Centralight, Central Michigan University Alumni Magazine, Winter 2021

Page 1


Focused on


From fundraising to networking, CMU is fired up


Centralight WINTER 2021

Features On the cover

Outdoor activities keep students moving throughout the winter, and the pond in front of the Towers is the perfect spot for a rousing game of women’s club hockey. PHOTO BY ADAM



Sure, the Phonathon students do a great job fundraising for the university. But along the way, they’re also building valuable skills to carry them into life.

CMU’s Black Alumni Chapter has reactivated, and it’s fired up with a focus on connection, mentorship and scholarship.

Dialing up connections



A virtual tour of campus Has it been a little while since you’ve been to visit us? Our photographers offer a glimpse of what our Mount Pleasant campus looks like as everyone navigates the changes that have come as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Re-energized, revived

Centralight Winter ’21

Editor’s note Some of the photos in this issue were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and, as a result, don’t reflect current social distancing and masking requirements.

Executive Editor and Executive Director of Alumni Relations Marcie Otteman, ’87 Editor

Betsy Miner-Swartz, ’86 Managing Editor

Robin Miner-Swartz Visual Media Director Amy White Graphic Designer Erin Rivard, ’07, MBA ’16


Photographer Adam Sparkes

Big Picture


Terri Finch Hamilton, ’83 Aaron Mills, ’02 Logan Pellegrom, ’16 Heather Smith, ’02, M.S.A. ’11 Robin Miner-Swartz Research Associate Bryan Whitledge Editorial Assistant Bonnie Recker Executive Director of Development for Advancement Jennifer Cotter Vice President for University Communications and Chief Marketing Officer John Veilleux For advertising information Call Cindy Jacobs, ’93 (800) 358-6903

Fans are fired up for football season, and there’s no one better to lead them than CMU’s cheerleading squad.

Send change of address information to: Alumni Relations Carlin Alumni House Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI 48859

Departments 5 CMU Today Study Abroad program gears up for a return to travel this spring. 26 Alumni Awards Some of CMU’s top supporters were honored for their commitment to the university this fall.

Stay connected

Phone: (800) 358-6903 Fax: (989) 774-7159

28 10 Within 10

Email: alumni@cmich.edu Web: cmich.edu/alumni/Centralight

31 Alumni News 36 In Memory 40 Do You Remember

Centralight is published three times each year by the Central Michigan University Office of Alumni Relations. It is printed by Printing Services, Mount Pleasant, and entered at the Mount Pleasant Post Office under nonprofit mailing. CMU, an AA/EO institution, provides equal opportunity to all persons, including minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities (see cmich.edu/ocrie). Copies of Centralight are distributed to alumni and friends of the university who are paid Gold Members or donors to CMU. A virtual edition of the magazine is available free online at alumni.cmich.edu/centralight. UComm 10597–24,000+ (11/21)

Centralight Winter Winter’21’21 Centralight



OPPORTUNITY Become a Gold Member, and receive over 60,000 benefits

CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity for all individuals, irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and including but not limited to minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities. 10129 (5/21)


Familiar places and faces are more important than ever right now Connecting with alumni on campus visits feels like a special gift As I write to you, it’s the tail end of a beautiful fall weekend on campus. The weather was perfect for a Saturday football game, and campus is Marcie Otteman, ’87, still buzzing with Executive Director of activity from Alumni Relations CMU and You day and Family and Friends weekend. It feels like the fall I remember as the colors slowly turn to vibrant shades of maroon and gold. What a gift. I had the chance to connect with many alumni over the weekend, here for the game, to visit their family member or to bring potential students to visit campus. Ian Schulz, a familiar face to many in the 1990s Facebook group, brought his son and two friends to check out Central.

in a number of years. Those reconnections are so important.

Meeting up with Ian Schulz’s son and friends during a campus visit.

They met me at the Carlin Alumni House to start their day, and Ian said a fantastic time was had by all.

During this — sing it with me — unprecedented time, the gift of seeing familiar places and faces has taken on new importance. And, as we step into our winter issue of Centralight focused on giving back to CMU, I’m reminded once again that we have a generous community throughout the state, across the country and around the globe, supporting our university in big and small ways every day. Even in the midst of a global pandemic. Especially now.

It’s the gift of weekends like these that not only evoke the nostalgia — I had many alumni tell me about the flood of memories being back on campus brings — but they also elicit remarks about how the new buildings, the changes and the updates set our campus apart.

I’m excited for all the opportunities ahead for connecting with more alumni. I’m looking forward to hearing more stories about returning to campus, and all the great memories and new connections the visit will provide.

I also had the chance to attend the dinner for Beta Theta Pi celebrating its 36th anniversary on campus. It was great to talk with so many alumni, some of whom had not been back to campus

Fired up forever,

Stay in touch and come back to visit soon. I would love to see you.

Stay Fired Up

Get social

Connect with CMU alumni at upcoming Alumni Association events across the country! Find the complete schedule of in-person and virtual, online opportunities here:

Follow our activities and updates on your favorite social channels:


FACEBOOK facebook.com/cmualum TWITTER @cmualumni INSTAGRAM @cmichalumni YOUTUBE youtube.com/user/cmichalumni LINKEDIN Central Michigan University – Alumni

Centralight Winter ’21


Scholarships empower students to pursue their dreams Alumni can make a profound difference for future CMU Chippewas President Bob Davies

Dear alumni and friends, Philanthropy has always been a vital part of CMU’s success, and it has become even more necessary in recent years. The pandemic exacerbated many of the challenges facing higher education, especially regional public universities such as CMU. And as many families continue to struggle financially, a college degree is moving out of reach for some students at a time when our state and country most need well-educated, compassionate and skilled leaders. We have to ensure our university is always accessible for future CMU Chippewas. We must significantly increase scholarships that empower students to pursue their dreams by enrolling at CMU. We must bolster programs that keep students on the path to graduation, such as the Student Emergency Fund and the Finish Up Chips Scholarship. We count on our passionate alumni to support outstanding academic areas that provided the knowledge and skills necessary for personal and professional success. In other words, we need your help. Our alumni relations team is building and strengthening relationships with alumni around the world. If you know a graduate who has not yet reconnected with CMU, consider sharing this magazine with them, or invite them to join you for an upcoming alumni event. Bring them with you when you visit campus or invite them to follow — and share — the great news about CMU on our social media channels. And, if you have the capacity to give, I hope you will do so now. You have a tremendous opportunity to lift up current and future students, and to truly make a meaningful impact in their lives. Whether you choose to support scholarships, academic programs, student services or any other area of our university, you can make a profound and positive difference for your alma mater. Thank you for all the many ways you demonstrate the FiredUp spirit that makes our university great. Be well,

Bob Davies, Ph.D.


Centralight Winter ’21

Ways to connect with


BLOG blogs.cmich.edu/cmichprez

CMU TODAY Study Abroad preparing to allow international travel again this spring Program resumes with limits; grant offers free passport opportunity CMU’s Study Abroad program has received university approval allowing students to once again participate in programs beginning in the Spring 2022 semester. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has been limited to virtual internship opportunities since the spring of 2020. Study Abroad will follow what is being called a “controlled restart.” In years past, approximately 750 students participated each year, taking advantage of opportunities for over 150 programs in more than 50 countries. Additionally, COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for all Study Abroad students who travel internationally.

“We’ve been waiting a year and a half to do this and are so excited for our students,” said Dianne De Salvo, CMU’s director of Study Abroad. “We’re carefully monitoring conditions abroad and are working with students on contingency plans should we need to change course before next spring.” Virtual internships will continue to be offered for students who are unable to travel internationally. The Study Abroad program will continue to share updates regarding the restart on the Office of Global Engagement’s website. As per CDC guidance regarding Study Abroad programs, CMU will not operate programs in locations with a Level 4 Travel Health Notice.

Program earns top honors

Earlier this year, Study Abroad earned the Institute of International Education’s 2020 Seal of Excellence due to an

New, exciting dining options open around campus

This fall, CMU revitalized its dining options with a new service provider, Chartwells Higher Education. The 10-year partnership will emphasize quality, made-to-order food, menu customization, variety, value and student success. The partnership brings many changes, including:

increase in student participation. This is the first time the university has received the award. CMU was one of 19 institutes nationally recognized for reaching its five-year goals in 2020. During 2014-19, the university increased the participation in its study abroad programs and minority student participation by 40%. •

» ShakeSmart, a quick-service

concept in the UC known for protein-packed shakes, bowls, coffee and oatmeal, is perfect for those wanting to grab and go.

Chartwells and Central Michigan begin 10-year partnership Dining is at the center of everything on campus. From dining halls to coffee shops and convenience stores to pizza spots, students and the university community are loyal to their favorite venues across CMU.

CMU students share their pride in front of the Louvre in Paris.

New names: All the on-campus dining locations have been renamed, including the Down Under Food Court in the Bovee University Center, which is being rebranded through a social media voting contest. Follow @CMichDining on Instagram and Twitter to participate. New to campus: » The popular downtown Mount Pleasant shop Ponder Coffee opened a new location in the Charles V. Park Library, replacing Java City.

» Wild Pie, a pizza concept known for

Enhanced market experience: All the convenience stores will have an enhanced market experience featuring Jack & Olive fresh and ready sandwiches, wraps, salads, protein plates, sweet and salty snacks along with a selection of plenty of household items. More dietary options: Look for the addition of menu items free of the top eight allergens and avoiding gluten within the residential dining halls. In addition, BalancedU communication can be found throughout the dining area identifying vegan, vegetarian, avoiding gluten, Halal and balanced menu items. •

flatbread pizzas and meatball subs. Centralight Winter ’21


CMU TODAY CMU professor tapped to lead national athletic trainers’ board Shingles will be the first African American president Rene Shingles, Ph.D., a professor and internship coordinator for athletic training in the School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences, has been named president of the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer. She will be the first African American president of the BOC board of directors. Her term of service begins Jan. 1. Shingles joined the board in January 2019. In addition to her board service, she is the liaison for the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Advocacy Strategies Task Force. Shingles has made an impact within the profession serving on various oversight boards, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Educational Council Executive Committee, as well as several activities and volunteer groups focused on inclusion and diversity issues. Shingles has conducted research on diversity issues during her doctoral training. “Going forward, the BOC will deal with the ‘new normal’ posed by COVID-19, the impact of racial injustice, and their effects on credentialing efforts, credential holders and other stakeholders, and strategic partners,” Shingles said. “As was shown in the last few months, I envision the BOC maintaining strong leadership amid national and international changes and unrest.” •

New director leads CMU’s civil rights office OCRIE position encompasses affirmative action, equal opportunity and Title IX Mary Martinez was selected this fall to lead Central Michigan University’s Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity. Martinez was named interim executive director in June 2019, following the departure of Katherine Lasher.


