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SHAWNEE M A G A Z I N E OUR MISSION We prepare today’s students to succeed in tomorrow’s world.

OUR TEAM Dr. Jeffrey Bauer University President Eric Andrew Braun, J.D. Vice President, Advancement & Enrollment Management

COPY EDITOR Elizabeth Blevins Executive Director, Marketing & Communications MAGAZINE DESIGNER Anna Trankina, ‘15, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18

Chris Moore Executive Director, SSU Development Foundation

CONTRIBUTORS Trevor Simpson, ‘19

MANAGING EDITOR Amber Montavon, ‘16 Assistant Director, Advancement Communications

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeremy Reed Photography TJ Noel, ‘08 Brianna Buchholz, ‘20 Devon Buffington,‘20 Anna Trankina, ‘15, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18 Matt Bowen

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

CORRESPONDENCE Alumni & Community Engagement Shawnee State University 940 Second Street Portsmouth, OH 45662 Phone: (740) 351-3284 Email: Class Notes & Milestones: Editor: Editor’s Note: There were many challenges to overcome in putting together this year’s magazine. We want to thank each of our spotlights for submitting quotes and photos when we couldn’t travel to meet you. While we didn’t get to see you in person, we’re excited to deliver these stories to your door.

The Shawnee Magazine is printed by Progress Printing Plus, Lynchburg, VA. © 2020







WHAT’S INSIDE FEATURES 2 Shawnee State at a Glance

52 Clayton Family Makes Gift to SSU Development Foundation

3 Letter from President Jeffrey Bauer

54 Annual Fund Listing

4 Homecoming, Alumni & Family Weekend

59 Alumni Updates

6 Shawnee State Introduces First Doctoral Program

62 Upcoming Events 2020-2021

8 SSU’s Plastics Engineering Technology Students on the Front Line 12 What the Bears Do!


14 Shawnee State University Celebrates Founder’s Day

28 James A. Rhodes Athletic Center Completes Renovations

16 Commencement: Fall 2019 & Spring 2020

30 Hall of Fame: Class of 2020

18 Hops Research Gives Students Hands-on Experience

32 Alumni Spotlight: Tyler Boyles

20 2020 Alumni Association Awards

34 Men’s & Women’s Swimming Ready to Begin First Varsity Year

22 Young Alum Finds Success through College Credit Plus

35 MSC Female Student-Athlete of the Year: Bailey Cummins

23 A Decade of Gaming Excellence

36 2019-2020 Student-Athlete Achievements

24 SSU Development Foundation Grants Program: 2020 Awards

37 Bear Club Members

26 Sport Management Celebrates 25 Years 38 Vern Riffe Center for the Arts Celebrates 25 Years 42 SSUDF Campaign Updates 44 Faculty Awards 46 Faculty & Administration Accomplishments 47 Employee Service Recognition 48 Alumni Spotlight: Shannon (Thomas) Andersen 50 Golden Bears Give Back to SSU

ABOUT THE COVER Students in the Plastics Engineering Technology program worked together to design and deliver face shields to frontline workers in need. Read more starting on page 8.

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QUICK FACTS Shawnee State University at a Glance

3,400 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.

#10 in Nation for

Plastics Engineering Technology

16,000 Alumni

One of the lowest tuition rates in the state of Ohio and in-state tuition for many Kentucky counties and students in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, + Wisconsin. Special Scholarships are available for students throughout Kentucky + West Virginia.

SSU degrees are at work in 48 states and across the world. Our graduates are making a difference as doctors, teachers, therapists, engineers, innovators, and creators.

Game Design programs Ranked #9 in nation in Game Design


Study Abroad Opportunities

16:1 Student to teacher ratio

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.

Intercollegiate Men’s and Women’s Athletics Teams Including baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, bowling, golf, cross country, track, tennis, esports, swimming, + soccer.

Ranked among Best Colleges by U.S. News + World Report

50+ Clubs & Organizations

based on Majors, Interests, Diversity, Religious Beliefs + Political Affiliations

SSU International Students Currently Represent 16 Countries Including Bangladesh, Malaysia, England, Australia, Netherlands, Scotland, Ukraine, Brazil, China, Nigeria, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Spain, France, South Africa, + India. 2 | SHAWNEE MAGAZINE • SHAWNEE STATE AT A GLANCE


Areas of Study

Dear SSU Alumni & Friends, It’s been quite a year at Shawnee State University, as it has for all of you around the world. As the pandemic evolved rapidly, we, likewise, responded quickly. Our faculty, staff and students displayed, once again, what makes Shawnee State truly special. Courses that were designed for in person instruction were reformatted for online delivery virtually overnight. Instructors who had never taught in an online format adopted new technologies and learned new tools at lightening speed. Others who had experience with distance learning did what they do best — taught their peers and their students what they had learned and served as mentors and leaders. As plans during those first few weeks changed by the day, hour – and in some cases – minute, our mission to prepare students to succeed in tomorrow’s world never changed. If anything, it was strengthened. We held our first virtual commencement and our Class of 2020, and their success, demonstrates the power of resilience, innovation and adaptability in today’s world, as well as tomorrow’s. The value of a college education was put to the test — and it not only passed, it illustrated the need for crucial problem-solving, communication and critical-thinking skills that are developed through higher education. As you read this, I wish I could say that the challenges of COVID-19 are behind us, but as we all know, they are not. What I can share is that we learned a great deal during spring semester that allowed us to create a safer environment for our students this fall. New practices have allowed us to resume many in person courses, student services, and student experiences. We continue to learn and our students continue to grow. In this year, as in all others, we witnessed student success. We saw an alumnus reach his dream job in the National Football League and an alumna change another person’s life through a kidney transplant. We saw new nurses and health care professionals take their places as first responders. New teachers show the next generation how to overcome obstacles to learning. And, as you read on the cover, we have a group of students who stepped up to make a difference in our community during the global pandemic by creating face shields for those on the frontlines — and their work continues. Our student and alumni successes are our successes and we’re investing in academic and support programs that help them accomplish their goals. This year, we introduced our first doctorate degree at Shawnee State with a post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate and were included in US News and World Report’s Best Colleges rankings for Occupational Therapy graduate programs, undergraduate universities in the Midwest Region and best schools for social mobility. Our game design programs moved up in the Princeton Review rankings to #9 in the nation and our plastics engineering program has been listed in the top 10 best programs of its kind. Awards and rankings are nice, but it’s what they represent that means the most to us — our commitment to providing a quality education for our students, families, and community. Throughout this year’s annual publication of Shawnee Magazine, I hope you take great pride in the successful alumni and student stories. I know I do. You enable us to tell the Shawnee State story through your experiences as a student, alumni, faculty, staff, donor, community member, and friend. Thank you for being a part of our story.

Dr. Jeffrey A. Bauer

President, Shawnee State University


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| SSU Men’s Basketball team enjoying Homecoming tailgate

| Current Dental Hygiene students celebrating Dental Hygiene Alumni Day


| 2019 Homecoming Royalty Blake Snyder and Gabby Ingram


Photo Credit: Devon Buffington, ‘20 and Anna Trankina, ‘15, ‘16, ‘17, ‘& 18

| Alumni members of Sorority Life being recognized as part of a Greek Life Reunion

OVER 1,250 ATTENDED LAST YEAR’S HOMECOMING TO ENJOY THE WEEKEND. Highlights included celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the Women’s Basketball National Championship team, an all-Greek Reunion – welcoming back members of Tau Kappa Epsilon, Theta Phi Alpha, Delta Phi Epsilon, Phi Mu Delta, Delta Sigma Tau, and Omega Pi Mu – Dental Hygiene Alumni Day, the announcement of the 2020 Hall of Fame Class, and the crowning of 2019 Homecoming Royalty Blake Snyder and Gabby Ingram. | Alumni members of Fraternity & Sorority Life came together to be recognized as part of a Greek Reunion

| Women’s Basketball 1999 National Championship team

Shawnee State hosts Stay at HOMEcoming! We changed our plans, but didn’t celebrate any less. In October, Shawnee State hosted its virtual Stay at HOMEcoming – a week-long celebration for students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors, and community members to come together (virtually) to celebrate Shawnee State University. Missed this year’s Stay at HOMEcoming? Check out recaps at

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SHAWNEE STATE INTRODUCES FIRST DOCTORAL PROGRAM The Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate welcomes its first students. 6 | SHAWNEE MAGAZINE •


o many, an occupation is a job – how someone makes their living. To occupational therapists, occupation is something an individual needs or wants to do as part of daily living. It is a function with a specific goal. For those studying to become occupational therapists at Shawnee State University, they share in the field’s goal to help others achieve their highest level of functionality in their lives. This fall, the university is introducing its very first doctoral program – the Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (PP-OTD). Fully online, the 16-month program will offer students the opportunity to enhance their abilities in the field with clinical-based research and a capstone project.

DR. MIKEL STONE Assistant Professor of Master of Occupational Therapy & Program Director of PP-OTD

“The OTD can open so many more avenues as far as what they’d like to do,” said Stone. “It creates an area of expertise for PP-OTD graduates that is in demand. Graduates come out of this program owning a piece of this profession.”

“It’s really student-specific,” said Mikel Stone, OTD, OTR/L. “They can tailor this program into an area of practice that is of interest to them or they can expand their own practice in which they currently work.” Stone, a three-time graduate of SSU, is overseeing the PP-OTD as the program director. First obtaining an Occupational Therapy Assistant’s degree in 1992, Stone returned to SSU to receive her bachelor’s degree in Individualized Studies before going on to earn her Master of Occupational Therapy from her alma mater in 2008. As SSU did not offer an avenue for the next level of OT at the time, she received her OTD at another institution. Stone has been a member of SSU’s faculty in the OT programs since 2010.

200 students a year and rank among the university’s most in-demand majors. With a successful completion rate, graduates see a 100% passage of their boards, as well as a perfect job placement rate after obtaining their degree. “We are a lifespan profession – interacting with people from birth to end-of-life situations,” said Stone about the OT field. “We address many areas of daily living by helping individuals reach the highest levels of independence, regardless of the barrier.” With the introduction of the PP-OTD program, SSU’s Occupational Therapy programs offer education at all levels of OT – recognizing the different places each OT may be in their personal lives. “Our PP-OTD program will allow clinicians to expand their clinical practice with an individual, student-specific capstone research project, as well as advance their leadership skills,” said Stone. “We know people that are going to go through this program already have a career and we know many of them will have a family as well. This program has been designed so that our students can complete their work but still manage the rest of their life at the same time.” The Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (PP-OTD) began this fall semester. To learn more, visit


Stone’s degrees are not her only connection to SSU’s OT programs, as her husband and daughter are both graduates of the OTA program. Her son is currently a student in the BSOT program. “My middle child actually did the Psychology route here at Shawnee, so we diversified a little bit,” said Stone. “We like to say we’re that crazy OT family. We never run out of things to talk about.” Shawnee State has a long history of success within the Occupational Therapy program. When introduced in the late 1990s, the two-year Occupational Therapy Assistant program accepted a couple dozen students each year. Even with the limited capacity in the program, applications submitted could be upwards of 400 at a time. Over the next couple of decades, the university expanded OT to include a bachelor’s program, a master’s program, and the introduction of the 3+2 program. The unique 3+2 program offers students the opportunity to enter into an accelerated schedule to complete both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in only five years. “We have continued to grow in OT since the beginning,” said Stone. “The new PP-OTD program is a major step forward.” Within the past few years, the Occupational Therapy program unveiled a newly renovated academic space – including devoted labs, an apartment simulation, and a fully-dedicated research room. The programs serve over

ALISSA CANNOY (‘10, ‘12) Alissa Cannoy returned to Shawnee State University this semester as part of the first cohort of students to enroll in the new PP-OTD program. Previously graduating from SSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Occupational Therapy, Cannoy knew she wanted to pursue occupational therapy after a job shadowing experience in high school. “I wanted to help people be independent and share in their excitement when accomplishing new skills and overcoming obstacles,” she said. When SSU announced the addition of a doctoral program in her field, Cannoy knew it was the path for her. “I was at a place in my professional career that I knew the next step as a lifelong learner was to pursue my doctorate,” she said. “I knew I wanted to be a part of this wonderful opportunity as it highlighted a career-focused and personalized approach to career advancement.”

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SSU’s Plastics Engineering Technology Students on the Front Line In response to Ohio Governor DeWine’s plea for manufacturing companies to step up and produce PPE for health care workers in need, SSU students began testing prototypes to provide to area frontline workers.


n late March of this year as the novel coronavirus became a worldwide pandemic, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called on the manufacturing industry to assist in the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers on the front line. SSU plastics students Nathan Dever (‘21) and Adam Bilitzke (‘21) both came up with the idea to develop several prototypes for face shields with the equipment available in the Plastics Engineering Technology lab. “The project started as 3D printing face masks for local medical facilities, but after a couple of weeks that idea fell through,” said Bilitzke. “I was worried that with all of the resources we had access to, we would be unable to help. But when that first face shield was put together, we all knew that this was going to work. I was very excited to see what was to come.” With assistance from fellow plastics students, the team began producing face shields to assist local health care and essential agencies.



Multiple students began working in the lab on alternating schedules to follow social distancing guidelines while producing as many face shields as they could during the week. Adam Miller (‘09), Chair of the Engineering Technologies Department and Associate Professor of Plastics Engineering Technology, has been one of the professors overseeing the project. “One thing I try to do inside and outside of the classroom is to provide students with guidance to be creative, to develop diverse skillsets beyond some of the technical foundations we provide,” said Miller. “This often means doing less of what I traditionally thought teaching was and more of creating environments where students can develop leadership, responsibility, initiative, and problem-solving skills.” A faculty member since 2011, Miller says one of the biggest reasons he’s stayed at SSU is to make a difference and support this region. This project gave him another opportunity to do just that.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Reed Photography

“The students on this project are able to take concepts they have learned through classes, labs, and student clubs – and apply that to producing real products,” said Miller. The production team has not only worked on developing their products, but they also have developed experience in several business aspects − writing project plans, calculating costs of production, determining best practices to increasing output, reducing costs, and further improving their design. “We knew it would be important to know how to do every step of the process to make a face shield,” said Dever. “If each person had our own set of jobs to do, then we would get better at those aspects of the process.

SSU-made face shields are being used to protect first responders, health professionals, and employees throughout the region.

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Meet the Team

Adam Bilitzke

Nathan Dever

Class of 2021

Class of 2021

Brandon Coburn

Craig Horton

Class of 2022

Class of 2020

Ryan Penix Class of 2023


Adam Miller (‘09) Chair of the Engineering Technologies Department and Associate Professor of Plastics Engineering Technology

We worked together, knowing each other’s jobs and responsibilities, and trusted one another to complete those tasks so we could come together at the end to assemble the final product.” After the first weeks of production, the team was able to make around 200 face shields a week. Moving into a new phase of production with the help of longstanding partnerships with DME and iMFLUX, the Plastics Lab was able to procure equipment to shorten the production timeline for shields. Originally the team managed 14 printers, each producing a headband for the shield every two and a half hours. Now, operating only one machine, a face shield headband can be produced at one three-hundredth of that time.

Student Emergency Fund: Response to Shawnee State Student Needs

“We have great labs and classes for simulating this type of experience,” said Miller on how this project has helped his Plastics students earn additional skills. “But to really experience it and also experience the positive impact plastics can have on society is something I think they will bring with them for the rest of their time at Shawnee and beyond.” To learn more about the ongoing efforts of Shawnee State’s COVID-19 response, visit

Shawnee State University Development Foundation in collaboration with the Office of Financial Aid, raised funds for the Student Emergency Fund to support students impacted in the COVID-19 pandemic. Supported by 88 donors, the campaign raised $26,134 through individual donations, company contributions, and matching dollars through the SSU Development Foundation. The campaign supported students impacted by the move to online classes by assisting with the costs of hardware and software needed to complete their coursework.

Learn more at

SSU Alumni Step Up in Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SSU alumni stepped up – in every occupation, in every role, and in every industry. Throughout the past several months, SSU alumni have shared their experiences through this time with us.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Reed Photography

Find their stories online at FALL 2020 | 11


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Pictured from left to right: Dr. Jeffrey Bauer (SSU President), Dr. Kyle Vick (University Faculty Senate President), Dr. Becky Thiel (SSU Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs), Dr. Dave Todt, Dr. George White, Dr. Andrew Feight (SSU History Professor), Verna Riffe Biemel, and Dr. Jason Lovins (SSU Marketing Professor).

