Shawnee Magazine 2022

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We prepare today’s students to succeed in tomorrow’s world.

Jeff Bauer, PhD University President

Eric Andrew Braun, J.D. Vice President, Advancement & Enrollment Management

Chris Moore Executive Director, SSU Development Foundation


Amber Montavon, ‘16 Assistant Director, Advancement Communications


Kara (Bobo) Stump, ‘08 Director, Alumni & Community Events




Anna Trankina, ‘15, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18


Jason Lovins

Assistant Professor, Marketing Eli Cole, ‘22 Drew Lowe, ‘22 Cassidy Starnes, ‘21, ‘22 Kaleb Kendall, ‘20 Marketing Content Creator Kyle Wisniewski, ‘22 Taylor Jo Young, ‘22


Jeremy Reed Photography Anna Trankina, ‘15, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18 Ryan Penix, ‘22 Madison Justice, ‘23

Elizabeth Blevins Executive Director, Marketing & Communications

Alumni & Community Events

Shawnee State University 940 Second Street Portsmouth, OH 45662

Phone: (740) 351-3284 Email:

Class Notes & Milestones: Editor:

The Shawnee Magazine is printed by Progress Printing Plus, Lynchburg, VA.

© 2022

Donor Spotlight: Wheelers’ Decades of Service to SSU

Class Notes


Esports wins six MSC Championships!

Alumni Spotlight: EJ Onu (‘21)

Coach Spotlight: Natasha Ademakinwa

Hall of Fame Classes of 2021 & 2022


announcement of the C.H. Lute School of Business provides expanded academic opportunities for faculty and students like Founding Director Dr. Steven Rader (center), marketing student Ramiah Wallace (left), and information systems management student Chloe Legg (right). Read more starting on page 22.

AUTUMN 2022 | 1 WHAT’S INSIDE FEATURES 2 Shawnee State at a Glance 3 Letter from President Jeff Bauer 4 SSU
for Qualifying Students 5 Founder’s Medal Recipients 6 A Nursing Family 8 Alumni Association
& 2022 10 Commencement:
13 MOT students connect with Golden Bears 14 Alumni
Graduate builds career in Extended Reality 16 What Bears Do: Campus Life 18 Students complete GPS tagging of Greenlawn Cemetery 20 Remembering Susan Warsaw 22 Announcing the C.H. Lute School of Business 34 SSUDF Campaign Updates 36 SSUDF Grant Spotlight: Internship Support Fund 38 Meet Dr. Sunil Ahuja, Provost and Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs 40 Game Design ranks #9! 42 Plastics Engineering Technology receives ABET Accreditation 44 New Program Spotlights: Composition & Rhetoric and Information Systems (Cybersecurity) 46 Faculty Awards 2022 48 Faculty & Administration Accomplishments 49 Faculty
Li 50
Awards 2021
Autumn 2021 & Spring 2022
Spotlight: Dr. Jinlu
Dr. Lavanya Vemsani receives Fulbright Award
Service Recognition
Kricker Innovation Hub receives $1.5 million in grant funding
Annual Funds Honor Roll
14 20 18 30 22 38
2 | SHAWNEE MAGAZINE • SHAWNEE STATE AT A GLANCE SSU International Students Currently Represent 29 Countries including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, The Netherlands, Trinidad + Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, + United Kingdom. Intercollegiate Men’s and Women’s Athletics Teams Including baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, bowling, golf, cross country, track, tennis, esports, swimming, + soccer. 22 #9 in Nation for Game Design Study Abroad Opportunities Four-week programs offered through KIIS (Kentucky Institute for International Studies) or semester and one-year exchange through ISEP (International Student Exchange Program) in Spain, China, and Netherlands. 3,200 Students SSU offers undergraduate degree programs, master degrees in Education, Occupational Therapy and Mathematics, a Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate, and a growing number of online degrees. 15:1 Student-to-teacher ratio `
in Health Care Administration, Game Design, Mathematics, and Occupational Therapy. One of the lowest tuition rates in the state of Ohio and in-state tuition for
and students
Special Scholarships are available for students
+ West Virginia. 50+ Clubs & Organizations based on Majors, Interests, Diversity, Religious Beliefs + Political Affiliations Ranked among Best Colleges by U.S. News + World Report for the fourth year in a row SHAWNEE STATE AT A GLANCE Four National Championships Women’s Basketball 1999 NAIA Championship, Seth Farmer 2019 NAIA Track & Field Individual Championship, Men’s Basketball 2021 NAIA Championship, Esports Hearthstone 2021 NACE Championship
degrees are at work in
and creators. 17,000 Alumni 70 Areas of Study ABET accredited Plastics Engineering Technology programs in the world 1 4 of
many Kentucky counties
in Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, + Wisconsin.
throughout Kentucky
48 states
across the world. Our graduates
making a difference as doctors, teachers, therapists, engineers, innovators,

Revitalizing Our Region Through Education and Innovation

Dear Friends,

It’s a great day to be a Shawnee State Bear. It’s also a great time to be a resident of southern Ohio. In his State of the State address held this past spring, Governor Mike DeWine announced that a “comprehensive investment in Appalachia” benefits the entire state. Shawnee State University stands ready to lead revitalization efforts in Appalachia Ohio through education, innovation and partnership.

We have invested in our downtown with the development and reconstruction of the Kricker Innovation Hub. Working with the City of Portsmouth and regional business leaders, we have plans to create an Arts & Innovation District that will further connect Shawnee State, our Kricker Innovation Hub, the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts and community assets to open more technology, research and development resources to the public and the business community. The Center on Rural Innovation named Portsmouth one of the nation’s cities most ripe for tech entrepreneurship. Recently, the U.S. Economic Development Association awarded Shawnee State nearly $1.5 million to launch an entrepreneurship accelerator program at the Kricker Innovation Hub.

This plan leverages our #9 ranked game design programs, enhanced cybersecurity and computer science programs, and our regionally recognized health and science degrees to drive research and innovation in our region.

We’re off to a tremendous start. Many of the elements for successful growth have been cultivated in southern Ohio over the last four years. We are continuing to develop them – and connect them – to help our students, graduates and their families thrive. And, because sustained progress hinges on actionable plans, we unveiled a new five-year Strategic Plan last year that identifies key initiatives in the areas of academics, enrollment growth, service to our students and community, continuous improvement, and diversity and inclusion.

With this plan as our guide, we have significantly advanced and strengthened the institution for today’s students, and for future generations.

We have expanded academic programming and are adopting progressive delivery models that are attractive to traditional students and adult learners. We created the Center for Lifelong Learning where continuing education programs, accelerated certificate programs, and personalized learning is available to all. We launched new degree programs in criminal justice, environmental geology, cybersecurity, rhetoric and composition, and esports. We announced the C.H. Lute School of Business and are finalizing accreditation of our business programs and the development of an MBA program.

We also made a college education more accessible for students with demonstrated needs this year. Thanks to our donors and Friends of Shawnee Scholarship, qualifying students from our immediate region now receive free tuition. (Let me repeat that.) Free tuition is available at Shawnee State. As you’ll hear from some of our new students profiled in the magazine, this program is changing lives.

Recent accomplishments in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, facilities planning, technology, athletics, community engagement, and student life are helping us create a campus culture where personalized education and attention can be taken to a new level.

As you can see, we have much to share. Enjoy our annual issue of Shawnee Magazine. I hope it makes you as proud of your campus community as it does those of us who teach and provide services here. Go Bears!

Making College Possible Through Free Tuition

Shawnee State University has been making college possible since its beginning. This year, with the help of the Friends of Shawnee Scholarship, SSU started providing free undergraduate tuition for qualifying students with demonstrated financial need.

“Learning that I could earn my degree without taking on debt was just incredible news,” Lizzy Miller, a freshman from Chillicothe High School, said. “I was 100% worried about how I was going to pay for college. Now, that’s no longer a concern.”

Miller is studying to be a nurse.

“I knew I wanted to come to Shawnee State,” she said. “I’ve heard so many good things about the

nursing program here. I’m excited about this first year of college and what it means for my future.”

Like Miller, Rachel Music, a student from Raceland High School says the cost of college played a big role in her decision-making process. A future radiologic technician, Music said she learned of SSU’s new free tuition for Pell-eligible students from her high school guidance counselor.

“This really made my choice easy,” she said.

Students from Scioto, Pike, Lawrence, Adams, Jackson and Ross counties in Ohio; and Boyd, Greenup and Lewis counties in Kentucky who qualify for Federal Pell Grant assistance are eligible for free tuition consideration. The program is for first-time undergraduate students entering

SSU who have a high school grade point average of at least 3.0 and an ACT score of at least 18. Qualifying students must also attend college fulltime. College Credit Plus students who earned college credit while in high school are eligible.

“Making a high-quality college education accessible and affordable is what Shawnee State has always been about,” SSU President Jeff Bauer said. “In addition to the free tuition program, we have expanded scholarships and offer a tuition guarantee that locks in a student’s tuition for four years.”

To learn more about Shawnee State University’s Free Tuition program, visit free-tuition.

Rachel Music // Radiologic Technology Lizzy Miller // Nursing

Shawnee State University celebrates Founder’s Day


“We are advancing Shawnee State University in the region,” said SSU President Bauer. “That’s what our founders wanted us to do. Thirty-six years later, we applaud the vision of our early leaders and continue the work they began.”

Delivering his State of the University address to the gathered crowd, President Bauer shared the latest news in academic program ranking, an increase in enrollment, and how the university is expanding to serve the region.

In addition to sharing new announcements and accomplishments within the university, President Bauer also presented Founder’s

and Mr. Jim Kricker for their service to the university.


As part of a long line of business leaders and supporters of Portsmouth, Jim Kricker is one of SSU’s most loyal and generous donors. Through his countless contributions to the Shawnee Fund, the Bear Club, scholarships, academic programs, and many more, Kricker has made ideas come to life at the university. Most recently, his investment in the Kricker Innovation Hub has helped lead the university and the region to become a leading destination in America for rural technology entrepreneurship and innovation.

“You have made contributions that are almost hard to count, but most of all you’re a friend and we’re grateful for everything you have done and everything that you now do.”

– Eric Andrew Braun, Vice President for Advancement & Enrollment Management


Part of SSU since the beginning, Dr. Jim Kadel first served the institution as part of the Shawnee State Community College. He served as a co-chair on the community college’s feasibility study to determine the need for a four-year institution and served on the committee to develop the original curriculum for baccalaureate degree programs. In his career, he served in

“Dr. Kadel has not only contributed to this institution in the past, but he contributes today and we expect he will continue in the future.”

– President Jeff Bauer

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Medals to Dr. Jim Kadel State University welcomed students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the surrounding community to campus to celebrate Founder’s Day in October 2022. several administrative leadership positions on campus and continues to support the institution today as the resident dentist overseeing the university’s Dental Hygiene Clinic. Pictured (left to right): President Jeff Bauer, Jim Kricker, Dr. Jim Kadel, VP for Advancement & Enrollment Management Eric Braun Melanie Smalley Class of 2018 Bachelor of Science in Nursing Brian Smalley Class of 2014 Associate Degree of Nursing Angie Smalley Class of 1997 Associate Degree of Nursing

A Nursing Family

The Smalley children are no strangers to the field of nursing. Siblings Angie (‘97), Brian (‘14), and Melanie (‘17) grew up with two nurses in the family and each found their own pathway into their careers after graduating with their nursing degrees from Shawnee State University. All three siblings have now found themselves in different nursing specialties working within the region.

Starting in the SSU Nursing program in the late 1990s, Angie (Smalley) Hobbs knew she wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse. A native of McDermott, Ohio, she chose to stay close to home to go to school because her younger sister had just been born. Offered a scholarship to SSU, it became an easy decision to attend. She graduated from the university in 1997 with her Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and has been working in Southern Ohio Medical Center’s (SOMC) Maternity Department for over 20 years. In her role, Angie has seen a bit of everything.

“We have an LDRP – labor, delivery, recovery, and post-partum – unit so I get to do it all,” she said. “I do labor, assist with c-sections, recovery, and care for mom and baby after delivery. It’s a very hard job. We are caring for a patient we can’t even see during labor.”

Angie’s younger brother Brian found his way into nursing in another way. Working in a different field until his job was relocated overseas, he started to look for careers that were important to his hometown. At the time he was considering the nursing program at SSU, Angie was already working as a nurse while his younger sister Melanie was about to start the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at the university.

“I honestly had never thought of nursing before that time and I didn’t think I would like it as a profession or that I was a particularly good fit,” he said. “It wasn’t until I was in the SSU program and working in the field that I truly developed a passion for nursing.”

Brian is currently the Nurse Director for Child & Adolescent Services at River Park Behavioral Hospital in Huntington, West Virgina. In his role he oversees the nurses and Mental Health Technicians on the acute, residential trauma, and the teen sex offender program – units that care for youth that span from ages seven to seventeen.

Younger sister Melanie obtained her BSN from SSU in 2017 and began working in SOMC’s Progressive Care Unit, a transitional unit between a regular medical floor and intensive care.

“My favorite part of being a nurse is by far the connections I get to make with my patients,” she said. “When you care for someone 12 hours a day for several days in a row you learn a lot about them and get to know them very personally.”

All three siblings have found the opportunity to work in the same field an interesting experience to share.

“It’s great to have Angie and Melanie in the same field because we have individuals in our personal lives that understand the highs and the lows of the profession and have had similar experiences,” said Brian. “None of us have ever worked together and work in very different areas and roles, but many of our experiences still align and we have a chance to share those experiences with someone else who truly gets it because they have been there.”

Taking different pathways to become a nurse – Angie with her ADN out of high school, Brian returning as a non-traditional student to pursue his ADN, and Melanie obtaining her BSN – each of them were prepared for successful careers thanks to SSU.

“I had a fantastic group of instructors and our class size was small – both of which were invaluable to my experience,” said Melanie. “I know that the program, my instructors, and my classmates are what helped shape me into the nurse I am today.”

Looking at their experiences in the nursing field, Angie is thankful to share this profession with her family.

“I am so proud to tell others that both of my siblings are also nurses and that we all graduated from SSU,” said Angie. “My daughter is currently enrolled in the nursing program at Shawnee State and will graduate in the fall.”

SSU offers many pathways in the nursing industry - the Associate Degree of Nursing, LPN-RN Pathway, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and the fully online RN-BSN Pathway. The programs have been regionallyrecognized for their excellence in the classroom, in clinical setup, and for job placement after graduation.

To learn more about nursing opportunities at Shawnee State University, visit

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The Shawnee State University Alumni Association recognizes individuals for their achievements in their career fields, within their communities, and in the classroom in the presentation of the Alumni Association Awards.

Distinguished Alumnus

Presented to an alumnus who has demonstrated distinguished professional achievement, personal qualities, and service to Shawnee State University.


Class of 2016

Distinguished Alumnus 2021 AWARD WINNER

A 2016 graduate in Sport Management, DeLano Thomas began his degree in 2002 as a stand-out member of the Men’s Basketball team. He then pursued a professional basketball career that spanned nine years in six countries, while also gaining valuable coaching experience in Uruguay and Norway. In 2012, he returned to SSU, serving as an Assistant Coach of Men’s Basketball while completing his college degree and was then named Head Coach. He led the program to its first-ever NAIA National Championship, the team to an overall record of 31-2, and was named NAIA Coach of the Year and Don Meyer Coach of the Year for the 202021 season. Thomas is a member of the SSU Athletic Hall of Fame and is a great ambassador for the community being the Portsmouth Unity Project Award winner in 2021. He resides in Portsmouth, Ohio with his wife Sthefany and children, Trey (4) and Zoe (1).

DR. AMY HEIM Class of 2009

Medal of Merit

Presented to an alumnus who has demonstrated career achievements and outstanding performance in their profession.

DR. CURT LAIRD Class of 1998

Medal of Merit 2021 AWARD WINNER

A 1998 Sport Management graduate, Dr. Curt Laird is the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at Columbus State Community College in Columbus, Ohio. During his twenty-year career in higher education, Dr. Laird has held a variety of roles in multiple states, including Dean of Health & Human Services at Columbus State. In his Dean’s role, he has led efforts in the planning and implementation of all activities associated with the College’s School of Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts Mitchell Hall Building, which is the showcase facility on his campus. With a wide experience in instructional and administrative university roles, Dr. Laird also obtained degrees from Ohio University (Ph.D.), West Virginia University (M.S.), and Columbus State (A.A.S.). He serves on both the College of Professional Studies Advisory Board and Sport Management Program Advisory Board at SSU.

Distinguished Alumnus 2022 AWARD WINNER

A 2009 graduate of the Biomedical Sciences program (PreMed), Dr. Amy Heim is a Scioto County native. She had dreams of pursuing art and design but soon discovered a call for dentistry – in her mind the perfect combination of arts and science. After graduating from SSU she pursued her dental degree at Ohio State University and completed a one-year General Practice Residency at Summa Hospitals in Akron, Ohio. Upon her graduation, she returned to her hometown and purchased Dr. Steve Fitzer’s private dental practice in Portsmouth, Ohio. She prides herself on practicing relationshipbased dentistry – taking time to hear her patient’s stories and understand each patient’s needs. She values continuous growth and learning and studies at Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education where she serves as an advisor and visiting faculty member. She is a member of the SSU College of Professional Studies Advisory Board and regularly leads the Give Kids a Smile event with the SSU Dental Hygiene program each year.

Alumni Community Service

Presented to an alumnus in recognition for their outstanding volunteer service and contributions to the community.

NANCY DONINI Class of 1973

Alumni Community Service 2022 AWARD WINNER

A 1973 graduate of the Dental Hygiene program, Nancy Donini worked along with recent graduates to create the Southern Ohio Dental Hygienist Association in December of that year. Since 2012, she has served on the Scioto County Habitat for Humanity Board, offering over 150 hours of service per year in Habitat activities. While serving as the Fundraising Chair, she raised $15,000-$20,000 each year to build homes in Scioto County. She has also been an advocate to solicit items for the organization’s Tri-State Restore’s. She is an active member of the Golden Bears organization and a dedicated fan of SSU basketball programs.

ZACHARY BROOKS Class of 2012

Medal of Merit 2022 AWARD WINNER

The Medal of Merit recipient is Zachary Brooks. Graduating in 2012 with a degree in International Relations, Brooks enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served in the 75th Ranger Regiment. He was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington and was a member of the 2nd Ranger Battalion. He graduated from U.S. Army Airborne School, Army Ranger School, and was deployed to Afghanistan. After his service in the Army, he earned his graduate degree in Emergency Management from Arizona State University and is now pursuing a master’s degree in Cyber Crime and Digital Investigation. He currently works at a tech startup, mentoring at-risk youth to reach their full potential.

2021 & 2022 ALUMNI AWARDS

Outstanding Recent Graduate

Presented to an alumnus with their first baccalaureate degree from Shawnee State University within the last five years, and who demonstrates the positive impact their university education has had on their profession and community.


