Page 1



FALL 2015

HEALTHY OUTCOMES Whittney Brady ‘15 and Bill Lecher ‘15 are among the many Mount alumni who have found success through the School of Health Sciences



FROM THE INTERIM PRESIDENT It is my privilege to introduce the latest edition of Mount News. As your interim president, proud Cincinnati native and former Mount executive vice president and provost, I am honored to lead this distinguished institution as we conduct our search for the next president of Mount St. Joseph University. In the meantime, I’m happy to share our latest endeavors that position the Mount as a distinctive, academically excellent, service-based institution. Our technology-fueled world connects cultures, economies and knowledge like never before. The wealth of information at our fingertips—now accessible through ubiquitous handheld devices—is staggering. For today’s undergraduate students, email and Facebook are passé. There is a continuous evolution of services and mobile apps that constantly reshape the world we live in. In short, our global society is advancing at a rapidly increasing pace. It is vital for universities to prepare students to lead this world of change. At the Mount, we teach students how to forge their own adaptability to change into valuable skills they carry throughout their careers. Our strong liberal arts-based curriculum promotes critical thinking and transforms our students into global problem solvers. They work in the service of others to improve quality of life in the community and around the world. In this issue of Mount News, you’ll read about the School of Health Sciences, its rich legacy and bold directions. In addition to incorporating the latest learning tools that include a high-fidelity simulation lab with robotic patients, we provide Mount undergraduate and graduate students with vital experiential learning initiatives. We continue to expand our degree offerings for adult learners as well—our Doctor of Nursing Practice, launched in 2012, is ideal for experienced health care practitioners seeking to elevate their careers. Elsewhere on campus, Terri Hurdle, Ph.D., our director of diversity and inclusion, is spearheading efforts to expand our multicultural focus. And our Summer Employment Program, now celebrating its 10th year, pairs Mount students with Cincinnati-area nonprofits while providing invaluable on-the-job skills as they discover the joy of helping others in need. Lastly, our University’s commitment to service is exemplified through one of the Mount’s bravest souls, Lauren Hill, who passed away earlier this year from brain cancer. She dedicated herself to raising awareness of a disease that impacts children worldwide. To our Mount alumni, we’re thankful that you, too, carry the legacy of this University through your own accomplishments and dedication to helping others. We invite you to serve as a mentor for one of our current students, speak as a guest lecturer, or make a donation to help us shape the future of your alma mater. On behalf of the Mount community, I look forward to working with you as we create new learning experiences that will forever inspire our students and the lives they touch. Sincerely, Joel Thierstein, J.D., Ph.D.


FALL 2015


6 Healthy Outcomes by Susan Hines-Brigger ’94 In a rapidly changing world, the School of Health Sciences remains an elite destination for students and working professionals seeking to improve the quality of health care nationwide.

14 Remembering 22 by Kara Gebhart Uhl The Mount community honors the joy and courage of Lauren Hill.

18 Diverse Solutions by Colleen Weinkam The Mount fosters new initiatives that demonstrate the value of multicultural perspectives.

2 4

News Academics







ALUMNI UPDATES 26 28 30 33

News Alumni Board Profiles Classnotes Passages

PUBLISHED BY Division of Institutional Advancement Mount St. Joseph University 5701 Delhi Road | Cincinnati, OH 45233-1670 MOUNT EDITORIAL TEAM Jessica Baltzersen ’14 Gina Bath Susan Hines-Brigger ’94 Tara Byrd Kathleen Lundrigan Cardwell ’87 Kim Cochrane ’01 Jill Eichhorn Trevor Griffith Sandy Oldendick Mark Osborne Robert Schaich (Student) Kara Gebhart Uhl Colleen Weinkam DESIGNER Natalie Broering ’05 MANAGING EDITOR Michael Schiavetta CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITOR Arlene Werts All photos by Mark Byron and Don Denney unless otherwise noted. If you would like to contact a member of the editorial team, call 513-244-4871 or 800-654-9314. If you would like to submit a letter to the editor, please email


Mount St. Joseph University (“the University”) is committed to providing an educational and employment environment free from discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation or other minority or protected status. This commitment extends to the University’s administration of its admission, financial aid, employment and academic policies, as well as the University’s athletic programs and other University-administered programs, services and activities.

ON THE COVER: Whittney Brady ’15 and Bill Lecher ’15 of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center elevated their careers after earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the Mount.

The University has designated the chief compliance and risk officer, 513-244-4393, Office of the President, as the individual responsible for responding to inquiries, addressing complaints and coordinating compliance with its responsibilities under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and other applicable federal and state civil rights laws. The University has designated the director of Learning Center & Disabilities Services, 513-244-4524, as the individual responsible for responding to inquiries, addressing complaints and coordinating compliance with its responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

FALL 2015 • 1

AROUND THE QUAD NEWS photo by Mark Bowen

New Center Invites Open Discussion for Learning and Teaching Located in the first floor of the Archbishop Alter Library, the Center for Teaching and Learning is the latest Mount initiative to better serve the educational needs of our students. Jim Bodle, professor of psychology and the center’s director, says the new facility focuses on “teaching techniques that are the best practices for helping students master material and apply it to their lives and careers.” The Center for Teaching and Learning will also help faculty and staff provide services that include academic and career advising, tutoring, co-op supervision and service learning. In addition, the location will host collaborative forums in which Mount faculty can discuss new teaching techniques and instructional technology that help prepare Mount students for the 21st-century global workforce.

All in the Family photo by Sarah Wenke

The Mount community welcomed students’ family members to our first annual Family Weekend on Sept. 25-27. The event helps familiarize newcomers to our University with faculty and staff, campus attractions and resources that help shape students’ academic experiences, social interactions and professional development. “We feel that families are a students’ most important resource and an excellent system of support,” says Warren Grove, coordinator of residence life. The weekend kicked off with the University’s second annual MSJ 5K. Other events included sample classes, faculty showcases, tours of Cincinnati and the Motherhouse, a cooking show hosted by our University food services, AVI Foodsystems, and tea with the Sisters of Charity. “We plan to host Family Weekend yearly as part of a concerted effort to showcase the value we place on tradition and relationships with our students and their families,” Grove says.

Presidential Search Update The search for the next Mount St. Joseph University president is currently underway. A Search Committee is currently examining the present and future needs of the Mount, which also includes identifying the opportunities and challenges facing our next president. “The Search Committee is confident that it will have excellent candidates to recommend to the Board of Trustees in late 2015,” says John Young, 2015-16 Board Chair and Search Committee Chair. “We will be certain to communicate our progress as milestones occur.” For the latest updates, visit


A Welcome Event During the week of August 21-30, Mount St. Joseph University welcomed new students and incoming freshmen to campus for Welcome Week 2015. The students were able to see the academic, social and service components that make up our University. Students met faculty and peers within their academic majors, socialized with fall athletes and orientation leaders at a cookout and were able to explore Cincinnati through a photo scavenger hunt downtown, a city bus tour and an Ohio River boat ride that disembarked from Newport, Ky. Other events included a welcome back party with live music hosted by the Student Government Association and “Student Athlete Saturday” with scrimmages between the football team as well as the men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball teams. The week ended with a service day at which Mount community members worked with key nonprofits throughout the Cincinnati area, including St. Vincent de Paul, Delhi Parks, Sayler Park Recreation Center and the Western Wildlife Corridor.

Mount Students Help Create a Bouquet of Delhi Knowledge In preparation for celebrating Delhi Township’s bicentennial in 2016, the Delhi Historical Society partnered with the Mount to create Delhi in Bloom and The Language of Flowers. The permanent exhibitions are designed to inform about Delhi’s early history as a wine-growing region and its transformation into “the Floral Paradise of Ohio.” Mount students from the graphic design program created seven different 24”x 80” designs for flat door panels. These were created to lure viewers with historic photos and eye-catching designs, while illustrating Delhi’s intriguing floriculture past. “When people view these panels, we want them to learn something new about where they live,” says student Alyssa McCreadie. “We wanted to convey how important Delhi is through words and pictures.” Other student artists included Emma Moore, Cameron Pease and Sara Treash.

FALL 2015 • 3

AROUND THE QUAD ACADEMICS photo from, copyright: frankix

News Briefs Classroom with a View MountViews, a new series of informative talks showcasing Mount faculty, launched in September with a discussion on “Understanding Your Metabolism and How it Influences Weight Management.” The speaker series will be held on the Mount campus and throughout other areas of the Cincinnati tri-state region. Additional topics included the legacy of the Beatles, aging and memory and helping loved ones through the death of a spouse. On Nov. 23, MountViews will present “The Impact of Ancient Art and Design on Selected Cincinnati Architecture and Sculpture” at the Clifton Public Library. For details, visit

School of Education Mounts Trip To Cuba Graduate students and faculty members from the School of Education traveled to Cuba March 29-April 5 to study the country’s educational system. It was the Mount’s first trip to Cuba and the second immersion experience for the TEAM MSE (multicultural special education) program, which prepares students to work with K-12 children from diverse backgrounds who are in need of special education services. During their weeklong visit, they met with representatives from the National Union of Educators and visited five schools from preschool to university level in the capital of Havana as well as in rural areas outside of the city. “One goal of our trip was to engage with teachers and students,” says Clarissa Rosas, Ph.D., associate professor and program director of TEAM MSE. “Beyond the educational aspect, we also got to better know and understand the people of this country.”

Children’s Center Earns Five-Star Honors The Charlotte Schmidlapp Children’s Center at Mount St. Joseph University received a Five-Star Step Up To Quality Award from the state of Ohio. This distinction signifies the highest level of quality through lower staff to child ratios, specialized training and higher educational qualifications from the administrator and teachers and lesson plans that support each child’s growth.

Mount Professor Wins Fulbright Award

Mount Partners with Social Justice Program The Mount is partnering with JustFaith Ministries to sponsor JusticeWalking, a “discipleship journey” that brings together young adults who wish to live the Gospel message and better understand the social impact of their faith. The program will allow students to visit communities and learn about the lives and struggles of the less fortunate. A two-day Justice Pilgrimage will also allow students to visit local service sites to build relationships and incorporate their faith as they examine justice issues.

Charles Kroncke, Ph.D., professor of economics and chair of business administration, earned a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program grant that will send him to Tartu University in Estonia to teach graduate classes in globalization, immigration and public finance. He joins a distinguished group of nearly 1,100 Fulbright faculty and professionals nationwide who will travel abroad in 2015-2016. Sponsored by the U.S. government, the international educational exchange program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the United States and people of other countries. Kroncke’s research in economic and business education has been published in the International Review of Economics Education, the Journal of Economics and Finance Education and the Journal of Education for Business. He has also contributed to volumes of essays devoted to the subject. In addition, Kroncke’s work in the area of labor economics and related areas has appeared in Economics of Transition, the Journal of Labor Research and the Independent Review, among others. Kroncke will travel to Estonia with his wife and two girls, Lina and Kabi. He looks forward to sharing his experiences with Mount students in his economics and international business classes.


Being awarded a Fulbright is a great honor, giving me the opportunity to study globalization from a different perspective. I spent four years in Estonia after the collapse of the Soviet Union

in the 90s. It will be exciting to go back and see the progress.

