Alumni Notes 


Max WilliamsonBGSU Foundation Chair
R. Max Williamson ’59

When it was time for R. Max Williamson to go off to college, there was no doubt about where he would be going. A well-worn path to a great education had been laid out for him, as a parade of his siblings had attended BGSU.

“My dad died when I was still pretty young, so one of my older brothers stayed home and worked the farm, but for the rest of us – the other 11 – we all ended up at Bowling Green,” Williamson said.

Williamson, 77, attended BGSU from 1955-59, graduating with a degree in general business. He is retired now after a long career in the insurance industry and splits his time between a home in Columbus and a winter residence in Florida, but he maintains a strong association with the University. In fall

2016, Williamson began a four-year term as chair of the BGSU Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors, having previously served two terms on the board and as president of the alumni board of directors in the 1990s.

Ron ’55 and Kathleen (Rudolph) ’55 Holzman, Perrysburg, Ohio, have built a family legacy of Bowling Green State University alumni. Graduates include their four daughters, four grandsons, one granddaughter and one granddaughter-in-law. Currently enrolled at BGSU are a grandson and granddaughter.

John Bos ’58, ’60, Elida, Ohio, retired in 1989 after 31 years in the education field. He remains active these days by driving trucks for Randall Bearings, transporting rescue dogs within Ohio, and driving for the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program.

Don Nehlen ’58, Morgantown, W. Va., received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award at the 2017 American Football Coaches Awards show. The award recognizes an “individual, group or institution whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football.” He served as BGSU’s head football coach from 1968-76. Before his retirement in 2000, he led the West Virginia Mountaineers for 21 seasons. He was selected as one of the Most Prominent 100 Alumni as part of BGSU’s Centennial Celebration.


Terry Smith ’62, Vermilion, Ohio, taught at Vermilion High School for nearly 30 years and was inducted into the school’s 2016 Hall of Fame Class. The award honors individuals who have gone on to significant success in life as well as making outstanding contributions to the Vermilion Local Schools.

Anthony Tarasenko ’65, Summit, N.J., was re-elected to the Medical Society of New Jersey Board of Trustees. He has served on the society’s council of legislation, the county/state task force and on several of its committees. He received the Union County Medical Society’s 2015 Outstanding Service Award.

Jean (Burkett) Cramer ’66, ’98, Sandusky, Ohio, is a retired teacher. She taught full time for 35 years and served as a substitute teacher for 10 years.

Lenore Zisserman ’67, Seattle, published “Mitya’s Harbin: Majesty and Menace.” It chronicles the life of her White Russian husband and his family during the 1940s and 1950s while living in the city of Harbin, China. The book is available on and


Pauline Furma Obsidian AwardDr. Pauline J. Furman ’73, ’75

Dr. Pauline J. Furman ’73 ’75 received the 2016 Obsidian Award, the highest recognition given annually by BGSU’s Black Alumni Council. The Obsidian Award is named for a strong, black, volcanic rock, and its recipients reflect the rock’s properties – diverse and durable, with the ability to rise above life’s challenges.

Furman’s practice, the Center for Individual and Family Counseling in Southfield, Mich., recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Over the last three decades, she has been tapped to lend her expertise to a number of organizations throughout southeast Michigan, including corporations, small businesses, schools and faith-based institutions.

In addition to family and couples counseling, she has developed a number of workshops, seminars and trainings, as well as offering crisis therapy to provide emotional support and coping strategies when a critical or traumatic incident occurs in the school or workplace. As a result of her dedication and longtime contributions to the region, she also was recently honored with a Spirit of Detroit Award.

John Blakeman ’70, Huron, Ohio, was inducted into Ohio’s 2016 Hall of Fame for his lifelong contributions to conservation.

Robert Herbst ’71, Chester Springs, Pa., is executive director of continuing and professional studies in the John S. Watson School of Public Service and Continuing Studies at Thomas Edison State University.

Susan Lang ’72, Indian Hills, Ohio, is superintendent for the Wyoming City School District and was named the 2017 Ohio Superintendent of the Year by the Buckeye Association of School Administrators. The award is based on leadership for learning, communication, professionalism and community involvement.

Cliff Holland ’75, Annandale, N.J., a retired corporate president for Johnson & Johnson, has been appointed to the Naples Airport Authority Noise Compatibility Committee.

