Pre-Professional Programs Staff
Address: Bowen Thompson Student Union 225
Clare Spathelf is the Assistant Director of the BGSU Office of Pre Professional Programs and an adjunct faculty member. She is a two-time alum earning a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Student Affairs (CSP) and a Bachelor of Science in Education. She has been employed with the university for ten years. Prior to her work at BGSU, she was an Academic Advisor for three years at Owens Community College and she also served as the At-Risk Youth program coordinator at the Wood County Educational Service Center (7 yrs. service) where she assisted 14-21 year olds with their education and employment goals. Clare began her career in education in the classroom as a reading specialist.
Clare currently serves on the BGSU Advising Awards and Recognition Commission and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honor Society. She is an Advisory Board member for the Center of Undergraduate Research (CURS) and also a member of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions and Pre-Law Advisors National Council. She was the recipient of the 2019 Faculty Excellence Award for Advising & Mentoring Excellence.
Clare is the mother of two adult sons; Miles, a habitat biologist who resides with his wife Mandy, a veterinarian, in Anchorage, Alaska. Trevor, Associate Director of Advancement, at the Tennessee Golf Foundation in Franklin, Tenn is currently acquiring his PGA Professional credential. He resides with his wife, Lindsey, a math educator, and daughter, Hadley in Tennessee. Both Trev and Lindsey are BGSU alums, who have recently joined the time honored tradition of Falcon Flames.
When away from work, Clare loves to travel and spend time with treasured family and friends.
Address: Bowen Thompson Student Union 225
Nikki is a pre-medicine student working towards a degree in Applied Health Science. She is currently going through the medical school application process with plans to matriculate fall 2021. Nikki is a fourth year student at BGSU from Shelby Township, Michigan. In her free time, she enjoys being active and spending time with family and friends.
She is very involved on campus in addition to her intern position with the Pre-Professional Programs office. Nikki is a member of the NCAA Varsity Softball team at BGSU. She is the Vice-President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and has also earned her certification in the WA1T player program for diversity and inclusion.
Nikki has worked at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan for over a year as a Nursing Assistant. In addition, she helps organize a blanket drive for C.S. Mott's Children's Hospital during the holiday season every year. She has a true passion for helping others and cannot wait to support other pre-professionals on their journey to their professional programs.
Address: Bowen Thompson Student Union 225
Maddi is a pre-optometry student studying biology and minoring in chemistry. She is from Fort Loramie, Ohio and is currently in her third year at BGSU. She is in the early steps of applying to optometry school, which she plans to begin in the fall of 2021.
In addition to her PPP internship, she is employed by Premier Vision Group here in Bowling Green, where she is a paraoptometric technician. She also has experience at another optometric practice, Primary EyeCare Associates, her hometown eye doctor’s office. Maddi has been employed as a learning assistant, tutoring students enrolled in the General Chemistry I and Elementary Chemistry courses here at BGSU.
Maddi is involved in several organizations on campus, including the Pre-Optometry Club and the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society of which she serves as treasurer. She is also a former BGSU twirler of the Falcon Marching Band. Outside of school, Maddi enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, and fitness. Maddi is excited to help fellow students on their way to becoming healthcare professionals as a member of the Pre-Professional Office team!
Address: Bowen Thompson Student Union 225
Robbie is a pre-medicine student pursuing a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. He is from Dublin, Ohio and will be starting his fourth year at BGSU in the fall. He is currently in the process of applying to medical school, hoping to matriculate in the fall of 2021.
Robbie has been employed as a research assistant in the Biological Sciences Department at BGSU and is a volunteer at Wood County Hospital. In recent years, he has also volunteered as a youth baseball coach with Dublin Youth Athletics and as a Buddy with the Miracle League of Central Ohio, a baseball league designed for children and young adults with disabilities.
Robbie is also involved in on-campus organizations, including H2O Church and Feed My Starving Children. In his free time, he loves watching movies, working out, and spending time with friends and family. Robbie is looking forward to working with the Pre-Professional Office to provide students with the resources and information necessary to pursue healthcare-related careers.
