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A note about this issue ohiowomen is a new annual publication. It promotes the comparably named Ohio University initiative ohiowomen, which supports female Bobcats. Ohio Today, the school’s alumni magazine, publishes this special issue every winter. Released three times a year, Ohio Today informs, celebrates, and engages alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of Ohio University. The digital companion is ohiotoday.org. All iterations are produced by University Advancement, with funding from The Ohio University Foundation. Views expressed in them do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff or University policies.



1 Provost’s message

LOVE THE SINNER Shelley Delaney, who teaches performance at OHIO, co-creates and stars in Tammy Faye’s Final Audition, a new play about the polarizing and scandal-ridden televangelist and personality.

NOT JUST DOODLING AWAY Lauren Purje, BFA ’09, a freelance artist and contributor to the art and culture blogazine hyperallergic.com, recalls her comic-strip beginnings and OHIO’s role in them.

FURTHERING PROSPECTS, KICK-STARTING CONNECTIONS Some 140 OHIO alumnae drew inspiration from each other and keynote speaker and executive coach Beverly Jones, BSJ ’69, MBA ’75, at the kickoff of ohiowomen in Cleveland.

HOPE. JOY. COMPASSION. Lisa Barnhouse, AB ’73, stands tall as an education advocate for students with special needs in Ohio. Peers applaud her mindfulness; she’d rather cheer for the cause.

From the editors

2 In the news 16 Upcoming events Inside back cover Bobcat brainteaser

ABOVE: These alumnae—all teachers and leaders—share a laugh at the ohiowomen Columbus event. Left to right: Connie Lawson-Davis, BSED ’67; Ann Paulins, BSHE ’86, MSHE ’87; Marilyn Allen, BSED ’58; and Ann Wagner Hill, BSED ’68. Photo by Brian Kellogg, BSS ’07 ON THE COVER: Alyse Lamparyk, BSJ ’11 (right), and Betsy Trump, BA ’11, Spanish and Spanish education, connect—and share a joke—at the ohiowomen Cleveland Kickoff event. Photos by Dustin Franz, BSVC ’10

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BOBCATS AMONG HORNETS Assists for the NBA team in Charlotte go to Donna Julian, BSPE ’85, head of the arena and event operations, and Rhonda Curry, BSC ’96, BBA ’96, human resources veep.

ROADS TO TRAVEL, STORIES TO TELL Melissa Riggs applies her humanitarian work in Jordan while pursuing visual storytelling and a master’s degree in photojournalism, via an OHIO Graduate College Fellowship.

THE FAMILY THEY CHOSE The scene: Athens Campus. The time: fall 1986. The cast: six self-proclaimed freshmen “super nerds.” The plot: friends becoming so close they consider themselves siblings.

CONTINUING THE ohiowomen CONVERSATION IN COLUMBUS Scores of female Bobcats benefited from the latest ohiowomen gathering in Columbus. Among several agenda topics: avoiding negative self-talk.


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Taking stock and making progress


e all perform balancing acts between work and life every day. We may need to negotiate household chores with a partner, scramble to find childcare on a snow day, provide care for an aging parent, or cope with a chronic illness. As a faculty-member-nowadministrator, I think about issues of work-life balance not only in terms of my own experience but also in relation to the entire OHIO community. If we want to attract and retain talent, helping employees achieve a sustainable balance between work and life is in our best interest. Clearly, work-life balance is not just a women’s issue. Over the past several decades, American society has seen an increase in men’s involvement in shared housework and parenting duties. And the desire to lead a healthy, fulfilling personal life is universal. Statistically, though, national studies have found that the burdens of childcare, household maintenance, and care of aging parents still tend to fall more on women even when both they and their partners work full time. To find out how well OHIO is helping our employees achieve worklife balance and what we could do better, we asked. In spring 2014 we participated in the Higher Education Insight Survey, administered by The Chronicle of Higher Education and ModernThink, to gain feedback from employees about the work climate at OHIO and how we could improve it.

We convened a Campus Climate Task Force to review the results, look at what OHIO is already doing that addresses issue areas, and make recommendations. We were pleased to find that, in general, employees find OHIO a good place to work, and one that supports a good work-life balance. Of course, respondents also indicated areas in which we could do better. Regarding work-life issues, many promising efforts are already ongoing. For example, we launched pilot programs for sick-leave donation and paid parental leave. Following the pilot period of each initiative, we will evaluate their impact and decide whether and how to proceed. We also continue to provide high-quality employee benefits such as the popular tuition benefit for employees and their immediate families. Healthy OHIO also has been very well received by employees who participate. The Campus Climate Task Force has recommended that we seek ways to further this program. The Campus Climate Survey collected feedback on a variety of other topics, including University-wide internal communication, professional development, and senior leadership and strategic direction. Read the summary survey findings and the Campus Climate Task Force’s report at www.ohio.edu/instres/climate/index.html. Attaining work-life balance is a unique and challenging process for all of us. While we’re glad to find out that most employees consider OHIO a good place to work, it has also been rewarding to explore how we could do better.

» pam benoit Executive Vice President and Provost

FROM THE EDITORS PS: For instance?

out of ohiowomen? KR: I’m paid for what I love to do: interview people and tell stories! ohiowomen Bobcats share their challenges and wins with me. I’m grateful for that and their stories inspire me. Did your Vassar classmates influence your career?

Peter Szatmary: You’ve covered two ohiowomen events. What’s your overall impression?

KR: The 1950s-70s graduates winged their careers—and did very well. The recent 2000s10s grads took more purposeful steps—and also have done very well. The different approaches reminded me of the importance of plain old persistence. Speaking of doing well, you went to Vassar, the venerable former women’s college, for undergrad. Did you become a feminist there?

