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Winter Covers

Ashland University 2016 HOMECOMING RECAP INSIDE | 2



3 Message from the President 4 Mutually Rewarding

8 Ashland University’s Corporate Connections Program AU desires to work cooperatively and collaboratively

6 MBA Graduate Spreading the News

10  Board Vice Chair Fred Broad Challenges AU Graduates

Ashland Rising 2020

AU Maintains Strong Relationship with Alumnus and The J.M. Smucker Company Kimberly Gill ’11G, Working for WDIV Channel 4 in Detroit

with our corporate friends

AU’s Winter Commencement Speaker

12  Homecoming Recap 2016

6 4

10 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 AU students walking through campus after Mother Nature covered the campus in snow. Ashland University admits students with disabilities and those of any sex, race, age, religion, color and national or ethnic origin.

DEPARTMENTS 14 Campus News  AU Sees Large Freshman Class and Overall Strong Enrollment

 Record Retention Mark Set  Seminary Inaugurates its Ninth President  One-Year International MBA Program Established  AU Receives Grants  AU One of 67 Colleges and Universities Nationwide

to Participate in Second Chance Pell Pilot Program

17 News in Brief

18 Athletic News Karl Tennis Complex Dedication Women’s Basketball Update Fall Sports Wrap-up 20 Class Notes

 General Alumni Info, Weddings, Future Eagles and In Memoriams






Dear Alumni, Friends and Partners of Ashland University, Looking back at 2016, we recall a year summed up by Merriam Webster—and many others—as “surreal.” As an educator, 2016 was also a year of astonishing discovery and breakthrough, a reflection of the exciting times in which we live. We discovered “Proxima b,” a potential “sister planet” orbiting Proxima Centauri. We also found the oldest woven garment, dating to between 3482 and 3103 B.C., and the oldest existing animal on the planet, the “Greenland shark,” a deep-sea swimmer that lives between 272 and 512 years. A number of “new” Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in 2016, and the purported tomb of Jesus was “reopened” by a team of scientists who found its ancient limestone base, leading a National Geographic archeologist to describe his “knees shaking” in wonder at the sight. In addition, 2016 brought us our first “DNA app,” (Helix) true progress toward self-driving cars, and “CRISPR,” a revolutionary gene-editing tool that promises to cure illnesses and solve environmental calamities. Dr. Carlos Campo

In the midst of this new knowledge, Ashland University is asking itself, “What are we hoping to impart to our students? What are the most critical things for them to know? What skills and attitudes will an AU education convey? What are we trying to achieve as a university, and how do we know we are accomplishing the goals we have established?” The primary answers to these questions are found in our strategic plan, Ashland Rising 2020, where we have identified five “pillars” that frame our goals and provide the structure needed to develop the “most personalized educational experience possible” for our students.


Our academic leaders and faculty are imagining the educational Ashland of the future, one that ensures our foundational “core” courses produce better thinkers, writers and speakers, and also envisions how burgeoning science and technology will enhance the learning experience for our students as well. Our developing Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation will invest in our faculty to develop leading practices informed by the best in academic research. When fully formed, it promises to be an “engine of innovation” that will lead to new program development, improved pedagogical practice, and an ongoing culture of academic innovation. We will also look to our 138 years’ worth of tradition to enliven our campus anew. Ashland’s traditions are founded in the belief that every student has a unique, God-given destiny, and that helping students find their life calling is a critical part of the Ashland experience. To help achieve this goal, we will establish lectures, conferences and conversations for our students to experience the ongoing intersection between faith and society. Because we are founded on enduring virtues and transcendent beliefs, we will perpetuate our traditions as we transmit the values that create tomorrow’s leaders. Our campus infrastructure will also be a primary focus in the days ahead. Improved student housing and a refresh of our Center for the Arts are among our top priorities. We realize that every space on our campus reflects our commitment to excellence and is part of a unified learning environment. We will also be looking to expand our online offerings to reach more students with our defining value, “Accent on the Individual.” Because a healthy campus will enhance the learning experience, we will continue to develop our “Eagle Well” initiative. The efforts of our campus wellness director, Dr. Deborah Sullivan, have already been recognized, as Ashland University has been named a “White House Healthy Campus.” In the months ahead, we will focus on all aspects of wellness, from environmental to spiritual, physical and more. Our community engagement efforts will continue as well. We know that as “Ashland Rises, Ashland Rises,” acknowledging the intimate connection between the University and the Ashland community. Our “Corporate Connections” program will continue to expand, as we connect local, regional, and national businesses with AU. This initiative will ensure that our students have outstanding internship opportunities and we also respond to the demands of the workplace as we prepare our graduates effectively. We can be assured that 2017 will bring its own challenges and exciting discoveries. At Ashland University, we look forward to the year with a clear plan to keep our University “rising” to meet the future and prepare our students for work and for life. | 3

Mutually Rewarding

AU Maintains Strong Relationship with Alumnus and The J.M. Smucker Company


shland University is well known for creating lasting relationships with its graduates – AU alumni. A vital role in these relationships is how AU prepares its graduates to

be successful in their personal and professional lives. The connection between AU and its alumni also allows for the future success of AU’s current undergraduates and the companies for which they work. One accomplished AU alumnus, John Denman, is working hard to see the continued success of the University and its students. “This [internship program] is something I am passionate about and it allows

Denman, a 1979 graduate of Ashland College

me to continue fostering the strong relationship with Ashland University.”

Special Achievement Award, is celebrating his

– John Denman ’79 Vice President, HR Operations The J.M. Smucker Company

and 2014 recipient of the AU Alumni Association 38th-year anniversary with The J.M. Smucker Company this year. Denman was born and raised in Orrville, Ohio, which has been home to Smucker since its founding in 1897.

“Having always known about the Company, it has really been a dream come true to spend my entire career here,” Denman says. When Denman started at Smucker in 1979, it was primarily a jam and jelly company with sales of approximately $150 million per year. “Today, we have grown to become a leading marketer and manufacturer of consumer food and beverage products and pet food and pet snacks in North America, with sales last year just under $8 billion. It has been an incredible experience to see this type of growth,” he said.

4 | Ashland University | Winter 2017

Throughout his career, Denman has held 18 different positions not

with the high quality interns that come to work for us from AU, many

only in Orrville, but throughout North America including Oxnard,

of whom are working as full-time Smucker employees today,” he said.

Calif.; Chico, Calif.; and Toronto, Ontario. The majority of his career at Smucker has been in various finance roles.

Aside from internship opportunities, Smucker also plays a significant role in providing AU students with scholarship opportunities. “In

When asked how AU helped prepare him for such a successful

addition to the students who are part of our internship program,

career, Denman’s response was, “Living on campus was my first

Smucker has three scholarships at Ashland – two endowed

time being away from home and my high school was much smaller

scholarships and one in finance,” he said.

than Ashland. Everyone at Ashland made me feel very welcome and the accessibility to the faculty resulted in a smooth transition. They always made time for the students and these relationships really helped me prepare for a successful career.”

In late 2016, a $50,000 gift from Smucker Co. established The J.M. Smucker Company Endowed Scholarship in Business at AU, which will be awarded to undergraduate students in AU’s Dauch College of Business and Economics.

Every year, a significant number of AU students have the opportunity to participate in internships with Smucker. Two years ago, Denman transitioned to Vice President, HR Operations, where he became responsible for recruiting and the internship program. “This is something I am passionate about and it allows me to continue fostering the strong relationship with Ashland University,” he said. And Denman is quick to point out that the relationship between AU and Smucker is important to the company. “At Smucker, we have a special commitment to education. One of the ways we fulfill this is through our company’s internship program, which provides meaningful on-the-job learning and experience for college students, and is our primary source for filling entry-level positions,” Denman said. One of AU’s priorities in its “Ashland Rising 2020” strategic plan is its commitment and focus on developing each and every student’s individual potential, and the University believes that offering internships is one of the best ways to make this happen. Denman said AU students continually show their talent and potential

John Denman, second from the left, poses with several other J.M. Smucker Co. employees who are AU alumni: (left to right) Jessica Sattler ’14, Joyce Badertscher ’15, ’15G and John Fox ’09.

when undertaking internships at Smucker. “Professional maturity is

AU’s relationship with alumni represents a bright future for the

what always comes to mind when I think of Ashland students. They

University and its graduates. AU’s relationship with John Denman,

arrive with a solid work ethic and are eager to learn,” he said.

for example, has given undergraduates the opportunity to gain

Denman has seen AU students fit Smucker’s culture during their internships, something extremely important to the company. “We have a long-held philosophy of hiring people for a career so we

professional experience and start potential careers at Smucker. It also has allowed an alumnus, like Denman, to keep AU as an important part of his career.

look for people that fit our unique culture. In addition, we look for

In his final thoughts, Denman proclaimed how proud he is of

a strong work ethic, ‘can do’ attitude, commitment to continuous

Ashland University.

improvement, and someone who embraces change,” he said.