Shawnee State University celebrates

Founder’s Day S

hawnee State University celebrated Founder’s Day last fall with a ceremony to recognize the achievements and milestones of the university throughout the years. The event recognized several individuals involved in the mobility of the university, including special remarks from Verna Riffe Biemel – daughter of SSU Founder Vern Riffe. President Jeffrey Bauer also presented two Vernal G. Riffe, Jr. Founder’s Medal Awards to Dr. Dave Todt and Dr. George White for their contribution to Shawnee State University and its success.


Dr. George White

Dr. Dave Todt

A life-long leader in both medicine and education, Dr. George White helped create Shawnee State University. In 1984, as a member of the Board of Trustees of Shawnee State Community College, Dr. White made the motion for the institution to become a fouryear university. As the last Chairperson of the Shawnee State Community College Board and elected the first Chairperson of the Shawnee State University Board of Trustees, he led the university through the transition. He continues to lead SSU today, serving on the Board of Trustees, as well as a liaison to the SSU Development Foundation Board.

Hired as an adjunct professor at Shawnee State Community College, Dr. Dave Todt saw Shawnee State University through its transition into a four-year public university. During his career, Dr. Todt held many leadership positions that shaped the institution today – Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Chair of the Department of Teacher Education, Interim Director of the Graduate Center, Associate Provost & Director of Institutional Planning, and Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 2019, Dr. Todt retired from the university after 39 years of service.


GIVE TO SSU Your Legacy – Making a Planned Gift

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 Shawnee State that will endure, creating opportunities for future generations of students to come.

We want your gift to benefit you and your family. • Arrange to make a gift that can cost you nothing during your lifetime. • Leave a legacy to Shawnee State while you preserve your estate for your heirs. • Give life insurance you no longer need or add the university as a beneficiary of your policy. • 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.

Interested in giving back?

We can provide valuable information on any of the giving methods mentioned here. Give us a call at 740.351.3284 or visit

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Fall 2019 & Spring 2020 Commencement

Celebrating Tomorrow’s Leaders This year, Shawnee State University celebrated the graduation of 716 students – 44 receiving master’s degrees, 471 earning bachelor’s degrees, and 201 completing associate’s degrees. These graduates are going on to become medical care workers, engineers, technicians, scientists, writers, business leaders, historians, teachers, and many more thinkers and innovators.


SARAH BIEHL (‘16, ‘18)

Fall 2019 Commencement Speaker

Spring 2020 Commencement Speaker

A practicing physician, medical educator, retired military officer, fourterm Ohio state representative, and current Ohio state senator, Dr. Terry Johnson has a life-long career of supporting health-related legislation. He has served continually as a family practice physician for nearly three decades in southern Ohio, his lifelong home. As a state representative, Dr. Johnson advocated for laws aimed at promoting the region. Dr. Johnson attended Shawnee State when preparing for medical school in the late 1980s. His mission as a physician is to help patients achieve total healing so they can change their lives and find their true potential as human beings. He does this through counseling and education of those who seek his help.

A Lowell, Ohio native, alumna Sarah Biehl made an impact on Shawnee State Athletics – earning five All-American honors in Cross Country and Track & Field. She holds multiple university records and even served as an Assistant Coach to the Women’s Cross Country team upon graduation. Continuing her athletic career, Biehl competed in the USA Olympic Trials earlier this year where she completed the 26.2 mile race in 2:49:37 among the best marathon runners in the nation.

“Looking out at you today, I see a group of people that have done something amazing - you have earned your degrees.” − Dr. Johnson to the Fall Class of 2019.


“When I think about where you are and the fact that you’re graduating during such a unique time, I want you to know that your future hasn’t been postponed. Your future is now. It starts today.” − Biehl to the Spring Class of 2020.

Pictured above: Snapshots of the Fall 2019 Commencement Ceremony

Shawnee State holds first Virtual Commencement Ceremony As the plan for traditional commencement ceremonies altered across the nation, Shawnee State University chose to hold its first Virtual Commencement Ceremony to commemorate the Spring Class of 2020. Celebrating the achievements of 556 graduates, the ceremony featured a congratulatory message from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. President Jeffrey Bauer and SSU Biology Professor Dr. Logan Minter also commemorated the day by planting a Dawn Redwood on campus to represent the tenacity, perseverance, and renewal of the Class of 2020.

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Hops Research Gives Students Hands-on Experience As a multi-year project, students in the Department of Natural Sciences are laying the groundwork for assessing wild and cultivated hops varieties.


n the Fall 2017 semester, Dr. Logan Minter (‘07) was approached by a student interested in completing a research project involving plants and their production. After collaborating with Brad Bergefurd, the Scioto County Agriculture Educator at Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon, Ohio, Dr. Minter and his student began to look into how to propagate hops and how to grow them themselves.



“Hops cultivation is something that has really taken off recently with the increase in microbreweries,” said Dr. Minter. “The project really became a focus on if we could make it easier and more sustainable to grow them in southern Ohio.” In the beginning of the research process, Dr. Minter came across a crop of wild hops with cones on them growing locally. After collecting and studying them closer, he and his research student decided to cultivate varieties of hops that had adapted to this region’s climate and would be good hops for brewing.


“With this concept, we could find something that would be truly local,” said Dr. Minter. “A lot of microbreweries want locally sourced materials and if we can establish that here, that’s another selling point for them down the road.” As the project has continued to grow and expand, the research group took the next step last fall to establish a plot on campus to plant the hops they had been cultivating in the Waller Conservatory. While it will take a few years to develop a quality yield and harvest, students can now study the various hops side-by-side and truly test their growth.


Pictured (above): 1. Cones from a commercial variety of hops. 2. Pulverized cones from a commercial variety of hops to be extracted and tested for anti-microbial efficacy. 3. Extracts of plant chemicals from wild and commercial hop cones prior to testing for bacterial inhibition.

Earlier this year, two Biomedical Science students approached Dr. Minter about becoming involved in the project. They both took on the initiative to study the hops for their anti-microbial properties and have been extracting from the hops to look further into their chemical properties.

Sahvannah McDowell (‘21) and Erin Morrison (‘22) were interested in creating their own research project within the Natural Sciences department by studying anti-microbial properties in hops.

“The reason hops were used in brewing to begin with is because they help prevent spoiling,” said Dr. Minter. “Our two students wanted to study the hops further to see how well their extracts could inhibit bacterial growth. Starting in early spring semester, they were already seeing some really exciting results.”

Sahvannah McDowell Class of 2021 “This research has helped prepare me for any career. I have learned how to think ‘outside the box,’ problem solve, and work hard. I have advanced my presentation skills, lab techniques, and so much more.”

Dr. Minter, a 2007 graduate of the Natural Sciences Department, feels a connection to his students doing this type of hands-on research within the program. “I got very connected with the faculty when I was a student here,” said Dr. Minter, who started by taking post-secondary classes before earning two degrees from SSU. “We did a lot of excursions, trips across the region to gain our experience. That is what kept me here and kept me connected.”

Erin Morrison Class of 2022 “I am very passionate about this project and already seeing some results was very rewarding. It gave us hope that the project we pushed to start was going to lead into much bigger things. It is also exciting to see that something you dedicate your time to is worth the hard work you put in.”

After graduation, Dr. Minter went on to receive his doctoral degree before returning to Shawnee State, first as the Director of the Upward Bound Math Science program, then as a faculty member within the Natural Sciences department. “There’s such a variety of students here – their backgrounds, their interests, what they want to do,” he said. “These students are interested in new concepts that I’ve never considered. It’s exciting to see that interest and their enthusiasm.” Looking forward, Dr. Minter is not sure where this project will end up – there are simply too many areas to consider. His hope in the near future is to find a variety – or a couple – from these strains that will grow well and are usable for brewing. More than anything else, he wants his students to keep thinking of new ways this project can develop and change throughout the years to come.


“Hands-on experience is really important in this,” he said. “For myself, it became evident that this type of experience is valuable and I’ve just seen that more and more. We have that aspect here in this project and it’s something we need to make sure we keep nurturing.” Pictured: 4. Dr. Logan Minter and Ryan Potter setting young plants into campus plot. 5. Student Ryan Potter collects wild hop cones from a location in Scioto County. 6. Young hops plants establishing in new plot on campus. 7. Newly propagated hops plants beginning to ‘harden off’ in Waller Conservatory. 8. Students Sahvannah McDowell and Erin Morrison setting young plants into campus plot. 9. Students Sahvannah McDowell and Erin Morrison working in the lab. 10. Hops plant growing in new plot.







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Photo Credit: Terry Noel, ‘08

Announcing the 2020

Alumni Association Awards

The Shawnee State University Alumni Association recognizes six individuals for their achievement in their career fields, within their communities, and in the classroom with this year’s Alumni Association Awards.

Distinguished Alumnus

Medal of Merit

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

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

MANDY BROWN | Class of 2014

KYLE BREWER | Class of 2008

Mandy Lynne (Hannan) Brown is a 2014 graduate of Shawnee State University. She graduated from SSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and an Associate in General Studies, as well as a minor in Social Work and Certificate in Deaf Studies. After graduation, she began working for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and currently serves as an investigator in the AGO’s Crime Victim Services Section. In her position, Brown assists victims seeking compensation for medical, counseling, work loss, and other qualifying expenses incurred as a result of violent crimes. She has also assisted with the coordination of the Attorney General’s annual Two Days in May Conference on Victim Assistance. She served as an Administrative Assistant for Constituent Services, an Administrative Professional for Environment Enforcement and a Public Inquiries Assistant in the Crime Victim Services Section. Throughout her tenure with the AGO, Brown has played a key role in coordinating and implementing the AGO’s efforts in the annual statewide Combined Charitable Campaign and Operation Feed events, which help raise money for several activities, including the AGO choir, and the AGO softball and volleyball leagues. Brown also uses her ASL skills to facilitate communication between hearing impaired and/or deaf constituents and the AGO staff.

A 2008 Early Childhood Education graduate, Kyle Brewer currently serves as the Assistant Principal at North Adams Elementary School. During his 12-year career, Brewer taught various grade-levels in the elementary setting and coached multiple years of varsity basketball and baseball. While at North Adams Elementary, Brewer played a pivotal role in leading the efforts to implement the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) system and conducted PBIS presentations to multiple schools and districts across Ohio. This state-wide initiative teaches students expected behaviors in a positive manner and has been shown to enhance student success and positively change school climate. Since implementing PBIS, North Adams Elementary has won several awards under Brewer’s leadership, including as one of 46 schools to be named a PBIS Silver School by the Ohio Department of Education for the 2018-19 school year. North Adams is currently featured in a PBIS professional development video produced by the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence that can be accessed across Ohio.

During her time at SSU, Brown participated in pep band, was a member of the Student Programming Board, and was a sister of the Omega Pi Mu Sorority in Greek Life. Brown currently resides in Fairfield County, Ohio with her husband Ethan.


Throughout the school community, Brewer is an active mentor to students at North Adams Elementary, volunteers with various afterschool programs, and aids with Blessings in a Backpack. Brewer received his Master’s in Education Leadership from Dayton University and currently resides in Winchester, Ohio with his wife, Heather Simpson Brewer (‘06), and their children − daughter Piper and son Kipton.

Distinguished Alumni Ambassador

Alumni Community Service

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

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

CHRISTINA BAKER | Class of 2012

LISA BUCKLER | Class of 1984

A 2012 English & Humanities graduate, Christina Baker has devoted her life to Shawnee State, holding several different roles at the university for over a decade. She holds a Master of Arts in English & Creative Writing, a minor in Women’s Studies, and a Certificate in Gender & Sexuality Studies. Baker began working at SSU as a student-employee from 2008-2012 in the Writing Center as well as the Women’s Center. After graduating, she returned to SSU in 2014 as an English Composition adjunct and from 2015-17 served as a Career Advisor in Career Services. In 2017, she became the Coordinator of the Women’s & Gender Equity Center and a Grant Writer for Institutional Research. She also serves as a Title IX Deputy, the Chair of the University Administrative Assembly, and continues to teach English for the Upward Bound Math & Science Program and creative writing for Cub Camp. She has helped secure over $4 million in grants for programs and facilities at the university and helped retain, educate, and provide support for hundreds of students along the way through courses, events, and guidance. In addition to her service at the university, she has helped start two Development Foundation student scholarships.

Lisa Buckler has had a long career in public service as an Injury Management Supervisor at the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for over 26 years. Previously working as the Assistant to the Mayor of Portsmouth, Ohio, Buckler is an active member of the Lucasville Kiwanis Club and also participates in various charity events. Buckler is a lifelong resident of Scioto County. She is a 1982 graduate of Valley High School and earned an Associate of Applied Business from Shawnee State in 1984. She then went on to receive a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Education from Morehead State University in 1987 and a Master of Business Administration in Leadership & Human Resources from the University of Findlay in 2002. Buckler currently resides in Stout, Ohio and is married to Judge Jerry Buckler. They have two children, Adrienne and Adam. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

She is known for her compassion towards others and dedication to equality and inclusion. In her spare time, she is a published writer, a painter, and a volunteer at local non-profits.

Outstanding Recent Graduate

Alumnus of Tomorrow

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.

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.

AARON WAMSLEY | Class of 2018


A 2018 graduate, Aaron Daniel Wamsley studied Biology with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences at Shawnee State while also receiving a minor in Microbiology. During his time at SSU, he assisted with undergraduate research under Dr. Jennifer Napper, studying Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Currently, he is working as a Linkage to Care Coordinator with Equitas Health, a non-profit organization that assists people living with HIV/ AIDS, while working towards his next step in graduate school.

Nathaniel Christopher Jones, a native of Xenia, Ohio graduated in May 2020 with a degree in Biomedical Sciences with a 3.75 GPA. He is a four-year men’s soccer team member, was named captain during his senior campaign, and was the team representative on the Mid-South Conference Champions of Character Team. After graduation, Jones will be attending the University of Cincinnati, working on a Master of Science in Biomedical Research Technologies degree.

Nominations for next year’s Alumni Association Awards will open in January 2021. Learn more at

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Young Alum Finds Success through College Credit Plus Abby Keith (‘20) graduated this past spring earning her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the same time she received her high school diploma.


Focusing her degree on science courses and a keen interest in neurology, Keith built a foundation of courses to lead her to a career in neuroscience.

“I am fortunate to have a family who have been nothing but supportive of my academic endeavors,” said Keith, sharing that her mother drove her to class every day for four years until she was old enough to get her license.

Recently she was accepted into the neuroscience graduate program at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

nrolled in College Credit Plus (CCP) courses beginning at age 12, Abby Keith (‘20), took on early college work hoping to challenge herself academically. Two years later she began courses at Shawnee State and earned her degree in Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the age of 17 – the same year she earned her high school diploma from Western Brown High School in Mt. Orab, Ohio.

Even being a younger student, Keith was able to find her place at SSU, connecting with professors in her studies as well as joining the Psychology Journal Club. “I loved the entire Psychology department so it would be difficult for me to pick a favorite professor,” said Keith, stating her love of classes in cognitive neuroscience, neurobiology of behavior, and positive psychology.


“Currently, my research is focused on neurological issues, such as addiction and traumatic brain injury,” said Keith. “Neuroscience combines my shared love of biology and psychology, and my hope is to do something great in the world.”

CCP courses give students the opportunity to begin their college studies early. Last year at SSU, more than 650 students were enrolled in classes through the program while still taking their middle school or high school courses at their own institutions. To learn more about enrolling in College Credit Plus courses at Shawnee State, visit

A OF EXCELLENCE Shawnee State University’s gaming programs have been ranked on The Princeton Review’s list of Top 50 Game Design Programs in the U.S. and Canada for 10 years in a row. In the 2020 review, the program broke through the Top-10 to reach #9. Learn more about Gaming at Shawnee State at





BEST COLLEGES by US News & World Report #119-#156 in Regional Universities Midwest #150 in Top Performers on Social Mobility #39-51 in Top Public Schools

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SSU Development Foundation

GRANTS PROGRAM The SSU Development Foundation awards on-campus grants to support academics, research innovations, and student life. In 2020, the SSU Development Foundation funded 17 grants, totaling $33,186. To find out more about the SSUDF Grants Program, visit

Spring 2020 Grants Allied Health Science Student Teamwork

First Year Refresh

Providing programming assistance to the Allied Health Sciences Department’s annual Interpersonal Education Event to provide opportunities for students from multiple disciplines to complete hands-on case studies and practice collaborative care.

Career Exploration for High School Students Providing funding to the Focus 2 Apply program, which assists prospective Shawnee State University students with completing career exploration while also providing funding assistance for a Family Career Awareness event.

