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Akron e-magazine | For Alumni & Friends


Class notes

George Wallace, AASTR ’68, BSBA ’71, one of America’s best-known comedians and frequently called “The New Mr. Las Vegas,” was profiled by The New Pittsburgh Courier. The article traced his successes – from University of Akron graduate to a top comedian on the Las Vegas strip. Incidentally, Wallace was the best man at the wedding of friend and former roommate Jerry Seinfeld.

Lynne S. Callahan, BA ’79, JD ’84, a Common Pleas judge in Summit County, filed a petition to run for the seat of 9th District Judge Beth Whitmore, JD ’82.


Joseph O. Elwell Jr., BSCE ’72, MBA ’85, was presented the Outstanding Eagle Scout Award on November 24 from the Pittsburgh Chapter National Eagle Scout Association of the Laurel Highlands Council. The award is granted to Eagle Scouts who have demonstrated outstanding achievements at a community, state, or regional level. Elwell was honored for having influenced and inspired others as public servants, educators, philanthropists, and business leaders. He is the owner of Brownsville, Pa.-based Elwell’s Engineers & Surveyors, which he founded in 1976.


Edward L. Gilbert, JD ’76, a well-known Akron attorney, recently published his autobiography, “Swallowing Nickels: A Memoir of a Welfare Child,” an excruciating story of his childhood. The book is available on and can be ordered by calling Gilbert's law office at 330.376.8855. All proceeds will be donated to charity.


Ronald B. Lee, BS ’74, JD ’78, a partner in Roetzel’s Akron office, was named a 2016 Ohio Super Lawyer, an honor awarded to only the top 5 percent of attorneys in each state that recognizes a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Lee specializes in the field of class action.


Samuel C. Randazzo, BSBA ’71, was named a 2016 Ohio Super Lawyer, an honor awarded to only the top 5 percent of attorneys in each state that recognizes a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Randazzo, an attorney with Columbus-based McNees Wallace & Nurick, specializes in solving issues that affect the price and availability of communications, natural gas, electricity, and other regulated services.


Thomas A. Teodosio, BA ’79 JD ’82, a Common Pleas judge in Summit County, filed a petition to run for the seat of retiring 9th District Judge Carla D. Moore, BA ’74.


Donald R Truza, AAS ’76, BS ’80, CEO of The Transition Team Inc., was elected to the leadership board of the Global Outplacement Alliance at this year’s annual conference in Chicago. The Transition Team is a national, award-winning career management and outplacement firm based in Knoxville, Tenn.

Donald E. Ake, BSBA ’80, MBA ’88, former Buchtelite columnist, published his first humor book, “Just Make Me A Sammich – Absurd observations from a Wild Mind.” The book, which makes light of a variety of subjects, including relationships, work, celebrities, and home life, can be purchased at Ake resides in North Canton, Ohio, and is vice president of commercial vehicles for Freight Transportation Research, a freight transportation research and consulting firm based in Bloomington, Ind.


Heidi E. Cressman, BS ’87, BSME ’88, was one of 15 women honored by the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio at the organization’s Women of Distinction and Advancing Women Awards luncheon, held in September at the Union Club in Cleveland. The award honors women who exemplify outstanding leadership and distinguished service, make significant contributions to their communities and professions, and serve as role models for the next generation of women leaders. Cressman is director of the Woman in Engineering Program in UA’s College of Engineering.


Elizabeth A. England, AAB ’85, BA ’01, was named to the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board. England, a human resource professional with more than 25 years of experience, is employed as a benefits analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland. She also is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration at The University of Akron.


Russell G. Henderson, AAS ’81, was named president of the Avon Lake Kiwanis for a five-year term. Henderson works for the Ohio Lottery Commission in information technology.


Paul L. Jackson, BS ’85, JD ’88, a partner in Roetzel’s Akron office, was named a 2016 Ohio Super Lawyer, an honor awarded to only the top 5 percent of attorneys in each state that recognizes a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Jackson specializes in employee benefits.


Jeffery A. Morgan, BSME ’83, was named vice president of engineering for Eau Claire, Wis.-based National Presto Industries Inc. which designs and sells small household appliances. Morgan, who has been with Presto since 2010, is the named inventor on more than 40 patents.


Evelyn M. Olenick, MSN ’88, was named chief nursing officer at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga. In her new role, she will lead approximately 700 nurses. Most recently, Olenick was vice president of patient care services and chief nurse executive for Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton, Va.


Joseph E. Reece, BS ’84 JD ’87, has been named to the board of directors of LSB Industries Inc., a manufacturing, marketing, and engineering company based in Oklahoma City. Reece currently serves as president of Helena Capital LLC, a merchant bank he founded in 2015 with offices in New York and Los Angeles.


