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Defiance College


MBA Program!

Defy the Ordinary u New MBA courses start this summer! u Designed for the working professional u Concentrations in Health Care, Leadership, and Criminal Justice u Most affordable tuition in the area

Center for Adult and Graduate Programs

1-800-520 GO DC



Faculty/Staff Commitment

The Faculty-Staff Campaign that is an integral part of the overall comprehensive campaign at the College concluded in April 2008 with 100% participation of current full-time faculty and staff members with almost $200,000 committed to a variety of projects in the campaign. President Wood, in announcing the results, said: “These impressive results indicate that, as a College, we believe we are headed in the right direction. The faculty and staff have indicated that though not perfect, we are moving forward in an encouraging and positive way ready to confront the challenges that are before us. Clearly, the people who comprise the workforce of this excellent institution are its strength. We are grateful for this show of support of DC’s students and programs.”

Defiance College The Magazine

Vol. 98, No. 1

Summer 2008

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

Editor, Director of Public Relations & Marketing

Rev. David Plant

Director of Alumni and Parent Relations

Michele Tinker Ryan Imbrock

Partnership creates a unique nursing degree 221 diplomas awarded to the Class of 2008

Layout and Graphic Design

Joyce C. Anderson ’66 Keith Bell, Sr. ’78 Edward Buhl ’73 Thomas Callan ’66 Dr. Lillian Dunlap ’68 Dr. Allen Gaspar Cheryl Hahr ’68 James Hamilton ’72 Eric Hench John Horns Thomas K. Hubbard Karl Ideman ’67 Dr. Rita A. Kissner Timothy Leuzarder ’67 Philip Mallott ’78 Mark Moats

Nursing -------------------------------------------------- 2 Graduation---------------------------------------------- 3

Director of Annual Giving

Board of Trustees

Features Six Years-------------------------------------------------- 4 President Wood steps down after six years of forward thinking

Glen Newcomer Rev. Dr. Roger D. Perl Mark Shy ’75 Barb J. Silvis ’72 Shaune M. Skinner ’75 Dr. Bonnie Sloan George Smart ’67 David Speakman ’63 Steve VanDemark ’76

Honorary Trustees

Geraldine R. Boomer ’69 Dr. Edwin S. Charles Dr. Amos J. White

Belize?---------------------------------------------------- 6 Cindy Shaffer ’03 and husband offer to help where needed

Continuing----------------------------------------------- 7 New faculty continue tradition of academic excellence

Literacy--------------------------------------------------- 8 Dr. Sandra Golden has a commitment to lifelong learning

A Match--------------------------------------------------10 Dr. Gregg Gunsch enjoys his ‘most challenging’ job

Wider World---------------------------------------------12 Professor Edward Kamau brings a unique world view to class

Immersed------------------------------------------------14 Dr. Doug Kane continues to study Lake Erie at DC

A Journey------------------------------------------------16 Trustee Fellows

Bill Bishop ’93 Dr. Dean Colwell ’64 Dr. William M. Finerty, Jr. E. Keith Hubbard ’57 Duncan R. Jamieson ’62 Diane Kaiser Margaret F. Mills ’67

Dr. Michelle Tabit travelled east to live history Dr. Terrence W. Rettig ’68 Stuart F. Sakosits ’68 Kyle Shong Clara S. Simmons William J. Small David Stuckey John W. Weaner

Quality----------------------------------------------------18 Defiance College professors truly make the difference

Recognition----------------------------------------------20 Faculty scholarly achievements

Growing--------------------------------------------------21 Service-based research is taking off at DC

Athletics--------------------------------------------------23 Alumni Executive Board Bryan Albright ’99 & ’01 Wayne Buchanan Marie Bungard ’75 Cynthia Cordero ’06 Jan Craig ’69 Lisa Crumit-Hancock ’91 David Durham ’61 Dixie Durham ’63 Jon Gathman ’96 Jim Hamilton ’72

Update from the Field House Kim Honigford ’81 Duncan Jamieson ’62 Charlotte Johannigman ’94 Jason LaBounty ’03 Angela Logan ’01 Mike Matta ’76 John Mikesell ’03 Frances Millward ’47 Rachel Niese ’04 Doug Short ’66

Improving------------------------------------------------26 Chris Slattery ’79 takes her competitive spirit to education

Switched--------------------------------------------------28 The life of Kristen Gerity ’04 changed with one question

Class Notes-----------------------------------------------30 Makeover------------------------------------------------34 Whitney Hall being completely renovated

In Memory of W. Noel Johnston--------------------36 Summer 2008  



an innovative partnership Defiance College partnership with Northwest State Community College to offer a unique nursing degree


n innovative partnership between Defiance College and Northwest State Community College will seek to address a critical need for nurses in the region. The joint announcement was made earlier this year by the presidents of both schools. The collaboration of public and private colleges will provide a unique program offering a bachelor’s degree in nursing. In partnership with Northwest State, Defiance College will offer a bachelor of science in nursing in a fouryear format for students with no prior college experience. Area hospitals are supporting the 1+2+1 nursing program in helping to fund nursing students. The BSN program will offer expanded career options for persons in the nursing field by combining the technical aspects of nursing with leadership skills necessary to lead in today’s dynamic health care environments. Students will take their first year at Defiance College, their second and third years at Northwest State, and then return to Defiance for their fourth and final year. The 1+2+1 program will lead to RN (registered nurse) licensure from Northwest State followed by the BSN degree from Defiance. The two years at Northwest State will prepare students with clinical training through an associate degree in nursing. The first and fourth years at Defiance will provide baccalaureate general education requirements as well as courses in nursing leadership, management, research and community health. Students returning to DC for the fourth year must have completed the associate degree program at Northwest State, as well as successfully completed the national licensure exam for registered nurses. Last year, Northwest State students had a 100 percent pass rate on the exam.

President Wood and President Stuckey seal the agreement to form a nursing partnership while Dr. Catharine O’Connell looks on. “We have been hoping for several years to offer a baccalaureate nursing program at Defiance because it fits so well with who we are as an institution,” said Defiance president Dr. Gerald Wood. “We are excited to be able to work together with Northwest State Community College as well as hospitals in the region to meet this critical community need.” Dr. Thomas Stuckey, president of Northwest State Community College, said, “We are pleased and proud of this new program, especially the nature of Defiance College and Northwest State combining so many good ideas, the elaborate teamwork involved, and a big step forward in our continued, vigorous partnership.” The nursing program is designed to be financially affordable for students. Northwest

State will provide its full-tuition Presidential Scholarship for qualifying students during their attendance at NSCC. In addition to the 1+2+1 program, Defiance College plans to offer a BSN completion program designed for associate degree-prepared nurses who have graduated from an accredited nursing program and have current active RN licensure. Major courses will be offered in a fast-track format with courses held one day per week to accommodate various work schedules. Some courses may be offered in a hybrid format using both online and face to face classroom instruction. General education courses and electives will also be available through Defiance’s day/evening and Weekend College programs. 

graduation Always a special Time of year 221 graduates awarded diplomas during commencement on Sunday, May 4


ournalist and author Maria Hinojosa was the featured speaker as graduates were awarded diplomas on the Colonnade Green. Graduating senior Erby Lopez (second picture down, right side) was recognized with the bronze Pilgrim Medal, and faculty members Dr. Kenneth Christiansen and Professor Frank Sanders were bestowed with the rank of professor emeritus. Hinojosa told the audience that she was inspired by Defiance College. “You have taught me that you do understand and own your power. You own it in the service that you do, and through it you inspire and you bring change. It is your power that has moved you to action. And to me, that is the greatest lesson. Who would have thought that a small college in northwestern Ohio ... this small college could break all of the molds? That’s why, wherever I go, I will talk about being here at Defiance, and what I have seen in the students.” 

Summer 2008 ◆ 

Six Years

six years of forward thinking

DC President Dr. Gerald Wood is stepping down after a successful six-year tenure by Kathy Punches, Director of Public Relations and Marketing


r. Gerald Wood will step down as President of Defiance College effective June 30. Dr. Wood noted that his decision, based on transitions in his professional and personal life, was a difficult one. “I have been president of Defiance College for nearly six years. They have been six great years that I will always cherish and appreciate what has been accomplished. However, I am ready to take on new challenges,” he announced to the campus on May 12. “Likely, I will have one more assignment before retiring, and there are a number of other things I would like to do,” he said. “Also, in my personal life, my fianceé Gayle and I, as we prepare for marriage, believe a fresh start and new opportunity is best for both of us as we write a new chapter in our lives together.” Dr. Wood lauded the College’s administration, faculty, staff, students, trustees and alumni. “They have been wonderful to work with as we together

developed a distinct vision for Defiance College. I will miss them. Also, I have appreciated the support of the people of Defiance and all of Northwest Ohio. This is a great community in which to live and work. It has truly been a privilege to serve as President of Defiance College. I will always remember my days in Defiance fondly and wish the College the very best.” Dr. Wood said that he will continue to work through June 30 so that a smooth transition in leadership can take place. Philip Mallott, chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees, said the board will proceed immediately with a search for a successor, naming a committee to work with a search firm. Serving as interim president during the search process will be Dr. Charles Warren, former dean of Defiance’s McMaster School for Advancing Humanity. Mallott cited Dr. Wood’s six years of leadership highlighted by increased recognition of the College’s unique style of student engagement giving Defiance College a niche in higher education. Dr. Wood was named the 17th president of Defiance College in 2002. During his

tenure, the College has made a name for itself as an institution educating students to become effective leaders within a democratic society. Dr. Wood introduced a strategic vision of a “culture of engagement” that melds the civic, academic, and cultural components of engagement into the student learning experience. At the forefront of engagement has been the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity which has grown during Dr. Wood’s presidency to a level where undergraduate students regularly conduct original research in response to community identified needs in high-need areas of the U.S. and the world. Student and faculty projects in domestic and international locations are supported by significant planning and research conducted by fellow students on campus. Mallott noted Dr. Wood’s leadership in the development of new majors to appeal to 21st century students, including computer forensics and international and global studies. In 2007, the College unveiled a groundbreaking program for adolescents with autism, the Hench Autism Studies Program.

Most recently, Dr. Wood led a collaborative effort of education and health care in Northwest Ohio to create a nursing program for bachelor’s degree-seeking students. Over the past six years, the College has made significant progress toward improving campus facilities. Dr. Wood developed a creative partnership with the Defiance Area YMCA, and through the generosity of George and Sandy Smart, created the Smart Fitness Center. The main science building, Tenzer Hall, received major renovations and a state-of-the-art forensic science lab through Dr. Wood’s securing of congressional support for a $250,000 appropriation. He also led the planning process for updating of residence halls including a complete renovation of Whitney Hall, currently in progress. “President Wood’s fund-raising and development efforts have positioned the College to be able to continue to improve its facilities and programs,” said Mallott. “He has also helped Defiance College develop key organizational partnerships that will benefit the community and the College in the years to come.” Mallott continued, “Jerry Wood has

given passionate and dedicated leadership to Defiance College. I would like to thank him for what he helped to accomplish at Defiance College and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.” During Dr. Wood’s presidency, Defiance College has been named as one of 81 colleges and universities around the country to the Colleges With a Conscience national guidebook published by Princeton Review and Campus Compact. Defiance College has also been recognized by U.S. News and World Report: America’s Best Colleges as one of the top tier of comprehensive colleges in the Midwest as well as one of the top schools in the nation for service learning programs. Defiance College has been named with distinction to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past two years. In 2006, Dr. Wood was invited to attend the Council of Europe Higher Education Forum in Strasbourg, France, which addressed the role of educating students for democratic leadership. He has been actively involved in numerous state and national educational organizations.

