Page 1




CONTENTS FEATURES Cleveland State Magazine





Center for Innovation in Medical Professions, Partnership for Urban Health break new educational ground







#1 ranking reflects growth as urban research university



Your gift supports $100 million student success initiative



$3.6 million gift is investment in intellectual capital



Landmark is again home to CSU alumni












CONTACT US 216.687.2201 2121 Euclid Avenue UN 501 Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2214 POSTMASTER Send address changes to Cleveland State University Division of University Advancement 2121 Euclid Ave, UN 501 Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2214

Cleveland State University is an AA/EO institution. Copyright © 2016 CSU University Marketing.

COVER Students (front l-r) Richelle Jenkins, Jamie Siman, (back l-r) Estrella Aquino, Nick Bowers, Jessica Martinez Photo by Brian Hart ii // CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE // CSUOHIO.EDU


Cleveland State Magazine is for alumni and friends of CSU and is published by the Division of University Advancement, located in the Union Building, 2121 Euclid Ave., RM 501, Cleveland, Ohio 44115. Third-class postage is paid at Cleveland, Ohio. 151005 / 96m


PRESIDENT BERKMAN These days, I’m practically bursting with Viking Pride. Why? For starters, enrollment, retention and graduation rates are climbing. CSU is bridging the gap between classroom and career through more than 3,000 student internships, co-op experiences and clinical placements facilitated by our downtown location and community partnerships. And we continue to receive national recognition for our achievements. Everywhere I look, I see progress and a deep commitment to student success. This issue of Cleveland State highlights just a few of the many reasons we are so proud, including our new Center for Innovation in Medical Professions (CIMP) and our Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Honors College – both of which are taking engaged learning to new levels. With CIMP, CSU is at the forefront of a groundbreaking style of medical education. Future doctors, nurses, pharmacists, occupational and physical therapists, and other health-care professionals are training to work together by learning together, side by side, in an environment that truly replicates the hospitals and health-care facilities in which they will someday establish careers. CIMP also is the headquarters of the NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health, which is training primary care physicians to work with urban populations. CIMP and the Partnership for Urban Health are strengthening and aligning our health programs to help students take advantage of abundant job opportunities in Cleveland, the health-care capital of the nation and perhaps the world. (See story on page 2.) Directly across Euclid Avenue at the heart of campus, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Honors College in our Main Classroom building creates an outstanding learning environment for our honors students and marks the formation of CSU’s ninth

college. We deeply appreciate the $3.6 million investment in our Honors College by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation and the Mandel Supporting Foundations – an investment in intellectual capital that truly will pay dividends. (See story on page 14.) Complementing the teaching and learning taking place in these new facilities and across campus is the groundbreaking research conducted by our faculty. CSU ranks #1 in the country for both greatest increase in federal research dollars spent and greatest increase in total research spending. The breakthroughs taking place in our labs will have long-lasting impact on science, engineering, medicine and more. (See story on page 7.) In short, Cleveland State is providing a pathway for young intellectual capital in Cleveland to learn, grow and thrive. To help ensure that our students succeed, we launched our first-ever fundraising campaign – ENGAGE: The Campaign for Cleveland State University. (See story on page 8.) Investing in our students and in the future is what ENGAGE is all about. Our goal is $100 million – to provide students with scholarships and to expand and strengthen workforce and career preparedness initiatives. Simply put, ENGAGE will provide much-needed private dollars to teach, mentor and impact the lives of students who are the future of Northeast Ohio. Indeed, it’s a great time to be a Viking. I hope you share our pride.

Ronald M. Berkman PRESIDENT



happening in the preparation of health-care professionals. And Cleveland State University is one of the key players leading the charge.


CIMP ribbon cutting

In a city known worldwide as a center of medical excellence, CSU is redefining medical education and delivery through its new Center for Innovation in Medical Professions (CIMP) and its Partnership for Urban Health, a collaboration with Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) that is preparing physicians to practice in urban settings in the context of interprofessional learning communities with other health professions. This unique partnership recently received a $5.5 million grant from the Cleveland Foundation. (See story on page 10.) “Delivery of health care today is team-based and focused on health promotion. And as an urban university, CSU is compelled to develop novel strategies for meeting the diverse health-care needs of our community. With CIMP and the Partnership for Urban Health, CSU is poised to be a change leader in urban health care,” says President Ronald M. Berkman. “We are strengthening and aligning our health programs to help students take advantage of abundant job opportunities in Cleveland – the health-care capital of the nation and perhaps the world,” he adds.

Center for Innovation in Medical Professions Perhaps nowhere is CSU’s commitment to the city more evident than in the recently opened Center for Innovation in Medical Professions. More than 300 community leaders were on hand for the dedication of CIMP, a $47.5 million state-of-the-art facility designed to foster a bold new era of interprofessional health-care education. CIMP is a nexus where students and faculty representing nine health professions work and study together as they prepare to address the urgent health-care needs of the future. Located in the heart of CSU’s campus and occupying the entire block between East 21st and 22nd streets and Euclid and Prospect avenues, CIMP serves programs from the School of Health Sciences and the School of Nursing and is the home base for the NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health. “The goal in the design of the CIMP building was to create a multifunctional space for interprofessional education and team learning to prepare the next generation of health-care professionals,” says Meredith Bond, dean of the College of Sciences and Health Professions. “CSU now has a place where future nurses, physicians, and other health-care professionals are learning to work together. Through active learning in a cluster of clinics and simulation

laboratories that complement the collaborative learning spaces, students are prepared for meeting changing workforce demands. Graduates of our team approach to health-care education will in turn help ensure improved health, better care and lower health-care costs for our communities.”

Highlights of the 100,000-square-foot CIMP building: »» A soaring, three-story atrium capped with a Douglas Fir ceiling. This space hosts public health forums, informal learning activities and community education programs. »» Nursing simulation labs (acute care, critical care, pediatric and obstetric) and physical assessment/diagnosis rooms. »» Two innovation spaces to support collaborative research and creative teaching/learning. »» A speech and hearing clinic that serves the public. »» CSU’s Health and Wellness Services Clinic which serves the campus community. »» An occupational/physical therapy teaching and practice lab. »» A pharmacy simulation lab. »» Patient exam rooms for nursing and medical education. »» A medicinal garden just outside the south entrance. Continued on page 4

(l-r) Students Alexa Katrinchak, Gehad Quraam, Candace Stone

CSU is on the forefront of a new era in the education of health professionals where students pursuing complementary career paths learn together and interact with each other, bringing with them into the workplace the skills and experience involved in teamwork that is coming to define modern health-care delivery.


Continued from page 3

Students from health sciences, speech and hearing, gerontological studies, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, public health, physician assistant, and speech pathology and audiology interact on a daily basis, accelerating CSU’s interprofessional education goals. “Future nurses, pharmacists, occupational and physical therapists, physicians, physician assistants, and speech pathologists are training to work together by learning together, side by side. They are honing their professional skills in an educational environment that truly reflects the hospital and urban health-care facilities where they will work,” says President Berkman. “This building illustrates our commitment as an urban university to align our academic programs and the development of a workforce with the needs of our community,” he continues.

Partnership for Urban Health The disparity in health-care services in urban areas is one of the leading challenges facing this nation’s medical profession. The NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health addresses this issue by recruiting medical students who reflect the socio-economic background and cultural makeup of their communities and training them to meet the unique health-care needs of underserved urban neighborhoods. The partnership is headquartered in the CIMP building. The significance of this partnership has been recognized by the Cleveland Foundation with three grants totaling $7.25 million. The Foundation’s recent $5.5 million grant – the largest-ever gift in support of the partnership – will support and grow interprofessional education across CSU’s health profession programs.

JAMES FLIS EARNED A BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN HEALTH SCIENCES AT CSU IN 2014 AND IS NOW PURSUING A DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY DEGREE. During a high school soccer game, he fractured his leg (both tibia and fibula). Surgery and eight months of physical therapy got him back on the playing field and interested in health care. “I loved CSU from my first visit,” says the son of two CSU alumni. “The CIMP facility and its amazing technology, the opportunity to work alongside students in sister health-care programs in environments that mimic the real work world I will face . . . I could not be more excited to see and experience everything this new building and its programs have to offer.” James Flis with his parents, Laurel, ’80, and Mike, ’86.


“We are fortunate to have visionary collaborators in NEOMED and the Cleveland Foundation who have enabled us to collectively address an urgent community and workforce need,” says President Berkman. “Our city’s residents will greatly benefit by having a new generation of diverse primary care providers who have trained in neighborhoods that have been historically underserved. This is a new model for America for training an interdisciplinary primary care workforce,” he adds. Jay Gershen, NEOMED president, says the partnership is ”two universities coming together to leverage their assets … for a team approach to health professions training.” The Partnership for Urban Health establishes the first public medical school presence in the city of Cleveland. There are two entry points for students. At the undergraduate level, students are admitted in their junior year to the joint program at CSU. They are promoted to NEOMED upon satisfactory completion of academic requirements. Pipeline programs have been established to assist CSU students to be competitive candidates in the program, and a grant from Saint Luke’s Foundation provides mentoring to a cohort of freshmen and sophomores in anticipation of entry into the program. The second entry point is a post-baccalaureate option for students with college degrees in other areas. Each pathway introduces students to urban health issues and the sociological aspects of urban studies. Currently, there are 105 students engaged in the six-year program (67 in the CSU phase and 38 in the NEOMED phase). The goal of the partnership is to graduate 175 medical students in the next five years. One unique component of the medical training students are receiving is a neighborhood program that provides interprofessional experience in a specific medically underserved community. Students work in an ambulatory care site in that neighborhood and with a team of fellow students, faculty, clinical mentors and community members they track, monitor and promote the health of a small, consistent group of patients over the course of their academic career.

CARL ALLAMBY GRADUATED FROM CSU WITH A BACHELOR OF HEALTH SCIENCES DEGREE IN 2015 AND CAN HARDLY BELIEVE HE’S NOW TRAINING TO BE A DOCTOR. Growing up in East Cleveland, “I dreamed of becoming a doctor,” he says. “But by sixth grade, getting into fights and being bullied were the norm and my dreams and aspirations were lost. I graduated high school with less than a 2.0 grade point average and at age 15, I had my first job as a dishwasher so I could contribute to the household. I became a father at age 18 and by 24, I had six children.” Eventually, Allamby took his dream seriously. He attended Ursuline College, where he graduated with a 3.98 grade point average and a business management degree. The NEOMEDCSU Partnership for Urban Health “is the perfect fit for me. I’m fulfilling my dream,” he says.

Students also receive “education for service” scholarships with the commitment that when they graduate, they will practice medicine in Cleveland. “The shortage of primary care physicians who practice in urban areas threatens our most underserved and vulnerable populations, leading to preventable illness and, in some cases, death,” said Cleveland Foundation President and CEO Ronn Richard. “The Partnership for Urban Health is a prescription for a healthier tomorrow.” The late Congressman Louis Stokes, who co-chaired the NEOMEDCSU partnership community advisory board, made his last public appearance at the announcement of the Cleveland Foundation grant. “This partnership will continue to enhance Cleveland’s reputation for excellence in health care and will open doors for individuals who want to be part of this next generation of neighborhood-focused physicians,” he said.

The late Congressman Louis Stokes in his last public appearance announcing the $5.5 million grant from the Cleveland Foundation.

Continued on page 6


Continued from page 5

THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AT CIMP DOES NOT EXIST ELSEWHERE IN THE REGION. CIMP “patients” are life-like mannequins which can be intubated or defibrillated; give birth; blink their eyes; and be programmed to simulate heart and lung sounds, display complex cardiac rhythms, or have a seizure. These high-fidelity mannequins have price tags that can exceed $80,000. Other mid- or low-fidelity mannequins have interchangeable organs, surgical wounds, and other injuries and are used to teach various aspects of patient care, including administering medication, starting intravenous lines, or irrigating nasogastric tubes. CIMP labs look like real hospital wards with beeping monitors and hissing oxygen ports. Labs have a fully functional electronic health record (EHR) which students use to record “patient” histories, vital signs, assessments, changes in condition, medications administered, and procedures performed. Students are required to wear uniforms or lab coats to help them think and act as health-care professionals. “The CIMP environment provides students with the ability to learn and practice complex procedures safely before performing them with real patients,” says Vida Lock, dean of the School of Nursing. “More importantly, simulation capabilities, including digital taping and playback, allow faculty to guide students through actual case scenarios. These experiences are powerful teaching strategies that leave lasting impressions on students.” CSU HAS BEEN NAMED A MAJOR HUB FOR GOBABYGO, A NATIONAL INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE MOBILITY ACROSS THE LIFESPAN. GOBABYGO HAS RECEIVED FUNDING FROM THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AND THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. Researchers in the GoBabyGo lab within innovation space in CIMP are using modified toy cars to test the infuence of therapeutic exercise on balance, strength and coordination in children with Down Syndrome as part of a study funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development. Other collaborations are underway with the Cleveland Children’s Museum and CSU physical therapy faculty are collaborating with researchers around the world to develop low-cost, high-impact technologies, including hands-free harness systems that support standing and walking without fear of falling for children and adults with mobility impairments.

(l-r) Students Miranda Horvath, Daniel Lee, Enaam Muntaser

In CIMP’s second innovation space, an interprofessional team led by two nursing faculty is establishing an Area Health Education Center which will serve Cuyahoga and surrounding counties by developing community-based education for health professions students and conducting health promotion and disease prevention programs for area residents. (l-r) Students Meenakshi Bhasker, Riana Stanko, Gehad Quraam


CIMP received a 2016 Award of Excellence from the Cleveland Engineering Society.