Pre-Health Faculty Associates
Dr. Steven Chung is a lecturer of chemistry and pre health professions advisor at Bowling Green State University. He received a Bachelor’s of Science degree at Harvey Mudd College in California and a Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied the reactivity of organic molecules bound to platinum and rhenium. He then did postdoctoral research and Iowa State University where he studied the catalytic conversion of soybean oil into drying oils. He has taught organic chemistry courses since 2000 and at Bowling Green State University since 2007. He serves on the chemistry department undergraduate curriculum committee, the College of Arts and Sciences curriculum committee and the BGSU science olympiad planning committee. In his spare time he enjoys competing in 5k road races and watching academic competitions such as BGSU’s Brain Game.
Amy Wagner is both a Lecturer and Pre-Health faculty mentor for the Biological Sciences. She received both her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science at BGSU, studying Molecular Biology and Protein Biochemistry. She has over 20 years of experience teaching both Biology and Anatomy and Physiology at colleges like Cuyahoga Community College, Owens, Lourdes, BGSU Firelands, and BGSU. She has been in the BGSU Biology Department since 2010, and has served on numerous committees for both the Biological Sciences and the Arts and Science College.
Along with teaching she has numerous certifications in both health and fitness. She has been a personal trainer and instructor for 17 years, and enjoys all aspects of health and fitness. In her free time when she’s not teaching, she enjoys reading, mountain biking, and traveling.
Pre-Law Faculty Associates
Dr. Birnbaum graduated summa cum laude from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1976. She received her Juris Doctorate in 1979 from the University of Cincinnati College of Law where she was a member of the University of Cincinnati Law Review. She was in private practice in Toledo, Ohio and a partner with the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick from 1979 to 1991 and with Garan Lucow Miller in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 2001 to 2009.
Dr. Birnbaum was a Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at The University of Michigan Law School where she taught in the Legal Skills/Legal Practice and LL.M. programs. She has taught Business Law and Introduction to Law courses at Bowling Green, and numerous other legal courses, and is the recipient of several teaching awards.
Dr. Kevin Vallier is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University. His research focuses in political philosophy, normative ethics, political economy, and philosophy of religion. Vallier is the author of Liberal Politics and Public Faith: Beyond Separation (Routledge, 2014) and Must Politics Be War? In Defense of Public Reason Liberalism, forthcoming from Oxford University Press. He has also published over twenty peer-reviewed articles. Vallier has worked at BGSU for 5 years and directs it's program in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law (PPEL).
Professor Kubasek is a BGSU graduate who received her juris doctorate from the University of Toledo College of Law, and has been teaching legal studies courses, including Business Law, Environmental Law, Employment Law, and Public Health Law at BGSU for over 30 years. She wrote the first undergraduate Environmental Law textbook, now in its 8th edition, as well as The Legal Environment of Business: A Critical Thinking Approach (Pearson Education, 8E), Dynamic Business Law (McGraw-Hill, 4E), and Dynamic Business Law: The Essentials (McGraw-Hill, 3E).
She has also published over 75 articles in law reviews such as the Harvard Women’s Law Review, the American Business Law Journal, and The Environmental Professional. She enjoys writing articles with students interested in going to law school, and some of her student co-authors were able to get into such schools as the University of Michigan Law School, the University of California at Berkeley Law School, and Stanford Law School.
Pre-Professional Programs Advisory Board Members
Dr. Alan Kao graduated from BGSU in 1991 with a dual Bachelors of Science in Biology and Comprehensive Science Education. He graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003.
LtCol Kao serves in the Ohio Air National Guard as a Public Health Officer. He has a particular passion for medical intelligence. He has served in Tchad, Africa; United Kingdom; Italy; Germany; Turkey; Kuwait; Dominican Republic; Hawaii; and many of these in the United States.
While at BGSU, he took advantage of many great programs including: studying Marine Biology; working as a visiting scientist on a NOAA vessel for a Sea map cruise in the Gulf of Mexico; went on a Marine Lab Gulf Coast field trip; Studied two summers at the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, MS; and student taught in Rio de Janeiro at Our Lady of Mercy American School.
He has been married to his wife Jill since 2012. Jill received her teaching certificate in Family and Consumer Science education from BGSU in 2000. She earned her Masters in Educational Administration and Supervision from BGSU in 2010. While the didn't meet at BGSU, they are Falcon Flames!!!
Dr. T. Ryan Phipps was born in Bowling Green, Ohio. He received a Bachelor of Arts studying at Miami University, a Master’s of Science in Biology from Bowling Green State University, and a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from The Ohio State University.