First Gen Speaker Series As an extension of the successful “I Am First Gen” program, the monthly Speaker Series showcases alumni speakers who are also first-generation, while also presenting insights for careers and professional development.


Executive Director of the SSU Development Foundation

Focusing on students in their second semester at Shawnee State as well as transfer students in their first semester, this grant is an extension of the annual Weekend of Welcome, with a goal to assist students in finding their sense of belonging on Shawnee State’s campus.

Game On! Seeking to promote retention in the game design programs at Shawnee State University by providing emotional, social, and academic engagements to Shawnee State’s Game Design students.

SSU Alumni Ambassadors Allows graduates to stay connected to Shawnee State University while also helping in recruitment initiatives by participating in a variety of ongoing activities, such as college fairs and on-campus events. 

Signage for Selby Lobby Leading up to the 25th anniversary of the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts, this grant will provide funds to upgrade and establish more visually appealing publicity for events in the main Selby Lobby of the facility.

Summer Honors Institute Providing funding for the creation of the Summer Honors Institute to assist in the development of creative and dynamic educational programming for gifted local students in grades 9-11. The institute will provide stimulating academic programming, including a two-week residency to showcase the college atmosphere.

Sustainability: The Green Curve Providing stipends for undergraduate research associates in Shawnee State University’s Plastic Engineering Technology program, it allows students to work alongside professionals from iMFLUX in a research setting promoting the use of efficient and sustainable products for energy usage and material consumption.

“I love the SSUDF Grants program. To engage with our campus community on their creative solutions that benefit our students is one of the most rewarding parts of my position. Combining the resources of the SSUDF with the inspiring faculty and staff on campus allows us to play a small part in providing a well-rounded and truly impactful college experience.”


Pictured: Dr. James Reneau (Business Administration) and Dr. Tim Hamilton (Physics) receive a grant check from Chris Moore (Executive Director of the SSU Development Foundation) for the Satellite Project.

Shawnee State Satellite Project Fall 2019 Grant Award

Led by Dr. Tim Hamilton (Physics), Ted Kosan (Engineering Technologies) and Dr. James Reneau (Business Administration), the Shawnee State Satellite Project teaches students how to design and build a small satellite to be launched to study space weather in the Earth’s magnetosphere. Students in the Amateur Radio Society are assisting with radio communications while other students are involved with design and construction. While the project serves as a learning experience for students, it also serves as a way for high school science teachers in the region to

learn how to communicate with the satellite once launched and incorporate it into their own classroom teaching. “Their classes will be brought in to campus to see the satellite being built and to show their students the kind of technology and opportunities they can get involved with at Shawnee State,” said Dr. Hamilton. Accessibility to space has been growing in the past 25 years, allowing more opportunities for hands-on research and teaching. With this grant through the SSUDF Grants Program, the project funded radio kits, ham license training materials, and a workshop to train high school students. Moving to the next step, the project will fund the satellite kit itself.

Fall 2020 Grants Arts Come Alive Fall Outreach Shows

I Am First Gen

Student Pep Band

Providing support for four free outreach concerts for local K-12 students throughout the academic year to support the Ohio Department of Education’s Music & Dance standards for the education of every student in Ohio.

Providing mentorship programming for firstgeneration college students and first-generation faculty and staff participants to assist with navigating the many fields in college education.

Providing support to establish a student-led pep band to provide entertainment at Shawnee State University games, Homecoming, and special events.

Partners in Math

Weekend of Welcome Package

Bringing Mathematical Sciences faculty and students to local K-12 classrooms to develop relationships among faculty and high school teaching staff to promote the Mathematical Sciences department.

Providing support for the annual Weekend of Welcome activities to serve as an introduction to campus services. Programming includes the annual Party at the Library and Speak Up, Speak Out.

Clinical Lab Scientists: Healthcare Detectives in a Molecular World Supplying Medical Laboratory Technician students with lab kits to assist high school students through a case study scenario, serving as an introduction to the MLT career path.

Game On! Seeking to promote retention in the game design programs at SSU by providing emotional, social, and academic engagements to Shawnee State’s Game Design students.

Security Video Camera Enhancement To purchase two digital video cameras to be used outdoors to enhance security on campus, replacing two outdated analog security cameras.

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Sport Management Celebrates 25 Years


his year marks the 25th anniversary of the Sport Management program at Shawnee State University. Almost since its creation, Dr. Steven Rader has led the program – serving over 200 graduates that now hold positions throughout the United States. Alumni of the program are scattered across the sports industry – working for organizations including the Cincinnati Bengals, Major League Baseball, city recreation programs, and high school athletic programs. The skills received in this program allow graduates to migrate into other industries as well. Graduates can be found in the United States Air Force, in university leadership positions, and for the State of Ohio. Five Sport Management graduates have even made their alma mater their professional home after graduation, working with current and future Shawnee State Bears.

Current students and alumni of the Sport Management program come together before an SSU Basketball game in January 2020.

“It’s been extremely gratifying to see the diversity in how our alumni have used their degrees to achieve personal success,” said Dr. Rader. “It’s also been humbling to see the affinity our alumni have developed for the program and their willingness to give back in any way they can. They’ve supported the program both financially and through service; they have made SSU proud.” The program has grown substantially over the years – with its first two years seeing just five graduates earning their degrees to now graduating over 20 in the past two years. Sport Management plays a vital role in Shawnee State Athletics, working closely with the staff and players within the athletics department.

Sport Management students calling a basketball game for Shawnee SportsNet.

“The relationship between the Sport Management program and the Athletics Department has been extremely valuable and mutually beneficial over the years,” said Dr. Rader, who created an intensive practicum for the program that works closely with game management, reporting, and sport coverage for the department. The program has also led to the creation of Shawnee SportsNet – an idea of two Sport Management students to create an on-campus broadcasting program so students can gain experience calling SSU baseball and basketball games on the internet. “I’m very proud of how Shawnee SportsNet has grown since its inception in 2011,” said Dr. Rader, noting that in the past two years the program has broadcasted 100 SSU Athletics’ events with over 12,000 listeners tuning in.

Sport Management alumnus and Head Coach of SSU Men’s Basketball Delano Thomas (‘16) and Dr. Steven Rader conducting a post-game interview for Shawnee SportsNet.

Celebrating the accomplishments of its alumni in this milestone year, October served as SSU Sport Management Month. Spotlights of Sport Management graduates were released throughout the month, highlighting the many career avenues and accomplishments of the program’s alumni. All spotlights are available to read at


Sport Management Program Hosts Inaugural Sports Leadership Summit To mark the 25th anniversary of the Sport Management program, Dr. Steven Rader organized the inaugural Sports Leadership Summit at Shawnee State University. The event commemorated the success of its alumni as well as the changes within the program. Providing an opportunity for networking, an alumni panel discussion, and a look at the recent renovations across campus, Dr. Rader was excited to provide this opportunity to his alumni. “I was very excited to bring this event to our alumni welcome them back to campus in this way,” said Dr. Rader. “It was fun to learn about the different directions the program has taken our alumni in their professional lives.” If you missed out on the inaugural Sports Leadership Summit, view a recap of the event at


2008 graduate of the Sport Management program, George Gamble uses his degree every day serving as the Athletic Director at Marion-Franklin High School in Columbus, Ohio.

Before making his way to Marion-Franklin High School, Gamble worked his way in and out of the sports industry, including event management for Cleveland Central Catholic and in hotel apartment leasing. While pursuing his Master of Athletic Administration, he began coaching wrestling in the Columbus area. In 2016, he served as the Athletic Director and Physical Education Teacher at Millennium Community Schools, before creating Get Right Sports LLC, a tournament management and marketing firm. As Athletic Director at Marion-Franklin High School, Gamble oversees 12 sports and 125 student-athletes. In his role, he coordinates schedules, transportation, and operations of home athletic events while also determining the eligibility for all athletic teams, band, cheer, and drill teams. Serving on the school’s administration team, Gamble’s biggest highlight of his first year in the position was getting to see the school’s football team make the State of Ohio playoffs. “The Sport Management program taught me to think outside of the box and learn more about how game management setup, breakdown, and halftime entertainment creates an enjoyable sporting event,” said Gamble, discussing how his mentorship with program chair Dr. Steven Rader helped him decide to pursue the major at Shawnee State.

George Gamble Class of 2008

“I love the diversity of SSU,” said Gamble, who is beginning his second year in his position. “All the different events on campus and participating in various student organizations made my life at SSU much easier away from home on the weekend. The late great Matt Matthews was also an inspiration, father figure, and friend. His memory and SSU will always be with me.”

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James A. Rhodes Athletic Center Completes Renovations The $3.8 million renovation of the Performance Athletic Weight Room, Recreation Center, locker rooms, office spaces, and lobby areas were completed in January 2020. At the beginning of the Spring 2020 semester, Shawnee State University unveiled the newly renovated Recreation Center in the James A. Rhodes Athletic Center. The 4,201-square foot space was expanded to include new equipment to enhance student and community experiences. Included in the renovation throughout the building were newly renovated locker rooms - including the addition of locker rooms for Cross Country and Track teams – updated studentathlete recruitment and coaching meeting spaces, and an updated Athletic Training area and fitness studio. “The Rhodes Renovation project has transformed our facility,” said Jeff Hamilton, SSU Athletic Director. “The efficiency for space usage has increased drastically.” The renovation project allows coaches and student-athletes to focus their effort in a dedicated space in the Performance Athletic Weight room. The space offers enhanced weightlifting and training opportunities for each of the varsity teams. “The state-of-the-art facility is very important in recruiting students and giving them a great place to work out,” said Hamilton. “We are very fortunate to have the Rhodes Center as part of this beautiful campus.” For more information on the renovations of the James A. Rhodes Athletic Center, visit For information on the Recreation Center, visit


Pictured top to bottom: 1. Open House Reception of the newly rennovated Athletic Center. 2. Athletic Director, Jeff Hamilton speaking at the Open House Reception. 3. President Jeffrey Bauer and Athletic Director Jeff Hamilton, with Mickey & Susan Warsaw.

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Pictured (Left to Right): Athletic Director Jeff Hamilton, Jami Turrill, Mandy (Goin) Davis, Dr.Steven Rader, Alannah Sheets, Brad Liston, and President Jeffrey Bauer.

Hall of Fame

Shawnee State University hosted its 21st annual Hall of Fame Weekend earlier this year, inducting the Class of 2020: Mandy (Goin) Davis, Brad Liston, Alannah Sheets, and Jami Turrill as well as presenting the Ralph Kavanagh Home Team Award to Dr. Steven Rader. The Hall of Fame Banquet for the first time in its history took place in the Eloise Covert Smith Theater in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts, where over 200 alumni, student-athletes, faculty, staff, and guests watched the newest members of the Athletic Hall of Fame inducted onstage. The members of the Class of 2020 join the esteemed Athletic Hall of Fame consisting of nearly 70 individual student-athletes from 11 varsity sports – including three individuals who excelled as multi-sport athletes – three coaches, two administrators, and the 1999 Women’s Basketball National Championship Team. The Ralph Kavanaugh Home Team Award has also been presented to 11 recipients since created in 2005. Join SSU in Winter 2021 as we celebrate the newest members of the Hall of the Fame with the induction of Class of 2021. Learn more about SSU’s Athletic Hall of Fame by visiting


Hall of Fame Class of 2020 The Shawnee State University Hall of Fame inducted five individuals this year for their athletic achievements on and off the field during their time at Shawnee State University. MANDY (GOIN) DAVIS Women’s Basketball & Volleyball // 2000-2004 Mandy (Goin) Davis excelled in two sports for the Bears – Women’s Basketball and Volleyball. In Women’s Basketball, Davis achieved accolades as a NAIA First-Team All-American as a freshman and NAIA Honorable Mention during her sophomore and senior years. During her career, the Women’s Basketball team made three trips to the NAIA National Tournament and led the Bears to an overall record of 89-15 while averaging 16.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 54.5% from the field. In Volleyball, she led the Bears to 23 wins during her senior campaign, tying the school record for most wins in a season. During her career she accumulated 893 kills, 666 digs, and 112 solo blocks in just two seasons. Davis is a Belpre, Ohio native and graduated from SSU in 2004.

BRAD LISTON Men’s Cross Country and Track // 2010-2015 Brad Liston was a standout runner in both Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field, collecting a significant number of accolades during his career. Achieving at both the conference and national level, Liston was a four-time All-MSC honoree who qualified for a NAIA National Championship event seven times between the two sports. In Cross Country, he finished sixth at the NAIA National Championships in 2013, earning All-American status while also earning MSC Freshman of the Year in his first season and MSC Runner of the Year twice. During his career, the Bears earned top ten team finishes at the NAIA National Championships all four years. In Track, Liston finished as the third-fastest runner in program history as a two-time NAIA National Qualifier and won three MSC Championships during his senior season, including the 5,000 meters, 3,000-meter steeplechase, and as a member of the 4 x 800 meter relay. In addition to his accolades on the course and track, Liston was also an Academic All-MSC and NAIA Scholar honoree. Liston is a Circleville, Ohio native and graduated from SSU in 2015.

ALANNAH SHEETS Women’s Basketball // 2010-2014 Alannah Sheets is recognized as one of the best Women’s Basketball players of all time at SSU. Sheets became the first player in fifteen years for the Bears to lead the conference in scoring when she averaged 21.1 points in her senior season, also becoming the fifth player in program history to average 20 or more points in a season. She was named MSC Player of the Year in her senior season, earned MSC accolades three times during her career, and received All-American honorable mention two times and First-Team All-American recognition in her senior year. During her career, the Bears made four trips to the NAIA National Tournament, including as a freshman helping the team to the NAIA Fab Four. Sheets scored 45 points twice during her career, and set a single-game record for three-pointers made and attempted when hitting eight of 17 against Lindsey Wilson College. Upon graduation, she ranked first or second in nine career categories and currently ranks third in career points in program history with 1,967. Sheets is a Leon, West Virginia native and graduated from SSU in 2014.

JAMI TURRILL Volleyball // 2008-2010 Jami Turrill played three seasons for the Volleyball team, setting a standard of excellence for herself and her teammates. She was a three-time MSC honoree, earning MSC Player of the Year as a senior and NAIA All-American recognition. As a member of the three best seasons in program history, Turrill helped lead the Bears to three NAIA Tournament appearances and a record of 103 wins and 20 losses, while capturing the program’s first conference championship. Turrill currently sits second in career hitting percentage (.353), third in total kills (1,323), and third in total kill attempts (3,016), in addition to ranking in the top twelve for career statistics in twelve additional categories. Turrill is an Albany, Ohio native and graduated from SSU in 2011.

DR. STEVEN RADER Ralph Kavanaugh Home Team Award Dr. Steven Rader came to Shawnee State in 1996 and since has held various roles at the university including coach, member of media personnel, professor, administrator, and now Program Director for the Sport Studies program. He has shaped the program into what it is today, incorporating hands-on practicum and internship experiences into his everyday classroom. Dr. Rader is known throughout SSU and the community as a strong supporter of SSU Athletics, its coaches, and its student-athletes. In nearly 25 years at the university, Dr. Rader was recognized for his commitment to the ongoing growth and development of not just SSU Athletics, but the Sport Studies program that supports the varsity programs throughout their seasons.

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Tyler Boyles (‘13) at his first NFL game as the Assistant to the Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

Photo Credit: Matt Bowen, Creative Director of Photographic Services, Indianapolis Colts


Alumnus Reaches Dream with the NFL

Tyler Boyles (‘13) recently accepted the position of Assistant to the Head Coach with the Indianapolis Colts organization.


life in sports was always a dream for Tyler Boyles. A 2013 graduate, Boyles was a member of the Shawnee State Men’s Basketball team that received the program’s first national ranking in the NAIA. Living out his dreams of college basketball at Shawnee State, Boyles still remained connected to his other passion – football. Throughout the fall seasons at college, Boyles volunteered with his past team at Raceland High School in Kentucky developing several professional skills that would later translate into his career.

During his time in his second graduate assistant position, he made a connection that would later lead to a position with the Indianapolis Colts organization in the National Football League (NFL). At only 29 years old, Boyles found himself living out a childhood goal.

“I pride myself on my time management and organization skills,” said Boyles who played for the Bears all four years he attended SSU. “That really came from balancing being an athlete and being a student in college. Those skills helped me prepare for my next steps.”

“My dream was always to make it to the NFL,” he said. “If you watch football at a young age and then you end up in coaching, your dream is to make it to the highest level you can. Being able to be at this level, doing the things that I’m doing – things that I love – it means the world to me.”

