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miamian The Magazine of Miami University

Fall 2013

leading the way @twitter Adam Bain ’95, president of global revenue


Campus Canine Corps Armed for Life My Story: Just Swing…

A PASSION FOR GLASS Sandra Gross ’91 MFA ’04 is an artist who in her “search for transparency” began with bronze sculptures which led to beeswax and finally to glass. She is the founder of Brazee Street Studios in Cincinnati and also teaches and exhibits widely.

Staff Editor Donna Boen ’83 MTSC ’96

Vol. 32, No. 1


Senior Designer Donna Barnet Photographers Jeff Sabo Scott Kissell Web Developer Suzanne Clark


Copy Editor Beth Weaver

18 Life & Limb

Born with just one arm, Becky Selby Alexander ’82 learned early how to adapt. A pastor and author, she tells her story.

Issue Consultants Rachel Morton Associates Lilly Pereira (Design)

22 Work Like a Dog

University Advancement 513-529-4029 Vice President for University Advancement Tom Herbert Alumni Relations 513-529-5957 Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations Ray Mock ’82 MS ’83

Kristin McNamara ’13 is teaching dogs new tricks through 4 Paws for Ability, a program that trains them to be of service to the disabled.

24 Flying High at Twitter Brachs the wonder dog goes to class (see page 22).

A bird’s-eye view from Adam Bain ’95, who has flown to the top of one of the most successful cyber-companies in the world.


Office of Development 513-529-1230 Senior Associate Vice President for University Advancement Brad Bundy Hon ’13

2 From the Hub

16 My Story

3 Back & Forth

30 Love & Honor

Ideas fly at Convocation.

To and from the editor. Address changes may be sent to: Alumni Records Office Advancement Services Miami University 926 Chestnut Lane Oxford, Ohio 45056 513-529-5127 Fax: 513-529-1466

Tasha Golden MA ’12 (see page 14).

6 Along Slant Walk

Campus news and highlights.

10 Such A Life 30%

Donors and volunteers help to keep Miami at the top.

32 Class Notes

Notes, news, and weddings.

46 Farewells

12 Inquiry + Innovation

48 Days of Old

The secrets of frozen frogs.

Utopia 2:XG paper features FSC® certifications and is Lacey Act compliant; 100% of the electricity used to manufacture Utopia 2:XG is generated with Green-e® certified renewable energy.

A life lesson from baseball.

Bollywood comes to Miami.

14 Media Matters ON THE COVER Adam Bain ’95, president of global revenue at Twitter, has had a meteoric rise through the ranks of the techno-elite. Photo by Cody Pickens.

Fall 2013

The Magazine of Miami University

Dusting off a historical gem from the archives.

New words and works by alumni artists and writers.

Miamian is published four times a year by the University Advancement Division of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056. Copyright © 2013, Miami University. All rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Miamian is produced by University Communications and Marketing, 108 Glos Center, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-7592; Fax: 513-529-1950;

from the hub

Class of 2017 lifts off … and so do we By President David Hodge

I am Miami. Chances are, if you are enjoying this newly

designed Miamian, you are, too. And so are the 3,600-plus new students who soared into their own Miami Experience at convocation this year. That’s when the members of the Class of 2017 launched their college careers by writing words of wisdom on paper airplanes and sailing them into the crowd to share with each other. “Don’t be afraid to talk to people and try new things.” “Never hesitate to The members of approach your professors.” “Oh, and the Class of 2017 don’t blink, because the next four years are going to fly by!” launched their One piece of advice really stood college careers by out because it embraced I Am Miami, a meaningful, new initiative: “You writing words of are Miami. You are smart, strong, wisdom on paper and different.” Looking out over the Hub, watching airplanes and airplanes sail and students stretch to sailing them into claim them, I felt my own optimism soar. These students will come to the crowd to share appreciate what I Am Miami is all about. with each other. Miami has always emphasized honesty and integrity, values that our trustees formalized by approving a statement in 2002 that included those words and the right to hold and express disparate beliefs. Now, those values have been expanded and personalized in our new Code of Love & Honor, which the Class of 2017 read aloud for the first time convocation morning. The code begins with “I Am Miami,” which means that what I, you, and our students say and do matters.


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The lines that most resonate for me emphasize personal responsibility, welcoming “a diversity of people, ideas, and experiences,” and “acting through words and deeds in ways that reflect these values and beliefs.” These are much more than words as we demonstrate by our actions the values we want our students to embrace and carry throughout their lives. The I Am Miami initiative is the umbrella for so many programs and resources— from our Celebrating Freedom activities that will culminate next year in the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer; through the opening of the Armstrong Student Center, where all students will be able to work with each other in a backdrop that encourages close interaction. To read the entire Code of Love & Honor, go to You are invited to write to IAmMiami. President David Hodge at Follow I hope you, too, will embrace him on twitter @PresHodge. I Am Miami and that it makes you even prouder of the values that Miami holds dear. “With a deep sense of accomplishment and gratitude, (you) will Love, Honor, and make proud those who help (you) earn the joy and privilege of saying, ‘To think that in such a place, I led such a life.’ ” To view highlights of the 2013 Convocation, go to

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Lovely read I opened the latest Miamian (Summer 2013) and read it cover to cover, as I usually do. It is remarkable that each time I read an issue, I am prompted to think, “ think that at such a place and time, I lived such a life.” I still keep in touch with English department graduate school friends. What a great place Miami was in the mid-to-late ’80s! Thanks for a great magazine. —Bob Whipple PhD (English) ’90 Professor and Chair, English Department, Creighton University, Omaha, Neb. Wil’s groundbreaking work Editor’s note: Leslie Jones ’08 of the White House Historical Association wrote the following letter to Wil Haygood ’76, who was Miami’s Spring 2013 commencement speaker and the subject of the Summer 2013 Miamian cover story, “The Storyteller.” Leslie’s letter is reprinted with permission. I was fortunate enough to return home from work yesterday and have the Summer 2013 Miamian at my door. The cover story, telling the remarkable journey you took

to reveal the incredible life of Eugene “Gene” Allen, was the most interesting piece I’ve yet to see in this publication. There is such depth and insight into your craft as a writer, and I respond to this as a researcher myself, having written on White House history for both academic and professional opportunities. I know the White House Historical Association, for whom I work, aided the movie production team with research for the upcoming film The Butler and we all are very much looking forward to Gene’s story being told on a grand scale. Many years ago we had his oral history recorded with the Smithsonian Institution for “White House Workers,” which became a DVD and also a traveling exhibit with the SITES department at SI. As a Miami alum, and now a Washingtonian, I was so very proud to read the article about you and to know you were the commencement speaker for the class of 2013. As someone who is charged with telling the White House stories, particularly now as we are redesigning the White House Visitor Center, I want to thank you for the groundbreaking work you accomplished with your 2008 article. —Leslie Jones ’08 White House Historical Association Washington, D.C. Amazing story Just wanted to say thanks for posting the video of Mr. Haygood’s commencement address. I live in the Washington, D.C., area, and I remember reading his feature article about the White House butler

when it was published several years ago. A well-told and amazing story. Didn’t know at the time that Wil was a fellow Miami grad. Great! He is a fine speaker (as well as a writer), and I am pleased that Miami invited him to address the 2013 class. —Anne Lynn ’75 MEn ’80 Alexandria, Va. Kudos I want to tell you how great the Summer 2013 alum mag is. I just got it and as usual read it cover to cover. Before I knew it, I had taken out the article about Wil Haygood so I could make copies of his story and distribute it among friends who are always looking for a decent movie with something of value in it. Then I took out the article about broomball (“Boisterous Broomball”) to send to my Minnesota son who has been playing broomball there for many years; only with real brooms. Couldn’t stop there. The article about the Bronco’s draft of Zac Dysert (“Broncos draft Zac Dysert ’13”) goes to another son who lives in Denver. As always, the work you do to make Miami news come alive is much appreciated. —JoAnn Funkhouser Hayes ’51 Liberty Lake, Wash.

Send letters to: Donna Boen Miamian editor 108 Glos Center Miami University Oxford, Ohio 45056-2480; or fax to 513-529-1950. Include your name, class year, home address, and phone number. Letters are edited for space and clarity.

Finding Freedom Summer Thanks to the staff of Miamian for featuring the essay “My Parents Said Yes!” by Chude Pam Allen from the book Finding Freedom: Memorializing the Voices of Freedom Summer (Miami University Press, 2013).

Fall 2013


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I was filled with the spirit of Miami, where dreams of the future were formed and where the ideals I hold dear were planted.

