Alumni

1999 Cohort

holliday thomas
What area of study did you earn your degree in?
My bachelor's degree is in Middle Childhood Education with an emphasis in Language Arts and Social Studies 

What things did you learn through your involvement with the PLA?
I learned to be accepting of others and to respect others' opinions.  I also learned how to budget my time better and try to not be a procrastinator!

What organizations and activities were you involved with during your four years at BGSU?
Women's Chorus, Collegiate Chorale, Phi Mu Sorority, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society 

Did you serve in any leadership roles?
Committee chairperson for my sorority, in charge of planning special events 

What is your favorite PLA memory?
The summer program was probably my favorite memory of PLA.  It was fun to be together for an extended amount of time and really get to know each other.  I also enjoyed the team building activities at Camp Palmer and the retreat at Camp Michindoh.  

Are there any PLA or BGSU faculty of staff members that inspired/mentored you?
Ana Brown is the staff member that inspired and mentored me the most.  She was always there to help when I was in trouble or had questions. 

Where are you now?
I live in BG with my husband, Andy and my two boys, Drew and Aidan.  I teach 7th and 8th grade Language Arts and Social Studies in the Washington Local school district in Toledo.  

How have you used the lessons of PLA in your life beyond BG?
I feel like I use the lessons of PLA every day in some shape or form.  As I said before, I learned how to accept others that were different than me and respect them.  This has been helpful in my current job as I deal with students, parents and other staff members on a daily basis.

1999 Cohort

kristen gajewskiWhat area of study did you earn your degree in?
Psychology – a focus on Organizational Development

What things did you learn through your involvement with the PLA?
I learned the importance of networking, had the opportunity to practice my influencing and motivational skills and had the opportunity to step into leadership roles and grow both professionally and personally.

What organizations and activities were you involved with during your four years at BGSU?
Sigma Kappa Sorority, Mid-American Greek Council Association, several community service events both on and off campus.

Did you serve in any leadership roles?
Sigma Kappa – Vice President of Alumni Relations, Executive Vice President, and Social Chair
Mid-American Greek Council Association – Finance Manager and assisted with coordinating annual conference in Chicago.
PLA – cabinet member for ’99 cohort

Are there any PLA or BGSU faculty or staff members that inspired/mentored you?
There were several individuals who were either formal or informal mentors for me through PLA.  Some were peers who had more knowledge base in certain areas and others were staff members who I could reach out to about career options and professional growth.  I think to name one or two would be a disservice to the rest!

Where are you now? (Living, where do you work, etc.)
I’m currently living in Avon, Ohio (West of Cleveland) and am a human resources director with AkzoNobel.  AkzoNobel is the largest global coatings manufacturing company and is ranked #1 in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.  I previously managed our Supply Chain facility in Huron, Ohio, and now manage our sales force for our diversified brands, stores, and Wal-Mart business lines.

2001 Cohort

Mary Kay InkrottWhat area of study did you earn your degree in?
Sport Management (Bachelors); Sport Administration (Masters) – both at BGSU

What things did you learn through your involvement with the PLA? Is there anything that sticks out in particular?
I developed a lot as an individual and a leader through PLA. One thing that really helped me was learning that there’s not just one effective type of leader. Learning that my quiet, behind the scenes demeanor can be just as impactful, and better in some situations, gave me the confidence to grow as a leader. Serving others has always been important to me and the concept of servant leadership intertwined throughout PLA was neat to see.

What organizations and activities were you involved with during your four years at BGSU?
Student Alumni Association, Sport Management Alliance, The Way Campus Fellowship, Athletic Department Volunteer & Employee, Alumni Affairs Student Employee

Did you serve in any leadership roles?
No official leadership titles, but a leader by example.

Are there any PLA or BGSU faculty or staff members that inspired/mentored you?
I am thankful for all the PLA staff that I had the opportunity to work with, especially Ana Brown. Luckily since I’m in the area, I still get to go out to lunch/dinner with Ana to stay in touch. Dr. Pedersen “Dr. P” was one of my favorite Sport Management professors. He’s currently at Indiana University and I occasionally stay in contact with him.

Where are you now? (Living, where do you work, etc.)
Still living in Bowling Green with my husband Andy. Currently working as an academic advisor at BGSU working with students who are undecided in their major, students who were conditionally admitted into the university, and high school students doing PSEOP.

