Thursday, September 18, 2014

Senior Promotes Affordable Housing in Competitive Internship

This summer, Doanise Thompson '15 got the chance to make positive change in her community when she secured a competitive Cleveland Foundation internship with the Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland.

Working alongside organization's marketing team, Doanise assisted in designing strategies for social media marketing, newspapers, blogs, and other marketing materials. She also coordinated promotion for a summer fundraiser with the Cleveland Indians.

As a sociology major, Doanise's favorite part of the experience was knowing her work was changing the lives of people all over the area.

"[Homeownership is] a dream that has become very hard to obtain for low-income families," she said. "These programs and services give families and individuals the opportunity to dream great dreams and, ultimately, live in those dreams permanently."

At BW, Doanise maintains leadership roles throughout campus as president of the Criminal Justice Club, director of programming for Black Student Alliance, a Buzz Ambassador for the Office of Admissions, and a Multicultural Jacket Link Mentor. She will also lead an alternative spring break trip to promote women's empowerment in Miami, Fla. through BW's Office of Community Outreach.

BW Alum Named to Top Post at Leading Healthcare Consultancy

Dr. James Merlino '91, will join Press Ganey Associates, an independent healthcare advisory services and consulting firm, as president and chief medical officer for the strategic consulting division. Merlino begins his new position the first of the year.

Merlino has more than 20 years experience in health care leadership, including his current position as chief experience officer and associate chief of staff at the Cleveland Clinic. As founder and current president of the Association for Patient Experience, Merlino is an acknowledged leader in the drive to improve patient-centered care.

Merlino earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from BW and went on to earn his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

National Fraternity Recognizes Outstanding BW Senior

National fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau, recognized Steve Vaccaro ’15 as a “leader of tomorrow” for his outstanding work in the Alpha Omega chapter of the fraternity here at BW.

Vaccaro, a senior arts management major, currently serves as chapter president. He is a past recruitment chairman for the chapter and program intern for Executive Offices. Vaccaro has also attended the Leaders Regional Conference, Leadership Academy, Presidents Academy, Conclave and National Convention, and helped Alpha Omega win the Roland Maxwell Trophy, an award presented to the outstanding chapter in the nation.

Vaccaro is also a dedicated volunteer and advocate for the SeriousFun Children’s Network, a global network of camps and programs that serves children with serious illness.

In addition to extensive service as a member of Phi Kappa Tau, Vaccaro is co-director of Dating Beyond Control, a program that creates awareness for dating violence at BW.

As for his plans after graduation, Vaccaro says, "I hope to work in a nonprofit setting where I am able to become passionate about whatever I do."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

BW Alumni Pastoring Faith Journeys at area Churches

Two young alumni from Baldwin Wallace University are now full-time ministry leaders at area churches.
Quincy Wheeler '05, a Thompson Township native, graduated from BW with a BA in communications and went on to study at Ashland Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master's Degree.

A pastor's son, Wheeler now serves as assistant pastor at Mentor United Methodist Church where he leads the iConnect ministry of casual Sunday services. “My vision is to provide a service where anyone of any background feels comfortable and can connect for life with the word of God,” Wheeler told The News-Herald.

Phillip Kerlin '07, from Amherst, graduated from BW with a public relations major and a minor in religion. Upon graduation, Kerlin served as a director of the STORM youth center at Church on the Rise in Westlake where he also lead the production team.

Now, Kerlin is an assistant youth pastor at Journey Community Church in Fairview Park.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BW Senior Earns National Scholarship and Leadership Award

Recognition times two for Tianna Cobb ’15! The BW senior recently earned a UPS Foundation, Inc. Scholarship through the Foundation for Independent Higher Education (FIHE) and also received the Bobby Gunn Leadership Award from the National Athletic Training Association this summer.

The 2009 graduate of Jefferson County Christian School is double-majoring in pre-physical therapy and athletic training with a minor in biology.