Prior to his arrival at Defiance College, Dr. Wood had extensive experience in higher education administration at Davis and Elkins College, Waynesburg College, and West Virginia Wesleyan College. He holds a doctor of education from West Virginia University, a master of divinity from Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and bachelor of arts degree in history from West Virginia Wesleyan College. He also did post-graduate studies at Emory University in Atlanta. Dr. Warren, retired president of Lynchburg College, comes as a familiar face to DC and the local community. He led the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity during the 2004-05 academic year. Most recently, he was interim president at Bluefield College in Virginia during 2006 and 2007. “Nancy and I are deeply honored to have another opportunity to be a part of the DC community,” said Dr. Warren. “We remain very impressed with Jerry’s creative vision and with his many accomplishments – along with those of the cabinet, faculty, staff, students and trustees – during his tenure. We look forward to helping maintain and increase DC’s positive momentum during this period of transition.”  Summer 2008 ◆ 



“what did you do there?” “Anything they needed for us to do,” Cindy Shaffer ’03 and her husband, Dick, respond back by Cindy Shaffer ’03, Director of Planned Giving (Editor’s note: Cindy Shaffer has been a member of the College staff for 10 years. Cindy requested a leave from the College for this past fall semester (2007) so that she and her husband Dick could fulfill their own call through a personal mission trip to Belize. They explain all of this in their own way, but suffice it to say that it was appropriate for the college to practice what it preaches and approve this unique leave. -- Richard A. Pejeau, Vice President for Institutional Advancement) “Addicted to children with smiles on their faces,” are lyrics of a Kelly McGuire song written about Ambergris Caye, Belize. I can’t think of better words to define the experience that my husband, Dick, and I had during the three months that we volunteered in Belize at Holy Cross Anglican Primary School in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. We went there in answer to a plea for help from the school administration and fell hopelessly in love with the people and the place. “What did you do there?” is the question we have been most frequently asked since our return and our response is “Anything they needed for us to do.” The little school, built to provide education to San Pedro’s poorest children, is just in its second year of existence, and has grown from 62 students to 462. The grades offered have expanded from three (equivalent to US kindergarten, first and second grades) to eight (through US seventh grade). With that growth and the addition of older children came many challenges. Nine classrooms and an addition to the “cafeteria” were constructed by volunteers during the summer of 2007. Teachers had to be hired and trained, desks secured,

uniforms acquired and distributed. The school provides breakfast, a midmorning snack of fresh fruit, and lunch for each student. How do you go from feeding 150 children (the enrollment at the end of the 2006-07 school year) to feeding more than three times that number? It is not an easy task! The first two weeks following our arrival were spent doing long hours of physical labor, sanding, painting, assembling desks and moving furniture. Once school started, we were very process focused, helping in the kitchen, serving breakfast and lunch. Later we established a tutoring program for children who needed reading assistance, and after school provided homework help. When a mission team arrived in November from Wyoming, it was our responsibility to see that they were kept busy and had a rewarding experience. We found that working in an elementary school is a wonderful way to become integrated into a community. When children know you, their parents will recognize you too. The primary modes of transportation in San Pedro are walking or riding bicycle. This allows for a level of socialization that we no longer know in the United States, people passing people on the streets, greeting each other warmly. We couldn’t go anywhere without hearing little voices call out to us,

“Hi Mr. Richard! Hello Miss Cindy!” Often times, we would find ourselves unable to move because we were surrounded by hugging children; children who were so happy for the opportunity to go to school and for people willing to invest their time with them. In the Sunday, May 27, 2007 newspaper column written by DC president Jerry Wood for The (Defiance) Crescent News, he addressed the responsibility of each of us to see that children everywhere are given the opportunity for education. “This would be a different world we live in if we but worked together to ensure that every child had a chance to set goals and a fighting chance to meet them.” Dick and I are very appreciative that President Wood and others on campus supported us in the decision to serve in Belize. I owe a special thanks to my coworkers in the Office of Institutional Advancement for doing “extra duty” while I was away. u


Tradition of Faculty Excellence New faculty members demonstrate commitment to DC’s mission and educational vision of engaged learning by Dr. Catharine O’Connell, Provost


n the four years I have been at Defiance College, it has been my pleasure to welcome into the faculty ranks 12 new tenure-track faculty members. In the following pages, you will learn more about these extraordinary individuals and their passion for teaching and learning. One new faculty member from each of our five academic divisions is interviewed at length, with the others introduced through brief profiles. These professors continue the tradition of DC faculty members who were and are deeply knowledgeable about their disciplines, committed to student learning, actively involved in the community, and ready and willing to move the College forward in achieving its goals for the future. In the last few years DC has focused on faculty hiring, and done so in a way that maximizes the effectiveness of our unique educational mission to integrate academic excellence and education for responsible global citizenship. All of the faculty members profiled in these pages find ways to make organic connections between learning in the classroom and real-world authentic problems. They model and teach professional responsibility and, in doing so, prepare our students for success in their chosen fields and for citizenship. While the terms we use to describe a Defiance education today are of relatively recent coinage – “civic engagement,” “active learning,” “service-based research” – the concept is not new at all. The spirit that energizes the DC faculty today when they work in community settings with students is the same spirit that animated such activities as winter term trips to the American Southwest led by Randy Buchman, Bob Boehm and Eug Andrews. When professors travel with students internationally to

promote global understanding, they are motivated by the same pedagogical and ethical concerns that led Calista Olds to journey to the Holy Land with her students in the 1960s. The concentrated focus on the undergraduate student and his or her academic potential that has led to the success of alumni who worked with Junior faculty process at commencement. faculty like Bernie Mikula and Jim Frey is present today not only in our science Learning Communities within disciplines. faculty (four of whom are recent additions McMaster provides Learning Communities who bring exemplary academic credentials) that are cross-disciplinary at both the faculty but across the disciplines. and student level, and the multiple projects’ Today, collaborative faculty-student foci are determined by the host site or culture. research is recognized as a mark of Contributions by alumni such as Helen and educational excellence, and DC faculty Harold McMaster and their children have members regularly work closely with made possible the dreams of earlier faculty students to carry out such projects in all members to encourage student and faculty disciplines and around the world through the cooperation in research to address significant McMaster School for Advancing Humanity. problems. This kind of collaboration can best Emeriti faculty members Bernie Mikula happen in a small college environment.” and Maggie Noble Mikula note that the work As you know, our new DC motto makes of our new faculty members positions us use of the uniqueness of our name: “Defy well for future excellence: “The new faculty the Ordinary.” With the extraordinary and the new approaches to the disciplines professional and life experiences the they represent have brought cutting-edge new members of our faculty bring to the knowledge to Defiance College.” They go on classroom, I think you will agree that they to observe that work such as the collaborative defy conventional expectations of faculty and faculty-student learning communities of the will continue the spirit of Defiance that has McMaster School connect to and extend given our alumni such a strong educational earlier innovations. “Winter terms provided foundation.  Summer 2008 ◆ 



and a passion to improve lives Dr. Sandra Golden’s commitment to lifelong learning has improved her life as well as many others’ by Kathy Punches ’96, Director of Public Relations and Marketing


s a graduate student at Cleveland State University, Dr. Sandra Golden volunteered with a local literacy program. She became intrigued and concerned by the fact that there were adults lacking the basic academic skills to be productive citizens in their communities or to be self-sufficient. “I worked with individuals who were learning English, individuals who had very low reading skills and lacked basic math skills,” says Golden, assistant professor of education at Defiance since fall 2007. “That intrigued me so much and it was such a rewarding experience to work with young and older adults - who by the way were very motivated to learn - to watch them progress academically, personally, and socially, and become excited about education. I decided to pursue that interest.” That initial experience led her to a position with the Cleveland Municipal School District in the division of adult and continuing education. There she provided career counseling, basic skills instruction, employability skills and GED test preparation. She coordinated the Cleveland Skills and Career Center which was designed to support adults who lacked basic academic skills or who hoped to obtain a GED or employment. Golden began to narrow her academic focus down to reading, becoming a literacy advocate. She learned of the Ohio Literacy Resource Center at Kent State University and was hired to work on various literacy initiatives for the local community as well as the state. She assisted with an Ohio history project, participated in various activities to help parents understand the importance of early literacy, and worked with the Starbucks Foundation to develop a literacy project for

Canton-area children. In 2002, the center received funding from the U.S. Department of Education to support GED earners attending college. The funding allowed creation of the GED Scholars Initiative, the first of its kind in the nation. Golden developed resources and partnered with university departments to develop support systems geared for these non-traditional students pursuing a college degree. She went on to direct the Ohio Literacy Alliance, a statewide lifespan literacy initiative in partnership with Kent State University and the Ohio State University to provide literacy resources, professional development resources, and support for teachers, administrators, parents, and practitioners. For the past six years, Golden also taught at Notre Dame College of Ohio in the teacher education and graduate programs. She enjoyed working in the small college environment, and that was part of Defiance’s attraction. “You can develop personal as well as professional relationships and become part of a community that isn’t spread all over a city, and I really get to know my students well.” she explains. “My undergraduate work was done at a very small college. Coming right out of high school, I was intimidated by large colleges or universities, so going to a small environment was a comfortable setting.” Golden was also intrigued with the College’s McMaster School for Advancing Humanity: “The opportunity to go out and do service-related scholarships in different communities, whether in another country or here in the U.S., and learn about different cultures by collaborating with faculty, staff and students is a wonderful opportunity to do work for the common good.” She likes the focus on cultural engagement and teaching in a non-traditional way. “I think it makes learning much more interesting, meaningful, and engaging. It promotes lifelong learning. Learning doesn’t just stop in formal settings. It’s a continuous process, and teaching in non-traditional ways promotes a sense that learning is a natural, lifelong process whether in a formal or informal setting.” Golden has already tried some nontraditional methods since coming to Defiance. She has been working with AmericaReads volunteers, designing a handbook of instructional reading strategies and methods for AR volunteers from DC who work in area schools.

She also wants to develop a reading endorsement in the college’s graduate education program. “There are so many children struggling to read -which is one of the most fundamental skills needed to be academically successful,” she says. “Some children really lack strong skills and strategies to comprehend text and become fluent readers.” One way to help children become better readers is to train teachers to identify those students and provide More than 20% of adults read at or below a fifth grade strategies to assist them in becoming better readers. level - far below the level needed to earn a living wage. Coming from an The National Adult Literacy Survey found that over 40 urban area, Golden says million Americans age 16 and older have significant she has observed marked literacy needs. differences in student success. In the Cleveland As the education level of adults improves, so does their area, she saw higher children’s success in school. Helping low-literate adults absenteeism among improve their basic skills has a direct and measurable students and teachers, impact on both the education and quality of life of their higher incidence of varying children. learning disabilities, and larger classroom settings. --National Institute for Literacy “I was really impressed with proficiency test scores here in the Defiance area,” she says. “I think it has a lot to do with Golden’s passion for literacy and lifelong small class size which allows teachers more learning grew out of her own personal opportunities to do one-on-one interaction experience 20 years ago, when, as a single and develop different strategies for working parent, she decided to earn a college degree with struggling students.” “to better provide for my daughter.” She left Golden engaged her students in a a job in the criminal court system to work community literacy project during the spring at Case Western Reserve University where semester. With the cooperation of Biggby’s she enjoyed the collegiate setting and the Coffee, Domino’s Pizza, Northtowne Mall, opportunity to work with faculty, staff, and the Pilgrim Library, and the Defiance Public students in various settings. She went back Library, more than 1,000 children’s books to college on a part-time basis, earning a were collected for distribution to area bachelor’s degree in management and later youngsters. In addition, the early childhood focused on a career in higher education. She education students sponsored a Family Fun earned two master’s degrees from Cleveland Day with book readings, crafts and games. State University and completed her Ph.D. in She also conducted a diversity workshop Curriculum and Instruction from Kent State at this year’s McMaster Symposium. Her University. goal was to get people to explore, celebrate, Golden enjoys spending time with respect, and acknowledge our differences so her family, including two grandchildren. that we can be open to learn about all of our And, of course, she likes to read. “I have similarities, which oftentimes far outweigh to force myself to read things that are not our differences. “To acknowledge and bring academically-based,” she says. Her casual about awareness that we are all human reading includes biographies, novels, poetry, regardless of race, age, gender, etc. is so and books on different cultures.  important in our very multicultural, multiethnic, and multi-racial society.”