I have received numerous emails from alumni who would like to purchase a copy of the book. They are available at the Miami University Press website: Please plan to join us Oct. 12-14, 2014, for the Freedom Summer National Conference at Miami University. Conference website: http://westernarchives.lib. conference. —Jacky Johnson Archivist, Western College Memorial Archives, Happy 45th MUDEC Editor’s note: The Miami University Dolibois European Center celebrates its 45th anniversary this fall. In honor of the event and to recognize the impact the Luxembourg experience has had on so many Miami alumni, John Dolibois ’42 offers his well-wishes: http:// In addition, Miamian is reprinting the following alumni spotlight letter from the Fall 2013 MUDEC Alumni Newsletter. My Luxembourg memories came rocketing back to me this year. I was able to enjoy this unique European study and travel experience all over again through the eyes of my daughter, Jessica. My husband and I sent her off in January 2013 knowing that she was going to have a life-changing experience at MUDEC. I often contemplated whether I enjoyed my experiences more or if I preferred living through hers. It’s a toss-up. Listening to the weekend travel highlights was great, vicarious


miamian magazine

fun. Many were similar to routes I had taken more than 30 years ago. Of course, she also went to places whose names didn’t exist in my tattered edition of Let’s Go, Europe. Jessica and I were able to travel together to Ireland and England in May. We looped our way over the beautiful countryside of Ireland in a tiny car on the wrong side of the road. It was hilarious, and stressful, and character building. It’s a true test of the mother/daughter relationship if there ever was one. We survived. Traveling through England on trains was easier on the nerves, but didn’t result in as many stories that started with, “You won’t believe what happened next.” We both extended our MUDEC studies to include a summer work experience. I spent the summer of 1979 working in Amsterdam for a typewriter manufacturer. (Yes, I know. What’s a typewriter?) That job helped launch a 13-year career with IBM once I graduated in 1980. Jessica worked in Manchester, England, as an unpaid marketing intern. It helped to solidify her commitment to her chosen career path in business and marketing. Our two boys are seniors in high school this year. I hope that they also include a study abroad program in their college experiences. I know just the program for them. There isn’t another program as unique and special as MUDEC! —Amy Coughlan Quible ’80 MUDEC spring 1975 Cincinnati, Ohio

Return visit Alumni Weekend I returned to Miami for the first time since I graduated 50 years ago and was flooded with so many positive memories. In addition, I felt an immense gratitude for the quality of education I received. It’s truly a wonderful university, and I’m proud to be an alumna. —Sally Workman Miller ’63 Bozeman, Mont. Alumni Weekend images Sitting next to my husband on a bench between Elliott and Stoddard halls, I became aware of images from the past: studying with a special friend at King Library, playing ping pong with members of International Club in the basement of Bishop Hall, and hearing Josh McDowell from Campus Crusade for Christ speak at Hall Auditorium. More than 40 years had passed since those images were created, yet at that moment, I felt as if I were experiencing them for the first time. At that moment, I was falling in love, sharing a good time with friends, and turning my life over to God. A week has passed since I sat on that bench, yet the images still remain. What do they represent? How can I use them to benefit myself and others? Philosophically, they represent three important aspects of life: marriage, social interaction, and spirituality. Perhaps one could argue that these principles—devotion to a lifelong relationship, devotion to a community, and devotion to God—are the pillars of life. They remind me that if my time and energy are directed toward

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keeping my marriage strong, maintaining solid social contacts, and relating to God on a daily basis, my life will be a satisfying experience. Alumni Weekend at Miami University was more than a casual encounter with memories of my youth. It was a vivid reminder that life has a significant purpose: to continually relate to others and to God. Who I am today is the result of experiences that began at Miami. The friendships developed while living in Dorsey, Flower, and Wells halls and while participating in the Little Sister program at Kappa Sigma fraternity are still with me today. The individuals who touched my life four decades ago serve as a reminder that I am not in this life alone. Rather, I share this life with those around me at school, at work, at home, and in the community. As I sat on a bench in the middle of campus, surrounded by colorful flowers and majestic trees, I was filled with the spirit of Miami, where dreams of the future were formed and where the ideals I hold dear were planted in the buildings where I studied, on the lawns where I played, and along the streets that I walked. Thank you, Miami, for providing a place where I can return year after year to reflect on all the good things that life has to offer in the past, in the present, and in the future. —Carol Morgan Chester ’73 Worcester, Mass.


An Inspiring Story, A New Look Not that I’m nosy, but when the construction fence around Etheridge Hall came down this summer, I felt a sudden need to stroll through South Quad. As Miami’s newest residence hall came into sight, I stopped to stare. Wow! Etheridge, just south of the Center for Performing Arts, sets itself apart with a dramatic, walk-through arch, its name carved into the arch’s stonelike façade. Dr. Etheridge was like that stone. Solid and strong. For 30 years, Miami’s dean of men, dean of students, and then vice president for student affairs guided thousands of young people. When I interviewed Bob for his retirement story in 1989, he regaled me with colorful anecdotes. My favorite was of a Reid Hall freshman who bet his roommate he couldn’t streak around the outside of the dorm without getting caught. Accepting the challenge, the roommate shed his clothes and started running, unaware that after he left the room, his buddy called the police. They were waiting for the fellow as he rounded the last corner. Hoping to escape, he jumped into the bushes—a painful misstep. I picture that student standing in Dr. Etheridge’s office, being asked to explain his actions while the vice president adopts a stern pose, eyebrows raised. Miami’s foremost advocate for students could seem gruff, but underneath he cared deeply and believed in students unshakably. He would be honored that a residence hall is named for him, and he would love that it introduces a new “house” concept, which gives residents a stronger sense of community. Speaking of new, you’ve likely noticed that this Miamian sports a fresh design. After surveying many of you earlier this year to find out what you want in your magazine, we eagerly jumped into this creative endeavor. Starting with the cover, we left nothing untouched. Much of what you see here is based on your feedback. As a result, we’ve added pages and departments, changed the type, increased white space, and rethought all the content. Because so many readers requested different paper, we researched extensively to find something that would better complement the photos and still be environmentally responsible, both by being recyclable and by using post-consumer waste paper. We hope you enjoy what you see. As for Etheridge Hall, we need a new under-the-arch tradition. Any ideas?—Donna Boen ’83 MTSC ’96, Editor

Even after he retired, Bob Etheridge enjoyed mentoring Miami students.

Fall 2013


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New Dining, New Residences Above, one of seven restaurants on the ground floor of Maplestreet Station, a new building south of the Center for Performing Arts that also offers housing for 90 students.


miamian magazine

Maplestreet Station, which opened in August, is home to 90 students who live on the second floor. But its first floor is what’s garnering attention. There, all students can choose among seven new restaurants, each with its own entrance and theme. With its opening, Scott and Hamilton dining halls closed. Restaurant choices include: Red Brick Pizza; Deli-sh, a New York style deli; Patisserie, a French bakery; EnCounter, a burger joint; First Stop Wake Up Call, an all-day breakfast and coffee bar; Pacific Rim, with cuisine from 20 countries; and The Americas, serving Central and South American cuisine.

Maplestreet Station is adjacent to another new building: South Quad’s Etheridge Hall, which offers housing options for 232 students. The new hall with its walk-through arch, similar to Upham’s arch, completes MET (Morris, Emerson, and Tappan) Quad. It’s named after Robert Etheridge, vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Miami 1959–1989. The eight, 30-resident “houses” replace the traditional corridor layout. Each 15-bedroom house includes such student-requested features as communal living and dining room plus kitchen, multiple bathrooms, and study room.

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Timely Update


Engineering students redesign Pulley Tower’s system

photo: Tri Sanguanbun ’11

Pulley Tower, where Aaron Pittenger ’13 redesigned the electronic controls for the clock.

The person who used to reset four large

clock faces by climbing the 95-foot Pulley Tower has three engineering students to thank for making that job a lot easier. Located at the southwest corner of Cook Field, the 50-bell tower was

installed in 2001. For his senior electrical engineering capstone project last spring, Aaron Pittenger ’13 redesigned and updated the tower’s electronic controls. “Three main problems motivated a redesign of the control system,” Pittenger explained. “Instability, difficulty of use, and the need to manually resync the clock faces.” Joining him on the project were Brandon Withrow ’13, another electrical engineering major who minored in computer science engineering; and Brian Breitsch, now a senior in computer engineering. The new system revolves around a central desktop computer that controls hardware peripherals. The clocks can be set from the keyboard. No more climbing the tower. “Projects like this allow students to go far beyond the classroom and deal with real-world designs, administration, fundraising, and relating with people,” said their adviser, Peter Jamieson, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. “Aaron, Brandon, and Brian met this challenge head-on.”

