OWU in the News

White House Honors Anne Donnelly ’75 with Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring

April 7, 2015 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

Tom Thome Jr. ’07

Also in OWU in the News: Callahan Seltzer ’07, Lynn (Brown) White-Shelby ’56, Phillip Morris ’87 and Verne Edwards, Mike Plantholt and OWU Men’s Lacrosse, David Caplan, Justin Breidenbach, Tammy Wallace, Kathleen Walker Ames ’09, Katharine Herron-Piazza ’94, and Tom Thome Jr. ’07.

Anne Donnelly ’75

Anne Donnelly ’75

The White House announces Anne Donnelly, director of the University of Florida’s Center for Undergraduate Research, as one of 15 recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

President Obama will present the award to 14 individuals and one organization in recognition of the crucial role they play in mentoring academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering, particularly those who belong to groups underrepresented in those fields.

Donnelly’s mentoring has included serving as director for the National Science Foundation’s South East Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, a program designed to support minority Ph.D. students in science, engineering, and mathematics who aspire to academic positions. She also has served on the National Science Foundation Committee of Visitors and the National Science Foundation Centers site visit team. From 1996-2009, she was associate director for education and outreach for the UF Particle Engineering Research Center, where she managed an interdisciplinary undergraduate research program that placed more than 700 students in research labs.

In addition to being honored at the White House, Donnelly will receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

At Ohio Wesleyan, Donnelly majored in zoology. Read the complete University of Florida announcement.

Callahan Seltzer ’07

Callahan Seltzer ’07

Callie Seltzer, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is selected as an awardee of the Lowell Richards Fellowship for Leadership and Public Service.

Seltzer will intern at the Massachusetts Port Authority, working on real-estate projects on Massport-owner land in South Boston, East Boston, and Charlestown. She will focus on enhancing economic development opportunities and creating great places.

In selecting the fellow, the review committee looked for applicants who demonstrated qualities such as leadership, integrity, loyalty, commitment, and ambition, as well as a passion for a career in public service.

Prior to her studies at MIT, Seltzer worked for six years in the affordable housing and community development fields, most recently as a program officer for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), where she developed expertise in federal affordable housing policy and finance.

At Ohio Wesleyan, Seltzer was a politics and government major. Read more about her Lowell Richards Fellowship.

Lynn (Brown) White-Shelby ’56

Lynn (Brown) White-Shelby ’56

Lynn (Brown) White-Shelby is honored by U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, as one of his congressional district’s 2015 Women of the Year.

Schiff entered a special tribute to each woman into the Congressional Record, and recognized the group at a recent luncheon celebration. Of White-Shelby, a physical education and science major at Ohio Wesleyan, Schiff said:

“Ms. White-Shelby is a dedicated volunteer. Upon retirement, she jumped right into volunteering at the learning center at the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley, tutoring at the Main Club, and co-teaching a storytelling/acting class at Burbank’s Roosevelt Elementary School. She is also a devoted and giving member of the La Providencia Guild of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, serving on numerous committees, working at the Thrift Shop and is currently the First Vice President/President Elect. Lynn also served five terms as President of the Verdugo-Glen Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA), where she has been a member for over three decades, and currently serves as the Education Chair, which awards scholarships to women students. In addition, Lynn serves as Vice Chairman on the City of Burbank’s Senior Citizen Board, and as Secretary on the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley’s Board of Directors.

“I ask all Members to join me in honoring an exceptional woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Lynn White-Shelby.”

Read the complete White-Shelby tribute.

Phillip Morris ’87

Phillip Morris ’87 and Verne Edwards

“Professor Verne Edwards was the greatest classroom teacher I have encountered,” alumnus Phillip Morris writes in a recent (Cleveland) Plain Dealer column. “Years after I left Ohio Wesleyan University, I regularly sought his advice or drew on lessons he taught me. He molded a decidedly unpolished, inner-city kid into a young man who believed he could pursue a career in journalism. …

Verne Edwards

“I thought of Verne, who died at the age of 90 last November, when news broke about the late Coach Dean Smith and his final bequest to his players – his students. The legendary University of North Carolina basketball coach, who died last month, left instructions in his will to give $200 to every letter winner who played for him during his 36 years as head coach at UNC. …

“If we’re fortunate, we encounter a teacher like Coach Smith or Professor Edwards at some point in our lives. These are the people who get to us when we are still young, impressionable and perhaps even rambunctious. But they see something in us and are able to connect with us in ways that even the best parents are sometimes unable. …

“The greatest teachers never stop teaching – not even in death.”

Read Morris’s complete Plain Dealer column, “Coach Dean Smith’s last supper.”

Mike Plantholt

Mike Plantholt and OWU Men’s Lacrosse

Coach Mike Plantholt discusses the Battling Bishop men’s lacrosse team with writer Jac Coyne of LaxMagazine.com.