Class of 2018

Outstanding Recent Graduate 2021 AWARD

A 2018 graduate, Abby Brinkman graduated from SSU with a degree in History and minor in Political Science. At SSU, she served as Student Government Association President, a Resident Assistant, and was a member of the Women’s Tennis team. After graduating from SSU, Brinkman attended the Florida State University College of Law, where she graduated in 2021 and became a licensed attorney. She also recently graduated from the United State Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. Brinkman is currently a 1st Lieutenant in the United State Marine Corps serving as a Judge Advocate. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and fellow SSU alumnus Nick Fryman.

Alumni Continued Service

Presented to an alumnus currently working at Shawnee State University who has demonstrated distinguished professional achievement, personal qualities, and service while working at their alma mater.

ADAM MILLER Class of 2009


Continued Service


Adam Miller graduated in 2009 with a degree in Plastics Engineering Technology and a minor in Computer Aided Drafting & Design. He obtained his Master’s in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Ohio University before returning to his alma mater as a professor. He served for four years as Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives in the College of Professional Studies before being selected as the Chairperson of the Department of Engineering Technologies leading the planning and advancement of the department, its programs, and its students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Miller led a team of students to develop and manufacture plastic face shields for first responders in the region and surrounding communities, while also collaborating as lead writer and manager of over $1M in grant projects for the campus community.

Alumnus of Tomorrow

Presented to a graduating student who has displayed commitment to their individual endeavors – academic, social, and personal – and who shows great promise toward their future endeavors.

DEREK STAPLETON Class of 2021 Alumnus of Tomorrow 2021 AWARD WINNER

Derek Stapleton, a native of Minford, Ohio graduated in May 2021 with a degree in Respiratory Therapy. During the pandemic and while taking classes at the university, Stapleton took a job at Adena Regional Medical Center as a Student Respiratory Therapist to help support Respiratory Therapists throughout the pandemic. After graduation he completed his boards and began working at two hospitals in Columbus, Ohio as a Registered Respiratory Therapist and is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Health Science at SSU. He resides in Columbus, Ohio with his fiancé and their three bulldogs.


Class of 2018

Outstanding Recent Graduate 2022 AWARD WINNER

A 2018 graduate, Nick Fryman completed degrees in Accounting and Business Management, as well as minors in History and Criminology at SSU. He was a member of the Wallyball Club, served as a Resident Assistant and was involved in the Student Government Association and many other clubs during his time on campus. He received his Master of Business Administration in 2019 from Ohio University where he was regularly recognized as a leading student on several projects. In 2020, he released his first eBook titled “Create Yourself”. He currently works as a Financial Analysist for Harley-Davidson and lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and fellow SSU alumna Abby.

PAUL YOST Class of 1992


Continued Service


A 1992 graduate of the Computer Engineering Technology programs, Paul Yost is the Founder and CTO of Yost Labs, a leading innovator in low-cost inertial sensors and motion capture technology for industry leaders such as Apple, Google, Nissan, Siemens, Oculus, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Navy. He has been active in the technology field for over twenty-five years and has been awarded numerous patents and industry accolades. He is an Associate Professor in the Digital Simulation & Game Engineering program at SSU, where he developed the engineering track and has seen the program nationally-ranked by The Princeton Review for over ten years. He is an active member of the community, serving on several advisory boards as well as the SSU Kricker Innovation Hub Advisory Board.

CHRISTA HARRIS Class of 2022 Alumnus of Tomorrow

A 2022 graduate of the Early Childhood Education program, Christa Harris works as a Preschool and Special Education Teacher in Franklin, Ohio. She is a junior varsity girls basketball coach at Carlisle High School and has a passion for both basketball and community service. She has combined these passions to create a free annual basketball clinic for those in grades 1st through 8th that works to raise donations for her local homeless shelter. This year will be the eleventh year of the clinic and it continues to grow every year.

Nominations for next year’s Alumni Association Awards will open in January 2023. Learn more at

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Celebrating over 650 Degrees

This year, Shawnee State University celebrated over 650 graduates. Four doctoral degrees, over 60 master degrees, more than 400 bachelor degrees, and nearly 200 associate degrees were awarded. Over thirty students graduated with more than one degree this year.

DR. JAMES CHAPMAN Former President of Shawnee State University Autumn 2021 Commencement Speaker

Dr. James Chapman served as Shawnee State University’s fourth President from 1998 through 2001. He has had a long and distinguished career in higher education, spanning multiple universities and leadership positions. During his time at SSU, the university opened the Clark Planetarium to the public, the Women’s Basketball team became NAIA Division II National Champions, the Children’s Learning Center was dedicated, and the university developed its first master’s degree.

“You should be very proud of what you have accomplished, but your steps are not finished. This is the beginning of your next step.”

− Dr. James Chapman, to the Autumn Class of 2021


of the Ohio Department of Higher Education Spring 2022 Commencement Speaker

With over 30 years of experience in the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives, Randy Gardner was selected by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to serve as Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education in 2019. As Chancellor, Gardner oversees one of the largest systems of colleges and universities in the country, working to make college degrees more accessible, supporting programs that help students succeed, and building connections between graduates and workforce needs in Ohio.

“This is a celebration of the lives of hundreds of graduates who are going to go on to do great things, who have persevered during strangely difficult times. You’re here today to take that next great step in life.”

- Chancellor Randy Gardner, to the Spring Class of 2022

Autumn 2020 & Spring 2021 Commencement
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Pictured above: Snapshots of the Autumn 2021 and Spring 2022 Commencement Ceremonies
VERN RIFFE CENTER FOR THE ARTS LOOKS WHAT’S COMING IN 2023! PERFORMING ARTS SERIES With additional funding by: The Richard D. Marting’s Foundation & City of Portsmouth To learn more, visit Thursday, January 19, 2023 Die schöne Müllerin Thursday, February 2, 2023 I Have a Dream Thursday, April 20, 2023 GENTRI Monday, May 15, 2023 Madagascar, The Musical

Master of Occupational Therapy Students partner with Golden Bears

Creating a partnership with the university’s Golden Bears – the oncampus health and social club for seniors 60 and older living in Scioto County – students in the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program gained unique skill-building experiences. At the beginning of the autumn semester, MOT students were paired with different Golden Bears to work on building relationships with someone not in their immediate circle. MOT Professor Ann Marie Allen oversaw the project and was excited to see the benefits it provided her students.

“A relationship with a client is different than other relationships in your life,” said Allen. “It is intentional and you have a purpose to help the person succeed in some way. It teaches students to build a relationship with someone not in their generation, to plan activities, and to engage in different ways.”

Throughout the semester, MOT students and their Golden Bears met weekly and planned activities together. Some pairs went hiking, ate lunch in the Bears Den Dining Hall on campus, and learned crafts together. Abigail Blankenship, a student in the MOT program, benefited from getting to know her Golden Bear.

“I’m getting to build a connection that will last even after graduation,” said Blankenship. “Through my Golden Bear partner, I have met people who are interested in hiring me after graduation. She definitely wants to see me

succeed. We enjoy having lunch in the cafeteria and walking her dogs by the floodwall murals. My Golden Bear knows a lot about Portsmouth so she has also taught me about the area’s history.”

The Golden Bear program has been a part of SSU for over 30 years. Strong supporters of both academic and athletic programs on campus, the program offers adults in Scioto County over the age of 60 free access to all home athletic events, use of the athletic center, and specific Golden Bear weekly activities. This new partnership with the MOT program has given multiple Golden Bears the opportunity to directly impact SSU students’ academic careers.

“This partnership also gives Golden Bears the chance to increase their social circle,” said Allen. “Many Golden Bears are retired or at different stages in their lives and they want to make new connections, especially with students. They have a variety of work and life experiences to share with our students. Partnering with them helps students network and build bridges to possible work opportunities.”

To learn more about Shawnee State University’s Master of Occupational Therapy, visit To find information on the Golden Bear program, visit

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Jonathan Reynolds (‘21)

Alumnus builds career in Extended Reality

Jonathan Reynolds (‘21) found success networking in the gaming field, leading to an internship with the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) after graduation before moving on to work at Aptima, Inc. in Fairborn, Ohio.

Choosing a university to attend was easy for Jonathan Reynolds. Once he stepped on Shawnee State University’s campus on his first campus tour, he knew he had found the place to spend the next four years working on his education.

“My family and friends had told me I would know when it was right, and that was true – I knew the moment I stepped on campus,” he said. “It was the best decision I’ve ever made because I’ve met some of the best people and professors here.”

Pursuing the programming track of SSU’s Game Design programs, Reynolds started working as a lab technician in the Advanced Technology Center on campus. Within his role he was able to work with and study different technology in the Gaming Commons area to gain experience. Becoming familiar with this equipment led him to becoming more social on virtual reality platforms.

“I ended up networking with someone who works at NASA and they suggested that I apply for an internship,” he said. “I worked entirely remote as a VR Developer through their Langley Research Center for two semesters, and they then renewed my internship for a third time, which is very rare.”

In his internship, Reynolds worked with a team and on his own to develop different software for new projects within NASA including developing a data visualizer for the HoloLens and working to improve the interface on the MRET – the Mixed Reality Exploration Toolkit.

“As a VR Developer I’m not really developing the technology, I’m developing the software that utilizes those technologies,” he said. “One project I worked on was entirely intern-oriented and the other I contributed on was a bigger project that can prove to be super useful for simulation trainings.”

Graduating with his degree in Digital Simulation & Game Engineering Technology in Spring 2021, Reynolds’s experience in his internship was heavily related to his degree.

“It’s still game design, just with a different focus,” he said. “You’re no longer focused on creating an experience for a player, but you’re focused on creating an experience for an engineer or user to build something and hopefully have some sort of revelation or notice something they haven’t noticed before that allows them to expand their horizons.”

After graduation, Reynolds continued his internship with NASA before being offered a job as an AR/VR Software Engineer at Aptima, Inc. in Fariborn, Ohio. He has been hopeful that as he continues to build his experience and skills in virtual reality within his role, he’ll be able to pursue similar paths in the engineering field.

“It’s one thing to do a senior project in my classes that shows the design process, but then it’s another to go through it,” he said. “The knowledge that the university has given me has been very valuable. Almost every bit of knowledge I got while working on my degree I’ve used in this internship and in my first year of work. It’s nice to know that I have developed a base that allows me to market myself and present myself and the skills that I have to a future company I want to work with.”

SSU’s Game Design programs were recently ranked for the 12th consecutive year on The Princeton Review’s Top 50 Game Design Programs in the U.S. & Canada, landing in the Top 10 for the third year in a row. To learn more about Game Design at SSU, visit

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Highlights and events of the past year at Shawnee State. 1. InternatIonal stuDents the Center for InternatIonal Programs & stuDy aBroaD took InternatIonal stuDents to WatCh a fC CInCInnatI matCh. (marCh 2022) 2. DIsaster, the musICal Students in the Musical Theatre Department performed “Disaster, the Musical” as its spring production. (February 2022) 3. orIentatIon leaDers 15 students served as Orientation Leaders this year to welcome new Bears and their families to campus. (Summer 2022) 4. WeekenD of WelCome The Office of Student Life hosted the annual weekend of activities to welcome new and returning students to campus. (August 2021) 5. travelIng to Puerto rICo Students enrolled in Spanish courses with Professor Pablo Salinas traveled to Puerto Rico to experience the Spanish language outside of the classroom. (December 2022) 6. DIaBetes sCreenIng Students in the Medical Laboratory Technology program hosted a free Diabetes Screening on campus for faculty and staff. (March 2022) 7. housIng PICnIC The Office of Housing & Residence Life and Neal + Vicky Hatcher hosted the annual Housing Campus Picnic to celebrate another great year of residence life. (April 2022) 8. Color War The Student Programming Board hosted a Color War among students mid-semester. (September 2021) 9. DeePher DuDe The Delta Phi Epsilon sorority hosted an on-campus male beauty pageant to raise money and awareness for their philanthropy ANAD - Anorexia Nervosa and other Associated Disorders. (November 2021) 10. fInals Breakfast The Office of Student Life hosted their annual finals breakfast for students at the end of the semester. (April 2022) 11. homeComIng Court 12 stand-out students represented the Homecoming Court. (October 2021)

5. 3.

12. multICultural festIval International students hosted a Multicultural Festival on campus to share their traditions with the campus community. (November 2021)

13. PaInt a Bear! Celebrating the beginning of the semester, the Student Programming Board hosted a Paint a Bear event for students. (August 2021)

14.PI mu ePsIlon InDuCtIon The Mathematical Sciences Department hosted an induction for its newest honor society members. (April 2022)

15. PI Day As part of the Mathematical Club’s annual Pi Day celebrations, Dr. John Whitaker was the designated faculty member to be pied by treasurer Zachary Jeffries (March 2022)

16. resPIratory Care Week Celebrating Respiratory Therapists, students put together care baskets to deliver to area hospitals and nursing homes. (October 2021)

17. shaWnee sPIrIt BanD The Office of Student Life started a spirit band for students to participate in during Homecoming and athletic events. (October 2021)

18. BuIlD a shaWn-e-Bear The Student Programming Board hosted an event during Homecoming Week for students to make their own Shawn E. Bear! (September 2021)

11. 16. 13. 10. 15. 8. 9. 18. 14. 17. 12.
Emily Dean (‘21) and Brianna Combs (‘21)

Graduates complete GPS tagging of Greenlawn Cemetery

2021 graduates Brianna Combs and Emily Dean worked with Dr. Erik Larson and Dr. Logan Minter to complete a GPS tagging of the trees and greenery in Greenlawn Cemetery in Portsmouth, Ohio during their senior year.

Building on the success of the mapping of trees on Shawnee State University’s campus in 2019, Brianna Combs (‘21) and Emily Dean (‘21) worked to complete a GPS tagging of the greenery in Greenlawn Cemetery located in Portsmouth, Ohio.

“We started by doing a walk-through of the cemetery and doing a health assessment of each tree and shrub we found,” said Combs, who with Dean spent most weekends of their senior fall semester cataloging the cemetery. “We would record what type of tree it was and record if it had any damages that were visible.”

Greenlawn Cemetery dates back to 1829, and is one of the largest publiclyaccessible greenspaces within the City of Portsmouth. Hosting several national record holding trees within the 40-acre space, Combs and Dean recorded over 550 trees and shrubbery. With 75 different species found within its grounds, the students completed an assessment and tagged each piece of greenery they found.

“These records are not only for the public to view, but the goal was to be able to give this map to the maintenance people in the cemetery to use,” said Dean. “When they start to plant new trees, they can see if those types of trees do well in that environment or if it needs special care compared to others in the same spot.”

Both Biology graduates with Botany minors, this hands-on project while enrolled at SSU gave Combs and Dean real experience to lend to their future careers.

“I had never been involved in a project like this around here,” said Combs. “It really opened up some new opportunities in this area, including events outside of the cemetery. We volunteered at the annual Arbor Day celebration and handed out tree saplings that the horticulture students had grown.”

The project gave an opportunity for both students to connect with members of the Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery, the foundation working to restore and preserve the history of the cemetery.

“It was a nice project to be a part of because we get to meet all these people who have started the process of preserving the area,” said Dean. “They were part of organizations that helped to fund our project and supported our work.”

The Greenlawn Tree project was funded in large part through a grant from the Scioto Foundation, providing the resources to purchase GPS equipment to use throughout the cemetery. The SSU Department of Natural

Sciences, Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery, and Portsmouth Shade Tree Commission also contributed to the project. The mapping of Greenlawn Cemetery completed by Combs and Dean can be found online at

Behind the Project

In 2011, Shawnee State University started efforts to inventory trees on campus with location, species, and other data. Five years later, a team was formalized to assist in tree care and develop a management plan for the species on campus and in 2019, the digitization of SSU trees and greenery was completed and made available to view at

Leading the project were Dr. Erik Larson and Dr. Logan Minter of the SSU Department of Natural Sciences. The mapping of the trees has proven to be useful for teaching and learning in many courses, and the thought to expand the project to the community was formed. Applying for a grant from the Scioto Foundation in 2020, the project utilized the largest greenspace in the City of Portsmouth – Greenlawn Cemetery – to provide the space to create a map encouraging the public to use the tree trails and learn more about the species in this area.

AUTUMN 2022 | 19
Dr. Erik Larson Dr. Logan Minter

Susan Warsaw’s Lasting Impact

Shawnee State University mourns the loss of friend and colleague – and remembers 25 years of leadership, growth and community building.

When Shawnee State University was a community college, Susan Warsaw started as an assistant to President Frank Taylor. As she worked in the part-time role and saw the community college transition into a four-year institution, she realized there was not a development office and saw the need for formal fundraising efforts to be established within the university.

“She took the Foundation from not even existing to raising millions of dollars for Shawnee from the community,” said Mickey Warsaw, Susan’s husband. “She was talented at getting people active in the SSU community.”

During her time at the university, Susan led the foundation through three capital campaigns –including the “Reach for the Stars” campaign to establish the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts endowment, as well as the “Poised for Tomorrow” campaign that raised over $16 million in support for advancements within the university.

Supporters of SSU well after her retirement, both Susan and Mickey have given generously to the university to provide assistance to the region.

“To help Shawnee State is to help the entire Portsmouth area,” said Mickey. “Shawnee for as long as it has been around has been a shining light.”

Avid supporters of many areas within the university – including SSU athletics, the arts, and its academic programs – the Warsaws’ generosity has long

impacted significant areas of the university. Both are lifetime members of the President’s Club and established the Warsaw Athletic Scholarship to provide need-based aid for student-athletes who need additional tuition assistance. The scholarship also helps student-athletes who have exhausted their athletic eligibility and need tuition assistance to stay enrolled to complete their academic degrees.

“She left us a wonderful legacy and improved the welfare of the university and community through her passionate advocacy and leadership,” said SSU President Jeff Bauer.

Many long-time donors and members of the community knew Susan well and share her passion about SSU. Mickey hopes her love of the university will continue to inspire those who knew her to continue their support of SSU.

“She saw a need and stepped up and filled it,” said Mickey. “She worked a lot of long hours because she loved what she did.”

Susan Warsaw passed away in 2021, leaving a lasting impact on SSU, its programs and facilities, and the entire southern Ohio region.

Pictured left to right: Athletic Director, Jeff Hamilton, Mickey Warsaw, Susan Warsaw, SSU President, Dr. Jeffrey Bauer



Shawnee State University students are future leaders. When you make a planned gift to the university, you make the future brighter for current and future students in our region. With your gift, you provide foundational support for SSU that will endure, creating opportunities for generations of students to come.


• Arrange to make a gift that can cost you nothing during your lifetime. • Leave a legacy to SSU while you preserve your estate for your heirs. • Give life insurance you no longer need or add the university as a beneficiar y. • Donate appreciated stocks, bonds, or mutual fund shares and you can realize larger tax savings than when you donate cash.

