CLASS Notes 


Blanche Allen ’48, Geneva, Ill., is a founder of the Glen Ellyn Village Theatre Guild, currently in its 52nd season. She has provided more than 7,500 hours as a hospital volunteer.


A Life of Service

George Mylander ‘58, ‘70, ‘03 (Hon.)Bowling Green State University mourns the loss of alumnus and longtime friend Dr. George Mylander who passed away in January 2016 at the age of 83.

George Mylander

Mylander was a visionary supporter of BGSU Firelands and nurtured opportunities for students from the beginning. His support came full circle when, in September 2014, the University broke ground for an addition to the North Building and commemorated the renaming of the West Building as George Mylander Hall in honor of his educational leadership and generosity.

“George Mylander was instrumental in the success of BGSU Firelands from the very beginning and a strong supporter of both of our campuses,” said President Mary Ellen Mazey. “His vision, commitment and generosity have meant so much to our University, the community, and most importantly to the generations of students who received support from the scholarships he established.”

Mylander earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1958 and a master’s degree in education in 1970 from BGSU. In 2003 the University awarded him an honorary doctorate in public service. In addition to his campus leadership and philanthropy, he established three scholarships that aided 157 BGSU students in reaching their academic goals. For his accomplishments and contributions to the University, Mylander received the BGSU Alumni Community Award and BGSU Accomplished Graduate Award, both in 1997. He was also named to the BGSU 100 Most Prominent Alumni list in 2010 and received a 50th Anniversary Award from BGSU Firelands in 2015.

Per Mylander’s instructions, he was laid to rest in his University regalia from when he received his honorary doctorate and with his BGSU lapel pins that he always proudly wore.

George Kuzoff ’50, Bowling Green, Ohio, has retired to Florida after practicing law in Bowling Green for a number of years. He served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Service during World War II.

Lia Staaf ’55, Rocky River, Ohio, was recently honored with the Freedom Award at the American Nationalities Movement of Ohio’s Christmas Event in Garfield Heights, Ohio. The American Nationalities Movement was launched in the 1950s by a former Cleveland mayor to lobby for those nations trapped behind the Iron Curtain and continues to support nations fighting for their freedom.

Robert Gold ’56, Jacksonville, Fla., recently published his first novel.


Dr. Howard AldrichLearning by doing

Dr. Howard Aldrich ‘65 received an honorary doctor of social sciences degree and served as the commencement speaker for the December 2015 ceremony. He received his bachelor of arts degree in sociology from BGSU in 1965, and a master’s and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan. He is currently the Kenan Professor of Sociology and an adjunct professor of business at
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

His main research interests are entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial team formation, gender and entrepreneurship, and evolutionary theory. He has won numerous awards for his teaching and mentoring, including the Favorite Professor Award from the senior class at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Aldrich came to BGSU from a small town with just 43 students in his graduating class. He had cousins who had attended BGSU, and then three brothers and a sister came to the University after him. Several years after he graduated, his mother earned her master’s degree in education. He also met his wife at BG.

He encouraged the new graduates to “start before you are ready,” and said that while he was a student he made many mistakes, but also gained a lot of knowledge by “learning by doing.” Aldrich’s recollections of a student yearbook photography assignment gone awry and a relentless pursuit of musical opportunities illustrated that, while he tackled some activities too soon, waiting until he felt truly ready would have deprived him of some valuable experiences.

“By challenging myself, I found I could adapt and find creative solutions to difficult situations. I just had to be willing to begin before I was ready. And that has been my motto ever since!”


Alumna to receive honorary degree

Maribeth S. Rahe ’70 credits her father with providing advice while she was studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, that started her on the road to success in the world of global finance.

“I think it’s really interesting that you’re going to be fluent in these languages,” he said. “But I think you ought to get a business minor because I really don’t know what you’re going to do.”

Fortuitous advice as Rahe is now president and chief executive officer of Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Western & Southern Financial Group, based in Cincinnati.

Maribeth S. RaheUnder Rahe’s leadership, Fort Washington is the largest money manager of institutional assets in the Cincinnati region.  Fort Washington provides professional and comprehensive asset management services for institutions, corporations, insurance companies, mutual funds, foundations, endowments and high-net-worth individuals.
Prior to joining Fort Washington, Rahe was president and a board member of the United States Trust Company of New York. Additionally, she has served as vice chair of the board of The Harris Bank in Chicago and has held various positions at JPMorgan in London and New York. A native of Chicago, Rahe earned a Bachelor of Arts in romance languages and a minor in business from BGSU and a Masters of Business Administration in international management with honors from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona.

A well-known and acknowledged expert in financial services, Rahe was featured in Vanity Fair magazine as one of “America’s Most Influential Women-200 Legends, Leaders and Trailblazers.”

