Page 1

Winter 2012





Defiance College The Magazine

Vol. 102, No. 1

Winter 2012

Visit the DC website - Editorial Board & Staff Kathy Punches ’96

Editor, Director of Public Relations and Marketing

Rev. David Plant ’73

Director of Alumni and Parent Relations

Michele Tinker

Director of Annual Giving

Features Change Lives-------------------------------------------- 2 DC builds on its long history of service

Debbie Richard ’02, ’04 Assistant Director of Marketing

Expanding----------------------------------------------- 6

Creative Design Manager

Project 701----------------------------------------------- 8

The College offers many options for cultural experiences

Ryan Imbrock

An innovative program that continues to change lives

Board of Trustees

Joyce C. Anderson ’66 Keith Bell, Sr. ’78 Randall Buchman ’79 Lynne de Sherbinin Dr. William M. Finerty, Jr. Cheryl Hahr ’68 James Hamilton ’72 Thomas K. Hubbard Karl Ideman ’67 Dr. Rita A. Kissner Timothy Leuzarder ’67 Philip Mallott ’78 Michael Miller ’75 Mark Moats Gerry Prokupek ’67

Dr. Terrence W. Rettig ’68 Stuart F. Sakosits ’68 Mark Shy ’75 Barb J. Silvis ’72 Shaune M. Skinner ’75 Dr. Bonnie Sloan William J. Small George Smart ’67 Steve VanDemark ’76

Honorary Trustees E. Keith Hubbard ’57 Dr. Amos J. White

Impact----------------------------------------------------11 Recent alums share how DC helped prepare them for the future

10 Minutes-----------------------------------------------14 With new provost Dr. Barbara Schirmer

Support---------------------------------------------------16 DC receives a grant to assist first-generation students

Give Back------------------------------------------------17 Matt Gilroy ’02 believes in giving back to the College

Imagine---------------------------------------------------18 Looking back on the 2011 Homecoming

Dedicated-------------------------------------------------20 The new George M. Smart Athletic Center is official

Passion----------------------------------------------------21 Trustee Fellows

Travis Bernath Edward Buhl ’73 Thomas Callan ’66 Dr. Dean Colwell ’64 Ben Davis, Jr. ’67 Eric Hench Charlotte Johannigman ’94

Professor Steve Smith retires after 30 years of service Margaret F. Mills ’67 Dr. Myra Stockdale John W. Weaner Dr. Michael Wolfe ’05 Robert Zeff

In Memory-----------------------------------------------22 Remembering three former DC faculty members

Honored--------------------------------------------------25 Don Smith is recognized for his years of service

Return of-------------------------------------------------26 The Purple Gang is returning to campus

Athletics--------------------------------------------------27 Updates on fall sports, HCAC honors, and more

Alumni Executive Board Sarah Bowling ’09 Jan Craig ’69 Amy Daeger ’97 Jon Gathman ’96 Dr. Duncan Jamieson ’62

Jason LaBounty ’03 Gary Molnar ’74 Lauren Ranalli ’10 Mary Beth Royal ’98 Doug Short ’66 Jennifer Ziegler ’02

Class Notes-----------------------------------------------30

Winter 2012  1

change lives

Change Lives

through stellar programs

Defiance College builds on its long history of service to affect both students and communities by Kathy Punches ’96, Director of Public Relations and Marketing Imagine yourself riding on a dirt road in Belize. The road is so potholed that it takes hours to travel a few miles. The van stops along the edge of a forest. From your research, you know that some of the trees and fallen branches hold amazing gems. A ranger leads you to a tree, and there, deep in its hollow, is a nest of yellow-headed parrots. If they are lucky, they will live out their days here in the forest. But, many will be poached for the pet trade, with the majority dying before they are sold. You are here because you want to save endangered species like these wonderful creatures.


hen then-student Kaitlin Studer traveled to Belize as a McMaster Scholar to research the plight of the yellowheaded parrot, the experience opened her eyes. “It developed a passion in me that I never knew I had,” she recalls. Her work also created awareness among Belizeans of the critical role conservation has in the world and how the protection of endangered species is directly tied to a region or community. Studer’s project is one of hundreds of research and service projects conducted in recent years by Defiance College students. Whether the project is ongoing or a oneday event, such experiences make a lasting impact not only on the students but on communities, both locally and globally. A Defiance College education incorporates the belief that individuals are part of something bigger, an education that instills a sense of social responsibility. With that in mind, students are able to positively impact


Former McMaster Scholar Kaitlin Studer shares her book about the yellow-headed parrot with students in Belize.

communities by applying their academic expertise and skills. Defiance College is recognized on a national level for its stellar programs of engagement in the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity and its affiliate programs, Project 701 and the Service Leadership Program. These programs are modern-day examples of the institution’s long history of service, a mission that incorporates a liberal arts education with leadership, communication skills, critical thinking, moral reasoning, global awareness, and respect for diversity. Students understand that their achievements, their role in a global community, can enhance lives. The newest example of real-world experience that joins classroom knowledge with service is Project 701, a separately incorporated nonprofit organization that gives students an opportunity to create, develop, manage and run a wide range of projects. DC students serve on the board of directors along with administrators, faculty and alumni. Management and staff positions are held by students. Interdisciplinary project teams offer a multitude of opportunities for students to lead, learn, and bring about positive change within neighboring communities. The list of Project 701 initiatives is impressive and growing. DC PC Solutions was formed by digital forensic science students to provide computer repair and related services to the local community. Graphic design students started a design studio, Creating Defiance, offering design services to nonprofit organizations and small businesses. Business students involved in Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) have started an effort to provide loans to microbusinesses in Jamaica. The Backpack Buddy program involves numerous community partners to provide backpacks filled with food for scores of area youngsters who qualify to receive much-needed nutrition for themselves and their siblings each weekend. DC students coordinate the logistics of the program, purchasing food and scheduling volunteers to fill the backpacks at St. John United Church of Christ. This fall the newest Project 701 initiative, Defiance Cares Free Clinic, opened its doors. A group of students assembled a collaborative with Mercy Hospital of Defiance, the Defiance Clinic, and Promedica Defiance Regional Hospital to provide a free primary care health clinic. Defiance County residents who are

uninsured or otherwise in need of medical care are eligible for medical services at the monthly clinic. At its first half-day clinic in September, 20 local residents were served, and that number is expected to increase as word of the free service grows. Rachael Lange, junior life science and chemistry major, was a co-manager in the initial stages of the free clinic. Her involvement in the project began “as a way for me to help the community with a growing need and to provide a way for nursing and pre-med students to gain experience,” she says. “It has since grown into something that defines me. … This project has given me an appreciation for everyone around me and has given me hope that even a dream that seems impossible isn’t.” Lange is now executive director of Project 701. Additional Project 701 initiatives are in the planning stages including a fair trade store on campus and a mentoring program for area youth at a local detention center. Project 701 is just one of the numerous initiatives housed under the path-breaking McMaster School for Advancing Humanity. “What a tremendous gift Harold and Helen McMaster and their family gave the College when the McMaster School was created through their generosity back in 2002,” said DC president Mark C. Gordon. The McMaster School is a program that is distinctive among colleges and universities across the country. McMaster gives students opportunities to conduct specially-designed projects around the world. Since its inception, 168 student scholars from all academic divisions have worked with faculty members in Belize, Cambodia, New Orleans, Guatemala, Ireland, Jamaica, and Ghana. “The McMaster Fellows and Scholars Program supports students as they apply their academic expertise in the context of the real world to solve problems and address issues within communities in

need,” said Mary Ann Studer, dean of the McMaster School. “Many of these efforts occur in partnership with communities in the developing world. Once students have had the opportunity to merge traditional knowledge with real world application, they advance their learning exponentially.” Students and faculty work together in learning communities for several months prior to their travel, fine-tuning their projects and preparing themselves for international travel, a first for many. The McMaster learning communities for 2011-12 include Belize, Cambodia and Ghana. Like Kaitlin Studer who made multiple trips to Belize, students participating in McMaster learning communities have transformative experiences. Traveling and working in Third World countries often change the way students understand the world and their place in it. Such experiences can transform ideas of power, privilege and humanity from the abstract to something as tangible as a children’s book about endangered species. Or a microscope.

Dr. Gregg Gunsch provides guidance to students involved in DC PC Solutions, including senior Ilana Goch. Winter 2012  3

Change Lives

Imagine yourself standing in a medical clinic in rural Cambodia. The air is hot, and it is filled with the excitement of the day. The project you have been working on for months is about to be fulfilled. You are here to teach lab technicians how to use microscopes that you have delivered from America. The equipment and training will help them to better diagnose malaria, one of the greatest health problems in Southeast Asia.


rittany Coats has made two trips to Cambodia, continuing the work of previous student scholars to provide muchneeded medical equipment and training. “After going to Cambodia, I realized that my passion was to help college students help the world through research and service, like the McMaster School. Going to Cambodia has helped prepare me for this in getting a better idea about what it’s like in a different part of the world, as well as how to prepare other students in going to a different part of the world.” Learning communities work with McMaster Scholar Brittany Coats demonstrates use of microscopes in Cambodia. partners in the countries they serve. In Cambodia, major partners are the Southeast and used in subsequent years. to real-world issues through service learning Asia Children’s Mercy Fund and the First-aid, water safety and CPR are projects. Each is required to perform a Cambodia Women’s Crisis Center. The lacking in areas of Belize and Cambodia, minimum of 150 service hours each calendar principle Belizean partner is Programme so students have conducted education and year to maintain their scholarship. for Belize as well as the Belize Educational training in recent years. Much work is also Many give their time and talents to local Cooperative, Muffles Junior College, and done in rural schools in these countries, nonprofit agencies and engage in service government schools in San Carlos and St. implementing teacher training modules based opportunities such as managing tutoring Paul’s Bank. During recent projects in New on educational needs. programs, building and/or repairing lowOrleans, students and faculty worked with Students and faculty have worked for income housing, or serving meals to the the New Orleans Family Justice Center, the several years with the Cambodia Women’s homeless or elderly. These students gain University of New Orleans and Southeast Crisis Center, conducting training on nonexperience in planning, organizing and Louisiana University. These alliances ensure violent parenting techniques, sharing microimplementing an in-depth service learning that projects are appropriate and provide lending information for women to develop project or fulfill a significant leadership role. services most needed in their respective basic business skills and business plans, and Their work in the community allows them locations. teaching natural birth control methods with to network with professionals from a wide The projects that students and faculty the Cycle Beads program. spectrum. have undertaken through the McMaster The Service Leadership Program Many Defiance College students are School are often ongoing, with new students at Defiance College has for many years involved in service in smaller doses – through picking up the mantle each recruited students the classroom, an athletic team, or a campus year for successful projects “After going to who have been organization. Numerous classes design that have been well-received involved in civic and carry out service projects. A First Year Cambodia, I realized that on previous trips. Many engagement Experience class hosts a Christmas party each student projects in Belize and my passion was to help during their high December for local children in foster care. Cambodia have focused on school years and Business students prepare tax returns for water testing for contamination, college students help the want to continue elderly and low-income residents and write an ongoing battle in rural areas. world through research that experience in business and marketing plans for local small Depending on the need in college. Service businesses and nonprofits. Students from and service, like the each area, testing is done for Leaders apply various majors volunteer at local elementary substances such as parasites or McMaster School.” their academic and schools, helping youngsters with reading arsenic. Databases are created personal expertise skills. Religion students conduct workshops Brittany Coats ’12


