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We ARE the (NATIONAL) Champions Meet the Irish ace who gave NKU that leg up



A m e s s ag e f ro m t h e p re s i d e n t “Our success at the next level will depend largely on you, our loyal alumni base. We’ve built some of the best athletic facilities in the nation over the past few years. It’s time to start filling them.” It’s summertime at Northern Kentucky University and the jackhammers are in full force. That’s right—our alumni will be glad to know we’re getting rid of some concrete. Along with the much-anticipated completion of our state-of-the-art informatics center, Griffin Hall, we’re also renovating the campus plaza this summer to make it safer, more accessible, and more attractive. If you haven’t been to campus recently, consider stopping by this fall to check out The Bank of Kentucky Center, the Student Union, the new lake and amphitheater, and, of course, Griffin Hall. Yes, NKU’s momentum continues even during these challenging economic times. Last year we handed out more than 2,800 diplomas, including our first doctoral degrees. This fall we’ll welcome about 16,000 students. Since the adoption of our admission standards, our incoming classes are better prepared than ever. I’m proud to report that our average incoming freshman ACT score is now higher than the national and Kentucky averages. The cover story of this edition of Northern explores the heart and soul of men’s soccer star Steven Beattie. He overcame serious injury, the temptation of playing Division I soccer, and all of the other challenges that must be endured to do something few ever get to accomplish—winning a national championship. Steven embodies the determination and toughness of this university, and we are

proud of everything he’s accomplished. Speaking of Division I athletics, I’m sure many of you have heard that we are actively pursuing reclassification. Many of our alumni have expressed strong support for a move to Division I; others understandably have some concerns. A few points are worth emphasizing. First, in many ways we are already a Division I institution. Our size, across-the-board quality, metropolitan location, and history of athletic success are all aligned with our Division I peers. Second, we remain committed to making the move only when we can do so the right way. That means that we will reclassify when we can afford to field competitive Division I teams in all sports without jeopardizing the critical investments we must continue to make in our core mission. Providing an outstanding educational experience to our students is and will always be the hallmark of NKU. That said, Division I athletics will allow us to position ourselves in a way we otherwise could not. It is a move that stretches far beyond the playing field. We’re currently exploring Division I conferences and will move forward once conference affiliation is secured. As a final note on Division I athletics, I’d like to emphasize that our success at the next level will depend in large measure on you, our loyal alumni base. We’ve built some of the best athletics facilities in the nation over the past few years. It is time to begin filling them. We’ll also be putting more emphasis on fundraising. It will truly take a team effort to evolve into one of the nation’s premier Division I programs. Our studentathletes work tirelessly to represent NKU with honor and distinction. Their blood, sweat, and tears have earned them our support. As always, thank you for your continued support of Northern Kentucky University. While our summer will be filled with jackhammers and concrete dust, I hope yours is filled with family fun and backyard barbeques. President James Votruba


Co nt en t s

NORTHERN S u m m e r 2 0 1 1






How one man helped turn an old farm into a thriving university: A fond remembrance of NKU’s founding president.













When Steven Beattie arrived at NKU from Skerries, Ireland, he made a promise to his new coach: “I’m going to win you a national championship.” This is how he kept his promise.


THE DIARY OF TABITHA SELLERS Unearthed for the first time, an anthropologist’s tale of magnets, myth-busting, and mummifying earthworms.


14 18

JILLIAN THE MAGNIFICENT Jock, future teacher, and NKU’s maker of guardian angels, Jillian Daugherty isn’t your typical student. And we’re better off for it.



Several of NKU’s best and brightest received our top honors. Let us introduce you.


Steven Beattie prepares to blast a soccer ball into near orbit during a photo shoot on NKU’s campus this past spring. After his championship season with the Norse, Beattie briefly returned to NKU after a wild ride in and out of professional soccer. Read about it at N O R T H E R N M A G A Z I N E I S N O W O N L I N E ! Check out web-only features at There you’ll find updates to these articles and additional information exclusive to the web.






Brent Donaldson ’05

DESIGNER Dionne Laycock ’90

COPY EDITOR Tira Rogers ’01, ’05

PHOTOGRAPHER Timothy D. Sofranko

PUBLISHER Deidra S. Fajack Director of Alumni Programs Gerard A. St. Amand Vice President for University Advancement

CONTRIBUTORS Carol Beirne Gayle Brown Chris Burns ’86 Ryan Clark ’10 Chris Cole ’99, ’04, ’09 Jill Dunne ’01

Jill Liebisch Tira Rogers ’01, ’05 Rich Shivener ’06, ’11 Molly Williamson

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Gregory L. Cole ’82, President David McClure ’83, ’08, President-elect Lee Rose ’96, Immediate Past President Deidra S. Fajack, Secretary/Treasurer

CORRESPONDENCE Northern Kentucky University Office of Alumni Programs 421 Johns Hill Road Highland Heights, Kentucky 41099 phone: web:

(859) 572-5486


NORTHERN is published three times a year by the Office of Alumni Programs at Northern Kentucky University for its graduates, donors, and friends. Copyright 2010, 2011 Northern Kentucky University.

Comments, questions, concerns? We want to hear from you! Email us at N O RT H E R N






Can you hear me now?

Vote early, vote often

Dan Adams:

Campus radio station WNKU 89.7 recently expanded its public radio signal to acquire two additional stations, 105.9 and 104.1. The expansion has increased WNKU’s broadcast signal and is expected to reach more than 3.3 million people from beyond Dayton, Ohio, to Ashland, Kentucky, and into West Virginia. Tune in to 89.7, 105.9, or 104.1 for the latest Northern Kentucky news, music, and more!

Each year, the Office of Alumni Programs honors an NKU graduate from each of the six colleges within the university. Three additional awards honor distinguished community service, an outstanding new graduate, and an influential NKU faculty or staff member. To nominate someone for the 2012 awards, visit and find the nomination form under the Alumni Awards tab.

NKU’s own Dan Adams (’97) has created a social networking site that provides a place to share environmental knowledge, ask important questions, and bring together anyone interested in sustainable living. One part Facebook, one part info-tainment resource, Earthineer blog entries include “Why Not a Dairy Goat?” “Growing Bananas in Zone 6,” and “Home Wine-Making 101.” Check out to learn more.


All in the family: At 43 years young, NKU is just old enough to have current students whose grandparents are NKU alumni. If you or someone you know is a part of a multigenerational or extended family of NKU grads, we want to hear from you! Northern magazine is currently looking for families willing to share their stories in an upcoming issue. Send an email to or call editor Brent Donaldson at (859) 572-5586 to take part.

opens up and students see what’s going on here, they’ll say, ‘You mean informatics is writing?


When [Griffin Hall]

It’s filmmaking and editing? You mean it has to do with business and with healthcare?’ There’s just so much amazing technology in there. You’re not just sitting in a typical classroom. I almost wish I had more than one year left. Doug Perry, founding dean of NKU’s College of Informatics, on the coming opening of the college’s new home, Griffin Hall. Perry is stepping down as dean of the college this summer.

It felt strange to be so emotional about it. I didn’t cry; I just wanted to call all of the people who would feel exactly

In the hoodie

Follow through

It’s her you want

Accept no substitute! There are plenty of places to buy NKU merchandise these days, but the NKU Alumni online store has an exclusive line of Norse-branded apparel, including our latest athletic hoodie. These sleek black hoodies (pullovers for men and fitted zip-ups for women) show unparalleled Norse pride and style and are lightweight enough for all seasons. Check ’em out at

Join the Young Alumni Association Sept. 16 for the ninth annual Willie’s NKU Alumni Association Golf Outing. Enjoy a blissful day on the green with family and friends at the Kenton County golf course. The event includes lunch, 18 holes, beverages, and dinner at Willie’s Sports Café in Covington. Prices are $85 per person or $340 for a foursome. To register, visit and click on the Event Calendar.

It’s hard to say which are more charming: the songs that Jesse Thomas writes and sings, or the quirky YouTube videos she makes to promote them. After graduating from NKU in 2007, the Covington native relocated to Los Angeles, met producer Jim Roach, signed to his Red Parade record label, recorded her debut album, Hazel EP, and became Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week in February. Check out for more info.

the same way I would. It was very surreal... unexplainable really. Kevin Golden, NKU’s student regent and NKU Student Government Association president, on his reaction to hearing the news—falsely reported—that Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was killed by a gunman in her home state. Golden, who learned several minutes later that Giffords was still alive, interned for the congresswoman in 2008.



fig. 1b


fig. 1a

Warped Speed

8 .20


Dionne Laycock

Why energy drinks and alcohol don’t mix

It’s not as if today’s college student invented the energy-drink cocktail: uppers and alcohol are a two-fisted knockout punch that likely predates modern history. But its ubiquity as mixer-of-choice for college students, mainly in the form of alcoholic energy drinks, has had deadly consequences on a new generation of social drinkers. It also set Cecile A. Marczinski, Ph.D. and assistant professor of psychology at NKU, to wondering: How do you quantify its effects? “Anecdotally, people say that they get more drunk” on energydrink cocktails, Marczinski says. “But there is little empirical research on it.” So Marczinski gathered 56 NKU students of legal drinking age, male and female, and put the trend to the test. Lab assistants separated students into groups and gave each group only one of three types of drinks: vodka and Red Bull; vodka and Squirt; or a similar-looking but non-alcoholic mixture. After 45 minutes, assistants led students individually into rooms and tested the speed and accuracy of their responses at a computer keyboard. Called the “go/no go” test, students watched for colored lights as cues, and pressed—or not—the slash key as quickly as they could. They also filled out questionnaires asking how alert, drunk, or impaired they felt. Students who were given Red Bull and vodka showed N O RT H E R N

the same level of drunkenness and impulsivity as those whose beverages did not contain the energy drink. However, the Red Bull and vodka drinkers reported feeling more stimulated and less tired. And most interesting: They thought they were less drunk. It’s that type of drinker who may be more likely to continue drinking, then drive or engage in other risky behaviors, Marczinski says. “We found that an energy drink alters the reaction to alcohol that a drinker experiences when compared to a drinker who consumed alcohol alone,” she said. And therein lie the dangers. “These drinks are trendy and are meant to appeal to younger people,” Marczinski says. Mainstream bars have them on their menus. But the energy drinks seem to mask the feeling of drunkenness, leading to poor decision-making. “It’s good to make consumers aware of this, and good that the research is done by

an objective third party and not by a manufacturer,” Marczinski said. The study will be published in the July 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, but Marczinski’s research has already received national attention, including Time magazine, AMC News, and NPR. Marczinski wants to delve into other aspects of the trend, such as finding out if the drinks can be linked to alcohol dependency and how behavior and decisionmaking changes when drinkers’ blood alcohol levels drop. She says NKU students will again be involved, thanks in part to a National Institutes of Health grant that supports undergraduate participation in biomedical research. “We’ve got good students here. They’re hard working,” she says. The grant supports NKU’s mission of “up close and personal, where students can work one on one with professors.” —Gayle Brown

