Centralight, Central Michigan University Alumni Magazine, Fall 2023

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Feeling drawn back WHERE YOU BELONG

If fall elicits waves of nostalgia for your own time at Central, check out what returning to campus looks like for today’s students


FALL 2023


On the cover

10 Athletic Training’s 50th anniversary

In 1973, CMU debuted an athletic training minor. A half-century later, the program has grown to offer a master’s degree and boasts a stellar reputation as one of the best in the nation.

20 Big Picture

Fall puts on a dazzling maroon-and-gold show each year, and with it comes waves of nostalgia for our alma mater. Even the pumpkins in Mount Pleasant get Fired Up!

8 Homecoming

Want to reconnect with your Central community? Homecoming is the perfect time to revisit your memories — and campus!

Brooks Astronomical Observatory sits atop Brooks Hall and houses a 16-inch telescope used by faculty and students as part of their astronomy studies.

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Executive Editor and Executive Director of Alumni Relations

Marcie Otteman, ’87


Betsy Miner-Swartz, ’86

Managing Editor

Robin Miner-Swartz

Visual Media Director

Amy White

Graphic Designer

Erin Rivard, ’07, MBA ’16


Adam Sparkes


Eric Baerren, ’93

Jason Fielder

Ari Harris

Robin Miner-Swartz

Research Associate

Bryan Whitledge, ’19 M.A.

Editorial Assistant

Alison Foster

Interim Vice President for Advancement

Jennifer Cotter, ’01 Vice President for

1 Centralight Fall ‘23 Meet the three CMU Chippewas who serve onboard the USS Makin Island, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship homeported in San Diego. 26 Fired Up at sea
University Communications and Chief Marketing Officer
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
alumni@cmich.edu Web: cmich.edu/alumni/Centralight 1 Centralight Fall ‘23 Centralight is published three times each year by the Central Michigan University Office of Alumni Relations. It is printed by Rogers Printing, Ravenna, MI 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 11300–24,000+ (8/23) Departments 5 CMU Today University recognized for its commitment to first-generation student success 22 Back to School 28 Alumni News 34 In Memory 40 Do You Remember
John Veilleux For advertising information Call Cindy Jacobs, ’93
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) Become a Gold Member, and receive over 60,000 benefits YOUR GOLDEN www.cmich.edu/alumni OPPORTUNITY

Campus nostalgia is in high gear each fall

Back-to-school time is always filled with promise and excitement

Each fall, I love seeing students moving into the residence halls and the pace of town picking up with people returning to campus. It’s going to be a busy season around here, and I hope you enjoy our feature looking at today’s back-to-school activities while you reminisce about the excitement of your fall arrival to campus.


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

Speaking of excitement, the athletic training program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. What began as two faculty seeing a need has grown into an industry-leading program educating students for careers in sports and private care for athletic injuries and recovery — and beyond. Congratulations to all the alumni, faculty, staff and students — both current and past — for 50 years of greatness. Here’s to many, many more!

And we’re marking another milestone this fall. In the summer of 1923, Central Michigan Normal School formally organized its alumni into an association. The constitution was written and a board of directors was selected to govern the new group. One hundred years later, your alumni association board of directors continues to provide leadership and representation for 245,000 alumni worldwide. For more details on the board members, check out page 28 in the magazine or online at cmich.edu/alumni under the About Us section. Congratulations on 100 years of excellence CMU Alumni Association!

I hope your fall plans include joining us for homecoming on Oct. 14 and at one of our upcoming alumni events. We would love to see you and hear about your favorite back-to-school memories. Fire up forever,


In Centralight Summer 2023’s Alumni News, two alumni degrees were listed incorrectly. We apologize for the error. The correct degree designations are:

• George Velez, D.H.A. ’15

• Carrie Sue Shaver, D.H.A. ’20



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Central Michigan University – Alumni

Centralight Fall ‘23

A proud legacy of service

CMU military members and veterans set high leadership standards

At Central Michigan University, every member of our community — faculty, staff and students — focuses on setting leadership standards. And perhaps no group better exemplifies the true meaning of leadership more than those who also serve or have served our nation through the U.S. military. We are proud to be part of their stories of bravery and service.

CMU first launched an ROTC program in 1951 to educate and prepare military leaders. In 1972, we began offering classes on military installations to better serve the educational needs of service members and their families. Today, CMU has a presence at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and offers flexible degree-attainment options worldwide online. Over the years, more than 150 flag officers and countless veterans and service members have earned a degree from CMU.

The Chippewa Battalion continues to provide incredible hands-on learning experiences for students enrolled in the ROTC program. This year, 20 cadets participated in a staff ride to Normandy, France. They learned history at WWII battlegrounds, honored the sacrifice of those who served before them, and discussed their individual frameworks for moral and ethical decision making.

CMU also continues to be recognized among the top institutions for student veterans. The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency certified CMU as one of the first Michigan Veteran Connectors for its role in supporting military veterans, and U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked us among the nation’s top universities in its annual Best Online Programs for Veterans list. All of this is in addition to being named among the top universities in Michigan for veterans by the Military Times.

In this issue, you will read about alumni and their roles serving on the same U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship. Whether it is cadets who will serve, active-duty service members or military veterans, CMU is supporting leaders who are doing great things the world over. We are profoundly grateful for their service to our country.

Be well and Fire Up Chips!

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President Bob Davies
Ways to connect with PRESIDENT DAVIES: @cmichprez blogs.cmich.edu/cmichprez BLOG

The network is a four-phase approach that allows institutions of higher education to advance student success through establishing communities of practice, gaining knowledge of resources, and establishing peer networks.

CMU already offers some programs and services for first-gen students, such as the Pathways program and the Central Bridge registered student organization, which focuses on helping first-generation students make the transition from high school to college.

CMU selected to join First Scholars Network


recognized for commitment to first-generation student success

In recognition of its commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes for first-generation college students, CMU has been selected as a member of the First Scholars Network.

New STEM certificate offers interdisciplinary experience

Program develops skills critical to workplace success, promotes diversity and equity

A new CMU certificate program provides real-world STEM experiences while helping students contribute their unique perspectives to solve problems through diversity of thought.

The first students of the Integration of Science, Technology and Engineering (InSciTE) program began their four-year, five-course journey this past spring in a pilot class.

The first year’s topic: working as a team because, as Dr. Wiline Pangle said, there’s no such thing as a working lab of one. Pangle, InSciTE’s director, said labs today rely on a collaboration of scientists and engineers from across several disciplines.

Dani Hiar, former associate director of student affairs, led the application process. She said joining the network will offer opportunities to expand existing programs and build stronger collaborations between and among colleges, departments and divisions on campus, including development of a new resource hub called First Gen Central.

Hiar, ’12 Ed.S., ’15, Ed.D., who is a firstgeneration college graduate, said nearly 20% of CMU’s student body identifies as first-generation, a population that can often face additional challenges when entering college.

The additional resources available through the First Scholars Network will bolster these existing efforts and streamline efforts universitywide, Hiar said.

“Developing centralized resources and intentional support networks for firstgeneration college students ultimately benefits both the student and CMU, in admissions, enrollment and student success, not to discount helping to build a vibrant, diverse and inclusive campus community,” Hiar said. •

Employers aren’t just looking for people with technical skills, Pangle said. They’re also looking for people who can work in and lead a research team, collaborate and resolve conflicts. Since January, the pioneer group has focused on developing these interpersonal skills.

InSciTE is structured to provide its students with that kind of experience.

“Real STEM career life requires that interdisciplinary approach,” Pangle said. The pioneer group of students have picked 11 different majors within the College of Science and Engineering.

This interdisciplinary structure brings as many points of view as possible to bear on a problem. Three biologists looking at the same problem will likely produce three similar solutions. A biologist, a physicist and an engineer looking at the same problem are more likely to produce three different approaches.

In the second year, InSciTE will focus on developing communications skills. While students will continue developing skills critical for collaboration, they’ll also work on persuasive communication and how to communicate effectively in a multidisciplinary environment.

By the third and fourth years in the program, InSciTE students will pick research projects that appeal to them.

The first group consists of 33 students, but future classes are expected to include as many as 70 students. When the program is fully operational, up to 300 students could be enrolled in InSciTE across all four years. •

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5 Centralight Fall ‘23

Central Michigan University College of Medicine engages in diverse efforts

Loan forgiveness helps recruit physicians

Jisselly Salcedo is wrapping up a psychiatry residency and taking a faculty position with CMU Health treating patients at Saginaw’s only hospital with inpatient psychiatric services. She is among the first graduates of a program that helps place physicians in underserved parts of the state.

“I feel very proud to be one of the first people to go through MIDOCs,” she said. Salcedo moved to her residency after graduating from the CMU College of Medicine in 2019.

Once she completes the MIDOCs program, she’d like to serve in a fellowship focused on elderly care.

MIDOCS incentivizes physicians to serve underserved communities. Participants who work in such communities for two years are also eligible for up to $75,000 in loan forgiveness. Psychiatry is one of six qualifying specialties.

Most Michigan counties — 75 of 83 — are at least partly designated as underserved. Studies show that physicians trained in community-based settings are more likely to practice medicine in underserved areas after their residency.

The program was developed at the state level, with the Michigan Legislature financing an implementation plan in 2017 and then putting money towards it in 2019. It predated the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made a growing shortage of doctors more severe.