BGSU will recognize Rahe’s accomplishments at May 2016 Commencement. She will be presented with an honorary doctorate of business administration.

Donald Scherzer ’71, Shaker Heights, Ohio, has been named a 2016 Ohio Super Lawyer in the category of Criminal Defense: White Collar by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine.

Michael Skinner ’74, Mount Pleasant, S.C., retired from the College of Charleston as a professor of special education and professor emeritus.

Philip Wolfe ’74
, Duluth, Ga., is president and chief executive officer for Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Paula Miller ’75
, Waterville, Ohio, is a retired teacher. In 2015, she was recognized for her lifelong efforts to educate the public on local history with the Ohio Local History Alliance’s Outstanding Achievement Award.

Robin Yocum ’78
, Westerville, Ohio, is a writer and the president/owner of a public relations and marketing firm in Westerville. His next novel, “A Brilliant Death,” will be released in April.

Lisa Bowman ’79, LaGrange, Ohio, is director of the Elyria Parks and Recreation Department.

Linda Hartley ’79
, Centerville, Ohio, is associate dean of undergraduate learning for the School of Education and Health Sciences at the University of Dayton.

Susan Kampe ’79, ’81, Waterford, Mich., is the chief information officer for Cooper Standard. She is responsible for leading the transformation of the company’s information technology function to be consistent with Cooper Standard’s profitable growth strategy.

Rena Thomas ’79, Upper Arlington, Ohio, retired from Battelle Memorial Institute after 32 years of service.


Focus on today

Emanuele Conti ’89 offered words of wisdom to BGSU’s most recent graduates during commencement ceremonies in December 2015. Conti, who received a bachelor’s degree in finance, is now an operating partner for Providence, a premier global asset management firm with over $40 billion in assets under management across complementary private equity and credit businesses.

Giving the commencement speech was also the occasion for a sort of homecoming for Conti, whose parents attended the ceremony with younger brother, Steve, also a BGSU alumnus, along with some of the many Theta Chi fraternity brothers with whom he has remained close over the years.Emanuele Conti
He advised the new graduates to not dwell on what they plan to do with their lives, but to “focus on today.”

“Not only is it impossible to know the person you will be in 30 years, but I find it more productive, and comforting, to appreciate everyday opportunities. See, the best way to shape your future is to make the most of the opportunities you have today, which is easier than attempting to orchestrate a future you can’t predict,” he said.

Conti revealed that he received some vital advice early in his career when his then-CEO told him to make the most of the opportunities presented. “It’s actions taken today that leads to success tomorrow. It does not work the other way around.”

Ruta Bloomfield ’80, Saugus, Calif., performed J.S. Bach’s “Aria with 30 Variations” (Goldberg) at four venues. Her CD of this work is available at, Amazon and iTunes.

David Sabbath ’80, Portland, Ore., won grand prize in the Write Room Screenplay Competition for his latest screenplay, “Dancing in the White Room.”

Charles Krumel ’82, London, Ohio, is a retired Spanish teacher.

Jill Lloyd-Crucini ’82, Brentwood, Tenn., was selected as the 2015 Middle School Counselor of the Year by the Middle Tennessee Counseling Association.

John Schuldt ’82, Seoul, South Korea, retired from Ford Motor Company after 30 years of service. He is serving as president and chief executive officer of the American Chamber of Commerce in South Korea.

Lisa Nichols ’85, Clover, S.C., has worked for Microsoft Corporation for the past 25 years.

Ken Hohman ’87, Richmond, Va., published his first full-length book, “Paperboy Days – Adventures of the Last Great American Paperboy,” a memoir of his times as a paperboy for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The book is available in paperback and Kindle eBook.

Julie Buffenbarger ’88, ’93, Medina, Ohio, received the American Concrete Institute’s 2015 Concrete Sustainability Award in recognition of her leadership in concrete sustainability and resilience, and her guidance as chair of ACI 130 Sustainability of Concrete and Concrete Joint Sustainability Committees.

A drive for success

Pam Heminger ‘89 remembers a certain management class she took as a BGSU undergraduate student as clearly being life changing.

Heminger, a senior division manager for Honda of America Inc., said Dr. Chan Hahn, Distinguished University Professor and Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus of Management, provided a significant building block in her education, and ultimately in her highly successful career, with that course.

“Reflecting back on it now, it was the best course of my career, bar none,” she said. “His instruction and guidance were remarkable.”

Heminger, who was recently named one of the leading women in the auto industry by Automotive News and honored at a ceremony in Detroit in November 2015, said technology is allowing companies such as Honda to develop flexible work schedules that make it more feasible for women to have successful careers while also raising a family.