He continued his dental education at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio where he completed a General Practice Residency. This program focused on advanced training in general dentistry, oral surgery, pediatric dentistry, and endodontics. Dr. Phipps also completed rotations in medicine, anesthesia, trauma care, and also completed advanced courses in pharmacology and treatment of medically comprised patients. He is certified in intravenous conscious sedation and advanced cardiac life support.
He belongs to the ADA, ODA, TDS as well as the Great Black Swamp Dental Study Club. Ryan enjoys being active in his local Rotary Club chapter. He currently resides in Bowling Green with his wife Rachel and young daughter Georgia. When he does have free time, he is cheering on the Falcons and Buckeyes, playing golf, running, cycling, swimming, cooking, or hiking with his golden retriever Bernie.
Dr. Jennifer Croce Rokke, originally from New Jersey, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Zoology from Miami University and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University's School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2000.
Following graduation, she began working for a small animal clinic in Perrysburg Ohio where she served as Associate Veterinarian and Medical Director for 13 years.
During her career, she has enjoyed working in a variety of veterinary fields such as pharmaceutical research, small animal relief work, corporate medicine vaccine clinics, online telemedicine, and worked with Golden Retriever Rescue Resource of Toledo as one of their area veterinarians.
She is a member of the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association, The National Veterinary Cancer Society, The American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Jason Foote was raised in Whitehouse, Ohio, and currently resides in Waterville. He graduated in 2001 with his Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from Ohio Northern University’s Raabe College of Pharmacy in Ada, Ohio. He is presently taking classes toward a Masters of Science in Health Informatics at the University of Findlay.
After graduation, Jason spent his first 8 years in retail, hospital, and long-term care pharmacy before finding his passion in managed care. He supervised the Medication Therapy Management program at Express Scripts, a large pharmacy benefit manager, through 2015. He is now employed at CareSource, a health plan in Dayton, where he is responsible for Medicare pharmacy oversight and development of strategies to improve Part D Star Ratings.
Jason is a member of Ohio Pharmacists Association. He is also active in the Principle Advisory Committee at Fallen Timbers Middle School and been involved in Boy Scouts and coaching youth sports. If he isn’t spending time with his wife Heather or his son Caleb, he can be found running, golfing, or playing softball.
Elizabeth was born in Bowling Green, Ohio in 1966. She moved with her family to Ithica, New York where her father attended Law School at Cornell. She moved back with her family to BG and started kindergarten. She graduated from BGHS in 1984. Elizabeth spent the summer of 1984 in Rio de Janeiro then enrolled in Miami University's 'Western College' School of Interdisciplinary Studies and received her Bachelor's degree in Philosophy.
Elizabeth's first job after college was with Greenpeace, the environmental organization. In that capacity, she traveled quite a bit all over the country and lived in Manhatten, Atlanta, Ann Arbor, Los Angeles, and DC and ended up as the Director of Greenpeace Oregon. She then ran the seven offices, in the West Coast Region. She was the Director of Development for a community radio station in Portland, Oregon and also was in development at Oregon Trout, an anadromous fish habitat preservation organization.
She had her son at age 31, got married and became a stay-at-home mother for the next twelve years. She had her daughter when she was 37 years old. As her kids grew up, she decided to re-enter the workforce by pursuing a law degree. She was encouraged by the ability to earn a juris doctorate in three years-no thesis. Elizabeth moved her family back to BG and attended The University of Toledo Law School from 2001-2014. She is now practicing law in downtown Bowling Green, by joining her father, Norman Geer, who has been in practice for over forty years. She has a typical small town practice where she does a variety of types of law, including family law (juvenile, divorce, custody, abuse and neglect) as well as criminal and civil disputes. She also writes Trusts and does Estate Planning...etc. She participates in two legal clinics, the Community clinic as well as the Senior Center to make legal services accessible regardless of income.
When she is not driving her kids around to sports practices and events, she spends her spare time bike riding, skiing, walking her dog, reading and spending time with family. Elizabeth currently serves on the Board of the BG Chamber of Commerce, the Wood County Historical Society and Museum and is Vice-President of the Wood County Bar Association.
Dr. Mathias is a 2011 graduate of New Riegel High School. She attended Bowling Green State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Education in 2014. She then continued her education at The Ohio State University College of Optometry and graduated in 2018 with a Doctorate of Optometry and Master of Vision Science.