After graduating from Shawnee State, Boyles went on to serve as a graduate assistant at two other institutions, earning a Master in Sports Administration as well as a Master in Strategic Leadership along the way. His positions gave him the opportunity to work closely within football operations, coordinating travel, offensive quality control, and camp sessions. He then took on a General Manager role within a football consulting business helping high schools around the country formulate offensive game plans. While Boyles didn’t stay in the same sport that he played in college, his connection to SSU Men’s Basketball still means a lot to him today.

In his role, Boyles helps to oversee all football-related activities with the Colts’ head coach. His time at Shawnee and in his roles after graduation helped prepare him to take on a role at this level. “I knew I wanted to stay in sports in my career,” said Boyles. “As a part of the basketball team we knew we had to put in the hard work each day to get the results we wanted. So that’s what I did after college. I did a lot of jobs, with a lot of different responsibilities, but I knew that working hard would lead me to where I wanted to go.” Boyles resides in Whitestown, Indiana with his wife Bethany and their daughter Emma.

“I met my best friends in life at Shawnee playing basketball with them,” said Boyles. “We worked hard and we made a lot of memories together. The relationships I built there are ones that are still important to me today.”

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CALLISTA LINK (‘23) Hometown: Norwalk, OH Class: Sophomore With eight years of swimming experience, Callista Link was a four-year varsity letter winner at Norwalk High School where she earned the Coach’s Award.

Men’s & Women’s Swimming ready to begin first varsity year

“From day one this group of strangers became more like family; sharing personal experiences and ideas to help our team grow into what will eventually become our legacy. Coach Cadogan has been an incredible advocate for the team; always making sure we have what we need, not only to succeed in the pool, but also in our lives outside of being a student-athlete. I am thankful that I am able to be, not only a part of, but at the start of this amazing team!”

Coming this season, Shawnee State Athletics will begin its first season of Men’s and Women’s Swimming. This is the first new sport at SSU since the addition of Esports in 2017. The announcement of swimming came two years ago, allowing Head Coach Gerald Cadogan (‘14) to begin a year-long process of recruiting before the inaugural season. Cadogan is a teacher at Portsmouth High School where he coaches several athletic teams including football, track, and swimming. Being a high school swim coach allowed Cadogan to see many of the local swim athletes. Beginning 2020, Shawnee State’s inaugural swim team includes a roster of eight men and 13 women. Many of the student-athletes are local to the Portsmouth area. “I am blessed to have this opportunity as a head coach and look forward in developing an immediate competitive team with swimmers that not only win in the water, but also in the classroom,” said Cadogan. The 2020 season is set to begin in October and continue through to March where the Bears hope to finish their season at the NAIA National Meet.


CODY BORSINI (‘24) Hometown: Greenfield, OH Class: Freshman Joining the SSU Swim program with six years of swimming experience, Cody Borsini graduated from Greenfield McClain High School where he broke two school records that stood for over 49 years and became the first swimmer in over 20 years to go on the podium at the District Meet. “I am excited to participate in the first year of the Shawnee State Men’s Swimming team. It’s an honor to be able to say I am one of the first members of this team and I cannot wait to further the development of the program as well as my own career as a swimmer.”

THE THREE-TIME ALL-AMERICAN AND 2019-2020 MSC FEMALE STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR SHARES HER THOUGHTS ON HER CAREER, TIME AT SHAWNEE STATE, AND WHAT’S NEXT FOR HER. Wrapping up the season earlier than expected, Bailey Cummins finished her career at Shawnee State with an impressive list of record-breaking stats. Over four-years, the Bracken County, Kentucky native started in all but two games for the Bears. In her senior year, Cummins became the program’s all-time assist leader, was the third player in program history to earn NAIA All-American status three times, and finished as the only player to post over 1,000 points, 500 assists, and 500 rebounds in their career. Despite having her final season cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cummins was named NAIA First-Team All-American, MSC Player of the Year, and MSC Female Student-Athlete of the Year – leading the Bears with an average of 18.7 points, 5.6 assists, four rebounds, and two steals per game. Off the court, Cummins stands out as a Biomedical Sciences major, who graduated virtually this past May, accumulating a 3.43 GPA during her time at SSU. Q: Tell us about your experience at Shawnee State. A: Shawnee was everything I imagined it would be and more. I have so many of the best memories because of this place and the people that it brought me. Shawnee was truly where I was meant to be. Q: What does it mean to you to be named MSC Player of the Year? A: It was such a great feeling that all of my hard work paid off. To go out my senior year with that accomplishment was the best honor. All of my teammates and coaches were so happy for me and it genuinely shows what kind of people they all are. If it weren’t for them, I would’ve never been able to get that honor and it means the world. Q: What has been your favorite memory at Shawnee State? A: I have made so many lifelong friends in college and I have countless memories with all of them. For basketball, the last four years I was lucky to be part of so much success. Probably the memory that will stick out the most is winning the Conference Tournament this past year in 2020. It ended up being my last game ever, which no one knew about at the time. But we let the league slip out of our hands through the season and went in the tournament and beat three great teams to cut the net down. Everyone thought we were going to get upset the very first round, no one believed in us. So being able to get that banner and trophy and get to cut the nets down with everybody was something I will never forget.


Q: How did you balance basketball and your classwork? A: Finding a good balance between the two took me a lot longer than I would like to admit. I had to find good study habits that were good for me personally. I had to plan out my days, when I could study and for how long, working around practice and workouts. Some nights I was up later than I wanted and some mornings I was up earlier than I wanted but you always have to make sacrifices when being a student-athlete. Q: What are your plans after college? A: My plan after college is to attend Physician’s Assistant school. There is also the possibility I may pursue playing basketball professionally overseas.

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Despite an abrupt end to the 2019-20 season, Shawnee State compiled an outstanding year. SSU Athletics got to compete in the fall and winter seasons before seasons abruptly ended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bears put together an impressive year despite the disruption, including the Women’s Cross Country team capturing their tenth Mid-South Conference Championship and the Men’s Cross Country team winning their ninth in 10 years. The Men’s Basketball team had a historic year, capturing their first-ever bid to the NAIA National Championship Tournament, while the Women’s Basketball team was set to make their tenth consecutive trip after bringing home the MSC Tournament Championship trophy. The Bears had seven student-athletes earn All-American honors, the second most in school history.


2019-20 MSC Student-Athlete of the Year MSC Player of the Year First Team NAIA All-American Women’s Basketball




Honorable Mention NAIA All-American Men’s Basketball


MSC Coach of the Year Men’s Cross Country

MSC Runner of the Year NAIA All-American Women’s Cross Country

MSC Runner of the Year NAIA All-American Men’s Cross Country NAIA All-American Men’s Indoor Track


EJ ONU (‘21)


MSC Randy Vernon Defensive Player of the Year Honorable Mention NAIA All-American Men’s Basketball

JONAH PHILLIPS (‘23) MSC Freshman of the Year Men’s Cross Country

Honorable Mention NAIA All-American Women’s Basketball

MSC Coach of the Year Women’s Cross Country

NAIA SCHOLARS SSU Athletics began their 202021 season this September. For stories, schedules, and scores visit


LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BEAR CLUB BY VISITING GIVETOSSU.COM/BEAR-CLUB. The Bear Club is the official Shawnee State University athletic booster program providing support for twentytwo varsity athletic programs and over 375 student-athletes. Memberships to the Bear Club are vital to the growth and success of SSU Athletics and the student-athletes in our region. Jeffrey Burke Zachary Byler ‘11 Paul Crabtree Adam Davenport ‘05 Laura Davis Janet Hanshaw Mike Helton ‘95 Dr. Staci Hepler ‘10 Andre Horton Hannah Kerr Michael McPhillips Amber Montavon ‘16 Dr. Kurt Palazzo HALL OF FAME | $1,000 Keegan Rathkamp ‘08 Bill & Beth Rockwell ‘12 Butch Kotcamp Knittel’s Services Center, Inc. Janet Stewart Monica Thomas Synesha Thomas CHAMPION | $500 Jon Venters ‘08 Mason Wisner ‘06 Dr. Jeffrey + Jeril Bauer Eric & Rebekah Braun VARSITY | $100 Amy Cummins Megan & Tony Eufinger Karen Alford Jeffrey & Rhonda ‘05 Anthony Baker Hamilton Greg Ballengee ‘79 Francesca Hartop Brittany Bazler ‘16 Travis Lynn ‘14 Benjamin Bercheck ‘17 Chris Moore Larry & Melissa Betz Pho & Phuong Nguyen Dr. Philip Blau Dawn Ochman Drs. Steven Rader & Rhoni Anonymous Yvonne Bowman Maxwell-Rader Jack Boyd Kelly Schumacher ‘15 Anonymous Chris Shaffer KC Brock Leo Broerman ALL-AMERICAN | $250 Brian Broughton Johnny & Patricia Butler Zac Alexander ‘11 Phil Butler ‘16 Jennifer Boggs Jeremy Carver Charles Broughton Eli Cole Herschel Burke

Anonymous ‘15 Eugene Collins ‘84 Alan Corbitt Donald & Pamela Coriell Shane Cox Russell & Lois Cummins Tony Cunningham Shane Davis Sherrill Day Bill Drake Samantha Durham Rebecca Fiscus Jeffrey Fraley ‘03 Rob Francis Cheryl Francis Julia Freeland Julia Galloway Michelle Gampp Rich Gangwish Daniel Gash Alexis Gassion Jeff Goodwin Marcel De Graaf Jerod & Lu Hagen Anonymous Amanda Hedrick Lucas Hileman ‘16 Leslie Holland Vicki ‘90 & Bill Hoover David Hopkins ‘95 Anonymous Cheryl Howard Bryan Howard John Hull Aaron Kallner Thomas & Brenda Kallner Belinda Kerr Loretta Keyser Paul Keyser Jim Kricker Chris Lawson

Gary Lee Crystal Ruark Robert ‘96 & Carolyn Dr. Darrell Rudmann Angela Russell Long Drew Sampson ‘11 Harold Long Stephanie Schaefer ‘97 Lori Lowe Holly Scott Scott Lowe Dr. Marc Scott Greg ‘98 & Michelle ‘95 Julie Sellers Lyons Jared Shoemaker Ashley Mackin Chris Smith Jerry & Mindy Mackin Gregg & Robin Smith Dr. Paul Madden Julie Smith Kimberly Martin Martin Smith II William Mason Melissa Smith Bobbi Massie Tammie Smith Claire McDonald Carolyn Snyder Lisa McGunagle Douglas Sommer Doris Meade Anonymous Susan Meyers Renee Stanley Kyle Miller ‘15 Terrie Stockton Cindy Montavon Kara Stump ‘08 Patsy Morris Nicole Neal ‘01 Bryan Sturgell ‘00 Delano Thomas ‘16 Bonnie Nichols Thomas & Christine Total Quality Logistics Oktavec Anna Trankina Anonymous ‘15,‘16,‘17,‘18 Greg & Jackie Otto Dave & Madaline Trego Donna Wagers Tara Pendell ‘06 John Perry ‘96 Adeline Wagner Angela Pistole Russell Walters Addison Poteet ‘16 Aimee Welch ‘98 Sherri Price Dr. John Whitaker David Ralph Carrie Williams ‘05 Charles & Cheryl Rawlins Matthew Wisecup Sharon Redoutey Dan & Becky Wisniewski Shelley Rhoads Loren Wohlgemuth Gary Riffe Dave Zender Lisa Roberson Bruce & Mandy Zuchowski Anonymous David Roney Cheryl Rose

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Vern Riffe Center for the Arts: Celebrating 25 Years N

amed for the longest serving Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and Shawnee State University founder, Vernal G. Riffe, Jr., the on-campus performing arts center has brought together every form of art and art education for a quarter of a century. Hosting performances and artwork in multiple forms and mediums, the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts at Shawnee State University has been a staple to Portsmouth, Ohio since it was first opened in 1995. With a mission of providing a creative environment to the region, the center provides opportunities not just for Shawnee State students and faculty, but for residents throughout the community. “The Vern Riffe center is used by so many different groups for so many different kinds of performances in this region,” said Dr. Stanley Workman, Director of the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. “It is a constant hub of activity for our campus and community.” The center hosts everything from Broadway shows to local dance recitals to art galleries and student Musical Theatre department performances. In addition to its performing arts emphasis, the center is also the central location for all art education on Shawnee State’s campus, hosting the Department of Fine, Digital & Performing Arts within its walls. “It’s important not just to this campus, but to this region,” said Dr. Workman. “There are many different avenues of art to appreciate and it all comes together in this spot.”

Vernal G. Riffe, Jr.

The building hosts dedicated spaces for faculty and students to hone their lessons and skills in music, painting, graphic design, theatre, and so much more. The growing Musical Theatre program uses several spaces within the center for all of its teachings including rehearsals, stage production, costume design, and final performances. Within its space are also the classrooms for the nationally ranked Game Design + Interactive Media degree – a program that has been nationally ranked by The Princeton Review for ten straight years with its game programming counterpart.

As the longest serving Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and a New Boston, Ohio native, Vern Riffe is acknowledged as one of the founders of Shawnee State University. Through his dedication to the state of Ohio and the Appalachian region, his commitment to the creation of Shawnee State University as a four-year public institution is one of many examples of the services he enriched within the region.



“This center gives a real home to those students with extraordinary artistic talents,” said Dr. Roberta Milliken, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “To have a facility as state-of-the-art as this one, shows how important those programs are to this campus and to this community.” Walking through the facility, a visitor will immediately see classrooms and labs dedicated to many different forms of art. The Bachelor of Fine Art in Studio Arts allows for five different concentrations – Ceramics, Drawing, Illustration, Painting, and Photography – and the facility allows each of these the opportunity to showcase their techniques effectively. “There’s a lot of outreach that happens through this facility,” said Dr. Milliken. “And when those local schools or the community comes in for a showcase or a performance, they don’t just see the Broadway show, they see the talent of our students displayed all throughout the building. It’s one the very special ways we are able to connect with the surrounding region.” Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the center’s staff has adapted to many social distancing guidelines. At this time, the shows planned for this season have been postponed, but the center’s impact on learning and appreciation for the arts continues through everyday classroom lessons and programs such as the Performing Arts Academy. To learn more about all the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts offers, visit

Shawnee State University

Performing Arts Vern Riffe speaking at opening of the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts in 1996.

ENROLLING DANCERS: Age 12 months – 18 years OFFERING LESSONS IN: Ballet, Jazz, Tap Creative Movement, Contemporary Acro Dance and First Steps. ENROLLMENT FOR 2021 BEGINS DECEMBER 15! Visit to learn more.

OUR MISSION: The highest standard for dance education in Portsmouth, Ohio.

“Road to Discovery” mural featured in the Selby Lobby of the VRCFA. Photographed here at the VRCFA opening in 1996.

Shawnee State University Performing Arts Academy is proud to be the leader in dance education in Portsmouth, Ohio. The Academy’s mission is to establish the standard for quality technical training, artistry, and dancer health. The Performing Arts Academy is proud to be a part of the Nations Dance Education Organization and teach the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum and Acrobatic Arts Syllabus, by certified instructors.

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CAMPAIGN UPDATES SSU Development Foundation

The SSU Development Foundation leads the way on several fundraising endeavors that benefit programs on campus. Read below for updates on some of this past year’s campaigns. To learn more about ongoing initiatives, visit

As part of the university’s third annual Day of Giving campaign, 103 donors came together to raise $20,300 in a 24-hour period. The campaign regularly supports university scholarships, grants, academic enhancements, research, and more through The Shawnee Fund.

Visit for more information.

35% 34% 9% 6% 1%

Day of Giving raises $20,000






Shawnee Alumni Ambassadors raise $550 Members of the university’s Student Alumni Ambassadors program came together to raise over $550 to support this year’s Day of Giving program. Eli Cole (‘22) topped the program with the most donations, raising $203 towards the campaign.

Starting off the 2019-2020 competition season, SSU student-athletes and coaches kicked off their seasons with the annual fundraiser for the university’s athletic booster club. With 286 donors, a total of $32,667 was raised in support of student-athlete scholarships. Congratulations to the top teams: Women’s Basketball, Baseball, and Men’s Basketball for topping the competition charts with their fundraising amounts. Learn more about the SSU Bear Club at

Learn more and join the Bear Club at 42 | SHAWNEE MAGAZINE • CAMPAIGN UPDATES

25% 16% 31% 29% 5%

Bear Club Challenge raises $32,000






Make Tomorrow’s Stars helps create new opportunities for Musical Theatre In 2019, the $175,000 Make Tomorrow’s Stars campaign was launched to support the continued expansion of the SSU Musical Theatre program. The initiative aided in scholarship support, upgrades to the Kahl Studio Theater, and expanded community programming opportunities. The campaign received support through grant funding, major gifts, individual contributions, event proceeds, employer matching funds, and student-led fundraising initiatives.

