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Firedto give upback Alumni choose meaningful ways to support students


Centralight Winter 2019

+ FEATURES On the cover

Even the snowpeople on campus get fired up for CMU! This friendly fella was hanging out by the seal on a particularly chilly day last winter. Do you deck your snow creations out in maroon and gold? PHOTO BY ADAM




Some CMU grads know firsthand what it's like to struggle financially while in school. So, they're making it their mission to give back to their alma mater by supporting students facing a variety of challenges as they work toward their degrees.

From technology and medicine to archaeology and science, CMU faculty and students across disciplines are spearheading research with broad implications.

Alumni support students

Collaboration in action


Provost discusses depth, breadth of CMU research The phrase “university research” typically conjures images of people in white lab coats bent over a microscope. That’s certainly one application — and an important one. But research at a university can mean so much more.


Centralight Winter ’19

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

Betsy Miner-Swartz, ’86 Managing Editor

Robin Miner-Swartz Graphic Designer Nate Jones, ’10 Photographer

Steve Jessmore, ’81


Campus dining has come a long way


Terri Finch Hamilton, ‘83 Robin Miner-Swartz Research Associate Bryan Whitledge Editorial Assistants Rhonda Brock, Lori Conroy Vice President for Advancement Heidi Tracy Interim Associate Vice President for University Communications Heather Smith, ’02, M.S.A. ‘11 For advertising information Call Cindy Jacobs, ’93 (800) 358-6903

Stay connected Send change of address information to: Alumni Relations Carlin Alumni House Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI 48859 Phone: (800) 358-6903 Fax: (989) 774-7159

It's a whole new culinary world at CMU. Today, students can use their meal plans at 15 dining locations across campus, where they can select a Thai tofu wrap or street tacos with authentic queso fresco and cumin crema. Familiar national restaurants dot campus, too, available to students as part of their meal plan.

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

+ DEPARTMENTS 3 Calendar of events There are many opportunities to connect with fellow CMU Chippewas. 4 CMU Today A new Culinary Nutrition Center will help CMU students as they work toward careers in nutrition and dietetics. 13 Alumni awards The 2019 winners exemplify service to their communities, their professions and their alma mater.

18 Big Picture A Clarke Historical Library exhibit features CMU through the lenses of three talented photographers. 36 Alumni News Alumni’s mural festival dream brings large-scale art to Jackson, Michigan. 39 In Memory 40 Do You Remember

Body contains 30% post-consumer waste

Centralight is published three times each year by the Central Michigan University Office of Alumni Relations. It is printed by Quad/Graphics, Midland, and entered at the Midland 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 10075–25,000+ (11/19)

Centralight Winter Winter’19 ’19 Centralight





you share with your alma mater didn’t end with graduation. Continue to make new ones! Become a

Gold Member of the CMU Alumni Association today! cmich.edu/alumni

Keep the old, and bring the


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 9794 - 2017


CENTRALIGHT IS FOR YOU. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO KNOW? Alumni feedback helps shape future issues


I must start this issue’s column with a huge thank you to everyone who reached out with kind words, texts, posts and comments about our fall issue. When I sat down this summer to talk with Dr. Davies and Lee Furbeck, executive director of admissions, about the state of enrollment on campuses across the country and at CMU, I hoped you would all find it interesting and informative. I had no idea we would receive so much feedback. The entire editorial team is grateful.

Marcie Otteman, ’87, Executive Director of Alumni Relations

But that got me thinking: What else do you want to learn more about? What other stories, questions or topics do you wish we would tackle in future issues? We make this magazine for you, and it’s your support that guides us. So, let us know what you’re wondering about, and we’ll see if we can get the answers. Shoot me a message at alumni@cmich.edu.

In this issue, we look at how campus dining of the past has evolved into the choices we have today. You’ll meet some of the people who make sure our students, faculty and staff enjoy healthy and tasty dishes. You’ll also get to meet some wonderful people making a big difference for some of our students by giving in unique ways. These are really my favorite stories — the ones about ordinary alumni who change lives.


Grand Rapids Griffins Game, Grand Rapids


Detroit Pistons Alumni Event, Detroit



Naples Sunset Cruise, Naples, Florida



CMU Night with the Red Wings, Detroit

It’s a wet and rainy fall day as I write this, but I know winter is just around the corner, and with it all the wonderful things that come with the holidays. As we enter the season of giving, please know I am grateful every day for you and for the opportunity to lead 225,000 alumni worldwide. Thank you for all you do for CMU and our students.


Wishing you peace and joy this holiday season.


The Villages Golf Outing, The Villages, Florida

Detroit Tigers Spring Training Game, Lakeland, Florida

Forever maroon and gold,





Spring Commencement, Mount Pleasant campus

This is a small sampling of the many alumni events. Please visit alumni.cmich.edu for a comprehensive list.

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CMU TODAY Heidi Tracy named new advancement vice president

Board approves Culinary Nutrition Center

Seasoned development professional started Oct. 1

A new Culinary Nutrition Center will help CMU students working toward careers in nutrition and dietetics.

CMU President Bob Davies has appointed Heidi L. Tracy as the university’s new vice president for advancement. Tracy has held roles in academic advancement and development for more than 20 years as a consultant, including working with the TWU Foundation at Texas Woman’s University, Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “Ms. Tracy brings to CMU an impressive and consistent record of creating and leading highly successful university development campaigns in addition to philanthropic fundraising,” Davies said. “I look forward to partnering with her as we pursue bold ideas that will help fund our vision for relevance and excellence.” As vice president for advancement, Tracy leads the university’s development and alumni relations functions.

Project will prepare students for careers in dietetics and nutrition

The Board of Trustees authorized The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions to create the Allen Foundation Culinary Nutrition Center with a $1.15 million upgrade to facilities in Wightman Hall. The project will modernize workstations, install audiovisual equipment, add commercial-style stoves and increase the facility’s capacity from 16 students to 24. A technology center will introduce students to state-ofthe-art food service methods and equipment, such as accelerated ovens that blend microwave and convection cooking. CMU interior design students helped plan the space with sustainability in mind. Donations so far, including $500,000 from the Allen Foundation in Midland, cover more than $664,000 of the project cost. CMU has committed $100,000, bringing the total raised to over $764,000. “We are finalizing plans for the space, including equipment and finishes, while continuing to work with corporate and industry partners to secure donations and grants,” said Jeffrey Fisher, faculty member in nutrition and dietetics. “The goal is to refresh the space and plan for the future, while recommitting ourselves to solving the nutritional challenges of today.” The center is expected to open for classes in fall 2020.

“It is an honor and privilege to join an institution that is innovative and responsive to the needs of our society,” she said. “From the moment I stepped onto campus, I felt the collective commitment to providing access to a quality education and excellence in research in pursuit of the common good. I look forward to working closely with Dr. Davies and the entire CMU community.” Tracy replaces Bob Martin, who retired June 30 at the conclusion of the Fire Up for Excellence campaign.

Public health programs earn accreditation Undergraduate and master’s degrees get approval from the Council on Education for Public Health CMU’s public health programs received five-year accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health. “Having our undergraduate public health education major and Master of Public Health programs accredited for five years assures students that their education has met the high standards of quality that will separate them from other programs in Michigan and across the nation,” said Tom Masterson, dean of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions. The undergraduate major is designed to prepare students for a number of health careers, from communitybased organizations to private health agencies, hospitals and government. The master’s program equips graduates to be leaders in such areas as public health policy, planning, management and research. “We were confident that those who started in the MPH program would graduate from an accredited program, and they have. It is so exciting to see what we’ve accomplished in such a short time,” said Jodi Brookins-Fisher, public health division director in the School of Health Sciences. 4

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Faculty tackle breast cancer recurrence through research

CMU amps up Merit Scholarship

Pair targets a protein that appears to be key to remaining disease-free after treatment

A new CMU scholarship program offers awards up to 75% of tuition.

Two CMU faculty members are collaborating on research that could lead to preventing breast cancer from recurring once it has gone into remission.

The Maroon and Gold Merit Recognition Scholarship replaces the Merit Scholarship starting in fall 2020. Designed with student success top of mind, it exceeds the current program’s top award by more than 44%.