The root cause: Doctors were retiring at a faster rate than new ones could receive adequate training. The stress and burnout of the pandemic only added to that gap.

Over the four years, CMU has placed a total of eight — two per year — psychiatric residents through the program, which it sponsors through CMU Medical Education Partners. Saginaw qualifies as an underserved area, so the psychiatry residents who work there will ultimately put in six years of work in an underserved area.

Virtual tools, community partnerships play critical roles in addressing rural suicides

Between 2014-18, more than 6,700 Michiganders died from suicide. It was the state’s 10th leading cause of death. Adult men accounted for two-thirds of those deaths.

Preventing Suicide in Michigan Men (PRiSMM), a statewide partnership of which the CMU College of Medicine is a founding member, would like to cut that by 10% by next year. The partnership, funded through a five-year Centers for Disease Control grant, is being led by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The college’s contribution to PRiSMM is in helping providers spot the signs of someone in imminent crisis and through partnerships that attack the stigma of seeking mental health care.

Rural men are especially vulnerable to suicide. While rural populations have the same rate of mental health problems, they face additional barriers. The most significant barrier is a shortage of providers. According to a 2020 study, there are no psychiatrists in 65% of nonmetropolitan counties.

Through PRiSMM, the college developed a toolkit for telehealth providers. The toolkit is intended to train providers in protocols to help reduce suicides and to spot patients headed for an imminent crisis.

CMU TODAY 6 Centralight Fall ‘23

Working to break the ACEs cycle

The CMU College of Medicine is a partner in the Michigan ACE Initiative, which aims to raise awareness about adverse childhood experiences, prevent and reduce them, and foster traumainformed healing. In addition, it addresses the problem through participation in a communityoriented training program.

ACEs is an umbrella term to describe highly stressful or traumatic childhood experiences, including abuse, neglect or exposure to parental substance abuse.

Children who experience ACEs may have increased risks for physical and behavioral health challenges that can last well into adulthood. More frequent or serious trauma can lead to more severe physical health impacts. According to 2019 data, 68% of Michigan adults responding to a survey reported having one or more ACEs.

“Prevention can help in so many spheres,” said Dr. Kai Anderson, a psychiatrist and faculty member with the college. The effects of ACEs can be reduced and prevented by positive childhood experiences that include safe, stable and nurturing adult relationships. Reducing ACEs and stopping intergenerational trauma was a key goal in the Michigan Statewide ACEs State Action Plan. CMU was one of seven partners in developing the plan, which was released in July 2020. One of the plan’s objectives is to adopt prevention strategies and protect Michigan residents most vulnerable to ACEs. •

Telling a more complete history

Historian gives Michigan community a voice about an environmental catastrophe from the 1970s

A CMU history professor wants to make sure the story of one of Michigan’s worst environmental catastrophes doesn’t overlook important voices.

The story begins in 1973, when polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), a fire retardant, was accidentally mixed with animal feed at Michigan Chemical Company in St. Louis, just east of Alma in Gratiot County. The contaminated feed was distributed to farms across the state until April 1974 when the mix-up was discovered. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates 9 million people were affected, and more than 500 farms were quarantined. People today still suffer long-term health effects.

From 2018 to February 2020, Brittany Fremion, a faculty member of CMU’s history department, led a team of students who conducted interviews with 68 people affected by the contamination. Their work was part of a much broader study about the health impacts resulting from the incident.

The contamination created long-term health effects, she said. Women had higher rates of breast cancer; men had higher chances of thyroid problems. Fetuses were exposed through the placenta and babies were exposed while breastfeeding. Testing showed 60% of Michiganders had elevated levels of PBB in their blood.

In addition to the direct impact, there were also indirect consequences on farmers. More than 500 farms were quarantined so the livestock could be destroyed to prevent further spread.

Other farmers whose livestock didn’t meet state standards were faced with difficult questions: Destroy their own herds and face financial ruin or sell contaminated animals that would wind up on grocery store shelves.

They lost their livelihoods and suffered from depression and anxiety, Fremion said.

She published a paper about the oral histories in December. The stories will ultimately find a home in CMU’s Museum of Cultural and Natural History. It is one of two repositories of materials from the PBB contamination housed at the university. The other is located at Clarke Historical Library. It includes the personal records of some of the people involved, health care providers and media reports. •

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Bill and Carla came to CMU as married undergrads in the late 1970s and have grown to be longtime supporters of CMU. Their generous donations to the Chippewa Champions Center, the Baseball/Softball Turf project, the Medical School, and the Chippewa Athletics Fund have helped fuel growth and expansion at the university they both love.

Bill, ’82, is the chair of the Central Michigan University Marcy Weston Hall of Fame, a member of the university’s investment committee, and a member of the advancement board. He is also a former member of CMU’s Board of Trustees, where he served for eight years — two years as chair.

“It’s an honor to be asked to represent the university on behalf of so many other good people out there who do so much for the community and for Central,” said Carla, ’89. “Bill and I are humbled by this recognition.”

“We are so fortunate to have alumni like Bill and Carla Kanine who continue to support CMU and our students,” said Marcie Otteman, executive director of CMU Alumni Relations. “They lead by example, attending sporting events and theater productions, providing support for student scholarships and programs, and volunteering on university boards. Their continued presence on our campus is a shining illustration of how alumni can make a difference for our students every day.”

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To find the complete, most up-to-date information about homecoming, scan the QR code or go online to http://alumni.cmich.edu/homecoming

2 P.M.

3-5 P.M. 6 P.M. 7 P.M.

9:30 A.M.

FRIDAY, OCT. 13 9:30 A.M. 11 A.M. 11:30 A.M. 1 P.M. 3:30 P.M.

LATINE ALUMNI CAREER AWARENESS SESSION: Join the CMU Latine Alumni Chapter in the UC Auditorium for an inspiring program highlighting the professional and personal experiences of Latine alumni panelists.

COMING HOME MIDDLE MICHIGAN: Looking for an awesome career in Middle Michigan? Come to the Courtyard Marriott to connect with world-class employers from the region and learn more about what makes Middle Michigan a wonderful place to call home.

BLACK ALUMNI CHAPTER WELCOME RECEPTION: Join the Black Alumni Chapter on the third floor of the UC to mix and mingle with old and new friends! Light hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

ROCK RALLY: Go to Warriner Hall’s Plachta Auditorium for the pep rally, mock rock contest for the Gold Cup trophy, introduction of the CMU Football team, and the announcement of the 2023 Homecoming Gold Ambassadors.


50TH REUNION BRUNCH CELEBRATING THE CLASS OF 1973: Brunch in Powers Hall celebrates the classes of 1971-1976, highlighting the Class of 1973. Registration is required online by Sept. 25 at https://dar.cmich.edu/ alumni/events/alumni/366.

ALUMNI COFFEE AND DOUGHNUTS: Pick up your complimentary coffee and doughnuts inside Powers Hall.

HOMECOMING PARADE: The parade begins in Parking Lot 22 and travels through campus before heading north on Main Street to downtown Mount Pleasant.

TAILGATE LOTS OPEN: Celebrate game day with a tailgate. Parking permits can be purchased by contacting Ticket Central: (989) 774-3045.

BLACK ALUMNI TAILGATE: Head to the grass lot east of Kelly/Shorts to mix and mingle with fellow alumni.

CARDBOARD BOAT RACES: This event draws quite a crowd to Rose Ponds (near the CMU Events Center). For two weeks, School of Engineering and Technology students build cardboard boats, and on Saturday they sail them across the ponds.

KICKOFF: Cheer for CMU as they take on Akron in Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

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CMU’s athletic training program celebrates a half-century of excellence

In 1973, Ken Kopke introduced athletic training as a minor course of study at CMU. As the field evolved from a trade into a profession, Central’s program advanced as well, growing into an academic major with accreditation from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in the 1980s. Now, 50 years later, the curriculum has expanded again to offer a master’s degree. It’s one of the top programs in the nation with a stellar reputation. At its core, it remains dedicated to the original mission: helping athletes of all ages and sports get and stay healthy.

Warming up to the idea

“Back then, people would major in history or math and then athletic training would be a minor — and sometimes a second minor — for them,” Ron Sendre said. About 90% of those minoring in athletic training were pursuing teaching credentials and had jobs offered to them before they graduated, he said.

In the spring of 1976 at a conference at Penn State University, Sendre presented his idea for an athletic training major. Kopke, who was the head athletic trainer at CMU, was in the audience.

“Ken came up to me after my presentation and said, ‘I want to have breakfast with you tomorrow morning,’ ” Sendre said. “We met the next morning and Ken said, ‘We want you to come to CMU and set up the first major curriculum in the United States.’ ”

By that summer, Sendre and his family were headed for Mount Pleasant.

Kopke is credited with developing CMU’s minor in athletic training. He was Central’s head athletic trainer from 1969 to 1985 and he taught sports medicine at CMU for 16 years. His passion and ideas aligned with Sendre’s.

“We had exceptional support from Bill Theunissen, the dean of the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation,” Sendre said. “I presented the coursework to the department, and there were no objections.”

The university senate approved the major in 1979. From there, it just blossomed.

“We had students coming from Japan, from across the country because the word spread. Little old CMU had just outdone the University of Michigan, the University of Indiana, Boston College, all these other institutions that wanted to do this first.”

He laughed. “And I loved that.”