Centralight Winter ’21

Celebrating Frank Boles’ 30 years of service Director of Clarke Historical Library retired over the summer Frank Boles, director of the Clarke Historical Library, loves telling stories. And many of his stories arise from his work collecting and preserving other people’s stories. During his 30 years as director, Boles has tremendously shaped the Clarke’s collections and outreach efforts and has developed meaningful professional and personal relationships. One of Boles’ memorable accomplishments was building the Hemingway in Michigan collection, which has grown through external financial support that enabled the Clarke to collect one-of-a-kind family memorabilia. Boles is proud that the Hemingway in Michigan collection started from nothing 20 years ago and has become a collection of national significance with the assistance of dedicated donors. Recently, photographs and documents from the Clarke’s collection were used in the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary film, “Hemingway.” Boles noted the Clarke provides both educational value and social value, and he said he views the Clarke Historical Library as a humanities laboratory. “When students come to the Clarke, they learn how to create information and make order out of chaos,” Boles said. •

As permanent executive director, Martinez also serves as CMU’s affirmative action and equal opportunity officer and Title IX coordinator. Title IX is the federal civil rights law that protects against sex discrimination in education programs. Previously, Martinez was OCRIE’s deputy director and deputy Title IX coordinator. She said CMU’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity led her to seek the permanent position. “The university has always been a leader in addressing harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct,” she said. “I am humbled and thrilled to continue

providing leadership in CMU’s affirmative action efforts and its civil rights and Title IX areas.” OCRIE coordinates and monitors the university’s affirmative action and equal opportunity efforts to assure compliance with state and federal law. The office supervises reporting and record-keeping; provides educational programs and materials; offers guidance and advice to community members on nondiscrimination and affirmative action policies and procedures; helps departments recruit and retain staff; and receives and resolves complaints of discrimination from students, employees and others. •

Celebrating staff excellence 10 receive annual recognition for service to the university community CMU honored 10 employees this fall for their outstanding service to the university and its students. Recipients of the 2020-21 Staff Excellence Award are: ANGELLA COLDWELL, executive secretary in Student Affairs.

Mentor Collective Program aims to help CMU students through their first year CMU Mentor Collective builds meaningful student connections Starting life at a new university can come with many unknowns, questions and new challenges that can take time for a student to navigate. With that in mind, the university introduced the CMU Mentor Collective Program, a peer mentoring program that pairs incoming students with experienced CMU students to help soften this learning curve. The program matches incoming first-year and transfer students with more-senior students based on common interests, background, academics and professional aspirations. This peer-to-peer style of mentoring allows mentees to gain more knowledge, such as what to expect in their first year in school and how to approach challenges, and receive tailored advice. “Students want a level of comfort when they arrive on campus, or even before, to help feel acclimated in their new environment,” said Jewel Cotton, assistant director of mentoring initiatives for Multicultural Academic Student Services at CMU. MASS, in partnership with several other departments and President Bob Davies, introduced the program to students in May, and by Sept. 21, more than 1,900 students had applied to participate, far exceeding the original goal of 800 mentees in the inaugural year. Cotton says the initial surge of applicants confirmed the purpose of launching this program. “The initial rush of interest and early success shows the appetite that students and parents have had for this type of program,” said Cotton. “To have somebody just a text, call or visit away, someone who has been in your shoes, is an amazing resource.” Mentor Collective is a third-party mentoring service that has partnered with more than 100 higher education institutions across the country. As part of the program, CMU Mentor Collective is working closely with CMU Cares. The Care Team provides help and resources to students in areas including academic, financial, food and housing concerns, and health and well-being. Mentors are trained to report concerns they may encounter related to these areas while communicating with mentees. Students wishing to take part in the program can sign up to be a mentor or mentee on the CMU Mentor Collective webpage, https://cmich.ly/3j32ih0 •

TIM GRAMZA, director for Information Technology for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and College of Business Administration. SARAH KUNIK (posthumous recipient), executive office specialist for the Center for Clinical Experiences within the College of Education and Human Services. MISHEAILA NEIL, director for University Events. MARNIE ROESTEL, manager for Learning Systems Support in Curriculum and Instructional Support. RYAN SMITH, data architect team lead for data and customer relationship management in the Office of Information Technology. SUZANNE SOVA, executive secretary for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. DAWN WELLER, executive office specialist for Instructional Development in Curriculum and Instructional Support. BRYAN WHITLEDGE, archivist manager for University Digital Records at Clarke Historical Library. TRACEE WILSON, coordinator for the institutional animal care and use committee, and institutional biosafety committee. Honorees were nominated by peers and colleagues for exemplary service to others. President Bob Davies presented the Staff Excellence Awards at a ceremony in the Bovee University Center Rotunda. Award recipients received a plaque and a free senior officer parking pass for a year or an equivalent gift certificate to the CMU Bookstore. Read more about each of the honorees here: https://cmich.ly/3DBMtG2 • Centralight Winter ’21


More than


Phonathon efforts accumulate vital support for CMU while building valuable skills in students BY TERRI FINCH HAMILTON, ’83

When your phone rings and you see that it’s CMU calling, do you pick up? (Be honest.) Thousands of alumni always do. Many of them used to be those student callers, bringing in alumni dollars through the energetic efforts of Phonathon. Sure, they raised a lot of money. But they also made lifelong friends, honed pro-level phone skills and avoided sunburn. (A perk of working in the basement.) Two even fell in love and got engaged. Years later, these phone-friendly alumni still love chatting about Phonathon. You might recognize their energy. At least one of them probably called you. 8

Centralight Winter ’21

Central calling

Phonathon family

When you pick up the phone for a CMU Phonathon caller, all you hear is the friendly voice of a student who wants to chat.

Meanwhile, these student callers are gaining valuable skills. Phone etiquette. Sales experience. Dealing with disappointment.

But behind the scenes, the room is filled with the creative, competitive energy of callers fired up for fundraising.

“It’s tough to hear ‘no,’ and these guys hear ‘no’ all the time and learn how to bounce back from it,” Griffis said.

There might be a bingo game going on. Anybody talk to an alum from North Dakota? Bingo!

“Alumni give them fantastic advice,” she said. “They get internships. They get their foot in the door for jobs after graduation. Recruiters come in looking for Phonathon students.”

Marker drop, anyone? Secure a donation and you can try to drop a dry-erase marker into a narrow-mouth jug to win a prize. Sure, these students are asking alumni for money, but there’s more going on here in the basement of the Towers. Students call alumni to thank them for recent donations, too. And they also just want to connect. What have you been up to since you were on that 1980s Homecoming Court? Want to hear what’s going on around campus these days? “The whole place just comes to life,” said Jaime Griffis, associate director of annual giving. She runs this operation, shepherding the students in headsets who settle in for four-hour shifts every day and evening but Saturday, year-round.

Big bucks in the basement The current incarnation of Phonathon started 20 years ago as a pretty low-tech operation, with students lined up manually dialing the regular old phones in the basement of the Carlin Alumni House, where Phonathon operated until last year’s move to the Towers basement. “I don’t think we’ll ever get out of the basement,” Griffis said, laughing. Automation soon kicked in, with computers dialing the numbers, allowing more efficient calling. Thousands of CMU student callers have raised more than $17 million since 2001 by encouraging alumni to donate. The money raised goes all over campus, to whatever program, department or need the donor chooses, from academics to financial assistance to athletics. “We hope for one yes out of 10 calls,” Griffis said. “That’s the industry standard.” But don’t discount those “no” calls, she said. They matter. “Last night, I heard a student caller have a fantastic conversation with an alum, an elderly woman on a fixed income who couldn’t give right now,” Griffis said. The student hung up disappointed that she didn’t get a donation. Griffis told her: “Look what you just did. You made her day. She feels great about CMU. She’ll tell her grandkids, ‘Go to CMU — the people there are so friendly and so nice.’ ” The woman felt listened to and the student caller had a great experience, Griffis said. “Our alumni know the university is listening and the next generation is listening.”

Callers are also eligible for annual scholarships Griffis started, just for Phonathon callers — an extra perk for these fired-up students devoted to bringing in bucks for CMU. “Phonathon is such a cool thing,” Griffis said. “It’s not as much fun to work by yourself, so you recruit your friends to join you. Then your brother comes on board. It becomes a big family. “We’ve had a few Phonathon love stories,” she said. “I want to be invited to a Phonathon wedding someday.”

C’mon, pick up! “It’s easy to not pick up. But pick up,” Griffis encourages people. “It’s maybe a six-minute call. Who doesn’t have six minutes in their day? “We’re not upset if we don’t get a gift. It’s also about connecting. We want to tell you what’s going on around campus. We want you to come back.” Let these students reach out and do their thing, she said. “Maybe you can’t give this time. But maybe the next time we call, you’ve hit the lotto.”

‘The best college job you can have’ Even after eight years away from the phone bank, Al Covington, ’13, is still on top of his Phonathon game. “Sure, the main goal is to secure a pledge, but it’s also a good time to update your contact information, and maybe your employer will match your gift,” said Covington, a human resources manager at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “So, if you were only going to give $10, maybe you’ll give $20, knowing your employer will double it. It’s worth picking up.” He laughed. “I’m getting right back into Phonathon mode.” Four years of calling alumni for Phonathon sticks with a guy. Covington loved it. “It was really cool to see how energized and excited alumni got talking about their time at CMU,” he said. “My friends would say, ‘Don’t you get yelled at all the time, asking for money?’ Sure, that happened here and there, but most people were really friendly.” > Centralight Winter ’21


He considered every call a success. “They might say, ‘I can’t give $50, but I had such a great time talking to you, I’ll give you five bucks,’” Covington said. “Even if they didn’t make a pledge, you’re stirring up their memories. Maybe they haven’t connected with CMU for a long time, but this call makes them get a group together for a Homecoming tailgate.” That’s a win, he said. Does being a Phonathon alum make him more likely to give? “A thousand percent,” he said. He has a little fun with it. “I let them go through the full script,” he said. “I don’t agree to give right away. I give them a hard time. I make them work for it. But I always end up making a pledge. Then I always tell their supervisor that they did a good job.” When Covington started work at UC Santa Cruz, they must have sensed Phonathon in his blood, asking him to work with their advancement team. They loved that he spoke the “fundraising language” of a public university, he said. “Phonathon taught me how to establish rapport, and how to connect with someone based on just a nugget of information,” he said. “It’s the best college job you can have.”

A match made in phone banking Imagine a Phonathonthemed wedding. Headset centerpieces. When a guest gives more than fifty bucks, the happy couple gets a bonus. The DJ only plays songs with a telephone theme: “Call Me” by Blondie. “Hello” by Adele. “Telephone” by Lady Gaga. If anybody should be writing down these ideas, it’s Allyson Zwick, ’16, and Matt Kauppi, ’15. Their romance bloomed at Phonathon, and now an August 2022 wedding is on the calendar. What is it about Phonathon that causes love to blossom? It’s a bunch of kids on the phone all night, right? “It’s very interactive,” said Zwick, who works in Human Resources at VillageMD in Westland, Michigan. “You’re always playing games and moving around a lot. They do a really good job of recruiting friendly faces.” So, she fell for Matt’s friendly face? Zwick laughed. “I don’t know if it was his friendly face, exactly, but Matt has the kind of personality where anyone can talk to him,” Zwick said. “He’s someone you’re really drawn to.” Kauppi, a client success manager at software company Paradox, said he and Zwick forged a deep friendship that turned into romance as they spent summers together working at Phonathon. 10

Centralight Winter ’21

“My favorite part was the people I worked with,” Kauppi said. “My best friends to this day are people I worked with at Phonathon, including four of the groomsmen in our wedding.” Phonathon callers who dial either Zwick or Kauppi will nab a guaranteed donation. “I always answer the phone for them,” Zwick said. “I understand the impact that giving money has. I received one of the scholarships for Phonathon callers.” “Talking to someone about giving is a lot better than getting an email,” Kauppi said. He loved his chats with alumni as they recalled their best CMU memories. “They’d always ask if we still jingle our keys at football games at third downs.” Kauppi always tells his Phonathon caller’s supervisor they did a good job. “They’ll get an extra five bucks,” he said. “That means a lot in college.” You never know — the caller might be saving for a wedding.

