Page 1

W I N T ER 2 01 5



Winter’s Arrival

on the Ashland University campus HOMECOMING 2014 RECAP | 2



3 AU’s New Tagline and Brand

8 Welcome to the National Stage

4 Reaching the Height of Success  oe Furko – COO of Inverness Country Club in Toledo J

12 Homecoming 2014 Recap

Where extraordinary happens on ordinary days

Jeff Drushal – starring as male lead in the National Tour of “Mamma Mia!”

6 A  lumna Enjoys Her Role in the World Series

Amanda Schapiro – Coordinator of community affairs and publicity chair for the Kansas City Royals





Accent Magazine is published for alumni, parents, friends and donors of Ashland University. Compiled by the Communications & Marketing Department of Ashland University. Third class postage paid at Ashland, Ohio 44805.

Steven Hannan Managing Editor, Director of Public Relations

Mike Ruhe Art Director Director, Graphic Design Services

Allison Waltz





Photography | EagleEye Photography Contact the Office of Alumni Engagement at 419.289.5082 or Alumni interested in submitting articles can send information to

On the Cover The Dauch College of Business and Economics building with a fresh coat of snow. Ashland University admits students with disabilities and those of any sex, race, age, religion, color and national or ethnic origin.

14 Campus Update  AU Dedicates Classroom Building , Presidential

Search, AU Involved in Research, Ashbrook Center Receives $2.5 Million, Update on Institutional Prioritization Review

17 Athletic Update Athletics Fall Wrap-up , King Named Athletic Director 18 Class Notes

 General Alumni Info, Future Eagles, Weddings and In Memoriams



on ordinary days.

Ashland University’s


At the start of the 2014-15 school year, Ashland University

I think it is something that a lot of people can understand and

launched its new tagline and brand of “Where extraordinary

really relate to,” he said.

happens on ordinary days,” which features the day-to-day unique experiences of students on the AU campus.

During the process of developing the new campaign, the university looked through recent news releases and documented the

“This messaging and phrasing struck a chord with everyone who heard it and I think it is something that a lot of people can understand and really relate to.” – Dr. Scott Van Loo, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing

notable accomplishments of students, faculty, staff and alumni creating a list of achievements that was seven pages in length. “We then took these accomplishments and worked them into a campaign to showcase the many talents and opportunities that Ashland offers,” Van Loo said. Van Loo said the university reviews its communication and marketing plans each year.

Dr. Scott Van Loo, vice president for enrollment management and marketing at AU, said the idea for the new tagline and brand originated from a meeting last year that involved a discussion about the elements that differentiate AU from other schools.

“Over the past several years the university’s campaign focused on the theme of ‘What will your journey be?’ he said. “We decided to make the change to the new tagline this year to help show students what can be accomplished by attending AU. We wanted

“A comment was made at this meeting that emphasized the great

more of a direct stance of the outstanding experience that takes

accomplishments of many AU students during their time here on

place at Ashland.”

campus,” Van Loo said. “For example, we have students who experience success in athletics, academics, theatre or other campus organizations and these successes happen every day.” Van Loo said this idea was expanded to feature these “extraordinary” successes that happen on “ordinary” days. “This messaging and phrasing struck a chord with everyone who heard it and

In implementing the new campaign, the department is working to develop a cohesive and unified marketing message. As a result, Van Loo said the phrase “Where extraordinary happens on ordinary days” can be seen on marketing materials across many facets of campus as well as on AU advertising messages. | 3

Reaching the

HEIGHT of SUCCESS Hospitality is the art of exceeding expectations. In 1920, Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, made golf history when it opened the doors of its clubhouse to tournament players and families, at a time when every other tournament host had kept that area exclusive to its members. This single act cemented Inverness’s reputation among golf professionals and continues to this day, where Joe

Furko, a 1993 graduate of Ashland University,

currently presides as Chief Operating Officer and General Manager. Since his days at Ashland University, Furko has developed his own artistic vision at various prestigious country clubs. As a young man set on making a career out of treating other people really well, Furko was drawn to Ashland University to earn a degree in hospitality. The size and closeness of Ashland, coupled with a genuine interest in its students, is what

4 | Ashland University | Winter 2015

convinced him that AU was the right place for him. “The personal

“I have great people to work with every day,” Furko says. This team of

touch [of Ashland],” says Furko, “was genuine.”

people has helped position Inverness for some exciting news. While

As he attended classes and worked toward the completion of his degree, he had a good sense that everyone at Ashland, from the

his goal in all of this country club management has been to host a major national tournament, at Inverness, he finally has his shot.

President on down, knew him by name and treated every student

Announced in December, Inverness will host the 2019 USGA Junior

well. This experience molded his approach to treating others.

Amateur Championship. Over the past hundred years, Inverness has

Furko landed an excellent internship at a country club in Perrysburg, Ohio, where Tom Root became a close and trusted mentor and friend. Root guided Furko’s first few steps toward management of country clubs.

been host to seven USGA Championships. The Club has been host to four U.S. Opens, two Senior Opens and one Amateur Championship. The 2019 hosting will mark its first Junior Amateur Championship, and the eighth championship held on its course.

In 1994, the spring after he graduated, Furko became the Assistant General Manager in Newton, Ohio. In 1996, he became the General Manager at Orchard Hills Country Club in Bryan, Ohio. From there it was two great Ohio country clubs, first in Sylvania (2000) and then in Columbus (2006) at Brookside Golf and Country Club. After eight years there, Furko accepted his current position at the renowned Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, earlier this year. The daily schedule of a general manager of a country club is fairly rigorous, especially at Inverness where a Board of Governors (nine members serving

Furko is proud to be a part of landing the championship at the course.

three-year terms) helps shape the overall vision of the club. For Furko,

The Inverness Club first opened in 1903, with its current course first

one-third of his bosses are new each year, and every three years, they

designed in 1916 by Donald Ross.

are all new. The staff are advised by nine different committees, each of which Furko serves on. These committees give oversight to all of the day-to-day operations. Furko oversees all of the daily operation, which typically covers golf, golf course maintenance, food and beverage, finance, marketing, and even pool and tennis during the peak season. Despite his hectic work schedule, Furko finds balance by remembering what his mentors had taught him: faith and family

Through the close of the 20th century, the course has been remodeled three times, the final time in 1999 by Arthur Miller. The narrow fairways are lined by trees and the greens are known for being firm and fast, making it an excellent choice for tournament play. The Junior Amatuer Championship is for players under the age of 18. Among its most notable winners are Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Hunter Mahan and Johnny Miller.

first, work second. His wife and son help keep him accountable when

From his hometown of Archbold, Ohio, to the mighty Inverness

work begins to creep in to too much of his time, but all in all he stays

Club in Toledo, Joe Furko has not had to stray far from his Ashland

in check despite being in charge of a facility that doesn’t see many

University roots to reach the height of success.

closed days. He enjoys all of his colleagues, saying that Inverness is a

Justin Bessler

great place to work, a real “blessing.” | 5

Alumna Enjoys Her Role in the

World Series Amanda (Turk) Schapiro, an alumna of Ashland University, took part in the 2014 World Series by working for the Kansas City Royals team as coordinator of community affairs and publicity chair. As a 2009 AU graduate with a double major in sport communication and business administration, Schapiro used her knowledge gained at AU to put toward her future endeavors with the Kansas City Royals. During the season, Schapiro handles a multitude of daily tasks, including coordinating the legacy seating and all of the different seat programs at the Royals stadium, drafting press releases and community releases before each home stand, helping to organize clinics and operating different camps and charity organizations, and honoring a wide a variety of people in the community especially those who served in WWII and active duty military. “Basically, I work with a number of different departments to help handle all of the different donations and ticket vouchers,� Schapiro said. Though the MLB season is always busy for Schapiro, it was even more so this year being that the Royals clinched a spot in the post-season and went 8-0 to secure a trip to the World Series

6 | Ashland University | Winter 2015

against the San Francisco Giants. The last time the Royals made an

While at Ashland, Schapiro interned with the Charleston River

appearance in the post-season was in 1985.