– Charles Kroncke, Ph.D., professor of economics and chair of business administration

Getting Down to (New) Business

Something’s Brewing on Campus Call it education on tap. This summer, the Mount introduced BRW 101: Beer Brewing and Appreciation, a six-week introductory biology course on the science behind brewing beer. Undergraduate seniors, alumni and other community members were among the first batch of students to take the course. Professors Andy Rasmussen, Ph.D., and Tim Lawson, Ph.D., taught students the beer brewing process, proper sanitation, recipe development, styles and history of beer as well as the packaging of craft beer. At the end of the course, the students’ final craft beer projects were entered into a homebrew competition sponsored by the Middletown Area of Homebrewers. Mount students Holly Rainey and Zachary Kayes came in third place in the English and German category for their Hefeweizen beer, which is brewed with wheat relative to malted barley. Rasmussen and Lawson submitted an American IPA, which came in second in that category. Lawson also won first place in the Belgian and French category for his Belgian Witbier, which additionally ranked second among all 73 beers in the Best of Show round. “The class was tremendously successful,” Rasmussen says. “Craft brewing is quickly becoming a growing industry, not just in the Cincinnati area, but all over the country. The class helped people who are interested in learning how to correctly and safely homebrew different kinds of beer.”

The Mount’s School of Business is kicking off the 2015-2016 academic year with new majors, including undergraduate degrees in financial economics, management and marketing. A minor in business administration is also being offered to help Mount students across all majors to diversify their education and prepare them for the 21st-century marketplace. These new initiatives complement existing School of Business programs that include: • A 4+1 program that allows undergraduates to earn a business degree and M.B.A .in just five years. • A sport management program that equips students with a working knowledge of this industry that includes hands-on internships. • A Master of Science/Organizational Leadership that develops values-based leadership to strengthen decision making, relational skills and understanding of technology. • An accounting degree that prepares students for the Certified Public Accountant or the Certificate in Management Accounting examination.

Our programs are unique and designed for working professionals who will develop critical thinking and analytical skills to make effective decisions and find creative solutions in any enterprise. – Jamal Rashed, Ph.D., dean, School of Business

FALL 2015 • 5



In a rapidly changing world, the School of Health Sciences remains an elite destination for students and working professionals seeking to improve the quality of health care nationwide By Susan Hines-Brigger ’94

Dr. Marsha Eifert-Mangine discusses musculoskeletal science with physical therapy student Camille Chiappone ’14 at the Mount’s new health sciences facility on Neeb Road.

A 30-year veteran of the health care field, Darla Vale, Ph.D., knows what it’s like to be on the frontline of change. As dean of the Mount’s School of Health Sciences, she has seen firsthand how the industry has expanded beyond just traditional doctors and nurses. The changes, Vale notes, are being driven by an unprecedented number of baby boomers entering retirement age; thus, boosting the demand for experienced health care practitioners. Along with that growing demand, advances in medical technology and communications are changing the way doctors, physical therapists, nurses and physician assistants interact with patients and administer treatment. And, she adds, smart phones and apps related to health care are also empowering people to take greater ownership of their health and well-being. “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” a report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, supports Vale’s assessment, noting that the United States is currently at “a time of great opportunity in health care. Legislation passed in March 2010 will provide access to health care for 32 million more Americans. The implications of this new demand on the nation’s health care system are significant. How can the system accommodate the increased demand while improving the quality of health care services provided to the American public?” Careers in the health care industry are indeed plentiful. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs in this field will increase 26 percent, or 4.1 million, through 2022. Hospitals alone are projected to add about 826,000 jobs. Nearly one-third are expected to be just for registered nurses. Yes, it’s a brave new world for health care—one fueled by technology, information and accessibility—that will take the industry, its educators and its practitioners into unknown and much broader territory. At the School of Health Sciences, Vale and her team are ready to seize these new opportunities—which is not surprising given the Mount’s rich legacy in health care education. From the modest start of the University’s nursing program in 1926 to its robust network of facilities in 2015 that include 10,000 square-feet of classroom and lab space, simulated hospital and home environments for teaching patient care skills, a research lab and computer learning center and multiple degree tracks across undergraduate, graduate and doctorate levels, the Mount has continued to grow right along with the industry, assessing trends and incorporating new technologies while designing learning environments that provide real-world, professional experiences. Looking back, Vale says, the first nursing track “prepared those for the more highly specialized fields of nursing and for positions of leadership.” That small program—offering a single undergraduate degree—continued until 1949, when the Mount introduced a four-year Bachelor of Science in nursing, this one with a focus on community health. Since then, the School of Health Sciences has FALL 2015 • 7

After I finished my doctoral degree at the Mount, I was selected as a participant in a two-year, leadership development program at the hospital.

– Bill Lecher ’15, senior clinical director at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

826,000 Approximate number of jobs hospitals are projected to add by the year 2022. Nearly one-third are expected to be just for registered nurses. – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

92% Pass rate for Mount undergraduates who took the National Council Licensure Exam for nurses (NCLEX) over the past eight years.


blossomed into a multi-degree, multi-disciplinary destination for world-class health care education. Most recently, a new undergraduate degree in health and wellness introduced in 2014 prepares students to address individual and community factors affecting quality of life, develop prevention and disease management programs and ready them for advanced graduate study. In fall 2012, the Mount unveiled its Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) in Health Systems Leadership for working professionals seeking to institute transformative changes in their respective health care organizations as well as among practitioners and patient populations. Its first graduating class in 2015 is already reaping the professional benefits of this latest degree offering. A senior clinical director at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Bill Lecher ’15 enrolled in the doctorate program “to be a better leader for Cincinnati Children’s and the Cincinnati community. More educated leadership is more effective leadership.” Students in this advanced curriculum must complete a capstone project on a specific issue facing the health care industry. Lecher chose a subject that would have real-world impact for his hospital—how to increase the number of men in pediatric nursing. As part of his research, he conducted focus groups with male and female nurses to gain a clearer perspective of how numbers of the former group could be increased. Actionable results included stronger recruitment efforts targeting men in pediatric nursing in the form of customized mentoring programs, for example, in addition to ensuring that pediatric male nurses are present in advertising, interviewing, precepting, career fairs and open houses. “After I finished my doctoral degree at the Mount, I was selected as a participant in a two-year, leadership development program at the hospital, and completing my degree contributed favorably to my selection,” Lecher says. Fellow Cincinnati Children’s Hospital colleague Whittney Brady ’15, director of nursing at the center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, enrolled in the D.N.P. program to give her a deeper perspective of health care issues and management. “The program made me step back and consider the organization as a whole and what’s best for health care and families,” says Brady, who has served as a nurse for more than two decades. Her courses helped shape how she views health care policy and her ability to institute changes from a nursing perspective. “The D.N.P. program really gave me that global view of the potential for nurse leaders in our nation and in the world.” As part of her capstone project, Brady addressed an issue she witnesses daily in her job—providing care to infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome after being exposed to opioid drugs, such as heroin, before they are born. She found ways to promote mother-baby bonding, including skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding and for the mother to be an integral part of the baby’s care. The project, she says, opened her eyes to “the idea of using your education as a catalyst to help influence change.”


Much like how business executives, scientists, engineers and other professionals operate in today’s marketplace, 21st-century health care practitioners often work as part of an integrated, multidisciplinary team that takes advantage of individual strengths and specializations in order to deliver the best results. Rosanne Thomas, P.T., Ph.D., chair and associate professor for the Department of Physical Therapy, says this shift is the result of “the need to provide high-quality health care that is efficient and cost effective to the entire population. This requires the use of health care teams that function inter-professionally to provide maximum health outcomes while reducing the cost burden.” For a long time, says Vale, such interdisciplinary interaction among students was missing in health care education. This often led to segmented care of patients. Now, she says, when Mount students work together with peers in the School of Health Sciences, they appreciate how each discipline approaches a patient from a different perspective, offering unprecedented levels of breadth and scope.

We’re always thinking about the future.

– Darla Vale, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Health Sciences


Year the Mount’s nursing program was established.

DEGREES OF DIFFERENCE The School of Health Sciences offers many entry points that lead to exciting careers in the health care industry, including: • Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training • Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness • Bachelor of Science in Nursing • Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (traditional and online) • Registered Nurse to Master of Science in Nursing • Minor in Exercise Science and Fitness • Master of Science in Nursing (including the Master’s Graduate Entry-Level into Nursing [MAGELIN]) • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Health Systems Leadership • Doctor of Physical Therapy Dean Darla Vale, Ph.D., and Rosanne Thomas, P.T., Ph.D., of the School of Health Sciences are spearheading initiatives that prepare Mount students for 21st-century health care careers.

“It’s improving patient care,” says Vale. “When we educate students this way, it becomes second nature. That’s our goal.” Rob Dunham ’05, ’07, ’09 recognizes the benefits of interdisciplinary health care on a daily basis as Wellness Center manager for TriHealth in Cincinnati. He oversees the operations of a facility that includes physical and massage therapy, a pharmacy, an occupational health clinic, a fitness center and a primary care office. Dunham enjoys TriHealth’s focus on interdisciplinary care and the opportunity it brings to impact the health of patients in myriad ways. “With this large interdisciplinary team, we are continuously finding new ways to work together in the best interests of our patients,” he says. The health sciences field, Dunham adds, is “in an exciting time, where we continue to push health care forward. As an administrator, this challenges us to look differently at how we deliver health care.”

Degree programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, respectively, which ensures that Mount students earn a world-class education to prepare them for the 21st-century health care marketplace. In addition, most licensure programs, such as nursing, require the specialty accreditation. “This is necessary for students to be eligible to take the licensing exams as well as for continuing on for advanced degrees in that field,” says Vale. To learn more about the School of Health Sciences, its clinical affiliations, accreditations and career-focused programs, visit FALL 2015 • 9



In 2014, ranked the Mount among the top four colleges in Ohio and top 50 in the country for non-traditional students. The college planning website described the University as one that “places a high value on scholastic excellence, service, value and experiential learning.” “Non-traditional” as described by refers to students older than 25 who often juggle family and career with earning a degree. Julie Halpin, 27, is in her second year of the Master’s Graduate Entry-Level into Nursing (MAGELIN) program at the Mount. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and launched in 2004, this unique degree track is perfect for professionals who don’t have an undergraduate degree in nursing and want to enter the profession. What attracted Halpin to the program was the opportunity to earn her degree in only four consecutive full-time semesters. MAGELIN students work in clinical areas, fulfill leadership roles and can pursue an advanced practice degree in nursing. In the final semester, they undergo a preceptorship and “role transition” during which the students work one-on-one with a registered nurse. Through MAGELIN, Halpin experienced the real-world challenges and hectic work life of a health care practitioner, completing 144 hours at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “You assume the role of a nurse,” she says, “while having someone with you to guide you and transition you from student to [professional].” MAGELIN students take on all patients assigned to their preceptor. Along the way, they’re building upon the nursing lessons taught in Mount classrooms and labs, turning theory into practice while also developing vital time management and bedside patient skills. These experiences are invaluable and ensure that students in the School of Health Sciences are patient-ready upon graduation. Halpin recalls caring for a 10-year-old boy who visited Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for palliative care— a specialized form of medical care given to patients with serious illnesses—after he was diagnosed with medulloblastoma (a type of brain tumor) and was not responding to treatment. Adding to the challenge was communicating with the boy’s family who only spoke Arabic. That experience taught Halpin much about palliative care as she ensured patient comfort and supported the family’s needs, while still providing vital medical services. “I learned a lot about how different cultures perceive health care,” says Halpin. “Even though sometimes it was difficult Projected growth in physical to communicate with the family, caring therapy jobs through 2022. for and respecting patients transcends – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics culture and language barriers.”