‘Get to your third ask’ If Allyce Schinske, ’12, calls you to ask if you’d like to buy some high-end custom clothing — and she might — she won’t take no for an answer until after at least three tries. She honed that skill at Phonathon. Schinske works for the Tom James Company, a top manufacturer of custom clothing. She was a teacher for four years, but then gravitated to sales. It suits her. Schinske is cheerful, genuine and easy to talk to, and the alumni she called back in 2010 to 2012 apparently thought so, too. “Not to brag, but I did win top caller or top donation most nights,” she said, laughing. “People can relate to me over the phone.” Schinske also played field hockey for CMU and took her competitive spirit to the phone bank. “I loved Phonathon,” she said. “People just wanted to talk to you and hear about what was going on around campus. I’d say, ‘Hi, I’m Allyce Avery from CMU, Fire Up Chips!’ People always gave a big ‘Fire Up’ back. They’d say, ‘I wouldn’t miss dinner for anybody but you.’ “They would ask me, ‘What programs are you part of? I’ll give to that.’” A big part of her success, she said, was just being genuine. “I’d say, ‘I get it. I know you have student loans, but even five bucks would help.’ People still gave. They still cared.

“Phonathon has given me so much, especially confidence and skills on the phone,” Schinske said. “A big part of my job now is cold calling. I use all my skills from Phonathon.” Those skills are so valuable, she said, she recruits Phonathon students to work for the Tom James Company. But when Phonathon students call her, she makes them work for her donation. “I’ll say, ‘Hey, we had to do three asks. Get to your third ask.’” She laughed. “Then, I always give. It just feels good to give back. It’s the right thing to do.”

Bonding over maple syrup Joe Bockheim, ’09, still remembers the name of a Central grad he called for Phonathon back in the summer of 2008. “There was this one guy, Ronnie Brown,” Bockheim recalled. “He was this sweet old man who told me all about making maple syrup up in northern Michigan. I actually got his contact info so if I was ever up there, I could look him up.” How did a phone call for a donation turn into a chat about maple syrup? Bockheim, owner of West Michigan Glass Coatings, loves to chat. “You get people talking, share stuff about yourself, find out you have things in common,” he said. (Who doesn’t love maple syrup?) “Then you follow up with ‘Do you have your checkbook handy?’” That’s the goal, after all. And Bockheim was good at it. “I was always getting bonuses,” he said. If you got a certain number of people who gave more than $20, you might get a $50 bonus. “It’s definitely not the best job for an introvert,” he said. “But I’m a people person. I talk too much.” The former CMU Chippewa football player has a soft spot for today’s Phonathon callers. “I always ask what the bonus is that day so I can help out the kid who called me,” he said. He also contributes to scholarships created specifically for students who work on Phonathon. “I always mess with the kids a little when they call,” he said with a laugh. “And then I tell them I was a Phonathon caller, too. “People had fond memories of their time at CMU,” Bockheim said. “You could tell they were happy to share. They talked about where they lived, or that they met their wife there. Or they still hang out with their freshman roommate. It’s all good stuff.” He asked hopefully if the student callers had “moved out of the dungeon” since his CMU days. Nope, still in the basement. “C’mon, give the kids a ray of sunshine,” Bockheim said. “They’re bringing in the bucks. Give ’em a window.”

‘Go with the flow’ When you call a CMU Chippewa in the bathtub, that memory sticks with you. “You definitely learn to think on your feet,” said Kasee StrattonGadke, ’06, M.A. ’10, Ph.D. ’12. Stratton-Gadke started as a Phonathon caller her sophomore year, moved up to supervisor, coaching callers, and then hired callers as a graduate student. “You never know what alumni will say back,” said Stratton-Gadke, a licensed psychologist and associate professor of school psychology at Mississippi State University. “It teaches you not just good phone etiquette, but how to be ready for anything.” Sometimes she’d catch Monday Night Football fans in the midst of too much celebrating. “One time I called somebody in the bathtub. I could hear the running water. You learn to go with the flow, no pun intended,” she laughed. “It was lots of fun to hear what alumni were up to,” she said. “Some had elaborate stories. One gentleman retired early and sailed around the world. He gave credit to CMU for the experiences he had and business skills he learned that led him to make good investments.” She loved that the alumni she called seemed to care about her, a stranger on the phone asking for money. “People asked about my experiences, gave me advice, told me things they wished they had done differently, shared their favorite floor of the library for studying,” she said. “It’s really just a dialogue. It’s a lot about listening to what their interests were and tailoring the ask to an area of CMU that interested them.” She uses those skills today, as director of the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability at Mississippi State University. “The work I did at Phonathon wasn’t just beneficial to CMU, it was beneficial to me,” StrattonGadke said. “When I give folks tours of my building here, I cater my requests to things they care about. Maybe they have a child with special needs, or a grandparent who had a stroke. I find out what kind of impact they want to make.” Does her Phonathon experience impact her giving? “Absolutely,” she said. “And I always take extra time to talk to the student, because I remember the big impact talking to alumni had on me.” She laughed. “And maybe my donation will get them on the leader board.” • Centralight Winter ’21


‘It’s a place to come back and



SEE ALL YOUR PEOPLE’ CMU’s Black Alumni Chapter reactivates with a focus on connection, mentorship and scholarship


If you’ve been waiting for a personal invitation to come back to campus and get involved, here’s Justin McMillan with a message: “Come back to see all your people.”

successful but reaching back to help the next generation is what it’s all about.” McMillan adds: “We want to provide memories and bring people back home to CMU.”

Justin McMillan, ‘12

McMillan, ’12, and Shanese Ross, ’08, are re-energizing CMU’s Black Alumni Chapter. If you attended their Homecoming events in 2019 or 2021, you know they throw a great party. Their message now? C’mon back and help do some good. “We spent four or more years at Central,” said Ross, an instructor at Wayne State University and adviser to MBA students there. “You get these degrees, you’re proud to say you’re Central Michigan alumni. It’s great to go on and be 12

Centralight Winter ’21

The Black Alumni Chapter started in 2001, with some years more active than others. People got busy, got married, started families, switched jobs. Activity dwindled. There’s so much potential, Ross and McMillan say. Sure, they want to connect with old friends and bring Black alumni back to campus for fun and memories. But there’s so much more. They want to offer scholarships. Be active mentors. Help the university recruit and retain Black students and help them launch successful careers. “We want to be another layer,” Ross said. “We know the challenges we faced on campus.”

She was a firstgeneration college student and a transfer student. “I was trying to find my way,” she said. “I needed people. I joined the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and found my group, and that kept me connected to Central for years to come. But Ross said she was one of those students who graduated and didn’t have a real plan. “If I knew then that there was a group of alumni who looked like me who I could talk to about my challenges, I would have loved that,” she said. “I needed that.” Now, she plans to be that support for students. “We want to get juniors and seniors involved so they have a network already waiting for them.”

“Now, they can come back and put a name to a face. ‘Oh, I knew Justin.’ It’s a place to come back to see all your people,” McMillan said. “CMU did so much for me. It gave me so many opportunities.” Faculty and administrators mentored him and continue to help. He joined the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and was involved with Multicultural Academic Student Services. “You can get an education anywhere,” McMillan said. “It’s the people that made the difference for me. It gave me a sense of belonging. We were like a close-knit family. Now I want to give back and stay connected.” He knows alumni are sometimes skeptical when they hear from their university. “They might think, ‘Oh, CMU probably just wants money,’” he said. Fundraising is part of the Black Alumni Chapter’s mission, he said. “But this money will go to support one of your own. A scholarship for a student from Flint, Saginaw, Detroit or from the south side of Chicago. It’s for your people.”

Your invitation from Justin “CMU as a whole can’t reach every single former student,” McMillan said. “This small but mighty group can help reach people.” Hurray for that, said Marcie Otteman, executive director of alumni relations at CMU.

“I can send a million invitations from the Office of Alumni Relations — and I do,” Otteman said. “We invite people to come join us all the time, whether it’s to homecoming or a trivia night or to build a charcuterie board. But if you don’t know me, it’s not a personal invitation. It’s a university invitation.

It’s been a lot of work for these two. They’re excited to see what happens next. Said McMillan: “It’s all for the love of CMU.” • WANT TO BE PART OF ALL THIS? Contact Ross and McMillan at cmublackalumni@gmail.com.

“But if Justin invites you and says, ‘Hey, I’m going back — come with me,’ that’s a whole new dimension. That’s a personal touch. That type of connection we can’t do on our own. We’re a staff of seven to serve 240,000 alumni.” She does some quick math. “That’s 34,000 alumni each,” Otteman said. “Justin and Shanese have their own networks. They reach out to someone, then that person reaches out to someone else and soon you get a spiderweb to gather all these people back in. We understand how important engagement is for all our alumni.”


There are Black alumni who weren’t involved while they were at Central, McMillan said.

To have an active, excited and engaged alumni group is an amazing added bonus, Otteman said. She can’t wait for them to bring more alumni back to campus.

“My hope is that this group will grow bigger and bigger. We’ll start with one scholarship and maybe soon we’ll have five.”


“It’s like having a Black student union or a multicultural services department,” he said. “It’s a home for you, with people who look like you and think like you. With activities planned for you. It’s for you.

“The university is made up of students, first and foremost, and the faculty and staff who support them,” she said. “But the fourth component is the alumni. They’re the walking billboard for the university.”

“We want to be a safe place where people can feel comfortable enough to be themselves,” Ross said. “A place where they can say, ‘I was a first-generation college student, too. You experienced that? You know what, me too.’

This time, they’re here to stay Meanwhile, Ross and McMillan have been busy working with the alumni office researching old chapter bylaws, updating them as needed and creating a succession plan, Ross said, so this chapter can stay strong and vital for decades to come.


“If you’re a Black student at a predominantly white institution, sometimes you don’t feel a sense of community because you’re a minority,” said McMillan, coordinator of student rights and responsibilities at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas.

“The benefit to the university is huge,” said Otteman, who has worked with Ross and McMillan as they revitalize the chapter.


‘It’s for you’

“We don’t want the group to fade away again,” she said. “When we pass the torch to the next generation, they’ll have a solid foundation.” But she’s not going anywhere anytime soon. There’s too much to do.

Centralight Winter ’21


We know you. You know us.

If the status quo isn’t as fulfilling as it was, come back to CMU. We can help you Fire Up your career with online graduate programs that make change happen.

» Move up and have a greater

impact in your current career.

And when it comes to career advancement, it’s all about who you know.

» Change course and try something new.

» Add some skills to rekindle your passion.

» Or achieve a personal goal. Take one class per eight-week term and complete many of our online master’s degrees in just two years.

Learn more today at

global.cmich.edu. » 877-268-4636 » CMUglobal@cmich.edu

Central Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity for all individuals, irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and including but not limited to minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities (see http://www.cmich.edu/ ocrie). 10307 4/21


Centralight Fall ’21


Food to fuel

student success Every day, some students at CMU struggle to meet their most basic needs. As many as 3,000 CMU students struggle with food insecurity. Students experiencing food insecurity drop or fail a class more frequently than their peers and are more likely to experience symptoms of depression. Without support, fewer than 20% of these students will complete their degree in five years or less.

Help CMU

stamp out student hunger

Since opening its doors in fall 2018, the CMU Student Food Pantry has distributed thousands of pounds of food to hundreds of students in need.

We need your support.

Your gift to the Student Food Pantry will help hundreds of CMU Chippewas overcome unexpected obstacles and stay on the path to graduation. Donations in any amount will help us stock the shelves and keep students in school and successful.

To donate online, visit go.cmualum.com/foodpantry CMU is an AA/EO institution, providing equal opportunity to all persons, including minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities (see cmich.edu/OCRIE). UComm 10073

Let’s see what we

CAN CREATE TOGETHER. Graphic design services available. Ready for your next project? Submit your design request.

