Monday, May 18, 2015

US Open Media Center to be Named After Legendary BW Alum

The U.S. Open Media Center at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will be named in honor of BW alumnus Bud Collins '51. The recognition received unanimous support from the USTA Board of Directors, staff and other members of the international tennis media.

A legendary tennis broadcaster, Collins got his start writing for the Boston Herald and later the Boston Globe before going on to do tennis commentary for major broadcast news networks such as NBC and ESPN. He has also written several books including Bud Collins' Encyclopedia of Tennis and The Education of a Tennis Player.

Collins has served on the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and as President of the US Tennis Writing Association. He was inducted into the BW Alumni Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1984.

In announcing the honor, USTA President, Katrina Adams wrote to Collins, '"Your long-time passion for, and commitment to, the sport of tennis is inspiring, and your work has contributed greatly to the growth of the sport-not only in the U.S. but around the world."  The dedication of the US Open Media Center is a special tribute that reflects the outstanding career and lasting legacy that Collins has left on the tennis community.

The news was even welcomed by Billie Jean King herself, who tweeted, "I'm so happy to learn the media center at the #USTA National Tennis Center will be named for legendary journalist Bud Collins."

Friday, May 15, 2015

Men's Chorus Performs National Anthem for Indians

The BW Men's Chorus knocked it out of the park at Progressive Field on Saturday May 9. Under the direction of Frank Bianchi, the Men's Chorus performed the Star-Spangled Banner to kick off the Cleveland Indians game against the Minnesota Twins.

The performance serves as a fundraiser for the Men's Chorus. By selling tickets to friends, family and colleagues prior to the game, the fundraiser generated about $3,000 for the group. This was the fifth year that the Men's Chorus sang at the Indians game and they are planning to sing again next year.

BW Men's Chorus is made up of men who are college-age and up and includes BW students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as residents from the Greater Cleveland area. The group has performed in front of a wide variety of audiences throughout Northeast Ohio and has collaborated with many different outstanding music organizations. Visit the  Men's Chorus Facebook page to see a video of their performance of the National Anthem, and follow them for information on upcoming events and other news.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Students “Leave it Behind” to Help People in Need

"Leave It Behind" co-chairs Ashley Porach ’17 (l) and Gwyn Dubel '18 (r)
As thousands of college students move out of residence halls each spring, they often toss usable items in the dumpster. At BW, students are encouraged to “Leave it Behind” to benefit the community. BW’s Office of Community Outreach (OCO) runs the annual “Leave it Behind” drive that combines sustainability with service.

“Can’t take it home with you? Then leave it behind! No room in the car? Then leave it behind! Too much food? Then leave it behind!,” an OCO email announcement to students read this week.

“We hope to show students that used items are very important to others, and that helps us to appreciate all the things that we have,” said project co-chair Ashley Porach ’17, an industrial/organizational psychology major from Berea, Ohio. 

Donations of unopened non-perishable food items, gently used clothes, and other items collected in residence hall donation boxes through May 8 will benefit Goodwill and Berea Welfare Assistance. The drive usually fills half of a large box truck with donations.

Co-chair Gwyn Dubel ’18, a Greenville, Penn. native, said the effort provides “an accessible and easy way for students to give back to the local community.” The human resource management major, who served on OCO’s student leadership team this past year added, “It's small actions and simple donations to community partners that help make differences in people's lives.” 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Physics Major Recognized at Women of Achievement Awards

Kaylee Yuhas ’16, an impressive BW physics scholar is the winner of the Dr. Jennie S. Hwang Award presented at the YWCA Cleveland’s prestigious Annual Women of Achievement awards luncheon and conference. Yuhas, who carries a perfect 4.0 GPA within her major (and 3.964 overall), is the third BW STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) major in row from BW to win the award.

At BW, Yuhas has been recognized as “Outstanding Physics Student of the Year,” is a member of the mathematics honor society, Kappa Mu Epsilon, and presented her original scholarly work on starspots at the American Astronomical Society’s 225th Annual Meeting. While adding a math minor to her academic rigor, Yuhas also serves as President of the Baldwin Wallace Problem Solving Club, and volunteers with the Richfield Kiwanis Club.