for area pastors and church educators. Criminal justice students assist with security and clean-up at a local festival. Student organizations conduct fund-raisers for local charities. The list goes on and on … Nearly all DC athletic teams conduct service projects, viewing their efforts in part as giving back to a community that supports them. During the 2010-11 academic year, Defiance College student-athletes contributed 2,948 hours of community service. Their service learning projects are many and varied: working with animals at the county Humane Society; cleaning and refurbishing at a community playground and county fairgrounds; helping with Special Olympics; and assisting in proper disposal of hazardous waste material, just to name a few. The DC men’s basketball team was the first Yellow Jacket team to go on an international service trip. In May of this year, the men traveled to Jamaica where they spent several days in the poorest region of the island, painting at a rural high school and playing basketball and soccer with the students. While their work was fulfilling, team members were most affected and inspired by the one-on-one relationships that

develop the professional skills to be successful in the marketplace, but Imagine yourself outside the classrooms of to grow as individuals, and make a high school in a mountainous region of a difference in their communities Jamaica. If you close your eyes, the sounds and in the world. Empowered with the support of the entire college could be in any high school in America. But community, students step out of their these students, in their immaculate blue and comfort zones, see the world beyond white uniforms, come from families living the boundaries of a classroom, and in deep poverty. You know that when school touch it with their own hands. is over, each will walk to a house that is no “What Defiance College is bigger than your bedroom back in the States. providing to communities both local and global is an innovative, intelligent But in this moment, you are laughing with workforce that is well-trained and them, sharing Facebook pages, showing them anxious to partner for positive impact,” how to dribble a basketball. said Mary Ann Studer. “What Defiance College is teaching its students is to recognize the connection between their were built with the Jamaican teen-agers. chosen discipline, their future career, and any of the team members called the the positive impact they have the potential experience “life changing.” Many said to make on humanity. It is the goal of the that the experience caused them to learn more McMaster School, its affiliate programs, about themselves, gaining self-confidence and Defiance College to have our students and leadership skills, making connections graduate from here with a much wider with teens and adults from another culture. view of the world and their place in it as And that is at the heart of the Defiance professionals.”  College mission, to not only help students


The DC men’s basketball team spent a week volunteering at a high school in rural Jamaica. Winter 2012  5


expanding student horizons

Defiance College offers many exciting options for cultural experiences both locally and globally by Kathy Punches ’96, Director of Public Relations and Marketing


tudents at Defiance College are finding more and more opportunities to expand their horizons. Through its Imagine Initiatives, Defiance College is offering many new and exciting options for diverse cultural experiences and domestic and international travel. These learning experiences transcend the classroom, and students are engaged in ways they’ve not previously known. President Mark Gordon notes that the Imagine Initiatives take the insight of

Harold and Helen McMaster and family, the founders of the pioneering McMaster School for Advancing Humanity, and combine it with long-standing Defiance traditions such as winter term “to create an even more expansive world of opportunities for our students.” Defiance College offers students the best of both worlds. Students are attracted to Defiance because of its small size, but many soon find themselves in cosmopolitan places across the continent. Through its cultural arts and humanities project, the College offers diverse cultural experiences via travel to places like Toronto, Chicago, New

York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, and Cincinnati. Many of these trips are already occurring, and some of them follow tradition such as the annual fall trip to Ontario for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, an internationally recognized celebration of Shakespearean theater. Cultural trips during the 2010-11 academic year also included an opera and a performance of Alvin Ailey dance in Detroit, symphony performances of the Cleveland

Top right: Megan Puehler posed with Matt Lauer on the set of the “Today Show” during a DC trip to New York City. Above, business students (from left) Steven Switz, Josh Beaverson, Jordan Stinson, Michelle Schwab, and Charlene Williams visited sites in Cincinnati.


Orchestra in the world-acclaimed Severance Hall, a spring break trip to Manhattan which included a Broadway musical and a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a Civil Rights tour to Memphis, Birmingham, and Montgomery. A group of business students and faculty traveled to Cincinnati where they took a riverboat cruise on the Ohio River and visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Museum. “These experiences truly open the eyes and minds of our students in some pretty incredible ways,” says President Gordon. Faculty members will submit proposals

for these and other trips including DC Edventures and DC Global. DC Edventures is a domestic travel initiative in which students will have an opportunity to travel domestically with faculty members for an enrichment experience related to the student’s major. This program retools the traditional winter term experience for the 21st Century. DC Global, open to entering fulltime freshmen who go on to successfully complete the full four-year program at Defiance College, provides funding to enable each student to have an international travel experience before he or she graduates.

On a 2011 honors trip to Greece, from left: Jordan Heiliger, Kirsten Frissora, Brittany Heaton, Courtney Vaughn, McMaster Dean Mary Ann Studer, Bryant Green, Brittany Coats and Thomas Studer.

Student travel experiences are expected to include opportunities such as trips designed by faculty in a student’s major, international service projects through the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity, travel with the Honors program or with a DC sports team, and scholarship support to help defray travel costs for a summer study abroad program. “The possibilities are endless,” said President Gordon. “For example, imagine the ways that Defiance students will benefit from being able to conduct research in tropical countries, meeting with business leaders in different European capitals, seeing first-hand different countries’ approaches to education, law enforcement, or sport management, and much more. Our students can truly have a distinctive Defiance Resume which can help them to stand out in the job market and in applying to graduate school.” Lynn Haller, a senior from Antwerp, Ohio, already knows firsthand the benefits gained from an international experience. She has traveled to Western Europe through the College’s Carolyn M. Small Honors Program. “I gained valuable skills traveling internationally and working as part of a team,” she said. “It helped prepare me for a career in the business world. I learned to adapt and interact with people from different cultural backgrounds, something that is discussed in class but has greater meaning when it’s experienced in real life.” 

The McMaster School welcomes some special guests At the invitation of President Gordon, Ivan Gillett, ranger for the Programme for Belize, spent a week at Defiance College, meeting with DC students and faculty who would be traveling to Belize in December, and reuniting with students who worked with him on earlier Belize trips. The Rio Bravo Conservation Management Area and surrounding communities in Belize have been the site of McMaster School projects for the past seven years. Gillett has been the school’s guide and partner during all of those trips, but this was his first visit to Defiance. While in Defiance, Gillett also had the opportunity to meet with Helen McMaster and her daughter, Jeanine Dunn, who along with Harold McMaster and Jeanine’s brothers and sister provided the funding for creation of the McMaster School in 2002. The school serves as a focal point for teaching, service, scholarship and action to improve the human condition worldwide. During a reception hosted by President Gordon, Helen McMaster was presented with a framed picture signed by current McMaster Scholar students.

Winter 2012  7

project 701

Project 701

is making an impact

The program has only been in existence a short time, but it continues to change lives in the Defiance community by Debbie Richard ‘02, ‘04 Assistant Director of Marketing


roject 701, a separate legal entity, incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio and run by a Board of Directors comprised of DC students, faculty, administrators, and alumni, and administered as part of the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity, had a great start during the 2010-11 academic year and there are lots of exciting things planned for the future. From expansions in the Backpack Buddy project to the first Defiance Cares Free Clinic event, Project 701 is making an impact on our communities. New projects are in the works, and we expect to see even more exciting projects launching this year.

Defiance Cares Free Clinic

Co-managers: Brittany Coats (senior) and Kirsten Frissora (sophomore) A year in the making, the Defiance Cares Free Clinic along with project partners Mercy Hospital of Defiance, Defiance Clinic and ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital held their first health clinic in mid-September providing free primary to people in the Defiance area. It was a great success with more than 20 families receiving care during the one-day event. The event will continue to be held on the third Saturday of each month 9 a.m. – 12 noon.

Organizers of the Defiance Cares Free Clinic include, from left: Mollee Galloway, project assistant manager; Kirsten Frissora, project manager; Dr. Paul Brose, Defiance Clinic; Deb Bowers, Mercy Hospital; Diane Simon, ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital.


Members of the Defiance College community assist with the Backpack Buddy project. “It’s amazing to see how all of our hard work, with the help of the project team and the teams of both hospitals, has turned out in such a positive way,” said former project manager Rachael Lange. “It’s great to be able to bring together all three hospitals for a great cause and be able to work so closely with them, fellow students, and the faculty of Defiance College to get this project started.” The group is now reviewing the results of the initial clinics and making changes and improvements for future clinics. The project managers are also beginning to implement a job shadowing program which will allow nursing, pre-med, athletic training, and social work students to shadow professionals at the clinic. Co-manager Brittany Coats, who has worked on the project for over a year, is pleased to be part of the first clinic and feels “it’s quite a feat, but it has been nothing but an absolutely amazing experience. I’ve learned and gained so much - from being a leader to our team members, meeting with various reps from different community organizations, working with the CEOs of our community partners, as well as planning, communication, and organization.”

Backpack Buddy

Co-managers: Courtney Swabb (senior) and Aubrie Ridinger (senior) The Backpack Buddy program was started with a $100,000 grant from the ProMedica Fund through the United Way of Defiance County. Weekly, the participants/volunteers packed over 200 backpacks in order to provide more than 400 free lunch eligible students at Defiance Elementary School with supplemental food for weekends and holiday breaks. Co-manager Courtney Swabb said, “This program has allowed students, staff, and community members from varying backgrounds to come together for one common cause. It takes programs of this nature years to gain the support that we have after just one year.”

This year, the project will be helping even more students with the assistance of a new grant which will allow them to expand to area schools across Defiance County including Defiance, Hicksville, Fairview, Noble, Tinora and Ayersville. The project managers plan to add a larger variety of foods to the menu and use a database created by DC math majors to track the inventory of food as well as place orders for food each week. DC students also work with principals, counselors, and teachers to ensure that the program is benefitting the recipients and recruit from the campus and the community to help pack backpacks. “We’ve had a lot of fun with the program, and it has been really rewarding to see that we’re making a difference for the students. Every Friday, they have smiles on their faces when they get their backpacks, and that’s what makes the program priceless,” said Aubrie Ridinger, co-manager.


Co-managers: Gene Snyder (senior) and Brandan Geise (senior) The Defiance College Personal Computer Solutions (DCPC), made up of digital forensic science majors, helped nearly 25 people with their computer issues and repairs just from February to May last spring. Services completed by DCPC are funded through donations. Project managers want to use DCPC profits to purchase new or refurbished computers to give to community members who can’t afford a home computer. This will take several semesters to accomplish. DCPC began servicing computers again in September. “We hope to pick up where we left off seamlessly last semester and help as many people as possible,” said co-manager Gene Snyder. “Helping people who cannot afford to pay a computer shop when they have a problem is our ultimate goal.” To contact DCPC, call 419-783-2596 or dcpc@ Winter 2012  9

Project 701

Micro-lending project

Managers – SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) DC’s SIFE, working through the American Caribbean Experience agency, has chosen a small business to offer its first micro-loan in Jamaica. Micro-loans are designed specifically to help a person realize a dream of owning a small business. However, the loans could also be used to help an already established small business owner expand, such as adding inventory or equipment. Anyone interested in receiving a micro-loan submits an application and goes through a series of interviews to determine if the idea can be done and if it can turn a profit so that the owner can pay back the loan. Typically these types of loans are paid back over two to five years. The first microloan by SIFE was extended to a Jamaican woman named Lorna. Lorna B. lives in Islington, Jamaica, and works at a local grocery six days a week to support her family of three very smart daughters. Her loan of $500 was used to build a chicken coop to get her chicken business started. In the future, Lorna would like to add a freezer to help store extra meat and start a slow-drip irrigation farm. Her small business is supported by her daughters, especially her oldest who hopes to earn a degree in business or marketing. To date, Project 701 micro-lending project has extended a total of three loans and all are on schedule with their repayments.