Her research includes the dormant state the worms enter when exposed to stress. They come out of it when the stressor is gone. She has been studying the genes that control the fate of the worms’ cells during dormancy. Kohtz wondered if breast cancer cells go through a similar process after undergoing the stress of chemotherapy, and if so, is there a connection. It turns out the connection may be a protein called UNK. A little manifestation of UNK in the original tumor meant a short disease-free interval, a lot of UNK meant a long disease-free interval, he said. “It’s almost like an internal alarm clock that is set at some point early on, such as when the tumor is treated, and that determines the length of remission,” he said. Their work is being funded with a one-year $171,000 grant from the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation in Midland, Michigan. “I think our chances are very high that we will find something that will move us closer to our goal,” Karp said. “Best-case scenario is we find a very clear drug target that affects the breast cancer cells.” Read more about research across a broad range of disciplines at CMU on Pages 24-27.


Stave Kohtz was doing research on that issue in the College of Medicine when he learned about biologist Xantha Karp’s work with tiny worms called C. elegans in her lab in the College of Science and Engineering.


Percentage structure preserves awards’ value as tuition rates change

“Providing students a financial path to achieve their CMU degree is a fundamental part of living up to our strategic plan to nurture student success,” said Lee Furbeck, CMU’s executive director of admissions. Since 2010, CMU has increased scholarships and financial aid opportunities from $40.4 million to $71.9 million. The new scholarship’s six award levels — ranging from 20% to 75% of tuition — are based on a combination of an incoming student’s SAT score and high school GPA. Because the award is a percentage of tuition cost — a feature unique to CMU’s program among Michigan public universities — its value rises as recipients progress through CMU’s new upper/lower tuition structure or if tuition rates change. “The previous merit award placed more weight on the standardized test score, but new analyses conducted for CMU shows high school GPA is a better predictor of student success,” Furbeck said.

Event management program named world’s best


Recreation, parks and leisure services administration earns top honor CMU has the world’s best undergraduate recreation and event management program. That’s according to the International Festivals and Events Association, which honored CMU with its Gold Pinnacle Award for Best Event Management Bachelor’s Degree. Recreation faculty member Tim Otteman accepted the award on CMU’s behalf at the 2019 IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, this fall.



Recreation and event management prepares graduates for careers organizing festivals, conferences, performances and other special events throughout the U.S. and abroad. It’s the largest of three concentrations within the recreation, parks and leisure services administration department, with more than 200 students majoring and more than 100 minoring in the program. RPL’s other two programs are outdoor and environmental recreation and therapeutic recreation. “CMU recreation students take the real-life experiences we provide them through our curriculum and quickly become practicing professionals and leaders in our industry,” Otteman said. Centralight Winter ’19



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SUPPORT IS CENTRAL FOR STUDENTS Scholarships, mentorships, even food assistance can be crucial for success at CMU BY TERRI FINCH HAMILTON, ’83

Chelsea Dixon cried in her mentor’s office. She was so close to her special education degree but didn’t have enough money to pay for student teaching. Jacob Justice stared at the broken axle on his GMC Sonoma truck and wondered how he’d get to class and work. Elli Cline started college as an Army veteran and a recluse, feeling “like an alien.” Hundreds of CMU students struggle to afford food. Money doesn’t solve everything, but it pays for classes, fixes broken trucks, helps floundering student veterans and stocks the CMU Student Food Pantry with soup and spaghetti for another day. When you were a CMU student, did you ever need a hand? Can you lend one now? Last year, 222 students visited the CMU Student Food Pantry a total of 575 times. Those numbers are expected to grow this year as the pantry has expanded its hours.

We invite you to consider what your support can mean to a student. See what a difference it makes.

Centralight Winter ’19


‘I see how hunger affects people I know’ When Kourtney Koch, ‘18, applied to run the new CMU Student Food Pantry, she didn’t realize she’d see her classmates showing up hungry and in need. “I’ve learned so much,” Koch said. “I see how hunger affects people I know. People in my classes. I didn’t know they were experiencing hunger.” Opening the food pantry in the fall of 2018 “brought light to the issue,” Koch said. “Hunger on campus is really a hidden issue,” said Koch, a graduate student studying higher education administration while she works at the food pantry 20 hours a week. “Or it’s normalized. The idea of the broke college student – people accept it rather than challenge it.”

Some pantry visitors live on campus but have the least expensive meal plan, Koch said, which is 10 meals a week. “So, Monday through Friday they have two meals a day, and on the weekends they have no meals, maybe just snacks,” she said. Some students are homeless and don’t have access to food. At the student food pantry, they take what they need, for free. Last year the pantry was open twice a week every other week, but that wasn’t enough, Koch said. This year it’s open three times every week for two hours at a time.

Students are encouraged to register ahead, but they can also just walk in. The only requirement is to be enrolled in classes, Koch said. Students don’t have to prove financial need. “They walk around and choose what they would like,” she said. On the shelves: pastas, sauces, canned soups and meats, canned fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, cereal, peanut butter and jelly, frozen meats, dairy products, fresh produce. The food is purchased from the Greater Lansing Food Bank with funding from donations. The cost to the CMU Student Food Pantry is about 20 cents per pound of food, Koch said. “So just a $1 donation buys five pounds of food,” she said.

Koch said the plan is to eventually offer toothpaste, cleaning supplies, paper towels and toilet paper, too. Last year 222 students visited the food pantry a total of 575 times. Koch expects those numbers to grow this year with greater access. She added questions about food insecurity to the survey CMU students take after graduation. Between 38% and 46% of students answered yes to questions such as, “Have you ever been hungry and not had food to eat?” and “Have you ever cut portions or skipped meals because you didn’t have enough food?” Some students who use the pantry come back to volunteer there, Koch said. “They want to give back.”


Food insecurity on CMU’s campus “looks different from student to student, she said.

“Some come because they missed a paycheck or they’re between jobs at the moment and just need a little assistance.”


Centralight Winter ’19

Duane Kleinhardt

When Elli Cline, ’17, started at CMU as a freshman, she came straight from the U.S. Army, and that automatically made her feel different.

ended up serving as the CMU chapter’s vice president. She trained to be a peer mentor, paired with incoming student veterans. She ended up running the program.

“You feel out of place,” said Cline, now a CMU graduate student “It helped me find a community,” studying biology. “You feel like an she said. alien when you first come to campus. I felt like I couldn’t connect. As a peer adviser she reached out to the new students she was paired “You’re sitting next to 18-yearwith before they arrived at CMU olds who may have never left and showed them around campus. home before,” she said. “They She invited them to Student have completely different Veterans of America meetings problems than you do. You had and events, from cookouts to a whole life before college.” veteran tailgates. She struggled with anxiety, which The peer mentoring program Cline is common for student veterans. led on campus was called PAVE “In the military, there’s a slot for — Peer Advisors for Veteran you that only you can fill,” said Education. It started at the Cline, who was stationed in University of Michigan and has Hawaii as a public health partner colleges across the country. specialist. “You have a place in But the cost to belong is your platoon. You’re needed. prohibitive, said Duane Kleinhardt, You feel like you matter. director of the Veterans’ Resource “Then you come to college and Center. PAVE had a grant to offer you’re floating around. No one the program for free but lost the tells you your place. You have to funding and now has to charge. figure it out on your own.” So, CMU is starting its own similar After spending her first year “as a program this year, he said. They recluse,” she made her way to could use alumni donations to CMU’s Veterans’ Resource Center. fund it. Their new program will Everything changed. be similar to PAVE, he said. She attended meetings of Student Veterans of America and


‘It gave me a purpose, a drive, a place to belong on campus’

They’ll pair new student veterans with seasoned student vets in

their age range, who were in the same branch of the military, and maybe even had the same job or now have the same major. “It’s a built-in friend,” Kleinhardt said. “They exchange cell phone numbers, meet for coffee or go out to lunch. They say, ‘I’m here if you need me. Ask me anything.’ “That’s much less threatening than talking to an old gray-haired retired sergeant major.”

Fired up to give back? Go online to giving.cmich.edu to support programs meaningful to you.

CMU’s chapter of Student Veterans of America can always use donations, too, Kleinhardt said. “It offers that feeling of belonging, a sense of family, that many of our students don’t feel here,” he said. Cline found exactly that at the Veterans’ Resource Center. “It really changed the game for me,” Cline said. “It gave me a purpose, a drive, a place to belong on campus.”

