Alumni Notes & Accomplishments

 Maddi GeorgoffAlumna develops program to help support Toledo
Public Schools

Having graduated magna cum laude in May 2015 from BGSU, Maddi Georgoff is already putting her bachelor of arts degree in sociology to good use by developing Parent University for Toledo Public Schools, a new initiative she started that offers free classes and resources to parents.

Parent University is a program that “supports, engages and empowers” parents who have children in Toledo Public Schools. For instance, math isn’t taught the way it was when many parents were in school. In Parent University, school administrators and math teachers can better explain to parents the new ways of teaching math. There are several classes offered, including classes to better understand standardized testing and ways to discipline children in a positive manner.

“At the Parent University, we really want to emphasize we’re not trying to teach parents how to parent or tell them that they’re doing it wrong,” said Georgoff, who started at Partners in Education as an intern during her final semester at BGSU. “Our primary goal really is parent engagement and connections between the community and the parents and the schools.”

At BGSU, Georgoff was a civic action leader and the founding president of BG Alternative Breaks. She was a recipient of the 2015 Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellows Award in recognition of her inspirational efforts to improve communities through service.


Lee Blakemore ’55, Penn Valley, Calif., retired as product line manager at Amoco Chemical in Atlanta.


From the bike to the board room

It’s a long, difficult ride in the search for a cure for cancer, but those are miles Steve Daley ’88 considers well spent. Daley, who in 1998 lost his mother to breast cancer, cycled 180 miles earlier this year as part of the BGSU team in Pelotonia, a grassroots bike tour that has raised millions of dollars for cancer research.

“It was draining, very challenging, and a lot of hard work to go the full 180 miles, but it is also a really amazing experience,” said Daley, who serves on the BGSU Board of Trustees. “It’s a struggle, but you stop and think about what people are going through with cancer treatment. You realize what this is all about, and why you are doing this—it’s to help people.”

Daley credits his parents for instilling in him a sense of serving the community. He has served as chapter adviser and chair of the Alumni Advisory Board for Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and was a member of the BGSU Student Affairs Advocates Board before his appointment to the BGSU Board of Trustees. As a member of The Presidents Club, he has endowed a fund to send students to a leadership academy, and also a scholarship for business education students.

“It has been an honor to serve a place that has meant so much in my life, and in the lives of my family,” said Daley, a third-generation legacy alumnus whose grandfather was a captain of the BGSU football team.


Connie Kirkland ’68, Oakton, Va., is director of Threat Assessment and Behavioral Intervention at Northern Virginia Community College. She also manages the college’s Sexual Assault Services program. In 2014, she was a contributing author for “Addressing Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence,” published by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Michael Pavlik ’69, ’75, Sun Lakes, Ariz., has released his first book, “If You’re a Duffer, You’re OK in My Book.” The book is available at bookstores and

Golden Falcons induction ceremonyAlumnus brings Chinese art
and technique home to BGSU 

The deep bonds shared by Bowling Green State University alumni were honored at the inaugural Golden Falcons induction ceremony April 22. Golden Falcons are alumni who have been graduates for 50 or more years. BGSU welcomed 44 Golden Falcons to campus and inducted them with a medallion crafted exclusively for this group of esteemed alumni.
“I am honored that these devoted alumni have kept BGSU in their hearts across the years and the miles,” said President Mary Ellen Mazey. “They are, and always will be, a very special part of the BGSU family. Their spirit and loyalty clearly demonstrate, ‘Once a Falcon, Always a Falcon.’”

Alumni traveled from as far away as Washington, New Mexico, North Carolina and New Jersey for the inaugural event. The oldest alumna in attendance was Dorothy Bloomingdale Woods from the class of 1947. She received enthusiastic applause from her fellow inductees when she concluded her induction saying, “BG is a great school.”
 “Our Golden Falcons show that no matter where you go, BGSU will always be home,” said Rebecca Kocher, assistant vice president for alumni relations and annual giving. Plans are now underway for the 2016 celebration. Save the date for April 20-21, 2016.


Douglas Hendel ’71, ’79, ’86, Alliance, Ohio, a retired professor of theater at the University of Mount Union, performed with the Hip to Hip Theatre Company based in Queens, N.Y.

Victor Amato ’72, Port Huron, Mich., published “Incoming, Collected Stories.” His book is available digitally and in paperback.

Richard Campbell ’72, Wall Township, N.J., retired after 25 years with AT&T Corp. in Middletown, N.J. He was a principal technical architect in the network applications and system development organization.