RESEARCH MOMENTUM LEADS NATION Cleveland State University led all U.S. universities for increases in research spending on science and engineering between fiscal years 2004 and 2013, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Almanac of Higher Education. CSU was number one in the nation for the greatest increase in total research spending, up 298 percent, and number one in the nation for the greatest increase in federal research spending, up 684 percent. The almanac, which was released in August 2015, also ranked CSU number 12 among U.S. universities for the greatest increase in corporate research dollars spent, with a 459 percent increase. Jerzy T. Sawicki, vice president for research, is proud of the momentum.

“Our research enterprise has grown remarkably in recent years due to the creativity, hard work, and perseverance of our faculty, students, post-doctoral fellows, and staff. Our ranking as an urban research university is just one of the ways to measure the effect of a continuous change of research culture in our University. I am confident that funding will continue to increase as we expand our research portfolio and recruit faculty with the breadth of expertise necessary to tackle complex and challenging issues.” — Dr. Sawicki, the D.E. Bently and A. Muszynska Endowed Chair and professor of mechanical engineering

Dr. Richter, also the principal investigator on the Sensors, Dynamics and Controls grant, is using that funding to investigate regenerative energy systems as they relate to more efficient mobile, industrial and medical robotic systems. Regeneration involves capturing surplus energy – including the heat generated by conventional braking – and storing this energy into the power supply. This area of engineering is well advanced in electric and hybrid vehicles, but its understanding and optimal utilization in mobile and industrial robotics remains a challenging area of research, according to investigators. The outcomes of the investigation have the potential for significant energy savings in industrial and medical applications. Last summer, faculty members Moo-Yeal Lee and Chandra Kothapalli were awarded a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for innovative research to improve testing for toxic compounds that could harm the development of the human brain. The CSU researchers are developing an in-vitro technique for analyzing the effects of toxicants on neural stem cells, which are found in the brain and evolve into nerve cells. Exposure to such toxicants in utero or during childhood may result in neurological disorders. Drs. Lee and Kothapalli are professors in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering in CSU’s Washkewicz College of Engineering. They aim to improve tests for predicting developmental neurotoxicity, which in turn could improve pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. The NIH grant will fund the researchers through June 2019. For additional information on research at CSU, visit

In early fall 2015, CSU researchers were awarded two National Science Foundation (NSF) grants totaling $1 million: a four-year $800,000 grant from the NSF Cyber-Physical Systems program to develop and field-test two prototype cyber-enabled exercise machines; and a three-year $200,000 grant from the NSF Sensors, Dynamics and Control program to fund research into the design, control and optimization of energy-regenerating robots. Unlike existing exercise machines, the proposed cyber-enabled machines will measure and process biomechanical variables and generate adjustments to their own resistance, providing users with cues that will ultimately maximize effectiveness and guarantee safety. Faculty researchers Hanz Richter, Dan Simon and Antonie van den Bogert, of CSU’s Washkewicz College of Engineering, and Ken Sparks, of the College of Education and Human Services, will develop and field-test the machines. Beyond exercise machines, “The same foundations and methodologies can be followed to design machines for rehabilitation, exercise countermeasure devices for astronauts, and custom exercise devices for the elderly and persons with disabilities,” said Dr. Richter, the study’s principal investigator.




ENGAGE: The Campaign for Cleveland State University is off to a great start! Since its public launch in May 2015, more than $83 million of our $100 million goal has been achieved. In fact, fiscal year 2015 was CSU’s best fundraising year ever, with generous donors helping the University achieve more than $22 million in new gifts and pledges – including a $5.5 million grant from the Cleveland Foundation in support of the NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health. (See story on page 2.) “We want to thank everyone who has participated to date in CSU’s first-ever campaign,” say ENGAGE co-chairs Monte Ahuja, MBA ’75, and Don Washkewicz, BSME ’72. “As proud alumni, we are deeply honored to co-chair ENGAGE and we are deeply appreciative of the commitment shown by campaign supporters.”

ENGAGE is a $100 million fundraising campaign to support student success and expand initiatives designed to help students stay in school, graduate and use their knowledge and skills to succeed in their careers and in their lives. The campaign is focused on raising funds for merit and need-based scholarships, mentoring, experiential learning, internships and other initiatives to prepare students for success in the workforce and in their careers. “We are grateful to our alumni, faculty, staff and friends who have already supported the campaign and we are especially thankful for the volunteers who serve on our Leadership Cabinet and are leading the way to success,” says President Ronald M. Berkman. “We are asking everyone to engage in ENGAGE: The Campaign for Cleveland State University,” he adds. “Why? Because for many students, a scholarship means the difference between being able to apply to college or not, and once enrolled, being able to graduate. Because private support enables students to focus more on their studies and career preparation, and less on how to pay for college. And because private gifts support the strengthening of Northeast Ohio’s workforce and tomorrow’s leaders. Continued on page 10


Continued from page 9

“Many students who do not complete their CSU degree are academically sound, proficient in their studies, and positioned for success. However, many simply cannot afford to finish,” notes Dr. Berkman. CSU has introduced a number of student success initiatives and has been recognized for these efforts by The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN, Inside Higher Education and others. Incentives include a graduation plan that rebates two percent of tuition costs plus book expenses; an online degree audit program to monitor progress; multi-semester registration; and undergraduate curriculum conversion from four- to three-credit-hour courses to provide more flexibility and a streamlined path to graduation. ENGAGE: The Campaign for Cleveland State University will provide scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students across all fields of study, as well as student-athletes, and will expand and strengthen workforce and career preparedness for emerging graduates. “ENGAGE will help ensure the continued success of CSU students and provide a pipeline of graduates who are committed to using their education for the betterment of Northeast Ohio,” adds President Berkman.



YOUR GIFT COUNTS Your gift, whatever its size, will help ensure the success of ENGAGE: The Campaign for Cleveland State University. Berinthia R. LeVine, vice president for University advancement and executive director of the CSU Foundation, notes that CSU is fortunate to have a wide cadre of donors. “Some can afford multi-million dollar gifts, some are comfortable giving just a few dollars and many others fall in between. There also is a growing population of donors who include the University in their estate plans,” she says. “There are loyal alumni and friends whose support we can depend upon each year for the Annual Fund, while some prefer to create an endowed fund. Other alumni and friends have helped us raise more than $3.7 million for Radiance scholarships to keep students on track to graduation. Each year, we proudly add new members to CSU’s Donor Recognition Societies in acknowledgment of annual leadership support, lifetime giving and planned gifts. “Every gift is greatly appreciated and brings us closer to our $100 million goal,” she adds. See Ways to Give on page 12. To discuss gift options, call 216.687.6897.


Announcement of Cleveland Foundation’s $5.5 million grant

HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE MANY COMMITMENTS RECEIVED TO DATE. CLEVELAND FOUNDATION SUPPORTS HEALTH PARTNERSHIP A $5.5 million grant from the Cleveland Foundation to the NEOMEDCSU Partnership for Urban Health supports the education of urban primary health-care professionals. The generous grant is the largestever gift to the partnership, an initiative that recruits and trains medical students who reflect the socio-economic background and cultural makeup of their communities to address and eliminate health disparities. (See story on page 2.) The goal of the partnership is to graduate 175 medical students in the next five years who will return to their communities as primary care physicians. “The innovative NEOMED-CSU partnership thoughtfully addresses the primary care challenge as it provides the necessary academic support to students who may not otherwise receive an opportunity to attend and successfully complete medical school,” says Cleveland Foundation President and CEO Ronn Richard. “These institutions are creating a new workforce of compassionate caregivers who we hope will dedicate their careers to the health and prosperity of our residents and our community.”

KEYBANK FOUNDATION CREATES SCHOLARS PROGRAM A $1 million grant from the KeyBank Foundation is funding the KeyBank Foundation Scholars Program, a series of initiatives to help students who graduated from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) complete their CSU degree in a timely manner. The Scholars Program includes a seven-week summer academic program to help freshmen successfully transition into college; CSU student-peer instructors; cohort and peer relationship-building activities; engagement with academic advisors; guidance in securing on-campus employment and scholarship opportunities; and instructional support for coursework. Some 150 CMSD graduates enroll at CSU as freshmen each year. Advisors will follow these students’ progress – including retention after the freshman year, grade point average and graduation rates – with an

aim toward raising performance in each category to levels equal to or above the general CSU student population.


The KeyBank Foundation Scholars Program will begin in the 2016-17 academic year and be open to incoming freshmen and current students who came to CSU from CMSD.

A $350,000 grant from The Lubrizol Foundation supports renovation of the chemical engineering laboratory in the Washkewicz College of Engineering. The upgraded facility will be named The Lubrizol Foundation Chemical Engineering Laboratory.

“This philanthropic investment is very much in the spirit of the KeyBank Foundation’s commitment to enhancing education in Northeast Ohio. We have worked closely with CSU to pinpoint the unique needs of Cleveland students, especially those who are first in their families to attend college, and we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to support their success,” says Margot Copeland, CEO of the KeyBank Foundation.

BEQUEST SUPPORTS GENE CENTER A generous bequest from George and Mary Stark will endow a graduate scholarship in CSU’s Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD). The planned gift is the largest ever pledged to GRHD, one of the leading gene research centers in the United States. Dedicated to improving understanding of biological processes and how malfunctions of those processes result in various diseases – including heart disease, infectious disease and cancer – GRHD was founded in 2008 with a grant from the Ohio Third Frontier Commission. Since then, GRHD researchers have secured more than $15 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association and other sources, and published more than 120 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals that have been cited more than 1,500 times. Dr. Stark is chair of the GRHD advisory committee, a member of the College of Sciences and Health Professions Visiting Committee, and the Distinguished Scientist of the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, where he served as chair from 1992 to 2002. He was instrumental in developing a Cellular and Molecular Medicine program jointly offered by CSU and the Lerner Research Institute. Mary Stark was trained in physics at the University of Michigan and has worked in the laboratory with her husband for many years.

Plans call for a new entrance, furniture and lab equipment. The space also will feature improved experimental stations for studying the intricacies of chemical reaction kinetics. “This is an investment in the hands-on style of higher education at Cleveland State University that the next generation of chemical engineers will need to succeed in a global economy,” said J. Mark Sutherland, president of The Lubrizol Foundation. Undergraduate enrollment in the Washkewicz College of Engineering has increased 150 percent over the past decade. In particular, enrollment in CSU’s Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering has tripled in recent years.

FOND MEMORIES OF CSU HAVE NOT DIMMED Husband and wife graduates Michael Pollock, BSEE ‘40, and Felicia Peters Pollock, BBA ’41, met as students at Fenn College during the Great Depression and became long-time supporters of their alma mater. Their latest gift establishes the Michael David Pollock Fenn Academy Scholarship Fund and the Felicia Peters Pollock Fenn Academy Scholarship Fund. Both scholarships support graduates of Fenn Academy partner schools who are enrolled in the Washkewicz College of Engineering. Fenn Academy is a CSU pipeline program that encourages ninth through 12 grade students to pursue careers in engineering and technology and that provides technical, and when possible, financial support to those students. As a student, Michael Pollock held a co-op position in Republic Steel’s electrical research department. After graduation, he worked as a plant electrical engineer for Republic Steel in Brooklyn; and later moved on to positions at AFM Atomics, where he built swimming pool-type nuclear research reactors overseas; and FMC Corporation, where his positions included financial controller and program manager for the U.S. Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Felicia Pollock enjoyed a 35year career as a renowned photographer. One client – a department store – purchased nine sets of 22 photographs taken in Japan; those images are now displayed in select stores throughout the country. Michael Pollock, 98, lives in California; Felicia Pollock passed away in September 2014 at the age of 93.

Continued on page 12


Continued from page 11

PAYING IT FORWARD TO ARTS STUDENTS Students in the performing arts will benefit from an endowed scholarship established by alumni Robert and Marybeth Cutietta.


The couple met and married while first-generation students at CSU. While both received support from their families, they still had to work while attending classes. In establishing the scholarship fund, they hope to help alleviate some of the financial burden of attending college.

Monte Ahuja, MBA ‘75 Campaign Co-Chair Founding Chairman & CEO MURA Holdings, LLC

Don Washkewicz, BSME ’72 Campaign Co-Chair Chariman of the Board Parker Hannifin Corporation

Robert Cutietta, dean of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in music at CSU, as well as a doctorate in education at Pennsylvania State. He received CSU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008. Marybeth Cutietta earned a bachelor’s degree in English at CSU.

Thomas W. Adler Board of Trustees Development Officer Senior Advisor Playhouse Square Real Estate Services

Linda M. Kane, BBA ’79 CSU Foundation Treasurer Retired Senior Vice President, Treasurer Forest City

Richard A. Barone CSU Foundation Emeritus Director Chairman Emeritus Ancora Advisors

Stephen F. Kirk, MBA ’79 CSU Foundation Vice Chair Retired Chief Operating Officer The Lubrizol Corporation

Ronald M. Berkman, Ph.D. President Cleveland State University

Joseph J. Levanduski, BBA ’84 CSU Foundation Director Executive Vice President & CFO A. Schulman, Inc.

Their scholarship, they say, is a reflection of the direct and positive effect that the University and its faculty had on their lives and careers. “We know how impactful the CSU experience can be,” they say. “This is our small way to say thank you.”

