Best of BGSU 2004 Accomplished Graduates
Best of BGSU 2004 Accomplished Graduates
College of Arts and Sciences | College of Business Administration | College of Education and Human Development | BGSU Firelands | Health and Human Services | College of Musical Arts | College of Technology
College of Arts and Sciences
Brenda J. Hollis ’68 of Denver has been a consultant for international criminal law, investigation and prosecution since March 2001. She has trained international peacekeepers for the Pearson Peacekeeping Center in Canada, and worked with the Institute for International Criminal Investigation, Coalition for International Justice, Open Society Justice Initiative and an Indonesian Human Rights Judges Training Seminar. In 2002, Hollis was the consultant to the prosecutor in the Special Court for Sierra Leone. She was a senior prosecutor for the Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia from 1994-2001. Hollis retired from the Air Force in 1998 after holding positions as air intelligence officer and judge advocate. Hollis has also served as a public health worker in Senegal and Niger, West Africa with the U.S. Peace Corps. Hollis earned her bachelor’s degree in political science at BGSU in 1968, and her juris doctorate from the University of Denver in 1977.
Frank L. Murru Jr. ’74 of Orlando, Fla., is vice president and general manager of Discovery Cove, an exclusive interactive marine-life park and the newest addition to the Busch Entertainment Corporation. Murru oversees all aspects of park operation, planning and execution and serves as a member of Sea World’s Senior Management Team. Prior to this position, Murru was the vice president and general curator for Sea World of Florida where he was responsible for all aspects of Animal Services and Education. He is involved with the Hubbs Research Institute and serves as the co-chair of their $12 million capital campaign with Mercury astronaut Wally Schirra. Murru earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from BGSU in 1974 and his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Florida in 1997.
Tim Ryan ’95 of Niles, Ohio, is currently the youngest Democratic member of the 108th Congress and the first freshman representative in his congressional class to speak on the House floor. Ryan is the co-chair and founding member of the House Manufacturing Caucus and he continues to be an advocate for the working families of Northeast Ohio. He has also won appointments to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Veteran Affairs. Prior to his election, Ryan was an Ohio State Senator, where he led efforts to establish a state-based earned income tax credit, standardize community school data reporting, strengthen laws penalizing sexually based offenses and established the first Collegiate Political Action Committee. Ryan earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at BGSU in 1995.
Jeffrey Shore ’75 of Los Angeles is senior vice president of production for E! Networks. Shore has produced pilots including “Star Dates,”“The Anna Nicole Show,”“It’s Good To Be” and “Style Court.” He was also executive producer and creator of the “E! True Hollywood Story,” the highest rated series in E!’s history. He is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild, Writer’s Guild, Director’s Guild and Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Shore received nominations for three Emmy Awards, multiple Prism Awards and several Gracie Awards. “True Hollywood Story” was chosen for Entertainment Weekly’s “It” list in 1998 for achievement in biographical television. Shore was the co-captain of the Comcast Cares day, where E! employees painted, planted and spruced up a local elementary school. He received his bachelor’s degree in English and journalism from BGSU in 1975.
College of Business Administration
Andrew P. Fichthorn ’82 of San Antonio is executive vice president and general manager of Sea World San Antonio, the world’s largest marine life park. Prior to working for Sea World, Fichthorn served as the senior vice president of planning and development for Busch Entertainment Corporation, where he led the development team for Discovery Cove, a marine mammal interactive day resort in Orlando. Fichthorn is involved with the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Commission, Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio Area Tourism Council, Texas Travel Industry Association and United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. He graduated cum laude from BGSU in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance and earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Virginia in 1989.
J. Michael McGuire ’82 of Charlotte, N.C., helped rescue the Carolinas practice of Arthur Andersen after the Enron scandal and managed the sale of the four Carolinas offices (Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro and Columbia) to Grant Thorton LLP, which saved 250 jobs in the process. McGuire, a CPA, dedicated 20 years to the Carolinas practice of Arthur Andersen and worked with high-growth companies in multiple industries. The Charlotte Business Journal selected the Charlotte Grant Thorton office for its annual “Best Places To Work” award two consecutive years. As Carolinas Managing Partner, McGuire is very active in the Charlotte community and chairs numerous civic boards including the Repertory Theatre and Metrolina Entrepreneurial Council. He is also involved with the United Way, Chamber of Commerce and McColl Center for the Visual Arts. He graduated in 1982 from BGSU with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and management information systems.