The D.N.P. program really gave me that global view of the potential for nurse leaders in our nation and

in the world.

– Whittney Brady ’15, director of nursing, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Bill Lecher ’15 and Whittney Brady ’15 of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center are graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

FALL 2015 • 11

I learned a lot about how different cultures perceive health care. Even though sometimes it was difficult to communicate with the family, caring for and respecting patients transcends

culture and language barriers.

– Julie Halpin, Master’s Graduate Entry-Level into Nursing (MAGELIN) student


$200,000 Amount the Health Resources and Services Administration awarded the Mount to offer the Nurse Faculty Loan Program to students.

During our basic skills courses, we worked on communication

Mount professors are a key resource in helping School of Health Sciences students develop vital patient communication skills to complement the competencies they learn.

with patients,


particularly discussing medical conditions in terms they would


– Camille Chiappone ’14, physical therapy student


Halpin’s experience with patients and their families at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital mirrors the hands-on patient interaction Mount students learn in the School of Health Sciences. With mobile technology rapidly changing how each of us chat with family, friends, colleagues—even our doctors—it is essential that students entering the health care field understand the role and impact these devices play in the practitioner/patient relationship. Like any new technology, Vale says there are potential downfalls. “What happens frequently is when patients go in, some health care providers are looking at the computer instead of the patient,” she says. “They should be looking, seeing, smelling, having a conversation, and then inputting the data. Otherwise, it’s taking away from the relationship.” Embracing that personal connection is what the School of Health Sciences emphasizes in every learning environment. Students are taught to respect a patient’s own individual questions and concerns, as their experiences are often the most important component in determining treatment. “We’re teaching students that they’re not necessarily the experts,” says Vale. “They obviously will have the knowledge, experience and clinical expertise, but patients are the experts at their own health.”

It is this one-to-one dialogue with patients that attracted physical therapy student Camille Chiappone ’14. “Since physical therapists spend a good deal of time with their patients, we have the responsibility to effectively discuss our patients’ health and wellness so they can be fully informed,” she says. To assist her and her classmates as they deal with patients, the Mount upgraded its physical therapy learning environment to include a high-fidelity simulation lab with adult, child and infant robots that replicate human ailments and conditions; an in-patient lab with hospital beds and wall unit treatment/ monitoring equipment; outpatient and rehab labs with exercise equipment; a motion analysis system; a physiology assessment system; a treadmill training apparatus; and interactive rehabilitation and training tools that include a Nintendo Wii. As they work with patients using these advanced tools, Chiappone and her classmates constantly practice how to talk with patients. “During our basic skills courses, we worked on communication with patients, particularly discussing medical conditions in terms they would understand,” she says. “Throughout our labs and competencies, we are graded on our ability to communicate clearly with our patients.” Mount professors are a key resource in helping students develop vital patient communication skills to complement the competencies they learn. “They want to see you succeed, and help you succeed,” Chiappone says, adding that professors also “have a keen ability to meet us on our own level.” That is what resonated with Matt Witsken, M.D., ’91 during his days at the Mount. Now an internist with Mercy Health Physicians in Cincinnati and chief of staff at Mercy West Hospital, he recalls what a great mentor, Professor Annette Muckerheide, SC, once told him. “The one thing I remember her telling me is, ‘You don’t have to remember everything; you just have to remember where to look it up.’ That always stuck with me,” he says. That wisdom is especially true in the constantly changing field of health care, which is “one of continual learning,” adds Witsken.


The good news for Vale and her team in the School of Health Sciences is that their methods of providing world-class professional education are paying off well. Over the last eight years, undergraduate students scored a 92 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam for nurses (NCLEX) and the MAGELIN students a 95 percent pass rate. In addition, the Health Resources and Services Administration awarded the Mount more than $200,000 to offer the Nurse Faculty Loan Program to students who indicate their commitment to pursuing a career in nurse education, covering the cost of tuition, fees and other education costs for eligible students. Up to 85 percent of the loan can be forgiven for those who complete their degree program and teach full-time in an accredited nursing program such as the one offered by the School of Health Sciences. And employment for physical therapy students has never looked better. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs in this field will grow 36 percent through 2022. Lastly, the School of Health Sciences will soon offer a master’s degree for students seeking to enter the physician assistant field, one of the fastest growing—and most highly compensated—sectors of health care. And after that? When Vale thinks about it, she pauses. The School of Health Sciences has indeed come a long, healthy way since its first nursing program nearly 90 years ago. But despite decades of great achievements, alumni successes and a proven approach to producing career-ready graduates, a dean’s job is never to rest on past glories. “We’re always thinking about the future,” Vale says with a proud smile.

NEW PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT PROGRAM ADDRESSES HEALTH CARE SHORTAGE Physician assistants (PAs) perform many of the same duties as physicians as they work together in a wide range of medical facilities, from private practices to major hospitals. The majority of PAs practice in primary care although they also work in specialty areas such as emergency medicine, pediatrics, critical care, surgery, orthopedics, women’s health, neurology, cardiology and many more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects physician assistant employment to increase by 38 percent through 2022. To address the growth of health care needs, the Mount is currently developing its first-ever PA program. Patrick Cafferty, who brings more than three decades of industry experience that includes serving as a physician assistant at Neurosurgical Associates of Western Kentucky and director of clinical education at Bethel University’s physician assistant program, will help develop the new degree track as its chair. Initial enrollment is expected to be about 30 students for the 2017-18 academic year. Approval to develop the program has been granted by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. Upon earning their master’s degrees, Mount students will be prepared to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam that is required before they can obtain a state license to practice. Developing this program will fill a great need in this region, says Cafferty. “There are multiple health professional shortage areas right here in Cincinnati, which means that the community cannot regularly access health care,” he adds. “These graduates will supplement the excellent health care systems in place by improving access to health care and working on patient education, disease prevention, medication and treatment compliance.” M FALL 2015 • 13

REMEMBERING 22 The Mount community honors the joy and courage of Lauren Hill By Kara Gebhart Uhl 14 • MOUNT ST. JOSEPH UNIVERSITY

On a cloudless day in August 2014, Lauren Hill took a seat in the back row of Christian Scripture class. She sat in the first spot on the end, quiet and unassuming, as if deliberately not wanting to draw attention to herself. It was the first week of classes at the Mount. Her professor, John Trokan, immediately took notice of Lauren’s sparkling blue eyes and radiant smile. After the class concluded, she asked to speak with him. “She told me that she may need some accommodation,” says Trokan, who serves as chair and associate professor in the Department of Religious and Pastoral Studies. Lauren said she had a tumor in her brain, and that her treatments may impact her studies. “Her honesty was unnerving,” Trokan recalls. He assured her not to worry and was happy to help. Later that day, Trokan received a call from Head Coach Dan Benjamin ’94 of the women’s basketball team. Benjamin went into detail about Lauren. She had been diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable brain tumor that usually strikes young children. Her doctors said she would not live to see Christmas. Benjamin told Trokan that Lauren had one dream—to play in a college basketball game. “That’s when I realized this was not about accommodating Lauren’s learning,” Trokan says. “It was about empowering her life and her dream.” As the semester progressed, so did Lauren’s brain tumor. And with it came more pain, hospitalization and treatments. Trokan noticed every time her seat in the back row was empty. But even with these obstacles, Lauren’s thirst to learn never abated. “Her passion to learn, study and grow was undaunted,” he says. Lauren fulfilled her dream on Nov. 2, 2014, in a matchup against Hiram College. She scored the first two points. Then, with 20 seconds left, she netted the last two points of the game, capping the Lions’ 66-55 win over the Terriers. Her teammates carried her off the court amid loud shouts and cheers from fans. Five months later, on April 10, 2015, 19-year-old Lauren Hill passed away.

Everything I do is for Lauren and I do it with her legacy in the back of my mind. I perform to the best of my ability in the classroom, on the basketball court and within my everyday life because I know that’s what Lauren

would do.

– Meredith Hartfiel, senior, guard on the women’s basketball team

A MISSION FULFILLED The women’s basketball team practices at 6 a.m. during the week. I naïvely thought that I might be able to do something for them by showing up. I quickly discovered it was the team that did something for me. Watching these young women walk with Lauren and care for her, her family and for themselves with simplicity and humility inspired me. I witnessed the Mount’s mission fulfilled in every drill, pass, shot, rebound and scrimmage. I saw a living prayer before my eyes. Being part of a team means shared life and shared struggle. —John Trokan, chair and associate professor in the Department of Religious and Pastoral Studies

Lauren Hill (pictured with Professor John Trokan) received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Mount on Feb. 6, 2015.

FALL 2015 • 15

photo courtesy of Lisa Hill

photo courtesy of Lisa Hill




1). Lauren discovers a photo of her pediatrician, Libbey M. Spiess ’88, during her first visit to the Mount. 2.) Dr. Spiess embraces Lauren after the Nov. 2 game in which she scored the first and last two points. 3). Dr. Spiess and Lauren during a hospital visit.

She reminded me to fight for a cause and speak for children who are suffering and can’t speak for themselves. She reminded me how much one person’s voice can make a


– Dr. Libbey M. Spiess ’88

Hill’s story resonated with the entire Mount community, even those she personally did not know—particularly faculty and students who are actively involved in cancer research both on campus and through co-op opportunities. To read more about the Mount community’s involvement in cancer research, visit



In the precious time she had, Lauren did not allow her brain cancer to tarnish her spirit. She took control and became a beacon for courage, turning a terminal condition into a message of strength and hope and inspiration to families nationwide. Lauren spent her final months raising awareness of DIPG and promoting cancer research, appearing on ESPN and ABC’s The View. Even in death, she lives on in the hearts of the Mount community—and the University, in turn, is proud to keep her flame burning bright. “Here was a young woman who was handed a terminal prognosis but chose to see it not as a cruel act of fate, but somehow as a life challenge,” says Nancy Bramlage ’67, SC, director of the Office of Mission and Ministry. “She saw her diagnosis for what it was, but decided not to focus on that, but on what she might do for others in the remaining time she had on Earth.” And do for others, Lauren did. “She had an impact on every student on this campus and every program in our athletic department,” says Athletic Director Steve Radcliffe. Lauren’s powerful journey reached Mount alumni, too, including one who has known Lauren since she was 18 months old—her pediatrician. Dr. Libbey M. Spiess ’88 smiles when talking about Lauren, remembering her sense of humor, sass and wit—but mostly, her compassion. Lauren worried about her family, the doctors who cared for her and the children she visited while in the hospital. And so for them, she chose to fight. “Lauren’s example taught me about bravery and courage,” Spiess says. “She taught me about being a fighter instead of choosing despair. She reminded me to fight for a cause and speak for children who are suffering and can’t speak for themselves. She reminded me how much one person’s voice can make a difference. She had a caring and compassionate attitude toward others in the midst of her suffering.” The pair often talked about their shared love for the Mount. “We both loved the Chapel and the way the light glows through the stained glass,” Spiess says. A former student-athlete at the Mount, she was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame Oct. 2 for her outstanding academic performance and play on the volleyball court. Fittingly, Lauren posthumously received a Champion Award at the same ceremony.