Sandy Soles Eric Sandy’s path to Nike Eric Sandy knew that all he needed was to get his foot in the door. He finally did—and he happened to be wearing his favorite Nike Air Max 1 running shoes when he did it. Eric came to NKU with a love for sketching out his own shoe designs. The 25-year-old Edgewood, Ky., native majored in marketing and learned the art of selling. When he graduated in 2009, he kept sketching his ideas, and eventually he won an online contest to travel to Nike headquarters in Oregon for an all-expenses-paid internship to learn everything about the shoe business. “It was just amazing,” he says. “I couldn’t believe I was actually at Nike.” He made friends, one of which was the head of Nike’s iconic Michael Jordan brand. After the internship, that contact offered him his first job. “One of the reasons I was able to get the job is because of my marketing degree,” he says. “Others came in with a degree in industrial design, but they told me they liked the fact I knew the marketing side of the business.” In April, Eric started living his dream, designing Nike’s next pair of Michael Jordan sneakers. “I had always wanted to do this for a career, but I never knew how I could go about doing it,” he says. “It’s like everyone tells me ‘You’re doing it now. You’re doing what you love.’” —Ryan Clark W E B E X T R A : Check out

Sandy’s shoe design blog at

Thanking the Academy


Adam Holzman nabs a second Emmy Adam Holzman was hiking through Yellowstone National Park this May when he received a congratulatory Facebook message from a friend. Unbeknownst to Holzman, he’d just won his second Emmy Award for covering sports on television. He’d gotten his days mixed up and thought the awards were going to be given out on another day. “I was certainly flattered and happy to win another Emmy,” Holzman says. “However, no one gets into production, or lasts in it at least, expecting praise, so when it comes you can’t get too high from it. As a mentor and one of the best directors at CBS Sports once said to me, ‘Only you can know when you did well, and only you know when you could’ve done better.’” Holzman, 27, lives in Brooklyn and majored in radio and television with a minor in journalism. He graduated from NKU in 2006, and he now works as a broadcast associate at CBS Sports. He won his latest Emmy for outstanding playoff coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament, and back in 2010 he won an Emmy for outstanding new approaches, sports event coverage (of NCAA’s March Madness). Holzman works on the production of video used in broadcasts, such as flashbacks and star packages (short pieces of video about big-name players to be used in the immediate pregame), he says. He also produces graphics that air during the broadcast. He says professor Chris Strobel and former NKU professor Russ Jenisch helped shape his career. “They were very knowledgeable in their fields and understood how the real professional world works,” he says. “The rush that I get from live television is something that can’t be matched. I enjoy the opportunity to create something on the fly, and whatever happens, happens. There is no second chance or going back and fixing things.” Holzman just finished covering the supercross season for CBS, and he has the summer off before the sports season heats up again in August. “The more I look back on my college experience, the better it gets,” he says. “I gained the confidence through seeing my abilities as well as having great teachers and gifted peers so that I could put myself in an opportunity to transition to the professional world.” —Ryan Clark





















—Rich Shivener



Leave it to a university faculty member to turn the comedy stylings of Judd Apatow into a serious intellectual debate. That’s exactly what we’re seeing from Dr. John Alberti, professor of English at Northern and director of the university’s film studies program. Alberti is a recent author of a lengthy, meticulously detailed academic paper, intended for journal publication, on the evolution of “bromance” films such as I Love You, Man and Superbad. Here we talk to Alberti about his favorite bromance films, his students’ reactions to them, and life in a post-bromance world.



English professor examines the “bromantic” comedies on film




A History of Bromance






The Bromance Universe


Dionne Laycock

Let’s start with a simple question: What is a bromantic film? I’d say a bromance is any romantic comedy where the relationship between two or more supposedly straight men is as or more important than the romantic relationship between a man and a woman. A shorter version would be: “You’re not sure who the love story is between—the guy and the girl or the two guys.” What’s your favorite? I would say one of the ones I like the best is—and it’s also a movie that picked up on the idea of a bromance—I Love You, Man. I Love You, Man shows self-awareness.... It almost markets itself as a bromance. My graduate course this semester deals with romantic comedy, and I have films on the course list and then films that students can write about—I Love You, Man is one of those. When bromance fades, what’s next for romantic comedies? If I had to hazard a couple of guesses, maybe something along the lines of the movie Easy A. It’s very smart take on The Scarlet Letter. It’s a high school comedy, and I think part of the pleasure of that movie is that the main characters reflect a more playful attitude toward gender and sexuality. What are your students saying about bromance? For people who like the bromances—and I think this is true among young women—they see the male character as more sensitive, kind of getting in touch with their feelings, and an anti-macho kind of character. [Others] say these are juvenile movies about men who refuse to grow up, who just want to stay in adolescence forever, and who would really believe the beautiful, successful woman would ever be attracted to the Seth Rogen character? In I Love You, Man, one character says “I love you, Bro Montana.” Who’s your Bro Montana? I’m a little too old for the bromance construction because I’m sort of pre-“bro.” I’m more from “The Dude” generation. My relationships with my nerd friends in high school and college relate more to The Big Lebowski. It’s sort of a proto version of bromance.


THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Meet NKU’s newest Hall of Famers A masher. A scorer. A gasser. A leader. All told, seven inductees were added to the David Lee Holt NKU Athletics Hall of Fame on Feb. 11, and all left permanent marks in the NKU athletics record books. See if you can match the athlete or coach to his or her achievements. Don’t worry—this won’t factor into your GPA. —Ryan Clark 5. Shannon Minor (1993-97) 6. Chad Scott (1992-95) 7. Molly Donovan (1995-98)

A. I set every NKU record for homeruns (48) and runs batted in (174) during my baseball career. I was the first to hit three homeruns in a game, and I helped NKU earn two berths in the NCAA Division II Tournament (the 1989 team posted a 45-9 record and came within one out of advancing to the NCAA Division II World Series). B. I helped the Norse win back-to-back regional championships in basketball (1996 and 1997) by averaging double figures my junior and senior seasons. During the 1995-96 campaign, I averaged 12.8 points per game and dished out 172 assists as NKU won the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region title for the first time in history. C. I coached volleyball, women’s basketball, and softball, and along with winning the school’s first GLVC championship in volleyball I helped lead the school to 76 NCAA basketball tournament appearances—and 13 trips to the NCAA Division II Final Four. I also helped win two national championships. D. I finished my career as NKU volleyball’s all-time leader with 4,971 assists. I became the first volleyball player to receive

11 All-America honors, and as a senior, my team won NKU’s first-ever NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region title. E. I led the Norse to three GLVC Soccer Tournament championships. And before Steven Beattie arrived, I WAS Norse soccer, the all-time leader in goals (46) and total points (121). NKU finished with 57 victories during my career. F. I led NKU softball to a record-breaking 55-0 start. I finished the season with a 32-1 record and led the nation in ERA for two straight years. I finished as NKU’s all-time leader in wins (79), ERA (0.45), strikeouts (501), complete games (83) and winning percentage (.840). G. I helped win the 2000 NCAA Division II national basketball championship. As a sophomore, I led the nation in three-point shooting at 52.9 percent and later earned all-tournament honors at the Elite Eight. I finished my career with 1,509 points, which is currently fourth in NKU history. Answers: 1 (C); 2 (G); 3 (A); 4 (F); 5 (B); 6 (E); 7 (D)

1. Jane Meier (1988-2009) 2. Michele Tuchfarber (1997-2001) 3. John Heeter (1988-91) 4. Krystal Lewallen (2003-05)

Have Flute, Will Travel Perlove blazes the digital frontier

At the beginning of the YouTube explosion in 2007, NKU flute professor Nina Perlove posted a few videos of herself performing and demonstrating flute techniques for prospective students. To Perlove’s great surprise, people from all over the world began responding, asking about her teaching methods and creating a buzz about her on web chat rooms and bulletin boards. Today, Perlove has more YouTube page views than there are residents of Cincinnati. And Louisville. And Lexington, Columbus, and Cleveland. Combined. Google, the parent company of YouTube, recently hired Perlove as an advisor on artist development for the 2011 YouTube Symphony Orchestra, a music competition in which musicians auditioned through online video performances. Since then, she’s spent her time instructing entrants on the finer points of using the Internet to build audiences and advance their careers. “We want the artists and musicians of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra to take something from this experience that they can use after they leave,” she says. Perlove was also recently appointed as executive director to the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, based in Cincinnati. She’ll soon be releasing her own iPhone app to accompany her REAL Flute Project application already available for Android phones. —Jill Liebisch



Dr. W. Frank Steely, the brilliant founding president of NKU, passed away earlier this year after a prolonged battle with Alzheimer’s disease. A loving husband and father, Steely was a former Navy Yeoman 2nd Class, a respected historian, and a serious academician who had the guts to be silly—to laugh along with his students, as he’s seen here, sailor’s cap atilt, putt-putting along in a motorized bathtub on a pond in the center of the fledgling NKU campus. This iconic image of Steely was taken 40 years ago, shortly after he was summoned from his dean’s position at Clinch Valley College at the University of Virginia and issued the formidable task of transforming an old Kentucky corn farm into a modern institution of higher education. As current NKU President Dr. James Votruba noted at Dr. Steely’s memorial in January, presidents who arrive at established universities inherit that institution’s structure and culture. “Not so for a founding president,” Votruba said. “Frank Steely had to focus on everything at