“AU has an outstanding reputation for developing its students and

Denman continued by saying, “Besides the students, we receive

preparing them for successful careers. As an alumnus, I know the

outstanding support from the faculty and administration. We use

students are obtaining a solid education. Personally, I think that

Ashland as the benchmark for a university relationship.”

every alumnus should take an active role in encouraging their

AU students even have the opportunity to continue their career at Smucker after completing an internship. “Ashland is one of our partner universities for this program and we are always impressed

employer to build a relationship with Ashland,” he said.

Nathaniel Urban ’18 Public Relations Office Assistant | 5


Spreading the News W

orking for WDIV Channel 4 in Detroit – the No. 1 NBC affiliate in the nation – is a dream come true for anchor/reporter Kimberly Gill ’11.

“Detroit is a major news market. WDIV has a reputation in the industry as a news leader. Plenty of national news comes out of Detroit – the Big 3 (automakers), major universities, government corruption. This place is pregnant with news,” said Gill. “There’s never a dull moment here. It’s the most exciting place I’ve ever worked.” “ It took some time, but this was a great accomplishment. It’s a good program; I can’t say enough about (AU). I’ve always been interested in business. A girl needs to have a backup plan in case this TV thing doesn’t work out.”

– Kimberly Gill ’11 Lead Female Anchor, WDIV Channel 4, Detroit

A journalist since 2002, Gill earned her MBA in 2011 from Ashland University, which she called a “fabulous school” with a “great reputation.” She completed the majority of her program online and at satellite campuses to accommodate her TV schedule. “It took some time, but this was a great

accomplishment. It’s a good program; I can’t say enough about (AU),” recalled Gill. “I’ve always been interested in business. A girl needs to have a backup plan in case this TV thing doesn’t work out,” she added, laughing. So far, it seems to be working out. Gill was a reporter in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and her native South Carolina before coming to Detroit in 2014. Recently, she’s been named WDIV’s lead female anchor, replacing Carmen Harlan, who spent 38 years at WDIV – something unheard of in TV news.

6 | Ashland University | Winter 2017

“It’s an honor. It’s definitely a big role. Carmen Harlan is a legacy

and the Charleston church massacre, where a gunman murdered

– I will never fill her shoes, nor do I plan to. There will never been

nine people at a South Carolina church.

another Carmen,” said Gill. “All I can do is come in and do the best job I can do; I’ll work hard, tell the truth, and be the voice of the people – something I’ve done for 15 years. I can’t worry about who came before or after me; all I can worry about is doing a good job.” WDIV news director Kim Voet has every confidence in Gill.

Gill pointed out WDIV will send reporters outside its coverage area to cover national events such as these – something rarer and rarer these days due to tight budgets – because viewers care about these stories. “It’s a front-row seat to history (which) is happening right before

“She is truly the real deal. She’s not only an anchor, she’s also a

your eyes. I was working alongside national correspondents, which

reporter who understands the social part of what we do. She’s

is a dream come true,” said Gill. “(WDIV) is a great company, a great

tremendous with her colleagues from top to bottom. Kimberly is

station, and we value the people here. We’re committed to being the

a student of her job; she reads over everything and does her due

voice for the community and doing what’s right.”

diligence. She doesn’t just want the full story – she wants more than

Kurt Anthony Krug

that. She is old school in a new world. She can do everything from politics to sports. She loves getting involved in the big story. Several TV stations were interested in her. We’re very fortunate to have her; we see a long, bright future with Kimberly Gill here at WDIV,” praised Voet. Growing up in Newberry, S.C., the news was a big deal in Gill’s house. Everyone stopped what they were doing at 6 p.m. to watch the evening news. “I was fascinated by the knowledge of the anchors and the reporters,” she recalled. Her career path was set in the fifth grade when the nearby creek – her secret place – flooded and the reporters she saw on TV came to her neighborhood. Authorities allowed the media to go down to the creek, but not Gill. “This was my creek!” she said, laughing. “I made up my mind this was something I wanted to do.” Gill began recording newscasts. She’d also record herself reading articles aloud to mock the mannerisms and cadence of a broadcaster, as well as transform her southern drawl into a neutral-sounding voice. In high school, she was active on the newspaper and yearbook staffs and read the morning announcements. She earned her

Kimberly Gill, a 2011 graduate of AU’s MBA program, has been named lead female anchor for WDIV Channel 4 in Detroit – the No. 1 NBC affiliate in the nation.

undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism from the University of South Carolina, paying her way by driving 18-wheelers for FedEx. She would continue recording herself while on her FedEx route. “It builds character to have to work hard for something,” said Gill, who still has her commercial driver’s license. “I was driving 18-wheelers one week and the next week I was reporting the news in Myrtle Beach, S.C.” Many highlights of Gill’s career have occurred at WDIV. She covered the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where she interviewed Eric Trump, son of President Donald Trump; the massacre at the Pulse, a Florida-based gay nightclub where a gunman murdered 49 people (the weekend of her wedding, no less); | 7



ell educated minds are the future of our world. They will run our businesses, govern our society, care for those in need, educate, and guide future generations. Nothing is

more important than giving those minds the knowledge, skills, and abilities they will need to lead our world. At Ashland University, we educate people for the future and seek to collaborate with our corporate friends to build and strengthen pathways from classrooms to careers. The Corporate Connections Program at Ashland University serves as a relationship manager for corporations and campus-wide partnerships. Working collaboratively with key stakeholders, Corporate Connections aligns Ashland University with industry priorities to Through the Corporate Connections program, Ashland University desires

yield mutually beneficial results. We seek to establish new corporate relationships as well as

to work cooperatively and collaboratively with our corporate friends for a

strengthen those we already have. We connect

brighter future to be enjoyed by all.

with corporations that are local, regional, national and international to help them locate new talent from among our students and ensure the quality of their talent pipeline. By working with corporations that share our values, we collectively generate economic growth in a way that also creates significance. There are five components in the Ashland University Corporate Connections Program. They are Corporate Engagement and Relationship, Corporate Endorsement, Student Success, Corporate Partners, and Corporate Philanthropy. Corporate Engagement and Relationships is the beginning of the relationship building process where we discuss “mission fit,� shared values, and mutual interests. We identify areas in which we can mutually benefit each other. In the early stages of building a mutually beneficial relationship, the Corporate Connections Program asks our corporate friends to sign a Corporate Endorsement statement. These endorsements are displayed on the Corporate Wall of Fame in the Dauch College of Business and Economics along with a brief description of the endorsing corporation. These corporations are also included in correspondence, marketing, and news releases that recognize their organization among those participating in the Corporate Connections Program. In the Student Success component, corporations are asked to consider accepting Ashland University students for internships, mentoring opportunities, and future employment. By participating in the Corporate Connections program, corporations are able to influence and

8 | Ashland University | Winter 2017

Corporate Connections Bendon Publishing International Buehler’s Fresh Foods Chandler Systems Inc. Charles River Laboratories Conery Manufacturing Inc. Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio Hedstrom Plastics The J.M. Smucker Company Kent Watersports Novatex North America Inc. Richland Bank Snyders-Lance Inc. President of Chandler Systems Bill Chandler (right) and his son William Chandler, marketing director, (left), discuss their business operations with President Dr. Carlos Campo.

ensure the quality of their future talent pipeline. At this stage of the relationship, corporate leaders may be asked to mentor a student, assist in curriculum development, serve on advisory committees, and participate in Job Fairs and Career Days at Ashland University. By engaging at this level, corporations can ensure Ashland University students are receiving the highest quality education and are ready to serve their corporate employment needs. Corporations that progress to the fourth stage of the relationship are asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding as a Corporate Partner. In this stage of

Bob Archer (right), CEO of Kent Watersports, signs a Corporate Endorsement Agreement with President Dr. Carlos Campo.

the relationship, Ashland University will offer tuition discounts in the form of scholarships that can be included as a Human Relations benefit for all corporate employees and their dependent family. In exchange, the corporation is asked to publicize and promote Ashland University, as well as these scholarships, to all of their employees. The Corporate Partner scholarships are available for all degrees offered at Ashland University. Only after Ashland University’s Corporate Connections Program has succeeded in creating and developing a mutually beneficial relationship with our Corporate Partners and friends will we ask them to consider corporate philanthropy. At this fifth and final stage of the relationship, corporations are invited to financially invest in our shared values by providing scholarships and endowment that

Andy Vick (right), Charles River Laboratories VP of Safety Assessment Ohio, meets with President Dr. Carlos Campo and provides a tour of the Charles River Labs.

ensure the quality of their future talent acquisition; or they can address specific areas of interest at Ashland University by investing in university programs, studies, and research to fuel their current and future business success. Through the Corporate Connections Program, Ashland University desires to work cooperatively and collaboratively with our corporate friends for a brighter future to be enjoyed by all. Those interested in learning more about the Corporate Connections Program can call Dr. Dan Lawson at 419.207.6745, email or visit the website - Dr. Dan Lawson Associate Vice President of the Corporate Connections Program

President Dr. Carlos Campo meets with Conery Manufacturing’s VP Chris Shafer (left) and General Manager Tim Swaisgood (center) during a recent tour. | 9 7

Board Vice Chair Frederick Broad

Challenges AU Graduates F

rederick Broad, vice chair of the Ashland University Board of Trustees and co-founder of Packaging Specialists LLC in Pittsburgh, Pa., highlighted four

distinct takeaways during his speech to graduates at AU’s winter commencement ceremony held Dec. 17 in Kates Gymnasium. In his address titled, “Reflections of a Cardboard Salesman,” Broad, a 1975 graduate of Ashland and the 2010 recipient of the AU Alumni Association Special Achievement Award, highlighted four areas that he believes are very important in a person’s life. Before he started to speak, he removed

“Take on risk. Characters take on risk, characters change the world. Fight, fight the tendency to be risk-averse.”

