Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BW Alum Spreading Joy Through Ice Cream

BW grad and current MBA student, Marissa Flynn '07,  is looking for flavor makers, taste testers and crowd funders as the entrepreneur works to open her "Ice Cream Joy" shop. Flynn has launched a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo, a website that helps entrepreneurs raise money to fund their dreams. The "Ice Cream Joy" Indiegogo allows supporters to preorder ice cream, to receive perks like shirts, totes and an ice cream party, and to develop their own ice cream flavors.

Ice Cream Joy is already on the menu at Susy’s Soup in Cleveland's Tower City. The money raised through Indiegogo will go toward installing a kitchen at the new Ice Cream Joy location in Lakewood.

Flynn, who earned her undergraduate degree in accounting,  says her artisan ice cream is made using local milk, cream and fresh fruit. Vegan options are also offered and no preservatives are used in any of the flavors.

Some of Flynn’s ice cream creations include sweet basil pine nut, cinnamon, mojito and vegan dark chocolate. Flynn also welcomes taste testers who, if interested, can sign up on her Indiegogo page.

Flynn’s goal is to raise $15,000 by December 24, 2014.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BW Talent Tops 2014 Cleveland Critics Circle Awards

Eight BW students, alumni and faculty are among the winners in this year's Cleveland Critics Circle Awards and the critics singled out BW's Music Theatre Department for special recognition. The “Best of” and “Superior Achievement” awards "recognize outstanding Cleveland area productions, performers, directors and designers who contributed to the professional theater scene during the 2014 season."

The Great Lakes Theater production of LES MISÉRABLES garnered Best Musical, Best Director for BW Music Theatre director Victoria Bussert, and Superior Achievement in Acting for BW alumna Claire Howes Eisentrout '13, and current students Kyle Jean Baptiste '15 and Keri Rene Fuller '15.

Also in the Musical category, the BW and Beck Center for the Arts collaboration on CARRIE: THE MUSICAL produced Best Actress recognition for Caitlin Houlahan '14 and a Best Choreographer nod for Gregory Daniels, head of BW's dance program, plus a Superior Achievement in music direction for Nancy Maier.

BW Music Theatre Chair, Scott Plate also picked up awards as Best Actor in a Non-Musical for SEMINAR and Superior Achievement in Directing for ‘NIGHT MOTHER," both at Beck Center.

The critics also chose to present "Special Recognition" to the Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre Program "for producing an outstanding number of Broadway theater cast members."
Caitlin Houlahan '14 (center kneeling as Carrie) won the 2014 Clevelnd Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, Musical

Monday, December 15, 2014

BW Experiences Help Shape Grad's State Department Career

Coniam in one of the State Department's
original diplomatic reception rooms
Kimberly Coniam ’07, a Foreign Affairs Officer for the Office of Missile Defense and Space Policy at the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C., is thriving in an amazing career in national security and space policy, traveling the world from South Africa to Vietnam, working to improve the security of outer space.

A graduate with majors in both political science and international studies, Coniam says she first became passionate about national security writing her first academic research paper for a class taught by Dr. Morales-Ortiz. Coniam says this experience eventually led to a yearlong internship at the U.S. Department of State where she was able to apply her research to real world situations.

Participating in BW's Model UN and studying various international organizations also helped the Berea, Ohio native to further develop an interest in foreign affairs. "I can better navigate in an often challenging multilateral setting because of those experiences," she says.

Visiting the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency outside Tokyo
Coniam, who also earned a master's degree at Indiana University, says the opportunity to study abroad twice, first to China and then to Japan, not only reinforced her strong interest in U.S.-Asia relations, but also played an important role in her selection for the 18th class of Mansfield Fellows. The government fellowship program allowed her to work within the Japanese government for a year. "I know the adaptability and independence I gained from my study abroad opportunities contributed to my success."

Coniam adds that "the most crucial [factor] in shaping me and leading to my success" was the mentoring of Dr. Judy Krutky, who "pushed me to always expand my interests, try new things, and never settle; under her instruction, I was taught that it is important to try something new and do something unexpected, and that often these new experiences will be the most rewarding."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

BW V.E.T.S Collect Donations for Troop Care Packages

Members of BW V.E.T.S. with donated supplies

Members of the BW V.E.T. S. organization (Veterans Engaged Through Service), a group that focuses on enhancing the lives of military veterans attending BW through engagement in volunteer opportunities, recently collected donations for troop care packages. Donation boxes were distributed around campus for the collection of baby wipes, foot powder, sunscreen, bug spray, cough drops, gum, candy, disposable razors, white tube socks, travel-size deodorant, and movies.