ALUMNUS ENDOWS CHEMISTRY SCHOLARSHIP Three-time alumnus John Lemanowicz established the LemanowiczWasserman Chemistry Scholarship Endowment – the first-ever endowment in the department of chemistry. Currently a resident of Leland, N.C., Lemanowicz attended Cleveland State on the GI Bill, earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1980. He followed it up two years later with a master’s in chemistry and in 1992, added a law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law to his credentials. Proud of his degrees and education, the retired patent vice president for infectious diseases at GlaxoSmithKline notes that “my CSU education enabled me to be effective in a very competitive environment and to have a successful 25-year career at a major international corporation.” He says he and his wife, Nanci, are honored to establish the first endowment in chemistry. “We look forward to providing scholarships to help students succeed,” he adds. There are many ways to support ENGAGE: The Campaign for Cleveland State University. For details, visit giving or UNRESTRICTED GIFT – Gives CSU flexibility to fund special opportunities and meet emergency needs. DESIGNATED GIFT – Supports a specific purpose such as scholarships, faculty research, or a College, department or program. CASH AND APPRECIATED SECURITIES – Funds are available for immediate use and may offer tax advantages to donors. PLEDGE – A commitment that is paid over a period of time based on an agreed upon schedule of payments. MATCHING GIFT – Corporate matches may increase a gift significantly. HONOR/MEMORIAL GIFT – Made in honor or memory of loved ones. PLANNED GIFT – Many options exist to tailor and structure gifts that fulfill estate planning needs while providing lasting support for CSU. If you have already remembered CSU in your estate plan or would like to discuss such a gift, please call 216.875.9833.


John J. Boyle III, MA ’02 CSU Foundation Director Senior Fellow Cleveland State University Timothy J. Cosgrove, Esq., BA ’83, JD ’87 CSU Foundation Director Partner Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP Barbara J. Danforth CSU Foundation Director Senior Vice President Ratliff & Taylor Derek Green CSU Foundation Director Director – Consumer Credit and Deposit, Product Management and Pricing KeyBank David H. Gunning II, JD ’94 Board of Trustees Member McDonald Hopkins Matthew K. Hlavin, BA ’98 CSU Foundation Director CEO Thogus

Nancy W. McCann CSU Foundation Chair President & Treasurer John P. Murphy Foundation Kulas Foundation Steven A. Minter CSU Foundation Director Senior Fellow Cleveland State University Bernie Moreno Board of Trustees Vice Chairman President Bernie Moreno Companies Steven W. Percy, JD ’79 CSU Foundation Director Retired CEO BP America Robert H. Rawson, Jr. Board of Trustees Chairman Senior Counsel Jones Day Daria L. Roebuck, BBA ’80 CSU Foundation Director Retired Vice President, Human Resources ERICO International Corporation

DONORS ARE RECOGNIZED CSU’s annual Donor Recognition reception brought a capacity crowd to newly renovated Mather Mansion for an evening of good cheer and celebration. “This is our annual opportunity to salute and thank you – the alumni and friends we proudly call members of CSU’s Recognition Societies,” said Berinthia R. LeVine, vice president for University advancement and executive director of the CSU Foundation. “You are the individuals we can count on to make Cleveland State the best it can be. You have shown your belief in CSU and its students through your extraordinary philanthropic support and we are most grateful.” The reception recognized members of the President’s Cabinet, President’s Circle, Honors Circle and Scholars Circle – donors whose lifetime giving totals $10,000 to more than $1 million. Also recognized were members of the Dean’s Circle – donors who make annual leadership gifts of $1,000 to more than $10,000 – and Legacy Society members who have included CSU in their planned and estate gifts. “You are CSU’s most ardent, enthusiastic and loyal supporters. We are indebted to each of you for your generous financial support that is providing students with a world-class education and a clear pathway to a career,” said President Ronald M. Berkman.

Bracy Lewis, CSU Foundation director; Teresa Beasley, JD ’92

ANNUAL REPORT Fiscal Year 2015 was another banner year for fundraising by the CSU Foundation, thanks to generous faculty, staff, alumni and friends who are supporting ENGAGE: The Campaign for Cleveland State University and helping CSU achieve new levels of excellence. The Foundation Annual Report, including donor honor rolls, may be viewed online at

CSU Giving Day was once again a success! Last year, we raised $36,500 from 380 donors. This year, we engaged 584 alumni, students and friends and raised $55,615. The Department of Athletics was the winner in a friendly competition to secure the most donors on this day. Giving Day is an online-based fundraising event that encourages alumni, friends and students to support their favorite college, school or program in a 24-hour period. Thanks to everyone who supported CSU!

Jodie Raney, BA ’77 and MS ’83; Linn Raney, JD ’68; Ben DeRubertis



MANDEL HONORS COLLEGE INVESTS IN FUTURE LEADERS A student trumpeter performing a fanfare and a receiving line of applauding students welcomed philanthropist Morton L. Mandel to CSU’s dedication of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Honors College. “I’ve been to a lot of these events but this welcome is truly impressive,” Mandel told an overflow crowd on the renovated first floor of the Main Classroom Building, new site of the Honors College. A $3.6 million gift from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation and the Mandel Supporting Foundations established CSU’s ninth College – the academic home for more than 500 students enrolled in the University Honors and University Scholars programs. “This is an investment in the better world we all want,” Mandel said at the dedication ceremony. “It is an investment in the people who are likely to be the leaders of the future.” Speaking directly to the Honors students, he added, “I have great expectation you will pay us back through your accomplishments.” President Ronald M. Berkman called 94-year-old Mandel “a driving force for positive change” and a humanitarian who has “devoted his life to the goal of changing the world. “Mort Mandel and the Mandel Foundations believe that investment in human capital is the key to a better tomorrow,” he added. The dedication included the unveiling of a wall emblazoned with the Mandel Honors College name and an inspirational quotation from Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel: “The hallmark of our philanthropy is our commitment to invest in people with the values, ability and passion to change the world.” Previously tucked away on the fourth floor of Main Classroom, the Honors College now has highly visible classroom and office space on the first floor. In addition to funding interior and exterior renovations

(including illuminated Mandel Honors College signage facing Euclid Avenue and the Univeristy Plaza), the $3.6 million gift from the Mandel foundations supports merit scholarships and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Chair in Humanities, an endowed position held by Elizabeth Lehfeldt, inaugural dean of the College. “Every day I get to see the transformative power of the Mandel Honors College in the lives of our students,” said Dr. Lehfeldt. “I’ve watched as our students get accepted to medical school, move into careers like being a nurse in the surgical ICU at the Cleveland Clinic, get selected for academic honor societies, get chosen as college valedictorians, get scholarships to attend law school, land plum internships, and generally excel. And our students give back: they serve as officers in student organizations, work as tutors, and engage in community service projects.” Dr. Lehfeldt added that she tells prospective students that the Mandel Honors College will provide them with a home for their ambitions and aspirations. “Our students come to regard their membership in the Mandel Honors College not simply as a privilege, but as a responsibility. It is here that they grow into future leaders,” she said. Representing his fellow Honors students, Titus Lungu, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, called the Honors College pivotal to his academic and professional growth. “It has helped me explore beyond what I would have ever imagined and created an open pathway for me to interact more closely with my professors,” he said. The Honors College fueled Lungu’s interest in robotics research and led to his working in research labs at CSU and Case Western Reserve University, meeting the director of NASA Glenn Research Center, and applying to Ph.D. programs across the nation. “Honors College students are each a spark in their own way, and the College kindles the fire of our dreams and passions to help us spread them throughout the world. I want to thank the Mandel family for their support,” he added. The primary mission of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation and the Mandel Supporting Foundations is to provide outstanding leadership for the nonprofit world. The foundations believe that exceptional leaders are the critical factor that enables organizations to contribute most significantly to society.

Mort Mandel and Honors College students


Morton L. Mandel

(l-r)) President Emeritus Michael Schwartz, President Ronald M. Berkman, honors student Titus Lungu, Mort Mandel, Dean Elizabeth Lehfeldt

“The establishment of the Mandel Honors College is a defining moment in CSU’s evolution as a premier urban university,” said President Berkman. “A permanent endowment will provide scholarship support to the best and brightest of a talented group of students who are the region’s future civic, business, and nonprofit leaders, as well as provide greater opportunity for our faculty to work together in interdisciplinary collaborations.” Started as the University Honors Program 10 years ago, the Mandel Honors College offers a unique curriculum for each degree program across the University. Each year the highly selective programs admit qualified freshman candidates as well as internal and transfer students through a rigorous application process. Freshman applicants must graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class and score in the 90th percentile or above on the ACT exam, among other criteria. “Our Honors College serves extraordinarily bright students who are highly motivated to succeed in college and beyond. The Mandel Foundations made this tremendous investment because they recognize that Cleveland State graduates are the intellectual capital of Cleveland,” said President Berkman.

Growing up in a modest Cleveland neighborhood, Mort Mandel sold popcorn, peanuts and hotdogs at Cleveland Municipal Stadium to earn money. Years later, with his brothers Jack and Joseph, he bought his uncle’s auto-parts store for $900 and grew Premier Industrial Corporation into one of the world’s most successful industrial auto-parts distributors. In 1953 the brothers launched the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation in their hometown to fund social leadership initiatives around the world. CSU awarded Mort Mandel an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2008.




Since 1973, Robert F. Busbey Natatorium has been considered one of the elite swimming facilities in the nation, enjoying a rich history of championships and outstanding swimmers. Now, thanks to generous alumni and friends, the natatorium has a spectacular new look with much-needed enhancements ensuring continued success for CSU’s swimming and diving program. The spruce-up, initiated by 39-season coach Wally Morton and alumni Dave Guinther, BSEE ’69, and Joe Stockwell, BBA ’81, took place in two phases – the Champions Campaign and the Heritage Project. The Champions Campaign, started in 2009, raised $180,000 to provide: »» A new scoreboard with video, graphics and state-of-the-art timing capability – technology that will allow CSU to continue hosting national and regional meets;

»» Spectacular graphics on the north and west walls, featuring two 24 by 25 foot banners with inspirational quotes from coaches Busbey and Morton, framed by eight banners, each 25 feet tall, of student swimmers and divers; »» A “ninth lane” banner on the south wall, measuring 60 feet wide by 30 feet tall and comprising thousands of swimming photos forming an image of Magnus watching over and motivating the Viking teams while honoring all swimming and diving alumni; »» A 1931 to 2039 timeline on the east wall, displaying Hall of Fame plaque replicas and saluting team accomplishments in the pool, classroom and community since the Fenn College inception of the swimming and diving program (with 23 more years of wins to come); »» A Community Corner that highlights CSU neighborhood partners; »» A Heritage Corner interactive kiosk that brings team history to life;

»» A new record board to recognize the achievements of outstanding student-athletes; and

»» New graphics featuring an underwater-like entry into the spectator stands via the north entry tunnel; and

»» 20 green and white championship banners flying from the rafters, recognizing Viking victories from 1974 to 2013.

»» Two donor panels recognizing alumni and friends who made the project a success.

Fresh paint and a new filtration system, made possible through the efforts of President Ronald M. Berkman and Athletics Director John Parry, added to the natatorium’s improved look.

“The Heritage Project is more than eye-popping graphics,” notes Guinther, who chaired the project committee. “What started as an effort to rally our teammates in support of much-needed pool improvements evolved into a platform for recruiting, fundraising and connecting. This project underscores Swimming and Diving as a relevant and essential program for the present and future.”

“The idea behind the Champions Campaign was simple: bring the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium back into championship form and cement, literally and figuratively, nine decades of swimming and diving heritage,” says Stockwell. “Thanks to phenomenal support from swimming and diving alumni, the natatorium looks newer today than when it was built 40 years ago.” Phase Two, the Heritage Project, exceeded its $75,000 goal and added a wow factor to the facility. New features include:

Joining Coach Morton and alumni Stockwell and Guinther on the Champions Campaign and Heritage Project Committee were alumni Jim Smith, BA ’78; Tom Fattlar, MEd ’96; Jim Starrett, BEd ’74; Mike Lehto, BA ’86 and women’s coach from 1994 to 2007; current men’s coach Paul Graham; Renee Adam, sports information assistant; and John McCreery, director of alumni programs.

»» See photos and read more at 16 // CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE // CSUOHIO.EDU

HELP SET A NEW RECORD FOR SCHOLARSHIPS For each the past two years, generous donors have helped Radiance: CSU Realizing the Promise achieve more than $1 million for scholarships. This year, our goal is even higher – $1.25 million.

Pam and Don Washkewicz with student Samuel Sanya at Radiance 2015

“Our 2016 Radiance event will be our sixth and its significance grows each year as we award an increased number of scholarships from the proceeds. Since 2011, supporters have provided $3.7 million for Radiance scholarships which have been awarded to 1,186 students. Time and time again, students tell us how appreciative they are because often, these are the ‘last dollars’ that keep them enrolled and on track to degree completion,” says President Ronald M. Berkman. Radiance, a business casual, cocktail/hors d’oeuvres reception with short program, will take place Friday, May 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Student Center’s Glasscock Family Foundation Ballroom.

As part of the festivities, President Berkman will award the President’s Medal to civic leader/philanthropist Steven A. Minter, former president and executive director of the Cleveland Foundation. The President’s Medal is the University’s most prestigious nonacademic honor and recognizes exceptional service to the Cleveland area and to the University. All proceeds from Radiance support student scholarships. For information on sponsorships and tickets, visit We hope to see you there.

The CSU executive-in-residence and former president and executive director of the Cleveland Foundation will be honored for his leadership and service to the Cleveland community and CSU. Steven A. Minter




Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Peter Meiksins, President Ronald M. Berkman

Cleveland State continues to receive kudos for its student success initiatives. The latest is an Excellence and Innovation Award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), a Washington-based group representing more than 400 public higher education institutions.