LIFE LESSONS The lessons that I value most from Lauren are strength, vulnerability, selflessness and heart. Lauren lived these values day in and day out without even having to try. That’s just who she was, that’s Lauren Hill. It’s simple: Our relationship showed me that all I need to do is be me—be happy, be positive, be truthful, and be the best version of me I can be. I plan to honor Lauren’s legacy by being strong, being selfless, giving a voice to the voiceless, and learning to be vulnerable. I’ll accomplish this by putting my whole heart and all my determination into Lauren’s mission and legacy—just like Lauren. The Mount family will always cherish and continue her legacy. —Erica Walsh, senior, forward on the women’s basketball team

Lauren with teammate Erica Walsh. To read a few of the Mount community’s personal reflections on Lauren and her legacy, visit Visit to donate to the Forever 22 Scholarship.

photo courtesy of Emily Townsend

“The Mount helped Lauren achieve her simple dream of being a collegiate student and athlete,” Spiess says. “I’ve always been proud of the Mount. The way our community rallied around Lauren was not a surprise to me.” The rallying continues: One alumna was so touched by Hill’s story that the Forever 22 Scholarship was established with the hope to reach $50,000 by the end of the year in order to endow it. “If we raise $50,000, the Mount can award up to $2,200 per year to a student who exemplifies the spirit of Lauren Hill and the accomplishments of her life,” says Executive Director of Development Lisa Hinger-Odenbeck ’80, ’12. Lauren will also be honored at Lauren Hill’s Tipoff Classic, an annual event in which the Mount and Xavier University will open their respective women’s basketball seasons at Cintas Center. This year’s doubleheader will take place Nov. 14. Xavier will play Evansville as the Lions will take on Hiram College. Ticket proceeds from the games will benefit The Cure Starts Now Foundation for cancer research. In future games, instead of retiring Lauren’s #22 jersey, Benjamin wants his players to take turns wearing it, whether in practice or during a game. “It’s about awareness,” he says. “And it’s about keeping her legacy alive.” For Benjamin, this is his mission—raising money for her scholarship fund and DIPG research through future events such as golf outings and ensuring the women’s basketball program honors Lauren’s enduring, brave spirit. He recalls the words she once used to describe her situation: “Coach, I have two choices. I can lay in bed and die, or I can accept the role and say, ‘God, let’s go make an impact.’” For Lauren, life was always game on.

Lauren with roommate Emily Townsend.

ROOMIES Without hesitation, I said yes when asked to be Lauren Hill’s roommate. I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it was the best decision I made. Moments in the dorm with Lauren were short, but the memories I have are timeless. Lauren taught the team so much when she was our teammate, but I will never forget the advice she gave as an honorary coach. She told us to play until the whistle blew, to give 100 percent, to not play selfishly and to play for each other. She was talking about basketball, but we all knew that these were life lessons that we were learning. We played for “22” every game and every practice. Off the court, we live for 22. I strive to stay “22 strong” and to remember all the things she taught me. When Lauren could no longer attend practice or games, my friends and I went to visit her thinking that we could make her day. Yet, we were always the ones that left in a better mood. We knew our time with her was becoming shorter and shorter, and so did she. That didn’t stop her from making the most of every moment. I can’t remember a time with Lauren when I didn’t laugh out loud. Words cannot describe how much I miss her everyday, but I feel so lucky to have someone to miss so much. Lauren was my roommate, my best friend, my teammate, my coach, my superhero and now my guardian angel. I know she better be working on her post moves up in heaven for when we meet again. —Emily Townsend, sophomore, forward on the women’s basketball team M FALL 2015 • 17

DIVERSE SOLUTI The Mount fosters new initiatives that demonstrate the value of multicultural perspectives By Colleen Weinkam

Terri Hurdle, Ph.D., the Mount’s director of diversity and inclusion (second from right) discusses new ways to bring multicultural experiences to the Mount community.


Petronellah Mupereri, a graduate nursing student from Zimbabwe, had a similar experience when she cooked food native to her country— sadza (cornmeal), nyama (beef stew) and maveggie (kale greens)—in her residence hall room. “The students around me were not used to seeing that kind of food,” she says. It was a reminder to all of them that the Mount is becoming a destination for students across many cultures. “We can all learn from each other and respect the differences we have,” adds Mupereri.


IONS History major and first-generation Cuban-American Cesar Trigo de Serrano will never forget an experience at Fifth Third Bank Hall, the Mount’s dining hall. Students all around him were pouring Tabasco sauce onto their meals. When they asked him why he wasn’t using any, Trigo de Serrano said he doesn’t like spicy food. The students were taken aback. “They’d assumed I liked spicy food because I’m Hispanic,” he says. “I told them, ‘I may be Hispanic but my culture is Cuban, and Cuba is a tropical island in the middle of the ocean. No one eats spicy food there.’”

At the Mount, there is a renewed effort to break down traditional barriers and encourage a blend of cultures. By doing so, the University is fostering collaborative environments that promote multicultural awareness, critical thinking, social development and the open sharing of perspectives that span the international landscape— an invaluable learning experience for graduates entering today’s highly competitive global marketplace. Enter Terri Hurdle, Ph.D., the Mount’s director of diversity and inclusion. Her job? To develop and coordinate outreach programs on campus—among students as well as the Mount workforce—that promote intercultural and diversity education. Hurdle’s hiring and the creation of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion demonstrates how the Mount is fulfilling its mission to embrace diversity of cultures and beliefs. “If we’re not living by our mission, they’re just words,” says Hurdle. “We must prepare our students to be global citizens.” The new director goes out of her way to reach students who might feel excluded because of their differences. Hurdle asks to meet them for lunch so they can share stories—and then she asks for their help. “I’m intentional in what I’m doing because diversity is intentional,” she says. “And I tell them that. I want them to help me create opportunities through which the Mount community can discover their culture.”

In coming to the Mount, I’ve learned that the problems and struggles you see in a small town are completely different from those in a city. – Jon Hurley, senior, health and wellness major

FALL 2015 • 19


After administering a “diversity climate assessment” to students, faculty and staff to better understand how the Mount sees itself, Hurdle will use these results as a benchmark to build an inclusive academic and work environment going forward. She is working with Casey Biggs, associate director of human resources, to develop programs that will advance an open and diverse workforce. “By promoting that internally among faculty and staff,” Biggs says, “it promotes it externally as well to the greater campus community.” In addition, Hurdle plans to form a diversity task force composed of faculty, staff and student leaders, train a group of ambassadors to help facilitate multicultural programs and conversations in classrooms and expand campus programming to feature new events that focus on expanding global perspectives. To build partnerships, she is working to establish pipelines with college-readiness programs Black and Latino Achievers (through the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati) and Upward Bound as well as with local high schools such as DePaul Cristo Rey High School, which serves families who want a private, college preparatory education for their children but can’t afford it without significant financial assistance. “We want to continue to build those bridges so that the Mount becomes an attractive option for under-represented students,” Hurdle says.

Most people think of race right off the bat, but it’s not just race and socioeconomics. It’s about personalities. It’s about someone’s


– Erija Nealeigh, senior, Student Government Association president

GROWING UNDERSTANDING Tevin Byers, an African-American social work major and past president of the Black Student Union, graduated from a Dayton-area high school that was predominantly African-American. When he arrived at the Mount, he was the only African-American in many of his classes. “I felt really alone at first, but then [during] my freshman year [at the Mount], people reached out to me and helped me,” he says. “I started getting involved and talking with more people. Becoming active on campus made me more interested and willing to learn about different ideas and cultures.” Biology major and president of student government Erija Nealeigh, who was born in Maoming, China (part of the Guangdong province), is also exploring diversity through involvement. She spent two summers at the Mount interning for The National Conference for Community and Justice of Greater Dayton, a nonprofit organization in Dayton, Ohio, with a mission of empowering community leaders. “It opened my eyes to how diversity is not just about what you see,” Nealeigh says. “Most people think of race right off the bat, but it’s not just race and socioeconomics. It’s about personalities. It’s about someone’s interests.” Alumna Juwana Hall, who graduated with a degree in social work from the Mount in 2009, now works as the housing director at Talbert House, a community-wide nonprofit that offers services in behavioral health, community care and housing. She credits her experiences at the Mount as president of social work honor society Phi Alpha with helping her adapt to different situations. “Especially in my field of social work, you have to deal with a wealth of clients from various classes, races and socioeconomic backgrounds,” Hall says. “Through Phi Alpha, I was able to work with a very diverse range of students.”


FEB. 1 Black History Month Opening Ceremony/Festival


MARCH 23 Women’s Leadership Advocacy Awards Luncheon

APRIL 19 Celebration of Social Justice and Leadership


photo courtesy of Patrick Russell

Because everyone is in a social group—whether it be through race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, political ideology or socioeconomic status—the subject of diversity and inclusion is “near and dear” to the heart of Judy Singleton, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of sociology and social work at the Mount. She helped Hurdle administer the diversity climate assessment. At the Council on Social Work Education annual conference in 2010, Singleton co-presented on challenges in teaching diversity to students from non-diverse backgrounds because she was finding that many of her students were coming from similar high schools and religious backgrounds. “There was a lot of sameness,” Singleton says. “How do we get students who haven’t had much exposure to someone who’s Hindu or someone who’s had little faith exposure? How do we get students who have access to health care exposure to someone who doesn’t?” One of the ways the Mount has accomplished this is through the launching of a new Bachelor of Science degree in health and wellness in fall 2014. One of the courses taught under the program addresses health disparities and global health issues across different cultures. Students in the class selected five of the 10 poorest neighborhoods in Cincinnati and conducted a community assessment on each through the lens of health care, reviewing criteria such as average income, education options and access to health care, nutritious food and affordable housing. Senior Janelle Davis, a health and wellness student from northwestern Ohio small-town Haviland, took the course in spring 2015. She likes to tell people her home is in the middle of a cornfield. “Taking this course as well as attending college in a city, is going to help me in the future because it’s making me more aware of what’s out in the real world, and that not everyone thinks the same way I do,” she says. Senior health and wellness student Jon Hurley also took the course last spring. He’s from Bell County, Ky., a small town that borders Tennessee. “In coming to the Mount, I’ve learned that the problems and struggles you see in a small town are completely different from those in a city,” he says. “Learning that there is a whole presentation of problems I didn’t know about has made me grow. It’s made me realize there is a huge world out there.” Even Trigo de Serrano, who volunteers his time speaking to classes about immigration issues and the cultural barriers his parents faced when coming to America, felt culture shock when he left his native Miami to attend college in Cincinnati. “I left Miami—where 80 percent of the population is Cuban—for Cincinnati, where [it feels like] no one is,” he says. “But it’s good to be different.”

Patrick Russell was lucky.

Patrick Russell (left) with mentor Harry Blanton.

The 27-year-old graduate student at the Mount is earning his master’s degree in organizational leadership and works as supervisor of financial counseling at TriHealth, a full-service, not-for-profit health care system combining Bethesda Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital.

