Monday, November 24, 2014

BW Alum, Student Capture Top Spots in Pitch Contest

Pitch winners included Tessa Louche (right) and Shanina Knighton (middle)
A BW graduate and current student were holding the "big check" at the end of the night as the first and second place winners of Blackstone LaunchPad and Bad Girl Ventures inaugural Pitch Night for Female Collegiate Entrepreneurs. Tessa Louche ‘17, a marketing major from Parma, finished second, while the contest winner was BW sports medicine alum Shanina Knighton ’06, now a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University and co-founder of healthcare startup RKN.

The evening of female mentoring and networking, and first ever #GirlPower Pitch Night was a collaboration by all four Northeast Ohio Blackstone LaunchPad programs—Baldwin Wallace, Case Western, Kent State and Lorain County Community College—and Bad Girl Ventures (BGV).

"At BW’s Blackstone LaunchPad program, we promote female entrepreneurship because it’s good for our students – both in terms of education and opportunity,’ said Mike Nock, Director of BW’s Blackstone LaunchPad. ‘AND because Northeast Ohio would benefit tremendously from an increase in women in leadership roles, specifically running businesses and non-profits.”

The event took place at TOAST, a local restaurant founded by BGV alum, Jillian Davis, who also served as one of judges, and was one of several BW events marking Global Entrepreneurship Week.

An Innovation Summit at BW's Center for Innovation and Growth (CIG) was the highlight of Global Entrepreneurship Week. The event featured five Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winners or nominees.

Beck Show Stars "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" BW People

Celebrated Baldwin Wallace Music Theatre alumna, Rebecca Pitcher '94, is returning to the Cleveland stage, stepping into the title role in Beck Center for the Arts' run of Mary Poppins opening December 5 and the BW connections don't stop with the star.

Rebecca Pitcher '94
Known for her performance as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Pitcher's run as the magical nanny will mark her second consecutive season with Lakewood's Beck Center following her role in She Loves Me last October.

The show is directed by BW's own Scott Plate, who chairs music theatre; the set is by BW theatre professor Jeff Herrmann with help from theatre major Mikhayla Wilkins '16; and the cast includes theatre majors Joey Corradi '16 and Kathryn Griffin '16.

Plate says, "I’ve had a wonderful experience directing this show, and the BW-Beck Center relationship continues to flourish.  Scott Spence and the entire Beck staff are pulling out all the stops."

Mary Poppins runs through January 4 with shows at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. BW will return to Beck in February, as BW Music Theatre stages Dogfight.

Top Scholastic Achievers Inducted into Elite BW Honor Society

Congratulations to the newest inductees to the Dayton C. Miller Honor Society, founded at BW in 1948.  Only four percent of the undergraduate student body achieves membership, with this year’s 100 inductees achieving an impressive average grade point average of 3.9!

This year's top scholastic achievers were inducted into the elite society at a special ceremony held over the weekend. Members are also recognized with a special DCM mark on their diplomas.

The society is named in memory of BW alumnus, Dayton C. Miller (1886), a distinguished professor of physics at the Case Institute, noted for his research into the science of acoustics and for a unique collection of flutes now held by the Library of Congress. Miller also served as president of the BW Trustees and was active in the BW community until his death in 1941.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Honors Students Mentor Middle Schoolers at Science Center

Baldwin Wallace University's Honors Program encourages participation in annual service opportunities in order to help students develop lasting relationships and give back to the community.

Recently, a group of BW Honors students volunteered at the Great Science Academy workshop hosted by the Great Lakes Science Center.  Students worked on a theoretical project, meaning that the purpose of their experimental work was unknown until the end.

The BW students report that they had a great time working with younger students to engage them in challenging but enjoyable activities.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Passion for Sheepherding Dogs Lands BW Professor in the News

Edie Steiner, renowned lecturer of music therapy in BW's Conservatory of Music, has numerous academic achievements, but it is her unique hobby outside of the world of academics and music that recently put her in the limelight.

Steiner is an avid competitor in stock dog trials with her two border collies, Modibo and Rudy. She has been a sheep dog trainer for nearly ten years at The Spicy Lamb Farm, located on 12 acres in the Village of Peninsula in the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Steiner studied under Cappy Pruit, Kelly Malone, and Kyle Smith and is the farm's local stock dog trainer.