Patricia Rhoden Bartels ’76
, Nashville, Ind., was named one of the featured member artists at the Brown County Art Guild in September 2015. She also recently won Outstanding Landscape at the 91st annual Hoosier Salon Exhibition.

Marianne Kasel Burke ’78, Parsippany, N.J., retired as director of project/program management at AT&T after 35 years.

Janet Schroer ’78, Portland, Ore., is an attorney with Hart Wagner LLP. She is recognized in the 2016 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America” as a 2016 Lawyer of the Year for Appellate Practice.

From Firelands to the Far East

Is there a route that will take you from the tiny Ohio community of Willard and the Firelands campus of BGSU to Japan, China, Singapore and the rest of the world and beyond? The answer is profoundly in the positive from Mike Crawford’s perspective. The 1990 graduate found those distant steppingstones are in close enough proximity if hard work, sound leadership, and a willingness to explore opportunity make up key parts of the path.

“When you grow up in the Midwest, you’re raised with these certain core values that will serve you well no matter where your career might take you,” Crawford said. “No matter where you start, there really aren’t any boundaries. I think it’s more about dedication, putting in your best effort for that day, and knowing when you lay your head on the pillow that night that you did your best.”

Crawford’s current workdays end in Singapore, where he is the president of the Asia Pacific division of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. He is responsible for the company’s business activities in the region, which includes implementing Four Seasons’ growth objectives and fulfilling the strategic plan for its Asia operations.

When it was time for Crawford to start preparing for college, he aimed close to home, but by the time he applied to BGSU it was too late to be admitted to the main campus, so Firelands was a logical alternative. It turned out to be an ideal place for him to transition into the college experience.

“For me, Firelands was probably a good environment to start and learn about college, learn how to study and do the things that would make it a successful experience. It was closer and it was smaller, and Firelands provided me with a good period of time to get my legs under me and understand what it was going to take to be a good student,” he said.

Following graduation in the spring of 1990, Crawford registered to return to Bowling Green in the fall to pursue his MBA, but the world called and he never made it back.
He began at Disney selling tickets, held seven different jobs in his first five years, and went on to manage Disney properties and had several thousand people working for him.

He went on to lead a business development team that engaged in negotiations with the government of China that led to the development of the Shanghai Disney Resort. He served as senior vice president and general manager of that property and president of the Walt Disney Holding Company in Shanghai. His 24-year run with Disney came to a close as the result of a late-night call from an executive search firm that was looking for a new president to lead a growing and expanding company in Asia, and that brought Crawford to Four Seasons.

“For me, I think you walk into a job with your eyes and ears open, and follow the simple principle of treating people the way you want to be treated. That applies anywhere in life, and anywhere in the world,” Crawford said.


Rebecca Aguilar ’80, Dallas, received the 2015 Napoleon (Ohio) High School Hall of Fame Award for her more than 30 years in journalism and 50 awards/nominations for her work in news.

Linda Murray ’80, Midland, Mich., was named the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association District V Orchestra Teacher of the Year.

Jonathan Clark ’81
, Salt Lake City, was elected to serve a three-year term as director of the Northwest Region of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society. He will also serve on Sigma Xi’s international board of directors.

Ronald Ciancutti ’83, Lakewood, Ohio, was named to Berea High School’s Distinguished Graduate Hall of Fame. He served as keynote speaker at the 2015 Park and Recreation Business National Conference.

David Coleman ’83, ’85
, Cincinnati, received
the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Entertainment at the national conference
of the Association for the Promotion of
Campus Activities.

Adrian Thompson ’83, Highland Heights, Ohio, is a partner with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. He is Taft’s first chief diversity officer, president emeritus of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, co-chair of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Diversity & Inclusion Strategies Committee, and serves as a member of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Task Force on Commercial Dockets.

Sue Cramer ’84
, Bluffton, Ohio, retired in 2014 from Northeastern Local Schools, Defiance, Ohio, where she taught K-12 health and physical education for 35 years. She is a junior and senior high school volleyball official and a CPR and first aid instructor.

Matthew Balensuela ’85, Terre Haute, Ind., presented his paper, “New Paths for Music History Pedagogy: Challenges for the Next Decade,” to the International Musicological Society Study Group on Transmission of Knowledge as a Primary Aim in Music Education meeting at Juilliard.

Suzanne Cordatos ’85
, Colchester, Conn., had her first novel, “The Lost Crown of Apollo,” published in the U.K. by Sunberry Books.

Holly Geaman-Koza ’85, Lima, Ohio, received the 2015 Jefferson Award for volunteer community work in the Lima area.