Dogs, a minor league affiliate of the New York Yankees, as well

Not only was the post-season ride a great win for the Royals, but it was also a win for the community of Kansas City. “Once we went into the post-season, my job went full blown. There were huge media requests, so I would talk to everybody and anybody I could to promote giveaways, rally towels and what would be on the field and how to prepare for post-season,” Schapiro said. “The MLB is a strong brotherhood. San Francisco reached out to us and said to

as Major League Soccer’s corporate office in New York City and SportsTime Ohio. “Internships are huge in getting you anywhere. It is not only who you know, but it is who remembers you. You have to make an impact. While working with MLS in New York, I had to go make that impression to help make them remember me in the future,” Schapiro said.

make the most out of the experience, so we did. It was one of the best

And, it was who remembered Schapiro that helped her beat out the

experiences of my life.”

more than 850 people who applied for her initial internship with the

The highlight of the World Series for Schapiro was the spotlight it

Royals before going on to become a full-time employee.

shined not only on the team, but the whole Royals organization. “It

“In this field, there are a lot of people out for this job. Having connections previously helped because they would stick out their neck for me, which got my foot in the door to meet them,” Schapiro said. “I had the confidence they were looking for, and you need to always make that initial impact.” She also credits Ashland University with helping her attain her interview skills. “AU gave me tips on how to interview better, and I cannot thank Ashland enough,” she said.

really showed the world what the Royals organization stands for and

Even though AU has prepared her for this career path, she leaves

the bond a community shares,” she said.

one piece of advice for those who one day want to work in the sport

Though she has achieved great success with the Royals, Schapiro attributes much of her success to the Ashland University experience. “It gave me that personalized experience. It is very personable, and I love that – it is one of the best things about me. Ashland gave me opportunities, it gave me the career development portion and it

industry. “With a little bit of hard work, put your nose down and do it – it will get you far. I do not know if you can hear my smile, but I cannot stop smiling,” stated Schapiro, when reflecting on her job with the Kansas City Royals.

offered unique classes for me. A sport communication degree stands

For more information about the sport communication program

out, and it still stands out to people today,” Schapiro said.


The sport communication program at Ashland University is one of only several programs of its kind in the nation. The program focuses on communication theory as well as the research and application process needed in any sport organization. It teaches one the full-




communication-studies/programs/sport-communication or contact Dr. Dariela Rodriguez, coordinator of the Sport Communication Program, at or 419.289.5748. Megan Salatino, Class of 2016

circle approach of sports and focuses on networking, which Shapiro believes helped her greatly. | 7

Welcome to the

National Stage

No matter what he does or where he goes, Jeff Drushal has not been able to escape musical theatre. Now performing the male lead (Sam) in the National Tour of “Mamma Mia!,” he took time from his travels across the country to reflect on his career. The interview was held the day after “Peter Pan Live!” aired on NBC. Coincidentally, Drushal played the roles of “Mr. Darling” and “Captain Hook” when the show was produced by Ashland University Theatre in 1995. Although drumming was his naturally given gift, he found that musical theatre was his first love. Theatre didn’t come to him as easily as music. He was always known as “the drummer” and played percussion in the orchestra pit for many musical theatre productions, including AU’s 1993 presentation of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” His first musical theatre appearance on stage was in his senior year at Ashland High School as “Tony” in “West Side Story.” With a strong family legacy at Ashland University, Drushal elected to continue his studies at Ashland University where he is the fourth generation of the Drushal family legacy and where his father, Dr. Michael Drushal, served as a professor of business and his mother, Dr. Mary Ellen Drushal, as provost. AU Theatre fans may remember Drushal playing “Dr. Lyman” in the comedy “Bus Stop,” “Mr. Darling” and “Captain Hook” in “Peter Pan,” “Grandfather” in “You Can’t Take It With You,” and the lead role in Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeny Todd.” When asked who inspired him the most at Ashland, Drushal credited Dr. Mark Hamilton, professor of philosophy, as his mentor. His teachings and guidance gave him the ability

8 | Ashland University | Winter 2015

to “see deeper into the world, himself and theatre.” “My liberal arts education at Ashland University taught me to be a better student and showed me that success is not determined by the applause. The University taught me how to succeed not only in theatre, but in my life,” he said. After graduating with his theatre degree in 1997, he was asked to audition in New York with the percussion group Blue Man Group, which was emerging as a driving force in new theatre. As a resident and student of a small town in the Midwest, he had no idea what to expect in New York City. Thankfully, English professor and theatre director James Reynolds gave him excellent insight to the City. Although things didn’t transpire with the Blue Man Group, Drushal captured several roles in various productions on the East Coast, and then landed the role of “Thomas Jefferson” in the National Tour of “1776.” Afterward, he decided to try the Hollywood scene and was there for a seven-year span.

he felt that he was too young for his role type and his peak acting opportunities were five years or more into the future. One of his most memorable auditions was with an agent who had represented Kevin Kline, Drushal’s inspiration to theatre. After his audition, the agent commented, “You remind me of a young Kevin Kline.” As for his current character, Drushal said “Sam is a challenge because he is a ‘real’ guy and he’s happy,” which is very different from his favorite character of “Sweeney Todd,” who is dark and disturbing. This role also motivates Drushal because he sees that he has finally reached that age for his “type.” As a more mature father-figure, this has opened up a whole new set of roles for him.

“You learn that not every audition is life and

Although the touring with a show from city to city is tough, Drushal death. You have to just do your best and let has enjoyed the social aspect. It is go of it when you finish the audition.” his first tour since Facebook and other social media became popular. – Jeff Drushal Through the combination of the tour and social media, he has been able to reconnect with family and While in Los Angeles, he was cast as friends that he hasn’t talked to in years. In his words, it has become the lead role in Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd.” He originally a “lovefest” to reconnect with everyone. played the same role in his final production at Ashland. Although the character was typically cast as an older, heavier man, Johnny Depp’s Technology has been a blessing for Drushal while he is on the road, portrayal changed the perception and opened the door for Drushal but has also been the biggest change in the industry. Electronic to be considered for the L.A. role. He was auditioning with two other video submissions are a necessity in promoting yourself and getting men who were the older-character types. When Drushal was asked auditions, even for theatre. He warns young actors to be careful about to sing his 16-bars in the audition, “I had an epiphany and out-ofwhat they put on YouTube and other forms of social media. They body experience.” He automatically heard the direction from his AU should make sure everything is good quality. Agents and directors professor Dr. Paula Thompson and couldn’t stop at the end of the are searching online and everywhere for the right people and your 16-bars. He sang the remainder of the song and everyone in the room work needs to be represented accurately and in high quality. felt where he had been. He was offered the role and it has become his favorite character to date due to his experience with it at Ashland In an industry that requires continuous growth and education, and being able to revisit it in such a special way a decade later. Drushal would like to pursue a master’s degree in acting and do Drushal credits his success as a performer to several factors, including luck, skill, who you know, being in the right place at the right time and persistence. He quickly realized the “cruel realities” of the industry, and learned to not take them personally and to build off of your “type.” “You learn that not every audition is life and death. You have to just do your best and let go of it when you finish the audition. There are so many factors involved in casting. For example, there are many auditions where there are 1,000 women and only 50 men. I’m a 6-foot guy, which gets me a lot of roles,” he said. He also advises young people to be true to themselves. “Don’t let somebody give you answers. Answer your own questions. Find your own answers,” he said. In auditions early in his career, Drushal frequently heard the phrase “You remind me of a young version of…” followed by the name of a famous actor. This led to some roles for him, but many times

more regional theatre. Until then, with tour dates scheduled through the beginning of July, Drushal will be appearing in “Mamma Mia!” throughout the country from Portland, Maine, to New Orleans and Seattle with a stop in Columbus, Ohio, from March 3 to 8. Information about the tour is available at In addition to “Mamma Mia!,” Drushal’s acting credits include national tours of “1776” (Jefferson) and “My Fair Lady.” His favorite regional roles include “Carousel” (Billy Bigelow), “Jesus Christ Superstar” (Judas), “OKLAHOMA!” (Curley McClain), “Macbeth” (Macduff ), “The Trojan Women” (Poseidon), “1776” (Rutledge), “Disney’s Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular” (Jafar), “Woyzeck” (Drum Major), “Man of LaMancha” and more than a few productions of “The Pirates of Penzance.” Tricia Applegate, Coordinator of College of Arts and Sciences / Performing Arts Publicity and Events | 9

Where Are Our Theatre Alumni? AU Theatre Graduates Accomplish the Extraordinary Year After Year and Make an Impact as designers, actors, educators and administrators - in the classroom and on stage - from New York to California. See where they are and where they have been in the brief descriptions below.

