Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Trendy BW Senior Finding Success With Fashion Blog

BW Senior Marketing and Public Relations major Chelsea Glosser has a passion for fashion... a passion that sparked the creation of Chelsea's Glossary, a style blog that demonstrates how to dress well without breaking the bank.

Chelsea began Chelsea's Glossary in 2013 after major online fashion bloggers inspired her to share her personal style on the Web. Chelsea has always loved art and views fashion as an art form that allows her to be creative and express herself. Averaging seven to eight posts a month, Chelsea's Glossary presents a fully accessorized outfit featuring products, normally found on sale, from a variety of brands such as Kate Spade, H&M and Target.

Recently, The Limited contacted Chelsea to ask permission to use her blog photos featuring the Limited Brand on their Website and Instagram account. Chelsea's Glossary will receive credit for these photos, which provides an opportunity for Chelsea to build her blog following.

In the future, Chelsea hopes to move to New York City and work in social media and marketing in the fashion industry. Chelsea's style advice to BW Blog readers? "Invest in classic pieces that will last you a long time and buy trendier pieces on sale or at lower prices." she says. "Oh, and your best accessory is always a smile!"

SCENE Readers Vote BW Music Theatre Chief "Best Director"

Following her stunning direction of the critically-acclaimed regional production of Les Misérables at Great Lakes Theatre in fall 2014, BW's Director of the Music Theatre, Victoria Bussert, is once again a Northeast Ohio fan favorite. Bussert's direction, described as bringing "a vital new life" to Les Miz, earned her Best Director in the 2015 Best of Cleveland awards from Cleveland Scene magazine.

It's just the latest achievement for Bussert, who's also led BW's Music Theatre program to national acclaim. Under Bussert's direction, many BW graduates appear on Broadway, off-Broadway, and countless national tours.

This spring, BW Music Theatre will dazzle in a production of Saturday Night Fever in Playhouse Square from May 1-3. Considering the sheer brilliance of Bussert's direction and BW's talented music theatre students, this production will surely be a "groovy" one to remember.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Students Build Hope and Community on Alternative Break Trips

"Women's Empowerment" in Miami, FL
Spring Break 2015 took BW students all over the country thanks to the Office of Community Outreach's Alternative Break program. Students spread across four Alternative Spring Break groups ventured to Biloxi, Miss.; Roanoke, Va.; Miami and Kissimmee, Fla. to serve causes and communities in need.

"Rebuilding Homes & Restoring Hope" in Biloxi, MS
The Alternative Break trip entitled "Women's Empowerment" took students to Miami, FL with Doanise Thompson 15' leading the way. The group gave time to local organizations Camillus House, Lotus House, Women's Fund of Miami, and the Women's Breast and Heart Initiative, also assisting with the "Power of the Purse" event through which they raised $400,000 for local women's organizations. Through their service, the students were able to "learn more about holistic issues that women face and the different ways that non profits are empowering women in the Miami communities," Thompson said.

"Surprise Mystery Trip" on McAfee's Knob in Raonoke, VA
Rebuilding Homes & Restoring Hope: Hurricane Recovery, led by Bridget Hughes 16', traveled all the way to Biloxi, Miss. to work alongside Community Collaborations International. Students worked on several environmental projects including shoreline, sea grass, and public land restoration; wild-life habitat improvement; and invasive species removal in areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina and other recent natural and human-caused disasters.

"Give Kids the World" in Kissimmee, FL
The "Surprise Mystery Trip" group took their service to a section of the Appalachian Trail in Roanoke, Va. where they assisted in maintaining the Catawba Mountain section of the trail--home to one of the most photographed vistas on the trail, McAfee's Knob. Led by Kristina DeGirolamo 16', the group also gave service to the local Habitat for Humanity Restore, Rescue Mission, and Feeding America facilities, working with community members to sort donations.

