Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sustainability Alumna Echoes own "Zero Waste" Life with Career

Displaying one of her few articles of clothing
(Photo Courtesy: Paris-To-Go)
After a couple of trips to Paris, France, 26-year-old Baldwin Wallace sustainability graduate Ariana Schwarz fell in love-- not only with her husband, but also with Paris. After tying the knot, she made a permanent move to the City of Light and began applying her BW major, her passions and hobbies into a self-made career as a sustainability consultant and lifestyle blogger.

Schwarz began blogging, just as a way "to show [her] friends and family what Paris is like," according to a recent feature article in The Plain Dealer, but her blog, Paris-To-Go has evolved into a lifestyle blog with enough traffic to generate a profit. Schwarz said, "I never expected blogging to go anywhere, though, so I was really surprised at how people could relate to it and support it--I'm really grateful."

Schwarz's zero-waste lifestyle extends to every aspect including the bathroom.
(Photo Courtesy: Paris-To-Go)
On her blog, Schwarz explains how to live sustainably in every aspect of life, including her own examples of ways she produces zero-waste. She touches on subjects such as: A Paris Survival Guide, Zero Waste Guide, Simplifying one's Beauty Routine, and Living Gluten-Free in Paris. Schwarz also incorporated her love for fashion into her blog, where she displays her simple, 10-item wardrobe.

Schwarz also works for companies and individuals as a sustainability consultant. In The Plain Dealer article, she said, "I do audits and go through a house and figure out how they can eliminate plastic from their life and how they can use less water and electricity. I help them be more environmentally friendly."
(Photo Courtesy of: Paris To Go Instagram)

Everything Schwarz does aligns with sustainability. "My BW education helped me apply sustainability to my life in a practical way.... Now I have a job I love in Paris, working with clients like Airbnb, Le Parisien, Hilton Paris Opera, and World Wildlife Fund Europe on sustainability-related initiatives."

Schwarz encourages other sustainability majors to travel and see how other countries approach sustainability. She said, "I feel like my professors at BW encouraged me to get out and see the world and I learned so much that way."

She added, "This is my dream job! Having the freedom to choose clients who truly align with my values, to travel, and make my own schedule was really important to me."

Nursing Alumnus Fulfills Dream of Becoming VA Nurse

Mike Twigg while deployed overseas.
Mike Twigg '14 joined the army at age 38, then used his GI benefits to fulfill his dream of becoming a VA nurse.

Twigg was deployed to Iraq in 2007 and later to Kuwait/Qatar in 2012, acting as an army medic, according to a cleveland.com feature story on his mid-life career journey. After his service, Twigg came home and earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through BW's one-year, accelerated BSN program.

Twigg now works with 35 veterans as a medical and surgical nurse at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and told cleveland.com he has forged a special connection with his patients. "I understand where they're coming from, these men and women, because I've been there with them."

Twigg also volunteers to be a mentor for the Veterans Treatment Court, a program designed to divert veterans from typical punishment for felonies by placing them in a special mentor/mentee program.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

BW Mass Comm Grad Forecasting West Coast Weather

Berg visiting BW, where her broadcasting career started 
Turn on the morning news in central California, and you'll find BW alumna Tamara Berg '04 keeping viewers of KCRA-TV updated on the weather.

Berg graduated magna cum laude from BW with a BA in broadcasting and mass communication, and credits deep involvement in campus organizations with developing many of the skills that have helped her build a successful broadcast career. Berg was a member of Alpha Phi, a D.J. and board member for The STING, campus radio stationstudent senator, fundraising chair-member for the Dance Marathon and a part of the Model United Nations team.

"All of these organizations helped me build my confidence, set goals and achieve them, and foster relationships. All of these things gave me the confidence to land job interviews and sit on boards for various organizations across the country," she said.
(Photo Courtesy: KCRA)

Berg, a self-proclaimed ‘weather geek’, has been working in the media for more than five years now. She got her start in the business working behind the scenes and after only a year was offered her first on-air position as a reporter and weather-caster, winning a Regional Emmy as part of Toledo’s Best Weekend Forecast.