Literacy Facts

Summer 2008 ◆ 

A Match

a match

of military and liberal arts Dr. Gregg Gunsch truly enjoys ‘the most challenging job he’s ever had’ teaching computer forensics at DC by Kathy Punches, Director of Public Relations and Marketing


r. Gregg Gunsch watched proudly during 2008 commencement ceremonies as the first six graduates of Defiance College’s computer forensics program accepted diplomas and walked across the stage with their classmates. For Gunsch, it was more than the efforts of the past two years as a faculty member in a new academic major. It


was the culmination of 30 years of experience as an engineer, military officer, and teacher. “I consider it the most challenging job I’ve ever had, and that’s not a bad thing,” says Gunsch, associate professor of computer forensics. A retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, Gunsch might seem at first glance to be an unlikely match for a classroom of 19-year-old college students. But for the Harley-riding, tattooed military man and the liberal arts

college, it’s been a perfect fit. “This is clearly God’s hand in the works, doing something that I can really enjoy, something I can totally embrace,” he says. “I love the environment where they say, ‘Here, we need something, figure out what it is, and we will help you,’ and they mean it. “Here it’s just totally embracing … I walked across the campus during my job interview day, and it was an absolutely compelling place to come to. I have

commented to some people that I walked across campus the last week of school last year and felt just as good about the job as the first day I was here. I’ve been working long enough in my adult life to know that’s profound.” Gunsch had always envisioned himself in what he calls his “sunset years” teaching engineering at an undergraduate college. At Defiance, he’s very close except that instead of electrical engineering, he’s teaching an exciting, cutting edge program in computer forensics, one of only a handful of such programs in the country. Computer forensics is the collecting and analyzing of computerrelated evidence. Gunsch previously taught at the USAF’s graduate school, the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB, where he developed and taught graduatelevel courses in computer engineering, artificial intelligence, and information systems security. His students were “Type A personality engineering officers that were all essentially A students intent on beating everybody else out.” So there was some adjustment for the professor when he began teaching post-high school students. Things like maturity level, absenteeism, and personal responsibility were suddenly obvious. “It’s a big culture shock for the students, learning selfdiscipline, and owning up to self-education,” he says. “In the military environment I didn’t have to get on people about missing classes because they wouldn’t, no excuses. I have to work at becoming less emotionally invested in students missing class. I can’t fix it for them. They need to learn to pick up, and take responsibility for themselves.” Coming from a rigid military and engineering background, Gunsch has made other adjustments. “I’m getting accustomed to a different teaching style, or multiple teaching styles. This is a liberal arts environment. You just do things differently.” Doing things differently – defying the ordinary – hasn’t been a problem for Gunsch. He’s taken his love of systems, how things work, and applied it in some not-so-ordinary circumstances. “I’ve always been a tinkerer, an engineer,” he recalls. “Even as a kid I was always taking things apart to see how they worked. It wasn’t until I was about 13 or 14 years old that I was able to put them back together. “I always knew I wanted to be an engineer, either an engineer or an astronaut. There were never any other considerations.”

Do You Have What It Takes? Do you enjoy solving problems and deciphering puzzles? Is it enough for you to know how to work something, or do you also want to know how and why it works? Are you comfortable around computers? Are you the kind of person who’s always changing them, making them work better? Do people sometimes call you a “geek,” and when they do, it’s a compliment? Do you do well with details, science and math? Do you have patience and personal discipline? Do crimes against innocent people make you angry and wish you could do something about them?

Computer Forensics May Be the Career for You! He studied electrical engineering in college and then joined the Air Force. His first job from 1979 to 1982 was troubleshooting Minuteman missiles on the test range at Vandenberg AFB in California. “It was a great job for somebody fresh out of school, because you learned how things worked in the real world. Machines break, things don’t work like they’re supposed to,” he says. Vandenberg was the launch site for testing missiles in the Pacific. “When something went wrong, and they ran out of published procedures on how to fix it, we’d get a call, and we’d have to go and do some honest-to-goodness troubleshooting,” says Gunsch. That included climbing into a launch silo with live missiles. “If it had gone off while we were in the hole, then we would have died. You get a sense of your own mortality when you’re standing in the bottom of a silo staring up at a rocket nozzle.” With several years of experience, Gunsch went on to teach computer engineering, artificial intelligence, and operating systems

for the Air Force. In 1995 he became involved with a USAF study that looked 30 years into the future. “I became acutely aware that this whole information sphere, everybody talking to everybody else, the massive amount of information sharing that we’re seeing now, it was going to happen,” he says. The awareness included recognition that such a huge information sphere would become a target requiring sophisticated security. After the study, he began teaching information systems security at the Air Force Institute of Technology. He developed an interest in forensics “which is really just the whole troubleshooting and puzzlesolving, investigative aspect.” Gunsch retired from the Air Force in 1999 and spent much of the next several years as a civilian teacher at the base. A serendipitous chain of events led to Gunsch’s visit to the Defiance campus in 2006 to discuss with administrators the creation of a new academic major in computer forensics. “I came up to see what it was about and was totally sold on the place,” he recalls. “It’s basically taking everything I’ve learned and accomplished in my past and getting to apply it here. It really seemed to be a culmination of experiences.” Gunsch spent his first two years as a Defiance faculty member commuting weekly from his home in Fairborn. He and his wife, Cherryanne, have purchased a rural Defiance home and she is planning on studying wellness and business here in the fall. They have two adult children, Virginia and Jason. Part of the attraction of Defiance College for Gunsch was its relationship with the Family Justice Center of Northwest Ohio which provided some grant monies for the computer forensics program, and a crop of students already in place, eager to learn about the discipline. He asked his students why they took the risk on a new, uncharted major. Many like the idea of forensics, of going after criminals and pedophiles. “But mostly, they’ve said it’s giving back, it’s technological, it’s cool, and it’s cutting edge.” He feels a connection with his students who, like him, were willing to take a risk for something they felt compelled to do. “It’s another of those God things,” he says. “It’s a confluence, all these different factors coming together at once, and you get something spectacular out of it.” 

Summer 2008 ◆ 11

wider world

Wider World

from kenya to defiance

With a strong passion for teaching, Professor Edward Kamau brings a unique world view to the classroom by Kathy Punches, Director of Public Relations and Marketing


dward Kamau, assistant professor of marketing, loves those illuminating moments in the classroom when students grasp a new concept or idea. It’s what fuels his passion for teaching. “I like the transferring of knowledge, helping students learn new things,” he says. “That really gets me, when the light goes on, and they get something in a different way. That’s what you do it for, to see horizons broadening and opening up.” Kamau teaches marketing, global issues, international business, and personal finance. Some innovative areas that spark his interest include an e-marketing course he is developing to teach students how to start an online business. How do you get revenue and profitability with a business online, and how do you relate it to a regular bricks-and-mortar business? Another topic of interest for Kamau is subsistence marketing. “Not a very glamorous name,” he says, but it fits with the mission of Defiance College by studying what marketing can do to benefit lowresource communities. “Some of the ways you can do that are helping people get started in a small business, learn how to market, and how to send messages to the market in lowresource areas,” Kamau notes. Tourism is another area of study, particularly the tourism industry in Kenya, where he grew up. “At one point, tourism was our biggest foreign exchange area. Now, the biggest item in foreign exchange is Kenyans outside of the country sending money back.” Growing up in East Africa, Kamau acquired a very diverse set of interests from political science to history, literature, economics and business. “One thing that growing up in Kenya impressed upon me is


the need for social justice and a fair economic system,” he says. “The wide gap between the poor and the wealthy there is obvious. It is from that perspective that I developed an interest in economics and business. My parents were also business people, so I was naturally attuned to the business field.” His interest in teaching developed at the undergraduate level, where he had two teachers, one a professor from the United States who taught him history and the other a political economy instructor. “Both these teachers deeply impressed me, and when I came to the U.S. it was quite easy for me to decide to go to graduate school, and in a sense, follow in their footsteps,” Kamau explains. He also had relatives who were teachers, and especially important, an uncle who was educated here in the U.S. who encouraged him to come and pursue graduate education. During and after his undergraduate education, he worked in sales, marketing and procurement for a Kenyan company that imported and sold machinery, auto parts and equipment in the East African region. During this time he became familiar with U.S. companies his company did business with such as TRW, Federal Mogul, Ford, and GM. As a result of this experience he decided to come to the U.S. to study business at the graduate level so he applied to Vanderbilt University in Nashville and they offered him a scholarship. After completing his MBA from Vanderbilt, Kamau decided to go into the doctoral program at the University of Memphis and eventually started teaching part-time, and then full-time at LeMoyneOwen College in Memphis. He came to Defiance College in 2006. Kamau believes a liberal arts-based education provides students with the most valuable tools to be successful. He brings a broad range of discussion topics to the classroom, from the latest technology to marketing in developing countries. “I try as much as possible to talk about other things, not just the subject of the day. What’s going on politically, for marketing that’s important - how candidates market themselves, the messages they send, the polling. It gets students to think about those issues from a marketing standpoint. It gets them to keep on top of trends. What are they interested in? What is the theme? To me, that’s getting them to see the world in a new light.” The professor is impressed by DC’s ability to instill a world view in its students. “It rubs off on them. I think for a small

school Defiance is able to do that amazingly well, and I like teaching here for that reason. We are a small school that sees itself as part of humanity more broadly. We get our students from the region, but those students come here and see a window on a much wider world.” In May 2008, Kamau traveled to Ghana with fellow faculty member Dr. Sandra Golden and McMaster School dean Dr. Laurie Worrall to explore opportunities for program development. Kamau examined micro-lending, business cooperatives, and exports and imports with the U.S. It was the mission of the college that attracted Kamau to Defiance College.

“There’s a real effort to live it and put it into practice,” he says. He encourages those students who have traveled internationally through the McMaster School to talk about their projects in his classroom. He appreciates the ability to bring a global perspective into a class, not from the professor, but from a student. “For others to see ‘Hey it’s possible to come here and go to Jamaica or Cambodia.’ The fact that you have the seeds, some who have done this, it really broadens horizons and is something that’s very welcome in the classroom. I tell them, ‘You just keep talking about it.’” 

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Summer 2008 ◆ 13


immersed in research and teaching

From an island to landlocked DC, Dr. Doug Kane continues to study the Lake Erie watershed by Kathy Punches, Director of Public Relations and Marketing


help or hurt water quality. His research began at Stone Lab, Ohio State University’s Lake Erie campus on Gibraltar Island, and has now expanded to the watershed areas of the Sandusky and Maumee rivers. “You really have to look back at what’s coming into the lake from upstream, and now I’m upstream and that’s one of the reasons I’m here,” he says. Kane also appreciates the small college environment where he can continue his

Photo by Jenny Derringer

eeing someone who has spent much of his undergraduate and graduate education years conducting research on a small island in Lake Erie, one is quick to wonder what drew Dr. Douglas Kane to landlocked Defiance. Surprisingly, the answer is location. Defiance lies within the Lake Erie watershed and embraces the Maumee River, which

flows into the lake. “My research has mainly been on – I could describe it as water quality, but it’s a little broader than that – biotic integrity,” says Kane, assistant professor of biology since fall of 2007. He describes biotic integrity as those practices that help or hurt the environment, and for his research, specifically water quality including chemical water quality, nutrients levels in the water, physical water quality, and water temperature. He examines organisms that


research without the pressures of a larger research institution. And, he enjoys teaching and getting students interested and involved in environmental education. He has been fascinated by the study of water since growing up on a small, manmade lake in a suburb of Cleveland, not to mention living less than three miles from Lake Erie. “I guess my environment affected what I was interested in studying and doing, and in high school and college, biology was always my favorite class,” he recalls. Kane wasn’t exactly sure which way his interests would lead him until he visited Stone Lab during his freshman year at OSU (where he would go on to earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees). As the nation’s oldest freshwater biological field station, Stone Lab affords endless opportunities for teaching, research, and mentoring. “Stone Lab is probably one of the best examples I can think of in environmental education, because you’re on a small island separated from everything else, you’ve got water all around you so it makes it very convenient,” he says, adding with a laugh, “And you’re actually immersed in what you’re doing.” Lake Erie’s water quality has been declining since the mid-1990s, Kane says. He notes that biologists are observing more toxic blooms of algae as well as low-oxygen events. Algae grows then dies and falls to the bottom, and as it dies, bacteria come in and decompose it, using up oxygen. “So the oxygen at the bottom gets used up, and if you’re a fish down there, you’re in trouble,” says Kane. “There’s no oxygen so you either have to move somewhere else or die.” While there are many hypotheses as to causes of declining water quality, researchers see invasive species (zebra mussel) and events within the Lake Erie watershed and

“You really have to look back at what’s coming into the lake from upstream,” he says, explaining that farming practices within the watershed contribute to nutrients and sediment depositing into Lake Erie. “Obviously we’re not going to take all the farms away from the Maumee River basin, but there are some things we can do to minimize the amount of nutrient loss from the farm fields and prevent them from going downstream into Lake Erie and growing Water flow from the Detroit River makes up 80 to 90% toxic algae.” of the flow into the lake. The outlet for Lake Erie is the And, there are aesthetic Niagara River; consequently, it is Lake Erie that feeds reasons to improve water water to Niagara Falls. quality. “People don’t like algae washing up on their Basin rainfall is about 34 inches per year, although the beach and decomposing because it stinks, and it historical trend is increasing slightly. About 34 inches doesn’t look nice. And of water evaporates from the lake surface per year. algae cause taste and odor problems in water that cost Heat storage by the lake tempers the fall climate and water companies more to lengthens the growing season. filter out,” says Kane. --Ohio Geological Survey He hopes to be able to take Defiance College students to Lake Erie and Few colleges have reserves so to Stone Lab to become involved in field conveniently located to campus, he says, trips and research activities. Stone Lab offers and he hopes to be able to expand use of the a competitive program for undergraduate sanctuary to non-science students and faculty. research experiences. As a teaching tool, it provides a setting that Kane’s research into invasive species surpasses most classroom experiences. “It’s also includes terrestrial species. “One that really more experiential learning rather than we hear about now in Defiance County is the sitting there having someone talk to you all emerald ash borer,” he says. His recent work day,” he says. has been to look at community composition Kane’s interests beyond natural science of trees. “Can we make some include classic rock and art. He earned a predictions about what will minor in art history and hopes to someday take over once all the ash “Can we make some predictions join his art faculty peers in teaching a course. trees are dead?” “Art and science aren’t really so different … about what will take over once all the Kane has discovered a they inform one another,” he says. “That’s ash trees are dead?” valuable resource for his one of my side interests, and I don’t think I’d students in nearby Thoreau even be able to think about pursuing anything -- Doug Kane, DC professor Wildlife Sanctuary, a 200like that at a bigger school.” acre reserve just minutes Growing up in Cleveland, Kane became from campus. Owned by the a sports fan, following the Browns, Indians upper Great Lakes as two key possibilities. Diehl family, the sanctuary has been available and Cavaliers. He spent the past 11 years in Lake Erie is the shallowest, warmest, for research and field experience to DC Columbus as a Buckeye fan. “It’s interesting southernmost, and most productive of the students for nearly 20 years. Kane credits his when I’m here and I see all the Michigan Great Lakes. These characteristics allow predecessor Dave Reed for restoring prairie stuff … it’s very hard for me to restrain more fish to be produced in Lake Erie than and forest ecosystems at the sanctuary. “Now myself,” he laughs. “I’d say my life has been all the other Great Lakes combined, explains we are seeing long-term what is happening very Ohio-centered.”  Kane. and comparing that to other areas around here.”

