BGSU honors success at commencement

More than 1,000 degrees were awarded during two ceremonies

Bowling Green State University celebrated its 296th graduation in two ceremonies in the Stroh Center Dec. 13 and Dec. 14.

The December graduating class included 1,047 candidates. Among the undergraduates, 89 were presented associate degrees and 731 bachelor’s degrees. Of those, 190 received honors for their high grade-point averages. The 217 graduate students included 187 candidates for master’s degrees and 30 for doctoral degrees.

BGSU students come from all around the world. This graduating class included 52 international students representing 18 countries. There also was a wide range in overall age, with degree candidates from 18 to 60.

Commencement for the Graduate College and the colleges of Business; Health and Human Services; Musical Arts; Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering; and BGSU Firelands was held Dec. 13. The colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education and Human Development held commencement Dec. 14.

Addressing the Dec. 13 candidates was BGSU alumna Sheryl Maxfield, who earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from BGSU in 1981. Maxfield was appointed director of the Ohio Department of Commerce in January 2019 by Gov. Mike DeWine. She serves as a member of the governor’s Cabinet and is responsible for the overall leadership and direction of the commerce department.

One of the state’s leading regulatory agencies, the Department of Commerce is focused on promoting the growth, success and safety of businesses in real estate, industrial compliance, securities, financial institutions, liquor control, medical marijuana, fire safety and unclaimed funds.

Before her appointment as commerce department director, Maxfield served as chief counsel for DeWine when he was Ohio attorney general. Her responsibilities included oversight of 11 sections of the office that practices in legal areas ranging from antitrust to workers’ compensation. She joined the Ohio attorney general’s office in 1984, and served in various capacities, including assistant chief of the Court of Claims section, chief of the Executive Agencies section and chief of the Health and Human Services section. She previously served as first assistant attorney general.

During her career, Maxfield has been recognized by her colleagues for her professionalism and legal expertise. She received an AGO Professionalism Award in 1997 and in 1999 was the inaugural recipient of the Simon B. Karas Award for Outstanding Legal Contribution to the Attorney General’s Office.

In addition to her BGSU degree, Maxfield earned a law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law. She is married to lawyer Michael Maxfield.

Addressing the Dec. 14 candidates was BGSU alumna Laurie Stevenson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental health from BGSU in 1988. In January 2019 Gov. Mike DeWine appointed Stevenson as director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A public servant of 30 years, she began her career at Ohio EPA as a field inspector with the Division of Hazardous Waste Management in the agency’s Logan, Ohio, office.

Prior to her appointment, she held the position of deputy director for Business Relations, where she served as a primary contact for regulated entities to help coordinate permitting activities within the agency. She also served as chief of Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA). DEFA provides financial and technical assistance to businesses and communities to help achieve compliance with environmental regulations.

A native of Findlay, Stevenson earned a Master of Science in public health from The Ohio State University in addition to her BGSU degree. She resides in Columbus with her husband, Jeff, and three children.