Jack LoGiudiceJack LoGiudice ’73

Jack LoGiudice ’73 is a producer, writer and playwright whose resume includes work on such recent hits as “The Walking Dead,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “NaRCOS” and “House of Cards,” as well as a number of stage plays.
The Youngstown, Ohio, native couldn’t play sports for a couple of years due to a childhood illness, so his parents connected him with Youngstown Playhouse.

“I hated the idea,” he said. “But one of the first things they had me do was work behind stage moving furniture on and off. I’m sitting there in the dark watching the play come to life in front of me when this girl sits down and kisses me. I went right home and told my father I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I guess life really is about getting the girl. And the whole idea of taking this fantasy world on the stage and making it a reality, it stuck with me.”

After graduating from BGSU, he stayed connected with theatre while working as a waiter. Then two of his plays were produced off-off-Broadway, he was hired to write for a film, and had a pilot optioned. After another play made it to the stage, jobs in dramatic writing opened up including “7th Heaven,” “Resurrection Blvd.” and Showtime’s “Street Time.” But it was working as a co-executive producer on “Sons of Anarchy” and “The Walking Dead” that changed his career. He just finished working on “House of Cards” and is currently developing a series for YouTube Red.

John Maiken ’75, Englewood, Ohio, retired from Mapleton Local Schools after a 35-year career in education. He is a coach, player and CEO of the Huff-N-Puffers fast pitch softball program, a league for people over 45.

Mark Stein ’75, Seattle, is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington and president of the American Professional Society for ADHD and Related Disorders.

Terry (Casseday) Carver ’76, Bowling Green, Ohio, retired from BGSU where she served as administrative secretary for the office of the vice president for student affairs and the department of recreation and wellness. She was also a member of the Classified Staff Council and received the council’s 2016 Outstanding Service Award.

Thomas SnitchDr. Thomas Snitch ’75, ’15 (Hon.)

Dr. Thomas Snitch ’75, ’15 (Hon.) was honored in fall 2016 with a full membership into the International Academy of Aeronautics (IAA) during the International Astronautical Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico. Snitch was one of just four Americans in a group of about 35 honorees who were recognized by the IAA, the leading academic organization in the astronautics world.

His diverse career has ranged from being a senior adviser for nuclear weapons and weapons control at the U.S. Department of State to CEO and co-founder of GeoQuera, which is comprised of mathematicians, physicists and artificial intelligence professionals who use high-resolution satellite imagery and advanced algorithms to find terrorists, criminals and poachers.

It’s been more than 40 years since Snitch graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Chinese and Asian studies from BGSU, but he still refers to the University as “home.” In recognition of his humanitarian work, Snitch was presented with an honorary degree in 2015.

“I picked up tools at the University that I’ve carried with me every day of my life,” said Snitch, whose generosity was recently recognized with membership in the Williams Society of The Presidents Club, a recognition society for donors who have lifetime giving to BGSU of $1 million or more. “There were people there in the faculty, and a dean in particular, who were very kind to me and very helpful to me. Bowling Green was very good to me, and that’s why my wife and I made a decision to give back to the University.”  

In addition to his private giving, Snitch also assists the University with federal relations.


Philip Smith ’81, Perrysburg, Ohio, retired as chief master sergeant after 23 years in the Ohio National Guard. As Ohio’s command chief, he was the principal enlisted advisor to senior leadership and responsible for influencing the health, morale and welfare of the organization’s nearly 5,000 enlisted personnel and their families. He is also retired from Perrysburg Junior High School where he was the school’s orchestra teacher.

Mark SirowerMark Sirower ’83

“No one from my family had even stepped foot on a college campus, and it was love at first sight,” Mark Sirower ’83 told graduates at the BGSU December 2016 commencement. “I just knew that BGSU was where I was going to college. I dreamed of playing in the great Falcon Marching Band, which I did, but I couldn’t have imagined what it would be like to be Freddie Falcon.”

Sirower is a principal at Deloitte Consulting in New York and U.S. leader of the firm’s merger and acquisition (M&A) strategy practice. He holds a doctoral degree in strategy and finance from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and an MBA in finance and statistics from Indiana University. Sirower co-founded and built the Transaction Services Strategy Group at PricewaterhouseCoopers and was also global leader of the M&A practice at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in New York. Before joining BCG, he taught mergers and acquisitions at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and consulted extensively on strategy and valuation issues in M&A transactions.