Kelee Riesbeck: The alumnae I interviewed from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s were as fascinating as those from the ’00s and ’10s, but for different reasons.

PS: I studied alongside and was taught by smart, accomplished, confident, and striving women—traits also applying to ohiowomen participants. As a Bobcat, what do you get

Editor Peter Szatmary and Managing Editor Kelee Riesbeck, BSJ ’91, exchanged brief e-mails about their ties to women’s issues and about two types of female Bobcats: ohiowomen, the supportive network; and OHIO alumnae. They answered separately and edited together.

PS: In the sense of valuing accomplishment through autonomy and collaboration, yes. Just like ohiowomen, right? KR: Yes! Female Bobcats are independently successful and adroit collaborators. What’s next for ohiowomen? Stay tuned!


2015 • 1

In the news MINDFUL ART, THE SEQUEL Lynn Harter, OHIO professor and co-director of the Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact, and WOUB public media producer Evan Shaw, BSC ’07, premiered their latest documentary, Creative Abundance, at Scripps College of Communication’s Schoonover Auditorium in September. The film follows alumna Patricia Mitchell, BFA ’87, and Susan Dlouhy, social change visionaries, as they implement visual art programming in workplace shelters for adults living with developmental disabilities. It’s the second in their series, “The Courage of Creativity,” which explores how creating art benefits people with developmental challenges. Creative Abundance engenders opportunities for those often silenced and marginalized, said Harter. Visit ohiotoday.org/dec-2015-extras to listen to Harter and Shaw talk about the making of Creative Abundance on WOUB Public Media. —Kaitlyn Pacheco, BSJ ’17

BIG HONOR FOR BIG SISTER Carrie Stambaugh, BSJ ’05, earned the 2015 Big Sister of the Year Award from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. One male and one female mentor

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investing in a child who is the future of the community,” said Stambaugh. “It just made sense to me.” Visit ohiotoday.org/dec-2015-extras for a video of Stambaugh and Morris. —Zulfa Rizqiya, BSJ ’17

WOMEN AND LAW IN ANCIENT INDIA A capacity crowd at Schoonover Auditorium watched the premiere of Creative Abundance; the event also marked the opening of the Scripps College of Communication’s Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact. Photo by Uno Yi

volunteer receive the annual distinction from almost 200,000 counterparts for helping children facing adversity. As the oldest of five children, she embraced being a big sister, setting a good example and providing guidance. That family dynamic led Stambaugh when at OHIO to match with her first “little.” After moving to Ashland, Kentucky, the freelance multimedia journalist and editor paired with little sister Regina Morris, now a freshman at Wright State University; their nineyear friendship prompted Stambaugh’s award. “The idea behind mentoring is that you’re

Stephanie Jamison presented “Adulterous Woman to Be Eaten by Dogs: Women and Law in Ancient India” at OHIO’s biannual Gawande Lecture Series in November. A professor in the department of Asian languages and cultures at University of California, Los Angeles, Jamison focuses on Indo-Iranian languages and texts, plus societal and aesthetic issues within them. She co-edited and co-translated the first complete English translation in more than a century of all 1,028 hymns of the Rigveda, India’s oldest religious text. A gift from OHIO friends Dr. Sushila and the late Dr. Ram Gawande supports the series, which brings renowned scholars of Indian philosophy and religion to the University. —McKenzie Powell, BSJ ’16, BA ’16 u For more news about female Bobcats, go online to


The act of applying makeup to become Messner begins Delaney’s emotional preparation for the role, one that has proved especially challenging to play, she said. Her physical transformation takes more than an hour to complete. Photos by Ben Siegel, BSVC ‘02

Love the sinner OHIO theater blesses Tammy Faye Bakker Messner


o matter what you think you know about Tammy Faye Bakker Messner, think again. In fact, OHIO’s Shelley Delaney hopes to convince you that you don’t know Messner at all. If you’re an American baby boomer, you likely remember how Messner, along with first husband Jim Bakker, formed the 1980s and ’90s scandal-ridden and disgraced televangelist team that led the popular Praise the Lord Club program. But when Delaney takes the stage and tells her and playwright Merri Biechler’s version of the troubled soul (1942-2007) in the two-person Tammy Faye’s Final Audition, the caricature you’ve cultivated in your mind’s eye is peeled back. Amid the heavy makeup, fake eyelashes, copious tears, flashy ’80s-style clothes, extravagant lifestyle, and, later, her gay-friendly stance, the real person from International Falls, Minnesota, emerges, say the participants. Biechler, MFA ’07, adjunct professor of theater history and playwriting in OHIO’s Division of Theater and staff member at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Delaney, associate professor of performance/head of performance also in the theater division, intend to bring audiences into another dimension of Messner’s world. The tiny but larger-than-life figure recalls

alliances, ponders transgressions, and reconciles her life-long relationship with God as she spends her last hours on Earth losing her battle with cancer. Reviews applaud the work’s swiftly moving pace and its multilayered creativity. For instance, BroadwayWorld.com praises how humor is incorporated into an account of the infamous icon “but doesn’t go so overboard that we’re left with a series of oneliners and little substance.” Supported by Associate Professor of Performance David Haugen, who portrays four key men in Messner’s life, the effort also illustrates the drive OHIO faculty have to continue working in and exploring their respective fields and fulfilling their artistic or scholarly curiosity. Go online to ohiotoday.org/dec-2015-extras for a radio conversation on WOUB public media with Biechler and Delaney about Tammy Faye’s Final Audition, a video profile of Delaney, and audio of Delaney performing two monologues from the play.