Spicy Lamb Farm recently held its third annual Cuyahoga Valley Sheep Dog Trials, and The Akron Beacon Journal highlighted the sanctioned herding competition focusing on Steiner and her two border collies. Eleven-year old Modibo did not compete, but simply helped herd the sheep back in to the holding pens during the competition, while Steiner's seven-year-old Rudy participated in the trials along with about 35 other border collies.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Berea Veteran Amplifies Support for BW Military Students

The Baldwin Wallace community welcomed a new member on Veterans Day as Randy Stevenson, a veteran and Berea resident, was introduced as the University's first Veteran Student Services Coordinator.

In the new position, Stevenson will be tasked with assisting with the enrollment of student veterans returning to school to further their education at BW, focusing on academic and career advising and other support services.

In addition to being a military veteran with 11 years active duty service with the Army and National Guard, Stevenson has worked as a service coordinator with the Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission.

Stevenson joins a BW Veteran Support Team that currently supports 100 veterans enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate programs at BW. The University is recognized as a Yellow Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for its essential support of veterans continuing their education.

Stevenson's appointment was also featured on and in The Plain Dealer's Higher Education Roundup.

Reviews Say BW Stages a Singular Sensation with A CHORUS LINE

Photo by Roger Mastroianni 

BW has another musical theatre sensation on its hands as A CHORUS LINE has played to packed houses at the Kleist Center for Performing Arts. The Plain Dealer raves, "You'd be hard-pressed to see a better rendition [of A CHORUS LINE] anywhere." In a second article, the PD's Andrea Simakis also recounts the Tony winner's master class that prepped the BW student performers for greatness.

A review on describes BW's production as "a chance to experience a production that is so faithful to the original version and features such phenomenal talent both onstage and behind the scenes that you can truly say you witnessed another "Singular Sensation!"

Julia Hynes as Cassie - Photo by Roger Mastroianni 
And, in reviewing both casts, Cool Cleveland, calls the show "stellar," heaping praise on BW's celebrated music theatre director, Victoria Bussert, the award-winning head of BW’s dance program, Gregory Daniels, and BW’s new music theatre music director (direct from Broadway), David Pepin.

Pepin previewed the show for ideaStream audiences, appearing with WCLV morning show host Jacqueline Gerber.

For tickets, call the Box Office at 440-826-2240, Monday-Friday noon to 5 p.m. or visit

Monday, November 17, 2014

BW Student Government Builds Leadership Skills in Chicago

Representatives from Baldwin Wallace University Student Government recently headed to Chicago for the annual American Student Government Association (ASGA) conference in the Midwest. These student leaders attended several break-out sessions on how to optimize efficiency in Student Government and how to powerfully engage student bodies.

In addition to gaining professional development, students also had the opportunity to meet the leaders of ASGA. As a founding member of ASGA, BW's Student Government helped put into vision what the ASGA does today.

Not only did these Student Government representatives take away valuable skills and ideas from this conference, but they had a whole lot of fun in the city too. From riding the ferris wheel at Navy Pier to eating deep-dish pizza at Gino's East, Student Government left Chicago energized to continue to make a difference on campus.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Conservatory Student Gives Musical Thanks for Alumni Donation

Piano performance major, Emile Doro 18',  Donna Thomas 84'
and Penny Kelly in front of Steinway funded by Thomas and her husband  
Baldwin Wallace's All-Steinway Initiative is getting an added special touch with the help of students and alumni alike.

Emile Doro '18 had the chance to greet Donna Thomas '84 when Donna came to campus to "meet her piano," a Steinway she and her husband R. Scott Thomas '82 funded.

Emile, a piano performance major, played two pieces on the new piano for Donna and her friend Penny Kelly, to whom the Steinway is dedicated.

For Emile, the donated pianos not only provide a reliable practice instrument; she said they also demonstrate the BW community's commitment to "giving students the best."

The piano, which now finds its new home in the studio of conductor Brendan Caldwell, is the 29th piano that has been purchased so far by alumni like Donna, with 59 still available to be funded to reach the project's goal.