Jeffrey Greig ’85, Willoughby, Ohio, retired from Perry Middle School, Perry, Ohio, where he taught social studies.

Thomas Tyler ’85, Willoughby, Ohio, is supervisory administrative law judge for the Cleveland office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals, Department of Health & Human Services. He previously served 27 years as a trial attorney.

Dale Orians ’86
, Highland Heights, Ohio, is a detective lieutenant for the City of University Heights Police Department.

Patrick Pearson ’89, Vernon Hills, Ill., is a teacher, orchestra director and co-leader of the marching band and color guard for Oak Park River Forest High School. He was named the 2015 Illinois Music Educator of the Year.

Lori (Everly) Stevenson ’89
, Marion, Ohio, is the communications manager for the Marion Community Foundation.

Creative Peaceful Resistance     

Dr. Lorna Gonsalves has lived in the United States for more than 40 years, but she still holds a special place in her heart for her birthplace, Mangalore, India.

Gonsalves, who earned her doctorate in social psychology from BGSU, spent six weeks in 2015 as a Fulbright specialist at the School of Social Work Roshni Nilaya in Mangalore utilizing her signature Creative Peaceful Resistance (CPR) approach to help initiate participatory education, equal justice and social transformation.

During her assignment, Gonsalves engaged students in critical discussions and worked with local domestic workers and artists. They built a reflection park and students put on a dramatic “call to action.” Unifying myriad workers’ views on social and political change in order to create distinct and purposeful larger-than-life murals can be daunting, but Gonsalves has perfected her method through 25 years of hard work, study and research as a consultant and workshop facilitator.
The CPR approach came about through more than a decade’s work with Toledo youth.

youthGonsalves said it became clear that youth needed a channel for protesting the injustices that they faced and sharing their brilliance and creativity with the public. Through CPR, she said, translating their visions into full-color murals provided an opportunity for youth to make policymakers aware of the plight of their communities, instigating collective introspection and action. The transformative power of creative peaceful resistance is generated from both the content and process of the work.

Gonsalves, who served as associate provost for diversity at BGSU from 1997-99, is a former associate executive director and director of global outreach for UNESCO. She was awarded the Fulbright Specialist grant in January, which provided her with opportunity and the platform to seed a critical service-learning project through the use of the CPR approach.


Steve Clark ’90, Town & Country, Mo., is vice president for Environmental Affairs and Real Estate at Emerson, St. Louis.

Vicki Wahl ’90, Atlanta, launched her business, the hugbox (, in 2014. Her company specializes in personalized gift boxes containing eco-friendly, made-in-the-USA, artisanal products.

Dianne (Malbone) Dillon ’92
, Travelers Rest, S.C., is a Certified Fund Raising Executive. She received Greenville Health System’s 2015 Care Giver of the Year Award – Non Clinical.

Adam Bauser ’94
, Princeton, N.J., received an Emmy Award from the New York chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his work as segment producer on the public television series “Classroom Close-up, N.J.”

Anne Tait ’94, Providence, R.I., has her artwork, “The Erosion of Memory: Works by Anne Tait,” on display at the fall 2015 exhibition at the Doug Adams Gallery, Berkeley, Calif.  She was a speaker at the New York Chapter of the Association for Gravestone Studies and presented a paper “Making Sense of Memorials” at the 2015 annual conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association.

Rick Thorp ’95, Shadyside, Ohio, placed first and fourth in the Division 3 Feature Story category in the 2015 Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Writing Contest.

Sallie Stiens ’96, Chicago, is an attorney and director of global public policy for Grant Thornton in Chicago.

Betsy Kling ’97, Cleveland, was selected by the Press Club of Cleveland to receive this year’s prestigious Chuck Heaton Award. She is chief meteorologist and evening weather forecaster for WKYC.

Scott Irelan ’98, ’02
, Portage, Mich., is associate dean for Western Michigan University’s College of Fine Arts. He has co-authored a book, “Experiencing Theatre,” which shares the process of moving a play or musical from the page to the stage.

Dr. RobertMazur’s legacy to continue

Among the many paintings Dr. Robert (Bob) Mazur, professor of art created, arguably none had the impact on his students as the man himself.

“Bob had a great life,” said Lynne Mazur, Bob’s widow. “He enjoyed every minute of it, and his students experienced his infectious personality over 35 years.”

Mazur passed away in August 2015. His acrylic paintings with elements of glass and sand texture were inspired by photographs he took while deep-sea diving.