Steely began his presidency in 1969, and by the time he completed his tenure as president and returned to teaching six years later in 1975, a dozen construction projects, including Nunn and Regents halls, were either underway or completed. He oversaw the founding of what is now known as the NKU Foundation, critical to the long-term financial health of the university. He also helped coordinate the merger of NKSC and the Salmon P. Chase College of Law. “Frank was like a general,” said former Steely colleague and Chase dean Jack Grosse. “He organized things like a general would in a crisis.” Rather than marking the end of his involvement with NKU, Steely’s retirement as its founding president kicked off his long tenure as a faculty member in the history department. Former colleague and regents professor emeritus of history Michael Adams said Steely transformed into NKU’s “roving ambassador,” walking across the plaza, talking to senior administration when needed. “He taught a full load for us year in and year out,” Ad-


Remembering W. Frank Steely S TO RY: B REN T D ON A LDSON I L LUS TR ATI ON : DI ON N E L AYCO C K once. There were faculty and staff to hire, curriculum to develop, administrative structures to create, buildings to construct, policies and procedures to formulate, students to recruit, and the list goes on and on and on.” Jim Claypool, former Steely colleague and current professor emeritus of history, called Steely the “Cecil B. DeMille of NKU.” “He wrote the script; he shot the scenes; he directed traffic one day in an ice storm to get the students home safely,” Claypool said. “Frank drew the torch that symbolizes this university. When you look at this campus, his fingerprints are everywhere.” The early days of Steely’s tenure are legend. Back then, NKU was known as Northern Kentucky State College, and every standing vestige of the old farm was put to use. Academic departments occupied farmhouses and barns. A photography studio was established in a farmhouse cellar. A dog kennel was swiftly overhauled and put to use as a music studio. “His commitment to the college was total,” recalls Steely’s former wife Iosetta Steely. “And the community just picked up and did all that they could think of doing to make this little college grow, to make it do well, and to make people happy that they were here.” N O RT H E R N

ams says. “He never asked for special consideration. If a junior faculty member needed mature counseling, Frank was happy to do it with both grace and tact.” Martha Pelfrey, Steely’s surviving wife (Dr. Steely is also survived by his son, Dr. William Steely of Clarkesville, Tenn., and daughter, Lisa Steely of Jacksonville, Fla.), says that throughout his years as a history professor, the former president’s grace was in full display during numerous periods of change and evolution at NKU. “We were at the new dedication of Loch Norse when we changed it from the beloved old farm pond,” she recalls. “And all Frank said was, ‘Oh, it’s time.’ In his good common sense in the way he looked at things, change was often necessary in order to grow.” Before Steely retired from teaching in 2001, Pelfrey had the chance to see her husband through the eyes of a student when she enrolled in a history class taught by the venerable professor. “He was a tremendous teacher,” she recalls. “He was so well spoken and so entertaining, the way he put a little humor in his lectures. He was so sharp. I don’t do a crossword without thinking, ‘Frank would know the correct way to spell this.’ “Every day I miss my historian.”


Dr . Will Fr ank S teely April 9, 192 5–November 29, 2010



HOW SOCCER PHENOM STEVEN BEATTIE DELIVERED ON A PROMISE, MADE A NAME FOR HIMSELF, AND FOUND A FAMILY...ALL AT THE SAME TIME STORY CHRIS COLE (’99, ’04, ’09) Tracing the origins of a championship is often difficult. Greatness has, as they say, many moving parts. Pieces come and go, opportunities are exploited or squandered. Identifying one moment in time that sets a group on a course toward transcendence can be impossible. For the Northern Kentucky University men’s soccer program, it is easy. The 2010 NCAA Division II national championship trophy residing in the NKU Soccer Stadium can be traced to January 2007. Coach John Basalyga’s program, coming off its most successful season, had captured its first regional championship and advanced to the national quarterfinals. He wasn’t satisfied. He needed more offense. N O RT H E R N

So when then-assistant coach Kevin McCloskey was headed home to Ireland in January, Basalyga had one simple instruction—bring back a difference maker. “I told Kevin, ‘I need something special,’” he says. “I asked him to find us a player that could get us where we needed to be.” Just days later, McCloskey called from a soccer pitch thousands of miles away. “I think I’ve found our guy,” he said. That moment led to the first men’s championship in NKU history. But this story isn’t about championships any more than it is about soccer. This is a tale of trust and determination. It’s about coming of age and vindication. At its essence, it’s about heart. This is a story about Steven Beattie.

Beattie’s journey began routinely enough for an international athlete. He was born in Skerries, Ireland, on Aug. 20, 1988, to a soccer family. Uncle Michael “Mick” Neville had played professional soccer throughout Ireland, and Beattie was to someday follow in his footsteps—which is why young Steven had a ball at his foot from as early as he can remember. A five-year starter and team captain for the Skerries Town Football Club, he won four Dublin League titles and three Leinster Football League crowns. At 16, his ambitions began to point west. “I’d always liked geography and history,” Beattie says in an Irish brogue only slightly softened by his time in Northern Kentucky. “And America is the land of opportunity. I wanted to be different. I wanted to go someplace else and make a name for myself.” When Beattie met McCloskey in Dublin that January, he’d never heard of Kentucky, let alone NKU. But a seed was planted. From then on, every week or two Beattie received a call or text message from Basalyga. The coach sent everything from weather updates to details about Cincinnati foods. He was persistent in his efforts to establish a relationship with Beattie and his parents. That March at a soccer showcase in Memphis, the two finally met face to face. It was Beattie’s first time in America. Basalyga made an instant connection. “I knew that it was tough for international kids,” he says. “American kids have a built-in support system and it’s still difficult.” Basalyga says what he offered Beattie was exactly what the 19-year-old needed—“tough love.” “He was just on my level,” Beattie says. “He was not talking as my boss. He was talking as my friend.” Perhaps more importantly, Basalyga’s message resonated with mom and dad. “He basically told them he’d be my father away from home,” Beattie says. “That meant a lot. So when it came time to pick a college, they were there straightaway reminding me how friendly he was and telling me what a great coach he is.” Beattie chose NKU.


“I came to Northern Kentucky University with a blindfold on,” Beattie says. “The highest recorded temperature in Ireland the summer I left was 81 degrees and it had rained for 52 days straight. When I arrived for preseason, the temperature was 100-plus. A little different, I must say.” Here Beattie was, the consummate stranger in a strange land, having to adjust both to college life and American soccer. “Early on, I didn’t go out on the weekends; I basically just trained,” Beattie says. “I had no one to do my laundry, cook my meals, or do my ironing. I suddenly had to fend for myself. It was rough not having mom around. “There was definitely an adjustment, but in four years I’ve never been homesick once,” he says. “As soon as I met my teammates, all my nerves disappeared and I knew that if these guys were a representation of what NKU offers, well, then I’d be OK. When I got onto campus to begin my studies, I was overwhelmed by the kindness and sincerity of every individual I met.” He quickly became one of the most popular students SUMMER 2011


But to Beattie, the numbers are only important because they add up to one thing—the championship ring. “I’ve done enough in my career to get these accolades,” he says, “but to me they don’t mean anything without the national championship. Now no one can take that off of me. To walk around campus in a national championship shirt and to say you’re a national champion— you can take that to your grave.” Ask about the snowy December day in Louisville when the Norse defeated Rollins College 3-2 to capture the national title, and Beattie can’t help but reflect upon the path that led him there. “My career at NKU was beyond my wildest expectations,” he says. “Winning the national championship was surreal. All of the blood, the sweat, the tears...Losing in the final four, an injury my freshman year...the thousand times I ran up and down the steps at the soccer field working on my conditioning.” But one moment above all others sticks in his mind as the turning point. The moment came during his championship senior season after a 2-1 win over Missouri S&T in the GLVC semifinals. Beattie had scored early, but late in the second half—much to the chagrin of the players—the team shifted to a defensive game plan. NKU gave up the lead with about two minutes left, though they would go on to win in overtime, after considerable unrest. “There was a lot of screaming in the locker room after the game,” Beattie says. “We were upset, and words were said.” With Basalyga gone recruiting, the players questioned his assistants about the team’s late-game tactics. Basalyga found out and called a team meeting the next morning. “It could have blown the year up,” he says. “It could have killed us.” Instead, Basalyga orchestrated what Beattie calls an “arranged argument.” The coach showed up—stat sheet Over the next three years, Beattie emerged as in hand—ready to diffuse the situation. The players what Basalyga now calls the “best soccer player ever to made their arguments and he, in turn, explained that play at NKU, hands down.” The numbers tell the story. they were overreacting and reminded them whose job As a senior, Beattie scored 26 goals and added 16 assists it was to make tactical decisions. Just as he’d promised for a total of 68 points—all single-season NKU records. During his career, he earned four All-GLVC honors, three four years earlier, it was time to put on his father cap. “When dad walks in, you change your tune a little Midwest Region and GLVC Offensive Player of the Year awards, and three All-America honors, and he was twice bit,” Basalyga says. “They had been yelling like a bunch of spoiled brats and I wasn’t standing for it.” The two named the Ron Lenz National Division II Player of the Year. He finished his career with a school-record 77 goals. sides ironed things out, and when they left the locker To add perspective, the previous record was held by NKU room, everything was fine. “If all of that had been pent up, we wouldn’t have won,” Beattie says. “We needed to Hall of Famer Chad Scott, who tallied 46 career goals. on campus. “Not many people had heard a real Irish accent before,” he says. “I felt like a bit of a celebrity.” Beattie found NKU just as his coach had described it. “He’d told me about the small classroom sizes and that the teachers get to know you,” he says. “And then I get here and it’s 100 percent true. [Athletic Director] Scott Eaton still texts and calls me. I’ve got mates playing in schools all over this country and I can tell you—nobody else is at this level.” Before his freshman season, Beattie walked up to Basalyga and said, “Coach, I want to tell you something. I’m going to win you a national championship.” Both laughed, but Beattie was serious. “NKU had invested a lot of time and money in bringing me here,” he says. “And it was a huge risk. I could have just been an international washout.” One thing was clear early on: Beattie had the talent to be that “something special” McCloskey had searched for across the globe. As a freshman Beattie started 17 games for a squad that featured eight All Americans. He scored 11 goals and added five assists. Beattie did so well, in fact, that after the first season he seriously considered leaving NKU. Large Division I schools were courting the DII phenom, and, as Basalyga admits, he would have had all the right reasons to leave. “We didn’t have a field then,” the coach says. “That meant no locker room either. And I was coaching out of my car. We were so close to accomplishing something special, but I understood why he was thinking about leaving.” Beattie stuck it out. “He told me he was going to make his name here,” Basalyga says. “And that impressed me even more than when he told me he wanted to win a national championship.”