But when Russell was growing up in Price Hill, his family was poor. His mother was in rehab for drug issues and his father was incarcerated. “There were times when I didn’t know where my next meal would come from or if we would have electric or hot water the next day,” he recalls. When Russell was 9, he was paired with a mentor, Harry Blanton, through the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, an organization that offers youth development services such as mentoring both inside and outside the classroom. The opportunity turned Russell’s life around. When it was time for high school, Blanton helped Russell prepare for the entrance exam to St. Xavier High School, where Russell qualified for financial assistance. “I couldn’t have gone to St. X without Harry’s help, and I couldn’t have gone to St. X if they hadn’t helped pay for my schooling,” he says. After Russell’s freshman year at St. Xavier, Blanton became his guardian, giving him guidance and a place to stay until college. Now, Russell wants to pay his luck—and the help others gave him—forward. Through nonprofit Santa Maria Community Services, Russell helped to create an international welcome center at Roberts Academy in Price Hill for members of the Hispanic community who need assistance with translations, legal aid questions, budgeting and taxes. Russell also is a committee chair for TriHealth’s United Resource Group for Equality, or URGE, which works to ensure members of the LGBT community at TriHealth are represented fairly in the workplace. Russell’s desire to champion diversity and inclusion issues stems from the fact that Blanton is gay. “He showed me that there are different people in the world and that you have to learn how to interact with everyone and not exclude anyone just because they’re part of a certain group,” Russell says. Giving others a chance because of the chances afforded him is Russell’s mantra. “It’s a snowball effect,” he says. “It can completely change your life if someone gives you an opportunity.” M

FALL 2015 • 21


BUMP, SET, SPIKE IN VOLLEYBALL PROGRAM’S SUCCESS photo courtesy of Alex Vohland photo courtesy of Toby Birnbrich

The men’s volleyball team ended its season with its first-ever national ranking— 13th in the country—by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), finishing with a record of 19-9 and capping an incredible run since the program relaunched in 2013 under Head Coach Ryan Lengerich. “It’s a great honor for our students to be recognized for their achievements,” says Lengerich, who will return to lead the Lions for his third consecutive season. “Behind every team are moving parts and everything has to be working properly for it to be successful. The biggest key to our success is the culture we have built here at the Mount. Academics are at the forefront, followed by how we carry ourselves both on and off the court by serving in our community and by running our program efficiently.” Sophomore Alex Vohland became the team’s first All-American in program history after being selected for the AVCA’s Division III Second Team. He ranks fifth in the country with 3.98 kills per set. Vohland also led the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League in total points as well as earned second place in points per set and in attacking percentage among non-middle hitters. “Being recognized for my accomplishments is a blessing, but I couldn’t be the player I am without Coach Lengerich, Coach [Michael] Schlomer [’93, ’97, ’98] and all of my teammates,” says Vohland. “Every single one of our players pushes each other in practice, and both coaches challenge us every day to get better.” The upcoming 2016 season welcomes back team veterans as well as new recruits. Joining Vohland and teammates will be Cincinnati natives Andrew Chisholm, Ben Holt and C.J. Zureick, all of whom are expected to deepen the talent already on the court. “This season, our team is going to be extremely talented. I expect that we will be really strong competitively,” Lengerich says. From June 6-17, Vohland and two Mount teammates—sophomore Lyle Lehmann and junior Toby Birnbrich—joined NCAA Division III players from across the United States to compete in Brazil. The team competed against club and professional teams during the trip, finishing 2-3 overall. The trip also proved to be a unique educational and cultural learning experience as the players toured local communities and interacted with the people of Jundiai, Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian cities. “It [the trip] really helped me appreciate being in college and having the opportunity to play sports as well as continue my education,” says Lehmann. “This opened my eyes to a new culture.” Adds Vohland: “Hands down, the best experience of my life.” M

Following a 19-9 season and their first-ever national ranking (13th), members of the men’s volleyball team visited Brazil to play in a tournament with other NCAA Division III players and tour local communities.

For up-to-date info on athletic programs at the Mount, visit 22 • MOUNT ST. JOSEPH UNIVERSITY

MAKING AN IMPACT Summer Employment Program Celebrates a Decade of Achievement and Outreach

“Contemplate how you are being asked to give your heart to God amidst your everyday activities. Be prepared to meet your grace in every circumstance of life.” –St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Sister Sally Duffy, SC, president of the SC Ministry Foundation, quoted St. Elizabeth on Aug. 4 at a luncheon to honor the 10-year anniversary of the Summer Employment Program (SEP). The University initiative—designed to help Mount students pay for their education while giving them professional experiences at Cincinnati nonprofits—epitomizes the spirit of St. Elizabeth, who continues to serve as a beacon of inspiration and hope even two centuries after founding the Sisters of Charity in 1809. The inception of SEP began with a simple conversation between Sr. Sally and Anne Marie Wagner ’84, Mount CFO. The pair had been discussing an SC Ministry Foundation program designed to help local high school students learn more about working in the health care field. Sr. Sally wondered if a similar program could be created for Mount students, something that would connect them with nonprofit organizations beyond health care, funded through the Foundation. It could offer mentorship and provide real-world professional development opportunities, all while serving communities in need. Wagner thought it was a very, very good idea. The pair assembled a small group from Wagner’s business and finance division, as well as the SC Ministry Foundation, to discuss the initiative. In its inaugural year, SEP welcomed 13 students and connected them with Cincinnati area nonprofits. In 2015, there were 93 participants in the program—and there’s no sign of slowing. As the program has grown, so, too, have the number of Mount departments involved. “There is an enthusiasm that students bring to this program,” says Peggy Smith, coordinator of the Summer Employment Program. “It’s not just a job—it’s a learning experience.”

Andrew Brunsman ’10 worked multiple years through SEP with Our Daily Bread, a soup and hospitality kitchen in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. He began as the assistant to the volunteer coordinator and later became a computer lab moderator, helping clients set up their emails, apply for unemployment benefits and reconnect with lost loved ones. “After my first summer working under SEP, Our Daily Bread invited me to join their Board of Directors,” adds Brunsman, who was invited to speak alongside Sr. Sally at the Aug. 4 anniversary luncheon. One of the greatest benefits of SEP, he notes, is the opportunity it offers students to experience nonprofit work on the ground level and develop leadership skills. “And it not only allows but encourages Mount students to be ambassadors for the University as well as the Sisters of Charity, off campus and in the community,” he says. After graduating from the Mount, Brunsman was hired by Our Daily Bread because of his improved service skills and inter-agency knowledge. Today, he serves as executive director of Be Concerned Inc., one of the largest and longest running food pantries in northern Kentucky. Brunsman’s choice of vocation is another successful outcome of SEP. “We have heard students tell us that before this experience, they were only considering careers where they would climb a corporate ladder,” says Amelia J. Riedel, director of communications and program officer for the SC Ministry Foundation. “After working with a nonprofit for a summer, many of them have opened their eyes to the possibility of using their skills and talents to strengthen a nonprofit and then, in turn, make the world a better place.”

Sister Sally Duffy, SC, president The original goal of SEP was to enhance Sr. Sally is thankful to everybody involved in of the SC Ministry Foundation. student retention at the Mount, says Wagner. making SEP a tremendous success, beginning with “This program helps them financially to continue the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and the Board their education at the Mount,” she says. “Plus, students are getting an of Directors of SC Ministry Foundation, who greenlit the program a opportunity to work with an organization where the mission is the most decade ago. important element. One of the purposes of the SC Ministry Foundation is to support nonprofits as they fulfill their mission to serve. So, we’re “We’ve also had wonderful collaboration with the Mount and all linked together in this mission-driven effort.” our nonprofit organizations,” she says. “Thanks to the impact and strength of these students, our partners look forward to this program SEP has become so popular that the program has expanded beyond every summer. We thank the staff at the nonprofit organizations as well its original audience. In 2005, the intention was to only offer the for mentoring and serving as role models. As long as we are continuing program to returning sophomores, juniors and seniors. This year, to meet the needs of students, nonprofit organizations and the people participants include graduate students and incoming freshmen who they serve, it’s a win-win-win situation.” M were recent graduates of DePaul Cristo Rey High School. To read expanded coverage of the Summer Employment Program’s 10-year legacy, visit

FALL 2015 • 23

FACULTY & STAFF UPDATES ACCOMPLISHMENTS John Ballard, Ph.D., professor of management, published his first book, “Decoding the Workplace: 50 Keys to Understanding People in Organizations” (Praeger, 2015). Mary Jean Blink, M.B.A., adjunct instructor, presented “TutorGen: a Carnegie Mellon Start-up for Providing Adaptive Learning at Scale” at the Artificial Intelligence in Educational Data Mining academic conference in Madrid, Spain. Robert Bodle, Ph.D., associate professor of communication and new media studies, advocated Internet rights at the UN’s Palace of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, contributing to the 2015 Human Rights Campaign report on the use of encryption and anonymity in digital communications. While in Switzerland, Robert also attended the University of Geneva’s Internet law graduate program. Elizabeth Bookser Barkley, Ph.D., ’70 professor of English, presented a session to the senior group at St. Maximilian Kolbe parish in West Chester called “Don’t Miss These Books!” She also reviewed Garry Wills’ book, “The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis,” for the Sept. 15 issue of St. Anthony Messenger, the official commemorative issue for the pope’s September trip to the United States. Lisa Dehner, D.P.T., professor of physical therapy, presented “A Unique Lab Experience Helps Young PT Students Relate to Older Adults” at the World Congress of Physical Therapy in Singapore. She was also invited to be a lecturer and research mentor at Hanze University School of Applied Sciences physical therapy program in Groeningen, Netherlands. R. A. Davis, Ph.D., M.S., B.A., professor emeritus of biology and geology, was the invited speaker at the meeting of the Goshen Township Historical Society. His topic—the Grand Army of the Republic— was about one of the best known veterans organizations founded in the years after the Civil War. Julie Flanders, M.L.S., librarian, published an article in the July/August issue of College & Research Libraries News entitled “Online Resources for Writers: Advice, Tips, and Networking.” Mary Kay Fleming, Ph.D., academic assessment coordinator and professor of psychology, published an article entitled “Unexplored Variables in Course-Embedded Assignments: Is There an Elephant in the Room?” in the July-August issue of Assessment Update.