– Frederick Broad ’75 Vice Chair, AU Board of Trustees Co-Founder, Packaging Specialists LLC

his cap and gown, put on an AU ball cap and took a seat on a barstool on the gym floor in front of the graduates. He also used a flip chart to illustrate the four “takeaways” from his speech. “Forty-one years ago I sat in one of these seats on a Saturday and I went to work for Packaging Corp. of America the following Monday selling empty, cardboard boxes. In 1982 I co-founded a company,

then bought some companies, sold some companies, divested some companies and sold the whole mess back to Packaging Corp. of America in 2012. So, that’s the last you are going to hear about me because today is truly about the graduates.” Broad went on to explain his four takeaways for the graduates.

10 | Ashland University | Winter 2017


Tell the Truth.

“Genius right. After today, things change. It has been really easy to

graduates because you’re different. You really are special. You fit

tell the truth to your family and friends. But now, there’s going to be

into one of three categories – you’re graduating early, you had a

academic and financial reward. So the dynamic completely, totally

hiccup and you’re a little bit tardy but you stuck with it, or you’re a

changes. Enron, World Com, Fortune 100 companies in the ’90s

non-traditional student just trying to get better. You are different –

built on management teams that didn’t tell the truth, bankrupt now

keep it that way. You know, those of us at Ashland University have a

and many of their officers are in jail. Recently, Wells Fargo - 5,300

tendency to be a little bit risk-averse. Take on risk. Characters take

employees including the chairman of the board lost his job because

on risk, characters change the world. Fight, fight the tendency to be

they didn’t tell the truth. They falsified records and created two


million accounts because of financial incentives. University of North Carolina is currently under investigation as to their student athletes – they falsified academic records and didn’t tell the truth. So as you embark on a new career or continue your career, I am fairly certain there is going to be an opportunity presented to you to exaggerate in the next year. Don’t do it, tell the truth.”


Finish What You Start.

“You have all seen Dwight Schar’s name on a lot of the property, a lot of the buildings here at Ashland. I don’t know how many of you know Dwight’s story – it’s an extraordinary story. One of five children, raised in Jeromesville, Ohio, a single mom, was able to secure a janitor’s job at the A.L. Garber Co. working nights to support putting himself through college. He was married in college, had a baby, and became an educator. Needing to further supplement his income, he started to sell real estate at night and on the weekends. He fell in love

“Think about how you feel today. You started something and today

with the real estate business and the rest of the story is he is now the

you are finishing it. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Mark

chairman emeritus of one of the largest homebuilding companies

Twain – ‘It’s really easy to stop smoking, I have done it a thousand

in the country…Dwight’s a character. He took tremendous risks to

times.’ Ponder and choose your starts carefully. Put yourself in a

provide an enormous amount of opportunity to provide jobs, careers

position to be able to finish – personally and professionally. You

and then turned around and through his philanthropy has truly

wake up on Saturday morning and say I’m going to do 10 loads of

changed the world. Please don’t be risk-averse. It will present an

laundry. Well, particularly if you have to fold those stupid fitted

opportunity for you to change the world.”

sheets, you’re not going to finish 10 loads of laundry. Don’t say to colleagues, we’re going to meet every single Monday at 9 a.m. when you know that your Monday mornings are disruptive, unorganized

Broad concluded his speech, noting that “it takes courage to keep it simple.

and a lot of things come at you that you’re not expecting. Put yourself

“To you, the traditional students, good luck as you are about to

in a position to be able to finish what you start.”

embark on your careers. To the non-traditional students, con-


Do What You Say You Are Going To Do.

gratulations on getting your life back and maybe now you can get caught up in your sleep,” he said. “Relish, please, in your experiences

“Let’s get together and have a beer. Let’s schedule lunch. Oh, we

at Ashland. The longer that you are away from here, the more you will

really do need to put dinner on the calendar. I promise I will give

realize what a wonderful place it is and how well it has prepared you

you a call by next Wednesday. After today’s interview, we are going

for life’s journey. Be supportive, come back often – congratulations.”

to meet on Tuesday and you will be hearing from me on Thursday.

Following the commencement address, the presentation of

We’ve all heard these right – we’ve all heard them. And, there

degrees was handled by President Dr. Carlos Campo and Provost

is nothing as discouraging as disingenuous promises. So, as you

Dr. Eun-Woo Chang. A total of 371 degrees (207 graduate and

continue with your careers or as you embark on your careers, you

164 undergraduate) were awarded in the winter 2016 ceremony,

will discover who the go-to people on your team will be. And those

including 3 doctor of education, 86 master of education, 85 master

will be the people who do what they say they are going to do.”

of business administration, 26 master of arts, 5 master of fine arts,


2 master of science, 18 bachelor of arts, 42 bachelor of science,

Surround Yourself with Characters.

“We have a 27-year-old son, lives in New York City and works in finance, and he makes a living making fun of his father. He said, ‘Dad, you know why you’re delivering the Commencement address in December.’ I said, ‘no.’ He said, ‘Well, you need a Wikipedia page

20 bachelor of science in business administration, 37 bachelor of science in education, and 47 bachelor of science in nursing.

Steve Hannan Director of Public Relations

to be able to do the May commencement.’ So, don’t Google me there’s no Wikipedia page. My response – Give me the December | 11

HOMECOMING Alumni and friends celebrated Homecoming 2016 on October 7. They enjoyed a beautiful sunny day on campus with events such as the 5K 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 $22,276 in support of legacy scholarships, the Ashland Fund and alumni programming. Mark your calendars and join us for Homecoming 2017 on October 14!

G 2016 RECAP



AND OVERALL STRONG ENROLLMENT “We had 740 new freshmen and transfers making this year’s new student class one of the largest classes in recent years,” said W.C. Vance, director of undergraduate enrollment. “In addition, our total enrollment with graduate programs and off-campus centers reached 6,579, which is the third highest total enrollment ever recorded at the university.” AU President Dr. Carlos Campo said, “We are very pleased with the quality and diversity of students who have decided to attend Ashland University this fall. Our admission staff, as well as our faculty and coaches, should be commended for their efforts in recruiting these students.”

Ashland University started the 2016-2017 academic year with one of the largest freshman classes in recent years and one of the largest total enrollments in AU’s 138-year history.


Official numbers show AU’s traditional undergraduate on-campus enrollment for the fall 2016 semester at 2,372 students, compared to 2,297 last year and 2,279 in 2014. AU’s fall 2016 total enrollment, which includes those enrolled in graduate courses and at off-campus centers, was 6,579 students, which was up over the total enrollment of 5,677 in 2015 and 5,737 in 2014. It also is the third highest total enrollment in the institution’s history, ranking only behind the total enrollments in 2003 and 2004.


This fall, Ashland University had the highest freshman-to-sophomore class retention rate on record – with 80 percent of last fall’s AU freshmen returning to continue their work toward becoming the next generation of AU graduates. AU Provost Dr. Eun-Woo Chang attributes this success to the hardworking staff and faculty members within Ashland University. “This is truly a significant achievement for our University, and it shows that we are on the right path toward supporting our students,” said Dr. Chang. “I am so proud of and grateful for every person who works daily to create such a positive learning environment that clearly inspires the personal growth of our students.” The 80 percent rate is the highest recorded retention rate on the AU campus going back as far as data is available in the Integrated PostSecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The rate applies to the first-time, full-time, degree-seeking freshman cohort that started taking classes in the fall of 2015. Ronald Mickler, director of the Center for Academic Support, said he is very pleased to see this high retention rate. “Having achieved an 80 percent retention rate is a significant achievement for Ashland University,” Mickler said. “This benchmark is a clear indicator that the coordination and communication between the faculty, the Center for Academic Support and the Ashland University community as a whole are having a positive impact on the students’ experience.”

14 | Ashland University | Winter 2017



INAUGURATES ITS NINTH PRESIDENT A new chapter opened for Ashland Theological Seminary as the institution inaugurated its ninth president. President Mark Harden received a warm welcome Sept. 30, 2016, at his inaugural ceremony held in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel on the AU campus.