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‘It’s the greatest thing that happened to me in college’ A $1,000 scholarship might not seem like a lot — or it can mean everything. Chelsea Dixon, ’17, would love to explain. Last year, Dixon had one of her school’s most challenging sixth graders in her special education class at Clarenceville Middle School in Livonia. Obstinate, defiant, disruptive, he threw things and often had to be banished from class. One day after a particularly difficult outburst, Dixon sat down with him on the floor and told him she wanted to listen and help. He seemed surprised. Then he spilled his story. The African American boy was adopted by a white family. “I feel different all the time,” he told her. “And people don’t understand.” She understood, Dixon told him. “I’m here for you,” she told him. His behavior drastically improved. His other teachers came to her for advice. What was she doing? “I just let him know I care,” Dixon said. “He doesn’t want to feel excluded, or that because he’s having feelings, he’s a bad kid.” At this year’s start-of-school open house, he visited Dixon in her classroom. “Can I still come to your room,” he asked her, “so you can listen to me when I’m sad?” Dixon almost didn’t finish her teaching degree at CMU. She was so close but scrambled to pay for nine credit hours for her student teaching.

That warms the heart of Susan Grettenberger, director of CMU’s social work program. “There are simply so many students at CMU who struggle and much of it is financial,” said Grettenberger, who started the scholarship in 2014 with colleague Daniel Patterson, who is now retired. “They’ll tell me, ‘My parents don’t have much money. I have to do this myself.’ Or ‘I failed a class because I work 40 hours a week.’ So many students struggle to pay the bills.” Year after year, CMU faculty give to support the scholarship, Grettenberger said — $5, $10, $20, $40 a paycheck. “The idea is for people to give year after year,” she said, “so this will become the biggest scholarship on campus. That’s our hope. It’s an endowment, so the more money people give, the more money there is.” Faculty donated $25,000 the first year to start the fund. “That says volumes about how much our faculty care about this and about our students,” Grettenberger said. While the scholarship is hosted by the faculty association, anyone can donate. Consider donating to the fund in honor of a CMU professor who made a difference for you, she suggested. Many made a difference for her, Dixon said. “On top of giving us all the tools we need to handle any situation, at the end of the day they taught us to treat our students like human beings,” Dixon said. “They’re people first. “I wouldn’t be this kind of teacher, a real advocate for these kids, without my time at CMU.” Susan Grettenberger

She ended up crying in her mentor’s office. Her mentor told Dixon about a $1,000 CMU Faculty Association scholarship and said she would write Dixon a letter of recommendation.


Centralight Winter ’19


“It’s the greatest thing that happened to me during college,” she said. “I don’t think I would have been able to finish school without it. It was exactly the amount I needed. I was working 60 hours a week and going to school full time. It was like $20,000 to me.”


When Dixon found out she was approved for the scholarship, she cried again.

Centralight Winter ’19



‘You never know what’s going to get in the way’ Sometimes the last straw is a truck axle. Jacob Justice was struggling to pay his bills when his GMC Sonoma pickup broke down.

“Sometimes students get close to the finish line and then something happens,” said Griffin, director of annual giving at CMU.

Their hearing aid breaks. “The front axle was completely busted,” They need plane fare to get home for the Flint junior recalled. It was an expensive repair that he couldn’t afford. a family emergency. Justice had worked a recent CMU phone-athon shift, asking alumni if they could donate to the Student Emergency Fund.

Sometimes faculty notice the need.

The emergency fund has helped 645 students with $726,884, Griffin said. Alumni chip in because they can relate. “Our alumni have a lot of empathy for struggling students because they had the same issues,” Griffin said. “It really tugs on something — there’s an emotional reaction."

People give $5 or more than $5,000. “They come to me and ask, ‘How can I It all makes a huge impact. help this student buy the books for my class?’” Griffin said. “I direct them to the “Our students are very thankful,” Griffin Student Emergency Fund.” said. “When I see them graduate, it’s an Now he was the one needing help. incredible feeling. They’ll do amazing Even small financial setbacks can derail He applied for money and received things when they leave CMU.” $2,000, enough to fix the truck and pay a student, Griffin said. Meanwhile, Justice is able to get to off some looming bills. “There are students working two and classes, to work and back home to three jobs, and they just don’t have a “That went a long way to helping me Flint. He’s so grateful, he said, that so continue to stay at school,” Justice said. safety net,” Griffin said. “They delay a many donors care enough to help semester. Then, they delay another “Life happens, right?” he said. “You never students they don’t even know. semester. Then, they just don’t know what’s going to get in the way.” graduate. This gives them a boost to “Having that extra support really does Bryan Griffin sees it happen all the cross the finish line.” help,” Justice said. “It’s a great thing.” • time.


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above beyond

a nd


for CMU

Alumni award winners elevate the university through their contributions

Each year, CMU recognizes alumni and friends who have made significant contributions of their time, talent or financial resources to help advance and bring recognition to Central. “Central Michigan University has a long tradition of honoring distinguished and committed alumni and friends who have shaped the world and strengthened our alumni community,” said Marcie Otteman, executive director of alumni relations. “The 2019 recipients exemplify this service to their communities, their professions and their alma mater. We are extremely proud of these CMU Chippewas and thrilled to honor them this year.”

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Alumni Service Recognition Award: Sarah Anthony, ’06 Michigan State Rep. Sarah Anthony is serving her first full term representing the 68th House District, which encompasses part of the city of Lansing and Lansing Township. She is the Democratic Caucus Chair for the 2019-20 session. In November 2018, Anthony was sworn into a partial term, making her the first African American woman to serve in this capacity in Lansing’s history. Anthony has been the recipient of numerous awards including the CMU Michigan College Access Network Board of Directors Award, Lansing Chamber Regional Leadership Award and the Michigan Democratic Party Rising Star Award.

Alumni Service Recognition Award: Ryan Moran, ’07 Ryan Moran is a government civilian employee with the Department of Defense. He is involved in program management, contracting, special events, and facility and personnel management. His service to CMU can be seen in his dedication to United States military service personnel and their families. He is an advocate for community-based recreation programming while remaining a shining example of what all graduates from the Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Administration strive to be — a leader in the recreation industry. His experience includes management at four U.S. Army recreation centers and the opening of a center in Ansbach, Germany.

Distinguished Alumni Award: Robert Stebbins, ’88 Robert Stebbins was named general counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission in May 2017. Prior to joining the commission, Stebbins was an attorney working on mergers and acquisitions and advising clients on SEC compliance issues and corporate governance matters. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association and is a fellow of the American College of Investment Counsel. During his time at CMU, Stebbins was an Academic All-American football standout and continues to support CMU Athletics and mentor students.


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Honorary Alumni Award: Ron Bacon Ron Bacon is a founding member of the CMU Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Professional Advisory Board and has actively served on the board since its inception almost 20 years ago. He offers valuable professional knowledge, connections and expertise to advance the education of CMU students and their future success as recreation professionals. He also has contributed financially to CMU since 2006, most notably toward the establishment and continued growth of the Ron and Susan Bacon Outdoor Recreation Award. This scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior pursuing a major in Outdoor Recreation.

Dick Enberg Alumni Commitment Award: Michael O’Donnell, ’70 For many years, Michael O’Donnell has given his time, talent and financial resources to support various programs at CMU. Most recently, he served as the chair of the $100 million Fire Up for Excellence Campaign where he set an example by giving a lead major gift, establishing The O’Donnell President’s Discretionary Student Success Fund. Under his leadership, the campaign exceeded its goal three years ahead of schedule. His honors over the years include being a commencement speaker in 2004 and serving as the homecoming grand marshal in 2017. He has served on the CMU Advancement Board since 2005.

Corporate Partner Alumni Award: PNC PNC Bank’s Mid-Michigan Region partner, based in Lansing and led by Rocco Rucinski, has been exceptional in advancing the experience of CMU students, student-athletes, the work of CMU faculty and the university’s impact on the greater community. PNC and the PNC Foundation have awarded generous funding in support of CMU Athletics, the College of Business Administration, the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center and the Child Development Learning Lab in the College of Education and Human Services. PNC is an ideal partner, leveraging CMU’s community engagement and impact by providing funding that enables CMU students to partake in service-learning activities and to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Future Alumni Leader Award: Allison Brookshier In her senior year, Allison Brookshier is actively engaged in every facet of her CMU student experience. She is a Centralis Scholar, Ronald E. McNair Scholar and president of the Society for Women in STEM. As a research assistant to faculty member Deric Learman, she is credited in two published research papers relating to microbiology. Allison has presented her research at three conferences and is the recipient of both the Heidelberg Excellence Scholarship and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America’s Educational Foundation Scholarship. Allison is heavily engaged in her academic pursuits, the Society for Women in STEM and the Organization of Women Leaders.