clash heads and then we needed to bury it. And we did. That is what made our team.” John Basalyga and Steven Beattie both came to NKU with dreams of a national championship. In some ways, the two are quite different. Incredibly, Basalyga doesn’t consider himself a “soccer person.” He began his career as a football coach. “When I was a kid in New York,” he says, “this sport was for long-haired freaky kids.” Beattie, meanwhile, is the modern “soccer person” poster child. “I’ll stay with the game until I die,” he says. In other ways, however, the two are cut from the same stone—sometimes stubborn, often misunderstood, always relentless. “When you look at a kid like Steven, you think he’s going to be cocky,” Basalyga says. “But off the field, he is such a good kid. And he is compassionate and warm. I love his passion for the game. He reminds me of my daughter—Seven is from the same mold; they have the same drive.” Basalyga takes his role as father figure seriously. “I’ve coached my whole life, and I coach a certain way,” he

says. “I’m very demanding of my players. I work these kids harder than they think they can work. But there is a method to my madness. I love these kids and I offer them family support.” For him, winning the national championship was vindication for all who view him as “the big mean monster.” But for Beattie, it all goes back to the promise his coach made to mom and dad back in Ireland four years ago. “Just like he said, coach was a father figure to me while I was here,” Beattie says. “It’s true what he says— I’m a Basalyga for life.” And just like when he’s slashing a defense, Beattie is thinking two or three steps down the field. “NKU is a special place,” he says. “When my playing career is over, I would love to come back here and coach.” Yes, the Irish kid who came to America, won a national championship, was drafted to play Major League Soccer, and then made his first professional roster in Puerto Rico, keeps his heart in Highland Heights.go in life,” he says, “I will alw“No matter where I go in life,” he says, “I will always call NKU home.”

The epilogue to Beattie’s story is a rollercoaster ride of draft-day exhilaration, Major League Soccer frustration, professional jubilation, academic achievement, heartbreaking disappointment, and perseverance. Visit to read about Beattie’s wild journey after NKU.



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February 18, 2011 Well, here goes! Since this is my first entry, a little background: My name is Tabitha Sellers and I am a physical anthropologist by training and work as an adjunct professor of anthropology at Northern Kentucky University and an exhibit specialist at the Cincinnati Museum Center. My main tasks at the museum involve educating the public about our current exhibits. As people view them, I explain what each exhibit is about and provide background information and bits of knowledge that aren’t written on a plaque. I give the viewing public a personal experience; if they ask questions, I answer them. I also create museum floor demonstrations—some sort of scientific experiment for the public to take part in at the museum. Basically I am an educa—

February 19, 2011 Sorry! Got sidetracked when my worms arrived! As I was saying, basically I am an educator for the museum. Right now I’m running a demonstration that teaches school children about mummification. How do they learn? They learn because I let them mummify an earthworm. First we dissect it as I talk about all the parts of the worm, which aren’t many (thankfully), so it’s very easy to get the kids to understand the digestive system of these guys. After I explain everything there is to know about earthworms, we remove all the organs that the ancient Egyptians would have taken out of humans to mummify them. I give the children salt and baking soda (a Natron solution) and put the solution in a Ziploc baggie with the worm. It’s like Shake ’N Bake. We shake it, and it ends up looking like one of those sugary gummy worms, so we have to tell people, “Please do not try to eat them.” And then we wrap up the worm. Instant mummy.

March 22, 2011 It’s been more than a month since the Cleopatra exhibit opened, and it’s an overwhelming success. Since so many of these artifacts were discovered underwater, I’m doing an underwater archaeology demonstration that describes how marine archeologists use a magnet system that they drag along the ocean floor. By looking for minute amounts of variance, they can make significant discoveries. For my demonstration, I use a tub of water with sand in the bottom, which covers a mock artifact with little pieces of metal glued to it. I then place a remote control boat on the top of the water and hang a little magnet off the back of the boat, then have the kids take the boat and try to drag out the artifact. While they’re at it I slip in a little bit of knowledge about the electrolysis used to claim the artifacts and other tidbits of knowledge. Hopefully when they go home they are going to tell their mom and dad and grandma and grandpa, because it’s when they tell people about their experience that the knowledge sinks in.

19 March 30, 2011 My favorite demonstration is the dogfish shark dissection. I love fish as species, and with this demonstration I get to do a little myth busting. I try to give the kids facts about the sharks (sharks are not 60-foot-long creatures who swallow you whole, for instance) so they understand that Hollywood is Hollywood and science is science. The dogfish is usually about 12 to 18 inches long. When I dissect them in front of the group, I point out the anatomy and physiology and explain how they swim and why the shark has to move forward at all times to allow water to move across the gills to get oxygen. Being a dissection, some viewers occasionally do get queasy, like the woman who had four little boys. While the boys were enjoying the demonstration she started backing away, slowly. She looked a little pale, and by the time we were done she was halfway across the museum—still in sight of her children but far enough away to not see or smell anything!

April 16, 2011 Just remembered something I forgot to mention about the earthworms: I had one little boy who loved the demonstration so much and kept asking these great questions. When I looked over at him and told him that he could do this for a living, he became really excited. He said, “I can?” And I said, “Yes, this can be your job!” and he was just so amazed. I want kids to understand that there are careers in this field if you can get an education. That’s what I love about NKU. I walked in the door as a 19-year-old single parent with a three-month-old baby and walked out an anthropologist with a future.














LAST NOVEMBER AT THE BANK OF KENTUCKY CENTER, a lanky tribe of Norse basketball players gathered on a makeshift stage. It was the season’s annual tip-off luncheon, a combination buffet and pep rally where athletes and team staff introduced themselves to fans and family. The new assistant manager for the men’s basketball team, a 4-foot10-inch young woman with almond-shaped eyes and straight brown hair, stepped through the towering forest of players and approached the podium. “My name is Jillian Daugherty,” she said, sounding a bit bored. “I’m 21 years old and I went to Loveland Middle School and then Loveland High, and, um... now I’m here. That’s about it.” That was Jillian’s honest assessment—she progressed through the public education system until she landed at college, just like most of the other students in the room. What she didn’t mention, or what she perhaps didn’t fully know, was that all throughout her childhood, her mother and father had to fight for her right to one day tell that abbreviated, charmingly banal story. For years during Jillian’s youth, her parents had to argue with schoolteachers and administrators who thought Jillian belonged in special education units rather than the regular classes with “typical” kids. The arguments, of course, were never about Jillian, the individual. The battles were always against perceptions, against hastily cast judgments about people like her—judgments manifested in the elementary teacher who claimed a very young Jillian had learned all she’d ever learn. Or the doctors who said Jillian would never ride a bike or be coordinated enough for sports. Jillian Daugherty, who has Down syndrome, never did attend a special education unit class. Not one. And to its immortal credit, that includes her time here at NKU. Jillian’s father, the renowned sports columnist Paul Daugherty—who writes frequently about his daughter, whom he calls “Jillian the Magnificent” in his Enquirer blog “The Morning Line”—often talks about Jillian’s “guardian angels.” There are a few of them here, on this ever-growing campus. She didn’t realize it, but one of them was standing on the stage with her on that November day. “I WAS DYING TO GO HERE,” Jillian says from a courtside seat during a late-season basketball practice at the BOKC. “More than high school.” Clutching a small black football, Jillian is dressed in a light blue Umbro shirt, black shorts, and a pink-and-purple-striped knit hat with gold and blue tassels. “It’s just fun to be here, to work with the team,” she says. “It’s my honor to be here.” The buzzer blares and the sound jolts Jillian like an alarm clock on finals day. The men’s team steps on the court for pre-practice stretches—Jillian’s cue for action. “Excuse me,” she says, standing and leaning forward as if bracing against a headwind, waiting for the guys to circle up. This is Jillian’s daily practice ritual. Before the team begins their drills, and before Jillian is tasked with filling their water bottles or washing and folding their towels, the guys form a circle and stretch. They count off the seconds, and Jillian bolts into the middle of the group. “One, two, three,” they count, and now Jillian is in the center of them all, doing pushups—real pushups, knees off the ground. “...Twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven...” She’s still going. Smiles wash across the faces of most every player. Now she’s busting a dance move. The worm. The guys quietly crack up. SUMMER 2011



Assistant managing Norse hoops is a perfect complement to Jillian’s personality. Kids called her “The Mayor” in elementary school because she’s so outgoing and seemed to know everybody. She’s also a bona fide jock with a special love for the Baltimore Ravens. But helping NKU’s basketball team and clowning with the players is a fringe benefit of Jillian’s time here. She attends NKU for the same reasons as any student—to learn and take part in the “college experience,” to take classes with typical kids rather than classes for kids with disabilities like other regional universities offer. And the reason Jillian is here, in large part, is because guardian angel #1 showed her the path.