Lake erie Facts

Summer 2008 ◆ 15


a journey

across america to find history Dr. Michelle Tabit’s childhood passion sent her east from Spokane to actually live history by Kathy Punches, Director of Public Relations and Marketing


“They each have their own unique personalities, and you get to have a different relationship with each one of them tailored to their specific interests,” she says. “One of the things I joke about is there’s a revolving door here. They come in, they sit down, and they talk about not only politics and history but whatever is on their mind at that particular time.” It’s not just the informal conversations that Tabit enjoys but also being able to help students grow and develop from inexperienced freshmen to seniors with “clear

Photo by Jenny Derringer

r. Michelle Tabit has loved history since she was a child. She remembers visiting the library with her father as an eightyear-old and selecting a book on Abraham Lincoln. But it was years later as a teaching assistant in graduate school that she discovered a love of teaching. Her plan to work in a museum took an abrupt turn when

she went to a study session and found 130 students in the room. “And all of a sudden that night as I was standing in front of those kids, and they were so energized and filled with questions,” recalls Tabit, “I realized I could still work with historical artifacts, but there was something really great about teaching and interacting with students.” In her second year at Defiance College as assistant professor of history, Tabit appreciates the small college environment that allows her to get to know her students.


Tabit grew up in Spokane, She refers to her mother as her “cheering Wash., where she began her section.” When Tabit was facing the daunting college days at Gonzaga task of writing her dissertation, her mother University. Knowing she spurred her on. “She listened to all the wanted to teach history, she stories. She was always there. You know, realized it would be hard to being a homemaker herself, she had her two do “without ever seeing any cents to throw in.” history or being anywhere And Tabit’s found an extended family historical.” So she packed since coming to Defiance. “I’ve made good up and headed east. She friends with faculty members here, and it worked as a nanny and began taking classes makes you feel like you’re in a family, in a at Cabrini College in Pennsylvania. The real community, which is important in my family with whom she stayed gave her many job.” opportunities to travel, including a trip to She appreciates the many opportunities Washington, D.C. for her 21st birthday. offered at DC. “Here at Defiance I can give “When they went on vacation they took a lot back to the school. I get to participate me along, so I got to explore all the historical in learning communities. I get to participate places, which was my dream. So when I talk on committees. Since this is my community, to my students about writing the Constitution, it’s important to me to be involved and know I’ve been to Independence Hall. I’ve lived what’s going on.”  in Philadelphia in the summer when it’s 90 degrees and 89 percent humidity … and you can really talk about the passion of what it’s like to be there.” Since the age of 21, Tabit has visited 40 states. “One thing I’ve learned as an American is that yes, wherever you are in the United States you’re always an American; however, each of the regions of the U.S. has its own culture, and I think that’s an interesting dynamic to bring into the classroom. Dr. Tabit views the Amistad project as a great learning “I think that everyone opportunity. Here is the story. On the morning of June assumes because we 28, 1839, La Amistad (Friendship) set sail from Havana. live in one nation, that On board the little schooner were 53 Africans who had we’re all the same and been abducted from West Africa and sold in violation of that we don’t have any idiosyncrasies or international law. Their intended fate was enslavement differences.” on plantations down coast from Havana. On the third Having lived on both day out, the Africans revolted and ordered that the ship sides of the continent, be guided toward the rising sun back to Africa, but each Tabit is now settled in night the Cubans reversed direction. Zigzagging for two northwest Ohio. An only months, the ship eventually was brought by northerly child, she is close to her winds and currents to Long Island. The Africans were parents who still live in jailed and charged with piracy and murder. In New York Spokane. Her dad has City, a group of Christian abolitionists formed a defense been a barber for 44 committee and, with help from former President John years, sought-after by servicemen from a nearby Quincy Adams, took the case to the United States military base for his great Supreme Court, which ruled that the Africans were flat-tops. “They’re so free. flat you could bounce a --Amistad Research Center quarter off them.”

“History is that conversation about who we are and where we came from and potentially even where we’re going.” -- Dr. Michelle Tabit, DC professor motivation, clear goals, clear statements of purpose.” She likes the unique opportunities available to faculty and students at Defiance through the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity. She became involved in the New Orleans learning community as a McMaster Fellow this year and will be returning in the 2008-09 academic year. She led several students in an archival project at the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans, processing collections in an archive of African American history at Tulane University. Tabit views the Amistad project as a great learning opportunity for students interested in history. “They will better understand the importance of preserving documents and how they fit into the history, because without those documents, without those stories, without those interviews, history is just what they think it is – facts and figures. And it’s not. History is that conversation about who we are and where we came from and potentially even where we’re going.” The New Orleans archival project was a natural extension of Tabit’s focus on public history for her master’s degree at Washington State University. As a doctoral student at WSU, she explored U.S. Latin American history and women’s history. Her dissertation explored the professionalization of women. Examining the home economics program at the University of Idaho through its archives, Tabit gained a newfound respect for women who used home economics as a venue for breaking into the academy. “The men of the academy, seemed to believe that if they gave women their own little department off in the corner that they would learn to cook and clean and they wouldn’t try to come into the main body of the academy,” describes Tabit. “Once women were in the door, they immediately began to attack in the sciences. They saw chemistry in nutrition, they saw cleaning and cooking as all part of science.” She advises her students not to approach their research with any preconceived notions. “Let the evidence take you where it will,” she said.

Amistad Facts

Summer 2008 ◆ 17



professors make the difference Profiles of recent faculty additions Dr. Kenneth Adair joined the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics as assistant professor of chemistry in fall 2007 having previously served as lecturer at the University of Dayton. At Defiance, he is teaching courses in General Chemistry, Chemistry Around Us, and Quantitative Analysis. While at the University of Dayton, he also taught courses in Physical and Biophysical Chemistry. Adair received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 2006, where he also received his MS in 2000. He earned his B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1999. His research interests center around understanding the complex dynamics of macromolecular and biological fluids. His recent work has focused on developing methods by which to observe the dynamics of small ensembles of isolated chromophores in complex environments. Dr. Todd Comer arrived at Defiance College in fall 2005 as assistant professor of English and director of composition. His main areas of interest are 20th Century British

and American literature, postcolonial and postmodern culture, literary theory, film, religion and literature. Comer completed his doctorate in English at Michigan State University in 2005 where he also earned a master of arts degree in English. His undergraduate degree, a B.A. in English and history, was earned at Taylor University. At Defiance he teaches Literary and Cultural Theory, Modern and Contemporary British Literature, Postcolonial Literature, Introduction to Language and Literature, Composition, Global Civilization, and special topics in literature. He has presented literary papers at numerous conferences and symposia. Dr. Somnath Dutta came to Defiance College as assistant professor in chemistry in 2005. His primary teaching assignments are General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. Dutta completed a doctorate in organic chemistry from State University of New York at Binghamton in 2005 where he gathered extensive experience in synthetic organic

chemistry. While at SUNY Binghamton, he was recognized for his teaching from both students and peers. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry and biochemistry, respectively, were earned at the University of Calcutta. Since arriving at Defiance, Dutta has been involved in numerous professional and campus endeavors including conducting water quality testing of water from the Maumee and Auglaize rivers. He takes part in professional conferences and workshops including seminars of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Nathan Griggs has quickly taken on a leadership role on campus since arriving at DC in fall 2004. He serves as chair of the Division of Science and Math. He was just promoted to the rank of associate professor of biology. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University and completed his doctorate in biomedical sciences from Wright State University. He previously taught at Charleston

Dr. Dutta (right) joins students in sharing the Defiance College spirit. Photos by Brooke Shinabarger


Southern University and Piedmont Virginia Community College. He held post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Virginia, University of Florida, and the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, one of the most prestigious genetics institutes in the world. His work at Jackson Laboratory involved cell biology of the FcRn receptor, responsible for maintaining high levels of serum IgG in mammals and is a target for systemic autoimmune therapy. Dr. Griggs worked with the Cambodia Learning Community of the McMaster School during the 2007-08 academic year. He oversaw a student research project that provided medical information on T cell anergy, a genetic mutation that affects almost 40 percent of the Cambodian population and makes the usual PPD test for tuberculosis ineffective. Griggs often collaborates with Steve Sondergaard, professor of criminal justice, to present forensic science demonstrations. Dr. Stacey Elsasser brought to Defiance College more than five years of teaching experience at the collegiate level when she joined the faculty in fall 2007. She received her Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in Curriculum and Instruction. Her dissertation won the 2003 Dissertation in Curriculum award from the American Association of Teaching and Curriculum. Elsasser taught at institutions in New York and Kentucky before coming to Defiance. Elsasser’s passion for teaching stems from a variety of teaching experiences, ranging from inner-city work in Minneapolis and Houston, to a one-room elementary school in Massachusetts, to two years of English language teaching in the People’s Republic of China. Through her holistic

philosophy of education, Elsasser strives to model effective teaching strategies in the college classroom and to develop teachers who think critically about their role in education and society. Her academic interests lie in the development of pre-service and in-service teachers, study of the physical body at school, and the connection between religion and education. Stacey is a member of the executive council of the American Association of Teaching and Curriculum. She is currently serving as the book fair coordinator and will serve as the program chair of the annual conference, starting in 2008. Matthew Lydum is in the dissertation phase of the doctoral program in Teaching and Teacher Education at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Oregon State College. Lydum assumed a full-time faculty role at DC in fall 2007, but was a member of the campus community for three years prior. He came to Defiance College in 2004 and taught sport science courses while serving full-time as the head track and field and head cross country coach. He teaches Kinesiology and Biomechanics, Motor Learning, Physical Education and Coaching Methodology, and Philosophy of Education in addition to supervising student teachers in physical education. His research interests include coaching education, access and equity in physical activity and sport delivery systems, service-learning and civic engagement, and social justice in sport. Lydum is actively involved in the sport of track and field at the national and international levels. He has served on the USA coaching staff for the World

Championships in Youth Athletics and as USOC delegate to the International Olympic Academy where he studied the role of sport in promoting universality, brotherhood, and peace. As a coaching educator, he has certified hundreds of high school coaches in the Great Lakes region and around the country and coordinates the Instructor Training Course for USA Track & Field. He is the project writer for a book titled Coaching Youth Track & Field published by Human Kinetics in 2007. Dr. Myra Stockdale assumed the responsibilities of Program Director for Athletic Training Education at Defiance College in fall 2007 after serving as the head athletic trainer and assistant professor of health and fitness at Hanover College (Indiana) for 16 years. Prior to that, she served as an assistant athletic trainer and assistant professor of physical education at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. Stockdale received her Doctor of Health Science degree in 2004 from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. She received her M.S. in physical education from Indiana State University where she served as a graduate assistant and was actively involved in the athletic training curriculum program. Her B.A. is from Hope College in Michigan. Stockdale is a certified member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and has served since 1996 as an approved examiner for the NATA. She is licensed as an Athletic Trainer in both Indiana and Ohio and is also an American Red Cross Instructor for Professional Rescuer CPR, Automated External Defibrillation, and Prevention of Disease Transmission. 