Sendre would know. He co-founded the program with the late Kopke. But it wasn’t as simple as two faculty members dreaming up a new program and then enrolling students.

Sendre earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health education with a focus on athletic training at Ball State University in Indiana. By 1968, he was an associate professor and athletic trainer there. He created an athletic training minor at the school in 1972 and quickly saw the need for expanded education for the field.

Sendre and Kopke stayed at CMU until 1985 when they left to launch Athletic Training Services, a venture funded by a state of Michigan grant to put athletic trainers to work in industry settings. Working with clients in the automotive sector, they demonstrated how offering athletic trainers and a training room in their facilities would improve the wellbeing and fitness of workers while saving the companies money.

It was a successful expansion of the field, but Sendre missed working with students, so he returned to campus and stayed until he retired in 2001.

“I’m so proud of the graduates and the contributions they’ve made to this profession and to the athletes they take care of,” Sendre said.

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Kopke (second from left) and Sendre (right).

Homegrown leader

Greg Zimmerman, one of the program’s early graduates, became the associate dean of the The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions in 2019.

As a CMU student 40 years earlier, Zimmerman, ’84, ’91 M.S.A., wasn’t clear about his career path, but an article in CM Life about a new major in sports medicine caught his attention.

“I thought, ‘I love sports, I’m fascinated by the human body and medicine. Sounds like a perfect match!’ ”

Zimmerman locked in his new major.

“It’s one of those decisions you may make without a lot of information. You say, ‘Hey, this interests me,’ and you reset your goals. It turned out to be wonderful for my career and my life,” he said.

Zimmerman’s internship preceding graduation was working in The Center for Athletic Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, occasionally treating players with the Red Wings, Tigers and Lions. That led to an offer from the MLB’s Atlanta Braves organization to work with their Single-A team, the Sumter Braves in South Carolina.

“Hall of famer Hank Aaron was my boss,” Zimmerman said. “My father couldn’t believe it.”

That job wasn’t exclusively dedicated to athletic training, though.

“You really do pay your dues in the minor leagues of baseball. I was the bus driver, the clubhouse manager, I did the laundry, I was the traveling secretary handing out meal money. It was quite an eye opener.”

While Zimmerman said he enjoyed every minute of the job, it was also exhausting, and the pay reflected a similar standard as the players at this level. He returned to Michigan to work at General Motors performing physical rehabilitation of injured employees for the next decade. He earned his master’s in health administration and doctorate in education, and he took a career detour into education working at GM University, an internal advanced technical degree program.

His path eventually led him back to Mount Pleasant when he was hired as the associate dean of the College of Health Professions. He credits Sendre and Kopke for lighting the way for his career start.

“They were instrumental in growing the athletic training profession into the industrial/corporate setting,” Zimmerman said. “Those workers suffer the same injuries athletes experience — overuse injuries, strains and sprains. Our skills apply very well in that environment. Going through a hospitalbased rehabilitation or community clinic is fine, but having trained people onsite with expertise to treat the injuries is return-to-work efficient and cost effective.”

Zimmerman said he’s proud of the program’s structure that enables students to gain experience in the field from the beginning of their studies.

“Our motto at CMU is WE DO, and the athletic training program is the epitome of that,” he said. “You get lots of experience in the classroom and labs, working hands-on with high school and college athletes before you even graduate. You’re working side by side with your mentors and teachers who are conducting research to keep on the cutting edge of advancements in the field.”

Students and faculty provide health care services for university recreation activities, CMU’s club and intramural sports, emergency departments, and outpatient therapeutic rehabilitation clinics locally and across the nation. Students and faculty also volunteer at events including the Special Olympics Michigan and in area high schools.

“This program’s reputation speaks for itself.”

Building the program

A good portion of that reputation came via the leadership of Rene Shingles.

Shingles came to athletic training the way many people discover the profession: She sustained an injury in high school as a cheerleader and needed rehabilitation. While her initial career interests tipped toward obstetrics, she became curious about athletic training.

“I was interested in how he was treating my shin splints, so I started asking questions,” Shingles said of her high school athletic trainer. “I said, ‘Can I do this too?’ and he said sure.”

Shingles volunteered as a student athletic trainer in high school, working on the sidelines to take care of players. “It wasn’t anything I knew of as a career.”

As a first-generation college student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Shingles forged her path in an evolving field. She found her way to Mount Pleasant when Stan Shingles, who is now her husband and CMU’s assistant vice president of student affairs, suggested she join him at Central on a summer break from her teaching job at Newberry College in South Carolina.

“I had the chance to get to know the faculty in the athletic training program and volunteer for Special Olympics Michigan,” Shingles said. “As soon as an opportunity presented itself, I applied for a job in the program.”

She began by teaching in the department of physical education and sport and then spent 15 years as the director of the athletic training program and seven years as department chair.

“It was so important to me to understand and maintain the legacy of our program, the excellence that’s expected of it,” Shingles said.

She recently retired from her leadership roles and continues to focus on teaching and cultural competency in sports medicine. Through her work, Shingles has helped raise the level of awareness and sensitivity to cultural issues for the people receiving treatment from athletic trainers.

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“It was so important to me to understand and maintain the legacy of our program, the excellence that’s expected of it,” said Shingles (left).

“I was lamenting in class one day about not having resources to teach about diversity and cultural competency related to athletic training, and one of my students, Ashley Reed — who’s now Dr. Ashley Reed — said, ‘You just need to write the book,’ ” Shingles said.

So, she did.

Shingles co-authored “Cultural Competence in Sports Medicine,” the first cultural competence textbook used widely by health care providers. She also was the first African American woman inducted into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame.

She regularly travels domestically and internationally, providing lectures on cultural competence and is working on two new textbooks, “Patient-Centered Care in Sports Medicine” and a book on diversity, equity and inclusion in health care.

“We have an obligation to train culturally competent health care professionals who treat a broad spectrum of people,” she said.

“Athletic training is a health profession, so it is about helping people. It just happens many of our patients are athletes, but they are also in the military, the performing arts, NASCAR, the rodeo and in industry.”

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Growing the profession

Blaine Long has been teaching athletic training courses at CMU for 10 years. He took over as program director four years ago when Shingles decided to step aside. Long was drawn to CMU because of the athletic training program’s alignment with the College of Health Professions.

“That strengthens what we can offer future athletic training students and the ways we can help grow the profession,” Long said.

He said the combination of the longevity of CMU’s athletic training program and the smaller size of the university make it a natural draw for prospective students.

“Our class sizes are relatively smaller than other institutions which allows students to have greater interaction with the faculty and their peers,” he said. “In the clinical setting, our students get the chance to do hands-on work with Division I athletes. They can participate in research alongside faculty and develop personal relationships with them that extend beyond their time on campus.”

CMU’s athletic training curriculum goes beyond the traditional classroom setting, offering dual enrollment opportunities for high school students interested in sports medicine.

“It lets students experience a college-level sports medicine class, enabling them to explore their interests at an early stage of their academic career,” Long said.

This early exposure to the field not only helps students make informed career choices but also instills a service-oriented perspective, fostering a desire to help others.

Earning a degree in CMU’s athletic training program can open doors to a variety of career paths, Long said. Graduates have become athletic trainers in high school and college settings as well as outreach sports medicine clinics and physician practices. Others enter medical sales or surgical equipment sales and have even taken their athletic training credits to pursue medical school or other health care fields. Still, most of CMU’s graduates choose to stay within the athletic training profession, providing medical services in high schools, colleges and even professional sports venues.

“We have alumni working at all levels across the profession and beyond,” Long said. And with a program that’s 50 years in the making, that’s thousands of people.

“We’re a pretty tight-knit program with an extensive history,” Long said. “We know where are our alumni are working, we stay connected with them and we help connect new graduates to them. If you graduated from our program, the chances are good you’re still connected to Ron, Rene, me or Emily Webster or Marlene Vandyke who have been instrumental in our program’s growth. We like to do what we can to support everyone.”

This summer, Long received the outstanding athletic trainer educator award from the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’

Association and the athletic trainer service award from the Michigan Athletic Trainers’ Society (MATS). Shingles, a hall of fame member within the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, was the inaugural recipient of the organization’s DEI award which was named the Rene Revis-Shingles Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award in her honor. Both Long and Shingles are deeply involved in work being done at the national level, working to help grow the profession and support the next generation of athletic trainers.

The future of the field

The next chapter of CMU’s athletic training program is already being written.

In 2020, to meet the shifting demands of the athletic training industry and transitioning requirements of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, Central began offering a 3+2 program — three years of undergraduate courses and two years of graduate courses. Students who complete the program earn a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training (BSAT) and a Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) in five years.

“Like any health or medical discipline, the program has to meet and exceed standards of care and practice,” Zimmerman said. “We have to keep up with advancements in techniques and use of equipment. There is a growing concern among many careers with

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Shingles (left) and Long at the MATS award ceremony.

the advent of artificial intelligence, but the human element will never be removed from athletic training. And at CMU, we’re training that next generation of professionals.”

Long said expanding the curriculum to include both access to coursework at the high school level as well as advanced degrees further enhances CMU’s national and international reputation in the field.