DR. MELISSA JONES, an associate professor of special education, calls NKU’s approach to teaching intellectually disabled students an “inclusive supported model,” meaning that there are no separate programs or segregated classes for these students. A few years ago, Jones set up a support system that allows education majors to integrate mentoring into their curriculum. The “catch,” if you’d like, is that almost all of the students who receive this mentoring support haven’t taken ACT or SAT tests, a requirement for acceptance as a degree-seeking student at NKU. These rules have been long established and apply to everyone: no ACT, no diploma. Still, it’s a perfect model for many students. Just ask Jillian. In conjunction with other Kentucky universities, Jones helped create what’s called the Supported Higher Education Project, which aims to integrate college academics, socialization, and work experiences into an inclusive program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. In February, the project received a $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education. For Jones, it’s the culmination of a life devoted to a single cause. “I had a brother with a mental disability, and I was the younger sibling so I was literally born into the whole adventure of understanding inclusion and exclusion,” Jones says. When the family (Jones also had two sisters) moved to Ohio, Jones’s brother, Tom, wasn’t allowed to attend his sisters’ school and was instead placed in a segregated workshop. “We found out that when they didn’t have any jobs for him, he would have to sit there with his head down all day. It was awful. But my brother didn’t talk much and couldn’t tell us, so when my mom finally figured out what was happening, she pulled him out. He just quit going, and no one ever looked for him. No one ever asked ‘Where is he?’ As a young kid processing that, it made me look at the world differently.” IT’S EIGHT O’CLOCK ON A FROZEN JANUARY MORNING, and Paul Daugherty is dropping Jillian off at the Harper’s Point bus station, a short drive from their Loveland home. Jillian’s mom, Kerry, a phys-ed teacher at Loveland High School who took nine years off of her job to devote to her daughter’s care, is already at work. At 8:05 Jillian will board the bus, crank up some Snoop Dogg or Carrie Underwood on her iPod, and head into downtown Cincinnati. There, she’ll get off at Fourth Street and catch the connection to NKU. If the connection is late, she’ll step inside Bruegger’s, grab a bagel, and “hang out and get to feel like an adult,” as her dad puts it. He and Kerry made this trip with their daughter the first few times. Now Jillian goes solo. It’s all part of her college experience. N O RT H E R N

Today is Wednesday, which for Jillian means class at noon—American History Until 1877, taught by professor Michael Hinckley. Inside Landrum room 417, Jillian takes the center seat, front row. Her mentor, Stephanie, who would normally take notes for Jillian, can’t make it today, so Jillian’s writing furiously as Hinckley dissects the Mexican-American War. The years Kerry and Paul spent helping Jillian with homework, sometimes taking 30 minutes to teach her to spell single a word, are bearing fruit in the room. “To me, anybody might have trouble spelling,” Kerry says. “You might have to come up with a new way to teach, or it might take her longer to learn it, or she might have to work harder,” she adds. “Sometimes you wanted to put your fist through the wall,” Paul smiles, “but you kept going because she kept going.” “Jillian is very, very studious,” professor Hinckley tells me later. “She’s engaged and alert and helps me keep my rhythm going. On any given day I would rather have Jillian in my class than some of the students who sleep or text. Any day.” The feeling is mutual. In fact, Jillian’s teachers are living her dream. “I want to be a teacher,” she says emphatically. “Teachers are wonderful, and that’s what I want to be right now.” Besides being an assistant manager with the basketball team, Jillian has worked two summers at the Goddard School for Early Childhood Development and has volunteered at NKU’s Early Childhood Center. A couple of hours after class, we’re back at the BOKC for basketball practice, talking about teaching and about how she hopes to get back her summer job at Goddard this year. Then the buzzer blares again.

JILLIAN’S SECOND GUARDIAN ANGEL AT NKU, the college basketball coach who was standing next to her on stage back in November, is bald, intense (on the court), and surprisingly quiet and contemplative (off the court). Bezold had read one of Paul Daugherty’s columns about Jillian, the jock, starting classes at NKU. When the two men met as part of a panel discussing March Madness on a local radio show, Bezold, known by his charges as “Coach Beez,” brought it up with Paul. “I just said to him, ‘Hey, if she’s really interested [in basketball] and if it’s OK with you guys, have her come over and let’s see how it goes.’” When Paul told his daughter about the opportunity, she nearly went through the roof. “I came home and I told Jillian,” Paul remembers, “and I think her head print is still on the ceiling.” When Jillian joined the squad, there were a few misunderstandings and hurt feelings, epecially before the players learned that they couldn’t be sarcastic when talking to her (a tall order for 19-year-old jocks). One season later, Jillian Daugherty is so ingrained in the soul of the Norse basketball team that her joy becomes their joy. Literally. And Jillian’s joy knows no bounds. Almost every Norse basketball player commented at length about Jillian for this story. But Quinten Fuller, the Norse’s freshman guard from Dayton, may have summed it up best. “Coming into my freshman year,” he says, “I knew things on the court would be tough. But Jillian makes the best out of any situation. My buddy Jillian will scream all day for a slam dunk or threepoint shot, then, even after a loss, go do ‘the worm’ like nothing ever happened. She knows how to find the good in everything. I probably play the least of anyone on the team, but she still manages to make me feel like the star player. I love her for that.” To Kerry and Paul, and to Melissa Jones and Coach Dave Bezold, the teachers who bristled at the idea of educating Jillian had it exactly backwards. It was the teachers who didn’t take advantage of having Jillian in their class, of getting to know her and what she’s capable of, who were missing out on an education. “This is the thing I didn’t know would happen,” Bezold says. “I’ve been listening to Dr. Votruba. This campus, you have to get a world of involvement from everybody out there. It’s what a university is supposed to do. What is it worth to have someone so passionate and excited be part of your program? What is it worth to our guys, every day, to see someone who is so appreciative to have a chance to be around them, who is so excited about every little thing that they do? Someone who cries if we lose? Who, every day, walks in and tells you you’re the best? It’s unconditional. It’s literal. She means it from her heart.” Jillian’s beloved Coach Beez, who now understands these things, asks again. “What’s that worth?” SUMMER 2011



OUTSTANDING ALUMNUS HAILE/ U.S. BANK COLLEGE OF BUSINESS Michael R. McKeown ’85 Through all of his accomplishments and hard work—20 years as a licensed real estate broker who currently works with Huff Realty, and now a popular adjunct professor in the Haile/U.S. Bank College of Business—Mike McKeown has been missing only one component to make life complete: sleep. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the fact that McKeown and his wife spend a lot of time chasing after their four active young children between ages 3 and 8. “When you go from man-to-man coverage to zone,” he says, “you’re in deep trouble.” McKeown has returned to NKU after graduating with a B.S. in marketing in 1985. His outgoing personality resonates not only with colleagues—he’s been an active advisory board participant here—but also with his students. “His class is sought out,” says Greg Martin, associate professor and chair of the Department of Marketing, Economics, and Sports Business. “He has the type of personality that connects well with our undergrads. His student evaluations are excellent.” Of his experiences in the classroom, McKeown says, “Returning to NKU as an instructor reaffirms the impact this university and its faculty can have on an individual. It’s not talent alone that creates lifetime success but the environment and encouragement that allow one to say ‘I can and I will,’” Martin notes that McKeown’s extensive corporate experience (former senior director of merchandising at Luxottica Retail and corporate merchandise planner for Mercantile Stores Co., Inc.) and real estate background make him an ideal instructor, someone who can provide both corporate and entrepreneurial insight. “When we staff our courses with professionals as opposed to tenure-track faculty,” Martin says, “he’s exactly the type of person we’re looking for.”


OUTSTANDING ALUMNUS NKU CHASE COLLEGE OF LAW Steven J. Chabot ’78 Congressman Steve Chabot has served the people of Cincinnati and Ohio for most of his career. Currently he is the U.S. representative in Ohio’s First Congressional District—a position he’s held for 14 years, having first been elected in 1994. After running successfully in 2010 to reclaim his seat, he was sworn in as congressman again January 5. Chabot serves on the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Small Business, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he is now chair of the subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. Prior to his first election to Congress, Chabot served on Cincinnati City Council and the Hamilton County Commission for four years on each body. A graduate of LaSalle High School, Chabot earned his undergraduate degree from College of William and Mary and returned to Cincinnati to teach at St. Joseph’s School in the West End while studying at NKU Chase College of Law in the evening. Congressman Chabot and his wife Donna live in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Westwood. They have two children: Erica and Randy. Chabot stays active in the community, teaching a political science class at the University of Cincinnati and chairing the Boy Scouts of Cincinnati. OUTSTANDING ALUMNA COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES Susan K. Cook ’75 Susan Cook, the third of four generations of female educators, was the fourth generation to be born and raised on a farm on Hands Pike in Kenton County (her children are the fifth). These facts somewhat belie the lifelong educator’s whirlwind energy. Cook attended an all-girl Baptist college in Virginia but took summer classes at NKU and was able to finish her undergraduate degree in just three years. She taught first grade at Piner Elementary School and became one of the first half-dozen students to graduate from NKU’s Master of Arts in Education program in 1975. And she eventually earned her Ed.D. in educational leadership from the University of Cincinnati. Cook taught for seven years and served the Kenton County School District as an administrator for 27 years. She was the first woman to hold the position of superintendent. Her greatest accomplishments are as superintendent, where she oversaw a massive building project across the school system, including the building of Twenhofel Middle School—the first LEED-certified school

building in the state of Kentucky. At the same time she also created an exceptional leadership team and focused on professional development, academic rigor, and preparation for AP classes. Today Cook is on the NKU faculty as an education instructor and an advisor for the NKU’s Vision 2015 strategic plan. Cook’s husband, Bill, is an account executive for Sorin Group USA, Inc. and their three children are Tara, a college professor in Los Angeles; Jeff, a computer engineer in New Zealand; and Elizabeth, a first-grade teacher at River Ridge Elementary in Kenton County Schools who is currently working on her Master of Education at NKU. “It is such an exciting time to be a part of the instructional team in the College of Education and Human Services,” Cook says. “In 1975. I was one of seven graduates who received the first master’s degree in education from NKU. It is amazing how much the university has grown.” OUTSTANDING ALUMNA COLLEGE OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS Kay F. Crist ’76, ’95 “Stones thrown into the ocean may go unnoticed, but the ripples they create can impact many. An inch at a time can be sublime.” This quote describes Kay Crist and her quest to improve the stature of nurses throughout Northern Kentucky and the entire state. A lot has changed in the field of nursing since Crist first earned her R.N. from NKU in 1976. Not only has technology changed the landscape of the field (as well as the world), but nurses have also gained a much higher stature in the healthcare system thanks, in part, to her efforts. Crist also earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from NKU in 1995, and her expertise includes medical, surgical, and critical-care nursing. Besides being the first woman appointed to the Northern Kentucky Independent Health Department, she served as a charter member of the Kentucky Board of Certification of Dieticians and Nutritionists and a member of the partnership team for the evaluation of NKU’s Department of Nursing. In her (brief) spare time Crist enjoys spending time with her family, including her daughter, Sheila; son-in-law, David; and grandchildren, Palmer and Mercer. Crist is also a ballroom dancer (she competes in both American and international styles) and a devoted art enthusiast whose passion has led her to the board of The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington.