“The increase in technology in the workplace is a real asset, and if we can use it properly as a company, this will definitely provide our associates with more flexibility in the workplace, and meet the needs of not only the individual, but also the company,” she said. “This is an important opportunity not just for women, but for anybody who is balancing the demands of life
and work.”

Heminger joined Honda in 1996 as a purchasing buyer and has risen through leadership ranks to her most recent assignment as division manager for Honda of America’s business division. She has served as a guest speaker at BGSU and has been very involved in the University’s Supply Chain Management Institute.

“We have quite a few Bowling Green graduates here that are just really successful,” she said. “There are a number of them that had to go through Dr. Hahn’s class, and they all received that solid foundation.”


Anthony Snyder ’92, Appleton, Wis., earned his master of business administration from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.

Jay Cruz ’93, Fraser, Mich., is general manager at The Restoration Doctor.

Liz Okuma ’95, Twinsburg, Ohio, is dean of students and vice president for student life at Hiram College, where she has been inducted into the Garfield Society.

Paul Borger ’96, Mission, Kan., is the manager of event presentation and production for the Kansas City Royals. He has been with the organization for the last three seasons.

Juliana Morefield ’96, Huron, Ohio, received the 2015 Emerald Award for Inspirational Leadership from Leadership Lorain County.

David Anderson ’97 and Jodi ’97, ’02, Bowling Green, Ohio, initiated the Heart of BG Project. Through their efforts multiple automated external defibrillators have been placed throughout the Bowling Green community.

Kevin Boyd ’98, Eastlake, Ohio, received the Adele Knight Excellence in Teaching Award for the Willoughby-Eastlake City School District. He was also nominated for the BGSU Educator of the Year Award in 2015.

Cheri Budzynski ’98, ’01, Grand Rapids, Ohio, joined the Toledo law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP. She serves as a partner in the environmental practice group.

Richard Marble ’99, Stanwood, Mich., serves on the board of directors for the Michigan branch of the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science.


Reaching for the stars at NASA

Maria Arredondo ’09 oversees the development of educational content at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. She serves as the conduit to carry the work being done by NASA’s scientists and engineers at the installation to teachers and students throughout this part of the country. Arredondo’s work allows educators to bring NASA material right into the schools and enables students to connect virtually with NASA scientists and engineers.

“The students can talk to the NASA staff, brainstorm with them and even get career advice,” she said. “The purpose is to let students understand firsthand about real-world problems, and get that information from our engineers and scientists. It is a really unique opportunity, and one we think is extremely valuable.”

Arredondo was recently honored for her efforts to promote student involvement in the STEM fields. She received the Technology Rising Star Award at the 2015 annual National Women of Color Technology Awards Conference in Detroit.

“We do have educational outreach programs, but I do it a little differently,” Arredondo said. “We have professional development training so teachers can take content on engineering design challenges to their classrooms, or their after-school programs. That way, kids can actually learn about what we are doing here at NASA and the types of challenges our engineers and scientists face.”
Maria Arredondo
Educators from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota take advantage of the instructional opportunity offered by Arredondo’s NASA program. Last year, more than 100 entities were reached by the effort.

Arredondo hopes this educational connection will open the gateway to career opportunities in the sciences for more students, especially young women.

“Personally, this was the first major individual award for my career, so it means a lot. It is nice to know it was based on the work I have been doing,” she said. “Young women may not realize it now, but their passion, motivation and drive to work in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, the STEM fields, will make a difference for our economy and will also inspire other women that they can do anything they put their minds to.”

Adan Garcia ’00, ’06, Albuquerque, N.M., was one of five individuals at the University of New Mexico to receive a 2015 Gerald W. May Staff Recognition Award in appreciation of significant contributions to the university.

Robert Fraley ’01, Independence, Ky., is the engineering/build lead for 84.51° where he is responsible for managing a development operations team that supports continuous integration and deployment of software development.

Abbey Duggins ’02
, Batesburg, S.C., published her first book, “Using Quality Feedback to Guide Professional Learning.”

Lauren Herzak-Bauman ’04
, Lakewood, Ohio, received a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship. The fellowships support artists in the disciplines of craft, dance, design, literature, media arts, music, theater and visual arts and are made possible by the Cuyahoga Community Partnership for Arts and Culture.

Caroline Keating ’07
, Cincinnati, is client lead for 84.51°. In this role she is responsible for assisting suppliers to utilize the company’s data to drive a customer-first strategy.

Josh Womack ’07, Gates Mills, Ohio, is part of the Laugh Staff team of comedic writers. They have been featured in Crain’s Cleveland Business and on and have partnered with Sparkology, an online dating company.

