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Distinguished Service Awards granted to four alumni at 2015 Alumni Weekend

2015 DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDSA highlight of Muskingum University’s 2015 Alumni Weekend, held June 19 - 21 on the campus, was the presentation on June 19 of the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) to four alumni in recognition of their personal and professional achievements. The award is the university’s highest alumni honor.

Sponsored by the Muskingum University Alumni Council, the DSA recognizes and honors alumni who have distinguished themselves through their professional endeavors and exemplary services to society. Any living Muskingum graduate or former student is eligible to receive this award.

Awards were granted to Gordon F. Litt ’80, Barbara Young Morris ’67, Kim Ronald Smith ’77 and Maurice E. Wilber ’68. 

Gordon F. Litt ’80

Gordon F. Litt’s committed service to others encompasses his roles as an attorney and business advisor and a volunteer leader for higher education and Ohio economic development.

Mr. Litt is a partner with BakerHostetler in Columbus, Ohio, where he counsels privately-held businesses, business owners and families in business succession, tax and estate planning. He is recognized by his peers as a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Council and since 2003 has been annually ranked as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in the areas of tax law and trusts and estates. He previously served as a partner of Bricker & Eckler LLP.

He earned his bachelor of arts degree from Muskingum in accounting and his Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University College of Law, where he was a member of the national legal honorary society, Order of the Coif. 

Mr. Litt has served on the Muskingum University Board of Trustees since 1997.  As president of the university’s Alumni Council from 1997 through 2012, his leadership strengthened alumni connections in the Muskingum community.  He partnered with the Office of Admissions for the “Rent-A-Muskie” program to recruit potential students to campus, helped create the Reunion Weekend Alumni Convocation – which marks its 9th anniversary this year, and hosted countless “MooseEye” luncheons for faculty, students and alumni.

He is also a trustee of The Wilds – the International Center for the Preservation of Wild Animals –  and a trustee of the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth.

A native of New Concord, Mr. Litt and his wife, Susan, reside in Lancaster, Ohio.  They are the parents of Guy, Wade ‘11, Conner and Hallie.  He is the son of the late Wendell Litt and his wife, Bernice Finley Litt ’55

Barbara Young Morris ’67

Barbara Young Morris has changed the lives of others throughout her career as a Fortune-100 corporate leader, small business advisor and executive advisor.

During 17 years with the global health-care company Baxter International, Ms. Morris’ roles included senior vice president of corporate communications, senior vice president of human resources and vice president and corporate treasurer responsible for capital markets, insurance, financial planning and pension management. She was the first woman to become a member of Baxter International’s senior management team, and she also served on the Board of Directors of the Baxter Foundation, helping lead the company’s philanthropic initiatives.

She then served for 10 years as a consultant for Winston Partners Incorporated, assisting small and mid-sized privately-held firms transition into public ownership by advising their leaders on strategic investor and financial market communications. Ms. Morris is currently an advisor for My Next Season, assisting retiring corporate executives in their transition processes.

Ms. Morris graduated from Muskingum with a bachelor of arts degree in history and sociology and was honored in 2008 with a Muskingum Doctor of Humane Letters degree.  She earned her master of business administration degree from the Harvard Business School.

She has served on the Muskingum University Board of Trustees since 2005. She has been chairman of the Board of Directors of Canine-Therapy Corps, a Chicago-based animal assisted therapy organization, and a board member of the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and of Interfaith House, which aids Chicago’s homeless population. She is active in The Chicago Network, an organization of women leaders in business, the arts and government, who join together to increase their community impact.

Kim Ronald Smith ’77

Kim Ronald Smith has dedicated her career to serving others as an expert attorney in school and employment law and a committed volunteer leader for higher education, healthcare and community development.

Ms. Smith is managing partner of Harman, Underhill & Brubaker LLC, specializing in labor relations and employment, school governance and leadership, and student services and special education law.  She is past president of the Lancaster Bar Association and of the Labor and Employment Relations Association of Central Pennsylvania.

She earned her Muskingum bachelor of music degree magna cum laude in music education, her master of arts degree in higher education administration and counseling from The Ohio State University, and her Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from Temple University School of Law.   Before beginning her legal career, Ms. Smith served as dean of students for Malone University and as associate dean of students for Muskingum.

Ms. Smith is a trustee of Messiah College and of the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences.  She serves as a board member of the Lancaster County Community Foundation, the Lancaster General Health system and the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce.  She recently chaired the communications committee for the Lancaster General Health Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute campaign, a nationally-recognized grassroots fundraising effort which raised $25 million in one year.

Ms. Smith has received many honors for her accomplishments, including the Legal Intelligencer Woman of The Year Award, the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal Woman of Influence Award and the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce Athena Award.

She is a native of Dennison, Ohio and resides in Lititz, Pennsylvania with her husband, B. David Smith.

Maurice E. Wilber ’68

Maurice “Maury” Wilber has served our nation through his distinguished 45-year career in applying management science to decisions of national significance for our country’s aviation and aerospace capabilities.

Mr. Wilber retired as the founding owner and president of Applied Management Solutions, Inc., where he created business research teams for federal agencies and private sector clients to explore the economics of major initiatives such as the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Generation Air Traffic Control modernization concepts and Government Performance Results Act compliance. The firm also provided policy and practice compliance studies and training under the Information Technology Management Reform Act for federal clients including the U.S. Navy. Previously, Mr. Wilber served as an aerospace program analyst for General Electric Company, Honeywell, General Dynamics and the Martin Marietta Corporation.

A leader in his profession, he served as president of the Washington Metro Area Chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science and as a founding member, board member and chapter president of the International Society of Parametric Analysts. He has authored numerous economic studies and reports and his many recognitions and awards include national honors from the American Council of Engineering Companies.

Mr. Wilber earned his Muskingum bachelor of arts degree in economics. He completed additional studies at the Graduate Naval Aviation Schools Command (Pensacola, Florida), the GE Financial Management Program (Syracuse, NY) and the joint Colorado State University-Martin Marietta business administration program (Denver, Colorado). 

He and his wife, Carolyn, reside in Vashon, Washington.  They are the parents of Arlon Wilber and Laura Cherry, and the grandparents of Everett, Nathaniel and Elizabeth Wilber and Quentin Cherry.

IN THE PHOTO: Pictured from left to right are: Maurice E. Wilber ’68, Alumni Council President Jim Gray ’74, Barbara Young Morris ’67, President Anne C. Steele, Kim Ronald Smith ’77 and Gordon F. Litt ’80.

President’s Medal awarded to 1988 alumnus Perry Reese, Jr.