It’s an exciting time to be coming into athletic training, Shingles said. “We are a profession which continues to grow according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and Central offers an unbelievable experience. We have renowned faculty, unbelievable facilities, a simulation center that is top-notch, and dedicated space to study and research sports medicine. There are not many programs across the country who do what we do.” Both Sendre and Shingles noted that CMU has been supportive of the athletic training program from the very beginning. The program’s profound influence on the profession, along with its unwavering commitment to producing exceptional graduates, continues to make a lasting impact on the field of sports medicine and athletic training.

“I have been here long enough to watch our interns move into leadership positions where they are the directors of sports medicine, they are hiring athletic trainers, and they are calling us to say they have open positions and they are looking for CMU grads,” Shingles said. “To have watched their careers grow to that level is just amazing.” •


was hooked’

Red Wings’ head athletic trainer found his footing at CMU

When Piet VanZant came to CMU, he didn’t know what he wanted to study or what career interested him.

“I tried a bunch of different things,” he said. “Then I took my first athletic training class, and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t even know that was a job back then.”

The course taught him how to assess and tape basic injuries.

“I was hooked.”

He said he had tried a couple of other majors, but once he discovered athletic training, it changed his entire outlook on school and on his future.

“I couldn’t imagine, 30 years later, doing anything else.”

VanZant, ’93, was injured playing hockey growing up, so working in the sport was a natural fit. He’s the head athletic trainer for the Detroit Red Wings — a position he’s held since the 2002-03 season. He joined the organization in 1993, serving six years with the Adirondack Red Wings of the American Hockey League.

“Working in pro sports is definitely a different animal. As the head athletic trainer, you’re on call 24/7 all year. You’re working with the best athletes, watching them perform and helping them improve,” he said. “You’re part of the team.”

VanZant is part of a team of caregivers as well. He said he relies on the professionals around him to deliver holistic treatment.

“Physicians, nutritionists, chiropractors, physical therapists, we all work together to manage the players.”

While VanZant’s commitment to the Red Wings is the core of his career, he has also made significant contributions on a national level.

He was the athletic trainer for the world championship U.S. Men’s National Hockey Team in 2019, 2021 and 2022.

The education and training he received at Central play a part in his work every day, VanZant said. The program’s emphasis on hard work and commitment laid a strong foundation for his career.

“Athletic trainers work tirelessly, and you could see that right from the start as a student. You understood the level of commitment it would take to be successful in this profession.” •

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Alumnus has two Super Bowl wins

Glover’s athletic training work with Kansas City Chiefs brought him to football’s biggest stage

David Glover Jr. grew up in Muskegon playing sports and dreaming of becoming a doctor.

During his senior year in high school, he got hurt playing basketball and wound up in the athletic training room for rehabilitation.

“Brian Hanks did my rehab and during my time in the clinic he asked me what I wanted to do after school,” Glover said. “I told him I wanted to be a doctor, but I wanted to be around sports. He said, ‘Have you ever thought about athletic training?’ ”

Hanks, ’93, recommended Glover consider Central.

“The more research I did, the more intrigued I was. If not for him, I don’t

know what route I would have taken.”

Today, Glover, ’01, is the assistant athletic trainer for the Kansas City Chiefs — serving on staff for each of the team’s two Super Bowl wins.

He traveled with the team to Miami in 2020 as they faced the San Francisco 49ers. “It was a blur. I was so excited to be there. I took a picture of everything — my name tag, my room key, my orange juice at breakfast,” he said, laughing.

The Chiefs won 31-20. “It was like Christmas,” Glover said.

The team returned to the big stage the next year but lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; they went again two years later — and won again.

Glover said the challenges of dealing with injuries and the mental and emotional toll they can take on

athletes have gained greater attention, and he aims to bridge the gap between the physical and mental aspects of recovery.

“With each injury, the doubt grows,” Glover said. “They wonder if they’ll be the same player, if they can come back from the injury. I try to teach them the ‘why’ behind everything I do for them so they can see and appreciate their progress.”

Glover said he is incredibly grateful for his time at CMU and the support he received from faculty and staff.

“There is no better place to start. Rene Shingles was my academic adviser, and she was like the aunt who never lets you falter,” he said. “The people at CMU care about the type of students and athletic trainers they put into the workplace.” •

is so much reward in this career’

Chance encounter at a college fair launched a lifelong passion

Tanya Dargusch found her calling in athletic training while she was watching television — even if she didn’t know the job she dreamed of existed.

“I saw a special about someone who was helping people in an athletic setting, and I knew I wasn’t ever going to be an Olympian, but I loved athletics, and I loved helping people,” she said. “So, I started looking around to see if there was a job that incorporates both of those things.”

As a student at Ferndale High School in southeast Michigan, Dargusch attended a college fair. CMU was there, offering information about its athletic training program. She never looked elsewhere.

Dargusch earned her degree in sports medicine with a minor in exercise physiology in 1986, and her initial job in the field was as the first intern at Walbro Corporation, a Detroit-area engine management and fuel system company. The internship was groundbreaking, paving the way for occupational athletic training, thanks to work done by CMU athletic training co-founders Ron Sendre and Ken Kopke. From there, she was hired at Walbro Corporation.

A move to New Jersey prompted an industry shift for Dargusch. Her new state didn’t recognize athletic trainers in clinical settings.

Determined to continue practicing as an athletic trainer, she took a temporary position at a high school. That role turned into a 31-year career. She fell in love with the high school

setting, where she witnessed the growth and development of studentathletes from freshman to senior year. Though officially retired, Dargusch has not completely drifted away from her profession. She worked in global and community health for Princeton University during the pandemic and has worked with their sports programs. And she is on the board of directors for the National Athletic Trainers Association, a role that allows her to give back to a profession she deeply believes in.

“There is so much reward in this career,” Dargusch said. “The foundation I got at CMU because of what people like Ron Sendre and Ken Kopke built — and that Rene Shingles built upon — is second to none. CMU is completely dedicated to athletic training.” •

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19 Centralight Winter ‘22 YOU R SOURC E for CMU gear! 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 d versity and provide equal opportunity for all individuals irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and including but not limited to minorities, females, Ph o t o s b y S y dn e y Pi t c h f o r d Follow us on Instagram and Pinterest GOLD CENTRAL K S TO R E . C O M 989-7 74-7493 800-283-0234 CMU Bookstore Fall Hours Mon–Thurs, 8am–6pm Friday, 8am–5pm Saturday, 10am–3pm Sunday, closed

Keeping eyes ON THE SKIES


’23 M.S., works in the Brooks

Observatory on

the facility serves nearly 500 students in introductory observational astronomy courses and hosts hundreds of community guests who attend regular observatory open house sessions.

The observatory features a fully automated retractable dome that protects a 16-inch telescope used by faculty and students as part of their astronomy studies.

Paxon, Astronomical the roof of Brooks Hall. Each year,
20 Centralight Fall
21 Centralight Fall ‘23

Do you get a wave of nostalgia each fall, thinking back to the days when you first arrived on campus? Ever wonder what today’s back-to-school scene looks like? We’ve got you covered!

1 3 2


1 New student orientation helps freshmen, transfer and international students get acquainted with everything related to #LifeAtCentral.

2 What was your dorm room like when you lived on campus?

These students are showing off part of their two-room residence in the halls.

3 Fall means football and football means marching band! Here, the Marching Chips — a fixture on campus since 1923 — line up for a game-day performance.

4 Students and parents line up to move into the Towers for the 2023-24 school year.

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5 Leadership Safari sets the stage for CMU students to find their leadership voice. It kicks off the week before classes begin each fall, helping incoming freshmen and transfer students acclimate to campus life. (For a look back at its first 25 years, see Page 40.)

6 IMPACT helps incoming multicultural freshman and transfer students become familiar with campus, learn about cultural student organizations, and attend social workshops.

7 CMU’s Color Guard dazzles the crowd at last season’s homecoming halftime show.


8 The residence hall front desk operation provides security and a customer service function. At least one front desk in each community (East, South and Towers) is staffed 24 hours a day. 24 Centralight Fall ‘23
6 7 8

CMU Chippewas are FIRED UP AT SEA

USS Makin Island staff includes three Central faithful

In the vast expanse of the world’s oceans, three CMU Chippewas share their #FiredUpForever pride onboard the USS Makin Island.

Commander Jason M. Constantine, ’01, ’03 M.A., Master Sergeant Dennis K. Smith, a non-degreeholding alumnus, and Megan Donahoe, ’16, work onboard the U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship which holds approximately 2,500 people, and is homeported in San Diego.

Constantine is the Makin Island’s command chaplain, facilitating the religious needs of the crew and personnel, overseeing the ship’s churches, mosques and synagogues.

Smith, who left CMU after his junior year to join the military, is a senior combat cargo assistant, acting as a liaison with the team embarkation assistant on all matters pertaining to landing force support and requirements.

Donahoe is the ship’s afloat recreation specialist, or “fun boss.” Her job is to put on a variety of events and programs for the crew and embarked units.

All three share a love for their jobs and their time at CMU. For Constantine, that love is even deeper — he met his wife, Cathy, during his sophomore year on campus.

“The summer after we met, we took a walk down by the Chippewa River,” he said. “When she turned her back to me to look down river, I pulled out her ring, got down on one knee, and said, ‘Check out this rock.’ I then asked her to marry me. She said yes, and we immediately went to The Embers restaurant to celebrate.”

Constantine said he believes CMU taught him how to properly write and he relies on those skills daily.