Cynthia L. Rice, JD ’85, a northeastern Ohio appellate judge, plans to seek a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. Rice, a Warren, Ohio-based 11th District Court of Appeals judge, is a former federal and Trumball County assistant prosecutor.


Kathleen M. Schartner, BA ’84, director of business development with Cleveland-based Farmer Brothers, was honored with the prestigious William J. Tobin Award at the 53rd Annual International Foodservice Manufacturers Association Presidents Conference in Torrance, Calif. Schartner was recognized for her notable and lasting contributions to foodservice education.


Bruce R. Schrader II, BA ’84, a partner in Roetzel’s Akron office, was named a 2016 Ohio Super Lawyer, an honor awarded to only the top 5 percent of attorneys in each state that recognizes a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Schrader specializes in creditor debtor rights.


Laura K. Thompson, BSA ’87, MBA ’92, was ranked No. 22 in Business Insider Indonesia’s 2015 list of 'Top 50 Female CFOs in America.' Thompson is executive vice president and CFO for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.


Doreen Thorne, AAB ’89, BSBA ’94, was named marketing manager for the All-American Soap Box Derby. Previously, she was a senior marketing specialist for Diebold.


Michael D. Williams, JD ’85, recently retired as a member of Akron City Council, following a remarkable 28 years. The West Akron resident remarked the hallmark of his career was "being a voice for those who weren’t necessarily at the table."

Tacy M. Byham, MA ’95, PhD ’05, was named CEO of Development Dimensions International, a leading and innovative global human resources consultancy based in Bridgeville, Pa., with more than 1,000 associates serving clients in 93 countries. Byham, who also is an acclaimed speaker and author, succeeded her father, who founded the company in 1970.


Gail E. Garbrandt, MA ’95, is the newly elected chairwoman of Ohio’s Tuscarawas County Democratic Party. Garbrandt is a Salzburg Global Fellow; former vice president of communications for the National Women’s Political Caucus in Washington, D.C.; faculty member of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University; former board member of the American Association of Political Consultants; and national campaign trainer.


Melissa A. Kline, BSN ’97, was promoted to vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer at MetroHealth, with responsibility for leading 2,000 nurses. Previously, she served as vice president of nursing and associate chief nursing officer. Kline has been with MetroHealth since 1998.


Christopher W. Kuhar, BS ’97, executive director of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, was elected to the prestigious Association of Zoos & Aquariums board of directors for a three-year term. The AZA board is comprised of zoological professionals from across the country who are involved in leadership aspects of the national organization, including accreditation, ethics, animal welfare, and conservation.


T. Richard Murray, PhD ’91, a Zanesville, Ohio, educator was the recipient of the President’s Award, the Ohio School Boards Association's top honor. Murray serves as the executive director of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (an organization he has served for more than three decades), which supports and advocates for improved educational opportunities in the 35-county Appalachian region of Ohio, including Muskingum, Perry, Morgan, and Coshocton counties. Previously, he served as superintendent of the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center and West Muskingum Local Schools.

Jeffrey W. Andrasik, BSME ’07, was profiled in Rubber News about his job as a product testing operations manager. Andrasik oversees two testing laboratories, one in Akron, the other in East Lansing, Mich., for Smithers Rapra, which provides polymer testing, consulting services, training and market reports for rubber and plastics materials produced in the tire, industrial, automotive, consumer and medical industries.


Noelle B. Frantz, BA ’09, MA ’12, an industrial-organizational psychologist, has joined SHAKER as an analyst with the company's growing Virtual Job Tryout® technology Design-Build Team. SHAKER is a leader in custom simulations for pre-employment testing. In her new role, Frantz will collaborate with clients to define job demands, establish assessment content criteria, and develop custom assessment experiences that deliver improvements in their quality of hire.


Jennifer L. Geyer, BS ’00, was elected assistant corporate secretary by the FirstEnergy Corp. board of directors, effective December 27. Geyer has been manager, corporate, since 2011, responsible for the administration of FirstEnergy’s equity compensation plans, insider trading compliance, related regulatory filings, and governance matters.


Courtney A. Gras, AS ’07, BSEE ’13, was selected by Forbes as a ’30 under 30 In The Energy Sector.’ Honorees were chosen for “perfecting innovations that could lead to new sources of low-carbon energy and massive energy savings.” Gras is a co-founder of Design Flux Technologies, which is developing an integrated hardware and software platform technology for batteries — a first of its kind versatile power management system. Read more at: UA alumna is one of Forbes ‘30 under 30.’