“We need a good challenge to have fun, to feel alive, to unleash our strengths, to turn strangers into teammates and allies.” —Jane McGonigal, author of New York Times bestseller Reality is Broken and Miami’s 2013 convocation speaker

On move-in day we asked incoming freshmen (and one sophomore):

What precious item did you bring with you? My in-the-washer scent boosters because I figured that if I was feeling homesick or if I had to do my own laundry, I’d really want it to smell like home. Kaitlyn Ballachino, Cincinnati, Ohio biochemistry major

My Steelers pillow. I’ve been a fan since I was 3 years old. Matt Hyman, Flemington, N.J., mechanical engineering

Mr. Bear. My grandfather got him for me in 1995 when I was about 1, for Christmas. He’s just been really special to me. Ariana Carver, Cleveland, Ohio, sophomore, psychology major

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Dirk Auman, a senior from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, received an Astronaut Scholarship. The biochemistry and engineering physics double major and computer science minor is one of 28 students nationwide selected for the $10,000 scholarship by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. He conducts research on the isolation and characterization of genes required for meiosis in the plant Arabidopsis (member of the mustard family) with mentor Chris Makaroff, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science and professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Joleen Young, an Iraq War veteran and assistant professor with Miami’s Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, has been promoted from captain to major in the U.S. Marine Corps. After a tour with Marine Air Group 14 as the operations officer, she was selected to be Marine officer instructor at Miami. Danny Hayden is the new head baseball coach, ushering in the baseball program’s 100th season in 2013–2014. He is no stranger to Miami, playing for the RedHawks as a freshman in 2004 and also serving on the staff 2008–2010. Hayden comes to Miami after three seasons as an assistant coach at Xavier University.


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in undergraduate teaching by U.S. News & World Report after Dartmouth and Princeton.

27.5 Average ACT score of incoming Class of 2017, one full point higher than last year.

Artifacts Replicated With 3-D Technology Other 3-D renditions include a cylinPeek inside Jeb Card’s teaching lab, and der stamp used hundreds of years ago in you’ll see ancient history collaborating South America to imprint a design on a with futuristic technology in a way that body or object. The real one, safely stored is transforming how students learn. in a locked drawer, looks like a wine botMiami’s visiting assistant professor tle cork covered in patterns. He scanned of anthropology is creating replicas the original and printed it on a 3-D of artifacts using 3-D digital scanning printer at BEST (Business, Engineering, and printing. His goal is to make objects Science and Technology) more accessible to his Library in Laws Hall. students and, in some cases, There is another 3-D show them how they were printer in King Library’s originally used. CIM (Center for Information Card illustrates his point Management) Lab that, like by picking up a new, plasthe one in BEST, is accessible tic version of a “chunkey” South American cylinder to students regardless of their stone, which looks like a stamp and its 3-D replica. field of study. gray hockey puck. The game “We sit down with them and just make stones were used in North America after sure their object is printable, make sure 1000 A.D. Players rolled a stone across there aren’t going to be any issues, and the ground, and then threw their spears at it to see who could come closest to the then we print it for them,” said John Williams ’07 MEn ’13, senior library stopped stone. technician at BEST Library. “I don’t roll the real ones around,” For 20 cents a gram for the materials, Card said, before tumbling the copied students can pick up their objects crafted chunkey across the floor. “We can from the same resilient plastic as Legos. show people how it works. That’s The plastic melts in the printer at 230 $1.50 in plastic. If it breaks, I can get degrees Celsius. another one.”

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Dancing To A Different Beat: Exotic music from Brazil, Bulgaria, and India enticed and entertained a crowd in Hall Auditorium when a cast of 200 presented The Global Rhythms World Music Ensemble concert Sept. 28. The program introduced the audience to music from many non-western cultures through the visiting artists, Collegiate Chorale, orchestra, world percussion ensembles, dance, and puppetry.

Miami Tribe Documents Returned Eight early 19th-century land grant docu-

ments and a map of an Indiana town on historic Miami lands have been returned to the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. Miami University staff members are assisting with the documents’ preservation. The documents resurfaced recently in a Fort Wayne Catholic Diocese storage area. Church officials turned them over to the Historic Forks of the Wabash Museum. Daryl Baldwin, director of the Myaamia Center at Miami University and a member of the Miami Tribe of

Oklahoma, accepted the documents on behalf of the tribe. “The 1823 land grant is the most elaborate, with a gilt edging and an attached ribbon and gold paper seal,” said Elizabeth Brice, assistant dean for the university’s Special Collections. “The ink on this grant is faded and the map bears some old tape repairs, but the documents in general are in good condition.” The documents will be accessible in the Myaamia Collection Online.

UPHAM ARCH TILED Rookwood Pottery Co. has unveiled the first limited edition tile featuring Miami University. The tile, depicting Upham Hall, is for sale instore and online at, with a portion of the proceeds going toward scholarships. The back of the tile describes the building’s history and traditions.

Fall 2013


such a life

BOLLYWOOD AND INDIAN CULTURE In her classes, Professor Lalita Satyal draws her students into a world filled with the sights, sounds, and tastes of India. In one Bollywood class session, Satyal brought in tubes of henna paste and plates of her homemade Indian delicacies such as samosas with a variety of vegetables including corn, rice pulav with lentils, gulab jamun— fried cheese balls soaked in sweet syrup, and Parle biscuits to go with tea.

Fall 2013


inquiry + innovation

Frozen Alive Researchers Unlock Mysteries of Freeze-Tolerant Frogs By Margo Kissell

Tiny wood frogs freeze solid in winter—their hearts not beating, oxygen not flowing through their ice-filled bodies— then quickly resume normal life after thawing in the spring. Researchers at Miami University are discovering some of the frogs’ secrets, including the accumulation of certain chemicals in their bodies.

Reported in the Aug. 21 Journal of Experimental Biology, their findings show the freeze-tolerant frogs can survive at temperatures much lower than previously thought. The research of wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) may lead one day to medical breakthroughs related to cryoprotectants—substances that prevent freezing of tissues or damage to cells during freezing—and human organ transplantation. The National Science Foundation-supported research has led to new discoveries about underlying physiological mechanisms that allowed frogs from the interior of Alaska to survive freezing at minus 16 degrees Celsius. They required only two days of thawing to resume normal movements. This work is being featured in three TV science programs: NOVA’s Making Things Colder, the David Attenborough production Natural Curiosities, and the BBC’s Hidden Kingdoms. The study authors, who have focused on the differences between Ohio and Alaskan wood frogs, include Jon Costanzo PhD ’88, senior research scholar in Miami’s biology department; Richard Lee, University


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Distinguished Professor of Zoology at Miami; and graduate students Clara do Amaral and Andrew Rosendale. In 2011 they collected dozens of frogs on the verge of hibernation near Fairbanks, Alaska, to figure out how they prepare for winter. Back at Miami, they placed the frogs in programmable environmental chambers and manipulated temperature and light exposure for six weeks to simulate normal conditions. “We kind of faked them out as if they were being subjected to decreasing temperature and decreasing daylight like they would experience in the field,” Costanzo said. What they found surprised even Costanzo, who has been studying the creatures for 25 years—the frogs broke down muscle protein even though they would have to breed soon after emerging from hibernation. They need “good muscle tone, good muscle structure, to be able to pull that off,” he said. “Yet these frogs were using some of their muscle protein before winter.” Researchers believe the frogs are using nitrogen in the protein to produce urea. Although humans and other creatures also produce urea, they quickly release the waste byproduct. The frogs don’t. While the

inquiry + innovation

Jon Costanzo, senior research scholar at Miami University, with a study subject.

researchers have known for a while that frogs produce urea heading into winter, they don’t yet understand how they are able to retain it the way they do. “The concentration of urea in their blood was just huge and way more than we’d ever seen in the frogs from Ohio,” Costanzo said. “Rather than urinating to get rid of the urea, they’re hanging onto it, and they really stacked it up. It’s really spectacular.” Urea, a cryoprotectant, can help tissues survive freezing stresses and also stabilize membranes. “It can help brain tissue tolerate swings in salt concentration, which you might see in freezing and thawing,” he said, “so urea is probably one of their secrets.” Urea also helps slow metabolism while the frogs hibernate for nearly eight months, he pointed out. “They are not going to be feeding, so depressing their metabolism during the winter is really important to survival because it’s going to help them last longer on their stored energy reserves.” The research also found the frogs produce glucose— ordinary blood sugar—as they’re freezing and accumulate high levels of that as well, which appears to help the cells tolerate freezing.