OUTSTANDING ALUMNUS COLLEGE OF INFORMATICS Galadriel Stineman-Joy ’07 Galadriel Stineman-Joy began acting as a young child in local plays while devoting the rest of her free time to dancing, cheering, and being an equestrian. Although she’s moved to a Hollywood career, Stineman-Joy is a Kentucky girl through and through. Stineman-Joy graduated from Newport Central Catholic High School and continued her education at Northern Kentucky University, where she served as president of Delta Zeta sorority, vice president of Student Government Association, and an officer in several other organizations. Despite her busy schedule, she also began acting in student and community films as well as doing camera work for NKU. She still managed to graduate magna cum laude with a B.A. in radio/television and was named the outstanding senior at the student organization celebration. Upon graduating, Stineman-Joy moved to Los Angeles. Lyndsey Yeager, Stineman-Joy’s alumni award nominator, says, “When she decided to move to LA, she moved with a dream and faith that it would work for her. Her dream came true with her first big break in the movie Fame.” Following Fame Stineman-Joy scored her feature film debut in Junkyard Dog, starring opposite Vivica A. Fox and Brad Dourif. Most recently Stineman-Joy starred in the live-action film Ben 10: Alien Swarm, based on the hugely popular Cartoon Network series, Ben 10: Alien Force. Stineman-Joy is enjoying her career in Los Angeles as well as her life with her husband, Kevin, and their young son, Addicus. DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD Rodney E. Jackson ’99 Peace officer, firefighter, champion, and advocate for those with disabilities: Colonel Rodney Jackson has served in all of those capacities with honor and passion, breaking new ground along the way. During his distinguished career, Jackson served in five local police jurisdictions as well as three fire departments including Independence, Ky., where he was the first African American firefighter, a barrier he broke down in many firehouses and police stations during his career. In the 1990s Jackson was plagued with health issues— first a heart attack while on duty as a police officer and then a stroke, which Jackson believed would end his public-service career. Instead, Jackson re-enrolled at NKU to finish requirements toward a degree he first sought in 1977. SUMMER 2011



“After graduation, at first I was turned down for countless positions,” Jackson says. “With a degree and a career background in police work I found this insulting. Yet, now after six years in the governor’s office, a consultant with the U. S. Department of Justice, and the U. S. Department of Education, I find this alumni honor as the icing on the cake. It is more than I could have ever imagined, and it would not have happened without my degree in sociology from NKU.” Jackson has been repeatedly recognized by this nation’s highest office for his service. In addition to serving as a consultant to the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, he served two terms on the Ohio Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities and was nominated for the Point of Light award by presidents Reagan, Bush (George H.), and Clinton. OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNUS Jonathan P. Wright ’06 Jonathan Wright is on his way in the world of politics, having most recently been named the legislative assistant with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Legislative Affairs by the current Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. Prior to this appointment, Wright served the Obama presidential campaign as the Florida deputy political director during the 2008 general election and as the campaign’s Kentucky political director during the primaries. The Paducah native has also worked on other campaigns in California, Kentucky, and Virginia as well as serving former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson in Iowa and Nevada during their caucuses. Numerous NKU students have interned for Wright in Washington, D.C., and were the catalyst behind this nomination. Kevin Golden, former Student Government Association president, says of Wright: “Jon still took the time to call and make sure that my experience was maximized and to see if there was anything he could do to help. I have no doubt that Jon will continue to advocate and place NKU students in whatever agency he may be assigned to next.” Wright recently hosted NKU President James Votruba on a West Wing tour of the White House. FACULTY/STAFF STRONGEST INFLUENCE AWARD Paul D. Cooper Paul Cooper is an associate professor of construction management and faculty member at NKU for the past 26 years. His vision for the program when he became coordinator in 1990 was to receive accreditation through the American Council for Construction Education. This accreditation N O RT H E R N

was realized in 2000. Since then, Cooper has continued to serve as the coordinator and then as interim chair for the Department of Construction Management for two years. Cooper’s sabbatical in 2008 took him to Cebu State College of Science and Technology in Cebu, Philippines, to work with faculty and administrators to develop that country’s first construction management program. Both there and here at NKU, Cooper’s inimitable spirit and limitless knowledge within his field have served as an inspiration to students and colleagues alike. As Foley put it, Cooper straddles the “impossible gap between protector and father figure to students as well as the challenging and demanding professor that we never forget.” “In recalling my time at NKU there is not one particular defining moment that changed my college career,” says nominator Jessica Fitzwilson (’06), “but instead one instrumental person that helped guide me to where I am today.” OUTSTANDING ALUMNUS COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES David J. Schneider ’86 Dr. David J. Schneider’s B.S. in physics and mathematics from Northern Kentucky University has taken him on a career path of more than 25 years of success in the field of specialty and fine chemicals. Schneider currently serves as CEO of SAT, Inc., a Florence, Ky.-based technology company that focuses on R&D, production, licensing, and marketing of superior odor control, stain removal, and disinfection products. These products can be found in retail venues such as Bed, Bath, and Beyond and PetSmart. As an active entrepreneur and inventor, Schneider has been granted almost 20 patents and has extensive contract experience including intellectual property, purchasing, secrecy, and partnership agreements. “I am honored!” Schneider says of the award. “Having been a student at NKU from 1982 to 1986 in addition to teaching physics and astronomy from the early 1990s (full and part time over the years) shows I have a great affinity and love for the university.” As an NKU professor, Schneider is an active researcher who received funding from the NASA-JOVE project and the Kentucky Space Grant Consortium. This love for the university is a Schneider family affair. His wife, Julie, is an NKU alumna, and their son Joshua graduated in May 2011 with an entrepreneurship major. Their son Jonathan will graduate in 2012 with a double major of physics and mathematics—just like his dad. The couple has three other children—Catherine, Kellyann, and Joel—who will hopefully follow the rest of the family to Highland Heights.

IN MEMORIAM Greg Taliaferro ’86 To those who knew Northern graduate Greg Taliaferro, he was an amazing son, brother, and friend, whose commitment to lifting others was the measure of a selfless life. Greg graduated cum laude in psychology and social studies in 1986 at Northern and went on to earn his master’s degree and doctorate in psychology at the University of Louisville. Greg’s biography is impressive, spanning more than 20 years conducting psychological therapy with hundreds of children and families. He was in private practice with the Cincinnati Center for Psychoanalysis Inc., worked as a rehabilitation psychologist with Christ Hospital Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, and was cochairman of the APA Task Force on Guidelines for Assessment and Treatment of Persons with Disabilities with the American Psychological Association. He also co-chaired the development of guidelines for assessment of and intervention with individuals who have disabilities. In addition, he was a part of the hand transplant team at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky. His untimely passing last summer at the age of 48 will scarcely diminish what he started. During his emotional and touching memorial service by those who knew him best, Greg’s family and many friends kept coming back to the same word to describe him—selfless. His life’s work as a psychologist will endure as a testament to what he physically overcame in order to serve others. Greg’s intellect, humor, and desire to help others allowed him to reach beyond his physical boundaries, boundaries that included cerebral palsy and being legally blind.

“Greg demonstrated for all of us what courage and resolve really look like and how hard work and an honorable purpose will indeed carry the day,” says Tami Burgoyne, who first met Greg in the 1980s working in NKU’s Special Services program. “I’m so lucky to have known Greg. He taught me a great deal about life and family, and I’m a better person for knowing him.” Greg also had a sarcastic and taunting side that he shared with those closest to him. He loved the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Reds and was an avid basketball fan as well. He made friendly bets with friends and never forgot to remind them when his teams won, although his memory was less than perfect when they lost. Dr. Dave Kelley was Greg’s classmate at the University of Louisville in the psychology doctoral program. “He encouraged me, challenged me, inspired me, and never let me shoot for less than my best,” Kelly says. “He was a true friend in the best sense of the word, and I will miss him dearly. When the Browns win the Super Bowl, I will toast him and all the delightful times we had making fun of each other’s teams.” April Carter described working with Greg at the Life Skills Center of Cincinnati as uplifting and humorous. “We liked to taunt each other during football and basketball season, especially since he was a Browns’ fan and me a Bengals’ fan,” she says. “I would drive him to his office on rainy and snowy days when he would let me, and he would challenge me not to use my brakes. He called it ‘death ride ’09.’ His laughter would make me laugh and result in me trying to make him laugh even more.” After much research at the center, Greg and some of his colleagues discovered that most national surveys did not break down samples by separating perfectly healthy individuals from those with some type of disability. In a series of articles, he and several colleagues drew attention to the inequity in order to ensure that future survey results are more reflective of a true sample. One of those articles clarified the problem, stating that, “under the U.S. CAPTA (the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act), disability status is not included in the required list of data items. Currently, only 19 states have information about disability status in their central registries of child abuse and neglect.” The article also suggested “disability status could also be added to assessments of needs and evaluation studies of child maltreatment interventions.” Greg’s colleagues observed their gifted friend as he discovered a major inequity and was passionate enough to bring attention to it. This selfless act of committing himself to helping others elevated Greg Taliaferro beyond expectations and into unchartered territory. His sister Gina, also a Northern graduate, summarized Greg’s legacy. By serving others first, she says, the sum of all he accomplished created a ripple effect that will have a greater impact than even he could have dreamed. That was his journey. —Chris Burns (’86)