PRESIDENT'S MEDALMuskingum University has granted its President’s Medal to 1988 alumnus Perry L. Reese, Jr. The posthumous award was given on June 19 during the university’s Alumni Weekend.  Accepting the award were Mr. Reese’s sisters, Audrey Hardy and Jennifer Betha, both of Canton.

The University President’s Medal recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves by their exemplary actions on behalf of others.  Reese was honored for his contributions as an educator, basketball coach and community leader at Hiland High School in Berlin, Ohio.

Mr. Reese’s moving story was told by Gary Smith in the March 5, 2001 issue of Sports Illustrated and inspired millions of readers around the world. As Sports Illustrated celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, the article was designated as one of the “60 best ever to appear in the magazine” and was reprinted on January 9, 2015.

A native of Canton, Ohio, Mr. Reese graduated from Timken High School, entered the workforce, and began college as a part-time student at Kent State University-Stark County campus before transferring to Muskingum in 1977.  His studies were interrupted for a time, but he returned to Muskingum to complete his degree and graduated in 1988 with a bachelor of arts degree in history.

In 1984, he was hired as an assistant basketball coach at Hiland High School in Berlin, amidst one of the country’s largest concentrations of Amish and Mennonite families. Shortly afterward, he joined the high school faculty as a history teacher and was named head basketball coach.  He broke racial and religious barriers as the only African-American Catholic in Holmes County, and brought members of the community together through the force of his personality and the example he set for others to follow.  Those who knew him describe him as a man who saw the best in everyone, created a culture of respect and teamwork among students and community members, challenged others to think broadly and outside of their own concerns, and had a unique ability to forge lasting friendships with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Mr. Reese posted a 304-85 career coaching record and led the Hiland Hawks to their first state championship and advanced the team to three consecutive semi-final championships.  He died of brain cancer at the age of 48 on November 22, 2000, leaving behind a community forever changed.

IN THE PHOTO: Pictured from left to right are President Anne C. Steele, Jennifer Betha and Audrey Hardy. 

President Anne C. Steele to retire June 30, 2016

PRESIDENT ANNE C. STEELEMuskingum University President Anne C. Steele announced on Saturday, April 18, 2015, that she will retire on June 30, 2016.  She has served since January 1, 2000, when she became Muskingum’s 20th president and first female president. 

"We accepted President Steele’s announcement with great regret and deep appreciation for her exceptional leadership and visions,” said Hal Burlingame, Chair of the Muskingum University Board of Trustees.  “She has led us in an unprecedented period of growth and development.” 

Under her leadership, six new buildings have been constructed – a library, student center, music building, communication program building, art center and art gallery – and extensive renovations of Muskingum’s existing facilities and campus infrastructure have been completed.  “Each new building was completely paid for by gifts from Muskingum alumni and friends, which is virtually unheard of in higher education today,” commented Chairman Burlingame. 

President Steele has led the expansion of Muskingum’s academic offerings, including the creation of three new degree programs, 15 new majors, the Muskingum Adult Program, and wide-ranging continuing education and professional development programs to meet the needs of Ohio’s workforce.  Student experiential learning and co-curricular opportunities have also increased and nine endowed chairs – the first in Muskingum’s history – were established to support excellent teaching in perpetuity.  In 2010, President Steele oversaw the institution’s transformation from Muskingum College to Muskingum University. 

During President Steele’s tenure, Muskingum’s total enrollment has grown to more than 3,200 students from 1,850 students, the Campaign for Muskingum has raised more than $105 million through historic levels of giving, operating revenue has more than doubled to $55 million from $26 million, and the endowment has grown to $74 million from $47 million. 

In announcing her retirement, President Steele said, “It is truly an honor to be a part of a community of such dedicated faculty, staff, students alumni, and friends.  Because of you, untold lives have been changed and promising futures are allowed to unfold.  I will always cherish my time at Muskingum and in New Concord.” 

Chairman Burlingame also announced that a national search process will soon be launched to identify candidates to succeed President Steele.

To read letters to the Muskingum community from Chairman Burlingame and President Steele, click here.


Dale W. Dickson Scholarship awards support to Darren McCaughan of Cambridge

MCCAUGHANA first-year Muskingum University student has been awarded financial support from the Dale W. Dickson Endowed Scholarship Fund.  Darren McCaughan, a graduate of Meadowbrook High School, will begin his studies at Muskingum this fall. He is the son of Richelle McCaughan of Cambridge.

As a high school student, McCaughan was a member of the National Honor Society, the Student Council, the Meadowbrook Band and the basketball and track teams.. He intends to major in music education at Muskingum. 

The Dale W. Dickson Endowed Scholarship Fund was established in 1998, following his death, by his family, friends and the Mace Club, a social club at Muskingum. Dickson, who graduated from Muskingum in 1965, was a member of the Mace Club and served on its advisory board after his graduation. The purpose of the fund is to make it financially possible for deserving and qualified students, preferably from Guernsey County, to attend Muskingum University.

Dickson was a teacher and coach at Meadowbrook High School, Cambridge High School, Cloverleaf High School near Cleveland and Mt. Vernon High School. Beginning in 1986, he was employed by Cambridge Savings Bank, where he served as vice president and secretary and as a board member of Camco Mortgage. He also was the high school football coach of Cambridge native Dom Capers, who is defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers. Capers also won Coach of the Year honors in the NFL as head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

Dickson was a member and past president of the Kiwanis Club, the Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce Board, the Guernsey County United Way campaign and the board of directors of the Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center. In tribute to his college athletic career, he was inducted into the Muskingum University Hall of Fame in 1993.

Stories from our 2014-2015 academic year . . .

Undergraduate commencement 2015 features address by John W. Gardner ’68 and baccalaureate speech
by D. Craig Nordlund

Muskingum University held its undergraduate commencement exercises on May 9, featuring an address by 1968 alumnus John W. Gardner. The baccalaureate address was delivered D. Craig Nordlund. Bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and bachelor of science in nursing degrees were conferred.

JOHN GARDNERJohn W. Gardner achieved a distinguished career in financial management for the manufacturing industry. He retired as chief financial officer for Noble Composites, Inc., in Goshen, Indiana and previously served as chief financial officer for Fabwel, Inc., in Elkhart, Indiana.  Both companies, market-leading producers of gel-coated exterior panels for recreational vehicles, have since been acquired by Crane Composites.

Mr. Gardner graduated from Muskingum with a bachelor of arts degree in history.  He served in the United States Air Force as a captain and instructor navigator and earned a master of business administration degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.  He began his career as a certified public accountant and served as a partner at McGladrey & Pullen, now known as McGladrey LLP.

