Marketing & Communications

Falcon Families

When multiple members of a family choose a BGSU education, the clan earns a special nickname: a “Falcon Family.”

In the Coulter family, the title came as four siblings chose orange and brown.

The McDonald family embraced the moniker with two generations of BG grads.

And two remarkable BGSU careers set the stage for three generations of the Navin family to join the flock.

Is yours a “Falcon Family,” too? Read on to learn how to share your own family story. Your photos have an important place in the “Falcon Family” scrapbook.

Paul Coulter ’03, Mary Kay (Coulter) Inkrott '05, '06, 
Tim Coulter, Abby Coulter '10

The Coulter family of New Knoxville
Paul J. Coulter ’03 was the first. His three siblings — Mary Kay, Abby, and Tim — followed. Now, the large Coulter clan from the small town of New Knoxville, Ohio is undeniably a “Falcon Family.”

Paul moved to Orlando, Fla., after earning his bachelor’s degree in English and business and works as a sales manager for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotel. Mary Kay (Coulter) Inkrott ’05, ’06 of Bowling Green earned her bachelor’s degree in sport management and her master’s degree in sport administration and works on campus as an academic advisor. Abby Coulter ’10, of Toledo, is a certified public accountant for Plante & Moran, a consulting firm. And Tim Coulter, the youngest, spent two years at BGSU before transferring to another university in upstate New York.

Each of the Coulter children was prepared to shoulder much of the financial responsibility for his or her education. The President’s Leadership Academy allowed the three younger Coulters to minimize their tuition costs and to embrace their values of service. Mary Kay treasured close relationships with her PLA advisor, Ana Brown, and her mentors around campus.

“To have that staff member that you can call your ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ away from home was really crucial to my success,” Mary Kay said. “I think that is something that all students need to be successful.”

Abby changed her major several times before a faculty member, Dr. Ken Snead, inspired her to see her calling in accounting. Volunteering as a student host in the suites at football games also helped her to build confidence through networking.

“I developed a great relationship with the dean and met all these different people who were in the business world,” Abby said. “Having the opportunity to interact with them on that level as a student really set me up for success.”

Cassandra McDonald looks on as her son, Project Runway contestant Nathan 
"Nathan Paul" McDonald II, shares 
his experience with BGSU students 
in the Union.

The McDonald family of Zainesville
Two generations of Falcons in the McDonald family were among the viewers as alumnus Nathan P. McDonald II ’02 competed as “Nathan Paul” in the tenth season of Lifetime’s reality show Project Runway.

Nathan is one of five children of Falcon Flames, Cassandra and Nathan P. McDonald ’72. Cassandra was “the best looking woman there,” her husband insists. He is pastor of the Apostolic Christian Church in Zanesville, Ohio, which became his second career after his retirement as a nursing home administrator. Cassandra is faculty in music at Muskingum University, and operates a school for disadvantaged youth. Her school, the C.A.S.S.-M.I.N.D. Academy in Zainesville, integrates business principles and the creative arts across all curricula.

Three of the McDonalds’ five children also chose BGSU.  Leah ’02 teaches Spanish at an elementary school in Detroit, and Micah is a celebrity stylist in New York City and Los Angeles.

Now, the McDonald family is behind a collective effort to bring a version of the fashion design competition to the Buckeye state. The reality show has endorsed the first effort to host a mini-competition in a contestant’s home state. The Project Runway Ohio competition will launch in April, and prospective fashion designers of all levels from across the state are invited to participate. Nathan ’02 and Cassandra announced the effort during a special event on campus November 22.

“You have to use (the talents) you were given in order to have joy,” Cassandra said. “Through Project Runway Ohio, anyone will have an opportunity to visualize their dreams and make them a reality.”

Joanne and Leo Navin pose with Business Dean 
Ray Braun and their grandson, Jordan Navin, at 
a scholarship award banquet in 2012.

The Navin family of Bowling Green
The Navin family boasts three generations in the flock.

The phenomenon is linked to a teaching career at BGSU: that of Dr. Leo Navin, who retired in 1994 after working nearly three decades as a faculty member and department chair in economics.

“He chose to teach at BGSU,” said his wife, Joanne Navin ’76, because Bowling Green offered “a wonderful campus and a good, solid community.”

Joanne was the first to graduate here, and was raising her small children as she chose to change careers with a nursing degree from BGSU. Several years later, she continued her education to become a nurse practitioner, and joined the staff at the BGSU Student Health Service. She enjoyed caring for many students through the entirety of their college years, and retired from BGSU.

“The people who work at the University care about the students, and I think that shows,” she said.

Graduates from the Navin flock include two of Joann and Leo’s children, LeeAnne (Navin) Rheinlander ’88 of Scott Depot, West Virginia, who earned her bachelor’s degree in education at BGSU, and Dr. John C. Navin ’87 of Glen Carbon, Ill., who followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a faculty member and chair of the department economics and finance at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Their grandson, John’s son, Jordan Navin ’12, graduates this month with a bachelor’s degree in economics, and will continue at BGSU to pursue his master’s degree in the subject.

Other BGSU graduates in the family include Jordan’s mother, Lynn (Wasikowski) Navin ’84, of Edwardsville, Ill. who is using her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education as the director of the Child Development Center Lab school at the University of Missouri St. Louis and is a clinical instructor there in early childhood education; Leo and Joann’s great niece, Lindsay Weber ’11, of Los Angeles, Calif. who is using her bachelor’s degree in telecommunications by working as a casting agent; and their cousins, Martha (Zarzour) Phillips ’69, ’72 of Hiram, Ohio, whose bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech pathology and spent 25 years in the field before continuing her education to become a school administrator, and Erin Phillips ’99, of Kent, Ohio who earned her bachelor’s degree in social work.

Leo and Joanne have also established two scholarships at the University to defray tuition costs for other families: the Navin Scholarship for Public Sector Economics, and the James L. Navin Scholarship in Special Education, which was established as a memorial for their late son.

“We were just proud to be part of Bowling Green, and still are,” Joanne said. “We believe in giving back to the University, because it has given us a lot and been a large part of our lives.”

Note: To submit your own Falcon Family story.  Visit, click on the gallery titled “Falcon Families,” then “Click here to upload picture,” select your photo. Be sure to include your phone number or email in the caption of your photo. Include the names of your family members pictured and their degree years if possible.  ###



 (Posted December 3, 2012 )