Eric Schussler ’73 Freelance Announcer/Actor/ Singer, New York, NY

Judith Palladino ’77 Theatre Professor, Oklahoma City University Rita Weirich ’80 Professional Vocalist/DJ, Dwier Brown ’81 Actor and Author, Best known for playing Kevin Costner’s father in “Field of Dreams” Recently wrote the critically acclaimed book “If You Build It...” a book about Fathers, Fate and Field of Dreams to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the movie William Payne ’82 Dean, School of Fine Arts/Prof. Directing/Acting, University of Minnesota-Duluth Shirley Stary ’84 Vice President of Programming, Lakeside Chautauqua MA, Arts Administration, University of Akron Jeff Shearer ’88 Costume Shop Manager/Designer, Northern Kentucky University

Keri Walters ’91 Assistant Dean, School of Fine & Performing Arts, Columbia College-Chicago Patrick Bynane ’93 Assoc. Prof of Drama/Equity Actor (Dallas/Ft. Worth), Texas Woman’s University Ph.D. in Theatre History and Criticism, Louisiana State University; MA in Drama, Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) Greta Rothman ’94 Director of Special Events, Western Reserve Academy Former Director of Special Events, The Drama League (NYC); Office Manager/Volunteer Coordinator/ Event Manager, McCarter Theatre Maria Swinehart Getz ’97 Drama Teacher/Director, Convent of the Sacred Heart School (NYC) Former Chair, Performing Arts Department/Drama Teacher, York Preparatory MA in Theatre/M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching, Bowling Green State University Jeff Price ’97 Program Manager, The New York Academy of Medicine Former Company Manager/Business Office Assistant, McCarter Theatre; Company Manager, The Opera Festival of New Jersey Charlene Gross ’97 Resident costume designer, Ohio Light Opera, College of Wooster

Mark Stringer ’89 Senior Minister, First Unitarian Church of Des Moines Former actor with Nebraska Theatre Caravan and various theatre companies in Chicago MA, Theatre, Bowling Green State University; Master of Divinity, Meadville Lombard Theological School Lisa Wiley ’90 Voice-Over/Stage Actor, Designer

Maggie Roth-Bruno ’97 Elementary Teacher, Brockport Central School District Masters from Niagara University

MA in Communication Arts, University of Cincinnati

10 | Ashland University | Winter 2015

Rebecca Lustig ’99 Acting Teacher, Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facility (WY) Former Residence Manager, Young Artist Program, Glimmerglass Festival Masters in Directing, Miami University and Theatre Management, Wayne State University James Savage Jr. ’00 Professional Actor; Adjunct Acting Professor, Queensborough Community College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York Film Academy, and Kean University. Founding member, Duel Theatre (Off Off Broadway). MFA in Acting, Penn State University; Certified Chekhov Teacher Michael Beyer ’01 Lighting Designer/Production Manager, Hillsdale College MFA in lighting design, Wayne State University Erin Ashley Sullivan ’01 Creative Executive in Film/TV, William Morris Endeavor (Beverly Hills, CA) nChannel (Columbus, OH) - Voice of nChannel and Manager, Corporate Administration Erin (Haggerty) Wallace ’02 Managing Director/Freelance Stage Manager, Invisible Theatre Whitney Locher ’02 Resident Costume Designer, Fiasco Theater and Partial Comfort Productions

Heather Sheldon ’97 MA in Organizational Psychology, The Chicago School

Freelance designer, Ohio Northern University, The Drama League and NYU Gallatin

Former Wig Mistress, McCarter Theatre; Wardrobe/ Wig Supervisor, Barter Theatre

MFA in Costume Design and Technology, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Laura Poje ’98 English/Theatre Teacher, Riverside Local Schools

Aretta (Casebolt) Baumgartner ’91 Education Director/Performer, Center for Puppetry Arts

Natalie (Loomis) Huya ’99 Assistant Prof. of Theatre, Kent State University

Kirk Domer ’99 Chairperson, Dept. of Theatre/ Assoc. Prof. of Scene Design, Michigan State University MFA in Scene Design, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sarah Kaplan ’04 Drama Director/English Teacher, Kent City Schools Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, Kent State University

Martin Thoman ’08 Staff Carpenter, Studio Theatre, Washington DC

Jason Parrish ’05 Associate Director/Ensemble Member, Florida Repertory Theatre Most recent appearances include “Clybourne Park” (March 2014), as Dr. Watson in a zany adaptation of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” (Feb. 2014), and in January of 2014 his work in Florida Rep’s nationally acclaimed production of “Arsenic and Old Lace,” which was singled out for comedic excellence by The Wall Street Journal. Recently directed the world Premiere production of “Journey to Oz” by Christopher T. Parks

Jon West ’08 Technical Director, University of Pittsburgh; Master Carpenter, Arden Theatre Co., Philadelphia Mary Allison ’09 Actor/Musician, Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre

Lauren Whitt Akers ’06 Drama Teacher, Columbus City Schools; Pursuing M.Ed., Ohio State University Melissa Cooke ’06 Completing clinical fellowship specializing in Voice & Singing Health, Dysphagia, and Head & Neck Cancer at Medical University of South Carolina MS in Speech Language Pathology, concentration in voice disorders Stephen E. Dreikorn ’06 U. S. Department of State Employee Masters from Institute of World Politics Statecraft and National Security Affairs

Thea Grabiec ’09 Independent Sound Technician, Extra and Production Assistant in LA Daniel Justin Bilewicz ’09 Costume Designer G. Maxin IV ’09 Freelance Designer/Resident Production Designer; Head of Design, Actors Training Center; Resident Lighting Designer for La Musica Lirica; MFA in Theatre Design, Michigan State University Antoinette Kula ’10 Guest Account and Donor Representative, PlayhouseSquare Foundation; Drama Director/ Choreographer/Tech Director, Normandy High School; Freelance Actor/Singer

Megan Woodward ’06 Theatre Instructor, The Dougherty Arts Center Kelly Strand ’07 Actor, Barter Players of Barter Theatre; Former Actor at CATCO, Columbus Dusten Welch ’07 Administrative Director, Fairmount Performing Arts Conservatory; Award-winning Fight Choreographer and Advanced Combatant, Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD), Choreographed violence for more than 50 theatrical productions Carrie Balchak ’08 Friends Membership Coordinator, Playhouse Square Katie Doll ’08 Entertainment Admin, Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas Shane O’Neill ’08 Professional Actor, Master of Music, NYU

Taylor Hale ’11 Pursuing MFA in Acting, University of North Carolina

Sean Smith ’11 Costume Assistant, Tony Award winning costume designer William Ivey Long, “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Little Dancer,” revival of “On The 20th Century” (with Kristin Chenoweth). Assistant Costume Designer on the new play “Between Riverside and Crazy,” Costume Production Assistant on The Leftovers (HBO). Brittany Hartman ’12 Assistant Hair/Wig Designer, Tony Award winning “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” Hartman Stage then to Broadway production; Former Hair/ Make-up Artisan, Utah Shakespeare Festival Cassandra Lersch ’12 Studying Film Production, Full Sail University Eddie Carney ’13 Elementary Vocal Music Teacher, Loudonville-Perrysville Exempted Village Schools Nate Sayatovich ’13 Education Assistant, Cleveland Playhouse Kelly Lennox ‘14 Stage crew for Off-Broadway’s “A Month in the Country” starring Taylor Schilling and Peter Dinklage Kimberly Lennox ’14 Wardrobe/Stitcher, Off-Broadway’s iLuminate Rebecca Ribley ’14 Weekend Anchor/Journalist, WAOW TV

Emily Jeppesen ’14 Front of House Staff, Second Stage Theatre (NYC) Brandon Wurgess ’14 Advertising and Custom Media Project Coordinator, Great Lakes Publishing Co.

Former Education Associate/ Director, Florida Rep Theatre Conservatory Mark Maruschak ’11 Pursuing MFA in Lighting Design, Illinois State University Sarah Saddler ’11 Pursuing PhD at University of Minnesota, MA from Miami University

House Manager, Dorset Theatre Festival (Vermont); Marketing Assistant, Weston Playhouse Theatre Company (Vermont)

“People out here in NYC love students from Ohio. I think being required to work shop hours in different areas really rounded us as theatre technicians. A lot of other schools don’t require their students to do that. When we get to NYC, where everything is so focused on everyone having specific roles, they are surprised when we have the desire to help others or be generous. The Midwest mentality is very well received.”

– Sean Smith ’11 | 11

Homecoming 20 Alumni and friends celebrated Homecoming on October 11. They enjoyed a beautiful day on campus with events such as the 5K Fun Run, Pizza Pizza Pizza Fan Fest, the AU Eagle football game and the All-Alumni Reunion/Silent Auction. A fun-filled auction was enjoyed by hundreds of alumni and friends, allowing the Alumni Association to raise $21,910 in support of legacy scholarships, the Ashland Fund and alumni programming. Mark your calendars and join us for Homecoming 2015 on October 16 & 17!


Ralph Tomassi Retires from AU Ashland University’s Ralph Tomassi, senior associate vice president for development, retired Oct. 10 after 36 years of service at Ashland University. Tomassi was honored for his dedication and commitment during halftime of the AU vs. Malone University football game on Oct. 4 and also honored at the All Alumni Reunion during AU homecoming festivities on Sat., Oct. 11. A native of Scranton, Pa., and a 1973 graduate of the Milton Hershey School, Tomassi came to Ashland in 1973 as a student at Ashland College and was a four-year captain of the baseball team. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 1977. In 1978, he returned to the then Ashland College as director of transfer admissions and has been with the institution ever since. During his tenure at Ashland, he held many positions including Director of the Annual Fund, Executive Director for Development, Interim Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, Executive Director for Development, Associate Vice President for Development, and Senior Associate Vice President for Development. He was involved in the planning and implementation of numerous fund raising campaigns at the University and helped bring those to successful completion, and also was the founder of the Gridiron Club and the Varsity Walk program. His dedication and commitment to the City of Ashland has been just as impressive.


