2009 Accomplished Graduates
Dr. Harold J. McGrady Jr. ’54 - Before retiring in 2002, Dr. Harold McGrady spent more than 45 years studying and teaching about communication disorders and specific learning disabilities, most recently serving as executive director of the Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD), a national organization within the International Council for Exceptional Children.
After receiving a B.S. in speech and hearing therapy from BGSU, Dr. McGrady served as an officer in the United States Army, and in 1957 became the first speech and hearing therapist for Marietta (Ohio) City Schools, thus starting on a path that would come to define his professional life. He has held professorships at the following universities: Emory, Colorado State, Northwestern and Virginia Tech.
Dr. McGrady testified before the U.S. Congress on behalf of the Learning Disabilities Act of 1969, was invited to a White House conference on Learning Disabilities at the request of President Gerald Ford in 1975, and in 2000 met with first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in regard to the Initiative for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. His articles have been published in several professional journals and texts—including Communication Disorders: An Introduction, and Progress in Learning Disabilities—and he has made countless presentations at local, state and national professional meetings.
Dr. McGrady has two sons and resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Arlene E. Stearns ’47 - Arlene Stearns retired in 1992 from Wayne State University, the Kresege Eye Institute, and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan with 42 years of service. In 1950 Arlene developed and directed the Orthoptic Training School for the Kresege Eye Institute. She conducted the clinical training of ophthalmology residents in Detroit General, Harper, Grace, and Children’s Hospitals from 1950-1992. She designed, and later established, a four-year curriculum for Wayne State University granting a Baccalaureate degree in Orthoptics.
She has been an active member of the American Association of Certified Orthoptists, serving as vice-president and chairperson for various professional committees. Arlene received the AACO honor certificate in 1970 and the Lancaster Medal and Award in 1978 and was also honored with the senior residents teaching award in 1992.
Since retirement, Arlene has been a volunteer at the Hilton Head Regional Medical Center, the Volunteers in Medicine, and as reading tutor for underachieving first and second graders in the local elementary school.
Melanie Stretchbery ’81 - Melanie Stretchbery is superintendent of the Wood County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MRDD), where she has worked in various capacities since starting there as a support services supervisor and social worker in 1983. Her 27-year career in social services and administration began at the Ohio Department of MRDD, which she joined after receiving a B.S. in social work from BGSU.
Her experience also includes work as a field instructor and adjunct instructor for social work methodology and policy, as well as a social work consultant at the Tiffin Developmental Center. Since 1998, she has also served as a national program surveyor for CARF - The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission.
Stretchbery is actively appointed to several regional boards and committees including the College of Health and Human Services Advocate Board at BGSU, the Wood County Family and Children’s First Council, the Northwest Ohio Developmental Center Community Advisory Council, the Behavior Support Advisory Committee for the State of Ohio and the Wood County Jobs and Family Services Planning Committee. She is the President of the Board of Directors for the Children's Resource Center, a behavioral health care agency serving children and families in Northwest Ohio. Stretchbery is also a member of the Women’s Club of Bowling Green, the Zonta Club of Bowling Green, the Ohio Association of Adult Services and the Northern Ohio Directors Association.