Class Notes


Bill Bittner ’54 was inducted into the Medina (Ohio) County Hall of Fame on June8. Bittner owned two companies in northeast Ohio, Multiple Plans Agency Inc. and W.R. Bittner and Associates. An Army veteran,Bittner served as president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors-Ohio, Medina County United Way Board and Medina Area Chamber of Commerce. He also was president of Westfield Center Village Council for 42 years. He earned a Bachelor of Science in business from BGSU.


Linda A. Marshall ’64 recently published her memoir, “A Long Awakening to Grace.” Marshall received a Bachelor of Science in business education from BGSU.

Mark Raisman ’64 is a first-time poet from Canton, Massachusetts. He recently published a book of poetry, “Thoughts on a Given Day.” He majored in English and minored in
business at BGSU.

William Thauvette ’65 was honored by the Truckee Donner Land Trust in Truckee, California, with the naming of a hiking trail in his honor, “Thauvette’s Frolic,” for his many years of service on the board of directors. During that time, he was treasurer of the board and chair of the finance committee, vice president and board president. Thauvette received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from BGSU.


Judge Kevin H. Taylor ’73 of Van Wert, Ohio, was appointed to serve as chair of the Ohio State Bar Association Ethics Committee. Taylor serves on the bench of the Van Wert County Probate Court. He is a member of the governing board of the Juvenile  Residential Center of Northwest Ohio and the National
Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. He also is a former assistant prosecuting attorney, and has served as vice chair of the Ethics Committee.

Deirdre G. Henry ’74, a senior labor and employment law attorney of Rocky River, Ohio, has joined the law firm Roetzel & Andress, located in Cleveland and Columbus. Formerly chair of the workers’ compensation practice at Weston Hurd, Henry represents employers in workers’ compensation cases.
She also represents clients in matters involving employment, medical and legal malpractice and employer intentional tort claims. She previously served as an Ohio assistant attorney general, defending the
Industrial Commission and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. She received a Bachelor of Science from BGSU.

The Rev. Mark M. Clinger ’75 of Madison, Wisconsin, will retire from his ministry in November. Clinger is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Madison, a position he has held for 28 years. He also was a pastor for 12 years in Massachusetts, serving churches in Newton and Plymouth. Clinger was the first recipient of BGSU’s Trustee Scholarship, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy.

John Chalmers ’76 of Auburn, Indiana, published a book, “Answers from the Gut: Improving Health and Longevity,” in July. The book provides a roadmap for minimizing health issues, with the result being improved health and a longer lifespan. It is available
in print and e-book formats at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Chalmers earned a Master of Business Administration from BGSU.

Jan Koenig ’76 of Cincinnati recently released her first science fiction novel, “The Fate of the Andromeda III.” The novel is about the first manned mission to Mars, and what mystery took place 20 years prior to the

Toni Leon Kovarik ’77 of Albuquerque, New Mexico, recently retired after two rewarding careers made possible by the education she received at BGSU. From the fashion merchandising program, Kovarik was a buyer, merchandise manager and strategic planner for LaSalle’s in Toledo and the Broadway and Montgomery Ward stores in Albuquerque. Changing direction, she
entered the government contracting world, where, based on the College of Business program at BGSU, Kovarik became a licensing executive and small business advocate at Sandia National Laboratories, a Department of Energy national security laboratory, where she designed and implemented programs that assisted small businesses in developing, growing and winning contracts with the federal government. She is married to David Kovarik ’76.

Dave Sabo ’77, after a 40-year career in banking, was named the economic development director for the City of Bellevue, Ohio.

Warren Hunt ’78 recently published a book on the Vietnam War. “Reflections on the Vietnam War” is available in paperback form on Amazon and in e-book form on Kindle. “Reflections” is a historical reflection
and autobiographical account of how Hunt experienced the war as a high school student watching it on TV, then as a soldier with a combat unit in Vietnam, and finally, as a readjusting veteran. It also includes his
remembrance of the 1982 dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., which he attended.