“In the past few years CSU has accelerated an institution-wide focus on identifying the needs of students so that we can deliver the support they need to graduate on time, with less debt and prepared for career success. The AASCU award is a wonderful affirmation of our student success efforts and our outstanding progress in retention and graduation,” said President Ronald M. Berkman. CSU’s Student Success Initiatives include: multi-term registration and automated waiting lists that allow students to plan coursework for an entire school year at once, rather than by semester, ensuring they have access to needed courses; a 120-credit-hour standard that reduced the average number of credit hours needed to complete most bachelor’s degree programs; an adjusted tuition band that allows students to take up to six courses per semester at the same cost as four courses; and assertive academic advising that uses a combination of specialized advisory staff and technology tools to monitor students’ progress and provide personalized support.

CSU was one of only two institutions recognized in the Student Success and College Completion category, which honors institutions that achieve significant improvements in rates of retention and graduation. Since 2002, CSU’s retention rates for full-time freshman students have increased by 17 percent, while graduation rates for the same group have increased by nearly 50 percent.

The AASCU award adds to recently received national recognition for the University, including the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation and strong rankings in a Brookings Institution report of value added to earning power of graduates.


amenities and activities Cleveland has to offer,” said President Ronald M. Berkman.

Courtesy of

In January, President Berkman was invited to write an editorial on CSU’s student success initiatives for The Hill, an influential national publication covering Congress.

A new chapter in CSU Athletics is underway with the men’s and women’s basketball teams playing a total of seven games at Quicken Loans Arena this season. The new partnership between CSU and the Q is designed to bring more events, fans and excitement to downtown Cleveland’s sports and entertainment landscape. The partnership showcases Viking basketball, enhances CSU’s Wolstein Center event calendar and includes a new sales and marketing approach for Viking basketball at both Wolstein Center and Quicken Loans Arena. “CSU is excited to work with the professional event promotion team at Quicken Loans Arena to enhance programming for CSU students and the community at our Wolstein Center. This partnership builds on our distinction as an urban university that offers access to all of the


Quicken Loans Arena is utilizing its ticket and marketing engines to expand Viking sales with the regional collegiate basketball fan base. As part of the multi-year agreement, the Q will also work with CSU in a consulting role to book events at Wolstein Center. Packaging both facilities as non-competitive venues to promoters can create more leverage and options for Cleveland as a destination for concerts and other touring shows. Veritix is now the exclusive ticket service provider for events at Wolstein Center. CSU fans ordering tickets to Vikings games and other events experience the convenience of Veritix’s Flash Seats technology that provides easy paperless venue access, along with a secure and officially sanctioned online marketplace for transferring and selling tickets.

FRESHMAN CLASS SETS RECORD For the 2015-16 academic year, Cleveland State welcomed 1,847 first-year students to campus, the largest-ever freshman class in the University’s history. The total represents a continuation of a trend at the University, where freshman enrollment has doubled since 2010 and increased by more than 18 percent since last year. The new, larger freshman class was achieved while continuing to elevate the average GPA and test scores of enrolled students compared to the prior year. The class of 2019 is also among the most diverse in CSU history with more than 30 percent of incoming freshmen identifying themselves as being from multicultural or underrepresented backgrounds.

COLE AND KLEIN NUMBERS RETIRED The “30” and “23” jersey numbers that Norris Cole and Kailey Klein wore during their CSU careers were retired during pre-game and half-time ceremonies when the Vikings hosted Oakland for a hoops doubleheader at Wolstein Center. Both former players were on hand for the honor, as was LeBron James, who was there to congratulate Cole, his former Miami Heat teammate. During his Vikings career (2007-2011), Cole set a number of records. The seven-time Horizon League Player of the Week is the CSU men’s basketball all-time leader in games played (140), consecutive games played (140) and minutes played (4,114). He ranks third in points scored (1,978), free throws made (485) and free throw percentage (.826); fourth in assists (455) and seventh in steals (207).

The freshman class is 54 percent female and 46 percent male, with 90 percent coming from within Ohio and 53 percent from Cuyahoga County. Some 48 percent of international freshmen hail from Saudi Arabia. The increased enrollment counters a reported regional decline in the number of students pursuing college degrees. In a recent analysis, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported there were 300,000 fewer university students nationally in 2013 than in 2012, with the Midwest seeing the largest regional decrease at 2.6 percent. While institutions of higher education are fiercely competing for a decreasing number of high school graduates, CSU received over 10,000 freshman applications for the current academic year.

Klein led the Vikings to two NCAA Championship appearances during her CSU career (2006-2010). A nine-time Horizon League Player of the Week, she is the all-time leading scorer in the history of CSU women’s basketball, with 2,140 points scored and 605 free throws made. She ranks third in free throw percentage (.794) and offensive rebounds (279), and eighth in rebounds (733). Klein graduated from CSU in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. She is a compliance officer with the Chicago brokerage firm Rosenthal Collins Group.

Cole graduated from CSU in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences. A first-round pick in the 2011 NBA draft, he won NBA championships with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013. He is now a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. Kailey Klein, Coach Kate Peterson Abiad Norris Cole, President Ronald M. Berkman, Coach Gary Waters




CSU HONORS AND RECOGNITIONS Cleveland State University again is among the best colleges and universities in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. For its Best Colleges report, U.S. News assessed nearly 1,600 four-year colleges and universities. CSU is one of only 280 institutions across the country listed in the “Best National Universities” rankings. The rankings are based on several factors, including retention and graduation rates, student selectivity, faculty resources and assessments by academic peers and high school guidance counselors.

ties. Military Times also factors in data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Defense, among other sources.

CSU’s Veteran Student Success Program has earned national recognition for its commitment to helping military veterans succeed in college as well as in their future careers. For the seventh consecutive year, CSU has been named a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media, publisher of the annual Guide to Military Friendly Schools. Schools that receive this designation are evaluated across 10 categories, including military support on campus and outcomes for graduation and employment.

More than 570 veterans are currently enrolled at CSU. At December commencement, 18 veterans received bachelor’s degrees and 11 received graduate degrees, including two with the doctor of physical therapy.

CSU also is featured in the Military Times 2016 “Best for Vets: Colleges,” ranking 120 in a survey of 600-plus schools that were rated on services, financial incentives and accommodations for students with military

EDUCATION PARK IS VISIONARY President Ronald M. Berkman received the Campus District’s annual Visionary Award for his work in creating an Education Park on the CSU campus. Under President Berkman’s leadership, Cleveland State has forged a collaborative network of institutional partners to advance an Education Park to enhance the physical, economic and social development of the community surrounding campus, primarily by improving the quality of education in Cleveland’s urban core. The Education Park comprises four entities within three blocks: Campus International School, a collaboration between CSU and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) that has been recognized as an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme School; MC²STEM High School, a high-performing CMSD school for juniors and seniors studying science, technology, engineering and math, located in CSU’s Rhodes Tower; the Arts Campus collaboration with Playhouse Square and Cleveland Play House; and the Center for Innovation in Medical Professions, which houses the Partnership for Urban Health between CSU and Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED).

MURALS BRIGHTEN CIS Two new murals are capturing the imagination of young students at Campus International School. Local artists Garrett Weider and Bob Peck were tapped to create striking, graffiti-style artwork for the school, which is a partnership between the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Cleveland State University. The nonprofit organization Graffiti HeArt coordinated the project, which found each artist bringing a unique touch to the assignment. Weider’s mural resembles a monster postcard, complete with images of the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal and other landmarks. Peck played off the theme “EXPLORE” and incorporated outer-space imagery. “The murals create a welcoming feel while capturing the spirit of who we are,” says CIS Principal Julie Beers.

Anchored by CSU, the Education Park offers kindergarten through college in one location, provides families with high-quality educational options downtown and makes higher education a knowable and reachable goal for families who might otherwise not think beyond high school. Artist Garrett Weider, CIS teacher Kate Grzelak 20 // CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE // CSUOHIO.EDU

DISTINGUISHED FACULTY AND STAFF RECOGNIZED Jorge E. Gatica received the Dr. Jennie S. Hwang Award for Faculty Excellence at Cleveland State University’s 2015 President’s Convocation. Dr. Gatica is a professor of chemical and biomedical engineering and director of graduate programs in the Washkewicz College of Engineering. He also received CSU’s Distinguished Faculty Award for Service. The Dr. Jennie S. Hwang Award is the highest honor for CSU faculty members in all disciplines and recognizes individuals for bringing regional, national and international recognition to the University through exceptional achievements in teaching, research and service. Dr. Hwang, a member of the Cleveland State University Foundation

board of directors and founder, president and CEO of H Technologies Group, established the award through a gift to the Foundation to help inspire faculty to ever-increasing levels of excellence. The Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching went to Brian Harper, associate professor of curriculum and foundations, College of Education and Human Services, and Holly Holsinger, associate professor of theatre and dance, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The Distinguished Faculty Award for Research went to Christopher Sagers, professor of law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and Daniel Simon, professor of electrical and computer engineering, Washkewicz College of Engineering. The Distinguished Staff Service Award went to Abubakar Nasara, director and lecturer, Center for Educational Technologies, College of Education and Human Services, and Lisa Marie Sample, administrative secretary, Department of Management, Monte Ahuja College of Business.

2015 honorees



The Monte Ahuja College of Business’ Online Accelerated MBA is the top online MBA program in Ohio and among the top 20 programs nationwide, according to Affordable Colleges Online 2015-16 rankings. And the program advanced to 20th best in the nation (up from 44th last year) on U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 list of the Best Online MBA Programs.

The Cooperative Education Program in CSU’s Washkewicz College of Engineering received the E. Sam Sovilla Award of Excellence from the Ohio Cooperative Education Association (OCEA), a nonprofit professional association comprising employers and educators who are engaged in cooperative education and internships.

Affordable Colleges Online analyzed data from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the schools themselves, comparing accreditation, cost, academic and counseling services, job placement for graduates and student-teacher ratios for hundreds of public, not-for-profit universities offering online degree programs.

The award is the organization’s highest honor and recognizes exceptional co-op and internship programs.

U.S News & World Report ranked programs on five factors: student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials/training and student services/technology. Launched in 2012 and designed for working professionals and recent college graduates seeking to expand their earning potential and employment opportunities, CSU’s Online Accelerated MBA enables students to earn an MBA within one year by completing all classes and tests online. Each student in the program receives a new Apple iPad to access digital course materials, including e-books, interactive learning systems, course modules and study apps.

Currently, more than 20 percent of CSU’s engineering students participate in co-op, and the College has a goal of increasing involvement to 50 percent within five years. In recent years, the co-op program has seen a 100 percent increase in student participation, including gains in the number of minority and women students. Students who enter the co-op program are committed to a fiveyear academic curriculum that includes up to a full year of practical engineering experience. Students receive credit for their co-op semesters and a certificate of completion upon graduation. The program offers students support from faculty and peer mentors, as well as scholarships. In addition, an advisory council of co-op alumni, faculty and industry representatives helps to continually enhance the program. CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE // CSUOHIO.EDU // 21



A guest speaker will soon be announced for the 2016 Creative Voices Summit and Arts Education Day Luncheon on Wednesday, June 1, at ideastream and the State Theatre. This year’s theme is “The Curious Mind.” Honorary chair is business/ civic leader Henry Goodman, former chair of the CSU board of trustees. Students in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Honors College will assist with the panel discussion. Actress/singer Shirley Jones, whose credits include the 1970s sitcom The Partridge Family, was the keynote speaker for the 2015 event.

IN TRIBUTE HONORS FOUR The Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs honored four individuals with the 2016 In Tribute to the Public Service Award.

Jones, no stranger to Broadway (where she got her start in South Pacific ) or to the big screen (her film credits include Elmer Gantry, for which she won an Academy Award, as well as Oklahoma!, Carousel and The Music Man ), discussed “How the Arts Have Shaped My Life and Career.” The sold-out event drew nearly 600 people for lunch with Jones on the stage of the State Theatre at Playhouse Square. The event also featured Dr. Lawrence Sherman, a neuroscientist at Oregon Health & Science University, presenting on “Music and the Brain.” Presented by the Center for Arts and Innovation at Cleveland State University, the Creative Voices Summit and Arts Education Day Luncheon celebrates the importance of the arts in education and in the community. The program is put together in partnership with Cleveland’s leading cultural organizations, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square, Tri-C JazzFest, ideastream and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Don’t be left out! For details and reservations, visit

Proceeds from the event support the Mercedes Cotner Endowed Scholarship, named for the first woman to serve as clerk of Cleveland City Council and awarded to Levin College students who aspire to careers in public service.

Congratulations to recipients Bruce Akers, retired mayor of Pepper Pike and former senior vice president of community affairs for KeyBank; Allan Krulak, former vice president-director of community affairs for Forest City Enterprises; Dennis Lafferty, vice president of Bernie Moreno Companies and former chief operating officer of Jones Day; and James Mason, former vice president of public and community affairs for Eaton Corporation. Since 1985, Levin College has sponsored In Tribute to the Public Service to salute one or more prominent individuals who demonstrate exemplary leadership in public life and contribute significantly to the betterment of the community.

(l-r) Dean Robert Gleeson, Bruce Akers, Allan Krulak, President Ronald M. Berkman, Dennis Lafferty, James Mason

Diane Downing shared an insider’s view of the upcoming Republican National Convention at an Exclusively Yours event for alumni and friends of Cleveland State. Downing, chief operating officer of the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, is an executive-on-loan from Huntington Bank, where she serves as senior vice president and regional manager of corporate affairs. She also is a member of the CSU Foundation board of directors. The July convention is expected to bring 50,000 visitors to Cleveland.


