OWU in the News

Laura Word Williams ’76 Earns National Preservation Award

March 25, 2015 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

Mason Espinosa '14

Also in OWU in the News: Matt Bagley ’01, Julie Higgins Podolec ’07, Dan O’Brien ’05, Megan Forman ’02, Andy Kay ’02, Dianne Weary Almendinger ’66, Paul Schimmel ’62, Mason Espinosa ’14, Christopher Peer ’94, Eleanor MacLellan ’73, Jay Martin, Michael Flamm, Tom Burns, and Perkins Observatory.

Laura Word Williams ’76

Laura Word Williams ’76

Laura Word is selected by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services’ (ALCTS) Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) as the 2015 recipient of the George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Preservation Award.

The national award acknowledges and supports cooperative preservation projects and rewards individuals or groups that foster collaboration for preservation goals. Word will receive the award during the 2015 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference and Exposition in San Francisco.

She majored in classical studies at Ohio Wesleyan and earned a master’s degree in conservation from George Washington University. During her career, she has worked at the Division of Preservation and Access at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), where she was one of the founding coordinators of the NEH Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions and the Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections Grant.

Read the complete American Library Association announcement, “2015 Cunha-Swartzburg Award to Laura Word.”

Matthew C. Bagley ’01

Matt Bagley ’01

Matt Bagley is selected as the new head coach of the senior German Men’s National Team by the German Lacrosse Association. Bagley will help the team prepare for the European Championship 2016 in Hungary, and beyond.

At Ohio Wesleyan, Bagley played lacrosse for four years. He then played for the English National Team, helping it to win a gold medal in the 2008 European Championships in Finland and to place fifth at the 2010 World Championships in Manchester, England. Afterward he was named senior head coach of the English Lacrosse Men’s Team for the 2014 FIL World Championships in Denver, Colorado, where he led his team to a fifth-place finish. In addition to coaching, Bagley teaches for TASIS (The American School).

Read the complete German Lacrosse Association announcement, “New Head Coach of the German Men’s National Team.”

Julie Higgins Podolec ’07

Julie Higgins Podolec ’07

Julie Podolec talks about launching Modern Pop, a line of frozen fresh fruit bars, with Woman Around Town.

“I was a marketing major in college and I come from a creative family,” Podolec tells the publication. “Within the company, I drive development of the brand and marketing.”

Podolec and husband, Brad, were inspired to create the icy treats to help their infant with teething pain.

“Starting your own company is an undertaking and a lot of work, but know that anything is possible,” Podolec says.

Read the complete Woman Around Town article, “My Career Choice: Julie Podolec – Modern Pop.”

Dan O’Brien ’05

Dan O’Brien ’05

Dan O’Brien is appointed director of political affairs for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU). The association represents the interests of federally chartered credit unions before the federal government and the public.

In his new position, O’Brien will oversee NAFCU/PAC, organize the association’s grassroots efforts, and manage its political strategy. He will continue his involvement with NAFCU’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill.

O’Brien joined NAFCU in September 2011 as associate director of political affairs. Previously, he has served as the mid-Atlantic finance director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and PAC, and as political representative at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. He studied politics and government at Ohio Wesleyan.

Read the complete announcement, “NAFCU promotes Dan O’Brien to Director of Political Affairs.”

Megan Forman ’02

Megan Forman ’02

Megan Forman is named principal of Big Walnut Local School District’s General Rosecrans Elementary School for the 2015-2016 school year. Forman graduated from Big Walnut High School in 1998.

At Ohio Wesleyan, she studied early childhood education and psychology. Forman also was a member of the Battling Bishop women’s soccer team that won the NCAA Division III National Championship in 2001. She joined the Delaware County, Ohio-based Big Walnut district in fall 2001.

Read the complete Delaware Gazette article, “Forman will be GRE’s new principal.”

Andy Kay ’02

Andy Kay ’02

Andy Kay, coach of the MSLA Division 1 championship boys lacrosse team, discusses the importance of incorporating reading and writing into the coaching of his Rams of Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School.

“We’re reading Pete Carroll’s book right now; we will read Mike Krzyzewski’s book ‘Leading With the Heart’ a little bit later in the season,” Kay tells writer St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Ben Loewnau. “We’re doing weekly essay writing, we’ve got guys that will stand up on Friday afternoons to deliver the weekly speech, and it’s just kind of an immersion, a leadership immersion program.

“We talk about sports psychology, about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and about meeting physiological needs in order to be fulfilled from an esteem standpoint,” Kay told Loewnau. “In order to have healthy self-esteem, you need to have a safe culture in your locker room where guys can be open and it’s a place where people aren’t afraid to share how they’re feeling.”

Read the complete Post-Dispatch article, “MICDS, Kay use mental approach in repeat attempt.”

Dianne Weary Almendinger ’66

Dianne Almendinger, a 65-year member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) for women, is recognized by the group’s local chapter as a strong supporter of education for women around the world.

Almendinger earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts degrees at Ohio Wesleyan and certificates in African studies at Northwestern University and the University of Massachusetts. She taught at OWU and The Ohio State University. In Africa, she taught at Methodist Middle School, Cape Coast, Ghana, and at National Middle Schools at Eket and Benin City, Nigeria.

During her years with P.E.O., Almendinger has served repeatedly as chairwoman of the International Peace Scholarship Project.

Read the complete Delaware Gazette article, “Almendinger to be honored by local P.E.O. chapter.”

Paul Schimmel ’62

Paul Schimmel ’62

Paul Schimmel, Ph.D., is appointed to the board of directors of Tocagen Inc., a clinical-stage cancer-selective immunotherapy company. He is the Hahn professor of molecular biology and chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute.