He is a member of the Muskingum University Board of Trustees and the Board of Trustees of Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of First State Bank, a locally-owned independent bank serving the Indiana communities of Middlebury, Goshen, Elkhart, and Mishawaka.

Mr. Gardner and his wife, Therese, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary by bicycling across America together.  Over an eight-month period, they journeyed from Santa Barbara, California to Saint Augustine, Florida.  Mr. Gardner then continued on his bicycle tour from Fort Myers, Florida to Saint John’s, Newfoundland, while Mrs. Gardner accompanied him by vehicle.

In his commencement address, Mr. Gardner told the students, “You made a great decision to come to Muskingum, and now you stand at the threshold of a new life.  Use all of the skills you learned here, in the classroom and outside the classroom, to make the world a better place.”

In recognition of his achievements, the university bestowed upon Mr. Gardner the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

In her remarks to the graduating class, Muskingum University President Dr. Anne C. Steele said, “Today is your day. You have worked hard and with distinction. Your Muskingum education is a cornerstone of your life, and it will continue to serve you and shape your future.”

Danielle N. Crown represented the class of 2015. The charge to the class from the faculty was presented by Associate Professor of Communication Eugene Alesandrini and the charge from the Board of Trustees was presented by 1962 alumnus and Board Chair Harold W. Burlingame.

The baccalaureate service was held at 10:00 a.m. In his address, Mr. Nordlund said, “Everywhere, the world is in need of repair.  Now is the time to start giving back.  We all have a moral obligation to help others, and make the world a better place.”

In recognition of his lifetime of work, Mr. Nordlund was granted an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

CRAIG NORDLUNDD. Craig Nordlund, a corporate attorney for advanced technology industries, served leading Silicon Valley companies for more than 35 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from Stanford University and his law degree from the Vanderbilt University Law School.

Mr. Nordlund retired as the senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Agilent Technologies, Inc., the world’s premier measurement company serving the analytical needs of the telecommunications, electronic, life science and chemical fields.  He became Agilent’s first general counsel in 1999, and led the company’s global legal functions in intellectual property law, legal policies, compliance, commercial law, employment law and merger and acquisition support.  He also served as an officer and director of a number of Agilent’s subsidiary companies. 

Before joining Agilent, Mr. Nordlund served Hewlett Packard Company for more than 20 years in legal leadership positions including corporate secretary.  He began his career as an attorney with the Palo Alto, California law firm of Ware & Friedenrich (now DLA Piper).

He is a member of the Muskingum University Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors of First Tech Federal Credit Union (formerly known as Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union), and the Board of Directors of Silicon Valley FACES, a human relations organization committed to ending bias, bigotry, and racism.

Mr. Nordlund and his wife, Sally Nordlund, are the parents of Courtney ’05, Michael and Laurie.  They are active volunteers for a number of church, school and community organizations.

Lauren A. Thomas ’15 read the scripture lesson for baccalaureate and Stephen D. Fondriest ’15 led the Collect.

Master’s degrees granted at 2015 graduate commencement, with address by Beverly J. Coen ’68

Muskingum University granted master’s degrees at its graduate commencement exercises, held May 7 in Brown Chapel on the campus. The address was delivered by 1968 alumnus Beverly J. Coen.

Degrees conferred were the Master of Arts in Teaching, the Master of Arts in Education and the Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology.

Muskingum University President Anne C. Steele congratulated the assembled graduates and said, “You have worked hard, and we are very proud of you. What you have done here will have an impact on thousands of individuals, your communities and the world.”

BEVERLY COENIn her address, Ms. Coen encouraged the graduates to be “everyday heroes,” like Genevieve Jenkins Swingle, a Philo teacher who dramatically affected the direction of Ms. Coen’s life.  Her advice to the graduates was, “Any one of you has the potential to be everyday heroes.  You may not change the world, but you can change someone’s world.”

Recognizing her lifetime of achievement, the university bestowed upon Ms. Coen an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Beverly J. Coen is a distinguished business executive and volunteer leader who is dedicated to enriching the lives of others.

Ms. Coen retired as chief tax and risk officer of Nordson Corporation, a world-leading manufacturer of precision dispensing equipment for consumer and industrial products, testing and inspection equipment for electrical components, and technology-based systems for curing and surface treatment processes.  From Nordson’s headquarters in Westlake, Ohio, she oversaw the corporation’s global tax and risk management functions and served on the Enterprise Risk Management, Retirement and Pension Investment Committees and as a trustee of the Nordson Corporation Foundation.  Prior to joining Nordson in 1981, she was a member of Republic Steel’s tax department and a junior high school English teacher for the Bedford (Ohio) County Schools.

A leader in community service, Ms. Coen is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio Buckeye Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and of the Great Lakes Theatre Festival.  She is a founder and past president of the Cleveland Chapter of Interfaith Hospitality Network and continues to serve its successor organization, Family Promise of Greater Cleveland, as an Emeritus Board Member. She is a team captain for the annual drive supporting the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges and has volunteered with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland’s Career Beginnings Initiative and with the Cleveland Municipal School District.  She has been recognized with numerous honors, including the 2011 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges.

Ms. Coen earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from Muskingum and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University Law School.  She is a member of the Muskingum University Board of Trustees and delivered the Opening Convocation keynote address for the university’s 2011-2012 academic year.

Candidates for master’s degrees were presented by Vice President of Academic Affairs James Callaghan. The degrees were conferred by President Steele, Muskingum University Trustee and alumnus Gordon Spillman, Vice President of Graduate and Continuing Studies Dr. Mark Sanford, Department of Education Chair Dr. Rae Harriott White and Dr. Ray Rataiczak, director of the Master of Information Strategies, Systems and Technology graduate program.

Faculty marshals were Professor of Chemistry Dr. Ray Rataiczak and Dr. Larry Normansell, the Harry and Mary Evelyn Laurent Distinguished Professor of Psychology.

The student marshals were Cody B. Lake ’16 and Brittany A. Matthews ’17.


Students present research findings at Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Week

Muskingum University students presented their research findings at the science division’s Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Week, held April 20-23 on the campus. 

The week features two events:  The James Bradford Colloquium and the Homer S. Anderson Lecture.  At the colloquium, students speak on their research projects to their peers and faculty members, each with a strict 15-minute time limit that emulates a professional science conference.  Those presentations are then judged and ranked by the faculty, and awards are granted to the top three presenters.