Bruce K. Misamore ’72, ’73 of Houston and Moscow, is the chief financial officer and a member of the management board at YUKOS Oil Company in Moscow, the largest Russian oil company. Before YUKOS, Misamore served as the senior vice president of finance and treasurer of PennzEnergy Company, and the vice president and treasurer of Pennzoil Company. He also was a manager at Marathon Oil Company. From 1972-74, Misamore was a graduate assistant and instructor of finance at BGSU. He was recognized as one of Toledo’s 10 Outstanding Young Men in 1975 and was listed in the 1978 edition of Outstanding Young Men of America. Misamore is an active member of the Financial Executives International, the President’s Club and the Dean’s Council of the College of Business Administration. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1972 and an MBA in 1973 from BGSU.
Ronald R. Whitehouse
’67 of Nokomis, Fla., was a founding partner and former chairman of the board of HQ Network Systems Inc., an international franchiser. Whitehouse also served as the chairman, CEO and majority stockholder of HQ Chicago Inc. & Affiliates. His first endeavor as an entrepreneur was Whitehouse Industries/Johnston Boiler Co., where he was chairman, CEO and sole stockholder before he sold the company in 1980 to an international conglomerate. Whitehouse currently focuses his efforts on philanthropic activities which include significant gifts to his alma mater. He is a director of the BGSU Foundation Board and also serves as a member of the BGSU National Campaign Steering Committee for the University’s comprehensive campaign. He graduated from BGSU in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Toledo in 1969.
College of Education and Human Development
David Coleman ’83, ’85 of Loveland, Ohio, is known as The Dating Doctor and has spoken to more than five million people in the United States and Canada about prescriptions that lead people to healthier, more satisfying relationships with spouses, families, co-workers and neighbors. Coleman has been named Speaker of the Year six times by Campus Activities Magazine and three times by the National Association for Campus Activities. He recently finished his book and video series, Making Relationships Matter. His other publications include Date Smart, How to Stop Revolving and Start Evolving In Relationships and Let Your Leadership Speak. Coleman received his bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology in 1983 and master’s degree in college student personnel administration in 1985 from BGSU.
Dr. Bette E. Landman ’59 of Glenside, Pa., is president of Arcadia University. During her 20 years as president and nine years as academic vice president, Arcadia has been a leader in ensuring access for students who have traditionally been excluded from higher education. Arcadia was one of the first universities to open its doors to mature women and men to pursue degree study part time as well as offer on-campus childcare for students and employees. In 2003 she received the Women of Distinction Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal. Landman graduated summa cum laude from BGSU in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She received her master’s degree in physical anthropology in 1961 and her doctorate in cultural anthropology in 1972 from Ohio State University.
Dr. Adena Loston ’74, ’79 of Washington, D.C., is the senior official for agency-wide educational endeavors for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Washington, D.C. Loston is responsible for structuring the new education enterprise and guiding NASA’s efforts to organize and enhance the agency’s educational programs. She was also president of San Jacinto College South in Houston from 1997-2002. She has held positions of instructor, program supervisor, associate professor, instructional dean and executive dean/campus provost at colleges in Texas, California, Georgia, Arkansas and Ohio. In July, she received the Outstanding Medal of Leadership from NASA. Loston received her bachelor’s degree in business education from Alcorn State University in 1973, master’s degree in business education in 1974 and doctorate in education in 1979 from BGSU.
David R. Norwine ’68 of Port Clinton, Ohio, is the president and CEO of the Magruder Hospital and is a part-time instructor of healthcare administration at BGSU. From 1972-77 he was acting minister at the Congregational United Church of Christ, Zion United Church of Christ and Emmanuel United Church of Christ. After graduating from BGSU, Norwine taught at various high schools in Ohio including Wayland Senior High School, Galion Junior High School and Bellevue Senior High School. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and an ordained minister in the Northwest Ohio Association of the United Church of Christ. Norwine received his bachelor’s degree in education from BGSU in 1968. He attended the Andover Newton Theological School and later graduated from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio in 1974 with a master of divinity.
Leif Ericsson ’96 of Norwalk, Ohio, is acting owner of Viking Technology Inc., a business he created to provide on-site and in-house computer consulting, repair, upgrades, Web design, networking, and training sales and service to business and residential clientele. His recent clients include Time Warner and USNET. Ericsson previously served as MIS/IT manager of Eastern News Distributors Inc. He worked at BGSU Firelands as a technical assistant and computer technician in 1996. He was the recipient of the Building Block to the Future Award in 1996. Ericsson received his associate’s degree in liberal arts in 1996 from BGSU Firelands.