Lastly, students participating in "Give Kids the World," led by Michael Ricci 15', went to Kissimmee, Fla. to provide service at a storybook vacation for children diagnosed  with life-threatening illnesses and their families. In addition to their work with children and families at Give Kids the World, the students also volunteered with "Traveling Tutus," an organization that distributes dance attire to children all around the world in an effort to spread hope and empowerment to underprivileged youth.

In total, 41 students and 5 staff and faculty members participated in the four Alternative Spring Break trips this year.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BW Physics and Math Star Inspires STEM Careers on YouTube

BW student and academic powerhouse, Kaylee Yuhas is truly a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) superstar. Kaylee has earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average majoring in physics and mathematics and has set the bar unbelievably high by earning the highest grade point average among all physics majors. Yet, what distinguishes Kaylee as entirely exceptional is her passion for motivating young women to pursue STEM careers.

Kaylee has recently created an instructional video series called Explorium, earning her YouTube channel hundreds of loyal subscribers. The intent of Explorium is to make science more approachable and fascinating as well as to inspire budding scientists, especially girls and young women. The video series teaches complex scientific and mathematical concepts in an accessible and entertaining way.

Included in Kaylee’s scholarly work, is original research on starspots, which she presented at the American Astronomical Society’s 225th annual meeting.

Outside of the classroom Kaylee serves as President of The BW Problem Solving Club, is an avid reader and volunteers with the Richfield Kiwanis Club. Kaylee has also partnered with physics faculty to help teach 12-18 year old students at a problem solving summer camp and works five part time jobs to help pay for her education. She aspires to earn a Ph. D. in either astrophysics or software engineering.

BW Professor Makes "Cleveland's Most Interesting People" List

Courtesy Cleveland Magazine
BW English lecturer and novelist Kevin P. Keating earned himself a spot on Cleveland Magazine's 2015 list of Most Interesting People. Being a homegrown Cleveland author, Keating has attracted a considerable amount of attention, intriguing readers and admirers with his dark and atmospheric writing.

Keating's debut novel, The Natural Order of Things, sets its 15 compelling stories in a school which possesses an indiscernible likeness to Keating's high school alma matter, St. Ignatius High School. The book's success--it was a finalist for the 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes' Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction--earned Keating a deal with Random House, which will publish his second novel, The Captive Condition, in July.

Highly influenced by an early job as a boilermaker, by his upbringing in the darker Cleveland of the 1970s, and by his views of the dramadies of life, Keating writes, strikes nerves, and toys with "people's senses of identity," making him an appropriate candidate for Cleveland's list.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Conservatory Grad Inspires new Bach Fest in Massachusetts

Amanda Stenroos '12. Photo Credit: LinkedIn
Thanks to Baldwin Wallace Conservatory alumna, Amanda Stenroos '12, the country's longest-running collegiate Bach Festival has now inspired an event of the same name in Western Massachusetts.

Stenroos, who earned a BM in violin performance from BW is now working on her Master of Music in violin performance at University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass). She sparked the curiosity of her UMass teacher when she wore a BW Bach Festival t-shirt to one of her lessons.

One semester later, Stenroos is at the forefront of the movement to bring UMass its very own Bach Festival.  "I am very eager to use my knowledge and passion from BW’s Bach Festival to bring this tradition to Western Massachusetts," said Stenroos, who also caught the attention of the newspaper in Western Massachusetts.  The MASSLive story credits Stenroos with coordinating UMass's involvement in the "Bach in the Subways" movement, which sees global musicians performing Bach's work in subways and other public spaces to foster appreciation for the composer. 

The subway event is a prelude to the university's very first J.S. Bach Festival concerts, taking place April 17-19, the very same weekend that BW's 83rd annual Bach Festival will be held. Strenroos is "proud" to carry on the Bach Festival tradition: Bach Fesitval, she said, is "above all, the most important way that BW has shaped me as a musician." 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Alumna Recognized as Leading Greenhouse Pro

Did you know there's a year-round industry dedicated to fulfilling the seasonal demand for holiday greenery from wreaths to garlands and beyond? BW Alumna Shannon Kuhrt '97 is a leader in the industry, named one of Greenhouse Product News' "40 under 40" greenhouse professionals.