The following students received top honors for their colloquium presentations:

First place was awarded to Nathan Duff ’15, an engineering science major; and Sean Lally ’15, an engineering science major; who presented Safety System Preventing Hypothermia in Idle Vehicles

Second place went to Troy Jones ’15, geology major, who presented Diagenetic Process Involved in the Formulation of Stigmaria Sand Cast.

Third place was awarded to Jennifer Hastings ’15, an environmental science and biology major; and Connor Hann ’16, an environmental science major; who presented A Comparison of Grassland Bird Point-Count Data on Two Regions of a Reclaimed Surface Mine (The Wilds) in Southeastern Ohio.

The following students also made presentations at the colloquium:

Nate Peck ’15, an environmental science and political science major, presented Hydraulic Fracturing in Ohio:  An Analytical Study of the Policies Behind the Science.

Richard Moore ’15, a chemistry major, presented Storage and Delivery of Drug Molecules in Metal-Organic Frameworks

Libby Rahe ’15, a psychology and communication major, presented The Prevalence of Bullying and Bystander Actions on a College Campus.

At the Homer S. Anderson Lecture, students make poster presentations of their research in a manner that is typical of a professional science conferences.  Each student is expected to be available to answer questions about their poster from their peers and faculty members. 

NIK SINGHThe Anderson Lecture includes a presentation by a Muskingum alumnus who is working in a science discipline.  This year, the lecture was presented by Nikhilendra Singh (pictured at left), a 2004 alumnus who today works for the Toyota Research Institute of North America.  His lecture was titled Beyond Lithium-ion: A Case for Magnesium Battery Systems.

To see a complete list of those who presented posters at the Anderson Lecture, click here.



Students earn broadcasting and journalism awards

Muskingum University has recognized excellence in its student broadcasters and journalists with four awards.

The university is home to three media outlets, known collectively as Orbit Media.  The radio station is WMCO-FM, the television station is Orbit TV and the newspaper is The Black and Magenta

KENTKarysa Kent '16, a communication major, was named Orbit TV Broadcaster of the Year and also received The Amos Family Scholarship for Broadcast Journalism.  The awards recognize leadership and significant contributions to the university’s television and radio stations.  In addition to her work at the television station, Kent is a reporter for Orbit Media News, serves as community calendar director for the television station and the radio station and works at the radio station as a disc jockey. 


RAUSCHKayla Rausch '16, a communication and digital media design major, received the WMCO Broadcaster of the Year award. Rausch was recognized for her work as promotions director at the radio station, where she also works as a disc jockey.



MORGANChris Morgan '17, a communication major, received The John McCance Scholarship.  Morgan works as a sports production producer at WMCO and as sports editor for The Black and Magenta.  The scholarship is named for John McCance,  a highly regarded broadcast engineer at Muskingum and in southeastern Ohio and was established by Grant Hafley, the owner of AVC Communications, a broadcasting group in Cambridge, Ohio. 

HOLMESChristine Holmes '16, an English and journalism major, received the Amos Family Scholarship for Print Journalism.  Holmes is news and managing editor for The Black and Magenta, a producer for Orbit TV News and a WMCO disc jockey.



Faculty advisors for Orbit Media are Associate Professor of Communication Dr. Lisa Marshall and Professor of Communication Dr. Jeffrey Harman. 


Students attend sociology conference and present research

Six Muskingum University students presented their research findings at the North Central Sociological Association annual conference, held April 9 and 10 in Cleveland.  An additional 10 students also attended the conference.

The following students made presentations:

Lamar Dowling '15, a psychology and sociology major, presented "An Exploratory Analysis of Moral Injury in Veterans: A Mixed Methods Cohort Comparison.”

Shalon Snyder '16, a sociology major, presented “Female Nature: A Case for Public Breastfeeding.”

Nate Caplan '15 a sociology, business and economics major, presented “College Test Time with Short Attention Span . . . Oh Look, My Adderall.”

Joe Galloway '16, a sociology and criminal justice major; Daniel Barr '16, a history and sociology major;  and Sylvia Jackson '16, a sociology major; presented “Cemetery Demography: Connecting Families to Their Past in Rural Ohio.”

Attending the conference were the following: Breeanna Poland '16, Kanzie Faust '17, Brookland Patterson '17, Rob Snyder '16, Whitney Rice '17, Kathaleena Bowen '18, Kevin Tavenner '15, Hannah Houser '17, Cira Bryant '16 and Mallory Tomkies '15. 

The students were accompanied by Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Sandra Schroer, Professor of Sociology Dr. Steven McGuire and Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. David Tabachnick.

Ten Muskingum University students attend National Model United Nations Conference in New York City where they meet with Estonian Delegation to the United Nations

Model UN delegation

Ten Muskingum University students, chosen to represent the university at the annual National Model United Nations Conference, held in New York City, March 22-26 2015, met with the Estonian delegation to the United Nations.

The students attending the conference were Chris Aboagye (Biology); Nick Baird (Criminal Justice); Cira Bryant (History); Jacob Daubenmire (Undeclared); Mitchell Hazard (Business Management); Phil Hicks, (Political Science); Michael Konen (Criminal Justice & Political Science); Rose Levally (International Affairs & International Business); Chris Liddell (Philosophy); and Dakotah Riddle (Political Science & Molecular Biology). The students attending the conference are members of Muskingum’s United Nations Club.

For this year’s session, the students decided to represent Estonia, and researched that country and the issues it faces, including the threat of separatism from the Russian-speaking minority and tensions over its membership of NATO. At the four-day conference, the students participated in a wide range of activities that closely model the operation of the United Nations itself. The closing ceremony of the Model United Nations takes place in the actual UN building and the students had a chance to meet the Estonian delegation to the UN.

The students are advised by Assistant Professor of Political Science Richard Arnold.

IN THE PHOTO: Cira Bryant, Michael Konen, Chris Liddell, Jacob Daubenmire, Chris Aboagye, Mitchell Hazard, Dakotah Riddle, Gert Auvaart with the Estonian delegation, Nick Baird, Advisor Dr. Rich Arnold, Phil Hicks, and Rose Levally.

Muskingum University Rotaract Club presents check to Muskingum Valley Miracle League

Rotaract Check

Students from the Rotaract Club of Muskingum University recently presented a $500 donation to the Muskingum Valley Miracle League. The students presented their donation to Rotarians at the Zanesville Daybreak Rotary meeting which was held at the Zanesville Country Club on Thursday March 19, 2015.