• Make a gift that will pay you income for life.


Our team can provide valuable information on any of the giving methods mentioned here. Give us a call at 740.351.3082 or visit


Continuing the Lute Family Legacy of entrepreneurship and community leadership through the C.H. Lute School of Business

Pictured (left to right): Jason Lute, Jennifer Lute, Marilyn Lute, Chris Lute

Chris Lute is quick in responding why his family and their company have been long-time supporters of Shawnee State University.

“There are so many possibilities and so much potential, right here in our region,” he said. “Some young people move away believing there are no opportunities here. That is not the case, and we need to empower our students to help build more business and industry right here in southern Ohio.”

In February 2022, SSU officially named the C.H. Lute School of Business, which honors three generations of the Lute family: Lute Supply Inc.’s founder, the late Caleb Hobert (“Hobe”) Lute; son, Christopher H. (Chris) Lute, and grandson, current CEO/President, Jason Christopher Lute. A dedication ceremony was held on October 19, 2022.

“By supporting SSU students studying business practices, entrepreneurship and other approaches to success, we can strengthen our economy as well as the quality of life in our community,” Chris said.

Chris and his wife, Marilyn, have been dedicated supporters of university projects over the years. In addition to significant monetary support, Chris was a leader in SSU’s “Reach for the Stars” capital campaign and Marilyn served on the SSU Development Foundation Board and the board of the Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association in partnership with the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. In 2003, the family established the Lute Family Scholarship, which provides an endowment for SSU students majoring in business.

Hobert Lute, along with his wife, Izetta, started the family business out of his garage as Lute Pump Sales on Argonne Road in Portsmouth, Ohio in 1952. He quickly expanded into a range of plumbing and supply services.

Over the years, the business thrived in Portsmouth, relocated to Second Street, and eventually occupied several blocks with its warehouses and showroom on Third and Jefferson Streets. In 2010 Lute Supply relocated to a newly remodeled 100,000-square-foot building in Rosemount which now encompasses its corporate offices as well as the Portsmouth Branch.

Hobert’s son, Chris, took the reins in 1975. The company expanded to Huntington, West Virginia ten years later and began its growth pattern and first steps into expansion. Today the company includes 11 stores in four states. As a wholesale distributor, it primarily serves contractors with heating and air conditioning (HVAC) supplies, and also provides plumbing, kitchen, bath and hardware in some locations, including Rosemount.

The company employs more than a hundred people, with more than 20 at the corporate headquarters adjacent to the sales branch in Rosemount. Lute Supply continue to be one of the top 100 wholesale firms nationally, according to Wholesaler Magazine, and a top 150 wholesale distributors according to Supply House Times

AUTUMN 2022 | 23


“Once I got into the Marketing program, I realized how much I enjoyed content creation and have enjoyed it even more during my internship.”

Working with a local marketing and public relations firm, Abe Barcus has been helping to produce promotional materials for their clients. He is also training in the latest practices in search engine optimization and marketing approaches with real field work.

“I’m definitely open to staying in this area with what I’m learning in this program and in the field here at Shawnee.”

Hands-on Learning for a 21st-century World

Hands-on learning approaches and real-world experience help graduates of the C.H. Lute School of Business get a strong start to their careers.

Shawnee State University’s Department of Business Administration transitioned to the School of Business in mid-2021, with the naming in honor of the Lute Family in early 2022.

“Bringing even more business education opportunities to our region is a primary objective for our university,” SSU Provost Sunil Ahuja said. “These steps reflect our continued commitment to helping our students as well as acknowledging the support we receive partnering with our regional business community.”

The school offers bachelor’s and related degrees in six disciplines: Accounting, Healthcare Administration, Information Systems, Management, Marketing, and Sport Management.

“Our school represents more than 10 percent of the enrollment at Shawnee State,” School Founding Director Dr. Steve Rader said. “In addition to the students pursuing one or sometimes dual bachelor’s degrees, we have students in other disciplines who pursue minors or associate degrees that can broaden and strengthen their knowledge base for their primary majors.”

Dr. Rader noted the 21st-century economy, advancements in technology, and even precedents from the global pandemic have all driven a need for instruction in the best current practices.

“We are in a very exciting time to be teaching and learning about all the facets of business practices,” he said. “We employ state-of-the-art technology in remodeled classrooms in the Advanced Technology Center here on campus.”

Students have options in their schedules for certain classes in some semesters to be all online or in person. Using new teleconferencing technology, teachers and students can come together easily for classroom sessions online. Adapting to the needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need and demand for virtual engagement in the classroom has continued to expand.

“With our added all-online offerings in development or nearly complete, we can make the same degrees available to learners all over the world,” said Dr. Rader.

In addition to planned expansion of faculty, the C.H. Lute School of Business is a candidate

in the process of earning accreditation by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IABCE).

“Earning this accreditation is a rigorous process that requires us to meet criteria demonstrating and sustaining quality education,” Dr. Rader said. “This brings us to a globally recognized status of excellence and best practices in business learning.”

Plans are also underway for offering a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) through the school, a program that is highly anticipated by students and alumni alike.

“The C.H. Lute School of Business is a focal point for aspiring entrepreneurs as well as current and future business owners and experts,” said Provost Ahuja. “The advancements we are making in business education here will have profound effects on the region’s economy for generations to come.”

For more information about the C.H. Lute School of Business and its areas of study and degree offerings, visit

Major: Marketing // Hometown: Ironton, Ohio // Class of 2024

Dr. Paeng Hopes to Inspire Service

The C.H. Lute School of Business at Shawnee State University welcomed new faculty member Seongcheol Paeng, Ph.D., in the Autumn 2022 semester as part of an expansion of faculty at the school.

Dr. Paeng comes to SSU from Brea, California, and has taught finance courses at Azusa Pacific University and California State University San Bernardino.

“My teaching philosophy is letting my students have their own dreams and follow them,” said Dr. Paeng. “I will teach them how my dreams came true and how happy they are when they follow their dreams.”

A native of South Korea, Dr. Paeng earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Claremont Graduate University, his Master of Arts in Political Science & International Relations from Korea University and his Bachelor’s in Architectural Engineering. He has lived in the United States for seven years, pursuing his interests in finance and teaching.

In addition to instruction and studies, he worked as a secretary for an Assemblyman in the Assembly of the Republic of Korea. He hopes to inspire learners with a sense of service as well.

“I will teach serving others,” he said. “Educational goals should increase not only individual interest but also public interest. Serving others is an important factor in business.”


Tiffany Kiwabonga

Tiffany Kiwabonga came to Shawnee State University looking to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Accounting while finding opportunities for connections on a smaller campus. Coming from Ashland, Kentucky where she completed two years at a community college, she found SSU to be the perfect fit for her.

“I’ve been able to get involved really easily with my classes and my professors,” she said. “It makes it all feel like home and that’s exactly what I was looking for.”

Finding comfort in getting lost in spreadsheets and numbers, Kiwabonga has been thankful for how her degree has helped her grow her confidence in the subject.

“The tedious nature of Accounting and how numbers all fit together is what makes me really like this work,” she said. “There’s a reason for everything.”

Throughout her classes, she completed an eight-month internship with an auditing firm, helping the organization administer audits for different businesses.

“It was really educational and I even got to go on site once to meet the clients that we were working for,” she said. “Putting a face to the name was a great experience.”

Outside of her Accounting major, Kiwabonga is also minoring in Information Security (Cybersecurity). During her

internship experience, she was able to see how these two different fields pair well together.

“Accounting deals with a lot of private information, so knowing how to protect that information makes my degree very valuable,” she said. “At my internship I saw members of my team talk with their cybersecurity firm a lot. It opened my eyes to how my minor will really help my degree in my future.”

As Kiwabonga looks forward to graduation, she’s thankful for the connections she’s been able to build with faculty members like her advisor Barry Lucas.

“Barry definitely knows what he’s talking about,” she said with a laugh. “Being able to build a relationship with your advisor is so helpful. He’s actually the one that helped me get my internship.”

While the C.H. School of Business starts expanding its offerings and resources for students, Kiwabonga is excited to see how this can impact other students in her degree.

“It’s a great benefit that these students will be able to learn about the different aspects of business at SSU,” she said. “As the school expands, they’ll be able to find the exact degree they want here.”

AUTUMN 2022 | 25
Major: Accounting // Hometown: Ashland, Kentucky // Class of 2023

A Championship Year for Esports

Established as a varsity athletic team at Shawnee State University in the 2018-19 season, the Esports program saw a collective amount of success among its student-athletes in only its fourth season.

Competing in Overwatch, Rocket League, League of Legends, and Super Smash Bros., student-athletes in the SSU Esports program are creating a tradition of success for their team at the university. In a program that has already seen a NACE National Championship in Hearthstone in spring of 2021, the team followed up that accomplishment overwhelmingly.

“When we started Esports at Shawnee State, I only wanted to see students getting the experiences they were craving,” said Travis Lynn, Head Coach of Esports. “They take pride in gaming here at Shawnee and they take pride in being a Bear. Knowing the university supported our efforts was the boost the team needed to skyrocket.”


League of Legends – Mid-South Conference Championship Runner-Up Overwatch – Mid-South Conference Championship Rocket League – Mid-South Conference Championship Super Smash Bros. – Mid-South Conference Championship


League of Legends – Mid-South Conference Championship Runner-Up Overwatch – Mid-South Conference Championship Rocket League – Mid-South Conference Championship Super Smash Bros. – Mid-South Conference Championship

Recording record championships and achievements in the 2021-2022 season, the Esports program is looking forward to continuing that success this season with a wealth of returning and new talent coming to the gaming arena.

“I knew we had the drive and talent, but I never fathomed taking home multiple championships in a short period of time,” said Lynn. “I can do nothing more than thank the team for continuing to put their faith in me as a coach and leader. For that, I’ll continue to aim higher and push them as far as they can go.”

To learn more about the Shawnee State University Esports program, visit

They take pride in gaming here at Shawnee and they take pride in being a Bear. Knowing the university supported our efforts was the boost the team needed to skyrocket.”
Head Coach, Esports

Jessica Price’s amazing meet!

Coming off a Mid-South Conference Championship that included three championship medals and three new school records, senior Jessica Price prepared for the NAIA National Championship Outdoor Track & Field meet hoping to cap off her season.

Competing in three races at the championship meet, Jessica Price walked away with three All-American recognitions in the 800-meter, 1,500-meter, and the 10,000-meter – finishing the latter race as the NAIA National Runner-Up.

“The most memorable moment I have while running for SSU was whenever I finished my 10,000-meter race at Nationals,” said Price. “I got to see my teammates, my family, Coach (Eric) Putnam, and (Athletic Director) Jeff Hamilton as I was walking back to our team camps. They were all so excited and happy for me and it was such a surreal feeling.”

Price is no stranger to earning achievements in track – in the 202021 season, she earned two AllAmerican recognitions at the national meet where she competed in the 1,500-meter and 10,000-meter races.

“Receiving those accolades on the national stage means so much to me,” she said. “A few years ago, I could only dream of competing at Nationals and running the times I was running. So, to be able to do it and come home with three All-Americans was one of the best feelings.”



Men’s Cross Country MSC Runner of the Year


Men’s Cross Country NAIA All-American


Esports MSC Coach of the Year



Women’s Track & Field 10,000-meter, NAIA All-American 5,000-meter, MSC Champion

17:32.64 – MSC Record + SSU Record 1,500-meter, NAIA All-American, MSC Champion

4:28.86 – MSC Record + SSU Record 800-meter, NAIA All-American, MSC Champion

2:13.53 – MSC Record + SSU Record


Men’s Cross Country MSC Coach of the Year


Esports MSC Assistant Coach of the Year

For stories, schedules, and scores of SSU Athletics, visit

AUTUMN 2022 | 27

EJ Onu reflects on one year of living his dream

The two-time NAIA All-American, three-time MSC Defensive Player of the Year, and 2020-2021 MSC Player of the Year shares his thoughts on what has come for the 6’ 11” all-star one year after he wore the Bears uniform and as he sets out on a new path with the NBA G-League team, the Memphis Hustle.

EJ Onu was a stand-out on the basketball court for four years at Shawnee State University. Coming in during Coach DeLano Thomas’s first year as Head Coach of the Bears, Onu quickly made a name for himself for his ability to block shots – even breaking his coach’s all-time program record for blocks in his junior year.

In his senior year, he led the program to its first-ever MSC season and tournament championships and an NAIA National Championship while being named to the NAIA All-Tournament Team. He is the all-time record holder in program history in blocks (529), blocks per season (182), and blocks per game (13) while ranking third in points (1,578) and rebounds (866).

Onu, who graduated in May 2021 with an Exercise Science degree, worked out with several National Basketball Association (NBA) franchises the summer after graduation before signing to become a professional basketball player with the Niagara River Lions of the Canadian Elite Basketball League where he was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2022. Most recently, he was signed to play with the Memphis Hustle in the NBA G-League.

Q: Tell us about your experience at Shawnee State.

A: Shawnee was great. I met a lot of new people and I was introduced to a different environment. Some of them will be lifetime friends, and I’m definitely grateful for my time there. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Q: How did you balance basketball and your classwork?

A: I stayed motivated. Honestly, school can be hard sometimes, especially with all the traveling, but I had some great professors who were willing to work with me and my schedule. Of course, I also had to work hard, but at the end of the day, nothing beats getting good grades.

Q: What does it mean to be MSC Player of the Year and lead the Bears to their first-ever conference championship?

A: It means a lot. My teammates were a big part of my success, you know, I couldn’t do it without them. They pushed me hard during practice and games. They made me the player I am, so Player of the Year should really go to the team because it’s a testament to all the hard work we all put in. The cherry on top was our first-ever MidSouth Conference Championship.

Q: What does it mean to you to win a National Championship?

A: Winning a National Championship means everything not only to me but to the town of Portsmouth and our families. Coach Thomas and I had been together since Fall 2017, and the first thing we talked about was winning a championship. There’s no better way to leave Shawnee than after winning a championship. It still feels so surreal.

Q: What was your favorite memory at Shawnee State?

A: My favorite memory has to be winning the championship. Just seeing all my teammates happy and jumping around, you know, you can’t make it up. We earned that, and we deserved every bit of that moment.

Q: What advice do you have to high school students who are interested in attending Shawnee State and being part of the basketball program?

A: Be ready to work! Coach Thomas, Coach Lin, and the rest of the staff only want the best for you and the program. They’re going to push you hard mentally and physically, but at the end, it’s all worth it. I’m living proof of what happens when you work hard and trust the people around you.

Freshman of the Year (2017-18)

Defensive Player of the Year (2017-18, 2019-20, 2020-21)

Second-Team All-MSC (2018-19)

First-Team All-MSC (2019-20)

MSC Player of the Year (2020-21)

MSC Player of the Week (2020-21)

NAIA National Player of the Week (2020-21)

NAIA All-American Honors (2019-20)

NAIA First-Team All-American (2020-21)

NAIA All-Tournament Team Honors (2020-21)

MSC Regular Season Champion (2020-21)

MSC Champion (2020-21)

NAIA National Champion (2020-21)

NABC NAIA All-American (2020-21)


Coach Natasha Ademakinwa named Director of Soccer

Since arriving at Shawnee State University in 2018 as the women’s head soccer coach, Natasha Ademakinwa has brought a powerful approach, distinguished record and a new network of connections in the sport to SSU. Earlier this year, she was named the Director of Soccer, now guiding both the men’s and women’s teams.

A native of England, Natasha Ademakinwa grew up playing soccer and coaching at a young age with club teams and academies in London. She earned her first coaching license at 16 and continued to guide young athletes while playing the sport herself in her childhood and early 20s. Several of her athletes went on to play professionally and for the England’s U21 national team.

Bringing over 20 years of coaching experience to SSU’s field along with eight division championships and four undefeated seasons from various programs, Ademakinwa is dedicated to building both the men’s and women’s teams with the best players from not just the region, but from around the world.

“We recruit from all over the world to bring the best dedicated student-athletes to our program,” she said. “We have players from several nations in Europe as well as South America, Asia and others, plus great players from right here in our region and nation. These are outstanding men and women who take both the sport and their studies very seriously.”

Now overseeing a staff of assistant coaches and fitness experts for both the men’s and women’s soccer teams, Ademakinwa is looking forward to being an advocate and mentor to her student-athletes and their wellbeing.

“These are students with a need for learning many lifelong skills,” she said. “From time management to basic organization and planning, as well as resume-building and understanding how to prepare for launching their career, all of these are critical.”

Starting her first season as Director of Soccer, Ademakinwa is ready to expand the growth she’s seen in her women’s program into the men’s program this year.

“This is a commitment from Shawnee State to build our men’s and women’s programs and provide the resources needed to compete in the NAIA,” said Jeff Hamilton, SSU Athletic Director. “We are excited to be able to have Natasha continue coaching and have her passion, experience, dedication, and leadership to help both the programs.”

Ademakinwa earned her master’s degree in coaching and sport education and holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology with health science as well as a degree in sports management.

To learn more about the soccer programs at Shawnee State University and other varsity athletic teams, visit

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Hall of Fame Class of 2021

The Shawnee State Athletics’ Hall of Fame inducted four individuals this year for their athletic achievements on and off the field during their time at Shawnee State University.

JASON BURCHAM Baseball // 1997 -2000

A standout on the mound, Jason Burcham played four years for the Bears and was a member of the 2000 NAIA World Series Team that finished fifth at the tournament. During that campaign, Burcham led the Bears on the mound, posting a 12-2 overall record with a 2.71 ERA in 16 starts and 18 pitching appearances. He struck out 57 batters and walked just 24 while throwing seven complete games. In 2000, Burcham earned First-Team All-American Mideast Conference and Honorable Mention NAIA All-American status. During his career, Burcham won 20 games on the mound and led the Bears to a 147-58-1 overall record during his four seasons. Burcham is SSU’s all-time leader in pitching wins in a season (12) and is second in starts in a season (16). Burcham is a Springfield, Ohio native and a 2000 graduate of SSU.


Men’s Cross Country and Track // 2007-2011

Michael Owen was an outstanding runner for SSU and a member of the Bears’ most successful Cross Country teams as well as the first Track & Field Team. In Cross Country, Owen was a three-time NAIA National Qualifier and three-time NAIA Scholar Athlete. Owen led the Bears to three top-15 national finishes in 2008, 2009, and 2010 and helped lead the Bears to their best-ever finishes at the National Tournament Meet including a 4th place finish in 2009 and 2010. In 2010, Owen was the Mid-South Conference Runner-Up. In Track, Owen became the school record holder in the marathon. He placed third in 2011 in the NAIA National Championships in the marathon, earning NAIA All-American status, the program’s first All-American honor. Owen is a Pomeroy, Ohio native and graduated from SSU in 2011.