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Post 91 American Legion at Coe Lake was also involved in the operation, shipping the donated items to U.S troops stationed in Iraq, Germany, and the Veterans in Wade Park, Va.

BW Advancement Officer Earns AFP Fundraising Executive Award

Tim McCormick, Debbie Miller (center) and Julie Johnson at the AFP Awards Ceremony
Deborah S. Miller, Senior Advancement Officer at Baldwin Wallace University, earned the Outstanding Fundraising Executive Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Cleveland on National Philanthropy Day, an event dedicated to recognizing the contributions of philanthropy, as well as others within the giving community, whose altruism continues to better the world and the lives of others.

Miller has been in the development field for over 20 years. From major planned giving to board development, Miller has spearheaded and participated in many a philanthropy activities dedicated to the betterment of the community. Both "Cleveland Magazine" and "Inside Business" also recognized Miller and the other AFP award recipients for their good work.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Speak Out - Pi Lambda Phi and HASA Support Inclusiveness

Based on BW's rich tradition of inclusiveness and equality, Pi Lambda Phi and the Hispanic-American Student Association (HASA) hosted "Speaking Out Against Prejudice" this semester. The event allowed students and faculty to share poems, songs, dances, and monologues themed around prejudice and equality.

From a cover of John Lennon's "Imagine" to a discussion on themes of race and gender in En Vogue's music video, "Free Your Mind," the event displayed a spectrum of talents that offered different perspectives to the BW student body.

In addition to the Open Mic, the event also raised money for Pi Lambda Phi's philanthropy organization, the Elimination of Prejudice Foundation.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

BW Film Alum Gets Break in Industry Productions

Baldwin Wallace's own Lydia Griffiths '14 has just wrapped not one, but two hands-on film experiences working with Stephen David Entertainment, known for the shows Men Who Made America and The World Wars.

As a set decoration production assistant for an upcoming mini-series, the film studies and history double major worked on a team with the art department assisting the set decorator and production designer, moving and arranging everything on set from furniture to crates.

Before filming even wrapped, "Dia" was asked to return for another shoot, where she did everything from locking down streets to putting as many as 80 extras through wardrobe, hair, and makeup.

"It's hard to believe that I have already gotten to work in my chosen field with people who are doing what I love for a living," Griffiths said.

The recent grad broke into the business with the help of a Production Assistant Training Seminar this summer, but she attributes many of her skills to her hands-on work at BW.

"Getting to work with everyone in [BW's] PR department gave me an opportunity to be a self starter while working in a hierarchy system," Griffiths  said. "Thats how it rolls in the film world, too."

Though further details about the projects are still under wraps, Lydia said she is looking forward to sharing her success with the BW community.

BW Holiday Concert Featured on Radio and Television

As it does every year, BW helped the community ring in the season with three sold-out holiday concerts over the weekend, but replays of music will keep entertaining radio and television audiences throughout the rest of the holiday season.

Sunday’s Conservatory Annual Holiday Concert featured talented student musicians in the BW Motet, University and Women's Choirs,  BW Singers, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Jazztet and Music Theater program, while the BW Men's Chorus performed holiday favorites along with student ensemble Mr. Sun's Echo in two concerts on Saturday.

By popular demand, Men's Chorus also was invited back to the Idea Center at Playhouse Square to sing parts of their holiday concert in a live radio broadcast. Under the direction of Frank Bianchi, the group performed for appreciative audiences on WCLV radio and in the Idea Center studios.

If you missed it live, WCLV will re-broadcast the Men’s Chorus concert on Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. on 104.9 FM or  WVIZ-TV’s arts program “Applause” will also feature footage from the Men’s Chorus performance on December 25 at 7:30 p.m., December 27 at 4 p.m,. and December 28 at 12:30 p.m.

For an on-demand taste of the concert, check out these videos from the studio concerts: Men's Chorus and Mr. Sun's Echo.

Monday, December 8, 2014

BW Celebrates the Season With Holiday Gala 2014

With some holiday magic, BW's Student Union illuminated in front of the eyes of the campus community as the city that never sleeps at this year's Holiday Gala, "Holiday in the City."

Sponsored by BW's Student Government and the President's Council, Holiday Gala 2014 had something for everyone to celebrate the holidays. Attendants could participate in a service activity, ride through Berea on a horse-drawn carriage, and even enjoy a selection of entertainment from some of BW's talented students and organizations.

In addition to channeling an inner sense of the holidays in New York, City the basement of the Union took the holidays worldwide with different rooms representing different countries such as Japan, France, and Brazil.