While in Optometry school she was very involved including mission trips to provide eye care for those in needs in Guatemala and Nicaragua and President of Lions Club. She hopes to use her training in research to continue to provide the most up-to-date, evidence based care. She is practicing full-scope medical optometry at Spectrum Eye Care in Findlay, Ohio is looking forward to providing patients with a lifetime of vision care to meet their visual needs. Dr. Mathias is a professional member of the American Academy of Optometry and the American Optometric Association.
She enjoys spending time with family, friends, and traveling. In her free time she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, sand volleyball and biking.
Kelly Fullenkamp, MOT, OTR/L attended the University of Findlay, graduating with her Master of Occupational Therapy degree in 2003. She is certified through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and is currently licensed in the State of Ohio through the Ohio OTPTAT Board.
She started her career in Wilmington, DE at St. Francis Hospital, a small community hospital which offered her experience in acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, and transitional care. Kelly also assisted at Select Specialty Hospital, a long-term acute care facility (LTAC).
Kelly returned to Ohio and spent the next four years at Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) in Dayton, a level one trauma hospital. She spent two years as a full-time acute care OTR before accepting the Acute Care Clinical Coordinator position.
Another relocation brought Kelly to Bowling Green. She resumed her OT career at a skilled nursing/extended care facility. Initially as a staff OTR and then as a Director of Rehabilitation.
Currently, Kelly is employed by Med1Care, evaluating/treating clients in the home care setting while providing a rewarding opportunity to impact client's in their own environment.
Dr. Jeffrey Noftz MD, PT graduated from Bowling Green State University receiving his BS in Physical Therapy in 1992. He began his physical therapy career as a specialist in the rehabilitation of injured athletes at The Medical College of Ohio (currently known as University of Toledo Medical Center). During this time, Dr. Noftz specialized in the care and rehabilitation of injured athletes. He cared for athletes at every level including weekend warriors to Olympic athletes as well as served as one the principal physical therapists for The University of Toledo football program.
After 7 years, he returned to medical school and received his Doctorate in Medicine from The Medical College of Ohio in 2001. Selected as one of only four students to enter residency training early, he began his Family Medicine residency training in 2000 and completed this in 2003. During this time, he served as the Chief Resident in his final year of training.
Following residency, Dr. Noftz started the first Primary Care Sports Medicine practice at The Medical College of Ohio serving as its director in the Department of Orthopedics/Sports Medicine. During this time, he developed one of the first sports performance programs in the area focusing on athletes recovering from ligamentous injury/surgery.
Dr. Noftz then moved to Bowling Green, Ohio. While serving the local community as a primary care physician, he continued his professional goals in physical therapy opening Jump Start Physical Therapy in 2004.
In addition to this, in 2004 he began his work caring for BGSU students at the university’s Student Health Center eventually being named the Medical Director there. While at BGSU, he also cared for injured student athletes for the department of Intercollegiate Athletics. He was selected as The Head Team Physician/Director of Athletic Medicine in 2006.
Along with a team of professionals at BGSU, Dr. Noftz developed BGSU’s Sports Performance Program in 2007. As medical director of The Sports Performance Team, he helps coordinate the care offered by multiple BGSU professionals including Nutritionists, Sports Psychologists, Exercise Science faculty, and others with the goal of improving student athletes’ ability to compete at the highest level.
Dr. Noftz is a veteran serving in the US Air Force from 1984 through 1988. He is married to his wife Renee. Their daughter Jordan will be starting her freshman year at BGSU in 2019. He and his wife enjoy watching their daughter ride horses as she competes in barrel racing events including international competition at the Youth World Championships.
Dr. George Hebeka hails from Warren, Michigan. He attended Wayne State University on a full merit scholarship, earning a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences in 1995. He then attended the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, completing his Doctor of Dental surgery degree in 2000.
After completing Dental school, Dr. Hebeka completed a General Practice Residency at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. There he trained in advanced procedures including endodontics, oral surgery, trauma training, and IV sedation. Throughout his dental career he has taken extensive continuing education, including completing the Comprehensive Implant Residency program (CIRP) in Birmingham, Alabama.
Dr. Hebeka practices dentistry in Bowling Green, Ohio in the group practice Drs. Phipps, Levin, Hebeka and Associates. He is professional member of ADA, ODA, TDS, and GBSSC.
Dr. Hebeka lives in Perrysburg, Ohio with his wife and three children. He is involved in CYO Basketball coaching for his kids in Lial Catholic School. In his free time, he enjoys weightlifting, kickboxing and watching all pro and college sports associated with U of M and Detroit.