Women’s Basketball, Women’s Soccer, Softball // 2002-2006

Tara (Walker) Pendell excelled in three sports during her career at SSU that spanned from 2002-2006. Best known for her play on the Women’s Basketball court, Pendell played four seasons for the Bears, leading them to an 98-34 overall record and three NAIA National Tournament appearances. During her career she averaged 11.6 points and six rebounds per game, shooting 61.9% from the floor. She was named First Team All-American Mideast Conference in 2005 and 2006, and in 2006 was also named Honorable Mention NAIA All-American. In Softball, she played four years and hit .288 during her career with four home runs, 40 RBI’s, and committed just four errors in 98 defensive chances. She earned Honorable Mention All-AMC honors in 2005. During her athletic career at SSU, Pendell also played one year for the Women’s Soccer team. She started in goal each of the 10 games she played and made 76 saves, with two shutouts in 754 minutes played. A native of Hillsboro, Ohio, Pendell graduated from SSU in 2006.


Women’s Basketball // 1995-1998

Vernita Provitt-Lyons was a standout player for the Women’s Basketball team. Provitt-Lyons played three years for the Bears, guiding them to consecutive Mid-Ohio Regular Season and Tournament Championships and three NAIA Tournament Appearances. During her career she led SSU to an overall record of 85-11, averaging 17.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game while shooting 59.4% from the field. She was a two-time First-Team All-MOC honoree and was named Third-Team NAIA All-American during the 1995-96 season and First-Team All-American in the 1996-97 season. Provitt-Lyons still holds the Bears’ record for all-time leader in free throws made (181) and attempted (257) in a season (1995-96) and is second in program history in career scoring average (17.1 points for game). Provitt-Lyons is a Warren, Ohio native and graduated from SSU in 1999.



Hall of Fame Class of 2022

The Shawnee State Athletics’ Hall of Fame inducted three former student-athletes and presented the Ralph Kavanaugh Home Team Award this year for athletic achievements and dedication to SSU Athletics programs.


Women’s Cross Country & Women’s Track & Field // 2012-2016

Sarah Biehl was a well-recognized member of the Cross Country and Track & Field teams during her time with the Bears. In Cross Country, she was named MSC Runner of the Year, not once but twice in her career, and was named to the FirstTeam All MSC three out of four years. She was also an eight-time MSC Champion and earned NAIA All-American status in the 2014-15 season. In Outdoor Track & Field, Biehl continued her success, earning four more NAIA All-American honors – for a second-place finish in 2016, a 5K finish in 2015, and the 10K event in 2015 and 2016. She is the current school record holder for the cross country and outdoor track 5K with a time of 17:40. Upon graduation, she was the record holder in the 10K, and is currently third on the list. With all the accolades that she has on the track and course, Biehl was a stand-out in the classroom, being named a MSC Academic All-Conference member twice. More recently, she has qualified to compete at the United States Olympic Trials in 2020 and 2024 in the marathon after her finishes at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon, in which she won the female division in 2022.

DIRK HOLLAR Men’s Cross Country // 2002-2005

A member of the Men’s Cross Country team for four years, Dirk Hollar ran in the NAIA National Championship Meet every year he competed for the Bears – becoming the first runner at the university to manage that feat. He held the highest individual finish at Nationals for the first 10 years of the program, before Hall of Famer Keegan Rathkamp finished 10th in 2008. In Hollar’s first season with the Bears, he made American Mideast (AME) All-Conference honors, being named to the Honorable Mention Team after recording six top-10 finishes. One of those recorded finishes was with a time of 26:21, which at the time was the fastest-ever recorded by a freshman. In his senior season, he was named to Second-Team AME honors, where he had five top-10 finishes.


Women’s Basketball // 2012-2016

Ali Zieverink was a part of the Women’s Basketball team for four years and was a four-time Mid-South Conference (MSC) champion in her career, as well as a regular season champion in 2012 and 2016 and a conference tournament champion in 2015 and 2016. She made four national tournament appearances in each of those seasons, making it to the Round of 16 in each and was named an NAIA All-American twice – receiving Second-Team honors in 2015 and First-Team honors in 2016 after leading the nation in scoring. During those same two seasons, she received MSC Player of the Year recognition while garnering First-Team All MSC as well. She is ranked second on the all-time list for points per season with 779 scored in the 2015-16 season. The same season she averaged 22.6 points per game, putting her second on the all-time list. In addition to her successes on the court, Zieverink was a two-time MSC Academic All-Conference member.


Ralph Kavanaugh Home Team Award

Chris Moore came to the university in 2007 as an assistant baseball coach and in the Fall of 2014, became the head coach for the Bears. After 11 years in the SSU baseball program, Moore joined the SSU Development Foundation, where he now serves as the Executive Director. He has been instrumental in fundraising for the athletics department and partnering with the coaches and athletics staff. Outside of his duties, Moore is a consistent advocate for SSU Athletics and a willing partner to assist the athletic department in any of their needs. He is a strong supporter of each of the varsity programs, taking time to get to know student-athletes on and off the court, as well as building relationships with many fans in the stands.

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President’s Gala brings Shawnee State students to donors!

The annual President’s Gala connected with over 125 guests this year in a virtual format. With some guests purchasing a ticket into the Split the Pot Raffle, while others purchased a Gala Box – made up of items showcasing the talents of our students and our alumni. The event raised $34,500 for the Friends of Shawnee Scholarship. Together, donors helped increase support for scholarships across campus for SSU students.

Save the date for next year’s President’s Gala to be held on Saturday, April 22, 2023.

To view details of this year’s President’s Gala, visit


Zaph (‘22) & Blake Smalley (‘22) selected three different fossil samples to share with donors in this year’s Gala Box - byozoans, marble, and tourmaline. Information on the fossils and how they were collected were included in the piece. Robbins (‘22) used the university’s laser cutter to create the Alma Mater Soundwave. Taking an image of a soundwave from the university’s Alma Mater, the opening line was cut into a plaque for donors to display in their homes, on their desks, and in places of significance to commemorate their relationship to the university. Tori Oehlers (‘22) & Niki Young (‘22) prepared a series of North American Animal Tracks from molds based upon real animals. Both students have been documenting the mammal diversity in Shawnee State Forest and have employed several methods of collecting evidence of animal activity in their research sites, including collecting animal tracks.

Senior Gifts create an opportunity for graduates to give back!

Implemented in the fall of 2018 as a way for graduating seniors each semester to give back to future generations of SSU students, the Senior Gift program highlights the importance of annual gifts to the foundation and the impact those gifts can make on several programs throughout campus. Since the start of the program, Senior Gifts have raised nearly $8,500 for The Shawnee Fund thanks to the support of over 400 graduating seniors.

I chose to donate to the Senior Gift program to help future students achieve their aspirations to one day become college graduates. Giving a Senior Gift, you not only leave behind a legacy, but you impact the next generation of students. Knowing that, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to make a Senior Gift.”

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Dennis Doaks Class of 2021

SSU Development Foundation Grants Program

The SSU Development Foundation awards bi-annual on-campus grants to support academics, research innovations, and student life. In the 2021-2022 academic year, 16 grants were funded totaling $37,625.95 in support.

Grants Awarded in Autumn 2021

Bear Leadership Institute

Providing youth from local schools with the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills while introducing them to campus life through an eightsession camp on campus. The camp includes free tuition to the Summer Honors Institute.

Broadening Diversity Experiences for Rural

Appalachian Pre-Service Teachers

Providing pre-service teachers with an engaging learning environment and diverse field experience through a diversity partnership with the local 14th Street Community Center.

Center Stage Review

Showcasing the BFA: Musical Theatre program through the creation of a traveling Center Stage Review that will go to local schools for program recruitment. Current Musical Theatre majors will dance, perform skits, and sing to highlight the program to prospective high school students.

Motivations Marketing Campaign + Open House Event

Extends the capabilities of the current College of Arts & Sciences recruitment project and marketing efforts through funding for brochures, banners, and an on-campus recruiting event.

Matthew Scholars Early Arrival Program

Providing funds for food, transportation to off-campus outings and community service projects, and miscellaneous supplies for the students within the program. This program allows incoming students to familiarize themselves with campus and get used to campus life before the school year begins.

Providing Enhanced Resources for Math Majors

Covering the costs of joining the campus chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon and the costs of graduation cords for students within the honor club.

Shawnee Game Conference

Providing funding toward speaker fees, lodging, and travel for the annual campus game conference that showcases the work of students, alumni, and industry professionals through interactive sessions, displays, and tournament competitions.

Social Justice Series

Empowering the campus community through funding for diversity and inclusion training with a multi-project instructional and informational series.

Speak Up, Speak Out.

Funding the annual Speak Up, Speak Out event during Weekend of Welcome to educate students about real-life situations involving stalking, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating, and domestic violence.

Weekend of Welcome “WOW”

Providing funding for the annual Weekend of Welcome activities to serve as an introduction to campus services. Grant money includes the funds necessary to provide approximately 400 commuter students with on-campus meals throughout Weekend of Welcome.

The creativity and drive of our students, faculty, and staff remain the strongest resources we have on campus here at Shawnee State University. The SSUDF Grants program is an invaluable tool in funding the programs that shape those talents. To be able to provide support that benefits our university is a gratifying endeavor and I cannot stress enough how thankful I am to our donors for making this happen.”


Grants Awarded in Spring 2022

Campus Visit Busing

Covering transportation and meal costs for prospective students coming to visit campus.

Future Teachers of America Clubs

Promoting future teachers by funding the start of multiple Future Teachers of America Clubs in local area high schools, allowing the School of Education to build relationships with students who are interested in the teaching profession.

Honors Program Co-Curricular Experience

Providing funds for students in the Honors Program to attend the Cincinnati Art Museum and Symphony Orchestra.

Math Boot Camp

Supporting the launch of a Math Boot Camp where prospective at-risk math students will receive a detailed introduction to Blackboard navigation and Pearson MyMathTest software.

Student Intern Equipment

Funding the purchase of video and promotional equipment for Marketing & Communications interns to gain marketing video development experience and provide content that may be used for admissions videos, promotional content, student experience testimonials, and to document campus events.

Shawnee Spirit Band

Providing new equipment to the Shawnee Spirit Band including silk flags, band and color guard t-shirts, and sheet music rights.

To learn more about the SSUDF Grants Program, visit

Internship support fund makes student experiences possible

Xavier Stambaugh (‘22) completed an internship with Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie in Washington, D.C. in 2021.

Choosing to major in Political Science to further understand the role of government and the way he could impact the world, Xavier Stambaugh applied for an internship at the U.S. House of Representatives with his home state congressman, Thomas Massie.

“Our federal government always seemed big and ominous to me but working with congresspeople and seeing them as real people really let me connect with them on a more personable level,” he said.

Hoping to work in nonprofits or government agencies in his future career, Stambaugh is thankful for the experience this hands-on internship has been able to give him.

“I have been able to connect with staff members on the hill and create long-lasting relationships that will help me in my career,” he said. “I was so grateful and appreciative of what the SSU Development Foundation has done for me. Because of them, I was able to focus on my internship and not have to worry about my financials for the upcoming school year.”

Hannah Tackett (‘23) completed a 10-week internship at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York in 2022.

Enrolled in the university’s Biomedical Sciences program (Pre-Med), Hannah Tackett applied for summer research programs to help her decide if she wanted to become a physician or a researcher in her future. Getting the opportunity to do both at the cancer center helped her see how much she enjoys being able to connect with others.

“I really enjoyed furthering my knowledge in cancer science,” she said. “Our region is deeply impacted by cancer and education is key to prevention and early detection. I am passionate about promoting health education, especially in a topic that is so universal.”

Throughout her time in her program she was able to help test the effects of specific chemical compounds on various types of cancers such as lung and colon.

“I want to be able to help others and create a safe environment for people to receive care,” she said. “To get funding like this makes me appreciate our community and creates a clear reason to work harder on my goals and reflect on how I will give back.”

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Meet Dr. Sunil Ahuja

Serving as the Provost and Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs at Shawnee State University, Dr. Sunil Ahuja is looking towards the future of SSU’s academic endeavors. His newest venture is implementing the university’s, “Shawnee at 40” strategic plan.

With thirty years of experience in higher education, Dr. Ahuja made his way to Shawnee State University with knowledge as a past faculty member, Department Chair, Academic Dean, Associate Provost, and as a Vice President for Accreditation Relations, Institutional Change and Research at the Higher Learning Commission in Chicago. After two years in his new position, he has found himself thankful for his colleagues who have afforded him the opportunity to connect with the university in a new way. Working with them, he has been able to look forward to the next step in SSU’s bright future.

“I think we have a lot of opportunity for Shawnee State to grow and expand and look to the future,” he said. “I’m very pleased to help and be part of the Shawnee State community in that sense.”

In his role as Provost and Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs, Dr. Ahuja serves as the Chief Academic Officer, leading faculty, academic programs, and initiatives. Unlike other universities, the role of SSU’s Provost includes

student affairs, which has been enjoyable for Dr. Ahuja.

“That makes it exciting to be able to be more involved in student affairs, but it is also a bigger job because it expands my oversight from just the academic programs, policies, and procedures to student success as well,” he said.

As he progresses in his role, Dr. Ahuja wants his work to continue to contribute to the elevation of the institution’s profile, the faculty profile, and the academic programs’ profiles while also noting the importance of contributing to diversity at the university.

“Diversity of thought even – not just race or other attributes – but different ideas, philosophies, ways of doing things or solving problems – those kinds of things we might not have if everybody came from the same background or experiences,” he said. “As we graduate students and they go out into the world, it’s going to be important for their careers, jobs, and futures to understand the complexities of the world which we get from diversity.”

Part of Dr. Ahuja’s role is overseeing the university’s “Shawnee at 40” strategic plan that was recently implemented. A set of initiatives and goals for the university’s upcoming 40th anniversary, the plan covers benchmarks for measuring student success, the roll-out of upcoming undergraduate and graduate programs, and a strong emphasis on diversity of the student body, faculty, and staff.

“I think it’s important to use these measures to elevate the institution and to explore new opportunities in the region for programs and students,” he said. “There is definitely a strong emphasis and focus on student success for us to analyze and ensure completion. It’s pretty comprehensive and robust in terms of where we want Shawnee State to be in five years from now for our 40th anniversary.”

To view the university’s “Shawnee at 40” plan, visit


As we approach 40, we’re more mature. We know who we are and the experiences of the past have given us better perspective in planning our future. Our priorities are more focused on what’s most important – our students and our ability to prepare them to succeed in a rapidly changing world.”



GOAL 1: We serve the region by offering programs that students need to thrive in a dynamic world.

GOAL 2: We strive to grow our enrollment and build a diverse and sustainable student body.

GOAL 3: We prioritize student success in our decision-making.

GOAL 4: We enhance the quality of life of our community and region through positive partnerships.

GOAL 5: We provide student-centered and customer-focused processes in our administrative operations.

GOAL 6: We use evidence, data, and best practices when making decisions.

GOAL 7: We are a diverse community that is equitable and inclusive.

DR. JEFF BAUER President, Shawnee State University

We’ve got game! Ranked #9 in the nation

Shawnee State University has been ranked 9th in the nation among The Princeton Review’s Top Undergraduate Schools for Game Design. This marks the 12th consecutive year the university has been named to the list.


Greg Lyons, Professor of 3D Art & Design, has witnessed the competitiveness of SSU’s program and how his students stand out in the industry.

“The good thing about the programming and art aspect of the industry is that it is solely merit-based,” he said. “Shawnee’s students come in on day one with a work ethic that will help them succeed. They work tirelessly in their respective areas to truly hone their craft and market themselves.”

Students in both tracks of the gaming program at SSU have a number of resources to their advantage. Professors and faculty within the program are committed to providing a healthy and beneficial learning experience.

“Our faculty is able to provide students with guidance on the personal and academic levels thanks to our smaller class sizes,” said Lyons. “We want to see

our students become successful developers and artists and discover who they are as professionals in the field. Students learn and work in different ways, and we actually encourage that. Those specialized differences help the gaming industry evolve.”

The faculty in SSU’s program have a wide knowledge of the growing career opportunities available for their graduates.

“As a game developer, students are not tied down to a specific paycheckto-paycheck position,” said Lyons. “Students will have marketable skills in programming and art by the time they leave us. Merit-based skills can get them anywhere if they work hard in our program.”


“I’m very proud of this degree program,” said Paul Yost, Associate Professor in the Digital Simulation & Gaming Engineering Technology program. “One thing that attracted me to the ‘game programming’ aspect of this degree is that game programming naturally has the ability to do what a college degree should do –encourage critical thinking and encourage integration of a broad range of subjects in a meaningful way.”

Yost was a pioneer in creating SSU’s game and simulation programming degree in 2004, an addition to the university’s game arts degree. He noticed the desire within his students to take a more rigorous course load related to that specific area of study.

“During my classes, many students mentioned how much they enjoyed assignments about game programming and graphics programming,” he said.

“Because of their excitement, I began putting serious thought into creating a new kind of degree – a rigorous computer science and engineering degree that placed game and simulation programming at the center of the learning experience.”

As with most technology, game development is rapidly evolving and changing, and Yost is passionate about the program’s continued success as it adapts. He witnessed this firsthand in his program and learned to adapt.

“I am so thankful for all who have brought this degree from a small idea to success,” he said. “Education works best when we’re helping our students realize their dreams, both personal and professional. I look forward to continuing the quest for excellence within our program.”

To learn about gaming at Shawnee State University, visit

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Plastics Engineering Technology receives world recognition with ABET Accreditation

Among the first group of baccalaureate degrees approved and offered at Shawnee State University, the Plastics Engineering Technology (PET) program can trace its roots on campus to the 1970s when it was offered as an Associate Degree at the Shawnee State Community College. Now a signature four-year program on campus, the degree celebrated a milestone this year when it received its accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET).

“ABET is the globally recognized, premier accrediting body for Engineering and Engineering Technology accreditation,” said Adam Miller, Chair of the Department of Engineering Technologies and Associate Professor of PET. “The Plastics program at Shawnee State has displayed indicators of educational program quality, such as alumni professional achievement, high employment rates, industry partnership and advisory board engagement over the years. ABET accreditation provides another level in external validation of program quality for the Plastics program.”

A 2009 graduate of the PET program, Miller is among the many graduates who have experienced a 100% job placement or graduate school acceptance rate after completing their degree. Students in the program are often sought after from major companies before their graduation date, with many completing hands-on internships with industry leading partners.

“Accreditation by ABET for Shawnee State’s Plastics program brings opportunities for students and graduates to a level equal to other major state universities,” said Dr. Skip Miller, Professor of PET and SSU ABET Coordinator. “It means we have a quality program.”

The PET program has had partnerships with several industry leaders including Milacron, Krauss Maffei, Advanced Composites, DME, iMFLUX, Stanley Electric, and others, leading students to internships and a donation of materials to train students with leading-technology in the field. These industry leaders also employ several alumni of the program, advancing the program’s relationship with those companies.

