OWU in the News

Byron Pitts ’82 Named ABC ‘Nightline’ Co-Anchor

January 12, 2015 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

Sean Kay, Ph.D.

Also in OWU in the News: Paul Schimmel ’62, Sean Kay, Kellie Gross ’12,  Jonathan Silva ’85, Tim Corbin ’84, Julie Freyermuth ’01, William Batchelder ’64, Erin Huffman-Richard ’02, Jay Vidovich ’82, Jonathon Hollister ’94, Philip Overholt ’55, Gregory Nickoli ’88, and Anusha Lalwani ’08.

Byron Pitts ’82

Byron Pitts ’82

ABC News Chief National Correspondent Byron Pitts is selected to replace Dan Abrams as one of the anchors for “Nightline.”

“Byron is a truly passionate storyteller and deep thinker about the critical issues of our time, as his work from Soweto to Ferguson makes clear,” ABC News President James Goldston wrote of Pitts, who has been chief national correspondent since 2013.

An Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, Pitts majored in journalism at Ohio Wesleyan. He writes about his life and career in his inspirational book “Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life’s Challenges.”

Read the complete Variety announcement, “Byron Pitts to Replace Dan Abrams on ‘Nightline’ Anchor Team.”

Paul Schimmel ’62

Paul Schimmel ’62

Paul Schimmel and colleagues at The Scripps Research Institute discover that resveratrol, a red-wine ingredient once touted as an elixir of youth, activates an evolutionarily ancient stress response in human cells. Their findings are reported in the journal Nature.

“This stress response represents a layer of biology that has been largely overlooked, and resveratrol turns out to activate it at much lower concentrations than those used in prior studies,” says Schimmel, senior investigator, professor, and member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute, with campuses in California and Florida.

“We think this is just the tip of the iceberg,” Schimmel says. “We think there are a lot more amino-acid mimics out there that can have beneficial effects like this in people. And we’re working on that now.”

At Ohio Wesleyan, Schimmel majored in pre-professional medicine. OWU’s Schimmel/Conrades Science Center is named, in part, in his honor.

Read the online Nature article: “A human tRNA synthetase is a potent PARP1-activating effector target for resveratrol.”

Sean Kay

Sean Kay

Sean Kay, Ph.D., OWU professor of politics and government, discusses the shootings at France’s Charlie Hebdo magazine and the global security implications of the Jan. 7 incident, which left 12 people dead.

“To the extent that attacks like this are intended to provoke a response, one of the crucial things that has to happen is that the values that people in Europe hold dear have to be reinforced,” Kay tells writer Thomas Barrabi of International Business Times.

“The dilemma is, you don’t want to take major steps that elevate these barbaric killers into something other than what they are,” says Kay, author of “Global Security in the Twenty-First Century” and an associate at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University.

“The best way to defend the values that are important in Europe is to reinforce them while also reassuring people of basic safety and freedoms,” Kay concludes.

Read the complete International Business Times article, “Charlie Hebdo Shooting: Homegrown, ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorism Raises Security Concerns In Europe.”

Kellie Gross ’12

Kellie Gross ’12

Kellie Gross, now in her third year of the neuroscience doctoral program at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, recently presented research titled “Interactions between estradiol and group 1 mGluR signaling influence dendritic spine density in the female rat nucleus accumbens” at The International Congress of Neuroendocrinology in Sydney, Australia.

Prior to the Congress, she was selected as one of 30 doctoral candidates worldwide to attend the 2014 Techniques in Neuroendocrine Research Workshop at the Centre for Neuroendocrinology at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, according to an article in the Bowling Green, Ohio, Sentinel-Tribune.

While at Ohio Wesleyan, Gross presented research at the Midwest/Great Lakes Undergraduate Research Symposium and was awarded an OWU-funded Theory-to-Practice Grant to study the efficacy of a specific pharmacological intervention, neuropeptide Y, in preventing the onset of PTSD-like symptoms in an animal model.

Read the Sentinel-Tribune announcement of Gross’s latest accomplishments. Jonathan Silva ’85

Jonathan Silva is appointed president of the MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) Solutions business unit of The Merex Group, a global provider of comprehensive support for U.S. manufactured legacy defense platforms including aircraft, helicopters, and their respective engines.

“Jon brings a successful track record leading aerospace businesses, while driving organizational and business transformation,” Christopher R. Celtruda, Merex Group CEO, says in announcing Silva’s new role. “His wealth of experience in market development, business leadership and overall growth makes him well suited … in continuing to build out our overall MRO capability for legacy defense aircraft and rotorcraft.”

Silva majored in political science at Ohio Wesleyan. He will work from the Kellstrom Defense Aerospace Inc. headquarters in Miramar, Florida.

Read the complete announcement, “Merex Group Appoints Jonathan A. Silva as President of MRO Solutions.”

Tim Corbin ’84

Tim Corbin ’84

Vanderbilt University baseball coach Tim Corbin – a four-time Ohio Wesleyan varsity letterman – is honored as “The Tennessean Sports Person of the Year.”

In 2014, Corbin guided his Commodores to the College World Series title – earning Vanderbilt its first NCAA men’s team title in school history.

His OWU coach, now-Athletic Director Roger Ingles, recalls Corbin’s drive: “He was so darn competitive and he thought he could do anything,” Ingles says. “And he basically could.”

Read the complete article, “Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin: The Tennessean Sports Person of the Year.”

Julie Freyermuth ’01

Julie Freyermuth ’01

Julie Freyermuth publishes a children’s storybook “NORBERT – What Can Little Me Do?” based on a therapy dog and his adventures. The book features illustrations by her mother, Virginia Freyermuth.