Summer 2008 ◆ 19



faculty scholarly achievements Emeriti promotions, Distinguished Faculty Award, conference presentations, and publications

Professor Frank Sanders

Dr. Kenneth Christiansen

Professor Steve Sondergaard

Dr. Kenneth Christiansen, professor of religion and sociology, and Frank Sanders, associate professor of psychology and social work, received professor emeritus status during commencement ceremonies in May. Both retired at the end of the 2007-08 academic year. Steve Sondergaard, professor of criminal justice, received the Distinguished Faculty Award for 2008. His experiences as a police officer, practicing attorney, and assistant prosecutor prepared him for a role as faculty member at DC where he arrived in 1993. Sondergaard brings his academic expertise to bear on his community work such as serving as guardian ad litem for the Defiance County Juvenile Court and providing training to state and local judicial and law enforcement personnel. Dr. Laurie Worrall, Dean of the McMaster School, had the lead article in the Fall 2007 edition of the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning. Worrall’s article was entitled, “Asking the Community: A Case Study of Community Partner Perspectives.”

Mary Ann Studer, assistant professor of physical science, presented at several national and international conferences during the 2007-08 academic year. Last August she presented a paper at the International Symposium on the Environment in Athens, Greece, entitled: “Integrated Natural Resource Management as a Framework for Multidisciplinary Research in Belize.” She also presented at the National Collegiate Honors Council in Denver on the topic “Extreme Engagement: International Undergraduate Research and Service.” In January she presented at the annual meeting of the Alliance for Global Sustainability at MIT . Dr. Todd Comer, assistant professor of English, published an article, “A Mortal Agency: Flann O’Brien’s At Swim-TwoBirds,” in the Journal of Modern Literature (31.2). Matt Lydum, assistant professor of education, has written the book Coaching Youth Track and Field published late last year by Human Kinetics. Dr. Jo Ann Burkhardt and Professor Jeff Weaner, McMaster Fellows to

Cambodia, published an article on education, health care, and women’s issues in Cambodia in the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Children’s Issues Worldwide, released this year by Greenwood Press. Coauthor was Aaron Weaner ’95. Dr. Jo Ann Burkhardt, Dr. Catharine O’Connell, McMaster Scholar Kaitlin Studer, and Elizabeth Grafing ’07 presented a panel at the meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC in January on the topic “Faculty-Student Learning Communities as Effective ‘Crosswalks and Communal Spaces’ for Engaged Global Learning.” Dr. Catharine O’Connell, Dr. Jo Ann Burkhardt, Dr. Don Buerk, and students Jessica Conley, Caci Craig, Stan Strausbaugh and Andrew White, firstyear students in the Understanding Autism Class, gave a presentation on the Hench Autism Studies Program during the recent Common Good Symposium at Cabrini College in Pennsylvania. The presentation was titled “Meeting the Educational Needs of Adolescent Students with Autism: An Opportunity for College-Community Collaboration.” 



service-based research Through the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity, DC students can conduct research worldwide by Kathy Punches, Director of Public Relations; Gretchen Rust, Receptionist Clerk


ith each passing year, the body of service-based research conducted by Defiance College students and faculty through the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity continues to grow. McMaster Faculty Fellows work with Student Scholars to develop research-based projects that provide a community benefit, as well as produce valuable, life-changing experiences. During the 2007-08 academic year, 26 student scholars, five faculty fellows and seven associate fellows traveled to Belize, Cambodia and New Orleans for their McMaster projects. Each group studied and worked within its own learning community, developing and carrying out original research in response to community-identified needs. Their projects in domestic and international locations are often supported by planning and research conducted by fellow students

on campus. Here is a sampling of this year’s projects: BELIZE Senior forensic science major Pamela Gibson conducted a survey of intestinal parasites in rural wells and cisterns on the periphery of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area in Belize. This project repeated the protocol of Eric Dix, a McMaster Scholar to Belize in 2005. Eric had surveyed for intestinal parasites in the New River Lagoon and its tributaries. During that trip, the learning community made its first visit to the small village of San Carlos, an indigenous village of 95 percent Maya/ Mestizo directly positioned on the shores of the New River Lagoon. While students and faculty worked with the farmers and talked to teachers in the school, Eric spontaneously decided to show the children how his pumping equipment worked and ran some water from one of the village wells through

Pam Gibson and Professor Steve Smith conduct water testing in Belize.

the apparatus. Upon returning to campus, it was discovered that Balantidium coli was present in the sample from the open well in San Carlos Village. This prompted Pamela Gibson to focus her study two years later on those water sources that were directly used by the people in this region – wells and cisterns. Eric was instrumental in mentoring Pam through the project both in its initial phase pre-trip preparation and in the post-trip preparation of slides and analysis. Fortunately, Pam’s results were negative for all sources tested. No intestinal parasites were found. She left a legacy however, for the project to be continued by further detailing the protocol for another scholar to use. And she developed the needed contacts on the ground to continue this project in a manner that focuses on getting to those locations that pose the greatest risk to the people. Part of Pam’s plan includes Associate Fellow Steve Smith’s idea to develop a system for villagers to filter their own water. Working with Potters for Peace, local potters will be able to make low-cost ceramic filtration systems for the villagers. CAMBODIA For Kelsey Huff, participation in the Cambodia Learning Community brought some valuable, and potentially lifesaving information to the forefront for doctors in Cambodia. Her research project intended to address the problem of tuberculosis in Cambodia by collecting new vaccine development and methods of testing, revealed exciting medical information on T cell anergy, a genetic mutation that affects almost 40 percent of the Cambodian population and makes the usual PPD test for tuberculosis ineffective. Cambodians who get a negative response on this skin test are often sent away without Summer 2008 ◆ 21


Jennifer Creighton creates cyclebeads with Cambodian women. treatment even though they have symptoms of tuberculosis. According to the World Health Organization, each person that remains untreated will go on to infect 10 to 15 more individuals each year. Kelsey collected medical journals that explained this phenomenon and created a booklet to give to doctors in Cambodia. She also presented the information to doctors and pulmonary physicians in Phnom Penh and in the rural area of Baah Prey. She says that the language barrier was a tremendous challenge in Cambodia, trying to translate many scientific terms from English to Khmer. “I had to reword many things and make sure the translator understood exactly the message I was trying to relay.” And the experience gave her greater selfconfidence. “I had to present the information as an undergraduate student to doctors, and in a culture where a female at my age is not expected to be educated.” Junior international studies major Jennifer Creighton was also part of the Cambodia Learning Community. She researched natural methods of birth control to present to the staff and women in the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center. “The two methods I presented are the Standard Days Method (SDM) and the Two Day Method, both from Georgetown University,” said Creighton. “I hoped to give them the tools to be able to plan their future pregnancies and to better understand their bodies.” To teach the standard days method, Jennifer made “cyclebeads,” color-coded strings of beads that enable women to track their menstrual cycle.


This project was not without its difficulties, according to Creighton. “I had to change my presentation a few times in order for it to be successful. I learned that being able to adapt is key to success, no matter how much you feel you are prepared for what is ahead.” No matter how many struggles though, Creighton felt the trip was a success. “We really did, in our own small way, change lives. I also realized from this trip that I do not want to do this work for any selfish or selffulfilling reason; I want to do it because I can, and therefore I have a responsibility to others.” NEW ORLEANS Junior historian Brenda Delarber conducted her McMaster Scholar project on independent archives, specifically the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans. Brenda, along with professor Lisa Crumit-Hancock and Dr. Michelle Tabit, spent several days at the Center which has suffered significant staff reductions as a result of Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita. Its mission is to preserve African American history. Brenda and her fellow DC historians archived the collection of the late Thomas C. Dent, writer and civil rights activist. They sorted and assembled a large collection of audiocassettes

that Dent taped as he conducted research for his book Southern Journey: A Return to the Civil Rights Movement. They also prepared a scope of collection, a written record of what is contained in the collection. Dent’s collection in the Amistad Research Center includes 40 linear feet of information including tapes, newspaper articles, magazines, and diaries. Brenda’s research also delved into the value of independent archives and oral histories, those histories of everyday people who have contributed to the well-being of their communities. She received an award for her project and paper presented at a Phi Alpha Theta regional conference held at Kent State University this spring. She and Dr. Tabit also gave a presentation about the project at the Common Grounds conference held in Philadelphia. A history major, Brenda has already been accepted as a McMaster Scholar for her senior year. She plans to conduct oral histories of clergy involved in Churches Supporting Churches, a movement to assist African American churches in New Orleans destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Her transcribed interviews will be presented to the Amistad Research Center so that the archives can begin to track the history of the organization. 

Brenda Delarber catalogs tapes at the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans.


update from the field house Track and Field All-American, new men’s basketball coach, All-HCAC honors, postseason play, and more before struggling after heading back north. The Jackets suffered some key injuries to an already thin pitching staff and ended 5-28 on the season. Despite the disappointing record, the 2008 season was not without highlights, many of which came from a pair of sophomore middle infielders who developed into two of the top hitters in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference during their second seasons with DC. Tim Pitro and Kirk Jesse anchored the Yellow Jacket lineup throughout the season en route to earning All-HCAC honors. Pitro batted over .400 through the first 28 games before ending with a team-best .361 clip. Along with posting the team’s top batting average, Pitro also led the squad with a .475 slugging percentage and 26 runs scored. Jesse was one of Defiance’s most improved hitters at the plate, blossoming under Woodley’s watchful eye, and ending the season with a .295 average and 13 extra-base hits from his leadoff position. Jesse led the Jackets with 132 at bats, nine doubles, and three home runs, while setting new career highs in nearly every offensive category. Pitro and Jesse will look to lead Defiance back into contention for the HCAC Tournament in 2009 on a team set to return all of its starters. DC will also achieve a milestone in its first victory of the 2009 season, notching the 600th win in program history.

Sophomore Tim Pitro makes a play at second base. by Seth Mikel, Sports Information Director BASEBALL The 2008 campaign was a season full of growing pains for a very young Yellow

Jacket squad. The roster featured 21 new faces, including 18 freshmen, and was led by first-year skipper Derek Woodley. Defiance opened the year with a 3-5 showing during its spring break trip to Port Charlotte, Fla.,

SOFTBALL The Defiance College softball team finished its season 24-18, its fifth consecutive season of 20 or more wins. The Jackets went through the HCAC Tournament unblemished on their way to the school’s second HCAC Tournament title, earning a berth in the NCAA Regional Tournament. DC has won either the HCAC regular season or tournament title in three of the last four years. Defiance continued its stellar play in Summer 2008 ◆ 23

Athletics All-District IV Second Team and the NCAA Ithaca Regional AllTournament Team.

Aarika Davis the NCAA Regional Tournament, advancing to the NCAA Regional Final Four for the first time in school history. After a loss to nationally-ranked Ithaca College in the opening round of the double-elimination NCAA Regional Tournament, the Jackets rebounded with a 2-1 victory over Lebanon Valley College. DC continued to roll on in the tournament as Justine Johnston shutout No. 13 Ramapo College, 1-0, to help Defiance advance to the regional Final Four. The Jacket’s season came to an end in the next round with a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Rochester College. Three players earned All-HCAC honors following the season, led by HCAC Freshman of the Year Marah Robinson. The freshman led the team with a .375 average and seven homeruns, while also driving in 27 runs on the year. Mallory Faling and Johnston also earned All-HCAC honors for Defiance, as Faling hit .296 with five long balls and a team-high 29 RBI from her catcher position. Johnston earned All-HCAC honors for the third consecutive season, going 18-8 with a 1.69 ERA and five shutouts. The junior hurler was a three-time HCAC-Pitcherof-the-Week honoree, while also being named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic


TRACK The Defiance College track and field team had another outstanding season, led by several record breaking performances. This outdoor season saw five HCAC Champions, two HCAC Freshman-of-the-Year selections and three individuals reach NCAA provisional marks in their respected events. Both the men’s and women’s teams earned third-place finishes at the HCAC Championships meet with each team having its best championship meet performance since 2003. Trevor Matuszak had a breakout season for DC, winning All-Ohio and HCAC titles in the hammer throw on his way to automatically qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Brad Zarembski won his second consecutive conference high jump title, while also recording a NCAA provisional mark for the second time in his short career at Defiance. Eric Swartz also recorded a NCAA provisional mark for the second-straight season, tallying 6080 points in the decathlon at the Gregory Invitational. Matt Fosnaugh cleared 13-09.25 to claim the HCAC pole vault title and edge teammate Austin Trivett, who was named HCAC Freshman of the Year after scoring in four different events at the HCAC Championships. Holly Stein, a three-time HCAC Field Athlete of the Week, led the women’s squad with 28 points in the championship meet. The Fort Recovery, Ohio native was named the HCAC’s Most Outstanding Female Field Athlete, as well as earning HCAC Freshman-of-the-Year honors after winning both the discus and the javelin events. Emily Cole was the only other HCAC Champion on the women’s team, clearing a school-record 9-08.00 to win the pole vault. Laura Derov and Alex Thiel were each named All-HCAC

Honorable Mention after scoring more than 16 points in the championship meet. MEN’S GOLF One year after restarting the men’s golf program, Defiance College began taking the next step towards becoming a successful team in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference picture. The Jackets made strides in that department in 2008, competing in seven spring tournaments and improving their total score in the HCAC Tournament by 55 stokes over 2007. One major reason for the strong improvement was the addition of a trio of freshmen to the program. Jace Neal, Aaron Konold and Josh Calame joined seniors Cody Anderson and Craig Holman in leading the Yellow Jackets this season. Neal and Konold combined to turn in DC’s top finish in the first five events of the year, before Anderson led the way at the ONU Invite and HCAC Tournament to close his collegiate career. With another strong recruiting class, DC’s men’s golf program could be on the verge of making its presence felt around the Heartland Conference in the very near future. MEN’S TENNIS The 2008 men’s tennis team was one of nine Defiance College athletic programs to experience a taste of postseason play, as the

Austin Kleman

Jackets posted a 4-4 mark in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and entered the HCAC Tournament as the No. 5 seed. On the season, DC’s nine wins marked the team’s second-highest win total in the past five seasons. The Jackets were led on the court by Tim Kurtz who picked up 12 wins at the top singles position en route to earning All-HCAC honors for the thirdstraight year. Kurtz was one of four players to record double-digit win totals in singles competition, as Austin Kleman, Adam Fausey and Lachmond Bratton all accomplished the feat as well. That group combined to help Defiance post a 16-14 record at the top four singles slots in conference action. Other season highlights included Kleman being named as the HCAC Player of the Week on April 21 and team victories over Adrian, Bluffton, Manchester and Anderson. 

