OWU in the News

Mason Espinosa ’14 Signs with Professional Indoor Football League

November 19, 2014 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

Connor McGowan ’09

Also in OWU in the News: Branch B. Rickey ’67; professor Sean Kay; Rachel Vinciguerra ’14; David R. Chenoweth ’43; Tamara Daily ’88; Doug Kridler ’77; Don Williams ’38; Tara Trafton ’86; and Connor McGowan ’09.

Mason Espinosa ’14

Mason Espinosa ’14

Mason Espinosa, who previously participated in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie minicamp, signs an agreement with the Professional Indoor Football League’s Erie Explosion. The Pennsylvania team’s 2015 season will begin in March.

Reporter Craig Delk of the Cookeville, Tennessee Herald-Citizen notes: “Espinosa was a four-year standout for Ohio Wesleyan University, as he was an honorable mention North Coast Athletic Conference selection in 2010, 2011 and 2013, and was the league’s Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team selection in 2012.”

Read the full Herald-Citizen article, “Espinosa signs with PIFL’s Explosion.”

Branch B. Rickey ’67

Branch B. Rickey ’67

Branch B. Rickey, president of Minor League Baseball’s Pacific Coast League, is selected to receive the 31st annual Warren Giles Award, which honors outstanding service as a league president.

The award has been presented annually since 1984, and this marks the second time Rickey has earned the prestigious honor. He first won in 1998, his first year as Pacific Coast League (PCL) president. Rickey will receive his award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Dec. 7 in California.

“To be recognized as this year’s recipient of the Giles Award is an honor that resonates warmly for me and for a number of reasons,” Rickey told writers for Minor League Baseball (www.MiLB.com). “Not the least of these is because it reflects the success of the PCL and the overall achievements of our clubs. In turn, it is a tribute to our respective ownerships, operators and dedicated team staffs. I get the wonderful privilege of being the target of the recognition for what has been collectively accomplished.”

Rickey, who studied philosophy at Ohio Wesleyan, is the grandson of W. Branch Rickey, OWU Class of 1904, who collaborated with Jackie Robinson to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier.

Read the complete Minor League Baseball article “PCL’s Rickey wins second Giles Award.”

Sean Kay, Ph.D.

Sean Kay

Sean Kay, Ph.D., professor of politics and government, participates in a panel discussion on “Grand Strategy and the Rise of China” as part of a two-day national security conference hosted by the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

The conference explores the so-called “pivot to Asia,” or Washington’s shift in focus from Europe and the Persian Gulf to east. In addition to Kay, the panel also included representatives from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Dartmouth College, and the John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Research.

Watch the complete Tower Center panel discussion. Kay, whose latest book is “America’s Search for Security: The Triumph of Idealism and the Return of Realism,” begins speaking at 1:10:40.

Rachel Vinciguerra ’14

Rachel Vinciguerra ’14

Rachel Vinciguerra writes about her current adventure – spending a year serving as a volunteer coordinator for the Pwoje Espwa orphanage in Les Cayes, Haiti – in the Girl Scout Alumnae Network newsletter.

Vinciguerra, a history major, is working in Haiti with fellow OWU graduate Kelsey Ullom ’14, an international studies major. Of their adventure, Vinciguerra writes:

“We are responsible for planning the trips for the volunteers coming to Haiti including medical teams and church groups. We have numerous other responsibilities including teaching English classes to different groups of children and we have started a pen pal program for some of the older girls with a friend in the United States.

“Sometimes it feels like we have a finger in almost every part of the organization: helping distribute donations when they come in, working on the committee for the children’s talent show in December, and orchestrating teleconferences with students in the United States.”

Read Vinciguerra’s full article, “Pwoje Espwa,” in the newsletter or visit her blog, Penniless Traveler.

David R. Chenoweth ’43

David R. Chenoweth ’43

At his 93rd birthday celebration, David Chenoweth is presented with the Purple Heart he earned during World War II but had never received.