Amy K. Kuntz, BA ’01, has been named coalition director of the Partnership for a Healthy North Royalton, which promotes healthy decision-making and positive attitudes in the Ohio communities of North Royalton and Broadview Heights. Kuntz, who was a UA volleyball player, will oversee grant submission and development of long-term strategies.


Amit H. Majmudar, BSMD ’03, was named Ohio’s first poet laureate by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a position that runs two years beginning January 1, 2016. Majmudar, who completed his medical residency at University Hospitals of Cleveland, works in Dublin, Ohio, as a nuclear radiologist and says he hopes to re-integrate poetry into community life. Majmudar’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, and other publications.


Krista L. Marinaro, JD ’02, a defense attorney in Avon, Ohio, filed to run for Lorain County domestic relations judge.


Philip D. Russo, MS ’01, joined Captain D's, the leading national fast casual seafood restaurant, as vice president of real estate. In his new role, Russo will spearhead planning and execution of corporate and franchise site selection in an effort to continue Captain D's accelerated growth.

Rod A. Moore, JD ’15, has joined Black McCuskey Souers & Arbaugh as an associate. Moore will focus on business, health care law, governmental law, zoning, and litigation for the Ohio firm, which has offices in Canton and Dover.


Igor D. Petrovich, BA ’12, a native of Bosnia who moved to the United States with his family during the Bosnian War in the mid-1990s, is an attorney and recently accepted a position with Legal Aid of Oklahoma. He was profiled about his new role in


Steve Sedlock, BSBA ’11, MSEd '13, was named to the board of directors of the Medina County Arts Foundation. Sedlock will focus on designing and executing a digital marketing and communications plan for the Foundation and its family of organizations including CAMEO, the theatrical "artist-in-residence" of the Medina Performing Arts Center, The Fred Hargrove Young Artists summer youth theatre, the Brass Band of the Western Reserve, and annual marquee event Medina Holiday Pops with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.


Shannon E. Sorensen, JD ’10, an attorney with Shifrin Newman Smith, was profiled in the Akron Legal News. Sorensen is the lead chair of the Disability Law Section of the Akron Bar Association and works to educate legal professionals on ways to improve the practice and process of obtaining Social Security disability benefits.


In Memoriam

Stanley W. Akers, BSE ’67, MA ’80, retired asst. professor, University Libraries, July 9, 2015

Charles W. Algea, BSEE ’57, Oct. 9, 2015
Mark J. Aylward, AAS ’74, Nov. 29, 2015
Beverly W. Barker, BSE ’74, retired office asst., Music, Oct. 25, 2015
Jere D. Baughman, BAED ’52, Dec. 7, 2015
Henry C. Bishop, BA ’96, Oct. 15, 2015
Christy B. Bishop, BA ’85, MA ’91, JD ’03, former senior lecturer, Communication, Dec. 2, 2015
Erika L. Boor, BSN ’01, MSN ’01, former graduate asst., Nursing, Dec. 6, 2015
Larry M. Briggs, BSIM ’74, MBA ’82, Oct. 22, 2015
Ronald E. Chumbley, BSED ’57, Oct. 13, 2015
Eilene Cole, BSED ’48, Nov. 6, 2015
Charles F. Corns, BSCE ’41, Oct. 16, 2015
Rosemary E. Costigan, AAS ’80, February 19, 2015
Richard R. Crawford, MAED ’71, Oct. 17, 2015
Dennis W. Cunningham, AAS ’76, Dec. 22, 2015
Michael T. Dangel, BA ’90, Nov. 24, 2015
Faust S. D'Avello, BSME ’54, Nov. 9, 2015
Cynthia A. Dixon, BA ’78, Dec. 23, 2015
Martha Dunn, BA ’49, Dec. 23, 2015
Diane Fabinack, AAS ’77, BA ’83, MAE ’86, Oct. 16, 2015
Thomas A. Finnerty Jr., MA ’91, Nov. 25, 2015
Joseph A. Fortunato, BST ’88, Dec. 6, 2015
Francis C. Fosdick, BSBA ’55, Dec. 10, 2015
Michael F. Frank, BAE ’71, Nov. 23, 2015
Mary Ann Fuller, BSED ’69, Nov. 9, 2015
Sybil J. Gertz, BSED ’47, Nov. 26, 2015
Joanne C. Girard, AAS ’80, BSIM ’85, Nov. 27, 2015
Geraldine Glazier, BSED ’63, MSED ’70, Oct. 11, 2015
David A. Gulajski Jr., BS ’89, Nov. 30, 2015
Diana L. Harris, MSE 75, Dec. 14, 2015
James F. Hegarty, BSBA ’69, Dec. 14, 2015
Olive Henry, BSE ’74, Nov. 13, 2015
Louis A. Hill Jr., retired dean, Engineering, January 22, 2015
Timothy C. Jelus, BS ’85, Dec. 8, 2015
Rosemary H. Johnston, retired secretary, Engineering & Science Technology, Dec. 9, 2015
Mary Jean Johnston, retired professor emeritus, Business Technology, Dec. 27, 2015
Pattilou Judge, BSE ’56, MSE ’76, Nov. 25, 2015
Sebastian V. Kanakkanatt, MS ’66, PHD ’69, retired professor emeritus, Engineering & Science Technology, Dec. 27, 2015
Almedia R. Keefer, retired test monitor, Learning Resource Center, Dec. 9, 2015
Crystal R. King, AAB ’04, BS ’07, Nov. 21, 2015
Dolores M. Knapp, BA ’74, former tutor, Academic Achievement Programs, Dec. 2, 2015