ALUMNI JOURNAL Gatherings A successful journey After a fantastic school year that saw nearly 3,000 graduates grace our commencement stage with new diplomas in hand, summer and sunshine are finally here. This past year has been a trendsetter in many ways for this ever-growing university. At our district conference this year, the NKU advancement division brought home more than 23 awards, including 13 from our Alumni Association. The Alumni Association won our district’s highest award—Grand Champion—for the overall Alumni Programs area. This special award recognizes our success across all areas of the services we offer you as NKU alumni. I would also like to thank those of you who donated more than $800,000 during our annual fund campaign. Your support of NKU scholarships and programs ensures that others like you can fulfill their dreams. To show our appreciation, your Alumni Association is hosting events throughout this summer, including a Florence Freedom game in June and a Columbus Clippers game in July—the same month we’ll be hosting a fantastic alumni reception in Chicago. Looking ahead, mark your calendars for an October 8 trip to Keeneland, where we have the beautiful Lexington Room reserved for a day at the races. This is a must-see event where we’ll be joined by Jim and Rachel Votruba. For those of you who are receiving this magazine for the first time, please stay in touch with NKU. “Celebrating and Connecting” with our graduates isn’t just our mission; it’s a way of life for all of us here at Alumni Programs. We have such accomplished and successful graduates, and we want to hear from all of you. Make sure you join the NKU Alumni Association Facebook page and also our online community at I hope to see you on campus soon!




Deidra S. Fajack Director of Alumni Programs and Licensing







1. Tracy Osborne (’11), a former student worker at Alumni Programs, dons the tiara as she’s crowned NKU’s 2011 Homecoming Queen. 2. NKU alumni gather in Louisville for a wine tasting and tour at fellow alumnus John Neace’s River Bend Winery this past April. 3. It was all high fives and smiles at the spring undergraduate commencement, where nearly 1,500 students graced the stage at The Bank of Kentucky Center to receive their diplomas. 4. Victor E. Viking takes one for the team as he and Mr. Redlegs entertain the Norse men’s soccer team at NKU Night at the Reds this past April. 5. NKU alumni volunteers serve up heaping platefuls of Skyline coneys at the annual Spring Fling event for NKU alumni staff. 6. Competition was tight at the Annual Alumni Chili Cook-Off contest, where four-time winner Mark Fajack took home the top prize. 7. Guests mingle and dine at the reception for the annual Alumni Awards Celebration in the Student Union ballroom. To nominate someone for this year’s Alumni Awards, visit alumniconnect. and find the nomination form under the Alumni Awards tab.




Positive Feedback 30

A REALITY TV DOCTOR AND HER NEW BOOK Give her a little time, and clinical psychologist Dr. Liza Siegel (’84) can give you a pretty good idea of how well you’d fare on Survivor. Or The Apprentice. As a consulting psychologist for those and other shows, she is one of the foremost experts in predicting individual personality and behavior in contestants. Recently, Siegel coauthored Therapeutic Feedback with the MMPI-2, a book geared toward psychology students and professionals about interpreting the widely used MMPI-2 personality assessment tests. Here Siegel talks about that test and what it takes to make it on Surivor. —Brent Donaldson The MMPI was developed in the 1930s and 1940s to help people diagnose mental illness, but you get a lot of rich information that isn’t just about mental illness from the test. It’s a personality measure so you can get a lot of good clues about the person and his or her work or current relationship. This book gives really specific language where if you have a profile of an MMPI, you can get specific language about how to communicate the results of someone’s test to him or her in a way that communicates empathy and understanding for the person and doesn’t sound so clinical. When I was studying psychology at Northern Kentucky University, I had definitely never heard of reality TV, because it wouldn’t even come around for another 25 years. It’s been exactly 10 years from when I got started working on Survivor. On the very first season of Survivor I worked, we were on location in Kenya. If you’re a therapist in a practice or if you’re in a hospital setting, typically people are coming to you because they have problems. On reality shows, they are not there because they have problems—they’re there because they are participating in a reality show. What you are trying to do is make sure that it’s a healthy, safe experience for a person who is going on the show. So if someone is extremely sensitive to criticism, that might not rule them out but it would be something that you would really want to consider. I kind of specialize in healthy, resilient people and how they deal with crisis. What’s most useful in this field is positive psychology, how people use their strengths and resilience to overcome problems in life. That’s a big portion of the book as well. It’s a positive-psychology approach to the way people are functioning in the world. N NO ORT RTH HEERRN N

1968 Retired Judge Raymond E. Lape, Jr., (Chase) was named the 2010 Northern Kentucky Bar Association Distinguished Lawyer. His previous awards include Trial Judge of the Year (1989, Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys) and Chase Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award (2006). His work career has been varied and well rounded, including service in the U.S. Navy, as a Kentucky State Police Trooper, and as an insurance adjuster.

1976 Mariann (Brinker) Mason (RN ’92) works in senior behavioral health at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati.

1982 Tom Cleves (business administration) was named vice president and general manager of containerboard and recycling for International Paper. He will lead sales, marketing, and supply chain processes for the largest containerboard system in the world and will be responsible for the recycling business, which includes 19 U.S. plants that process more than 7 million tons of recovered paper annually. He and his wife, Jana, have three daughters and live in the Memphis area.

1987 Gregory Edwards, who has a Master of Public Administration from NKU (1998), was promoted to assistant director of library services at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. He will oversee all public services for the main branch and 40 branches as well as marketing, programming, collection and web development, safety/security, and literacy/homework support.

1990 Gene Fisher (elementary education) recently retired from teaching in Ohio and plans to move closer to his adult sons in Florida. Angie (Annaballi) Tymofichuk (physics) is the engineering directorate at Ogden Air Logistics Center in Utah. Her current position is often considered to



be the civilian equivalent to a military general.

1991 Denise Stoner-Barone (Chase) is the author of five novels, including Fantasy Daze (Liquid Silver Books), Rose Red and Black Bear and Evangeline (Red Sage Publishing), and House of Wacks and Judge Not (Wild Rose Press).

1994 Robin Klaene (journalism) was named

As the deputy commissioner of operations for the Wage and Investment Division at the IRS, Peggy Bogadi ’81 spends most weeks living out of her suitcase, jetting from Cincinnati to Atlanta to Washington, D.C., for a job that has her overseeing 50,000 employees nationwide during peak tax season. Her division provides all of the telephone and walk-in customer service—for 118 million taxpayers—and runs the processing centers, 401 walk-in centers, and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites that help low-income citizens to prepare their tax returns. It’s a wonder she ever makes it home. “I never thought I would be a manager,” Bogadi says. “I did not see myself in that role, and mobility was an issue. My roots were in the community, and my family was here. I was not interested in moving, and executives were expected to be mobile.” Bogadi’s career with the IRS began as a co-op student technician in 1980, working one semester and loading up on classes at NKU the next to finish her management degree in 1981. But after graduating, Bogadi was offered a full-time position, and 31 years later she has become a highly successful manager and one of the key IRS executives. “It is always different and always challenging,” Bogadi says. “I would get bored if I were doing the same thing over and over.” Indeed, that’s never the case. Congress imposes constant changes to the tax code, and the IRS has to determine what the new regulations mean and how to execute and communicate them to the public. Bogadi must quickly inform her employees about the new regulations and how they will affect taxpayers so they can translate it for the public. Being able to react quickly to those changes requires a delicate mix of skills, Bogadi says. “I am not sure at what point I made a conscious decision to make this my career, but I have stayed so long, and I enjoy what I do,” Bogadi says. “The pay is better on the outside, but it is not as rewarding as the work you do when you are a government servant.” —Molly Williamson

the first-ever Library/PR Marketer of the Year by Kentucky Public Library Association. Klaene has been with Kenton County Public Library for 13 years and oversees internal and external marketing, public relations, and fundraising for the library and its nonprofit foundation. Jennifer (Kelly) Taylor (physics) is senior planning engineer for Distribution System Solutions, an engineering consulting firm in Walton, Ky. She

serves on the advisory board for an engineering analysis software development company based in Abilene, Texas, and she and her husband have three daughters: Katie, Allie, and Mandy.

1997 Michelle L. Class (communication) was honored with the Legacy Next Generation Leader Award in the category of Advertising / Marketing. Additionally, she has started her own business, Marketing with Class LLC. SUMMER 2011





Martin B. Tucker was appointed as a member of the law firm Frost Brown Todd. Tucker concentrates his practice primarily in all aspects of bankruptcy and restructuring law and creditor’s rights law.

2000 Shannan Boyer (communication) is the marketing manager at The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center. She worked for Wordsworth Communications, Cincinnati’s oldest and largest independent public relations agency, for seven years and served as its director of social media. Boyer cofounded Cincinnati Women Bloggers and was a member of the 2008 class of Leadership Northern Kentucky.

2001 Melanie Spencer (applied photography) is the managing editor of Texas Catholic Herald newspaper in Houston. She has a blog called ReFind, whose philosophy is that everyone is born with a clean slate and that, despite a bit of “tarnish,” they can be polished to re-find their “innate charm, style, and grace.”

2004 Kathleen Piercefield (printmaking) exhibited in several venues, including “Lasting Impressions” at Global Novations, ArtWorks in Cincinnati, and a national juried exchange portfolio and exhibition at Purdue University.

2005 Kristi ’05 and Tye Mortensen ’04, ’08 have returned to Northern Kentucky from California. Kristi is currently the account executive officer for Travelers Insurance and is marketing its farm program throughout the Midwest states. Tye has accepted the position of assistant director of undergraduate admissions at the University of Cincinnati.