» KELEE RIESBECK, BSJ ’91, assistant director, Advancement Communication & Marketing


2015 • 3

Furthering prospects, kick-starting connections


n September, 141 female Bobcats discovered how counterpart Beverly Jones, BSJ ’69, MBA ’75, helped advance possibilities for women at OHIO during the second wave of feminism. In the process, attendees also discovered a new way to enrich their own lives and those of the green sisterhood by connecting with OHIO and with each other. “I was at OHIO in the 60s: No women were in the programs,” Jones told participants, who gathered at Cleveland Zoo’s new Stillwater Place to socialize and network under the auspices of ohiowomen. The project brings female Bobcats together to support alumnae and current students, faculty, and staff. Jones, the first woman to earn an MBA at OHIO, objected to the dearth of opportunities for her gender— loudly and persistently—to Claude R. Sowle, University president from 1969 to ’74. “He finally said, ‘I’m tired of hearing you complain about this,’” and asked her to write a report about the state of women at OHIO. “I knew nothing” about doing that kind of work, she laughed. “I made it up as I

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went along! We just did one thing every day. That’s how I learned that to make change, you have to do it bit by bit.” ohiowomen embodies that lesson, she added. The initiative, which debuted last spring as the next generation of the school’s Women in Philanthropy, encourages OHIO women to support and empower each other, to connect with each other one by one. You can’t do it alone, Jones continued. That’s why she interviewed more than 200 women at OHIO—students, faculty, administrators, cooks, librarians, custodial workers, you name it—for insights before delivering 21 recommendations to Sowle. For instance, readmit women to the Marching 110 band; they had been purged in 1967. “Rectify all cases of salary inequity” among women and men for the same work (an ongoing issue). Provide women “a significantly higher share” of the intercollegiate athletics budget. Such steps, both fundamental and progressive, made OHIO a leader in affirmative action for women, Jones reflected. “You can connect to the

LEFT: Cynthia Calhoun, BSEE ’88, Ohio University Alumni Association Board member and deputy division chief at NASA John Glen Research Center, converses with fellow Bobcats. MIDDLE: Keeley Schneider, BSCHE ’11 (left), a quality control engineer in Macedonia, Ohio, and Emily Weaver, BA ’15 in both history and Asian studies and a language consultant at Cleveland State University, enjoy the onset of the evening. RIGHT: Keynote speaker Beverly Jones, BSJ ’69, MBA ’75, encourages alumnae to employ fearlessness when embarking on new beginnings—like ohiowomen. Photos by Dustin Franz, BSVC ’10

University if you tap into it and with each other” regularly. ohiowomen, like Jones and her OHIO women peers did decades ago, can “use each other’s creativity and create opportunities,” she said. Visit ohiotoday.org/dec-2015-extras to read why three generations of Clevelandbased female Bobcats—Yolanda Cherry Sutyak, BSED ’59, Nicki Romeo Arkwright, BSCHE ’97, and Leah Adams, BSCFS ’15— joined OHIO alumnae at the Cleveland kickoff event. —Kelee Riesbeck, BSJ ’91

Continuing the ohiowomen conversation in Columbus


HIO senior Rachel Niese takes pride in being a fastpaced, plugged-in, and technologically savvy millennial. She also believes in slowing down, listening, and synergy. So the astute Bobcat convened with 71 female counterparts in Columbus one evening in October to “Continue the Conversation,” an ohiowomen discussion of vital career and lifestyle issues like mentoring, networking, and transitions. “Events like these are kind of like taking a moment to sit down, step back, and really think about the big picture,” Niese said in a related video “ohiowomen: Featuring Beverly Jones.” Current president of OHIO Women in Business, which attracts, develops, and launches young women in the field, Niese should graduate this spring as a double major in international business and management. She appreciated the chance to network with fellow Bobcats via ohiowomen, Niese said. “I also felt like we all had good points and really good ideas that were really interesting to listen to.” Alumna Beverly Jones agreed. An executive coach, Jones, BSJ ’69, MBA ’75, delivered the keynote speech at what was the second meeting of ohiowomen in central Ohio. She attended because “OHIO is my community,” Jones said, “my home,” and Jones considers ohiowomen “a movement,” one “about women feeling a need to connect.” Colleagues stressed the importance of interrelating, she said. They also expressed “interest in mentoring, being mentored, supporting each other.” Whether mentors or mentees, alumnae need not only to dialogue but also to self-talk, a process in which you make yourself the subject of your own comments, advice, or reminders, writes Wall Street Journal columnist Elizabeth Bernstein in a May 2014 article. However, women often use self-talk negatively by criticizing themselves in these internal conversations. “How do we manage the tendency that women seem to have pretty frequently in the professional track,” Jones asks in her eponymous ohiowomen video, “to put yourself down, to think you’re not quite good enough?” Jones blogs on this topic and many others when she’s not running Clearways Consulting, a company she founded. Such observations form part of her new book, Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like A CEO: 50 Indispensable Tips to Help You Stay Afloat, Bounce Back and Get Ahead at Work, available in December.