CSU’s inaugural Exclusively Yours event featured piano performances by Grammy Award-winning faculty member Angelin Chang and C|M|Law Dean Craig Boise.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS MAKE CSU PROUD After serving as vice president for academic affairs in CSU’s Student Government Association, Paul All experienced American government in action as a summer intern in Washington, D.C. All, a junior majoring in finance, spent nine weeks in the nation’s capital as an intern in the office for Ohio’s 16th House Congressional District, served by Rep. Jim Renacci. All attended legislative committee meetings, researched legislation in process within the House of Representatives and helped coordinate responses to constituent inquiries. He attended a Congressional seminar featuring Paul Ryan, now Speaker of the House, and was selected to attend a seminar hosted by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court. “Only 100 were chosen from thousands of interns and I was lucky enough to go,” he says. “I also was there when history was made – the Supreme Court decisions on Obamacare and the federal legalization on gay marriage.”

Doctoral student Basak Khamush-Kacar received the prestigious Donald E. Super Fellowship Award from the American Psychological Association for her dissertation on Identity and Career Experiences of Muslim Immigrant Women. She is a student in the counseling psychology doctoral program in the College of Education and Human Services. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychological counseling and guidance at Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey. Mikeleya Mitchell and Takyra Chatman are the inaugural recipients of CSU’s Central Neighborhood Scholarship. Both began their studies fall semester and plan to major in nursing. Mitchell graduated from John Hay Early College High School and Chatman graduated from Martin Luther King Jr. High School.

Paul All

All says the internship helped him grow personally and professionally. He’s now putting what he learned into action as a student representative to the CSU board of trustees, speaker of the Senate for the Student Government Association, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and a Presidential Student Ambassador.

(l-r) Valentinas Gruzdys, Dan Wang, Mahesheema Na

He will graduate in May 2017 and plans to go to law school. Jarrell Salone is the first CSU student in more than 10 years to be awarded the prestigious Boren Scholarship to study abroad. He is attending Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman, the capital of Jordan, through a partnership with AMIDEAST, an American nonprofit organization engaged in international education, training and development in the Middle East and North Africa. He will return home in May. Salone is majoring in international relations at CSU, with a double minor in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic. He is a U.S. Army veteran whose five years of active duty as a combat medic included deployment to Iraq, where he became interested in the Middle East in general and the Arabic language in particular. Clinical chemistry Ph.D. students Valentinas Gruzdys and Mahesheema Na were selected by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) for the highly competitive Society for Young Clinical Laboratorians travel grant to attend the 2015 AACC annual meeting in Atlanta. Just three travel grants were awarded nationally. Gruzdys and Na gave presentations on their research at CSU, which pertains to the biochemistry of blood coagulation and thrombosis. Another CSU clinical chemistry Ph.D. student, Dan Wang, received the Young Investigator Travel Award to attend the 2015 Association for Mass Spectrometry: Applications to the Clinical Laboratory annual meeting in San Diego.

Jarrell Salone Mikeleya Mitchell, Takyra Chatman



Following an extensive renovation, Mather Mansion has reopened and is once again home to the CSU Alumni Affairs Office.


“We are thrilled to be back in this historic and beautiful building, and excited to welcome guests to our new alumni lounge where they can relax, meet with fellow Vikings or do a bit of work while visiting campus,” says Brian Breittholz, assistant vice president for alumni affairs. Hundreds of nostalgic alumni have already stopped by, eager to check out the $2.2 million in renovations to the 43-room Tudor Gothic Revival mansion. Renovations include new offices for Alumni Affairs and the English as a Second Language program on the second floor and new seminar and conference rooms on the first floor. The third floor and lower level were not renovated with the exception of new handicap accessible restrooms in the basement and water damage repairs in the ballroom. The mansion was among the last built along Millionaires Row, the storied stretch of Euclid Avenue where John D. Rockefeller and other wealthy Clevelanders resided during the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. And it’s one of the few surviving reminders of that grand era. Built by iron ore magnate Samuel Mather and designed by architect Charles Schweinfurth, who also designed Trinity Cathedral, the mansion was completed in 1910 at a cost of $1.2 million – the most expensive home ever built in Cleveland, according to historical documents. Mather lived in the house until his death in 1931. His wife, Flora Stone Mather, passed away before the mansion was completed. The Cleveland Institute of Music leased the building until 1940, when it was purchased by the Cleveland Automobile Club. In 1967, it was acquired by CSU. Through the years, Mather Mansion has housed classrooms, meeting rooms, a counseling center, graphic arts labs, student organizations, and various University offices including advancement and alumni. The ornate, three-story mansion, at 2605 Euclid Ave., was vacant from August 2011 until its September 2015 reopening. Nearly all of its original interior and exterior features remain, including exquisitely handcrafted brick, stone and woodwork, leaded windows, plaster ceilings, marble fireplaces and buttons to summon the maid and valet. The opulent mansion also boasts 14 fireplaces, a main entrance of bronze and glass, a main reception hall paneled in hand-rubbed oak and featuring a 12-foot-high ceiling and 10-foot-wide grand staircase with ornately carved balustrades (bannisters) topped with carved wooden cherubs, a drawing room that opens onto a stone veranda, a dining room with a breakfast nook next to a marble figure carved for Mather by Antonio Rossi in 1870, a billiard room paneled in imported oak with corner cue stick racks and a stone fireplace with chiseled


In addition to its new home, the Alumni Association has a new website – The attractive site is easy to navigate and full of useful information on ways to stay engaged with CSU. Check it out and let us know what you think!

family crests, and the ballroom which holds up to 300 guests and has a 16-foot ceiling and a small balcony on the north wall where orchestras once played for dancers below. The original mansion even had horse stables on its north side and a fountain and pool on the south lawn. “Mather Mansion today is just as grand as it was during its glory days,” says Breittholz. “Cleveland State is fortunate and proud have this landmark on its campus.” For information on renting rooms in Mather Mansion for meetings and conferences, call 216.523.7203.

In 1973, Mather Mansion was the first building in Cleveland to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

AUTHOR BRINGS MANSION TO LIFE Alumni and friends roamed through recently renovated Mather Mansion and learned a little about the storied family that originally occupied it when the Office of Alumni Affairs hosted local author Christopher “Kit” Whipple for a special Passport Cleveland program. Whipple regaled guests with stories from his recent book, The Mathers: Brothers of a Different Mother, which focuses on mansion owner Samuel Mather’s three children – Sam (1851-1931), Katie (1853-1939) and Willie (1857-1951). He noted the support the Mathers and their fellow industrialists gave to the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and other cultural institutions. “Cleveland’s intellectual capacity is among the greatest in the country and the Mathers had a lot to do with that,” he said. Whipple’s stories of the Mathers’ industrial success and farsighted philanthropy were of particular interest to audience member S. Sterling McMillan, great-grandson of Samuel Mather.

Other guests brought with them happy memories of classes beneath the statue in the original dining room, naps in the student lounge once set up in the third-floor ballroom, and cheap beer in Fat Glenn’s, the rathskeller that once operated in the mansion’s basement. “I think it’s nice for Cleveland State to keep and maintain this mansion as an example of what Cleveland was like many years ago,” said Ed Kizys, ’84. He recalled attending the Lithuanian Students Club’s Halloween parties in the ballroom. His wife Shirley Kizys, ’89, remembered the line of students snaking down the grand staircase when registration was held in the mansion. Pete Kaunas, who took courses in the First College program, remembers taking a philosophy course in the beautiful dining room. “We did a lot of daydreaming there,” he said. “The spaces were more chopped up back then. They’ve opened up the spaces and done a nice job restoring it.”


Join us for the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards on Friday, September 30. Information will be posted at www.csualumni. com as it becomes available.


2015 honorees

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARDS The 25th anniversary of CSU’s Distinguished Alumni Awards was a glittering silver celebration with a capacity crowd of 500 alumni, students and friends on hand for the reception, dinner and salute to the nine winners.

Wolstein Center was transformed into an elegant venue with sparkling chandeliers, spectacular floral arrangements and shimmering silver accents for the festive event – the biggest night of the Alumni Association’s year. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE OUTSTANDING GRADUATES HONORED FOR THEIR SERVICE, LEADERSHIP AND CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS: GEORGE B. DAVIS AWARD FOR SERVICE TO THE UNIVERSITY Timothy J. Cosgrove, bachelor of political science ’83 and JD ’87, is a partner with Squire Patton Boggs LLP. He served as a member of the University’s board of trustees for 10 years, including two years as treasurer and four years as chair; and is currently a member of the CSU Foundation board of directors and the leadership cabinet for ENGAGE: The Campaign for Cleveland State University. As co-chair of CSU’s Radiance event since its inception in 2010, he has been instrumental in raising $3.7 million to provide scholarships to keep students in school and on track to graduation. He lives in Kirtland. (See story on page 27.) MONTE AHUJA COLLEGE OF BUSINESS Daria L. Roebuck, bachelor of business administration ’80, is the retired vice president of human resources for ERICO International Corporation. She is a member of the CSU Foundation board of directors and chair of the Visiting Committee and an executive-inresidence in the Monte Ahuja College of Business. The 2011 inductee to the College of Business Hall of Fame lives in Rocky River. COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES Peter Lilienthal, master of education ’70, is the founder, president and chief operating officer of Management Communication Systems Inc., which developed IN TOUCH®. He lives in Minneapolis. WASHKEWICZ COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING Anthony Colnar, bachelor of mechanical engineering ’42, is a retired project engineer who had just one employer – the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He lives in North Olmsted.


COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Wayne Zachary, bachelor of anthropology ’73, is the chief executive officer of Starship Health Technologies LLC and a pioneer in technology for computational modeling and simulation of individual and organizational behavior and cognition. He lives near Philadelphia. SCHOOL OF NURSING Brant Russell, bachelor of nursing ’98, is the chief operating officer at Detroit’s St. John Hospital and Medical Center. He also has been affiliated with the Summa Health System, Metrohealth Medical Center, and Fairview Hospital. He lives in Rocky River. COLLEGE OF SCIENCES AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS Jo Manette Nousak, bachelor of speech and hearing ’75, is an audiologist/researcher/supervisor at The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. NICoE delivers comprehensive and holistic care for service members and their families affected by combat and missionrelated traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions. She lives in Rockville, Md. MAXINE GOODMAN LEVIN COLLEGE OF URBAN AFFAIRS Floun’say Caver, master of public administration ’00, is the Hayden District director for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA). An 11-year RTA employee, he formerly was director of service quality and assistant director of the Office of Budget Management. He lives in Euclid. CLEVELAND-MARSHALL COLLEGE OF LAW Michael Gibbons, JD ’81, is the founder and senior managing director of Cleveland-based Brown Gibbons Lang & Company, an investment banking firm. He is a former member of the law school’s Visiting Committee as well as its National Advisory Council. He lives in Fairview Park. DEPARTMENT OF ATHLETICS Bruno Biasiotta, bachelor of business administration ’85, is the founder, chief executive officer and president of The GNA Group. He served for three years as president and CEO of Philips Lighting – Americas. He lives in Wisconsin.

GRATEFUL ALUMNUS IS CSU CHAMPION Tim Cosgrove fell in love with CSU on his first visit – a high school field trip on an RTA bus.

“It was the first time I had ever visited a university campus, and I was struck by the energy. After walking the campus, I was entirely sold. Two years later when it was time to apply for college, CSU was my choice,” he recalls.  “The day my acceptance letter arrived, I was the talk of all the front porches in my North Collinwood neighborhood. I was going to college! It’s hard for others to appreciate how that feels. But for someone like me, the first in his family to go to college, it’s a proud moment. I’ve kept my acceptance letter as a reminder of that important day in my life and of the incredibly important work this University does.” The 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient (George B. Davis Award for Service to the University) worked his way through college by waiting tables and bartending. He also landed a community relations/neighborhood development job at Cleveland City Hall, which began a 14-year working relationship with George Voinovich – first as an executive assistant to Mayor Voinovich and later as director of policy and legislation for Governor Voinovich. After earning his undergraduate degree in political science in 1983, Cosgrove immediately enrolled in CSU’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law while continuing to work at City Hall and as a waiter. After four years of night classes, he graduated in 1987 and passed the bar exam on his first try. Following his work with Voinovich, he joined Squire Sanders & Dempsey (now Squire Patton Boggs) in 1993 and became a partner in 2001. As a partner in an international law firm, Cosgrove handles cases dealing with public policy, including tax reform, economic development, health care, technology and more. He has worked on issues involving Cleveland Browns stadium, biennial capital budget appropriations and Bioenterprise Cleveland. Still, he has always found time to be one of CSU’s biggest champions, serving 10 years on the board of trustees, including two years as treasurer and four years as chair. He is currently a member of the CSU Foundation board of directors and the leadership cabinet for ENGAGE: The Campaign for Cleveland State University. As co-chair of CSU’s annual scholarship fundraising initiative, Radiance, since its inception, he has helped raise $3.7 million, providing 1,186 scholarships to help students stay in school and on track to graduation. In addition, he serves on the College of Law National Advisory Council and the Athletics Visiting Committee, and is a former member of the Alumni Association board of directors and the Visiting Committee for the College of Law. He and his wife, Kim, are the parents of Michaela, Ian and Dawson.