Once the initiative is complete, the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music will be added to the list of only 11 conservatories in the world that have the distinction of an All-Steinway School status.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fraternities Team Up to Support Big Brothers Big Sisters

Two fraternities at BW teamed up once again for the purpose of the philanthropy at this year's Second Annual Big-Little Games. Hosted by Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Sigma Phi, the Big-Little Games raised money for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS).

Styled after family picnic games, which included a two-legged race and a game of musical chairs, each round challenged participants to compete for one of the top three trophies. Participants were paired up as either best friends, Fraternity/Sorority big and little, or siblings. In the end, Chad Woolsteen '18 and Sam Trapp '17 won the competition.

Together, both fraternities raised more than $400 for BBBS, a non-profit organization that seeks to provide mentors to young children nationwide.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

BW Grad Kicks Career up a Notch with the Cleveland Browns

Corey Kinder '12
BW Sports Management alumnus, Corey Kinder '12, is tackling a new career as Coordinator of Fan Experience for our very own, Cleveland Browns. Kinder overseas the Browns Backers and assists with non-football gameday elements including the National Anthem, mascot preparation, banners, and half-time entertainment.

Kinder says his aspiration to pursue a career in the sports industry surprisingly developed from his role as a manager for the Donato's pizza chain, while he attended community college. Realizing that he had the potential to manage and market a business, Kinder volunteered at a Cleveland Cavaliers game to gain experience in the field he really desired. He was later invited to work for the "Cavs Crew," a promotional team providing entertainment during games, and enrolled at BW that same year, to pursue a degree in sport management.
Kinder (right) standing with Brown's Director of Fan Experience and
Special Events, Carlos Oseguera (left) during rehearsals
Kinder expressed gratitude for the mentoring he received from BW professors,  and also credits the Sports Management Club for shaping his career and helping him secure a 2011 internship with the Cleveland Gladiators which, in turn, helped him land his current job.

Kinder's professional development also included a stint with the Cleveland Indians as a costumed character, which, he says, taught him the value of fan entertainment.

Kinder's advice for students who also hope to work in the sports industry? "Network, network, network."

From BW to FX, Music Theatre Alum in New TV Series

BW Music Theatre alum, Sainty (Reid) Nelsen '11 has been cast in the FX TV Network's new series, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, a comedy created by and starring Denis Leary.

The show centers around Leary's character, Johnny Rock, a washed-up, middle-aged rocker and former lead singer of a legendary 90s band that never quite made it big. Hoping for one more shot at greatness, Rock tries to get the band back together.

Nelsen will play the role of Becky, the best friend of 22-year-old aspiring singer Gigi, played by Elizabeth Gillies. In an interview with TV Grapevine, Nelsen described her character as "a cooky, fun, Southern girl who is experiencing NYC for the first time." Other cast members include John CorbettElaine HendrixRobert Kelly and Kate Hodge.

FX Network has picked up the series for 10 episodes, which will air in 2015. In the meantime, Nelsen is moving on to projects for the big screen, filming Donnybrook, starring Michael Imperioli, in Philadelphia this month, and then heading to Louisiana to shoot Something Blue being produced by Chris Elliott.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

College Now Mentors Foster Success at BW

One of BW's College Now mentor/mentee pairs, Donna Gutschmidt ’02 and Amira Nasrallah '17
Some 15 Baldwin Wallace students are getting support and guidance from some of Cleveland's own professionals, including BW alumni, through College Now Greater Cleveland.

College Now, formerly Cleveland Scholarship Programs, has provided funding for many BW students over the years. In 2012, BW began a deeper partnership with College Now to help recruit alumni, faculty, and staff mentors for students receiving College Now scholarship. Students receiving the funds are given a mentor from the Cleveland community to help guide them through their college careers and boost their chances of success.

Mentors work with students to advise, encourage, and provide knowledge from their own experience as students to help them make the most out of their time at BW. Students and mentors communicate online and have opportunities to meet in person throughout the year, and they are encouraged to stay connected throughout the students' whole BW career.

One BW's most successful mentor mentee pairs is Donna Gutschmidt ’02, currently a technical writer for BW's IT department, and Amira Nasrallah '17. Amira, the sophomore class president, and Donna have formed a bond that Donna calls herself "lucky" to have.