Ribbon cutting photo (l to r) – Fred Finks, chancellor of Ashland University; Margaret Pomfret, vice president of development at Ashland University; Ron Davis, president of AFL-CIO; Grant Milliron of Milliron Industries; Dawn Weber, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Ashland University; Patricia Saunders, director of the environmental science program at Ashland University; and Douglas Fiore, provost at Ashland University.

AU Dedicates Classroom Building

at the Black Fork Wetlands

Ashland University held a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 30 for its new classroom building located at the University’s Black Fork Wetlands Environmental Studies Center. The 1,200-square-foot facility sits just east of U.S. 42 at the Ashland-Richland county line, overlooking the wetlands’ wooden boardwalk. The building, which is protected from floods, features a classroom, bathrooms with composting toilets, a storage area and roof skylights. The Crawford-Richland Central Labor Council of the AFL-CIO provided the major gift for the facility in 2012, and the Sisler-McFawn Foundation of Akron, the Richland County Foundation and Grant Milliron together completed fundraising for the building, along with contributions from more than 80 donors. Patricia Saunders, director of AU’s environmental science program and associate professor of biology, said the classroom building will be available for educational outings and research by Ashland University students, other college students, high school, middle school and elementary school students and other community organizations.

14 | Ashland University | Winter 2015

In 2004, after receiving a grant from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund and a match from the Richland County Foundation, the preserve grew by another 260 acres, and the Black Fork wetlands area is AU’s largest of its five nature preserves. Ron Davis, president of the AFL-CIO, thanked all of the donors and supporters who made the wetlands classroom possible and looked to the center’s bright future. “We’ve got the best of two worlds,” Davis said. “We got the journey that led us here, and the gift that will be here for many years to come.” The first phase of development at the Black Fork Wetlands Environmental Studies Center was made possible by the Clean Ohio Fund, with additional support from Richland County Foundation. This phase included a parking area, a short walking trail and 400foot boardwalk with an observation deck and birdwatching tower constructed in 2007.

Update on

 Institutional Prioritization Review Lisa Miller, chair of the AU Board of Trustees, communicated to campus in June that the board has started a Comprehensive Review and Program Prioritization project on campus that involves more than 70 campus leaders. Interim President Dr. William Crothers is serving as co-chair for the Academic Prioritization Committee and the Institutional Prioritization Committee. The trustees also continue to be actively engaged in the project, and the process calls for extensive faculty input. Miller called the project an “extraordinary effort” engaging a broad representative group of faculty and others. “These are extraordinary times at Ashland and in higher education generally; therefore, we have designed a process that allows input from all constituencies,” she said. Miller said the board expects the process to prioritize the entire budget into the five ranking categories (Enhance, Maintain, Review, Restructure/Discontinue, Revisit) with 20 percent of the

budget falling into each category. Some portion of the Restructure/ Discontinue programs will fund higher priority programs and help to resolve the financial issues the University is facing. “The final prioritization plan will be approved by the Board and then shared with the campus community. We are confident that this process will lead to a much stronger University in the years ahead,” she said. In October, Dr. Crothers reported that the Academic Prioritization Committee is reviewing four or five of the self-studies each week -- scoring those, talking about the content and trying to understand where each program is at this time. This process of going through all the self-studies will take most of the semester. Crothers said the other committees are meeting on a regular basis and working on their assigned tasks.

AU Involved in Research Showing Lead Released from

 African Cookware Contaminates Lead levels in foods prepared in aluminum pots from Cameroon exceed U.S. guidelines for lead consumption according to a new study published last fall. A typical serving contains almost 200 times more lead than California’s Maximum Allowable Dose Level (MADL) of 0.5 micrograms per day. Two Ashland University professors as well as an AU undergraduate student were involved in the research, which included testing 29 samples of aluminum cookware made in Cameroon. “We found that almost all had considerable lead content,” said Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer ’79, professor of chemistry at Ashland University and an author of the study. “This cookware is common throughout Africa and Asia and is made from recycled scrap metal including auto and computer parts, cans and other industrial debris.” The study, “Lead Exposure from Aluminum Cookware in Cameroon,” was conducted in partnership with Occupational Knowledge International in San Francisco and the Cameroonian NGO Research and Education Centre for Development (CREPD), and was published in the August issue of the journal, “Science of the Total Environment.” “Unlike some other sources of lead contamination, lead poisoning from cookware can impact entire families over a lifetime. Even lowlevel lead exposures can result in reduced IQ and neurological deficits, and contribute to cardiovascular disease,” Weidenhamer said. According to Weidenhamer, the investigation simulated cooking by boiling acidic solutions in the cookware for two hours and measuring

Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer, professor of chemistry at Ashland University and an author of the study, discusses research results with AU senior Peter Kobunski, a biochemistry major from Nashport, Ohio.

the lead extracted in solution. The researchers also found significant levels of aluminum and cadmium leached from the cookware along with the lead. Dr. Rebecca Corbin, chair of the AU Chemistry, Geology and Physics Department, assisted with the research, as did AU senior Peter Kobunski, a biochemistry major from Nashport, Ohio. | 15


Ashbrook Center Receives $2.5 Million Grant  to Expand Teacher Education Programs The Ashbrook Center at Ashland University has received a $2.5 million seed grant from the Ariel Corporation to expand its teacher education programs. This gift, given over two years, will enable Ashbrook to address civic illiteracy – the serious national problem created by the failure to educate the next generation about what it means to be an American. Ashbrook has developed a powerful set of national education programs for American history, government and civics teachers to address this problem. Ranging from online classroom resources to a full Master of Arts degree, Ashbrook programs provide the kind of sustained education necessary to change how American history is taught in classrooms across the country. Roger Beckett, (at right) executive director of the Ashbrook Center,

Ariel’s gift will enable Ashbrook to encourage thousands of teachers to end their dependency on textbooks and teach instead with primary source documents. Ashbrook has a great deal of evidence – both quantitative and qualitative – that teaching with documents is highly effective in increasing teacher and student knowledge and appreciation for America’s founding principles. “At Ashbrook, we are so grateful to the Ariel Corporation for this extraordinary gift – the largest gift in Ashbrook’s history. Thanks to Ariel, Ashbrook is gearing up to help the nation’s 125,000 social studies teachers develop the next generation of informed citizens,” said Roger Beckett, executive director of the Ashbrook Center.

poses with Jim Buchwald, founder of Ariel Corporation.

Jim Buchwald, Ariel Corporation founder and member of the Ashbrook Board of Advisors, said, “Ashbrook is the only organization in the country with a fully functioning program for educating secondary school teachers in our country’s founding principles. We have a duty to expand that program as our part in the effort to take our country back.” Founded in 1966 and headquartered in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Ariel Corporation is an innovative manufacturer of gas compression equipment. As a world-class manufacturer, Ariel sets the industry standard through industry-leading research and development and expert design and manufacturing.

Ashland University Launches

 Presidential Search AU has formed a Presidential Search Committee that has started the process of identifying the 30th president in the University’s 142year history. The new president will succeed Dr. William Crothers, who has served as interim president for the past year. The Search Committee, which is co-chaired by AU Board of Trustee members Paul McKnight and Joyce Lamb, is working with the search consultant firm, AGB Search. The search committee is comprised of trustee members Tom Pickering, Tom Whatman, Jon Groza, Mitch Zunich, Kevin Doss, Dale Thomae, Gary Courtright and John Moore, as well as Faculty Representative Jeff

16 | Ashland University | Winter 2015

Sikkenga, Administrative Representative Sue Heimann, Student Representative Austin Stritmatter and Seminary Representative John Byron. McKnight said the Search Committee will determine a list of final candidates for the position and present their names to the Board of Trustees, who will appoint the new president. More information on the Presidential Search and the Ashland University Profile can be found at