Now, American Frame is making sure BGSU art students for years to come will be impacted by Mazur’s work. The Maumee-based picture-framing company has set its sights on raising $80,000 by the end of 2016 for art scholarships.

“We’re selling more than his work. We’re selling a memory,” said Laura Jajko, American Frame president.

American Frame’s goal is to sell 19 of Mazur’s originals, produce and sell a coffee table book of his work, and offer prints of his work to the public. It is estimated scholarships of up to $3,000 could be provided annually.

“My husband would be very humbled by what American Frame is doing,” Mrs. Mazur said. “He was a very modest guy.”

More information at


Sarah Pappalrado ’00, Laurel, Md., is a teacher and department team leader at Dunloggin Middle School in Laurel. She participated in Miami (Ohio) University’s Earth Expeditions global field course in pursuit of her master’s degree from the university.

Kathryn Davidson ’03, Cincinnati, received a master’s in communication sciences and disorders from the University of Cincinnati, where she continues to pursue a Ph.D. in speech language pathology with a research focus on the performing voice.

John Houser ’03
, Portales, N.M., is director of marketing and communications for Eastern New Mexico University.

Joshua DeWar ’04, Louisville, Ky., received the 2016 Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Award from the Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland Inc. He is a second grade teacher at Engelhard Elementary School in Louisville.

Michael Hill ’06, Fort Myers, Fla., is the sports information director for Florida SouthWestern State College.

Janna Carpenter ’07, Alachua, Fla., is manager of customer service and front end operations at Alta Systems Printing Co., Gainesville, Fla.

Jeremy Foskitt ’09, Orlando, Fla., is the human resource administrator at the University of Central Florida. He is currently pursuing his second master’s degree at the university.

Bethany Truax ’09
, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, participated in Miami (Ohio) University’s Earth Expeditions global field course in Guyana as part of her master’s program. She is a science teacher at Canal Winchester Middle School in Columbus.

Nicholas Derksen ’10, ’12, Canal Winchester, Ohio, received Bowling Green State University’s 2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award in the Master of Public Administration program.

Brittany Tackett ’10
, Piqua, Ohio, is a college completion coach with AmeriCorps at Edison Community College.

Lauren Drossman ’11
, Sandusky, Ohio, is a science teacher at Margaretta High School. She traveled to Thailand to participate in Miami (Ohio) University’s Earth Expeditions global field course program to study Buddhism and spiritual connections to nature.

Thomas UlloSpecial Agent-in-Charge Thomas Ullom ’93

On the inside, you might expect the work with a federal law enforcement agency to be all about investigations and arrests, surveillance and apprehensions, and interrogations and court testimony – and it is – but there is one additional overriding element.

Like many other jobs, it is about people. In his more than two decades in law enforcement on the federal level, Thomas Ullom ’93 has learned the intrinsic value of meshing well with a variety of personalities and personas.

The Cleveland native is currently the special agent-in-charge for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, Chicago Regional Investigations. It is the most recent stop on a career track that began with his transfer to Bowling Green as a sophomore in the criminal justice program.

Following graduation, Ullom went on to excel in the specialized training programs for federal agents, and he was voted Outstanding Graduate and Class President/Representative in both the U.S. Marshals and the Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) basic training academies. Since then, he has spent more than 20 years building and maintaining strong professional relationships with several U.S. Attorneys’ offices as well as multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Throughout his law enforcement career, Ullom has worked investigations related to domestic and international drug trafficking, fugitive apprehension, and various complex fraud schemes. He has worked with the U.S. Marshals Service as a deputy U.S. marshal, as a special agent with the DEA, and as special agent with the U.S. Department of Education.

In 2011, he was promoted to the position of assistant special agent-in-charge for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, Chicago Regional Investigations. In June of this year he was promoted to his current post leading that office of special agents in conducting fraud, safety and hazardous materials investigations across 11 states, and relating to various U.S. Department of Transportation funded transportation systems.

Jillian Hagerman ’11, Pickerington, Ohio, received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Bradenton, Fla. She is a resident physician in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Katie Pollifrone ’11
, Sarasota, Fla., participated in Miami (Ohio) University’s Earth Expeditions global field course in Baja. She is a science teacher at Riverview High School in Sarasota.

Brittany Rasmussen ’11
, Brook Park, Ohio, participated in Miami (Ohio) University’s Earth Expeditions global field course in Thailand where she studied Buddhism and spiritual connections to nature. She is a chemistry and biology teacher at Olmsted Falls High School in Cleveland.