Muskingum Valley Miracle League is an organization of community volunteers sponsored by the Zanesville Daybreak Rotary Club that operates a specialized baseball program for the nearly 9,000 disabled children in Southeastern Ohio. The donation will help provide scholarships and equipment to the Miracle League players and help fund maintenance services for the Miracle League field. Rotaract student Marissa Brenly worked in conjunction with Shepler Church of Coshocton, Ohio to help raise the funds for Rotaract to use for various community projects.

IN THE PHOTO: From left to right, Josh Colborn (Rotaract Student), Justin Gilmore (Rotaract Student) Caribeth Legats (Rotarian and Miracle League Board Member), Christine Holmes (Rotaract Student) and Marissa Brenly (Rotaract Student)


Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau Receives National Science Teachers Association Award

Dr. Lois Zook-GerdauMuskingum University Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau is the only college-level faculty member in the nation to earn the 2015 Vernier Technology Award from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

The award recognizes and rewards the innovative use of data collection technology using computers, graphing calculators or other handheld devices in the science classroom. Only seven awards are presented nationally: one at the elementary school level (grades K–5); two at the middle school level (grades 6–8); three at the high school level (grades 9–12); one at the college level.  Founded in 1981, Vernier creates interfaces, sensors, software and curriculum to change how educators teach science and how students collect, analyze and interpret scientific data.

Dr. Zook-Gerdau was recognized for her work at Muskingum in the use of spectrometers and probes which are interfaced with computers to introduce chemical instrumentation in the chemistry curriculum.   She also instructed her students on the development of a set of water quality laboratory experiments as a part of an environmental chemistry course that evolved from her students’ continuing water quality research project with the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District.  Last year, the District recognized that work by naming her its Conservation Educator of the Year.

Dr. Zook-Gerdau joined the Muskingum faculty in 2002.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from Hiram College and her doctoral degree from the University of Iowa.  As a post-doctoral fellow, she conducted fuel cell research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

At Muskingum, she is an advisor for the university’s Environmental Science program. Her scholarly interests include analytical chemistry, electrochemistry and environmental chemistry. She received the NSTA award at the organization’s national conference March 12 – 15 in Chicago. 

Students show strong support for MLK Day of Service

MLK DAY OF SERVICEApproximately 150 Muskingum students turned out to lend a hand locally to the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, held January 19.  Across Muskingum and Guernsey counties, students gave their time in a variety of locations with many different activities.   

"The Martin Luther King Day of Service activities provided Muskingum students with opportunities to honor Dr. King’s legacy through service to a number of local nonprofit agencies in Muskingum and Guernsey counties,” explained Stacey Allan, coordinator of Muskingum’s Day of Service and Director of Greek Affairs. 

The agencies where students served included:

Zanesville:  Christ’s Table, Bethel Community Center and the Zanesville Animal Shelter.
Cambridge:  Cambridge Unity Presbyterian Church.
New Concord:  New Concord Day Care, Friendship Baptist Church Preschool; College Drive Presbyterian Church, Beckett House, New Concord Methodist Church, Muskingum’s Brown Chapel and on-campus activities.
Lore City:  Lore City Methodist Church Food Distribution.

The Zanesville Times Recorder covered their efforts, and to see that story, click here.  WHIZ-TV also stopped by, and to view that story, click here

IN THE PHOTO:  From left to right, Mattie Lauroesch ’16, Chris Morgan ’17, Cambridge Mayor Tom Orr and Jessica Gutierrez ’18.

ODK DONATIONOmicron Delta Kappa donates to New Concord Food Pantry

The Muskingum University chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership honor society, donated $580 to the New Concord Food Pantry during the fall semester.  Chapter members raised the money by volunteering to do yard work and household chores in the community in exchange for donations.  The pantry, located at College Drive Presbyterian Church, typically helps approximately 150 families a month, and anticipates a greater need in December.  Pictured are Reverend Anne Weirich (left), pastor of the church, and Molly Canfield '15, president of the Muskingum chapter of ODK.


Speech team earns honors in back-to-back tournaments and qualifies ten for national competition

The Muskingum University speech team earned second place team sweepstakes honors at two consecutive speech tournaments and qualified ten team members for national competition. The honors came during the fall semester at the Falcon Classic Birds of a Feather Swing Tournament, held at Bowling Green State University, and the Whopper Xtravaganza Tournament, held on Muskingum’s campus.

At the Falcon tournament, Muskingum earned second place team honors in the Limited Entry division. 

Erica Canter '15 placed fifth in After Dinner Speaking (ADS) with her original humorous speech titled Can’t Turn it Off:  The Risks of Comedy, earning a total of 10 team sweepstakes points in her combined events of ADS and Poetry.

Jamie Graves '15, competing as a novice in Poetry, Dramatic Interpretation, Impromptu Speaking and Programmed Oral Interpretation, placed fourth in Poetry and sixth in Dramatic Interpretation, earning a total of 9 team sweepstakes points.

Jaliah Oglesby '18 competed as a novice in four events:  Prose Interpretation, Programmed Oral Interpretation, Impromptu Speaking and Informative Speaking, winning sixth place in Novice Impromptu and fifth place in Novice Informative with her original speech titled Girl’s Got Hair:  A Socio-economic History of Hair Extensions in the U.S.  She earned 13 team sweepstakes points, and was named Muskingum’s Most Valuable Speaker for that tournament.

At the Whopper tournament, the following students qualified for the Public Communication Speech and Debate League national tournament and gave the team 54 sweepstakes points:

Carter Brown '16 placed second in the category of Whoppers and sixth in Improvisational Duo.
Darrell Briggs '18 placed fourth in the category of Current Events.
Canter placed second in Stand Up Comedy and sixth in Improvisational Duo.
Graves, earned fifth place in Poetry Slam and seventh place in Improvisational Duo.
Marty Kurtz '17 placed fourth in Poetry Slam.
Oglesby earned third place in TED Talks and fifth place in Story Slam.
Aaron Perkins '15 earned third place in Stand Up Comedy, fourth place in Audition Monologues and sixth place in Poetry Slam.
Cody Pettit '15 earned second place in Editorial Impromptu and seventh place in Improvisational Duo.
Kaylee Piatt '18 won third place in Audition Monologue.
Kayla Rausch '16 earned fourth place in Radio Broadcasting.
Jason Schaumleffel '18 earned second place in Current Events and TED Talks.
Rachel Schlarb '18 won fourth place in TED Talks and fifth place in Whoppers.
Stephen Fondriest '15 and Matt Allen '15 won fourth place in Improvisational Duo.

The director of forensics at Muskingum is Instructor of Communication Rachel Pollock.