“The ability to accurately communicate — particularly with the written word — is essential for my work as a chaplain and naval officer,” he said. “It allows me to not only preach a good sermon from time to time, but also shape Department of Defense policy and naval doctrine.”

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While attending CMU, Smith was the equipment manager and video operations specialist for the football and women’s basketball teams. He also volunteered in the community as a coach at local middle and high schools.

Smith said his experience at CMU will impact his life forever.

“My favorite memory was receiving my letterman jacket for my time with the football team,” Smith said. “I wore that jacket with pride, especially when I went home to Detroit to visit my family, and seeing their faces filled with pride over the work that I did.”

Of the three CMU Chippewas onboard, Donahoe is the newest member of the USS Makin Island crew, arriving in May 2022. Since graduating, she’s kept in touch with several Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Administration professors, including Lori Irwin, who was able to provide her with a connection that cemented her desire to leave her job at a full-service hotel for a new career on the sea.

“I had just received this job offer when I saw that Lori had recently visited her niece Reagan — also a CMU graduate — who works as a fun boss on a carrier out of Virginia,” she said.

Donohoe asked Irwin to connect her so she could learn about the job, and she

met up with Irwin’s niece before moving to California. Donohoe got a tour of her ship and saw what her day-to-day life was like onboard.

“The professors in the RPL department at CMU are some of the best who truly care!” Donahoe said.

While Donahoe is a civilian who works with the military, Constantine and Smith each have 20-plus-year careers in the armed forces. All three say they truly

enjoy their jobs, with Smith adding: “There is no better honor than answering the call in the defense of your nation, so others can sleep peacefully knowing that you have the watch.”

And Central alumni everywhere can take pride in the fact that some of those people are CMU Chippewas. •

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Photos courtesy of the U.S. Navy MASTER SERGEANT DENNIS K. SMITH


Central Michigan University Alumni Association Board of Directors


Scott Nadeau, ’89, Dexter, Michigan

Vice president

Erica Lagos, ’13, Carmel, Indiana

Past president

Kandra (Kerridge) Robbins, ’90, Jena, Louisiana Directors

Brooke Adams, ’11, Detroit, Michigan

Lester Booker Jr., ’08, MSA ’10, Canton, Michigan

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

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

Melissa DeJesus, ‘01, M.A. ‘09, Dexter, Michigan

Elizabeth Dilg, ‘22, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

Megan Doyle, ’03, Chicago, Illinois

Jonathan Eadie, ’93, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan

Norma Eppinger, ’91, Lansing, Michigan

Matthew Franklin, ’04, Grand Blanc, Michigan

Chris Gautz, ’04, Adrian, Michigan

Jonathan Glenn, ‘06, M.A. ‘11, Alma, Michigan

Spencer Haworth, ’12, Kalamazoo, Michigan

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

LaMarcus Howard, ‘09, M.A. ‘12, Flint, Michigan

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

J.J. Lewis, ’06, Simi Valley, California

John Reineke, ’09, Oxford, Ohio

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

Central Michigan University Board of Trustees

Richard Studley, ‘93 MSA, Grand Ledge, Michigan

Nathan Tallman, ’07, M.A. ’09, Macomb, Michigan

Abby M. (Hagland)

Watteny, `02, Berkley, Michigan

For a full listing including emeritus board members please see https://www. cmich.edu/officesdepartments/alumnirelations/about/alumniassociation-board-ofdirectors

For a full listing of Board of Trustees meeting schedules please see https://www.cmich.edu/about/university-leadership/ board-of-trustees/about/members

Todd J. Anson, ’77 Regine Beauboeuf Sharon Heath, ’96 Isaiah M. Oliver, ’07 Edward J. Plawecki Jr., ’75 Michael A. Sandler Todd Regis Denise Williams Mallett
28 Centralight Fall ‘23

CMU alum and trustee tapped to lead nonprofit

Oliver takes over helm of Community Foundation of Northeast Florida

Following a nationwide search, the Board of Trustees of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida (TCF) unanimously selected Isaiah M. Oliver, ’07, as TCF’s new president.

Oliver was appointed to the CMU Board of Trustees by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in April 2019, and he is a recipient of the Alumni Service Recognition Award for his distinctive citizenship, and volunteer and public service to his local community, state and to CMU.

In 2017, Oliver was hired to lead the Community Foundation of Greater Flint during the height of the Flint water crisis. His hometown roots lent credibility during a pivotal point in the foundation

CMU among the top state schools for job placements

More than three-quarters of Central graduates stay in Michigan

A higher percentage of recent CMU graduates reported finding employment within six months than those at nearly every other Michigan university, according to the most current publicly available data.

And 78% of them were still living in Michigan, said Rob VanDorin, director of CMU’s Career Development Center.

— and the community’s — history. Under his leadership, the foundation’s assets grew from $254 million to $283 million.

A proven community leader and a bright star in the field of place-based philanthropy, Oliver will continue TCF’s focus on donor stewardship and strategic philanthropy that improves the lives of everyone in the six-county Northeast Florida region. Oliver will be the third president of TCF.

“Throughout this process, Isaiah has impressed us as a dynamic, collaborative leader who has the vision and the skills to advance our mission of stimulating philanthropy to build a better community,” said Brian J. Davis, chair of TCF’s board of trustees. “We are happy and excited to welcome him to Northeast Florida as The Community Foundation’s next president.”

TCF has stewarded more than $1 billion in total gifts since its founding and boasts

an engaged network of more than 660 fundholders and donors, distributing a record $57.7 million in grants in 2022.

“The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida has an outstanding reputation locally and nationally for donor service and strategic community philanthropy,” Oliver said. “I’m looking forward to building relationships with donors, grantees and the community, to better understand how I can build on the strength of the foundation in our next chapter.” •

Among three graduating classes from August and December 2021 and May 2022, 93.7% of former students reported either being employed or pursuing more education within six months of leaving CMU, VanDorin said. This places CMU among the highest in the state for public institutions.

Of the 615 respondents to the First Destination Survey, approximately 75% said they were employed or volunteering; another 20% said they were pursuing additional education.

Graduates from two colleges — the College of Business Administration and the College of Health Professions — reported the highest rates of employment at 95% or higher.

They also reported earning an average annual income of $48,901. That is $14,000 higher than the average Michigan income of $34,768, as reported in the latest Census.

CMU’s First Destination Survey was based on National Association of Colleges and Employers guidelines. Data gathered from 2021-22 is the most current data available among Michigan’s public universities. Universities are not required to report employment data after six months and not all universities share their data publicly, VanDorin said.

“Based on current publicly available first destination data we have from more than 10 public institutions, we are proud that CMU students are finding first destination success, at the second highest rate in the state,” VanDorin said.

“CMU’s Career Development Center continues to develop new programming and resources, while assisting students earlier in their career exploration journey, to strive to push this rate even higher.” •

29 Centralight Fall ‘23


past 10 years out of more than 2,600 craft distilleries.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Tasting Alliance for our commitment to crafting spirits of unparalleled quality. To receive the Double Gold Medal for our namesake spirit, Stiefel’s Select Single Barrel 4 Grain Bourbon, from one of the industry’s most influential spirits competitions is testament to the passion and unwavering pursuit of excellence by our team,” said Justin Stiefel.

Award-winning distillery toasts to more honors

CMU Chippewa-led company recognized for bourbon and vodka Jennifer Stiefel, ’02, is the co-founder and CEO of Heritage Distilling Company, which was recognized with a Double Gold Medal for Stiefel’s Select Single Barrel 4 Grain Bourbon and a Silver Medal for Florescence Grapefruit & Pomelo Vodka at the 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Awards.

Honors for CMU Chippewas

Ashly Nelson, ’12, was one of two educators to receive an inaugural Michigan State University Extension Excellence in Teaching Award. The honor recognizes MSU Extension educators who have demonstrated exceptional teaching skills, implemented innovative techniques, and contributed to the success and impact of MSU Extension programs on society. Nelson has been a community nutrition instructor with MSU Extension since 2015. In Wayne County alone, she has taught close to 300 classes and has reached over 20,000 people with her direct education and policy, system and

“We take great pride in being an integral part of America’s thriving distilling community, constantly pushing the limits of innovation and upholding uncompromising quality,” she said. Co-founded by Justin and Jennifer Stiefel in 2011, the company has five tasting rooms and two distilleries in Washington and Oregon. It is the most awarded craft distillery in North America by the American Distilling Institute for the

To accelerate its national wholesale distribution growth strategy, Heritage founded the Tribal Beverage Network to collaborate with Native American tribes and develop Heritage-branded distilleries, brands and tasting rooms and to develop brands unique to the tribes, to serve patrons of tribal casinos and entertainment venues, creating compelling social and economic benefits for participating tribal communities while allowing the tribes another channel through which to exercise tribal sovereignty. •

environmental changes. Nelson’s creative teaching style has allowed her to reach all different audiences and make nutrition fun. Because of her ability to connect with the students, her work with the school community has been successful when creating healthier, sustainable environments.

Betsy Diegel, ’10, has been named East Central Michigan regional director for the MiSTEM Network, striving to make STEM learning more accessible across the state and position more Michigan students for career success. The network is part of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).

Diegel will coordinate and oversee the progress of STEM education activities in the region and align efforts with the state’s goals. She will also develop and implement common goals among the region’s stakeholders and ensure they are fairly represented and supported.