“ABET accreditation opens up more opportunities for our students, our alumni and our program to organizations who seek the external validation that ABET provides,” said Miller. “It provides an additional level of confidence in the investment students are making in their education.”

To learn more about the Plastics Engineering Technology program at Shawnee State University, visit

The Shawnee State University Plastics Engineering Technology program is now 1 in 4 bachelor’s programs in the world with this designation and the only program of its kind in the state of Ohio.

Shawnee State University joins ASCENT Ecosystem through Intel grant funding

Serving as a partner institution in the Appalachian Semiconductor Education & Technical (ASCENT) Ecosystem, Shawnee State University is helping to cultivate the next generation of skilled technical professionals in Ohio.

Receiving funding through the Intel Semiconductor Education and Research Program for Ohio, Shawnee State University’s partnership with ASCENT will help collaboratively develop and deliver diverse educational options across the region to prepare students for career opportunities created by Intel’s arrival to Ohio.

“The Department of Engineering Technologies strives to align itself with the needs of the industry to provide current and relevant education in cooperation with industry partners, advisory board input as well as education partners,” said Adam Miller (‘09), Chair of the Department of Engineering Technologies.

The partnership, led by institutional lead Ohio University, allows SSU to be able to offer

scholarships for students entering programs that are aligned with the needs of Intel and to enhance stackable technical education credentials to meet the needs of industry and prospective students.

“There are a few programs within the department that align with the needs of a facility like Intel, but the Electromechanical Engineering Technology program in particular aligns very well,” said Miller. “It’s courses in Electronics, Robotics, Automation, and Programmable Logic Controls offer a curriculum to meet the needs of Intel as well as other advanced manufacturing sectors.”

Over the next three years, SSU will work to develop a certificate in Electromechanical Engineering Technology as well as a certificate and associate’s degree in Plastics Manufacturing.

Together, the university will work with other institutions to identify new ways for students in the region to advance their education and careers through stackable credentials.

“We continually look to keep our programs in alignment with industry and students’ needs,” said Miller. “With Intel’s investment in the state and our ASCENT partnership funding, we will be doing the same to meet their needs.”

To learn more about Engineering Technologies at Shawnee State University, visit www.shawnee. edu/engineering-technologies

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We want to make it convenient and affordable for teachers to advance their careers.”

Shawnee State Supporting English Teachers with new Master’s Degree in Composition & Rhetoric

Regional English teachers can now earn the credentials needed to teach college-level courses through Shawnee State University’s new, fully-online, Master of Arts in Composition & Rhetoric.

“We are providing a pathway for teachers who want to teach college-level English in their high schools through dual-credit courses and the College Credit Plus program or those who want to teach at a university or community college,” Dr. Jennifer Scott, Associate Professor of English & Humanities, said. “The degree can also help students pursuing a Ph.D. program in English composition, education, or a related field.”

SSU’s program features courses taught in 7-week and 14-week formats. All classes are fully-online and designed for working professionals.

“We want to make it convenient and affordable for teachers to advance their careers,” Scott said.

The program includes ten courses that cover composition pedagogy, writing assessment theory and practice, history of rhetoric, research methods, and curriculum and instruction. A capstone project is also embedded in the degree.

A graduate certificate option is also available, which is designed for students who already hold a master’s degree in education or a related area. The certificate program includes only the 18 credit

hours in the content area of composition that are required to teach College Credit Plus.

SSU also offers master’s degrees in intervention specialist and curriculum and instruction. These online degrees, like the Master of Arts in Composition & Rhetoric, are designed to help educators advance their careers.

Learn more at

Associate Professor of English & Humanities, Shawnee State University

Launching Cybersecurity

Shawnee State University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (Cybersecurity) is an opportunity for students to learn how to detect and defend against network infrastructure attacks. By learning how to think like a hacker, students enrolled in this program learn to use the tools hackers use to penetrate network defenses.

Combining the skills of information security along with a strong foundation in business administration, graduates of the SSU program learn how to develop problem-solving and communication skills that makes themselves highly-marketable and highly-sought after in the field of Cyber Security. Graduates of SSU’s Information Technology program can be found managing operations and security of networks in health care, insurance, banking, consumer product, industrial, government, and retail sectors.

Clint Bapst (right)

Major: Information Security // Class of 2021

Launching a successful career, Clint Bapst has found his path in Information Security.

“I wanted to do something with computer engineering and programming since I was little,” he said. “But I wasn’t the best in math, so I thought about business or an information technology route. It would still be something with computers. Then Professor Dovel Myers started talking about the Information Security degree and it sounded intriguing.”

The Pike County, Ohio native soon discovered that not only could he learn a broad range of skills in the program, but the career possibilities are nearly endless. Through a special arrangement with the U.S. Air Force, Bapst was able to secure a contracting position in security at WrightPatterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

“I will continue to learn while on this job and the Air Force will help me advance to a higher rank and pay grade,” he said. “This opens opportunities for other future careers elsewhere or to be able to stay with the Air Force.”

In a field where the career opportunities are vast, Bapst is excited to be in a growing field.

“Cybersecurity is in super demand,” he said. “And it’s going to be even more in demand as time goes by, with a huge need for certified security people in these roles.”

Bapst encourages others who are looking into a career in cybersecurity to explore SSU to gain a similar experience.

“If someone had a marginal interest in cybersecurity and were looking to go to college at Shawnee, it would be at a lower cost and it’s close to home for people in our region,” he said. “My brother earned his engineering degree from SSU as well.”

To learn more about Shawnee State University’s Information Security (Cybersecurity) program, visit

Distinguished Teaching Award

The Board of Trustees Distinguished Teaching Award is presented to an instructor who makes a significant impact on their students – engaging with them in a meaningful way while providing excellent teaching and contributions to higher education. her Master of Health Administration and is currently completing her doctorate in Leadership in Higher Education. She served as the Instructor and Clinical Coordinator of the Radiologic Technology program for two years before becoming the Program Director in 2015 and as of 2020 also serves as the College of

As Program Director of the Radiologic Technology Program at Shawnee State University, Professor Sheena Shifko has been with the university since 2013.

“More than coordinating this program, Professor Shifko has always kept instruction and the success of her students as her top priority,” SSU President Jeff Bauer said, while presenting Professor Shifko with her award during the Spring Commencement ceremony. “And her students will tell you how important she has been in their lives and in their careers.”

An alumna of SSU, Professor Shifko received her Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology in 2008 before then receiving a Bachelor of Individualized Studies in 2009. She went on to receive

“The award means a lot to me and the dedication I have to my students,” she said. “It also inspires me to know that I am working with a great team of educators who try our best for our students and help them succeed.”

Professor Shifko is a member of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, the Association of Educators in Imaging & Radiological Sciences, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, and the Ohio Society of Radiologic Technologists.

Professional Studies Assessment Fellow.
Sheena Shifko, Program Director of Radiologic Technology, receives the Distinguished Teaching Award from President Bauer at the Spring 2022 Commencement Ceremony.

English & Humanities

Memorializing the impact of the late Dr. Shannon Lawson and her dedication to service in the form of committee work, leadership roles within the university, and promotive activities focused on campus service and outreach.

An Associate Professor of English, Dr. Marc Scott has been with the university’s Department of English & Humanities since 2012. In the past ten years at SSU, Dr. Scott has served in several leadership roles within the university, including as Writing Center Director, Interim Director of Developmental Writing, Interim Director of Composition, Bridge to Success Director, Faculty Senate President, and currently serves as Director of Assessment & Accreditation. He has served on several committees within the university including most recently on those for Ad Hoc Master’s Degree, Composition Oversight, Academic Resource Management, Celebration of Scholarship, Faculty Assessment, and the Veteran’s Committee.

“It’s an honor to be recognized with the Shannon Lawson Award. Dr. Lawson was a friend and worked tirelessly to support students and faculty. It’s a special award and I’m honored.”



Acknowledging outstanding teaching of a new member of the faculty and recognizing the excellence of faculty impact on students, scholarly approach to teaching, and contribution to undergraduate education.

An Assistant Professor of Nursing, Heather Johnson has been with the university’s Department of Nursing since 2018. An alumna of SSU, Johnson received her Licensed Practical Nursing from Scioto County Joint Vocational School before receiving her Associate of Applied Science in Nursing from the SSU Department of Nursing. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and her Master of Science in Nursing with a focus on Nursing Education from other institutions. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Education in Nursing Education.

“I continually strive to provide the best education to my students, keeping content updated and observing the latest evidence-based practices that have been implemented with healthcare. Teaching others how to become a nurse has been a long-time dream, a dream that I now get to fulfill every day.”


Dr. Marc Scott Heather Johnson Dr. Thomas Bunting

Political Science

Recognizing outstanding research from full-time tenured eligible faculty members dedicated to research promoting involvement with students, contribution to research within the institution, community, and profession, and support from the campus community.

An Associate Professor of Political Science, Dr. Thomas Bunting has been with the university’s Department of Social Sciencs since 2017. In the past five years, Dr. Bunting has served as the Coordinator of the Political Science major in the Department of Social Sciences. At SSU, he is a Fellow for the GEP Assessment Committee, a University Faculty Senate Representative for the Social Sciences Department, and serves on several committees including those for General Education Advisory, Research & Scholarly Affairs, Social Sciences Library, and the Digital Appalachian Conference. His published work includes several articles and his recent book “Democracy at the Ballpark: Sport, Spectatorship, and Politics” published by SUNY Press in October 2021. His research explores ancient political thought, continental philosophy, democratic theory, and sport and politics.

“I am especially proud of involving SSU students in my work and showing the value of liberal education and study through research.”


Faculty & Administration Accomplishments, Recognitions, Appointments & Promotions

Highlighting the achievements and work of the past year by Shawnee State University faculty, staff, and administration members.

Natasha Ademakinwa was named the Director of Soccer for both the men’s and women’s programs within the Athletics Department.

Dr. Jeffrey Bauer, President, co-published the paper “Revision of Histiodella labiosa Bauer, 2010, and its inferred phylogeny in the evolution of the Middle Ordovician conodont genus Histiodella Harris, 1962” with Dr. Yong Yi Zhen and Dr. Stig M. Bergström in the Journal of Paleontology.

Dr. Thomas Bunting, Associate Professor of Political Science, received the Faculty Research Award in the 2022 SSU Faculty Awards.

Dr. Jonica Burke was welcomed as the new Vice President of Finance & Administration

Matt Cram, Professor of Graphic Design, presented “Figma for Teaching Graphic Design” at Commons by Figma for Edu – a national conference on collaborative design tools.

Kristina Darnell, Assistant Professor and Clinical Coordinator of Radiologic Technology, was awarded tenure by the SSU Board of Trustees in June 2022.

Angie Duduit, Director of Workforce Development, received the Kenneth H. Weeks Outstanding Kiwanian Award in recognition of her contribution to the growth, achievement, and ideals of the Circle K International organization.

Dr. Andrew Feight, Director of SSU Center for Public History, received $20,000 in grant funds from Ohio Humanities to support the development of Scioto Historical 4.0 – a free mobile app and website documenting the history of Portsmouth and the surrounding Appalachian region.

Dr. Timothy Hamilton, Professor of Physics, executed an outreach event at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia where he ran an Apollo mission simulation for attendees at the 17th annual Star Quest event put on by

the Central Appalachian Astronomy Club. Dr. Hamilton also participated in a large research collaboration called CEERS (Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science) testing out NASA’s brandnew James Webb Space Telescope while observing galaxies from a very distant universe.

Amanda Hedrick, Director of Center for Lifelong Learning, served as the coordinator for the Early Childhood Education competition at the 2022 Skills USA Ohio State Championships.

Dr. Kimberly Inman was named the Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

Dr. Sarah Ivers (‘18), Associate Professor of Biology, presented “Observing Hudson’s Bay Polar Bears in the Era of Climate Change” during the SSU Festival of Faculty Achievement and escorted twelve students to Cano Palma Biological Station in Costa Rica in May 2022 for her Field Biology course.

Heather Johnson (‘06), Assistant Professor of Nursing, received the Early Career Faculty Teaching Award in the 2022 SSU Faculty Awards.

Dr. Charles Kemp, Program Coordinator of Intervention Specialist, was awarded tenure by the SSU Board of Trustees in June 2022.

David Kilroy, Director of Kricker Innovation Hub, graduated as one of twenty-nine fellows from the Appalachian Leadership Institute – a leadership and economic development program sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Dr. Linda Koenig was appointed the Interim Dean of Students. She also completed her third year as a member of the Association of University & College Counseling Center Directors survey team as well as participated in the research and construction of salary tables for College Counseling Centers.

Dr. Erik Larson, Assistant Professor of Geology, co-authored the papers “Gigapan

Photogrammetry for Outcrop Description, 3D Modeling, and 3D Printing” in the journal The Compass and “From Outcrops to 3D Models and Printing” in the journal The Professional Geologist.

Bastien Lecouffe, Assistant Professor of Studio Arts & Illustration, was awarded tenure by the SSU Board of Trustees in June 2022.

Dr. Leila Lomashvili, Associate Professor of Linguistics and TESOL, presented “Descriptive vs. Prescriptive Approach to Language: What’s at Stake in Our Schools?” during the SSU Festival of Faculty Achievement.

Travis Lynn (‘14), Head Coach of Esports, received the 2021-2022 Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year Award in Esports and was named a finalist for the Esports Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). He was also elected to the NACE Competition Council.

Jessica McCallister (‘14) was named the Assistant Director of Annual Giving for the SSU Development Foundation.

Dr. Logan Minter (‘07), Assistant Professor of Biology helped organize and execute the annual Arbor Day and Earth Day Celebration in Portsmouth, Ohio in April 2022. Dr. Minter was also awarded tenure by the SSU Board of Trustees in June 2022.

Chris Moore, Executive Director of SSU Development Foundation, received the Ralph Kavanaugh Home Team Award as part of the SSU Hall of Fame 2022 induction.

Dovel Myers, Assistant Professor of Information Security, was awarded tenure by the SSU Board of Trustees in June 2022.

Dr. Preston Nichols, Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences, presented “Icosahedral Rotations with Five Colors” during the SSU Festival of Faculty Achievement.


Dr. Seongcheol Paeng, Assistant Professor of Finance, will present a paper “Analysis of The Relationship between The Frequency of Pastors’ Sermons on Money and Their Financial Attitude and Behavior” at the23rd Annual Conference of the Financial Education Association/Academy of Business Education in Sept. 2022 in San Antonio, TX with his co-authors Dr. Daniel Park and Dr. Changhyun Kimof Azusa Pacific University.

Dr. Jennifer Pauley (‘95), was named Associate Provost within the Office of the Provost.

Dr. Chip Poirot, Professor of Economics, presented “Understanding U.S.-Russia Relations: The Limits of Rational Choice Theory” during the 2022 Festival of Faculty Achievement.

Eric Putnam, Head Coach of Men’s Cross Country, received the 2021-22 Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year Award in Men’s Cross Country.

Dr. Christine Raber was named Provost Fellow within the Office of the Provost

Dr. Steven Rader was appointed the Founding Director of the C.H. Lute School of Business

Austin Raines (‘16), Associate Director of Career Services, received the Teacher of the Year Award through the Ohio Department of Education as part of Adult Education Week.

Dr. Mohammed Ranjbaran, Associate Professor of Plastics Engineering Technology, presented “Experimental Study of Relationship between Interfacial Instabilities and Mechanical Strength of Three-Layer Symmetric Polymer Melts” during the SSU Festival of Faculty Achievement.

Marie Richey, Assistant Professor of Dental Hygiene, presented “Using Transparency in Learning & Teaching” during the SSU Festival of Faculty Achievement.

Dr. John Roush, Professor of Adolescent-toYoung Adult Science Education, was awarded tenure by the SSU Board of Trustees in June 2022.

Dr. Marc Scott, Associate Professor of English & Composition and Director of Assessment & Accreditation, received the Shannon Lawson Faculty Service Award in the 2022 SSU Faculty Awards.

Sheena Shifko (‘08), Program Director of Radiologic Technology, received the Board of Trustees Distinguished Teaching Award in the 2022 SSU Faculty Awards.

Dr. Gay Lynn Shipley was named the Interim Assistant Dean and Director of the School of Education

Dr. Kurt Shoemaker, Professor of Geology, presented “Scioto Pre-Historical: The Ice Age and the Creation of the Ohio River, 750,000 BCE” at Southern Ohio Museum as part of the PreHistory Lecture Series in April 2022.

Dane Simpkins (‘21), Assistant Coach of Esports, received the 2021-2022 Mid-South Conference Assistant Coach of the Year Award in Esports.

Dr. Duane Skaggs, Professor of Gaming Technology, was awarded tenure by the SSU Board of Trustees in June 2022.

All listings were submitted for publication.

Dr. Jinlu Li

Celebrating over 30 years at Shawnee State University

Retiring from the university in 2021, Dr. Jinlu Li has been a staple in the Mathematical Sciences department at Shawnee State University for 32 years. Focusing on multiple theories within the field – fixed point, optimization, order, variational inequalities, and economics to name a few – Dr. Li became a professor in Mathematics because he loved to pair his teaching with his research.

“Mathematics is a beautiful subject,” he said.

A dedicated researcher, Dr. Li has published an impressive resume of papers, individually and as a co-author, throughout his time at SSU. In the past year alone, he has completed over five research papers and is currently working on three more. His research topics range throughout the field as he finds more interests for different theories.

“I study and do research on topics which I like and I believe to be useful,” he said.

Looking back at his time at SSU, he is grateful for the support he gained in his research and his work in the classroom.

“I enjoyed teaching and I loved my students,” he said. “I got a lot of support from the administration and I also received a lot of kind help in all ways from my colleagues. I deeply appreciate all the support and help.”

In May 2021 upon Dr. Li’s retirement, President Jeff Bauer conferred the title of Professor Emeritus to him for his service to the university.

AUTUMN 2022 | 49

Dr. Lavanya Vemsani receives Fulbright Award

A first of its kind for a professor at Shawnee State University, Dr. Lavanya Vemsani received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award in History from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

One of over 800 U.S. citizens chosen, Dr. Lavanya Vemsani was selected by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to conduct research and teaching as part of the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. The program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

“I am honored to receive the Fulbright senior research fellow award which helped me conduct my research contributing to the history of India,” said Dr. Vemsani. “My research has brought fresh understanding of Indian history, especially its society and culture.”

A professor at SSU since 2006, Dr. Vemsani has been widely acclaimed for her research and teaching in history. Her publications include “Feminine Journeys of the Mahabharata”, “Modern Hinduism in Text and Context”, “Krishna in History, Thought & Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Lord of Many Names”, and “Hindu and Jain Mythology of Balarama”, among numerous other articles. She serves as the Editorin-Chief of the American Journal of Indic Studies and Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of History and Airforce Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs

“Dr. Vemsani is one of the most prolific scholars at Shawnee State,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs, Dr. Sunil Ahuja. “In the academic world where research is

important for the individuals and institutional standing, this recognition is well-deserved.”