Surrounded by faculty, staff, friends and family, Harden formally accepted the office of president, promising to lead with exceeding reverence of heart and life to the best of his ability, leading the church both locally and globally. Harden received several praises and words of encouragement, including comments from AU President Dr. Carlos Campo, who introduced him. Campo praised Harden for his ability to integrate faith and culture in education, an integral component to both the university and seminary’s education. “It is clear Mark Harden has come to us at a critical juncture in time. He was a Baptist minister while working full time in law enforcement. Just let that hang in the air for a moment,” Campo said. “Does anyone have the right to speak into our current situation and the divisiveness that we have in our culture more than Mark Harden?” He noted that Harden not only preached from the pulpits but lived his ministry in the streets, which gave him the groundwork to create the

nonprofits, StreetWise Inc. and Love Inc., in addition to his extensive theological training. “He brings all of that training but beyond that, he brings the heart of God. I’ve seen it in him. He is a man of prayer. He will come to us and challenge us in prayer,” Campo said. Before giving his inaugural address, Harden thanked the many friends, leaders and family members who led him to this point and who traveled to be at the ceremony to support him. “The critical question I ponder is how do we overcome the critical challenges in theological education and become a thriving seminary minister?” he said, sharing what he believed to be the most critical factor in theological education. Harden emphasized the need to shape theological education to meet the needs of current and future students, noting today’s students aren’t just white males looking to get pastoral degrees but many are females and people of color who are looking for practical ways to engage the culture. “And I believe that God is calling everybody involved in theological education to be a new type of leader for the crowd,” he said. He ended his address with three points: educators need to have compelling content, they need to meet the students’ needs and they need to demonstrate a theological statement.


ONE-YEAR INTERNATIONAL MBA PROGRAM AU has established a 1 Year International Master of Business Administration program that includes two international study tours and can be completed on Saturdays over a one-year period.

“We are very excited to offer this one-year program for those who want to earn their MBA quickly and travel the world through a program that features two international study tours and an allinclusive tuition,” said Dr. Elad Granot, dean of AU’s Dauch College of Business and Economics. The program began with its first cohort on Jan. 14, 2017, and classes will be held at the Ashland University Columbus Center located at 1900 E. Dublin-Granville Road. A second cohort will start in the fall of 2017. “We realize that life has many commitments, with full-time employment being one of the biggest. We understand, so we created a flexible program with classes taught one day a week on Saturdays that will allow students to earn an MBA in one year,” Granot said. “Students will learn the concepts on Saturday, and apply them to the real world on Monday.” Granot said earning an MBA has many benefits and MBA graduates experience an increase in job opportunities, salary and overall career earning potential. Those wanting more information about the program can visit The Ashland MBA 1 Year International Program website at: | 15

CAMPUSNEWS Those wanting more information about the Science Scholars Program or wanting to start the application process can visit the program website at or contact Dr. Perry Corbin at 419.289.5269/pcorbin@ashland. edu or the AU admissions office at 419.289.5052/ enrollme@ $25,000 Grant to Establish Life Calling Courses Ashland University has created a series of three Life Calling courses with the NetVUE Expansion Renewal grant that was awarded to AU in July by the Council of Independent Colleges.

AU RECEIVES GRANTS $650,000 National Science Foundation Grant for Scholarships The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Ashland University a $650,000 grant as part of a five-year STEM scholarship program that will provide scholarships and academic support for academically talented science students with financial need. The NSF grant, which begins Jan. 15 and runs through Dec. 31, 2021, provides funds for a “Science Scholars Program” that will allow AU to provide renewable scholarships to outstanding incoming students with financial need who want to major in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, environmental science, geology, physics or toxicology. “In addition to the scholarships, the program provides support to help these scholars be successful science majors through enhanced career preparation programming; a tiered system of mentoring that includes faculty, peer and alumni mentors; and the creation of a learning community of scholars that will feature success seminars, workshops and lectures,” said AU Provost Dr. Eun-Woo Chang. The principal investigator on the grant project is Dr. Perry Corbin, professor of chemistry at AU, while co-principal investigators include Dr. Patricia Saunders, associate professor of biology; Dr. Paul Hyman, associate professor of biology; Dr. Christopher Chartier, assistant professor of psychology; and Dr. Dawn Weber, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Rodney Michael, associate professor of physics, and Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer, trustee’s distinguished professor of chemistry, also will serve as senior personnel on the project. Corbin said the program is designed to provide renewable scholarships ranging from $4,000 to $10,000 annually. “Incoming first-year students who have been accepted to AU, are declaring a major in the natural sciences and plan to pursue a career in science are encouraged to apply to join the first Science Scholars Program cohort in fall of 2017,” Corbin said.

16 | Ashland University | Winter 2017

“This $25,000 grant has allowed us to design a series of Life Calling courses that are offered under a special topics status in 2016-17,” said Karen Hagans, executive director of AU’s Career Services Center and project lead for the Calling to Career project. “Ashland University is committed to the development and expansion of life calling for all students and this grant provides the structure we need to propel the momentum of our life calling initiative forward.” According to Hagans, the Life Calling courses are designed to: 1) offer life calling immersion experiences to aid in moving vocational discernment beyond the traditional classroom experience, and 2) enhance the ability of faculty and staff to support students with vocational discernment through the use of speakers and roundtable discussions. The courses are team taught by Hagans; Kayla Smith, career specialist in the Career Services Center; Dr. Khush Pittenger, professor of business management and internship coordinator for the Dauch College of Business and Economics; and Dr. Dan Fox, associate professor and academic chair in the Dauch College of Business and Economics. The Life Calling 1 class, which began in October of 2016, has enrollees identified by AU’s professional advisers as students who are seeking additional opportunities to explore their life calling. Hagans said half of the students taking this class will be students who are undecided about their major and the other half will be students who have dropped a class and are beginning to explore new career-related options this semester. The other two classes, Life Calling 2 and Life Calling 3, are semester long classes that began in the spring 2017 semester. The Life Calling 2 course is taught by Hagans and Pittenger and, according to Hagans, it focuses on experiential education and helping students delve deeper into their career field through experiential experiences. “It’s really about getting them in direct contact with what they hope to do in the future,” she said. The Life Calling 3 class is designed to better prepare students for life after graduation.



The Department of Education announced in 2016 that 67 colleges and universities, including Ashland University, have been selected to participate in the new Second Chance Pell pilot program, an experiment announced in July 2015 to test whether participation in high quality education programs increases after expanding access to financial aid for incarcerated individuals. The pilot program will allow eligible incarcerated Americans to receive Pell Grants and pursue post-secondary education with the goal of helping them get jobs and support their families when they are released. The announcement built on the Obama Administration’s commitment to create a fairer and more effective criminal justice system, reduce recidivism, and combat the impact of mass incarceration on families and communities through educational opportunity. Ashland University will serve one of the largest student populations in this Pell pilot program, working with 1,040 students in Ohio,

Louisiana and West Virginia. AU’s program utilizes secure, corrections-grade Android tablets to deliver an Associate of Arts degree program to students. Ashland University, which offers the longest operating postsecondary correctional program in the nation, first established a correctional program at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, in 1964. “Ashland University believes strongly in its mission to support incarcerated persons’ academic ambitions and works diligently to prepare and assist them in making a successful reentry following their release,” said AU President Dr. Carlos Campo. “Since its founding in 1964, the program has stayed true to its original vision of an intellectual exchange that enriches lives both inside and outside correctional boundaries and affirms the transformative power of education. We believe this program will have a salutary impact on communities across the nation, and we are proud to participate.”


 CONVERSA LANGUAGE INSTITUTE IN COSTA RICA Ashland University has signed an agreement with the Conversa Language Institute in Costa Rica to provide AU Spanish language courses for credit at the Conversa Language Institute, a residential program in Santa Ana, Costa Rica, as well as other online courses taught through Conversa Conmigo. “Ashland University and the Conversa Language Institute have a long standing relationship and this is the next natural step toward allowing students from all over the world to complete AU coursework in Spanish online or residentially through the Conversa Language Institute in Santa Ana,” said Dr. Dawn Weber, dean of the AU College of Arts and Sciences



Ashland University’s Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences has received the initial national accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www. for its Doctor of Nursing

Practice (DNP) programs. Both the Master of Science to DNP Program and the Bachelor of Science to DNP Program received a five-year initial accreditation, the maximal length awarded to new programs.



Three of Ashland University’s online programs were recognized with high rankings in the prestigious U.S. News and World Report lists for Best Online Programs for 2017. AU’s Online Bachelor’s Program was rated as the second best online program in Ohio and the 89th ranked program nationally among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, while AU’s Master of Business Administration Online Program was ranked as the fifth best online program in Ohio and the 111th nationally among the Best Online MBA Programs. Also, AU’s Education Online Program was ranked 123rd among the Best Online Education Programs | 17


Deborah Liebert Karl ’72 and AU President Dr. Carlos Campo prepare to cut the ribbon on the newly renovated and expanded Deborah Liebert Karl Tennis Complex during a dedication ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 11.