Karen Holtgrefe, D.H.S, P.T., associate professor of physical therapy, presented at the Ohio Physical Therapy Association’s Annual Conference. Her presentations included: “Change Theory and Cardiovascular Prevention, Health, and Wellness: Guiding Patients/Clients to Improving Their Health”; “Fitness Testing and Exercise Prescription Across the Lifespan”; and “A Physical Therapist’s Journey to Health and Wellness: Finally Ready to Change.” Paul Jenkins, M.A., director of library services, was interviewed by Dave Schwartz of WPKN (an NPR station in Connecticut) about famous folk singer Richard Dyer-Bennet. In 2011, Paul published a biography of the singer entitled “Richard Dyer-Bennet: The Last Minstrel.” Nazneen Kane, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology, presented a paper entitled “Mormons and the New Racism” at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Chicago. Nazneen’s essay, “Feminisms, Marxist and Socialist” was accepted for publication in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies (2015). Marge Kloos, S.C., D.Min., was elected to serve a four-year term on the Executive Leadership Council of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. Jamie Leslie, Ph.D., assistant professor of nursing, wrote several articles for publication with nursing faculty, including “Promoting Trust in the Registered Nurse-Patient Relationship” (Home Healthcare Now) with Bill Lonneman, D.N.P., assistant professor of nursing, as well as “Resilience as a Practice: Lessons from Mother Seton” (Journal of Christian Nursing) also with Lonneman and Janet Wray, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing. Jamie will also present a paper with Donna Glankler, M.S.N., ’83 assistant professor of nursing, in November at the Lilly International Conference on College Teaching entitled “Guessing Through Pretesting: A Strategy for Learning.” Craig Lloyd, M.F.A., associate professor of art, had work included in two recent exhibitions: “American Landscapes 2015” at the National Juried Painting Exhibition, Maryland Federation of Art, Circle Gallery, in Annapolis, Md. (Aug. 14 to Sept. 1); and “71st Ohio Annual Exhibition,” Zanesville Museum of Art, in Zanesville, Ohio (June 11 to Aug. 21). Lloyd also served as the awards judge for the 2015 Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society Annual Exhibition in August.


Mother Knows Best Staff Spotlight on Mary Brigham Assistant Director for Graduate Recruitment Mary Brigham had quite the surprise when she greeted a family one day in the admission office. “Oh, my gosh!” she said as she met the parents—two former resident assistants who had worked for Brigham years ago at the Mount. Next to them stood their son about to enter his first year at Mount St. Joseph. It was a moment that reminded Brigham of her own family’s connection with the University. In addition to her mother, a Mount alumna, her oldest daughter Sarah is a junior (another daughter, Lydia, is in high school). The Mount has been a powerful theme through their family since 1988. Brigham’s roles have included serving as assistant dean of students as well as director of residence life and student development. She has also worked in the financial aid office and helps to recruit graduate students. Such a diverse range of roles and responsibilities has enabled her to witness the Mount’s transformation into a 21st-century institution firsthand. “Our graduate offerings have expanded like crazy,” Brigham says. “We now offer graduate programs in nursing and business, not to mention our doctor of physical therapy. We have several more programs in the works so it’s really expanding our graduate base.” Brigham’s knowledge of higher education, combined with her experience as a parent of a college student, gives her a unique outlook when speaking with prospective students. She admits her daughters might disagree. “Having a mom working for a college is a downfall for my kids,” she says with a laugh. “There’s pretty much nothing I haven’t seen or much they can get past me.”

Tim Lynch, Ph.D., professor of history, served as a visiting scholar for a National Endowment for the Humanities Institute, Voices Across Time: American History Through Music, at the University of Pittsburgh. Jennifer Morris, Ph.D., associate professor of history, wrote a book, “The Origins of UNICEF, 19461953” (Lexington Publishers, 2015). Beth Murray, Ph.D., ’86 professor of biology, received the University of Cincinnati’s 2015-2016 McMicken College Distinguished Alumni Award. The annual award honors graduates who have achieved excellence in their chosen field or have made significant contributions that benefit the community, state, nation, college or university. Jamal Rashed, Ph.D., dean of business, served as a panelist on the Cincinnati Business Courier’s C-Suite Awards. He was joined by the deans of Xavier University, Miami University, University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University. Robyn Stone, adjunct instructor of English, has published a second edition of her poetry, “Uncertain Rustling.” In addition, Oloris Publishing has produced her second book, “The Emperor and His Rose Garden.” Jean Shannon, D.P.T., P.T., assistant professor of physical therapy, and Karen Holtgrefe, D.H.S., P.T., associate professor of physical therapy, and several physical students from the 2016 and 2017 cohorts completed body mass index screenings at the 2015 Wellness/Bienstar Spring Health Fair in Price Hill. This was the fifth year the Mount’s physical therapy program has participated in the event. Karl Zuelke, Ph.D., M.F.A., director of the writing center as well as the math and science center, presented “Dreaming, Singing: A Creative/ Critical Blog in Response to The Dream Songs” at the Association for the Study and Literature and Environment Conference in Moscow, Idaho. He also participated in a panel discussion, “The Environmental Humanities Beyond the Tenure Track.”

NEW HIRES The Mount welcomes our new faculty and staff members for the 2015-2016 academic year: •

 anna Mohammad and Harshini D Siriwardane (business)

Pierre Rivolta (criminology)

Jan Maltinsky and Kathy McMahon-Klosterman (education)

 achel Hollingsworth R (health and wellness)

Allison Perkins (math)

Patrick Cafferty (physician assistant)

 orry Cornett T (academic advising center)

 hawn Adkins and Patrick Gibboney S (admission)

E lizabeth Cox, Dee Dee Davis and Brian Lewton (athletics and recreation)

 ill Fellinger, James Gibbs B and Melissa Hoeffer (buildings and grounds)

Jack Kraft (campus police)

 rian Thesing ’09, ’12 and Krysti Trevor B (health sciences)

Elizabeth Morales (institutional research)

Wayne Black ’14 and Julie Chowning ’15 (Upward Bound).

RETIREES We also congratulate members of our community who retired this year: •

Jeanne Buccigross

Tim Carney

Alan DeCourcy

Marge Kloos, SC

Pam Korte ’72

Judy Morgan

Tim Reibling

Meg Riestenberg ’68

Rick Santoro

Marilyn Serraino

Richard Sparks

Angela Wolfe

Minding His Language Faculty Spotlight on Dr. Mike Klabunde Mike Klabunde’s office is lined wall-to-wall with books, and he’s read them all. “It’s an occupational hazard,” he says with a laugh. Klabunde, Ph.D., associate professor in the Departments of History, English and Modern Languages, knows it will take a small army to move his books out of his office once he officially retires after May 2016. After 33 years of teaching at the Mount, Klabunde says it’s time to try a few new things. “I want to drink my morning coffee when the sun is up,” he says. “[My partner and I] want to travel. I want to learn to play the keyboard. I’d love to be a docent for a museum and I’d like to pick up Arabic.” That would be another language to add to his long list of languages he can speak (“It depends on how many beers I’ve had”) and read (“About 25”). Klabunde chalks up his gift of linguistics to his ancestry and his knowledge of classics rooted in Latin. “I think most Americans underestimate their own ability to learn a language,” he says. “My mom’s family was from Switzerland so I would hear them speak different dialects and languages. When I was younger, I begged to learn French in school. Later, I traveled to other countries to learn more.” Klabunde came to the Mount after spending some time living in Greece and teaching at the Berlitz Language School. When Sr. Elizabeth Cashman greeted him on his first day more than 30 years ago, Klabunde didn’t know he would make a career out of teaching everything from world history and international politics to literature, linguistics and film. He became the ultimate “utility professor” at the Mount. He took charge of the University’s study abroad program. And after a fellow professor had retired, he taught a medieval literature course “since it’s next to the ancient dead guys” he often teaches. “A former dean once told me I’m a chameleon,” he says. “I teach whatever they need me to teach.” And teach he did. Good luck, Dr. Klabunde. M

FALL 2015 • 25

ALUMNI UPDATES NEWS From the Alumni Relations Office What an incredible year we’ve had at our University! We celebrated the accomplishments of five alumni during The Mount Jubilee in April and honored three graduates during Reunion Weekend in June. In August, we welcomed 330 freshmen, an increase over last year’s numbers—a wonderful beginning to the new academic year. Homecoming Weekend was held in October beginning with three alumni being inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame and a tailgate sponsored by the Mount St. Joseph University Alumni Association as well as several student groups. As we begin our second year at the Mount, we’re thankful for all of your kind words and encouragement. Our community has been very welcoming and we look forward to meeting more alumni throughout the year. The members of the 2015-2016 Alumni Board are full of energy and sparking great ideas to engage alumni and keep them connected to our University. Please take a moment to learn more about them on pages 28-29. You can also find more information about them at To our recent graduates, congratulations on earning your degree and best of luck on your new journey! We look forward to hearing from you and keeping you connected to the Mount. And welcome to the Mount St. Joseph Alumni Association! Each month, we update the Classnotes Corner on our website to announce your latest personal and professional news, such as births, marriages, promotions and new jobs. We love hearing these great stories and encourage you to fill out the form on page 31 and mail it to the Office of Alumni Relations—or go online at Through our website, you can also sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, Alumni Connections, as well as learn about Mount alumni benefits, events and engagement opportunities. We would enjoy hearing from you regarding potential benefits you’d like us to offer as well as which events you would like to attend in the future. Sincerely, Gina Bath Associate Director of Alumni Relations 513-244-4298

Gina Bath

Mark Osborne

Mark Osborne Coordinator of Young Alumni and Annual Giving 513-244-4892

Alumni Discount at Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens The Mount St. Joseph University Alumni Association is proud to offer our graduates discounted tickets for the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Prices are $13 per adult (normally $18) and $9 per child (normally $12) for general admission when purchased online at (use company code “MSJ”).


Join Us for the PNC Festival of Lights Bring family and friends to the PNC Festival of Lights, held at the Safari Lodge, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015! 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Tickets $7 | Parking $5 Price includes admission to the zoo and refreshments served in the Safari Lodge. In addition, Bernadette Coutain Plair ’67 will give tours at the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife. Visit for details.

Mount Salutes Alumni Award Winners

At the Mount Jubilee Annual Scholarship Benefit in April, we recognized several distinguished graduates. The 2015 Future Five Award recipients (pictured above, from left) included: Erika Lehman ’04, Matthew Wayne Schmittou ’12, William Lambers ’95, ’06, Tori Schaefer, Ph.D., ’04 and Eucebeth Akinyi Mose ’10. The deadline to submit nominations for the 2016 Future Five Awards is Jan. 13, 2016. In addition, the Mount Alumni Association has established several prestigious awards that honor outstanding alumni during Reunion Weekend held in June. This year’s award winners (pictured right, from left) included: • The Loretta Richards Distinguished Alumni Award: Virginia Callahan O’Connor ’65 • Sister Mary Lea Muller Human Service Award: Marianne Male Wolf ’70 • Alumni Career Achievement Award: Laura Craft, Ph.D., ’80 The deadline to submit nominations for the awards above is March 11, 2016. For more information, please visit

Join Us for Reunion Weekend June 3-5, 2016 Mount classes of 1966, 1971 and 1976, plus all Royal Mounties (those who graduated prior to 1966), are invited to join fellow alumni for Reunion Weekend June 3-5, 2016. Events include an alumni awards convocation, luncheon and tours of campus. In addition, a golden anniversary celebration will be held for the class of 1966. And if you’re interested in joining one of our class committees, we’d love to hear from you! For details and to learn how you can join, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 513-244-4298 or visit

From top: Members of the classes of 1970, 1975 and 1980-1985 at the Mount’s Reunion Weekend in June 2015.

FALL 2015 • 27

ALUMNI UPDATES MEET YOUR ALUMNI BOARD Loretto Armstrong ’77 Major: Nursing Employer: Self-Employed Job Title: Health Care Professional Field: Health Care Favorite Mount Memory: My favorite memories of being a Mountie are of our parent weekends held at the Netherland Hotel in the Hall of Mirrors, being on the judicial board studying for finals on Seton Beach and sledding at the Old Mount.