Spencer Headworth ’08
, Chicago, is completing his Ph.D. in sociology at Northwestern University. He has accepted a position as an assistant professor of sociology at Purdue University.

David Hotler ’08, Newport News, Va., is the curriculum integration technology teacher for Hampton City Schools. He is one of 34 educators worldwide selected for the Google for Education Certified Innovator Program.

Elizabeth Kovar ’08, Willoughby Hills, Ohio, has released her first travel memoir, “Finding Om: An Indian Journey of Rickshaws, Chai, Chapattis and Gurus.”
It is available on

Lindsey Krause ’08
, Oxford, Ohio, participated in Miami (Ohio) University’s Earth Expeditions global field course, where she studied key species reintroduction efforts of the great steppe in Mongolia. She is a sixth-grade English and language arts teacher at Talawanda Middle School.

Jeremy Norden ’08
, Louisville, Ohio, is a supervisor for Rea & Associates, New Philadelphia, Ohio. He specializes in government services, including government auditing and accounting standards, internal controls and data mining and analysis.


Timothy Kilkenny ’10, Middleton, Wis., is team lead for Zendesk.

Erica Kubik ’10
, Rhodes, Iowa, is director of programming and events for the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan.

Van Mance ’10
, Waldorf, Md., is chief of violent crimes for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. He has been selected to attend the FBI National Academy for Executive Leadership.

Brandon Sparks ’11
, Olympia, Wash., is founder and general manager for the semi-professional, indoor soccer team Oly Town Artesians. His design of the team’s logo was named the top soccer logo in Washington by in 2015.

Former BGSU linebacker finds niche with NASCAR

Paul Swan ‘14 is once again sitting in a darkened room and studying film. After his long football career ended following his senior season with the Falcons in 2013, Swan thought the hours of meticulously reviewing style, technique and the tiniest nuances of his movements had ended.

Then NASCAR came speeding along.
Paul Swan

Now the former linebacker is part of the pit crew for Richard Childress Racing (RCR), one of the top teams in stock car racing with six Sprint Cup Series champions to its credit.

“I honestly thought I was done watching film, but once I got involved in this I found out that the racing teams film all of their pit stops during races and practices. They film everything, and then they pick it apart and try to perfect every detail,” Swan said. “Just like we did with football.”

After graduation, Swan learned that racing teams have a preference for hiring former college football players for their pit crews, where strength, speed and footwork can mean the difference between winning a race or finishing in 20th place. Swan, who started 38 games in his BG career and was a rare two-year team captain for the Falcons, contacted several racing teams before earning an audition with RCR. The team found him a place in its crew development program, training as a tire carrier, the guy who has to heft the heavy tires over the pit wall and into position to be mounted on
the car.

The pit crew members train constantly and run practice pit stops four days a week. About half of the pit crew members at RCR are former college athletes. Swan progressed from practicing with the regular pit crews
to being an active part of the operation and has had opportunities to work at the top-echelon Sprint Cup Series.

Jumping through hoops

Simone Eli ’12
As a member of several championship basketball teams during her days at BGSU, Simone Eli ’12 moves with ease inside the world of athletes, competition and high-pressure situations.

“Money can’t buy the advantage I have in this industry,” said Eli, who is now a sports anchor for the NBC television station in Houston, one of the top 10 television markets in the country.

“Having played sports at a high level, I have a real familiarity with what athletes and coaches experience and what emotions they go through,” she said. “It is indescribable the comfort level that gives me.”

Eli played on Falcon teams that won three Mid-American Conference East Division titles, two outright conference regular season crowns, and two MAC Tournament championships. In her
four years at BGSU, she also played in two NCAA Tournaments and in two WNIT events.

Eli, who is the only female sports anchor in the Houston market, is also, at 24, the youngest sports anchor in a top 10 television market. She credits her BGSU experience for helping prepare her for the demands of such a high-profile career.

“This is a very fast-paced and high-pressure role, and there are challenges every day, but I think I was ready for that type of thing,” she said. “We were challenged every day in practice to maintain the very high standard the program had set and challenged to also get the job done to a high standard in the classroom and in our other activities. It was tough, but I’m convinced I wouldn’t be where I am today without having that experience.”

She said Curt Miller, the head women’s basketball coach for most of her career, provided her with the opportunity to gain that valuable broadcasting experience while continuing to play for the Falcons.

Simone Eli

“I had to balance basketball and school and my broadcasting responsibilities, but Coach Miller gave me some leeway so I could do that. I might be late for practice once in a while, but I got to do all of those things. Bowling Green was fantastic in allowing me to do that, so I was preparing for my career after college at the same time I was attending college and playing basketball.”

Updated: 05/13/2019 01:30PM