2011 Dance Marathon

Dance Marathon

Manager: Emma Starks (senior) Defiance College Dance Marathon is a 12-hour student-run event that is going into its fourth year. During DC’s dance marathon, students not only dance, they enjoy inflatables, play games, and participate in the many activities that are held throughout the event. In the first three years, the annual event has collectively raised more than $10,500 for the Children’s Miracle Network supporting Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo. This year the team hopes to raise at least $4,000 for the hospital. Heather Bradshaw, 2011 Dance Marathon co-manager, said her favorite part of dance marathon was “when local families come and share their personal miracle stories. It gives the participants a reason to stand for the whole 12 hours. Dance Marathon is not only a fun event, but heart fulfilling to know that students are standing for a child who can’t.”

DC International Fair Trade outlet Manager: Brittany Michaels (senior)

DC’s International Fair Trade outlet plans to continue to create a business plan and finalize connections with various countries that will be trading partners. Connections they are interested in making are in Belize, Cambodia and Ghana. The Fair Trade project will be holding several fundraisers on campus to fund the purchases for the store when it is ready to launch. One of the fundraisers planned is inviting Ten Thousand Villages back to DC, for which the Fair Trade project will receive 10 percent of sales.

Lorna B., recipient of a micro-loan.


President Gordon notes that this project grew out of both student suggestions and the recommendations of Helen McMaster who urged DC to find a way to help local crafts people and entrepreneurs in developing countries establish more global markets. 


moving forward - giving back Five recent alums share how Defiance College helped to prepare them for their futures

By Michele Tinker, Director of Annual Giving


hether it was a defining moment in

class, a transformational experience off-campus, or the opportunity to grow in a new learning environment, alumni frequently share the impact that Defiance College had on their future. Defiance College Magazine recently heard from these young alumni just how the spirit of DC continues to help them make a difference in their careers and in their communities.


Todd and Shanna Wenninger and Kenna

odd Wenninger, ’02, credits a DC service trip with planting the seeds for his future career. Todd is the missions director for Haiti at CSI (Christian Service International) Ministries, headquartered in Muncie, Indiana. CSI Ministries partners with established churches and organizations in national and international missions. During his time at Defiance College, Todd was a Presidential Service Leader for three years, which had a great impact on his life. “Having been a part of annual service trips to Washington, D.C. and New York City the previous two years, I was thrilled to participate in my first international mission in December of 2001. It was then that I and 15 or so of my classmates and faculty members - travelled to Jamaica to serve with Christian Service International (CSI) Ministries,” Todd related. “My experience in Jamaica was so profound that I immediately made plans to return during my spring break in March of 2002. To say the least, I was deeply touched.” Immediately following graduation, Todd worked at Enterprise and was involved in short-term mission trips through his

local church. He settled in Muncie and got married. A year later, Todd and Shanna had a baby boy, John, who, sadly, died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Through grieving and understanding what his faith was, Todd came to reconnect with CSI Ministries. In April 2010, he joined the staff as missions director for Haiti. “I am thankful for the first time in my career to actually be living out my faith through my work,” said Todd. He calls his work challenging and fulfilling at the same time. In the past year, he has traveled to Haiti three times. “There is such great need in Haiti. It’s difficult to identify which needs demand the most priority.” The Wenningers are now the parents of a little girl, Kenna. Shanna is finishing her doctorate in school psychology and working part-time with a facility that assists troubled kids. They have come to love the Muncie area and have just purchased their first house. Todd summed up his DC experience: “I will forever be in debt to those staff and faculty members - and fellow classmates - that challenged and encouraged me in my service to others during those very impressionable years of my life.” Winter 2012  11



amile Tucker ’07 has the distinction of being DC’s first International Student Scholarship recipient. This young woman from Jamaica had never left her island home before her trip to the states to attend Defiance College. Now she is a student at Hofstra University School of Law in New York. Camile has just completed an internship at the legal department of New York City Administration for Children’s Services which is charged with protecting New York City’s children from abuse and neglect. The legal department works with the investigation and the prosecution of abuse and neglect cases, working in the best interest of the child. This has been a great internship for Camile, involving her in all aspects of the department’s work: interviewing case workers, filing complaints, and reviewing investigative reports. She has had experience interviewing witnesses and preparing them for trial, along with general research and preparing documents for discovery. “I am getting a lot of litigation experience, seeing things from start to finish,” Camile reported. Although she is leaning towards family law, Camile is also interested in immigration, property and criminal law. Even in high school, Camile had her heart set on being an attorney. “It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do,” she said. Coming into a strange country had its challenges, but Camile appreciated the great support system at Defiance, with her studies and helping her adjust culturally. As a service leader, she returned to Jamaica with a DC group to build a house for a family, and she traveled to New Orleans twice - before and after Hurricane Katrina. She remembers the shock she felt at seeing devastation and poverty at this level in the United States, but she felt she was better able to adjust to it than her peers, because of her exposure to poverty in Jamaica. Comparing the two trip locations, Camile told how, in Jamaica, you felt like you were truly accomplishing something, while in New Orleans, “the need was so huge, the difference we were making seemed so small.” What Camile feels she really learned at DC was how to give back. “There were so many opportunities to do this and it helped make me a better student and a better person,” she believes. She plans to take what she learned at Defiance forward into her career and her personal life. “Whatever path I go on, I will always want to make a difference.”



Camile Tucker

,I path I go on r e v te a h W “ ant to make will always w .” a difference

r ’07

Camile Tucke

“I’m loo king for ward to helping other st udents achieve their dre ams, to o.” Austin K



Austin Kleman

ustin Kleman ’10 is currently attending Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Although he describes vet school as tough and challenging, he finished his first year with a 3.977 GPA after getting through several anatomy classes and two systems courses – neurobiology and endocrinology. Austin is living right in the heart of Columbus now, which makes him miss the small-town feel of DC. “There are a lot more options (in Columbus) as to where to eat, where to shop, what to do – but it‘s not as personal,” he explains, even at the vet school where he is in a class of 140 (and one of just 22 men in the class). While at DC, Austin participated in service trips to Jamaica and Belize. He was asked about his Belize trip in his OSU interview for vet school. He thinks his unique experience there made an impact on the interviewers. “I honestly think that’s why I got in. Both trips opened my eyes - even as far as the animals - their roles in the culture and how they are treated. It wasn’t a tourist experience,” Austin states. Austin was also involved in Defiance College’s Hench Autism Studies Program, working with students in the on-campus public classroom and acting as a mentor. This was another topic in his vet school interview. “They were pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t just an animal person.” His involvement with the Hench Autism Studies Program was so positive, that for the past three summers, Austin has returned to the DC campus to work at the summer autism camp, even turning down the chance for veterinary work this year to participate. At the camp, Austin worked as media director, helping students film and edit their own original films. He is now on the Defiance College pre-vet advisory board, along with veterinarians from all around the country. The advisory board will work to make sure DC students are well prepared for admission to vet school. “I’m looking forward to helping other students achieve their dreams, too,” Austin said.

Would you expect to find two Defiance College graduates working for the same organization in a far-flung location such as Kansas? The Kansas Bureau of Investigation can boast of having two Yellow Jackets in its employ, each making her way there on her own.


riginally from Springfield, Ohio, Jessica Banks Kaiser ’05 joined KBI in February 2006. Her title is forensic scientist III and she works as a chemist in the KBI western satellite laboratory in Great Bend. Jessica’s primary responsibilities include analyzing controlled substances, looking for drugs and up-and-coming (designer) drugs such as synthetic marijuana. As a chemist, there is also the possibility to test for arson evidence and suspected methamphetamine lab items. Methamphetamine production has been a large problem in Kansas, but Jessica reports that strict enforcement is working to control the problem. As part of her position, she is often called by the several courts the KBI works with to testify on her findings. While at Defiance, Jessica was involved with the Campus Activities Board and Student Senate. She credits these activities with helping her learn Jessica (Banks) Kaiser how to organize events and to be able to handle herself when speaking to groups of people. “That was a big help in feeling comfortable in interview situations,” Jessica stated. She was also involved in the DC Ecology Club, where they had a number of service hours to complete. “I brought that with me to where I work now,” she added, referring to the worksite recycling program she started at the KBI’s satellite lab. Thinking back to all her time in Tenzer Hall, Jessica believes she received a great background in science. That solid foundation, along with her criminal justice classes, has made her comfortable in the KBI. “Now I can tell how forensic programs have developed when I sit in on interviews with prospective employees.” In June 2010, Jessica married Eric Kaiser, who works as manager of an oilfield parts distributor. She and Eric live in Great Bend, Kansas. “It’s smaller than Defiance, and it has those Midwestern values that most of Ohio has. It’s been so hot and so windy, I don’t know if you ever get used to that, but it’s not humid. My only complaint is I am very far from my family,” she said. Outside work, Jessica can frequently be found at the local gym where she teaches aerobics and just finished her personal trainer certification. Eric is very involved in recreational sports, and she spends a lot of time cheering him on as well.

Amanda Misencik


manda Misencik ’07 is the second DC alumna working at the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, as a forensic scientist. The agency is under the auspices of the Attorney General, and Amanda began working there in November 2010. “I work in the biology section,” Amanda explained, “and right now, I am finishing the initial portion of my training where I work on cases under the direction of another scientist.” Once working on her own, Amanda will be screening cases for the presence of biological fluids and selecting samples to move on to DNA testing. Additionally, she started DNA training this fall. As a service leader her four years at Defiance College, Amanda went on two trips to Biloxi, Mississippi, and one trip to Jamaica. The second trip to Biloxi was after Hurricane Katrina, where the students experienced firsthand the devastation the area sustained. In Jamaica, the service leaders built a house for a family, what she called an eye-opening experience. “Some people go on vacations to Jamaica. I was exposed to orphanages and areas of poverty. I have a different perception of the country,” Amanda stated, adding that she credits these experiences for having a huge impact in forming who she is as a person today. When she attended Virginia Commonwealth University for graduate studies, she found that Defiance College had prepared her well for graduate coursework. In studying for a career in forensic science, Amanda had already taken biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology at DC. She did not have to worry about fitting these courses, required for a position as a DNA examiner, into her graduate schedule. She also felt DC’s senior capstone requirement helped her gain experience in presenting scientific results. Originally from Willoughby, Ohio, she is often asked how she likes Kansas. Amanda has found it to be an adjustment, but she’s learning her way around Topeka, and has gotten involved in the area: volunteering at an Iron Man Triathlon in Lawrence, joining the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., and finding unique places to photograph, a favorite hobby. She likes to tell people that Defiance College helped her prepare for taking a job in Kansas another way: “At DC, I was surrounded by farms and corn fields.”  Winter 2012  13


10 minutes with Dr. Barbara Schirmer

From New York City to Defiance College, get to know the new provost and vice president for academic affairs by Debbie Richard ‘02, ‘04 Assistant Director of Marketing


efiance College officially welcomed Dr. Barbara Schirmer to campus on July 1 to the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs. However, Dr. Schirmer had already become a familiar figure on campus with her frequent visits to get to know DC better. Dr. Schirmer came to Defiance from the University of Detroit Mercy where she served over the past seven years in the roles of professor, vice president for academic affairs, student affairs, and provost and special assistant to the president. Among many other accomplishments, she has also served as Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Professional Studies at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, Chair of the Department of Educational Foundations and Special Services at Kent State University, and Dean of the School of Education and Allied Professions at Miami University. An announcement of her appointment and a comprehensive list of her accomplishments appeared in the previous issue of the Defiance College Magazine. To get to know her better, we asked Dr. Schirmer a few questions for this edition of the magazine.