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d l o G d n a n K o O O o B r U a M C M

l a r t n Ce E.COM


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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, familial status, 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 http://www.cmich.edu/ocrie). Ucomm 10071


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Picture perfect

"Shaping Memories Through 3 Lenses" showcases the work of Peggy Brisbane, Robert Barclay and Steve Jessmore, three photographers whose combined 66 years of service helped capture CMU's visual history. It's on display at the Clarke Historical Library through February.

Centralight Winter ’19




maroon golden

anniversary is coming

Whether you took your classes at a center, received packets in the mail or took your courses online, you are part of our pioneering history in distance learning. We provide a pathway to a quality higher education degree for working adults and off-campus students. More than 75,000 students have earned a CMU degree from a distance. As we mark our 50th anniversary of distance learning, we want to celebrate your success. Help us celebrate by sharing your story with us.


Visit global.cmich.edu/GCAlumni and tell us about you, your achievements and how CMU’s distance learning programs contributed to your success.

Central Michigan University’s Global Campus » global.cmich.edu/GCAlumni » 877-268-4636 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 within its community. CMU does not discriminate against persons based on age, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, 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 http://www.cmich.edu/ocrie). 3811465 10/19

CMU may be

behind you never far away but it’s

Order your CMU

license plate

today! cmich.edu/alumni 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 9789 - 2017

discovery There is a lot of



Creative endeavors and scholarly activity come under the umbrella of research at CMU The phrase “university research” typically conjures images of people in white lab coats bent over microscopes. That’s certainly one application — and an important one. But research at a university can mean so much more. As an R2 research institution — an elite Carnegie Foundation classification awarded to smaller universities conducting high-level research — discovery at Central Michigan University looks different: • For a new study examining addictive phone use and academic performance, CMU faculty member and clinical psychologist Sarah Domoff is working across departments with physical education and sport faculty member Rick Ferkel and graduate student Ryan Foley to study the affects on adolescents.

“There is a lot of discovery going on here.” Creative endeavors and scholarly activity come under the umbrella of research at CMU, expanding the university’s ability to develop theories as well as fix problems now. CMU President Bob Davies outlined a 10-year plan to help the university strategically envision how it will be contributing to society by 2030. He initiated the effort in response to the many challenges facing colleges and universities in today's social, political and economic landscape. “The 2030 plan is a great opportunity to look ahead and conceive of what the needs would be in an everchanging, fast-paced society,” Schutten said. “We need to be preparing our students to contribute to society in jobs that don’t even exist right now. It’s not just about technology. It’s about medicine, it’s about sustainability, it’s about social justice. Our students need to be prepared to help society address all of these challenges.”

Unique opportunities Those are lofty goals, but the nuts and bolts of what that means and how it translates into real life is important and tangible.

• CMU sophomore Cassandra Thompson is researching ways to advance the use of curcumin in fighting brain tumors and battling neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. She is working with faculty and students in neuroscience, chemistry and biochemistry — something she started while still in high school.


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“CMU is working to advance excellence in all its areas,” said Mary C. Schutten, the university’s new executive vice president and provost. “That means embracing a broad view of scholarly work that includes theoretical and applied research, field-specific research, and interdisciplinary research.


• A team from CMU’s Institute for Great Lakes Research is using the environment to clean up the environment. It's experimenting at the CMU Biological Station on Beaver Island, deploying the Straits of Mackinac’s own microbial communities to decompose oil from a pipeline spill.

Mary C. Schutten

“That kind of forward thinking matters,” Schutten said. “In the College of Medicine, we just installed our first robotic surgery training system. It means we can train students and measure the effectiveness of the technology as well as look at quality control as a part of research.” As an R2 research institution classified by the Carnegie Foundation, CMU is in a unique position. R2 indicates a high level of research activity is being conducted in a smaller university setting. And for students considering a college choice, this distinction has a unique appeal. “There are very few universities that involve students as undergrads in research,” Schutten said. “That compelled me to come here as well. You come to CMU, you’re involved.” Faculty work with students to hone their skills and deepen their expertise. The dynamic certainly benefits students, but it also leads to excellent, informed faculty, Schutten said. “That work makes our teaching better. It helps us bring cutting-edge instruction into our own classrooms.”



CMU’s Institute for Great Lakes Research works at the CMU Biological Station on Beaver Island, deploying the Straits of Mackinac’s own microbial communities to decompose oil from a pipeline spill.

And that dedication to using research and scholarly activity to improve lives extends beyond the classroom. “We try to look for opportunities to use our knowledge and skills to partner with organizations around the state and across the country to address community needs,” Schutten said. “We’re working to train the next generation of teachers and education leaders. We’re partnering with community agencies to focus on the opioid crisis. We’re working to improve prenatal health.”

This year’s wicked problem is “Fake News: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?” It was hard enough a few years ago, when just about everyone agreed “fake news” meant false facts — bad information disseminated by accident or on purpose. But it’s harder now, when it’s no longer clear what people mean when they say “fake news.” Is it deliberate misinformation, party-spun propaganda or just news that makes you look bad? And who decides about definitions in the first place?

Some of that work plays out in CMU’s Critical Engagements program, a collaborative project that makes CMU’s academic mission concrete by highlighting how the university is tackling the world’s most pressing problems.

These are important questions, especially for a university. If a crucial part of CMU’s mission is to generate expert knowledge and develop reliable interpretations of the same, how do we respond when expertise itself is seen as a threat, as a source of fake news rather than its antidote?

Each year, a “wicked problem” is identified, and CMU faculty and students from across university disciplines work with community partners to investigate it.

“We’re making this a campuswide conversation,” Schutten said. “This feels relevant and urgent for our students, and we’re trying to be holistic in our problem-solving.”

‘Wicked problems’

Elite company Schutten said the R2 classification is important to CMU. “We’re in elite company,” she said. “Only a small number of universities carry that classification. It sets a basement for us — not a ceiling — for the level of research we do every year.” At CMU, the lab coats and microscopes are just as important as embracing a broad view of scholarship. “If we start to make research seem like a mystical thing, we’re going to exclude a lot of people.” A great university can and should be more than one thing, Schutten said. “The faculty here are focused on students AND the community. We’re focused on education AND research,” Schutten said. “Nothing we do happens in a vacuum. We believe we can and are and should be more than one thing. “That’s what’s great about CMU.” •

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"WE ARE A NATIONAL, LEADING RESEARCH UNIVERSITY, but we are not a behemoth,” CMU President Bob Davies told the Academic Senate earlier this year. “We have opportunities to have faculty and students interact, both at the graduate and undergraduate level.” Here are some of the diverse ways CMU faculty and students are spearheading research with broad implications.



Smart phone, bad grades?

If you're like most Americans, you’ll spend several hours today looking at your cellphone screen — and there’s a good chance it isn’t making you any smarter. In fact, a new CMU study shows that excessive use of smartphones may actually decrease academic performance among teens and adolescents. Sarah Domoff, a clinical psychologist at the CMU Center for Children, Families and Communities and faculty member in the psychology department, worked with physical education and sport faculty member Rick Ferkel and graduate student Ryan Foley on a new study examining addictive phone use and academic performance in adolescents. The study, published in the journal Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies, examined the behaviors of more than 600 students in grades seven through 12, including how often students used their phones at school and while doing homework. Students also answered questions about how they felt when they were not using their phones and whether they felt tense or restless when not using their phones. These questions help clinicians identify addictive phone use, Domoff said. “Higher addictive phone use scores associated with poorer academic achievement, such as lower grades,” Domoff said. It’s not only among teens and tweens — she said previous studies have linked excessive phone use and lower GPA among college students. A report from Common Sense Media shows more than half of all tweens and teens spend four or more hours a day using screen devices; some use their devices in excess of eight hours a day. It’s no wonder nearly half of U.S. parents worry their children are addicted to their mobile devices, Domoff said. “I recommend that parents consider how their children are performing at school before and after they receive a smartphone,” she said.