Sirower’s insights on growth through M&A gained national attention through a 1995 story on mergers in BusinessWeek and subsequent publication of his book, “The Synergy Trap,” which sold more than 70,000 copies in English and was translated into six languages. The book has been featured on CNN’s “Top 25 Business Stories of the Past 25 Years,” and Fortune called it “the definitive volume on M&A.”


Eric Gordon ’91, ’97, Cleveland, is CEO for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. He received the 2016 Green-Garner Award from the Council of the Great City Schools. This is the nation’s highest honor recognizing outstanding contributions in urban education.

Anthony Snyder ’92, Appleton, Wis., is CEO of the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, one of the 11 workforce boards in the state leading the development of a productive and trained workforce to fuel the region’s economic engine.

Marc Majers ’94, Broadview Heights, Ohio, received a Master of Science in information architecture and knowledge management with an emphasis in user experience design from Kent State University.

Vincent Stephens ’99, Carlisle, Pa., co-edited “Postracial America? An Interdisciplinary Study.” He is director of the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity at Dickinson College.

Duane CrenshawDuane “D.C.” Crenshaw ’91

Duane “D.C.” Crenshaw ’91 learned a valuable lesson in 2008. At the time, Crenshaw, who earned a bachelor of science in biology from BGSU, was a regional sales manager for a small biotech company. Then he was told on a conference call that the company was closing. The call couldn’t have come at a worse time. Crenshaw’s wife was three months pregnant with the couple’s first son. Even so, Crenshaw wasn’t worried because he had a great resume, good work experience and contacts throughout the industry. However, nothing worked out, and he said it was the best thing, professionally, that ever happened to him.

“I really didn’t hit my stride until I became a full-time entrepreneur, which happened unexpectedly,” Crenshaw told the crowd at the BGSU December 2016 commencement. “After about a year, when I went on my very last interview, I realized I could no longer depend on someone to hire me. I had to do this on my own.”

Crenshaw, who played football at BGSU and for several years in the Arena Football League, went on to become a food and lifestyle expert and a two-time Emmy-nominated television personality and executive producer. He is the CEO of Fete Business Group and publisher/editor in chief of Fete Lifestyle Magazine. Sixteen years after launching, Fete has evolved into a digital media and production company, partnering with various lifestyle brands such as BMW, Emirates Airlines, Hard Rock Hotel, Mugsy Jeans and Wansas Tequila to help develop, market and promote their products.

Crenshaw also founded Fete Select TV, a media production company, in 2009 and created, hosted and executive produced the television show “Game Time Dine.” Merging fine dining with professional athletes and airing regionally for two seasons on Comcast SportsNet, the show received two Emmy nominations in the Outstanding Sports-Related Show category.


Ana CrespoAna Crespo ’02

Ana Crespo ’02 received the 2016 International Latino Book Award in the Best Latino-Focused Children’s Picture Books, Bilingual category for “The Sock Thief: A Soccer Story.” Crespo, who came to the United States from Brazil, said she found her calling as a children’s author when she became a mother and began reading children’s books and books in English to her daughter, who was born in Bowling Green, and later when her son was born.

The books struck a chord with Crespo. She had worked as a translator and in corporate internal communications and in academic advising at a university, and although she liked the communication aspect of these jobs, she felt that they lacked creativity.

“I’m a creative person, and I began to think, ‘I’d like to write books for children,’” she said. “And I found that it gave me a better sense of accomplishment and satisfaction than my other work had.”

Along with the creative aspect, another very satisfying part of writing children’s books is getting to visit schools and meet the young students, especially those in less-advantaged areas. Crespo, who now lives in Colorado, often visits schools with high numbers of Latino students.

“I remember one day I was checking into a school and I saw a little girl who asked me who I was,” Crespo said. “When I said that I was the visiting author, her eyes lit up and she said, ‘You’re the author?’ For children whose parents have accents like mine, it’s very exciting to see someone like me, and I tell them, ‘Yes, and you can be an author, too!’ I find I can give hope to people in those communities and encourage them to dream bigger.”

Ryan Nowlin ’00, ’04, Fairfax Station, Va., is a captain with the United States Marine Corps and assistant director of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band. His responsibilities include conducting the Marine Band and Chamber Orchestra in their winter/spring concert series and summer concerts on the National Mall as well as at ceremonies in the national capital region and at the White House. The band also performed at the January inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Theresa Crist ’05, Amelia, Ohio, is senior analyst for 84.51, where she is responsible for geospatial insights across the business.