Cobb is involved in many organizations on BW’s campus, including membership in the Pre-Physical Therapy and Exercise Science Student Organization and service on the student advisory board for BW's School of Health, Physical Education and Sports Sciences. She also serves as the secretary for the Collegiate Organization for Athletic Student Trainers (COAST) and is a Student Ambassador for the university.

After graduation, Cobb plans to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy with an ultimate career goal of becoming an athletic trainer for an NFL team.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Grad's Feature Film Hits the Silver Screen at PlayhouseSquare

Two recent Baldwin Wallace graduates will "walk the red carpet" for a film premiere this Thursday, September 18, at 8 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre at PlayhouseSquare. Director Cameron Dunbar ’14 (pictured above) will premiere his film, That’s Why You Don’t Want Me, a tale that brings to life the struggles his generation faces entering the workforce after college.

Written by Dunbar and co-produced by fellow BW graduate, Megan Anderson ’14, the film “follows the disillusioned aspiring writer, Michael, on the cusp of his college graduation. Between his family, job hunt, and newly found feelings for his best friend, Michael is having trouble figuring out where he belongs.”

Dunbar says he took inspiration from personal experience and the challenges his friends encountered after college. “I noticed many of us were dealing with unique challenges presented by competing in a world that lives online,” Dunbar said.

Admission to the 60-minute screening is free, and a director Q&A will follow. The film is unrated, but it contains explicit language. 

After graduating with a degree in film studies, Dunbar gained experience in the film industry in New York and now owns his own photography and video production business, R3dGlasses LTD. Anderson, a graduate of BW's Conservatory of Music and arts management program, now works in PlayhouseSquare as theatre operations coordinator.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

BW English Professor's Play Has Big Apple Opening

Baldwin Wallace English professor Dr. Les Hunter is making his mark on the theater world with the opening of his play, "I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or This Is a Mango," in The Big Apple.

The play, the final installment in a trilogy focused on a multicultural neighborhood in Queens, New York, runs through September 27 at the New Ohio Theatre in New York City. “I Like To Be Here” also marks Hunter’s third writing collaboration as a part of the writing team Theater 167.

As one of seven writers of the play and one of 18 for the trilogy, Hunter sees the collaborative process as an opportunity to grow as a writer and teacher.

"It's not always easy, and the results are sometimes surprising." he says. "It's been good for me for teaching though, because sometimes when collaborating, like teaching, you have to let up on the reins and let the group go where it needs to go."

At BW, Hunter currently teaches a course in playwriting in addition to several others in the English department, and in the spring, he will also be teaching a screenwriting course.

Two of Hunter's other plays, "First Base Coach" (written with Elana Averback) and "Playdate," will also be read at the Dobama Theater in Cleveland September 22, with free admission.

Friday, September 12, 2014

BW Alumna to Showcase Paper Art at Berea Arts Fest

Photo courtesy of Margaret Bakke
BW alumna Margaret Bakke '11 will showcase a distinctive line of handmade, paper art pieces at the upcoming Berea Arts Festival. From journals and cards to tiny paper books dangling from earrings, Bakke pulls the old medium out of retirement and turns paper into fashionable pieces of artwork.

"I just feel that paper can't be replaced," Bakke told in a preview story for the September 14 Arts Fest event. "Everything's all about the Kindles and iPads now, but there's really something about paper, the feel of it..."

Bakke earned her bachelor's degree in art education from BW, and is currently employed at the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation.

She also runs an Etsy online storefront. For more information on Bakke and her work with paper, check out her blog.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

BW Talent Behind "Revolutionary" Staging of "Les Miz"

Photo by DKM Photography
With mega-talent from BW involved, it's no surprise that the upcoming Great Lakes Theater production of LES MISERABLES is garnering advance buzz. In an article for The Plain Dealer's Fall Arts Guide - Theater Preview, BW Music Theatre director Victoria Bussert, who is directing "Les Miz," and BW theatre professor Jeffrey Herrmann, the show's scenic designer, explain how they solved the challenges of scaling the epic production for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival this summer and the move to PlayhouseSquare's Hanna Theatre this fall.