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Fighting tumors with spice Cassandra Thompson’s college search strategy wasn’t that unusual. Its outcome was. The Portage Northern High School junior was looking at programs in psychology, neuroscience and pre-medicine. She reached out to Central Michigan University’s Gary Dunbar, who was head of the neuroscience program in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. He invited her to volunteer at CMU’s Field Neurosciences Institute Laboratory for the summer. “I thought that was incredible,” she said. “In the summer before my senior year, I actually was able to come to CMU and take part in projects. It was more hands on than I had ever done. I decided right then that I was going to come here and do research.”

Testing oil spill defenses

As debate swirls around the safety of Enbridge Inc.’s Line 5 oil pipeline at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, researchers from CMU are studying ways to clean up potential environmental damage that might be caused by an accidental oil spill. A team of seven from the Institute for Great Lakes Research is conducting experiments at the CMU Biological Station on Beaver Island, focusing on using the straits’ own microbial communities to decompose oil. It’s using the environment to clean up the environment. The goal is to determine ways to increase the number and strength of existing natural microbes to “eat” the oil, said biology faculty member Don Uzarski, director of the institute and the biological station. More than 50 species of fish depend on the Great Lakes coastal wetlands for their entire lives. More than 80 species need the wetlands at some point in their life cycles, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says.

Now she is a sophomore, taking part in research to advance the use of curcumin — a substance in turmeric that may help to reduce inflammation — in fighting glioblastoma tumors in the brain and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. She is working with faculty and students in neuroscience, chemistry and biochemistry. Their preliminary research has shown when mice with brain tumors received a high dose of curcumin into their brains, their lives were extended about eight days. That is equivalent to about one to three years for a human. “Doing this work is pretty cool,” Thompson said. “Having done all these procedures and learned the protocols will help me get into and excel in graduate school.” Her goals are high. “I want to direct a neuroscience program like this, one that is hands on and gets you involved early.”

Line 5 carries synthetic crude oil 645 miles from Superior, Wisconsin, across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; it crosses the Straits of Mackinac and travels through northern Michigan and across the Thumb to Sarnia, Ontario. The oil is piped under multiple rivers, lakes and streams.




“The line is not going away,” Uzarski said. “We would be foolish not to be prepared for the worst.”


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Digging into Michigan’s past

The idea of spending a day knee-deep in dirt at the site of an old privy may not sound like fun. But for CMU students enrolled in Sarah Surface-Evans’ archaeological field school summer course, it’s the perfect setting for a treasure hunt. It also is hands-on career training for students hoping to pursue jobs in cultural resource management. Surface-Evans, who teaches in the anthropology program, specializes in community-based archaeology. She works with community organizations and local governments to research and explore historical sites including several lighthouses around the state. Students excavating a lighthouse site last summer discovered bits of pottery, buttons and even a thimble dating back to the mid-1800s at the site of the keeper's house and, near the site of the privy, items such as medicine bottles and a porcelain doll. Community members are often deeply involved in the study and interpretation of the findings, which Surface-Evans said is key to generating greater public appreciation for local heritage sites. “These experiences allow students to put to work what they learn in the classroom,” Surface-Evans said. “The resulting research benefits the community and the students.” LEARN MORE

Research targets brain disorders A team of CMU scientists received National Institutes of Health funding for novel research that has the potential to treat brain disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The goal, fueled by the $433,500 two-year grant, is to devise a way to deliver large DNA fragments into brain cells. “Our experiments are early stage and require proof-of-principle feasibility studies,” said Ute Hochgeschwender, a neuroscience faculty member in the College of Medicine. “But they have the potential to lead to a widely useful molecular tool delivery platform for the brain.” Helping with the team’s lab work is senior biochemistry major Rebecca Clark, of Escanaba. Her job is to create DNA/dendrimer formulations for neuroscience lab workers who feed them to cells.

Longer versions of these stories were originally published by CMU News.


“To be able to work on something that might become a major scientific advancement is just amazing,” she said. •


It’s the kind of experience that Clark was hoping for when she decided to attend CMU.

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In the 1970s, when Pam Wasko Murray lived in Calkins Hall, she wasn’t too excited about Saturday dinner. “Saturdays were the worst days in the dining hall,” she recalled. “It was a mishmash of whatever was left over from the week.” Not too long ago, Pam Murray, ’77, and her husband, Mike Murray, ’75, visited campus for a football game and had coupons for a free meal at a residential restaurant.



What the heck? They headed to Calkins for Saturday supper. “We were blown away,” Pam Murray said. “We had roast pork with roasted redskin potatoes and green beans. It was so good we asked, ‘Can we have a glass of wine with this?’ That’s all that meal needed.” Mike got back in line three times to try every entree. His pile of plates was so high, Pam said, she was embarrassed to stand next to him when they returned them to the dish line. That’s just the tip of the spinach artichoke pizza. Mongolian grill, anyone? They’ll sizzle up your custom order — meat, veggies, savory sauces — right there in front of you. How about a harvest grain bowl? Load it up with fresh kale, wild rice, ovenroasted sweet potatoes, char-grilled chicken or tofu, roasted apple vinaigrette and toasted almonds. Wild-caught salmon? Pesto-crusted grilled flank steak? Thai coconut quinoa?



Check, check and check.


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Don’t call it a cafeteria

All this effort means Lauryn Seelye can eat.

No need to check the time. Dinner doesn’t end at 4 p.m. on Sundays like when Pam Murray lived in Calkins.

Seelye, a Mount Pleasant junior, is vegan.

It doesn’t even have to stop at 7:30 p.m. most weekdays. Grab dinner at the Merrill Residential Restaurant until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Students can use their meal plans at 15 dining locations across campus, sidling up for a Thai tofu wrap or street tacos with authentic queso fresco and cumin crema. Familiar national brands dot campus, too, from Starbucks to Subway, Which Wich and Einstein Bros. Bagels. They're all available to students as part of their meal plan. “When people come back and see it, they’re flabbergasted,” said Jane Wilsher, food service director at the Merrill Residential Restaurant. “There are so many choices, even I never know what to have.

“I was kind of surprised,” she said of her campus food options. “There was a lot more than I expected.” She can savor a vegan soup every day. Black bean, maybe, or lentil potato. She raves about the Southern Kitchen station’s lentil loaf with carrots and potatoes. She builds pizzas with vegan crust and vegan cheese at Oath Pizza in the University Center. There’s even chocolate cake and ice cream bars for vegan sweet tooths. “I’m also human,” Seelye said with a laugh. “I don’t feel segregated or pushed to the corner because I’m vegan. Food I like is all over campus.”

“We like to say around here that ‘cafeteria’ is a swear word,” she said. “This is not a cafeteria.”

Fizzy water: Then and now

She knows the difference. Wilsher, ‘79, lived in Woldt and Sweeney halls in the ’70s, sliding her plates of meatloaf, chicken and mashed potatoes from the stainless steel serving line as she pursued her degree in food service.

Today, you can grab a soft drink customized with a flavor shot— an extra jolt of vanilla to your root beer or a dash of strawberry for your lemonade.

In 1995, she returned as an employee of Aramark, the global food service corporation that has run CMU dining operations since then. The changes have wowed even her. “Our menus are upscale,” Wilsher said. “We use high-end ingredients. We have campus chefs with a lot of culinary talent. We do research. People don’t realize what goes into it.”

Recipes from the war room CMU’s menu planners research food trends, attend food shows, pore over popular restaurant menus, visit other universities and survey students to plan the campus offerings. In the summer they pile into their “war room” to hash out potential winning recipes from months of research.

Back in the 1940s, the soda fountain at the Keeler student union was big dining news. Students could sip the same effervescent treats they enjoyed at the drug store soda fountain. “The college knew that if students expected that off campus, they expected it on campus,” said Bryan Whitledge, archivist for university digital records. “They understood that food isn’t just about eating — it’s recreation.” While on-campus dining wasn’t popular at CMU in the earliest years — students typically rented rooms at boarding houses that included food — they soon came to expect it, Whitledge said. “When the college got in the business of building residence halls to replace boarding houses, they were also in the business of providing food,” Whitledge said. “Every time a new dining hall was built, they talked about it being bigger and better.”

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Catch Joshua’s omelet flip You’ll find Joshua Knox whirring up smoothies and flipping killer custom omelets for breakfast at the Merrill Residential Restaurant, where the Flint junior has worked since his sophomore year. He’s one of 850 students employed by Campus Dining, the biggest employer on campus. “There’s a lot of nice people here, and you get free food when you’re done working,” Knox said. His bacon, sausage and broccoli omelet is sort of famous. His omelet flip took some practice. “You need a lot of momentum, and it’s all in the wrist and the shoulder,” he said. “There’s a lot of healthy options now,” Knox said. “I’m proud of that. You can get just the egg white if you want or just vegetables and no meat.”