Kuhrt currently serves as the Vice President of M&M Wintergreens Inc, a Cleveland based company that specializes in Christmas gardening. M&M Wintergreens Inc. is family owned and Kuhrt works year round, alongside her father, to provide customers with high quality Christmas greenery. Kuhrt also speaks at national greenhouse conferences and writes articles for horticulture magazines distributed nationwide.

Greenhouse Product News (GPN) is a must-read magazine for greenhouse growers around the country. Every year, GPN recognizes 40 growers under the age of 40 who have made a positive impact on the industry.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

BW Student Chronicles Adventures In Morocco

Nikita Martin '17
From the unpredictable winter weather of Northeast Ohio to warm and sunny Morocco, Nikita Martin '17, has enjoyed the change of climate during a semester abroad. Martin and another BW student, Hannah Toberman '17, are studying at Al Akhawayn University located in Ifrane, Morocco. This trip has allowed the students to fully and independently immerse themselves in a new culture.

Students visiting Oudaya, Morocco
Nadia, Nikita '17 (middle) and
Hannah '17 (right) surfing in Rabat
Ifrane, a city in Northern Morocco where English, French and Arabic are the spoken languages, contains an abundance of lakes, mountains and greenery. At Al Akhawayn University, the students stay in dorms, have a meal plan and take classes in different disciplines.

Martin, who describes Morocco as being "absolutely beautiful," has been documenting her adventures on her travel blog, "Marhaba Morocco," where she describes many adventures including a recent spring break trip where she stayed in a tent village, rode a camel in the Sahara, visited the famous main square of Marrakech, and dined on "tasty" sea urchins and sting ray.

Martin, an international studies and political science double major,  is one of five BW students who are blogging their experiences abroad this spring semester.

Music Education Grad Chosen "Top Teacher"

Sarah Horaczek '03 was recently recognized by WNYT-TV as a "Top Teacher" for her leadership of the music program at the Menands Union Free School District in Albany, New York.

Originally from Albany, Horaczek taught in New York City for four years after completing her undergraduate music education at BW, but landed a job back home in 2008. Being the only music teacher in her district, Horaczek covers everything from K-7 general music, guitar lab, piano lab, 5-8 band, 3-8 drama, and singing groups. She says her BW education prepared her for that variety.

"I chose BW because of its comprehensive music education program that offered a breadth and variety of teaching philosophies and styles," she said. "Because BW offered such an array of methods courses, I am able to effectively teach each of these groups."

She adds, "BW music education program put education majors in classrooms every semester so we had so much teaching experience before we ever set foot in our own classroom."

The television report on her selection as a "Top Teacher" says students under her instruction have learned how to play all kinds of instruments, instilling them with a sense of pride in both their talents and their teacher. Horaczek believes that music classes are beneficial for everyone, offering a window of opportunity for people to learn more about themselves.

Friday, March 13, 2015

BW Alumna Stars in Broadway's "An American in Paris"

Jill Paice and her co-star Leanne Cope
Jill Paice '02 is starring in the Broadway musical An American in Paris, with previews beginning tonight, Friday, March 13, leading up to a Sunday, April 12 opening night at the Palace Theatre in New York City. A graduate of BW's acclaimed music theatre program, Paice has an impressive 13-year resume of experiences on stage from Broadway to The West End of London.

In a preview story, Broadway World calls the An American In Paris "the romantic story of a young American soldier, a beautiful French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war."

Paice is originating the role of Milo Davenport in An American in Paris, which is inspired by the Academy-Award winning film of the same name. In the video below, Paice talks about the experience of performing the show in Paris.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ohio Magazine Showcases BW STEM Scholar Success

The BW STEM Scholars program and physics and philosophy double major Sam Schwab '15 are featured in the current issue of Ohio Magazine. The "Career Choices" article notes the rise in U.S. jobs related to STEM, short for science, technology, engineering and math, and details how four Ohio colleges, including BW, are working to support student success in challenging STEM-related majors.