Cindy Jacobs, ’93, has been appointed to the McLaren Central Michigan board of directors. Jacobs is director of constituent engagement and membership at CMU, where she has worked for 22 years. Her two-year term ends Jan. 31, 2025, at which time she will be eligible for reappointment. >

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Abby CameronStanderford, ’12 Ed.D., received the Excellence in Teaching Award from Northern Michigan University for her work empowering teacher leaders in the field of learning disabilities and teacher education. Her foundation for education builds off of a responsive and adaptive student learning environment, which supports all students regardless of their level of experience and knowledge, while also holding to the critical expectations of rigor in online instruction.

Anthony Cooper, ’03 M.S., was named to the executive council of AARP Georgia. The council is a team of people with various backgrounds and areas of expertise, who help inform AARP Georgia’s decisions and move the needle in making change within the community. Cooper is an Afghanistan War Veteran, recipient of the Joint Service Commendation Medal and National Defense Service Medal. Cooper retired from active duty in the U.S. Army after 20 years of distinguished service.

Kim Shacklett, ’91, was recognized by the Industrial Supply Association (ISA) with its 2023 Women’s Influence Award. The award honors an extraordinary individual from an ISA member company for their impact and commitment to advancing the development and influence of women in the industrial supply channel. Shacklett is senior vice president of sales and customer success for MSC Industrial Supply Co., a distributor of a broad range of metalworking and maintenance, repair and operations products and services. MSC President and CEO Erik Gershwind referred to Shacklett as “one of the best leaders I have come across in my entire career and a strong and positive role model to many women at MSC and within the industrial supply industry.”

Kenyetta T. HairstonBridges, ’03, ’07 M.S.A., was appointed chief operating officer of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). She is responsible

for overseeing DEGC’s operations, including strategic planning, program development, and day-to-day management to drive growth and innovation and position Detroit as an ideal landing spot for companies.

Steve Glazer, ’77 M.A., was named Dearborn Art Educator of the Year. He is the faculty chair of fine and performing arts for Henry Ford College. The award is given to an art educator from the greater Dearborn community who has provided students with exemplary educational opportunities and shown the importance of the arts through example. Glazer, who teaches ceramics, has been at the college for nearly 20 years.

Daniel T. Eichinger, ’14 M.P.A., a high-ranking executive in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s cabinet, has been named Ferris State University’s vice president for governmental and external affairs. Eichinger had been serving as the director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and acting director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy before assuming his new role.

Emily Doerr, ’07, was named director of planning and development for the City of Flint. She previously led the Michigan State Land Bank Authority and served as community economic development program manager for the City of Flint’s HOME, Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs.

Jennifer M. Montgomery, ’04 M.S.A. , has been appointed senior vice president and chief nursing officer for McLaren Health Care. It is the first senior nursing leader role in McLaren’s history. She provides clinical and operational oversight across the spectrum of nursing care at all McLaren hospital and ambulatory settings to unite and align all system sites under a standard of care. She began her career at the patient’s

bedside as a registered nurse at what is now McLaren Port Huron hospital. She progressed in her career, earning promotions to manager and director at area hospitals before returning to Port Huron as the hospital’s chief nursing officer.

Kelly Lange, ’97, has been named to the board of directors for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, headquartered in Ann Arbor. She is the vice president of enterprise compliance and a privacy official for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network.

Phil Biscorner, ’03, is the new director of parks and recreation for the city of Mount Pleasant, a role he held on an interim basis for two years. Before joining the city, Biscorner was director of municipal parks and recreation departments in the Ann Arbor area and in Florida before coming full circle and returning to the city that is home to his alma mater.

Talia Brookshire, ’06, was named to Providence Business News’ 40 Under Forty program. She is the chief diversity officer for the Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island. In her role, she engages all levels and departments of the organization to ensure all its work and relationships reflect its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Rich Sands, ’97, has been named chief executive officer of STELLA Automotive AI, the leading provider of high-end conversational AI technology in the automotive industry. With over 25 years of product and business leadership within the global automotive industry, Sands brings a wealth of experience from executive roles at Ford, J.D. Power and Microsoft. He is also a strategic adviser to The Presidio Group, a prominent independent merchant banking firm in the automotive retail and consumer mobility sectors. •

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Alumnus is an enthusiastic leader and advocate for slow and beginning runners

Author has been featured in Runner’s World and has completed eight marathons (so far!)

Martinus Evans, ’09, is the founder and CEO of the Slow AF Run Club, a 25,000-plus-member online community for slow runners and walkers at the back of the pack.

The group was created to empower every person to become a runner in the body they have right now. Evans’ personal journey began over a decade ago, when his doctor called him fat and told him he needed to start walking to “lose weight or die.”

Faced with the shame and stigma many people in larger bodies face, Evans made the choice to stand up for himself. He left the doctor’s office vowing to not only start walking regularly, but also to finish a marathon. He bought running shoes that same day.

More than 10 years later, Evans has been an Adidas spokesperson, a model on the cover of Runner’s World, and a Boston Marathon finisher. He has completed over 100 races including eight marathons, all while changing the perception of what a runner is supposed to look like and inspiring many people along the way.

This summer, Evans’ book, “Slow AF Run Club: The Ultimate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Run,” was released by Avery Publishing, and quickly became the No. 1 bestseller in the track and field sports category on Amazon.com.

He also was featured in a New York Times story and on the NPR podcast “Life Kit,” talking about all things running — motivation, shoes, pacing, breathing, form, early workouts, cross training and more.

Learn more about Martinus and join the movement at slowafrunclub.com •

Two alumnae named to Crain’s list

The 2023 Crain’s Notable Leaders in Marketing list includes two CMU grads:

Nikki Little, ’06, is senior vice president for Franco, an integrated communications agency based in Detroit. Little oversees strategic initiatives for clients and the agency with a specific focus on integrating and aligning communications services for maximum results.

Nikki also manages the integrated marketing efforts for the agency. She is a member of Impact100 Oakland County and publisher of The MichComms Report, an e-newsletter for communications professionals in Michigan.

Jacqueline Trost, ’00, is chief marketing officer for Lee Industrial Contracting, leading the organization’s strategic marketing and communications function, including branding, design, digital experience, advertising, social media, public/media relations and strategic partnerships. She chairs the finance and budget committee of CREW Detroit, a nonprofit focused on advancing women in the commercial real estate industry. And she serves on the CMU Broadcast and Cinematic Arts Department’s alumni advisory board. •

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33 Centralight Fall ‘23 connect.cmich.edu 989-774-3087 connect@cmich.edu Connectivity and Affordability. Competitive rates available to CMU Alumni for AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless products and services.
Deirdre Myers CMU Professional Development Implicit Bias Training 2012 BS Psychology 2023 MA Counseling “I learned strategies that I was able to implement immediately in my work with domestic abuse survivors. This course has helped me better connect with and serve my clients.”
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Central Michigan University

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.

Food to fuel student success 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.

35 Centralight Fall ‘23 CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY 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
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.

In Memory

Alice (Runyan) Ranowsky, ’41, ’72 MA, Forest, Va., died July 8, 2023, age 103

Ellen L. (Wirth) Conklin, ’48, Grand Haven, Mich., died May 7, 2023, age 98

Bette J. (Hackett) Peterson, ’49, ’74 MBA, Saginaw, Mich., died Apr. 27, 2023, age 94

Shirley (Railling) Bruno, ’61, Rapid River, Mich., died June 29, 2023, age 100

SyAnn R. (Wells) Burt, ’52, Saginaw, Mich., died July 9, 2023, age 96

Rose M. Cusenza, ’52, Flushing, Mich., died Feb. 3, 2023, age 92

Patricia (Ward) Erickson, ’52, Grand Rapids, Mich., died May 14, 2023, age 92

Renal Hook, ’52, Bradenton, Fla., died Apr. 8, 2023, age 93

Ila J. (Langworthy) Majeske, ’53, Ann Arbor, Mich., died Apr. 23, 2023, age 91

Bonnie (Anderson) Edgar, ’55, Pleasant Lake, Mich., died June 24, 2023, age 92

Thomas M. Fraser, ’56, Grand Blanc, Mich., died Apr. 10, 2023, age 88

Loren Gray, ’56, Grand Blanc, Mich., died Feb. 6, 2023, age 89

Donald H. Johnson, ’56, Tucson, Ariz., died May 3, 2023, age 96

Robert Morrison, ’56, Caro, Mich., died June 12, 2023, age 88

Clara M. (Deegan) True, ’57, Port Huron, Mich., died June 3, 2023, age 88

Alice (Eckerle) Cunningham, ’58, Hart, Mich., died June 10, 2023, age 86

Marilyn J. (Burkhardt) Barry, ’59, ’69 MA, East Tawas, Mich., died Nov. 24, 2022, age 84

Gilbert Elias, ’59, Okemos, Mich., died Mar. 25, 2023, age 95

Henry Finch, ’59, Traverse City, Mich., died July 11, 2023, age 90

Ruth (Grover) Louzon, ’59, Rockford, Mich., died June 17, 2023, age 94

Robert Stinson, ’59, Lawton, Okla., died June 11, 2023, age 85

Howard M. Bank, ’60, Midland, Mich., died May 7, 2023, age 85

Richard L. Carlson, ’60, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Apr. 28, 2023, age 86

Carl Hatfield, ’65, Grayling, Mich., died June 6, 2023, age 86

Marilyn B. (Nyquist) Horton, ’60, Delta Township, Mich., died May 16, 2023, age 85