TOP: OHIO Women’s Center Program Coordinator Sarah Tucker Jenkins (left) chats with OHIO designer and artist Kari Gunter-Seymour Peterson, BFA ’94. BOTTOM: Susan Sanford, BBA ’87 (left), and Kathleen Cesa, BSS ’01, were two of more than 70 alumnae who attended the event. Photos by Brian Kellogg, BSS ’07

This topic resonated with ohiowomen participants. One CEO admitted that negative self-talk overtook her even though she held “a seat at the table” with other company leaders. “They want to have me around, but I’m still walking around with a voice that says, ‘No!’ I have to stop that voice, I have to work on that,” the alumna revealed. “Criticism can be good, but don’t let it stop you from going forward.” Going forward summarizes one mission of ohiowomen, Jones said. “I’m just blown away about how great these women are and how much fun it is to meet students and people who graduated even earlier than I did,” Jones said. “I think it’s really a wonderful opportunity to meet fabulous people.” To Niese, ohiowomen events unify. “When you are on your march, you forget that there are other women out there going through the exact same things as you.” Visit ohiotoday.org/dec-2015-extras to watch the ohiowomen video, read the chapter in Jones’ book about combating negative selftalk, peruse her blog, and find a link to Bernstein’s article, “‘Self Talk’: When Talking to Yourself, the Way You Do It Makes a Difference.” —Kelee Riesbeck, BSJ ’91


2015 • 5


Roads to travel, stories to tell

elissa Riggs believes that photos and videos chronicling people living in other countries serve a twofold purpose. Imagery like that “gets you to engage in a dialogue with yourself,” she says. And, “when you start to examine others’ lives, there is a reciprocal benefit. You can put that same lens on your own experiences.” She knows of what she speaks. In 2004, as a Peace Corps volunteer beginning her assignment in a small town in Jordan, she had just a month’s worth of training in Arabic to help her navigate her new community. The eldest daughter of a Jordanian family, tasked with helping Riggs learn the language and transition into village life, became a close friend and confidant. The relationships Riggs developed with Sura Qatawney, her parents, and her four sisters form the heart of Riggs’ upcoming multimedia project, Sixth Daughter—Engaging Women in Jordan, under way at Ohio University.

Capturing relationships

Riggs, a second-year graduate student studying photojournalism in the Scripps College of Communication’s School of Visual Communication, is a 2015–16 awardee of a Graduate College Fellowship, whose recipients receive $15,000 and a full-tuition scholarship for fall and spring semesters. Riggs will use the support to travel to Jordan in summer 2016 to capture photographs,

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audio, and video of the day-to-day lives of the five Qatawney sisters. The visual pieces aim to explore the relationships the sisters have with her and with each other. She hopes to complete Sixth Daughter in fall 2016. “It’s an incredible opportunity,” Riggs says. “I’m still amazed [the Graduate College] selected me, and I’m incredibly humbled.” Riggs says her desire to explore visual storytelling resulted, unexpectedly, from the extensive time she spent overseas. After graduating from Cornell University in 2002, she earned a master’s in public health at George Washington University before joining the Peace Corps. After that service, while pursuing public health issues with non-governmental organizations Population Services International and International Medical Corps, she met and worked with people in countries like Argentina, South Africa, South Sudan, India, and Rwanda. Riggs became interested in the details of their lives, including how they were similar to and different from the lives of people in other parts of the world. She wanted to find a way to tell their stories. “A lot of it is about taking the everyday and giving it a bit more attention and inflating it so people can look at it a bit closer and engage with it,” Riggs says. Her interests eventually led her to OHIO and will lead her back to Jordan. VisCom faculty have supported her—and challenged her—along the way. “I’ve found the faculty to be tremendously

supportive while also pushing you,” she says. “They believe in us and want us to succeed. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, they are right there with you.”

Feeling connected

As she is with her Jordanian friends, and vice versa. Riggs recounts the kindness and generosity the Qatawney family showed her. They absorbed her—the “sixth daughter”— into their family life. Social media keeps Riggs connected so she can share weddings and births. “We came from such different places,” she says, “but we have a core similarity.” Inside the field of visual communication, Riggs says, she is finding a way to represent the people she has met and befriended. “It’s about understanding people, engaging with their experience and their beliefs,” she says. Riggs describes Sixth Daughter as the first project in a proposed series that explores the lives and relationships of women with whom she has formed bonds during her travels. She expects the series will be a lifelong endeavor. While in Jordan in 2004, Riggs “faced a lot of misconceptions about women in America.” When she came home, she realized Americans have just as many misconceptions about women in the Middle East. “I really feel like there is still a lot of room for discourse among various beliefs,” she says, explaining that she wants to “connect some of those dots.”


freelance writer and editor in the Columbus area.

PAGE 6: Fellow VisCom graduate student Nicole Raucheisen coupled a photo she took of Riggs with one of Riggs’ own images from her first photo story to create this illustration. Illustration courtesy of Nicole Raucheisen, MA ’16 TOP: Riggs captured this image, “Jupiter Artscape,” last summer during the School of Visual Communication’s Photography Field School in Edinburgh, Scotland. The study abroad format gives students hands-on documentary photography practice. BOTTOM: Participants disperse after a mobile video unit displayed HIV/AIDS awareness programming in rural Rwanda. Photos courtesy of Melissa Riggs


2015 • 7

u How’d she do it? The cartoonist shares her process to product—from

initial brainstorms to key steps along the way—at ohiotoday.org/dec2015-extras. 8 •


2015 • 9

Hope. Joy. Compassion.

Alumna sees the best in all children

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isa Barnhouse is an optimist. This trait has sustained her in life and has driven her for more than four decades as an education advocate for children. Her entire career, she has championed students in Ohio’s school system—particularly students with special needs. Her community of Highland County recognized her contributions in 2015 by inducting her into its Women’s Hall of Fame. At the ceremony, Barnhouse said the recognition was “very humbling.” She’s reluctant to discuss the honor much further—she’d rather talk about the children. “So many kids defy what people think of them,” she says. “Many will go way beyond what we expect. So we have a responsibility to keep learning and use everything we know about teaching to help these kids.”