Brumett Named Men’s BB Coach


Matuszak Named Outdoor All-American


revor Matuszak’s second-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the hammer throw helped him garner Division III Outdoor All-American honors. The senior becomes Defiance’s eighth All-American selection, marking the second consecutive season that a DC athlete has earned such a distinction. His eight points in the meet led the Jackets to a 37th-place finish. Matuszak threw 189-06.00 on his fourth throw to take the lead, before Mark O’Connell of St. Thomas overtook that lead with a toss of 191-00.00 on his final attempt to win the event. The NCAA Outdoor Championships wraps up a spectacular final campaign for Matuszak. It’s been a great experience representing Defiance College this season,” Matuszak said. “I’ve tried to embody the school’s spirit of sportsmanship, while competing to the best of my abilities.” Matuszak became Defiance’s eighth track & field All-American. The Ottawa Lake, Mich. native also earned All-American honors at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships, while breaking DC’s weight throw record at the meet with a toss of 62-02.25. He shattered his own school record in the hammer throw at the Billy Hayes Invitational, recording the top throw in the nation this season with a toss of 196-06.00.

efiance College has hired Kyle Brumett as its new head coach for the men’s basketball program. “I am elated that Coach Brumett has accepted the position,” Athletic Director Dick Kaiser stated. “I believe his personality and his basic coaching philosophies are a great match for the players that are currently in the program.” Kaiser added, “Coach Brumett comes from a blue collar background and knows what hard work is all about. I know he is going to roll up his sleeves and get after it the minute he walks on the DC campus. There is no doubt in my mind that he will have success at Defiance College. Fortunately for us, I believe that we have caught another rising star that will make a solid impact on the men’s basketball program, the College and the community as a whole.” Brumett, who was selected out of a pool of over 160 candidates, will come to Defiance after leading his Lakeland College squad to a 33-22 record and a 2008 Northern Athletics Conference Tournament championship during his twoyear tenure with the Muskies. Along with his time as the Lakeland head coach, Brumett has also worked the sideline as an assistant for DePauw, Southern Indiana and Hanover and has 11 years of collegiate coaching experience. “I would not have left Lakeland without a special opportunity, which is exactly what I feel DC has provided,” Brumett said. Brumett will be taking over a Yellow Jacket team which won the HCAC regular season championship and advanced to its second-straight HCAC title game. Defiance has won 36 games over the past two seasons and will lose only two seniors as it looks toward another strong campaign in 2008-09. “I really embrace attempting to work harder than my competition. That is a philosophy that I will bring with me and implement with this team.” Brumett stated. He and his wife, Steffanie, have a year-old son, Leon Maxwell.

Summer 2008 ◆ 25



the educational experience AVD Hall of Fame member Chris Slattery ’79 has brought her competitive spirit to the educational realm by Michele Tinker, Director of Annual Giving


hirty years after graduation, Chris Slattery ’79 is still competing. Where once she channeled her competitive nature into basketball, today she is applying it to improving the educational experience for both students and teachers. Her career in education has spanned teaching physical education, health and business classes, coaching and serving as elementary principal for 12 years, to most recently stepping into the position of curriculum director of the Paulding County School District. Chris grew up in Hicksville, Ohio, where she was very active in sports. She was a member of the high school basketball team that had an undefeated season her senior year, 1975. She has always regretted that the state women’s basketball tournament did not start until the following year. Chris’s decision to come to DC was a result of being recruited by Coach Duane “Scout” Hocking. Scout set up the college visit, and arranged for two student athletes, Tena Behnfeldt and Sue Roughton (now Dangler) to show Chris around campus. “That personal contact started before I was even a student there.” Both women remain close friends of hers to this day. Talking about her time at Defiance, Chris said, “I had the best time of my life there. I became good friends with a lot of the people I competed with during high school.” At DC she found a strong women’s basketball program. She earned four varsity letters in basketball and one in volleyball at Defiance, was team captain, and named Most Valuable Player. During her senior year, the basketball team captured a third place finish in the State, (this was before conference affiliations had been established) and she was recognized as the Female Athlete of the Year. Chris was inducted into the AVD Hall of Fame at the


1996 DC Homecoming Since Defiance College was close to Hicksville, her parents could attend her games. But it wasn’t too close to home for Chris. “You could make that 25 miles as far away as you wanted,” she said laughing. Chris entered college planning on a physical education major. Along the way, she decided she needed “something else,” as she put it, so she acquired a double major: Comprehensive Business Education along with Physical Education and Health. “All of those worlds of education I have put to good use.” Slattery confirmed. Her first job was in Antwerp, where Chris taught typing, shorthand, office practice, phys. ed. and health, while coaching volleyball, basketball and track. Looking back, Chris shook her head. “I never batted an eye going into it. Now, when I think of all the work!” She frequently found herself grading papers and doing lesson plans on the bus heading to games. That’s just what you do when you love your career, according to Chris. Her friend Sue Dangler recruited her to Paulding to teach phys. ed. and to coach with Sue. It was at this time that she pursued her master’s in Educational Administration from Indiana University at Ft. Wayne, thanks to the encouragement of her principal. She also secured her superintendent’s certificate through the University of Dayton at Lima. The year she completed her administrative certificate, she accepted the position of principal at the Mark Center School. The building closed that year but, this experience made her realize

she wanted to pursue an administrative career. After a stint in the Columbus area, the offer of the principal’s job at Oakwood Elementary School in the Paulding School District brought her back home to northwest Ohio. One of the biggest challenges she faced in that position: the Paulding school district went through the school facilities construction process, and at Oakwood, she got to participate in that process as a new elementary building was built. Calling it an excellent learning experience, she thinks she would relish being part of such a project again. Chris stepped up to the position of curriculum coordinator for the district just this fall. It was a hard move to make, but she

Chris Slattery ’79

t s e b d the

“I ha

time o

.” e r e h t e f my lif

“The faculty and staff were there for the students ...” realized that if she has her sights set on being a superintendent some day, she needs central office experience. “I miss daily interaction with the kids, but this is opening so many new doors,” Chris explained. She’s getting new insight into the financial and curriculum aspects of education. There are many hats attached to this job as well, and she is enjoying the chance to be in a learning situation again. Right now, her to-do list includes adopting a new math textbook series, working on professional development opportunities for the district’s teachers, and assisting food service with their plans to start a breakfast program next year. As curriculum coordinator, her goal for the district is to see it achieve an excellent rating on the state report card. Paulding has received an effective rating for several years, and Chris admits her natural competitiveness is pushing her to see the district hit the excellent mark. Chris enjoys spending her free time with her family: her parents, Dick and Nancy Slattery, three siblings – Joni, Ricki and Mitch, and their families, and her

grandmother. She is a regular fixture at all the Paulding High School sporting events. Her favorite thing in the world, however, is her dune buggy. Chris built it from scratch and rides as often as possible at the Silver Lake, Michigan sand dunes, something she’s done for the past nine years. Defiance College is still part of her life as well. Chris still meets with a group of other DC graduates, who call themselves “The Girls of January.” Every January for the past 26 years, these sorority sisters have gotten together for an energetic reunion weekend. Chris has also served on the Alumni Varsity D Executive Board of Defiance College for many years. She explained that she enjoys the opportunity to help with decisions to make the athletic department the best it can be, because it was such a large part of her life. Discussing the growth in opportunities she’s seen for the women athletes, Chris cited the increase in the number of games played, the divisions, and the conference schedules. She related that she is pleased that DC has changed with the times. She also believes

that the college is “pulling out all the stops” to attract a wide range of students, pointing to the new autism studies program as an example. Slattery also worked with several other alumni to create the Duane Hocking endowment. As she related her involvement in this project, she said “I have so much respect for Scout, that there was a natural drive to see that project succeed.” Succeed it did. After its establishment in 2002, the fund provides an annual scholarship to a student majoring in sport science who has demonstrated leadership on campus. Chris goes back to the individual attention she received at Defiance College, as a big part of her education. “The faculty and staff were there for the students, academically or otherwise – you’d even see them at your activities. That made being a DC student very special.” She describes getting her education at DC as “so much fun,” in no small part due to her competitive spirit. Chris believes that at DC, her fellow students challenged her both in the classroom and in sports, as much as she challenged herself. u Summer 2008 ◆ 27



from business to dentistry Can a simple question change your life? According to Kristen Gerity ’04, yes, it can and did by Michele Tinker, Director of Annual Giving


o one ever told me I couldn’t do it,” stated Kristen Gerity, commenting on where she is today. Kristen, a 2004 graduate of Defiance College, is currently a student of dentistry at Ohio State University. Now just weeks away from officially adding D.D.S. to her name, Kristin realizes that if she’d been at a different college, she might not be here right now. When this young woman from Whitehouse, Ohio entered Defiance, she came in as a business major. Kristen had been focusing on this track for quite

some time. Active in DECA, a business and marketing extracurricular program at Anthony Wayne High School, she even competed at the regional, state and national levels within the organization, where she did very well. “I can just sell stuff – it’s a talent,” she freely admitted. Coming into DC, Kristen was on course to take the business world by storm. Then a couple of things happened to make her reconsider this direction. Instead of a basic science class, she took geology from Professor Mary Ann Studer. One day, Mrs. Studer asked her if she enjoyed the class. When Kristen said yes,

Kristen Gerity ’04


the professor said, “Why are you going into business?” That conversation made quite an impact on Kristen. It was the summer after her sophomore year when Kristen had the opportunity to intern with a local financial institution. It was a wonderful experience, but it made her realize that she didn’t want to start at the bottom of an organization and take 20 years to move up the corporate ladder. She began some serious soul-searching and decided she wanted to pursue a career in some field of medicine. However, she wanted to be able to have a family, and have more normal working hours than most physicians do, and she hit upon dentistry, with an eye to becoming an oral surgeon. Two weeks before the start of her junior year, Kristen switched her college focus entirely. She related how she walked into her business advisor’s office and informed him of her plans. She told him, “These are the classes I’ve taken, and these are the classes I need to get a Natural Science degree, okay?” Well, not exactly. Her advisor referred her to Professor Dave Reed, then head of the science department. Professor Reed told her she would be taking four years of science in two years, and she didn’t have the prerequisites for many of these classes. He asked, “Can you handle this?” Kristen felt certain that she could. She had taken honors science classes in high school, which she thought would make up for the lack of the prerequisites. She must have been convincing, because after listening to her, Reed said, “Well, you have it figured out,” and signed off on it. “I started my science classes and found out exactly what I was in for,”