Then we’ll work with you to make it happen. mgx.cmich.edu

CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity within its community. CMU does not discriminate against persons based on age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, race, religion, sex, sex-based stereotypes, sexual orientation, transgender status, veteran status, or weight.

Centralight Winter ’21




Centralight Summer ’21

L A R T N E D C E .C O M


YOUR SOURCE for CMU gear! CMU Bookstore Winter Hours Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, closed

989-774-7493 800-283-0234

Photos by Olivia Paulson

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

Central Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity for all individuals, irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and including but not limited to minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities (see http://www.cmich.edu/ocrie). Ucomm 10628 10/21

Centralight Fall ’21


Football — and fans — filled Kelly/Shorts Stadium for Homecoming this fall, and CMU’s cheerleaders kept the crowd screaming through a thrilling overtime win against the Toledo Rockets, 26-23. PHOTO BY


A whole

NEW WORLD Curious what life in Mount Pleasant looks like today? You’re invited on a photographic visit to campus.



We all have pictures in our minds of “our” campus — what CMU looked like when we were there. Those pictures change as campus changes through the years, but the changes that have come as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic means campus might look very different than you remember — even from just two years ago. Our photographers Adam Sparkes, Kyle Fields and Abbey Burch offer this glimpse into CMU life through the lens of 2021.

It was a sunny start to the fall semester as students explored the campus on the first day of classes. While indoor masking guidelines remain in place through the end of the fall semester on Dec. 18, people aren’t required to wear masks outdoors on campus, regardless of their vaccination status.


Centralight Winter ’21

Rick Clarkston — better known as Professor Bird, wearing his signature top hat — dances with students at Main Stage at the start of the fall semester. A student moves in to participate in the IMPACT program. IMPACT is a two-day event that allows students to become familiar with campus, attend cultural and social workshops and meet other incoming multicultural freshman and transfer students.


Fall 2021’s Main Stage is seen from above. The event is an opportunity for students to get to know CMU student organizations, be welcomed to campus by faculty and staff, get lots of cool freebies, and meet new people right before classes start.

Students hone their tech and interview skills in the Adobe Lounge in the Park Library. Following campus COVID-19 guidelines, people must wear a mask while in classrooms, labs or other instructional spaces, regardless of their vaccination status.

Centralight Winter ’21


Students gather on the turf to watch CMU on the big screen as they took on the Louisiana State University Tigers in a road game early in the season. Students tap their way through Heather TrommerBeardslee’s dance class in Rose Center.

The Spring 2021 semester had students social distancing and wearing masks as they dove into coursework.


Centralight Winter ’21

On the first and third Fridays of the month, Pause for Paws gives students the opportunity to spend time with therapy dogs outside of Foust Hall. The calm, furry friends visit campus to help struggling students relieve stress.

As weather and circumstances permitted, professors took the opportunity to move classes outside into an open-air setting.

Centralight Winter ’21


Members of the registered student organization Ballet Folklorico de la Luz talk with students at Get Acquainted Day at the start of the Fall 2021 semester.


Centralight Winter ’21


The CMU Women’s Soccer team celebrates after an overtime goal against the Northern Illinois Huskies. The women won the home game 1-0.

A student in the Fashion Design Studio III course works on a project in the Fashion Merchandising and Design lab.

Fans in the student section cheer on the CMU Chippewas in the first home football game of the 2021 season. Central beat Robert Morris 45-0 on Sept. 11.

Students are safely spaced out and studying in the UC at the start of the Fall 2021 semester while a masked President Bob Davies keeps watch over their work.

Centralight Winter ’21



LEADERS AND PARTNERS Alumni Awards honor those who uplift and sustain CMU

Each year, CMU recognizes alumni and friends who have made significant contributions of their time, talent or financial resources to help advance and bring positive recognition to Central Michigan University. This year’s honorees were celebrated at the annual alumni awards banquet in September. HONORARY ALUMNI AWARD: Dina and Robert Richard Dina and Robert (Bob) Richard are committed to the preservation of Michigan’s Natural Resources, specifically the Great Lakes. Through this commitment, they have partnered with Central to support CMU’s Biological Station on Beaver Island. Dina is the senior vice president of treasury and chief investment officer at Trinity Health, and Bob is the senior vice president at DTE Energy. They are also proud parents of Kayla, who completed a double major in kinesiology and psychology from CMU and is now a physician assistant at St. Joseph in Ypsilanti. They have served as stewards of CMU by developing strong relationships between their employers and the university. Their financial contributions of more than $38,000 help Beaver Island’s unique freshwater ecosystems remain an unmatched learning and research environment. As an active member of CMU’s Advancement Board, Dina is dedicated to 26

Centralight Winter ’21

the university’s promises of future success. As a testament to their character, the Richards believe in promoting the benefits of higher education and creating opportunities for underserved and underrepresented student populations. ALUMNI SERVICE RECOGNITION AWARD: Jon Humiston, ’98, M.A. ’08, Ed.D. ’17 In over 20 years of work, Jon Humiston has remained committed to the development of CMU both academically and professionally. Throughout Humiston’s career, they held many positions at CMU, including director for the Office of Gay and Lesbian Programs, assistant affirmative action officer, ombud’s officer, assistant director of Undergraduate Academic Services, and executive assistant to the provost. Holding positions of varying levels on campus has given Humiston a unique perspective and allowed the voices of vulnerable communities — particularly the LGBTQ+ community — to be heard. Currently, they are an adjunct faculty member in educational leadership, and they write, edit and develop online learning modules related to diversity, equity and inclusion for a company called ansrsource. Humiston has made a lasting impression on CMU’s administration. They have advocated to recognize same-sex partner benefits, sought the inclusion of

gender identity and expression in the CMU non-discrimination policy, and authored several nationally recognized articles. Students, faculty, staff, and community members have all been impacted by Humiston’s commitment and advocacy for LGBTQ+ communities on campus, locally and at a national level. DICK ENBERG CMU ALUMNI COMMITMENT AWARD: Jon Voigtman, ’84 Jon Voigtman has had an extraordinary career and continues to support and give back to CMU. After graduation, he entered the professional world at Electronic Data Systems and later began his finance career at Freddie Mac. He has held executive positions at top Wall Street firms including, HSBC Securities, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers. Today, Voigtman is a managing director and senior officer at RBC Capital Markets in the Bahamas, and chairman of RBC Financial Caribbean. He joined the investment bank in 2007, where he is now responsible for the performance and liquidity of a multibillion-dollar U.S. and Canadian investment portfolio. Even through all his professional advancements, Voigtman looks back fondly at CMU, where he lettered in gymnastics and met his wife, Terri, ’85.

The couple has generously contributed more than $1 million in gifts to CMU. Their contributions have funded the Voigtman Financial Lab, the Voigtman ERP Lab, the Voigtman Endowed Scholarship, the Michigan Finance Scholars in the College of Business Administration, as well as countless projects in athletics and the College of Education and Human Services. Beyond his financial gifts, Voigtman has been essential in helping CMU’s finance students secure positions in the exclusive world of New York financial institutions. He is a member of the Advancement Board and serves on the College of Business Administration’s roundtable. CORPORATE OR FOUNDATION PARTNER AWARD: The Children’s Foundation The Children’s Foundation has had an active partnership with CMU. Through generous funding, they have assisted with child wellness initiatives with various faculty and departments across campus. The foundation has supported multiple chair positions within the College of Medicine and has partnered with CMU Athletics to provide once-in-a-lifetime game-day experiences for children. The foundation works collaboratively to improve the health and well-being of children and their families through advocacy, funding and partnerships. Larry Burns, CEO of the Children’s Foundation, is an alumnus of CMU and has seen the value firsthand in supporting programming and initiatives at the university. Larry hosts a radio show in Detroit and has invited President Bob Davies, Dean George E. Kikano and other faculty members to join him on the show to showcase CMU’s efforts in medicine, health and wellness, and the university’s overall impact on the state of Michigan.

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD: Kelly Skinner, M.A. ’02 Kelly Skinner has used his CMU pride to guide other students and alumni to professional success. Serving as vice president for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Skinner has utilized his position to network with and recruit CMU students interested in sports management from over 1,300 miles away. He has been a generous financial supporter of student and university success, providing annual donations and funding the Kelly M. Skinner Dean’s Discretionary Fund, which he established in 2017. This endowment was created for the Dean of the College of Health Professionals to use wherever it is most needed. Active in connecting with the CMU alumni base, Skinner remains in contact with faculty members and has regularly been a guest speaker for the sports management program. He encourages students to reach out to him for opportunities and questions about the professional field and always makes himself available to those who need guidance. FUTURE ALUMNI LEADER AWARD: Kaitlyn Prebelich, ’21 Kaitlyn Prebelich was a politically active and driven student. Her involvements on campus highlighted her interest in creating an engaged student body who exercise their democratic rights. Prebelich was a Leader Advancement Scholar, a Campus Engagement Election Fellow, Leadership Safari guide, Phonathon caller and was heavily involved with the Student Government Association. In 2019, she accepted the role of press secretary and became student body president the following

year. Her term of service was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, causing her and the administration to think on their feet. With Prebelich’s leadership, the SGA cabinet focused on immediate issues to continue driving the student body forward. In addition to her involvement with student organizations, Prebelich worked with Phonathon, where she made outreach calls to alumni, parents, friends and prospective CMU students. She began as a student caller and soon became a supervisor and mentor to other students. She oversaw the transition to remote calling and was vital in the success of the conversion. FUTURE ALUMNI LEADER AWARD: Emily Reeves, ’21 Emily Reeves’ diverse involvement at Central has ensured she and other students will be successful following graduation from CMU. Her involvements include Study Abroad, Alternative Breaks, Mock Interviews, Leadership Safari and Business Professionals of America (BPA). Through participation in BPA, Reeves was awarded first place in human resources management four consecutive years at the state level, from 2018-21, first place in advanced interview skills in 2019 and 2020, first place in presentation management, and she was the national champion in human resources management in 2018, 2019 and 2021. Reeves goes beyond her commitments to better any organization she is a part of. Through her involvement in Leadership Safari as a staff assistant, Reeves advocated for a greater focus on mental health. In BPA, she introduced anti-racism educational materials into her chapter. She is working on her capstone project for CMU’s Honors Program and developing a curriculum that focuses on cross-cultural communication that can be implemented with high school and college students through BPA. •

Centralight Winter ’21


MAKING THEIR MARK Alumni shine in their first decade since graduating CMU’s 10 within 10 program recognizes young alumni who bring honor to the university through their work in their career or community. This year’s honorees reflect on how their time at Central shaped their lives, their ambitions and their journeys.

Justin Foote, ’13 » Major: Commercial recreation » Job: Manager of CRM and data

strategy for the Los Angeles Lakers. » Current city: Los Angeles » Hometown: Mount Pleasant What has been your coolest moment since graduation? The opportunity to be around fans during milestones like Adrian Beltre’s 3,000th hit, the retirement ceremony for Kobe Bryant’s jersey numbers, or just postseason baseball in general are memories I won’t forget. Oh, yes, and winning the NBA championship is good fun as well.

What has been your coolest moment since graduation? Marrying my husband in 2016 was pretty amazing. Finding out I passed the Michigan bar exam in 2017 and getting to be sworn in by my dad with the rest of my family there to support me. Also, being commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Michigan Army National Guard as a judge advocate in 2019 by my dad. What has your work life taught you? I have always struggled with self-confidence, but as I have gotten older and experience more in life, I’ve been able to become more confident in what I do. I know I’m still learning but the role I’m in now has shown me how to take pride in what I do. What about CMU helped you succeed? The people I met at CMU helped change me the most and have helped me succeed. CMU was the perfect fit for me; it was a big school but it always felt small. I found classes I loved and programs/organizations that I was passionate about. I found my people at CMU.