Paul Shrode ’78 and Anthony Snyder ’92 were both recently honored with the Kiwanis International - Boy Scouts of America Community Organization Award. Shrode, secretary of the Appleton-Fox Cities Kiwanis
in Wisconsin, has been involved with the Boy Scouts for many years. He earned a Master of Arts in college student counseling and personnel services from BGSU. Snyder was honored as Cubmaster of the Year. He received a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University.

Maurice C. Taylor ’78, vice president for academic outreach and engagement at Morgan State University, received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree
and delivered the commencement address at Juniata College’s 140th commencement ceremony. Taylor has spent the majority of his professional career as an academic leader at Morgan State, a doctoral research
institution that provides instruction to a multiethnic, multiracial and multinational student body. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from BGSU.

Dr. Kathleen M. Maurer ’79, who earned a Master of Music in voice from BGSU, recently was recognized for 15 years of service as a professor of voice at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Prior to that she taught
for five years at Wright State University in Dayton. After graduating from BGSU, she performed with opera companies in Germany, totaling about 2,800 performances of over 100 operas, operettas and musicals during her 15-year residency.


Patricia Wise ’82 of Holland, Ohio, recently testified before the Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues at the hearing, “Beyond the Headlines:
Combating Service Sector Sexual Harassment in the Age of #MeToo” and before the California Legislature’s Joint Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response. Wise, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication at BGSU, served as a representative of the Ohio State Bar Association to develop an Ohio Judicial College training program requested by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor to address the issue of harassment. She was elected as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in the Class of 2018.

Karyn M. (Wolven) Bruce ’83, a creative writing alumna, recently published her first book of poetry, “I Will Write Loudly So You Can Hear Me.” It’s a book full of sorrow and joy as well as heartache and glory. The book is about how Bruce survived alcoholic parents and child abuse. The book is available on Amazon.

Kristy Folkwein ’85, senior vice president and chief information officer of Archer Daniels Midland in Cincinnati, was recognized by Constellation Research on its
Business Transformation 150, an elite list of executives leading business transformation efforts around the globe. The 2019 Business Transformation 150 identifies the world’s
most influential executives across a variety of industries. Folkwein received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from BGSU.

Dr. Craig A. Mertler ‘85, former professor of research methods in BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development, recently published his first novel, “Tequesta
University.” It is the story of a professor who becomes entangled in a storyline of missing professors and mysterious murders, set at a fictitious university in South Florida. Mertler is an associate professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, and is the director of the Ed.D Program in Leadership and Innovation. He
has written numerous academic textbooks on the topics of action research, research methods in education, statistics and assessment methods. Mertler has a Bachelor
of Science in science education from BGSU.

New York Times bestselling author Beth Macy ‘86 published her latest book, ‘Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America,’ which deals with the opioid crisis, in August.


Dr. Lee Johnson ’90, senior vice president of business and finance at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan, recently was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Johnson’s
term began Sept. 1 and will end Aug. 31, 2022. He also was honored by the HLC, receiving the Outstanding Service Award for 2018 for extraordinary work on behalf of the commission and for excellence in assisting HLC in the development and analyses of
financial metrics and assessment techniques, as well serving as a mentor for new team chairs and peer reviewers. Johnson earned an MBA from BGSU.

Gail Shanley Corso ’91, who earned a Ph.D. in English with a specialty in rhetoric and writing from BGSU, served as editor and one of seven authors of the book
“Alice McDermott’s Fiction: Voice, Memory, Trauma, and Lies.” Corso, professor of English and humanities, also celebrated her 25th anniversary of teaching at Neumann University in Aston, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Solomon Iyobosa Omo-Osagie II ’94 of Baltimore recently released a new book, “While in the Wilderness: Essays on Empowerment, Perseverance, and Hope.”
The book addresses times of spiritual darkness and confusion in which even the most mature of Christians can find themselves. Omo-Osagie earned a Master of
Arts in political science from BGSU.