At the Adobe station, they choose from cilantro rice, assorted beans, chipotle lime chicken, taco meat, condiments and vegetables to transform into a burrito, nachos, rice bowl or salad. That flexibility is important to students, said Rilee Harris, a campus dining team leader at Merrill. “It’s not like, ‘Here’s the dish, now eat it,’” said Harris, a Lake Orion senior who has worked in campus dining since freshman year. “People like to make their own decisions about their food and be in charge of what they eat.”


People like to make their own decisions about their food and be in charge of what they eat."

The wow factor “Food is absolutely huge to this generation,” said Shaun Holtgreive, ‘82, M.A. ‘84, interim associate vice president of student affairs. He’s been at CMU for 45 years, living and dining at Cobb and Emmons halls and later joining the staff. Great campus dining can tip the balance, Holtgreive said, in the competitive quest for students. “When I was an undergrad, we’d walk down the food line, they’d serve us, we’d eat and leave,” he said. “Now, you move around the venues and decide what you want to eat. They prepare the food while you’re waiting. Students care about freshness. They don’t want their food under a warmer like it was when I was an undergrad. “A big part of it is visual,” he said. “Students are looking for that wow factor.” They find it every December for “ ’Tis the Tasty Season Holiday Gala,” a feast of prime rib, chicken cordon bleu, baby back ribs, blackened chicken mac and cheese, jumbo shrimp cocktail, a hot cocoa and eggnog station, assorted cheesecakes, and a crepe station.


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Students customize meals by making the rounds, gathering vegetables from the produce station and taking

them to the pasta station to be sautéed with pasta and sauce.

No gluten? No problem! CMU’s dining accommodations often seal the deal for prospective students with food allergies, Wilsher said. “We alleviate a lot of stress for parents who wonder, ‘Should we send our child to college?’ They’ve been protecting them their whole life.”

Beyond the white buns “The food court in the UC is better than anything near my office,” said Sean Hickey, ‘88, ‘90. And he works in Ann Arbor.

All hail the popcorn chicken bowl

“I remember when all you could get at the UC was a burger on a white bun.”

“Healthy eating is a big trend, but students still want their French fries and hamburgers,” Wilsher said. “Mac and cheese has never lost its appeal.”

But he liked his student dining experience at Thorpe Hall, where he has fond memories of pizza night, that glorious, ever-present ice cream machine and smiling faces.

The most popular food on campus? The popcorn chicken bowl — layers of mashed potatoes, popcorn chicken, corn, gravy, shredded cheddar cheese and coleslaw.

“The staff in food service were friendly, cheerful and genuinely happy to see you,” Hickey recalled. “Going down to the cafeteria was fun.

“It’s warm and homey,” said Merrill’s Rilee Harris. “Sometimes that’s exactly what we college students need.”

“College is way more than just classes,” he said. “It’s being on your own, having new experiences. I ate things I had never eaten before.”

Students can visit NetNutrition. cmich.edu to view complete nutritional information and ingredient listings for every menu item. All residential restaurants have Food Allergy Acknowledgement Zones. Signage at the Sandwich Shop might highlight gluten-free breads and dairy-free cheese. Students can make an appointment with campus dining for personalized meal consultations. •


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 have experienced hunger or are struggling with food insecurity. These students often experience symptoms of depression and are 15 times more likely to fail a class than their peers. Some may even be forced to drop out: 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

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President Nathan Tallman, ’07, M.A. ’09 Macomb Vice president Kandra (Kerridge) Robbins, ’90 Portland, Oregon Past president Thomas Olver, ’98 Lake Isabella Directors Rebeca Reyes Barrios, ’00, MBA ’02 Canton Carrie Baumgardner, ’99, M.A. ’02 Davison Lester A. Booker Jr., ’08, MSA ’10 Canton Lisa (Laitinen) Bottomley, ’97 Kentwood Catherine A. (Bomber) Claes, ’91 Gladstone Megan Doyle, ’03 Chicago Jonathan Eadie, ’93 Grosse Pointe Park Norma Eppinger, ’91 Lansing Chris Gautz, ’04 Adrian Jacalyn (Beckers) Goforth, ’82 Beverly Hills Laura Gonzales, ’79, M.A. ’89 Mount Pleasant Scott Haraburda, ’83 Spencer, Indiana Sean Hickey, ’88, M.A. ’90 Chelsea Bret Hyble, ’82, M.A. ’86 Mount Pleasant Linda (Scharich) Leahy, ’82 Midland J.J. Lewis, ’06 Simi Valley, California Scott Nadeau, ’89 Dexter Darryl Shelton, ’85 Grand Rapids


President Scott Hillman, ’10 Chicago Vice president Brittany Mouzourakis, ’11 Royal Oak Directors Brooke Adams, ’11 Detroit Cyril Agley, ’09 Traverse City Michael Decker, ’07 Birmingham Nicole DeFour, ’12, M.A. ’15 Grosse Pointe Spencer Haworth, ’12 Grand Rapids Erica Lagos, ’13 Carmel, Indiana Anthony Lazzaro, ’15 Grand Rapids Gregory Marx, ’08 Troy Benjamin Moxon, ’17 St. Clair Shores Kelly Pageau, ’08 Chicago John Reineke, ’09 Oxford, Ohio Joshua Richards, ’08 Rochester Caroline (Powers) Rizzo, ’15 West Hartford, Connecticut Michelle (Curtis) Rush, ’07 St. Joseph Kimberly Sampson, ’17 Midland Steven Santostasi, ’17 Dearborn Christine Simon, ’13 Lansing Mary Witherspoon, ’14 Royal Oak







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ALUMNI NEWS Alumni’s mural festival dream brings large-scale art to Jackson walls For the second year, the Bright Walls Mural Festival drew tens of thousands of visitors to Jackson, Michigan. Bright Walls is a public art and mural festival founded and co-directed by Clay McAndrews, ‘13.



When McAndrews decided he was going to propose to his girlfriend, Leslie Youngdahl, he knew it was exactly the right setting. The couple loved traveling the country in search of murals to use as backdrops in their photos, so he planned a trip to Boston and proposed to her in front of one. It gave him an idea to create a mural festival in their hometown of Jackson so the whole community could have places to make memories. McAndrews, who is part of the Jackson Young Professionals, launched Bright Walls in 2018 to showcase the talents of more than a dozen national and international mural artists alongside musicians, local artists and many other community organizations. “We had nearly 40,000 people attend the festival this year, and we now have 36 murals in our city within two years,” McAndrews said. Oh, and he and Youngdahl got married the week before the first Bright Walls festival. Learn more about the festival and see more photos at brightwallsjackson.com.

Special Olympics Hall of Fame welcomes Central Michigan alum to its ranks Ann Guzdzial, '97, MSA '03, former Special Olympics Michigan chief program officer, was inducted into the organization’s hall of fame this summer. She spent five years at Central Michigan University before joining Special Olympics Michigan in 1992 and was instrumental in leading Healthy Athletes initiatives, which provide free health screenings and wellness education to athletes. Guzdzial also led the efforts of the Unified Champion Schools program in Michigan, taking it from one school district to more than 300 participating schools. She also helped start the Young Athletes and Unified Sports programs in Michigan and saw snowboarding, cycling and kayaking all come to be official sports during her tenure.


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A pair of silver medals go to CMU Chippewas in Peru

Two alumni among new class of Ford’s Thirty Under 30

Two CMU alumni earned silver medals at the 2019 Pan American games in Lima, Peru, this summer.

The Ford Thirty Under 30 program is an innovative corporate leadership course that empowers young employees to work with and learn about philanthropic organizations. The yearlong course run by the Ford Motor Company Fund was created to develop young employee leaders who also serve their communities.

Women’s basketball Michigan State women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant, ‘91, led the United States women’s basketball team to a silver medal at the quadrennial games. The U.S. was looking for its first Pan Am women’s basketball gold medal since 2007, but the team came up short offensively, falling 79-73 to Brazil in the gold medal game. The U.S. women are now 82-16 all-time in Pan American games basketball competitions and have captured seven gold medals, six silvers and two bronze medals. “It’s extremely humbling,” Merchant said. “I don’t think there’s a prouder moment in your profession than to be able to represent your country and have the opportunity to win a gold medal. I feel very blessed and honored to have this opportunity.” Men’s fastpitch softball Midland native Jeff Nowaczyk, ’08, is a catcher on the men’s fastpitch softball team that competed in the 2019 Pan American games, making it all the way to the championship game before falling to Argentina 5-0.