2006 Elizabeth (Nalley) Irvin and husband Bo announced the birth of their daughter, Olivia Leigh, in June of 2010. N O RT H E R N


The Raven, Revisited ONE POE’S QUEST TO RESTORE ANOTHER’S GOOD NAME Frank G. Poe was born to be a writer—twice. At least that is what the 1990 English graduate alleges in his new book, Raven Wings and 13 More Twisted Tales (Infinity Publishing). Frank Poe believes he is Edgar Allan Poe reborn, and reborn specifically to defend the circumstances of Edgar’s death. “I know I came back for a reason,” Poe says, “and that was to bring attention to the fact that Edgar Allan Poe was not a drunk and a drug addict.” Frank and Edgar share a last name, a love of writing, and relatives with similar names—all clues to his former identity. They also may share a diagnosis—multiple sclerosis, Poe says. The Pendleton County man almost died of complications from the undiagnosed disease in 1998. For years, he and doctors attributed chronic headaches and dizziness to stress, and hand numbness and loss of grip to carpal tunnel syndrome from his job at the IRS. He nearly went blind in 1998 and spent a week in a dreamlike state as multiple sclerosis ravaged his brain. Emerging wheelchair-bound and blind in his right eye, he was a new man who was focused on others and determined to recover. “It was nothing but attitude,” Poe says. “I just refused to let the disease take over my life.” Now using a cane, Frank coaches football and track and field for Pendleton County High School and contributes sports stories to the Falmouth Outlook newspaper. Meanwhile, the exact cause of Edgar Allan Poe’s death remains a mystery. While doctors have speculated that he could have committed suicide or died of rabies, bipolar disorder, or depression, multiple sclerosis has never been mentioned. Convinced of his theory, Frank has written a yet-to-be-published book explaining that Edgar Allan Poe died of multiple sclerosis and that the disease is hereditary. He also encouraged readers to be vigilant about their health. Poe boiled down his theory to a six-page introduction and inserted it into Raven Wings, a collection of short stories and poems. He continues to write, working on a second short-story collection and maintaining a political poetry blog ( To buy the book, visit www.infinitypublishing. com. —Molly Williamson



Courtroom Crooner



There are not a lot of lawyer singers. There are even fewer who get noticed by a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer to sing on his next album. Chrissy Dunn, who tied for first place in the CBF 2010 Cincinnati Bar Idol competition, also competed in the inaugural event last year. Judge Bootsy Collins called her later to come to his home studio to co-write and record a track for his new album, due out this spring. “He said he liked my voice and that he wanted to give me a shot at recording something,” says Dunn, whose style is far from the funk-adelic that Collins originated. “I feel like things have come full circle.” Dunn, who practices at Droder & Miller Co., began singing while growing up in Louisville. In high school, she won a contest at Music Ranch USA in West Point, Ky., and won the opportunity to sing with the house band. They kept inviting her back, even as she became a broadcasting major at Western Kentucky University. Dunn had an internship in Nashville, getting exposed to the business side of the music industry. And while she continued to sing at events and weddings, she decided to “pursue another passion” and attend law school at Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law. In law school, and as she began in the profession, Dunn sang “every chance I got.” When the Cincinnati Bar Foundation hosted its first Idol event in 2009, she signed up before

she knew who would judge or whether anyone would even attend. It didn’t matter. Her Patsy Cline-flavored voice wowed the crowd. The success of the first gig—with a packed audience at the Blue Wisp, not to mention the encouragement of Collins—led her to integrate the two parts of her life even more. She performed at the Bench Bar Social last spring and a fundraiser for Judge Nadine Allen this summer, and then she returned to the CBF Idol competition along with guitarist Kyle Knapp. “I had mostly kept everything very separate,” she says. “So it’s pretty cool that things really took off with singing when they were brought together. Just because I’m a lawyer doesn’t mean I can’t have music in my life.” Actually, music has been more helpful in Dunn’s law practice than she could have expected. “I see other attorneys in the courtroom or at a deposition, and they sometimes recognize me from singing events,” she says. “It’s been a really good networking tool. I’ve met a lot of members of the bar, and it’s been fun to show another dimension of myself too.” Dunn says her inner performer has always helped her be a better lawyer. “If you can stand up and sing in a crowded room, you can deal with the pressure of the courtroom. You get used to being on the spot.” —Julie Kemble Borths Originally published in the January 2011 issue of the Cincinnati Bar Association’s CBA Report. Reprinted with permission. SUMMER 2011


The Fountain of Youth



NOTABLE NORSE “Most writers will probably tell you that when you get a book deal and share the good news with your family and friends, they think they can run out and buy your book, like, next week. Yeah. Well. No. They’ll be waiting for about two years.” —Lorraine Zago Rosenthal, blog post, Dec. 10, 2010 The long journey to published novel has proven to be worth the wait for author Lorraine Zago Rosenthal, one of the first graduates of Northern Kentucky University’s new master’s in English program. Since its release this past January, Other Words for Love (Random House/Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers) was included in’s “Best Books of the Month for Young Readers: January 2011,” while a review in The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books said Rosenthal “expertly captures both the euphoric passion of first love and the utter devastation it can sometimes leave behind.” Rosenthal, who lives in Hebron with her husband, Lawrence Rosenthal, professor and associate dean for academics at Chase College of Law, is a rising star in one of the fastestgrowing reader markets—young-


adult fiction. Here she talks about connecting with young readers, her next book, and self-promoting in the digital age. —Jill (Schlarman) Dunne ’01 NORTHERN: What kind of response have you been getting for Other Words for Love? ROSENTHAL: The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive from readers, book bloggers, and trade reviewers. Numerous readers have told me that they are very fond of the novel’s protagonist and that the story is a realistic one to which they can easily relate. NORTHERN: Did you draw from your own adolescence to create the characters or situations in the novel? ROSENTHAL: I think that much of what Ari [the main character] goes through during the story are universal issues of adolescence. She struggles with low self-esteem; she compares herself to her best friend and feels that she doesn’t measure up; she has a complex relationship with her mother and with her sister; she is confused about what to do with her future; and she yearns for love and acceptance. I grew up in New York and went to a prep school like Ari does, so my knowledge of the setting and the class differences in New York City definitely helped.

NORTHERN: You’ve done interviews with bloggers; you are on Twitter; and you have your own website and blog. Have you enjoyed the process of promoting Other Words for Love? ROSENTHAL: Definitely! Twitter is a fantastic way of connecting with readers, and I’ve done numerous interviews on the “blog tour” for my novel. Modern technology has made it so much easier to promote a novel and to get feedback from readers. There are so many fun and interactive things to do in the publicity process today, such as contests, book trailers, and creating a playlist of music to go with a novel. There is a thriving book blogging community online. NORTHERN: What can you tell us about your next book? ROSENTHAL: I’m currently working on my second YA novel, which—like Other Words for Love (set during the 1980s)—is set in New York City, but in the present day. The story also has a teen female protagonist, and although her character is much different from Ari, her story also deals with friendship, family, and love. Check out Rosenthal on Twitter or on her blog:;

No More Running on Empty I T ’ S O N E T H I N G T O B E F O R T U N AT E ENOUGH TO RECEIVE A SCHOLARSHIP. IT’S ANOTHER TO MAKE THE BEST OF IT. JUST ASK GREG LEMMON ’08. The mathematics major knows it might sound crazy, but as a donor himself, he wants to know that his money is bettering the life of a student. Since graduating from NKU, the former Norse cross-country runner has become a statistician who does sales forecasting for Eureka! Ranch International, a company that creates new products and services. “It is because of NKU that I am a success now,” Lemmon says. But he can take a little credit. When shopping schools, Lemmon considered his projected debt load as well as how well each college or university fit his needs. “A lot of schools can teach you math, but it comes down to what is a good fit,” Lemmon says. “It was easy to make friends, and the classes were smaller so I knew the students and teachers. It was easy to make the transition and be comfortable.”

2009 David Richard “Rich” Vos (political science) became an officer in the U.S. Army, opened his own gym (CrossFit Hustle), and has a baby due in July 2011.

2010 Joe Hedges (painting) is a visual artist and singer/songwriter who hosted a combination installation event that included performance, paintings, and music video premieres. He celebrated the release of his new full-length album, Alchemy, and won the international study-abroad photography contest in fall 2010. Randy Watkins (marketing) is Liberty Mutual’s newest sales representative in the insurance company’s Florence, Ky., office. Prior to this position, Watkins served as case manager for Zwicker and Associates and as assistant property manager for Guild Properties.

His comfort level was rocked, however, toward the end of his freshman year. Accepted into the honors program as a freshman, Lemmon received scholarship money as an incoming student. But that money was nonrenewable, and his tuition savings were depleting. Then the scholarships, like the Sheldon B. and Fern H. Storer Endowed Scholarship, began rolling in. “I still worked, but it was a relief that I didn’t have to worry about my finances,” Lemmon says. That money allowed him to concentrate on being a runner and a student, not on working to finance his tuition. As a result, he made memories that caused him to give back recently through the annual phonathon. “If you get something, you should give something; that’s my mentality,” Lemmon says. “If you want to see where your money is going, you can see it was not wasted on me.” —Molly Williamson To learn more about contributing to scholarships through planned giving, visit

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Send to: NORTHERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY Office of Alumni Programs 421 Johns Hill Road Highland Heights, KY 41099 Are you firmly planted in the digital age? Then fill out our online form to let us know what’s new with you. If you’ve got a new baby, we’ll send a gift for your baby!

N EW L E A F PA P E R environmental benefits statement

2011 Jessica Duvall (graphic design) is a designer at Icon Marketing Communications following a successful internship there.

Northern Kentucky University saved the following resources by using New Leaf Reincarnation made with 100% recycled fiber, 50% post-consumer waste, and processed chlorine free.





fully grown



solid waste

greenhouse gases




million BTUs



Calculation based on research by Environmental Defense and other members of the Paper Task Force.

©2006 New Leaf Paper











Mystery Photo! This fearsome fivesome was part of an extracurricular karate club that chopped and kicked around NKU’s campus during what had to be—based on hairdos alone—the early-to-mid 1970s. (Which means we’re pretty sure the guy who’s second from the right is not Rafael Nadal.) Can you identify these martial artists and where they’ve adopted what we think is the Renoji Dachi stance? Email

Photo credit: Schlachter Archives

Northern Magazine Summer 2011  

Northern Magazine Summer 2011

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