During the Fulbright program, her research focused on “History of Hinduism in Middle India: Examination of Narasimha in Text and Practice”, which was published as an academic book. She also conducted another research project on “Independence and violence on the eve of Independence of India” and served as the keynote speaker at the international seminar on the 150th anniversary of Delhi University in New Delhi, India. Her travels took her across India to Nalanda, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Osmania University where she shared her research with each institution’s faculty and students.


Service Recognition

Shawnee State University recognizes the dedication of our faculty and staff serving the students of our region. Whether they are in the classroom, recruiting, maintaining campus, or connecting with the community, our employees are committed to helping our students succeed.



Paul Madden, PhD, Dean, College of Professional Studies

Christopher O’Connor, Associate Professor, Mathematical Sciences

Charles Davis, Associate Professor of Graphic Design, Fine, Digital, & Performing Arts

Sandra Duduit, Executive Assistant, Advancement & Enrollment Management

Dr. Jennifer Pauley, Associate Provost, Office of the Provost Paula Ratcliff, Institutional Grants Officer, Institutional Research Casey Thornsberry, Manager, Vern Riffe Center for the Arts


Curtis Combs, Police Officer, Public Safety

Dr. Linda Hunt, Professor, Mathematical Sciences

Dr. Sarah Ivers, Associate Professor of Biology, Natural Sciences

Beth Lanksy, Coordinator, Human Resources

Pamela Otworth, Executive Assistant, President’s Office


Barbara Conn, Professor, Nursing

Bill Rockwell, Operations Manager, Athletics

Carlos Royster, Custodian, Facilities, Planning & Construction

Mark Yarnell, Associate Director of Network & Infrastructure, Information Technology Services

Jonathan Peters, Director, Public Safety

Bradley Teeters, Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering, Engineering Technologies

Heather Waugh, Senior Instructor, Mathematical Sciences


Ann Marie Allen, Assistant Professor of Master of Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation Sciences

Kara Arms, Associate Director, Human Resources

Damon Cornwell, Custodian, Facilities, Planning & Construction

Alicia Fink, Assistant Professor, Nursing

Robert Gregory, Utility Generalist II, Facilities, Planning & Construction

Harmoni Keller, Tech Prep Regional Coordinator, University Outreach Services

Karen Koehler, Associate Professor, School of Education

Michael McPhillips, General Counsel


Dr. Adair Lattimer Carroll, Professor, Nursing

Joseph Van Deusen, Director, Risk Management & Contract Services

Jeffrey Hamilton, Director, Athletics

Tiffany Hartman, Director, Student Life

Misty Moore, Assistant Bursar, Student Business Center

Amy Queen, Program Coordinator of Visual Impairment, School of Education

Dwayne Richburg, Administrator of Computer Operations & Infrastructure, Information Technology Services

Victor Aguilar Salas, Utility Generalist I, Facilities, Planning & Construction

Daniel Smith, Specialist II of Resources Sharing, Clark Memorial Library

Sthefany Thomas, Assistant Director, Housing & Residence Life

Douglas Whisman, Custodian, Facilities, Planning & Construction

AUTUMN 2022 | 51

Shawnee State University awarded $1.5 million to support local entrepreneurship and innovation

Shawnee State University and the Kricker Innovation Hub (KIH) have secured a Venture Challenge grant through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Build-to-Scale program.

Working with the Center for Rural Innovation, Shawnee State University will use the support of the EDA’s Venture Challenge grant to implement Project LEAP: Launching our Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program at the KIH. The program will create a Digital & Immersive Technology accelerator to build on the university’s strengths and scale the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

“Together, we are building an innovation ecosystem and tech entrepreneurship infrastructure that is the pathway to a prosperous future for southern Ohio,” said Eric Braun, Vice President for Advancement & Enrollment Management.

As part of the Build-to-Scale program, Portsmouth, Ohio is one of just eight rural applicants to receive the award in 2022.

“The Economic Development Administration awards these grants to communities with the most potential nationwide to accelerate a technologybased startup ecosystem,” said David Kilroy, Director of the KIH. “This grant is a catalyst to jumpstart our work and hit the ground running with the grand opening of the Kricker Innovation Hub this spring.”

The Digital & Immersive Technology accelerator program includes both software and hardware, and includes applications in game development, augmented reality, virtual reality, mobile app development, and more.

“Project LEAP fulfills the vision for Kricker Innovation Hub that we’ve had for six years and completes development of our roadmap for entrepreneurs in the region,” said Kilroy.

Creating partnerships throughout the region, state, and nation to support Project LEAP, the KIH will focus on promoting support and connections for entrepreneurs to activate their ideas, creating a dedicated, intensive, and place-based support for startups, and building networks and relationships with industries, entrepreneur mentors, and investors.

“I think it’s important to recognize that organizations such as the Center for Rural Innovation, Appalachian Investors Alliance, and Economic Development Administration are looking at Shawnee State to be the next center of gravity for innovation and entrepreneurship in Southern Ohio,” said Kilroy.

Project LEAP will focus on impacting regional entrepreneurs, SSU alumni, and current students enrolled at the university through cohort-based programs that include mentorship and educational components. The program will also focus its efforts on intentional engagement of underserved communities through program partnerships.

To learn more about the Kricker Innovation Hub at Shawnee State University, visit



Kricker Innovation Hub to host grand opening in Spring 2023 Stay tuned –

The Wheelers first began their involvement with SSU when the school was still Shawnee State Community College. Their young daughters participated in a summer enrichment program and the family was impressed with the opportunities that were available at that time in the area. From there, their involvement with the school grew

“I think the university is one of the greatest things that Vern Riffe ever did for southern Ohio,” said Wayne, talking about the impact SSU Founder and former Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives Vern Riffe, Jr. “As an open-enrollment university, anyone who wanted to try to get a college education could. The fact that Shawnee State provided two-year degree programs was great for the area, and I think Shawnee State can continue raising the intellectual content of southern Ohio as it has since its conception, and specifically since it has become a university.”

Giving back has always been important to the Wheelers. Saundra spent several years supporting SSU faculty Stan Workman, John Huston, and Shirley Crothers-Marley as part of a performing arts board to bring Southern Ohio Light Opera to Portsmouth. She also served on the search committee to bring the first Executive Director to the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts when the facility opened.

Wayne and Saundra have been an instrumental part of the SSU Development Foundation Board. Wayne began serving in the 1980’s, and since then, the two have each served several terms on the Board until Wayne’s retirement in May 2021. During their tenures on the board, both have been part of several campaigns, have given generously, and assisted with planning several events and President’s Galas.

“It goes back to the basic belief that as much is given as much is expected,” said Saundra. “I think we saw a lot of people going to Shawnee State who probably would have also not been able to afford to go other places. I thought that if we could contribute to make Shawnee State a place that people would want to attend, it would make the community a better place to live and work as well as improve the quality of life for those who attended SSU.”

The Wheelers weren’t just active at SSU, but also with many groups and

Celebrating 40 Years of Service with Wayne & Saundra Wheeler

Dr. Wayne and Saundra Wheeler have been a part of Shawnee State University and the SSU Development Foundation for over 40 years. Early in 2021, they decided to retire from that service and the Portsmouth area and have moved closer to family.

organizations in Portsmouth. Wayne served the Scioto County Medical Society for over 20 years. Saundra was part of the Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association Board for over 20 years, and served in various capacities on the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center Board, the group responsible for raising funds to build the SOMC Friends Center. Saundra is proud of the 20 years she served on Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center’s Board. Both have been supporters of the Scioto Foundation, Wayne serving on the Board and Board Chair as well as serving on the Donor Services Committee. Saundra was an organizer of Portsmouth Area Ladies, Inc. Second Presbyterian Church is very dear to both of them, having been members and served on many boards and committees since moving to Portsmouth in 1982.

Wayne served as a professor in the Occupational Therapy program at SSU during the campaign to receive approval for the Master of Occupational Therapy in 2008 and acted as Medical Director of the Paramedic Program at SSU.

Wayne and Saundra also express their gratitude for SSU’s stellar education curriculum, “Our youngest daughter took advantage of the post-secondary program while a student at Portsmouth High School which was beneficial to her.”

“When our middle daughter decided to change her career path from law and apply to medical school, she didn’t have the science requirements necessary to receive acceptance, so she attended Shawnee State prior to attending medical school,” said Saundra. “Her experience at SSU served her well both academically and socially.”

“Thanks to Shawnee State and the faculty there, she was able to receive the high-quality education that was rivaled by no other,” Wayne added. “I have attended a number of well-known universities, and I can confirm that the exposure and experience she received at Shawnee State was equal to the other bigger campuses in the United States.”

Wayne and Saundra will continue to follow and support Shawnee State University and wish to express their appreciation for being asked to be a part of the Shawnee State University success story.


To all our donors,

Thank you for your continued investment in Shawnee State University. As a result of your gifts, time, and expertise, SSU is raising the level of excellence across campus. New undergraduate students grew by 17% and College Credit Plus student grew by over 30% this fall over last year. Three times as many new graduate students started SSU in fall 2022.

For the new academic year, I am happy to share several exciting milestones. Plastics Engineering Technology earned the gold standard, ABET accreditation. The C.H. Lute School of Business was established to expand our slate of undergraduate and new graduate business programs. We continue our reign as the top undergraduate game design program in Ohio and the #9 program in the country. The Kricker Innovation Hub was recognized as a leading destination in America for rural technology entrepreneurship and innovation and was named a prestigious EDA Build-to-Scale Award site. Athletics has added six junior varsity programs that make intercollegiate competition a reality for more students now than ever. This doesn’t happen without you.

We need your help to keep pushing forward. Studies show that concern over debt and questions about the ROI of a four-year degree are keeping potential students in Appalachian Ohio from attending college. Yet, we know that almost every new job created in Ohio over the past decade requires a college degree. With the expansion of advanced manufacturing, the emerging AI and cyber workforce, and an explosion of health care technologies, this number will only increase in the years to come.

Shawnee State is committed to its access mission and to providing high quality, low-cost college degree options. Your continued support makes that possible by keeping SSU tuition among the lowest in the state and through the Friends of Shawnee Scholarship and SSU Free Tuition program. Together we are advancing the region one student at a time and are so grateful that you are part of this outstanding university.


Honoring individuals who have made a commitment to support Shawnee State University through a future gift. Membership is open to individuals who provide some form of documentation of their intent.

Cheryl & Dan Berndt

Fred Brisker

William & Barbara Burke

Drs. Francis Byrne & Julia Coll

Dr. William & Marika Esham

Gary ‘00 & Marilyn Hairston

Allen & Rita Hanson

Neal & Vicky Hatcher

Alma & Cyrus Kahl

James Kricker

Janet & Harry Kuhner

Ron & Connie LeMaster

Chris & Marilyn Lute

Kevin McCahill ‘00 Ann McCarthy

Mark & Debra Morgan

Dr. Burton & Leona Payne

Portsmouth Rotary Club

Kenneth Rase

Kay & Thomas Reynolds

Faye Sherman

Bob & Regina Smith

Dr. Yong & Lucia Song

South Shore Rotary Club

Jim & Sally Staker

Genevieve & Miller Toombs

Dr. Clive & Jean Veri

Frank Waller

Janis Waller

Mickey & Susan Warsaw

Dr. Wayne & Saundra Wheeler

Diana Wood

AUTUMN 2022 | 55

President’s Inner Circle $1,000,000+


Dr. Donald & Ada Appleton

Mrs. Clyde W. Clark

Hatcher Real Estate, LLC

James D. Kricker

The Lute Family Eloise Covert Smith Sodexo, Inc.

President’s Cabinet $500,000 - $999,999

Fred & Charlotte Bennett  Jane Foster

Fred E. Bennett Charitable Remainder Unitrust

Betty Hodgden

Augusta & Rose Jacobs Gerald & Cynthia Jenkins Harold Micklethwaite

Patricia J. Richards Janet Selby AG

Dr. Miller & Genevieve Toombs Frank Waller

Janis Waller Loretta Woods

President’s Council $250,000 - $499,999

Barnes & Noble at SSU

Mary Burke

George & Margaret Clayton Lewis & Carol Crum

Dr. William E. & Anita Daehler

The Glockner Family Foundation  Gracie Plum Investments

Francesca Hartop  Home for Aged Women

Imogene Howland  JAGS Inc., dba Wendy’s Restaurants  Alma Kahl

Ron & Connie LeMaster  Edward S. Levi

Chris & Marilyn Lute

James McElhaney

J. William McKinley

Dorothy Miller

Gail Miller ‘86

The Brothers & Sisters of the Late Whitney Dillon Miller

Mary & Ward Miller

Jim & Dr. Rita Rice Morris

Nationwide Insurance Foundation

Kay Reynolds

The Vern Riffe Family

President’s Club

Honoring those who support Shawnee State University with lifetime giving of $50,000+ or $5,000 in a five-year period.

D. Scott Schmidt

Scioto Foundation: Edmund J. Kricker Fund and the Bess & Marie Pixley Fund

Southern Ohio Medical Center Verizon Mickey & Susan Warsaw A. J. Warsaw WestRock MWV, LLC YEI Healthcare Corporation

President’s Society $100,000 - $249,999

Adams Community Church AEP Foundation AEP Ohio

American Savings Bank AT&T External Affairs Dr. Joseph & Barbara Babcock Duncan Baxter Zella H. Besco James F. Blair  Charles Brown William & Barbara Burke Drs. Frank Byrne & Julia Coll Dr. Raymond & Marjorie Carson Campus View Associates, LLC Marian Caskey

Centrus Energy Corp. Dr. Richard Conard  Evelyn Elliott Paul & Sara Flohr

David Furbee

James Hixon Dr. Linda Hunt Dr. Thomas L. & Cheryl Khoury  Krauss-Maffei

Janet Kuhner  John G. & Thelma Oleta LeBrun Dr. Spencer Miller Ohio Children’s Foundation

Ohio State University - Mineralogy OSCO Industries, Inc.

Albert & Una Petry  Henry Rogowski

Bob & Regina Smith

Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association

Anna Stanton

Anne Strehle

Trustees Portsmouth, LLC Dr. Wayne & Saundra Wheeler Dr. George F. & Sandy J. White US Bank USEC, Inc.

President’s Club Lifetime Membership

$50,000 - $99,999

Sarah F. Anderson  Edith Bannon

Earl & Betsy Braun

Stephen Butt  Dr. James Butt II

Charter One Bank

Delta Dental Foundation

Desco Federal Credit Union

Robert E. & Helen Dever

Dr. William T. & Marika Esham

James & Lois Fitch

Florida Production Engineering

Jody Gault

Gary Gemmer & Dr. Kathleen Simon Allen & Rita Hanson

Don & Sue Harris

William Horr

Phillip Jenkins

Jim & Elaine Jividen  Cecil & Blanche Johnson Dr. John L. Kelley Kettering Fund

Ed & Ruth Kirkendall  Knowledge Works Foundation

Marathon Oil Company Foundation  Mary McMillian

Rebecca Milnes

Betty L. Morgan Mary Nell Padron

Dr. Burton & Leona Payne PNC Bank

Dr. John & Mirka Ray

Rotary Club of Portsmouth

Dr. Richard & Carol Rooney

Harry Schirrman

Mary Schwartz

Dr. Yong D. & Lucia Song

Dick & Sally Spencer

The Spriggs Family Foundation, Inc.  Anna M. Daehler Stillwell

Sunoco, Inc.

Susan G. Komen Foundation

Tanner, Stone, Holsinger, Donges & Company

U.S. Charitable Gift Trust

Vanhoose Stewart Foundation, Inc.

Dr. John & Linda Walker

Randy Warman

President’s Club $5,000+

Dr. Sunil Ahuja

Aladdin Food Management Services, LLC

Anonymous AT&T, Inc.

Thomas & Colleen Ballard

Dr. Jeffrey & Jeril Bauer

Elizabeth Blevins

Kevin & Dr. Barbara Bradbury

Eric & Rebekah Braun

Cardinal Health Foundation

Drs. James & Ann Chapman

Charles Koch Foundation

CKS Packaging, Inc.

John Clayton

Dorothea Coburn

Mark Coburn

Marc & Jennifer Cottle

Tom & Brenda Covert

Samuel Crabtree ‘87

Ed Daniels ‘82

George Davis

Linda Donaldson

Eddie Edwards

Dr. William T. & Marika Esham

Lillian Foti

Glockner Enterprises

Troy Gregory ‘96

Gary ‘00 & Marilyn Hairston

Jeff & Rhonda ‘05 Hamilton

Amanda & Jason Hedrick

Malonda Johnson

Derek Kesig ‘94

King’s Daughters Medical Center

Lloyd & Crystal Kotcamp


The Kroger Co. Foundation

Lawrence Economic Development

Gregory ‘85 & Sharon Malone

Lloyd Martin ‘83

Michael & Teresa McPhillips

Milacron Plastics Technology Group LLC

Christopher Moore

NiSource-Columbia Gas of Ohio

PepsiCo Foundation

Portsmouth Area Ladies Inc.

Richard D. Marting’s Foundation

Pat Rigsby

Bill & Beth ‘12 Rockwell

Drs. William & Christine ‘85 Sikora

Stanley Electric U.S. Company, Inc.

Kara ‘08 & Ryan Stump

Bryan ‘00 & Jani Sturgell

Joseph & Martha Watson

Aimee ‘98 & Chad ‘98 Welch

Dr. John Whitaker

Dr. Robert L. Wilson

WNXT Radio

WesBanco Bank, Inc.

Zebu Compliance Solutions


Annual Giving at SSU

Shawnee State University relies on the generous contributions of our alumni and community members to enhance the education we provide. Annual donors are vital to the success of our institution and of our students in their future careers. We thank the following individuals for their commitment to education in our region during the 2022 fiscal year.

Southern Ohio Medical Center

Kara ‘08 & Ryan Stump

Dr. David & Patsy Todt

Dr. John & Linda Walker Aimee ‘98 & Chad ‘98 Welch Jack & Lisa Williams

Kevin & Dr. Barbara Bradbury

Sarah Bramblette ‘02

Brant Funeral Service

Eric & Rebekah Braun

Dr. Garrett & Barbara Bressler

Briar Patch

Leo Broerman

Christopher ‘06 & Karen Brown

Paul & Kimberly ‘93 Brown

Anthony Brown ‘97

Frank & Susan Bruch

Bulldog Performance

Paula Burcham


Thomas & Colleen Ballard

Barnes & Noble at Shawnee State

Dr. Jeffrey & Jeril Bauer

Earl & Betsy Braun

Canter Inns, Inc.