KARL TENNIS COMPLEX DEDICATED The newly renovated and expanded Deborah Liebert Karl Tennis Complex was dedicated in a ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, prior to Ashland University’s women’s tennis Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match that afternoon. During the dedication, Karl, a 1972 alumna who gifted $250,000 to the renovation project, said while she never played tennis, she wanted to do something for the betterment of the university. The need to upgrade the tennis facility was brought to her attention, setting the wheels in motion. “The renovations made to our tennis complex are exceptional,” said AU Director of Athletics Al King. “We’ve been able to upgrade the facilities in a variety of ways. We’ve resurfaced the courts, added a sixth court and bleachers and added and upgraded our signage. These changes will enhance the experience of the student-athletes and our fans. “We believe this gives us a top-notch facility. It expands what we can do – we can practice better, run better matches thanks to the

sixth court and the other amenities we’ve added, and it gives us the possibility to do more with our camp offerings.” Work on the facility began in May shortly after graduation and continued through July. According to Rick Ewing, AU vice president for facilities management and planning, the final touches were landscaping, sidewalks, bleachers and assorted amenities. “It’s really been a complete transformation of what was a good facility into an outstanding facility,” Ewing said. “It is something our campus and tennis team can really be proud of.” Ashland’s women’s tennis team played its first match at the new-look complex on Saturday, Sept. 10, losing to Hillsdale in its season opener. King noted, “Finally, this is a facility that the community can use. This renovation bolsters tennis not just on campus, but in the city of Ashland and the surrounding area.”

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL UPDATE As of Feb. 1, Ashland University’s women’s basketball team was 22-0 overall, 14-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the No. 1-ranked team in NCAA Division II. The Eagles had been atop the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NCAA Division II Top 25 Coaches’ Poll five consecutive times, and been ranked in 26 straight polls overall, through Jan. 17. For updates on all 20 Ashland athletics teams, go to

18 | Ashland University | Winter 2017



 A TIME OF WINNING AND RENEWAL The fall of 2016 saw more success for AU’s athletic department. Ashland’s volleyball team made its return to the NCAA Division II postseason, a few other programs were on the cusp, an Eagle cross country runner returned to national prominence, three student-athletes earned Academic All-American honors and the men’s soccer team returned to the field. VOLLEYBALL – The Eagle volleyball team finished the regular season winning 11 of its last 12 matches to make both the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and NCAA tournaments. Ashland finished 2016 at 23-11, including a spotless 11-0 record at Kates Gymnasium. Senior right-side hitter Alli Cudworth earned first-team College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America honors, and both she and senior outside hitter Casey Clark became the second and third players in program history to reach the coveted 1,000-1,000 club (career kills and digs). CROSS COUNTRY – Senior Nick Hall returned to the course after a redshirt year and earned his second All-America honor, placing 16th at the Division II national meet in November in St. Leo, Fla. Hall became the first AU cross country runner to become a multiple-time All-American since Ashland Hall of Famer Nick Cordes (1999-2000, 2002). Hall also placed second at the Midwest Regional meet earlier in November in Evansville, Ind., where the Eagle men were 10th as a team and the AU women finished 24th. At the GLIAC Championships at Ferris State in October, Hall was sixth individually, while Ashland’s teams took fifth (men) and 10th (women), respectively. FOOTBALL – Ashland finished 9-2 overall and 7-2 in the GLIAC, winning the conference’s South Division championship. Despite ending the regular season 16th in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) NCAA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 poll, the Eagles were the only team in that poll to not be selected for the national playoffs. Junior tight end Adam Shaheen set school and D-II tight end records for single-season touchdown catches with 16, and, among other honors, was named firstteam Academic All-American, AFCA and NCAA Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association (D2CCA) first-team All-America, and was the first tight end in GLIAC history to be named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week (Oct. 10). WOMEN’S SOCCER – The Eagles (10-3-4, 7-2-2) were on the verge of a return to the NCAA postseason, while also playing in the GLIAC Tournament for the fourth consecutive season. Ashland allowed just 16 goals in 17 games, and shut out nine

opponents. Following the 2016 campaign, senior defender Jessica Brown earned second-team Academic All-America honors, while head coach Danny Krispinsky earned GLIAC Coach of the Year honors. MEN’S SOCCER – Ashland men’s soccer made its return to the field in dramatic fashion on Sept. 3, winning 2-1 in double overtime at Daemen. The Eagles finished 6-11-1, 4-11-1, and started and ended the season with two-game winning streaks. AU’s final game of the season, at home against eventual NCAA Tournament team and GLIAC Tournament-champion Tiffin, was a 5-4 double-overtime victory in which the Eagles trailed 4-1 in the 72nd minute. Senior goalkeeper Nick Ciraldo earned All-GLIAC honorable mention after playing every single minute of the season in the Eagle nets. MEN’S GOLF – The rising Eagle men played five tournaments in the fall, finishing at least third three times – second, third and a tie for third. Sophomore Austin Kondratick led Ashland in all five tourneys, placing in the top 14 individually in each and sporting an average round of 73.18. WOMEN’S GOLF – Ashland’s women, featuring a lineup of one senior, three sophomores and a freshman, also played five fall tournaments. Senior Kaitlin Neumann fired a hole-in-one at Trevecca Nazarene in the fall-ending tournament, and had an average round of 77.30. WOMEN’S TENNIS – The Eagles began the Lexi Bolesky era in the fall, and did so playing home matches at the newlyrenovated and expanded Deborah Liebert Karl Tennis Complex. Ashland finished the championship part of 2016-17 at 0-11, 0-11, and freshman Brianna Brdicka earned All-GLIAC honorable mention.


notes 1950


Garnet Topper’s (Miller ’50) interview of Erma Bombeck, the well-known humorist, author and columnist from the ’80s, has been put in the Erma Bombeck Museum at the University of Dayton, Bombeck’s alma mater.

Al Osler ’67 recently retired after serving 49 years in public education, 35 as a school superintendent including 27 years at Tuslaw Local Schools in Stark County, Ohio.

1952 LaDonna O’Neal’s (Lernhart ’52) husband, F. William O’Neal, passed away in 2012. LaDonna also became a great great grandmother in 2016.

1954 Michael Alan DelBene ’54, ’97G retired from Girard City Schools after 36 years as a junior high math teacher. Michael also was elected to the Girard High School Hall of Fame in 2013.

1955 Carl Haessler ’55 says at 88 years young, he still has many good memories of Ashland.

1957 Viola Bartolf (Betz ’57) lives with her husband of 59 years at the Apostolic Rest Home on Logan Road near her three sisters and one brother. She thanks the Lord for her family’s good health - her hobby of sewing has slowed. James Fiscus ’57 is still the assistant high school baseball coach at age 82, “bad knees and all.”


Barbara Ruth (Richey ’72) retired after 38 years of teaching. She now takes M.S. students to D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Chicago in order to earn extra money to visit her children and grandchildren in Montana.

Diane Downs (Gause ’69N) has six grandchildren and one great-grandson. Her son, Jeffrey, retired from the Navy after 22 years.

David Morfenski ’72 sends “Best Wishes and a Happy New Year to all, class members of 1972.”

Bonnie Gibson (Koch ’69) is enjoying her retirement

Harold “Bud” Boughton ’73 has released his third book, “Coaching is Teaching at its Best!” The book brings to life a coaching philosophy that was shared with him over 40 years ago, as well as 10 tips that can help any youth sports coach be a better teaching coach. His book is available at and

with husband, Ralph Gibson ’71, along with their three children and eight grandchildren.

1970 Howard Herrick’s ’70 son, Lukas, who resides near Stuttgart Germany, visited for two weeks this summer with his wife, Anja, and their 10-month-old son, Josa Emilia.

1972 Rudy J. Vazmina ’72 was appointed chair of the Sarasota County, Fla., Bar Association’s Diversity Committee, advocating inclusion in the bar’s membership. Barbara Harris (Lipari ’72) is enjoying retirement after a 40-year career in social work. She is spending time with her four successful children and grandchildren.


1975 Michael Anderson ’75 is a retired supervisory special agent with the FBI for 28 years; currently a contractor with the U.S. Department of Energy. Jeffrey ’75 and Cynthia Mack have 3 beautiful granddaughters - Hutton Lucy, Hathaway Bea and Olivia.

1976 Anne Porter ’76 celebrates 40 years of teaching physical education.

1959 Paul ’59 & Janice Srnis (Wolford ’59) celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary on Aug. 10, 2016. Both Paul and Janice were teachers. Janice taught at Firelands Elementary and Paul retired from Amherst High School as athletic director. Millard ’59 and Elizabeth Mackall (Loewer ’60) celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on June 17, 2016. They have lived in six states during those years.

1962 Richard J. Miller ’62 retired from Canton City Schools as COE/OWE coordinator after 33 years. He is a member of the Gyro Club International. Stan Cass ’62 is the local representative for the Forte Student Exchange Organization. He places foreign high school students in local schools.

1964 Richard ’64 and Joyce Hyde celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary in 2016.

1965 William Glass ’65 has been fully retired since Jan. 1, 2016.

20 | Ashland University | Winter 2017

A number of 1968 Ashland College graduates – Susan (Koon) Rhodes, Sue (Hamilton) Gelman, Janice (Fields) Hearst, Carol (Stearns) Blocksidge, Vilma (Turcsanyi) McMonigle, Joan (Woodworth) Heath and Diane (Turcsanyi) Bowman – met in Leesburg, Fla., for a week of 70th birthday celebrations. Over the following week they went on an adventurous pontoon ride, explored museums and restaurants, and rekindled old memories while building new ones.