We know you came to DC from Detroit. Is that where you grew up? I grew up in New York City, where we lived in a three-room apartment in the Bronx. My brother and I shared a bedroom, and my parents slept on a pull-out couch in the living room. It was on the fourth floor and there was no elevator in the building. I have no idea how my mother carried a baby and groceries up and down the stairs, let alone the laundry as the washers were in the basement. When I was seven, we moved into a house we shared with my grandparents in White Plains. A few years later, we moved into an apartment, which is where we lived when I graduated from high school. What drew you to education as a profession, and specifically, to higher education? I always wanted to be a teacher and would play-act at teaching with my dolls when I was little. In college, I majored in elementary education and planned to be a classroom teacher. My junior year, we visited a variety of programs for children with disabilities. I was particularly interested in St. Mary’s School for the Deaf because my maternal grandmother was deaf and the person who guided us through the school said that deaf children were the hardest to teach because of their challenges with learning English. So, with my dad’s urging that I get my master’s degree in mind, I decided to pursue a master’s in teaching deaf and hard of hearing children. I never thought about higher education until I was involved in a research study conducted by a doctoral student from the University of Massachusetts with my class of deaf and aphasic children at the Boston School for the Deaf. So when we moved to Buffalo, I decided that pursuing my doctorate would help answer the many questions I had about how best to teach deaf children to read and write. I didn’t start thinking about how I was going to apply this information to a real job until I was close to finishing my doctorate. At that point, I realized I wanted to share what I’d learned with students who were studying to be teachers of deaf and hard of hearing children. What attracted you to Defiance College? At DC, I saw an institution with a mission and values which resonate with me of providing an excellent student-centered education that prepares students to be knowledgeable and contributing citizens of a global society.

Dr. Schirmer talks with Charlene Williams, Admissions graduate assistant.

Since you’ve had time to get acquainted with DC, what are some of your initial impressions? It has been very clear to me how dedicated everyone here at DC is. Though individuals may have differences about what needs to be done or how something should be done, I see an underlying agreement about working in the best interests of the college. I also have realized how many hats everyone wears not only because there is so much to be done but also, I think, because as a small community, each person can make an impact on many facets of life within and outside the college. You have a passion for working with a special needs school in Detroit. Do you mind telling us about it? I’m always delighted to talk about my work with the teachers and students at the Michigan School for the Deaf, which is in Flint. Since 2005, I have been assisting them with their literacy curriculum. As the major struggle for deaf students is with reading and writing, implementing high quality literacy instruction is the highest priority for educational programs. As I am fairly well known internationally for my research

on strategies for teaching literacy to deaf students, the teachers contacted me shortly after I came to Michigan. Throughout the last several years, we have implemented new curriculum, assessed outcomes, and conducted research on the effectiveness of the approaches. What interests do you and your husband have beyond those related to work? Our family, of course, is our major interest including our daughter and son, their spouses, and our three grandchildren. Much of our travel is to visit our children as our son lives in San Francisco and our daughter lives in Princeton Junction, New Jersey. When we do travel for pleasure, it is usually to another country or to spend a week at the ocean. When we’re home, we like to go out for a quiet dinner and when the weather is nice, to play golf. 

Winter 2012  15



for first-generation students DC was the only college in Ohio to receive a grant to strengthen programs aimed at first-generation students by Debbie Richard, ’02, ’04, Assistant Director of Marketing


n 2010, Defiance College was one of thirty colleges and universities - and the only one in Ohio – to receive a $50,000 grant from the Council of Independent Colleges and the Walmart Foundation’s Walmart College Success Awards. The grant was given in support of strengthening programs and support for first-generation students. According to a survey given to firstyear students, almost half of students entering their freshman year at Defiance College consider themselves first-generation students. Studies show that first-generation students frequently face transition issues with college different than those of non-first generation students. Many colleges, including Defiance, have services available to help students succeed. Services at DC include the First Year Experience program, Academic Resource Center, Pilgrim Library, offices of student life and career development, and the Partnership for Jobs program. One of the initiatives put into place with the grant funding was the creation of the Connections Program. Twenty-six freshmen participated in the program in the academic year. During the inaugural year, they were placed in groups of five with a peer mentor and staff mentor. The groups met monthly to discuss various topics including transitioning to college, building a strong foundation with a network of resources, and time management. The students also met with their staff mentor at midterm and at the conclusion of each semester. “The DC Connections Program focuses on five critical components of college adjustment: basic college knowledge, social integration, academic self-confidence, major and career exploration, and leadership development,” said Randi Lydum, program


coordinator and director of student retention and First Year Experience. “We address these areas in small groups so students feel comfortable discussing issues and sharing personal experiences.” “Any freshman going to college feels a sense of anxiety because they’re moving away from home, they’re completely in charge of their lives, and they’re starting over,” said Kim Comden, a junior majoring in wellness and corporate fitness and a Connections Program peer leader. “The Connections Program helps incoming freshmen address those anxieties by offering guidance and relationships with faculty, staff and older students. This allows each freshman to enjoy their new lives at Defiance College and make every year count.” The goal of the group is for the students to make as many connections on campus as possible. Because first-generation students are motivated toward the end - meaning they are looking toward graduating with a degree that will get them a job - learning to network is important for their future goals. By being placed into small groups, students have peers that they can relate to and someone they can

go to when they have questions or need help. “As a first-generation student and being a part of the Connections Program, it has allowed me to make good connections with the faculty and staff of Defiance College,” said Cord Speelman, now a sophomore majoring in business administration with a marketing concentration. “Also, it helped me with my time management skills and to excel in my classes. If I was an incoming firstgeneration student again, I would not hesitate to join this program.” Chelsea Ludeman, a sophomore majoring in sport management, also agreed that “the Connections Program is a good way to help students succeed through the stresses of college, as well as setting up students to excel in the classroom and in other aspects of college.” A new group of first-generation freshmen has joined the program for the 2011-12 school year. The program encompasses many of the characteristics from the previous year, with more social events, speakers, and more frequent meetings as recommended by the previous year’s Connections Program students. 

give back to support the future

Matt Gilroy ’02 believes it is every alum’s responsibility to give back to Defiance College by Michele Tinker, Director of Annual Giving


believe it is the responsibility of every alumnus to give back to an organization that has been influential in your life on a personal and professional level.” For Matt Gilroy ’02, that organization is Defiance College. Following graduation, Matt did a two-year stint in Columbus, working for a recruiting firm. He found his way back to Defiance in 2003 and has been with ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital for five years, where he is executive director of the hospital’s Foundation. He has been active with the college as a volunteer during this time. For three years, Matt served as a member of the Alumni Executive Board, an experience he says he highly enjoyed. He just stepped down from AEB, due to family responsibilities. Matt is also a member of DC’s Business Department national advisory board, and has been since its inception. The national advisory boards were created by President Mark Gordon, in an effort to assure that each area of study incorporates the skills the job market is seeking in its newest graduates. Professionals in different fields provide real-time and real-world advice to the academic departments in the development of curricula that meets the needs of the business world. In turn, representatives of the college share with the advisory boards what students are doing, focusing on internships, hands on learning experiences that link the classroom and the real world, international travel, service learning, and the program side of curriculum and projects such as Project 701.

Matt called this a great committee, noting that several highly regarded national companies are represented. “This brings considerable clout to the college in terms of national and international companies recognizing what the college is producing.” Matt emphasized. A lot of the discussion has focused on international studies and the importance of the global marketplace. Virtually all the members of the advisory board have made statements about the necessity for learning experiences outside the classroom.

Matt has also participated in the Personal Success Plan sessions held with first year students during orientation. He appreciates being able to meet the incoming students and enjoys his part in guiding them through what the college experience will be, helping them figure out what their concerns are and what their goals are for their first year. “I remember those days, worrying about what college would be like,” Matt says, and he adds that he also uses it as a great way to help students know what the Defiance community has to offer. He’s also provided internships in the foundation’s office for marketing and communications students, which have been “very successful,” he reports. “I had a terrific experience in my college years…I believe as an alumnus, it is my responsibility to give back to the college – not only financially but also in supporting the students, as I received support.” He named people who were influential in his college career – his roommate Tim Meienburg, his advisor Jerry Hayes. “Everyone from Lou Joost at the information desk to President Harris,” he adds. Matt related how, after the campus newspaper, The Defender, had done a glowing report on campus improvements, he wrote a letter to the editor describing how awful the potholes were in the student parking lot. The next day, he received a call saying President Harris wanted to speak to him. “You’re right,” Jim Harris told Matt. “We’ll take care of it.” This recognition of his voice as a student made a big difference in how Matt viewed the college. To his fellow alumni, Matt issues a challenge: “Somebody gave to the college to help you – now it’s your turn.”  Winter 2012  17



the possibilities at homecoming Take a look back at a successful Homecoming 2011


edication of the new George M. Smart Athletic Center highlighted this year’s Defiance College homecoming festivities. It was a week of celebration with many alumni groups returning to campus to reminisce about the past and share in the excitement of today’s DC. From recognition of alumni accomplishments to the first glimpses of a much-anticipated field house, there was plenty to celebrate! Receiving 2011 Alumni Achievement Awards were: Joe Dawson, class of 1950; John McHugh, class of 1965; Shaune Skinner, class of 1975; Daniel “Doc” Daugherty, class of 1974; and Ron Ehresman, class of 1965. Maggie Maloy, class of 2001, was the Young Alumni Service Award recipient. Hall of Fame inductees included Tammy Lee Parker, class of 1987; Walter Richard Turner, class of 1982; Stanley J. Meinen, class of 1985 and Jeff Boulton, class of 1984. Also honored as Schauffler Legacy Award winners were Carol Smerz, CEO of South Community, Inc. and Margaret Mills, chair of the Defiance College Schauffler Advisory Board and combined staff member of Eastern Ohio Association and Western Reserve Association. DC seniors Tara Miller and Joemese Scott were crowned this year’s Homecoming queen and king.