Another key: dehydration. “We don’t know exactly how they are dehydrating their organs during freezing, but we know the organs shrink,” Costanzo said. “The idea is that rather than have all that water remain in the organ and freeze and become big chunks of ice, have that water freeze outside where it’s not going to harm the tissue structure.” In addition to surviving significantly colder temperatures than Ohio wood frogs, the Alaskan species survived a two-month period of freezing at minus 4 degrees and required only two days to get back “up on their feet and looking great,” Costanzo said. Ohio frogs needed a week or longer. “Given they came back in two days, we think they probably can go much lower than minus 16.” Costanzo and Lee, director of the cryobiology laboratory, focus on how various creatures cope with different kinds of winter stress. One of three graduate students working in the lab, Rosendale took some of the frogs to England last spring so film crews for the Attenborough and BBC’s programs could shoot time-lapse video of the freezing and thawing process. Rosendale, who earned a master’s in zoology from Miami in 2011 and is now pursuing a doctorate, enjoys being part of this project. “There aren’t a lot of labs that study freeze tolerance, especially in vertebrates, so we get to see stuff that most people have never heard of,” he said. “Just the idea these frogs can survive freezing and survive that much ice in their body is amazing to us. That’s something we (humans) can’t even come close to at this point.” Scientists can preserve simple systems such as embryos by freezing them. Medical personnel ship and store organs for transplants on ice to lower the temperature as much as possible to reduce damage. “But they can’t freeze organs yet,” Costanzo said. Maybe one day they will be able to, thanks to the Alaskan wood frog and a team of Miami researchers.

“Just the idea these frogs can survive freezing and survive that much ice in their body is amazing to us.” —Andrew Rosendale

Margo Kissell is a news and feature writer in University Communications and Marketing at Miami.

Fall 2013


photo: Roman Titus

media matters

A Way With Words Poet and Musician Makes Words Sing By Donna Boen Tasha Golden and her husband Justin Golden formed the band Ellery in 2005 and have recorded five albums.


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When Tasha Golden MA ’12 was learning to read, she became obsessed with Dr. Seuss, reading over and over again about Horton and his Whos and that crazy, hatted cat. “That sort of set me up to be in love with rhyme and meter and the play of words.” A music composition major, Golden spent years on the road performing in Ellery, an alternative folk duo based in Cincinnati. She’s the songwriter; husband Justin is the arranger/producer. In 2009 they made a record with Grammy-winning producer Malcolm Burn and went on a national tour to support it. By year’s end, Golden suffered a bout of clinical depression. She needed a break and liked the idea of studying poetry on Miami’s serene Oxford campus. It freed her to write about topics she never dared before,

such as sexuality and rage and loss of faith. “I really wanted to get back to my love of words.” Poetry is taking her songwriting in a new direction. She and Justin are back in the recording studio with her songs, heard in the films No Strings Attached and A Strange Kind of Happy and TV shows One Tree Hill and The Lying Game. Also collaborating with a photography friend on a book of her poems, she’s finding it hard to figure out which poems “need to exist.” Easier is her blog for Ploughshares, Emerson College’s literary magazine in which she emphasizes that poets’ words matter. “Poetry can start dialogue about issues that have been swept under the rug publicly, politically, socially. I feel like it can actually make something happen outside of the world of words.”

media matters

So Many Lovely Days Mara Kirk Hart ’55 Kirk Press In So Many Lovely Days: The Greenwich Village Years, Hart writes about her parents’ early-married life. “From 1927 to 1939 my parents, George and Lucy Kirk, owned the Chelsea Bookshop at 58 West 8th Street in Greenwich Village. They dreamed of a carefree, Bohemian life, with only the bookshop and each other to care for. Even now, as I write this many decades later, sometimes I feel like an intruder, as if I was partially responsible for the death of this dream. Without children, could they have kept their beloved bookshop? Could they have stayed in the Village? Would they have been happier?” Whatever Comes Mark Massé ’74 Whatever Comes is a dark comedy about an aspiring Irish-American writer in 1970s Cleveland and his decade-long sentimental fool’s journey to find love and success. For years he grabbed for lovers like a drowning man, leaving little passion for the blank page. In this modern-day morality tale, 20-something Max Galway endures an odyssey of trials and temptations, false goals, and foolish pursuits. He claims his quest for literary fame is hijacked by

an unholy trinity of family, work, and romantic woes. But Galway is his own worst enemy en route to enlightenment. The New Face of America Eric Bailey ’80 MA ’83 Greenwood Publishing Group More and more, the idea of America as a melting pot is becoming a reality. Written from the perspective of multiracial citizens, The New Face of America: How the Emerging Multiracial, Multiethnic Majority is Changing the United States brings to light the values, beliefs, opinions, and patterns among these populations. It assesses group identity and social recognition by others, and it communicates how multiracial individuals experience America’s reaction to their increasing numbers. This compendium looks at multiracial families today, rural and urban multiracial populations, and multiracial physical features, health disparities, bone and marrow transplant issues, and adoption matters. The book also discusses how America’s current majority institutions, organizations, and corporations must change their relationship with multiracial and multiethnic populations if they wish to remain viable and competitive. Chicago River Bridges Patrick McBriarty ’86 MA ’88 University of Illinois Press Chicago River Bridges presents the untold history and development of Chicago’s iconic bridges, from the

first wood footbridge built by a tavern owner in 1832 to today’s marvels of steel, concrete, and machinery. It is the story of Chicago as seen through its bridges, for it has been the bridges that proved critical in connecting and reconnecting the people, industry, and neighborhoods of a city that is constantly remaking itself. This guidebook, with full-color photography of existing bridges and more than 100 images of bridges past, chronicles more than 175 bridges spanning 55 locations. The Hiding Place David Bell MA ’01 NAL Trade The murder of 4-year-old Justin Manning rocked the town of Dove Point, Ohio. Janet Manning has been haunted since that day she lost sight of her brother in the park. Now, with the 25th anniversary of his death looming, a detective and a newspaper reporter have started to ask questions, raising new suspicions. Could the man convicted of the murder—who spent more than two decades in prison—really be innocent? Soon, years of deceit will be swept away, and the answers that Janet has sought may be found much closer to home than she ever could have imagined. A shallow grave holds the deepest secrets.

NOTED Quiet Edge of Town Robert Aumann ’72 The Robert Aumann Band’s first studio release is a bit of folk rock with a bit of country blues, meshing acoustic with electric for an “easy to listen to” sound.

Fall 2013


MY STORY is a place for you to share reminiscences and observations about everyday happenings. Submit your essay for consideration to: Donna Boen, Miamian editor, “My Story,” 108 Glos Center, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056 or Miamian@ Please limit yourself to 900 words and include your name, class year, address, and home phone number.


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©2009 Tracy Wall, “On Deck.” Oil on canvas. Used with permission.

my story

Keep Swinging By Jim Rohrer ’63

When I was 12, I played Little League. Because my dad spent many, many hours teaching me to hit, throw, and catch, I was pretty good. Since I wasn’t a fast runner and didn’t have a strong throwing arm, we decided I’d be a first baseman.

my story

We had a rock in the front bushes that we’d pull out and use as an imaginary first base. Then Dad would throw me the ball for hours, making me reach for it while stretching to keep my foot on that rock. When not working on fielding in our front yard, Dad and I’d go to the schoolyard, and he’d pitch dozens of balls to me. He knew hitting was about timing and timing required that you swing early. Most kids swing late, but Dad taught me to swing early and hard. In those days there weren’t enough teams to accommodate every kid who wanted to play. You had to be good enough to get picked. I’m sure that without the hard work and preparation with my dad, I wouldn’t have made the team. About halfway through the season, I started striking out a lot. I hated to strike out, so I stopped swinging and hoped to get a walk. It wasn’t that difficult to do because many pitchers threw hard but didn’t get the ball over the plate. I got to the place where I was walking once or twice a game but being called out on strikes the other times. When that happened, I blamed it on a bad call by the umpire. One week right before we were to face a good team with the best pitcher in the league, my mother announced we wouldn’t be going to the game. “What do you mean?” I asked. “We have to go.” “No,” Mom said, “your dad and I decided since you’re afraid to swing and Westfall is pitching in this one, it doesn’t make sense to even go. He won’t walk you and you won’t swing, so what’s the point?” I was horrified. I couldn’t believe we’d just not show up. What would my coach and teammates think? This was a big game and not going was like giving up and being a bad team player. I begged them to change their minds, but there was no budging their decision. I mentioned to Dad that maybe we should take some extra batting practice. Then I’d be better prepared. “No, it’s too late for that,” he said. “You’ve made up your mind you can’t hit, so let’s just forget the whole thing.” I couldn’t sleep at night. I was totally filled with thoughts of what my teammates would say about my not coming to face Westfall. It was an awful week. On the morning of the game, I made one more