Elizabeth Dibble ’12
, Toledo, Ohio, participated in Miami (Ohio) University’s Earth Expeditions Global Field course in Thailand where she studied Buddhism and spiritual connections to nature. She is an outdoor camp education program developer in Chardon, Ohio.

Kerbie Minor ’13
, Columbus, Ohio, is appearing in this fall’s production of “Margie” at the Columbus Performing Arts Center.

Amit Taneja ’13, Worchester, Mass., is the associate dean for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at the College of the Holy Cross.

Nicholas Vanderpool ’13, Cincinnati, received his Master of Arts in Health Studies from the University of Alabama.

Benjamin Bacni ’14, Sandusky, Ohio, won first prize in the University Division at the International Horn Competition of America. He has also been recognized for his performance of “Lament for Horn Solo.” He is pursuing a master’s degree in music performance at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

Mackenzie Fork ’14
, Oregon, Ohio, is director of marketing and communications for CGS Imaging in Maumee, Ohio.

Ilyssa Peltz ’14
, Beachwood, Ohio, produced and directed a documentary, “Where Do the Torahs Go?,” while a student at Bowling Green State University. The film was accepted and screened at the fall 2015 Chagrin Documentary Film Festival.

Sara E. Lahman, Ph.D, ’15
, is an assistant professor of biology at the University of Mount Olive in North Carolina.

Matthew Spaulding ’15
, Toledo, Ohio, is a staff attorney for the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP where he is practicing in the firm’s litigation practice group.


Alumna merges fly fishing
and art

When the season is right, she ties tiny fishing flies onto angel hair thin line and helps her clients cast them about the cool, clear streams that drain the Rocky Mountains. When inclement weather prevails, she takes oil paints and huge stretches of canvas and recreates those colorful and ornate flies in super-sized works of art.

Amanda Hertzfeld ’14 has merged her two passions – fly fishing and art – into a real 21st century, outside-the-box, custom career.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a job description quite like this,” Hertzfeld said. “The two might seem very different,

but realistically there’s a lot of art in fly fishing, and my artwork has a definite fly fishing theme to it, so there’s a strong connection there.”

Hertzfeld guides fly fishing anglers as a member of the pro staff at Minturn Anglers, a Colorado guide service located near Vail. The seasonal aspect of the job gives Hertzfeld the time to create her mega fishing fly artwork, and Minturn allows her to display her creations in the fly shop, where the distinct pieces are a magnet for curious customers.


Chatting with Snapchat leader

The journey that brought Seshadri Tangutur ’87 to BGSU was more than transoceanic and lengthy, it was transformational. He arrived on campus in 1985 after a marathon international flight from his native India to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, and then an additional leg to Detroit, and finally an airport shuttle ride an hour and a half south to Bowling Green, reaching town in the wee hours of the morning.

“There was so much change, so much that was different,” said Tangutur, who received a master’s degree in computer science from the University in 1987. “It was a big transition, coming here with nothing, and trying to adjust to life here, make new friends, and know that you’ve left all of your comfort zones and support systems behind.”

But Tangutur, who is part of the engineering leadership team at Snapchat, said he found a secure environment at BGSU. It was a place with a nice balance of strong academics, college athletics, excellent recreational facilities, and a safe and welcoming setting that allowed him to quickly adjust to life in America.
He also found it was a place where he could grow and thrive.

“I started out studying electronics, but after I got here I was exposed to some programming classes, and what I saw was an opportunity for me to really leverage technology and be really creative with software and programming,” he said. “It was risky, but it was also an opportunity to create, and that was very attractive to me. I decided to go all-in and made the jump from hardware to software, and then worked very hard to catch up.”

snapchat logoThe gambit has certainly worked out well for Tangutur, who was the keynote speaker at the spring 2015 commencement ceremony at the Stroh Center. Before joining the engineering leadership team at Snapchat, Tangutur worked at Google’s Motorola Mobility, where he was the corporate vice president of software engineering. He was instrumental in the development of Motorola’s industry-leading Android platform software.

He has also worked for fiber-optic telecommunications startup Luminous Networks as the vice-president of engineering, after starting his career at Pyramid Technology, which was later acquired by Siemens, and where he helped develop software for complex business applications.

Tangutur said he was attracted to Snapchat, an immensely popular photo and video messaging application, by the opportunity to build upon a number of those foundational elements he had worked on earlier in his career.

“One way to summarize my career is that when I started out, I was working with people and trying to get computers to talk to each other, and now I am working with computers to get people to talk to each other,” he said. “And I have learned every day that there are a lot more possibilities out there than what we can see and imagine.”

Updated: 05/30/2019 01:44PM