Kristen said with a rueful smile. Her first year as a science major, she studied nonstop. “I was used to getting straight A’s, and my first C devastated me,” she remembers. It was, however, in a science class for which she hadn’t taken a pre-requisite. Her late switch to a science major exacted a big toll on other areas of her life. She dropped out of student government and her marketing club, and drastically curtailed her social life. Kristen thinks she alienated a few friends, who didn’t understand her sudden change in direction and the amount of work she was putting into it. “Most of the people got it,” Kristen explained. “I think they were enjoying the show!” Kristen gives a lot of credit to Professor Studer for what she was able to accomplish. In addition to providing emotional support, Studer recruited her for the honors program and Kristen got back into participating in extracurricular organizations. It was at the end of her junior year that she took the dental admission test, with just one year of science under her belt. She did well enough to get an interview with OSU and another college. One question asked was, “How in the world did they (DC) let you do this?” Her OSU interviewer told her he liked her but he didn’t know what to say to his colleagues to convince them that she should be accepted into the dental program.

one ever told me I couldn’t do it,” she emphasized. She “I have done more in one year than especially remembers a most people have that have applied senior year experiment on whitening teeth that she’s to this school,” said Kristen Gerity ’04 sure tested the patience of to her dental program interviewer. Dr. Spiro Mavroidis to the limit. Research showed Kristen that cow teeth are similar to human teeth, which is what she Her response was, “I have done more decided to use in her project. However, in one year than most people have that have instead of being able to secure cow teeth, she applied to this school.” ended up with cow jaws and had to remove When she graduated from Defiance the teeth for the project herself. This turned College, Kristen was awarded the Pilgrim out to be a more difficult process than she had Medal, the highest honor given by the anticipated, and resulted in her turning the College. It is given to the graduating senior DC anatomy lab into something resembling a who exemplifies self-reliance, pride in work, courage and conscience, strength in education scene from a horror movie. Her plans to become an oral surgeon and faith in God. have changed. She has discovered that she Now, Kristen has passed all her boards, enjoys the range of procedures in general and will be graduating in June. She’ll dentistry, and feels she has a good eye for spend the time until then working in the cosmetic and rehabilitation dentistry. She clinic with patients. Dental students are will be joining Lima Dental Associates once required to complete a certain number of she gets her license this summer. required procedures before graduation, and Despite the rough patch they hit when she is almost done with these requirements. she switched her major, Kristen is now Kristen also has dedicated a lot of her time engaged to John Piper, also a member of the to the Ohio Project, which works with low DC Class of 2004. John is currently working income/Medicaid patients in high need areas as an athletic trainer in Chelsea Community throughout the state, and she is teaching a Hospital in Chelsea, Michigan, but has plans class on making partial plates. to relocate to Lima as well. “We’ve spent Kristen has high regard for the DC four years apart and that’s long enough,” science faculty, who she felt were very Kristen said. u supportive of her efforts at every turn. “No

Dr. O’Connell Named Provost


r. Catharine O’Connell, vice president for academic affairs at Defiance College, has been named Provost of the College, effective June 1. Dr. Gerald Wood, president, made the announcement, saying, “The creation of this position will strategically align the curriculum and co-curriculum to help us achieve the goal of creating an integrated culture of engagement.” To accomplish this, the Provost will oversee the areas of academics, student life, and athletics. Dr. O’Connell came to Defiance College in 2004. In her time at Defiance, Dr. O’Connell has helped to lead the College in several initiatives including the creation of the innovative Hench Autism Studies Program; growth of the College’s signature program, the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity; and the development of new academic majors in international and global studies, computer forensics, and nursing. She presents regularly at national conferences on Defiance College’s efforts to integrate academic excellence with education for responsible global Dr. O’Connell, right, enjoys Commencement 2008 citizenship. The past two years she has participated in the Cambodia Learning with speaker Maria Hinojosa, far left, and Community as part of the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity, traveling Rev. Jan Bechtel, campus chaplain. with Defiance students and faculty to Cambodia to take part in their service-based research initiatives. Prior to her arrival at Defiance College, Dr. O’Connell served at Cabrini College in Pennsylvania where she was the dean for academic affairs. Dr. O’Connell earned her Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan, a master of arts in American Culture from the University of Michigan and a bachelor of arts in American Studies from Amherst College. u Summer 2008 ◆ 29

Alumni Class Notes

class notes DC Alumni

The 40’s

The 50’s

Schauffler alumna Janet Richards ’43 and a companion took a Rhine River cruise this past autumn. Highlights of her travels were the people they met on the cruise ship and in Germany, the lovely fall foliage and stops to visit Nuremberg and other historic sites. “It was a wonderful trip, and I heartily recommend it,” says Janet.

Wendell Dangler ’50 and his wife Helen live in Marion, OH. They have six children living throughout Ohio and New York. He was employed as a teacher for the State of Ohio from 1950 to 1979. After a short retirement, he began teaching adult drivers education and also managed a motel. Wendell has since completely retired and is enjoying life.

John Evritt ’45 and Dorothy (Krebehenne) Evritt ’48 celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on May 24, 2006. They live in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. John continues his lifelong avocation writing political commentary. Their son, Roy, is an EMT in Georgia, and their daughter, Kay, is a grant writer for a Florida community college. They have been blessed with two grandsons and two yapping dogs.

Robert Sanderson ’50 and Beverly (King) Sanderson ’63 have both recently retired from their teaching careers. They will also celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on August 15, 2008.

Illa (Kretzer) Rush ’58 and her husband, David, recently celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. They were married on February 1, 1958, in Trinity United Methodist Church. The couple have three children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. The Rushes reside in Cecil, OH.

The 60’s Michael Steirer ’62 travelled to Southeast Asia with his brother. If you would like to read about his trip go to http://wp2.medina-gazette. com/2007/10/13/accent/senior-living/ on-the-move-brothers-journey-tosoutheast-asia/. Michael resides in Medina, OH. Larry Tonjes ’62 and his wife, Martha, celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. The couple was married on October 4, 1962, in Monroe, MI. They have two children and three grandchildren. Larry and Martha reside in Hicksville, OH. After spending seven years on the Deer Lodge Montana City Council, Mary Ann McGuffin ’64 was recently appointed to the office of Mayor. She is the first woman in the town’s history to take this seat.

Dr. Lewis Mollica ’56

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Lewis Mollica ’56 received the Licking Memorial Health Systems 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is presented to a community member who has devoted time and service to better the community and helped fulfill the LMHS mission by helping to improve the health of the community. This special recognition was created to honor those whose vision, inspiration and leadership have touched and enriched many lives. Lew and his wife Janice (Forrest) Mollica ’57 reside in Granville, OH.

Dr. James D. Studer ’65 joined the University of Texas System as Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. In this role, Dr. Studer is responsible for the planning, management and evaluation of programs, and the development of policies focused on student affairs. Dr. Richard Scott Warren ’65, professor of botany and department chair at Connecticut College since 1970, was recently named to the board of trustees of the Connecticut Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

His primary research focuses on the wetlands and marshes of New England; he has published extensively and presented at many conferences. His expertise comes into play both in classes on plant physiology and in his fieldwork. Warren is an outspoken advocate for the protection of wetlands and tidal marshes. He has worked to reduce the spread of the invasive reed phragmites in the Lower Connecticut River Estuary, and has received numerous research grants and contracts in areas ranging from the assessment of tidal marshes to their restoration. He earned a bachelor’s in biology with a minor in chemistry from Defiance College and a Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire. Defiance College honored him with the 2002 Alumni Citation for Academic Excellence. Sandra (Moulder) Rodocker ’67 was recently promoted to branch manager of the First Place Bank, Hicksville, OH. Sandra has resided in Hicksville for more than 30 years.

The 70’s Terry Reichard ’72 recently retired from teaching elementary education after 35 years. He taught at Lincolview Local Schools in Van Wert County the last 29 years. He is currently a host at Bob Evans Restaurant. Terry resides in Van Wert, OH. For Grace Gushue ’74, volunteering and community service is a way of life, and she is proof no good deed goes unrecognized. She was selected as the co-honoree for the 26th annual Dublin Emerald Ball for her outstanding commitment to this Ohio community.

Joseph Ruiz ’75 and his wife, Maria, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on November 25th. Joseph and his wife reside in Defiance.

Phillip Weaner ’87 and wife, Amy, welcomed their first child, J.T. (Jacob Thomas) Weaner, on September 9, 2007. The Weaner family resides in Lakeland, FL.

Lucy (Rulman) Weaver ’76 and Fred Marckel were married on October 26, 2007 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Defiance. Lucy and her husband reside in Defiance.

The 90’s

Debra (Buenger) Weaks ’77 retired after 28 years of teaching and service at St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School and Church. Debra is an active member in the Lupus Foundation of America, Northwest Ohio, Michigan Chapter, Inc., the Defiance County Representative, and an advocate for lupus in Washington D.C. She has made several tapings to educate the public on Lupus awareness, which has aired on a local television station. For information about lupus, e-mail Debra and her husband, Michael, reside in Defiance. Dr. Virginia Snyder ’79 is currently the program director of the Physician Assistant Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and a physician assistant, Dept. of Neurosurgery, Mercy Health System, Janesville, WI.

The 80’s Barbara (Wetter) Bosshardt ’81, teacher at Arco Iris Primary Center in Los Angeles and Alan Bosshardt ’79-80, head make-up artist on the “Dr Phil Show,” are proud to announce that their son, Christopher Bosshardt, graduated this May from Defiance College with a degree in Computer Forensics. Christopher is the grandson of Lois Bosshardt ’82. James Hohenberger ’85 and his wife Margaret recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. They were married on January 13, 1978 in Sherwood United Methodist Church. The couple has two daughters and five grandchildren. Jim and Margaret reside in Sherwood, Ohio.

Jane McGill ’91 was recently promoted to branch manager of the Henry County Bank’s Holgate office. She joined the bank in 1993. Jane lives in rural Malinta with her husband, Charles. Tammy Baker ’92 received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Youth Science Opportunities at the Continental School District. Tammy resides in Oakwood, OH. Darwin English ’93 was married on July 14, 2007. Darwin and his wife Arlena reside in Clayton, OH. Marcia (Bostelman) Gobrogge ’94 recently joined Thrivent Financial for Lutherans as a financial associate with the organization’s Eastern Great Lakes Regional Financial Office. She will be serving as the financial representative for Wauseon. Marcia and her husband, Bob, reside in Napoleon, OH. Karen Maassel ’95 and Connie Schackow ’95, were awarded continuing education certificates of excellence by the American Medical Technologists. This certificate is awarded annually to those professionals who are certified by American Medical Technologists who have also far exceeded the required number of continuing education hours. It also recognizes the professionals who demonstrated dedication to patients by devoting significant effort to augmenting their professional knowledge and expertise. Cara (Steinberger) Olson ’95 and her husband, Steve, recently welcomed their first child on November 30, 2007. Andrew William Olson arrived at 2:25 p.m., weighing 7 lbs, 5 oz. and 19.5” long. The Olsons reside in Defiance. Kris (Dahms) Gedeon ’96, and her husband, David, are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Brooke Lynne, on November 14, 2007. Brooke has an older brother Collin, age 4. Kris is an emergency

room nurse at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center and is a certified trauma nurse. The Gedeon family resides in Toledo, OH. Proud aunts are Karol (Dahms) Grisard ’96 and Jamie (Dahms) Pelfrey ’99. Proud uncle is Mark Pelfrey ’99. Timothy Held ’96 and his wife, Leslie, are proud to announce the birth of their son, Alex, on September 19, 2007. Alex has an older brother, Drew. Tim teaches mathematics and is the head varsity baseball coach at Moeller High School in Cincinnati. Tim and his family reside in Cincinnati. Jackie Jones ’96 recently joined the staff of Northwest Real Estate Services as a full-time agent. Jackie’s prior employment included 16 years at GM Powertrain as a security officer and several years as a licensed social worker. Jackie is a life-long resident of Defiance. Hilary Glanc ’97 participated in the first Cleveland Breast Cancer threeday walk, held on August 17-19 of 2007. She walked 60 miles over three days in honor of close friends who have died from breast cancer. Amy Jo (Meyer) Lieb ’97 and her husband, Jason, are proud to announce the birth of their son, Joshua Norman, on October 19, 2007. Joshua has two older sisters, Emma, 4, and Carmen, 2. The Lieb family resides in rural Defiance County. Christopher T. Steingass ’97 and his wife, Tara, welcomed a son, born on October 24. He was 3 pounds and 2 ounces. The Steingass family resides in Defiance. Heather (Stambaugh) Smith ’98 and her husband, Ryan, are proud to announce the birth of their son, James David on September 19, 2007. Heather and Ryan also have a threeyear old son, Lester Ray. The Smiths reside in Bryan, OH. Ryan Carder ’99 and his wife, Danielle, are proud to announce the birth of their son, Kellen, born in January 2008. Kellen has an older brother and sister; Caden and Kyla. Ryan is employed at Delphos Jefferson Middle School as a sixth grade teacher and coach. The Carders reside in Delphos, OH.