attempt. I told my parents I’d swing at any pitch over the plate. I promised there would be no walks. They listened to me and they softened their stance a little. Dad said he’d think about it at work, and if he changed his mind he’d call in time for us to go. I kept asking Mom if Dad had called. He hadn’t, and the reality that I was too “chicken” to face Westfall hung over me all day. The game was to start at 4 o’clock. About 3:15, the call came. Mom put me on the phone. Dad said he’d allow me to play if I kept my promise to swing at strikes. I promised and hurried to get my uniform on and head out to the ballpark. When we got there, I noticed my dad was just pulling up, but I hardly acknowledged him. I was still plenty upset by what had happened that week. I saw Westfall warming up but didn’t allow myself to watch how hard he threw. Since I batted third, I’d be facing him in the first inning. Standing in the on-deck circle, I wasn’t thinking about striking out. I wasn’t thinking about how hard Westfall was pitching. My only thought was that he’d throw strikes, and I’d be swinging. If I struck out … so what! I wouldn’t go down without a swing. I stepped into the batter’s box without looking around to see if my dad was watching. I heard him say, “Come on, Jimmy, you can do it.” The first pitch was way over my head. It was so far up, I couldn’t have hit it if I wanted to. The next pitch looked like a strike. I swung as hard and fast as I could. As I looked up, I saw it clear the right center-field fence. I’d done it. I’d hit the ball. It wasn’t until later that it actually sunk in that I’d hit a home run off Westfall. I can’t remember hitting too many home runs in my baseball career. I wasn’t a great power hitter, but I did manage to hit the ball somewhere most of the time. I now know why: because I prepared by practicing and because I swung. My parents added the element of passion. They got my attention and taught me to always try my best. They let me know they could live with me striking out, but not with me not trying. I got the message. I’ve never forgotten the wise adage that “You can’t get a hit if you don’t swing.”

My parents…let me know they could live with me striking out, but not with me not trying.

This essay is adapted from Jim Rohrer’s book Never Lose Your Job … Become A More Valuable Player. Jim, a 1963 business school graduate, is a managing partner of The Loyalty Partners in Evergreen, Colo.

Fall 2013



miamian magazine

Life & Limb Grasping Life’s Lessons with Two Hands— One of Them Plastic


Born with one arm, Becky Selby Alexander ’82 has faced life’s challenges with a smile … for the most part. Of course, there was that occasion when a stranger said Becky’s family must have done something bad for her to have been born that way. And the time a U.S. Congressman had to help her after her prosthetic arm activated security alarms in Washington, D.C. Still, Becky, executive pastor at Crosspoint Community Church in Decatur and Somerville, Ala., has learned and adapted. She shares a few of her life’s lessons in the following three essays from her new book, One Smile, One Arm.

Fall 2013



My left side was messed up at birth. My leg turned inward, and I had no elbow, forearm, or hand. The doctor put a cast on my leg that led to my hip, which I wore for the first three months of my life. I learned to roll over by tossing the cast across my other leg, which would then flip me over. Thankfully, the casting procedure worked; my leg straightened out, and I had no further problems with it. Mom quickly began the pursuit of a prosthetic arm for me. She learned that a prescription was required to start the process. When she asked the pediatrician for one, his response caught her off guard. “No,” he stated. “You need to let Becky get old enough to decide for herself if she wants a prosthesis.” Mom didn’t agree. She felt that my getting a prosthesis as an infant would make it easier for me to get used to it and would help me as I developed life skills. She went to another doctor who surprisingly told her the same thing. So she went to a third doctor and a fourth doctor. Neither of them would grant her a prescription. It was obvious that the popular opinion in the medical field discouraged infant prostheses. Mom was frustrated but not willing to give up. She sat down at the kitchen table and wrote a letter to the president of the United States of America! The year was 1961. John F. Kennedy was in office. Lucky for me, President Kennedy was involved in helping crippled children across the country. He responded to Mom’s letter almost immediately. Now I’m sure the president


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To the next person who asks, “Are you left-handed or right-handed?” I am going to respond, “I’m ambidextrous!”

didn’t type the letter himself, but it came from his administration. They connected Mom with the Crippled Children’s Foundation, which ultimately got her the prescription she needed. On Feb. 5, 1962 (my first birthday), I had an appointment at a prosthetics facility in Grand Rapids, Mich. One month later, I was wearing my first prosthetic arm. Today, specialists in the field of pediatric prosthetics recommend that children be fitted for prostheses as early as 6 months old. I’m glad Mom knew what was best for me even though it differed from the thinking of the medical community. My prosthesis has allowed me to live a normal, high-functioning life with few limitations. And it’s all thanks to Mom and JFK! “Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded” (2 Chronicles 15:7 NIV).


I have been asked a million questions in my lifetime. The most frequent one is, “What’s wrong with your arm?” When I’m in my usual good mood, I smile and say, “I was born with one arm.” When I’m in a particularly ornery mood, I have to restrain myself from responding, “What’s wrong with your nose?” I’ve never done that, but I chuckle thinking about it. Please understand. I don’t mind inquiries from family and friends. And I don’t mind inquiries from kids—after all, I was a kids’ pastor for 20 years. However, when a total stranger walks up to me in Walmart and asks me a very personal question, I have to admit, it agitates me a bit. Then there’s the “How do you…?” question. Just fill in the blank with anything you’d like, I’m sure I’ve heard it. On one occasion, I was at an airport with my daughter, Cassie, who was 5 at the time. A little boy about the same age struck up a conversation with us. It went something like this: “How do you drive? How do you cook? How do you take a shower? How do you tie your shoes?

How do you swim? How do you carry stuff?” It was like talking to Dennis the Menace. He hardly took a breath between segments of the interrogation. With each additional question, Cassie grew noticeably more aggravated. Finally, after the sixth question, she grabbed my right elbow and pulled my real hand out of my pocket. She shoved my hand about 4 inches from the boy’s face and gave him the “duh” look. But of all the questions I’ve ever been asked, this one is ultimately and eternally the dumbest, “Are you left-handed or right-handed?” When someone asks that, all I can do is stare at him or her for a few seconds, my head cocked to one side, and my mouth slightly open. I mean, if I were left-handed, how would I know? I work hard to get out the words “right-handed” without making a funny face. I just flat gave up when one woman replied, “Well, it’s a good thing!” No matter how many times I am presented with the dumbest question (and you’d be surprised at the number), it always catches me off guard. So I decided to come up with a creative, predetermined answer. I discussed it with my brother-in-law Phillip, and he thought of the perfect retort. To the next person who asks, “Are you left-handed or righthanded?” I am going to respond, “I’m ambidextrous!” “Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:3 NIV).

Becky on her first birthday (right) with her first prosthesis and today (above).


With great skill and speed, 10-year-

old Isaac cracked an egg, pulled the shell apart, and dumped the contents into a mixing bowl using only one hand. His friend Haley exclaimed, “Why did you crack the egg that way?” My son, Isaac, replied bluntly, “Because that’s how you crack an egg.” I had to smile. He had watched me. That’s how I do it. When my daughter, Cassie, was a little girl, she was helping my mom clean. She swept the dirt into a pile and laid the dustpan next to it. With her foot, she lifted the handle and held the dustpan at an angle while she swept the dirt into it. My mom was amused, knowing where Cassie had learned the technique. Once again, that’s how I do it. I wonder how many things my kids do differently because they’ve watched me with one arm. I don’t notice. Isaac and Cassie probably don’t notice. Others may notice. It makes me wonder, too, how many things beyond daily tasks they do differently because they’ve watched me. Things that are much more important. Things of the heart. Things that I aspire to: Like respecting other people—older people, people with skin that isn’t white, people who don’t speak English, people who have mental limitations, people with

physical imperfections. Have my kids seen “that’s how I do it?” I hope so. Like honoring our country—appreciating past and present sacrifices, realizing our blessings, being willing to fight for freedom. Have my kids seen “that’s how I do it?” I hope so. Like loving God—knowing Him as a friend, depending on Him for little things and big things, living out His plan for life. Have my kids seen “that’s how I do it?” I hope so. Anyway, if you ever see Isaac or Cassie do something weird, just know they learned it from me. “Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12 NIV).