Helping people, finding joy

Lisa Barnhouse initially demurred when ohiowomen asked to feature her. “I’m not that interesting!” she proclaimed with a laugh. Then why were you honored as an inductee into the Highland County Women’s Hall of Fame? we asked. Barnhouse said the kids deserve recognition, not she. Photo by laura woolf, BSVC ’10

Born in Wellston, Ohio, Barnhouse, AB ’73, has lived an hour-and-a-half west in Hillsboro for most of her life. Her interest in helping people began in high school, when she volunteered at a public mental health institution. This experience changed how she viewed people with differences and disabilities. “I had a real fortunate life,” she recalls. “All around me were people who didn’t have that. It got me interested in how I could help people like this have more joy-filled lives.” Barnhouse transferred from a private Ohio college to Ohio University her first year to continue to study psychology and to be near her husband-to-be, Sam Barnhouse, an education major (BSED ’72). The couple would have married then, but it was the 1970s and according to state law, women younger than age 21 couldn’t legally wed without their parents’ signatures. Education was important to Barnhouse’s mother and father; they agreed to sign the state documents only after she graduated. In December 1973, Barnhouse finished classes on a Wednesday. She married Sam within the week. They’ve been together 42 years. “I guess it was worth the wait,” Barnhouse says with a wry smile. She’s also glad she waited because she really enjoyed college. “I loved all my classes,” she says. “I have only good things to say about OHIO.”

Pioneering pathways

After graduating, Barnhouse took the advice of an OHIO professor and set her sights on a career in school psychology. She earned a doctoral degree in the subject from the University of Cincinnati in 1979. Today, Barnhouse is known statewide for leading the charge to change education policies and procedures, ensuring kids with disabilities are included with regular education students. She oversaw pioneering programs for preschool children with disabilities and helped to establish Ohio’s regional Family and Children First Initiative for a five-county area, with the goal of streamlining and coordinating government services for children and families. Barnhouse recently retired as director of Hopewell Center State Support Team for region 14 in New Market, Ohio. But instead of taking well-earned time off, she’s taking on a new challenge, as interim director of region 15’s team.

Hope for the future

True to her nature, Barnhouse is optimistic about the future of education. “Hope for me is the same as optimism,” she says. “I hope new teachers will continue to walk out of OHIO with degrees in education and put their hearts into their work. I am hopeful that schools and teachers will continue to work hard to help all kids learn and that families won’t have to fight as hard to get a reasonable education for their kids. I hope that teachers will love the job because the kids deserve it.” She adds, “We are struggling in Ohio with a lack of folks willing to go into the special education field. So if you’re in college and not sure what to do, we need you. This is a rewarding and worthwhile career.” And, she offers this perspective for would-be teachers. “Kids only get one second grade teacher, one high school math teacher. So really love it … or find something else that will bring you joy.”

» TRACEY PALMER is a freelance writer, editor, and

consultant and owner of Palmer Communications. A former freelance writer for The Boston Globe, Palmer lives in the Boston area.


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Charlotte, North Carolina, will host the 2017 NBA AllStar Game that February at the downtown arena that the Hornets call home. OHIO alumnae Rhonda Curry (right) and Donna Julian, part of the team’s executive staff, are helping with the preparations.

Bobcats among Hornets


omen hold 24 percent of senior management positions with National Basketball Association teams. The Charlotte Hornets employ two Bobcats in these leadership roles: Donna Julian, BSPE ’85, senior vice president of arena and event operations/general manager of Time Warner Cable Arena, and Rhonda Curry, BSC ’96, BBA ’96, Hornets vice president of human resources. Julian oversees the $260 million venue—home court for the Hornets and up to 19,026 fans. The site, capable of expanding or contracting the number of seats, also hosts concerts, ice hockey, ice shows, bull riding, family entertainment, NCAA playoffs, and, in 2012, the Democratic National Convention. “During the convention, there were so many moving pieces to take care of,” says Julian. “President [Barack] Obama was supposed to give a speech somewhere outside, but the plans changed last-minute, and I had 24 hours to reconfigure everything with the Democratic Committee, the Secret Service, and police and fire officials. And I had such a brief meeting with the president, I don’t even know if I looked into his eyes.” Compared to managing a political convention, a Hornets game or a rock concert—the Imagine Dragons road crew is putting together the stage while Julian speaks—is a drop in the bucket. Julian, who arrived in 2005 after supervising the Royal Farms Arena (formerly the 1st Mariner Arena) in Baltimore for 15 years, runs a department of 30 and 300-400 part-timers. When wanting a breather, she shares a cup of coffee with Curry—

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if the latter can spare a few moments herself. “There are 900-some employees in this organization, and each person knows they have access to time with me whenever they need it,” Curry says. “Many times, they come to talk about decisions that will impact their lives. What’s rewarding is when I see someone get a promotion and I know I’ve helped them in some little way.” Joining the Hornets in 2013 after long stints with Bimbo Bakeries and Pepsi Bottling Group, Curry manages a three-person squad. She also serves on the Hornets’ executive board alongside chairman and majority owner Michael Jordan, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee who won six championships as the star player of the Chicago Bulls. “He’s a great businessperson,” she says, “and my job is to help him fulfill his dream of making this the top basketball team. When all’s said and done, he’s my boss and he expects me to deliver, and that’s what I do.” Fred Whitfield, the Hornets’ president and chief operating officer, says Julian and Curry bring exceptional skills to the organization. “We stage up to 200 events a year, and Donna is our conduit to promoters to make sure every event has the best chance for success. She’s been recognized by folks at the NBA as one of the best building managers in the country. “And Rhonda has implemented new hiring processes, revamped our internship program and employee evaluation process, and found new ways to involve employees in our day-to-day operations.”