Chris Redfern ’88, ’91 of Catawba Island Township, is the Ohio House of Representatives Democratic Leader. Since he was appointed in 1999, Redfern has championed the cause of fiscal discipline in state budgeting, urged lawmakers to reform the state’s tax code and pushed for legislation to protect Lake Erie. He is also the primary sponsor of a bill that would establish limits on tuition increases at Ohio’s public universities and colleges. The Ohio Democratic Party recognized Redfern for excellence in public service with the 2003 Myrl H. Shoemaker Award. Before his State House service, Redfern was an Ottawa County commissioner, the youngest in the state. He focused his efforts on expanding the county’s public infrastructure, improving county services and strengthening local economic development. He attended BGSU Firelands and graduated from BGSU in1988 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in 1991 in state and local government.
Kenneth F. Yontz ’71 of Milwaukee and southern California, is chair for both Apogent Technologies Inc., and Sybron Dental Specialties, the successors of Sybron International. Apogent Technologies is a manufacturer and marketer of laboratory life science products including those for use in clinical diagnostic and biomedical areas. Sybron Dental manufactures dental sundry supplies, orthodontic appliances and related products. Prior to joining Sybron, Yontz was group vice president and executive vice president for the Allen-Bradley Company in Milwaukee. He also held various positions for Chemetron Corporation and Ford Motor Company. He currently serves on the board of Rockwell Automation and is founder of the Karen Yontz Women’s Cardiac Awareness Center in Milwaukee. Yontz graduated from BGSU in 1971 with a bachelor’s in business administration. He earned his MBA in finance from Eastern Michigan University.
Health and Human Services
Adam C. Eibling ’96 of Port Clinton, Ohio, is director of business development for the Midwest for Covenant Care Inc., based in Aliso Viejo, Calif. He is a consultant for 10 Midwest facilities in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, where he develops and implements new programming. Eibling was the director of public relations at Fairview Skilled Nursing & Rehab Center in Toledo for two years and director of resident services for Harborside of Sylvania in 2000. He is a licensed social worker and a certified instructor for the Crisis Prevention Institute. Eibling received his bachelor’s degree in social work from BGSU in 1996.
Dr. Christine Potokar Fischer ’89 of Richmond Heights, Ohio, is an assistant professor in the division of geriatric medicine and staff physician at University Hospitals of Cleveland. Since 1999 she has been a staff physician in the Hanna House Skilled Nursing Facility and Judson Park Retirement Community. Potokar is an instructor/preceptor for geriatric fellows in inpatient and outpatient geriatric care, nursing home care and skilled nursing care. She is also an instructor for third-year medical students, medical residents, GYN residents, GY residents and nurse practitioner students in outpatient geriatric care. She previously was a medical technologist in the microbiology lab at University Hospitals and in the hematology lab in the University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center. Potokar earned her bachelor’s degree from BGSU in 1989 and her doctorate of medicine from Case Western Reserve University in 1995.
Dr. Marie May Watson ’86 of Stevens Point, Wis., is an associate professor in communication disorders at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Watson previously worked at Central Michigan University as a professor, associate professor and assistant professor. She worked as a speech pathologist at Kobacher Psychoeducational Center at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo and at Grafton State School in North Carolina. Watson was nominated for the BGSU College of Health and Human Services Outstanding Alumni Award in the fall of 2003 and received the communication disorders “Golden Hand” award presented by graduate and undergraduate students in communicative disorders. In 1999 she co-authored More Than Playing Around, with accompanying software by the same title, as well as the software Phonological Practice: An Electronic Workbook. Watson earned her bachelor’s degree in 1979 from the University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point, master’s degree in 1981 from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and her doctorate from BGSU in 1986, all in communication disorders.
College of Musical Arts
Dr. Uzee Brown Jr. ’74 of Mableton, Ga., is chair of the Department of Music at Morehouse College in Atlanta and serves as the director of the church choir at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Brown is a published composer and arranger, having written the musical prologue for Spike Lee’s School Daze. He was nominated for the Audelco award in Black theater as outstanding musical director and arranger of the off-Broadway musical play Zion. In 1999, the Atlanta Symphony and a 200-voice choir performed the world premier of his arrangement of We Shall Overcome. Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in music from Morehouse College in 1972 and his master’s degree in theory and composition from BGSU in 1974. He also earned a master’s degree in voice in 1978 and a doctorate in music performance in 1980, both from the University of Michigan.