Bernice P. (Maddock) Rankin, ’60, Lakeview, Mich., died May 21, 2023, age 86

John P. Walkley, ’60, Houghton Lake, Mich., died May 23, 2023, age 86

James M. Hauck, ’61, Birch Run, Mich., died May 16, 2023, age 90

Darryl E. Soper, ’61, ’69 MA, Remus, Mich., died May 8, 2023, age 83

Leonard Callard, ’62, ’66 MA, Saginaw, Mich., died May 23, 2023, age 84

Marjorie (Zybach) Monaghan,’62, Ann Arbor, Mich., died July 3, 2023, age 83

Linda J. (Bogema) Strong, ’62, Muskegon, Mich., died Apr. 14, 2023, age 83

Janis M. Pearl, ’63, ’69 MA, Sidney, Mich., died Apr. 11, 2023, age 81

Sharon (Hutchinson) Pierce, ’63, Ithaca, Mich., died June 25, 2023, age 82

Gene L. Babich, ’64, ’69 MA, Caro, Mich., died July 8, 2023, age 83

John Muntin, ’64, Clio, Mich., died July 23, 2023, age 82

David A. Caruso, ’65, Muskegon, Mich., died May 5, 2023, age 80

Devere Engelhardt, ’65 MBA, Gilford, N.H., died June 15, 2023, age 84

William Hubert, ’65, ’68 MA, Wichita, Kans., died June 18, 2023, age 83

Charles W. Knapp, ’66, Maple City, Mich., died May 13, 2023, age 78

Hartley H. Lenover, ’66, Commerce Township, Mich., died Feb. 11, 2023, age 78

David G. MacColeman, ’66, Brooksville, Fla., died Oct. 4, 2022, age 79

Meredith (Johnson) Richter, ’66, Petoskey, Mich., died May 12, 2023, age 89

Jerry J. Swanson, ’66, Frankfort, Mich., died May 8, 2023, age 80

Francis N. Warren, ’66, Largo, Fla., died Dec. 17, 2022, age 78

Paul N. Bishop, ’67, New Castle, Ind., died May 23, 2023, age 83

Louise S. (Strong) Henretty, ’67, ’93 MA, Joshua Tree, Calif., died Apr. 24, 2023, age 78

Kathleen (Darr)

Hergenrother, ’67, Petoskey, Mich., died June 16, 2023, age 94

Sharon (Titus) Tracy, ’68, Troy, Mich., died June 23, 2023, age 77

Alice M. (Smith) Campbell, ’69, ’80 MA, Saline, Mich., died Apr. 20, 2023, age 77

Harold Drengberg, ’69, Bay City, Mich., died June 11, 2023, age 76

Terron Beitelshees, ’70, Saline, Mich., died June 25, 2023, age 74

Sandra E. (Bowerman)

Blanchard, ’70, El Paso, Texas, died Apr. 18, 2023, age 75

Karen R. (Galey) Carroll, ’70 MA, Naples, Fla., died Apr. 15, 2023, age 80

Jeanne S. (Summerfelt)

Dupre, ’70, Joliet, Ill., died March 25, 2023, age 76

Kenneth Enyart, ’70, Mason, Mich., died Apr. 6, 2023, age 74

Theodore H. Heidloff, ’70, ’75 MSA, Springfield, Mo., died May 6, 2023, age 75

Emil Joseph II, ’70, Grand Blanc, Mich., died June 17, 2023, age 74

James D. Oilschlager, ’70, Harvard, Ill., died March 31, 2023, age 82

Rock Ringold, ’70, Farmington, Mich., died June 12, 2023, age 74

Letitia J. (Johnston) Skeen, ’70, Jackson, Mich., died Apr. 11, 2023, age 90

Judy A. (Barrett) Chargot, ’71, Estero, Fla., died Apr. 3, 2023, age 70

Florence (Greene) Cordes, ’71, Barton City, Mich., died June 13, 2023, age 104

Richard Fosgitt, ’71, Midland, Mich., died July 5, 2023, age 81

Thomas W. Gaylord, ’71, Battle Creek, Mich., died Apr. 4, 2023, age 73

36 Centralight Fall ‘23

Lynne M. (Allsup) Olson, ’71, Midland, Mich., died May 17, 2023, age 74

Nelson T. Stapleton, ’71, Hemlock, Mich., died July 10, 2023, age 52

Tamara (Cowdry) Albrecht, ’72, Marshall, Mich., died July 2, 2023, age 73

Thomas J. Austin, ’72, Howell, Mich., died March 28, 2023, age 73

John Balcer, ’72, West Bloomfield, Mich., died June 28, 2023, age 76

Arthur Benson,’72, MA, Turlock, Calif., died Apr. 12, 2023, age 89

Edward C. Elliott, ’72, Midland, Mich., died May 8, 2023, age 96

James P. Simons,’72, Imlay City, Mich., died May 5, 2023, age 73

William Troeger, ’72, Las Vegas, Nev., died Jan. 8, 2023, age 72

Albert VonDrasek, ’72, Bay City, Mich., died July 12, 2023, age 77

Michael Weiler,’72, ’74 MA, Belmont, Mich., died June 3, 2023, age 72

Phillip F. Brooks, ’73 MA, Wichita Falls, Texas, died July 2, 2023, age 87

Sye Cockrel, ’73 MA, Columbus, Ohio, died Apr. 10, 2023, age 86

Paula J. Erdelyi, ’73, ’76 MA, Prospect, Ky., died July 7, 2023, age 76

Karen G. (Stephens) Gaertner, ’73, Saginaw, Mich., died Apr. 17, 2023, age 72

Karen A. Graham-Taylor, ’73, Kalamazoo, Mich., died May 30, 2023, age 72

Mary L. (Hines) Kelly, ’73, MA, Midland, Mich., died Apr. 28, 2023, age 95

James G. Massey, ’73, West Branch, Mich., died July 7, 2023, age 72

Janet K. (Carey) Pauquette, ’73, Farwell, Mich., died May 18, 2023, age 74

Greg A. Warren, ’73, Fort Wayne, Ind., died Apr. 29, 2023, age 72

Marilyn (Liebmann) Willard, ’73 MA, Mayville, Mich., died Apr. 5, 2023, age 75

Kathleen Chimner, ’74, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died June 24, 2023, age 71

Jon Gaymer, ’74, Waxhaw, N.C., died Apr. 1, 2023, age 76

Raymond Reitnour, ’74 MA, Zionsville, Pa., died June 20, 2023, age 73

Donald Bash, ’75 MA, Louisville, Ky., died June 28, 2023, age 78

James Cain Jr.,’75, Venice, Ind., died Mar. 17, 2019, age 67

Catherine S. (Crampton) Cox-Phillips, ’75, ’78 MA, Midland, Mich., died Apr. 28, 2023, age 72

Thaddeus H. Godzwa, ’75 MA, Indianapolis, Ind., died March, 3, 2023, age 77

Daniel Jarzabkowski, ’75 MA, Cheboygan, Mich., died June 8, 2023, age 77

Gary E. Marquesen, ’75 MA, Lancaster, Ohio, died July 3, 2023, age 83

Robert R. Miller, ’75 MA, Fleming Island, Fla., died Apr. 23, 2023, age 92

Eloise (Wiser) Miller, ’75, ’80 MA, Alma, Mich., died June 18, 2023, age 92

Michael P. Sierko, ’75, ’86 MA, Bay City, Mich., died Apr. 24, 2023, age 71

Michael E. Winkler, ’75 MA, Powell, Ohio, died Apr. 14, 2023, age 73

Elsie J. (Anderson) Carter, ’76 MA, Saginaw, Mich., died Apr. 24, 2023, age 85

Waynard Devers, ’76 MA, Hoschton, Ga., died June 15, 2023, age 81

Betty Lentz (Broderick), ’76 MA, Savannah, Ga., died May 18, 2023, age 93

John O’Connor, ’76 MA, Medina, Ohio, died July 15, 2023, age 80

Ruby (Parker) Puckett, ’76 MA, Gainesville, Fla., died June 5, 2023, age 90

In Memory

Joseph Arbaugh, ’77, Fairview, Mich., died Apr. 2, 2023, age 72

Paul A. Barber, ’77 MA, Nacogdoches, Texas, died Jan. 10, 2023, age 90

Lynn Berringer, ’77 MA, Montgomery, Texas, died June 30, 2023, age 83

Gerald W. Bilderback, ’77 MA, Annapolis, Md., died May 7, 2023, age 91

Danny J. Chrivia, ’77, ’96 MS, Mt. Pleasant, Mich., died July 18, 2023, age 69

Paul E. Guthier, ’77 MA, Fairfax, Va., died Apr. 9, 2023, age 82

Lori A. Ludwig, ’77, Alpena, Mich., died Apr. 20, 2023, age 68

Veronica (Killeen) Pelzer, ’77 MA, Saginaw, Mich., died May 24, 2023, age 91

Phyllis (Petterson) Southwick, ’77, Daytona Beach, Fla., died June 21, 2023, age 86