Becky Selby Alexander ’82 is the wife of Tim, mom of Cassie and Isaac, and executive pastor of Crosspoint Community Church in Decatur, Ala. She blogs at

Fall 2013



Like a Dog BY B E T S A M A R S H

At five months, most puppies are eviscerating sofas and watering chair

legs. So who are these collar scholars roaming the Miami campus, exquisitely behaved in every classroom, restaurant, and bookstore? They’re the elite corps of 4 Paws for Ability Miami, young service dogs in training. At the other end of the leads are Miami students who have dedicated themselves to socializing these cuddly helpmates round the clock. The dogs are destined to serve young children and veterans with special needs. 4 Paws dogs now proudly prance down Slant Walk because of the, yes, dogged persistence of Kristin McNamara ’13. The special education major first suggested a branch of 4 Paws for Ability at Miami when she was a sophomore. She received a resounding chorus of “No, thank you,” but never gave up.

Kristin McNamara ’13 and Liora


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The trainers now don’t look at people with disabilities as being in deficit, but that they just need an alternate way of doing things. A dog can be a person’s hands, a person’s ears. After creating an official student organization, McNamara and her roommate Kristy Lind, a history major, interviewed and selected the first round of 4 Paws foster parents. The volunteers trained at 4 Paws for Ability headquarters in Xenia, Ohio, received their crates, food, and vests, and, most important, their 3-month-old trainee service dogs. Since that first class, McNamara has shepherded 11 dogs and fosters through the program. At the end of each semester, the dogs return to headquarters for more training and their ultimate match to a person with special needs. Some dogs help with hearing and mobility issues, others with autism, seizure, and diabetes needs. McNamara stands tall at every puppy graduation. Each success is a tribute to her honorary little sister, the late Anna MacConnell. In high school, McNamara was working in career development for early childhood education, volunteering at local schools in Centerville, Ohio. She went to a fundraiser for a service dog, where she met Anna and her family, and began a relationship that continues beyond Anna’s short life. Deaf and blind, Anna also had a congenital heart defect. McNamara joined Anna and her mother at the intense 12-day training session at 4 Paws

for Ability in Xenia, and celebrated with the family when the goldendoodle named Acadia came to live and work with 7-yearold Anna. “Cadi went to school with Anna, and anywhere else she went,” McNamara recalls. “I got to meet other families in the class and saw how well 4 Paws matches dogs with kids. Anna and Cadi were both very strong-willed, and they both liked to have their alone time.” Anna was just 11 when she died in 2012, “and Cadi was on her bed in the hospital,” McNamara recalls. Cadi continues to live with the MacConnells, and McNamara joined them when her parents moved to Virginia and she began student teaching in Oakwood, Ohio. “Anna wouldn’t want me to sit around being sad, but to be out there using my skills,” McNamara says. “She’s watching over me and guiding me.” The night Anna died, a new litter of puppies was born at 4 Paws in Xenia. Founder Karen Shirk gives each litter a theme, and these six little Labradors became Anna’s Sunlight. McNamara chose the only female chocolate lab, Liora, “my light” in Hebrew, to be her next service dog. Like all 4 Paws pups in training, Liora first headed to prison, to be socialized with inmates in Rover Rehab. The dogs master potty training and basic obedience before they arrive at Miami.

“The dogs are all trained and ready to go, so they’re basically teaching you,” McNamara says. She is one of the few foster parents in special ed; other students come from such fields as biology, speech pathology, and mass communication. “All the trainers have become huge advocates for persons with special needs and service dogs,” McNamara says. “We get a lot of questions, and the fosters talk about our goal to enrich the lives of people with disabilities." Such an awareness shift is just one benefit of 4 Paws Miami that Kathy McMahon-Klosterman, associate professor in the College of Education, Health and Society, has noticed since McNamara brought the program to campus. She and graduate student Molly Kelly-Elliott are co-advisers of the student organization. “Studies show that the puppies in prison benefit prisoners, building empathy and responsibility,” McMahonKlosterman says. “It’s the same thing with students, building responsibility and providing them with the opportunity to give service to the larger community, the disability community. “I’m in admiration of the students for training the dogs. Generally, I see a maturing, as the students understand that people have a variety of needs. Disability is part of the diversity of human beings. The trainers now don’t look at people with disabilities as being in deficit, but that they just need an alternate way of doing things. A dog can be a person’s hands, a person’s ears.” 4 Paws Miami dogs head out across the country to serve children and veterans. Each furry graduate, McNamara says, “is keeping Anna’s memory alive.”

Betsa Marsh, a freelance writer in Cincinnati, has her own canine companions, Ike and Selkie.

Fall 2013



h g i h g n i y fl

r e t t i w t @ A BOEN BY DONN

ONLY MI NUTES after US Airways Flight 1549

crashed into New York’s Hudson River, Janis Krums tweeted a photo of passengers and crew standing on the plane’s wings waiting to be rescued from the icy water. - There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy. ăčăćƫ ƫđƫāĆƫ *ƫĂĀĀĊ


miamian magazine

photo: Cody Pickens

Janis Krums @jkrums

Adam Bain ’95, president of global revenue at Twitter.

Fall 2013



rums’ tweet and his photo of “the Miracle on the Hudson” caught the world’s attention, as well as that of the traditional media, which the next day reported that Twitter users broke the news 4 minutes after the plane went down and anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes before the mainstream media alerted the public. With that one event in January 2009, Adam Bain ’95 realized for the first time just how significant social media and Twitter were becoming to our culture. “That was that moment when I knew the platform was going to be used in really powerful ways,” said Bain, who was then a 35-year-old president at FOX Audience Network. Twenty months later in August 2010 he became Twitter’s president of global revenue. “What’s terrific about the platform overall is it’s a great attention-pointing device. When I look at even just everyday moments when things are happening in the world, Twitter is that attention-pointing device for me to be aware and actually to discover what’s happening around me.”


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#MakingHeadlines These days the attention is pointed at Twitter, which announced in September through a 135-character tweet that it was going public, a move The New York Times called “the most eagerly anticipated tech offering on Wall Street since Facebook.” According to the prospectus filed in October with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a requirement for an IPO (initial public offering), the 7-year-old social media company estimates its value at $9.7 billion. Analysts predicted the company could be worth between $12 billion and $20 billion when it started public trading, maybe as early as November. A spotlight on Twitter means a spotlight on Bain, who describes his job simply as “anything that has to do with generating revenue for the company.” After the big IPO announcement, the Times profiled the company’s “Main Characters.” Listing him among the new guard, the Times said, “Mr. Bain is the guy in charge of making money at Twitter. To that end, he decided to skip traditional banner ads and focus instead on ideas like promoting tweets and user names. It seems to be working: in the company’s S-1, Twitter reported revenue of $316.9 million last year. That number is expected to double in 2013.” This is not Bain’s first time in the headlines. When The Adweek 50 named those who make the machinery of media, marketing, and technology hum in September 2012, Bain topped the list at No. 1. Adweek stated, “Twitter is where the new ad wars are being waged. Much of the credit must go to revenue chief Adam Bain, who has helped build an essentially ad-free company into a mustbuy in just two years.” This fall the American Advertising Federation is inducting him into its Advertising Hall of Achievement, the industry’s premier award for outstanding advertising leaders age 40 and under.

He’s honored by the attention and perhaps a little overwhelmed by the awards. He’s an “aw shucks” kind of guy and super nice to boot, according to Glenn Platt, C. Michael Armstrong Chair, professor of marketing, and director of the Interactive Media Studies Program (AIMS) at Miami. The two have worked together on Miami’s relatively new AIMS San Francisco Digital Innovation Center, a semester-long immersive experience in which students intern with startups throughout Silicon Valley and learn from innovation experts at established companies. “He’s pretty humble about it, but he’s a very, very pivotal figure not just in digital and interactive, but really in where business culture is going generally in the United States,” Platt said. “I think of very few people that are more integral to where the new economy is going than Adam.” #MiamiMan A native of Cleveland, Bain attended a high school so large that he viewed Miami as “smaller and more intimate where I could get to know the professors and the students better.” Once on campus, he went through a “ton of majors” before he decided on English journalism. Intriguing him with visions about the power of digital and how it was going to transform publishing, professor Dennis Walsh pushed him to join both The Miami Student newspaper and the then fledgling Interactive Media Studies program. Bain was in the first group of students to graduate from IMS. Right after college, he assisted The Plain Dealer in its new digital division. He then headed to the LA Times where he focused on changing the sports end of the business. From there, he was recruited to Fox Sports, eventually heading all of its digital divisions. Through his 13 years at Fox, he became acquainted with Dick Costolo, who was