2004 Cohort

Dan Stypa 2
What area of study did you earn your degree in? 
Interpersonal Communications with a focus in Organizational Communications 

What things did you learn through your involvement with the PLA?
By being involved with the PLA, I learned that in order to be a successful leader, you need to be skilled in building collations and teams that support a common goal and purpose.  A person in a leadership position can easily dictate what needs to be done, but a true transformational leader is one who can unite a team and bring along the whole group towards achieving goals.



What organizations and activities were you involved with during your four years at BGSU?

I was involved with the Campus Tour Guides, Dance Marathon, Student Alumni Connection, Resident Advisor, Conference Programs, Student Money Management Team, UNIV 100 Peer Instructor, and worked as Dr. Sidney Ribeau's student assistant for 3.5 years.

Did you serve in any leadership roles? 
I was a member of various steering committees for Dance Marathon, served as the Vice President of the Student Alumni Connection, and was the Team Leader for Conference Programs. 

What is your favorite PLA memory? 
My favorite PLA memory is the fall retreat we had each year at the off-site facility.  It was great to bring all the cohorts together for a variety of seminars, team building activities, and opportunities to further develop our leadership skills. 

Are there any PLA or BGSU faculty or staff members that inspired/mentored you?
Dr.Sidney Ribeau (former BGSU President); Andrew Rivers, Ana Brown, Barbara Jameson, Deanna Vatan Woodhouse (PLA staff members when I was in the program); Jill Carr (current BGSU VP of Student Affairs); Tracy Barton (Communications instructor); and Kerby Nelson (Conference Director) all were huge inspirations and are still mentors to this day.

Where are you now? (Living, where do you work, family, etc.) 
After graduating BGSU, I went to grad school at the University of Tennessee and earned a master's degree in College Student Personnel.  I work in the Office of Alumni Affairs at Rice University in Houston, TX as the Assistant Director for Lifelong Learning and Educational Engagement.  I'm the chair of the BGSU Houston-area alumni chapter and volunteer with an animal shelter in Houston.  In addition, I was nominated as one of the "Top 30 Under 30" young professionals in Houston.  I have 2 dogs - a black lab and terrier mix - and spend free time traveling and learning about new places and cultures.

How have you used the lessons of PLA in your life beyond BG? 
I have been able to apply the lessons of PLA in my daily life both at work and at home.  All of the decisions that I make are grounded in the ideas of servant leadership.  I recognize that in my work, I am ultimately responsible for creating a sense of engagement and connectedness among Rice alumni with their alma mater so I invest time and energy into building relationships and learning about their needs.  Once I have built rapport and trust with the constituents I serve, I am able to bring them along the journey with me and achieve significant levels of support and buy-in.

The Alumni Scholarship

PLA Alumni Society Book Scholarship Recipient

The PLA Alumni Society has established a book scholarship to recognize the outstanding commitment and dedication of a scholar directly to the PLA. This award is presented to a freshman, sophomore or junior scholar and the recipient receives a $250 book voucher for use in an upcoming academic semester.

The inaugural winner of the PLA Alumni Society book scholarship was nominated by peers and was described as:

A calm and unique speaker for the group whose perspective helps the cohort make decisions.
He has an easy-going attitude that hides his intense drive to always serve others first.
His amicable nature and humor help bring a smile to people’s faces during difficult times.
His leadership is not flashy and his influence cannot be overlooked, or overstated.
He brings tolerance and critical reflection to every group.
His values drive his actions and he stands as a paragon of virtue
He places the needs of others higher than his own, and his own humility would prevent him from ever admitting he deserves recognition.
2011_BRAND_jodie

Ms. Jodie Brand
2011 Cohort

2012-2013 Scholarship Winner

Supply Chain Management Major

    Versailles High School – Versaille, OH
    Honors Program Member
    Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity
    Relay for Life
    Dance Marathon
    Residence Life Front Desk Clerk
    PLA Intern for Community Development
    Intern – John Deere
samuel-schmitt

Mr. Samuel Schmitt
2009 Cohort

2011-2012 Scholarship Winner

Political Science Major/Music Minor

Philosophy Club
Student Jazz Association
Music Ambassadors
Acapella Choir
BG Secular Society
Vanguard
SEARCH Learning Community
Countless volunteer hours within PLA and the community.