After beefing up her weather credentials with a BS in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University, she is now a full-time weather forecaster for KCRA's Central Coast Morning News, as well as a member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association.

Students Raise Awareness About Suicide Prevention

TWLOHA-BW's "Black Flag Campaign"
With a year-round goal of fighting the stigma surrounding mental illness, student leaders of BW's Chapter of To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) used this month's National Suicide Prevention Week to heighten awareness at BW. The group staged an entire week of events inspired by the words that closed out last year's suicide prevention campaign, "No One Else Can Play Your Part."

Events at BW included a Candle Light Vigil,  a discussion of the symptoms of depression and suicide, coping methods and treatment options featuring counselors from BW Health Center, and an attention-getting "Black Flag Campaign," jointly staged with BW ALLIES. Five-hundred black and rainbow flags were dispersed around campus, each representing two of the college students who lose their lives to suicide each year, with many students expressing surprise at the number.

BW's TWLOHA Chapter President, Rachel Wilken '16, says that kind of awareness raising is exactly why she got involved with the group, "I want to be a part of something bigger than myself and have a lasting impact on how BW students view mental health issues."

TWLOHA also collaborated with BW's Music Therapy majors to stage the culminating event of the week, "Hope N' Mic Night," which invited students to discuss topics that aren't often talked about, such as mental illness and suicide. The SAC was at its capacity for a variety of performances including poetry, vocals and instrumentals, and $150 was raised for treatment.

BW's TWLOHA chapter was founded in 2012 and meets weekly to discuss how to raise awareness to mental health issues on campus. "I can honestly say that I have left every TWLOHA meeting in a better mood than I came in with," says Chris Horvath '17.
Music Therapy major and TWLOHA member, Jill Iurlano '17,  performing during Hope N' Mic Night

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

English Major Published in Ohio Magazine

At the end of her interview with Ohio Magazine,  senior English-creative writing major, Alyssa Nieset '16 was offered an internship on the spot.

Nieset spent her summer working as an Editorial Intern with the statewide publication, gaining experience writing for magazines and discovering a possible career path that she hopes to pursue in the not so distant future.

Ohio Magazine published Neiset's articles both online and in print (see photo). Her piece on the Harpersfield Winery in her hometown of Geneva, Ohio, was used as a section of the cover story in the August 2015 issue.

"I was thrilled to be given the chance to write a story of that size," she tells us about the prominent feature, "especially because my family and I have been going there since I was little."

Other articles Neiset bylined included pieces on a cardboard boat regatta, creative bacon recipes, Columbus coffee brewers, and summer fun destinations in Cleveland. Despite juggling some stressful deadlines, Nieset says her overall experience at Ohio Magazine was a positive and rewarding one.

Communications Grad Teaches Musical Alternative to Violence

 Adrian Brooks (left) in the recording studio with students.
Courtesy CantonRep.con/Ray Stewart
Music producer and Baldwin Wallace University mass communications graduate, Adrian Brooks, is challenging young people to "Put Down the Gun, Pick up a Mic" in an innovative program in Canton, Ohio. The free instruction in music production at the Monroe Community Family Center gives local children and teens the opportunity to find positive alternatives to violence, to experience the power of music and to learn about different careers in the music industry.

Brooks demonstrates how to use sound boards and other equipment in his "Put Down the Gun, Pick up a Mic" classes which are an extension of the center's Boyz2Men mentoring program. The program provides access to a professional recording studio at no cost, something which would normally be an expensive experience.

Personally invested in the program, Brooks teaches every class and has donated some of the equipment. Brooks commented in an interview with CantonRep.com, “They’ll be learning everything,” he said. “It’s not just making beats. They’ll get hands-on experience.”

The Canton Police Department not only supports the program, working alongside the center regularly, but also donated some of the equipment for the studio as well. Police Sgt. D.L. Garren said that, "People out here, such as... Mr. Brooks, are good role models.”

Monday, September 28, 2015

Alumnus Leads Creative Courses From Hamlet to Homelessness

Fee helped students stage a production of Hamlet in the show's
original location, Helsingør.  Above, Fee is holding the skull
celebrities like Jude Law and Kenneth Brannagh used when
performing there.
English alumnus Christopher Fee '89 has forged a reputation for leading creative, immersive experiences as a college professor and Chair of English at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.