Although Holiday Gala is only held every two years, it was surely a night to remember. From feasting on the delicious desserts by BW Dining Services to rubbing shoulders with Anna and Elsa from Frozen in the lobby, BW celebrated the holidays in style. More photos on on Facebook.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Peter Pan Live! Puts BW Grads on Stage for Millions

Chris McCarrell 13' and Caitlin Houlahan 14' on the massive NBC sound-stage set of "Peter Pan Live"

Leading lady, Allison Williams, and Caitlin
Thursday's broadcast of "Peter Pan Live," put BW's Music Theatre program back into the local and national spotlight as cast members and BW alumni, Caitlin Houlahan 14' and Chris McCarrell 13' took to the airwaves.

Locally, Caitlin and Chris landed in the headlines in a variety of news outlets including The Plain Dealer/, and the paper in Aurora, where both grew up before attending BW.

The pair was also featured in an interview with Newsradio WTAM 1100's Will & Snyder in the Morning, and all evening on Cleveland's NBC affiliate, WKYC News Channel 3, which also covered a BW Music Theatre watch party.

"Peter Pan Live" clocked in NBC's second-highest Thursday ratings for non-sports telecasts in three years and the network's second-most viewers since the ER finale.

The broadcast was an even bigger hit on social media. According to, Nielsen Twitter measured more than 475,000 tweets from 147,000 unique authors --nearly double the number of NBC's "Sound of Music Live" that aired last year. Caitlin tweeted out the photo with star Allison Williams above.

Even more opportunities are on the horizon for Caitlin and Chris. Caitlin will be returning to the stage In February for a one-night Lincoln Center performance of Parade alongside other Broadway stars. Meanwhile, Chris will jump right back into his role in the Broadway revival of Les Miserables.
Chris (top hat and striped socks) gestures to Peter Pan in the Neverland home of The Lost Boys.

PR Professor's Pencil Artwork Published in New Collection

Annie by Julie A. Miller
By profession, Baldwin Wallace Public Relations Professor Julie Miller is a storyteller. But the BW community may not realize that she doesn't just communicate with words.

The PR professor recently had a work of art featured in Hidden Treasures, a collection of colored pencil art published by renowned colored pencil artist Ann Kullberg.

Miller has had a life-long interest in art and has been taking classes in colored pencil technique for 20 years; she has been drawing for more than 40 years.

“I think my ability to communicate a company's story mirrors my ability as an artist to capture the essence and personality of my subjects," Miller said.

Miller says she prefers to draw animals, and has done commissioned works in the past.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Alpha Gamma Delta Crowns New Mr. BW at Philanthropy Event

Opportunities for generosity abound at BW as students find fun avenues for philanthropy. In support of Diabetes Awareness Month in November, the women of Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Iota Chapter, hosted their annual Mr. BW Pageant to raise money for Diabetes Education and Awareness through the Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation.

Designed as a spoof pageant for men, participants performed different acts such as dressing up as Captain America. Alpha Gamma Delta chose Nick Traverso '16 as this year's Mr. BW after he sang a tribute to the women in the chapter on the piano.

By raising over $1000 from the event, the women of Alpha Gamma Delta will continue to contribute to the awareness of a health condition that affects close to 30 million people in the U.S.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Work of BW Art Professors Featured in International Art Exhibit

David and Roberta Williamson of BW's Studio Art Department and renowned, collaborative artists in the field of narrative jewelry, were among just four American artists to have their work featured in the prestigious 2014 LOOT: MAD about Jewelry exhibit in the Museum of Art and Design in New York City. This annual invitational exhibit highlights the work of 55 jewelry artists from 25 different countries, including Tasmania, Hungary, Italy and Japan.

While LOOT typically searches for new artists each year, the Williamsons were given the rare honor to return to this year's weeklong, curated exhibit. The husband-wife duo, who have been working together for over 45 years, described the event as a "significant moment in their career." The couple also connected with the collectors of their work in New York City. The enthusiasm of these "habitual buyers" inspires the Williamsons to continue to make unique and innovative pieces. The pair agree that one of the perks of being a jewelry artist is that people wear their work.

In addition to their prestigious LOOT invitation, the couple has recently created a commissioned piece for the Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts. The exhibit featuring their work, "The Third Person Between Us," a vignette of several pieces they created, will open in January 2015.

The Williamsons' next endeavor will be a visit to Illinois in February 2015 as the Hatch Visiting Artists-in-Residence. Their residency will be a part of the multifaceted Hatch Creative-Reuse Art Festival, an annual celebration of resourcefulness and reinvention. Gail Rost, co-chair of the Festival said, “We’re very excited to have the opportunity to bring the Williamsons to our community, as they have been blazing the trail in the field of repurposed and recycled art for many years.”