Schwab, who lives in BW's STEM Living Learning Community, had praise for opportunities that occur outside the classroom. “I was lucky enough to connect with some students and created a hands-on calculus course with a professor [ Dr. Edwin Meyer] last semester.”

The development of personal and professional career skills is another hallmark of the BW program. “We like the students to see the STEM fields as a business or entrepreneur opportunity,” Dr. Jacqueline Morris, director of neuroscience explained in the piece. “We want them to make the connection ... to make their education into a career.”

BW's director of STEM student initiatives, Stephanie Forstner, told the magazine that the BW approach, "offers holistic support — financially, academically and socially. Each student gets a success coach...throughout their college experience, and there is a real sense of community within the STEM program.” 

Statistics show that extra support pays off. BW STEM majors who are a part of the scholars program are nearly twice as likely to graduate with a STEM degree in four years, versus STEM majors who do not participate.

BW Composer-in-Residence Wins Hong Kong Fellowship

Baldwin Wallace University's own composer-in-residence, Clint Needham '04, is one of six composers chosen to appear at "The Intimacy of Creativity 2015" (IC2015) in Hong Kong, under the artistic direction of internationally acclaimed composer, conductor, pianist and MacArthur Genius Grant-winner, Bright Sheng. As an IC2015 Composer Fellow, the BW Conservatory of Music professor and alumnus will share his talents and ideas about the creative process with students at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology April 20 - May 3.

Needham and the others in this elite group will present their own chamber music compositions to performers from all around the world and make revisions based on the collaborative process of performance. The revised compositions will then debut during the preview and world premiere concerts around Hong Kong. Needham, who was chosen from an applicant pool representing 40 countries, will present compositions inspired by Jack Kerouac's "stylized and beautiful portrayal" of the nomadic lifestyle characterized in the novel On the Road.

The C2015 fellowship is just the latest recognition for Needham. He recently won the 2014 Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize from Ithaca College, served as the Music Alive Composer-in-Residence with the Albany Symphony and is back in Albany this season as the Andrew W. Mellon Composer/Educator-in-Residence. The current Albany residency culminates with a May 16 world premiere performance of,  “We are all from somewhere else,” at the American Music Festival- Migrations. 

The Albany piece focuses on the three stages of migration and borrows from the experiences of Needham's BW Conservatory colleagues who hail from distant places all over the world. “I wondered, ‘How did we all get to Berea?,’" he said. "I actually recorded my colleagues' voices and integrated the electronic spoken word as part of this piece.”

Finally, on March 21, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, with guest Verb Ballets, will present a world premiere of a Needham work that is the result of a prestigious 2014 Creative Workforce Fellow of Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Fellow BW faculty member Sara Whale choreographed the piece for Verb Ballets. The event takes place at  7:30 p.m. at BW's Gamble Auditorium.

As if all that isn’t enough, stay tuned. BW's rising star composer has even more exciting projects on the horizon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

BW Technology Chief Named 'CIO of the Year' Finalist

BW's chief information officer (CIO), Greg Flanik, has been named a finalist in Crain's Cleveland 2015 CIO of the Year recognition. Flanik and the other CIO finalists will be recognized at an awards reception on Tuesday, April 14 at LaCentre in Westlake.

In developing the awards in 2005, Crain's said, "Northeast Ohio is home to world class IT organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit, and these organizations are led by accomplished executives with strong, dedicated, talented teams."

Flanik's nomination emphasized team, saying the BW CIO "views all of his achievements as being the result of teamwork."  

The nomination also applauds the impressive track record of technology efficiency initiatives during Flanik's 16 years of leadership at BW, including the virtualization and consolidation of BW's network storage infrastructure, the implementation of a cost-saving print management system, development of a co-partnered 24/7 HelpDesk, and the current rollout of a new voice over IP telephone system.

CIO of the Year nominees are judged by a committee of their peer IT executives on issues such as vision, leadership, accomplishments, commitment to the IT community and other factors. Crain's Cleveland presents the awards as part of NEOSA's Tech Week. Flanik and the other finalists will be profiled in the April 6 issue of Crain’s Cleveland Business. 