Twitter has become the “new” newswires, supplanting AP, Dow Jones, and Bloomberg for breaking news. Barry Ritholtz, Washington Post

running a Web feed company called FeedBurner at the time. Costolo, the current CEO of Twitter, is the one who asked Bain to join the socialnetworking site. His first big project was to crisscross the world and visit 140 CMOs (chief marketing officers) in 140 days. “In the same way people use Twitter to really listen, I tried to emulate the platform by going out on the road and just listening to the marketplace to figure out what we needed to build here,” Bain said. Now that he travels so extensively— he’s on the road at least once a week—he’s grateful for his undergraduate days at Miami’s Luxembourg center. “I don’t think I would have had the same appreciation for the world’s economy and the global business, even the global nature of our platform, without getting exposed to it back at Miami’s Luxembourg experience. “I joined Twitter when the company had just slightly over 140 people. Three years later there are over 2,000. I’m responsible, I think, for some of that

headcount growth. I’ve helped put people here in San Francisco and all across the world. We have teams now in Japan, Korea, Brazil, UK, France, Dublin, and a whole host of other places.” Luxembourg is also where he met Molly Long ’96. He walked the zoology major from classes to her host family’s house every day during their time in the grand duchy. A Miami Merger since 2003, they are the parents of Lyla, 5, and Sammy, 3. #CasualCulture Located in downtown San Francisco, Twitter’s headquarters is housed in a historic building in a developing part of the city. Twitter is proud to be part of the area’s rebuilding. Inside, the environment is casual and “uncompany.” No oak desks or corner offices for the executives. Like everyone else, Adam comes in and sits in any available chair at one of the tables. That’s when he chooses to sit. A high-energy person feeding off the

Fall 2013


[Twitter is] the global town square—a place where people can join together virtually and communicate, converse, and ultimately do business.

company’s fast-paced culture, he tends to be more comfortable pacing while he works. He’s been known to walk around in circles on the rooftop garden deck while talking on the phone. He’s also a bit of a practical joker at the office. There was the time he opened an offsite meeting with a marching band and the day he showed up with a tattoo of the CEO’s face on his arm. It was only temporary, and he finally washed it off. There’s no line he won’t cross to get a rise out of the team. When they hosted astronaut Chris Hadfield, Bain came out on stage to introduce him wearing a NASA spacesuit that weighed more


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than 150 pounds, complete with helmet, spacewalking backpack, and gloves. (He tweeted the resulting picture.) Bain is a wonderful fit with Twitter’s culture, Professor Platt says. “He brings a great amount of discipline and creativity around business models to the company, which is something that they needed,” Platt said. “At the same time, he’s had this wonderful intuition over his whole career about where the frontiers of communication are going, where the new models are heading. In the time he’s been there I think he’s had a tremendous impact.”

#TwitterEffect Just as with other social media outlets, feelings about Twitter run the gamut— from eager users who send or read tweets several times a day to those who ignore it completely, saying, “Why do I care what my neighbor ate for lunch?” Still, even if you don’t give a hoot about the social-networking site, the “Twitter effect” is affecting you whether you know it or not. Because anyone with a cellphone can tweet, nowadays news breaks every minute of every hour and anyone can contribute. Twitter was first to report the two explosions at the Boston marathon

photo: Chris Gaede

with firsthand accounts of the tragedy in real time. Other breaking news via Twitter: Seal Team Six killing Osama bin Laden, the uprisings of the Arab spring, the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and the birth of Prince George. Even the U.S. Navy confirmed the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013, via Twitter: #Breaking: #USNavy confirms 3 shots fired 820am at @NAVSEA HQs BLDG 197. In the April 23, 2013, Guardian Weekly, Barry Ritholtz, writing for The Washington Post after the Boston bombing, stated that Twitter has become the

“new” newswires, supplanting AP, Dow Jones, and Bloomberg for breaking news. “Even the Boston police confirmed ‘at least 22 injured, two dead’—by tweeting it at 4:05 p.m.” “Twitter’s an amazing self-cleaning oven for news,” Bain said. “In New York after Hurricane Sandy, there were all kinds of rumors that were floating around in the public about the New York Stock Exchange being under 6 feet of water. In fact, on TV they even announced that the stock exchange was flooded. Twitter was the way the NYSE actually communicated to the world that the rumor was not true.” With more than 200 million active users (tweeps) sending 500 million tweets a day, the potential for erroneous reporting among the citizen journalists is also ever present. Users trust that other users will quickly correct flawed reporting. “People didn’t just learn about the moments on Twitter, they also shared their firsthand accounts about those moments on the platform. They discussed the events and they made sense of them together and that’s ultimately what’s really interesting about the platform. By using Twitter you get to get closer to people all across the world,” Bain said. #Twitterverse Although it may seem as though Twitter has been around forever, the online social networking and microblogging service started less than a decade ago on March 21, 2006, when co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the first 24-characters message: “just setting up my twttr.” Platt explains its inauspicious beginning. “They were creating software for podcasting, and they needed a way for their software engineers to talk to each other when they were sort of crossing paths in the night, and so they made this internal tool. The intent was never for it to be what it is today. No matter what they say, that was never the plan.” Bain refers to what they’re building as the global town square—a place where people can join together virtually and

communicate, converse, and ultimately do business. In his case, Bain’s town square is populated by 3,380 others whose tweets he follows. He links up with people who are passionate about the same topics he is— NBA basketball, the advertising business, and technology. He also uses the platform, as he often refers to Twitter, as a way to learn about what’s happening, what’s hot, and what’s new. Close to 28,000 followers read his 140-character messages. “I try and keep it to things that the people who follow me would find interesting.” Like when son Sammy got a rubber fishing lure so far up his nose that his parents had to take him to the emergency room? (Sammy’s fine, no harm done.) So what’s the big deal about 140 characters anyway? In the early days, a huge plus for Twitter was that people could access it on their cellphones. Since text messages on phones were limited to 160 characters, Twitter’s founders thought 140 was a good length, leaving 20 for the sender’s username. That’s plenty for Bain. “Through constraints come incredible amounts of creativity,” he believes. “We launched a 6-second video platform called Vine recently. What Twitter is to language, Vine is for stories in video. It turns out you can tell amazing stories in 6 seconds.” And what about the future of digital communications? “I think the world ultimately will connect in more interesting ways. Barriers that used to exist between people—whether they be of geography, economic, political status, wealth—begin to erode because of technology. I’m proud to work at a company that is helping speed the erosion of those barriers.” Donna Boen ’83 MTSC ’96 is editor of Miamian, whose Twitter address is @MiamianMagazine. Also follow @MiamiUniversity or search #MiamiOH to stay up-to-date with your alma mater on Twitter.

Fall 2013


love & honor

Great Seal of Approval Students Help Create Replica for the New Bicentennial Rotunda By Margo Kissell Ben Mark (above), a graduate student in the College of Creative Arts, shapes copper into continents for a globe that is now part of the Great Seal.

Margo Kissell is a news and feature writer in University Communications and Marketing at Miami.


miamian magazine

When the new Armstrong Student Center opens in January, a major focal point will be the Great Seal, a replica of the university seal, created with real objects and containing students’ words and artwork to link the university’s past, present, and future. The replica—measuring nearly 12 feet across and set almost 3 feet into the floor—will grace the center’s Bicentennial Rotunda beneath a dome that’s visible from Spring Street. Just like the seal embedded in the Hub at the center of campus, this one will depict a globe, a telescope, and an open book, along with the university motto, Prodesse Quam Conspici (“to accomplish without being conspicuous”), inside a roped circle. A glass globe, lit from inside, and its vintage wooden stand were discovered in the observatory of physics’

Culler Hall. The globe represents the present moment shared by all. The telescope, also from the physics department, points to the future yet to be discovered. The rope, provided by the Delta Upsilon fraternity, was used in the Greek Week tug-of-war for years. The replica also will include bricks from Stoddard and Elliott halls and other buildings on campus. The objects are life-size, including the book, created with paper produced on campus by students in paper science and engineering. It will be open to a page featuring the grand-prize winning essay, “We, on a path to wisdom,” by journalism and professional writing major Amanda Hancock. Her essay, in which she strives to capture the collective experience on campus, was chosen from

love & honor

dozens of entries submitted to the Great Seal Writing Contest last spring after President David Hodge invited students to mark the opening of the Armstrong Student Center by helping to “literally write the book” inside the seal. In addition to other winning essays, the book will contain 12 penand-ink sketches of Miami landmarks rendered by sisters Madelyn and Sophia Delgado, both seniors in architecture and interior design from Lebanon, Ohio. Representing the past, the book is the accumulated wisdom of the centuries passed along to the present generation through their reading. Hancock said she’s thrilled that her words will soon become part of Miami’s story: “We burn the midnight oil … a few times. We sing the fight song at the top of our lungs. We discover, we search, we learn. We immerse ourselves in an ongoing pursuit of the best version of ourselves.” “I feel so honored that my writing will be seen in such a unique way,” said Hancock, a junior from Lexington, Ky. Only time will tell whether students will risk stepping on this seal, which will be covered by nearly 2-inch glass, or if they’ll keep up the tradition started at the Hub and walk around it so they don’t fail their next exam. “I think we’ll leave that up to the students,” said Robert Keller ’73, university architect emeritus who is now Miami’s planning and design manager. Recreating the seal in this large, 3-D format was his idea, and, he said, “a fun challenge.”