Dr. H. Michael Tarver ’95 of Clarksville, Arkansas, was appointed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to the Arkansas History Commission until Jan. 14, 2025. Tarver
is a professor of history at Arkansas Tech University and executive secretary of the Southeast World History Association.

Dr. Jennifer McNabb ’96, professor and chair of the Department of History at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois, was selected as the Advanced Placement European History Chief Reader, responsible for overseeing the scoring of over 100,000 AP European History exams at the annual AP Reading. McNabb earned a Master of Arts in history from BGSU.

Nathan Boyle ’97 was named director of project management at Thread Marketing Group in Toledo. Previously, Boyle had project management success for more than a decade with small firms and major Fortune
500 corporations. His expertise includes advancing projects across methodologies and providing seamless communication. In his new role, Boyle oversees Thread’s project management experts and digital projects. He earned a bachelor’s degree with a focus on
history and political science at BGSU.

Katie Keane ’97 of Cleveland recently was named vice president for development for Junior Achievement USA. Keane received a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration from BGSU.

Dr. Jeffrey Thoenes ’98 is the new  superintendent of Comstock Public Schools in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After graduating from BGSU, Thoenes served as a building
administrator for 20 years in four school districts, including Bowling Green City Schools. Thoenes earned a Master of Education in educational administration
and supervision from BGSU.


Rebecca Schwan ’00 was named director of communications of Tecumseh (Michigan) Public Schools. She has led the district’s communications department since May
15. Schwan has more than 20 years of experience in the field of communications and marketing, including broadcast news, education and agency environments. She
previously served in a similar capacity with the Madison (Michigan) School District and the University of Toledo. Most recently, Schwan worked in public relations for Hart
Associates in Toledo. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Dr. Suzanne Chod ’02, an associate professor of political science and coordinator of the gender and women’s studies program at North Central College in Naperville,
Illinois, has been recognized as the recipient of the Clarence F. Dissinger Award for Senior Faculty. Chod earned a Bachelor of Science in political science from BGSU.

Dr. Patrick J. Crerand ’02, an associate professor of English at Saint Leo (Florida)University, recently published his first book, “The Paper Life They Lead: Stories.” Crerand
earned his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from BGSU.

Dustin Jennings ’03 of Westerville, Ohio, has joined the Columbus-based investment management and financial advisory firm Hamilton Capital as investment operations
associate. In his new role, Jennings will be responsible for calculating, executing and facilitating daily trades, as well as managing the firm’s portfolio management database.
He most recently served in global stock plan services for Morgan Stanley and has more than 12 years’ experience in financial services. Jennings earned a Bachelor of
Liberal Studies from BGSU.

Michelle (Sharpe) Visser ’03 of Brookline, Massachusetts, was given the Heroes Among Us award by the Boston Celtics for her work with the nonprofit she founded, Diaper
Circle. Diaper Circle collects and distributes diapers in the Greater Boston area to low income families who cannot afford them. Visser earned a Bachelor of Music from BGSU.

Eric Meiring ’04 joined the Washington, D.C., law firm Winston & Strawn as a partner in the firm’s antitrust/competition practice. Meiring previously was assistant chief of the
Criminal II Section at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division in Washington. He earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a specialization in
finance from BGSU.

Dr. Sarah Conrad Gothie ’06, ’08 published her first book, a culinary history of the damson plum that includes a collection of historic and new recipes. “Damsons: An
Ancient Fruit in the Modern Kitchen” was published in August. Gothie, who earned Master of Arts degrees in popular culture and literary and textual studies, respectively,
from BGSU, teaches in the School of Humanities at Penn State Harrisburg.


Dr. Callista Buchen ’10 of Franklin (Indiana) College was the 2018 recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award. The award recognizes a faculty member’s
scholarly achievement at the college, as well as their work outside the college. Buchen, who is an assistant professor of English and creative writing, received a Master of Fine
Arts from BGSU.

Dr. Andrew Wilczak ’11 was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor of criminology and sociology at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Wilczak earned a doctorate in sociology from BGSU.

To share your news with Class Notes, send an email to

Updated: 07/10/2020 02:47PM