Brittany Arthur ’11 Majors: Business, Communications Employer: Mount St. Joseph University Job Title: Assistant Director of Career & Experiential Education Center Field: Higher Education Favorite Mount Memory: Serving on the Campus Activities Board for four years truly impacted who I am today. During my time as a campus leader, I was introduced to the profession of higher education. Planning activities and events for the campus went from being fun to becoming a passion. My experiences allowed me to pursue a master’s degree in higher education, because I want to continue to impact future generations to follow their dreams and do what they love.

Eva Csicsova Bozso ’97, Treasurer Major: Biology Employer: The Procter & Gamble Company Job Title: Principal Researcher Field: Research Favorite Mount Memory: Receiving the St. Elizabeth Seton McDonald Award from the Department of Biological Sciences in recognition of academic achievement. I was still learning English as a Mount student while working full time and raising two small children. But by my junior year, I was making the Dean’s List every semester. The encouragement, love, help and passion for teaching I received from the entire faculty put me on the path to success.

Carole Brown ’52 Major: Education Job Title: Retired, Teacher and former Sister of Charity Field: Education Favorite Mount Memory: My early memories of the Mount are full of joy and love: I took a class on Vatican II from Fr. Dick McSorley; I founded the Catholic Peace Fellowship, which later became the Cincinnati Archdiocese Peace and Justice Commission; and I learned to use a video camera and filmed Mother Teresa when she came to campus.

Alissa Beck ’11, Treasurer Major: Communications Employer: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Job Title: Annual Fund Coordinator Field: Non-profit Favorite Mount Memory: I really enjoyed planning the Knowlton Kick-Off Classic for the 25th anniversary of the football program and seeing all the alumni have a blast at the tailgate party. I also cherish the lasting friendships I made with people who have become my close friends.

Andrew Brunsman ’10, President-Elect Major: Communication Studies Employer: Be Concerned Inc. Job Title: Executive Director Field: Nonprofit Favorite Mount Memory: Meeting my future wife in poetry class and getting engaged on graduation day.


Aimee Thornton Cordrey ’95 Major: Humanities Employer: UC Health Job Title: Assistant General Counsel/ Director of Contracting Field: Nonprofit Health Care Favorite Mount Memory: I have the fondest memories of various community service opportunities and outreach, both locally and beyond. I spent every spring break serving others as well as other times throughout the year. It enabled me to help others, but to also grow personally. Each experience empowered me to use all of my abilities in unique ways and deepened my faith.

Heather Couch ’13 Major: Music Employer: Talbots and Dream Big Publishing Job Title: Sales Associate and Author Field: Sales and Independent Publishing Favorite Mount Memory: My favorite Mount memory can’t be singular, because I enjoyed every band practice/performance/game.

Susan Dawes ’88 Major: Biology Employer: The Procter & Gamble Company Job Title: Principal Researcher Field: Research Favorite Mount Memory: Biology field trips to the Dixon Springs Research Center and Mississippi River bank to collect insects for our ecology class. Students developed lasting friendships and learned how to work as teams.

If you are interested in serving on the Mount’s alumni board, please contact

Jennifer Burnett Dreyer ’03 Major: Business Employer: KPMG LLP Job Title: Senior Administrative Assistant Industry: Tax, Audit, Advisory Services Favorite Mount Memory: Being a part of Student Government Association and filling a cooler in someone’s dorm room with goldfish.

Cecilia Davis Gaynor ’85 Major: Chemistry Employer: VA Medical Center Job Title: Chief of Infectious Disease Field: Health Care Favorite Mount Memory: There are so many good memories. I was surprised by Senior Christmas in the dorm as a freshman. My classmates elected me as sophomore class treasurer and I enjoyed participating in our Sophomore Review. Probably my favorite was when my friends and I dared each other to ask someone to dance at the freshman mixer. I asked a tall, shy Xavier guy who surprisingly was from my hometown—now he is my husband.

John Lich, V ’12, Vice President Major: Business Employer: Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. Job Title: Director of Digital Sales Field: Advertising Favorite Mount Memory: Talking to the MSJ lacrosse team at the middle of the Adrian College field before the conference championship in 2011. I was able to look around into the eyes of 25 teammates and reflect on the last 60 games. That moment served as the final affirmation that I had made a great decision by coming to the Mount. I am fortunate to still have strong friendships with several of my teammates and classmates from the Mount.

Lupe Lopez ’77, President Major: Fine Arts Employer: Lopez Studio Group LLC Job Title: Principal Field: Architectural Design Favorite Mount Memory: So many memories, I will start with the personal attention and encouragement from all the teaching staff, especially the professors in the Art Department. And, of course, the lasting friendships made not only with my peers but with their families as well.

Rosemary OglesbyHenry ’13, ’15 Major: Liberal Studies, Organizational Leadership Employer: Life Learning Center Job Title: Director of Enrollment Field: Nonprofit Favorite Mount Memory: This would be an organizational leadership class I took in my final semester. Instructor Missy Houlette assigned the task of creating your vision and purpose statement in the form of media. The assignment was so uplifting—people really evaluated what was important and our purpose. I will always remember the laughs from my classmates, the hugs I received after watching the videos and the warmth you saw in every person’s eyes because we were all connected by our values, our faith and our love for the Mount.

Cynthia Schmid-Perry ’82, Secretary Major: Graphic Design, History Employer: Ohio County Public Library Job Title: Librarian Field: Library Services Favorite Mount Memory: My favorite Mount memory is Father della Picca singing mass. I was not raised Catholic, so I did not participate in communion, but his voice drew me in. I sat in awe as I watched. His voice was

so full of worship and reverence that I cried. I attended mass regularly just to listen to him.

Beth Pluckebaum Siemer ’90 Major: Education Employer: St. Ignatius Loyola School Job Title: Fourth Grade Teacher Field: Education Favorite Mount Memory: My favorite Mount memory was working in the reading lab with students who were struggling. I was learning from them as much as they were learning from me. I also enjoyed my time working with the Student Council for Exceptional Children. These experiences prepared me to be the teacher that I am today.

Chris Uselmann ’12 Major: Business Employer: Selective Insurance Job Title: Senior Underwriter Field: Insurance Favorite Mount Memory: Visiting New York City and the United Nations through the Honors Program during the summer before my senior year. During our week-long stay in the heart of Manhattan, we experienced firsthand the impact that humanitarianism can create at both the local and global level.

Ingrid Thompson Weber ’80 Major: Chemistry Previous Employer: Mercy/Franciscan Health Job Title: Retired, Medical Technologist Field: Health Care Favorite Mount Memory: Close friendships, staying up all night and lining up in Seton Hall to put in our yearly room requests. M

FALL 2015 • 29


1940s Helen Kane McGoff ’47 of Cincinnati enjoys painting portraits, especially of her grandchildren, using watercolors.

1960s Betsy Bass O’Kresik ’62 of Dayton, Ohio, is the ministry coordinator for Child Evangelism Fellowship of Ohio, Miami Valley Chapter. Child Evangelism Fellowship is one of the largest children’s ministries in the world. Susan Schneider Donofrio ’69 of Dublin, Ohio, has been appointed to chair the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) Family Law Committee. She is currently the training coordinator and a domestic group attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Columbus. Susan also serves as a family relations specialist and member of the Columbus Bar Association’s Family Law Committee and American Bar Association’s (ABA) Family Law Section, as well as past chair of the ABA’s Domestic Violence Committee. She is a member of the Franklin County Domestic Court E-Filing and Case Management Task Force and is a frequent continuing legal education presenter.

1970s Anne Gassmann Rosenfeld ’71 of Oro Valley, Ariz., received the Anna M. Shannon Mentorship Award from the Western Institute of Nursing. The award recognizes outstanding mentors who demonstrate selfless efforts to support and promote the professional growth of other nurses in the West. Anne is a professor and director of the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program at the University of Arizona College of Nursing.

Janet Louise Boehler ’78 of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, retired from the Moreland Hills Police Department. She spent 31 years as a sergeant and liaison between the police department and Orange School District. Some of the programs she initiated include “Safety Town,” a program that provides important lessons about fire, traffic and drugs to incoming kindergarten students; “Don’t Laugh at Me,” which teaches young people about bullying, building self-esteem and character; and the Juvenile Diversion Program, where first-time offenders can avoid having a juvenile record by successfully completing a program that calls for community service, a strict curfew and other types of sanctions. Connie Langguth Fields ’78 of Franklin, Ohio, received the United Way Warren County Volunteer of the Year Award. She was nominated by Abilities First, the nonprofit organization where she and her therapy dog, Cameron, volunteer in the preschool Autism Learning Center. Cameron is a certified therapy dog through the organization Therapy Dogs International. They provide emotional support to the children while they are working with an occupational therapist. Lefern Johnson-Turner ’79 of Griffin, Ga., spent November and December 2014 traveling through Tibet, Nepal, visiting schools and religious sites and learning about the cultures.

1980s Lorrie Monnin Croswell ’84 of Gahanna, Ohio, received the DAISY Award from the Ohio State University East Hospital. The DAISY Award is a nationwide program that rewards and celebrates extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by nurses. Constance Vogel ’85 of Cincinnati announced the arrival of her second grandson, Joel Damaris, in July.


Sharon Ogletree Thompson ’86 of Cincinnati received her CNOR certification in June 2015. This certification for professional achievement in peri-operative nursing practice signifies the commitment to safe patient care and lifelong learning. She is currently a peri-operative nurse at The Christ Hospital Health Network Surgery Center. Beth Murray, Ph.D., ’86 of Cincinnati has received the 2015-2016 McMicken College Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Cincinnati. The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to graduates of the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences who have made significant contributions to their field of study that benefit the community, state, nation, college or university. She is a professor of biology at Mount St. Joseph University and one of only 75 board-certified forensic anthropologists in North America. profiled Charlene Quillin Holloway ’87 of Bowerston, Ohio, to showcase her 42 years of teaching. Sharon Elizabeth Sparks ’88 has worked at the English Montessori School in Madrid, Spain, since 1994 as an English teacher for secondary students. Before that, she worked for eight years as a high school Spanish teacher in Cincinnati.

1990s Karen McFarland Menchen ’92 of Cincinnati announced the arrival of granddaughter Abigail Marie Menchen, born in April 2015. Abigail has an older sister, Samantha Rose. Jill P. Meyer ’93 of Cincinnati is the president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. She is also the Member-in-Charge of Frost Brown Todd’s Cincinnati office—the largest of its 10 nationwide offices—where she leads the firm’s business development, civic and charitable initiatives and client relations.

CLASSNOTES Renee Newton Hahn ’95 of Defiance, Ohio, is a second grade teacher at Defiance Elementary.

2000s Tricia Borgmann Higgins ’01 of Hebron, Ky., and her husband welcomed their third child, Logan Joshua Higgins, in July 2014. Robert Roetting III ’01 of Cincinnati and his wife, Amy, welcomed their daughter, Gabrielle Marie, in September 2015. She joins sisters Mia, Madison and brother Robert IV. Stephanie Gfroerer Honebrink ’03 of Cincinnati and her husband welcomed their second child, Alexander Wayne Honebrink, in October 2015. Kelli Higgins Salm ’03 of Loxahatchee, Fla., earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., in December 2014. She is currently employed as the physical therapy team leader at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Stuart, Fla. Anthony McClarnon ’04 and Molly Middendorf McClarnon ’05 of Harrison, Ohio, welcomed their third child, Brielle Jane, in May 2015. She joins big sister Caelin and brother Shane.