“OWU has responded well since Plantholt showed up in Delaware, Ohio, five years ago,” Coyne writes. “The Bishops have won at least 10 games every season he’s been at the helm, and, with an 8-0 mark and a No. 6 national ranking, they’ll easily hit that mark again. Plantholt didn’t take the job to chalk up some wins and make an occasional NCAA tournament, however. He took the job because he wanted to continue a legacy.”

“I feel like Ohio Wesleyan is a very proud group,” Plantholt says in the interview. “It’s not just the athletic department, but the alums, too. If you go there, you go and visit campus, and you see the history and tradition. You’ve got Mike Pressler, who was a head coach and before him, Jay Martin, who is still the soccer coach. After that you had Lelan Rogers, who is at Syracuse. You have all of these alums who follow every season, and the expectations are through the roof every year. I wanted that. I wanted a job at a place where they cared about the lacrosse program and they wanted it to succeed.”

Read Coyne’s complete LaxMagazine.com article, “Ohio Wesleyan still right on schedule.”

David Caplan

David Caplan

David Caplan, Ph.D., OWU professor of English, talks about being a scholar and poet with writer Okla Elliott in “As It Ought to Be,” a progressive forum that hopes to encourage humane thought and action related to contemporary political and cultural matters.

“My research often starts with questions that bother me and that I cannot answer,” Caplan says in the interview, which includes reprints of three of his poems. “My first book, ‘Questions of Possibility: Contemporary Poetry and Poetic Form,’ began as my dissertation. When I was a graduate student, I wondered why contemporary poets favored certain forms – for example, sestinas and ghazals – and not others – for example, the heroic couplet. As I read, wrote, and revised, I tried to develop persuasive explanations.

“My recent book, ‘Rhyme’s Challenge: Contemporary Poetry, Hip Hop, and Rhyming Culture’ considers why hip-hop artists dominate the contemporary art of rhyme,” Caplan tells Elliott. “My poetry is not influenced by hip hop; I admire its artistry and wanted to clarify its achievement (both to myself and to others).”

Read Elliott’s complete article, “David Caplan: A Micro-Interview and Three Poems.”

Justin Breidenbach

Justin Breidenbach

Justin Breidenbach, M.Acc., CPA, CFE, assistant professor of accounting, is featured in WalletHub’s new study examining the states with the highest and lowest property taxes for 2015.

In question-and-answer format, Breidenbach discusses how property taxes could be incorporated into financial decision-making and how policy-makers across the country could approach tax collection.

“In my experience, when providing tax and accounting services to individuals and businesses,” Breidenbach says, “they are concerned with property taxes in relation to services that are being provided for those taxes when purchasing a home or setting up an office location.”

Read the complete article, “2015’s States with the Highest and Lowest Property Taxes.”

Tammy Wallace

Tammy Wallace

Tammy Wallace, assistant director of the Richard M. Ross Art Museum and a fine-art quilt artist, is exhibiting quilts made from recycled materials in an exhibit at Otterbein University in the Courtright Memorial Library’s Becker Gallery.

The exhibit, “Re-Done,” is open now and runs through June 30. Wallace is a 2002 Ohio Wesleyan graduate, and she has been working at the Ross Art Museum since it opened.

Kathleen Walker Ames ’09

Kathleen Walker Ames ’09

Kate Walker talks with NBC4-TV’s Ellie Merritt about Pilot Dogs Inc., which has been training dogs to become service animals since 1950.

Walker, marketing and development director for the central Ohio-based Pilot Dogs, says the organization has helped more than 7,500 people since its founding.

At Ohio Wesleyan, Walker majored in English and wrote news articles for the Office of University Communications.

Watch the complete NBC4 “Sunday Chat.”

Katharine Herron-Piazza ’94

Katharine Herron-Piazza ’94

Katy Herron-Piazza is named the new rector at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Weston, Connecticut.

After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan, she earned a master’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University and a master’s in divinity degree from the General Theological Seminary in New York City.

She previously served for more than two years as interim pastor for Holy Trinity Episcopal in Pawling, New York, and on the clergy staff at St. John’s Church in Larchmont, New York.

Read writer Linda Willis’s complete Emmanuel Church Communications announcement.

Tom Thome Jr. ’07

Tom Thome Jr. ’07

Tom Thome talks about his new job as coach of the Twinsburg (Ohio) High School girls track and field team with writer Steve Batko of the Twinsburg Bulletin.

“The girls are pretty young, but we have some experience and will be able to compete,” says Thome, who played football and participated in men’s track and field for the Battling Bishops. “Overall, I think this year’s field has a lot of good competition. It will be a good test of where we are at.”

Read Batko’s complete article, “New coach takes over young Twinsburg girls track and field team.”