Men’s Cross Country Team

Paces Strong Eagle Fall Sports Season Ashland University’s fall sports season was capped off by the Eagle men’s cross country team’s 10th place finish at the NCAA Division II Championships held Dec. 6 in Louisville, Ky. Junior Nick Hall was the top Eagle placer, finishing the course in 31:11.2, good for 19th place. Senior Brian Baum was the second AU finisher, placing 25th (31:18.0). Both Hall and Baum earned All-America citations. Senior Isaac Potes was 58th (31:48.8), junior David Knack was 87th (32:17.7) and senior Drew Windle was 134th (32:47.4), rounding out Ashland’s scorers. Senior Jake Sussman was 173rd (33:20.6) and sophomore William Cutler came in 178th (33:31.0). Ashland’s men were ranked 15th in the country going into the national meet. They finished fourth at the Midwest Regional meet to qualify for nationals, and were third as a team at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference meet. FOOTBALL – The Eagle football team had another successful season in head coach Lee Owens’ 11th year at the helm, going 8-2 overall and in the GLIAC. That record included a six-game winning streak. Senior running back Anthony Taylor became the program’s all-time leader in rushing yards (4,456) and total touchdowns (45), and freshman quarterback Travis Tarnowski became the first Eagle to earn conference Freshman of the Year honors since current Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Jamie Meder in 2010. Women’s Golf – Ashland’s women’s golf team ended the fall half of its 2014-15 schedule on a torrid pace, winning the MalonePioneer Invitational in Massillon, Ohio (Oct. 18-19), and finishing with stellar team scores of 595 for two days and 290 in the second round. The Eagle women finished the fall ranked eighth in Division II, and they were ranked as high as fifth in the country. Women’s SOCCER – Thanks to a late-season five-game winning streak, the Eagle women’s soccer team finished its 2014 campaign at 12-7 overall and qualified for the GLIAC Tournament semifinals. Ashland boasted a goal-scoring dynamo in freshman forward Morgan Bittengle, who finished in a tie for the GLIAC lead in goals (16) and game-winning goals (six). Bittengle scored at least one goal in each of the team’s last six games, and she tallied eight goals total in that span.

Women’s Cross County – Ashland’s women’s cross country team had its top moment of 2014 at the Jenna Strong Fall Classic in Wilmington, Ohio, finishing first as a team. The Eagle women harriers also took second place at the season-opening Doug Watts Distance Gala in Edinboro, Pa. Ashland was seventh as a team at the GLIAC Championships, then 11th at the Midwest Regional meet. Volleyball – The Eagle volleyball team this season narrowly missed out on yet another trip to the GLIAC Tournament, as it was in the hunt until the final day of the regular season, losing out on a spot on conference tiebreakers. Ashland finished 10-15 overall and 10-8 in the GLIAC, but put on a heavy charge late, winning four consecutive home conference matches to stay in contention. men’s Golf – Ashland’s men’s golf team teed off its fall season in style, taking second place at the Kyle Rymann Memorial at Tiffin on Sept. 7. The Eagles were eighth overall at the GLIAC North Invitational (Sept. 20-21), and were 13th in a tightly-bunched, three-day GLIAC Championship (Oct. 10-12) in Georgetown, Ky. Women’s TENNIS – Ashland’s wins leader this fall was junior Daniela Alves with five. The Eagles’ two seniors were Zdenka Pozo and Sally Trout.

King Promoted to Director of Athletics Ashland University named Al King as its director of

things for the Ashland University athletic program and

athletics on Jan. 13, 2015. King had assumed the role of

our student-athletes,” said Sue Heimann, vice president

interim director of athletics on July 7, 2014, following

of student affairs and dean of students. “I am blessed to

the retirement of former director Bill Goldring.

have the opportunity to work with him.”

“I am very excited to appoint Al as the director of

King, who is in his 22nd year at AU, enthusiastically

athletics. He has proven his leadership in this role and I

accepted the promotion to director.

have every confidence that he will continue to do great | 23


notes 1953



Rachel (Rickel ’53) and her husband, Dr. Richard

LaDonna O’Neal (Lehnhart ’69) taught for 30 years after receiving her BS in 1969. She volunteers at the Ohio Genealogy Library and has traveled Europe on three separate trips.

Jeffrey Mack ’75 sold Newmark Knight Frank Smith Mack to BGC Partners and Cantor Fitzgerald, and it is now known as Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

Lowe ’51 had a grandson Brandon Lowe just graduate from MIT in Boston, Mass.

1959 Mary (Powell ’59) and Chris Counnas ’60 celebrated 54 years of marriage on July 16, 2014. Don ’59 and Jan (Klingensmith ’59) Rinehart are finally retiring from AU, Jan having taught 16 years in Early Childhood Education and Don 44 years in the Religion Department. Marcus Anderson ’59 played on the 1958 Eagles JV basketball team. He also played on the Air Force base team and the Saratoga Springs N.Y. Air Force team. He also received his B.S in Business Administration in 1972 at Franklin University. James Stineman ’59 recently lost his wife, Carol, on March 5, 2014.

1962 Margaret Simmons (Parker ’62) was inducted into the Ohio Valley Conference Athletics Hall of Fame in May 2014.

1963 Marilyn Greer ’63 retired in May 2013 after 50 years of teaching – 18 1/2 in Mount Vernon City Schools and 31 1/2 as an Associate Professor of Education at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

1964 Richard Hyde ’64 and his wife, Joyce, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 4, 2014.

1965 Clinton (Stan) Zimmer ’65 celebrated 10 years with Zimmer Foundation for China with over 50 University scholarships provided, supplying over 3,000 Bibles and miscellaneous medical supplies.

1967 Marie Ray (Keppel ’67) is in her fourth year of pastoring the Bowman Charge of the United Methodist Church.

1968 Dagmar Wolcott (Topinka ’68) retired in 2012 after 40 years of teaching.

18 | Ashland University | Winter 2015

Nancy Seifert (Eshelman ’69) has a daughter that is now a professor of Spanish at Baldwin Wallace University.

1970 Gary Van Arsdale ’70 was named one of the Top 5 citizens of Central Ohio, Named a Top U.S. Medical Expert, as well as Dow Jones National Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist. Robert Morton ’70 published Caribbean Spy Series “Corey Pearson-CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean.” (

1971 Gregory Siloy ’71 announces that Smart Digital has received certification as a service disabled veteran owned business. Douglas Reiser ’71 recently retired from a professional aviation career after 41 years with the USMC, American Airlines, and 32 years with Southwest Airlines. He now resides in Dallas, Texas, with family and friends. Jane Solomon (Welsh ’71) retired to sunny Florida after teaching 42 years. Virginia M. Abelt (Ferron ’71) has a son, John, who is a high school teacher at Green Valley High School in Henderson, Nevada, and his wrestling team has won its third straight state championship. Randy Bolsinger ’71 is completely retired and now a community volunteer and also a caregiver to his wife with Alzheimer’s.

1972 Robert Dye ’72 has been a retail pet store owner for 37 years. He also has owned Jungle Jake’s Pet Center in Columbus, Ohio, since 1977. Rev. Ronald Hooker ’72 is a pastor emeritus, a retired associate professor, and was elected president of the Columbus Metropolitan Area Council of Churches.

1974 Joyce Tolar (Jamattona ’74) and her husband, John, are excited to announce the birth of their granddaughter, Juliana Rose, on Nov.15, 2014, to their son, John, and his wife Anna.

1977 Cathy Chester (Hume ’77) retired from Whitehall City Schools after teaching for 31 years. She is lead church planter of Carolina Coast Vineyard Church as well as the pastor, after her husband Jon died unexpectedly. Her daughter Lauren Roecke and her husband David welcomed Caleb William on May 25, 2012. Daniel von der Embse ’77 began writing poetry after a 37-year career as a writer for advertising agencies in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco and Salt Lake City. His poems appear in The Missing Slate, The Laughing Dog, Decanto, Woven Tale Press, Aberration Labyrinth, Poetry Pacific, and Poetry Quarterly. His weblog, Writing in Airplanes, is found at Alice Trout (Whitehead ’77) has two children (both married) and one granddaughter. Ralph Tomassi ’77 retired from Ashland University in October 2014 after more than 36 years of service.

1978 Sally Carle (Bernardine ’78) celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary with husband, Jim. Wendy Long (Sommer ’78) has been married to her husband Bill for 35 years and they have three children: Kyle (30), Jodi (27) and Kelsi (24). Wendy is a 13-year breast cancer survivor. Trena Brown ’78 recently retired from the Franklin County Board of DD after 22 1/2 years. “Best job I ever had in my career!”

1979 Joyce Olson ’79 recently assumed a global role for the Advisory Practice of Ernst & Young. She continues to reside in Strongsville, Ohio, with her husband. Michael Peyton ’79 has six grandchildren from ages 2-7.

1984 Hans Longabaugh ’84 continues to supplement his wife, Paula, and his income with his wildlife artwork.


Beth Lehman (Bytheway ’79) retired from teaching on May 30, 2014. Most of the last 15 years were teaching Algebra I to 8th graders in Dublin City Schools, Dublin, Ohio. She and her husband, Norman J. Lehman ’80, became grandparents for the first time on March 10, 2014. Henry Bytheway Lehman (left) and Caleb Bytheway Lehman (right) are the apples of their eyes! Norman finished his term as Ashland University Alumni Board president in the spring.