Barbara Stacho (Huss ’78) retired in June 2016 after 37 years of being a teacher and guidance counselor in Bradenton, Fla.

John Krupp ’85 is “retired and loving it!” He moved to Michigan in September 2016 and is still involved in seminars and limited tax work.

Daniel Desjardins ’78 says, “It’s still Ashland College to me!”

Michael McGuigan ’85 is president of McGuigan Restaurant Concepts.

Cheree Johnston (Lorentz ’78) and her husband, Larry, have been married since 2007. They have six children: Ian, 26; Shane, 24; Seth, 21; and Evan, Greer and Tristen, their 7-year-old triplets who are in first grade. They are also proud grandparents to Camden, 4; and Elaina, 1 month.

1979 Scott Graham ’79 has been married to his wife, Karen (R.N), for 35 years. They have two children, Kaitlin, 31, an R.N. in San Diego, Calif., and Brady, 29, who works at Panera Bread in St. Louis, Mo., in the IT department.

1980 Tom ’80 and Leslie Marcelain (Swain ’81, ’06) celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary over the summer of 2016. Tom is a common pleas court judge in Newark, Ohio, and Leslie is a speech and language pathologist with North Fork Local Schools in Utica, Ohio. They are the parents of Sydney ’09, Daniel and Grant. They plan to celebrate with a trip to the beach over spring break.

1982 Sharon Ballin ’82, owner of Goodwill Collectibles, shares “Goodwill Collectibles loves Ashland University!” Gary Dougherty ’82 directs the ADA’s State Government Affairs and Advocacy efforts in 10 states (IN, IA, KY, MI, MN, OH, TN, VA, WV, WI). Joyce Rain ’82 retired from county government after 31 years on Jan. 1, 2016.

1987 Sara Palmer ’87 is starting her 30th year of teaching in the fall of 2016. She and her husband, Larry, celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary on July 12, 2016.

1990 Steven Ruggiero ’90 started a new position at 5/3 Bank in 2016 and celebrates two years of marriage with his wife, Jennifer.

1991 Angie Adrean ’91 was recently named OASSA Ohio 2016 Principal of the Year. Aretta Baumgartner (Casebolt ’91) has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Puppeteers of America Inc., a national non-profit organization. Becky Robinson (Watson ’91) just bought a new home in May. She also joined the Chamber of Commerce to market AMEN! and received a promotion from the HISC owner to go to work at her new facility on Nov. 22, 2016.

1993 Eric Bargerhuff ’93 is set to release his third book in the spring of 2017, titled “The Most Misused Stories in the Bible” by Bethany House Publishers.


Dr. Karen Hentschel Asher ’82 has been featured in an article regarding her service as a medical missionary in Sierra Leone, where she and her physician-husband, Dr. Tom Asher, operate WAEMM, the West African Education and Medical Mission, which includes a hospital, clinic and a school. The article can be found at

Greta Rothman ’94 is the director of development for Eliza Jennings Healthcare Network, a non-profit healthcare network in Cleveland. Eliza Jennings is the first aging services organization in the U.S. to offer SAIDO Learning, a non-pharmacological treatment that is a proven method for drastically impacting the quality of life for older adults living with dementia and improving the symptoms of dementia in older adults with cognitive impairment.


Brenda Keller (Allen ’95) and her husband, Tom, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on July 31, 2016. Brenda is employed with St. Rita’s Professional Services in Lima, Ohio, and is a certified nurse practitioner at Family Medicine Associates. The couple resides in Lima, Ohio.

Jeff Knight ’83 has been hired as Clark County work study coordinator.

1984 Ron Bajorek ’84 says “Free Ron Bajorek!”


Perfect Venue to Tie the Knot Whether you’re looking for something small and intimate or elegant and limitless, your perfect venue for a wedding rests on the historic Ashland University campus. Ashland University proudly provides a national award-winning catering department and one of the true allinclusive venues in the Northeast Ohio area. Each facility is equipped to meet all of your needs for venue space, which includes service equipment, tables and chairs, food and beverage, and high-quality audio/visual technology. To go above and beyond, service staff including event set-up, professionally trained chefs and on-site coordinator are provided to ensure your day is seamless. Nestled within the grounds, the Jack & Deb Miller Chapel, on-site accommodations plus two reception venues - Redwood Hall with grandiose windows and the 20,000-square-foot John C. Myers Convocation Center provide a space for weddings of all sizes. Rustic, chic and modern, each venue transforms to the taste of the couple. “We love working with alumni who chose Ashland University as home and are now planning their day to share a piece of that with their family and friends,” said Carrie Gough, catering service manager. “Our venues are perfect for those who have a number of out-of-town guests or for couples who are not local themselves. We have a variety of amenities and packages to cut out the vendor searching and make the planning process stress-free.” For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 419.289-5249, email, or please visit | 27



Cyndi Long ’95 shares on Aug. 1, 2016, that childcare became an Ohio Healthy Program.

1996 Hallie Maddock (Beckley ’96) recently took a position as an event proposal coordinator at Walt Disney World.

1997 Kimberly Smathers ’97 recently completed coursework for her transition to work endorsement and is the transition coordinator for Townsend Community School. Shawn Phelps ’97 is recruiting new advisers to join his Central Ohio Northwestern Mutual team - give him a call.

1998 Linda Easterday (Wolfe ’98G) retired after 35 years in education and credits Ashland University for her successful career. Brian Rentsch ’98G accepted the position of superintendent for Frontier Local Schools.

1999 Jade Fishburn ’99 is a drug and alcohol treatment counselor at Oriana House in Akron, Ohio.

2000 Marsha Danhoff (Lang ’00) works in an administrative role for Mercy Health Willard, Tiffin, and Defiance Hospitals. She credits her education at Ashland University for her successful career. Joan Phelps ’00G is self employed as a ghost writer for speeches, line editing, book marketing and tiny arts.

2002 Amanda Hevener ’02 received a Master of Arts in History from the University of Akron in August 2016. Casie Hollis (Leach ’02) is now compliance counsel at GE Aviation. Karen Roddie ’02 recently selfpublished a book titled “Chicago in 77.” The book entails travels for work, fun and daily life through Chicago’s community areas. Each story highlights a visit to one of the 77 community areas in the city, from a historic south side community tour, to an annual north side German festival, to elementary school visits on the west side. The book is available on Amazon and the CreateSpace online store.

22 | Ashland University | Winter 2017

Joseph French ’02G was recently named CEO of Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health. He also recently received the National Association of Social Workers Ohio Region 8 - Public Citizen of the Year award. Jim Jones ’02G was recently named the Commissioner for Athletics in the Central Catholic League in Columbus, Ohio.

2004 Alison Angelo ’04 was awarded Catering Sales Manager of the Year 2015 for Four Seasons America Hotels. Amelia Lutkus-Phillips ’04 will be having the first book of her epic fantasy series, “The Rite of Wands,” published by BHC Press, in early 2017, under the pen name Mackenzie Flohr. It will be available in both soft cover and eBook. For more information, please visit

2005 Dr. Joan Horn Frey ’05, an Ed.D. Educational Leadership graduate, was promoted to Interim Academic President at Galen College of Nursing in Louisville, Ky. Teresa Webb ’05N is a graduate nurse student mentor and nursing faculty member at Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah.

2007 Jennifer Bickley (Ellett ’07) received her master’s degree as an Intervention Specialist both Moderate and Intensive in August 2016. Ashley Brillhart ’07 serves as recreation supervisor of Wooster and oversees city sport programs and parks. She recently made noticeable effort in the Wooster community by installing a new playground at Christmas Run Park. Lindsay Motil (Foley ’07) began her ninth year teaching recently accepting a first grade position in Barberton City Schools. Cynthia Miller ’07G and her business partner, Melanie Osborn, formed Summit Integrated Marketing Communications, to better serve B-B customers through lean marketing principles.

2012 Kristen Loop ’12 was voted teacher of the year for the 2015-2016 school year at Brook Park Memorial Elementary School at Berea City Schools.

Jessica Plasity ’12 earned her M.Ed. from Ashland University in August 2015.

2014 Pamela Hunt ’14G has completed her 27th year of teaching elementary music. This past summer she won second place in the Mountain Dulcimer at the Morehead (Ky) Old Time Music Festival.

WEDDINGS 1964 Judy Swaisgood (Smetzer ’64, ’93) and her husband, Dan, were married at Trinity United Methodist.

1977 Charlene Skupinski’s ’77 oldest son, Jeff, married Tara Parekh, on July 9, 2016, in Alexandria, Va., followed by a honeymoon in Iceland and Spain.

1987 Carol (Bungart Pasheilich ’87) married Michael Hawkins. They currently live on a boat in New Born, N.C., and are enjoying retirement.

1988 Christina Sweeney (Lambert ’88) and her husband, Frank, were married on July 3, 2016. They celebrated with a honeymoon in Greece.