Learn more by visiting

Senior Gifts aide the Shawnee Fund In 2019-2020, 74 seniors commemorated their graduation by making a gift to SSU Development Foundation’s Senior Gift program. Raising $1,694 for The Shawnee Fund, the Senior Gift program was developed as an opportunity for graduates to give back to current Shawnee State students.

Leen Heresh Class of 2020 “Shawnee State gave so much to me during my time as a student, so it felt like the baton has been passed on for me to start giving back. By donating, Shawnee State can continue providing for more students long after my graduation.”


Dr. Blau Receives 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.


or twenty years, Dr. Philip Blau has been teaching within the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Shawnee State. Enjoying all subjects, Dr. Blau first discovered his love of math while taking a wide range of courses during his first two years of college. By the end of his sophomore year, he knew he wanted to pursue a graduate degree in mathematics and then went on to decide he wanted to teach at the college level. As native New Yorkers, Dr. Blau and his wife were searching for the right place to settle with their children as his career started. Meeting with colleagues at Shawnee State, they found that place in what has been their home for over two decades. “Classifying myself as a teacher of mathematics, while correct, seems neither broad nor accurate enough,” said Dr. Blau of his pride in teaching. “Driven by a deep commitment to the teaching and learning of mathematics, I do everything I can to help my students succeed and have a rewarding education experience.” During his time at Shawnee State, Dr. Blau has served on many committees for the university including 17 years on the General Education Advisory Committee where he served as GEP Director for 10 years. During his time as the director, he led the revision of the GEP requirements in 2016. Working with several students on a case-by-case basis at that time, he was able to minimize any negative effects for those who entered SSU under the old GEP. Since 2004, Dr. Blau has been the Faculty Athletic Representative, helping to certify hundreds of student-athletes each year to stay on track to fulfill their eligibility to compete in the NAIA. For his commitment to SSU Athletics, he received the Ralph Kavanaugh “Home Team” Award during Hall of Fame Weekend in 2017. “It is rewarding to see the impact of my work resolving different problems with these students,” said Dr. Blau. “In a way, the commencement ceremony helps me put a face – and a cap and gown! – to a chain of emails with a student.” While he has been thankful for the many roles that he has played throughout his career, at the core, Dr. Blau is a mathematics teacher who works hard to share his love of his field of study. “Teaching mathematics is both a pleasure and hard work,” he said. “I have a true passion for mathematics as a remarkable, ancient, and ongoing human endeavor; an endeavor which has a place in the curriculum of all liberal arts students not solely scientists and engineers. This passion permeates all I do as an educator.”


Mathematical Sciences Professor Dr. Philip Blau, winner of the 2020 Board of Trustees Distinguished Teaching Award.


Dr. Logan Minter Natural Science

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 promoting activities focused on campus service and outreach. Since 2017, Dr. Logan Minter (‘07) has served as an Assistant Professor of Biology at Shawnee State, developing several research programs to incorporate colleagues and students. On campus he has served on several committees within his department and university including the City of Portsmouth Tree Commission, and Natural Sciences General Education Program Assessment Committee. He also oversees the research and management of the Waller Conservatory.

“I have been greatly humbled to have my service to the university and community recognized in association with the reputation and memory of Professor Lawson. I am also very appreciative for the nomination, support, and selection from the campus community.”


Dr. Kimberly Cassidy School of Education

Acknowledging outstanding teaching of a new member of the faculty and recognizing the excellence of faculty impact on students, scholarly approach to teaching and learning, and contribution to undergraduate education. Since 2017, Dr. Kimberly Cassidy has been a faculty member in the School of Education at Shawnee State in a number of roles, including co-director of Graduate Programs, Early Childhood Program Coordinator, and Reading/ CORE Program Coordinator. Within her department, Dr. Cassidy has created the School of Education Ambassadors program, volunteered her time on campus for one-on-one OAE study sessions and student success workshops, and serves as a member on several campus committees.

“I value each and every student. I know that there is no learning that occurs without a relationship being built prior to that textbook being opened.”


Dr. Lavanya Vemsani Social 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. A professor at Shawnee State since 2006, Dr. Lavanya Vemsani has been widely acclaimed for her research in history. Her published works include Modern Hinduism in Text and Context, Krishna in History, Thought and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Lord of Many Names, and Hindu and Jain Mythology of Balarama in addition to numerous articles and upcoming books. She serves as the Editor-in-Chief of American Journal of Indic Studies and Associate Editor of Canadian Journal of History and Airforce Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs. She has given keynote addresses at multiple international academic conferences and served as the President of the Ohio Academy of History (2019-20).

“I am really honored and thrilled to be selected to receive the Faculty Research Award at Shawnee State.” FALL 2020 | 45

Faculty & Administration Accomplishments Highlighting the achievements and work of the past years by Shawnee State University faculty, staff, and administration members. Dr. Sunil Ahuja, named new Provost and Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs. Ann Marie Allen (‘06), MOT, OTR/L, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, led a research project with students in the Occupational Therapy program entitled “Clinical Reasoning Influences on Adaptive Equipment Recommendations from Occupational Therapists’ for Clients Returning Home.” Michael Barhost, named new Vice President of Finance & Administration. Elizabeth Blevins, Executive Director of Marketing & Communications, received the PR Practitioner of the Year award by the River Cities chapter of the PRSA as part of their 2019 Tribus Awards. Steve Boone, Head Coach of Men’s & Women’s Tennis, received recognition by the United States Professional Tennis Association for outstanding participation in the association’s continuing education program. Eric Andrew Braun, Vice President of Advancement & Enrollment Management, named to the Board of Directors of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and to the Public Policy Commitee of OhioX, a statewide technology and innovation partnership. Dr. Thomas Bunting, Assistant Professor of Political Science, published Democracy at the Ballpark: Sport, Spectatorship, and Politics to be released in Fall 2020. He also presented a paper titled “Plato and Populism: Can Democratic People Choose Tyranny?” at a panel on Tyranny and Exploitation hosted by the Western Political Science Association.  Dr. Neil Carpathios, Associate Professor of English & Creative Writing, recently published a new book of poetry titled The Door on Every Tear: Poems. Shirley Crothers-Marley, MFA, Adjunct Faculty of Digital, Performing & Fine Arts, announced the publication of her book of poetry entitled Make Me An Oyster. The book represents a lifetime of creative writing which includes observations and reflections on various life experiences.

Dr. Karen Crummie, Business Administration, received Professor Emeritus recognition by SSU Board of Trustees in Spring 2020. Dr. Larry Essman, Business Administration, received Professor Emeritus recognition by SSU Board of Trustees in Spring 2020. Dr. Andrew Feight, Professor of American History, secured Shawnee State University as a host-site for the Ohio History Service Corps Program to support a Local History Member serving in the Shawnee State Digital History Lab. Dr. Tim Hamilton, Professor of Physics and Director of the Clark Planetarium, published the paper “The host of galaxies of FeLoBAL quasars at z~0.9 are not dominated by recent major mergers” in 2019 in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Additionally, he and his team have been studying how distant galaxy clusters can act as lenses with an upcoming paper to be released on their research. Dr. Ed Kehres, Assistant Professor of Master of Occupational Therapy, led a research project with students in the Occupational Therapy program entitled “Sexual Education for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.”

Travis Lynn (‘14), Instructor of Digital Simulation & Gaming Engineering and Esports Assistant Coach, was named as a member of the eFuse Collegiate Advisory Board for Esports. Eric Putnam, Head Coach of Men’s Cross Country, named Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year Award in Men’s Cross Country. Dr. Christine Raber, Professor of Master of Occupational Therapy, published four papers in the past year on research topics including dementia and the remotivation process. She also led a research project with students in the Occupational Therapy program entitled “Supporting Meaningful Engagement in Hospice Care Centers: A Program Evaluation.” Dr. Steven Rader, Program Director of Sport Studies, was presented the Ralph Kavanaugh Home Team Award during SSU’s Hall of Fame 2020 Weekend. He was also awarded the Community Spirit Award by the American Red Cross. Holly Scott, Athletics Administration Assistant, received her Master of Business Administration from Murray State University. Sharon Scott, Nursing, received Professor Emeritus recognition by SSU Board of Trustees in Spring 2020.

Dr. Erik Larson, Assistant Professor of Geology, awarded the “Young Scientist Award” by the Geological Society on America’s Karst Division in 2019. He also published a paper titled “Processes leading to the re-activation of a sinkhole in buried and the subsequent drying of waterfalls in a small catchment located in northern Indiana, USA.” Throughout attending several conferences, he has presented seven abstracts in collaboration with current SSU geology students and fellow faculty members as well as presented a guest lecture at the Creek Run LLC Training Symposium.

Dr. Mikel Stone (‘08), Assistant Professor of Master of Occupational Therapy and Program Director of PP-OTD, led a research project with students in the Occupational Therapy program entitled “Evaluation of Student Led Occupational Therapy Programming for Adults in Substance Abuse Recovery.”

Dr. Jinlu Li, Professor of Mathematical Sciences, published 10 academic articles in the past year with topics including variational inequalities and fixed point theorems in journals including Journal of nonlinear and convex analysis, Numerical Functional Analysis and Optimization, and Fixed Point Theory. He was also invited to present his research at three international conferences in China.

Dr. Barb Warnock, Program Director of Master of Occupational Therapy, led a research project with students in the Occupational Therapy program entitled “Occupational Therapists’ Use of SoundBased Interventions Through the Lifespan: A Survey Study.”


Sthefany Thomas, Resident Coordinator of Housing & Residence Life, was appointed as a board member to the Faith Thomas Foundation.

All listings were submitted for publication.

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.


Leah Campbell, Lead Specialist, Printing Services Julius Kosan, Associate Professor of Computer Engineering, Engineering Technologies Butch Kotcamp, Director of Plant Operation, Planning, Construction & Facilities


Dr. Douglas Darbro, Professor, Mathematical Sciences Janice Johnson, Associate Professor, Business Administration Jaime Madden, Manager of ITS Projects, Information Technology Services Lora Warner, Associate, Student Business Center Sue Wilson, Supervisor of Custodial, General Facilities


James Bayes, Specialist II of AA Library Systems Support, Clark Memorial Library Dr. Philip Blau, Professor, Mathematical Sciences Amanda Hedrick, Director, Children’s Learning Center Gregory Lyons, Professor of Gaming & Simulation, Fine, Digital & Performing Arts DeAnn McKenzie, Manager of FA Business Systems-Controller Douglas Parsley, Specialist of FA ITS Support, Information Technology Services Mark Russell, Manager of Database & Applications, Information Technology Services Sherry Scott, Administrative Assistant of Dean of University College Charles Warner, Chief Information Officer, Information Technology Services Kimberly Weddington, Department Administrative Assistant I, Counseling & Health Services


Sarah Smith, Coordinator of Contract Services Kassandra Bryant, Academic Administrative Assistant I, English & Humanities Daniel Chaffin, Associate Professor of Anatomy & Physiology, Natural Sciences Deborah Howell, Executive Assistant, Office of Provost Melissa Garrett Hughes, Associate, Student Business Center Dovel Thomas Myers, Assistant Professor of Management, Business Administration Preston Nichols, Associate Professor, Mathematical Sciences Dr. Kurt Shoemaker, Professor of Geology, Natural Sciences Marcie Simms, Dean of Students Dr. Kyle Vick, Professor of Psychology, Social Sciences


Wenifred Carpenter, Assistant Professor, Nursing Lee Pate, Associate Professor of Respiratory Therapy, Allied Health Sciences Jeremy Reed, Media & Web Specialist, Marketing & Communications Dr. Darrell Rudmann, Associate Professor of Psychology, Social Sciences Kelli Smith, Academic Advisor, College of Professional Studies Dr. Douglas Sturgeon, Associate Professor of Intervention Specialists, Teacher Education Joshua Teeters, Lead Specialist, Information Technology Services David Thoroughman, Director, Public Safety Tracy Walters, Academic Administrative Assistant I, Social Sciences


Sarah Boehle, Associate Professor of Health Care Administration, Business Administration Kristina Darnell, Assistant Professor of Radiologic Technology, Allied Health Sciences Jodi Dunham, Assistant Professor, School of Education Amber Hall, Department Administrative Assistant I, Children’s Learning Center Megan Ketter, Coordinator of HR Systems, Human Resources & Payroll Bobbi Massie, Administrator, Graduate Center Academic Advising, Graduate Studies & Assessment Services Amanda Means, Assistant Director of Recruiting & Transfers, Admissions Lindsay Monihen, Director, Academic Advising of CPS & Student Support Services Monica Orlando, Assistant Professor, English & Humanities Justin Ratliff, Custodian, General Facilities Ryan Warner, Director of International Student Services, Center for International Programs & Study Abroad Mariah Woodward, Assistant Professor, Allied Health Sciences

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Alumna Participates in Kidney Transplant Chain A 2006 alumna, Shannon (Thomas) Andersen chose to attend Shawnee State after receiving a scholarship to continue her athletic career with the Women’s Basketball team. Racking up over 1,000 points during her four-year career, she stood out on the basketball court as a forward for the Bears. After graduation, Andersen felt the need to stand out in a different way – making an impact on someone else’s life. In the summer of 2018, Shannon Andersen (‘06) began researching the process for donating a kidney to a patient in need. She spent weeks researching information, feeling it was a way she could truly impact someone else’s life with her own. Not long after doing her own research, she joined a leadership class with her employer Hancock Literacy. In a class that focused on developing leadership throughout individuals’ communities, Andersen met Michele who had recently shared on her social media that her father, Roger, was in need of a kidney transplant. Anderson immediately realized why her faith had led her to want to donate a kidney. That fall, she began the process to donate her kidney to Roger, but kept her plans quiet in case she did not end up being a match. After many tests, Andersen learned she was officially approved as Roger’s match. Everything seemed to be falling into place when a month later she was Andersen pictured with her kidney recipient Kim after meeting her for the first time. notified by a representative at the transplant hospital that she was a match for someone other than Roger – a patient that had been waiting for multiple years and had two autoimmune diseases making the chance for a match very rare. Through a transplant chain process, the representative assured her she would not only donate her kidney to someone in need, but Roger would be receiving his kidney from someone else as well at the same time. Overall, six donors and six recipients took part in the transplant chain in April 2019. Andersen’s donation was a success – with the kidney working in her recipient before the patient was even closed up. A few days later, all the participants in the transplant chain were able to meet for the first time.


“It was a very emotional experience,” said Andersen, who was able to meet her recipient Kim for the first time, as well as Michele’s dad Roger, the person who put her on this path in the first place. “A lot of hugs, tears, and happiness were in that room that morning.” Days after the successful surgery, Andersen returned home and received a phone call from her former SSU coach, Robin Hagen-Smith who had heard about her surgery. Not many individuals had known she was donating a kidney to a stranger, so to hear from her former coach stood out to her. “I was so moved that she had heard of our story and reached Andersen pictured with Roger post-operation when all donors out to me to see how I was doing,” and recipients had the opportunity to meet each other. she said. “We have gone many years without talking to each other and have many miles between us, but it still feels like we are family.” This year, on the one-year anniversary of the chain transplant, the group was planning to meet up in person to reconnect. Due to COVID-19, the plans were changed to a group Zoom meet-up. All six transplants have been successful, and the recipients are healthy and doing well. “I am forever grateful that I was picked to be part of this process and experience,” said Andersen, explaining that the process has allowed her to grow personally in her own faith. She continues to keep in contact with Kim as well as Michele’s father Roger. “I would do it all over again if I could. Saving the life of a wife, mother, daughter, and sister was a feeling I will never forget.” Andersen resides in Carey, Ohio with her husband Andrew and sons Bentley (9) and Lincoln (7) and is Executive Director of Hancock Literacy.

Andersen with her husband Andrew and sons Bentley (9) and Lincoln (7).