Donald N. Lehmier, retired asst. to director, Human Resources, Dec. 18, 2015

Betty L. Macale, BA ’49, Dec. 4, 2015
Ronald E. Mace, retired broadcast technician, University Media Productions, Nov. 11, 2015
Margaret J. Mahurin, BSMDT ’58, August 17, 2015
Joyce M. Mason, BSED ’69, Oct. 21, 2015
Howard A. Merkle, BSBA ’49, Nov. 9, 2015
John F. Mihal, BSIM ’71, Nov. 15, 2015
Edward J. Miller, BSME ’59, Dec. 4, 2015
Susan E. Miller, BSA ’83, Dec. 26, 2015
Alice Monroe, former stenographer, Music, Oct. 26, 2015
Mary A. Nahas, BSED ’66, Dec. 20, 2015
Robert J. Novak, BSIM ’62, Dec. 1, 2015
Joan Olson, BAED ’67, Dec. 7, 2015
Albert S. Orr, MS ’68, July 27, 2015
Steven E. Perkins, former adjunct assoc. professor, Counseling & Special Education, Dec. 12, 2015
Terri Radosevich, BAE ’74, Dec. 16, 2015
Leon E. Rasberry Sr., AAS ’69, BSBA ’72, Nov. 6, 2015
Mary A. Redle, BSE ’72, MST ’77, former lecturer, Home Economics & Family Ecology, Oct. 10, 2015
Robert C. Reymann, BSIM ’52, Nov. 14, 2015
Jean Robinson, BSA ’85, Dec. 6, 2015
Marcelino Roman, AAS ’87, Nov. 30, 2015
Luberta Rookard, retired word processing specialist, Communication, Dec. 16, 2015
Louise A. Safron, BSED ’69, Oct. 2, 2015
Frederick H. Schenk, BSE ’76, MAE ’89, Dec. 11, 2015
David H Schworm, BS ’93, former graduate asst., Institute of Polymer Engineering, Nov. 18, 2015
Raymond L. Scott Jr., BSIM ’76, Nov. 16, 2015
Vernelle Shannon, BSED ’54, Nov. 21, 2015
Frank J. Sherman, BSBA ’60, Nov. 24, 2015
Walter J. Shimp, BFA ’75, Nov. 14, 2015
Donald C. Shipman, BAED ’68, Dec. 15, 2015
John E. Skidmore, AAS ’73, Dec. 19, 2015
Vladimir L. Slomberg, MA ’75, Nov. 16, 2015
Eugene J. Sofran, BSIM ’63, former senior buyer, Purchasing, Dec. 16, 2015
Harry Stein, BA ’50, Nov. 15, 2015
Karen E. Stephens, AA ’11, Oct. 26, 2015
Anthony Taylor, retired supervisor, Printing Services, Nov. 8, 2015
Shawn D. Texter, BSA ’90, Dec. 9, 2015
Mario Tilaro, BSLE ’56, Sept. 22, 2015
Barbara A. Walter, BSED ’53, Nov. 11, 2015
F Douglas Wert Jr., JD ’71, Dec. 9, 2015
Lavonne M. Wiley, BAED ’65, MST ’74, former lecturer, Home Economics & Family Ecology, Oct. 10, 2015
Gloria S. Williams, BA ’44, Dec. 26, 2015
Evelyn C. Wilson, BSE ’61, Nov. 20, 2015
Louise M. Worsencroft, BSED ’67, Oct. 26, 2015
Daniel C. Zinz, BA ’03, MS ’07, Nov. 13, 2015

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