Alexis Beachdell ’04, Cleveland, is a partner with the law firm of BakerHostetler. She is a member of the firm’s business group representing trustees, secured lenders and financial institutions, buyers and sellers of distressed assets, creditors of distressed or insolvent businesses and nonprofit entities.

Shane Lawson ’06, Lakewood, Ohio, is a partner with the law firm of Gallagher Sharp LLP. His practice focuses on representing attorneys in malpractice litigation and disciplinary proceedings, counseling and representing businesses and insurers in claims involving fire loss, and defending clients in construction disputes and personal injury cases in state and federal court.

KomanduriSaranga Komanduri ’05, ’07

Saranga Komanduri ’05, ’07 earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science and minored in mathematics and business administration at BGSU. After completing internships at Google and Microsoft Research, he went on to earn his doctoral degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Today, Komanduri is technical lead at Civis Analytics in Chicago, helping to build its data-science platform. He leads a team of software engineers who maintain and build some of the core architecture of the company’s program.

Civis Analytics has its roots in politics. The company’s CEO, Dan Wagner, was chief analytics officer for the 2012 Obama re-election campaign, where data science was used to direct campaign efforts to the areas of the country where there was the highest probability of success, Komanduri said.

“We now use data science to increase the adoption of clean energy and awareness of the refugee crisis, and more commercial things like helping companies determine where to spend their TV advertising budget,” Komanduri said. “Our platform allows organizations to build their own data-science workflows that run entirely in the cloud.”

Ryan Browne ’07, Saratoga Springs, Utah, is vice president of client success at Solutionreach.

Lindsey (Jonkhoff) Rogers ’08, Traverse City, Mich., is a sixth-generation funeral director. She has created a coloring book, “Hannah Bear,” for children who have experienced death in their family.

Matthew McGleam ’07, Chicago, is project administrator for the Chicago Department of Aviation’s design and construction division.

Elizabeth Kovar ’08, Seattle, is a fitness manager for Seattle Fitness Management, an online health adjunct instructor for Walla Walla Community College, author, and BOSU and American Council on Exercise master trainer presenter. She is a finalist for the 2017 Personal Fitness Professional Trainer of the Year Award.

Whitney TaylorWhitney Taylor ’09

When you watch videos on YouTube or subscribe to any of the site’s channels, chances are this experience is made possible by alumna and former women’s basketball player Whitney Taylor ’09, who is a senior interaction designer at YouTube. Before joining Google, Taylor was at Zynga, where she redesigned the gaming app Words with Friends. The new app remained No. 1 in the app store for 50 days after its debut, and Taylor was a featured speaker at the 2015 Game Design Conference in San Francisco.

Shortly after that successful launch, a former colleague who worked at Google referred Taylor to the company, and she accepted a job offer for the YouTube position shortly thereafter.

“I got to design experiences for millions of users for Words with Friends, and now at YouTube I design for billions of users,” Taylor said. “I feel fortunate to work on a product that has such an impact.”

Amber Ricker ’09, Zebulon, N.C., received a master’s degree in special education: blindness and low vision (birth-grade 12) from Missouri State University. She is also a public speaker on behalf of the Miracle Ear Foundation.


Elizabeth Dibble ’12, Chardon, Ohio, participated in Miami University’s Earth Expeditions global field course in Hawaii. While in Hawaii, she studied saving species in the wild and engaged with local partners testing site-specific methods of community engagement to sustain ecological and social health within the state.

Jacqueline Gedeon ’13, Eastlake, Ohio, is assistant account executive for the public relations firm of Roop & Co. Her responsibilities include public and media relations, content creation, internal communications and video production.

Julia ArroyoJulia Arroyo ’12

BGSU alumna Julia Arroyo ’12 is one of just five individuals selected for the American Sociological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program. The national program recognizes and supports exceptional minority Ph.D. candidates. Arroyo, who is pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Florida, worked as a research assistant at the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at BGSU.

Her research interests include race and ethnicity, child welfare systems and families, children and youth. Her work promotes positive outcomes among racial-ethnic minority youth and youth in zero-parent households, which includes living with grandparents or foster parents, and creates space for their experiences in theories of their well-being.