Winter 2012 ď ľ 19


dedicated and opening soon

The new George M. Smart Athletic Center is officially dedicated at Homecoming by Debbie Richard, ’02, ’04, Assistant Director of Marketing


efiance College dedicated its new 84,411-square-foot field house during Homecoming weekend and officially named it the George M. Smart Athletic Center. Smart, a 1967 graduate of Defiance College, serves on the board of trustees and is chairman of the capital campaign that has raised over $4 million for the field house. “One of the first things I heard about when I came to Defiance was the proposed field house for the college. This is a longawaited dream, and we are now just a short

time away from opening our new George M. Smart Athletic Center,” said DC President Mark C. Gordon during the dedication ceremony. “The construction of this facility is ultimately thanks to all who donated to the project and especially thanks to the true heroes of the project: George Smart, Dick Small, Randy Buchman and Duane Hocking.” The new athletic center is 40 feet high at the center of the indoor peak, and includes an NCAA regulation 200 meter indoor track and a multi-purpose floor inside the track that will accommodate tennis, volleyball and basketball courts. The facility will also include an athletic training room, weight

room, locker area, offices, and the relocated fitness center which will continue to be a dual partnership with the Defiance Area YMCA. “I believe this athletic center will be very important to the College’s future,” said Smart. “It will be a terrific facility for all students to use including athletic teams, intramural teams, and individuals.” Smart is the chairman of the board of FirstEnergy Corporation and vice chair of the board of trustees of Defiance College as well as chairman of the College’s capital campaign, The Transforming Difference: A Campaign to Defy the Ordinary. Smart and his wife, Sandy, have been instrumental in helping the College reach the field house campaign goal. Additionally, during the ceremony several other features of the Athletic Center were named to honor people whose careers at DC have impacted the lives of countless students. The track was named the Richard M. and Carolyn M. Small Track; the fitness center will be called the Randall L. and Marilyn A. Buchman Fitness Center; and the student training room will be called the Duane C. Hocking Training Room. These individuals have also been instrumental in raising funds for the facility and in mentoring, teaching and coaching generations of DC students. 

In top photos, DC cheerleaders and student-athletes take part in the field house dedication. At left, President Gordon recognizes George Smart.



for art and education Professor Steve Smith retires in May after serving as a faculty member for 30 years

Steve Smith receives Professor Emeritus status at commencement in May.


teve Smith, a member of the Defiance College faculty for 30 years, retired in May and received the rank of Professor Emeritus. While his roots remained in Northwest Ohio, his passion for art and education took him around the globe. Smith arrived on the DC campus in 1981 as an instructor of art and rose to the rank of full professor. In 2005, he was chosen by his peers as that year’s Distinguished Faculty recipient. In addition to his achievements in the classroom, Smith has also been recognized

as an outstanding artist and craftsman at the local, regional and national levels. He is best known as a sculptor of clay, steel and stone. It was always important to Smith that he carry on the lessons taught to him by his high school art instructor who introduced him not only to the visual world of art but to the human side. In the classroom and the studio, Smith has had the ability to motivate students to think beyond the superficial, to reach for a higher level of mastery in a skill or concept, and to develop a necessary work ethic. As a child, Smith wanted to be an

archeologist. As an adolescent, his interest was in mechanical things, and as a young adult he became interested in politics and religion and their impact on culture. “My work is a balance of these – a love of the past, finding a material or technique to tell the story of a culture, real or makebelieve,” he said. He sees art as an avenue to change the world, to be of service to others. Thus, he took his skills and passion to far places, to Europe, Israel and Belize – always teaching and always learning. He also traveled to Chile where he gave technical training to the staff of a cultural arts center to teach indigenous potters to produce pottery for sale. Smith worked for more than 20 years with Ohio Designer Craftsmen and the Ohio Craft Museum, pushing his mission to a state and regional level. He often took high school and college students to the Functional Ceramics workshop in Wooster, Ohio, not only bringing students in contact with some of the international pottery community’s best artists, but allowing them to start building friendships and networks from which they would benefit their whole lives. On campus, Smith threw hundreds of bowls for Empty Bowls, an annual popular event sponsored by the college’s Social Work Organization to raise funds for the PATH Center, a local homeless shelter. The citation presented to Smith at this year’s commencement ceremony read in part: “You are both a leader in your field and a humble servant. You do not place yourself above others but allow yourself to gain insight from them, thereby creating a network of partners. Most importantly, you build partnerships that last. You have filled many ‘empty bowls’ that have remained full.”  Winter 2012  21

In Memory

in memory

of DC faculty members, TRUSTEE


ach generation of Defiance College students has individuals that touch their lives. Over the past several months, the College has learned of the deaths of four former faculty members, a current band director, and a trustee.

Noreen Schaefer-Faix

Dr. Noreen Schaefer-Faix


Former faculty member Dr. Noreen Schaefer-Faix died June 16 at her home in Defiance. Just before she died she was planning on gathering a group of friends to celebrate life even in the midst of her struggle with the cancer that was overtaking her. She was insistent that people talk generously toward one another and find the good in each moment. Schaefer-Faix arrived at Defiance College in 1997 and taught here until 2010. She earned a Ph.D. in communication studies from Kent State University, a master’s degree from John Carroll University, and a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Kent State University. She taught from kindergarten to higher education and held permanent Ohio certificates in several fields. She loved to travel and had visited Japan, Europe, China, and all 50 states. She is survived by her children, Honora Handley of Atlanta, Eileen Slattery of Denver, and Phillip (Tripp) Faix III of San Francisco; four grandchildren; and a sister, Joan Zallnick. A funeral mass was held June 21 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and she was buried in Euclid, Ohio.

Henry Diehl

Professor Emeritus Henry Diehl, died July 17 at CHP Defiance Area In-Patient Hospice Center. The past 18 years since his “retirement” from DC, Diehl had a tremendous impact on Defiance by his insistence that people be involved and active. As an example, two of his ongoing passions were the local annual CROP Walk, which was held in his name this year, and his continued efforts to keep before his friends, neighbors, church, and this campus the ongoing genocide in Darfur which gets lost in the news cycles. Henry’s life fully exemplified the spirit of service and its vital importance to a community and the world. A native of Springfield, Ohio, Diehl earned a bachelor of arts degree in math from Oberlin College and a master’s degree at Ohio State University. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War before returning to OSU to work on a doctorate. It was at OSU that he met his future wife, Johanna. The couple married, and Henry accepted a position at Southern Union College, and later, at Wittenberg University. In 1962, the couple and two young sons headed to Ghana as missionaries. Following is an excerpt, reprinted with permission, from the eulogy delivered by the Rev. Dr. William Nirote at Henry’s funeral: When the family arrived at their destination in Ghana, they were met with a live chicken as a welcome gift. Jo prepared the chicken but the boys would not eat it. For the family, the daily lunch was rice with whatever else Jo could find to put in it. Henry would teach at the Mawuli School, a secondary sixth form school. Henry would also be the house father for students living at the Wilberforce House. The students at

Henry Diehl the Wilberforce House affectionately called Henry, “Uncle Henry,” and occasionally so did Henry’s sons. As the house father Henry would lead a prayer group and guide the young boys when they had problems. One mother was so appreciative of Henry’s work with her son, she walked for miles to give to Henry and Jo three tiny eggs she carried in her hand. One of Henry’s proudest accomplishments was when his students took the entrance exam to get into the university. Every student passed the entrance exam. Henry always wanted a daughter and so he and Jo had another son Kwasi in 1963, and another son Kwame in 1966, and finally, Debra in 1968. Jo said, “That’s it!” Henry and Jo’s mission assignment was supposed to be three years and then they would return to the United States. Henry spent those first three years teaching. He was invited to return to Ghana in a new position as a liaison between the church, the mission, and the government of Ghana. Henry and Jo and their five children made the journey back to Ghana. In Ghana, Henry loved the culture of drumming and dancing. He didn’t have to compete academically with the “publish or perish” mind set. He loved the week-long Easter celebration and Easter caroling. He loved the people and made many friends. He loved traveling and took the family on a cruise and went on a trip to Timbuktu with some friends. Henry left Africa, but Africa never left Henry.

The Diehls arrived in Defiance in 1969 with Henry’s appointment as a mathematics professor. He was active on campus, in the community, and at St. John United Church of Christ. He served with CROP, the Heifer Project, the Overground Railroad, the UCC Board for World Ministries, the Defiance Democratic Central Committee, and the Northwest Ohio Community Action Commission. He is survived by his wife, Johanna; daughter, Debra (Peter) Lenhart of Defiance; sons, Gregory (Laurel) of Watertown, Mass., Kwame (Amanda) of Juneau, Alaska, and Kwasi of Eugene, Oregon; 12 grandchildren; and sister-inlaw, Jean Diehl. He was preceded in death by a son, Steve, and brother, Warren.

Bill Curtis

Bill Curtis, director of the College’s theater and instructor of speech and theater from 1966 to 1974, died Aug. 14 at his home in South Carolina. Curtis was recently honored by a group of his former DC students who made possible the refurbishing of a Bible that had been retrieved from the rubble of the Defiance Hall fire in the 1960s. The Bible is back in Defiance Hall with a plaque commemorating Curtis’s impact on those students’ lives. In addition to teaching theater and speech classes at Defiance, Curtis directed more than 40 shows at the College sharing his knowledge and love of the arts to new generations of eager young thespians. Professor Curtis directed summer stock at a repertory theater on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in 1968 and 1969 and directed municipal outdoor pageants throughout the South and the Midwest. He performed in more than 70 productions in summer stock, community theater, film, commercials, television, and at the university level. He was a prolific writer for stage, television and radio, including for the ABC drama “Family,” produced by Leonard Goldberg, Aaron Spelling, and Mike Nichols. Curtis’s magnum opus, “Lester Sims Retires Tomorrow,” premiered to rave reviews at the Melrose Theatre in North Hollywood, California, in 1980, and starred George Murdock and Jennifer Rhodes. The play won the LA Weekly Award for Best New Play of 1981. In 1985, “Lester Sims Retires Tomorrow” was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The screenplay of “Lester” adapted by Gerald Berns is in preproduction. Curtis is survived by his wife, Lynne; daughter, Aimee (Joseph) Carlton; son, John; three grandchildren; and a sister, Barbara Knapp. A celebration of his life was held Sept. 24 in Hilton Head, S.C.

Bill Curtis

Winter 2012  23

In Memory

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you Dr. Jarrell O’Kelley

Professor Emeritus Jarrell O’Kelley, 80, of Kettering, died Nov. 15. He taught English language and literature at Defiance College for 32 years, retiring in 1998. O’Kelley began his career at Defiance College in 1966 as assistant professor of English. He was promoted to associate professor, and later to the rank of professor. He graduated from Sterling College in 1953 and received a master’s degree from the University of Denver in 1958. In 1970, he received a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Dr. O’Kelley is survived by his wife, Doramae; son, Andrew; daughter, Vanessa; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A memorial service was held Dec. 3 in Dayton.

did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou

Rev. Dr. Roger Perl

Defiance College Board of Trustee member and UCC minister Rev. Dr. Roger Perl, 75, of Tiffin, died Dec. 7. A 1958 graduate of Heidelberg College, Rev. Perl attended Eden Theological Seminary and was ordained into the ministry. He served United Church of Christ congregations in Crestline and New Bremen and was the Northwestern Ohio Association Minister from 1977 to 1996. Retiring in 1996, he then worked in the national offices in Cleveland and as interim conference minister for the Indiana-Kentucky conference. He served on the board of Back Bay Mission for 10 years and was a member of the Defiance College Board of Trustees for 28 years. He is survived by his wife, Jeanie; daughters Amy and Emily; and two grandchildren. A memorial service was held Dec. 14.