Army Reserve 1st Sgt. Charles S. Eckart ’99 was honored at a special Welcome Home Warrior-Citzen Award ceremony in recognition of the soldier’s personal sacrifice, exceptional duty performance, and honorable service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and/or Operation Enduring Freedom. Charles resides in Urbana with his family. Gregory Johnson ’99 and Kristin Rahe were married on October 20, 2007 in Pemberville, OH. In 2005, Greg received his master’s in business administration from Tiffin University. He is currently employed as a graduate assistant at Bowling Green State University, while striving for an education degree. Greg and his wife reside in Findlay, OH.

The 00’s Laura Howell ’00 was promoted to Defiance County Operations Manager/Administrator in October of 2007. Laura previously served as the deputy director for Defiance County Board of Elections. Laura and her husband, Bill ’00, reside in Defiance with their two sons. Melissa (Schackow) Cunningham ’01 and her husband, Ryan Cunningham ’01 are proud to announce the birth of their son, Mason Patrick, on October 26, 2007. The Cunninghams reside in Defiance. Sr. Maria Sally Willitzer ’01 is currently in her last year of the Master of Divinity program at University of Notre Dame. Sr. Maria resides in Toledo, OH. Daniel P. Zellers ’01, formerly of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, LLP, has accepted a position with Powell Goldstein in their recently opened Charlotte, NC office. Dan will help expand Powell Goldstein’s Real Estate and Capital Markets practice in the Charlotte office. Rev. Robert Frake ’02 and his wife Ann celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on August 7th. They celebrated the special occasion with a family trip to Europe. Robert and Ann reside in Oakwood, OH.

Summer 2008  31

Alumni Class Notes Franklin Kill ’02 and his wife, Kris, are proud to announce the birth of their second child, Carolina Rose, born on February 11, 2008. Frank was awarded “Coach of the Year” by the Alumni Varsity ‘D’ in 2007. Frank teaches at Lima Central Catholic High School. The Kills reside in Lima.

Krista Melchi ’05 and Alan Cox were married on October 20, 2007. She is employed as a deputy sheriff by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Krista and her husband reside in Springfield, OH.

Christa (Beemer) Johnston ’06 and her husband, Joel, are proud to announce the birth of their son, Simeon Joel Johnston, on November 7, 2007. The Johnston family resides in Bryan, OH.

Erin Williams ’05 and Anthony Studer ’05 were married on September 1, 2007 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hillsdale, MI. Tony is a PhD candidate at the University of WisconsinMadison, and Erin is working as an independent contractor/computer programmer from home. The Studers reside in Madison, WI.

Matthew Mello ’07 was recognized as a Super Starter, in recognition of superior sales achievement at MetLife. Matthew resides in Archbold, OH.

Since graduation, Jolene (Ankney) Williams ’05 and her husband, Ben, have welcomed two new little ones to their family, Caden, 2 and Megan, 1. Their oldest, Alexi, is now 7 years old. Jolene is currently employed by Defiance City Schools as a home instruction teacher and a junior

Devon Palk ’07 graduated earlier this year from the Dallas Police Academy. He graduated second in his class for academics and third overall for firearms, physical fitness and academics.

Jolene (Ankney) Williams ’05 and family high volleyball coach. She is also working on her master’s in education at Defiance College. Jolene and her family reside in Defiance.

Emily Rosebrock ’07 married Joshua Clemens on June 9, 2007. Emily is a state auditor. The Clemenses reside in Stryker, OH.

Alexis Dangler ’03 and Brian Dedrick Alexis Dangler ’03 was married to Brian Dedrick on December 15, 2007. Alexis teaches life sciences and coaches JV volleyball at Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City. Alexis and her husband reside in Dayton, OH. Alexis is the daughter of Sue (Roughton) Dangler ’75. Dana (Hoffman) Tietje ’04 and her husband, Brian, are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Brook Marie, on October 14, 2007. The Tietjes reside in Deshler, OH. Michael Rolf ’04 and Lindsay Boland were married on July 28, 2007 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Defiance. Michael is employed at ABC Distributing Co. as a brand manager. Michael and his wife reside in Defiance, OH. Rebecca Sanford ’04 presented at the National Association of Social Workers Conference in November 2007. Sara (Jacob) Elston ’04 and her husband, Jason, are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Ruby Evelyn Elston, on June 7, 2007. The Elstons reside in Ney, OH.


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:________ 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:

DEATHS Lawrence “Dutch” Schultz Former DC Football Coach Palm Desert, CA – December 7, 2007 Antoinette Chubb ’41 Pleasant Hill, CA – January 14, 2007 John Heath ’42 Churubusco, IN – December 25, 2007 Henry Wojtowicz ’42 Lancaster, NY – December 7, 2007 Eugene L. Bowers ’50 Defiance, OH – November 27, 2007 Galen Noe ’51 Continental, OH – December 8, 2007 William Rogers ’51 Mount Vernon, NY – December 23, 2007 Kathryn (Weatherhead) Kasper ’55 Miamisburg, OH – August 27, 2007

ld in e h n e ave be ew York, h s t n ia, N ni eve Alum Pennsylvan , Michigan, Ohio, da, Arizona Carolina’s Flori o, and the e year. th ad Color the start of since Why have regional events?

1. Enrich communication between DC and its Alumni 2. Open an avenue for all Alumni to share their story, keep in touch, and share their concerns, opinions, and interests with Defiance College 3. Help identify and honor alumni who are leaders in their professions, civic organizations and the community 4. Provide networking opportunities for alumni 5. Provide opportunities for DC Philanthropy initiatives 6. Service and Engagment opportunities 7. Social Events

Starts 9


For up-to-date information on regional events go to

DC Homecom ing

George Rosendual ’59 Bryan, OH – February 21, 2008 May “June” (Moog) Grandey ’60 Hicksville, OH – December 4, 2007 Miriam Smith ’60 Kimberly, WI – October 10, 2007 Pauline Yenser ’63 Oakwood, Ohio – December 20, 2007 Norma Mae (Birchmeier) Mollet ’64 Bryan, OH – October 17, 2007 John Trame ’68 Defiance, OH – December 12, 2007 Gale R. Newman ’71 Altanta, GA - August 13, 2007 Peg (Brodrick) Brinkerhoff ’72 Massilon, OH – October 25, 2007 Charles Daniel ’76 Utica, OH – August 10, 2007 David Mealer ’79 Wauseon, OH – December 24, 2007 Lois Rittenour ’05 Defiance, OH – January 6, 2008

Defiance College Members of the Defiance Chapter of the P. Buckley Moss Society, Trees of Life, chose the Evelyn Ryan Scholarship at Defiance College as the recipient of the Chapter’s fund-raising efforts for 2007. Shown here are chapter members Carol Breese, Jane Parker, and Deb Weisgerber along with Cindy Shaffer, Director of Planned Giving, presenting President Gerald Wood with a check for $2,300 to be added to the scholarship endowment. The Chapter sold raffle tickets and hosted a spaghetti dinner to raise the money for the scholarship. Summer 2008  33


makeover Hall receiving renovation Nearly all of the long-standing Whitney Hall will be transformed in Phase Two of renovations

by Ken Wetstein, VP for Student Engagement and Dean of Students


his summer Whitney Hall is experiencing its very own “extreme makeover.” Nearly 50 years after its original cornerstone was laid in 1959, Whitney Hall is receiving a long overdue renovation. The Whitney renovation represents Phase Two of residence hall renovations at Defiance College. Phase One involved the renovation of the bathroom, shower, and laundry facilities in both Whitney and McReynolds halls. Phase One also included new windows for a portion of Whitney Hall. Phase Two focuses completely on Whitney Hall. Nearly all aspects of the building will be upgraded. The entire building will have new flooring, ceilings, and a fresh coat of paint. The student rooms will have new modular furniture. The renovated and newly air-conditioned lobby will have new furnishings including a “pass-through” fireplace, a new open reception desk, and an office for the resident director. The lobby also features a separate library area with space for quiet reading and study. Each floor of the building has a lounge with a designated use. First floor includes a fitness room, second floor will have a kitchenette, and there will be a quiet study lounge on the third floor. Infrastructure upgrades will include a new roof, new boiler, renovated lobby restrooms,


and an upgrade of the electrical service. The entry to Whitney Hall will also receive some treatment from the architects, bringing the design more in line with other campus buildings. Design Collaborative, an architectural firm from Fort Wayne, IN, has been leading the design work on the residence hall renovations projects. Mel Lanzer Co. of Napoleon is serving as the general contractor on the renovation. The project will be completed by the end of July 2008.

Students are excited about the pending improvements. Allison Johnson, a junior from Holland, OH, described her feelings about the project: “ I really look forward to going back to college in August because I know I will no longer be staying in “dorms” but in a home.” If you have a chance to come to Homecoming this October, stop in and check out the newly transformed Whitney Hall. We would love to show you around! 

Summer 2008 â—† 35

in memory


of the college’s 15th president W. Noel Johnston led the College through a turbulent era, and left a legacy of expansion in academics and facilities


ormer Defiance College president W. Noel Johnston died April 7 at Croasdaile Village Retirement Center in Durham, N.C. He brought a love of education and skills as an administrator and fund-raiser to the College he loved. He was inaugurated as the College’s 15th president in September 1964, serving until 1974. According to Making a Difference for 150 Years: A Pictorial History of Defiance College, President Johnston’s tenure saw the campus response to critical issues of the day, tensions of the civil rights movement and Vietnam War protests. The College’s academic reputation was enhanced with the beginnings of a nationally recognized forensic program, a natural systems program, the innovative winter term, and the Schauffler College’s social work and Christian education programs. To serve the needs of the community, the College started an evening program and provided course offerings for persons in nursing and law enforcement fields to earn baccalaureate degrees. During President Johnston’s time in office, the campus changed with construction of a new Defiance Hall, the physical education center (Weaner Community Center), an addition to Enders Student Union, addition of the McCann Center to the library, and development of athletic fields. He was born March 21, 1919, in Baltimore, Md., the son of Howard and Irene Johnston. Virginia Miles, his wife of 65 years, survives. He joined the U.S. Army in 1941 and fought in Europe during World War II, becoming a lieutenant. After the war, he matriculated at Johns Hopkins University where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history. For his many achievements in the field of education, he was awarded an


honorary doctorate from Heidelberg College in 1963. He was vice president of Evansville College from 1954 to 1956, vice president of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn from 1956 to 1958, president of the American College Public Relations Association in Washington, D.C. from 1958 to 1960, and vice president of university relations for Ohio Wesleyan University from 1960 to 1964. After his presidency at Defiance, he became executive director of the New Jersey Association of Independent Colleges

and Universities from 1974 to 1979. He moved from New Jersey to Durham in 1979 where he formed the consulting firm of Ross, Johnston & Kersting with J. David Ross.

Also surviving are a daughter, Virginia Gail Sweat, and her friend, Brenda Frost of Portland, Maine; two sons, William Jr. (Linda), Greeley, Colo., and Jeffrey (Sandy), Durham; and six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Memorial services were held in Few Chapel of the Croasdaile Retirement Community in Durham. Memorials may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association or Defiance College. Condolences may be sent to Virginia Johnston, 9 Aldersgate Court, Croasdaile Village Retirement Center, Durham, NC 27705. 

. l i a m e atch th


o f n i e Mor will be ! n o o s g n


(September 29)

Campus/Community Decorations and T-Shirt Making

(September 30)

Art Education Dinner/Symposium Opening of Art Display

(October 1)

Spirit Day Luncheon, Buffalo Wild Wings Celebrate DC

(October 2)

Pep Rally, Fireworks, and a Concert

(October 3)

Alumni Leadership Breakfast, Award Winner Luncheon, Award Winner Symposia, Career Day Panel, Homecoming Golf Event, Octoberfest with Celebrate DC Dinner and Ceremonies, Faculty/Staff Follies for All and All-Campus Movie (October 4)

2-Mile Fun Run/Walk, AVD Hall of Fame Breakfast, DC Festival with Games, Football Game, Fifth Quarter post game Headquarters for reunions, get-togethers, live entertainment, and a special Presidential Circle Reception (October 5)

John Thomas, president of the United Church of Christ, preaches at St John UCC, the DC campus church for morning worship. Much more is in the works. If you would like to host a special event, contact the alumni office at 419-783-2572 or email us at Final details will be posted on line, with registration, beginning on line July 15, but make your tentative plans now!

Homecoming details at

! 8 0 9 2 9 g Startin

Find homecoming events and details at

701 North Clinton Street ď ľ Defiance, OH 43512


Non-Profit Org. U. S. Postage PAID Permit No. 265 Defiance OH 43512

Defiance College Magazine Summer 2008  

All the Defiance College news in one place!

Defiance College Magazine Summer 2008  

All the Defiance College news in one place!