Dr. John Jeffery Deal ’71, ’75 of Greensboro, N.C., is the School of Music dean and professor of music education at the University of North Carolina, where he led the school to a full and complete NASM re-accreditation. He previously served as the interim dean at the Florida State University School of Theatre and as the assistant dean for academic affairs, director of graduate students and professor of music education for its School of Music. From 1981-84 Deal served in several capacities at the University of North Dakota. He previously was conductor and music director of the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra in North Dakota. Deal received his bachelor’s degree in music education in 1971 and master’s degree in instrumental conducting in 1975 from BGSU. He went on to earn his doctorate in music education in 1983 from the University of Iowa.
Hugh K. Smith ’91, ’94 of Sarasota, Fla., made his debut in Madama Butterfly in Naples, Italy, after winning the Pavarotti competition in 1995. Smith has performed in many venues including Carnegie Hall, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Opera of Paris, Hamburg Staatsoper and Bayerische Staatsoper. In 2003, Smith performed Norma with the San Diego Opera, II Trovatore with Opera Pacific, a concert version of Benvenuto Cellini with the Orchestra of Paris, Les Troyens at the Chatelet in Paris. He also debuted with Maestro John Eliot Gardiner in Berlioz Lelio. His awards include the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, Mario Lanza Competition, Placido Domingo Fellowship Award and Sullivan Foundation Award. Smith just returned from Berlin where he sang a staged Verdi Requiem at the Deutsche Oper. His available recordings include Die Liebe Der Dannae, recorded at Avery Fisher Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra and An American Requiem recorded with the Pacific Symphony. Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in 1991 and his master’s degree in 1994, both in music from BGSU. He attended the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where he received his master’s degree in fine arts in 1998.
College of Technology
Dr. Ronald E. Abrams ’73, ’75 of Mansfield, Ohio, is the president of North Central State College. He previously served as executive director of the Amarillo Technical Center, formerly known as Texas State Technical College, where he also served as president and dean of instruction. Throughout his leadership roles, Abrams has been a significant force in regional planning and business development. He has been involved with the Mansfield/Richland Area Chamber of Commerce, Richland County United Way, Richland County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Richland Economic Development Council, Pioneer Career and Technology Center and Mansfield Rotary Club. In 2001 Abrams received Phi Theta Kappa’s Presidential Award of Distinction and made a presentation on economic development at Oxford University in England. Abrams received his bachelor’s degree in industrial education in 1973 and a master’s degree in career education in 1975 from BGSU and earned his doctorate in adult education from the University of Cincinnati in 1981.
Dean Louis Olivieri ’79 of North Canton, Ohio, is president of his 45-year-old, family-owned business, Fred Olivieri Construction Company. After joining the company Olivieri became heavily involved in the business doing estimating, scheduling and coordinating field operations. He is responsible for the creation of the retail division of the company in 1987, which accompanied the existing commercial and industrial divisions. He is a member of the Canton Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees, Buckeye Council Executive Board, TEC Group, Retail Contractors Association Board of Directors, past president of Retail Contractors Association, Builders Exchange of East Central Ohio, Central Catholic High School Advisory Board, St. Michael’s Parish/St. Michael’s Men’s Club, Brookside Country Club and Glenmoor Country Club. Olivieri received his bachelor’s degree in construction management technology from BGSU in 1979.
Julie Shaffer-Callens ’89 of South Riding, Va., is a United Airlines pilot based out of Washington Dulles International Airport. She flies scheduled passenger operations in Boeing 727, 737, 757 and 767 aircrafts, flying both domestic and international operations. Shaffer-Callens previously was a pilot for Atlantic Coast Airlines (United Express). She was a volunteer with the former Nancy’s Cookies organization that raised money for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. She also participates in Pilots for Kids, a national organization of airline pilots who donate their time visiting sick children in hospitals around the country, and the United Airlines Fantasy Flight, in which the company organizes fantasy flights to the North Pole for terminally ill children each holiday season. Shaffer-Callens is also involved with the Loudoun County Holiday Coalition, which provides food and clothing for needy families. She earned her bachelor’s degree in aerotechnology in 1989 from BGSU.