"We both believe in taking advantage of every opportunity, savoring every moment and loving the people around us," Amira says of her mentor.

Interested in becoming a College Now mentor for a BW student? Register to attend the information session November 17 at 5:30 located in the Center for Innovation and Growth on campus. Email for more information.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Media Taps BW Students, Prof for Midterm Election Coverage

BW students, Marvin Williams and Stephanie Starek,
 in the WEWS TV 5 studios on election night
BW students, Marvin Williams '18 and Stephanie Starek '15, were in the thick of election night coverage this week. The two political science majors worked in the WEWS-TV studios to collect and process midterm voting results for Newschannel 5 viewers.

As a go-to expert on the Ohio political landscape, BW political science professor, Tom Sutton serves as political analyst for WEWS, the Cleveland ABC affiliate, and he appeared in TV-5 news stories both forecasting the turnout and evaluating the results on election night.

Dr. Sutton also was one of the political pundits asked to break down and scrutinize the results for The Jasen Sokol Show on WAKR radio in Akron and for The Sound of Ideas on WCPN 90.3 (ideastream), the Northeast Ohio National Public Radio affiliate.
Among his insights, Sutton finds "interesting" the "common ground issues" that are said to be on the table for a Republican Congress and Democratic President to take on in the next two years, including tax reform and budget reform.

"All eyes are on 2016," he notes, "and it could play into the Democrats hands if nothing gets done and they are able to run against a 'do-nothing' Republican Congress."  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

BW Computer Science Professor Fights Ebola in Liberia

Randy and Marcy Molmen
Randy Molmen, a professor in BW's Computer Science Department, his wife, Marcy, and his adopted son, Roosevelt Dolo, are working to stem the Ebola virus outbreak in Liberia. Their work was the focus of a an article in the Sun News and on

Roosevelt Dolo
Molmen and his family have had a personal connection to Liberia since their ten month long mission trip to the country in 2006-07. While in Liberia, Molmen and his wife taught at Cuttington University, where they met and adopted Dolo, a nursing student at the time. Fast forward and Dolo is now leading a movement in Liberia that provides families with health information about the Ebola virus to help eliminate common myths and misconceptions.

The Community Action Against Ebola team was created to educate the public and spread awareness. In addition to the information campaign, the Molmens are collecting donations to support Dolo and his team as they provide food to Ebola victims and basic necessities for survivors whose possessions have been burned following their diagnoses.

Donations can be made to the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Berea. Funds are sent to Liberia weekly. 

Music Therapy Major's Inspiring Story Highlighted by CPAC

Inspired by utilizing music to improve her own health challenges as a child, Baldwin Wallace University senior, Jaclyn Ford ’15, has used that experience to fuel a future in music therapy.

Recently profiled in Creative Compass, a feature of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC), Ford talked about serving in a variety of settings as she has studied to become a music therapist.

Ford gained hands-on experience working in a school, hospice care and an assisted-living home, not to mention a special summer study abroad experience where she was placed with a music therapist in Germany and traveled to Austria for the World Congress of the World Federation of Music Therapy.

Ford says music therapy provides a relaxing balm to ease any medical impairment. She told CPAC, “You can see visually the benefits of how music can motivate and relax. It’s fascinating to see their mood improve.”

Monday, November 3, 2014

Conservatory Alumni Get Spotlights In the News

Two BW Conservatory of Music alumni, both music education majors, are in the spotlight on stage and in the classroom.
Laura Schupbach '10, now a voice and music teacher at Hawken Middle School in Lyndhurst, is highlighted in a piece the in The Times Reporter on the Tuscarawas Philharmonic's 79th season. Schupbach is the featured soprano on "Knoxville: Summer of 1915," an opus included in the orchestra's season opening concert on Nov. 8.

Meanwhile, Nathan Bachofsky '10, now a K-3 music teacher at Gurney Elementary School in Chagrin Falls, is featured on for encouraging musical involvement in the community with Tiger Beats!, a new vocal performance group for younger students. Tiger Beats! is set to give two performances later this school year.

In addition to teaching at Gurney, Nate also serves as a vocal instructor for BW's Summer Music Programs.