Join the 16,000+ members who are part of the Shawnee State University




Shawnee State University Alumni

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Pictured: Wenjie Lu, Class of 2021 wearing Shawnee State Bears Baseball Tee - $22 Danielle Petrovich, Class of 2023 wearing Grey SSU Bears T-Shirt - $15 Jacob Kielmar, Class of 2022 wearing Shawnee State Bears Baseball Tee -$22

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Golden Bears Give Back to SSU A part of Shawnee State for over 30 years, the Golden Bears are a staple organization on campus. This past year, members found a new home across campus and their support for the Bears has just kept growing. On a typical Monday, Wednesday, or Friday morning at Shawnee State, it is very common for students to run into members of the Golden Bear program in the James A. Rhodes Athletic Center recreation center, in their swim classes at the Warsaw Aquatic Center, or conversing in the new lounge located in the Morris University Center. At home basketball games, the organization converges in their own section in the stands as the Bears’ biggest fans. In the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts, members can be found as ushers helping patrons find their seats. This is just a few of the many ways the Golden Bear program has become an asset to the Shawnee State community. “It is essential for the mental and physical health of our senior citizens,” said Yvonne Bowman, long-time member of the program. “The members care about each other and are like a family. The benefits of the program aren’t just exercise, but the relationships they bond. It gives many a reason to get up in the morning, they have a reason to be there. They enjoy each other’s companionship and also get to exercise. It is such a wonderful program.” Funded through a grant by the Scioto County Commissioners, the Golden Bear program is free to all citizens over the age of 60 in the county. It provides on-campus health and wellness programs, performing arts, and social opportunities. Members enjoy free admission to all home athletic events, membership to the James A. Rhodes Athletic Center facilities, auditing of SSU classes, and dedicated exercise classes including yoga stretch and water


aerobics. In past years, the group has taken trips to cheer on the Bears in their Mid-South Conference games and have come together at watch parties for the national tournaments. “The relationship Shawnee State University has with the Golden Bears is special,” said Chris Moore, Executive Director of the SSU Development Foundation and lead of the Golden Bears program. As the organization keeps expanding on campus, many of its members have decided to give back to the university they enjoy. Since last fall, the Golden Bears have established two new scholarships on campus. As strong supporters of the basketball teams at SSU, dedicated Golden Bear members wanted to support their favorite Bears however they could. Together, they created the Golden Bear Scholarship to award one men’s and one women’s basketball player tuition assistance each year. This year, the scholarship impacted men’s player Tim Biakapia (‘21) and women’s guard Brandie Snow (‘22). Bowman also created a scholarship this year, in memory of her late husband Lew and herself, to be awarded each year to a graduate of the local Notre Dame High School coming to Shawnee State. “For many years, they have enriched our campus in numerous ways and have always supported our students,” said Moore. “To see their support culminate in financial support through scholarships for our young people is touching beyond words. I thank them again for their generosity and I am looking forward to sharing time with them for many years in the future.” For more information about the Golden Bear program or how to become a member, visit

Interested in becoming a Golden Bear? At all home basketball games when a Shawnee State student steps up to the line to shoot a free throw, they can count on hearing one thing above all else – “Make it count!” Sherrill Day, a long-time Golden Bear member and avid Bear fan reminds SSU players before every free throw that those shots can make the difference in winning or losing a game. To make a commitment to that reminder, Day has pledged $1 for every free throw made at all home games for the men’s and women’s basketball teams in the 2019-2020 season. The fund has grown to become a matching opportunity for multiple fans and sponsors of the Bears and has raised $1,357 to date.

Golden Bear 2019-20 Scholarship Recipients

The Golden Bear program, sponsored by Shawnee State University, was established In 1985. The program provides on-campus health and wellness, performing arts, and social opportunities for Scioto County residents over the age of 60. MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

Social Engagement & Events Wellness & Activity Classes Access to Exercise Facilities & Aquatic Center Free Admission to Athletic Games Participation Opportunities at Campus Events Volunteer Opportunities GOLDEN BEAR LOUNGE

“It was an honor to receive the Golden Bear Scholarship. The fact that we have people like the Golden Bears that support, show up to games, and establish a scholarship for us is amazing. I definitely heard them during the games. It was special and I’ll always appreciate it. Tim Biakapia (‘21) Senior, Men’s Basketball Forward

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Morris University Center, Room 150 CHAIR STRETCHING CLASS

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:00 a.m. Morris University Center WATER AEROBICS CLASS

“I was very blessed and honored to receive the Golden Bear Scholarship this past year. We are very fortunate to have a dedicated fan group within the Golden Bears. Their support is second to none and means so much to me, the women’s basketball team, along with all the other student-athletes here at SSU. Brandie Snow (‘22) Sophomore, Women’s Basketball Guard

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 a.m. James A. Rhodes Athletic Center, Warsaw Aquatic Center The Golden Bear program is currently operating virtually throughout this time. For more information on how to get involved, contact the Office of Alumni & Community Events at (740) 351.3081 or or visit

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The Clayton family, pictured here from left to right: John Clayton, Ann (Clayton) McDonald, Mary (Clayton) Bernard, Margaret Clayton, George Clayton, George J. Clayton, and Carol (Clayton) Ruff.

Clayton family makes gift to SSU Development Foundation Following their parents’ gift pledged during the 1996 Reach for the Stars campaign, the Clayton children each contributed in their parents’ honor to the ongoing Make Tomorrow’s Stars campaign.


ith a long history in the region, George and Margaret Clayton were known for their commitment to the betterment of Portsmouth, Ohio. Raising their five children – George J., Ann, Mary, John, and Carol – and managing the E.J. Kenrick Company on Market Street, the Claytons left their mark on several organizations throughout Portsmouth, as well as Shawnee State University. George Clayton was born in Portsmouth, Ohio in 1927. Following his college graduation, he worked for his father’s business, eventually taking over the company after his father’s passing. Throughout his life in Portsmouth he embraced serving the community on several boards including Portsmouth Rotary, Scioto County Area Foundation, Portsmouth Murals, Inc., and the Mercy Hospital Board of Directors.

“Dad was born and raised in Portsmouth and he was a dedicated public servant,” said George J. “He always wanted to keep the spirit of Portsmouth alive.” George married his wife Margaret in 1957, who relocated to Portsmouth from New York. Throughout her time in the region, Margaret also welcomed the idea of serving her community through several of her children’s school organizations, including President of the Board of Catholic Social Services and President of the State of Ohio Library Board. “Our Mom really embraced Portsmouth as her home,” said Carol. “She always appreciated Portsmouth for what it brought to our family, and how it continued to support us.”


The Clayton children say they can all recall the life of service their parents led and the examples they set for them. “They were very modest with themselves and with us, but they were also widely generous with others,” said Mary. “If you found someone in need, they would immediately be there. Whether that was helping with Christmas gifts, delivering groceries, and numerous projects they did within the church. I can remember Mom reading the paper and she would read a story about someone in need. Next thing you know, she would be writing a check and putting it in the mail to help them. She would do that multiple times a week. And I’m sure there’s a lot more that we don’t know about. That’s just the type of people that they were.” George served on the SSU Board of Trustees for nine years, overseeing the installation of Dr. James Chapman as the university’s fourth President and also serving as Chairperson during his term. He and Margaret shared a friendship with several leaders in the Shawnee State community, including Vern Riffe. In 1996, the couple decided to make a bequest to the university that would impact the region after they passed. The gift, made as part of the university’s Reach for the Stars capital campaign, was to the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts Endowment Fund. Today, the fund supports cultural performances in the facility, including Community Development Grants that encourage its use by area non-profit organizations. “Dad always considered Shawnee State to be Portsmouth’s shining star,” said John. “They could have given this gift to anyone, but they wanted to give it to Shawnee State to impact the community. They gave it to make an impact on that bright star.” After Margaret passed away in 2014, and upon the passing of George Clayton in late 2019, the gift was realized. Each of the Clayton children chose to make an additional gift in their parents’ honor. “They raised us with the saying ‘to whom much is given, much is expected,’” said Ann. “Portsmouth gave us so much, and we are so grateful. To help make this gift was the least we could do.” The gifts made by each of the Clayton children contributed to the ongoing Make Tomorrow’s Stars campaign supporting the expansion and elevation of the Musical Theatre Department. Raised by two parents that felt such deep connections of service to the region, the Clayton children echo their parents’ feelings to Portsmouth and Shawnee State. “We are all very blessed to have grown up in Portsmouth,” said George J. “So many in the community loved and supported us – teachers, coaches, neighbors, friends – it’s so encouraging to see the potential growing there and Shawnee State is at the forefront. I think that is what Mom and Dad had in mind when they chose to make that gift.” To learn more about planned giving opportunities at Shawnee State University, visit Pictured (top to bottom): 1. George and Margaret Clayton married in 1957. 2. George and his father, G. Harold Clayton, pictured in front of the E.J. Kenrick Company on Market Street in Portsmouth, Ohio. 3. George Clayton pictured with Roy Rodgers – one of his children’s favorite photo memories of him.

FALL 2020 | 53

SSU President’s Club

Honoring those who support Shawnee State University with lifetime giving of $50,000+ or $5,000 in a five-year period. President’s Inner Circle $1,000,000+ Anonymous Mrs. Clyde W. Clark Neal & Vicky Hatcher James D. Kricker The Lute Family Eloise Covert Smith

President’s Cabinet $500,000 - $999,999 Dr. & Mrs. Donald Appleton Gerald & Cynthia Jenkins Patricia J. Richards Frank Waller Janis Waller

President’s Council $250,000 - $499,999 Barnes & Noble at Shawnee State Fred & Charlotte Bennett George & Margaret Clayton Lewis & Carol Crum Dr. William E. & Anita Daehler The Glockner Family Foundation Francesca Hartop Home for Aged Women

Imogene Howland Alma Kahl Ron & Connie LeMaster Edward S. Levi Chris & Marilyn Lute J. William McKinley Gail Miller ‘86 The Brothers & Sisters of the Late Whitney Dillon Miller: Ward M. Miller, Jr., Henry J. Miller, Annis M. Reinhoester, Rosamond French van Aggelen Jim & Dr. Rita Rice Morris Nationwide Insurance Foundation Kay Reynolds The Vern Riffe Family SBC/Ameritech Scioto Foundation: Edmund J. Kricker Fund and the Bess & Marie Pixley Fund D. Scott Schmidt Southern Ohio Medical Center Dr. Miller & Genevieve Toombs Verizon A. J. Warsaw Mickey & Susan Warsaw

President’s Society $100,000 - $249,999 Adams Community Church American Electric Power Foundation American Savings Bank Dr. Joseph & Barbara Babcock


James F. Blair William & Barbara Burke Drs. Frank Byrne & Julia Coll Campus View Associates, LLC Dr. Raymond Carson Marian Caskey Centrus Energy Corp. Dr. Richard Conard Dr. Thomas L. & Cheryl Khoury Janet Kuhner John G. & Thelma Oleta LeBrun Ohio Children’s Foundation OSCO Industries, Inc. Albert & Una Petry Bob & Regina Smith Anne Strehle SunCoke Energy Trustees Portsmouth, LLC US Bank Dr. Wayne & Saundra Wheeler Dr. George F. & Sandy J. White

President’s Club Lifetime Membership $50,000 - $99,999 Sarah F. Anderson Earl & Betsy Ann Braun Fred Brisker James Butt II Stephen Butt Charter One Bank

DESCO Federal Credit Union Robert E. & Helen Dever Dr. William T. & Marika Esham Jody Gault Allen & Rita Hanson Don & Sue Harris Jim & Elaine Jividen John L. Kelley Ed & Ruth Kirkendall Susan G. Komen Foundation Marathon Oil Company Foundation Rebecca Milnes Betty L. Morgan Mary Nell Padron Burton & Leona Payne PNC Bank John & Mirka Ray Dr. Richard & Carol Rooney Rotary Club of Portsmouth Dr. Yong D. & Lucia Song Dick & Sally Spencer The Spriggs Family Foundation, Inc. Tanner, Stone, Holsinger, Donges & Company Courtney Todt Lung Transplant Fund Dr. John & Linda Walker Mildred Warman Rader Foundation Randy Warman

President’s Club $5,000+ Anonymous AT&T Inc. Dr. Jeffrey & Jeril Bauer Gene Bennett Cheryl & Dan Berndt Big Sandy Superstores Eric & Rebekah Braun William & Kathy Mulvaney Buente Martha A. Burton

Jim Butz, SPGB Architects, LLC Opal Carrington Dr. James & Ann Chapman Charles Koch Foundation Clyde & Maycel Clark Foundation Dorothea Coburn Joyce Coleman Jim & Geneene Collins Mr. & Mrs. Robert W. Cook Marc & Jennifer Cottle Carl & Lynne Daehler Janice & Dale Darnell Linda Donaldson Jim & Terri Laxton Donnally Dr. George & Debra Esham Lee O. Fitch Libby Fitch Steve & Sue Fitzer Fluor - B & W Portsmouth LLC Garry Gemmer & Dr. Kathleen Simon Glockner Enterprises Tim & Monica Glockner Guy Brown Express Dr. Brenda & Merlin Haas Gary & Marilyn Hairston ‘00 The Honorable Howard H. Harcha, Jr. Mark A. Harner Insurance Agency NiSource-Columbia Gas of Ohio Ron Hoag Anne Carson Hossman Richard & Joyce Howard Mark & Virgie Hunter Helen Hyland JAGS Inc., dba Wendy’s Restaurants Jim & Barbara Kadel Derek Kesig ‘94 The King-Warren Trust King’s Daughters Medical Center Robert & Jean Kramer Lawrence County Educational Service Center L. W. Associates, Inc. Ron LeMaster Insurance, Inc.

Bernard & Doris Levi Lute Supply Donald & Marian Madden Mary Ann Malone Manning & Napier Advisors, Inc. The Honorable John & Beverly Marshall Dr. Daniel A. & Nellie Martelino Jack & Sis McCoy McNational, Inc. Michael Mearan Mechanical Construction Co. Mary Miller Mark & Debra Morgan Gary Newberry Dr. Hagop S. Pambookian PepsiCo Foundation Dr. George & Carolyn Pettit Portsmouth Area Ladies, Inc. Sherri Powell ‘84 Tim Prater, Prater Engineering Martha & David Rader Drs. Michael & Kelly Raies Barry & Melissa Rodbell The Honorable Richard & Sallie Schisler Betty L. Sparks Stanley Electric U.S. Company, Inc. Jim & Sally Staker Anna M. Daehler Stillwell Dr. Clive & Jean Veri Dr. John Whitaker Dr. Robert L. Wilson Ralph & Julia Wisniewski

Gail Miller, ‘86 passed away in October 2020 and will be greatly missed by her friends and

colleagues. Miller graduated from Shawnee State in the year the institution transitioned from a community college to a university. Since that time, Miller served on the SSU Alumni Council, the SSU Development Foundation Board, and in 2007 was Alumni Chair of the SSU Poised for Tomorrow campaign, the largest capital fundraising effort to date in south central Ohio. “Gail was a friend, a supporter, and a true member of the community,” said Eric Braun, Vice President for Advancement & Enrollment Management. “You always knew where Gail stood on things, and she stood strong for the Bears for many great years.”

A lifetime member of the SSU President’s Council giving society, Miller donated to several university projects through the years, including student success initiatives, scholarships, and the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. Memorial Tributes in honor of Gail Miller can be made to the SSU Development Foundation at

FALL 2020 | 55

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 2020 fiscal year.