LEFT: Rhonda Curry developed humanresources practices for the Hornets that “have had a dramatic impact on our workplace culture” and “produced a more positive working environment,” says Fred Whitfield, club president and chief operating officer. BOTTOM: Donna Julian made Baltimore Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 list in 2002 for her executive role with the Royal Farms Arena. At OHIO, she was a fouryear letter winner and co-captain of the tennis team in her senior year. Photos by Travis Dove

Julian and Curry remain grateful for internships while at OHIO. Julian credits Charles Higgins, associate professor emeritus of sports administration, with helping her secure an internship with the Washington Wizards. Curry received assistance from Bonnie Roach, associate professor of management, and former professor of management systems Valerie Perotti, PHD ’87, with a human resources internship at Structure, a division of Limited Brands, the clothier. The Bobcats and their sisterhood, who constitute almost a quarter of senior management positions with NBA teams, rank highest for diversity hiring in front office positions in men’s professional sports, according to research studies by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, part of the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program in the University of Central Florida’s College of Business Administration. Major League Baseball tallied 22.6 percent and the National Football League 19 percent. Nonetheless, while the NBA “did well overall for gender, especially in the League Office, women were still not well represented at the senior team levels and attention needs to be paid there,” states the report on NBA hiring practices.

» BENJAMIN GLEISSER is an award-winning writer based in Toronto. He has published pieces in Sporting News, Entrepreneur, and the Toronto Star and focuses on college and university alumni magazines.


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The family they chose


eanna, Cheryl, Gretchen, Julie, Korinne, and Amit didn’t have biological sisters as Ohio University freshmen in fall 1986. Graduating four years later, they parted as de facto siblings. “They know me better than I know myself,” said Korinne (Landes) Caniglia, BSJ ’90, a freelance writer from the Cleveland area and mother of two boys. “We had common values that united us and turned into years of deep friendship.” As hard-working, service- and civic-minded individuals, the cohort bonded over similar morals and academic focus. The selfproclaimed “super nerds” went on to achieve distinction in their fields, using OHIO as a springboard. “Our senior year, we all served in the top positions for our respective organizations outside of the classroom,” said Lt. Col. Gretchen Dietrich, BSIT ’90, who joined the Air Force ROTC while studying industrial technology. After assignments to Kosovo and the Azores islands, she now is on President Barack Obama’s Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission in Washington, D.C. Before success, marriage, children, and challenges of adulthood, they were nervous freshmen, giddy for the Marching 110 and fueled by euchre and Pizza Hut. Their kinship started with lynchpin Leanna (Murphy) Dono, BSJ ’90, founder of Organized for Discovery, a corporate training practice in Durham, North Carolina. Ordained the “queen of

planned activities” by her comrades, she introduced the friends after meeting each in classes and extracurriculars. “I met Leanna on our first day of Professor Sally Walters’ news reporting class,” said Julie (Komerofsky) Remer, BSJ ’90, a Pampered Chef consultant from Columbus, Ohio. “We had adjoining typewriters, matching haircuts, and huge 1980s glasses.” Before long, friends became family. As in such dynamics, the Bobcats shared values while coveting independence. Empowering one another, they separately founded clubs, led church groups, held part-time jobs, and studied together long into the night. “Ohio University is where I started my life in the U.S. and found my direction,” said Amit Magan, BSEE ’90, a principal in Ernst & Young’s finance performance improvement practice in Upper Arlington, Ohio. Raised in Mumbai, India, Magan was perhaps the most wide-eyed freshman in the bunch. But his newfound sisters took him under their wing—via formals, football games, and road trips for holidays. “As my family was many miles away, these friends and their families became my family. They adopted me into the fold and included me in their get-togethers when their families came to visit,” Magan said. “Other guys were around at that time, but I seem to be the only one left standing from our days at OHIO.” That’s not to say that the group hasn’t expanded. Four of the six married, and six children have joined the band.

HOW DID THEY MEET? Leanna (Murphy) Dono brought the group together.

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Cheryl (Ashcraft) Wilmoth (right) and Dono, who had met in junior high school 4-H, were roommates all four years at OHIO.

Amit Magan (right) and Dono met in Philosophy 101 their freshman year.

Julie (Komerofsky) Remer (left) shared adjoining typewriters with Dono in Journalism 101 during sophomore year.

PAGE 14: OHIO kindred spirits (left to right) attend their 25th reunion in Athens earlier this year. Front row: Korinne (Landes) Caniglia, Leanna (Murphy) Dono, and Amit Magan. Back row: Gretchen Dietrich, Julie (Komerofsky) Remer, and Cheryl (Ashcraft) Wilmoth. LEFT: Bobcats (left to right) show school pride at 1990 Homecoming. Front row: Dietrich, Wilmoth, Caniglia, Dono, and Remer. Back row: Lawrence Kizlik, BSEE ’90; Magan; John Wodarcyk, BSCHE ’88, MS ’91; Nina (Polien) Light, BSJ ’90; and Dixie (Dugan) Wolfe, BBA ’90. Photos courtesy of Leanna (Murphy) Dono

“The spouses had to try out to be part of the group,” Dono laughed. “They were carefully scrutinized at first, but they are all honorary Bobcats now.” Cheryl (Ashcraft) Wilmoth, BBA ’90, CPA, mother of two, and Court Appointed Special Advocate from Fairmont, West Virginia, agreed. “As these wonderful men came into our lives, each one was warmly welcomed by the group, as were the kids when they came along,” she said. “Over the years, the types of things we do together have been adjusted to fit our season of life.” Amid joy and tragedy, the friends provide unwavering support. In the past several years, nearly all six Bobcats have lost parents and/or in-laws to disease or old age. “We’ve been there for each other as we face some of the greatest losses of our lives,” said Magan. “The comfort and warmth of my friends have been integral.”