The family generously supports the University, having created the James and Elizabeth Cosgrove Endowed Scholarship Fund in honor of his parents. In recognition of his loyalty and heartfelt passion for his alma mater, CSU awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2008. Humbled by his George B. Davis Award, Cosgrove says one of his fondest CSU memories is graduation day. “Sitting in Woodling Gym, looking up seeing my parents and my aunt beaming with pride – nothing compares to that memory. My dad hadn’t even finished the ninth grade. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt a greater sense of accomplishment than that moment. “Cleveland State opened a new world for me and gave me educational opportunities I would not have had. The professors were phenomenal and had an enormous impact on my life and my love of learning. “Everything I have in life is because of my education. It’s difficult to overstate what a special place Cleveland State is,” he adds. “Cleveland State really does change students’ lives – it changed mine. I am so grateful that Cleveland State is part of my life.”


WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP SYMPOSIUM SET FOR APRIL 13 Building on the enormous success of its first-ever Women’s Leadership Symposium, CSU is planning Be Amazing… the Second-Annual Women’s Leadership Symposium on Wednesday, April 13 at the Wolstein Center. This year’s symposium is presented by CSU’s Alumni Association and Division of Student Affairs in partnership with the Ohio University Alumni Association and ohiowomen.


“Last year’s event was so positive, we left everyone wanting more. So we’ve lined up more speakers, more panels, more workshops, more time and more space,” said Brian Breittholz, assistant vice president for alumni relations and executive director of the CSU Alumni Association. Also new this year: a career fair and expo for women-owned and women-focused organizations. Participants may choose the morning session, including breakfast; the afternoon session, including lunch; or the entire day. The morning keynote speaker will be two-time alumna Rachel Talton, BA ’02 and MBA ’04, chief transformation officer of Flourish Leadership and the Flourish Conference for Women in Leadership. Dr. Talton literally wrote the book on thriving in the business world. Three books, actually: Beyond Extraordinary: A Blueprint to Flourish in Business and in Life; The Currency of Passion; and her newest, Flourish: Have it All Without Losing Yourself. Dr. Talton earned her doctorate in management from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, where she has taught as an adjunct professor of marketing. In addition to her academic pursuits, writing and her work in inspiring others to flourish, she is chief executive officer of Synergy Marketing Strategy & Research, Inc. Nancy Frates, the mom behind the Ice Bucket Challenge, will be the keynote speaker for the afternoon portion of the symposium. In 2012, Frates’ athletic 27-year-old son, Pete, was diagnosed with ALS, or

Rachel Talton

Nancy Frates

Lou Gehrig’s disease. Inspired by Pete – who chose to view his disease as an opportunity to do good – Frates and her family launched the now-famous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness about the disease and funds for research. The challenge went viral, raising more than $220 million for ALS research. The Women’s Leadership Symposium also will include panel discussions and workshops on topics ranging from online harassment and safety, to LGBT rights, women in business, and women’s aging. The symposium will explore some of the factors that keep women from advancing at the rate of their male counterparts, while highlighting the attributes that help women succeed in business, government, academia, the arts, sciences, sports, the armed forces and other sectors. Participants will experience a day designed to broaden horizons, explore new possibilities, network with others with shared passions and interests, and pay it forward for future generations of talented women. For more information and to register, visit

FASCINATING ALUMNI BOOK AVAILABLE The Cleveland State University Alumni Association has published a book highlighting fascinating alumni – graduates with interesting careers or unique achievements who exemplify how a CSU education impacts lives and how CSU alumni impact the world. “Fascinating Alumni highlights just a few of CSU’s 120,000plus graduates across the globe,” notes Brian Breittholz, assistant vice president for

alumni relations and executive director of the CSU Alumni Association. “Some graduated in recent years; some many years ago. Some are still living; others have passed on. But they all share common traits. They are hard-working men and women who were determined to earn a college degree – even when the odds were against them.” The fascinating alumni project began as part of CSU’s 50th anniversary celebration, with


the Alumni Association seeking to recognize 50 graduates. Nominations were sought from a variety of sources, hundreds were received, and soon it was apparent there were more than 50 fascinating stories to tell. Read the stories online at To request a copy of Fascinating Alumni or nominate alumni for future stories, call 216.687.2078.


CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N 150710_FascinatingAlumniBook-FINAL.indd 1

9/11/15 12:50 PM



“Homecoming is all about connection,” said President Ronald M. Berkman at the Grand Marshal lunch – one of nearly 50 special events that highlighted CSU’s Homecoming 2015.

This new program was launched during Homecoming and has no required number of service hours and no out-of-pocket costs. All that’s needed is your time and talent.

And connect it did. Activities throughout the week focused on building school spirit and reconnecting alumni with one another, with their Colleges and with the University. Events included a parade from Krenzler Field to the front lawn of Mather Mansion. Led by Grand Marshal Julian Earls, CSU executive-inresidence, the parade featured representatives from numerous student organizations and the Shaw High School Marching Band. The parade culminated in a VikeFest Celebration of food, music and fun. Other Homecoming events included the Distinguished Alumni Awards (see story on page 26), College-hosted receptions, brown-bag classes, building tours, and reunions of Cauldron staffers, men’s and women’s swim team members, nursing graduates and Levin Leadership Academy graduates. A Homecoming brunch featured class reunions with alumni who graduated from five to 60 years ago. David McFarland, class of ’64, traveled to the brunch from California despite being wheelchair-bound, while Alice Ladnanyi, class of ’43, received a bouquet of flowers honoring her 62 years as an alumna. Make plans to connect and reconnect at Homecoming 2016 – Monday, Sept. 26 through Saturday, Oct. 1. And if you were an athlete, member of a student organization, or just hung out with a group of close friends, why not get everyone together for a Homecoming reunion? The Alumni Office can help you plan the details – call 216.687.2078.

Alumni engagement is one of the most meaningful ways to ensure the continuing success of Cleveland State and its students. Show your Viking pride by giving back and staying connected as a Viking Volunteer.

Individuals may volunteer at their convenience in a number of areas, including mentoring, recruitment, career/education, philanthropy, leadership and more. Opportunities run the gamut. Find the one(s) that suits your interests and sign up today!

Here are just a few of the ways you can get involved: ALMOST ALUMNI DINNERS – Help students learn the etiquette of business dinners. STEM FELLOWS MENTORING PROGRAM – Support students in the challenging academic programs of science, technology, engineering and math. VIKING RECRUITERS – Promote awareness of the University and assist with on- and off-campus outreach to prospective students. RESUME BLITZ – Partner with CSU’s Career Services Center to critique students’ resumes and provide constructive feedback. MOCK INTERVIEWS – Help students practice interviewing skills by offering critical and educational feedback. CAREER FAIR – Help out at CSU Career Fairs in the fall and spring. SHARE YOUR WISDOM – Discuss your career with students who are interested in your line of work. MOVE-IN WEEKEND – When the school year begins, help students move their belongings into their residence hall rooms. To learn more and engage as a Viking Volunteer, call Emily Cole at 216.687.2078.





Looking to spend some quality time enjoying fun activities with fellow Vikings and your family? Passport Cleveland and Viking Days for Viking Families have your ticket.

Behind the Scenes at the West Side Market on Friday, April 29 – Marilou Suszko, co-author of Cleveland’s West Side Market: 100 Years and Still Cooking, will lead a tour and discuss the history of the market.

Award-winning Passport Cleveland provides a behind-the-scenes look at area hot spots through activities designed especially for CSU alumni while Viking Days, launched last fall, helps alumni and their families enjoy exclusive experiences together. Recent Passport programs, all sell-outs with waiting lists, included an upstairs/downstairs look at Stan Hywet Hall with a tour of the mansion and the domestic help’s living area; behind the scenes at Browns training camp; a House of Blues backstage tour; and a jewelry-making event at Cleveland’s Prosperity Jewelry. Family-friendly Viking Days activities have included two Cleveland Indians games, a Lake Erie cruise aboard the Goodtime III, a tour of the Christmas Story house, and visits to the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland and Great Lakes Science Center.

Coppers, Mobsters and Robbers tour of Lakeview Cemetery on Saturday, May 21 – Visit the graves of Eliot Ness, other notable law enforcement figures and those who made their name on the other side of the law, and learn about the crimes that made them famous. A local historian will lead the tour and share fascinating insights into Cleveland’s past. Upcoming Viking Days adventures include Cleveland Indians games on June 4 and September 24. Visit or call 216.687.5045 for additional information and to register.

Goodtime cruisers

Stan Hywet Hall

If you want to venture a bit farther from home, CSU’s Viking Traveler program is for you. Trips planned for 2016 include: a Mediterranean odyssey from May 9-20; the Great Lakes from July 8-17; and jewels of the Aegean and Holy Land from Sept. 15-26. For information,visit

ON THE ROAD AGAIN If you live in Arizona or Florida, or enjoy winter fun in the sun, your Alumni Association turned up the heat with special events. Arizona – Once again, CSU Vikings visited the city of Goodyear, spring training home of the Cleveland Indians, to cheer the Tribe in a pre-season game against the Chicago Cubs. The fun included a pre-game reception and post-game fireworks. Florida – Our second-annual CSU2U – a full day of master classes for alumni and friends, followed by a reception – took place at the Marriott Sanibel Harbour Resort in Fort Myers. The well-attended classes and their presenters were: The Power of the Media in the Presidential Election and Media, Politics and War Coverage with Edward Horowitz, associate professor of communication; Aging Across the Lifespan and Dementia/ Memory Loss with Katherine Judge, associate professor of psychology; and The Making of a College Campus and the new CIMP Building with Jack Baumann, senior project manager, University Architect’s Office. In addition, alumna Daria Roebuck, BBA ’80, hosted a reception for alumni and friends at the Palmer Legends Country Club in The Villages, Fla. Roebuck, retired vice president of ERICO International Corporation, is a member of the CSU Foundation board of directors and a 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

For details about these and other Alumni Association events, visit


1 Marv Parent, BS ’59, and Frank (Zeke) Zodnik, BS ’59, played in the LVSSA/SSUSA 2015 World Masters Championships in Las Vegas, the largest senior softball tournament with nearly 500 teams. They played on “Huff & Puff,” a team comprised of 80-year-olds from the Cleveland area. During their undergraduate days, Parent played varsity soccer while Zodnik played varsity baseball. Together, they played on the same intramural basketball, touch football and softball teams. 

1970s Paul T. Kirner, JD ’72, was appointed to the Board of Unauthorized Practice of the Law of the Supreme Court of Ohio for a three-year term. He recently retired from Kirner & Boldt Co. L.P.A., where he specialized in domestic relations law. An avid runner, he has logged at least one mile daily for 18½ years. On his 67th birthday, he set a record for secondlongest Ohio running streak – 24,901.55 miles – the circumference of the earth. Sanford Marks, BBA ’72, is the spiritual leader/ chaplain of the Interfaith Assembly in Las Vegas. He is serving one-year terms on the board of directors for the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada and the Clark County Ministerial Association. Richard W. Lachowicz, BBA ’73, retired from Booz Allen Hamilton as a lead associate after a 20-year career. During this time, he was a senior systems engineer/analyst consultant at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific. He previously retired from the U.S. Marine Corps as a major. He resides in Honolulu, Hawaii. Sandy Berman, BA ’74, is an Independent Publisher Book Award winner for her historical novel, Klara with a K. After many years as an archivist and curator at the Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, she decided to fulfill her dream of becoming a published author. Vic Amster, BA ’75, and his wife, Sue, were the 2015 honorees at the B’nai Jeshurun Israel Bonds event. Amster is a key account manager, NAFTA and export sales manager at United Initiators, Inc. He is a past president of B’nai Jeshurun’s men’s club and a past regional officer of the Great Lakes Region Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs. 2 Frank Schultz, BES ’75 and MSCE ’84, retired as a senior project engineer after 40 years of engineering and project management in heavy mining, demolition and construction equipment with Northeast Ohio-based international corporations. He lives in Russell Township.

Philip Hawkey, JD ’76, was named executive director of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Government. He recently retired from the University of La Verne, where he served as executive vice president, special assistant to the president and interim dean of the college of law. He continues to teach graduate classes in public administration. Marylou Hurlbut Roberts, BA ’76, lives in El Cajon, Calif., and has worked for Kaiser for 25 years. She is a clinical assistant director at Kaiser San Diego.

David R. Zavagno, BA ’76, was the 2015 recipient of the Herrick Memorial Award for Civic Achievement from The Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve. He is chairman of The Friends of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, also known as The Perry Group, a volunteer, nonprofit organization. He also is president of Universal Medical Systems, Inc. of Ohio. Frank A. Cellura, JD ’77, is the author of The Last Nail in the Warren Commission Coffin – Startling Revelations on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He lives in Grove City, Ohio. 3 Colleen A. Falkowski, JD ‘78, was named 2015 Leader of the Year by Leadership Lake County. She has served as a judge on the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division since 2003. She also serves on the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Advisory Committee for Children, Families and the Courts and Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission and is on the faculty of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s New Judges Training.







James T. Primosch, BMus ’78, is a composer at the University of Pennsylvania. He recently performed at the Moscow Conservatory in Russia and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. 4 Dennis Lansdowne, BA ’78 and JD ’81, is a partner with Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber LLP.

Sergio Lebid, BBA ’79, is the executive vice president and co-founder of NanoSpire Inc. and the director and co-founder of the Advanced Cavitation Institute for Nanotechnology & Renewable Energy.

1980s 5 Kevin M. Hinkel, JD ’80, was named to the 2016 edition of Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. He was selected in two different fields — Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law/Real Estate Law. He is the managing partner of Kadish, Hinkel & Weibel in downtown Cleveland. He lives in Westlake.