Science students present papers at American Chemical Society conference

ACS CONFERENCE ATTENDEESFive Muskingum University students presented three research papers at the American Chemical Society’s Central Regional meeting, held during the fall semester in Pittsburgh.

Seniors Kelli Brock, Heidi Landis, Tony Moore, Matt Allen and Cameron Godfrey presented the following papers:

Ferrocene as a Bio-Fuel Additive: Ferrocene’s Effects on the Thermodynamic Properties of Corn Oil by Landis, Allen, Brock, Paul Cristofari of Hyeres, France, Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Louis Zook-Gerdau and Professor of Chemistry Dr. Ray Rataiczak.

Water Quality Study of the Salt Creek Watershed by Brock and Dr. Zook-Gerdau.

Methods For Grafting Short Polymeric Units onto Kraft Lignin by Godfrey, Deborah Carroll, a senior chemistry major from New London; Kunyu Zheng ’14 of Lanzhou, China and Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Eric Schurter.

Muskingum faculty members accompanying the students were Dr. Schurter, Dr. Zook- Gerdau, Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Deepa Perera and Professor of Chemistry Dr. Paul Szalay. 

IN THE PHOTO: From left to right, Seniors Kelli Brock, Heidi Landis, Cameron Godfrey, Matt Allen and Tony Moore.

Student-broadcasters ranked nationally in College Broadcasters competition

STUDENT BROADCASTERSMuskingum University’s Orbit TV ranked in the top four student media outlets in the nation at the College Broadcasters, Incorporated annual National Student Electronic Media Convention, held during the fall semester in Seattle. 

Orbit TV had two national finalists in the category of National Student Production Awards.  Luke’s Tech Corner was a finalist in the category of Best Vodcast and The Muskie Daily Special Edition:  Bomb Threat Update was a finalist in the category of Best Television Special Broadcast.  Nationally, there were 800 entries in 24 categories of competition.

The team for the two productions was Christine Holmes ’16, Kayla Rausch ’16, Haley Ellis ’15, Luke Carmichael ’15 and Amanda Mlikan ’13..

IN THE PHOTO: From left to right: Christine Holmes ’16, Amanda Mlikan ’13, Kayla Rausch ’16, Haley Ellis ’15, and Luke Carmichael ’15. 

Students present research at Fall Research and Internship Forum

RESEARCH AND INTERNSHIP FORUMStudents from both the Science Division and other academic disciplines presented their research and internship findings at the university’s annual Fall Research and Internship Forum, held during the fall semester.

Students presented their findings in a poster format that is typically associated with professional presentations in the sciences.  The following students made presentations:

Jennifer Hastings ’16, Connor Hann ’16, Allie Leggett ’15, Sarah Landuyt ’17, Morgenna Zuby ’17, Jonathan Raugh ’16 and Devin Perry ’17 presented A Comparison of Grassland Birdpoint-Count Data on Two Regions of a Reclaimed Surface Mine (The Wilds) in Southeastern Ohio for the Biology Department.

Hayley Glaze ’15 and Bo-wen Deng ’15 presented Survey of Amphibian Distribution on a 26-Hectare Plot Surrounded by Reclaimed Surface Mine Land for the Environmental Science Program.  They were advised by Dr. Danny Ingold, who is Muskingum’s Homer A. Anderson Distinguished Professor in the Natural Sciences.

Sarah Homan ’15 presented Rural Action Internship at Huff Run Watershed for the Geology Department.

Aliyah Byron ’16 presented Presence of CBL in Neurons and Astrocytes for the Neuroscience Program.  She collaborated on the project with Kaitlyn Hassenfeild, Erica Carey, Robert E. McCullumsmith and Jenifer McGuire of the University of Cincinnati.

Sean Lally ’15 presented Continuous Improvement of Factory Performance and Reliability for the Department of Physics and Engineering.

Kelli Brock ’15, a 2014 Summer Muskie Fellow, presented  A Continued Study on the Impact of Implement Conservation Practices on the Salt Creek Watershed in Muskingum County, Ohio for the Department of Chemistry.  She was advised by Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau and worked with Nicole Hafer and Lisa Crock of the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District.

Taylor Maurer ’15 presented Occupational Therapy Observation Hours at Aultman Hospital and Concorde Kids for the Biology Department. 

Sarah E. Francino ’16 presented An Internship at Fern Hollow Nature Center for the Biology Department.

Elizabeth Hartman ’16 representing the Departments of English and Political Science; Christine Holmes ’16, representing the Department of English and Journalism; and Michael Klamo ’15, representing the Departments of History and Political Science, presented Muskie Fellow Program at the Muskingum County Business Incubator.

Deborah N. Carrol ’15 and Cameron J. Godfrey ’15 presented Methods for Grafting Short Polymeric Units onto Kraft Lignin for the Department of Chemistry.

Rebecca Keeley ’15 presented Internship at the Williamstown Animal Hospital, West Virginia for the Biology Department.

Nicholas Bulinski ’16 presented Artificial Intelligence Capable of Deducing Hidden Elements in Gaming Structures for the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Alexandra Leggett ’15 presented Butterfly Diversity of Butterfly Habitats at The Wilds, Cumberland, Ohio for the Conservation Science Program.

Matthew Allen ’15 presented Characterization of Various Surface-Level Oil Shale Samples for the Chemistry Department.

Richard Moore ’15 presented Thermodynamic Investigation of Marcellus Shale for the Chemistry Department.


Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau earns Conservation Educator of the Year award from Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District

DR. LOIS ZOOK GERDAUMuskingum University Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau was named the 2014 Conservation Educator of the Year by the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District. 

The award was instituted in 1984 and aims to create an awareness and appreciation of the value of conservation education and to stimulate efforts by teachers to advance the wise use, protection and enhancement of the nation’s soil, water and related resources.  Each year, one Muskingum County educator is honored. 

Dr. Zook-Gerdau has been working with the District for more than 10 years in its monitoring program for the Salt Creek Watershed.  Along with her students, Dr. Zook-Gerdau and the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District worked to establish a baseline for water quality in the Salt Creek Watershed, as well as to monitor changes to that quality.  Water samples were gathered at multiple sites which were initially tested by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Through her efforts, Muskingum University then acquired the equipment necessary to do the testing to Ohio EPA standards at Muskingum University.

In 2013, Dr. Zook-Gerdau wrote a proposal for Muskingum’s Summer Fellows program to provide a Muskingum student as an intern to the District.  That student, Amanda Preslicka, provided a wide range of services, including the development of additional water sampling sites.  After her graduation from Muskingum last year, Preslicka went on to be accepted to graduate school with a full scholarship.  In 2014, Dr. Zook-Gerdau made arrangements to provide two more student interns so the water sampling work could continue and be expanded.