Trustee’s Club $2,500+

Adams Community Church Dr. Joseph & Barbara Babcock Barnes & Noble at Shawnee State Dr. Jeffrey & Jeril Bauer Mary Bernard Earl & Betsy Ann Braun Eric & Rebekah Braun William & Barbara Burke Campus View Associates, LLC John & Barbara Clayton George J. Clayton George & Margaret Clayton Marc & Jennifer Cottle Dr. William E. & Anita Daehler Dollar General Literacy Foundation Troy Gregory ‘96 Neal & Vicky Hatcher Jimmy John’s Franchise, LLC Richard D. Marting’s Foundation Ann McDonald Carol Ruff Jim & Sally Staker US Bank Foundation Mickey & Susan Warsaw Dr. John Whitaker Dr. George F. & Sandy J. White


Dean’s Club $1,000 - $2,500 Yvonne Bowman Dr. James & Ann Chapman Ed Daniels ‘82 George & Nancy Davis Dow Chemical Company Foundation Franklin Elliott Glockner Enterprises Dr. Stephen & Sue Fitzer Joseph Gandolfo Andrew Glockner Gary & Marilyn Hairston ‘00 Robert Hamilton Francesca Hartop Dr. Linda Hunt Knittel’s Services Center, Inc. Butch Kotcamp Dr. John Lorentz Donald & Marian Madden Lloyd Martin ‘83 Gail Miller ‘86 Crystal Newman ‘08 Preston Nichols Drs. Steven Rader & Rhoni Maxwell-Rader Bill & Beth Rockwell ‘12 Rotary Club of Portsmouth The Honorable Richard & Sallie Schisler Scioto Foundation Toby Smalley Susan Stone WNXT Radio

Founder’s Club $100 - $999 Dr. Aaron & Kathy Adams Zac Alexander ‘11 Karen Alford Jacqueline Allen ‘99 AmazonSmile Foundation Kathy Amburgey Julie Angell Anonymous Anonymous Anthony Baker Greg Ballengee ‘79 Brittany Bazler ‘16 Nancy Bentley Ben Bercheck ‘17 Larry & Melissa Betz Verna Riffe Biemel Dr. Phil Blau Judith Bintz-Doll ‘00 Jennifer Boggs Ernest Bouyack Jack Boyd Sarah Bramblette ‘06 KC Brock Leo Broerman Brian Broughton Charles Broughton Kathlena Broughton Aaron Bruewer Herschel Burke Jeffrey Burke John & Sue Burke Marilyn Burke David Bush Johnny & Patricia Butler Phil Butler ‘16 Zachary Byler ‘11

Leah Campbell Heather Cantrell ‘03 Cardinal Health Foundation Jeremy Carver Regina Chabot Joanne & Thomas Charles Christopher Chisler ‘06 Casey Claflin ‘18 Eli Cole ‘22 Eugene Collins ‘84 Gary Cook Charles Copas ‘00 Alan Corbitt Donald & Pamela Coriell Shane Cox Dr. Paul & Carolyn Crabtree Samuel Crabtree ‘87 Vickie Crawford Shirley Crothers-Marley Creek Run Environmental Engineering Lewis & Carol Crum Amy Cummins Russell & Lois Cummins Tony Cunningham Carl Darling Adam Davenport ‘05 Laura Davis Shane Davis Sherrill Day Mary Dillard Martin Dissinger Nancy Donini ‘73 Bill Drake Angela & Del Duduit Sandra Duduit ‘80 Samantha Durham Eflow, LLC Anna Ellsesser ‘00 Dr. George & Debra Esham Dr. William & Marika Esham Scott Estep ‘00 Megan & Tony Eufinger Rebecca Evans ‘96 Tyler Ferguson ‘00 Rebecca Fiscus Jeffery Fraley ‘03 Rob Francis

Cheryl Francis Julia Freeland Phyllis Fried ‘77 Friends of Portsmouth H. Roger Fulk ‘76 Julia Galloway Michelle Gampp Rich Gangwish Daniel Gash Alexis Gassion Vickie Glenn Dr. Frederick & Krista Gohmann Jeff Goodwin Marcel De Graaf Jerod & Lu Hagen Jeffrey & Rhonda ‘05 Hamilton Janet Hanshaw Russell & Dorothy Harcha Tiffany Hartman ‘01 Wesley Hartman ‘07 Richard & Nancy Hawk ‘87 Amanda Hedrick Mike Helton ‘95 Dr. Staci Hepler ‘10 Julia Hessler Lucas Hileman ‘16 Leslie Holland Marnae Holland ‘22 Vicki ‘90 & Bill Hoover David Hopkins Andre Horton Bryan Howard Cheryl Howard Stephen Howard ‘13 Tammy Howell John Hull John Huston Chad Inman Dr. Kimberly Inman Innovative Timing Systems LLC Matthew Jenkins ‘02 Anna Johnson ‘10 Jenny Johnson Malonda & Corey Johnson Christina Jones ‘12 JPMorgan Chase & Co. Aaron Kallner Thomas & Brenda Kallner Dr. Jean Kerney Belinda Kerr Loretta Keyser Paul Keyser Russell Kidder ‘17 Dr. Robert Knox Dr. Debra Knutson-McMullen Jim Kricker Margaret Koegle Kroger Curt Laird ‘97 The Lamp Shade Law Offices of Jeremy M Burnside, LLC

Chris Lawson Karen Leach ‘80 Gary Lee Candy Lett Kristin Liles Dr. Leila Lomashvili Alisha Long Harold Long Robert ‘96 & Carolyn Long Lori Lowe Scott Lowe Adam Lucas Greg ‘98 & Michelle ‘95 Lyons Deborah Lynn Travis Lynn ‘16 Bruce & Brenda MacDonald Ashley Mackin Jerry & Mindy Mackin Dr. Paul & Jaime Madden Greg & Sharon Malone ‘80 Dr. Missy Marsh Kimberly Martin William Mason Bobbi Massie Claire McDonald Brent McGinnis ‘81 Lisa McGunagle Cheryl McKinley Prostler Justin McMillan Michael & Teresa McPhillips Doris Meade Susan Meyers Pamela Milam ‘92 Adam Miller ‘09 Kyle Miller ‘15 Dr. Roberta Milliken Lindsay Monihen Amber Montavon ‘16 Cindy Montavon Michele Moohr Chris Moore Mark & Debbie Morgan Patsy Morris Drs. Andy & Jennifer Napper Network for Good Nicole Neal ‘01 Bonnie Nichols Astra Ng ‘09 Pho & Phuong Nguyen Dawn Ochman The Ohio State University Thomas & Christine Oktavec Anna Ortiz-Trankina ‘15, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18 Dane Osborne Greg & Jackie Otto Pamela Otworth Dr. Kurt Palazzo Nancy Palsgrove Tara Pendell ‘06 John Perry ‘96 Sarah Penix

Carolyn Pettit Tena Pierce ‘13 Angela Pistole Addison Poteet ‘16 Portsmouth Emergency Ambulance Service, Inc Sherri Price Dr. Christine Raber Drs. Michael & Kelly Raies David Ralph Keegan Rathkamp ‘08 Charles & Cheryl Rawlins Mary Redoutey Sharon Redoutey Thomas Reynolds Shelley Rhoads David Richey ‘02 Gary Riffe Pat Rigsby ‘95 River Bend House Assisted Living Lisa Roberson David Rodgers David Roney Cheryl Rose Crystal Ruark Dr. Darrell Rudmann Angela Russell Drew Sampson ‘11 John Schaefer ‘94 Stephanie Schaefer ‘97 Kelly Schumacher ‘15 Holly Scott Dr. Marc Scott Julie Sellers Chris Shaffer Tamara Sheets Jared Shoemaker Catherine Simensen Marcie Simms Dr. Kathleen Simon Casey Smith ‘09 Chris Smith Greg & Robin Smith Julie Smith Martin Smith II Melissa Smith Tammie Smith Carolyn Snyder Douglas Sommer Southern Ohio Medical Center Erica Squires ‘12 SSU Alumni Adena Health System SSU Alumni Stanley Electric Renee Stanley Harrison Stebbins Janet Stewart Terrie Stockton Kara Stump ‘08 Bryan Sturgell ‘00 Aaron Suydam ‘13 Lornita Swain Mark Tanner

Bradley Teeters ‘80 Josh Teeters ‘10 Dr. Becky Thiel Delano Thomas ‘16 Monica Thomas Synesha Thomas Total Quality Logistics Dave & Madaline Trego Jon Venters ‘08 Mima Vita Terry Waddell ‘17 Donna Wagers Adeline Wagner Janis Waller Russell Walters Joseph Watson Aimee Welch ‘98 Leonard Wheeler ‘04 Dr. Wayne & Saundra Wheeler Carrie Williams ‘05 Matthew Wisecup Mason Wisner ‘06 Dan & Becky Wisniewski Ralph & Julia Wisniewski Loren Wohlgemuth Dr. & Mrs. Charles Wong Dr. Stanley Workman Donna Wrinkle ‘88 Dave Zender Bruce & Mandy Zuchowski

The Honor Roll Up to $100

Theodore Adams Jacob Alexander Ann Marie Allen ‘06 Elizabeth Angell ‘19 Kendall Applegate Melissa Arthur ‘19 Babcock Eye Care Janet Baker Olivia Ball ‘19 Barlow’s Country Kitchen Cheryl Barnes Sandra Belford ‘03 Heather Berry ‘20 Jessica Blanton ‘10 Samuel Bowman ‘09 Mr. & Mrs. William Bratt Abby Brinkman ‘18 Breanna Broughton ‘20 Christopher Brown ‘99

FALL 2020 | 57

Tony Brown ‘97 Ralph Burkhardt Anthony Bush ‘93 Timothy Cairl ‘20 Kimberly Canfield Rebecca Carlisle ‘19 Century 21 Empire Realty Daniel Chaffin ‘90 Amy Clark-Barnhart ‘13 Shaye Coburn Janice Cochran Bobby Cole Taylor Cole Kamryn Conaway ‘20 Erin Conley Bobbi Crabtree Kara Cradler ‘20 Kristy Craft ‘19 Atty. & Mrs. Cara Crisp ‘16 William Cullen ‘93 Bethany Cybak ‘00 Shelby Dalton ‘19 Craig Deatley ‘02 Debs Guys & Gals Vanessa Desotelle ‘20 Kelsey Diller ‘20 Dennis Doaks ‘21 Linda Donaldson Jim & Terri Laxton Donnally Grace Duduit ‘20 Richard Duncan Bridget Dykes ‘11 Katlyn Edenfield ‘20 Mattie Elliott Austin Evans ‘19 Amber Fannin Victoria Felts Alexis Fiorita ‘16 Wendi Fleeman Jerrica Fultz ‘20 Janet Giles ‘83 Thomas Gilman ‘20 Tara Givens Logan Gordley ‘20 Kelly Grooms ‘12 Lori Guthrie Ali Hammond ‘20 Caitlyn Hanes ‘20 Monique Harmon Marisa Harris ‘20 Donna Hartlage Amanda Hartley ‘20 Samantha Harvey ‘20 Dr. Louise Hasell Shelby Hay ‘20 Leen Heresh ‘20 Randall Hieneman ‘19 Jordan Hileman ‘20 Dr. Carl & Christel Hilgarth Jennifer Himes ‘20 Alexandria Holbrook ‘20 Kaitlyn Hollingsworth ‘20

Nina Hood ‘94 Alecea Howell ‘20 Mikaela Howell ‘19 Lexie Hubbard Julia Huffman ‘19 Gabby Ingram ‘19 Scott Ingram Wilma James Kelcie Jenkins ‘15 Joseph Jinks Karen Johnsen Daniel Jones ‘08 Michael Jones Ryan Jones Aiden Kammler Zachary Kelly ‘20 Kody Kennedy ‘20 Megan Ketter ‘06 Kelsie Killilea David Kilroy Christopher Kiser ‘14 Caroline Lakatos ‘20 Chloe Lawrence ‘20 Carol Lawson ‘79 Ann Linden Cassie Link ‘19 Summer Logan Charles Love ‘20 Tyler Maley ‘19 Stacia Martin ‘19 Mr. & Mrs. Harold Massie Jordyne Mathews ‘20 Alex Matthews-Tobin ‘20 Todd May ‘18 Ruby McCleary ‘20 Brooke McFann Evan McGill ‘20 Jean McGlone Ronald McKenzie Taylor McQuay Amanda Means James Miller Brandon Montavon ‘13 Katie Morfchak Emma Myers Ashley Neice ‘20 Meaghan Nylund ‘20 Florence Olsen Caleigh O’Neal ‘20 Monica Orlando Zach Otto Keisha Palmer ‘20 Rachel Parker ‘20 Jill Parriman ‘11 Mike Pascale Joie Patrick Michael Perkins Sherri Petrovich Gregory Potts Haley Pratt ‘20 Irene Recker Edward Roberts ‘00


Logan Rowe ‘17 Lena Rowe Andrew Schackart ‘20 Adam Schroeder ‘15 Megan Shaffer ‘19 Michael Sheets Thomas Sheets Rudy Shively Zach Shope Trent Shubirg ‘20 Abby Shupert ‘19 Andrew Shupert Brian Skiles ‘99 Kara Smith Shania Smith ‘20 Amy Snyder Cassidy Spires ‘20 Patricia Spradlin Estle Stall Sharon Stambaugh James Stewart Joseph Stewart ‘15 Connie Stoner Felicia Stonerock ‘20 Heather Thacker ‘94 Laura Thomas ‘20 Jacob Thompson Morgan Thornsberry ‘20 Delaney Tittel David Tolbert Naomi Towers Tyson Trinidad ‘20 Dennis Turrill Vic’s Barber Shop Miranda Walk ‘19 Mary Walter ‘20 Karen Waltermire Richard Walters Patty Warner Valerie Webb Tyler Weisel Mr. Jason Wells Sue Welty Ryan West ‘02 Stacey White ‘20 Steven Whittaker Brittany Willett ‘17 Patrick Williams Whitney Williams ‘10 Benoni Wingeier Josie Wolfe ‘20 Zhiyi Xu Geli Yeagle ‘90 Andrea Young Amber Zweigart ‘20

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.

AmazonSmile Foundation Anonymous Greg Ballengee ‘79 Barnes & Noble at Shawnee State Dr. Jeffrey & Jeril Bauer Brittany Bazler ‘16 Don Bercheck Judith Bintz-Doll ‘00 Dr. Philip Blau Yvonne Bowman Dr. Elinda Boyles Earl & Betsy Ann Braun Eric & Rebekah Braun Charles Broughton Christopher Brown ‘06 William & Barb Burke Anthony Bush ‘93 Leah Campbell Campus View Associates, LLC Cardinal Health Foundation Dr. James & Ann Chapman Shaye Coburn Eugene Collins ‘86 Charles Copas ‘00 Alan Corbitt Samuel Crabtree ‘87 Creek Run Environmental Engineering Lewis & Carol Crum Amy Cummins Russell Cummins Dr. William E. & Anita Daehler Ed Daniels ‘82 Carl Darling George & Nancy Davis Laura Davis Angela & Del Duduit Sandra Duduit ‘80 Franklin Elliott Dr. George & Debra Esham Dr. William & Marika Esham Rebecca Evans Victoria Felts Wendy Fosson H. Roger Fulk ‘76 Janet Giles ‘83

Dr. Frederick & Krista Gohmann Troy Gregory ‘96 Gary & Marilyn Hairston ‘00 Jeffrey & Rhonda ‘05 Hamilton Robert Hamilton Russell & Dorothy Harcha Tiffany Hartman ‘01 Francesca Hartop Neal & Vicky Hatcher Lucas Hileman ‘16 Dr. Carl & Christel Hilgarth Dr. Linda Hunt Dr. Kimberly Inman Gerald Jenkins Kelcie Jenkins ‘15 Jenny Johnson Malonda Johnson Christina Jones ‘12 Ryan Jones Dr. Debra Knutson-McMullen Margaret Koegle Butch Kotcamp James Kricker

Kroger John G. & Thelma Oleta LeBrun Kristin Liles Dr. Leila Lomashvili Bruce & Brenda MacDonald Donald & Marion Madden Dr. Paul & Jaime Madden Lloyd Martin ‘83 Cheryl McKinley Prostler Justin McMillan Michael & Teresa McPhillips Amanda Means Adam Miller ‘09 Gail Miller ‘86 James Miller Dr. Roberta Milliken Lindsay Monihen Amber Montavon ‘16 Cindy Montavon Michele Moohr Chris Moore Mark & Debbie Morgan Jim & Dr. Rita Morris

ERIC ANDREW BRAUN Vice President for Advancement & Enrollment Management

Nicole Neal ‘01 Network for Good Astra Ng ‘09 The Ohio State University Monica Orlando Dane Osborne Pamela Otworth ‘82 Gregory Potts Betty Putnam Christine Raber Drs. Steven Rader & Rhoni Maxwell-Rader William Rathkamp ‘08 Thomas Reynolds Bill & Beth Rockwell ‘12 David Rodgers Rotary Club of Portsmouth The Honorable Richard & Sallie Schisler Adam Schroeder ‘15 Scioto Foundation Dr. Marc Scott Chris Shaffer

Marcie Simms Dr. Kathleen Simon Kelli Smith ‘12 Patricia Spradlin Southern Ohio Medical Center Janet Stewart Kara Stump ‘08 Bryan Sturgell ‘00 Bradley Teeters ‘80 Dr. Becky Thiel Delano Thomas ‘16 Amanda Triplett Mima Vita Aimee Welch ‘98 Dr. Wayne & Saundra Wheeler Dr. John Whitaker Dr. George F. & Sandy J. White Daniel Wisniewski Mr. Ralph & Julia Wisniewski Dave Zender

“Thank you to the SSU Development Foundation for increasing their scholarship support in the past year to over $750,000. The outstanding commitment of our board members and donors continues to make college possible for hundreds of Shawnee State students.” FALL 2020 | 59

Dear SSU Alumni, What a year 2020 has been. We begin another academic year on campus that looks much different than any other in the history of Shawnee State University. This year is full of many more emotions than our first steps on campus, but one thing remains true for all of our alumni and our current students – Shawnee State University is home. The Shawnee State University Alumni Association welcomed over 700 new graduates as alumni this past academic year. With each new graduating class, we alumni look back on our time on campus – our hard work, the dedication, late nights spent studying, friendships we’ve made, loved ones we met, dreams we realized, and where we began our careers. Shawnee State holds a special place in our hearts. This year, SSU celebrates and thanks all of our graduates who became frontline workers facing a global pandemic. To our nurses, doctors, engineers, teachers, scientists, and many more essential workers – you are our everyday heroes. Shawnee State is especially thankful for those alumni who have sacrificed so much for us in 2020. In your careers and in your lives, you represent the university every day and are instrumental in continuing to make Shawnee State what it is today. It is the mission of the Shawnee State University Alumni Association to support the growth of Shawnee State University and to expand opportunities for our students and graduates. While connecting, involving, and informing the university’s alumni, friends, supporters, and community, it is our goal to connect these groups to Shawnee State in a meaningful way. In this upcoming year, we ask you to join us for one of our events, share your accomplishments with us, and tell us how SSU impacted your life. Your involvement impacts the lives of our current students too. As always, we are proud of each of our Shawnee State graduates and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Go Bears!