Robert W. McGee, JD ’80, won three silver medals at the Taekwondo World Championships in Little Rock, Ark. He is 68 years old. His novel, Justifiable Homicide: A Political Thriller, is an Amazon best-seller and he is having his novels and novelettes translated into French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Susan Tomcko, BMus ’81, is an administrator and event coordinator at Commerce Street Capital, LLC in Dallas. Still passionate about music, she is a member of the Plano Civic Chorus and a church choir. 6 Glenn Morrical, MBA ’82, was named a 2016 Ohio Super Lawyer and was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2016. He is an attorney with Tucker Ellis LLP.

Stacie Pellegrino Bohland, BA ’83, lives in Olmsted Falls. She recently retired after 33 years with the Social Security Administration, a job she started as a co-op student at CSU. Linda Lehmann Masek, MA ’83, lives in Northfield. Her seventh book, Intrigue on Kelleys Island, was recently published.




Raymond Turk, BBA ’83, was named Alumnus of the Year at CSU’s 42nd annual Accounting Awards banquet. He retired in 2014 after a career as a partner with both Arthur Andersen & Co. and PwC. Rennae Ward, BA ’83, is a director at the U.S. Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Philadelphia Campus Collection.






7 Robert Hanna, MBA ’83 and JD ’86, was named a 2016 Ohio Super Lawyer and was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2016. He is an attorney with Tucker Ellis LLP. 8 Richard T. Lash, BBA ’84, was unanimously voted to the board of directors of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. He will serve a three-year term. Lash and his wife co-chaired the chapter’s most recent Toast of the Town event, which raised $35,000. The managing partner of Walthall CPAs is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and The Ohio Society of CPAs. He sits on the CSU Department of Accounting Advisory Board and the Westfield Bank Community Development Board for the Cleveland market. He lives in Strongsville.

Dan Rosenthal, JD ’84, was elected to the Executive Committee of the Virginia State Bar, part of the governing body and a mandatory organization for Virginia’s 49,000 attorneys. Rosenthal has a civil litigation practice and is a part-time host/producer at Richmond’s public radio station, WCVE-FM.



Carter Strang, JD ’84, was elected board vice chair of The Center for Community Solutions. He is a partner with Tucker Ellis LLP. 9

10 James (Jamie) Milkovich, BA ’84 and MEd ’93, is a teacher and 34-year head wrestling coach at Maple Heights High School. He was recently inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame and the Ohio chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.



Rhonda Hall, BBA ’86, was appointed finance director of Twinsburg, the city in which she resides. A certified public accountant, she has worked for Ciuni & Panichi, Inc. since 1988 and has been a partner in the firm since 2002. 11 Lior (Lauren) Jacober, BA ’87, received the Excellence in Education Award from Oakland Hebrew Day School, where she is an elementary teacher. She lives in Orinda, Calif.

Scott Osiecki, BA ’87, is the director of external affairs at the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County.



Melinda Reynolds, BBA ’87, was named vice president of global tax at A. Schulman, Inc. She is responsible for overall administration of the worldwide tax function and strategic tax planning. She joined the firm from Eaton Corporation, where she was senior director, international tax strategy. John Palumbo, BA ’88, is a senior accounting clerk at Materion Corporation.


12 Dan Polk, BA ’88, sang the National Anthem at the Browns-Bengals game at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. He lives in Medina and is vice president of sales for Medical Mutual of Ohio. Polk regularly sings the National Anthem at events, including Cleveland Indians games, a world soccer game at FirstEnergy


Stadium and for Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds games. 13 Ann Caresani, BBA ’88, MBA ’93 and JD ’94, was named a 2016 Ohio Super Lawyer and was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2016. She is an attorney with Tucker Ellis LLP. 14 Timothy J. Dayton, MAFIS ’89, retired from the Interlake Steamship Company. Captain Dayton was Master of the M/V Paul R. Tregurtha, the largest ship on the Great Lakes, from 2002 to 2014. Prior to that, he held a number of ship commands and started his career with the Ford Motor Company on the M/V Benson Ford in 1976 supplying Rouge Steel. He earned his undergraduate degree at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. He lives in Florida. 15 Siddique Hossain, MBA ’89, was appointed treasurer of Eastern University in Bangladesh. He is an associate professor and MBA program director at the university. He has been a faculty member at the School of Business, North South University, University of Chittagong and the Institute of Business Administration of the University of Dhaka and worked in the United States at Wharton Econometrics and Forecasting Associates, Inc. and the International Monetary Fund.

1990s 16 Cynthia Moore-Hardy, MBA ’90, is the 2016 board chair for the Ohio Hospital Association, which represents 220 hospitals and 13 health systems in the state. Moore-Hardy, the president and CEO of Lake Health since 1997, received CSU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005.

Mark Mizak, BA ’90 and MNAL ’15, was named village administrator of Geneva-on-the-Lake. A former assistant director of housing at Ashtabula County Community Action, he supervises the installation of heating and cooling systems at Penguin Mechanical, Inc. in Madison. Lisa D. Robinson, MBA ’91, of Summerville, S.C., graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. The three-year graduate degree is the basic professional degree for ministry. Richard Winger, MA ’91, is the mayor of Vero Beach, Fla. Edward P. Gallagher, BMus ’92, is the director of education at Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood. Karen Kaminski, BA ’93 and JD ’00, was recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business as a Human Resources Executive of the Year Finalist for the 2015 Archer Awards. She is vice president of human resources at Horseshoe Casino Cleveland/ Caesars Entertainment. 17 Mike Cotton, MBA ’94, was named chief executive officer of Providence Health Plan. He formerly was vice president and chief operating officer for Humana Inc.’s dual eligible and Medicaid programs and was responsible for the management and operations of the company’s Medicaid and statebased contract programs.

18 John M. Coyne III, MBA/JD ’94, was named a 2016 Ohio Super Lawyer in Real Estate by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine. He is a partner in the Akron office of Roetzel.

Mary E. Weems, BA ’94 and MA ’96, is an author, poet, playwright, activist and educator who received the 2015 Cleveland Arts Prize Emerging Artist Award for Literature. She was the first African-American poet laureate of Cleveland Heights. Kenneth Armstong, MSCE ’95, was promoted from senior director to vice president of environmental, health and safety at RPM International, Inc. He lives in Russell Township. Mark Gleichauf, MEd ’95, was appointed superintendent of Brooklyn city schools. He lives in North Olmsted. 19 Lonny Rivera, BEd ’96, was unanimously elected interim superintendent of the Ohio Department of Education after serving as associate superintendent since April 2015. Rivera, a former Viking wrestler, also has been chief of staff for the Toledo Public Schools and superintendent of the Oregon, Ohio City Schools.

Tracy Crandall, JD ’97, was promoted to vice president, associate general counsel and assistant secretary at RPM International, Inc. She previously was a partner at Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP. She lives in Medina. Dwight Hollins, MEd ’97, was named supervisor of athletics for Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools. The Heights High graduate formerly was director of athletics at St. Peter Chanel High School in Bedford and assistant director of athletics at John Carroll University. Bennie Neal Sr., MEd ’97, is in his 32nd year as an educator. He lives in South Euclid and is a curriculum specialist in East Cleveland. Susan Petrone, MA ’97, is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. Her novel, Throw Like a Woman, was published in March 2015.  20 Aaron Reitz, BBA ’97, was named KeyBank’s Central Indiana market president. He will continue to serve as commercial sales leader in Central Indiana. 21 Pamela Miskow Tropiano, MPA ‘97, joined Magellan Complete Care as national vice president for clinical product innovations. She brings to her new position 33 years of experience as a senior executive in nursing, health care and health plan administration. 22 Thomas J. Connick, JD ’98, is the principal of Connick Law, LLC, which recently marked its first anniversary.

Christopher Corrigan, JD ’98, is the litigation lawyer in Kisling, Nestico & Redick’s new Toledo office. He joined the firm’s Akron office in 2013. Regina Shands Stoltzfus, BA ’98, received the 2016 Spirit of Justice Award from the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. It is the group’s highest honor. Stoltzfus is an assistant professor of peace, justice and conflict studies at Goshen College. 23 Paul Weisinger, BBA ’98, was named a recipient of the first-annual AICPA Forensic & Valuation Services Standing Ovation Recognition Program for his contributions to the areas of forensic

accounting and business valuation. He is a partner with Walthall CPAs. Scott Darpel, BSIE ’98 and MSIE ’00, was selected as the GRC safety & mission assurance technical lead to NASA’s Exploration Systems Development (ESD) Division. ESD is responsible for the development of the next generation Orion MPCV Crew vehicle, Space Launch System launch vehicle, and advanced ground systems. Darpel previously served as chief S&MA officer for GRC’s ISS physical science and human research projects, a portfolio of more than 35 active experiments with many in continuous operation aboard the orbiting space station. He lives in Twinsburg.







Karen Renea Williams, BA ’98 and MEd ’00, is the founder of the HaHA Institute (Humor and Healing Arts), a nationally known stand-up comic, humor educator, and motivational speaker. Jennifer L. Springer, JD ’99, was elected judge of the Knox County Probate/Juvenile Court for a six-year term.

2000s Tiffany Baumann Cantelupe, BBA ’00, presented on “Achieving Excellence through Adversity” at “Excellence, A Conscious Pursuit” at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The event brought together business owners and executives in pursuit of their personal and professional performance best. Cantelupe is a member of the Visiting Committee for CSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. A former Miss Ohio and breast cancer survivor, she is a strong advocate for cancer funding and finding a cure. Chad Hesse, JD ’00, was appointed to the newly created position of general counsel at Resilience Capital Partners, a Cleveland-based private equity firm. For the past 11 years, he has worked at Diebold, Inc. in Canton, most recently as vice president, associate general counsel – global corporate affairs. Anthony Mercurio, MBA ’00, was promoted to president of National Interstate Corp. after serving as executive vice president for nearly three years. He also holds the title of chief operating officer. He joined the Richfield, Ohio property and casualty insurance company in 1997. Sean Osborne, MEd ’00, was named principal of his alma mater – North Royalton High School – after serving as assistant principal for three years. Damon Loretz, BEd ’00 and MEd ’05, was hired by the South Euclid-Lyndhurst schools as assistant principal of Rowland Elementary School. He was principal at James A. Garfield Elementary School in Cleveland since 2011 and previously served as head of Cleveland’s Kenneth W. Clement Boys Leadership Academy. Pablo A. Castro III, JD ’01, has been a Cleveland Municipal Court magistrate since 2007. Annette Mecklenburg, JD ’01, was named police chief of Cleveland Heights, the city in which she resides. She joined the department 25 years ago as a patrol officer and attained the rank of captain last year. Milos Gvozdenovic, BA ’ 01 and JD ’04, joined Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA’s Bankruptcy Practice Group at the Brooklyn Heights office.


David E. Schweighoefer, JD ’02, was selected for inclusion in the 22nd edition of The Best Lawyers in America. A partner in Brouse McDowell’s Health Care Practice Group, he also serves as outside general counsel for FrontLine Services Inc., formerly known as Mental Health Services Inc. The Hudson resident is an adjunct professor at CSU’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.



Anthony Warmuth, BS ’02 and MPA ’03, was appointed administrator for enterprise quality at the Cleveland Clinic. He handles quality, patient safety, clinical risk management and regulatory affairs. He lives in Strongsville. Leo Mallias, BA ’04 and MA ’07, is the library director at Bowling Green State University Firelands campus.   Luigi Russo, MA ’04 and MPA ’12, self-published Zombie Land Poetics, a zombie survival story told through poetry.


Cole Whaley, BA ’05, changed career paths in 2012 by starting Cole’s Palette food truck, attending L’Academie de Cuisine culinary school, and opening Cafe’ Rue restaurant in Beltsville, Md.


Maria Spangler, JD/MPA ’06, is director of community engagement at Sherwin-Williams. Jessica Sutherland, BA ’06, is the president and co-founder of Homeless to Higher Ed, a volunteer-run nonprofit in California that helps homeless college students. Her work has been featured in People, and on NPR, the Today Show, and the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Aaron Swedler, JD/MBA ’06, joined the law firm of Maddin, Hauser Roth & Heller. Jamie Watkins BA ’06 and MA ’07, is a human resources compliance officer with the city of Cleveland, Department of Port Control. Dianna Neal, BEd ’06 and MEd ’09, has been a teacher in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools for nine years. She lives in South Euclid. Jay Gardner, MA ’07, joined the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center as director of resource development. Brittany Neal Agnew, BEd ’08, is a first grade teacher in Cleveland. She lives in Oakwood.

Nikola Budimir, BMus ’08 and MMus ’10, performed as a soloist in the role of a shepherd in the Cleveland Orchestra production of Daphne. The opera was performed twice at Severance Hall and twice at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. Budimir, a bassbaritone, teaches voice lessons at the Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood. 24 Harry D. Cornett, Jr., BA ’09, was named a 2016 Ohio Super Lawyer and was recognized on the 2016 list of The Best Lawyers in America. In addition, he was named by Best Lawyers as 2016 Lawyer of the Year in the area of Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants in the Cleveland market. He is an attorney with Tucker Ellis LLP. 25 John L. Vaughn, BS ’09, is doing a residency in internal medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and is a clinical instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine at OSU. Last year he did volunteer work at a hospital in Ghana.

2010s 26 Aaron Mendelsohn, JD ’10, was appointed to Lyndhurst City Council. He is an attorney with Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Arronoff.

