A large computer monitor in the MCPc Cyber Education Center at Mercyhurst University looks like a video game with trails of light leading to points all over the globe. Each of those lights — and there are many — represents a known cyber threat identified over the past couple of weeks. The lights are a reminder of the need for collective vigilance in an era of computer hacking and identity theft. But for Mercyhurst, which held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning for the Cyber Education Center, the lights also represent an opportunity to advance both the university’s status as one of the leaders in the field of intelligence studies and an opportunity for Erie to build its reputation as a leader in the field of cybersecurity


Mercyhurst University is one step closer to providing students with the chance to work in the cybersecurity field before graduating. Today is the first day of demolition to the ground floor of the Hammermill Library, which is the future home of the new Cybersecurity Lab and Operations Center. The million dollar facility is funded by the Cleveland-based tech. company, MCPC, and will allow students to work with the company's clients daily. The designer for the space, Keyman Asef, says it will provide a great environment for professional work. "When we talk about cybersecurity world, we're talking about future. We brought futuristic elements into the space." Mercyhurst University staff says this type of facility is not available in any other university for students and is much needed in the day-in-age we live in, with an increase in cyber threats.


Asefi grew up in and around construction sites due to his parents’ professions and studied architecture in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. He then pursued a degree in Architectural Technology. He started working for a Malaysian firm, designing luxury high-rise buildings, and was involved in many other projects, including those that related architecture to sustainability. One of Asefi’s passions in life is traveling and discovering new countries. He comes from a diverse background and appreciates the creativity that comes from his experiences.

“Diversity is the engine of invention,” Asefi said.


Mercyhurst University officials unveiled a renovated student union at their Mercyhurst North East campus on Wednesday. The space, designed by Mercyhurst University design instructor Keyman Asefi, features six cubby hole-type areas designed as quiet study spaces, as well recreational activities and open spaces. Other office areas were also renovated in Miller Hall, where the student union is located. The student union is dedicated to Matthew Ryan, a seminary student who graduated in 1965 when Mercyhurst North East was called St. Mary’s Seminary. Ryan later joined the Fire Department of New York and died in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.


The ribbon is cut on the new student union in Mercyhurst North East's campus. The unveiling revealed a great place for students to study or just hang out in between classes.

The space offers games for students to de-stress, like mini-golf. The designer of the space, Keyman Asefi, says it's exactly what he envisioned. "This space is very unique because it accommodates introverts and extroverts. If you're an introvert, you can use study pods and be alone. If you're an extrovert, you can hang out with your friends on this platform.


The Interior Architect and Design Senior project is an exhibition of the final projects that wraps up all the educational and specialized skills students have learned in their four years at Mercyhurst University.
“Each student spends 30 weeks dedicated to this project, researching and developing his or her own personal thesis. “Although we all help each other with critiquing, design ideas, and personal thoughts, each project is the student’s individual work,” Roxanne Oglesby said.
This has been an annual event since 1986, even though displaying the work is a bit newer.


“This project is one solution to our world’s environmental problems” Asefi said.
The concept for his self-sufficient society came from beehives and flowers.
“Beehives are one of the most sophisticated structures created by another species. From the repeated hexagon that creates the beehive, you will begin to understand the flower structure,” said Asefi. “I wanted to create more than just a building, I wanted to build a new culture.” Another project Asefi has been working on is a vertical church. The inspiration behind this project came from his desire to get more children involved and interested in church. To do this, Asefi designed a church that had slides incorporated into its architecture.