Dr. Zook-Gerdau was nominated for the award by Nicole Hafer, the District’s Education/Wildlife Specialist.  In her nomination letter Hafer said, “We are proud of the relationship we have with Muskingum University and recognize this partnership would not be possible without the help of Dr. Zook-Gerdau. She has helped the District continue the Salt Creek Watershed project, supplied us with wonderful student interns and provided advice and assistance to improve several programs.”

Dr. Zook-Gerdau joined the faculty at Muskingum in 2002 and currently is an advisor for the University’s Environmental Science program.   Her scholarly interests include analytical chemistry, electrochemistry and environmental chemistry.  She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Iowa and performed fuel cell research as a post-doctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory before becoming an educator. 

Congratulations to New England Patriot Cornerbacks’ Coach Josh Boyer, Muskingum Class of 2000

JOSH BOYERJOSH BOYER 2As the New England Patriots celebrated their most recent Super Bowl victory, a very interesting

Muskingum connection emerged behind the story of Malcolm Butler’s victory-saving interception for the New England Patriots.

Last May, Butler was an undrafted Division II player from West Alabama when he received an invitation to try out for the Patriot’s roster from New England’s cornerbacks coach: Josh Boyer, a member of the Muskingum Class of 2000.

Boyer was the only coach to offer Butler an opportunity to compete for an NFL roster spot and his ability to identify talent led to Butler’s making the team as an undrafted free agent and ultimately changing the course of Super Bowl XLIX.

At Muskingum, Josh Boyer was a scholar-athlete who earned his Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude in Physical Education and Health. He lettered as a four-year starter for the Fighting Muskies, was an All-Ohio Athletic Conference selection as a senior defensive back, and was a two-time Academic All-Conference selection. He was a member of three national honorary societies: Beta Beta Beta (biology), Omicron Delta Kappa (academic honorary for juniors and seniors), and the Order of Omega (academic honorary for members of Greek societies). The Heath, Ohio native was also active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Intramurals, and the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.

Boyer joined the Patriots staff in 2006, serving first as a coaching assistant for three seasons, then as defensive backs coach for three seasons, and has now just completed his third season as cornerbacks coach. He began his coaching career in 2000 as an assistant coach at King’s College (PA), and also coached at the University of Dayton, Kent State, Bryant University, and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Dr. Barb Hansen chairs national conference,  Rural Strong: Collaborating, Innovation and Revitalizing for Rural Prosperity

DR. BARB HANSENMuskingum University Distinguished Professor of Education Dr. Barbara A. Hansen chaired a national conference, Rural Strong: Collaborating, Innovating and Revitalizing for Rural Prosperity, held at the Hilton Polaris in Columbus.  The event was hosted by Battelle for Kids, the Ohio Department of Education and the Kentucky Department of Education. 

Among the keynote speakers at the event were U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Former Governors Jim Geringer (Wyoming), Bev Perdue (North Carolina), Bob Taft (Ohio); and Bob Wise (West Virginia) and Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys: A Memoir (adapted into the movie, October Sky). 

"This two-day event was designed to inspire individual potential and possibilities by  sharing examples from powerful rural schools and education leaders who are linked to prosperous rural communities,” said  Dr. Hansen, the Dave Longaberger Professor of Teaching and Learning at Muskingum University since 2005.

The East Muskingum Local School District in New Concord was represented by Jill Johnson, Steve Brooks, Adams Brenner, Gail Requardt and Anne Troendly who spoke on the Ohio Appalachian Collaboration, A Road to Success – Transforming Rural Education.

Executive Director of Battelle for Kids Dr. Jim Mahoney and Ohio State Superintendent Richard Ross greeted attendees, as well as presented.  Participants from 12 states attended. 

Speech and Debate team places third at Kentucky tournament

The Muskingum University speech and debate team earned third place in team sweepstakes at the Bluegrass Invitational Forensics Tournament, held this fall at the University of Kentucky.  More than 20 teams from across the country competed at the event.

Contributing to the win in the individual events categories were the following students:
Jamie Graves '15 placed second in Programmed Oral Interpretation and also competed in Prose.  In addition, she was named Muskingum’s Most Valuable Speaker of the tournament.
Jaliah Oglesby '18 earned third place in Programmed Oral Interpretation and also competed in Prose Interpretation. 
Cody Petit '15 competed in Prose, Persuasive Speaking and Parliamentary Debate.
Jason Schaumleffel '18 competed in Extemporaneous Speaking and Parliamentary Debate.
In debate, the team of Schaumleffel and Pettit earned 12 combined team sweepstakes points with a quarterfinal win against Grove City.

The director of forensics at Muskingum is Instructor of Communication Rachel Pollock.

Two students selected for Southeast Ohio Watermedia Society Exhibition, with one chosen as best of show

MANDAHU HE AND JIAJIN LANArtworks by two Muskingum University students were selected to appear in the Southeast Ohio Watermedia Society Annual Exhibition, titled Expressions.

Mandahu He '17 was selected for a painting titled Landscape of New Concord and that work was named Best of Show.  Jiajin Lan '18 was selected for the exhibition for two works titled Reflection of Summer and Impression of Autumn.  Both students graduated from Lanzhou High School #53, considered the best art school in Lazhou City, China.

The Southeast Ohio Watermedia Society Annual Exhibition is a juried competition, which had more than 40 entries in 2014.  The artists’ works were judged by Christopher Leeper, president of the Watermedia Society. IN THE PHOTO: Mandahu He (left), and Jiajin Lan.

Professor of Art Ken McCollum is presenter for international Zanesville Prize conference, From The Ground Up, and exhibitor at 70th Ohio Annual exhibition

KEN MCCOLUMMuskingum University Professor of Art Ken McCollum was a presenter at the Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics conference, From The Ground Up, as a part of the largest Best of Show prize competition in the Western Hemisphere, and was an exhibitor at the 70th Annual Ohio Annual Exhibition.

The porcelain ceramic art work McCollum creates tends to communicate the importance of image to American society. His pieces often narrate a different story using several repetitive symbols and the title of each piece is often incorporated into the design. Although humorous in appearance initially, the serious nature of the subject is discovered through close inspection.

At his presentation at the conference, participants at both sessions were invited to join him in practicing his techniques, with an emphasis on stencils, sgraffito, underglazes and engobes .During the presentation, he also showed 10 pieces of his ceramic work.

McCollum was also an exhibitor at the 70th Ohio Annual Exhibition, held at the Zanesville Museum of Art.