BW Student Advocates for Habitat for Humanity in D.C.

Brittany Smith '16 says supporting Habitat for Humanity before Congress in Washington D.C. first sounded like an "intimidating" task. However, when she did just that at the recent Habitat on the Hill conference sponsored by the non-profit organization, Smith says, "I just spoke from the heart [and] shared why I am so passionate about Habitat’s mission, which allowed me to advocate effectively and get our message across."

As the President of BW's Habitat for Humanity chapter, Smith represented BW at the conference after winning a scholarship to attend. The pre-physical therapy and exercise science major from Buffalo, New York says, "There are currently three pieces of legislation which are up for a budget vote this year in Congress, so the first two days of the conference focused on educating all of the conference participants on how the passage of these bills will greatly benefit Habitat for Humanity."

Smith also learned about public health issues that relate to housing... issues she did not even consider before attending the conference. Such as, how it is easier for people to access a cell phone than a working toilet. Smith says, "This really struck me to think of all the people out there who do not have clean water and a toilet in their homes, because it is something that I have always taken for granted."

Smith says she would love to attend the conference next year, "because it was extremely beneficial to me, and I hope to bring more BW representatives with me."

Back here in Berea, the campus Habitat Chapter will lead the BW community in the annual "Building Walls" event on March 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Bonds Parking Lot. In a single day, volunteers will construct the entire frame for a Habitat house that is then trucked to a Northeast Ohio homesite to be completed for a deserving family.

Friday, March 6, 2015

BW Alum is a "Big Hero" after the 87th Academy Awards

BW alumnus Bill Kastak '86 (middle) with Big Hero 6 directors Don Hall (left) and Chris Williams

One Baldwin Wallace alumnus contributed to a "heroic" win at the Oscars this year. William D. Kastak '86 was a part of the Walt Disney Animation Studios team that brought home the Academy Award for "Best Animated Feature Film of the Year," Big Hero 6. Kastak, who studied mathematics and computer science during his time at BW, was a Character Technical Director on the project, specializing in cloth and hair simulation for the award-winning film.

Prior to Big Hero 6, Kastak had a hand in character work on Bolt (2008), Tangled (2010) and another Oscar-winner and smash hit, Frozen (2013), for Walt Disney Animation Studios. Frozen, Kastak said, is his favorite Disney project, because it harkened back to the feeling of the old, hand-drawn animation that he knew and fell in love with growing up.

After graduating from BW, Kastak went on to study Operations Research at The University of Texas at Austin and worked for G.E Transportation before breaking into computer-generated animation. Although he took an unusual academic path into the field, he says he still leans on the critical thinking and problem solving skills his math and computer science courses helped to develop.

The Brunswick, Ohio native says said he had never touched a computer until he came to BW and although the current digital media & design major didn't exist back then, the BW program now features courses in Maya, the software Kastak uses in his work making on-screen Disney magic.

BW Circle K Wins Best Club in Ohio at State Convention

Gwyn Dubel, Lyndsey Marshall, Leslie Sheawalter, Maria Curcio, Maureen Giardina, Xaiver Seavers, Pat Hoang 
Another impressive year of honors and awards for BW’s Circle K International Service Club at the 58th annual Ohio District Circle K Convention. For the fourth consecutive year, BW received The Daniel J. Romanello Achievement Award, presented to the best Circle K club in the state! Club members were recognized with individual awards in nearly every other category.

Individual awards included: 1st Place Outstanding President to Maureen Giardina; 2nd Place for Outstanding Vice President to Sam Trapp; 2nd Place for Outstanding Secretary to Elizabeth Scozarro; 1st Place Outstanding Treasurer to Lyndsey Marshall; P.A.C.E. Setter Award to Molly Martin; 2nd Place for Outstanding Club Committee Chairperson to Jessie Feldman; 2nd Place for Outstanding Member to Shannon Fee; 1st Place Outstanding New Member to Anna Popa; and 2nd Place Award for Leadership to Leslie Sheawalter.