Outside the classroom, Yuhas, who aspires to earn a Ph.D in astrophysics or software engineering, has developed rich YouTube content to share complex scientific concepts in an accessible and entertaining way. She hosts instructional videos on her own channel, Explorium, and now serves as head writer at Life Noggin, an animated educational YouTube channel for people who are “positively obsessed with learning new things.” Life Noggin has more than 50,000 subscribers.

"As a physics major, I understand the beauty and importance of math and science, and was inspired to share that knowledge with others," Yuhas says of her video outreach. "My goal is to make the STEM field more approachable to both scientists and non-scientists alike, and pique my viewers' curiosities."

Icing on the cake? The Brecksville native authored two books while still in high school. Oh, and she's juggled 5 part time jobs to help pay for her education.

The $1,500 Dr. Jennie S. Hwang Award scholarship was created through the generosity of Dr. Hwang, a scientist, engineer, corporate executive, international businesswoman, worldwide speaker, prolific author, corporate director, university trustee and community leader.
Dr. Jim McCargar, associate dean of BW's School of Mathematics, NaturalSciences & Computing
celebrates Kaylee's scholarship award at the AprilYWCA Women of Achievement luncheon.
Astronomy professor Dr. Gary Kader also attended.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Alum Nominated by President Obama to Lead TSA

Photo Courtesy of
Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger '77 has been nominated by President Obama to lead the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). "He has been a recognized leader in the face of our nation's important challenges and I am grateful for his service," the President said of the Lorain Country native in a White House press release.

Neffenger's appointment must be approved by the U.S. Senate. Unlike many of President Obama's past nominations, members of both political parties are commending his nomination and expressing confidence that Neffenger will provide effective and strong leadership for the TSA, within the Department of Homeland Security.

According to a Washington Post article, the post will put Neffenger in charge of security operations at over 450 U.S. airports, give him oversight of a staff of 50,000 security personnel and leadership responsibility for the Federal Air Marshal Service.

Neffenger graduated from BW with a bachelor's degree in English before going on to earn three additional master's degrees. He still gives back to BW, taking students to an international conference in 2013 and speaking to students and faculty. During his last visit in the Spring of 2014, he spoke to students about how the U.S. can contribute to helping build a peaceful world. He currently serves as the 29th Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger '77 speaks to students in Dr. Judy Krutky's classroom,  Spring 2014

Friday, May 1, 2015

Music Theatre Grad Wins Daytime Emmy

Sainty Nelsen '11 with her Daytime Emmy
With a degree from BW's esteemed Music Theatre program, plus film and television acting credits under her belt, Sainty (Reid)  Nelsen '11 has taken a new role in the entertainment industry as a producer for the online exclusive soap opera, The Bay.

It should come as no surprise that the latest role for this BW alumna paid off at this year's Daytime Emmys, with Nelsen taking home an Emmy for her work producing the series.

Currently shown on Blip, The Bay illuminates the darkness behind the glamorous lifestyles of Los Angeles' elite residents. The series came out on top in the Emmy category, "Outstanding New Approaches Drama Series."

In front of the camera, Nelsen will shine on television alongside Denis Leary and John Corbett in FX's new comedy Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll this summer.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

BW Blackstone Launchpad Contest Attracts Big Ideas

BW’s engines of creativity were running in overdrive this spring during StartSomethingBW, the recently completed, second annual Blackstone LaunchPad (BLP) idea contest. This year’s competition attracted 163 entries, a fifty-plus percentage increase over last year. Nine teams received a total of $1,800 in prizes in three categories.

Notable winning ideas in this year’s contest included David and Raquel Milligan’s “Shower Helper” for recuperating patients, in the Business Idea category; Basem Magd’s “Summer Tote Storage,” in the Baldwin Wallace category; and Kimberly Smith-Gerace’s “RFID Officer Safety” system, in the Social Enterprise category. A full list of winners can be found on the Start Something BW webpage.