Cardinal Health Foundation Carl Montavon Memorial

Mark Coburn

Marc & Jennifer Cottle

Dr. William E. & Anita Daehler

Delta Dental Foundation

Eddie Edwards

Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth LLC

Lillian Foti

David Furbee

Gary Gemmer & Dr. Kathleen Simon

Troy Gregory ‘96

Neal & Vicky Hatcher

Dr. Linda Hunt

Kenworth Truck Company

Lawrence Economic Development Mary Miller

Christopher Moore

Jim & Dr. Rita Rice Morris  Ohio Arts Council

Richard D. Marting’s Foundation

Barry & Melissa Rodbell

Scioto Foundation: Edmund J. Kricker Fund and the Bess & Marie Pixley Fund

Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association

Dick & Sally Spencer  Stanley Electric U.S. Company, Inc.

Mickey & Susan Warsaw WesBanco Bank, Inc.

Dr. John Whitaker Dr. Robert L. Wilson  WNXT Radio

Dr. Sunil Ahuja

Christina Baker ‘12

Patrick & Francesca Bell

Elizabeth Blevins

Yvonne Bowman

Timothy Burton

Drs. James & Ann Chapman

City of Portsmouth, Ohio

Tom & Brenda Covert

Samuel Crabtree ‘87

Ed Daniels ‘82

George Davis

Linda Donaldson

Empower Treatment

Epic Games, Inc.

Gary ‘00 & Marilyn Hairston

Robert & Caroline Hamilton

Jeff & Rhonda ‘05 Hamilton

Francesca Hartop

Adam ‘10 & Chelsea Hatton

Amanda & Jason Hedrick High Line Services, LLC

HMAR Automotive Honda


Lisa Johnson ‘82

Malonda Johnson

Knittel’s Service Center, Inc.

Margaret Koegle

Lloyd & Crystal Kotcamp

Chris & Marilyn Lute

Travis Lynn ‘14

Patricia MacLeod

Donald & Marian Madden

Gregory ‘85 & Sharon Malone

Mares Cares Counseling, LLC

Milacron Plastics Technology Group LLC

Dr. Jennifer Pauley ‘95

Prater Engineering Associates, Inc.

Aaron ‘03 & Nancy ‘03 Prose

Dr. Christine Raber

Drs. Steven Rader & Rhoni


Drs. Michael & Kelly Raies

Recovery Council

Pat Rigsby ‘95

Bill & Beth ‘12 Rockwell

Drs. William & Christine ‘85 Sikora

Dr. Aaron & Kathy Adams

Dr. Theodore & Nanita Adams Brian Addington Adena Corporation Gary & Marilyn Albrecht Karen Alford

Alive & Kicking Seniors Ann Marie Allen Jeanette Anderson Ken Applegate

Arrick’s Bottled Gas Service Tyler Arthur Greg & Karen Arthur Backswing Golf Events, Inc. Timothy ‘17 & Nicki Bader Don & Janet Baker Greg Ballengee ‘79 Karen Ballengee ‘81 William Balzer ‘11 John Banasik Dr. Michael Barnhart Roger & Marilyn Bauer Brittany Bazler ‘16 Anthony Bazler BCB All-Star Group, LLC Nancy Bentley James Bernard

Dan & Cheryl Berndt

Berndt & Murfin Insurance

Verna Biemel

Judith Bintz-Doll ‘00


Jessica Blanton ‘10

David Blanton

Dr. Philip & Amanda Blau James & Sarah Brodrock Jennifer Boggs

Patricia Boggs

Steven Boone Clyde & Dr. Elinda Boyles

Ryan & Dr. Jonica Burke

Helen Burke

Herschel Burke

William & Barb Burke

DeWayne Burroughs

Anthony ‘93 & Emilie Bush Phil Butler ‘16

Zachary Byler ‘11 Cabinet Restylers Gerald Cadogan ‘14 Leah Campbell Campus View Associates, LLC

Josep Canudas

Dr. Kenneth & Harriet Carlson Barry & Jean Carlson CDW

Thomas & Joanne Charles Jeremiah Clarke

Lyle & Beverly Clendenin Emilee Cochran

Eli Cole ‘22

Dylan & Wendi Collins Eugene Collins ‘86

Comfort Heating & Air Compass Community Health Rod & Jacklyn ‘00 Conley

Loretta Cooper ‘87

Charles ‘00 & Linda Copas Alan Corbitt

Dr. Paul & Carolyn Crabtree Vickie Crawford

Lewis & Carol Crum

Corey Culbertson ‘10

Madison Culp

Mary Cummings

Dr. James Curtis Carl Darling

Janice Darnell ‘88

Donald & Carol Davis

Laura Davis

Bradley & Tamra Davis

Kim Davis

D. R & Janet Deal

Dean Knittel Auto Service, Inc.

Delmas Conley Trucking of Ohio, Inc.

Julie DeLuca

Kasey DePriest

Desco Federal Credit Union

Jason Dick

John & Karen Ditraglia

William Doering

Robert & Michelle Dorsey

Tracy Douglas

Dylan Driskill

Sandra Duduit ‘80

Delbert & Angela Duduit

Aaron & Rebecca Dumbaugh

Austin Dunfee

Casey Dunfee

Shane & Jodie ‘98 Dyer

Alex & Missy Eddy

Michelle Elliott

Franklin & Diane Elliott

ELP Concrete & Gas Line Service Elsea Incorporated

George & Debra Esham

Dr. William T. & Marika Esham

Mark & Margee Eslick

Esport Supply

Fairfield County Foundaton

Ryan Fairley ‘09

James Farmer ‘05

Drs. Andrew & Janet Feight Rob Fiesler

Julie Fiesler

Dr. Stephen & Sue Fitzer

Flawless Cleaning Service, LLC

Kenneth & Ginger Fliehman

Cynthia Fox

Adam & Emily Franks

Phyllis Fried ‘77

Dwayne Gannon ‘86

Daniel Gash

Cheryl Gaspar

Steven Gaspar

Sarah Gaspar

Michael Gatti

Greg Giessler

Gionino’s Pizzeria Bucyrus

Charles & Vickie Glenn

Dr. Frederick & Krista Gohmann

Golden Bears

Anthony Gomez ‘15

Michelle Gonser

Jeff Goodwin

Allan Goodwin

Richard & Ruby Grant

David Green

Craig Greenlee

Doris Gresham

Richard & Joyce Grimm

Sanjiv Gupta

Merlin & Brenda Haas

Jerod & Lu Hagen

Hairsytle by Ugur

Crystal Hale Thomas Hammond ‘84 Hanes Chevrolet Company

AUTUMN 2022 | 57
$1,000 - $2,500 Dean’s Club $100 - $999 Founder’s Club $2,500+ Trustee’s Club

Preston Harbolt

Russell & Dorothy Harcha

Jimmy Harris

Emily Harris

Brian Harrison ‘00

Charles & Noreen Hartard

Wesley ‘07 & Tiffany ‘01 Hartman

George & Stephen Hartwell

Richard & Nancy Hawk

HDW Plumbing

Amanda Henson

Scott Herrmann

Julia Hessler

Hickie’s Old Fashioned Hamburger Inn, Inc.

Shawn Hicks

Lucas Hileman ‘16

Dr. Jeffrey Hill

Hill View Retirement Center

Cindy Hilsheimer

Kyle Hipp Joshua Holstein

Vicki Hoover ‘90

Hot Spring Spa & Pool

Bryan Howard

Stephen Howard ‘13

Madison Humble

Hunter Williams Insurance

Ingo’s Torwartschule

Dr. Kimberly Inman

Ironclay Masonry Products

Wendy Ison ‘94

Jesse James ‘18


Kelcie ‘15 & Jet Jenkins

Gerald & Cynthia Jenkins Erik Jennings Steven & Jenny Johnson

Michael Johnson

Delmer Johnson

Anna Johnson ‘10

Mark & Kelli Johnson

Suzanne Johnson-Varney

Jon Burchett Consulting LLC

Greg & Lisa Justus

Aaron & Jodi Kallner

Thomas & Brenda Kallner

Georgeann Kamer ‘99

Jeremy Karthan

Carolyn Kegley

Richard Keim

Angela Keller

Brian Kelly ‘99

Brian & Kimberly Keplinger

Dr. Jean Kerney

David Kilroy

Fred Kindervater

Frederick Kindervater

Doug Kline

Tyrone Knox

Brian & Debra McMullen

Elinor Kohler

Michael Koors

Hunter Krannitz

Cameron Kuhn

Virginia Kuhn

Shelly Lansing

Lillie Lansing

Larry Moore Trophies & Sports

Kristin Lemon ‘09

James & Sara Light

Cassie Link

Timothy Litteral ‘06

Kris LoFrumento

Leila Lomashvili

Harry Long

Dr. John & Golriz Lorentz

Kevin & Kimberly Lund

Debra Lykins ‘96

Donna Lyon ‘88

Bobbi Madden

Jaime Madden Alice Maggard

Jordan Maier

Marathon Petroleum Corporation PACMatching Market Street Cafe

Bev Marshall

John & Mary Marshall

Alexandria Mascaro

Harold & Connie Massie George & Shirley Massie

Ricky Masson ‘11

Katy Mathuews ‘02

Robert & Claire McDonald Daniel McGuire

Lisa McGunagle

Ronald & Susan McKenzie

J. McKinley

Cheryl McKinley Prostler

Andrew McPherson

Michael & Teresa McPhillips

Alli McQuay

Danny & Doris Meade

Amanda Means Susan Meyers

Emily Midgley

Steve & Teresa Midkiff

Midwest Floors & More

Midwestern Electrical Sales

David & Pamela ‘92 Milam

Aimee Miller ‘04

Adam Miller ‘09

Ron & Deborah ‘01 Miller Misty’s Kone Shop

Larry & Kimberly Mitchell Amber Montavon ‘16

Paul Moore

Drs. Andrew & Jennifer Napper Nicole Neal ‘01

Truth Nichols

Ohio Pest Control, Inc.

Henry & Florence Olsen Margaret Orlett

Dane & Patricia Osborne

Larry & Royetta Otto

Pamela ‘82 & Phillip Otworth Ryann & Maria Pangan

Milton Parker

Patties & Pints, LLC

Kevin Payne

Barry & Tara ‘06 Pendell

Jennifer Perry

Jonathan Peters

Robert & Linda Phillips

Tena Pierce ‘19 Mike & Sandra Pierce

Micayla Pluta

Ethan Popp Portsmouth Nutrition, LLC

Gregory Potts Matthew & Amy Smith

Betty Putnam Quality Audio

Kelly Ramey ‘09

Tara Ray Shelley Rhoads

Laiken Rice

Ritchie’s Food Distribution, Inc.

Rachael Robinson

Bianca Robinson

David Rodgers Dr. Darrell Rudmann

Sabo Company

Steve Sandoval

Jackie & Lyda Scarberry

Doug Schaaf

Richard & Sallie Schisler

Dean Schuler

Scioto Shoe Mart, Inc.

Ryan Scott

Ashley See ‘03

David & Elizabeth Seif

Chris & Amy Shaffer

Ralph Shelton

Sherman-Kricker Insurance

Holly Siberell

Jeremy Siberell Jason & Marcie Simms

Greg Silvia & Jessica Leonard ‘07 Casey Smith ‘09

Justin Smith Chrissy Smith

Jeff & Dona Smith Kelli Smith ‘12

Smoked Ribs, Inc. Hailey Sneddon

Alan & Carolyn Snyder

Timothy & Amy Sponsel

Rod & Patricia Spradlin

SSU Alumni at Stanley Electric St. James Church of God & Christ

Robert Stalder

State Farm Insurance

Harrison & Susan Stebbins

Gregory Stevens ‘11

Janet Stewart Streetside Hospitality Group LTD.

Ted & Frances Strickland Sarah Sunday Sunrush Water

Aaron Suydam ‘13

T.S.C, Inc. Michelle Tackett

Daniella Taylor Teamsters Local Union No. 507 Tennis Point

The Counseling Center, Inc. The Lamp Shade Terrance Thompson B. & Nicole Tilley

Theodore ‘04 & Lisa Tom Kiliaan Toorenaar Toro Loco II

Tri-Mac Manufacturing Tri-State Rehab Services

Jim Van Hoy

Jonathan Venters ‘08

Mima Vita

Janis Waller

Liam Ward

Val & Anita Wargel

Gloria Wargel

Joseph & Martha Watson

We Contracting, LLC Webb’s Woodshop Dr. Wayne & Saundra Wheeler  Matt Wiley

Marilyn Williams

Carrie Williams ‘05

Brian & Shelly ‘92 Williams Janet Williams Bobby & Clarissa Williamson Matthew Wisecup Mason Wisner ‘16

Ralph & Julia Wisniewski Jay & Linda Jason Young Jordan Zweigart ‘16

The Honor Roll

Up to $100

David Adams ‘94

Shannon Adkins ‘22

Jacob Alley

Alexandria Alston ‘05

Mattison Arey ‘22

Arthur Alan Corporation

Debra Atkinson ‘95 Trevor Bailey ‘22 Mikenna Baker ‘22

Rachel Barnes ‘22

Jasmine Barrick ‘22 Kelcie Benner ‘22 Nicholas Bennett ‘22 Donald & Sandra Bercheck

Debra & Victoria ‘22 Bevington

Susie Biggins

Madison Bishop ‘22 Isaac Blaine ‘22

Abigail Blankenship ‘21 Kierra Blevings ‘18 Phillip Bobo

Heather Book ‘22

Logan Boston ‘22 Kelsey Boulay ‘22

Joshua Brabson ‘21

Reece ‘11 & Briana ‘15 Brown Shaylynn Brown ‘21 Keeton Brown Aleni Burcham

C.A.R.E Chiropractic, Inc.

Ashleigh Call ‘22

Chandler Campbell Amanda Cantrell ‘22

Paige Cassidy ‘17

V.T.F Catalogna Indicah Chatman ‘22

Chad Childers ‘22

Casey Claflin ‘18 Rachel Clingman ‘22

Barry ‘76 & Karen Colley

Austin Collins ‘21

Cassidy Collins ‘22

Madisyn Connelley

Austin Craft ‘22

Grace Crone ‘22 Paula Cropper ‘96

Jessica Crum-Hixson ‘21

Eric Dahleen ‘22

Matthew ‘04 & Amanda Dehart

Nathan Dever ‘21

Mike Dibble ‘22

Mattie Elliott

Katelin Fisher ‘22

Brad & Debra Forsythe

Michael ‘96 & Kelly Fought

Tyler Fowler ‘21

Abby Fryman ‘18

Jacob Gill ‘22

Lauren Gilmer

Kaelynne Goozey ‘22

Logan Gordley ‘20

Rodney Gorley ‘22

Samantha Grandstaff ‘21

Bailey Gray ‘22

Kristina Green

Paul Gresham


Sarah Grimm ‘22

Zoe Grove ‘22

Leah Hall ‘21

Angelina Haller ‘21

Kelsea Hamilton ‘22

Janine Hansing ‘09

Monique Harmon

Christa Harris ‘22

Kaity Haskins

Sheree Hay ‘22

Eric Heffner ‘22

Jonah Hensley ‘22

Perry & Elizabeth ‘15 Herpy

Kassidy Hickman ‘22

Ryan Hinch ‘21

Kaitlynn Hintz

Marnae Holland ‘22

Xavier Hollon ‘22

Taylor Holloway ‘22

Alecea Howell ‘20

Emily Hudgel ‘22

Sarah Huston ‘22

Gabby Ingram ‘19

Jerry & Emma Jenkins

Darrell Jividen

Lawrence Blau & Karen Johnsen

Aden Johnson ‘22

Austin Johnson ‘21

Kevin Johnson

Austin Jones ‘21

Logan Jones ‘21

Halee Jordan ‘22

Megan Keaton ‘21

Jeff Keller ‘99

Randall King ‘17

Christopher Kiser ‘14

Lara Kitchen ‘21

Jacob Kline ‘22

Emma Knickerbocker ‘22

Emily Knight ‘22

Lisa Knox

Dr. Linda Koenig

Ryan Lambert ‘22

Kaitlyn Lawson ‘22

Richard & Carol ‘79 Lawson

Jenna Layne ‘21

Lauren Lesley ‘21

Helen Link-Longsdorf

Nicole Littteral ‘22

Caleb Loel ‘22

Megan Long ‘22

Lori Lowe

Nathan Lowe ‘22

Bruce & Brenda MacDonald

Katelyn Martin ‘22

Todd ‘18 & Ginny May

Abby McFarland

Ariel McGuffin ‘21

Mikhail Mednik ‘22

Jenna Meier ‘22

Dr. Larry & Kay Meredith Riley Merkel ‘22

Jennifer Miller ‘22

Victoria Miller ‘22

Cindy Montavon

Kyle Moore ‘21

Emmalee Morgan ‘22

Barbara Morrison

Christopher & Stephanie ‘00 Neff

Network for Good

Brianna Odel ‘22

Gavin Ogan ‘21

Cambria Oiler

Kathryn Oiler ‘22

Zach Otto ‘22

Tiffani Panko

R’reyonna Parker ‘22

Katelyn Parsley ‘22

Roger & Mary Ann Payne

Carla Pena ‘22

Ryan Penix ‘22 Natalie Percell ‘22 Cole Peterson ‘22 Layken Phillips ‘22 Shana Pinkerman ‘22 Tasha Poole ‘22

Barbara Pratt

Alexandra Puckett ‘22 Brianna Puckett ‘22

Samantha Queen ‘22

William & Aprile Rasnake

Kayla Rawlins ‘22

Taylor Ray ‘22

Stephenee Rayburn ‘22 Dennis & Irene Recker

Maria Renteria ‘20

Avery Reuter ‘22 Erin Rice ‘21

Kevin Riley ‘21

Cameron Robbins ‘22 Anna Ross ‘22 Kenzie Rucker ‘21

Amanda Scaggs

Tyson Schmelz ‘22 Rebecca Scholl ‘22

Vincent Schwamberger ‘22 Elizabeth Scott ‘22 Kenny & Holly ‘22 Scott Ben Sellers

Rudy Shively Drew Siders ‘18

Madison Siders ‘22 Mercedez Silvis ‘22 Trevor Simpson ‘19 Jacob Smathers ‘21 Hannah Smith ‘22 Peyton Sofronko ‘22 Dawn Spangler Katherine Stanley ‘22

Dreama Stapleton ‘21 Cassidy Starnes ‘22 Sherry Starnes

Leslie Steadman ‘22 Alice Stephens ‘96

Kaitlyn Stone ‘21 Avery Tackett ‘22 Conda Tetkowski Casey Thornsberry ‘04 Kimberly Tieman Delaney Tittel ‘21 Alexis Tritsarolis

Judy Ugie

Ben Vannatta ‘22

Ashley Varacalli ‘22 Hayley Venturino ‘18 Kayla Wagoner ‘21

Trevor & Micaela Walker

Tyler Walker

Ashleigh Wallin ‘22 Devyn Waters ‘22

Suzanne Welty Charles Wentz Madison Williams ‘22

Daniel & Rebecca Wisniewsk

Kyle Wisniewski ‘22 Whitney Woodrow ‘22

Brock Woods ‘22

Taylor Jo Young ‘22

Jamie Young Trevor Zimmerman ‘22

Dr. Dave & Patsy Todt Loyalty Club members

Recognizing donors who continue to make gifts to Shawnee State University, at any level, consecutively for three or more years.