1989 Diana Carr Napier (Hudson ’89) and her husband, Kenneth Lee, were married on Sept. 19, 2015.

2001 Bethany Daley (Rhoades ’01) and her husband, Timothy, were married on March 1, 2016.

2004 Aaron O’Reilly ’04 married Maggie Ann Rittinger on June 25, 2016.

2005 Lisa Luchey ’05G married James Kutchel in July 2010.

2007 David White ’07 married his wife, Jennifer, on Dec. 3, 2016, in Kansas City, Mo.

2008 Brad Buckingham ’08 and Liz Johnson were married on April 9, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C.

FUTURE EAGLES 1962 Jack Messner ’62 welcomes his two great-grand daughters born to alumni Jillian Messner Kitts ’13 in March, and Jessica Messner Coffman ’09 in August 2016.

2010 Lisa Williamson (Roth ’10) and her husband, Christopher, married on August 18, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn.

1966 Beverly Trautwein (St. John ’66) is the proud grandmother of two granddaughters, Ava Rose Bertaki and Sailor St. John Trautwein.

1970 Lloyd Roberts ’70 welcomed his first granddaughter, Harper August Hall, on July 20, 2016.

2012 Helena Marshall ’12 and Andy May ’11 were married on Dec. 23, 2016, in Ashland, Ohio. Other graduates in the bridal party included: Mariah Marshall ’14, Sarah Hutson ’12, Christina Tenney ’12, Emily May ’14, Tyler Bailey ’13 and Chewy Vogele ’11, as well as the parents of the bride, Peter ’87 and Michelle (Whipple ’87) Marshall. Bryan ’12 and Kaelee McCausland (Hendershott ’12) were married on June 17, 2016, in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla. They met their freshmen year at Ashland University in 2009. They honeymooned in Sand Key, Fla., and they reside in Wooster, Ohio. Kaelee is a first grade teacher with the Wooster City School District and Bryan is a youth care specialist with The Village Network.

1974 Tom Edgerton ’74 celebrated the birth of his first grandchild, Elliott Andrew Zeglis, on Feb. 2, 2016. Elliott is son to Tom’s daughter, Emily, and son-in-law, Brian, who live in New York City, N.Y. Kyle ’74 and Charlotte Creasy welcomed their granddaughter, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Creasy, born on Sept. 30, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn., to parents, Kyle and Melissa Creasy, and big brother Kolten.

1999 Anna (Rankin ’99) and George Hlavacs welcomed their fourth child, James, on March 14, 2016. James joins his big brothers George, John and Jude.

TO SUBMIT AN ITEM FOR CLASS NOTES Visit or email Please include your name (maiden name), class year and announcement. Photos are also welcome.

2002 Amanda McDonald ’02 welcomed her son, Benjamin Tony McDonald, on June 10, 2016, with her wife, Donna McChesney.

McKenna ’13 were married on July 30, 2016, accompanied by some fellow Ashland University alumni.


Johnathon ’15 and Jackie Case (Horn ’15) were married at AU’s Miller Chapel on May 29, 2016.

to receive your birthday bookstore coupon, and more! Update your records at

Julia Tiedman ’13 and Ryan

Brittany McClish ’14 married Kyle Rhodes on July 23, 2016, at Kingwood Center Gardens.

Do we have your email address? Keep in touch with your Alumni Association the eWhispers newsletter, social invitations


Robert McRae ’13 and wife, Bethany, were married on Sept. 19, 2015, and celebrated the birth of their son, Brock Allen McRae, on, June 11, 2016.


Dustin ’04 and Lori Ness (Stutz ’05) welcomed their daughter, Evelyn Jane Ness, on March 21, 2016. She joins big sister, Elli, 5, and big brother Henry, 2.

2005 April Somerville (DeLallo ’05) welcomed her second child, Roselyn Louise Somerville, on Feb. 10, 2015.

2006 Jennifer Speicher ’06 had a baby boy, Evin James, born Jan. 9, 2016.

WANT TO RECEIVE THE ACCENT MAGAZINE IN YOUR INBOX INSTEAD OF YOUR MAILBOX? Email with your first name, last name and maiden name (if applicable) along with your class year and you will have all future magazines emailed to you instead of mailed, helping the University save on printing and postage costs!


notes Amie (Rice ’06) and Jonathon Hobson welcomed Margot Rose Hobson into the world on June 23, 2016. Big sister Saige is very proud. Karis (Rice ’06) and David Thiel ’08, ’11 welcomed their son, Lincoln Charles Thiel, on Nov. 25, 2015.

2009 Heidi Truxall (Sefl ’09) and her husband Josh, celebrated the birth of their daughter, Amelia Ruth Truxall, on July 25, 2016.

2012 Aaron ’12G and Carly Stiger (Hylton ’11) welcomed a baby boy, Jacob, on Oct. 24, 2016. Cody ’12 and Lydia Smith (Felker ’15) welcomed their son, Deacon James Smith, on Sept. 22, 2016.

Maria (Costanzo ’06) and John Young welcomed the birth of their second child, John A. Young V, on Feb. 18, 2016.

Danielle Cardenas (Baker ’06) and her husband, Victor, and big brother Hadrian, happily welcomed Iona Mae into their family on May 8, 2016.

2007 Jessica (Groth ’07) and Matthew Wood welcomed their daughter, Madison Rose Wood, on Nov. 9, 2016. Jesse Allison ’07 and wife Nicole welcomed their son, Declan Jay Allison, on June 2, 2016. Angela Spade (Widmer ’07) and her husband Scott, welcomed their son Keegan Matthew Spade, on Aug. 16, 2016. Kristen Duncan (Loughman ’07) and her husband Matt, welcomed their son, Jacob Kern Duncan, on Sept. 13, 2016.

Laura Laverick (Shuster ’07) and her husband Brandt, would like to announce the birth of their daughter, Sadie Joy, born on April 20, 2016.

2008 Cody ’08 and Jenn Castle (Alderson ’08) celebrated the birth of their son, Carter Ryan Castle, on Sept. 5, 2015. They also celebrated their five-year wedding anniversary.

24 | Ashland University | Winter 2017

2013 Jillian Kitts (Messner ’13) announces the birth of her daughter, Elliott Jacqueline Kitts, on March 7, 2016. She weighed 7lbs. 6oz. and was 20 inches long.

IN MEMORIAM Delbert Packard, Retired Staff Nov. 12, 2016 Wilma Shafer Smith, Retired Staff Oct. 5, 2016 Irene Johnson (Harris ’35) Oct. 16, 2016 Lovina Resick (Senseman ’41) Oct. 11, 2016 Betty J. Plank (Hood ’45), passed away on June 14, 2016. Betty was a local historian in the community and published a series in the local paper about Ashland history for many years. Anne Louise Miller (Gates ’45) passed away on Aug. 13, 2016. Anne was valedictorian of her 1945 class. After a brief teaching career, she married in 1948 and raised four children. She went back to school in 1968 and earned a Masters in Library Science, and worked in libraries in New York City, upstate New York and Vermont. Elizabeth Rose (Yeagle ’46) Nov. 2, 2016 Retha Bechtelheimer (Bollinger ’47) Feb. 11, 2011 Harlon K. Jennings ’47 Aug. 2, 2016 Robert T. Hubbard ’49 Nov. 1, 2015 James O. Gossett ’50 Nov. 23, 2016

Mary Alice Sawtelle (Chesrown ’52) Nov. 12, 2016 Bernice Elias (Rodabaugh ’56) June 12, 2016 John A. Markworth ’62 Sept. 22, 2016 Roberta Shoup (Hoye ’65) Sept. 10, 2016 Louise J. Conway ’65 Sept. 26, 2016 Asyneth “Biddy” Ward (Conway ’66) Oct. 28, 2016 Ronald N. Lucas ’66 Sept. 26, 2006 Joseph W. Myers ’67 Nov. 23, 2016 Margaret Ann Kaderly (Gray ’67) May 16, 2016 Elizabeth Hoffman (Copeland ’68) Jan. 30, 2015 Marilou Whitmore (Benes ’68) June 5, 2012 Dianne J. Oliver (Berger ’68) Sept. 19, 2015 Howard J. Whitmore ’69 Jan. 5, 2016 Thomas A Ferry ’70 July of 2016. John E. Whitehead ’71 March 15, 2016 William D. Deaton ’72 Jan. 14, 2016 John D. Burson ’74 Dec. 3, 2015 Nancy Stypula (Klenk ’74) Dec. 7, 2008 Linda (Jacobs) Knowlton ’79 Dec. 6, 2016 Virginia “Ginny” (Watkins) Noon ’80 Sept. 9, 2016 Charles A. Lawson ’82 Nov. 3, 2013 Scott A. Zody ’88 April 27, 2016 Sharon Ginley (Cloyd ’97) April 22, 2016

IN MEMORIAM DR. MICHAEL R. HUDSON 1954-2016 Dr. Michael R. Hudson, 62, of Ashland, passed away Nov. 22, 2016, in University Hospitals, Samaritan Medical Center following a brief illness. He was born Jan. 14, 1954, in Watertown, N.Y., to Ross C. and Agnes (nee Bilow) Hudson. He grew up in Gouverneur, N.Y., where he graduated from high school before attending St. Lawrence University. While there, he discovered his life’s passion, the study of of geology and chemistry and went on to earn a B.S. in Geology. He continued study at Indiana University receiving a M.A. in Geology and at Miami University (Ohio) completing a Geology. Dr. Hudson, associate professor of geology, began teaching at Ashland University in 1982 where he taught earth science courses including mineralogy, geochemistry, metamorphic petrology, and natural disasters. Beloved by his students, Dr. Hudson, or “Doc,” served as the adviser to the Geology Club and director of the annual

Mohican District Science Fair, and was the recipient of three Mentor Awards, a program that recognizes faculty or staff whose academic leadership with regard to students extends beyond the classroom. He was active with his students in geochemical research on rocks from both northern New York and north central Ohio. He also served several terms as Faculty Senate president, and was very active on various campus committees. He was a member of the Geological Society of America. He proudly served in the United States Army where earned the rank of captain. On Aug. 14, 1988, he married the former Teresa “Terri” Cooper in Ashland, who serves as director of the AU Bookstore. Michael was a devoted member of the First Presbyterian Church where he served as a deacon, elder and most currently on the board of trustees. Michael loved to sing and participated for many years in the church choir. A memorial service celebrating Michael’s life was held Dec. 3, 2016, in the First Presbyterian Church in Ashland.