As conceived by BW’s Blackstone LaunchPad entrepreneurship program, the annual idea contest has three primary goals: increase campus awareness of BLP; spur ideation and creativity throughout the university; and jumpstart the formation of companies and jobs by inspiring students to identify problems -- and devise solutions.

For many BW students, the idea contest is just the first step in the entrepreneurial process, followed by regular meetings with BLP consultants who provide students with the tools and strategies they need to succeed.

“Blackstone LaunchPad is a tremendous resource for aspiring entrepreneurs,” according to Mike Nock, BLP Director at Baldwin Wallace. “As part of the region’s fertile entrepreneurial ecosystem, BLP consultants can advise students and connect them with a variety of services and mentors as they move along the path to business creation. There are few programs like Blackstone LaunchPad, and few regions for startup support like Northeast Ohio.”

In its third year at BW, Blackstone LaunchPad is co-funded by The Burton D. Morgan Foundation in Hudson, and by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation in New York. The 15-school Blackstone LaunchPad national network is modeled after The Launch Pad, which was created at the University of Miami in 2008.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Alum Runs Boston Marathon in Impressive Time

For many people, just completing a marathon is triumph. But BW alum Ryan Routh '10 finished this year's renowned Boston Marathon in the top 20% out of 30,000 runners! Routh ran the grueling 26.2 mile race in an outstanding time of 3 hours and 15 minutes.

At BW, Routh earned his undergraduate degree in Public Relations. He went on to receive his Masters in Higher Education Administration from the University of Akron. After graduating with his Masters, Routh stayed at Akron where he currently works as the Assistant Director of Admissions.

The Boston Marathon has been a tradition for 119 years. This year, 87 countries were represented by male and female runners ranging from ages 18-82. The Marathon begins in Hopkinton, Mass., winds through six cities and finishes in downtown Boston.

BW Business Students Attend National Enactus Exposition

BW Enactus reps in St. Louis, L-R, Cooper Moretz, Tessa Louche, Gwyn Dubel, and Jasz Joseph

With a new network of established business professionals and business students from across the country, BW's chapter of Enactus is ready to apply what they have learned at this year's 2015 Enactus United States National Exposition. Hosted in St. Louis, students in BW's School of Business, Cooper Moretz '16, Tessa Louche '17, Jasz Joseph '18, and Gwyn Dubel '18, embarked to the conference ready to present the outcomes of their annual service projects to a team of business professionals. 

For their 2014-15 projects, BW Enactus provided marketing assistance to Medina Creative Coffee (MCC), a nonprofit subsidiary of Medina Creative Housing, and helped to educate students in the Berea-Midpark Schools' Junior Achievement Cleveland program on "financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness." After sharing a report on their activities with business professionals, the BW team received constructive feedback to improve their impact on the Cleveland community in the coming year.

Along with the conference, these students met with potential employers at a career fair and brainstormed ideas with students from over 180 other colleges and universities. They also had the opportunity to explore St. Louis in their free time. 

Advised by Professors Phillip Bessler and Maureen DeVito in the School of Business, Enactus "enables its members the opportunity to utilize their knowledge and experience of the business field to aid in the general advancement and health of the community." Through their studies in business and their involvement in Enactus, these BW students will continue to apply their business education for a better quality-of-life for others. 

Summer Camps Reach Out to the Next Generation

The BW Conservatory of Music has many a summer camp
for pre-college students to take advantage of!
There is more to Baldwin Wallace University than the education of current college students. Each summer, BW hosts camps and programs dedicated to academics, athletics, cheerleading, music, and more;  offering a younger generation of students to benefit from the expertise and mentoring of BW's faculty, coaches, staff and students.

