Warriors stepped onto the field for the third, final game. After a few innings of consistent scoring, Saint A’s led Merrimack 4-1 going into the top of the eighth. But Merrimack really “stepped up to the plate” with a frenzied swing of the bat, scoring 4 runs to lead Saint A’s 5-4; Saint A’s answered with 2 runs in the bottom of the eighth to lead 6-5. And in another bat-cracking inning, the Warriors tallied an additional 4 runs against Saint A’s, who went silent in the bottom of the ninth for a 9-6 Merrimack victory.
Senior captain and second-baseman Alan Pastyrnak Jr. names this game as most memorable in the entire season, saying, “This past weekend to me has been the highlight of the season … a huge come-from-behind win over Saint A’s at their field on their senior day.” It was a game to remember for this team. But the greatness of this team cannot be found in statistics, or counted among a row of wins and losses.
Their greatest strength is each other. With a unique compilation of batting intros — including Rihanna’s hit song “S&M” — reflecting each player, the team has a roster entirely constituted of characters. Pastyrnak credits this as the team’s defining quality and what separates them from the rest.
He says, “The best part of being on the baseball team is definitely having the teammates I have … it’s what separates us.” And as the team looks with upturned caps to the rest of the season, they hope to obtain that coveted spot in the NE-10 play-offs and continue their season well into May. The Warriors have an upcoming home weekend series against Franklin Pierce. And while they hope for the future successes of their season, their greatest success is in the character of their team.