Derek Hirschman, ’11

What advice would you give to new graduates? Everyone you meet is a future alliance, so make a good impression. What about CMU helped you succeed? When it was time to find work in the industry, CMU’s network of alumni and relationships helped me initially get my foot into the world of sports. Having a university and department like RPL behind you is a true asset.

Mary Hilgar, ’13 » Major: History » Job: Attorney advisor and judge

advocate for the Michigan Army National Guard. » Current city: Lowell » Hometown: East Grand Rapids What is your favorite memory of CMU? Being a resident assistant at Carey Hall, meeting some of my best friends, and getting to live with one of my best friends as an RA. 28

Centralight Winter ’21

» Major: Biomedical science » Job: Board certified dermatologist and owner of H2 Dermatology.

» Current city: Saginaw » Hometown: Hemlock

What is your favorite memory of CMU? Being a part of the 2007 MAC Championship and 2007 Motor City Bowl football team. What are you proudest of? I’m most proud of becoming a father. My daughter has become my No. 1 priority, and it has been so incredible watching her grow and develop. What advice would you give to new graduates? Set goals and share them with people you care about. It’s a way to provide motivation as well as hold yourself accountable.

What has your work life taught you? If you do something you truly enjoy, it will never really feel like work. I enjoy coming to the office every day. I enjoy working with my wife, being around my staff and helping my patients. What about CMU helped you succeed? My experience at CMU helped me build good time management skills, create a network of hardworking, successful people, and it provided me with a solid educational foundation that I was able to build from.

Zachary Huffman, M.A. ’18 » Major: Media management » Job: Founder and CEO of Hyvion, a drone services provider. » Current city: Atlanta » Hometown: Indianapolis

What is your favorite memory of CMU? I was working with students preparing for the News Central evening newscast when I received a call from a random number. I answered, assuming it was most likely a telemarketer, only to hear John Clark, executive director of the National Association of Broadcasters PILOT program. He was calling to let me know that the NAB not only loved my drone business concept, but that it was named a finalist in the PILOT Innovation Challenge. That call, along with participating heavily and winning the New Venture Competition, fueled my entrepreneurial drive and helped me find my passions in the broadcast and aviation industries. What advice would you give to new graduates? We live in a society where it’s natural for us to say, “Let’s get coffee sometime,” but we never actually do it. It may seem like an uncomfortable leap into the unknown — or an exhausting extroverted task — but that single exchange may help land your next deal, build a lifelong friendship or reconnect with a former acquaintance. What about CMU helped you succeed? I have been incredibly blessed to connect closely with alumni, faculty and staff at CMU. Our business-driven relationships have not only turned into friendships, but a core group has been with me every step of the way helping me succeed and grow.

Kelley Kosuda, ’12, M.A. ’14 » Major: Broadcast & Cinematic Arts,

minors in leadership and communication; electronic media management » Job: Consumer producer at Hearst Television for the national brand Rossen Reports. » Current city: New York City » Hometown: Rochester Hills What is your favorite memory of CMU? My favorite memories are going to CMU football games — that’s when your worlds collide. You see your LAS friends, your radio show cohosts and your Greek sisters and brothers all in one day. Everyone celebrating being CMU Chippewas — the atmosphere is unmatched!

What has been your coolest moment since graduation? My favorites have been the events I’ve field produced. Those include America’s Thanksgiving Parade, Detroit’s Grand Prix, a fundraiser inside Ford Field, Detroit’s Ford Fireworks, gubernatorial debates, etc. I’ve met many diverse people from politicians and celebrities to sports icons and local community members. Sometimes I can’t help but pinch myself! What advice would you give to new graduates? Don’t be afraid to say yes to opportunities that scare you. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be intimidating, but each time I’ve done it, the rewards have outweighed the fear. What about CMU helped you succeed? I reflect on my weeks at LeaderShape often. It was where I gained the tools to lead with empathy and discovered how to work with a team that has different visions for how to reach a common goal.

Cierra Mangal, ’13 » Major: Integrative public relations » Job: Director of marketing for Lambert

& Co., Michigan’s leading public relations and investor relations firm. » Current city: Detroit » Hometown: Southfield What is your favorite memory of CMU? Representing our Public Relations Student Society of America chapter in Phoenix for the national Leadership Rally. I presented on how to lead and maintain one of the largest chapters in the nation, along with being part of a core group that helped initiate conversations around helping the industry become more diverse and inclusive. What are you proudest of? Experiencing the racial and social reckoning of 2020, I committed to becoming an inclusive and socially conscious leader who speaks truth to power and creates environments where all individuals are proud to be their full and authentic selves each and every day. What has your work life taught you? When you start your career, it’s important to raise your hand and try new things. But, as you become more experienced, it’s important to not overextend yourself with tasks, meetings and commitments that serve little purpose. Aligning your work with what is most important to you will allow you to work smart with ease and confidence.

Steve McIsaac, ’11 » Major: General management » Job: Senior vice president of brokerage

operations for Nolan Transportation Group, a leading third-party logistics business in the domestic full truckload market. » Current city: Lake Orion » Hometown: Clarkston What has been your coolest moment since graduation? For work, it would be helping take a company from fewer than 20 employees to over 1,200 today and being named an equity holder in the business in 2016. Personally, it would be watching my baby daughter, Ava, be born. She is my new “why.” Centralight Winter ’21


What are you proudest of? I am most proud of being a very small part in the growth of several others’ careers and watching them blossom into excellent leaders. What advice would you give to new graduates? Don’t be afraid to work for a smaller, “unheard of” company. No one knew who Nolan Transportation Group was when I took the job in 2011, and we’ve grown into a top 10 revenue producer in our space. You can make a real impact at a smaller company, and you will often find happiness tied to autonomy and making a difference. What about CMU helped you succeed? Working in small groups in the college of business. I did feel like I had a leg up on some of my competition out of school because I learned how to work with all sorts of people during my time at CMU.

Marcelo Olivarez, ’09, M.A. ’12 » Major: Sport management,

sport administration » Job: Distribution unit director for Meijer, in charge of the largest dry grocery automated storage and retrieval system in the country. » Current city and hometown: Haslett What has been your coolest moment since graduation? I was chosen to give the closing plenary during the 2017 United States Business Leadership Network’s annual conference. The USBLN — now known as Disability:IN — is a leading business partner for disability inclusion. The presentation I gave highlighted the work we’ve done at Meijer hiring people with disabilities within our distribution operations. It was an incredible honor to share with business executives from companies around the world that disability inclusion enhances the culture within an organization. What are you proudest of? Leveraging the experience and knowledge I gained from CMU into a successful business career. It’s inspiring to recognize that I’m only two generations removed from grandparents who traveled from Texas to Michigan during the summer months to pick strawberries as migrant workers. What has your work life taught you? Be mindful that every day is an interview, and you’re selling yourself every day. Eliminate the gap between your intentions and your actions.

Jennifer Peacock, ’18 » Major: Cultural and global studies » Job: Senior program associate, the

Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute. » Current city: Washington, D.C. » Hometown: Harrison What is your favorite memory of CMU? In fall of 2017, I cocoordinated the Alternative Breaks program out of the Volunteer Center with a close friend. At the same time, I was representing AB as a homecoming ambassador. I was able to attend the events, spend evenings in the UC for AB board, and end the week standing on the football field in a maroon gown in the pouring rain. It’s cheesy, but it was the best.


Centralight Winter ’21

What has been your coolest moment since graduation? I geek out over completing my master’s degree at American University studying international peace and conflict resolution. I never saw myself holding an advanced degree. To complete my degree while starting my career full time, despite others telling me I couldn’t do it, is something I’m proud of. What are you proudest of? Building and maintaining relationships with women I admire and respect. These women not only inspire me but challenge me to take ownership of my abilities and quiet that insecurity. What advice would you give to new graduates? Always have mentors across generations! Keep those younger than you close and learn from them while you maintain relationships with those who are older than you. Post-grad life can be jarring, and those mentors will be valuable to you. And pay it forward and be the mentor you’ve needed, wanted or had. What about CMU helped you succeed? Many in my life don’t know I nearly dropped out of CMU my freshman year — I struggled. What enabled me to thrive and propelled me forward to a master’s and a job I love was the phenomenal staff and involvements at CMU.

Drew Weil, ’13 » Major: Health administration » Job: Director of hospital operations, UCLA Health.

» Current city: Los Angeles » Hometown: Goodrich What is your favorite memory of CMU? During my senior year, I joined Professor James Johnson on a study abroad trip to San Ignacio, Belize. The trip was my first international experience and helped highlight key similarities and nuances with people from other cultures. It taught me about public health and health delivery, and it served as a bedrock for my future interests. What are you proudest of? Securing an administrative fellowship position at UCLA Health after graduating with my master’s degree. What advice would you give to new graduates? I would encourage graduates to find a long-term mentor — ideally someone who is trusted, challenges your thoughts and beliefs, and values your success. I would also encourage graduates to become comfortable in ambiguity. Often, personal growth and discovery occur outside of our comfort zones. Finally, while pouring yourself into your profession is important, it shouldn’t be the only thing. Value your relationships, hobbies and personal growth too. What has your work life taught you? While technical skills are important, your success will often be determined by your ability to build relationships, communicate and appreciate the contributions of others. What about CMU helped you succeed? CMU provided me some of my earliest and best mentors who supported my success. They encouraged me to set ambitious goals and developed some of the early skills needed to get there. Read the honorees’ complete answers at https://cmich.ly/2ust08O.

ALUMNI NEWS Central Michigan University Alumni Association Board of Directors President Kandra (Kerridge) Robbins, ’90, Jena, Louisiana Vice president Scott Nadeau, ’89, Dexter, Michigan Past president Nathan Tallman, ’07, M.A. ’09, Macomb, Michigan Directors Brooke Adams, ’11, Detroit, Michigan Rebeca Reyes Barrios, ’00, MBA ’02, Lansing, Michigan Carrie Baumgardner, ’99, M.A. ’02, Davison, Michigan Lester Booker Jr., ’08, MSA ’10, Canton, Michigan

Lisa (Laitinen) Bottomley, ’97, Kentwood, Michigan

Spencer Haworth, ’12, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Caroline (Powers) Rizzo, ’15, Traverse City, Michigan

Catherine (Bomber) Claes, ’90, Gladstone, Michigan

Sean Hickey, ’88, M.A. ’90, Traverse City, Michigan

Michelle (Curtis) Rush, ’07, St. Joseph, Michigan

Michael Decker, ’07, Birmingham, Michigan

Bret Hyble, ’82, M.A. ’86, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Kimberly Sampson, ’17, Midland, Michigan

Nicole DeFour, ’12, M.A. ’15, Ferndale, Michigan

Erica Lagos, ’13, Carmel, Indiana

Darryl Shelton, ’85, Fennville, Michigan

Megan Doyle, ’03, Chicago, Illinois

Anthony Lazzaro, ’15, Newport Beach, California

Christine Simon, ’13, Lansing, Michigan

Jonathan Eadie, ’93, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan

Linda (Scharich) Leahy, ’82, Midland, Michigan

Norma Eppinger, ’91, Lansing, Michigan Chris Gautz, ’04, Adrian, Michigan Jacalyn (Beckers) Goforth, ’82, Beverly Hills, Michigan

J.J. Lewis, ’06, Simi Valley, California Benjamin Moxon, ’17, Saint Clair Shores, Michigan Thomas Olver, ’98, Lake Isabella, Michigan