A new Health Care Career Exploration Week is already wait-listing, but other camps continue to register students. The Experience Honors Summer Program is dedicated to smoothing the secondary school to post-secondary school transition process. The Gedanken Problem-Solving Institute, headed by BW Physics professor Dr. Edwin Meyer, seeks to teach students about the importance of problem solving, as well as assist them in developing their own generalized approach to problem solving.

The Gedanken-Problem Solving Institute leads
 students to successful problem solving.
The Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music also has its share of camps, bringing in school age and adult learners to aid them in music studies, workshops, camps, and institutes. String, Piano, Band, and Music Theater camp are all options for younger students. Available to high school students is the International Guitar Festival, CSI: Conservatory Summer Intensive, and Music Theater Overtures (this writer's personal favorite!).

All of these opportunities, however, barely scratch the surface of what the summer BW has to offer. For an extensive list of the camps, click here. And check back, as new enrichment opportunities continue to be added.

Mathematics Students on the Plus Side of the Competition

BW math competitors, L to R,   Christine Austen, Alan Jankowski, Matt Switlyk, Victoria Switlyk, and Hannah Sedely

A group of BW students represented the mathematics department as they traveled to Marshall University in West Virginia this spring to participate in the spring meeting of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America. Christine Austin '15, Hannah Sedely '16,  Matthew Switlyk '15 and Victoria Switlyk '15 all presented student research at the gathering.

Two teams of students also competed in the 12th Annual Leo Schneider Problem Solving Competition. Facing off against strong competition, both BW teams performed admirably with Matt Switlyk  and Alan Jankowski '17 coming in 7th, while Austin, Sedely and Victoria Switlyk finished 10th.

Earlier in the year, two BW students also earned positive scores on the annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Exam, a famously challenging mathematics competition for undergraduate students in North America with Brian McLaughlin '15 scoring in the top 25%, and Matt Switlyk in the upper half of the elite competitors.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Students and Faculty Elevate Science/Math Days at Cedar Point

The BW Cedar Point team, left to right, back row: David Revta and Dr. Ed Meyer, midde: Dr. Lisa Ponton and Alan Duncan, front: Brandon Dropic and Dr. Jim Emigh (not pictured: Dr. Peter Hoekje)

A group of Baldwin Wallace University students and faculty has transformed the learning materials used in one of the most anticipated spring field trips for Ohio middle and high school students: Physics, Science and Math Days at Cedar Point.

The week-long event (May 11-15 for 2015) turns “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World!®" into "the world’s biggest classroom" with special presentations, demonstrations and hands-on exhibits aimed at helping students to see how math and science apply to a wild ride on the Slingshot or the Wicked Twister, or the creation of cotton candy.

BW electronics technician David Revta spearheaded the BW effort to develop new middle and high school workbooks that include concepts, illustrations, and problems to solve—all based on the Cedar Point experience. “Our ultimate goal as education partner,” Revta says, “was to strengthen the ties to state science standards, and offer a progressive, tiered curriculum that will allow teachers to customize learning for their students.”

Brandon Dropic '15, a neuroscience/chemistry major from Seminole, Fla. got involved in this the project for the “unique experience of connecting other students to chemistry in a fun, non-traditional way.” He goes on to explain that “since chemistry questions had not previously existed, we were creating something brand new and exciting.”

While Cedar Point’s ties to the laws of physics are obvious, chemistry professor Dr. Lisa Ponton says finding chemistry connections sounded like a challenge. But, the inspiration came easily when the group visited the park to brainstorm. “We zeroed in on the steam combustion railroad, the kettle corn and cotton candy right away,” Ponton explains. “So we included problems like density comparison, moisture calculation, and the pressure involved in the corn exploding.”

In addition to Dropic, Ponton and Revta, the BW team included chemistry major Alan Duncan '15 from Valley City, Ohio, plus faculty members, James Emigh (education), Dr. Peter Hoekje (physics) and Dr. Edwin Meyer (physics).

BW also plans to send students and faculty to the park during science week to host a booth and answer questions, further helping Cedar Point to offer a one-of-a-kind learning experience, wrapped in pure fun.

Photo courtesy Cedar Point