Faith Henderson, ‘16, works in information technology for Ford and will spend her year on the Urban Neighborhood Initiative, dedicated to breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty by helping to build healthy neighborhoods that enable all children and families to succeed and thrive. “It’s important to be a part of the community because it gives individuals a sense of purpose and belonging by letting them know they are loved and cherished,” she said. “That way, everyone can build together to create a stronger future for all involved.” Lindsey Pakula, ‘15, is part of the global data, insight and analytics team at Ford. Her year will be spent with LifeBUILDERS, an organization that provides hope and empowerment to the residents of Detroit’s Regent Park neighborhood. “It is easy to get comfortable with your immediate surroundings. Getting out into the community helps you better understand people who may have had a different experience, despite living in the same geographical area,” Pakula said. “This knowledge can shift your perspective of what is genuinely beneficial for the community.” Fellows are selected from more than 300 competitive applications across the country. They take time away from their jobs at Ford to not only learn what it takes to run a charity, but also how to develop strategies to help nonprofits connect with younger generations who represent a future donor and volunteer base.

“You go in wanting to win gold, obviously, and that’s always our goal from day one wherever we go,” Nowaczyk told the Midland Daily News. “But at the same time, walking away with silver was one of the coolest experiences of my life, ever. Being there playing in front of so many people — we were playing in front of thousands of people, and the crowds were pretty rowdy — and doing it with Team USA was special.” Nowaczyk also was on the U.S. team that took home the bronze at the Pan American Games qualifier in 2017.

Faith Henderson, ‘16

Lindsey Pakula, ‘15

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Winsor named Michigan Regional Teacher of the Year The Michigan Department of Education selected 10 new Michigan Regional Teachers of the Year, honoring educators for their dedication to the profession. Jeremy Winsor, ‘06, teaches earth science, biology and environmental science at Fulton Middle School-High School. He was named Regional Teacher of the Year for Region 4, which includes all schools in Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland and Saginaw counties. Winsor also is featured in a video in the #proudMIeducator series, an initiative to recognize and celebrate Michigan’s education workforce. See the video here: https://youtu.be/fC8wke1OmmI. The Michigan Department of Education received more than 400 nominations from students, staff and the community. The 2019-20 Michigan Teacher of the Year will be selected from among the 10 regional honorees in April. The Michigan Teacher of the Year becomes a nonvoting member of the State Board of Education and is a candidate for National Teacher of the Year. Winsor also is a co-director for the Beaver Island Institute through CMU’s Chippewa River Writing Project, where he helps educators build science literacy and foster inquiry in the science classroom. He also is an active member of the Department of Natural Resources’ Salmon in the Classroom program, leading workshops for the last 10 years.

CMU Chippewa honors The International Textile and Apparel Association selected “Double Consciousness,” a design work by Alexis Quinney, M.A. ’18, for exhibition at its annual symposium last October in Las Vegas. Quinney, of Lansing, created “Double Consciousness” as part of her thesis in CMU’s apparel product development and merchandising technology master’s degree program. Meg Andrews, ’02, is the new director of marketing for Comcast Business in Washington state, focusing on driving profitable growth, customer acquisition, brand loyalty and integration across all business channels. Comcast Business has experienced customer growth over the past several years, and Andrews is charged with supporting that growth and helping build and maintain long-term customer relationships. The city of Lansing has hired its first chief strategy officer. Mayor Andy Schor selected Shelbi Frayer, ’12, for the new position. Frayer comes to the city from the State Treasury Department where she was the executive director. As Lansing’s CSO, Frayer will look at short-term expenditures and long-term debts.


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Doug Luciani, ’84, was named vice president of strategy and community impact at Novi-based Cunningham-Limp, a company that designs and builds facilities. Luciani will be responsible for identifying and cultivating projects in northern Michigan, based out of the company’s Traverse City office. Luciani previously was president and CEO of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce and later the CEO of the Chamber’s parent company TraverseConnect. Steven J. Alexander, ’82, has joined Conway MacKenzie as an executive director and will lead the Grand Rapids office, providing strategic counsel to senior leaders of middle market companies and their constituents. Alexander most recently was PNC bank’s EVP of corporate banking. Ryan Fewins-Bliss, ‘02, M.A. ‘04, is the new executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. “I’ve been honored to work with Michigan College Access Network since the organization was launched in 2010,” Fewins-Bliss said. “I’ve had many roles at MCAN over time — consultant, part-time staffer, deputy director and am now pleased to continue serving this organization as its next leader.” Fewins-Bliss is a past president of CMU’s national alumni board.

CMU alumni board president Nathan Tallman, ’07, ’09, has been named to the 30 in Their Thirties list by Dbusiness, Detroit’s premiere business journal. Tallman is vice president of Metro Wire and Cable in Sterling Heights. Prior to that, he was director of governmental relations for Ross Medical Education, working with different states as well as the federal government to secure funding for students looking to pursue medical degrees. Eric Young, ’05, is the new editor of the Huron Daily Tribune in Bad Axe. Young joins the Tribune following a nine-year stint as the managing editor for Sunrise Printing and Publishing Inc. in northern Michigan. He began his journalism career as a freelance writer before becoming a full-time staff writer at the Ogemaw County Herald. He was promoted to news editor just a few months later. Aaron Burrell, MSA ’17, a member of Dickinson Wright’s Detroit office, was recognized in the Crain’s 40 under 40 list. As a member of Dickinson Wright, Burrell has prevailed in tribunals such as the Michigan Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. And he’s led litigation teams in matters involving millions of dollars in alleged damages.

+ IN MEMORY Helen M. (Kinney) Anderson, ’45, M.A. ’64, Midland, Mich., died Aug. 11, 2019, age 95. Marian J. (Greene) Martin, ’48, Barton City, Mich., died July 14, 2019, age 99. Donald L. Strouf, ’48, Manistee, Mich., died July 23, 2019, age 93. Robert E. Frazer, ’50, Charlotte, N.C., died Aug. 25, 2019, age 91. Raymond E. Morehead, ’51, Fort Gratiot, Mich., died July 4, 2019, age 93. Elanore M. Thompson, ’51, Fremont, Mich., died May 8, 2019, age 90. Robert R. Riggs, ’54, Bay City, Mich., died June 28, 2019, age 87. Carolyn H. (Southwell) Kareus, ’55, Leesburg, Fla., died July 9, 2019, age 85. Carol (Arndt) Wigert, ’56, Grand Rapids, Mich., died July 10, 2019, age 84. Phyllis A. (Rhoads) Harris, ’57, Nunica, Mich., died Aug. 5, 2019, age 84. Lois E. (Engle) Herron, ’57, Spring Arbor, Mich., died July 9, 2019, age 98. Mary G. (Gillon) Yates, ’57, M.A. ’67, Alma, Mich., died Aug. 3, 2019, age 83. George Grenevitch, ’58, Lapeer, Mich., died Aug. 1, 2019, age 91. Stuart L. Stoutenburg, ’58, Rogers City, Mich., died July 25, 2019, age 84. Duane J. Ferry, ’59, Chesaning, Mich., died July 26, 2019, age 82. Joseph A. McAlary, ’59, Jackson, Mich., died July 26, 2019, age 86. Judith A. (Anderson) Stuart, ’59, Saginaw, Mich., died June 16, 2019, age 83. Alice A. (Hausmann) Lindgren, ’61, Dallas, Pa., died July 20, 2019, age 80. Wallace J. McMurphy, ’61, Atlanta, Mich., died July 21, 2019, age 88. Susan K. (Bublitz) Lyons, ’62, Chandler, Ariz., died Jan. 5, 2019, age 78. Sharon K. (Kluck) Allen, ’63, Romeo, Mich., died June 23, 2019, age 80.