Rosemary (Byrne) Wilson, ’77 MA, Midland, Mich., died June 17, 2023, age 93

John P. Bailor, ’78 MA, ’85 Ed.S., Luther, Mich., died May 29, 2023, age 77

Donna M. St. Germain, ’78, East Lansing, Mich., died July 6, 2023, age 66

Mary (Brubaker) Kell, ’78 MA, Midland, Mich., died June 9, 2023, age 81

Roop C. Sharma, ’78 MA, Hanover, Md., died Apr. 9, 2023, age 81

George Thurnher, ’78 MA, Woodbridge, Va., died Apr. 11, 2023, age 76

Nathaniel Wilson, ’78 MA, Alexandria, Va., died June 15, 2023, age 81

Sammie L. Wright, ’78 MA, Niceville, Fla., died July 12, 2023, age 77

M. Suzanne (Mills) Dumaw, ’79 MA, Hillsdale, Mich., died June 26, 2023, age 84

Marty Fisher, ’79, ’84 MA, West Bloomfield, Mich., died June 29, 2023, age 65

William Meyers, ’79 MA, Waynesville, N.C., died July 29, 2014, age 68

Dean Harbert, ’80 MA, Round Rock, Texas, died June 15, 2023, age 71

Ralph E. Zunich, ’80 MA, Virginia Beach, Va., died May 19, 2023, age 80

James A. Adams, ’81 MA, LaSalle, Mich., died May 10, 2023, age 68

Mary J. (Whipple) Campbell, ’81 MA, Ingram, Texas, died March 31, 2023, age 87

Mark J. Christiansen, ’81, Shelby, Mich., died May 12, 2023, age 70

John Crampton, ’81, West Bloomfield, Mich., died June 28, 2023, age 76

Terry W. Miller, ’81, Richmond, Mich., died May 19, 2023, age 75

Donald E. Noble, ’81 MA, Columbus, Ohio, died Apr. 17, 2023, age 89

Fredric R. Boss, ’82, Mesick, Mich., died Apr. 25, 2023, age 67

Henry L. Chiles, ’82 MA, Woodinville, Wash., died Jan. 2, 2023, age 91

Ute W. (Zell) Niemeyer, ’82 MA, Palm Harbor, Fla., died Apr. 25, 2023, age 83

Craig Teschner, ’82 MA, Ware, Mass., died July 7, 2023, age 73

James D. Bryant, ’83 MA, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Apr. 29, 2023, age 72

Gregory Grzybowski, ’83, ’85 MA, Troy, Mich., died June 24, 2023, age 76

Linda Meeks, ’83, Atlanta, Ga., died July 10, 2022, age 59

William Topping, ’83 MA, Deming, N.M., died Apr. 14, 2023, age 76

Gerald Bradow, ’84 MA, Clio, Mich., died July 4, 2023, age 86

June (Musselman) Gregonis, ’84 MA, Durham, N.C., died June 8, 2023, age 81

Gary K. Shields, ’84, Muskegon, Mich., died May 14, 2023, age 61

David York, ’84, Xenia, Ohio, died June 16, 2023, age 66

Randy Dawley, ’85 MSA, Westland, Mich., died May 6, 2023, age 69

Judith (Stothfang) Evans, ’86 MA, Mason City, Iowa, died Apr. 5, 2023, age 80

Joyce B. (Smith) Ryan, ’87 MA, Canadian Lakes, Mich., died Apr. 16, 2023, age 74

Hugh R. Shephard, ’87 MA, Baldwin, Mich., died May 7, 2023, age 84

Traci (Pomeroy) Welch, ’87, Niles, Mich., died June 24, 2023, age 57

Gail A. (Kenney) Mars, ’88 MA, DeTour, Mich., died May 12, 2023, age 76

Sandra (Lown) Mitchell, ’88, Jackson, Mich., died June 10, 2023, age 63

Trisha Meads, ’89, Milan, Mich., died Apr. 10, 2023, age 56

Timothy DuRocher, ’90, Ridgewood, N.J., died June 17, 2023, age 55

Paul Helmreich Jr., ’90, Phoenix, Ariz., died Oct. 22, 2022, age 54

Joan M. Lynch, ’90 MA, Butte, Mont., died Apr. 28, 2023, age 88

Florence Chien, ’91 MA, West Chester, Pa., died May 19, 2023, age 92

John F. Heth, ’91, St. Joseph, Mich., died May 3, 2023, age 57

Paravila Jacob, ’91 MSA, Sterling Heights, Mich., died June 17, 2023, age 72

Martin E. Thomas, ’91, ’93 MA, Clawson, Mich., died Apr. 26, 2023, age 55

Vincent T. Morrissey, ’92 MA, Osseo, Mich., died May 21, 2023, age 78

Thomas J. O’Donnell, ’92 MSA, Charleston, S.C., died May 9, 2023, age 67

Sandra (Milford) Pike, ’92 MSA, Bolivar, Tenn., died June 29, 2023, age 69

Steven Beaver, ’93 MSA, Fairhope, Ala., died June 28, 2023, age 74

Kay D. (Jackson) Diggs

Butler, ’93 MSA, Rochester, Mich., died May 27, 2023, age 81

Amy E. (McClain) Green, ’93, Midland, Mich., died May 1, 2023, age 51

Joan C. (Sinks) LaForest, ’93, Troy, Mich., died May 29, 2023, age 79

Kaduthanath C. “K.C.”

Johnson, ’95 MSA, Troy, Mich., died May 15, 2023, age 73

Scott Robert, ’95 MSA, Lynchburg, Va., died June 23, 2023, age 57

Kathleen J. (Essmaker) Hubbard, ’96, Lincoln, Mich., died June 17, 2023, age 70

James C. Whitford, ’96, ’03 MA, Eureka, Mich., died July 8, 2023, age 68

Patricia (Elmer) Wood, ’96 MSA, Northville, Mich., died June 10, 2023, age 63

Steven F. Irish, ’97, Flint, Mich., died May 1, 2023, age 51

Timothy B. Booms, ’98 MSA, Almot, Mich., died May 27, 2023, age 56

Jodi L. (Haughton) Rempala, ’98, Goodells, Mich., died Apr. 11, 2023, age 46

Kristoffer Tieber, ’99, Lansing, Mich., died June 21, 2023, age 47

Joseph Duperon, ’00, Saginaw, Mich., died June 26, 2023, age 48

Amy L. (Eastley) Kim, ’02, Lenexa, Texas, died July 7, 2023, age 44

John Bergen, ’05, Sterling Heights, Mich., died June 13, 2023, age 43

38 Centralight Fall ‘23

Jeffery Sandman, ’06, ’09 MA, Honor, Mich., died June 18, 2023, age 40

Stephen S. Kurecka, ’09, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Apr. 14, 2023, age 37

Sean Hartzell, ’10, Comstock Park, Mich., died June 23, 2023, age 36

John Neff, ’10 MSA, Northfield, Ohio, died June 11, 2023, age 44

Shelby (Litteral) Carson, ’14, ’18 MA, Lake Isabella, Mich., died July 7, 2023, age 31

Adam D. Topolewski, ’14, Warren, Mich., died July 14, 2023, age 34

Jeremy Wood, ’17, Monroe, Mich., died Apr. 26, 2023, age 51

Olivia C. Waldron, ’18, Alma, Mich., died June 2, 2023, age 30

Jihad Nasser, ’19, Dearborn Heights, Mich., died Mar. 4, 2023, age 26

Jacob Dybiec, ’20 MS, North Ridgeville, Ohio, died July 3, 2023, age 29


Mitzi Cook, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died May 12, 2023, age 62

Joseph DeLuca, Kalamazoo, Mich., died June 6, 2023, age 88

Cameron Griffith, Lubbock, Texas, died May 30, 2023, age 54


Nila Biller, Mecosta, Mich., died June 24, 2023, age 68

Gary Rubingh, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died June 13, 2023, age 70

Mary Walston, Frankfort, Mich., died June 6, 2023, age 82

Melissa White, Royal Oak, Mich., died Feb. 14, 2023, age 61

39 Centralight Fall ‘23

Learning to LEAD

Beloved program has been welcoming incoming students for more than 25 years

Fall evokes a lot of nostalgia for our alma mater, and for alumni who attended CMU from the late 1990s forward, that often includes fond memories of Leadership Safari.

The program began in 1997 as a joint effort of the Residence Hall Assembly and the Office of Residence Life and by 1999 had become part of the Leadership Institute. In its first year, there were about 75 participants. By the third year, 670 incoming students participated.

Each fall, first-year and incoming transfer students get a chance to wade into college life with the help of Safari Guides — student facilitators who lead them through team-building activities, leadership lessons and an exploration of campus resources.

Today, Leadership Safari is the Sarah R. Opperman Leadership Institute’s flagship co-curricular program and one of CMU’s greatest traditions.

40 Centralight Fall ‘23
YOU CAN TOO We drive with pride www.cmich.edu/alumni Order your CMU license plate today! 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)


Carlin Alumni House

Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, MI 48859


Your dollars MAKE CHANGE


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 through difficult circumstances.


In her final year at CMU, Jennifer Peacock was thrilled to have been accepted into graduate school and receive a fellowship. When her financial situation changed and she was unable to afford her last semester of tuition, the promising future felt unattainable. Without the Student Emergency Fund, she would have lost her post-grad plans. With support from donors, she was able to graduate from CMU and start her career.

Cultural and Global Studies

$1,291,451 dollars have been awarded

1,051 Students awarded dollars

$221,245 Dollars raised since July 1, 2022

1,990 Donors since July 1, 2022

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. UComm 10902 (8/23)

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