For a full listing including emeritus board members please see https://www. cmich.edu/alumni/ AboutUs/AlumniBoard/ Pages/default.aspx

John Reineke, ’09, Oxford, Ohio

Central Michigan University Board of Trustees Todd J. Anson, ’77 Regine Beauboeuf Sharon Heath, ’96 Isaiah M. Oliver, ’07 Edward J. Plawecki Jr., ’75 Michael A. Sandler Richard K. Studley, ’93 Robert F. Wardrop II, ’72, ’76 For a full listing of Board of Trustees meeting schedules please see https://www.cmich. edu/bot/Pages/default.aspx Centralight Winter ’21 31 Centralight Winter ’21 31

ALUMNI NEWS Alumna transformed van into a home on wheels Now she’s sharing her #VanLife adventures on TikTok Van life was a dream in the back of Maddie Burman’s mind, far-removed from her everyday life as a flight attendant for United Airlines, right up until she was furloughed last summer. Burman was staying with her mom in Grand Ledge, when she got an email from the airline about an extended unpaid leave amid the pandemic. This is my opportunity, she thought. “I’d, for the last three years, watched people do van life from afar on social media and always thought to myself how much I thought that I would love it,” Burman said. She spent five months renovating a 2012 Nissan cargo van she bought from a used vehicle lot in Flint into a home on wheels, complete with a bed, mini-refrigerator and stovetop. In January, the 2010 Grand Ledge High School graduate, who earned a degree in

Alum makes $500K gift to College of Business Administration Contribution will allow students to gain portfolio management experience Bob Oros, ’90, has provided a generous gift of $500,000 to develop a new fund, the Bob Oros Multi-Asset Investment Fund. This gift will provide opportunities for students in the College of Business Administration to gain real-world experience managing an asset portfolio while becoming familiar with Global Investment Performance Standards. 32

Centralight Winter ’21

biology from CMU in 2014, set off with Daisy, her Siberian Husky, to see the country. Most nights have been spent sleeping in the studio apartment she created in the van. Burman and Daisy have spent their days traveling, hiking and exploring. The pair have driven more than 20,000 miles, visiting 33 states and 12 state parks. Burman has documented the van’s transformation and her travels on TikTok as @maddie_burman, posting short videos to her account on the platform, where over 740,000 people follow her.

Oros is the chairman and CEO of Hightower, a national wealth management firm that invests in and supports independent-minded financial advisory businesses to accelerate their growth. He also serves as a member of the CBA Dean’s Roundtable advisory board. “I am a big believer in practical learning. As I thought about how I could make a difference with my time and treasure, this seemed like a great way to accomplish both,” Oros said. “I wanted students to have broad latitude to set asset allocation and invest in all areas of the market. This will help students gain real-world learning, but also they will see their efforts pay off in growing this financial asset, which will benefit the university for years to come.”

“We kind of just have created this little home and both feel safe in here,” Burman said from a recent stop in Colorado. “If you would have told me two years ago what I’d be doing now, I would have never believed you. But I think a lot of us are doing things a whole lot different than we were before the pandemic.” Read Rachel Greco’s full story in the Lansing State Journal at https://cmich. ly/30siodT •

The Bob Oros Multi-Asset Investment Fund will allow 15-20 students each year to gain hands-on experience managing a portfolio that includes equity, fixed income, cash and alternative asset categories. The investment committee will meet each week to discuss risk, return and additional investments. In addition, an advisory committee consisting of Oros, finance faculty member Brad Taylor and CBA Dean Chris Moberg will review the investment activity of the fund. •

CMU’s Jewel Cotton earns MAC Diversity & Inclusion Award Former basketball player developed ‘United as One’ campaign for student-athletes

Alumni added to the ranks of Michigan sports halls of fame Greater Lansing, East Jackson High and Mount Pleasant High induct CMU Chippewas

Jewell Cotton, ’17, M.S. ’19, was named the winner of the Mid-American Conference Diversity & Inclusion Administrator Award. She is the assistant director of mentoring initiatives in CMU’s Multicultural Academic Student Services.

Gina Mazzolini and Dave DeMarco were inducted into the Greater Lansing Area Sports Hall of Fame. Both were selected for the honor in 2020, but because of COVID-19, the induction ceremony wasn’t held until the summer of 2021.

“We are so proud of Jewel and everything she has done for our programs,” Zyzelewski Family Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Amy Folan said. “Jewel has made a significant impact on our entire department in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her work and vision have enabled us to create a strategic roadmap for CMU Athletics to become a DEI leader in the MAC and the impact she has made on Central Michigan University’s campus makes her an exceptional honoree for this award.”

Mazzolini, ’78, played basketball and volleyball for St. Johns High School and Central Michigan University. She led the CMU Chippewas women’s basketball team to its first state title with a record of 24-9 in 1976-77. She scored 988 points in her career which is the tenth leading total in CMU women’s basketball history. She is also in the top ten in scoring average, rebounds and rebounding average. In 1974, she was the first ever St. Johns female athlete of the year.

Cotton was a four-year letter winner on the CMU women’s basketball team and earned her bachelor’s degree in family studies with a minor in substance abuse education in 2017. She then earned a master’s degree in administration in 2019. Cotton developed the “United as One” campaign in which CMU student-athletes from each sport recited the Unity Pledge. Her impact and leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion over the past year helped to open the door for CMU student-athletes, coaches and staff to become comfortable having conversations on race, gender, disabilities, sexual orientation and more, using those conversations to grow individually and to think beyond their biases. “Being a two-time CMU graduate, my efforts were deeply rooted which drove my motivation to contribute to our education and perspectives around diversity, equity and inclusion,” Cotton said. “This journey continues with further exploration and elevation through discomfort and ambiguity.” •

Detroit alum’s efforts to house college students captured Oprah’s attention Sam Prater, ’07, was profiled by Oprah Daily, Oprah Winfrey’s daily digital and quarterly print platform featuring uplifting and powerful stories. Prater — who was once homeless in Detroit and is now finishing his dissertation for a doctorate in education from California State University, Northridge — is the founder and executive director of the Opportunity House in Los Angeles, currently home to 37 college students who would’ve faced housing insecurity without it. The residence provides students with affordable housing, free meals and a strong community to help get them to graduation. Read the full story chronicling Opportunity House’s first year here: https://cmich.ly/3FP5jLW •

DeMarco, ’82, hosts “The Mad Dog Show,” a popular mid-Michigan sports radio show on AM-730. He earned two varsity letters as a baseball player at Lansing Catholic High School and participated in the first Diamond Classic tournament. In addition to his radio program, he has helped host the Midnight Madness opening of the Michigan State basketball season as well as many other local sports events. East Jackson High School recently announced its inaugural hall of fame class, honoring standout athletes, coaches and volunteers. Kary TomawSwiontek, ’97, was among the first honorees. She excelled as a volleyball, basketball and track standout for the Trojans during her prep career, earning all-conference and academic honors in multiple sports. She continued her track career at CMU, where she was the first female in the MAC to become a three-time MAC Conference champion in the heptathlon. She was also the first female track athlete at Central Michigan to receive the Bill Boyden Leadership Award. Mount Pleasant High School’s Athletics Hall of Fame inducted the school’s 1993 softball team, which won the only softball state championship in program history, beating Flint Kearsley in the Class A state final. The team’s roster included CMU alumni Brook Bollman Schumacher, ’98; Jenny Bouck Maciejewski, ’00; Sarah Pety Stevens, ’03; Jaren Pickens Gebhard, ’98; Gina Shoemaker Rennie, ’97; Amy Schell, ’99; Amanda VanHorn Franco, ’00; and Coach Ted McIntyre, ’71. • Centralight Winter ’21


ALUMNI NEWS CMU Chippewa tapped to lead Michigan State athletics program Alan Haller, M.S.A. ’03, was unanimously chosen as the new vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics for Michigan State University.

Honors for CMU Chippewas Ruth Ann Knapp, M.A. ’74, of Saginaw, has been appointed to the State Fire Safety Board by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Knapp is the president of the Saginaw Board of Education and a retired elementary school music teacher. She is appointed to represent members of the governing board of a school district, public school academy, or intermediate school district, for a term that began Sept. 24 and expires July 15, 2025. Stephanie Calhoun, M.A. ’04, is the new executive director of the Allegan County Community Foundation. She has more than two decades of experience in the nonprofit and volunteer sector. She has been involved in groups focused on community-built playgrounds, family readiness, parent/teacher organizations and higher education advancement — as well as an education foundation and a nonprofit library. John Christian, M.A. ’08, has been named the conductor and music director for the Portsmouth Wind Symphony in Portsmouth, Ohio. Christian was previously the director of university bands at the University of Charleston, West Virginia, and taught at the Almaty 34

Centralight Winter ’21

“Alan is a remarkable leader and an accomplished and well-rounded administrator who has been instrumental in setting up MSU Athletics for continued success,” said Dianne Byrum, chair of the MSU Board of Trustees. “Our nationwide search led us back home to a leader who is steadfastly committed to the success of our institution and its student-athletes.”

following a 13-year career with the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety. He is credited with being part of the successful efforts to recruit MSU’s all-time winningest coach Mark Dantonio and current MSU Head Football Coach Mel Tucker. He also championed the addition of the department’s inaugural chief diversity officer, Ashley Baker.

A former MSU football player and member of the track and field team as well as a former cornerback in the NFL, Haller joined MSU Athletics in 2010,

Haller holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from MSU and an MSA in human resources administration from CMU. •

International School in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the Rabat American School in Rabat, Morocco, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and other high schools and universities throughout the United States.

newsrooms across the nation, will be the new executive editor of the Raleigh News & Observer and the Herald-Sun in Raleigh, North Carolina. Church is a Japanese-American, born on an Air Force base in Japan while his father was serving overseas. He is the first person of color to serve in the newsroom’s top leadership role in The News & Observer’s 156-year history.

Isabel Montemayor, ’05, has been named executive director of the Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan. The 15-member commission, housed under the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, is tasked with developing a unified policy and plan of action to serve the needs of Michigan’s Hispanic people. The commission also advocates for the well-being of the Hispanic/Latino population with the vision of achieving an environment of social justice and economic parity for the population. Dawn Carson, ’87, has been appointed the city of East Lansing’s new fire chief. Carson has served with the East Lansing Fire Department since 1994. She is the first female fire chief in the city’s history. During her career with ELFD, Carson was promoted to lieutenant in 2011, captain in 2013 and deputy chief in 2016. Bill Church, M.S. ’09, who started his newspaper career covering high school sports for an Oklahoma weekly and most recently helped oversee 150

Emily Wahls, ’14, has been appointed chief meteorologist for the Fox affiliate WFLD Chicago. Most recently, Wahls was chief meteorologist at WILX in Lansing and, prior to that, held various roles at WLNS in Lansing. She earned her bachelor’s of science in meteorology from CMU. Tariq Brown, ’18, a Ph.D. candidate in the neuroscience graduate program at Brown University, is investigating the impacts of alcohol-induced alternative splicing of genes on neural function and behavior. He will use fruit flies to study how the splicing of the Dopamine-2 receptor influences behavior after alcohol consumption. “My goal is to establish a connection between disruptions in alternative splicing and alcohol use disorder,” Brown said. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from CMU. •

Connectivity and Affordability. Competitive rates available to CMU Alumni for AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless products and services. connect.cmich.edu 989-774-3087 connect@cmich.edu Centralight Winter ’21