Kara (Bobo) Stump Class of 2008 Director, Alumni & Community Events SSU Alumni Association



CLASS NOTES: What are our Alumni up to?




Alumni panelists included Derek Lewis (‘10), Nicholas Compton (‘10, ‘11), Marisa Hike (‘17), and Dalton Fox (‘19) pictured here left to right in the second row. (November 2019)

Alumni panelists included Adam Otworth (‘15), Dr. Matt Watson (‘09), Dr. Phil Roberts (‘99), Dr. Jeremy DePugh (‘12), Dr. Amy Heim (‘09), and Dr. Justin Smith (‘03). (December 2019)

Past Hall of Fame inductees came together to celebrate 20 years of the club at Shawnee State University. (February 2020)

might encounter. The research was done through a grant from the Academic Library Association of Ohio.

Corey Fischer | ‘09 was promoted to Sergeant with the Portsmouth City Police Department in Portsmouth, Ohio in September 2019. Fischer and his wife Jill (’13) welcomed their second child Chloe this past March.

Eugene Collins | ‘83 & ‘86 became Portsmouth High School’s second-winningest coach during the 2019-2020 season in Portsmouth, Ohio. Michelle Ashley | ‘97 took the position of Elementary Principal at Notre Dame Elementary School in Portsmouth, Ohio. Kristy (Graham) Kamer | ‘99 was named 2020 Sport & Exercise Studies Outstanding Alumnus from Columbus State. Kamer is beginning her 9th year as Volleyball Coach at Montreat College in Montreat, North Carolina. Bryan Smith | ‘00 took the position of Assistant Director for Friends of Portsmouth in Portsmouth, Ohio. Todd Vatter | ‘01 was promoted to Assistant Director, Communications for Administration & Finance at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. Katy Mathuews | ‘02 and Zachary Lewis | ‘14 published an article in Public Services Quarterly on research involving all of the K-12 school libraries in Scioto County, exploring the spaces and interviewing the school librarians on how students used the library. The article’s goal was to help better understand student experiences with school libraries and what expectations of an academic library might be or what barriers they

Chris Brown | ‘06 took position of Data Analysis Consultant at Ohio State University. Brown and his wife Karen also welcomed twin girls, Annie and Emma this past March. JD McKenzie | ‘06 was named the AllSoutheast District Co-Coach of the Year and SOC-I Coach of the Year as Head Coach of the Notre Dame girls basketball team, coaching the Lady Titans to their 10th straight sectional title, 6th consecutive SOC-I Championship, and 3rd straight District Championship with an overall record of 24-3 during the 2019-20 season.

Zach Holbert | ‘09 won the Arnold Classic Pump and Run in Columbus, Ohio for the fifth time. Kimberly (Hall) Kaid | ‘09 was promoted to AAO, Retail Resource Partner at Heartland Bank in Columbus, Ohio. For the last 10 years Kaid has been rising through the ranks of regional banks in Central Ohio. She has found an intriguing and passionate career at Heartland Bank.

Jerod Walker | ‘07 graduated with his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011 and was hired as a Family Physician at Kings Daughter’s Medical Center in Wheelersburg, Ohio in 2014. Walker and his wife Stacey (Morrison) (‘08) opened the Portsmouth business, Deadbolt Escape Rooms in 2018.

MJ (Brickey) Godfrey | ‘10 took the position of PR & Publicist at The Hollar Entertainment Company in Owings, Maryland.

Abby Spears | ‘08 took position of Grant Consultant at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. In additional to being a Grant Consultant, she is a full-time Program Coordinator for the Injury Prevention Program at the Portsmouth City Health Department in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Cindi Hay | ‘11 took the position of Coordinator of Vocational Development Services at The Counseling Center in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Paul Webb | ‘10 was named Officer of the Year for the Mansfield Police Department in Mansfield, Ohio.

Cody Horn | ‘11 is an Infectious Disease Fellow Physician at University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.

FALL 2020 | 61

CLASS NOTES: What are our Alumni up to? (continued)

Shaye (Berry) Coburn | ‘12 became certified as a Nutritionist Coach and Nutrition Specialist from the International Sports Sciences Association. Tyler Boyles | ‘13 was named Assistant to the Head Coach for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts’ organization in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Full story on page 32) Gabe Brown | ‘13 accepted the position of Upward Bound Math Science Director and Adjunct Professor at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. Brown is currently working towards his Ed.D. at the University of Dayton. Matt Gilbert | ‘13 was hired as the LBD/EBD Special Education Teacher at Northern Kentucky Cooperative Educational Services and also took the position as Head Girls Basketball Coach at New Richmond High School in New Richmond, Ohio. Stephen Howard | ‘13 was promoted to Title VII/Title IX Investigator at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. Macarena Studebaker | ‘13 was named 2020 Piqua City School Teacher of the Year. Featured in SSU Alumni News: Summer 2020. View her full spotlight at ssualumninews-summer2020. Caity (Cortez) Blacet | ‘14 completed her Master of Education in Curriculum Development & Outcome Assessment at Aspen University. Blacet currently teaches 4th and 5th grade at St. Cecilia Elementary in Columbus, Ohio. Brittany Williams-Bolton | ‘14 was accepted into the Doctorate of Nursing Practice program at Grand Canyon University. Gerald Cadogan | ‘14 starts as Head Coach of the Men’s & Women’s Swimming teams at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. Featured in SSU Alumni News: Spring 2020.

View his full spotlight at Kevin LeMaster | ‘14 graduated from Marshall University with a Master of Science in Human Resource Management in December of 2019. He now works as a Human Resources Generalist for OVP Health in Huntington, West Virginia, while studying for his SHRM-CP exam. Jonathan Ballard | ‘15 is a Nurse Practitioner specializing in Urgent Care at Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Waverly Family Health Center in Waverly, Ohio. Levonne Bolton | ‘15 accepted a position of Software UI Designer & Website Analyst at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Briana (Tudor) Brown | ‘15 began working at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as the Youth Program Director in Erlanger, Kentucky. Devan Scarberry | ‘15 was named Head Coach of Volleyball at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. Aubrie Smallwood | ‘15 is the 6th Grade Intervention Specialist at Teays Valley Middle School in Ashville, Ohio. Sarah Biehl | ‘16 & ‘18 finished in a time of 2:49:37 and placed 214th out of 398 during the Olympic Trials in Atlanta, Georgia on February 29, 2020. Mollie King | ‘16 accepted a position as Girls Soccer Coach at Northwest High School in McDermott, Ohio Deanna Roberts | ‘16 is a 3rd Grade Teacher at Portsmouth West Elementary in West Portsmouth, Ohio. Dylan Stevens | ‘16 was promoted to Jr. Product Manager at Pontoon Solutions in Toledo, Ohio. Haley Shuff | ‘17 took the position of Junior High Intervention Specialist for Bloom Vernon School District in South Webster, Ohio.


Alyssa VonUehm | ‘17 began a new position as Auto Claims Liability Adjuster at Root Insurance Company in Columbus, Ohio. Melissa Ashton | ‘18 is the 9th Grade English Teacher and serves as the Co-Advisor for Student Council, National Honors Society, and Senior Advising at Eastern High School in Beaver, Ohio. Chelsea Bentley | ‘18 is a 3rd Grade Teacher at Wheelersburg Elementary in Wheelersburg, Ohio. Chelsea Bobst | ‘18 is a 4th Grade Teacher at Portsmouth East Elementary in Sciotoville, Ohio. Kayla Linville | ‘18 began working as the Customer Success Manager and Business Development Representative at N3 in Huntington, West Virginia. Katie Mohr | ‘18 is the Kindergarten and 1st Grade Intervention Teacher at Northwest Elementary in McDermott, Ohio. Gage Montgomery | ‘18 was accepted into the Sport Management Graduate Program at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Faisal Almuqati | ‘19 was hired as a Special Education Teacher at ACCEL International – Ajyal Center in KSA. Taylor Blevins | ‘19 accepted a position of Special Education Teacher in Kenton County working at Taylor Mill Elementary and Woodland Middle in Covington, Kentucky. Johnie Charles | ‘19 took a position of DreamLand Coach for CrossFit DreamLand in Portsmouth, Ohio. Anna DeHart | ‘19 took the position of Kindergarten Math/Science teacher at United Preparatory Academy-East in Columbus, Ohio. Dalton Fox | ‘19 was promoted to Software Engineer Technical Lead at Boeing in St. Louis, Missouri, and his technical work is in digital simulation, building high fidelity virtual aircraft using a variety of game development tools including Unity and Unreal Engine. As team

lead over the Immersive Development Team, his team produces enterprise leading desktop and virtual reality suites for aerospace training, test, and evaluation. Fox is also Founder and CEO of his own gaming company, Lightmass Games Limited, and released his first game, Beyond Critical, in December 2019. Kara Harris | ‘19 is working in a K-3 multiple abilities classroom at Bloom-Vernon Elementary in South Webster, Ohio. Julia Huffman | ‘19 began working as Library Specialist at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. Amanda Joyce | ‘19 is the Learning and Behavior Disability (Mild/Moderate) Teacher at Greenup County High School in Greenup, Kentucky. She also got accepted into Graduate School at Georgetown College to pursue her Master of Moderate to Severe Disabilities. She also volunteered to Ashland Build A Bed program, which gives to families and children in need of beds, pillows, blankets, and personal hygiene. Emily Lauren | ‘19 is the MD Teacher at Paint Valley Middle School in Bainbridge, Ohio. Ashton Lovely | ‘19 took a position at the Clinton County Head Start Program in Wilmington, Ohio. Brittany Stephens | ‘19 is the PreKindergarten Teacher at Peebles Elementary in Peebles, Ohio. Adrian Sullivan | ‘19 is the 3rd Grade Teacher and Intervention Specialist at Summit Academy in Xenia, Ohio. Cody Vaughn | ‘19 accepted a position at the Midwest Biodiversity Institute in Columbus, Ohio. Brianna Buchholz | ‘20 accepted a position as Residence Service Coordinator for Mac Properties and started Buchholz Photography, a photography business in St. Louis, Missouri. Kamryn Conaway | ‘20 accepted a teaching position and will be coaching junior high basketball and volleyball at Portsmouth West Local School District in West Portsmouth, Ohio. Jordan Hileman | ‘20 accepted a Preschool Teacher position at the Children’s Learning Center at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. She is also the Cheerleading Coach at Portsmouth West High School in West Portsmouth, Ohio and will begin her ED.S. in

School Psychology this fall at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Zack Kelly | ‘20 accepted an Assistant Basketball Coach position at Rio Grande University in Rio Grande, Ohio. Aeryel King | ‘20 is a Resource Teacher at Piedmont Elementary K-5 Math & Reading Resource in Dandridge, Tennessee. Emily Legg | ‘20 accepted a job as 6th Grade ELA teacher at Wheelersburg Middle School in Wheelersburg, Ohio. Madison Lucas | ‘20 accepted the position of 2nd Grade Teacher at Fairfield Christian Academy in Lancaster, Ohio. Stacia Martin | ‘20 served in the Peace Corps as the HIV/ AIDS Outreach Coordinator in South Africa starting in January 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her time in the program was cut short and she decided to enroll in the Masters of Global Health & Sustainable Development program at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. Meaghan Nylund | ‘20 accepted the position of 1st and 2nd Grade Math/Science Teacher at Portsmouth STEM Academy and will assist with Intervention in elementary grades in Portsmouth, Ohio. Rachel Parker | ‘20 accepted a position of an ESL PreK-3 Teacher and will be attending graduate school this fall at Marshall University pursuing a degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

This past Valentine’s Day, the SSU Alumni Association asked alumni and students to share their SSU Love Story about meeting their sweetheart while on campus. Over twenty alumni couples told the story of meeting their sweetheart while on campus in this year’s #SSULoveStory post leading up to Valentine’s Day. This year’s SSU Love Story feature is Rachel (Young) (‘15) and Andrew Delvin (‘14).

HERE IS THEIR SUBMITTED LOVE STORY: “I met my forever valentine at Shawnee State University! I was on the women’s basketball team and Andrew was on the men’s basketball team. We were inseparable throughout school, dated 8 years, and finally married this past year! Our wedding felt like a massive reunion because so many of our Shawnee family were able to be there and celebrate with us!”

Jacob Perry | ‘20 took the position of Social Studies Teacher and Assistant Varsity Soccer Coach at Valley High School in Lucasville, Ohio. Zach Schweinsberg | ‘20 took the position as Staff Auditor for BHM CPA Group in Piketon, Ohio. Victoria Walker | ‘20 accepted a job as Human Resources Specialist at Harte Hanks. Josie Wolfe | ‘20 took a position as a Registered Nurse in the Oncology, Hematology, and BMT Unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

FALL 2020 | 63

Upcoming Events 2020-2021 Join Shawnee State in-person or virtually at our upcoming events this academic year! Learn more about upcoming events at HALL OF FAME WEEKEND Winter 2021 Join us as we welcome the 22nd Induction Class into the SSU Hall of Fame this winter. For more information about tickets to the SSU Hall of Fame Banquet or Hall of Fame Weekend activities, visit

SPRING BEAR RUN Saturday, April 10, 2021 Join us for the Spring Bear Run, a bi-annual event that began in 1995. For more information and to register, visit

PRESIDENT’S GALA Saturday, April 24, 2021 This signature event is the main fundraising event for the Shawnee State University Development Foundation. The annual President’s Gala held in the spring, raises funds to benefit the SSUDF Grants Program. For more information or for tickets, visit

SENIOR NIGHT Thursday, April 29, 2021 7:00 p.m. // Port City Café & Pub Join the newest members of the Alumni Association and help them celebrate their upcoming graduation ceremony. For more information, visit FOR MORE UPCOMING SHAWNEE STATE ALUMNI & FRIENDS EVENTS, VISIT SHAWNEESTATEALUMNI.COM/EVENTS. The Alumni Association is constantly monitoring procedures and regulations related to the ongoing health pandemic. Our top priority is keeping our alumni and their families safe. As we move through this year, look for us to be coming to you in different ways through virtual and unique events. Find updates on all of our upcoming events at

THE SHAWNEE STATE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION IS COMING TO YOU! Join us this upcoming academic year for events including Shawnee State Night at Chillicothe Paints, Cincinnati Reds, and Cleveland Indians. The SSU Alumni Association will be adding events year-round in locations near you! Check out events at 64 | SHAWNEE MAGAZINE • UPCOMING EVENTS





Game Design | Class of 2021

DISCOVER THE VALUE OF A SHAWNEE STATE DEGREE! • Higher earnings over the course of your career • Makes you 67% more likely to be employed • Opens doors for job advancement • Shawnee State University’s tuition is among the lowest in Ohio • Special scholarships for qualifying students in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia • More than 70 academic programs including nationally-ranked and regionallyrecognized career ready degrees • 1:16 faculty-to-student ratio, giving you a personalized learning experience

Visit us Online or In-Person Explore Majors

940 Second Street Portsmouth, OH 45662


Photo Credit: Anna Trankina, ‘15, ‘16, ‘17, & ‘18


Profile for shawnee10

Shawnee Magazine 2020  

The annual magazine publication by Shawnee State University features campus updates, leading university stories, alumni spotlights, faculty...

Shawnee Magazine 2020  

The annual magazine publication by Shawnee State University features campus updates, leading university stories, alumni spotlights, faculty...


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