In addition, BW Circle K received the award for Most Improved Club and the Membership Award for attracting 20 new members since the 2013-2014 school year. Berea Kiwanis was awarded Outstanding Kiwanis Sponsors for their dedication and devotion to the BW organization. BW's thriving Circle K group is also mentored by two active advisors, BW biology professor Dr. Karen Munroe and director of student life Robin Gagnow.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

BW Leads NYC Reading of "Saturday Night Fever" Musical

Bussert (left) and the alumni cast. Photo credit: Anthony Sangaria

The director of the acclaimed Baldwin Wallace University music theatre programVictoria Bussert, had the chance to heat up midtown Manhattan on a recent February night, as she directed a private industry reading of the stage musical of Saturday Night Fever.

Bussert, along with fellow BW professor and music director of the music theatre program, David Pepin, led the reading with a lot of star power from former Yellow Jackets.

The cast for the evening included BW alumni Corey Mach '10, Shannon O'Boyle '12, Caitlin Houlahan '14, Libby Servais '08, Mack Shirilla '13, Jude McCormick '13, Chris Cowan '14, Anthony Sagaria '14, Wilson Bridges '07, Jay Ellis '12, Cole Burden '04, and Sainty Nelsen '13 among other notable Broadway performers detailed in Broadway World.

The reading came as part of the musical being made available for performance by groups outside of national tours. Bussert and Pepin will be heading BW's own production of Saturday Night Fever featuring current music theatre students for one weekend-only at Playhouse Square the first weekend of May.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Student Government Explores Careers at the State Capital

BW Student Government at the Ohio Statehouse
Shortly after celebrating the Inauguration of the newly-elected Executive Branch, BW Student Government hit the road headed to Columbus for Independent College Day, sponsored by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO).

The event, held at the Ohio Statehouse featured a panel discussion about government and policy careers, which included Ohio Legislative Service Commission (LSC) Legislative Fellows, Legislative Aides, and even two State Senators. Students were able to ask questions about these possible future careers and apply the advice to their current college studies.

Afterwards, the group had the opportunity to meet with Senator Tom Patton of Ohio Senate District 24 to discuss his career and ideas for his district. In addition, Representative Mike Dovilla '94 of Ohio House District 7, a BW grad and adjunct Political Science professor at BW, hosted Student Government at an afternoon session. At the end of the day, students left Columbus with an experience that enhanced their personal career development.
BW Student Government with Representative Mike Dovilla

OCO Members Venture to LA for the IMPACT Conference

Nuha Alshabani '15 and Keynoter Wendy Spencer

Service leaders from colleges and universities across the country recently gathered on the west coast and BW was well represented. BW's Office of Community Outreach (OCO) sent graduate intern, Katy Johnson '14, and student leaders, Bryan Powell '16, Nuha Alshabani '15, Kara Carpenter '17 and Vanessa Adu-Gyamfi '17 to the recent IMPACT Conference in Los Angeles. Alshabani '15 also was selected to participate in the conference planning committee.

The IMPACT Conference held at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), is the largest annual conference focused on the civic engagement of college students in community service, service-based research and advocacy. The focus of the conference aligns with BW OCO’s mission to empower students to become contributing, compassionate citizens.

Julie Bishop, assistant director of BW OCO describes the conference as, "a great way for BW students to connect and share ideas with students from campuses across the country doing similar service work."
BW students at the IMPACT conference in LA

Students heard inspiring keynote addresses from Wendy Spencer, the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service and Robert Egger, the President of the LA Kitchen founder of the Campus Kitchen Project, and attended seminars to discuss cultural awareness, societal privilege and methods to leverage the concepts learned from service in career building.

The students were also able to explore southwest LA and visit the beach. "It was super cool to see all the different 'stars' supporting various initiatives and bringing awareness to these issues," said Powell.

Students are expected to present their experiences and ideas at a team meeting later this year.