Nicole Bergman PA-C, is a certified Physician Assistant.
Nicole was born and raised in Northwest Ohio. She received her Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science with minors in Biology and Chemistry in 2008. in 2010, she graduated with her Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences, Physician Assistant form the University of Toledo. Nicole has worked in Emergency Medicine and currently in Dermatology.
Nicole is licensed by the Ohio State Medical Board. She is an active member of her church, Hope Community Church of the Nazerene, Oregon, Ohio. Nicole currently resides in Genoa with her husband Bob and two children Bo and Britain. In her free time, Nicole enjoys being a mom, playing sports, gardening, cooking, vacationing and spending time with their family and friends.
Sara Houlihan was born and raised in St Clair Shores, Michigan and is a proud BG grad. She majored in Applied Health Sciences and graduated in May 2009 with University Honors. While at BG, she was very active in the Honors Program. She went on to the University of Toledo where she earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2012.
Sara currently works at the University of Michigan University Hospital in Ann Arbor where she is a clinical specialist physical therapist who covers oncology, general medicine and the emergency department. Sara is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Michigan Physical Therapy Association. Sara is also very active in research and has recently presented 2 posters at the national level and 1 poster and 1 platform presentation at the state level. She is actively working on a manuscript regarding mobility for general medicine patients while in the hospital.
When not at work, Sara enjoys spending time with her family and friends at her cottage in Northern Michigan.
Dr. Brujic graduated for the New England College of Optometry in 2002. He practices full scope Optometry with an emphasis on ocular disease of the anterior segment. contact lenses, and glacoma.
Dr. Brujic is on the editorial board for a number of optometric publications. He has published over 200 articles and has given over 1000 lectures, both nationally and internationally on contemporary topics in eye care.
He is a member of the American Optometric Association and American Academy of Optometry.
He enjoys spending time with his wife, Sonia and daughters Zoe and Ava.
Pre-Professional Student Ambassadors
Amanda is a junior from Toledo, OH. She is majoring in sociology with a minor in chemistry. After graduation, Amanda is planning to attend medical school and earn her MD.
She is a member of Honors Scholars and serves as an ambassador for the Honors College at BGSU. Amanda is also a volunteer at Wood Lane School for children with developmental disabilities. Additionally, she works as a sterile processing technician at Toledo Hospital.
Amanda is very excited to get to know other pre-med students and provide guidance in any way she can!
Audrey is a senior from Youngstown, Ohio majoring in health science on the pre-physician assistant track.
She is active in the honors college as an honors ambassador and she was the president of the Honors Student Association for two years. Audrey was president of her sorority Alpha Xi Delta and is currently serving as the Vice President of Service for the College Panhellenic Conference. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise and plans to utilize her knowledge to complete her honors project. Audrey is in the midst of applying to PA programs across Ohio and a few other states.
Emma is a senior who has lived overseas most of her life, living in both Paraguay and the Philippines. She excited to start her new adventure after attaining her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and earning both her Ph.D. and her M.D. She hopes to conduct human research to help those with somatosensory and motor diseases and disabilities.
She works in the Biology of Affect and Motivation (BAM) laboratory with Dr. Cromwell in addition to the Forensic Science Biology laboratory with Dr. Sprague. She also has been and is a member executive council for the BGSU Branch for both the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) and the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) respectively. In addition to that, she holds a position as a Resident Advisor and loves watching the people she leads and advises grow every day.
Emma looks forward to providing similar support to those she advises and being a part of their adventure through BGSU.
Sarah is a sophomore from Toronto, Ontario, Canada majoring in Applied Health Science.
After graduating, she hopes to pursue a career as an optometrist.
Sarah is a member of the two time MAC champion women's soccer team. During her first two seasons, she was named to the all MAC freshmen and all MAC academic teams.
Sarah is excited about getting an opportunity to meet with students who share her goal of becoming an optometrist.
Zoey is a junior from Cincinnati, Ohio majoring in Biology with a pre-veterinary track and minoring in Chemistry. After graduation Zoey plans on earning her DVM.
Currently, Zoey is Vice President of the Pre-Veterinary Medical Association on campus, which helps prepare students for applying to Veterinary school and provides experience with animal handling and basic veterinary practices. Zoey is also the travel coordinator for the Falcon Track Club in which she is an active member.
Zoey is looking forward to meeting and assisting pre-vet students this year!