Caitlin Mary Browdie, MA ’11, is a Peace Corps volunteer in Alto, Paraguay. She is a community economic development volunteer and provides leadership training for the area’s youth. Mark M. Polatajko, Ph.D. ’11, joined Kent State University as senior vice president for finance and administration. His 17-plus years of senior fiscal management experience includes the past four years at Wright State University as vice president for business and finance/chief financial and chief operating officer. Nathan (Nate) Miller, BA ’11 and BA ’13, is a locally based actor and director. He recently played the role of Stan in The Happy Sad at Convergence Continuum.  Maria Arredondo, MPA ’12, was recognized by National Women of Color with the 2015 Technology Rising Star Award. She is an education program specialist at NASA Glenn Research Center. Tania Benites, BA ’12, starred as Johanna in Cleveland Public Theatre’s world premier play, Johanna: Facing Forward, based on the true story of a Cleveland teen, Johanna Orozco, who survived a gunshot wound to the face by her boyfriend, and whose journey of courage and recovery sparked a national movement for legislation protecting teens from intimate partner abuse.

Alexa Lee Riczo, BEd ’11, a model with the Wilhelmina International agency, was featured on the cover of the September 2015 issue of Runner’s World magazine. With athletic modeling her specialty, she has appeared in Shape, Self and Women’s Health magazines and in television commercials for Empire Beauty School and the trade group Cheeses of Europe. A certified athletic trainer and nutrition advisor who now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., Riczo played midfield for the women’s soccer team at CSU. She holds the program record for most games played – 79.


Eric K. Grinnell, JD ’12, joined Car Law Office, LLC in Hudson as an associate. 27 Neil Burk, MBA ’13, was honored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) for his outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination. Of more than 91,000 candidates who sat for the exam last year, Burk was the only test-taker in Ohio – and one of only 60 nationwide – to receive AICPA’s Elijah Watts Sells Award. Winners must obtain a cumulative average score above 95.5 across all four sections of the exam, complete testing during a calendar year and pass all sections on their first attempt. 28 Alyssa Feiste, BS ’13, spent summer 2015 in a graduate course studying diverse terrestrial, coastal and coral reef communities in the Central American country of Belize. An animal keeper at ArizonaSonora Desert Museum in Sahuarita, Ariz., she is pursuing a master’s degree from Miami University’s Global Field Program.

Isabel Montoya Sweeney, BA ’13, is the chief operating officer and associate portfolio manager at Klopp Investment Management. She also is the general manager at her family’s restaurant, Moncho’s Bar and Grille, which features Colombian fare. 31 Peggy Ferraro Wilkinson, JD ‘13, realized her 20-year dream of becoming a lawyer and is an associate with Andrews and Pontius in Ashtabula.

Samah Assad, BA ’14, is a multimedia journalist, print and digital reporter, investigator and editor at WEWS-newsnet5.






32 Rebecca Clemons, DBA ’14, joined the faculty of the School of Business at Indiana University East. She is an assistant professor of business administration and operations management.

Elizabeth Perez, BSW ’14, a marine veteran, was the subject of a News-Herald article, “Walk from Mentor to Cleveland Tries to Raise Awareness, Reunite Family Split by Deportation.”

Heather Morris, BA ’13, authored the novel Rixa. She lives in Mayfield Heights.

Emilio Jarufe, BMus ’15, is the choir director at Avon High School.

29 Fred Reyes, MS ’13, joined Firelands Regional Medical Center as director of laboratory services. He brings 23 years of clinical laboratory experience to the position. He lives in Huron.

Pianist Phillip K. Jones II, MMus ’15, led a centennial birthday tribute concert honoring composer Billy Strayhorn at CSU.

30 Jennifer Shafer, BSN ’13, is a registered nurse in the James Cancer Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Before moving to Columbus, she worked as a nurse at Cleveland Clinic.


Matt Barr, BS ’15, joined the Peace Corps and moved to Africa, where he serves as a health extension volunteer in Zambia. His job is to raise awareness about health education by teaching basic nutrition and sanitation, prevention of noncommunicable diseases, child and maternal health, oral rehydration and prevention of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. He has already formed a women’s empowerment group, generated activities to fund the construction of a primary school and mobilized local leaders to conduct meetings to improve the network of roads in the district. Over the next two years, he will work on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Zambia.



IN MEMORIAM ALUMNI Harold P. Lamb, BSEE ’35, in March 2015 Jean R. Uhl, BA ’39, in February 2015 Kenneth A. Stevenson, BSME ’41, in April 2015 Robert Oster, BS ’42, in April 2015 George Albert Cole, BSIE ’45, in August 2015 Carolyn L. Partridge, BBA ’45, in August 2015 Virginia Wilson, JD ’47, in June 2015 James Cherrie, BS ’49, in May 2015 Bernice G. Miller, JD ’51, in April 2015 Paul J. Horvath, BSCE ’52, in April 2015 Stephen J. Cahn, BS ’53, in August 2015 Bruce M. MacPherson, BSME ’53, in June 2015 William Monroe, JD ’53, in November 2015 Arthur Newman, BA ’54, in June 2015 Jack Aron, BS ’55, in March 2015 James A. Gibbs, BBA ’55, in April 2015 Donald E. Jankura, BSEE ’55, in September 2015 Jack Monnin, JD ’55, in June 2015 Aaron Paller, JD ’56, in December 2015 Allen O. Rom, MBA ’56, in April 2015 Charles R. Emrick, Jr., JD ’58, in November 2015 Raymond J. Rehor, BBA ’58, in April 2105 Margaret Taber, BS ’58, in June 2015 Stuart H. Currie, BBA ’59, in March 2015 Sam Sarkisian, BBA ’59, in March 2015 Ronald J. Shubert, BSEE ’59, in July 2015 William J. Taber, BBA ’59, in June 2015 Charles E. Bulick, BSE ’60, in September 2015 James W. Leo, BBA ’60, in April 2015 Anthony J. Riccio, BSME ’60, in February 2015 Glen Drellishak, BS ’61, in October 2015 George J. Kusnerik, BSME ’61, in May 2015 Jerome J. Smyke, BBA ’61, in July 2015 Ronald B. Werner, JD ’61, in January 2015 Edward F. Rybka, BBA ’62, in April 2015 Robert Moody, BS ’63, in April 2015 Roger Reeves, BS ’63, in December 2015 Marilyn Spitzig, BS ’63, in August 2015 James C. Trescott, BS ’63, in October 2015 James C. Ringenbach, BBA ’64, in February 2015 Leodis Harris, JD ’65, in August 2015 Robert L. Matejka, BBA ’65, in June 2015 Richard Robinson, BBA ’66, in March 2015 Daniel A. Sedlak, BSEE ’67, in February 2015 William A. Schmidt, JD ’68, in June 2015 Frederick J. Dolan, BA ’69, in September 2015 John E. Dunn, BSME ’69, in July 2015 John W. Gallagher, JD ’70, in January 2015 Frank J. Kozelka III, JD ’70, in July 2015 Robert R. Seferian, JD ’70, in May 2015 John Talbott, JD ’70, in October 2015 Catherine Feola, BBA ’71, in June 2015 Geraldine Helfenbein, BS ’71, in May 2015 Ralph J. Doles Jr., BBA ’73, in December 2015 Dale R. Johnson, BA ’73, in May 2015 Jerome Savoy, JD ’73, in December 2015 Valery Crosby, MEd ’74, in September 2015 Robert G. Lux, BBA ’74, in February 2015 Carl Vinci, MEd ’74, in June 2015 Edmund R. Capas, BA ’75, in June 2015 Dale K. Kincaid, BA ’75, in September 2015 Joseph Z. Pinczuk, BBA ’75, in September 2015 Judy Sheerer, BA ’75, in January 2016 Jed Vargo, BBA ’75, in November 2015 John M. Bruzda, BSE ’76, in April 2015 Michael S. Evans, JD ’76, in October 2015 Thomas E. Finke, BA ’76, in August 2015 John A. Hnanicek, BBA ’76, in March 2015 Shirley Rose, BBA ’76 and MBA ’83, in December 2015 Richard Lee Dover, BSPT ’78, in November 2015 Shirley J. Lawson, BBA ’78, in March 2015 Ronald C. Readinger, BA ’78, in April 2015 Vicki Thornton, BEd ’78, in November 2015 Selma Bayer, BA ’79, in August 2015 Dennis Madden, BA ’79, in September 2015 Thelma M. Shapiro, MEd ’79, in March 2015 Subin Verma, MS ’79, in June 2015 Bruce L. Cooey, BBA ’80, in September 2015 Valerie Dallas, BBA ’80, in September 2015 Lisa Eberlin, BS and BA ’80, in June 2014 Linda Moralez-Nunney, BSN ’80, in May 2015 Michael C. Walsh, BA ’80, in May 2015 Francis M. Allegra, JD ’81, in August 2015 Ann Chambers, MEd ’82, in May 2015 Darryl Austin, BS ’83, in May 2015 Eleanor Kerester, BA ’83, in December 2015 Joyce M. Kic, BS ’83, in August 2015 Paula LaMar, BBA ’83, in September 2015 Gratian A. Nugent, MA ’83, in June 2015 Henry S. Pietrow, BSME ’83, in September 2015 Michael J. Fortunato, BA ’84, in August 2015 Richard Gibson, BS ’84, in November 2015 Paul Greve, MSIE ’84, in July 2015 James Joines, MEd ’85, in November 2015 Carol Mitten, BS ’85, in December 2015 36 // CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE // CSUOHIO.EDU

Kenneth Clark, BSME ’86, in November 2015 Jeanne Catalano, MEd ’88, in July 2015 Mariann Cade, BBA ’89, in January 2015 John Krause, BS ’90, in October 2015 Robert J. Zanath, BA ’90, in May 2015 John F. Albu, JD ’91, in September 2015 Stacey Ann Walker, BA ’91 and MBA ’94, in July 2015 Carrie Haluska, BBA ’92, in February 2015 Victoria A. Oyler, BA ’93, in June 2015 Amelia J. Repka, BA ’93, in April 2015 Eric T. Zaffer, BA ’93, in August 2015 James J. Mazzola, BA ’94, in April 2015 Patricia Studer, BS ’96, in August 2015 Terry Freeman, MEd ’98, in February 2015 William Johnston, JD ’99, in December 2015 Michael Roche, MS ’02, in December 2015 Carl J. Rose, JD ’04, in July 2015 Linda Marie Visdos, MEd ’06, in March 2015 Kathryn Cooper, BAUS ’08, in August 2015 Kristen Wingate, MA ’09, in August 2015 Louis Stokes, JD ’53, rose from the poverty of the projects to become the first African-American to represent Ohio in Congress. Throughout his distinguished career, he championed social and economic justice, education, health care, veterans’ issues and more. A highly respected leader during his 15 terms (30 years) in the U.S. House of Representatives, his many prestigious appointments included membership on the House Appropriations Committee, where he was influential in bringing revenue to Cleveland; chair of the Congressional Black Caucus; chair of the House Select Committee on Assassinations; and membership on the House Iran Contra Panel. After retiring as Dean of the Ohio delegation in 1999, he served as senior counsel for Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. He earned his law degree after serving three years in the military during World War II and went on to argue three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. CSU awarded Stokes an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1989 and the Distinguished Alumni George B. Davis Award for Service to the University in 2013. He was instrumental in helping CSU and Northeast Ohio Medical University establish the Partnership for Urban Health, a collaboration that is training primary care physicians for urban areas, and he co-chaired its advisory committee. (See story on page 2.) He was a member of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law National Advisory Council for many years, served on C|M|LAW’s Alumni Association board of directors, and supported law students through the Louis Stokes Scholarship Fund. Memorial donations may be made to the Louis Stokes Scholarship Fund, Division of University Advancement, 2121 Euclid Ave., UN 501, Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2214 or online at From Fascinating Alumni, published by the CSU Alumni Association

IN MEMORIAM CSU DEATHS John P. Wilson in July 2015. A professor of psychology for 40 years, Dr. Wilson was an internationally recognized pioneer and expert on post-traumatic stress disorder. He retired in 2013. Mary Ann Tokmenko, BA ’03, in November 2015. An administrative secretary in the History Department for nearly 16 years, she also worked in Alumni Affairs and the College of Law in her 17 years as a CSU staff member. Vera Vogelsang-Coombs in February 2016. Her 23 years at CSU included service as the dean of the College of Graduate Studies and director of the Master of Public Administration program and leadership programs in the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs.

WHAT’S NEW WITH YOU? Have you changed jobs? Earned a degree? Won an award? We’d love to share the news with your fellow alumni.




A link to the survey – which is hosted by CASE on a secure server – will be emailed to a random sampling of Cleveland State readers in the coming weeks. The survey takes 10-15 minutes to complete.



What do you like to read about in Cleveland State magazine? Would you like to see more alumni profiles? More stories about faculty research? How would you rate the writing, photography and layout? A new readership survey developed by CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, will soon enable a random sampling of Cleveland State readers to answer those questions, and several others, as we gather valuable feedback about our magazine and your expectations. This user-friendly, web-based survey will enable us to compare your answers to data already collected from more than 136,000 readers of publications produced by other CASE member schools.










Clip and send to Cleveland State Magazine, 2121 Euclid Ave., UN 501, Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2214, or e-mail to If available, please include a high resolution photograph for publication.

Scan the code with your smartphone to learn more about giving to CSU Or visit CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE // CSUOHIO.EDU // 37

Cleveland State University Magazine 2121 Euclid Avenue UN 501 Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2214





Cleveland state magazine spring 2016