Dr. Vince Polce

Dr. Vince Polce, adjunct faculty and director of the Defiance College Community Band, died Dec. 14, after a courageous battle with lung cancer. He was honored with the Defiance College Pilgrim Medal at commencement ceremonies in 2009. Dr. Polce spent his entire career in the Defiance community, serving as director of bands at Defiance High School, retiring in 2004. During his tenure, the school’s bands received critical acclaim both on the marching field and the concert stage. The DHS Marching Band of Class became known nationwide, with performances at the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, the Orange Bowl Parade in Miami, the Hudson Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit, the Peach Bowl in Atlanta and Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. In 2005, he took over leadership of the Defiance College Community Band, drawing talented musicians from the surrounding area. The group has played annual concerts at a music level never before achieved, often attracting crowds of more than 1,000. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006 and underwent aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments and surgeries, but that didn’t keep him from his musical endeavors, planning and leading regular concerts and appearances of the DCCB. He did all of the planning for the band’s annual holiday concert held on Dec. 6, just one week before his death. Dr. Polce is survived by his wife, Donna; daughters Lisa Becher and Jackie Frejkowski; son, Erik Olsson; three grandchildren; and a brother, George Polce. 


by campus and community Don Smith has been recognized for his years of service to DC and for his philanthropic endeavors By Kathy Punches ’96, Director of Public Relations and Marketing


or Don Smith, all of the accolades that have been bestowed on him over the past year are icing on the cake. His true joy has been the decades of volunteerism that brought about the recognition. Smith received the Schauffler Legacy Award from Defiance College in 2010 for his 35 years of service on the college’s social work advisory board. His years of volunteering for Diabetes Youth Services were recognized in 2010 at the National Philanthropy Day held by the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Association of Fundraising

Professionals. And earlier this year, Smith’s work with DYS earned him a spot as a finalist for the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service in Lima. Much of Smith’s adult life has been in service to others, whether as a professional social worker or as a volunteer. He graduated from DC’s first class of social work majors in 1971, having followed his brother, Henry, to Defiance from New Hampshire. “I came here because at that time, the small liberal arts colleges were popular on the east coast, and Defiance was recruiting on the east coast.” After graduation, Smith entered the Army where his social work degree allowed him to work in a mental health facility. He and his wife, Connie, eventually settled in Continental, and he pursued his social work career at the former Lima State Hospital, the Paulding mental health center, and until his retirement, as a probation officer in Putnam County. He credits much of his success to his Defiance College education. “Defiance had a big influence on me,” he recounts. “Before I came here, my confidence level really wasn’t that good. Getting a degree from Defiance, I could say, ‘Yes, I graduated from Defiance,’ and it got you in the door.” Former faculty member Chuck Hobgood invited Smith to serve on the College’s social work advisory board, and he saw it as a perfect way to give back to his alma mater. The advisory board allows Smith the chance to think outside the box, ask critical questions, and compare what is being taught in the classroom with what is going on in the profession. “At times I feel like the dinosaur,” he laughs, “but it’s interesting, because we are seeing things go full circle. They’re saying things that were taught in the Sixties are new, but it’s not new. From inpatient to

probation to things I saw in the military.” Smith has taken part in every accreditation that the program has gone through, and he has also served on the state licensure board for social workers and counselors. He retired three years ago from his work as a probation officer, and that has allowed him more time for volunteerism. His focus, in addition to Defiance College, has been as a fundraiser for Diabetes Youth Services. His method of fundraising is unique. A regular at the Defiance Area YMCA swimming pool, Smith noticed a pamphlet advertising a swimming fund-raiser for juvenile diabetes. He mentioned the idea to his doctor who told him if he swam 100 laps instead of his usual 70, he would donate $100 for Diabetes Youth Services. That first year, Smith raised $1,700 for DYS. In the past eight years, Smith has raised more than $61,000, with $13,585 of that amount raised in the past year all by swimming laps for pledges. He decided that if he was going to become involved with the organization, he wanted to see what services were being provided and how the money was being used. He and his wife visited summer camps for youth with diabetes. “The money I raise is used for assistance for kids whose families can’t afford to pay for camp,” he says. “I’ll swim until I can’t swim anymore.” Smith encourages others to find an activity or an organization that connects with them. “It could be any organization,” he says. “I got hooked on DYS because my beliefs and their beliefs comingle.” Smith is the greatest individual supporter of Diabetic Youth Services in Maumee. The organization provides educational and support services for young people with diabetes in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.  Winter 2012  25


return of the purple gang

Thanks in part to alumni generosity, wrestling is back on the Defiance College campus by Debbie Richard, ’02, ’04, Assistant Director of Marketing


efiance College has announced that it will begin offering club wrestling to provide an opportunity for wrestlers to continue their sport after high school. The club will compete in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association’s North Central Conference, an association which supports more than 150 men’s and women’s club wrestling teams in colleges across the nation. “It is thanks to the generosity, hard work and commitment of many wrestling alumni that wrestling is now able to come back to campus,” said Mark Gordon, DC president. “We are excited to be able to provide this opportunity for students who wish to continue their wrestling careers.” The NCWA uses the same weight classes, rules and officials as the NCAA, so students will see little difference at the club level. The wrestling club plans to participate in the 2011-12 season with a partial schedule. Tony Gonzales has been hired as head coach. A Paulding native, Gonzales wrestled in high school, competed in NCAA Division III wrestling at Heidelberg University, and was a two-time runner up at the Amateur Athletic Union National Championships. He has coached wrestling for nine years, most recently at 3D Wrestling formerly known as Paulding Wrestling Club. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to take this program from the ground-up,” said Gonzales. “This will offer an exciting experience for the students interested in wrestling in collegiate competitions.” Defiance’s wrestling team began in 1965 as a student organization. It eventually gained varsity status in 1976 and continued until 1994. Alumni of the program approached President Gordon two years ago and



New wrestling coach, Tony Gonzales

expressed a willingness to raise funds to bring wrestling back to DC. The success of the campaign has made the return of wrestling possible. “Offering a wrestling club for our students enhances the broad array of co-curricular opportunities available to our students. It will be exciting to see our students exhibiting their characteristic dedication and school spirit in this new activity,” said Ken Wetstein, vice president for student engagement and dean of students. 

orty years ago I attended my first wrestling matches at DC. The Purple Gang was an impressive group of athletes who won often and competed at the highest levels. Weaner gym was filled with student and community members watching and encouraging these marvelous athletes as they extended themselves to the very limit of the ways a human body can be twisted and contorted in the name of competition. While the contests did not involve the showmanship of today’s WWF, the flinging of bodies through the air, or the bravado of calling out opponents, they contained just as much excitement. The contests were measured in seconds as clocks ticked down and wrestlers attempted to either make the final take down, avoid being taken down, or find the surprise move that would allow them to escape what seemed like certain defeat, turning it into a heart stopping victory. With over 30 former wrestlers and coaches accepting President Gordon’s challenge to raise the money necessary to bring a wrestling program back to DC they have once again shown the same strength of character they showed on the mats. My hat is taken off to them and I pray that when the newest members of the wrestling club take center stage they will relish in the challenge of taking on the proud moniker of being the Purple Gang. Dave Plant ‘73 Director Alumni Relations


update on your yellow jackets HCAC honors, fall season highlights, and more


he Defiance College volleyball team finished the 2011 season with a 14-16 record, including a 4-5 clip in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Yellow Jackets returned to the HCAC Tournament for the third time in four years. The season was highlighted by a 4-0 mark at the Centre Tournament and a 3-0 start in league play. Senior Marlea Rolander (pictured) and freshman Alicia Kalik (pictured inset) both collected postseason awards from the conference. Rolander, a senior middle blocker, was named All-HCAC for the second-straight season. The product of Napoleon High led the Yellow

Jackets with 219 kills and a .309 hitting percentage, which ranked second in the conference. Rolander also finished the year with 114 total blocks, which led Defiance and was second in the HCAC. Kalik, a freshman setter from South Lyon (MI) High, became the third Yellow Jacket in four years to earn the title of HCAC Freshman of the Year. In her impressive debut season, Kalik paced the Yellow Jackets with 776 total assists, 141 digs, 30 service aces and 39 total blocks. She ranked third in the HCAC in assists. To go along with HCAC Freshman of the Year, Kalik was also named to the HCAC AllFreshman Team and All-HCAC Honorable Mention.

Winter 2012 u 27



he Defiance College football season was an up-and-down campaign that saw the Jackets start the season on a four-game losing streak and end the year with back-to-back losses. The middle four contests went into the win column for DC however, as the Purple and Gold managed a 4-4 mark in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference with consecutive wins over Mount St. Joseph, Earlham, Anderson and Rose-Hulman. For their efforts on the gridiron, Defiance saw nine studentathletes named to the All-HCAC squad at the end of the year. Senior tight end, Andy Cessna (pictured), joined junior nose tackle, Gregg Pickett, and junior safety and return specialist, Tony Sierra (pictured inset), as First-Team All-HCAC selections. The Jackets also placed three on the Second-Team All-HCAC list, with Ryan Black (Sr., OL), Hunter Robertson (Jr., LB) and Nick Wiedenhoft (Sr., WR) making the cut. Drew Kuesel (Sr., RB) and Rick Powell (Sr., QB) were voted as Honorable Mention All-HCAC standouts, along with Josh Slayton (Fr., DB). Pickett, Sierra, Robertson, Slayton and HCAC All-Sportsmanship Team recipient, James Buari, are all set to return to Defiance for the 2012 campaign, as the group will anchor an experienced defensive unit with the hopes of leading a bounce back effort on the gridiron for the DC football program.


he Defiance College men’s and women’s cross country teams both enjoyed success on the course this fall that included wins at the DC Duals for both the men and the women. The men’s squad placed two runners, senior Justin Perkins and freshman Josh Hilton, on the All-Heartland College Athletic Conference Honorable Mention Team. Perkins was also named HCAC Runner of the Week on two occasions. On the women’s team, senior Ellen Stryffeler (pictured) earned All-HCAC accolades, after finishing in third place at the conference championships. The senior set a school record time of 23:32.02 at the NCAA Regional Championships, and was named HCAC Runner of the Week twice. Freshman Bri Rodriguez also has a solid season for the Jackets, and narrowly missed all-conference honors at the conference championships.



he DC women’s tennis team finished eighth place in the final Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings for the 2011 season. The Jackets picked up two HCAC victories over Mount St. Joseph and Bluffton. Number one singles player, sophomore Kirsten Wieland (pictured), led the Jackets in 2011. Weiland was named Honorable Mention All-HCAC for the second year in a row. Weiland played every match at the number one singles position and number one doubles position in the fall. Another Jacket that was recognized by HCAC coaches was sophomore Danielle LaBarbera, who was placed on the HCAC AllSportsmanship Team. This accolade is voted on by all the coaches in the HCAC and is awarded to the athletes who best exemplify the attitude an athlete should have on and off the court.