1980 Mike Donovan ’80 has been promoted to head of International TV Operations and Global Satellite Distribution for Scripps Networks. Scripps Networks including HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, among others. Mike and Karen (Klanac ’81) reside in Knoxville, Tenn. Dolph Santorine ’81 recently produced a holiday film that made its U.S. television premiere this Christmas. Santorine, who currently resides in Wheeling, W.Va., served as executive producer of “A Christmas Tree Miracle,” which was released in 2013. This year, the UPtv Channel selected the movie as part of its “Everything You Love About Christmas” holiday movie schedule. A warmhearted Christmas tale that reminds all that in the holiday season, the best gifts in life are the simple ones and that miracles happen – if you believe. The film was shot in 2012 in and around Wheeling. The movie was released in the United Kingdom and Germany and received favorable reviews from international audiences. UPtv, based in Atlanta , is broadcast in nearly 70 million homes and is known for its uplifting content.

Jeffrey A. Hundman ’85, ’94 has a new position as the senior director of finance at OhioHealth-O’Bleness Hospital. Eric Harned ’85 requests prayer as he awaits the prospects of a lung transplant.

1986 Chris Eddy ’86 was elected to the Olean High School Academic Hall of Fame, one of only about 20 to receive that honor in the school’s 130+ year history. Chris, also a Brigadier General in the United States Air Force Reserves, is the intelligence program manager in the FBI’s fourth largest field office in Miami, Fla., where he resides with his wife Anne and children Ryan (8) and Megan (5).

1988 Stephanie Alder (Brady ’88) was hired by Charlotte County Public Schools in Florida as a first grade teacher. Christina Lambert ’88 will be teaching 2nd grade this school year and this will be year 25.


For more information, visit or to order “A Christmas Tree Miracle” on DVD, visit”

Regina Smeltzer (Baker ’89) recently had a Christian suspense novel published by Harbourlight Book titled “Deadly Decision.” Here is a blurb from the book: “Bill Iver visits his daughter at her new historical home in S.C. to access her renovation needs, and sees two ghosts in her attic. Could one be the young boy that recently went missing? And why is he with a boy in 18th Century garb? As a Christian, Bill doesn’t believe in ghosts, but the Bible often mentions spirits. Is God trying to tell him something, or is Satan trying to destroy him?”



Diana L. Harpel-Tuttamore ’82 welcomed her grandson Tristen Lewis Tuttamore on July 31, 2014, weighing in at 7 lbs 9 oz and 20 inches long. Tristen’s parents are Sam and Katelyn Tuttamore.

Vivian “Jackie” Rhoades ’91, ’94 was awarded a PhD in Sociology of Religion from Drew University (2014). She currently teaches sociology, religion and ethics at Rhodes State College and the University of Northwestern Ohio. She serves as section chair of the Anthropology and Sociology of Religion section of the American Academy of Religion, Midwest Region.

Janet Sorrell (Muranko ’82) just retired in July 2014 after 31 years of teaching at Keystone Local Schools. David J. McDonald ’82 assumed the role of President at Lakeside FPD a year ago.

Collinwood Athletic Complex Dedicated to AU Alumnus About 500 former athletes, friends and family members gathered Sept. 20, 2014, at the Collinwood High School Athletic Complex where the facility was dedicated to legendary Collinwood girls track coach Lou Slapnik. Slapnik, a 1975 graduate of Ashland University with a bachelor’s of education degree, coached the Railroaders for 17 years, leading them to nine state championships before retiring in 2010. No coach in Cleveland schools history has won more state titles in any sport. During the hour-long ceremony, Slapnik received a resolution from city councilmen and Sept. 20 was declared Lou Slapnik Day by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s office. After speeches, a Lou Slapnik Track sign was unveiled inside the stadium. The large billboard at the entrance has been redone naming the facility after Slapnik. “This is all so surreal, humbling, yet it’s really rewarding,” Slapnik said during his speech before the sign was revealed. Slapnik was inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012. He led the Railroaders to the Jesse Owens Cleveland City Championship in each of his 17 years. His athletes won 41 individual events in state championship meets. Slapnik came to Collinwood for the 1994 track and field season and won the Jesse Owens Cleveland City Championship in each of his 17 years. | 27


notes 1991 Kim Fickes (Winters ’91) announces she has a son that’s a junior at Miami University and another son who is a freshman at Clemson University.

Pamela Taylor (Sigler ’97G) recently had a book published by Tate Publishing called “Molding Sharon.” It is under her pen name Phoebe Siylor. It is available on Amazon. com and on Barnes and Noble. She also was appointed the Central Ohio regional coordinator for the Silent No More Campaign and will speak at the March for Life in D.C. this January.

1998 Betsy Lavinder (Pringle ’98) received the CEA-O Teacher of the Year Award on Sept. 9, 2014, at the CEA-O Conference. Aretta Baumgartner (Casebolt ’91) is a puppeteer and the education director at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Ga. She was proud to be a part of the 2014 Les Sages Fous Micro-festival of Unfinished Puppet Theatre in Trois Rivieres, QC, Canada, in September 2014, performing with the original puppetry production “Learning To Fly.” “Learning To Fly” is a reflection on the human experience and choices around the 9-11 World Trade Center disaster, was originally created for the 2014 Xperimental Puppetry Theater (XPT) at the Center for Puppetry Arts, and is in workshops to be extended to a full-length piece in preparation for touring. For more info (and/or to book the show!), contact Aretta at

1995 Dr. Scott A. Hannan, MD ’95 is now practicing at Milltown Family Physicians in Wooster, Ohio. He was formerly with Cleveland Clinic in Wooster, but now is in private practice. Jeff Putz ’95 moved to Orlando in the summer of 2013 to take a one-year contract as a software architect with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, which includes the Busch Gardens and Sesame Place theme parks. In 2014, he took a technical architect position with AgileThought, a company that develops custom software. He lives two miles from Disney’s Magic Kingdom with my wife Diana Mattoni and 4-year-old son, Simon.

1996 Cathleen R. Sherman ’96 was recently elected to a second term as associate director for the Michigan Association of Vehicle Theft Investigators (M.A.V.T.I.). She is entering her 18th year of working for Progressive and is in her 12th year as a special investigator in Detroit, Mich.

Elizabeth Miller ’98 published her first Shadowrun mission for Catalyst Game Labs on Aug. 10, 2014. Jason R. Pierce ’98 was awarded the “Edward H Knight Award of Merit” by the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, their highest award possible.

1999 Christina Medved ’99 moved to Colorado in February of 2014 to take a new position with the Roaring Fork Conservancy as education director.

2000 Christian Kang ’00 accepted a new position at State Farm Insurance as a deployable field claim representative for Catastrophe Services. He moved to Fargo, N.D., for the position, which includes travel to all 50 states and Canada. Chris celebrated 16 years with the company on Aug. 15. He can be reached through Facebook and at

2001 Jessica Matz (Miller ’01) has started her 14th year teaching at Dalton in a new K-8 building. Kacey Lahna (Hendricks ’01) is the investment assistant at Home Loan Savings Bank in Coshocton. She and her husband, Jason, have two children: Kaydence (7) and Hunter (2).

2002 Joan Mast (Underwood ’02G) is owner of, an online fashion jewelry company. She is active in many volunteer organizations around Columbus, Ohio.



Nevada Hutkai (St. Hilaire ’97) recently accepted a position as a full-time teacher in her hometown after substituting for 15 years.

Jason Roberts ’04 is now serving as lecturer of Christian Theology in the Religion Department at the

20 | Ashland University | Winter 2015

University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., after having earned his PhD in Religious Studies from Marquette University, where he was the salutatorian. Paul Carmany ’04, ’06 has been working in the Liberty University Athletics Department for eight years, and was promoted to associate athletics communications director in the summer of 2014. Dr. Jesse Montagnese ’04 finished his fellowship in Neuroradiology and began work at the VA Hospital in Altoona, Pa. He and his wife, Jessica (Soyka ’04), currently reside in Pennsylvania.

2006 Melissa Cooke (Kraus ’06) earned her master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology with a concentration in voice disorders from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. Stephen Dreikorn ’06 finished his first diplomatic assignment in Mexico and is in training in Washington D.C. before heading to his second diplomatic assignment in Poland. Jeremy Benington ’06, a senior IT analyst at Eaton PLC, recently graduated from Kent State University with a master’s degree of Information Architecture and Knowledge Management.

2007 Christine Bowers ’07M was the 2013 winner of the Clinical Excellence Award. She is currently a master’s student. David White ’07 finished his Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology at University of Pittsburgh in 2013. He resides in Kansas City, teaching at UMKC and working at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. Heather Olson ’07 was promoted to customer service representative II in the Commercial Lines Customer Service department at National Interstate Insurance Company in September 2014.