The juried competition was open to all Ohio artists, and was formerly the museum’s May Show.  The competition was renamed and expanded to include all Ohio artists in all media to better represent the broad array of high-quality work being created by artists across the state.  The juror for the competition was Edward Pauley, director of the Kennedy Museum of Art at Ohio University in Athens. 

McCollum’s entry into the Ohio Annual competition was a ceramic jardinere titled Good Morning Vietnam.  The two-part theme of the piece encompassed the complex questions that surrounded the country’s involvement in Vietnam and marked the role of the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division in the war.  Known as “The Big Red One,” the 1st Infantry is the Army’s oldest continuously-serving division and saw heavy combat in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967.

McCollum joined the Muskingum University faculty in 2000.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in ceramics from Phillips University, a master’s degree in sculpture from West Texas State University and master of fine arts degree with a concentration in ceramic arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

Jason Schaumleffel '18 earns top honors at speech tournament

Muskingum University first-year student Jason Schaumleffel earned top honors at the Audrey Cunningham Forensics 500 Tournament, held this fall in Indianapolis. 

Schaumleffel, a computer science and political science major, won in the category of extemporaneous speaking, which requires the student to prepare and present a speech on a specific topic in a strictly controlled amount of time. 

The tournament was attended by more than a dozen colleges and universities from five states.

Also representing the Muskingum team were Jaliah Oglesby '18, a business management and marketing major, who competed in prose interpretation; and Cody Petit '15, a political science and communication major, who competed in prose and persuasive speaking.

The director of forensics at Muskingum is Instructor of Communication Rachel Pollock. 

Robert Lee Fields III '17 awarded scholarship from United Parcel Service Foundation

Muskingum University sophomore Robert Lee Fields III was the recipient of a 2014 United Parcel Service (UPS) scholarship.  Fields, a business management and health administration major from Akron, was one of approximately 30 students in the state to receive the honor.

The annual scholarship is awarded by the UPS Foundation through its UPS Educational Endowment Fund.   In Ohio, the scholarship awards are made through a partnership of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO), of which Muskingum University is a member, and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).  This year, the CIC has granted approximately $1.5 million in UPS scholarship support nationwide.  The awards are based on a student’s academic performance and financial need.

Awards for excellence in teaching, scholarship and faculty service granted at Convocation

FACULTY AWARD WINNERSAt Muskingum University's Convocation, held August 26 on the campus, three faculty members were recognized for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The awards were presented by Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. James E. Callaghan.

The William Oxley Thompson Award for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to Associate Professor of Communication Eugene L. Alesandrini. This award is named in honor of an alumnus whose career combined teaching, ministry and service as president of Miami University and The Ohio State University.

In recognizing Professor Alesandrini, Dr. Callaghan said, “Professor Alesandrini is one of those natural-born teachers – the kind of person that cares about young people, wants then to succeed, and gives them the tools and the knowledge it takes to make them succeed.”

Professor Alesandrini joined the faculty in 1987.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from Bradley University and his master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. 

The William Rainey Harper Award for Outstanding Scholarship was granted to Associate Professor of Religion Dr. Peter W. Gosnell.  This award is named for an alumnus who was a renowned scholar, educator and the founder and first president of the University of Chicago.

Of his scholarship, Dr. Callaghan noted the publication of Dr. Gosnell’s critically acclaimed new book, The Ethical Vision of the Bible: Learning Good from Knowing God, and said, “Dr. Gosnell’s book is attracting the spotlight, and its warm glow is reflecting very well upon Muskingum University.  Dr. Gosnell’s book is not only the result of the scholar in the library, but also the teacher in the classroom, because he honed his material there.”

Dr. Gosnell joined the faculty at Muskingum in 2002.  He earned his bachelor’s degree  from Princeton University, his master of divinity degree and his master of theology degree from Western Seminary and his doctoral degree from the University of Sheffield. 

The Cora I. Orr Faculty Service Award was bestowed upon Associate Professor of History Dr. Thomas E. McGrath.  It is named in honor of a Muskingum faculty member and administrator who served the university with devotion and distinction for four decades.

Citing Dr. McGrath’s achievements at the university, Dr. Callaghan said, “Dr. McGrath’s attention to detail, his unwavering commitment to including multiple voices and his willingness to discuss and handle people’s questions and concerns must be recognized.”

Dr. McGrath joined the Muskingum faculty in 2002.  He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of San Diego and a master’s degree and his doctoral degree from Cornell University.

IN THE PHOTO: From left to right, Dr. Thomas E. McGrath, Eugene L. Alesandrini, Dr. Peter W. Gosnell and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. James E. Callaghan.  


Convocation features address by 1986 alumnus William W. Goetz ’86

WILLIAM W. GOETZMuskingum University held its Convocation on August 26, featuring an address by 1986 alumnus William W. Goetz.

In his address, Mr. Goetz told the students, “My best advice to you is simply to show up.  Show up for your classes, show up for events on campus and show up to support your friends.  If you truly engage during your time here, you will benefit richly from it.”

William (Bill) Goetz is senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Sysco Corporation. A Fortune 500 company with annual sales of $44 billion, Sysco is the global leader in providing food products and foodservice equipment and supplies to restaurant, hospitality, educational, and healthcare facilities.

Mr. Goetz earned his bachelor of arts degree from Muskingum in business and economics, with a minor in speech. Immediately following his graduation, he began his career as a management trainee at Cintas Corporation, a Fortune 1000 company which provides corporate identity, uniform, safety, and first aid programs to the service and manufacturing industries.

He progressed through a series of roles with increasing responsibility at Cintas, becoming an officer of the company in 1997. In 2003, he joined ECOLAB Corporation – a water, hygiene, and energy technologies business service provider – to serve as vice president – corporate marketing and vice president – International marketing. He returned to Cintas in 2006 as vice president – marketing and merchandising and in 2008 was named president and chief operations officer – global accounts and strategic markets. He helped lead Cintas to record annual sales of $4 billion before joining Sysco in 2012.

Mr. Goetz and his wife Joellen reside in Houston, Texas, and are the parents of Cooper, Emma, and James.

Coaches, trainers and athletes cool off for a good cause

Muskingum’s athletic department took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on August 25, just after noon on the Quad.  Coaches, athletes and trainers all took the plunge, and challenged their colleagues at other OAC schools to do the same.  To date, the challenge has raised millions of dollars for ALS research.  The Zanesville Times Recorder was there and got some amazing mid-splash photos.  To see the story, click here.  For the coverage on MUFightingMuskies, Muskingum’s YouTube channel for sports, click here

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