Fee spent the spring semester living and teaching in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he and his students took a deep dive into Shakespeare's Hamlet: Prince of Denmark. course gave students the opportunity to perform the show in its original setting of Kronborg Castle in Helsingør. Fee developed the experiential course with the help of BW professors Adam Heffernan, Jack Winget, and Susan Oldrieve. He also taught a second course in Copenhagen called Vikings in Britain 793-1066. Students in that  class were given the chance to ride on a replica long ship.

Back in the states, Fee has been featured in the Washington Post and other national media for creating a popular course at Gettysburg titled, Tryin’ to Find a Way Back Home: An Introduction to the Literature and Legacy of Homelessness in America. The service-learning course includes "rigorous academic content, a substantial weekly service commitment in the local community, overnight duty in a local cold-weather emergency shelter, and a five-day trip to Washington, DC to work in urban shelters and soup kitchens." The course has another BW connection; it was established in partnership with BW alumna Gretchen Carlson Natter '96, who serves as Executive Director of the Center for Public Service at Gettysburg College. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Con Grad's Music Inspires Cultural Curiosity and Social Change

Ashleigh Gordon and her viola, (Courtesy of Monika Bach Schroeder)
Ashleigh Gordon '06 told the International Musician,"Find a career that makes you happy," and that is exactly what she did after graduating from BW's Conservatory of Music magna cum laude. After adding a degree from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 2008, she decided to take a risk and audition for International Ensemble Modern Academy in Europe, instead of taking the expected path playing classical music with an orchestra.

The risk paid off. Gordon was the only violist selected out of 18 applicants from around the globe and performed in many venues in Germany, Hong Kong, Paris and Switzerland before returning home to Boston.
(Courtesy of Monkia Bach Schroeder)
A long time advocate of social change through education, Gordon is now a viola instructor at Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra's Intensive Community Program, where she teaches students that are often not represented in the world of classical music.

When she is not leading educational workshops for kids, she's as much an entrepreneur as artist, as Co-Artistic Director and violist for Castle of our Skins,  a "concert and educational series devoted to celebrating Black Artistry through music."

In 2015, Gordon was awarded the St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award and still strives for change within her own community. Gordon performs regularly with Boston's Callithumpium Consort, NYC's ECCE Ensemble, and Providence's Ensemble Parallex, and is founder and violist of Sound Energy.

You can listen to her music anytime on her website, here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Alumna "Lives Justice" as a Leading Voice for Equality in Ohio

Alana Jochum, Managing Director of Equality Ohio. Courtesy Equality Ohio
Alumna Alana Jochum ’05 has been fighting for LGBT equality long before the recent Supreme Court ruling that legalized same sex marriage. Now an attorney and managing director for Equality Ohio, Jochum was a campus leader on equality as a BW undergrad. She headed up BW Allies a gay-straight alliance that promotes an accepting campus environment for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. After earning a bachelor’s degree in both English and psychology, she has continued to advocate for LGBT equality for more than a decade.

Following graduation, volunteered in Mumbai, India with the nongovernmental organization, Humsafar Trust, which focuses on advancing LGBT rights in India. When she returned to the U.S., Jochum worked with United Way of Greater Cleveland and volunteered for the Human Rights Campaign.

In 2007, she continued her education at the Cleveland State University Marshall College of Law where she served as Editor in Chief of the Cleveland State Law Review, won a regional moot court Best Brief award and, at her 2010 graduation, was given the very first “Learn Law, Live Justice” award for dedicating her education to the cause of justice.

After practicing law as an associate at Squire Patton Boggs, LLC for four years,  Jochum joined Equality Ohio as managing director in 2014 where she now works full-time as an advocate for statewide LGBT equality.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Alumna Finds Fulfillment Working with "Intrepid" VA Amputees

Vanlandingham working with a patient at the Center for the Intrepid.
One graduate of BW's School of Health, Physical Education and Sport Sciences is putting her education to work for "intrepid" amputees who are determined to resume a robust, active lifestyle.