Facebook, texting, and email keep the group in touch—as do occasional twohour phone calls. “We’ve been fortunate to be present in each other’s lives during most life stages, but it’s the conversations in between that matter,” said Caniglia. Dietrich concurred. “The everyday moments are just as important collectively as the big events.” This OHIO family celebrated their 25-year reunion in Athens last spring, with the help of the Ohio University Alumni Association. They’re already making plans for the next rendezvous. Visit ohiotoday.org/dec-2015-extras to read about the de facto Bobcat siblings, then and now.

» HAILEE TAVOIAN, coordinator, Advancement Communication & Marketing

ohiowomen Editor Peter Szatmary Managing Editor Kelee Riesbeck, BSJ ‘91 Art Director Sarah McDowell, BFA ’02 Designer Rachel Rogala, BSVC ‘18 Contributors Pam Benoit Jim Bernhard Travis Dove Dustin Franz, BSVC ’10 Benjamin Gleisser Brian Kellogg, BSS ’07 Kaitlyn Pacheco, BSJ ’17 Tracey Palmer McKenzie Powell, BSJ ’16, BA ’16 Lauren Purje, BFA ’09 Nicole Raucheisen, MA ’16 Zulfa Rizqiya, BSJ ’17 Ben Siegel, BSVC ’02 Karen Sottosanti, BSJ ’94, CERT ’94 Hailee Tavoian Laura Woolf, BSVC ’10 Uno Yi Proofreader Emily Caldwell, BSJ ’88, MS ’99 Printer The Watkins Printing Co.

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis, BSED ’70 Acting Chief Marketing Officer Bethany Venable, BSJ ‘06, BA ‘11 Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations, Executive Director of the Alumni Association Jennifer Neubauer Executive Director of Advancement Communication & Marketing Jennifer Shutt Bowie, BSJ ’94, MS ’99 Director, Creative Services, Advancement Communication & Marketing Kari Gunter-Seymour Peterson, BFA ’94 Interim Director, Online and Digital Communication, Advancement Communication & Marketing Sarah Filipiak, BSJ ’01

Gretchen Dietrich (right) lived in the same West Green residence hall as Dono (left) and Wilmoth and worked at the dining hall where they typically ate.

Korinne (Landes) Caniglia (left) and Wilmoth first said hello at freshman orientation; they shared a 4-H background with Dono (right).

Ohio Today advisory board Melissa Wervey Arnold, BSJ ’99 (alumni representative), chief executive officer, Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Monica Chapman, BSJ ’02, assistant to the president for communications Cary Frith, BSJ ’92, MS ’98, associate dean, Honors Tutorial College Jessica Gardner, director of Marketing & Communications, College of Business Jenny Hall-Jones, AB ’95, MED ’97, PHD ’11, dean of students and interim vice president, Student Affairs Heather Lawrence-Benedict, associate professor of sports administration, College of Business Jennifer Neubauer, assistant vice president, Alumni Relations, and executive director, Ohio University Alumni Association Elizabeth Sayrs, dean, University College, and vice provost, undergraduate education Brian Stemen, MA ’98, copywriter, University Communications and Marketing

Ohio University Alumni Association Board of Directors Julie Mann Keppner, BBA ’02, chair Ronald Teplitzky, AB ’84, vice chair Joseph Becherer, BFA ’87, MFA ’89 Robin Bowlus, BFA ’98 Craig Brown, BSC ’82 Cynthia Calhoun, BSEE ’88 Bryon Carley, BSC ’81 Casey Christopher, BS ’02 Brenda Dancil-Jones, AB ’70 Jim Daniel, BSED ’68, MED ’72 Steve Ellis, BS ’82 Alissa Galford, BSC ’05 Todd Grandominico, BBA ’00, CERT ’00 Mike Jackson, BSED ’68, HON ’12 Matthew Latham, AA ’06 Jeffrey Laturell, BSC ’80, MBA ’82 Timothy Law, DO ’94 Connie Lawson-Davis, BSED ’67 Robert “Rocky” Mansfield, BSCHE ’74 Lyndsay Markley, BA ’02 Carolyn “Bitsy” Merriman, BFA ’77 Julia Brophy Righter, BSC ’78 Kenneth Rusche, BSED ’73 Dustin Starkey, BS ’98 Larry Starr, BSED ’68, MED ’71 Stacia Taylor, BSC ’82 Kyle Triplett, BA ’12 Kendra Lutes, BS ’17, Student Alumni Board president


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Celebrate the recent expansion of ohiowomen to Washington, D.C.! The kickoff event occurs from 6 PM to 9 PM on March 24, 2016, at the National Press Club. Executive coach Beverly Jones, BSJ ’69, MBA ’75, offers insights from her new book, Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO. Register at ohio.edu/alumni/

OHIO’s Lancaster Campus will host the 10th annual Celebrate Women Conference on March 18, 2016. This year’s theme is Celebrating Wellness— Mind, Body, Spirit. Joycelyn Elders, the first African-American surgeon general of the U.S., delivers the keynote speech. More details soon at: ohio.edu/lancaster/ celebratewomen.cfm.