Bussert tells the paper that "the difference between seeing it in a 2,000-seat venue vs. a 600-seat venue is that you're going to intimately know these characters." PD theater critic Andrea Simakis writes that patrons who caught this fresh take on "Les Miz" in Idaho this summer "marveled that it was as if they were seeing the show for the first time."

"Les Misérables" opens at the Hanna Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 4. Get your tickets now because Simakis reports that advance single-ticket sales for the show have already shattered the previous record set by Bussert's version of "Sweeney Todd" staged last fall.

By the way, the BW connections don't end with Bussert and Herrmann. BW dance professor Gregory Daniels is choreographer for the production and the cast includes BW alumni Laura Welsh Berg '05, Jodi Dominick '01, Clare Eisentrout '13, and Alex Syiek '13, and current BW music theatre majors Kyle Jean Baptiste '15, Brandyn Day '15, Keri René Fuller '15,  Mickey Ryan '15 and Sam Wolfe '15.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Successful BW Finance and Economics Grad Publishes Book

BW alumnus, Sherif Ayoub ’96, has recently published a new book, Derivatives in Islamic Finance: Examining the Market Risk Management Framework. The book "offers a fresh perspective on the challenges facing the Islamic finance industry." The book is just the latest addition to an impressive list of accomplishments for the BW economics and finance graduate.

After earning his undergraduate degree, the Lakewood High School and BW graduate worked in the Peace Corps, studied at Columbia University, where he earned a Masters Degree and, then went on to the University of Edinburgh, where he earned his Ph.D.

Ayoub is a member of the Board of Directors for the Bahrain  Islamic Bank and preparing to take a new position as Assistant Secretary-General, Finance and Administration, with the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) in Malaysia. He is currently Advisor to the Vice President of the Islamic Development Bank, Finance. He also has served as a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University and a Visiting Scholar at the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF).

Being On Top of Their Game Leads to Grad School Success

BW's Women’s Lacrosse alumni Ellen Fedick '14 and Becky Russell '14 have scored goals both on and off the field, landing in top graduate school programs.

Ellen Fedick '14
Fedick and Russell both received accolades for academic success as part of a BW lacrosse team recognition by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA).

Becky Russell '14
Fedick, of Rochester, N.Y., earned a 3.98 GPA. It was the highest among all BW student-athletes during the 2013-14 school year. She was also named a Jacket Scholar. A pre-physical therapy major, Fedick is enrolled in physician's assistant program at Trevecca Nazarene University (Nashville, Tenn.).

Russell, a native of Glenshaw, Pa., also majored in pre-physical therapy at BW and was a Jacket Scholar. She earned an outstanding 3.94 GPA. She is enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh in its top-ranked physical therapy graduate program.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

CIG Growth Interns Consult Area Businesses on Innovation

As more businesses turn to innovation to succeed in the marketplace, eight Baldwin Wallace students consulted on real world projects for two Northeast Ohio companies over the summer.

Part of the Center for Innovation & Growth’s Student Fellows program, these students were chosen for as CIG Growth Interns due to their "above and beyond" work as Student Fellows: Daniela Muhaj ‘14, Vince Milner ‘15, John Kuder ‘16, David Shapiro ‘16, Ashley Smith ‘16, Katie Primeau ‘15, Contessa Elliott ‘16, and Judy Mehalic ’16.

The CIG Growth Interns also participated in a summer Entrepreneur Tour, meeting with a variety of successful Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs to discuss the successes and challenges innovators face when starting a business. One visit connected the students with Blake Squires, CEO at MOVABLE (see photo).

Along with adding contacts to their professional networks, the students collaborated with Northeast Ohio professionals to carry out mentored projects for area businesses to “achieve growth through innovation.”

CIG Summer Growth Interns at MOVABLE with CEO Blake Squires
(pictured back row, far right).