“In order to make true breakthroughs in the fight against cancer, especially difficult-to-treat cancers such as glioblastoma, we need to explore unique technological approaches,” he said following his board appointment. “Tocagen’s cancer-selective immunotherapy platform technologies and lead product candidate represent a new approach to treating cancer, and I look forward to working with Tocagen to advance the company and their potentially disruptive technology.”

At Ohio Wesleyan, Schimmel majored in pre-medicine. Today, he is an author or coauthor of more than 450 scientific papers, co-author of a three-volume textbook on biophysical chemistry, and has received numerous awards for his contributions to his field.

Read the full announcement, “Tocagen Appoints Paul Schimmel, Ph.D., to the Board of Directors.”

Mason Espinosa ’14

Mason Espinosa ’14

Mason Espinosa continues to compete for the role of quarterback with the Professional Indoor Football League’s Erie Explosion.

“The veterans have been awesome – open arms,” Espinosa tells Erie Times-News reporter John Dudley. “It’s really a first-class operation so far.”

As a Battling Bishop, Espinosa was an honorable mention North Coast Athletic Conference selection in 2010, 2011 and 2013. He also was the league’s Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team selection in 2012.

Read Dudley’s complete article, “QB battle headlines Erie Explosion camp practices.”

Christopher Peer ’94

Christopher Peer ’94

Christopher Peer joins the Avon, Ohio-based Wickens, Herzer, Panza, Cook & Batista law firm. Peer will work in the firm’s Business Organizations & Tax Department, advising clients on the legal implications of business and commercial decisions.

Peer was recognized between 2009 and 2013 as an Ohio Rising Star and in 2014 and 2015 as an Ohio Super Lawyer (Bankruptcy and Business/Corporate Law).

At Ohio Wesleyan, Peer studied theatre arts and psychology. He earned his law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, magna cum laude.

Read the complete appointment announcement, “Attorney Christopher W. Peer has joined WHP.”

Eleanor MacLellan ’73

Eleanor MacLellan ’73

Eleanor MacLellan publishes a new book, “Sole to Soul,” in which the New Hampshire resident “tells the story of heartbreak and restoration after her son’s escalating self-sabotage.”

During this time, MacLellan and five other women created a large, portable canvas labyrinth for their community. As they worked, they shared personal stories that inspired MacLellan and helped her to discover a deeper faith in the midst of their interwoven paths.

MacLellan, who studied English literature and teaching at Ohio Wesleyan, says she hopes to encourage people to share their stories with a close friend and to accompany each other on their spiritual journeys.

“In this culture of sound bites, sensationalism, bad news and the rat-race of daily life, it is easy to sideline some of the most important aspects of life: creativity, dreams, humor, unique talents, and key relationships, all of which contribute to spiritual growth,” MacLellan states.

Read more about MacLellan’s new book in the article, “When our strongest foundations fall, a community of friends will stand.”

Jay Martin, Ph.D.

Jay Martin

Jay Martin discusses his $10,000 NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant in an interview with ThisWeek Delaware News writer Thomas Gallick.

Martin and Simon Clements, director of behavioral training and tools for the Chicago-based EXACT Sports research group, will use the grant to develop a psychometrically validated test to assess an athletic team’s culture and potential for hazing behavior.

Martin tells Gallick the test should help determine what kind of people view hazing as important and why. Coaches then could use the test to determine whether players or teams are likely to engage in hazing. The research project also will develop strategies for administrators and coaches to use when a team is at risk.

“I’ve been interested in it for years because hazing, for better or worse, is a part of our athletic culture in this country,” he said.

Read Gallick’s complete article, “OWU coach digs deeper into hazing.”

Michael Flamm, Ph.D.

Michael Flamm

Michael Flamm, Ph.D., OWU professor of history, writes about “LBJ’s War on Crime and America’s Prison Crisis” for The Ohio State University’s “Origins.”

According to the editor: “The recent and tragic deaths of young black men at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri, Staten Island, New York, and suburban Dayton, Ohio have forced a national conversation about the relationship between policing and race in the United States. … [H]istorian Michael Flamm roots our current debate over police violence, racial discrimination and mass incarceration in the ‘War on Crime’ declared by President Lyndon Johnson fifty years ago this year.”

In his analysis, Flamm states that “rethinking the strategies behind the War on Drugs, altering the perceptions reinforced by it, and redeploying the resources committed to it might help prevent another generation of black men from spending their lives behind bars or losing their lives on the street like Michael Brown, James Powell, and Trayvon Martin.”

Flamm’s forthcoming book is “In the Heat of the Summer: The Harlem Riot of 1964 and the Road to America’s Prison Crisis.” He also is the author or co-author of numerous articles and books, including “Law and Order: Street Crime, Civil Unrest, and the Crisis of Liberalism in the 1960s” (2005), “Debating the 1960s: Liberal, Conservative, and Radical Perspectives” (2007), and “Debating the Reagan Presidency” (2009).

Read his complete “Origins” article, “From Harlem to Ferguson: LBJ’s War on Crime and America’s Prison Crisis.”

Tom Burns, Ph.D.

Tom Burns and Perkins Observatory

Tom Burns, director of OWU’s Perkins Observatory, discusses the observatory’s new lecture series with Columbus Dispatch writer Laura Arenschield. The series explores the intersection of astronomy and other academic disciplines, including literature, technology and journalism.

Perkins Observatory

“In astronomy, we sometimes miss the magic of the heavens,” Burns tells the Dispatch. “Imagine looking at the sky and only seeing the stars as balls of gas, instead of in the context of all the poets and historians who have studied their beauty. What a loss that would be.”

Read Arenschield’s complete Dispatch article, “Ohio Wesleyan lecture series merges poetry, technology and astronomy.” For lecture series tickets, visit perkins.owu.edu.