Dr. Aaron & Kathy Adams


Greg Ballengee ‘79

Barnes & Noble at SSU

Dr. Jeffrey & Jeril Bauer

Brittany Bazler ‘16

Nancy Bentley

Judith Bintz-Doll ‘00

Jessica Blanton ‘10 Philip & Amanda Blau Yvonne Bowman

Clyde & Dr. Elinda Boyles Sarah Bramblette ‘02 Eric & Rebekah Braun Earl & Betsy Braun

Christopher ‘06 & Karen Brown William & Barb Burke

Phil Butler ‘16

Leah Campbell Campus View Associates, LLC Cardinal Health Foundation

Drs. James & Ann Chapman

Thomas & Joanne Charles

Eli Cole ‘22

Barry ‘76 & Karen Colley

Charles ‘00 & Linda Copas Alan Corbitt

Vickie Crawford Ed Daniels ‘82

Carl Darling Laura Davis

George Davis

Linda Donaldson

Sandra Duduit ‘80 Delbert & Angela Duduit Mattie Elliott

Phyllis Fried ‘77

Daniel Gash

Charles & Vickie Glenn Dr. Frederick & Krista Gohmann

Troy Gregory ‘96

Gary ‘00 & Marilyn Hairston

Jeff & Rhonda ‘05 Hamilton

Robert & Caroline Hamilton Russell & Dorothy Harcha Wesley ‘07 & Tiffany ‘01 Hartman

Francesca Hartop

Neal & Vicky Hatcher

Amanda & Jason Hedrick

Julia Hessler

Hickie’s Old Fashioned Hamburger Inn, Inc. Lucas Hileman ‘16

Bryan Howard Dr. Linda Hunt Dr. Kimberly Inman Gerald & Cynthia Jenkins Kelcie ‘15 & Jet Jenkins Lawrence & Karen Blau Malonda Johnson

Aaron & Jodi Kallner

Thomas & Brenda Kallner Jeff Keller

Dr. Jean Kerney

David Kilroy

Knittel’s Service Center, Inc.

Brian & Debra McMullen

Margaret Koegle

Lloyd & Crystal Kotcamp

Richard & Carol ‘79 Lawson

Cassie Link

Leila Lomashvili

Lori Lowe

Donna Lyon ‘88

Bobbi Madden

Market Street Cafe

Lloyd Martin

Harold & Connie Massie

Lisa McGunagle

Michael & Teresa McPhillips

Danny & Doris Meade

Amanda Means

Susan Meyers

David & Pamela ‘92 Milam

Adam Miller ‘09

Amber Montavon ‘16

Cindy Montavon

Christopher Moore

Nicole Neal ‘01

Network for Good Henry & Florence Olsen

Dane & Patricia Osborne

Pamela ‘82 & Phillip Otworth

Tena Pierce ‘19

Gregory Potts

Dr. Christine Raber

Drs. Steven Rader & Rhoni Maxwell-Rader

Drs. Michael & Kelly Raies

Dennis & Irene Recker

Shelley Rhoads

Richard D. Marting’s Foundation

Pat Rigsby ‘95

Bill & Beth ‘12 Rockwell

David Rodgers

Rotary Club of Portsmouth

Scioto Foundation: Edmund J. Kricker Fund and the Bess & Marie Pixley Fund

Chris & Amy Shaffer

Rudy Shively

Jason & Marcie Simms

Gary Gemmer & Dr. Kathleen Simon Kelli Smith ‘12

Smoked Ribs, Inc.

Alan & Carolyn Snyder

Southern Ohio Medical Center

SSU Alumni Stanley Electric

Harrison & Susan Stebbins

Janet Stewart

Kara ‘08 & Ryan Stump

Teamsters Local Union No. 507

Toro Loco II

Tri-Mac Manufacturing

Janis Waller

Joseph & Martha Watson

Aimee ‘98 & Chad ‘98 Welch

Suzanne Welty

Dr. Wayne & Saundra Wheeler  Dr. John Whitaker

Carrie Williams ‘05

Matthew Wisecup

Daniel & Rebecca Wisniewski

AUTUMN 2022 | 59

Dear SSU Alumni,

These past few years we have learned how to excel in adversity. We have learned to balance home life with work life in ways we never thought we would, and we’ve learned that more than ever we need each other. At SSU, our students have learned how to manage long distance learning, and they have built connections with student life in unique ways while living a virtual college experience. This year, we’re excited to welcome our students back to campus to once again learn in person and experience a more traditional college atmosphere.

We all have our own memories of our times at Shawnee State – late nights in the library, watching athletic games, hanging out with friends, our first weekend on campus, and of course graduation. This past academic year, the Alumni Association welcomed over 650 new graduates as they walked across the graduation stage and received their college diploma. We hope each of these graduates now feel what we have all felt – that our Shawnee pride will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Shawnee State has alumni all over the world who are representing their alma mater proudly. In your career and in your lives, you represent the university and are instrumental in continuing to make our university what it is today.

It is as important as ever that we as alumni get re-engaged with Shawnee State – whether that be through being a mentor, giving through the SSU Development Foundation, interacting with current students, or being an ambassador in the community. In this stage of our Shawnee State story, it is our time to help ensure that future generations have the same opportunities we had – it is our time to give back. Your continued involvement impacts the lives of our current students and students for generations to come.

Let’s get back together. This coming year, the Alumni Association will again be hosting events throughout Ohio and Kentucky. Whether you come back to campus or stop in at an event hosted near you, we can’t wait to see you.

As always, we are proud of each of our graduates and we look forward to continuing to tell your Shawnee State success stories.

Go Bears!



Edward Daniels | ‘82 was appointed to serve on the Shawnee State University Board of Trustees in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Ron Goodson | ‘95 retired as Men’s Soccer Coach at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio after more than 25 seasons in the position.

Jennifer Pauley | ‘95 was promoted to Associate Provost at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Troy Gregory | ‘96 was appointed to serve on the Shawnee State University Development Foundation Board in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Aimee Welch | ‘98 & ‘21 was promoted to Director of Institutional Budgeting at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Emily Davis | ‘02 was promoted to Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio.

Shondrika Merritt | ‘03 received her Doctoral Degree in Education and Human Development from Temple University in 2020. Merritt was also promoted from Assistant Dean to Interim Assistant Provost of Student Success for Student Advocacy at The New School in New York City, New York.

Tarrah Bouts | ‘04 was appointed to serve on the Shawnee State University Development Foundation Board in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Jennifer Aikman | ‘05 was appointed to serve on the Shawnee State University Development Foundation Board in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Dustin Jacobs | ‘06 was awarded The Guiding Light award for his philanthropic partnership with Broward Education Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships, school supplies, and innovative teacher grants.

Heather Johnson | ‘06 received the Early Career Faculty Teaching Award in the 2022 Faculty Award presentation at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Ryan Ottney | ‘06 took a position as Communications Specialist in the Communications Office at Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio.

Candy Frazier | ‘07 received third place in the Ignite Portsmouth competition hosted by the Kricker Innovation Hub for her business By Grace Interior Design.

Samantha (Bunton) Lynn | ‘07 completed her Nurse Practitioner degree in Philadelphia and currently moved back to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kari (Ellis) Mains | ‘08 started a new position as Project Support Associate II – OSWDF Operations at Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth in Piketon, Ohio. She recently graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration from Western Governors University.

Sheena Shifko | ‘08 & ‘09 received the Board of Trustees’ Distinguished Teaching Award in the 2022 Faculty Award presentation at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Abby Spears | ‘08 received second place in the Ignite Portsmouth competition hosted by the Kricker Innovation Hub for her idea of social enterprise dedicated to changing the narrative concerning substance abuse in the region.

Chris Dunham | ‘09 took a position of Assistant Digital Marketing Manager at Crayola in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Jordan Potts | ‘09 accepted a new position of Cardiac Ablation Specialist at Atri Cute, Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kelly (Wagner) Ramey | ‘09 celebrated her tenth year as the Executive Director of Randall Residence in Wheelersburg, Ohio.

Nate Timberlake | ‘09 was promoted to SGT First Class for the US Army.

Reece Brown | ‘10, Briana (Tudor) Brown | ‘15, & Michael Owen | ‘11 hosted the Ohio’s Backyard Ultra in March 2021, which is a “Survivor” format race of 111 runners, that took on a 4.16 mile loop every hour until only one runner was able to complete the lap. The race was the second longest “Backyard Ultra” held in the world at the time and nearly a dozen SSU alumni either participated or assisted with the event.

Staci (White) Hepler | ‘10 was promoted to Associate Professor of Statistics at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Robert Bauer | ‘11 and his business partner created ProPlastics, a startup injection molding company in Sidney, Ohio. Bauer serves as the company’s Vice President of Operations.

Terry Cooper | ‘11 self-published a 400-page book on the local history of Lewis County, Kentucky entitled “Early Chronicles of Lewis County, Kentucky”.

Dr. Cody Horn | ‘11 accepted a position as Infectious Disease Physician at Adena Health Systems in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Lindsey Redoutey | ‘11 took a position as Clinical Coordinator at STAR Community Justice Center in Portsmouth, Ohio

Zane Long | ‘12 graduated from Youngstown State University with a Master of Science in Educational Administration in May 2021.

Janine DeLorio | ‘13 transitioned her business, DeLorio Coaching, to full-time with her husband. The business provides blue-collar business owners with business, team, and leadership coaching. Their mission is to bring growth, success, and fulfillment to blue-collar business owners throughout the United States.

Jake Dorow | ‘13 started a new position as Marketing Campaign Manager at BankTEL, an Avid Xchange Company.

Amy Salvatore | ‘13 started a new position as Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator at Catawba Island Club in Port Clinton, Ohio.

AUTUMN 2022 | 61




Arthur Bogard | ‘14 began working as an IT Specialist for the Department of Defense, GS12 in 2019 and in 2020 was promoted to Chief Inspector in the Washington Air National Guard, 141st Maintenance Group Quality Assurance shop. In 2021, he was promoted to IT Director for the Department of Defense, GS-13.

Brittany Bolton | ‘14 is a Nurse Practitioner at Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Northwest Family Practice in McDermott, Ohio.

Michael Johnson | ‘14 started as Customer Experience Banker at Huntington National Bank in West Jefferson, Ohio.

Lauren Jones | ‘14 started a new position as Project Coordinator at American Electric Power in Columbus, Ohio.

Kevin LeMaster | ‘14 started a new position as Junior Recruiter at Thriveworks. He also obtained his Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Marshall University.

Jessica McCallister | ‘14 accepted the position of Assistant Director of Annual Giving with the SSU Development Foundation at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Lacie Rinehart | ‘14 graduated Cum Laude in 2019 with a Master of History. She is currently employed as a Historical Tour Guide for Bulldog Tours of Charleston, South Carolina.

Tanya Salyers | ‘14 began a new position as Digital Communications & Engagement Manager at Innovation Ohio in Columbus, Ohio. Salyers was also honored as a “Women on the Rise” by the YWCA Columbus.

Kevin Colley | ‘15 won first place nationally in the NAIA’s Dr. Jack Bell Writing Contest for best game recap and accepted the position of staff writer with the Scioto Voice in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Anna Trankina | ‘15, ‘16, ‘17, & ‘18 accepted a position as Digital Designer at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio.

Austin Raines | ‘16 received the Teacher of the Year Award through the Ohio Department of Education as part of Adult Education Week.

Courtney Shaw | ‘16 was featured in Plastics News for their Women Breaking the Mold 2021.

Samantha (Rietschlin) Schroeder | ‘16 started a new position as ICU nurse at Avita Health Services in Galion, Ohio.

Jonnie Carpathios | ‘17 served as a guest director for the Department of Musical Theatre’s production of Disaster! at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Robert Horton | ‘17 graduated with his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law in 2021, passed the Ohio Bar exam, and was admitted to practice law in the state of Ohio in 2022.

Joshua Huffman | ‘17 is an Electronics Technician at SpaceX.

Haley Shuff | ‘17 completed the RESA and began her Master of Autism through Grand Canyon University.

Matthew Smallwood | ‘17 graduated from Northern Kentucky University – Salmon P. Chase College of Law. Smallwood then took a position with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office as Assistant Attorney General in Columbus, Ohio

Courtney (Sisk) Uldrich | ‘17 won the 2021 Judy Chicago Art Education Award.

Abby Brinkman | ‘18 & Nicholas Fryman | ‘18 married in July 2022.

Zebulun Cottrill | ‘18 accepted a position of English Language Arts Teacher at Scioto County Career Technical Center in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Marte Marshall | ‘18 & ‘19 graduated from the University of Tampa with a Master of Arts in Professional Communications. Marshall also obtained a certificate in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the Workplace

from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business and was a member of the DEI Task Force at the University of Tampa. He recently took the position of Resident Director of Frontier Hall at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Madison Moore | ‘18 is Lead Graphic Designer for UPS Store in Columbia, South Carolina.

Nicko Savicz | ‘18 accepted a position as Visual Effects Artist at Way Inc. in Portage, Indiana.

Katy Singer | ‘18 is a Graphic Designer for School Pride Ltd. in Columbus, Ohio

Trenton Stenger | ‘18 took a position as Revenue Cycle Analyst at Unlimited Systems.

Shawn Behmer | ‘19 accepted a position as Social Media Consultant for UC Health.

Jess Cinfio | ‘19 was promoted to Graphic Designer for Rev Local in Columbus, Ohio.

Deaten Mason | ‘19 earned licensure by the OCDPB as LCDCIII and was recently promoted to Quick Response Team Leader through the ADAMHS Board and The Counseling Center, Inc. working with local first-responders to help overdose victims receive addiction and mental health treatment services. Mason is celebrating seven years of sobriety and is working with the recovery community here in Portsmouth as a licensed addiction counselor and mental health specialist. Currently, in the second year of MSW at Ohio University and licensed as a SWT with the SCWMFT Board in Ohio.

Lauren Miller | ‘19 accepted a position as Student Records Technician at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Samantha Young | ‘19 took a position as Contract Recruiter at Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. Young also completed her Master of Business Administration this past January and welcomed her first child in March 2020.

Trevor Simpson | ‘19 was promoted to Account Recruiting Manager at Aerotek.




Katie Cochran | ‘20 was accepted and enrolled to the inaugural class of the Master of Science in Medicinal Cannabis Science and Business program at Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Megan Evan | ‘20 took a position as 3D Scanning Engineer at Jones Plastic and Engineering Louisville, Kentucky.

Mark Hirsch | ‘20 started a new position as Field Services Engineer at Pro Automated in Columbus, Ohio.

Walter Irvin | ‘20 is Company Owner at Irvin Robotics, LLC.

Kaleb Kendall | ‘20 accepted the position of Marketing Content Creator at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Brett Rappold | ‘20 accepted a position as Case Manager at Path Integrated Healthcare.

Ashtyn Saunders | ‘20 began a new position as Solar Specialist at Sunpro Solar Energy Specialists in Columbus, Ohio.

Trent Shubirg | ‘20 accepted a position as an Associate Software Developer at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Bailey Davis | ‘21 took a position as New Model Quality Engineer at American Honda Motor Company.

EJ Onu | ‘21 played as part of the Niagara River Lions professional basketball team in the Canadian Elite Basketball League where he was named Defensive Player of the Year for the league. Onu also signed to play with the Memphis Hustle, G-League team of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies in 2022.

Cassidy (Starnes) Polcyn | ‘22 & Ian Polcyn | ‘22 married in May 2022.

Dane Simpkins | ‘21 served in the position of AmeriCorps VISTA with the Kricker Innovation Hub at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Jacob Gill | ‘22 accepted the position of Content Manager at Carnival Cruise Line.

Jacob Kline | ‘22 signed a professional baseball contract with the Billings Mustangs.

Seth Pluta | ‘22 accepted the position of Sports Information Director at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Ian Polcyn | ‘22 accepted the position of Project Coordinator at Triumph Signs & Consulting, Inc. in Milford, Ohio.

Jana Stockham | ‘22 accepted a position of ICU Critical Care Fellow at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Kentucky.

Taylor Jo Young | ‘22 accepted the position of Communications & Events Coordinator at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Marking Valentine’s Day, the SSU Alumni Association asked alumni to share their #SSULoveStory about meeting their sweetheart on campus. This year’s Love Story winner is Jeremy (‘11) and Amanda (‘11) Morris.


My husband and I met in the 4th Floor Lounge of Massie Hall. We both were taking a break from class and I had gotten a melted 5th Avenue candy bar from the vending machine. I complained about how messy it was and that it was melted. Jeremy overheard me and said, “I got one too!”

The vending machine guy happened to be there and let me swap out my melted candy bar for some Skittles and Jeremy and I shared just like grade school kids. From there, we have had lots of firsts together after our first date.

This year, we celebrated seven years of marriage. We got married in SSU’s Morris University Center. Jeremy is now a BSN traveling nurse and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor. We have two beautiful daughters, two cats, and a pug puppy named Bacon Bit.

We are very thankful for those melted 5th Avenue candy bars and SSU. Go Bears!

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64 | SHAWNEE MAGAZINE • @ShawneeStateAlumni @SSUalumni @ShawneeStateAlumni Update your contact information at ALUMNI ASSOCIATION! Join the 17,000+ members who are part of the Shawnee State University Show off your Shawnee State Pride with your Shawnee State Gear! The Shawnee State Alumni Spirit Shop runs through the Alumni Association and fundraises for athletic
Pictured above: Kyle Wisnieski, Class of 2022 wearing SSU Alumni Cursive and SSU Camo Baseball Hat Taylor Jo Young, Class of 2022 wearing SSU Bears Baseball Tee R’reyonna Parker, Class of 2022 wearing SSU Bears Cursive Hoodie Drew Lowe, Class of 2022 wearing Bears Logo - Half Zip and SSU Bears Hat
organizations and the Alumni Association. At the end of the year proceeds of the Shop will go to the Friends of Shawnee Scholarship, which is a scholarship that is awarded annually to SSU students in need of financial assistance to cover tuition costs.
support continues to make college possible for Shawnee State students.



Tuesday, November 29, 2022

PLASTICS DAY Friday, December 2, 2022

SENIOR NIGHT Thursday, December 8, 2022

PRE-MED DAY Friday, December 9, 2022


Saturday, December 10, 2022


February 3 & 4, 2023


SHAWNEE SHOWCASE DAY Saturday, February 18, 2023



SPRING BEAR RUN Saturday, April 1, 2023


PRESIDENT’S GALA Saturday, April 22, 2023

SENIOR NIGHT Thursday, April 27, 2023

SPRING COMMENCEMENT Saturday, April 29, 2023




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