In Memory Bernice (Cole) Martin, ’28, South Lyon, Mich., died Dec. 31, 1993, age 85 Helen (Tangalakis) Theofilis, ’39, Clearwater Beach, Fla., died Aug. 15, 2021, age 102 Mary (Sheehan) Hutchins, ’40, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Jan. 18, 2011, age 94 T. Jean (Sparks) Houghton, ’59, ’70 MA, Eaton Rapids, Mich., died Aug. 9, 2021, age 97 Betty (Phillips) Mullet, ’46, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Oct. 2, 2021, age 97 Shirley (Storz) Smith, ’48, Grand Ledge, Mich., died Sep. 1, 2021, age 95 Frederick Anderson, ’49, Woodstock, Ga., died Aug. 10, 2021, age 84 Lucile (Newton) Maran, ’49, Naples, Fla., died Aug. 21, 2021, age 94 Joseph Berlin, ’50, Grand Rapids, Mich., died June 24, 2021, age 95 George Gvozdich, ’50, Birmingham, Mich., died July 17, 2021, age 92 Eloise (Marsh) Madison, ’66, ’70 MA, Standish, Mich., died Aug. 9, 2021, age 91 Mary (Hayward) McMaster, ’51, Traverse City, Mich., died July 4, 2021, age 91 John Bifoss, ’52, Vanderbilt, Mich., died May 1, 2020, age 93 Joyce (Horton) Brockschmidt, ’52, Lowell, Mich., died Feb. 20, 2021, age 90 Lila (Kruger) Hart, ’52, Bay City, Mich., died July 29, 2021, age 89 Janice (Ward) Kerns, ’53, ’70, ’75 MA, Frankenmuth, Mich., died Aug. 14, 2021, age 90 Richard Knoop, ’53, Fenton, Mich., died July 11, 2021, age 91 Floyd Oliver, ’53, Los Altos Hills, Calif., died Aug. 3, 2021, age 90 Terry Carnahan, ’54, Metamora, Mich., died Apr. 8, 2020, age 87 Lonna (Hall) Forrest, ’54, Iowa City, Iowa, died July 16, 2021, age 90 Elaine (Nozicka) DeCou, ’55, Grand Blanc, Mich., died Mar. 10, 2021, age 86 Norma French, ’59, Traverse City, Mich., died Sep. 7, 2021, age 85


Centralight Winter ’21

William Gipson, ’57, Benzonia, Mich., died May 31, 2021, age 88 Virginia (Kapalla) Minor, ’57, ’67 MA, Escanaba, Mich., died May 30, 2020, age 87 B. Joann (Clapp) Glover, ’58, Newport, R.I., died June 17, 2016, age 82 Ann (Andres) Keenan, ’58, ’66 MA, ’90 MA, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sep. 6, 2021, age 84 Byron Powers, ’58, Huntsville, Ala., died Sep. 8, 2021, age 85 Ralph Turnbull, ’58, ’64 MA, Holland, Mich., died Sep. 7, 2021, age 92 Thomas Beatty, ’59, Ludington, Mich., died Aug. 18, 2021, age 85 William Steffens, ’59, ’66 MA, Petoskey, Mich., died May 13, 2020, age 94 Bernard Bader, ’60, Lakeville, Minn., died June 20, 2020, age 88 Lyle Berry, ’60, ’69 MA, Rockford, Mich., died Aug. 5, 2021, age 85 Wayne Buchner, ’60, Flint, Mich., died June 10, 2021, age 86 James Leuenberger, ’60, Clare, Mich., died Mar. 27, 2020, age 83 John Muma, ’60, ’63 MA, Hattiesburg, Miss., died June 9, 2021, age 83 Carolyn (Rivard) Natzke, ’60, New Baltimore, Mich., died Sep. 8, 2021, age 82 Dixie (Plunkitt) Davies, ’61, Port Saint Lucie, Fla., died Aug. 21, 2021, age 81 Richard Frank, ’61, Auburn, Mich., died Oct. 10, 2021, age 82 Howard Updegraff, ’61, Holland, Mich., died Aug. 14, 2021, age 81 Nancy (Hein) Bergquist, ’62, Alpena, Mich., died Sep. 11, 2021, age 81 Doug Frank, ’62, ’66 MA, Saginaw, Mich., died July 23, 2021, age 81 Joan (Ryder) Higgins, ’62, Cadillac, Mich., died Aug. 7, 2021, age 81 John Mitchell, ’62, Weidman, Mich., died Aug. 4, 2021, age 85 Ronald Tschirhart, ’62, Troy, Mich., died Aug. 18, 2021, age 82 James Baier, ’63, Oscoda, Mich., died Sep. 7, 2021, age 80 Estella (Alexander) Frantz, ’63, Alpena, Mich., died Mar. 22, 2021, age 85

Charles Collard, ’64, ’70 MA, Hart, Mich., died July 13, 2021, age 80 Marilyn (Claucherty) Jabkiewicz, ’65, Grass Lake, Mich., died Aug. 16, 2021, age 77 Robert Scherzer, ’65, ’70 MA, Saginaw, Mich., died July 19, 2021, age 78 Alec Brooks, ’66 MA, Rosebush, Mich., died Oct. 21, 2021, age 101 James Lahmann, ’67, ’69 MA, New Lothrop, Mich., died Aug. 27, 2021, age 77 Ray Persall, ’67, Vestaburg, Mich., died Aug. 30, 2021, age 87 Hugh Smith, ’67, Royal Oak, Mich., died June 4, 2021, age 78 E. Baron (Chipman) Chipman, ’68, Clio, Mich., died June 10, 2021, age 80 Shirley McClure, ’68 MA, Gladwin, Mich., died Oct. 15, 2015, age 88 Bob Poland, ’68, Greer, S.C., died Aug. 6, 2021, age 76 Donald Buyze, ’69 MA, Dowagiac, Mich., died Aug. 29, 2020, age 87 Dolores (Otterbacher) Kracker, ’69 BS, West Olive, Mich., died Aug. 6, 2021, age 74 Rita Thering, ’69 MA, Fenton, Mich., died June 7, 2015, age 79 Jenove (Thiel) Zehner, ’69, Oakley, Mich., died Aug. 9, 2021, age 74 Thomas Baughman, ’70, Santa Rosa, Calif., died Sep. 24, 2018, age 69 Beryl (Meyer) Bennett, ’70, ’76 MA, Grand Rapids, Mich., died May 3, 2016, age 92 Patricia (Richtarik) Butler, ’70, Madison, Wis., died Apr. 26, 2021, age 73 Lawrence Coopes, ’70 MA, Frankenmuth, Mich., died June 19, 2018, age 74 Kathleen (Batten) Crandall, ’70, Howard City, Mich., died May 24, 2012, age 77 Wallace Hamilton, ’70 MA, Battle Creek, Mich., died Aug. 20, 2012, age 98 Lloyd Hansen, ’70 MA, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Aug. 22, 2017, age 92 Cheryl (Watson) Hartman, ’70, Burton, Mich., died July 31, 2021, age 76

Stephen Hein, ’70, Hawks, Mich., died Dec. 21, 2020, age 72 Michael Hinkley, ’70, Flint, Mich., died Feb. 12, 2014, age 66 Marjorie (Harris) Hoekwater, ’70, ’77 MA, Petoskey, Mich., died Jan. 28, 2017, age 90 Katherine (Kulczyk) Kaul, ’70, Saginaw, Mich., died Aug. 14, 2021, age 74 Norma (Keelean) Malsom, ’70, Newaygo, Mich., died July 5, 2021, age 97 Judy (Wolff) Masten, ’70, Huntersville, N.C., died July 30, 2021, age 73 Norma (Sjaarda) Mieras, ’70 MA, De Tour Village, Mich., died Oct. 19, 2015, age 80 Thomas Miller, ’70, ’77 MA, Midland, Mich., died Aug. 21, 2021, age 74 Diane (Murphy) Paul, ’70, ’94 MA, Midland, Mich., died Aug. 15, 2021, age 73 Thomas Pouch, ’70, Fullerton, Calif., died June 22, 2021, age 80 Harlan Raymond, ’70, Mancos, Colo., died Nov. 12, 2014, age 69 Gary Rojeski, ’70, Shelby Township, Mich., died May 25, 2017, age 69 Patricia (Stalinski) Schultz, ’70, Bay City, Mich., died Aug. 10, 2021, age 87 Ellen Smith, ’70, Marshall, Mich., died Aug. 18, 2017, age 70 George Stiver, Jr., ’70, Prospect Heights, Ill., died June 4, 2013, age 79 Susan (Yentz) Suffel, ’70, Johns Island, S.C., died Sep. 7, 2013, age 65 Johnny Bennett, ’71, Sacramento, Calif., died July 16, 2021, age 79 Karen (Swanson) Bruining, ’71, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Oct. 11, 2018, age 70 Ronnie Conner, ’71, Cedar Lake, Mich., died June 15, 2021, age 75 John Ederer, ’71, Saginaw, Mich., died Sep. 23, 2021, age 79 Daniel Freeland, ’71, Mayville, Mich., died Apr. 17, 2021, age 71 Joanne (Milne) Garrett, ’71, Wellington, Ohio, died July 3, 2021, age 72 Candice (Golding) Green, ’71, Bay City, Mich., died Sep. 3, 2021, age 75

Janet (Gettel) Retford, ’71 MA, Owendale, Mich., died Sep. 8, 2021, age 83 Thomas Ross, ’71 MA, Washington, D.C., died July 19, 2021, age 76 Ted Stanczak, ’71, Levering, Mich., died Aug. 25, 2021, age 72 Margaret (Hopkins) Strouse, ’71, Saginaw, Mich., died Feb. 19, 2016, age 91 Norris Uhlman, ’71, Clare, Mich., died Dec. 8, 2018, age 76 Milton Underwood, ’71, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Jan. 4, 2015, age 68 John Manninen, ’72 MA, Freeland, Mich., died Feb. 8, 2021, age 74 Thomas Sarr, ’72, Northville, Mich., died Feb. 4, 2020, age 70 Lois Willoughby, ’72, Shepherd, Mich., died Sep. 4, 2021, age 87 James Adams, ’73, Tucson, Ariz., died Sep. 1, 2021, age 76 Margie (Bernard) Beasley, ’73 MA, Denver, Colo., died July 15, 2021, age 91 Robert Pianalto, ’73 MA, Riverside, Calif., died Jan. 11, 2020, age 82 Mark Sauve, ’73, Saint Clair Shores, Mich., died Sep. 7, 2021, age 69 Kenton Smallwood, ’73, Roscommon, Mich., died July 25, 2021, age 69 Charleen (Fuhrman) Swan, ’73 MA, Lebanon, Tenn., died Aug. 13, 2021, age 91 Homer Williams, ’73 MA, Brice, Ohio, died Aug. 27, 2021, age 86 Scott Gelbaugh, ’74, Traverse City, Mich., died Sep. 2, 2021, age 68 Michael Impullitti, ’74, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died July 4, 2021, age 68 James Nauta, ’74, Jenison, Mich., died Sep. 10, 2021, age 76 Joseph Parker, ’74 MA, ’79 MSA, Long Beach, Calif., died June 21, 2021, age 86 Stephen Schram, ’74, Washburn, Wis., died Aug. 2, 2021, age 70 Dean Alan, ’75, Saint Clair Shores, Mich., died Sep. 2, 2021, age 67 Thomas Cutler, ’75 MA, Byron Center, Mich., died June 30, 2021, age 75