ontinued improvement was evident for the Lady Jackets on the links this fall, as the team took another major step forward as a program. Defiance capped the 2011 season with its best showing at the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships since reinstating the program prior to 2006. The Jackets ended in sixth place at the HCAC Championships with a 783 for its best finish and lowest score in the past six seasons. Other highlights included DC’s showing at the season-opening Anderson Invitational, in which the Jackets fired their lowest tworound score since 2006 with a 735, breaking the previous best by 46 strokes. The strong performance was fueled by the play of junior Kelly Beard (pictured), as the junior carded an 81 over the final 18 holes for the best single-round score of any Defiance College women’s golfer since 2006. Even with the exciting 2011 campaign, the future is even brighter, with seven letterwinners expected to return for 2012.


he Defiance College men’s soccer team battled to a 5-10-3 overall record and 3-4-2 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference record. The Yellow Jackets narrowly missed finishing in the top four of the HCAC which would have given the team a playoff berth. The Purple and Gold had a trio of standout performers that were recognized as all-conference selections. Senior defender Kevin Elson was recognized as one of the top four defenders in the HCAC, as he was voted onto the first-team by the conference head coaches. Elson was one of DC’s captains throughout the 2011 campaign and was the anchor in the middle of the Jackets’ defense. Elson also added a goal and an assist totaling three points on the season. This is the third consecutive year that senior midfielder Joseph Loftis (pictured) has been honored by the HCAC. Like Elson, the senior midfielder was also a captain for this season’s team. Loftis ended the season as the leading goal scorer for DC and tied for most assists, totaling six goals and two assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Sean Roberts was voted as one of the three best goalkeepers in the conference. Along with being honored for his play, Roberts was also recognized for his sportsmanship on the field. The conference coaches voted Roberts onto the HCAC All-Sportsmanship Team for the way he represented himself and Defiance on the pitch. Roberts recorded 101 saves and posted three shutouts.


he Lady Yellow Jackets’ soccer team fought to an overall record of 5-14 and 3-6 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play during the 2011 campaign. Leading the way for Defiance was senior defender Jordanne Buehrer (pictured inset) and junior forward Katie Heitkamp (pictured). Both received allconference accolades from the HCAC head coaches. Buehrer was named to the All-HCAC team for the first time in her career. Along with the All-HCAC accolade, Buehrer was also recognized for her sportsmanship by the conference coaches when she was placed on the HCAC All-Sportsmanship Team. The DC senior anchored the Yellow Jackets’ backline all season and was a captain to this year’s squad. Heitkamp’s selection marks the second time she has received All-HCAC honors in her three seasons at DC. The junior led the team in goals scored with four and tied for the lead in assists with one, giving her the highest point total on the team with nine. Of the four goals, one was the game-winning goal against Thiel.

Winter 2012 u 29

Alumni Class Notes

class notes DC Alumni

The 50’s Charles Pixler ’50 and Susan (Ellsworth) Pixler ’68 celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They have six sons, 16 grandchildren, and one great-grandson. They live in Defiance. Marie (Yoder) Wenner ’54 mourns the loss of her husband, Rev. Nelson J. Wenner, who died on January 26, 2011. Marie now lives at Homewood Retirement Community (UCC) in Martinsburg, Pa. She continues her interest in painting and keeping in contact with life-long friends. This past July, Dorothy (Rohn) Mottashed ’58 and her husband, Earl, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a trip to China to visit their granddaughter who teaches in Wuhan. The Mottasheds reside in Defiance.

The 60’s Randy Germann ’63 retired in May, 2011, after 50 years working as an engineer. Randy and his wife, Phyllis ’85, live in Napoleon, Ohio. Larry Zachrich ’63 and his wife, Diana (Demaline), celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in November 2010. Larry and Diana have two children, three grandchildren and reside in Napoleon, Ohio. Ruth A. (Ireton) Lusk ’64 retired July 31, 2010, from Columbia Gorge Community College following 19 years administrating a state-

designated childcare resource and referral program for multiple rural counties. Core services were recruitment and provision of professional development for child care/education workers, parent information and referrals, and community service partnerships. Ruth and her husband, Stephen, live in Hood River, Oregon. Patricia (Singer) Timbrook ’65 and her husband celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 29, 2011. They have three sons: Terry (Pamela), Dayton; Dan (Heather), Edgerton; Brad (Michelle), Lindsey; and a daughter, Linda (Randy) Bostelman, Haviland. They also have 15 grandchildren. The Timbrooks reside in Hicksville, Ohio.

The 70’s Charlie Beard ’70 was awarded the Lourdes University San Damiano Faculty Service Learning Award. The award is presented to a faculty member, department, or office able to inspire students with their service in their academic discipline and social and personal responsibilities. Charlie works as the middle childhood education director at Lourdes University. He and his wife, Sandra (Reineke) ’71, reside in Defiance. Ronald Wolff ’70 transferred from his position as superintendent of schools in Morgan, Utah, to superintendent of Box Elder County, S.D. He was also the president of the Utah School Superintendents Association 2009-2010 and 20102011, Utah Superintendent of the

Year for 2010-2011, and a member of the Governor’s Commission on Excellence in Education. Ronald and his wife, Susan, reside in Morgan, Utah. John Scheu ’72 of Sidney, Ohio, was hired as superintendent of Sidney City Schools, effective June 13, 2011. For the previous six years, John served as superintendent of Hardin-Houston Local Schools. He was appointed by State Senate President Bill Harris to the School Funding Advisory Council in 2009. John’s daughter, Allison, graduated from DC in 2004. Robert Gill ’73 and Linda (Bair) ’70 celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary on December 24, 2010. The couple has two daughters and four grandchildren. They reside in Defiance.

After 36 years in education, Sue (Roughton) Dangler ’75 has retired from Hicksville High School where she was principal. She is now working in the business office at Eagle Rock Golf Course in Defiance with her husband, Kevin. Sue and Kevin reside in Paulding, Ohio. Kevin Lewis ’79 and his wife, Grace, have welcomed their first granddaughter, Abigail Alexandra Wardon. She weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz. and was 19 inches long. The Lewis family resides in Columbus, Ohio.

Jeffrey Welbaum ’74 is now serving as the new Criminal Justice Section Chief for the Ohio Attorney General. Jeff resides in Troy, Ohio, with his family. Mark Shine ’74 retired May 31, 2011 after a 37-year career in public education. Mark will continue his work with WTLW-TV sports, officiating volleyball and basketball, and teaching at Rhodes State College. He and his wife, Claudia, live in Lima, Ohio. John Conrad ’75 has retired after 36 years of teaching science with Toledo Public Schools at five different high schools. He coached football and girls basketball in the early years of his career. He plans on traveling, golfing a lot and spending the winter in the Fort Myers, Fla. area. John 30

has three daughters: Shannon, 27; Lindsey, 25; and Kelsey, 21.

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 Write a note on your Annual Fund pledge card  E-mail us at

The 80’s Duane D. Everhart ’80 recently received his commission as a Chief Warrant Officer in the United States Coast Guard Reserves. After deployment to Louisiana for the BP Oil spill, he was assigned to Sector Delaware Bay out of Philadelphia, Pa. Duane currently lives in Lucama, N.C.

James Bailey ’81 James L. Bailey ’81 was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers. He and his wife, Karen, live in Roswell, GA. Clara (Bow) Lisi ’81 was selected Educator of the Year 2011, Inland Empire Job Corps. She also received a Master of Arts in Management degree from the University of Redlands School of Business in May 2011. Clara lives in Highland, CA. Susan Sheets Howey ’82 retired as client and community relations director for PNC Bank in Fort Wayne, Ind. Susan worked in banking for 29 years and lives in Fort Wayne. Chuck Shisler ’82 was inducted into the Preble County Athletic Hall of Fame during its ninth annual induction ceremony. Chuck lives in Greenville, Ohio. Doug Wiles ’83 was inducted into the Defiance High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Susan Guelde ’90, live in Defiance. Rick Barber ’85 is now the proud co-owner of the Moon Over Maine Bed and Breakfast in picturesque Ogunquit, Maine. He invites you to check out the inn’s website: www. and stop by on your next trip to New England.

Dawn (Cooper) Rohn ’86 and her husband, Donald, marked their 25th wedding anniversary on June 18, 2011. They have four children: Caitlin, Andrew, Arica, and Brenna. They celebrated the occasion with a trip out west. Bernadette Galvez ’88 is the community education officer/ public information officer for the Madison, Wis., Fire Department. In this position, she works closely with schools to emphasize fire safety in the home. Bernadette has been with the department for 21 years and resides in Madison. Brooke Kline ’88 has accepted a position as education programs specialist in mathematics for the Georgia Department of Education. Kline was teaching math at Chamblee High School prior to this. He also coached volleyball from 2000 to 2008, taking his team to State playoffs, three trips to the Elite Eight and one trip to the Final Four. Brooke resides in Atlanta. Jeff Wilson ’89 just launched the first book in his Life’s Cheat Sheet Series: Crucial Success Habits School Never Taught You, hitting the number one best-seller position on two lists. He is speaking and partnering with organizations to get these street-smart habits out to employees and customers and help turn the economy around. Jeff lives in Toledo with his wife, Beth.

The 90’s Sandra (Hiegel) Hauenstein ’92 has had her first children’s book published from Tate Publishing titled Little Flowers. She and her husband live in Ravenna, Ohio. Dr. Mark Lee ’92 was recently transferred to Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter S.C., while being assigned to U.S. Army Central Command (ARCENT) and the Third Army. Mark is currently deployed to Kuwait for a year with the Combined Forces Land Component Command as ARCENT Forward Budget Officer for the entire Middle East. Mark has more than 20 years of active duty service and is now a lieutenant colonel in the Army.

Bill Grimes ’93 was honored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife (DOW), and the Council for Environmental Education (CEE) as the recipient of the Ohio Project WILD Facilitator of the Year Award. Bill works as the education specialist for the Defiance Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and lives in Defiance with his wife, Margaret. Nancy (Kohl) Schall ’95 and her husband, Roger, recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. They marked the special occasion with a trip to Alaska. The Schalls have three children and six grandchildren and reside in Defiance. Tiffany C. Day ’94, ’04 graduated in May with a Master’s of Public Health (MPH), with concentrations in both health education and disaster management, from Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill. Tiffany resides in Bryan, Ohio. John Steiner ’97 and his wife, Jane, have adopted their second son from Thailand, Sokru, who is three years old. Their first son, Ian, is five. The Steiner family resides in Minneapolis where John has served as chaplain at the Minnesota Veterans Home for three years. Fritz Zipfel ’98 and his wife, Tiffany (Allomong) ’01, welcomed a daughter, Vivian, to their family on May 6, 2011. The Zipfels also have a son, Brezlen, four. They live in Defiance. Courtney Foust ’99 and Gabor Hodacs were married September 2, 2010, at Warwick Long Bay Cliffs, Bermuda. Courtney is employed as a college instructor. The couple resides in Alpharetta, Ga.

two. The Gerencser family resides in Defiance.