Save the date for the next On The Green Weekend—May 19-22, 2016—hosted by your Ohio University Alumni Association. Events focus on academics and the arts and offer you a chance to renew your wedding vows during “OH, I Do,” admire classic cars at Cruise-In at the Convo, savor On The Green BBQ, and reconnect with alumni. ohio.edu/alumni/onthegreen

All proceeds support the Appalachian Scholars Program: ohio.edu/omsar/ appalachian/

Do you like OHIO best when nature colors it green or white? Artist Betsy Ross Koller’s Winter at Ohio University marks the second in a series of four seasonal paintings of the Green by the OHIO alumna. The first (bottom) is Homecoming at Ohio University. Visit ohiotoday.org/dec-2015-extras to see a retrospective video about Koller, her Appalachian Ohio childhood, and life as an artist.

Available at bobcatstore.ohioalumni.org

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Now offering

ohiowomen affinity items.



Join our

OPT-IN LIST Save 18.04% on

your next purchase.



he new OHIO philanthropic and support initiative ohiowomen celebrates female Bobcats of all kinds: alumnae, professors, students, staff, and more. This brainteaser extols a different type of Ohio women. In the clues below, identify each of the famous females whose last name happens to be the same as that of an Ohio county. If you need a further hint, consult the parentheses for the county seat of the given county. For extra fun, the first and last puzzler relate to the University. Ten correct answers is good; 12 is great; and more is phenomenal! For the solution, go to ohiotoday.org/dec-2015-extras.


She stopped singing with the Motown group The Supremes in 1970 in the name of love of a solo career, and her older sister served as the first African-American woman dean of a U.S. medical school—at OHIO’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine from 1993 to 2001. Give yourself an extra point for naming the comparably impressive sibling. (County seat: Chillicothe) ___________________________________________


She played the title character in the 1945 weepie movie Mildred Pierce. (County seat: Bucyrus)



She starred as Ann Romano in the 1975-84 TV sitcom “One Day at a Time.” (County seat: Columbus)



She soared as Peter Pan—in 1905. (County seat: West Union)



She scrunched her magical nose as Samantha in the 1960s TV comedy “Bewitched.” (County seat: Dayton) ___________________________________________


She tragically fell in love as the heroine in the 1961 movie musical West Side Story—with someone else singing for her Maria. (County seat: Bowling Green) ___________________________________________


She got the punch lines as George Burns’ daffy comedy partner and real-life wife. (County seat: Lima)


She entranced Clark Gable in her last film, The Misfits (1961), written for her by her husband Arthur Miller prior to their divorce. (County seat: Woodsfield) ___________________________________________



She rose to great heights through Hollywood movies such as the comedy Sullivan’s Travels in 1941 and the noir The Blue Dahlia in 1946, but later struggled with alcoholism and mental illness, supporting herself as a cocktail waitress, before dying at age 50. (County seat: Painesville)


Jeanette Grasselli Brown, BS ’50 Medal of Merit ’65 and Alumna of the Year ’89 Renowned chemist and philanthropist


She won an Academy Award for best actress for Silver Linings Playbook in 2013, but young girls probably prefer her turns in the contemporary Hunger Games films. (County seat: Ironton) ___________________________________________


She crooned “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes” and rendered “This Bitter Earth.” (County seat: Marietta)

Yvette McGee Brown, BSJ ’82 Medal of Merit ’01 • First African-American female justice on the Ohio Supreme Court



She made a splash in the 1944 musical comedy film Bathing Beauty. (County seat: Bryan)



She reached No. 1 on the pop charts with albums such as Teenage Dream and Prism and headlined the halftime show at this year’s Super Bowl. (County seat: New Lexington)

Here are a few alumnae we’ve celebrated over the years:


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Each year, the Ohio University Alumni Association and OHIO Athletics honor alumni who have made OHIO proud, and the nominations for those awards come from Bobcats like you.




Of course you do!

She won a 1964 Grammy Award for best rock ‘n’ roll recording for “Downtown,” but she also earlier earned considerable acclaim as a versatile child performer in Britain. (County seat: Springfield)

And for Bobcats who prefer politics to entertainment, here’s a bonus question about a pair of prominent stateswomen:

She turned green with envy as the Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 movie musical The Wizard of Oz. (County seat: Cincinnati)

Do you know outstanding Bobcats who deserve recognition from their alma mater?

She No. 1 wants to be president of the U.S.—and has appeared at OHIO more than once—and she No. 2 has been mentioned as a presidential possibility from the same party. (County seats: Wilmington and Lebanon) ___________________________________________

» JIM BERNHARD has authored books on numerous

topics, including Final Chapters: How Famous Authors Died (2015) and Puns, Puzzles, and Wordplay (2014), both released by Skyhorse Publishing.

Kate Ann Wright Comella, BSHE ’92 Charles J. and Claire O. Ping Recent Graduate Award ’97 • Educational entrepreneur Who’s next? Our new, easy online submission form is now available here: ohio.edu/alumni/involve/ alumni-awards. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 1, 2016. OHIO UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

740.593.4300 • ohio.edu/alumni


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P A I D Advancement Services WUSOC 164 1 Ohio University Athens, Ohio 45701-0869

Kabana Karma


hio University alumna Joni Kabana is a visual artist who embodies the Bobcat spirit of adventure as she travels the world, photographing moments and turning them into stories. Kabana, who earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1979, placed her work in the hands of thousands as the photographer for Cheryl Strayed’s portrait in the 2012 adventure memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, a New York Times bestseller that was adapted into a 2014 film starring Reese Witherspoon. This photo is from her series, “Do,” which speaks to the action-oriented nature of her work. Kabana offers ohiowomen an exclusive audiovisual story online at ohiotoday.org/dec-2015-extras, where she recounts the making of five of her favorite photographs. —Kaitlyn Pacheco, BSJ ’17 Photo courtesy of Joni Kabana

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