Julie Freyermuth, a summa cum laude OWU graduate who majored in Spanish and art history, also serves as the sales and marketing expert for Polly Parker Press, a publishing company that she and her mother have established to help share Norbert stories.

Read the Examiner.com’s book review, “A children’s storybook about Norbert, the therapy dog will inspire you.”

William Batchelder ’64

William Batchelder ’64

William Batchelder, former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and the second longest-serving representative in the Ohio House, is appointed an executive-in-residence at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

“It will be my honor to return to the faculty of Cleveland State University,” says Batchelder, who will lecture on the application of law matters related to legislative, political, and statutory environments.

At Ohio Wesleyan, he majored in history and was a member of Omnicron Delta Kappa Honorary Society, Delta Sigma Rho Forensic Honorary Society, and Phi Alpha Theta History Honorary Society.

Read the complete Cleveland State announcement, “Former Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder Appointed CSU Executive in Residence.”

Erin Huffman-Richard ’02

Erin Huffman-Richard ’02

Erin Huffman-Richard is appointed assistant executive director of Columbus, Ohio-based Delta Gamma Fraternity. She will retain her position as director of education and development.

At Ohio Wesleyan, Huffman-Richard was a member of the Alpha Rho Chapter.

“Erin’s seven years on staff coupled with her four years as a campus-based professional and five years as a Delta Gamma volunteer provide her with the right combination to be successful in this role,” Executive Director Tracey Doebling Williams, Beta Sigma-Maryland, says in announcing Huffman-Richard’s new position.

Read the full announcement, “Delta Gamma Appoints New Assistant Executive Director.”

Jay Vidovich ’82

Jay Vidovich ’82

Jay Vidovich is tapped to coach Timbers 2 – the Portland Timbers’ United Soccer Leagues Pro team. Vidovich also will be an assistant coach for the Timbers, according to The Columbian.

Vidovich previously served as head coach for Wake Forest University for 21 seasons, during which time he was named College Coach of the Year two times by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and named Coach of the Year five times by the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“After having the opportunity to work with Jay for the national team program and coaching against him for many years in college, I can say without hesitation we have found the ideal fit to serve as our head coach of T2,” Timbers coach Caleb Porter says of Vidovich’s appointment.

Vidovich was a three-year starter for Ohio Wesleyan and captain of the 1982 team that reached the NCAA semifinals. He began coaching as an assistant at the University of Denver. He joined Wake Forest as an assistant coach in 1986 and became head coach in 1994.

Read Columbian community sports reporter Paul Danzer’s full article, “Wake Forest Vidovich to Coach Timbers 2 Team.”

Jonathon Hollister ’94

Jonathon Hollister ’94

Jonathon Hollister, M.D., is named medical director of the Sarah Moore Community, providing assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation care services in Delaware, Ohio.

Hollister, a physician with Central Ohio Geriatrics, is board certified in family and geriatric medicine. After earning his bachelor’s degree at Ohio Wesleyan, he earned his medical degree from Wright State University Medical School in Dayton.

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Hollister on board,” says Aric Arnett, executive director of The Sarah Moore Community. “Our long- and short-term residents will benefit greatly from his knowledge and expertise.”

Read the full announcement, “Jonathon Hollister Named Sarah Moore Medical Director.”

Philip Overholt ’55

Philip Overholt ’55

Philip Overholt is named a Fellow with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He is being recognized for leadership in developing and deploying synchrophasor technology.

The technology is described as “the next generation electric power grid monitoring and control system based on high-speed digital recorders deployed across the grid, and kept in precise synchronism by the GPS timing function. This nationwide system detects grid disturbances in seconds and alerts operators to prevent blackouts and restore the grid to normal operation.”

The IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.

At Ohio Wesleyan, Overholt majored in physics. His engineering degree is from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. For the past 20 years, he has worked as the program manager for Transmission Reliability R&D at the U.S. Department of Energy. Most recently he has managed Recovery Act funds to modernize the grid by sponsoring the installation of synchrophasor technology at some 70 electric transmission organizations nationwide.

Read more the 2015 IEEE Fellows.

Gregory D. Nickoli ’88

Gregory D. Nickoli ’88

Gregory Nickoli is named superintendent of Pioneer Career and Technology Center in Shelby, Ohio, effective Jan. 1. He currently serves as the career-technical center’s director of operations.

Pioneer serves more than 1,000 high school students at its Shelby campus and provides 24 satellite programs in surrounding school districts and North Central State College. It also serves area businesses and industry by offering adult education training.

Nickoli majored in history at Ohio Wesleyan, and then earned master’s degrees in both curriculum and instruction and in educational leadership and administration from Ashland University. He previously worked for Mansfield City Schools, Edon Northwest Local Schools, and Galion City Schools.

“My goal is to continue the efforts to raise the academic and career-technical standards at Pioneer to better prepare our students for competition in a global economy,” Nickoli says in a Mansfield News Journal interview.

Read the complete article, “Pioneer Names Nickoli New Superintendent.”

Anusha Lalwani ’08

Anusha Lalwani ’08

Anusha Lalwani, a Mumbai-based clutch purse designer, discusses her artistic career with New Indian Express magazine.

After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Ohio Wesleyan, Lalwani returned to India in 2008 to work in the photo department of a Mumbai-based fashion magazine.

“The stunning photographs inspired in me the idea of wearable art, and this idea never left,” Lalwani tells writer Nidhi Raj Singh.

Read the complete New Indian Express article, “Come, Fall into her Clutches.”