2008 Heather Campbell (Stoops ’08) completed her master’s degree through the University of Toledo in August 2013 in Special Education and accepted a position with Streetsboro City Schools to teach 4th grade intervention. Adrienne Hatch ’08 accepted a research position in the Military Nutrition Division at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Mass. She has been working on nutrition projects with U.S. soldiers as a research dietitian. Melissa Hay (Ciacchi ’08, ’13) graduated with her Master of Education degree from Ashland University in December 2013. She is currently employed with Big Walnut Local Schools in Sunbury, Ohio.

Lindsay McKibben (Hazen ’08G), assistant vice president of Client Development at Signature Bank, received a 2014 “20 Under 40” Leadership Recognition Award on Sept. 30 at the annual 20 Under 40 awards ceremony. She was selected from a field of 115 candidates. Karen Nussdorfer (Girvan ’08G) earned her National Board Certification in the areas of Literacy, Reading and Language Arts for early and middle childhood.

2009 Josh Hines ’09 started a marketing agency titled Marketplace Foundations and spoke at his first business conference.

2010 Edwin J. Smith ’10 joined the firm of Husch Blackwell’s Business Litigation group. He received his J.D. from Washington University School of Law (2014), where he received an Excellence in Oral Advocacy award, was on the Dean’s List, was Secretary of Administration for the Student Bar Association, and a member of the ABA Representations in Mediation team and the Black Law Students Association. Smith received his B.S.B.A. in International Business from Ashland University.

2012 Libby Nickoli (Miller ’12G) was awarded one of 16 Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Awards by the Ohio Department of Education’s State Support Teams. Jessica Plasity ’12 recently relocated to South Carolina and accepted position as a 2nd grade teacher. Scott Zacharchenko ’12 landed his dream job in northern Europe.

Steven Wilkinson ’97 welcomed daughter, Victoria, born Feb. 1, 2014. Michael Yurchak ’97 and his wife, Carla, announce the birth of their second daughter, Malena Faith, born on Sept. 26, 2014. She weighed 8 lbs. 11.5 oz. and measured 21 inches long. She joins big sister Stella Grace (4). Jeffrey Kaplan ’97 and his wife, Lauren, welcomed their son Forrest on Oct. 28, 2012. Harry Hinch ’98 and his wife, Megan, welcomed their daughter Lillian on March 13, 2013. Thomas Riggs ’99 and his wife, Elaine, are the parents of two daughters: Julia, born Nov. 23, 2011, and Emma, born Nov. 26, 2013. He is the digital content director for Clear Channel Media in Toledo. Lindsey Nicholson (Burns ’00) and her husband, Erik, welcomed their first child, daughter Riley Jane, on July 24, 2013. Kari Newman (Morales ’01) and husband, Jim, announce the birth of their son, Jackson James, on Jan. 22, 2014. He weighed 9 lbs. 4 oz. Christina Muirhead-Gould (Siemon ’01) and her husband, John ’02, welcomed their third child on Jan. 10, 2014. Weston Gregory joins big brother, Evan, and big sister, Grace. Robyn Minnear (Rhodes ’02) and her husband, Chad, welcomed their first child, Alexander Paul, on July 24, 2013. He was 8 lbs and 20 1/2 inches long. Nathan Hill ’02 and his wife, Amanda, welcomed daughter Olivia Violet on April 16, 2014. She was 5 lbs, 15 oz.

2013 Lindsey Tippett ’13 was named Mooresville High School’s “Beginning Teacher of the Year.”

Stacy Kirk (Wieber ’02) and her husband, Collin, welcomed their son Judd Michael on May 8, 2014.

Tyler Hawkins ’13 is now a doctor of physical therapy.

Future Eagles

Dan Tierney ’02 and his wife, Michelle, welcomed their 3rd child, daughter Alexandra, on April 23, 2014. She joins big brother Ian (5) and big sister Evelyn (2 1/2).

Austin Nichols ’96 and his wife Leilani (Fout ’99), welcomed their daughter Ava on Oct. 26, 2013.

Andrew ’03 and Elizabeth Brown (Eberly ’03) announce the birth of their daughter Callie on Oct. 5, 2014.

Megan Pace (Huss ’96) and her husband, John, announce the birth of their second daughter, Margaret Adair, born on Feb. 7, 2014. Their first daughter, Madeleine, has been performing on Broadway in NYC, as Ivanka, in “Once the Musical.” Jennifer Mackey (Griffiths ’97) and her husband, JT, welcomed their daughter Abigail Jane on April 16, 2014.

Jennifer (Nowoczynski ’03) Michaels and her husband, Matt, welcomed their second child, Rylin Irene, on Jan. 10, 2013. She joins big sister, Kenley.

Alumnus Leads Team to Championship Steven Gansey, a 2011 graduate of AU’s sport management program, won the 2013-14 NBA Development League championship as the Fort Wayne Mad Ants assistant coach. The NBA Development League is composed of 18 teams and is the official minor league of the NBA. The NBA Development league, which has gained a lot more respect and recognition, grooms NBA prospects for the next level. With a record of 34-16 in the regular season, his team won the regular season championship and was the No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs. The Fort Wayne Mad Ants ended up sweeping the playoffs with six straight wins (three games on the road) and was able to bring championship home to their fans. They not only finished with a record of 40-16, but Gansey’s team finished with the second best win/loss record in the NBA Development League in history. “Sometimes you have to start at the bottom of the totem pole, work on your craft, and put in hours of hard work and something good will happen,” Gansey said, In the fall of 2014, Gansey accepted a job with the Cleveland Cavaliers as the associate head coach for the Canton Charge. The Canton Charge is another team in the NBA Development League. (by Megan Salatino)


notes Sarah Welch (Lance ’03) and husband, Josh, welcomed a daughter, Lydia Grace, on Nov. 20, 2013. Sarah also welcomed a niece, Ryan Claire, daughter of Tim Lance, on Nov. 18, 2013.

Bryan ’06 and Alison (Denholm ’06) McGinnis would like to announce the birth of their first child, Ava Lea McGinnis, on July 26, 2014.

Danielle Cardenas (Baker ’06) and her husband, Victor, welcomed son, Hadrian Michael, on June 5, 2014. He weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz. and was 20 inches long.

Angie Anderson (Moore ’04) and her husband welcomed their daughter Kaylee on July 28, 2012. Emily Hawkins (Sheridan ’04) and husband Aaron welcomed baby boy Denton Richard Urban on July 21, 2014. He joins sister Grace, 3. Adam ’03 and Carrie (Harrison ’05) Kasel announce the birth of Declan James Kasel on Feb. 10, 2014. His brothers Aidan, Harrison and Rowan were excited for another boy! Krista Kidney (Smith ’05) and her husband, Jacob, welcomed their second child, son Aaron Jacob, on March 1, 2014. Big sister Miranda (3) loves her baby brother! Kimberly Miller (Shelton ’05, ’10) and her husband, Anthony, welcomed their son Grant Harrison Miller on July 1, 2014. He joins big sisters Jillian (7) and Mia (6). James Phillips ’05 and his wife, Jessica, welcomed their daughter, Xaria Antoinette Phillips, on May 29, 2014. Michelle Koussa (Druso ’05) and her husband, Tony, welcomed their son Griffin on April 15, 2014.

Leilani Fouts ’99 and Austin Nichols ’96 were married on Oct. 23, 2013. Stacy Wieber ’02 married Collin Kirk on Aug. 3, 2013. Amy Masitto ’02 married Nick Markijohn and they have two children Samuel (5) and Sadie (1). Paul Carmany ’04, ’06 married Kathryn Quaintance on June 21, 2014, at Good Hope Lutheran Church in Youngstown, Ohio. Tony Snyder ’04 and Jason Dutton ’05 served as groomsmen and Sarah Fedeli

Nikki Fisher (Hall ’07) and her husband, Kevin, welcomed their third daughter, Amry Rae Lynn, on August 6, 2014.

’04 was also in attendance.

Jesse Allison ’07 and his wife, Nicole, welcomed Aislyn Ruth on April 14, 2014. Jesse began a career in residential real estate serving Akron, Canton and Wooster.

Megan Filipic ’06 married Brian Lennex on Dec. 28, 2013, in Strongsville, Ohio.

Josh ’07 and Danielle Allen (Losiewicz ’07) welcomed the birth of their first child Addison Leigh, 7 lb 14 oz, 19 inches long on March 10, 2014.

Amanda Lindsey ’06 married Sandy Sanderson on Aug. 25, 2012.

Danielle Cardenas (Baker ’06) married Victor Cardenas on May 11, 2013, in Piqua, Ohio. They currently reside in North Carolina.

Bryan Donaldson ’08G welcome a son, Garrett Liam, on April 22, 2013. Katie Getz (Fairchild ’08) announces her second child, Cooper Ross, born on June 14, 2014. He joins big sister, Quinn (2).

