Falcon Success Stories

A Bowling Green State University education is more than just a degree – it’s a starting point to a path forward filled with unlimited potential.

These stories of Falcons illustrate how they have used their BGSU education to foster critical thinking, build the confidence to navigate unique career paths and create public good.

  • Lindsey Murphy ’22 Lindsey Murphy ’22 was one of only two undergraduates selected for Ohio Scholars in Aging, which allowed her to develop a program during her internship at Birchaven Village in Findlay that encouraged residents to build relationships and develop connections with each other. Murphy, a gerontology major and Navy Reserve hospital corpsman, said, “I want to be there for the older adults who don’t have the same family support as others.”
  • Dr. Sara Houlihan ’09 Dr. Sara Houlihan ’09 earned a bachelor’s in applied health science at BGSU, and now is a physical therapist at the University of Michigan. She chose BGSU in part because of the scholarships she was offered, but also because of the friendly interactions she had with faculty and staff. She knew that at BGSU she wasn’t “just going a be a number – I'm going to be a person that people know.”
  • Dr. Ashley Baker ’04, ’07 Dr. Ashley Baker ’04, ’07 earned degrees in sports administration from BGSU and is now the chief diversity officer for athletics at Michigan State University. But the end of her first semester at BGSU, she packed up her dorm room, intending to leave the university. She returned the following semester, and it was a conversation with her academic advisor and an introduction to BGSU athletics that helped her find connection and purpose. Baker credits the relationships she developed at BGSU with her successful career. “BGSU changed the trajectory of my life and it's really at the core of who I am,” she said.
  • Dr. Carnel Smith ’01, ’06 Dr. Carnel Smith ’01, ’06 earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in education from BGSU and has been principal of Scott High School in Toledo since 2016. He has applied his research to his job by creating a mentorship program for seniors, which impacted a significant increase in the graduation rate, from 48% to 77% in one year. “BGSU gave me an opportunity, and because of that, I’m able to do what I can do today and have an impact on students and my community,” he said.
  • BGSU Bands Collection As the 100th anniversary of BGSU Bands approaches in 2023-2024, Dr. Kenneth Thompson, professor of conducting and ensembles, is collaborating with the BGSU Center for Archival Collections and the Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives to establish the BGSU Bands Collection. This archival collection will preserve band uniforms, rosters, scores, films, photographs and other materials that document the complete history of BGSU bands through the past century.
  • Music Plus Program Music Plus is a longstanding partnership between the BGSU College of Musical Arts and Toledo Public Schools (TPS). For 10 weeks, on Wednesday evenings in the fall and spring semesters, approximately 30 TPS students travel to the Bowling Green campus for free supplemental music instruction. The evenings are segmented into private lessons taught by BGSU undergraduate and graduate students, ensembles led by a graduate student or a faculty member, and other musical activities.
  • Miah Pearson ’22 Miah Pearson started and stopped at three other colleges before finding an educational home at BGSU Firelands. Pearson was determined to complete her degree because she wanted her son to know it was possible to achieve one’s goals, regardless of age. The support of her family and a BGSU foundation scholarship made the pursuit of her education possible. Pearson recently graduated with a Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies.
  • La-Shawna Stegall ’16 La-Shawna Stegall calls her Firelands experience “one of the most formative of my life.” After time away from college, she re-started her education at Firelands and graduated from BGSU in 2016. She’s now pursuing medical school, and credits Firelands with fostering her love of learning and strong work ethic. Stegall said, “My experience at Firelands is still helping me today.”
  • Monica Cox ’22 Monica Cox graduated from BGSU Firelands with a bachelor’s degree in social work this past August. She served eight years in the Air Force before retiring and received military benefits to help fund her education. The community and support she found at Firelands helped sustain her when her husband and her mother passed away in 2021. Cox plans to pursue a career in hospice.
  • Melanie Bracco ‘15 Melanie Bracco studied telecommunications at Bowling Green State University, but today she is an animal welfare specialist at Coral World Ocean Park in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The public speaking, problem-solving and community service skills she learned while at BGSU helped her navigate her career path.
  • Duffee Maddox ’13 Duffee Maddox, a theatre major, came to Bowling Green State University as a transfer student. “The Wolfe Center is what drove me to BGSU,” she said. While here, she found a community of lifelong friends and an approach to work that served her well throughout her career journey.
  • Don Unsworth ‘60 Don Unsworth is a 1960 BGSU graduate whose career included industrial manufacturing at Ford Motor Company and Chrysler before finding his passion as an instructor at Henry Ford Community College.
  • Swati Arora Swati Arora is a graduate student in BGSU's logistics systems engineering program. She wants to be an expert in supply chain, which she calls “the backbone of industry.” She chose BGSU because the program combined engineering and management, and because the scholarship opportunities helped her education to be accessible.
  • Meghan Miller Meghan Miller is a senior architecture major, and her path to graduation has taken its own twists and turns. She started at BGSU six years ago but dropped out – she said she “just wasn’t ready.” Before coming back to school, Miller thought hard about what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. She was inspired to continue in architecture because of “the real social change you can make.”
  • Grace Link Grace Link choose BGSU for her Master of Architecture because she knew she wanted to have classes in person and needed an affordable program. She completed her undergraduate education at Purdue University and worked in the construction management field for four years before deciding to pursue her graduate degree. She received a scholarship for her last two years of study, which she said, “opened up a lot of doors and provided a lot more flexibility for my family.”
  • Michael Timbrook ‘91 Mike Timbrook is a first officer for Delta Airlines and a 1991 graduate of the aviation studies program at BGSU. He served in the Ohio Air National Guard and flew fighter jets for the military for over 20 years before retiring and joining Delta Airlines.
  • Nathaniel Hock Nathaniel Hock, a senior, became a construction management major because “I like working with my hands and working outside.” He is now the president of the Student Construction Management Association (SCMA), an organization that helps students network with contractors for co-op opportunities, and also organizes a job fair and study groups. Through SCMA, Hock says students learn how to expand their network.
  • Gabriella DeRaedt ’22 Gabriella DeRaedt works for the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the largest public DNA crime laboratory in the world. She credits the partnership between Bowling Green State University and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for preparing her well for this competitive opportunity while majoring in forensic science.
  • Clara Barned (December ’22 candidate) and Seneca Doty ’21 Clara Barned and Seneca Doty’s publication started as a class project in Dr. Carles Ferrando Valero’s 19th Century Spanish Literature class. With his encouragement and support, they applied for and received funding from the Center for Undergraduate Research (CURS), edited their article, and published their project, titled "Africa and Spain: Poetic Songs with the Motif of the Moroccan War," in the Open Anthology of Spanish Literature.

Updated: 01/18/2023 11:49AM