Class Notes

1960's

William Gilmore ’65, ’66 recently published the memoir “Dear Jason and Jodi.” Gilmore was a math education major and earned a master’s degree in education. The book covers Gilmore’s adventures in drag racing while in high school and in U.S. Air Force pilot training as well as flying hundreds of combat missions in the Vietnam War.

Anthony Tarasenko, M.D. ’65 was honored with the Centers of Medical Excellence award two years in a row, 2016 and 2017, in the state of New Jersey at the Concentra Medical Center. Tarasenko recently was re-elected to the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey State Medical Society and as treasurer of Union County Medical Society of the state of New Jersey. He is running for office as the state treasurer for the New Jersey State Medical Society.

Tom Rettig ’67 was recently inducted into Tipp City, Ohio’s inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame. Rettig coached girls basketball in Tipp City for 23 years and had two state tournament appearances. He was admitted to the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2009 with 416 career wins.

Leonard Durso ’69 recently published his sixth novel, “Istanbul Days, Istanbul Nights.” Set in the historic city, the novel chronicles the journey of 10 dynamic characters from across the globe, each trying to navigate their way through life and love, while remaining hindered by their own unique cultural differences. Durso, a native New Yorker with a Master of Fine Arts from BGSU, has lived in Turkey since 2008.

1970's

Dr. Marlene M. Preston ’70, associate professor of communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of associate professor emerita by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

A member of the university community since 1993, Preston has made significant contributions in the discipline of teaching communication and is recognized as an authority in instructional development and innovation in oral and written communication.

 Preston taught undergraduate courses ranging from communication skills and virtual public speaking to interpersonal communication and international perspectives on communication. In addition, she served the Department of Communication in several administrative capacities, including assistant department head, director of undergraduate programs, director of communication skills, director of CommLab and director of public speaking.

Christopher Ragsdale ’72, ’76. Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Commissioner, will retire from his position June 30. Ragsdale was selected as the HCAC’s second commissioner in July of 2008 and is completing his 10th year with the conference.

During Commissioner Ragsdale’s tenure at the HCAC, he has played a fundamental role in the conference’s growth and development, sportsmanship initiative and policy implementation. The conference has increased its championship sport sponsorship with the addition of four sports under Ragsdale’s leadership.

During a 41-year career in higher education, Ragsdale, who received his bachelor’s degree in health, physical education and recreation and a master’s degree in physical education from BGSU, worked at five different NCAA Division III institutions.

Jefferson L. Sherman ’73, MAI, AI-GRS, of Highland Heights, Ohio, began his one-year term as vice president of the Appraisal Institute on Jan. 1. The Appraisal Institute is the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers with nearly 19,000 professionals in almost 60 countries. 

I’m privileged to help lead the valuation profession during this exciting time,” Sherman said. “I look forward to representing my fellow appraisers from around the world.”

Sherman’s one-year term as vice president will be followed by one year each as president-elect in 2019, president in 2020 and as immediate past president in 2021. He also will serve on the Appraisal Institute’s executive committee and on its policy-setting board of directors.

Sherman served as president of BGSU’s Student Body Organization in 1972-73. His wife, Pamela (Steinberger), also is a 1973 BGSU graduate. 

1980's

Rodney K. Rogers ‘81 was named the 12th president of Bowling Green State University on Feb. 23, 2018.

Adrian D. Thompson ’83 has been named co-partner-in-charge of Taft Stettinius and Hollister LLP’s Cleveland office.

Thompson joined the firm in 2006 and is a member of its executive committee.
   He also serves as Taft’s chief diversity officer and co-leads the firm’s diversity and inclusion committee. He provides counsel for private sector clients on issues including equal employment opportunity litigation, wage-hour problems, employment of the disabled and other labor matters.

“In partnership with our Cleveland attorney team, I am determined to continue Taft’s mission to meet and exceed client expectations, and make a difference in the northeast Ohio communities where we work and live,” Thompson said. 

Dianna O’Brien ’87 published the biography “From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks,” a rags-to-riches story about Charles W. Gehrke, scientist and entrepreneur. Gehrke was a University of Missouri professor who grew up poor in rural southeast Ohio but went on to become a scientist who pioneered ways to analyze everything from fertilizers to moon rocks. In 1968, he founded ABC Labs, a company which employed 400 people before its 2015 global firm buyout.

O’Brien graduated with two bachelor’s degrees, one in women’s studies and one in journalism. She has a blog at ColumbiaHistoricHomes.com, which chronicles her research.

The Cleveland law firm of Buckley King recently announced that Gregory S. Costabile ’89 has become a shareholder of the firm. Costabile, who joined the firm in 2016, is a certified specialist in family relations law by the Ohio State Bar Association Specialty Board.  

He is a seasoned litigator and trained in alternative dispute-resolution techniques including collaborative law, mediation, interdisciplinary collaborative law and as a Guardian ad Litem.  

A former mayor, Costabile earned a Bachelor of Science, cum laude, from BGSU.

2000's

Ron Taylor ’00, Berry College professor, was honored by the Mathematical Association of America with the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. He was recognized for his success cultivating an inquiry-based learning approach to his mathematics classroom at Berry College in Rome, Georgia.

He used his experience to mentor mathematics faculty at other institutions and co-chaired the organizing committee for the Inquiry Based Learning-Forum & Annual Legacy of R.L. Moore Conference.

GO2 Partners has named M. Brandon Melgaard ’01 as managing partner of its Twinsburg, Ohio, office. He has led the creative agency since its inception in 1999.

Melgaard has been with GO2 for 18 years. After graduating from Bowling Green State University, he began his career as a graphic designer. Melgaard then shifted his attention to growing the interactive capabilities at GO2, and was later named creative director. His multifaceted background set him on a path toward leadership, rising through the ranks to associate partner, and now managing partner.

“I am honored to have been chosen as GO2’s new managing partner,” Melgaard said. “This company has supported my professional growth for more than a decade, providing me with unmatched career opportunities and an incredible base of knowledge. I am both excited and humbled to be given the chance to guide this agency into its next chapter.”

Marc O’Neill ’01, who earned a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, recently coauthored an article in Corrections Today, an American Correctional Association publication. O’Neill, who is employed at the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office, studied Lucas County jail inmates in a heroin-treatment program with the late Dr. Marion Boss.

Their study found that many inmates used heroin to self-medicate and also suffered mental health problems. The paper found that almost 60 percent of the inmates surveyed reported a diagnosed mental disorder, and 38 percent are unemployed. About half sought out heroin as a means to boost emotions and feelings. An additional 35 percent said the drug’s low cost attracted them.

The Cleveland law firm of Gallagher Sharp LLP recently announced that Rema A. Ina ’04 has joined the firm as an associate. Ina defends employers in cases involving employment law issues. She represents insurance carriers in coverage and defense matters, and also has experience in the areas of medical malpractice and workers’ compensation. Early in her career, she was an assistant attorney general representing the citizens of Ohio in workers’ compensation and employment lawsuits.

 Ina received her law degree from Hofstra University in 2007 and earned her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from BGSU.

Dr. Kelly Weinersmith ’04, ’07, recently co-authored the book “Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything.” Weinersmith has bachelor’s and master’s degree in science from BGSU.

Kat Fish ’07 was named the Eastern Dance Association 2017 Coach of the Year. Fish retired from coaching after leading the Mountain View High School dance team in Stafford, Virgina, for 10 years. Her teams were all-around grand champions at the Eastern Dance Association Nationals in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 2010
and 2014.

At BGSU, Fish majored in dance performance and minored in dance education and was a member of the University Performing Dancers.

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