Sara Elliott ’07 married Troy Hill on March 22, 2013.

Mekenna Yohe (Smith ’08) and her husband, Robert, welcomed their son Drake Robert on July 14, 2010, and their son Alexander Thomas on September 9, 2013. Sara Wilson (Ramsay ’05) and her husband, Daniel, announce the birth of daughter Kira Alexis born July 3, 2014. She was 6 lbs. 13 oz. and 19 inches.

Lindsy Pierson (Brader ’09) and her husband AJ announce the birth of their daughter, Rylee Jane Pierson. She was born on Sept. 15 and weighed 8 lbs 2 oz and was 20 inches long. Her big brother Kaden absolutely loves her!

Toni Racy (Tracy ’05, ’10) and her husband Jeff welcomed their second daughter, Andi Marie, on May 31, 2014. She joins big sister Zoey (3). Curtis ’05 and Julie Kearney (Wentzel ’05) welcomed their third child, Grayson, on April 27, 2014. He joins big sister Emersyn and big brother Braxton. Julie Jeyaratnam (’06) and her husband, David, had their first child, Madelyn Grace, in February 2014. She and David were married in May 2009. Vicki McGee (Jones ’06) and her husband, Nicholas, announce the birth of her son Elliot Jameson May 25, 2014. He joins his big sister Alexis (5) and big brother Josiah (16 months). Samantha Mealy (Stroud ‘06) and her husband David welcomed their daughter Hannah on July 12, 2014.

Becky Himes (Annen ’10G) and her husband, Ray, welcomed son, Timothy, on Oct. 31, 2013. Emily King (Andrews ’10) and her husband, Bradley ’08 welcomed their child Charleigh Rae on Aug. 14, 2014. Morgan Smith (Yoder ’10) and her husband, Brandt, welcome Cameron Smith on March 24, 2014. Morgan and Brandt were married on Sept. 15, 2012. Kayla Kissell (Hoover ’12) and her husband, Anton, welcomed their daughter Kourtney on May 14, 2014, and their son Aiden on Dec. 12, 2012.

Weddings Lesley Ann Tacey ’69 married Hershel Dale Keller Sr. on July 4, 2014.

22 | Ashland University | Winter 2015

Kelly (Farrell ’08) and Craig Cooke ’08 were married on Aug. 2, 2014. Heather Stoops ’08 and Colin Campbell were married on Nov. 16, 2013, in Bryan, Ohio. The couple relocated to Streetsboro, Ohio.

Robyn Kracker ’08 and Wes Miller ’09 were married in Columbus, Ohio, at The Blackwell at Ohio State University on June 14, 2014. Attending were: Groomsmen Kenny Miller ’09, Preston Boyd ’08, Chad Roland ’08, Cody Gullet ’09 and Jack Dickes ’08; and bridesmaids Meghan Kroll ’07, Emily Spangler (Hilgert ’09) and Staci Lang ’11. The couple resides in Gahanna, Ohio. Picture is of couple on the 50-yard line at Ohio Stadium. Candice Kozinski ’08 married Jacob Caya on July 6, 2014, at Gervasi Vineyard in Canton, Ohio.

Jessica Frient ’08 married Justin McGrath on Oct. 11, 2014.

Richard F. Workman ’68 Sept. 17, 2014

Katelyn Gallucci ’11 married Jordan Koski on May 24, 2014.

Glenn R. McBride ’68 Oct. 27, 2014

Annette Goody ’11 married Sean King on July 20, 2013.

Patricia H. Edwards (Hammond ’70) Oct. 5, 2014

Phillip Pelzer ’11 and Olivia Huff ’13 were married on April 26, 2014. Caitlin Adams ’11 married Lucas Palm ’12 on June 28, 2014. Included in their bridal party were Teresa Schermerhorn ’10, Jenn Reynolds (Pyle ’13), Curtis Reynolds ’12 and Jon Barko ’12). Their musicians were Ariel (Katie) Vargo ’13, Sam Diemer ’14, Bryon Black ’11, Matthew Gossett ’04 and Lynda (Hinckley ’69) Stoneham. Ella Waltman ’11 and Keaton Lorentz ’11 were married on Nov. 2, 2013.

In Memoriam Iona N. Jones (’40M) Sept. 9, 2014 Carl “Gabe” Levers ’47 Oct. 19, 2014 Gwendolyn Clark (Bowers ’48M) Aug. 10, 2014 L. Glenn Hurst ’50 Oct. 21, 2013 Marilyn Hurst (Shaffer ’53) April 2, 2014 Raymond E. Bates ’54 June 20, 2014 Kenneth G. Berkey ’58 July 5, 2014 Vale A. Reed ’58 Nov. 17, 2014 Agatha M. Strine (Althouse ’60) Nov. 3, 2014 Barbara Wayman ’61 M June 10, 2013 Patricia L. Young (Burckhart ’62M) Feb. 28, 2014 Irene J. Snyder (Burky ’64) July 12, 2013 Mary K. Seckel ’64 Oct. 15, 2014 Wade T. Richardson ’65 June 23, 2014 Janet Mae Hodge ’66 July 1, 2014

Michael A. Poling ’71 July 2, 2014 Rosetta Mengerink (DeIuliis ’71) Nov. 5, 2014 John L. Wells ’72 Nov. 10, 2014 Wallace L. Croskey ’73 Oct. 8, 2014 Patricia Wilson (McElhatten ’74M) Sept. 12, 2006 Christopher M. Walker ’75 Nov. 14, 2014 Grant M. Kennedy ’84 Sept. 11, 2014 Carolyn L. Osborne (Blanton ’85) Feb. 22, 2010 Jane K. Sadowski (Schriner ’87) July 4, 2014 Dorene Baldinger-Morris (Shrimp ’89) July 19, 2014 Patricia A. Lambright (Schwed ’89) Nov. 6, 2013 Loretta K. Crowe ’89 Sept. 5, 2014 Stanley Hawthorne ’93 Nov. 6, 2014 Beverly F. Campbell (Ballard ’94) Sept. 30, 2014 Penelope L. Scott (Roach ’97) Sept. 6, 2014 Juliet T. O’Bryan (Thomas ’99) May 17, 2008 Brian H. Sampson ’02 Oct. 22, 2010 Jennifer E. Branson ’07G Nov. 18, 2014 Laurie A. Gerstein (Cohn ’08) Nov. 24, 2010 John C. Dass ’09 Oct. 7, 2014 G – AU Graduate Student M – MedCentral/Mansfield General Hospital Graduate

Alumnus on ‘40 under 40’ List Shane Yates, a 1998 alumnus of Ashland University who serves as executive director of the Ohio Society of Association Executives, was recognized recently in “Connect” magazine’s “40 Under 40” feature listing. The Association Forum of Chicagoland and USAE weekly newspaper also recognized Yates for his leadership skills and commitment. Yates earned his certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. In 2010, he earned his Certified Association Executive (CAE) and Certified Meetings Professional (CMP). As the current executive director of the Ohio Society of Association Executives, Yates has worked on operations in public relations, meetings, membership, marketing and finance. Yates implemented the first hybrid meeting and increased the 2012 and 2013 membership by 12 percent with a 90 percent member retention rate, while reducing expenses by 7 percent. In 2011, Yates received a Public Relations Achievement Award from the Ohio Society of Association Executives for his public relations campaign, “Good Health Minute.” Previously, Yates served as executive director of the Ohio Physical Therapy Association and earned the Ohio Physical Therapy Association 2012 Outstanding Component Award. | 31

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Award Winners


These outstanding alumni will be honored at the Awards Luncheon on Sat., April 18, at 11:30 a.m. in Myers Convocation Center. Tickets are $15 each, seating is assigned and reservations are required. To make a reservation, please call the Office of Alumni Engagement at 419.289.5082 or make your reservation online at

Lisa Okolish Miller ’88 Distinguished Service Award

Dr. J. Patrick Card ’72

Leigh A. Greenfelder ’03

Dr. Harold E. Wilson

Rep. David Hall

Patricia DeMartini Williams ’88

Ralph Tomassi ’77

Outstanding Alumnus Award

Professor Raymond W. Bixler Award

Special Achievement Award

Young Alumna Award

Honorary Alumnus Award

Dr. Glenn L. Clayton Award

The Alumni Association Board of Directors is looking for alumni with a variety of talents and expertise who would be interested in serving on the Alumni Board. It is an involved group of 25 alumni equally represented by class, gender and age. To learn more about the Board, visit AshlandSpace at Applications for 2015 are due by March 19.

Profile for Mike Ruhe

Accent Winter 2015  

The official alumni magazine of Ashland University.

Accent Winter 2015  

The official alumni magazine of Ashland University.