Alumna Alicia White Vanlandingham '04 currently works as a physical therapist for active duty service members and veterans with amputations at the Department of Veterans Affairs' Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, Texas.

Before their injuries, Vanlandingham's patients were in the best physical conditions of their lives. At the Center for the Intrepid, they push themselves beyond day-to-day functionality, beyond just walking with a prosthesis. By using a sports medicine approach, Vanlandingham tells us she is able to help patients participate in rigorous activities again like "hiking, biking, running, swimming, and jumping out of planes!"

"Because of the guidance and education I received during my time at BW, I am able to confidently help these service members as they recover from life altering injuries," Vanlandingham tells us.

At BW, Vanlandingham earned her undergraduate degree with a double major in Athletic Training and Pre Physical Therapy. Reflecting upon her BW education, she says, "The staff at BW led by example and my classmates became a supportive team. Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of the foundation which they provided."

Vanlandingham went on from BW to earn a doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Miami and has worked as an adjunct professor at Baylor University and Texas State.

BW Talent Brings 'Secret Garden' and 'Fantasticks' to Life

Baldwin Wallace University students, alumni and faculty are the driving force behind two productions staged first at summer theater festivals out west, with both "The Secret Garden" and "The Fantasticks" moving next to Cleveland.
A scene from The Secret Garden. Left to right: Giovanna A. Layne, Colton Ryan '15, Warren Bodily, Sara Masterson '16, and Jillian Kates '11. Photo Courtesy: DKM Photography.
Among the BW faculty involvement, Victoria Bussert directed both productions, while Gregory Daniels, Jeff Herrmann and Charlotte Yetman appeared on the design team as choreographer, scenic/lighting designer, and costume designer.

Clare Howes Eisentrout '13, Meredith Lark,
and Pedar Benson Bate in The Fantasticks.
Photo courtesy: Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival
Dana Oland rings praise for "The Secret Garden" in a theatrical review for Idaho Statesman, highlighting three BW students in the Idaho Shakespeare Festival production in particular: Jillian Kates '11, who plays Lily, holds a "lovely and powerful soprano;" Sara Masterson '16 "nearly stops the show" as the maid Martha; Colton Ryan '17, who plays Martha's brother Dickon, takes the audience on an "energetic ride" when he sings "Wick."

In another Idaho Statesman review of "The Fantasticks," which was produced first at the Lake Tahoe Theatre Festival, Oland credits Clare Howes Eisentrout '13 in the role of "Luisa" as having a "clear bell-like soprano." James Penca '13 also appears in the musical as "Mortimer," while alumnus Matthew Webb '08 is musical director and recent graduate Nick Wilders '15 is the assistant music director. Other BW students involved are Gabriel Brown '16 and Mary Mondlock '16.

Both musicals are now coming to Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland, where the "The Secret Garden" will run September 29-October 31 and "The Fantasticks" will run May 13-29, 2016.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Mathematics Grad Finds Career Success at Disney

Nicole Bates '11 outside the Team Disney Orlando building where she crunches numbers for "the happiest place on earth."
Where can you apply a mathematics degree? One BW math graduate couldn't be happier to be crunching numbers at the Happiest Place on Earth. Nicole Bates '11 is currently working under the umbrella of Revenue Management at Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

A self-described "huge Disney fan" who had visited the company's Orlando theme parks many times growing up, Bates didn't think her mathematics degree would lead to a job with such an iconic brand and international Fortune 100 company. But she saw an internship opening with the Management Science and Integration Team supporting Disney-owned ABC television network and landed the position in 2013.

Bates quickly moved up into a full-time role as an analyst within Planning and Forecasting which supports Disney's Domestic Parks and Resorts, and recently she was promoted to the post of measurement analyst. Her current responsibilities include measuring revenue impacts and developing economic and international growth strategies within Disney's U.S. parks and resorts.

Fondly known as the "resident math major" on her team, Bates is often tasked with projects and special opportunities that use the skills that she acquired during her time as a student in the math department here at BW, especially her critical thinking skills.

"I will never be able to fully explain how proud and thankful I am to be an alumna of BW, specifically of the math department," she tells us, "If not for the hard work and motivation from my professors and peers during my time in the program, I do not believe I would be where I am today."