By Vince Frieden Michelle Kerr ’95 is driven by the dream her parents envisioned when they immigrated to Columbus, Ohio, from South Africa. Today she is chairman, president, and co-founder of Oxford Consulting Group, a leading IT services firm in Columbus with an international footprint. Kerr, who is giving back through the Miami Annual Fund, recently sat down with Miamian to reflect on her parents’ sacrifice, her own professional starts and stops, and the Miami Experience that has shaped her path to a true American success story. What motivated your family to emigrate from South Africa in 1981? It was an extremely difficult decision. At the time, South Africa was very wealthy. My parents didn’t believe in the social and political system, though, and they expected that the system would fall. Financially, I think our family was better off in South Africa. We also left a lot of family and friends behind. My parents gave all that up for the opportunities my brother and I would have in the U.S. How has your parents’ selflessness impacted you? From the time I arrived at Miami, I was very focused on my education and making the most of the time I had to prepare myself for a career. I was driven because I knew I could not waste the sacrifices my parents had made. I didn’t want them to ever regret the decision to come to the U.S. You spent your first three years studying to go into accountancy but abruptly changed course your senior year. What happened? I enjoyed my accounting classes and was 100 percent convinced I was going into public accounting. Then I interned at a Big Six firm. What a disaster. So, back to the drawing board. That’s what internships are for. As it turned out, your first job at Procter & Gamble was not the right opportunity either. You left after a few years for a temporary consulting job that you eventually turned into your own firm. What empowered you to take that risk? The great thing about Miami was that I never once thought I needed to settle for just any job. I had great experiences and an education that would be valued in the marketplace. When the opportunity came to start my own business, I didn’t have to think very hard. I had the tools I needed. You named your company Oxford Consulting Group as a tribute to your time at Miami. Why? Miami was vital to creating the path to who I am today. It allowed me to take that opportunity my parents gave me by moving to the U.S. and make the most of it. That’s priceless.

Miami was vital to creating the path to who I am today. That’s priceless.

Vince Frieden is associate director of development communications within Miami’s Division of University Advancement.

Fall 2013


Hold on! Students get set for a sled ride down one of Miami’s many hills in 1922.


miamian magazine

Photo from Miami University Libraries, Frank Synder Collection.

class notes

class notes


Herbert Wiepking of Oxford,

a loyal season-ticket holder to Miami football games for years, was on record as the oldest living season-pass holder when his photo was taken at the Miami-Army game in 2011. Herb, 97 at the time, was sitting with his daughter, Marcia Wiepking Haughey ’70, a former Miami cheerleader, who flew in from New Hampshire for the game.


Robert Klima of Rhinelander,

Wis., wants to know if there are any other ’43’ers out there. If so, email him at He says he and Stanley LeBold stay in touch, but they’re certain other classmates are out there somewhere.


Robert Schanke ’48 MEd ’56

has written THOUGHTS, a book celebrating words. His chapters are “A Gift of Love,” “Children … What a Blessing,” “Family … Makes this ouse a Home,” and “Feelings from the Heart.” A retired educator, Bob lives in Lebanon, Ohio, with wife Patty Colyer Schanke ’48 MEd ’66.


John Sipe, choir director from

1956 to 1982 at Tecumseh High School near Springfield, Ohio, was conducting 312 of his former students once again in a special concert dedicated to him June 29, 2013. Former students from across the country and as far away as Japan and Norway gathered to show their appreciation in “The Sipe Years” reunion concert.


Jim Richardson of the Village of Mallory Hill, Fla., was featured in the Daily Sun in “Mr. Age Breaker” for shooting his age in golf 507 times so far. The former club professional from Ohio, who lettered in golf in college, told the reporter that he started shooting his age on the golf course

more than 13 years ago when he was 68. “There is probably no way I could be scoring the way I’m still scoring without the modern clubs and the modern balls,” he told reporter Steve Trivett. “It all still comes down to putting.”


Reunion ¶ Bill and Beverly Vinez Horrigan ’55 of

Midlothian, Va., visited their children on Cape Cod and enjoyed great fishing. Bill and grandson Joe Girardi caught 33 whoppers. ¶ Gordon Taiclet celebrated his 80th birthday by attending the Miami vs. Ohio State football game with daughter Pamela Taiclet-Rarick ’79 and grandson Nicholas Rarick ’01.


Michael Kramer chairs the board of trustees of Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. Appointed to OU’s board in August 2008, he is an equity member of the Dickinson Wright law firm, general counsel of Crestmark Bank, and a board member for National Conference for Justice. His term on OU’s board is through August 2016.


Fred Heer, longtime owner

Richard Rogers has sold his entrepreneurial/international law practice and moved from Dayton to Santa Fe, where he is the publisher and executive editor of Santa Fe Monthly, an award-winning literary magazine he purchased focused on the Southwest.

and president of Lombards Fine Furniture in Columbus, is easing into retirement by transitioning his responsibilities to son Trent ’95, who has been the store’s vice president. Fred joined Lombards in 1970, bought it in 1976, and moved it to Crown Point Plaza in 1984. Trent joined Lombards two years ago after almost 20 years in sales. He has expanded the store’s sales channels, website, and social media presence and established a new interior design studio.




Jean Lodge returned to

Oxford this summer from Paris, where she’s lived for decades, to see her works in an exhibit at the Miami University Art Museum. The English literature major said, “A lot of it is work that I haven’t seen for 40 or 50 years, and so I’m seeing bits of my own beginning.”


Reunion ¶ Deborah Coffin Kennedy, a Cambridge, Md., artist, saw her painting “Shore Bounty” accepted as the ninth addition to the Artists of the Eastern Shore Collection in the Teacher Education and Technology Center at Salisbury University’s Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies. Her painting pays homage to the roadside produce stand. In addition to her painting, she has worked as a biological illustrator.

Rob Price of Menomonie, Wis., enjoyed a one-person “retrospective” exhibition in drawing at The Janet Carlson Gallery in the State Regional Art Center in Eau Claire, Wis., Sept. 6-29, 2013. Rob was an art professor at the University of Wisconsin– Stout 1970-2000. After he retired, he continued as an adjunct professor in drawing through fall 2012. ¶ Sherry Sheffield was honored in January 2013 as Citizen of the Year in her community of Wyoming, Ohio, near Cincinnati.

SUBMIT A CLASS NOTE Please send news of your life to: Donna Boen, Miamian,108 Glos Center, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056 or Include your name, class year, address, and phone number. For more class news, go online to www. Miamian.


Jeffrey Keiner, who focuses on construction law in the Orlando office of GrayRobinson, has been recognized on the 2014 Best Lawyers in America outstanding attorneys list. Listed among Florida’s top 100 super lawyers earlier this year by Super Lawyers, he was also honored by

Fall 2013


days of old

Shake, Rattle, and Roll A velocipede housed in Miami University Archives, part of the University Libraries Special Collections Department.


miamian magazine

In the 1860s, Miami students were learning to ride

a conveyance around campus called a velocipede. Though its name makes it sound like some kind of rapid and deadly dinosaur, it is actually a wheeled vehicle, a precursor to our bicycle of today. Velocipede is a French term derived from Latin meaning “swift foot.” Its manufacturers created larger and larger wheels once they realized that the bigger the wheel, the farther you could travel with one rotation of the pedals, attached directly to the front wheel. At Miami, there was a University Velocipede Club, and

photos in the archives show students of the time (circa 1891) with various models. In the photo at left, taken in front of old Harrison Hall, Everett McDonald and Robert Harvey stand in the center with their “ordinaries,” the more common term for the high wheeler. Carl Greer, on the left, holds a “safety,” a popular alternative that started replacing the ordinary in the late 1880s because a rider’s feet could reach the ground easily, and the pedals powered the rear wheel, keeping toes away from the dangerous front wheel. The man on the right is unidentified. Another term for velocipede, coined about 1869, is boneshaker because the bicycle came without springs and was ridden on cobblestone streets, often rutted ones.

days of old

In Morris Hall arch looking toward Tappan Hall in South Quad.

Fall 2013


COLD AS ICE Miami scientists are studying how wood frogs freeze solid in the winter, and then emerge in spring to begin life anew. See page 12 for the story.

Miamian, Fall 2013  

Miamian, Fall 2013

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