DR. JOHN D. STRATTON 1944-2016 John David Stratton, 72, died at his Ashland home on Aug. 28, 2016, with his wife Dorothy and his daughters beside him. On the evening of Aug. 27, they celebrated John and Dorothy’s 50th wedding anniversary just a few days early. Sharing the memories brought a smile to John’s face and even prompted a joke or two. Friends and colleagues knew John as a man of integrity who lived his beliefs, often working quietly behind the scenes for the causes and organizations that were important to him. With a strong vision of pulling people together to resolve conflict and inequality without violence, he founded and served as the first executive director of the Ashland Center for Nonviolence. At his death, he was treasurer of the Ashland County Oral Health Services (9th Street Dental Center), which he also helped to establish. He also served on the board of directors of Directions Credit Union. While he won many awards for his work, he accepted them with humility, usually giving the credit to someone else.

John was born in Southern California on April 9, 1944. He graduated from California Western University with a B.A. degree in 1966 and married Dorothy Jarsensky on Sept. 3 of that year. They moved to Lincoln, Neb., where he completed a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in English at the University of Nebraska. John taught English at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock from 1970-84. In 1984 he gave up his tenured position to move to Ashland for his wife’s new position as a faculty member in social work at Ashland University (then Ashland College). John began teaching again in Ashland, first on a part-time and then on a full-time basis. He helped to establish AU’s Writing Center and served in many capacities on campus, including Dean of Arts and Humanities at a time of organizational changes at the University. Colleagues and students knew John for his self-deprecating humor, his ability to challenge conventional thinking, his capacity for innovative problem-solving and his work ethic. Calling hours were held Sept. 2 in the lower level of Ashland University Chapel and a memorial service was held Oct. 1.

Melinda Brean (Boedeker ’97G) Sept. 2, 2016

Eleanor Hill (Frary ’46N) Aug. 16, 2016

Martha Fulgium (Henderson ’61M) March 1, 2012

Daniel P. Neuman ’01G May 11, 2015

Patricia Zimmerman (Scott ’56M) Sept. 21, 2016

James T. Vertolli ’12G Sept. 22, 2014

Dyann Atkins (Johnstone ’58M) Sept. 22, 2016

G – Graduate Program M – MedCentral N – Nursing

Helen Wappner (Gilmore ’36N) Dec. 10, 2016

Nancy Hoffman (Connor McKean ’58M) Sept. 9, 2016 | 25


RECEIVES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD According to Rick Spreng ’70, former owner of Ashland-based Spreng-Smith Insurance Agency, “my business is a ministry to members of my community.” Ohio Insurance Agents Association last year presented Spreng with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifetime of leadership to the association, insurance industry and local community.

“There is no better business than the agency business to know people and work with them in the best and worst times in their lives,” Spreng says. “When I started in this business, I didn’t know anything about insurance. And now, after 46 years and a few days from retirement, I can honestly say I am blessed. This career path has provided me with the opportunity to make a profound difference in the lives of others.” For over 40 years, Spreng has been involved in the independent agency system. He has been an association leader since he was first elected to represent Ohio Big I District 6 back in 2002. He served as president of the Big I Board from 2008 to 2009. He was elected to the merged Ohio board in 2013, and will conclude his service at the end of this year. Spreng has served as Big I National Director representing Ohio members on the IIABA National Board, which sets the strategic direction and policy of IIABA. While serving on the Trusted Choice Board of Directors, he helped to educate the public on the value of an independent insurance agent.

“As I end my career, it’s valuable to reflect on my experiences,” Spreng said. “God has placed me with those that have lost loved ones, had debilitating injury, experienced divorce, lost all of their material possessions, and many other difficult issues. I have been personally blessed by the strength of people. Insurance is an honorable business that hopefully has made me a better person.” Spreng is passionate about making a difference in his community. His volunteer leadership involvement includes president of United Way of Ashland County, as well as campaign chairman; president of the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce; president of the Rotary Club; president of the Brethren Care Village, a long-term care facility in Ashland; vice president of the Boy Scouts of America Johnny Appleseed Council; and lay leader of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Ashland. He has also served on the board of the Ashland University Alumni Association. Spreng’s proudest volunteer leadership experience was chairing the Ashland Bicentennial Celebration, along with his wife, Kim. He also chaired the 175th community celebration, where he founded the Ashland BalloonFest, which has become one of the premier annual festivals in Ohio. Spreng managed this event for the first 10 years. “Bringing an entire community together is a great experience,” Spreng said. “I am proud to be a part of such as wonderful tradition.”

AU OFFERS TRIP TO CUBA FOR ALUMNI & FRIENDS Ashland University President Carlos Campo and his wife, Karen, will serve as hosts for a seven-day trip to Cuba that will take place Sept. 11-18, 2017. The trip, which is open to AU alumni and friends of the University, is limited to 20 participants. The cultural trip will include accommodations at two five-star resorts with air fare included from Miami. Those who are interested or wanting more information can call the University at 419.289.5093 or email jalix@ashland. edu. This trip was initially planned for spring of 2017.

SUPPORT AU STUDENTS AND SHOW YOUR AFFINITY! OHIO RESIDENTS - ORDER YOUR LICENSE PLATE TODAY! Join more than 225 Ashland University alumni, parents and friends by purchasing an AU affinity plate, and at the same time, support Ashland students by donating to the Ashland Fund. Twenty-five of the $35 cost for the license plate goes to the University in support of the Ashland Fund. Proceeds generated from the license plate program is a personal investment in our students. Your financial partnership with the Ashland Fund means students who need your support will receive it. Ohio vehicle owners can reserve their plates up to 90 days before their current plates expire. This charge is in addition to the registration fee you normally pay for your license plates. For further information, visit or contact Kyle Vaughn, director of annual giving, at 419.289.5073.

“Ashland’s been so good to me – both the community and university – and I have tried to be good to Ashland through the years. That is one reason I wanted to give back.” – John Nethers, Professor Emeritus, History


ohn Nethers served as professor of history at Ashland College/University for 30 years. He loved the classroom, and his enthusiasm and passion for history were contagious. But even more importantly, he loved being a mentor, a role model and cheerleader for the thousands of students who walked through his doors. To him, the success of his students was most important. John always knew that his legacy would be tied to Ashland. And with the assistance of the Planned Giving Office, he established a charitable gift annuity that will allow for student scholarships to be established in his name and also benefit Ashland University as a beneficiary of his retirement plans. With a charitable gift annuity, John will receive a guaranteed annual annuity income payment each year. Upon his passing, the residual will be available to support student scholarships in his name, allowing John to leave a legacy to the university that he has supported for many years. “I spent my life loving Ashland College/University and there is nothing else I want to support more than Ashland,” says John. “I know that my money is being put to good use and it is heartwarming to know that my money helps students be successful every day.”

For assistance with your charitable plans, please contact:

Janet Newcomer 419.289.5104 or Ashland University Office of Planned Giving 401 College Avenue Ashland, OH 44805

401 College Avenue Ashland, Ohio 44805 Address Service Requested

Award Winners


Join us on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at 11:30 a.m. at our annual luncheon honoring our Ashland University Alumni Award recipients. The event will be held in John C. Myers Convocation Center on the AU campus. Reservations required at

Ron Alford ’76

Tony Madalone ’07, ’09G

Tony Magistro ’70

Rick Spreng ’70

Dick Steineman ’77

Barbara Camp

James A. Montaquila ’66

Karen Carter Hagans ’81

Outstanding Alumnus Award

Distinguished Service Award

Drushal Humanitarian Award

Professor Raymond W. Bixler Award

Young Alumnus Award

Special Achievement Award

Honorary Alumna 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

Profile for Mike Ruhe

Ashland University Accent Magazine | Winter 2017  

The official alumni magazine of Ashland University.

Ashland University Accent Magazine | Winter 2017  

The official alumni magazine of Ashland University.