Marlene Edwards, ’75 MA, Grand Rapids, Mich., died July 11, 2021, age 88 Edward Franklin, ’75 MA, Fort Myers, Fla., died July 16, 2021, age 78 Terry (Howlett) Lichtenfelt, ’75, Madison, Wis., died Aug. 6, 2021, age 68 Cherie (Jones) Walters, ’75, Harrison Township, Mich., died July 26, 2021, age 68 Willis Watkins, ’75 MA, East Lansing, Mich., died June 16, 2021, age 79 Gail Edwards, ’76, Petoskey, Mich., died June 30, 2021, age 68 Marvin Locke, ’76 MA, Vance, S.C., died July 3, 2021, age 77 Michael Ryan, ’76, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Aug. 18, 2021, age 71 Sandra (Strong) Townsend, ’76, ’81 MA, Unionville, Mich., died July 25, 2021, age 75 David Worfel, ’76 MA, Rockford, Mich., died Aug. 29, 2021, age 72 Charles Zilch, ’76 MA, Rockford, Mich., died Oct. 17, 2021, age 92 David Begian, ’77, Rochester, Mich., died June 23, 2021, age 66 Ronald Cornelius, ’77 MA, Columbus, Ohio, died June 27, 2021, age 83 Joel Croxton, ’77 MA, Summerville, S.C., died Sep. 14, 2021, age 72 Jim Golden, ’77 MA, Jacksonville, Fla., died July 10, 2021, age 85 Jack Hagist, ’77, Bellevue, Mich., died July 5, 2021, age 66 Daniel Homan, ’77 MA, Hesperia, Mich., died June 23, 2021, age 71 Stephen Ignatowski, ’77, Midland, Mich., died Sep. 3, 2021, age 77 Jerry Magoulas, ’77 MA, Henrico, Va., died Aug. 17, 2021, age 81 Ralph Sweeney, ’77 MA, Rockwood, Tenn., died June 13, 2021, age 88 Kerry (Bristol) Thomas, ’77, Freeland, Mich., died Aug. 21, 2021, age 66 Dennis Bloomer, ’78 MA, Sarasota, Fla., died June 4, 2021, age 85 Deborah (Weston) Foldesi, ’78, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died June 29, 2021, age 66 Centralight Winter ’21


In Memory Richard Gleason, ’78 MA, Lansing, Mich., died July 23, 2021, age 82 Gerald Simpson, ’78, Ypsilanti, Mich., died Aug. 13, 2021, age 68 Carl Swanbeck, II, ’78, Bay City, Mich., died July 23, 2021, age 64 Albert Tribe, ’78 MA, Longview, Tex., died Sep. 11, 2021, age 75 Carol Atkins, ’79, Pattersonville, N.Y., died Aug. 18, 2021, age 63 David Baum, ’79 MA, Gig Harbor, Wash., died July 26, 2021, age 71 Reet (Teoste) Fernandez, ’79, Wayne, Pa., died July 20, 2021, age 88 David Mamagona, ’79, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Aug. 20, 2021, age 66 Kathleen (Peters) Shafer, ’79 MA, Gulf Breeze, Fla., died July 2, 2021, age 70 Richard Warner, ’79 MA, White Lake, Mich., died Aug. 10, 2021, age 89 Connie (Reimer) Brenes, ’80, Kalamazoo, Mich., died Aug. 3, 2021, age 65

Gary Cron, ’80 MA, North Bend, Ohio, died Aug. 24, 2021, age 72 Pamela (Pastula) Donnelly, ’80, Hillsdale, Mich., died July 11, 2021, age 64 Dorothy (Christenson) Flynn, ’80 MA, Flint, Mich., died Aug. 31, 2021, age 91 Joan F. (Miller) Leppo McVey, ’80, ’89 MA, ’90 MA, Miami, Fla., died Oct. 5, 2021, age 80 Wayne Parkin, ’80, Richmond, Tex., died Sep. 1, 2021, age 65 David Smith, ’80 MA, Orchard Park, N.Y., died June 10, 2021, age 71 Joseph Stankovich, ’80 MA, Elk Rapids, Mich., died Aug. 20, 2021, age 71 Peter Makar, ’81 MA, Kawkawlin, Mich., died Aug. 17, 2021, age 70 Charles Thornburgh, ’81 MA, Pooler, Ga., died July 29, 2021, age 73 Arthur Jakubowski, ’82 MA, Troy, Mich., died June 12, 2021, age 81

Robert Rowe, ’82 MA, Cumming, Ga., died June 8, 2021, age 76 Richard Freyser, ’83 MA, Mechanicsburg, Pa., died Aug. 23, 2021, age 79 Frederick Gedrich, ’83 MA, Annandale, Va., died Aug. 11, 2021, age 78 Robert Tosch, ’83 MA, Bonita Springs, Fla., died July 8, 2021, age 75 Alice Waters, ’83 MA, Mount Clemens, Mich., died July 29, 2021, age 86 James Wirtz, ’83 MA, Kewadin, Mich., died Sep. 8, 2021, age 74 Michael Erwin, ’84 MA, Kent, Ohio, died Dec. 27, 2020, age 70 David Evans, ’84 MA, Newark, Ohio, died July 21, 2021, age 84 Scott Johnston, ’84, Saginaw, Mich., died July 24, 2021, age 59 Margaret (Jackson) Hicks, ’85 MA, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Aug. 18, 2021, age 85 Steven Bartlett, ’86, Perry, Okla., died Aug. 30, 2021, age 58

John Corbin, ’86 MA, Cordova, Tenn., died Aug. 5, 2021, age 79 Peter Fink, ’87, Austin, Tex., died June 21, 2021, age 57 Kathleen (McNally) Schurman, ’88 MSA, Joplin, Mo., died July 26, 2021, age 69 Fayne McDowell, ’89 MSA, Colorado Springs, Colo., died Aug. 29, 2021, age 74 Daniel Palladino, ’89, Marietta, Ga., died Aug. 30, 2021, age 54 Keating Smith, ’89 MA, Green Pond, S.C., died Aug. 14, 2021, age 62 John Carrier, ’91 MSA, Dunkirk, Md., died July 31, 2021, age 73 Susan (Stibich) Ruggles, ’91, Remus, Mich., died July 16, 2021, age 77 Bruce Tyson, ’91 MSA, Fredericksburg, Va., died July 1, 2021, age 69 Jeffrey Anderson, ’92, Alma, Mich., died Sep. 4, 2021, age 55 Kathleen (Cook) Rich, ’92, DeWitt, Mich., died July 10, 2021, age 50

Probyn Thompson, ’92 MSA, Sarasota, Fla., died Oct. 24, 2018, age 91 Steffanie (Spannagel) Anderson, ’94, Portage, Mich., died July 20, 2021, age 48 Phyllis (Wilson) Purnell, ’94 MSA, Elkhorn, Nebr., died July 15, 2021, age 71 Theodore Thomas, ’94 MSA, Riverview, Mich., died June 9, 2021, age 72 Al Kuchinka, ’95 MSA, Cullman, Ala., died July 2, 2021, age 87 LeAnn (Ostby) Watson, ’95 MSA, Greenville, S.C., died Aug. 28, 2021, age 82 Larry Cox, ’96 MSA, Smyrna, Del., died July 20, 2021, age 78 Kimberly (Flaherty) Hill, ’96, Sterling Heights, Mich., died Sep. 9, 2021, age 47 Tamara (Jacob) Miller, ’96, Orlando, Fla., died Sep. 10, 2021, age 47 Marcy (McDonald) Hosking, ’97, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sep. 23, 2021, age 49

Doris (Rice) Kazee, ’97 MSA, Pataskala, Ohio, died July 7, 2021, age 80 Ryan Parker, ’97 MSA, Bordentown, N.J., died June 28, 2021, age 52 Derek Scally, ’98, North Hollywood, Calif., died July 22, 2021, age 46 Therese (Forsyth) Hare, ’04, New Haven, Conn., died July 17, 2021, age 68 Derrick Jones, ’04, ’12 MSA, Lansing, Mich., died June 1, 2021, age 52 Chad Zelno, ’05, Auburn, Mich., died June 10, 2021, age 43 Gary Gerard, ’07, Michigan City, Ind., died June 30, 2021, age 69 Elaine Levitan, ’08, Livonia, Mich., died July 21, 2015, age 29 Michael Piasecki, ’08, ’11 MS, Grand Ledge, Mich., died June 20, 2021, age 36 Kyle Schafer, ’12, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died July 16, 2021, age 32 Matthew York, ’12, Ft. Mitchell, Ky., died Aug. 6, 2021, age 33

Chad Samson, ’21 MA, Romeo, Mich., died Aug. 25, 2021, age 41 Richard Parfitt, ’53, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sep. 6, 2021, age 90 FACULTY

Henry Fulton, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Aug. 19, 2021, age 86 John Novosad, West Bloomfield, Mich., died Dec. 11, 2020, age 88 Elena Quercioli, Madison, Wis., died July 26, 2021, age 53 Robert Rhead, Midland, Mich., died Aug. 4, 2021, age 84 Jeff Thomas, Midland, Mich., died Oct. 12, 2021, age 52 Robert Wear, Durham, N.H., died Feb. 17, 2015, age 98 Robert Yuill, Marquette, Mich., died Feb. 8, 2020, age 82 STAFF

Wilma Blackman, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Aug. 5, 2021, age 94

Raymond Barry, Alpharetta, Ga., died Aug. 1, 2021, age 87 Ida Clark, Sierra Vista, Ariz., died July 31, 2021, age 93 Judith Coffell, Weidman, Mich., died Oct. 2, 2021, age 76 Robert Forquer, Shepherd, Mich., died Oct. 1, 2021, age 80 Arthur Fountain, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Oct. 12, 2021, age 96 Sharon Gaunt, Ann Arbor, Mich., died July 29, 2021, age 73 Ronald Heath, ’89 MA, Cape Coral, Fla., died June 25, 2021, age 75 Kenneth Kopke, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Aug. 29, 2021, age 78 Dorothy (Wiltenburg) Myers, Midland, Mich., died Sep. 4, 2021,

age 98 Ruth Wentworth, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Aug. 13, 2021, age 82 Gerald Zuker, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Aug. 4, 2021, age 68


Long before he was an NBA all-star, MVP and Olympic gold medalist, Larry Bird put on quite a show when he came to Rose/McGuirk Arena on Dec. 5, 1977, playing for the 11th-ranked Indiana State Sycamores. Bird scored 45 points in the game against CMU, which was an arena record at the time and is still the record for most points by an opposing player in Rose. Bird broke the previous record of 42 points, set by Jim McElroy, a guard on CMU’s 1974-75 Mid-American Conference championship team, on Feb. 2, 1975, when CMU whipped Ohio, 117-88.


Centralight Winter ’21

We drive with pride


Order your CMU license plate today! www.cmich.edu/alumni CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity for all individuals, irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and including but not limited to minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities. 10130 (5/21)

CentralightWinter Fall ‘21 Centralight ’21

41 41



Carlin Alumni House Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI 48859


Your dollars

MAKE CHANGE Student Emergency Fund

dollars have been awarded


Students awarded dollars


Dollars raised in 2020-21


Life is full of twists and turns — events that can threaten a student’s college education. At CMU, our Student Emergency Fund is there when our CMU Chippewas need a boost, often allowing them to stay in school donate.cmich.edu through difficult circumstances.

The Student Emergency Fund allowed Candy Boakyewaa to realize her dream of achieving a college degree. Due to insufficient financial aid, she was in danger of being dropped from her classes in her senior year. With support from donors, Candy earned her degree in integrative public relations with a minor in public affairs.


Candy Abena Boakyewaa, ’18 Integrative public relations major, public affairs minor

CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity within its community. CMU does not discriminate against persons based on age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, race, religion, sex, sex-based stereotypes, sexual orientation, transgender status, veteran status, or weight. (see cmich.edu/ocrie). UComm 10076 (10/2021)

Donors in 2020-21