The 00’s Stephanie (Miller) Skylar ’00 was named the Women Grocers of America (WGA) Woman of the Year Award. Stephanie is president and CEO of at Chief Supermarkets, and she and her husband, Martin, live in Lima, Ohio. Gregory Murphy ’01 and his wife, Tera, announce the birth of their son, Kenden Gregory, on October 26, 2010. Greg and his family reside in Defiance. Amanda (Bland) Bok ’02 and husband, David, welcomed a son, Logan Parker, on July 13, 2011. They also have a son, Hayden, three. The Boks live in Defiance. Kirk Jones ’02 and Tricia (Spallinger) Jones ’04 would like to announce the birth of their son, Alex Reed, on April 6, 2011. Alex has an older sister Avery, three. Kirk and Tricia are both elementary school teachers in Forsyth County, Ga. The Jones family resides in Sugar Hill, Ga. Stephanie (Karacson) Mazur ’02 is now serving as the program coordinator of Helping Hands in Hicksville, Ohio, a new volunteer organization she started to assist cancer patients and their families. She resides in Hicksville. Kelle (Kamphaus) James ’03 and her husband, Benjamin, welcomed a daughter, Greta Frances James, on June 19, 2011. She weighed 7

Daniel P. Fruchey ’99 received a master’s degree in education leadership from Western New Mexico University in May 2010. Dan resides in Gallup, N.M. and works as a systems support specialist with the Regional Quality Center of Gallup McKinley County Schools. Cristina (Dominique) Gerencser ’99 and her husband, Jason, announce the birth of their daughter, Guinevere Nicole, on November 17, 2010. Guinevere has two siblings, Victoria, four, and Levi,

Courtney Foust ’99 and Gabor Hodacs Winter 2012  31

Alumni Class Notes lbs. and 3 oz. and was 20 inches long. The James family resides in Cincinnati. Kimberly (Mann) Gallagher ’04 was recently promoted to Senior Financial Analyst – Financial Reporting, at Vera Bradley in Fort Wayne. In October of 2010, she helped the company with its Initial Purchase Offering (IPO). Kim resides in Fort Wayne with her husband, Ryan, and daughter, Grace. Mike Moorman ’04 and his wife Jayme (Zehringer) Moorman ’04 announce the birth of their first child Maddox Michael Moorman born on June 21, 2011. Mike owns a sports bar in Coldwater with Trent Boeckman ’03 called McSobers Saloon. Jayme is a loan officer at Dynamic Federal Credit Union in Celina. The Moorman family resides in Coldwater, Ohio. Dennis Paiva ’04 and ’06 is now assistant director of international education at Campbellsville

Wright State, she is also president of Student Affairs Graduate Association and inductee into Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society. She currently resides in Dayton, Ohio.

University. Dennis previously served as team leader and freshmen coordinator in Campbellsville University’s Office of Admissions from 2006-2009. He has worked as an international coordinator, an assistant admissions counselor, a national recruitment assistant and a transfer articulation liaison at Defiance College. Dennis was a Hispanic Awareness Organization volunteer for Defiance as well. He and his wife, Jennie, have one daughter, Luci. Jodi (Waidelich) Rupp ’04 and her husband, Noah, announce the birth of their daughter, Ellie Grace, on October 13, 2010. Jodi is currently staying home with Ellie and son, Titus, three. The Rupps live in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Kristin (Ort) Siler ’04 and her husband, Brian, of Oakwood, Ohio, announce the birth of a daughter, Tessa Suzanne, on May 31, 2011. Tessa was welcomed home by her

Christopher Newcomb ’05 was married to Katie Kowalsick on July 9, 2011. They live in Conneaut, Ohio.

Dennis Paiva’ 04 & ’06 siblings, Isabelle, three, and Khloe, one. Melissa (Dick) Cook ’05 & ’09 was married on July 30, 2011, to Adam Cook in Fremont, Ohio. They honeymooned in Oahu and Maui. The couple resides in Clyde, Ohio. Aubrey (Wonsetler) Merkle ’05 will graduate from Wright State University in June with a M.A. in student affairs in higher education administration. Now serving as a full-time academic advisor at

Keep in Touch We’d like to know about your new job, recent marriage, new member of the family, new address, or other happenings in your life. For photos, please send those of Defiance College people only, identify everyone, and label the back with your name and address. If you are moving, please send this form in with your new address. Name: _ __________________________________________________________________ Maiden Name: _ _______________________________________ Class Year:________

Andrew Stover ’05 was named the Northwest League’s Trainer of the Year in both 2008 and 2009. Andrew is employed as an athletic trainer for the Tri-Cities Dust Devils. He, his wife, Lauren, and their two sons, Alex, three, and Zach, eight months, live in Phoenix. Joe DiSalvio Jr. ’06 and Tiffany (Howard) DiSalvio ’06 celebrated the birth of their daughter, Gianna Alexandria, on January 25, 2011. The DiSalvio family lives in Dublin, Ohio.

Gianna DiSalvio On June 18, 2011, Steven Brancheau ’07 and Kaitlin Tinker ’09 were wed in an outdoor ceremony. The couple resides in Montpelier, Ohio, where Steven teaches eighth grade math and Katy teaches high school English.  Steven is also the head football coach for the Montpelier Locomotives, and Katy is the Locos’ high school cheerleading advisor. 

Address:__________________________________________________________________ Phone:____________________________________________________________________ E-mail:____________________________________________________________________ News:_____________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ Mail this form to:

Alumni Office, Defiance College, 701 N. Clinton St., Defiance, OH 43512, or email your news to:


Steven Brancheau ’07 and Kaitlin Tinker ’09

Alumni Class Notes


Lynn H. Brown ’56 November 20, 2010 - Indianapolis

Sondra Rhoad Thompson January 30, 2011 – Mote Ranch, Fla. Wife of G. Richard Thompson ’63

Richard R. “Dick” Davidson ’59 March 26, 2011 – New Haven, Ind.

Donald Haliburton January 20, 2011 – Tiffin, Ohio Husband of Lillian (Howard) Haliburton ’50 Alberta (Knapp) Slosser ’38 February 18, 2008 – Tucson, Ariz. Dorothea (Derge) Eckert ’39 August 27, 2010 – Defiance

DC alumni at the wedding of Melissa Dick ’05 & ’09: Sara Laughlin ’05, Nichole (Retcher) Bostelman ’05, Sarah (Rex) Drummond ’05, Melissa (Dick) Cook ’05, Julianne Honeck ’07, Nicole Hannen ’04, Stacy (Sattler) Schimmoeller ’05, Jessica (Banks) Kaiser ’05. Renee Steffen ’07 recently joined the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in Akron, Ohio, as resource center manager. Renee lives in North Royalton, Ohio. Dustin Looser ’07 graduated May 7, 2011, from the University of Dayton School of Law with a Juris Doctor of Law and was the recipient of a Pro Bono Commitment to Community Award. He resides in Dayton. Abby Reichard ’07 graduated summa cum laude from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis with a Master of Divinity. She is now living in Durham, N.C., and is employed as full-time director of programs and ministries at McMannen United Methodist Church. Joe Caig ’08 was married on December 31, 2010, at All Saints Catholic Church in Rossford, Ohio. After the wedding Joe and his wife, Amanda, honeymooned on a Caribbean cruise. Currently, Joe is employed as the running specialist at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Holland, Ohio. Joe and Amanda reside in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Emily (Meyer) Faerber ’08 graduated from Nova Southeastern University on May 30, 2011 with a Master of Science degree. She lives in Guyton, Ga. with her husband, Stefan ’06. Barry Von Deylen ’09 passed the CPA exam in December 2010 and accepted a new job at Schultz, Huber and Associates in Archbold, Ohio. Barry and his wife, Jeannie ’09, reside in Ridgeville Corners, Ohio. Jeannie is employed at Defiance College’s Pilgrim Library, where she was recently promoted to library services coordinator. Corynne (Long) Schafer ’09 and her husband, Zachary, announce the birth of their first child, a daughter named Kenley Elyse, on July 15, 2010. The Schafers live in Norwalk, Ohio.

Maxine (Smart) Manchester ’40 September 26, 2010 – Holland, Mich.

Maizie Hewitt ’61 July 2, 2011 – Cape Coral, Fla. Theodore Beindorf ’63 September 7, 2011 – Suwanee, Ga. Pauline (Damman) Gerken ’63 January 26, 2011 – Defiance Raymond G. Kells November 8, 2010 – Stratford, Conn.

Dr. Charles D. Krouse ’43 May 31, 2011 – Defiance

Virginia (Niese) Winch ’64 June 4, 2011 -- Summerfield, Fla.

Gretchen (Schatz) Andrews ’48 December 6, 2010 – Defiance

James Hilbert ’66 November 25, 2010 – Hicksville, Ohio

George Appleton ’50 August 17, 2011 – Las Vegas Bruce C. Derricotte ’50 June 21, 2011 – Gaithersburg, Md. Donald Mix ’50 July 19, 2011 – Portland, Ore. Donald A. Smith ’50 June 25, 2010 – Monroeville, Ind. Howard W. Spicer ’50 May 6, 2011 – Engelwood, Ohio Onilee (Hoke) Spiller ’50 July 22, 2011 – Clayton, Ohio

Norma J. (Weible) Palmer ’51 February 24, 2011 – Defiance Charles Stenger ’51 June 28, 2011 – Santa Rosa, Calif. Betty (Leever) Strolle ’52 November 14, 2010 – Defiance Doris (Streip) Johansen ’53 October 31, 2010 – Defiance

Miah Cruz

Robert Deitrick ’61 July 27, 2011 – Defiance

Delpha (Hickok) Hoffman ’42 March 20, 2011 – Defiance

C. Katherine (Scheef) Virgin ’50 January 24, 2011 – Houston, Texas

Kacee (Mossoney) Cruz ’08 and her husband, Isaiah, welcomed their daughter, Miah MaryAnn Cruz, to their family on November 3, 2011. Kacee and Miah were featured in in the local news in a five generation photo of the Lila Yenser family. The Cruz family lives in Defiance.

Hilda (Rhees) Noffsinger ’59 December 10, 2010 – Continental, Ohio

Roger Avery ’54 September 23, 2011 – Bryan, Ohio

Sondra (Rhoad) Thompson ’66 January 30, 2011 – Bradenton, Fla. Dennis M. Baker ’70 September 12, 2011 – Troy, Ohio Norman Okuley ’72 March 1, 2011 – Toledo, Ohio John C. Zachrich ’72 August 19, 2011 – Bryan, Ohio Bruce R. Lundquist ’74 January 31, 2011 – New York Maria Sierra ’75 December 8, 2010 – Waukegan, Ill. Danny J. Colwell ’84 December 12, 2010 – Defiance William Mueller ’97 May 14, 2011 – Brunswick, Ga.

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Auglaize Country Club Defiance, Ohio Tee time: 8:30am

Defiance College Magazine  

Winter 2012 - Small College, Big Opportunities

Defiance College Magazine  

Winter 2012 - Small College, Big Opportunities