According to the Youngtown (Ohio) Vindicator, Chenoweth saw combat during the Battle of Iwo Jima as part of the 5th Marine Division, A naval gunfire liaison officer, he landed with the Marines and was seriously wounded by shrapnel from an enemy mortar shell while coordinating naval gunfire.

Reporter William K. Alcorn writes: “Chenoweth refused to be evacuated and continued to perform his duties that day and through the night. Under heavy enemy fire and suffering painful wounds, he directed the fire of naval vessels until his unit’s attack on Mount Suribachi was complete.”

At Ohio Wesleyan, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He later earned his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School

Read the complete Vindicator article, “Warren WWII Navy officer gets long-overdue Purple Heart.”

Tamara Daily ’88

Tamara Daily ’88

Tamara Daily, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Mount Union, presents the findings of her sabbatical research, which involved assessing the effectiveness of the “Hearing Voices That Are Distressing” curriculum with undergraduate students.

The program includes a simulated experience of hearing voices, with participants undertaking a series of tasks including social interaction in the community, a psychiatric interview, cognitive testing, and an activities group in a mock day treatment program.

Daily majored in psychology at Ohio Wesleyan and then earned her master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include the stigma associated with people with mental illnesses and the use of first-person narratives in teaching psychology.

Read more about Daily and her work.

Doug Kridler ’77

Doug Kridler ’77

Doug Kridler, president and CEO of the Columbus Foundation, discusses “trust, success and the Columbus Foundation’s evolution” with Columbus CEO editor Mary Yost.

Before joining the Columbus Foundation in 2002, Kridler worked for both the Cleveland Orchestra and the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA). In his 18 years at CAPA, he transformed the association “from a single-theater operation to owning six Columbus theaters, the Chicago Theatre and the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, Conn., the pre-eminent proving ground for Broadway productions.”

According to the article, Kridler’s work in the arts dates back to his time at Ohio Wesleyan. “Kridler started producing concerts as an extracurricular activity at Ohio Wesleyan – volunteering to do jobs no one else wanted until he was soon running the entire program and had restructured the former ‘social committee’ into the ‘major attractions committee. His first concert featured Bonnie Raitt and Little Feat,” Yost writes.

Kridler says his vision for the Columbus Foundation is to be a place of “high conscience, generosity, concern for others, that’s knowledge-based and independent so that it can be counted upon to do the right thing, to do the thoughtful thing and do it in concert with others.”

Read the full Columbus CEO article, “Q&A: Doug Kridler on trust, success and the Columbus Foundation’s evolution.”

Don Williams ’38

Don Williams ’38

“Don Williams’ civic service is unusual, both for how high he rose and for how long he’s kept it up,” Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Grant Segall writes.

Nearing age 100, Williams has been a member of the Berea Kiwanis for 58 years, including serving as Kiwanis International president. Williams also spent 10 years as chairman of Southwest General Health Center, which has named a conference center in his honor.

In addition, Segall writes, Williams helped create the Southwest YMCA and chaired it. And he led the Berea Little Theater and the Berea United Appeal.

Read Segall’s complete Plain Dealer article, “Former Kiwanis president turns 100, still attends Berea’s club meetings.”

Tara Trafton ’86

Tara Trafton ’86

Tara Trafton joins NBT Bank in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as senior vice president and senior commercial banking relationship manager. Her duties include developing and managing business relationships with the bank’s commercial customers.

Trafton has 28 years of financial services experience and most recently was senior vice president and relationship manager at Citizens Bank covering northern New England. She is a member of the Ohio Wesleyan Alumni Association.

Read the full seacoastonline’s posting, “NBT Bank adds Trafton, Rochefort to NH team.”

Connor McGowan ’09

Connor McGowan ’09

Connor McGowan is tapped to become the first lacrosse head coach for the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He will lead the Chargers into play beginning in spring 2016, according to LaxPower.com.

Previously, McGowan served as assistant men’s lacrosse coach at Birmingham-Southern College and at Transylvania University.

At Ohio Wesleyan, he played lacrosse for four years, making the NCAA tournament each year.

Read the complete LaxPower.com article, “Alabama-Huntsville Tabs McGowan as First Lacrosse Head Coach.”