Steve Conn ’06, ’09 of Cincinnati was promoted to of battalion chief of the Colerain Township Fire Department (CTFD). He also serves as the department’s public information officer and is routinely seen as the face of the CTFD at emergency scenes and in public interest stories. Part of Steve’s new duties entail serving in a command and leadership role during emergency responses and as the shift coordinator among the department’s numerous fire stations. In addition, he participates in strategic planning and accreditation initiatives. Steve has been with the department since 1989. Christy Cushing Cauley ’07, ’11 and Joseph Cauley ’10 of Cincinnati adopted three children in April 2015, welcoming Kayla, Aidan and Jacob Cauley to their family. Joshua Garrett ’08 of Cincinnati is the owner and operator of Cincy 360 Fitness, which was named premier facility in the Personal Training/Crossfit Gym Category of CityBeat magazine’s 19th annual Best of Cincinnati issue. Steve Pence ’10 of Cincinnati has been a team member of Cincy 360 Fitness since it opened in November 2013. Aaron Hampel ’08 and Laura Leisring Hampel ’11 of Cincinnati welcomed their daughter, Kateri Lillian, into the world in September 2014. Aaron is the coordinator for Campus Ministry at LaSalle High School and Laura is the pastoral associate for Youth Ministry at Our Lady of the Visitation.

Juwana Hall ’09 of Cincinnati is the new director of housing for Talbert House. She will oversee residential special needs as well as transitional and permanent supportive housing. Prior to her new position, Juwana worked at the YWCA as the director of the Batterers’ Intervention and Prevention Program. She is also the co-chair of the Purple Light Domestic Violence Awareness Walk, treasurer for the Fatherhood Collaborative of Hamilton County and member of the Community Action Agency of Hamilton County Parent Council. Daniel Schultz ’10 of Cincinnati and his wife, Stacey Schultz, welcomed their first child, Wyatt Michael, in May 2015. Maria Christina Hennig, SND, ’11 ’13 of Cleveland, Ohio, received her chaplaincy certificate in March 2015. The certification ceremony took place at the National Association of Catholic Chaplains Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. She currently works at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. John Dumford ’12 of Cincinnati oversees property and casualty insurance in the tri-state area as a Farmers Insurance agent and business owner. Raymond Claytor ’14 of Cincinnati is a staff accountant at Messer Construction Co., where he worked as a co-op. M

TELL US A STORY Got married? New job? We want to hear from you! Share your personal and professional accomplishments with the entire Mount community in an upcoming issue of Mount News. Name: _______________________________________________ Spouse’s name: ______________________________________________ Year of graduation: ________ Degree: _______________________________ Major: __________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________________________________________________ New Address? vYes q No City: _________________________ State: _____ ZIP: ______ Home phone: ___________________ Work phone: ___________________ Email: _____________________________________ Job title: ____________________________ Employer: _________________________ Company address: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ News you wish to share: ______________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ q I would also like to Please send to: receive the MSJ Alumni Mount St. Joseph University You can also submit stories and Connections e-newsletter Office of Alumni Relations photos online at 5701 Delhi Road Cincinnati, OH 45233-1670

FALL 2015 • 31








Homecoming Highlights The Mount celebrated Homecoming Weekend Oct. 2-3, 2015, which included honoring this year’s inductees into the Athletic Hall of Fame, a tailgate party, and football game that saw the Lions crush Earlham College 58-27. Thanks to all who joined us for a weekend of family fun. We look forward to seeing you next year! 1) 2015 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees Libbey Spiess ’88, T.J. Hilvert ’98 and Betsy Owens Jones ’02 2) Friends of the Mount show off their Lion pride! 3) Future Lions enjoyed playing in the bounce house. 4) Alumni had time to connect with former classmates. 5) The Lions dominated Earlham College 58-27. 6) Student Alumni Association members had the opportunity to network with alumni while selling basket raffle tickets. 7) Champion Award recipients Braden A. Mechley and Lisa and Brent Hill accepting on behalf of their daughter, Lauren Hill.

To view more Homecoming photos, please visit:



ALUMNI Mary Jane Koper Fuller ’47 Marie Therese Conaty, SC, ’50 Jean Vorbroker Schuerman ’50* Mary Raterman Barnhorn ’54 Marjorie Aman Ruppert ’58 Joan Fey Crawford ’61 Dolores Anne Johnson, SC, ’61 Joan Carole Schaffner, SC, ’64 Eileen Brennan ’66 Elizabeth Gregg Moore ’69 Kathryn Pohl Wagner ’70 Catherine Sander Back ’73 Anne Somsel ’75 Katrina Feldhake ’78 Roberta Lucas ’86 Janet Ragland Swain ’86 Mark Reif ’93 Mary Kay Hoffman Merz ’93 David “Kraig” Jefferson ’15

FATHER OF Julianne Ossege ’86 Barbara Ann Lind ’87 Marianne Paff Lingardo ’87 Andrea Bussard ’91 Kathleen Young Reid ’91 Nancy Catanzaro ’92 James Pessler ’92 Annie Lipps Zoz ’93 Charles Drexler ’94 Rob Paff ’95 Paula Mayleben Fritz ’96 David “Duece” Richmond Jr. ’97 Arthur Conway ’98 Aswana Walker Laskey ’04 Maria Ledwin ’04 Christopher Oelker ’06 Kara Oelker ’06 Heather Klette ’07 Laura Glassmeyer Hagen ’08 Ken Glassmeyer ’13 Michael Forste ’13

MOTHER OF Angela Labmeier Anno ’64 Eileen Ruth Harkins Horstman ’64 Marsha Graeser Higgins ’68 Marybeth Feldhake Ryan ’72 and Cathy Feldhake Meyer ’76 Joy Robinson Kindoll ’76 Mary Stoeckle ’79 Sallie Streitenberger ’83 Elizabeth Menke Meinhardt ’84 and Laura Menke Fowler ’86 Patricia Herrmann Morand ’85 Claudia Bauman Hawkins ’88

Mary Schmuelling Meiners ’89 Kristen Lucas Grout ’90 Monica Stephens Cornell ’91 Rebecca Howard Thatcher ’91 Carole Scheidt Cline ’93 Steve Wehmann ’95 Gail Vidal Lawson ’95 Kathryn Mitchell ’97 Melaina Neyer Garrison ’03 Adrienne Merz Gonzalez ’03 Robert Frey ’04 Lynn Abrams Doll ’10 Jeffrey Joseph Krechting ’04, ’05 and Jennifer Lynn Krechting Speicher ’07, ’12

HUSBAND OF Mary Belle Powell Kugele ’50 Mary Rehring Buse ’54 Margaret Brauer Burris ’57 Rose Shanahan Voulgarakis ’61 Maridot Fitzpatrick Long ’62 Arlene Hammerle Kroger ’64 Sandy Nolen Stewart ’69 Mary Alice Koch Wiethe ’01 Nancy Tenoever Forste ’88, ’06

SISTER OF Joan Patrice Flynn, SC, ’65 Joan Somsel McSweeney ’67 and Michele Somsel Dillon ’71 Mary Wagner Hopkins ’73 ’81

BROTHER OF Frances Hornikel ’52 Betty Schnee Lacey ’55 Jeannette Cochran, SC, ’62 Lucien Marie Davis, SC, ’64 Lori Deunhoft Berning ’86 Michael Bagby ’90

SON OF Barbara Kuhn Hallstein ’75 Dawn Dee McIntosh Jefferson ’86 Joseph Sedler ’99 Connie Clark Creemer ’06

DAUGHTER OF Virginia Hart Pohl ’42

IN MEMORIAM Jean Abrams former administrative assistant, department of education/ art department Harry Weinbrecht Jr. former director of athletics

The University community mourned the death of two staff members this spring and summer—t­wo very special employees who lived out the Mount’s mission in their daily lives.

Jeff Oelker, director of grounds, an integral part of the Mount family since 1985, died suddenly in May. Jeff worked tirelessly to make sure the campus looked beautiful all year long. The fabulous grounds, flowers, trees, parking lots and even the roofs are all part of Jeff’s legacy to us. In addition to his dedication to the Mount, Jeff devoted time to his family and serving others.

Carol Herzog always had a smile and a kind word for everyone she encountered. Throughout her 12 years at the Mount, she was an administrative assistant in the departments of art and music. Her love for the Mount and its students pushed her to go the extra mile in hosting receptions, promoting recitals and volunteering for service events. Carol died in July after a brief illness. The Mount St. Joseph University community lost one of the newest members of our alumni family on Sept. 7, 2015, when David “Kraig” Jefferson ’15 died in a car accident. The former Lions football player will be forever remembered as a great friend to the Mount, and we offer our condolences to his family as we keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

*Social Class Year

FALL 2015 • 33

NOVEMBER 3 7 8 11 18 23 25-27

Common Ground: Enrique’s Journey and America’s Immigration Dilemma Featuring Pulitzer Award Winner Sonia Nazario Admission Visit Day “Selections ‘15” Exhibit Opening MountViews: Helping a Loved One Through the Death of a Spouse Discovery Day MountViews: The Impact of Ancient Art and Design on Selected Cincinnati Architecture and Sculpture Thanksgiving Recess (University Closed)



3 8 10 10 24-25 31

Christmas Concert MSJ Alumni Night at PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo Fall Semester Ends Commencement Christmas Break (University Closed) New Year’s Holiday (University Closed)

JANUARY 1 11 18 27

New Year’s Holiday (University Closed) Spring Semester Begins Martin Luther King Holiday (University Closed) Leadership Speaker Series: BBB Torch and Award Recipients Forum

FEBRUARY 10 15 19 23 25 27

Leadership Speaker Series: Leadership @ 20 Discovery Day Mid-Semester Holiday (University Closed) Etiquette Dinner for Current Students Leadership Speaker Series: Supplier Diversity Admission Visit Day

Division of Institutional Advancement 5701 Delhi Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45233-1670


MARCH 7-12 23 24 25 28

Spring Break Leadership Speaker Series: Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Spring Career & Co-Op Fair Easter Holiday (University Closed) Easter Holiday (University Closed)

APRIL 7 9 TBD 27

Leadership Speaker Series: Issues to Impact Civic Forum Get Acquainted Day MSJ Day at the Reds The Mount Jubilee Annual Scholarship Benefit

For complete calendar listings, visit For Mount Lions schedule, visit

Each year, the 50th Anniversary Class contributes to the Golden Scholarship. This year, the Class of 1965 raised over $21,000.

MISSION STATEMENT Mount St. Joseph University is a Catholic academic community grounded in the spiritual values and vision of its founders, the Sisters of Charity. The University educates its students through interdisciplinary liberal arts and professional curricula emphasizing values, integrity and social responsibility. Members of the Mount community embrace: excellence in academic endeavors; the integration of life and learning; respect and concern for all persons; diversity of cultures and beliefs; service to others.

If you have received Mount News in error or wish to update your mailing preferences, please contact Sandy Oldendick at or call 513-244-4871.

Mount News Fall 2015