Donald B. Appleton, ’64, Brighton, Mich., died June 10, 2019, age 77. Donald F. Gardner, ’64, Eugene, Ore., died Aug. 17, 2019, age 79. Larry J. Powell, MBA ’66, Bluffton, S.C., died June 14, 2019, age 78. Barbara A. (Post) Ingram, ’67, M.A. ’70, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Aug. 15, 2019, age 80. Thomas C. Harrold, ’67, M.A. ’71, St. Paul, Minn., died July 3, 2019, age 74. Shirley J. (Bushaw) Hansen, M.A. ’68, Gig Harbor, Wash., died June 11, 2019, age 91. Marlene A. (Goff) Hopko, ’68, St. Johns, Mich., died July 19, 2019, age 85. William E. Chad, ’70, Lady Lake, Fla., died May 17, 2019, age 71. Bradley P. Heisler, ’70, Vicksburg, Miss., died July 16, 2019, age 71. Stanley J. Schmitigal, ’70, Pickford, Mich., died July 28, 2019, age 86. Thomas L. Fyke, ’71, Shepherd, Mich., died Aug. 8, 2019, age 78. Carolyn W. (Weingold) Anderson, M.A. ’73, Alma, Mich., died Aug. 5, 2019, age 93. Kenneth J. Smithee, M.A. ’74, Phoenix, Ariz., died April 12, 2019, age 92. Joann K. (Knippenberg) Rosencrants, ’75, M.A. ’85, Muskegon, Mich., died July 30, 2019, age 65. Marjorie C. (Block) Schafer, ’75, M.A. ’81, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sept. 6, 2019, age 64. Albert N. Alfano, ’76, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Aug. 27, 2019, age 74. Charles J. Boigegrain, M.A. ’77, Sterling Heights, Mich., died July 14, 2019, age 85. James A. Beebe, MBA ’78, Peachtree City, Ga., died Aug. 24, 2019, age 73. Alberto T. Gregorio, M.A. ’78, Glen Burnie, Md., died July 5, 2019, age 73. Alvaro Martinez, ’78, Arlington, Texas, died June 7, 2019, age 64. Wayne R. Mater, ’78, Clare, Mich., died June 18, 2019, age 67.

Thomas E. Royce, M.A. ’78, Jackson, Mich., died July 9, 2019, age 79. Nathaniel Baker, M.A. ’79, Sumter, S.C., died Aug. 4, 2019, age 72. Michael C. Kieffer, M.A. ’79, Scottsdale, Ariz., died Aug. 1, 2019, age 76. John E. Cuzic, MBA ’80, Midland, Mich., died July 29, 2019, age 67. Eugene S. Felix, ’80, MSA ’89, Sterling Heights, Mich., died July 14, 2019, age 77. Billy J. Leach, M.A. ’80, Louisville, Ky., died July 7, 2019, age 76. Ruther L. Rice, M.A. ’80, Petersburg, Va., died July 7, 2019, age 88. Charles L. Churchill, M.A. ’81, Lexington, Ky., died July 7, 2019, age 73. Wynn A. Harding, M.A. ’81, Mount Pleasant, S.C., died May 31, 2019, age 74. Thomas E. Wilt, M.A. ’81, Oklahoma City, Okla., died July 12, 2019, age 70. Mary M. Card, ’82, Hillman, Mich., died Aug. 9, 2019, age 59. Marion E. Davidson, M.A. ’82, St. Petersburg, Fla., died March 1, 2019, age 86. Craig A. Russ, ’82, MSA ’01, Holly, Mich., died July 4, 2019, age 59. Dolores A. (Otto) Dyer, ’83, Big Rapids, Mich., died July 15, 2019, age 84. Michael R. Pawloski, ’83, Caledonia, Mich., died July 20, 2019, age 59. David L. Rhude, M.A. ’83, Ellicott City, Md., died July 14, 2019, age 65. Denise M. Ennis, ’84, Saginaw, Mich., died July 10, 2019, age 60. Rebecca A. Ropp, MBA ’84, Owosso, Mich., died July 24, 2019, age 66. Mark W. Kenczyk, M.A. ’86, Jonesville, Mich., died July 18, 2019, age 64. Amy P. (Rousseau) Uebbing, ’86, Sterling Heights, Mich., died Aug. 5, 2019, age 56. Jeffrey M. Bager, ’87, Dallas, Texas, died May 14, 2019, age 54.

Loide E. (Cordes) Bahr, ’91, Unionville, Mich., died June 30, 2019, age 90. Lloydena M. (Taylor) Hayden, M.A. ’93, Vassar, Mich., died June 12, 2019, age 73. Donald A. Deshone, ’94, Saginaw, Mich., died Aug. 12, 2019, age 84. Daniel W. Redmond, ’95, Au Train, Mich., died July 18, 2019, age 71. Duane G. Johansen, MBA ’97, Rodney, Mich., died July 23, 2019, age 61. Dakley D. Rinn, ’97, Midland, Mich., died July 6, 2019, age 49. Marianne L. (Kurtz) Roberts, MSA ’97, Midland, Mich., died July 10, 2019, age 61. Danielle (Romeo) Hall, MSA ’98, Saginaw, Mich., died Sept. 11, 2019, age 50. Sandra K. (Smith) Emrich, G.C. ’99, Oklahoma City, Okla., died May 3, 2019, age 69. Todd M. Wheeler, MSA ’99, Newville, Pa., died Aug. 2, 2019, age 55. Manette S. Crawford, M.A. ’03, Lincoln Park, Mich., died July 2, 2019, age 60. Jan M. (Benezette) Makl, ’03, Saginaw, Mich., died July 30, 2019, age 66. Cheryl A. (Ladd) Corell, ’06, Clare, Mich., died Sept. 5, 2019, age 50. Kristen E. Cole, ’10, Haslett, Mich., died Aug. 3, 2019, age 31. Faculty Thomas C. Peterson, Prospect Heights, Ill., died June 22, 2016. Staff Connie M. Behm, Blanchard, Mich., died Aug. 9, 2019, age 69. Kristen E. Cole, ’10, Haslett, Mich., died Aug. 3, 2019, age 31. Albert O’Neil, Farwell, Mich., died July 11, 2019, age 75. Robert C. Wilson, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sept. 1, 2019, age 82.

Centralight Winter ’19



Bowling in the UC CMU's new University Center, dedicated in 1960, was not only a unique architectural addition to campus, it also offered an instantly popular hot spot: a 12-lane bowling alley. Eight lanes were added in 1969 to accommodate the steady stream of students who seemed to be bowling at any time of the day. From open bowling to campus leagues, the alley was a magnet through the 1980s, popular with faculty, staff and students.



Today, those beloved impromptu games mostly live in memories. The UC lanes are gone. There's a 12-lane alley in the SAC, but its hours are more limited than the UC days when you could bowl on your way to class.


Centralight Winter ’19

A lasting

legacy of


Jack Poindexter, ’85, credits Central Michigan University for equipping him with the tools to succeed in the business world. Currently chief financial officer and chief operating officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa for EJ (formerly known as East Jordan Iron Works), Poindexter remembers the support he received from faculty. “I gained confidence to aim high by having educators who believed in and encouraged me,” he said.

Paying it forward with planned giving

Danielle and Jack Poindexter

For the Poindexters, designating the School of Accounting in the College of Business Administration as a beneficiary of their estate plan, provided the perfect gift vehicle to express their gratitude for Jack’s alma mater and support future students and faculty in accounting. “If you are fortunate enough to be in a position to give back even a small portion of what you took from your time at CMU, you should consider doing so to help others achieve the success you have enjoyed,” he said. To learn more about planned giving, please contact: Ted Tolcher Senior Philanthropic Advisor, National Director of Planned Giving, Advancement Central Michigan University, Carlin Alumni House, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859 989-774-1441 · ted.tolcher@cmich.edu

mycmulegacy.org 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, familial status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, pregnancy, childbirth or related Centralight Winter ’19 medical conditions, race, religion, sex, sex-based stereotypes, sexual orientation, transgender status, veteran status, or weight (see http://www.cmich.edu/ocrie). UComm 10072 11/19




Carlin Alumni House Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI 48859


Your dollars

MAKE CHANGE STUDENT EMERGENCY FUND 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 Chippewas need a boost, often allowing them to stay in school through difficult circumstances.

donate.cmich.edu 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 (11/19)

$726,884 Total awarded to CMU students

645 Students awarded emergency dollars

$160,123 Dollars raised in 2018-19

3,835 Donors in 2018-19

Profile for Central Michigan University

Centralight Winter 2019, Central Michigan University  

Centralight Winter 2019, Central Michigan University